After the fog lifted from Torrey Pines and Tiger Woods won for his 8th time there, has the fog finally lifted from Tiger Woods recent struggles? Which Tiger Woods are we going to see in 2013? Let’s see if we can shed some light on these valid questions. Tiger Woods won his 75th PGA Tournament(2nd All-Time) on Monday and showed flashes of his former self in the process. While he did shoot a pedestrian even par(72) in his final round, he comfortably won The Farmers Insurance Open by 4 strokes. Come Tuesday morning there was definitely talk of how well Tiger played, and what we should expect to see out of him this season. However, it didn’t seem like we were overloaded with the Tiger Talk we’ve grown accustomed to. Now maybe it’s because we’re all gearing up for the Super Bowl or more likely it’s because 90% of “golf fans” don’t watch unless 1 of the 4 majors are on TV. In that regard, golf is a sport like tennis. It doesn’t really carry casual fans. It’s not like Football where every game matters and you have instant action on every play. It was also the first real tournament of a nearly 10 month season. With that being said, Tiger Woods is usually the only reason people watch golf. You can hate Tiger Woods the man, (like most of us do) but as a golfer we all root for him, let’s be honest. I know I root for him when he’s on the golf course. We want to watch history being made right in front of our eyes, and that’s OK. Stop fighting yourself and just appreciate what Tiger Woods can still accomplish on a golf course. By his own standards, yes Tiger had a down year in 2012, but let’s put this “down year” in perspective. The guy still won 3 out of the 19 tournaments he played in. By the way, how nice would it be to only have to work 19 weeks out of the year? Poor Bastard. Back to the point, there are amazing golfers out there that would give their left arm to win 3 professional golf tournaments in their LIFETIME. That’s how difficult it is to win a golf tournament on the professional tour. So yes compared to the Tiger of 2000 where he won 9 out of 20 tournaments and 3 majors, and was on his way to the “Tiger Slam”, Tiger had a down year in 2012. But compared to the rest of us, he was still spectacular. So what can we expect from Tiger this year? A tough question that even I’m not completely sure of a confident answer yet. I know that I want him to win a handful of tournaments and a major, and I definitely know that the networks and golf itself need him to play well. People aren’t plopping themselves in front of the tube on a beautiful Sunday in June to watch Bubba Watson and Keegan Bradley battle it out. Let me take time out your regularly scheduled program to give a quick shout-out to The Wheatley Hills Golf Club in East Williston, where I was raised. This is one of the courses Keegan Bradley called home while attending St. Johns University since they didn’t have their own course on campus. Now back to El Tigre(that’s spanish for The Tiger). So, from a ratings standpoint and for the interest level of golf fans everywhere, we are pulling for you Tiger. Tiger’s golf game though, like everybody’s is not perfect. Here is a snapshot of Tigers troubles in 2012. He stands to improve on his driving accuracy(where he ranked 55th) and his approach shots from between 75 and 150 yards. I bet you’ll be surprised to learn that in 2012 he ranked a dismal 117th in Greens In Regulation between those distances. That statistic is slightly deceiving considering in total Greens In Regulation, he ranked 29th. Now Tiger always lived with his accuracy issues off the tee(in 2000 he ranked 54th and 2006 he ranked 139th). Those are arguably the two best seasons of his career. However, when he’s piling up wins and expanding the size of his trophy case, he’s got the putter working and mentally he’s got his head in the game. Golf more than any other sport is a mental challenge. It is the only sport where you are competing against yourself, so you become your biggest obstacle. You know what the biggest difference is between the guy who heads into Sunday with the lead and crumbles(cough, Lee Westwood, cough), and Tiger Woods? Mental toughness! When things start to go awry on the course, you need to clear your head and move on to the next shot. I’ve seen a lot of guys unravel right before my eyes because they let one errant shot turn into two and then it’s like rolling a snowball down a mountain. I mean no disrespect to Lee Westwood by the way. He is the #8 ranked golfer in the world, his career earnings are approximately 36 Million Dollars(insert Dr. Evil Voice here), you’ve probably heard of him, but he only has 2 PGA victories, and 0 majors. Just as a reminder Tiger Woods has 75 tour victories and 14 majors. What Tiger has also done better than any other golfer in the history of the sport, is intimidate his opponents. Back in the day, other golfers used to fear him! They would find themselves watching him win with the rest of us rather than believe they actually had a chance to defeat him. If Tiger wants to get back to his old self, he’ll need to start doing these things once again. I think that Tiger should focus mostly on the mental aspects of his game and his sheer intimidation over his peers. This will be a recipe for success. As we’ve seen in recent past in major tournaments, it’s not the guy making up ground that wins, it’s the guy who remains steady and keeps his head above water. With this mentality, I believe that Tiger can cause his opponents to once again falter on Sundays in 2013 just the way he did in the beginning of his career. Let me attach some numbers to my predictions. I believe that if healthy for the entire year, Tiger Woods will win 4 tournaments and 1 major. Of course he has the ability to win 3 majors and 9 tournaments again, I mean he still is Tiger Woods. But, I don’t see a year worse than last year. Even at his worst I still think he’s a top 10 golfer in the world.
