Monthly Archives: January 2012

Food for Thought 1-31-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Back in July of 2008, Rafael Nadal (pictured above) broke Roger Federer's heart and took over Men's tennis. On Sunday, Nadal's heart was broken by Novak Djokovic.

By Josh Kramer

Though it is extremely difficult for me to do, the main topic today will not pertain to the Super Bowl on Sunday.  Do not worry though.  There will be much more to come regarding the big game soon.  Today, I am going to give center stage back to tennis.

One for the ages

5 hours and 53 minutes of greatness.  I do not think there is a way to adequately explain what the tennis world was able to bear witness to on Sunday.  Every cliché in the book for an “unbelievable” event would be relevant in describing this tennis match that will not be forgotten any time in the near future.  A “once-in-a-lifetime type of match.”  A  “I-can’t’believe-what-I-just-saw type of match.”  Let the superlatives roar.  Because without utilizing a plethora of superlatives, you would be doing an injustice in describing the 2012 Men’s Australian Open final. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-30-2012

Photo courtesy of theoldprincetonlanding.com. All eyes will be focused on Indianapolis this week as America gears up for the biggest sporting event of the year.

By Josh Kramer

Yes, this past weekend, no “real” football games (college or professional) were played for the first time since the beginning of September (and no the Pro Bowl is not a real game).  Tennis jumped to the forefront of the sporting stratosphere and rightfully so.  The Djokovic/Nadal 5 hour and 53 minute thriller was a match for the ages, that anybody who had a chance to bear witness will not soon forget.  In addition, the Men’s Australian Open final made up for a Women’s final that was perhaps the worst Grand Slam final of all time.  Last week was great, but you better believe this week will be pretty amazing in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on. Continue reading

2012 Australian Open Final: Djokovic Outlasts Nadal in 5-Set-Thri​ller

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Novak Djokovic (pictured above) remains the unquestioned top player in tennis with his 3rd straight Grand Slam title. This one was perhaps the most thrilling of them all.

By Wesley Kaminsky

5 hours,and 53 minutes. That was the time of the 2012 Australian Open Championship. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal squared off for the third straight time in a Grand Slam Final, with Djokovic winning all three. This one though, was the best of them all. It took nearly six hours, but Djokovic got past Nadal with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-5 victory. It was the longest final in the open era and one of the greatest matches in the history of the game. It’s right up there with that epic Federer-Nadal Wimbledon final from 2008.

In this first set, Djokovic came out a little flat, losing it 7-5. It didn’t take long for ‘Nole to get his mojo going though. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part II

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. One year ago to the day, I predicted Kemba Walker (pictured above) would win the Naismith National Player of the Year Award in College Hoops. I was wrong, but Kemba currently is outdoing Jimmer Fredette at the professional ranks.

By Josh Kramer

“To know your future, you must know your past.” Welcome to the second edition of “Throwback Saturday.”  It is always fun to look back and reminisce.  And if you are not a fan of looking back, well, this post is not for you I guess.  So what was happening in the wide world of sports on January 28, 2011?  What was happening on January 28, 2010?  Let’s take a trip back and find out.

Two years ago..

23=Amazing

Here is a little snippet.

Roger Federer last evening clinched a birth in the Australian Open semifinals.  He did not play his best tennis, but woke up when he needed to and took care of the very talented Nikolay Davydenko.  Federer was the only player ranked in the top 4 to take care of business and stay alive.  Djokovic and Nadal both were unsuccessful in their quests to make it to the semis of the first Grand Slam of the year.

But isn’t consistency Roger’s middle name?  The man has made 23 consecutive Grand Slam semifinals!  Now take that in for a minute.  That means that Federer has not been knocked out of a Grand Slam tourney before the semifinals for 6 years.  No wonder he holds the all time record with 15 Grand Slam titles.

So is the number 23 synonymous with greatness?  Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time Michael Jordan sported the number 23.  Arguably, the best basketball player on the planet now sports the number 23, Lebron James (To finish reading the post, click this link). Continue reading

Pacers add fuel to the fire

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Roy Hibbert (pictured above) and the Indiana Pacers are proving to be a contender in the early-going in the East. Will they mature in time for the playoffs?

By Josh Kramer

It is no secret that the Indiana Pacers have finally returned from their seven-year hiatus following the infamous, “Malice at the Palace.”  There is a reason why many, including myself, pronounced the Pacers as the sleeper team in the Eastern Conference.  Indiana has a good thing going, and will be a force to be reckoned with come playoff time.

Wednesday night, they handled business at arguably the toughest arena to visit in the NBA, the United Center.  Sadly though, they did not finish the job. The Pacers showed signs of their immaturity and inexperience via a very excessive post-game celebration (more on this later).  Going into Wednesday, Chicago, who also happens to be the team with the best record in the Eastern Conference was 8 and 0 at home.  Well the dreams of an undefeated home record were dashed on Wednesday by the very balanced attack of Indiana.

