Archive for April, 2013

WATERCOOLER CHAT: DAY ONE OF MASTERS, KNICKS STREAK BROKEN BY BULLS, HAVARD RUGLAND’S VIRAL VIDEO

GOLF

 

The Masters tournament was underway with each and every golfer hoping to get the green jacket.  But now they would have to deal with a resurgent Tiger Woods.  Tiger did fine, but not great in the first round of the play, shooting a 70.  He will definitely try and make a big comeback on Day 2.  Meanwhile, Marc Leishman and Sergio Garcia shared the top of the leader board shooting six under par.  Even 90s all-star Fred Couples found himself in the top 10.  It was an exciting, suspense filled day, and Day 2 should be even more dramatic… and more fun.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, with the Heat’s streak long dead, the hottest team in the NBA right now is easily the New York Knicks.  And in basketball, it never hurts to be peaking going into the playoffs.  The Knicks had a 13 game winning streak heading into a game with Chicago — the team that ended the Heat’s streak by the way.  The Bulls love to rain on people’s parade it seems.  And that’s exactly what they did to the Knicks.  It took an overtime, but in the end, the Bulls prevailed behind a 35-point night from Nate Robinson.  It’s funny, many teams continue to pass Nate Robinson along, but he can still kill you on the floor if he gets hot.  Still, the Knicks are a very challenging team to beat now, and they will give some teams fits in the playoffs.  Chicago 118, NY Knicks 111.

FOOTBALL

Finally, in the NFL, the Detroit Lions have signed free agent kicker Havard Rugland.  Now, before you think this is some throwaway boring detail, you need to keep reading.  Rugland created a YouTube video called Kickalicious in which he shows amazing power and accuracy in field goal kicking.  The video has over 2,000,000 views and is an absolute must see. The Lions certainly saw it, and they’re giving this kid a chance.  Perhaps he has a chance at the starting job, as their long-time kicker Jason Hanson just retired.  Here’s the video — take a look:

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: COMEBACK FOR TIGER AT MASTERS?, LAKERS CONTROL DESTINY, ADDERALL RAMPANT IN NFL

GOLF 

Today marks the first day of the best tournament in golf:  The Masters.  This year should be incredible.  Why?  Because Tiger Woods is back on top and winning The Masters would be a stamp on his dominance.  A true comeback story.  Many are attributing his recent success to his new steady girlfriend, skier Lindsey Vonn.   So it will be interesting to see if Woods can get another green jacket.  Additionally, this year’s Masters could have the NEXT Tiger Woods, as a 14-year old will be playing in the tournament.  Yep, Chinese middle schooler Tianlung Guan will see what he can do against the pros.  Not much is expected, but if this kid shocks the world, it would be a thrill to watch.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, the Lakers are genuinely in danger of not making the playoffs.  They are a half game out behind the Utah Jazz for the 8th spot going into a game against Portland, and this was a must-win game if they wanted to control their own destiny for the remainder of the season.  They would take on a very young, but quite tough, Blazers team.  Likely rookie of the year Damien Lillard gave the Lakers fits in the first half.  It was as if they couldn’t miss, but in the second half Kobe just took over.  He took the game into his own hands and put up a total of 47 points on the night to help the Lakers secure the win.  With the victory, the Lakers control their own destiny, and experts are predicting that there is a 75% chance they make the playoffs under these circumstances.  Lakers 113, Blazers 106.

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, an interesting story is developing.  The League has a ban on performance-enhancing drugs.  We know all the usual suspects that fall into that category.  But yesterday, Seahawks star cornerback Richard Sherman came out and said that about half of the players in the league use the drug adderall.  Adderall is a prescription drug that helps people deal with hyperactivity and attention-deficit disorder.  It helps them focus on a task at hand (i.e. a game).  But the league is looking into adderall as a possible performance-enhancing drug.  Sherman was suspended for the drug this past season, but if so many players are using it, for whatever reason, then the league might have to possibly make it legal.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: UCONN WINS WOMEN’S TITLE, STAR PLAYERS DECLARE FOR NBA DRAFT, JAY-Z MANAGEMENT

BASKETBALL

After the Louisville Men’s Basketball team won their National Championship on Monday, it was time for the Louisville women to try and win their National Championship against #1 UConn.  Louisville has had an impressive run in the tournament this year, upsetting Brittney Griner and the #1 overall seed Baylor Bears.  Plus, the Cardinals had a remarkable comeback against Cal in the Final Four.  But when it was time to try and take the down the UConn Huskies, the Cardinals simply didn’t stand a chance.  The Huskies turned into a juggernaut the past few weeks and cruised past Louisville.  With the win, head coach Geno Auriemma captures his 8th National Championship.  Wow!  UConn 93, Louisville 60.

