Posts Tagged ‘Wes Johnson

26
Jun
10

Sports Digest 6.26.10

Hi Everybody! 

  Happy Summer! Goodness I absolutely cannot believe it’s been over two months since I last blogged! In the interim, I’ve been getting settled at a new job, visiting family, learning how to drive in the city, doing bikram yoga, preparing for multiple weddings, going to as many Cubbie games as possible and enjoying summer in the best city in America. Of course, I have been following sports, so here is a round up of sports highlights in a nutshell. Also, we are going to be making some changes around here so that we never have to go 2.5 months AGAIN without a post. We have some really neat ideas for upcoming posts & series, guest bloggers and giveaways!  We’ve missed you all and are so glad to be back! 🙂 Let’s kick this off. 

Chicago Blackhawks 2010 Stanley Cup Champions!  

I’m not going to lie to you, I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. That being said, having lived in Chicago for over a year, I couldn’t be HAPPIER that the Blackhawks won. It was awesome to see their awesome playoff run, Big Buff come into his own and the whole city catch on fire and buzz with excitement over every single second. The Blackhawk’s whirl-wind celebration tour was amazing, not to mention a million people showing up for the parade. The fact that they beat a team from Philadelphia was just icing on the cake 🙂 So I’m so glad to have been in this city and experience the peripheral excitement, buzz and sense of accomplishment that everyone in the city felt by ending a 49-year championship drought. Since the win, there have been talk of repeats, trades and “where do we go from here’s,” but it’s been such an awesome experience to just savor the championship. 

Championship Banner

 

Los Angeles Lakers 2010 NBA Champs 

I don’t want to say yawn. I don’t. But the Los Angeles Lakers have won the NBA Championship 5 times in the past 10 years. Which, really, is an unbelievable feat. And Lakers v. Celtics? Is this even a marquee match-up anymore? *yawn* let’s mix it up a little NBA.  Let’s have a finals consisting of th Utah Jazz vs. the Milwaukee Bucks. THAT’S something I’d be interested in. Even if it would only appeal to 2% of the NBA watching population. Maybe it’s just me, but I kind of feel when the finals are the Lakers vs. the Celtics it’s like Tori from Saved by the Bell vs. Stephanie Tanner. I mean, which one would you rather be? Both are equally horrible in their own ways, but you give the edge to Tori (Lakers) because well, you just IMAGINE being Stephanie Tanner. Plus, I LOVE me some Pau Gasol. I can’t explain it, I can’t put my finger on it, but I just perk up whenever I see him or hear his name being mentioned. 

The girl that rode the motorcycle to school to be "edgy"-aka the LA Lakers

 

How Rude! (Boston Celtics)

 

   In related basketball news, the Chicago Bulls hired Tom Thibodeau as their head coach. Solid move. With Lebron watch in the single digits-it will be interesting to see where he ends up. 

Oh and in NBA Draft news, Wes Johnson, from the Syracuse Orange is joining Mr. Jonny Flynn on the Minnesota Timberwolves. And my boo, and future husband, Andy Rautins was drafted by the Knicks. Congrats boys! Can’t wait to see what you do in the NBA 😀 

USA Impresses in 2010 World Cup 

Maybe I’m a bad American, but I ALWAYS cast the U.S.’s chances of success in the FIFA World Cup between ‘no chance in hell’ and ‘slim to none.’ Well the boys have absolutely proved me wrong, by winning their group for the first time since the 30’s. And can we talk about Landon Donovan’s goal in the plus time to move the US to the elimination rounds? These boys have set America more on fire for the sport of soccer than I ever dreamed possible. Everyone I know, myself included, is revolving their day around the US/Algeria game at 2:30ET today. USA! USA! USA!  Stay tuned, because a good friend of mine just was at the World Cup for the first week of competition. Maybe if we bat our eyelashes and ask really politely he’ll guest blog about his experiences 🙂 

Captain America.

 

 Longest Tennis Match Ever 

I get a side-stitch just thinking about it. I can’t get over how these tennis pros make tennis look so EASY. I play six points and “retire,” and move to lay out by the pool. My hats off to both gentleman. 

