Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Repeat, The Reunion, and The Relocation

The Repeat-LeBron James and the Miami Heat did what they were basically supposed to do, repeat as NBA Champions and make most of the sports world continue to be annoyed by them.  Despite a valiant effort by the Spurs, who very nearly made me look like a genius by almost putting away the Heat in Game 6 of the Finals, the Heat wouldn't be denied another title.  Most of the Finals were hard to watch with all the blowouts we had.  We finally got a couple of good, intense games mixed in but for the most part it was not great for the average NBA fan.  I think the most annoying part of the Heat is their brutal habit of "flicking the switch" in the middle of a game after they get bored enough or down by 20+ and finally start playing.  Maybe they can work on that a little and make them slightly less annoying to watch as they go for a three-peat next season.  We also have to brace ourselves for another circus next summer if LeBron decides to leave Miami early and take his talents elsewhere.  There's a part of me that wants to be happy for LeBron and appreciate how talented a player he is, but he makes it so hard to when his ego gets in the way. 

The Reunion-Tim Tebow didn't leave the NFL world for long.  After everyone, but NOT his brother, told him his NFL career was likely over and that he would probably be best suited for the CFL, the New England Patriots came out of nowhere and picked up Tebow to give him another shot.  Tebow will be reunited with Josh McDaniels, the man who drafted him while in Denver, who is now the Patriots offensive coordinator.  While the Pats are currently insisting that Tebow was picked up as a backup QB, it's safe to say that he will not be seeing the field as the QB this season since Tom Brady is firmly in place there.  I'm guessing that Tebow likely has enough respect for the Patriots organization that he will be happy to play other positions there and be used in a utility role as a wildcat QB or TE.  Honestly, that's really what Tebow is best suited for and Belichick is just that smart of a coach to realize that and will likely get the best out of Tebow.  Good for Tebow for continuing to live his dream of playing in the NFL.  The truth is Tebow is not meant to be a natural NFL QB, but he is definitely a talented athlete and can bring a high quality of character and passion to a football team which is what many are lacking.  Tebow is a leader and the Patriots will get the best out of him.  It could be one of the better feel-good stories in the league this year. 

The Relocation-Well, Dwight Howard and the Lakers tried to make it work, but that didn't last long and now Howard has moved on to a more suitable situation in Houston.  This wasn't that surprising considering how awkward it was watching the Lakers last season.  In the limited number of games that Kobe, Nash, and Howard played in together, it just never looked right.  Those are three very talented guys, but they just didn't fit together at all.  Many say it was because of the offense that Mike D'Antoni ran as the coach, but really you can just tell when a team has the right group playing together or not.  This past Lakers season was a good example of how important team chemistry is.  It's very underrated at times, especially when these teams in the NBA like to sign big name players together and think they will just win a bunch of games and be championship contenders.  That only works if they actually play together as a team.  I also think Kobe and Dwight were never on the same page and their egos could not fit in the same arena.  

One final thought...August is here, and preseason football begins!  BRING IT ON!!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Is Winning Boring?

No, of course winning isn't boring.  Winning is awesome, fun, and addictive.   We know that because of how much losing blows.  I will offer the idea though that winning teams can be Bo-RING!!  Let's look at the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens.  That team is by no stretch of the imagination an exciting team.  Up and down their roster they don't have a superstar.  Joe Flacco is about as exciting as watching paint dry, but he's a good QB.  I said good, because in my opinion he's not great.  Yes, he's now a Super Bowl winner and MVP.  However, that's because he had one good playoff run where he made very few mistakes.  He's NOT a great regular season QB.  That's where my issue with Flacco is.  He's not consistent every Sunday.  He's not a Brady, Manning, Rodgers, or Brees.  You can't expect him to carry the Ravens on any given Sunday.  It's not gonna happen.  He WILL have a clunker every other week.  That's why I say the Ravens BADLY overpaid him after the Super Bowl win.  He's now one of the top 3 highest paid QBs in the league, and I don't think the Ravens will consistently get the return on investment they are expecting.  Now, back to winning though.  The Ravens have been in the playoffs 5 straight years because they are consistent and keep winning, but they don't have the excitement of the Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Broncos, Giants, or Saints.  They know how to win, but they aren't fun to watch.  So winning can be boring, in a sense.  I would also look at the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA.  Now, they do have superstar power on their roster with Tony Parker and Tim Duncan...but every time I watch a Spurs game, I'm bored!  I don't know what it is, but they are not exciting to watch as a basketball fan.   Yeah, they keep on winning too, but they don't bring any excitement to the game.  They just win, and then show's over.  Boring.   Speaking of the Spurs, they are now going to be taking on the polar opposite of boring in the NBA with the much polarized Miami Heat led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.  There's two very different styles of basketball on the biggest stage.   It should be a very good series with a lot of championship experience in the series, and I'm hoping that the Spurs bore all of us again with another championship because I'd much rather see the Spurs win than the Heat.  I will even go so far as to put in writing my official BOLD prediction...Spurs WIN the NBA Finals in 6 games!  The Heat just look like they have run out of gas after the series with the Pacers and the Spurs have looked like the best team in the playoffs.   Spurs in 6, let's do this.  Now that prediction is not boring.  

