Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top 5 Games You Need to Watch in 2011

Christmas came early football fans! The 2011 NFL regular season schedule has arrived! It just so happens that the schedule makers created one of the most exciting NFL schedules the same year as a lockout. But, I'm not here to talk about the lockout. I'm here to tell you the top 5 games you need to watch this fall. Let's start with number 5...

Number 5: Cleveland Browns vs St. Louis Rams (Week 10)
It's the annual toilet bowl in wonderful Cleveland, Ohio! Think about this for minute: Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy head-to-head on the gridiron. Sound familiar? Ladies and gentlemen I give unto you...the Red River Shootout (part 2). The former Texas Longhorn, Colt McCoy, and the former Oklahoma Sooner, Sam Bradford, square off again. Both coming off productive rookie season, especially for Bradford. Let's not forget the running back match-up: Steven Jackson of the Rams versus Peyton Hillis of the Browns. There will plenty of points in this one!

Number 4: Washington Redskins vs New York Giants (Week 1)
If you have any pride in the United States of America, you will watch this game. The two cities most devastate by the 9-11 terrorist attacks square off in DC on the 10 year anniversary of 9-11. Sure, this isn't exactly a "game of the week", but the fact still remains that this game takes place on 9-11. So at least watch the pregame festivities.

Number 3: Baltimore Ravens vs Pittsburgh Steelers (Week 1)
How's this for a week one match-up? One of the best rivalries in all of sports. The top two defenses in the NFL stand toe to toe for 60 minutes. One thing that the Ravens have going for them is that this one won't be at Heinz Field. Look for a low scoring contest that won't be decided until the final drive of the game.

Number 2: New England Patriots vs Indianapolis Colts (Week 13)
Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning in Foxboro in December. Need I say more? Look for an old fashion Tom vs Peyton duel that goes right down to the wire. Buckle up.

Number 1: New Orleans Saints vs Atlanta Falcons (Week 15)
This is the final Monday night game of the season. Did I mention it's also on December 26th? The NFL just gave us a Christmas present! Two dome teams squaring in a dome with two of the best "dome quarterbacks" in the NFL. The Falcons and the Saints are going to full out aerial attack each other. Drew Brees and Matt Ryan will be throwing any and everything at the opposing teams secondary. Oh by the way, this game could also decide the winner in the NFC South (just sayin').

So there you have it. If you're a sports junkie or just an average fan, be sure to tune into these five games. They are sure to be instant classics.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What A Joke

Barry Bonds has made a mockery of our nations legal system and of our government.

This afternoon Barry Bonds was indicted with obstruction of justice. The charge stems from when he lied in front of a grand jury back in 2003. However, the charge is "obstruction of justice", not "perjury". Big difference.

Perjury would land Bonds major jail time. Obstruction of justice will likely get him probation and possibly house arrest. Bonds was brought before the court with 3 counts of perjury as well as the obstruction of justice accusation. The 3 perjury charges were deadlocked and therefore not decided on (meaning Bonds will not be charged with them).

The funny thing about this case, Barry Bonds most likely came out on top. The chances of him receiving the maximum 10 years in prison for obstruction of justice is very small, if there is a chance at all. The chance of him getting sentenced to the suggested 15-21 months behind bars is also small, although it is a possibility. What will most likely happen is that Bonds will be sentenced to around 1 year of home confinement (small price to pay for lying to the federal government).

What bugs me the most about this case is that Barry Bonds what got away with. He got away with lying before a grand jury, taking steroids, and cheating. He knowingly did steroids and there is even eyewitness evidence to prove it.

By allowing the 3 counts of perjury to be dismissed as they were, the 3 most important parts of the case seemingly disappeared. Now all Barry Bonds' legacy will consist of the "did he take steroids" instead of "he took steroids". In my mind, Barry Bonds should never even be considered for the MLB Hall of Fame. The shame and disgrace that he has brought to the sport of baseball, Americas pastime, is unbelievable.

He fought for seven years, hired seven lawyers, and got acquitted with the least severe offense. Barry Bonds, once one of baseballs heroes, now, one of baseballs biggest jokes.

For the Love of the Game

Glamour. Lifestyle. Money. Buisness. Corruption. Cheating. Scandal.

What do all seven of these words have in common? They can all be used to describe the modern day professional sports era.

