November 12, 2012

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The Week in Sports

By: Anson Whaley

Down goes Alabama …: The Alabama Crimson Tide looked unbeatable up until this weekend when they were surprised by Texas A&M losing 29-24. Alabama will still have a chance to play in the national championship, though – particularly if a couple of the undefeated teams in front of them falter along the way. And since they’re generally viewed as the best one-loss team out there, a title appearance may still not be all that unlikely.

Texas A&M's defeat of #1 Alabama shook up the BCS picture this weekend.

… and the same for Louisville: Louisville had a long road ahead to try to get in the title picture, even as an undefeated team. But their loss to Syracuse this weekend barely got a mention and proved yet again just how weak the Big East is viewed to be. A few weeks ago, the conference had three undefeated programs – Louisville, Rutgers, and Cincinnati. But now that all three have suffered defeats, there’s little doubt that the conference has some good, but not great teams.

Mike Brown fired: After a 1-4 start, the Los Angeles Lakers made a big splash by unexpectedly firing head coach Mike Brown. Brown always seemed like an odd fit for me and I was surprised that one of the most storied franchises in all of sports would settle on him after having the likes of Pat Riley and Phil Jackson. Speaking of Jackson, he appeared to be in the mix. But the sides couldn’t reach an agreement and offensive guru Mike D’Antoni has been hired instead. The Lakers have been vilified for making this move so early in the season, but with such a big payroll, it’s clear that the goal is to win a championship – this year. If they aren’t convinced Brown is the guy, waiting any longer on him would have been a mistake.

Lolo Jones bobsleds … no, seriously: In case you missed it, American track and field star Lolo Jones is now bobsledding. Jones actually even won a silver medal at an event last week. She isn’t stopping there as she was named to Team USA and could find herself in the 2014 Winter Olympics. I’m still not sure if this means the sport is simply that easy to break into or if Jones is such an incredible athlete that she can pick up new sports at the drop of a hat. Either way, if you thought Lolo got a ton of coverage this summer, just wait until 2014. And somewhere, McKayla Maroney is still not impressed.

College basketball season kicks off: NCAA basketball got off the ground and running and the “lulz” moment of the week goes to No. 25 Florida State for their upset loss to Sun Belt team South Alabama at home. It’s early and it beats losing to a Division II program (looking at you again, Miami), but if you’re a Seminoles fan thinking of hitting the ominous panic button, I might not blame you.

Atlanta Falcons lose first game: The final undefeated team in the NFL, the Atlanta Falcons, lost their first game this weekend to the New Orleans Saints. Even at 8-1, the Falcons aren’t the runaway pick to reach the Super Bowl. They’ve had several close calls this year (more than half of their games have been decided by a touchdown or less) and there are still plenty of questions surrounding them. I, for one, expect them to suffer at least a few more losses.

Davey Johnson coming back to Washington Nationals: It should come as little surprise, but the Washington Nationals are bringing back manager Davey Johnson for another season. The Nats were the big surprise in all of baseball this season and it’s difficult to not notice the job he did. Frankly, I’ve always been surprised Johnson wasn’t pursued a bit more. He’s won at least 85 games with every franchise he’s managed and won 90 games seven times. Johnson also indicated that 2013 would be his final season and with a strong pitching staff next season, he could just go out with a bang.

Ndamukong Suh doesn’t believe empty box score: Last weekend, Ndamukong Suh failed to record a tackle for the first time in his career. Suh, though, isn’t so sure according to these cryptic quotes. Seriously, in this day and age with replays galore, how can we not figure out who’s right? Suh was also voted the league’s dirtiest player last week. Not a great combination for the young star.

NHL Lockout continues: It’s time for this week’s look at the NHL lockout. Despite indications that progress was being made during talks between the owners and players, the work stoppage is still continuing. This concludes our look at the NHL lockout.

August 30, 2010

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Hope in Detroit

By: Sam

The day has finally come, again, to all woefully hopeful Detroiters. Day by day as we approach the start of the NFL season we attempt wash away the stench of another abysmal losing season. The only thing statistically easier than shortening up our memory to exclude our past embarrassments is to actually win one football game in a season. I mean you have to at least win one, right? RIGHT? …I digress.

The level at which the Detroit Lion fan base is able to shake off 2nd half meltdowns, commit inexcusable penalties and show a sub-collegiate performance that happened mere months ago is beyond human comprehension. With 2 wins in the past 32 games, some in this fan base aren’t hoping for a .500 season, they’re talking playoffs! They will all tell you that something is different this year, and I don’t necessarily have the capacity to remember back to when something was actually different.

Well, you’ll never win the lotto unless you play, but it seems like this team actually does have something different about them. The strides that Matthew Stafford has made and the potential he has shown entering his sophomore year is something that even the hardest Motown critic can’t help but get starry-eyed at. The GM, Martin Mayhew, was able to successfully overhaul a roster build during an 8 year span where logic failed to penetrate the front office. Jim Schwartz has a winning pedigree and doesn’t ‘Mariucci’ himself out of direct questions with the press. Most importantly, the fans aren’t left scratching their heads at the end of draft day and can get excited about the talent they have because many of their draft picks gain national appraise.

Don’t put your deposit down on playoff tickets yet boys; we still have a ways to go. Don’t lather yourselves up in Honolulu and get ready for a ‘Suh’per Bowl, but enjoy the flashes of what you’ll see this year, the second year of what an actual rebuilding period looks like. You won’t clinch an NFC championship, but you could gain some national respect. You won’t sniff the playoffs but you don’t have to be overpowered with the stench of what you left out on the gridiron last year. Enjoy this time of year Leo fans.  It is undeniably, historically and statistically the best time of the year to be a fan of the Detroit Lions.