Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Brad Keselowski (pictured above) stole the show at Chicagoland Speedway yesterday and clinched his fourth win of the season.
By Josh Kramer
Saturday embodied exactly what college football is all about. Hotly contested games with unpredictable finishes. The NFL Week 2 was just as fun as Week 1 with an upset filled Sunday. And the NHL lockout is on. Talk about a shame. Last week was fun, but this week will be good in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. Brad Keselowski stole the show as the Chase officially began at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday. It was Keselowski’s fourth win of the season, his seventh in the past two years, and a great start to the Chase for the man who drives the #2 car. There are still nine more races to go and plenty left to be decided. Next Sunday, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will be the place to be in NASCAR. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged ACC, AFC, Albert Pujols, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Wildcats, Arkansas Razorbacks, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Big 12, Brad Keselowski, Brian Kelly, Bud Selig, Carolina Panthers, Clemson Tigers, Denver Broncos, Florida State Seminoles, Houston Texans, Kansas State Wildcats, Los Angeles Angels, Matt Ryan, Michigan Wolverines, Missouri Tigers, MLB, NASCAR, NBA, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFC, NFL, NHL, Oklahoma Sooners, Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers, PAC 12, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers, SEC, South Carolina Gamecocks, Stanford Cardinal, Stepfan Taylor, Texas Rangers, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will make his anxiously awaited debut as the quarterback of the Denver Broncos in his first real NFL action in over 20 months.
By Josh Kramer
The NFL is back in full force after Wednesday night’s opener between the Giants and Cowboys. It is still odd to me that an NFL game was played on a Wednesday, but life goes on. Keep in mind that the last three times the Giants and Cowboys have played each other in their opener, one of the two NFC East rivals has gone on to claim the Lombardi Trophy. Let’s hope the real referees return by then.
Two seasons ago, I created a pick’em challenge with one of my good buddies (CV3). Last year, we added two new players (CB and DC) to increase the competition level of the second annual “TheSportsKraze Pick’em Challenge.” In year three, we have replaced last year’s cellar finisher (DC) with a new player (BD) that will surely be in the hunt.
The participants this season are as follows:
BD-Brien Dulle: A life-long sports fan that has lived all of his life in Cincinnati. Growing up as a sports fan in a tough city for professional teams (Bengals and Reds), Brien never developed strong allegiances for any one particular team. This unbiased vantage point gives him a much broader range of the sporting world. His opinions from sports have been greatly influenced by the likes of individuals like Colin Cowherd, Scott Van Pelt, Ryen Russillo, Tony Kornheiser, and Michael Wilbon whom he listens to daily.
CB-Craig Baker: A former collegiate baseball player and current special education teacher.
CV3-Chad Vordenberge: An elite high school wide receiver and a very successful business owner.
TSK (two-time defending champion)-Josh Kramer: Founder/Editor-in-Chief of “TheSportsKraze,” former ESPN intern, current Sunday columnist for the popular SNY Network Blog “It’s About The Money,” and writer for fantasy sports website DraftDay.com.
Rules of the Game: This is how the game works. We will pick every game each week (outside of the Thursday night games or dare I say Wednesday night games). Whomever gets the most cumulative games right at the end of the regular season wins. No spreads. Just straight up pick’ems for the most parity filled professional sports league in America. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged AFC, Andrew Luck, Arizona Cardinals, Art Modell, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Marshall, Buffalo Bills, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, John Skelton, Julio Jones, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Marshawn Lynch, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Rob Horton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Washington Redskins
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Could Robert Griffin III (pictured above) help transform the Redskins from a pretender into a contender? Our very own Jeremy Powers thinks so.
By Jeremy Powers
The football season is upon us. Put a smile on your face.
Tonight, the Giants travel to the Jerry Jones Dome to revive the rivalry that received plenty of media attention as is typically the case this offseason.
I can’t wait to see which teams will take a step back and which teams will rise from the ruins and contend for a playoff birth. Let’s look at a recent example, shall we.
Last season, Tampa Bay stepped back from a ten-win season in 2010 to a 4-12 record and a last place finish in the NFC South. Ouch, talk about the opposite side of the spectrum. The Bucs were a pretender last season.
Cincinnati, who won four games in 2010—reached the playoffs with rookies leading the way on offense. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green made a formidable duo and the Bengals defense was stout all season long leading the team to a 9-7 record. The Bengals were a contender last season.
This season I expect some of the same parity that we see every season in the NFL. I see a few teams emerging as playoff contenders and some teams falling straight into the depths of their respective divisions.
