Well That Was Exciting…… Not!!

Tuesday night’s soccer match of the United States vs. Mexico was a harsh reminder as to why I don’t watch soccer. Even avid soccer fans can’t honestly tell me they enjoyed watching that match. For those of you who missed it, the United States and Mexico played to a 0-0 tie last night. No that’s not a typo, this game showcased 0 goals. This match was the third of 10 total World Cup qualifying matches these teams will play. With the tie, The United States fell to 3rd in the CONCACAF standings (1-1-1), while Mexico remains in 5th in the same standings (0-0-3). The top 3 teams will qualify for the World Cup. Mexico is highly regarded as the best team in this group, and barring a major injury or meltdown they will represent their country in the 2014 World Cup. The United States will most likely find themselves in the 2014 World Cup as well, but it won’t be because they break any goal scoring records. And that brings me to my thoughts on last nights game.

I continue to hear all the commentators say, well this was a solid performance by the United States, and their fans should feel great about what transpired on Tuesday night. To that I say, are you kidding me? Mexico dominated every aspect of this soccer match except for the final score. Yes, it is a fact that Mexico did not score a goal in this match. However, that doesn’t mean that United States played really well. Their defense was very good, but it was not without some luck and some questionable non-calls. Let me throw out some statistics to support my position before I continue on my rant. Mexico outshot the United States 19 to 1. 1?!?!?! 1 stinking shot is all you could muster up in a 90 minute match? If you didn’t watch this match, let me be the first to tell you that that shot wasn’t even a real shot. It was from about 8 miles away from the goal, and it didn’t even end up on net! Mexico literally could have played without a goalie and this match would have ended with the same final score. Mexico possessed the ball for 58% of the match, and found themselves with a clear advantage in corner kicks as well (15-2). Now, everyone can keep telling me that the U.S.’s defense was spectacular, and that’s all well and good, but that style of play is not going to cut it against good teams. You are also not going to allow 19 shots and 15 corners and expect to come away with a shutout on a consistent basis. Now, I must give The United States credit for the final result of last nights match. Azteca is one of the most difficult venues to play in, but the U.S. hung tough. Regardless of what it looked like they still came away with a point IN Mexico. That is a rare feat, as it is only the 2nd time in the history of World Cup qualifiers that they didn’t leave Mexico empty handed. Now just like any close match, it wasn’t free of controversy. Mexico’s players did their fair share of complaining during and after the match. Early on in the game, “Chicharito” was positioning himself inside the box to await a pass. As he entered the box he flew forward away from a U.S. defender (Michael Bradley) as if he were shot out of a canon. There was no whistle blown, no penalty shot awarded, and to that I applaud the referee. In a sport filled with “talented” flop artists it is difficult to differentiate a penalty from an acting job. It is the hardest sport to officiate, and the referee got that call right. Now, a play that was far more controversial came in the 76th minute. Javier Aquino of Mexico was feet away from the goal and was gearing up for a shot on net. Freddy Edu of the U.S. snuck up behind Aquino and disrupted the shot attempt. It appeared that Edu caught Aquino’s foot and that he tripped him up. Play continued without a call and the United States pulled out their violins to give the Mexican squad some background music for their crying and complaining. In sports there are missed calls everyday. Unfortunately it is part of the game. Personally I thought it was a penalty, and Mexico should have been awarded a penalty shot. Fortunately for the United States the referee was checking out a cute girl in the stands instead of doing his job, and the call was blown.

All in all the end result of the match was great for the United States, but my standards it was pretty ugly. Next time, I think I’ll go to sleep at 10 instead of 1230 in the morning. At least I know I won’t miss anything important.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

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I’m comin for that #1 spot!

So I decided to hop in my airplane and airlift a tiger to the jungle. I dropped the tiger right into a lion’s den, and guess what happened? Let’s just say the Lion isn’t the king of the jungle anymore. Still haven’t figured out what I’m talking about? That’s okay, I’ll tell you. Tiger Woods is the most dominant golfer the sport has ever seen. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (sorry old timers). Everyone else who doesn’t understand his greatness can now join me in amazement. What I’m saying (and have been saying for two years now) is that Tiger Woods is and has always been the same Tiger Woods we grew to know years ago. He hasn’t changed, we just think we got to know him a little better. He is still the intimidating force that we have all been scared of. Don’t you have nightmares about red shirts? No? Just me? Hmmm, weird. Anyway, for those of you who don’t know, Tiger woods won the Arnold Palmer Invitational on Monday (yes on Monday). With this win, Tiger leapfrogged his way back to the #1 golf ranking in the world, and let me just say that this victory didn’t come without any obstacles. On Sunday, Tiger rolled in a putt on the 2nd hole right before the skies opened up and dumped torrential downpour on the course and brought about 60 mph winds. Play had to be suspended until Monday. After all that, he showed good poise and won the tournament by two strokes as he shot a final round 70. Tiger is starting to get used to playing on Monday (he might have to find a new color for his Monday shirts soon). As for his 2013 season he is on a tear and has now won 3 of his first 5 tournaments and two tournaments in a row. And guess where Tiger’s going to be on April 11th. That’s right, The Masters!! Tiger kind of knows a little bit about winning at Augusta, and as I wrote weeks ago, that is exactly what he is going to do. He is going to win a third straight tournament (which is RIDICULOUS by human standards), and his 5th green jacket. He will take one step closer to Jack’s unbelievable record of 18 majors, and one step closer to the indisputable rank of best golfer in the history of the world (I think he’s there already, but I’ll leave that up for debate). Is Tiger the best golfer that has ever lived? Tiger Woods at the top of the golf food chain is great for him, it’s great for fans, and it’s especially great for golf. People only watch golf to watch Tiger Woods play. They don’t tune in to watch Bubba Watson and Luke Donald duke it out. And they certainly don’t want to watch Tiger come in 11th place. They want to watch him crush his opponents on a Sunday afternoon. And that’s what he is going to continue to do. I’d say welcome back, but I never thought you left. Tune in to the best tournament of the year (bar none), The Masters, on April 11th on either CBS or ESPN. It truly is “A Tradition Unlike Any Other”.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

