Gather Around the Water Cooler: It’s Time to Recap the Weekend in Sports

Army football team honors victims of Paris attacks: November 13th was a day that will never be forgotten by France and the rest of the world. Terrorists claimed the lives of 129 people in a series of senseless attacks at restaurants, the Bataclan concert hall, and Stade de France. Paris, France, and the entire world mourned and poured their hearts out in disbelief at what occurred that tragic day. The Army football team honored the victims by carrying the French flag onto the field prior to the team’s game against the Tulane Green Wave. It was a beautiful tribute by the team, and it showed just how powerful a game of football can be in times of tribulation. The U.S. Military Academy tweeted, “#USMA stands with the French people following the #ParisAttacks – liberté, égalité, fraternity. #DutyHonorCountry.” Army may have lost the game, but they won the day. Our thoughts and prayers are with Paris and the families of the victims.

Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Holly Holm (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Ronda Rousey (not pictured) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Nov 15, 2015; Melbourne, Australia; Holly Holm (blue gloves) celebrates after defeating Ronda Rousey (not pictured) during UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Roberts-USA TODAY Sports

Holly Holm knocks out Ronda Rousey in an absolute stunner at UFC 193: No one was ever supposed to beat Ronda Rousey. She was invincible. Anyone that stepped into the octagon with her barely lasted thirty seconds, if that. Rousey was undefeated with an end to her unblemished record nowhere in sight. Her challenger at UFC 193 was an unknown fighter that was given about as much of a chance as Rousey’s previous 12 contenders. After Saturday night, the near 60,000 in attendance and the entire world now knows who Holly Holm is. A brutal swift leg kick by Holm in the second round ended Rousey’s reign atop of the UFC. The bout will go down as the greatest upset ever in the history of the UFC. Rousey was hospitalized overnight for precautionary reasons, but it was proof of just how earth-shattering Holm’s knockout was. The fight was all Holm’s from start to finish. She was able to control the fight with sharp combinations and take-downs. She was the better fighter, and there are no excuses to be made from Rousey’s camp. Rousey’s confidence and ego will certainly be tested in the days to come. The night was Holm’s, and now, so is the belt.

Peyton Manning had a day to remember and forget: Entering the day, Broncos QB, Peyton Manning, was just 3 yards short of surpassing Brett Favre and becoming the NFL’s all-time leading passer. It didn’t take long for him to take over the top spot. It was a 4 yard pass to Ronnie Hillman that gave Manning a record 71,839 yards passing. However, that was the only highlight of his historic day. Manning had the most dreadful performance of his career on Sunday against the Colts. He was a dismal 5-20 passing with four interceptions. It was so ugly that Broncos head coach, Gary Kubiak, made the decision to bench Manning in favor of backup, Brock Osweiler. Manning finished the day with a quarterback rating of 0. Yes, you read that right. He may have become the NFL’s all-time leading passer, but he also proved you can have a quarterback rating of 0. While the Broncos are 7-2, it certainly hasn’t been the most memorable year for Manning. He will look to pad his record and find his former self next week against the Chicago Bears.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates on pit road after winning Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. celebrates on pit road after winning Sunday’s rain-shortened NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 at Phoenix International Raceway. Jonathan Ferrey Getty Images

Dale Jr. wins rain-shortened race at Phoenix; Championship field set: After a six hour rain delay, NASCAR was able to get the Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500 started at Phoenix. Jimmie Johnson set the tone early as the pole-sitter, but his hopes of earning back-to-back wins ended after a pit road penalty early on in the race. Kevin Harvick took over from there and flat out dominated. He looked poised to win his fifth consecutive victory at the track, but then, just as green flag pit stops were wrapping up, the rain found a way to damper the race once again. NASCAR made an attempt to keep the track dry, but it was to no avail. When all was said and done, Dale Jr. found a way to come out on top after the last pit cycle. It was his third win of the season, but it was also a “should’ve, could’ve, would’ve” moment for his team after falling short in the previous round at Talladega. Notable drivers eliminated from playoff contention were Joey Logano and former champion, Brad Keselowski. The four heading to Homestead-Miami Speedway with championship aspirations are Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. It will be Jeff Gordon’s final race in his storied career. It’s an opportunity for the legend of the sport to go out on top, a feat that many athletes like him dream of accomplishing.

Check back with us every Monday for a recap of the weekend’s biggest action in sports.

Photo Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports