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What an unusual day for sports fans everywhere. First thing I found when upon returning home from a seven-hour school day is that New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez had admitted to taking several performing-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while playing with the Texas Rangers.
Personally, I think this was a great decision on A-Rod's part. He was able to take that heavy weight off his back and move on with not quite as much damage as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. The good news for Rodriguez himself? He did not lie under oath, unlike Bonds and Clemens. This means he will not be in any legal trouble, though his legacy will be tarnished--especially by fans.
Elsewhere in Major League Baseball the over-weight and over-paid L.A. Dodger (no, not Manny) Andruw Jones was signed to a minor-league deal by the Texas Rangers. All I am going to say about this is: let's hope he plays better than his '08 campaign in which he batted .158 with 3 HR's and 14 RBI's in 75 major league games in L.A.
I bring up Manny Ramirez again so we can all ask the question: Where's Manny? Well, as of February 9th, 2009, he is most likely home on the couch eating potato chips. We all know, by now, that Manny recently turned down a 1-year $25 million deal to play for the Dodgers again next season, and it seems as though several other teams have given up on Manny as well. At this point, it's quite obvious Ramirez doesn't want to play ball badly enough. If he isn't offered the dollar amount he's looking for he has said numerous times he will retire. This is a shame, because he has no idea how many teams would die to have a player of his caliber on their ball club. I have always been a fan of Manny's, but I believe he has just taken this one a little too far. Way to ruin your chances of playing again, dude.
Ah yes, the annual AFC-NFC Pro Bowl was played yesterday for the final time in Honululu, Hawaii (the game, starting next season, will be played a week before the Super Bowl in the host city). Unlike many other NFL fans out there, I am a fan of the Pro Bowl. I guess you can say it's because I just love everything about football, but it's also because these are the best players in the league right now. It's unique because you really only get to see this many star players on one field once a year, and you may not realize this, but these guys do want to win this game. Yes, I know, they risk injury, but that's why it's played at the end of the season, you have the entire off-season to recover. Plus, you risk injury just waking up in the morning, I don't understand why everyone is so scared about these guys hurting themselves when it can happen whenever, where ever. This is no different then every other game. This is like a vacation for the players (and coaches), and it's an honor for these guys. I really don't agree with moving this game to the week before the Super Bowl, because then that takes away all the players playing in the Super Bowl.
Anyways, the AFC dominated the first half of play with Peyton Manning and Kerry Collins throwing first half TD's to tight ends Tony Gonzalez and Owen Daniels, giving the AFC team an early 14-3 lead. But, just before the half, Drew Brees threw a 46-yard bomb to none-other-than Super Bowl participant Larry Fitzgerald. 14-10 AFC.
The second half was a different story for the NFC. Adrian Peterson ran the ball in from 10 yards out, allowing the NFC to take their first lead of the game. The NFC then re-took the lead for good after a fourth quarter pass from the arm of Eli Manning landed in the hands of Fitzgerald--the game's MVP. Two John Carney field goals sealed the win for the NFC, 30-21. What a game it was.
More big news from the NFL includes Big Ben Roethlisberger coming out and saying he played SB XLIII with two fractured ribs. The team denied that saying they have no knowledge of that bit of information, but if it's true that just gives you even more evidence that shows you just how tough this 26-year old Cleveland-native is.
Moving on to the NBA:
Last night Kobe Bryant and his 41-9 Los Angeles Lakers--playing without big man Andrew Bynum, of course--handed the 39-10 Cleveland Cavaliers, led by young phenom LeBron James, their first home loss of the season (23-1). Kobe missed some time, battling the flu, but Lamar Odom stepped up and got the job done with his season-high 28 points and 17 rebounds, helping L.A.'s defense hold LeBron to just 16 points. Tim Duncan's Spurs and Steve Nash's Suns had great games as well. Duncan tallied a double-double (23 points and 13 rebounds) in his team's 105-99 victory over the Eastern Conference's best team, the Boston Celtics, on the road. The 6-10, 240-pound center Matt Bonner stepped up, as well, for San Antonio. Bonner, who averages around 8 PPG and 4 RPG, dropped 23 points and 8 rebounds.
Over in Phoenix, the borderline Suns snagged a game on the road, too. Playing Rasheed and the 27-21 Pistons, Nash and Shaq dealt Detroit their 22nd loss of the season, 107-97. Nash distributed the ball to his teammates very well, recording a season-high 21 assists with 15 points. His assist binge allowed two teammates, Shaq and Jason Richardson, to score 20+ points in Phoenix's ten-point victory.
**More may be added to this article later**