Does anybody else hate the fact that we have to wait an extra week for the Super Bowl? Personally, I hate it. Now I know this will never change because god forbid we take money out of anyone’s wallet. That would be a crime. But, from a fans perspective it really irks me that we have football every Sunday for 20 weeks in a row, and then before the most important game of the year we decide to take a week off. The only thing in sports worse than this is the time they take off before the College Football National “Championship”. Now I get why they take the week off. It helps set the stage by building up the anticipation for the game, the players get to have time with their families and friends in a different city every year, and the NFL gets to grab its share of the prize through player appearances and media week. Also, the host city boosts its economy while the NFL is in town. With all that being said, I still wish they would do away with the circus that is media week.
Lets move past the things we can not change. However, I do think the week off has an effect on the outcome of the game. The Ravens have been riding this wave of “destiny” as some would call it. When people say that Ray Lewis is destined to win this Super Bowl in his last season, I say they are carrying momentum through the playoffs. Most of this momentum is due to getting injured players back at the right time and Joe Flacco playing out of his mind right now doesn’t exactly hurt either. In my opinion the week off definitely favors the 49ers. It gives some of the injured 49ers a chance to get healthy, most notably Justin Smith. And it could possibly slow the Baltimore train that steamrolled its way through New England(which feels like a month ago not a week ago). Now am I saying that I want the Ravens to win and it’s an unfair advantage for them to have an extra week off? No not at all. I actually want the 49ers to win, due to my slight dislike of Ray “I didn’t do it” Lewis. What the Ravens need to do to win this game is try to be the more physical team. That is not an easy task when playing San Francisco. If you have watched them play this year you’d know that Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, and Aldon Smith are beasts on the football field. So, lets assume that the 49ers are going to be the more physical team on Sunday. How else can the Ravens win this football game without divine intervention? Well, a heavy dose of Ray Rice would be a nice start, but that will only be effective if Joe Flacco starts the game by taking deep shots down the field. This will stretch the field, keep the 49ers secondary honest, and prevent them from creeping towards the line on running plays. Once a nice balance of run and pass has been established that should allow an opportunity for them to go play action to Torrey Smith or Anquan Boldin throughout the game. This game plan should allow the Ravens to regain their momentum they’ve been carrying the past couple of weeks. While I believe this will work in the first half and the Ravens should jump out to an early lead, I don’t see them sustaining their offensive attack. Ultimately, I think the outcome of this game will come down to the team that is more physical and whichever QB plays better. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been waiting for Colin Kaepernick to make a huge “rookie” mistake that will cost his team a game. It just hasn’t happened yet, and I’m not about to pick this game for it to start. I think he’ll play mistake free football and manage the game as he has done since he took the reigns of this machine 10 weeks ago. I see this being a close game where the Ravens jump out to an early lead. However, in the end I see the 49ers controlling the time of possession and just playing too physical a brand of football for the Ravens to withstand. Sorry Ray, your “path” ends in New Orleans. You’ll have only your own shortcomings to thank for losing this game. My prediction for this game is 27-23(San Francisco). Enjoy the game!
