Champs Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
The Champs Sports Network Coaches vs. Cancer Classic is taking place at Geneva College this Saturday with six games taking place throughout the day.
I will be on the call for four of the six games (two play-by-play) (two color commentary)
1:30pm Hampton Girls vs. Central Valley Girls
3:00pm Hampton Boys vs. Central Valley Boys (Play-by-Play)
4:30pm Pgh. Central Catholic Boys vs. East Liverpool Boys (Color Commentary)
6:00pm Montour Boys vs. Mt. Lebanon Boys (Play-by-Play)
7:30pm Kiski School Boys vs. Lincoln Park Boys (Color Commentary)
9:00pm New Castle Boys vs. Beaver Falls Boys
Jim Harbaugh's meltdowns. Without them, it would not be the same when the 49ers play a football game.
Here are 7 facial expression from Harbaugh following a first half meltdown Sunday against Seattle.
Feel free to write your own captions.
For those people who did not know who Richard Sherman was until last night's postgame interview with Erin Andrews, they probably wrote him off as another loud, annoying athlete with a mouth and ego large enough to harness the noise inside Century Link Field.
If you are somebody who knew a little bit about Sherman going into the NFC Championship Game Sunday night, you knew that Sherman is one of the best cornerbacks in the game, and is smarter than most people think. He is a guy who got out of Compton, played football at Stanford and has a track record of creating a buzz around himself.
He did it again last night.
Everyone was caught off guard by his rage against Michael Crabtree in his interview on FOX. It did not matter if you knew him or not watching the game. We all witnessed Ray Lewis' "No Weapon" speech after the Ravens beat the Broncos in last years AFC Divisional Playoff game and were complaining about it throughout the week leading into the title game. We found it annoying, but we were talking about it. Same thing with Sherman: He has your undivided attention almost 24 hours since the game ended.
We now have 13 days to discuss, analyze and project what will happen in Super Bowl XLVIII. The game has storylines that go beyond the ones on the field. This year, the topics range from whether or not it will be snowing in the Meadowlands, to Bruno Mars' upcoming performance at halftime, to what Arnold Schwarzenegger might do in the Bud Light Super Bowl ad.
The Super Bowl brings both football fans and non-football fans into living rooms and bars all over the world to see this spectacle. Sherman is now another storyline that people will follow all the way up to kickoff.
Media Day is a great example of when all of mass media, sports related or not, will gather on Tuesday of Super Bowl week to ask game-related questions and non-related ones that will come from correspondents from Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon. There is no doubt that Sherman's meeting with the press will be jam-packed with more questions about his postgame interview than the game upcoming against the Broncos. It will be fun to see how Sherman approaches it.
Love him or hate him, Richard Sherman's name is on the tip of your tongue. You talked about it at the water cooler (if anyone still does that) and your grandmother probably saw it and had a discussion with her friends at lunch about it. And you know he loves it.
Trash talking is a part of the game. Richard Sherman, like other past athletes who were outspoken, has made it into a craft. He and most fans know he is good at his position. He plays on a team that is located in a market that does not always get a lot of media attention. So in a way, Sherman knows what he is doing and now everyone knows his name.
Was his outburst over the edge? In a way, yes. Is it something we'll talk about until Super Bowl Sunday? If you remember Ray Lewis throughout Baltimore's championship run, yes is also a good answer, too.
Here we are again.
The eve of another Brady vs. Manning matchup to determine whose team goes to the Super Bowl. It is the fourth time that these two quarterbacks and the teams they play for will meet in the AFC Championship Game. Brady, of course, has been a Patriot for all four games. Manning, who went 1-2 in conference title games against New England, is trying to take the Broncos back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1998 season.
We can all agree one thing that puts these two on common ground going into Sunday afternoon's game: Both have been on their own personal dry-spells.
Brady has been to five Super Bowls. After winning the first three, the Patriots were defeated by Peyton's brother, Eli, and the Giants in Super Bowl's XLII and XLVI. That's a nice career for a 6th round pick out of Michigan in the 2000 NFL Draft.
