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Hey Michael Phelps, Come Party

Dear Michael Phelps,

I don’t blame you. You’re 23 years old, you’ve accomplished more than any other 23 year old on the planet, you’ve mastered your sport, and you have two or three years before you really have to gear up for competition again. I’d chill out and blaze one, too.

Really, nobody should be upset with you. You’re 23 years old, you have a new found (and instant) celebrity, you’re the Sportsman of the Year, and you’re flying around the country doing this gig and that. I’d party too.

Your apology was great, the situation well-managed, and your sponsors were too caring (or too afraid) to make this of any consequence. So in the words of Saddam Hussein in South Park, “relax, buddy.”

In fact…you could use a nice night out. That’s why I’m formally inviting you to come party with me and my friends sometime soon.
More after the jump!

Derrick Rose Has ROY Competition

Derrick Rose has been phenomenal so far in 2008-09. He has surpassed all expectations for a rookie point guard. It is, after all, the most difficult thing for a rookie to do, to come in and run a team fresh from college. His averages of 16.7-3.5-6.3 are essentially the new gold standard for rookie point guards.

And the basketball world has taken notice. In fact, when mid-season award articles came out, Rose was a near unanimous choice for Rookie of the Year. Many, including his own coach Vinny Del Negro, went as far as to say Rose already had the award locked up, he had done such a good job.

Well, despite the glowing introduction, I have to contend that Rose does not have the Rookie of the Year trophy locked up, not by any stretch of the imagination.
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Meet Rashad McCants, Would-Be Namesake for R3 Sports

Before deciding to revive The ODC, the sports writing bug appeared to be taking me down a different path. I was planning to write for Hoops Addict, hopefully latch on to a legitimate baseball site, and throw the in-between stuff up for my boys Austin and Chris over at The Good Point. What I had planned to do was keep all of my personal writing on my own website, but with no promotion or fanfare – it would strictly be an archive for my work.

Obviously, things didn’t go down that way. However, had that site been hatched, it would have been named That’s R-to-the-power-of-3 Sports (.com). What the hell, you’re probably asking? Fair enough. But to explain, I must first take you to

If The On Deck Circle is the unofficial home of Real Talk, then is it’s summer home or downtown apartment, because it certainly spends a lot of time there. R3 (Real Recognize Real) is an axiom I had only heard a few times before (usually as ‘game recognize game’) but am now in love with. Non-sensical athlete crushes will do that to you.
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Chris Bosh Will Break Our Hearts

Chris Bosh is going to break our hearts.

I am not a pessimistic person. I like everyone, I’m easy to please, and I’m forward thinking enough to see most silver linings.

A silver lining this hath not.

Chris Bosh…is 16 months away from breaking our hearts. And it hurts already.

We should see this coming by now. I listen to enough punk-bordering-emo music to know that you don’t get the girl in the end. I listen to enough R&B music to know that there’s always another man waiting. We’ve bore witness to this same situation elsewhere in sports, in life. We see it coming, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.
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Don’t Call It a Comeback

Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years!

Yes, today marks the official re-launch of The On Deck Circle. And I know what you’re thinking – The ‘This is Why I’m Hot Corner’ only lasted a few weeks, and The ODC lasted just eight months, why will this be different?

Well, aside from the behind-the-scenes changes that have been made to remove all aspects of running the site I disliked before (trust me, I can tell already this will be a far more enjoyable experience), I learned some things in my six months off from writing.
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My NFL Season in Three Running Jokes

Let’s all be honest with each other. There are three reasons we love football – our favorite team, our fantasy team, and gambling. But this season…man, I took a beating. The 2008 NFL season was the first in some time that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. It didn’t quite have me questioning my fandom, but it did make me question why I put up with 17 weeks of the boys at my house eating pizza and watching ball, without fail, without a Sunday off. Sure, it was fun, but there was never a win for me…no fantasy wins, no Jaguar successes, no gambling victories, not even a moral W here and there.
More after the jump!

Hoops Addict Article - The Burden of High Expectations

I re-debuted over at Hoops Addict too! An article on how it’s a little rougher cheering for a team with high expectations unmet (Chicago, Toronto) than a normal bad team (Clippers 1940-Present). Check it out!

A Day in the Life of Bruce Buffer

The alarm sounds, and the clock blinks 7:00am. Bruce Buffer hops out of bed, throws on his grey silk robe, and heads downstairs. After flicking on the coffee maker, he yawns and grabs a bottle of water. His wife, Annie Buffer, arrives soon after, dressed in a matching robe.

Bruce Buffer: Good morning! And WELCOME to Wednesday, August 13, LIVE from the Buffer Household on Deerwood Avenue!

Annie Buffer: *Sigh…*

It is 7:30, and Bruce heads up to his son’s room.

Bruce Buffer: It’s TIME! To wake up for school! Today’s school day is scheduled for six classes at Peabody Elementary!
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Don’t Hate the Player…Manny Ramirez

Okay, so the picture probably isn’t a fitting one, since Manny Ramirez more closely parallels The Joker than Batman, but the image is important. It is Manny Ramirez…in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform. The trade that sent him there has upset some, and it has opened the discussion about whether or not there is a place in baseball for a playercharacter like Man-Ram. “Manny being Manny” annoyances aside, he is widely criticized for his poor demeanor, lack of seriousness, and apparent idiocy on and off the field. Dreadlocks, a dirty helmet, misplayed fly balls, and the occasional high five to a fan all summate to make the population wonder whether Manny even cares, and whether he’s even worth our time.

Well, you may remember a little feature I wrote about another Red Sock, J.D. Drew. It was called “Don’t Hate the Player…” and was to be the first in a series where I “shine a little light on a good player that maybe wouldn’t otherwise get that light.” Obviously, Manny has plenty of light shone his way, so the axiom of the feature has been changed to appreciating the sometimes-disliked. That’s almost as broad a definition as the mission of Gary Roberts Wednesdays, so kudos to me. Regardless, Manny Ramirez is one of the best baseball players of all time. It’s a fact…don’t hate the player, hate the game.
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Hoops Addict Floor Burn Tournament

Ryan from Hoops Addict hatched an idea that fits in really well with what we do here at The ODC - appreciating the otherwise underappreciated. With that in mind, Ryan created the Hoops Addict Floor Burn Tournament, where bloggers representing every team in the NBA (via team-specific blogs, usually) nominate a ‘hustle/energy/Gary Roberts Wednesday’ player to participate in a tournament to crown the Floor Burn Champion. Obviously, I took part (representing Oklahoma City…for whatever reason). Trev Smith also participated (representing Golden State instead of his beloved Lakers, though he got a Lakers plug in nonetheless).

Anyways, check it out and vote for your favorite in each match up by August 11, when the next round will begin.