Football. American Football, that is. Thanksgiving. American Thanksgiving, that is. Weekend. American Thanksgiving Football Weekend. i.e. NOW.
No other time of year is such a celebration of American Football as this weekend. Beginning on Thanksgiving Day, with three NFL matches staggered to provide Football all day and long into the evening, the football orgy continues each day. Yesterday and today were college football days, the last days of their regular season, and attention turns again on Sunday to the NFL. Even the great conflagration of bowl games at the new year, in this post BCS season, does not provide as much variety or excitement. Super Bowl weekend is great, but it is one game, in February. College and NFL teams this weekend play out their great rivalries, they reach decision points, they qualify or don't, they aim toward a winning season or realize that they will be losers again this year.
Thanksgiving Thursday. Black Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Football.
What has already happened should be well known to you, what is to happen we do not know. Nonetheless, today, Saturday, provides some top games to watch. Chief among those is between number 9 Ohio State and perennial powerhouse, Michigan. Michigan has lost just the wrong games this year, and so is currently not ranked, but they always have a few tricks up their sleeves for arch nemeses Ohio State. A victory in this annual game provides a great boost to either of the rivals. This year a loss cannot hurt Michigan, but could hurt Ohio State.
#1 Alabama battles #6 Auburn in an annual intrastate blood feud. This southern rivalry is always a classic, and even more so this year with so much on the line. Other great games should be # 3 Clemson vs. #24 South Carolina in another southern rivalry, and on the west coast, another intrastate rivalry when #13 Washington State and #17 Washington do battle to prove who is the apple of Washington's eye.
Ravichandra Ashwin and Ishant Sharma formed a fearsome partnership for India to skittle out Sri Lanka for 205 on the opening day of the second Test of Sri Lanka's tour of India. India was on top as Ashwin destroyed Sri Lanka despite 'no demons' in Nagpur wicket. But the hosts were 11-1 at the close after opener Lokesh Rahul fell for 7, bowled by Sri Lankan paceman Lahiru Gamage. Murali Vijay, on 2, and Cheteshwar Pujara, on 2, were batting at the close of play in Nagpur with India trailing by 194 runs in the first innings. The day belonged to the bowlers with Ashwin taking four wickets and fellow spinner Ravindra Jadeja and Ishant picking three each. The tourists lost six wickets in the final session.
"I think me and Ashwin were trying to bowl in good areas. Trying to restrict them by not giving easy boundaries," said Jadeja, who took 3-56.
"We were just providing a supporting role to the fast bowlers who bowled well in the first session." Chandimal, who hit a six in his 122-ball knock, was given not out by the on-field umpire but captain Virat Kohli called for a review which went in India's favour. Chandimal and Karunaratne put on a crucial 62-run stand for the fourth wicket before the Indian bowlers struck back. The two teams are fighting to get ahead in the three-Test series after the opening game ended in a draw at Kolkata's Eden Gardens. The three Sri Lanka Tests come before India, the world's top-ranked team, embark on a three-Test tour starting January in South Africa, where they have never won a Test series.