Sunday, December 27, 2009

The End of an Era

For those of you who don't know already, I am a huge Florida Gators football fan. When I heard the news yesterday of Urban Meyer stepping down as Florida's Head Coach, I was astonished. I couldn't believe it.

I knew that he was having a little health trouble but nothing that would lead to this. You know it has to be somewhat serious. Meyer loves his job and works harder at it then any other coach in the country. He never takes a day off. He works 365 days a year and that's what people need to understand when it comes to coaching college football; especially at a place like the University of Florida. Which is arguably the best job in all of College Football.

In the end, I think it's for the best. If he thinks it's best he step down then it's a good decision. If his health is going to affect his coaching then it is the right decision in the end. And I respect that.

As for who will replace him. To tell you the truth, I hope it's Dan Mullen from Mississippi State or Bob Stoops from Oklahoma and nobody else. They both make sense. Mullen was Urban's Offensive Coordinator for 4 years before moving on to become HC at MSU this season. Stoops was an assistant under Steve Spurrier and also the defensive coordinator before moving to Oklahoma in the late 90's.

As a Gator fan I don't want anybody else. I don't want a mid-major coach. Granted Urban came from Utah. I want somebody who is familiar with the program, can continue getting top notch athletes from the state of Florida and continue the tradition of Florida football. Mullen and Stoops can do that.

College Football All-Decade Team

Here's TSF's All-Decade Team for College Football!


QB: Tim Tebow
Nearly 3 Heismans and won 2 National Titles

RB: Darren McFadden
Two-time Heisman runner up, 2nd all-time SEC rusher

RB: Adrian Peterson (OU)
NCAA frosh rushing record holder

WR: Larry Fitzgerald
Caught 161 passes for 2,677 yards and 34 TD in 2 seasons

WR: Calvin Johnson
3 solids years at Georgia Tech with 1,202 yards at 15 TD in his Jr. season

TE: Kellen Winslow
Set all of Miami's TE records. Won a national title and the Mackey Award

OL: Jake Long
Two-time All-American and two-time Big 10 OL of the Year

OL: Bryant McKinnie
Two-time All-American, Outland Winner and 8th in Heisman (01)

OL: Greg Eslinger
Started 4 years, Two-time All-American and Outland Winner

OL: Joe Thomas
Started 3 years after moving from TE, Outland Winner

OL: Steve Huchinson
Did not allow a sack in his last two seasons. Outland Winner


DE: Terrell Suggs
NCAA Season Record holder with 24 sacks

DT: Ndamukong Suh
Lead his team in tackles this past season. 4th in Heisman (09)

DT: Tommie Harris
Three-time All-American, Lombardi Winner

DE: David Pollack
Three-time All-American

LB: Patrick Willis
Two-time All-American and Butkus winner

LB: Brandon Spikes
Two National Titles and two-time All-American

LB: AJ Hawk
Two-time All-American and Lombardi Winner

S: Ed Reed
One of the most dominating players in CF history. Two-time All-American

S: Eric Berry
Soon to be three-time All-American

CB: Antonie Cason
Four-year starter. All-American in 2007

CB: Terence Newman
All-American in 2002 and Jim Thorpe winner

Special Teams

K: Mike Nugent (Ohio State)
P: Mike Dragosavich (North Dakota State)
KR: Brandon James (Florida)
PR: Wes Welker (Texas Tech)
Coach: Urban Meyer (Florida)

Monday, November 23, 2009

College Basketball Power Rankings: November 23

First rankings of the year!

1. Kansas- First game was an eye opener, but they've been great since. Frosh Xavier Henry will be the X-Factor.

2. Michigan State- Toughed out a win vs. Gonzaga. Now need to find some kind of consistent inside presence.

3. Texas- This team is loaded. How will they find enough minutes to keep everyone happy?

4. Villanova- Some impressive wins thus far. The guards are stellar, while Jay Wright is working on developing his young frontcourt.

5. West Virginia- They were impressive in their first win showing some tough defense; even without their best player Devin Ebanks.

6. Purdue- Team struggled vs. South Dakota State, but their tough defense prevailed.

7. North Carolina- Still not impressed with the backcourt. Frontcourt will win them some games though.

8. Kentucky- Team has no identity. Defense has been suspect and still need a few more games to create some chemistry.

9. Tennessee- They haven't played anybody yet but the offense has been very impressive.

10. Ohio State- Struggled vs. UNC's bigs, but Evan Turner is one of the best players in the country.

11. Duke- Defense has stepped up so far this season.

12. Butler- This team plays so well together and they don't turn the ball over.

13. UConn- Not much of a bench. Will depend on older guys to carry them.

14. Washington- Some less than expected performances from the Huskies.

15. Syracuse- They've had a couple impressive wins. Lets see if they can keep it up outside of MSG.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

TSF Bracketology: November 21

Throughout the season TSF will be doing it's own bracketolgy and giving you their own seeds for the NCAA Tournament.

(Conference Champs in Parenthesis)

1. Kansas (Big XII)
1. Michigan State (Big Ten)
1. Texas
1. Villanova (Big East)

2. Kentucky (SEC)
2. Purdue
2. West Virginia
2. Duke

3. Tennessee
3. North Carolina (ACC)
3. Butler (Horizon)
3. Connecticut

4. Washington (Pac 10)
4. Ohio State
4. California
4. Oklahoma

5. Illinois
5. Louisville
5. Mississippi State
5. Syracuse

6. Georgia Tech
6. Georgetown
6. Gonzaga (WCC)
6. Memphis (C-USA)

7. Michigan
7. Dayton (A 10)
7. Clemson
7. Minnesota

8. Kansas State
8. Texas A&M
8. Xavier
8. Siena (MAAC)

9. Oklahoma State
9. Wake Forest
9. Florida

10. Pittsburgh
10. Missouri
10. Wisconsin
10. BYU (MWC)

11. Florida State
11. UNLV
11. Tulsa
11. Cincinnati

12. Northern Iowa (MVC)
12. Western Kentucky (Sun Belt)
12. Utah State (WAC)
12. Boston College

13. Vanderbilt
13. Cornell (Ivy)
13. Akron (MAC)
13. Old Dominion (CAA)

14. Oakland (Summit)
14. Sam Houston (Southland)
14. Wofford (Southern)
14. Long Beach (Big West)

15. Northern Colorado (Big Sky)
15. Jacksonville (A-Sun)
15. Radford (Big South)
15. Mt. St. Mary's (NEC)

16. Morgan State (MEAC)
16. Murray State (OVC)
16. Holy Cross (Patriot)
16. Prairie View A&M (SWAC)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

2009-2010 College Basketball Preview: Preseason Rankings

Okay here's my updated version of my preseason top 25.

1. Michigan St.- Sure, they lose Suton and Walton, but Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen, and Raymar Morgan are back. Look for the in-coming 6-10 recruits to make an impact.

2. Kansas- All five starters will return, add-in recruit Xavier Henry and this team looks like a national title threat.

3. Purdue- Will Purdue be 2009's Spartans? The 2010 Final Four is in home state Indianapolis and return 7 of their top 8 scorers.

4. Kentucky- The Cats are on the rise once again with John Calipari taking over. Patrick Patterson returns but the loss of Jodie Meeks will be a huge blow. Recruits DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall will make this team the favorite in the SEC.

5. Texas- The Longhorns were a PG away from being an elite team; Florida transfer Jai Lucas should help fill that void.

6. Villanova- Nova will once again have a dominant backcourt lead by Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher.

