Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Super Bowl Footballs Will Give Sentimental Advantage To NY Giants

Every time a New York Giants or New England Patriots player looks at one of the 120 footballs used on the field during Super Bowl XLVI he will see the name "The Duke" embossed on the ball and might wonder 'Who the hell is that?'

It's more of a mystery for Patriots players than the Giants side because "The Duke" was the beloved Giants owner Wellington Mara— father of current owner John Mara— who passed away in 2006.

The older Mara was given the nickname by Giants players when he was a child growing up on the sidelines on the franchise started by his father Tim Mara.

And right there, prominently branded on all of this Sunday's balls— next to the "XLVI" logo and "Roger Goodell" signature— is the nickname of the deceased owner which some of the current Giants team knew and fondly remember.

The balls are made by Wilson Sporting Goods in Ada, Ohio and have been called "The Duke" for most of the league's history.

It all started when Wellington and his brother Jack made a deal with Wilson to become the official sponsor of the NFL's ball.  Former Chicago Bears owner George Halas, who partnered with Wellington on brokering the deal, suggested that the balls be named "The Duke."

From 1941 through 1969 the NFL's official ball carried the name "The Duke," but was eliminated after the AFL-NFL merger.

The name returned in 2006, after Mara's death, as a tribute to the Giants owner .

It looks like the Giants have at least sentimental advantage on the field over the Patriots.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Brady Already Planning Patriots Super Bowl Victory Bash

The New England Patriots landed in a gusty Indianapolis airport yesterday in preparation for Super Bowl XLVI but, along with the wind, Tom Brady got a little controversy swirling around the team as well.

After saying goodbye to 25,000 fans at a Gillette Stadium send-off, the confident Patriots quarterback— and New York Giants No. 1 target— Brady took it upon himself to predict a victory party celebration back home after his team faces the Giants next Sunday.

Brady's huffing and puffing also fanned the New York media's flames.

"We're going down there for one reason," said Brady before the team boarded their charter flight to Indianapolis and the showdown with the Giants.  "We're going to give it our best and hopefully we'll have a lot more people at our party next weekend."

Talk about putting a bigger bull's eye on your back.

Brady's words whipped the Foxborough crowd into a frenzy and high hopes against a team that beat them, 17-14, in Super Bowl XLII four years ago.

The Pat's QB later toned down his comments after he realized they had become bulletin board material for the Giants— especially their defense.

"Well, it was a pep rally," Brady said.  "People were pretty excited.  Certainly the players were excited.  I know the 25,000 fans who were there were excited as well."

Brady wasn't the first Giants opponent to send out victory party invites before a victory.

Vernon Davis, the San Francisco 49ers tight end had his fans ready to party before the Giants beat his team, 20-17, in overtime in the NFC Championship Game last Sunday.

The Patriots Wes Welker was asked by a reporter if his quarterback's remarks meant the Patriots were already planning a party?

"No. No, not at all," Brady's favorite target said. "We're planning on this game.  And putting a game plan together and getting ourselves ready to play is kind of objective number one."

Later, an even more subdued Brady lavished praise on the the four guys who will be in his face all day next Sunday—  the Big Blue pass rush.

"It's been a strength of the their team for as long as I can remember... Michael Strahan, as great a player as he was... and I think we played them in '03 and they were still harassing the quarterback so... it seems like they always have guys that rush the quarterback," said Brady.  "Justin Tuck is as good as they come.  Osi [Umenyiora], week in and week out, he's a player that can ruin a game  for an offense."

It sounds like Brady has put the party hats and Sam Adams beer on hold.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Giants Super Bowl XLII Ring On Sale For $47,995

A diamond-studded Tiffany ring presented to one of the New York Giants players after the team upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII is up for sale.

All it takes to get one of the historic ring is a deep-burning love of Big Blue and $47,995.

Tiki Barber, are you listening? 

"For whatever reason, back in 2008, we received eight players selling their rings within six months after they received them," Tim Robbins of Champions-Rings.net.  "The majority of them were still playing for the team, which is rather unusual."

According to the New York Daily News, one of Robbins clients bought the  ring back then, but last November, looking to turn a profit, decided to sell the ring back.  It now sits on a shelf among 1,200 or so championship rings that range from NCAA Championships to the Super Bowl.

Robbins said the rings are also awarded to team staff members— which are different from the ones the players recieve— and he was kind of surprised by the number of Giants that season who were looking hock their bling.

If you are a fan of TV's Pawn Stars, you already know that the players' rings are more valuable than the staff's.

The white gold and diamond rings are manufactured by the same famous silversmith that also makes the Lombardi Trophy every year.

"The Giants rings, being made by Tiffany, it was a little surprising to see that many," said Robbins.  "But there are so many die-hard New York Giants fans that it didn't take that much time to sell them at all."

"And if you wear this out," Robbins said.  "It's the best icebreaker in the world."

But this is a special ring— nicknamed a "10-table ring" by former Giants player Michael Strahan because he wanted people ten tables away to see his pride and joy.

Robbins said the ring has been on the market for over three months and blames the slow economy for it sitting on the shelf so long.  Normally, Giants rings "don't have a tendency to last that long," he said.

In 2008, when the rings were presented to the Giants players, they had a value of over $25,000.  The face of the ring features three Super Bowl trophies— one for each of the team's titles.  One side is engraved with the score of the game (Giants 17, Patriots 14) and the other side says "Eleven Straight on the Road" in reference to the NFL record set by the team in 2007.

 Strahan, Eli Manning, Amani Toomer and Shaun O'Hara were all consultants on the design of the ring.

Players sell their rings for a variety of reasons claims Robbins and it's not always financial hardship.

"You have players where their religion prohibits them from wearing jewelery," he said.  "So they just don't need the ring."

Robbins stands by his firm's privacy policy and won't disclose the name of the player who came in and unloaded his ring.  He just said the unnamed player wasn't a starter in the Super Bowl.

One person we can definitely leave out of that discussion is good ol' Tiki.

50 Cent Ready to Drop "Trou" and $1M on Giants in Super Bowl Bets

50 cent has a lot more than cash riding on the Super Bowl game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.  If the Giants don't beat the spread, he could literally lose his shorts.

The rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, has so much faith in his hometown team that he is willing to bet $1 million on the Giants in the Feb. 5 game, according to his Twitter account.

So much faith, that Fiddy even made a side bet with a female fan to post naked photos of his junk on Twitter if the G-Men lose.

The 36 year-old rap star is on a Giants roll after winning $500,000 last week when New York beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game.  He posted photos of the cold hard cash he won on a video as proof.

Now he is prepared to parlay his winnings and avoid indecency charges if the Giants win again.

"I'm up 500,000 off the last one.  f*** it ill bet it back Ill put 1,000,000 on my G MEN.  STUNNER you got the # hit me if you want it," he tweeted to his 5.6 million followers.

After last week's windfall, a female Patriots fan offered the raunchy Super Bowl bet to Fiddy.

