Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins liftoff from Cape Kennedy on the mission that would put a man on the moon 45 years ago today.

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Two big space firsts celebrate their anniversary today, the first man in space and the first launch of the Space Shuttle.

Yuri Gagarin was sent aloft in his Vostok I spacecraft in on this day 1961 and completed one orbit before returning to Earth. He became the first human to go into space as well as orbit — his mission really accelerated the Space Race that began with Sputnik and concluded with Apollo 11.

In 1981, Columbia became the first Space Shuttle to go into orbit with Apollo veteran John Young and Robert Crippen aboard. The shuttle or Space Transportation System (STS) proved itself a reliable vehicle and was retired in July, 2011.

Jim Brown turns 78 today!

Click on the image for a larger version. Pencil on Strathmore Multimedia board.

The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, routing the Denver Broncos 43-8. The best offense in NFL history could not get going against a ferocious Seahawk defense that did not give them any room to breathe. The Seattle secondary actually played against tendencies, letting the Bronco receivers get off the line without chucking them. However, when the Denver players caught the ball on their short routes, the Seahawk defenders hit them like a ton of bricks. There were very few “yards after the catch”.

Manning was out of sync from the opening snap, which flew over his head for a quick 2-0 Seattle lead. As usual, Peyton had a tough time once the game got out of control. He is the best front running QB in history, but when things get hairy, he has a tough time making the big plays to get his team back in the game.

The Seahawk offense was hardly spectacular. Russell Wilson made a few 3rd-and-long throws to keep drives alive, but the real spark came from Percy Harvin. Since coming over from the Minnesota Vikings, Harvin had played only 37 snaps due to injury for his new team, but on Super Sunday, Harvin was ready to break out. His two jet sweeps netted 45 yards (which actually made him Seattle’s leading rusher for the game) and his 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to begin the third quarter essentially put the game away.

Both works on Strathmore Multimedia Board. Click on the images for a larger version.

Pencils

Marshawn Lynch

The New Orleans Saints, fresh off their upset win at Philadelphia, travelled to the rainy Pacific Northwest to face the #1 seed Seattle Seahawks in the Divisional Round and ran into a buzzsaw. The Seahawks opportunistic defense and the running of Marshawn Lynch dominated the Saints as the Seahawks won 23-15 in a game not quite as close as the score would indicate.

Lynch battered the Saints defense for 140 yards on 28 bruising carries, including 2 touchdown runs. The clincher was his 31 yard TD scamper with 2:40 remaining in the fourth quarter to ice the game.

Lynch and the Seahawks will now face their rival, the San Francisco 49′ers, in the NFC Championship game for the right to go to the Superbowl.

Pencils, ink, and watercolor on Strathmore Multimedia board. Click on the images for a larger version.

Marshawn Lynch

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