White Hat Sports Headlines

Friday, February 29, 2008

Where Perfection Still Exists...At Least On A T-Shirt.

For every sports event there are winners and losers. When the event is big enough, there is fan apparel made beforehand. This means that even the losing team has apparel pre-made. When I went to the Red Sox game against the Twins in September (thanks to WZON for the tickets..they may not pay me great, but the perks are nice) they could clinch the AL East with a win and Yankees loss. The Sox won, and about three hours later the Yankees lost in extra innings. Amazingly enough, I sprint out to the street with the entire crowd of Red Sox fans rejoicing to see the Souvenir Shop already selling Red Sox AL East championship hats. Of course, I immediately went in and bought the first three ever sold at the price of 35 dollars each. The point of that entire story is this...

When one team loses, they have all kinds of merchandise that is completely useless. Sometimes you see these items end up on Ebay, or on a discount rack at K-Mart. This allows people that are either
A. wanting their team's merchandise, but are unable to pay for it at normal prices, or
B. slightly disillusioned in thinking their team still won buy the apparel.

The NFL this year decided that it is better to give than receive, and donated the merchandise to World Vision. World Vision is an organization that helps impoverished children survive. This year, they handed out the Patriots 19-0 merchandise to the poor children and families of Nicaragua. This allows them to have clothing, even if the XXL shirts and other larger than normal apparel for the players and fans doesn't fit perfectly. Also, I would think Patriot's fans would much rather have the perfection shirts on themselves, and the Giants shirts going to Nicaragua. One thing is certain though; in a world where there are horrible things happening every day, it's nice to see two imperfections equal a perfect situation.

~Aaron Jackson

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pats, Jersey's and Calzone's

It’s been a while since the Super Bowl and I finally think I’m ready to talk about football again. The NFL Combine and talk about the NFL Draft has gotten me over the hump and on my way to recovering from the Debacle in Arizona. Today was a rough day for Patriots fans: Kevin Faulk was busted with a couple blunts are a concert in Louisiana and the Patriots are apparently going to release Roosevelt Colvin. I was a big Colvin supporter, primarily because I Believe he’s the Patriots best pass rusher (when healthy).
With the upcoming possibility of losing Randy Moss, Asante Samuel or Donte Stallworth or all of them these are now uncertain times in Foxborough. Add in the possible retirements of Tedy Bruschi and Junior Seau, compounded by not signing Zach Thomas and the team is starting to show signs of weakness. Since beating the Chargers for the AFC title, name one thing that has gone New England’s way? Samuel, after saying his chances of coming back to New England were a “10 out of 10” and now is saying he’ll find “market value”, which in free agent terms means he’s going to end up playing in Arizona or Kansas City for Champ Bailey money and never make the playoffs again in his career.
Can you name one good thing that has happened to the New England Patriots since beating the Chargers in the AFC title game? I mean have I jinxed them by writing the Inaugural Jogging Diary? Was that it? I think we will find out when the NFL Draft starts, because right now some of the Patriots great moments have come at the Draft the last few seasons, or pretty much any season under Bill Belichick. The combination of that good mojo and the fact they have the 7th overall pick (God Bless San Francisco) this could be the moment of the off season that the moves make sense.
Because the only silver linings to the cloud of the Patriots releasing Roosevelt Colvin and not signing Zach Thomas are that they might make another bigger move, sign Randy Moss long term and that I’ll be able to get a Colvin jersey for $50 bucks cheaper than I could two days ago.
God Bless eBay.

~Speaking of eBay, here’s another sweet jersey that I found on there tonight. Check out the seller’s name, imagine the possibilities? A post comment of jersey’s that you’d get made. I’m saying it would be hard to top a mid 90’s Cleveland Indians Ricky Vaughn jersey, or a Jesus Shuttleworth Boston Celtics jersey. Though the most aesthetically pleasing looking jersey?
That’s right a Henry Rowengartner Chicago Cubs road jersey. Let’s make this happen!!!!

~ To Spring Training I go. T minus 5 days and counting till I depart. I’ll make sure and let you know how huge Bartolo “Calzone” Colon is in person.

~Sterling Pingree

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sports Movies

If you're a sports fan there is a lot that comes with it, but nothing compares to a great sports movie. In my opinion that's the best thing about being a sports fan is enjoying a great sports film. I think it's great seeing a sports story told through various genre's whether it be a comedy or a drama.

Sports films can be the saving grace for a fan who had a bad day or their team lost, i know it sounds corny but its true. Sports movies can help you escape and experience great moments in sports movie history and get you pumped. They also can inspire or make people remember what it was like to pay sports and they get that rush of adrenaline that they use to get while playing.

I would put sports movies right up there with classics like Casablanca, or the Godfather. Now a lot of people will think I'm crazy for saying that but so be it, everyone has the right to their own opinion. I think that sports movies belong with the great films because in my view there are hardly any bad sports films out there.That's what makes them so great is that a lot of em are based on actual events that happened which makes them more memorable.

That's all I really have to say on this matter, sports movies in general are flat our EPIC!

~Derek Gause~

Mayweather vs. The Big Show................ Disgrace

WBC Welterweight Champion "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather & WWE Big Show

Okay so as you all know I am a wrestling fan and I love the entertainment aspect of it. until a couple Sundays ago at the WWE pay-per-view No Way Out I see Boxer Floyd "Money" Mayweather is standing in the ring with The Big Show. I just don't get why the WWE feels the need to always bring in some celebrity or an athlete from outside and put them in a WWE ring.

The WWE seems to think that people or the fans actually give a damn about these people when they really don't. A perfect example is last year when they brought in Kevin Federline to face John Cena. The fans let the WWE know by booing the entire 3 month long feud they had. Then a week ago on Raw when Floyd came out the crowd booed him out of the arena because one.... no one cares about boxing and two.... no one cares for The Big Show anymore. The fans just don't care for this stuff, they pay to see the wrestlers. They don't pay to come see some average wanna be rapper or and overrated boxer.

The only pro athlete or celebrity that people and fans actually like and cared for was Karl Malone back in '97-'98 when he was in WCW with his friend DDP. he was well received because he was friends with DDP and could actually wrestle. A lot of the guys went on record saying that he was naturally good at it and could of had a career out of it. Karl Malone

Anyways the point is that wrestling fans don't care anymore about inter- promotional non-sense with people from outside of wrestling. they just want to see a great story being told and played out in the ring, not more of the same promotional crap leading up to Wrestlemania.

~Derek Gause~

Cassell in Green?

The Boston Globe reported that according to a Clippers source, the team will announce the buyout on Tuesday. The Celtics, Dallas Mavericks and Denver Nuggets are preparing to make Cassell an offer once he clears waivers in 48 hours, NBA sources indicated, according to the report.

"They've been discussing it, so what more can I say?" Cassell said, according to the Los Angeles Times. "Both parties are getting to a number and saying, 'OK, this is what we'll do it for.' I just want to be treated fairly."

If the Boston Celtics would be able to land Cassell, it would be huge for the team as Eddie House could go back to his original position of playing the 2 (Shooting guard) and Cassell would back up Rondo at the 1 (Point Guard). The depth and veteran experience could rally help the Celtics. It would pay big dividends in the playoffs against Detroit Pistons and Billups as well.


Monday, February 25, 2008

California Reactions and Observations

- Let me begin by saying how impressed I am with Carl Edwards' victory in the Auto Club 500 earlier this afternoon. He didn't have the best car last night, but he did today, and that was all that mattered. Big win for Ford.

- Another good race for Dodge this weekend with two drivers finishing in the top-10. Kasey Kahne finished 9th after battling a loose car at the end of the race and Ryan Newman also put together another solid race. He lost the points lead, but he has already showed the gains he's made as a driver and with his team.

- Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon looked completely untouchable last night and also had very good cars this afternoon. However, the competition was better today, with Carl Edwards passing the Hendrick duo with ease to end the race.

- Toyota is obviously better this season, and so far it looks like the JGR trio of Tony Stewart, Kyle Busch, and Denny Hamlin will be very competitive. The manufacturer's first win in the Sprint Cup series will undoubtedly come from one of those three.

