Super Bowl XLV – Players to watch

Quarterbacks are usually the focus of attention in the run-up to the Super Bowl and this year has been no different as the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for battle in Dallas this Sunday. Aaron Rodgers is attempting to win his first title in Green Bay and emerge once and for all from the shadow of Hall of Fame predecessor  Brett Favre, while Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger will hope to complete his redemption from the off-field indiscretions that saw him suspended for the first month of the season and is bidding to join the elite club of three-time champion signal callers.

But as much as some people would have you believe, the quarterbacks are just part of the story, and it’s only fair to highlight some of the other, perhaps lesser known, players on the two teams that could have a decisive influence on the destination of the Lombardi trophy.

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Super Bowl XLV – Biggest Plays of the NFL Play-offs

Super Bowl XLV is set at last, with the Green Bay Packers casting aside their position as sixth seed to win through to meet the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas on February 6. Rarely have two teams with such storied histories and fanatical supports met in the big game, so  another memorable showpiece awaits at the Cowboys magnificent new stadium.

But neither Green Bay nor Pittsburgh coasted through to the Super Bowl, with both having some hairy moments along the way. In each of their play-off games to date there have been crucial plays or costly mistakes that maybe didn’t show up in the box score or the highlights package but were significant  shifts in momentum that were vital to their progress. Continue reading

Red Sox show Liverpool how they roll

Company man: New Red Sox signing Carl Crawford sported a Liverpool tie during his introduction at Fenway Park

For any Liverpool supporters that still questioned John W Henry and New England Sports Ventures’ bona fides as an owner’s group willing to put its money where its mouth is, last week should have put some of those concerns to rest.
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Sticking it to LeBron – Cleveland bites back

The city of Cleveland landed a very public blow on LeBron James last week with  a video responding to the former Cavaliers star’s latest Nike ad. James, who dumped his hometown team for the Miami Heat this past summer, poses the question ‘What should I do?’ and proceeds to offer a few choice words to critics that have included Michael Jordan and Charles ‘Chuck’ Barkley. It’s really quite a fine piece of work but, somewhat understandably, one Cleveland filmmaker decided he had some harsh answers to LeBron’s question…

Four Downs: NFL Preview Week 6

For various reasons this is coming later than usual this week so apologies. This week’s slate includes probably the biggest game of the season so far between  the Dallas Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings, where the loser will be marooned at 1-4 and in real trouble when it comes to the play-offs, and a vital game for injury-riddled Green Bay Packers, who badly need a big win to show they remain a Super Bowl contender.

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Four downs: NFL preview week 5

We were badly let down last week by, amongst others, an injury to Michael Vick and a Miami special teams meltdown, but it’s not in us to mope, so we’re straight back on the horse with Week 5’s quartet of live games, including an interesting boost to the Vikings’ hopes in New York on Monday night. Continue reading

Four downs: NFL preview Week 4

Week 4 sees the start of the bye weeks in the NFL, with big hitters like Dallas and Minnesota among those with a day off this Sunday. However, there remain some cracking matches on the docket, including the much-anticipated return of former Eagles lightning rod Donovan McNabb to Philadelphia. Continue reading