DOUBLE DOWN LOW.
10. At least there was good news for the residents of the Pepsi Center this weekend. On Friday night, Carmelo Anthony hit his 14th career game winner in a 98-97 win over the visiting Chicago Bulls. Several of you (both in person and through email) have mentioned to me about Melo’s apparent blasé attitude towards the whole evening and that he didn’t even looked pleased with what he and the team accomplished. I hope that it was just a product of the health issues (chest cold) he had been battling recently. In fact, the same bug kept him out of last night’s ABA-style 138-133 win over Phoenix. (“I got your tacos, right here.”) In Melo’s stead, the Nugs got a huge performance (despite a shaky last couple seconds) from our good friend, JR Smith. In addition, Chauncey Billups played probably, his best of the game of the young season. While there is still no Kenyon Martin (and therefore little defensive intensity) Birdman has returned and has played well in spurts. Of course, like every new season, he is sporting some new ink. The team now sits at 10-6 and in 3rd place in the ultra-competitive Northwest Division. A couple days off, again, for the Nuggets, but they return with home games this week against Milwaukee (Wednesday) and the Clippers (Friday).
9. The Colorado Avalanche were able to muster one touchdown as they put 7 on the historically stingy, Minnesota Wild; en route to a 7-4 win on Saturday night. Hippie Johnnie and Daniel Winnik were injured, as was our young stud, Chris Stewart. The 23-year-old broke his left hand taking care of his own business. But it was “the new guy,” Greg Mauldin that the first star of the night with 2 goals and 2 assists just 2 weeks after being brought up. Oddly enough, the Avalanches were actually down 2-1 after this game’s first period. They are off tonight and host the Thrashers tomorrow.
8. So more and more, it appears that there are only two relevant college football teams (at least D-I) in America. Auburn and Oregon appear to be set to face off for the mythical national championship in a month or so. No playoffs? Cool. The ONLY collegiate sport that doesn’t have a playoff! And it is not just football, just big-time Division-I football, as even the lower levels “subscribe to sanity” and employ a playoff system. Don’t give me the “every game counts” excuse, either, because that theory still doesn’t pertain to everyone.
Unfortunately for the local boys, the Buffs came back to earth on Friday in Lincoln getting pretty much pasted by the suddenly mellowed-out, Bo Pelini-led Corn. Every penalty, the camera swung to Pelini (hoping) expecting to see another titanic A&M-style blow-up. No dice. You could tell he was coached on his sideline demeanor. TWO MORE DAYS! WE NEED TO GET A COACH IN PLACE, LIKE YESTERDAY!
Also, Purdue lost to Indiana! IN FOOTBALL!?!?! Sorry, Dubai crew. Bad day to be a Boiler.
7. A busy weekend of college basketball (although no Gonzaga games), to be sure, but little movement (up/down) from most of the big schools. Just a few months removed from winning another national title, Duke has proved to be far and away the dominant team in the nation this year. In other Thanksgiving week games, Purdue (Sorry, again, Carl) was the lone real casualty, getting beaten by an extremely strong Richmond Spiders team. Another ranked Hoosier-state team, Butler, was beaten by in-state rival Evansville, as well. Tough weekend around here for the locals, as DU was beaten by Boise State and the Buffs got punked in Cambridge by Harvard. (stupid, crummy, Ivy league hoopers).
6. The Brown University Bears Soccer has officially been eliminated, losing 2-0 yesterday to the Cal Bears in northern California. I was keeping up with a live-blog during the Broncos/Rams, but it seemed fairly close. A solid corner-kick headed-in goal and a deflected own-goal (MLS Cup anyone?) made up the difference. Hi5 contributor and former Brown midfielder, Josh Parker, was in attendance, so hopefully the good doctor can fill us in on the details.
5. Blake Griffin is impressive at the game of basketball. Have you heard that refrain before? So the weekend for the OKC-native wasn’t a great one for his Clipper team (two more losses) but he followed up a 20/14 night on Friday v. Phoenix with an epic 35/14/7 assists performance last night in a loss to Utah. Remember, this kid is a rookie. Here is some more footage of Blake from the preseason for your approval.
IT’S NFL TIME!
4. So who(m) can we really ascertain to be a viable Super Bowl threat? In my opinion, the New York Giants, Indianapolis Colts and Philadelphia Eagles are all fakers. They’re lying, they’re fake. The Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and Pittsburgh Steelers, I want to close the book on, but they are probably still viable. But that leaves me with just the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers and Baltimore Ravens as my top 3. So if my NFL-viewing knowledge has taught me anything, it means, some NFC will slide in and take the title.
3. The AFC West Round-Up has dwindled down to a two-horse race between Kansas City and San Diego. On one hand, the Chiefs never seem to play an opponent of any worth, which puts last night’s Charger win in an even greater light. An impressive win in Indianapolis, but I just don’t understand the Bolts’ propensity for the slow starts/fast finishes. Never fails, never fails…..
2. An inconsistent offense and a consistent defense have become the norm for the Denver Broncos. Slow starts were plaguing this team and now it seems that fasts starts aren’t helping much either. For the third week in a row, the offense seemed 1989-Forty-Nineresque out of the box, moving the ball at will. Unfortunately, over the past two games, a long period of offensive dormancy followed and made a comeback almost impossible. That costly fumble (that 9 times out of 10 wouldn’t have bounced directly into that linebacker’s arms and probably just goes out-of-bounds) aside, Knowshawn balled, again.
1. Dave Logan and Mullen High School Mustangs would love to face off against this defensive unit. Brutal, brutal, brutal. The defense is constantly giving up huge plays, is never in the right place to make plays and suffer from a terminal case of piss-poor tackling. Am I being critical enough? Brian Dawkins, please go away or take a pair of headphones and a clipboard and teach these guys how you “used to play.” Actually, just jettison everyone but Champ, DJ Williams and Joe Mays (big fan of this guy).
PS-The Broncos “middle-game” offensive futility would not be such a problem if it weren’t for the defense’s simultaneous uber-futility.
PSS-The cheating issue with the Broncos doesn’t faze me much. Like college athletics, “everybody is doing it.” Even Denver’s patron saint of pigskin, Mike Shanahan, was “flagged” outside the lines for his role with fudging the league’s sacred, “salary cap.” Which one is worse?
ONE LOVE TO ALL