Lenny Megliola: From the Rolodex of the mind
Money in the bank
I called my bookie and laid a couple thou on the Steelers Sunday. Why? Because Pittsburgh defensive back Anthony Smith guaranteed a win over the Patriots. Hey, that’s all I need to go on. Seriously, I don’t see why teams don’t include in players’ contracts that anyone predicting a win gets a fat fine and has to wash all the jock straps after the game. They can call it the Dumbass Clause.
There will be no Heisman for Boston College’s Matt Ryan, but few athletes have handled themselves with such dignity and grace off the field like the Eagles quarterback has. He gives college sports a good name.
What have you done for me lately department
Going 6-6 wasn’t exactly what the Alabama football extremists had in mind when Nick Saban took over this year. The fans thought they had the next Bear Bryant. Instead, they got a trip to a bowl game in Shreveport. But Saban would’ve had a worse season if he stayed on as Miami Dolphins coach.
13-and … oh?
The Pats-Steelers tilt will be very revealing. Two narrow wins in a row has some folks taking a step or two back in praise of the Pats. A convincing New England win puts the Pats back on the Best Team of All-Time road. A Steelers win would suggest they’re a legit Super Bowl contender. What, Bill Belichick actually said on WEEI that his team was a bit tired right now?
Stick it, Ray
Yes, I’m a little worried about Ray Allen’s shooting, especially when he clanks off a good look. The guy’s so smooth you never expect him to miss. Hope those worked-on feet aren’t bothering him.
I’ve canceled all my Dec. 26 social engagements (including my date with Reese Witherspoon) in order to watch Central Michigan-Purdue in the Motor City Bowl.
I still can’t believe Pitt beat West Virginia, and neither can Mountaineers’ coach Rich Rodriguez. The 2007 college football season has kinda made the word upset obsolete.
The Heat’s on
Pat Riley is aging in front of our eyes. Two seasons after winning the NBA title, the Heat might not even make the playoffs. Shaq looks every bit his 35, and seems to lack motivation. Dwyane Wade can’t carry this team alone.
Posey, House and Big Baby
It’s a good thing Danny Ainge didn’t stop with bringing Allen and Kevin Garnett to town. The defense (Posey) and offense (House) produced off the bench is imperative to everything this team does. Both are high-energy guys. As for rookie Glen Davis, there was some doubt the second-round pick would even make the team. When he did, few thought he’d work himself into Doc Rivers’ rotation five weeks into the season. But he has. If Big Baby hits stardom, his girth and personality will land him plenty of endorsements. Think Charles Barkley, with a cleaner mouth. Garnett said Davis has “an aura about him.”
BC’s men’s hoops team went to Ann Arbor and beat Michigan. That lost some of its luster when Harvard beat the Wolverines. Looking to cash in, Framingham High has scheduled a game with Michigan.
Might as well book Tennessee and Connecticut for the women’s title game. One of them usually wins it all anyway. These teams don’t like each other. That was exacerbated when Tenneseee coach Pat Summitt backed out of a regular season meeting. Summitt and Geno Auriemma’s egos are so big they couldn’t walk into a Home Depot warehouse at the same time.
Cross my heart
Ralph Willard has done a tremendous job coaching the Holy Cross men’s basketball team. He’s coached in the big time, but seems content where he is in the low-profile Patriot League. The grass isn’t always greener.
Fans at the Golden-State-Orlando game the other night didn’t waste their breath yelling “Defense!” Fourteen players, seven for each team, scored in double figures. The Orlando ball boy finished with nine points. The Magic won 123-117.
Putting my sox on
Julio Lugo will have a better 2008, but Mike Lowell will taper off. J.D. Drew just has to have a pulse to have a better year. Dustin Pedroia gets bit by the sophomore jinx. Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka combine for 40 wins. Manny Ramirez slumps badly. Jacoby Ellsbury hits an inside-the-park homer while running the bases backwards.
Lenny Megliola is a Daily News columnist. His e-mail is email@example.com