Monday, November 29, 2010

You're Welcome! Big Ten Champs!

1. Steve Stamkos:  One of the best young players in the NHL is finally getting the recognition he deserves.  Barry Melrose didn't play him because he thought he wasn't NHL ready, then he gets the most goals in the league.  Now that clown Melrose is on ESPN's pitiful hockey coverage and Stamkos is making every shot imaginable for the Lightning.  Hes only 20 and hes improving and Steve could be the new face of the league for many fans, not the unlikable Crosby.  

2. MSU Spartan football:  In a roller coaster season, the Spartans won an Overtime game in a I-guess-they-aren't-so-bad Notre Dame team, only to lose their coach for a few weeks with a heart attack.  Then the Spartans upset Wisconsin with Don "The Tread" Treadwell.  Then they steamrolled lesser teams with Dantonio returning (including a third straight against the Wolverines, twice in their house) to finish the season with the most wins since 1999.  It looks like the Capital One Bowl again (oh darn) against the SEC (my pick, South Carolina)  in a return to playing on New Year's Day.  The only thing that could be sweeter is if the Spartans snapped their streak and won a bowl, over a quality opponent, to shut up the critics who said the Spartans only beat bad teams.  A Cinderella year that was huge for everyone involved.  Remember when everybody said Dantonio had to win this year to prove he can be a difference maker?  That seems ages ago.  The talented young Spartans should be challenging for the Big Ten title next year, when we don't have to share it with anybody. 

3. Chicago Bears:  Don't get to excited.  Sure, the Bears look improved, and many things are going right.  But this is a typical Bears playoff season.  Their defense improves to the point of respectability.  Their special teams steals a few games for them, and their offense puts together a few good weeks to make people think they are something special.  They got a win week 1 from the refs, and they beat the pitiful Panthers with Todd Collins throwing for about 30 yards and a pick.  They get all the bounces and the coach (this time its Smith, last time it was Smith, before that it was Jauron) looks like a genius.  Even Marinelli and Martz, the worst two hires of the decade, will get credit for the new resurgence.  Here, I'll look into my crystal ball to tell you how this ends up.  They will probably make the playoffs, I think Wild Card, vs a team like Seattle.  They win that game, beating maybe the worst playoff team in the past five years.  Then they meet the Falcons in the playoffs.  Cutler gets killed and turns the ball over 5 times against a mediocre Falcon D, and the defense and special teams can't bail them out.  They lose 35-14, Turner runs for 150 yards, and the Bears look forward to next year, when not everything falls into play and they go 5-11.  Write it down. 

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