Another Black Eye, Tom Brady The Amoeba, & The Zac Efron Of Golf.
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Monday, January 25, 2016

Quick Hits From Over The Weekend
  • Welcome Back. After medical leave, Steve Kerr returned to coach the Golden State Warriors. The Dubs didn't miss him at all during his time away, going 39-4 in his absence, strengthening the theory that basketball coaches are more useless than an inflatable dartboard (looking at you, Erik Spoelstra)
  • Yoenis Has Landed. The New York Mets won the Yoenis Céspedes derby, and will be the "lucky" team to overpay the outfielder to the tune of $75 million over three years, the most money received by any free-agent position player this offseason (by annual salary).
  • All For Naught. SMU, college basketball's last unbeaten team, lost to Temple yesterday 89-78. A small wrinkle in an otherwise great season for SMU. Not that it matters, considering SMU is banned from postseason play due to an academic fraud scandal. A penalty that has to hurt oh-so much more since they're having their best season since 1985.
  • Another Black Eye. As if tennis didn't have a enough problems, an Australian Open doubles match is suspected to have been fixed. Suspicions arose after Pinnacle Sports stopped accepting bets on the match, due to unusual bet placements. When a sports betting site says no to bets being made, you know there's a problem.

The Main Event
WHAT?
The Denver Broncos will play the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Let's take a look at how they got there.

WHAT ELSE?
AFC Championship: New England Patriots at Denver Broncos
The Broncos defensive front was all over Tom Brady like stink on shit, hitting the New England quarterback 20 times (the most any QB has been hit this year), sacking him four times, and intercepting him twice. Despite being dry-humped up and down the field all afternoon, Brady still had the Pats in position to tie the game, down by eight with less than a minute left in regulation. Brady hit tight end Rob Gronkowski for six, but failed to convert the ensuing two-point conversion, giving Denver the 20-18 win. The need for a two-point attempt can be traced back to Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who missed an extra point attempt (for the first time in nine years) in the first quarter. After the game, Gostkowski said, "I feel like I lost the game." Let us clear up any uncertainty, you Blair Walsh-incarnate, you did lose the game.

NFC Championship: Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers
Last night's matchup between the Cardinals and Panthers marked the first time two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks (Carson Palmer and Cam Newton) had ever met in a postseason game. And that's about the only interesting thing there is to say about this contest, as Carolina absolutely humiliated Arizona 49-15, and it didn't even feel that close. The game was such a mess the Arizona Cardinals' official Twitter account posted the overused, albeit appropriate, "Crying Michael Jordan" meme BEFORE THE GAME WAS EVEN OVER. Woof.

THOUGHTS?
We know the NFL is a pass-heavy league, but some semblance of a running game is needed to sustain success, if not just to keep defenses honest. When your leading rusher is shapeless-amoeba Tom Brady (13 yds), that's a problem.

As for the Arizona Cardinals' effort... shame on you. We could have been filing our tax return instead of watching that nationally-televised pants-shitting.

Good Sport
THE ZAC EFRON OF GOLF
Rickie Fowler, the Zac Efron of golf, won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. The American hit some ridiculously good looking shots, including a lengthy bunker chip he sunk for an eagle, holding off Belgium's Thomas Pieters and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy to take the tournament by one stroke (-16). Fellow Yank, and World No. 1, Jordan Spieth, finished in fifth. Fowler will collect $442,377 for the win, which is hopefully more than that atrocious-looking Zac Efron movie, Dirty Grandpa, will gross.

Bad Sport
"FRIENDLY"
A pair of Argentinian soccer clubs with absurdly stupid names, Boca Juniors and River Plate, gave us a reason to make sure we catch their next match. Their recent "friendly" was anything but, as the rival teams drew a total of 11 yellow cards and five red cards (for the layman; that's a lot of cards) during a game that included 40 fouls, bitch slaps, head butts, and, in keeping with soccer tradition, wild overreactions to negligible physical contact. River Plate held on for the 1-nil victory. (You liked that "nil" drop didn't you, soccer fan? See, we know what the hell we're doing here.)

G.O.A.T. of the Weekend (What is G.O.A.T.?)
Lindsey Vonn. The American alpine skier broke a pair of records over the weekend, becoming the first to notch 37 wins in a women's World Cup downhill, while setting a resort record for wins at Cortina (11). The victories came just in time, with Vonn admitting she recently bought a puppy to combat depression, a cry for help we probably would have kept to ourselves.

Honorable Mention: Five racers, unfortunately none of whom were named Ricky Bobby, were inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Goat of the Weekend (What's a Goat?)
David Blatt. Despite leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to first place in the NBA's Central Division, Blatt was relieved of his duties as head coach. It's a surprising move, and one the entire country of Israel is ready to blame on Cavs forward LeBron James. Israeli online trolls, who believe Blatt (an Israeli citizen) was fired because of LeBron's influence of the team, took to social media to slam King James with insulting and racist tweets. One commentator even went as far as to compare the Israelis' hatred of James to their hatred of the Islamist movement, Hamas. Best of luck to James on not having his figurative crucifixion by overzealous Israelis turn literal.

(Dis)Honorable Mention: Milan Lucic, the Los Angeles Kings' left winger, was suspended one game after sucker punching Arizona Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connauton.

Tweet of the Weekend
"😉 MISSING PERSONS unit heading to @SportsAuthField to try & locate Patriots Offense. GO @Broncos" - Denver Police Department

Cops in Denver, who were totally focused on serving the city and not watching the AFC Championship game, had some fun with the New England Patriots' lack of offensive production in the first half.

Watch to Watch (All Times Eastern)
NHL. Sabres at Rangers - 7:30pm on NBC Sports
COLLEGE BASKETBALL. Duke at Miami - 7pm on ESPN; (women's) Tennessee at Kentucky - 7pm on ESPN2; Kansas at Iowa State - 9pm on ESPN
TENNIS. Australian Open: Women's and Men's quarterfinals - 9pm on ESPN2
STEPHEN COLBERT. Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook stops by The Late Show to talk nerd glasses with Stephen Colbert - 11:35pm on CBS
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