Monday, January 31, 2011

The Great Debate: Should Fans Vote for All-Stars?

Yao will be starting at Center, although he will be spending the whole game on the bench.

   Whether it is the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB or any other major league sports league or association, they all have an event where the best players in the league compete in one game. Many people look forward to these games because none of the scrubs are involved, and secondly, they like to watch how their favorite player, plays along with other great players in the league. Also, when looking back at retired athletes, some are remembered for how many years they were an all-star. For example, MJ was a 14 time all-star.

     Back in the day, all-star games used to be very exciting. There were many rivalries in all leagues, be it the National League vs American League in baseball, or North America vs the World in Hockey. Or the East vs West in the NBA or even the NFC vs the AFC in Football, either way, you got to see players who are usually division rivals play together to defeat players from the other conference, or in the NHL's case, hemisphere.

     Today, all-star games are becoming a joke, and everyone is starting to catch on, it's all about the money. Well if the quality of the games get any lower, fans will stop attending these fun games. Here is the main problem: The Fans

     Call me crazy but i think certain fans are ruining with some of the greatest traditions in sports. Today with the technology we have with texting, and the internet fans are allowed to vote in any player they want to participate in these games. That means if all of the Nashville Predator fans all decide to vote for Wade Belak, he would have a chance of making the all-star team. That is complete BS because he has 0 points this season but because of the fan voting. So when we compare Gordie Howe's 23 all-star appearances, his name will be up with Wade Belak the 0 point wonder who got voted in by fans.

     In the most recent all-star drama, Yao Ming is set to be the starting Center for the West in the NBA all-star game coming up in a few months. The problem is Yao, once again is out for the entire season with leg issues, this time the ankle. Yao though, got voted in thanks to the large Chineese population, that is more than three times larger then the US. To make it even easier for them, they only have one player to vote for!

    Because of Yao's all-star voting, Commissioner David Stern will have to select a player he thinks deserves the chance to play in the all-star game. Also, in this day and age, there is way to much talent, to get spoiled over by fan voting.

     The next reason i think the all-star games have been subpar in the last few years is because of the players.

    I understand it's fun to watch the players be themselves and show some character after MOST of them are somewhat serious during the regular season. Still, i think these players should still give it their 100% during these games for the fans. Too many tricks and jokes are incorporated into these games and they become a joke after the 1st quarter or period.

Peyton Manning has been a Pro Bowler
11 of the last 12 seasons.
     In the NFL Pro Bowl yesterday, the game was the biggest mock i have ever seen. Even Peyton Manning was making careless mistakes out there. Also in all of these big games, the rules are fixed. For example there was no blitzing allowed which puts the defense at a total disadvantage. They shouldn't have Pro Bowl defenseman if they just stand there and let the offense score. By the end of the 1st half it was 42-7 NFC. That's just not fun to watch.

One of my best All-Star/ Pro Bowl moments was when Sean Taylor jacked up punter Brian Moorman. Sean was a great NFL player and he rests in peace today. Here is the clip of him showing some effort and pride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neGsutVPOXw Moorman was ok.

   As for the NHL all-star game, it is always high scoring but at least it's close. They eliminate some of the rules to allow a quicker paced game. Still even with less defense 21 goals should not be scored, especially four in the first five minutes, that's just lame.

     In the future, i would like to see all-star games voted by the players, coaches, and commish, since they really do know the best. They should not be able to vote for anyone on their team to make it fair. Also i did love the new NHL fantasy format, because it is fun for the players, and something new. Finally though, in the future i want to see an all-star game where the players start to care again and make these events memorable, and not a waste of money.
  

NHL All-Star Weekend: The Best Yet?

The 2011 All-Star Game was one to remember.
    
     Don't get me wrong, in this new era of the NHL, there is no Gretzky, there is no Lemieux, there is no Orr, and there is no Howe. The NHL has a new face of all-stars led by Alexander Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Eric Staal, Nick Lidstrom, and many more. After last years all-star hiatus, due to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the NHL All-Star Weekend resumed this year in Raleigh, North Carolina. In plan for the weekend was a fantasy draft, a skills competition, and a high scoring all-star game

     Although three top stars in Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jarome Iginla all missed the fun weekend of events, that didn't mean that the rest of the country didn't enjoy the festivities. In fact, the players,fans, and NHL were very happy with the replacements, including the youngest NHL All-Star ever at just 18 years, rookie point leader, Jeff Skinner.

Staal and Lidstrom were the
Captains of the two teams.
     This year the NHL decided to spice up the weekend and do something that had never been done before in any Major League Sports "All-Star Weekend". The NHL decided to have a Fantasy Draft to decide the teams, instead of the traditional East vs West format. The two captains were Eric Staal, the best player on the hosting team, and Nick Listrom who was voted by the all-stars to run a team. Staal's assistant captains were Ryan Kessler and Mike Green while Lidstrom's assistant captains were Martin St. Louis and Patrick Kane.

With the 1st pick in the draft: Cam Ward
The Draft:
     The first NHL All-Star Fantasy Draft was held on Friday night in Raleigh, North Carolina. After the puck flip, Eric Staal got the 1st pick and selected his boy, Cam Ward who plays goalie on their team, the Carolina Hurricanes. To respond to that pick, Team Lidstrom selected Martin St. Louis' teammate, Steven Stamkos. Team Staal then took Mike Green's teammate, the Great Eight, Alexander Ovechkin. Team Lidstrom answered with Patrick Kane's boy, Duncan Keith.

     There were a few strict rules that applied to the Draft. The Goalies had to be gone by round 10 and the Defenseman by round 15, so the captains couldn't cheat the system and take the best forwards.
     The final captain of team Staal, Ryan Kesler then had a very interesting pick. He would take one of the Sedin Brothers. Henrik and Daniel have always played on the same team, and have dominated ever since they were young. In the NHL draft Daniel was taken one pick before Henrik, and the result was the same. Dan went to Team Staal while Henrik went to Team Lidstrom.

     The rest of the draft went pretty casual. Some highlights of the draft were Eric Staal, stalling to draft his brother and instead of taking his brother, Marc, he took Marc's teammate and goalie Henrik Lundqvist. Fortunately, no worries for Mama Staal because Marc was chosen on Eric's next pick. The next highlight was Patrick Kane, refusing to draft his teammate and captain of the Chicago Blawkhawks, Jonathan Toews. Kane started off by saying he was taking "his boy" so Toews started to stand up, but Kane took Duncan Keith. Then Team Staal said they were taking someone from Chicago, only to be Patrick Sharp. Finally, Kane was forced to take Toews by his other teammates.

     As for the end of the All-Star Draft, the youngest NHL All-Star, Jeff Skinner, was taken by Staal to make a team of three hurricanes. Also David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, claimed that if he was taken last, he would fight the other captain who didn't take him. Team Staal quickly chose him after he made that comment. And as for the last pick, it went to Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel. Shocker: a Maple Leaf comes in last. Good for Kessel, he got $20,000 donation in his name to any charity, and also a brand new car.

     The NHL rookies were also split into teams and then flipped a puck to see what team they wanted to be a part of. Taylor Hall, who was captain of one rookie squad, one the coin toss over Logan Couture, and selected to be on Team Staal making Couture and his team play for Team Lidstrom.

After winning in 09 with this
ridiculous jersey, Ovi
Repeated in 2011
The Skills Competition:
     The Skills competition were played on Saturday Night.  Team Staal would face Team Lidstrom, and each team would elect players to compete to win various events. All events had to have at least 1 rookie participate.