In men’s college basketball, with March Madness behind us, some star players are already declaring for the NBA Draft.  Kansas’ Ben McLemore said he was headed to the draft after his freshman year.  McLemore is expected to be a top 3 pick.  Then, Indiana star guard Victor Oladipo said he was turning pro.  He is projected to be a Top 14 lottery pick.  And finally, Louisville leading scorer Russ Smith has announced he will try his hand at the NBA.  However, ESPN expert Chad Ford projects him as a second round pick.  This shows that even though a player can dominate in college, that doesn’t necessarily translate to the pro game.

And finally, in the NBA, a lot of fuss was generated a few years ago when Jay-Z said he would take an ownership stake in the Nets and move them to Brooklyn.  However, Jay-Z recently announced that he is going into the sports management business.  This makes sense, as most impressionable players would want Jay-Z on their management team.  However, because he is going into managing players from around the league, he is forced to sell off his ownership stake in the Nets as it’s now a serious conflict of interest.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: LOUISVILLE PULLS OUT WIN IN EXCITING FINAL, 3 ON 3 AT OLYMIPICS

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, it was the last game of March Madness:  The National Championship between Michigan and Louisville.  Both of these teams were on fire coming into this game, and it was very difficult to predict who would actually take home the title.  Louisville was ranked the #1 team overall coming into the tournament, but Michigan was back to playing like the juggernaut that they were when the season started.  So how would it play out?

You can bet that this was one extremely fun game to watch.  The first half was a back and forth battle, but something weird definitely happened.  Michigan has Trey Burke, who was recently named the AP player of the year in college basketball.  However, early in the first half, he was benched for fouls, and replaced by a young point guard Spike Albrecht.  Albrecht averaged 1.8 points per game on the year, but came into this game like a beast.  It was as if nobody told him this was the National Championship Game and he should be nervous.  Right away, Albrecht came in and hit 5 threes to suddenly put Michigan up by 12.

But in the second half, Louisville did what they do best — come back from deficits.  Both teams put everything on the floor, trading buckets and playing tenacious defense. However, Louisville point guard Peyton Siva and their small forward Luke Hancock took over hitting key buckets that kept Louisville on top coming down the stretch. Strategic basketball helped them keep the lead and take home the national championship.  Luke Hancock was named MVP of the Final Four.  With the win, Rick Pitino becomes one of the very few coaches to win a National Championship with two teams (he won with Kentucky in the mid 90s).  And they kept their promise for Kevin Ware — getting him a National Championship title.  It was a very exciting (and very high-rated) March Madness season.  Can’t wait till next year.  Louisville 82, Michigan 76.

And in Olympics news, with the popularity of basketball in the London 2012 games, the Olympics committee is considering adding a 3-on-3 hoops event.  3-on-3 is a very popular game played on playgrounds around the world.  It would be fun to watch the best on the world’s stage (e.g. LeBron, Durant, Gasol, Rubio) play 3-on-3 basketball.  Plus, you could have multiple dream teams from the U.S.  This could be interesting.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: LOUISVILLE VS MICHIGAN IN NATIONAL GAME TONIGHT

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, after two weekends of madness, we finally arrived at the main event:  The Final Four in Atlanta.  Just making it to the Final Four is a huge success for each of these programs.  Anything that comes next is a bonus.

First up, it was #1 Louisville, playing with a determined goal of winning the National Championship for their fallen player Kevin Ware.  They would take on the red-hot Cinderella team — #9 Wichita State.   Before the game, everyone was handing this one to Louisville.  They were bigger, stronger, faster, and had more NBA prospects.  But the Shockers would hear none of that.  They jumped out to a 12-point lead in the second half.  However, as we saw last week, they are not good at protecting leads.  They get nervous.  And these nerves allowed the Cardinals to get back in the game and reclaim the lead down the stretch.  Wichita thought they would get one more chance to tie the game at the end, but a controversial ‘jump ball’ was called by the refs and it was Louisville’s ball.  That’s all she wrote for the Shockers and the Cardinals advanced to the National Championship game.   Louisville 72, Wichita State 68.

