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Monday, November 29, 2010

Man U walks through an open door and now the Blues and Gunners must play catchup

It may seem like a long season in calendar months but in regards to number of games as compared to other major sports around the world, particularly in the US where a losing streak still has time to be tuned into a positive, but in a 38-game season a three losses is close to 10% of your entire year. In that regard Chelsea and Arsenal have both left the door open and Manchester United was more than willing to walk right through and take early control of the EPL. Injuries have simply devastated the Blues whom have fallen from their first place perch for the first time with three losses in their last five matches. Losing Essien, Lampard, and captain fantastic (Terry), have forced them to stumble and they will not only need them to return but without any ‘growing pains’ for the club as they will need to make up ground on a side that is yet to lose so far this year. Meanwhile Sir Alex and the Gunners have also tasted defeat as of late, dropping two of their last five matches to Spurs and Newcastle, and now find themselves also two points back and hope that Eboue’s return has come quickly enough to make up the points. The question is are these concerns much ado about nothing with the season not quite half over? Perhaps, and rest assured all eyes will be focused on several December battles to close the calendar year starting with the 13th when Man U host Arsenal, December 19th when Man U pays a visit to Stamford Bridge, the 27th when the Blues go on the road to Emirates. After the steamers come down on January 1, we’ll have more of a vivid picture on how much of an advantage United gained as a result of the early season stumbles, and if these worries were really much ado about nothing. Do you think Man U’s early advantage makes a big difference in the big picture? Let us know here and in the other soccer chat rooms and blogs.

View the Complete EPL Standings and up to the minute betting lines here.

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Hendrick does it with their heads while Johnson did it with his foot

Jimmie Johnson is quickly becoming the Yankees, Lakers, and Steelers all in one as he hoisted his unprecedented fifth Sprint Cup championship on Sunday with a second place finish at Homestead. Carl Edwards lead from almost start to finish, starting in 2nd position and leading for 190 laps for his second straight win following last week’s win in Phoenix. Johnson’s finish was more than enough to hold on to the points lead and the championship by a final margin of 39 points. What may get lost in the all the pomp and circumstance is the tough decision made by the crew chief to change the pit crews with the 24 team with two races to go, which by Johnson’s own admission was the difference maker, specifically in Sunday’s final race. One could say that for drivers who had to make up some ground, Kevin Harvick’s and Denny Hamlin’s problems exponentially increased with a poor time trial starting them well back in the pack at 28 and 37 respectively in a race where four of the top six finishers started the race within 4 places of where they began, and based on recent Homestead history, it often works that way so perhaps Harvick and Hamlin should have been more aggressive in the beginning rather than hoping for circumstance to create an opportunity for them. In retrospect it does appear that regardless of their efforts Johnson was a man of destiny and determination from the moment the flag dropped to start the season, and in addition to his performance on the track, the Hendrick team displayed their intellectual prowess as well making tough decisions in the late innings if you that made the difference and self admittedly bridged the gap between time lost on the track with time saved in the pit, and it turned out to be more than just a feather in the cap of Hendrick Motor Sports, it was a Championship Trophy as well.
Get the Homestead Final Results and stats here.
View the Final Sprint Cup standings here.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Enough of the undercards, Floyd – Manny let’s get it on

I can appreciate excellence as much as anyone and it is simply a joy to watch Manny Pacquiao operate as he dissects opponents one after the other en route to an unprecedented eight titles. Not since the days of Sugar Ray Leonard has someone at that weight generated as much of a following and become the biggest draw regardless of weight class. However Ray Leonard did have his ‘mega fights’ that still decades later have transcended the sport and now it’s time for Manny to have his. Leonard faced Hearns, then Hagler (with one eye) , Ali fought..well everyone, and while beating up on fighters that might be quality in their own right but not world class might make you great, it doesn’t make for an all-time champion and that would go double for Pretty Boy Floyd. Finishing unbeaten is amazing and there’s no doubt about that but it’s about time you face the best in the business as all other before you have. As a member of the general public and press I think I can speak intelligently for both parties when I say the census is that this isn’t about money and one of the two doesn’t want to lose what he has, and I’m leaning toward Floyd. Requesting drug test when nothing seems to warrant them is similar to starting fights at the weigh-in, hoping to get a disqualification of delay, just like biting an ear during a fight does. I still loved watch you fight but when you came back you wanted nothing to do with Hollyfield or Lennox and it was poignantly obvious. So Floyd if that’s the case then own it and stop blaming everyone from the Pac-man camp, to drug testers, to Michael Buffer and let us know that this is not going to happen so we all can move on. The stock of the “fight of the century” is dropping slowly and the window is closing so you’ve got about six months to make this happen or we might as well file it as the best that never was and you both can move on to your post boxing avocations. We know what the Congressman will be doing, but you still want to be a player in the fight promotion game then what better catalyst than your own mega fight? Just one more attempt at getting you to sign the bottom line and get back in the ring where you belong and where we all want to see you. Do you think the ‘fight of the century’ will ever happen? Let us know here and in any of the quick links.

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