- What a spectacular wreck early in the race yesterday. The wreck between Mears and Hornish Jr. was one I saw on TV a lot in the past 24 hours, and it definitely looked a lot worse than it probably was. This new car already seems to be providing more excitement than I anticipated, especially at the 2.0 mile track in Fontana.

- I'm wondering why NASCAR waited to penalize Kevin Harvick for pitting too early after he ran three full caution laps yesterday. He was clearly past the commitment cone before Jeremy Mayfield brought out a caution.

- Two tires clearly didn't work at the track this weekend. Drivers were able to gain track position because of it, but it was frequently followed with a very quick descent in the race standings.

- Denny Hamlin has had a few rough races to start the season, but I don't think it's time to count him out yet. I wouldn't put it past him to rebound with some solid finishes in Las Vegas and Atlanta, and with his teammates running well right now, he has a lot of information he can acquire if needed.

Next up, Las Vegas. Can Jimmie Johnson produce an unprecedented fourth win in a row at the 1.5 mile track? We'll know the answer to that in little under a week.

Aaron Larsen

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Colon or Semi-Colon

Besides the inevitable re-signing of Terry Francona, there was HUGE news today coming from Boston Red Sox Spring Training. And yes, I do realize that I am writing this in the format that Bruce Glazer would for Channel 6. The huge news is who the Red Sox signed and not the fact that they signed someone.
Bartolo Colon signed a Minor League contract with the Red Sox today and I’m pretty excited about this. There is no risk with this signing. He’s getting a minor league deal which is the equivalent of taking a phone number off a poster that says: roommate needed. Like my Dad said today when I talked to him today “It’s just money”. It’s always just money, but the difference between your team taking a gamble on Colon and laying down a handful of black chips in Vegas is, Colon isn’t being bought with YOUR money. So sign Bartolo and while you’re at it find out what it would take to get Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax in for try outs. It’s just money, if they don’t make the team you can have them sign a baseball and make all of your money right back.
Two things could happen with this signing and only two. Colon could walk into camp looking like Tom Seaver circa 1972 and pry the 5th starter spot from Clay Buchholz and go on to be the Baseball equivalent of Randy Moss. Or he could waddle into Spring Training, looking like he just got back from a double date with Rich Garces, Oprah and Rosie O’Donnell and be dropped from Pawtucket by Memorial Day. Either way this is going to be something to watch for. It’s like having an extra bullet in your pocket in duel with 6 shooters. Even though the chances of you using the 7th bullet isn’t that likely, it makes you feel a little better as you stand back to back with the other guy. Colon is the Red Sox 7th bullet right now, let’s just hopes he can fit in the gun if it gets to that point.
Actually, I’d settle for him fitting in the pocket right now.

~Sterling Pingree

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Lets Make A Deal!! Part Deux

Here is part two of my analysis of the trades that have gone down in the NBA. For anyone who hasn't read the rich, creamy goodness of part one, click here.

February 20th: The San Antonio Spurs trade Brent Barry, Francisco Elson and their 2009 first round pick to the Seattle Supersonics for Kurt Thomas.
This trade kind of baffles me to be honest. The Spurs always seem to get the better of deals, and have always had what is considered one of the smartest front offices in basketball (which unfortunately isn't saying too much). For me, they gave up a lot to get a little in this deal. Kurt Thomas is an average at best player, and he is also old. What will make this trade make more sense is if Brent Barry comes back to the Spurs, as he has already been waived by the Spurs. For now, I give them a C+ because normally the moves they make work out. For the Sonics I give them an A+. Between last year and this year they essentially got three first round picks for a guy in Thomas who isn't that great. That is a great thing for a team clearly looking for the future and not the current.

February 21st: The Detroit Pistons trade Primoz Brezec to the Toronto Raptors for Juan Dixon.
Doesn't really make either team better. Brezec is a big body, but has little talent and puts in even less effort. Dixon had his days in the spotlight back when he played with Maryland, and now is probably a third string guard on the Piston's roster. I give the Pistons a C+ and the Raptors a C.

February 21st: The Denver Nuggets trade Von Wafer to the Portland Trail Blazers for Taurean Green.

The Nuggets were one of the teams that seem to be one player away from truly contending. Unfortunately Green is not that player. They could use a point guard, but they need one that can play at a starting NBA level now. The only positive for them is that Green did play on the two-time champion Florida Gators, and can develop into a decent player. I give them a D+, not so much for this deal as just their overall lack of activity at the deadline. The Blazers weren't playing Green, and they probably won't play Wafer much either, so I give them a D+ as well.

February 21st: The Houston Rockets trade Kirk Snyder, a second round pick and cash to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Gerald Green.
I don't know why the Timberwolves did this. Green is considered to have a huge upside, and if nothing else is well known for the dunk contest, and probably moves some merchandise based on that alone. He was acquired by the team before the season started, and did not even last the full season there. he certainly should be worth more than Snyder, a mid level second round pick, and some cash. They get an F. The Rockets get a very marketable player with a huge upside that just hasn't put it together yet. For now, he should provide decent play off the bench if nothing else. I give them a B+.

February 21st: The Houston Rockets acquire Bobby Jackson, Adam Haluska from the New Orleans Hornets for Bonzi Wells and Mike James. They also trade cash and Malick Badiane to the Memphis Grizzlies for Sergei Lishouk, and New Orleans trades Marcus Vinicius to Memphis.
Extremely complicated deal. Removing players that are playing overseas (Lishouk, Badiane) makes it slightly simpler. Essentially, the Rockets get a big time energy guy in Bobby Jackson, the Hornets get Bonzi Wells and Mike James, and the Grizzlies get some guys that won't do much of anything now and some cash. The Rockets are a great fit for Jackson, and he should really help them in the long run. I give the a B, only because they gave up both Wells and James to get him. For the Hornets I give them a B+. They are showing they think they can win now, and there isn't anything that says they can't. Wells gives them a good rebounding guard that can play down low, and Mike James can put up points in a hurry when he's hot. The Grizzlies gave up one overseas player, and get back one in return, plus another player that may go overseas. I give them a B because, well, two is normally better than one.

February 21st: Cavaliers acquire Ben Wallace and Joe Smith from the Chicago Bulls for Drew Gooden, Larry Hughes, Cedric Simmons and Shannon Brown as well as Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West from Seattle, In return, Seattle gets Ira Newble and Donyell Marshall from Cleveland, as well as Adrian Griffin from the Bulls.

Obviously, the Cavs gave up a lot, but they also get a lot. In the end I think they made a great deal. Wallace was a great defensive player in Detroit, and now that he is out of Chicago he may very well go back to that. Joe Smith is a very good low post offensive player, and should supplant Gooden's numbers fairly well. Delonte to me is extremely underrated, and pairing him with Daniel Gibson in the Cleveland backcourt should work well. Wally is also a great shooter, and should spread the floor for Lebron. I give them an A. Chicago to me gets a couple guys known more for their name than their abilities. Hughes is still a good scorer, and now that he is not clashing with Lebron he should be slightly more productive, but they already have plenty of scorers from the guard slot in the windy city. Gooden is the key to this for them, if he can produce offensively down low he will really help Chicago. Simmons and Shannon Brown are throw ins and probably won't play much. I give them a B. Seattle didn't do this trade for talent purposes, or to make their team better this year. If they say anything different they are lying through their teeth. They did this deal to save money, and get expiring contracts that will come off the books soon. However, they know they need to rebuild, and they are committing to that completely, so I give them a B+ for the deal.

The end to this NBA season should be a great one. This years playoffs should bring back memories of the NBA's glory days, and it is exactly what the sport needed. Obviously, only time will tell which trade works and which did not, but if GMs can evaluate these trades now, I figure I can be fairly accurate as well.

~Aaron Jackson

Whats wrong with the Celtics?

What is wrong with the Boston Celtics? They are going through there first 3 game losing streak of the season. Well I tapped the past three games and have dissected them and come to these conclusions on what the Boston Celtics need to do to get back to there winning ways.

1.) Box out- the Celtics are not boxing out and are allowing 2nd and 3rd possessions for the opponent which has led into points.