Hey let’s hop in our time machine and go back to 2009. Come on, this will be fun. So here we are beating quality teams on the road in the postseason. We come one win shy of a trip to the Super Bowl, but it was certainly a successful season. We have a top 5 rushing attack, top 5 defense, very good receivers, and an up and coming quarterback who’s confidence is building game by game. Our coach is a defensive minded coach who seems to know how to rally the troops every Sunday. Quick let us fast forward to the present day. We are in my estimation the most poorly run organization in the NFL, and we are the laughing stock of newspapers and sports talk shows nationwide. I’m going to tell you how we got from where we were to how we became the most entertaining circus since Barnum and Baileys. Then I’ll break down step by step what we need to do to get back to Super Bowl contention.
After consecutive trips to the AFC Championship in ’09 and ’10, you’d think the Jets would have a blueprint for success in their back pocket somewhere. Well someone from the Patriots obviously infiltrated the Jets organization as a spy and did that flashy memory erase thingy from Men In Black. Yo, Tommy Lee Jones is looking old as hell isn’t he? Which brings me to Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzanegger. Guys, you’re like 100! Stop making action flicks! You guys look ridiculous! Anyway, here’s why the Jets have crumbled over the past two seasons. Mark Sanchez is Alex Smith. They are both mentally weak, and they are at the peak of their potential; game managers. If Sanchez is going to be your guy you need to cater to his needs. Which is really the Jets biggest problem. If you need to have a perfect roster built around your QB just to be successful, then Sanchez isn’t your guy. You want my professional opinion? Sanchez is a bum. A franchise QB should be your captain and leader! He shouldn’t sulk and let his play circle the drain because your owner brought in Tim Tebow. That is the only time I will bring up that guy in this entire article because he’s obviously horrendous and isn’t worth wasting my breath on. Clearly not a football move, clearly for $ and front page headlines, blah blah blah we all know this already. Somebody stuff a sock in Skip Bayless’ mouth and tape it shut please. He obviously gets paid to play devils advocate because even he cant believe the garbage that spews out his mouth. Anyway, the Jets need someone to smack them silly and then sit them down in front of a mirror. If it sounds like a duck, and walks like a duck, then it’s probably a, yup you got it, a duck. Rex Ryan needs to get fired because he’s not the guy. If you’re not going to fire him then at least tell him to shut his trap. Mark Sanchez is also not the guy, so why don’t we extend his freakin contract for no good reason. I mean come on!! The jets have literally done the exact opposite of what they should be doing. And as if last year couldn’t have gone any worse, why don’t we express to the rest of the league that we WANT to trade Darrelle Revis? Yup sure great idea Mr new General Manager guy, lets find the only way possible to get less value out of him. He only missed almost an entire season with a serious injury. And he’s only about the most stubborn guy in the world when it comes to contract negotiations. So lets please trade him for a 5th round pick and a bucket of chicken. All my Seinfeld fans out there got that one. What they should have done was trade him when his value was highest. Unfortunately that time isn’t now so they need to keep him until after the season starts, let him play well, and then trade him for as many pieces as possible. For all of you Jets fans out there that drink the Rex Ryan kool-aid, we are going to do this because we are NOT GOOD and we are in rebuilding mode. Dumb Fan #1: We are? Really? Me: Uh yea we suck. On that note, we need to start from scratch and rebuild this franchise. We need to get a bunch of draft picks for Revis and start to clear cap space for 2 years from now. Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez need to be fired and we need to start filling all of the holes on the roster. Those holes include : at least 2 WR’s, 2 RB’s, a TE, 2 O-Lineman, and a pass rush. Oo yea I almost forgot, we also need a QB, but that’s just a tiny little detail. How silly of me. So, as anyone with eyes can see, we have a lot of work ahead of us before we can think about the playoffs. Lets get to work then. Think you have the answer to the Jets problems?? Leave your ideas in the comment section below…..
