Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category


College Football Bowl Games in Full Swing

texas-am-footballWith the holiday season imminent, college football fans also know that their favorite college teams are preparing for their respective bowl games. While a few bowl games have already been played including the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Gildan New Mexico Bowl, San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia and Beef ‘O’ Brady Bowl St. Petersburg, there are still 28 more bowl games to come. These games will take place from Christmas Eve through January 6th.

Of course, all of these games will culminate in the Discover BCS National Championship featuring No. 1 Notre Dame versus No. 2 Alabama. These two teams are steeped in college football tradition. They both have some of the most storied football history with several epic games. This is Notre Dame’s first chance at a national championship since 1988. The Crimson Tide on the other hand is after their third national title in the last four seasons. Needless to say, this game is going to be a nail biter for college football fans.

Some of the other must see bowl games include the AT&T Cotton Bowl featuring No. 9 Texas A&M with Johnny Manzielle (or “Johnny Football” as A&M fans call him) against Oklahoma State. The game will take place in Cowboy Stadium, aka Jerry’s World, and is billed as one of the most entertaining bowl games this season that is guaranteed to be an offensive shootout.

Another top game to see will be the famous Tostitos Fiesta Bowl with No. 4 Oregon versus No. 5 Kansas State. Some believe this will be the best game outside of the national championship game. Just two months ago, these teams were thought to be the two in the national championship game, but losses along the way changed the bowl game lineup.

Don’t forget you can see all of these games live and in person with tickets from StubPass.com, where you can find NCAA football tickets all season long.

U.S. Wins Medal Tally in London Olympics

usa-medal-tallyThroughout the entire Olympics, it was China and the United States battling it out for highest in the medal tally. But on Wednesday, Day 12 of the 2012 London Olympics, the United States overtook the top rank of the medal tally and from there on, athletes just continued adding to the tally. The States ended up with a total of 46 gold medals, and 104 medals in total. China on the other hand, was a fairly close second with 38 golds and 87 in total.

Of course there were many memorable moments.  Several of them were brought by Michael Phelps, who not only won three gold medals, but also retired at the age of 27 as the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a total of 22 Olympic medals.

And there was also the U.S. women’s beach volleyball duo, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings. May-Treanor will also make the London Olympics her last and she too, has made history. Along with Walsh-Jennings, they are the first team in history to win three consecutive Olympic golds in volleyball.

Gabby Douglas had a disappointing last week in the Olympics, but she started off with a bang. One of the first Americans to make history during the 2012 London Olympics, Douglas won in the women’s all-around competition, and was the first African-American to ever do so.

But it wasn’t all during the first week, or even week and a half, that the States dominated in London. The athletes continued on to gold right up until the last minute, with the U.S. men’s basketball team taking gold over Spain yesterday. Just the day before, the U.S. women’s basketball team had started the gold streak, taking the win over France.

In fact, Saturday was a very golden day for the United States. Allyson Felix picked up her third medal of these Games in the 4 x 400 relay; along with Francena McCorory; DeeDee Trotter; and Sanya Richards-Ross, who had already picked up her own individual gold in the 400 meter.

Following the United States and China on the medal tally was Russia, who will host the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. Great Britain took fourth place with a total of 29 golds, and a total of 65 medals. Not to mention that for 16 days straight they, along with the athletes, put on a pretty good show.

Bolt to Make History in the 100 and 200 Meter

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Tonight Usain Bolt will try to become the first person to ever win the 100 meter and 200 meter in consecutive Olympic Games. But before he does it, he’s going to have to defeat his teammate, Yohan Blake. Blake has beaten him twice at the Jamaican Nationals for the same event; and is typically much faster, even though it was Bolt who set the world record of 19.19 and the Olympic record of 19.30. And let’s not forget, after what we saw when Bolt ran the 100-meter on Monday, that cold hard determination.

Bolt has already set the stage between Blake and himself for tonight’s event. “I’ve told Yohan that the 200 meters is going to be different because the 200 is my pet event. I’m not going to let him beat me again.” But it’s not a matter of giving Blake anything. While Bolt has had some issues with his back and a tight hamstring, he seemed to more than overcome them when he ran earlier this week. Still, Blake will be coming up from behind, and that could be the nail in Bolt’s coffin once again between these two runners.

