Posts Tagged ‘Australian Open

21
Jan
10

Sports Digest 1.20.10

College Basketball

How good does Syracuse look? I mean seriously, how good do we look? Wes Johnson is AWESOME. Andy Rautins is on FIRE, Triche is playing well. We weren’t supposed to be this good this year, especially after losing Johnny Flynn (and Harris and Devendorf) Next up, SU faces some tough competition against 2 of 3 of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country. First up is Marquette on Saturday, ALWAYS a feisty team and Georgetown, our hated rival on Monday. SU is going to have to play really tight, but I think we’re up for the challenge.

Holla Back Rautins...ooh ooh!

and speaking of playing tight….Congrats to Kansas State! I’m not even going to pretend like I’m familiar with this team, in fact, I had to google their mascot name (wildcats) but they played with FIRE on Monday night. They played a little sloppy at times, but they WANTED it. Their defense was awesome and they managed to hold Damion James to NINE points…which is unbelievable. Kansas State has proven to be a threat by knocking off the undefeated number 1 seed. I’m anxious to see how they do throughout the rest of the season. One thing is for sure, a rivalry was born–cause it got pretty ugly towards the end of the game with the crowd involvement.

Can't you just feel the tension?

Tim Tebow

It came out earlier this week that Tim Tebow and his ma’ are going to star in a pro-life ad to run during the Superbowl. While I may or may not agree with his viewpoint, I applaud him for standing up for SOMETHING. I think a lot of athletes shy away from an extreme stance, as it may affect contracts or endorsements–so it takes guts to take such a firm stand for something–even if it’s not the popular view point. (Although for all we know, Tebow has FINALLY realized that he won’t exactly be a great NFL QB and that maybe his endorsements/contracts won’t be as high as he originally thought, therefore he CAN take a stand on something) I’m not a Tebow fan, obviously, but I respect the decision he made to speak out on his beliefs.

This is his pro-life face.

Australian Open

Roddick through to third round (holla!)

Sharapova out (not surprised)

Federer drops his first set but handily wins the next match (jitters)

Nadal on to the third round..(it’s good to have him back)

Upcoming

Spring sports are the ISH! And this year, we get the Winter Olympics! So it’s going to be a busy February with college basketball, the winter olympics, college lacrosse, college softball (my FAV) and MLB pitchers and catchers reporting soon. Not to mention the Super Bowl and the return of LOST…can February get any better?

What are your thoughts on the college basketball scene? Are you surprised with anything about the Australian Open? (Are you even watching the Australian Open?) What’s your take on Tebow? Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

18
Jan
10

Australian Open!

With the NFL playoffs being SUCH a drag (as in no really competitive games or surprises) I’m looking forward to the start tonight of the Australian Open. Tennis is such a fun and exciting game to watch…and a freaking HARD game to play. While my knowledge in tennis has dwindled a little over the years, I can only speculate about who will win…and unlike in football there are tooo many players to choose one…but here’s my breakdown for what it’s worth.

Women

Serena Williams comes in ranked at No. 1, obviously I think there is no way anyone can count Serena out, especially in this resurgence of her career. Same with Venus. What’s interesting (maybe ten years ago) is the sisters are in the same half of the draw, so we don’t have to worry about a Williams vs. Williams Championship match.

Tennis Dynasty

I would not count out Clijsters (who won the most recent grand slam, the U.S. Open) or Justine Henin-Hardenne, who has taken Clijsters return as motivation to spawn a comeback story of her own.

Sharapova is back too, and while she always seemed a little bit of a flash in the pan to me, I think she’ll put up some good competition and at least make it to the quarters (and we’ll get to hear her grunts!)

Safina was/is the most over-rated former No.1 of all time, so I don’t expect her to make much of a dent in this field.

I probably could have been a better no.1

Men

Praise the Lord we’ve got Federer AND Nadal healthy and in the same tournament! I don’t think anyone can doubt that Federer is the best player in the history of tennis, but his recent Grand Slams have seemed to be (at least in my eyes) less poignant because Raffa was not in. I anticipate a Federer/Nadal showdown (Duh!) It seems that Nadal has had Federer’s number in recent championship match ups, so if Federer can squeak by Nadal, I think he can retire fully knowing that h’es THE BEST. (Raffa is DEF going to give him a run for his money in that category if he can stay healthy, but with such an advantage over Federer in Grand Slam finals (5-2, losing the first two Wimbledon’s in 06 and 07) it’s hard to say that Federer is the BEST, especially since another active player regularly has his number)

Suck it, McEnroe

There will be some spoilers on the men’s side though: As always, I am a HUGE fan of Andy Roddick, not just because he’s been tennis’ resident studmuffin for the better part of a decade, but because he’s actually playing REALLY good tennis right now. He just won the Brisbane International tournament, which will add confidence to his schedule. If he plays well, he should wind up facing Raffa in the semi-finals, giving him a run for his money 🙂

It was really hard for me to pick a photo with his shirt ON.