So I have this friend that is a “Big” Lakers fan. You know the type, they talk all kinds of smack when they’re great, and they try to explain to you how they knew this was going to happen now that they’re spiraling out of control. He’s the type of fan that probably hopped on the Lakers bandwagon around the turn of the century, you know when Shaq was still there and they started winning consecutive titles again. So rewind to before the preseason even started, and let me recap what this “fan” had to say. “Dude, there is no way the Lakers aren’t going to win the title this year”. “Did you see that picture of our starting five?” Yeah, well that “all-star” caliber starting lineup has only played 132 minutes together so far this season. How’s that working out for you? I’m here to tell you who’s to blame for this train wreck, and that their season, while it has been a disaster so far is not completely lost yet. Any major problem you have in an organization, a business, or even your own family always starts at the top. Let me see how I can say this without having a potty mouth, ummmm, okay got it: “poo doesn’t travel uphill.” The problems in a family don’t start with the kids, they start with the parents. The problems with a business don’t start with the $12/hour employee, they start with the owner(s). So, why would the dysfunction that is the Lakers have started with the players? It obviously started with ownership and upper management and trickled down to the coach and finally has effected the players negatively. So when you watch the Lakers struggle on both ends of the floor, you can’t blame Kobe Bryant, and you can’t even blame Dwight Howard. For the root of the Lakers struggles let’s look up, first at Jerry Buss. Yes, I said Jerry Buss. Who is that is ruining one of the greatest franchises in sports history? That would be Jim Buss. And, who is it that made Jim Buss Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Lakers? Yes! You are correct again, that would Jerry Buss. I’m tired of these ultra wealthy business men whom mostly created their multi-million dollar businesses on nothing but hard work and a brilliant idea, just handing over their fortunes to their self-entitled kids. Our kids don’t always turn out to be carbon copies of the best form of ourselves(as much as we want them to). Just because daddy was a great entrepreneur and knew how to run one of the most successful sports franchises of all time, doesn’t mean little Jimmy Buss can follow suit. With that being said, and now that Jim Buss is making decisions in Los Angeles, we can all point our fingers at him. Jim Buss decided this past November to hire Mike D’Antoni, not Phil Jackson. I know that all of you reading this already knew that but let me write that again. HE HIRED MIKE D’ANTONI OVER PHIL JACKSON! So as hard as it was to get past that, let’s get past that. Now am I saying that the Lakers would be 25-17 instead of 17-25? Most of you might say no, but I’d say uh, yeah maybe they would be. We are talking about PHIL JACKSON HERE! He’s one of if not THE greatest coach of all time. Again, we can’t change the past so let’s analyze the present. Let’s keep playing the blame game(I don’t know about you, but I’m having fun with this)and all point our fingers at Mike D’Antoni. Mike D’Antoni is not the answer for the Lakers. With that being said, I don’t know if Mike D’Antoni is the answer for anyone in the NBA. His style of coaching, if you can call it that, just doesn’t win championships. See, this is isn’t the Minnesota Timberwolves who were content just getting to the Conference Finals. The Lakers are like the Yankees, it’s championship or bust. Everyone is asking if the players should be adjusting to their coach or if the coach should adapt to the players on his roster? This is a very dumb rhetorical question if you ask me. Obviously, the answer is the coach must tweak his coaching “system” to fit the players on his roster. Players in the NBA are who they are. That mind sound vague or confusing, but it’s true. You can’t ask Kobe Bryant to lock down the other teams best player and then score 30 points on 65% shooting every night. As great as he still is, he’s not 24 anymore. You also can’t expect Steve Nash and the rest of these three toed sloths to sprint down the floor and play at a pace that’s better fit for an Olympic track. No disrespect to Steve Nash, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, and that guy who changed his name to the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard, but they are just too old and too slow to play at this frenetic pace. That’s like taking a 1988 Pontiac station wagon out to the race track and expecting to blow by people on your way to the checkered flag. It just doesn’t work like that. Now, like I said earlier, I don’t believe D’Antoni is the answer in L.A., but I don’t see the Lakers firing another coach mid-season and carrying anymore extra payroll. So it looks like they’re stuck with D’Antoni, for now. I read an exchange between Grantland’s Zach Lowe and Bill Simmons last night. It was actually pretty interesting. They were pretty much