Yeah, we are in the doldrums between end of the college football season, start of the playoff and Super Bowl stretch for pro football and the start of the baseball season. Oh, and, of course, March Madness. Here is what I am having an, uncomfortably, hard time giving a darn about: the NBA.
Just as appropriate filler info, I used to “Love This Game”. No joke. I had Phoenix Suns season tickets since before the start of the Kevin Johnson/Tom Chambers years, straight through the Charles Barkley fun and into the after-period where the doldrums set in. Chuck was the icing on our cake, but the stadium was already a sellout and the team already a serious contender in the league championship well before he came. That said, there has never been, before or after, quite the excitement and buzz that Sir Charles brought. It was a magical time, even if it was second fiddle to Air Jordan and the Bulls (though by the slightest of margins in 1993). The point is, Jordan is gone, the Chuckster is gone, Magic and Bird are gone; it is all gone. There are only a couple of stars that have the panache and balls of the old crowd left in the league, such as Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzsky. I would love to say there is a “new generation” taking over in the NBA. But, unless you consider Kobe the “new generation”, the new generation in the NBA is a bunch of self entitled, selfish, jerk punks like “King” LeBron James. Bleech.
Navy has brought the big battleship guns and beat Army (again) in a surprisingly hard fought and close battle of the armed forces. Congratulations Navy! Which brings us to the real Trash, pro football. The NFL! Yea!
Aaaaannnddd the big game today is, of course, the TEBOWL! That’s right T and the Bows take on Da Bears. Both teams come into the game with a 7-5 record and playoff aspirations. If there is a team in the league that has the defense to bust up the Baby Jesus train, it is the Bears. Urlacher and the boys are tough and disciplined. But the Broncos have been kicking ass and taking names on defense lately too, and Chicago will not have Jay Cutler or Matt Forte. That is bad news, Bears fans. Also, the game is at Mile High, which is a tough venue. Should be pretty interesting to see if the messiah can keep it up.
The Rayduhs, who are tied with the Tebows at the top of the AFC West, travel to The Frozen Tundra to visit Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood. Hard to pick against the Pack here, but Oakland is a pretty good team. Carson Palmer seems to be settling in, but running back Darren McFadden (right foot) and big-play receivers Jacoby Ford (left foot) and Denarius Moore (right foot) are all out. Combined with a porous pass defense, that spells trouble for the Raiders.
The other interesting game is the Cowboys and Giants. The ‘Boys are 7-5 and the Gents have slid to 6-6, but this game will be for the NFC East lead heading down the stretch, so it is critical. Romo has been playing pretty well lately, and rookie DeMarco Murray from Oklahoma is an emerging star at running back. The Giants have been all out of whack on both sides of the ball. The game is in the Big D. Everything seems to be lined up for a Dallas win. So I am taking the Giants here.
The Bills are out Randiego’s way to meet the Bolts. Both clubs have fallen off the face of the earth, and are at 5-7. Will be interesting to see which one actually wants to step up and win a game here. Maybe they can actually pull off a rare tie here; that would be fitting. Houston at Cinci will be a good test to see if the Bengals can capitalize on the Texans being without a first line QB and big play Andre Johnson. TJ Yeats kept the team in the game and won last week, this will be another good test of how he will hold up. The Kitties host the Vikings. Ponder has a touchy hip, but likely will start; Adrian Peterson is hobbled, but will also likely play after missing last week’s game. Suh, of course, is suspended and, hopefully, won’t crash his car on the way to the local sports bar to watch his team play. Detroit ought to be able to win this and get back on track. If not, stick a fork in them. Patsies are at the Skins and should make pretty easy work of that. The rest of the games are just not particularly noteworthy.
That is the rundown; make some noise in comments. Oh, and nothing has changed in Major League Baseball.