What’s On TV??

It’s Friday night and you had a long week. You don’t feel like dragging your butt out of the house into the cold when you’re tired; so don’t. I’ve got just what you need to keep you company. So sit back, relax, and enjoy these basketball games on the collegiate and pro levels. Today, as most of you know is the 2nd day of the NCAA basketball tournament. Tonight you’ll have some good games starting at 7:20 p.m. EST. The action will start on TNT where North Carolina(8) will take on Villanova(9). North Carolina is the favorite in this one having played well leading up to the tournament. Look for UNC to win this one by 5 points. After that game you can switch over to either TBS or CBS for two interesting 7 vs. 10 match-ups. At 9:20 p.m. you’ll find San Diego State(7) taking on Oklahoma(10), and at 9:45 p.m. you can see Notre Dame(7) take on Iowa State(10). Both should be close games, but I like the lucky number 7 in both of these games. And lastly, in the final game of the 1st round you’ll have UCLA(6) taking on Minnesota(11). You can find that game on TruTv at 9:57 p.m. I see a nice upset in this game, with Minnesota showing the world why the Big Ten is the best conference in college basketball this year. I think they will pull out the victory by 7 points.

If you are the 4 people in the world that are not into college basketball, then let me highlight the best NBA games on TV tonight. Starting with my favorite team, the New York Knicks, they will be in Toronto this evening to take on the Raptors. You can find that game on MSG Network at 7:00 p.m. I foresee the Knicks winning a close game by 6 points. Lord knows they need to keep winning basketball games. If you want to watch the Miami Heat attempt to extend their winning streak to 25 games, then turn on NBATV at 7:30 p.m. They will be taking on the Detroit Pistons at home (I think it’s safe to say they’ll extend their streak). Whatever you tonight, enjoy yourself. Thanks for reading!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

March Madness Is Finally Here!!

It is official. March madness has finally arrived. Today marks the beginning of the best sports tournament in the world. Today at 12:00 EST, the first set of games will tip-off. Today there are 64 teams. Come April 8th, in Atlanta Georgia, there will be only one team left standing. Who will it be? We can all play with our brackets and do our best fortune teller impressions, but no one knows what will happen. Upsets happen everyday in this tournament, and there is always that upset that happens that absolutely no one saw coming. While I wish there wasn’t so much parody and 1 and done players in men’s college basketball, I still love this tournament. So, I want to wish everyone good luck with their brackets (unless you’re in my pool then I hope your brackets stink).

Final four: Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, and Miami

Finals: Louisville over Miami (81-75)

Enjoy the games everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Keep Your Fingers Crossed

Wednesday night Carmelo Anthony came back to the court and the offense followed. The Knicks beat a young Orlando Magic team by a score of 106-94. The game should have never really been that close, but the Knicks like to take their foot off the gas once they feel they have a comfortable lead. They did this twice last night. They found themselves up 15 in the 1st quarter which quickly shrunk to a 4-point lead, and they were also up by 20 points in the 4th quarter and only won by 12 points. There were some concerns as to how Carmelo Anthony would look after missing 3 straight games with a sore knee. He looked fine throughout the entire game and played a really good all around game. It was amazing, he actually looked to pass the ball a few times. Granted, they were playing the horrid Orlando Magic, but they reminded me of the team we saw 4 months ago. They played pretty solid help defense and offensively they hit their three’s (open threes). The Knicks success goes as Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler go, so it is imperative that Melo stays healthy and Chandler can return without any bumps in the road. The reports are now saying Chandler will be able to return in a week. Man I hope that is true because the Knicks won’t be able to defend consistently against playoff teams without him. After a night off Thursday, the Knicks will play back to back games against he Toronto Raptors Friday and Saturday night. You can catch Friday’s game at 7:00 p.m. in Toronto.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

In Case You missed It

While everyone has been gearing up for the most exciting tournament of the year, there have been some other sporting events that you may have missed. I missed them as well, for good reason, but let me fill you in just in case you haven’t heard about them. Let me start with the most insignificant of them all. Did you guys really just storm the court for an NIT victory? I get it, Robert Morris probably isn’t supposed to beat anybody so beating Kentucky is a big deal, but it is the NIT. Who wants to watch the leftover scraps play basketball? This tournament isn’t meaningful, and I don’t know why we even have it. Most teams, like Kentucky, are so disappointed that they didn’t make it into the real tournament that they mail in an effort in the NIT. Congratulations Robert Morris, you beat a team that didn’t even want to be there.

