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Blog Is Moving!

Hey all,

Thanks for being the avid followers of my blog that I know you are. I’m moving my blog to collaborate with a few other sports journalists/acquaintances of mine. We’re doing big things now, and, hopefully, within a few weeks we’ll have an official website up and running.

The new blog is: http://www.cover5.wordpress.com

Yes, you’ll still see the same old Kris Winfield and his remarkable grammar usage and word play writing these stories.. You’ll actually see more of him, as he’s attempting to be a bit more CONSISTENT in his blogging.

Thanks to all of those who follow and/or view my blog. It’s very much appreciated.

Kristian Winfield

Oh and one more thing:

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Biggest Upset of the Year? Seahawks Dismantle Saints; 41-36

by: Kristian Winfield

In the loudest arena in the NFL, the fans at Qwest Arena relentlessly cheered on, empowering their team to overcome all odds.

The once dominant Seattle Seahawks have resurged, pulling the biggest upset in playoff history. On Saturday, they defeated the Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints in what was an electrifying playoff matchup.

Things looked bleak for the Seahawks at first; wide receiver Ben Obamanu bobbled a pass which ended up being picked off by Saints’ cornerback, Jabari Greer. That interception led to a touchdown pass to Heath Evans, giving New Orleans an early 10-0 lead.

The Seahawks answered with an 11-yard touchdown pass to John Carlson, but the Saints were able to march up the field and put points on the board again; Julius Jones rushing for a five-yard touchdown.

It was then that the veteran decided to show his stripes. Matt Hasselbeck caught fire, marching up the field three straight times, including a 45-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Stokley and another touchdown pass to John Carlson. He led his team to 17 unanswered points, giving the Seahawks a 24-17 lead.

Hasselbeck threw for three touchdowns and 168 yards in the first half.

“It wasn’t just one thing, it felt like everyone did a little something to help us get the win,” Hasselbeck said. “It was just an awesome feeling.”

But it was definitely Hasselbeck’s play that catapulted the Seahawks to this home victory over the Saints. After halftime, Hasselbeck broke out and threw a 38-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams. He then drove up the field again, setting up Olindo Mare for a field goal, giving the Seattle a 34-20 lead.

In the fourth, the Saints superiority complex came out, and they began the comeback. Drew Brees marched up the field, putting Julius Jones in position for another short rushing touchdown.  Brees then put Garrett Hartley in position to nail a 21-yard, decreasing the deficit to four points.

But then the most amazing play, perhaps in Seahawks post season history, crushed the Saints’ spirit.

Marshawn Lynch ran for 67 yards, breaking eight tackles and scoring a touchdown, giving Seattle a 41-30 lead.

“That was the most unbelievable, unrealistic play I’ve ever seen in the history of football,” said Seahawks linebacker Adam Curry. “It was just unreal. It seems just like a routine football play, then he takes it to another level.”

Lynch rushed for 131 yards on 19 carries.

That rush was essentially the dagger in the Saints heart. Drew Brees worked his magic, marching his team into Seattle territory once again, but after his touchdown pass to Devery Henderson he failed to complete the two-point conversion. The onside kick was then recovered by the Seahawks and the game was over.

“We did it with our crowd and we fit together so beautifully,” said Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll, who in his first season with the Seahawks led one of the biggest upsets in playoff history.”We kind of expected to win. I know that sounds crazy, but we did expect to win. The fact that it happened, it’s just kind of like, we want to take it in stride and go to the next one.”

Matt Hasselbeck was definitely the Player of the Game. He passed for 272 yards, completing 22 of 35 pass attempts, 4 of which led to touchdowns. He did all of this three days after being cleared to return from a soft tissue hip injury.

“We respect the heck out of the Saints,” Hasselbeck said, “but I think we felt something special all week and today, and we’ll see. It’s a good start for us.”

Today, the Seahawks became the first team in NFL history to have a losing record and win a game in the post season.

 

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No Gallo? No Problem. Knicks Surge Past Spurs; 128-115

by: Kristian Winfield

Wilson Chandler led the Knicks, scoring 31 points and grabbing 9 boards in Friday’s win over the #1 seed Spurs.

A high octane offense, New York held a three-point lead at the half; the score: 72-69. And they never looked back, outscoring the Spurs every quarter.

Amar’e “Stat” Stoudemire lived up to his nickname, filling up the stat sheet. He finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, six assists, and three blocks. Knicks’ guard Raymond Felton also had a huge game, finishing with 28 points, seven assists, and no turnovers.

Tony Parker led the Spurs with 26 points and six assists. DeJuan Blair finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, and Manu Ginobli finished with 15 points.

 

Wins like these establish the Knicks as a perennial team in the Eastern Conference. Being able to take down the best team in the NBA has been something that only four other teams have accomplished. If New York can keep up this level of play, they might be able to crawl out of the bottom four playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference.

 

*Other Notes: Knicks Forward Danilo Gallinari missed tonight’s game with a sprained knee. He will miss the next two weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

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One Streak Ends, Another Pushes On. Celtics Push Past Knicks; 118-116

by: Kristian Winfield

Do you remember the days when MJ would dominate basketball games for the Bulls? I used to run back and forth, from the television to my grandmother screaming, “Gramma! He scored again!”

She would always chuckle as she watched me run back to the TV. I would never be gone for too long; Michael was an explosive scorer.

There is something about the New York Knicks this season that brings me back to those days. The little kid inside of me has erupted watching the Knicks go onto this streak, but he also bawled into tears when the streak came to an end.

The Knicks took their first loss in nine games tonight, in an exciting, buzzer-beating, fight-to-the-finish match against the Celtics in Madison Square Garden.

