Weekly Nickel 7-23-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Andy Roddick (pictured above) won his 32nd career ATP title on Sunday in Atlanta.

By Josh Kramer

An “unprecedented” punishment is on the way that does not involve the death penalty in “Happy” Valley.  Barry Larkin is officially a member of one of the most exclusive fraternities in sports.  The “Tiger Tease” was a mere subplot at “The Open.”  And the NFL crime spree continues.  Can training camp please start now?  Last week was great, but this week is sure to be full of excitement in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Andy Roddick captured his 32nd ATP title yesterday.  The ATP heads to Los Angeles today though for the Farmer’s Classic.  Unfortunately for this tournament which has been around since 1927 will suffer the ill-effects of an overly jam-packed summer.  The London Olympics are a great event which everyone is excited about.  Except those that run the Farmer’s Classic.  Any chance of nabbing the big names fell to the wayside with the Olympics going on.

4.  The Yankees have demonstrated they are human as “Moneyball” has reawakened in Oakland.  Pittsburgh continues to demonstrate that they the real deal.  And the Cincinnati Reds are hanging tough without their star.  All 30 teams are nearing the century mark in terms of games played.  Most pretenders already have or will fall to the wayside in the near future.  My matchup of the week is going down in San Francisco.

Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants:  After a red-hot start, the “Magic” seems to have rubbed off a little bit in LA.  There will be no landslide in the NL West.  This race appears to have the makings of a down to the wire finish.  After these teams go to battle at AT&T Park this weekend, they will play each other nine more times.  Including a three-game set to end the regular season.

Both of these teams have an old-school makeup that relies heavily on pitching.  Neither of these contenders in the NL West are going to beat you with their offensive firepower.  At least not often.  They will give teams fits with their great pitching though. One of LA’s flaws all year has been their inability to consistently win on the road (23 and 24).  San Francisco on the other hand is one of the best home teams in baseball.  That will be the difference this weekend.  Giants take two of three against their in-state rival.

3.  NFL training camp needs to start and fast.  As we have seen over the past few weeks, when players are not occupied with football, they tend to have problems.  Who else is sick of reading headlines about NFL players driving under the influence of alcohol or assaulting others?  I know I am.  Luckily for us all, training camp starts for the majority of teams late this week.  Let the journey begin.

2.  Come Friday, all eyes will be focused on London and London only.  The 2012 Summer Olympics will begin in style with a “Isles of Wonder” themed show.  There will be 204 nations represented and competition in 302 events (26 sports).  A 530-member Team USA will look to put on the best showing possible for the red, white, and blue.  Oddly enough, events for the games will begin on Wednesday with Women’s Soccer (prior to the opening ceremony).  Take it all in though.  London is sure to provide a memorable few weeks.

1.  I hate the fact that our society tends to be infatuated with bad news.  I am just as guilty of it as the next guy though.  At 9AM today, we find out the fate of the Penn State football program.  An “unprecedented” punishment is on the way.  Reports have made it known that this punishment does not involve the death penalty.  It will likely be a multiple-year bowl ban, multiple-year reduction of scholarships, and who knows what else.  Your guess is as good as mine.  All current Penn State football players likely did not sleep well last night.  I can’t blame them.  “Happy” Valley will likely be “Heartbreak City” by this afternoon.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.


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