saying how D’Antoni is so stubborn, he’d rather go down with the ship then try to adjust his own style. Here is an excerpt from Bill Simmons:”He’s basically saying, I’m here only because of my system. I can’t actually coach. If you give me the wrong players for my system, it doesn’t matter – I will keep using the system anyway, because Plan B would be coming up with a more inventive way to coach these guys. And I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. So if it’s OK with you, I’d like to go down in flames with my system.” Personally I think he is spot on with what should be going through D’Antoni’s head. I’m sure he’s already gone through this kind of inner conflict, when he was the coach of the Knicks. If only someone in the Lakers organization had sat down Jim Buss, taped his eyes open so he couldn’t look away, and forced him to watch the first half the Knicks 2011-2012 season, they might not be in this predicament. This is like a horrible remake of an already horrible movie. We all know how it’s going to end. So now that we’ve established the chain of command that put this in motion, let’s talk about the players on the floor. Everyone is also trying to blame Kobe Bryant for the Lakers troubles. To those critics I say, are you out of your mind? Kobe Bryant is 34 and is having another phenomenal season. Also, to the critics who try to call Kobe a selfish player, he is in a system that asks him to shoot as many times as possible. People are also trying to blame Dwight Howard for their struggles. Yes, he’s having a down season compared to his own standards, but he’s still averaging 16.7 points, 12 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks per game. Man, what horrible numbers, especially on a team that has Kobe Bryant shooting as many shots as humanly possible. What also boggles my mind is why Dwight Howard has been playing through an injury that is obviously affecting his play. They should have rested him until he was 100% or as close to 100% as he can get before playing him. Dwight Howard can become a free agent at the end of this season, so the Lakers should be doing everything in their power to keep him healthy, happy, and in purple and gold next season and many more seasons to come. Now on to Pau Gasol. He is a special talent, and can be a key component to a championship caliber team. Don’t believe me? Just check Gasol’s numbers and minutes from their last two championships. This, just like every other players struggles can be attributed to one person, Mike D’Antoni. Which leads me to another great point that Bill Simmons made yesterday, he said: “I’m glad we finally got to Pau. Here’s a good rule of thumb: If you’re a professional basketball coach and your system is telling you, “I should play Early Clark more than Pau Gasol,” you need a new system.” I couldn’t really come up with a better way to say that, so I let him say it for me. Thanks Bill. In closing, if you ask me what the solution is, you have to do what no one in the world would do, fire D’Antoni, and hire a 3rd coach in a single season. From a purely wins and losses perspective, this is the only move Jim Buss should be thinking about. Unfortunately we all know that owning a sports team is strictly a business venture for 99.9% of owners, and he’s not going to come out of pocket to hire a 3rd(even if it would be the right one, cough, The Zen Master, cough)coach. Little Jimmy is probably upset that Phil’s setting up shop with his little sis. Resentment is an ugly character trait, Jim. Especially when it aids in your own self-sabotage. The other fix I would make is to play to Kobe, Pau, and Nash’s strengths. And that is to let Nash orchestrate the offense like he knows how, while favoring the Kobe side of the floor slightly in each possession. Let Dwight Howard get healthy, and I’m sure you’ll see the production we’ve all been expecting. Now as for Pau, get him the damn ball inside the post! He’s a great passer for a big man so even he can find Dwight Howard from there. And most importantly he is a great low-post player, stop forcing him to shoot 18 footers. If you take time to look at his numbers, you’ll see that they are far better when he is inside the paint opposed to outside roaming the earth, like Quentin Richardson in that old D’Antoni Pheonix system. How dumb are the Knicks by the way(says the Knicks fan)? Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, and fool me 3 times, well I don’t know what you call that. The D’Antoni “system” got us with Quentin Richardson, Amare Stoudamire, and then Mike D’Antoni!! Really?!?!? Come on Man(said in a Keyshawn Johnson voice)! Finally, let Ron/Metta I’m not calling him that scare the other teams best player into submission. Or play physical, whichever way you want to go with it. The Metta guy isn’t what he used to be either, but if he stops expending energy on the offensive end and focuses all his efforts to the defensive end, they might have a recipe for success. Back to reality we go, the Lakers need to win between 25 and 29 games to have a shot at the playoffs. Is it likely? No. But, I’m telling you there is a chance.
