Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

NBA Players Voting on CBA Today

NBA fans rejoiced less than two weeks ago when a tentative deal was reached and it looked as though the league would be back to regular play on Christmas Day. That still seems to be the general consensus, as players and trainers have been allowed to visit facilities ever since news of the tentative deal was released. And now, players are currently voting to finalize that deal, and get the cogs of the NBA running smoothly again.

The head of the Players Union, Billy Hunter, wrote a letter to all players after the tentative deal was finalized on November 26. Within the letter, the terms of the deal were outlined and explained in great deal, along with Hunter’s suggestion that the players agree to the deal. Players began voting on ratification of the deal on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 and they have until this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. to cast their vote.

Once the players have voted, the NBA owners will then meet in New York City this evening to see if the deal has been agreed upon by a majority on both sides of the arguing table. If so, training camps and free agency deals can begin as early as tomorrow, December 9, 2011. It will then be just a matter of weeks until Christmas Day, when the NBA will begin a season that will include 66 games.

With all the talk that has been going on for the second half of the year, and the progress that has been made just in the last few weeks, it would be shocking to just about everyone is this deal were to fall through now.

Shawn Michaels Injects Some Life into the Nash/HHH Feud

Leave it to a “showstopper” like Shawn Michaels to interject some life and vitality into Nash and Hunter’s weird angle thus far in the WWE.  Perhaps what this feud needed was a little “flare” (that’s flare, not Flair) to start a fire.  The WWE’s latest angle of “The Kliq reunited is only going to work if the stakes have changed.  Not much has changed from Triple H’s end–he remains a heel of the utmost degree, while Nash continues to cross the line into both good guy/bad guy territory, with gratuitous
Vinnie Babarino-esque expressions of frustration.

No wonder WWE writers sent Michaels, the unstable element, into Nash and Triple H’s strange, on-air concoction, which somewhat resembles a feud.  Thus far, a lot of the angle has seemed like reality show “soap” more than an intense WWE-style rivalry.  Even up to the latest on-air incident, the energy was awkward, with all three Kliq members sharing “very special” feelings and vague resentment, and making offers to Nash for a WWE-dominating team up.

Here’s the secret–or so, many pundits believe.  The WWE is surely setting up the return of the NWO and or D-Generation X, as this story just seems too small at the moment.  Word is, the WWE is pushing the feud back to the Royal Rumble, which is a big event and which directly leads into the biggest event of the year, WrestleMania in the spring.

The question is, how will the angle unfold?  Will Nash and Shawn team up for the first time and either reignite an old stable or form a new team altogether?  Will Triple H suddenly be placed in the role of face, if Shawn and the ex-Diesel (who were actually friends before Triple H came along) start their shenanigans?  Or will Triple H and Nash turn on HBK and have HBK subjected to cruelty from the worst of DX and the NWO simultaneously?  Final scenario: Nash plays the victim as both Shawn and Triple H turn on Big Daddy Cool and beat him senseless in a throwback to DX vs. the NWO of the 1990s era.

Writers and bloggers are suggesting this feud could be really good or really bad, depending on whether they allow the performers to continue adlibbing about hurt feelings, or if a major double cross is in someone’s future.  Bet on the latter, as this is shaping up to be a major feud, not just a minor quibble.  What do you think?

Is Sidney Crosby a Hypocrite?

It’s been almost a full year now that Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins has been the face of concussions and concussion recovery in the NHL. He is the reason why so much attention is given to head shots now and when Sid the Kid was taken out for 10 months due to a concussion, it was time for the league to sit up and take notice. During those 10 months, Sidney went from looking at retirement to full recovery, all the while in between touting the importance of head shots, and how seriously they need to be taken. But, is Sidney now eating crow, after a highly debatable hit on Nick Foligno of the Ottawa Senators on Friday night.

The hit came after Foligno knocked into Pittsburgh’s goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, three times, after which the Penguins were a bit fed up and took matters into their own hands. Sidney Crosby came up to meet Nick Foligno on the ice and swiftly gave him an elbow to the head. The play wasn’t called and the game continued. Afterwards though, harsh words were exchanged by all.

Bryan Murray, GM of the Senators, said after the game that everyone thought it was fair game, and that’s fine with him. He also pointed to the fact that his tough players weren’t on the ice that night saying, “We didn’t have enough toughness, so when we play Pittsburgh that’s something you can bring up to me again.”