Next up, it was the battle of the #4 seeds between Michigan and Syracuse.  Nobody knew who was going to take this one, as both teams were playing at an exceptionally high level coming into this match-up.  Michigan had the edge early, holding on to a 9 point lead for most of the first half.  But in the second, Syracuse came surging back and even took the lead late in the game.  That’s the thing about college basketball.  It’s never over until the buzzer sounds.  Unfortunately for Syracuse, their best player, Michael Carter-Williams had a terrible game with just 2 points, and that hurt them severely, as  in the end, Michigan had the greater will and the superior athleticism to muscle out a hard fought victory.  Michigan 61, Syracuse 56.

So it will be Louisville vs. Michigan in tonight’s National Championship Game at 9:00pmET on CBS.

And in some unprecedented news, the Clippers took on the Lakers on Sunday.  The Clippers grabbed the win behind a solid game from both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin.  With the win, the Clippers swept the Lakers for the first time in franchise history.  A huge deal considering that the Clippers have been the ugly step-child to the mighty Lakers for the past 30 years.   Also, with this win, the Clippers grabbed the Division title for the first time ever.  The Clippers have been up and down this season, but they’re definitely peaking going into what should be a very exciting playoffs.  LA Clippers 109, LA Lakers 95

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: NEW TWIST IN RUTGERS STORY, AUBURN BRIBING PLAYERS, JAMARCUS RUSSELL IN SHAPE

BASKETBALL

In college basketball, as we’ve been discussing, Rutgers University recently fired head coach Mike Rice after a video surfaced on the Internet of Rice screaming slurs at players and even shoving them.  This is not a behavior that is tolerated in college (or anywhere for that matter).  However, now two students on the Rutgers basketball team have come to the public defense of Rice, saying that Rice wasn’t as bad as what was featured on that video.  They said that Rice actually helped them turn their life around and made them into the good men that they are today.  It’s an interesting opinion, but at the end of the day, a coach simply can’t treat his players like that

FOOTBALL

And in college football, another conspiracy.  It’s being reported that Auburn may have violated many rules as they tried to bribe NFL draft candidates to stay at school.  Any university knows how valuable having a quality program is.  They make hundreds of millions from ticket sales and especially TV contracts.  Auburn didn’t seem to care about the rules, and just started offering players bribes whenever it was convenient.  There is even an allegation that they offered money to quality players if they looked unmotivated or too tired at practice.  This story is still developing, but it could go very deep.

Finally, with the NFL draft upon us, many are talking about the hot quarterback names on the board:  Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, E.J. Manuel.  However, it looks like a former #1 overall draft pick may be ready to claim a starting job.  When the Raiders drafted big man JaMarcus Russell to a lucrative deal to be their franchise quarterback, they expected him to show the gifted athleticism he exhibited winning a National Championship that season.  Unfortunately, Russell didn’t stay in shape and even got into drugs and alcohol, eventually forcing the Raiders to cut him.  Well now, videos are surfacing on the Internet of Russell getting in tremendous shape — working out hard and losing 40 pounds in order to try to land a job with a team.  Perhaps he really is a new man.  Will a team give him a chance?

Share
1 comment

WATERCOOLER CHAT: RUTGERS UPDATE, ANTHONY SCORES 40 AFTER 50

BASKETBALL

Update on Rutgers basketball coach: Mike Rice was fired (belatedly but thankfully)  and now Athletic Director Tim Pernetti is under the microscope. Pernetti helped Rutgers get into the Big 10 and therefore a ton of money for the school.  It brings up an issue on what athletic directors and University Presidents are morally obligated to do. They clearly knew Rice was acting atrociously but he was also winning games and winning games brings in money. This story still has some life to it…..

In a show of athleticism and entertainment, Carmelo Anthony followed up his incredible 50-point shooting performance in Miami against the Heat with 40 points against the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night. The Knicks are now on a 10 game win streak. 10th straight win. Knicks 95, Hawks 82.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: NINERS GRAB ASOMUGHA, HEAT REST AGST KNICKS, BRITTNEY TO PLAY IN NBA?