7. West Virginia- With Devin Ebanks returning they will be one of the best in the Big East. Da'Sean Butler, Darryl Bryant, Joel Mazzula, and Kevin Jones are back as well.

8. North Carolina- This will be a totally different Heel team, but there will still be plenty of talent.

9. Connecticut- Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson, and Stanley Robinson will be back. A decent recruiting class is coming in as well to help fill some voids.

10. Duke- It will be very tough to replace Gerald Henderson and Elliot Williams. But look for frosh Mason Plumlee to finally give them a valuable inside presence.

11. Butler- This past season was supposed to be a rebuilding year after losing a lot. All five starters are back.

12. Washington- Look for Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter to keep the Huskies atop the Pac 10.

13. Tennessee- the Vols had some problems last year, but there's still too much talent to go around. I think they'll be back again.

14. Ohio St.- The Buckeyes will be good and I mean that.

15. California- This will be a senior-laden team that has been scratching the surface waiting to break open. Next year will be that year.

16. Clemson- 3 of the top 4 scorers are back including ACC POY Trevor Booker. Plus star recruit Milton Jennings should help.

17. Louisville- They lose Terrence Williams and Earl Clark, but still have plenty in the stable. Samardo Samuels should have a breakout year.

18. Siena- A nice nucleus (5 of Top 6 scorers) returns for the Saints.

19. Dayton- The Flyers are flat-out athletic and talented.

20. Illinois- With another year of experience under sophomores Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis, and Mike Tisdales' belts, they'll improve.

21. Oklahoma- They lose the Griffin brothers but Willie Warren is one of the best guards in the country and their role players are outstanding.

22. Mississippi State- With Jarvis Varnado back and top recruit Renardo Sidney coming in they will challenge Kentucky and Tennessee for the SEC Crown.

23. Michigan- The Wolverines were very inconsistent but looked good in March. The dynamic duo of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims will keep them in the thick of things.

24. Minnesota- Keep an eye on the Gophers. Royce White is a top recruit who will make the Gophers a top contender in the Big Ten.

25. Gonzaga- The Zags will reload with Demetri Goodson, Matt Bouldin and Stephen Gray all back.

Just missed the cut:
Georgia Tech, Florida State, Wake Forest, Missouri, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., Wisconsin, Mississippi, Florida, Georgetown, Syracuse, Creighton, UNLV, UCLA, Northern Iowa, Oakland

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2009-2010 College Basketball Preview: Player Rankings

The time has come. It's time to begin our College Basketball Preview for the coming season.


Top 5 PG:
1. Kalin Lucas- Michigan St.
2. Sherron Collins- Kansas
3. John Wall- Kentucky
4. Kemba Walker- UConn
5. Devan Downey- South Carolina

Top 5 SG:
1. Willie Warren- Oklahoma
2. Greivis Vasquez- Maryland
3. Manny Harris- Michigan
4. Scottie Reynolds- Villanova
5. Jerome Dyson- UConn

Top 5 SF:
1. Evan Turner- Wisconsin
2. Devin Ebanks- West Virginia
3. Kyle Singler- Duke
4. Robbie Hummel- Purdue
5. Gordon Hayward- Butler

Top 5 PF:
1. Luke Harangody- Notre Dame
2. Patrick Patterson- Kentucky
3. Al Faroq-Aminu- Wake Forest
4. Craig Brackins- Iowa State
5. Ed Davis- UNC

Top 5 C:
1. Cole Aldrich- Kansas
2. Greg Monroe- Georgetown
3. Larry Sanders- VCU
4. Jarvis Varnado- Mississippi State
5. Keith Benson- Oakland

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fantasy Football - Week 6 Hate 'Em/ Love 'Em

Hate Em:
Drew Brees- facing the Giants #1 pass D and Brees hasn't looked so stellar the past couple outings, look for a heavy run game here.

Larry Johnson - at some point they are going to give Jamaal Charles a chance, this may be his week and LJ is on the drop list for all I'm concerned.

DeAngelo Williams - Bucs are one of the worst rush D's, but I look for Jonathon Stewart to get a bigger role this week and steal goaline carries.

Ray Rice and Willis McGahee- Vikings have not given up a rushing td all year so don't expect one here.

Marques Colston - don't expect big numbers out of him this week, will be a good red zone target, but don't expect big yardage.

Vincent Jackson - Denver's D has only given up 2 passing td's all year and I don't like his match up with Champ Bailey.

Chris Cooley - will be used more as a blocker than a pass catcher this week so don't expect the usual week for Cooley.

Love 'Em:
David Garrard- after last week's brutal performance, he will bounce back having Sims- Walker back will help.

Mike Sims-Walker - after missing last game due to a 'late night rendezvous' with a lady friend, expect him to go off against the terrible Rams D.

Pierre Thomas - did you know that Thomas has 12 td's in his last 9 games? against the Giants D you will see a heavy dose of the run game.

Brian Westbrook - Oakland's worst rush D vs a healthy Westbrook only equals a big game.
Knowshon Moreno - the Chargers are giving up 151 rypg, with that saying Moreno's workload has increased each week.

Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings, Jermichael Finley and Ryan Grant - love all the Packers this week vs the Lions. Coming off a bye week you will see big numbers from the big 4.
Matt Hasselbeck and Nate Burleson- both went off last week and I expect more of the same this week.

Braylon Edwards- obviously he became new best friends with Mark Sanchez, big numbers the rest of the year I foresee.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Look for Ohio State to turn some heads in '09

College Football starts this Thursday and boy I cannot wait. All we're hearing about thus far is Florida, Texas and Oklahoma, which makes me ponder which team will make a run with the rest of them that everybody is looking over?

Well, it's Ohio State.

I know they've sucked in big games the past few seasons. I know they lost 7 starters on offense, including Beanie Wells, Brian Robiskie, and studs James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins on defense. But Jim Tressel always has talent waiting in the wings.

This is the perfect time for them to quell the doubters from the past. They do not have too high of expectations this season and they lost some big time players.

But they do have Terrelle Pryor back. I am a big fan of this guy and I truly believe he will win a Heisman and even a national championship if he stays all 4 years at OSU. I really believe that. Pryor is going to have a great season this year and will make everybody on the field around him better.

Much of the O-Line returns so there's a good start. Dan Herron performed well when Beanie Wells was injured and Ray Small and DeVier Posey are capable pass catchers. Frosh Duron Carter and James Jackson could contribute significantly as well.

The defensive line returns 3 starters and a formidable Michigan transfer in Justin Boren joins the team, which is a very good start for the defense.

But in the end I do not expect the departures to be as big of a deal as they say. Jim Tressel is still one of the best coaches in the country and there is plenty of talent in the stable and the in-coming freshmen are ready to step up. With a proven QB back and one who has some of the best talent in the country, look for the Buckeyes to turn some heads and be a BCS Title contender by the end of the season.

All of that can start on September 12, when 4th ranked USC comes to town.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Not for fun anymore

Little League is supposed to be for the kids. It's for kids to play with friends, learn the game of baseball and most importantly, have fun.

Well, not anymore.

Some parents have recently sued because of their kids' injuries during games/practices/scrimmages. But that's what we expect in a politically correct world nowadays. Gone are the days of individual responsibility.

To give credit to Rick Reilly, columnist for ESPN (one of the best there is) did an article on this.

A woman named Jean Gonzalez in Staten Island, NY sewed the local Little League, the teams manager and the first base coach because the first base coach sent her son to second on a double, where he slid awkwardly and tore his ACL. So she decided to sew.

That's the world we live in today. When in doubt, sue.

This is how people say thanks to coaches who devout their time to teach their kids the fundamentals and the game of baseball. That's what Staten Island gets for having a program for their kids to play.

