Egon is away again this week, so we've got several a/k/a random here with the world of sport.
Well, and let's see... what have we this week of giving thanks for all
we have, and to all that have given so that we are blessed with what we
have before us? American sports occurs first to mind, actually, along with
the demise of that ill-fated turkey and pig that will grace many tables
this holiday, along with other goodies1.
Unsurprisingly, college football gathered the biggest headlines the
past week, as the computer-aided national championship ratings go into
their final two weeks. Oklahoma is still top-ranked and unbeaten,
Louisiana State (LSU) is 10-1 and the University of Southern California
(USC) also stands at 10-1, while the beloved Ohio State Buckeyes dropped
out of the top three in losing at archrival Michigan before a record crowd
of 112,118 screaming maniacs. Barring a computer-aided hiccough, Oklahoma
(the Sooners) will face USC (the Trojans) down in N'awlins (New Orleans)
on New Years Day for the mythical national college championship, while
OSU, LSU and Michigan will play in less-lucrative.bowl games come the
first of the year. As always, one can find the results and opinions on
websites such as ESPN for all
Down under the headlines, a sporting fan could find mention of the
Major League Soccer championships, plans for expansion of the league, and
the signing of a 14-year-old to a six-year league contract. As reported in
this space in the 16.10.03 edition of The
Post, Ghana-born Freddy Abu was coveted by international franchises such
as Manchester United, but reached agreement with the league and D.C.
United, which plays nearest his new home.
Abu's mum won a national lottery to emigrate from Ghana in 1997 and
settled on the American East Coast. Now her son has signed a
million-dollar endorsement contract with an international shoe corporation
and will be earning in excess of $300,000 per season before he can legally
buy a beverage at the nearby pubs2.
In other American soccer news, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the
Chicago Fire 4-2 for the MLS championship behind two goals by 21-year-old
Landon Donovan on the only shots he took, and the league announced
expansion to 12 teams beginning in 2005, one team in beloved Cleveland and
the other headed by Mexican zilliionaire Jorge Vergara, who also owns
Chivas of Mexico City and Saprissa of Costa Rica of international
As for baseball news, and skipping over the steroid scandal that
threatens to taint the Game's hallowed records, we must turn to the
Olympics for good news, since they actually HAVE a drug-testing program,
China and the U.S. have announced agreement to co-ordinate coaching
clinics and exchanging training ideas in preparation for the Beijing
Olympiad of 2008, thus almost insuring baseball will be an Olympic sport
and re-focusing America's commitment toward a baseball World Cup
For some strange reason, all six of last week's 'games to watch'
proved, indeed, to be games to watch in Amfoot, and the best storyline
comes out of Baltimore where the Ravens stayed atop the American North
division with a 44-41 overtime victory over the Seattle Seahawks, who
dropped a game back of St. Louis in the National West. It seems Baltimore
was forced to start its' third-string quarterback, due to injuries, and
virtually-unknown Anthony Wright staged an unsurpassed comeback from a
41-24 deficit with 14:16 remaining in the fourth quarter for the win.
After the postgame news conference, Wright went home, picked up wife
Nicole and went to hospital to deliver the couple's second child, a
daughter named Trinity.
If that isn't the feel-good story of the NFL season, I don't know what
would be. The dude throws four TD passes in an overtime win to keep his
team in first place, then takes his wife to hospital where she gives
For the record, the Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals are 6-5, tied for
the lead in the American North, with the Indianapolis Colts and Tennesee
Titans at 9-2 atop the South. The New England Patriots and Kansas City
Chiefs at 9-2 and 10-1, respectively, lead the American East and West.
Dallas (the Cowboys) and Philadelphia (the Eagles) are both 8-3 in the
National East with the Caolina Panthers (8-3) and Minnesota Vikings (7-4)
leading in the South and North. The interesting National race is in the
West, where the Seahawks are just a game behind the 8-3 St. Louis
And for this week's games, we have a Thanksgiving menu of Green Bay at
Detroit, followed by Miami at Dallas in traditional holiday games. The 7-4
Dolphins and the 8-3 Cowboys in the late game ought to be worth watching.
Sunday, Minnesota at St. Louis and the beloved Cleveland Browns in Seattle
are critical games in that West division race, with New England at Indy,
Cincy at Pittsburgh and Philly at Carolina huge in the divisional races
with five weeks remaining in the regular season. The 10-1 Chiefs play at
the woeful 2-9 San Diego Chargers in a game better missed than televised,
but it ought to be good for sleeping through, so I get a nap before
compiling next week's missive.
Happy Thanksgiving, folks. Cherish your friends and remember all who
persevered much bleaker Thanksgivings than this.
See you in sports...
please.2Imagine popping off with your
mates for a pint or so and having to bring your mum along?3Also notable are the five TD passes Seattle's Matt
Hasselbeck threw in the loss, all to former college teammate Marcus