FOOTBALL

In the NFL, Nnamdi Asomugha was considered the best cornerback in football a few years ago.  When he left the Raiders to pursue the free agent market, he was the most desirable name on the free agent board.  He picked the Philadelphia Eagles coming off a hot season, but the Eagles were terrible the following year.  It left many wondering how good Asomugha actually was.  Was he just all hype?  Now, he has moved on from the Eagles and will join the secondary of the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers.  The Niners have a staunch defense, but their secondary left something to be desired.  The Ravens chewed it up in the Super Bowl.  But with Asomugha back there, they might just turn into the league’s toughest defense.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA, the Heat’s streak has been over for a week now, so they are now in safety mode.  Against the Knicks, they rested both LeBron and Dwayne Wade to ensure they wouldn’t get hurt from their minor injuries.  That gave Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony a chance to shine.  Anthony put up a whopping 50 points in the win against the Heat.  The Heat know that they’re in the midst of a special season (especially given their 27-game streak), but none of it will matter if they don’t win a Championship.  NY 102, Miami 90.

Finally, in some interesting news out of Dallas, Mark Cuban has made a fascinating comment.  Brittney Griner is arguably the best female basketball player ever.  She was a dominate center at Baylor, and nobody could come close to stopping her.  She even dunked 18 times while at Baylor.  She’s headed to the WNBA, BUT, Mark Cuban has said that he would consider drafting her in the second round.  And if Dallas doesn’t draft her, he said he would invite her to camp to see if she could hang with the big boys.  This is quite progressive, and if there is any woman who could make it in the NBA, it’s Griner.  Would be fascinating to see the Mavs grab Griner.  Cuban said that most 2nd round players don’t make it in the league anyway, so it would be worth the risk.

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: VIDEO OF MIKE RICE ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR

Watch this video from ESPN of Rutgers’ basketball coach abusing his players.  It’s disgusting seeing the verbal and physical abuse that went on for so long. Mike Rice has been suspended but has still not been fired. Stay tuned…..

Share
No comments

WATERCOOLER CHAT: LOUISVILLE/WICHITA STATE & SYRACUSE/MICHIGAN IN FINAL 4

BASKETBALL

What a wild weekend in college basketball, as tickets to the final four were on the line.

First up, it was #4 Syracuse vs. #3 Marquette.  Everyone thought that this was going to be #1 Indiana vs. #2 Miami, but Syracuse and Marquette took care of those boys.  Marquette has gotten some miracles to stay alive in this tourney, but it’s still ‘game at a time’ and they hoped to gel against Syracuse.  Unfortunately for Marquette, Syracuse’s staunch zone defense was too difficult to pierce.  Plus, Marquette couldn’t buy a bucket, which enabled the Orange to move on.  Syracuse booked the first ticket to the final four.  Syracuse 55, Marquette 39.

Then, it was the Cinderella team Wichita State vs. #2 Ohio State.  Ohio State needed some impressive last second shots to get to this point, and they definitely weren’t prepared for the Shockers.  Wichita State jumped out to a commanding lead, and even led by 20 points with 12 minutes to go.  Then, the Buckeyes started on a course to pull the greatest comeback in tournament history — getting it to within 3 points with under a minute to go.  But a clutch three pointer and acrobatic lay-up from the Shockers secured the victory for Wichita State.  Cinderella keeps dancing.  Wichita State 70, Ohio State 66.

And on Sunday, it was a much anticipated match-up between #4 Michigan and #3 Florida.  These are two highly athletic and fast programs, and a winner was hard to predict.  The major difference:  The Michigan Wolverines have Trey Burke, the best point guard in the nation.  Burke had another spectacular game, the Wolverines had a huge lead, and simply never looked back.  They will march on.  Michigan 79, Florida 59.

Finally, it was #1 Louisville vs. #2 Duke.  Louisville had been playing fantastically, and that didn’t stop against the Blue Devils.  Sadly, however, on a routine play, Louisville guard Kevin Ware came down awkwardly, and broke his leg in two places.  It was a gruesome scene that left Ware’s leg splintered.  All the players could barely even stand up, and many were crying, including Louisville coach Rick Pitino.  With Ware out of the game, the Cardinals had every motivation they needed to smash the Blue Devils.  And they punched their ticket to the Final Four.   Louisville 85, Duke 63.
It’ll be #1 Louisville vs. #9 Wichita State, and #4 Syracuse vs. #4 Michigan.

Share
No comments

« Previous Page