MANNING SCORES, PACMAN RETURNS, FOXES FLY HIGH
American football’s Super Bowl is one of those events that, if you’re an American, will cause the world around you to stand still. Even if you don’t watch a single minute of a single game throughout the year, you just have to watch the Super Bowl. Or you at least have to stuff your face with copious amounts of amazing food washed down with torrents of alcoholic beverages. Either way, you can’t really go wrong.
As with any overhyped event, there’s always the possibility of a letdown. Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers promised to be an amazing football contest as both teams had played superbly in the thrilling playoffs leading up to the final. Unfortunately, the game turned out to be pretty much a dud.
Well perhaps not entirely a yawner. I’m a big fan of defense in sporting contests and the Denver defense did an outstanding job of shutting down the Carolina offense, pounding the Panthers in a relentless barrage of hits, tackles and pressure in their 24-10 victory. At 39-years old, Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning winning his second Super Bowl ring provided a great storyline. And watching the Panther’s brash QB Cam Newton falter under the heat will set up some nice drama for the coming seasons, as he strives to prove he’s not a choker.
And was I the only one who thought the halftime show was, well, just overhyped Hollywood schmaltz? Having Beyonce, Coldplay and Bruno Mars on one stage at one time was a bit of overkill. But, hey, it’s the Super Bowl and hype knows no boundaries.
After losing badly to Floyd “Money” Mayweather in their “Battle of the Millennium” last May, our very own Manny Pacquiao will be back in the ring this April for what he promises will be his last fight, this one a third encounter with American Tim Bradley. The fight will take place April 9th at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, (April 10th in the Philippines.)
These two have already fought twice, with Pacman losing a wildly controversial decision in their first fight, and then winning in dominating fashion in their second encounter.
I have known and followed Pacquiao since his career began over 20-years ago. He was the most breathtaking fighter I have ever seen. His all-energy style, his willingness to take on the best there is, and his love of combat have produced some of the fondest memories in my life as a rabid boxing fan. But this matchup with Bradley has left me decidedly underwhelmed.
I actually like Bradley but I just don’t see the need for a third fight. I suspect Pacquiao took this fight just to get a few million dollars in the run up to his campaign for Senator. And let’s not forget that Pacman came into the Mayweather fight with a shoulder injury that he kept from the public. That left a very bad taste in a lot of mouths, including mine.
Thus, I am vowing for the first time in 20-years not to pay one single centavo to buy this fight. I’m sure I’ll find my way to a bar to watch it because, well, it’s still Pacquiao fighting. This fight, however, feels like a pure money grab with no real story line. I’m sure plenty of other fans feel the same way.
Fans of Premier League Football are literally in shock at the surprise run of Leicester City this year. With just over 10 games left in the season, the Foxes sit atop the standings by 5 points and have a very good chance at producing what will be the most amazing result ever in English football.
How amazing is Leicester’s run? Only five teams have ever won the Premier League; Manchester United has dominated with 13 wins, Chelsea has won the title four times, Arsenal three, Manchester City two and the Blackburn Rovers one. The Foxes barely escaped last year and were favored to be relegated at the beginning of the year. Leicester is also one of the lowest spending teams in the Premier League.
Leicester was priced at 5000/1 to win the league in August. This means that the bookies will take a big bath should the Foxes go on to win the Premier League in May.