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Running Out Of Football

Well...another season of football, the greatest game on the planet, is rapidly getting away.  I guess it's time I said a few things about it while I can.  I thought I would start off by wishing Ray Lewis the best in retirement.  I think he surprised a few people by saying he's done after this season because you can't tell that he's running out of gas at all.  He still plays with the same intensity and fire that he brought into the league.  I respect him a ton, I only wish that more guys would play with his heart and passion EVERY game and never make the game about anything other than the pure joy of playing football.  When I think of defense, and great linebackers, and playing with passion...I always think of Ray Lewis.  He has been the Baltimore Ravens for the last 15+ years and they will truly miss him. 

The college football bowl season has been somewhat disappointing for me, nothing really stands out as great football yet.  There were a few good ones on New Year's Day, but I think the one I'm looking forward to the most is the Fiesta Bowl.  Oregon and K-State should make for some very entertaining football.  For awhile it looked like they were on a crash course for the BCS title game, but they couldn't quite get there after they each stumbled in November.  Hey, it's hard to be perfect.  Just ask Notre Dame.  I think there were 4 or 5 games this year where they probably should have lost, but they still found a way to win and get to the national championship.  So we have two 11-1 teams in Oregon and Kansas State and it should be a good ol' shootout.  I have heard this interesting concept a number of times about these BCS games that aren't the BCS title game, which is questioning how "interested" the Ducks or Wildcats will be in the game because it's not the national championship.  So, just because they aren't playing for the national title, they are going to somehow not care anymore if they win or lose?  That's ridiculous.  As Herm Edwards once said, "You play to win the game! HELLO?. You PLAY TO WIN THE GAME!".  Just because these college kids aren't playing for a championship doesn't take away the great experience of playing in a major bowl game on national TV for their families and the world to see in a very exciting venue.  If they actually weren't intersted in being there, then give up your invitation to the game to another FBS school that would LOVE to take your place.  It's a long list of schools.  The bottom line is that it's a priveledge to be there, enjoy the life experience, enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy....playing football.

The NFL playoffs are upon us too.  The experts in Vegas have my Denver Broncos as the favorite to win the super bowl right now.  Needless to say, that sounds good to me.  They have been playing some really good football and deserve to be favored and it's going to be really tough for a team to go into Denver and ruin their super bowl plans.  Peyton Manning has them looking like a championship caliber team, and I'm hoping that they make it to the finish line.  I think Brady and the Pats will be a huge hurdle on the way. Manning also has many people looking at him as the NFL MVP for this season, and that's hard to argue unless you're Adrian Peterson.  Those are the two favorites to win the MVP and both guys have a great argument for the honor.  Obivously, I would lean toward Manning because of the Broncos 11 game winning streak to end the season, the AFC west champions, and the best record in the NFL, and all this coming off of 4 neck surgeries that kept him out of the 2011 season.  Meanwhile, Peterson became the next 2,000 yard rusher in the NFL while leading the Vikings to the playoffs which is also very impressive after coming off a torn ACL at the end of last season.  I think Manning should get the MVP simply because of the slightly more impressive overall season, both individually and as a memeber of the more successful team.  Then I think you look at Adrian Peterson as the comeback player of the year, playing at such a high level after recovering from an injury that can very easily end the career of many running backs.  These are two very talented football players playing at a tremendous level in the most intense sport there is, they have both earned recognition for their greatness.   

Friday, October 5, 2012

BACK TO FOOTBALL!

I love seeing those words painted on NFL football fields when the new season is here, "Back to Football"...great stuff.  It's the best time of the year, as the fall brings us the best sport on the planet.  It's hard to believe the college football season is already about half over! How did that happen? This weekend will mark the 6th game for most teams already, and there's going to be some good ones.  Even the NFL is already beginning week 5, and I'm looking forward to getting back what I lost last season on the NFL schedule, Manning vs Brady!! It's still the best the NFL offers and with Manning having had last season off, it's an even bigger deal this time around at Foxborough.  It should be a fun game this Sunday, and I'm pulling for Manning even more this time around since he's now in command of my Broncos.  Brady v Manning, enjoy the show!  Let's all enjoy getting back to football!

