Michael's Sports Blog

Rex Ryan Guarantees Super Bowl Win Again- Third Times a Charm?

For the third consecutive year, Rex Ryan has guaranteed that the New York Jets will win the Super Bowl.  I cannot believe that he has done it again; he has got to be the most arrogant coach in the NFL.  Although I like that he has a lot of faith in his team, he does not need to come out to the media every year and say that his team is going to win the Super Bowl.  Not only does he have no idea which of his key marquee free agents are going to be resigned, he hasn’t even drafted players in the upcoming NFL Draft either.  I don’t understand how he could actually think that the Jets are going to win the Super Bowl based on how the past two seasons went.  You could call Rex Ryan something like that of “the boy who cried wolf.”  He keeps calling that this will be the year for the Jets, but so far “the year” just hasn’t happened yet.

The last two years the team managed to make it to the NFL Conference Championship Game, yet did not make it to the Super Bowl game.  This past season the Jets were supposed to have one of the most talented teams in the league.  Now they have some key free agents that they may lose to other teams: Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, Shaun Ellis, Tony Richardson, and many others.  By losing some of these free agents, I don’t see how the team could possibly be better than it was when it wasn’t even able to make it to the big game.

A Jets fan responded to the news with this comment: “DOH! Rex Ryan has jinxed the Jets again. Does the Jets coach ever learn? As a Jets fan I want a Super Bowl, too, but I at least don’t go boasting that it’s a guarantee which it isn’t because it’s the JETS! Shut up Rex!”  He must have taken the last two years “guarantees” as jinxes because the team underperformed according to how Rex Ryan envisioned the season.

Along with the fact that free agents haven’t been signed, there is also a chance that there may not be an upcoming NFL season unless a labor agreement is figured out.  It will be hard to win the Super Bowl in 2011 without a league to play in.

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February 25, 2011 Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , , | 5 Comments

New Dominance in the NBA East over the West After Trades?

There have been two big trades so far in the NBA before the trade deadline, one sending Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks and the other sending Deron Williams to the New Jersey Nets.  The Western Conference gave away two premiere players to the Eastern Conference.  I think that these trades will definitely make the East more competitive against the West.  Although the Nets are out of playoff contention for this year, they are trying to form a team that may be a contender down the road.  The Knicks have put together a team that is capable of going far in this year’s playoffs.

In the past decade it has always been that the West has dominated the East, with the West winning nine of the past twelve NBA championships.  There are even teams in the Eastern Conference that make the playoffs with a losing record.  In the West, this has rarely or never happened.  Now we’ll have to see how this most recent trade will affect the “power of the league’s conferences.”

The past summer LeBron James and Chris Bosh took their talents to Miami to try and win a championship.  Now others are heading to the Eastern Conference to try and win an NBA championship.  This is what LeBron James said about the Eastern Conference in response to the recent trades: “Everybody’s bringing their talents to the East.  It’s going to be fun.  We came here to team up and we knew we were starting a trend.  Teams are going to have to load up because the competition level is rising.”

Here are the top ten players in the East, according to BleacherReport: 1-LeBron James, 2-Dwight Howard, 3-Dwayne Wade, 4-Derrick Rose, 5-Deron Williams, 6-Carmelo Anthony, 7-Rajon Rondo, 8-Amare Stoudemire, 9-Paul Pierce, 10-Joe Johnson.  As you can see from this list, two of the top ten players were recently acquired in trades.  The Heat, Knicks, and Celtics all have two players on the list, showing that this conference has some great teams that will be able to compete against the West.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NBA Slam Dunk Contest 2011

The NBA Slam Dunk Contest took place today at the Staples Center.  I really like the fact that the NBA has a Slam Dunk Contest.  Unlike many other All-Star sporting events, players are allowed to show off their talents by themselves, instead of in a team game.  In my opinion, dunking is the best part of basketball because it can really make a crowd jump to their feet with excitement.

