Freitag, 31. August 2012
Before the first pitch of the regular season was thrown, I wrote an article saying how Kenny Williams had turned the Chicago White Sox from bad to worse ever since their championship run in 2005. I talked of bad moves, chasing names, trading the entire farm system and how this year's slogan should be "All Outs."
I talked about how with the team that Detroit had, there was no way that a Sox squad with has-been players way past their primes could compete. Detroit was going to run away with the AL Central.
My opinions were obviously way off base, and I offer my sincerest apologies for underestimating a team that just hasn't quit.
The resolve of this White Sox team has been impressive to say the least. The pitching has been great, the hitting has been (for the most part) timely, and there are two bona fide candidates for comeback player of the year in Adam Dunn and Alex Rios. This, combined with the calming influence of rookie manager Robin Ventura, has equated to a three-game division lead over Detroit going into September.
Jake Peavy takes the mound for the White Sox this evening against Doug Fister of the Tigers. This is followed by Francisco Liriano against Max Scherzer on Saturday and a battle between two Cy Young candidates on Sunday with Chris Sale vs. Justin Verlander.
The nice thing about this upcoming series with Detroit is that even if Detroit sweeps the White Sox again as they did earlier this summer, the White Sox will have no worse than a tie for first place going into a 10-game homestand. Heck, if the Sox only take one game out of three, they will still have a two-game lead going into that homestand.
That's great news, right? Everything is coming up roses.
I say that line of thinking is what losers say. And if there is one thing the 2012 Chicago White Sox have shown, it's that they are not losers.
The White Sox have a very real chance to squash Detroit's hopes of winning the AL Central title right here, right now. Sweeping the Tigers would not literally win the division, but it would completely demoralize a team that has already disappointed this year. The psychological impact of a White Sox sweep over Detroit in Comerica Park would be devastating.
Think about it. Each team has 32 games left on their schedule. Both have a majority of games with the Twins, Indians and Royals (19 for the Tigers, 18 for the White Sox—and be careful with those Royals...apparently they aren't pushovers anymore).
So neither team really has an advantage as to who it plays. However, the White Sox have that 10-game homestand coming up after this three-game tilt in Motown, currently have a three-game lead, and the last four games of that homestand are against Detroit.
A sweep in Comerica this weekend would crush the Tigers. There is no way they would be relishing going out on the road to play the Los Angeles Angels (who are also fighting for a playoff spot) and then going into Chicago with a six-game deficit or larger.
Detroit knows that this weekend's series is do-or-die for them. Anything less than a series win for Detroit could mean their demise. But if they get swept? It's over.
The White Sox have their shot to end things early and throw the knockout punch. If they don't do it though, and the Tigers win the series or get a sweep over the White Sox themselves, it's going to be a long, tough road to the finish line with no guarantee of emerging victorious.
The White Sox need to treat this series like the playoffs and play like they are division winners even though that crown hasn't been awarded yet.
It starts tonight with Jake Peavy. Hopefully, he and the White Sox have the killer instinct they need.
After a draft that gave up a top-five overall running back pick and two other first-round backs, 2013 might not even yield one runner in the first 32 picks.
Trent Richardson was the best prospect at the position since Adrian Peterson, and Doug Martin was too much like Matt Forte and Ray Rice for teams to make the mistake of letting him fall to the second like the Bears and Ravens studs did in 2008.
David Wilson is already showing the dynamic, explosive play that induced the Giants to take him in the first round in April.
The 2013 draft-eligible class lacks a flagship talent like Richardson, and a handful of the best talents in the group are coming off of serious injuries. As usual, the SEC leads the way, and the Alabama Crimson Tide have yet another potential star in the making carrying the mail.
Donnerstag, 30. August 2012
According to Jim Wyatt of The Tennessean,
The one game suspension comes fast on the heels of news that the troubled and oft-injured wideout was coming off the PUP list to begin workouts with the team (hat tip to Wyatt again). He was to begin working out with the Titans next week, though that will be put on hold because of his suspension.
The news came as a relief to Britt and to Titans fans as it was widely speculated that the suspension could have been much worse. Britt is integral to the Titans' hopes in 2012, despite missing the entire preseason with an injury.
The disciplinary action is yet another warning-shot by the NFL to Britt who now must stay out of trouble to avoid further discipline. Earlier in the offseason the narrative around the talented receiver was that he had grown up and matured, but then spent camp ducking a series of incidents including complaining about a team fine on Twitter and his DUI charge.