2.) Fast break points- the Boston Celtics have allowed only 8.3 fast break points per game, however during this 3 game losing streak there allowing 17.6 fast break points per game, so they need to cut that out of the game.

3.) Injuries- yes you can say that it is an excuse but the Boston Celtics have had injuries starting with there all star Kevin Garnett as well as Scott Pollard, Glen Davis, Leon Powe, Kendrick Perkins and all star Ray Allen.

4.) Ball Movement- The Celtics do not seem to be playing as a team there is a lot of standing around or one on one, and not playing as a team. I almost want to say everyone is playing like there an all star instead of a team which got them to the great start in the first place.

If the Boston Celtics can do these 4 simple things I truly believe they will be back to there winning ways.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Lets Make A Deal!

Now that the trading deadline in the NBA has passed there are articles all over the place "grading" the deals made. Here at White Hat Sports I thought I should do my own version of all the trades that have gone down since Christmas.

December 29th: The Utah Jazz acquire Kyle Korver from the Philadelphia 76er's for Gordan Giricek and a protected first round pick.
This is my favorite trade of the season. The Jazz got one of the best shooters in the game in Kyle Korver, while only giving up a late first round pick and a player who probably shouldn't even be in the league anymore. Before this deal the Jazz had a hard time stretching the court, with teams focusing in on Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. Now they have a guy in Korver that can burn you just about every time you leave him open. I give them an A. The Sixers on the other hand essentially traded off Korver for a 1st round draft pick and got some cap space after this season with Giricek's expiring contract. This means they have slightly more room to sign a good free agent in the coming seasons. I give them a B.

February 1st: The Los Angeles Lakers trade Javaris Crittenton, Marc Gasol, Kwame Brown, Aaron Mckie and two first round draft picks, one this year and one for 2010 for Pau Gasol and a 2010 second round pick from the Memphis Grizzlies. Clearly the Lakers got the better of this deal. Gasol is an all star caliber player that can be a difference maker, and the Lakers gave up next to nothing off their current team to get him. My concern is how the team will function when Bynum gets back and Kobe has three other players in Gasol, Odom and Bynum that will want the ball. If he can be a distributor as much as he is a scorer then this a huge win for them. For now, I give them an A because they gave up so little to get him, but I'm still not sold on it working. The Grizzlies got a lot less than they could have in this deal, so I give them an F. Crittenton could be good, but they have Kyle Lowry and Mike Conley Jr. already so they don't need him. The draft picks they got are both probably late round picks, and Brown is a bust. Unless Marc Gasol can develop into a good player this trade is horrible for them.

February 4th: The New Jersey Nets acquire Stromile Swift from the Memphis Grizzlies for Jason Collins and cash.
Stromile Swift has talent but has never done anything with it, and he is a cancer in the locker room. Jason Collins has very little talent but works hard, and is considered a good locker room guy. I give the Net's a D for this, because they don't get much better, and they give Sean Williams a horrible role model to look at in Stromile Swift. That is the last thing Williams needs after being kicked off his team at Boston College. The Grizzlies got a little cash and an average player for a guy in Swift that was already suspended by them, so I give them a C+.

February 6th: The Phoenix Suns trade Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks to the Miami Heat for Shaquille O'Neal.
The jury is still out on whether Shaq is the right fit or not in Phoenix, but we won't really know if it was a good decision till playoff time. The fact that Steve Kerr is willing to take such a chance is great, because their team only has a few years left in Steve Nash's legs and needs to win now. We'll see if it was the right choice over time. For now, I give them a B. The Heat got the expiring deal of Shawn Marion and a decent player in Marcus Banks. If they can resign Marion then it's a good deal, if they can't then it's an average deal. For now I give them a B+ because they got rid of a huge contract in Shaq while acquiring a good player in Marion.

February 16th: Atlanta acquires Mike Bibby from the Sacramento Kings for Shelden Williams, Lorenzen Wright, Anthony Johnson, Tyronn Lue and a 2008 second round pick.
I said in my NBA power rankings that the Hawks needed a point guard, and they got a pretty good one in Mike Bibby. Bibby is still only 29, and is only a few years removed from being considered one of the top guards in the game. I think with the great young talent on the Hawks roster he has a chance to revive his career and cause some havoc in the playoffs. They could definitely make a playoff run now, and they have the talent to be a title contender within two or three years. I give them an A. As far as Sacramento, they got nothing in this deal. Lue, Johnson and Wright are below average players, and Shelden Williams is definitely on his way to the same fate. The fact that they only got a second round pick makes it even worse. The only good thing about the deal is the expiring contracts, but they should have at least gotten some talent back, but they got none. I give them an F.

February 19th: The Dallas Mavericks get Jason Kidd, Malik Allen and Antoine Wright from New Jersey for Devin Harris, Keith Van Horn, Trenton Hassell, Maruice Ager, Desagna Diop, first round picks in 2008 and 2010 as well as cash.
The Mavericks made this trade for the big name factor. Jason Kidd can't shoot, turns the ball over too much, and is close to retirement. He's shooting 36% from the field this season, and he averages 3.7 turnovers a game. Furthermore, Devin Harris was a good player for Dallas, and is arguably almost as good as Kidd now. Regardless, the Mav's needed Shaq or another big man, and when they got traded elsewhere they went for the next big name and overpaid vastly to get him. I give them an F. The Nets get an A, because they got a great young guard in Harris, plus two first round picks and a couple decent role players, and all they gave up was an aging unhappy veteran and a couple average players.

I'll get into the rest of the trades later in the week, so be sure to stay tuned.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sprint Cup Power Rankings - California

1. Jimmie Johnson - You really can't take one bad race as a sign of things to come for many drivers, especially the 48 team. He was making his move before he spun out on Sunday, and his finish on Sunday was 12 positions better than last year...and we all know what happened last season.

2. Tony Stewart - Even before the season, I didn't think the 20 team would struggle. Did I think they'd be the most dominant of the drivers on the circuit? No. I do know that he had a great race on Sunday, and just missed another win at the Great American Race. I'm not worried about him, but the rest of the competition should be.

3. Jeff Gordon - If not for the suspension failure, Gordon would have probably been the one Hendrick driver challenging for the win on Sunday. He had a top-2 car all day, particularly after Denny Hamlin had problems. You can't expect many mechanical failures from the 24 crew, and I expect them to be back with a top-10 finish on Sunday.

4. Kurt Busch - Okay, okay, so he helped his teammate win on Sunday, and will be ranked higher than him, but he's a very giving guy. He gave teammate Ryan Newman the win on Sunday after relinquishing his spot in the top-35 for teammate Sam Hornish. I don't expect him to be giving much more now.

5. Kevin Harvick - I may have him ranked a little too high here, seeing as how he's not been given the same kind of equipment as his RCR teammates. However, even though his track record at California is anything but stellar, I'll wait one more week to see what happens.

6. Carl Edwards - He didn't get to show it on Sunday, but he still may end up being the best Ford driver in 2008.

7. Ryan Newman - I have to say I was legitimately surprised with Newman's win in the Great American Race Sunday. Not only did he end his 81-race winless streak but he was also very open in his postrace interviews. A huge burden has been lifted from his shoulders now, and this could be a big momentum shifter for his team. Don't forget how good he was when he was winning more often.

8. Dale Earnhardt Jr. - Maybe a little bit too low here, but he didn't live up to the hype after winning the Bud Shootout and his Gatorade Duel last Thursday. I think the media overdid the hype and put a lot of pressure on him to perform, and despite him being the only Hendrick driver to finish in the top-25 on Sunday, he just didn't get it done.

9.Kyle Busch - He may be 9th on my list, but he has a chance to really skyrocket ahead. He's had such a knack for dominating races in the Sprint Cup series, leading a ton of laps, but never sealing that win away. It'll be scary to see what this guy can do when he finds out how to hold on for those wins.

10. Matt Kenseth - I don't think it's going to be a terrible year for the 17 bunch, but I think it'll take a bit of racing and time for Kenseth and new crew chief Chip Bolin to get accustomed to working with each other. Kenseth had a good race going until he was taken out. He'll be a factor at California, and he definitely won't stay down for long.