     The first event was the fastest skater. Here the team elected six players on each team, one being a goalie, one being a rookie, and four forwards or defenseman. Goalies Tim Thomas and Cam Ward faced off, and Cam Ward won due to Tim Thomas losing balance and falling over. Also in one round Duncan Keith was forced to skate against Kris Letang backwards, Letang got the better of that one. Next the rookies dueled and New York Islander Michaell Grabner defeated Taylor Hall and then ended up getting the best time total. Team Staal would win that round gaining most of the eight points, that were offered.

    The next event was the Breakaway Challenge. Here each team chose three skaters (one being a rookie) and a goalie to compete in a fun styled contest, where the fans voted on the coolest goal. Alex Ovechkin was the two time reigning champ, and won again after pulling off some sweet moves. By far though, the player that gained the fans at the RBC Center the most, was Montreal Canadiens rookie, P.K. Subban. Subban put on Jefff Skinners jersey and pulled off an awesome shot, but only to be saved by the goalie. Subban placed second, and again Team Staal won the majority of the points.

    The Accuracy Shooting contest was up next. In this event the teams chose six skaters, one being a rookie, and also two passers. The objective was to snipe four targets in the goal before your opponent could. Convtrevsy sparked when Jonathan Toews lost, but claimed that he never heard the whistle. His opponent and teammate in the NHl Patrick Sharp, went a perfect four for four. In the rematch, Toews went perfect and won the round. In the finals of the competition, Dan Sedin of team Staal beat Patrick Kane and ended up going 8-9 in his two rounds of shooting. Once again, Team Stall victorious.

     In the next event, the Relay, the teams were broken down into two sub teams of eight. Each team had onerookie and seven all-stars. Each player had their own event and the team with the fastest time won. In the first event, a passer would pass the puck to three players where each player needed to drill three shots in to advance to the next shooter. They shot from the Blue Line which was the farthest, a medium shot, and short shot on a crazy angle off to the side. All Shots must be one-timers. After that came the passing. A player must pass the puck into six mini goals only about a foot wide. They consisted of a short, medium, and far shot, and after the first three, the next three were had to be lifted over an obstacle. Then two players had to work on puck handling, one skater circled in and out of cones, and then was followed by another skater who had to handle the puck, in and out of a line. The event is ended with an accuracy shooter who must hit four targets.

   The event was won by Team Lidsrom. Their team consisted of Oliver Ekman-Larsson doing the passing to Lidsrom, Richards, and Louis Ericksson. Next Henrik Sedin went almost perfect on the passing. Martin St. Louis skated around the cones, followed by Matt Duchene who puck slalomed around the obstacles. Finally, Jon Toews ended it with the accuracy shooting, and Team Ldistrom picked up its first win. They finished in 2:09 Team Staal still led total though 21-11.

Chara holds the NHL record
for Hardest shot!
    The next event was highly anticipated, the Hardest Shot. Zdeno Chara has won the last two events, and holds the record for the hardest shot. Many thought that Shea Weber of team Lidstrom might had been able to surpass Chara. In the first round, Weber did beat Chara and posted a shot in the 103 MPH range. Chara got the better of Weber in the finals and shot a new record, 105.9 MPH. He helped give team Staal another victory going into the last event.

    The last event was the shootout, which everyone participated in. It was simple, each goal is a point, you keep shooting until you miss, and at the end whoever has the highest amount won. It was dominated by the goalies and only Corey Perry advanced to round three. Team Staal won again and ended up winning the whole competition 33-22.

Goal, team Staal went up 5-4 after a goal
from Sharp
The Game:
     Team Lidstrom, went into this game with a different mentality and ended up getting the win when it mattered. Team Stall did jump out to an early 4-0 lead though in only the first five minutes. Quick enough though, the game was tied at four, at the end of the first.
  
     In the second period. Team Staal would go back up 6-4 only to have Team Lidstrom go up 7-6 after goals from Danny Briere, Anze Kopitar, and Steven Stamkos. Shea Weber had three assist at this point and ended up with four on the day.
 
     In the third period, Staal and Letang helped regain the lead putting them up 8-7, but Team Lidstrom would score three straight goals by Briere again, St. Louis, and Toews. Rick Nash would bring the lead closer to Team Staal but Louis Ericksson put in an empty net goal to put Team Lidstrom up 11-9.

    With a minute left, Eric Staal got a goal and narrowed it down to 11-10. His team had another chance to win the game with about ten seconds but were denied by Tim Thomas. Team Lidstrom won 11-10.

    For the first time ever, a penatly shot was awarded after Alex Ovechkin threw his stick at the puck when Matt Duchene had a breakaway. Duchene was denied by Henrik Lundqvist. Patrick Sharp was awarded the MVP after scoring one goal and having two assist. The fans vote on the winner.
 
     Anyways, The NHL All-Star Weekend was one to remember and it was a lot of fun for the players and fans. Hopefully we will see more fantasy drafts in the future.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Novak Djokovic Claims The Land Down Under

Novak Djokovic won his 2nd Australian Open after defeating Andy Murray in straight sets.

      Earlier today, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray of Scotland, in the finals of the Australian Open, which is one of the four grand slams in the tennis world. Djokovic was able to defeat Djokovic 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, and this is his second time winning the Aussie Open.


    Djokovic's title stopped Rafael Nadal from winning his "Rafa Slam". By winning this tournament, Nadal would have won the last 4 Slam tournaments, although they aren't all in the same calender year.


     Both times Djokovic has won the Open, he defeated Roger Federer on his way. This year, he beat Federer in a thriller lasting over 4 hours, 7-6, 7-5, 6-4. The "Djoker" is currently ranked 3rd in he ATP, but  might be able to pass Federer for 2nd after picking up a lot of points in this Slam. The Australian Open is the only Major tournament Djokovic has won, despite reaching the US Open finals twice. Regarding the French Open and Wimbledon, the farthest he has advanced are the Semi Finals.


     The first set of the match, was the closest by far, and was over an hour of play. In that set, included a 39 point rally finally ended by Murray, at 5-4, 15-30 on Murray's serve. Murray would end up losing the next point, and set. Djokovic ended up cruising from there and only gave up 5 more games total for the rest of the match. Djokovic would just lose 3 of his service games while Murray only won 6 of 13. Djokovic also had more winners and less errors, showing his true domination.


    Djokovic is back and better then ever after being a little off the last year with injuries and fatigue issues.
  
Murray had a good run but
it ended with a loss against Djokovic.
     Belive it or not, Murray and Djokovic are actually good friends. They are both 23 and only born a week apart, and spend a lot of time together when their not playing during tournaments.


     After the match, Djokovic had some nice to say about Murray. He was quoted saying, " We have known each other for such a long time" and that "It was difficult tonight".


     Murray took the defeat as a way to push himself harder this season, and maybe win a Slam of his own. " I'll try to keep it together this year" and that "It was better than it was last year".


As for Cljisters, she defeated
Li Na in the finals of
the women's tourny.
    On his way to the title, Djokovic faced many tough opponents. He cruised in straight sets, in his 1st round match over Marcel Granollers but struggled in his 2nd round match, winning in 4 sets and taking two sets to 7 games when he faced Ivan Dodig. In his 3rd game his opponent retired in the 2nd set. In the 4th round, Djokovic faced Almagro and won again in straight sets. The Djoker then faced thomas Berdych in the Quarters and won in straight sets once again. Djokovic's Semi-Final clash was the match vs Federer which we know he won in 4 tough sets, and finally Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the finals.


