December 10, 2012
Johnny Manziel makes history, wins Heisman Trophy: Texas A&M’s freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel made a bit of history last week by winning the Heisman Trophy. Manziel was the first freshman in the history of college football to win the prestigious award. He didn’t have stats that blew others out of the water (Manziel didn’t even finish in the top 15 in yards, touchdowns, or passer rating), but they were just good enough to put him on top. Also helping Manziel was the fact that Texas A&M had an outstanding season as a team, finishing 10-2 and defeating No. 1 Alabama on the road. He deserved the award, but the real news is that Manziel likely has opened the door for others. Many voters may have been hesitant to give the award to a freshman, but now that it’s already been done, that will make it easier for other underclassmen to win the award.
Manuel Marquez stuns Manny Pacquiao: For a long time, boxing fans have been clamoring for a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight. Talk of that may finally be dead, though, as Pacquiao was stunned by Manuel Marquez last week in dramatic fashion. Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold with one second left in the sixth round, shocking the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mayweather, for one, has to be a bit happy at the turnout. Even if he felt he could beat Pacquiao, there’s always the chance he would lose. Now, Mayweather doesn’t even have to risk hurting his legacy as those calling for him to fight Pacquiao will likely move on to finding the next best opponent.
Seattle Seahawks crush Arizona Cardinals, 58-0: If you had the Seattle Seahawks’ defense on your fantasy football team, you had a good chance of winning your game this week. The Seahawks pitched a shutout against the Cardinals, prevailing 58-0 at home. The 58 points was a franchise record, but the defense was just as impressive. The unit not only stopped Arizona from scoring a single point, but forced eight turnovers. You just don’t see blowouts all that often in the NFL and this was simply a bloodbath.
Sidney Crosby talks Europe: After talks between players and owners broke down again last week, the NHL lockout may be forcing more players overseas. In particular, Sidney Crosby, who is possibly the league’s biggest star, talked about being more open to playing in Europe. That may not sound like a big deal, but you can bet that type of news isn’t what the league wants to hear. Even if the biggest stars are able to leave their temporary teams once a deal to play in the NHL is struck, there’s always the chance that someone could suffer a bad injury. The last thing the league wants in the midst of trying to rebuild a relationship with a disgruntled fanbase is to start a short season without a major star.
Jeremy Lin’s struggles continue: Jeremy Lin’s lackluster year continued with the worst stretch of the season. In three games against the Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks last week, Lin’s offense was virtually non-existent. He scored a total of only 15 points and did it on a dismal 6-21 shooting. A fairly overlooked statistic is that Lin had only two free throw attempts in the three games. Not only is he not scoring, he’s not even being aggressive enough to get to the line. It’s really early but so far, the Jeremy Lin experiment isn’t going all that well in Houston. He isn’t completely falling off the radar as he’s averaging just over six assists and four rebounds a game, but his scoring is down significantly, despite having less talent around him. The expectation was that his numbers should improve even more as he’d be taking more shots, but Lin is actually shooting slightly less. It’s clear he has work to do to even approach the season he had last year.
Los Angeles Dodgers sign Korean star Hyun-jin Ryu: The Dodgers made an offseason splash by signing Korean pitching star Hyun-jin Ryu for six years/$36 million, according to ESPN. In seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, Ryu struck out nearly a batter an inning and had an ERA of 2.80. With the new star, the Dodgers have added to their deep rotation. With Clayton Kershaw and Josh Beckett, the team has an outstanding one-two punch at the top of the rotation. Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly, and Ryu will presumably compete for the remaining three spots. If all are healthy, look for the team to make a move or two in exchange for some more offense.
