Sunday, January 23, 2011

NFL conference title game predictions

Four historic NFL giants — the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets — remain standing. A pair of fascinating matchups will determine who will play in the Super Bowl.


Classic rivals. Legendary NFL teams. Soldier Field.

And ironic, when you think about it, that the Bears hope to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy when all is said and done.

Plus, you have a tail of two quarterbacks. One guy is a total jerk who throws lots of interceptions, and the other guy has zero personality but makes some good decisions on the field. Which do you prefer to watch?

The NFC title game will come down to Green Bay's defense. If the Packers can limit Jay Cutler and the Bears' attack, and maybe force a couple turnovers, they have the offensive firepower with Aaron Rodgers to pull out a road win against their rival — in spite of the Bears' stiff 'D.'

Packers 28, Bears 17.


The team that put the AFL on the map and forced the creation of the modern NFL vs. one of the NFL's dynasties.

Ben Roethlisberger has established himself as a postseason playmaker. He finds ways to win, and also ways to escape court charges. For the Jets to take the AFC crown, they need to disrupt Roethlisberger all night and come up with a late pick or fumble. It would also help Mark Sanchez and the Jets to get an early lead.

Jets 24, Steelers 21.

Just my humble opinions. What do you think?

Follow Christiaan DeFranco on Twitter @cdefranco.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


 If you like high school basketball, the Suburban One League is supplying plenty of it Saturday with the SOL Challenge, as 42 teams (22 girls, 20 boys) play 21 games at six sites in the Bux-Mont area.

Below is the schedule, with local teams bolded. First team listed in the matchup is the home team.

At Abington
2 p.m. GIRLS-North Penn vs. Bensalem
3:30 p.m. BOYS-North Penn vs. Bensalem
5 p.m. GIRLS-Abington vs. Cheltenham
6:30 p.m. BOYS-Abington vs. Cheltenham

At Souderton
2 p.m. BOYS-Quakertown vs. Truman
3:30 p.m. GIRLS-Norristown vs. William Tennent
5 p.m. GIRLS-Souderton vs. Pennsbury
6:30 p.m. BOYS-Souderton vs. Pennsbury

At Upper Dublin
6:30 p.m. BOYS-Upper Dublin vs. Pennridge
8 p.m. GIRLS-Upper Dublin vs. Central Bucks South

At Hatboro-Horsham
2 p.m. GIRLS-Pennridge vs. Wissahickon
3:30 p.m. BOYS-Hatboro-Horsham vs. Wissahickon
5 p.m. GIRLS-Hatboro-Horsham vs. Plymouth Whitemarsh

At Council Rock South
2 p.m. GIRLS-Upper Moreland vs. Truman
3:30 p.m. BOYS-Upper Moreland vs. William Tennent
5 p.m.-GIRLS-Council Rock South vs. Central Bucks West
6:30 p.m. BOYS-Council Rock South vs. Central Bucks East

At Council Rock North
2 p.m. GIRLS-Neshaminy vs. Central Bucks East
3:30 p.m. BOYS-Central Bucks South vs. Norristown
5 p.m. GIRLS-Council Rock North vs. Lansdale Catholic
6:30 p.m. BOYS-Council Rock North vs. Central Bucks West

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Big night for Lansdale Catholic

Lansdale Catholic had some fun in South Philly on Monday night.

Not only did the Crusaders beat Neumann-Goretti for their first league win, not only was it the first league victory under coach Heather Glemser, and not only did Shea Wassel move to within six-points of the 1,000 career-points plateau, but sophomore Mary Kate Brokans broke loose.

Brokans was, in a word, unstoppable. She went off for 25 points as Goretti simply had no answer for her.

But it wasn't just that she had a big game that was significant; it was that she opened up LC's offense. Other teams now have no choice but to account for her as a scorer as well as a distributor.

In other words, LC's offense is expanding. It is becoming more versatile as more weapons emerge.

Plus, the Crusaders played solid defense and didn't make many mistakes in a major road win.

"We wanted this," Wassel said afterward.

As the Crusaders get into the heart of their league schedule, they seem to be growing in all phases. Thursday will be another big night, when Wassel shoots for 1,000 at home against Hallahan.

Gotta be happy for her, Brokans and this group of Crusaders.

Follow Christiaan DeFranco on Twitter here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Vick named SN Comeback Player of the Year

The Sporting News named Eagles quarterback Michael Vick the NFL's Comeback Player of the Year. Find it here.

The voters included 617 NFL players, coaches and executives.

The Associated Press will release its end-of-season awards later this month.

Incoherent ramblings...

Why is Arnold Palmer credited with "inventing" mixing iced tea and lemonade? Sometimes when I eat French fries, I dip them in both ketchup and mustard. Did I invent that? Just wondering. and

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Alston transfers to Gwynedd-Mercy

Taylour Alston, who led the North Penn girls basketball team to the state tournament last March, has transferred from Indiana University of Pennsylvania to Gwynedd-Mercy College, where she'll see more playing time.

Alston wasn't happy with her limited role at IUP. Gwynedd-Mercy coach Keith Mondillo said Alston will play Thursday on the road against King's College.

With the Griffins, Alston reunites with former North Penn point guard Dara Nelson. Other Gwynedd-Mercy players from this area include Souderton alum Emily Price, Pennridge's Jordan Dominic and Upper Dublin's Liza Leyes.