Monthly Archives: September 2009

Edition 18 “What a Weekend”

What a weekend that just transpired in sports.  The University of Cincinnati Bearcats win a big non conference game against a tough Fresno State team when things were not going their way and crack the top 10 in the rankings!  The University of Kentucky Wildcats were obliterated by the Florida Gators, but the once invincible one Tim Tebow had to leave the game with an injury.  The New York Yankees clinched the AL East title.  The Detroit Lions ended a 19 game losing streak and defeated the Washington Redskins.  And finally, the Cincinnati Bengals in dramatic comeback fashion, defeated the rival defending champion Pittsburgh Steelers.

It was truly a great weekend in sports between the MLB, NCAA, and NFL.  Though the most astonishing event may have been the Lions ending their horrific losing streak which dated back to December 23rd of 2007, around here the big news was with the Bengals.

The Bengals came out on Sunday like they were already defeated and played that way for nearly the entire first half.  They just looked simply overmatched by a very confident looking Steelers team.  Time and time again Ben Roethlisberger escaped pressure situations and lived on the broken play.  The Steelers have a fantastic offensive line, but I have never seen someone who is not a running quarterback live on the broken play as Roethlisberger does.  Roethlisberger is extremely elusive in the pocket for a big guy and finds players as plays break down.  Though these plays seem lucky, he does it so consistently that it might not be luck.

But anyways, back to the point at hand.  The Bengals had lost to the Steelers 8 straight times in Cincinnati and looked to be heading for number 9.  Then they scored a late field goal to end the first half.  Then in a rare Big Ben mistake, Johnathan Joseph picked off a pass and took it to the endzone.  The Bengals were back in the game!

In the end, Palmer came up with another big drive in the last couple of minutes that led to a Bengals score to win the game with 14 seconds left.  The monkey is off Carson Palmer’s back.  He can lead game winning drives and this team should be 3-0.  Now I am not saying the Bengals are a playoff team yet.  There is a team in Baltimore that looks to have a stranglehold at the top of the AFC North, but this team is developing and improving each week.  They are finding a way to win games.  This is a definite sign of a playoff caliber team.

Little used Brian Leonard deserves some recognition on his great play to continue the drive on a 4th and ten where he barreled past the first down marker.  Plays like the one Leonard made can really define a team’s season.  Maybe the Denver fluke play was a wake up call and the Bengals may be in for some good fortune.

Who really knows..just another day in Who Dey Nation..but the Bengals are 2-1 and in second in the AFC North ahead of the hated yellow towel waving Pittsburgh Steelers..

Stay tuned for Edition 19.



Edition 17 “Upsets Galore”

College Football as usual is putting out the upsets with the consistency of the rain that has hit Southwest Ohio recently.  This weekend has proved no different than the others thus far.  Thursday night was the first upset of the weekend with the South Carolina Gamecocks shocking the Ole Miss Rebels on national television.  Today, South Florida, from the “supposedly” lowly Big East took out 17th ranked Florida State 17-7.  In addition, Oregon is ahead 39 to 3 in the 4th quarter over top ten California.  Also top 15 teams TCU, UC, and LSU all avoided near upset losses today.

So do people like all of the upsets in the College game today? It seems like on any given week, 2 or 3 top 15 teams will get upset.  Why is this?  Is the ranking system not accurate?  Do teams really not come out motivated every week in a sport where if you lose one game, your national championship chances are near over? 

This is the beautiful thing about the enigma that is College Football.  People love getting up on Saturday mornings, watching College Gameday, tailgating, and watching football games all day.  It is the American way on Saturday during the Fall.

The thing that may be the most mind blowing is the misconstrued system that governs College Football.  A BCS Title Game?  No playoffs?.. People still love it and tune in every week.  So many can say that the ranking system and lack thereof playoffs is screwed up, but the game is still just as popular as ever.  The upsets just keep coming and the entertainment value continues to go up.

People love seeing the underdog conquer, unless of course it is their team going down.  So welcome to all that is College Football.  Let the upsets begin as we enter October and head towards big time matchups and conference play.

