Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

Is There Any Hope of a Tiger Woods Comeback?

Tiger Woods is already a legend in the sport of golf — perhaps the greatest golfing success story of this generation. Tiger Woods could easily retire now and enjoy a magnificent legacy. And yes, that is precisely what some people think he should do!

Forget the fact that Tiger Woods’ name has been driven through the mud over personal issues. (After all, he is the very first famous athlete to ever cheat on his wife, right? Umm…sure) He has also lost endorsements and many of his ardent fans and been demonized by the press.

The question is, can he still play? Many in the industry are quick to say no! After all, he lost his #1 ranking nearly two years ago, and was ranked below the top 50 by the end of last year. He also managed to rake up a career long loss streak of 107 weeks.

Why just consider the dirt coming from Hank Haney, Woods’ former coach. In his new book The Big Miss he states bluntly that he doubts Tiger will ever recover from his career slump. He says that the scandal specifically affected the player’s game, going from “potentially irreparable.” Haney also said that Tiger, no longer a young man at 36 years of age, has learned that “realization creates doubt and in competitive golf doubt is a killer.”

Of course, it’s hard to deny that Haney has a personal issue against Tiger, not only because of money, but also because Haney (admittedly) didn’t like the way Woods always attributed problems to his coaching style.

Nevertheless, not everyone is giving up on Tiger Woods. Jeneé Osterheldt of the Kansas City star remains one of Tiger’s biggest fans and stated that “Tiger Woods is genuinely smiling. And people are smiling along with him.”

Why so? Could it be because Tiger is finally swinging success? As of March 2012, he won a 2012 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, and this is his first win on the PGA Tour in over two years. He is now ranked #6 in the golfing world.

What do you think, sports fans? Does Tiger have another championship left or has he peaked before his time?

The Final Four in March Madness Prepare for Battle

The Final Four is set for March Madness, and the two games left to play are both set to be equally exciting.

The first game will be between Kentucky and Louisville and will be held at the Superdome in New Orleans. This matchup has all kinds of storylines going for it, including the fact that the team of the Cardinals’ coach, Rick Pitino, will be playing against a team that he once coached. After Pitino left Kentucky to coach the Boston Celtics, but when he returned to college ball, it was Louisville that he coached for, a team that has a deep-rooted rivalry with Kentucky, the Cardinals have since turned against him.

After that game is played, Ohio State and Kansas will face off against each other, two teams that have almost no history between each other. In their entire histories, they have only met nine times and this season, only twice.

Once these four teams have duked it out, the winners will go on to face each other on April 2 for the national title. Kentucky seems to be the favorite so far, winning seven titles in the past, with Kansas being next in line with only three. Louisville only has two titles under their belt, but it’s important to remember that their coach, Pitino, was responsible for the seven titles Kansas won. Ohio State is least likely to win the ultimate title, as they’ve only won one in the past — and that was over 50 years ago in 1960.

But it is the NCAA Final Four, one of the most exciting and unpredictable events in college sports, and one truly can never tell.

Punishments Dealt to Saints Staff for Bounty Programs

Everyone knew that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dealt down his punishments for the Saints’ bounty programs, they would be harsh. So far, it has resulted in a suspension for head coach, Sean Payton, for the entire 2012-2013 season; a suspension for general manager, Mickey Loomis; an indefinite suspension for defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams; two second-round draft picks; and a fine of $500,000. But Goodell isn’t done. He wants even more people to pay, and it’s left the hands of the Saints tied tighter than ever.

The Commissioner also wants to find and fine the approximately 24 defensive players that were involved in accepting the bounties for “particularly unusual and egregious” and “totally unacceptable” hits on players of opposing teams. One of those players who will not be called into question is quarterback, Drew Brees. And now it seems, the New Orleans Saints might have to give him whatever he’s asking for.

Brees’ contract is up, and he can’t sign with another team due to the franchise tag the Saints have on him. In exchange for that tag, Brees gets a guaranteed $15-$16 million per year. Brees wants to earn $23 million, but the Saints came back with $18 million. That puts them at a standstill, with the scales tipping in the direction of the Saints‘ favor. But that was before the Commissioner showed that he wasn’t joking around with his bounty discipline. Now, the Saints are in a bit of a tougher spot.

Brees is exactly what this team needs right now to pull them together as a unit, and bring some sanity to an insane locker room. He’s inarguably an elite player and is the best chance the Saints have at pulling anything together for the coming season. He can’t leave, but he can decide that he’s just not going to play.

