Cubs Rumors
There’s a rumor circulating that the Cubs turned down a Marmol-for-Peter Bourjos deal with the Angels, BEFORE the Marmol-for-Haren deal was even proposed. That might be part of the reason that you still hear the Cubs listed as a potential destination for Michael Bourn. Whether or not that happens, the Phillies and Cubs are seriously discussing a deal centered around Alfonso Soriano – but there is a school of thought that believes the Phillies want to wait for Bourn to sign first, supposedly his signing (location, contract) could affect how they choose to value Soriano. Bourn will be a costly acquisition no matter what his contract totals – his new team will be forced to surrender an early draft pick in order to sign him.

NFL
The morning games included the Bears (v. Lions) and the Giants (v. Eagles), both needing wins to keep postseason dreams alive. The Giants destroyed the Eagles in what was possibly Andy Reid’s final game as head coach of Philadelphia. But the Giants were eliminated when the Bears took care of business against the feisty Lions. The Bears victory forced the Vikings into a win or be eliminated home finale against Green Bay. The Packers needed a win to guarantee the NFC’s #2 seed.

Adrian Peterson needed an incredible 208-yard rushing yards in order to break Eric Dickerson’s NFL rushing record. He only got 199 yards; but the Vikings got their win and in doing so eliminated the Bears. The Packers fell to the #3 seed and as such will host the Vikings next week at Lambeau Field. Perhaps Discount Double Check and his teammates are consoled by the knowledge that their arch-rivals (Bears) and the team that has become their recent playoff nemesis (Giants) will be watching that rematch from their couches. But recent history indicates the Packers should be concerned about the Saturday playoff game that’s coming their way.

The final game of the regular season ended as all regular season’s should – with the Cowboys eliminating themselves. This time it was an errant pass from Tony Romo that sent the Cowboys packing. With roughly 3 minutes to go and the Redskins trying to wilt, Romo gifted them his third interception of the evening. Facing a 3rd and 7 on the ensuing possession, the Cowboys committed a roughing the passer penalty that essentially finished off Dallas.

The Falcons and 49ers get a bye, the Redskins host the Seahawks and the Vikings get their rematch in Green Bay.

The AFC was far less interesting; division winners were merely playing for playoff seeding. The Texans, who could’ve locked up the #1 with a win in either of the last two weeks dropped to #3 when they lost and the Broncos and Patriots both won. With Indy going to Baltimore and Cincinnati going to Houston (the four teams faced off in Week 17 with the wild cards each beating their division rival and winner), the AFC is increasingly looking to be a Manning v. Brady matchup in Denver for a chance at the Super Bowl.

New Year’s Eve
If you’re going to Times Square, let me save you time, money, and hassle. DON’T. I’ve done it twice. The first time arriving late on the 31st – and by late I mean around 7pm. So after waiting for five hours about six blocks north of the ball and penned in directly in front of my hotel, I somehow convinced myself that it would be infinitely better if had been in the midst of the craziness. So a couple of years later I got there before NYPD started shutting down Brodway and 7th Ave (mid-morning). This was a far greater mistake than I could’ve imagined. Remember while you watch tonight, those people directly in Times Square are 1) cold and wet, 2) tired and drunk, 3) mostly foriegners, who 4) have no problem with public defecation. It is NOT pleasant, it is NOT fun; it is strictly something you can be ‘proud’ to say you’ve done. But if you’ve done it (or done it twice!) proud is probably not a word you’d use to describe it.

Links
It wouldn’t be the news (from me anyway) without a few links:

  • I’ll save you the suspense, your taxes are going up no matter what they do about the ‘fiscal cliff.’
  • Australia has a weird way of advertising cremations – though Seymour might like it.
  • I’m almost two weeks late on this, but I’m betting most of you have not heard about it – though you certainly would’ve if it had ended differently.
  • The man who penned the song “Gold Digger” now has Kim Kardashian as his baby’s mama.  Perhaps the Mayans were off by a few months.
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