Monday, January 25, 2010
Jets and Colts
The Colts and Jets began the Sunday afternoon excitement in a game that a lot of people had going either way. I was confident, however, in the Colts ultimately taking the game.
The game didn't start that way, though. The first quarter ended scoreless, but the whole first half of the game was entirely controlled by NY. Often, the Colts would go through a drive marching down the field, yet they would end up leaving the drive with only 3 points.
Meanwhile, the Jets would respond with touchdowns, giving them, at one point, a 17-6 lead. The Colts put up one more touchdown toward the end of the 2nd quarter, making it 17-13, and putting the team back in contention.
On Twitter, I continuously read conversations, saying the Jets had this one, and the Colts were going to be upset, and all that nonsense. The only doubt I had was because I have this problem with sports gods and the teams that I choose to win. But that's another story for another day...
I maintained my faith, despite all of the doubters on Twitter asking me about this being the biggest upset ever. Game ain't over yet!...
...Well, it wasn't over until the Colts touchdown that came about 7 minutes into the second half to Pierre Garcon. Garcon, who ended up with 151 yards on 11 receptions, and the other big guy for the game, Austin Collie (123 yards on 7 receptions), were able to offensively lead Indianapolis to a 30-17 win over the seemingly unstoppable Jets.
1 down, 1 more to go for me.
With the Jets coming off of a win against the San Diego Chargers, a serious run game, and the top rated defense this playoff season, it did look hard to go against the momentum. Also, with the skeptics of the Colts' ability to get their receivers around Jets safety Darrelle Revis, and the idea of "resting starters" it made the Colts look weaker.
But that's exactly what it was; an illusion. It was all in their heads to rationalize why the Colts could lose to justify why the Jets would win. But no worries. I understand.
Vikes and Saints
The next game was enough to cause a heart attack for anyone who wasn't even a fan of either team. I can tell you that as a Dallas Cowboys fan, who now technically could care less about who wins the Super Bowl, I was DYING at the suspense this game provided.
The beginning of the Saints/Vikings match had the makings of a shootout between the two teams, which I think a lot of people had expected.
Now I had expected the shenanigans that occurred with Adrian Peterson to happen the previous week with Dallas (I guarantee you they would have won that way), but the Saints seemed to take ownice of my game plan and forced AP to fumble - more than once.
In fact, the Vikings had a bajillion turnovers. AP most of all must been using that wave-grease that Cowboys WR Roy Williams usually uses that makes him drop balls. As much as I knew the lack of ball control issue, WHAT TEAM GETS 6 FUMBLES!? The Saints made sure to get points off of the turnovers.
Nonetheless, the Vikings remained tied after the 7 minute mark in the 4th quarter, 28-28. The Saints let them hang around after all. But once again, the Saints defense forced the INT from Brett Favre in Saints territory, ruining the opportunity the Vikes had in winning the game in regulation.
This nail-biter now headed to OT. The Saints began OT on offense, and, rather quickly via passes and Vikes penalties, entered into the Minnesota side of the field. Thanks to a suave completion to Meachem from Brees, the Saints were at the Vikings' 22 yard line. An incompletion following that play caused a 4th and 3 to go situation.
Long story short, Saints kick a 40 yard field goal, actually make it, and the Saints made the Super Bowl for the first time in their franchise's history.
BTW, Drew Brees made a nice post-game outfit selection. Sharp, my friend, sharp.
Super Bowl XLIV Picks
The Super Bowl winner will be the Colts. I will explain why after we see all the players waste time at the Pro Bowl.
The Obvious is Too Obvious?
So the two #1 seeds face off in the Super Bowl as I predicted last week, the Colts and the Saints. It would have been easy to call this way back since the regular season.
But that's just the problem! It's just too obvious. I actually believe that everybody knew this matchup was coming. But who wants to pick the obvious teams? It looks like lazy pick because it's so easy to say they're clearly the two best teams. How often does that happen that legitimately, the two best teams in the league face each other in a championship game?
By seeding, this is the third time the two #1 teams played each other in the Super Bowl. But did that always mean that they were really that good? The world was, in fact, in denial about picking the Colts and Saints. As I explained before, people rationalized who was going to win besides the Colts or Saints.
People constantly tried to pick some sort of underdog because it seems every year, some team people least expected to make it, makes it. I mean, that makes sense, right? I suppose. And then you think about it, and this year, it really would make sense that these were the two best teams. We will see which one is actually THE BEST... in 2 weeks :-)
The Jets. (Yes, with the period at the end)
Ahh yes. The Jets lost. Good run, but you weren't beating the Colts. I won't rub it in though. I'm just going to say that Rex Ryan should have continued the "negative reinforcement" strategy.
In my mind, I see that strategy works the best. When you admit that things are going well for your team, it just messes the world order up, and makes every one work less hard. But mostly messes up the world order.
Saying your team is going to win it all in the conference championship game isn't going to work. This has been proven over and over again i.e. Tracey McGrady, Sports Illustrated (before the teams freakin' win anything they get on a cover), etc. Please, keep putting up the front that you need to play better and I promise you, the gods will allow things to work for you.