According to the Daily Mail, he entered an agreement with a Twitter user to flash his package if the Giants lose.

She tweeted him: "Let's bet. If the Giants lose the Super Bowl, you must post your d*** on the Twitter.  If they win I'll post my boobs and face on here.  Bet?"

Mr. Jackson's simple reply: "OK."

50 Cent also posted his method of picking the winner along with a photo of himself after Big Blue's victory.

"Just watched a 500,000 football game... Sometimes I hear voices in my head they tell me thing like bet on GIANTS so I listen."

I wonder if the voices also tell him, "I know a good lawyer and accountant."

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Married Women Would Rather Have An Affair With Eli Than Brady: Poll

Married women around the country would prefer to cheat with Eli Manning than Tom Brady according to a poll conducted by AshleyMadison.com.

Brady may have more Super Bowl rings, career yards and TD passes than the New York Giants quarterback, but— in fact— 54% of the married women polled said they'd rather have an affair with Manning because of his "boy-next-door" looks, claims the adultery-promoting website.

It sounds like the New England Patriots quarterback might be a little too metro-sexual for most of the women, according to the online poll.

They seem to think Manning would be "less of a hothead" than Brady and easier to relate to.

Apparently the lure of getting a free pair of Uggs isn't as great as Manning's 'Aw shucks' grin.

 Both players will meet in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

Manning, 31, is married to Abby McGrew, his college sweetheart from his football playing days at Mississippi while Brady is married to Brazilian super-model and former jet-setter Giselle Bundchen.

You don't need a poll to figure out which wife most married men would prefer to hit the No-Tell Motel with.

It wasn't much of a surprise that 86% of philandering New York women would have a dalliance with their home town quarterback and 97% of Boston cheaters would choose Brady.

Things get a little weirder when the home-wrecking women of Indianapolis— where Eli's older brother Peyton is the quarterback of the Colts— were polled.

According to the poll,  70% of the married Indy women said they would prefer a romp in the hay with the home town hero's younger brother over Brady.

Maybe Eli has caught up to Peyton in more ways than one.

Schiano's Quick Exit Leaves Rutgers Recruiting Class in a Lurch

Greg Schiano, the former head coach at Rutgers— who abruptly left the university to become head coach of the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers— leaves behind a rudderless ship with a recruiting class ready to jump overboard.

Schiano— who returned the Rutgers football program to respectability but never delivered on his promise to deliver a championship— agreed to a five-year contract with Tampa Bay right before the Feb. 1 college football signing day.

The 11-year head coach was just days away from finalizing the best recruiting class at Rutgers— ever.

Schiano met with Rutgers players and coaches at the Hale Center this afternoon to make his decision public.  Speculation about the move had been swirling around the Internet all day.

At the 25 minute meeting, it was announced that Kyle Flood, the offensive line and assistant head coach under Schiano, would be named Rutgers interim coach.

The abrupt change could have a devastating effect on a recruiting class that many consider one of the best in the country.  Seventeen players have already given non-binding commitments to Rutgers— and maybe more importantly—Schiano.

Some of the high-schoolers Schiano already sold the school on include four-star players like Leonte Carroo, J.J. Denmon, Quazell Lambert and Chris Muller.

Top-40 recruit Devin Fuller and N.J.'s top recruit from football factory Don Bosco, defensive end Darius Hamilton, had both been in touch with Rutgers but never committed.

Hamilton's dad— former New York Giants defensive tackle Keith— said his son will visit Miami this week, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Ryan Brodie— N.J.'s top high school  outside linebacker has already re-opened recruiting with other schools, according to the Star-Ledger.

"Blindsided is a pretty good word.  No idea," said Brodie's coach at Long Branch.

Before jumping ship, Schiano was touted as a good recruiter and blasted for being a lousy game coach.  He turned a mediocre program into pretty good team in the middling Big East conference.

Schiano still had five years left on his contract and was N.J.'s highest paid public employee with an annual salary of $2.3 million at the state university.

Rutgers' mundane record of 68-67 (49-28 since 2006) wasn't a true reflection of the head coach's legacy.  Schiano— who became famous around the Garden State for appearing in a commercial with The Sopranos actor James Gandolfini helping to promote Rutgers football— leaves a big footprint in Piscataway.

Under Schiano, Rutgers did produce the school's only first-round NFL draft picks and their stadium was able to undergo a controversial $102 million renovation to add 11,000 seats.

Before jumping ship, Schiano earned a reputation as a good recruiter and lousy game coach. He never won a league title and all of the six post-season appearances Rutgers made with Schiano were in second-tier bowl games.

David Rowe, a former Rutgers safety in his senior year spoke about the sudden departure.

"I'm shocked," he said.  "All the players are shocked.  I didn't find out until this morning when my girlfriend told me I needed to watch ESPN."

The uncertainty will surely change the course of the program and could ruin a recruiting class which was ready to take the school to another level.

"It will absolutely destroy recruiting this close to signing day," said CBS Sports recruiting expert Tom Lemming.  "I only remember two other coaches— Jimmy Johnson and Butch Davis— leaving this close to signing  day."

"For him to leave a couple of days before signing day you will see the vultures circle quickly and Rutgers could end up with a recruiting class like Penn State's."

The early candidates to replace Schiano are Miami coach Al Golden— a N.J. native— and FIU coach Mario Cristobal— a former-Rutgers assistant.

Whoever fills the vacancy might be scrambling for recruits just like the Rutgers of a decade ago.

St. John's New "Wonder Five" Defeats West Virginia

St. John's sent five freshman out for the opening tip-off last night against West Virginia and never looked back in a 78-62 victory at Madison Square Garden.

It is believed to be the first time the university began a game with  five freshman since their 1927-28 team which later become known as the "Wonder Five."

Head coach Steve Lavin may have been watching his team from an luxury suite a few tiers above the action below— while recuperating from prostate cancer surgery— but it was his suggestion to assistant coach Mike Dunlap to start the five frosh.

"It's a lineup that coach Lavin has talked about in our staff meetings," said Dunlap.  "He just said 'When you feel it, do it' and I felt it today."

The five freshman— part of last year's highly anticipated recruiting class— put together one of the Red Storm's most complete games of the season and ended a four-game losing streak.


St. John's fans have been waiting all season to see some evidence of what is considered the greatest incoming class in the school's history.  Last night, they saw some harbingers of things (now woefully lacking) hopefully to come— defense and finishing.

While Lavin's suggestion worked brilliantly on Wednesday night, the team lacks height and is still only seven men deep.  Only Malik Stith has a full Big East season under his belt and actually knows how brutal the Big East schedule can be.

Last night there were more than a few groans after the Mountaineers (15-6, 6-3) went on a 13-2 run to trim the Storm's lead to 68-59 with less than three minutes left.  Even with a lead, there is still doubt in the hearts of Storm fans.