That’s something that the Saints just can’t afford right now; and is probably what will not only balance out the scales of Brees’ coming paycheck, but tip them right over into his bank account.

Is it a Bad Sign that NHL CBA Talks Haven’t Started Yet?

Even though we’re still only in March, September 15 is approaching way too quickly for many NHL fans and team owners. And the fact that the league and the Players’ Association aren’t talking yet has them even more anxious. September 15 of course, is the date that the current NHL collective bargaining agreement (CBA) expires; and if there’s not a new one in place by that date, everyone’s looking at the one thing they’re trying to avoid — a lockout. So, is it a bad sign that talks haven’t even started? Or should fans and owners wait until the summer before they really start to panic?

In order to determine whether or not it’s time to start worrying, you need to go back to negotiations made prior to the 2004-2005 lockout and see where negotiations were at this time back then. In early January of 2003, commissioner Gary Bettman and then-NHLPA executive director, Bob Goodenow, met to talk about the deal that was going to expire in nine months. Then by the end of March, a total of eight meetings had been held. That’s nine meetings in three months that were held prior to April in 2003. In March 2012 however, no meetings have been scheduled and everyone’s keeping mum about it. Bettman keeps giving his “business as usual” line, indicating that teams should keep operating as they are and not worry about the CBA. And he’s even gone as far to say, “There’s nothing going on.”

So do fans and owners have reason to worry?

Probably not. There is a major difference between this CBA and the one that was so mightily fought over in 2003. That difference is that this time, the only real major issue is how high the salary cap will be. And that’s not even going to be that major. Last time, there were dozens of major issues, including the salary cap but also restructuring the entire league, how free agency works, and drug testing. And no one, including Gary Bettman, wants to see a waste of an entire season again.

The fact that the two sides haven’t sat down to talk yet might actually be an indication that things will be smoother this time around, not more difficult. What do you think? Do you think NHL fans will miss a portion, or all, of their season again?

Where will Peyton Manning Go?

After Peyton Manning missed all of the 2011 football season with a neck surgery, and as a result, the Colts had one of their worst years in recent history, the team has now decided to release the quarterback in favor of paying him a huge $28 million bonus. Manning stated in a very emotional press conference yesterday, “I haven’t given much thought to where I’m going to go; but I have given a lot of thought as to where I’ve been.” If that’s the case, he’s the only one. A few teams are already eager to get one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time in their jersey; but will they hesitate due to the star’s past health history?

The Cardinals and Seahawks are two teams that have been rumored to mutter interest in Manning behind closed doors. But the Cardinals have already committed to Kevin Kolb and still owe him a heap of money; and the Seahawks currently have Tarvaris Jackson and Charlie Whitehurst on their roster. The team to express the most interest so far is reportedly the Miami Dolphins, and the fact that Peyton already has a home there might make it a good fit.

But will anyone actually end up taking him?

Before this year it was hard to imagine a football season without Peyton Manning. But with continuing health problems posing an uncertain future, who can afford to pay big bucks for a quarterback that might never amount to much more than health progress reports and sideline-sitting?

What do you think? Do you think Manning’s uncertain health will keep him out of football; or do you think the right team is going to come and scoop up this superstar?

The Return of a Former WWE Superstar May be on the Horizon

We haven’t heard from Bobby Lashley lately, but the Bleach Report is stating that he may be interested in a WWE return.  This former Wrestlemania superstar was last seen in 2007 wrestling against Mr. Kennedy.  In 2008, he was released and then began a less-than-amazing MMA career.

However, there is legitimate talk of Lashley returning to settle some “unfinished business” in the WWE.  (Oh, don’t they all say that?)  We do know that according to WWE Diva Kristal Marshall, she at least is interested in her off-screen spouse returning to action.  Of course, Lashley’s enthusiasm in returning may not be enough to heal the bad blood still lingering.  What’s the story here?

Apparently when Lashley left the promotion, he burned some bridges with the McMahons and more importantly with head writer and booker Michael Hayes.  Lashley never really said what the issue was but stated that people hated him and personally tried to destroy him!  “Evil has prevailed” he said, just after he left the promotion.  Since then however, Michael Hayes has been in hot water with management anyway.  So is it possible there could be a reconciliation in the future?

