Archive for January, 2009
It was an Eastern Conference showdown between two teams on fire right now — the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic. Cavs point guard Mo Williams was coming off a 43 point game, and LeBron was fresh off a triple-double. LeBron put up a nice game with 23 points, eight assists, and eight rebounds, but it was the Magic that reigned supreme. Dwight Howard had 22 points and 18 rebounds, as the Magic simply ran away with the game in the 4th quarter. They also had three other players in double-digits (Rashard Lewis, Jameer Nelson, and Hedo Turkoglu). The Cavs and Celtics may have received all the media attention up until this point in the East, but the Magic are looking like a VERY serious contender come playoff time. Orlando 99, Cleveland 88.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the remaining rosters have been filled out for the all-star teams. Remember that fans vote on these, and therefore very deserving players don’t necessarily make the roster. Some all-star snubs this season include the Cavs Mo Williams (whose having an incredible year), and the Nuggets Carmelo Anthony. These are two guys truly helping their teams and having amazing seasons. Another snub — Andrew Bynum of the LA Lakers. He has turned into a force down low, and is being compared to a young Shaq. So, ironically, there is a lot of backlash that Shaq (himself) did make the all-star team. But hey, the fan vote is final.
There is a lot of buzz surrounding Pittsburgh’s wide receiver Hines Ward. He’s coming off an injury, and is doing everything he can to prepare for the big game. But, more notably, there is talk in the air that if he has a good game, this could be come both his Hall of Fame ticket and legacy. He constantly puts up steady numbers, and has been phenomenal in the playoffs, even earning MVP honors when the Steelers beat the Seahawks in the Super Bowl three years ago. However, Ward also had quite a controversial season, mostly due to a dirty hit he laid on a Bengals defensive player. His rep will definitely be on the line come Super Sunday.
And finally, it appears that even though soccer superstar David Beckham might be on his way out of the U.S. — we still have soccer fever. Today, the U.S. made a bid to host the World Cup tournment in either 2018 or 2022. Sure, a long way away, but it’s proof that the U.S. is serious about soccer. The relative recent launch of the MLS wasn’t a gigantic success, but it surely wasn’t a failure. And they are still adding new teams (the Seattle Sounders, for example, will kick off their franchise this year). Hopefully, the committee throws us a bone, and lets us host this extremely exciting event. Who needs Beckham anyway?No comments
Well, this year’s college basketball season continues to flip flop. First UNC had the #1 ranking, then Pitt, then Wake Forest — Wake Forest lost, which propelled Duke into the top spot this week. But the Blue Devils couldn’t rest comfortably, as they had to take on, guess who, Wake Forest last night. It was an amazing back and forth game, and with just 3.2 seconds left on the clock, Wake Forest had a chance to win. Everybody thought their star player Jeff Teague would get the ball, but instead they drew up the play for the unsuspecting James Johnson, he hit an easy layup, and the Demon Deacons pulled off a last second victory. Duke will definitely lose their #1 ranking, but fortunately, unlike college football, they can make up for it in the end-of-season tournament.
The Boston Celtics looked to continue their winning streak against the Sacramento Kings. Could the 10-36 Kings make a dent in the Celtic armor. Um, the game was in Boston… not a chance, Sacramento. The Celtics, of course, have their Big three players. But in the past few games, their bench guy, Eddie House, has been absolutely on fire — especially from 3-point range. He hit eight three pointers last night to give the Celtics an easy victory. Plus, House is definitely the favorite to win the 3-point contest on All-Star weekend. Boston 119, Sacramento 100.
Former Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden has publicly stated that he wants to coach again… like, NOW. Gruden was admittedly surprised by his firing, and said he wants to get back out there right away. He even phrased it,”Chucky wil l be back”. For those that don’t know the reference, there was always a running joke in the NFL that Gruden resembled the killer doll from the Chucky horror movies. Fans used to bring the dolls to the game. Gruden was also criticized for not being able to work with young quarterbacks (and the Bucs had a lot during his tenure), but Gruden countered saying he really only got to work with one young guy, Chris Simms. And Simms was severely injured two years ago, and never got a chance to fully develop. However, you can bet you will see Gruden pacing the sidelines VERY soon.
