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Archive for September, 2009

1st and Five: Quinn v. Anderson, TO v. Media, Leftwich/Garcia, The Lions Roar, and Duckett v. The World

I couldn’t decide on an article topic today, so I’m rolling with five shorter ones in one (what a deal!). I could see this becoming a more common theme here as I struggle for writing time at work, and this style is invariably easier to chip away at. Name suggestions for this style of article are welcome, but for now we’re going with the following (ultra-creative, I know):

NFL: 1st and 5
NHL: Five for Fighting
NBA: Four Point Play
MLB: Four-Ply Wallop

The Brady Quinn Experiment
The Cleveland Browns decided they had had enough of the Brady Quinn Experiment this past Sunday, pulling him in favor of Derek Anderson at halftime. The logic is not that Quinn has made a lot of mistakes over his two-and-a-half game tenure, it’s that he hasn’t made much of anything – he’s shown a fear of passing downfield, and even his check-downs and dump-offs inside of 15 yards have been inaccurate. A 62.9 QB Rating is not cutting it, I guess. The alternate choice is Derek Anderson, a Pro Bowler in 2007 who is, to use a Favrism you’ll all understand, a gunslinger. Just throw it downfield, the motto goes, and it may get picked off (three times in the second half Sunday, for example), but it may net you enough touchdowns to make the Pro Bowl even with a shaky 82.5 QB Rating.
More after the jump!

Please Welcome Me Back to NHL Fanhood

Alexander Ovechkin Pictures, Images and PhotosHockey…I’m back. No, seriously this time, I mean it. I’m back again…for the very first time.

Allow me to take you back to give you a better grasp of just how grandiose a statement this is. And it is, trust.

As a kid, I was 100% hockey all the time. And I don’t mean just for sports – for everything. I did nothing but play hockey, road hockey, and hockey on Sega, I re-enacted games, watched every Saturday night, and talked about nothing but hockey. Hell, I honestly learned how to do math as a kid from crunching hockey stats.

From birth right up until about 17, I was nothing but hockey, all the time. High-school kind of opened my eyes to more sports, but I still primarily played hockey and watched hockey. At 17 or 18, basketball and baseball became pretty obvious interests, but hockey was still held above all else.

I was, basically, a normal Canadian when it came to sports.
More after the jump!

Hoops Addict Article - Pivotal Player: Kevin Garnett

T-Smith is back writing at Hoops Addict as the season approaches. For you, this means good basketball reading once again. Today, he looks at Kevin Garnett’s importance to the Celtics for this year.

Check it out!

Tim Tebow: Jaguar Savior?

There are eight months until the 2010 NFL Entry Draft. There are 15 regular season games remaining for every team in the NFL. The NCAA College Football season is but two weeks old.

It is, obviously, very early in the football season. However…

The Jacksonville Jaguars are 0-1. The Jacksonville Jaguars are about to play their first home game of 2009. The Jacksonville Jaguars are about to fail to sell out their first home game of 2009. The Jacksonville Jaguars are about to blackout their first home game of 2009.

The Jacksonville Jaguars, one game into the NFL season, are in a lot of trouble. It’s not on the field, where they played a defensively inspired Week 1 game against Indianapolis and have a top-10 talent in Maurice Jones-Drew to hang their collective hat on, but off the field. Jacksonville is a city no longer supporting its team, leaving them no advertising revenue and forcing the team (by NFL rules) to blackout home games on local television, thereby forcing ownership to consider its options across all strategic platforms.

Owner Wayne Weaver has repeated adamantly that he will not move the team. Instead, they’ve lowered ticket prices, offered flexible season ticket arrangements, lowered concession prices, and tried to create a family-friendly at-the-stadium atmosphere. Nothing has worked.

So the team, eight months in advance of the Draft, is setting the wheels in motion to change the city’s attitude towards it’s team.

Enter Tim Tebow.
More after the jump!

Of Jay-Z, Drugs, and LeBron

As a card-carrying member of Roc Nation and one of Lucky Lefty’s biggest fans, I felt the need to provide some clarity around the most misinterpreted lyric on The Blueprint 3. What does this have to do with sports? Well, the line in question happens to double as one of the better sports metaphors offered up in hip hop at large in the last several years, and it further cements the interconnected relationship basketball and hip hop play in one another’s culture.

(Okay, so it more of a drug reference than a pure sports one…sue me.)

The lyric in question, from BP3′s “Empire State of Mind”:

I got it made/If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron, I’m paying Dwyane Wade
More after the jump!

NHL Offseason Headlines

With all of the attention the National Hockey League has earned during the offseason, it can only be regarded as nothing short of a public relations’ dream. Has it been good publicity? No. Not entirely. But as most PR personnel would suggest, any news is good news.