Aaron Larsen

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

poker/bowling.. ext... are SKILLS

Okay so I was thinking about this earlier today and I have come to the conclusion that I cannot stand that ESPN covers crap like poker and bowling! I don't not think that bowling or poker and bowling are sports. The same with Bass fishing when ESPN covers that stuff.

For the record people poker and bowling are SKILLS... nothing more and nothing less. You do not need to be in top shape or be athletic to get a strike or a hole in one, or even make a trick shot in pool. Pool is another one that is a skill not a sport. It just really gets to me that people in society can say that those things are legit sports. Yes you can argue that its a sport because people are competing BUT.... its just skill. There isn't any ability being showcased so therefore its not entertaining to me.

Thats all i have to say that poker,bowling and pool are not sports they are SKILLS!


Poker is not a sport, it's a game. That is a fact. There is zero athletic ability required to play cards, but they put it on ESPN so I'm going to talk about as if it were a sport. I'd like to honestly change the category of our blog from professional sports to professional sports and games.
I'm not sure why Texas Hold 'Em blew up in this country and became one of the biggest addictions around for alot of people, right up there with cigarettes and alcohol. Poker is a game that involves some skill, and a little bit of luck. You have no way to know what cards everyone at the table holds. You can't count cards in poker, like you can in Blackjack. However, you can count on the tendencies that certain players make at certain times in the game. That's where the skill comes into play.
Most professional poker players aren't even playing the cards they have in their hands. They're literally playing the other players at the table. Playing head games is they key to Texas Hold 'Em and any poker game. A lot of professional poker players cant play Texas Hold 'Em because of the pressure. There's a lot of tension and some times a lot of money thrown around depending on the game type.
I personally used to play cards quite a bit, but found that the more you play the less money you have. That became an issue for me, but I can honestly appreciate what the professionals do day in and day out.

I cant even begin to start this post without laughing to myself a little. I've decided to take on the duty of talking about the professional sports that don't quite get the recognition that I feel they deserve. Besides this blog thing is supposed be at least somewhat entertaining.
The "Sport" that I will be discussing in this post has it's biggest event on July 4th every year. I'm talking about the annual Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. This is the Super Bowl of professional eating, and as with every sport it has its dominate athlete to go along with it. Takeru "Tsunami" Kobayashi has won this contest 6 times, the most of any competitor. He won every year from 2000 to 2006. Eating on average 55 hot dogs and buns in 15 minutes or less. This is amazing. I don't care if you hit .350 every year for 10 years, or go undefeated with an 18-0 record. You can't eat 55 hot dogs.
This year the Tsunami was uncrowned. He was defeated by an American. Joey Chesnut ate 66 hotdogs this past July out-eating Kobayashi by 3 hot dogs; an impressive feat. Soon after the competition the news was broken that Kobayashi may not be able to compete anymore due to arthritis in his jaw. I know for me personally this news was devastating.
So to sum up this little bit I'd like to say that competitive eating is a great sport and doesn't get the respect it deserves.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Top 10 Wrestling finishers today part 2

Welcome back for part 2 of the top 10 Wrestling finishers of today. Last time I counted down 10-5, today I will give you the top 5 in my opinion.

#5 - The Pedigree

Triple H's signature move that has beaten them all and helped him gain 11 word championships. A move that doesn't look devastating but is rather effective from a viewers perspective.

#4 - The GTS (Go To Sleep)

The move that ECW's CM Punk invented that has a high level of impact. I love this move because of how it looks, I mean just look at it. you have the guy over your shoulders then you suddenly drop him face first into your knee.... OUCH!

#3 - The Batista Bomb

Batista is not a good wrestler by any means at all, but he makes up for it with the devastating Batista Bomb.
Batista bomb to edge

#2 - Tombstone Pile driver

The Undertaker's claim to fame that has put down just about every superstar to ever enter the squared circle. The tombstone was so lethal at one time that Taker stopped using it.
Tombstone Piledriver

#1 - The Elijah Express

Yes I know this is a shocker for a number one but Elijah Burke's "Elijah Express" is so explosive and fast and very innovative, thats hwy in my view it deserved the number one slot. I think this is much better than Carlito's back stabber move because Elijah runs and dos it to make it look better.
elijah express


Summer of '95

I love Baseball. Red Sox Baseball in particular and I love talking about it or writing about it. So you can imagine right now my dismay that everything that involves the National Past time is about the following: Andy Pettitte, Roger Clemens, Brian McNamee, Kirk Radomski, BALCO and everybody’s favorite science project, Barry Bonds. The only news being nationally covered about the Red Sox right now is the fact that Curt Schilling is out for an extended period of time and whether or not she should feel bad or if he’s ripping the team off for his 2008 salary. This column isn’t going to be about any of this; it’s going to be about a simpler time. A time back when I was a boy(indulge me, I’m going to Spring training in two weeks and I don’t want to spend the whole time looking for shady trainers lurking in the parking lot.)
One of my favorite Bill Simmons terms is to an era and it’s what he calls “The Time When Sports Means Just a Little Too Much”. I searched through his glossary of terms and didn’t find it, but it’s a real thing. Mine was the summer of 1995 and the Boston Red Sox and perhaps Drew Bledsoe mixed in towards the fall. For the sake of this column however I’ll stick to the 1995 American League East Champion Boston Red Sox, lead by Most Valuable Player, Maurice Samuel Vaughn.
This team had man things that just made them unique. This team had a potential Hall of Fame pitcher in the Texas Con-Man and a project that came out of no where to win 16 games and post an ERA of 2.95, Tim Wakefield. The other three men in the rotation are definitely answers to the toughest trivia questions you’ve ever heard: Erik Hanson (the only other Sox player besides Mo Vaughn that made the All-Star team), Vaughn Eshelman and Zane Smith. All of which joined the Con-Man in posting and ERA above 4. In the wings but not quite ready to make the jump (must really not have been ready to not take a job away from those last 3) was Aaron Sele who managed to start 6 games and go 3-1.
This team wasn’t based around pitching though; they were built around power and pretty much a home run or nothing mantra. The middle of the line up was a murder’s row, Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco. Before and after that the line up wasn’t that great but they got it done. Tim Naehring at 3rd, Johnny Valentin at shortstop, Luis Alicea at 2nd , Mike Macfarlane at catcher, and an outfield that consisted mainly of Mike Greenwell, Troy O’Leary (his breakout season) and a weird mixture of Lee Tinsley and Willie McGee( more on Willie later).
To say that this team was built precisely to win the division that year would be a drastic over statement. This team almost did it by accident now looking back on it. Mo Vaughn was the 5th highest paid player on the team. Ahead of him were Canseco, Clemens, Aguilera and Greenwell, and immediately behind “the Hit Dog” (still a great nickname) was Mike Macfarlane. Are you kidding me? The league MVP was making just a million and a half more than the catcher who swings like a slow motion Jorge Posada.
This team was made up of bad trades on top of bad trades that somehow worked for just the right amount of time and ignoring talent for the future. This team’s bench consisted at points with current major leaguers Matt Stairs, Ron Mahay and the respectable major leaguer Dave Hollins. The problem with this is the fact that Hollins came over from the Phillies in a trade for “Hard Hittin” Mark Whiten and then only played 2 games. Whiten is his own column as well, was supposed to be the second coming of Jim Rice and ended up becoming the second coming of Rob Deer. Stairs who still plays for the Blue Jays and routinely kills the Red Sox was in the organization the whole year, but only played in 39 games because Lee Tinsley had center field locked down for the next 15 years. Ron Mahay is a completely other situation all together in terms of judging talent. He is not only still a big league set up man some 12 years later; he wasn’t used as such for the Red Sox in 1995. That’s right the Red Sox used him as an outfielder for 5 games in 1995.
They did strike oil a few times in 1995 however. You have to right? They stole Rick Aguilera from the Twins for our Pawtucket “Phenom” Frankie Rodriguez and a player to be named later. Aguilera saved 20 games in 1995 before completed imploding in the playoffs against the Indians. None of this is the point however, this team is about memories. I can still remember the day the Red Sox made the Aguilera trade and my best friend, Zach trying to help me pronounce: Aguilera.
I can still picture the 1995 Boston Red Sox team yearbook from that season, the cover featured Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco just looking HUGE. I looked through it so many times, that it’s probably more dog-eared than any journalist’s copy I’m sure. I’d listen to the games on the radio while I was at camp and then even made my maiden voyage to Fenway Park on August 14 against the New York Yankees.
Before even entering the ballpark I had a player citing, Willie McGee. Now some 13 years later I would say that this didn’t actually happen and that it was just some random dude, but look at Willie McGee and tell me that there is another human being that I could have confused him with, even when I was 9. The game itself was great and no box score does it proper justice. Wade Boggs and Don Mattingley were playing for the Yankees and Mo Vaughn jacked a homer in the first inning off Scott Kamieniecki. Kamieniecki later in the game drilled Luis Alicea in the head and started a bench clearing brawl. Naehring added a homer later in the game and the Sox behind Erik Hanson cruised to a 9-3 victory.
I think I’m ready for Spring Training now, but if they try to say that Kevin Kennedy was video taping Kamieniecki during his bullpen session, I WILL SNAP!
~Sterling Pingree