It makes me sick everytime I hear a professional athlete say that they "play the game becuase they love the game." No you don't. You love what the game gives you. You love wearing that $1,000 rolex watch or driving your Ferarri around town.

Let's back up to the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. That was the "hay day" for American professional sports. Back then it didn't matter about the money. The average salary for a professional athlete was less than half of what it is today. What some players make in a year, players back then would have made in a career. The cash that players nowadays seemingly throw away, athletes back then would have gone gaga over.

And for what? Taking the field every Sunday? Taking the court 4 nights out of the week? Strutting onto a diamond 162+ nights out of the year?

My dad wakes up early everyday except Sunday and goes to work. He sits at his computer and goes through conference call after conference call. My dad takes buisness trips that last weeks at a time. 365 days a year my dad is working. Will he ever make as much money as what professional athletes today make in a year? Most likely...no.

Did you know that athletes get paid by the game? That's right. The Steelers may have lost the Super Bowl, but they each still got a big fat check that equals the yearly income for your household. Do you see my point yet?

In my opinion, if you want to see athletes laying it all on the line for the sport they love, go watch any NCAA sporting event. Those kids are playing for one thing and one thing only, each other. They are under the constant pressure of not performing well enough. If their performance struggles, they lose their scholarship.

The glory days of American professional sports is over. The NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL are just buisnesses now. There is no "for the love of the game", anymore. It's all about "for the love of the money."

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Japan: Picking up the Pieces

The USA was united in the 1980s by a hockey team that consisted of average college kids. New Orleans was lifted from the rubble by a football team. Japan begins it's road to recovery with baseball.

This year Japans opening day for baseball was delayed 15 days. It was an opening day that was most needed for the damaged country. Japan is still recovering after suffering an apocalyptic earthquake and tsunami. Still today, aftershocks can be felt all across the country.

But in a stadium in Chiba filled with 22,525 fans, a sense of normalcy was found. Baseball was back.

On Tuesday the Rakuten Eagles squared off against the Chiba Lotte Marines. The Eagles beat the defending champions by a score of 6-4. Fans all across the country in refugee camps were tuned into the game. There were even signs of encouragement in the stands. People had signs that read "Stay Strong Japan".

The Rakuten Eagles from Sendai will not be able to play in their own stadium until after April 29th as there stadium is located in the hardest hit disaster area.

Baseball is what is going to keep this country together. Japanese people are very passionate about their beloved sport. On the front page of most newspapers I am sure you will find a picture of a Japanese player currently playing in the major leagues here in the states.

The country is looking for something to help them escape this harsh reality. All they have now is baseball.

"It is a sense of normalcy for them," Darrell Rasner, Rakuten pitcher, said. "It's something that's ingrained in them and, you know, I think this is going to be a healing process. This is going to be a great thing for them. Just for them to have something to cheer about, something to be happy about. I am and my teammates are really excited to be a part of this."

Just as the people of Louisiana rallied around a football team, expect the people of Japan to rally around not just their favorite team, but a whole sport.

Quote from espn.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tigers Clawing Back into the PGA

I am tired of it. Stop it with your "Tiger is so bad" talk. If you watched the final round of The Masters on Sunday you would know that at any point in time Tiger could find his stroke. To start the round Tiger was tied for 9th place. At the finish of the final round he was tied for 4th. He shot the second best final round at a 5 under par 67. Twice he was tied for the lead and even came an eagle putt away from having possession of the top spot. In the final round we saw a 21 year old remind that, he is, a 21 year old. We also saw a 35 year old remind of exactly how good he was when he was 21 years old. At the ripe age of 21 Woods won his first Masters green jacket. On Sunday Woods showed signs of his former self. In the 4th and final round of the Masters Woods had 2 bogeys, 5 birdies, and 1 eagle. Woods finished at 5 under par at the turn from the front nine to the back nine. He was in perfect position to steal his 15th major championship. On the back nine, Tiger was a whole other animal. He shot an even par 36 with 1 bogey and 1 birdie. Even still, he was in contention for the green jacket for most of the back nine. I am not here to defend Tiger Woods or try to convince you that its okay to cheer or boo him at the golf course. But, to those of you who think that Tiger does not have what he used to have, you might want to pay attention: Tiger may have a little more roar in him after all.