In case you were out living a life of leisure, here’s what you missed in sports over the weekend.
- Tom Brady led New England on a stirring comeback, but the Patriots’ 24 fourth-quarter points weren’t enough to beat the 49ers, who prevailed, 41-34, and secured a playoff spot. After the final whistle, Jim Harbaugh and Bill Belichick stared at each other from across the field and simultaneously shouted, “It’s probably better if we don’t do this!”
- Aaron Rodgers threw for 291 yards and three touchdowns as the Packers clinched the NFC North with a 21-13 win over the Bears. The game took a sad turn when the cameras caught once-great Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher desperately trying to get Rodgers’ attention from the sideline so he could do the Discount Double Check move and maybe get an autograph for his kid.
- Filling in for an injured RG3, backup quarterback Kirk Cousins threw two touchdown passes to lead the Redskins to a 38-21 win over the Browns and move into a tie for first place in the NFC East. “Look, I’m happy with the win, but I don’t want to hear a single word about any QB controversy,” said Cousins, who then winked at each member of the media individually.
- Rotnei Clarke hit five 3’s and Alex Barlow scored the game-winning basket as unranked Butler shocked no. 1 Indiana, 88-86. Despite the loss, IU coach Tom Crean was touched that the Hoosier defense paid tribute to his hairstyle by parting down the middle.
- No. 5 Florida held a six-point lead with a minute remaining, but no. 8 Arizona charged back and won, 65-64, on Mark Lyons’s go-ahead layup. Despite the loss, Florida coach Billy Donovan was touched that the Gator defense paid tribute to the khaki pants he keeps in his drawer by folding.
- In other Arizona comeback news, the school’s football team scored two touchdowns in the last 46 seconds to stun Nevada, 49-48, in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. “This one’s for Gildannnnnnn!” shouted emotional Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, who apparently loves the leading activewear brand in the screenprint market in the U.S. and Canada.
- Kerwynn Williams ran for 235 yards and three scores as no. 22 Utah State finished a strong season with its first bowl win since 1993, routing Toledo, 41-15. To show you how different things are now from 1993, considering the following: In ’93, ice cream cost a nickel (by law), Utah was still fighting to become the union’s 43rd state, and Mitt Romney was best known as a stunt horseman who could jump his stallion “George Romney” over three sarsaparilla barrels stacked horizontally.
- Kyrie Irving scored 41 points, but Anderson Varejao missed a free throw with one second on the clock as the Knicks outlasted the Cavaliers, 103-102, on Saturday. Despite the critical miss, I still thought the New York Post’s back page headline on Sunday was a little harsh: “BASKETBALL PLAYER ANDERSON VAREJAO MISSED A BIG FREE THROW.” Man, those guys are ruthless!
- Brazil’s Corinthians soccer club broke a five-year title drought for non-European teams by defeating Chelsea, 1-0, to win the Club World Cup. “Great job!” said Paul, in a letter that was surprisingly short and way less preachy than usual.