NFL Comes Up Big Late With Exicting Postseason
by John Jastremski
Jan 17, 2018 | 84 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I’m as big a fan of the National Football League that you’re going to find. I can’t get enough. I have my football Sunday ritual. My televisions, my fantasy teams, my wagers, and I always treasure every Sunday that football is on from September until the Super Bowl. I’ll be the first to tell you, 2017 has not been a banner year for the NFL. The NFL 2017 regular season was for the most part pretty lackluster. However, the NFL postseason has been anything but. The last two weeks have provided incredible drama across the board, with some hard-fought, well-played intense battles and some insane finishes along the way. Think about three of the four games that were played over the course of the weekend. All three had their twists and turns and fair share of memorable moments. The Eagles pulling off a goal-line stand over the final seconds against the Atlanta Falcons with the game in the balance. The Jacksonville Jaguars went into Pittsburgh with a quarterback that myself, along with many others, thought was terrible, and put up 45 points on the road and stunned the Steelers. And last but not least, how about that incredible display in the fourth quarter by both the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings. A game that had it all was capped off by one of the greatest endings you’ll ever see in a playoff game. The Minnesota Vikings have had a history for losing these sort of games in January time and time again. After the Miracle in Minneapolis on Sunday, scoring as time expired against the Saints, you have to wonder if Lady Luck is finally on their side? The Divisional Round combined with the drama of the College Football Playoff is why the narrative that the sport of football is in trouble is greatly exaggerated. Now the stage is set for Championship Sunday. If in early September I told you that the quarterbacks joining Tom Brady on Championship Sunday would be Nick Foles, Case Keenum and Blake Bortles, you wouldn’t have taken those even if I gave you 1,000-to-1 odds. In the NFC, you have two terrific defenses, but what unproven quarterback will step up and make enough plays to win the game? In the AFC, the Patriots continue to dominate despite any drama that seems to be coming out of Foxboro. Can the Jaguars duplicate the formula of the 2010 New York Jets? A top-flight defense frustrating Tom Brady in a home playoff game. Both match ups are fun, and I just hope Championship Sunday can be as good as what we witnessed last weekend in the divisional round. It’s nice to see that, as far as entertainment goes, the NFL is making up for some lost time. You can listen to me on Friday from 1 to 6 a.m., Sunday from 2 to 6 a.m. & Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. on WFAN Sports Radio 660 AM/1019 FM. You can also listen to me on Saturday from 2 to 6 a.m. on CBS Sports Radio. JJ’s Championship Sunday Unlocks • New England -9.5 • Minnesota -3
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Spence aims to continue upswing in Brooklyn
by Bryan Fonseca
Jan 17, 2018 | 82 views | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Errol Spence is becoming who everyone thought he’d be. When featured on the undercard of a handful of Premier Boxing Champion cards since the brand launched in early 2015, Spence was always touted as one to watch. At 28 years old, the reigning IBF Welterweight Champion is officially into his athletic prime, standing at a perfect 22-0 with 19 knockouts. Not too bad for the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist from Texas, who was born on Long Island and has recently made a home in the ring in Brooklyn. After January 20, Spence will have held three of his last four fights in Brooklyn, two of which were at Barclays Center, the spot that’s become boxing’s hotbed, and the location where Spence arguably left his first huge imprint on the sport. On April 16, 2016, Spence lined up across Chris Algieri, a Huntington native with a degree from Stony Brook, master’s from NYIT, and previous world title runs in boxing and kickboxing. Prior to the fight Algieri had two losses; a blowout to Manny Pacquiao and a tight one against Amir Khan, both by decision. Against Spence, he didn’t make it past round five, losing by TKO. He hasn’t fought since. Spence’s true crowning achievement came a year later on May 27, when he traveled to the United Kingdom to face Kell Brook. Brook, then the IBF champ, had one loss, a stoppage defeat to middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin in which he flashed brilliance early on, but broke his eye socket prior to round six. In Brook’s backyard, Spence scored a TKO in round 11, becoming only the seventh American to win a world title in the U.K. Though usually mild mannered, there’s a reason he carries a certain confidence along with his world title. “The top spot in the sport is really up for grabs now, and I’m coming for it,” he said at a media workout on January 10. “I don’t care who I have to face or where, I’m going to be the last man standing. That’s why we all get into this sport.” On Saturday, headlining yet another stacked Brooklyn Boxing/Premier Boxing Champion card, Spence will take on Lamont Peterson (35-3-1, 17 KO’s), a former welterweight and light welterweight world champion in his own right. Peterson, 33, has only fought once since October 2015, but the one performance was a unanimous decision victory that landed him a WBA World Welterweight championship. “I’m excited to be fighting a guy like Lamont Peterson,” said Spence. “I’m not fighting a no-name fighter. He’s going to bring the best out of me because he’s a true fighter. “Everyone who has seen me fight before knows it won’t be a boring fight,” he added. “Even if it’s one-sided, it’s always going to be action packed. I’m planning to dominate.” Spence hasn’t fought since defeating Brook in May, which came nine months after he put Leonard Bundu to sleep at the Coney Island Amphitheater on a rainy late August afternoon in 2016. His long layoff may have been behind his slow start against Brook, but his trainer Derrick James insists the rising star is ready to go. “Errol has to keep this mentality going into this fight and beyond, and he knows that,” said James. “Winning one title is not what he wants. He wants to be undisputed welterweight champion. He’s going to push himself to the limit and attain his goals.” Peterson has fought at Barclays in August 2014 and April 2015 on one of the first PBC cards, defending an IBF Super Lightweight Title against non-descript challenger Edgar Santana, and then losing a controversial decision to Danny Garcia. “Defending my title in Brooklyn will be special,” said Spence. “I have family in New York, so it means a lot that I’ll be able to defend at Barclays Center. New York is a boxing city, so they really appreciate champions and know the sport.”
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
STJ women make it five in row
Jan 17, 2018 | 74 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Playing its third game in the span of just five days, the St. John’s women’s basketball team collected its fifth-consecutive win by defeating Villanova, 70-64, on Sunday afternoon at Carnesecca Arena. The win marks the first five-game winning streak in conference play for the Red Storm (12-7, 5-3 Big East) since the 2013-14 season, and its first back-to-back victories over the Wildcats (14-3, 4-3) in four years. “Great team win for us,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “They had to play 8 games in 17 days over this stretch, and to start 0-3 and end up where we are is pretty amazing.” Maya Singleton was her usual self in the triumph, collecting her 13th double-double of the season with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The senior also dished out a career-high five assists and stole a pass. Alisha Kebbe also found her stroke from outside, hitting a pair of triples to lead the Johnnies from downtown. The sophomore totaled 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field, while also tallying six rebounds. Tiana England and Andrayah Adams both reached double figures for the Red Storm, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Adams was crucial down the stretch for the home side, making a trio of shots from the charity stripe in the final minute to cement the win. Facing the best defensive team in the conference, St. John’s shot 25-of-51 (49 percent) from the field, including 6-of-11 (54.5 percent) from beyond-the-arc. The percentage from three was a season high for the Wildcats, who are receiving votes in both national polls. The Red Storm’s 70 points scored were also the second-most the Wildcats have allowed this season. St. John’s will now enjoy a break from action before taking the court on January 21 to battle Seton Hall on the road.
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
Justin Simon
Justin Simon
slideshow
Shamorie Ponds
Shamorie Ponds
slideshow