Payton has the credentials of a hall of fame quarterback. Him and Brady will both be in Canton down the road.
For Manning, he gets another chance to reach the Super Bowl. He's defeated Brady and the Patriots on the way to the Colts' Super Bowl XLI title in 2006. A win over the surprising New York Jets in the 2009 title game got Indianapolis to Super Bowl XLIV, before losing to the Saints.
In his first playoff game as a Bronco, Manning threw an interception in overtime in the AFC Divisional round against Baltimore that set up a game-winning field goal to send the Ravens to Foxboro last season. This added to the "Manning can't win in big moments" rhetoric.
For Manning, Gillette Stadium has been his house of horrors for AFC title games. Colts fans do not want to remember his four interception showing in 2003. The good news is that the Patriots are coming to Denver for the title game. So that works to Manning's advantage.
While this is a silver lining, the pressure will definitely be on one of the games best quarterbacks in the past two decades, but should there really be that much critcism toward Manning if the Broncos lose Sunday?
Manning's NFL and franchise records and could fill an entire page (or two). This season alone, he threw 55 touchdown passes at the age of 37. All of those records mean little to nothing to some. Those people are the ones who judge quarterbacks on their record in big games like the one coming up Sunday, and the number of Super Bowl rings they accumulate over their career.
If we judged a quarterback on the number of Super Bowls they have won, we would assume that Eli Manning was a better quarterback than big brother Peyton. We all know that is not the case, especially after watching the younger Manning play this season. Regardless, Eli still has bragging rights at the dinner table at Christmas.
Over the years, analysts, experts and the armchair quarterbacks of the world have debated what makes a quarterback "elite." Here is the easy thing to remember: Peyton Manning defines the word "elite" in regards to quarterbacks in the present game.
Would another Super Bowl title help Manning's legacy? Of course it would. It does not tarnish it if the Broncos fall short against New England. Peyton has a championship on his resume, and a second ring would be a nice addition for a player who should be voted into Canton in his first year of eligibility.
Even if he does lose, that's one more title than Dan Marino, and he's regarded as one of the best quarterbacks to play in the NFL. That discussion is for another day.
For the number of times the system may have got it wrong, the Bowl Championship Series went out with a bang Monday night at one of the most historic stadiums in college football.
Florida State put an end to the Southeastern Conference's "reign of terror" as they won a heart-stopper over Auburn 34-31 at the Rose Bowl. It snapped the SEC's seven year streak of national titles and a personal five-year streak within the state of Alabama.
The current system took its last breath and held on to it when Auburn tried to pull off one last miracle that would outdue the 100-yard kickoff return by Chris Davis in the Iron Bowl and the deflection on the Hail Mary to Ricardo Louis two weeks before that. A third miracle did not come, and the Seminoles were national champions for the first time since 1999.
After last seasons Discover BCS National Championship Game that was over by the start of the second quarter when No. 2 Alabama went up 21-0 on No. 1 Notre Dame, it was a mismatch that left many anticipating the end of the BCS and the arrival of the four-team College Football Playoff.
With Auburn up 21-3, you could hear the melodic moan coming from non-SEC fans around the country. Many were ready to bow down to the conference's supremacy. That was until Jimbo Fisher had the stones to call a fake punt from his own 40 that they would convert and later set up a Freeman 3-yard touchdown run and narrowed the lead to 21-10 going into the locker room.
The second half was when all of college football saw the Jameis Winston and Florida State team many knew so well. With only a field goal by the Seminoles in the third quarter, it lead to a fourth quarter in which the last five minutes kept everyone glued to whichever ESPN they were watching Monday night.
A field goal by Auburn gave the Tigers gave them some cut-rate insurance until Levonte Whitfield went 100 yards on the ensuing return to put Florida State on top, with still a lot of time left on the clock.
In a case of poor tackling by the Seminoles defense and power running by Tre Mason, he sped past defenders 37 yards for a touchdown with 1:19 left and an Auburn 31-27 lead.
