If you enjoy football and everything about the sport then The NFL Experience is for you. As enthusiasts gear up for Super Bowl 52, I can see why this interaction is growing in popularity. [Read more…] about Touchdown! The NFL Experience is a Must For All Ages
NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK; Highly touted former West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith had one of the biggest fall’s in recent NFL draft history. There was Aaron Rodgers and Brady Quinn, both potential top 10 guys who fell to much later in the round but Smith was different. Geno was projected to be a top 10 pick like the previous 2 players, but unlike them he wasn’t selected on day one. Geno Smith was among about 12 college players who had accepted an invitation to attend the draft. Invited players are placed back stage in the green room at Radio City Music Hall where he would stay for most of the first-round. He would often be seen on the table landline phone, or even his cell phone potentially talking to suitors. I have inside information that has stated that his table # was leaked and people pranking his table was the cause of his angst. When the first-round reached the final few picks, and with those picks being held by teams that have no need for a quarterback, Smith would leave the building as it was evident he would not be selected until Day 2.
It had originally been reported that Smith was not going to attend Day 2 of the draft, but last second the star QB decided to change his mind and give it another go. He returned to Radio City Music Hall on Friday and would wait for his name to be called. He would only wait 8 selections as the New York Jets decided to select him 39th overall. Must be nice to be drafted by an NFL team right? Of course it is but his projected contract should be in the range of just under $5 million with over $3.1 million in guaranteed money. If Geno Smith had been selected in Round 1, his contract would be worth, at minimum, $6.7 million with around $5.4 million in guaranteed money. Huge pay difference, but who is to blame? For starters Smith thinks it’s his agent and he has fired him barely a weekend since the draft concluded.
The financial difference, as well as having to return to a green room for a second day, appear to be the reason why Smith is changing agents.
With Geno being introduced to the nation as the newest Jets QB in Florham Park,NJ on Saturday that left a bit of log jam at that position for the team. On the roster currently they had 6 Quarterbacks, but that has changed as the Jets decided to cut former Heisman trophy winner and 1st round pick Tim Tebow, and all the baggage that came along with him. With Mark Sanchez’s huge contract the move was to release Tebow, as Mark seems to be stuck for atleast one more season. But another question has been asked. Why did the Jets even want this guy?
All of which would make sense if Tebow came pulling an arrest record or showed up late for meetings or cost the Jets the playoffs with a bad interception. Instead, the disdain with which the Jets threw him out the door after barely using him in a waste of a season – he appeared in just 77 offensive plays – raises a bigger question that speaks to the chaos of a franchise that never gets it:
Why did the Jets want Tim Tebow in the first place?
This organization who has been known for its dysfunction were the ones who initiated and pursued Tebow last spring, pushing extremely hard to get him, and their was nothing the fans could do. They would watch the courtship occur and wonder why their team would want and under skilled QB who brings a lot so much more than just football, but a media circus. If it’s not questions about his religion, its about him being a virgin, or his family or other beliefs. If you think about it Tebow is a handsome, religious football player without a rap sheet. He seems to be the perfect role model!
They would find themselves in an unusual bidding war with his hometown Jacksonville Jaguars, eventually trading a fourth-round pick to get him 13 months ago. They would convince Tim and his family (which means everything to him) that they were the best fit for him and his career. They even leaked that they had a plan and a formation that would be dedicated to him. He would sometimes play QB, with a little receiver, maybe some running back and occasionally block. That doesn’t seem like much of a plan, but rather a lot of, yup dysfunction. They wanted Tim to be similar to what they had with former Mizzou QB Brad Smith and something they missed after he departed to division rival Buffalo before the 2011 season.
Instead of putting Tim in a position he can succeed or even keep their promise, they told him a fib and a lie to the disdain of Jets who threw him out the door after barely using him “in a waste of a season – he appeared in just 77 offensive plays – raises a bigger question that speaks to the chaos of a franchise that never gets it”. (yahoo sports)
Rex Ryan and the Jets failed Tim Tebow, he was told and preached one thing and was lied to. Now with the draft over and OTAs, and conditioning camps starting rosters are filled. It will be hard for ole’ Tim to find an NFL job now but, Don’t count him out.
Yesterday news broke with NBA player, Jason Collins, coming out as the first openly gay and active men’s professional athlete. Sports Illustrated’s website has an article/open letter from Collins detailing his reasons for coming out. While being gay isn’t as controversial as it once was in the past, it still takes an amazing amount of courage for anyone to come out of the closet, especially for someone in the public eye.
Collin’s started his NBA career in 2001 with the New Jersey Nets after attending Standford. After spending 7 years with the Nets he went on to play for the Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, and finally the Wizards. This summer he’s slated to become a free agent with intent to pursue another contract.