All jokes aside, however, (not entirely joking but anyway...) the Colts are a smart-as-hell team with a well-working coaching staff and players that know better. They wouldn't dare let the Jets win. After all, the Colts have a mean defense as well, in case you weren't paying attention.
Penguins and Flyers
Before all the football, there was hockey on NBC, the Flyers and the Penguins. Pittsburgh won in an also exciting sports outing by a score of 5-4.
Now, I hate to make a spectacle of hockey games because hockey is an amazing game, aside from the fights and shenanigans that happen around the game. But this was actually HILARIOUS and I had to share it because if you read carefully, you'll see how much sense this makes.
If you don't know already, one previous game between the two teams included an incident where Flyers' Scott Hartnell was accused of biting the finger of Kris Letang in a fight.
Here, this time, the accusations are from the Flyers' Aaron Asham, stating that the Penguins' goon, Matt Cooke, bit his finger.
All I'm going to say is, since when is it that "usually if you bite somebody"? LMAO! Because people just go around biting people in and out of hockey... oh Aaron Asham...
Here you go, from Puck Daddy's Greg Wyshynski: Penguins-Flyers Game Ends in Another Biting Accusation
*Sidenote: I will admit, after my relationship with a Lightning fan, that Matt Cooke was indeed slightly dirty even as a player on the Caps, and that hit on Vincent Lecavlier was uncalled for. This seems pointless, but I needed this off my conscience.
The Hockey Writers
Enjoy my last piece here on the Caps and Penguins game last week. The critics were hushed in the 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh. Ahhh, yes... #puckfittsburgh.
Monday, January 18, 2010
So the NFL Divisional playoff series are now over and I was COMPLETELY, ENTIRELY WRONG in my picks to win. In fact, I was so wrong, I could probably be terminally depressed at the level of incorrectness I had. I'd might as well pack up and go home and sue myself for falsely posing myself as a knowledgeable sports fan...
...Okay, I won't take it that far, but considering I was 0-4 all weekend, picked 3 upsets that went the way they were supposed to, and the only non-upset I picked (Chargers/Jets), there was the hidden upset.
But that's not all my fault. I mean, I'm sure the majority of the world picked the Chargers to beat the Jets. A good number had the Cowboys beating the Vikings. There were more than enough cases of a few brave (and smart) souls chose the Ravens over the Colts. I can tell you that plenty others had the Cardinals winning in a close game against the Saints.
My biggest explanation here for why I failed so badly in my picks was that I mistook these teams who had bye-weeks who were "well-rested" for being "too rested". But apparently, for 3 out of the 4 teams, that was just the NFL just officially played my life. It went sort of like this:
Saints 45, Cardinals 14
Colts 20, Ravens 3
Vikings 34, Cowboys 3
Jets 17, Chargers 14
Contrary to what I may say, I DO pick teams for a reason, although when I explain them now, it will sound like an excuse. To all my Greeks reading this, please don't ask for the stanzas of "Excuses". I already went through all that. So here we go...
- I picked the Cardinals because of the way the Saints ended the season and the fact that they had a bye-week. I don't know why - maybe it's because the Cowboys had a bye-week their last playoff entry and lost - but I thought that the teams that had sub-par endings and the extra week off would lose. I should have known better because of the close call with the Cardinals in the previous game against the Packers. They should have lost and didn't. Oh well.
- I picked the Ravens because of in their regular-season matchup; the Ravens came pretty close to beating the Colts in a battle of field goals. Also, the Colts were the team that I thought had too much rest. Finally, I was impressed with the way the Ravens played the Patriots in the first round. So I thought, with a little bit of offensive tweaking, they could hang in there at least against the Colts. However, I completely forgot that the Colts were, in fact, the Colts, and they knew better than to sleep in every day, only to wake up to some afternoon television (Maury or something). Shame on me.
- Yes, I chose the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Vikings. Before you assume I did it because of bias, I did not. I chose them because they were on fire. I thought they were the most serious team in this year's playoffs. Their defense went SO hard, with 2 back-to-back shutouts to end the season, and continued the great defensive plays in the first game against the Eagles. The Cowboys offense also came out the last game to win their first playoff game in 13 years. I had to be convinced that Dallas had it going for them.
There was an underlying feeling, however, that they will have the same type of game they had when they played against the Packers in Green Bay. For some reason, Tony Romo and his squad can't play well west of Dallas, Texas! I also would like to put Nick Folk... I mean Shaun Suisham on the firing squad for killing any shot that Dallas would have at scoring some more points. That underlying feeling of a bad game came to be true, and my heart was broken. Now I need an alternative team.
- I can tell you right now that alternative team will not be the Jets, though. But I'll get to that in a bit. The Chargers were the team that actually played well down the stretch of the end of the NFL season. They won a close one in their last game against the Redskins, but still, one would assume that was a fluke. It seemed more like a foreshadowing of what would happen next. Regardless, I'm still going to say that this was an effort won by the Jets, rather than saying the Chargers lost it. The Jets have been put onto something after the regular season that allows them their defense to REALLY come out and just suffocate the opposing team's offensive talents. I also say the Jets won because the Chargers made it very close, very late, but the Jets held on and won the game. What can I say?
