12.1.14: Hello December

So it’s December…how did that happen? We don’t know either but we do know this: Gabrielle Union crashing husband Dwyane Wade’s post game interview was pretty awesome. So there’s that!

 

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Let’s give them something to talk about? Yeah, the NFL sure did that this weekend alright. Drew Brees threw 5 touchdowns as his New Orleans Saints defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in a close 35-32 game, the Atlanta Falcons knocked off the Arizona Cardinals 29-18 to stayed tied for first in the NFC South, the St. Louis Rams cruised past the Oakland Raiders 52-0, and the Denver Broncos seemed to have no worries in their 29-16 win over the Kansas City Chiefs while the Green Bay Packers picked up the victory 26-21 over the New England Patriots in the first meeting between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and the Houston Texans beat the Tennessee Titans 24-21, but the real story was that J.J. Watt scored his 5th touchdown of the season, making him the first defensive lineman since 1944 to do that in one season.

Moving on — The Cleveland Browns may have lost to the Buffalo Bills 26-10, but Johnny Football (some call him Manziel) got the chance to show his stuff when his squad benched quarterback Brian Hoyer in the 4th. What does this mean? Too early to tell, but this might be the beginning of Johnny Football’s time to shine.

In off the field news, former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was reinstated back into the NFL after a neutral arbitrator ruled that his indefinite suspension should be overturned. What does this mean? Rice is now eligible to play football again but it’s unclear if he will be signed by any team. ESPN has reported that four teams might be interested but time will tell if Rice will actually play football in the NFL again.

This week’s Monday Night Football game features the Miami Dolphins against the New York Jets at 8:30pm. Welcome to December!

College Football

Talk about a good weekend to be a college football fan! There were quite a few awesome games to review. First, let’s talk Iron Bowl where #1 Alabama defeated #20 Auburn 55-44 in an exciting close game that was nothing short of an offensive showdown. Alabama’s Amari Cooper tied a school record with 3 touchdowns and 224 yards received.

#2 Florida State defeated in-state rival Florida 24-19, #13 Ole Miss upset #10 Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, #12 Georgia Tech beat #15 Georgia in a overtime thriller 30-24, and #5 Baylor edged Texas Tech 48-46. #6 Ohio State defeated their football enemy (aka Michigan) 42-28 but lost star quarterback J.T. Barrett to a broken ankle.

Nebraska fired coach Bo Pelini on Sunday morning after his 7th season with the school. He had an overall record of 67-27. Associate head coach Barney Cotton will coach the the team in their upcoming bowl game but it remains unclear who will coach Nebraska next season.

In terms of rankings, the new AP poll has Alabama as the number one team followed by Florida State, Oregon, TCU and Baylor. However, like we’ve said before, the rankings that count are from the committee who chooses what teams will play in the post-season football playoff… and after this weekend things are about to get really interesting (especially as conference championship games are about to begin).

NBA

It was a milestone kind of night for Kobe Bryant who dished out his 6,000th assist on Sunday evening against the Toronto Raptors (the Lakers won in OT). The LA Lakers star is the first NBA player with 30,000 total points to reach 6,000 assists. No matter what you think of Kobe, those are some impressive numbers.

The Oklahoma City Thunder appear to finally be getting healthy. After losing stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for the majority of the first part of the season, Westbrook returned to action for the Thunder on Friday night in top form with a 32 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds performance. That’s good news for the Thunder, who have been struggling without their best players. Even better news? Sounds like KD will return to the lineup soon too.

So, where do things stand so far in the NBA? Yes, we know it’s still relatively early, but sometimes the beginning of the season can be telling. Out West, it’s the Memphis Grizzlies and the Golden State Warriors who are stealing the show. The Warriors won their 9th straight on Sunday night and the Grizzlies continue to have the best record in the league. In the East, the Toronto Raptors are still leading the way despite injuries and Sunday night’s loss. Of note, while the Cleveland Cavaliers  may not have the best record, recent games suggest that they are finding their way. Stay tuned — it may be a long season, but the fun has already begun.

College Basketball

In all things college basketball, there were a lot of fun holiday hoops tournaments over the Thanksgiving week. #11 Kansas defeated #20 Michigan State 61-56 to win the Orlando Classic, #2 Wisconsin got the victory over Oklahoma 69-56 to win the Battle 4 Atlantis and #3 Arizona beat #15 San Diego State to win the Maui Invitational. Do these games matter? Holiday championships are nice, but the only one that count are in April. Will any of these teams reach Indy for the Final Four? Perhaps.

#4 Duke edged out Army 93-73 in a Sunday game that also gave Coach K his 990th career win (congrats!) while #7 Texas defeated #24 Connecticut 55-54 with the help of a last second (okay 2 seconds) 3-pointer from Jonathan Holmes.

This week, we’ve got the ACC-Big Ten challenge on deck which should offer some great games to check out. Of note, Syracuse plays #19 Michigan and #16 Ohio State plays #6 Louisville on Tuesday while Iowa takes on #5 North Carolina and #4 Duke goes up against #2 Wisconsin on Wednesday.

JUST FOR FUN

‘Tis the Holiday Season…
The worst gift guide ever — a list of things not to buy your favorite sports fan

 

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Giving thanks
Stories from 2014 that’ll make you feel good
Although this year in sports has been characterized by a lot of bad, don’t forget about all of the good!

Say goodbye to Sony
They’re not renewing their World Cup sponsorship
Sony is the second top-tier “official partner” of FIFA to announce this news

Where’s he headed?
RG3’s complicated career in Washington
Although there’s still one year left on his rookie deal, Washington has to decide if they want to keep him through 2016 by May

Helping hand
Since Darryl Talley retired from the NFL in 1997, he’s had a tough time
But, once Buffalo Bills fans found out about his struggles, they pitched in and raised more than $100k for him

More helping hands, and a display of sportsmanship
Rising above the rivalry
Michigan QB Devin Gardner comforts the injured Ohio Buckeyes’ QB, J.T. Barrett

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