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Monday, December 31, 2012

Week 17 Predictions Recap



     I figured since it was the final week of the regular season that I would just quickly summarize how I did by writing a blog instead of doing a video. (I'll do videos for the Playoffs, but just will talk about the match ups instead of just making predictions alone) Anyway here is how I did (Team I selected in Bold)


       Buccaneers 22 17 Falcons
                   Jets 09 28 Bills
  
             Ravens 17 23 Bengals

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Sports Moments




      Sports Fans, you know how those defining moments which gave you that adrenaline high remain in your minds forever.  I myself recall those moments like a video on replay in my minds eye.  I have elected to select my top 10 and it was not easy.  Hail Mary's to miracles, I share with you my "Top 10 Sports Moments". 



 10. Mario Lemieux's Last Goal Before First Retirement

      "Lemieux heading up the ice, here he comes, here he comes, Mario Lemieux hang on...HE SCORES!! Ya Gotta love it." Gary Thorne calling an NHL game was like bread on butter, which made this moment all the more special. For Mario Lemieux, who was set to retire after the conclusion of the 1997 Stanley Cup Playoffs, it was a fitting end (for the time being) to Mario's career. Lemieux was one of, if not, the best player to ever lace up a pair of skates. To hear the screaming fans show their love and support for one of hockey's all time greats was breathtaking to say the least. Time as we know it was put on hold to allow us to appreciate and cherish this moment, and give one last thanks to a player who gave so much to the fans as chills ran up and down our spines. Lemieux was, is, and always will be, "Mario The Magnificent"


9. "Hail Flutie"

     In what is probably the most defining moment in his entire career (college or pro) Doug Flutie led the Boston College Eagles to a win over the Miami Hurricanes in dramatic type fashion in what would end up being one of the most wild finishes in the history of college football. With six seconds remaining, Boston College had the ball at Miami's 48 and had one last chance to win the game. Flutie, a relatively short quarterback (standing 5f 9in) had his throwing abilities underestimated by the Miami backfield. Flutie who drew back after almost being sacked, threw the football all the way back from his own 37 yd. line. Brent Musburger with the call, "Flutie flushed...throws it down...CAUGHT BY BOSTON COLLEGE! I don't believe it! It's a touchdown! The Eagles win it! Flutie had fired the ball right pass the Miami backfield and right into the hands of
Wide Receiver Gerad Phelan to give BC the win in one of the most dramatic finishes in college football.


8. Music City Miracle

     The Buffalo Bills seemed destined to advance in the 2000 NFL Playoffs after Steve Christie kicked a field goal to give the Bills a 16-15 lead with 16 seconds remaining against the favored Tennessee Titans. Christie would then kick the ball off that was received by Titans Fullback Lorenzo Neal who would abruptly handed the ball off to Tight End Frank Wycheck, Wycheck then threw a lateral to Wide Receiver Kevin Dyson, who had nothing but greener pasture ahead. Dyson would scamper down the sideline, while everyone in the stadium were on their feet, realizing the improbable was happening right before their eyes. Dyson took the ball all the way into the endzone for a touchdown. In what would become known as "The Music City Miracle" Mike Keith of the Tennessee Titans Radio Network made the call that will forever give Buffalo Bills fans reoccurring nightmares (just like Scott Norwood's missed FG) "There are no flags on the field, it's a miracle! Tennessee has pulled a miracle! A miracle for the Titans!" (Tennessee would then coast through the AFC Playoffs before ultimately be beaten in the Super Bowl by the St. Louis Rams)


7. Kris Draper's Game Winning Goal of 1998 Game 2 Stanley Cup Finals

     Joe Louis Arena. Hockeytown. That alone already speaks volumes for itself. The 1998 Stanley Cup Final pitted defending Stanley Cup Champions Detroit Red Wings and the Washington Capitals, who were making their first finals appearance in franchise history. Washington was up by a score of 4-2 after two periods, and looked to tie the series up heading back to Washington with momentum on their side. Detroit however, would fight its way back and score twice in the third period to send the game into overtime. With 4:36 remaining in overtime, Kris Draper took a pass from Martin Lapointe, in front of the crease and scored! The crowed roared loudly with excitement as Gary Thorne's call on the play demonstrated how electrified the entire arena became "Martin Lapointe, center, shot SCORES!!! Kris Draper!!!!! The incredible comeback is complete" The goal gave Detroit a 5-4 win and a 2-0 series lead. (Detroit would go on to sweep Washington in 4) Draper's goal ended up being his first and only of the entire playoffs. Yet it could not have come at a better time.


6. Lorzeno Charles Game Winning Shot In 1983 NCAA National Championship

     Was it a shot? Was it a pass? Who cares! The fact was, Lorzeno Charles made the game winning shot for North Carolina State to defeat Houston 54-52 in the 1983 National Championship. Charles caught an air ball, (which was actually a desperation heave by Dereck Whittenburg) and quickly dunked the basketball as time expired. What also made this moment even more memorable (and personally I think it was even more so than Charles game winning shot) was Jim Valvano's reaction. Valvano, amidst all the chaos, would proceed to run around the court looking for someone to hug and eventually would be lifted in the arms by one of his players as the Wolfpack celebrated their national title.