Amir Garrett, Phil Greene, Moe Harkless, D'Angelo Harrison and Sir' Dominic Pointer showed their poise and led a St. John's (9-11, 3-6) team that shot better (.484 FG) and finally closed out the game— especially after the blown ten-point second half lead against Villanova on Saturday still fresh in their minds.

A blocked shot by God's Gift Achiuwa into the hands of Phil Greene, who raced down court to make the score 73-59 with 2:15 left, turned the groans into victory cheers.

If any one can understand the virtue of patience and preach it to his young team through example, it's Lavin.

The coach isn't sure when he will return to the bench— it could be next season— but is still recruiting and recuperating.

"I'll definitely be back on the sidelines, but I have to be mindful of the doctor's advice about doing what's best for my health," he said.  "I am doing a disservice to our current team and to our program if I don't make the prudent choices for my health."

Even West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was asked about starting five freshmen and compared it to Michigan's famed squad which beat his Cincinnati team in the NCAA semifinals.

"In 1992, I saw the Fab Five and I didn't like that much," Huggins said.  "I didn't like this much more.  They are talented guys."

Just a reminder to the new "Wonder Five." The original group went on a 24-game win streak two years later.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A-Rod Cleans Up On NYC Bachelor Pad

Alex Rodriguez hit another one out of the park after he sold his New York City condo for a $2.5 million profit— only eight months after he bought it.

Too bad it was Riverside Park.

While the New York Yankees slugger was last seen striking out at the plate last season, he has been scoring big time with real estate in Manhattan.

A-Rod paid $5.5 million for the 3,600 square-foot, four bedroom West Side bachelor pad and it went into contract last week for $ 8 million.

There is now speculation that the free-swinging Rodriguez— who has hooked up with the likes of Madonna, Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz— may be looking to settle down with his latest flame former-pro wrestler Torrie Wilson.

Some Yankee fans probably wish it meant he was going to another city and team— but alas, no such news.

The state-of-the-art pad includes a black leather pool table in the living room with sweeping views of Manhattan and the outlying areas including Yankee Stadium.

A-Rod's bachelor playground is located in the Rushmore on Riverside and 64th Street which boasts such amenities as a 7,000 square-foot Palestra fitness center with an indoor pool and basketball court.

He was often spotted working out there with other Yankees players and his ex, Diaz.

While A-Rod scored a home run with this sale, it sounds like he is on some sort of real estate hitting streak.

According to the New York Daily News, since A-Rod moved in, the Rushmore has become the city's hottest luxury building and Rodriguez's former residence at 15 Central Park West has become the most successful condominium building in the world.

Now if he could bring a few of those big hits to the Bronx.

Victor Cruz Teaches NYC Kids How To Salsa

New York Giants wide-out Victor Cruz showed some his post-touchdown salsa moves that he hopes to bust out at the Super bowl to a group of fans inside a Times Square sporting goods store.

Yesterday, the game-breaking Cruz showed dozens of children how to gyrate their hips just like he does after scoring a touchdown.

Cruz— and his famous touchdown dance called the "Silk City" salsa— has his own T-shirt with simple dance instructions printed on the back.

A representative of the sporting store chain said the new Victor Cruz T-shirt has become wildly popular is the fastest selling shirt ever.


The record-breaking receiver from Paterson, N.J. said he "never took salsa lessons or a class" and credits the Puerto Rican side of his family for showing him how to shake it.

"My grandmother showed me the step," said Cruz, "and I pay her homage every time I get in the end zone."

The speedy 25-year old debuted his dance on Sept. 25 after catching a 74-yard touchdown from Eli Manning in a 29-16 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cruz went on to catch eight more TD's, set a Giants single-season record of 1,536 yards receiving and become a huge fan favorite.

Everytime he catches a ball, cheers of "Cruuuuz!" ring out inside MetLife Stadium and— sometimes— even on the road.

"It started as a joke," he said,  "I wanted to do something for me and the team."

Stricter rules against over-celebrating in high school and college kept Cruz's moves limited to his living room before he could actually cut a rug in the pros.

"I knew I could not do it in high school," he said.  "[So] I started doing it in the NFL."

Cruz recently turned down a chance to appear on TV's "Dancing with the Stars" but left open the possibility of appearing down the road.

"My first career is doing pretty well," he joked.

For now Cruz is concentrating on the Feb. 5 game against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

"As a kid, you dream about it.  Watching Super Bowls and game-winning kicks," Cruz said.  "Just to be a part of it this year has been amazing."

If the Giants win the Lombardi Trophy, expect to see a lot of shaking hips under a ticker-tape shower.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New York Giants Also Have An Oscar Nominee in the Family

This week keeps getting better for the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants and members of the team's first family— the Maras.

This morning, days after the team earned a spot in the NFL's biggest showcase, Rooney Mara— the 26-year old great-granddaughter of Giants founder Tim Mara— was nominated for acting's highest accolade— an Oscar.

The 26-year old actress is the daughter of Giants executive Chris Mara and Kathleen McNulty and her other great-grandfather is Art Rooney— hence her first name— the man who started the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The 84th Academy Awards winners will be announced three weeks after Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 26 at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

Mara was a surprise choice for the best actress nominee for her leading role in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," the wildly popular trilogy of books being turned into Hollywood films.  It is her first nomination.

The "rookie" is a 40-1 long-shot in what looks like the Oscar's most competitive category this year.

Mara will be going up against a line-up of veteran actresses—Viola Davis for "The Help," Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady," Michelle Williams for "My Week With Marilyn" and Glenn Close for "Albert Nobbs."

Bookies have Streep and Davis leading the pack.

The young Mara looks like a wild card compared to a few of those division winners.

After the Giants bang it out on the football field in Indianapolis, Mara will be letting it all hang out on the red carpet in Tinseltown.

Mara might want to take a cue from her family's team history.  While her chances of getting the little golden statue seem slim, so did the Giants chances of getting the big golden Lombardi Trophy against the New England Patriots in 2008.

As we have seen throughout this season's playoffs, don't ever count out the Mara family and their Giants as the underdogs.

Bruins Tim Thomas Skips Ceremony With President Obama

The Boston Bruins went to the White House to meet President Obama and celebrate their 2011 Stanley Cup championship yesterday— shorthanded.

Two-time Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas snubbed the meet-and-greet with Obama and later issued a statement on his Facebook page citing his reasons for snubbing the President of the United States at the traditional ceremony.

"I believe the federal government ha grown out of control," he stated, "threatening the rights, liberties, and property of the people."

Call it Unoccupy White House.

The Internet lit up with polarized opinions about Thomas' political views and defiant stance at the expense of the entire team.

The Bruins president, Cam Neely, tried to distance the team from Thomas without alienating the playoff MVP.

"We are disappointed that Tim chose not to join us and his views certainly do not reflect those of the Jacobs family or the Bruins organization," said Neely.

Thomas— born in Flint, Mich. and an outspoken Tea Party member— said he blames both political parties for the nation's woes and had been at odds with the Bruins about attending the fete for a while.