December 9, 2011
On the eve of crowning the next Heisman Trophy winner this NCAA football season, I know only one thought is crossing your mind: Who would Junior pick as his Heisman winner. It is for that very reason that I have decided to rank my Top 5 Heisman Candidates as though I had a vote, which I most certainly do not. My 5 candidates come from 4 different conferences, making it difficult to compare head-to-head, but that’s what makes it fun. We start with #5:
#5 Robert Griffin III
This might be shocking to a lot of people, as many consider him to be at least in the Top 3of their Heisman candidates. However, while I am not going to pretend I watched every Baylor game, in the games I did watch I was only really impressed with him against Oklahoma, who gave him a lot of help in that game. Regardless, there is no arguing that RG3 had an amazing season, and prior to the season had someone told me a Baylor player would be in my Top 5 I would have laughed. No player had a better passer rating than RG3, who only threw 6 INT all season long. No doubt he deserves to have his name on this list, but I don’t see him any higher than 5. The best part for RG3 is I think he is a player that will only continue to get better on Sundays.
#4 Montee Ball
No one had more yards rushing this season than Montee Ball, who played a huge role in Wisconsin winning the Big Ten this year. Add to that his 32 rushing touchdowns (also tops) and you can see the impact that Montee Ball had for Wisconsin. My 2nd ranked running back on my Heisman list, Ball benefitted from a solid passing attack and also playing in the Big Ten. While he played great in games against ranked opponents, I can’t overlook that both of his 200+ yard games came against Purdue and Illinois. Montee Ball had an impressive season, and was no doubt the best back in the Big Ten this year, but I can’t give him the top spot in the NCAA.
#3 Tyrann Mathieu
On an LSU team that is stacked with talent on defense, one player sticks out above the rest. Nicknamed the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu was the most feared defender in the SEC this year, and would have been in any conference. Even though teams tried to avoid him, he found ways to make plays and help launch LSU to 12-0 and a shot at the National Championship. When he wasn’t terrorizing teams on defense, he was returning punts for touchdowns and helping put points on the board for LSU. His stats (6 Forced Fumbles, 4 Fumble Returns (2TD), 2 INT, 1.5 Sacks, 6.5 TFL, etc.) make him the first legitimate defensive candidate for the Heisman since Charles Woodson. While there is little chance he will come away with the Heisman, he deserves the honor of being mentioned with these players. His impact on the best team in the nation was that large.
#2 Trent Richardson
Trent Richardson proved time and again that even though teams game planned to stop him, it was easier said than done. While his stats don’t jump out at you as much as Montee Ball’s, he played in the SEC and on a team with a struggling passing game. The big reason I put Richardson above Ball for the Heisman Trophy is because if you put Ball on Alabama and Richardson on Wisconsin, I think the Badgers are going to the National Championship. Richardson was the Alabama offense this year and proved to everyone he was a workhorse. How fitting would it be for Richardson to win the Heisman after backing up former Heisman winner Mark Ingram? While he isn’t my pick, I wouldn’t have any complaints if he did win it.
#1 Andrew Luck
I thought it was a terrible idea for Andrew Luck to come back to college last year. He had an amazing college season, won the Orange Bowl, Jim Harbaugh was leaving for the NFL, and he was the undoubted #1 Pick in the NFL Draft. So what did he do? Come back and prove me wrong. Andrew Luck had more pressure on him this year than anyone else in college football. Under a new head coach, he led his team to an 11-1 record and back to a BCS bowl. Barring losing to a very good Oregon team, Andrew Luck would be playing for a National Championship this season. Take Andrew Luck off of this Stanford team and I would be surprised if they make a bowl game at all. I thought Andrew Luck would only fail by coming back this season, yet he found a way to succeed and I am more impressed by that than anything the other players did this year. If I had a vote, he would be my Heisman Trophy winner.
September 24, 2009
Fathead is delighted to share the latest editions to the NFL and Fathead bloggers: Mr. James Laurinaitis, Mr. Jeremy Maclin, and Mr. Darrius Heyward-Bey! Fathead will be having weekly posts from the recently Fathead-ed NFL Rookies and giving fans their first hand experiences in the Pros. Sports Fanatics, Friends and Family can all put themselves in a day in the life of each of these talented athletes. Stop by their blog pages and make your comments, let them know what you think of their new Fathead, encouragement for the next big game, ask them the questions you are most interested in hearing and welcome them to the team.
Check their blogs and images out at: