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The Stack is back on this Tuesday, a day of mourning for much of the world as South Africa honors Nelson Mendela in a public memorial.  Thoughts on that in a little bit.  There's plenty else to get to so let's get right to it and see what made "the stack" for today, Tuesday, December 10:

Bears destroy Cowboys on MNF

The Chicago Bears didn't need punter Adam Podlesh Monday night...other than to hold for extra points and field goals.  The Bears scored on every possession other than a kneeldown at the very end of the game.  Needless to say, that was enough to dominate the Dallas Cowboys 45-28 on MNF.  Josh McCown was simply amazing for the Bears, completing 75 percent of his passes and throwing for 348 yards and four tochdowns.  Oh yeah, he ran for another as well.  Dallas was able to run the ball against Chicago (who hasn't?), but they couldn't consistently move the ball down the field and score points and their defense is awful!  I mean terrible.  You, me and nine of our friends may be able to play better defense than the Cowboys.  Thought they'd win this game and win the NFC East.  That will not happen.  Not with this defense.  The Bears win gives them the same 7-6 record as the Detroit Lions.  The Lions own the tiebreaker having swept the season series.  

 

Roy Halladay retires as a Blue Jay

Two-time Cy Young award winner Roy Halladay is calling it a career and is retiring as a Toronto Blue Jay.  He signed a one-day contract with Toronto with whom he spent 12 of his 16 years in MLB.  The other four years he spent in Philadelphia.  Last year, you could tell Halladay wasn't himself.  He clearly must have felt that too knowing now was the time to call it quits.  His finishes career with a record of 203-105 with a 3.48 ERA.  67 complete games.  He had a complete game and a no-hitter in the postseason in his 2010 NL Cy Young winning season.  Halladay is one of the best pitchers in the modern era.  He will be missed.  Nice career Halladay.

 

Three elected to MLB Hall-of-Fame

In other MLB news (no, not Robinson Cano going to Seattle), Cooperstown is getting three new members...and they are all three terrific managers.  Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony LaRusa all will be inducted, were unanimous choices from the voters.  Each manager won over 2,000 games.  Yeah, I'd say they are all pretty deserving.  The three will be inducted July 27th.

 

Six Heisman Trophy Finalists Named

Six of college football's best players will gather in New York City Saturday night, all hoping to win the Heisman Trophy.  Four quarterbacks and two running backs.  The list includes:

  • Jordan Lynch (QB-Northern Illinois)
  • Johnny Manziel (QB-Texas A&M)
  • A.J. McCarron (QB-Alabama)
  • Jameis Winston (QB-Florida State)
  • Tre Mason (RB-Auburn)
  • Andre Williams (RB-Boston College)

Winston is the overwhelming favorite.  He's been the best player in college football this year, scandal or not.  Should he win, he'll join Manziel as the only freshman to win the award.  It would be a major upset if Winston doesn't win.  I don't have a vote (why don't I have a vote?), but if I did, I'd pick Winsotn with Lynch second and Manziel third.

Bowl season is just about here.  We'll break some of the matchups down in a future post.  Here's the schedule.

 

Nelson Mandela thoughts

The world lost a great man last Thursday when South Africa President Nelson Mandela passed away at the age of 95.  Wrongfully imprisoned for much of his young adult life, Mandela eventually became president of South Africa and was instrumental in ending Apartheid.  He always thought that sports was a way to bring people together.  Mandela was an avid soccer fan (futbol as they call it), and he is at the very center of the movie Invictus, a true story on the South Africa rugby team that won the 1995 World Cup.  Of course though, all of that pales in comparison to what he did as a leader not just for his country, but for the world.  As world leaders gather in South Africa today, it is important we all take a moment to step back and reflect on the impact that Mandela had on our world.  RIP Madiba.  You've left the world a much better place and it is not the same without you.

 

NFL Week 14 Power Rankings

1. Seattle Seahawks 11-2

A two-point loss on the road against a division rival isn't enough to knock the Seahawks off the top spot.  They're just fine headed into the playoff push.

2. Denver Broncos 10-3

Peyton Manning struggling in the cold?  Well if 396 yards and four touchdowns is struggling, the Broncos are in a ton of trouble come the playoffs (he said sarcastically).

3. New Orleans Saints 10-3

Shorter week? No problem for the Saints.  Drew Brees is too tough to beat at home.