Of course there have been A LOT more things going on, but these were the highlights for me. What have been the highlights for you? What sporting events are you going to this summer? How much did you miss me? Talk to me people–it’s good to be back! 😀 

–Sam

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16
Mar
10

March Madness!

Ok, so first of all, I must apologize. This is my first blog post in sixteen days … which is just plain awful. So I’m going to throw you a bone and toss a peek into my bracket (for those of you that are competing against me in various pools, consider this a present 😉

Oh and before people start ripping apart my bracket, I’ll just say, for the record, I cannot remember the last time I LOST any bracket that I was entered in …. EVER. Last year, in one of my pools, we bet a case of beer each to the winner…needless to say I was set for the rest of the semester! 🙂

Sweet Sixteen Sleeper teams:

  • Siena
  • Baylor
  • Temple
  • Houston

First Round Upsets

  • Purdue
  • Cal
  • Oklahoma State

Final Four

  • Syracuse
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Villanova

National Champions

  • Syracuse (over Kentucky)

I know, I know, I know, I KNOW! Everyone and their mom has Kansas. I KNOW. I know about Collins and Morningstar. I KNOW how good Kansas is. But, just because Kansas was arguably the best team in the country for most of the year, that really doesn’t mean anything. (Ahem, Kind of like LOUISVILLE from last year) They should coast to the Final Four, what kills me though is how everyone takes the overall number 1 seed every year, it falls in the same category of people who take each number 1 seed to get to the Final Four. That’s a pic my 7-year-old cousin could make. It’s called March Madness for a REASON….anything goes! 🙂

Am I letting my status as a Syracuse Alumni letting me go down the wrong path? Maybe. Last year, I had them out in the Sweet 16 to UNC…and that was right. Here’s the thing, I’ve been watching Syracuse all year, and when they’re great, they’re UNSTOPPABLE. The problem is, they haven’t been that great lately, losing to Louisville..AGAIN and going out in their first game of the Big East tournament. I wouldn’t count this team out though. They are the only team in the country that shoot above 50% in the field, They have 10 wins against top-ranked teams, and aside from Louisville, Pitt and Georgetown (who beat us the THIRD time they played us)…no one seems to have an answer for them.  Don’t get me wrong, they have to play GOOD. (Esp with a Kansas match up in the Final Four), but I think they can do it. They have to put together a great run, but so does EVERYONE else. It is not, in my opinion, far-fetched to think that Syracuse can put together six wins and become the National Champions.

Few other notes:

  • The Kansas Bandwagon is pretty full, if anyone wants to get original with their pics
  • The Kentucky Wildcats are ridiculously young, this might play into things
  • West Virginia IS overrated. Good team, but overrated
  • Not as overrated as Duke though. Sorry, standing out in the ACC this year is like a master’s student acing a fifth grader’s spelling test.
  • Vermont beat Syracuse in the first round in 2005 and AO will not play for the first weekend of the tournament…this makes me nervous. Still confident but nervous.
  • I don’t understand people who fill out a variety of brackets, you should have the stones to make one bracket, be confident enough in your pics and submit that bracket to every pool (hence why I win all the time ;))

What does YOUR bracket say? Who are YOUR sleeper teams? Who you got winning it all? More importantly, WHY?

Talk to me people! 🙂 It’s good to be back!!

–Sam

28
Feb
10

We embarrassed Nova so bad, I say we give them the gas money to get home

How good does Syracuse look. No seriously, HOW GOOD DO THEY LOOK?! Syracuse University, is looking damn good. Even great. I’d go so far as to say that, last night, Syracuse looked like a National Championship team. This is huge. Why you ask? Because although Syracuse has been solid all season, they have always had their weaknesses: playing from behind, foul shooting and focusing too much on getting ‘style’ points rather than just getting the damn ball in the bucket. There have been plenty of heart stopping games this season in which Syracuse barely squeaked out the W. (I think about the DePaul game that I was present at)

Otto!

The loss to Louisville on Valentine’s Day was the true test to this SU team. Would they let the loss affect their psyche? Their next test was a strong, albeit spotty, Georgetown team in Georgetown. Yes, they blew a huge lead, but they ultimately hung on to win the game, a win that, in my opinion, was crucial to the team’s destiny for the rest of the year. They let Providence hang in there the following  Tuesday, but again, ultimately won.