Monday, February 18, 2008


The NBA all star game and all star weekend in my mind was a flop. If you go back to Saturday night the skill competition was not that skillful, and some of players gave half effort throughout the contest. Than going to the three point contest, the best three point shooter was not even on display Saturday night, if you watched the NBA all star game you saw Ray Allen of the Boston Celtics make 3 point shot after 3 point shot in the actual game. Which leads you to wonder why he was not in the 3 point contest? The dunk contest had its moments with Dwight Howard and Gerald Green’s first dunks respectively, but overall it was weak. I know the dunk contest is a big draw still but why, we have seen all the dunks from Jordan and Wilkins to Carter and Richardson, everything that can be done has been done. The NBA all star game was just like any other NBA game (lacking in defense). When both teams score 120+ points, that is awful, what ever happened to players wanting to prove they were solid two way players on offense and defense? I also think the all stars need to wear there home and away jerseys like they use to (east=home and west=away) these new jersey’s are just dreadful, I mean you expect me to go buy my favorite NBA all star’s jersey when they look like that? I would not get caught dead in that ugly material of silver, gold and blue. Yes the NBA all star weekend has come and gone, the sad thing is it’ll be back again in 362 days!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Jogging Diary Presents the 57th Annual NBA All Star Game

Welcome to a special edition of the Jogging Diary. Tonight I present to you the 57th annual NBA All Star game. Can…You…Dig…Ittttttttt!!!

7:57 pm Couple of notes about yesterdays NBA All Star events. Dwight Howard and Gerald Green have officially brought back the Slam Dunk Contest. The rest of the events were alright, but these two guys really put on a show. The video underneath this has a recap of the best dunks from last night in case you missed it. I would suggest leaving the volume down, as the music someone put to this is pretty bad.

It’s great that TNT covers this event because they clearly have the best NBA coverage. They let just about anything go, and it makes for a much better show. Where else could you coverage that involves random former players like Karl Malone taking over a microphone during a broadcast just to complain to Charles about the suits they wore on draft day. It’s great stuff. Kenny Smith, Reggie Miller, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and Ernie Johnson are all perfect for their coverage. They are actually excited to be covering NBA basketball, and they show that every night.

8:07 pm Where did Craig Sager get that suit? He never ceases to amaze me with his outfits. The tie is bedazzled. Wow. Of course the guys in the booth all make fun of him. It wouldn't be a TNT broadcast without it.

8:11 pm Jason Kidd always looks like he has something he wants to yell that is absolutely hilarious, but he knows he can't say it. I can see him breaking down if he isn't traded at the deadline to a contender and just yelling out whatever it is he knows. "Kobe, that white woman you slept with, she's actually a man. She told me to tell you that you owe her 20 bucks." Too soon? Charles Barkley's take; "That's terble you knuuckleheead."

8:28 pm There are two old women with all the cheerleaders dancing with the starters as they are announced. My question is how did they get in there? Did two of the cheerleaders get into a fight leaving two open slots for these women? I demand to know the answer.

8:32 pm Can't ignore the fact that the game is in New Orleans. Great to see the city starting to rebound and become what it once was. Also great to see how hard the NBA tried to add the actual flavor of New Orleans into the festivities. They really did a great job this year.

8:36 pm Alright, predictions before the game starts. I had the West winning it, but after watching the introductions I am switching over to the East. They had a lot more energy and looked excited to play, whereas the West players were all veterans that could care less. I've got Dwight Howard winning the MVP of the game. My boy Kalle has the East as well, with Lebron as the MVP.

8:48 pm Looks like P. Diddy designed these uniforms too. I say this because they are almost uglier than the jerseys he made for the Mav's a few seasons ago. The West's are completely gold in the back and completely white in the front, whereas the East's are completely blue in the front and completely white in the back. Score right now is 10-5 East, with Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh showing how athletic they are compared to Yao Ming and Tim Duncan.

8:55 pm Right now the East is scoring only off dunks, but they are winning 18-7. They are actually trying in this game, whereas the West's possessions go as follows; Iverson dribbles the ball into traffic, realizes no one at all has moved, passes it out to the guy who is the most open, then they shoot a jumper. Tim Duncan right now has taken two shots out towards the three point line. The entire team looks like they should be in a nursing home wondering when their diaper will get changed. Byron Scott needs to bring in Chris Paul and David West, get some excitement going.

9:03 pm They keep on updating us on the Jason Kidd situation, yet they don't actually have anything to update us on, so they keep rehashing the same old things. Personally, I think the Mavericks are idiots for wanting him so bad. They don't need him, they need a presence down low. Devin Harris and Jason Terry can handle the point there, but Desagna Diop and Erick Dampier cannot handle the center position. Not only that, but they don't have any power forwards that really play down low either. I still think Shaq would have fit perfect for their style of play. On another note, I said in my NBA Power Rankings that the Hawks needed a point guard. They must have been reading it, because one week later and they pull off a deal for Mike Bibby while giving up next to nothing valuable (Shelden Williams is considered the best player going towards the Kings). Great job by them, this is a team you won't want to face in the Eastern playoffs for the next few years.

9:10 pm Will Ferrell must be hanging out with the Manning brothers, because not only is he doing commercials for his new movie, but he is also doing commercials for Bud Light and Old Spice. This means we see him about every 10-15 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I can't wait for his new movie, but at some point I have had enough of him in previews. As we get back to the game they show Arnold Schwarzenegger for a good 10 seconds, and in that entire time his facial expression does not change. Normally this wouldn't be completely abnormal, but in this case his mouth was open about half way and he had a slightly concerned, slightly surprised look on his face. Someone might want to "pump him up."

9:15 pm First quarter complete with the East leading 34-28.

9:22 pm The score is now 46-38. I think I saw better defense in One Night In Paris.

9:33 pm Dwight Howard and Lebron James are dominating this game right now. Lebron must be in heaven right now. If he was to throw some of the passes he is throwing to Dwight to Zydrunas Big Z would just point at them and laugh as they sailed out of bounds and knocked out a fan. It could never happen.

9:39 pm Yao Ming hasn't played since the beginning of the first quarter. Clearly the coaches realize he hurts the team more than he helps them, especially in a game like this. He is just to slow and nonathletic to compete. Then again, he was voted a starter. 3 billion Chinese people can't be wrong, right?

9:42 pm Just saw a preview for American Gangster on DVD. Definitely a movie you want to rent if you haven't seen it yet. It's close to a movie you can buy without watching, but Russell Crowe wasn't that great in it for me. Denzel Washington was great though. If you like him it's definitely one to buy.

9:50 pm An exchange between my friend Kalle and I:
Kalle: "I can't wait for Yi to be on the ballot next year. What the hell is the NBA going to do, everyone in China will vote for him regardless of how bad he is."
Me: "They'll have to change his name on the ballot to something like Craig Johnson, then change his picture to Chris "Birdman" Anderson's. It'll be like the witness protection program, that'll keep them from voting for him." Your score at the half: East 74 West 65. I'm taking a break, I'll be back some time in the third.

10:33 pm The game is getting close now, with the score 100-93 with 2 minutes to go in the third. Hopefully this game can stay close so that the fourth is exciting. Regardless, there has been plenty of scoring.