     As for the Women's tournament, it was one by Kim Cljisters who defeated Li Na in straight sets. United States tennis player Serena Williams was sidelined in this tournament, and her older sister Venus, lost early in the tournament.


    The next, Slam will be the French Open in late may. My prediction if for Rafael Nadal to win this tournament, getting back to his dominance. Nadal is unstopabble on Clay and has won 5 of the last 6 French Opens, the only won he hasn't won was in 2009. As for the Aussie Open, congratulations to Cljisters and Djokovic on their titles.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Move Over Conan, Jay, and Dave, Because Jimmer Now Runs The Late Show!

Jimmer Fredette has being more then great this season,
leading his BYU Cougars to a 20-1 Record.
  
     A lot of interesting things are on late at night. You have SNL on Saturday Nights, you have the talk show host with Dave Letterman, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, and Conan O'Brien, and then you have your sporting events. Most games that are on past 10 Eastern Time, are usually being played out on the west coast.

   After watching TV the last few weeks,  I have found a new program that I would like to tell you guys about. That show is, the Jimmer Fredette Show.

It is almost impossible
to stop Jimmer from Scoring.
     Air Jimmer, and his BYU Cougars are one of the most exciting teams this season in college hoops. He is leading them to a 20-1 record and has also helped them mount the top spot on the Mountain West Conference standings.  Jimmer is currently leading the entire nation in scoring, averaging 27.4 points a game. In already 3 games this season Jimmer has scored more than 40 points in a game, including last night's upset victory over undefeated and 4th ranked San Diego State.

     After finishing with 20 of his teams 30 points in the 1st half, Air Jimmer, and the Cougars found themselves down 1 after 20 minutes of play. In the next 20 minutes though, Jimmer would score another 23 points, and with help from his teammates, help knock off San Diego State by a score of 71-58 @ BYU.

     Early in the season, college basketball analyst had a lot of diaper dandies as choices to win National Player of the Year. Those getting a lot of hype were Jared Sullinger of Ohio State, Kyrie Irving, of Duke, Harrison Barnes, from North Carolina, Josh Selby, from Kansas and Perry Jones, out of Baylor. I was pretty surprised when i found out that all the attention was going to these freshmen and not Jimmer because Jimmer has been around for a few years now.

     In his freshman season, Jimmer only played about 18 minutes a game, but still scored 7 points. During his sophomore year, Jimmer improved his game, and the playing minutes increased up to 33 minutes a game. His stats more then doubled and he averaged just under 17 per game. Like most college hoops players, his stats only got better from there and he average 22 points a game. Finally this season he is average 27 a game.

     This season, BYU's only loss came against UCLA by a score of 86-79. Jimmer still played well and scored 25 points, it was the defense that let up on BYU.

Jimmer helped BYU
get a win vs Florida
in the NCAA tourny
last season.
     Jimmer might be the best BYU men's basketball player of all time. Last year, he helped BYU advance to the 2nd round of the NCAA tournament in over 17 years. In that win over Florida, Jimmer scored 37 points, including 2 clutch three pointers in overtime.

     Fredette hails from Glen Falls, New York and actually faced off against Junior guard on Syracuse, Mookie Jones. Jones beat Jimmer's high school team in the class finals. Despite losing in the State finals to Jones' team, Jimmer is the current all time leading score in Section II in New York State and ranks 6th all-time in scoring for all classes. Fredette also played AAU basketball for the Albany River Cat's alongside Penn State's star guard, Talor Battle.

     Due to Jimmer's oustanding play this season, he is currently ranked 2nd upon point guards by Rivals.com, and has a rising stock in the 2011 NBA Draft. Right now in NBA mock draft's, he can go anywhere from a very late lottery at 13, but can slip as far down to 27. Also, many team's in the NBA are not in need of a starting point guard because of the depth in the position, but are looking for Jimmer to be that guy who comes off the bench, sparks up the game and knocks down some shots. He is only 6'2 but all point guards are small. Also team's in the NBA should not be worried about shooting up on taller guards because Fredette has shown his ability to knock down jumpers in front of player's faces.

Jones and Jimmer faced off
in the State Finals a few years ago.
     Aside from scoring though, Jimmer is a team player. He still notches in a few assist per game and has a great Basketball IQ. His assist to turnover ratio is very high as well.

    Jimmer and the BYU Cougars were ranked #9 coming into this week, but after the big win vs San Diego State, and losses from Syracuse and Villanova, BYU will rise in next week rankings, possibly into the top 5. The Cougars should not have any hard competition until their rematch with San Diego State in late February. Until then, I hope to see Jimmer continue to score and put on a show for the people out West, and even here on the East Coast.

Friday, January 21, 2011

NFC and AFC Championship Game

Hester has returned kicks for touchdowns against the Packers
and won't be scared to do it again this week.

NFC Championship Game : Packers @ Bears

My Prediction: 24-17 Bears

     Both teams have been dominant this season and in the playoffs too. The Bears won the division and beat the Seahawks 35-24 in the last round of the playoffs, and could have beaten them by more if it weren't by a few late scores by Seattle. The Packers made it as a wild card team and beat the Eagles in the 1st round, and then killed the NFC regular season champs, the Falcons in Atlanta, 48-21.

     In the two regular season games this season, both teams won at home and split the series 1-1. The Bears defeated the Packers in Chi City 20-17 week 3 and the Packers got revenge on the Bears, week 17 to advance to the playoffs. They won that game 10-3.

     If you ask anyone, most people would say that the Packers are the much hotter team right now and are favorites to win this game and the Super Bowl. I do think the Packers could win this game but i believe the Bears have the better chance of going to Dallas to play in the Super Bowl.

Heres Why:

     The Packers last game was played in warm Atlanta in a dome. Rodgers was able to pass very efficiently and threw for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now they will have to play in 10 degree weather in the snow and wind in Chicago. That will have a major effect on the Packers and the play-call. The Packers will need running backs Brandon Jackson and John Kuhn to step up this week and i just don't think they can handle the Bears D. The Bears D is one of the best in the league and is lead by players like Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs, and Julius Peppers.

     Another reason i think the Bears can win this game is because the Packers are not efficient in games after recently playing indoors. This season the Packers went 3-3 after playing indoors. The losses came to New England, Atlanta, and Washington while they defeated the Jets, Niners, and Vikings. Also when they beat the Jets they only scored 9 points which shows they did not really adjust to the weather. Also they beat the Vikings indoors because they had back to back games in Domes. When they played the Niners they did score 34 points but then again San Fransisco is pretty warm during the day, and the Niners do not have a defense nearly as good as the Bears. Don't get me wrong the Packers have a great defense too, but the Bears are used to playing in the cold. They put up 35 on the Seahawks in the blizzard last week.

     The final two reasons i think the Bears can win this game is due to the injuries on the Packers and the Bears Special Teams. Devin Hester is a machine and has returned kicks for touchdowns in the playoffs. The Packers will be punting a lot on Sunday and even if they score they have to kick it bak to Hester. If they avoid Hester, the Bears can probably get great field position and will be able to score on short drives. Also the Packers are a very banged up team. Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant have been out since the beginning of the season and play major parts in this offense. Also one of the Packers defense stars, Clay Matthews is injured and although he will play he will not be 100%. Running Back John Kuhn is also hurt.

AFC Championship Game: Jets @ Steelers
My Prediction: 20-13 Steelers

     Do you know what it is?

