Category Archives: sports

WiIl He Or Won’t He: Phill Mickelson and the 2017 US Open

Phil Mickelson is one of the greatest players in modern golf. Michelson, a member of the 2012 Wold Golf Hall of Fame class, has won 7 major championships, but one title has eluted him, the US Open. Lefty has gotton close to finishing off his resume, finishing 2nd a record 6 times In the “greatest test of golf.” Mickelson will turn 47 on Friday, and most assuredly, is running out of chances to finish off an outstanding career. As we close in on the start of the US Open at Erin Hills, tomorrow, the question remains-will Phill even be there to tee it  up.

Mickelson announced two weeks ago that he may miss the US Open, due to his daughter’s high school graduation. Obviouslly, there are more important things in life than golf, certainly your child’s achievements are far more important than your own, as a parent. Oh, By the way, Mickelson’s daughter is president of her class, and will be giving a commencement address to her classmates. Thus, there shouldn’t be a soul second guessing Mickelson’s choice, should he not play tomorrow. However, we are less than 24 hours away from the first tee shot being hit, and Phill remains in the field. With an early afternoon tee-time, Phil will need the skies over Wisconsin to open up in order to pull off the ultimate having your cake and eating it too senecio. If Michelson is, by micricle, able to make his tee time, run out and put some money on him, because clearly the good lord is a, “Phill the thrill”,fan.

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Big Blue Nation Should Be Ashamed Of Itself

Kentucky basketball has been the pride of the bluegrass for over a century, and with good reason. UK has won 8 National Titles, second only to UCLA’s 11. Due to the unparalleled success of the basketball program, and the lack of a professional franchise in the state, Kentucky basketball fans are ravenous. There is nothing wrong with passion-until you take it too far! After falling to North Carolina in the NCAA tournament, in the Elite Eight, the passion of Big Blue Nation indeed, went too far.

The contest between North Carolina and Kentucky was truly a “classic,” coming down to the final seconds. After the buzzer sounded and tears were shed, some Kentucky fans went absolutely nuts. A vocal group in the Big Blue fan base directed their ire towards John Higgins,  the lead official during the game, who also officiated during the Final Four.  If you watched the game, the officiating was questionable at best. However, poor officiating occurred for both sides, and to be quite blunt, happens every game on every level. You can certainly criticize Higgins and his crew for missed calls, but to equate it to the bias that occurred between the US and Soviet Union in the 1978 Olympics is ridiculous. Even worse, a small group of fans took to social media and other platforms to threaten and disparage Higgins personally. Dozens of negative comments were left on Higgins’ business website, questioning his integrity as a person and suggesting his business should be boycotted.  Again, its fine to be critical of Higgins as an official, but trying to affect his lively hood crosses a line.

If you as the reader do not feel a line has been crossed, let us offer other instances. While some took shots at Higgins professionally, others up the level of hysteria by threatening his life. Days after the Kentucky loss, Higgins met with FBI officials after receiving several death threats left on his voicemail. There are not enough words in the English language to describe the level of stupidity displayed by these clearly unstable people. If law enforcement can determine individuals who made these threats, please prosecute them to the fullest extent possible. Memo to the Big Blue Nation, there is more to life then basketball, maybe, just maybe, some of you need to get one!

Zags Will Win National Title Tonight

The 2017 National Championship game tips off in just about six hours. The game boast two #1 seeds, the blue blood (North Carolina) and the perennial underdog (Gonzaga). For the past 17 years, Gonzaga has looked to crash the NCAA Tournament party. Tonight, they will have the chance to trade Cinderella’s slipper for the championship crown. Through, Mark Few’s Bulldogs look like the underdog yet again, they are not! The Zags can match Carolina’s size, can score inside and out, and can rebound at a similar pace as the Tar Heels. Let’s be honest, the Tar Heel defense wasn’t as solid as it had been throughout the season Saturday night. If the Ducks had made a few more buckets down the stretch we would be talking about a different National Title Game this evening.

While, Gonzaga does not have the experience that the Roy Williams led Tar Heels do, Gonzaga should be relaxed and ready to play. North Carolina will have the pressure to finish their business after suffering a heartbreak loss, to Villanova, last March. If Gonzaga didn’t match up well with the Tar Heels we would give our nod to Chapel Hill, but Gonzaga has the match up they want and are poised to be on the podium as, ” One Shining Moment is planning tonight.