10:55 pm West has tied it up at 112 each. This is now a ball game with 6 minutes to go. The East has slowed down significantly, that is why the West is still in it. That, and the fact that Yao is not on the court. Somewhere in China there are riots going on with burning pictures of David Stern.

11:03 pm 3 minutes left and the West is up by one. Chris Paul has 13 points and 13 assists. I said earlier he could change the game, and he absolutely has. He is even guarding Lebron right now on defense.

11:11 pm Dwayne Wade just got away with a travel, then makes a ridiculously hard bank shot with a foul. If the foul was a touch foul it would have reminded me too much of the 2005 finals to go on.

11:14 pm Final score 134 to 128, East wins it. I got that part right, but the MVP is likely to go to Ray Allen (28 points, most coming in the fourth) or Lebron James 27 points, 9 assists, 8 boards. Just tried to put in my vote for Dwight Howard (16 points 9 boards) only because I predicted him to win, but the voting screen on NBA.com wouldn't let it go through. I blame this on all the Chinese trying to vote for Yi Jianlian for All Star MVP, then realizing he wasn't in the game.

11:18 pm Lebron James wins the MVP. Deservedly so. That's his second All Star MVP and he's only 23. Should be interesting to see if he can break the record for most All Star MVPs, currently held by Bob Pettit with four. My boy Kalle got the winner and the MVP right, so props to him. I am now going to pass out, this was a long game.

~Aaron Jackson

All-Star Games and the People That DO Love Them

I just got done working 12.5 hours at my radio internship and I’m pretty wiped right now. This is just a disclaimer for what you are about to read. Please take that into consideration when you read this. In this time that I was out working today I only missed one thing and that’s NBA All-Star Saturday Night. Prior to this resurgence by the Celtics, this was the only night of the year where I really paid continuous attention to the NBA (or any attention at all really.)

With my schedule tomorrow, it’s allows for me to watch the actual All-Star game it self. I don’t care if I ever watch another NBA All-Star game it’s that simple and really another all-star game period. Until recently when the Red Sox have started getting more than 2 players in the MLB version and the winner gets home field advantage in the World Series (which has proved very beneficial to the Red Sox as well) I could care less about any of the all-star games.

Out of the 3 other major sports (besides Baseball) the only “Gathering of the Greats” that is appointment television for me is the NHL All-Star game. For whatever the reason the most floundering sports league is the most entertaining midseason classic and do you want to know why? Because it highlights the aspect of the sport that people want to see the most, goals. It’s hard to hit home runs in all-star games, because pitching is still good. Nobody hits hard the NFL Pro-Bowl and touch downs get scored all the time.

The reason the NBA All-Star game is perhaps the most boring of them all (the only one who might raise their hand to this is the aforementioned Pro-Bowl) is because nobody is amazed by a professional player hitting an open 3-pointer or dunking the ball completely uncontested. If I wanted to watch either of those things happen, I would just watch the Slam Dunk and 3-Point Competitions the night before and as an added bonus I would get to listen to Charles Barkley’s commentary during it.

There have been great moments in the NBA All-Star game, but the only one that I can really remember from my lifetime is Magic Johnson’s game winning tri-duel against Michael Jordan and Isiah Thomas. The title of this column makes you think it’s going to be a self help group when I guess I did just that. Because nobody loves All-Star games annually, perhaps specific ones from time to time only. What I really realized from this column is I’m bumming more than I thought about missing Charles Barkley on All-Star Saturday Night.

If only I had him in my 5.

Oh well, maybe next year.

~Sterling Pingree

Friday, February 15, 2008

Overseas Premier League proposal a sinking ship.

"This will never happen - at least this will not happen as long as I am the president of FIFA," Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA said when asked about a proposal that would create a new set of 10 games that would be played across the world during the month of January. The proposal would go into effect in the 2010-2011 season, and it will be reviewed by the Football Association council this coming Thursday.

The council released a statement which stated that "the Football Association has listened carefully to the comments made by FIFA President Sepp Blatter regarding the Premier League's proposal for an international round of fixtures...this proposal has generated a high level of debate both domestically and with the international football family. While the Football Association has given full consideration to views expressed by all parties, we must also make our own position on this subject clear." The council went on to state that while they do have reservations about the proposal, they would need more information about it to make a final decision.

One of the main concerns is that England has put in a bid to host the 2018 World Cup, and there have been fears that this proposal will affect their bid in a negative way. The proposal would allow teams in the Premier League to each play an extra game overseas. The proposal has been agreed to in principal by the teams in the Premier League, but they are having trouble getting other countries or soccer's governing bodies to agree with their stance. The meeting next Thursday is the first time that the Football Association's board has been able to fully debate the proposal.

~Aaron Jackson

Photo courtesy of www.viewimages.com, quotes courtesy of www.espn.com.

Breaking Down the Top-12 Drivers, Part 5.

2. Jeff Gordon - 2007 was an excellent season for Jeff Gordon, if you forget the fact that he came within 3 races of winning his fifth championship. Gordon set a new modern era record with 30 top-10s in the 36 races, to go with 6 wins, and finished 77 points shy of the championship. With the exception of taking more risks and being more aggressive with his setups, Jeff Gordon doesn't need to change anything. His driving skill is as good as it's ever been, and perhaps this season he finally wins his fifth title.

1. Jimmie Johnson - Many people didn't think Johnson could best his 2006 season, in which he won 5 races on his way to his first championship. Last season, though, he won twice as many races - 10 - and won his second consecutive title. Johnson has only one goal, and that's to win his third straight title...something only Cale Yarborough has been able to do. However, Johnson can't dwell on that possibility because if it turns into an obsession, it could really hinder his progress, especially in the Chase. Another factor to consider is that in each of his championship seasons, Chad Knaus, crew chief of the 48 team, has been caught "pushing the envelope" (some like to call it cheating). If that were to happen the consequences would be devastating, as NASCAR has already said that this new car is not to be tampered with. If Johnson doesn't win his third straight, though, he'll undoubtedly finish in the top-5.

Aaron Larsen

Super Bowl time mismanagement?

The Patriots went 18-0, than they lost the Super Bowl as all know. There has since been a video put out that question if the time was in fact kept correctly. If this video is correctly it raises a lot of questions. Did the NFL want the Patriots to lose this game, and is that why the clock was miss-managed? Was the game also being fixed by the referees, the New York Giants head coach ran onto the filed during the Giants final drive and touched a referee to make sure he got the timeout. In the rule book however if you touch a referee it is a 15 yard penalty and a fine from the NFL, instead the head coach go no fine or penalty but the time out was granted. I am not using this as the only excuse the Giants still had to make the plays and the Patriots had the game won and blew it, but you do have to take into consideration that an additional 50 seconds does help a team out. The link to the video is below and I suggest watching and making the assumption for yourself.



Thursday, February 14, 2008

Breaking Down the Top-12 Drivers, Part 4.

4. Matt Kenseth - In 2007, Matt Kenseth consistently put together top-10 finishes. Unfortunately for him, those top-10 finishes were usually followed by a few poor finishes. Kenseth won 2 races in 2007, on opposite ends of the schedule (California in February and Homestead-Miami in November), and had a strong second half of the Chase. Longtime friend and crew chief Robbie Reiser will be stepping into a more managerial role within Roush-Fenway Racing, leaving Kenseth with new crew chief Chip Bolin. It may take some time for the new duo to get used to each other and form some chemistry, but I expect Kenseth to make the Chase once again. Kenseth will undoubtedly win 2 or 3 races, but like most everybody else, will have to contend with Hendrick powerhouse.

3. Clint Bowyer - Clint Bowyer was the Cinderella story of 2007, forming great chemistry with crew chief Gil Martin, and competing with the likes of Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon for the Nextel Cup title. This season, Bowyer needs to prove it wasn't a fluke and solidify himself as a potential Cup champion. Bowyer needs to stay comfortable and focused, because with so much competition, the top-10 finishes Bowyer found himself acquiring last season could be harder to find this time around.

Aaron Larsen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Top 10 finishers in Pro Wrestling today part 1

Over the Years there have been many finishers that the audience and fans around the world have loved. They have loved them because of the impact looks and the excitement and rise it gets from the crowd. I decided to pick my top 10 finishing moves in the sport today going from 10 to 1.