5. Dan Jansen Wins Gold at 1994 Winter Olympics

    In 1994, Dan Jansen had one last chance to win Gold at the Olympics. Six years prior, Dan's sister Jane inspired him as he was set to compete in the 1988 Olympics and made a promise that he would win gold for her. On the day he was set to do the 500 meter in speed skating, Dan received news that Jane had died. Dan ended up bombing the event. Yet a few days later it seemed Dan was going to make good on his promise as he began with record breaking speed, but ended up falling again, leaving the Olympics with no medals. In 1992, Dan returned to the Olympics as a Gold Medal favorite but once again fell short, and again would leave without any medals, as well as the gold medal he promised his sister. Dan returned to the Winter Olympics in 1994 with one last shot at winning gold, as well as fulfilling the promise he made to his sister that he would win gold. Already finishing 8th in the 500 meter, Jansen had just one chance left to win gold, and would have to do it in the 1000 meter. Jansen, who was up against huge odds, began the event by quickly dashing at the sound of the gun. Jansen remained flawless and was in 1st place after his run where he would remain at the conclusion of the event. Finally fulfilling the promise he made to his sister Jane six years prior by winning gold, Jansen would then take a victory lap around the rink with his daughter... Jane (whom was named after his sister) in his arms

4. Kirk Gibson's Game Winning Home Run in 1988 World Series

     Game 1 of the 1988 World Series matched up the L.A. Dodgers and Oakland Athletics. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with a man on, Dennis Eckersley was on the mound to close out the game for the A's and take a 1-0 series lead. The Dodgers called for a pinch-hitter. To everyone's surprise, Kirk Gibson was stepping up to the plate! After falling behind quickly 0-2 in the count, Gibson fought back and the count was full. Gibson then took a moment to step outside of the batters box and remembered Dodgers Scout Mel Didier saying "That with a 3-2 count against a left-handed hitter, Eckersley would throw a backdoor slider." Gibson now with that mental note in the back of his mind, stepped back into the batters box. Sure enough, Eckersley threw a backdoor slider which Gibson had expected and with everything he had in his body, swung at the pitch and drove the ball to Right Field and over the wall. "This is gonna be a home run!" said Jack Buck, "I don't believe what I just saw!" Buck had been referring to the fact that Gibson had two bad legs and on top of that, had a stomach virus. Gibson would end up not playing at all in any situation for the rest of the series. Nevertheless, his contribution would not go unnoticed, and the Dodgers would go on to win the World Series thanks in part to Gibson's heroic efforts.

3. Christian Laettner's Game Winning Shot In 1992 Regional Final

   . Christian Laettner and the Duke Blue Devils would face the Kentucky Wildcats in the 1992 Regional Finals in what would go down as arguably the greatest game in the history of college basketball. Up by two, Duke fouled Kentucky's Jamal Mashburn who made the basket and drew the foul. Mashburn would hit the free throw. Putting Kentucky up 101-100 with 19.6 seconds remaining. Christian Lattener was fouled with 14.1 left on the clock, and would hit two free throws to put Duke back ahead. The game was a see-saw battle coming down to the final seconds. Kentucky's Sean Woods would help the Wildcats respond by driving the ball into the paint by making a running hook shot, putting Kentucky up 103-102 with just 2.1 seconds remaining. The Wildcats looked as if they would advance as it seemed improbable that Duke would get a good shot off with the very little time remaining. Duke called a timeout to set up a play. Grant Hill would inbound the ball from their own end of the court and threw it down to Kentucky's. Laettner was called upon once again, (who at this point was perfect from the field all game) caught the inbound pass, faked to the right, took a dribble and took the shot "YES!!!!" as Vern Lundquist screamed and the crowd erupted after witnessing one of the most dramatic finishes of all time in college basketball!


2. 2008 U.S. Men's 4x100 Relay Swim Team Wins In a Photo Finish Against France and Help Keep Phelps Dream of Winning All Gold Alive

     Had the top spot on this list not happened, this would easily have been number one. Heading into the race, there were quite a few stories headlining it. One was Michael Phelps quest to go 8 for 8 in obtaining Gold Medals in each of his events. The other was comments made byAlain Bernard of the French team stating "The Americans? We're going to smash them. That's what we came here for." adding even more hype for the race. Now with a fire lit under them, the Americans were set with their showdown with France. Phelps went first for the U.S. Surprisingly the race was actually dominated early on by Australia, but Garrett Weber Gale gave the U.S. the lead after the second 100 meters. But then halfway into the third 100 meters, France's Frederick Bousquet suddenly went into another gear. Giving France a wide open lead in the race and total control. Heading into the final 100 meters France's Bernard (who made the bold and controversial remarks) looked to put the final nail in the coffin. With his 6ft 5in. stature and lightning speed, nothing seemed to come in the way of stopping France from obtaining gold. Victory was almost certainly guaranteed. Even the announcers were acknowledging that Bernard was poised to claim victory for the French. But then all of a sudden, Jason Lezak of the United States would have the swim race of his life! Quickly Lezak was tightening Bernard's lead and everyone in the venue suddenly came to their feet, with loud roars of cheers at the epic finish they were about to witness. Steadily Lezak kept gaining ground until literally at the last second he pulled ahead for the U.S. Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines with the call "Bernard is losing some ground, here comes Lezak, Unbelievable at the end, HE'S DONE IT!!! The U.S. has done it! He did it! He did it! A World Record! Phelp's hopes are alive!" The crowd was electric as Michael Phelps let out a big scream "YEAH!" as the Americans upset the heavily favored French team in what is one of, if not, the greatest swimming race of all time.

