Wow. What a week. What a crazy, crazy week. The greatest quarterback in his generation signed with a new team. Two 15-seeds upset basketball powerhouses. Roger Goodell hammered the Saints with a huge penalty for their bounty system, and the most popular man in America was traded, then not traded, then traded again. Yeah. It’s OK to say, “Woah.”

Peyton Manning: Peyton Manning couldn’t have become a free agent at a better time for Bronco’s GM, John Elway. Elway, although he won’t say it, hates Tebow. Tebow’s not an “NFL” QB. He throws funny. He runs. Bad thing for Elway: he couldn’t get rid of the fan-favorite Tebow without appearing to be the anti-christ. Then, on March 6, the Colts cut the 4-time MVP, Peyton Manning. So, what did Elway do? He signed him to a 5-year, $96 million contract.

What a stupid move. $18 million a year to a player who A) hasn’t played for a whole year, B) has had four neck surgeries, and C) will be 41 when his contract ends. Aaron Rodgers gets paid $11 million a year, and he’s 28 and healthy.

Round of 32-March Madness: Mad isn’t a strong enough word to describe Day 2 of March Madness. The day started with a game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Texas Longhorns. Ten minutes into the game the game was seemingly over. Texas had only made one of their 16 shots. Then, after halftime something clicked for the Horns. With 3:44 left in the game, Texas tied the game, yet they ended up losing to the Bearcats. Later that day, Alabama faced Creighton. Down by 11 at the half, Creighton took a page out of the Longhorns’ playbook. They fought back and took the lead with 33 seconds left and blocked a possible game winning shot by the Crimson Tide.

Friday evening is when things really got crazy. 15-seed Norfolk State faced a daunting task against the 2-seed Missouri Tigers. Kyle O’Quinn played the game of his life for Norfolk State, scoring 26 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. After the Tigers missed a game-winning dunk, O’Quinn’s jovial voice bellowed around the CenturyLink Center, “We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets! We messed up some brackets!” The most stunning upset of the night came from Lehigh. Playing against the Coach K led Duke Blue Devils; nobody thought Lehigh stood any chance. Nobody that is, except the Mountain Hawks themselves. Led by CJ McCollum, the Mountain Hawks played better than Duke. The score reflected it. Although every sane fan watching was thinking, “Duke isn’t really gonna lose, are they?” Lehigh hung on and defeated Duke. The final great game of the day was between Ohio and Michigan. Michigan was the overwhelming favorite in the game, but Ohio wouldn’t give in so easily. With Ohio leading at halftime, the Wolverines fought back to make the game a 3-point game. The Wolverines couldn’t seal the deal though, and Michigan players went home to Ann Arbor early.

Sweet Sixteen-March Madness: The Sweet Sixteen began with a bang. In the first game of the round, 4-seed Wisconsin squared off against 1-seed Syracuse. Syracuse pulled ahead quickly at the end of the first half. Early in the second half, Syracuse couldn’t hit a shot, and soon the game was tied. The game went back and forth. After a missed Syracuse free throw, the Orange were winning by one. When the Badgers took the ball up the court, Jordan Taylor heaved a three-pointer in desperation from way downtown, losing the game.

Friday, March 23, began with a close game featuring Xavier and Baylor. 8 minutes into the game, the Baylor Bears led by 18. Xavier never gave up though, and with just 22-seconds remaining, they cut Baylor’s lead to 3. Brady Heslip of Baylor wouldn’t go down without a fight, and drained 4 straight free throws, leading Baylor to an Elite Eight birth.

Later that night, the underdog Ohio Bobcats faced the basketball-powerhouse North Carolina Tar Heels. The Bobcats kept the game close all game,  and with 26 seconds left, Walter Offut made a huge layup to tie the game, but missed the go ahead and-one free throw. After a missed North Carolina jumper, the Bobcats launched a half court shot that came thisclose to going in. In overtime, the Tar Heels pulled ahead early and never looked back, sending North Carolina to the Elite Eight.

Louisville faces a tough task going up against Kentucky in the Final Four. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Elite Eight-March Madness-When Louisville met Florida in the Elite Eight, it was a battle between teacher and student. Florida head coach, Jack Donovan, played for and was assistant coach with Louisville head coach, Rick Pitino. Student got the best of Teacher early, and as Pitino said post-game, “They [Florida] outplayed us for 32 minutes.” The last eight minutes of the game were all Louisville. Louisville went on a 15-3 run to end the game and overcome an 11-point deficit. Florida had chances to win the game, but mistakes like traveling and missed shots cost the Gators the game.

Jarrod Sullinger wanted to make a statement against Syracuse. He did all that with a side of fries. Sullinger led Ohio State with 19 points, 7 rebounds, and a steal, assist, and block. The 1-seed Orange couldn’t overcome an early Buckeye lead, and never led all game.