The contestants this year were: Blake Griffin (L.A. Clippers), JaVale McGee (Washington Wizards), DeMar Derozan (Toronto Raptors), and Serge Ibaka (Oklahoma City Thunder).  The NBA definitely picked a group of athletes that would be very exciting to watch.  I was very happy that Nate Robinson did not participate in the Slam Dunk Contest this year.  He has won the last two years, however, he doesn’t have the spectacular dunking ability that I envision when I want to watch the dunk contest.  Robinson is only 5’9, and the other contestants are well above six feet, making it much easier for them to have more forceful dunks.

In the first round and finals, each player is allowed to perform two dunks.  All players were creative with their dunks, but after the first round, Griffin and McGee advanced to the finals over Derozan and Ibaka.  Griffin was definitely the fan favorite of the dunk contest because he is from the Los Angeles Clippers.  I was upset that former Trojan DeMar Derozan did not make it to the finals because I thought that he had two amazing dunks (although I may be a little biased since he was a former Trojan).  McGee’s dunk with two balls was what put him through to the next round.  Ibaka’s dunk from the free throw line was amazing, and I was disappointed that his score was so low.

In the finals, Griffin definitely had better dunks than McGee, and so he won the Slam Dunk Contest with 68% of the votes.  Although I was happy that Griffin won, I thought his dunk over the hood of a car was not as spectacular as many people thought it was.  I think the use of props during the dunk contest should not be allowed to add additions to the score.  That’s how Nate Robinson was able to win the dunk contest the past few years.

February 19, 2011 Posted by | NBA, Sports | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rose Bowl is being renovated, so where is the Coliseum renovation then?

Rose Bowl

In my sports journalism class, it was brought to my attention that there is renovation going on now at the Rose Bowl stadium.  The press release from the Rose Bowl outlines what renovation will be done with $152 million over the next three years.  I have been to the Rose Bowl three times now, and am glad that it is undergoing changes.  The parking, seating, restroom facilities, and concessions are well below what I would expect from a big name stadium like the Rose Bowl.  I can only imagine what over $100 million can do to help fix these problems.

With the news of this renovation at the Rose Bowl, I am looking forward to seeing if the Coliseum will now get millions of dollars to do some renovations of its own.  Both the Rose Bowl and the Coliseum’s stadiums are highly outdated; the Coliseum was built in 1921, while the Rose Bowl was built in 1923.  Throughout the years, these stadiums have had work done on them to improve them, however, they still aren’t of the best quality.

The seats of the Coliseum are very old and are not comfortable, so those need to be updated.  There also needs to be better access to your seats; the tunnels to get to your seats are very small and crowded.  The Coliseum should also have luxury seats for businesses and rich alumni to use.  I hope that the city of Los Angeles, and maybe a few donors from USC, will come together and put up over $100 million to help with renovating the Coliseum.  These numerous problems could easily be fixed with renovation.

The Coliseum

February 17, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , | 2 Comments

More Isn’t Always Better (Long Form Blog Post #2)

The NFL is a $9 billion business, yet there is a lockout occurring right now which may cause the 2011-2012 season to be cancelled.  A lockout would be detrimental for both the players and owners.  Owners would not be able to make a profit off their team, and players would not be able to play the sport they love and continue their professional careers.  Greedy owners may cause there to be a lose-lose situation for everyone.

The lockout is “a management action resisting employee’s demands, [whereby] employees are barred from entering the workplace until they agree to terms.”  The two issues causing the lockout between the owners and the players are the fact that owners want to: 1) decrease player’s share of revenue, 2) have an eighteen game regular season instead of a sixteen game regular season.  Owners suggested the idea to the players for an 18-game season to offer a solution to the problems between the two sides.  This change would add two regular season games, and, in turn, get rid of two preseason games.  The NFL season would then have eighteen regular season games and two preseason games.  By increasing the amount of regular season games, owners would receive more revenue, and therefore, players would not have to take a salary reduction.

The NFL thought that fans would be happy with two more regular season games, however, this hypothesis was proven wrong in a recent survey.  An Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll showed that “only 27 percent of the respondents strongly or somewhat favored an increase from 16 to 18 regular-season games… Only 18 percent of those identified specifically as NFL fans strongly favor an expanded regular season.”  This shows that there is a major flaw in the NFL’s argument for an 18-game season.

