Archive for September, 2012

WATERCOOLER CHAT: STIFF COMPETITION IN AL EAST, US SOCCER WANTS WORLD CUP, HOMOPHOBIA IN NORTH DAKOTA

BASEBALL

The competition is still stiff in the AL East.  It’s between the Yankees, Orioles, and Rays.  And, as if designed for schedule convenience, they appear to keep playing each other.  The Yankees are 1 game ahead, but the Orioles simply won’t go away.  Nobody expects them to win this division, but they don’t exactly like listening to the public.  The Orioles took on the Rays last night and absolutely crushed them.  Baltimore picked up 2 home runs from J.J. Hardy in a blow out win.  Except they suffered an injury to their best pitcher, Jason Hammel.  The O’s will need Hammel if they make it to the post-season.  For now, though, since the Yankees lost to Boston, the Orioles are again tied for first place.  Baltimore 9, Tampa Bay 2.

SOCCER

The United States is hoping to qualify for a spot in the 2014 World Cup.  However, each year this is getting increasingly difficult as other nations continue to improve.  Plus, the U.S. has been rather weak lately.  They needed a comeback and fast.  Yesterday they took on Jamaica.  It was 0-0 most of the way, but in the 55th minute, USA’s Herculez Gomez hooked in a goal that gave the US a 1-0 lead.  And that’s all they would need to hold on for the victory.  It was an important qualifying match, but the US will have to win a few more if they hope to be a North American representative in the 2014 World Cup.  USA 1, Jamaica 0.

FOOTBALL

And in a story from college football, Jamie Kuntz, was reportedly kicked off his North Dakota college football team because he was gay.  Kuntz was there on scholarship, but couldn’t suit up because of a recent concussion.  Kuntz had a much older boyfriend (65 years old) and at the game, the two happened to kiss. Other people saw the kiss, and weren’t comfortable with it.  Kuntz said, “People around here aren’t exposed to it”.  The coach excused Kuntz from the team.  He said it was because Kuntz lied, saying that the older man was his grandfather, but it turned out to be his boyfriend.  Kuntz said this is a double-standard, because had it been an older woman with him, nothing would have happened.  There seems to be some homophobia at play here, and hopefully Kuntz gets some justice and fair treatment.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: RAVENS TROUNCE BENGALS, RAIDERS LOOK ANEMIC, GILLISPIE NOT LIKED

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, it was Monday Night Football between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens.  Both these teams come into the game as playoff veterans from last season.  The Ravens fell a field goal shy of going to the Super Bowl, and the Bengals are a team on the rise that only got better this off-season. The Ravens got on the board first with a field goal and then appeared to pull away getting a touchdown from Ray Rice and another long bomb from Ravens QB Joe Flacco to Anquan Boldin.  Then, the Benglas came back with a rushing TD from newly acquired running-back BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  It looked like it would be a close game, but… then the second half happened.  The Ravens defense was staunch, even picking off Bengals QB.  The Ravens offense just kept scoring and scoring and eventually just trounced the Bengals. The Ravens look extremely serious this year.  Add them to a list of teams that looked fantastic in Week 1.  Baltimore 44, Cincy 13.

Then, in the second half of the Monday Night Football double-header, it was an AFC West contest between the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders.  The Chargers had an off-year last season, while the Raiders were hoping to finally get over the hump and show that they are a team to be reckoned with.  But, on their home field, the Raiders simply couldn’t get anything going.  Their offense looked anemic (save for solid running-back Darren McFadden).  The Raiders D did look good, but their strong effort was in vain, as Oakland’s special teams made so many mistakes.  The Raiders were supposed to be a team in turn around, but they looked just as dysfunctional as ever.  They got a quick touchdown at the end, but it just wasn’t enough.  San Diego 22, Oakland 14.