Dan Bylsma, coach of the Penguins, blamed the hit completely on Foligno harassing their goalie all night, saying that “he can expect more than Sidney Crosby coming at him and talking to him during the game. That’s how we feel about those situations.”

The problem doesn’t seem to be with the play itself. With NHL disciplinarian, Brendan Shanahan, stating it was a good hit; the refs on the ice at the time saying it was a good hit; and just about everyone but the Senators saying the same thing, that much seems clear. But while the biggest question in the NHL a week ago was whether or not Sidney Crosby would get special treatment on-ice post-concussion, it’s a different question they’re asking now: is Sidney Crosby a hypocrite? Where is the Sidney who, while undergoing concussion recovery, talked about how important it was to respect players? And urged players to remember that at the end of the day, it is just a game?

It seems that Sidney may have worn off along with that white no-contact helmet he was wearing for a little while. And while he may be back, it’s fairly obvious that from here on out, Sidney Crosby will be given no special treatment when he takes the ice. And that’s probably just the way he likes it.

Some WWE Wrestlers Know When to Quit…and Some Don’t!

Some guys in the locker room know when it’s time to hang it up.  Think the difference between Ricky Steamboat and Ric Flair.  One guy knows how to bow out gracefully while the other sort of…just…hangs around.  It appears as if the same thing is happening with two newer age WWE superstars (newer in the sense of 1990s, not 1980s).  Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho.

Kevin Nash is being a Flair with his “flair”, and most recently returned to the WWE, causing many reporters and fans to speculate that he may be on the Wrestlemania card.  Nash returned in a big way, by attack CM Punk at the SummerSlam Pay-Per-View.

Nash went on to blame Triple H for his interference, and eventually attacked the WWE executive and boss’s son in law.  An altercation recently happened involving Triple turning on Nash; Hunter went so far as to attack him with a sledgehammer.  (Yes, it is hard to maintain a friendship after someone beats you with a sledgehammer!)  Nash recovered and began assaulting Triple H with his own weapon and put him out of commission.  The latest news is that WWE agent John Laurinaitis signed Nash to a new contract.  It looks as if the big “grey” wolf is here to stay.

Meanwhile, Chris Jericho is taking the other route–he’s claiming early retirement.  At just 41 years of age, he announced that he will never wrestle for the WWE again.  Of course everyone says this at some point in his career, so how do we know Jericho is telling the truth?  He is not featured in the upcoming WWE 12 game, which does not bode well for his McMahon-controlled future.

However, Jericho didn’t actually say that he’s done with wrestling.  Some insiders believe he may be joining the TNA alternative soon, perhaps reuniting with many of his old WWE alumni.  Neither party has commented, but it remains a possibility.

In that case, we can expect Jericho to wrestle for TNA for a few years and then return to the WWE, like everyone else does.  Now if Jericho actually retires in his 40s that would be unprecedented in the wrestling world.

These Three NFL Teams Need Your Cheers!

The NFL season is underway and three teams are falling from grace. In fact, they’re in danger of blowing the whole season! Of course, there’s nothing too shameful about a 5-3, especially when compared to appalling records earned by the likes of the Dolphins, the Rams and (sob) the Colts.

However, coming from the New England Patriots, we expect a little more than 5-3 (as of November 7th, 2011) since this was, at one time, the “dynasty” of the NFL. The Patriots have slipped to number nine in the rankings after losing two games straight, most recently to the New York Giants. What’s the problem? The Patriots are suffering from defensive problems, and are attempting to coast through the season with powerful offense. While this strategy worked at least three times, it’s getting to the point where other teams are starting to study New England in advance and exploit their defensive problems.

What about the Washington Redskins? At one time, one of the most valuable franchises, and at one time a contender, now the Redskins have fallen four weeks in a row, taking them to a 3-5 record. This is all the more discouraging since they started out strongly at 3-1. However, offense problems are significant, including the flawed performance of quarterback John Beck.

The Buffalo Bills are also suffering, maintaining a 5-3 loss, but losing a significant game to the Jets. Besides turning the ball over three times, there were also offense problems. In fact, they didn’t even start scoring major points until the third quarter of their game with the New York Jets.