For Britt, the suspension will cost a game check, but for the Titans, the impact is minimal. Britt wasn't necessarily ready to play big minutes in the season opener. As much as they want and need his presence in the lineup, he'll now have another week to heal up.
Now, the Titans can exhale knowing one of their best weapons will only be off the table for a week, and a week in which he would probably have only had limited availability anyway.
This news is a boon for a team that promises to be on the cusp of contention. If Britt can stay healthy and productive for the 15 remaining games, the Titans can contend for a playoff spot.
Another incident or injury will likely not only derail Britt, but the Tennessee hopes for the postseason as well.
It’s in the best interest of the Boston Red Sox to start keeping their eye out for potential replacements for designated hitter David Ortiz, whose contract expires at the conclusion of the 2012 season.
It’s easy to think that Ortiz will likely return to Boston for at least another season, but things don’t always work out. He’s been his usual self this season, hitting .318/.415/.611 with 23 home runs, 60 RBI and 65 runs. The problem is that Ortiz has been battling an Achilles injury for majority of the season.
Do the Red Sox really need to sign a full-time DH that will turn 37 years old in November?
Yes, Ortiz still produces like he’s only 31—when healthy—but injuries have started to catch up with him and it may not be worth the price that he’ll be asking for. He’s expressed concerns about his contract status in the past and a similar situation will start in the offseason once he’s no longer under contract. He’s owed $14.57 million this season and could ask for a similar contract going forward.
If Boston general manager Ben Cherington is going to make disciplined moves, he should let Ortiz walk in free agency and give his job to Mauro Gomez.
Most Red Sox fans should know who Gomez is. He’s been up and down throughout the minors over the course of the season, usually due to an injury. What most Red Sox fans wouldn’t know about Gomez is that he was just named the Most Valuable Player of the Triple-A International League, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America.
Now excuse me if I’m wrong, but that’s a pretty big deal. He’s the most valuable player in the entire league and yet he’s rarely mentioned in any discussion regarding the Red Sox. It’s not like he won the MVP as a shortstop either. Gomez won it as an everyday DH. Wouldn’t you want someone like that to replace Ortiz, should Boston let him walk? I sure would.
In 100 games with Triple-A Pawtucket, Gomez hit .310/.371/.589 with 24 home runs, 74 RBI and 65 runs. It’s the second year in a row that he’s hit at least 24 home runs in a season and the fourth time he’s done it over the course of his professional career.
You may not realize this, but Gomez has actually been playing well with the Red Sox too. In 15 games, he’s hitting .327/.386/.462 with five extra-base hits (one home run), six RBI and eight runs. He hasn’t been playing regularly and has still managed to play well when given the opportunity.
Deciding what to do with Ortiz once the season ends will be a very tough decision for Cherington, but he should keep Gomez in the back of his head. He’ll be a star one day if he’s given the chance. He just hasn’t been given it yet.
According to reports, Arsene Wenger could be keen on taking Dzeko if Walcott makes the opposite journey.
Wenger is a fan of the Bosnian striker and first identified him as a prospect several years ago.
Dzeko’s future at the Etihad Stadium has been uncertain after he revealed his frustration at being a bit-part player last season.
Even though French striker Olivier Giroud and German forward Lukas Podolski have not been able to make a huge impact in the Gunners attack through two Premier League games so far, Dzeko would not be a significant upgrade over either player.
Dzeko is great in the air and has a powerful shot, but he wouldn't be a profound improvement over Giroud. There's no need for Arsenal to make a move for Dzeko when Giroud is a similar kind of player.
Dzeko did score 14 league goals in 30 matches last season for the defending champions, but he won't be surrounded by the same quality attacking players at Arsenal that he currently is with City.
The other issue with Dzeko possibly making a move to Arsenal is his high wages. Wenger wasn't willing to pay former captain Robin van Persie the enormous wages that he demanded, so it's hard to imagine him paying an inferior player a high salary.
Even though scoring has been a problem thus far for the Gunners, adding defensive quality should be the goal for Wenger before the transfer window shuts until January.
Nicholas Goss is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter.
Many will remember Chelsea's thrilling penalty shootout win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League final and the class and skill that Atletico Madrid displayed in their 3-0 demolition of Athletic Bilbao.
Both teams boast strong attacking talent in their lineup and will be looking for a good result here to build on the good work they have done so far in the English Premier League and La Liga respectively.
