From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles, reflecting on this past weekends developments:
Action: Seattle hangs on to beat San Francisco in Sundays NFC title game.
Reaction: Give the Seahawks credit; they made key plays when they had to and their home field is really an advantage. San Francisco appeared sluggish in the final quarter and a half. Playing their fourth straight road game, the Niners were taxed by too many airplane trips around the nation. More than half of 49ers QB Colin Kaepernicks turnovers this season came against the Seahawks in three games. He had three in the fourth quarter alone Sunday.
Action: Seahawks CB Richard Shermans postgame rant.
Reaction: Sherman, a Stanford University graduate and no doubt extremely intelligent, is an ultra-competitive player. He was coming off the biggest play of his NFL career when he tipped a pass intended for the 49ers Michael Crabtree in the end zone that intercepted by a teammate, denying San Francisco a game-winning score. Sherman is a driven individual fueled by his own trash-talking. Hall of Famer Deion Sanders played the same way. Thank goodness Sherman didnt use obscenities on the air.
Action: Foxs NFL coverage remains annoying.
Reaction: Is it asking too much of the network to display graphics of the teams starting lineups? The only game Fox televised in the NFC playoffs that had full team starting lineups was the 49ers-Panthers in the divisional round. Another thing, why does it show replays of players and coaches reactions in slow motion? Just show reactions live and thats it.
Action: From 6 p.m. Sunday to 3 a.m. Monday (a nine-hour block), MSG Plus televised six one-hour shows of poker, all replays from last June.
Reaction: I enjoy card games just like everybody else, but cards, chess, checkers and Monopoly do not make engaging television.
Action: Clarkson University hockey soars, St. Lawrence tumbles.
Reaction: The two programs are heading in opposite directions. Clarkson (15-7-2, 8-2-0) stands third in the ECAC Hockey standings and is ranked 13th in the latest national poll. Its longest drought of the season has been an 0-3-1 slide during the holidays. Casey Jones is going to merit coach of the year votes considering his youthful team was picked to finish last in the 12-team league. St. Lawrence (8-12-2, 2-6-2) is tied with Princeton for 10th place, and has dropped 10 of its past 12 games. The Saints, on a seven-game losing skid, havent won since Nov. 29, havent won a league game since Nov. 9, and havent won at home since Oct. 26. Poor starts and dreadful penalty-killinghave been undermining factors.
Richie Richs Top 10 in College Basketball: 1. Arizona; 2. Syracuse; 3. Wichita St.; 4. Villanova; 5. Michigan St.; 6. San Diego St.; 7. Florida; 8. Wisconsin; 9. Kansas; 10. Oklahoma St.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org