Let me be the first to say that I was wrong. I tried to pick this game with my brain rather than my heart(my heart bleeds green when it comes to football), which seemed like the right thing to do at the time. As I wrote in my preview, I figured that the Patriots offense would be too much for the Ravens to handle. Boy, was that not the case. It turned out that the Ray Lewis driven defense was too much for Tom Brady to handle. They put pressure on Brady and forced him to throw 2 interceptions. Everyone is blaming the Patriots loss on continual small mistakes like the drops they had throughout the game. If you watched the entire game, you would have seen that it was more than that. The Patriots were completely outplayed and supremely OUT COACHED. I don’t put out coached in that it looks like I’m yelling font because of my strong dislike for Bill Belichick. I say it like that because he was simply the 2nd best coach on the sidelines on Sunday. That is a rare occurrence for someone considered to be the best coach of his generation. And, while that might be true, let’s delve into the mistakes that he made that cost him another trip back to the promised land. Now we all know there was no Gronk, but we’ve known that for some time now so that’s not part of the problem. For me it all started with their decision to run the ball on a 3rd and 2 on their second offensive drive. This possession was the first of many trips to the Ravens red zone that did not end in a touchdown(The Patriots were 1 for 6 in terms of touchdowns inside the Ravens 25 yard line). I think Ridley is a nice little back that should be successful for years to come, but what they should have done was play action to him and allow Hernandez to delay across the middle. I mean all they needed was 2 yards and an inch. Now let us move on to what I would call Bill Belichick’s worst blunder of his career. Let me paint a picture for you of where they were. The Patriots got the ball back on the ravens 43 yard line, with 2:32 on the clock in the 2nd quarter, and all 3 timeouts. That kind of time on the Ravens side of the field is an eternity for Tom Brady, usually. So they proceed to get a first down on a really nice 4th and 1 play where Tom Brady pretended to be getting a new play called in to his headset and Woodhead take a direct snap for a 1st down. They were then forced to use their first timeout. This play caught the Ravens completely off guard, and they seemed to be heading for 7 points right before the half to extend their lead to 17-7. This would not be the case, and here’s where everything went awry. After two incomplete passes, Brady completed a nice pass to Hernandez going towards to the right sideline, and what does Hernandez do? Instead of running out of bounds and saving their 2nd timeout, he spins up field and maybe gains 2 yards out of the play. Here, at the ravens 10 yard line, the Patriots are forced to burn their 2nd timeout with 26 seconds left in the half. Now, even after that first blunder, having 26 seconds left and a timeout would lead you to believe that Brady can still get off 3 plays and try to punch one in the end-zone. This was also not the case. On the next play, Brady gets forced out of the pocket to his left and rather than throw the ball away he runs up field for a lousy 3 yards, while throwing his leg up high in his slide and nearly catching Ed Reed in his “family jewels”. This was clearly intentional and while I knew Brady had inherited that smug cold-hearted attitude from Belichick, I never saw Brady as a dirty player. Anyway, the Patriots jump up, doing their best Dallas Cowboys/Tony Romo impressions and act like they are going to get back to the line and spike the ball. Instead they let the clock run all the way down to 4 seconds. This forces them to call their final timeout and kick a field goal on 2ND DOWN! The words awful, horrifying, and horrendous just don’t do this 2 minute drill justice. I haven’t seen a horror movie this bad since The Wicker Man. Have you seen this movie? Man, that is some bad stuff. You would think that Nicholas Cage would still want to make good movies, since he’s broke and all. “Yeah, I think I’ll buy another island today.” Yeah good investment, buddy. Anyway, back to the ineptitude of Bill Belichick. So, instead of going in to the half up 17-7, the Patriots carried a 13-7 lead into the locker room. Now this may not have mattered in the grand scheme of things but it was a microcosm of how this game played out. Once Aqib Talib went down with an injury Anquan Boldin became the Patriots worst nightmare. Talib’s backup made Boldin look like Larry Fitzgerald out there. Can someone please get that man a QB in Arizona, I mean how bad do you feel for that guy? The Arizona Cardinals’ general managers are actually depriving us of a chance to watch a great show and possibly history. Fitzgerald was primed and ready to become the next Randy Moss, or better. Yea I said it, but the guys just never had anyone to throw him the ball. I digress, again. In the end, the pressure was put on Tom Brady to throw, throw, and throw some more once they got down in the 2nd half. I have to put a tiny bit of the blame on the drops and little mistakes(lets call that %10), some of it is on Brady(maybe 30%), but I leave most of the blame for Belichick to shoulder(the other 60%). I must give credit to the Ravens defense though who hung tough with Brady. Also, Joe Flacco seems to save his best for when he’s going up against the best. He outplayed Brady, again. Only this time there were no dropped touchdown passes. This game was never in doubt once the Ravens took the lead. Now it’s on to the SuperBowl for Joe Flacco and the Ravens. So the question is, will Joe Flacco rise up against the stingy 49ers defense or will he fold and let this golden opportunity slip through his fingers?
