McGrath predicted that Saturday’s race, as well the fight for the Supercross championship, is likely to come down to three riders: Tomac, HRC Honda rider Ken Roczen of Germany and KTM Red Bull pilot Marvin Musquin of France.
Roczen and Musquin are both former Motocross world champions and are seeking their first Monster Supercross 450SX title.
“Eli Tomac has to be one of the favorites,” McGrath said. “Ken Roczen has to be one of the favorites, even though he’s coming back from a crazy injury. I think he’s ready. Marvin Musquin has been on a roll, so he has to be one of the favorites.”
Roczen is the biggest question mark heading into Saturday’s race. Arguably the world’s fastest rider at the beginning of last season, he was involved in a serious crash at Angel Stadium last year, dislocating his wrist and elbow and suffering a compound fracture to his radius, which required 11 surgeries to repair. This race marks his return to competition.
Also racing Saturday will be the 250SX West Region classification, with reigning series champion Justin Hill out to defend his number one plate on a Suzuki.
Angel Stadium will once again be the site of the AMA Supercross season opener on Saturday, the first of two events at the stadium and three in Southern California.
It’s the start of a wide-open championship race as Ryan Dungey, who won the last three riding championships, retired after the 2017 season, which creates an opportunity for three riders from Southern California.
Blake Baggett of Grand Terrace, who suffered from a thumb injury most of the ’17 season, finished sixth aboard a KTM. Sherman Oaks’ Cole Seeley was seventh on a Honda while Josh Grant of Wildomar, who rides a Kawasaki, was slowed by nagging injuries. They’ll be competing against Eli Tomas (Kawasaki), Marvin Musqion (KTM) and Ken Roczen (Honda) for top honors.
As the Anaheim stops on the circuit are usually sold out, fans will notice a few changes in the series that has competed in Southern California for 40 years. It’ll be the debut of a new points system that organizers hope will create a more competitive race at each stop and for the season. Semifinal races have been eliminated, meaning the top nine racers in each heat advance to the main event and 10-20 to the last-chance qualifier.
A Triple Crown format will also be introduced with competition in Anaheim, Atlanta and Minneapolis. The 22 riders in the finals will compete in 8-, 12- and 15-minute finals (6, 10 and 12 for the 250cc class).
An Olympic-style scoring system will determine the main event winner, with the lowest combined score being declared the first-place finisher.
Doors open at noon for practice and qualifying, and pit passes are available for $10 for the “pit party” from noon to 6 p.m. A valid event ticket and Pit Pass are required for entry. Show time is 6:30 p.m.he best off-road motorcycle riders in the world will converge on Angel Stadium on Saturday for the opening round of the 2018 Monster Energy Supercross series.
The 17-race series will visit many of the nation’s premier stadiums during the next four months, before a finale at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas on May 5.
Angel Stadium has an illustrious history with the sport dating to 1976, when Marty Smith won the main event before a crowd of 30,569. In a few different configurations, the venue has hosted 70 supercross events, and has staged the opening round of the series since 1999.
“For me, as a rider and as a fan, Anaheim is the race,” said Jeremy McGrath, a seven-time Supercross champion who won eight times at Anaheim before retiring from the sport in 2006. “It’s the one and only. It’s the big one.”
Ryan Dungey, who won the 2017 Supercross championship, announced his retirement last spring. Hoping to fill the vacuum left by the four-time champion is Eli Tomac of Cortez, Colo. Tomac, who races for the Monster Energy Kawasaki team, won nine races last season and finished just five points behind Dungey in the standings.
“Tomac hasn’t done well at Anaheim the last couple years,” said McGrath, who works alongside Tomac as a Kawasaki brand ambassador. “He’s been up front and faded, like last year where he placed fifth. I think this year he’s going to have a lot more confidence coming into this race and I certainly think he has a lot to prove because he didn’t win the title last year.”
Tomac, 25, said he would be up to the challenge. “It’s the most hyped-up race, and it’s our season-opener so everyone is super excited and feeling fresh and ready to go,” he said. “I’d like to get a win here. It’s something I need. I think we have a good shot at the championship and we’re ready to rip.”
Monster Energy Supercross Series
When: Saturday. Gates open at noon for practice and qualifying. Pit party: noon to 6 p.m. Opening ceremonies at 6:30 p.m. Racing starts at 7 p.m.
Twenty-four-year-old Justin Thomas opened with a 59 in the first round of the 2017 Sony Open in Hawaii, becoming the youngest to break 60 on the PGA TOUR by 4 years. He went on to win the 2017 Sony Open title by seven shots, shattering the TOUR’s 72-hole scoring record with a score of 27-under 253. Justin Thomas finished the 2017 season as the TOUR’s “Player of the Year” with five victories including the PGA Championship, the money title and a $10 million bonus for winning the FEDEX Cup. He has returned to the 2018 Sony Open in Hawaii to defend his title!
The first full-field event of the PGA Tour year offers a reminder as to just how competitive top-level golf has become, when you see good-thing of the future Beau Hossler at 250/1 and several proven winners twice that.
