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Sweet 21: Red Wings Make Record-Breaking History with 21 Consecutive Home Wins

Record-breaking 21, baby!

No other team in NHL history has ever accomplished what the 2011-12 Detroit Red Wings did last night.

Win 21 straight games at home.

In front of a home crowd that has seen its team lose just three times at the Joe–twice in regulation and once in overtime–the Wings have been nearly flawless.

I’ll admit it–I was the crazy Wing nut caught screaming like her team had just won the Stanley Cup. In all of the things the Wings have accomplished in the time I’ve been a fan since the 1996-97 season, this was something entirely different.

I feel incredibly confident that the Wings have what it takes to win the Stanley Cup this season–with Jimmy Howard returning from a fractured right index finger this Sunday and the Wings playing nearly perfect hockey in Hockeytown.

But also, the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1975-76 Philadelphia Flyers, who previously held the record with 20 straight wins, went on to the Stanley Cup Finals those years.

They lost, yes, but the Wings have already broken the home-winning streak. I see no reason why they can’t break that one, too.

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End of an Era: FAU bids Howard Schnellenberger farewell

Farewell, Coach.

Howard Schnellenberger is Florida Atlantic football and that’s one thing that will never change.

The legendary coach, who has coached 27 seasons in college as well as served as offensive coordinator for the undefeated ’72 Miami Dolphins, needs no introduction.

The man behind the evolution of FAU football, which saw the culmination of an on-campus stadium just this season, will be honored in the Owls’ season finale vs. Louisiana-Monroe today, as he is set to retire following the season, which ends Saturday.

It’s sure to be an emotional day for all, including FAU seniors who have played under Schnellenberger for their entire collegiate career.

“It’s going to emotional,” said senior safety Marcus Bartels. “It’s a whole lot more than just the end of the year. I just hope we can send hm out on a good note.”

There’s definitely a ‘win it for coach’ kind of mentality around the players for this last game.

“We want to finish the season strong,” said senior running back Alfred Morris. “I was thankful coach Schnellenberger gave me the opportunity to play college football.”

The Owls are coming off their first win of the season, after starting 0-10, to ensure that Schnellenberger won’t finish his final season without a win. In fact, he has a chance to go out on a two-game winning streak.

I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing Coach over this past year and he’s been a gentleman, but also quite a character. It will be weird next season not seeing Schnelley on the sideline in his suspenders.

So as Schnellenberger walks off the field, that stands because of him, for the final time today, win or loss, there will be cheers as he goes.

Thank you, Coach. For everything you did, are doing and will continue to do for FAU and its football program.

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FAU staring down 0-12 season

Yes, it is that bad.

In the 10-year history of the Shula Bowl, Florida Atlantic has dominated Florida International eight of the nine previous meetings.

FIU’s lone Shula Bowl win was a 52-6 rout in 2005 that was later vacated by the NCAA.

So heading into Shula Bowl X, even despite their 0-8 standing, the Owls had every reason to believe that they could pull out their ninth Shula Bowl title.

On the first two drives of Shula Bowl X, it looked like the winless Owls might stand a chance.

But those hopes were quickly dashed on the first of Graham Wilbert’s three interceptions ended the only productive drive for the Owls of the first half, in which they fell behind in a 31-0 hole.

The tempers were already flaring in this heated rivalry and FAU ended the first half with 10 penalties for 97 yards. They finished with 14 penalties for 142 yards.

“It doesn’t make any difference what it’s a product of,” said Coach Howard Schnellenberger. “It cannot happen.”

Following the 41-7 blowout loss, all Schnellenberger could do was apologize about his team’s embarrassing play in the first half.

“I have to apologize to Paul Bryant and Blanton Collier and Don Shula and all of the people I learned how to play and coach football from,” he said. “I want to apologize to Florida Atlantic University for the first half of football that we played here today.”

Anything and everything that could go wrong for a football team has gone wrong with FAU this season.

I have to emphasize with sports writers that have to cover teams, such as the 0-16 Detroit Lions. It’s hard to watch a team lose week after week after week. It’s hard to watch a team come close in some contests and get blown out in others. It’s hard to watch young men give everything they’ve got and still come out of it empty-handed and embarrassed.

With New Mexico’s 21-14 win over UNLV on Saturday, FAU is the only winless team left in the nation. They also have the longest active losing streak with 12, dating back to last season.

