You know when I started this website a little over a year ago, I really didn’t know where I wanted to go with it. over the last year I have tweaked, tinkered and fumbled my way across the site trying to look into its future, and it was cloudy. Now, however I have a feel for it, I have goals for it, and it is all coming into focus. The problem I have is that I am a procrastinator, and not just a mild one, but a big one. So I have committed myself to focusing on this, my baby, and making it the best site I can make it. Whether it be through my posts, or the content of the site itself. It ill grow, it will evolve, and there will be more non-sports content in my posts and on the pages within going forward. Since I am an aspiring “Internet entrepreneur” I will have more of that type of content in the future, some of it will be useful, some of it will be garbage I am sure, but either way, as they say nothing ventured, nothing gained. I wont move away from my sports roots, and 75% of the content will in fact be sports related, but I am expanding my horizons a bit, and will provide more varied content, and the site will be content driven and not just some schmuck posting. My posts will not be PC a lot of the time, and they will at times be controversial. When I get passionate about a subject, I hold nothing back, so buckle up, its going to be a fun ride.
So here we are, 4 days (as of Wednesday) from the Super Bowl, the teams are set, the weather is gonna suck, the media is gonna hype it to death, the parties are planned, the food has been decided upon, and the greatest spectacle in sport is about to happen. Well, I for one, don’t buy into the hype, could care less what color underwear the players are wearing on media day, and for what it’s worth, on a personal level, I could care less who wins the game, just that I hope it is a good game, and that no one gets hurt. I am a fan of the game of Professional Football, and to make it clear, one of the questions asked on Media Day was actually this.. Shaun Phillips was asked by a reporter if he considered this game a “must win” game. other questions thrown out there: Would you rather see Andy Reid or Mar Mangino in a thong; (To Peyton Manning) will you be making an appearance on SNL this week; “Who has the smelliest farts in the locker room. This is but a sampling of what was ACTUALLY asked at Media Day. I’m not making this up, these are actual questions (look them up). For fuck’s sake, shoot me now….
Here I sit in my one bedroom apartment, a fan of the game, wishing at some point I could actually be a sports journalist some day, wishing my writing was better, regretting I did not pursue it sooner in life, and some yahoo that actually is being PAID to be there asks a professional athlete their opinion on how someone’s FART smells? Are you kidding me? I swear when it comes to THIS game, they will give credentials to ANYONE. No one can come up with a decent question? “Excuse me Mr. Sherman, how will you approach this game knowing that Peyton Manning has burned nearly every defense he has faced this year?’’ Excuse me Mr. Manning, how will you approach this game knowing that this is the best secondary in the NFL?” Coach Fox, how do you game plan against such an unpredictable QB as Russell Wilson?” you know… NORMAL questions. something to build an article on, create a story, you know.. actual journalism..
I’m so sick of it.. armatures, hacks, people that have never stepped foot on a football field or covered an NFL game in their entire career, this is what we get, and it seems that it gets worse each and every year. The NFL allows his crap, the players allow this crap, and most of all, the MEDIA allows this crap. What should be celebrated as the best and most exciting game of the year is reduced to a few sound bytes, spewed by comic numbskulls and flat out idiots. By the way.. For anyone out there that cares.. I’m available for media day next year.. If you need a correspondent that wont make an ass out of themselves… I’m your guy… **sigh**
Well, it’s a new year and we are at a point in the sports calendar where we have the Super Bowl coming up in two weeks, the Olympics will begin early next month, MLB Spring Training is right around the corner, and the NASCAR season is preparing for a new season in less than a month. Recent events in the NHL, MLB Signings, as well as NCAA basketball also have garnered a lot of attention. Things are really happening and Sports in the USA is in full fast mode. First let me say, I love this time of year, cause there is so much going on, and it takes all I can muster to keep up with it all. Lets get this going and start from the top..
