The NHL playoffs are happening and going pretty quick but lasting very long. In the opening round half of the matchups went 6 games and none had to go to a Game 7, however there were 18 overtime game in this single round of the playoffs. So we are now on to Round 2, starting on Wednesday/Thursday. Of the five Canadian teams that were in the playoffs two have advanced to this round one in the East and one in the West. So there is a small chance that there could be an all Canada Stanley Cup final, however unlikely that seems to be.
Over in the West we’ve got the St. Louis Blues facing off against the Nashville Predators and the Anaheim Ducks squaring off against the Edmonton Oilers. The Predators are on a hot streak after shocking the world by sweeping the top seeded Chicago Blackhawks, this was the first time that an 8 seed swept a 1-seed. It should be an exciting series to watch. Out on the West Coast Anaheim is coming off a sweep but Edmonton is hoping to regain the glories of the 80s. Nashville and Edmonton both won the season series against their respective teams and that last time Edmonton faced Anaheim in the playoffs the Oilers advanced.
In the East there is the most hyped series which is the two best teams in hockey facing off and they happen to be bitter rivals. The Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins are playing a rematch from last year’s second round and hopefully the results are different this time around. During the season they split the four games between them so it will be a tough one. The other game between the NY Rangers and the Ottawa Senators this could be a great matchup but who really knows. Since it seems like it will be the Caps or Pens playing the Rangers for the Eastern Conference title in the next round.
The Patriots’s revenge tour is over. They won the Super Bowl, now if they can only shut up about how great Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. Sure they play a relatively easy schedule this year and Brady played 4 less games so he was well rested I sure hope that someone other than New England in the AFC gets to the Super Bowl next year as they’ve been in 9 Super Bowl games since 2000 and have won five. It almost looked like the Falcons were going to win but clearly the NFL wanted to make up to New England for the whole deflate-gate thing. Anyway you put it the Patriots have been labeled cheaters several times in the past and nothing can really change that to the general public, sure the folks in New England will adore them even more as most of them have forgotten or weren’t a fan during those year where they were a horrible team. It will be interesting to see what happens to them when Brady or Belichick retire and they have to find a new QB/head coach to take over.
The commercials were pretty weak this year, and Lady Gaga’s halftime show was fun. It was nice that it was only her as the previous years they’ve always had special guests showing up at some time during the performance.
Yes, you read that right we are back to Roman Numerals for Super Bowl numbering. This year we have Tom Brady and the New England Patriots going into like their tenth (it’s only been seven) Super Bowl this century. This is the Patriots 9th Super Bowl and they have split their previous appearances last winning in 2014. Tom Brady is looking for Super Bowl ring number 5 and Super Bowl MVP number 4. On the other side of the field we have the Atlanta Falcons in their first Super
Bowl since XXXIII, when they lost to John Elway in his final game. I and most of America would love to see Atlanta win for their first time. Sure the odds are stacked against them, however the Patriots are only favored by 3 points. Atlanta has done a lot of scoring during the season and my only hope is that that game is competitive and not a blow out since that just make the game harder to watch. The game is on Sunday and Lady Gaga doing the Halftime show. It’s on FOX so we’ve got Joe Buck and Troy Aikman doing commentary.
This Sunday we have the big games the ones that matter and once again they are rematches from earlier in the season.
In the NFC we have the Packers traveling to Atlanta once again this time hoping to avenge an earlier loss where the Falcons squeaked by with a point win. This will be the last game ever played at the Georgia Dome as their new Stadium will open in July, so emotions will be high in Atlanta. The Falcons have the high powered offense, while the Packers have Aaron Rogers who seems to do just about anything. Over in the AFC we’ve got the Steelers traveling to New England now the week 7 game which the Patriots won was a long time ago and Big Ben wasn’t playing . This will only be the ninth meeting between Brady and Big Ben. This will be a challenge for New England as they face a team that has a chance to beat them, but also for Pittsburgh as they will need to score more than field goals to win.