It's always about ME, we live in a ME world.

Last week I rolled my ankle playing softball, maybe I should sew the Bismarck Softball Association because of it and/or the guy who was coming after me in a run-down.

Because of ridiculous litigation like the Gonzalez' in New York, it is making people afraid of getting sued. Lawsuits have taken away our freedom of speech and created/changed rules/laws so people DON'T get sued; and that's wrong.

Not just Little League but many other organizations (whether it be sports, businesses, or whatever) have catered to these people that sew for pleasure. No more on-deck circles in Little League, face-masked helmets, mandatory pitch counts, what next?

Lawsuits are just making things worse. It only brings down competition and less choices for people. For the people suing, they're only fixing a problem, by making it worse!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bold, Daring Fantasy Football Predictions for 2009

Fantasy football drafts are coming up and I'm sure some of you have already partaken in a few, here's some bold predictions for the up-coming season.

- Donovan McNabb will finish as a top-5 QB

- Jonathan Stewart will finish with more fantasy points than DeAngelo Williams

- Calvin Johnson will finish with 1500+ yards and 15 scores

- Dwayne Bowe will finish the year as a top-10 WR

- Adrian Peterson will not finish as a top 5 overall fantasy player

- Steve Slaton will finish as a top-5 RB

- David Garrard will be a top-10 fantasy QB again

- Donovan McNabb will not miss a game this season

- Anthony Gonzalez will double his 664 receiving yards from last season

- Donald Brown will be a top-25 fantasy RB

- Maurice Jones-Drew will finish as the top fantasy RB.

- Tom Brady will have his best fantasy season yet!

- Jamal Charles will have a better fantasy season than Larry Johnson

- Greg Jennings will lead all NFC WR in scoring

- Joe Flacco will finish as a top-10 QB

- Dwayne Bowe will finish the year with the most receiving yards in one game

- Greg Olsen will finish as a top-4 TE

- Ryan Grant rushes for 1450+ yards and 10 TD

- Willis McGahee doesn't get injured before week 7

- Javon Ringer will finish with more fantasy points than Chris Johnson

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tom Brady Prediction

I'm sure most of you NFL fans out there saw Tom Brady's preseason debut last night. I thought he looked really good. He threw 2 nice TDs and had a perfect deep ball that Moss dropped. he did have an INT but he then went to the sidelines and threw his waterbottle down like it was the playoffs or something!

He moved around and stepped up in the pocket. I do think that he needs to take a few big hits and have a few people down on the ground around him in the pocket. Just so that he can get used to stepping up in the pocket, stepping into throws, and trusting the knee.

I have a prediction to make. I think that last year's injury might end up being the one of the best things to happen to Tom Brady's career. Obviously winning superbowls and marrying underwear models are much better than a knee injury but this is the way I see it. He looks great so far. We know that he's going to play a lot in preseason and should be firing on all cyllindars come week 1. The most important things to a QB like Brady are his throwing arm, shoulder, and head. He got a whole season to preserve what matters the most to him. Last season made have put another 2-3+ years onto the prime of his career!

All I'm saying is that Brady is going ot be huge again this year so be ready. He will be fresher than ever and hungrier than ever. I hate the guy, but I expect a big year.

Eagles are the Perfect Fit for Vick

The more I think about it the Eagles are really the perfect fit for Vick and vice versa. Obviously he needs to go to a team with good coaching, a great starting QB, and good infrastructure. The Eagles fit the bill perfectly.

Who better to help Vick get back into the swing of things than Donovan McNabb! Also you have to take into consideration that Vick won't be able to play until possibly week 6 so you have to look at the backup. Jay Feeley is a great backup and will be plenty sufficient while Vick picks up the speed of the game again.

I don't care if Donovan McNabb says that he is here as a QB. I have a prediction to make. I think that you can expect to see Vick used as an athlete from time to time later in the season (if necessary that is). You better believe that they didn't pay that kind of money for a 3rd stringer who, odds are wouldn't see the field at the QB position this year. I think that the Eagles would be best off putting Vick in the slot every once in a great while, throwing him a screen or two, or letting him take a direct snap and run with it. Especially if a key player gets hurt on offense I think you can expect to see Vick on the field as a secret weapon of sorts later in the season.

There really could not be a better fit. Vick gets a pretty decent deal with an option for next year from a contending team! He gets the chance to be a positive influence in a strong locker room and play for a coach who I believe who can handle him. I believe everybody deserves a second chance and I believe Vick has paid his dues. This is a absolute perfect opportunity for Vick and it will be very interesting to see if he will indeed make the most of it or throw everything away once again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 College Football Preview: SEC

College Football is just around the corner! We will be doing our College Football Preview until the first game begins with conference predictions, all-conference teams, BCS Bowl predictions and more...

Projected Order of Finish


1. Florida
Well duh... The Gators are the overwhelming favorite in the East. Tim Tebow returns along with 6 other offensive starters. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey are dynamic speedsters who can step right in for Percy Harvin. The defense also returns all 11 starters and the whole two-deep depth chart.

2. Georgia
The Dawgs lose some valuable players in Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. Joe Cox is ready to take the helms under center. AJ Green may be the best WR in the conference (if not the country) and Caleb King should fill in well at RB. The defense had a lot of young talent last year. The defensive line should be tough with Geno Atkins back. Look for the defense to improve.

3. Tennessee
The Vols were awful last year, but I think they will be a lot better this season. This team had some talent but were inexperienced. The defense was one of the best in the conference but the offense just couldn't put points on the board. Eric Berry is arguably the best DB in the nation. Look for QB Jonathan Crompton to get the Vols O some more production.

4. South Carolina
The Gamecocks lose some big time players on both sides of the ball. Stephen Garcia will be the main QB this season and looks to help a struggling offense. The defense has always been there but they need more consistency on the other side. This will once again not be Steve Spurrier's year in South Carolina.

5. Vanderbilt
Vandy returns 19 starters from an improved 2008 season. They still lack that star that can get them over the top; the defense was good last season but they often relied on it too much. If they can get some more consistency from the offense and hold their own on defense, the Commodores could get over the hump.

6. Kentucky
Kentucky was same old Kentucky last year yet they still found themselves in a bowl game. The offense was abysmal but the QBs look promising and RB Alfonso Smith is a good back. The defense has a few play makers but look for the Cats to continue down the bottom of the SEC East.


1. Mississippi
The Rebels showed what they were made of in their bowl game drupping of Texas Tech. Jevan Snead might be one of the most underrated QB's in the nation. Plenty experience returns on both sides of the ball. The RB position is stacked with Brandon Bolden, Cordera Eason, and Dexter McCluster all capable ball carriers.

2. Alabama
The defense returns 9 starters and the offense returns RB Mark Ingram and one of the best WRs in the nation in Julio Jones. QB position is a big question mark now that John Parker Wilson is gone.

3. LSU
You really think Les Miles will have another down year? Think again... QB Jordan Jefferson is coming along well and veteran RB Charles Scott is a bruiser in the backfield. WR Brandon LaFell should help spread defenses too.

4. Auburn
Auburn missed their first bowl game since 1999. New head coach Gene Chizik is looking to get this Tiger team back to the top. The talent is there and 14 starters are back. The offense was off and on last season but the defense kept them in games. Look for DB Zac Etheridge to be one of the best in the conference.

5. Arkansas
They went from good in 2007 to bad in 2008. Don't expect things to be much different this season. Ryan Mallett should finally give them some stability at QB, something they've been missing the past several seasons. The defense gave up a lot of points and must get better if they want to move up the West standings at all.

