Thursday, January 23, 2014

Who do YOU think will win this year's Super Bowl?

Dr. James Naismith
The stage is now set for Super Bowl XLVIII, which will take place on Sun., Feb. 2, at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. and will feature the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos. It’ll be televised on FOX and will kick off at 5:25 p.m.

Personally, I look for the Broncos to win it all. They’ve played consistently well all season, and they’ve got a veteran quarterback in Peyton Manning. I think it’ll be close, but I look for Denver to come out ahead in the end. Predictions last week: 2-0. So far this season: 184-82.

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When it comes to Super Bowls, there are usually more than a few connections between the game and the state of Alabama. However, this year’s Super Bowl is weak in that department. According to Denver’s official roster, they don’t have any players who played at Alabama, Auburn or any other college in the state of Alabama.

Seattle, on the other hand, has three players with ties to the state. Former Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter plays guard for Seattle, and former Alabama nose guard Jesse Williams plays defensive tackle for the Seahawks. The 6-foot-5, 321-pound Carpenter, age 24, is in his third year in the pros. The 6-foot-3, 325-pound Williams, age 23, was on the team’s reserve/injured list on Monday afternoon.

Also, former Alabama State quarterback Tarvaris Jackson, who went to Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery, plays quarterback for Seattle. Jackson, 6-2, 225 pounds, has been in the pros for eight years and is 30 years old. If you’re trying to find them on the field, Carpenter wears jersey No. 77. Jackson wears No. 7, and Williams wears No. 90.

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Like a lot of football fans, I always look forward to the annual Super Bowl, but it also sort of bums me out because it means that another football season is coming to an end. After the Super Bowl, football fans in Conecuh County will have to look forward to spring football practice at Hillcrest and Sparta, which will give a small taste of football action before the long dry spell of the summer. Football practice will crank up in August, which will mark the start of another fresh season of gridiron action. That’s a long way off, so it’s probably just best to not think about it and focus on enjoying the upcoming Super Bowl instead.

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Basketball fans in the reading audience may be interested to know that Monday marked the 122nd anniversary of the first official basketball game, which was played on Jan. 20, 1892 at the YMCA in Albany, N.Y. The game was invented by a 31-year-old Canadian named James Naismith, who taught physical education at the International YMCA Training School in Springfield, Mass. Naismith introduced the sport to his students at the school, which is now called Springfield College, on Dec. 21, 1891, and it originally only had 13 rules, which Naismith wrote out by hand late one night while sitting in his office over the school’s gym.

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