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Tuesday, November 30, 2021
What a weekend for college football as the final regular season week produced huge matchups and lots of hate. Perhaps no more hate north of Alabama was felt in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as the state's beloved Wolverines took on the hated Ohio State Buckeyes. While the rivalry is storied and easily Top 5 in college football no matter the circumstance, the stakes were significantly higher this week as Michigan was riding an 8-game losing streak against the perennial powerhouse Buckeyes and the teams were both ranked in the Top 5 coming in. Big 10 title on the line. Playoff spot on the line. Enter cold weather and snow and it was the American dream for a football fan. But this turned into a nightmare for the Buckeyes. In Big 10 football style, Michigan lined up and took control of the game at the line. The beneficiary was Hassan Haskins. He put the team on his back with 28 carries for 169 yards and 5 TD, personally outscoring the Buckeyes in the 42-27 Wolverines victory. And it wasn't the kind of effort where it was a few long runs. Every time Michigan had the ball, Haskins pounded for 5 yards, 7 yards, 2 yards, 6 yards shedding tacklers on the way to setting up his team for good 3rd down distance. Michigan scored a TD on its last 5 possessions that didn't end the half keeping Ohio State at bay. What a win for Michigan and while the Sportsman of the Week goes to Haskins, his offensive line deserves much of the credit as well!
Monday, November 22, 2021
The NFL is rounding the midseason battles and heading into a stretch run. One team to watch is the Indianapolis Colts, as from a trend perspective, they're headed in the right direction. This week they obliterated AFC Playoff contender Buffalo Bills on the road 41-15, led by their upstart running back who is entering elite status. Jonathan Taylor shredded the Bills defense for 185 yards and 4 TDs on the ground, then added a TD catch to end with total yards over 200. The Bills had only once given up more than 24 points in a game but Taylor scored that on his own! Taylor now has at least one TD in eight straight games (Colts are 6-2) with 100 yard games in 5 out of 6, and 6 out of those 8. The Wisconsin stud in his second year has two 1000 yard seasons and seems poised for a stellar career. Taylor is a deserving Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, November 16, 2021
Hockey season is back, this time for a regular full season and one of the legends of the current game is showing he hasn't lost a step in his older age. Washington Capitals left winger Alex Ovechkin continues to climb up the all time scoring charts and shows now sign of slowing down. Ovi led the Caps to four big victories during the week to thrust them to within a point of the Metropolitan Division lead. His two goals during the week pushed him to 742 career total, for fourth all time (trailing only Gretzky, Howe, and Jagr). He added six assists along with a plus six in the four wins. The Caps are looking for another Stanley Cup playoff run and their first chance to lift the cup since 2018 when he took home the Conn Smythe Trophy. This week, he gets the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week trophy!
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
The 2021 NASCAR season ended in dramatic fashion with four top teams vying for the Championship. Unlike other motor sports like Formula 1, the NASCAR playoff format ensures four teams compete for the Season Championship in the last race. Some argue that it's not fair to the best team or two in that they may have been the best over the full season but not win a title. But frankly, that's the way it is in most sports in which one game or series decides the winner no matter the regular season records. Well this year, the top regular season driver won the NASCAR Cup Series Championship. Kyle Larson and his number 5 team of Hendrick Motorsports (HMS) had won 9 races over the season entering the championship race in Phoenix. Make it ten. It was not a foregone conclusion over the mile track, as each of the Playoff 4 teams led or would even be considered favorites at any point. But a clutch final pit stop and restart after a yellow thrust Larson's number 5 HMS team out front and he would not be caught. He didn't have to win the race to win the championship, but he did. In his first year in the 5 car, Larson brought his team the title. Fitting end to a great season. Larson is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, November 1, 2021
No player was scarier on Halloween Weekend for defensive players than all world running back Kenneth Walker III as he single handedly won the intrastate rivalry, dealt the Michigan Wolverines their first loss of the season, and surged toward the top of the Heisman Trophy favorite board. The Michigan State Spartan shredded the Wolverines defense for nearly 200 yards (197 to be exact) and five, read that FIVE touchdowns. It was all the offense the Spartans needed to outscore the Wolverines 37-33 and move to 8-0 themselves and into the Big 10 title discussion. Trailing Michigan 30-14, Walker III ran to pay dirt three times in the second half (including two 2-point conversions) from 1 yard, 58 yards, and 23 yards to deflate the favored Michigan squad. An impressive effort in a huge game, nets Walker III our Sportsman of the Week!