Finally, as everyone knows, it’s tradition for the Super Bowl winner to go to the White House and meet the president. It’s usually just a quick formality, shown briefly on the news several months after the big game, and that’s that. However, with the recent Obama FRENZY, this prize is actually quite coveted by both teams. They REALLY want to meet the president. Both teams are vying to be the first team to meet the new president. It’s a genuine BIG DEAL this time.No comments
Sure, most minds aren’t on NEXT year’s NFL season, but you can bet that New England fans (coming off an 11-5 season without making the playoffs), are thrilled today. The reports are official that their Hall of Fame quarterback, Tom Brady, will be ready by the season opener next year. They lost Brady to knee injury in the 2nd quarter of the first game of the season. Even though back-up Matt Cassel had a brilliant season, and has agreed to return to a back-up roll next season, the Pats fans still want their Brady. To them, this year’s Super Bowl is nothing but an exhibition game en route to next year.
And in a similar story, LaDainian Tomlinson, the Chargers future Hall of Fame running-back, is uncertain about his future in San Diego. Coming into this season, Tomlinson was the hottest RB in the NFL. Anything short of greatness would have been a disappointment. Well, he fought a nagging toe injury, and finished well short of perfection. Now, rumors have been flying that his time in San Diego might be up. On his website, Tomlinson said he “wants to be a San Diego Charger”. He started his career there, he feels a loyalty to them because they drafted him, and he wants to finish his career in So-Cal. But, he said he knows it’s a business, and understands that the Chargers might have other plans for next season.
It was another huge night for LeBron James. He put up his third triple-double of the season. He had 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 11 assists. However, believe it or not, LeBron James wasn’t the key story in the game. No — it was his teammate, point-guard Mo Williams, who had an unbelievable night. He put up 43 points, 11 assists, and had 8 rebounds to go with it. This is primarily notable because the Cavs clearly have another weapon, and Mo Williams just might be the missing piece that gets LeBron and the Cavaliers an NBA title. Cleveland 117, Sacramento 110.
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Finally, in the running theme of departures, it’s possible that soccer phenom David Beckham may be done with his United States vacation. The Los Angeles Galaxy brought in Beckham to try and create more excitement for the MLS. Beckham didn’t put on a clinic, but he played decently. However, there are rumors that Beckham might move on to play for Italy’s AC Milan. He’s been on loan to them for the last two weeks, and he just might be staying. (yes, that’s right, in soccer you can loan players to other leagues. Imagine if the Colts loaned the Steelers Peyton Manning for the Super Bowl. Yeah right). Alas, soccer might be forever relegated to a niche sport in the US.No comments
Some good news for Pittsburgh Steelers fans. Apparently, the men in black will be with their star wide receiver, and long time veteran, Hines Ward for the Super Bowl. Ward sprained his MCL in the AFC Championship against the Ravens, but he said that he couldn’t imagine NOT playing in the Super Bowl. And for those that can’t remember — Ward was the Super Bowl MVP when the Steelers won three years ago against the Seattle Seahawks. He’s practically their good luck charm, and having him on the field is not only good for their offense… it’s good for their morale.
Elsewhere in the NFL, it seems that even though they had a sub-par season, football fans just can’t get enough of the Dallas Cowboys. It’s not just their football team, it’s the fact that they have many high-profile players, and their off-the-field life can be just as interesting as what they do on game day. Take Tony Romo dating Jessica Simpson for example. The media followed them everywhere, and they became headliners for gossip magazines. Now, it appears that someone else plans to join that fray. Yes, that’s right, Terrell Owens is getting his own reality show on VH1. There’s no doubt that this guy is interesting to watch, from his touchdown celebrations to his post-game interviews, to his multiple ‘tell-all’ exposes on ESPN. Well, now those hungry for more will get just that. It’s being dubbed as T.O. TV — Terrell Owens 24/7. Get that Tivo ready.
We’ve got a new #1. And this is going to sound like old times, but the Duke Blue Devils once again reign the almighty. In the past couple seasons, Duke has been good, but not unstoppable like they were for most of the 90s and first half of this decade. Well, now they’re back on top unseating Wake Forest (who just suffered a loss). This has been a topsy turvy season for college basketball, as it seems that once teams get to #1, they get upset. Thus, Duke may be #1 now, but they better not get too comfortable, because they will play the 16-1 former #1 Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Wednesday night. And that’s a can’t miss game.
Finally, if you’re a fan of clubhouse gossip, then you’ll love Joe Torre’s new book. Torre, as many know, was the manager of the Yankees during their World Series run, as well as their slow decline regardless of having the highest payroll in the league. In this book, Torre calls A-Rod (the highest paid player in the league) “A-Fraud”. Apparently, A-Rod never fit in with the team, and was jealous of the city’s absolute adoration of Derek Jeter. According to Torre, A-Rod followed Jeter around like a puppy trying to learn from him; to study why people love him. The book comes out on February 3rd, and, as one may have guessed, is being met by harsh backlash. Then again, that’s always good when you’re trying to sell a memoir.No comments
Some bad news for Milwaukee Bucks fans. The Bucks are currently the #8 seed in the Eastern Conference right now, but, unfortunately, they lost their star player Michael Redd for the year. The Olympic gold medalist tore his ACL AND MCL in a home game against the Sacramento Kings. The Bucks will sorely miss Redd. However, Milwaukee head coach Scott Skiles said that the team has won over half of its games without its two star players. (The other being Richard Jefferson). Speaking of which, Jefferson will now have to take on the team’s alpha role, set the tone for the team, and hopefully get them in the playoffs.
There were two fantastic match-ups in the NBA today — a doubleheader on ABC. The first game pitted the always dangerous Dallas Mavericks against the red-hot Boston Celtics. The Celts have won seven straight since their recent slide. In other words… they’ve got their grove back. And because of its return, the Mavs didn’t stand a chance. Three players on the Celts scored 23 points (Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, and, um, Eddie House). Actually, House hit seven 3-pointers on the day, and was launching up prayers in the 4th quarter trying to break the NBA record of 12 (held by Kobe Bryant and Donyell Marshall). Boston 124, Dallas 100.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the day’s marquee match-up was the #1 team in the Western Conference, the Lakers, taking on the #2 team, the Spurs. The Spurs beat the Lakers by one point earlier this season, in a contest dubbed, “The best game of the season”. Now… it was time for Kobe and the Lakers to play host to Duncan and the Spurs. Duncan had a mild game with 15 points, and the rest of the Spurs followed suit with a sub-par performance. Folks… this game was all Lakers. Kobe led the way (even with an injured finger) with 22 points, but the Lakers also had four other players putting up double digits. The Lakers are on a tear now, and their rematch with the Celtics (who are now on an eight game winning streak) is looming. LA Lakers 99, San Antonio 85.
Finally, the story of the girls High School basketball team that shamefully beat another team 100-0… continues. Even though the school website had issued a statement apologizing for the result of the game, the actual head coach of the winning team did NOT apologize. He said, “Our team played with honor and integrity. We played the game as it was meant to be played”. Well… the administrators didn’t like that, and the head coach was dismissed by the school. And he probably never thought his small Texas Girls basketball team would be making National headlines this year.1 comment
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Some sad news from the world of women’s college basketball. Long time N.C. State basketball coach, Kay Yow, died at the age of 66. N.C. State was also one of the top teams in woman’s college basketball over the past 20 years, and that was largely accredited to Yow. And back in 1988, she led the USA Women’s basketball team to a gold medal. She also started the Yow foundation to raise money to fight breast cancer. Kay will be sorely missed not only by the her players and the NCAA, but by the entire sports world.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
In men’s college basketball, there was a much anticipated game between #3 UCONN and the surging #19 Notre Dame. For the first time in a couple seasons, Notre Dame basketball is relevant again. This is primarily due to their gigantic big man, Luke Harangody. Notre Dame trailed by only two heading into the half, and Harangody finished the night with 24 points and 15 rebounds. However, #3 UCONN was just too much for the Irish, and they pulled out the win. UCONN 69, Notre Dame 61.
Elsewhere in the college basketball, finally some good news for Seattle fans. The city of Seattle is coming off their worst year in sports history. They lost their NBA team, the Sonics, the Seahawks played like garbage and were completely irrelevant. The Mariners were at the bottom all season, and to add insult to injury, they won their last two games to lose the first pick in the draft. And both college football teams were horrendous. The Washington Huskies (once an elite college football program) didn’t even win a game. With all that said, the Washington Huskies mens basketball team upset the #11 UCLA Bruins on Saturday. And with this win, they move into first place in the Pac 10. Hey, it’s something. Washington 86, UCLA 75.
Finally, some news out of boxing. There was a huge upset last night for the Welterwight title as “Sugar” Shane Mosley knocked out Antonio Margarito. Margarito was heavily favored coming into the fight, namely because of Mosley’s out-of-the-ring problems (drug accusations and a divorce) and his age (37). Plus, the majority of the crowd was rooting for Margarito. But, Mosley was the guy who came out swinging, and knocked down Margarito in the ninth round. “It was a pummeling”, said one announcer. Congrats to “Sugar” Shane.4 comments
The red hot Orlando Magic hoped to continue their run against the re-emerging Boston Celtics. They’ve won 7 in a row, and now had to take their ‘A’ game to O-Town. And even though it was a home game for the Magic, the Celts stayed tough for the entire game, and the Magic just couldn’t find their way on top. Orlando’s Rashard Lewis put on quite a performance, scoring 20 and grabbing 10 boards, but the Celts Paul Pierce stole the show with 27 points and 10 rebounds. The Celtics now look like they’re returning to ‘the zone’. Boston 90, Orlando 80.
