Sunday, December 31, 2017
It has been quite the year in Sports, but you'll have to look elsewhere for your retrospectives. New Year's Eve is chock full of sporting events, but the main focus is on New Year's Day.
The Ashes series was decided when Australia took the first three of the five Test matches programmed. Nonetheless, some exciting cricket has continued as England came alive in the fourth test, this one at the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, and was only denied a win because of the great batting of Steve Smith, who hit a century for Australia, as they battled England to a draw. The Australia skipper stonewalled the English bowling attack to remain unconquered on 102 for his third century of the series when the Test was called a draw late on the final day. Australia only lost two wickets on the fifth day but coasted through after lunch to finish on 263 for four with Mitchell Marsh not out on 29.
It was just the second drawn Boxing Day Test in 20 years. Alistair Cook, batting for England had a record breaking 244 to open, but in the final hours, Australia's Smith and Marsh salvaged the draw. There was a total attendance of 262,616 fans over the five days. There was some criticism of the lifeless state of the Melbourne Cricket Ground drop-in pitch. The series of Test Matches concludes at the historic Sydney Cricket Grounds, January 4-8.
In the United States 10 games in the final week of the regular season of the National Football League have playoff implications, but most of those are of teams who playoff possibilities could be altered, if they lose.
In only one game, Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons — do both teams have a real something at stake. It seems the New York Jets are always playing for glory against the New England Patriots, and seldom finding it. The Pats are heavily favored in this game, but in Football, as in all things, pride goeth before a fall. New England has certainly proved this time and again, a great franchise, but one who loves to be in the faces of all the other teams. They win often, but when they lose, it is always a big loss.
The Minnesota Vikings will host the Chicago Bears this New Year's Eve. As the cookies have crumbled the Vikings no longer have a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, but they can get a first-round bye with a win or a tie. Even if they lose, they still stand a decent chance of a first round bye. The New Orleans Saints (11-4) play the (4-11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If they win, the NFC South division is theirs, but they can also win it if the Carolina Panthers lose or if both teams tie. The Carolina Panthers can win the N.F.C. South if they win and the Saints lose. They are favoured over the Falcons but the Falcons are battling for a wild card spot.
A Happy New Year to all of our readers. Thanks for your involvement and participation.
Saturday, December 30, 2017
The Sports story of interest to perhaps the greatest number of fans this week, worldwide, was in far away India, and it was not even a main event, but an afterparty. Millions of young girls and boys were left heartbroken as the country's heartthrobs "Virushka," Bollywood's Anushka Sharma and Cricket's Virat Kohli tied the knot earlier this month, and this week saw their reception and subsequent departure for South Africa, where Mr. Kohli will be playing with the boys, Cricket boys, that is, as India begins their tour of South Africa.
The India team has just finished hosting the Sri Lanka Tour of India, as readers of this space well know, which was for them a glorious conquest, despite the distractions caused by their team captain. Virat Kohli's wedding reception in Mumbai saw some of the biggest names in Bollywood and Cricket in attendance. Among the guests were cricketer Harbhajan Singh and Bollywood's king, Shah Rukh Khan. Harbhajan shared a video where he can be seen dancing with the king of Bollywood.
The happy couple was photographed at the Mumbai airport while stepping out of the bus. Anushka was spotted wearing a jumpsuit which she teamed up with a black jacket and white shoes, while Virat was seen in cricket jersey. The couple flew to South Africa to ring in the New Year. While Virat will prepare for the upcoming series in which Team India will lock horns against South African cricket team in 3 Test matches, 6 ODIs and 3 T20Is, Anushka will spend New Year's Eve with him.
The 2017–18 FIS Ski Jumping World Cup is the 39th World Cup season in ski jumping for men, the 21st official World Cup season in ski flying, and the 7th for ladies. The season begins on 19 November 2017 in Wisła, Poland, and will conclude on 25 March 2018 in Planica, Slovenia. The season will break from February 4th to March 4th because of the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
Action continues today in Schattenbergschanze, which is a ski jumping hill located in Oberstdorf, Bavaria, Germany. The hill has held two FIS Nordic World Ski Championships and has served as the opening round of the Four Hills Tournament on 30 December every year since 1952, as it does today. Two of the Four Hills are in Germany, two in Austria, and the competitions continue January 1st, 4th, and 6th, which is a national holiday throughout Germany, Austria, and other countries. German Richard Freitag currently is at the top of the individual male standings, with German Andreas Wellinger in second. The men's national team competition, which competes again at the end of January in Poland, is currently headed by Norway.
College Football Bowl season continues with some major games today, those scheduled by the selection committee. The Fiesta Bowl will return to Glendale, Arizona this afternoon, pitting Number 9 Penn State against Number 11 Washington. Whereas the Orange Bowl traditionally always hosted a game featuring the Big 12 champ, against Miami or another Florida team, this year the Miami based bowl will pit Number 6 Wisconsin against Number 10 Miami. As is the tradition this game will again be played at night. A noontime game will pit Louisville against Mississippi State in the TaxSlayer Bowl, held at Jacksonville, Florida.