Note: This appeared first at RandBall, your home for new years.
Games of the week: NFL Playoffs
Two games today (Chiefs/Colts, 3:30pm; Saints/Eagles, 7pm, both on NBC); two games Sunday (Chargers/Bengals at noon on CBS, Niners/Packers at 3:30pm on FOX).
It’s strange; on virtually every fall weekend, you can watch football from morning to night on both Saturday and Sunday. Yet it’s not until the first round of the NFL playoffs, when the league lines up games on both Saturday and Sunday, one at a time, that it really feels like an event. Most Sundays, we’re inundated with one good game and a bunch of garbage. We’ve sat through it all year. This is our reward.
What else to watch
Today, 2pm: #5 Michigan State at Indiana (CBS). Sure, it’s still the first week of January, and March Madness is still months away. If you squint, though, a top-five team going to Assembly Hall on a Saturday afternoon isn’t a bad replacement.
Today, 7pm: Capitals at Wild (FSN). After losing six in a row, the Wild beat the hapless, hopeless Sabres on Thursday to temporarily staunch the bleeding. Today, then, is the first day of the rest of their season. Lose again, and Mike Yeo may not make it to Monday; win, and we will all start forgetting about the Christmas swoon.
Sunday, 1:30pm: Purdue at Gophers (BTN). The Gophers dropped a winnable one on Thursday against Michigan, and now, Purdue – probably one of the bottom four teams in the Big Ten – comes to Williams Arena. One game into the Big Ten season, it’s a little early for must-win games…. but still, this feels like a must-win game for Minnesota.
What to read this weekend
Scott Burnside’s look inside the selection of the USA Olympic hockey team is absolutely fascinating. And most importantly, defenseman Brian Rafalski will be nowhere near the team this time. HOW CAN YOU LOSE TRACK OF SIDNEY CROSBY ON THE HALF WALL, RAFALSKI? HOW???