As a lifelong Knicks fan, I get very excited about games like these. See, it’s been a while since The Knicks have had a good closely matched opponent to spark up a rivalry. That is exactly what the Brooklyn Nets are, a tough match-up for the New York Knicks. Let me see if I can pull out a useful boxing analogy from somewhere here. See, it’s like those Pacquiao/Marquez fights(I think there’s been 14 of them now?). This Knicks/Nets match-up is like two prize fighters whose styles counter each other perfectly. Now that game number 4 between these cross town foes is in the books, the season series is tied at 2 a piece. Now let me just interject in the middle of my own objective recap by stating that The Knicks will be the fighter still standing when it’s all said and done. Hint hint; that means that the Knicks will be Juan Manuel Marquez. Did you see that knockout?!?!?! I think Manny Pacquiao still has a fear of going to sleep because he’s afraid he’ll relive that punch over and over and over again in his dreams. By the way, who is this guy sitting next to Wally Szczerbiak on the Knicks post-game show? And how can he sit there with a straight face and say that this isn’t a rivalry? He’s trying to tell us that because this game was a low scoring “”snoozefest” that the Knicks didn’t want to win and this game didn’t carry the playoff atmosphere it should have. Even Al Trautwig started looking at this guy like he had four heads. The Knicks versus the Nets is a rivalry, and it is here to stay. With that being said let’s talk about the game. The Nets did their best not to win this game, but the Knicks just couldn’t capitalize on their mistakes. The Nets played sloppy basketball, and the Knicks won the turnover battle 19 to 5. However, the Nets had a game plan and they followed it. They knew that Carmelo was going to get his points no matter what they did, so they were physical with him and made him work for his 29 points. Carmelo’s 29 points came on 11 of 29 shooting while expending a ton of energy on the offensive end. The grueling 45 minutes he played left his legs just a little bit too tired to rise up for a baseline jumper with seconds remaining; one he’s made a million times in his life. What we can take away from this game as a positive is the chemistry Stat and Melo showed in the 2nd half. Which begs the question, why wasn’t Stat on the court down the stretch? What I saw in the 2nd half was when Melo and Mini Melo(J.R. Smith) penetrated into the lane, Stat found himself wide open under the hoop. So I say lets build on that. And while Stat should help the Knicks improve with his high pick and roll skills and dunking abilities, the key to our success is Stat digging in, rebounding, and PLAYING DEFENSE!! It may not be the brand of basketball most fans want to watch, especially with an offensive talent on the floor like Melo, but it will be the key to the Knicks success come playoff time. DEFENSE!! It may be a little cliche, but defense certainly wins championships. That’s why I believe that if Amare gives his all to the team concept, Kidd continues to be an ageless wonder, and the rest of the squad can stay healthy; the Knicks will be true contenders.
Welcome Everybody! This is my first post here at my new blog. Here, I will be talking about all things sports on a daily basis. I will always stay honest and speak the truth about what’s going on in the sports world. Objectivity will always be my goal when analyzing or critiquing something or someone. I am here to tell it like it is! Enjoy!
Originally Posted on 1/20/13 @ 7:01 P.M.
