Archive for January, 2013
WATERCOOLER CHAT: TUIASOSOPO CRUSH ON MANTI TE’O, CULLIVER BAD MOUTHS GAYS, GRIZZLIES MANEUVER FOR UPGRADE TO TEAM
In a new addition to the Manti Te’o drama in which he was duped into thinking his long-time, long distance girlfriend was real, Dr. Phil scored the first interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (the guy who was behind the entire charade). And according to Dr. Phil’s analysis, Tuiasosopo was apparently actually in love with Te’o. So it was less like a prank and more like a crush obsession Tuiasosopo had on Te’o. Dr. Phil also asked if Ronaiah was gay, and Ronaiah said when it was phrased like that (meaning that he did have an obsession with Te’o) then he would have to say yes he is. This story just keeps getting more interesting, and sheds light on a possible growing subculture of people occupying false identities on line for things besides financial fraud. It’s a different world now.
And in the NFL, 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver is in hot water. During media day, Culliver made some derogatory homophobic remarks, saying that “the Niners don’t have any gay players and if they do, they gotta get up outta here”. Culliver also said that gay players should stay in the closet. The 49ers organization is furious about his comments, and yesterday Culliver issued a public apology, saying, “The derogatory comments I made yesterday were a reflection of thoughts in my head, but they are not how I feel. It has taken me seeing them in print to realize that they are hurtful and ugly. Those discriminating feelings are truly not in my heart. Further, I apologize to those who I have hurt and offended, and I pledge to learn and grow from this experience.” Why can’t certain athletes just perform on the field and keep their mouths shut.
Finally, in the NBA, the Memphis Grizzlies are trying to assemble a championship team over the coming years. However, they thought that one of their star players, Rudy Gay, was expendable. They didn’t want to pay him his hefty contract and decided to ship him out of town. He’s headed for the Toronto Raptors, who will use him as a scoring threat. The Raptors sent back Jose Calderon, Ed Davis, and a 2nd round pick. However, the Grizzlies sent Calderon to Detroit in exchange for long-time Piston Tayshaun Prince and an up-and-comer in Austin Daye. Having Prince will give Memphis a solid defensive player come playoff time. But it will be interesting to see how they structure their team this off-season, because it looks like they will likely be a 2nd round exit in the playoffs.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: MOSS SAYS HE’S GREATEST OF ALL TIME, LEWIS IN HOT WATER, STATE BILL FOR TEXAS RIVALRY
It was the famous media Tuesday before the Super Bowl, and that only gives some of the more egotistical players a chance to truly voice their opinions. So, while he has practically been quiet all season, it’s never good to put a microphone in front of Randy Moss. The Niners brought Moss out of retirement and signed him to a one year deal. They barely used him, but that didn’t stop Moss from telling the media that he was a G.O.A.T., which stands for “Greatest of All Time”. He said to put his numbers up against Jerry Rice and it will prove he’s the greatest. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but if you ask me, it’s pretty sacrilegious to say you’re better than Jerry Rice.
Elsewhere in Super Bowl player news, it looks like Ray Lewis may be in some hot water. Lewis was trying to recover from a triceps injury he suffered on October 14th, and knowing this would be his last season, he desperately wanted a chance to get back on the field before the conclusion of the season. Now, he’s being linked to an illegal PED that he may have used to help heal himself faster. After the Lance Armstrong fiasco, PEDs are now the talk of the sports world. Lewis will play his final game on Sunday and this will likely be a mute point, but no player wants those kind of stories tarnishing their legacy.
