Inside the Crystal Ball – A lot of sports writers want to explain what we’ve learned about the NFL after two weeks. Screw that. I’m hear to tell you what we don’t know. The jury’s still out on a lot of stuff, so let’s embrace the mysterious unpredictabilities of the NFL.
The Bengals looked awful against the Ravens, then blew up for 34 against the Browns. So you say: Well, the Ravens are great, the Browns suck, and the Bengals are mediocre. That seems like an easy explanation, right?
But wait. The Brownies almost pulled a major upset against the Eagles week 1, holding Michael Vick & Co. to under 20 points. Yet the Eagles beat the Ravens today, those same Ravens that many people think will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
So you add that all up and what you get is . . . we really don’t know much of anything about Baltimore, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, or even Cleveland.
Other mysteries include Buffalo, which got blown out by the Jets week 1 and then blew up on KC in week 2. One would think it’s simply that Jets are a lot better than KC. But we’re not talking about garden variety wins. These are full-on blow-outs, the kind that leave tire shrapnel on the highway. And besides, those same Jets looked less than impressive while getting dusted off by a banged up Pittsburgh squad that was missing numerous starters/Pro Bowlers, including not one, but two former NFL Defensive Players of the Year (Troy Polamalu and James Harrison), and which itself got overwhelmed by a completely mediocre Denver team opening night.
Or is Denver not really mediocre? We’ll see tonight.
For now, we know . . . nothing. Except that these replacement refs stink, and they need to go. The NFL’s just setting itself up for a major embarrassment.
Boxing Notes- Two top-bill fights took place in Vegas on Saturday. Same night, more or less same time, different venues. First Canelo Alvarez defended his WBC 154 lb. title by destroying 12-1 underdog Josesito Lopez in a 5th round TKO. Kaboom!
Then, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. and Sergio Martinez almost gave us the comeback fight of the year in a battle for the WBC 160 lb. crown, which once belonging to Martinez. He’d been previously been stripped of it for not making a mandatory defense, and Chavez subsequently won it. In pre-fight hype, Martinez boasted of the beating he would give Chavez to reclaim the belt that was rightfully his. And for 11 rounds he did just that, having his way with Chavez. Then, in the 12th and final round, Chavez floored Martinez with a left hook and follow-up flurry. But Martinez managed to get back up off the mat, wobble his way to the final bell, and earn a unanimous decision.
When I went to Yahoo Sports on Sunday morning, neither fight was mentioned. Yes, it was there on their dedicated boxing page, but nothing on their main sports page. Shame on you, Yahoo, and yet another sad commentary on the state of boxing today.
The sad state of West Coast Craig is revealed later this afternoon.