      Black and Yellow that's right. The Jets playoff runs end this week and will please most of America. Rex Ryan will stick his foot in his mouth after the Steelers Defense shuts down Sanchez and the rest of the Jets offense. The Steelers defeated the Ravens last week 31-24 and Big Ben again showed that he is clutch when it matters late in the game. The Jets did look very impressive against the Colts and the Patriots but all that ends this week. Although the Jets beat the Steelers in the regular season that doesn't matter because the postseason is what really matters and the Steelers will get revenge.

Here is why:

     The Steelers Defense is much better then the Colts and Patriots and the Jets will figure that out very early in the game. The Jets cannot rely on Mark Sanchez to win this game. The Steelers have an amazing secondary with Ike Taylor, Bryant McFadden, Troy Polamalu, and Ryan Clark. They rank 12th in pass rush and the Jets also do not have great wide receivers. The Jets had more drops than most teams in the NFL this season. So let's say that Sanchez can't pass so he gives the ball off to Shonne Greene and LT in the cold weather? Not a good idea either, the Steelers lead the NFL in rush defense, and running backs are only averaging 62 yards per game. The Steelers have stopped running backs like Ray Rice, Michael Turner, Chris Johnson, Peyton Hillis, and Darren McFadden all this season.

The Black and Yellow Nation will be all over the Jets this Sunday
     Another reason i think the Steelers can win this game is because of their own offense. Yes, Darrelle Revis is a great corner back but he can't guard Ward, Wallace, and Miller all at the same time. Cromartie has been playing pretty weak and I'm sure Big Ben will look to attack his side of the field. Also Rashard Mendenhall is a great back and can break through the Jets line for a score.

    The final deciding factor to why the Steelers will win is because of the home field advantage. The fans waving those towels will play a huge roll in pumping up Steelers Nation and cheering them to the Super Bowl. The Steelers were 5-3 at home this season and all the games they lost were decided by a touchdown or less.

So this week look for Black and Yellow, and for the Windy City to win this week for the respective Championship games.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The New, New York Knicks

The New Look Knicks have been great this season.

This season, the New York Knicks have been one of the most surprising teams in the NBA. The team leads the NBA in offense and made a few great pick-ups in the off season.

In July, Knicks GM Donnie Walsh signed forward Amar'e Stoudemire and guard Raymond Felton.  This doesn't  compare to the Heat signing James, Wade, and Bosh but still the Knicks are making a serious case for it. If the Knicks can pull off a Carmelo signing, many will argue saying the Knicks three of Amar'e, Carmelo, and Ray can compete with James, Wade, and Bosh.

Not just Amar'e and Ray have helped the Knicks this season.

The emergence of Wilson Chandler is vital to this team. Yes Amar'e can dunk and Ray can dish but the Knicks need that third player who can explode with dunks and shots. A man who can average 18 to 20 points per game. The Knicks have found that player in Chandler. This season Wilson is averaging 17.5 ppg, along with 6 rebounds. He produces these stats with an average of about 36 minutes a game, which is the equivalent to 3 quarters. This is just Wilson's 3rd year in the league, and his stats have only been getting better.

The next reason why the Knicks have found success this season is because of the most underrated rookie of this years draft, Landry Fields. the Knicks stole Fields in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft and actually took Routins earlier then Fields with the pick before. Rautins has only played in about 5 games this season. Anyways, Fields has been better then great. He's averaging 10 points a game and plays stellar defense. He plays shooting guard but when Felton needs some rest, coach Mike D'Antoni is confident in Fields to take up the ball.

The next reason i think the Knicks have been playing so well might surprise you.

Ronny Turiaf.

Ronny has been the fan favorite
in New York and gives the team
a lot of energy.
Ronny has not only been producing career best stats, but has given New York a lot of energy. All winning teams always has that one player that can get everyone pumped up. Ronny is that to the Knicks. He is funny, serious, and very tough and all three contribute to the Knicks. He also makes it much easier for the Knicks best player Amar'e Stoudemire. Amar'e is a true power forward, and without Turiaf he is forced to play center because the Knicks lack height.

The Knicks are 22-17 this season and sit comfortably at 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Last year the Knicks had 29 wins in total. Also the years before the Knicks had 32 and 23 wins under Isiah Thomas. The last time the Knicks made the playoffs was in 2003, and they didn't even have a winning record. The last time the Knicks finished above .500 or even reached 40 wins was all the way back during the Patrick Ewing age in the 1990's.

Now the Knicks are in real business. They have kept close with the elite and can beat the "good" teams.

Amar'e and Ray make a excellent pair
in New York.
Now i have to give credit for the real stars of New York, Amar'e Stoudemire and his sidekick Raymond Felton.

Amar'e has always been a great player, since his time with the Suns he was always a 20 plus and 10 guy.   He had Steve Nash to give him the ball, and a great coach in Mike D'Antoni. That is almost identical to this season with the 20 and 10 and coach D'Antoni, just one big difference, Raymond Felton.

Felton has been ridiculous in the 1st half of this season. he is averaging 18 points and 9 assist. He is also contributing on defense with 2 steals per game. During his time with the Bobcats, Felton was a quiet guy. He averaged 12 and 5 and wasn't really a star player. Now he has erupted since landing in New York and his averages have been much higher. His points and assist per game have rose about 5 this season.

The Knicks have been playing with great Chemistry this season as well. Everyone is playing with Bro-Mentality and the Knicks consider themselves all brothers. Amar'e and Ray have been great co-captains. Along with Turiaf, Chandler and Gallinari, the Knicks have all been solid. They have also had sparks from guards Fields and Douglas.

Besides the Ewing years, the Knicks have not been this good since the days of Walt Frazier, Earl "The Pearl" Monroe, and Dave DeBusschere. Also the Knicks have not had a coach this great since the legendary Red Holzman led the team to Championships in the 70's.

Hopefully for Knicks fans, they can keep up their games and continue to win.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NFL Playoffs 1st Round Predictions


Can Peyton Manning lead his team to a similar result this year vs the Jets?

Regular Season record: 156-100

The Nation will crush the
Seahawks today in Seattle
Saints vs Seahawks: 41-13 Saints
The Seahawks don't deserve to be playing in the playoffs and will be told that today, by the defending champs, the New Orleans Saints. If the Seahawks can give up 41 and 38 to the Giants and Bucs who both didn't make the playoffs, just imagine how much Drew Brees and Co. can put up on this team. Saints in a not close game.





Will Sanchez get revenge on the
Colts this season?
Jets vs Colts: 31-24 Colts
This matchup will repeat last years AFC Championship, and will also have the same result, a Colts victory. The Colts are way too experienced, and when it matters the most, an experienced QB always beats a young quarterback. The Colts have been able to heal some injuries and Peyton shouldn't have much trouble finding some open receivers. The Jets offense is too inconsistent and they will get tripped up today at Lucas Oil, Colts in a close one.


Ray Lewis and Ed Reed will
lead one of the best defenses
In the NFL vs the Chiefs
Ravens vs Chiefs: 21-17 Ravens
Like the Colts vs Jets game, the deciding factor in this game is the lack of experience on the Cheifs side, and a whole lot of experience for the Ravens. The Ravens have made it to the playoffs many times in the last 10 years while the Chiefs have only made it about 3. The Ravens had one of the hardest schedules in  the NFL and still had a 12-4 record. Their defense will be just a little to much for Cassel, Charles, and Bowe. Still a close game though, I have the Ravens.