But there are still three games left for the Owls to narrowly escape what could be Schnellenberger’s only winless season. FAU will face the second to last team in the Sun Belt in Troy next Saturday and will host UAB and Louisiana-Monroe in the final two games.

But the good news is that it can’t really get much worse.

Actually, the winless season would be the final blow in a season that is garnering a reputation for historic in all of the wrong ways.

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“Tell Martz, Say F*** Him”

Can you really blame Jay Cutler for being frustrated with Mike Martz's playcalling?

I have no idea how I missed this when it happened.

In the final minute of the second quarter, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler has some choice words for offensive coordinator Mike Martz.

“Tell Martz, say f*** him.”

The reaction from running back Matt Forte is priceless.

Even before those words come out of his mouth you can see the frustration on Cutler’s face. You can only imagine there are worse things going through his head at the time.

Here it is slowed down to make out every syllable:

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D-Day for Bears in Detroit

Devin Hester is ridiculous on Monday Night Football.

We are now mere hours from the start of what is guaranteed to be the most raucous crowd at Ford Field to date when the Chicago Bears take on the Detroit Lions in a much-hyped Monday Night Football match-up.

The Lions are 4-0 for the first time since 1980 and are eying their first 5-0 start since the 1950s.

But it’s the Bears who have the most to lose and to gain in this contest.

The Bears, already down 0-1 in the NFC North, cannot afford to fall three games back of the Green Bay Packers and Lions. Better yet, I cannot afford to take the kind of crap I’m likely to take should the Lions beat the Bears tonight.

I will find myself in enemy territory tonight; at a filled-to-the-brim Ford Field that won’t be brimming with as many Bears fans that normally pack the place. What can I say, Bears fans travel well.

There are three things that I am keeping my eye on tonight:

1) Can Devin Hester be his ridiculous self on the night when he has been at his most ridiculous?

-Devin Hester has been the greatest kick returner to ever play from the first time he stepped on the field in 2006. That year was also the year that Hester had his first Monday Night return, the infamous “They are who we thought they were” game against the Arizona Cardinals. Hester has returned five kickoffs and punts for touchdowns on Monday nights. Could he be poised for another tonight against the red-hot Lions?

2) Can Matt Forte have an impact with the Lions game-planning against him?

The Lions know that to stop the Bears offense they must stop their man on offense. For the first four weeks of the season that man has been Matt Forte. After accounting for more than 70% of the Bears offense last week against the Carolina Panthers, where he rushed for 205 yards, can Forte manage to make an impact on this offense when the Lions are coming after him?

3) Can Jay Cutler keep his cool against the Lions defense?

Jay Cutler has taken more sacks than any quarterback should take in several seasons since last year. Behind a shoddy offensive line Cutler hasn’t been able to disguise his discomfort in the pocket–of lack thereof. Mike Martz won’t dial-up a game-plan seen two weeks ago against the Packers, but Cutler is still going to be expected to drop back and complete passes. Can Cutler maintain his cool–and his upward stance–with a dominant Lions defensive line coming after him?

But this isn’t your typical Lions team. Anything is possible, especially when you’re 4-0.

I just pray that when the game is over that I am will chanting “Bear down, Chicago Bears” down the concourse at Ford Field.

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“What do you expect? The guy’s a Packers fan!”

My hatred for the Green Bay Packers is well documented.

So when I saw this video, I just had to share.

This is so something that I would do. Though I would like to point out that I wouldn’t go as easy on this douchebag as this girl did.


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The Greatest Punt Return That Never Was

Dave Toub always has a trick up his sleeve

The greatest moment for the Bears in Sunday’s 27-17 loss to rivals Green Bay came with a minute left in the game.

The Packers punted the ball and all eyes, including the FOX cameras, turned to Devin Hester.

Before I even realized what was happening, the camera whipped to Johnny Knox, who was sprinting down the sideline and into the end zone.

Did that just happen?

Because they are the Bears, there was a penalty called on Corey Graham for holding, which is ridiculous because no one was anywhere near Knox and there was no need for any contact whatsoever.

The flag dashed any hope of a last-minute comeback by the Bears, but the play was pure genius.

What else would you expect from special teams coordinator Dave Toub?

It was the greatest punt return that never was.

Now, it’s unlikely that we’ll see this play for some time, as teams might be expecting it.

But then again, that could work to the Bears’ advantage. Teams may think they’re pulling the trick play when they’re not. It could free up Hester or Knox and could lead to six points.

The Bears certainly need all the help they can get from their defense and special teams, what with the way their offense is playing.

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