“The NFL Draft Brought Me Back To Life!!” (DTS Podcast – #100)

Everyone, pretend you haven’t heard this from anyone else yet, and be safe out there.

Be safer than safe….by staying home.

Work and the food store. That’s it.

As for the NFL Draft, all things considered, it wasn’t bad.

Oh, and Aaron Rodgers probably isn’t the happiest man in the United States anymore. Sorry pal. Discount double check that!

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IT’S BRACKET TIME!!!!

It’s here. It’s finally here!!

No, not Christmas, March Madness!!

It’s like Christmas, minus the awkward, social obligation to buy people you barely know (or like) gifts.

Anyway, this is, ‘I collectively watched 12 minutes of college basketball this season, but I’m suddenly an expert’ week. Others fill out brackets based on their favorite mascots or jersey colors. Either way, filling my bracket(s) with check marks and x’s fills my soul with happiness. Before we get to my predictions, let’s analyze the field of “68”.

#1 Seeds

Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier. They got these right this year. While watching the #1 overall seed, Virginia, play basketball is like watching paint dry, their defensive style is effective. They finished the year 31-2, their only losses coming to West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Villanova, the #2 overall seed, overshadowed by Virginia, will look to sneak their way through the weakest bracket in the tournament (East).

To see the entire bracket, click here.

Bubble Teams

No matter how many teams are in the tournament, 64, 68, there will always be an odd man out. This year, it’s Notre Dame. According to the NCAA Tournament Committee, Notre Dame was team 69, so Davidson upsetting Rhode Island Sunday afternoon was the final nail in the Notre Dame coffin.

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The last team in, Syracuse. In year’s past, I would have thrown my arms in the air, stomped my feet like a child, and screamed about tournament snubs. Honestly, I don’t have the time or energy for that anymore. Every team straddling the “bubble” has an argument one way or the other. Syracuse, Louisville, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, St. Marys, and Oklahoma State all fall into the same category; mediocre basketball teams.

The crazy part is, one of the last teams in, usually makes a deep run in the tournament, “justifying” their entrance. Even though Oklahoma has only won two games since February 1st, Trae Young’s Oklahoma Sooners can beat anyone on any given day. Arizona State has also shown the ability to beat anyone, with wins against not one, but two #1 seeds; Kansas and Xavier.

Under Appreciated and Under Seeded

DeAndre-Ayton-Arizona

While I’m not going to throw my hands in the air, I do have an issue with some of the seeding in this tournament. Arizona and Auburn deserve better than #4 seeds. Arizona won the Pac-12 regular season title, the Pac-12 conference championship, and they have presumably the #1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on their roster (DeAndre Ayton). They should have been swapped with Texas Tech (a #3 seed), losers of 5 of their last 7 games.

auburn

Auburn should also feel slighted. They finished with a better record then Tennessee, AND they beat Tennessee, IN TENNESSEE!! How are they a #4 seed, while Tennessee is inexplicably a #3 seed??

As for my predictions, they’re coming….

 

 

 

on Thursday.

Check back with DaveTalksSports.com on Thursday morning to find my upsets, locks, and most importantly, my National Champion.

 

What do you think of the bracket?? Who were the biggest snubs?? Who was under seeded or over seeded?? Answer my questions in the comment section below!!

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Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

2014 NFL Draft: 1 Day Down, 178 To Go

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Round 1 of the 2014 NFL Draft is now officially in the books.  It was a very interesting 1st round that came with a few trades, a few surprises, but most things played out as expected.  Over the past 3 months, draft experts have been laying out any and all possibilities for the outcome of the NFL Draft.  Many have been suggesting that The Houston Texans could do a multitude of things with the #1 overall pick in the draft.  Some have suggested that they should select Johnny Manziel because they need a quarterback and he played his college ball in the state of Texas while some have suggested trading the asset of the #1 overall pick, move back in the draft, and collect an extra set of picks.  And the majority of people have implored the Texans to simply to the right thing and select the best player in the draft.  And that is what they did.  They selected Jadeveon Clowney because he is a “freak of nature”.  At his size, Clowney is listed at 6’5 1/4″ and 266 pounds, his speed, size, and power are unmatched.  He posted a very impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.53 seconds, the fastest of any defensive lineman in this years draft.  I believe this was the right selection by The Texans, but don’t be surprised if Khalil Mack is the best defensive player to come out of this years draft.  Oh no wait, he was drafted by The Oakland Raiders so never mind.