                                                      Packers vs Eagles: 38-28 Eagles
Vick is all about redemption and will
succeed vs the Packers.
This is by far the most interesting and intriguing game of this week. You have Aaron Rodgers leading his team to the playoffs despite many key injuries on the offense like Ryan Grant and Jermichael Finley. Then you have the Eagles led by Michael Vick, who has been the most improved, and exciting player to watch this year. A few years ago, Vick was in prison, and now he's about to lead his team deep in the playoffs. In a high scoring game, i have the Eagles over the Packers, just because position by position the Eagles have the edge, and the fact that this game is being played in Philly.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Harbaugh to the 49'ers

Harbaugh will still be coaching in California, but a
different team awaits his coaching.

The San Fransisco 49'ers have just gotten a new head coach. Today, the Niners signed a 5 year $25 million deal with former Stanford Cardinal head coach Jim Harbaugh.

After a 12-1 season at Stanford this year, including a whopping 42-12 win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, Harbaugh has been on the head coaching list of many teams in the NFL and NCAAF.

During his time at Stanford, Harbaugh has posted a 29-21 record during his 4 years at Stanford, and in the last 2 years is 20-6. Also at Stanford, Harbaugh evolved quarterback Andrew Luck, into one of the most talented players in the nation. He would have been the #1 pick in the NFL Draft, but has opted to stay in school for his junior year. Nonetheless, Harbaugh helped bring back Stanford to the top of the Pac 10, a place it had not been to since Plunkett and Elway were playing quarterback.

Harbaugh grew up in Palo Alto, and is the son of former coach Jack Harbaugh, and brother of current Baltimore Ravens coach, John Harbaugh. He played quarterback for Palo Alto High School, and then for the Michigan Wolverines. He lead them to the Fiesta and Rose Bowls and also was on the All Big Ten team. In addition, he was the conference's Player of the Year, and also was on the all-academic team.

In the NFL he wasn't the most successful player and soon quit to start a new career in coaching.

He started off at Western Kentucky as an assistant coach and then became the head coach of the University of San Diego. In 3 years he had a 29-6 record and was soon hired to coach at Stanford. Overall he was 58-27 during his College Football coaching days.


At Stanford he helped make the team not only a conference power house but in all of college football. In the last 2 years he has had 2 players been announced as top 5 Heisman candidates, last year running back Toby Gerhart led the nation in rushing, and this year Andrew Luck pretty much did the same, but for passing.

Harbaugh is known for his high powered offenses and hard hitting defenses. Their offense ranked 9th in scoring and defense ranked 10th in points allowed. The team averaged a 23 point victory, due to averaging 40 points and only giving up 17.

After meeting with the Dolphins earlier this week, Harbaugh met with the 49'ers and decided to coach the team next year.

He could have coached at Stanford this year, and everything would have clicked. He had most of his team back including Stepfan Taylor and Andrew Luck. They would most likely have been able to contend for the Pac 10 title, and the National Championship, but still Harbaugh chose the NFL.

This disappoints the Broncos, Dolphins, Stanford, and Michigan immensely.

Harbaugh has said he did want to coach in the NFL but also demanded a lot of money as well. He also said he wanted to stay in California with his family. He will have a new conference at 6:15 ET or 3:15 PT.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Unlucky?

Andrew Luck will not enter the NFL Draft and stay at Stanford for his Junior Year.

Unlike Lebron, Andrew Luck will be taking his talents to Palo Alto, the same place he was this year, with the Stanford Cardinal.

Today, Heisman runner up Andrew Luck, has decided he will return to the University of Stanford for his junior year instead of going into the NFL Draft.

Luck would be the #1 pick in the draft but yet has decided to return mostly to win the Heisman and to bring "The Farm" a national championship.

Luck helped Stanford to a 12-1 record including a BCS bowl win vs Virginia Tech. The Cardinal's only loss was a 52-31 win by Oregon.

This year Luck had a great season.

Luck had one of his best
games of the whole
season in the Orange Bowl
against Virginia Tech.
He passed for 3,338 yards and 32 touchdowns, while only throwing 8 interceptions, 2 coming in the game vs Oregon. He also rushed for 3 touchdowns. In 10 games this season Luck threw for multiple touchdowns, including a season high 4 vs Sacramento State, Wake Forest, Oregon State, and in the Orange Bowl vs Virginia Tech.

Not only is Luck a smart player on the field but he is also one of the smartest off the field. He is on the all-academic team and will score high on his Wonderlic test when he enters for the NFL Draft next season. His father was a Rhodes scholar and after football one day, Andrew might become one as well.

Another reason Luck might have decided to stay in school was because of the possibility of an NFL lockout season. Luck is smart enough and figured he might as well get another year of college football dominance, win some awards, and graduate with a degree in architectural design.

The only thing that could be different with Stanford next season though is they might have a new head coach. Jim Harbauh who is the current coach of Stanford is being interviews by many NFL teams such as the Dolphins, 49'ers, and Broncos, as well as some college football teams like Michigan. It could be hard for Luck to have as much success without a great coach like Harbaugh but someone as talented as Luck still shouldn't have a problem.

The Carolina Panthers got very unlucky in the situation, no pun intended.

They have the #1 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and stated they would have drafted Luck if he decided to enter. The Panthers need a serious team makeover which starts with the quarterback.

This year rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen could not get the job done and only has a 58.4 passer rating and has thrown for only 3 touchdowns. After starting in 6 games, he has thrown a touchdown in only 2. Obviously the Panthers needed Luck, who as a quarterback, hasn't gotten as much hype since Peyton Manning was entering the draft.

The Panthers will probably trade down to a top 15 pick and end up getting another 1st round pick next year, and will hope to get the #1 pick again.

That might be another reason Luck decided not to enter the draft.

Out of past teams with the #1 pick in the draft the Panthers are one of the weakest offensively.

The Rams, Lions, and Dolphins, all had offensive threats that could help out rookies Jake Long, Matt Stafford, and Sam Bradford, but the Panthers have really nobody on offense. Yes they have an o.k. run game but with Williams being so injury prone and Steve Smith aging, the team needs to start fresh.

This year at Stanford Luck also broke records for passing completion %, passing effiency, and passing touchdowns. You have to remember that other Stanford quarterbacks include John Elway and Jim Plunkett, and look how successful they were in the NFL.

Luck just might be lucking out this time, but only time will tell!

Rich Rod Fired

Rich Rodriguez did not live up to expectations while he was at Michigan

Yesterday, Rich Rodriguez was formally fired by the University of Michigan, just a day after sources started reporting that Rodriguez had lost his job.

This firing does not come surprising to people whether they are fans or they aren't. Rich Rodriguez was a great coach at West Virginia, but not at Michigan.

During his time at West Virginia he had a 60-26 record and was invited to play in 6 bowl games in 7 years. He also won the Fiesta Bowl and the Sugar Bowl, both BCS bowls during his tenure.

Rich Rod is known for his fast paced offense known as the spread, where wide receivers are spread out across the field and the quarterback, who is usually fast, like Pat White or Denard Robinson, can run the ball or pass. They take the ball from the shotgun, read the defense and decide to run or pass deciding on the defense. In addition Rich Rod likes giving the running backs like Steve Slaton at West Virginia draws which is efficient while running the spread offense. During his head coaching tenure at West Virginia, Rodriguez ran the ball about 69% of the plays.

In late 2007, Rodriguez took the job at the University of Michigan, after past coach Lloyd Carr stepped down.

In three years Rodriguez's record is 15-22 and only 6-18 in the Big Ten. The worst loss of his career and for Michigan in many years came in his last game this year in the Progressive Gator Bowl vs Mississippi State. State gave them a whooping and won by a score of 52-14. Michigan jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the 1st but then gave up 52 straight.

