The Viral Roundup – Indy Darling Edition
Greetings! You’re looking sharp. What’s that? We have been working out! Thanks for noticing. Welcome to another pipin’ hot edition of The Viral Roundup. Every morning, we place a spotlight on all the big stories, scores and distractions that are the talk of the sports world. In today’s edition: Andre Johnson brings his services to a rival AFC South squad, the Flames torch the Pacific Division leading Ducks and the Atlanta Hawks are handed an L courtesy of an unlikely foe.
Did You Hear?
The writing was on the wall that Andre Johnson would be playing somewhere else in 2015, but who knew said writing was detailed instructions on how to get to Indianapolis. The star wideout will be catching passes from Andrew Luck next season, moving to the Colts after 12 years with the Houston Texans. A career with 1,012 receptions and 64 touchdowns beckoned a deal worth $21 million over 3 years. The Pro Bowl pickup comes following Indy’s decision not to bring back Reggie Wayne. Speaking of University of Miami alums, both Johnson and newly acquired running back Frank Gore played for The U. We’ll have to wait and see if this pickup will push both Johnson and Luck into thrilling new postseason terrain.
Did You See?
Let’s pop in and see how New Orleans Saints fans are dealing with the departure of Jimmy Graham, shall we?
Yeah, that checks out. Our 7-year-old analyst makes some sensible points about GM Mickey Loomis’ dealing of the star tight end, plus she fights back tears when trying to explain why her team would her team would do such a thing. When it comes to pro sports, it’s never too early to get into a groove of feeling betrayed by your favourite team. Geez, we’re in the Golden Age of parents filming their distraught children, eh?
Did You Know?
- How is Calgary keeping this up? Does Brian Burke have a warlock on the payroll or something? Even with captain and Norris contender Mark Girodano shipped off to sick bay, the Flames still managed to hang a 6-3 thumping on the Pacific Division leading Anaheim Ducks. Johnny Hockey and Matt Stajan each potted two apiece and Karri Ramo stopped 29 shots in front of a sellout crowd at the Saddledome. The victory pulled the club within one point of Vancouver for second place in the Pacific. As of this morning, Calgary is a 14/1 bet to grab the Western Conference crown and a 28/1 wager to skate away with the Stanley Cup.
- The New York Rangers will be happy to have goaltending hunk Henrik Lundqvist back in the lineup whenever he’s ready, but Cam Talbot has been remarkable as the Swede’s understudy. The 27-year-old keeper made 28 saves leading the Blueshirts to a 3-1 road victory over Washington Capitals. The only marker Talbot gave up was courtesy of Alex Ovechkin who now joins Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux as the only players in NHL history to have seven seasons with 45 (or more) goals. Back to the Rangers blab, they’re currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference standings and have a three game win streak on their hands. (Or gloves, we guess.)
- The Eastern Conference leading Atlanta Hawks got their wings clipped last night in their visit to Denver. The Nuggets (a 7 point underdog at home) pummelled the Hawks 115-102 on Wednesday night and that total only looks respectable because the Hawks produced a 24-1 run late in the game. Danilo Gallinari scored 23 to lead the way for Denver and the W improves the record of interim coach Melvin Hunt to 4-2. The new bench boss has watched his squad put up 100 or more in every game since he’s taken over the gig.
- Chris Paul’s 33 points and 9 assists led the Los Angeles Clippers to a 120-108 victory over the hosting Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday. JJ Reddick also knocked down 24 points for the club in red and blue, while Thunder star Russell Westbrook recorded a career-high 10 turnovers. The loss evaporated an impressive seven game home win streak in OKC. Both clubs are awaiting the return of injured megastars. The Clips are mum on when Blake Griffin will return (he’s been out since early February), although it sounds like it could be any game now. The Thunder are waiting for Kevin Durant to make it back into the lineup following another procedure on his injured right foot.
- Portland pushed past Houston last night thanks to a valuable double double from LaMarcus Aldridge. The veteran power forward put in 26 points and pulled down 14 boards to lead the Trail Blazers to a 105-100 victory. Meanwhile, James Harden turned in an underwhelming performance with 14 of his 18 points coming in the first half. The Blazers kept Harden to a ghastly 0 points in the 4th quarter. The win nudged Portland to a 42-20 record on the season and oddsmakers have the club at 28/1 to win the NBA Championship. (Houston also has the same odds being offered.)
- The Chicago Bears have a coveted defensive talent joining their club in 2015. Veteran safety Antrel Rolle has signed a three year pact with the NFC North franchise and will be taking over for the departing Chris Conte. In 2014, Rolle had 71 tackles and 3 interceptions as a starting free safety for the New York Giants. He was also part of the Giants team that won Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. Chicago gave up a pitiful 4230 yards through the air last season.
- Frank Gore may have backed out of playing in Philly, but could someone better fall into the lap of Chip Kelly? Reigning NFL rushing champ DeMarco Murray has reportedly reached out to the Eagles mastermind expressing a desire to take advantage of Kelly’s spread offense and seize the opportunity to reunite with former Sooner teammate Sam Bradford. Murray had a spectacular 2014 campaign. The Cowboy rushed for 1,845 yards, caught 57 passes and reached the endzone 13 times. Dallas is said to still be interested in re-signing the in-demand tailback.
- Ryan Fitzpatrick will be playing pivot for the Jets in 2015. The Houston Texans traded the Harvard QB to New York in exchange for a conditional seventh round pick. The deal re-teams Fitzpatrick with offensive coordinator Chan Gailey. Gailey was previously the head coach for the Buffalo Bills during Fitzpatrick’s time in Western New York. Fitzpatrick notched a career best 95.3 QB rating during his injury ravaged 2014 season and tossed 17 TDs with 8 picks. The pickup will likely provide Geno Smith with a challenge for the starter gig with the Jets.
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