It’s happened before. It was during the trials in Jamaica that Bolt held the lead, only to have Blake take it away and outrun him. If that doesn’t happen though and Bolt wins, Blake may have no one to blame for Bolt’s grit except for himself. “He (Yohan Blake) said, ‘Usain, this is an Olympic year. Wake up,” said Usain. “So I’m happy and I’m grateful for that moment because after that I refocused and I got my head together and I got my head in the game.”

Why the U.S. Men’s Swim Relay Failed

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Sometimes you take great risk and great gains are soon to come. And if you can take great risks at the right time and pull them off successfully, you can be a hero. This is what went behind the thinking of the men’s 400 relay swim at the Aquatics Centre in London last night. What we saw in turn though, was what happened when risk goes awry. Everything looks like it’s all going to pan out in the beginning, until it all starts to slowly crumble. Eventually, victory slips right through the cracks. But those to blame for the U.S. defeat in the 400-meter freestyle relay on Sunday weren’t in the water but rather, on the sidelines coaching.

For the men’s U.S. swimming team, Gregg Troy had Nathan Adrian start things off for the great speed and head start that Adrian could give the team. Michael Phelps was next; and after a disappointing showing on Saturday at the 400 IM, it was he who overcame the rumors and performed at the level people know him for.

Jones was third in line, and after having to recover his reputation from a horrible loss at the 2008 Olympics against Beijing. Jones performed extremely well along with the rest of his team, saying afterwards that he was “really happy with my effort. I didn’t do my part in 2008.” Everything looked good for the American team, and then the final swimmer, Ryan Lochte was up. And the sad fact of the matter was, that he shouldn’t have been there. He just wasn’t ready; and Troy shouldn’t have put him in there.

Lochte has swam the 100-meter before, but not much; and he had never performed the part of the anchor before in the 400 freestyle relay during a major national or international event. The Olympic stadium was not the place to do it. The Australian to his

Lochte started off very well, looking like he was actually sprinting through the first fifty yards. But that’s exactly what did him in at the end. “I over-swam the first 50,” Lochte said after the race, “which hurt me in the last 50.”

But while Lochte was putting the blame on himself, coach Gregg Troy was also owning up to some mistakes. “I knew on the first 25 he was in trouble,” Troy said afterwards. “Kind of a coaching error.”

But, Troy was also asked what he would change, should his team be able to swim the same relay. “No,” he admitted. “I think we probably would’ve swam the same relay.”

NBA Conference Finals Couldn’t be More Exciting!

nba-conference-finals-excitingIt’s something that any fan could ever ask for. The NBA Conference Finals are on, and neither series is being completely dominated by any one team. Those who predicted the Heat would make it to the Finals are growing concerned as their series with the Heat is tied at 2-2. And most had the Spurs emerging as the clear winner in the West; but with their series against the Oklahoma City Thunder also tied at 2-2, it’s truly anyone’s guess — and that’s just the kind of basketball fans love best!

On Thursday the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the San Antonio Spurs 102-82 to take one in the Western Conference Finals and put themselves on the board after allowing the Spurs to defeat them in the first two games. They were able to carry that momentum over to Saturday with them, when the Thunder again defeated the Spurs, although this time with a narrower margin of 109-103.

On Saturday it was one of the Thunder’s big guns, Kevin Durant that stepped up with a total of 18 points — but 16 of them came in the fourth quarter when Durant seemed to single-handedly win his team the game. If the Thunder do come back from being down 2-0 and move on to the Finals, they’ll only be the 15th team in NBA history to do it. They’ll have a chance to increase their odds for the record tonight when they face the Spurs in Game 5.

The underdog isn’t dominating in the East either, but the Boston Celtics have clearly played better than anyone thought they would, even if that only means getting this far. After watching the first half of the game between the Heat and the Celtics on Saturday night, fans felt as though they were once again cheering for the team that once was, when the Celtics always seemed to be a frontrunner for any championship. They haven’t been that team in some time, even after making a brief comeback in 2008. But their performance on Sunday was reason enough to give fans hope — at least during the first half.

The Celtics came out narrowly winning the game on Sunday with a final score of 93-91 that was determined in overtime. But while they may have dominated in the first half, they fell apart in the second and watched their lead slowly get whittled away by the Heat. The Celtics also got a lucky break when Dwayne Wade fouled out in the second half — something he hasn’t done ever in his time as one of the Miami Heat, and something the Celtics shouldn’t count on happening again.