The Washington Redskins were 5-11 last season. Drafting Robert Griffin III is a huge upgrade at quarterback over Rex Grossman and John Beck that will result in two more wins minimum. Not to mention the addition of Pierre Garcon as a big-play threat. Washington’s defense is quite impressive on paper as well. Playing in a 3-4 base defense, the Redskins linebackers will lead them as veteran London Fletcher powers a group that also starts second-year guy Ryan Kerrigan, and All-Pro Brian Orakpo. I think the Redskins get to 8-8 this season, which puts them in the hunt for a wild card spot. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged A.J. Green, Andy Dalton, Brian Orakpo, Buffalo Bills, Chan Gailey, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Drayton Florence, Fred Jackson, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jeremy Powers, Jerry Jones, John Beck, Lee Corso, London Fletcher, Mario Williams, Miami Dolphins, Mike Munchak, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC South, NFL, Pierre Garcon, Rex Grossman, Robert Griffin III, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Kerrigan, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennesse Titans, Tim Tebow, Washington Redskins
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Adam Jones (pictured above) has been a main reason why the Baltimore Orioles are in contention for their first AL East title since 1997.
By Josh Kramer
Labor Day typically means two things other than a day off of work. First of all, the dog days of August are over. Secondly, America’s favorite sport is back. College football took over this weekend and guess what? The NFL is right around the corner. Last week was a whole lot of fun, but this week will be good in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. Richmond International Speedway will be the place to be next Saturday in terms of NASCAR. This is the final race before the Chase for the Cup begins at Chicagoland Speedway on the 16th. In other words, Richmond is for all of the marbles. Find a way into the top ten, or pray that you nab one of the two wild card spots. I am looking at you Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Carl Edwards.
4. The dog days are finally over. Players are smiling from ear to ear due to the dog days finally ending, the expanded rosters, and of course the home stretch to the regular season. We have learned a few things along the way. The Baltimore Orioles are the real deal. Crazy, I know. Much of this is thanks to their star center fielder Adam Jones. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Adam Jones, AL East, Alex Rodriguez, Andy Roddick, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Orioles, Baltimore Ravens, Big Ten, Boston Red Sox, Braxton Miller, Carl Edwards, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Felix Hernandez, Geno Smith, Georgia Bulldogs, Green Bay Packers, Jeff Gordon, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas State Wildcats, Kyle Busch, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Barkley, Michigan Wolverines, Missouri Tigers, NASCAR, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Yankees, NFL, Ohio State Buckeyes, Oregon State Beavers, PAC 12, Penn State Nittany Lions, Pittsburgh Panthers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Richmond International Speedway, Sam Durley, San Francisco 49ers, SEC, Stephen Strasburg, Syracuse Orangemen, US Open, USC Trojans, Virginia Cavaliers, Wisconsin Badgers
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged A.J. Green, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith, Andre Johnson, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arian Foster, Baltimore Ravens, Brandon Lloyd, Brian Waters, Buffalo Bills, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Darren Mcfadden, Denver Broncos, Drew Brees, Ed Reed, Eli Manning, Green Bay Packers, Houston Texans, James Harrison, Jim Harbaugh, Joe Flacco, Joe Montana, Jon Beason, Kansas City Chiefs, Logan Mankins, Luke Kuechly, Mario Manningham, Matt Light, Matt Schaub, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Randy Moss, Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Rob Gronkowski, Robert Griffin III, San Diego Chargers, Sebastian Vollmer, Steve Young, Super Bowl, Terrell Suggs, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Troy Polamalu, Wes Welker
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
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Rodgers, AFC, Alex Smith, Andrew Luck, Andy Dalton, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger, Blaine Gabbert, Brandon Lloyd, Brandon Marshall, Brandon Weeden, Buffalo Bills, Calvin Johnson, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Christian Ponder, Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers, Greg Schiano, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jake Locker, Jamaal Charles, Jay Cutler, Jeff Fisher, Joe Flacco, John Skelton, Julio Jones, Kansas City Chiefs, Kevin Kolb, Leslie Frazier, Mario Williams, Matt Flynn, Matt Ryan, Matt Schaub, Matthew Stafford, Maurice Jones-Drew, Miami Dolphins, Michael Vick, Minnesota Vikings, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, NFC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Pete Carroll, Peyton Hillis, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Eagles, Philip Rivers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Griffin III, Roddy White, Russell Wilson, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Tannehill, Sam Bradford, San Diego Chargers, San Francisco 49ers, Sean Payton, Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Super Bowl, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Tony Romo, Washington Redskins, Wesley Kaminsky
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Matt Flynn (pictured above) is going toe to toe with Russell Wilson for the starting quarterback job in Seattle.
