The Super Bowl Stage is Set

Fun Fact of the Day: Last night, New England Patriots wide receiver Chris Hogan had the best game of his career with 180 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns. He now holds the NFL record for the most receiving yards in a postseason game for a previously undrafted player.


Today’s Rundown

NFL 

Super Bowl here we come…  This is it! The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots are going to face off in this year’s Super Bowl 51 on February 5th! If you didn’t watch this past weekend’s Conference Championship games, you didn’t miss much. Both teams blew out the competition, here’s how it all went down:

  • NFC:  The Falcons obliterated the Green Bay Packers.  This one was never close. At the half, the Falcons were already up 24-0, and in they end they won 44-21. Nothing could save the Packers against the Falcons’ incredible offense—not even QB Aaron Rodgers’ or wide receiver Jordy Nelson playing through broken ribs. Falcons QB Matt Ryan (aka “Matty Ice”) showed off his big arm and why he’s the hands-down favorite to win this year’s MVP award. Next up, the Falcons are hoping to bring home the franchise’s first Super Bowl. 
  • AFC:  The Patriots smoked the Pittsburgh Steelers. Steelers fans might be complaining about how a 25-year-old Pats fan pulled the fire alarm in the Steelers’ hotel at 3am the night before the big game. Or how the Steelers lost their star running back Le’Veon Bell to a groin injury in the first quarter, but it’s not clear how much any of that really mattered in the their big 36-17 blowout loss to the Pats. Now, the Pats are back in the Super Bowl for their 9th time in franchise history, and Tom Brady can enact his sweet, sweet Deflategate revenge on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
NFL Playoff Bracket

 

MLB 

Tragic coincidence.  Yesterday, the Kansas City Royals’ talented young pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in his homeland, the Dominican Republic. He was only 25 years old. Ventura helped lead the Royals to their World Series victory in 2015. The ace was known for his cocky and confident demeanor and incredible 100mph fastball. Earlier the same day, fellow Dominican and former MLB infielder Andy Marte died in a separate car accident nearby in the Dominican Republic. Marte played his last MLB game for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 in a game against the Royals that Ventura pitched.

 

TENNIS

Toppled tennis titans.  Sunday was a tough day for the good guys. Both the #1-ranked men’s and women’s tennis players in the world, Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber were upset by unseeded players in the Australian Open. What does that mean?  The field is wide open for the players that are left. On the men’s side, golden oldies Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are fan favorites to take home the major now that both Murray and Novak Djokovic are out of the tournament. In the women’s competition, it’s all about Serena Williams. If she wins it all, she’ll take her #1-ranking back from Gerber and more importantly, she’ll win her 23rd Grand Slam—the most of any male or female player in history.