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. 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. Jake Locker (pictured above) will be the Tennessee Titans starting quarterback in the season opener against New England.
By Josh Kramer
Preseason NFL football has turned into “Quarterback Gossip Central.” Where is the media attention for the cornerback competitions? Or how about the many wide receiver battles? I guess it makes sense though. There is no position of more importance to a football team than the quarterback. Plus, there can only be one starter per team. Let’s go around the League and delve into a couple of the current “Quarterback Controversies.”
Recently, it was announced that Jake Locker will be the starter in Tennessee for opening night against the New England Patriots. Is anyone really surprised though? Sure, Matt Hasselbeck has been in the League since 1999, but Jake Locker was a first-round draft pick. When a quarterback is selected in the first-round, they are expected to start within two years of being drafted. It’s the way it is. Hasselbeck can still play, but he is far past his prime at the ripe age of 36. Plus, Locker is 24-years-old and oozing with talent. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged ACC, Bret Bielema, Buffalo Bills, Chad Johnson, Danny O'Brien, David Garrard, Heisman Trophy, Jake Locker, Joe Philbin, Kirk Cousins, Lebron James, Maryland Terrapins, Matt Flynn, Matt Hasselbeck, Matt Moore, Miami Dolphins, Michael Jordan, New England Patriots, NFL, Randy Edsall, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, Seattle Seahawks, Shawn Merriman, Tennessee Titans, Terrell Owens, Washington Redskins, Wisconsin Badgers
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. Kevin Youkilis (pictured above) received a nice curtain call from Red Sox Nation on Sunday. Now he will take the field for baseball’s other Sox (Chicago).
By Josh Kramer
From one Sox to another Sox. Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox. This is a great transaction for both Sox involved. Boston rids themselves of a potential ongoing locker room problem (Youkilis/Valentine feud), and gives rising star Will Middlebrooks a chance to spread his wings. Chicago on the other hand gets a proven All-Star who can provide the team with a 3rd baseman who can indeed bat above the Mendoza line ( Orlando Hudson batting .194 and Brent Morel batting .177). Youkilis could even potentially bat over .300 (he has done this three times).
After a very successful 8.5 year stint in Boston, where Youkilis helped end the curse and bring Beantown two World Series, it was time to move on. The great thing is Boston has a solution in young stud Will Middlebrooks, while Chicago gets a guy who is only 33-years-old. The White Sox are looking to make a deep playoff run in the present. As much as Boston would like to be a playoff contender, they currently find themselves near the cellar of the AL East. It is hard to believe, but with the departure of Youkilis, Big Papi is the only member of the 2004 championship team still left in Beantown.
Chicago’s hitting has been good this year, but not great. Youkilis has the ability to provide the production out of the 3rd base position needed to help this team reach the next level. It is no secret that the AL Central is perhaps baseball’s weakest division. The White Sox have a golden opportunity to make postseason baseball this year. As we all know, anything can happen in October. Just ask Youkilis. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged AL East, Arian Foster, Bobby Valentine, Boston Red Sox, Brandon Marshall, Brent Morel, Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox, Chris Johnson, Christina McHale, David Ortiz, Elena Visnina, England, Euro 2012, French Open, Kevin Youkilis, LeSean McCoy, Matt Forte, NFC North, Orlando Hudson, Serena Williams, Tennessee Titans, Venus Williams, Will Middlebrooks, Wimbledon
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Tim Tebow (right) was always Josh McDaniel's (left) guy. That fact has been fully brought to light with Peyton's arrival in Denver.
By Wesley Kaminsky
It’s no secret that the biggest question of the NFL off-season has been where Peyton Manning will land. After missing the entire 2011 season with a neck injury, the Colts decided to part ways with Manning after 14 seasons in Indianapolis. After much deliberation as to where Manning would choose, it was announced that he would be going to the Denver Broncos, and they rewarded him with a 5-year, $96 million deal.
Huh? Continue reading
Posted in NFL
Tagged AFC, Arizona Cardinals, Denver Broncos, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, John Elway, John Fox, Josh McDaniels, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Giants, NFC, NFL, Peyton Manning, Tennessee Titans, Tim Tebow, Washington Redskins, Wesley Kaminsky
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Marian Gaborik (pictured above) has led the Rangers to the top record in the Eastern Conference.
By Josh Kramer
Contrary to popular belief, College Basketball is not the only thing going on in the world these days. Though it may seem that way at times, plenty of other things are going on in the sporting world as well. The “Peyton Manning Sweepstakes” continue to heat up. NBA basketball treks on with the “Trade Deadline” in the rearview and Dwight Howard’s version of “Gossip Girl” on hold for at least another year. Last week was totally awesome baby with a capital A, but this week is sure to be great in its own right. Here are the events to keep an eye on.
5. Sid “the kid” Crosby is back in the flesh. New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh are running the show in the Eastern Conference, while the West has turned into St. Louis and Vancouver’s playground. We are nearing the end of the regular season, with right around 10 games to play. It is hard to believe, but I know all of you remember how exciting the NHL playoffs were last year when Game 7’s became almost a given. This week my attention is focused on a matchup at Madison Square Garden tonight.
New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers: Who can remember the last time these two bitter rivals were relevant? We may have to reach back to the prime of Patrick Ewing’s career. We are living in the now though. And though New Jersey is not a top-tier team, they still are capable of making noise in the postseason. The Rangers on the other hand are looking to bring back some Mark Messier type of memories. Perhaps Marian Gaborik can help make this a reality? Both of these rivals are coming off of a loss. Something that has been a rarity for the Rangers this year. Don’t get used to it though. Not only are the Rangers one of the NHL’s best teams, they also are one of the best at home. Tonight, they will defend their home ice. Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Chicago Bulls, Denver Broncos, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard, Indian Wells, John Isner, March Madness, Marian Gaborik, Mark Messier, NBA, NCAA Basketball, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, NFL, Novak Djokovic, Patrick Ewing, Peyton Manning, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Roger Federer, San Francisco 49ers, Sidney Crosby, Sony Ericsson Open, St. Louis Blues, Tennessee Titans, Vancouver Canucks