12.5.16: Long December

Team SQ — Seeing how it’s only the beginning of December (and a Monday), let’s get a little energy (or a lot of it!!!) from Russell Westbrook’s fantastic Sunday night slam dunk.

QUIPS FOR THIS WEEK

NFL

Let’s talk football — starting with professional football. In week 13, we saw the Seattle Seahawks dominate the Carolina Panthers 40-7 in a game where Earl Thomas suffered a leg injury and Thomas Rawls had 2 TDs in the first half, and without Rob Gronkowski (out for the rest of the season with an injury) the New England Patriots not only topped the LA Rams 26-10 but Tom Brady also broke the wins record to become the NFL career leader (at 201) in QB-led victories.

Other notable Sunday games included the Pittsburgh Steelers stopping the New York Giants 6-game winning streak with a 24-14 win and the Washington Redskins losing to the San Francisco Cardinals 31-28. Outside of the NFC East, the Oakland Raiders continued their strong season with a 38-24 comeback win over the Buffalo Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs got a close win over the Atlanta Falcons thanks to Eric Berry’s 2 clutch picks.

Also of note, the NFL officially flexed the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the prime time slot on December 18 at 8:30pm as part of NBC’s Sunday night feature.

Monday Night Football features the New York Jets vs. the Indianapolis Colts on ESPN at 8:30pm.

College Football

Moving on to college football where the conference championship games are over and  bowl season has officially begun! The highlight, of course, is that Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Washington were selected for the College Football playoffs. The match-ups are set and the semis will feature:

  • #1 Alabama vs. #4 Washington in the Chick-fil A Peach Bowl (December 31)
  • #2 Clemson vs. #3 Ohio State in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl (December 31)

The full schedule for all of the bowl games can be found here — including the New Year’s Six.

NBA

As we alluded to in our intro, we’ve got to talk about the amazing Russell Westbrook. The Oklahoma City Thunder star had his 5th straight triple double in a 101-92 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday night. This gives him the longest NBA streak since 1989 when Michael Jordan had 7 straight triple doubles. Talk about impressive!

In other NBA news, Sports Illustrated named LeBron James their SI Sportsperson of the Year for the second straight year. Make sure to check out Lee Jenkin’s excellent piece on LeBron here.

College Basketball

Finally, coming out of a great weekend of college hoops – two highlights include:

  • With the help of star guard Lonzo Ball, #11 UCLA stayed undefeated and upset #1 Kentucky 97-92
  • Top freshman Jayson Tatum and Marques Bolden are back in the line-up for #5 Duke after recovering from injuries that sidelined them for a few weeks

JUST FOR FUN

Swishmas is coming
Check out the ugly holiday sweaters Kobe Bryant is selling to support the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation

STORIES FOR INSIGHTS, COOL FACTOR + DEBATE

Rest in Peace
Joe McKnight, the 28 year old ex-New York Jet and KC Chief, was killed in a tragic road rage incident
The running back had spent four seasons in the NFL, before moving to the Canadian Football League. His death is still under investigation in Louisiana.

Making Tiger Woods great again
He’s playing again, but it took a team effort to get him there
There’s no better encouragement than a kick in the butt from your fellow athletes and competition

Anti-cyberbullying
Pro tennis player Madison Keys partnered with FearlesslyGirl to host a summit
The last thing someone wants is to have a tough experience, and then receive hateful comments about it on social media — she knows this, and she wants to be a “big sister” to other young women experiencing cyberbullying

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