NFL Playoff Picks Wild Card Round Jan 2013
 
Well, we’ve arrived at the NFL Wild Card Round for Jan 2013.

Eagles Chuck Bednarik Penn Grad and last of the Sixty Minute Men levels Frank Gifford in November of 1960 on the Eagles path to an NFL Championship win over the Green Bay Packers.  The hit occurred fifty years ago this past November, and this was the fiftieth anniversary of the Eagles championship this past December.


Chuck Bednarik – A Short Documentary with Footage of the Famous Hit on Frank Gifford of the NY Giants.  The Eagles-Giants rivalry is the oldest in the NFL dating back to 1933.
 
By the way, there is no National Hockey League action, so if you want to watch real hockey, I suggest you make the trek up to University of New Hampshire (UNH) or Hahvahd or U Minnesota or some real hockey college (or go see the American Hockey League, featuring the New Haven Nighthawks).   Or just rent “SlapShot”, Paul Newman’s finest cinematic work. 

SLAPSHOT (1977) DIRECTED BY GEORGE ROY HILL STARRING PAUL NEWMAN – THE HANSON BROTHERS ARRIVE IN JOHNSTOWN


JOE WILLIE NAMATH THE GREATEST OF THEM ALL WITH HIS DAUGHTER JESSICA NAMATH AT THE PREMIERE OF THE HBO DOCUMENTARY “NAMATH” ABOUT AFL FOOTBALL THE PRECURSOR TO THE PASS-HAPPY LEAGUE WE NOW CALL THE NFL (WHICH USED TO BE RUNNING AND DEFENSE LEAGUE).


 
Making football playoffs all the more important, since the NBA (National BigMan Association) playoffs will not start until we are all at the beach and don’t care anymore about hoops.  Also, this year, in a novel approach, the NBA has decided it might be a good idea if the Los Angeles Lakers, who play in a city which has no water, let alone any natural lakes, actually stunk and let some of the other teams get to the Finals.   I mean, last night, the Sixers marched into the Staples Center and WHUPPED the Lakers.  And it wasn’t close.  The entire payroll of the Sixers wouldn’t pay for even one of Kobe’s regular sushi meals.

By Eric Pincus

January 2, 2013, 12:00 p.m.
The Lakers lost Tuesday night to the Philadelphia 76ers, 103-99, at Staples Center.
Sixers point guard Jrue Holiday was a difficult cover for the Lakers all night, finishing with 26 points and 10 assists in 39 minutes of play.
The 22-year old point guard from UCLA is midway through his fourth season, averaging 18.9 points and 8.9 assists for the Sixers.
Lakers guard Steve Nash said Holiday’s play gave the Sixers a big lift.
“Obviously they’re a different team with him. We beat them at their place by 20 without him,” Nash said (the margin was actually 13 points in the December meeting, 111-98). “I think he gives them obviously a very talented players but he also makes guys around him better.  He makes it more difficult for you to guard [Evan] Turner[Jason] Richardson and the other guys on the perimeter.”
The Lakers were within four points with about 32 seconds left when Metta World Peace missed a three-point shot.  Holiday took it right to the rack with a thunderous dunk to put the Sixers up 103-97, all but extinguishing the Lakers’ chances.
“He’s a terrific player,” Nash said.  “He’s an All-Star this year.”

Steve Nash and Jrue Holiday chase the ball yesterday, courtesy Lakers Now cited supra.



For some reason, the NBA now includes Oklahoma City, which by all accounts is the 505th largest metropolitan area in the United States, but has one of the 30 odd NBA franchises.  
 
This makes as much sense as when Bob Irsay moved the Baltimore Colts to Indianapolis in the middle of the night, as highlighted in a recent ESPN 30-30 documentary. 
 
Ok, so here are the matchups and here are the picks:

Wild Card Round:  

Saturday Jan 5th, 2013:  Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) v. Houston Texans (12-4) 4:30 pm.  PICK: BENGALS.  Close match but Bengals finished very strong, Texans didn’t.   This is probably a very tight matchup and could go either way, but the Bengals defeated three good teams down the stretch while the Texans wilted away the #1 seed down the stretch.
 
Saturday Jan 5th, 2013:  Minnesota Vikings (10-6) v. Green Bay Packers (11-5) 8:00 pm.  PICK:  PACKERS.  The teams split the two regulars season meetings, but the Pack is back and is much stronger than their record indicates.  It will be a hard fought game but one has to like the Packers’ superior offensive capabilities and QB Aaron Rodgers, a proven winner, over the wonderful Adrian Peterson, who assaulted Eric Dickerson’s NFL rushing mark this past season.  However, if the Vikings are down by ten points or more, then their running game will not prove useful, and they will need to go to the air.  Neither team has a very tight defense, so it’s hard to see the Vikings containing the Pack.  Only Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan had higher QBRs than Aaron Rodgers this year with the Packers.  Rodgers still holds the all-time QBR mark.  However, Rodgers led the NFL in Passer Rating in 2012.  
 
