Sports Rain Man: NFL Playoffs, African Cup of Nations, Tara VanDerVeer

NIAGARA FALLS, NYHappy Monday!! I thought I was over this cold but it has lingered around. I was gonna talk Knicks and Rangers but I thought to save that for my colleagues later in the week. Instead, I’ll focus on topics that would normally slip through: African Cup of Nations, Tara VanDerVeer, NFL Playoffs.

African Cup of Nations

The African Cup of Nations is the continental championship in African soccer. One of the big problems with it is it occurs every two years, right in the middle of the European soccer season. Considering Europe is the biggest money continent, and the absence of key players could mean the loss of key games effecting where teams finish in the standings – and money the clubs get for where they finish, this is a big deal. However, it is 85 degrees and 70 percent humidity in the Ivory Coast, where this year’s competition is held. If it was moved to the summer, it would eliminate some countries from hosting, as 100 degrees of low humidity heat would be be brutal. The competition still remains where African stars are born and legends are made. To be considered an all time great in African Soccer, you must have won the title. No one cares what you won in club career in Europe. If you haven’t held the AfCoN AFCON Trophy, you can’t be considered a great. With more African teams able to play in the World Cup, maybe the AFCON will lose its significance, which was built when only 2 or 3 African Nations made the WC. But this is the one that people back home want more than anything. It presents bragging rights like no other.

Tara VanDerVeer

Mike “Coach K” Krzyzweski Krzyzewski is one of the most legendary names in basketball period, especially college basketball. However, one of his many records has now been broken. Stanford Cardinal Women’s team coach Tara VanDerVeer has broken his collegiate wins record. When VanDerVeer started, cordless phones were still a few years away. BUT she has adapted, and like any great coach of young players, has learned to meet them where they are. During that journey, she has won 1203 games and lost 267. She has won 3 national titles. The most recent came during the COVID shortened 2019 season. She has been to 14 Final Fours.

NFL Playoff Review

Junior Blaber

Sometimes with young players/teams, you find them almost unaware of the magnitude of moments. Watching Green Bay push San Francisco to the limit was impressive for such a young team. The Packers even had a lead late but their field goal kicker missed and the San Francisco offense marched down the field to win the game… In Baltimore, the young Texans put up a fight and had it tied at the half. However, the Ravens showed their experience as they strangled the game away with their running game and defense… The QB Redemption Match saw Jared Goff’s Lions take on Baker Mayfield’s Bucs. It was another exciting game, with the two teams battling to a draw at the half. The Lions pulled away and just when you thought it was over, the Bucs fought back. It was an interception in the final possession that decided it. I think Mayfield, who was on a one-year contract. He will get it renewed as Bucs Head Coach Todd Bowles will not want to be without a QB (like when he was at the Jets). Goff has done more than enough to prove that he was not the reason the Rams lost the Super Bowl… In the final match of the night, the Bills played the Chiefs with the same result – a Chiefs win. The pain of the Bills losing at home on a kick gone wide right is a lot to deal with. Also when you watch it, you hear the commentator’s curse as the commentator was talking up the Bills kicker and the confidence they have in him. The kick wasn’t even close either. It might have helped to have a dome on that stadium but won’t happen with “the Boondoogle.”

Thanks for reading and come tomorrow to hear from Ben Whitney, who will likely talk pigskin and pucks.

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About Junoir Blaber 530 Articles
Junoir Blaber is from Ghana but was transplanted to the Bronx as a young lion chaser. Blaber is the Rain Man of Meet The Matts and is a featured contributor on MTM global partner, Rugby Wrap Up. The name "Junoir" is not a cool African name. Instead, Blaber mis-typed "Junoir" on his Facebook page. But proving that two wrongs indeed do make a right, he embraced his new persona - [June-noire]... Manute Bol is his uncle and his teams are the Mets, Jets, Knicks & NY Rangers... And Manchester United. He knows soccer. [Vomit]. P.s... He has webbed toes and came be followed on Twitter here: @JunoirBlaber