Take 5…BCS Title Game, More Favre, More Heat, Blake Griffin, World Juniors

Here on Take 5… we’re going to give you a quick run down on the 5 most interesting sports stories (according to us) of the previous week along with our takes on each story. 

The Auburn Tigers will take on the Oregon Ducks in the BCS title game on Monday

Finally, after years of SEC and PAC-10 supporters claiming NCAA football dominance, the top teams in each conference will face-off in the national championship game. This game will feature the top two teams in college football as the Auburn Tigers take on the Oregon Ducks. Who are you taking to win the game?

Ryan: I have like the Ducks as a program for years now so it hurts to say that Auburn will win. Cam Newton is special just like Vince Young was special when he single handily led Texas to a national championship over the heavily favored USC.
Dallas: These SEC people are really starting to annoy me. Also, the over/under is currently listed at 74 points. I would take the over even if it was listed 100 points!
Henry:  I’m a Duck man myself.  I love everything the Ducks do and I think it is the Chip Kelly system that will wear down and eventually cause the Tigers to succumb to the Ducks persistent offensive onslaught.  My prediction:  Tigers up early, Ducks come from behind to win just like the Russians.

Future Hall of Fame quarterback and media darling Brett Favre continues to make headlines by showing off his sleaziness. Favre was slapped with a couple of lawsuits filed on the behalf of former members of the New York Jets staff.  One of the lawsuits was brought forward by a Jets game day hostess and the other by a couple massage therapists on the training staff. Will this tarnish Favre’s legacy?

Dallas: Usually incidents like these are quickly forgotten with a few wins. Favre won’t likely have the opportunity to put up a few new wins any time soon so the only thing fans are going to be able to do is look at the old tapes. He’ll be fine and this whole thing will be forgotten about in weeks.
Henry:  If only.  Most football fans follow the game, through Favre colored lenses.  I hope that all these indiscretions mount together to knock him off the pedestal.  There are far too many great players out there to idolize (ie. Peyton Manning), for fans to waste their time on dirtbags like Favre.
Ryan: It should but won’t. In sports we quickly forget about a player’s legal issues and focus on their athletic achievements. The Jets hostess lawsuit left the news quickly and so will this.

LeBron and D-Wade have got the Miami Heat rolling through the easier parts of the NBA schedule

After a dissappointing 8-8 start to the 2010-11 NBA season, the Miami Heat seem to have found their stride as they have now won 19 of their last 20. The ‘Big 3’ of Dwayne Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh finally seem to have figured out how to work together to produce wins. Is it time to hoist the Miami Heat as championship favourites?

Henry:  The Heat and Celtics have to be the favourites for the Eastern Conference champs.  The Heat are 2nd in defensive points allowed and lead the league in PPG differential.  I’m no math major but if I do the calculations:  Spectacular O + Stifling D = Championship!
Ryan: I think it is although I don’t believe they have the big men to defend a team like the Boston Celtics or the Orlando Magic in a 7 game series. None the less, an impressive streak.
Dallas: The NBA always has six or seven contenders and usually these teams are very good and can beat any of the other teams on any given night. I did take note of this winning streak but nobody ever judged a teams place in history based on wins in December and January.

Blake Griffin has been dunking over everybody this season!

Blake Griffin, the first overall draft pick in the 2009 NBA draft, has been nothing short of spectacular in the 2010-11 season after sitting out his rookie season with an injury. Griffin has been a nightly visitor on highlight reels across North America with his emphatic dunks and was recently named a contestant in this year’s annual NBA all-star game slam dunk competition. Does anyone else besides Blake Griffin even stand a chance in this thing?