That leads me to the next thing about Rich Rod, defense.

Yes, he produces great offenses that can score a lot of points but as super bowl winner Ray Lewis says, "Defense wins championships". I guess that is really true because Michigan can score all they want but if they can't get a stop they will not win games.

He also broke many terrible records at his time at college football's most winning school.

In 2008 he set a Michigan record for most losses in a season with 9. Also it was the 1st time in almost 50 years that Michigan had back to back losing records. The 42-7 loss to Ohio State was the worst ever verse their rivals and in total Michigan went 0-6 vs Michigan State and Ohio State.

On the defensive side, Rich Rod coached the worst Michigan Defense ever giving up the most yards and points per game, and also a record 52 points in a bowl game.

Rich Rod also led Michigan to a series of controversy regard NCAA allegations and breaking rules during his time at Michigan. He broke the time a team can practice and exceeded recruiting violations as well.

I think Michigan's Athletic Director, Dave Brandon said it the best.

"Michigan is not used to this"

That is very true Michigan is the most winning school in college football history and has won many bowl games.

Looking into the future, Brandon has a few people on his mind. College coaches Les Miles of LSU and Jim Harbaugh, of Stanford are both on the top of his list. Also many recent NFL coaches are on Michigan's list.

Harbaugh is also on pretty much every single team with an empty head coach spot's list. He is currently involved with the Miami Dolphins on becoming their next head coach. Also other NFL teams like the 49'ers and Raiders both want to have talks with Harbaugh.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

NFL Coaches Update

Tom Coughlin will be coaching the Big Blue next season.

All of the following teams have coaches that are already fired, are about to be fired, recently got the go ahead for next season, or have no clue what lies ahead for their future:



Carolina Panthers: It was already announced that John Fox, who took over the team in 2002, and lead the team to a superbowl will not return as coach next season after having his first double digit loss season of his career.

Denver Broncos: They already announced the firing of Josh McDaniels halfway through the season, and the interim head coach was not yet named the head coach for next season. With the way their season ended, it looks like the Broncos will consider hiring a new coach.

Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals announced today, that head coach Marvin Lewis will return next season to coach the Bengals.

Buffalo Bills: Although they had a typical bad season, the Bills have not lost hope yet in Chan Gailey.

Arizona Cardinals: Ken Whisenhunt looks like he will be keeping his job after a disappointing season this year. It was only 2 years ago that the Cardinals won the superbowl and almost won it before a spectacular drive by the Steelers that ended in a Santonio Holmes diving catch.

Cleveland Browns: Head Coach Eric Mangini was fired just after 2 seasons today, the Browns had a 5-11 record this season and barely improved from last year.

San Fransisco 49'ers: The Niners fired coach Mike Singletary with 1 game left after having a 5-10 record. They are looking for a new head coach and will not elect interim head coach to a full job.

Washington Redskins: The Redskins are always very exciting and random with their decisions but it looks like Shanahan will keep his job for at least 1 more year, but other people will be leaving.

Tennessee Titans: The longest tenured coach in the NFL, Jeff Fisher's situation is not a pretty one. Although all the fans love him and have been writing to keep him as coach, the front office might want to make a change, especially with all the coaches who are available. Also the AP reported he will be fired in upcoming days, so his situation is unclear.

Garrett could very possibly
become the permanent head
 coach of the
 Dallas Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys: After firing head coach Wade Phillips, Jason Garrett did a good job taking over the team but it isn't official he will be the head coach next year. They will announce as early as tuesday who their coach will be. Garrett is 5-3 the Cowboys but knowing owner Jerry Jones, he might go for a big name coach.

Detroit Lions: Jim Schwartz definitely improved the team since taking over but it is not 100% sure he will return next season. With a young and upcoming team with a lot of potential it could take a few years until this team returns to being a good team in the NFL. Although they were 6-10, 5 games they lost were within 5 points.

Houston Texans: Recently they have announced they will keep Gary Kubiak for at least 1 more year.

Minnesota Vikings: Leslie Frazier accepted the job to become the full time Head Coach of the Vikings yesterday.

Miami Dolphins: It looks like coach Tony Sparano is very close to losing his job after another disappointing season. Also not many fans or players are backing him and owner Stephen Ross has the money to reel in a big named coach.

Oakland Raiders: Even though they finished 8-8 coach Tom Cable will not return next season.

Del Rio's job is safe for 2011 but he
Will not be calling defensive plays
Jacksonville Jaguars: Coach Jack Del Rio will return but will not call defensive plays.

New York Giants: coach Tom Coughlin will return for another season as head coach.

San Deigo Chargers: After bringing the team no post season success and now regular season success, it is very possible for head coach Norv Turner to lose his job this offseason.

If your team was not mentioned your coach is 99% safe to coach next season.


Now the possible replacements:

Stanford Cardinals Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Former Steelers Head Coach: Bill Cowher
Former Bucs Head Coach: Jon Gruden
Former Ravens Head Coach: Brian Billick
Bears OC: Mike Martz
Giants DC: Perry Fewell
Any recently fired coaches
Chargers DC: Ron Rivera
Browns GM: Mike Holmgren
Colts OC: Tom Moore
Ravens OC: Cam Cameron
Jets OC: Brian Schottenheimer
Former Florida Head Coach: Urban Meyer
Oklahoma Head Coach: Bob Stoops
Texas Head Coach: Mack Brown

NFL Week 17 Recap

Tebow looked great on sunday, but his Broncos couldn't win the game.

My Record this week: 9-7
Overall:  156-100

Falcons vs Panthers: 31-10 Falcons
Falcons Player of the Week:  Matt Ryan- 236 Pass Yards, 2 Touchdowns
Panthers Player of the Week: Brandon LaFell- 60 Rush Yards and 63 Receiving Yards
The Falcons clinch a 1st round bye and were the NFC South divisional champs with an easy win

Steelers vs Browns: 41-9 Steelers
Steelers Player of the Week: Mike Wallace- 106 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Browns Player of the Week: Brian Robiskie- 36 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
The Steelers demolish the Browns and get a 1st round bye in the playoffs due to winning the AFC North

Lions vs Vikings: 20-13 Lions:
Lions Player of the Week: Nate Burleson- 83 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Vikings Player of the Week: Jared Allen- 4 Tackles, .5 Sacks, 1 Interception, and 1 Touchdown
The Lions end the season on a great note, and overall had a good season, for the Lions.

Raiders vs Chiefs: 31-10 Raiders
Raiders Player of the Week: Michael Bush- 137 Rushing Yards and 1 Touchdown
Chiefs Player of the Week: Jamaal Charles- 87 Rush Yards and 1 Touchdown
The Raiders also end the season on a good note, while the Chiefs look sketchy for postseason play

Patriots vs Dolphins: 38-7 Patriots
Patriots Player of the Week: Rob Gronkowski- 102 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Dolphins Player of the Week: Brandon Marshall- 97 Receiving Yards
The Patriots demolish the troubled Dolphins and are in great shape for the postseason

Bucs vs Saints: 23-13 Bucs
Bucs Player of the Week: Josh Freeman- 255 Pass Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Saints Player of the Week: Reggie Bush- 70 Rush Yards and 55 Receiving Yards
Although they are not in the playoffs, the Bucs make a huge turnaround and end the season 10-6 which is much better then last year

Jets vs Bills: 38-7 Jets
Jets Player of the Week: Joe McKnight- 158 Rush Yards
Bills: Jairus Byrd- 1 Interception, 1 Touchdown, and 6 Tackles
The Jets beat the Bills by the same score as the Patriots beat the Dolphins. They get ready for the Colts next week in the playoffs

