The Sports Nerd Top 5 2/8/2014

The following Stories are what I feel are the most interesting stories of the past day, and in one case, the past week. These are my opinion and if you don’t feel that I have addressed a top story, well..  Get your own Blog..  These are the most interesting stories to ME in the last 24 hours..  err.. sans 1 story that I promised to write about cause…  well..  I’m an idiot…lol

 

A-Rod Drops Lawsuit against MLB, the MLBPA, and Bud Selig…

After getting his suspension reduced to 162 games from the original 211 handed down last season, Alex Rodriguez, the poster child for everything that’s wrong with baseball, he has decided to drop his lawsuits, take his medicine, and sit out the entire 2014 season.  Thank you Alex, you have just saved the entire world a plethora of nonsense, innuendo, false accusations, and not to mention, embarrassing yourself on the national stage… oh wait..  that’s what happens when you actually PLAY.  Now maybe we can all get back to enjoying the game, and not have A-Fraud distract us all with his silly antics.  Oh, right, that’s again when you actually play..  Dang..  I know there’s an analogy for this out there somewhere.. 

 

Sochi Olympics Begin.. Controversies Continue…

Well, let the games begin.  As of this writing the first Olympic Gold has gone to an American..  Sage Kotsenburg in the men’s snowboard slope style, whatever the heck that is..  The games are being hosted by Russia, a country that is still technologically lost in the 90’s and can’t seem to get their way out of it.  From their non-working urinals, spy cams in the showers, dreadful hotel conditions, the Olympic rings not lighting up correctly during the opening ceremonies, and their scary creepy bear mascot, these games are a clusterf*** waiting to happen.  I may watch a bit over the weekend, but it is plain to see that the Russians were not ready for the games, and we all wait with baited breath which will come first, an athlete getting hurt, or Bob Costas finally getting over his pink eye…

 

The NFL and Weed…

The Super Bowl was dubbed “The Stoner Bowl” by several media types, due to the fact both teams came from states that have legalized weed, and because of this, there has been an increasingly loud sentiment that the NFL, as well as the other major sports, should remove it fro the banned substance list for medicinal purposes.  Marijuana has a lot of medicinal properties, most of which have been proven with visible results, but to this day it is still an illegal substance on the federal level, and there is no end in sight to this law.  A lot of players are users, and go to great lengths to hide the fact that they smoke, but commissioner Goodell, in a statement prior to the Super Bowl, says that they will follow medicine and if changes do come they will take those changes into consideration.  Sports Illustrated has an in-depth article on the subject in this weeks magazine, I suggest you read it and come up with an opinion of your own.  The story is available online at SI.com and you only have to watch a short 30 second add to unlock it.  it’s a good read.

 

Steven Stamkos not cleared for Olympics, Yzerman replaces him with St Louis..

Tampa Bay Lighting and top scorer Steven Stamkos was not cleared by Doctors to play in the Olympics due to rehab on his broken leg suffered November 11, and was removed from the Canadian National team and will not travel to Sochi to play in the Olympics.  Steve Yzerman, the General Manager for Team Canada has found a brief moment of clarity and replaced him with Martin St Louis, Stamkos’ teammate on the Lightning and probably the best player in the NHL over 35 years of age.  “Marty” as he is fondly called here in Tampa, was shunned initially by Yzerman, who also happens to be the General Manager of the Lighting, and did not select Marty for the initial roster, something he did 4 years ago as well, but due to Stamkos’ injury, St Louis is now a member of Team Canada, something Yzerman should have done in the first place..  I almost wish Marty would have come out and told Yzerman to stick it, but it’s an honor to play for your country and Marty is a great addition to the team.  He has 25 goals and 54 points in 56 games this season and has bee on fire since the snub, scoring 7 goals and 15 points in 14 games.

 

The Cleveland Cavaliers are AWFUL!!   Yes I am discussing NBA….