The Super Bowl is set, and we have the Denver Broncos facing the Seattle Seahawks. The number one offense in the NFL (Denver) vs. the number one defense in the NFL (Seattle). this is what we wanted right? After all, both teams were the #1 seed in their respective conferences, Peyton Manning is the NFL poster boy, coming back from serious neck surgery to break season records in yards and TD’s, then you have the Seahawks, with their suffocating defense, world class secondary, and the new prototype QB in Russell Wilson, the “12th man” and the trash talk of Richard Sherman after the NFC Championship. What else could we ask for, it is a media day wet dream, and there promises to be plenty of sound bites that will not disappoint us. I am looking forward to this game I think more than any Super Bowl in a long time. As for Peyton, he has proven that he is healthy, he has a chip on his shoulder and he wants that second ring, after all, he cant retire knowing that his little brother has more than he does, right? As for the Seahawks, I will say this, they have swagger, the have talent, and they have the momentum on their side going into this game. The only question is will they be able to stop Denver’s offense, they have a better receiver corps than any other team the Seahawks have faced in the playoffs, tall, strong receivers, clutch performers, and maybe more important, players that have been there. Seattle has a team with NO Super Bowl experience, as none of their players have been there before. Richard Sherman can trash talk and demand respect all he likes, but until he stops the likes of Demaryius Thomas and Wes Welker, all it s is talk. Ill be writing more about this game as it gets closer to the game, but for now, we’ll move on to other sports
The Olympics begin Feb 6 in Sochi, an all the hype leading up to these games have been focused more on the politics, rather than the games themselves. Never mind that Lindsey Vonn is not able to participate due to injury, never mind that the Jamaican Bobsled team is back, and despite the fact that biathlete Tracy Barnes sacrificed her dream and gave up her Olympic spot to her twin sister Lanny due to Lanny being unable to attempt to qualify due to illness, all this is about is politics, right? No, the Olympics is supposed to be about the athletes, and the drama that unfolds as we watch them perform and live out their dream. To be honest it has soured me on this years Olympics and the respective governments involved have done nothing but make it a fiasco. Yes I am concerned about security, yes I am concerned about athletes safety, but most of all I am more concerned about how the US Hockey team will do against the loaded rosters of the Canadian and Swiss teams. Lets keep Politics out of the Olympics please, and just enjoy the games.
In NASCAR, Speed Weeks begin in Daytona on Feb 15, with the “Sprint Unlimited” race at Daytona International Speedway, followed by the twin 125’s to determine the pole for the 500, then the granddaddy of them all, the Daytona 500 on Feb 23 at 1:00pm Eastern. the stories I am following leading up to this season, are of course, the return of the #3 car to Sprint Cup, the proposed rule changes to the chase, and the stacked stable of Stewart-Haas Racing (Harvick, Patrick, Kurt Busch, and of course the man himself Tony Stewart). The return of the 3 will be the first time we see that car in a Sprint Race since the death of Dale Earnhardt 13 years ago. For me it will be surreal, as I was an Earnhardt fan, and knowing that Richard Childress will trust the legacy of that car to his grandson Austin Dillon makes me feel a bit better. the proposed changes to the Chase are interesting to say the least. First, expanding the field to 16, then every 3 races into the chase, dropping off the bottom 4 drivers in the chase standings, culminating with just 4 remaining at the last race in Homestead, resetting the points, and the winner takes all in the final race. None of this is official of course, but NASCAR will be making an announcement later in the month as we get closer to Speed Weeks. Personally I like the format, since it will provide more excitement at the end of the season, and making the need to perform after getting into the chase that much more important, not only that but in order to even qualify for the chase, you have to have at last one race victory during the season. if there are more than 16 drivers that have won a race then the last spots will be chosen based on points at that point. Interesting proposition in my eyes, looking forward to seeing what NASCAR plans to do. As for Stewart-Haas racing, they have 4 o the most popular drivers in NASCAR driving for them. Stewart returns behind the wheel after suffering a broken leg last year, Danika won the Pole at Daytona last year and did pretty good her first full time season in Sprint last year. Kurt Busch and Kevin Harvick are both great drivers, popular with the fans, and promise to bring plenty of top 5’s and wins to the table.
To wrap this long winded article up, I will touch on a few different subjects. John Tortorella made his case for the most hated coach in the NHL with his attempted attack on Flames coach Bob Hartley that got him a 15 game suspension. the attack game after Calgary fielded a loaded roster at the start of the game with “goons” or all defensemen in order to instigate a game opening brawl that resulted in 162 penalty minutes in the first 2 SECONDS of the game between Vancouver and Calgary. While Torts got 15 days, Hartley got a $25k fine, despite being the one that instigated the whole thing. Yes Torts should have not done what he did, going to the Flames Locker room area and lunging at Hartley, but the resulting penalties seem a little lopsided in my eyes. MLB Pitchers and catchers will be reporting in less than a month, and then spring training is right around the corner, after an offseason filled with major signings, (215 mil for Kershaw? really?) A-Rod talk, Hall of fame Politics, as well as the bidding war for Tanaka, I’m ready to just sit back and watch some baseball. Finally, can someone please tell the AD at Ohio State that when both your Football and Basketball teams are ranked in the top ten, they are supposed to PLAY that way. Ohio State has to be the most over hyped, overrated, and underperforming program in the NCAA the Buckeyes just lost their 4th game in a row to a lesser opponent last night and for the record, I’m about ready to give up on them altogether. What a fiasco,disaster, and embarrassment to the University both of these squads are. Hey Buckeye fans, you might want to push for a move to the AAC where your conference schedule include the likes of South Florida and Temple. You may actually get to win a few games that way, and the expectations of the program wont be as great, and we can finally say that the Buckeyes are who we thought they were, overrated.