It seems likely that both of these will be a good games whoever win. As for my picks it would be wonderful if Atlanta could make it to the Super Bowl for the second time and this time win, or the Packers and Aaron Rodgers taking home a second Super Bowl Title, or Pittsburgh bringing back another championship bringing their total to 7. In the NFC I’d call it a toss up as to who will win the game but over in the AFC since it’s a New England home game they have the slight advantage added to the fact they they been in every AFC Championship game since the 2011-12 season however they have only won two of those game so perhaps Pittsburgh should have the advantage. Vegas odd currently have Patriots by 5.5 and Atlanta by 4.
This weekend the NFL reaches the Divisional round in the playoffs and all the teams who had a bye last week play this week. This year all these Divisional games are rematches from earlier in the season.
The weekend starts off with Seattle traveling to Atlanta where they will try to sneak by the Falcons once again. However, the set up is reversed Seattle will be traveling to Atlanta and Atlanta will be coming off a bye week. This was a close game during the regular season with Seattle falling behind only to come back and win by two. Saturday night we have New England who will beat the Texans again, this was a shutout in week 3 when New England was forced to use a third stringer QB, as Brady was out with his suspension, and his replacement was out with a concussion. Will the Texans has a shot to score any points or will it be another shutout?
Sunday begins with The Steelers going to Kansas City, now Kansas City hasn’t fared well in the playoffs as of late, sure they beat the Texans last year but the Texans were a mess at QB where they used three interchangeably. This seems like to be another year where the brand name teams will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Later that afternoon we will have the most compelling, exciting game of the weekend as Green Bay travels to Dallas to take on the Cowboys. During the regular season the Cowboys outplayed the Packers but Green Bay has been on a winning streak as of late and they are the hot team entering the game.
As it looks right now the Steelers and Patriots will be playing in the AFC Championship game, and the NFC is up in the air I am hoping that Green Bay and Seattle can will so there is a chance for some snow in during the Championship game.
This upcoming weekend is jam packed with football at both college and professional levels. As we have the FCS Championship game, four Wild Card games and then the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the FBS Championship game.
Saturday at Noon we have James Madison taking on Youngstown State, this seems to be an exciting game since North Dakota State, the five time reigning champions, will not be playing in the Championship game. JMU has blow out most of it’s competition this year in the playoffs while Youngstown has had several close games. If you have some spare time on Saturday this will be the game to watch as the NFL playoffs slate on Saturday afternoon doesn’t seem watchable. As we will have a rookie quarterback in Connor Cook and the Raiders taking on a Texans team who they faced in the regular season, a game in which the Raiders won. On the other side we have the Lions playing in Seattle as they sort of just fell into the playoffs this year and it’s doubtful if the visitors will get out of this round.
On Sunday we have a couple of better games the biggest is the Giants and Green Bay where while they are playing at the frozen tundra this was the same place where they beat the Packers on their way to win their most recent NFL Championships, although it seem it might not happen this year with the Packers being a hot team having won their past 6 games and the Giants haven’t scored 20 points since about that same time. It will be the most compelling game on Sunday as it seems like Pittsburgh will easily beat the Dolphins .
Finally, on Monday the biggest college football game of the year will take place and we will watch the same two teams from last year battle it out for the Championship. This year Alabama and Clemson are playing the game and I sure hope that Alabama will finally lose a Championship game and we will see them play in a close game for the first time this season since the Ole Miss game. Clemson will be playing for only it’s second football National title. It would be great for college football either way I guess. Nick Saban only needs another National championship to tie Bear Bryant for the most Championships by a coach. However, it’s getting to the point of the UConn women’s basketball team where we all know that they will be playing in the Championship game just because.
History has happened after a very long time we finally have a Championship title for the Chicago Cubs it has been 108 years. Raise the White Flag. It was a well played game on both sides who would have thought we’d get a tied game in the ninth, a rain delay and extra innings baseball. It was fitting for the gravity of this game. Come April 3(10), 2017 the Anno Catulorum “In the Year of the Cubs” will read AC000000 for the first time ever. It was a tremendous game and a wonderful game for all involved it looked like the Cubs had it wrapped up early but Cleveland put up a fight and evened it up. The game was a nail biter for sure and it seemed like it might not end this way or even go longer as in the bottom of the tenth, after the Cubs went up two runs in the top, Cleveland had the winning run up at bat but grounded out to end the game. This result is the opposite of what happened in the NBA Championship where Cleveland came back from a 3-1 deficit. The best part of this is that both team seems to have a young core that if they stay healthy can be dominate for years to come. Already, the Cubs are favorites to win the series in 2017. Opening day is only in a short five months away can I am sure that fans can’t wait for baseball to start again.
