Today is Hockey Day in Canada, the once yearly day when all six Canadian NHL teams play other Canadian teams, and when the CBC, the NHL broadcaster in Canada, shows all of the games and makes a big deal of it. It’s a made-for-TV event, but one that works reasonably well. Unfortunately, this game also represents an all-time low in a once-great rivalry.

Continue reading “A Messy, Pointless Battle”

News of note as we head into an uncharacteristically slow weekend of sporting action:

Minnesota Vikings’ fans are not going to be happy. The NFL has admitted today that the play in which Favre hurt his ankle in the third quarter was called incorrectly. Favre threw an interception on the play, though New Orleans didn’t score on the subsequent play. The league has now said that the play should have resulted in a penalty because Favre was hit from behind, and that the Vikings should have had a first down on the New Orleans 19. At the very least, then, they would have wound up with a field goal, and that would have made all the difference. Though I don’t disagree with what the league said, I really have to wonder why they bother saying anything now – unless they have interest in driving Minnesota fans insane.

Continue reading “Friday Notes”

I spend a lot of time on the Internet. A lot of time. Probably too much time. While I am spending a lot of time reading about sports, I also spend a fair bit of time looking around for good resources to learn about sports betting. As you probably know if you have looked for information for yourself, there is a lot of crap out there. Sports betting seems to attract a lot of people who are just interesting in duping people with scams, ridiculous offers, and horrible advice. If you look around, though, there is some good information to be found. Here’s a couple of things that are definitely worth a look:

Continue reading “Trolling The Internets”

There is a whole lot going on out there today, so we’ll quickly touch on a bunch of them:

1. Roger Federer – Federer closed strong last night to make the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Win or lose, it is the 23rd consecutive Grand Slam he has made at least the semi’s in. Just think about how stunning that is for a second – there are only four Grand Slams a year, so for almost six years in a row Federer has finished at least in the top four of the hardest, deepest tournaments in the year. That’s on three different types of surfaces as well, and they are spread out over eight months. I dare you to name another current athlete that has been that consistently dominant for that long. There isn’t one.

Continue reading “Wednesday Notes – Lots Going On”

There are some funny stories in the news today if you are a sports geek – and if you read sites like this then you are a sports geek.

1. Hue Jackson, Baltimore’s quarterback coach last year, has skipped an interview to become the offensive coordinator of the Bears to instead take the job with the Raiders. Why is this funny? Well, when Jay Cutler joined the Bears last year it was talked about like automatic Super Bowls had been given to the Bears. Now, just one disastrous year later, a coach would rather work with the worst drafted quarterback in recent memory on a team that is an absolute disaster in every way with a head coach who punches out his assistants than take over the job of guiding Cutler and his offense. Ouch. The funniest part is that it really isn’t a bad decision. Sucks to be a Bears fan right now.

Continue reading “Funny Stuff”

Glen Davis says that he doesn’t want to be called Big Baby anymore. Instead, in honor to both his jersey and a certain Cincinnati wide receiver, he wants to be known as Uno Uno. I think he is missing out on one part in the whole issue – that he is a big baby. Davis was a beast in college, and promising at times in the pros, but he really doesn’t seem to have the mental makeup or brain power to stay calm and out of trouble these days.

Continue reading “Monday’s Random Notes”

Five questions I have been asking myself about each of today’s games:

Jets (+7.5) at Colts

1. Will Sanchez’ weak play be a liability? I think that underwhelming play from Sanchez is a given – he hasn’t been particularly good in a long, long time. So far in the playoffs the coaching staff has been able to plan around is deficiencies. Can they keep that up?

Continue reading “Questioning the NFL Championship games”

I’m watching figure skating right now. My wife is a big fan, so I have to watch far more than my share of the sport each winter. It only barely interests me, but as I watch today I can’t help but think about the betting opportunities that the Olympics bring up. Figure skating is not usually one of the sports you can bet on because it’s judged, but there are plenty of things that we can bet on, and lots of odds that are posted already. Here’s a look at three of the interesting betting storylines at this point leading up to the start of the Olympics on February 12:

Lindsey Vonn
– If you don’t spend a lot of time following skiing, let me make this simple for you – Lindsey Vonn is the Tiger Woods of skiing without all the mistresses. There have been five World Cup downhills for women so far this year. Vonn has won all five of them. She is so much better than the rest of the field right now that it is almost ridiculous. Pinnacle has Vonn at -125 to win the gold medal in the downhill, and the rest of the field at +107. She also has three wins in Super G this year, and is heavily favored to win that one as well, though not by as much – she is +156 and no one else is better than +666. The trick in handicapping the women’s skiing, then, comes down to just one decision – are you with her or against her?

– I’m a Canadian. For the last year (or more) all you can hear about in the sports media up here is the Olympic hockey tournament – who will be on the team, who will be captain, can we erase the embarrassment of finishing 7th last time out? It’s endless and monotonous, but I couldn’t possibly overstate the importance to Canada of winning the gold on home soil. They are heavily favored to do so +130 at Pinnacle. The book basically has it as a two team tourney – Russia is at +260, and Sweden is way back at +698. That’s how it should turn out as well. Canada has ridiculous depth – with the possible exception of a goalie, the country could field a second team that would be a very legitimate medal threat. Goaltending is a bit of a concern in my eyes, though. So is the fact that it all just comes down to one game, and Russia has three of the four most talented offensive players in the tournament – Ovechkin, Malkin, and Kovalchuk (Crosby is the fourth). If he gold medal were a best of seven affair the Canada would win it most of the time. In a single game anything can happen.

– After hockey the medal that means most to the host Canadians is the men’s curling. Canada is the world’s curling power, and we take pride in that. This tournament is, like the hockey, shaping up to be a two team tourney if things stay close to form. Kevin Martin is the skip of Canada’s team and probably the world’s best curler right now. He is at -140 at 5Dimes to win the gold. The second choice at +375 is perhaps the hottest curler in the world right now – Great Britain’s David Murdoch. Murdoch spends a lot of his time curling and training in Canada, and he recently became the first non-Canadian to win the prestigious TSN Skins Game. Martin and Murdoch have an intense rivalry – the Canadian beat the Scot in the finals of the 2008 World Championships, and the Scot turned the tables in 2009. It’s a tight contest every time they play, and either team could win, so while my heart will be with Martin, my head says that Murdoch represents far better value.

I’m not sure that I have seen a player as desperate to get rid of a decent player as the Angels were with Gary Matthews Jr. today. Matthews had two years and $23 million left on his deal. He hasn’t lit the world on fire at the plate in the last three years with the Angels, but he is a very solid defensive player and he is sound at the plate. In other words, though he’s no all-star he’s not exactly a handicap either. Despite that, the Angels not only sent hm to the Mets for a journeyman middle reliever, but they also agreed to pay $21.5 million of the remaining contract. So, the Mets get a very solid platoon outfielder – especially since they aren’t going to have Carlos Beltran for at least a month – and it cost them practically nothing. On the other hand, the Angels are saving a lousy $1.5 million, and they lose outfield depth for it. Terrible deal, but that’s fitting for the offseason that the Angels have had. Wow, this has not been their winter.

Continue reading “Friday Notes”

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