Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Week 14 College Football Primer (With Picks): Rivalry Week!

This year's Iron Bowl will be hard-pressed to match last year's Kick-Six, but a playoff spot is still on the line for Alabama.
Ed. Note- Editor Joe Parello went a perfect 6-0 with his picks last week. There's no real reason to put that here at the top, he (I) just wanted to brag. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

 By Andy Dougherty (@AndyDougherty10) with a cameo by Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

The last weekend of college football’s regular season features a number of rivalry games with significant implications. Arizona and Mississippi will host two of the biggest intra-state rivalry games in their histories. But an even bigger rivalry will be renewed in Alabama.

Game of the Week

Alabama has waited all year for this one. No. 15 Auburn visits Tuscaloosa to take on the top ranked Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl. Last year in a 28-28 game, Alabama lined up for a game-winning field goal only to see it returned the other way for an Auburn touchdown as time expired. That result propelled Auburn to the national championship game and relegated Alabama to the Sugar Bowl, which the Tide lost to Oklahoma.

Things have changed this year. Alabama has been the nation’s best team while Auburn has struggled in recent weeks. The Tigers showed some of last year’s magic in close wins over Kansas State, South Carolina and Ole Miss, but they faltered in a game they should have won against unranked Texas A&M before getting blown out by Georgia.

Auburn can still be dangerous with Nick Marshall under center, but Alabama has much more to play for. It will be exciting to see how much of a fight Auburn can put up with nothing to lose.

NFL Week 13 Primer (With Picks): Byes Are Over; NFC South Still Sucks; Thanksgiving

Can Aaron Rodgers and the Pack cool off the red-hot Patriots?
 By Jeremy Conlin (@jeremy_conlin) and Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Picks are out a day early this week, as most of you (and us) will be too busy gorging on poultry (or preparing to gorge on poultry, or traveling to a place where you plan to gorge on poultry) come Thursday to read our incessant rambling.

Bye weeks are over, which means from here on out, we get a full slate for the rest of the season. The bad news means that now that bye weeks are over, we're guaranteed to see all four NFC South teams play every week.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Pacquiao Keeps Rolling. Is Mayweather Next?

Since a surprising 2012 loss to Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao has gone 3-0 and looked like his old dominant self. Will he finally get his long-awaited shot at the undefeated Floyd Mayweather Jr?

By Warren Rodriguez (@RodrigWM)

Ok guys, he's going to let him out the cage.

Tim Lane, the trainer for Chris Algieri (20-1), may have the worst timing ever.

Lane is taking a beating of his own after the odd and delusional advice he gave his fighter during his WBO welterweight championship bout with Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) in Macau, China this past Saturday. During the 9th round, HBO analyst Max Kellerman went over to interview Lane and get the game plan.

Severely behind on the scorecards and having already been knocked down four times, Lane said of Algieri, "He's going to put (Pacquiao) to sleep here in a few minutes. I'm going to let him go in one more round. I've got him in the cage right. I'm going to let him out the cage."

Kellerman seemed dumbfounded by the comment and asked "The plan is to have Algieri knock Pacquiao out?"

"Yes," responded Lane. "But I still got him in the cage. He listens to me very well. I'm going to let him loose in a round or so, round 10 or 11, I'm going to let him go."

Immediately following that comment, Pacquiao drilled Algieri with a left hook that nearly decapitated him.

The End of a Historic 2014 for Men's Tennis

In 2014 Roger Federer won the only title that had eluded him throughout his epic career, helping Switzerland capture the Davis Cup.
 By Andy Dougherty (@AndyDougherty10)

From 2005 until this year, a small handful of players dominated men’s professional tennis. But this year featured two unexpected first-time Grand Slam winners ranked outside the top-7.

Before 2014, the prior 35 Grand Slam champions had been seeded 6th or better. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal had each won 13 of those 35 Grand Slams, Novak Djokovic 6, Andy Murray 2, and Juan Martin Del Potro was the only one-time winner.

This year, 8th seeded Stan Wawrinka broke through to win his first career major title at the Australian Open and 14th seeded Marin Cilic delivered an even more shocking result when he won his first Grand Slam at the US Open. Their breakthrough performances showed that the titans of men’s tennis are more vulnerable now than they have been since they first burst on the scene.

Bob Lobel: Pandas in Boston

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

Hanley, LeGarrette, Jonas, or Kung Foo Panda?  

Which one is not like the others?

It may not be the one you think, but clearly these are four pretty unique names that lit up the telephone lines and grabbed the ink for headlines in the toy store of the sports world. 

Try this: Which one has had a bad start to his Thanksgiving week?  

Hint, go with Jonas!