This Tuesday begins a match up a half-century in the making as the Chicago Cubs will be playing in the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945 against the Cleveland Indians who hope to win for the first time since 1948. These are the two longest droughts in Major League Baseball (besides Washington which although hasn’t been since like ’33 didn’t have baseball for 30-something years) So by and large the Cubs are the Favorites and everyone is saying it is their year finally. Looking back over the year The Cubs went 15-5 against AL teams while Cleveland went 13-7 against NL teams yet just looking at this makes it rather difficult pick as they did not face each other at all this season in interleague play. The rematch will take place in 2018 at the earliest going by the existing scheduling rules when the same division face off between leagues.
The game is set and Tuesday can’t come soon enough for many fans. Either way this series goes it will be historic with an end to a historic World Series drought or the most improbable playoff upset since June when the record setting 73 win Golden State Warriors lost to the Cleveland Cavilers in seven games. Finally the and games will be broadcast on over the air network, FOX. I really hope that Chicago can win out this year.
Well the Divisional round is finally over and before we have time to catch our breath the ALCS and NLCS are about to begin. The best thing is that whoever win will blue and white will win the day, also who ever make it to the World Series will breaking long droughts in ranging from 22 to 107 years.
In the American League it was pretty quick with the Toronto Blue Jays as well as the Cleveland Indians swept the series. The Blue Jays made easy work of the Texas Rangers and Cleveland bid the Red Sox a quick exit. So, Toronto will face Cleveland with Cleveland being the higher seed Toronto play in the ALCS last year where they lost to the Royals. This year the Indians won the season series 4-3. They have never met in the Postseason but the basketball teams in their respective cities met in NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Could this be the year for Cleveland to win in Baseball for the first time since 1948, the city has already won quite a bit this year. I think that Toronto will have the best chance to get through this series as they played in it last year and
In the National League it took a little longer to see who would make the Championship series. The Chicago Cubs are back in the Championship game with hopes of making their way to the World Series, they overcome the legacy of the San Francisco Giants who had won every World Series in an even year this decade. The Los Angeles Dodgers barely survived the Washington Nationals to get the chance to make it to the Championship they were last there in 2013 and no one is expecting them to advance. Washington once again failed to make it out of the first round a common thread in DC sports over the past decade. Anyway it seems only logical that the well rested Cubs will have the upper hand in this upcoming series.
Now that the Wild Card games are over we know who all the teams in this round are. Congratulation go to the Blue Jays and Giants for making their way out of the Wild Card games. The Giants hope that history can repeat itself and they can come home with another title after winning the Wild Card game. Now in past years the winners of these games have done fairly well especially in the National League.
The American League kick off the Division series this afternoon with the Toronto Blue Jays traveling to play the Texas Rangers. Over the season it was pretty close with Toronto winning four of the seven games they played. So it could be anyone’s game to win, but I’m thinking the Rangers might have a better chance to come out on top. Later on in the day the Boston Red Sox will host the Cleveland Indians. During the season Boston had their way with Cleveland taking four of the six game from them. It’s David Ortiz’s final postseason so it seems likely that his teammate will want him to go out on top. Both team will play again at the early times on Friday. I hope that the ALCS ends up as Rangers playing the Red Sox
In the National League play begins on Friday afternoon with the Washington Nationals hosting the LA Dodgers. This isn’t that great news for the Nationals as during the season they only managed to win a game against the Dodgers but those games were back in July. Kershaw hasn’t really been great in the Postseason either. I am pulling for my Nationals to make it out of the Division series for the first time in history. The late game on Friday in the Chicago Cubs playing the San Francisco Giants. Everyone one has been predicting that this is the Cubs year but this is going to be a tough series and should help whomever comes out of the Nationals/Dodgers in the next round. The Giants hope to once again win a World Series Title in an even numbered year. The Cubs haven’t won in a century. I’m hoping that it’s the Cubs playing that Nationals for the NLCS.