Tom Brady did it again (with help from his defence)
The GOAT wins another Super Bowl MVP — 19 years after his first
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Tom Brady did it again
There's not much left to say about the guy, but here are some amazing facts about the 43-year-old quarterback who led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a stunning 31-9 rout of Kansas City in Super Bowl LV:
With seven Super Bowl rings, Brady now has more than any NFL franchise. He helped New England win all six of its titles before leaving for Tampa Bay last March. Pittsburgh also has six (somehow with no help from Brady).
Brady's fifth Super Bowl MVP award comes 19 years after his first. To put that into context, the guy who won it the year after Brady's first one — Tampa Bay safety Dexter Jackson — played his last NFL game 13 years ago.
Brady has more than twice as many playoff wins as any other NFL QB. Last night's victory was the 34th of his career. Joe Montana is next with 16.
A few other observations from last night's game:
Patrick Mahomes never had a chance. For all his talents — and all the talent around him — there's nothing a QB can do if his offensive linemen can't block. Kansas City was able to overcome a patchwork line all year, but a torn Achilles suffered by left tackle Eric Fisher in the AFC championship game may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. It left K.C. without three of the five starters from the line that won the Super Bowl last year — including Canadian guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, who opted out of the season to do medical work on the front lines of the pandemic fight. Kansas City's o-line was the little exhaust port in the Death Star, and Tampa had the pass rushers to exploit it. They spent the whole night in the backfield, forcing Mahomes to make difficult adjustments — or straight up run for his life — on just about every play. The result? Kansas City's previously unstoppable offence failed to score a single touchdown.
But K.C. will be OK. Mahomes is just 25, and in his three years as an NFL starter he's won a Super Bowl, made it to another and come within an overtime score of reaching a third. Head coach Andy Reid is still one of the most brilliant play designers in football history. Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce are still two of the best pass catchers in the game, and the defence is good enough. Kansas City is the clear favourite to win next year's Super Bowl. They opened at about 5/1 odds, followed by the Buccaneers and Packers at 9/1.
Bianca Andreescu won her first match in more than 15 months
Playing for the first time since late October 2019, the Canadian tennis star got through her opening-round match at the Australian Open today, defeating 138th-ranked Mihaela Buzarnescu 6-2, 4-6, 6-3. The eighth-seeded Andreescu's next opponent is Hsieh Su-wei, a 35-year-old Taiwanese player who's ranked No. 1 in the world in doubles but only 68th in singles.
All five Canadians in action on Day 1 of the Aussie Open won. Rebecca Marino, playing in her first Grand Slam in eight years, capitalized on a favourable draw by beating 747th-ranked Australian wild card Kimberly Birrell in straight sets. On the men's side, 11th-seeded Denis Shapovalov survived a five-set scare from talented Italian teenager Jannik Sinner while No. 14 Milos Raonic and No. 20 Felix Auger-Aliassime both won in straight sets. Read more about all the Canadians' matches here.
The other two Canadians in the singles draws open tonight in our time zones. Teenager Leylah Annie Fernandez, ranked 89th in the world, plays No. 18 seed Elise Mertens at 7 p.m. ET. Later, unseeded Vasek Pospisil faces men's No. 4 seed Daniil Medvedev. Read about how Fernandez's dad/coach is using his soccer expertise to help her tennis here.
The world women's curling championship was cancelled for the second straight year. It was scheduled for March 19-28 in Switzerland, but health authorities there rejected it. Last year's tournament, which was supposed to be held in Prince George, B.C., was also cancelled because of coronavirus concerns. Curling Canada says it's still going ahead with the Scotties, the Brier and the men's world championship, which will all be held in a bubble in Calgary between Feb. 19 and mid-April. Read more about the cancellation of the women's worlds and what it means in this story by CBC Sports' Devin Heroux.
The Edmonton Football Team narrowed its choices for a new name down to seven. Elk, Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles and Elements are the contenders to replace Eskimos, which was dropped last year. The team says it received more than 2,000 unique suggestions in the first phase of its selection process. Read more here.
And in case you missed it…
A few other things from the weekend that you should know about:
A video-replay mixup may have cost the Columbus Blue Jackets a game. In the second period of their 6-5 home loss to Carolina yesterday, the Jackets challenged a goal by Vincent Trocheck, believing he was offside. Replays showed they were right. But, after a quick review, the goal was allowed to stand. So what happened? League executive Colin Campbell told The Athletic that the crew at the Columbus arena in charge of connecting the on-ice officials with the NHL's video replay "war room" in Toronto messed up. The crew isn't supposed to give their opinion — just put the other parties in touch. But, Campbell says, they were training a new guy, and he said "that's a good goal." The linesmen heard this on their headsets, told the referee about the decision, he announced it, and the game resumed — with the Jackets killing the penalty resulting from their failed challenge. The war room tried to call the arena to tell them to hold up, but couldn't do so in time. They then watched the worst-case scenario play out — a one-goal loss by Columbus. Let's just hope, for the NHL's sake, that the Jackets don't miss the playoffs by two points or less. They're currently one point out of a playoff spot.
Kaillie Humphries won her record fourth women's bobsleigh world championship. She teamed with brakewoman (and former Olympic hurdler) Lolo Jones to win her second consecutive title representing the United States. Humphries' other two world titles, in 2012 and '13, came while competing for Canada. She asked for — and was eventually granted — her release from the Canadian team after a bitter falling out, and is now trying to get her U.S. citizenship in time for next year's Winter Olympics. The top Canadian sled in the women's world championship race finished ninth. Read more about Humphries' record-breaking win here.
The head coach of the Canadian women's rugby sevens team is out. Saying it was "addressing a complaint that was received from national senior women's sevens players," Rugby Canada announced it has "engaged an independent investigator to address the matter" and revamped the team's coaching staff. Former head coach John Tait was not named in the press release, and the organization wouldn't say who the subject of the investigation is or what the complaint is about. But, when asked by The Canadian Press whether Tait was involved in the complaint, the CEO of Rugby Canada said to "draw your own conclusions." Tait, 47, coached the women's sevens team to a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Read more about his removal here.
Coming up on CBC Sports
Alpine skiing world championships: They were supposed to begin today, but heavy snowfall in northern Italy forced the postponement of the women's combined event. The women's and men's super-G races are scheduled for Tuesday. Watch them live here at 4:30 a.m. ET and 7 a.m. ET.
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