The Jock

by Tom Weppel

The Jaguars close out this subpar season on the road in Baltimore, when they take on the nasty Ravens. This game starts at 4 p.m., instead of the original time of 1 p.m.
While the Jags want to finish the season on a winning note, their chances of doing so are quite slim. The Ravens are playing solid football, having come back from their win at Dallas and are looking at a playoff wild card spot with a win. For all intents, Jacksonville will be doing nothing more than playing out different players to get a feel for who they want to keep for next season, and who they want to get rid of.
Of course, they may already have those decisions made. I’m sure Jack Del Rio knows who he’d like to keep on his roster. NOW he will do it without James ‘Shack’ Harris, who is no longer with the team, as we suspected. Del Rio will now count on Gene Smith to help him out in finding better players to work with for the ’09 season.
Meanwhile, Jacksonville is a definite underdog in this game on Sunday. The Ravens have a rookie QB in Joe Flacco, yet he’s playing with a nice sense of poise. While the Ravens have long been known for their Defensive play, their Offense has put points on the board. Their running game has three solid backs, including Le’Ron McLain, to take care of business.
We’ll see who the Jags play on the field during this game. A lot will be in consideration for next year.

This weekend should be a good one, with a number of games carrying playoff implications.
In the AFC, the Dolphins, Pats, and Jets all are still fighting for the East Division. Miami goes to New York on Sunday. Brett Favre and the Jets have fallen off lately, while former Jet QB Chad Pennington has done a good job for Miami. New England is in Buffalo.
Out West, the Broncos, who could’ve cliched their Division with a win at home last week against the Bills, now have to go to San Diego to play the Chargers for the Division title. The Chargers have won three in a row and are playing good ball, while Denver has simply been inconsistent all season long. Many believe the Broncos will fall off, which would create some ire in Denver, for sure. And we all know that if the Ravens beat the Jags, they are in the playoffs.
In the NFC, the Vikings and Bears are still going at it in the North Division. Minnesota will host the Giants, while the Bears go to Houston. Meanwhile, the Cowboys, Bucs, and Eagles are all going after a final wild card spot. Philly and Tampa could’ve had control of this thing, if they had won last week. But the Eagles couldn’t pull it out in Washington, while the Bucs got beat at home by San Diego. Dallas has thanked them both.
So now Dallas must go to Philadelphia and beat the Eagles to get in. Should be a good one. If Dallas loses, then the Bucs can get in if they beat the Raiders in Tampa.

So far this year, just like the NFL, there are the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ in the NBA.
The ‘haves’ include the Celtics, Cavaliers, and Lakers, with the Magic, Hornets, and Rockets right behind them.
Clearly, Boston has shown they are continuing their play from last season, when they won the Championship. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen continue to lead the way, but the Celtics have built a solid team overall that is complementing the top three all the way. Head Coach Doc Rivers is certainly enjoying this situation.
Out West, the Lakers are playing good ball and keeping their roster in tact as they push through the season. Kobe Bryant is more about doing what he has to do to win games, as opposed to trying to score 30 points on average. Pau Gasol has done a good job in the middle for Los Angeles, while G Derek Fisher has been a key component to the team on the floor.
Then we have the Cavs, while Lebron James leading the way. Obviously, James has matured and grown, both in physical and mental capacity, and is very difficult to go against. Clevelnad has also built a pretty good squad, and you’ll see guys like Delonte West and Zydrunas Ilgauskas come through with scoring when needed. But as long as they stay healthy, it seems somebody’s gonna have to stop the Lakers.