"The Federal government has grown out of control threatening the Rights, Liberties and Property of the People," for that reason he stated, "I exercised my right as a free citizen.  This is not about politics or party, as in my opinion, both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country."

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said he had been trying for months to convince Thomas to attend with the rest of the team, but that it still didn't happen.

Even though the event was an honor for the entire team, a lot of the attention was centered on Thomas.

President Obama didn't seem miffed by the slight and even singled out the absent Thomas to congratulate the goalie on his playoff exploits.

"Tim Thomas posted two shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals," he said.  "He set an all-time record for saves in postseason."

Thomas is only the second U.S. player to win the playoff MVP.

Yesterday was the Boston Bruins turn to bask in the national spotlight for what they accomplished as a team and Thomas took the opportunity to turn it into a personal political statement.

Call him disrespectful, unprofessional, selfish or just plain honest, Thomas got his point across— no matter who he disappointed or pleased in his wake.

It's his right as a citizen in this country to voice his opinion— whether it be declining an invitation to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue or camping out and banging drums in a city park.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ray Lewis' Support Of Ravens Scapegoats Is Touching

Many people despise Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis' tough-talk and brutal play on the field but yesterday— after his team was defeated by the New England Patriots, 23-20, when a dropped touchdown pass and missed field-goal cost them a chance at winning the  AFC Championship in the waning seconds— they have to admit that the poster-boy for NFL helmet-to-helmet football sounded, well... sensitive.

A bobbled TD catch by Lee Evans— which could have won the game— and then a missed 32-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 15 seconds left that could have sent it into overtime were at the center of Lewis' Dr. Phil moment.

After the game, the 16-year veteran came to the defense of the team scapegoats and told reporters,"We win as a team.  We lose as a team."

As for the two dejected players, Lewis said they should "move on as men" and he would reach out to them.


Comforting words from a man who has had his own dark days.

Lewis should know about being some sort of a pariah because he is no stranger to scandal on the field or— more importantly— off of it.

Lewis' touching display of forgiveness can't help but remind people of a dark side to his own past.

Early in his career, Lewis— who is often called heroic on the gridiron— paid a settlement to the families of two homicide victims in a still unresolved double-murder after.

In that 2000 case, Lewis copped to an obstruction of justice plea after the stabbing incident at a post-Super Bowl party outside an Atlanta nightclub.

Yesterday, Lewis said, "There's no one man that's ever lost a game."

As for the uplifting support of his teammates, the man just wants them to know there are bigger things in life to cope with.

Peyton To Eli: 'It's All About The Giants Now'

Peyton Manning was understandably proud of his younger brother Eli after the NewYork Giants 20-17 overtime victory over the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title.

The Indianapolis quarterback had a a quick chat and embraced Eli before he  headed to the team bus for the flight back to New York and ultimately a trip to Indy for a Super Bowl rematch with the New England Patriots on Feb. 5..

"Go Giants," said Peyton.  "It's all about the Giants now,"

If the two siblings never get a chance to share the stage at MetLife Stadium— as Giants and Jets quarterbacks respectively— this might be the closest scenario.

And it sounds like big bro is more than happy to let Eli get the spotlight in Peyton's adopted hometown of Indianapolis.

Peyton had a lot to puff out his chest about.

This season, Eli stepped out of the shadow of his big brother— who was sidelined after neck surgery—in a big way.  The younger Manning will actually have as many Super Bowl appearances under his belt as the "elite" Peyton and is one win away from having one more championship ring.

"I'm just proud as a quarterback to watch him compete," Peyton said after watching his brother get battered by the fierce Niners defense and still win.  "And the way he's played, I'm even more proud of him as a brother."

While Eli's game yesterday wasn't a thing of beauty, it was a testament to his toughness.

Eli threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns with out any turnovers against a swarming San Francisco defense.  There didn't seem to be an easy throw for Eli all day and he was hit 20 times.  It seemed like he had a 49ers player draped on him during every play.

"It's what I expected him to do," said Peyton.  "I'm just proud of Eli and how well he's played this year.  He's been awesome.  he's been clutch."

It's twice as ironic that Eli could win his second Super Bowl title in  Peyton's adopted hometown— where fans have waited and hoped for four years to see their own Manning win in their home stadium—and against Peyton's arch-nemesis Tom Brady.

"Yeah, it's my home town," said Peyton. "I've just been proud of all year.  I've really gotten to see a lot more of his games since I've been injured.  It's fun to watch him play.  he's been clutch all season long.  Fourth quarter comebacks.  when they needed him, he was always there."

Peyton had little to say about the prognosis for his injury or where he'll be playing.  When asked about the possibility of playing for the Jets, he laughed, "Nahh.  Giants, man. Go  Giants."

For now, he's seems happy that in Super Bowl XLVI, at least one Manning is playing in front of the  Lucas Oil Stadium crowd.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Giants Punter Gets Really Excited About Going To Super Bowl

The most excited player on the field— after New York Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes booted the winning field goal to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game— was the guy who held the ball— punter and holder Steve Weatherford.

After the 31-yard overtime kick defeated the Niners, 20-17, Weatherford could be seen running around the field trying to pull his helmet off his head and screaming what looks like, "I'm going to the f---ing Super Bowl!"


Weatherford had good reason to be happy because he had a lot to do with the victory.

His superb foot kept the 49ers out of good field position all night and his sure hands were fast enough to gather the ball for the winning kick after a bad snap from the center.  He prevented what could have been another long-snap fiasco in Frisco.

The defensive battle had him matching punts with the Niners Andy Lee all game long and the Giants punter kept pinning the Niners deep in their own side of the field.  Weatherford punted 12 times on the rain-soaked field inside Candlestick Park for a 46.4 average.

Even the winning score was set up on one Weatherford's punts after 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams was stripped of the ball by Giants special teamer Jacquian Williams into the arms of teammate Devin Thomas in 49ers territory.

A few running plays and the sudden-death kick later, the Giants were heading to Indianapolis for a rematch with the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LXVI.

Maybe after the Giants next game, Weatherford will be yelling, "I'm going to Disney World."  But without the expletives.

Niners Player Takes Out Own Teammate in Collision

A vicious collision between San Francisco 49ers safety Dashon Goldson and fellow defensive back Tarell Brown during the NFC Championship game against the New York Giants left Brown sprawled out in the middle of the field before he was assisted off the field.


Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw the ball in the direction of his wide-out Hakeem Nicks when the two 49ers players both dove towards the errant pass and met each other helmet-to-chest.

Goldson rolled over the prone Brown— who was lying on his back motionless on the ground.

A medical team surrounded Brown as Goldson nervously watched his teammate from the sidelines.  Brown sat up after a few minutes, refused the services of a stretcher and was assisted off the field by two men.  He later walked unassisted to the locker room for observation.

The Giants should consider themselves lucky because it looked like an easy INT if the two players didn't crash into each other.

