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Archive for January 2010

Championship Weekend

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NFL fans were treated to two great games, and the favorites took care of business. Our Superbowl XLIV matchup in Miami, Florida match up is set: New Orleans Saints vs. Indianapolis Colts. For the first time in a while we’ve got the two #1 seeds playing for the title. These were the last two undefeated teas at 13-0 and 14-0 respectively and the teams that most thought would be playing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

So what do we know? Both teams have an offensive unit that knows how to score the pig skin, and both teams are masterfully led by the two best quarterbacks in the National Football League: Peyton Manning and Drew Brees.

For a Patriots fan, there were no allegences to either NFC team, though since the media has a super “man-crush” on Brett Favre, most Bostonians seem to lean more toward rooting for the Saints.  The AFC however, posed an interesting predicament.  Do you root for the Colts led by “Seyton Manning” (a.k.a. Peyton Manning) as local Boston blogger Paul “Fitzy” Fitzgerald so eloquently calls him. Or do you hate the New York Jets so much that you can’t find it in your heart to root for the AFC East divisional rival?

The Boston sports blog, Boston Sports Media Watch, said they were for the Colts.  And that’s what most Pats fans did.  Even though they despise the Colts, it is okay to see the best team succeed, and so far this season Indianapolis has won every game they tried to win. They let the Jets into the playoffs by not even trying in the final week of the regular season but took care of business when it mattered.

The consensus for Boston bloggers is very easy to see. Nobody wanted the Colts to go to the Superbowl, they just hate the Jets so much that they rather have New York not make it through. There is no wavering opinion.  Boston fans will be rooting for the Saints come Superbowl Sunday. But whatever happens, as a fan, we are all excited about this game. It should be one for the ages.

Written by lhpious

January 26, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Mark McRoids

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Mark McGwireA bit over a week ago the sports world was hit with some earth shattering news. The one time single season home run record holder, Mark McGwire, admitted to using steroids. Then, according to my Broadcast professor, Bill Lancaster, “CNN announced that the Atlantic Ocean is indeed wet.” Now as a fan of the game of baseball should I be upset at McGwire’s admission? The truth is, I’m not. Maybe it’s because it was so completely obvious that, like my professor, I was able to deal with it because I wasn’t the least bit surprised.

Curt Wenzlaff, A convicted drug dealer was interviewed by ESPN on Outside the Lines said that he used to supply steroids to McGwire and that McGwire’s goal was to “improve his performance on the field.”

“Will it help you hit a baseball?” Wenzlaff said. “Let me put it to you this way. If Paris Hilton was to take that array, she could run over Dick Butkus.”

The question then turns to: when and why McGwire was doing steroids? He says that after injuries, he just wanted to feel right again. He admitted to doing androstenedione from 1997, 1998, and 1999 seasons, and it was the 1998 season where he had his magical record-breaking home run season. Now, McGwire is officially know for two reasons: his spectacular season, and doing roids–and we find out that he was juicing on his historic season. Pathetic!

In his ultimate demonstration of lack of class and remorse, McGwire said there was “no way that a pill or an injection” was the reason he hit so many home runs.

One former player, Carlton Fisk, wasn’t shy about expressing his opinion on McGwire’s excuse for only taking steroids for the purpose of getting healthy again.

“Try having your knees operated on and catching for 30 years,” Fisk said to the Tribune. “Do you think you feel good when you go out there? [McGwire] had to stand around and play first base. So excuuuuse me.”

Fisk isn’t the only Hall of Fame inductee who is skeptical. Ferguson Jenkins, a 1991 inductee, said “[McGwire] needs to search his should and come up with a better explanation.” Jenkins continued in saying that he does not believe McGwire will end up with enough support to become a member of the MLB Hall of Fame, and would be ashamed if he did.

I gotta say, if I could vote, Big Mac won’t get any of my support because I don’t think he could have done half of what he accomplished without “help,” and I’m not talking about the kind of help he intends on giving as the St. Louis Cardinals’ new hitting coach.

