Category Archives: Sports

The NFLs Colossal Blunder

Well, folks, it’s Sunday and that means Super Bowl week is officially upon us. It’s a busy week for the sports media, even small bloggers like myself, in keeping up with the whirlwind that ensues. For many, it’s the most fun week of the year, coming to a climax with the world’s biggest game. For the NFL and Roger Goddell, it may become at nightmare.

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It’s the most magical time of the year!

If you haven’t heard, which means you’re living under a rock or are just too concerned with the collapse of Justin Bieber’s career, Super Bowl XLVIII is being played up north this year. I remember at the beginning of the season everyone I knew was saying What are they thinking? With the game a mere seven days away, people are now saying What WERE they thinking? Aside from the replacement refs and the current concussion debacle, this could end up being football’s biggest mistake yet.

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Huh?

There are several reasons The Meadowlands may have been the wrong choice for the Super Bowl. The weather is the clear and obvious choice for reason numero uno. However, the one decision that was the deciding factor is clear: the almighty dollar. The Super Bowl is the World’s Biggest Game, and New York is certainly the biggest stage to play it on. The money the NFL, New York and New Jersey can profit from a Super Bowl if, and only if, it goes well will probably be enough to build the Statue of Liberty a boyfriend. That money won’t be worth jack if you blow the greatest game on earth. Seriously, think about it. The only event that compares, and perhaps surpasses the Super Bowl, is the World Cup. The last World Cup Final in 2010 had 619.7 million viewers, whereas last years Super Bowl had 108.41 million. However, The World Cup involves every major country in the WORLD and it’s viewers wait four full years to watch it. The Super Bowl is solely an American game, yet is still broadcast in 232 countries. Corporations spend up to $4 million for a 30 second spot in between drives whereas a World Cup commercial caps out at about $450,000. The average pay day for the World Cup has been just north of $100 million. The Super Bowl? The big game has an average yield of $379 million. Every bar and restaurant, not just Irish and English pubs and sports bars, are going to have some sort of promotion going on. And the parties across the nation will seem endless.

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Futbol or Football?

So, why would you schedule a Super Bowl in winter time in New Jersey knowing that the weather will be the real 12th man? It is supposed to be cold with highs between 35-40 and the lows that may hit 20. If you have ever been in MetLife Stadium, you know that once the winds start swirling, 20 degrees feels like 0. There is a 30% chance of freezing rain or snow, and NFL Executive Vice President Eric Grubman has announced the Super Bowl may be played anywhere from Friday to Monday.

Huh? Did I just type that? Super Bowl Sunday may be Super Bowl Friday. IT DOESN’T EVEN SOUND RIGHT!!! Why would you put all this money, all these fans, all these schedules at risk?

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Johnny U in The Greatest Game Ever Played

Maybe one thought (and the word thought is used loosely here, because it doesn’t appear many brain cells were used in this decision) was that this is how the NFL Championships used to be played. The 1958 NFL Championship Game has earned the nickname “The Greatest Game Ever Played” and that was successfully played in Yankee Stadium, but that was an extremely different NFL. Those were the games that defenses controlled, where the hard-nosed players were allowed to hit, the era where the old adage Defense wins championships comes from.

Today’s NFL is different. We want offense. It’s a passing game these days, and if you are lucky enough to have a feature running back, you want to see him explode. Want proof? Let’s compare this Super Bowl’s elite to that 1958 game. The 1958 Championship pitted the Colts versus the Giants. The quarterback was a one Johnny Unitas, whom many consider one of the greatest to ever play the game. He threw for 2000 yards with 19 touchdowns that year and a 90 QB Rating. I know, the seasons were shorter, but if you take his averages and extend it to a 16 game season, he throws for 3200 yards and 27 touchdowns. Now, take the guy who had to live in Unitas’s shadow for all those years, Peyton Manning. This year he threw for a record 5,477 yards, a record 55 touchdowns, and a 115 QB Rating. Want more? (Of course you do, you thirst for it!) Frank Gifford was the Giants running back in that game, and he was considered one of the premier backs in the NFL. That year, Gifford ran for 468 yards and 8 touchdowns while tacking on 330 yards receiving and 2 more TDs. Marshawn Lynch, aka Beast Mode, aka Yum Yum Give Me Some Skittles, aka one of the top backs in the game, ran for 1257 yards and 12 TDs while adding on 316 yards through the air with 2 more TDs.