Though Collins has received mostly positive and supportive reactions from athletes and non-athletes, there’s definitely been some shade thrown his way. According to the NYTimes, Mike Wallace, wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins sent out a Tweet saying: “All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys.” The tweet was later deleted and Wallace apologized for the comment. Also, on ESPN, NBA analyst Chris Broussard called Jason Collins a sinner. Who the hell isn’t a sinner though? Here’s video of Broussard’s comment.
Collins wrote in his Sport Illustrated piece, “I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation.” Although he admits he would rather someone have come out before he did, he decided to do so since no other athlete has.
It’s great that Collins chose to come out and be the first to go through the motions so that other athletes and other people in general can see that coming out isn’t the death of a career, image, etc. The unfortunate part about Collins coming out is that it might not create as much change as an All Star, championship winning athlete coming out. Nonetheless, congrats and best of luck to him.
We already know all about the Madden Curse. Nearly every player who has ever appeared on the cover of a Madden NFL video game has gone on to either have a bad season or bad injury befall them that year. The only two exceptions are Vince Young, who was the cover athlete of Madden 08, and Larry Fitzgerald, who was one of the two players featured on Madden 10 alongside Troy Polamalu (who missed most of that season with multiple knee injuries). Young’s career hit a downward spiral following a solid 2007 season, and though Fitzgerald has turned in good numbers since the 2009 season, he has not matched the 97 receptions he had that year. Since I’m more of a hockey buff, I wanted to examine whether the same applies to developer EA’s NHL series of games. Let’s take a look at the cover athletes:
- NHL Hockey (1991) – Kelly Hrudey: Hrudey, who was the starting goaltender for the Los Angeles Kings, posted a 27-17-13 record in 60 appearances in the 1991-92 season. He had a 3.37 GAA (goals against average) and a .897 save %, which for those times wasn’t too bad. Nowadays, both those figures would be considered awful. The Kings finished second in the Smythe Division but were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton.
- NHLPA Hockey ’93 – Rod Brind’Amour, Mike Richter, and Randy Moller: None of these players enjoyed their usual team success, as the Flyers and Rangers both missed the playoffs. However, Brind’Amour notched a career high 37 goals in 1992-93.
- NHL 94 – Andy Moog: Even though Moog is depicted on the cover in his Boston threads (he played for the Bruins the prior year), he had been traded to Dallas. Moog backstopped a high-octane Stars squad and helped them reach the second round of the playoffs before losing to Vancouver in five games. Moog wasn’t a starter for much longer in the NHL, but he remained a reliable backup for a few more years.
- NHL 95 – Alexei Kovalev and Kirk McLean: Kovalev’s numbers slipped in the lockout-shortened 1994-95 season, scoring only 28 points in the 48 game campaign. The defending champion Rangers barely got into the playoffs as the #8 seed, but upset top-seeded Quebec in the first round. MacLean’s Canucks similarly struggled, but also made the playoffs and pulled a first round upset over St. Louis. McLean himself posted a career best .904 save %.
- NHL 96 – Scott Stevens and Steve Yzerman: Yzerman’s Red Wings would post a record of 62-13-7, good for 131 points, which is the second-highest total of all-time. The Red Wings did not bring the Stanley Cup to Detroit, however, as they lost in the Western Conference Finals to the Colorado Avalanche in six games. Stevens and the Devils didn’t even get the chance to defend their title from the previous year, as they failed to reach the playoffs.
- NHL 97 – John Vanbiesbrouck: Vanbiesbrouck led the upstart Florida Panters to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1995-96, but his success didn’t end there. He was named the starting goaltender for the Eastern Conference All-Stars in 1997 and the Panthers again finished with a solid record (35-28-19). The Panthers did not match their playoff success, however, as they lost to the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.
- NHL 98 – Peter Forsberg: Forsberg scored 91 points for the Avalanche, who again won the Pacific Division. However, they were upset in the first round of the playoffs by Edmonton, a team that finished the regular season with a losing record (35-37-10)
- NHL 99 – Eric Lindros: Lindros appeared in 71 games for the Flyers, scoring 93 points, but suffered a scary injury near the end of the regular season. Lindros sustained a rib injury during a game at Nashville, but was later found by teammate Keith Jones in a bathtub at the team hotel. Lindros had a collapsed lung and needed to be rushed to the hospital. He missed the remainder of the season, and the Flyers were eliminated by Toronto in the first round of the playoffs.
- NHL 2000 – Chris Pronger: Pronger set career highs in points (62) and plus/minus (+52). The Blues won their only Presidents’ Trophy to date with a 51-19-11-1 record, but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by the Sharks.
- NHL 2001 – Owen Nolan: Nolan’s season was shortened to just 57 games due to injuries as he tallied 49 points. The Sharks made the playoffs, but St. Louis got revenge for the previous year’s upset and took them out in six games.
