My Super Bowl Prediction

NFL

This year has been interesting for me as a football fan. I was in the UK and didn’t watch either of the Conference Championship games, and I will be in Australia and probably not watching the Super Bowl tomorrow. So, I can’t really say that I’ve been studying and analyzing the teams at all.

That being said, two things jump out at me. First, what a story it would be for Peyton Manning to leave the NFL after winning a Super Bowl that no one thinks he can win. Isn’t that exactly the kind of story we watch sports to witness? Isn’t that the sort of ending we wish for all of our favorites? Wouldn’t that get play on every single network for days on end? Of course it would! 

But there’s something else that Denver reminds me of. They have that feel to them, of a true underdog who somehow keeps winning, who never looks dominant, but finds a way to just get by. The team we just assumed wouldn’t get this far, and yet here they are. Those are great stories too, until the run ends, and it usually ends abruptly and ugly. Think Notre Dame against Alabama in the National Championship, or countless other examples. 

It’s that feeling that leaves me thinking this is going to be a Panthers blowout. 

I hope I’m wrong, but….

Panthers 35-13 

Link – Dennis Wideman suspended 20 games for cross-checking linesman

The worst thing about this isn’t the suspension, I think he got what you get for hitting an official.

No, the worst part is that Dennis Wideman sat on the bench prepared to take his next shift without anyone batting an eye, when he was so concussed he didn’t even see a linesman standing right in front of him.

So much for a concussion protocol.

Dennis Wideman suspended 20 games for cross-checking linesman

Link – Doyel: Bravo, Big Ten, on Max Bielfeldt decision

“In the case of Max Bielfeldt, he never wanted to leave Michigan. He redshirted as a freshman, stayed three more years, graduated from the School of Kinesiology as a redshirt junior and wanted to return for his final year of eligibility.

Beilein said no. Bielfeldt’s career at Michigan? Closing time.

You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

Oh, and he can’t go to Indiana either.”

This is one of the reasons I will never buy the argument that college athletes are fairly compensated through their scholarships. Those can be yanked at any time, for virtually any reason. In this case, Michigan yanked this kids scholarship because they wanted to move him out of the way of a younger kid on the basketball team, and then wanted to control where he could transfer.

Thankfully the NCAA at least let him transfer to Indiana, since he’s already graduated and has one year of eligibility left. But it shouldn’t have come to this. If someone spends four years, one redshirt, at a program, graduates, does all the right things, etc. he should either find himself a part of the team for one last year, or free to play wherever he wants, like every other adult in the US. Michigan doesn’t own his basketball rights, and if they do, then this is not a collegiate sport.

Doyel: Bravo, Big Ten, on Max Bielfeldt decision

Link – A Patriots linebacker says he needed 22 stitches after rescuing a woman from a burning car

“As New England Patriots linebacker Darius Fleming took the field in Saturday’s playoff matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the many things that might have crossed his mind was whether the 22 stitches he had received two days earlier would hold.

On Thursday, Fleming had been driving home from practice when he witnessed a three-car collision ahead of him. He pulled over and realized that the driver of one of the cars was in trouble: her car had caught fire, he said, and she was unable to get out of the vehicle.

“She was attempting to kick the window out, but she was a small lady,” Fleming told the Boston Globe. “I didn’t panic, but I was just like, ‘I got to get her out.’ I tried to break [the window] with my elbow, but that didn’t work, so I just started kicking the window. Eventually it broke, pulled her out, made sure she was OK, and I looked at my leg and I noticed it was bleeding pretty bad.””

Nice move. Still a Patriot, but even the Pats can have a few good guys on the team. 😉

A Patriots linebacker says he needed 22 stitches after rescuing a woman from a burning car – SBNation.com

Link – Florida CB Jalen Tabor claims college football is ‘modern form of slavery’

“The SEC made a boatload of money in 2014, and Florida cornerback Jalen Tabor is irked that players didn’t get a piece of the pie.”

He’s not entirely wrong. No, it’s not slavery in the strictest sense, college athletes do get a scholarship, which isn’t nothing. But there are a whole lot of people making a whole lot of money on the backs of these young men, who, for 3 years of their lives have no possibility of making money based on their skills. They can’t turn pro, they likely can’t afford to go to college and not play during that time, and they likely don’t have many other employment opportunities available to them as 18-21 year olds. So they go play football at State U, and if they happen to blow out an ACL, or suffer a head injury and can’t play anymore? Oh well, we’ll offer that scholarship to someone who can continue raking in the money for dear old State. Too bad about “what’s his name again?”

Florida CB Jalen Tabor claims college football is ‘modern form of slavery’

Link – Kirk Herbstreit blames Ed O’Bannon for loss of ‘NCAA Football’

GameDay set

“At the heart of the lawsuit was athlete compensation for the use of their likeness in the game. O’Bannon’s lawyers argued that EA Sports was making millions off a game that was popular because of student-athletes that received no money.
Herbstreit contended players didn’t care about the use of their likenesses; they just loved the game.

“I’ve never met one player in college football that’s like, ‘They can’t use my name and likeness! I need to be paid!’ ” Herbstreit told SEC Country. “They’re just thrilled to be on the game. They love being on the game. It’s like the biggest highlight of their life, is to be on the game.”

Herbstreit does have a stake in the former EA Sports franchise since he was one of three announcers in the game and was compensated for his work.”

I generally like Herbie, but this is just about a perfect summation of what is wrong with college athletics, isn’t it? He needs to get paid for using his voice in the game, but the actual college athletes, nah they just want to play a game, no one needs to worry about them getting paid. “Now where’s my money?”

Yup, everybody wants some of the college sports money, but letting the kids get any isn’t right.

Kirk Herbstreit blames Ed O’Bannon for loss of ‘NCAA Football’ | Dr. Saturday – Yahoo Sports

Link – The Tennis Racket

“In all, more than 20 gambling industry officials, international police detectives, and sports integrity experts told BuzzFeed News that world tennis is failing to confront a serious problem with match-fixing. BuzzFeed News and the BBC have chosen not to name the players whose matches have repeatedly been flagged for attracting highly suspicious betting, because without access to phone, bank, or computer records it is not possible to prove a link between the players and the gamblers. The integrity unit has the power to demand all that evidence from any tennis professional, yet many of the individuals whose activity attracted the most serious concern are still playing at a high level. Meanwhile, tennis has grown to a multibillion-dollar global phenomenon.”

Wow. Match-fixing is a real thing. We’ve already seen evidence of it in soccer, and other sports, so why wouldn’t it happen in Tennis? As the article even says, Tennis may be the easiest sport to fix there is! Yet it appears no one in the ATP wants to do anything about it, which suggests a FIFA-level of corruption, doesn’t it?

The Tennis Racket