Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rob Gronkowski (pictured above) and the New England Patriots will redeem themselves on February 3rd with their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history.
By Josh Kramer
It has been 208 days since the New England Patriots and more specifically Wes Welker let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers. For those of you in need of a refresher, back on February 5th in the house that Peyton Manning built (Lucas Oil Stadium), the New York Giants once again shocked the New England Patriots in a very closely contested Super Bowl game. That was then though and this is now. America’s most popular sport is just five days away from its official kickoff. Who is ready for some football?
AFC East Champion: New England Patriots
I am sure you are all shocked at this pick. New England has only won three straight divisional crowns and qualified for the playoffs eight of the past nine years. People are already comparing this year’s squad to the greatest team to ever grace the gridiron, but fail to win the Lombardi Trophy (2007 Patriots). With Brandon Lloyd added to the mix, it is hard to say these comparisons are all that far-fetched. However, it should be noted that the defense has some flaws, and the offensive line will have its fair of struggles due to the absence of Matt Light (retirement), Brian Waters (possibly retirement), Logan Mankins (ACL tear), and Sebastian Vollmer (back injury). Luckily for New England, the Jets appear to have taken a step backwards with the acquisition of “God” Tebow, and the Miami Dolphins appear to just be a horrible team (Hard Knocks has provided clear evidence of this). Buffalo is improved, but does not have nearly the firepower to stick with New England throughout the duration of a grueling 17-week season. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged A.J. Green, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Andre Johnson, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arian Foster, Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Lloyd, Brian Waters, Buffalo Bills, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Darren Mcfadden, Denver Broncos, Drew Brees, Ed Reed, Eli Manning, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, James Harrison, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Joe Montana, Jon Beason, Kansas City Chiefs, Logan Mankins, Luke Kuechly, Mario Manningham, Matt Light, Matt Schaub, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Rob Gronkowski, Robert Griffin III, San Diego Chargers, Sebastian Vollmer, Steve Young, Super Bowl, Terrell Suggs, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Troy Polamalu, Wes Welker
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joe Southwick (pictured above) will be the Boise State starting quarterback tomorrow night as the post-Kellen Moore era begins.
By Josh Kramer
Lights. Camera. Action. After a 234 day hiatus, the 2012 college football season kicks off tonight. We are coming to the end of the BCS era as the first college football playoff creeps closer. Week 1 generates a major buzz every year, despite featuring very few ”buzz-worthy” matchups.
Here are the marquee matchups:
Boise State at Michigan State: Spartans by 7
Headline: The post-Kellen Moore era begins poorly with a Spartan smackdown.
The date was December 23, 2007. Taylor Tharp was the quarterback for Boise State as they took on East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was the star player for the Pirates, leading them to a 41 to 38 upset victory over Boise State. This night in Hawaii over four years ago happens to be the last game that Kellen Moore was not under center for the Boise State Broncos. Tomorrow night, the Joe Southwick era officially takes flight, as Southwick takes over the quarterback reigns for the great Kellen Moore. Continue reading
Posted in NCAA Football
Tagged Alabama Crimson Tide, Andrew Maxwell, Auburn Tigers, Big Ten, Boise State Broncos, Brian Kelly, Cam Newton, Chris Johnson, Chris Peterson, Cierre Wood, Clemson Tigers, Cowboys Stadium, Denard Robinson, Jerry Jones, Joe Southwick, Jordan Jefferson, Kellen Moore, Kirk Cousins, LSU Tigers, Mark Dantonio, Michael Dyer, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Navy Midshipmen, Nick Saban, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Orange Bowl, Sammy Watkins, SEC, Sugar Bowl, Superdome, Tajh Boyd, Taylor Tharp, Tommy Rees, West Virginia
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Are Jay Cutler (pictured above) and the Chicago Bears poised for a big year in 2012? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky thinks so.
By Wesley Kaminsky
The NFL off-season always seems too long, doesn’t it? In an off-season dominated by Tim Tebow and the New York Jets, it’s that other team in New York who are the reigning Super Bowl champions. They shocked the NFL world a season ago, getting hot at the right time, beating the likes of the Packers, 49ers, and then eventually the Patriots. That takes guts.
With teams such as the Packers, 49ers, Bears, Saints, and Falcons, just to name a few, the NFC is becoming a powerhouse. I didn’t even touch on the NFC East.
In the AFC, the Patriots look like the clear-cut team to beat, as they added more weapons to an already lethal offense and revamped their defense.
Can the Ravens finally get over the hump? Will Peyton Manning return with a vengeance?
