Saturday, January 30, 2010

Conference Championship Games wrap-up

I thought the two games last weekend were great to watch. I enjoyed watching the Jets play the Colts. When the Jets led 17-6 I still thought it wasn't a big enough lead. I've rooted for teams to beat Peyton many a time and seen them build up a big lead, only to have it disappear. And I was amazed at how fast they scored their first touchdown, at the end of the first half.

The Jets were simply outmatched.

The NFC game was a whole other story. I think the Vikings were clearly the better team that day; if they hadn't had 5 turnovers, they would have won. Its that simple. I also felt like I was watching a primitive sport in overtime when a random coin flip was decided to basically determine who won the game. The Saints won the coin flip, marched down the field aid by a fortuitous play, and kicked a field goal to set off a celebration all over Louisiana.

The Colts will likely win the superbowl. It was a great game to watch. I'll start covering the NBA soon after the NFL season ends.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conference Championship Games

A few quick thoughts on the games about to start:

The Saint's safety used to play with Favre (or against him regularly, I'm not sure). Anyways, having a safety and QB who are very familiar with each other will benefit one team more than the other. My guess is its the safety who can tell his teammates about Favre and make better reads.

Brett Favre is 40 and playing very well behind an excellent offensive line. What does that mean? A good offensive line means even a 40 year old can make the playoffs and pro bowl. A bad offensive line and no QB, no matter how talented, could make the playoffs.

Did the Colts create a monster by laying down against the Jets?

Only time will tell!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Urban Meyer's Chest Pains

I've read the book Urban's Way, an exposition about Urban Meyer and his body of work as a football coach. Throughout the book a few key themes popped up: his endless drive to succeed, the enormous pressure he put on himself, and the incredible hours he put in to achieve that success.

He was bound to be worn down. It is now widely known that he went to the hospital after Florida's loss to Alabama. The strain of Florida's 22 game win streak was literally killing him.

My hope is he will return to coaching with his health stable and not at risk for his life. I'm a big fan of his and wish him the best.

Book Review: When The Game Was Ours

For my birthday, I was given When The Game Was Ours, authored by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, with Jackie MacMullan. It is a fun and entertaining read. About 330 pages long, I had it finished within a week.

It details the careers of the two title athletes, beginning with their high school careers, their meeting in the NCAA Championship game, and their intertwined professional careers.

I learned a few key points from the book. The first is that they were both obsessed with winning, and that obsession drove their success, individually and on their respective team.

Also, Magic and Larry were both aware of a certain team mentality that either encouraged or hindered success. During their title winning years, the team was more focused, more engaged, practicing harder, and winning more games.

During their non winning years, they noticed that support players weren't giving their all, and injuries were also a factor. Motivation and effort were noticeable factors. And that hints that some teams are trying to win a championship and some aren't. Even some good teams are simply going through the motions and not actively trying to improve.

A sharp observer could find these details.

All in all, a good read. Thanks Dad!