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Monday, November 21, 2011

Sportaholic Weekend Run Down 11/21/11

This has to be one of the best weekends in a long time for sport heads like myself. You had two championship decided as Tony Stewart took down Carl Edwards in what some are calling the best Nascar championship ever. Stewart won 5 races out of 10 “The Chase”, Nascar’s equivalent to the playoffs. Next it was soccer’s turn as Major League Soccer crowned its champion in the L.A. Galaxy featuring soccer superstars David Beckham and Landon Donavan. Two championships in one week is nothing but gravy on top of an already chaotic football slate. The BCS has officially been turned on its head as 3 of the top 5 lost for the first time since 2008 as Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Oregon went down fighting this weekend. In the NFL, another big time QB suffered what appears to be a season ending injury. Just another weekend packed full of turns and twists in the world of sports.

Tony Stewart steals Sprint Cup from Carl Edwards: This season all but verified the much maligned “Chase for the Cup” in my opinion. Tony Stewart was considered nothing more but after thought at the beginning as favorites Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards was what the pundits had predicted. Stewart had other ideas as he opened the chase with a win at Chicagoland another the next week and three more at Martinsville, Texas and finally Homestead. Had it not been for Edwards consistency, as he never finished lower than 9th other than Martinsville 11th place finish, Stewart would have ran away with this one. The two battled hard all day but as all Edwards had to do was take the lead during the last 50 laps of the race but Stewart was unrelenting and would never give up the lead to Edwards. The two finished with the same identical points amount but Stewart won the tie-breaker by wins as he had 5 to Edwards 1. Great way to end the year by the boys in Nascar. I know my writing colleague Amanda Vincent will get a kick out of my Nascar coverage.

L.A. Galaxy win the MLS Cup: Five years ago the Galaxy made a move that gave soccer some momentum here in the states. They went and signed English superstar David Beckham and welcomed him and wife to L.A. They teamed him with the best US player, Landon Donovan and everyone expected them to begin a dynasty in the city of angels. Five years later and this is the first and maybe the last championship for the duo. The Galaxy would able to take the cup on the strength of Donovan’s goal that gave them a 1-0 lead in the 72nd minute that they would never relinquish Hopefully, this isn’t the last of this team as Beckham’s contract is due to expire at the end of this year. Soccer in America finally has a marquee team and L.A has their first soccer championship.

Jay Cutler breaks thumb on throwing hand: The collective groan you just hear is from the entire city of Chicago. Just when it seemed the Cutler and the Bears had it all together, the injury bug rears its ugly head. The former pro bowl QB has been confirmed to have suffered a broken thumb on his throwing hand. Cutler had just posted 286 yards passing and two touchdown passes to lead the Bears over San Diego and overall to their fifth straight win. This is a major blow to the “Monsters of the Midway” as they were in prime position to at least make a run at the wild card in the NFC. The Packers are 3 games ahead of them in the division so it would hard for Chicago to catch with or without their QB. Cutler was enjoying his best year since joining the Bears in 2009. His 231.9 passing yards per game were the most since the trade and he had cut down on his turnovers as he has only thrown 7 interceptions this year. This is a big blow to a team that isn’t getting any younger. The Bears will have to go with back up Caleb Haynie in the meantime and hope Cutler can make it back when the playoffs begin. That if they are able to make it without him.

BCS turned upside down: The SEC now represents the top three teams in the latest standings as LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas flex the SEC’s muscle. The change up top came as Oklahoma St. lost to Iowa St., Oregon lost to USC, and Oklahoma lost to Baylor. This becomes a worst case scenario for all those who love the BCS (I haven’t met many) as now there is an entire brigade of 1-loss teams that have claim at the top spot. Bama reclaims the top spot and as crazy as it sounds could find itself in the BCS championship game without winning its own conference. LSU and Arkansas play this weekend in what will become another behemoth de facto game as the winner will determine who represents the SEC West in the SEC championship game. The upsets had to be expected as each year it seems a team on the verge on playing in the championship game goes down in dramatic fashion. Who knows who will make it in this year, but it always fun to watch the teams battle all the way to the finish line.

Great game from Tennessee and Vanderbilt: Being from Tennessee, its always a fun mini-rivalry game between the two SEC schools. Tennessee dominates the series and that’s why I can’t give full rivalry status. This last game they played might go down in history as one of the best. Vandy’s Jordan Rodgers had three costly turnovers and the final miscue cost the Commodores the game as Eric Gordon’s interception and 90 yard-return sealed the game for the Vols. Tyler Bray came back from injury to throw for 189 yards and two touchdowns. Tauren Poole was the difference maker in my opinion as he topped the century mark going for 110 yards and helping Tennessee control the line of scrimmage. The Commodores could have won this had it not been all of the turnovers. The Dores have lost close game to Florida, Georgia, and now arch enemy Tennessee. Great game by both counterparts and this one should make everyone for next years rematch.

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