Monthly Archives: April 2012

Weekly Nickel 4-30-2012

Photo courtesy of mutualuniversity.blogspot.com. People received a heavy dose of Todd McShay (left) and Mel Kiper (right) this weekend. There is still plenty more to come.

By Josh Kramer

How many times this weekend did you hear the following lines? “That’s a reach.”  “The sky is the limit for this guy.”  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am all NFL Drafted out.  It is a great event. But on to the next one.  What a great time in sports right now.  Major League Baseball is just getting going.  The NBA and NHL playoffs are in full swing.  Here are the events to keep an eye on this week.

5.  Have you had enough of the NFL Draft yet?  Well guess what, the coverage is not over.  Despite the insane amount of attention that the NFL’s marquee off-season event received, there is still plenty more to come as the experts try to tell you how good or bad your team did in the war room.  Here are a few interesting statistics in regards to the 2012 NFL Draft.

-55% of the drafted players (142 of 253) came out of the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, and Pac-12.

-Alabama has turned into the new NFL U (8 players selected).  Plus, the Crimson Tide became only the second school ever to have multiple underclassmen selected in the first round of the draft in three consecutive years (Miami is the other).

-Times are changing.  The Sunshine State was not smiling on Thursday night.  No players from Miami, Florida, or Florida State were selected in the first round for the first time since 1980.

-A new record of 19 early entrants were selected in round one (the previous record was 17 in 2010).

-Boise State had six players drafted this year.  Only Alabama, Oklahoma, and Georgia had more taken.  I am sure people will blame this on the “easy” schedule though. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andre Ethier (pictured above) was a main reason for the Dodgers solid start in 2011. The real cause for LA's mild success though by the end of the season was Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp.

By Josh Kramer

We have hit the 15th week of “Throwback Saturdays.”  It has been fun taking a trip down memory lane every Saturday.  What was happening on April 28, 2011? How about on April 28, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Loan Bright Spot in Dodgertown

Here is a snippet..

The Los Angeles Dodgers have not exactly had a story book season thus far.  Really not much has gone right on or off the field.  Surprisingly though, the team has not completely flopped.  Or at least not yet.  Sitting at 13 and 13, they are still in 2nd in the NL West. With a run differential of -16, they are not exactly competitive every night.  They either win big.  Or they lose big.  A weak run differential normally catches up with a team as they get a couple of months into the season.  So the odds do not look to be in LA’s favor.

But there has been one lone bright spot in Dodgertown. That bright spot is not Kobe Bryant, though his courage and amazing toughness is a shining light in that city.  Say hello to Los Angeles Dodger’s star right fielder, Andre Ethier.  Ethier has been simply phenomenal this season, and is a main reason why the Dodgers are currently playing 500 baseball.  Without him, the entire ship may have already sunk on this season even just 26 games in (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Is this the Year the Chicago Bulls Return to Glory?

Photo courtesy of hdnux.com. Can Derrick Rose (pictured above) lead Chicago to a championship this year? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky certainly hopes so.

By Wesley Kaminsky

Lately, I’ve been daydreaming in my head. It’s a pleasant dream, in fact. I envision Derrick Rose nailing an 18-foot jump shot from the top of the key over the outstretched arms of LeBron James to send the Bulls to the NBA finals.

In this glorified shot, Rose shuts up all the doubters who say he is a choker, while not in any way eliminating the criticism of that James guy. LeBron I think is his first name.

In this shot, I can hear Mike Breen proclaiming his infamous “Puts it in” call with an exclamation point, as Derrick Rose shuts the door on the Miami Heat, getting revenge for last seasons heartbreak.

Rose does this in Chicago too. Screw it, in Game 7. This is only a dream, right? Why not make it the best it can be? I see Rose showing little emotion after the shot, rather just staring down the Miami Heat bench.

Cold-blooded. The Bulls are headed back to the finals and get a chance to go for championship number seven, against say, the San Antonio Spurs. My daydream hasn’t gotten that far to think about the NBA finals yet though. I’m still trying to soak in what just happened against the Heat.

Then, I wake up from my daze. Wow. I’m a loser. Continue reading

Will the curse apply to Megatron?

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Calvin Johnson (pictured above) was unstoppable last season. Will the Madden Curse slow down the guy people refer to as Megatron?

By Josh Kramer

Things are good for Calvin Johnson these days.  He just had a career year in which he took NFL secondaries by storm reeling in 96 catches and 16 touchdowns.  The guy was simply phenomenal in every sense of the word.  He lived up to his well-known nickname “Megatron.”  In addition, the Detroit Lions made the playoffs for the first time since 1999.  Lastly, CJ just signed a robust contract for eight years and 132 million.  Things just got even better yesterday.

Calvin “Megatron” Johnson will appear on the cover of “Madden NFL 2013.”  A highly regarded honor for NFL players these days.

Nothing is ever as good as it seems though.  Don’t tell me that you are not aware of the widely known Madden curse.

The first edition of Madden NFL (the video game) was released in 1988.  Ever since, the game that bears the name of one of the NFL’s all-time great coaches has become a phenomenon.  Starting in 1999, players began appearing on the cover.  Here is a history of the cover boys. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer Four years and 56 million dollars is a large chunk of change.  Back on December 3, 2010, that amount is what the Chicago White Sox offered Adam Dunn, aka the “Big Donkey,” to come play in Chicago.  At the … Continue reading

Food for Thought 4-24-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. If I were running the show in Minnesota, I would take Justin Blackmon (pictured above) at number three on Thursday.