To continue on the issue of the Jets seeing abnormal success this postseason, this is a situation that was created by people like Colts head coach Jim Caldwell. I'm sorry if I offend some people here, but the Jets were LET into the playoffs. They were straight handed two games by the Colts and Bengals to enter into the playoffs. I'll put on the DC dialect for a second and rephrase a sentence and tell those two teams, "Y'all shoulda done NEVER gave that team a playoff spot!"
Now, I'm not saying that the Jets were given a playoff spot to be condescending towards the Jets. My statement is only referring to the fact that because the Jets were allowed in, it gave them new life; therefore, they plan to act upon it. Thus, I fear for the Colts because they may have given the Jets a pass to beat them at the end of the season, but now the question is: how uncompetitive was that game? It's a legitimate question to me.
The Jets did really beat the Bengals in the first round. They beat the Chargers, who seemed impossible to beat just the day before. So can they beat the Colts? We'll see if that comes to bite them in the butt.
I'm just hoping I don't hear those "woe-is-me" Jets fans celebrating so I'm hoping they don't win in spite... >:-D... It also would destroy me to see the Yankees AND the Jets win. But that's just me...
Pick of Shame
Yes. I will still make picks for the conference championship games. Let's go:
NY Jets vs. Indianapolis Colts @3pm -- Colts
Minnesota Vikings vs. New Orleans Saints @6:30pm -- Saints
Check out the site thehockeywriters.com and see "The Writers" section. A name might look slightly familiar to you ;-).
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I was recently looking for paid jobs on campus, and I just randomly picked ones that looked like they would fit my class and activity schedules. One of the jobs was intramural officiating, and it specifically said that it would have flexible hours...
So I let the guy know that I was interested, and I have training next week to be a sports official.
One of the sports I would be officiating is basketball. I wanted to let everyone know that I will not be accepting offers to give your college or university the win. You can forget about that. And if anything, I would manipulate the calls to give MY school an advantage HAHA! Just joking.
I promise I will be as fair as possible, but it's interesting, seeing as I'm one who bashes officials and referees quite often and willingly. It would be fun to be on the other side of that. While I understand their job and how it's not easy, I want to do a sort of "inside job" and REALLY get the job of being an official.
I also have the option of being an ice hockey, flag football and indoor soccer official if I wish after basketball season finishes. I'm excited, and I hope I get the chance to learn something as a referee.
Lane Kiffin - the Con Man
Really quickly, I want to know how Lane Kiffin keeps getting top jobs (became coach at USC)! What is this! I heard somebody say it, and I couldn't have said it better: He's a con artist! I agree whole-heartedly! And I don't see any good coming out of Kiffin after the shenanigans he supposedly was a part of at Tennessee.
So then how is it that Carroll leaves USC, and then heads to the NFL to the nearest stop away from USC, and then Kiffin leaves Tennessee? I'm waiting to see who leaves their scandal-filled school to enter into Tennessee. IT'S SHENANIGANS! And nobody is held accountable because these scandals don't get found out until the players are about 2-3 years out of school. It's ridiculous.
I don't like USC, but I have to feel bad for them now (not too bad though).
Mike Wise - "it's hockey"
I have to talk about this being a DC-Native and a die hard hockey fan. In response as to why he believes the Washington Capitals don't receive props for being the lone good team in DC, DC sports "expert" , Mike Wise claims it's because "it's hockey".
And this was the attitude I have been so sick of for so many years. The fact this area gives all the attention to the worst-of-the-worst teams here and ignoring when the Caps do well is a disgrace! The reason is because it is hockey, so why should we care? Hockey is boring and barbaric and whatever other reason.
To cover DC sports, you can't just ignore a MAJOR TEAM just because you don't like it. The team finally have won a playoff round, and this year, once again, the Capitals have an excellent chance again to bring the Cup to DC for the first time as champions. And the option for ALL of sports media in DC, not just Mike Wise, is to ignore that success and to rather spend time on other things...
...Like focusing on why Gilbert Arenas had gun in the locker room even though he's such a nice guy he is, as there's nothing else to talk about regarding the Wizards since they're no good, and the fact that the Redskins are no good either.
I understand that the Redskins will always be #1 in this town, and that's fine. I understand, this is not a hockey-town. That's okay. That isn't my problem. My issue is when I'm being force-fed the Redskins through radio shows, local sports television, and the Washington Post. Of course, I take my liberties and shut it all off and don't listen.
When for the past 3 years I'm still excited to see a huge Caps win on the front page, and satisfied when then a feature story on one of the players is done, I sort of see that as a problem. Ongoing drama gets old. Can we surprise the readers with something new?
Of course I'm running on how I feel about the issue, it's my blog, I can do just that. So I will say that Mike Wise's comment was entirely rude. From reading someone else's post on this issue, I also found out what he thought of hockey fans in general. Anybody who apparently called him out his statement about the Caps not deserving attention was getting defensive because that's just how hockey fans are. Whatever man. Un-Wise.
Fsinally, Haiti has been a poor country suffering for years. Recently though, the country was hit by a 7.0 earthquake. Thoughts and prayers go out to those in Haiti, and all my friends and readers with family in Haiti. I wish all the best.
