1. Hard to pick the NFL’s Cinderella Team for ’08, particularly when our home team is one of the candidates – but you have to give it to the Dolphins at this point. 1-15 a year ago and now 10-5 and a win away from hosting a playoff game. Just goes to show you — if you’re not good in the NFL, wait around a year or two and you will be. Unless, of course, you’re the Lions. Too bad the Orioles aren’t in the AFC East.
2. Right now, I’m calling an Indianapolis-Carolina Super Bowl. That could change, of course, depending on any key injuries in the final regular season game(s). But I’ll stick with it as my official “pre-playoff prediction”. Oh, by the way, Carolina wins.
3. Speaking of the O’s, are they creative enough to work hard over the next 48 hours and get the Teixeira deal done and present him to the media/fans at mid-day on Christmas Eve? What a gift that would be…
4. Gonna be really hard to pick the Ravens MVP. Based on my “Tuesday Top 7” points system, Joe Flacco has a narrow lead over Ray Lewis and Derrick Mason. I’ll have my Top 7 for the win at Dallas on Tuesday and we’ll see if that shakes up the standings a little bit. You could EASILY make an argument for #5, #52, #85 and Ed Reed for team MVP and get no debate from me.
5. So, San Diego loses at Denver, 39-38 in Week #2 after Ed Hochuli screws up a call at the end of the game that gave the Broncos the win. Denver goes on to lead the West by 3 games with 3 to play. But they lose two straight and the Chargers win two and now one-game separates them. They play the Chargers the last regular season game of the year in San Diego…winner goes to the playoffs, loser goes home. Now, go ahead and tell me there’s no such thing as Football Gods.
6. There’s plenty of debate about the Ravens’ MVP for ’08, but there can’t possibly be any discussion about the team’s Unsung Hero. It’s Jim Leonhard, slam dunk. But Sam Koch should get some “honorable mention” type stuff. What a year he’s had, huh?
7. Ex-Oriole and current Yankee broadcaster Ken Singleton says Jason Giambi is a great guy who can still help a team and would be a welcome addition both on the field and in the locker room. New York Newsday baseball writer Ken Davidoff says Carl Pavano is one of the worst human beings he’s ever met and that he will cause nothing but strife for his new team, if he finds one. Their opinions tell me all I need to know. “Yes” to Giambi and “No” to Pavano. You listening, Andy?
8. I bet Ray Lewis keeps a calculator in his duffel bag and breaks it out after every game for a private moment of mathematics. Can’t you hear him after that Cowboys win? “OK, that’s another million from the Ravens for next season…”
9. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to be hanging around Nick Markakis one afternoon when this scrolls across the screen on ESPN: “Baltimore Orioles reportedly offer Mark Teixeira a 7-year, $150 million contract.” How do you say, “Yeah, you’ll pay him but you won’t pay me what I’m worth” in Greek?
10. That Redskins collapse and failure to reach the playoffs is a real shame, isn’t it? (hee hee)
11. Oklahoma 45 – Florida 33
12. Not quite sure how anyone is going to beat North Carolina in college hoops, but Pitt looks like they might have a chance.
13. The Lions will trade out of the first pick in the ’09 NFL Draft. That pick and the money involved is almost too much of a risk these days.