By Josh Kramer
This weekend was one for the ages in sports. A perfect time for my 800th career post on “TheSportsKraze.” Great NFL playoff action, college basketball upsets galore, and so much more. There is so much going on in sports right now and sadly I am only able to hit on a few things. Here is what has caught my attention.
Jimmer Show Part II?
Last year, Jimmer Fredette taught America “How to Jimmer.” The mild-mannered BYU star put Cougar basketball back on the map, at least for a year. This year, there is another player making a name for himself in mid-major country. He goes by the name of Doug McDermott. And when he plays basketball, he prefers to play forward for the Creighton Bluejays. McDermott is a guy who was often overlooked playing on the same high school team as North Carolina Tar Heels star Harrison Barnes in little-known Ames, Iowa. I am not sure how you can force yourself to overlook this 6 foot 7 scoring machine these days though.
Things have not been this good in “Bluejay Country” since the good old days of sharpshooter Kyle Korver. McDermott is currently second in the nation in scoring averaging 24.3 points per game, plus he is shooting an astonishing 62.1% from the floor. And he rebounds too, reeling in 8.5 boards per game. Now I realize that Harrison Barnes is currently the leading scorer on one of the elite teams in the country (UNC). But do not forget about his high school teammate Doug McDermott. This kid can do it all, and will most definitely get the Creighton Bluejays to the dance.
Elite? I would say so..
Eli Manning has spent his entire life in the shadow of his big brother Peyton. Many younger siblings can relate, but not too many siblings both play quarterback in the NFL. Despite winning a Super Bowl title, and consistently ranking towards the top of the league in all major passing categories, he could not shake his brother’s name. Well those days appear to be coming to a close. On the Michael Kay Show this summer, Eli declared himself an “elite” quarterback. Can you really question the guy now?
I think the bigger question in the present is who would you rather have lining up under center for your team in 2012, Peyton or Eli? Yes, I said it. This question may have been extraordinarily simple to answer a year ago, or even six months ago, but it isn’t anymore. This past Sunday was “Deja Blue” for New York, as the legend of Eli Manning grew, in slaying another one of the “Greatest teams of all time not to win a Super Bowl.” What he did in February of 2008, thanks in large part to “The Catch” by David Tyree was simply unfathomable. Yet, he did it again on Sunday, against an outstanding Green Bay team that many figured would waltz their way to a second straight Super Bowl title.
Peyton Manning is now 35-years-old (36 in March). In addition, he has undergone multiple surgeries on his neck. Eli on the other hand appears to just be hitting his prime. He is 31-years-old, and has a legitimate shot to bring New York its second Super Bowl title in five years. Now I am by no means saying that Eli is as good as Peyton Manning in terms of his overall career. Peyton will go down as one of the top few quarterbacks ever to play the game. But in the present, I would most likely lean towards the younger brother. And I along with the vast majority of America never thought I would say that.
So much for the Year of the Quarterback..
I know this year has been proclaimed as the “Year of the Quarterback.” And without question, the quarterback play has been phenomenal. This weekend though, two of the best quarterbacks (Brees and Rodgers) in the League were sent home, while the League’s best tight ends marched on. Should we maybe start calling this year the “Year of the Tight End?”
Welcome to the NFL
Alex Smith came through in a big way for the 49ers on Saturday and finally had his NFL version of a “Heisman moment” or at least his “Welcome to the NFL Moment.” Whatever you want to call it, it is nice to see that this guy seems to have finally arrived after all of the criticism he has dealt with for the past half decade. Sure his arrival is a good six years later than most in San Francisco would have liked, but better late than never right?
Home Sweet Home..
-It is only January, and five ranked teams lost road contests on Saturday. Four of those losses occurred at the hands of unranked opponents. With the parity in College Hoops these days, home-court advantage is of extreme importance. Make sure you strap in, because March is going to be straight “Madness.”
Too much Tomic?
The marquee story during Day 1 of the Australian Open outside of the bickering between Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer was the amazing comeback by 19-year-old Bernard Tomic. Coming back from a set down in tennis is not easy. Coming back from two sets down is a definite rarity, especially against a player of the caliber that Fernando Verdasco is. Well that is exactly what the youngster Bernard Tomic did. But Tomic, showing signs of his immaturity, had to go and ruin the moment by claiming he pulled a sort of “Rope-a-Dope” tactic. Just savor the amazing victory. Don’t go and show up your opponent by claiming you didn’t try for part of the match. Who does Tomic think he is? Muhammad Ali?
Just some “Food for Thought.”
Let me hear your thoughts though. Please comment below with any questions or insights that you may have or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.