1. NHL’s Sean Avery kill-watch
Ok so I was off by a day in predicting something to happen with Sean Avery over the weekend, but low and behold Rick DiPietro (a goalie!) I’m sure received nothing but props from other NHL players for punching Avery in the head Monday night. I’m sure this won’t do anything to stop Avery from generally being an ass out there on the ice so what’s next?
2. Now while Avery getting punched in the head almost seems deserving and satisfying, the NHL can’t continue to pussyfoot around the unnecessary roughness of its sport. The league is in some serious danger that it doesn’t seem to recognize. Todd Bertuzzi is still going through a lawsuit over his totally uncalled for punch to Steve Moore’s head, and personally I hope Moore gets every penny as Bertuzzi should have been banned from the league. The kind of actions that are continuing in this sport is really starting to make this less of a sport and more... well… roller-derby.
3. Packers at Lions
For all you pick-em and fantasy football people out there, don’t forget to do picks and line-ups before the games tomorrow! For those of you (like me) who pain the Thanksgiving matchups each year, we’ve finally hit a great one. The Packers are fighting for probably the most dominant home field playoff advantage; and the Lions are simply pissed off and fighting for a wild-card. I personally think the Packers outmatch the Lions but neither result in this game would surprise me. How will the Packers fare in their warm up to the Cowboys game?
4. For most of you, scratch this off the list.
The continuing stupidity that is the NFL Network. First of all you won’t miss much in Indy at Atlanta Thursday night, and besides most everyone will be watching #5 on my list anyway. But put all of that aside, the NFL is in some serious trouble right now in thinking it is a good idea to put games on the NFL Network. The majority of football fans can’t get it to begin with, another large portion don’t care to get it, and that’s on top of the people who don’t have any cable and already can’t see Monday Night games. The NFL’s ego is getting ridiculously large here and unfortunately they won’t recognize it and will continue to alienate fans.
5. After watching the Packers and Lions take a break and then watch what is really the Pac-10 championship game:
Arizona State vs. USC. USC may have lost 2 games but they are hardly any small measure of a team while a lot of people (like myself) will be rooting on the Sun Devils just as a matter of parity and to see the underdogs come out of nowhere to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl (and an outside shot at the National championship).
6. College Football’s yearly best week… Rivalry Week starts Friday
There is no shortage of games to watch on Friday and Saturday but lets start with some Friday match ups:
Ole Miss at Mississippi State – MSU needs the win to lock up a bowl game and finish the coach of the year job done by Sylvester Croom (2nd probably only to Mangino at Kansas) and Ole Miss would like nothing more to ruin it just… because…
Arkansas at LSU. By no means a pushover game, and by far one of the better trophies (The 2 states on top of each other, seemingly a giant boot). LSU should win this game, but LSU’s past performances don’t yield anything beyond the dramatic. And lets continue the warm-up with
Texas vs. Texas A&M, if not for the rivalry, simply because Texas needs a win to keep its Conference title hopes alive.
7. The Match to decide who gets the outside BCS bid
Boise State at Hawai’i. Now I’ve been on Hawai’i’s case most of the year, but if they win this game it (to me) will give them the legitimacy they need, and then they’ll follow it up with more legitimacy vs. Washington. The winner of this game will most probably get that outside conference BCS bid and deservingly so.
8. Saturday’s Rivalries
lets start with the games that are not only rivalries, but games of much importance:
Virginia vs. Virginia Tech – winner goes to conference champ game representing Coastal Division
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech - Georgia is in the passenger seat as far as the conference is concerned but NEEEDS this to lock up the BCS bid
Kentucky at Tennessee – simple Tennessee wins they face LSU next week, they lose and Georgia gets it. I’m not sure whom you want as LSU but I’m betting Georgia in the Georgia Dome is a much tougher game… but also would look much better on the BCS resume
West Virginia vs. Connecticut – WVU needs the win to boost its BCS hope and UConn wants it to lock up the division when they were predicted to be the bottom feeder
Okalahoma vs. Oklahoma State – Oddly enough Okalahoma can lose and still represent the B-12 South if Texas loses, but chances are they will need the win to lock that up, not to mention needing the win to keep the resume alive and a chance to upset the North
9. Just for Rivalries sake:
Utah at BYU – This is probably the best non-BCS non-implications game out there for the weekend. The Rivalry is huge already but on top of that, both teams are on 7 game win streaks and BYU finally cracked the rankings.
Florida and Florida State – I would normally say “watch what happens to Tebow against decent competition” but umm… have you seen Florida State recently?
South Carolina vs. Clemson – simply for rivalries sake
Washington vs. Washington State – see above
Alabama vs. Auburn – so what will Saban equate losing the week after Louisiana Monroe to?
10. Probably the best and biggest match up of the year
Undefeated Kansas vs. Missouri. Easily the two best quarterbacks in college this year, for all the marbles of BCS and conference implications not to mention primetime and in Arrowhead Stadium. I don’t need to play this up any further; just watch it.
11. NFL games to watch
Some quick notes for you
Seattle at St. Louis – Trap game for a now strong running Seattle against a resurgent and healthy St. Louis
Washington at T.B. – Tampa Bay can put a stamp on their good performances with a win
Houston at Cleveland – Both unexpected winners, both need the win
Baltimore at S.D. – Both have fallen from grace since last season’s league leading records
N.O. at Carolina – the “stick a fork in em” match. Loser is done for, winner has outside chance alive.
Miami on Monday Night football! Now Starring Ricky Williams! If that weren’t enough, after Pittsburg overlooked the Jets, can they overlook the Dolphins as well?
12. The ALL-POWERFUL AFC
You know for all the “expert” analysis and roving about how awesome the AFC is, the NFC sure is winning the conference match ups right now 23-21…
13. Turkey Bowl!
Most football loving people have their own version of the Turkey Bowl, that’s the name for most for most but even if not so I encourage you to have some kind of friendly game of football be it touch, flag, or even (like myself and the crazy 14-20 of us that get together every year here) tackle without pads. Nothing wakes you up quite like full contact football in the cold at 8am, finishing just in time to catch some NFL football at home.