1. 1980 Miracle on Ice

     Just close your eyes and you can still hear Al Michaels saying those famous words "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" As cliche as it seems, this truly is the greatest sports moment of all time given the circumstances. The U.S. Hockey team (whose roster was filled with just college kids) was up against the U.S.S.R who at the time was the best in the world. Not only did the U.S.S.R defeat the U.S. in a 10-3 blowout 13 days prior in an exhibition, but had even beaten professional teams, beating the NHL All-Stars 6-0 in the Challenge Cup. This was the ultimate David vs. Goliath matchup. The rematch surprisingly saw the U.S. only down one to the Soviet Union after two periods. These young college kids had the whole country watching and supporting them. The Soviets maintained a one goal lead in the third until the 8:39 mark when Mark Johnson fired a shot past Soviet Goaltender, Vladimir Myshkin. The game was now tied at 3 a piece and suddenly the impossible became the possible! Then only moments later the possible became probable when Mike Eruzione shot the puck into the net to give the U.S. a one goal lead and put the Soviets in an unfamiliar situation. U.S. Head Coach Herb Brooks made sure his team did not let up and made them keep playing an aggresive offense. The U.S. continued to get more shots off and applied more pressure on the Soviets. All the while the U.S. kept playing hard with more intensity, time kept winding down. The impossible that became possible, turned into probable, was now a certainty. Al Michaels legendary call to go along with the countdown from the crowd would edge its way into history. Again, if you just close your eyes you can actually hear and relive the moment, "11 seconds. You've got 10 seconds. The countdown going on right now! Morrow up to Silk. Five seconds left in the game. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!"


     These are my Top 10 Favorite Sports Moments. What are some of yours? Are any of them on this list? If not, what are they?


     Be sure to check out my Facebook page, Youtube Channel, and Twitter!

      Also, I would like to give a special thanks to my friend Marilyn who helped me with editing this blog!

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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Making Cases For Peyton Manning & Adrian Peterson As NFL MVP & Comeback Player of the Year



   
















     Both Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson each are having a remarkable year that has put them both at the top of the list for league MVP and given that they are both under the same circumstances are also candidates for NFL Comeback Player of the Year.


     NFL MVP

     Peyton Manning- Manning has taken a team  that barely made the playoffs last season and now has them positioned for a first round bye and could still possibly get the #1 seed in the AFC

     2012-13 Stats to date  4,355 Passing Yards  34 TD Passes

     Peyton has proven he is capable of coming into any offensive system and adapting real quickly and excel.


     Adrian Peterson-  If not for Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings would most likely already be eliminated from playoff contention. With a below average game through the air (due in large part that Percy Harvin is out with an injury) Peterson has single handily carried the Vikings on his back. Peterson also has a chance at becoming just the 7th player in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards+ in a season and could even surpass Eric Dickerson's mark (2,105 ) for the most all time in a single season


     2012-13 Season   1,898 Rushing Yards   11 Rushing TD's


NFL Comeback Player of the Year

     Peyton Manning- Manning is coming off from neck surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2011-12 season. Critics and football fans a like wondered if Manning would ever be the same again and/or the game has finally passed him by and no longer be able to keep up with the pace and speed of the game. Manning has now silenced any critics and has shown he is the same Peyton Manning now as he was when he first entered the league.


     Adrian Peterson- Peterson's 2011-12 season came to an abrupt end after he injured and tore both his ACL & MCL. For the first time in Peterson's career that he failed to reach the 1,000 yard rushing mark in a season. Many would speculate whether or not if Peterson would be the same again, given the nature of the injury, some even wondered if he would ever play again. Peterson though, worked hard to rehab his injury and surprisingly was ready to go Week 1 of this season, just nine months after suffering his devastating injury! Unlike most athletes who have suffered the same injury, Peterson is the same as he ever was and believe it or not, he may even be better now than he was before as he continues to get better and stronger each game!



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Thursday, December 20, 2012

File Profile: J.J. Watt

                                                                                     J.J. Watt





Name: J.J. Watt

Height: 6ft 5in.

Weight: 295 lbs.

College: Wisconsin

College Career Sacks: In two seasons registered 103 tackles 11 sacks 2 Forced Fumbles and 1 Interception. Won 2010 Lott Trophy (College Defensive IMPACT Player)

2011 Draft selected in 1st round 11th overall by Houston Texans

40 Time: 4.78 seconds

Bench Press: 34 reps (225lbs.)

Vertical/Jump: 37 Inches (130 tackles 25 sacks 3 FF's to date in NFL career)




     J.J. Watt in his 2nd season, has already established himself as one of the fiercest Pass Rushers in the NFL. (To date Watt has registered 130 tackles, 25.0 sacks, and 3 Forced Fumbles.) Watt plays low, which puts Offensive Linemens at a disadvantage by forcing them to go from an upright position to below their waistline in order to block/guard him from getting to the quarterback. Watt also does a good job at putting himself in position to make a play on the quarterback with his great body control and patience, which is a prime reason he is not only tied in the league for most sacks (19.5) but is just three sacks away from tying Michael Strahan's single season record (22.5) that he set back in 2002


     Watt also has a knack for making a play on the ball by establishing himself as one of the better Pass Deflectors in the league, and to date has averaged a little over 1 pass deflection per game. (15 in 14 games played) It is no surprise that the Texans are playoff contenders thanks in large part of Watt's contributions to the team. In 2011, Watt's rookie season, he helped the Texans to not only its first postseason appearance in the franchise's history, but to its first division title as well. On top of that Watt helped the Texans win the franchise's first playoff game in their very first appearance in the postseason. Watt's stellar performance in his 2nd season, has helped the Texans clinch the AFC South title for the second straight season and are in position for the top seed in the AFC.




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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

How I Became a Fan of My Favorite Teams



      It is no secret that I am a big sports fan. For the majority of the people that know me, it is no secret as to what teams I like. What is not really mentioned is how I became a fan of each of my favorite sports team. For the record, most teams that I became a fan of was when I was in 1st grade, unless otherwise noted.

    
     (1st Grade)Cleveland Indians- I already did a rather long and interesting blog to say the least of how I became an Indians fan. To summarize that blog, I was a fan of the Major League movies starring Charlie Sheen, in which his character (and the movie in general) was centered around the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Eventually when I saw the real life Indians make the World Series in 1995, my admiration for the them in the movie would also transport into the real world.