6. Mississippi St.
Look for new head coach Dan Mullen to bring some creativity to the offense. The MSU faithful should be pretty excited with the former Florida OC calling the plays. Too many question marks at the QB position and on offense for them to get back to a bowl game though.

SEC Championshp:
Florida over Mississippi

All TSF SEC Team

QB Tim Tebow- Florida
RB Charles Scott- LSU
RB Michael Smith- Arkansas
WR AJ Green- Georgia
WR Julio Jones- Alabama
TE Aaron Hernandez- Florida
OL Maurkice Pouncey- Florida
OL Mike Pouncey- Florida
OL Ciron Black- LSU
OL John Jerry- Ole Miss
OL Mike Johnson- Alabama

DL Carlos Dunlap- Florida
DL Greg Hardy- Ole Miss
DL Terrence Cody- Alabama
DL Geno Atkins- Georgia
LB Rennie Curran- Georgia
LB Brandon Spikes- Florida
LB Rolando McClain- Alabama
DB Eric Berry- Tennessee
DB Joe Haden- Florida
DB Ahmad Black- Florida
DB Trevard Lindley- Kentucky

Offensive Player of the Year
Tim Tebow- Florida

Defensive Player of the Year
Eric Berry- Tennessee

Freshman of the Year
Andre Dubose- Florida

Coach of the Year
Houston Nutt- Ole Miss

Top 3 Games:
Florida at LSU- Oct. 10
Alabama at Ole Miss- Oct. 10
LSU at Alabama- Nov. 7

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

MLB Power Rankings

Here's our first addition of out MLB Power Rankings.

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
Now that Manny is back they should be able to get home-field in the NL. The have hitters all over their line-up and the latest pick-up of RP George Sherrill should put them over the top.

2. New York Yankees
The top of the lineup is one of the best in baseball. Look for them to keep pounding the ball.

3. Boston Red Sox
Arguably the best pitching staff in the MLB. The pick-up of Victor Martinez turned a weakness into a strength and gave them a needed bat.

4. Los Angeles Angels
They've looked impressive since the break, but remember baseball is a marathon not a sprint.

5. Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins is finally starting to regain his old self. If they won it all last year without a great starting rotation, imagine what Cliff Lee will do for them.

6. Texas Rangers
Boy can they hit the ball! Pitching will be what breaks them in the end. Imagine had they gotten Roy Halladay!

7. St. Louis Cardinals
Look for them to win the Central now, teams will have to pitch more to Pujols with Matt Holliday batting behind him.

8. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are making things interesting in the Al East.

9. San Francisco Giants
The additions of Freddy Sanchez and Ryan Garko should bolster the order. The best rotation in the NL should be what gets them the Wild Card in the end.

10. Colorado Rockies
The Rockies will not go away, they play solid defense and make you earn your runs.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Favre Made the Right Decision

So it is now official. After my summer of anxiety and agony (where I had already mentally prepared myself to see someone not named John David Booty wear a purple #4 jersey), Brett came through for me and Packer fans alike one last time. He decided to stay retired!

Most of you know that I am a lifelong, die-hard Packer fan and grew up with Favre as my childhood hero. But I truly believe that this was the best football decision that Brett has ever made. His arm virtually fell off the last 5 games of last season and he just flat out did not play well. He was not going to make the Vikings immediate Super Bowl contenders. Two to three years ago, yes. This year, NO!

Regardless if the Vikings would have gotten Favre or not, they would have still started the year with the 3rd best starting QB in the division! Granted Favre probably would have been a step up from Tjack, or Rosenfels, adding him would have torn the locker room apart. I must say that the Vikings did not handle the situation very well at all, and now they need to pull themselves together as a team and move on from all this garbage.

It would have made for some great drama next season, but it is for the best. Thank you Brett for making the right decision. Now please try to enjoy your retirement like a normal player. Everybody knows what you are capable of. Everybody knows what you did 2 years ago in Green Bay. Everybody also knows what you did in New York last season.

Did you tarnish he tarnish his legacy? Yes he did. Should he have retired after the NFC Championship loss to the Giants? Probably. There is no denying that people will remember the whole retirement limbo that he's played at the end of his career. But for us true fans, we will look past it and remember the Brett pictured above.

Brett Favre is one of the greatest QBs of all-time and will go down like that. It's time that the old gunslinger realize that he has nothing to prove. Now let's hope we don't have to hear his name or see too much of him on ESPN until he steps up to the podium in Canton, OH!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Athletes deserve their paychecks

The average school teacher in North Dakota receives $35,000 per year, the average MLB player makes around $3,000,000.

But is that fair? I think so.

It's the law of supply and demand.

Salaries are set by the demand for workers in a particular job and the supply of workers able to do that job. The higher demand for a job the lower the supply, resulting in higher pay; jobs with a low demand and high supply will pay less.

Professional athletes are one of a kind. Matt Cassel recently signed a six year, $63 million contract with the Kansas City Chiefs. There are roughly a few dozen or so who can play quarterback as well as he can. Does he deserve this fat paycheck in my opinion? Rightfully so. That's how the market works.

The sports industry brings in billions of dollars yearly, if programs and teams can afford to give out that kind of money to players, that's their right and no one can tell them otherwise.

Jobs with low demand, such as teaching are full of people with the capabilities to do that work. There are plenty of teachers out there, but there's only one Matt Cassel. There's only one Albert Pujols and there's only one Roy Halladay.

That's why the Toronto Blue Jays can basically wait for a deal that they cannot resist. There's so much high demand for Halladay and they don't have to jump at just any deal. They're playing with house money. Halladay is worth as much as a team wants him for. Teams/Businesses want people who can make money for them. Remember, there is only one Roy Halladay.

Professional athletes make the millions of dollars that they do because they're good, they put butts in the seats, sell merchandise, and raise advertising rates.

Not many people can hit or throw a 94 MPH fastball or throw for a 50 yard TD against an NFL caliber defense. But many of us can teach someone simple math, the capitals of the U.S. states, or explain the difference between their, there and they're.

This is not to degrade the teaching profession, it's just the law of supply and demand.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jason Whitlock missing the point once again

The Erin Andrews video scandal is now apparently being turned from a privacy issue to a race issue, well at least according to Writer Jason Whitlock.

Whitlock is claiming that ESPN has been pretty quiet about the whole thing. I honestly haven't seen much coverage of the video scandal either on ESPN, but Whitlock said in his latest column that it's because she's white.

To quote John Stossel: "Give me a break!"

First he starts off with:

"This column will attempt to add context and reasonable perspective — two things generally lacking when a favored white woman is wronged in America — to the debate raging in the sports blogosphere about whether blogs contributed to the crime perpetrated against Ms. Andrews." (Blogs referring to Deadspin)

And secondly...

"How do you think the world-wide leader in hypocrisy would handle it if Serena Williams, Anna Kournikova or Candace Parker had been videotaped? I bet the network would throw together a two-hour documentary on how the video was made. And Leitch and Daulerio would drop the profoundly-disturbed-and-remorseful act."

Firstly, Williams, Kournikova, nor Parker are employed with ESPN and secondly, this has nothing to do with race and shouldn't have any thing to do with it. It's about the privacy of Andrews and how her rights were violated.

Whitlock then went on to compare the Pac Man Jones strip club video to the peephole video. ESPN did cover the Pac Man video, but there's a big difference between the two.