Monday, January 11, 2010
The weekend began Saturday with the Cincinnati Bengals facing off against the NY Jets. The Jets started off the game slowly, but their defense was able to hold the Bengals to the only touchdown they received in the 1st quarter until late in the 4th quarter. The Jets run game decided to put on a repeat performance of the previous week and provide opportunities for 24 points.
Final score: Jets 24, Bengals 14
I know I picked the Bengals, but I did put a disclaimer, saying that if the Jets actually won, I wouldn't be surprised in the least bit. I didn't expect the Bengals' offense to be entirely suffocated the way they were last week, yet I did look for the Jets to come out and play as hard as they could. They are the dark horse this NFL postseason.
The Jets will play against the San Diego Chargers Sunday at 4:40pm EST.
Next, the Philadelphia Eagles were set to play the second rematch of the weekend against the Dallas Cowboys. After Philly fans claimed that the Eagles didn't try last week and will come out harder this week, their words seemed to have been true. I mean, the Eagles DID tie the game at 7 all when Michael Vick entered the game for a play.
Just because Dallas had not won a playoff game in 13 years, however, didn't guarantee the Eagles a win. The Cowboys had something to prove: that their late-season run was not a fluke and that they CAN, in fact, win a playoff game.
Final score: Cowboys 34, Eagles 14
Easy as that. The Eagles defense looked entirely weak, as Dallas got about 200 rushing yards and 244 passing yards on them.
Now that that the 13-year playoff curse is off the Cowboys, is it possible that they can use this to go all the way? Well, they'll have to go through the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon at 1:00pm EST.
Today's Sunday match-ups weren't about to disappoint either.
The Baltimore Raven and the New England Patriots was a no-brainer. The Pats were just too much for the erratic Ravens, whose impeccable defense was only a fable from about 3 years ago...
...Not so fast.
The Ravens were up 24-0 by the start of the 2nd quarter. I woke up from my slumber, only to get up close and squint at the television just to make sure that the score was indeed, 24-0. I know I picked Baltimore to win, but I mean, who expects the Patriots would be losing in Foxboro in a playoff game to the Ravens.
Despite looks of the Patriots still hanging around, and the Ravens not scoring another touchdown until the 4th quarter and missing the 2-point conversion on their final touchdown, New England lost. Yes.
Final score: Ravens 33, Patriots 14.
I wonder what Pats coach Bill Belichick is going to blame this one on. It's clearly not the turf this time... Nonetheless, after exacting revenge on the Pats, the Ravens will be put to a much bigger test in the Indianapolis Colts Saturday at 8:15, whom they also almost beat this season in a field goal-filled battle. We'll see how well resting the players fared for the Colts (I will be somewhere to watch this game for my birthday party and a Zeta Founders Day gift).
Finally, the Green Bay Packers and the Arizona Cardinals wanted to blow all of the previous games out of the water and make all kinds of history with their game.
Arizona had taken complete control of the first half of the game, and it seemed like another Dallas/Philly game to be seen. Now, I chose the Packers for victory today, so I had some inkling of faith that this wasn't how the game would turn out. The Packers were MUCH better than this, being the second hottest NFC team going into the playoffs behind Dallas.
So the 3rd quarter begins and the Cardinals went up 31-10 to make matters worse for my pickings. But Green Bay didn't lay down.
I'm in the middle of the meeting while getting scores to my phone, and lo-and-behold, the Packers have almos tied this game up, down only 31-24! Arizona went up 38-24, but Green Bay found its way to a tie. Arizona went up again 45, but the Packers tied it AGAIN with 1:52 left... Overtime.
It looked as if the Packers were going in for the win, and I would have 3 out of 4 picks correct, but then "The Legend of Kurt Warner" continued, as the Cards batted the ball from Rodgers' hands and took it to the end zone.
Final score: Cardinals 51,Packers 45
This game turned out to be the highest scoring NFL playoff game in history. I really did think the Packers could have won the game, riding on that momentum and Aaron Rodgers' leadership of the team. The Cardinals, as victors, will be facing the New Orleans Saints Saturday at 4:30pm EST.
I certainly hope you all are ready for another week of predicted wildness. Here are my Reckless Picks. Ready?
Chargers over Jets
Cowboys over Vikings - disclaimer: I wouldn't be surprised if the opposite occurred
Colts over Ravens
Cardinals over Saints
Yea, pretty random again. I just like to pick for the heck of it *shrug*.
Finally, quote of the day: "There was sarcasm in my Shaq-tweet. He is as powerful as Shawn Bradley." In reference in a Twitter comment about Shaq's "double-double"... I died. Most overrated stat in basketball.
Oh and don't forget, if there's something you'd like to tell me about the site in general or ask a question, you can put it in the guestbook to the right.
And I thought I should share, that I have been accepted as the Washington Capitals writer for one of the top sites for in-depth hockey news and discussion, The Hockey Writers, also known as THW! I'm beyond excited to write to cover a team that I have followed for many years now. However, don't worry, I will still be active here on Crashing the Net :-).
Catch yall later ;-)
Thursday, January 07, 2010
So I just figured I'd tell you all the things that have been going on that I haven't told you about...
