Posts Tagged ‘Pitt

17
Jan
11

Sports Digest 1.17.2011

A little over two weeks into the new year and I am in sports glory–play-off football is great, college basketball is in full swing, the NHL is chugging along and the Australian open is underway. The Steelers are in their 4th AFC Championship game in the past 7 years, Chicago is electric with the NFC Championship game and a huge Blackhawks game this weekend,  Being on this sports cloud-nine–why not dish up our first sports digest of the year?

Syracuse Orange vs. Pitt Panthers

Everyone knows this is going to be a good game. Tonight, you have the unbeaten #3 ranked Orange against perennial Big East powerhouse #5 Pitt. As much as I love the Orange, and as good as they are looking (#1 seed come tourney time) they always struggle against the Panthers, losing the last four meetings. I don’t think that this is going to change tonight–I think that Syracuse has a mental block against Pitt..they just don’t bring their A-game until it’s too late. Add in the loss of lead scorer Kris Joseph for the game tonight and I think it spells extra trouble. Hope I’m wrong and we pull off the W  (as Pitt is the only team from the ‘Burgh that I actively root against, and just can’t stand) but the odds aren’t looking good. That’s alright though, we’ll rebound to beat Villanova on Saturday at the Dome with in front of a record crowd.

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Right before the NFL Championship game the NHL’s national game of the week is a rematch of the Stanley Cup last year. The Flyers have had a pretty dominant season and currently hold the #1 power ranking. The Hawks have had a lethargic start to the season but are finally finding their mojo. With a tough game Saturday vs. the Red Wings, look for the Hawks to turn the tide on a national stage and upend the Flyers on home ice.

The Demise of the Patriots

There are few things I enjoy more than watching the Patriots get outplayed. And that’s exactly what happened yesterday. After a shaky first quarter, Mark Sanchez settled down and maintained the tempo of the game and the Jets just, for lack of a better term, laid the smackdown on the Patriots. They got lazy in the fourth quarter and started playing too conservatively, and showed no modicum of class during their on-field celebrations but they got the job done. And I’m pretty sure I saw Tom Brady cry during the game, which just added to my joy. Hard to believe, as Adam Schefter put it, that Tom Brady has now lost three consecutive play-off games. Looking back, it all started going “south” when they lost the Super Bowl in the last seconds to the Giants–(or has it been since his knee injury?) Will Tom ever get another ring? Hard to say, but none of it diminishes that he (in my opinion) is the best QB to play the game..as much as I HATE to admit it. So we’ll have to wait another eight months (or longer) to discuss his Bieber haircut.

The Steelers NOT beating themselves

I’m STILL pumped about that Steelers win on Saturday. The team showed so much resolve coming back to dominate the second half–allowing the Ravens a TOTAL of 28 yards throughout the end of the game. Yes, they had their heads up their asses in the first half, and they won’t be able to play like that again and expect to move on but the determination of the steel curtain defense, as well as some AWESOME play by my boy Big Ben solidified the W. You can say what you want, but Ben Roethlisberger is a top 3 QB in the league (in my opinion two) He has the same number of playoff wins as Peyton Manning (9) with six years less experience. He plays hard, he scrambles, he takes control of the offense, he’s tough and he delivers. As long as there’s time on the clock, if the ball is in Ben’s hands, I honestly think we have a shot to win. Off-field drama aside, I don’t know that there’s another QB I’d take if I could have my pick–Brady gets frazzled–doesn’t seem like Ben does. He’s a great leader and he makes things happen. I like our chances on Sunday.

Are you on as much as a sports high as we have been this week? What’s been the highlight for you?

Let’s us know … we’re always up for a chat 🙂

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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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