April 7, 2014
NCAA Men’s Title Game Set: The Final Four got underway on Saturday with UConn knocking off overall No. 1 seed Florida while Kentucky topped Wisconsin. Both games were considered upsets and those outcomes ensured that a low seed will win the NCAA Title game on Monday. The Huskies were a No. 7 seed while the Wildcats were a No. 8. Heading into the tournament, UConn was ranked near the bottom of the Top 25 rankings while Kentucky was unranked. Monday’s title game is just another example of the unpredictability of the NCAAs.
NCAA Women’s Title Features Two Unbeatens: While the men’s basketball final features two unexpected teams, the women’s finale consists of the two teams many expected to be there. 39-0 UConn takes on 37-0 Notre Dame on Tuesday, meaning the champion will finish the season with a spotless record.
Desean Jackson Signs with Washington Redskins: The Philadelphia Eagles cut ties with star wide receiver, Desean Jackson. Last week, the Washington Redskins quickly signed him, sending the talented playmaker to one of the Eagles’ fiercest rivals. The idea that Jackson was let go due to his playing ability would seem to be ridiculous. Not missing a game last year, he set new career-highs in receptions (82), targets (126), and yardage (1,332), while tying his career best of nine touchdowns. The fact that Jackson now joins a division rival makes the move even more difficult to swallow for many Eagles’ fans.
Charity Hockey Brawl: A charity hockey game between New York’s firefighters and policemen included a bench-clearing brawl. Of course it did.
Toews Out: The Chicago Blackhawks are sitting their star Jonathan Toews for the remainder of the regular season. The captain is expected to return for Game 1 of the team’s first playoff series, but head coach Joel Quenneville said he has sustained an upper body injury. Rather than play him now, the team is hoping to get him to 100% for the postseason. Toews has been incredibly reliable and hasn’t missed any games since 2012. While he could probably play, at this point in the year the playoffs are the important thing.
Tennessee Titans Cut Chris Johnson: A few short years ago, Chris Johnson was regarded as the best running back in the NFL. On Friday, though, the Tennessee Titans released him, making him a free agent. Johnson has never rushed for fewer than 1,000 yard in the league and after his 2009 season when he racked up 2,006 yards and 14 touchdowns, he was setting the NFL on fire. Johnson hasn’t returned to that dominant form, but has still been a very good rusher, averaging nearly 1,200 yards per season. Johnson is finding the end zone less these days, but at only 28, should find plenty of suitors interested in adding him to their roster.
Masahiro Tanaka Shines in Debut: It’s only been one game, but so far the Yankees’ new starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka looks like a keeper. Tanaka scattered six hits over seven innings, allowing only two earned runs in his debut against the Toronto Blue Jays. He also recorded eight strikeouts and after earning the win, the Japanese pitcher is off to a solid start to his career in Major League Baseball.
Arian Foster Fail: A woman met a man that she thought was Arian Foster and after having her picture taken with him, tweeted it to Foster, saying she was happy to meet him. Only one problem – it wasn’t actually him, as Foster himself had to point out in replying to her. Oops.
Kevin Durant Tops MJ: Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant passed Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time list of most consecutive 25-point performances. Durant dropped 38 points in a loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday to pass Jordan with his 41st consecutive game scoring at least 25 points. The forward now sits in third place on the all-time list and while he can catch Oscar Robertson, who accomplished the feat in 46 straight contests, he’s unlikely to pass the record holder. Wilt Chamberlain stands atop the list after scoring at least 25 points in a whopping 80 games.
July 30, 2013
Alfonso Soriano returns to Yankees: In desperate need of offense with so many injuries to key players, the New York Yankees turned to a familiar face, trading for outfielder Alfonso Soriano. Soriano began his career in New York as a second baseman before later playing for the Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, and most recently, the Chicago Cubs. The outfielder is past his prime, but a recent hot streak was proof that he can still provide a surge of power. After hitting only nine home runs in the first three months of the season, Soriano has hit nearly that many already in July with eight this month heading into this past weekend.
Jeremy Maclin out for year: NFL training camps are underway and that can only mean one thing – injuries won’t be far behind. The biggest casualty thus far may be the Eagles’ young wide receiver, Jeremy Maclin, who is out for the season after tearing an ACL in a practice. With perhaps their best wideout injured, Philadelphia’s season gets off to a rocky start. The team still has DeSean Jackson at receiver, but Maclin’s loss gives rookie head coach Chip Kelly less to work with on offense – his area of expertise.
