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Football Flashback: Saints Win NFC Championship Game

Until Sunday, it looked as if the return of Brett Favre to the NFL would have a storybook ending and propel the Minnesota Vikings to the Superbowl. Instead, the New Orleans Saints will be heading to the Superbowl for the first time in franchise history. Garrett Hartley nailed a 40 yard field goal in overtime to give the Saints a 31-28 victory in the NFC Championship game after Brett Favre was intercepted deep in Saints territory during the final seconds of regulation. Favre may be headed back to retirement, while the Saints are headed to Miami to play the biggest game of them all.

The Vikings did reward NFL betting fans who took them as +4 underdogs with a pointspread cover. Minnesota finished the season a solid 11-6-1 against the NFL pointspread. The 59 combined points scored went OVER the posted total of 53′. The Saints went OVER for the second consecutive game after playing four straight UNDER verdicts to close out the regular season.

After the game, head coach Sean Payton drew an analogy to the city of New Orleans’ recovery after Hurricane Katrina:

“This is for everybody in this city. This stadium used to have holes in it and used to be wet. It’s not wet anymore. This is for the city of New Orleans.”

Winning quarterback Drew Brees extended that same metaphor:

“In reality, we had to lean on each other in order to survive and in order to get where we are now. The city is on its way to recovery, and in a lot of ways has come back better than ever. We’ve used the strength and resiliency of our fans to go out and play every Sunday and play with the confidence that we can do it, that we can achieve everything we’ve set out to achieve.”

Place kicker Hartley was low key despite securing the victory with his overtime field goal:

“Just helping my team get to Miami. Just doing my part.”

Brett Favre didn’t have much to say in defeat:

“I’ve felt better. It was a physical game. A lot of hits. You win that and you sure feel a lot better.” Mississippi native Favre did throw his support behind the Saints:

“I would have loved to represent the NFC. But, as I told Sean throughout the year when we talked, if it’s not us, I hope it’s you guys.”

The Vikings gave up a total of five turnovers including three fumbles. That, said running back Adrian Peterson, was the game:

“We really gave those guys the game. Too many turnovers. It’s eating me up inside.

Ross Everett is a staff handicapper for Oddsbay. He’s a highly respected expert on soccer betting, as well as a published freelance writer specializing in sports betting, harness racing, karate and model railroading. He lives in Las Vegas with his Asian houseboy, three Jack Russell Terriers and a retired racing wombat.

Colts Look Sharp In NFL Preseason Win Over Eagles

The Indianapolis Colts offense was in high gear as Peyton Manning threw two TD passes in three series of action, leaving backup Curtis Painter with a 14-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles before exiting the game. The Colts would eventually depend as much on their defense as their offense over the course of the subsequent NFL season but on this day the Colts went on to win 23-15 in NFL preseason action at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Manning was in good spirits as he discussed the Colts’ offense after this game:

“I think everybody wanted to be in there. The entire offense felt hungry after last week. Sure, there were some mistakes we can learn from, but there were some good things we can learn from.”

“I don’t think anybody offensively was really happy with what happened last week. It started with me and the entire offensive starting unit. Overall I thought everybody came back and did a better job tonight.”

Colts head coach Jim Caldwell shared his QB’s pleasure:

“They [the starters] had a couple of real good solid drives in there, performing pretty well. We were pleased with what we saw.”

Eagles coach Andy Reid wasn’t the least bit enthused with what he saw from his team:

“All in all, that was an embarrassing performance and way too many penalties, not enough intensity all the way around, starting with me. It was a poor performance.”

Aside from a nice touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb early in the game the Eagles looked nothing like a team expected to contend for a Superbowl berth.

Philadelphia will host the Jacksonville Jaguars next Thursday night looking for their first win of the NFL preseason. The Colts will continue their NFL exhibition slate as they travel to Detroit for a game against the Lions a week from Saturday.

Ross Everett is a experienced freelance writer experienced in travel, casino gambling and NFL football handicapping. He is a staff handicapper for Anatta Sports where he is responsible for providing daily free sports picks. In his spare time he enjoys fine dining, fencing and scuba diving. He lives in Southern Nevada with four dogs and a pet coyote.

UFC 94 Flashback: GSP Defends Welterweight Title

Reigning lightweight champ BJ Penn entered his main event battle against welterweight kingpin Georges St. Pierre looking to become the first man in UFC history to simultaneously hold titles in two weight classes. GSP never gave him the chance to make history, as he stopped Penn after four increasingly dominant rounds to retain his belt with a TKO victory.

During ring introductions, both men received enthusiastic cheers tempered with a few boos. After the opening horn sounded, however, the Penn backers had little to cheer about . The first round was fairly evenly contested, with St. Pierre trying to get a first hand feel for Penn’s often unorthodox takedown defense. GSP made several takedown attempts, but had them repeatedly stuffed.

