March 28, 2012, 12:57 pm
Ever since this game was scheduled, I have heard from baseball enthusiasts how it doesn't make any sense to open up the season this way and it takes away from the game altogether. In all honesty, I couldn't disagree more.
First off, this is technically a home game for the A's, who are lucky to draw 10,000 fans to home games as it is where today's game was sold out in the Tokyo Dome with over 40,000 people showing up. Secondly, this isn't what I would consider a marquee matchup. The only thing Oakland and Seattle will be playing for this year is 3rd place in the AL West, but fans in Tokyo could care less.
Most importantly we have the Ichiro factor. He is the must recognized baseball player in Japan and to bring him home for a two-game series is great planning by Major League Baseball. Throw on top of it that he collected four hits in the opener is icing on the cake.
We have seen it in the NFL how the league is trying to become more global and here in the United States, most will scoff at the idea and we selfishly want all of the games to be played on "our" terms, but it is inevitable that games we will played elsewhere a handful of times throughout the season and if its going to happen, then this scenario makes all the sense in the world.
The two teams will square off again tomorrow and the official Opening Day is still scheduled for next Wednesday.
January 24, 2012, 12:51 pm
Mountain View got all they wanted from the pesky Capital Eagles who actually held a 10 point lead in the middle of the 2nd quarter. If you were at this game, you wouldn't have been able to guess that Capital was in last place. They played inspired in the first half and their zone defense really seemed to bother the Mavericks until Mountain View broke through in the 2nd half in route to a 10 point win.
In the only showdown between teams in the top half of the conference, Centennial gritted out a road victory against Eagle winning by just four points. The key for the Patriots again was balanced scoring. Aaron Maffey had 16 and Daryl Robertson added 12 as Centennial stayed tied with Mountain View at 9-3 in conference play. For the Mustangs, they were led as usual by Braiden Shaw who had another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Both teams will have to improve quickly as they will each play at Borah this weekend.
Boise High wasted little time in putting away Vallivue on Friday as the final score was 54-31. The Falcons again struggled to score and their leading scorer, JT Fowers, had just six points. The Braves needed this rebound game and are in the "middle" tier right now at 7-5 in conference play.
The upset of the weekend was the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies finally breaking through by beating Timberline on Friday. The Grizzlies had a huge 2nd quarter and road the coattails of Bryce Feist and David Trompke for their third conference win. Timberline had way too many turnovers to win on the road and was looking for answers on Saturday night.
The lone game to be played Saturday was Vallivue at Timberline in a rescheduled game that was originally going to take place over Christmas break. Vallivue brought their offense to the table but ultimately fell up short, 61-58. All three of Timberline's weapons were on as Jarid Downey, Jordan Hall and Jackson Reed all had 13 points or more.
With six games left, there is a two way tie for second place between Mountain View and Centennial, a three-way tie for fourth between Boise, Eagle and Timberline AND a three way tie for seventh place between Rocky Mountain, Vallivue and Meridian as one of those three teams will be left out of the district tournament
March 26, 2012, 1:06 pm
Make no mistake about it, this is Kentucky's tournament to lose. If you watched or listened to either of their games this weekend, you could tell this team was head and shoulders above the competition. Indiana even scored 90 points on the Wildcats on Friday, but Kentucky responded with 102 to move on to the Elite 8. Then from there, the Wildcats dismantled Baylor Sunday to reach the Final Four. If there ever was a big difference between Kentucky and the other three teams taking the floor in New Orleans on Saturday, it is that the Wildcats truly will not be satisfied unless they win the National Championship. With just two games standing in their way of accomplishing the ultimate goal, the Wildcats will have to first get past rival Louisville, who seems to find ways to win, especially at this point in the season.
As for the Louisville Cardinals, I can tell you first hand that their style of play is like no other team left in the Tournament. I watched them in person over the weekend and the manner in which they beat Michigan State was unparalleled to anything else I have seen the last two weeks. Holding a squad to just 44 points that is used to dominating opponents was mind blowing and then to follow it up in the Elite 8 against Florida was even more impressive. They always say that defense wins championships and Louisville's style of play is no exception, so don't be surprised if the Cardinals shock Kentucky on Saturday.