Jaromir Jagr signs with New Jersey Devils: Even at 41, Jaromir Jagr isn’t ready to hang up his skates. After playing for the Boston Bruins and Dallas Stars last year, the winger has signed a one-year $2 million deal with the New Jersey Devils. Jagr isn’t the player he once was, but still has a little left in the tank after scoring 35 points (including 16 goals in 45 games this past season). Plus, with Ilya Kovalchuk leaving New Jersey to play in Russia, the team was in desperate need of scoring. Jagr ranks eighth all-time among NHL players in scoring and his 681 career goals are good for tenth overall.
Lebron > Kobe in ESPN poll: When it comes to the most popular player in the NBA, LeBron James passed up Kobe Bryant for the first time in a few years according to an ESPN poll. Bryant had beaten out James the past few seasons, but after his second consecutive title, James overtook him last week. Really, it’s just proof that time heals all wounds. Immediately after the much-scrutinized “Decision” broadcast where James announced his intention to leave Cleveland for Miami, he took a huge publicity hit and was even viewed as a villain by many. But after a few years with the Heat and winning a couple of rings, liking LeBron is once again okay.
101 Russian women set a skydiving record: Yeah, I’m not even going to try to add anything to this. Feel free to watch for yourself.
Matt Garza pickup costly for Rangers: Matt Garza may not quite be a household name, but the pitcher could be the best starter that gets dealt before baseball’s trade deadline this season. At 7-1 with a 2.87 ERA, Garza is having a career year and was heavily desired by contenders before he was traded to the Texas Rangers by the Cubs. Garza didn’t come cheap, however. He cost Texas two of their top prospects entering this season, pitcher Justin Grimm and first baseman Mike Olt. Both have struggled to a degree this season, but Grimm has seven wins with the major league team while Olt has 12 home runs in the minors. The trade also cost the Rangers C.J. Edwards, a flamethrower who has dominated Rookie League and Class A in the minors the past two seasons. Also, keep in mind that Garza could only be a rental player as he’s due to become a free agent after this year. All things considered, the Rangers need to not only make the playoffs, but maybe even reach a World Series for this trade to come out in their favor.
Tim Hudson injury hurts Braves: Atlanta Braves pitcher Tim Hudson suffered a devastating injury last week when his ankle was broken by the Mets’ Eric Young, Jr. in a collision at first base. The injury was a big one as the veteran will miss the rest of the season. That hurts Atlanta’s playoff chances at least a bit and the team is already looking around for a potential trade. The Braves hold a comfortable lead in the NL East, but should the team hold on for a playoff spot, Hudson’s veteran presence will be sorely missed in the postseason.
Matt Harvey likely to end season early: Similar to what the Washington Nationals did with prized young pitcher Stephen Strasburg, the New York Mets are planning to keep Matt Harvey on a limit for the rest of the year. Mets manager Terry Collins has said Harvey has about ten more starts left instead of the 13 or so he may reach if he continued to pitch every fifth day. While similar to Strasburg’s situation, though, it’s a bit different considering the Mets aren’t likely to be in the playoffs as the Nats were. One thing that will be interesting, though, is to see if the loss in starts costs Harvey when it comes to the Cy Young voting.
January 5, 2012
Another year has come and gone so without looking back to see how wrong my NFL predictions were last year, its time to make some 2012 predictions that will probably be even worse.
The 2012 Super Bowl will fall just short of being the highest scoring Super Bowl in history. Packers, Saints or Patriots. One of these teams will be in the Super Bowl and score at least 30 points. Of course, they are just as likely to give up at least 30 points as well. (The San Francisco 49ers beat the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX in the highest scoring game to date.)
The Madden curse strikes again. This time it’s Tim Tebow on the cover. Not only will the Denver Broncos draft a quarterback to compete with Tebow but they will bring in a veteran free agent as well. (Best available…Kyle Orton). Tebow remains the starter but his turnover trouble continues and a group of Bronco fans pool their money to open a bakery and sell pastries filled with orange and blue fruit called “Timovers”.
The Indianapolis Colts take Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft and the Peyton Manning trade talks begin to swirl. The Colts field offers for both players and decide not to make a deal hoping to turn one terrible season without their star into a decade of contending for championships like the San Antonio Spurs did when David Robinson’s injury brought Tim Duncan to San Antonio.
A team that is at home for the playoffs this season will play in a conference championship game next season. And that team will come from the NFC East. The Cowboys will finally learn from their mistakes and make a playoff run. They will fall a game short of the Super Bowl though as they lose on the road against a better team.
After a superstar quarterback goes down for the season due to injury, the NFL implements a mid-season rule change to protect the signal-callers. Defenders are now required to remover their helmets before touching a quarterback. This rule is removed after just three weeks when Tom Brady trips over a defenders helmet and scrapes his knee.