BASKETBALL

And in some interesting news from college basketball, the Texas Tech basketball program is in the news.  Texas Tech is coached by Billy Gillispie.  A few years ago, Gillespie brought the Texas A & M program back into the limelight (when they had point guard Acie Law).  He was regarded as one of the best coaches in the game, and secured the coveted job at Kentucky.  That didn’t work out, and Kentucky moved on to now coach John Callipari.  Now Gillispie is coaching Texas Tech, but their star player, Jordan Tolbert, said he doesn’t want to play for coach Gillispie any more.  He actually said he wouldn’t.  Apparently, the players claim mistreatment from Gillispie.  The only detail in the news now is that of ‘excessive practices’.  However, when your star player is talking to the media about refusing to return to the school if the coach is there, clearly some more serious things are going on.

Share
1 comment

WATERCOOLER CHAT: NFL WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS: SANCHEZ AND JETS OFF TO GREAT START, LUCK NOT LUCKY AGST BEARS, PEYTON MANNING STILL HAS IT

FOOTBALL

The NFL… is back, and everybody in the nation was excited about it.  Some highlights:Heading into the season, the New York Jets looked like a mess.  Their offense was stiff and stagnant and it looked like anyone could beat them.  Plus, there was uncertainty at the quarterback position between Mark Sanchezand Tim Tebow.  But, that was pre-season and come the start of the season, the Jets looked fantastic out there, namely Mark Sanchez who appeared to have a strong hold on the offense.  They even got a solid, 2 touchdown game from their rookie wide-receiver Stephen Hill.  Sanchez finished the game with 266 yards and 3 touchdowns.  For the Bills, the good news was they got a fantastic game out of their 3rd year running back C.J. Spiller. Spiller finished with an impressive 169 yards and a touchdown.  The bad news, is their star RB, Fred Jackson (and incidentally my team’s go to receiver for Fantasy Football) went down with a knee injury and is scheduled for an MRI Monday. The Jets might just be a tough team to beat this year.  NY Jets 48, Buffalo 28.
Over in Chicago, we got to see the premiere of this year’s #1 overall pick, Andrew Luck.  Even before his first game, Luck was being hailed as the best quarterback prospect since Peyton Manning.  This guy is supposed to be phenomenal, and had an exceptional pre-season.  Remember, they dropped Peyton Manning to make Luck their quarterback of the future. But, this is the regular season and when teams have their top defense out there, things get a lot more difficult.  Luck struggled tremendously with the Bears defense, throwing 3 interceptions on the day.  He got better in the second half, but still had a tough time with the pressure the Bears applied.  On the other side, Jay Cutler and the Bears seemed to have found some solid chemistry.  They looked great, and were clicking on all cylinders.  Watch out for the Bears this season.  Chicago 41, Indianapolis 21.

And, speaking of Peyton Manning, we got to see his Broncos debut… in prime time.  After months of ‘can he still play’ conversations in the off-season, we would all finally be treated to the proof.  Could he still play?  Would he get injured in his first game?  Manning started off kind of slow in the first half, but in the second half, when the Broncos switched to a faster/hurry-up offense, Manning found his groove against the Steelers.  He hit Demaryius Thomas for a 71 yards touchdown connection (actually more of a defensive mistake), but later, he also hit his former Colt tight-end Jacob Tamme for a touchdown.  It was our old friend, Peyton Manning.  Peyton finished with 253 yards and two touchdowns.  The Steelers, on the other hand, had some problems.  Their running-game was unimpressive and their offense looked shaky.  Could they possibly be headed for a down-swing season?  All in all, Peyton has one goal:  Super Bowl.  And he’s going to do everything to get it.  Denver 31, Pittsburgh 19.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: ORIOLES IN FERVENT RACE, ROETHLISBERGER EXPECTING FIRST BABY, JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE TO OWN GRIZZLIES?

Baseball

There is a still a fervent race in the AL East between the Orioles and Yankees. Both are vying to get that top spot, and the other may have to settle for a wild card.  And the Rays are also right on both of their tails.  Thursday, the Yankees visited the Orioles in Camden Yards with a 1-game lead in the division.  But a six home-run night for the Orioles helped launch the Orioles past the Yankees.  Plus, the Orioles have Mark Reynolds who seems to primarily hit his home-runs AGAINST the Yankees (because he strikes out a lot against other opponents). Reynolds had 2 home-runs on the night and they’ll need that power from him tonight and Saturday if they want to take a big lead over the Yanks in the AL East.  Baltimore 10, NY Yankees 6.