Ryan: Griffin pulled off the ‘Dwight Howard superman dunk’ that won the 2007 dunk competition. The only difference was that Griffin did it during a game whist jumping over a dude! He already has my vote!
Dallas: No. Griffin is a beast and will win the competition with a couple of dunks. However, even with him in the competition, I will not be participated as a specatator. Hasn’t everything been done already?
Henry:  He’s going against JaVale McGee, Brandon Jennings, and Serge Ibaka.  Only Jennings, nicknamed “Young Money” stands less than 6’10” tall, so he naturally gets my vote and support.  I’m hoping he pulls out an homage to Spud Webb with a 180-degree reverse two-handed strawberry jam.

Canada was dominating the gold medal game of the U-20 World Hockey Championships against Russia as they carried a 3-0 lead into the third period. In the third, Russia scored two goals in 11 seconds and carried that momentum into a 5-goal third period to upset Team Canada. How big of an impact will this loss have on hockey in Canada?

Henry:  It shouldn’t have any negative impact.  What it should do is continue to re-inforce that this is one area of sport development that Canada does well, or at least better than others.  We should be thrilled that our team was able to place 2nd and be fueled to win next year by the loss.
Ryan: No big deal to me. They have appeared in 10 straight gold medal games and, to be honest, it’s better for the tournament if we don’t win them all.
Dallas: About as big of an impact as the gold medal game where Marc-Andre Fleury essentially scored that own-goal and cost Canada the gold against the US. It won’t be remembered for long, which is a good thing. We all love the tournament but these are still kids. Everybody gets a free pass.

Andrew Luck was projected to be the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft

After an impressive Stanford win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck announced that he will skip the NFL draft and return to college for his junior year. Luck, who has two years of eligibility remaining, finished second in Heisman voting this past season and likely would have been the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, which includes a pretty hefty payday. Is Andrew Luck Making the right decision?

Ryan: I think it is the right decision. He’s a great quarterback that made a not so good school relevant. With all the uncertainty over the NFL’s labour deal, there’s reasonable doubt there will even be an NFL football season next year. Smart move and hey, he’lll go first overall in the 2012 draft.
Dallas: Of course Luck is making the right decision and do you know who couldn’t be happier? The NCAA. A story about a football player doing good rather than another “I want to get pizaid!” story. We need more of these.
Henry:  Luck is in the fortunate situation that money doesn’t have to dictate his decisions as his family has it and he doesn’t have their weight on his back.  He can get his degree, solidify his future, continue to grow as a person, improve his skills, have more fun at college, and then enter the draft.

The Golf Channel is looking for interesting ways to increase their viewership

The Golf Channel announced this week that they will be asking PGA athletes to be miked up during tournaments during the 2011 season. The Golf Channel says it’s a move that is long overdue and that golf is years behind every other sport in its television product. Does this at all raise your interest level on watching golf on TV?

Ryan: I agree it is probably long over due for golf to try and expose more of who their athletes are. I think it is indeed a step in the right direction I just don’t know if this one move will create a better viewing product.
Dallas: I love this! I have been saying for months that things like HD tv and 3D tv don’t grow viewership, they simply enhance the product for existing viewers. Ideas like this can generate new viewers.
Henry:  This to me is the move that could get me to watch and enjoy more Golf on TV.  The possibility of getting to listen to Weir, Woods, or Watson show some personality, drop some F-bombs, and explain their decisions excites me.  Think of all the slips that will make it on Twitter.

After shocking Canada in the gold medal game at the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship, the Russian hockey team was not allowed to board the flight back to Russia. The airline said their behavior was too ‘unruly’ and that many of the players and team staff members were intoxicated. Should we just chalk this one up to “boys will be boys”?

Dallas: Boys will be boys. Besides, seeing the Russians celebrate their well-deserved gold medal to this extent may actually be good for the tournament in terms of growing some more rivalries.
Henry:  My guess is that it was a Canadian flight crew still steaming from the loss.  I’m also going to guess that none of those left behind were that upset at getting to stay.  I can just hear their cheer after getting turned around at the tarmac, “Back to the Champagne room!”
Ryan: We all know what goes on in the ‘Champagne room’!


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