Still. Too much time on the clock for Winston. You know were thinking that.
Winston to Greene for 49 yards put them in the drivers seat and with a Chris Davis pass interference call in the endzone, it helped Jameis Winston add national champion along with his Heisman winner to his resume as he hit Kelvin Benjamin with the 2-yard touchdown pass. All on his 20th birthday.
Monday night's outcome not only gave hope and optimism to the ACC, who is looking to profile itself as just more than a basketball conference, but to every major conference in the country.
With the new playoff system, four teams will get a chance to prove their worth for the national championship. To see the giants like Alabama and Auburn lose BCS bowl games this season can make even the most pessimistic football fan see a glimmer of hope.
Goodbye, BCS. Your system always left us talking (and complaining) most of your 16 years of existence.
Once we made it through the drama of whether or not three of the four Wild Card Playoff games would sell out to avoid local market blackouts, and the fear of freezing temperatures in Green Bay, the first weekend of postseason football was great for the most part.
-Each game had its own storyline in the end.
-An amazing comeback, a team that continues to disappoint in the playoffs.
-Two matchups that ended on game-winning field goals.
The Colts looked dead in the water at halftime against the Chiefs. Down 28 points early in the third quarter, Indianapolis stayed a comeback that will go down as one the greatest in NFL playoff history, winning 45-44. A second half that re-wrote an early chapter in Andrew Luck's history as the Colts quarterback in the postseason.
The Saints and Eagles was another another game where the Eagles had their own mini-comeback that fell short when New Orelans drove down the field for a last second, game-winning field goal.
The least interesting game was Sunday's early game that featured the Chargers, the sixth seed that just made the playoffs after holding off the scrubs from Kansas City the week before.
It seems to be the same old song and dance for the Bengals. Andy Dalton had a bad game that included two interceptions and a total of four turnovers by the offense and some breakdowns by the defense in another short-lived playoff run by Cincinnati.
And then there was Green Bay. All we heard this past week that it would be cold. It turned out that it was not "Ice Bowl" cold. If they would've played Monday, then we would have been talking about record setting cold.
The 49ers came out strong early in the first quarter. In a game where the officials missed a couple of pass interference calls and holds (or they feared ripping their lips off with the whistles because of the cold), the game stayed close and it was an entertaining back and forth one in which Colin Kaepernick beat the Packers the same way he did last year: With his feet. He ran for 98 yards and setting up a last second, Phil Dawson game-winning field goal to send San Francisco to Charlotte and for Frank Gore to get warm.
In the end, three of the four wild card games were entertaining. Three of the four division winners were eliminated and next week should be just as good.
Hopefully, they sell out all the divisional round games and the temperature goes up a couple degrees by Saturday. With the Super Bowl being in New Jersey, cold weather won't be a major problem.
Since Steelers fans have had a week to reflect on the Steelers season and how close the team came to making the playoffs, here's a review of the season told by Senator John "Bluto" Blutarsky from Animal House.
WEEK ONE BRINGS OPTIMISM FOR YOUR STEELERS
then they start 0-4
THEN THEY BEAT THE JETS AND THE RAVENS...
but then they go to oakland and lose.
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THEN THEY GIVE UP 55 POINTS TO THE PATRIOTS.
BUT THEY WIN 3 STRAIGHT AND THEY'RE "STILL IN THE HUNT"
BUT THEY LOSE ON THANKSGIVING TO THE RAVENS...
AND BLOW A TWO SCORE LEAD AGAINST THE DOLPHINS.
THEN THEY BEAT THE FIRST PLACE BENGALS...
AND ONCE AGAIN, THERE IS STILL A SMALL CHANCE AT THE PLAYOFFS.
but even though it looks bleak,
It's Not Over Just Yet! All You Need Is A Kansas City Win!
AND THEN Ryan Succop MIsses The Field GOal, The Chiefs Lose in Overtime...No Playoffs After all.
But You Shouldn't Be SAd. There's Still More Football and the Super Bowl.