The Heat however, also made their fair share of mistakes and the fact that Wade also seemed unconcerned after the game saying, “Got the shot off I wanted and that is all you can ask for,” may also leave fans disconcerted. Is it really the shot you want when it doesn’t make the basket?

It definitely leaves things up in the air, as they are all over the place at this point in the playoffs. No matter what direction you look in these playoffs, there’s a great series happening. And that’s just the stuff that makes championships great to watch.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Update

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The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming to an end, and it’s just a matter of days until the all-suspenseful final round begins. So far, the Los Angeles Kings are the only team that have stamped their ticket into those finals, and they did it quite a few days before their opponents will. That short rest, along with all the other rest they’ve gotten these playoffs, is sure to help them in the finals against the exhausted team they’ll be facing.

That team will either be the New Jersey Devils of the New York Rangers, the only two other teams that are scrapping it out for their own chance at winning the revered Cup. The Rangers were the clear favorite going into the series; but they’re already down 3-2 in the series and now they must win both games in order to get their own tickets punched. The Rangers have also looked slow and sloppy against the Devils at times, especially during the first five minutes of Game 5 on Wednesday when they allowed the Devils to get two goals past them. Although the Rangers were able to make a bit of a comeback, they still lost that game 5-3.

But it’s not like the Devils haven’t had their share of troubles either; they just seemed to have come at the right end of the series for them. It was during Game 3 that they gave up one of their two losses to New York so far in this series; but it was perhaps the most painful as they didn’t get one score on the board. Now, headed into Game 6 tonight, the Devils are going to keep the lineup that they’ve changed to since – the fourth line consisting of Stephen Gionta, Ryan Carter, Travis Zajac, Patrick Elias, and Zach Parise.

So once the third round is officially over, who will face the L.A. Kings – the Devils, or the Rangers? At this point, it doesn’t seem to matter. L.A. has only lost two games during the entire playoffs; one of their series was a sweep that provided the advantage of a much-needed rest, and the other two only went to five games each. They haven’t had as much ice time, they have far fewer injuries, and they’re much better rested. Add that to the fact that they just simply look better during play than either the Rangers or the Devils, and this certainly seems to be the year of the Kings.

L.A. Kings are Going to the Finals!

The dream team. That is the only way to describe the Los Angeles Kings this playoff season. And for a team that just barely scraped their way into the playoffs, they’ve also proven that anything is possible if you just keep believing; and working really, really hard. They have broken records, they have amazed everyone at what they have done. But what stands out most, and what they’re most proud of, is that they’ve finally given their fans something to cheer about — and a lot of it!

After they took the Phoenix Coyotes out of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-3 win on Tuesday night in just five games, they came home to a crowd eagerly waiting for them. A crowd of 4,000 people gathered at LAX to wait for their players to emerge from the gates and give them the heroes’ welcome the club has waited so long for. And after losing out in the first round last year, both the team and the fans are just taking it all in, for the moment.

“It was like driving down a hallway lined with human flesh,” said Dustin Penner, who scored that most important game-winning goal in Game 5. “You couldn’t’ see anything except people. It’s not something that anyone will forget ever on this Kings team. It’s something you can only experience when you get to the Cup finals.”

So what will they do in the Finals? They’ll either be facing the New Jersey Devils or the New York Rangers, who are 3-2, respectively, in their series right now. But the Kings have only lost two games this entire playoff season. And they’re the only team ever in NHL history to go to the Finals being undefeated on the road.

There’s little doubt that whoever they face in the Finals, their competition has a tough road ahead of them. The Kings are one team that has everything going for them, and the only truly fitting word for them seems to be ‘unstoppable.’

New Jersey Devils Move On to Round Three

new-jersey-devilsAre the Philadelphia Flyers really that good? Or were the Pittsburgh Penguins just that bad? That’s the question everyone’s asking after the Flyers were thrown out of the playoffs by the New Jersey Devils in just five games.

In last night’s elimination game, the Flyers looked defeated from the moment they stepped onto the ice, and it was a far cry from the highly aggressive, high scoring team that we saw in the first round. And once the Devils got two shots past Philly goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, the Devils pretty much had it in the bag.

You can credit the 27 saves that Martin Brodeur made for the win, or maybe the fact that Claude Giroux, their best player, was out on a suspension. But what really made the difference in this game was that the Devils knew what they had to do: play a completely different game than Pittsburgh did.

