The hot column

Wayland Radin

NFL
It should now be clear that Eli Manning will wear a Super Bowl ring long before big brother Peyton does. If, in fact, Peyton ever wins one, he may be the next Dan Marino; awesome in the regular season, awful in the post-season. It’s true that in the latest debacle Mike Vanderjagt missed the field goal, but the Colts should never have been in the position of needing
to hit a long-range shot as time expired. That blame falls squarely on Peyton’s shoulders.
As far as this weekend’s match-ups are concerned, I think the Steelers, riding the huge emotional surge from the victory over the Colts, will easily win in Denver and that Seattle will have to play a tight game to beat Carolina. That said, my Super Bowl prediction is Seattle just barely scraping out a win over Pittsburgh.
NBA
It’s never too early to start talking MVP. The pre-season favorite,
or at least my pick, was Shaq. It was widely assumed that we’d see a reinvigorated Diesel leading the Heat triumphantly through the finals. Shaq’s early injury and subsequent
mediocre play, as well as the seemingly invincible Pistons, have ruined that prediction. So, if the MVP award goes to the most important player on the best team, then the choice is clearly Chauncey Billups as he is the catalyst for Detroit’s newfound offensive potency. If, on the other hand, the award should go to the player most responsible for his team’s success, then there should really be only two names in the discussion: Elton Brand and Steve Nash.
Brand’s Clippers are the second
team in a city already apathetic
about sports. (There is a reason that L.A. doesn’t have an NFL team – they refuse to pay for it.) However, his numbers this season – 25.2 ppg,10.8 rpg, and 2.7 bpg – and the Clippers record (20-14, 3 GB) speak volumes about his contribution to a historically dreadful franchise.
Nash has led the Amare-less Suns to first in the Pacific with a record of 24-12. He is averaging nearly 12 assists per game and has somehow managed to make role-players like Eddie House and Raja Bell look like all-stars.

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