Wednesday, December 29, 2010

12/29 Quickie: Eagles, Spurs, Bowls

Well, two days late, the Eagles blew it. With a chance to put themselves in a position to win the No. 2 seed in the NFC -- and that 1st-round bye, not to mention home-field advantage in the Division round -- the listless Eagles choked at home to the Joe Webb-led Vikings.

Joe Webb Bandwagon!
(Although it's clear that if Favre can go in Week 17's season/career finale, he will start and play -- as he should, obviously. We all need closure with this.)

By the way, I think that ends any chance Mike Vick had of upending Tom Brady for the league MVP award. Vick will have to content himself with earning the starting NFC QB nod in the Pro Bowl -- a combination of fan vote plus peer/coach vote that should feel as meaningful as an MVP award... even if the Pro Bowl game itself is pretty meaningless.

NBA Last Night: Are the Spurs the team to beat in the West? It's hard to count out the Lakers until another team has won that 4th game against them in a playoff series, but through two months of the 10-11 NBA season, the Spurs sure look like the best team in the conference, affirming it with a head-to-head win over the Lakers last night.

(Meanwhile, without Dirk, the Mavs were in trouble, losing to the Raptors. In Miami, D-Wade had 40 in another Heat win over the Knicks. It's not just LeBron who lights them up.)

CFB: JoePa on board for 2011. Back in the mid-decade when Penn State was reeling, I used to be with the "Oh, why doesn't JoePa retire already?" crowd, but since then I have done a 180: JoePa can do what he wants, and I kind of get a kick out of his enthusiasm to keep going.

Bowls last night: Wins for NC State (OK State OC Dana Holgorsen can't get to Morgantown fast enough) and Iowa (name to know: Iowa frosh RB Marcus Coker, who had 219 rushing yards).

Three bowls on tap today -- starting at 2:15 and going straight through until 1 in the morning, if that's your bag: At 2:15, the Military Bowl (East Carolina vs. Maryland, which appears to be zeroing in on a new coach)... at 6-ish, Illinois vs. Baylor in the Texas Bowl, which should be a points bonanza... at 9:15, Oklahoma State vs. Arizona in the Alamo Bowl, which should be an even bigger shoot-out.

CBB: As usual, Wisconsin (which beat Minnesota last night) is better than anyone thinks they are.

MLB Hot Stove: Is Andy Pettitte going to retire? (As this is Hall of Fame voting week, it begs a question: Is Pettitte a Hall of Famer? I think by the time he is up for it, the standards for pitchers -- particularly related to career wins -- will have been impacted by the quant-leaning community, and he will get in, a combination of longevity, starring in the Yankees dynasty and his performance in notably big games in the playoffs.)

NHL: Crosby's scoring streak is up to 25 games. Can't wait for the next episode of HBO's 24/7 tonight -- it really is the best piece of NHL programming I've ever seen. (A nice complement to the Winter Classic, which is the best marketing innovation in the history of hockey.)

-- D.S.

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