While Pittsburgh was all about engaging in the emotional side of the game with Philly, getting into scrums after the whistle and giving hits that walked the fine line of the penalty box, New Jersey would have none of it. They were extremely focused and if one teammate forgot that for just a moment, there was another one there to pull him away, reminding him what they were to do. It was what’s needed against a team like Philly, and it was enough to effectively shut them down.

The New Jersey Devils have been to the Stanley Cup Finals seven times, and have won six. The last time was in 2003 when Martin Brodeur carried his team to the title, and his performance this season has made all the retirement talk long-forgotten.

“I don’t think he was ever a guy that was going to retire,” said Devils’ forward David Clarkson. “He’s won us some games in the playoffs. He’s held us in. He’s exciting to watch.”

While New Jersey has moved on, they still don’t know who they’ll face — the Washington Capitals, or the New York Rangers. That Game 7 will be played on Saturday and the winner will move on to face New Jersey.

Lakers Win Game of Weirdness

lakers-win-gameIn the game between the L.A. Lakers and the Denver Nuggets on Sunday night, there was a lot of weirdness to go around. The first weird factor may have been the fact that the Lakers were down by six points at halftime against a team that they should easily beat. While that situation rectified itself, what was definitely even weirder was the disoriented fan that walked out onto the court just before halftime.

First, game talk. The Lakers definitely proved why they’re the better team of the series when they took the game 92-88 and came back from a small deficit in the first half. Kobe Bryant put up 22 points and Andrew Bynum was just behind him with 19 of his own. But the Lakers needed more than just their big guns last night, and everyone stepped up to the plate. Or the net, rather.

Jordan Hill put up 12 points and his 11 rebounds proved to be huge in such a close game. Ramon Sessions and Steve Blake both had 3-pointers late in the game that prevented the Nuggets from coming out on top; and they did so in a huge way. With Kobe setting up each of these three in the third quarter, and all of them coming up short, they certainly redeemed themselves.

The fact that Kobe spoke like a coach afterwards saying, “I was ticked. I was and didn’t think I would trust them at the end of the game to knock down those shots, but they stepped up and knocked them down,” was also a little weird, but so were his teammates reverence for him.

“It’s always good when you get a hug from Kobe,” said Blake, referring to the hug Bryant had given him during a timeout. “It means you did something right.”

But no comments, or even plays on the court for that matter, could be as weird what happened late into the second quarter, when a fan walked onto the court.

The woman, a 20-year-old named Savannah McMillan-Christmas, walked right out onto the court during the middle of play, when the referee blew his whistle to stop the game and have the woman escorted off the court. Everyone was baffled about it, including the announcers who thought maybe the woman had dropped something. While being taken off the court, the woman repeatedly asked “Where’s Kenyon?” seeming to ask about Kenyon Martin, who used to play for Denver. The police later charged her for trespassing, as allegedly she’s been banned from the stadium due to the former stalking and following players.

Hopefully fan interference won’t be something either team has to deal with when the series goes back to Los Angeles for Game 5 tomorrow night.

March Madness Finals are Tonight!

ncaa-march-madness-finalsThe NCAA March Madness Finals are tonight and it seems only suitable that it’s a game between the first-ranked team, the Kentucky Wildcats, and the second-ranked team, the Kansas Jayhawks. In a matchup of the best versus the best, this one will be tough to predict right up to the last second.

Kentucky very well could pull out an early lead; especially considering that they’re the number one team and the fact that have already beaten Kansas back in November when the two teams met at Madison Square Garden. Kentucky took that game 75-65. But, Kentucky also has the habit of becoming too comfortable with a lead and when up against the Jayhawks that could be dangerous. Let’s not forget that Kansas is still one of the best teams in the country, and they are especially known for coming back late in the game.

Kentucky is also known for is being one of the best teams in the league when it comes to rebounding shots, averaging about 39.2 per game. But Kansas isn’t that bad either with forward Thomas Robinson himself averaging 11.8 per game. He’ll have to put on his best game face and make sure that he’s getting every rebound possible if he hopes to take on a team that excels in the area — while his defence will have to make sure they’re not giving Kentucky any rebound chances of their own.

The game is probably going to come down to the two star centers — Robinson on the side of Kansas, and Anthony Davis playing for Kentucky. Both are stars in their own right, and the final tally could just depend on who’s more on top of their game. We’ll see who that is tonight.

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