Our first Monday sports round-up of 2015 features a pause to reflect on the passing of Stuart Scott, college football Bowl game madness, and Wild Card Weekend in the NFL starring Chris Christie.
1. Stuart Scott, ESPN SportsCenter Anchor, Father, Liver of Life, Passed Away at Age 49.
We’ve written in the past about the tragedy of when athletes that you follow die playing the game. Part of the feeling – rightly or wrongly – is that our athletes can be idols. They are also – perhaps more importantly – like big kids playing a game. And death seems incongruent with games. Stuart Scott was not a famous athlete. But we felt like we knew him, because he was in our living rooms, via his anchor position at ESPN’s SportsCenter, for so many years. Making us smile, in his exuberance for these games.
Stuart Scott, the man, was a fighter. He was a strong caring father. And we are so very saddened by his passing.
As we wrote yesterday:
Scott was one of the iconic voices of SportCenter for many years. He is credited with putting the “hip hop in Sportscasting,” with his trademark catch-phrases like “Boo yah!,” “As cool as the other side of the pillow,” “Call him butta, cause he’s on a roll,” and “He must be the bus driver cuz he was takin’ him to school.”
Stuart Scott did battle with cancer three times. He realized that the disease “was something he was probably never going to kick.” In response, as part of his daily routine he took up mixed martial arts fighting, to help him feel alive because he wanted to be a dad to his two daughters for a very long time.
Our short tribute to Stuart Scott can be read in full here.
2. There Were Many Many Bowl Games. Some Had Silly Names. Many Games Were Thrillers. And the SEC Got Exposed.
There is still no American Standard Toilet Bowl, Maybelline Clump Crusher Mascara Bowl, or Bowling Ball Bowl. Likewise, there is no E-radicate E-Bowl-a Bowl, Smoke a Bowl Bowl, Bowling for Soup 1980s Nostalgia Bowl. Nor is there yet a Hot Tub Time Machine Bowl…sponsored by DeLorean.
This is a tragedy, and speaks volumes about who exactly these “ad whizzes” up in the corporate sponsorship departments are and why we are paying them so much money.
Let’s make it happen people! (You’re welcome).
As to the actual Bowls, somehow, these are all real!:
- The Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (WKU over Central Michigan in a 49-48 barnburner!)
- Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Featuring a team from Louisiana beating a team from Illinois).
- Duck Commander Independence Bowl (The Gamecocks beat The U. Launchpad McQuack off the bench for a late TD).
- Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl (Missou took down the Gophers, ay)
- TaxSlayer Bowl (Tennessee took care of Iowa. No taxes were harmed in the making of this football game.)
- GoDaddy Bowl (Toledo put up 63 points!)
Apparently, ESPN owns a number of these bowl games, and they have a vested interest in widely airing even the lamest and most inconsequential of bowls.
Side note: In case you are wondering about the worst bowl name ever, a 2012 Guardian article took that question on, and its the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl:
” Is there any doubt that, of all the bowls, participants in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl are the most likely to avoid mentioning the exact name of the bowl game they played in? Beef ‘O’ Brady’s is not just a family-style restaurant close in spirit to that mocked in Office Space – it’s also cursed with a name that sounds like a racist caricature made entirely of cow carcasses; a Fighting Irish mascot made entirely of meat.”
Hard to disagree.
The big football story of Bowl Week was the defeat of every top team from the vaunted SEC: Down went Alabama, Auburn, LSU. Ole Miss, and Mississippi State.
Twitter captured the news perfectly:
— Marshall (@Banditof87) January 2, 2015
Oh . . . and finally, Oregon crushed Florida State and The Ohio State University beat Alabama. Oregon and OSU play for all the marbles in next week’s championship game.
3. Wild Card Weekend in the NFL and a Different Sort of Christie-Gate
In the National Football League . . .
The under .500 Carolina beat injury-marred Arizona, and get now take to the road again to take on defending Super Bowl champion Seattle.
Andrew Luck shredded the Bengals and hapless Andy Dalton couldn’t muster much offense, as Indianapolis advanced to set up the a great matchup against Peyton Manning and the Broncos.
Baltimore soundly beat the shorthanded Steelers to set up another playoff rematch against the Patriots in Foxboro.
And Dallas came back from down 20-7 to beat the Detroit Lions 24-20.
The interesting story out of Dallas was the presence of NJ blowhard Governor, Chris Christie, in owner Jerry Jones box, whooping up the big win awkwardly with hugs and missed high fives:
But, be forewarned, don’t poke fun at Christie for rooting for the Cowboys – and not the Jets or Giants – or for pals-ing around with Jones. Because, if you do, Christie’s younger brother has some choice words for you.
Apparently, being a boorish clod runs in the Christie family.
Photo Credit(s): YouTube/Screen Capture
For back-issues of our weekly “So…This Happened. Three Things in Sports,” see:
Dec. 29, 2014 Edition: JJ Watt’s stellar season, the poor Cleveland Browns, and the NFL playoff picture.
Dec. 22, 2014 Edition: The Raiders host Ava Urrea, Zach Doubek returns on the court, Kentucky Men’s Basketball dismantles UCLA, and . . . well . . . Odell Beckham Jr.
Dec. 15, 2014 Edition: Odell Beckham Jr. (again!), Johnny Manziel being shown the money (but not how he imagined), and a wonderful speech by Notre Dame’s women’s basketball coach about activism by athletes – and all of us – in the wake of the death of Eric Garner.
December 8, 2014 Edition: Eric Garner protests by athletes, Andre Johnson’s Christmas toy shopping spree for kids, and the Legend of Odell Beckham Jr. grows.
December 1, 2014 Edition: Ferguson protest by the St. Louis Rams, what’s good about sports from Ohio State/Michigan, and an epicly bad loss by the NY Football Giants.
November 24, 2014 Edition: Odell Beckham, The Red Sox, and Kentucky Wildcats basketball