Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Idea To Save the NFL on Thanksgiving

Ok, so I'm sure that most of you sports fans like me love to watch NFL football on Thanksgiving. This is not a far fetched assumption by any means because the Thanksgiving Noon game is the 2nd most watched game of the year (second only to the SuperBowl!). So assuming you all watched like I did I'm sure you were also disgusted by how unentertaining the games really were.

It is truly a tragedy to have the Lions host one of the games each and every Thanksgiving. What a waste of quality entertainment. The Cowboys I can understand because they are America's team really. Now, I know that you can't very easily just take Detroit off of Thanksgiving day and leave Dallas. People wouldn't like that very much because It is breaking the tradition. But what if there was a new tradition?

Here is what I propose, let me know what you think. There are 3 games each Thanksgiving. The teams that win their respective games host that game the next season. For example, Tennessee hosts the noon game next year, Dallas at 3, and Philly's got the night game. It would add a cool feel to it I think and would help add some variety and some added quality to the Thanksgiving day match ups. Wouldn't you agree?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Best TV Sports Commercials

Here's some great sports commercials over the years and whether funny or just bone-chilling, this is what keeps us going between games...

Everybody loves the SportsCenter Commercials...

"Next time have some ID"

Remember Y2K?

Who's up for a game of Ping-Pong?

New Kid

50th best heavyweight, in Georgia

Big Buddy


Now for the bone chilling ones...

A Tradition Unlike any Other

Leave Nothing

Let Your Game Speak

United We Rise

Where Amazing Happens

Just do it

The Time is Now (Bare with me, this is still a good commercial)

This was a little lengthy, but I know you'll appreciate it...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Big Mess is Brewing in the Big 12 South

The Big 12 South champion could be determined by a poll of faceless, strangers who are often bias and live far from the area of concern. And only a sport with such a profound lack of leadership, in this case Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe, is capable of deciding a champion like this.

"The Big 12 failed to come up with enough of its own criteria for breaking a three-way tie at the top of the standings, as Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech could produce. Instead it was willing to punt to the computers and voters who determine the BCS rankings. Whatever team is ranked highest wins the division." How positively retarded is that?

Problems I see here: Few of the coaches who vote in the coaches’ poll have seen anything but highlights of play from the Big 12 South. They are no better than the 114 politically connected folks of with little qualifications who make up the Harris Poll. Combined, the two polls count for two-thirds of the rankings. Each voter has personal biases, and self-interests.

Since the BCS has no set standards for ranking teams, just about anything can be taken into consideration. Should Texas get the nod because it beat Oklahoma? Should it be Oklahoma because it put together the most impressive performance of the season in blasting Tech 65-21? Should Tech be considered because they beat Texas in dramatic fashion? How about strength of schedule? Or margin of victory? Coolest mascot? Color scheme? Does it matter who’s played the most recent TV game? What if a voter missed one team’s impressive performance because he went out drinking?

Obviously a voter’s alma mater has been known to come into play. And doesn’t he owe the conference that got him a vote in the first place? What about the coach who’s still bitter about losing a recruit to a certain school?It could be any of the above. No one knows.
Seriously, that’s the system: no one knows.

That is how the champion of the Big 12 South is going to be decided. I don't know about you but I find that to be mind-numbingly retarded. Now, Texas did have the lead previously but with a win like we saw Saturday night I'd say that Oklahoma has to be charging quickly, while for the moment Tech is definitely out of the national championship picture.

I could ramble on with endless speculation but it's fruitless. Basically we need to all tune in next week and see if all 3 teams win their games (Texas vs. Texas A&M, Baylor vs. Texas Tech, and Oklahoma @ OK St.) If all 3 teams win their games, which I am assuming they will. Then it will be a mess. It's the Big 12's fault for not coming up with a better tiebreaker but I consider this just one more reason why the BCS has gotta go.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

2008-2009 TSF College Basketball Predictions

Final Four Predictions

Stefan Ming's Picks:
North Carolina

2009 National Champion:
Connecticut Huskies

Grittysquirrels Picks:
North Carolina
Michigan St.

