Monday, December 26, 2011


 Thanks to all of you who read this blog! I wanted to update you and let you know that I am now writing articles on a sports website. Check me out at I currently have 2 of my blog posts rewritten as edited articles on the first page. I will be adding articles to that site and I will continue to post new material every few days on this blog. Thanks for reading!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Green Bay Should Be Happy With Loss

      In an improbable upset, the lowly Kansas City Chiefs defeated the previously undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday. There were several games this year where I picked Green Bay to lose. This was definitely not one of those games. The Chiefs entered with only five wins, and had just fired their head coach on Monday. Green Bay was thought of as possibly one of the best teams ever. The loss prevents the Packers from a perfect season, and assures that the 1972 Miami Dolphins are still the only NFL team to finish a complete season without a loss.

     As bad as this loss seems, I would actually be happy if I were a Packers fan. The Packers no longer have to deal with the added pressure of trying to remain unbeaten. It was impossible for the players to do an interview without being asked about going undefeated. Although they all claimed they were not thinking about it, you know they were. They can now put all of their time and effort into preparing for the end of the season and the playoffs.

      If I'm head coach Mike McCarthy, I am the happiest guy on the planet today. He no longer has to make the difficult decision to rest his starters or play them while playing for an undefeated season. He would have been scrutinized for making either decision. Some would call him a coward for resting them and sacraficing an undefeated sason. Others would have called him a fool if Rodgers would have been injured while trying to stay unbeaten.
      Look at what Jim Caldwell went through with the Colts a few years back when they were undefeted and already the top seed in the playoffs. He decided to rest his starters to assure a healthy team for the playoffs- rather than going for an undefeated season. Caldwell caught all kinds of flack for throwing away a perfect season due to his fear of an injury to ones of his stars.

       Luckily for McCarthy and Green Bay, the only thing they have to worry about is locking up the #1 seed.
        So, while all you Cheeseheads were probably upset yesterday, just remember that the loss to KC is a blessing in disguise. Besides, a 16-0 regular season does not guarantee a Super Bowl title- just ask the 2007 Patriots.


Thursday, December 15, 2011

`Who Dropped the Ball in Cleveland?

     The lastest controversy in the NFL has to do with last Thursday's Browns vs. Steelers game. I'm sure that by now you have seen the vicious, helmet to helmet hit that Browns QB Colt McCoy took from Pittsburgh's James Harrison. Harrison has a history of these types of hits, and has since been suspended for 1 game.
    The news that came out earlier this week is even more disturbing than the hit itself. Colt McCoy claims to not remember the hit, or anything about the game after taking the hit. He was also suffering from concussion symptoms after the game. Guys have had concussions before, so why is this a big deal? McCoy was only briefly evaluated on the sidelines, and allowed to return to the game.

      When McCoy came to the sideline he was holding his hand, so that 's what the trainers checked. The Browns are claiming that the trainers never saw the hit (they were busy working on other players), so they didn't know to conduct the full concussion test on McCoy. Are you kidding me? Have you ever seen an NFL game? There are about 100 people standing on the sidelines, not to mention all of the people up in the boxes. You can't tell me that noone saw McCoy get hit in the head. I have to put this one on the head coach, you know that he saw McCoy get drilled in the head.

       The NFL has taken an initiative against concussions. There are strict rules in place to check players before thye are allowed to go back into a game. Every team knows how serious the league is on this issue. It blows my mind that Cleveland let this happen. I know that as bad as the Browns are, even a concussed McCoy is probably their best chance to win. But that doesn't mean that you jeopardize a guy's career just to win a game.

      I totally agree with Harrison being suspended for the hit (I feel 1 game is too light). However, I feel that the Browns organization needs to be fined or penalized as well. Allowing a concussed player back into a game is an egregious error. It's not like this happened in some rural high school game. This happened in the nation's most watched sports league.

    Not administering a concussion test on because the trainers didn't see the hit is a horrible excuse. Own up to your mistake, because now you just look foolish.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reaction to the Braun Positive Test

     Stop me if you’ve heard this one before:  A Major League Baseball slugger testing positive for performance enhancing drugs.  The most recent case is a very surprising one. The reigning National League MVP and fan favorite Ryan Braun has failed a drug test that was taken during the playoffs.  Braun joins the likes of Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire, Alex Rodriguez, and Rafael Palmerio as power-hitting stars who have all tested positive for Performance Enhancing Drugs.