The nasty smash-up occurred with a minute left in the 3rd quarter with the 49ers leading, 14-10, in the defensive tug-of-war.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Empire State Building Suddenly Goes from 49ers Colors Back to Giants Blue

New York Giants fans were blue in the face after noticing that the most recognizable landmark of the Manhattan skyline had been lit up in the San Francisco 49ers red and gold team colors just days before the two teams meet for the NFC Championship.

As the city darkened last night, people couldn't help but notice the symbol of New York awash in the California team's hues.

But on Saturday night, it looks like the city's most well-known structure has mysteriously turned blue once again and everything is back to normal in Giantsland.

While the fans were screaming foul,  there was a logical— if not a bit untimely— reason from keeping the 86-story building blue— the Chinese New Year.

The ESB was bathed in the red and gold in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year which begins Monday— the day after the big game.

While that explanation didn't satisfy most fans, the building was already committed to the colors which represent the "Year of the Dragon" until smarter heads prevailed.

Last week the ESB was bathed in glowing Big Blue until the most mythical symbol in Chinese culture took precedence.

And that was bad news for Giants fans.

The dragon— and its colors— is considered to be the luckiest and most powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac.

Going back to blue was the right thing to do.

Empire State Building Lit Up in 49ers Red and Gold Colors

New York Giants fans are blue in the face after noticing that the most recognizable landmark of the Manhattan skyline has been lit up in the San Francisco 49ers red and gold team colors just days before the two teams meet for the NFC Championship.

As the city darkened last night, people couldn't help but notice the symbol of New York awash in the California team's hues.

While the fans were screaming foul,  there was a logical— if not a bit untimely— reason from keeping the 86-story building blue— the Chinese New Year.

The ESB was bathed in the red and gold in honor of the Chinese Lunar New Year which begins Monday— the day after the big game.

While that explanation didn't satisfy most fans, the building was already committed to the colors which represent the "Year of the Dragon."

Last week the ESB was bathed in glowing Big Blue until the most mythical symbol in Chinese culture took precedence.

And there's more bad news for Giants fans.

The dragon— and its colors— is considered to be the luckiest and most powerful symbol in the Chinese zodiac.

Alabama Fan Charged With Sexual Battery On Drunk LSU Fan

An Alabama football fan was arrested after New Orleans cops said he was video-taped allegedly sexually abusing a half-passed out LSU fan shortly after the recent BCS Championship game.

New Orleans police charged Brian Downing, 32, of Smiths Station, Ala. with sexual battery and obscenity for being recorded on a video tape putting his genitals and simulating a sexual act on a "heavily inebriated" man.

Downing turned himself in on Thursday after a warrant was issued for his arrest.

The four-minute video— which was first posted on an Alabama football fan site and went viral this week— was filmed outside a restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans shortly after Alabama destroyed LSU, 21-0, for the national title.

Police said they began investigating the incident Jan. 15 after being told about the increasingly popular viral video.

Downing was fired from his job after he was identified in the video and released on a $10,000 bond.

They say people go a little crazy down in the French quarter, but I say this Downing guy is just nuts.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cougar Vetoed As School Mascot For Being Offensive Towards Women

A Utah school board has prevented a high school from calling itself the "Cougars" because members claim the word is associated with horny, sexually-aggressive middle-aged women who favor young men more than the big mountain lion.

Students throughout the Canyons school district voted for the "Cougars" as the new mascot for Corner Canyon High School— due to open in fall 2013— but were overruled by the Board of Education who deemed the name derogatory to women.

The victorious Cougars name— which was selected over other options like the Diamondbacks, Falcons and Raptors— has been scrapped and the horny, sexually-aggressive teenagers at the school will now be the "Chargers"—  war horses.  A name that wasn't even on the list.

The Board's (six men and one woman) decision to overturn the students' choice came after parents e-mailed the principal worried that their daughters involved in sports and cheerleading squads would be offended by the term, reported Fox News.

Opponents of the name also said the name was too similar other schools and the blue/while/silver color scheme was already used by neighboring Brigham Young University.

Surrounding schools which already have a cougar as a mascot said no one has ever complained or connected it with anything but the animal.

"To me, a mascot is usually an animal," Bill Cosper— a local school athletic director who's mascot is a cougar — told the Salt Lake Tribune.  "In all my years here, or in all of sports, that's never been brought up.  Maybe somebody just watched a show or something about it on TV.  That's pretty wild though."

The Board claims the final decision on the mascot's name was theirs all along and the student vote was just for input.

The Canyons area of Utah is filled with the free-roaming carnivores.  It's a good bet they're more prominent than wannabe Demi Moore and Madonna chardonnay sippers.

Who knows, maybe the "Chargers" is offensive to shopaholics with credit cards.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Giants Fan's "You Down with J.P.P." Video Tribute

New York Giants defensive star Jason Pierre-Paul now has his own tribute video and one has to wonder why it took so long.

The video— sung by a Giants fan and dozens of background lip-synchers— combines Naughty by Nature's 1991 hit single "O.P.P." with the defensive end's nickname— "J.P.P."

The singer, Josh Hyman, titled his fun, home-made video song, "You Down with J.P.P."  and the end result of the two songs go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

He even got an email from the Giants sack artist himself who said, "Hey, I dig it," according to Hyman.


Hyman remixed the original into an homage to the Giants and his favorite player before the team meets the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship game and is a big hit on YouTube.

The new version of the song opens with the lyrics "Blue army with harmony" and contains such lines as "Are you down with Big Blue D" to go with the chorus, "You Down with J.P.P.."

The Jackson Five sample is still in there too.

Mixed in with the homemade shots of Giants fans and cheerleaders are clips of J.P.P. sacking opponents and doing a celebration flip.

There is still a lot of debate surrounding what the original O.P.P. even stands for.   Other People's Property or Other People's Privates are the consensus but, in this version, J.P.P. stands clearly for one thing— Jason Pierre-Paul and his sacks.


Tiki Barber Gets NFL Job... Sort Of

Tiki Barber is ready to talk about the New York Giants once again.  The outspoken former Giants running back has signed with SportsNet New York to work on a special postgame show after Sunday's NFC Championship game.

The controversial Barber— who was dumped as a reporter by NBC in 2010 and was last seen trying to make an NFL comeback with no suitors at the beginning of the 2011 season— will be in a studio commenting on the Giants play.

"I am looking forward to providing my insights," Barber.  "Hopefully, it will be after a Giants win."

Barber came under fire by Giants fans for criticizing his former teammates and head coach during and after his playing days with the franchise.

The former player called head coach Tom Coughlin's coaching style "demeaning" and said the coach was "always trying to vilify me."

What's ironic though, is that Barber's two of his most prominent targets— quarterback Eli Manning and Coughlin— are still on the team and one win away from making their second Super Bowl appearances.

Barber, the Giants all-time leading rusher, retired following the 2006 season— right before the Giants won the Super Bowl in 2008.  Barber, himself, never even made it to the big game as a player.