2009 National Champion:
North Carolina Tar Heels

All-American Team:

Stefan Ming:
Darren Collison (UCLA)
Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)
Hasheem Thabeet (UConn)

Player of the Year: Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
Coach of the Year: Dino Gaudio (Wake Forest)

Ty Lawson (UNC)
Stephen Curry (Davidson)
Blake Griffin (Oklahoma)
Luke Harangody (Notre Dame)
Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)

Player of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough (UNC)
Coach of the Year: Mark Few (Gonzaga)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2008-2009 College Basketball Conference Preview: Pac 10

Predicted Order of Finish

UCLA may have lost Kevin Love, Russell Westbrook, and Luc Ruchard Mbah a Moute, but they still have one of the best PGs in the nation in Darren Collison and Josh Shipp looked like one of the best players in the early part of last season. Alfred Aboya and James Keefe are both capable post presences and Michael Roll should be healthy. Also, the top recruiting class in the nation should help with the draft losses. Recruit Jrue Holliday should fill in right away at SG.

2. Arizona St.
The Sun Devils are out to prove they truly are a NCAA Tournament team, they want to prove the NCAA that they belong this season. The Sun Devils have all the pieces this season to top UCLA for the Pac 10 Title. James Harden, arguably the best player in the conference is back along with 4 other starters, which includes forward Jeff Pendergraph. With experience and talent returning look for ASU to have a bright season.

3. USC
OJ Mayo is gone, but freshman Demar DeRozan is ready to step in and help USC get back to the NCAA Tournament. The Trojans return some key players that can help compete with UCLA and ASU atop the Pac Ten standings; PG Daniel Hackett, SG Dwight Lewis, and PF Taj Gibson are among those returning. USC could make some noise in March, especially if DeRozan lives up to his billing.

4. Washington St.
Even though they lose some key players, I think the Cougars will surprise some people and put up some fights with the upper echelon of the Pac Ten. Taylor Rochestie, Aron Baynes, and Daven Harmeling are all returnees who provide leadership and experience for this squad. The key will be the other two starters and bench. If some young, inexperienced players can step in and provide some balanced scoring and good depth, Wazzou can make its third straight NCAA Tourney appearance.

5. Washington
The Huskies have the potential to be a serious contender in the Pac 10. They've underachieved quite a bit since they were last in the big dance. All-conference PF Jon Brockman along with other key players return. With Justin Dentmon, Quincy Pondexter, and Artem Wallace all back they can contend. Plus, they finally have a PG in recruit Isiah Thomas, who can step in and get this team back on the right track.

6. Arizona
Zona has gone through a lot of changes in the off season. Head Coach Lute Olson stepped down, prized recruit Brandon Jennings decided to play in Europe, and now other recruits left after Olson left. But the Wildcats are moving on and want to forget the past. Chase Buddinger returns and is one of the best players out there. PG Nic Wise is one of the top PGs in conference, and post Jordan Hill returns as well. There may be some growing pains right away, but they have enough talent to still be a threat.

7. California
There is no doubt that the Bears have a strong frontcourt, but their backcourt is pretty bare. Mike Montgomery is the new coach, but it will take him a few years to get this team back in the upper tier of the Pac 10.

8. Oregon
The Ducks must replace three starters and break in a big freshman class. This team will be inexperienced with few veterans returning. Look for Tajuan Porter to be an all-conference player, but that's all this team will have to look forward to.

9. Stanford
Johnny Dawkins, former assistant under Coach K at Duke, is now the head coach for the Cardinal. Dawkins can get this team on the right track and back to the top of the conference, but it will take a couple of years.

10. Oregon St.
Not much talent for this team, but they can only go up after a winless conference season in 2007-2008.

Player of the Year: James Harden, F- Arizona St.

Freshman of the Year: Jrue Holliday, G- UCLA

Coach of the Year: Herb Sendek- Arizona St.

Three Big Games:
UCLA at Texas- Dec. 4, USC at UCLA- Feb. 4, UCLA at Arizona St.- Feb. 12.

Bigger surprise thus far, Miami Dolphins or Atlanta Falcons?

I've seen and heard this question tossed around the blogosphere a bit so I figured I'd give you my answer.

Now, I realize that the Dolphins were 1-15. Which is really bad, and for the Dolphins to be 5-4 right now with an outside shot at the playoffs right now is truly outstanding. However, I'm going with the 6-3 Atlanta Falcons as my biggest surprise in the NFL this year so far.

