Monday, May 20, 2013

It's a Fundamental Thing...

Zimmerman, above, has committed 9 errors this season.
The beginning of this years Washington Nationals season hasn't quite met expectations. While the team is still 2 games above .500 and just 2.5 games behind the Braves for the NL East lead, the Nationals certainly have the talent to be in first and many more games in the green.

Like the old saying goes: "Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships." When it comes to the Nationals, it doesn't look like they'll be selling tickets anytime soon and they definitely won't be winning championships at the rate their going defensively.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

For Redskins Tevita Stevens, All He Needs is an Opportunity

Stevens, 54, was signed by the Redskins following the draft.

Whenever somebody mentioned the Utah Utes this draft season, the first, and maybe only, name that came to mind was Star Lotulelei. However, the Redskins recently signed undrafted rookie free agent offensive lineman Tevita Stevens from Utah. He recently sat down to tell me his story...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013



Sunday, April 21, 2013


Sports. They can be a beautiful thing. They can be a healing thing. They can be a remedy for pain and suffering.

This past Monday, Boston was rocked when two bombs went off at the finish of the Boston Marathon as I'm sure most of you, hopefully all of you, may have at least heard about. Due to the suspects still on the loose, security at sporting events was heightened and at some Boston sports spectacles, even canceled.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Let's Play Ball!!!

Photo: MLB Google Plus Page
This one may be a day late, but it still means the same nonetheless. Baseball is back. And thank goodness it is. The crack of the bat, the whistling of the ball as it flies through the air, and the roar of the crowd as the hero does his home run trot around the bases. Ah's beautiful.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Let the Madness Begin!!

As Championship Week for college basketball has ended, we now begin possibly the greatest spectacle in all of sports...well, at least college sports: March Madness.

It's time for 64, 68 if you count the play-in games, teams to take center stage on the TVs of millions world wide as the greatest month in sports kicks into high gear. Top teams will fall, underdogs will rise, and by the time the dust settles, one will be crowned champion.

The best thing about March Madness is the opportunity for a Cinderella. This is the only time where sports can have a true Cinderella. While football has surprise teams, there's nothing better than a team that has not shot at the tourney to win their conference championship and earn that automatic bid and then go on to win the whole cup-o-noodles (i.e. 1983 NC State men's team).

This is when teams, players, and coaches step up and make a name for themselves. It's always interesting to see which player will go from prospective-undrafted player to prospective-draft pick simply for a huge showing in March.

March is when schools can begin to solidify themselves among the tops in college basketball. Just ask VCU. Ever since they made the big dance and upset Duke in the first round 7 years ago, they have become a national power and have been contenders in the big dance ever since.

It's not limited to schools. Coaches can use this glorious month to stake their claims among the greatest. Smith, Knight, Valvano, Wooden, just to name a few have graced the big stage on this hallowed month. Today, the likes of Krzyzewski, Williams, Crean, Matta, Izzo, and Petino are the cream of the crop. However, a new batch of names like Larranaga and Smart are rising to the top ready to take the spotlight.

It provides with new names think about in preparation for the NBA Draft. Steph Curry, Kyle O'Quinn, and Kenneth Faried went from zeros to heros to draft picks following strong performances in the tournament.

We now embark on a journey where will undoubtedly laugh, cry, smile, and scream all in the same game. We have our favorites and our upset picks. So gather around the TV with some of your best friends and get your favorite six pack and your favorite bag of chips.

Who will rise to the top? Who will sink to the bottom? Who will become this years Cinderella story?? I DON'T KNOW!!


I've got THE Ohio State winning the whole tournament. Who do you have? Leave you answer in a comment below!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Price You Pay

This past weekend at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, we witnessed one of the more horrific accidents in NASCAR history within the final 100 yards of the Nationwide Series season opener. While the accident on the track we have seen before, it's what happened in the grandstands that made it horrific.