Following his retirement, Barber joined NBC Sports as reporter on its "Football Night in America" show— where he criticized Manning's leadership skills— and worked as a reporter on the "Today" morning show and was maligned for his awkward, uninteresting journalistic style.

He was dumped by NBC in 2010 after he admitted to an affair with an intern while his wife was pregnant with twins.

While Barber has made amends with Manning— by calling the quarterback a leader who " always does something to help the team win"— don't expect a one-on-one with Coughlin.

Just this week, the head coach refused to meet face-to-face with Barber who was reaching out to bury the hatchet with his former coach.

I think Coughlin had more important things on his mind.

The thought of Barber's insights on a team still remembers his big grin and even bigger whines might make Giants fans throw up a little; but they can take solace in the fact that he is 3,000 miles away from the action.

Giants' Chris Canty Warns 49ers: Sunday's Game Will Be A "Bloodbath"

It sounds like New York Giants Chris Canty thinks the 49ers should have a few extra EMS units parked outside the stadium for this Sunday's NFC Championship game— just in case.

The defensive tackle is talking more like a street fighter than a football player and warned the 49ers that this weeks match-up will be more like an alley fight than a walk in Candlestick Park.

"Physical, physical, physical," he said when asked what to expect.  "This is not going to be a cute football game.  It's not going to be for the meek and mild.  This is going to be a bloodbath."

The 49ers side— who pride themselves on playing a physical style of ball— didn't take the threat lying down and thinks we'll find out if the visiting team really bleeds Giants blue— lots of it.

"If that's the kind of game this is gonna turn out to be," the 49ers Hall of Fame cornerback Ronnie Lott told the New York Post.  "It means it bodes well for the 49ers because they've been in those kind of battles all year long."

"I think they would say, 'Hey, bring it on!  You're talking our language.'  I don't think they will shy away from something like that," claims Lott.

Just toss in a few show tunes and we can call it West Coast Story.

"They don't try and make it a secret, and they want to beat you up," Canty said.  "And we pride ourselves on being a physical football team.  Something's got to give, and this football team is preparing itself to be able to put ourselves in a situation where we can be successful, and a big part of that is going to be our physicality."

The Giants players think they are now battle-tested road warriors

" Most championship teams got to fight through some sort of adversity— whether that's injuries, whether that's not playing your best early in the year," said Giants defensive end Justin Tuck.  "Toughness is just fighting through those things."

Tuck was asked if the Giants are tough enough to back up the smack talk.

"We'll find out," he said.  "I think we're pretty tough though.  But we're going into the hostile environment of a team that's pretty tough too, so we'll see... we'll see how tough we are this week."

Not to be left out of all the pre-game trash talk, Jason Pierre-Paul was asked by a reporter if any team is tougher than the G-Men?  Pierre-Paul's reply, "God is tougher than us."

Way to get the big guy on your side.  Tim Tebow would be proud.

The Giants and 49ers met earlier in the season in San Francisco and New York lost, 27-20, in a game most Giants players still think they should have won.

"After the last time we played them, we walked away saying that's a very physical team," said Giants offensive lineman Chris Snee.  "And the only way to beat them is to out-physical them."

Canty thinks the Giants can take it to the 49ers even on San Francisco's home turf.

"We got some experience in tough road ballgames, not always turning out the way we wanted them to, but we've had that experience nonetheless and we played in tight ballgames before," he said.  " So having that experience definitely means a lot for us going into this football game.  I think this football team has shown what it can do on the road, and we're looking forward to being able to demonstrate that again."

Then again, a lot of rain is being forecast leading up to Sunday, so this game might be remembered more as the Mud Bowl than the Blood Bowl.

Either way, players check your brass knuckles and switchblades at the gate and watch out for Officer Krupke.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eli Manning Leaves Practice Early With "Illness"

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning left Wednesday's practice early because of symptoms that head coach Tom Coughlin called "a stomach bug, hopefully a 24-hour deal."

The Giants have weathered a battery of player's injuries and sicknesses all season but, as the team gets ready to face the San Francisco 49ers in Sunday's NFC Championship game, Manning is the one player they can't do without.

Manning was put on the injury report for the first time this season after he missed the majority of today's practice.

The Giants QB started practice but couldn't finish and didn't hang around the locker room to talk.

The Giants officially listed Manning as limited due to "illness."  Coughlin said he had  a "stomach flu."

Manning may have left practice prematurely but few— if any—of his teammates expect him to miss Sunday's game.

"If there is one guy who can miss a practice Wednesday mentally, it's No. 10," said guard Chris Snee.  He was probably here on Monday and Tuesday looking at game film."

"He's probably going to spend the rest of the day doing that," agreed tight end Jake  Ballard.

Backup quarterback David Carr took over for Manning— who the Giants hope will return on Thursday.

The team noticed Manning looked a little queasy from the start of today's practice session.

"You could tell he was hurting bad," said Ballard.  "He usually toughs things out like that.  You could tell he was dragging, and you don't like seeing your Pro-Bowl quarterback throwing up or feeling like that.  Hopefully, he'll be better tomorrow."

Also limited on Wednesday were defensive ends Osi Umenyiora (ankle, knee), Justin Tuck (shoulder), cornerback Corey Webster (hamstring) and linebacker Mark Herzlich (ankle).

Another concern is Ahmad Bradshaw who completely missed practice with a foot problem.  The running back has been frequently sitting out practices while nursing the injury over the past few weeks.

While all the talk in the locker room centered around Manning, his teammates claimed that it will take more than a bug to keep their battle-tested leader out of this weekend's game.

"There's no way," said fullback Henry Hisnoski.  "I think he'll play no matter what."

Vernon Davis Keeps Showing His Softer Side by Singing Adele's "Someone Like You"

Wow!  Vernon Davis is really showing his softer side.  The San Francisco 49ers tight end— who was last seen tearing up on the sidelines at Candlestick Park on Saturday— got in front of a microphone and belted out Adele's hit love song, "Someone Like You," for a local web-cam show.

The English singer-songwriter's weeper is a resignation to a lost love and contains the lyrics: "I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited" and "I am bound by surprise by your glory days."


Not exactly bulletin board material for the New York Giants— as they roll into San Francisico to meet the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday— but probably enough for a good laugh.

Davis was coaxed into belting out his off-key version of the song on "The Joe Show," an online comedy web show on 49ers.com.

Davis caught the last second TD pass that beat the New Orleans Saints, 36-32, last weekend and sent San Francisco into the championship game.  After his game-winner, he had tears of joy running down his face as he was hugged by teammates.

The sensitive side of Davis is quite a reversal from the insubordinate, young player who was pulled in the midst of a game for taunting an opponent by head coach no-nonsense Mike Singletary only a few years ago.

