What a crazy weekend in the NFL. A win by the Jets (6-7) keeps them in the playoff hunt; 2 winning QBs in two weeks and Tebow returning from injury should make for some interesting QB conversations this week. The Giants bounce back from a tough loss last week by beating the Saints 52-27–the Saints always seem to give the Gmen trouble so this was a big win. Wins for the Redskins, Cowboys, Vikings (all 7-6) and Rams (6-6-1), keep each of these teams in the playoff hunt. Seattle’s 58-0 rout of the lowly Cardinals, including 8 turnovers, keeps them atop the NFC Wildcard along with the Bears. The Bengals and Steelers, both 7-6, along with the Jets, round out the AFC Wildcard picture. Looks like it will be another down to the wire playoff race in the NFL as it always is. Ironically, tonight’s MNF game, a possible AFC Championship game preview between the Patriots and Texans, seems boring to most people not in NE or Texas, as both teams have already secured their playoff spot.
The KC Royals continue their ascension to MLB relevancy, completing a 6 player deal to secure former All Star “Big Game” James Shields. Along with flamethrower Chris Duffy, resigned Jeremy Guthrie, new addition Ervin Santana looking to revive his career, Shields adds the ace missing since Zach Grienke left town. Everyone knows pitching is the key to winning baseball games, and KC has done a great job of building a strong lineup from their farm system to go along with their revamped pitching staff. Edit: It appears Zach Grienke is a LA Dodger already, woops!
A big ¡felicidades! Is due to Lionel Messi, who set the record yesterday for most goals in a Calendar year for a professional soccer play with 86. A NYT article chronicles his achievement; at 25 Messi is set to win his 4th player of the year award, with no slow down in sight.
Messi has lead Barcelona to numerous La Liga and UEFA Champions league titles in his short career, and barring injury, could go on to be the most celebrated soccer players of all time. He has a chance to become the Gretzky / Jordan or soccer. One thing he does not have is a World Cup title. I do not see this is a huge hole in his resume. The WC is only once every four years, and it is largely a benchmark of team play not individual play. Plus, Messi will be 27 in 2014; he has 3-4 WCs left in him barring injury.
I had the pleasure to watch Messi play in Camp Nou during my brief time in Barcelona. He is truly a spectacle to watch and turned this red-blooded American into a soccer fan to a certain respect. World Cup title or not, Messi is in my opinion the greatest soccer player ever up until this point in his career. Barring injury, I see nothing holding him back from further cementing his claim to fame in the years to come.