Welcome back, friends!
This weekend we found out that the Denver Broncos will be playing the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl, February 7th! Find out how they got there in Today’s Rundown.
NFL: The “Who’s Going to the Super Bowl?” Edition
A kick in the pants. Yesterday, the Denver Broncos squeaked out a win over the New England Patriots (20-18), thanks to the Broncos stellar defense. The big story of the game was that the Pats kicker Stephen Gostkowski missed an extra point in the first quarter, which ultimately allowed the Broncos to win. What’s the big deal? This was the first extra point Gostkowski has missed since his rookie season in 2006. If you’re keeping track, that means he’s made 523 straight extra points. With this Broncos victory, QB Peyton Manning may be going to his last Super Bowl before he retires. This win over long time rival QB Tom Brady probably tasted as good as a chicken parm.
Cardinals who? The Carolina Panthers completely bulldozed the Arizona Cardinals yesterday in a 49-15 victory. This game was pretty one-sided, so everyone is already looking ahead to the Super Bowl. People are excited for athletic and powerful Panthers QB Cam Newton to take on aging and injury-ridden Broncos QB Peyton Manning. While it’s old news that Cam frequently runs with the ball, Peyton basically never does, so when Peyton ran for 12 yards in yesterday’s game against the Patriots, the reaction from his teammates was priceless. These two are essentially opposite QBs, which should make for an exciting Super Bowl 50, folks!
Spotlight on the firing of David Blatt
Friday afternoon, the Cleveland Cavaliers surprised everyone by firing their head coach David Blatt.
Why was it a surprise? Blatt debuted as an NBA head coach last season after lots of success coaching in the European leagues. In his rookie season, he helped lead the Cavs to the NBA Finals. This year the Cavs look even better and have the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Then why did they get rid of him? The Cavs General Manager David Griffin said that the new head coach “need[s] to build a collective spirit” within the team, i.e., Blatt wasn’t gelling with the players and management. It also didn’t help when the Cavs were completely wrecked by the Golden State Warriors last week.
What happens to the Cavs now? Assistant coach and former player, Tyronn Lue has taken over the head-coaching job. He’s well liked by the players, especially LeBron James, who has known Lue since James was 17 years old. So far, not so good though. On Saturday night the Cavs lost at home to the Chicago Bulls (96-83) and were booed as they left the court. You know what they say—if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
The New Guard vs. the Old Guard. Tonight marks the first time that the Golden State Warriors will play the San Antonio Spurs this season, though the Spurs will be without star Tim Duncan. Everyone has been anxiously awaiting this game, because these are the top two teams in the West. While the Warriors are the reigning champions, the Spurs have been consistently good since the late 1980s, which basically makes them superhuman. Fortunately, Warriors coach Steve Kerr knows the Spurs pretty well because he played on the team in the early 2000s with many of the same players that are on the team today. That’s some serious staying power.