Big Ben\’s Big Sendoff

January 4, 2022

By: Carlos Alvarez

Good Morning,

Big nights in the NBA and Big Ben said goodbye to Pittsburgh. Plus, an update on the NHL after COVID-19 rocked the league over the holidays. Tune in tomorrow for a special write-up on the college football season.

Letter Rip!



Big Ben\’s Pittsburgh Curtain Call


Steelers Top Browns (26-14) for Ben Roethlisberger’s Final Game in Pittsburgh


After 18 years, two Super Bowl wins and a Hall of Fame career, Ben Roethlisberger said goodbye to the Pittsburgh fans Monday night at Heinz Field with a win in his final home game. The Steelers held off a late comeback by the Browns (26-14) in a game where Roethlisberger was the focus of countless tributes. He had a mediocre night in the cold Pittsburgh air (24/46, 123 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), but he knelt down to end the game and relished in a standing ovation.


With tears in his eyes, Big Ben walked around the stadium to high-five fans and celebrate with his family disappearing into the tunnel. Even though it\’s Roethlisberger\’s final season in Pittsburgh, it\’s not 100 percent certain the 39-year-old quarterback will retire from football, although he\’s indicated that he\’s leaning towards retirement.


Pittsburgh still has one more regular season game next week at Baltimore, and their playoff hopes are still alive.


Monday Night Football Top Performers

RB Najee Harris (PIT): 28 carries, 188 yards, 1 TD

DE T.J. Watt (PIT): 5 tackles, 4 sacks


Watch: Steelers def. Browns (26-14)


AFC Wild Card Hunt

6. Colts (9-7)

7. Chargers (9-7)

8. Raiders (9-7)

9. Steelers (8-7-1)

10. Ravens (8-8)


Additional Storylines

The Score: T.J. Watt (4 Sacks) Nearing Michael Strahan’s Single-Season Sack Record

ESPN: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Gets Wish, Ends Last Game at Heinz Field With Win



Morant, Grizzlies Catching Fire


Ja Morant (36 Points) Leads Memphis to 5th Straight Win


The Grizzlies are turning heads in the NBA with another five-game win streak of the 2021-22 season. Memphis beat down Brooklyn on Monday (118-104) behind a 36-8-6 night from Ja Morant, including a must-see “Ja Jam” worthy of a closer look. After starting the season 9-10, the Grizzlies have put together three different five-game winning streaks to go 15-4 over their last 19.


Watch: Morant’s 36 Points Powers Grizzlies


Other NBA Highlights


Trae Young Drops 56The Hawks fell to the Blazers on Monday night in a shootout (136-131), but Atlanta’s Trae Young went for 56 points and 14 assists. It was the second 50-point game in two days (Jaylen Brown, Celtics). Portland’s Anfernee Simons also scored 43 in the win.


Bulls Tally 8th Straight: The Chicago Bulls won their league-best eighth straight game on Monday over the Magic (102-98) thanks to 56 combined points from DeMar DeRozan (29) and Zach LaVine (27).


Kuzma Catches Fire: The Wizards put up 40 points in the 4th quarter to pull a comeback win against the Hornets (124-121) thanks to Kyle Kuzma’s streaky shooting. Kuz poured in a season-high 36 points with six 3s.



NHL Standings as Season Resumes


COVID-19 Postponements Attacking NHL Schedule, But Season Pushes Forward


The NHL has been the hardest hit pro sports league with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases. The league pushed pause on the season over the holidays, but play has since resumed. NHL players have already opted out of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, and two games were postponed on Monday night. In lieu of the action, let’s get caught up on the standings as teams near the halfway point of the season.


NHL Standings



Rangers (48 points) | W3

Capitals (48 points) | OT1

Hurricanes (47 points) | W4

Penguins (41 points) | W8



Lightning (47 points) | L1

Panthers (46 points) | W3

Maple Leafs (44 points) | W3

Bruins (34 points) | W2



Blues (43 points) | W2

Predators (42 points) | W1

Wild (40 points) | L2

Avalanche (38 points) | W1



Golden Knights (45 points) | OT1

Ducks (41 points) | L2

Flames (40 points) | W2

Oilers (38 points) | L1


Full NHL Standings


Additional Storylines

CBS Sports: NHL Brings Back Taxi Squads as Regular Season Resumes

NHL: Alex Ovechkin Leading All Players Entering Final Week of All-Star Fan Vote



College Basketball Top-25 Polls

Baylor (Men) & South Carolina (Women) Holding Down Top Spots After Holiday Break


After three weeks since our last AP Poll updates, the No. 1 teams — Baylor and South Carolina — remain atop the rankings. The Bears (13-0) are still undefeated as they push into 2022 eyeing back-to-back titles. The other top-5 teams in the men’s game went through the holiday break unscathed as the top-5 has been unchanged. Here’s the latest look at where they stand with less than 60 days until March.


Men’s AP Poll

1. Baylor (13-0) | —

2. Duke (11-1) | —

3. Purdue (12-1) | —

4. Gonzaga (11-2) | —

5. UCLA (8-1) | —

6. Kansas (11-1) | —

7. USC (12-0) | —

8. Arizona (11-1) | ↑1

9. Auburn (12-1) | ↑2

10. Michigan State (12-2) | —


Full Top-25


Women’s AP Poll

1. S. Carolina (13-1) | —

2. Stanford (9-3) | —

3. Louisville (12-1) | —

4. Arizona (10-0) | —

5. NC State (12-2) | —

6. Indiana (11-2) | ↑2

7. Tennessee (13-1) | —

8. Michigan (12-1) | ↑1

9. Texas (10-1) | ↑3

10. Maryland (10-4) | ↓4


Full Top-25


Additional Storylines

SI: Baylor Stays at No. 1 in Men’s Poll; Auburn Rises Into Top-10

CBS Sports: Bracketology: Purdue Jumps to 1-Seed, Big 12 Has 8 Projected in Tournament



\"⚾️\" What to Expect When MLB Talks Resume

Not much has happened in the month since the owners locked out the players, but that should soon change. Here are four things to know as talks between owners and players get serious in January. (CBS Sports)


\"🏈\" Hot NFL Wild-Card Teams to Avoid

The postseason isn\’t always about who is the better team, but rather who is the hottest. Every year, there\’s at least one wild-card team that goes on a run. In 2021, it was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (Bleacher Report)


\"🏀\" NBA Power Rankings

DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls ended 2021 with fireworks. They started 2022 with some too. Thanks to DeRozan’s late-game heroics, the Bulls have now won eight straight to vault into the Eastern Conference lead. (ESPN)



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