Yes, I mean that exactly. No, Gilbert Arenas. You are NOT a secret agent. You are NOT allowed to carry guns into an NBA arena just because you call yourself Agent Zero.
There are plenty of gun carriers of all shapes and sizes around the country. I am pretty sure that they do not choose to take their guns into their workplace - and if they did it in DC, I'm 100% sure that's illegal, being a resident here and all.
We've heard all the excuses. We know. And I still don't think Arenas gets it. Mocking and laughing at the situation doesn't make it go away. So David Stern decided to suspend him because Arenas was "unfit" to play; hence, making him a literal Zero in the eyes of his team and the NBA at this point.
Unfit in my mind means that he is mentally unstable, and needs to go seek some help. The fact that he cannot decipher what's a joke and what's not (also going off of previous pranks he's pulled in the past) is a serious problem, and not only has it become detrimental to his team and the people around him on the court, but his lack of seriousness has gotten him in trouble with the law.
If Arenas was to plead anything in the future in the court of law, real talk, I would advise an insanity defense.
USA Won Gold!
I bet none of you cared, but in the World Juniors Hockey Classic, the final was between the Canadian junior ice hockey team and the US team. John Carlson, a Washington Capitals prospect, pulled the OT game-winner about 4 minutes into the sudden death period to give the USA gold. USA won 6-5 in a wild, wild match.
With the US winning their 2nd gold medal ever in the tournament, in a perfect world, something like this would help to prove that we have homegrown talent here in the States, and then bring on a revival of young American kids playing hockey with the hopes of playing in the NHL - then again, if it were a perfect world that already would have been the case. We'll see what happens from here.
Another note I'd like to make on this was one that I'm probably going to lose a couple of friends. Not all Canadians are peace-advocating people who have no bad intentions, as many Americans like to label them. As Team Canada INVITED the United States into their tournament in Saskatchewan (I spelled that right first try by the way).
I read an article about how the Canadians booed the US team and how the "Hockey Gods" disapproved of such Tomfoolery. The US, in my mind was booed for 2 reasons:
- The US has been "at war" for quite some time now. Many people around the world have disagreed with the US decision to go to war since the beginning. Since then, events involving the United States in Canada, some Canadians have booed the American National Anthem, protested US teams, and booed at US victories made on their turf.
- The US junior hockey team has been clipping at the heels of Canada's junior team for some years now. The "non-traditional" market of the United States for hockey, I suppose, has given the Canadians some sense of elitism in winning games and who deserves to win the Gold, and in the NHL, the Cup. So in a way, Canada is essentially "hating on" US hockey, who's success seems to be promising.
The result of the booing? Canada loses their shot at winning a gold medal; thus, rewarding the USA with a 2nd golds medal in a decade. It's an interesting look at sportsmanship, and I advise that you check it out.
The Real Punk @$$
Now, I am not the biggest boxing fan out there (nothing about boxing in particular, it just doesn't interest me like that ), but I am still fully aware of the implications that this match had on the revival of boxing in the United States. Boxing sure isn't what it used to be back in the '90s or before that, but in a fight with supposedly the best boxer right now in Mayweather and the recent winner of the most recent last big fight in Pacquio, this was supposed to bring boxing back to popularity...
...And now it's off. Supposedly. Now I keep saying "supposedly" because of the tendency of boxers and their people to just talk, and just say things just to say things, but I digress.
It's off because the reluctance of Pacquio to agree to a full drug test, drawing blood before the fight. This requirement to fight, however, was pushed by Floyd Mayweather and his party. Now that Pacquio doesn't want to take this type of test over a more typical urine test, Mayweather is referring to Pacquio as a "punk a**".
My question is: Who is the REAL punk here?
Of course the obvious answer is both of them. But one is clearly more of a punk than the other. The consensus that I have spoken to has stated that Pacquio is the punk. He can't consent to a blood test even with a bajillion dollars on the line. Whether he did it because he was scared or because he was dirty, I don't call that a punk move. If he was dirty, then sure, that dumba**, but hey he's just trying to keep his job. If he was scared, he was honest about it at least.
Mayweather, however, hides behind the "brolic" facade, when probably Mayweather himself wanted an out to the fight. For whatever reason that would be, is beyond me, but nobody just goes around trying to make somebody look like fool unless they had something to hide or if they were trying to "appear" as the tough one. It may fool his followers and fans, but Mayweather doesn't fool me.
Alabama rises as the BCS Champion over the Texas Longhorns by a final score 37-21. Texas made it close toward the end, getting the score as close as 24-21, but that was all that they could muster before Alabama went in and solidified their victory.
Just to note, Colt McCoy injured his shoulder in the first half, causing him to have to sit out for the rest of his last game of his collegiate career. He returned to the sideline, however, to watch his team and cheer them on. He also handled himself well in the post-game interview, trying very hard not to cry. I don't know how he did it, because I couldn't do it.
The game was quite anti-climactic, I'm not really sure why, but I didn't feel satisfied after watching this game. I'll probably find out why tomorrow.
By the way, doesn't that smile on Nick Saban look like it hurts a little? Just a little...
Alex Ovechkin was named captain of the Washington Capitals earlier this week. He's up for the challenge. Since then the team has won their 2 games under his captaincy and now go on a 3-game road stretch.