And finally, in Texas, when Texas A&M moved to the SEC last season, it basically meant the end of close to a 100-year battle with state rival University of Texas. Texas won the last contest between them, but that game was sorely missed this season, especially with the emergence of a very strong A&M program under Heisman winner Johnny “Football” Manziel. (Note: Manziel was originally supposed to go to Texas, but Coach Mack Brown said he wouldn’t play quarterback there). Now, a state bill (yes, a state bill) urges the two schools to renew their rivalry for both cultural and financial reasons (these games bring in a lot of money for both schools). We’ll see if both schools are interested in relighting the fire.1 comment
In college basketball, it looks like that competitive Big East basketball we’re accustomed to seeing every year may be coming to an end… ahead of schedule. The Catholic 7 (consisting of Georgetown, St. Johns, Villanova, DePaul, Marquette, Seton Hall, and Providence) want to jump ship a year early. They said they are willing to leave the Big East in 2014 despite the $10 million exit fee, and were willing to start their own conference. Surely, this is a more complicated issue that involves a lot of money behind the scenes, but at the end of the day, these schools know that there isn’t that much money in a conference anymore, and it’s their own school name that holds the value. This would mean the end of those classic Syracuse/Georgetown/UConn/
In the NBA, the Utah Jazz are traditionally very tough to beat on their home court, regardless of how good a team they have. This year they have an above average team that is currently sitting in the #7 seed for the playoffs. But Monday, the Houston Rockets came to town and absolutely dismantled the Jazz. In fact, they handed the Jazz their worst home loss in franchise history, drubbing the Jazz 125-80. The Utah fans aren’t used to seeing that, but they should take solace that their young squad is playing well on the whole and could be in line to land a pretty decent free agent before the trade deadline or in the off-season.
And in golf, it looks like Tiger Woods is returning to his A-Game form. He has played so well at the Farmer’s Insurance Open, which is set at the famous Torrey Pines golf course in San Diego, that he’s had the rest of the golfers worried that they would never be able to beat him again. And on top of that, Tiger Woods captured his 8th career title at Torrey Pines on Monday. A lot of the other golfers thought that this was Woods sending a message to the rest of the PGA that he is to be feared again. Tiger has now won 75 championships, just 7 shy of the record held by golfing legend Sam Snead.No comments
In the NBA, the Boston Celtics have been on a 5-game losing streak, but they looked to bounce back against a home game against LeBron and the Heat. Problem, the Celtics lost Rajon Rondo to an injury the night before against Atlanta and now it’s being reported that Rondo has a torn ACL and will out the remainder of the season. Considering that Rondo is their best player, that doesn’t exactly bode well for the Celtics. But they dug down deep against the Heat and were able to eek out a double overtime victory.Looks like hey will be fighting to sneak into the playoffs the rest of the season. Boston 100, Miami 98.
Elsewhere in the NBA, everybody knows that the Lakers are struggling. However, they pulled out a solid win against the Jazz on Friday night and looked to take that good momentum into a game against the best team in the league — the Oklahoma City Thunder. Nobody thought they could win this one, but at least they might be able to give Kevin Durant and the Thunder a good battle. Well, whatever the Lakers are currently drinking is working because they hung in there the whole time with the Thunder and even found themselves ahead towards the end. Everyone expected the Thunder to take control late in the 4th, but the Lakers remained resilient and wound up holding on to edge the Thunder. Could they finally be turning things around? Is there hope? Lakers 105, Thunder 96.
And in the NFL, it was the Pro Bowl — the NFL’s most meaningless game that everyone feels should go away considering that players don’t even try because nobody wants to get hurt. Of course, the game was full of trick plays and lazy defense (the NFC put up 62 points) and it was pretty much just ratings fodder to hold fans over until the Super Bowl next Sunday. However, there was a sweet moment at the end when Packers center Jeff Saturday, who was playing his last game of football (he’s retiring) decided to actually switch teams in the final play of the game (something that’s never been done in the history of the NFL) so that he could play for the NFC and snap the ball to Peyton Manning one last time (Saturday snapped balls to Manning his entire career, and it’s befitting that his last snap go to Manning). It was a sweet moment. NFC 62, AFC 35.No comments
In the NBA, we don’t know all of the details, but it’s being reported that Dwight Howard and Kobe Bryant had a behind-the-scenes “confrontation”. Reports said that Kobe confronted Dwight and asked him flat out if he liked playing with him. People don’t know what the exact answer was. Either way, its clear that the Lakers are having one of the most embarrasing seasons in NBA History. They assembled an all-star cast and were projected to be the champions, but Steve Nash isn’t playing like the Steve Nash of old, Kobe doesn’t get along with Dwight, Pau Gasol is being marginalized, and they are in the completely wrong system under Mike D’Antoni. According to experts, they only have an 18% chance of making the playoffs. And even with all that, it looks like they will keep Dwight Howard. It’s just too much of a risk to trade him.
