Monday, January 14, 2013

01/14 (Last Four) Quickie

Remember back in the day when "instant history" was sort of mocked? Now, we get claims like you're seeing all over today: That was the best NFL Divisional Playoffs round ever.

(And it was.)

Five thoughts, coming off the weekend:

*The weekend's biggest winner was Tim Tebow.

*Pete Carroll's bone-headed ice-the-kicker move was the single-dumbest coaching decision of the season.

*Yes, seeing Ray Lewis and Tony Gonzalez extend their first-ballot Hall of Fame careers one more game is kind of awesome.

*It's impossible not to love watching Colin Kaepernick.

*"Oh, well: We'll be back!" is idiotic rationalization. (Looking at you, Seattle pundits.)

Looking ahead: The 49ers are going to thump the just-happy-to-be-here Falcons, and the Patriots are going to thump the Ravens, because that's Baltimore's m.o.: An improbable early-round win followed by a loss in the conference title game. 49ers-Pats will be one of the most-watched Super Bowls ever.


*Who is No. 1 in college basketball? Who cares? No poll means less than college basketball's. What Duke's loss signified is that, as usual, the Blue Devils can fold when facing a team that wants it more.

(UPDATE: A rebuttal from reader T.M., who appropriately calls me out for lazy punditry due to my anti-Duke bias: "Duke was without Ryan Kelly, a critical piece to their success this year...he's got the same foot injury that kept him out of the ACC and NCAA tournaments last year and resulted in Duke's first round loss to Lehigh. Without Kelly, the game was still up for grabs until the final minute. And it was at NC State, who if you recall was the preseason pick to win the ACC. I don't think the game was any kind of referendum on 'who wanted it more', and to say it was is basically saying that Duke didn't care enough, and moreover ("as usual"), doesn't care enough on a regular basis. You know better than that Dan...I know you respect Coach K, and to imply that the reason Duke didn't win Saturday was because his team didn't want to win that game as much as NCSU is pretty offensive." Fair point, T.M.!)

*The Lakers are off the schneid: Not as good as they should be, not as bad as everyone thinks they are.

*Lance talks to Oprah today: If you think he'll be offering a full confessional, you don't know Lance. I'm fully expecting McGwire-style "I'm not here to talk about the past" evasion of actual details or taking full responsiblity, mostly because Lance is on the hook, both with lawsuits and with the Feds. You can only hope that Oprah digs in a little bit.

*Super Bowl ads: Have you registered to be a USA TODAY Ad Meter panelist yet? Do it now. (Just click here, then look for the "Be a Panelist" link.

-- D.S.

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