     

     (1st Grade)Pittsburgh Penguins- Remember when the NHL use to be broadcasted on ESPN? Not only that, but ESPN would also rebroadcast the previous nights game the next afternoon.(right after school would let it for the day) My mother was helping my brother with a school project at the table where the T.V. stood. It just so happened that on the television was a hockey game. I remember sitting there watching it and saying to myself "Whoever scores first, I want to win" the team that scored first in that game was none other than the Pittsburgh Penguins. When they scored the goal I responded with a firm "Yes!" And I remember my mom saying "Oh do you like that team?" Too which I also followed up with another "Yes". From then on, I have been a Penguins fan ever since.


    

     (1st Grade)Chicago Bulls- In 1st grade my best friend at the time, and I, were talking about what sports we like to watch. He told me how much he liked basketball, which at the time I never really followed. He also mentioned a team by the name of the "Chicago Bulls" and its star player, Michael Jordan. Thankfully I had an open mind and decided to check it out and see for myself. It just so happened that where I live, we had "WGN" which was a Chicago based sports network that would air sporting events covering Chicago sports. Needless to say I came away impressed by this Bulls team and Michael Jordan player. The very next day I told my friend that I liked basketball and also liked the Bulls as well. Being a sports fan in general, I would inevitably at some time become a fan of basketball, but I cannot say if I would have become a Chicago Bulls fan or not. Thankfully it was sooner rather than later and even better was I became a fan of one of the greatest teams in NBA history as I got to witness the Bulls compose an unthinkable Win-Loss record of 72-10. Not to mention getting a chance to witness their second "3-Peat".


    

(1st Grade)Green Bay Packers- Really simple. My dad had been a fan of Green Bay since he was a kid and in the process took a liking to them as well.

    









     (5th Grade)Tennessee Titans. In the NFL, the Titans are my "1B Team". A friend of mine happened to be a huge Titans fan. It was during their run to the Super Bowl(which also produced the memorable "Music City Miracle" in the process) that my interest in the team would grow. Ironically, I did not really become an "official" fan until AFTER they lost the Super Bowl(Kind of like becoming a fan of the Indians AFTER they had lost the world series) I guess I did not get the memo of what it means to hop on the bandwagon since I followed a team after losing rather than winning.

     




     (1st Grade)Penn State Football- I grew up in Pennsylvania, so I guess it was only natural that I would become a Penn State fan. Again, it was because of my dad, that I would become a fan. I remember it was the first game of the 1995 season (I remember I would become fond of Bobby Engram and the outstanding plays and catches he made.) Penn State was facing Texas Tech, and I remember my dad sitting in his blue recliner he always sat in when watching football. I kept an interest throughout the game and would hope Penn State would win because they were my dad's favorite team. Penn State would go on to win the game 24-23 in the closing seconds with a field goal. My dad raised his hands in trimpuh as Penn State was able to pull out the win. Today, I am not only a fan of Penn State football, but a Penn State fan in general and follow, or at the very least, keep up to date with its other sports teams.

    


(7th Grade)North Carolina Basketball- I had always followed college basketball, but it was largely in part because of March Madness. I never had an exclusive team that I followed until 7th grade when I started following the North Carolina Tar Heels. I have my best friend to thank for that, and during the next couple of years my interest for the team continued to grow. Whenever we get the chance, we will catch a Tar Heels game together and to add to the excitement my brother (my best friend is my brothers best friend as well) is a Duke fan. It is always fun when my best friend and I are on one side as my brother is cheering for the other in this "friendly" rivalry.



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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why the Giants Will Win The Battle For The NFC East







     With the NFL regular season winding down to its final weeks, teams are fighting for a spot in the playoffs. One race in particular sees three teams fighting for a Division title for the NFC East between the Washington Redskins, Dallas Cowboys, and defending Super Bowl Champions N.Y. Giants. But make no mistake about it, the N.Y. Giants will prevail and come out on top.


    
     Right off the back, the Giants have a better record (8-5) than both Washington and Dallas (7-6) do. Dallas and Washington also have to face each other one more time, guaranteeing a loss for one of them. (assuming the game between the two does not end in a tie). The Giants face an Atlanta Falcons team, who flaws were exposed last weekend against Carolina. Then they face a Ravens team that is currently struggling at the worst time possible. Finally, they finish out at home against the disappointing Eagles. As much as New York's remaining schedule gives them the edge, the main reason is because the Giants have been in this position before.

    
     New York is no stranger when it comes to facing adversity as evident from their late season playoff runs in the 2007-08 season and the 2011-12 season where they would go on to win the super bowl. Both times against the New England Patriots. The Giants also have the experience and the reputation of clutch performances in their quarterback Eli Manning. As for Dallas and Washington, you have a quarterback in Tony Romo who has a history of coming up short in big games and then you have Rookie Sensation Robert Griffin III who has met and exceeded expectations, is still a little green and has no big game experiences. On top of that, Griffin is now facing a knee injury that may force him to sit out, or at the very least have some sort of effect one way or another on his performance

     
     In the end, New York has the experience, favoring matchups, and the ability to come up big when it matters the most. As a matter of fact, not only will the Giants win the NFC East, but they are also once again a dark horse contender for the Super Bowl!


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Thursday, December 13, 2012

What In The "H-E Double Hockey Stick" Will It Take for the NHL & NHLPA to Strike a Deal?





    
     Hockey fans have been waiting and wondering if and when a new collective bargaining agreement will be reached between the players (NHLPA) and the owners (NHL). It is clear that for each side it is all about making more money. What remains unclear is what is it that will make each side come to terms and reach an agreement that is fair for both?


      Both sides continually deny any proposition the other makes, and yet somehow they remain "optimistic" despite not even being close to coming to terms. But if that is truly the case then what in the "H-E Double Hockey Stick" is taking so long? If the players and owners want to seriously end the lockout and get the game going again, then they need to continue talks until they can come to an agreement. No matter how long it takes.