Elsewhere in the NBA, the New Orleans Hornets have decided to recreate their identity. They have had one of the worst attendance records in the league, and feel they need a new image if they’re going to get fans back. That’s why they’ve decided to rebrand as “The Pelicans” (the state bird) and completely re-do their color scheme and jerseys for the 2013-2014 season. They wanted to have more of an authentic identity as opposed to a nickname that came from Charlotte. Here is their new logo and color scheme (jerseys coming soon):
And the most shocking news out of yesterday was more details in this bizarre Manti Te’o situation. In an interview with Katie Couric, Te’o revealed his side of the situation and asked her to imagine if she was in his shoes — how much that would hurt. Te’o said he used to have lengthy conversations with his fake girlfriend, and now the crazy report is that the voice of the woman actually belonged to Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (a man). So for years, Tuiasosopo was imitating a woman’s voice. This story just gets creepier and creepier.No comments
In college basketball, Duke was enjoying its new #1 seed, and looked to easily take down #25 Miami. Duke usually has its way with the up-and-coming teams of the ACC. But the Dukies would have to go to Miami to play this game and the Hurricanes were ready. Duke wasn’t even able to keep the game close, as the Hurricanes absolutely beat the Blue Devils to a pulp. They crushed Duke by 27 points. So when filling out your brackets come March — if you see Duke sitting on a #1 seed, remember this thrashing they took. Miami 90, Duke 63.
In the NFL, the Jets are holding arguably the best cornerback in the game in Darrelle Revis. Revis is a shut down corner that was supposed to help the Jets get to the Super Bowl by matching up with the opposing team’s best receiver. Given that Revis becomes a free agent after next year, and the Jets looking more and more like they’re in rebuilding mode, there are reports that the Jets might try to trade Revis this off-season. They could trade Revis to an actual contender and get back some valuable draft picks they could use to reignite this franchise. And it’s likely that one of those picks will go towards a new quarterback. There is no report yet whether or not Revis wants to stay in New York but this is a blow to Jets’ fans.
And finally out of the NFL, with 49ers quarterback Collin Kaepernick now headed to the Super Bowl, he is looking to cash in on all the hype around him — namely “Kaepernicking”. This is an online trend starting mimicking Kaepernicks move of flexing and kissing his muscles. Now he wants to actually trademark the term “Kaepernicking” and generate money on it from T-shirts and any other place that companies want to use that slogan. Surely, the monetary value of this phrase will go up tremendously if he wins a Super Bowl. There’s even a good chance he could get MVP.No comments
In the NFL, with an exciting 49ers vs. Ravens Super Bowl looming, everybody is wondering which one of these red hot teams is going to win the big game. You could make a convincing argument for either side. The 49ers offense is clicking on all cylinders, but so is the Ravens, now led by an elite quarterback in Joe Flacco. So, when you can’t decide, let Vegas decide for you. The opening line of the Super Bowl is the San Francisco 49ers winning by 4.5 points. Remember though that this is the line that Vegas sets in order to get bettors on both sides, not a guarantee of a win. And the Ravens haven’t paid much attention to lines recently, as the Patriots were favored to beat them by 9 points… and we all know that didn’t happen.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the swimsuit model wife of Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (Ana Burns Welker) lashed out at Ray Lewis. She told her Facebook fans to check out Lewis’ wikipedia page and see that he had to pay off people in a murder trial and has also had children with 4 different wives. “What a role model!”, she said sarcastically. Well, yesterday Ana Burns apologized to Lewis saying that she got caught up in the fervor of losing such a big game and said that she shouldn’t have attacked Lewis like that. While opinions may vary, Ray Lewis has become one of the most popular motivational speakers in sports, speaking to colleges, high schools, and even youth football programs about “trying as hard as you can”. Always a good message.
Finally, in the NBA, with the Lakers “Superstar Team” looking more and more like a joke, head coach Mike D’Antoni is having to make some drastic changes. D’Antoni said he looked at the stats and saw that the Lakers are very bad when Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol play at the same time. So he has decided to bench Pau, and use him as a ‘role player’. Pau has always been the star or second best player on a team and has NEVER been a role player. So he’s saying that he is very unhappy with this. It’s likely that his days in Los Angeles are nearing an end, as the team will either trade him for some young players or trade him to a contender in the Eastern conference in return for a piece they need (Carlos Boozer of the Bulls comes to mind). It’s a sad ending for a player who helped the Lakers win two more championships.2 comments
The big story of the next two weeks is the battle between brother coaches in Super Bowl 47. The San Francisco 49ers under coach Jim Harbaugh will face the Baltimore Ravens under Jim’s older brother John Harbaugh. John is 50 and Jim is 49 and their teams will compete on February 3rd in New Orleans in the National Championship Game.
