Monthly Archives: August 2012

NFL Preview 2012-2013

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rob Gronkowski (pictured above) and the New England Patriots will redeem themselves on February 3rd with their fourth Super Bowl victory in franchise history.

By Josh Kramer

It has been 208 days since the New England Patriots and more specifically Wes Welker let a golden opportunity slip through their fingers. For those of you in need of a refresher, back on February 5th in the house that Peyton Manning built (Lucas Oil Stadium), the New York Giants once again shocked the New England Patriots in a very closely contested Super Bowl game.  That was then though and this is now.  America’s most popular sport is just five days away from its official kickoff.  Who is ready for some football?

AFC East Champion:  New England Patriots

I am sure you are all shocked at this pick.  New England has only won three straight divisional crowns and qualified for the playoffs eight of the past nine years.  People are already comparing this year’s squad to the greatest team to ever grace the gridiron, but fail to win the Lombardi Trophy (2007 Patriots).  With Brandon Lloyd added to the mix, it is hard to say these comparisons are all that far-fetched.  However, it should be noted that the defense has some flaws, and the offensive line will have its fair of struggles due to the absence of Matt Light (retirement), Brian Waters (possibly retirement), Logan Mankins (ACL tear), and Sebastian Vollmer (back injury).  Luckily for New England, the Jets appear to have taken a step backwards with the acquisition of “God” Tebow, and the Miami Dolphins appear to just be a horrible team (Hard Knocks has provided clear evidence of this).  Buffalo is improved, but does not have nearly the firepower to stick with New England throughout the duration of a grueling 17-week season. Continue reading

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College Football Week 1: The fun has begun

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joe Southwick (pictured above) will be the Boise State starting quarterback tomorrow night as the post-Kellen Moore era begins.

By Josh Kramer

Lights.  Camera. Action.  After a 234 day hiatus, the 2012 college football season kicks off tonight.  We are coming to the end of the BCS era as the first college football playoff creeps closer. Week 1 generates a major buzz every year, despite featuring very few “buzz-worthy” matchups.

Here are the marquee matchups:

Boise State at Michigan State: Spartans by 7

Headline:  The post-Kellen Moore era begins poorly with a Spartan smackdown.

The date was December 23, 2007.  Taylor Tharp was the quarterback for Boise State as they took on East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was the star player for the Pirates, leading them to a 41 to 38 upset victory over Boise State.  This night in Hawaii over four years ago happens to be the last game that Kellen Moore was not under center for the Boise State Broncos.  Tomorrow night, the Joe Southwick era officially takes flight,  as Southwick takes over the quarterback reigns for the great Kellen Moore. Continue reading

2012 NFL Power Rankings: Beware of the Chicago Bears

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Are Jay Cutler (pictured above) and the Chicago Bears poised for a big year in 2012? Our very own Wesley Kaminsky thinks so.

By Wesley Kaminsky

The NFL off-season always seems too long, doesn’t it? In an off-season dominated by Tim Tebow and the New York Jets, it’s that other team in New York who are the reigning Super Bowl champions. They shocked the NFL world a season ago, getting hot at the right time, beating the likes of the Packers, 49ers, and then eventually the Patriots. That takes guts.

With teams such as the Packers, 49ers, Bears, Saints, and Falcons, just to name a few, the NFC is becoming a powerhouse. I didn’t even touch on the NFC East.

In the AFC, the Patriots look like the clear-cut team to beat, as they added more weapons to an already lethal offense and revamped their defense.

Can the Ravens finally get over the hump? Will Peyton Manning return with a vengeance?

These questions will be answered in due time. Continue reading

Food for Thought 8-28-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Russell Wilson (pictured above) has shocked the world and been named the starting quarterback in Seattle.

By Josh Kramer

When Pete Carroll left USC, I lost almost all respect for the guy.  The situation he left behind was inexcusable and a definite admission of some sort of guilt.  That’s all in the past though.  Slowly but surely, my respect has returned for the coach that picked up a pair of national titles at USC and is currently running the show in Seattle.

At USC, it seemed as if everything was about the money.  Just ask Reggie Bush.  Since arriving in Seattle, it appears Carroll has had a change of heart.  On Sunday, he named a rookie third-round draft pick the starter at quarterback for Week 1 of the regular season.  As much as I try to ignore it, sports are a business.  Even collegiate ones unfortunately.  Money is what makes the world go round.  Not in Seattle’s quarterback case though.

Matt Flynn recently signed a three-year, $26 million deal, with $10 million guaranteed.  Everyone and their mother expected Flynn to be the starter.  Wilson, a supposedly undersized rookie quarterback is guaranteed just $619,400.  In simple terms, Flynn is guaranteed to make over 16 times the money that Wilson is guaranteed with their current contracts.  Yet, Wilson is the starting quarterback.

Simply based on merit, Wilson has outplayed his higher-paid counterpart, and is therefore deserving of the starting job.  Kudos to Pete Carroll on not being blinded by or influenced by dollar bills this time around.  The perception was that Flynn would be the Seahawks starter up until recently.  Carroll did not let the perception become a reality.  He evaluated the two players competing for the spot strictly on merit and performance.  Russell Wilson appears to have a very bright future ahead.  I do not envision Carroll regretting this decision to start the “undersized” rookie quarterback.  Talk about value in a third-round pick.  I guess height, money, and the perception of the public aren’t everything when it comes to quarterback play. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-27-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tony Stewart (pictured above) was not a happy camper in Bristol on Saturday night.

By Josh Kramer

Tiger Woods continued to prove that his game remains out in the “woods.”  RGIII and Andrew Luck squared off for the first time in what will hopefully be long and successful careers.  And Japan’s Little League team not only proved that they were the best Little League team on the planet by far, they also brought up the question of whether they could compete against the Houston Astros (just kidding).  Last week was a bundle of fun, but this week will be great in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Bristol was filled with fireworks as is typically the case.  Just ask Tony Stewart.  Denny Hamlin was the man who stood on the podium as the winner in the end though.  There are only two more races until the Chase begins at Chicagoland Speedway on September 16th.  Who will nab the final spots?  We will know a little more after Sunday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Continue reading

Japan team will not disappoint

Photo courtesy of coupleofsports.com. Japan and Tennessee will square off in the Little League World Series title game at 3PM today.

By Josh Kramer

Little League Baseball has and always will be the end all be all when it comes to youth baseball.  It is the most popular and far-reaching youth baseball program on the globe.  Williamsport is the sanctuary of youth baseball and Howard J. Lamade Stadium is the mecca.  I understand that.  But I have never been a huge fan of the immensely popular program.  My main issue is they utilize “baby” rules.  They play on a miniature diamond that would likely be more fit for 6-year-olds rather than 6 foot tall 12-year-old man childs.  The rules are similar to tee-ball.  And all it does is postpone the inevitable move to big boy rules longer than it should.  At least one team has dispelled these thoughts from my mind temporarily.  And I will give you a hint:  It is not an American team. Continue reading

Aside

By Josh Kramer Name one person that does not reside in Sugar Land, Texas, who had heard of the Sugar Land Skeeters last week at this time.  I can guarantee you would be hard pressed.  Surprisingly, there is a good … Continue reading