When Davis sang Adele's words," I wish nothing but the best for you," you can bet they weren't for Giants defensive linemen, Justin Tuck or Jason Pierre-Paul,  who hope Davis will be singing the blues on Monday's show.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eli Thinks Sharing MetLife Stadium with Peyton Would be "Fun" and "Unique"

Who said New York City ain't big enough for two Mannings?  It could be if you believe Eli Manning, the younger brother of Peyton.

The New York Giants quarterback said if all the talk of Peyton joining same-stadium rivals the New York Jets came true it wouldn't bother him much at all.

"I'm not saying it's not going to happen, or I'd want it to happen, but having your brother that close to you and playing in New York would be very unique," Eli said in an interview with ESPN Radio this morning.

After standing in the shadow of Peyton for his whole career, Eli is finally stepping out from behind it and has become his own man.

Eli is one win from from leading his team to another Super Bowl and the second of the Giants quarterback's career after being the first half of "The Helmet Catch" in 2008.

Big brother Peyton is not far ahead with a Super Bowl win to go with one loss.

While Peyton's future is up in the air and will be the biggest NFL story of the off-season, Eli's future with the Giants is set in stone.

Peyton missed the entire 2011 season following neck surgery.  The Indianapolis Colts became a rudderless ship that went 2-14 on the season earning them the first pick in the NFL draft.

Odds are the Colts go with every one's pick— Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

If Indy decides to go with Luck, the Colts may consider trading Peyton or not picking up his $28 million option.  The team has until March 8 to decide.

The Jets meanwhile, are coming off a disappointing 8-8 season and unnamed teammates and organization members have put most of the the blame on the youthful shoulders of QB Mark Sanchez.

While this week, head coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum said they fully support Sanchez,  it is no secret Ryan adores the Colts QB and has Peyton's former-offensive coordinator and mentor as a Jets consultant.

Peyton's dad, Archie, also said this week that his son wants to stay in Indianapolis and enjoys the life he has there.

"I don't know what's going to happen in that situation," Eli told ESPN Radio.  "I think it would be interesting to have your brother in the same city playing football together."

"Would it be fun?  I think, yeah," he said.

Eli has had to live up to Peyton his whole career and said he felt the pressure even more after being the Giants first draft pick in 2004.  He was labelled a brat for refusing to go to the San Diego Chargers.

The younger Manning was asked if the stigma of following Peyton affected his play.

"Maybe just a little bit because Peyton had a six year head start on me," he explained.  "In his second year he [Peyton] was  playing at a high level and they were playing great football, going to the playoffs... All of a sudden, people expect the little brother and the same things to happen, to have immediate success and he's going to be in the playoffs every year."

And it's not like there weren't more than a few times the comparisons and expectations had fans ready to run Eli out of town.  Even this summer— after he used the word "elite" to compare himself to Tom Brady— the laughs could be heard from Rockaway Beach to Rockaway N.J..

Now that Eli has become an NFL star in his own right, he said that both brothers sharing the biggest bedroom in the world (MetLife Stadium) could benefit each other.

"It'd be fun," he joked.  "We'd probably commute to work [together], maybe eat our lunch together... share notes on opponents, watch some film together..."

Sounds like he forgot building pillow forts in the living room.

Right now, Eli is the Manning in New York and two wins from surpassing his big brother in Super Bowl victories.

Kris Humphries Gets Annulled By Blake Griffin Then Says He's "Flopping"

Kris Humphries must miss being in the limelight of reality television because last night the New Jersey Nets forward became another poster-boy for a dunk by Blake Griffin during the Nets 101-91 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.

Griffin dominated inside the whole game and got real on Humphries with a cover-worthy left-handed dunk over the country's "Most Hated Athlete" in the second quarter.


The Clippers forward was dunking and celebrating all game and looked as happy as Kim Kardashian at a swag bag table.

The Nets stood by starstruck.

Humphries— to his credit— gave Griffin all he could handle but— in the end— Griffin gave back more.

After the game, a still steamed Humphries was asked about Griffin's play.

"What, flopping and getting a call?  He's a great player.  And they won," he said.  "What do you want me to say?"

Humphries was frustrated after picking up his sixth foul on a call favorable to the Clippers star.  It sounded like he thinks Griffin (23 points, 14 rebounds) was having his way with other Nets too.

The dunk on Humphries came right after Net DeShawn Stevenson was whistled for a flagrant foul that knocked Griffin to the floor.

"I'm not talking about fouls," Humphries said.  "He's a great player.  It's tough when you get in foul trouble and the game's going in a certain direction."

Stevenson said the Nets were only putting bodies on Griffin to keep him from dunking at will.

"I'm not trying to hurt him but at the same time, he's coming through the lane dunking," he said about the flagrant call.  "I didn't try to do anything personal, but it's a hard foul and he kept getting dunks any way so it didn't matter."

In the end, Humphries (14 points) got what is real and what isn't mixed up once again.

"It's a game of runs and we made our run and they're not a championship caliber team who can't have runs made against them," he said.


Bank Foreclosing On O.J. Simpson's Florida Home

O.J. Simpson is joining the ranks of tens of thousands of Florida homeowners who have lost their homes due to foreclosure.  The AP reports that court records in that state show that in September JP Morgan Chase filed for foreclosure on the disgraced football star's home near downtown Miami.

Unlike many of those people who have been displaced, the "Juice" still has the Big House to reside in.

Simpson, 64, is serving a 9-to-33-year prison sentence in Nevada for his armed confrontation and robbery of sports memorabilia dealers in 2007 in a Las Vegas hotel.  He bought the 4,200-square-foot Florida house in 2000 for $575,000.

The four bedroom, four-bathroom structure is currently assessed at $478,401.

The former NFL running back and actor was acquitted in 1995 in Los Angeles for the slayings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.  Simpson has been struggling financially ever since a civil jury ordered him to pay $33.5 million for the wrongful slaying of Goldman.

The Goldman's family is still trying to collect on that judgement.  They get residual payments from his movie performances in films like "The Naked Gun" series.  Chances they will ever get all of the money are slimmer than Simpson's acting skills outside of the courtroom.

The Goldman family attorney David J. Cook told AP the foreclosure is "no surprise at all."

"It was just a matter of time before he would lose the house," said Cook.

Besides the film residuals, Cook claims that Simpson made $750,000 for a ghostwritten book.

"If I Did It" reportedly sold about 150,000 copies he said.

AP says an attorney has filed to have the foreclosure procedure dismissed, but there hasn't been any action since November.

This is one foreclosure story that won't break too many hearts.

Monday, January 16, 2012

CBS Wants Tebow For Playoff Studio Show

Think you've seen the last of Tebow-time after the 45-10 thrashing of the Denver Broncos quarterback at the hands the New England Patriots?  Don't count on it.

Hoping to cash in on the Tim Tebow craze, CBS is trying to put the TV ratings-maker on television screens next Sunday even though he won't be playing in the AFC Championship game.

USA Today reports that the network has asked Tebow to appear as a guest analyst in its studio show.

"We've had conversations with his people,' said Sean McManus, CBS Sports chairman.  "We have a request in.  We haven't heard back."