Well, I came about 12 yards short and a 4th and 4 away from hitting the score of this game right on the head. If you read my preview of the NFC Championship, I had the Falcons winning on a last second TD(31-24). So close but oh so far. The Falcons put forth a great effort, and I want to congratulate them on a wonderful season. First, I must ask, why in the world would you put Matt Ryan on the move for one of the most important plays of the game? 3rd and 4 when it’s touchdown or bust is not the time to try something new with a straight forward, very good, pocket passer. Anyway, if you had watched this football game without looking at the score, you would have thought the Falcons won by 2 touchdowns. However in the end, the 49ers defense and running attack along with some untimely Falcons mistakes was too much for Atlanta to handle in the 2nd half. Kaepernick did not make the mistakes I foresaw him making, on the other hand it was Matt Ryan making 2 very poor mistakes in the 2nd half that cost them the game. His interception was just a flat out poor decision. And the fumble was simple, he decided to look at the 49ers defense, that was coming for his head, half a second too early. The falcons really need to look into a game plan for stopping Tight Ends and Wide Receivers from getting into the middle of the field on crossing patterns next year. That is their teams biggest problem. At the same time, I must give credit to the 49ers defense who shut down the Falcons in the 2nd half, and to the running game of Frank Gore and Lamichael James. James is going to be something special next year , remember I said that. This was a hard fought game, and the 49ers should make the SuperBowl a well contested game no matter who they play. As for the Falcons, it’s better luck next year. I think they are here to stay with the combination of Julio Jones and Roddy White catching balls from Matt Ryan. And, it wouldn’t be the worst idea in the world to have Tony Gonzalez over for a nice dinner this offseason and try to entice him to stick around one more year. I personally think he should give it 1 more year to try to add a SuperBowl to his already stellar hall of fame career. With that said, lets watch Tom Brady do what Tom Brady does best. Win. Enjoy game 2 of this relaxing football Sunday!
Originally Posted on 1/19/13 @ 2:19 P.M.
I just wanted to take some time out of my day to say a few words to all you hockey fans out there. I am very pleased that they were able to come to terms in time to salvage part of this NHL season. I’m sure all of you are just as excited as I am to watch the pucks drop once again at center ice. They didn’t waste anytime filling up the schedule as you’ll have 26 of the 30 teams in action this afternoon and tonight. Enjoy all the action that starts at 3:00 p.m. EST.
Originally Posted on 1/19/13 @ 7:18 P.M.
Earlier I touched on what I thought would occur in the NFC Championship. Now it’s time to move on to the AFC Championship. Like I wrote earlier, I do believe that both games will be close, so if I were a betting man I would definitely take the 8 points the Ravens are getting. However, while I do enjoy Ray Lewis’ comeback and his energy on the field, I’m just not buying into the destiny the same way Mike Greenberg is. Big fan of Mike and Mike in the morning by the way(hey Mike…and uh Mike, please stop going on vacation, because besides Colin Cowherd or Scott Van Pelt, it gets difficult to watch the show when you guys aren’t there. Anyway, like I was saying, yes Flacco seems to find a way to play well against the Patriots, and yes Ray Lewis seems to be on a path of destiny. But, even with all that being said, it’s just not going to be enough. They are simply the second best team suiting up in Foxborough this coming Sunday. The offensive machine of Tom Brady even without TheSummerOfGronk is just too good. Did I say good? I meant spectacular. Tom Brady, as much as I don’t want to say it as a life long Jets fan, will be hoisting the trophy and having a ring fitted in 2 weeks. He might even get a call from A Mr. Montana asking him to stop playing so well. I think that seat atop the best QB of all time list is pretty comfy. I also doubt it has room for two. As usual I digress. Lets get Back to the task at hand. I think the best chance the Ravens have to control the game and the clock is one of my favorite players in the league under 6 feet tall, Ray Rice. For some reason they forget how good he is sometimes. In games they get away from the run guess what happens they lose. In games Rice has 15 or more rushes including the postseason, they are 12-2. In games they forget to hand Rice the ball 15 times, they are 2-4. Hmmmmm, what should Jim Caldwell do? I think we all know the answer to that. So, thanks to the media giving Joe Flacco a false sense of confidence that he will be better than Tom Brady on Sunday, the Ravens will air it out and forget to get Rice enough touches, and they will lose. For my final point I think New England’s front 7 has been overshadowed in these playoffs by their offense. Shane Vereen says sorry, but I don’t think he means it. I think their front 7 will add to the pressure that’s already on Joe Flacco and he will crumble in the clutch moment. Flacco throws a pick while trying to drive for the game winning score, and the ravens fall just short. 34-30(New England). Enjoy the games on Sunday!