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Buffalo Bills

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Christmas Weekend: NFL Football and NBA Basketball The Perfect Present

Well it is the season to be jolly, Christmas Day is almost here, and we get a double treat. We will not only have NFL football on Saturday but also finally we will have the start of the official NBA season on Sunday. I have to admit it will be nice to have two days filled with sports. It will also be good that we will not have to choose which sport to watch. We can see all the NFL action on Saturday and then watch all the NBA games on Sunday.

For the NFL, this is usually the week that NFL playoff-bound teams start to rest players. However, this year no teams have the luxury of actually having everything wrapped up like a good present. Some teams have clinched their playoff spot but each of these teams is now fighting for home field advantage. This is good news for football fans as every team will be still playing their starters, which means great football action for fans.

One of the games NFL fans will want to keep an eye on is between the Denver Broncos  and the Buffalo Bills.Denver should win this game as Buffalo is playing awful lately. When Denver does win the Broncos will clinch a playoff spot. I am looking for some more Tebow heroics that were missing from last week’s game. Another game that any football fan will love is the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles. Both teams are on a hot streak and the game Saturday should be a shootout with huge playoff implications. Vick versus Romo should be a very interesting matchup. Both quarterbacks have had their ups and downs this year. However, We should get their best effort on Saturday because so much is riding on this one game.

The last NFL football game that I will say is must see television this Christmas weekend is the Detroit Lions versus the San Diego Chargers. Both teams have won big games this past weekend and each team is looking to claim a playoff spot. This game should be one of the best air shows around with two explosive offenses. Matthew Stafford to Calvin Johnson on one side of the field, Philip Rivers and Vincent Jackson on the other side of the field, I am anticipating at least a few spectacular catches and touchdown celebrations. We may slow down a bit from all of good food over the holidays but Football is still going strong and in full swing.

On the NBA side of things, Christmas Day should be full of the first NBA action of the season. The majority of the first NBA games include teams from last seasons NBA playoffs. The Celtics and the Knicks will play and we can see if the Boston Celtics “Big Three” still has another playoff run in them. The Knicks on the other hand should have some better chemistry this year after being together for a year.

The Bulls and Lakers were the teams that most people thought would be in last year’s NBA finals. The on the court battle between Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose is always entertaining to watch. Even though Kobe has an injured wrist, I doubt that will keep him off the court. Injury has never stoppd Kobe Bryant before and Sunday will be no different. We should see one of the best guard battles all year long.

The “new look” Clippers take on the Golden State Warriors. I am not too excited to see the Warriors but with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin now on the Clippers I will be glued to the television set to see the show. Chris Paul throwing the ball to Blake Griffin an alley-oop should become a normal occurrence all year long. Showtime this season may have shifted from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The next game features the Orlando Magic and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Orlando Magic still are hoping disgruntled star Dwight Howard will decide to stay, but I believe the Magic are pulling at straws. Dwight Howard has already checked out and is just going through the motions. This game has everything in place to become a blowout. Kevin Durant will of course bring his best game and start the year off impressing us all again.

The most anticipated game of Christmas Day will be the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks. The Mavericks and the Heat played one of best finals series in NBA history last year and this year both teams have improved their rosters. The game should bring back all the memories of the Finals last year and will hopefully have the kind of ending that will make our Christmas Day even more memorable. Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Chris Bosh, taking the floor against Dirk Nowitzki and company is always a crowd-pleaser. I am excited for all the games Christmas Day but a NBA finals rematch is definitely worth watching.

Christmas weekend should be one to remember for the holiday celebration but also because it will be one of the best sports weekend of the year. I am ready to celebrate the reason for the season for Christmas and the reason why we love sports. Merry Christmas to one and all!

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Sports and Holidays: Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving has come and gone with some great games. We have had seen truly exceptional performances and then some exceptional things in a bad way as well. With all that being said, no one says we have to stop saying thanks when Thanksgiving Day is over. We are going to give thanks to some teams and players, not only in the NFL but in a number of sports. Let the celebration begin:

We first have to give thanks to the NBA players and owner for tentatively getting a deal done. Barring some catastrophic set back it looks like we will finally have some NBA basketball. The agreement states there will be a 66 game season that will start December 25, 2011, with training camps opening December 9th. The deal also included a 50/50 split for revenue between the players and owners. The most important part is that the negotiation is done and it will be a few years before we have to deal with this type of situation again.

