The Stack is back on this Tuesday with a a few items to talk about. Super Bowl storylines come later in the week. What's in "the stack" today? Let's find out right now for today, Tuesday, January 21:
Championship game fallout
A number of post NFC and AFC championship game storylines have come out since the games ended, not all of them good:
- Bill Belichick thinks that Broncos wide receiver and former Patriot Wes Welker made no deliberate attempt to get open on the play that injured Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib in the second quarter of Sunday's game. Belichick called it "one of the worst plays I've seen." Perhaps he's just bitter that Welker left New England in the offseason for Denver. Opinions are mixed as to whether Welker did it intentionally or not. Belichick says he will let the league know what he thinks and let them determine discipline. There won't be any suspension, but a fine may happen.
- A lot of people seem pretty disgusted by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman for his postgame antics Sunday making Seattle a team that they'll root against in the Super Bowl. That's a shame because Sherman is the best cornerback in the game and Seattle is a great team with tremendous young talent, but not too entirely surpising. Sherman and the Seahawks talk a lot and can get pretty cocky. I'm even getting a little tired of them. Monday, Sherman apologized for going after San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree in postgame interviews. That's all well and good, but Sherman needs to know that this is a major put-off to many people. It makes the Seahawks more hated. Sherman is a smart guy. He did go to Stanford after all. Everything he says seems to be calculated. Hopefully Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll lets his team know that this is the sort of thing that is taken too far and they need to tone it down just a little bit.
- The news feared by the San Francisco 49ers has been confirmed. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman has a torn ACL and MCL suffered on that play near the endzone where he clearly had recovered a fumble only to have Seattle recover it after Bowman's leg got twisted up under Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. The NFL needs to take a look at this sort of play and adjust their instant replay system, something they most likely will do. Bowman's injury is severe, but the team expects that he'll be ready for the start of the regular season.
- The ratings were huge for both the AFC and NFC championship games. The clash between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady averaged 51.3 million people. The 49ers-Seahawks battle drew 55.9 million people, both significant increases over last year's games which didn't even draw 50 million viewers. Just goes to show the NFL's popularity.
And on a side note, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is considering getting rid of the extra point. Sure it is seemingly automatic as only five extra points were missed this year, but all of this tinkering is getting annoying. Move it back if you have to, but making teams go for two all of the time, if that is what the NFL decides to do, would be a bad thing. Maybe they'll just say you can either take seven points, or try and go for two and take eight. Who knows? Let's not get rid of the extra points.
NHL hands out discipline to Flames and Canucks
After the scuffle to open the game between the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks Saturday night that saw 142 penalty minutes in the first two seconds of the game and seven game misconducts, the NHL hand out some punishment. Flames head coach Bob Hartley was fined $25,000 for his responsibility in the incident. You'll get that when you send your fourth line out there to start the game. The NHL is holding Hartley responsible for this. No suspension though. The NHL did suspend Canucks head coach John Tortorella 15 days (six games) for his locker actions and altercation with the Flames during the first intermission. Tortorella has been a hothead before. This was no exception. He had every right to be angry, but he could have said something to the refs beforehand. His actions in the locker room went over the line. The NHL was right to suspend him. They probably could have and should have done more to Hartley.
Creighton lights it up
Big upset in college basketball last night. #4 Villanova (are they really the fourth best team in the country?) got destroyed on their homecourt by Creighton last night 96-68 thanks to a barrage of three pointers by Creighton. They made ten straight threes to open the game without making a two point shot until midway through the first half. They made 21 three-pointers for the game, a school record. Doug McDermott was great, but it was teammate Ethan Wragge who was dropping three's, knocking down nine of them, a school record. Creighton has a team that can go pretty far in the tournament. This sort of performance is very difficult to come by, especially in conference play. Doing it on the road makes it that much more impressive.
Coming up later this week: Super Bowl storylines plus other top stories and headlines from the sports world.