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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THE TOP 14 OF '14! #9


Earlier this season the Denver Broncos were playing the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday Night Football.  It was third and goal from the 8 yard and Peyton Manning dropped back and found Demaryius Thomas for the touchdown.  It was significant because it was touchdown past #509 giving him the record for most TD's in a career.  The record was previously held by Brett Favre.

THE TOP 14 OF '14! #10


Earlier this summer FIFA's World Cup of Soccer was played in Brazil.  For those of you who don't know the World Cup is pretty much the Olympics of soccer.  The rest of the world always goes crazy when the games are played every four years.  This year the only exception was the fans here in the United States.  Our team did better than anticipated and the result was World Cup Fever here in the U.S.  The United States advanced after great group play but came up short in their quest to win their first World Cup since 1930.  The tournament was won by Germany.

THE TOP 14 OF '14! #11


The Dallas Cowboys finished the 2014 regular season 12-4 and the NFC East Champ.  What was more impressive was the fact that they went 8-0 on the road, a feat that is very hard to accomplish in the the NFL.  There have only been five other teams in NFL history to go unbeaten on the road.  Of those 5 teams 4 of them went on to win the Super Bowl.  The Cowboy's hope to continue that trend as they enter the playoffs.

THE TOP 14 OF '14! #12


In head coach Sean Miller's fifth season as head basketball coach at the University of Arizona the Wildcat's made it to the Elite Eight.  They finished the season33-5 and won the regular season PAC12 title.  They lost 64-63 in overtime to Wisconsin.  They were just two wins away from a shot at the national title but still had a successful season.

THE TOP 14 OF '14! #13


Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still decided in June that he would stop playing football when he learned his daughter, Leah Siri, had stage 4 cancer.  He also shaved his head when she started chemo and vowed not to grow his hair back until his daughter was able to.  The Bengals allowed all sales of his jersey to be donated to cancer research.  The jersey's raised close to a million dollars.  Other teams were touched by the story and pitched in to help.  New Orleans Saint's coach Sean Peyton bought 100 jerseys and donated them to local Cincinnati children when he heard the story.  New England Patriot's owner Herb Craft also donated $25,000 to help out as well.  These gestures are proof that their still are good people in this world.

THE TOP 14 of '14! #14


The Seattle Seahawks came into Super Bowl XLVIII as the underdogs.  Many people thought Peyton Manning was going to continue his dominance of the regular season and win his second Super Bowl.  Well the Seattle Seahawks had a surprise in store for everyone, including Peyton Manning.  They jumped out to an early lead and never looked backed winning 43-8.  Linebacker Malcom Smith was named the games MVP.

Monday, December 29, 2014


The Arizona Cardinals concluded their regular season last night in San Francisco.  They lost 20-17 to the 49ers.  The loss has the Cardinals finishing the season at 11-5.  A one game improvement from last year and the fact that the Cardinals had to use four quarterbacks would normal be a successful season but this is a little different.  They started the season 9-1 and last week were one win away from locking down the number 1 seed in the NFC.  So you can see how a lot of Cardinal faithful would be disappointed.  Also to add to the frustration is the fact that they finished 2-4.

The fact is the Cardinals are in the playoffs and now it's time to forget about the regular season and hope the Cardinals can get back to their winning ways of earlier this season.  They travel to play the Carolina Panther's on Saturday.  Ryan Lindley's play was better yesterday but the reality is that the defense and the coaching is going to carry this team and decide how far it will go in the playoffs.

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Arizona State went bowling today in El Paso, Texas and it was a successful day.  No they didn't bowl a 300 but Taylor Kelley scored a 240, in passing yards.  They were playing in the Hyundai Sun Bowl against the Duke Blue Devils.  Many people were calling it the "Devil Bowl".  Many ASU fans were disappointed that they weren't in a bigger bowl.  The Sun Devils however did not disappoint their faithful that took the 6 hour road trip to support them.  ASU won 36-31.

The game started out great for ASU.  They scored on their first possession and led pretty much the whole game.  They held a 20-17 win at half time and added 10 more third quarter points to take a 30-17 lead into the fourth quarter.  That's when the game got interesting.  Duke's offense started clicking and a couple 4th down conversions put them right back in the game.  In fact, the last 4th down conversion came on a half back pass that gave Duke a 31-30 lead with about 5 minutes to go.

