Every 4 years there is a leap day on February 29th and speaking of leaps, the Pitt basketball team took a big leap forward with a win over Duke on Sunday afternoon. With the 76 to 62 victory the Panthers have 20 wins on the season and it improves their chances on to getting into the NCAA Tournament. They have two games left on the road against Virginia Tech on Wednesday night and Georgia Tech on Saturday afternoon, plus the ACC Tournament in Washington D.C starting next Tuesday. I feel the Panthers have done enough to make the big dance in March and now they have to get on the roll. They were able to rebound and play defense well the hallmarks of their past success under Jamie Dixon. If they could do that on a consistent level they could be a force in the ACC and NCAA Tournament.
The Penguins called up goalie Matt Murray from Scranton-Wilkes Barre and there might be a trade of Jeff Zatkoff before the 3:00 P.M Monday deadline. They have acquired defensemen Justin Schultz from Edmonton for a 2016 3rd round pick. Since the NY Rangers have already acquired forward Eric Staal from Carolina this afternoon, i would not be surprised if the Penguins get some help up front with the injuries to Beau Bennett, Eric Fehr and Connor Sheary. Since GM Jim Rutherford made deals to help the defense in getting Trevor Daley, Schultz and getting Carl Hagelin to help up front nothing would surprise me if nothing happens or something else happens tomorrow.
Heath Miller was an outstanding tight end for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was reliable in the red zone and a leader in the locker room. On Friday, Miller announced that he was retiring after 11 seasons in the black and gold. He has the team records for catches and touchdowns for a tight end. The announcement took me by surprise because i didn’t see his level of play go down or dealing with major injury. Sometimes athletes decide to retire when they still have something in the tank. Don’t be shocked if the Steelers take a tight end in free agency or in the draft in the later rounds.
U.S Women’s National Soccer Team won the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Tournament by beating Trinidad and Tobago 5-0 in the semi finals and Canada 2-0 in the finals. They are going to the Summer Olympics in Rio. They didn’t allow a goal and the credit goes to outstanding defense and superb goal-tending of Hope Solo. Crystal Dunn scored 6 goals and Alex Morgan had 5 goals proving that the offense is not totally dependent on Caril Lloyd. Younger players like Mallory Pugh have step up and made big impact. Head Coach Jill Eliis will have a tough decision getting the roster down to twenty players. The next time they play is The SHEBELIEVES Cup that starts on March 3rd VS England.
Peyton Manning is riding high with the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl last week and he has a tough decision about returning for next season. Manning is also dealing with HGH allegations and NY Post reporter Sean King did an article about alleged sexual assault on University of Tennessee athletic trainer Jamie Whited. The alleged incident happened in 1996 and the Manning family did a smear campaign on her. The University is now dealing with a Title IX lawsuit for being a hostile sexual environment. Whited who was married is now known as Jamie Naughright has dealt with her reputation being ruined by the Manning family. Peyton Manning has build his career on a clean image, but he is dealing with with some mistakes in his past and present that could derail his image.
The United States Women’s Soccer team are going to the semi-finals of the CONCAFAC qualifying for the Summer Olympics in Brazil. They defeated Costa Rica 5-0 on Wednesday and this evening defeated Mexico 1-0. The Mexico match was very tough because it was a defensive battle. Carli Lloyd scored in the match in the 80 minute after a very questionable handball in the penalty area. She would score on the subsequent penalty kick, and on Monday they take on Puerto Rico. Despite dealing with a possible strike against U.S Soccer for improvements in pay, travel, and field conditions, plus dealing with Zika virus and other health issues in Brazil. This team will contend for a gold medal in Brazil and the way they are playing right now opponents better be prepared.
Cam Newton post game press conference after the Panthers loss in Super Bowl 50 has been dissected a lot. Cam’s behavior was a sign that he is still a work in progress. He acted like a sore loser, and Cam was channeling Vince Lombardi in a quote. The quote was “Show me a good loser and I show you a loser.” He should have given credit to the Broncos defense, and didn’t accept the blame for his performance. There was no answer for why he didn’t recover the fumble late in the 4th quarter. Denver would score after the fumble and put the game away. Cam Newton had an MVP regular season, but he was not an MVP in the post game press conference.
Super Bowl 50 was a battle between two good teams, but it was the Denver Broncos who won 24 to 10. Von Miller forced two fumbles and had 2.5 sacks, plus named MVP. The Broncos defense made the Carolina Panthers offense look bad. Cam Newton was sacked 6 times and the Panthers gave 4 turnovers. Peyton Manning had an average game threw 141 yards and one interception. The Broncos running game was paced by C.J Anderson who ran for 90 yards and a touchdown. There will be wide spread speculation that Manning will retire, but he going to some time to make his decision. but with several Broncos are going be free agents so hard decisions have to be made.
I had a chance to watch and listen from Super Bowl Radio Row this week and it is great. The reason is that all of the show hosts have to get good questions to the guest because of time limitations. They have some many guests in a given hour and they get a few moments to take calls. Most of the guests talk about the game and pitch a product or a charity they are discussing. It started out with a few stations in 1993 and now most of the radio stations in the big markets are there for 5 days. I have seen a tour of radio row via YouTube and it is great. I truly believe that i will be a part of it real soon.
This is how I look at Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers vs the Denver Broncos.
QB: Cam Newton threw for 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions and the MVP. Peyton Manning threw for 9 touchdowns and 17 interceptions Advantage Panthers
RB: For Carolina Jonathan Stewart rushed for 989 yards and 6 touchdown Newton rushed for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns. For Denver Ronnie Hillman rushed for 868 yards and 7 touchdowns, and C.J Anderson rushed for 720 yards and scored 5 touchdowns. Advantage even
WR/TE: For Carolina Ted Ginn filled in for a injured Kelvin Benjamin getting 44 catches for 739 yards and 10 touchdowns, but Newton main target is TE Greg Olson with 77 catches for 1,104 yards plus 7 touchdowns Denver has Demaryius Thomas with 105 catches for 1,304 yards and 6 touchdowns, Emmanuel Sanders had 76 catches for 1,135 yards and 6 touchdowns. Advantage Even
Defense: Denver is the number one defense against the run and had 52 sacks, plus 14 interceptions returning 4 for touchdowns They are lead by Von Miller who had 11 sacks, plus Demarcus Ware who had 7.5 sacks. The secondary is led by Aqib Talib who had 3 interceptions. Carolina has an outstanding defense its own right Kawann Short had 11 sacks, Luke Kechly had 118 tackles, and their secondary is led by Luke Coleman who had 7 interceptions with one returned for at touchdown and Josh Norman who 4 interceptions with two returned for touchdowns. Advantage Denver
Special Teams Brandon McManus can make a 50 plus yard field goal and Britton Colquitt is a good punter, but the return game is hurting and KR/PR Omar Bolden is on IR. Ted Ginn will break a big return on a punt, and Fozzy Whitaker or Joe Webb will have a big kickoff return. Graham Gano can make a 4o plus yard field goal, and Brad Nortman is a good punter as well. Advantage Carolina.
X Factors for Denver: its running game to control the clock and defense to slow down Panthers offense
X Factor for Carolina: Defense stop Broncos running game and forced Manning to throw and Special Teams to make a big play via the return game
Panthers 27-24 MVP Cam Newton