Will the Champions League winners prevail, or can the likes of Radamel Falcao inspire Atletico Madrid to a thrilling victory? We've got a complete preview of the match right here including all the details, possible starting lineups and latest team news ahead of the 2012 European Super Cup.
Date: Friday, August 31
Start Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
Venue: Stade Louis II, Monaco
Live Stream: Sky Sports 2 (UK); Fox Soccer Channel (US)
Road to the Cup
Chelsea qualified top of Group E in the 2012 Champions League—losing just one match in their six group-round encounters. They went on to come from 3-1 down in their opening leg against Napoli to qualify for the quarterfinals—progressing through 5-4 on aggregate.
The London club then beat Benfica over both legs before a thrilling semifinal clash against the highly-favored Barcelona—whom many expected to run away with the Champions League competition. But with just 10 men at Camp Nou, the Blues went on to win 3-2 on aggregate and progress through to the final, where they defeated Bayern Munich in a penalty shootout.
Atletico Madrid also qualified top of their group in the Europa league—picking up 13 points from their six matches to sit top of Group I. And after from a 1-0 victory in the group stage over Celtic, Madrid would not drop another match throughout the entire competition.
Latest Team News
The Daily Mail is reporting that new transfer signings Victor Moses and Cesar Azpilicueta will both be included in the Blues' squad for the European Super Cup, though it is not yet known whether either player will feature in the starting lineup. Frank Lampard is also expected to start.
Captain John Terry is still serving his suspension from the semifinal against Barcelona, so he will be absent from this clash.
What They're Saying
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo has highlighted just how important the Super Cup is to Chelsea—stating via The Daily Mail that the fixture is more than just a friendly and match that doesn't really matter to the London club.
We are happy we are going into the Super Cup with three wins and everybody fit, and hopefully we can win another international trophy for this football club.
[I will take it] very seriously. It is not a friendly. It is a European trophy that we want to win. [I will] not be resting people.
New summer signing Eden Hazard also commented on the fixture—stating that winning the trophy will not be easy for the Blues (via UEFA's website, h/t Goal).
They [Atletico Madrid] are a great team with great players. I hope it will be a good game that we win, to claim my first trophy for Chelsea. But we expect nothing less than a tough match against a great team.
It will not be easy. On a personal level, I hope to play as much as possible, do my best when I am on the pitch, gain the confidence of the coach and repay that confidence.
And just in case you weren't completely convinced as to how seriously Chelsea were taking the Super Cup, goalkeeper Petr Cech also weighed in on the matter (via Sulia):
It is important because you want to win every trophy that you are involved in, and this is a prestigious cup.
This is the first time for myself; it'll be the first time I think for everybody involved—apart from Roberto Di Matteo who played it as a player.
So for all of us, it's the first time, and we want to confirm the position of reigning European champions—that would be great to go there and get a cup.
However, standing in their way will be Atletico Madrid, who will be led by striker Radamel Falco. The Colombian international recently told AS (via ESPN Star) that the Spanish club are more than ready for the fixture and know that they are capable of defeating the London club.
I am very happy with the game we just won. Our play during the victory was overwhelming. I have always said that I [am] happy at Atletico Madrid, and now want to exceed the number of goals that I managed in my first season in Spain.
The team is happy and well, and we will be going to try and win the Super Cup this Friday.
Player to Watch: Petr Cech (Chelsea)
Picking one player to watch is very difficult for this fixture, with both sides boasting plenty of great talent in their lineups—particularly on the offensive end, which is why I'm leaning towards Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech as a key player in this one.
The 30-year-old is definitely experienced on football's biggest stages by now, and as seen in the Blues' Champions League run last season, he is crucial to any chance of their side succeeding. With Terry out and Azpilicueta a possible late inclusion for Di Matteo, Chelsea's defense could be susceptible to Madrid's quality attack and thus Cech will become of absolute importance to the Blues.
He kept out Lionel Messi in the Champions League semifinal; he saved a penalty from Arjen Robben in the final. Can Cech make it three from three and keep Falcao quiet in the European Super Cup?
Chelsea have been strong this season—sitting atop the English Premier League and coming into this one with their attack firing on all cylinders. Eden Hazard has the team, and particularly Fernando Torres, playing quality football and they will no doubt be a tough side to beat in this one.
