Super Bowl XLVIII was one of the most highly anticipated in years as the NFL’s most lethal offense went head to head with its most miserly defence, but in the end it was all one way traffic as the Seattle Seahawks claimed their maiden Super Bowl title with a 43-8 demolition of the Denver Broncos. Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was named NFL MVP for the fifth time just 24 hours earlier but he endured a disastrous day out in pursuit of his second Super Bowl, throwing two interceptions and struggling to find any time against the stifling Seahawks defence. Seattle led 15-0 midway through the second quarter and all but sealed the game when Malcolm Smith intercepted and returned it 69 yards for a touch down shortly before half-time, then Percy Harvin returned the second-half kick-off 87 yards for another. The Seahawks have now won and lost a Super Bowl while Denver’s record in the big one is a less than flattering two wins and five losses.
The Davis Cup tennis threw up some interesting results with Germany dumping Spain out in the first round while Great Britain downed the Unites States and Italy beat Argentina. Reigning champions the Czech Republic crept through 3-2 over the Netherlands but they will have one eye on the classy French team who crushed Australia 5-0 thanks to the brilliant performances of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Richard Gasquet.
A shocking pass from Liverpool defender Kolo Toure could prove costly for the Reds in their pursuit of a Champions League spot as they were held to a 1-1 draw at West Brom. The visitors led 1-0 at half-time thanks to a Daniel Sturridge strike but Toure’s brain explosion gifted Victor Anichebe an equalizer – denying Liverpool the chance to put a four point gap between themselves and Everton. The only good news for Brendan Rogers’ men came in Manchester United’s 2-1 loss to Stoke and Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Hull, however they lost further ground on the front-runners with Arsenal downing Crystal Palace 2-0 overnight.
With the exception of Oklahoma City, who fell to a shock 96-81 loss in Washington, it was a good weekend for the big guns in the NBA with Indiana sneaking past Brooklyn, Miami thrashing the Knicks, Portland downing Toronto and San Antonio showing signs of putting their recent poor form behind them with a win over Sacramento.
We also saw an influx of athletes arriving in Sochi over the weekend ahead of the Winter Olympics which get underway this coming Saturday. Day One highlights will include freestyle skiing, men’s slopestyle snowboarding and speed skating.