Stay tuned for edition 18 of SportsKraze.


Edition 16 “Volunteer Mouths”

Once again a Tennessee coach is making headlines for comments made in front of the public eye.  This time it is the men’s hoops coach  Bruce Pearl, renowned for his orange ties and outgoing demeanor.

He made a few statements about the diversity of his players and how some come from the hood, while others wear the hood.  Though, these statements were inappropriate, it has come to be expected from the loud mouth Volunteer basketball coach.  Ridiculous comments have come to become the norm in Volunteer Men’s athletics.

Between Kiffin and Pearl, UT cannot stay out of the national media.  Honestly, it has been entertaining for the most part, but there comes a time when performance starts to count.  Pearl has brought UT into the national spotlight for basketball.  His victory over Memphis 2 years back was one of the biggest in school history and put the Vols on the men’s basketball map.

But when are these teams going to start getting media attention for their great on the field play?  Pearl’s huge victory was 2 years ago and he has no Final Four’s to show for it.  Even the pride of the entire state of Tennessee, the Lady Volunteers faltered exiting the tournament earlier than ever have before.

Rocky Top needs to start singing and gaining national media attention for victories on the playing field and not for loud mouth coaches.

Stay tuned for Edition 17 coming soon.


Edition 15 “Kiss the Heisman Goodbye”

Jevan Snead’s Heisman hopes were dashed this evening on primetime Thursday night College Football.  Snead and the Rebels were upset by the Gamecocks, giving South Carolina their 2nd win all time against a top 5 team in the country.

Snead and the Gamecocks offense was absolutely horrific.  Snead led South Carolina to a 1 of 13 conversion rate on 3rd downs and only passed for 109 yards.  These numbers are terrible and not how a top 5 team performs on primetime television.   Snead is a much better player than he showed tonight, but he has been vastly overrated all year.  I could name at least 5 QB’s off the top of my head that I feel are much better than this guy.

How about guys like Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Jacory Harris, and Tony Pike..?

Tonight may have just been an off night, but boy was it bad.  Not only is Snead vastly overrated, but possibly Ole Miss is a little more highly touted than they should be?  Big win for Steve Spurrier and the Gamecocks.  Spurrier can smile for a week and not think about all the victories going on down in Gainesville.

Stay tuned for Edition 16 of SportsKraze coming soon.


Edition 14 “Is He Superman?”

The man with the golden legs, has a “back injury.” Yes folks, it is possible for the Adrian Peterson to get hurt. Though most of the times he is a blur, occasionally defenders are able to get their paws on him and bring him down to earth. In college he spent much of his tenure with the Sooners on the sidelines with injuries.

Peterson widely regarded as the best running back in the NFL is currently leading the league again in rushing yards and is leading a high powered Vikings offense. People have been presently surprised by the efficiency of Brett Favre thus far as the quarterback for the Vikings.

Now, I am as tired of hearing about Brett Favre in the press or in the news as any of you but this topic definitely pertains.

Nearly any quarterback in the league would be tearing it up on opponents with a running back like Adrian Peterson. As long as you have receivers who can catch the ball, it is single coverage all day with teams highly focusing on containing AP.

Peterson has a crushing, powerful running style, mixed in with outstanding speed and even some finesse at times. He is an all around running back who can do it all. The sky is the limit for the man nicknamed “All Day.”

With his great mix of speed and power, he is more comparable to Superman than Flash, or any other Superhero, since he has the all around package. I am going to call him Superman in purple from now on.

My question for you all today, is Brett Favre really as good as his 77% completion percentage and his 110.2 passer rating or is he riding Peterson’s Superman cape to these great numbers?

Stay tuned for edition 15.


Edition 13 “Bobby Cox: A Coaching Legend”

Today is a sad day for baseball. One of its greatest icons will be leaving in a year. It was announced that the Atlanta Braves Manager has one more year left in his illustrious managerial career. He signed a one year contract extension and says that he will be retiring after the 2010 season. Cox will remain with the organization as an advisor in hopes to lead the Braves to another World Series Title.

