Championship Sunday from the Armchair

AFC Championship

  • Philip Rivers tried to make things happen with both knees in braces, but the New England Patriots defense all but shut down Rivers and the San Diego Chargers offense in a 21-12 win a date with both destiny and history Sunday next (i.e., a week from this coming Sunday) in Arizona. Tom Brady shrugged off three interceptions with 209 yards passing and two scores. Wouldn't you want to call four Super Bowls in seven years a dynasty?

NFC Championship

  • Nobody expected the New York Giants to get this far as the 2007 NFL season began. While many pundits speculated that the G-Men would finish 6-10 and Tom Coughlin would've updated his resume by now, Big Blue proved them wrong. Eli Manning and the Giants backfield tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw led the way, and Lawrence Tynes made up for two missed field goals late in regulation with a 47-yard game-winning boot in overtime to send the Jints to the Big Game in the desert, 23-20.

Across the Pond

  • Manchester United kept a hold of the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 shutout away at Reading F.C., while Arsenal kept the log jam going with a 3-0 win over Fulham. The only thing that seperates these two clubs (United and the Gunners) are six goals in the goal differential department.
  • Chelsea remained within striking distance of both squads, as a late goal by Claudio Pizarro gave the Blues a 1-0 win against Birmingham City (also nicknamed the Blues). Pretty confusing for whoever did the broadcast to tell which was which, no?

Staying in England

The UFC staged its first big event of 2008 by heading over the Atlantic to Newcastle, England. The Geordie folks got to see B.J. Penn defeat Joe Stevenson to win the light heavyweight title (originally an interim title bout against Sean Sherk, but a failed whizz quiz put the kibosh on that) and in a battle of Brazilians, Fabricio Werdum upset Gabriel Gonzaga near the end of the second round.

Driving the lane

Two teams in college hoops saw their bids for undefeated seasons go by the boards on Saturday:

  • If Tyler Hansbrough's three-point shot had gone in, North Carolina would have survived their tilt against Maryland. Instead, the scene was raucous at Bentley's as the Terps upset the Heels, 82-80 in Chapel Hill.
    • Second-ranked Memphis looks to be the new number-one in the nation, as they had no trouble against Southern Miss, 83-47.
  • Tenth-ranked Texas A&M also saw their ohfer in the loss column change to a one on the road at Kansas State, 75-54.
  • Ten years ago, the rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat was one of the more intense in the NBA. However, both teams have fallen on hard times, the latter more harder than the former. Jamal Crawford and Dwayne Wade led each of their squads with 22 points, but the Knicks held on for their fourth (!) win in a row, 88-84.

Kudos, big-time

Template:Dude of the Weekend George Mason guard Dre Smith, who made ten three-pointers without missing one in a 96-75 win over in-state rivals James Madison. Smith's feat now stands alone in the NCAA Division I record books, as he passed three other players who made nine in a row from beyond the arc.

Template:Dope of the Weekend Philip Rivers: I guess all that smack talk came back to bite ya, eh?

Look for a football-free AWIR next week

So, until next time, let's all be good sports...

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