Unfortunately, the persons involved in the Pacman incident are potential witnesses to a crime. The people in the video happen to be black, so what? The people who were there are the people who were there. I don't care if the people were black, white, red, orange, whatever. It DOESN'T matter. If any athlete, celebrity, or famous person were involved in the dealings of a crime and actual criminal charges were filed, they would be getting the same treatment.

If there was a Ben Roethlisberger video of him actually sexually assaulting that woman you bet there would be coverage of it on Outside the Lines or something.

ESPN is not shoving this under the bed because she happens to be white. They're a company protecting the privacy of their own employer and there's nothing wrong with that.

Once again we have people pulling the race card. I think it's irresponsible when a journalist tries to throw the race card at any issue, especially when it's to get a few "clicks or ratings".

A lot of the "race" people need to stop pointing fingers because by pulling the race card for every single issue they're only fixing a problem by making it worse.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Quick on Vick

Former NFL star Mike Vick was released from federal custody Monday morning at his home in Virginia. Now starts the real comeback trail. Vick has a few different options, some maybe not exactly what he had in mind, but options nonetheless.

Now, he's made it fairly clear that he wants to once again prove himself on the football field. Obviously getting reinstated to the NFL would be choice number one. The only problem is that he's going to have to go through Mr. Roger Goodell first. This actually could be tricky. Many experts feel that Goodell may try to stick Vick with some sort of conditional reinstatement; where if a team picks him up he can go to camp, but after all the practices, time, and effort spent Goodell would have the ultimate ruling and could still decide not to reinstate Vick before the season begins.

Rather he is given complete reinstatement or this "conditional" option there is a distinct possibility that nobody would want him right now. Notice that I say "right now". In my eyes there is not a team that would fill an imminent and immediate need by adding Vick to their roster. Most teams will shy away from him from the publicity standpoint. Not to mention that nobody really knows where his game is at right now.

That's why I believe Vick should take a little gander at the UFL. He can play through their season, get his mechanics back figure out what he's doing out on the field and by the time their season would be over (November) there would most likely be teams who need him at a skill position or even at QB if he plays well in the UFL. It would be a good chance for him to make decent money while he proves what he can do and I would be willing to bet that someone would be willing to add him for a playoff push.

Expand MLB Instant Replay? No way

Once again we have the tiresome instant replay argument being brought up again in the MLB. We had ONE bad call recently and it shouldn't even have happened in the first place, and now we have a bunch of people screaming for it again...

What a load of crap.

The Twins got called out on a game-ending play at the plate. The A's were ahead 14-13 and Michael Cuddyer tried to score the tying run on a passed ball. Cuddyer was easily safe but called out to end the game.

But the Twins shouldn't have been in this position in the first place. They had a 12-2 lead in the 3rd inning; last time I checked in baseball rarely any lead is comfortable early in the game. It's a sport where you need to keep putting pressure on the opposing team.

The Twins didn't do their job after the 3rd inning. The pitchers struggled and hitters went quiet. The A's slowly crept their way back into it and then blew up with a 7 run 7th to take the lead. The Twins only have themselves to blame. They gave up a big lead then tried to blame it on the ump on one call to end the game.

I know it was a bad call but the umps can't see them all. That's why you can't put yourselves in a possible position where an umps call can "decide" the game. The umps are payed to be accurate and make sure the game goes along smoothly. But they're not payed to get every call right.

Now to replay. The human element is what makes baseball such a great game. There's just something about it that I like. Baseball is a game of judgment calls and was made that way for a reason. I would not like to see instant replay expanded to calls on the field.

Once you expand to 'on the field' plays you run the risk of delaying the game and ruining the tradition of the game. If we do this then what's to stop them from expanding to balls and strikes? You rarely see bad calls like this, but remember it's part of the game. It was a rather unfortunate ending to a game where the Twins unfortunately had it coming.

Erin Andrews set up

There's a video going around the Internet of ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews walking around nude in the privacy of her hotel room. Some pervert/creep decided to somehow video tape her through the peep hole of one of her rooms.

The guy (or even girl for that matter) posted it on the Internet for all to see. This is according to ESPN:

"While alone in the privacy of her hotel room, Erin Andrews was surreptitiously videotaped without her knowledge or consent. She was the victim of a crime and is taking action to protect herself and help ensure that others are not similarly violated in the future."

I know we all love Erin Andrews but this guy obviously is a creep and needs to be prosecuted. Erin was a victim of a crime, her freedom and rights were violated.

I feel this should be a felony. I know there are "Peeping Tom" laws, but because this person put the video on the Internet for all to see, he/she should be charged with a felony and rightfully so.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009-2010 College Basketball Preseason Rankings 2.0

Okay here's my updated version of my preseason top 25.

1. Michigan St.- Sure they lose Suton and Walton, but Kalin Lucas, Chris Allen, and Raymar Morgan are back. Look for the in-coming 6-10 recruits to make an impact.

2. Kansas- All five starters will return, add-in recruit Xavier Henry and this team looks like a national title threat.

3. Purdue- Will Purdue be 2009's Spartans? The 2010 Final Four is in home state Indianapolis and return 7 of their top 8 scorers.

4. Kentucky- The Cats are on the rise once again with John Calipari taking over. Patrick Patterson returns but the loss of Jodie Meeks will be a huge blow. Recruit's DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall will make this team the favorite in the SEC.

5. Texas- The Longhorns were a PG away from being an elite team, Florida transfer Jai Lucas should help fill that void.

6. Villanova- Nova will once again have a dominant backcourt lead by Scottie Reynolds and Corey Fisher.

7. North Carolina- This will be a totally different Heel team but there will still be plenty of talent.

8. Duke- It will be very tough to replace Gerald Henderson and Elliot Williams. But look for frosh Mason Plumlee to finally give them a valuable inside presence.

9. West Virginia- With Devin Ebanks returning they will be one of the best in the Big East. Da'Sean Butler, Darryl Bryant, Joel Mazzula, and Kevin Jones are back as well.

10. Connecticut- Kemba Walker, Jerome Dyson, and Stanley Robinson will be back. A decent recruiting class is coming in as well to help fill some voids.

11. Butler- This past season was supposed to be a rebuilding year after losing a lot. All five starters are back.

12. Clemson- 3 of the top 4 scorers are back including ACC POY Trevor Booker. Plus star recruit Milton Jennings should help.

13. Louisville- They lose Terrence Williams and Earl Clark, but still have plenty in the stable. Samardo Samuels should have a breakout year.

14. Illinois- With another year of experience under sophomores Demetri McCamey, Mike Davis, and Mike Tisdales' belts, they'll improve.

15. Washington- Look for Isaiah Thomas and Quincy Pondexter to keep the Huskies atop the Pac 10.

16. Siena- A nice nucleus (5 of Top 6 scorers) returns for the Saints.

17. Ohio St.- The Buckeyes will be good and I mean that.

18. Dayton- The Flyers are flat-out athletic and talented.

19. Tennessee- the Vols had some problems last year, but there's still too much talent to go around.

20. Georgia Tech- The Jackets return a solid core. With Gani Lawal, Zach Peacock and frosh Derrick Flavors they could make some noise in the ACC. DeAndre Bell is also back from injury.

21. Minnesota- Keep an eye on the Gophers. Royce White is a top recruit who will make the Gophers a top contender in the Big Ten.

22. California- This will be a senior-laden team that has been scratching the surface waiting to break open. Next year will be that year.

23. Gonzaga- The Zags will reload with Demetri Goodson, Matt Bouldin and Stephen Gray all back.

24. Xavier- They drop after Derrick Brown stayed in the draft. But they'll reload with Dante Jackson, Terrence Holloway, Jason Love and IU transfer Jordan Crawford.

