After last week’s less-than-epic Houston vs. Jacksonville Monday Night Football tilt, just about anything would have been an improvement (short of a “dream pairing” of Dennis Miller and Tony Kornheiser). But last night was a great way to cap any week: two 9-3 teams in Tampa Bay and Carolina battling for first place in the NFC South.
And honestly, if you would have told me that Jeff Garcia was going to throw for more than 300 yards, I would have given the Bucs a pretty fair shot at winning the game. But the trump card turned out to be the Panthers’ RB duo of Smash & Dash, i.e. DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, who helped the Panthers combine for almost 300 yards of rushing and a crucial 38-23 victory.
The person on Tampa Bay I feel sorry for is Antonio Bryant, who had a huge game in defeat, as in 200 yards of receiving. (How many fantasy football owners are cursing themselves this morning because they left him on their bench this week.) This included one of the most amazing touchdown catches you’ll see all year:
Speaking of amazing…USA TODAY has a breakdown of the final ballots for the college football Coaches’ Poll, and some of the votes are pretty unbelievable. Like that Utah’s Kyle Whittingham voted his team ahead of USC (I’d like to see that game on the field), or that Ty Willingham voted Missouri 11th despite getting killed in the Big XII Championship Game. But my favorite? Texas Tech’s Mike Leach voting the Red Raiders second - ahead of Florida and Texas. At least he had the decency to place the team that beat him by 44 ahead of Tech.
Some more sports insanity to brighten up your day:
- Kevin Garnett wants a meatball sub, and FOOD COURT LUNCH is going to give it to him. Oh yeah!
- Things just keep getting worse for Petty Enterprises: WTVD-TV says that the legendary NASCAR organization has laid off 39 employees while awaiting a merger or acquisition to save them. Meanwhile, a disgruntled Kyle Petty tells NASCAR.COM that he’s been shown the door and is no longer with the organization.
- CC Sabathia in Dodger Blue? MLB.COM reports that the free-agent hurler ran into GM Ned Coletti at the lobby of Bellagio during Winter Meetings and told him he wants to pitch in LA next season.
- You think you have pressure in your job? Try being Wil Collins, who needed to sink a 18-foot par putt to earn his PGA Tour card on the final hole of Q-School. ESPN.COM tells you if he made it or not.
- Then again, Collins could have it worse: he could have been playing for the Detroit Lions since 2001. Which is why center Dominic Raiola isn’t sorry for giving the finger to heckling Lions fans during last week’s loss to the Vikings. In fact, he tells the AP that he’d give them his home address if they’d only fight fair.
- Could this be the end of the season for Tedy Bruschi? The BOSTON HERALD says that the Patriots’ linebacker is going to be placed on the Injured Reserve after banging up his knee on Sunday against the Seahawks.
- Tim Tebow might be waiting for a sign from above before making a decision, but Texas QB Colt McCoy has made up his mind: the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports he’s coming back for his senior season. Apparently his God is a more decisive God.
- So Kevin McHale has to clean up the mess he made as GM of the Timberwolves now that he’s the coach. ON THE BALL wants Minnesota fans to cheer up: this was actually a demotion.
- PRO FOOTBALL TALK adds another gem to the Emmitt Smith Dictionary from his post-game appearance on ESPN: “amorition.”
- The ARGUS LEADER says that Vinnie Jones, the former bad boy English soccer player turned actor (he played Juggernaut in X-Men: The Last Stand) is claiming self-defense in a bar brawl during a pheasant hunting trip in South Dakota. You can watch the security camera footage and judge for yourself. (Hint: he’s not the 300 lb. guy getting pummeled.)