Next we have to thank college football coach Urban Meyer for proving that money talks. Meyer was adamant that he was done with college football when he retired in 2010. Urban Meyer said he needed to spend time with his family and concentrate on his health. Meyer even denied reports that a college had contacted him for a coaching position. All that changed when Ohio State did actually come calling and offered Urban Meyer a six year deal which is worth an average of 4 million per year. Urban Meyer says he loves college football, but he could have sat on the couch, loved college football, and enjoyed time with his family. Instead we see how enough money can motivate anyone to change their tune.

In the NFL, we have a couple of players to thank for tasteless displays this week. First we have Ndamukong Suh, who decided it would be a good idea to step on an opposing team’s offensive lineman. The play was over; there was really no good reason for Suh to do anything. However, Ndamukong Suh decided to step on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Deitrich-Smith during Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day game. The League has not officially issued any punishment for Suh, but we can rest assured some form of punishment is coming. Even a first time offender would feel the hammer of justice from Commissioner Roger Goodell come down upon them. Suh is far from a first time offender. Expect to not see the Detroit Lion’s defensive leader for a few games.

Speaking of repeat offenders, we have another individual who decided to do something that should have never been done. Stevie Johnson, the receiver from the Buffalo Bills, decided to make fun of Plaxico Buress and the Jets in a touchdown celebration. Johnson scored a touchdown catch, then preceeded to dance, and act like he shot himself in the foot, mocking Plaxico Buress. Plaxico Buress went to jail for two years for doing such an incident in real life. This should not be an event that anyone would want to make fun of. Moreover, after making fun of Plaxico Buress’s situation, Stevie Johnson then decided to act like a jet plane was crashing, making fun of the New York Jets further. Johnson should get a heavy fine for something so offensive and directed at another player. To top it all off, the Buffalo Bills lost the game and Stevie Johnson dropped quite a few passes that would of helped the team win. Johnson does not seem much like team player to me, but more like one who only cares about himself.

The season of giving thanks never truly comes to an end when we are dealing with sports. Something is always happening, whether good or bad, that we can say thank you about. Whether it is something as bad as Jerome Simpson’s flop, or something amazing like watching Drew Brees put 350 passing yards, four passing touchdowns, one rushing touch down, and no interceptions in a Monday night game. The ups and downs each week is what makes watching sports a good time. We love our sports and are thankful for every team, every play, and every game.

Top Sports News: Decisions, Decisions

This week has been one of the most interesting weeks in sports in a long time. This week in sports is a week of decisions. This post is about some questionable decisions that are happening around sports in general. I believe some decisions from this week require a deeper look. We can look at what happened and see if that was the right decision to make. Let’s get started with the first situation:

The Penn State sex scandal investigation continues as we enter this week. Joe Paterno was fired last week after allegations of child sexual abuse against Jerry Sandusky were revealed . After hearing the different accounts, it sounds like Joe Paterno tried to do the right thing. Paterno tried to bring Jerry Sandusky’s child sexual abuse activities to the attention of the athletic director. The athletic director did nothing after being told by Joe Paterno of Sandusky’s illicit activities. The athletic director never called the cops or took any form of action to change the situation. We have no idea why no one did anything more than tell the person above them. However, I am not sure if Paterno should have been fired, but he had to be fired. The reason is that no one related to a high profile scandal like the Penn State child abuse sex scandal is going to be allowed to remain working for Penn State. If Penn State keeps people that had any knowledge of what was going on, PennState will never be able to recover from the shadow of the scandal. Fans, high school prospects , and people in the surrounding community will associate Penn State with any person related to the child abuse sex scandal, as long as the person is still employed at the university. This would already make a bad public relations situation even harder to overcome. The Penn State administration knows they had to take the action in order for the school to have any chance of people seeing Penn State as a prestigious university once more.

On to the NBA and since there is no news of games being played, we have to turn to the news of the NBA lockout. The NBA lockout is still in effect with no clear end in sight. The NBA players have rejected the NBA owner’s last offer which could have potentially given the players 51 percent of the league revenue. The NBA players have basically drawn the line in the sand and want 52 percent or higher. Kobe Bryant even came forward and said he would be happy with 50/50 percent split. I can understand the NBA players wanting the best deal but to potentially lose a whole NBA season over one percent seems a bit much to me. Essentially, the players are saying we are willing to lose a complete NBA season because they want more money. Greed will make people do strange things sometimes. In this case, NBA players association negotiators are waiting for the perfect deal. The perfect deal is never going to come. America may miss out on a whole season of NBA basketball if an agreement is not reached soon. On the other hand, the United States will helps the economy of other countries as NBA players flock overseas to play.