     For the owners, they need to realize that without the players, there will be no games. Therefore they are losing money (i.e. ticket sales, merchandise, memorabilia, etc). Players however, can still make money playing hockey. All they have to do is go over seas in play in leagues such as the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).

     As for the players, if they truly want to get the NHL up and running again, they need to realize the owners will continue to delay further talks until they get what they want, and until they do, there will not be any NHL hockey. Players not only make money with the contracts they sign, but with incentives such as endorsements and advertisments (Stemming from poster boys Sidney Crosby advertistng the NHL to a 4th liner marketing local businesses in the surrounding area in which the team's city is located in).

    
     Whatever the case may be, the players and owners need to stop beating around the proverbial bush and get a deal done, and done fast! The longer the lockout goes on, the more fans will lose interest. and the more fans lose interest, the more money will be lost! So to the players and owners, what will it take to reach an agreement? The impact by the loss of revenue? The lack of fan interest? What is it? Well whatever it is, for each sides sake, both better come to an agreement and fast!



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Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Heisman Trophy: Has It lost Its Prestige?


     Throughout the history of college football the Heisman Trophy has been awarded
annually to the player deemed the most outstanding player in college football. From the very first Heisman Winner Jay Berwanger to the newest  Johnny Manziel. It seems now the Heisman is more or less used to commericalize college football rather than represent the best player.

     Throughout the years the Heisman Trophy was a representation of the best college football player in the nation. But now, it seems as if the Heisman Award is used more as a publicity or commercialized feature if anything. Do not get me wrong, I am not taking anything away from the accomplishments that these football players have achieved. I'm simply questioning the prestige of the Heisman Trophy Award. For example you have  other awards such as the 'Maxwell Award', 'Sporting News College Football Player of the Year', and the 'Walter Camp Player Award'  that are essentially just as significant as the Heisman. At least in terms of what they are a representation of. (Going to the best college football player deemed by a certain group or organization of people)

     Now granted, all of these awards have been around almost as long as the Heisman. But if the Heisman is not the only award that is awarded to the 'best college football player', then aren't these awards just as illustrious as the Heisman? If they aren't, then why even have them? Look at it this way, just like the Heisman Award, bowl games are now used for commercialization and advertisements to sponsor big named organizations (i.e. Chik-fila-A Bowl, Discover Orange Bowl, Allstate Sugar Bowl ,etc). Unfortunately it seems now that is what has become of the once seemingly most important award in all of college football as well.


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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Note to Bob Costas, Guns Are Not The Only Method That One Can Kill

     Bob Costas sparked some controversary on his comments on gun control during halftime of Sunday Night Football's game in midst of the tragic situation involving Chiefs Linebacker Javon Belcher and his girlfriend.

     As some of you already know, Bob Costas made some controversial remarks regarding gun control during halftime of Sunday night's football game between the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. (You can watch and listen to what Costas said in the video below)



     Now I for one am for the 2nd Amendent and our right to bare arms. I also respect and appreciate someone who is for stricter gun laws especially if they are truly passionate for what they believe in, even if I disagree with it. However Costas following statement (or rather the statement he agreed with by Kansas City Writer Jason Whitlock) was rather ignorant and was easily flawed,

  "Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions, and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows?"

"But here," wrote Jason Whitlock," is what I believe. If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today."


     Costas, you and Whitlock could not be further from the truth when it came to this statement. Especially when it is said that if Jovan Belcher did not possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today. Crimes like these are a crime of passion and when such tragic incidents happen, a gun is arguably in fact the first weapon of choice in these circumstances. With that being said, I can easily disprove that following statement with a story out of Wyoming that just happened in the past week where a man shot and killed his father not with a gun, but a bow- and- arrow, after stabbing his stepmother to death with a knife. (link to that story can be seen here http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57556630/man-killed-father-in-wyoming-bow-and-arrow-attack/ )

     Costas heart was essentially in the right place, as this was a tragic and unfortunate incident, and that it is in fact its unfortunate it takes situations like these to put things in persepctive. But this is when the defense of "guns don't kill people, people do" as evident from the story coming out of Wyoming where a man used not a gun, but a bow-and-arrow and knife as his choice of weapon. Now did the bow-and-arrow and knife kill those two people, yes, but only because they were what was used as the choice of method to go about these crimes, as they did not have the final say or kill these two victims by thereself, but rather it was the person who used them to kill them.

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Saturday, December 1, 2012

SEC Championship: Alabama Punches Ticket to 2nd Straight National Championship Appearance, Beat Georgia 32-28



     Arguably no game to date this season has had as big of implications that the SEC Championship game between #2 Alabama and #3 Georgia had. Not only was the conference championship on the line, a trip to the National Championship game was at stake. After a scoreless first quarter, Georgia got on the board first when Aaron Murray hooked up with Jay Rome to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. This was set up a few plays prior when Georgia faked a punt as Arthur Lynch threw a 16 yd pass to Sander Commings.

     After exchanging punts, Alabama got the ball back and looked as if they would tie the game up. Georgia's defense however, would come up with a big goal line stand. A few plays before Georgia  allowed Alabama's drive to continue because of  penalty due to a late hit. After the penalty, Georgia intercepted an Alabama pass when Commings picked off A.J. McCarron in the endzone. Georgia though, could not capitalize off the big defensive stand and quickly went three & out, giving the ball right back to Alabama.

     Getting the ball back, Alabama's Offense would this time perservere. Just as soon as getting the ball back, Alabama quickly made up for their missed opportunity from their last drive when Eddie Lacy ran for a 41yd TD, which was set up by great blocking from the Alabama Offensive Line, to tie the game at 7-7.

