Miracle in Minneapolis, is how it was billed, a last second touchdown, or no second touchdown, which took the Vikings to victory. They had squandered their leads in the first half of the game last Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, having led 17-0 at the half. Miracle it was, tho, and win they did. The Minnesota Vikings advance to the Conference Championship Sunday afternoon against the Philadelphia Eagles. Readers of this space will remember that the Eagles, though seeded number one in the playoffs, were considered an underdog last week in their own playoff game. They won, nonetheless, and again are considered underdogs by some, as they host the Vikings in Philadelphia for the NFC Championship.
Philadelphia is hardly the City of Brotherly Love, where football is concerned at least. This is the fanbase which once booed Santa Claus, and whose stadium once included a courtroom and jail cell, which were heavily used on game day. Ingénues Minnesota fans have already been warned to avoid wearing purple, as Eagles fans have been likened to gang members. Eagles fans have already announced plans to gather outside the hotel hosting the Vikings to blow air horns all night. They would do well to remember that Minnesota is hosting the Super Bowl this year, and if they win by fan gangdom, turnabout is fair play. While the Minnesotans are eminently polite and heartwarming Midwesterners they are also skilled in the nice persons only revenge, passive aggression, and could easily tie the Eagles up in knots in a few weeks.
Meanwhile, in the AFC, the Conference Championship will be contested in Boston, where the hometown New England Patriots host the Jacksonville Jaguars. In today's Football world, the Patriots could be likened to the Yankees of baseball fame. Their fans love them. They win a lot. Many hate them. Readers will, of course, be aware of Tom Brady, outstanding quarterback of the Patriots, who is now an inspiration for all jocks who are over 40. It has just been announced that he will start in the game today, despite having injured his hand during the week and having received several stitches. The Patriots are heavily favored.
While the Santos Tour Down Under wraps up today in Australia, the cycling world also looks toward track cycling, that is the UCI Track World Cup Round V in Minsk, Belarus. British rider Charlie Tanfield won gold in the individual 4km pursuit on the second day of the Track Cycling World Cup in Minsk, yesterday.
The 21-year-old from Yorkshire, England, clocked four minutes 12.253 seconds to become the second fastest Briton ever. Only 1992 Olympic champion Chris Boardman has posted a better time. Tanfield, who normally rides for Team KGF - a trade track team based in Derby, is also due to ride in Sunday's team pursuit, where he could be joined by his brother Harry, 23.
|Ginger Boselli Lewis Oliva|
Team Wales' Lewis Oliva, who normally rides for Team Sky, claimed a bronze in the Keirin, in which cyclists follow a motorized pacing cycle.