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Unknown-2Hollywood loves a good crash and burn story as much as a box office hit.  And, the Los Angeles Lakers are no stranger to that mantra as they now take the spotlight as a team that is collapsing after years of being a star.

The Lakers closed out the first half of the season losing to the Chicago Bulls 83-95 last night.  Their record at the midway point is an unfortunate 17-24.  The Lakers missteps are not due to a lack of talent, but rather underperforming stars – a downward spiral nearly as bad as Lindsay Lohan’s.  Kobe Bryant, the Lakers leader, only scored 16 points in the loss and was unable to spark any additional offensive momentum.

The stars are not aligned for the Lakers who are unable to capitalize with a new coach and mounds of talent in Pau Gasol, Steve Nash, Dwight Howard, and of course Kobe.  Yet, for the Bulls, Chicago is back in bright lights with a midseason record of 24-16 with the return of their star, Derrick Rose, on the horizon.  Keep an eye out for a changing of the guards with the rise of the Bulls and fall of the Lakers.

 

We have an official start to President Barack Obama’s second term with today’s formal inauguration ceremony.  There was pomp and circumstance and the President’s speech, but, of course, Beyonce stole the show with her closing rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.”

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Lucky for us, Beyonce is also headlining the second most important event to begin 2013 – the Super Bowl XLVII halftime show.  So since you can’t miss Sasha Fierce you will be tuning into the game and must get your Sportsgirl fix so that you can contribute to not only the halftime show critiques, but also the play on the field.  Here is the first of several Sportsgirl Super Bowl story-lines to be aware of:

UnknownThe San Francisco 49ers came back from a 17 point deficit to beat the top seeded Atlanta Falcons.  And then, the Baltimore Ravens toppled the Super Bowl regular New England Patriots.  So, the lead story going into this title match-up is that the opposing head coaches are brothers who totally look like twins and are only 15 months apart!  The Harbaugh bowl pits Raven’s coach John Harbaugh against little bro Jim Harbaugh.  So, depending on where you fall in your family’s lineup are you cheering for the first born, John, or baby, Jim?

Unless you are lucky enough to be hitting the slopes and parties at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah or relaxing on some other glamorous vacation for the holiday weekend, you have no excuse not to tune into these weekend sporting events (unless, of course, you are boycotting the NHL):

NFL – NFC Championship:

  • San Francisco 49ers v. Atlanta Falcons (3PM/FOX): Both teams stylish in red and led by quarterbacks new to the playoffs.  49ers QB Colin Kaepernick came off the bench this season to lead his team to the postseason with a 6-2 record and Matt Ryan of the Falcons just won his first playoff game ever last week! It clearly comes down to either west or east side loyalties or whether you think red looks better with black or gold.  So, where do you stand?  
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NFL – AFC Championship:

  • Baltimore Ravens v. New England Patriots (6:30PM/CBS): If you are thinking deja vu, I am impressed.  This is the first time in 25 years that the same teams have made it to the AFC Championship two years in a row.  Last year’s win by NE was a bit controversial (Baltimore lost at the end of regulation with a dropped pass and a missed field goal), so these teams are itching to go at it again.  Despite Tom Brady’s looks, my loyalties lie with Baltimore by default.  The Pats have a history of cheating (they broke the rules by secretly filming their opponents) and since this is the week of fighting the liars out there I’m cheering for the Ravens.

NHL – Hockey is Back:

  • Half of the 2012-13 NHL season has been lost due to a heated labor dispute between the players and owners over a new collective bargaining agreement, but the sides have made a deal.  The teams return to play tomorrow with a ton of games across the League.  The LA Kings, in-particular, get to finally celebrate their Stanley Cup win last season on home ice against the Chicago Blackhawks (3PM/NBC).  So tune in to see your favorite hockey-stars back on the ice, or boycott as are some fans, due to the frustration at the parties for the disputes that led to the lockout and only half a season. 
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Last night Lance Armstrong confessed to Oprah the so-called truth.  He confessed to doping: using EPOs, testosterone, blood transfusions – an entire buffet of performance enhancing drugs. He confessed to not feeling like he was in the wrong or even cheating when taking the drugs. He even confessed to being an “arrogant pri*k.”  But did he genuinely feel remorseful for his behavior of cheating and doing everything possible to take down those telling the truth?

Here is a clip from the interview on Oprah’ OWN network:

Here, Lance admits to suing everyone and everything that stood in his way – in fact, he doesn’t even remember everyone that he sued that got in the way of his schemes.  He says he did things that were “inexcusable,” but did he mean it?

It was clear from the interview that Armstrong didn’t feel that his actions were wrong at the time he did them, because he was only creating a level playing field around the other doping cyclists.  I don’t remember anyone ever genuinely believing that two wrongs make a right. And, a third, fourth, and fifth wrong, of ruining the reputations of those who stood in his way with lawsuits and public attacks, along with taking millions of dollars from sponsors as a fraud, definitely don’t make a right.

Armstrong’s PR battle is only beginning and it is clear that he needs to not only admit to being a cheat, fraud, and bully, but also that he needs to explain to the world that he is genuinely remorseful and how he is going to make up for his wrongdoings.  Part 2 of the interview airs tonight so tune in if you are addicted to this story and craving a true confession or more of a downward spiral.

 

The story has yet to fully unfold and at this point there are more questions than answers. Notre Dame linebacker, Heisman runner-up, and college defensive player of the year, Manti Te’o has allegedly been catfished – the victim of a hoax where his alleged online girlfriend did not actually die of leukemia.

imagesTo recap, Manti Te’o announced in September that his grandmother and girlfriend died on the same day.  He then had a sick performance on the field in both of their honors, and instantly became a college football hero and heartfelt sob story for the American public.  Te’o led Notre Dame to an undefeated season and the national championship game where the Irish lost to Alabama.  Te’o could do no wrong and was destined to a top 10 NFL draft selection.

Well, his picture perfect future just got crazy messy as Deadspin broke the news yesterday that the story of Te’o’s girlfiend dying was a hoax.  It is unclear whether Te’o was in on the scam or not, but he, along with Notre Dame, deny his involvement and claim that he is a victim of catfishing.  Yet, Deadspin (and anyone with common sense) question Te’o’s denial of involvement.  How could anyone have an online girlfriend for a year and never do face time? And, why did his dad state publicly that his son and the girlfriend had met in person?  Bizarre.  This scandal may never affect his future NFL career dollars, but his public image is forever stained.

Te’o claims he was first notified of the hoax in early December and ever since he has been singing Day O – hoping daylight would not come so that this story was never released.  Meanwhile, the public has somehow forgotten all about Lance Armstrong’s doping (and Oprah’s interview with the cyclist airing tonight)! What a break for the cyclist’s PR battle!

This story is only getting juicier.  Plus, we all could use an education on catfishing. Tune into MTV’s “Catfish” – Te’o isn’t the only one that naive.