With the Sun Devils losing for the first time in the game game Kalen Ballage fielded the ensuing kickoff four yards deep in his own end zone and decided to bring it out.  He ran straight and then made a couple of great moves and 96 yards later he was forced out of bounce and the Sun Devils had the ball first in goal.  The very next play Demario Richardson took a 4 yard pass from Kelly to the house for the game winning touchdown.  Richardson scored all four of ASU's touchdowns, but it was the defense that sealed the victory with an interception in the end zone with less than a minute to go.  The win gives ASU it's tenth win of the season and back to back 10 win seasons.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


The Arizona Cardinals enter week 17 not knowing what their playoff fate is.  Apparently that not the only thing they don't know.  They have no idea who the starting quarterback is.  Because of injuries to Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton Ryan Lindley got the start last week against Seattle in what was probably the biggest game in franchise history.  Lindley was terrible and continued his streak of passes with out a touchdown.  The streak is now 225.  Monday we were informed they Lindley would not start and rookie Logan Thomas would get the start.  Some people didn't agree with the switch but I think it needed to happen.  As bad as the offense is playing you need guys in their that know what they are doing and Lindley looked very confused last Sunday Night.

Logan Thomas was forced into action earlier this season and was just as terrible as Lindley.  The bright side is he threw a touchdown pass, a feat Lindley still has yet to accomplish.  Earlier today it was reported that Thomas would not start and that Lindley would start when the Cardinals finish the regular season in San Francisco against the 49ers.  This may be a part of Bruce Arians mind game or he may have actually decided to stay with Lindley.  My theory is Drew Stanton is going to be out longer than expected and Arians figures Lindley is better than Thomas.  So they are going to get Lindley as much experience as possible.  Either way the Cardinals go at quarterback if they want to win playoff games they need to find a way to get the offense going and put touchdowns on the board.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014


Regardless of how the season ends for the Arizona Cardinals they are a facing a tough off season.  Not only do they have to figure out how to get so many guys healthy and ready to play, but the biggest task they face is figuring out what to do with Larry Fitzgerald.

If the Cardinals don't either wave him or trade him by early March they will take a big salary cap hit.  I know that sounds crazy to get rid of a guy based on money and not talent but that's the reality of professional sports now.  Great players end up getting cut because it is cheaper to get rid of them and bring in someone younger.

Many people feel that Larry Fitzgerald isn't worth the money he is owed.  They feel with Michael Floyd as the number one receiver and rookie John Brown emerging as a dependable number two that the Cardinals will be just fine without him. 

The Cardinals have already said they won't cut the all pro receiver.  That doesn't mean they won't trade him.  They need to keep Fitzgerald not only because he is a fan favorite but because of his value to the team.  It was clear that the Cardinals were trying to phase Fitzgerald out of the offense at the beginning of the season.  We;; as the season progressed so did the need for Fitzgerald.  He has played well and if the Cardinals want to make a deep playoff run he needs to be a major part of the game plan.

Monday, December 22, 2014


The Arizona Cardinals lost at home yesterday to the Seattle Seahawks 35-6.  The loss was big score wise but even bigger playoff wise.  Not only did they lose the game but they lost the number 1 seed and home field advantage.  The bright side is they are still in the playoffs, but will have to play a wild card game.  They will most likely host the first round, but after that they will be on the road.  The only way they play back at University of Phoenix Stadium is if they make it to the Super Bowl.

The loss also hurt because with a win they would have gotten a bye and nearly four weeks for Drew Stanton to recover from a spanned MCL and return to the lineup.  They desperately need Stanton back because third string quarterback Ryan Lindley was absolutely terrible.  He was just 18 of 44 for 216 yards and one interception.  Lindley, however, does have an NFL record!  He has 225 passes thrown in his career without a touchdown.  The most pass attempts by an QB.  The start went so bad for him that today coach Bruce Arians announced Logan Thomas will start this Sunday when they finish the regular season against the 49ers.

The Cardinals had a chance to let the rest of the NFL know that they are not a fluke but for now they will have to listen to the nation call them choke artists.  Once the Cardinals figure out their quarterback problems they will be that dangerous team that can beat anybody.  The question is will they figure out in time to make some noise in the 2014 NFL Playoffs.

Sunday, December 21, 2014


At the end of the first half the Arizona Cardinals trail the Seattle Seahawks 14-3.  As always the defense has carried the team, this times it's penalties that are keeping them in this game.  If the Cardinals want to win and lock up the number 1 seed they need Ryan Lindley to play better.  He looks confide and flustered to me.  Even on passes he completes he seems to be off.  I get he needs help from the rest of the offense and the receivers need to make catches and extend drives.  But at the end of the day Lindley needs to make a play on his own.  If he can calm down and move the ball and keep drives alive the Cardinals can still win this game.