FOOTBALL

And in the NFL, some controversial news out of Pittsburgh.  Ben Roethlisberger has a track record of playing through a lot of pain.  He’s somewhat of a football warrior, and it takes a lot to keep him from playing a game.  But, Roethlisberger is expecting his first child, a life changing event, and Big Ben has said there’s no way he’s missing the event — even if that means missing a game.  Roethlisberger said he doesn’t care if that upsets fans, but he has to do what he has to do.  Now, most die-hard Steelers fans don’t want to hear that their beloved Steelers could be in jeopardy for any reason.  They will not take this lightly.  Then again, they have veteran Byron Leftwich (whose very familiar with the Steelers offense) to back Big Ben up.

BASKETBALL

And in the NBA, with the Grizzlies on the selling block, a number of new owners have peaked their heads.  After all, the Grizzlies are a very talented team on the rise in a market that loves their team.  New prospective owner Robert Pera has decided that he might want to ‘go in’ and buy the Grizzlies… with a partner; a famous partner.  The Knicks have Spike Lee, the Nets have Jay Z, the Lakers have all the celebrities, and now the Grizzlies might have Justin Timberlake.  Yep, Timberlake is a Memphian, and Pera would love his involvement in promoting the team on an even more national level.  Then again, Timberlake is a known Lakers fan.  Oh what will he do?

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: COWBOYS TOUGH, RODDICK & FEDERER OUT OF OPEN

FOOTBALL

The NFL season has officially begun! The defending Super Bowl champs, the New York Giants taking on their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys and as expected in the first game of the season, there were many mistakes (13 penalties including 5 false starts) but the Cowboys showed their toughness and proved they are a different team than last year. Tony Romo performed admirably with 3 touchdowns and 307 yards and after a slow start DeMarco Murray had 129 yards rushing (my fantasy pick so happy he had a decent game). Cowboys 24, Giants 17.

TENNIS

In a surprise in the tennis world, Andy Roddick and Roger Federer both lost in the US Open.  It will be unusual not seeing these two iconic figures in the finals.  And, Roddick, we will miss you. Enjoy your retirement.

 

Share
No comments

MY FANTASY FOOTBALL DRAFT

Tuesday night was our annual fantasy football draft. The thing about fantasy football (or any fantasy league) is you might really dislike a team (and, my friends know exactly which team I’m talking about) but if they’ve got some good players, it’s really hard not to take one (or in my case a few) of them. With that said, my able teammate, David and I drafted a pretty decent team (at least that’s what we always say before the season begins). Our fantasy draft is an auction, so we had to allot how much money we were going to spend per player. This year we decided to go all out on our QB. We picked up Aaron Rodgers (QB, Packers) then spent the next chunk of money on DeMarco Murray (RB, Dallas). After that we stocked up on some solid wide receives and running backs. At the very end, we snatched Robert Griffin III (RGIII) as our backup QB. Thanks to our commish, Ira, for running a smooth draft and hoping you still have a voice today after saying repeatedly, “going once, going twice…..”.

Good luck everyone!

Last Year’s Winners!

 

 

Apparently Salad Pizza is not a big hit!

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: DOLPHINS CUT GARRARD, RGIII PERFECT COMBO, ORIOLES BEST SEASON

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, on the season finale of HBO’s Hard Knocks, which covers the Miami Dolphins, a number of roster cuts had to be made.  The Dolphins had four quarterbacks on their roster, and somebody had to go.  It wouldn’t be their top draft pick Ryan Tannehill.  So that brought it down to Matt Moore, Pat Devlin, and David Garrard.  Incidentally, Garrard was actually brought in to start — someone from whom Ryan Tannehill could learn the ropes.  But Garrard hurt his knee and was sidelined throughout training camp.  And Tuesday, even though he had made a recovery, the Dolphins had to say goodbye to Garrard.  It’s possible another team might pick him up for insurance in the event their QB goes down, but right now Garrard is a man without a team.

