West Coast Rink Rants
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Thoughts on the NFL playoff

This edition of the NFL playoffs has been truly enjoyable.

How bizarre is it that the Arizona Cardinals are hosting the NFC championship game?

It is understood that they got the mesmerizing wide receiving tandem in Fitzgerald and Boldin, but their defense has been the dark horse dictating factor and has paved the way.

Who knew?

Also, the Cards are the first 7 loss team to host the NFC title game in the Super Bowl era.

Pretty impressive considering they came form the stinky NFC West.

Donovan McNabb has also really impressed me.

Limbaugh, TO, Bernard Hopkins,getting benched.

Does this guy have thick skin or what?

I'm pulling for the Eagles all the way, just so Limbaugh can finally eat his words, unfortuantely he just might enjoy eating them.

Ravens and Steelers should be a nice game as well.

I'm finally coming to terms with the Steelers getting that sixth Super Bowl ring before the Niners, the team I root for. Not saying I've been expecting the Niners to be contenders in the York era, I'm just not dreading the Steelers becoming the first team to do it, simply because they were the first team to get to four.

Last NFL item.

If Tony Dungy is retiring today as the rumors persist, does this mean Ted Marchibroda get his third stint with Indianapolis and does Dungy get hosting duties with the other 241 hosts of Football Night in America?

I can't imagine Dungy as a charismatic tv personality, although Keith Olbermann has been FOOLING us for years, so who knows.

If you had to pick between Olbermann or Stephen A. Smith as the only 2 possible talking heads forever, who would it be?

I gotta go with Screamin A. Smith. At least he is honest, Olbermann always gives off the impression that he loathes everyone he is talking to because they did not graduate from Cornell like himelf.

 

Fight of the Night

There were no fights last night, but there were a couple of good ones from Saturday's action.

The first one we got going is between Philadelphia's Riley Cote and Toronto's Andre Deveaux.

Both these guys have received a lot of criticism this season because they lose more then they win and because neither will ever be mistaken for Marvin Hagler.

I think Cote is a quality tough guy who is far undersized but is never shy to go toe to toe with the league's giants.

He has a nickel plated chin and when he is allowed to get that left hand loose he can harvest some havoc.

Plus, when you got guys like Georges Laraque calling you "the toughest guy in hockey", you're doing something right.

With Deveaux, I think he was a good AHL tough guy who came into the league with a lot of expectations to be an imposing, ice clearing enforcer and that just hasn't happened yet.

Although he is 6'3, 240 lbs, his fight card hollers light heavyweight division, beacuse he is constantly taking on guys smaller then himself and comes away from the fray on the losing end.

His inability to answer the bell is a big reason Brian Burke incorporated the services of Brad May for now.

This is his first year in the league and he is a good agitator and takes the body well, so I expect him to maintain an NHL roster spot in the capacity of a third or fourth line grinder, but I can't see him being a top tier enforcer.

The 2nd fight is between Minnesota's Craig Weller and Columbus Blue Jacket Jared Boll.

Weller is a big 4th line grinder. He is not the primary fighter on the Minnesota roster, but he will drop when it is necessary.

Boll is the main fighter on the Columbus squad.

He isn't the most gifted pugilist, but he has heart and can be a very productive role player when he is not trying to keep the other team honest.

I feel for Boll considering he has assumed the tall task of filling in for the former Blue Jacket's legendary tough guy Jody Shelley.

Shelley is so imbedded in the hearts of Columbus fans and media that when he and his wife had a kid a few months ago, it was announced at the game and the local newspaper ran a story about it.

Boll will never be the fighter Shelley was for Columbus, but that hasn't stopped him from trying and that should be commended.

 

-MB

 

Cote (2-7-4) vs Deveaux (3-6-0)

 

Boll (3-7-4) vs Weller (3-2-1)

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