Jacksonville, tired of the moving to Los Angeles rumors, tells the NFL to start an expansion team in California because the Jaguars have applied for admittance into the SEC. The NCAA can’t keep up with all of the realignment and allows the move. Officials say that it was an innocent mistake and they thought it was Jacksonville State joining the SEC. They say “What’s done is done. We can’t undo this. Besides, they won’t beat LSU or Alabama.”
The number of players saying “thanks, but no thanks” to the Pro Bowl, along with dwindling ratings leads to a major change. The NFL moves the game to Europe and it is played on the morning of Super Bowl Sunday. The games are broadcast as a double-header, which reduces the Super Bowl pre-game coverage to just six hours.
I will return to fantasy glory and win my league. No more trusting Michael Vick and Desean Jackson. No more waiting until the late rounds to draft a tight end. No more losing to a team with only one victory on the season when a playoff berth is on the line. No more losing by less than a point because the Raiders can’t cover Calvin Johnson. Sorry. I’ve been told I’m a sore loser.
August 15, 2011
When the final buzzer sounded on the 2010-11 NBA season, basketball fans across the globe celebrated wildly as the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in six games. Sure there was a contingent out there (particularly in Miami) that felt differently, but the majority of NBA fans were happy to see the underdog Mavericks win the title.
The Philadelphia Eagles aren’t quite as hated, though – mostly because football is not nearly the individualized sport that basketball is. In basketball, much of the game is broken down to one-on-one matchups and football is more of a team sport. That fact makes it far easier for a single player to dominate a game. However, there are some parallels that can be drawn between the Heat and the Eagles.
Chief amongst them is the fact that both franchises have a polarizing figure leading the way. Miami has Lebron James and Philadelphia now leans on quarterback Michael Vick. Vick became a controversial figure after being jailed for his involvement in a dogfighting ring and while he’s slowly making his way back into the good graces of fans, there is still a large segment of the population that simply won’t root for him. James, of course, did not end up in jail, but his television special in which he announced he was going to the Miami Heat made him unpopular over the past season.
The main reason the Eagles may be hated on a Heat-esqe level is because of the large amount of stars they’ve added since last season. Things officially kicked off when they traded backup quarterback Kevin Kolb to the Arizona Cardinals for cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Rodgers-Cromartie is a player that can help the Eagles’ secondary right away and in trading Kolb, they let go of a player who likely wouldn’t have seen much time on the field (barring an injury to Michael Vick, of course). Another splash was made when they signed free agent cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha – perhaps the top defensive player on the market. The Eagles then followed that up with several more signings, highlighted by the pickups of 1,000-yard rusher Ronnie Brown and 1,000-yard receiver Steve Smith. Brown will backup Lesean McCoy and Smith will be the No. 2 receiver behind Desean Jackson, but both could play integral roles on this year’s team.
Another wildcard in the offseason was the acquisition of quarterback Vince Young. Young, once considered one of the brightest young quarterbacks in the NFL, certainly isn’t expected to start. But should the scrambling Vick become injured, he gives Philadelphia an experienced backup who will have plenty of weapons at his disposal should he need to step in and play. Young has struggled over the past few seasons playing for the Tennessee Titans, but he didn’t have the talent around him that he does now. Even if Vick doesn’t get hurt over the course of the season, Young could also play a part in some trick plays that would utilize a bit of his extreme athleticism.
There’s also the fact that Philly fans are, well, Philly fans. They have a strong reputation for being a bit too hard-nosed and are often the derision of other sports fans. This is, after all, the fanbase that once booed Santa Claus. Santa Claus!
Really, when you think about it, the Eagles aren’t so much Miami Heat as they are New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox. They didn’t round up three of the best players in the league, but they did manage to secure about a half dozen key pickups this offseason that will greatly strengthen the team at various positions. Either way, though, the Eagles will face lots of opposition from fans outside of Philadelphia.
March 18, 2011
Just for fun, we put together a Fathead NCAA Tournament bracket based completely on the March sales (so far) of the schools in the tournament. For every match-up, we selected the team with the higher Fathead sales for the month. And, in the spirit of full disclosure, I will tell you that we don’t carry product for every school that made the tournament — yet.
Based on our model, here is our Sweet Sixteen. You’ll notice that we’ve already got a few wrong…
1. Ohio State
4. Penn State
4. Notre Dame
I’ll update next week with our Final Four. And now, the best selling Fatheads of the last week…
The top selling Fatheads of the last 7 days (Mar. 11 – Mar. 17):
3. Derrick Rose
4. Kobe Bryant