A few events happened in the NFL. One event of minor significance was David Nelson, receiver for the Buffalo Bills, caught a touchdown pass this weekend and gave the ball to his girlfriend. David Nelson’s girlfriend happens to be a cheerleader for the opposing team, the Dallas Cowboys. I understand being in love but giving game balls to cheerleader girlfriends is something people outgrow in high school. Being an NFL player, Mr. Nelson should have come with a ring or something a little better to impress the girl. In other news, Mike Smith head coach of the Atlanta Falcons, decided to go for it on 4th down in overtime on his team’s own 29 yard line. I can understand Mike Smith having confidence in his running back Michael Turner to make the conversion. However, on his own 29 yard line, Smith should have made the call to punt the ball. Long story made short, the Falcons did not get the conversion and lost the game as the New Orleans Saints kicked a field goal. Lastly, I can say that Tebow has changed the way we see football. Tebow completed 2-8 passes over the weekend. The Denver Broncos ran the ball 55 times in their game, including 43 yards and a touchdown by Tim Tebow. One of the two passes Tim Tebow completed ended up being a perfectly thrown touchdown pass. The Denver Broncos are running the triple option offense to allowTebow to do what he does best which is run. While I do not think the Denver Broncos will win any Super Bowls running the option system, the Broncos might sneak into the playoffs. It looks like the Denver Bronocos have made the right move in deciding to start Tim Tebow. Since Tebow has taken over as the Broncos quarteback, the Denver Bronocs are 3-1. Tim Tebow has made the Broncos a winning organization once again.

The Sports World has been a complete mess every week this year. A great deal of events going on and no one seems to know how the majority of the situations will end. We just have to wait and see if everything will work itself out. Until then each week in sports will only continue to get more interesting.

NFL Week 3: True Grit

Week three of the NFL is in the books and what a week of surprises it was. I will name this week officially, “True Grit Week.” This is the week that certain teams and players showed they have the ability to overcome impossible circumstances. The best part about this week is a great deal of the surprise performances came from unexpected teams or players. With that being said, let’s get on with looking at week three.

The first gritty performance of the week includes Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. I am used to writing about the pitfalls and disaster of performances Tony Romo is known for when his team needs him most. However, this week all anyone can say is Tony Romo is a true leader. Romo suffered fractured ribs and a punctured lung in the Dallas Cowboys week two victory over the 49ers. Tony Romo was not even able to sleep in a bed all week because of the pain and still played in this week’s game. Tony Romo was able to put the Dallas Cowboys in position to win the game and beat the Washington Redskins. Tony Romo did not throw a touchdown but he stayed in the game and setup Dan “It’s a Daily Thing” Bailey for 6 field goals. Bailey may have scored the points but none of this would have been possible without the play of Tony Romo. All this makes me think of is that if Tony Romo can play with fractured ribs and a punctured lung, what was Jay Cutler’s excuse for not playing in the NFC championship game last year? Leaders have to tough and resilient, some quarterbacks have it and some do not.

The second gritty performance of the week goes to the Buffalo Bills. Every year there is a team that everyone is rooting for because of what the team has gone through in previous years. The Buffalo Bills have not been a particularly good team since the days of Thurman Thomas, Jim Kelly, Andre Reed, and James Lofton. Back in those days we would see the Buffalo Bills not only make the playoffs but also make the Super Bowl multiple years. I am not going to say that this Bills team is in that class of greatness yet but they are taking the right steps. This week the Buffalo Bills were down 21-0 to the New England Patriots at Halftime. During Halftime the Bills must have had some, “Flutie Flakes” because they took the field as a completely different team. The Buffalo Bills offense started clicking, led by Ryan Fitzpatrick, Stevie Johnson, Scott Chandler, and Fred Jackson. The Bills defense stepped up causing Tom Brady and the Patriots to turn the ball over four times. The Buffalo Bills ended up rallying from a 21-0 halftime deficit to win the game by a final score of 34-31. The Bills had lost to the New England Patriots on the last 15 meetings of the two teams. On Sunday, the Buffalo Bills finally were able to be on the winning side instead of the losing side for the first time in many years.