Bengals vs Ravens: 13-7 Ravens
Bengals Player of the Week: Jerome Simpson- 123 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Ravens Player of the Week:  Ray Rice- 77 Rush Yards and 1 Touchdown
The Ravens clinch a playoff berth with an easy win over the Bengals

Chargers vs Broncos: 33-28  Chargers
Chargers Player of the Week: Ryan Matthews- 120 Rush Yards and 3 Touchdowns
Broncos Player of the Week: Tim Tebow- 205 Pass Yards, 94 Rush Yards, 3 Touchdowns (1 Rush)
The Chargers beat the Broncos to end the season, but Tebow looks good again in just 3rd start

Bears vs Packers: 10-3 Packers
Bears Player of the Week: Matt Forte- 91 Rush Yards
Packers Player of the Week: Greg Jennins- 97 Receiving Yards
The Packers clinch the final NFC playoff spot with a win over the Bears

Giants vs Redskins: 17-14 Giants
Giants Player of the Week: Mario Manningham- 101 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Redskins Player of the Week: Rex Grossman- 336 Pass Yards and 1 Touchdown
The Giants win and end the season at 10-6 but that is not good enough for the G-Men to make the playoffs

Colts vs Titans: 23-20 Colts
Colts Player of the Week: Peyton Manning- 264 PAss Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Titans Player of the Week: Kerry Collins- 300 Pass Yards and 2 Touchdowns
The Colts clinch the AFC South again after Adam Vinatieri hits another game winning field goal

Jaguars vs Texans: 34-17 Texans
Jaguars Player of the Week: Rashad Jennigs- 108 Rush Yards, 38 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
Texans Player of the Week: Arian Foster- 180 Rush Yards and 2 Touchdown
The Jaguars were eliminated from the playoffs after a bad loss vs the Texans

Cowboys vs Eagles: 14-13 Cowboys
Cowboys Player of the Week: DeMarcus Ware- 5 Tackles, 3 Sacks, 1 Intercpetion, and 1 Touchdown
Eagles Player of the Week: Chad Hall- 84 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
The Eagles do the Cowboys by benching all of their starters and allowing the Cowboys to win the game

Niners vs Cardinals: 38-7 Niners
Niners Player of the Week: Brian Westbrook- 79 Rush Yards and 2 Touchdowns
Cardinals Player of the Week: Larry Fitzgerald- 125 Receiving Yards and 1 Touchdown
In the 3rd game that ended 38-7 the Niners end the season by getting the better edge on the Cardinals

Seahawks vs Rams: 16-6 Seahawks
Seahawks Player of the Week: Charlie Whitehurst- 195 Pass Yards and 1 Touchdown
Rams Player of the Week: Steven Jackson- 45 Rush Yards and 35 Receiving Yards
The Seahawks clinch the ugliest berth of playoff history, don't even want to talk about it

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is It Really Fair?

It's sad: The Seattle Seahawks at 7-9 will be in the playoffs

I do not know which is worse, the fact that a 7-9 team can make the playoffs, or the current BCS bowl system. Both are unfair and at the end of the day many people are disappointed.

The Seattle Seahawks made history late sunday, when they defeated the 7-8 (at the time) St. Louis Rams. If the Rams won they would be 8-8 which is .500, and also be one of the only teams in NFL History to go from the #1. pick in the draft to the postseason.

That wasn't the case though this sunday.

The 7-9 Seahawks beat the Rams to make the Rams also 7-9. The Seahawks controlled the tiebreaker, and are playoff bound, and set to play the reigning super bowl champs, the New Orleans Saints.

The Seahakws beat the Rams 16-6 thanks to a big defensive performance that ranks 30th in the league. Also they shut down star rookie quarterback Sam Bradford by picking him off once, forcing a fumble, limiting him to 155 passing yards and 0 touchdowns.  Seattle got an early touchdown in the 1st quarter when quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, his Mike Williams in the endzone for 4 yards. That would be enough to win the game, but they tacked on 9 more points on 3 field goals by Olindo Mare.

The game ended with much controversy due to a terrible spotting by the officials late in the game, which gave the seahawks a 1st down rather than a 3rd and 2 or 1. Seattle ended up killing the clock and kicking a field goal which clinched the win, because it was a 2 possession game now with only 1:37 left.

Now comes the argument.

Do the Seahawks deserve to make the playoffs when the 10-6 Bucs and 10-6 Giants didn't. Also recall that the Giants beat the Seahawks 41-7 and didn't even try in the 2nd half. Also lost to Tampa Bay 38-15 just last week. The Seahawks rank in the 20's or worse in defensive and offensive stats.

Yes, i do know it has always been that the best team from each division makes the playoffs, but in most cases, that team is actually "good". Obviously that rule will never get switched but can the NFL at least consider a few switches in the division. I know there are many rivalries but those would not be impacted. For example why does Dallas play in the East, why do the Rams play in the West, and why does Miami play in the East not the South? I know they are on the east coast but they are the most southern team in the NFL.

In addition, many of these division are uneven. The NFC East rarely has a bad team and has had 3 teams make it to the playoffs in 1 year. Also the AFC North with the Ravens and Steelers, and the NFC South with the Bucs, Saints, Panthers, and Falcons who won the division this year, are all power conferences while the AFC West, NFC West, and to some level the AFC South were weak this season.

This was the play that potentially
killed the Giants season
Being a Giants fan, i am even more upset with this outcome. Yes i will admit that they chocked again this season like the Mets do every year, but a 10-6 record should be good any year to make the playoffs, especially when you beat a team 41-7. Giants were also top 10 in most stats including passing yards, rushing yards, opposing rush, and opposing passing yards. The team was even plagued with many injuries and played in one of the toughest divisions in football and still ended up with 10 wins. They also had another big win over the Bears 17-3, who are in the playoffs with a 1st round bye. The Giants also hung tough will the Eagles in both games this year, and could have easily won both if it weren't for sloppy decisions.

Now the Giants are screwed.

They do not have a good draft pick, they aren't in the playoffs, fans are going crazy, and the Jets made the playoffs. The good news is that the owners are saying that Head Coach, Tom Coughlin's, job is safe. Many Giants players and some fans backed Coughlin when the team was struggling, and when they were eliminated from the playoffs. He wasn't the one who choked, miss placed a kick, or struggled to win games down the stretch. He brought them a super bowl back in 07 and what's a better accomplishment then that?

Back to the Seahawks though, it is really misfortunate that they will be playing this postseason over the Giants and Bucs. A 7-9 team that only wins divisional games and teams that are sub.500, is not a quality team. I hope they get crushed by the Who Dat nation this sunday because they certainly do not deserve it. Even more bazaar, the Seahawks get home field advantage vs the Saints because of the divisional win. That's o.k. though because home field didn't help them out when they played the Giants.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Next Great One?

Crosby celebrating after a goal, something he has done many times this season

Wayne Gretzky is the greatest hockey player of all time, and his stats and records are unbreakable. Hence his nickname "The Great One", Gretzky is the greatest hockey player ever.

But now that his time is up, along with other great hockey players like Mario Lemeiux, Brett Hull, and Jaromir Jagr, there are new faces to the NHL.

These faces are Alexander Ovechkin, Steven Stamkos, and possibly the next great one: Sidney Crosby.

Gretzky played in an era where goalie equipment wasn't as efficient as it is today, and it was much easier to score goals but regardless of the pads his stats are ridiculous.

