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Thursday, September 13, 2012

This Week in Sports: September 13, 2012

The Week That Was:  The NFL is back in full swing!  That is good news for all sports fans.  But, there were other noteworthy events this week, as well.

The U.S. Open:  The final Grand Slam event of the 2012 tennis season wrapped up last weekend.  Rain in the New York area pushed both finals back by one day.  On Sunday, Serena Williams capped off a magical summer with a U.S. Open title.  Williams held off a spirited comeback by the top-seeded Victoria Azarenka to capture the championship in three sets.  Williams can add that title to her Olympic gold medal and Wimbledon championship this summer.  On Monday evening, Andy Murray finally captured his first Grand Slam title of his career when he defeated Novak Djokovic in a thrilling five set match.  Murray's summer didn't quite rise to the level of Serena's.  But, Murray also won an Olympic gold medal in his home country and finished second at Wimbledon.  Not too shabby.

NASCAR:  The regular season came to an end in Richmond last weekend.  Rain delayed the start of the race for several hours, but the the die hard fans who stuck it out until 2:00 a.m. local time were treated to an exciting finish.  Clint Bowyer won the race, but it was Jeff Gordon who was the big winner of the weekend.  Gordon's second place finish in the race was good enough to clinch the final berth in the Chase.  Gordon's success means that all 4 Hendrick teams will be competing for the championship over the last 10 weeks of the season.  Notable names who were eliminated after Richmond are Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards.

NFL:  There were plenty of good story lines after the NFL's first weekend.  The most interesting game was played between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.  The Niners went into Lambeau field and physically manhandled the Pack in route to an opening week victory.  In terms of individual performances, high marks go to Robert Griffin, III and Peyton Manning.  Griffin made his professional debut at New Orleans.  Aided by a creative game plan, Griffin turned in a nearly flawless performance and led his Redskins to victory.  On Sunday night, Peyton Manning looked like ... well ... Peyton Manning.  Manning looked like his old self as he led his Broncos to victory in their home opener against the Pittsburg Steelers.


The Week Ahead:  There aren't any particularly big events on the sports calendar in the upcoming week.  Every week is equally big in the NFL.  There are only 16 games in the entire season, so each week is the equivalent of a 10-game streak in baseball.  In hockey, the news is taking place off the ice.  The NHL faces a labor lockout this weekend if the two sides do not come to an agreement by midnight on Saturday.  And, in baseball, the pennant races are really heating up as the calendar keeps progressing towards October.



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