In direct competition with the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball League (NBA), and even NASCAR and different soccer leagues, the NHL could use all of the publicity it can get. Other top dog leagues consistently sell out games not simply for the majority of their teams, as in the NHL, but for each and every one of their franchise clubs.
More after the jump!

An Open Letter to Chicago Bears Fans

Chicagoans,

In the life of a sports fan, few days on the calendar are filled with as much hope and optimism as the day the NFL season begins in earnest. It is a kind of Spring in Fall – a new birth, a very real chance for renewal. That first honest gaze on Solider Field (the pre-season does not count, after all) offers restoration of the hopes and dreams of a fan base for the season ahead.

It is fandom at its purest. Not yet exhausted by botched play-calling or inept execution, supports truly believe that anything may lay in wait in the months ahead. Bitterness has not yet made its presence felt and the fates remain unknown.

There are, of course, those that would rather remain guarded and detached as fans and point to the optimism felt on Kickoff Weekend as a false hope, a by-product of the summer-long wait fans endure waiting for the season to begin anew. But I would contend, Bears fans, that there is no such thing as false hope – in sports or in life, you learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow. With the records reset and a season of possibilities available, it is only opportunity that awaits every team (…yes, even the Lions).

That is what makes this such a difficult letter to write. Indeed, I am writing you today as a friend, as someone that understands that you deserve better than the reality you awoke to this morning. Good citizens of New Gotham, the truth you are now faced with is anything but pleasant. I do not like telling you this, but…

Your team’s season is already over.
More after the jump!

Canadian NFL Fans and Changing Favorite Teams

I’m torn. In general, I pride myself on being a good sports fan. I cheer for my teams and only my teams, I try my best to support all local teams, and nobody follows their teams (and sports, in general) quite as closely as I do. I will never and could never turn on the Leafs, Raptors, and Blue Jays (though I still contend you should be able to have a favorite National League team). The only exception, I think, would be if I moved out of the Toronto area (I’m an hour West of Toronto), in which case I’d have to consider following my new local team, at least in tandem with my hometown Toronto teams. Alas, even then I think I’m Toronto-for-life when it comes to sports. (Yes, it’s a sad situation, but I am what I am.)

However, a recent Rick Reilly article has me thinking…about football…and my long-distance adopted Jacksonville Jaguars. After much thought and deliberation, I have settled on a corollary for sports fans looking for a change in their rooting habits: Canadian fans of the National Football League should get one free change of favorite NFL team to use in their lifetime.

Before you call me a bad fan, a fake sports enthusiast, or whatever insults you may throw at a treacherous traitor like myself, hear me out. After all, Canadians following the NFL exist in a very strange sports bubble. We have no local team by virtue of the Canada-United States border. We have a laughable watered down substitute for the sport in the CFL. We have very few local players to root for.

Still, though, the NFL is as prevalent in Canadian sports culture as any other sport, save for hockey. We may not be very good at it, and we may not have been brought up on it, but we unquestionably love it.

So why should we have to spend a lifetime cheering for the wrong team?
More after the jump!

American League Playoff Races

There’s a reason baseball fans crave September. It’s certainly not the declining temperatures, shortened hours of sunlight, or hockey buzz that comes with the month. Instead, it’s September call-ups, it’s statistic tracking, and it’s playoff races.

And as I write this on September 3rd (it will be updated after the games tonight to be posted September 4th for your enjoyment), I’m starting to feel the excitement. The first few weeks of September, they say, is just a gateway to the winter in the sports world. Football training camps and fantasy drafts prepare us for the mid-September start of the NFL season, NHL and Olympic hockey training camps get most Canadians excited, basketball season is just an earshot away, and October…baseball playoffs…are just around the corner.

But the excitement to come is no reason to ignore the excitement happening around you at present. The MLB playoff races have already gotten hot; they are beyond the heating up stages. Races in nearly every division and complicated Wild Card scenarios are abound, making us all pay closer attention just a little earlier than it seems we usually do.

So here, heading into the first weekend of September, with a full month to go before playoff baseball, is a look at all of the teams still contending and their schedules down the stretch (American League only today…National League early next week!).
More after the jump!

The Good Point Article - Being Quentin Richardson

Imagine moving four times in two months. Imagine just being TOLD you’re moving four times in two months. Imagine, too, that you are a serious baller and have a much bigger house to move in and out of than you do right now. Imagine your entire value as a professional (and a person, it seems) is that you’re overpaid but not for much longer. Imagine you’re Quentin Richardson of the New York Knicks Memphis Grizzlies Los Angeles Clippers Minnesota Timberwolves Miami Heat.

Well I tried. After changing teams four times in 50 days, I took a look (over at The Good Point) at what Q-Rich’s summer must have been like. Check it out!

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