On the penultimate evening of 2009, here’s what I’m pondering:

  • FLYERS 6, RANGERS 0 – Way to keep the streak alive boys!! 4 straight wins heading into the Winter Classic.  A complete destruction/humiliation of a division rival with a Simon Gagne hat-trick thrown in to boot.  Richards and Carter both added 2 assists and Michael Leighton got the 4th shutout of his career.  Apparently getting on the road was exactly what the team needed.  They came out, jumped all over the Rangers early, and never looked back (they were up 3-0 after 13 minutes of play).  I think the shutout is actually more impressive than the 6 goals because the Flyers haven’t been the best at holding leads so far this season. Fun fact #1: This was the first Flyers shutout of the Rangers since “Silent” Bob Esche did it in 2004.  Fun Fact #2: This was the first Flyers shutout of the Rangers at MSG since John “Beezer” Vanbiesbrouck did it in 1999.  Dare I say it?  LOOK OUT EASTERN CONFERENCE, HERE COME THE FLYERS… 
  • 5 (MAYBE 6) FLYERS ARE OLYMPIANS – Team Canada announced its Olympic Roster earlier today and both Mike Richards and Chris Pronger were selected to the team.  Pronger was also named an assistant captain.  They join teammates Kimmo Timonen (Finland), Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Norway), and Oskars Bartulis (Latvia) on their countries’ respective Olympic Rosters.  Team USA announces its roster on Friday and should Matt Carle be selected, the Flyers will have 5 of their top 7 defensemen playing in the Olympics.  What that will mean come playoff time is anybody’s guess but it’s a great honor for all those guys.  Congratulations and good luck!! 
  • TEXAS TECH FIRES MIKE LEACH – I believe I called this one last night.  Again, no real idea if we’ll ever get all the facts about what exactly happened and whether the firing was truly justified.  It sounds as though Leach will be suing TT for a variety of things and that this story will get nastier before it gets resolved.  Still, there’s no denying his talent as a football coach and the fun & excitement his teams brought to college football.  I have a sneaking suspicion that Texas Tech could be in for some rocky seasons ahead.
  • SHOWTIME’S INSIDE THE NFL – Caught this week’s episode earlier tonight and I found it rather watchable.  To be honest, I haven’t watched it since it moved to Showtime, but the panel of James Brown, Warren Sapp, Phil Simms, and Cris Collinsworth stuck mostly to analysis.  There was still too much laughing and giggling going on for my taste but it was better than I thought it would be.  2 major problems: 1) their “all-decade” team was comprised ENTIRELY of AFC players and 2)they lead off with Eagles’ highlights and then never talked about them.  It was all about the Saints and Vikings.  Still, i’ll probably watch again next week (if for no other reason than to hopefully see Warren Sapp mock Simms and Collinsworth for picking the Cowboys to beat the Eagles).
  • THE BOOK OF BASKETBALL – Most of you know that I don’t care much for pro basketball.  But many of you also know that i’m a huge Bill Simmons fan.  He’s the only person on the planet who could make me think about purchasing a basketball bookl.  His 700 page opus with the above title was daunting but purchase it I did.  I’m enjoying very much and I highly recommend it.  Even if you’re not crazy about the sport his knowledge is impressive and the personal anecdotes are hilarious.  Not to mention you can pick it up and put it down quite often without ever losing track of what’s going on. 
  • LOOK OUT NFL, HERE COMES NDAMUKONG SUH – Nebraska just finished off destroying Arizona 33-0.  That’s right, in his final game at the collegiate level, Ndamukong Suh played every snap and helped his defense pitch a shutout.  An impressive feat in its own right, the win caps off one hell of a Senior year for the Nebraska defensive tackle.  If i’m a St. Louis Rams fan, i’m PRAYING we lose on Sunday so that we can draft him.  This guys is going to be a MONSTER in the NFL. 
  • MANCHESTER UNITED 5, WIGAN 0 – Another impressive beatdown by my boys on the other side of the pond.  Wayne Rooney was again at his absolute best scoring the first goal, helping set up another, and narrowly missing 2 more goals by hitting both a post and the crossbar.  Valencia had a huge game as well against his former club with 3 assists.  Man. U is now 2 points behind Chelsea and right where they wanna be with Chelsea set to lose several players to the African Nations Cup later this month.  Should be a GREAT second half of the season…
  • HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! – I dunno about you guys, but 2009 kind of sucked so I’m definitely ready to turn the page and start over.  I wish you all a SAFE, WONDERFUL, and VERY VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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December 2009
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