By Jeremy Powers
They say competition is healthy. When NFL training camps open, the hot topic always centers on who will win the starting job. Not at running back, not at wide receiver, but at quarterback of course.
There are several teams with quarterback competitions at full speed as the second week of preseason approaches. Ironically, quarterback uncertainty is plaguing the same franchises every season. Teams like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and New York Giants, among others have had the quarterback position nailed down with their Pro Bowl throwers, making them oblivious to what it’s like to have a competition for the top spot on the depth chart. For other teams like the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans, and Miami Dolphins, the coaching staff does not have that luxury and all they can do is hope they make the right decision.
These four situations may not be black and white, so here is my analysis of which quarterback is the best fit under center for their respective teams.
4. Seattle Seahawks: Pete Carroll has one of the more interesting competitions to focus on in the NFL. Management went out in the offseason and signed free agent Matt Flynn to a nice contract after he showed unique abilities in Green Bay. The question becomes, is Flynn really a franchise guy, or was he only the product of an efficient system under Mike McCarthy? The only way to find out is to put him to the test this preseason. The other player in the mix is rookie Russell Wilson, who on paper doesn’t look like a viable option (Tarvaris Jackson seems to have faded out of the race for the starting spot). But the more and more you watch him you see what kind of athlete he really is, and he really makes you want to give him the reigns. My prognosis, start Flynn. I think his abilities are sufficient, and if he really does fail to win games, then go to Wilson. The Seahawks defense should win them games anyway. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged Andy Reid, Arizona Cardinals, David Garrard, Green Bay Packers, Jake Locker, Jeremy Powers, John Skelton, Kevin Kolb, Larry Fitzgerald, Matt Flynn, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins, Mike McCarthy, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, NFL, Pete Carroll, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Seattle Seahawks, Tarvaris Jackson, Tennessee Titans
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Justin Tuck (pictured above) has spoken out against Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews giving the Giants some much deserved national media attention.
By Josh Kramer
It is no secret that the New York Giants defensive linemen have never been shy with their words. Guys like Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck will always talk a big game. Generally, they will also back it up too. For the past decade, the G-Men have always been known to have a great pass rush. Despite winning their final six games last year and taking home their fourth Super Bowl title in franchise history, the Giants have received hardly any attention from the national media. Eli is probably wondering where the love is. Ironically, their crosstown rival has received the majority of the limelight, despite missing out on the playoffs.
Go figure. There have been two main instances when the Giants have received some national attention. One instance was when Osi “the chatterbox” Umenyiora spoke in a positive manner about Tim Tebow and a negative manner regarding Robert Griffin III. Instance number two was yesterday, when Justin Tuck shot back at Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews for some comments made in a recent Yahoo! Sports interview.
Matthews said, “The fact is, (the Giants) didn’t beat us; we beat ourselves. We need to play our best ball when it counts. This year, I expect us to be right back where we should be.”
In response, Justin Tuck said, “Thank you for giving us the game, Clay. I appreciate it a lot.”
Tuck went on to say, “It is football, it is a funny game. Talk is cheap. Play the game. We will see Green Bay again this year so we will see who lays down that week.” Continue reading
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The Pittsburgh Steelers lost an overtime thriller to the Denver Broncos back in January. Peyton Manning (pictured above) will do all in his power to get Denver another victory over the Black and Yellow in Week 1.
By Josh Kramer
Opening night is still well over a month away (September 5th), but anticipation for the 2012 NFL season is mounting. With training camps, fantasy drafts, and more, people are all ears in regards to the 2012 NFL season. The following is a guide for the upcoming season with a game a week to have circled on your calendar regardless of your fan allegiance.
Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos
The Word: What transpired on January 8, 2012 left a bitter taste in the mouths of Steeler Nation. Tim Tebow may be gone, but Peyton Manning has arrived. Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged Aaron Rodgers, AFC North, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Green Bay Packers, Joe Flacco, New England Patriots, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, NFC East, NFC North, NFC South, NFL, Osi Umenyiora, Peyton Manning, Pittsburgh Steelers, Robert Griffin III, San Francisco 49ers, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Washington Redskins
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. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Andre Johnson, Andrew Luck, Cincinnati Reds, Danny Boyle, Darrelle Revis, Denver Broncos, Dwayne Bow, Dwight Howard, Happy Valley, Lane Kiffin, London 2012, Los Angeles Angels, Maurice Jones-Drew, MLB, NBA, New Orlean's Saints, New York Giants, New York Jets, New York Yankees, NFL, Oakland A's, Penn State Nittany Lions, Peyton Manning, Ryan Lochte, Silas Redd, Texas Rangers, Zach Greinke