The NBA landscape just got a pretty interesting makeover this offseason as the Lakers quickly put together a very legitimate championship caliber team...again.  First they brought in Steve Nash to start passing to Kobe every night and make things even easier on Kobe to torch defenses, then they added Dwight Howard to create a very dominant presence that will take even more attention away from Kobe to do his thing.  This is a pretty scary moment for the defending champion Heat, because next June they won't be dealing with an inexperienced Thunder team that wasn't ready for the big stage.  Next time, it's going to be a three-headed monster of Kobe, Nash, and Howard in their way of another title.  Trust me, the Lakers WILL fight back.   I think that scenario I once wished for, having Kobe vs Wade in the NBA Finals, is just a matter of time now.  That will be must-see NBA TV.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Catching Up

It's  been awhile since I've shared some thoughts on my blog, I guess I was just saving up some thoughts for a good time.  I will pick up where I left off on the college football season.  I love it when a thought I have is justified like the BCS Championship game showed us.  I wasn't excited about Alabama v LSU at all and it turned out being a HORRIBLE football game.   I felt like I was completely ROBBED as a football fan.  Never mind that we still badly need a playoff, but that game was just awful.  LSU couldn't even score, as if they weren't interested in being there.    That was just embarrassing.   Thankfully, and possibly too good to be true, the BCS officials are FINALLY starting to talk about a playoff system.   It's possible that they were just as horrified by that LSU v Alabama game as everyone else in America was.   There's talk of a final four playoff system that involves the winners of BCS games.  Sounds GREAT, let's get it done!

As much as I was hoping for a Packers v Patriots super bowl, at least we ended up having a respectable super bowl again.   I felt very much like I was watching Super Bowl 42, not just because it was the Patriots and Giants again, but it just played out almost exactly like their SB 42 meeting.   Pats had the halftime lead again, and Eli Manning beat the Pats again in the last minute.  It was a good game, but not great.  It would have been nice to see a little more scoring, 21-17 isn't exactly great football.  

WOOO-HOOOO!!!  I've been doing that since my Broncos landed hall of fame QB Peyton Manning to take over for the Broncos and lead them back to greatness.   I think the best way to put it is that the Broncos are looking to restore the order in Denver and I can't wait!  A lot of people I talk to about this are a little skeptical about Manning's health and if he can be the same guy.   I'm being realistic with it.  I'm NOT expecting the same Manning we've seen so far, I'm expecting a different Manning that will be great in a  new form, and it's a great boost for the Broncos.   I just love the feeling of knowing that we've got a shot to win on any given Sunday again.  It's been awhile since I've felt like that.   If he is able to play the full season, you can book him for comeback player of the year right now!

The NBA season flew by thanks to the lockout shortened season, and it's not exactly how it would be expected to look in the playoffs.  The heavily favored Miami Heat are now down 2-1 in their series vs the Pacers, and honestly the Pacers just look like the more complete team.   The Heat just don't look like a team that is on the same page.   As much hype as the Heat got when they became the big 3 with LeBron, D-Wade, and Bosh, they just don't look like the team most of the league was expecting.   The Pacers have quietly turned into a solid team that will be a tough out in the playoffs.  It's starting to look like the Pacers and Boston Celtics will meet in the Eastern Finals.   Out west, the Thunder are up 2-0 on the Lakers, but watch out for the San Antonio Spurs!  No one gives them much credit for some reason even though they are just walking over everyone in the playoffs so far.    If I had to pick the NBA Finals right now, I'd be tempted to say Celtics v Spurs.  Unfortunately, it's hard to get excited about that matchup.    

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Season Winding Down

I gotta keep talking some football as long as I can. The college football season just blew by in a blink! One thing that stays the same after another season, BCS still sucks. LOL. I like to throw that in there whenever I can. While most analysts and experts out there are fine with LSU vs Alabama, Take II as the best #1 vs #2 scenario, I'm not excited at all about that game. How can I be excited about another likely snoozer as their first meeting was (LSU won 9-6 in OT)? BLAH. It's just a shame once again that we can't have a playoff to figure this season out. At least the FCS setup got it right. I will say that the Fiesta Bowl is a pretty good looking football matchup. Stanford, with Andrew Luck, taking on Oklahoma State, with a slightly less-hyped QB in Brandon Weeden. That should be some fun football that will light up the scoreboard! I will enjoy bowl season and soak it in while I can, despite the ridiculous BCS.

