Edition 12.16.13

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NBA

After a struggling week for the LA Lakers, they broke a three game losing streak and beat the Charlotte BobcatsKobe Bryant finished the game with 21 points in one of his strongest performances since returning to the team.

The Boston Celtics continue their surprisingly strong start to the NBA season and currently lead the Atlantic Division. Even better news came from Coach Brad Stevens this week, who announced that star point guard Rajon Rondo would likely be back on the court by early 2014. Rondo has been recovering from a torn ACL injury from last season.

The Portland Trailblazers have taken the lead in the west. After an impressive performance against the Philadelphia 76ers, a win where they dropped 21 3-pointers, the Trailblazers sit atop of the Western Conference Standings.

On the Eastern Conference side, the Indiana Pacers not only remain on top of the standings, but also have the best record in the entire league. After beating the Miami Heat this past week at home, look for a great rematch this week when the Pacers travel to Miami on Wednesday.

NFL 

Drama continues to run strong in the nation’s capital. Coach Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins announced earlier this week that Kirk Cousins would be starting in place of Robert Griffin III in their game against the Atlanta Falcons.  They lost the game on Sunday.  Expect more drama in upcoming weeks…

A lot can change in a week. After two dominating performances in week 14, both the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos lost in week 15. Denver fell on Thursday night to the San Diego Chargers while the Pats lost to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Both look to bounce back next week when the Broncos face theHouston Texans and the Patriots face the Baltimore Ravens.

Speaking of the Baltimore Ravens. They face the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football. Coming off three straight wins, the Ravens look to continue their winning streak all the way to the playoffs.

COLLEGE SPORTS

Jameis Winston of the Florida State Seminoles won the top award in college football, the Heisman Trophy, this Saturday. The star quarterback, who has faced quite a bit of controversy lately, won in a landslide and becomes the second straight freshman to win the award. He looks to lead his top ranked team to a national championship when they face the Auburn Tigers on January 6th.

The UNC Tar Heels look like they might have found themselves. After a confusing start to the season that included big wins against strong teams and bad losses against weak teams, the Tar Heels looked very impressive in a win against the Kentucky Wildcats at home. Will this consistency last? That’s the key question for this young team.

UT-Austin football Coach Mack Brown resigned as head coach of the program after holding the position for 16 years. No new head coach has been named just yet, but it won’t be Nick Saban. He signed an extension to remain as the head coach at University of Alabama on Friday.

JUST FOR FUN

Best Sports Photos of 2013, courtesy of Buzzfeed.
This 43-photo list covers every single emotion any athlete or fan has ever felt

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Big Bird Takes on the 2014 Olympics
Sesame Street partners with the United States Olympic Committee
Sport and Sesame Street share ideals such as healthy habits and sportsmanship and are looking to spread their message together

Let’s Hear it for the Ladies!
espnW’s 10 female athletes who made the biggest impact in 2013
Read their stories to find out more about how these inspirational women influenced change

Faith + a love for basketball = college basketball’s most versatile player
Jabari Parker, a student both on and off the court
Duke’s Jabari Parker attributes his success to watching great players and staying true to his family

FRIENDS WE LOVE WHO WILL MAKE YOU LOVE SPORTS MORE

Alison Levine, an explorer who has accomplished the Adventure Grand Slam (scaling the highest peak on every continent and skiing to both the North Pole and the South Pole) shares leadership lessons in her new book, “On the Edge. Her WSJ interview here

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