Matchups between contenders in both the American League and National League key up Friday’s daily sports agenda. MLB Network has split coverage action at 7 PM ET, and regardless of which side of the split you’re on, you will get a good game. The choices are Rangers-Tigers or Reds-Braves, as teams begin their final weekend series before the All-Star break.
The best programming tonight outside the lines comes in football and it’s on the NFL Network. At 6 PM ET, the network will rank the top 10 teams who didn’t win the Super Bowl. I’m assuming that the 2007 New England Patriots would have to top the list.
Thinking off the top of my head, other recent candidates would be the 2001 St. Louis Rams (ironically upset by the Patriots), the Indianapolis Colts of 2005 and 2009 (each made a run into December unbeaten) and the loser in any of the great Dallas-San Francisco battles of the early 1990.
There could be sentiment for adding teams like the 2004 Pittsburgh Steelers (went 15-1) or the 2006 San Diego Chargers (14-2 behind an MVP year from LaDanian Tomlinson), but in each case they were dealing with a quarterback making his first trip to the playoffs, in Ben Roethlisberger and Philip Rivers. Even though they had homefield advantage, I can’t say it’s a surprise a team with inexperience at quarterback loses to Tom Brady.
Here at TheSportsNotebook, it’s baseball and some more recent history on our own agenda. MLB coverage continues with the statistical profiles of each division that we’ve been doing all week. The NL Central is up today. And our sports history articles section will get a new piece completed today, as we look at the best of 1986 sports. Speaking of ’86 sports,
I also invite you to take a look at an article I wrote on the 1986 Boston Red Sox for the venue Boston Sports Then & Now. We explored a decisive regular season stretch that team had to pull away from the AL East and set up the dramatics of their ALCS heroics and ultimate World Series heartbreak.