25. Michigan- The Wolverines were very inconsistent but looked good in March. The dynamic duo of Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims will keep them in the thick of things.

Just missed the cut:
Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas A&M, Oklahoma St., Wisconsin, Mississippi, Mississippi St., Florida, Georgetown, Syracuse, Creighton, UNLV, UCLA

Monday, July 6, 2009

R.I.P. Steve "Air" McNair

What a tragedy. One of the games toughest and most under-rated QBs of our time is gone. Gone at far too young of an age.

When I think of Steve McNair, I think of a guy who seemed to always be playing through a turf-toe or high ankle sprain. I think of a guy who brought a lot of excitement to the game and never quite got what he deserved. I think of the amazing drive that he helped engineer that ended just a yard short of forcing OT in the 2000 Super Bowl.

He is the pride of Alcorn State and the greatest player to ever play for the Titans franchise. Had the Oilers stayed in Houston, I believe he would have been a legend there. Nevertheless, Steve McNair, Rest In Peace.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What about Vick?

You will see me defend Michael Vick until he is a complete free man and playing in the NFL once again. He's over payed his dues, now let the man play.

Now to the main point of my post, Donte Stallworth was given 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to DUI Manslaughter. I'm not saying Stallworth deserves more then that, I mean the man is truly, truly regretful and knows he has made mistakes and is trying to do the right thing and move on. He immediately called authorities and gave himself up. But there's no way Vick's crime is any worse than Stallworth's.

What about Vick? It just goes to show how society works now days. First off, I'm one of the biggest dog lovers there is and grittysquirrels can vouch for me, but killing dogs is nowhere near the killing of a human being.

Obviously Vick deserved some punishment, but I think it was just another case of a professional athlete hanging out with the wrong crowd at the wrong time. But how does Stallworth get off that easy? Maybe he won't get to play in the NFL again, unlike Vick, but come on now. Vick had to serve about two years in jail and is now being highly monitored by federal officials and will be placed on house arrest for two months. Not to mention more punishment is coming for him from NFL commish Roger Goodell.

The same thing goes for Donte Stallworth. Sure, he pleaded guilty, so he got a reduced sentence because of it, but I also feel a little sympathetic for him. It was a spur of the moment thing, a rather unfortunate accident and now I doubt Goodell will let him back in the league either. Which I believe he should be allowed back in after his punishment.

Maybe Stallworth doesn't deserve the same amount of time Vick got, however, neither does Vick...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Spur of the Moment

Look for the San Antonio Spurs to be the early title favorite in 2010 after acquiring Richard Jefferson from the Bucks on Tuesday.

From a winning standpoint the Spurs trade for Richard Jefferson looks brilliant (They gave up Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, & Fabricio Oberto). But from an economics standpoint, it may not be the best.

The Bucks gave up Jefferson to clear some much needed cap. It would clear $15 million for the Bucks in 2010-11 and give them more options for next season. They're also expected to release Bowen and Oberto (Look for the Spurs to pick Bowen back up on a minimum contract).

In my opinion, they gave up Jefferson so they could re-sign likely both Charlie Villanueva and Ramon Sessions, plus I am sure they want to start developing Joe Alexander.

As for the Spurs, if they wanted to be a title contender again this was the right move. They've lacked a big-time threat out on the wing. Jefferson will provide that. He's averaged 21 ppg the past two seasons and looked very impressive towards the end of 2009. He's also a big threat from the arc, averaging about 40%; which is something the Spurs have lacked.

San Antonio also got rid of some unneeded veterans. It was time to bring in another scoring threat to help compliment Duncan, Parker, and Ginobli.

Financially, it may not be the best for the Spurs, but I still think it was necessary. They are now over the cap by 4.5 million this year and have no room for the 2010-2011 season. They may have to trade Matt Bonner now to save cap, which will hurt the bench. But I still think this trade was worth it.

Duncan, Parker, Ginolbi and most of the team are not getting any younger and it was now or never for San Antonio. The Spurs will be a title threat for at least the next couple of years and this trade could put them over the top. They might as well of done it because in a few years the Spurs will need to start bringing in some young and fresh blood anyways. The Spurs are my early 2010 title favorite.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Glimmer of Hope

The United States Soccer team overcame adversity and also got some luck to end up with a spot in the Confederations Cup semis vs. Spain; they still have a lot to prove, but also a lot to gain.

As I watched the U.S.A's matches this past week, particularly vs. Brazil and Italy, the Americans looked over matched, soft, and passive. I know they were going against some of the powerhouses of world soccer, but I know this team is much better than that. They got annihilated 3-0 and 3-1 in those matches.

I think this team has a lot of potential and these matches are just preparation for the World Cup next summer, which is really what matters most. But I know the U.S. is better than this. They made countless mistakes in these losses. I know I don't know soccer as much as I do basketball, baseball, or football, but I know enough to at least unleash some criticism.

This team needs to be more aggressive, they seemed very passive throughout pool play, even at times in their 3-0 win vs. Egypt. Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore, and Michael Bradley all passed up plenty of good looks and shots around their opponents goal. Especially in their losses they all seemed to not want to take "the" shot. You can't have this vs. the best in the world.

Altidore passed up plenty of shots and never took advantage of the chances he had. He passed up plenty of opportunities and looked awful in the chances he got, not getting off any quality shots at all.

The U.S. still advanced to the semi's, but they played mediocre at best. I know Altidore is better than this, he has plenty of potential and raw talent. I really hope Bob Bradley continues to give him playing time and help him develop because the Americans will need him his presence next summer.

The U.S. had an early 1-0 lead vs. Italy off of an early Landon Donovan PK... want to know why they got the early lead? They were aggressive. They were keeping pressure on the Italian defense and goalkeeper and passing the ball around their offensive end and getting great looks. But once they had the lead they stopped being aggressive. They dropped a mid back into the defense and that gave the Italians more opportunities, not to mention some silly mistakes as well. In soccer it all comes down to opportunities and mistakes.

All in all, there is no other team in the world that is more up and down than the United States. I'd like to see Coach Bradley give some of his younger guys more opportunities to develop because some of the veterans aren't getting it done on a consistent basis. This team needs all the games it can get because they're somewhat young. If they could somehow pull off a win vs. Spain and maybe even win this thing, it could go a long way to the Gold Cup later this summer and even the World Cup next summer.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The NBA just ain't what it used to be

On Sunday night during Game 5 of the NBA Finals I found myself watching the College World Series and Fox News. I would flip back and forth between the two and occasionally watch a few minutes here and there of the NBA Finals.

The NBA just ain't what it used to be. I remember watching it non-stop when I was a little boy.

I remember watching Hakeem "The Dream" and his Rockets dominating and winning titles in 1994 and 1995. I remember Michael Jordan's ridiculous performances night after night. I remember Penny Hardaway and Shaq going toe-to-toe with Jordan but continually coming on the losing end. Who can forget Reggie Miller, Dale Davis, Jalen Rose and the Pacers trying to do the same? The NBA's glory years have come and gone...

Really, I have no idea what it is. I just couldn't get myself to watch more than 5 minutes of a game in the playoffs unless it was my Spurs or close to the end of the game. If the Finals was Lebron vs. Kobe I probably would've watched more of it, but it wasn't. To be honest, I really can't tell you what has happened.

Is it the selfishness and self-centerdness of a lot of the players now days? Is it the lack of team play? I really can't tell you, I just can't watch it like I used to. It used to be one of my favorite things to watch and now I find myself preferring to watch many other things before it.