With the playoff race in the NFL heating up in December, the games are going to get more exciting. Even though I'm not a Packers fan, I can't help but be impressed. Their record speaks for itself at 12-0. The thing that stands out to me the most is how they just don't panic. They have an answer to just about every challenge, when they are tested. Watching them beat the Giants at the Meadowlands last Sunday, all I can see is a team that just can't be flapped. The Giants gave them ALL they could handle and the Packers still pulled the game out in the last seconds. Good luck to the rest of the NFC in stopping them from getting to the super bowl. They are the most complete team in the NFL. How fun would it be if Brady and the Patriots got to the super bowl to try to stop the Packers from an undefeated season as they were going after 4 years ago? The answer...a LOT of fun.

While I'm on the NFL, I gotta say thank you to the Miami Dolphins who have shown some true professionalism since starting the season 0-7. The Fins are playing some good football right now, and it really makes the Colts look even worse than their 0-12 record. The word is integrity. Look it up Colts. It's painfully clear the Colts have no interest in this season without Manning on the field. At least when the Lions went 0-16 a few years ago, they did it honestly. The Colts seem to be doing everything they can to ensure a horrible season so they can get Andrew Luck in the NFL draft. The Colts roster needs to be fitted for paper bags to replace their helmets, shame on them.

The NBA season is just a couple weeks away now, thanks to the lockout mercifully coming to an end. That whole soap opera was just sad, and I'm just glad that it's over. It will be great to see the NBA get rolling again Christmas Day. It's going to be a bitter-sweet start to the season though. As fun as it will be to welcome back the NBA, it's going to be missing a great player in the northwest. Brandon Roy has unfortunately been forced into early retirement due to a condition in his knees that makes it too risky to continue playing ball. He will be greatly missed, not just for what he brought to the Blazers every night, but for what he stands for. He stands for a great athlete, leader, and character, someone you can't help but respect and root for. The Blazers have some MASSIVE shoes to fill in Portland. Thanks for the ride Brandon, it was a blast.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

NFL talk

I gotta get this out of the way right away because I didn't throw this out there in preseason. Here it is...I've got the Packers and Patriots going to the Super Bowl this year. This isn't nearly as effective 6 weeks into the season, but at least it's still early so I can still have it on record as my official prediction. So far, I like my prediction. Packers look like the best team in the NFL and the Patriots could easily be the only other undefeated team if they had not blown a 21-0 lead at Buffalo. That concept alone of the the Pats blowing a big lead in any football game is almost ridiculous to think about. They seem to be back on track.

The glaring difference of this NFL season to me is that there's a HUGE void missing in the quarterback world. Not only are the Colts a very mediocre football team without Peyton Manning, but the NFL isn't nearly as exciting as it is with Manning playing on Sundays. I feel like it's Christmas without Santa Claus with this NFL season missing two of the greatest QBs of all time, Peyton Manning AND Brett Favre! What exactly are the football gods punishing us NFL fans for? The lockout wasn't OUR fault! Seriously though, is there a better argument for Manning as NFL MVP as there is this season? Look how different the Colts are without Manning on the field. Not only does the offense suffer, but even the defense can't get just ONE win for the Colts so far. They even managed to blow a 17 point lead at home vs the Chiefs. The saddest thing about Manning not being available right now is that I'm probably not going to get my favorite NFL matchup of every season...Colts v Patriots with Brady vs Manning. OUCH. Hopefully Manning gets healthy soon and he's able to get back to football. As for Favre, he finally let go of the game and that may have been for the best, but I still feel like he had some good football left in him. Mostly I just don't like the way he went out, it just isn't right.

So, apparently it's "Tebow Time" in Denver. I seem to be in the minority here by not being that excited about this. I still feel like he's not meant to be an NFL QB, but is a very respectable football player. His passion is unmatched, and it's a great element for any team to have, but I just have a gut feeling that it's not meant to be. I have a strong feeling that the Broncos are going to struggle a lot the rest of this season and will be getting ready to draft the next franchise QB in April 2012. I did like how ESPNs Colin Cowherd put it recently on SportsNation, the Broncos are going to be pretty bad anyway the rest of this season...playing Tebow at least makes them a little more interesting. I can agree with that much.

Speaking of the AFC west...the Raiders just made a pretty big upgrade at QB this week by trading for Bengals' QB Carson Palmer. I think this is a perfect fit for Palmer, having played his college football at USC so he'll feel quite at home in Oakland. This really does make the Raiders a legit NFL playoff team now, and they were already in the discussion at 4-2 so far this season. I expect the Raiders to be in the wild card hunt in the final week of the season.