Sunday began with the most dominating performance of the tournament. Baylor looked completely overmatched against the Kentucky Wildcats. Baylor couldn’t match Kentucky’s athleticism and at halftime, the Wildcats were winning by 20 and never looked back, winning by 12.

Later in the afternoon, Kansas and North Carolina played an amazing game. It went back and forth all day until there were 3 minutes in the game. Kansas went into beast-mode, going on a 9-0 run.

Saints Bounties: After investigating for over three years, the NFL announced sanctions for the Saints because of their bounty system. Saints coaches and players had a bounty system between 2009-2011. Coaches would pay players money to injure opposing players. On Wednesday, March 21, Roger Goodell announced that head coach, Sean Payton, would be suspended for one season, former Saints’ and current Rams’ defensive coordinator would be suspended indefinitely, assistant coach, Joe Vitt would be suspended for the first 6 games of the season, and GM, Mickey Loomis, would be suspended for the first 8 games of the season. The Saints also lost two-second round picks for the next two years. The sanctions were harsh. Too harsh. I feel like a terrible person saying this, but I don’t see why what the Saints did was so terrible. Football is a violent sport, and believe it or not, football players aren’t the nicest people in the world. Players don’t like new rules that attempt to prevent concussions because they change football. Things like bounty systems happen in the football—they’re part of the game. Players don’t know any better, and coaches don’t either. My guess is that systems like this have always happened in the NFL and in college and in some high schools. In my mind, the only thing the Saints did wrong is continuing to implement the system after the NFL warned them to stop. This move will have a lasting effect on football, and we won’t be seeing big hits nearly as much anymore.

Derek Fisher is number 37 for the Thunder. Why? He’s 37 years old. (Larry Brown)

D-Fish to the Thunder: Ever since I was three-years old, Derek Fisher has been my favorite player. After the Houston Rockets waived D-Fish, my favorite team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, signed my hero. What a great way for D-Fish to end his career: a championship with OKC over the Heat. That’s right, I said the Thunder would win the NBA Finals.

Chipper Jones Retirement: It’s about time. After 15 amazing and 3 injury-full years, Atlanta Braves’ legend, Chipper Jones, announced this season would be the last of his Hall-of-Fame worthy career. Jones has the third-most career homeruns for a switch hitter (454). Jones also has a career .304 batting average and a .935 OPS (31st best all-time). Jones has played every game of his career in a Braves’ uniform. Chipper’s most impressive stat is his 82.7 WAR (wins above replacement), 3rd among active players. Chipper Jones is the exact definition of a franchise player.

Tim Tebow: With the news that the Broncos had signed Peyton Manning, Tebow was put on the trading block. On March 21, news broke that the Broncos and the Jets had agreed to a trade sending Tebow to the Big Apple for a 4th and 6th round pick. Then, just as suddenly as it happened, the trade was off because of a contract “snag.” Later that day, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Tebow’s future was in Tebow’s hands. Tebow could choose to play with either the Jacksonville Jaguars or the New York Jets. Surprisingly, Tebow chose the Jets.

This move makes no sense for either the Jets or Tebow. For Tebow, he won’t be a starting quarterback unless the Jets trade Mark Sanchez, which would be a terrible move. Tebow will also be playing more of a wildcat quarterback with the Jets. In his book, Tebow described how he hated position stereotypes. Because he was big, fast, lefty, and threw funny Tebow was always put on defense, but he really wanted to play QB. For the Jets, this signing will be a huge distraction. Every single time Mark Sanchez has a bad game, fans will be begging for Rex Ryan to start Tebow. This is just an unnecessary diversion. It will also force the Jets to pay $5 million to a back up quarterback. In my mind, the Jets should have never gotten involved with the Tebow Sweepstakes.

With a move to Jacksonville, Tebow would have become the most popular player in the NFL (he’s already more popular with Jaguar fans than any current   Jaguar), and the Jaguars would sell out every home game. Why would a team who hadn’t sold out a home game since October of 2011 when Anheuser-Busch bought all unsold tickets “to ensure the game airs on TV” sell out every home game? Tebow’s hometown is Jacksonville, and he played his historic college career in Tallahassee at the University of Florida. Tim Tebow isn’t just popular in Florida. People would rather see Tebow than the Hunger Games. He’s bigger than Justin Beiber! The Tim Tebow trade wouldn’t have only sold jerseys and tickets for Jacksonville; it also would have helped win games. As a starter last season, Tebow only lost two games and led the Broncos to a playoff win against the Steelers. Tebow also would have added a trait the Jaguars have been lacking: toughness. He plays with fearlessness unlike any player in the NFL. If the Jaguars traded for Tebow, the trade would have gone down as one of the best trades in NFL history.

I have a hard time remembering a more exciting week in sports. All events had huge implications on the sports they took place in, and they will be intriguing storylines all year. Happy March Madness!



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