If anybody has an answer I would really like to know, because I can't tell you exactly why.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Legalize Steroids in Sports

"Steroids are a huge problem in sports. Steroids are a serious health problem today and lead to heart disease, brain tumors, strokes, and even death."

Those are statements you hear almost everyday. They're beaten to death by the media, teachers, public officials, friends, and maybe even family. But none of them are true. There is no evidence that steroids lead to any of these things.

Steroids are blamed for former professional wrestler Chris Benoit killing himself and his family. But according to University of Wisconsin bioethicist Norman Fost, there is no documented correlation between steroids and brain tumors.

Many so called "experts" and doctors claim that steroids lead to heart attacks. Many say things such as, "it's possible and probable" that steroids are associated with hearth disease. But that's all they can ever say. There's no evidence whatsoever. Unlike smoking, where there is substantial evidence between it and lung cancer, there are no long-term studies that show steroids cause those diseases.

Steroids may not be completely safe, but why single out steroids? Every single over-the-counter drug has it's side effects. Tylenol can lead to ulcers and asthma. What's to say steroids is worse for you? Or even smoking? Drinking beer? Or what about texting/talking on the phone while driving? People put their lives in danger all the time.

I truly believe adults should have the freedom to harm their bodies and steroids should be just another personal choice; Whether it be steroids, smoking, alcohol or whatever, as long as they're not threatening anybody else.

A lot of the stories you hear about athletes killing themselves because of steroids are bogus. There is no evidence steroids lead to Chris Benoit's death and his supposed "roid rage".

But what about the "cheating" factor you might say? There's plenty of other things athletes do to gain a competitive edge over their opponents. What about the slippery swimsuits for swimmers? What about the new special contacts that help shade the sun for baseball players? What about Tiger Woods improving his eye sight to 20/15 with special lasik surgery?

Don't get me wrong, professional sports leagues should be allowed to ban these substances all they want, but congress and our government have no business being involved in any of this.

But what I am trying to get at is that the steroids argument is overblown and is no worse for you than alcohol or smoking, among numerous other things.

Steroids aren't the problem, rather it's the people suggesting they're a problem.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Witnesses to Weakness

It's true we were all witnesses. We were witnesses to greatness all year long. We were also witnesses to weakness on Saturday night.
Lebron said he was too competitive and upset after the loss to shake hands with the opposition. Well that is kind of a poor excuse, but in the heat of the moment it is understandable and forgivable. What I don't like however, is that he also used the same reasoning for not addressing the media after the game. He was too upset and competitive so he left his teammates out to dry? Left them to face the music all alone? Left them to try to explain how the best team in the NBA was not going to the Finals? C'mon Lebron!

We all know that you aren't going to be in Cleveland very much longer at all. But you still have to do your part as a teammate and teamleader! I am a very firm believer that Lebron James is the best player in the NBA--hands down. However, his behavior after last night's loss to the Magic proved that best player does not equal best teammate. Lebron has got some growing to do as a teammate, most of which he will almost surely do in New York or New Jersey. I also believe he will continue to grow on the court as well. As good as he is, something just tells me he hasn't reached his potential yet.

Well, we all would have loved to be witnesses to Kobe vs. Lebron but it will have to wait. Instead we'll all be witnesses to a Lakers vs. Magic finals, and that includes King James from his couch at home. And what about those commercials? Was that Nike's way of assuming Kobe and Lebron would be squaring off in the finals? Maybe they should run some Kobe and Dwight Howard puppet commercials for the finals!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MLB All Star Softball Team

Okay so my buddy and I were sitting watching Baseball Tonight after one of our softball games one night and we started to talk about who we would have on our All-MLB Slow Pitch Softball team. Yeah, I know what you're thinking, we have a lot of time on our hands. But it was a very compelling topic. So here's my ultimate MLB Softball team:

Pitcher: Carlos Zambrano
OK so obviously this position doesn't matter much. Anybody can pitch in slow pitch softball as long as you know how to throw strikes and maintain control. But most importantly, Zambrano can hit! He is one of the better hitting pitchers in the league and can field the ball up the middle.

Catcher: Joe Mauer
Mauer is the obvious choice here. I don't think you could get him out. He would be able to place the ball wherever he wanted. He could hit the long ball, bust the gap, paint either line, or hit it up the middle, whatever you want. Also, would be perfect to move over the lead off hitter on base. Not to mention he could field any ball coming at him from the OF with a runner barreling down third with no gear on...

1st Base: Albert Pujols
The ultimate 4 hitter. Pujols could use up your HR limit by himself. But he wouldn't need to do that. He would never hit for a single either. Also, his fantastic glove work would do wonders in the field.

2nd Base: Dustin Pedroia
Phenomenal fielder. 2nd Base is an overlooked position in SP softball, you need balance everywhere in order to be successful. He would be one hell of a 2nd lead off hitter batting last in the 11 slot.

Shortstop: Jose Reyes
Reyes is the ultimate slow-pitch lead-off hitter. Speed like none other and a great hitter. Also has a great OBP. SS is a key position as well in softball and he is one of the top SS out there. Can field in the hole or up the middle.

3rd Base: David Wright
Wright is one of the best fielders out there and would be a wall at the hot corner with piss rockets coming at him. Also, his bat would add a little spice to it. He can hit all fields and mix in some power and contact as well. Solid 7 hitter.

Center Field: Carl Crawford
Yeah, I know he plays LF but it's the OF it doesn't matter. He could catch any ball hit around him. The lefty would be the perfect piece in the batting order to mix up some of the righties.

Left Field: Alfonso Soriano
Another great glove to the OF but more importantly a versatile bat to the line up. Good mix of power, contact and speed. Can hit either power alley, go deep, or hit for a single if needed. He can bat anywhere in the order at 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 6th, 7th, you name it...

Right Field: Matt Holliday
Another power bat to the lineup. Good fielder as well, would be very dangerous at the five spot.

Rover: Hanley Ramirez
You wouldn't be able to hit any grounders or anything up the middle on this infield with Hanley, Reyes, and Pedroia fielding everything! I hate to say it but you would probably have to put Ramirez at the 6 spot in the order. Mauer is too good to pass up at the 2 spot and Reyes is your ultimate lead off. Also, too much power with Manny and Pujols batting in the 3 and 4 spots.

Extra Hitter: Manny Ramirez
Very, Very solid 3 hitter. Him batting in front of Pujols would be deadly, only thing is how would he be able to share the HR limit with Albert?

Batting Order:

1. Jose Reyes- SS
2. Joe Mauer- C
3. Manny Ramirez- EH
4. Albert Pujols- 1B
5. Matt Holliday- RF
6. Hanley Ramirez- RO
7. David Wright- 3B
8. Carl Crawford- CF
9. Alfonso Soriano- LF
10. Carlos Zambrano- P
11. Dustin Pedroia- 2B

There you have it! Long Haul Trucking or Resmondo ain't got nothing on this softball team!

Who would you have on your MLB All Star Slow Pitch team?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why the Lakers Won't Beat the Nuggets

When this series started I really viewed the Nuggets as the underdog. With the series now 2-2 I have realized that it is the other way around. The Lakers will not beat the Nuggets because they lack the killer-instinct needed to win a championship (or get there for that matter).
We all know what Kobe can do. I myself consider him the best closer in the game. I do believe that Lebron James as surpassed him as being the best player in the league. However, Kobe is the best closer in the league. But when you get deep enough into the playoffs you need more than just a superstar player. The Nuggets have all the pieces and the Lakers don't. The Lakers have good pieces but they haven't been playing well on a consistant basis this playoffs. Whereas it seems to me that the Nuggets have great pieces that are really playing well together. Don't get me wrong the Lakers are a good team but they lack that killer-instinct playoff intensity. We've seen this show multiple times in the playoffs. The Lakers come out and win a big game and then respond by getting blown out the next. They are just way too inconsistent right now and you can't play like that when you get deep in to the playoffs.

