Philadelphia Eagles—close but no cigar
The Philadelphia Eagles ultimately lost to the New Orleans Saints Jan. 4 in the NFC wildcard round by a score of 26-24 on a Shayne Graham field goal in the last three seconds. The Eagles missed a lot of first half opportunities. The offensive line and Eagles quarterback Nick Foles had a terrible first half! Despite that, the Eagles somehow took a one-point lead with only five minutes left. Unfortunately, it was enough time for Drew Brees to mount a winning drive. The biggest play of the game was a kickoff return to the 50-yard line. Oh well, it ended up being a great season overall and surpassed most folks' expectations, including mine.
The college football season is finally over. Florida State won a great game to end the BCS era 34-31 over a very talented Auburn team. The Tigers were a huge underdog but went up 21-3 in the first half. Then the big turnaround happened when FSU successfully tried a fake punt and scored a touchdown before half time to close the gap to 21-10. In the fourth quarter FSU returned an Auburn kickoff for a touchdown to give them a chance. With 1:19 left in the game, FSU took the ball 80-plus yards for a final touchdown to win! This broke the four-year streak of Alabama-based football national champions.
In baseball news, the Hall of Fame will enshrine three first ballot new members: Frank Thomas, Greg Maddox, and Tom Glavine. Thomas, an Auburn alumnus, was the first person elected who was a designated hitter for more than half of his at bats. The Hall will also admit three well known managers: Bobby Cox, Tony LaRussa and Joe Torre, who together won eight world championship titles and a huge number of division titles in their careers. Last year's election was disappointing because the baseball writers refused to honor any players on account of the steroid controversies. This year's inductees will help baseball restore the fans' faith in the quality and integrity of America's favorite pastime.