- NHL 2002 – Mario Lemieux: Lemieux was given the cover about ten years too late, but at least he graced it once in his career. His season consisted of only 24 games due to injuries and preferring to play in the Olympics, but it did have one shining moment; radio personality Mark Madden said he would donate $6,600 to Lemieux’s foundation if the hockey great scored off of a faceoff, and Lemieux delivered that same night. Pittsburgh finished last in the Atlantic Division.
- NHL 2003 – Jarome Iginla: Iginla missed seven games due to injuries but still led the Flames with 35 goals. However, Calgary slumped and finished with only 75 points, last in the strong Northwest Division. Iginla assumed the captaincy for Calgary and has continued to put up solid numbers.
- NHL 2004 – Dany Heatley and Joe Sakic: A little-known fact about this game in the series is that the cover athlete was originally supposed to be Joe Thornton. This was retracted when Thornton was accused of assaulting two police officers. Heatley graced the cover from the game’s release until his tragic car accident that killed teammate Dan Snyder. EA then tabbed Joe Sakic, who amassed 87 points for Colorado. The Avs were bounced in the second round by San Jose.
- NHL 2005 – Markus Naslund: This was the season lost to the lockout. Naslund played 13 games for Modo in Sweden, scoring 17 points. Modo lost in the first round of the Elitserien playoffs to Farjestads. Naslund had one more stellar season, in 2005-06, scoring 79 points. His scoring output declined for the rest of his career.
- NHL 06 – Vincent Lecavalier: Captaining the defending champion Lightning coming out of the lockout, Lecavalier put up 75 points in 80 games. Tampa Bay made the playoffs as the 8th seed and lost to the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs.
- NHL 07 – Alexander Ovechkin: Ovechkin finished the year with 92 points, but the Capitals finished in last place in the Southeast Division. However, the following offseason was a huge turning point for Washington, as they had a number of breakout stars alongside Ovechkin and made some great offseason moves to build themselves into a sustained power in the Eastern Conference.
- NHL 08 – Eric Staal: Staal appeared in all 82 games for the Hurricanes and posted 82 points and continued to provide strong leadership. However, Carolina lost three of their final four games and missed the playoffs, finishing two points behind the 8th seeded Boston Bruins.
- NHL 09 – Dion Phaneuf: One of the few players on this list to play poorly after being the cover athlete, Phaneuf had a career low 11 goals and 47 points. Since then, he has only topped 11 goals once (12, last season) and has never reached 47 points (he had 44 last year), but that can be attributed to playing on an offensively-challenged Toronto team since the middle of the 2009-10 season.
- NHL 10 – Patrick Kane: EA decided not to take Kane off the cover after he was arrested in Buffalo on charges of robbery, theft of services, and criminal mischief. Kane allegedly punched a cab driver after the driver informed Kane that he did not have proper change for Kane’s fare. This poor guy got decked over 20 cents. I wish I were making that up. Anyway, Kane scored 88 points (oddly enough, that’s his jersey number) as well as the game winning goal in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals, making him the only player on this list whose team went on to win the Cup.
- NHL 11 – Jonathan Toews: Not to be outdone by his Chicago teammate who was on the cover the previous year, Toews scored a career high 76 points. However, the Western Conference proved to be rugged, as Chicago needed every one of its 97 points to take the 8th seed into the playoffs, where they lost to Vancouver in seven games.
- NHL 12 – Steven Stamkos: Fresh off his team’s appearance in the Eastern Conference Finals the year before, Stamkos became the 20th player in NHL history to score 60 goals. Unfortunately, the Lightning struggled mightily as they couldn’t stop anyone, allowing a league-high 281 goals. They finished 10th in the East and out of the playoffs.
- NHL 13 – Claude Giroux: The first player to be elected via fan vote as the cover athlete, Giroux scored 48 points in this shortened season. As usual, Philadelphia struggled to stop opposing teams and even the offense went flat at times. The Flyers missed the playoffs this year.
So, is there a curse to EA’s NHL series? I have to say no, as there hasn’t been a consistency when it comes to player failures in the seasons they’re featured on the cover. There also isn’t a spike in production for these players, either. It seems as though any sort of voodoo or hexes that are associated with sports games are limited to the Madden franchise. It’s a good thing that the next Madden game will feature Barry Sanders on the cover, because he’s been retired for 15 years now. Or, maybe Sanders should look over his shoulder this year. You never know…
SAN DIEGO — For Tiger Woods this is the first time in many year’s that this one could be a major.
Wood’s began the abbreviated fourth round Monday with a 6 stroke lead. Woods did what he had to do over the 11 holes to win the Farmers Insurance Open for the 7th time at Torrey Pines and his 11th time in San Diego County. Woods feasts on California. Woods would struggle down the stretch today but had a large enough lead and would manage to finish -14, but +3 for the day. This was Woods’ 75th career victory.