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Uh oh…

So why would you put these type of players in brutal weather conditions? The Super Bowl is being watched by thousands of people who don’t really care about football or are from other countries and want to see what all the hub bub is about. It is the ultimate billboard for the NFL. It is in my mind that we should then want to see the very best of what the NFL has to offer. I want to see Manning go off for 400 yards and 4 TDs on Sunday (or Friday, or Monday). So does everyone else except Seahawks fans. I also want to see Beast Mode rampage all 11 Bronco defenders all day long, and so does everyone else except Bronco fans. In the snow and cold, we won’t see that. We will see a lot of three and outs, and it will be a defensive stronghold, which is a huge advantage for Seattle because they are hands down the best in the business.

I get it the whole it’s football weather mindset, but that’s why we have the NFC North. That’s what makes Pittsburgh legendary. That’s why we watch the Patriots zamboni FGs for Vinatieri. But then, when those teams ravage through those tough conditions, they are rewarded by playing a Super Bowl in sunny San Diego or inside a dome where there is no weather at all.

Never mind the hypocrisy of the NFL preaching for player safety and then wanting an 18 game season. Forget about the fact that a league so concerned with the health of its players is possibly adding a team to the playoffs and prolonging their season (all because Jerry loses out on the playoffs in the last game of every season, but that’s another rant!). If you really want to go traditional like that 1958 Championship, if you really want to play in football weather, then you are truly putting our greatest players at injury risk and reversing every last thing the players union and lawsuits have been fighting. While there is no guarantee that injuries are less abundant in warmer weather than colder weather, it just seems that purposely placing the NFLs best in even the slightest possibility of treacherous conditions is a bit silly from a sport that is evolving into a player-safe league.

I need to cool off. We have a busy week in store. Keep an eye out for my Super Bowl predictions and a little bit more on Peyton’s greatness. And don’t forget to check in with my daily rants at @UofDWayne in the Twitterverse. Till next time, hopefully my internet won’t freeze over.

How Richard Sherman Became My Favorite Player in 30 Seconds

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And for my next number…

It’s unreal. You think you have an awesome blog in the works. You think, Nothing can make me angrier at sports than what I just witnessed. But then, as a sports blogger, you jump on Twitter and Facebook to see what the world is saying and BAM! I have a new topic. So, I am putting my post Brady/ Manning V rant on hold, because I feel it my duty to the sports world to talk about the NFLs newest bad boy.

As long as he isn’t playing my Texans, Richard Sherman is my favorite player in the NFL. In one night, this classless thug out of Compton made himself his own corporation. He was both blasted and praised on Twitter and Facebook, talked about on every sports network, and defended by sports bloggers across the nation in less than twelve hours. If you didn’t know who Richard Sherman was last night, you sure do now.

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U mad, bro?

None of this is new for Sherman. He called Roddy White an easy matchup, told Revis to pick up his game, and labeled Harbaugh a bully. He tweets and texts opposing players, and whether you’re the back up wide receiver or Tom “The Golden Boy” Brady, he’s going to tell it how it is. He is the new Terrell Owens. Instead of OchoCinco, we now have DosCinco. And much like his predecessors, he has the walk to back all the talk. Love them or hate them, these are the players people remember. Ten years from now, more people will remember Randy Moss than James Lofton or Tim Brown because there is more entertaining sound bytes from Randy than those two ever had.