CBS said they are expecting to get an answer from Tebow by mid-week.

The network may have to get on one knee and Tebow to lure in additional viewers.

The much ballyhooed rematch between Tebow and Tom Brady was, relatively, a ratings bust— probably due to the one-sided dominance by the Patriots.

While Tebow-mania was building over the past few weeks, so were the Nielson ratings until Saturday.

Early stats reported by USA Today that the audience for the Broncos-Patriots AFC divisional playoff game peaked early between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. ET, during the game's first half.  Viewers turned away as Tebow floundered and Brady helped the Patriots build up a big lead.

The blowout drew a 20.6 overnight rating, slightly behind the New Orleans Saints-San Francisco 49ers game it followed.  Still, the game was up 14% from the Green Bay Packers-Atlanta Falcons game in the same time-slot last year.

"If it [the game] had a chance to build [drama], it could have been a record rating," said McManus.  "But I'll take it."

CBS analyst— and former Broncos tight end— Shannon Sharpe said he thinks Tebow should take advantage of a national stage (pulpit?) while he can.

"The fans love this guy," said Sharpe.  "I don't know if (another player) can come in there and get an honest shake at beating him out for the starting job."

Not so fast says ESPN analyst Merril Hoge— a frequent Tebow critic.  He thinks that Tebow-mania will fade away like other trends.

"It's kind of like barbed-wire tattoos or bell bottoms.  (Tebow has been) a fad." Hoge said.

Doesn't Hoge realize that tattoos don't disappear and Jordache jeans are already making a comeback in hipster neighborhoods?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Hakeem Nicks' Helmet Catch Has A David Tyree Super Bowl Look

Hakeem Nicks incredible catch off the front of his helmet gave the New York Giants a 20-10 halftime lead over the Green Bay Packers and brought back memories of the Eli Manning to David Tyree catch that led to a Giants Super Bowl championship four years ago.

While not as dramatic as Tyree's legendary catch against the New England Patriots, Hicks'  37-yard touchdown catch was sensational because it came as time expired in the half and it looked like the Giants blundered management of the clock and a chance to put at least three more points on the scoreboard.

Instead, Manning's desperate heave-ho gave them seven more points leading the way to a resounding 37-20 win over the Packers in this NFC Divisional playoff game.


Ahmad Bradshaw got the the Giants into field goal range with a 23-yard run out-of-bounds at the 37-yard line to stop the clock with :06 left in the second quarter.  With no timeouts left, Manning went back to pass but was chased out of the pocket as the seconds ticked by.

Then with one second left— and no time left for a field goal attempt— Manning heaved the Hail Mary pass to the back of the Packers end zone.

Hicks leaped between two Packers defenders, pressed the ball to his face mask and tumbled to the ground for the score.  Time remaining on the clock— :00.

Comparisons to the Giants 2007-08 playoff run to this season have been the topic of conversation for weeks and Hicks' grab could be taken as an omen of things to come. 

Like in 2008, the Giants had to roll through frozen Lambeau Field.

The first half of this playoff battle was a back and forth affair— not unlike their Dec. 4 meeting at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants were the beneficiaries of a couple of Green Bay fumbles and had the misfortune of having one taken away on a bad call by the officials.

As the first quarter was winding down, Giants defensive back Kenny Phillips recovered what looked like a fumble after a Greg Jennings catch but it was ruled that the receiver was down.  Giants head coach Tom Coughlin challenged the ruling on the field but the call wasn't overturned. Every camera angle showed that Jennings' knee never hit the ground before the ball came loose.

The Packers continued their drive and tied the game at 10-10 on a Aaron Rodgers TD pass.

The Giants failed to score on a first-and-goal from the five yard line and kicked a field goal to make it 13-10.

The Packers hit the field to start the second half with gusto while the Giants looked flat.

A field goal at 3:50 cut New York's lead to seven, 20-13.

The Packers blew a big chance in the fourth quarter when Rodgers under-threw to a wide open Michael Finley on third down at the Giants 40-yard line, then decided to go for it on the fourth.

Rodgers was sacked and the Giants took over.

The Giants didn't get a first down in the second half until almost four minutes elapsed in the fourth quarter when Mario Manningham caught a pass and the team started to move the ball once again.

The drive stalled and Lawrence Tynes narrowly put the ball inside the uprights on a 35-yard field goal to increase the lead to 23-13 with 7:48 left.

A third Packers fumble by Ryan Grant was picked up and returned by Chase Blackburn to the Green Bay 4-yard line.  On the next play Manning threw his third TD pass of the day— hitting Manningham crossing the back of the end zone.

Giants lead 30-13 with 6:48 to go in the game.

Rodgers couldn't complete a crucial third down play but a phantom "blow to the head" personal foul was called on the Giants Matthias Kiwanuka for knocking the Packers QB down.  The call gave Green Bay new life but the clock was slowing ticking down.

The second bogus call of the day against the Giants would lead to another Green bay touchdown.

Rodgers hit Donald Driver with a 16-yard TD pass with 4:46 on the clock to narrow the Packers deficit to ten, 30-20.

A second failed Packers onside kick was pounced on by Victor Cruz and left the Giants at mid-field.

Manning hit Cruz on a critical third-and-long to essentially lay the Packers to rest followed by a big run by Bradshaw to the Green Bay 10-yard line which closed the lid on the Packers coffin.

Brandon Jacobs rumbled into the end zone to make it 37-20 and put the final nail in the Packers season.
Next week, the Giants go to San Francisco to face the 49ers in the NFC Championship game.  The last time the two teams played each other in the playoffs was 2003.  The Giants lost, 39-38, on a botched Giants play that will forever be remembered as "The Snap."

If the Giants keep rolling along like they have, maybe the Hicks catch is a sign of things to come.

Right now, Giants fans would rather be reminded of "The Catch."

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lamar Odom Got Lap Dance From "Khloe Look-a-Like"

Lamar Odom was spotted partying at a Washington, D.C. strip club and reportedly spent hundreds of dollars during the night— including a lap dance from a woman who resembled his wife Khloe— reports the New York Post.

The Dallas Mavericks star was seen at the club Sunday night with two teammates the night before the Mavericks were to be honored by President Obama at The White House for winning the 2011 NBA Championship, according to Page Six.

A representative for Odom, the husband of reality star Khloe Kardashian for two years, told the New York Post that the NBA star was at the Stadium strip club, but no one in his group received any private or public dances from any of the girls.

But sources, according to the Post, told Radar Online that Odom was seen spending hundreds of dollars on several lap dances— including some from a "Khloe look-a-like."

I know being a Kardashian look-a-like in strip clubs is all the rage these days but, a Khloe replica strutting her stuff is a lot of woman anywhere.

If Odom wants to keep his club escapades more discreet, he might try not getting lap dances from 6-foot strippers with Dwight Howard-sized shoulders.

I wonder if Kris Humphries looks for Kim K wannabes. Too soon?