Remember way back in October, when the Indianapolis Colts were 3-4 and their playoff hopes looked completely dead in the water? What a difference a couple of months make. Last night’s 31-24 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars was the team’s eighth straight, clinching a playoff berth and as the INDIANAPOLIS STAR notes, made them the first team ever to win 11 or more games in six straight seasons. And Tony Dungy became the first coach since the merger to make the playoffs in ten straight years.
All impressive, but the star of the night was Peyton Manning. You might not have noticed, but after struggling a bit during the team’s early slump, Peyton’s stepped out of his little brother Eli’s shadow, putting together a string of great performances despite not having a run game to speak of. And last night might have been his best yet: 364 yards and three touchdowns, including completing his first 17 passes in a row.
If he keeps this up, he might get some endorsements in the future. The game was a bit of a letdown for Jaguars fans, but their highlight had to come before the game, when paralyzed lineman Richard Collier took the field in a wheelchair with his teammates. No jokes there, just a Christmas wish that no other NFL players (or athletes) are the victims of needless crime in 2009.
Meanwhile, the NFL wants you to become a narc. Not about drugs (so please stop following Ricky Williams around, thanks), but about unruly fan behavior. USA TODAY reports that NFL teams are giving fans a way to report obnoxious fans to stadium security by sending a text message.
It’s more discreet than having to find a security guard and point someone out, but it does lend itself to “prank texts” of people wanting to kick people out of the stadium. For example, Buffalo fans shouldn’t text message security and demand that Dick Jauron is kicked out of the stadium for “impersonating an NFL head coach.” Note: the Saints, Rams and Titans don’t offer this service, so feel free to act like complete cretins at these games.
- NESW SPORTS has footage of Chris Webber going “Iraqi Shoe Thrower” on Charles Barkley in the name of “Gene Chiznik” (I think he meant Chizik). I haven’t seen Sir Charles move that fast since a Vegas pit boss came towards him to collect his marker:
- You can remove the Boston Red Sox from the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes: owner John Henry tells the BOSTON GLOBE that “after hearing about his other offers, however, it seems clear that we are not going to be a factor.“
- The CHARLOTTE OBSERVER reports that NASCAR and Mauricia Grant have settled her sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit out of court. Apparently with the auto industry going into the tank, NASCAR decided that having a $225 million lawsuit hanging over its shoulder might not be a great idea.
- They’re getting Wrigley Field ready for the Winter Classic NHL game, and apparently they’re also indulging in some egg nog (or Old Style) while they are at it. GOING FIVE HOLE has video of an incident that occurred while unloading one of the Zambonis. Just call it a “Zam-boner.”
- KCBS 2 has the details of a suspected child molester who was working as a youth sports coach in Orange County. Remind me to send my kids to tap lessons instead.
- Not only do they take their high school football seriously in Texas (even if the fields can kill you), but God is right up their too. The HERALD DEMOCRAT reports on how their Christian faith has guided the Celina High football team to eight state title games in 11 years.
- In case you missed it, Tim Tebow questioned Mel Kiper Jr. on why the draft pundit thought he wouldn’t make it as an NFL QB, and the Hair Helmeted One really didn’t have a good answer. COLLEGE FOOTBALL TALK says that comments like that (and anger over not winning the Heisman Trophy this year) might drive Tebow from Florida and into the NFL.
- GOLF DIGEST says that Jack Nicklaus has a holiday message for Tiger Woods: get well soon, but don’t break any more of my records. And get off my lawn!
- THE SPORTING BLOG rolls up with word that Bronson Arroyo’s personal motto is “It ain’t no fun unless the homeys can have some!” from a Snoop Dogg song, meaning sharing the sexual services of young ladies with your friends. Talk about a Hot Corner…
- Finally, an Argentine soccer player tells the AP that he feels terrible that he killed a pigeon when it was struck by a ball he kicked. Go tell it to Dave Winfield.