For the 49ers, the game started much too slowly. Trailing by 17, it looked like the Atlanta Falcons were going to run away with the game. You’ve got to wonder just what Jim Harbaugh said to the team during halftime as they came back fighting hard. Colin Kaepernick, the second year QB for the Niners, kept his cool and led his team by passing (and not his rushing as he did last week against Green Bay) to a giant comeback. With the win, the 49ers record the biggest comeback victory in an NFC Championship Game. After a very long stretch (since 1995), the Niners return to the Championship Game. Expect a lot of “Kaepernicking” (yes, apparently it’s the new “Tebowing”) in the next two weeks (kissing your biceps as Colin Kaepernick does to his tattooed arm). San Francisco 49ers 28, Atlanta Falcons 24.
Watching the Raven’s Ray Lewis during the National Anthem before the AFC Championship game, you just got the feeling that Baltimore would win. It was just too good of a story to dismiss. The extremely charismatic Ray Lewis will retire after 17 years in the League and what better place to officially retire than in New Orleans after playing in the Super Bowl. The Ravens were down 13-7 at the half, but as soon as the second half started, QB Joe Flacco lit up and threw for three touchdown drives. And, the defense under the inspiration of linebacker Ray Lewis, held Patriots QB Tom Brady to just one TD (and two interceptions). And, it just seems that if Brady isn’t playing well, the Patriots aren’t playing well. Ravens 28, New England Patriots 13.
SUPER BOWL XLVII: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS VS BALTIMORE RAVENS FEBRUARY 3RD, 6:30 PM ESTNo comments
The Manti Te’o hoax is not going away. Did Manti set the whole thing up or was he really a victim of a hoax? It seems pretty unlikely that he was completely duped as his interviews clearly mentioned that he “met” her and carried on a real relationship. Another possibility is that at some point he figured out he was set up and carried on the myth because he was either embarrassed and/or he loved the publicity. He really needs to step up now and clear the air. The term “Catfish” is now popping up everywhere and, don’t know about you, but I had never heard it before. Acccording to the Urban Dictionary definition: “A catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” It comes from the title of a 2010 documentary about an online romance. This story is not going away anytime soon and the only person who’s happy about it is probably Lance Armstrong as it’s taken some focus away from his doping scandal (which will not go away soon at all as there will likely be numerous lawsuits aimed at Armstrong over the next few years).
Tune in this weekend for the NFC and AFC Championship. The winner of each game will face each other in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3rd at 6:30 pm in New Orleans.
NFC Championship: San Francisco 49ers travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons 3:00 pm EST Sunday, January 20th.
AFC Championship: Baltimore Ravens will play in New England against the Patriots 6:30 pm EST Sunday, January 20thNo comments
Wednesday saw a VERY weird story out of college football. A article went viral about the “heartbreaking” story of Notre Dame Heisman finalist Manti Te’o. The story said that Manti Te’o had a longtime girlfriend whom he loved, but sadly got into a car accident during his college career. Then, this girlfriend, named Lennay Kukua also came down with Leukemia. Manti maintained a relationship with her online, and it was reported that he would talk to her in her hospital bed — the doctors saying that everytime Manti called, she got a little better. Manti said that his relationship with Lennay fuelded him to get to and play hard in the National Championship. According to reports, Lennay died within hours of his Grandmother passing.
But, in a sick turn of events, it turns out that there is no evidence of this Lennay Kukua ever existing. It’s rumored that this was a hoax, and done either as a sick joke or a cry for help from Manti. This has left Te’o completely stunned, making him say that he felt like a victim. Te’o said he believed in this online relationship, and he’s saddened to hear that all the emotions and feelings he spent were a complete waste. There will clearly be more coming out about this story in the next day or two…stay tuned.
Elsewhere, even though Oregon head coach Chip Kelly said earlier this month that he would remain at Oregon despite interest from NFL teams, he appears to have changed his tune. Out of the blue, Kelly accepted the job to be the new head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles needed a big name to justify the firing of former head coach Andy Reid. They couldn’t bring in just anybody. So hiring one of the most exciting and innovative coaches in college football was just what they needed to get their fan base excited. That means that Philly may have a creative, Oregon style offense next season. Now that will be fun to watch.No comments