#10 - The Styles Clash
The move AJ Stlyes uses from either the top rope or in the ring itself.
Styles Clash now it's number 10 because of the way it looks some people might say it doesn't look appropriate. Besides that i give the move a 5 out of 10 on level of impact.

# 9 - The Spear
The move that Edge uses to take out opponents, many wrestlers have used it thats why its in the top 10

# 8 - The RKO
Randy Orton's move that is much like the Diamond Cutter but is more innovative when used by Orton... considering that he has used it various ways which makes it effect from anywhere.

# 7 - The Choke slam
The chokeslam has been used by almost every single big man in the sport but it's level of impact is the reason why it cannot be left out of the top 10.

# 6 - Sweet chin Music
The move that the heart break kid Shawn Michaels has used for over 20 plus years. It's quicker than a hick up and thats why it made the top 10.
Sweet Chin Music

# 5 - The Swanton Bomb
Rounding out part one of the top 10 is Jeff Hardy's Swanton bomb. The swanton bomb has always gotten the crowd excited like no other move thats why its number 5.

~Derek Gause~

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ad's... taking over sports as we know it?

Is it me or are ad's and major companies taking over the sports world? No im not talking about commercials, im talking about the stadiums and the uniforms. For example, most of the stadiums and arenas in all major professional sports are named after a product or company. It never use to be that way, it feels like yesterday the names actually had some meaning to them. Instead, you have arena's called The Staples Center or The TD Bank North Garden.

Another thing that takes away from sports is that things are advertised on the actual uniforms! It's mostly in other countries for example, the CFL (Canadian Football League) has ads all over their uniforms. For one it's distracting and it takes your focus away from the game being played.Another sport that you see it a lot in is minor league sports, they are notorious for plastering ads on everything.

This may or may not be a big deal to most people but to me it is because of how fast it's growing. I would not be surprised if one day we see and NFL game or an NHL game where the uniforms are covered with sponsors like the NASCAR jumpsuits are. It's a scary thought but with how things are going that might be the future of all major sports.... im going to go ahead and pray to god that it doesn't come to that.

Derek Gause

St. Simmons

It’s no secret that one of the inspirations of this blog is Bill Simmons. His running diary’s are legendary such as my favorites; “The Lost Weekend” and “The Pilgrimage to Lambeau Field” not to mention his book “Now I Can Die in Peace”. Recently however, he has topped even himself with one of the most painful and most substantial columns of all-time.
While attending the Super Bowl with his dad, The Sports Guy realized that he had forgotten his good luck Wes Welker jersey and felt he needed to step up his regalia. He purchased a white Randy Moss jersey from a souvenir stand at University of Phoenix Stadium. The story of the game has been beaten to death at this point and the Sports Guy blamed the jersey for this and said that he would either throw away or burn the jersey.
Here’s where the story gets interesting, fans wrote in droves and wanted the jersey for memorabilia sake. The Sports Guy then decided that if that many people wanted it, why not auction it off to benefit the Jimmy Fund. One of the leading cancer researchers in the country and has the closest charity to team relationship with the Boston Red Sox. As a bonus, the winner also receives a signed copy of his book and has something that is truly rare on eBay right now; FREE SHIPPING!
It only took a matter of a couple hours for the bidding to exceed $1000.00; the auction was set to last a week. As of right now there is still 3 days and 21 hours left on the auction and the high bid is resting squarely on $5000.00. Which raises two questions; how big a celebrity does this mean Bill Simmons is? And, what jersey is selling for more than this?
As of right now the most expensive jersey on eBay other than the aforementioned Simmons/Moss jersey is a signed Walter Payton jersey, the price of which is $4500.00. Slightly behind Moss and Payton are a signed Tom Brady jersey, two Michael Jordan signed jersey’s in one lot and a set of Michael Irvin, Troy Aikmen and Emmitt Smith signed jersey’s. None of these are going for more money than the jersey Bill Simmons wore at Super Bowl XLII. With every good idea there are other people trying to duplicate that same idea, there is a jersey on eBay of Randy Moss that claims to have been purchased at the Super Bowl. The price is $800.00 and nobody has bid on it as of yet. This says maybe Bill Simmons is the man, but I’m not quite sure yet.
He’s got the number two most popular new podcast of 2007 with The B.S. Report and he is still the most searched for name on ESPN.com. Not only that but last November he set the record for longest live chat in ESPN.com history breaking the record previously held by Rob Neyer. He did the chat to raise money for the Jimmy V Foundation.
For a New England/Boston sports fan, he is the quintessential writer of this generation. It is just as common among my friends and me to talk about the latest Simmons column as it is for us to talk about a play from Sports Center or the new Rambo movie for example. His auction for the Jimmy Fund tops it all however, this is somebody using whatever celebrity they have for a dramatic good. I’m enjoying just following along and rooting for this jersey to go higher and higher. Someone will win this jersey, but because of this auction everybody really wins. This is “That” story from the Super Bowl that I can actually get behind, there’s always one. This is it.

~Sterling Pingree

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Wait, that guy weighs how much???

As a kid I was in a tough situation. I loved sports, but my parents didn't. They could care less about how much I scored in a game, how amazing that play I just saw was or how long I just spent working on my foul shot. They decided to try to at least act excited about sports when they were around me. They went as far as to get season tickets to probably the closest thing to professional sports in Maine, UMaine Hockey.
"Hey, would you mind trying on this Bruin's jersey and climbing inside this 6'x4' box for me?"

Now I am not a huge hockey fan by any means, but I enjoyed going to these games with my parents. There was always one thing that bothered me about the sport though. I doubt I am the first person ever to think of this, but as a kid I always wanted to know why they didn't just stick a very fat man in the goal. I mean think about it. It makes so much sense. The goalie would completely block the goal, making it physically impossible to score. Not only will it ensure your team the game but come Christmas time you won't have to hire a Santa for the kids.

Unfortunately for me, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal (that you can read here) that is an excerpt from a book by Todd Gallagher that beat me to carrying this idea out. The excerpt is a great read if you have a couple minutes. What he found out is this: if you are willing to put in the effort it can be done, but the NHL will do whatever it takes to stop it. There are no limits as to the physical size of players in the NHL, but they do have to be able to pass a physical in order to play. The major concern in all this is that the NHL does have pad size restrictions for their goalies. Realistically you cannot put any pads on a player that is big enough to fill the entire goal, meaning you have to find a person that doesn't mind getting hit with 100 mph pucks being shot at them. Definitely some medical concerns there.

When it's all said and done, this seems to be a dream of mine that will never be fulfilled. Even if you can find a goalie that meets the above requirements you would still have to find a team willing to take him on. Most teams would refuse to do this because of the "unwritten" rules of the NHL and it's teams. If a team was to do it they would also have to consider other teams retaliating, whether that be by getting a "bigger" goalie of their own, or attacking the oppositions one.

That is, of course, assuming that there is still an NHL.

~Aaron Jackson

Powe Knows

The Boston Celtics are at halftime with the defending NBA Finals champions, the San Antonio Spurs, and they’re leading. And I’ve heard two great things within this first half of basketball. The first was Bill Walton’s rant about today’s announcers Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy for criticizing Cedric Maxwell and his credentials for having his number retired. The second was a story about Leon Powe, or The story of Leon Powe.
Powe’s father left his family when he was just two years old. His mother was left to raise Leon and his 3 brothers and 2 sisters. When Leon was just 7 years old, one of his younger brothers accidentally burnt down their Southern California home. His family was forced to live in homeless shelters for a few years after that. With his mother working almost literally all day long, Leon was thrust into the role of surrogate parent for his younger siblings. At age 16, his mother passed away from a heart attack. Powe realized from an early age the importance of a good education and studied very hard for the SAT’s and got accepted to one of the best public colleges in the nation, not to mention his home town school, California, Berkley.
Powe was named PAC-10 Freshmen of the year his first year at Cal, but was sideline his sophomore year with a knee injury. He came back in 2006 and was named team MVP as well as being named Second Team All-American. His draft stock fell and he dropped to the second round where he was selected by the Denver Nuggets with the 49th overall pick, but quickly traded to the Boston Celtics.
Right now Leon Powe is receiving major minutes on the team with the NBA’s best record. Yes, I know Kevin Garnett is out with a strained abdominal and Kendrick Perkins is out right now too, but Powe is making the most of this opportunity. On January 29th, against the Miami Heat, Powe scored a career high 25 points, while grabbing 11 rebounds. In the four games since Miami, Powe has scored in double digits three times including hitting a winning put back at the buzzer to beat the Minnesota Timber wolves.
What a trip it’s been for Leon Powe. He’s seen the lows and he’s now seeing the highs. As we approach the all-star break, whatever happens the rest of this resurgent season for the Celtics; Powe knows......what can happen.