NCAA Tourney Final Four Picks

We’d like to tell you we had a good reason for not giving you a full tournament breakdown when it tipped off last Thursday, but the truth is, we’re just lazy. Come on, admit it, you   wouldn’t have wanted to read our predictions for all 32 first round games. Have no fear, though, we do have the time to give our Final Four picks.

West Virginia:

Bub Huggins ball club can speed any team up. They press for 40 minutes, hence the nickname, “Press Virginia”. The Mountaineers have enough fire power on the offensive end to stay with Gonzaga, and will turn the Zags over on the defensive end. While we’d love to see Gonzaga in the Final Four, we will have to see it to believe it,   At the moment, we believe the stage will, once again, be too big for the Bulldogs. While there is no doubt that West Virginia will face a determined Arizona Wildcats team, should they get by the Zags. Arizona has also never been to a Final Four under Sean Miller. It is because of their inability to get over the hump, that we will punch a ticket for West Virginia  to Phoenix

Kentucky:

As usual, John Caliapari, has a young group of Wildcats. The “Kitty Cats” struggled to get by Northern Kentucky, as the Nose shot themselves into the game with several 3s late, but UK was able to drop free shows late to cap off the  1st round win. Then, against Wichita State, The Cats got big shots from their seniors, and two big defensive plays, to seal a 3 point win. While, there is no denying UK was destroyed by UCLA in December, we suspect that the cats will have revenge on their minds and will over come the Bruins Friday night. The Wildcats will then, likely, move on to a rematch against North Carolina. While, the Tar Heels will certain want to average the loss to Kentucky in Vegas, we see the cats making shots to down the final ACC team in the dance.

Florida:

The Gators have gotten hot at the right time, completely destroying, albeit an offensively challenged, Virginia Caviler team in the round of 32. While Wisconsin will be a difficult game, the Badgers are not exactly an offensive juggernaut. We see Florida out scoring UW to advance. The Gators should easily dispatch with either “Cinderella, they make come up against, in the regional final, to advance to the championship party.

Kansas:

The Jayhawks just seem to always be in the mix the last several years. Just because of the way the baskets have fallen, The Jayhawks look primed for another run at the title. Although, Caleb Swanigan, is going to be a handful, KU has more talent than Purdue and at this time of year talent wins. Kansas should have no problem with either Michigan or Oregon, given the Ducks injury issues and Michigan’s lack of depth.

Full disclosure, We are just abut last in our bracket pools, so, you may not want to use our picks as betting info. Rather or not these picks are correct, we will be excited win the games tip on Thursday. We will have a Final Four preview for your view pleasure next week.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grayson Alen: A Symptom Of A Larger Issue

Grayson Allen has been far more known foe his antics off the court than his play on it this season. Allen has had several incidents of,”dirty play throughout the 2017 season. Allen was indefinitely suspended by Coach K earlier this season, after tripping an opponent during a non-conference game. After the suspendible offense, Allen went off on coaches and teammates who attempted to calm after the tripping incident occurred. Sadly, this is not the first season Allen has had aggression issues. Last season Allen was given a flagrant foul for separate tripping incidents during the 2015-2016. While Grayson Allen’s actions are troubling enough, he is just a symptom of a larger issue in sports today- entitlement.

Sports is the ultimate microcosm of society, there are haves and have nots. Athletes who posses superior talent are allowed to get away with behavior that their less talented peers would face consequences for. This type of favoritism truly begins at the youth level, where coaches and parents alike seem more concerned with winning than teaching life lessons. Yes, winning is very important! after all, why do we play if not to win? There is nothing wrong with having a competitive fire. In fact, competition should be encouraged! However, it is also a coach’s job to impart life lessons and correct detrimental behavior, no matter how talented the player. Somewhere around 1 percent of all athletes will compete at the highest level of sports. Thus, it is vital that coaches do not treat gifted athletes different from their teammates. We have witnessed  multiple senerios in which athletes have verbally and or physically assaulted coaches and teammates, yet, they were never punished for such behavior. It is highly likely that, at some point, such inappropriate will not be tolerated in the work place or otherwise. When someone has never encountered consequences for bad behavior rather at home or on the playing field, they will have difficulty dealing with the consequences of their actions, when the time comes to do so.