    On Georgia's next drive, Murray was picked off by Ha'Sean Clinton Dix when he underthrew his intended receiver. Dix would return the ball 35 yards, setting up a 22yd. FG by Jeremy Shelley to give the Crimson Tide a 10-7 lead heading into halftime.

     The Bulldogs would get the ball first to start the 2nd half. Able to shake off the interception right before the end of the 1st half, Murray threw a 31 yard pass to Tavarres King on the third play of the opening drive. Freshman Running Back Todd Gurley, took over the rest of the drive, racking up 44 yards en route to a rushing TD on 7 carries, as the Bulldogs quickly regained the lead 14-10

     Alabama's next possession ended on a questionable call as a pass interference call was waved off as the ref ruled the ball had been tipped. Thus negating the pass interference. Alabama was forced to settle for a FG attempt which ended up being blocked by Georgia's Cornelius Washington, and picked up by fellow teammate Alec Ogletree who returned the blocked kick 55 yards for a TD. Giving the Bulldogs a 21-10 lead early in the 3rd.

     Despite the quick turnaround, Alabama wasn't phased. Alabama's own Freshman Running Back T.J. Yeldon, single handily got Alabama quickly back in the game. In just a little over 2 minutes, Yeldon took the Crimson Tide downfield, thanks to his 47 yards on 4 carries, and punched the ball into the endzone for a TD. Yeldon then finished off the scoring drive by completeing the two point conversion, trimming Georgia's lead to 3. Just as it seemed momentum was on Georgia's side, it quickly shifted right back to Alabama, as they held Georgia to another 3 & out on their next possession.

    With the ball back, Alabama's other Running Back Eddie Lacy, help put together a drive on his own by carrying the ball for 61 yards on the Tide's first 3 plays of their next possession. Aided by his young ward Yeldon, who helped Alabama get all the way down to the one on his 2 carries for 14 yard, Lacy plunged into the endzone for a 1yd TD run (which was the first play to start the 4th quarter) Alabama was now back on top, 25-21.

     Georgia though did not panic. Instead they put together a quick scoring drive thanks in part to two passing plays by Murray that went for 62 yards, the Bulldogs capped off the scoring drive with a Gurley 10 yd TD run. Quickly regaining the lead again by a score of 28-25 with a little less than 13 minutes remaining. After exchanging quick scoring drives, both teams would then exchange punts on each others following possessions.

     Alabama, with the ball back with 5:24 remaining, took only just a little over two minutes to score once again. This time on a big pass play from McCarron to Amari Cooper that went 45 yards for a TD to give the Tide a 32-28 lead with 3:15 remaining. Georgia again would need an answer to Alabama's scoring drive, yet they were held to another 3 & out, giving the ball right back to the Tide.

   Georgia now needed to prevent Alabama from getting a 1st down or else there would not be enough time for them to get the ball back. The Bulldogs succeeded, though in the process burnt all of the their timeouts, and would get one last chance to win the game with just 1:08 remaining. After an interception was overturned that would have ended the game, The Bulldogs hit three huge passing plays. Taking them all the way down to the Alabama 8 yard line. With Georgia hurrying downfield to get a play off, Murray threw a pass that was defelected, which receiver Chris Conley came up with an ill-advised catch at the five. Instead of letting the pass fall incomplete and stopping the clock to give the Bulldogs once last chance, Conley's reception allowed the clock to continue moving as time would run out. Both on the game, and Georgia's chance at a National Championship.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who Should Be NFL Rookie of the Year? Comparing Andrew Luck to Robert Griffin III




Andrew Luck 2012 stats (through 11 games)
    7-4 record      255 of 449        56.8% passes completed   3,205 passing yards 13 TD's  13 INT's
                      Special Notes:                                                                                                                     
-Set NFL Rookie record for passing yards in a game (with 433)
                                                                                                                                                                                  -5 Rushing Touchdown                                                                                                                            - Led Colts to a comeback victory over the Green Bay Packers  after being behind 18 at halftime 
- Earned player of the week honors for his record setting performance for passing yards in a game by a rookie
   Robert Griffin III 2012 stats (through 11 games)
       5-6 Record   205 of 304        67.4% passes completed  2,497 passing yards 16 TD's  4 INT's
                      Special Notes:
                  - Won NFL Rookie of the Month twice this season
                  - 6 Rushing Touchdowns
                  - has a 104.6 Passer (QB) Rating, which is 4th best in the league (Only Rodgers, Brady, Manning respectively have a higher rating)
                So if the season were to end today, who would you pick for NFL Rookie of the Year?


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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"Hoosier Daddy" Indiana Simply Too Much For Tar Heels




     In what looked like would be a close match-up between two powerhouses, the #1 Indiana Hoosiers barely broke a sweat in a 83-59 victory of #14 North Carolina Tar Heels.

     Not only was the match-up part of the traditional  ACC Big Ten Challenge, but one that featured two storied programs with rich histories in their basketball programs. Indiana, being led by Sophomore Cody Zeller, (Younger brother of former Tar Heel, Tyler) looked to appear as if they have finally met their match when they would be facing North Carolina, who was being led by James Michael McAdoo, who like Zeller, is also a Sophomore. Initally the game looked as it would live up to the hype. With a very tight first half, Indiana went into the half up 46-37. Unfortunately, at least for North Carolina, Indiana would break the game wide open in the second half.

     In the first four minutes of the second half, Indiana started off with a 10-0 run thanks to Zeller and Victor Oladipo, who also assisted on Jordan Hull's three pointer, quickly put the Hoosiers up by 19. It would be five minutes before North Carolina got it's first points of the second half after a tip-in shot by Reggie Bullock. But that was after Indiana already added another three points, and were now up by 20. Meanwhile, as the Tar Heels continued to struggle from the floor, the Hoosiers would continue to blow the game wide open with superb play by Zeller and an excellent outside shooting game by Indiana.


