Happy Monday everyone, here's my Top 5 for January 18, 2010 from Len Berman at www.ThatsSports.com.
1. Quick Hits
* Indianapolis will host the Jets 3pm next Sunday in the AFC Championship game.
* New Orleans will host Minnesota at 6:30pm for the NFC Championship.
* Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams died yesterday of cardiac arrest in South Carolina. He was 26.
* Mark McGwire received a standing ovation from Cardinals fans in his first public appearance after admitting steroid use. You can bet he won't be receiving any standing O's outside of St. Louis.
* That didn't take long. Maria Sharapova makes a quick exit as the Australian Open gets underway.
* Where's Waldo? Is Tiger Woods in sex rehab in Mississippi? Arizona? Inquiring minds want to know.
The Jets were the only road team to win this weekend. Improbably, they are just one win away from Super Bowl XLIV. Plenty of subplots. The then undefeated Colts handed the Jets a win late in the season. Can the Jets show them it wasn't a fluke? And the last time the Jets had a miracle season, a mere 4 decades ago, it was the Colts that they shocked in the Super Bowl. But regardless what happens in Indy next week, Rex Ryan has the players (and some fans) believing they can actually win it all. Isn't that, by itself, a refreshing change for this franchise?
3. Monday Morning Musings
*So I guess those late season "phone it in" games by the Colts and Saints really didn't mean much. I'm never sure teams can turn it "on and off," but these two sure did. Are Colts fans still booing that their team didn't try for an undefeated season?
*You have to question two early calls by the Dallas coaching staff. By not going for it on 4th down and short on their second possession, they zapped the energy from their team. (They missed a field goal.) Then after, marching down the field, they go for a trick play on first and goal. It failed, leading to a field goal. Coaches do it all the time. They're kicking ass, but then they turn cute. Pin the bad start on the Cowboys "brain trust."
*How about Jeremy Shockey of the Saints hobbling into the end zone on a bad knee to score a touchdown? That was the kind of play you always expected him to make on the Giants, but rarely saw.
The Wall Street Journal did a study and determined that in a 3 hour NFL telecast you've got about 11 minutes of actual football. And you wonder why the rest of the world prefers soccer to American football? Then again, what would American sports fans find more exciting? Seeing a soccer player lying on the field pretending that he's dead or watching an NFL ref peer at the replay monitor ad nauseum. Kind of a wash.
5. Anger Management
Jose Offerman is a former major league infielder who found some success with the Dodgers and Red Sox. A couple of years ago he went on a "bat attack" against two opponents in a minor league game. He's being sued over that. He's now a manager in the Dominican Winter League, and during a game the other day he threw a punch at an umpire. He clearly has a problem.
Maybe, like everyone else, he should just claim "sex addiction."
Happy Birthday: Former Baltimore Oriole Brady Anderson, who went from 16 homers in 1995, to 50 in 1996. You don't suppose....? 46.
Bonus Birthday: Build it and they will come. Field of Dreams actor Kevin Costner. 55.
Today in Sports: Indians pitcher Bob Feller wasn't happy with his 15-14 season, so he requested and received a $20,000 pay cut to $45,000. What was wrong with him? 1950.
Bonus Event: The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was observed in all 50 U.S. states for the first time. 1993.