Playing sports is a privilege, not a right! the only way to change behavior is to punish behavior that should to be corrected, thus, some time on the bench is not necessarily a bad thing. True, sports at the highest levels are businesses, and coaches are, all to often, judged by their performance on the playing field. However, it is also  important to understand that there is life after sports. Star athlete or not, actions have consequences. It is time that coaches, parents, and other influencers focus not just on the athlete, but the whole person as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rousey would be great Addition to WWE Roster

Over the last few months, there has been a ton of speculation regarding the future of Ronda Rousey. After back to back losses, Rousey’s future in MMA is uncertain at best. While nothing has been announced officially, it is widely thought that Rousey will retire from UFC in the near future. Rousey burst on the seen s UFC’s first bantamweight champion, starting her career 12-0. UFC President, Dana White, has stated that he didn’t believe women’s MMA could draw money until Rousey came along. She has generated millions of dollars in pay per view buys and basically created a women’s division on her own. There is wide speculation about what the future of “Rowdy Ronda,” rather it be acting or a wide number of other options, Rousey will have no shortage of opportunities to cash-in. One of the most obvious choices for Ronda would be making the jump  to pro wrestling and the WWE.

Rousey would be a perfect fit for the WWE roster, as WWE has up the athleticism in it’s women’s division over the last two years. Recently, the women of WWE have been in the main event of Monday Night Raw,  competed in their first ever, “Hell In A Cell,” and have excelled in several “Iron Man” match, all of which have been very well received by fans. The addition of Rousey would add even more star power to a growing roster of talent, and possibly open WWE to a wider audience. WWE has proven over the years that they know how to build a character, and with Rousey being one of the most legitimate athletes, male or female, it seems like a match made in sports entertainment heaven. Rousey’s Wrestlemaina appearance two years ago already drew speculation that she might trade the octagon for the square circle.

Obviously, Rousey has to want to be a part of WWE and WWE has to make the choice to sign her. If the opportunity presents itself, WWE should jump on the chance to bring a bad ass like Rousey into the fold. It’s just two easy to see Ronda Rousey as a Brock Lesner type monster that  can draw anytime she steps through the ropes. $$$$ sings should be going off in Vince McMahon’s head. Interestingly, we haven’t heard a word from Rousey’s camp since her last loss to Amanda Nunes, Pure speculation of course, but we would be surprised to see Rowdy Ronda debut at Wrestlemania 33, on April 2nd.

Divisional Round Breakdown

Last week we went 3-1 in our picks for the wild card round. While we had a good week last week, this week’s games aren’t going to be easy to predict. Like last week, we’ll give it our best shot.

Seahawks @ Falcons

The early game on Saturday will be a contrast of styles. The Falcons, led by Matt Ryan, Julio  Jones, and Co. will try to use the home field advantage to run up and down the dome. Seattle on the other hand will once again rely on their defense to shut down Atlanta, and hope Russell Wilson can help the offense secure an NFC Championship berth.The Falcons averaged over 33 points per game, and Matt Ryan has put up MVP numbers from the pocket. While there is no denying Atlanta has struggled in the playoffs at home, the law of averages has to give at some point, right? We believe the Falcons will put points up on the board Saturday and move a step closer to the big game.

Our Pick Atlanta Falcons

Texans @ Patriots

The Texans were dominate in all phases of the game last week, While Houston played extremely well against Oakland, part of their dominance was the absence of Raiders quarterback, Derek Carr. The Texans’ defense held Oakland to just 14 points, and the combination of Lamar Miller and Brock Osweiler did enough to win the game and advance. However, Houston will take the trip up to Foxboro and have to deal with Bellichick and Brady in the playoffs. In our minds no stats are needed here, The Patriots will host the AFC Championship in two weeks.

Our Pick: The Patriots

Steelers @ Chiefs

This one should be a great game Sunday afternoon. Alex Smith and the Chiefs just don’t turn the ball over, and Kansas City has found a star in Tyreek Hill, and will use him along with an efficient passing game to take down Pittsburgh. No doubt that Big Ben and Co. will be ready to play, but the Chiefs have a good enough defense to slow them down, add to that how load Arrowhead Stadium can be, and you have a recipe for a big win for KC.

