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