Another issue to consider: will Lashley’s poor reception in MMA hinder a WWE return?  Lesnar, while not exactly the UFC champion, at least has some momentum in his favor.  Lashley’s career in the MMA, in contrast, hasn’t impressed anyone.  He actually lost to a relatively unknown fighter by the name of Chad Griggs.

The question at this point is, who does the WWE hate more?  Lesnar or Lashley–both of which are high maintenance guys, and yet both of whom could easily build new interest if they rejoined the WWE roster?  Last but not least, what about personality?  Let’s face it, neither Lesnar nor Lashley are on the same level as The Rock or even John Cena when it comes to interviews and charisma.  Perhaps the final decision is all about price.  How much these tough guys think they’re worth and how much WWE management is willing to pay big-name heels to feud against its fan-favorite faces.

What do you think?  Would you rather see Lesnar or Lashley back in a WWE ring?

Why Ovechkin Won’t be at the All-Star Game

The NHL All-Star game is being played this weekend on Sunday, January 29 at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario. And if fans were disappointed that Sidney Crosby won’t be showing up, they’re outraged that Alex Ovechkin won’t be there. And it’s not because they view Ovechkin as the bigger star of the two. Unlike Crosby, who can’t attend the game because he’s still out with concussion-like symptoms, Ovechkin is simply flat out refusing to play, since he’s now been suspended by the league.

It was during Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins that Ovechkin took a head shot on Zbynek Michalek that some are now saying was just plain dirty. The league agreed and suspended Ovechkin for three games. That time included the All-Star game, which Ovechkin had been invited to, but the league said that he could still play in that one game. Ovechkin though, wants the league to do him no favors and has now snubbed the invite. In a statement Ovechkin said, “My heart is not there. I got suspended so why I have to go there? I love the game; it’s great event. I’d love to be there, but I’m suspended. I don’t want to be a target. I feel I’m not deserving to be there right now. If I suspended, I have to be suspended. That’s why I give up my roster spot.”

The problem of course, is that Ovechkin is a huge draw for fans, and having an All-Star game without two of the game’s biggest stars seems a little counterproductive. But with Ovechkin’s stats this season, there will definitely be bigger stars with perhaps a little more talent there. But one of the other big problems with Ovechkin’s statement is that he’s been vying to get people over to Russia for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, often talking about how important it is that big stars show up to increase awareness and excitement for the sport. This leaves many saying that if he wants all-stars to go to Sochi, he’d better be prepared to make the much shorter trip to Ottawa

How is the 2012 NBA All-Star Game Shaping Up?

Everyone knows that through fan voting, the NBA All-Star game is really more of a popularity contest than it is about seeing the best in the game; and this year the two just happen to coincide. We don’t know who will make up the final teams for either conference yet, but we do know who the front-runners are.

The current poll results were announced by the NBA on Thursday of last week and according to that, Dwight Howard has received 1.16 million votes to take the spot of the starting center for the Eastern conference; that’s more votes than any other player in the league has received for any position during voting so far. As for whom he’ll play with, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will most likely take the spots of starting forwards, with 970,000 and 780,000 votes respectively.

It’s the guard position that’s got all the votes in the West, and Bryant’s name is at the top of the list. While Byrant did receive over 1 million votes, he was still short of Howard’s numbers by about 50,000 votes. Other top contenders for the spot were Chris Paul (835,000 votes) and Ricky Rubio (600,000 votes.) As for whom Howard will most likely face at tip-off time? That will probably be Andrew Bynum, who’s currently ahead of his stiffest competition, DeAndre Jordan, by about 500,000 votes. Kevin Durant will also likely represent the West as the starting forward, with just about 1 million votes so far; Dirk Nowitzki and Blake Griffin are both his biggest competition, with the latter being ahead in the voting by about 260,000.

Of course looking at the numbers right now only gives us a good guess at who the teams will be. But with the starting lineup being solely based on these votes, a look at the numbers may be all we need. As for the reserve teams? Those will be decided by the coaches of the teams, which will be the coach of the team in each conference that holds the best record of the season as of January 31.

The announcement of who the coaches will be should come shortly after January 31, as it only takes a peek at the stats to find out. Meanwhile, the starting lineups for both teams will be announced on February 2, with the complete lineups being released on February 9.

Voting hasn’t been closed just yet and those who want to do so have until January 31 to get their say in. Those who want to place their vote need to visit the NBA website here, sign up to become an NBA All-Access member and then place their vote. With the game coming up on February 26, it’s a great way to get in on the action!