Tonight on Sunday Night Football the Arizona Cardinals host the Seattle Seahawks.  All NFL eyes will be on this game, but not just because it will be televised nationally.  This game is biggest ever for the Cardinals for many reasons such as the playoff implications, it's a division rivalry and it may be the difference between a long playoff run or being one and done.

This game means a lot when it comes to the playoffs.  With a Cardinal victory they clinch the NFC West and a first round bye.  The win will most likely give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the Super Bowl.  With all the injuries the Cardinals have endured this season they would much rather play home then have to travel to possible Green Bay.

The last time these teams played Seattle won hands down, 19-3.  Seattle is the defending Super Bowl Champs and are in the same division as the Cardinals.  This rivalry is becoming more and more intense every time they meet.  The Cardinals would love to take the NFC West title from Seattle and possible knock them out of the playoffs.

The main reason this is the most important game in franchise history is the outcome will define what the Cardinals are this year.  A win gets then national respect, but a lose gives the perception that their 11 wins was just a fluke.  They have struggled through many ups and downs this year and this could be the signature win they need to stake claim to being a good franchise on the verge of being great.

Monday, December 15, 2014


The Arizona Cardinals are coming off a big win last Thursday.  The win, along with a little help put the Cardinals in the play offs.  They lost another quarterback when Drew Stanton went down with a partial tear of his ACL.  The good news is he could be back depending how deep into the playoffs they go.  The bad news is they face the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday Night Football with their fourth quarterback to start this season.  The Cardinals have been all about "the next man" and if they hope to do some damage in the playoffs they are going to have to rely on that motto.

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Last night Oregon star quarterback Marcus Mariota won the Heisman Trophy in New York.  The award is given to college footballs best player.  This helps cap a stellar career by the Oregon superstar, but it's not over just yet.  Oregon is ranked second in the first ever College Football Playoffs.  Mariota won the award in familiar fashion.  He ran away with it!

This makes Mariota the first ever player from Oregon to win the award.  This is an amazing feat when you consider the talent that has come out of Oregon.  He received the second highest percentage of possible votes with 90.9%.  Remember a guy named Troy Smith, he had more in 2006 with 91.6%.  Reggie Bush was actually the highest until his Heisman was taken away for violating NCAA rules.

What impresses me the most about Mariota is not the fact that he ran away with the Heisman but the fact that he did it with last years winner still in college.  In fact he plays last years winner, Jameis Winston and Florida State in the first round of this years playoffs.  Mariota looks to finish his college career with a National Championship.

Friday, December 12, 2014


The Arizona Cardinals played the St. Louis Rams on Thursday Night Football last night.  They are no strangers to the national stage but it has been rough on them.  They have not won a Thursday game since 1948.  Well that all changed last night when they beat the Rams 12-6.

The Cards won the game without scoring a touchdown, a feat that is very hard to do accomplish.  But when you have the best defense in the league and rookie placekicker Chandler Cantanzaro it's not so hard.  What made the task even harder was when quarterback Drew Stanton went out with a knee injury.

The Cards then had to look toward their season motto, "next man up" and it was Ryan Lindley's turn to call the offense.  He is the fourth QB to line up under center for the Cardinals.  With no reps in practice Lindley was as close to awful as you could get.  But in his defense he kept his composer and was bailed out by the defense.

The Cardinals are now 11-3 and barring a tie between Philadelphia and Dallas they will clinch a playoff spot.  The Cardinals want more than that though.  They have two games remaining against Seattle and San Francisco.  If they can win out, which is possible, they will have home field advantage throughout the playoffs, including the Super Bowl.  If they plan to be in the Super Bowl they will need home field advantage.  There is no way they go into Green Bay and beat the Packers, even with a healthy Drew Stanton back.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Last night college football honored it's best defensive player.  The award is named after Bronko Nagurski.  Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the award.  He led the Wildcats to the PAC 12 South title and a date in the Fiesta Bowl.  Wright was not very well known nationally until the Wildcats knocked off unbeaten Oregon earlier in the season.  Wright literally took the football out of Marcus Mariota's hands to seal the victory.

