Tag Archives: Pittsburgh Steelers

Weekly Nickel 9-10-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Much will be expected from Mark Trumbo (left) and Albert Pujols (right) if the Angels want to make a playoff run.

By Josh Kramer

Football, football, and more football.  How nice was it to have a Saturday and Sunday jam-packed with football action?  Your weekends may be less productive, but more entertaining for the forseeable future.  Not to mention we are nearing the end of the MLB regular season and the Chase for the Cup is on.  Last week was fun, but you better believe that this week will be a good one in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The Chase is finally on.  After 31 races spanning over nearly seven months, the field has been whittled down to 12.  There are ten races left starting at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.  Who will take it home?  We know that Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch won’t.

4.  Strasburg is doneTeixeira could be done.  The injury-bug has struck as the season nears the final twenty games.  It is September and teams are doing all they can to land a spot in the postseason.  The races of note are taking place in the AL East, the AL Central, and of course for the four wild card spots this year.  My matchup of the week takes place in the friendly confines at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles AngelsWho else envisioned the Angels participating in the Fall Classic this year?  I know I am not alone.  Well the clock is continuing to tick and currently, the Angels will miss the postseason entirely.  Fortunately for them, they open up a four-game set tonight against the team they are chasing.  Got to love how MLB scheduling works out at times.

It is make or break time for the Angels.  There is no better way to track down the team you are chasing than to handle business against them head to head.  The Angels appear to finally be clicking at the right time led by the terrific trio of Trout, Trumbo, and Pujols.  Look for the Angels to close the gap by nabbing three of four in front of a very supportive home crowd.  Also, expect the Angels to catch and pass Oakland when all is said and done.  The remainder of the A’s schedule includes the likes of the Orioles, the Tigers, the Yankees, and lots of Texas. Continue reading

NFL Week 1 Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will make his anxiously awaited debut as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos in his first real NFL action in over 20 months.

By Josh Kramer

The NFL is back in full force after Wednesday night’s opener between the Giants and Cowboys.  It is still odd to me that an NFL game was played on a Wednesday, but life goes on.  Keep in mind that the last three times the Giants and Cowboys have played each other in their opener, one of the two NFC East rivals has gone on to claim the Lombardi Trophy.  Let’s hope the real referees return by then.

Two seasons ago, I created a pick’em challenge with one of my good buddies (CV3).  Last year, we added two new players (CB and DC) to increase the competition level of the second annual “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge.”  In year three, we have replaced last year’s cellar finisher (DC) with a new player (BD) that will surely be in the hunt.

The participants this season are as follows:

BD-Brien Dulle: A life-long sports fan that has lived all of his life in Cincinnati. Growing up as a sports fan in a tough city for professional teams (Bengals and Reds), Brien never developed strong allegiances for any one particular team. This unbiased vantage point gives him a much broader range of the sporting world. His opinions from sports have been greatly influenced by the likes of individuals like Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Ryen Russillo, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon whom he listens to daily.

CB-Craig Baker:  A former collegiate baseball player and current special education teacher.

CV3-Chad Vordenberge:  An elite high school wide receiver and a very successful business owner.

TSK (two-time defending champion)-Josh Kramer: Founder/Editor-in-Chief of “TheSportsKraze,” former ESPN intern, current Sunday columnist for the popular SNY Network Blog “It’s About The Money,” and writer for fantasy sports website DraftDay.com.

Rules of the Game: This is how the game works.  We will pick every game each week (outside of the Thursday night games or dare I say Wednesday night games).  Whomever gets the most cumulative games right at the end of the regular season wins.  No spreads.  Just straight up pick’ems for the most parity filled professional sports league in America. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 9-3-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Adam Jones (pictured above) has been a main reason why the Baltimore Orioles are in contention for their first AL East title since 1997.

By Josh Kramer

Labor Day typically means two things other than a day off of work.  First of all, the dog days of August are over.  Secondly, America’s favorite sport is back.  College football took over this weekend and guess what?  The NFL is right around the corner.  Last week was a whole lot of fun, but this week will be good in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Richmond International Speedway will be the place to be next Saturday in terms of NASCAR.  This is the final race before the Chase for the Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway on the 16th.  In other words, Richmond is for all of the marbles.  Find a way into the top ten, or pray that you nab one of the two wild card spots.  I am looking at you Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.

4.  The dog days are finally over.  Players are smiling from ear to ear due to the dog days finally ending, the expanded rosters, and of course the home stretch to the regular season.  We have learned a few things along the way.  The Baltimore Orioles are the real deal.  Crazy, I know.  Much of this is thanks to their star center fielder Adam Jones. Continue reading

NFL Preview 2012-2013

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

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Beware of the Chicago Bears

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

NFL Games of the Week

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost an overtime thriller to the Denver Broncos back in January. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will do all in his power to get Denver another victory over the Black and Yellow in Week 1.

