So much I want to blog about today, so little time: My red-hot New York Rangers keep rolling, beating the hell out of the hated Penguins Sunday; Duke bounced back with a huge win over Louisville, this North Korea/NSA spying thing just keeps getting stranger and stranger, another famous athlete got busted for prostitution and I can’t understand why they do it. (more on that one in Wednesday’s blog) … but we start where I must start: Championship Sunday in the NFL.
And the last five minutes of regulation/overtime of the Seahawks-Packers game, which was as bananas as anything I’ve seen in the NFL in a long, long time. To recap: Packers dominated the game but kept kicking field goals instead of scoring TD’s, Russell Wilson playing as bad a football game as he ever has, Seattle down 19-7 with five minutes to go… and they score three touchdowns, the last one in OT, to win and go back to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
Epic, epic collapse by the Packers. You can blame the dude who fumbled the onside kick all you want, but the Green Bay defense melted like wax paper those last few drives.
From getting no pressure on Wilson, to not being able to cover the mediocre Hawks’ receivers, to Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (yes that’s really his name) not knocking down the 2-point conversion that put Seattle up 22-19 (thus making the Packers’ field goal at the end of regulation a tying kick, not a winning kick), there’s plenty of blame to go around.
Hell, Seattle needed a fake field goal TD just to get on the scoreboard through 3 1/2 quarters, and they still found a way to win.
Russell Wilson can play for me anytime. What a player. I’m sick for the Packers fans this morning; thank God it’s a national holiday and those people don’t have to call in sick; they can mourn at home.
As for the other game … yeah, that was predictable. Andrew Luck may be great someday, but he needs a running game, a defense with a pass rush, and a lot more seasoning to be able to win a game like that up in New England. That was an annhilation, plain and simple, and now pretty boy Tom Brady and Coach Hoodie and a guy who should’ve been a Jet forever, Darrelle Revis, get to play in another Super Bowl (yes, I’m bitter about Revis.)
Should be a hell of a game. Big stars, great storylines, two very even teams … can’t wait till Feb. 1.
**Next up, the great sportswriter/social commentator Dave Zirin wrote a terrific column for Martin Luther King Jr. Day today, about the unlikely friendship in the 1960s between Dr. King and Muhammad Ali.
Despite both being rabble-rousers with millions of followers, they were quite different in temperment and in their beliefs, with Ali favoring Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam’s way of achieving racial equality. But in the mid-60s Ali and King grew to respect and appreciate each other, and even develop a close friendship.
Zirin is excellent at these kinds of stories; highly recommend reading this slice of history.
**And finally today, this made me laugh and shake my head at the world we live in.
From the lede to a Washington Post story the other day (hat tip to Bruce Arthur’s Twitter feed for the heads up):
A Malaysian defense contractor pleaded guilty Thursday in a corruption scandal of epic proportions, admitting that he bribed “scores” of U.S. Navy officials with $500,000 in cash, six figures’ worth of sex from prostitutes, lavish hotel stays, spa treatments, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef, Spanish suckling pigs and an array of other luxury goods.
“That’s right sir, the money and cigars are great, but can you get me any suckling pigs? Because that’s what will REALLY make me give your company this contract. I wanna hear these pigs loud and clear, you understand me????”
The story is actually wild and fascinating the largest bribery case in Navy history; but I had trouble getting past the suckling pigs part.