The Nagurski Award is a great accomplishment for Wright and the University of Arizona.  It helps for recruiting and it also helps put the Arizona Wildcats on the map again for college football.  This award adds to Wright's accomplishments which include the Oregon win and a win against Arizona State, the first rivalry win for Coach Rodriguez.  Wright looks to add one more award to his trophy case, the MVP of the Fiesta Bowl.

Monday, December 8, 2014


On Sunday the Cardinals got back to their winning ways when the Kansas City Chief''s came to University of Phoenix Stadium.  Like just about every other win the Cardinals found themselves in a battle and as usual the defense bailed then out.  The Cardinals won 17-14.  Even though the cardinals are now 10-3 and have the best record in the NFC the win saved the season for the Cardinals.

The Cardinals lead the NFC West by one game over the Seattle Seahawks.  With just three games remaining every games is very important because they play all three of their conference foes starting Thursday with the St. Louis Rams.  All three games are going to be tough and had they lost to the Chiefs and all of the remaining games they would have finished 9-7 and likely miss the playoffs.

The Cardinals were able to beat the Chiefs because of a few guys were able to keep up the team motto of "next man up".  With an injury to Andre Ellington, Kerwynn Williams number was called and he responded well.  He did something that a Cardinal running back hasn't done in a long time rush for 100 yards.  He did so on 19 carries.  QB Drew Stanton also had a decent game.  Even though he missed several throws he still threw for 230 yards and a touchdown.  He also did not throw an interception either.  Larry Fitzgerald returned from injury and even though he only caught 4 balls for 34 yards his presence on the field was enough to make Stanton feel comfortable.

The Cardinals face another tough test when they play the Rams on a short week.  With a win they more than likely guarantee them a spot in the playoffs.  But Bruce Arians and the Cardinals want more than just a playoff spot.  They want to win the NFC West and get a first round bye with home field advantage though out the playoffs.  Arians message to the team all season has been "don't let another team dress in your locker room in February".

Thursday, December 4, 2014


Arizona travels to the bay area to take on the Oregon Ducks for the PAC 12 Conference Tittle.  The Ducks are heavily favored and not many people are giving the Wildcats much of a chance.  Coach Rich Rodriguez and company have a game plan that they feel will help them prevail.

Arizona already beat Oregon once this year and did it with stingy defense.  They run a 3-5-3 which has given Oregon some trouble over the past 2 years.  Arizona beat them last season as well.  If they want to do so again they need to lean on their play makers.  Anu Solomon needs to play a near perfect game and help the Wildcat offense control the clock.  They can help the defense tremendously if they can keep Marcus Mariota and that high powered offense off the field.

With a healthy dose of freshman running back Nick Wilson and a side of wide receiver Cayleb Jones the Wildcats have a high powered offense themselves.  The Wildcat defense has been impressive the last few weeks and behind linebacker Scooby Wright they plan to take the PAC 12 Trophy from Oregon just as Wright did to Mariota in their first meeting to seal the victory.

The sleeper unit for Arizona that may be the difference is the special teams.  They blocked a punt last week against Arizona State and the return game has been great for the Wildcats.  DaVonte' Neal has already ran one punt back this year and you must always beware of where he is at on the football field.  The Notre dame transfer, who played high school in Phoenix and Scottsdale, also is a deep threat at wide receiver.  Regardless of the outcome it has been a great season for football down in Tucson.  It may get better.  With a win they throw their names in the hat for the College Football Playoffs.  The consolation prize if they lose, likely will be the Fiesta Bowl.


With just one weekend left of regular season football left in college the University of Arizona finds itself in a familiar place, well kind of.  They find themselves battling for a spot I The Final Four.  This time it's football and not basketball.  They are just one win away from at least being in the conversation for a spot in the first ever College Football Playoffs.

The Wildcats play #2 Oregon this Friday for the PAC 12 Tittle.  As if the game isn't big enough already it as major implications for both Arizona and Oregon.  If Oregon wins they clinch a spot in the playoffs.  If Arizona wins it's not certain that they get in, but they will have a pretty good argument.  Of all the schools on the bubble Arizona has the two best wins.  It will be hard for the committee to turn away a team that beat Oregon twice in the same season. 

Arizona, under second year head coach Rich Rodriguez has won games they are supposed to win.  Their two losses come from teams ranked in the Top 25.  They blew out a very good Utah team and took care of in state rival Arizona State.  It will be hard for Arizona to get into the College Football Playoff with two losses but with a convincing win over Oregon it should convince the committee to lean in favor of the Wildcats.