Who would be a Referee? Tuesday's controversial Champions League encounter between Manchester United and Real Madrid once again saw a referee become the centre of attention with a decision that changed the course of the game. With United winning 1-0, Turkish Referee Cuneyt Cakir inexplicably decided that Nani's challenge on Alvaro Arbeloa was worthy enough of a red card. With the ball taking a high bounce and Nani's eyes on the ball, unaware that Arbeloa was behind him and caught him with a high boot just above his hip. Most people watching on deemed it a foul and at the maximum a booking perhaps. However, everybody at Old Trafford and those watching on Television were astonished when Cakir showed the Red Card to a bemused Nani.
The San Francisco 49ers look poised to do some serious damage in this off-season. They have traded away 2005 Number One Draft pick Alex Smith to the Kansas City Chiefs in a deal that left everyone astounded. The Chiefs gave up the 34th pick in this years draft, plus a conditional pick in next years draft. This is now a 3rd round pick but could rise to another 2nd rounder based on Smith's performance for his new team. This was a fantastic bit of business for the 49ers. They now essentially have another first round pick to utilise and now have a total of 15 picks in the 7 rounds of this years Draft. There's no doubt the Chiefs overpaid for Smith, a QuarterBack who has struggled mightily during his time in the NFL. The last two seasons have been far more positive for Smith and some would deem him unfortunate to lose his starting spot due to a concussion. The Chiefs, sensing there wasn't a Signal Caller worth taking with the first pick this year, moved the 34th pick for Smith instead of drafting a Matt Barkley with it.
So the 2013 NFL Combine is behind us. We now have a clearer indication of the top draft prospects after they were put through their paces in Indianapolis. Here is a Mock Draft reflecting the progress of College hopefuls as we move ever closer to Draft Day. 1. Kansas City Chiefs: Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A & M. While I still think this pick might be Geno Smith, word coming out of the Chiefs is they have traded for 49ers QB Alex Smith. This is not the smart way to go in my opinion. Certainly not at the price (2nd Round, 2nd next year). This pick now becomes a no-brainer. If they want their investment to thrive he must be given time to go through his progressions. Joeckel is the best Offensive Tackle prospect in this Draft and is in the top 5 on everyone's boards. He cemented this status by having a solid Combine and fills a huge need for the Chiefs. They have to keep whoever is throwing the ball upright, something Cassell and Quinn haven't had the luxury of. Joeckel should be a first day starter at Left Tackle and that position will not be a worry for the foreseeable future. 2. Jacksonville Jaguars: Shariff Floyd, DT, Florida.
It's not how you get knocked down, it's how you get back up. David Price would do well to remember that today. Tony Thompson silenced a partisan crowd in Liverpool by knocking out David Price to stun the Heavyweight division. Price was considered a legitimate successor to the domination of Vitaly and Wladimir Klitschko in the heavyweight division. An Olympic Bronze Medallist and British Champion, Price's reputation as a heavy hitter has sky-rocketed in the last year. This was a big step up in class for Price, Thompson having fought Wladimir Klitschko in his last fight. His powers were meant to be on the decline and Price was heavy favourite for this fight. The general consensus being that Price would have too much firepower and would gain a mid-to-late round stoppage. How wrong we were.
This was a big win for the San Antonio Spurs. In more ways than one. Last nights 116-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers cemented the Spurs as the hottest team in the NBA. With the best record in the Western Conference and add to that a healthy margin to boot. It will take a supreme effort from the teams below them to surpass them and gain Home Field advantage in the Playoffs. Not that Home Field was much of an advantage last year, as they were ousted in 5 games by the Oklahoma City Thunder. It should be tight again this year in the West and you couldn't say with any confidence who will make it to the NBA finals. The Spurs have their critics, some stating that they will always fall short of their main goal of a Championship. The main criticism of this team is their age. Can a team full of thirty-somethings. Cope with the intensity of a deep playoff run?