Weekly Nickel 7-30-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Many are wondering if Silas Redd (pictured above #25) will return to Penn State next season or take his talents out West to USC.

By Josh Kramer

Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony was at least unique, which was one of the things he was going for.  Even the Queen almost cracked a smile.  All eyes in the sporting world are focused on London, as they should be.  But let’s not forget about the rest of the sporting world.  Last week was fun, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.

5.  The “Dwight Howard Soap Opera” continues.  At least now, most NBA fans can focus their attention on Team USA’ s quest for gold in London.  The Howard reality television series has definitely dragged on far too long, but it is still a big story.  Wherever Howard lands, that team is very likely going to be an instant contender.

4.  The world continues to keep an eye on “Happy” Valley in the wake of the harsh NCAA sanctions.  How will the program actually respond outside of saying the right things at press conferences?  How will the new administration ensure nothing like this ever happens in the future at Penn State? What players will stay? What players will go?  Keep a special eye on star running back Silas Redd.  It appears Lane Kiffin is working hard to add a final piece to a USC team poised to make a run at the National Championship.

3.  Training camp is under way, which means three things:  Excitement (see Denver and New York) , contract disputes (Dwayne Bowe and Maurice Jones-Drew), and injuries (Darrelle Revis and Andre Johnson).  Preseason football is set to kick off in Canton in just six days and regular season football is just 37 days away.  Many question marks surround the League:

How will New Orleans respond to a very adverse situation?

-Can Peyton bring the Lombardi Trophy back to Denver?

-Will Andrew Luck live up to the hype in his rookie season?

-Is RGIII meant for DC?

-Will Tim Tebow steal the show and take over Mark Sanchez’s job?

-Will the New York Giants repeat as Super Bowl Champions?

These are just a few of the many questions that come to mind.  Training camp is an essential time where all 32 teams prepare to achieve their goals.

2.  The MLB trade deadline is nearly upon us (tomorrow at 4PM).  With the new and “improved” expanded playoff format, there are far more buyers than is typically the case on this momentous occasion.  Will the red-hot Cincinnati Reds fix their leadoff spot issues?  How will the Texas Rangers respond to the Angels huge pickup of Zach Greinke?  What will the Yankees do before tomorrow afternoon?  And I could go on and on.  A little over a day left.  Though players typically hate the uncertainty of the last 24 hours of the trade deadline, fans tend to love it.  My matchup of the week occurs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Los Angeles Angels at Texas Rangers:  Outside of the Bronx, these are the two best teams not only in the AL West, but in the American League.  Sorry Oakland, but I just don’t see the 2012 version of “Moneyball” lasting, though I am enjoying it in the present.  Both LA and Texas are brimming with talent at every position on the field and look poised to make deep runs come October.

With the acquisition of Zach Greinke, the Angels added a former Cy Young winner to one of the elite pitching staffs in all of baseball.  Texas on the other hand not only leads the division, but they have made it to two consecutive Fall Classics, and are praying that the third time will be the charm.  Unfortunately for the Angels, road games have been their Achilles heel all year.  Expect the Rangers to take three of four and add to their lead in the AL West.

1.  This is Ryan Lochte’s time, if you weren’t already aware.  So much going on all day and every day for the next couple of weeks.  Fortunately for us all, there is only one “Opening Ceremony” at an Olympics.  I feel as if my sporting horizons are expanding by the day.  A typical morning could consist of basketball, soccer, archery, table tennis, swimming, and more.  With 302 events, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the 30th Olympiad of the modern era.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

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