NFL:COWBOYS VS BUCCANEERS

https://www.nfl.com/videos/cowboys-vs-buccaneers-highlights-super-wild-card-weekend

Dallas on the road to Tampa for the final wild card playoff game. End of an era? Certainly looks like it. It’s a matter of opinion but Tom Brady shouldn’t have come back. This was as poor a regular season as I have seen him in a while, his teams rarely drop to 0.500. That is not to say TB12 isn’t that good. He got 351 yards ,46 yards more than Dak Prescott but Dak’s success rate was the ultimate difference. Dak had 76% caught passes to Brady’s 53%. Slow start from the Bucs whose defense looked vulnerable. The opening TD Schultz from the Cowboys looked soft from the Tampa Bay perspective. How poor was the TB offense? Check out 2nd Q 6-0 Cowboys 2nd and goal, the Bucs with the football. Brady and number 17 Cage not on the same frequency and it happened way too often. It was an awesome night for Prescott. Loved his first TD. Pressure situation at 2nd Q 6:13 4th and Goal. The TB defense had just come from a huge defensive play at 3rd and Goal, where a lesser person could have gone for the FG.

That 18-0 half time lead was big and proved insurmountable, and Brett Maher is one relieved kicker. He missed all TD confirmation kicks bar one. What’s up with his technique? Using the right hand post as a measuring stick, Maher is too far to the right such that when he kicks he slices through the football too wide. Taking an extra step did him in. The Bucs took long to come to the party. The Cowboys were having their own way. Check out the TD at 18-0 10:13, 2nd and goal. Look how much time Dak had with the football. Being given so much time also gives the wide receiver Gallup the chance to maneuver. And no he wasn’t out of bounds. TB12 rolling the years with that 50 yard pass to Jones at 24-0 Cowboys , seconds left in the third, was the major highlight for Tampa in an otherwise lackluster, disappointing game. Tampa ending their season with a negative win-loss record, time to move on from Brady, reestablish that attacking instinct for 2024 which possibly means coach Todd Bowles time may also be up

KRYGIOS INJURY EXPLAINED

He likes to play villain but deep down he is a patriotic softy. Nick Kyrgios, Australia’s only realistic hope for a first home Grand Slam winner since 1976 has been ruled out of the year’s opening major. Nick has been very active since the year started. By playing a charity practice match with Novak Djokovic, he not only endeared himself to the locals, it apparent cost him the Aussie Open. A slight tear was detected on the lateral meniscus otherwise known as the knee. What causes the tear? It is not that difficult to see that tennis has a lot of impact on the knees. Sliding and running after lost causes is the name of the game and sometimes the knee twists the wrong way. It is an impact injury meaning that it may not be visible to the naked eye but the victim has got to be in agony. The fact that he played on against Nole showed that he didn’t want to let the fans down and possibly the injury progressed gradually. This is not to say Nick couldn’t play on against Nick Safiullin tomorrow. Although movement somewhat, with the right pain meds and heavy bandaging one can play especially low stakes matches. Now let’s explain what exactly is injured when the meniscus is torn.

The knee is three bones intersecting together without touching each other. Touching each other would be disastrous as the friction will ear down the bone faster than you can say arthritis. Tissue called a meniscus acts as a shield against this rubbing together but it is anything but flexible. It cannot withstand certain force, thus a tear is more than possible. This injury is common in most team sports like basketball and also in individual sports like tennis and badminton. Like said earlier, not all are serious but walking the cautious route doesn’t hurt. One should immediately stop the activity, bandage ,after cold or warm compress depending on your beliefs, and elevating. I don’t know if Nick will have surgery on his knee, but what I do know is small torn meniscus injuries heal on their own. What we know is it developed a cyst which is not a good thing because cysts indicate some sort of infection. So the right call was made by Nick’s doctors. The Australian Open, which is lacking star power in the form of players such as Osaka, Alcaraz , Venus and Monfils, couldn’t afford to lose a high profile player like Kyrgios. So it begs the question is it the timing of the event or is it the poor scheduling by the players’ backing staff? For me its a little bit of both. Coming from a holiday season and straight to the grueling hard court Slam under extreme temperatures isn’t my favorite mug of Victoria Bitter. I guess this is a matter of preference on both sides.

SERIE A:NAPOLI VS JUVENTUS

Thirteen major trophies in top flight soccer. Currently positioned third in a tough top five league. Yet Bianconerri manager Max Allegri finds himself in the most precarious of positions. A victim of his own success, victim of the never go back to the place you did well so that you outdo yourself. The criticism is certainly not fair. Juve comes into this game in decent form, in fact they won their last six games in Serie A. It’s the manner of the second half implosion on top of the resentment of that early champions league exit that’s got the Allegri out bunch out in full force. Napoli are running away with the title this season with no real challengers emerging and that is a surprise. Expected the likes of Milan and Inter to mount a serious one. Attacking wise, the arrival of Georgian Kvaratskhelia from Russian soccer was unexpected and perhaps the find of the season. Successful dribbles is his thing but also his goal attempts are crucial even though he doesn’t score that much. That’s Victor Osimhen’s job.