Thanks for reading…
Get in the game….or sit on the bench….It’s up to you
The Sports Nerd
I have been watching baseball since I was a kid, I played little league, went to a lot of games over my lifetime, I grew up watching players like Reggie Jackson, Ken Griffey, Pete Rose, and Cal Ripken Jr. Love the game, love the strategy, the movement of a curveball or a slider when it totally stops a hitter in his tracks, making him look like an idiot. I love the long ball, and got caught up in the excitement of 1998 when McGuire and Sosa raced for the HR title, loved watching Randy Johnson intimidate a .400 hitter with his 102 mph fastball. Today’s game is different than it was just 10 years ago, and the game then was different than how it was in the 80’s just like the game was different in the 80’s than it was in the 50’s and 60’s. However, what has not changed is the process to elect members to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and that, for me is something that should be changed. Too many times we have seen that deserving people do not get in, and too many times we have seen people that maybe should not have gotten in at the time get in on the first ballot. This is true for both the Baseball hall of fame and the NFL Hall of fame, the process to elect its members has become a “cool kids club” and those given the power to elect its members have used that power to set their agenda, and that my friends is wrong. Players should be judged for what they did on the field, not what kind of person they were, and the vote certainly should not be used to be your platform for some bullshit political agenda because some player was rude to you during an interview in 1986 when he was in college. Enshrinement in the Hall of Fame is a reward for a career of success, for being the best in your sport, and it is for being recognized by your peers for your achievements during your career.
Yesterday the BBWAA selected the 2014 class of Hall of Famers, and after all the votes were tallied 3 players got in, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and Frank Thomas. These three will join managers Bobby Cox, tony LaRussa, and Joe Torre as fellow enshrinees in July when they are placed in Cooperstown and will forever be known as Hall of Fame players/managers. While in my opinion, Maddox should have been a unanimous decision, 16 people left him off their ballot, and while Craig Biggio is very deserving of being in the Hall and in fact should have probably gone in last year, he was 2 votes shy of being voted in. 2 votes!! think about that for a minute… if 2 people had ignored their agenda, Craig Biggio would have been a Hall of famer. One guy voted for jus one player.. Jack Morris, another voter left his ballot BLANK. so if they would have just checked one more box, Biggio is in. I read three articles regarding this on SB Nation this morning that fully explains the process, the snubs and how the MBWAA has become a sham, a joke, and a platform for those that feel they are bigger than the game. These articles can be found here here and here . please read them and post your feelings about this process below. These writers are much more talented than I am and can project much better than I the flawed process of how the voting is done.
Today the NFL will announce its 15 modern-day finalists for the class of 2014 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. These finalists will join 2 seniors nominees Ray Guy and Claude Humphrey. these finalists will be whittled down to the final choices at the final selection at the time of the Super Bowl and could end up being as much as 7 enshrinees to the Hall. The selection committee consists of one media rep from each of the 32 NFL cities, with NY getting 2 reps, one for each team. the rest of the committee has one member of the PFWA and 13 at large members. Once again this process is flawed as well and I have voiced my opinion on this process during my show countless times. It all boils down to politics, popularity, and people who have no business selecting the enshrinees any more than I do, since I never played the game nor am I a sportswriter that covers the game. the process is not perfect, and we all know that, but there has to be a better way to select these legends, while at the same time, honoring our past, the history of the game, and paying respect to those that put their bodies on the line week after week to play a game they love.
This past weekend began the NFL Playoffs and what an exciting weekend it was. 3 games that came down to the wire and one game that saw a perennial one and done team once again shoot themselves in the foot. I did not get to see the games live on Saturday as my offline job got in the way, but looking at the highlights and the replays, I really enjoyed the drama. My recap is below and let me just say that if this weekend is any indication of how the playoffs are going to be leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb 6, the excitement and drama will continue….
