Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sports Chowdah Recap Thanksgiving Weekend Version- Boondock Saints; Tiger Trap; Bowden Bowin' Out?; Shaq Steps Up Big Time, Naughty and Weiss

Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This was the game that everybody had been waiting for- one of those Monday Night games where even if you weren't a fan of either team, you were still looking forward to. The undefeated New Orleans Saints taking on the 7-3 New England Patriots at the Louisiana Superdome.

Now....the first quarter was pretty good. The Saints moved the ball pretty effectively on their first possession, but were held to a field goal that John Carney banked in off the upright once they got into the Pats red zone. The Pats moved the ball much more slowly and methodically, capitalizing on two 4th down attempts, including one inside the Saints red zone that Laurence Maroney took in for the Pats first TD.

From there on out, the Pats D might as well taken the rest of the night off and helped themselves to some po'boys and Jambalaya. In all fairness, there were at least 4 long passes by Saints QB Drew Brees that were absolutely flawless- no way they could've been defended against short of drawing a pass interference call- and two of them resulted in touchdowns if I'm remembering correctly. It was all Drew Brees and all ___________ { <--insert name of any number of Saints receivers} all the time. Except for Reggie Bush- he sat this one out.

Long story short, New Orleans cajun stomps all over New England 38-17 [and it wasn't even that close- NANESB!] and some of us are left to wonder if Teddy Bruschi or Rodney Harrison couldn't have stuck around for another year. New Orleans clearly was the better team and played accordingly. If there was any notion that their 11-0 record was some kind of fluke, that's dead and in a hole deeper than Deval Patrick's approval ratings.

No way to sugar-coat this one. The Pats were embarrassed and they get to chew on this for another few days. I'm not going to despair too much, though. One would be tempted to think that last night's game provided other teams a template or blueprint with witch to stymie the Pats. But missing in that line of speculation is the fact that most teams don't have Drew Brees calling signals.

ELSEWHERE: After 34 seasons, 80 year old FSU head football coach Bobby Bowden announced that he's retiring effective whichever bowl game the Seminoles get invited to. The Seminoles lost to #1-ranked Florida 37-10 Saturday and finished the season with a 6-6 record.

Former Patriot's offensive coordinator Charlie Weiss has been fired as Notre Dame's head coach. Weiss finished with a 35-27 record over five seasons with the Fighting Irish. The Irish lost to Stanford 38-45 on Saturday and, like FSU, finished with a 6-6 record. Weiss' dismissal has already led to speculation regarding his replacement at South Bend and which NFL team might be interested in his services as an offensive coordinator.

The Boston College Eagles outlasted the Maryland Terrapins for the final regular-season game, winning by a score of 19-17. Montel Harris ran for 142 yards, Colin Larmond has 3 receptions for 105 yards- including the Eagles only TD- and Steve Aponavicius was 4 for 5 in field-goal attempts, missing his first of the season in the 3rd quarter, but scoring what would prove to be the winning 3 points with just under four minutes left in regulation. With the win, BC finishes the season at 8-4 and is bowl-eligible.

The Division I-AA Football (official name- NCAA-FCS) playoffs are underway, and as predicted earlier, the Colonial Athletic Association is very well represented and doing quite well. Out of 16 teams eligible, four teams from the conference were selected, and all four advance after the first round. In other words, 25% of the teams playing for the FCS Championship are from the CAA.
The finals from Saturday:
Elon 13-Richmond 16
Holy Cross 28- Villanova 38
Weber State 0- William & Mary 38
New Hampshire 49- McNeese State 13
Richmond will go on to face Appalachian State on Saturday, while New Hampshire and Villanova will play each other and William & Mary advances to face Southern Illinois.

Tiger Woods reportedly faces a $164 fine and reckless driving citation from the Florida highway Patrol after an accident just down the street from his Florida home. The golfer has backed out of the Chevron World Challenge in California this weekend, reportedly due to injuries suffered in the one-car accident.

Cleveland Cavaliers center Shaquille O'Neal announced late last week that he would pay for the funeral of 5-year old Shaniya Davis of Fayetteville, NC. Investigators say the child was kidnapped, raped and murdered after she was reported missing on Novmeber 10. Shaniya's mother will be charged with human trafficking, as police believe the 'mother' was prostituting the little girl. {If I can editorialize for a moment, I've always felt that Shaq was all about, well....Shaq. I still feel that way, but Shaq being all about Shaq and doing something very generous like this are not mutually exclusive. Way to step up, Mr. O'Neal- I don't have as much money at my disposal as you do, but if you want to go halfsies on the lethal injections for the monster who murdered little Shaniya and the so-called 'mother' who was pimping out her pre-pubescent daughter, feel free to contact me via this blog}.

The German Track and Field association this week decided to reinstate a 1936 high-jump record set in 1936 at Stuggart to 95-year old Gretel Bergmann, now known as Margaret Lambert of Queens, NY. The athlete had her record-tying 5ft 3in jump stricken from the record books by Nazi officials who learned of her Jewish background. Mrs Lambert was on the German Olympic team from 1934 to 1936 before fleeing the Nazis and arriving in America in 1937.

The Boston Bruins overcame yet-another 2 goal deficit against Ottawa on Saturday to win on the strength of 3 power-play goals and a Michael Ryder shootout goal. The Bruins were in an 0-2 hole at the first intermission on goals by Daniel Alfredsson and Milan Michalek, but came back with a goal from David Krejci (Mark Recchi and Dennis Wideman w/the assist) and Michael Ryder (Zdeno Chara and Mark Recchi with the assist). Dennis Wideman scored his power-play goal at the 9:19 mark of the third (David Kejci and Blake Wheeler credited with the assist), but Tim Thomas allowed a goal from Milan Michalek with 20 seconds left in regulation to get by after Ottawa pulled their goalie for the extra attacker. Ryder's goal was the only one scored by either team in the shootout and Tim Thomas stopped 19 of 22 shots faced during the game.
Boston remains a point behind the Buffalo Sabres in the Northeast Division:
Sabres- 32 points; 15-7-2 record overall
Bruins- 31 points; 13-8-5 record overall
Senators- 30 points; 13-8-4 record overall
Canadiens- 26 points; 12-13-2 record overall
Maple Leafs- 21 points; 7-12-7 record overall
This week, the Bruins will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning tomorrow and Montreal on Friday. The Bruins also announced that they are close to reaching a 7-year extension with forward Marc Savard.

The Celtics routed the Charlotte Bobcats 108-90 tonight at Charlotte. Ray Allen seems to be doing just fine, scoring 27 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Kendrick Perkins had 21 points and 12 rebounds and Kevin Garnett was 5 for 8 with 16 points and seven rebounds. The C's have won their last 5 games in a row and are currently atop the Atlantic Division. They face the Spurs at San Antonio Thursday night on TNT.

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