And Andre Dawson was selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I personally would have wanted Edgar Martinez and Alomar in the HOF, but that's not my decision. Baseball writers do want to keep the HOF pure as ever anyway. So it seems as though they are very stingy with their inductions now. Another year, I suppose.
Sunday, January 03, 2010
With the real games starting this coming Saturday, what ended up happening was that 3 of the 4 of these final match-ups will be the same match-ups that we will be seeing this coming weekend. The teams lined up are as follows:
NY Jets vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
Green Bay Packers vs. Arizona Cardinals
*Indianapolis Colts, San Diego, New Orleans Saints, and Minnesota Vikings with a 1st round bye.
Even though these are the folks who potentially have a shot at winning the championship, there are a couple of honorable mentions that I would like to give out before we get to who wins real stuff...
Houston Texans: They finished this season 9-7 today after defeating the Patriots 34-27. This would be the first time they finished over .500 since they entered the League in 2002. Then they decided to do it against the Pats, while also almost beating the Colts earlier on in the season. The Texans also almost made the playoffs for the first time, doing their part to win, and only needed the Jets to lose to the Bengals tonight. Their QB Matt Schaub has had more passing yards than anyone else this season as well. Even though Houston is staying at home this season, they've come a long way, so watch out in the next few years.
Atlanta Falcons: I didn't realize this until it was pointed out, but the Falcons never had back-to-back winning seasons until last season's 11-5 record and this season's 9-7 record. Not even during the Vick days did the team have 2 consecutive over-.500 seasons. But regardless, Matt Ryan however has silently improved year by year and has made the Falcons competitive. It might have been more noticeable had the Saints not overshadowed their division with pretending to go undefeated throughout the season. Nonetheless, Atlanta won't be a team to be reconciled with, especially if the balance of power allows only 1 team from the NFC East in the future.
Carolina Panthers: They were not over .500 this year, or even in the running for a playoff spot. But even after their atrocious start to the year, the Panthers finish the season 8-8. They could have chosen to try and fight the Lions and the Rams for the #1 draft pick. They could have fired coach John Fox for losing, or the players could have resigned and finished poorly. But the Panthers stayed with it, and played hard in their final games - including beating Minnesota 26-7, and giving the Giants the business and taking them out the playoffs essentially by a score of 41-9. I will say, however, that Jake Delhomme's days might be over in Carolina.
Kyle Orton: And finally, I would like to give honorable mention to Mr. Kyle Orton, QB of the Denver Broncos. How the hell this man has remained in the NFL, is beyond me. It's not even like he's been in and out of starting for teams, but since he was starter for the Bears, he has been named a starting QB. In my mind, after playing at Purdue, he was chillen on the street, and Da Bears came around and asked him to toss a football. He does. And then they were like, you have a pretty decent spiral and you can throw far. We need a new QB since Grossman didn't work out. Come with us. And that was how Mr. Orton became an NFL QB. Then he showed that he failed, and then went to Denver. Only to not be the biggest reason Denver fails, because in fact their coach took that honor. Mr. Josh McDaniels chose to constantly call out his players, especially his personal nemesis, WR Brandon Marshall, and refused to coach the team properly. Thus, Kyle Orton got away with being a failure, and he will probably remain the Broncos' starter. Gosh man, how do you do it? You go, boy!
The Honorable Honorable Mention goes to Aaron Rodgers. Not just because I want to put a picture of him up here, but because he was able to have the 4th highest QB rating this season, and get his team to the playoffs, AND throw for only 7 INTs (2nd lowest) with the offensive line he had. Sure, he was only sacked like, 50 times, along with being rushed and hit and hurried and whatever other action done to him by opposing defenses... but he definitely got his team where they needed to be, throwing for 30 touchdowns and allowing them to have a shot at the Super Bowl. What a stud... QB.
I guess as a side honor, we can congratulate the St. Louis Rams on the #1 pick, and the Detroit Lions for having 3 wins on the year....
... Oh and the Cleveland Browns for having new life - 4 straight wins and Mike Holmgren as their new president. Maybe life won't be so bad in the Dog Pound...
...And I am leaving the Washington Redskins out of this. They've endured enough this year.
Many people I have noticed feel as though most of the playoff teams completely mailed it in this last game of the season, knowing that they were going to the playoffs the following weekend i.e. the Eagles, Bengals, Patriots, and the obvious ones, the Saints and the Colts.
Of course that was the case with the Colts, who oh-so upset the hell out of the world when they mailed in their season the 2nd to final week of the season, and to a degree, the Saints, although I do think the Saints' first 2 loses were genuine. Either way, I agree, some teams did put it away and left it for the playoffs.
But if you seriously think the Eagles didn't want home-field advantage, I don't know what you're smoking but it must be good. Dallas, having exorcised the December/late season demons this season to regain their NFC East champ status, has a good shot of repeating a win on Saturday. Of course, I wouldn't say the Cowboys will shut out the Eagles, but the Cowboys have shown that they might be able to get over that playoff game hump. We will see.
The Bengals and Jets game could also be a mail in. I might have to agree with that one somewhat, seeing as the Jets wouldn't have scored that many points had Cincinnati really tried. But the Jets do have a lot of confidence and momentum riding into the playoffs. They have a pretty decent defense, and with one of the NFL's premier cornerbacks Darrelle Revis, they might be able to do the "impossible" (according to now Chad JOHNSON again) and stop the Bengals offense, the way they got to the playoffs.
I hope that the Colts didn't forget to play football, because even though I'm still baffled at how the world got so upset at their blatant refusal to have an undefeated season, I still am not sure how the way their last two games are going to help them. While I don't personally feel like an NFL team cheated me of something I should have, I am concerned for the fact that the Colts are probably facing more pressure to win the Super Bowl than had they not tried their antics to "rest players". Having technically 3 weeks off before the playoffs is not always a good thing.
Oh, you want predictions? Very quickly, I will call the winners of the 1st round of the NFL playoffs: Bengals, Cowboys, Ravens, and the Packers. Kind of arbitrary, right?
Hope you enjoyed this NFL season as much as I did. I thought it was one of the more entertaining years in football recently. Definitely looking forward to the playoffs now. May the best team win!
Friday, January 01, 2010
This year's Classic was one of the more lower scoring games, although with the number of chances by both teams throughout the entire 60 minutes, it could have been higher. Regardless, it was a very energetic and well-defended game.
In defense (no pun intended), the goalies did what they were supposed to do, which was stop the puck, and that they did.
The Flyers began the game well, with Flyer Dan Carcillo winning the fight against Bruin Shawn Thornton scoring the first goal early into the second period past Tim Thomas. They continued the momentum through the rest of the game, keeping up chances and taking shots.
Then, after a few power plays in Boston's favor to create opportunities for their own offense, with about 2 minutes left in the game, down 1-0, the Bruins, old man Mark Recchi put one in to tie the game.
It wouldn't take that much longer for the Bruins to complete the comeback, as Marco Sturm scored the game-winner in overtime. Bruins ended up winning 2-1.
As a die-hard hockey fan, I LOVE the NHL's Winter Classic. It's such a great national showcase that exposes the game in a unique fashion to casual fans, long-time fans, and the person passing through channels. It's always fun to see more than twice the number of fans that would be at a regular game outdoors in the snow.
And the games themselves always feature intense match-ups with long-time rivalries between franchises. The game has remained competitive as well, as the highest goal differential has only been 2 goals in the 6-4 win by the Detroit Red Wings over the the Chicago Blackhawks last year.
Seeing that this year was in Boston in Fenway Park, I would have no complaints of a Winter Classic game in Yankee Stadium, even though there was already one in NY. There is much speculation of a game there next year featuring the Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers. Again, no complaints here.
There are a few more match-ups though that I would love to see.
- Whenever the St. Louis Blues become good again, I would like to see them play against the Colorado Avalanche in Colorado.
- After sometime when enough time has passed since the last Red Wings game, it would be fun to watch them play the Avs in Detroit as well, bringing back the old playoff series (Patrick Roy and Chris Osgood fight ring a bell?).
- If people in Hartford wouldn't be so opposed to it, the Carolina Hurricanes could play in Hartford, Connecticut against the Caps.
- Of course, there can't be anything wrong with the Toronto Maple Loafs... Leafs playing their intra-province rivals, the Ottawa Senators. They used to meet in the playoffs every year in some serious and bloody 6 and 7 game series.
- Likewise, the other intra-province series, Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames should also be fun.
- Minnesota would be a great host city. It's always snowing up there! Minnesota in the North Stars jersey facing off against the Columbus Blue Jackets or some relocated team could be entertaining.
USA Olympic Team
After the Bruins/Flyers game, the 2010 USA Olympic hockey team was announced. As a player would be announced, some adorable little kids turned around with the name of the player on the back of their jersey.
Tim Thomas, 35 (Boston Bruins)
Ryan Miller, 29 (Buffalo Sabres)
Jonathan Quick, 24 (Los Angeles Kings)
Craig Anderson (Colorado)
Brian Rafalski, 36 (Detroit Red Wings)
Ryan Suter, 25 (Nashville Predators)
Paul Martin 28 (New Jersey Devils)
Mike Komisarek, 28 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Erik Johnson, 21 (St. Louis Blues)
Brooks Orpik, 29 (Pittsburgh Pittsburgh)
Jack Johnson, 23 (Los Angeles Kings)
Matt Niskanen (Dallas)
Ron Hainsey (Atlanta)
Alex Goligoski (Pittsburgh)
Matt Carle (Philadelphia)
Rob Scuderi (Los Angeles)
Zach Parise, 25 (New Jersey Devils)
Chris Drury, 32 (New York Rangers)
Dustin Brown, 25 (Los Angeles Kings)
Jamie Langenbrunner, 34 (New Jersey Devils)
Paul Stastny, 24 (Colorado Avalanche)
David Backes, 25 (St. Louis Blues)
Patrick Kane, 21 (Chicago Blackhawks)
Phil Kessel, 22 (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Ryan Kesler, 25 (Vancouver Canucks)
Bobby Ryan, 22 (Anaheim Ducks)
Joe Pavelski, 25 (San Jose Sharks)
Ryan Malone, 31 (Tampa Bay Lightning)
Ryan Callahan, 24 (New York Rangers)
Jason Pominville (Sabres)
David Booth (Panthers)
Scott Gomez (Rangers)
T.J. Oshie (Blues)
Brian Gionta (Canadiens)
Make of the team what you will. There were a number of American players left off the roster; Dustin Byfuglien is one of them. The team, in my mind, lacks size and variation in skill (they all play a similar style). But the USA has a speed advantage and they are very strong in goaltending, with the best goalie this season, Ryan Miller as the starter. The backups should give the team confidence as well.