     The Hoosiers dominated all aspects of the game. Shooting 40% from 3-point range, Indiana also outrebounded the Tar Heels on the boards, showed a tremendous display of teamwork with 21 assists compared to North Carolina's 8. Indiana would put itsself on cruise control by outscoring Carolina by 15 in the second half, and the defense shutdown the Tar Heels who were held to just 4 points in the first 10 minutes of play in the second half. Zeller, who is atop of the list for the Wooden Award(National Player of the Year)  finished the game leading all scorers with 20 points as the Hoosiers would improve their record to 7-0.


     Indiana, who proved worthy of their number one ranking, will next play Coppin State on Dec. 1. The Tar Heels who drop to 5-2, look to shake off the cobwebs as they host UAB on Dec. 1
    

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Who Should Be The 2012 National Football League Defensive Player of the Year




     Through 12 weeks we have seen some impressive numbers put up on both sides of the ball. When it comes to Defense, who is the MVP and what makes their case and point to be so? Lets name a few worthy individuals mentioning for this honor.


     J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) 14.5 sacks Watt is one of the best D-Linemen in the league today and the Houston Texans 10-1 record is partially due to the play of Watt.


     Von Miller (Denver Broncos) 14.0 sacks 4 Forced Fumbles  I do not think Miller gets enough credit that he truly deserves. Miller's play has propelled the Broncos to atop of the standings in the AFC West and are in contention for a potential first round bye in the playoffs.


     Aldon Smith (San Francisco 49ers) 16.5 sacks 3 Forced Fumbles  Smith has made a name for himself and made a case for the Defensive MVP.  Smith has reached 30 career sacks faster than Reggie White and in only his second season! The 49ers have arguably the best defense in the league and you can contribute alot of their success to Aldon Smith's play.


     Other Noteworthy Players
      1. Tim Jennings (Chicago Bears) 8 interceptions 1 TD
      2. DeMarcus Ware (Dallas Cowboys) 10 sacks 4 Forced Fumbles
      3. Charles Tillman (Chicago Bears) 7 Forced Fumbles 2 INT's (both returned for TD's)
      4. Clay Matthews (Green Bay Packers) 9 Sacks 1 INT
      5. Cameron Wake (Miami Dolphins) 9.5 Sacks 1 Forced Fumble


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Penn State Vs Wisconsin Game Review: Nittany Lions Finally Win Close Game, Beat Badgers 24-21



     Penn State's 2012 season has come to a close. As well as some outstanding careers by some fine young men who lived through adversity all season long and still found a way to come out on top! It what was an emotional day for the Nittany Lion Seniors, as not only was it their final home game but also their final game of their collegiate career (Since Penn State is barred from postseason play for 4 years)

    Emotions were even higher with Senior Mike Mauti out with a knee injury. In honor of Mauti's contributions to the team prior to the season starting and being the vocal leader, Penn State honored him by wear his number '42' on the side of their helmets, with fellow Senior Linebacker Gerald Hodges even wearing Mauti's number for the game as well.

     Wisconsin jumped out to an early 7-0 lead when Melvin Gordon took a pass from Curt Phillips 57 yards down the sideline to give the Badgers the early advantage. Penn State would respond with a 15 play 78 yard drive that was finished off with a 3 yd. TD Run by Zack Zwinak to tie it at 7-7 on it's ensuing possession, Wisconsin put together yet another quick scoring drive after a kickoff return gave them good starting field advantage. Montee Ball ran for a 17 yd TD(who now owns the FBS record for 79 career TD scores) to give the Badgers the lead right back with a 14-7 advantage despite 3 straight scoring possessions to open up the game (Wisconsin- 2  Penn State- 1) The score would remain the same at the half.


     Penn State opened up the second half with the ball first and seemingly scored a TD on a Matt McGloin TD Pass to Brandon Moseby-Felder. But after further review, Felder didn't maintain control through the process of the catch, so Penn State was forced to settle for a FG to cut Wisconsin's lead to 4. Later on in the mid 3rd, Penn State would again kick another FG to now make it a one point game, which would stay that way heading into the fourth quarter.


     In the early part of the 4th quarter Penn State TE Jesse James was called for offensive pass interference that put them in a 3rd and 21 situation. Two plays later Penn State faced a 4th and 6 and had a decision to make, one that would end up paying off and allowed James to redeem himself for his mistake just a few plays earlier when he caught a wide open pass from Matt McGloin and ran down the side lines 41 yards for a TD, giving Penn State it's first lead of the game. Zack Zwinak successfully converted on the 2 Point Conversion, extending Penn State's lead to a touchdown by a score of 21-14. Penn State and Wisconsin played back and forth ball without any plays resulting into scores. Wisconsin would get the ball back one last time with just 4:04 remaining with all three timeouts left.

     After giving up two touchdowns in the first quarter on Wisconsin's first two possessions, Penn State's defense would then go on to shutdown the Badger offense since then. With one last chance on 4th and goal, Wisconsin's QB Curt Phillips rolled out to the right and hit Jeff Duckworth for a TD pass and would send this hard fought battle to overtime.


     Penn State would receive the ball first to start OT. Unfortunately they were forced to a three and out and would have to settle for a third Sam Ficken FG. His third FG gave the Nittany Lions the lead in the early part of overtime. Wisconsin would now get a shot to score a touchdown and win the game, or at the very least, kick a field and send it into another OT. Like Penn State, Wisconsin went 3 and out and were forced to kick. Wisconsin's Kyle French was called out onto the field to attempt a 44 yard field goal. French was set up to kick and ultimately ended up missing the field goal wide left. Penn State would win and go on to finish the season 8-4, even facing after all of the troubles and adversity this special group of young players have submitted their legacy for what  they did for this program and proved all of their critics wrong. Until next season there is only one thing left to say "We are.............."