“It got a little ugly toward the end,” Woods said on CBS after the round. “I got a little impatient with the slow play.”
In the six previous seasons that Woods won the Farmers, he never won less than four tournaments in that specific year. The only year he won four events was in 2008 where he suited up for just six times as he had season-ending surgery to his left knee following his win in the U.S. Open — at Torrey Pines.
This is a big victory for Woods and an equally bad one for his colleagues. It has been a while since Tiger has been on his game as his competitors have cleaned up. If Woods can manage to put it together this year, the PGA tour will never be the same.
The Event was open for free to the public on Monday, when asked if he noticed a change in the crowd Woods stated “ Oh yeah, we definitely sensed a difference, seemed as if many more libations were consumed today”
There are two professional sports traditions in the New York Metro area every Martin Luther King day. Every MLK day both the New York Islanders and the New York Knicks host matinees as most people are off from work while all are off from school to honor the American Icon. This year it was no different as the Islanders hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Knickerbockers entertained the Brooklyn Nets.
First to the ice.
UNIONDALE, N.Y. David Ullstrom scored early in the third period which would give Islanders a dominant four goal lead, but I will divert to the ole’ adage “it aint over till the fat lady sings”. Tampa Bay would score the next 3 and would
cool off the young crowd at the coliseum. Luckily for their fans the Isles would escape with a narrow victory as mental mistakes and errors, which would lead to crucial penalties, would mar the final few minutes.
Jack Capuano the coach of the Islanders would take part in his first game of the season as he missed Saturday’s opening night as he was hospitalized due to surgery to remove a kidney stone. Michael Grabner, Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo would also light the lamp in addition to Ullstrom. For the Lightning Martin St.Louis, Benoit Pouliot and 2012 NHL scoring leader Steven Stamkos would tally in the loss. Both Teams are 1-1 with 2 points. The Islanders next contest will be Thursday as they head north of the border for a conference matchup vs Toronto.
The afternoon finale on the Hardwood.
The suddenly mediocre New York Knicks hosted the upstart Brooklyn Nets. The Knicks have play once in a week as they traveled across the Atlantic for a game verse Detroit this past Thursday. The Knicks would come into MLK day dropping their previous two MLK contests. Would traveling and jet lag fatigue be a factor?
NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Former All star Joe Johnson made a go-ahead shot with 22 seconds left as his 25 points would lead the Black & White from Brooklyn to a 88-85 over there rivals from Manhattan. In the first year of the Brooklyn Nets they would split the 4 game regular season series. The Knicks who came into the day with a two game division lead had it cut 1 as suddenly they are reeling on their home floor.
Three Nets players would register double doubles including Kris Humphries who was a spark plug off the bench. Carmelo Anthony for the Knicks would drain 29 points but would come up short in the fourth quarter shooting 0-6 from the field. Melo looked tired and drained as his baseline attempt in the final minute looked deflated. Melo would gain separation from the defender and come up with a great look from 12 feet, but looked lethargic in the actual execution. The Knicks are 4-6 in their last ten while Brooklyn is 9-1. It doesn’t get much easier for NYK as they will head to Boston Thursday for a 8pm contest vs the Celtics. Brooklyn is 12-2 since PJ Carlesimo took over as head coach December 27th.
Amare Stoudemire (Damaged Knee Tissue Debridement Surgery) would play 27 minutes which is the most he has since complaining of knee soreness on January 7th. This was Amare’s 8th contest of the season; in those he has averaged 10.4 PPG while averaging 20.8 minutes.
Iman Shumpert (Torn ACL & Meniscus) scored 2 points and played 20 minutes, which is his limit per game to start. As his season progresses he is expected to extend those minutes based on a timetable and overall comfort. Shumpert’s defense which is his staple is almost on point, which shooting and timing will get better with more playing time.
Sunday (Jan 20)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – With this lockout shortened 48 game season has commenced every day is double as important. The Pittsburgh Penguins have four points and lead the Atlantic Division. On the Flipside the Vegas favorite New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers have zero. With the season being so short, it is never to early to look a head to the post season. When Pascal Dupuis tallied the Penguins fourth goal of the game just 29 minutes into the contest it would chase the reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lunqvist in favor of back up Martin Biron. All en route to a 6-3 Penguins victory. “Personally, it was a tough night,” Lundqvist said. “I don’t really have a good explanation. I just have to keep working hard and try to get better. “I understand the decision. It’s a game where right from the get-go, it felt like the puck was really bouncing my way.”
“I don’t think we’re pushing panic buttons,” said new Rangers addition Rick Nash. “It’s not the start we wanted. We’ve got to get back to work. There are a lot of mistakes out there we have to correct. It’s a short season, so we’ve got to correct them fast.”