Kansas City at Indianapolis –
Andrew Luck finally showed that his magic was not limited to just the regular season. Indy overcame a 38-10 deficit early in the 3rd quarter to bring the Colts all the way back to win 45-44 on Saturday, completing the second largest comeback win in NFL history. Luck threw for 3 interceptions and looked like he was going to give the game to KC, but he started to bring the Colts back early in the 3rd quarter after the Chiefs jumped out to that 38-10 lead. The defense stepped up to the plate in the second half only allowing 6 more points after Luck threw an INT on the opening series of the second half, putting the ball at the Indy 18 and the Chiefs scoring a TD to put the Chiefs up 38-10. The other star of this game was T Y Hilton, finishing with 13 catches for 224 yards, including a 64 yard TD that Luck placed perfectly over two defenders that put the Colts up for good in the 4th quarter. Hilton has been big for the Colts this year, especially after Reggie Wayne went down, becoming the #1 target for Luck for most of the season. The Chiefs had to overcome adversity from almost the start of the game when Jamaal Charles went down to injury, suffering a concussion and did not return after the 6th play of the game. After that they lost at least three more players to injury, including WR Donnie Avery and CB Brandon Flowers. Despite being up by 28 points the injuries eventually caught up with them and they could not hold on to the lead. Don’t get me wrong, this win could not have been possible had the Colts defense not been able to shut the Chiefs offense down in the second half, but this win belongs to Luck and the offense for never giving up and staying focused on their game plan and being able to come up with big plays when they were needed. On the Kansas City Plus side, Alex smith was brilliant, throwing for for 378 yards and four touchdowns. The only blemish on his stat line was a forced fumble by Robert Mathis that was the turnaround point for the colts, allowing them to start their comeback and get back in the game. The teams combined for 1,049 yards to set an NFL postseason record and the combined 89 points was the third largest in postseason history. The Colts now go to New England to face the Patriots, and they may need Luck to come up with some more magic if they are to advance tot he AFC Championship.
New Orleans at Philadelphia –
The New Orleans Saints had never won a road playoff game, they cant win away from the Superdome, the New Orleans Saints cant win in cold weather. The first statement is fact, the last two statements were what the pundits and experts said leading up to this game, and up to yesterday, the Saints had not proved any of them wrong. In a game that started out slow, with just 13 points in the first half, exploded in the second half culminating with a Shayne Graham 32 yard field goal as time expired giving the Saints 26-24 victory at Lincoln Financial field in Philadelphia. The Eagles rallied from a 13-point deficit with less than 5 minutes to play but a Darren Sproles 39 yard KO return and a horse collar tackle penalty tacked on to that put the Saints in position to get the ball in FG range at the Philly 48 yard line. The Saints ran the clock with the running game and Graham hit the game winner as time expired. The saints Defense, led by Coordinator Rob Ryan, held the most prolific run offense in the NFL to just a total of 80 yards. The Saints, in turn, put up 185 yards on the ground, even without Pierre Thomas on the roster due to injury. The Eagles, after going 4-12 last year under Andy Reid, followed that up with a final record of 10*-7 in Chip Kelly’s first year as head coach. They will get a lot of weapons back next year and show no signs of relinquishing the division crown next year and in my opinion, are the favorite to win that division in 2014. The Saints now have to travel to familiar territory when they face the Seahawks next week in the most unfriendly stadium in the NFL. They will have to be at their best, and after getting blown out of the building on Dec 2, 34-7.