I’m also a fan of Tommy Haas, No 18. Though he has been quiet over the tour in the past couple years, I would never count Tommy Haas off as a nonthreat. His days of being world no. 2 are long behind him, but Haas has always been a solid volley-er. I expect him to make it to the quarters, and he MAY knock off a player a few above him.

No. 3 Djokovic has been playing really well, and CAN beat the big two players, as evidence in his win in the semi-finals of the Australian open against Federer in 2008. In the past two years, he’s made it to FOUR grand slam semi’s, in addition to his Austalian open win.

James Blake–remember a few years ago when there was a little group of guys that were suppossed to change the face of US Tennis? The gang consisted of James Blake, Mardy Fish and Robby Ginepri (who even dated Minnie Driver for a bit!) Well, all of these guys have turned out to be a disapppointment and a joke, but none is worse than Blake who had the most talent for sure! (His career high at No.4 and 10 men’s tour wins CREAMS anything Fish and Ginepri could do combined) James Blake could have been a better player…and I’m not sure why he isn’t. Expect him out in the third round.

All of America misses your dreadlocks, James

What do you think about the Australian Open? Who do you think is gonna take it this year? Is Serena going to have another HUGE meltdown? Jonesing for another Raffa/Federer showdown?

Talk to me people! 🙂

–Sam

10
Jan
10

Sports Digest 1/10/2010

So…., I haven’t posted since Tuesday, blame “The Lovely Bones” and my hectic work week.  Anyway, a lot has happened over the past five days. I’ll try to condense it and make it as concise as possible!

NFL– well it seems like my playoff predictions are going as well as my BCS predictions. So from now I’ll pick the opposite of what my gut says. There has also been some shake-ups in the NFL since my last post

  • Pete Carroll- Bombshell! I’m really surprised, not so much that the Seahawks offered Carroll a job but that he accepted it. I have always viewed Pete Carroll as a college football coach.  While Carroll had a lot of success as a defensive coordinator. His track record of NFL coaching has been pretty awful. He has been head coach of the Jets and Patriots. The Jets team went 6-10 and he was fired after one year.  His three seasons with New England earned him one AFC East title and two wild card losses.  So, with this spotty track record, I’m not exactly sure WHY Carroll thinks after ten years of success at USC, Carroll thinks he can all of a sudden coach the NFL. As everyone will agree, coaching college football is really different from coaching the NFL. Carroll is on a list of many coaches that are GREAT in the collegiate setting only (Spurrier, Saban, etc.) Who knows, maybe even JoePa would not be a good NFL coach (thank god he’s never tried) but the difference is, once these collegiate coache have little success they usually stay out of the big leagues. Carroll hasn’t seemed to learn this lesson. So I’ll be very interested to see how he does, but I don’t expect much success from him
  • Shanahan to the Redskins-I like it. I think he got the short end of the stick with Denver and I always thought he was a pretty good coach. What he needs to do though, is go into D.C. , clean house and kick some ass.  The Redskins coaching job has seemed like the black hole of the NFL . I haven’t seen a Redskins team playing with purpose for over a decade.  The second most valuable franchise in the NFL (valued at 1.5 BILLION) , you know, the one that broke the Lions 18-game loss streak, needs to get its shit together and put forth a solid season effort. Hell, I think everyone would be impressed if they could finish 9-7. Shanahan might be just be the person to do it.
  • Dallas Cowboys—First off. Thank you Cowboys for knocking those Eagles out of the playoffs. I can breathe easier knowing that no Pennsylvania team will win the Superbowl this year. That being said, I can’t figure out how Dallas has managed to embarrass the Eagles all season long. I still don’t believe the Cowboys are THAT good…I just think the Eagles played THAT bad…two weeks in a row. As we all know, McNabb is one of the top 5 choke artists of all time, so it’s not a surprise that he did, but it is uncharacteristic how early in the playoffs he decided to suck this year. Big win for Wade Phillips and Tony Romo…it buys them some more time and credibility (Phillips is the time, Romo is the credibility) The Cowboys-Vikings match-up should prove to be awesome.
  • Jets-looking pretty good boys. I don’t think you’re winning the Superbowl, but you’ll put together a pretty nice run. Sanchez played well. Not fantastic but well. ZERO turnovers. Way to go, kid. On another note, can we all finally agree that Carson Palmer sucks? I’ve been saying it since he was drafted. He’s a mediocre QB that can lead his team to the playoffs every few years and lose in the wild card round. OchoCinco was CONTAINED and CRYING. Like a girl. Seriously, he was crying like most girls (myself included) do at the end of The Notebook. Grow a pair, Chad. Seriously. Oh and maybe you think about devoting a little less time to your unnecessary off the field antics and larger than life persona and focus on being a better receiver.
  • HOW ABOUT JOE THEISMAN AND JOE GIBBS NEVER DO COMMENTARY AGAIN. HEARING ABOUT THE PUNTER STORY AND THE TIMES WHEN THE JOES WERE RELEVANT PUT ME IN A CATATONIC STATE. Seriously, I ended up shutting off the game because they sucked so much. NBC FAIL.
  • Jim Leavitt fired as USF Coach…WOW.