However, some good news today for the Orlando Magic. Their star center, Dwight Howard, who leads the league in rebounds, blocked shots, and double-doubles, received the most all-star votes of any of this season’s stars. This includes Kobe and Lebron. He obtained a record setting 3,150,181 votes for the all-star game. People really like this guy, and he also puts on quite the show on all-star weekend. Remember — last year he put on a Superman outfit (complete with cape) for the slam dunk competition. Fans are making it known that this guy needs to be in every all-star weekend for years to come. And to think, there was a lot of controversy as to whether the Magic should have selected Howard as the No. 1 pick. They were on the fence between him and Emeka Okafor (now in Charlotte). And it’s highly probably that Okafor didn’t crack much more than 10 all-star votes.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies are having a horrible season. Not exactly a huge surprise, but their management has decided that coach Marc Ivaroni is at fault. The team released him after the Grizz were 11-30 through the first half of the season. Their rookie center Marc Gasol said, “We don’t have an identity. We run around like chickens with our heads cut off. Youth can be a good thing, but we use it as an excuse.” He’s right. The Grizz have been hiding behind the “We’re still learning” thing for quite a while, but that can only sustain your fan base for so long.
WOMEN’S HIGH SCHOOL BBALL
Finally, some interesting news from Dallas. No, not the Cowboys, but rather a Women’s High School basketball team. The Covenant School beat Dallas Academy 100-0. That’s insane, but it was definitely one of those ‘they didn’t stand a chance’ games. With that said, the Covenant school were still hitting three pointers and stealing the ball even in the 4th quarter. It was borderline cruel. Now, The Covenant School is issuing a public apology and will seek to forfeit a future game as self-punishment. The good news: It seems the girls of Dallas Academy didn’t really care about the loss that much. “They just moved on”, a mother of a player said.No comments
Wow! A stunner in college basketball. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons have been playing out of their mind, and were just recently promoted to #1 as the last unbeaten team in the nation. On a pretty easy-to-win Wednesday night game, Wake took on Virginia Tech at HOME. Virginia Tech was a pesky bunch, and they headed into the half up by 10. The Demon Deacons made a comeback push behind their star PG Jeff Teague, but the Hokies just kept attacking them. The game stayed close until the final seconds, with the Hokies missing a ton of easy free throws that could have sealed the game. But — Wake Forest could never quite catch up, and the unranked Virginia Tech Hokies pulled off the monster upset. Virginia Tech 78, Wake Forest 71.
And in some random college basketball news, the New Jersey Institute of Technology has quietly amassed the longest losing streak in Division one b-ball. They’ve lost 51 STRAIGHT GAMES. They’re 0-17 on the season, and the only reason we’re reporting on this is… well, you guessed it. They finally snapped their losing skid by beating 3-15 Bryant University. This is a marquee night in N.J.I.T. athletics history. For those of you who don’t know, N.J.I.T. plays in the same conference as those #16 seeds in March Madness. The ones that get killed by 50-60 points by the likes of #1 seeds UCLA/UCONN/Duke/etc…
The New York Knicks have made it absolutely clear over the past couple of months that they want nothing to do with Stephon Marbury. He has sat idly by as they’ve openly resented him, but now a team in Greece, Olympiacos, is eying bringing Marbury to Europe. Olympiacos signed former Atlanta Hawk Josh Childress to a $20 million deal this off season, but recently lost him to a much needed knee surgery. Now, they’re hoping to continue appeasing their fans by recruiting another NBA name to the club. This is quite an interesting trend happening with European basketball. And there are still rumors that a Euro club has their eyes set on Shaq.
Finally, the Los Angeles Lakers had their bi-annual home game against the other LA team, the Clippers. (By the way, they play in the same stadium). The Clips haven’t beaten the Lakers in two years, and that wasn’t going to change tonight. Behind the tour de force that is Andrew Bynum, the Lakers topped the lowly Clippers. Bynum had an amazing 42 points, and an injured Kobe Bryant still managed to put up a triple-double. These guys are on the championship path. LA Lakers 108, LA Clippers 97.No comments
It was inauguration day in the nation’s capital, and even the sports world took time to stop and share. For example, LeBron James watched the festivities from a hotel room with his kids, while Celtics star guard flew to event in person. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin even postponed a Super Bowl press conference one-hour so he could tune in to hear Obama speak, and Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards was one of the Americans worried about his job in this tough economic winter.