~Sterling Pingree

Saturday, February 9, 2008

NFL Player's futures

It’s not all sunny in Hawaii, well it IS always sunny there but not for all of the NFL players there this week for the NFL Pro Bowl game. It never is too early to look ahead and there are many great athletes who had stand out seasons, personal best and NFL record best. Lets look at the home team the New England Patriots, they have two big FA’s this off-season. Asante Samuel has never gotten a big pay check playing under the rookie contract and than being franchised this past season and making a little over 7 million dollars, which may be a lot for you and me but not for NFL players who need this money for a living because most do not have a back up profession after there NFL career ends. "Obviously it's my goal to have financial security for me and my family and my kids,'' Samuel said.”I definitely want to play on a winning team. But I would love to remain a Patriot.'' That looks like the harder of the two signings the other is Randy Moss who broke the NFL TD single season record and had Tom Brady NFL’s golden child say “I go where Moss goes” and since Brady is not going anywhere you can believe Moss will be back in New England uniform under a longer contract next season.

Here is the list of Pro Bowl caliber free agents that after this game Sunday will be in decision decided what team they will be playing for in the 2008-2009 season and the future.

Chicago LB Brendon Ayanbadejo

LB Lance Briggs

Dallas LT Flozell Adams

Dallas S Ken Hamlin
Kansas City DE Jared Allen
Minnesota FB Tony Richardson
New England CB Asante Samuel
New England WR Randy Moss
Pittsburgh G Alan Faneca
Seattle CB Marcus Trufant
Tennessee DT Albert Haynesworth

* on sports?

Why do we continue to watch sports? How can you know what is real anymore, what is true and achieved purely? One of the best pitchers ever is accused of HGH and steroids, a female Olympian who broke records admitted to taking steroids. You had from 1999-2002 5 NFL football players die in the heat due to heart failure caused buy the heat but also found steroids and other lifting drugs in there system. With all of this going on why do people care so much for sports, don’t get me wrong I love sports and it will never change but not everyone was raised with sports in there life so I do not understand why they do not all say forget sports, everything and everyone cheats. Even a team who went 18-1 and went to the Super Bowl was found guilty of cheating by filming the other team’s signals and week one of the season. I was told by a buddy we watch sports to escape our lives. Another told me it’s because everyone love the underdog. I do it because it was what I was raised on and I and passionate about my teams no matter what else is going on in the sporting world. I only hope stuff gets better with sports because of this continues I am curious if people will distance themselves from sports or individual athletes.


Friday, February 8, 2008

Jackson's NBA Power Rankings Part 3

Is this the man that has swayed my first NBA
Power Rankings? (photo courtesy of DIVX Video)

Welcome to the finale of the first ever Jackson's NBA Power Rankings. If you missed one or both of the other two sections you can use the links below to read those.

For teams 30-21 click here. For teams 20-11 click here. For everyone else, let's get started.

10. Denver Nuggets (28-18): This is the one team I cannot figure out. They have a great core of players in Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony and Marcus Camby, but they are extremely streaky. As Iverson is my favorite player I watch them whenever they are on TV, and some nights they look like big time contenders and sometimes they look like an average team. If they are going to get it done they are running on limited time, and need to make a run soon.

9. San Antonio Spurs (29-16): The utterly boring Spurs are doing what they always do. They play average during the regular season, but come post-season time they always have to be considered contenders, if not the favorites. This season they have played much more average than normal, and injuries are taking a toll as well. It seems like this is the year they may need a trade deadline move, and right now nothing seems imminent. I ranked them here because of that and my hatred of Manu Ginobili.

8. Utah Jazz (30-18): I had this Jazz team under the Nuggets just a few days ago, but given their recent winning streak I couldn't justify it. They have a good team, and Kyle Korver could end up being a better deal than Gasol when it is all said and done. The real question I have is this; if you put an average point guard and power forward in this teams offensive system do they automatically become ten times better? Both Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer are looking more like Stockton and Malone every day. Its kind of scary to think about.

7. Orlando Magic (31-18): This team is a great young team with enough talent to win now. They really have impressed me this season with their poise in big games, and absolutely have to be considered contenders. My one concern is the point guard spot. In the playoffs point guards are extremely important, and right now Jameer Nelson doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence. It'll be interesting to see if they get in on the Jason Kidd sweepstakes; it would make sense for them to do it.

6. Dallas Mavericks (31-15): This team seems to be the favorite to land Jason Kidd, and personally I think they are the team that needs him the least. They have a good young point guard in Devin Harris and they have a veteran guard that can play point in Jason Terry. What this team really needs is a little more size. If there was one team that needed Shaq I think this is the one. Dirk may be 7 feet tall, but he is a perimeter player. I just don't see Erick Dampier getting it done during the playoffs.

5. Los Angeles Lakers (30-16): I know that Pau Gasol is a very good player, and I know that the Lakers gave up next to nothing on this current team to get him, but I am not sold on this being a good deal for them. I just think when Andrew Bynum gets back it's going to be tough to spread the ball to everyone that needs it, and although I am no longer a Kobe hater I still don't think he can efficiently get the ball to both guys consistently in the post. Add into that the fact that Lamar Odom is more effective down low and I just don't know if the paint is big enough to allow them all to work. I will say this though; Kobe has absolutely nothing to complain about now. I have been saying for awhile now that this Lakers team has more talent than Jordan ever did around him, and now that isn't just my opinion, it's fact. If he can't get it done with this team then he just can't get it done.

4. New Orleans Hornets (32-14): This is a team that is quickly becoming my favorite team in the league. If it wasn't for Iverson I would already have a Chris Paul jersey. As it is now I am just waiting till Iverson gets done to get one. This is a team that I think has all the pieces to contend now, and for years to come. They have the shooter (Stojakovic), the true center (Chandler), the All-Star forward (David West), and the All-Star guard who takes the team to another level (Paul). I have been listening to a lot of their games lately, and they are a very exciting team to listen to. Just as a reminder, you can listen to the Hornets and every other NBA team live online here. You have to have an NBA.com account, but it's free.

3. Detroit Pistons (34-13): Similar to the Spurs, this team is really, really boring. They do however still have the talent to win it all, and have played great all year. There has been a lot of talk going around that this is the best team out there right now, and while I am not buying into that, I do think they could very easily win it all. The only big concern I have with them is that they have managed to stay major injury free for a few years now, and it seems like it's only a matter of time before one occurs.

2. Boston Celtics (36-8): I just can't put this team any higher. They have the big three, they have some good young role players that can step up and win games and they have the home crowd again to intimidate the opposition. They do still however have Doc Rivers, and because of that I am always wondering when the other shoe falls. When it comes crunch time and they need one play to win it I have no faith that Doc can get it done. I also wonder if the big three can stay healthy. All three players have missed time already because of injury, and although none seem too serious they aren't exactly young guys.

1. Phoenix Suns (33-14): I always say teams need to decide what they are going to do and then go out and do it. That is exactly what the Phoenix Suns did by acquiring Shaq. Look, I don't know if Shaq is the answer, but they needed to take a chance, and I give props to Steve Kerr for having the cajones to do something about it. It's refreshing to see a GM put his neck on the line for something he believes in, and although this trade could turn out to be a disaster at least the attempt was made. This team needed a big defensive presence down low, and Shaq, when healthy, can provide that. Only time will tell if the Suns made the right choice here, but for now I am giving them the benefit of the doubt.

~Aaron Jackson