Week in Sports: The National Champion is Big Ben's fiancée

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We held off a day on our weekly recap so we could talk about the National Championship game. Because the month before the game was played was clearly not enough time.

TCU could've taken either of them
Did you know Auburn is in Alabama? That makes two years in a row the “National Champion” hails from the state. And while this game ended dramatically, it was a slow developing defensive battle that was quite boring to watch. Plenty of mistakes were made, horrible play calling was met with worse execution, and even the big finish seemed somewhat dull. All the while I just couldn't help but thinking TCU could easily match up against these two teams. There is no need for debate in this topic. We've suffered through a
month of shitty “bowl” games, there is nothing you can say that would
convince me you can't play one more game.

I would like to give a thumbs up to the officiating crew from this game however. Refs get the shit end of the stick; when they get it wrong, they have to hear about it endlessly, but when they get it right, no one says a word. There were some tough calls and reviews throughout the night, and they seemed to nail each one. Not blowing the whistle on the Michael Dyer run was brilliant.

My opinion's aside, the NCAA should definitely move their National Championship game back up to the first week of the year so it doesn't get lost in the NFL playoff's as it did this year. Today we're talking about the game, tomorrow we'll go right back to the NFL. If they're forced to take a month off before playing, the champs deserve more time to revel in their victory.

Lastly, here's hoping the Bills draft Auburn's Nick Fairley or Cam Newton.

Speaking of NFL playoffs
Playoffs!? PLAYOFFS!? How many wallets do you think were crying after what the Seahawks did to the defending champs? Even I, the great prognosticator, chose wrong, but I'm not going to sit here and cry fowl (get it?, eh…) saying the Saints lost this with their horrible defense (which they did). No, I'm going to sit and revel in yet another Buffalo Bill-castoff who's having success on a different team. For what it's worth, I always liked Marshawn Lynch and was sad that the Bills felt he was expendable after two 1,000-yard seasons he gave to the franchise. But redemption is a mother fucker, and his game-winning run on Saturday will go down as one of the best in playoff history. Check out that stiff arm! It's the run that made the ground shake, literally.

A foot above the rest
We'll talk more about the playoffs later in the week, but for the time being, let's give the NY Daily News some props for stooping to my level. It's the best ¢.50 you'll ever spend.

Rex Ryan Foot Fetish NY Daily News

Big Ben engaged?
Don't shed a tear just yet drunken bar sluts, it's only speculation, but reports are flying that Ben Roethlisberger is engaged. And get this: He reportedly met her at a bar. You're thinking, 'NO WAY!' Right? I know, me too. But to be fair, this girl has more to offer Ben than bathroom stall near-rapes. His fiancée is none other than 2004 New Castle, PA high school graduate Ashley Harlan. The town's most famous gold digger has their hearts all aflutter at the notion a celebrity sports figure might be filling up his gas tank next to them.

Smoking with Ricky Williams
It looks like some new teammates will get a taste of the good stuff when Williams suits up next year. Citing his frustration with everyone from his teammates to Dolphins head coach Tony Sporano, Ricky Williams thinks he played his last game as a Dolphin. Maybe he can team up with Vince Young, who will probably have a few more options than my blunt-brother Ricky, after finally wearing out his welcome in Tennessee.

One stays, the other goes
It's a pretty safe assumption that Stanford hasn't had this much impact on the national sports landscape in one week than this past one. Coach Jim Harbough decided to jump ship and take a job coaching the San Fransisco 49ers, while Sophomore QB Andrew Luck decided on staying to finish his degree in architectural design. Aside from the fact he'll be finishing up this degree a year early, it's impressive he gave up being the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft (including whatever millions of dollars would come with it) to stick it out. And considering the 49ers roster, don't be surprised if there's a QB/coach reunion when Luck eventually does enter the draft.

Speaking of coming out
We'd like to extend a big congratulations to Steve Buckley for being gay. While we could joke that if he wanted to announce he was gay, all he had to do was join a women's softball
league, it would not be fair to
his giant set of balls.

And can we just have a moment for the feel good story of the year?
His name is Ted Williams. You can stop there, the story is already awesome. But then, within our one work week, he went from being homeless to countless television appearances and eventually a job with the Cavs. At least Dan Gilbert landed one big free agent this year. Oh, and thanks San Francisco Chronicle for totally crushing the good vibes.

MeloWatch continues
There's little to report on the basketball front until the Nets pull off the megadeal to land Carmelo Anthony. As I write this, the word is it's “evolving,” with the current proposal on the table to bring the Pistons in on a three-team trade that would land the Nets Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton. Say what you will about the age factor here, old guys win in the NBA, and this would catapult the Nets to a playoff-caliber team (although, I'm not sure if there's enough time in the current season to make up the ground). I've said it before and I'll say it again: Yes, playing in New Jersey sucks, but Carmelo, in two years you'll be THE MAN in the 4th largest city in America. Brooklyn is the best career move for whatever star is willing take the chance.

Oh wait, there was that 'boy-toy' thing
There was one little thing that happened this week in the NBA; Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called Phil Jackson Jeanie Buss' “boy-toy.” For those who don't know, Jackson dates Lakers owner Jerry Buss' daughter and team executive vice president of business operations, Jeanie. Speaking to some comments Jackson made regarding the season-ending injury to the Mavs' Caron Butler, Cuban said:

“I love that Jeanie Buss' boy-toy had something to say about us … I don't know if it was his thought or Jeanie's thought, but it's
nice to know that she lets him speak in public about other teams.”

I cannot believe this did not make a bigger splash in our sound-byte obsessed media. Maybe it was Jackson downplaying it with a joke.

“I love it, I consider myself an old man, to hear that I'm a boy-toy? That's terrific.”

Either way, count me as one person rooting 100% for a Lakers, Mavs Western Conference Finals.

Do you know where soccer comes from?
It was an FA Cup weekend (FA standing for Football Association), so there
weren't really any normal games, but there was some excitement and drama
nonetheless. The cool thing about the FA Cup from an American sports
fan's perspective is that all the teams from the different tiers of
English football play in a big bracket style tournament throughout the
season. It'd be sort of like some random AA baseball team getting a crack at the Yankees. While that sometimes allows for some crazy
Cinderella story runs into the later stages of the Cup, it ends up like
this a lot more often. Also, random fact: “Association” is where the word “soccer” comes from. -JW

Sad ghosts and fake names
Arsenal tied Leeds United 1-1, which would be a pretty normal result
in 1998, but doesn't reflect too well on the Gunners today because Leeds
is a sad little second-tier ghost of what they once were. Speaking of
sad ghosts, Liverpool continued their nightmare decline this
weekend when their coach, Roy Hodgson, got fired and replaced by Kenny
Dalgish who used to coach Liverpool way long ago. I don't think a
second-minute penalty
was the way he wanted to start out his tenure, but when it
rains it pours. Elsewhere, all the Premier League teams beat other
teams with made-up sounding names except for Man City, who tied. -JW

Liverpool coach Roy Hodgson

The Brits aren't the only ones who know how to fire a beleaguered
coach and plunge their storied teams into chaos.