 

The first surprise to come out of the 1st round was the selection of Blake Bortles 3rd overall by The Jacksonville Jaguars.  I understand that he is your prototypical quarterback, standing 6’5″ and weighing in at 232 pounds, and he played his college football in the state of Florida, and Jacksonville desperately needs a quarterback, BUT I think that it was a reach taking Bortles this early.  The 2nd quarterback selected was Johnny Manziel at #22, so the Jaguars definitely could have capitalized on having the #3 pick by trading back in the draft, still drafting Bortles, and picking up an extra pick or 2 in the 2nd or 3rd round. 

 

The first trade occurred at the 4th overall pick in the draft, where The Buffalo Bills traded up from the 9th pick to acquire, who I believe is the best wide receiver in the draft, Sammy Watkins.  The Bills traded their 9th pick this year and their 1st and 5th round picks in the 2015 to The Cleveland Browns for the 4th overall pick.  Personally, I like this move because I feel that Watkins has the potential to be one of the best wide outs in the NFL for the next 8-10 years.  This is a move that I have been talking about for weeks, only I was hopeful that The New York Jets (having 1,278 draft picks this year) would have taken advantage of such an opportunity.  Instead, The Jets drafted Calvin Pryor, a hard hitting safety from Louisville.  I like Pryor, and while I believe he is the best safety in the draft, I would have been much happier with a cornerback (Darqueze Dennard) or a wide receiver (Brandin Cooks) at the 18th overall pick in the draft.  I believe that John Idzik was thinking about position depth in this years draft when he made this selection.  There is plenty of talent at cornerback and wide receiver, but the talent at safety is scarce.  Also, The Jets do have another 11 picks in this years draft, so I’m sure they will fulfill their needs at wide receiver, cornerback, tight end, and most importantly WIDE RECEIVER.  Did I say wide receiver?? 

 

The Jets crosstown riv…..oh wait they play in the same building and they’re not rivals, but anyway, The New York Giants did select a wide receiver with the 12th overall pick in the draft.  They chose a very talented playmaker in Odell Beckham Jr. from LSU.  I think The Giants should have drafted an offensive lineman here, because you can have all the talent you want at wide receiver, but if you can’t protect your quarterback, and provide him with enough time to throw the ball, then your talent at wide receiver will be all for naught.  However, you can’t solve all of your problems in 1 pick, so we will have to wait and see what The New York Giants do with their other 6 draft picks. 

 

Ah yes, which brings us to little Johnny football, aka Johnny Manziel.  Manziel “dropped” down to the 22nd pick in the 1st round.  ESPN kept showing his face on the screen as if we were supposed to feel bad for him for sitting in the spot light for 3 hours.  I think he and his millions will be just fine (as he so clearly let us know by rubbing his fingers together on his way on stage as if to say “show me the money”).  And despite all the money he did lose by not being drafted until 22nd, he did not get drafted into a bad situation.  If you look at all of the possible teams that could have drafted him, The Minnesota Vikings or Jacksonville Jaguars, he actually landed in the best situation.  The Browns offensive line isn’t terrible and Manziel will have 2 viable options at pass catching positions (Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron).  Having a reliable running back would help Manziel out, but it’s a better situation than his fellow competitor Blake Bortles is in. 