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The Bank of Randy

And there is nothing wrong with playing the game as the likes of Larry Fitzgerald and Andre Johnson do. They are two of the best at what they do and simply let their play do the talking. Tom Brady is from the Bellichek camp and never talks, but that isn’t what makes him better than Ryan Leaf. People want controversy, it makes them orgasm to have the opportunity to have a focal point of their rage. Richard Sherman gave everyone that last night.

If you don’t know by now, Richard Sherman is absolutely brilliant. He was salutatorian in high school, had a rumored 1400 score on his SATs, and earned a Communications degree from Stanford. On top of that, he was recruited by a one Pete Carroll, current mentor to The Legion of Boom, and while in high school, Sherman made Carroll, the coach of our nation’s best (and probably dirtiest) program amid a 34 game winning streak, wait over two hours to interview so he could finish an AP course. Yet because of his “antics”, because of his “trash talk”, he was labeled a classless thug.

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RRROAW RRRRRROAW like a dungeon dragon

Why? Because he is from Compton? Because he is a dumb jock who couldn’t possibly know what he was talking about? Because instead of saying the same watered down “I tip my cap to the Niners but this is just one game” garbage we always hear, he called out a guy he totally took to school and shut down possibly the most over rated QB in football?

Let me tell you what Richard Sherman is. He is an entertainer. He brought some life back into a game that the higher ups and union are trying to take away. He is a shut down, lights out defender who plays the game hard and extremely well. Oh yea, he also happened to save that game and put the Seahawks in the Super Bowl, which has been an after thought to his words. So, all of you people hating on him, stereotyping him, and trying to bring him down are just fueling the fire. And, folks, I can’t wait to see what he does next.

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Ta Daaaaa

That being said, I totally think it’s Peyton Manning’s year and the Seahawks won’t win the Super Bowl, but man, are we in for a great two weeks.

Maybe it’s because my idols are Howard Stern and Frank Sinatra. Maybe it’s because, like those two, I don’t know how to keep me thoughts to myself. But I think Richard Sherman is an alright dude. I need to cool off. Till next time, maybe I will actually have the chance to tell you about my thoughts on Brady and Manning.

Happy Freakin New Year from the Hall of Fame

Hey there, sports fans. My name is Wayne, and I am a sportsaholic. With Chris Christie closing bridges, a united healthcare plan no one understands, religion starting wars all over the world, and Miley Cyrus reigning as the queen of pop culture, I don’t see much of a reason to follow much else. That being said, I feel like the perfect time to start a blog, especially one centered around sports rants, is the beginning of a brand new year. It isn’t because this is something I have procrastinated about for two years (which I have) and made some sort of resolution to start. And no, it is not because this is the time to start anew. It’s simply because in January, the biggest hypocrisy in all of professional sports occurs: the voting for the newest inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Oh, dear reader, where do I start? Well, before I tear apart what has transpired, how about I say congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas, Joe Torre, Tony LaRussa and Bobby Cox. All six are very deserving of the honor and I truly believe they are all first ballot guys. If you were to ask me who the three best managers of my lifetime were, those three take the honor. Plus, are you going to tell a guy named The Big Hurt he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall? I’m not.

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One of my big problems with this years votes is Greg Maddux. I’m 38 years old. I had the pleasure of watching Greg Maddux’s entire career and remembering it. Growing up in the New York City area, as a Yankee fan, I rather enjoyed watching him take on the Mets, often ruining any fantasy their fans had of being competitive. Mr. Maddux received 97.2% of the votes, and I have a huge problem with this.

There is absolutely no excuse for why Greg Maddux did NOT receive 100% of the votes. I would love the opportunity to sit down with the 16 people who didn’t vote for him and find out why. After they gave me some outdated explanation, I would take their votes from them… And then slap them in the face with the ballots.