By Josh Kramer

Opening night is still well over a month away (September 5th), but anticipation for the 2012 NFL season is mounting.  With training camps, fantasy drafts, and more, people are all ears in regards to the 2012 NFL season.  The following is a guide for the upcoming season with a game a week to have circled on your calendar regardless of your fan allegiance.

Week 1:  Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos

Date/Time/Station:  9-9-2012/4:25PM/NBC

The Word:  What transpired on January 8, 2012 left a bitter taste in the mouths of Steeler Nation.  Tim Tebow may be gone, but Peyton Manning has arrived. Continue reading

Coughlin deserves it

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tom Coughlin (pictured above) has been highly criticized over the years. Yesterday, he finally received some of the credit he deserves in signing a three-year extension worth 20 million dollars.

By Josh Kramer

Tom Coughlin never actually looks happy.  He was likely smiling on the inside yesterday though when he signed a three-year contract worth 20 million dollars.  Not too many coaches have sat on a hotter seat than Coach Coughlin has during his “tumultuous” eight years roaming the sidelines at the Meadowlands.  Yesterday, Coughlin was finally awarded monetarily for bringing the Giants their second Super Bowl championship in five years.

The harshest critics in the world reside in New York City.  If you can’t take the heat, then get out is the motto in the Big Apple.  Over the years, Tom Coughlin has dealt with as much, or more heat, than any other coach in the NFL (that still has a job).  If we are being entirely honest, if the Giants had failed to win in Week 16 and Week 17 last year, Coughlin likely would have been fired.  Instead, the Giants went on a magical run of six straight victories resulting in the organization’s fourth Super Bowl championship.

I for one have never understood the skepticism in regards to Coughlin. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XIII

Photo courtesy of cleveland.com. A year ago, Kobe Bryant (pictured above) was not a happy camper for a number of reasons. Will things brighten up this Spring for the LA superstar?

By Josh Kramer

Lucky number thirteen.  Over three months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong.  What was happening on April 14, 2011?  How about on April 14, 2012?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

A Rough Go for Kobe

Here is a snippet..

The past couple of days have been an absolute whirlwind for Lakers superstar, Kobe Bryant.  First, a key piece of the Lakers championship puzzle, Andrew Bynum, goes down with yet another knee injury.  Then, later in the game, Kobe picks up a technical foul. But the technical was not out of the ordinary for Bryant, who is 2nd in the League this year in technical fouls to Superman himself, Dwight Howard.

Bryant frequently argues with referees and actually has ranked in the top ten in the League for technical fouls each of the past six seasons. I do not like when guys jabber at opposing players or whine to  the referees.  But I do respect Bryant’s drive and his ability to “Refuse to Lose.”  He is emotional.  The man just hates losing.  It is a trait that Michael Jordan had.  It is a trait that Tiger Woods had.  Losing is not something that any of these guys ever seem to think is possible.  So they each have had their fair share of temper tantrums over the years.  And do not think for a second that guys like Jordan did not cry to the refs or that the other stars in today’s game remain mum towards the referees.  It just isn’t true.  Stars complain.  And they complain frequently.

But in the San Antonio game, Kobe made a big time mistake to go along with his technical foul.  He appears to have directed an offensive gay slur towards the referee.  Cursing is one thing.  When racist, religious, or gay slurs get brought into the game, it takes things to another level.  Kobe crossed the line (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Food for Thought 3-20-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Now we all know where Peyton Manning will be playing in 2012. Where will Tim Tebow (pictured above) land?

By Josh Kramer

#18 is taking his talents to Mile High.  This whole “Decision” had a far different feel than the infamous “Decision” of July 8, 2012.  Peyton Manning handled this whole situation with the amazing grace and class that he has demonstrated throughout the duration of his career.  He is heading into a good situation in which punching a ticket to the playoffs in year one should not be a problem.  At nearly the age of 36, all Peyton wants to is win Super Bowls.

Sadly, in every game, there are winners and there are losers.  Many say that all Tim Tebow does is win.  In this case he has lost. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part III

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. A year ago today, I gave a preview for Super Bowl XLV predicting that the Steelers would come out victorious. I was wrong.

By Josh Kramer

A wise man once told me, “There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again.”  Though, I am not in full agreement with that statement, it does set the stage for the third edition of “Throwback Saturday.”  What was happening on February 4, 2010 in sports?  How about on February 4, 2009?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Super Bowl XLV

Here is a snippet from the end..

My X-Factor in this game goes to the coaching staff.  Yes I said it.  I feel like Dick LeBeau’s amazing defensive mentality will give Rodgers just enough fits to lead the Steelers to a victory.  In addition, I think that the Steelers will get more production from Mendenhall than the Packers will get from Starks.  But the difference in the game will come down to coaching.  I give the Steelers and D-Coordinator Dick LeBeau the edge.

I got the Steelers winning an absolute thrilling game 24 to 21.  It should be fun.  Big Ben will join some elite company with his 3rd Super Bowl Title.  Do not sleep on the Packers though.  Aaron Rodgers and the Cheeseheads will be back (To finish reading the post, click this link). Continue reading