Sunday, Jan 6th, 2013:  Indianapolis Colts (11-5) v. Baltimore Ravens (10-6) 1:00 pm.  PICK:RAVENS. Everyone loves Bruce Arians, but am I the only person who remembers that he once was the head coach of Temple Football, where he was 21-45 over six seasons from 1983-88?  including 1986, when Temple went 6-5, but was later forced to forfeit all six of its wins due to the use of Paul Palmer, a fantastic RB who later was shown to have signed with a player agent, and was thus ineligible to play (see, the NCAA will take away wins from any university playing football in Pennsylvania).    At any rate, the Colts are the luckiest 11-5 team in the history of the NFL–they gave up 387 points while scoring 357 points.  The Ravens look more normal–their defense is still good, though they gave up more points than usual.  Joe Flacco won’t thrill anyone, but he gets the job done.  Andrew Luck–well, he’ll need it against the likes of Ray Lewis, who had 44 tackles in just six games.  Not everyday you have to look into the eyes of a middle linebacker who has done hard time for felony murder conspiracy, knowing that fellow is hell-bent on coming after YOU.  And sending your receivers across midfield into his path.  Good LUCK.  I pick the Ravens.  
 
Sunday Jan 6th, 2013:  Seattle Seahawks (11-5) v. Washington DC Redskins (10-6) 4:30 pm.  PICK:  SEAHAWKS.  The most underrated coach in the league has to be Pete Carroll of Seattle, who not only snuck into the playoffs two years ago with a 7-9 team, but then proceeded to win the mother of all upsets by upending the Super Bowl champion Saints in the Wild Card round and then proceeded to give the Bears a contest before falling in the second round.  This year, the Seahawks allowed only 245 points–one of the very lowest totals in the NFL–while scoring 412 points.  The Redskins by contrast allowed 388 points while scoring 436 points.  Among the tough teams the Seahawks beat this year were the Cowboys, the Packers, the Patriots, the Vikings, the Bears and the 49ers, and they didn’t give a whole lot of points in beating those teams either.  The total allowed in those six games was 92 points–or @15.33 points per game to six of the highest scoring opponents with some of the best running backs and QBs in the NFL.  In fact, based on point differentials, the Seahawks should have gone 13-3, while the Redskins should have gone 9-7.  And while many enthuse over the inestimable talents of Robert Griffin III, the QB rating of Russell Wilson of Seattle was right behind RG3–Wilson had a rating of 100, RG3 102.4, Peyton Manning 105.6, and Aaron Rodgers topped out the NFL at 108.  So RG3 is the third best QB in the league, but Russell Wilson is the fourth best QB in the league–so it’s a wash there.  Marshawn Lynch ran for more than 1500 yards for Seattle and Wilson added nearly 500 yards to that total.  Not only do I pick Seattle, but the game will not actually be close.  Seattle will win comfortably, and Pete Carroll will be revealed as the genius he is.  It’s worth noting also, that while Mike Shanahan does have two Super Bowl wins, his overall record with QBs not named John Elway is 112-87 in the regular season; Shanahan has had four one and done playoff runs, including three since he last had John Elway as his QB; that Shanahan has only won one playoff game in his coaching career since the 1997 and 1998 Super Bowl runs with Elway and Elway’s retirement, that sole playoff win coming way back in 2005 with Jake “the Snake” Plummer against the powerful NE Patriots, but at home in Denver, and possessing a powerful Denver defense that year.  Denver in 2006 got off to a powerful 7-2 start, then cratered with a 2-5 finished to end up 9-7 and out of the playoffs; Mike Shanahan never got back to the playoffs again with Denver, and it took him three years to get back to the playoffs with the Redskins, and seven years overall since 2005 to get back to the promised land.   Shanahan’s playoff record post-Elway is one and done, 2000, one and done 2003, one and done, 2004, won one and lost one, 2005, and out of the money, 2006-08, and 2010-11, five seasons.  Except for the one win against the Pats in 2005, Shanahan has not won a playoff game of any importance since 1999 and 1998 with John Elway in the two Super Bowl runs.  Whereas by contrast, Pete Carroll won a critical playoff game in the face of derision, skepticism and outright ridicule, on the road, against the NFL’s premier offense, against the New Orleans Saints, in 2010, and two years later, has his team not only in the hunt, but with one of the NFL’s premier defenses, and best young offenses.  While it’s true Shanahan gets some credit for developing RG3, were their roles reversed and Carroll had RG3 and Shanahan had Wilson, I’d bet at least a gold eagle from the 1880s that Carroll would have won 14 games with RG3, while Shanahan would have missed the dance altogether with Wilson.  Based on their track records, it seems to me that it’s Carroll, not Shanahan that is the superior QB developer and teacher of young men—Shanahan has never been able to really develop a QB since Elway, which means, essentially, unless the QB is already a great QB, Shanahan can’t develop one.  RG3 is already great—Shanahan has not been the key to his development.  RG3 is like another Elway–a truly great QB who thrives in spite of, and not because of, Shanahan.  My pick is the Seahawks.
–art kyriazis, philly

DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF THE LATE TIMOTHY LING CLASS OF 1976 GOALKEEPER SCHOLAR ATHLETE BUSINESSMAN FATHER HUSBAND CLASSMATE FRIEND TIM WE WILL ALWAYS MISS YOU ATHLETIC HALL OF FAME MEMBER 1974 & 1975 UNDEFEATED SOCCER TEAMS, HAVERFORD SCHOOL

In 1974-75, my classmates at HAVERFORD SCHOOL had evolved a new kind of game to play at lunchtime using the lacrosse fields adjacent to the old Upper School.  It used a FRISBEE and the object was to advance the FRISBEE and throw it into the LACROSSE NET past the opposite.  The resulting game was aptly called CROSBEE.

It became very popular and nearly everyone was playing nearly every day.  What the internet has brought to light is that in April of 1975, I and my kid brother JOHN KYRIAZIS (who was also attending HAVERFORD SCHOOL) co-wrote and had published in SPORTS ILLUSTRED MAGAZINE a short letter about CROSBEE AND HAVERFORD SCHOOL.  The letter appeared in the section then known as “The 19th Hole”.  The letter and website follow:

April 07, 1975

19th Hole: The Readers Take Over

Edited by Gay Flood
SI VAULT
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1089715/2/index.htm

CROSBEE AND GUTS
Sir:
We thoroughly enjoyed the article by J.D. Reed on Frisbee as a sport (“They Are My Life and My Wife”, Feb. 24). At the Haverford School, which we attend, Frisbee has become much more than a lunchtime amusement. Our game is called Crosbee, and there is nothing like it outside of our school. It is played four men to a side, on a 60-by-40-yard field, and the object is to throw the Frisbee into the opponent’s goal. The rules are simple: the man with theFrisbee is allowed to run, unless he is touched by an opponent, in which case possession changes. To forestall a touch, players can pass off or “down” the Frisbee by putting the disk on the ground and tapping it-Play then stops for a moment, whereupon the player can pass off or run again, although he cannot shoot from a downed position. A toss out of bounds results in loss of possession. The goalie, who mans a 6-by-6-foot lacrosse net, can come up on offense when his team has possession of the Frisbee.

A mixture of lacrosse, hockey and Frisbee, Crosbee is fast and furious. A Crosbee Intramural League has evolved, complete with Saturday schedules and playoffs.