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From around 1992 to 2000, if Maddux was pitching against your team, you pretty much chalked it up a loss. Take away his pitching for just a second. From 1990 to 2002, he won 13 straight Gold Gloves. After an “off year” in 2003, he came back to win the award 5 more consecutive years from 2004 to 2008. That means from the ages of 38 to 42, well past his prime in a sport that has 20 year olds sprouting up yearly, he was still the best fielding pitcher in the game. He had 5 career home runs and made us all aware that chicks do indeed love the long ball. He was also an 8 time All Star, but let me say something about All Star appearances. I hold no credence to All Star game selections except for pitchers. Fans vote in the offensive starters with as much, if not slightly more, credibility than the BBWAA, and I had to endure watching the likes of Cal Ripken and Ozzie Smith well beyond their time. However, managers pick their pitchers, and when an opposing manager picks you, well, that is just respect.

In case you forgot how glorious the commercial was, check out Chicks Dig the Long Ball here.

Now, let’s look at that pitching. Any avid baseball fan knows Greg Maddux won 4 Cy Young Awards. But it wasn’t just that he won those 4 awards, it was how he did it. Let’s just look closely at 2 of the seasons he won the award. In 1994, he posted a ridiculous 1.56 ERA and came back in 1995 with a 1.63 ERA. In both of those said seasons, he lead the league with 10 complete games and 3 shutouts (talk about consistency). He finished in the top 5 in THE MVP voting in both the ’94 and ’95 campaigns. He was a one man wrecking crew and arguably the MOST dominant pitcher of his era, yet 16 people felt he wasn’t a first ballot Hall of Famer. And all I can do is ask why?

 

It’s pretty simple, actually. There is absolutely no criteria to be in the Hall of Fame. For SEVENTEEN straight years, Maddux finished with 15 or more wins and in only one of those campaigns (1990’s 15-15 campaign) was he not well above .500. He has 355 career wins. That’s eighth all time, folks. EIGHTH! Do you know how many pitchers have thrown a baseball? And even though The Professor was all about finesse, he still finished with 3,371 strikeouts, which puts him at tenth all time. (Incidentally, many thanks to baseball-reference.com for all of this information!) Throw in an unreal 3.16 ERA over a 23 year career and we are looking at one of the all time greatest pitchers to ever throw a baseball. And again, 16 people apparently disagree.

One of the problems today’s inductees are facing is the whole Steroid Era, and how certain writers will not vote for anyone who played during the era under the unfair assumption that everyone abused the drug. Of course, the Steroid Era is kind of shaky on its official start date. In June of 1991, then commissioner Fay Vincent issued a statement making steroids officially illegal in clubhouses. Is that the official start? Or was it in 1992, when Curtis Wenzlaff was busted for allegedly supplying the likes of The Bash Brothers with steroids? No, I think most consider the real start of the Steroid Era the post 1994 strike, when not just anabolic steroids but new supplements were being used. Well, if that’s the case, Maddux already had 3 of his 4 Cy Young Awards sitting in his trophy cabinet, so I’m not ok with that rationale.

Other writers have admitted they simply won’t vote for players because they feel that no one should be a first ballot inductee. Excuse me? That’s a blatant bias, and people with any bias should not be on a panel deciding someone’s fate. I was a high school teacher for a few years. I couldn’t just sit there and grade my students based on assumptions or biases. There were scoring rubrics I had to make that set certain standards, elements, and points each student had to hit in order to gain an A, and not only did I create it, I presented it to the students so they understood what their goal was. The Baseball Hall of Fame voting process has none of this. If it did, Maddux hit EVERY standard and stat he needed to, as he is top ten in two huge stats. On top of the numbers, he has the awards, the championship, he was never linked to steroids, he was liked by his peers, the fans seemed to think he was a stand up guy, and as I pointed out earlier, thanks to the longball, chicks dug him.

Maybe you feel like you wasted your time reading this, because at the end of the day, Greg Maddux is now in the Hall of Fame. But 16 people feel he shouldn’t be. And Craig Biggio, one of 28 people with 3,000 hits in the history of the game, isn’t. And nobody is really sure why.

I need to cool off. Until next time folks. Hopefully The NBA won’t have another Nickname Night by then.