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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Detroit Lions vs Houston Texans "Calling Into Question A Questionable Call"




     During the 3rd Quarter of the Houston Texans vs Detroit Lions Thanksgiving Day afternoon game, Texans Running Back Justin Forsett was granted an 81 yard touchdown even though replay clearly had shown he was down. No problem though as all touchdowns are automatically reviewed. Except for one thing, it is illegal according to NFL rules to throw a challenge flag on a touchdown call, because as mentioned before, all touchdowns are automatically reviewed.


     Unfortunately, Head Coach Jim Schwartz (and to be honest probably most NFL fans) was unaware of this rule. When Schwartz threw the challenge flag, he committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty thus causing the play to become automatically non-reviewable. Again I, and I would think most fans, did not realize such a rule existed.

    
     Nevermind whether or not it was a touchdown, but the fact that the play is no longer reviewable just because the coach threw a challenge flag is just simply foolish. Maybe not the strongest point to start an argument, but right away it is almost like they are saying the play did not happen as they ruled it "non-reviewable". Another point is they are practically contradicting the fact that every touchdown is always reviewed by not reviewing it.

     I am sure there are many other points to be made about this call, as the even the NFL stated after the game that they would look into reviewing this rule in the off-season. I would still be okay with the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty if the coach threw a challenge flag on a touchdown. As it would not be necessary to do so since all touchdowns are reviewed, but to completely neglect a play that can have a huge effect on a game, comes off as irresponsible on the league's part

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Penn State vs Indiana Game Review: McGloin; Robinson, put on clinic as Penn State Beats Indiana in a Route



     One thing that can be said about Matt McGloin about this year from previous years past, is that he has adjusted well into a quality quarterback. Some even say that if Bill O'Brien had been there from the beginning when McGloin was a freshman, that his playing ability would even be greater than what it is right now. Despite his improvement at playing quarterback, McGloin was heading into the season without a real deep ball threat Wide Receiver. Enter: Allen Robinson


     Robinson flew under the radar, sort of like Deon Butler back in 05' in the sense of not a highly touted recruit.(though unlike Robinson, Butler was a walk-on) Nevertheless, the immediate impact they made when they got the opportunity to leave it all out on the field, they made sure to take advantage and showcase their abilities.

     McGloin and Robinson connected on 10 passes, 3 of which that went for TD's. The first of which was in the 1st quarter with 4:26 remaining, McGloin threw a pass down the sidelines in which Robinson made an acrobatic like catch in the air and into the endzone to give Penn State the first score of the game.(Penn State has scored first in 10 of its 11 games. The only time being against Purdue) Indiana though wouldn't go quietly.

     In a span of 84 seconds, the Hoosiers scored 10 unanswered points from a FG and then off from a turnover that they would capitalize on with a TD pass to give them a 10-7 lead early in the 2nd Quarter. Penn State, especially Robinson did not panic. McGloin would hit Robinson on a lateral pass, and Robinson then made his move from there and he was off to the races, quickly giving Penn State the lead right back 14-10 on his 2nd TD Reception of the game.

     After an Indiana FG, Penn State would drive the ball down the field once again, this time on the combination of Michael Zordich and Zack Zwinak carries. Penn State capped off the scoring drive when McGloin hooked up with none other than Allen Robinson for the 3rd time in the game. Robinson would go on to finish with 10 catches for 197 yards and 3 TD's, (all of which either tied or set a career high total[s] )

     Matt McGloin wasn't finished on his aerial attack. Just right before the end of the first half, McGloin found a wide open Zack Zwinak for a TD, giving Penn State a 28-13 lead heading into the locker room.

     Penn State opened up the 2nd half with the ball and on the first play, McGloin hit TE Matt Lehman for 29 yards into Indiana terrority. Unfortunately for the Nittany Lions the drive stalled and they were forced to put. On Indiana's first play of the second half, QB Cameron Coffman threw a lateral to Stephen Houston who then burst through defenders with his blazing speed and went 79 yds. for a TD cutting Penn State's lead to 9 (IU would miss the extra point) Indiana was not done though as they had another trick up their sleeves. On the ensuing kickoff, the Hoosiers would surprise everybody and do an onside kick which they proceeded to cover. In what looked like what was possibly going to be a runaway at the beginning of the second half for Penn State, the games momentum seemingly shifted towards Indiana. The Hoosiers would fail though to score after missing a FG. But just two plays later would recover a fumble from Zack Zwinak and had another shot to cut into the lead. Even though they didn't get a TD, they still managed to make a FG this time and cut Penn State's lead to six. But that's as close as Indiana would get for the rest of the day.

     Highlighted by catches from receivers Robinson and Brandon Moseby-Felder, Penn State capped off its ensuing possesion on a 9 play, 75 yard drive on a 1yd. TD Run by Zack Zwinak, (who had another 100+ yd. rushing game finishing with 135). Increasing Penn State's lead to 13.

     Indiana was forced to a 3 & out on its next possession as Penn State's offense took over once again. A combination of McGloin passes and Zwinak runs would set up a 4 yd. TD Run by Michael Zordich. Blowing the game now wide open as Penn State now lead 42-22 after 3 Quarters. The only scoring in the 4th was a 28 yd FG by Sam Ficken (who as we all know started out horribly, but has since found his nitch and improved his kicking) in which the time of possession for Penn State was 6:30 minutes as they used their offense to burn the clock and secure the win. Penn State with the win improves to 7-4 with its final game of the season next week at home vs. Wisconsin, in which Penn State will look to seek a little payback after last year's embarassing loss in Camp Randall Stadium.


      Also Congratulations to Matt McGloin for setting school records for completions in a season, yards in a season, and career passing touchdowns. Be sure to send him many congrats via Facebook, Twitter, or any other social media outlet!

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