Boxing guru Freddy Roach recently praised Penn as the best technical puncher in MMA, but he had no opportunity to bring this weapon to bear as he had trouble finding the range from the outset. GSP mixed up his look perfectly, either staying just outside Penns range using his 6 reach advantage effectively or more often smothering his opponent on takedown attempts.

GSP began to assert his dominance in round two”with Penn starting to fatigue he was no longer able to fend off St. Pierres single leg takedown attempts by balancing on one leg. GSP got a takedown early in the frame and began to mount a ground and pound assault while moving around in Penns legendary guard almost at will moving from half guard to side control with frightening ease. At this point, it was apparent that GSPs superior strength and insane physical conditioning were going to figure prominently in the outcome of the fight.

The eventual outcome was foretold between rounds two and three, as the obviously exhausted Penn required a pep talk from his entourage to continue. Across the cage, GSP calmly sipped water and listened intently to trainer Greg Jacksons instructions looking for all the world that he could go 12 rounds if necessary.

Round three was similar to the previous one, with GSP taking his opponent to the mat with a decreasing level of resistance and mauling him with punches and elbows once he got there. His complete control over the BJJ black belt Penn was incredible, but hardly surprising given the way that GSP dominated four time NCAA All American wrestler Josh Koscheck on the ground during their matchup.

The fourth round was a wall to wall rout for the Canadian welterweight champion, who started by effectively trading strikes with Penn before taking him down once again and resuming his highly successful ground based attack. Penn survived the round on instinct alone, moving around just enough to keep the referee from stopping the proceedings. After the horn sounded to end the fourth round, however, it was evident that Penn had nothing physically or emotionally left. As he leaned headfirst against the cage in exhaustion, an impromptu conference amongst his handlers on whether or not to continue became moot when the fight was stopped by Dean on advice from the ringside physician. There was no argument whatsoever from Penn or his entourage.

Displaying his characteristic class, GSP delayed his celebration until he had crossed the cage and kneeled by his vanquished foe to honor his competitive spirit. After a quick celebration among GSP and his team, he faced his next challenger in the person of Thiago Alves.

In the co-feature attraction, Lyoto Machida kept his undefeated professional MMA record intact with a first round TKO victory over Thiago Silva. Silva had no answer for Machidas well rounded skills and unorthodox Shotokan karate based style. Machida took his opponent down and knocked his opponent down twice”all counters as Silva was coming forward and Machida backing away. As the first round entered its final seconds, it appeared that Silva started to ease up in anticipation of the horn. Machida used this opportunity for another takedown, and then nailed his surprised opponent with a powerful punch that ended the fight.

Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and respected authority on baseball betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sportsbooks and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Southern Nevada with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.

Ravens Complete Undefeated Preseason By Ripping Falcons

Even when the games don’t count and the starters play little, if at all, the Baltimore Ravens hate to lose. Despite the Atlanta Falcons starting QB Matt Ryan playing only one series and with the Ravens third string signal caller John Beck playing the entire game it was apparent that Baltimore wanted the victory more. The former BYU standout threw for 232 yards and a pair of touchdown passes as the Ravens easily beat the Atlanta Falcons 20-3 at the Georgia Dome. The victory gave the Ravens an undefeated NFL preseason mark at 4-0, while the Falcons finished the exhibition campaign with a 2-2 record.

Sports enthusiasts who bet on NFL preseason action were rewarded for their investment in the Ravens, as Baltimore won outright as +3 road underdogs. Baltimore also finished the NFL preseason with a perfect 4-0 mark against the spread, while Atlanta finished 2-1-1 against the number.

Ravens QB Beck hasnt had much playing time in the NFL since his ill fated rookie year in Miami in 2007. After the game, he expressed how pleased he was to showcase his skills for the entire game:

“He (coach John Harbaugh) told me a few days ago that I would play the whole game. It was very exciting to get to play the whole game.”

Beck made the most of his opportunity, finishing with 232 yards on 16 of 28 passing and a pair of touchdowns. The Ravens defensive reserves did their part by holding the Falcons to just 175 yards of total offense.

Despite the lackluster effort, Falcons coach Mike Smith was nonplussed:

“You’ve got to understand in these games, you’re going to call things defensively and offensively to put players in certain situations to evaluate them. You’re not game-planning in a game like this. You’re going to put players in certain situations to see how they handle certain techniques and coverages.”

Falcon cornerback Chris Houston was a little more concerned:

“We’ve got to work on everybody getting to the ball. We’ve got to try to be more aggressive in our techniques. We made some plays tonight, but other than that, we still have a lot to work on as a defense.”

The Ravens will get the 2009 NFL regular season underway at home, hosting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, September 13th. The Falcons, meanwhile, will welcome the Miami Dolphins to the Georgia Dome to get their campaign started.

Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and noted authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and an emu. He is currently working on an autobiography of former energy secretary Donald Hodell.