Mike Cammalleri Excited to go back to the Flames

Thursday night proved to be one of the moments that makes hockey so great. Going into their game against the Boston Bruins, all the talk was about the comments power forward Mike Cammelleri had made to the press the day before. As the hockey game continued, that talk would get louder.

Coming off the ice after practice with his Montreal Canadiens teammates on Wednesday, Cammalleri was quoted saying to two reporters, “I can’t accept that we will display a losing attitude as we’re doing this year. We prepare for games like losers. We play like losers. So it’s no wonder why we lose.” The comments were harsh, even if they were what everyone in Montreal was thinking, and frowned upon in the world of hockey etiquette. But just how bad were those words, really? And how much would Cammalleri have to pay for saying them?

Prior to the game, head coach Randy Cunneyworth said that Cammalleri “had a right to his own opinion” and that “if he wanted more ice time, he’d have to play better.” While Cunneyworth did seem poised during his own statement, it seems he and Canadiens execs were fuming inside. After dressing Cammalleri for the Boston game, and allowing him to play for two periods, the forward was told to leave the ice, go back to the hotel and await further instructions. Those, as he and the world were soon to find out, were going to be to get on the next flight to Calgary, where he was now a member of the Flames.

The deal gives Cammalleri to the Flames along with Karri Ramo and a fifth round draft pick in 2012, in exchange for Rene Bourque, who will go play for Montreal in addition with Patrick Holland and a second round draft pick in 2013. Jay Feaster, Calgary Flames GM, said that the deal has been in the works for weeks and has little to do with Cammalleri’s remarks, but the timing seems odd for it and many are saying that even dressing Cammalleri for the game shows the lack of organization and professionalism that Montreal has shown all year.

So how does Cammalleri feel about the trade? Well, he’s going back to a team he’s played for before, and a team and city that he loves. And his new general manager, says “When I called him, the first thing out of his mouth was ‘What are we? Four points back? I can’t wait to get there. I’ll tell you — there’s an excited hockey player coming to Calgary.”

And how does Feaster feel about having a somewhat loose cannon as part of his team? In his own words, “For me to hear the passion, the emotion, the enthusiasm, that he had when I called him, I’ll take that. Because that’s what I want — I want that passion. That’s something we need in our locker room.”

Mid-December Brings Shocking Upsets

We shouldn’t be too surprised to know that the Green Bay Packers‘ perfect season came to an end, but at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs?  Yes, the under-performing team is now at 13-1 after suffering defeat against Kansas City.  What went wrong?  Green Bay fans are not exactly crushed, as an undefeated streak was not really a priority.  In fact, most NFL viewers were talking about the performance of the Chiefs, rather than the “shame” of Green Bay.

It’s not at all surprising that a quality team would overcome Green Bay at least once–especially considering that the Packers have been drastically affected by player injuries.  On the injured list are receiver Greg Jennings, running back James Starks, tackle Bryan Bulaga and rookie offensive linesman Derek Sherrod.

However, one must give credit to the Chiefs, and in particular, to interim coach Romeo Crennel, who went from defensive coordinator to coaching after the unceremonious firing of Todd Haley, who started the season poorly with a 5-8 record, and a crushing 37-10 loss to the New York Jets.

Some sources speculate that Crennel did have an effective strategy, which was to overwhelm the offensive line of the Packers.  The Giants stumbled upon this “secret” flaw in Green Bay’s armor a few weeks ago, and gave them a very close game, though in the end they couldn’t capitalize on this weakness.  Practically everyone in the NFL is still buzzing about the performance of Aaron Rodgers who continues to make great decisions and great throws.

One thing’s for sure: the eyes of the league are now on coach Romeo Crennel, who starts his temporary gig with a great accomplishment: a defeat of the sport’s best team.  This loss will no doubt fire up Green Bay, and agitate quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a more cautious state of mind.  Just witness how Rodgers looked after being sacked multiple times by outside linebacker Tamba Hali!

Speaking of upsets, how about the first win of the Indianapolis Colts?  The Colts are the perfect mirror image of the Packers, with a 1-13 score, after (finally) defeating an adversary and a good one at that, in the Tennessee Titans.  The Colts also avoided an embarrassing 0-14 record, which would have been a disastrous first.

Things are looking shaky in the NFL in Mid-December and perhaps it’s the unstable weather.  Perhaps as January comes in, and colder temperatures prevail, we’ll see a return to the status quo?

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