Something else you definitely missed was the finals of the World Baseball Classic. Man is this tournament a bad idea. ALL PLAYERS should be with their respective REAL teams in March. You know, since they are holding this little thing called spring training right now. If you wanted to watch baseball’s watered down version of the ‘World Cup’, then I guess you were 1 of the 14 people who watched the World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Republic dominated the World Baseball Classic going 8-0 in the tournament. They capped off their run though the Classic with a 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico.

Also, over the past week we have seen a handful of free agent signings in the NFL. Steven Jackson signed with the Atlanta Falcons, bringing the size and strength their running game has been missing. Sure you can say, well what about Michael Turner wasn’t he a good strong back? No, no he wasn’t. The guy looked like he was running in quicksand. Jackson entering his 10th NFL season will be a better fit for the Falcons then Turner ever was. Greg Jennings has signed with the enemy; the Minnesota Vikings. There used to be a day when people would cringe when players signed with their rival, but the game has changed. In today’s NFL, there is no such thing is loyalty. It’s all about the Benjamin’s baby! Jennings should be a nice addition for the Vikings who traded Percy Harvin to the Seattle Seahawks prior to free agency. The New York Jets are still holding Darrelle Revis in limbo with his playing career. The Jets obviously aren’t pleased with the offers they are getting for Revis, or else he’d be gone by now. This begs the question, will Darrelle Revis be traded before this season or will the Jets get stuck with him? Ed Reed is a big name that has yet to sign on a dotted line, however Baltimore is showing interest in re-signing him and the Houston Texans have shown some interest as well. Lastly, you had one of the weirdest situations in the history of the NFL happen last week. Elvis Dumervil, the outstanding defender for the Denver Broncos, had until 4 p.m. on March 15th to decide whether he would restructure his contract or be released by the Broncos. He had decided to restructure, however his decision which was sent via fax was received by the Broncos just minutes after the deadline. This snafu could cost either Dumervil millions of dollars or the Broncos one of their best players. Either way it is definitely one of the most interesting situations in NFL history.

In basketball news, the Miami Heat still haven’t lost a basketball game in a little over 23 years. Oh my bad, I meant 23 games, they’ve extended their streak to 23 straight wins and they haven’t lost since January. Also flying under the radar are the Denver Nuggets. They beat the Oklahoma City Thunder Tuesday night to extend their winning streak to 13 games. In other mega-important news Tiger Woods is dating….ah who cares, just win golf tournaments buddy. And that about raps this past week in sports. It has been mostly irrelevant, but it was enough to hold us over until the main course; the NCAA tournament.

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

It’s About Damn Time

All I have to say is thank god the Utah Jazz are terrible. It is also nice that Raymond Felton decided to take charge again out there on the court. In a hefty 42 minutes, Felton played a very effective basketball game. He had 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field. To add to his offensive efficiency, he added 4 assists and 3 steals. With Felton, as it often is, his success goes beyond the numbers. He needs to be a leader on his team. The offense needs to run through him not in spite of him. Even when Carmelo Anthony returns, Felton needs to continue to be the orchestrator for the Knicks offense. When Felton turns up the intensity and starts attacking the basket it opens up the court for everyone else. As I pointed out in the 2nd half of their game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Felton seemed to turn his game up a notch (nice to see but too little too late). He did carry that same energy over to Utah with him, and the Knicks got a HUGE victory. While Felton had a solid game (did I mention Raymond Felton played well last night?), the Knicks showed a nice balance throughout the entire game. J.R Smith added 20 points, and Chris Copeland, in his 9th start of the season, added 14 crucial points. Now that the Knicks finally won a game, they also get the added bonus of coming home. The rundown short-handed Knicks went 1-4 on this brutal 5 game road trip. They have been riddled with injuries and inconsistent play for weeks now and nothing can cure their symptoms better than a home cooked meal. Knicks fans are hopeful that Carmelo Anthony will return to action soon, and we are still awaiting an official report on Tyson Chandler’s status. The word on the street is that Chandler has a slight bulging disc in his spine, and should be fine in a weeks time. My advice would be to hold Anthony and Chandler out for as long as they have to in order for them to be ready for the playoffs. I know that winning the Atlantic Division is a big deal, but they will need their two best players at full strength to make a run in the playoffs (no matter their seed). As I mentioned earlier, the Knicks will head home for a much needed night off and will enjoy a good night sleep in their own beds. They jump back into action Wednesday night at 7:30 P.M. against the Orlando Magic. Even without their three best players, I’m predicting another win by the Manhattan Nursing Home All-Stars. I mean another win by the New York Knicks, sorry sorry. Enjoy the game everybody!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!