The other National Semifinal will feature the two big men for each team and we can only hope that neither of them get into foul trouble because it would certainly ruin this heavyweight matchup.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had the easiest road to New Orleans and when you take that into account along with the fact that they are jelling as a team, it parlays into success. The Buckeyes beat Syracuse in the Elite 8 despite Jared Sullinger picking up two fouls in the first 6 minutes of action and they were able to keep it close before Sullinger stole the show in the 2nd half. Having the most favorable road to the Final Four is nice, but will Ohio State be ready for a definite step-up in competition Saturday? We will find out soon enough.
The final piece of this year's Final Four puzzle is the Kansas Jayhawks. Much like Ohio State, many people wrote off this Jayhawk team back in December saying it was one of the least talented squads in Lawrence in quite some time, but after yesterday's thrilling win over North Carolina, Kansas is one of the last four standing. They are led by the only unanimous All-American player in the nation: Thomas Robinson, and with the way they played yesterday offensively, they have just as good of chance as anyone to be cutting down the nets Monday night.
Our Final Four coverage will begin at 1:30 PM on Saturday and will continue on with both National Semifinals from New Orleans. Tune into 630 The Fan all week long or you can listen online at 630thefan.com.
January 23, 2012, 12:46 pm
If there are any more doubters about Joe Flacco's ability to win in the playoffs, I would love to hear what you have to say now. Flacco played great yesterday and did enough for his team to win the game. Lee Evans dropped the go-ahead touchdown in the final 30 seconds that would have sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl and many perceptions would have been changed about Flacco. He made some key third down throws in tight coverage and made a fantastic throw down the field to Torrey Smith that would have been a touchdown, but Smith could not haul it in.
The biggest question I have for the Ravens is what happened to Ray Rice? He led the league in total yards this year and was virtually non-existent in their two playoff games. If he would have even gotten close to his season average, the Ravens would have ran away with the game. The defense was solid as usual. When you hold New England to just two offensive touchdowns, you are doing something right and I am sure Tom Brady is glad he will not have to face them again for ten months or so.
The Patriots did not play their best game, but regardless of that, they are a three point favorite in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady admitted that he "sucked" but he will now have two weeks to regroup for the rematch of when the New York Giants ruined their perfect season.
The Giants had to work twice as hard yesterday to beat the 49ers than they did to beat the 15-1 Green Bay Packers. San Francisco's defense was incredible and basically shut down the Giants all game. Fortunately for New York, Kyle Williams fumbled two punts, including one in overtime that sealed the game. No matter what happens in the Super Bowl, the 49ers were the best story in the NFL this season. To go from 6-10 to 14-4 is amazing and with their style of play, expect the 49ers to be contenders for many years to come.
Now the hype begins. We are 13 days away from the Super Bowl and even though the Pro Bowl is sandwiched in between, we will hear about every player that has a runny nose throughout the next two weeks. Plenty more previewing to come, but for now its time to take a breath and reminisce about the great games we were treated to yesterday.
March 21, 2012, 1:45 pm
It has been well documented that the Jets have two major flaws: locker room issues and uncertainty at quarterback. By acquiring Tim Tebow, they might be able to fix both problems. There is no doubt that Tebow would help the image of the team's locker room, but I'm hard pressed to believe thats the only reason they traded for him. Mark Sanchez was drafted too high originally and I have always believed the reason he has underperformed is because he has had no true competition. Just as an example, the ageless wonder, Mark Brunell was his backup for two years.
Now, Sanchez will at least be pushed by Tebow purely based on the fact that the media will be calling for Tebow if Sanchez struggles this season. I have said all along that Tim Tebow will improve and if that is the case, he could be starting by the sixth week of the season. At the very least, Tony Sparano and Rex Ryan will be able to be more creative on the offensive side of the ball which is something they haven't done the last few seasons.
As for Denver, the circus is finally over. They have pushed all their chips in on Peyton Manning because in all reality, they did not get compensated very well for Tebow. By only receiving a 4th and 6th round draft pick for Tebow, they basically are saying that they wanted to get rid of him and start a new chapter in Broncos history because apparently a 4th round pick is worth more than at least exploring the idea of having Tebow be Manning's backup.
Nonetheless, I don't remember a week in March where there was so much NFL drama, but it sure will provide for an interesting 2012 NFL season.