4. Kansas City Chiefs 10-3

Granted it was against Washington, but the Chiefs looked like the team that started 9-0 and not the one that was 0-3 the last three weeks.

5. New England Patriots 10-3

Huge come-from-behind win over Cleveland, but the loss of Gronk really hurts the Patriots offense and therefore their Super Bowl hopes.

6. Carolina Panthers 9-4

Ever win streak has to end.  The Panthers wished they would have put forth a better showing against the Saints, but if they put it behind them, they'll be just fine.

7. Cincinnati Bengals 9-4

If Andy Dalton plays like he played against the Colts, the Bengals will be making it past the first round of the playoffs this year.

8. San Francisco 49ers 9-4

Does a two-point victory qualify as a "statement win?"  Doubt it will help if they meet in the playoffs, but this was a big win for the 49ers in order to control their playoff destiny.

9. Philadelphia Eagles 8-5

If the Eagles were smart, they'd give LeSean McCoy the ball a lot in every game.  What a phenominal performance in that snowstorm.

10. Arizona Cardinals 8-5

Great defense.  Solid play at quarterback.  The Cardinals will be a factor in the NFC playoffs.  Might not have enough to get in though.

11. Detroit Lions 7-6

The Lions hope to be in New York for the Super Bowl, but they will be praying there isn't a winter storm that hits or they are toast.

12. Indianapolis Colts 8-5

The Colts are in freefall.  Very little defense and no stable running game.  Quick exit in the playoffs looks likely.

13. Chicago Bears 7-6

Josh McCown has a solid grasp on the starting quarterback position.  The Bears offense right now is tought to stop period.

14. Baltimore Ravens 7-6

Crazy two minutes keeps the Ravens playoff hopes alive.  Keep playing like that and the Ravens will be back in to defend their championship.

15. San Diego Chargers 6-7

Want to put them higher.  Playoff hopes may hinge on beating Denver this Thursday night.  No easy task!

16. Dallas Cowboys 7-6

Tony Romo cannot carry this team to the playoffs.  Not with that defense.

17. Miami Dolphins 7-6

If Antonio Brown hadn't stepped out, we'd be talking about an implosion by the Dolphins and no shot at the playoffs.  Big game this week against New England.

18. Green Bay Packers 6-6-1

Big win for the Packers who stay afloat in the NFC North race which means that Aaron Rodgers remains in play to play again this season.  

19. St. Louis Rams 5-8

Rams defense is pretty good.  Their offense is not.  That will keep them in the cellar of the NFC West for the forseeable future until that changes.  

20. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-8

The last two weeks of the Steelers season have been headlined by the sideline.

21. New York Giants 5-8

Eli Manning is a shell of himself this year.  Trying to do too much.  Giants just aren't a good team this year.

22. New York Jets 5-8

It was only the Raiders, but Jets fans had to be happy to see Geno Smith play a competent game at quarterback and the offense resemble something of an NFL offense.

23. Tennessee Titans 5-8

Don't feel bad Tennessee.  Dallas also gave up 51 points to the Broncos.  They however scored more to make it a game.

24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-9

Those yells asking for the firing of Greg Schiano certainly seem to have quieted down in recent weeks.  4-1 in the last five weeks will do that for you.

25. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-9

Based on what we've seen the second half of the season, the Jaguars appear to have a good man on the sidelines in head coach Gus Bradley.  This team is playing hard.

26. Cleveland Browns 4-9

The Browns inability to protect a lead and lose a game against New England overshadows Josh Gordon's continued amazing run (151 yards receiving and a touchdown).  Almost.

27. Minnesota Vikings 3-9-1

The final two minutes against the Ravens is a microcosm of the Vikings season.  Bad teams find ways to lose games.  The Vikings did just that.

28. Buffalo Bills 4-9

The Bills do know that there are still games left to play this season?  Wouldn't have known it how they played Sunday in Tampa.

29. Oakland Raiders 4-9

So much for the Raiders going into New York and beating the Jets.  Ouch!  Not a good performance, especially defensively.  

30. Atlanta Falcons 3-10

Atlanta had a road win in their grasps, but couldn't muster any offense in the second half.  Ditto for the Falcons just like the Vikings.

31. Washington Redskins 3-10

We've seen dysfunction in the NFL.  Washington is taking it to a whole new level.

32. Houston Texans 2-11

Eleven straight losses and now their head coach is fired.  Things continue to get worse for the Texans.

 

Coming up Wednesday: Reaction to top stories in sports

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