Duel in the Desert

1202178586 NY THR

Most every football pundit and their brother came into Super Bowl XLII thinking that the New York Giants would be the last hurdle cleared in the quest for the New England Patriots 19-0 season.

How do you think those guys feel now?

Big Blue and the Pats provided 97 million viewers in the US with more drama than any writers' strike-postponed TV drama could have provided as the Jints pulled off one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, 17-14, and denying the Pats the chance to move into the 1972 Miami Dolphins' neighborhood. Eli Manning, the game's MVP, threw for 255 yards and two scores, two of his completions coming on an amazing catch by wide receiver David Tyree and the game-winning touchdown to Plaxico Burress.

The Fave Five: Super Bowl Ads (in no particular order)

  1. Bud Light (Anheuser Busch) – Pick-up lines featuring comedian Carlos Mencia and the same ragtag group of immigrants from last year
  2. Mountain Dew Amp (Pepsico) – Guy chugs Amp and jump starts a dead battery by hooking electrodes to his man boobies
  3. Coca-Cola Company – The Underdog and Stewie floats go after a Coke bottle balloon, only to be outsmarted by the Charlie Brown balloon. Since he could never kick the football before Lucy could pull it out of her hands, this makes a nice consolation prize, IMHO.
  4. FOX BroadcastingChad Johnson gives a chest bump to Moment of Truth host Mark Walberg, the impact of which sends him flying nuts over teakettle against the host's chair.
  5. Doritos (Frito Lay) – Man sets a mouse trap with part of a Dorito chip, only to have a human in a mouse costume come out and wail on him.

Calls to the Hall

  • Darrell Green – 20-year NFL vet once termed "The NFL's Fastest Man"
  • Art Monk – Green's teammate for 13 years caught the ball 900 times in his tenure, including records of 106 in a season and 183 consecutive games with a catch
  • Fred Dean – his trade to the San Francisco 49ers paved the way for the team's first Super Bowl title in 1981-82
  • Emmitt Thomas – the current Atlanta Falcons coach had 58 interceptions during his career with the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Andre Tippett – at least the Pats had something to smile about re: the former linebacker who had 35 sacks between 1984 and '85, along with 100 during his Patriots tenure, the most in his career
  • Gary Zimmerman – the former Denver Broncos offensive tackle was a 7-time Pro Bowler

Across the Pond

  • Newcastle looked as though they would take the Tyne-Tees Derby with a Michael Owen goal on the hour, but Middlesbrough striker Robert Huth made it a sister-kisser three minutes from injury time, 1-1.
  • Another 1-1 draw came in a rematch of last week's FA Cup Fourth Round tilt. Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez put in the equalizer right at the 90-minute mark away at White Hart Lane.
  • The United draw allowed Arsenal to go top in the Premiership table thanks to a 3-1 win away at Manchester City, along with a double by Emmanuel Adebayor.
  • Chelsea also drew 1-1 away at Portsmouth, leaving them in third place with 54 points.
  • On the continent, Barcelona may be a distant second from archrival Real Madrid in the La Liga standings, but they inched closer thanks to a 1-0 win over Osasuna at Camp Nou and a Real 2-0 loss away at Almería.

UFC 81: Brock's Breaking Point

  • The above is by no means the official title, but this event marked the UFC debut of former WWE and University of Minnesota champion Brock Lesnar. But, his first MMA go-round didn't go so well, as he submitted to Frank Mir's armbar submission a minute and half into the first round of their heavyweight match.
  • Meanwhile, Tim Sylvia is the heavyweight champion pro tempore of the UFC, defeating Brazilian Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in almost the same ending as the aforementioned Mir-Lesnar match. Sylvia was also the HW champ in the late PRIDE Fighting Championship series.

Takin' it to the hizzy

  • What a weekend for Kobe Bryant! The Los Angeles Lakers guard celebrated the arrival of Pau Gasol to SoCal by dropping 46 points on the Toronto Raptors on Friday in a 121-101 rout, and then scored the Lake Show's first 30 points before getting reinforcements on Sunday in a 103-91 defeat of the Washington Wizards.
  • Memphis may have remained undefeated for the time being, but they had to survive a test from UTEP. The Tigers got 24 points from Chris Douglas-Roberts for a 70-64 victory at home.

Kudos (neat how we segue here)

  • Eddie Sutton, who notched his 800th career win on Saturday. The once and former head coach at Oklahoma State, who resigned that post after his involvement in a DUI charge, reemerged at San Francisco and reached the milestone with an 85-82 win over Pepperdine.
  • Robert Montgomery Knight, for a career that saw three NCAA men's basketball titles, over 900 wins, and a good deal of controversy on and off the court. Knight reportedly stepped down as men's head coach at Texas Tech as this was going to press.
  • thoroughbred jockey Russell Baze, who scored his 10,000th career win in a photo finish in the third race aboard Two Step Cat at Golden Gate Fields on Friday. As this reporter resides in the home of the historic Saratoga Race Course (upstate New York, that is), it's rather odd that GGF is located in Albany, California (out near Oakland and Berkeley 'n'at...)

The Big D's (one last time for a few weeks)

Template:Dude of the Weekend

The aforementioned Plaxico Burress: it may not have been 23-17, but you called it, and you sure look like Stephen Hawking for that!

  • Also, much love goes out to the Maras and the Tisches; this reporter is sure that Wellington and Robert were watching from the skybox...

Template:Dope of the Weekend

The advertising agencies that almost ruined Super Sunday with a dearth of funny, laugh-out-loud ads for the second year in a row. Good thing there was a lotta drama in the fourth quarter...

I'm off

Until we reconvene three weeks from now, let's all be good sports...

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