Archive for February, 2008

Imaginary Player - "Tiger"

tiger woodsThis article has been submitted by this week’s Podcast guest, Trevor Smith.

“Some things are forever, some things are not / It’s the things we remember that gave the world shock”- Nas

Scary news for the PGA Tour: the greatest golfer ever is playing better than ever right now. The planet-destroying, soul-collecting entity known as Tiger Woods is embarrassing the rest of the tour at the moment (actually, he has been for over a decade now). One can envision El Tigre walking into the clubhouse last weekend, looking at a room full of timid, overweight white guys and asking which one of them is playing for second. In winning the Accenture Match Play Championship by crushing Stewart Cink 8 and 7 Sunday in a match that was not even as close as that ridiculous score, Woods put the sporting world on notice that he is primed to give us all a summer of golf to remember forever. Consider yourself warned sports historians: Tiger Woods is coming to burn your house down (metaphorically speaking, at least). From grinding out a win in Round 1 to trampling Cink on Sunday, Tiger demonstrated that he is not just the best player in the game, but the best player at every individual aspect of golf: power, toughness, putting, and short-game precision. To suggest he is the best golfer ever at this point is a non-issue; all that is unsettled now is whether he is the greatest athlete ever.
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Beasts of the…West? The Post-Deadline NHL

This article has been submitted by the debuting Ian Cass. Welcome, Ian.

For years, we have come to expect Western Conference domination in the NBA. In fact, since the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the nineties, the Los Angeles Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs have claimed seven of nine championships. The NHL, on the other hand, has admirably avoided falling into a similar trend. Since the Montreal Canadiens’ championship victory in 1993 as members of the Prince of Wales Conference, the East and West have shared the hardware winning six and seven cups, respectively. But thus far in the 07/08 season, the West has clearly emerged as the cream of the NHL’s crop.

Detroit, Anaheim, Dallas, San Jose, Minnesota, and Calgary can all take on the best the East has to offer in a seven game series. Although a large part of the difference can be attributed to the superior goaltending in the West, the teams are deeper from top to bottom. One of these Western teams, however, stands out from the pack and will not be beat in the playoffs (more on that later). First, let’s take a closer look at the deadline.

With another 24 deals and 48 hours of continuous TSN deadline coverage come and gone, some impact players have found new homes.
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A Mascot You're Not! Video of the Day

This one is good for a laugh and has been floating around the internet a bit…


On Deck Circle Podcast Volume 3

Alllllright people, here is Volume 3 of The ODC Podcast. The improvement from the first (and even the second) is significant, I think, so hopefully they keep getting better. As always, I’d love some feedback, ideas for the future, etc.

Today Trevor Smith is on the show, and we discuss the Lakers and their chances in the West, we get a little controversial discussing the NBA’s race-based image problem, and we put some ghetto in it talking about Mount Rapmore. Enjoy, and have a great weekend!

Guest: Trevor Smith
Topics: Lakers in ’08, NBA Image Problem, Mount Rapmore
Length: 23:20 (will normally be 18-22 minutes)

The On Deck Circle Podcast 3 February 29

What I Learned Blogging Two Deadlines

Bonzi Wells 4/8/07Two full days, 11 hours, and 31 trades later, I’ve had just about enough trade deadline blogging. Last Thursday I exhausted myself blogging the NBA Trade Deadline alone, and that day was a light one with just 6 trades. On Tuesday, Paul and I blogged the entire NHL Trade Deadline, which produced a ridiculous 25 trades. Needless to say, I’m glad the time for player movement is past us for the time being (though the NFL’s tiny trade season is about to commence). Blogging both deadlines in the same week gave me little time to breathe but a lot of time to think. What did I learn from my two marathon days?

Before I tell you the five things I learned, feel free to take a look back at our NHL Deadline and NBA Deadline coverage.
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MMA Coming to Network TV

Confirming rumors that have been circulating throughout the week, CBS announced that it will bring mixed martial arts to primetime network television. CBS Television Network and its partner, Pro Elite and their live fight division Elite Xtreme Combat (Elite XC), have been working together since the beginning of 2007 through their subsidiary premium cable station, Showtime. This move has been a long time in the making considering network TV’s strong desire to market to the lucrative 18-24 year old male demographic.

Showtime will continue to broadcast Elite XC events in addition to the four primetime MMA events that will air on CBS in the Saturday night primetime slot. This announcement is extremely important for the quickly expanding sport of mixed martial arts. Never before has MMA been broadcast live on network television, let alone in primetime.
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Toronto Blue Jays Spring Preview

With the Toronto Blue Jays opening spring training today (1 PM vs. Detroit), we thought it would be a good time to start our spring training coverage here at The ODC. Today you get a double dose of Blue Jay preview, and this is the second piece, submitted by Jackie ‘Robinson’ Forsayeth.

There comes a time in every young ballplayer’s career when they are given the chance to prove that they have to ability to play in the show. Spring Training is the most important time for these players and separates the worthy from the unworthy. Fans love to get excited about the next great team hero and hate to learn that their top pick is a bust. Fans will even travel to bush league stadiums throughout Florida and Arizona to see if they may be able to get a glimpse of the next A-Rod or Roger Clemens. Fans will proclaim for weeks after a good performance that so-and-so is the real deal or so-and-so has the best live-arm since Nolan Ryan. Of course, most of these don’t work out (see: Gabe Gross), because few are lucky enough to be called all-star, or dare I say Hall of Famer, in their career. For all of these reasons, true baseball fans know that next to the World Series, Spring Training is the most wonderful time of the year.

I am going to start off Spring Training by previewing my heart and soul, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have always had trouble with injuries and made some splashes in the offseason that could slightly change the outlook for 2008. The have a few positions that are up for grabs and a few that are locked up for years to come. I will do a position-by position analysis of the ballclub and finish with the top prospects to watch this year.
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Thursday Top Tens - Top 10 Games of the 2007-08 NFL Season

This article has been submitted by Alex Pennycook, as it will be every Thursday.

10. Cleveland 33 at Baltimore 30 (OT) (Week 11) – It’s a shame this Cleveland team didn’t make the playoffs this year. They had an explosive offense, playmakers on defense and game-changing special teams. A rare overturned FG pushed this game into overtime where the Browns eventually prevailed to improve their record to 6-4 and put themselves in immediate playoff contention.

9. NY Giants 21 at Chicago 16 (Week 13) – This game may not have registered on many people’s radars but I feel that this was the true TSN turning point in the Giants’ season. With the Bears deep in their own zone Devin Hester dropped a wide open TD bomb from Rexy and after a sack and a 30 yard punt, the Giants took over at the Bears’ 30. They quickly punched it in and took control of the game. A loss in that game would have put the Giants on the playoff bubble but the win helped them secure their 5 seed, distancing themselves from the rest of the pack.
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That's 100 Points! Video of the Day

Because after just one game, we miss him already…

Toronto Blue Jays Season Preview

With the Toronto Blue Jays opening spring training today (1 PM vs. Detroit), we thought it would be a good time to start our spring training coverage here at The ODC. Today you get a double dose of Blue Jay preview, starting with this piece, submitted by A-Rod Snyder.

This is going to be the year that defines Blue Jays’ GM J.P. Ricciardi. He’s signed through 2010 but Jays fans are sick of missing out on the playoffs year after year. The Jays made a few nice additions this offseason with Scott Rolen, David Eckstein and even Shannon Stewart to a lesser degree. They gave up Troy Glaus in the Rolen deal, which is great news for Jays fans like myself. As big a Jays fan as I am, I’m also a realist. The last three years or so, when fellow Jays enthusiasts were telling me that it was the Jays’ year, I would tell them the reality of being in the AL East is that aint gonna happen, unless EVERYTHING goes right for them. This year I think we’re in the same boat. This year they do have their best team, in my opinion, in the last few years but still need everything to go right. By go right I mean Halladay to stay healthy all year and be in typical Cy Young form. They need AJ Burnett to finally go a FULL season healthy and pitch to his potential. The Jays need Marcum to pitch like he did last year as well as Dustin McGowan. They also need Rolen to stay healthy and produce all year, and staying healthy isn’t his cup of tea. Lastly, the Jays need Vernon to hit like Vernon again and their bullpen to pitch as well as it did last year. If ALL of these things happen this year and Boston’s starting pitchers get hurt, they have a good shot at winning the AL East. Here’s a quick overview of the Jays situation heading into the season at each position.
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