For those that missed it, or haven't seen it yet, it looked something like this:

And this:

As Kyle Larson's (#32) car was sent flying into the catch fence that separates the cars from the spectators, it came apart on and debris, including the entire front third of the car with engine, was sent flying into the stands. By the time the final count was issued, 28 spectators were injured and some were worse than others. Thankfully, no one was killed. 

By the end of the day, many were calling for NASCAR to rethink the safety of their fans when it comes to keeping what goes on on the track...on the track. Personally, I feel that's just the risk you take when attending a NASCAR race.

First, let me debunk of few your rebuttals. Yes, I have been to a NASCAR race. In fact, I lost count after 20. Yes. I have been to Daytona...I understand the speed. Yes. I have sat down close to the track for a race. Well, it wasn't NASCAR, but I sat five rows from the track with my Dad for 100th running of the Indianapolis 500. The cars were going 220 MPH when they passed at the point where we were sitting on the track.

Now that that's out of the way, let me just say that when you spend the hundreds of dollars that it takes to sit that close to a NASCAR race at Daytona, you got to know what you're getting yourself into. It's restrictor plate racing which means the speeds are going to be high and the risk for cars getting airborne are significantly higher there than at any other track.

Also, it's the very end of the race. Do people honestly expect these drivers to think twice when the checkered flag is in the air? Following the race, I heard one driver tell a reporter that as soon they saw smoke and realized there was no way to avoid it, they just put their foot down and hoped for the best. The guy that "caused" it, Regan Smith (#7), himself said that he wouldn't change a thing when it comes to how he handled the situation (he threw a block on Brad Kesolowski that turned Smith sideways and kicked off the melee).

Wrecking is a part of the sport. Unfortunately, it's a glorified part of the sport and it's why most Americans watch. When you go to a race, it's the nature of the beast and it's going to happen. When you purchase a ticket to sit that close to the action, you have to understand the risks that come with sitting that close.

There's only one way to make the fans completely safe and that's to end the sport altogether (something I don't think very many fans, including myself, want). Simply moving fans away from the track will only do so much. It's amazing how far a piece of sheet-metal will go when it is flung at 200 miles per hour.

NASCAR has already slowed the cars down by using restrictor plates. Slowing them down much more will make the race painfully long and boring and we may see fans from the freeway drive right onto the track and race with them.

The catch fence did exactly what it was supposed to do: catch the car. What if the catch fence had failed? Hundreds of people would have died as Kyle Larson's car would've flown into the grandstands at 200 miles per hour. People thought that the 28 injured (none dead) was bad. In my opinion, while unfortunately 28 people did suffer because of the crash, nobody died. It may sound insensitive, but, I think we need to look at the positives here and count our blessings.

On SportsCenter Sunday morning, NASCAR was under fire due to the danger that the sport brings to it's fans. Are people just now figuring out that 43 race cars going as fast as they can with one goal in mind, being winning, and doing whatever it takes to accomplish that goal is dangerous?

NASCAR has, and always will be, a dangerous sport. It's the nature of the beast and it's one that apparently many people need to come to grips with. While it may never be 100% safe, I feel that NASCAR has made many great strides since the death of Dale Earnhardt in making it safer for everyone involved from the fans, to the drivers, to even the pit crews.

So instead of criticizing NASCAR for the lives that were affected by the crash, praise NASCAR for the lives that were spared by the safety precautions that have been put in place since 2001. While it may not have seemed like it this past weekend, they worked.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


2013 Super Bowl XLVII
Photo: Mike via Flickr
Ah yes. It's Super Bowl Sunday! The BEST, and worst (because it's ending), day on the NFL calendar. The best two teams from each division, NFC and AFC, square off in a winner-take-all battle to the death!...well, at least the final whistle, anyways.