So sets the stage for last night’s game, in which the #4 Syracuse Orange took on the #8 Villanova Wildcats. Villanova is a good team. They have cooled off recently, with losses in the BIG EAST, but Villanova is always a threat. They have had our number the past few years and no one thought that this was going to be an easy game. I thought that it would be a tough battle, going right down to the wire, with Syracuse winning by four…at the most.

Boy was I wrong.

Syracuse embarrassed Villanova. The final score, 95-77, isn’t even indicative of how dominating the Syracuse performance was. After trailing in the first half, SU went on a 20-6 run to end the half up by 10. Not a typo, a 20-6 run. As a second half team, Syracuse came out and brought their A-game, completely and utterly destroying the WildCats. Rautins was passing the ball around like candy, Onuako was MAKING FREE THROWS, Johnson was cream-cheesing threes. Villanova was flustered, called for traveling at every opportunity  and were turning over the ball like they were in 7th grade gym class. No seriously, Villanova played like a bunch of middle schoolers last night. And I don’t think that it’s because Villanova is bad…I think it’s because Syracuse is THAT GOOD. Six Syracuse players had double digits last night. Wes Johnson had a double-double. Syracuse had 23 offensive rebounds. Rautins had 8 assists. Basically, Syracuse was unstoppable. They have depth that is almost unmatched in the entire country (maybe Kansas can compete on that level though) I’d actually feel a little bad for Villanova, if they weren’t Villanova.

de-nied!

So Ladies and Gentleman, Syracuse is your new #1 team come Monday. If they aren’t, we got come crazy BCS stuff going on here. Kansas and Kentucky lost. Syracuse’s win puts them over Purdue to clinch the number one spot. Don’t get me wrong, Purdue is a good team, they’re ALWAYS a good team, but they aren’t good like Syracuse. With the win last night, Syracuse improved it’s mark to 8-0 when facing ranked teams. Six of these wins were against top ten ranked opponents. As I stated earlier, Syracuse demolishing Villanova isn’t because ‘Nova is bad, it’s because Syracuse is good. Let’s look at the list of wins Syracuse has chalked up: Florida, West Virginia, Memphis, Georgetown (twice), UNC, Cal, Villanova, UConn, Notre Dame. While some of these teams are now disappointments (*cough UNC*), they weren’t at the time. They were ranked by TPTB, so they’re all legitimate wins. The loss to Pitt is understandable, as Pitt is always a force to be reckoned with, and the loss to Louisville was somewhat expected since we were playing so loose.

Purdue on the other hand…not so much. Listen, it’s not their fault that they play in the Big Ten, but they shouldn’t get a free pass to the number one spot. Purdue’s impressive wins on the season include: Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio State and Illinois. Losses are Ohio State, Wisconsin and a thumping taken by Northwestern. Northwestern is the one that kills them the most, as Northwestern truly does, suck. Even if they beat #14 Michigan State today, it’s still not enough to move them up to number one. What kills them is splitting with OSU, if they won both, they’d definitely be in the running. Oh, and their star, Hummel, tore his ACL. So another set back for the Boilermakers.

Hummel tearing his ACL 😦

Basically, call me crazy, but I think embarrassing Villanova is gonna stand for more than beating a top 25 team. Anyone that says differently must not have seen the game last night. Syracuse played with fire, heart and they were absolutely STUNNING last night. Anyone that says Purdue should be #1 if they win today, is thinking with their heart and not their head. They just don’t have the resume that Syracuse does. They are a great team, and should have success in the tourney, but please, give me a break on the #1 ranking. That’s like me saying if Kansas won yesterday, SU should be #1. They shouldn’t be, they should have vaulted up to #2. (Not that that matters now) So here’s how I have the top five on Monday…let’s see if I’m close come Monday:

1) Syracuse Orange

2) Purdue Boilermakers (if they win)

3) Kansas Jayhawks

4) Duke Blue Devils

5) Kentucky Wild Cats

*I think if Purdue loses, you bump everyone up and then add K-State at #5. (I also would not be surprised if Kansas was #2 on Monday, for the same schedule reasons)

So what do you think? Who will be number 1 on Monday? Does Purdue legitimately have a shot at it? Where does Nova end up? (I’m betting #10), Where does Tennessee come into the picture?!. Does this change any of your brackets? Who am I overlooking?

Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

11
Feb
10

Sports Digest 2.11.10

Lots of stuff happening this week. Before the Vancouver Olympics start on Friday, and monopolize a ton of sports coverage, let’s discuss some of sports biggest stories.

College Basketball

I’m really not sure what to make of this Syracuse team. Don’t get me wrong they look GOOD. Really good. AT 24-1, they are off to the best start in school history. Andy Rautins has become and INCREDIBLE leader for the Orange. It’s been awesome to see this Canadian, second-generation SU player transform from 3-point shooter to such a force to be reckoned with. He’s hardly recognizable playing his heart out on defense, setting up to take charges, being a spot-on free throw shooter and assisting his way through games. Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph regularly put up double digits. Onuaku is playing well. Scoop and Triche are growing into their own. The team is GREAT.

Rautins, sans Faux-Hawk

…they just can’t put together a solid 40 minutes of basketball, and THAT worries me. They were down 12 to Georgetown, down 18 to DePaul and lost at 10 point lead to UConn last night. I have said in the past that if we face a better team, we won’t be able to get away with that. On the flip side though, Syracuse ALWAYS manages to find a way to win. They get scrappy, they play tough, they shut it down at the last second. So it’s hard to vote against them. I’m excited for this team, I want them to be Final Four bound and I think they can do it. It will be very interesting to see SU vs. Georgetown and SU vs. Villanova, they add W’s in those contests and its hard to argue that you’re not looking at a National Championship team.

Also, what’s the deal with UNC? If you would have told me that Hansborough would make such a huge difference (i mean unc is 2-7 in the ACC this year) I’d say you were crazy.

Yes Tyler, UNC is THAT bad

Kansas is also looking really good. Would LOVE to se a KU-SU matchup for the championship. Wall’s starting to crack over at Kentucky … keep your eye on him. I’m already tired of the ESPN story about if Wall and Calipari get along. Calipari is the coach, he should push Wall to be his best and Wall should respect that. End of coach/athlete relationship. As long as that’s going on, who cares if they’re drinking buddies?

To the windowssss....to the (John) Wall!

Side note: Pitino, you tried to the whole NBA thing a few years ago. You almost lost your damn mind. Stick to college hoops. Some colleges just can’t make the transition (*future post alert!*) Oh, and I don’t believe for one second that there’s no truth the rumors that you’re looking to save the FOUR WIN NETS. It’s a trap-job. Don’t do it.

NHL

Hockey, I will miss you these two weeks. I understand the importance of letting your players duke it out for an olympic gold-medal. It will be really cool to see NHL teammates facing off on opposing sides. It does suck that there will be an interruption to league play, especially when it was getting SO good. The Washington Capitals 14-game win streak was JUST ended by the Ottawa senators. (With a league best 89 points though, I don’t think they’re too worried), Mark Cuban is talking about buying the Dallas Stars, and how ’bout those Penguins?! 😉 (Note: for the love of God, please don’t get Cuban involved in the NHL!)  This season has delivered really exciting hockey. We’ll anxiously be awaiting your return!

MLB

34 Days ’til Pitcher & Catcher’s report! Holler! 😀

Geovany, my boo

College Lacrosse

  • Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse is set to get under-way next week. Look for perennial powerhouse  and defending 2-time NCAA champion Syracuse to make some serious waves. (Don’t count out Virginia though…they’re tough and SU has to play them on the road this year!)

10-Time NCAA Champions

  • On the women’s side,  you can’t help but feel that Northwestern is going to go for all the marbles again. This year, they are defending their FIVE CONSECUTIVE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS. I don’t even know who can uproot them SU is ranked #4 , but has lost their All-Star and all time BIG EAST scorer, Katie Rowan. Georgetown is always a really strong program as well. (*future post alert–NU is playing Georgetown here in Chi in March!)

The Unstoppable Wildcats!

Who do you like in college basketball? Do you think any team this year can upend Women’s Lacrosse champs Northwestern? What’s your favorite NHL story? Early predictions on World-Series bound teams?

Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam

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




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