The Nuggets are playing much better as a team than the Lakers are. The Nuggets are playing great and are getting tons of much needed help from their bench. If they continue to play like that they will beat the Lakers and advance to the NBA finals. It very well may take 7 games but they will do it. Their team chemistry and bench play will be the difference. Even the best closer in the game can't close out a Western Conference finals all on his own.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Where Will Amazing Happen This Year?

I just cannot get enough of the NBA "Amazing" Commercials. There's a few different versions of them and I love them all. Everytime I watch them they send chills down my spine. Here's some of my favorites for you to enjoy so you don't have to look them up yourself. Enjoy...

The Redskins Nickname Must Go

Last Friday (the 15th), in a judicial decision that hinged on a legal technicality, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., upheld the right of the local pro football team to keep its unconscionable nickname, "The Redskins". Coincidentally, the day before (Thursday May 14th) the North Dakota Board of Higher Education voted unanimously to do away with the University of North Dakota's "Fighting Sioux" nickname by October 1, 2009 deeming it both "hostile and abusive". Anybody see a problem with this? Because I do.

Obviously this is a little bit of an apples to oranges comparison being that the Redskins are in the NFL and that much of the resistance to UND's Fighting Sioux nickname came from the NCAA and specific tribes.

Now, as a University of North Dakota student I am obviously very biased in my views on the Sioux nickname. And I will admit that i was a bit crushed when I heard the nickname was going to be eliminated completely. However, I am going to put my feelings for that aside here. My complaint with the Redskins nickname is a completely separate entity in my mind.

In clinging to the most racially offensive moniker held by a major U.S. professional sports team ever the franchise continues to offend some Native Americans and boggle my mind. How can more people not be offended? Imagine trying to explain “Redskins” to a foreign visitor or someone from the future? Especially when people get so worked up over nicknames like "Fighting Illini", "Fighting Sioux", "the Warriors", and "the Savages". This is a nickname that affects and should anger not just one or two tribes in a small state. This is a nickname that puts down ALL Native Americans in the US. Every time I say or hear "Redskins" I am baffled as to why there isn't more widespread outrage.

You can spare me the speech on how the name is actually a tribute to Native Americans, or how other allegedly similar groups (think Vikings) achieve mascot status. You can skip the talk about the importance of the team name to its fans or the tradition that would be compromised were it to be changed. Why? Because I've lived it! Granted I'm not a Native American but I go to a university with a very rich athletic tradition that is losing a nickname that it has served honorably.

Like I said, I fully comprehend the differences in the situation. The Redskins are a professional football team and a privately owned organization. They also do not fall under the jurisdiction of the NCAA. Despite these differences the nickname is unbelievably racist and offensive to an entire race of people. What if an NFL team "honored" our country's African-American population by being named the Brownskins? I've thought it for a long time and given the ironic timing of these court rulings I've got to put this out there: The Redskins nickname flat out needs to go.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Let Vick Be

They're finally letting Mike Vick out of prison this week, but he still won't be a free man. After he's let out of prison he will be highly monitored by federal officials and will be placed on house arrest for two months...

Is this not insane? Come on. Give the man a break! He's long over payed his dues. The man has gone through all of this long enough. He's been in jail what? Two years? This was also Vick's first arrest as an NFL player.

There are an average of 43 arrests per year among NFL players, and about 21 of those are violent crimes, crimes against other human beings. A lot of these guys serve a few games suspension and/or community service and are back on the field a few weeks later.

Mike Vick, a guy who has been scrutinized and slammed by the media and animal right groups (PETA) repeatedly, deserves forgiveness. In my opinion, dog fighting is not that serious of a crime. (Yeah I said it.) There are far worse crimes in this country that you can commit.

OJ Simpson walked away a free man after one of the worst court hearings ever. Ray Lewis was charged with murder nine years ago. Look at him now. Pac Man Jones was given unlimited chances after all of the garbage he pulled. I honestly feel Vick would've been better off hurting another human being over a dog. That's just how society is now days. And look at Vick now, two years of jail and all the crap he had to go with and now he will be highly monitored after he steps out of jail, when is enough enough?

He has paid his due to society and lost the richest contract in NFL history. It's not even about dog fighting anymore, it's how much we can screw Mike Vick and how broke we can make him. It's sickening how people are these days. There are a lot worse things he could have done, but people are ripping him a part and will no longer look at him the same because of it.

Yeah, he did deserve some punishment obviously, a fine, a few game suspension and a month of jail time would have been ideal. Him being kicked out of the league was unnecessary and stupid. I hope he is back playing in the league, the sport that made his early career. Mike Vick deserves to be back in the NFL!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Order Restored to MNF

It is official. MNF just got a hole lot more football-relevant and tolerable for me next year. Tony Kornheiser has been replaced on MNF by former Tampa Bay head coach Jon Gruden! The network said Monday that Gruden will be in the booth with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski when the show starts its 40th season this fall.

What a relief! I like Tony Kornheiser alright for PTI but he was absolutely horrible on MNF. ESPN tried for something different with him and it just didn't work out. He just tried way too hard to be funny, in my opinion, and lacked the football knowledge that I crave when I tune into watch a football game on a Monday night.

When asked about his dismissal Kornheiser responded, "If I could handpick a replacement of a football guy, I would cast a net and drag in Jon Gruden. He is the two things you most want — smart and funny — and has the two things I don't — good hair and a tan." Vintage Kornheiser.

All in all I'm not writing this to bash Kornheiser like many will. It is all personal taste, I'm sure some people loved him on MNF. I was not one of those people. I'm writing this because I am extremely excited to see a new face in Jon Gruden in the MNF booth. It's got me even more excited for Packers vs. Vikings on October 5th!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Just make a decision already!

The nations top two high school basketball prospects John Wall and Lance Stephenson have yet to make a decision on their college careers. The late signing period runs from April 15-May 20, so they now have 5 days to make a decision. Time is ticking boys!

This really irks me, these two fine young men have been recruited vastly for the past few years. Why is it taking this long to make a decision? With all due respect to these kids, but they need to just make a decision already!

All of this has been drug on long enough. You just can't keep coaches, recruiters and colleges on their toes this long. I'm sorry that it comes down to this, but I have no other reason than to believe that these guys just want to be in the spotlight. More specifically John Wall.

Wall goes on interview after interview telling multiple sides to his decision. One week he liked Kentucky, then Duke, the next was UNC, believe it or not he was interested in North Carolina Central at one point. And now all of a sudden he loves Miami... Come on Mr. Wall, enough with the games. Just make a decision already.

This is so ridiculous, I just cannot take it anymore and the NCAA is partially to blame. I do not think these kids need a little more than a month to decide. A lot of colleges give you until mid-April to accept admission for regular students. Why should it be any different for the athletes?

The NCAA should reduce it to one week. April 15-22 should be the late signing period for college basketball. This won't keep the coaches waiting so they can get on with their lives and job instead of lurking around waiting and waiting.

I know that this is a tough decision and some refer to it as a business decision. But from the looks of it, it seems more like monkey business. John Wall is just taking advantage of the system and dragging out this process to remain in the spotlight as long as he can. Because once he picks a school, the media will only make a big deal about it for a day or two and the spotlight will end.

I hope the NCAA looks in to this because it's something that should be fixed and kids shouldn't exasperate the decision.