Weekend Round Up 1/23/17
Around this time of year the MLB community doesn't have much to talk about. Most of the big signings are done and spring training is still months away. Aside from the videos of players putting in work during the offseason, the MLB Network is mostly just talking about who is going to participate in the World Baseball Classic this coming March, or debating whether steroid era stars should be in the Hall of Fame.
For fans of the game, it's easy to believe players are seemingly immortal. Fans often forget that when players step away from their sport they live normal lives and are not the super humans we perceive them to be when they are on the field. But this weekend was a harsh reality that tragedy strikes regardless, with the unsettling news of the passing of Yordano Ventura. Only months after the tragic death of another young ace, Jose Fernandez, Ventura leaves a fan base and the sports world with a much too familiar sting of the thought of with might have been. Ventura was a fiery type players that was a thrill to watch every time he stepped foot on a baseball field. He was a player that drew comparisons to Pedro Martinez. Both were able to throw electric stuff regardless of their small stature. Ventura, to baseball fans will be remembered as a player who you wanted on your team due to his passion towards the game, even if that passion did rub the opposition the wrong way. He was respected across the league and he will truly be missed.
And for the NBA all you need to know is that the West is historically good and the East is spare parts. Boston can't beat good teams and now I guess they cant beat bad teams either highlighted by losses to both the Knicks and Trailblazers. The Kyle Korver addition didn't make the Cavs better than the Dubs let alone the Spurs and Greg Popovich once again proved he is one of the all-time coaching greats with a win against the defending NBA Champions.
Football was the big ticket on the weekend bill and man did it disappoint. For the first of the two games the Atlanta Falcons matched up against Green Bay in the NFC Championship. The game was hyped up as an arcade-like shootout and more notably the last game to be played at the Georgia Dome. The last time these high octane offenses faced off, it ended in a last minute TD pass from Matty-Ice that proved why he is an MVP candidate. The game started like it was supposed to, the Falcons marched up the field and scored a quick touchdown, But when Aaron Rodgers came out with his offense, instead of answering with points of their own, the Packers were not able to find the end zone until the mid third quarter. By then the game was all but over. The game ended 44-21 Falcons. It was a boringly dominant victory that was unable to produce even half the excitement of their regular season match up and punched the Falcons tickets to Super Bowl LI a trip to get crushed by the Patriots. The second matchup, Steelers vs Patriots was hyped up for no reason. It is common knowledge the Patriots are in a class above just about everybody else in the league let alone the wildcard Steelers. There were a lot of fake drama the came with this "rivalry" game, from pulling fire alarms, Facebook Live, or Rodger Goodell not coming to Foxborough but the fact of the matter is that there was no real story line here. None of them distracted Tom Brady from adding to his legacy of greatness. Gisele's ticket to Houston was already bought before the game and the Pats go to the Superbowl expecting a win.