I may have been one of the few people in North America outside of Atlanta to take the Falcons in last nite's Monday Night Football contest. A lot of people (including a good friend of mine who is a Falcons fan) didn't think Atlanta could stay with the high-flying Saints. I thought Atlanta would give them a game and that they could win it. If it wasn't for the finger of linebacker Jonathan Vilma, this may have been an "I told you so" column.
Atlanta stayed right with New Orleans and had a chance to tie the game midway through the 4th quarter only to have Matt Ryan throw an interception at the New Orleans five. An interception that surely would have been a catch had Vilma not gotten a finger on the pass thus making what was a bullet turn into a flutter-ball. Even after that, Atlanta kept going and if they had maybe another ninety seconds on the clock they could have done it. DAMN!
Its starting to become clear that there are two teams head and shoulders above everyone else in the NFC and that is the Vikings and the Saints. Those wondering how those teams will do in cold weather might as well throw away the argument seeing both teams play in domes and will likely be the 1 and 2 seeds in the conference. As good as Minnesota and New Orleans are playing, I would still take the Colts over both of them and likely New England too.
A lot is being made of the Riders performance in Hamilton Saturday. You can't sugar-coat that one and yes, many players were sick as the flu bug goes through the dressing room. Many aren't discussing the fact that the game started at noon Saskatchewan time. A lot is made of Eastern teams playing so late in B.C and that the Lions have a huge advantage because the game is starting so late in the clocks of the Eastern teams. The same could be said here. The Riders and any other Western team wouldn't be used to playing at Noon Saskatchewan time. Should the team have practiced earlier last week to get ready for the game? That's another debate for another time. Would the Riders have played better if the game had been at 2 o'clock Saskatchewan time. I guess we will never know.
Still with the Riders, check out the Leader-Post today as they have a Rider banner in there. Put it up at home or your workplace or whatever. The next couple of weeks are going to be a lot of fun around here as the Riders try and chase down their first first place finish in 35 years on Saturday. Could Mosaic Stadium be wilder than what it was for the 2007 Western semi against Calgary. That is the wildest I have ever seen and heard it, but I'm thinking that could change come Saturday night and if the Riders win, it will change again when the Western final hits. Think about it...how many people in that crowd will experience something they never have before if the Riders host the Western final. Do you remember the 1976 Western final. I don't and I was 10 at the time. Sadly, I do remember the 1976 Grey Cup. SIGHHHHHHHH!!!!!
The Yankees will still win the World Series, but at least its nice knowing the pitcher of record when they win either Game 6 or 7 will not be A.J Burnett. The guy is from what everyone tells me just a giant piece of you know what. While Toronto baseball fans would have liked to see Burnett stay, there wasn't a big disappointment inside the clubhouse. Of course that clubhouse is so fractured now that maybe it wouldn't have mattered. Speaking of the Jays, I hear they are going to offer soon to be free agent Jason Bay a contract. Having a Canadian who is one of the best in the game playing in Toronto would be a huge boost to the organization. It probably won't happen, but you never know.
In a previous post, you see what San Antonio Spur Manu Ginobili did the other night with a bat. The bad news for Ginobili. No one kept the bat so seeing no tests can be done on it, he has to undergo a series of rabies shots. It is my understanding that that is not a pleasant experience.
The Rams are out of the playoffs, now they are apparently in because Manitoba used an ineligible player. Good for the Rams if they indeed get in, but how tainted is this Canada West football season. Two programs--Simon Fraser and Manitoba--have been busted for having ineligible players. How is this happening and why? Canada West should be embarrassed over this. While its good news for the Rams, think about teams like the Huskies and Calgary who have no idea who they are supposed to be looking at for film. The message--show up for your home game and we'll trot someone else out there. What a joke! It does look though as if the Rams will get another shot at the Huskies. One can only imagine the fall-out if the U of R pulls off the upset.