So what the team could be forced into is a situation to use their speed to find a way through the opposing defense to score a goal or two, and rely on their goaltending to give them a chance throughout the game. A bunch of 2-1, 1-0 games are probably the types of games they can win. Brian Burke says that they're "playing to win" so all we can do is hope this team can perform well enough to do so. *shrug*...
It didn't work out 20 years since the 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medal team - so maybe 30 years? We'll see...
Then I came back home yesterday, and of course after an early morning flight and early morning wake ups in the past 3 days, I slept.
Nonetheless, happy New Year! It's 2010; not only another year, but another decade! As we enter into a new decade of sports moments, we can't move on without revisiting the previous decade's moments from 2000 to 2009.
After hearing from a good friend of mine, Dan King, that he wrote a whole write-up on the decade's top games and moments, of course I took a look at it. Trust me, it's a great piece of nostalgia, and I would like to direct my readers to his sports blog, SportsZone (link posted under this section).
If you have comments about the post, the past decade in sports, or anything else related, feel free to put them on this page, or comment on Dan's blog as well.
Hope you enjoy the read!
What do I have to say you ask?
Well of course, I'm going to give you a couple MY favorite moments:
1.) Of course being a part of Red Sox Nation, very little in life as a whole can beat the 2004 World Series. Not only was it the World Series championship that broke an 86-year drought without winning it all (with many bumps and bruises and close seasons throughout the 86 years), but what tops beating the New York Yankees to get to the World Series.
Then, on top of beating the Yankees, the fashion that they did made it even more special. Boston decided to play, starting in Game 4. They ultimately came back from 3-0, becoming the first team in MLB history to come back from being down 3 games to none to win a playoff series.
I can't even go into detail to describe every game to state why this was the most awesome thing that could happen just to beat the Yankees alone from the "Bloody Sock game", to the wild comebacks, to scoring on Mariano Rivera. To finalize the magic though, the Red Sox went on to sweep the St. Louis Cardinals - a gift from the Big Man.
Yes. I cried. LOL.... I sat down in my room watching the final Game 4 of the World Series, called my best friend, and we were trying to make a case not to go to school the next day. I think we did the same after the Yankees series, too...
... The 2007 World Series was also a great moment for me. Honestly, it is not anywhere near the 2004 World Series, as some would agree, but it certainly is a joy to watch your team win a championship. Not only did the Red Sox win 1 World Series, but they won 2 in 3 years after going almost a century without any.
2.) The same year, I would also have to put the Washington Capitals drafting Alexander Ovechkin on the list of decade moments. It wasn't a game, but it did quite some wonders for an NHL franchise and a league that were suffering. The Red Sox winning is self-explanatory. This requires a little more explanation.
Prior to Ovechkin's drafting, I was never too pleased with the job Washington Capitals' general manager George McPhee did in Washington. I actually halfway feared that McPhee would want to trade the 1st round draft pick for some star player or pick the #2 pick that year, Evgeni Malkin. I wasn't the only one with that concern either.
Now don't get me wrong, I watched videos of the two before they were drafted multiple times, then being a member of the Washington Capitals' message boards crew. I defintiely thought that Malkin was amazing and he was very talented. But clearly, Ovechkin had something different that defined him as the #1 draft pick in the 2004 NHL Draft.
Lo and behold, the Capitals selected Alex Ovechkin! I was at a draft party at Dave and Busters that year (got a poster signed by the Secretary of Defense aka Rod Langway, Yvon Labre, Joe Reekie and Craig Laughlin there too) and the Caps fans there just went wild!
This draft pick would put the Caps on the NHL map. At first, it was because we had one of the most explosive players in the league (after all, this was noted his first year as Ovie was the Calder Trophy winner aka Rookie of the Year), but soon we received media attention, giving us a look at a more charismatic Ovechkin. His marketable skill, talent, and personality really gave the Capitals a chance to finally be shown on national showcases.
Also fueled by the media-created rivalry between Ovechkin and the next year's #1 pick, Sidney Crosby, and the already existing team rivalry between the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL as a whole gained new life and new viewers, showing a more exciting side to hockey.
If the NHL takes notice of the fans' love of Alex Ovechkin, and makes him a more forefront face of the League, the NHL might have a chance to gain major popularity in the United States. Of course, a couple more things might need to happen before that, but Ovechkin's drafting will be a major factor in the NHL's success, if he continues his own success.
These are just a couple favorites, but if you want to know more, feel free to ask!
Also note the comment box/guestbook on the right side of the page. If you would like to be an occasional contributing writer to this site, have an overall comment on the page, or have a question, you are more than welcome to post it there. Otherwise, comments on an individual post go under the post you are commenting about.