During his time on the ice Gretzky recorded 894 goals, 1,963 assists, and totaled for 2,857 points. His season best include 92 goals (in 80 games), 163 assists (in 80 games) and 215 goals (in 80 games). Today, it is rare for a player to score over 50 goals and total over 120 points. Those stats are nearly half of "The Great One's"

Gretzky also won 3 Gold Medals for Canada at the Olympics and won 4 Stanley Cups for the Edmonton Oilers. He also played for the Los Angeles Kings and New York Rangers.

Now for Crosby:

His first year in the league was in '05 and he recorded 102 points. He also became the NHL's youngest Captain ever, just being 19 years old. Also, besides an injury plagued, off year in '07, Crosby has recorded over 100 points in every season, including a career best 51 goals last season.

Crosby already has broken several NHL Records, not nearly as many as Gretzky, but he's getting there.

Crosby is the youngest player ever to record 100 points ,as well as 100 points and penalty minutes in a season.  He then became the youngest player to record 200 points, at just 19 years of age. After his first 2 seasons he became the youngest player to record two 100 point seasons in a row. He was the youngest player to start in an all-star game and to even play in one. He was also the youngest to win the Ross and Pearson awards.

Do you get the point?

Also Crosby was the youngest player to lead the whole NHL in points. 2 years ago when the Penguins won the Stanley Cup, Crosby became the youngest captain to win Lord Stanley's cup.

Crosby has also gotten great accolades in international play.

Crosby scored the Game Winning Goal to
Lead Canada to the Gold Medals
He helped lead Canada last year to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games Gold Medal Game vs the United States. Although the US defeated Canada in group play, Crosby and Canada got the better of the US the 2nd time around.

The game was in OT when Crosby scored the game winning goal past Ryan Miller.

All of this has been said about Crosby, and I haven't even began talking about this season.

Crosby's stats this season are Gretzky like.

He has 65 points in 39 games. He is on track for about 140. Out of those 65 points he has a league leading 32 goals and 3rd best 33 assist. He leads the NHL in points by 9.

Crosby's success came during a 25 point streak that was recently ended. Even Gretzky's longest streak was at 25 games too. During those 25 games he had over 50 points. He also helped the Penguins land the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Crosby has been unstoppable this season and is the leading candidate for the Hart award, which is the NHL's MVP award.

Tonight he plays his rival Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, in the annual Winter Classic Game, which is being played outdoors at Heinz Field.

With Crosby playing the way he is, come 15 years, the NHL might have another "great one"

NFL Week 17 Predictions

Peyton will take advantage of a weak Tennessee Defense this week

My Record coming into the final week: 147-93
Last Week's Record- 9-7

Panthers vs Falcons: 24-10 Falcons
The Falcons will take this one easily, and by the second half will have their starters benched. They still need to win in order to lock up the division title so expect to see Turner, Ryan, and White out on the field.

Steelers vs Browns: 27-6 Steelers
Peyton Hillis was the Browns only hope, and he has't been good in 4 games. That streak will continue as he plays against the best run defense in the NFL, the steelers. The Steel Curtain will shut down the Browns this sunday and win their division.

Vikings vs Lions: 28-24 Vikings
Although the Lions did have a nice win last week, and have had a good season as a whole, the Vikings are the better team. Yes they are 6-9 but everyone expected them to be 10-5 at this point in the season. The Lions have a terrible rush defense which just means a great game for AP this upcoming sunday.

Raiders vs Chiefs: 27-21 Chiefs
The Raiders have been great this season and have found a serious star player in Darren McFadden, but the Chiefs have just been better this season. They are 10-5 and have clinched a playoff spot after wining the division. If they bench their starters the Raiders could win, but i still have the Chiefs pulling out the win.

Dolphins vs Patriots: 28-14 Patriots
The Patriots will probably bench their starters, but that does not stop them from winning this game. They are the best team in the NFL so their backups could still put up a fight with the Dolphins.  The game is also in New England, not Miami which changes the whole game around because of the climate change. The Dolphins won't adjust nor will they win the game this Sunday.

Bucs vs Saints: 35-27 Saints
The Bucs have been great this season and now have a franchise quarterback in Josh Freeman. They also had a productive season from rookie WR Mike Williams, and have had a solid defense all year long, but the Saints are just too good. They won the Super Bowl last year, and have the same expectations for this season. Especially with the division title up for grabs, look for a Saints dub this week.

Jets vs Bills: 27-10
The Jets have not lived up to their huge hype coming into this season. Still, they are in the playoffs. Look for the Jets and head coach Rex Ryan to blow out the Bills this week, just to prove a point. The Bills aren't very good, but a nice victory could give the team some momentum going into the playoffs.

Bengals vs Ravens: 24-13 Ravens
The Bengals had a nice win this week but that wasn't against one of the best teams in football. The Ravens need a win to have a chance of locking up the division and will do so this sunday vs the Bengals. The defense is way too good and the Ravens have a nice offense with Flacco, Rice, and the triple entente wide receivers in Mason, Boldin, and Housh.

Giants vs Redskins: 28-7 Giants
The Giants need this win, and will deliver in the clutch. The Giants had an embarrassing loss last week to the Packers and dropped out of the current playoff standings. With a win and a loss from the Packers, they regain their spot. The Giants should and will win this game vs a very weak Redskins team.

Chargers vs Broncos: 27-21 Broncos
I am seriously a fan of this Denver Broncos team, now that Tim Tebow is starting at quarterback. He gives the team some energy, and can do it all. The Broncos have some momentum, and the Chargers have the complete opposite. I am taking the Broncos in this one.

Packers vs Bears: 24-20 Bears
Not to be biased, but i believe the Bears will win this one. They have a much better defense then the Giants and should be able to stop Rodgers a little better then the Giants did. With the way Cutler has been playing as well, the Bears are one of the better teams in the NFL. Bears giving the Giants a favor this week with a win over the Packers.

Titans vs Colts: 28-10 Colts
Both teams have underachieved this season, but the Colts are still the better team. They need this win to clinch a playoff spot, unlike the past 5 years where they have been benching their starters this week. Peyton will be Peyton and the Titans will be stopped again this sunday.

Eagles vs Cowboys: 27-21 Cowboys
I do not know why i picked the Cowboys, but i am just feeling a victory. Especially with Kolb starting and the way the Eagles played last week, the Cowboys might have a chance. Yes, the Cowboys did not play too well also but still they have a tendency to win vs the Eagles. Upset right here, Cowboys on sunday.

Cardinals vs Niners: 24-14 Cardinals
This one was a coin flip decision. Both teams have been terrible this season and have played in the worst division in football. The Niners just fired their head coach and the Cardinals have barely won any games this season. Still, i have the Cardinals winning just because they have more playmakers then the Niners in Fitzgerald and Rodgers Cromartie.

Jaguars vs Texans: 27-13 Texans
The Texans have been bad ever since their bye week, but will end the season on a good note with a win this sunday. The Jaguars made a nice run but will be without Garrard and Jones-Drew this sunday. Schuab, Foster, Johnson, and the Texans will be too much for the Jaguars.

Seahawks vs Rams: 24-10 Rams
I hate this game so much, it is a shame it is the last regular season game of the season, and also a mini playoff game to see who makes it to the real playoffs. The Rams are 7-8, the Seahawks 6-9. That being said, the winning team of the DIVISION will not be over .500 and at the best .500. Out of the Bucs, Giants, and Packers, only one of these great teams will be able to make it due to this lack of division in he NFC West. Whatever, Bradford leads the Rams from worst team to playoff team.