Look Juventus had that period just before half time when they were threatening , chief protagonist being Di Maria. I believe you get more joy playing the Argentine as a number 10 than a winger(letting the Chiesas and Kostics do the crossing) which Allegri seems to get. Another feather in the Italian coach’s tampled on hat. The three Brazilians that he chose for his back three were never comfortable. Sandro, Bremer and Danilo always have a mistake in them, looking lightweight without Bonucci. I don’t mean to bash Juventus but let’s count the defensive mistakes. Osimhen’s second, why didn’t Sandro just clear with his knee and why Danilo came inside is only your own guess? Can’t fault the Rahmani strike which was scintillating. Another Danilo head scratcher for Osimhen’s second. I am sure Juve’s next game will see a return to a back four. The new Juve board of directors need time tosort the Turin club’s financial mess and give Allegri the right players.

DEWAYNE DEDMON:HEAT OF THE BATTLE MOMENTS

They say Napoleon Bonaporte enjoyed winning a battle and winning as if it were a sport. They say he celebrated becoming emperor of France with a banquet of the century, all inclusive with wine , dancers the whole shebang . Victory feels good. Victory gets you dopamine in the brain, the hormone of passion and adrenalin the hormone of ecstasy. The same adrenalin is the hormone of anger. Sports is a discipline of anger and passion. It evokes both extremes of emotion. Just last month the whole of Argentina was celebrating the home coming of their world cup heroes. This week has seen the other side of sports. The aggressive side, the focus of my writing today. Just last night Dewayne Demon,an experienced player of the Miami Heat ,got ejected from their game with the Thunder for the most moronic of actions. Dedmon saw it fit to throw a massage gun onto the floor in the middle of play. Atletico De Madrid player Stefan Savic and Ferran Torres got an early shower(well it was early-ish as it was the 92nd minute) for an impromptu middle of the pitch MMA fight. Now what possesses experienced , well remunerated athletes to behave like toddlers? Well besides the aforementioned chemical reasons, how about just being pissed off at the coach.

When Dedmon fired his gun, he was seen on the bench arguing with his coach on the bench. Theory one, Dedmon’s ego got the best of him. Look being benched is a big ego punch and for a 10 year veteran like Dewayne it got to hurt. But even if you are so good at your craft , you can’t know it all. So for not showing the humility, Dedmon deserves the ejection and the subsequent suspension that is surely coming. That is not to say the NBA shouldn’t be lenient. After all its just a massage gun , not an AK 47. ANGER GETS THE BEST OF EVERYONE. Even Messi. During the world cup , the all time great called Louis Van Gaal words not fit for me to print during Argentina’s match with Holland, but the powers looked the other way. No harm to anyone no foul. Dedmon conducted himself unsportingly you say? Try picturing a goalkeeper placing a trophy on his crotch for the TV world to see and being cheered for it. Yes , Dedmon let the Heat down when they were seriously short of personnel. But if other guys can get away with murder, who are we to judge?

Now to Savic and Ferran. Look Atletico Madrid are known to get under the opposition’s skin. They wouldn’t be called the Colchoneros if they weren’t. Their idea of a match is to get a player sent off or throw you off your game then take you to the cleaners. Kind of like street working class neighborhood basketball for money. So the easy way around Atleti? Don’t retaliate and focus on the W. It’s even worse that Ferran was on the winning team at that point and didn’t need to. The referee again was overbearing and harsh , and simply over refed the situation. No punches thrown , no blood, just passion and shirt pulling. NBA and La Liga referees(all referees for that matter) need to let some of these things fly, it’s a man’s (and strong woman’s) game. Passion makes sports exciting.

DAMAR HAMLIN CARDIAC ARREST:BLIND SPOTS IN SPORTS

Winning isn’t everything?Winning is a great feeling but not the ultimate feeling. Compassion is.There is more to life than sports? Who said football is more than life and death? Seeing a fellow human being in distress kind of makes you think of life and it’s purpose. Damar Hamlin, the Bills Safety’s collapse last night in their game against the Steelers , has an air of a wakeup call to sports not just football. All safety precautions have been taken , concussion protocol helmets, check. Shoulder pads, check. Everything check. Yet Damar lies in a Cincinnati hospital, not because of incompetence, but because of blind spots. Today I want to discuss how we can avoid being blind sided by blind spots, part of human nature is to assure ourselves that if all our checks are done, we will be fine. Here is the thing, Hamlin’s cardiac arrest was caused by the most innocuous of things that can happen on a football field, a hit to the upper part of the torso. Those hits are so common(and almost always leave the player intact) in the NFL that most football doctors prefer to focus on injuries such as legs and neck.

How could it have been prevented? I am afraid the only answer is a medical exam before every game. Do the NFL teams want to foot that BILL no pun intended? They won’t because of the time constraints as well as budget. Granted the NFL has the most rigorous medical exam there is in all sports, that I have to give credit. But the fact that Hamlin passed that exam and still suffered a heart attack should be an eye opener. Why do I say so? Like everything in like be it school exams, amusement park ride, driving in the snow at night, it is down to luck and chance. Hamlin may have gone into the EKG exam(electrocardiogram,it tests heart rhythm to see if anything is amiss) on a day in which his emotions were on a high, temperatures optimal. So doing these exams regularly reduces chances of them going undetected in the long run. Having all equipment on site improves chances of survival astronomically like we have seen here and with Muamba in the English Premiership. Blindspots can be found by having a checker checking the checker. I know doctors don’t like second opinions as it may be construed as an attack on their ability. Having an independent doctor outside your team’s medical staff check your players improves chances of detecting those blindspots. Like VAR is soccer, it isn’t a guaranteed success though. Lastly, African American males are the most at risk demographic when it comes to sudden cardiac arrest. With that kind of knowledge at hand, the NFL should be taking proactive role in having those tests done a lot more frequently, not just during draft week, but an oversight or advisory role to internal NFL team’s medical functions.