College Basketball

Purdue and Duke lost…which sets things up pretty nicely for my Orangemen who play USF at noon today and handily beat Memphis on Thursday. With only three unbeatens left in the league (Kansas, Texas and Kentucky) this season is shaping up to offer some exciting key matchups throughout the winter. Sidenote: Marquette University WILL play spoiler at some point this season. They are playing well and their luck will eventually change and they’ll be on the winning side of the 3-point difference in the game.

WTA

Justine Hennin-Hardenne, who at one time was the most dominant female tennis player, retired from her match yesterday citing a knee injuring in the second set. This was her first tournament since she came out of retirement. Bummer, since she probably won’t be a go for the Australian Open. I’ll go into some more AO insight as the day approaches

Winter Olympics

Ok. I’m pumped. Sure, I prefer summer Olympics (really WHO DOESN’T) but over the years, my fondness has grown for the winter olympics as well.  And no, not for the figure skating. I’m really pumped to see all sorts of winter sports that I could only DREAM about doing, including giant slalom, hockey, bobsled and of course speed skating. (Shout out to Apolo Anton Ohno…I’ve had a crush on him since I was 16…some things never die ;))

So that’s it for now and I will be more diligent with my postings J What are your thoughts on coaching carousel? Are you surprised by the jets or the cowboys? What are your predictions for today’s games? Talk to me people

–Sam

02
Jan
10

Sports Digest

Happy New Year Everyone!

Today has been an awesome day for sports, so while my bowl breakdowns will come in tomorrow’s ‘New Years Day Hangover’ post, there are still plenty of great stories to keep up on…and one annoying habit that I found necessary to blog about.