Written by lhpious

January 22, 2010 at 4:27 pm

NBA All Star selection process

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One thing we do know about the NBA All Star game is that it’s hyped. And how is it hyped? Through advertising, advertising and advertising.  So much money is spent that the NBA has to some how recoup some of its costs. This year is even more obvious that the past. Just look at where they’re holding the event–Cowboy Stadium. One estimate in the Sports Business Daily lists the maximum capacity as potentially over 100,000 people with the standing room only section.

Boston Celtics guard, Ray Allen, raised the interesting question, why do the fans vote for the starters in the NBA All Star game? This year poses some glaring issues to the current system. No disrespect to Tracy McGrady or Allen Iverson, but they’ve barely played and are clearly undeserving of All Star appearances this season. An AP story points out that though “unwanted by their teams, Iverson and McGrady are still adored by their fans, who still consider them stars even though their stats say otherwise.”

Many people answer this question the same way former New York Knick coach Isiah Thomas and current Charlotte coach Larry Brown do, voting certain players in based on their career achievements and giving them on last All Star appearance as some sort of a curtain call.

“I’ve seen Willie Mays and those older guys start based on what they’ve done in their career in baseball, and we’ve had that happen in basketball for years, guys that have made a contribution,” Brown said. “That’s why the fans are involved, and I think it’s kind of neat that they are involved. They support the league, they vote for their favorite players. I always look at a guy’s body of work.”

Allen, however, is not arguing to completely take the fans out of the equation, saying “I like the fact that the fans get the opportunity to vote and pick who they’d like to see in the All-Star Game, but I don’t think it should be 100 percent.”

Yao Ming is an interesting case to follow.  He was the #1 draft pick in 2002 and was voted as a starter to his first five All Star games. Consequently, he was elected as a starter by fan voting. Well, there are over 1 billion Chinese people and he is a national icon. Now I’m not saying he was undeserving for most of them, but he was injured in 2007. It’s not his fault he was elected, and to commend Ming, since he was injured he gave up his spot.

The NBA says vote early and vote often.  So if  you want to keep the current trend of American Idol voting going, don’t wait because today is the last day to cast your vote !

Written by lhpious

January 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Patriot Predicament

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The New England Patriots lost their home playoff game.  And boy, it was ugly.  The talking heads point to the week 17 loss of wide receiver Wes Welker because so much of their offense was run through him.  The burden of those dump-off plays that would have gone Welker’s way was thrust upon rookie Julian Edelman, who did perform admirably catching Tom Brady‘s only two touchdown passes in the 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.  Unfortunately, the Pats woes are not limited to an injured receiving core.

This past decade, us Patriots fans have been blessed.  They have one of the all time great coaches in Bill Belichick and one of the all time great quarterbacks, Tom Brady.  They have had charismatic players like Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel and Tedy Bruschi as well as clutch performers like Adam Vinitiary, Kevin Faulk, and Troy Brown.  Watching those players, as a fan we believed that they would come up with the play.  You could see it in their body language that they had the passion and the desire to win.  The plane and simple fact is that the 2009 Patriots were team without those important characters.

People like Jerod Mayo, Brandon Meriweather and Adalius Thomas expect to be respected because they are Patriots but must understand that they do not deserve the swagger and respect of the previous players because they have not earned it.

So what now?  They need to get better.  They need to improve their running game, get some sort of pressure on the opposing quarterback, and find a vocal defensive team leader.  Brady, Faulk, and Welker have earned their title as leaders, but who is going to step up for the defense?  Is it going to be through the draft?  Free agency?  Jeremy Lundbald, of ESPN Stats & Information put it best, “No single free agent will fix a 2-6 road record. The Patriots blew four games in which they held a 10-point lead. No draft pick can solve that.”

The answer is that it has to come from within.  Someone has to grow a pair and take the lead…otherwise the Pats are in for another early playoff exit.

Written by lhpious

January 14, 2010 at 9:54 pm

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