Notice that I said "surprise" and not turnaround because the Falcons were actually 4-12 last year so by wins-losses the Dolphins have had a better turnaround. However, given the state that this Falcons team was in last year I don't see how you can't be more surprised by their success. I mean with Parcells coming into Miami you knew he would change the culture and turn them around. I guess people didn't think that it would happen so quickly but it was more expected.

With all the turmoil the Falcons incurred (being ditched by their coach, Vick in prison, star players leaving) I don't think anyone expected Head Coach Mike Smith (wait Mike who?) and rookie QB Matt Ryan to have this team at 6-3 with playoffs even within grasp is almost outlandish to think about.

Both teams are great surprises thus far but I've gotta go with the Falcons as my pick (and not just because of their record is better than the Dolphins). Who do you think has been a bigger surprise so far this season?

2008-2009 College Basketball Conference Preview: Big Ten

Predicted Order of Finish

1. Michigan St.
Michigan St. loses it's top player in Drew Neitzel, but it returns 6 of its top 7 scorers. Raymar Morgan, Chris Allen, Durrell Summers, Kalin Lucas, Travis Walton, Goran Suton, and Marquise Gray are all back. The Spartans are very experienced and deep. They're balanced all over, with bigs down low and some promising guards who have a year under their belts. This will be the best MSU team in the past few seasons and with the Big Ten as wide open as it's ever been, look for MSU to run the table.

2. Purdue
Purdue was an inexperienced team last year and showed some amazing flashes at time, they were close to making the Sweet 16 in the tourney. Robbie Hummel returns and is one of the top players in the conference. Add in E'Twaun Moore, Ja'Juan Johnson, Chris Kramer, Keaton Grant, and you got the makeup of a team that can be a legit threat to make a deep run in March. Purdue should compete with MSU and Wisconsin for Big Ten supremacy.

3. Wisconsin
The Badgers aren't flashy or anything like that, but they get you results. They're old-fashioned with their stellar defense and slow tempo offensively, but they execute so well. Wisconsin loses some key players but return some as well. Marcus Landry returns at forward and should be one of their go-to players, Trevon Hughes is a solid SG, Joe Krabbenhoft is back, and so is Jason Bohannon. Reserve center Greg Stiemsma will have big shoes to fill for Brian Butch, but he is very capable of doing so. Look for the Badgers to be another threat come March.

4. Ohio St.
OSU should be a little improved from last season, but pretty much the same old team. They have holes to fill at PG and PF. David Lighty is back at guard and can step up and lead this team. Center recruit BJ Mullins should be one of the top freshman big men in the country. Thad Matta should have this team ready and competitive with the top teams of the Big Ten.

5. Minnesota
The Gophers are only going to get better with Tubby Smith at helm. The Gophers lose its top three scorers but still return some good talent. Lawrence Westbrook is a capable guard. Ralph Sampson III should step in right away and be an immediate impact, I think he'll help out quite a bit. Look for the Gophers to be a bubble NCAA Tournament team.

6. Illinois
This should be another rebuilding year for the Illini, with stellar classes coming in for 2009 and 2010, Bruce Weber will use this season as a learning curve, to improve and gain experience as this team looks to the future for one more season. Look for Alex Legion to be the top player for Illinois.

7. Michigan
Michigan returns 3 starters. Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims are both fine players who will lead this Wolverine team. They don't have any depth, but look for John Beilein to have this team competing.

8. Penn St.
Penn St. looked like a promising team last season, but it's two stars had their seasons cut short with injuries. Jamalle Cornley is one of those stars returning and should help an up-start Nittany Lions program compete for an NIT berth.

9. Iowa
The Hawkeyes return most of its nucleus and add a very good recruiting class, but they're still the same old struggling squad.

10. Northwestern
The Wildcats have better depth and more quality big men than in the past and some promising newcomers, but don't expect this year to be the year Northwestern moves up in the Big Ten standings.

11. Indiana
New head coach Tom Crean has a long road ahead of him. He has the toughest job of any team in the country right now. This program has gone through a lot of changes in the past year, but Crean is capable of turning it around. The Hoosiers return only two players from last years squad, Brett Finkelmeier and Kyle Taber, none of whom averaged over 2 ppg. IU has a decent recruiting class who desperately need to step up in their first year. This will be a long year for IU faithful.