Our Pick: Chiefs

Packers @ Cowboys

The rematch from last year’s Divisional Round should be another thriller. Big D has been the best team in football all season, led by two rookies no less. While all that should point to a Cowboys win, no one is hotter then Arron Rogers. Rogers just took apart a Giants defense that beat Dallas twice. Rogers threw 4 touchdowns and for  352 yards last week against New York, which is decidedly better than Dallas. With all that said, Dak Prescott has been absolutely brilliant all year long, add the league’s leading rusher, and we see the NFC Championship running through Jerry’s World!

Our Pick: Dallas Cowboys

Bama, Clemson Part II

Tomorrow, for the first time in decades, we have a rematch for the College Football National Title. Normally, there is no way on the planet that we would bet against Nick Saban, but this year is different. The Tide defense has played tremendously all season long, taking apart every offense they have faced, including Washington last week. Alabama just swarms you and can put you behind the chains, and then lets the offense run the ball down your throat, until you submit. However, Clemson hung a goose egg on Ohio State, and quarterback JT Barrett, who is the all-time leader in touchdowns for the Buckeyes.  If the Tigers can force Jaylen Hurts to throw the football, Clemson will be well on their way to their first national title in two decades.

In today’s brand of football, it’s usually all about offense. Tomorrow night, the defensive side of the ball will be in the spotlight.  Know doubt this one will be hard to predict, but it is safe to say, it won’t be a 51-50 shootout. The 2016 national championship will come down to which team can make the critical stop, and which team can put together a few touchdown drives. From where we are sitting, Clemson will be hoisting the trophy late Monday evening.

Breaking Down Wild Card Weekend

It’s all most kickoff time for the NFL playoffs. Perhaps, this year unlike most, it’s going to be hard to pick the winners, but we’ll give it our best shot!

Raiders @ Texans

 

Both teams come in a bit uneasy, as neither is confident in their starting quarterback. The Texans will start Brock Osweiler, who was benched two weeks ago, in favor of backup Tom Savage. Savage is unavailable due to a concussion he suffered in the season finale. While Osweiler has not proven himself to be a franchise QB, he has shown enough to get past the Raiders, who are dealing with their own quarterback issues. The Radiers have offensive weapons, Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper, however, without MVP candidate, Derek Carr, the Texans have the advantage. It won’t hurt that Huston has the home field advantage either.

Our Pick: Houston Texans

Lions @ Seahawks

There is no question that Lions quarterback, Mathew Stafford, has had an MVP caliber season. He, and the Detroit receivers, have led the Loins to the postseason, as their running game has been virtually non-existent. While the Seahawks D hasn’t been the “legion of boom”, this season, we believe the Seahawks will shut down Staford and Co. giving the 12th man a playoff win.

Our Pick: Seahawks

 

Dolphins @ Steelers

Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi has had a breakout season for Miami. He has been a fantasy owner’s dream, the second half of the season. However, without a solid receiving core and no shut down defense the Fins will be one and done, as they are no match for the three-headed monster of Brown, Roethelisberger  and Bell. The Steelers should cruise to the Divisional  Round.

Giants @ Packers.

This one may be the hardest pick of the weekend. We’ve been back and forth on this one all week, but it’s time to make a call. Arron Rogers has been absolutely on fire the second half of the season, throwing 18 touchdowns and 0 interceptions the last seven games. While it’s hard to bet against those numbers, Eli Manning never fails to pull off a playoff surprise, winning two Superbowls as the underdog. Couple that pedigree with the fact that the Packers have no run game to speak of and you have the makings of an upset

Our Pick: Giants

 

 

Sager Leaves Behind Legacy On And Off The Court

2016 has been a year of loss for the sports community. We’ve lost Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, and others. Just a week ago, the sports world loss another giant when Craig Sager lost his 3 year battle with cancer. Sager’s  death not only leaves the NBA sidelines much more empty, but also leaves a void in the world at large. By all accounts, Seger was beloved by all who worked with him. As a former broadcaster, I appreciated his dedication to his craft despite any circumstance. Prior to receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the 2016 ESPY’s, a video showed Sager in chemo treatments after working the sidelines on TNT.  Rather than let the Illness stop him from living, Mr. Sager continued to live his life as normal as possible. Even last week, knowing the end was near, Sager was in the stands at his son’s basketball game soaking in every last moment he could with those he loved most.

In his acceptance at the ESPY’s, Sager told the audience, “Time is simply how you lived your life.” If indeed you believe that, Craig Sager’s life was eceptionally well lived, and his legacy on and off the court will not soon be forgotten. Our deepest smpathies to the Sager family and all who are impacted by his passing!