Friday, January 30, 2009

My weekend picks (sport)

There are two big matchups this weekend.
The Superbowl and the Australian Open men's final.

For the Aussie final, I like Federer. This will be Nadal's first hardcourt grand slam final, he just finished playing a 5 hour marathon, and he has one less day of rest compared to Federer. Also, noone knows how much of Federer's downturn last year's was due to mono. Strangely enough, Federer has something to prove going into this final as he spoke out before the tournament regarding the ridiculousness of having Andy Murray as the pre-tournament favorite at Irish bookmakers. It was pretty ridiculous, though I understand the concept of hometown money in betting. A lot of people say that there's the big four, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, and Murray, and then a big gap between them and the next ranked players. I disagree with this. While the four of them are indeed much better than the rest, I believe that Federer and Nadal have that same kind of separation between them and Djokovic and Murray. While Djokovic and Murray can beat either of them on their day, neither of them have the combined consistency and skill set of the two at the top.

One last random tennis thing. While reading an article on, the writer referred to Djokovic as the Djoker, which I think is a pretty fun nickname.

As for the Superbowl, my pick is Arizona. This is a true matchup between a warm weather team and a cold weather team, both in terms of geography and playing style. One thing that I thought has not gotten enough mention was the fact that Arizona ended up with all warm weather games during the playoffs, hosting two and playing the other in Carolina. One of the strangest things is that while many of the most memorable playoff games are in cold, blustery conditions, there is a rule in the NFL that all Superbowls are played in warm weather locations (mean Jan temp. >50 degrees or in dome). While often the road to the Superbowl goes through cold weather locations and teams are built for that, it's not clear that it's an advantage in the actual big game. I say go with the warm weather team in Tampa.

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