Give Tide 44 days to prepare …

No. 2 Alabama (12-1) needed a knockout last night at the Superdome in New Orleans. A close decision over No. 1 LSU (13-1) may not have swayed enough voters to win the national championship.

But coach Nick Saban’s defense gave the Tide their knockout, a convincing 21-0 victory in the rematch that left no doubt about which college football team was the best in the nation, at least for one night. Continue reading

New OT rules? Fuhgedaboutit

By the time I digested the new overtime rules for the playoffs, it was over. In fact, I was out of the room for the first snap in overtime. Saw the touchdown on replay. In essence, I got Tebowed.

Denver beat the Steelers, 29-23, last night on Demaryius Thomas’ 80-yard catch and run with a pass from Tim Tebow. The electrifying play means that the Broncos will travel to New England to face the Patriots next week. At least one more chance to stun a football nation. Continue reading

A long march begins

The home teams won by wide margins in the first day of the NFL postseason, but that’s where the similarities end.

The Saints showed, once again, that they may be the toughest out in the NFL after last night’s 45-28 victory over the Lions. No matter where they play. In the AFC, the Texans celebrated after running away with a 31-10 victory over the Bengals.

The self-congratulatory talk following Houston’s win can be taken two ways. Continue reading

No sure things in the NFL

Facing their two biggest games of the season, the Giants rose to the occasion and knocked off the Jets and Cowboys, respectively, to reach the NFC playoffs.

Did they restore order to their season, or will tomorrow’s matchup with the Falcons turn out to be just another game that leaves Giants fans shaking their heads. See Giants vs. Seahawks or Giants vs. Redskins for reference.

Who are these guys?   Continue reading

Hall of Very Good

Former Cincinnati Reds shortstop Barry Larkin is expected to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday, joining veterans committee selection Ron Santo as this year’s additions to Cooperstown.

I’ve always considered Larkin a solid major-leaguer, one of the better shortstops of his day. Very good all-around player. But I’ve never thought of him as a Hall of Famer. Continue reading

Hail to the Victors

With the best fight song in the land (Notre Dame, a close second) playing loudly and maize and blue confetti fluttering softly to the turf, Michigan celebrated its Sugar Bowl victory last night.

But the celebration was more about a return to glory rather than a single victory, thanks in large part to first-year coach Brady Hoke.

Brendan Gibbons hit a 37-yard field goal in overtime to lift No. 13 Michigan over No. 17 Virginia Tech, 23-20, at the Superdome. Continue reading

2012: A time for renewal

Ready or not, the new year is up and running. Happy New Year, everyone.

To me, early January always means taking stock of yourself and rededicating  resources to achieve your goals. One of my primary goals this year is becoming a successful e-book author. My resources include this website and social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Linked In to promote my work.

I will continue to write my blog, although it will take on a different feel as it grows and develops. And, most importantly, I will continue to offer e-books for sale on amazon.com and promote them here and elsewhere. To that end, there’s been a recent change in the lineup.

Look for “Devil’s Hollow,” a Gino Tenpenny detective mystery, to appear alongside “One Christmas Knight” within the next two weeks.

“Gun To My Head,” a near-death baseball experience, will be published in time for when pitchers and catchers report for spring training next month. You can read the first chapter by clicking on its page in the right-hand menu.

More titles in different genres are scheduled for release before summer. Comments are always welcome. If you would like to leave a private note, e-mail me at frankverde@frankverde.com There’s a form on my contact page.

Join me in 2012, a year in which we kick off a new and improved Mayan calendar for the next millenium and beyond!

A tale of two teams, one city

The Giants are going to the playoffs with visions of the Super Bowl dancing in their heads.

It was Eli Manning and Victor Cruz who rose to the occasion last night when the Giants turned back the Cowboys, 31-14, to win the NFC East.

The Jets, meanwhile, are heading into an uncertain offseason with memories of fighting in their own huddle and lingering doubts about their young quarterback. Continue reading