Sunday is always a pretty slow day in sports, but there are a couple of interesting stories that made news today. Here they are:
Wild Card Games: The final two wild card games of the NFL Playoffs are today. The New York Giants visited Tampa Bay while the Tennessee Titans travelled to San Diego. In the first game today, the Giants defeated Tampa Bay 24-14 behind a strong outing by Eli Manning. The Buccaneers stadium was rocking, but three costly turnovers helped Eli and the Giants escape with the win. Manning completed 20 of 27 passes for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns while Bucs’ quarterback Jeff Garcia completed only 20 of 39 pass attempts for 207 touchdowns while throwing one touchdown and two interceptions. The Buccaneers chose to shut down the Giants’ running game, which they did as New York averaged only 3.3 yards per rush. Unfortunately, in shutting down the run, Tampa gave Manning the opportunity to pass. He took that opportunity and made the best of it, leading the Giants to the victory. New York will face Dallas in the Divisional Playoffs next weekend. The AFC Wild Card game takes place tonight. Vince Young will need to play a great game to overcome the Chargers’ balanced attack. If the Chargers win, they will face Indianapolis in the next round, but if the Titans win, Tennessee will face New England.
Arenas Hopes To Return This Year: Washington Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas is hoping to play basketball again this year, but doesn’t want to risk further injury. Arenas had surgery last April and then another surgery in November to repair his knee. Though he is progressing, Arenas is still months away from returning. He wants to get back this year, but realizes that it may not be in his best interest to do so. “I have to protect the rest of my career, too, so I won’t jeopardize that for just 15 games if I’m not 100 percent,” he said Saturday “If it’s aching, if I’m out here practicing and it’s swelling up then, I’ll see you next year.”
Mercedes-Benz Championship: The 2008 PGA Tour season is officially underway with the Mercedes-Benz Championship happening this weekend. No Tiger Woods, Ernie Ells, or Phil Mickelson, but there were many big names as well. Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, and Mike Weir highlighted a strong group of golfers. Entering Round 4 today, Weir leads the pack at 13-under, but he is followed closely by Nick Watney, Daniel Chopra, and Jonathan Byrd at 12-under, 11-under, and 11-under respectively. Stephen Ames is 10-under and four players are tied at 9-under. Vijay is 5 shots off the lead at 8-under. This marks the beginning of the 2008 PGA Tour Season, one which should be extremely competitive and entertaining to watch.
Clemens, McNamee Talk: In an “emotional” phone call, Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee spent an hour talking about recent events. Through their lawyers, both have attacked each other and have threatened to take actions even further with lawsuits. The content of the conversation is unknown, but it has been called extremely ’emotional’ by multiple sources. Clemens and McNamee are expected to appear in front of a congressional committee on January 16th. If both stick to their stories, then one of them will perjure themselves and could easily end up in the same situation as Bonds is in now. McNamee does not have much to lose in the hearing as if he is lying, he will go to jail for lying to prosecutors in a separate investigation. For Clemens, however, much more is on the line. Is it worth it to risk going to jail to try and clear his name? Will he come clean? Or is he innocent? These questions and more are flying through his head right now as he tries to restore his image.
College Basketball Games: Though there weren’t many games today, there were a couple of good college basketball games worthy of talking about. In a Big East match-up, 16 Villanova defeated 13 Pittsburgh 64-63 behind Dante Cunningham’s two free throws with 10 seconds left. Pitt is extremely short-handed at the moment and will be for much of the season. Hopefully starting point guard and team leader Levance Fields will be back by March and the NCAA tournament committee will take into account his absence. Without Fields, the Panthers turned the ball over 22 times, including their final possession. In another Big East match-up, unranked West Virginia upset 11 Marquette 79-64. It was a well played game, but the Mountaineers took advantage at the free throw line, going 22 for 29. It is a good win for West Virginia who improves to 11-3 on the season and will likely crack the Top 25 this week. The last big game of the day is tonight in the ACC, where 1 North Carolina travels to Clemson. Clemson always has an easy non-conference schedule so they will face their first test of the season against a good Tar Heel team.
I’ll try to get my Daily Sports Roundup out early tomorrow so I can include by BCS National Championship predictions in it. Hope this gives you a quick recap of today’s sports news