The Blues' defense isn't as strong as their season suggests—almost dropping points to Reading and Wigan Athletic as well—and they will be left wanting at times from Madrid's attack in this match. Having said that, they should do enough to hold firm and bag themselves a goal at the other end.
Di Matteo's men were defensively inclined throughout the Champions League and I expect that to continue in this one. They will hold strong at the back—getting plenty of help in defense from the midfield—and then pushing forward when the time is right.
It will be tough, gritty and not the flowing, goal scoring football that we might expect, but Chelsea will come away with the victory and trophy in this one for me.
Chelsea 1, Atletico Madrid 0
What do you think will happen in the European Super Cup?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre
For nearly eight months Cedric Benson sat idly by, waiting for a phone call.
Free agency began, the draft was completed, minicamps and OTAs came and went and, still, the phone never rang. A 1,000-yard rusher for three years straight, it seemed strange that no team expressed any interest in the former first-round draft pick.
In August, though, that all changed. Benson got a call from the unlikeliest of teams. And as we all know, the Packers signed him to a one-year deal worth $825,000. For Benson the deal isn't that big, but for the Packers, his addition couldn't be bigger.
With Benson as the primary ball carrier, the Packers offense is immediately transformed. A big, bruising back who can pick up yards late in the game is exactly what the Packers offense has needed over the past several seasons. No offense to James Starks or Ryan Grant, but their ability to run between the tackles and pick up first downs has left a lot to be desired.
Cedric Benson can do just that.
Let's face it, the Packers struggled mightily in short yardage situations—and in the run game overall—last year. His signing will reverse this problem immediately.
His running ability isn't the only asset Benson brings to the table. His pass-blocking is tops in the league. When Aaron Rodgers is in shotgun with Benson to his right, a good blocker is only going to give Rodgers more time to convert.
How many times did fans see Rodgers play action and rainbow a ball downfield to receivers last year? Too many to count. Play-action passes are the Packers bread and butter. Rodgers faked out defenses left and right last season with play action. And that was with Starks and Grant in the backfield. With Benson, opposing defenses are going to have a much tougher time figuring out where the ball is going to go.
On top of that, Benson allows the Packers to line up in more single back and I-formations—in essence, completely changing how the Packers attack opposing teams. I'm OK with this. Instead of lining up in the shotgun 60 percent of the time, they can utilize Benson's strengths and run a more traditional west coast offense.
I'm not saying Green Bay should limit Rodgers pass attempts; I'm suggesting Rodgers line up under center more often to keep defenses honest. Having Benson in the backfield will stack more defenders in the box and allow Rodgers to throw downfield into less-crowded secondaries.
Benson's signing is significant. He adds another dimension to this explosive offense and gives Aaron Rodgers another weapon with which to attack teams.
The Packers have finally gotten the running back they so dearly needed and, in doing so, have changed how they will run their offense.
This year is no different for the Bears, and with high expectations, Chicago is a strong contender to win the NFC North.
While the "Monsters of the Midway" prepare to take on Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 9, fantasy owners are hopeful that Chicago's fantasy options come through big this season.
Let's take a look at their five best fantasy players in 2012.
Mittwoch, 29. August 2012
Just five years ago, the Arkansas Razorbacks backfield contained two future first-rounders (Darren McFadden and Felix Jones) and another running back/fullback 'tweener (Peyton Hillis) who was one of the best backs in the NFL in 2010. In Hillis' big year for the Cleveland Browns, the Hogs unveiled another back with the potential for pro success in his future. Knile Davis tore up the SEC at the ripe old age of 18 in his sophomore year.
Big things were expected from Davis in 2011, including a run at a Heisman Trophy. Instead, he broke the same right ankle he fractured in high school and missed the entire season. He's ready to go full speed to open the 2012 campaign. Obviously, whether Davis can regain everything he had before the injury will greatly affect his 2013 (or 2014) NFL Draft stock, but what exactly did he have before the ankle gave way again?
Davis is built to last, at a shade under 6'0" and 225 pounds. One glance at Davis and you know those numbers are legit. He is a very sturdy back and not top-heavy or high-cut. In fact, the first things you notice when you look at Davis are his tree-trunk thighs:
Davis has a good initial burst for a big back, and he has a second gear. He doesn't have a fifth gear. Davis isn't going to pull away from anyone in the open field. He will get back up to the second gear relatively quickly after contact. Even though his legs are big, Davis is not a heavy-legged plodder. At times, he displays great feet for a big back, but at other times he's clumsy. Still, tight-roping the sideline like this for a touchdown is impressive at any size:
His overall athleticism is probably average, but above average for a big back. He is somewhat stiff and not very sudden, although Davis might not be completely aware of that judging by the way he runs.
Davis too often looks like a big back who thinks he is a scatback. He does have some subtle moves in the hole, but he will rarely elude a tackler in open space. His moves are mostly ineffective, as seen in this sequence:
Davis tries to put a move on the defender:
But he is easily tackled:
Another problem with Davis' penchant for trying to make moves he doesn't have in his repertoire is that he generally has to gather and loses momentum when he changes direction. He also tends to bounce runs to the outside, which is a waste of his powerful frame and build.
Davis also squanders some of his natural physical gifts by running upright instead of running behind his pads and turning them into striking surfaces.
Watching a back as big as Davis try to win with barely existent shiftiness instead of his obvious trump card of power is frustrating. In this instance, Davis is one-on-one in the open field with a defensive back:
Instead of trucking the smaller defender or at least dragging him a few yards, Davis gets stoned for a loss:
Davis rarely initiates or wins collisions, pushes the piles or gets significant yards after contact. He does tend to fall forward and break some weaker tackle attempts, but Davis does not run like a power back.
What Davis can do with his bulk is wear down a defense. He has great stamina, and in the fourth quarter of games, more of those tackle attempts become weak enough for him to break. Davis' burst is intact while the defense is dragging from having to wrap him up so many times earlier in the game.
So Davis can be a workhorse who subjects a defense to relentless body blows, but can he actually play all three downs? Davis has decent hands out of the backfield, but he is only used on screens and dump-offs, so he won't be a passing game weapon by any stretch. He is a willing blocker and one who can stalemate defensive ends when he squares up and hits them. When Davis tries to go low to cut block, he can be embarrassingly defeated and leave his quarterback open to a big hit. He is probably going to be a two-down back in the pass-happy NFL.
Davis is Shonn Greene with more urgency, or Ron Dayne with more burst. Does that equal a productive starting NFL running back? With the amount of talent at the position, I have my doubts. Like Greene, I expect Davis to get drafted in the 50-100 range, assuming his ankle checks out at the combine. His lack of a well-rounded skill set or clear union of gifts and playing style make Davis a second-tier back, although he could be in a class without a clear first-tier back if Marcus Lattimore struggles this year.
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- All-Star Blake Griffin said Tuesday his left knee is healed after last month's surgery that forced him to miss the London Olympics, when he worked on his shot and free throws while his U.S. teammates were winning a gold medal.
Now we get it.
A few weeks ago, we were hit with some rather bizarre photos from the former ESPN sideline reporter and current Fox Sports' star, Erin Andrews.
They were from the set from the now released commercial (h/t SportsGrid), bringing sanity and answers to a subject that had little of either.
The "Gus Johnson Effect" will do that. If you don't believe me, here is that magical commercial Fox hopes will make you crave its programing.
As for the wild ride that got us here, here are a couple of the pictures from the set that will have you befuddled and possibly a tad perplexed, both come from Erin Andrews' Twitter feed.
It will all make sense in just a moment.
There is also this behind the scenes video of Andrews mixing it up with the cast and crew, minus the main man of legendary calls, Gus Johnson.
Fox Sports is going heavy into the realm of college football, and Andrews will play a major part of that this coming season, featuring in a new primetime college football show.
So the network hopes its new acquisitions make them the go-to network for fans on Saturdays as they crack a beer, nosh on some chips and welcome Fox Sports into their home.
Doing so will apparently have a tremendous amount of upside for you, according to the above commercial.
It will all be go-go dancers, unicorns and Erin Andrews if you do the simplest thing and turn the channel to Fox.
I will assume this is all a fancy over exaggeration. Except for the unicorn, because we will be expecting that this weekend.
Follow me on Twitter for more fancy talk.
The LA Kings would very much like to inform you that their 2013 Ice Crew calendar photo shoot is going swimmingly.
We thank them in kind.
I am not posting this video because I am partial to the LA-based Kings who dominated the playoffs for their first Stanley Cup victory in franchise history, although I am.
I am not even posting this because it features a bevy of beautiful women frolicking and reclining in bikinis while soaking up the Southern California sun, although it does.
I am posting because of calendars!
Okay, it's more from a place of fondness and appreciation for hockey's best team and the lovely ladies that make up the 2013 Ice Crew.
The video does have some tremendous claims when it comes to pamphlets of paper that tell you what day it is.
In huge letters, amid bikini-clad beauties, they state this will be the best calendar ever. As long as it sticks to the format of seven days a week, includes a 13th month for the requisite extra picture; I am inclined to believe them.
I am also inclined to watch the video one more time just for giggles.
Follow me on Twitter for more sexy talk.
When healthy, Michael Vick is one of the most dynamic offensive weapons in football. Injuries have always been a problem for the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, however, so he's going to try yet another new technique to protect himself when the season begins.
Vick will wear a new flak jacket that uses Kevlar and is designed specifically for him to ensure it doesn't impact his playing ability, according to Rich Hofmann of the Philadelphia Daily News. It's intended to better protect his ribs, which are still sore from a preseason hit.
Update: Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 11:10 a.m. ET
It turns out the CEO of the company which made Vick's special protective jacket is confident it will completely protect him. He told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com "I guarantee he will not get hurt."
While it's safe to assume Rob Vito was only talking about Vick's damaged ribs and not his whole body, he is clearly confident the product will work perfectly. Not to mention the story serves as a good marketing opportunity.
Now Eagles fans can sit back and see if the jacket lives up to the hype while also hoping he doesn't suffer a different injury.
----End of update----
Although it's good to see him exhausting every option in an attempt to make it through an entire regular season without missing games, it's hard to believe a new flak jacket will suddenly make him significantly more durable.
He's earned the dreaded injury-prone label based on a history of injuries. Only once during his nine seasons in the NFL has he participated in all 16 games, and he has missed at least two contests in both of his years as the Eagles starter.
The only way Vick can truly buck that trend would be changing the way he plays. He leaves himself exposed to big hits and defenders aren't going to pass up the opportunity to take a shot at the opposing team's star quarterback.
Add in the fact that Vick isn't built like a prototypical signal-caller and it equals a lot of time spent on the injury report. That's just something the Eagles have to accept for as long as he's the starter.
Trying to make him a one-dimensional player would severely limit what makes him special in the first place, which is his athleticism. His ability to create plays with his legs makes up for a lack of accuracy in the pocket.
Therefore, while the Kevlar jacket is a cool idea and might protect him from more serious damage, the Eagles shouldn't expect it to be a miracle cure. Nick Foles or Mike Kafka will have to remain on standby and be ready to lead the offense in 2012.
The fact Vick is already dealing with a lingering injury doesn't bode well for his chances to make it through four months of punishing hits. The Eagles can't afford to have the offense struggle if they are going to keep pace in the tough NFC East.
In other words, the Eagles should hope for the best, but can't be caught off guard if he misses games even with the special flak jacket protecting him.
Meet Gator senior running back Mike Gillislee, (5'11", 201). He isn't quite as fast as Jeff Demps or Chris Rainey, but few in the world are.
However, if you are going to run a pro set offense, you may need this type of running back. That isn't to say that Demps and Rainey were not great backs because they were. But they needed space in order to get that speed up—something the spread offense did for them.
If you are going to line up in single and double tight end sets, you need backs that can run downhill. These gazelles in cleats that Coach Meyer preferred were not built for 25-30 carries per game. Especially when an off tackle play is considered running it wide.
Mike Gillislee and the other new Florida running backs are built for just that.
Rounding out the group are sophomore Mack Brown (5'11", 210), freshman Matt Jones (6'2", 213) and fullbacks junior Trey Burton (6'3", 227) and sophomore, Hunter Joyner (5'10", 244).
Notice this theme? Florida's second-year coach obviously is not a spread guy. As a matter of fact, he makes no bones that he isn't a spread guy. He is a pro set, run downhill, play great defense guy.
There isn't anything wrong with the spread offense. It is just that nowadays great defenses have seen it enough that they can stop it—unless your quarterback is named Newton or Tebow. Guys like that are just too difficult to find.
Florida is still going to throw the football. There isn't any law that says you can't be a great passing team and still run out of the pro set. So, you pass happy fans, don't get discouraged.
The pro set is the wave of the future—at least in the SEC again—and Coach Muschamp is preparing this team to compete for championships.
How will the team look when Muschamp is finished? If done correctly, let's just say they will look like an exact double from a distance to several SEC teams. If somebody came into the locker in the middle of the night and switched out their uniforms, none of the fans would know the difference.
