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Ghana player sucks on pacifier during African Cup final

Lifted by Mohamed Gedo’s clutch goal in the 85th minute, Egypt overcame Ghana on Sunday to win its third consecutive African Cup. Perhaps Ghana needs to motivate their players, notably the one with the pacifier in his mouth.

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Federer’s 16th Grand Slam title proves he’s the greatest ever

Somehow, Federer just keeps getting better. After beating Andy Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (11) in the 2010 Australian Open final, I now have a new appreciation for the most dominant tennis player of all time. He looked absolutely phenomenal over the course of the 2 hour and 41 minute match, never losing that perplexing calm that’s fascinated fans and irritated opponents for years. This is Federer’s 16th Grand Slam title overall, and that obviously justifies his talent. But it was the way he ambushed Andy Murray on the big stage that should make people perk up and realize his greatness.

Watching the 22-year-old Murray struggle from the opening set put everything in perspective. When Federer was that age, he broke through at the 2003 Wimbledon to capture his first Grand Slam championship. That was his first appearance in a Grand Slam final, and he’s found his way into 21 of the last 26 since then. He knew that this is where he belonged. While Murray certainly belongs as well, I can no longer claim that he deserves a championship. Before meeting Federer, Murray walked over all of his opponents at this tournament, only once needing to take a match past three sets (his semifinal against Marin Cilic). It was an admirable run, but given the lack of wear and tear, I expected him to come out fresh and energetic in the final. About to drop the second set, Murray began to grab his right leg in between points. Murray was seen nursing different areas, whether it be his thigh, knee, or toe. Still, it never seemed legitimate. When things started to go his way during the third set, the pain suddenly sufficed. Strange how that happens. Whimpering like Murray did suggests that you’re only losing because you’re not at full strength. Federer has far too much pride to pull something like that. When facing a large deficit, he simply relies on his talent to get him back in the match.

Of course, Murray wouldn’t have been whimpering if the first place if he were in control from the beginning. In his quarterfinal victory over Rafael Nadal, Murray never mellowed his attack, serving with accuracy and hitting with aggression during volleys. What happened to that confidence in the biggest match of his life? During those first two sets, Murray served terribly, had weak groundstrokes, and cracked under pressure at the net. Playing defensively, he curiously waited for Federer to make mistakes, which didn’t happen enough. When he turned up the intensity in the third set, it was far too late.

Noticing his opponent’s retreat, Federer was free to strike at will, landing 28 winners compared to Murray’s 12. As Murray stuck to the baseline, Federer employed drop shots and came to the net. He completely owned the court. As for his serve, it was staggering as usual.

I don’t know when exactly Federer is going to relinquish his crown, but if his recent performance against Andy Murray is any indication, it shouldn’t be for a while.


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Possible landing spots for Brandon Marshall

ESPN.com breaks down several possible destinations for receiver Brandon Marshall if/when the Broncos decide to deal him this offseason.

· The first speculation was that Marshall would be headed to the Seahawks or the Redskins, via two of our NFL Nation bloggers.

· Cincinnati has the need for a second WR to go along with Chad Ochocinco, but we’re not sure the Bengals would want another head case.

· The Cowboys need a legitimate No. 1 WR and Jerry Jones would have no problem forking out cash for a new deal to Marshall.

· What about the Pats? Randy Moss isn’t getting any younger, and Wes Welker might be a shell of his former self after shredding his knee.

· Dave Krieger of the Denver Post speculated on some new spots: the Ravens, Dolphins and Cardinals.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post also throws out a Marshall-for-Brady Quinn scenario, but he’s just speculating – he has nothing to back that rumor up.

The problem the Broncos have is that Marshall’s trade value has never been lower. Teams know that he and head coach Josh McDaniels are at odds and that Denver wants to rid itself of him. The Broncos will be lucky to land a third round pick for him, which would be quite a steal for the team that acquires him.


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Herschel Walker wins first MMA fight

Herschel Walker defeated Greg Nagy in the third round on Saturday night to win his MMA debut. Referee Troy Waugh called the fight after Walker drove Nagy into the fence and then proceeded to pummel him with a flurry of punches.

From TSN.com:

“The experience was exciting,” Walker said. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”

Still trim and fit at 47, Walker used his strength advantage to wear down the 26-year-old Nagy (1-2). He appeared to be close to the win near the end of the second five-minute round, but Nagy managed to extend the bout.

In his football days, Walker dropped jaws with a workout regimen that included upwards of 3,000 situps and pushups everyday. He also holds a fifth-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Considering that most athletes-turned-MMA-fighters get crushed in their MMA debuts, this is impressive. I have no idea who the hell Greg Nagy is, but well done Herschel, well done.


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Tebow has rough Senior Bowl week

Tim Tebow just blew his first opportunity to prove to doubters that he can be a quarterback at the next level.

After botching several snaps and struggling with his accuracy during practice this week, Tebow fumbled twice and finished 8-of-12 for just 50 yards in the Senior Bowl on Saturday. Worse yet, his scrambling ability (his forte) was neutralized by Jim Schwartz’s defense.

Granted, Tebow was battling strep throat, so he may deserve a mulligan for his performance this week. But sick or not, the same doubts that scouts have had about him were on full display all week. His mechanics are poor, his wind up motion is troubling and he continues to struggle with his accuracy.

Tebow still has the scouting combine and individual workouts to improve his draft stock, but it was clear this week that he’s a massive project at quarterback.


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