Meanwhile, this season is becoming increasingly “Bizarro World” in terms of top playing teams. After all, the Bengals are now the #1 ranked team in the AFC North, followed closely by the Ravens, both maintaining a 6-2 record. The Houston Texans are holding their own at 6-3 of the AFC South, while the New York Giants are controlling the NFC East.

The only lack of surprise this season is the tank-like performance of the Green Bay Packers who are maintaining an 8-0 win-loss record. However, your dreams of seeing a Packers vs. Patriots, or a Packers vs. Bills are slowly deteriorating. Now is the time to root on your former champions and get them back in the competitive season!

The Status of the NBA in 2012

What is going to happen with the NBA for the upcoming season?  Even in the midst of an exciting MLB finale between the Cardinals and the Rangers, and even nearing the halfway point of a great NFL season, we’re still blue about the very real possibility of an NBA strike.  What is the latest news to emerge from the offices and the empty locker rooms?

Things are looking downright scary, since the latest news is that there are some very hard feelings between players and owners, and racial tension, may even have something to do with it.  The latest meeting saw Derek Fisher claim that owners were lying to players, and from there name-calling began to increase.  The Reverend Jesse Jackson is actually very concerned that the situation could get ugly, perhaps evne degenerating “into names and language that’s hard to take back.”

Bryant Gumbel recently added some fodder to the fire, by suggesting NBA commissioner David Stern was a bully when it comes to negotiating with players.  Gumbel even made a racial comment in a recent interview stating that Stern was basically behaving like a “modern plantation overseer.”

Aside from racial implications, the biggest issue is most assuredly the pay cut that is destined to happy.  The league owners (which do include mostly senior-aged white men) are talking about a pay cut of almost $300 million dollars a year.  We also know that many NBA players have expressed an interest in playing basketball overseas.  Indeed, with in-demand players, and with wealthy league owners, the likely losers in this scenario will be the fans of professional basketball.

There is a nice thought in the midst of all this heated argument, and that is that the players themselves are happy to play ball–and even to do it for free.  Recently, some teammates of Michael Beasley all showed up and played an exhibition game at an Osseo High School.  What was a simple game for charity actually became a major NBA exhibition game.  The likes of Wes Johnson, Anthony Randolph and Dorell Wright showed up.

Of course, the day was not without a few conspicuous no-shows: Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall did not show up to the event despite advertised appearances.

What is going to happen to the NBA in 2012?

Mid-October 2011 Reveals Some Monsters, Ghosts and Scary Sights in the NFL

It’s not quite Halloween yet, but if you’re keeping track of the latest NFL scores, then you’re seeing some scary sights, a few “ghosts” who are fading from glory, and a few monstrous defeats–and not from the teams you expect. Let’s first talk about the most gruesome scores of October 16, 2011.

How about the Green Bay Packers slaughtering the Rams? Talk about a sacrificial ram–the Packers defeated the Rams 24-3, despite some serious offense problems from the former. The Rams have since acquired Brandon Lloyd from Denver, who will hopefully be an effective pass receiver for Sam Bradford. Many journalists are stating that the Rams need a miracle if they’re going to survive this season with their dignity intact.

How about the ghastly final score of 39-10, as the Chicago Bears wasted the Vikings? Perhaps Chicago had something to prove after last week’s disastrous game with the Detroit Lions, because they displayed some solid, if unorthodox, plays. Meanwhile, last year’s “big story” is now becoming ghostly, considering that they compiled a win/loss record of 1-5 as of mid-October.

Meanwhile, the New England Patriots strive to prove to their naysayers that they are not a ghost of a team. Many believe the franchise is over, New England is playing like a champion, thanks to great performances by players Tom Brady and Aaron Hernandez, both of whom helped the team to score a last minute touchdown for the win. And the Dallas Cowboys are starting to become translucent in terms of wins. Each and every week they test their competition, only to lose by a hair. Still, final score is what determines the season, not just strong resistance. In fact, Dallas’ future is looking bleak, just in time for Halloween, since they now have two offensive starters on the injury list: Felix Jones and Bill Nagy.

So which team has the best win and loss record this early in the season? The Patriots have only lost once, giving them an impressive 5-1 record, though the Ravens are holding their own with 4-1 for the season thus far. Both the Lions and the 49ers are also looking good, each one having only lost one game, but with five victories behind them. However, the team with the best score card this week is the Green Bay Packers who are 6-0. And while there are plenty of teams vying for the worst record of the league, it’s hard to non-compete with the Rams, who have lost five games without a single victory!