The third gritty performance of the week goes to the Detroit Lions. The Detroit Lions are very similar to the Buffalo Bills in that the Lions have not been very good for many years. The difference is that the Detroit Lions have never had any success in the playoffs. Last year the Detroit Lions ended the 2010 season with a record of 6-10. The promising part of 2010 was the Lions ended the season with four victories. The victories have continued into the 2011 season and this week would be no different. However the Detroit Lions did start Sunday’s game with an exceptionally bad start. The Lions were down 20-0 by halftime to the Minnesota Vikings. The Lions looked like they had reverted to some old habits. As the Lions came out in the third quarter, no one could have predicted the Lions would mount a comeback except maybe the Lions themselves. The Lions came out on fire and looked the part of a team who had won 10 games straight dating back to last year, including their four pre-season games. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson hooked up for 2 touchdowns during the game. The second touchdown tied the game up and put the game into overtime. Jason Hanson then completed the rally in overtime against the Minnesota Vikings with a field goal to make the final score 26-23. The Lions proved they have developed the resilience to find a way to win even against impossible odds.

Week three had a great deal of great performances by individual players and teams. These performances stood out above the rest. The 2011 NFL season has been full of unexpected twists and turns. Week four is on its way, we will see if these teams and players keep surprising us or will they revert to a version of their former selves.

Revelations of the NFL Season Week 2

On the weekend where the Floyd Mayweather and Victor Ortiz fight was flooded with some controversial underhanded dirty fighting tactics, we learned a few things about the NFL. After this past weekend, some of the cloudiness of how the lockout has affected different NFL teams is becoming clearer.

Week 2 Revelation #1: The Buffalo Bills may actually be a playoff contender. Like Chris Berman of ESPN says, “No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills!” This may very well ring true this year for the 2011 NFL season. Ryan Fitzpatrick is orchestrating some great offensive drives and the Buffalo Bills for the first time look like a real team. Fitzpatrick managed to throw for 264 yards and 3 touchdowns on Sunday.  Stevie Johnson is once again proving he is a go-to receiver. Fred Jackson may be the most underrated runningback in the league, but that guy is a true gamer.Jackson had 15 carries for 117 yards and 2 touchdowns. At 2-0 the Buffalo Bills are looking quite good to be a surprise this year.

Week 2 Revelation #2: Cam Newton is the real deal. I am sure no one thought Cam Newton would be as good as he has turned out to be. Everyone knew that Cam Newton was a freakish athletic specimen, but no one could have guessed that he would be breaking passing records. Everyone guessed Cam would be humbled this weekend playing the Green Bay Packers. All of the fans and football experts guessed wrong in their assessment of Cam Newton. Cam Newton has a cannon of an arm for a quarterback and slings it similar to the way Brett Favre used to play. Cam throws the football into some amazingly small passing windows and all over the field. The results vary, sometimes he will throw a wild pass or an interception, other times the pass is right on target. The good thing with Cam Newton is that the result is usually a positive one. We can still see signs of Cam learning the game, but each week he seems to be getting better. Wow what a quarterback Cam Newton will be when his quarterback ability fully develops.

Week 2 Revelation # 3: No or very little training camp increases injuries. Injuries are in abundance this year. The majority of the New York Giants defense is out for the year with various injuries. The Kansas City Chiefs, one of the teams that decided not to play any starters during the off season, has suffered season-ending injuries to a number of their players. The Kansas City Chiefs starting tight end Tony Moeaki, their starting cornerback Eric Berry, and their star runningback Jamaal Charles all are out for the season. The Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning could not rehab due to the lockout and just recently had to have, what could be season-ending surgery. Every week the injuries keep mounting. This season will truly prove which teams can deal with adversity the best as different NFL teams continue to lose players and have to find new players to step up.

Week 2 Revelation # 4: The Philadelphia Eagles are beatable. The Eagles may have made all the right off-season acquisitions but two weeks straight the Eagles have been torched by the opposing team’s run game. In week two Michael Turner ran the ball for 114 yards and one touchdown. While the Philadelphia Eagles pass defense is one of the best in the league but their run defense is where the chink is the chink in the Eagles impenetrable armor. If Philadelphia cannot stop the run game of opposing teams it could be a long season for them, especially when facing teams with a superior running game. Michael Vick also suffered a concussion and may be out for some extended time. Over the next few weeks the Philadelphia Eagles will be tested. The question is can Philadelphia truly soar like an eagle or will they flop like wounded bird?

Well that is it for today my faithful readers. Stay tuned as I will have more sporting news to come later in the week. Another week of college and NFL football is on the way. The anticipation is already building. The planning of a football party is already in motion. Get the grill out and let the football games begin!

 

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