Thomas dazzled here last year, opening with a round of 59 and keeping his foot to the floor to beat world-class players by seven shots and more. It was a performance so brilliant that, in light of what he went onto achieve, 10/1 could look a gift come Sunday. While many of the top players in the world opt to start their season’s in California, this year’s field still features marquee names like Jordan Spieth, Marc Leishman and Justin Thomas, who won the Sony in 2017 by seven strokes, tying the second-largest margin of victory in the event’s 52-year history. His 27-under total was also the second-lowest ever at the Sony Open, featuring an 11-under first-round 59, making him one of just nine players to post a sub-60 round in PGA Tour history. This week, he looks to defend his title with Jim ‘Bones’ Mackay on the bag, as comes out of retirement for one week to fill in for
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Falcons vs Eagles Live
Competition Name: 2018 NFC Divisional Playoffs
Team Name: Falcons vs Eagles Live
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2017
Time: 04:35 PM ET
Status: Live TV
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Watch Eagles vs Falcons Live NFC Divisional Playoffs 2018 Stream
The top-seeded Philadelphia Eagles will compete in their first playoff game in four years when they host the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC divisional round Saturday at Lincoln Financial Field.
The Eagles lost MVP candidate, quarterback Carson Wentz, down the stretch but still managed to finish 13-3 and earn the No. 1 seed with backup Nick Foles. Ironically, Foles was the quarterback in 2013 when the Eagles fell to the New Orleans Saints 26-24.
The Falcons received the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC, then promptly traveled to the West Coast and defeated the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 in the wild-card round.
Philadelphia became the first No. 1 seed to open as an underdog in the playoffs. In the last two regular-season games, the offense sputtered under Foles with a 19-10 win over the Oakland Raiders and a 6-0 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
Foles did sit out the majority of the regular season finale against the Cowboys.
“Yeah, there’s going to be wonder,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said when asked how his team will respond in the postseason. “But I’m going to tell you, ‘Listen, these guys are football players.’ I think sometimes the outside, whether it be the media, the fans, can make it bigger than it really is. When you boil it down, it’s football at the end of the day. It’s football at the end of the day. Just go do your job.
“Do what you’ve been coached to do all week long and give it your best effort on Saturday. If it’s good enough, great. If it’s not, then we focus on next season.”
Foles was 4 of 11 for 39 yards and an interception against the Cowboys and struggled to throw the ball downfield. Third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld was 19 of 23 for 134 yards, but the Eagles have repeatedly made it clear that Foles is the starter.
“As much as we and everybody else wants to run the football, you have to be able to stay aggressive in the pass game and get the ball down the field,” Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich said. “Nick has proven that over the length and entirety of his career. He not only can get the ball downfield, he can do so very well. He wants to throw the ball downfield. He’s aggressive in his mindset, as aggressive a guy as I’ve been around. He’s looking to throw it down the field. Some guys are the dink-and-dunk kind of guys. That’s not Nick. Nick is aggressive.
“So we need to be good in the run game and be able to mix in our play-action, take our shots down the field, keep the defense off guard and keep them guessing and that starts with good production on first down,” Reich added.
The Falcons, who finished the regular season at 10-6, are preparing for their second road playoff game. Quarterback Matt Ryan (personal reasons) and wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle, ribs) both missed practice Tuesday but are expected to start on Saturday.
Ryan was 21 of 30 for 218 yards and a touchdown in the 13-point win over the Rams. It was his first road playoff win in three starts.
“We’re not here just to get here,” Ryan told reporters. “We want to make noise while we’re here. This is what it’s all about. It’s about giving yourself the opportunity this time of the year to compete and play in games like this, and to win games like this.”
Ryan led Atlanta to the Super Bowl last season in what wound up being a heartbreaking overtime loss to the New England Patriots. He was able to guide the Falcons back to the postseason once again.
“He’s a hell of a competitor, and those of you that know him know the nice guy you see through the media, but in between those white lines, he is a wolf,” Atlanta coach Dan Quinn told ESPN.com. “I love what he stands for as a competitor, and his teammates know that, too. I thought there’s all sorts of examples, getting hit and bouncing back up, getting ready for the next one. He really showed that kind of toughness to his teammates.”
Ryan, who was raised in nearby Exton, Pa., and attended Penn Charter High School — is 1-3 all-time against the Eagles in Philadelphia.
The Falcons forced a pair of huge fumbles and turned them into 10 points against the Rams. Kicker Matt Bryant also booted four field goals.
We know that they’re a good team, and we know that they beat us last year,” Atlanta free safety Ricardo Allen told ESPN.com of the Eagles.
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New England Patriots vs Tennessee Titans Divisional Playoffs 2018
Details of the Match:
New England Patriots vs Tennessee Titans
AFC Divisional Playoff
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2018
Start Time: 8.15 PM ET
Venue: Gillette Stadium, Foxboro
Patriots vs Titans Live Football
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