  1. Lamar Woodley might be in the running as my favorite Steeler. See, Pittsburgh needs some help to get into the post season (and while I love them more than life itself, they do not deserve to go in the playoffs this year after losing to the browns, chiefs and raiders…even if Dave Coulier–I mean Ben Roethlisberger–threw for over 4,000 yards).  To get into the playoffs we need to win vs. the Miami Dolphins tomorrow (Sorry Big Brother, but you’re going down!) and then we need two of the following teams to lose: the Ravens, Jets and Texans. New York and Houston are playing two teams that are already in the playoffs: Cincinnati and New England respectively. Common sense says that both teams will pull their starters after a short amount of time tomorrow, as they aren’t playing for anything other than the #3 seed. (Er go, they will both have wild card match-ups next weekend regardless). Enter Lamar Woodley, who does the one thing that any man can do to ensure a solid competitive effort-question their manhood. Lamar says that both teams will not play their starters because both of them are scared of Pittsburgh in the playoffs. While I do not necessarily think that’s true, I think that it definitely lit a fire under some of these guys butts. Who wants to be called out for laying down? NO ONE. It goes against the basic rules of sportsmanship. So Lamar throws it out there and Cincinnati, offended as any athlete would be, replies–well OchoCinco does. Apparently they are planning on playing their starters… Great Job Lamar, your backwards psychology might just be our ticket to the playoffs….but you have to beat Miami first and nothing this season is a guaranteed win. Read more here: http://bit.ly/519p0w
  2. Mike Leach-This Mike Leach scenario is very sad for the reason that I do not think we will ever know what really happened. It seems that misconduct definitely occurred, but at what level, the stipulations and circumstances remain fuzzy at best. Add in that this player is the son of an ESPN analyst and you can’t help but wonder if Texas Tech pulled the trigger a little too quickly firing Leach before investigating all of the facts. Sally Jenkins, sports columnist for the Washington Post delves into this issue a little deeper in an awesome piece http://tinyurl.com/yacbc4o Side note: Didn’t Bobby Knight punch a student athlete at Texas Tech and NOT get fired? I’m just saying.
  3. Purdue Boilermakers- At a New Years day party today, I saw the  No.4 Purdue Boilermakers men’s college basketball team manhandle the No.6 West Virginia Mountaineers. Purdue is freaking good folks. They comfortably played 30 minutes of solid college basketball. They were never threatened, pressure was never applied and they swiftly added another notch to their belt of wins this season. (Sidenote: I’m never really sold that WVU is a GREAT collegiate basketball team…their #6 is solid, but I say that, as far as the BIG EAST goes, WVU is middle of the pack…not their fault the conference is stacked). I will say if Purdue keeps this up, I might get a little worried for my boys in orange.
  4. Syracuse Orange-speaking of my lovely No. 5 Syracuse Orange, they have a HUGE game coming up tomorrow at 12pm eastern against Pitt. This Orange team is ridiculously impressive. Many people are calling it better than Carmelo’s 2003 National Championship team. I have watched the Orange every chance I get and they are looking good. LIKE REALLY GOOD. With Devo, Flynn and Harris off the team, the team can operate and focus more like…a TEAM. No ball hogs, no off court shenanigans, just a team that wants to play basketball. Add in a dose of the lovely Andy ‘3 point machine’ Rautins and this team is doing great. Pitt is always a threat though and a perennial powerhouse even though they have two losses this year to Texas and  Indiana. BIG EAST play always brings out the best in teams so I think Syracuse has to play well, because Pitt will take advantage if they don’t (aka they can’t afford to start slow like they did against Seton Hall) The game is at home, as an alum, a 32 thousand plus crowd can make the difference. And Syracuse is awesome. The game will be broadcast on the BIG EAST network. Go Orange!
  5. The Australian Open-Keep your eyes open for the Australian Open beginning January 18th. Tennis’ first grand slam of the year is always fun to watch with the hard-court. It’s also easy to catch live if you’re a working bee like myself, since Australia is half-a-day ahead of us, matches show at night. I’m always partial to Andy Roddick but I will do a further breakdown when it gets closer to the date.
  6. Penn State Nittany Lions-Love ya lions! Sorry I ever doubted you…but that was a pretty ugly game. (side note, I love watching football players get down and play in the mud …it makes it so manly) Royster had a great game, you survived the monsoon, Clark cried tears of joy and JoePa notched his 24th bowl win…the most all time (Suck it Bowden) And YES, I owe Raffi $20 and a round of beer…but had we gone on the spread I still would have won. I should have had more faith in you lions and a Capital One Bowl win is a nice cap to a 12-2 season. Start prepping for Alabama tomorrow though. Seriously.

This brings me to my PET PEEVE:

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why people decide to root for their conference in bowl games January 1st. I’m sorry, but I hate Ohio State and I hate Michigan. I will never root for them to win. Ever. I don’t understand how people can root AGAINST a team and say they dislike them for months and then say ‘well it’s the Big Ten, you got to want them to win’ Um. No I Don’t. At least not teams that I hate the rest of the year. I was rooting for Northwestern (rough loss!) and I will root for Iowa, because I don’t despise them. but I will never root for OSU or Michigan. They’re awful. Tressel’s sweater vest is ridiculous (I picture him having 3,000 of them lined up in his closet) I’m tired of hearing it will make the Big Ten look good. You know what will make the Big Ten look good? How about scheduling tough non-conference opponents?! PSU rose to #5 in the country this year after beating Akron and Syracuse and, just for good measure, they beat up on Northern Illinois. or was it Eastern Illinois? Doesn’t matter…easy picking. You know what ELSE would make the Big Ten look good? How about having one team that dominates? Purdue beat Rose Bowl Champion Ohio State. Purdue. Let me clarify, Purdue’s football team, not basketball team. You know who beat Purdue? Northwestern. You know who beat Northwestern? Penn State. You know who beat Penn State? Iowa. and Ohio State. How can you even begin to make sense out of this cluster-f?! Seriously. I’m sick of split championships. I’m sick of crappy play. I want the Big Ten to return as a football powerhouse, but that starts with team play IN the big ten. So I WILL NOT root for OSU OR Michigan (then again Michigan was in the Toilet Bowl this year which I enjoyed) because guess what? OSU winning the Rose Bowl, albeit handily, over the PAC-10 conference is NOT A BIG DEAL. It will not make people take the Big Ten more seriously because the Big Ten doesn’t take itself seriously.

*Side note: for those of you keeping track, I’m 0-2 on two very close bowls…hopefully the sugar bowl turns me around tonight*

What upcoming sports events are you looking forward to? Have I left any majors off the list? What’s your take on the bowl games?  Let me know people and Happy New Year 🙂




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