Indiana is a team that can beat you in so many ways. Continue reading

The “Woes” of Wozniacki

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Once again Caroline Wozniacki (pictured above) has disappointed at a Grand Slam event. This time, it will result in loss of her number one ranking.

By Josh Kramer

When the next WTA rankings are released, there will be a new world number one in Women’s tennis.  How many of you out there are actually aware of who the current number one player on the WTA tour is?  I am sure for the vast majority of my casual fans; you had to really think about that one.  Well I will give you a hint.  She has been ranked number one for 67 of the past 68 weeks.  That probably did not help.  Here is the giveaway hint.  She is currently dating rising PGA Tour star Rory McIlroy.   I bet every one of my casual fans can name the top four players on the ATP tour in the present though.  Who doesn’t know about the “Fantastic Four?”

As I have said on this blog before, the WTA tour has turned into a Nancy Drew novel. Continue reading

2012 NFL Playoffs: Conference Championsh​ip Weekend Recap

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. It is going to be a very long off-season for Ed Reed (pictured above) and the Baltimore Ravens after letting a golden opportunity literally slip through their fingers on Sunday.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Before I get started, can you remember a better season of football than this one? Yes, we live in a sports world where we all happen to be caught up in the moment at times, but there is no denying the drama and heartbreak that took place in both the regular season and the post-season this year. Just in case you need your memories refreshed as to what happened on Sunday, here you go.

Game 1: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots:

It seems as though it’s rare that we see the top two seeds in the conference go at it in the championship game, but the NFL world was in for a treat on Sunday when the Ravens and Patriots clashed in Foxborough. This is one of the rare occurrences where you can legitimately make the argument that the better team didn’t win. With all the pressure on Joe Flacco leading up to the game thanks to comments by Ed Reed, the Baltimore quarterback had a lot of pressure on him. Some were even saying he was playing for his job, and if that was the case, then he indeed won it. Continue reading

Food for Thought 1-24-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Billy Cundiff (pictured above) is now the most hated man in Baltimore sadly.

By Josh Kramer

Championship Game Scapegoats

How would you have liked being Billy Cundiff or Kyle Williams on Sunday? New members have joined the exclusive club that features the likes of Bill Buckner, Dan Goodale, and Steve Bartman.  Okay maybe not Steve Bartman.  And maybe not even Bill Buckner for that matter.  But Billy Cundiff and Kyle Williams joined an exclusive club of “Choke Artists” on Sunday.  Now I am a person who firmly believes that all teams win as a team, and lose as a team.  It is never just one specific individuals fault.  But the common fan and the media love to portray losses squarely on the shoulders of a specific individual.  It is just the way our culture operates, especially in regards to sports.  The blame game simplifies things.  It keeps complex situations black and white.  This is the beauty of scapegoating. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 1-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Can Petra Kvitova (picturd above) rise to the top of Women's tennis by winning the Australian Open?

By Josh Kramer

After a “Monster Saturday” in College Hoops, NFL Championship Weekend, and the death of a legend, we head into what should be another great week in sports with heavy hearts.  Also, do not forget about a pretty big time tennis tournament occurring in Australia that is still going on despite the absence of any American men in the draw.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  The biggest game in American sports is set.  A rematch of Super Bowl XLII (42), pitting two of the biggest sports markets in the country (Boston and New York) against one another.  And you all know what that means.  Let the media blitz begin.  Though many get sick and tired of all of the hoopla and overly done analysis regarding the ultimate game in football, at least it is still fresh and new today.  All eyes will be on Indianapolis over the next two weeks.  And no, people will not be watching Peyton Manning. We will be watching Eli in the house that Peyton built.. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part I

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Even two years ago to the day, I was already jumping on the Harrison Barnes (pictured above) bandwagon.

By Josh Kramer

Many say, “You have to know the past to understand the present.”  Due to popular demand and in celebration of “TheSportsKraze” reaching over 800 posts, I am going to spend the next few Saturdays of each week looking back.  I will examine what I was discussing on the blog on this date one year ago, and two years ago.  Today happens to be that lucky day of that week.  Welcome to the first edition of “Throwback Saturday.”

Two years ago…

A Changing of the Guard

Here is a little snippet. 

In very peculiar fashion, both UNC and the Dukies took a loss in conference play on the same night.  Not to mention they both lost to unranked opponents!  Is there a changing of the guard occurring in the ACC?…

In my opinion, this is simply just a down year for both squads.  North Carolina has the top recruit in the country in Harrison Barnes coming next year and Duke has an outstanding recruiting class arriving as well.  Who are the coaches of these highly renowned programs?  Oh yeah, I forgot Coach K and Roy Williams.  Both have multiple National Titles and are not going anywhere anytime soon.

Duke still has a legitimate shot to do some damage this year though being led by Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer (To finish reading the post, click this link). Continue reading