 

All-in-all I think it was an entertaining 1st round with a lot of interesting picks and moves.  I do have a gripe with the NFL though, with the way the draft is run.  Let’s use the very first pick of the entire draft as an example.  The Houston Texans have known they were going to pick #1 overall for quite some time now.  They obviously had decided before 8:00 p.m. last night that they were not going to trade their pick and they were going to select Jadeveon Clowney.  So, why in the world did it take them nearly 7 minutes to announce their selection?!?!?!  I’ll tell you why.  Now, I don’t want to get all conspiracy theory on everybody, but the NFL is a money making business just like any business in the world.  I have said many times before, and I will say it again: Everything is about money.  The longer the draft takes, the more money the NFL makes.  To keep watching the 2014 NFL Draft, you can tune in to ESPN tonight at 7:00 p.m. and coverage will continue at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN2.  Enjoy!!

 

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!

Thank you for reading and leave a comment in the section below.

            

           

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!

The End Of An Era

Saturday night at Madison Square Garden marked the end of an era in Men’s College Basketball. In case you missed it, Louisville beat Syracuse by a score of 78-61 to capture their 2nd straight Big East Conference Tournament Championship. That final score is not exactly an indication of the way the game went, but I’ll get into that in a minute. This is meant as a tribute to the Big East, in my estimation the best conference in Men’s basketball for the past 15 years. Some can argue for the ACC, but after Duke and North Carolina that Conference isn’t made od much. Year after year we have seen 7 or 8 teams enter the NCAA tournament from the Big East. And as for the Big East tournament, there has been no other place to find more thrilling games (thanks Madison Square Garden). If you think college players don’t get up for a game on Madison Square Garden’s floor, than you are crazy. We have had the privilege of watching Uconn, Syracuse, Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, West Virginia, Providence, St. John’s, DePaul, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, South Florida, Rutgers, Villanova, and Seton Hall battle it out on the hardwood for years. And now sadly, thanks to the all mighty dollar, the Big East will be disbanding in the coming months.

The final game for the Big East was not the overtime thriller we’ve grown accustom to, but it certainly had it’s own type of drama. Syracuse looked like they were cruising to a victory and the Big East Conference title. However, Louisville had something else to say about that. With 15:34 left to play in the 2nd half, Syracuse held a 16 point lead (45-29). What happened next was epic. Louisville turned up the volume on every aspect of the game. They proceeded to go on a 49-16 run to close the game, winning by 17 points!! The comeback was truly a team effort, but the Cardinals were led by Montrezl Harrell, who scored 12 of his 20 points in the 2nd half. With their Championship victory, Louisville has most likely planted themselves firmly as the #1 overall seed of the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament is awesome, but it has definitely lost some of it’s flare. There is a significant amount of parody in Men’s College Basketball these days. Parody is not a good thing for this tournament. People want to watch great teams dominate, just as they want to watch history unfold right before their eyes. Do you honestly feel confident in picking the winner of the tournament this year? I know I don’t. Indiana??? Maybe??? I have no clue, and that’s why I might as well let my cat Precious fill out my bracket by scratching the team she likes on the paper. Ah, I suppose I’ll watch anyway, but this whole one and done stuff is ruining college basketball (thanks David Stern). I digress. I’ll get back to my problems with Men’s College Basketball another time. For now, let’s get back to remembering the big East for the good times they gave us, and wondering what the landscape of Men’s College Basketball will look like for years to come. It is a shame that the Big East will be splitting up, but time goes on I guess. We will just have to man up and get over it, because what other choice do we have, right?

NCAA Men’s College Basketball has many problems that I will cover in a future article. These problems include players being forced to enter College for at least one year before entering the NBA draft. If you can’t force a student-athlete to complete all 4 years in college in order to receive a degree, than they should be left to decide their own future. David Stern shouldn’t be the one to come up with such a foolish rule just to save his reputation. Another problem is money of course. What else is new right? If these schools and organizations can profit so much from the hard work and dedication of these players, who is to say that the players don’t deserve a fair share of the profits? I am in favor of players being on a pay scale while they are in school. I’ll see if I can fully tackle these major issues in the near future. For now, enjoy selection Sunday which is coming up momentarily. Check back to find my predictions for the free for all that is 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!