This past NFL season gave us many great surprises with this Super Bowl match up being one of them. Raise your hands if you predicted a 49ers versus Ravens Super Bowl match-up? Alright I'll give you that one. But, raise your hand if you saw Colin Kaepernick led 49ers team going up against a Ray Lewis led Ravens team post-torn triceps? LIARS!! ALL OF YOU ARE LIARS!!

Another great surprise from this past NFL season was was play of our fabulous freshman: RG3, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris, and we'll throw Kaepernick in there just because this was his first season as the starting quarterback.

Who would've thought on draft day last April that those three rookie quarterbacks would be leading their teams to the playoffs? It is simply incredible what they have accomplished this season and while RG3 was named AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, all three of them should be commended.

Speaking of Andrew Luck, how about those Colts? They lost Peyton Manning two years prior, Jeff Saturday just before the season, and then, oh by the way, Head Coach Chuck Pagano gets diagnosed with cancer just after the season got started!

The fact that they got to the playoffs speaks volumes to Andrew Lucks leadership as well as Bruce Arians leadership. Kudos to Arians on the new gig in Arizona and on winning the AP Coach of the Year award.

And how about Peyton Manning? Just one season after having multiple neck surgeries (and also being warned by doctors that the next hit you take could be your last), he suited up with Denver Broncos and proved that Tim Tebow (I couldn't go the entire NFL review post without name dropping him now could I?) isn't the only person that can win in Denver. Congrats to Mr. Manning on winning AP Comeback Player of the Year.

Speaking of comebacks, Adrian Peterson's recovery from a torn ligament in his knee was nothing short of sensational. Only one person saw that coming: MVPeterson. Not even one year removed from that devastating hit at FedEx did Peterson comeback and run through, over, and around the NFL while almost breaking the single season rushing record. Congrats to AP on AP NFL MVP.

Records are made to be broken, right? Just ask Jerry Rice. Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson simply crushed Jerry's single season receiving mark with a few weeks left to spare. The Johnson's, Andre and Calvin (no relation), had great seasons and have solidified themselves among the best of the NFL's all-time receivers (sorry, Randy.).

Oh, what a season it was. As we reflect back on the 2012-2013 NFL season, it certainly was a memorable one. For me, it even gave me my most memorable NFL experience when I sat five rows from the endzone for the Redskins versus Ravens thriller.

A post titled "SUPER BOWL SUNDAY" just simply wouldn't be complete without my own Super Bowl prediction. Well, here it goes:

Ravens 37, 49ers 34. MVP: Ray Rice. 

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, everyone.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Worst of the All Stars

Pro Bowl
Photo: billsoPHOTO via Flickr 
What is the point of the Pro Bowl? It is nowhere near as cool as the NBA All Star Game, the MLB All-Star Game, or the NHL All-Star Game. In fact, all three of those All-Star events last an entire weekend and are fun to watch. The NFL All-Star just plain boring.

Players show up a week before the game, learn a few plays, and then get one to three series in the game, and go home. No fun skills tests, no interesting plot twists, nothing. How is that different from any other NFL game week?

Simply put, it in Hawaii. That is the only thing that separates the Pro Bowl week from any other average NFL work week; it's location.

The best NFL players don't even participate. Why? Because they are playing in the league championship game the very next weekend. Think about it. We're missing Ray Lewis, Joe Flacco, Colin Kaepernick, and Frank Gore...just to name a few. What's an All-Star event without the All-Stars?

What's at stake? In the MLB, the winning league gets home field advantage for the World Series. For the NBA and NHL, it's bragging rights. In the NFL..."we're all winners". Again, whats the point?

In the NBA, there's the Slam Dunk Contest. In the NHL, there's the Best Trick Contest. In the MLB, there's the Home Run Derby. What marquee skills test makes the NFL All-Star festivities awesome? Nothing.

It's time to do away with the NFL Pro Bowl. It is simply another chance for players to get hurt and all they get is some cash and sweet new jersey to hang in their house. Possibly a trophy if they play well enough.

