Happy Holidays, sports fans! Today’s Sports Update has come back to you starting today. I’m Sebastian Maldonado bringing you all of the latest news in sports. This update is over-flooded with the Yankees’ shopping spree, two NBA potential records on the line, football playoff predictions, and “the ultimate preview” in Pure Magic. Let’s get to it.
First: they got CC and A.J. Now, Mark Teixeira is a New York Yankee. The first baseman signed an 8-yr $180 million deal with the Bronx Bombers. This means that they just picked up protection for A-Rod in the lineup. The Yankees also signed Yankee fans are ecstatic, while others are angry at the “evil empire.” The Yankees also gave Chien-Ming Wang $5 million to avoid arbitration. For more information on who’s a free agent, go to http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/features/freeagents?season=2008 for up-to-date info on your free agent signings.
There were other baseball news that happened over this past week. Team USA of the upcoming World Baseball Classic got third basemen David Wright and Chipper Jones to join. SS Rafael Furcal is in a bit of trouble. He allegedly told the Atlanta Braves that he would sign with them. Yet, he resigned with the Dodgers. The Braves’ executives are very angry at the shortstop and his agents. Furcal does not understand what happened; he said that he never agreed with the Braves on a deal. This story is developing.
This football season has been one of the best to date. It has constantly gone up and down since the season’s first week. Let’s figure out which teams that are on the bubble will get a playoff berth. It’s time to fix the mess that is the NFL Playoff Quest (these are NOT official picks):
San Diego Chargers (7-8) & Denver Broncos (8-7): this battle is for the AFC West. Both teams hate each other. Their terrible moods reflect on their QB leaders Phillip Rivers and Jay Cutler (respectively). Week 2 was a fluke, according to San Diego. This time, the battle is in San Diego. The Chargers should be able to beat the Broncos this Sunday night.
New York Jets (9-6), New England Patriots (10-5), & Miami Dolphins (10-5): the three-headed monster comes to an end this week. The Jets and Patriots need the Dolphins and Ravens to lose to at least secure one playoff spot. It’s why the Dolphins should spoil everyone’s plans and win at the Meadowlands. Speaking of Baltimore…
Baltimore Ravens (10-5): all they have to do is win and get in. They should have no problem beating the Jaguars to get in.
Dallas Cowboys (9-6) & Philadelphia Eagles (8-6-1): both teams are in desperation mode. They need to win to secure a wild card spot. Who is going to let down who: Cowboys letting down Jerry Jones (the owner) or Philly falling in front of those rabid fans? Either way, they need a lot more that beating each other for the wild card.
Carolina Panthers (11-4), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-6), & Atlanta Falcons (10-5): thanks to the Giants, the NFC South is up for grabs. Carolina has a spot already, but they need to beat New Orleans to secure that spot. Atlanta has also clinched, but they want to start on their turf. They have an easier game versus St. Louis. The Bucs need a wild card spot and the Cowboys & Eagles to lose. They have a slightly easy battle against Oakland this week.
Chicago Bears (9-6)& Minnesota Vikings (9-6): both want the NFC North. They night not have the same road this week. The Vikings host the Giants, but the Giants might not play their regulars. The Bears take on the Texans at Houston. They must win to stay in contention. Can you see the convoluted mess?
In basketball news, the Celtics have a record of 27-2. They have just become the 4th team in NBA history to have 20+ wins and two losses. The past three teams that have accomplished this feat (including the 95-96 Bulls and 69-70 Knicks) have went on to win the NBA Finals. They will take part in a Christmas doubleheader as they travel to L.A. to face the Lakers in a Finals rematch. The first game is a Western Playoff rematch between the San Antonio Spurs and the Phoenix Suns. It all starts at 2PM eastern on ABC.
Time for the magic man to take over!
This Saturday night, “UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008” is the last UFC pay-per-view of the year. It could be the best PPV with three main event caliber fights.
The first fight of the three is a battle of former Light-Heavyweight champions. Quentin “Rampage” Jackson will take on Wanderlei “The Ax Murderer” Silva. Silva does not like Jackson at all. Silva has beaten Jackson two times already in the now-defunct PRIDE league. Jackson vows to avenge those losses and move up in the light-heavyweight division.
The second fight is for the Interim (temporary) Heavyweight Championship. Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira defends his title against former champion Frank Mir. The two heavyweights were coaches on “The Ultimate Fighter.” The winner of this fight will take on the current Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesnar, in 2009. Both are skilled with submission wrestling; expect this bout to end on the ground.
The last fight is for the Light-Heavyweight Championship. Forrest Griffin defends his title against the undefeated Rashad “Sugar” Evans. Both got their start from “The Ultimate Fighter,” and both are coming off huge victories in their careers. Griffin defeated Jackson for the title, while Evans knocked out Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Both fighters have different styles and backgrounds: Griffin is starting to become an all around fighter, while Evans is a wrestler with knockout ability. Expect this bout to NOT come to the judges.
Jackson over Silva (KO in 3rd Round)
Nogueira over Mir (Submission in 4th)
Griffin over Evans (KO in 2nd)
- Phil Jackson has won his 999th victory as a coach. He needs one more to cement an already prestigious legacy. Could it come against the Celtics on Chirstmas Day?
- #11 TCU ended #9 Boise St.’s perfect season last night. The Horned Frogs rallied to beat the Broncos 17-16 in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Here is an interesting comparison between NBA centers Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard. The two centers are starting similar paths. When O’Neal started in Orlando, a characteristic of his was the Superman tattoo on his shoulder. O’Neal is a huge fan of the comic book hero. Howard continued the tradition of the “Man of Steel” when he donned a cape and logo in this past Slam Dunk competition. It almost seems like an odd “passing the torch” setting. As Howard’s name and presence rises in the East, O’Neal’s ability and power could set in the West. It would be an intriguing sight when these two “Supermen” play each other on the court.
Well, that’s it for today. Remember, if you disagree with anything I say, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing your opinions and criticism. Stay tuned for my last set of picks for Week 17. Also stay tuned for the year end TSU Awards. Until then, that’s it you KNUCKLEHEADS!!!
Copyright © 2007 by Sebastian Maldonado