Well hats off to Bobby Cox, possibly the best manager of our generation. In a day where managers get fired about as frequently as people watch Baseball Tonight, Cox has defied the odds and quietly gone about his business since the late 70’s as a manager. His first stint with the Braves was only a few years, then he spent some time with the Blue Jays and was back to managing in Atlanta in 1990.

Cox is currently 4th on the all time list of victories as a manager. He also had a streak where he led the Braves to 14 consecutive playoff appearances and a world championship in 1995. But this isn’t what necessarily makes Cox such a renowned manager. Over the years, he has gained respect from his great sportsmanship and just very simple manner of going about winning each and every day.

He has assembled arguably some of the greatest pitching staffs the MLB has ever seen and really made the term pitching wins championships a reality in this hitter friendly era. And though the game has changed dramatically during his coaching tenure, he has been able to keep up with the shifting style of play and produce consistent winners in a free agent era where consistency of making the playoffs is unheard of for teams other than the Yankees and Red Sox.

Cox is a people person. His players adore him, yet at the same time they understand his disciplined nature. Players love playing for Bobby Cox. Whether as a fan you like the Braves or not, you respect Bobby Cox and would only dislike the Braves because they are your team’s rival or have been consistent winners for the majority of the past 20 years and you are tired of them.

Best of luck to Cox and the Braves and I am looking forward to when he is bestowed with a plaque to Cooperstown.

Stay tuned for Edition 14 coming soon.


Edition 12 “Baby Talk”

You would have to be living under a rock to not have heard about the continued bickering between big time College Football coaches Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was very confused on how this game between two programs that were once great rivals was the marquee matchup last weekend.

There were plenty of other respectable games, but this one by far received the most media attention. In addition, I was wrong in predicting that Tennessee would get Gator chomped in the Swamp. The Vols held their own and Tennessee’s star safety Eric Berry got a shot in on Tim Tebow that every defensive player across the country has been dreaming of for 4 years.

People knew that Lane Kiffin would continue to talk in his attempt to save a falling program and bring them back to the forefront of College Football. Though, very immature, Kiffin’s antics are expected and best of luck to him in bringing Tennessee back to contention in the SEC. But I thought that Urban Meyer was above all this nonsense. Apparently he is not..

Meyer broke a golden rule in making excuses about his team’s lackluster victory this past Saturday over the Volunteers. He hinted that many of his players were exhibiting flu like symptoms and that Lane Kiffin and the Volunteers were not playing to win.

Mr. Meyer, I believe that you need to grow up my friend. I know that you have built a powerhouse program and won 2 national titles, but that does not give you the right to make excuses for a poor performance and point fingers at the opposing coach. Coaches learn to not make excuses for a team’s poor performance even when they are coaching the pee wees.

Yes, Kiffin is going to talk. He has been doing it since day 1. Meyer has been praised for his maturity and obviously the grooming of America’s favorite child Tim Tebow (not my favorite though). This was not the right decision Urban. In this argument, Kiffin is coming out on top because he got Meyer to bite. He got Meyer to lose sight of all that has made him so great the past few years and riled him up.

So the Gators may have won the game on the field, but Kiffin and the Volunteers have a slight edge in the whole scheme of things..

Besides, Jacory Harris and the Hurricanes are coming Gator nation. Enjoy this year on top, because the state of Florida is going to go back up for grabs real soon with the resurgence of the Hurricanes and the Seminoles.

Both Kiffin and Meyer make millions each year to coach football. They need to quit bickering like babies and go about their business in a professional manner..

Stay tuned for edition 13 coming soon.


Edition 11 “The Old Stay Young”

Ray Lewis once again proved ageless coming up with the big play to help the Ravens solidify a big victory over the San Diego Chargers and put their stake on first place in the AFC North.