There is one simple way to keep the NFL All-Star weekend. Add to it! Make it cool! Add a skills competition. A punt, pass, and kick type thing. Play some flag football with some retired players like Prime Time and Montana. Don't just have all these fans go to Hawaii for one week of practice and a meaningless football game.

Each year, the Pro Bowl becomes less popular and the laughing stock of the major American-sport All-Star events.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Terrible Teo...

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Teo, above, claims to be the victim of a cat fish. (Photo: Neon Tommy)
Possibly the biggest, and weirdest, sports news story so far this year is what happened to Manti Teo. For those of you that haven't heard, and shame on you if you haven't, Teo was in love with a woman that never existed, never died, and he never even met.

Which sucks, because he was the inspirational sports story of 2012 after she "died" just six hours after his grandmother died and he went out three days later and played a sensational game for Notre Dame. As you could probably guess, my reaction is the basis for this blog post...

First off, hats off to the folks over at Deadspin for writing an incredibly detailed account of the story from start to finish. They did a really great job and you should take a look at the article that is linked to above (after you finish reading this one, of course).

I don't understand how Teo could have possibly been duped in this situation. There are so many fine details that he claims to have happened that never happened at all. For instance, he claims to have first met her following the Notre Dame versus Stanford game. If she never existed, how could they have had "love at first sight"?

There are too many discrepancies and things that would just have to be coincidences for Teo to not be somehow involved in this scandal in some way. If this girl was in car accident, that was never reported, and then put in the hospital and diagnosed with cancer, also never reported, then why didn't he go and visit her? How busy can he be? I'm Chip Kelly, who gave Teo a game ball in honor of "Lennay", would understand.

And how come Teo didn't look devastated in his interview with ESPN in the days following her death? If something you love THAT much were to be taken away from you like, you'd be a wreck! I know I would be a total mess!

But not Teo. He remained calm and played as if nothing had happened. If you were to let a loved one pass without ever visiting them in the hospital, you'd (hopefully) feel some sort of remorse. Not Teo. He has yet to show any sort of remorse...or emotion since he has been silent since this story broke (also interesting).

If Manti Teo has nothing to hide then why has he gone into hiding? If he the mentally strong individual that he claims to be, why doesn't he face the media storm that is lingering and waiting for him to come out? In my opinion, he's hiding something...something BIG.

In my honest opinion, Manti Teo is lying. He was definitely involved in this scandal it was all one big publicity stunt. He saw this as an opportunity to take advantage of the media, the public, and to rocket himself onto the national stage and into the spotlight.

Will this effect his draft ranking? I doubt it. One thing is clear, what Teo did on the field was no hoax. He is one of the best linebackers in this years draft and that is no joke. I think that he will still be taken in the first round of the NFL Draft this coming April.

What are your thoughts on the Manti Teo story? Star the discussion and leave a comment below!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baseballs Bad Image

A-Rod's Baseball Collection

Well, in a sport that has been gutted, destroyed, and ravaged by steroids, baseball finally got it right this past week.

It was a two step process that needed to be done. Major league baseball is on the right track in returning to be America's past time, although I doubt it will. However, doing whatever they can to rid themselves of the dark steroid era days will contribute to their success, increase popularity, and, most of all, decrease in bad steroid-related baseball jokes.

Early in the week, baseball did what only happens in every other major league sport. The only difference, baseball did what can only happen in baseball! They voted and nobody was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 2013 class will be empty. The ballot included major players from the steroid era like Clemons, Sosa, Bonds and McGwire.

Were there players that should have been inducted? No doubt. But, I am not here to debate whether or not players should have or shouldn't have been. I am not here to debate whether or not baseballs Hall of Fame voting system is as obsolete as your grandmothers or great-grandmothers computer.

I am simply here to say that baseball was correct in leaving players linked to the steroid era out of the Hall. In my opinion, they should be left out forever. Players where there is a substantial amount of evidence (I don't know how much that is) that points to them having done steroids, should be left out of Cooperstown...forever (spoken like Squints from The Sandlot).

