October 9, 2014
All it took for the Carolina Panthers to end a concerning two-game skid was a bad defensive team. The Panthers got just that from the schedule-maker as they put 30+ points on the board in a 31-24 victory over the Chicago Bears.
The victory placed Carolina in first place within the NFC South. This, despite coming into the Bears’ game with successive losses to Pittsburgh and Baltimore by a combined score of 75-29. Not only did the Panthers lose consecutive games, they lost a number of key players to injury.
But Chicago came to town and the future looks a bit brighter for Carolina who enter this week’s matchup versus Cincinnati with a 3-2 mark. Things did not look too bright for the Panthers midway through the Bears’ game. In fact, it looked like the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be sitting atop the NFL South for awhile on Sunday. The Bucs were taking it to the New Orleans Saints before fading away late.
Cam Newton against the Bears
Atlanta was losing in New York to the Giants and it did not look good for Carolina. But the Panthers came up with some big plays on defense against Chicago’s quarterback Jay Cutler, who at times looks like a turnover waiting to happen.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton continues to show an ability to grind out games when given half a chance by his teammates and the Panthers may have righted the ship. Not so fast Carolina fans. With games at Cincinnati and Green Bay looming before playing host to the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, we’ll see how long the Panthers can continue to stay on top.
October baseball continues and there has been some great first round matchups. Extra inning affairs have been the norm and that has led to exciting finishes. The upstart Kansas City Royals swept the Anaheim Angels in three games. Two of the victories came in extra frames.
Throw in the fact that the Royals won the one-game playoff matchup against the Oakland A’s, Kansas City won three straight games that went into extra innings. That has never happened in major league baseball history. Speaking of sweeps, Baltimore took three straight over the Detroit Tigers to advance. The Orioles will now attempt to calm the Royals in the American League finals.
The National League gave us two surprising outcomes. It also gave us two teams that have regularly seen World Series action of late. The San Francisco Giants upset the Washington Nationals in four games while the St. Louis Cardinals surprised the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Those who keep track of my picks may have noticed that I picked all four series incorrectly. Therefore, I know I have lost some credibility when I pick the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants to advance to the World Series. Either team would be refreshing. They do not rely on free agent signings and high salaries (i.e. NY Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers). They build from within. Like teams did back in the day. So I am fine with either team winning though I will root for Baltimore since it has been quite some time since they have won a title.
Phelps Gets A DWI (again)
American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, was suspended for six months by USA Swimming on Monday following his recent arrest on a drunken driving charge.
Phelps, who recently returned to top-level competition after a two-year retirement, will also not be allowed to represent the United States at the 2015 World Swimming Championships in Russia next August, USA Swimming said in a statement.
The arrest last Tuesday marked the second time the 29-year-old Baltimore-area native had been arrested for drunken driving. In the first case, he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of driving while impaired in exchange for 18 months’ probation.
Proving again that impairment clouds judgement, Phelps was arrested last week after speeding and then crossing the double-lane lines inside a Baltimore tunnel. He was clocked by radar traveling 84 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone. Documents indicate that Phelps registered .14 percent on a Breathalyzer test after being pulled over in his 2014 Land Rover. The legal limit for intoxication in Maryland is .08.
Phelps apologized for the incident and said on Sunday he was checking himself into rehab for six weeks in order to “better understand myself.”
I wonder if he understands that his decision making may end his comeback hopes that could have led to another Olympic appearance. It will likely cost him millions of dollars in endorsement deals. And it will tarnish his legacy. Phelps, who has won 22 Olympic medals, 18 of them gold, will also forfeit a monthly stipend from USA Swimming during the six-month suspension.