So we're starting something new here on Screened, sports! Sports show up in our movies and more often on TV and should get some sort of coverage right here. This feature will be weekly (hopefully) and will cover the bigger sports stories going on right now. So feel free to leave feedback, tell me which sports you prefer to hear and know about, and anything else you might come up with that could help this feature change and grow.
NLCS Playoff Series:
The San Francisco Giants are facing off against last year's world champions, the St. Louis Cardinals. Right now the series is close with St. Louis winning the 3rd game in a best out of 7 game series (it's now 2-1 in St. Louis' favor). Both teams have been strong all year but since the series moved to St. Louis (baseball playoff series move between the 2 playing cities to keep things fair) both teams will need to play their best since the Giants were one of the best scoring teams on the road, and St. Louis has the best home record in the NL this season.
So far this series has been all about pitching, and the handful of scoring chances are critical during every game. So if you do decide to catch this series make sure to pay attention when someone is on base, it could be enough to decide the game and decide who ends up in theWorld Series.
ALCS Playoff Series:
Meanwhile in Detroit, the Yankees are getting desperate. Losing the first three games and showing exactly what an offense shouldn't look like when you pay for some of the best hitters in the game today. Some of the biggest disappointments for New York have been Robinson Cano, second baseman, and Alex Rodriguez, third baseman. Both are power hitters and run producers on the team and haven't been doing so in the post-season. A-Rod was benched in the ALDS against the Orioles and has been again against Detroit in hopes another bat could liven up the lineup.
With Detroit's win, they move on to the World Series and await the St. Louis/San Francisco winner. With a Yankee win, they hold on for one more day but can't lose again or they'll be sent home. The game was postponed on Wednesday, which pushes the pitchers games back a day and is potential bad news for the Yankees if there was a game 7 since CC Sabathia now probably won't get that start and he was their best bet for winning.
The career and legacy of Armstrong being both an advocate for cancer awareness and treatment as well as a stand up athlete who's accomplishments were borderline legendary. So it's sad to learn the weight of allegations that Armstrong has been stripped of all his titles from the Tour de France and now Nike and Livestrong have dropped the athlete as well. It feels like years that Armstrong has been continually accused of "doping" and using illegal drugs to enhance his performance and years he has defended himself as innocent. Now though, there are reports of multiple teammates who say they not only witnessed the doping but when they asked Armstrong if he could provide some drugs to them, he said he would.
It's a sad end to an amazing career that on paper, no longer exists. We can only hope something good can come from this.
To talk about the NFL could take an entire day especially if I wanted to get into every team, but I don't want to do that. There are plenty of stories including Tebow in New York, Manning in Denver, but we start with the undefeated Falcons.
The Atlanta Falcons haven't been playing like the best team in the NFL but they have won every game played, numerous with a last minute field goal. It isn't how you play the game though, it's about winning in the NFL. So at 6-0 and the only team left to not lose a game they are atop the pile, but also the team with the bulls eye on their back. The next best team are the Houston Texans, the previous unbeaten team until they were picked apart by the sometimes good, sometimes poor, Green Bay Packers. With a strong defense and very talented group of wide receivers it's hard to believe the Texans won't make it deep into this year's playoffs.
Other notable teams include the New York Giants who return from San Francisco victorious over a very good 49ers teams. The Giants aren't playing well but with Eli Manning the king of 4th quarter last minute comebacks, no teams can assume they've won against this team until everyone is back in the locker room. A few other teams to watch are the turnover prone Eagles who just fired their defensive coordinator in hopes of salvaging a wacky season, the 1-4 Saints who have all the pieces but none of the wins, and the 3-3 Jets who are still sticking with Sanchez at QB, but with every loss the cheers for Tebow to be put in grow.
Just like with the NFL there are just too many schools and too many stories to cover in a few paragraphs. I'll focus on the top teams and top stories which means we begin in Alabama.
Alabama is still atop the poll standings and are just now getting in to the toughest part of the season. In conference Tennessee is quickly followed by 3 ranked teams including at #6 LSU, on Nov. 3rd, which should be a big game. Somehow Florida, not Florida State, finds themselves at #2 but just like Bama find themselves facing some strong teams in the next few weeks. Ranked South Carolina and rival Georgia at home should test the Gators, but facing off against in-state rival at Florida State as the final game of the season sure looms since the Seminoles were all about the National Championship during the start of the season. Might be time to let off some steam during the biggest game of their season, but that's still weeks away.
Other notables are #3 ranked Oregon and #10 ranked USC. USC was a huge preseason favorite having sat the last few seasons out due to NCAA sanctions. The two face off in California in two weeks and it will be a proving game for Oregon who haven't faced much of a challenge yet beating most teams by double digits. Then there is #5 Notre Dame who are having their best start of season in decades, beating some good teams along the way. They too have to face off against rival USC at the end of the season but that skips over next week's game against Oklahoma. And finally there is #13 West Virginia who just suffered a big loss to in conference rival Texas Tech. The loss to an unranked team was a huge blow to the teams National Championship hopes but they live in a tough conference and a win against #4 Kansas State this weekend would be a big step in the right direction.
Phew. First one in the can. What did you Pups think? Did I cover the sports you like? What else should I have done? I promise to do my best to cover the sport that is active at the moment so when (if) the hockey season starts expect some hockey. I'll do my best to keep up with other sports and stories and anything I think big enough to make it in, will.
As for this weekend there is plenty of College Football on Saturday, and a game on Thursday, and plenty of the NFL on Sunday, Thursday, and Monday. And of course the MLB playoffs continues. The ALCS, Yankees-Tigers, continues on Thursday night and the NLCS, Giants-Cardinals, will probably stretch into the weekend the way the series has gone so far.