      Braun is claiming that he never knowingly took any PED’s. Really dude?  This is the same old excuse that Bonds and the others tried to use. I really find it hard to believe that a baseball star would let someone inject them with, or give them an unknown substance.  Baseball has tried to take the lead on PED’s with strict testing and severe penalties. (50 game suspension for the first offense)

     The most disheartening thing about the Braun case is the fact that it is such a surprise. Braun has turned into a superstar over the past few years, and has always seemed to do things the right way. He has helped to rejuvinate the Brewers franchise and make them a force in the National League.  This positive test now makes it hard to root for anyone anymore.

      The second part of this story is that the Baseball Writers Association of America, the voters who pick the MVP, are not going to make Braun give back his award. This is absolutely absurd to me! How can an MVP award be given to a guy that was on an illegal substance during that time? I think that the award needs to be taken from Braun and given to the runner up, Matt Kemp of the LA Dodgers.

      I really do hope that this test was a major mix-up, and that Braun really is innocent. However, based on recent history, this is probably not the case.  There is so much pressure to succeed in today’s society that even the good guys feel they have to cheat to get ahead.

Mr. Braun, if this test result is true:  the best thing that you can do is admit your mistake, give back your MVP, serve your suspension, and come back a stronger player than you were before.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Where is the NBA I Grew Up With?

        It seems that every time the NBA starts to make progress, something happens to set the league back again. After years of being down, guys like Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James came into the league and rejuvenated it. Then, just like that, there was “The Decision” and the realization that superstars could now join up and form dream teams. Now, after the most exciting playoffs in recent memory, there was a lockout and more players trying to join forces in search of a championship.

       The reality of today‘s NBA is that there are about five or six teams who can legitimately compete for a title each year. This is due to reasons such as: expansion, players leaving college before they are ready, and superstars playing together in the major markets. Whatever happened to the days where all but three or four teams came into the season with a shot at winning?

       I grew up a big NBA fan in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. I can think back to that time and basically name a superstar from every team in the league. (I dare you to try that with today’s teams) Take a look at the small list I made below, and you will notice that even teams considered to be small markets had a superstar.
Olajuwon - Houston

Malone- Utah

Shaq - Orlando
Miller – Indiana

Kemp – Seattle
Wilkins - Atlanta
         These were the days when the NBA was the best game in town. These guys were all competitors. I think the argument could be made that in the late 80’s/early 90’s, the NBA was actually more popular than the NFL.

 I would love to see the NBA that I remember as a kid return. There would be no one just following the money or teaming up just because they can’t win alone. Could you imagine if Jordan would have approached Bird about teaming up together in Chicago? It never would have happened!

 It looks like for now I am stuck with poor quality replays of what I remember on the NBA Network’s Greatest Games.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Tebow Fever

    Dating back to his college days at Florida, it seems that Tim Tebow has always been a polarizing figure. You either love Tim Tebow or you hate Tim Tebow. I never considered myself a hater, I just was not a total believer.
     As the Broncos keep winning, Tebow Fever continues to rage. I was sure that I was immune to this “disease”. His passing stats are terrible (remember the 2 for 8 passing game), his mechanics are unconventional, and his style couldn’t be further from what we think an NFL quarterback should have. I used to say, “There’s no way this guy wins in the NFL.”
     The first time I realized that I too may be coming down with “the fever” was a few weeks ago on a Thursday night. I found myself staying up until midnight to watch Tebow drive his team 95 yards down the field to beat the NY Jets. Of course, the winning drive was capped off with an amazing Tebow touchdown run in the final minutes. I remember thinking “Wow, so this is what all the hype is about.”
    Now, three more Tebow wins later, I must say that I have Tebow Fever. Did I mention that in five of the wins Denver was losing in the 4th quarter? Or that three of Tebow’s seven wins have come in overtime. Regardless of his passing stats, the stat that matters the most is wins. The Broncos were 1-4 before Tebow took over as starter. They are now 8-5, 7-1 with him as the starter.
    Critics of Tebow will point to the fact that the wins have come against some bad teams. They will also say that Denver's recent resurgance on defense has a lot to do with the new found success.

I don’t know if this success is sustainable, but it sure is fun to watch.
Tim Tebow is a winner who does it the right way. How can you root against that?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

When Will Harrison Learn?

       Here we go again … another vicious and illegal hit from Pittsburgh’s James Harrison. I’m surprised that we haven’t heard a comment yet about how the league is out to get him.  When is this guy going to learn? Yes, football is a violent sport, but there are rules that must be followed.  Harrison has been fined more than any player in the league over the last few years, and yet he continues to land these hits with the intent to injure.  This guy just does not get it.

The thing that bothers me most about Harrison is that he feels he is right and everyone else is wrong. He gets upset after getting a personal foul called for the hit. Newsflash: because of you, the league has been cracking down on helmet to helmet hits. 
  If you watch the video from the Thursday night game, you can clearly see Harrison lower his head as he gets set to hit Cleveland's Colt McCoy. This is clearly a violation of the new rules. Steelers fans will argue that since McCoy left the pocket, he was no longer covered by the “protect the quarterback” rules.  My argument is that this was clearly a helmet to helmet hit on a defenseless player. 

It’s obvious that the flags and fines are not teaching him a thing. If the Steelers care at all about their image they will kick him off the team. He is a liability. At the very least he needs to be suspended. If Ndamukong Suh was suspended 2 games for his Thanksgiving Day stomp, then Harrison deserves at least 5.
   Message to James Harrison: stop being selfish and embarrassing yourself. You are hurting your team and need to grow up or get out.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tiger on Top

    I found myself this past Sunday being drawn away from watching my favorite NFL team (Baltimore) to watch a meaningless, unofficial golf tournament that featured a minute field of only 18 golfers. Granted, those golfers were ranked in the top 50 in the world. You are probably wondering why would I do something as sacreligious as watch golf over football on a Sunday in December? Answer: Tiger Woods was in position to win a golf tournament for the first time in over 2 years.
     Like it or not, Tiger being on top is great for the game of golf. I have always been an avid fan of the PGA, but for the last 2 years I found myself watching it less and less due to Tiger's absence. Watching Tiger drain birdie putts on 17 and 18 this past Sunday took me back to 2008 at Torrey Pines when Tiger was limping around the course and draining putts to win the US Open.
      No offense to any of the current guys on tour, but fair weather golf fans are not going to tune into Webb Simpson or Brandt Snedeker battling it out to win tournaments. Tiger fist-pumping and yelling at camermen for snapping a photo in his backswing is what draws fans to tune in. When Woods burst onto the golf scene in the mid 90's, he opened up a whole new generation of fans to the game of golf. He brought a new passion and attitude to the game. It is for that reason that when Tiger drains a 20 ft sanke on the 18th to win an obscure golf tournament, people are going to ignore what happened in November of 2009 and get back to jumping out of their seats and cheering.
        I will be right there yelling along with them.

BCS: Great System or Just BS?

   In the wake of Sunday's announcement of LSU meeting Alabama in a rematch for the national championship, sports radio has been filled this week with arguments for and against the Bowl Championship Series system. Should the system stay the same, should there be a "plus one" game, or should there be a full fledged playoff system?
    Proponents of the BCS system claim that its goal is to assure that the two best teams in the nation meet each other for the national championship. Is that really what happened this year? I really don't have a problem with LSU playing against Alabama again. (Though LSU vs. OK State would have been a really fun matchup and I am tired of the SEC ruling the BCS)
    My beef this year really lies with the Sugar bowl selections. Seriously, how do they take Michigan (2 losses) and VA Tech (2 losses) over Boise St. (1 loss) or Kansas State (2 losses but a tougher schedule)?!?! Everythng that I have heard said that the Sugar bowl took Michigan and VA Tech because they "travel well" and "bring money".  I don't care about money, I want to see the true better teams in the nation get the best opportunities.
     I have been a fan of a playoff system since 1994 when my beloved Nittany Lions went undefeated and were bettered in the polls by an undefeated Nebraska team without a real explanation.  I would love to see the NCAA start with an 8 team playoff, with the possibility to expand to 16. Could you imagine a mini March Madness in December?  If you take the top 8 teams after the regular season and let them play it out on the filed, instead of in the polls and computers, this would give us a true champion. Once you get those teams in a playoff- all bets would be off.  Imagine if Boise St. would beat Oregon, OK State, and then LSU in the championship game. What a great and interesting system that would be.
   Oh well, I guess for now we are stuck with the BS...oops, I mean BCS.