ARTHUR KYRIAZIS
JOHN KYRIAZIS


I played lacrosse six years at Haverford, socer six years, captained an intramural hoops team that won the championship two years in a row, and prior to attending Haverford was on a football team that had been county champions two years in a row.  Yet, at Haverford, due to the incredibly great athletes we had there, I was considered only average in my athletic abilities.  I was a starter in lacrosse at Haverford for three or four years before the bigger faster guys started taking over; I was a hard worker and a team player.  I didn’t crack the starting lineup in soccer; everyone was too good.  In the winters, aside from hoops, I also played squash, and in the falls, some tennis besides soccer.  We had a lot of great tennis courts and superb old style squash courts with the old style rackets and the old style balls.
But what was terrific about sports at Haverford was that your coach was also your teacher.  In lacrosse, my coach was also my upper school  Latin teacher; in soccer, the coach was my middle school Latin teacher;   our squash supervisor was my upper school English teacher.  Our basketball preceptor was our middle school social studies teacher, later a noted attorney on Wall Street.  We forged strong bonds with our teachers on the athletic fields and in the classrooms.
Years later, when I read “The World According to Garp,” I instinctively understood exactly what John Irving was referring to with regards to the wrestling room; wrestling was like a religion at Haverford School, and yet it was conducted in a small, hot as an inferno room in an old gym which must have dated back to the 1920s.  A room where the School had gone undefeated in league matches for twenty-five years, a record of excellence that will never, ever be matched.  Wrestling at Haverford–man, that was something you WATCHED.  Our wrestlers were so, so good.  They just destroyed opponents.  Our wrestling team never lost a match in league play the whole time I attended Haverford for six straight years.
Our soccer team was undefeated my sophomore, junior and senior years.  Our football team was undefeated my seventh and eighth grade years.  Man, we were really, really good.  Our squash and golf players were the envy of not just Philadelphia, but the entire east coast.  Our squash and golf teams routinely beat COLLEGE teams in exhibition matches.  We had a squash player, Neddie Edwards, who later dueled for years with Harvard’s Mike DeSaulniers for #1 and #2 on the pro squash tour.  The number of golf pros and golf course designers who have graduated our classes is staggering.  Our annual alumni golf tournament–let’s just say you’d better practice before you show up.
Crosbee, though, was sheer fun.
We honor our great athletes at Haverford School annually with an Athletic Hall of Fame Dinner.  Tonight’s dinner will be the tenth annual such dinner, and I am proud to say that I was on the Alumni Board @ fifteen years ago when the idea for such a dinner was first proposed, and I was immediately one of the first and most ardent advocates for it to be pressed forward.  Many more worthy than me have pressed on and we now have a very distinguished group of alumni who serve on the HOF committee as well as on the selection committee.  It is so fulfilling to be at the birth of something, and to watch it grow into a full grown teenager and adult–sort of like raising your own child. This is one of my deepest and proudest accomplishments, that I in some small way, contributed to the Alumni HOF dinner at Haverford School.
It is now one of our most popular alumni events, and we have been honored and graced by many great athletes.  I especially wish to mention the late Timothy Ling 76′, who was goalie on those undefeated soccer teams, later a distinguished executive at UNOCAL who pioneered their East Asian resource exploration programs.  Mike Mayock 76′, who has served with distinction on the HOF committee for many years and also serves as once of the lynchpins of the NFL Network, as well as being the pride of BC football, and proudly, a former NY football Giant.  I once watched him drop 26 points in a 12 year old hoops game–out of 33 total scored by the team.  The 1974 and 1975 soccer teams which were recently inducted into the HOF–the entire class of 1975, as well as the class of 1974–were amazing, and role models for us, the class of 1976.
The Ancient Greeks said that proper training included a sound mind in a sound body–mens sana in corpore sana was the latin term.  To this day, the word “gymnasium” means high school in modern Greek, and “athletics” means sports.  The fact is, there is no separating the training of the mind from the training of the body.  We bond on the field, we bond in the classroom, we bond in the boardroom, we bond on the golfcourse.
This is the World According to Garp.  This is the World I Knew, and I praise the Lord for it, and thank all my dear classmates, coaches and mentors for it.
–art kyriazis
haverford school 76′
The Late, Great Timothy Ling

The Late, Great Timothy Ling

Obituaries

January 30, 2004|Elizabeth Douglass | Times Staff Writer

Timothy Hugh Ling, president and chief operating officer of Unocal Corp. and an active member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn. board, died Wednesday after an ice hockey workout in El Segundo. He was 46.

The cause of death was not immediately known, and an autopsy will be performed.

Ling spent six years at the El Segundo-based oil company, initially as its chief financial officer, then as executive vice president of Unocal’s North American operations, and finally as the No. 2 executive and a member of the board of directors.

The pianist, singer and cellist loved music so much that he knew the performers and would leave concerts “absolutely glowing,” according to Deborah Borda, president of the L.A. Philharmonic Assn. As a member of the group’s executive committee, “he was a gifted strategic thinker and had a real impact,” she said.

A native of Philadelphia, Ling won a hockey scholarship to fund his high school education at the Haverford School. In 1982, he earned a degree in geology from Cornell University.

While working as a geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, he met Kimberly De Mello, whom he married in 1987.

Ling earned an MBA from Stanford University in 1989, and hoped to create a small oil company with friends. Instead, he spent seven years as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. in Los Angeles, becoming a partner and co-writing a management book called “Real Change Leaders” before leaving for Unocal in 1997.

Despite frequent travel, Ling was a mentor to children from the urban core, helped with Boy Scouts, coached his eldest son’s ice hockey team and was active in the Young Presidents’ Organization.

In addition, Ling was a director of Maxis Communications, a Malaysian wireless service provider; a director of the American Petroleum Institute and the Domestic Petroleum Council; and a member of an advisory board for the Department of Energy. He was also on the management board for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and a member of the Haverford Leadership Council.

“He was just a huge bundle of energy,” said friend Jamie Montgomery of the investment banking firm Montgomery & Co. “He helped everyone, everywhere along the way.”

In addition to his wife, Ling is survived by their three children, Hudson, 7, Tommy, 4, and Peter, 2, all of Pacific Palisades; his parents, Gilbert and Shirley Ling of Marion, Pa.; his sister, Eva Monahan of Wynnewood, Pa.; and his brother, Dr. Mark Ling of Atlanta.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to the Tim Ling Memorial Fund, St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Pacific Palisades, or to the Tim Ling Scholarship Fund, in care of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Assn.

http://articles.latimes.com/2004/jan/30/local/me-ling30

cf http://www.palisadespost.com/obituaries/content.php?id=130