Superstar Shortage At NBA All Star Game

The NBA All Star game was played without a couple of high profile participants this year as the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant and Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson would not play due to injury. Kobe and ‘AI’ were the latest in a string of injuries to All Star players that also claimed Portland’s Brandon Roy and New Orleans’ Chris Paul. The NBA has been much more strict about attendance at the All Star game since a number of players skipped out with dubious injuries.

Kobe Bryant has been plagued with minor injuries all year, but missed the Lakers’ last three games prior to the All Star contest due to an ankle sprain. Los Angeles is hopeful that by not playing in the game that Kobe will be able to return to action immediately after play resumes following the All Star break. Bryant did travel to Dallas to participate in All Star game festivities. Kobe is always the center of attention wherever he goes and presided over the annual slam dunk contest as well as a benefit appearance for retired racing wombats.

Iverson has missed Philadelphia’s past five games due to an illness suffered by one of his young children. Unlike Kobe, Iverson wasn’t expected to be in Dallas this weekend due to the nature of his situation. It’s debatable that Iverson deserved an All Star game nod in the first place. He quickly wore out his welcome in Memphis to start the year, and eventually landed back in Philadelphia where he’s averaged 14.4 points per game since his return. He was voted in to the starting lineup by NBA fans, and this renewed calls from the media to revise the procedure for selecting All Star game participants.

Jason Kidd of the Dallas Mavericks was chosen to replace Bryant in the Western Conference lineup, while New York’s David Lee was the East’s fill in for Iverson. The West already had two ‘fill ins’ named to their roster as Denver’s Chauncy Billups and the LA Clippers’ Chris Kaman took the place of Chris Paul and Brandon Roy respectively.

NBA betting enthusiasts had several options on the menu beginning with the annual ‘rookies vs. sophomores’ game on Saturday. The Sophomores were a -12 point favorite with the total set at 245′ but were crushed by the rookie team. As usual, defense was in short supply at both the ‘rookie v. sophomores’ game and the actual All Star event.

Ross Everett is a freelance sports writer and noted authority on football betting. His writing has appeared on a variety of sports sites including sports news and sportsbook directory sites. He lives in Las Vegas with three Jack Russell Terriers and a kangaroo. He is currently working on an autobiography of former interior secretary James Watt.

Which Are The Best Ultralight Sleeping Bags For You

For most campers, hikers, and backpacker ultralight sleeping bags are incredibly beneficial. Their light weight and portability makes them one of the most in demand options in todayand sleeping bag market. When choosing any sleeping bag you need to make a decision on what sort of insulation you would like. [I:http://2buyelectronics.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/RichardMann23.jpg]

With ultralight sleeping bags, it is crucial to pick the right bag for your particular requirements. You can find countless options when it comes to picking out a sleeping bag, but you need to factor in the temperature and area you’ll be utilizing it. When you know the climate you’ll be entering it will make it a lot less complicated to pick ultralight sleeping bags.

Down insulation material seems to be one of the best option if you are going to purchase ultralight sleeping bags. The material is incredibly inexpensive, and best of all the lightest out of the two materials. For an ultralight sleeping bag you’ll require a fill score of 725-850, which determines the amount of volume one ounze of down will fill. Anything with a 650 or below fill power is normally created in China and does not last very long. The only problem about down padding is if it becomes wet, it can lose its form. Some manufacturers have recently began to make water-resistant shells for your down ultralight, but there is still the risk of getting dampness from the inside.

Synthetic insulation has its benefits with ultralight sleeping bags too. If you are going to be in wet or damp conditions, a synthetic bag is almost certainly your best bet. In the event you happen to get your garments wet, synthetic bags will also permit you to dry your clothes inside of the bag! Synthetic material sleeping bags normally cost you less than down materials, nonetheless they are heavier. Polarguard and Climashield are both great choices for lighter weight synthetic ultralight sleeping bags.

Locating the appropriate temperature score for your sleeping bag can also be very significant. As a common rule of thumb you should choose a rating that’s about 10 degree cooler than you anticipate being in. Temperatures change all the time, so its always safer to be ready with the appropriate temperature score. Bags with temperature ratings of 15-20 are usually fine for a three-season use, and those with 25 are very good for summer time. If you’re one of those brave souls that camp in the winter season, be certain to have a sleeping bag with a temperature score of 10 or below!

When deciding upon ultralight sleeping bags, do your buying so you pick the ideal one for the place. When it comes to price, lightweight down bags are very low-cost but synthetic style bags are even less. Nevertheless, the downfall to a synthetic sleeping bag is the fact that they generally don’t last as long as down bags. Typically a synthetic bag can last 4-6 years, while a correctly kept down bag can last 20 years or even more. Unlike down bags, synthetic kinds break down with every compression. Keep in mind to take good care to your bags for the very best results.

Discover ultralight sleeping bags by looking online. With several choices of ultralight sleeping bags Located online to pick from.