The Ravens gave up an eye opening 436 passing yards and 474 total yards. Though very uncharacteristic of the normally suffocating defensive efforts Ravens fans have become accustomed to, their fearless leader still came up with the big play when it was needed. Ray Lewis has maybe lost a step over the years from the prime of his career in the early 2000’s, but he has not lost anything mentally. He read Philip Rivers snap count like a book and shot the whole.
Ray Lewis, possibly the greatest linebacker of all time still is coming up with big plays at the dinosaur age of 34! Ray was very modest after the play, but plays like this are a testament to hard work over the entire course of a career on the field, and in the film study room. Though he did not make the best decisions off the field early in his career, his football decisions have been perfect. Lewis is defying logic in continuing to will a team to big victories.
Do not sleep on this Raven’s team. Flacco has the swagger of a winner and the offense is for once healthy (for once Todd Heap is at full strength). They now have an early one game lead over the hated Steelers and are looking to win the AFC North outright this year.
The AFC North will be an extremely competitive division this year and the old man will definitely have his say on the outcome.
Stay tuned for Edition 12 coming soon.

Edition 10 “An Atypical Day in Who Dey Nation”

The Bengals pulled out a big W today at the sacred grounds of Lambeau Field over a Packers team that appears to be in the middle of the pack. The Bengals at 1-1 are a team with many question marks and hopefully a good few of these questions will be answered in a positive fashion next week against the hated rival Pittsburgh Steelers next Sunday.

The Bengals came out on fire offensively in the first quarter and scored with the utmost ease. Following the score the Packers came right back with a rebuttal in the form of a Donald Driver touchdown. This is basically how the game went all day ending in a victory for the visiting Bengals 31-24.

This game was an extremely unique game. In the first half, Carson Palmer showed flashes of 05, and then at times he showed flashes of a timid high school quarterback. He made one of the oldest defensive backs in the League, Charles Woodson, the Heisman Trophy Winner in 1997 look like a Hall of Famer at times. On the pick 6 in the 2nd quarter, I wanted to pull my hair out. This feeling occurs at least once on any Sunday afternoon for a Bengals fan.

In this game, all 3 of our top receivers caught touchdown passes. Carson’s first TD passes since October 5th of 08. Possibly the weirdest occurrence of the game was the lack of celebration by Chris Henry after scoring the TD. Could he be maturing before our eyes and starting to realize what it is like to have been there before? Chad certainly hasn’t, though his celebrations are always entertaining.

The Bengals also at times exhibited a great mix of pass and run with Cedric Benson having a career day. Even with all of these great things happening on the offensive side of the ball and the defense staking out in Aaron Rodgers backfield (Antwan Odom had 5 sacks), the Packers still had a shot in the end to win it.

The Bengals played their hearts out today and even though it was not pretty with 13 penalties, they got the win on the road. The question marks will continue into next week against the defending Super Bowl Champs and I will continue to live the life of a Bengals fan, never knowing what is coming next. On this particular day though, the Bengals come home as winners.

Stay tuned for Edition 11 coming soon.


Edition 9 “Gator Chomp”

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the chomping Florida Gators make me sick. They are a heck of a team with an outstanding coach..but if you are not a Gators fan, you have to be tired of hearing about them. Their game this weekend against a subpar Tennessee team has turned into the marquee game of the weekend.

This is a laughable matter. A Tennessee team that just lost to a mediocre at best UCLA team comes into the Swamp prepared to get Gator chomped and this is the marquee game of the weekend? Now I am not trying to take away from this once storied rivalry back in the Philip Fulmer and Steve Spurrier days, but now, this game is a joke.

Tennessee will be lucky to come within 30 points of the Gators and all the fuss is over a couple of publicity stunts that the new Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin made to bring some attention to the declining program. I am not excited to here Tim Tebows talk after the butt whooping how this was just another game on the road to hopefully another SEC Title.

Lane Kiffin and the Vols will get stuck in the mud of the swamp and get whooped all the way back to Rocky Top. Maybe Lane Kiffin will turn this program around over the next few years, but these are Fulmer’s players and they are vastly overmatched.

Hopefully the Tigers of Baton Rouge can start to hit stride and upset the Gators on October 10th..

Stay tuned for Edition 10 coming soon.