It looks like Washington Redskins fans might really have something to cheer about this year.  Of course they’re high on their rookie Robert Griffin III, but going into the season, Redskins wide receiver Josh Morgan said that RG3 is a perfect combination of Michael Vick (he can run), Peyton Manning ( has the arm strength and precision to make amazing throws), and Tom Brady (he can make perfect reads, knowing exactly what a defense is going to do).  If this is the case, then the Redskins may genuinely have found their QB of the next decade.  If RG3 is as good as Morgan says, then perhaps the Redskins are playoff bound again.  Then again, Josh Morgan may just be brown nosing — and looking for RG3 to throw him the deep balls.

BASEBALL

The toughest division in sports is easily the AL East.  They boast the Yankees and Red Sox (two teams that are almost always good), as well as the now always competitive Tampa Bay Rays.  In lieu of this, it’s amazing that the Baltimore Orioles have had their best season in over 10 years.  Tuesday, they crushed the Toronto Blue Jays to pull into a tie for first place with the Yankees.  The Red Sox are bad this season, and the Yankees are reeling, so the O’s might actually have a chance to nab the top spot.  In fact, they might even have more competition from the Rays than the Yankees.  Baltimore is red hot right now, getting a lot of help from their very talented young pitching staff.  Can they hang on?  Orioles 12, Toronto 0.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: MJD REPORTED TO CAMP, FLOYD MAYWEATHER LOSES $3 MILL IN BAMA/MICHIGAN GAME, TIGER OVER $100 MILL

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, Maurice Jones-Drew is this year’s Chris Johnson.  Jones-Drew wanted a larger contract because of his fantastic production on the field. Problem is, teams know that running backs have a short shelf life, and the Jaguars didn’t want to pay Jones-Drew, now 27 years old, big money given that he is approaching that age where he will begin to wane.  Because of these differences, Jones-Drew held out throughout training camp.  The Jaguars however said they are moving on with or without him — that the train is moving and he better get on the tracks.   Jones-Drew was offended by this, and was even preparing to miss games this season.  But this past weekend, MJD decided to report to camp anyway.  He really had no leverage in this matter, and he knew that all he could really do was play football and continue to prove himself.  He’s not being paid what he’s worth, but hopefully he will still have a good year and make the Jaguars just a little bit better.

And in college football, it was Week 1 action.  In what is now becoming a tradition, one game is played on neutral turf at Cowboys stadium.  This game usually features two high-profile teams who simply can’t afford a loss.  Last year it was #2 LSU v. #4 Oregon.  And this year it was #2 Alabama vs. #8 Michigan.  Michigan is controlled by Heisman candidate Denard Robinson, and after a stellar 2011 campaign, Robinson was hoping to possibly get the Wolverines to the national championship.  But could they really beat the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide?  Boxer Floyd Mayweather seemed to think so.  He put $3 million on Michigan to cover the spread (+14 points).  That’s quite a bit of money to bet AGAINST the national champions.  And boy would Mayweather regret it. (Although, his sources now say he bet against Michigan…either way, crazy amount of money.)  Alabama came out and just rolled the Wolverines, showing that the SEC is far more dominant than any other conference.  Michigan will keep trying, but they can’t lose another one if they want to have any chance at a BCS Bowl.  Alabama 41, Michigan 14.

GOLF

It was the Deutsche Bank Championship.  Rory McIlroy, who had been absent from the winners circle the last couple months, captured the victory.  But the most interesting thing to come from the tourney was Tiger Woods’ third place finish.  He almost had a comeback to win the whole thing, but had to settle for the bronze.  But with that came a $544,000 cash prize.  That put him over $100,000 million in cash prizes in his career.  Not too shabby!
Share
No comments

« Previous Page