What do you think, is Green Bay destined to win Super Bowl 2012 or is it too soon to tell?

Retired NFL Players to Sue NFLPA

There are more lawsuits floating around in the world of sports. But this time it’s not unions suing owners, or players’ associations suing league execs. This time, it’s retired NFL players who feel as though they’ve been getting the short end of the stick — and all because they’re no longer playing.

The lawsuit has been filed by 28 retired NFL players including Carl Eller, Chuck Bednarick, and John Hannah, although it represents all retired NFL players. The lawsuit is against the NFL Players’ Association; DeMaurice Smith, the union’s president; Tom Brady, New England’s quarterback; and Mike Vrabel, a former player in the league. The suit deals with the collective bargaining agreement that was agreed on to stop the lockout and get the season started for this year. The retired players say that their rights were given up during negotiations, in order so that the current players in the league could receive more benefits and bigger pay.

Just two of the benefits the retirees were forced to sacrifice affected their pension incomes as well as their health care in their retirement years. More importantly than that, the retired football players are also saying that because the union was decertified in March 2011 before the lockout began, there was no union to represent them and so, their rights were violated.

Lawyer Mark Hausfeld is representing the plaintiffs in the case. He was also the lawyer that represented the retired players while the labor dispute was being settled. And while he’s been talking plenty about the case, players on the defendant’s side, as well as the executive director of external affairs for the NFLPA, could not be reached for comment.

What will come of NBA Meeting Next Week?

The NBA and the union have not been on good terms with each other this summer; and even though the lockout officially began on July 1, 2011, there hasn’t yet been any real sense of urgency to the entire matter. But with the season’s regular opening date looming closer and closer, and players starting to visualize the reality of not receiving a paycheck in the coming weeks, that sense of urgency is starting to set in.

David Stern, commissioner of the NBA, says that both sides must be in collective bargaining talks before Labor Day; and stresses that if they are not, there may be little hope of having a season at all. But even if talks do begin before the long weekend in September, what chance is there that anything will come of it?

This will after all, only be the second meeting the two sides have had since the lockout began. The first was held on August 1, and although it was originally thought that another two or three meetings would be held, that failed to happen. The union has mostly been busy speaking amongst themselves, and David Stern has been on vacation for much of that time. Added to that, both sides have also filed suits with the National Relations Labor Board, and that has also contributed to holding matters up.

Most predict that even with a Labour Day weekend meeting between the NBA (tickets) and the union, real talks and bargaining won’t start happening until games actually start being cancelled and everyone across the board starts losing real money because of it. That won’t happen until late in September, so it would be even later than that until any actual deals were made and finalized.

No New Games Added to Upcoming NFL Schedule

The NFL wanted to include 18 more games in their upcoming schedule as part of the collective bargaining agreement, but many of the players, coaches, and general managers see that as a major problem. And as such, no new games will be added.

So what’s wrong with giving fans even more games to cheer on, and giving the owners more revenue from those games? It’s just not possible, especially in states where the climate gets very cold come mid-January, and players and fans are outside for hours at a time. In states such as New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Buffalo, by the time January rolls around, there’s already plenty of snow on the field and temperatures are just far too low for anyone to be out there for any length of time.

So, one of the two or three proposed weeks would need to come at the beginning of the season, which would make that one week fall in line with Labor Day weekend. The problem with that is that the NFL mandated in 2001 that no football is to start that weekend, as too many fans use that weekend as vacation time before heading back to school and work.

The other problem, says some teams, are the short careers of football players. With the average player playing only three or four years before they must exit the league due to injury, adding 18 games is a major risk. During that time, good players who are already getting injured during the regular season could become even more severely injured, shortening their time in the league to just two years, or perhaps even just one! That risk, is just one that doesn’t need to be taken.

As it stands, the NFL is currently hoping to still extend the football season to President’s Day weekend. But that’s not going to happen this year and, as some executives have made it clear, they’re hoping to stop that from ever happening.

You are currently browsing the archives for the Sports category.

About Us | Contact Us | Link to Us | Phone: 1.800.985.7882
Copyright © 2007-2011 All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use