Sunday, October 24, 2021
What a week of baseball playoffs, culminating in two very successful franchises punching their ticket to the 2021 World Series. The Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves. Both of them slayed tough Wild Card competition who were red hot, but it's a Braves slugger that was the big difference. OF Eddie Rosario made big hit after big hit to guide the Braves past the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance them to their first World Series this millennium (okay 22 years). Rosario bludgeoned the Dodgers in the NLCS at a 14-25 clip, 3 HR, 9 RBI, and threw in a double and a triple. His hits were clutch, including a walk off single in Game 2, 2 HR in Game 4, then a momentum changing 3-run HR in the decisive Game 6 to stand up a 4-2 win. Whenever clutch was needed, Rosario answered. And on to the World Series for our Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, October 18, 2021
The Dallas Cowboys may FINALLY be for real and it's because they built up offensive weapons all over the place and their defense isn't bad. This week, in an extraordinarily entertaining game, the Cowboys beat the longstanding dynasty (albeit waning) New England Patriots in overtime. While QB Dak Prescott torched the Patriots defense time and time again, it was receiver CeeDee Lamb that hauled in most of them. Lamb hauled in 9 receptions (career high) for 149 yards (career high) and 2 TD (tied career high) including the overtime winner after the Patriots won the toss and had to punt. Targeted just 11 times, Lamb got just about everything thrown his way and for the first time since Barry Switzer stalked the sidelines, the Cowboys look like serious Super Bowl Contenders. Will America's team finally win a title for the first time in 25 years? They will if Lamb keeps it up. He is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Tuesday, October 12, 2021
The Major League Baseball postseason hit full throttle this week and big teams and big names took center stage. A surprise surging team was the Boston Red Sox. On a wild final Sunday of the regular season, they Red Sox stage a huge comeback to avoid having a one-game playoff against the Toronto Blue Jays. Bought them a one game blood bath against the Yankees. And a win. Turn the page to the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays and they stormed to a 3-1 series win in the ALDS. The star? Enrique 'Kike" Hernandez. Overall the Sox went 4-1 against the two best teams in the AL East. Hernandez was 10-18, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 5 runs, 6 RBI in the 4 wins. Perhaps his most dramatic at bat was a series walk off against the top seeded Rays on a Sacrifice Fly. He was nothing short of unstoppable in taking the Red Sox to their second ALCS in four years. He has played in 3 of the last 4 World Series, winning a title last year. He may make it 4 out of 5. Our Sportsman of the Week!
Wednesday, October 6, 2021
The last week of the Major League Baseball Season produced drama as the last few playoff spots were grabbed in the final weekend. One of the most contested races were between the two best teams in baseball (in win total), the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers. The preseason World Series favorite Dodgers trucked along the regular season, but always found themselves looking up at the Giants in the standings. Going into the final week, they stayed that way. Despite the efforts of our Sportsman of the Week. Trea Turner, a mid-season acquisition by the cash and prospect rich Dodgers, sealed a National League batting title by torching opponents all week. Turner went 11-24, 8 runs, 11 RBI as the Dodgers won all games and positioned themselves to nip the Giants at the finish line. It was not to be, as the Giants held out. But the Dodgers earned a Wild Card berth and, if they win, will face the Giants with a chance to finally get the upper hand and advance in the World Series. Turner will be a big factor, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!
Monday, September 27, 2021
Sixty six. 66. Sesenta y seis. A number never before breached by a field goal kicker. On a successful Field Goal at least. Until Sunday. What appears to be the best kicker of at least this generation or maybe ever, Baltimore Ravens uber-leg Justin Tucker both wowed the entire NFL fan population and punched another hole in the Detroit Lions gut by kicking the longest field goal in NFL history. A record that may not ever be broken. With three seconds left after the heavily favored Ravens converted a near impossible fourth and 19, they found themselves with no choice but to send out Tucker to convert a record 66-yard FG to win 19-17. Mind you, in his career, he'd only converted one of five from 60+ yards. Make it two of six. Note the other was also against the Lions, also as time expired, also a 2 point win. Tucker cemented his legacy with a highlight for generations and a record for maybe ever.