I made the mistake of mentioning the following game on my Twitter feed Wednesday night and although I DON’T watch the NBA, I could not help but notice this game and the hilarity that ensued..  The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers played an NBA game in Cleveland, but what actually turned into a comedy of “now what do I do” and “Did that really just happen” was the epitome of what Cleveland basketball has been since oh…  forever..  The Lakers, already depleted by injury this season, traveled to Cleveland with just 8 players on the roster.  They lost two of them to injury during the game, and one more to cramps, leaving just five left.  Yes, there are supposed to be five players on the court at all times during a game, however, Robert Sacre committed his 6th foul with 3:32 left to play and actually had to stay in the game to make sure there were five players on the floor.  Had Sacre fouled again it would be a technical, as would each successive foul moving forward.  Despite all of this, the Lakers still managed to win the game, 119-108, proving once and for all, Cleveland is the place where Professional Sports Players go to die..  A bizarre ending to a bizarre game..  THIS is why I hate the NBA..  cause it’s a joke, the players are only after individual accomplishments, it isn’t a team game, it has become the league of showmanship, one upsmanship, and a contest to see who can make Sports Center with their ally oops and their dunks.  I played basketball in High School…  it was a team game back then, and for the most point, the NCAA still is.  but once they get the money, the fame, and the attention, it all of a sudden becomes a me me me sport.  I hate it, and until it becomes a team game again, I will not watch.  You can probably make the case that all pro sports have become like this, but you look at the NFL, the NHL, and MLB, those are sports where you HAVE to be part of the team, or else you will not succeed.  The NBA is not this way, as when one or two players can become the story or the reason a team is successful, there is a problem with that.  Some of you may disagree, and that’s fine, but I call em as I see em, and for this sports fan, I refuse to watch a bunch of egos playing a game that has become more about the individual and less about the team.

 

Those are my thoughts, feel free to comment and tell me what you think I missed or if you have something to add to these stories.

Super Bowl XLVIII

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks for winning the Super Bowl, they were dominant, they never let Denver get into a rhythm and they shut down the best QB in the game.  In what was the most lopsided Super Bowl in recent memory, close to what we all experienced in the 80’s and 90’s when the NFC dominated for so long, Seattle stuck with what got them there, defense.  I stayed interested for the first half, and 12 seconds into the second half after Percy Harvin ran the second half kickoff back for a TD.  The key to the win?  A Smothering defense that never let up, knocking Denver’s receivers off their routes, pressure on Peyton, and of course, good play by their offense, a blueprint that all teams should follow in the future.  This is the future of the NFL, and although this has become a league of offense, Seattle proved that defense still wins championships.   The most impressive stat for me was that Seattle only blitzed 3 times all night.  They were able to get to Manning with 4 rushers for most of the game, the Denver offensive line had no answer for it, and could not keep them out of the  backfield.  The game was not the best, and of course the commercials were awful, as usual, but Seattle earned this win, and they will be champs for the next 12 months. 

With that being said, I have noticed a lot of commentators, pundits, friends of mine, and couch potato sports fans all say that this loss diminishes the career and the “legacy” of Peyton Manning.  Umm..  to put it bluntly..  Bullshit.  How do you tarnish the legacy of a future first ballot Hall of Famer, Super Bowl Champion, and probably the greatest regular season QB of all time?  No, this loss wont tarnish who this man is, it will be disappointing for him and he will look back on this game as one of his worst, but you cant take away what Denver did to get to the Super Bowl in the first place, the most potent offense of all time, a supposedly over the hill QB with neck issues having the best season in the history of the NFL and overcoming losing their head coach in the middle of the season to heart surgery.  No, this ONE game wont hurt his legacy, and in fact because of how he and the Broncos got there, it will go a long way to cement his legacy as one of the great QB’s in the history of the NFL.

Now with six months to go before preseason, I am sad, football season is over, and although I always feel this way after the Super Bowl, there is plenty to be excited about as a sports fan.  Daytona is right around the corner (Feb 23) the Olympics start next week, Pitchers and Catchers report this week, and of course march Madness, the draft in May, and one of my favorite events of the year, The Masters in April.  2014 is just getting started for sports fans and we have a lot to look forward to. 

This is the Time….

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.

Media Day.. ERR.. Idiot Day

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**

A View of the sports world January 21, 2014

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