Player of the Year: Raymar Morgan, F- Michigan St.

Freshman of the Year: B.J. Mullens, C- Ohio St.

Coach of the Year: Tubby Smith- Minnesota

Three Big Games:
North Carolina at Michigan St.- Dec. 3, Purdue at Wisconsin- Jan. 27, Purdue at Michigan St.- March 8.

Monday, November 10, 2008

College Football Power Poll

Here's my top five teams in College Football.

1. Texas Tech Red Raiders
The Red Raiders have been amazing lately. A big win over Texas is very impressive and their offense just keeps on putting up point after point. Who can stop these guys? Big games coming up vs. Oklahoma and rival Texas A&M, plus possibly a Big XII Title match-up, it will be interesting to see how they fare.

2. Florida Gators
The Gators are a different team since their loss to Ole Miss and I think that loss may help them in the end. This is a young Florida team and now they know what it takes to get it done. Tim Tebow is better than he was last season (even after winning the Heisman). Florida has so many weapons and so much speed. Plus, the defense has improved dramatically from last season.

3. Alabama Crimson Tide
The Tide have two big road wins over Georgia and LSU. They haven't been too impressive since their big win over Georgia, but they're still getting the job done. Everybody is coming through for the Crimson. Julio Jones is one of the best young WRs out there. Tough games still coming up against arch-rival Auburn and Florida in the SEC Championship.

4. Texas Longhorns
Texas is still one of the top teams in the country despite their loss to Texas Tech. Tech just happened to have the ball last and scored. Colt McCoy may be the Heisman front runner right now, if not he's up there. The Longhorns need OU to beat Tech.

5. Oklahoma
The Big 12 is so solid this season and I feel OU is still a top team as well. They've been very impressive after their loss to Texas and a win over Texas Tech would be huge to help their cause for a BCS Bowl berth.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Martin Brodeur is the Most Important player to his team in all of Sports

Can you hear that? That sound you hear is Devils fans everywhere screaming in agony. Now, we don't talk a lot of hockey here on TSF but today I really wanted to chime in on the significance of the Martin Brodeur injury for the Devils and for all of hockey.

Let me start off by telling you that the injury to Martin Brodeur putting him out 3-4 months is HUGE. If you know anything about hockey you know this. Let me follow this up by telling you that it is a lot BIGGER than you realize.

Where am I going with this? Well as I was watching ESPN somebody made a comment that they thought Martin Brodeur was the most important player to his team in sports. Yes, not just hockey but all of sports. At first I thought what most of you are probably thinking. That that is a outrageous statement. But is it? The more I thought about it the more I agreed.

What position in all of sports can be more important to its team other than a Goalie to a hockey team? Certainly no position in Basketball. You could almost argue a dominant starting pitcher or closer but they play once every 5 games or one out of every nine innings! The best argument is probably for a dominant QB in football. But I'm going to go out and say that this injury to Brodeur is way worse than the Pats losing Brady. I am telling you the goalie to a hockey team is the most important player to its team in all of sports. And when you're a dominant and historically great goalie like Martin Brodeur (I'm calling him the greatest ever) how can you not be considered the most important player it your team in all of sports.

Still not a believer? Here are some stats:

- He has played in 89.3 percent of the Devils' games (931 out of 1,043) since the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season.

- He currently has 12 consecutive 30-win seasons

- Brodeur has won the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goaltender four times, including last season, when he posted a 44-27 record and a 2.17 goals-against average.

- His seven seasons with 40 or more wins are an NHL record, and his 2.20 career GAA is the lowest in the NHL's modern era.

- He set a single-season record for wins (48) in 2006-07, breaking Bernie Parent's mark of 47.

- He needs just seven wins to tie Patrick Roy's record of 551

- In his 15-year tenure, he has led the team to three Stanley Cup championships and has taken them to the playoffs all but once.

- He holds more than thirty Devils franchise records.

- a four-time Jennings Trophy winner, a ten-time NHL All Star, and one of only two NHL goaltenders to have scored goals in the regular season and the playoffs.

- He will retire as sure-fire hall of famer

- Is widely considered to best to ever play Goalie in the NHL.

If anyone has any really strong arguments against this I would love to hear them because the stats and logic have me convinced that Martin Brodeur is the Most Important player TO HIS TEAM in all of sports.