San Diego at Cincinnati –
It was cold, but no where near the cold of that famous 1982 playoff game in which the Bengals beat the Chargers in the AFC Championship. Today would not be the Bengals day. Andy Dalton once again proved that he may not be the answer to the quarterback position in Cincinnati due to imploding over and over again. The Bengals QB threw 2 costly picks in the second half and the chargers got hot in the second half with a 20-0 run beating the Bengals 27-10 at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. After this loss there are a lot of questions remaining for the Bengals the first and foremost question is the future of Andy Dalton. Is he the QB this franchise needs? Is he going to be able to overcome his demons and get the Bengals over the hump? They haven’t won a playoff game in 23 years and are 0-5 under Marvin Lewis as the head coach which leads to the other question facing the Bengals in the off season. Is Lewis the coach that the Bengals need to get them to the next level? It seems a lot like the situation the Bucs faced in 2001 while under Tony Dungy. Dungy, while fielding the NFL’s top defense, could not field an offense to score points and get through to the Super bowl. They had a series of losses, particularly to the Eagles, and after the NFC Championship in 2001, the Bucs fired Tony and brought in Jon Gruden, and the rest, as we all know was history. The Bucs lost to the Eagles during the regular season the next year but came back for the NFC Championship once again and finally got the monkey off their back and beat the Eagles and would go on to win the Super bowl. My point is this, the Bengals are a good team, with great players, and a good coaching staff. They have not ben able to win in the playoffs, and despite not being a fan of Mike Brown, the owner of the Bengals, son of legend Paul Brown, he has to be as frustrated as the fans that his franchise seems to fail time and time again when it matters most. The Bengals were undefeated at home this year, and went 4-0 against playoff teams this season, but once again, when all the stars seemed aligned for them in this game, the fall flat once again and are one and done. A lot of questions for this team in the off season. As for San Diego, they will now travel to Denver to face the Broncos, a team they beat in Denver a few weeks ago, surprising everyone. The Chargers are riding on a 5-game winning streak. They were 5-7 on December 1, but here they are, in the divisional round, playing to go tot he NFC Championship. I really believe the Broncos were rooting for Cincinnati today because I don’t think they wanted to face San Diego, a team that knows them well, and has come close to sweeping the Broncos, if not for an epic comeback by Peyton Manning in San Diego earlier this season. It will be a great game, it will be cold, and Rivers is getting hot at the right time. This is by no means a done deal in Denver, San Diego will give the Broncos all they can handle.
San Francisco at Green Bay –
- It was cold, but it didn’t matter to the San Francisco 49ers as they went to the “frozen tundra” of Lambeau Field and beat the Green Bay Packers with a last second 33 yard field goal by 38 year old Phil Dawson for a 23-20 win, sending them on to the divisional round against the Carolina Panthers next Sunday. Colin Kaepernick once again showed why he is clutch, throwing for 227 yards and a TD while also running for 98 yards, the most ground yards for any player from all teams that played this weekend. the play by Kaepernick culminated when while at the Packer 38, 3rd and 8 with 1:13 left in the game, Kaepernick escaped the pocket and ran down the sidelines for an 11 yard gain, a first down and putting San Francisco into FG range for the winning kick. This is their 3rd straight win against the Packers in both regular season and playoff games, the first two at Candlestick Park, while this last one coming on the Packers home field. the 9ers took advantage of a depleted secondary and Kaepernick was just brilliant showing poise and leadership in the victory. Though they lost, the Packers seemed down and out when Aaron Rogers went down to a broken collar bone earlier in the season. he missed 7 games while out and the Packers went 2-5-1 in that span, including the game he got hurt, but still managed to win the division after Rogers came back against the Bears for the division clinching game. one has to wonder what the Packers season might have been had Rogers not gone down, but the what-ifs and the what could have beens mean nothing when you are sitting home in January, your season over. San Francisco, on the other hand seems ready for another run at a championship with the return of Michael Crabtree, who was not in the game earlier this year against the Panthers in San Francisco, they have all of their weapons in place and are riding the momentum train. I feel this game will be different than the last, it will be a defensive battle yes, since these two teams have two of the best defenses in the NFL, if not the two best, but with the return of Crabtree, and the return of form of Kaepernick, the 9ers have the look of being prepared to pay back the panthers for that earlier loss at home, and seem on a collision course with Seattle for the NFC championship. Seattle has to get by the Saints, but the last time they played new Orleans the sent them home with their tails between their legs with a aforementioned 34-7 drubbing. It is tough to beat Seattle at home, the have only lost one game since Russell Wilson has been QB, and that was a week 16 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. If they get past Carolina, I am quite sure they will be watching that AZ film to see how it’s done, as will Carolina if they win.
thanks for reading, and remember the Sports Nerds are on the air for a live Spreecast every Sunday night at 7:30. with the NFL season winding down, and Super Bowl XLVIII right around the corner, look for us to get a bit creative for the 90 minutes we are on the air each week. Just cause football season ends, we don’t stop and we will continue as normal. there are plenty of sports to talk about, and we will try and keep it entertaining and enjoyable for all.
Have a great week everyone!!
Get in the game… Or sit on the bench….. it’s up to you
Scott “The Sports Nerd” Wright