These questions will be answered in due time. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Rodgers, AFC, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Weeden, Buffalo Bills, Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Greg Schiano, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jamaal Charles, Jay Cutler, Jeff Fisher, Joe Flacco, John Skelton, Julio Jones, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Kolb, Leslie Frazier, Mario Williams, Matt Flynn, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford, Maurice Jones-Drew, Miami Dolphins, Michael Vick, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Pete Carroll, Peyton Hillis, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Griffin III, Roddy White, Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Sean Payton, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Washington Redskins, Wesley Kaminsky
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Russell Wilson (pictured above) has shocked the world and been named the starting quarterback in Seattle.
By Josh Kramer
When Pete Carroll left USC, I lost almost all respect for the guy. The situation he left behind was inexcusable and a definite admission of some sort of guilt. That’s all in the past though. Slowly but surely, my respect has returned for the coach that picked up a pair of national titles at USC and is currently running the show in Seattle.
At USC, it seemed as if everything was about the money. Just ask Reggie Bush. Since arriving in Seattle, it appears Carroll has had a change of heart. On Sunday, he named a rookie third-round draft pick the starter at quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season. As much as I try to ignore it, sports are a business. Even collegiate ones unfortunately. Money is what makes the world go round. Not in Seattle’s quarterback case though.
Matt Flynn recently signed a three-year, $26 million deal, with $10 million guaranteed. Everyone and their mother expected Flynn to be the starter. Wilson, a supposedly undersized rookie quarterback is guaranteed just $619,400. In simple terms, Flynn is guaranteed to make over 16 times the money that Wilson is guaranteed with their current contracts. Yet, Wilson is the starting quarterback.
Simply based on merit, Wilson has outplayed his higher-paid counterpart, and is therefore deserving of the starting job. Kudos to Pete Carroll on not being blinded by or influenced by dollar bills this time around. The perception was that Flynn would be the Seahawks starter up until recently. Carroll did not let the perception become a reality. He evaluated the two players competing for the spot strictly on merit and performance. Russell Wilson appears to have a very bright future ahead. I do not envision Carroll regretting this decision to start the “undersized” rookie quarterback. Talk about value in a third-round pick. I guess height, money, and the perception of the public aren’t everything when it comes to quarterback play. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Boston Red Sox, Buffalo Bills, Carson Palmer, David Ortiz, Matt Flynn, Matt Leinart, Oakland Raiders, Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Rose Bowl, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Terrell Owens, USC Trojans, Vince Young
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) was not a happy camper in Bristol on Saturday night.
By Josh Kramer
Tiger Woods continued to prove that his game remains out in the “woods.” RGIII and Andrew Luck squared off for the first time in what will hopefully be long and successful careers. And Japan’s Little League team not only proved that they were the best Little League team on the planet by far, they also brought up the question of whether they could compete against the Houston Astros (just kidding). Last week was a bundle of fun, but this week will be great in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. Bristol was filled with fireworks as is typically the case. Just ask Tony Stewart. Denny Hamlin was the man who stood on the podium as the winner in the end though. There are only two more races until the Chase begins at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16th. Who will nab the final spots? We will know a little more after Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged A.J. Burnett, Alabama Crimson Tide, Andrew Luck, Andy Murray, Boston Red Sox, Denny Hamlin, Houston Astros, Japan, Kim Clijsters, Little League World Series, Los Angeles Dodgers, Michigan Wolverines, MLB, NASCAR, NCAA Football, NFL, Pittsburgh Pirates, Rafael Nadal, Robert Griffin III, St. Louis Cardinals, Tiger Woods, Tony Stewart, US Open
Photo courtesy of coupleofsports.com. Japan and Tennessee will square off in the Little League World Series title game at 3PM today.
By Josh Kramer
Little League Baseball has and always will be the end all be all when it comes to youth baseball. It is the most popular and far-reaching youth baseball program on the globe. Williamsport is the sanctuary of youth baseball and Howard J. Lamade Stadium is the mecca. I understand that. But I have never been a huge fan of the immensely popular program. My main issue is they utilize ”baby” rules. They play on a miniature diamond that would likely be more fit for 6-year-olds rather than 6 foot tall 12-year-old man childs. The rules are similar to tee-ball. And all it does is postpone the inevitable move to big boy rules longer than it should. At least one team has dispelled these thoughts from my mind temporarily. And I will give you a hint: It is not an American team. Continue reading
By Josh Kramer Name one person that does not reside in Sugar Land, Texas, who had heard of the Sugar Land Skeeters last week at this time. I can guarantee you would be hard pressed. Surprisingly, there is a good … Continue reading
Photo courtesy of halestormsports.com. Roger Federer (pictured left) and Serena Williams (picutred right) came out victorious at Wimbledon back in July. Expect the same result in New York.
By Josh Kramer
Starting on Monday, all eyes in the tennis world will be focused on the Big Apple for two whole weeks. The year’s final Grand Slam is just around the corner, and as is typically the case, there are plenty of questions to be answered in Flushing.
-Will Andy Murray finally capture the elusive first Grand Slam?
-How will New York respond to a Nadal-less field?
-Will Roger Federer leave with #18?
-Will Kim Clijsters’ farewell party be one to remember?
-Does Venus have a Jimmy Connors 1991-esque run in her?
-Will Serena leave with #15? Continue reading
Posted in Tennis
Tagged Andy Murray, Fernando Verdasco, Grand Slam, Jim Courier, Jimmy Connors, Juan Martin del Potro, Kim Clijsters, London 2012, Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Samantha Stosur, Serena Williams, Tomas Berdych, US Open, Venus Williams
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Barkley (pictured above) will have a special year in 2012 as he leads USC back to the pinnacle of college football and takes home the Heisman Trophy.
By Josh Kramer
Opening night for the 2012 edition of College Football is just a week away. It seems like it was just yesterday that Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide were celebrating on Bourbon Street. In actuality, it was 227 days ago when Alabama clinched the SEC’s sixth consecutive national championship. Don’t expect that streak to reach seven though.
Here are my predictions for the season ahead.
ACC Champion: Florida State Seminoles
I along with most people around the country jumped the gun and proclaimed Florida State’s greatness last season. Will this finally be the year that the Seminoles and their outstanding recruiting classes live up to the hype? Jimbo Fisher along with the entire city of Tallahassee certainly hope so. A loaded defense led by Brandon Jenkins, Bjoern Werner, and Xavier Rhodes are ready to roll. As is their experienced senior quarterback EJ Manuel. A September 22nd showdown with the reigning ACC Champs Clemson and a visit to Blacksburg for a Thursday night tussle (November 8th) with the always dangerous Virginia Tech Hokies are the two dates to keep in mind at this time.
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners are a definite contender to not only win the conference crown, but to take home the whole thing after a very disappointing and injury-riddled 2011. This will be a team that has a chip on its shoulder from start to finish in 2012. Unfortunately for the Sooners, their schedule does not get serious until their final three games, which features road contests against Big 12 newcomers West Virginia and TCU, and a showdown with in-state rival Oklahoma State. Also, keep an eye on the Red River Rivalry Game against a dangerous Texas team on October 13th. Senior quarterback Landry Jones may face more media pressure than any other player in the country not named Matt Barkley. I have a feeling that the very experienced senior will welcome it as he finishes his Sooner career with a bang. Continue reading
Posted in NCAA Football
Tagged ACC, Alabama Crimson Tide, Andrew Luck, Arkansas Razorbacks, BCS, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Bjoern Werner, Boise State Broncos, Brady Hoke, Brandon Jenkins, Central Florida Knights, Charlie Strong, Chris Peterson, Cincinnati Bearcats, Clemson Tigers, Curtis McNeal, Denard Robinson, Doug Martin, EJ Manuel, Florida State Seminoles, Geno Smith, Georgia Bulldogs, Jimbo Fisher, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones, Louisville Cardinals, LSU Tigers, Marcus Lattimore, Marqise Lee, Matt Barkley, Matt Leinart, Michigan Wolverines, Montee Ball, Nick Saban, Odell Beckham, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Oregon Ducks, PAC 12, Reggie Bush, Robert Woods, Rose Bowl, Russell Shepard, SEC, Silas Redd, South Carolina Gamecocks, South Florida Bulls, TCU Horned Frogs, Teddy Bridgewater, Texas Longhorns, USC Trojans, Virginia Tech Hokies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconsin Badgers, Xavier Rhodes, Zach Mettenberger
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Xavier’s very talented rising sophomore Dez Wells (pictured above) was dismissed from the team and the University yesterday.
By Jeremy Powers
Dez Wells is an impressive young player.
Wells is a six foot five inch beast of a guard, who plays above the rim, using his athletic abilities to his advantage.
Wells is a stat-sheet stuffer, who proved that by averaging nearly 10 points and five rebounds per game as a freshman.
Wells is the kind of player college coaches covet as a cornerstone of their program.
Wells was a Xavier Musketeer.
The Atlantic 10 All Freshman Team selection was expelled from XU on Tuesday after breaking the university’s student code of conduct. CBSSports.com reported that Wells’ expulsion was in response to a sexual-related incident, which cannot be detailed further.
It’s good to see that Xavier Conduct Board (UCB) did not turn to leniency when dealing with this violation. When dealing with popular student athletes, schools feel an immense amount of pressure to do the right thing, while preserving the money-maker, which is sports. Strong actions from Xavier supported that no student-athlete is different from any other student, and that is worth commending. Continue reading