Every week, Chris Barth updates you on the important events in the sporting world – the ones you may have heard of and the ones you definitely missed. He's watching the games and calling things as he sees them. This is The Ref.

The NHL Canceled The Winter Classic

As the National Hockey League's lockout neared the end of its second official month, the league announced the cancellation of its annual New Years Day game, which was set to feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs. The cancellation answered the age-old question, "If a league makes an announcement and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?"

The New York Knicks Remained Undefeated

As New York City recovers from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, New Yorkers can look to the unbeaten Knicks for inspiration. Unfortunately, when they do, they will see a team with glaring flaws bound to disappoint fans in the long run.

Football Happened:

  • Rookie Doug Martin rushed For 241 yards And 4 TDs in a 42-32 win. The Tampa Bay running back took off in the second half, running for 220 yards and all 4 TDs after the break. I once knew a sketchy dude named Doug who once got 4 TDs after "the Break," but all of his had an "S" in front of them.
  • Andrew Luck set a rookie passing record with 433 yards in win. The Colts rookie QB completed 30 of 48 passes, throwing 2 touchdowns. I guess you could say he got Luck-y. Get it? Because his last name is Luck? Do you get it? Life is meaningless.
  • Eli Manning was 10-for-24 for just 125 yards in a loss to the Steelers. The game was Eli's second straight sub-200-yard effort, leading some to question his accuracy and confidence behind center. Giants fans' fears were only made worse by the fact that after missing his receivers, a frustrated Manning repeatedly hit one of those novelty "Easy" buttons in an effort to gain an advantage.

14-Year-Old Guan Tianglang Became The Youngest Qualifier In Masters History

By winning the Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, Guan Tianglang became the youngest player in history to qualify for a spot at the Masters. Coincidentally, the untested youngster also qualified for a chance to be the first Masters competitor to shoot his age on a single hole.

Baseball's Top Free Agent, Josh Hamilton, Said He Wants A 7-Year Contract Worth $175 Million

Rangers centerfielder Josh Hamilton, thought by most to be the top free agent available in baseball's offseason, announced that he is looking for a 7-year contract worth at least $175 million. Hamilton, who will turn 32 in May, reportedly is also seeking a perpetual motion machine, six unicorns, and "someone who has met Harry Potter" because he has "a really important question for him."
The Ref: Sad Eli Manning, NBA Flops, and MORE - Image 1

SPOILER ALERT: Someone Won The World Series Of Poker

That someone's name is Greg Merson, and he's only 24 years old. Merson, a college dropout, reportedly overcame a cocaine addiction prior to winning the World Series. In the tourney, he outlasted 6,597 players, beating a 21-year-old and a 26-year-old in the final round to win over $8.5 million. "It's not that I want to win a lot of money, it's more the respect factor that I seek," lied Merson in an interview.

A Horse Named "Green Moon" Won Melbourne Cup, Australia's Most Prestigious Horse Race

The six-year-old horse, which came from behind to win the 152nd running of the race by a length and a half, has been described as an "Irish-bred stayer." That probably means something to horse racing fans, but it definitely sounds kinda racist.
The Ref: Sad Eli Manning, NBA Flops, and MORE - Image 1

JJ Barea and Donald Sloan Received The NBA's First Two Flopping Warnings

The players were warned for exaggerating physical contact in hopes of drawing a foul, as part of the NBA's new effort to crack down on the practice. In related news, JJ Barea and Donald Sloan were offered lucrative contracts to play Major League Soccer.

The Astros Revealed Their New Logo

In anticipation of next year's move to the American League, the Houston Astros revealed their new logo and colors, a return to the blue and orange color scheme the team wore from 1962-1993. You know, the thirty-year heyday when the 'stros won zero World Series Championships and made a whopping three playoff appearances. Reached for comment, Astros players were relieved the team decided to go with the blue-heavy color scheme rather than the "Candy Corn Vomit" uniforms of yesteryear.
The Ref: Sad Eli Manning, NBA Flops, and MORE - Image 4

Jason Bay And The Mets Agreed To Part Ways

Outfielder Jason Bay and the New York Mets reached an agreement to prematurely end his contract with the team, giving Bay the ability to pursue free agency and giving the Mets roster space. "Jason is a great teammate, hard worker, stand-up guy, and true gentleman," said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon. "The whole 'playing baseball' thing?" he added. "Ehhhhhhh not so much."

Play Of The Week: Sam Gordon

And now, for your play of the week, a highlight tape featuring a 9-year-old girl absolutely dominating a pee wee football league. The video, which features Sam Gordon repeatedly outrunning her competition, breaking tackles, making tackles, and taking hits, has been going viral on the information super highway. And now, we bring it to YOU!