The next step baseball took towards cleaning up its act came later in the week when Commissioner Bud Selig announced that there will be random drug testing starting this coming season. In my opinion, this has been a long time coming. Baseball has needed a random drug testing policy since someone first came up the idea.

If you ask me, football has become Americas new favorite sport with baseball falling in at second and the basketball being a close third. Will baseball ever overtake football? Probably not. Most people have come to associate baseball with steroids and steroids with baseball. It's the outcome of an era of big bats, big stats, and big muscles that were aided by big needles with big drugs.

While it may not become America's favorite sport again, it can get rid of the stereotypes, bad jokes, and bad image. Ensuring that steroid users can't get into the Hall of Fame and instituting a random drug testing policy are just two giant steps in the right direction.

What do you think of baseball and the steroid era? Will it ever be a thing of the past? Leave your thoughts in a comment below and start the discussion!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

And the Winner is...

andrew-luck (1)
Andrew Luck, above, may be the front runner for Rookie of the Year. (Photo: PathosProject)

As the regular season draws to end and the playoffs begin, the award races are beginning to heat up. For today's post, I'll be taking a look at the Rookie of the Year race.

At the beginning of the season, there were three clear-cut front runners: Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III (RG3), and Trent Richardson. Following the regular season, the number of players in the running increased to four...but two were not expected.

Andrew Luck and RG3 were essentially locks as finalists for the award. But, after a season that came up just short of 1,000 rush yards for Richardson, I am removing him from my final four. Instead, I am adding Russell Wilson and Alfred Morris.

As the season progressed, so did Wilson (and that's what landed him on this list). However, based off of his slow start and inconsistent season, you can eliminate him. Luck, RG3, and Morris were consistent in their performances throughout the whole season.

So that brings it down to three finalists: Andrew Luck, RG3, and Alfred Morris.

Let's start with the dynamic duo of RG3 and Alfred Morris. Washington's most loved players became the first rookie quarterback and running back tandem to rush for over 500 yards individually in a single season and led the Redskins to a 10-6 record and into the playoffs.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the award races, these are two are each others worst enemy. They rely on each other like blue cheese and buffalo wings. If you remove one, the other is awful. And if RG3 or Morris is removed from the offense, it is nowhere near as successful.

Who does Andrew Luck have? No one. The running game has been less then stable this season for the Colts and without Reggie Wayne the passing attack would have a hard time getting going. Simply put, Luck is doing this by himself. He's putting on an absolute display and has been doing so since the beginning of season. Plus, he's led his team to an 11-5 record, better than RG3s 10-6.

BUT, in the interest of fun, here are my final two for NFL Rookie of the Year....Andrew Luck and Alfred Morris.

OUTRAGE in the Nations capital as RG3 is left off my final two for a sixth round draft pick that just happens to also play for the Redskins...but, I have my reasons.

What happens when RG3 can't find the handle? Who do they rely on? Alfred Morris. Who is the "set-up" man for the offense? Alfred Morris. The Redskins rely on the run game of Alfred Morris to make the passing game go "BOOM". So, that's why he's my finalist.

As for Andrew Luck? Well, come on. Didn't I explain that above? He is the Colts sole source of offense and has filled some pretty big shoes (*cough* Manning *cough*) pretty well. In fact, Luck's rookie season has gone considerably better than Manning's AND Luck didn't even have a real head coach for most of it.

So...the winner of the 2012-2013 NFL Rookie of the Year Award is........Andrew Luck.

Luck has gone against all odds. The questions about whether he'll be like Manning, then his head coach  leaves after being diagnosed with cancer (#ChuckStrong), and he still lead his team to an 11-6 record and a playoff birth.

Read it and weep, ladies and gents.

Who do you think should be Rookie of the Year? Leave your answer in a comment below!