And as everybody in Washington D.C. started partying, the sports world carried on. In college basketball, the #2 Duke Blue Devils hosted unranked N.C. State. However, the Wolf Pack gave Duke a lot to handle. They even led by four heading into the half. Then again, Duke is 138-4 at home vs. unranked opponents, and they weren’t going to let N.C. put even a dent in that statistical armor. Their star player, Gerald Henderson, played out of his mind, putting up 21 points to give Duke an electric second half surge. Henderson is quickly becoming one of the best players in the NCAA right now, and Duke will be a major contender come March. Duke 73, NC State 56.
It appears that Donovan McNabb isn’t entirely done with the Arizona Cardinals. After losing by one point in the 4th quarter on Sunday, McNabb probably thought his season was over and that he wouldn’t have to deal with another Cardinals fan until next year AT LEAST. Well, his season IS over, but AZ fans still seem to find him… in Philadelphia. Turns out that some Cards fans vandalized his yard, hanging team flags from his trees, and posting signs that say “Go Cards” on one side, and “Beat Philly” on the other. McNabb thought this amusing, but then noticed that they had also burned Cardinals cheers into his lawn. That’s going too far. The vandals were caught, and cited for misdemeanor charges.
Finally, it looks like Chargers and Jets fans will have one fewer player to root for in the Pro Bowl. Both Brett Favre and Phillip Rivers will miss the Pro Bowl due to injuries. Because of their injuries, Titans QB Kerry Collins will step in as the #3 QB. He joins the Broncos Jay Cutler, and this year’s MVP, Peyton Manning. Although, the nation’s mind is only on one game right now — and that’s the Super Bowl. (Albeit, this year’s game will probably have much lower ratings than last year’s).No comments
Some non Super Bowl related news from the NFL. It appears that the New York Jets have finally hired a new head coach. Just a week ago, the Jets released their skipper Eric Mangini after he went on a losing skid to close out the season and miss the playoffs. Now, the NY Jets calculated that they want to be a defensive team and have appointed Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator, Rex Ryan, as head coach. For the Jets, this is a major win, as the Ravens defense was incredible this year, and now they inherit the mind behind that scheme. And, as an added bonus, Rex Ryan is the son of the famous defensive mastermind Buddy Ryan. Buddy created the 46 defense that the infamous 1985 Chicago Bears team used to suffocate opponents. Now the Jets just have to figure out the whole Brett Favre thing again.
In another NFL story, Baltimore Ravens running back, Willis McGahee, will apparently be all right after the vicious hit he took in Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh. McGahee had a helmet-to-helmet collision with the Steelers Ryan Clark. He had to be carted off the field, and nobody knew the extent of his injury. Now, after an MRI, doctors have concluded that Willie will make a full recovery. McGahee said, “I blacked out. I woke up when they were taking my facemask off”. Scary stuff, but fortunately he’ll be okay.
In even more NFL news, Arizona Cardinals star wide-receiver Anquan Boldin wanted some serious answers after he was practically pulled from the crucial minutes of the NFC Championship. All the buzz has been about Larry Fitzgerald in the playoffs, but Anquan Boldin played a huge role in getting them there. And if you watched the game, you saw Anquan jarring at the Cardinals offensive coordinator on TV. Well, the conclusion to this mess is that pulling Boldin was just a formation shift — it wasn’t personal. The package they wanted on the field just didn’t include Boldin, and Boldin thought it was an attack on him. That wasn’t the case. Boldin has been on a tear this season, even coming back early from a nasty facial injury. This guy wants to win a championship bad, and you can be sure he will be a big part of the Super Bowl.
The marquee NBA game of the day: LeBron v. Kobe, as the Cavs came to visit the Lakeshow. Early in the game, Kobe dislocated his ring finger, and had to have it popped back into place. Normally, this would sideline someone for the day, but Kobe KEPT PLAYING! Amazing. And he even did some of his incredible moves (although he did grimace a lot after each one). LeBron did what he could to help the Cavs effort, finishing the day with 23 points, but it just wasn’t enough to contain the well-polished Lakers at home. LA Lakers 105, Cleveland 88.No comments