Just curious...would you guys have any problems with wearing red sometimes? Or holding boxes of Tide detergent with a roll of toilet paper attached to it?
Dienstag, 28. August 2012
As the Internet has grown from a niche and a novelty to a ubiquitous platform for communication, media and business, it's inevitable it would begin to influence pop culture in ways no one could have envisioned during those heady AOL days.
There's no better example of this than the rise of the Internet meme. Fueled by an explosion of social media applications, any person with Internet access can turn an absurd moment into a viral craze. Nyan Cat, Prancing Michael Cera, LOLCats—snarky observations are now democratized.
So, it's no surprise that sports and people who play them are not immune to the power of the meme.
There is a battle brewing between two heavyweights of the food world. Kobayashi has thrown down the gauntlet, leaving Joey Chestnut to pick a fight.
Yes, things are as ridiculous as you can imagine from the world of competitive eating.
It all begins with the hot-dog-chomping superstar Kobayashi throwing down 110 hot dogs in 10 minutes this past Sunday at the New York State Fair in Syracuse.
The event was sponsored by Hofmann's, which comes into play in just a second. First the video of one man getting full and other people being entertained by it.
You should see Juan Uribe snack some time.
It didn't take long for the other professional overeater to sound off on Twitter. Here is a photo snapshot of a feud that took place between Chestnut and the CEO of Hofmann hot dogs, Frank Zaccanelli, via NBC Sports.
Ladies and gentleman, we present Wienergate 2012.
Forget Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, because we have two athletes who need to head back to the dinner table and settle this once and for all.
Or not, I may be good either way.
However, you fans of men eating copious amounts may be dying to see these two go at it, as Kobayashi bowed out of Major League Eating (a real thing) back in 2009 because of a contract dispute.
All of this is missing the point, because holy hell, someone ate 110 hot dogs in 10 minutes! Does nobody care about that one important part of this whole story?
I remember I once ate four hot dogs in one sitting, then fell over into a food coma that lasted roughly four days.
Which brings me to the only point I want to make here. These guys are not human.
Follow me on Twitter because, like, what the hell, right?
It seems like every year the Detroit Lions are ravaged by injuries. Despite their success in 2011, most people would say the injury bug bit them hard and that was the reason they didn't finish better.
Believe it or not, the Lions were one of the teams least affected by injury in 2011. According FootballOutsiders.com, the Lions had the fourth lowest Adjusted Games Lost total in the NFL. AGL is games lost to injuries adjusted to only include star players and key backups.
Detroit's total AGL was 28. As a comparison, St. Louis was the worst in the NFL with 110.
Despite the hand-wringing last season, Detroit fans had it good. The Lions were healthier than most and that went a long way in helping them win 10 games.
It remains to be seen if they will have the same luck in 2012. After Saturday night's preseason matchup, it doesn't look so good. Their injury list has grown exponentially.
On the other hand, many of those injuries don't appear to be serious.
With the start of the NFL regular season over a week away, many Lions will have more than enough time to get healthy. Others are not so lucky.
The Lions have had it good, but there are still players who's prognosis is not good. Here are the players the Lions will miss the most in 2012.
Montag, 27. August 2012
Few could have predicted how the Philadelphia 76ers' offseason would take such a dramatically positive turn. Now that Andrew Bynum is aboard, are they a real threat in the Eastern Conference?
In this episode of Basketball by Association, NBA Lead Writer Josh Martin joins assistant editors Ethan Norof and Joel C. Cordes as they break down all the key roster losses and additions, discuss the biggest storylines to watch and set realistic expectations for the Sixers.
(If the embedded player fails to load, you can find the episode here.)
Philly had plenty of positivity to build off of after its first-round upset of the top-ranked Chicago Bulls. However, adding Bynum to this young core really does take the Sixers to the East's next level.
Yet, how will Doug Collins mesh a true big man like Bynum with the rest of this fleet-footed roster? Can they play at such a fast pace like they did last season? Will the starting lineup have to be more traditionally constructed with the second unit switching to a track-meet tempo?
Will Jrue Holiday take a big step forward, backing up his boasts about being a max contract player? How will other newcomers like Jason Richardson, Nick Young, Dorell Wright and Kwame Brown be utilized?
There's no denying the Sixers got better, but where do they stack up amongst the strongest Atlantic Division competition in years?
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