The first quarter started off electric, both Amar’e Stoudemire and Wilson Chandler entering double-digits in the first 10 minutes. Amar’e had 17 points in the first, catapulting his team to an early 32-24 first quarter lead.

But there’s just something about these professional Massachusetts teams. Whether it’s Boston’s Celtics, or Foxborough’s Patriots, they just refuse to die. And that happened tonight. Several times throughout the second and third quarter the Knicks would pull away. An eight point lead here; A seven point lead there. Yet still, the Celtics would not go away.

At the start of the second half, Gallo caught fire, catching a reverse, baseline dunk, and back-to-back threes, sparking the Knicks onto another run.

“We have confidence. We know how good we can be. We see the room for improvement,” said Stoudemire one day before. “We can get better. We have confidence that we can win. Every game is a different story. We just have to make sure we are ready to go and play smart.”

And play smart they did, pushing the ball and controlling the pace of the game to suit their play style. They played smart all the way through; Boston just played smarter in the end.

Tied at 113 in the final minute of regulation, Ray Allen, the prototypical shooter of the NBA, sunk a wide open, corner-pocket trey-ball to give the Celtics a three point cushion. He finished with 26. The Knicks fired right back, Gallo hitting a left-handed floating layup plus a foul.

The Celtics retaliated with a Pierce-Garnett pick-and-roll, switching Amar’e onto Pierce in an iso. Paul Pierce got into his sweet spot, that foul line extended area, used a step-back to create a smidgen of space, and nailed his shot.

With 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni drew up a play. Stoudemire came off a screen at the top of the three point line, caught the ball and nailed an uncontested three pointer. The Knicks fans, bench, and staff celebrated what would be a false reality. The shot was ruled too late, and upon further review, when time expired Amar’e still had the ball in the palms about to release the shot.

This was almost the perfect game. Stoudemire finished with 39 points, marking his ninth straight game with 30+ points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks, shooting 15-of-22 from the field. Raymond Felton had 26 points and 14 assists, and Wilson Chandler had 18 points and 12 rebounds. Even Danilo “Gallo” Gallinari had 20 points. But the Celtics, led by The Truth, Paul Pierce, with 32 points and 10 rebounds, and Kevin Garnett with 20 points and 13 rebounds, emerged victorious in arguably the best game in the season so far.

The Celtics have won their eleventh straight, improving their record to 20-4: second best in the NBA only to San Antonio. Though the Knicks took this loss tonight, they have won eight of their last nine, and are 16-10 on the season, tying them at fourth place with the Atlanta Hawks. It’s been too long since New York has had a basketball team in the playoffs. But it looks like the wait is over. Amar’e has single-handedly electrified New York City. Just imagine what’s to come when the likes of Carmelo Anthony, an “unguardable” presence, plays alongside Stoudemire and Felton. Now that is a scary thought.

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Touchdown Celebration For DeSean Jackson; Eagles Beat Cowboys 30-27

by: Kristian Winfield

There has been much controversy over Philadelphia Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson and his touchdown celebrations. Last night, in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys, Jackson broke a Mike Jenkins tackle and turned it into a 91-yard touchdown catch, putting the Eagles up 27-20, thus solidifying the victory over the Cowboys.. But just before crossing the plane, DeSean Jackson turned around, faced his defenders and plunged backwards into the endzone.

Critics believe that this is “classless”, and the fact that he continues to do this hurts his image as a professional football player. In my opinion, if DeSean Jackson wants to backflip into the endzone, and then “hit that dougie”, he can do it! Jackson has labeled himself as one of the best receivers in the NFL. Last night, he had four receptions for 210 yards… With an injured foot! If the opposing team’s defense is so porous that they allow an injured receiver to get 210 receiving yards on then, they deserve to be taunted. It might not be very professional, but that’s what he wants his image to be, and he can build his image however he wants to.

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Stoudemire Electrifies New York; Knicks Win 7th Straight

by: Kristian Winfield

Amar’e Stoudemire has taken the Big Apple by storm. In the last seven games, Amar’e has scored 30 or more points and has led his team to a victory each of those games. As a matter of fact, excluding two games, every time Amar’e scores 30 or more points, the Knicks win.

In the Knicks latest win over the Wizards, Stoudemire put up a game-high 36 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out five assists, and blocked two shots, one of which helped secure the Knicks 101-95 victory over Washington, Friday night.

“One thing about Amar’e is he can score,” said Knicks guard Raymond Felton. “What a lot of people didn’t know, he can score from a lot of different ways.”

Gilbert Arenas led Washington with 20 points. This marks the fourth straight loss for the Wizards, who have dropped eight of their last nine games. John Wall had arguably his worst game of the season, scoring eight points on 4-of-14 shooting and six assists after missing Washington’s game against Sacramento with a sore left foot.

Wilson Chandler contributed to the victory with 16 points and eight rebounds, and forward Danilo Gallinari also finished with 16 points and five rebounds.

This win for the Knicks is the longest winning streak for the franchise since then 2000-2001 season, where they won 8 in a row. Amar’e also tied the streak for longest 30+ point games in a row, joining Willie “Willie the Whale” Naulls as elite company.

Amar’e finished with a different kind of triple-double: 36 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 turnovers.

“I had no idea that the turnovers were that high on my part tonight, I had no clue. But, when you turn the ball over and you still win, you must be a pretty good team.”

If Amar’e can keep up this level of play, the idea of the Knicks being a playoff team won’t be too farfetched.

*Key Notes: Andray Blatche finished with 16 points. JaVale McGee finished with 10 points                        and 10 rebounds. Nick Young scored 17 points.                                                                              Knicks next game will be on Sunday in NY against the Denver Nuggets, a                                tougher opponent than any of their last seven victims.

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