By Josh Kramer

Number three is for me.  The NFL Draft is just about here (finally).  After all of the analysis, sports science, and insane amounts of minutia, Thursday night, it all goes down.  253 players will learn much more about their future over the course of the three day extravaganza when their name is called.  We have a semblance of idea how the first fifteen minutes will play out.

“With the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select… Andrew Luck, quarterback, Stanford Cardinal.”

Followed by a huge smile and a very mild-mannered interview with Andrew Luck.

“With the second pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select…Robert Griffin III, quarterback, Baylor Bears.”

RGIII will be all smiles and of course we will get to see his goofy socks during the interview.

Then what happens?

The ball is in Minnesota’s court.  They have been on the clock for months in essence.  Everyone has known for well over two months now that Luck and Griffin would be the top two picks.  But who will go at number three?  Many have proclaimed Matt Kalil, from USC, as the guy.  Others are saying Morris Claiborne from LSU.  Some are even saying Justin Blackmon, the young clone of TO, out of Oklahoma State.

I am going to go out on a limb and say that Justin Blackmon is the Vikings man. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Not too many people knew who Philip Humber (pictured above) was heading into Saturday. After tossing the 21st perfect game in MLB history, Humber has become a household name.

By Josh Kramer

Saying last week was a great one in sports would be an understatement.  Philip Humber became a household name when he tossed a perfect game on Saturday.  Rafael Nadal finally conquered his Djokovic fears in taking home his eighth consecutive Monte Carlo title on Sunday.  And the NHL playoffs have not been too shabby in their own right.  Want to know the best part?  This week should be even better than last.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Rafael Nadal seems to have regained his “swagger.”  Or at least he temporarily slayed his Djokovic fears in Monte Carlo.  Next stop, Barcelona.  It is no secret that Rafael Nadal, a six-time French Open Champion, is God-like on the clay.  This is his time of year.  A little over a month from now Roland Garros will be the place to be.  Make sure to enjoy the Barcelona stop of the clay-court season this week.

4.  How many of you knew who Philip Humber was last week at this time?  Be honest.  I bet almost all of you know who he is now.  Humber deserves it.  He appears to be a real class act both on and off the field. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part XIV

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Last year at this time, it appeared Troy Tulowitzki (pictured above) was in for a monster season. It didn't happen. This year, he is off to an awful start. What will be the result?

By Josh Kramer

Welcome to the 14th edition of “Throwback Saturdays.”  This is a day to look back and reflect.  A day to see just how wrong or how right I was with my analysis and projections.  What was happening on April 21, 2011?  How about April 21, 2010?  Let’s find out.

One year ago..

Don’t Be Blinded by the Hype

Here is a snippet..

Many guys look to be on their way to career seasons.  There are two in particular that really stand out to me that are worth being noted.

1.  Troy Tulowitzki, SS, Rockies:

Troy Tulowitzki, the fifth year shortstop for the Colorado Rockies appears to be on his way to an MVP caliber season.  Granted there are still over five months to play, but it is safe to say that this guy has begun to really realize his potential.  Currently Tulo, as many call the Colorado shortstop, is batting .343, has 7 HRs, and 14 RBIs.  This places him at 12th in the NL in batting average, 1st in HRs, and 4th in RBIs.  Not to mention the guy has been throwing some serious leather at shortstop.  Many have felt this guy was destined to be a perennial All Star that could bring home an MVP Award at some point.  Well that time appears to be now.  Keep an eye on the Rockie’s star, who currently has led his squad to the best record in all of baseball up to this point.

2.  Howie Kendrick, 2B, Angels

Kendrick is another fifth year player like Tulowitzki who has had a lot of hype up until this point in his career.  Many have expected big things, and the guy has yet to really consistently deliver over the course of an entire season.  Well this year, the inconsistency and growing pains appear to have come to a close.  Currently, the Angel’s 2B is batting .288, has 5 HRs, and 8 RBIs.  Kendrick has never hit more than 10 HRS or drove in more than 75 RBIs during a season up to this point in his career.  He is on pace to end up with 45 HRs this year.  Keep a close eye on Kendrick, who looks to be on his way to the first monster season of his career (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

It’s Melo Time

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Carmelo Anthony (pictured above) is playing is best basketball as of late. It has become "Melo Time" in New York.

By Josh Kramer

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. New York Knicks basketball relived the glory days of the early 1970s during the 1990s.  The best was when they made the NBA Finals in both 1994 and 1999.  The worst times for the Knicks during the 1990s were declared “Miller Time.”  Now this had nothing to do with Miller High Life.  It dealt with the villain, Reggie Miller, stealing games away from the New York Knicks during the postseason.  With Miller in the broadcast booth these days, the thought of “Miller Time” has been extinct for nearly a decade.

There is a new time now in New York.  And this one has a much happier ring than “Miller Time.”  No it is not “Linsanity,” though that is joyous occasion for Knicks fans as well.  It is the recent emergence of “Melo Time.” Continue reading

Summitt reached the summit

Photo courtesy of abcnews.go.com. Pat Summitt (pictured above) is retiring after 38 years at Tennessee. She truly reached the summit of her profession.

By Josh Kramer

Summit:  The highest attainable level of achievement (courtesy of dictionary.com).

Not too many people in this world can say that they reached the summit of their chosen field.  That they could climb no higher.  That all goals and aspirations had been achieved in regards to their industry.  The same goes for sports.  Out of millions of athletes and coaches, only a handful can truly say that they reached the “summit”of their sport.

John Wooden, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky Continue reading