Increasing team revenue is the major factor in pursuing an 18-game season, not just from tickets, but also from concession items, parking, luxury seating, etc.  Teams would be able to sell out these two regular season games, unlike the two preseason games, which are rarely half full.  Television contract revenue would also increase because networks would be willing to pay more to cover these additional games.  Players and owners would benefit because each would get a cut of the revenue.  Owners would benefit immensely from the revenue increase because they could use the additional money to build new stadiums, thereby raising their team’s franchise value.

When I first heard about the possibility of NFL regular season expansion, I thought adding two games to the season was a great idea.  I am not a fan of preseason games and have never watched them before because they aren’t very interesting to me.  Many big-name players don’t participate in these games and you are then forced to watch second and third string players who will rarely play in the regular season. Who wants to watch that?  I began to realize, on the other hand, that although I’m not a fan of the preseason, having two more hard-fought games statistically increases player injuries.

Esquire Magazine recently featured an article regarding injuries to NFL players, “Not only are pro-football injuries and concussions at a nine-year high, but brain-related injuries are the most common specified type of injury in NFL games.  And, in what could amount to a powerful bargaining chip in the league’s looming labor showdown, internal data now reveals that head trauma and major injuries overall increase steadily as the season wears on.”  The statistics show that the more games players play, the greater the risk is for injury.  Brain injuries, otherwise known as head traumas, can have long term effects that affect the future quality of a player’s life.

A player said this about the addition of two regular season games: “the [league] want[s] to tack on two more games … which is just going to multiply the injuries and the ailments that we’re going to see after we go into our 40s, 50s, 60s — 70s, if we’re lucky.”  As the research shows in the Esquire article, adding two regular season games to the schedule can be very harmful to the athletes.  I think that it is too risky to the players to lengthen the season.  The average career of an NFL player is 3.5 years.  Adding seven more games over the span of that career increases the risk of injury, possibly shortening a player’s length of time in the NFL.

A USA Today article by Nate Davis suggested an alternative to the eighteen game season: “only allow players to play in sixteen of the eighteen games.”  Players would essentially have two bye weeks during the season, limiting the amount of games played to the sixteen games they currently play.  Davis’s  solution also creates two more exciting games to watch, as opposed to two relatively boring preseason games.  “This compromise would be popular with coaches and general managers who want a greater opportunity to develop younger players.  The NFL doesn’t have a minor league, and this compromise will force meaningful participation by younger players on the roster.”  Starting players would be satisfied because they would not have to play more games and risk injury.  Rookies would get more playing time against good competition, so coaches would be able to evaluate their talent and see them under real conditions.  Teams would also have the opportunity to bring back players who got injured earlier in the season because they would have a longer time to heal.

The option USA Today proposes seems like it could be a reasonable compromise, but it still appears that most players are against the addition of two regular season games.  Owners, on the other hand, continue to be in favor of adding two games because their concern revolves around money and not the players.  Do the owners really need more money at the risk of injuring their valuable players?  I don’t believe the owners need to be so selfish.  The players have provided the NFL with a multi-billion dollar business and have given fans hours of entertainment.  I hope this issue gets resolved in a timely manner because I’m sure many fans, including myself, could not imagine a football season without football.

February 11, 2011 Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Super Bowl 2011 Commercials

With the cost of commercials around $3 million for thirty second spots, the companies that shelled out this amount of money had to make sure that their commercials would have a lasting impression on the audience.  Many different companies had advertisements, but the ones I can remember vividly are Pepsi, Doritos, KIA, Verizon, Bud Light, and E*TRADE.  The reason I remember the Pepsi, Doritos, and the Bud Light commercials are because they made me almost fall on the floor laughing.  The other three I remember because I have an E*TRADE account, I did a project for a class on KIA, and I own a Verizon phone.  Although these three didn’t cause me to break out in laughter, since I was familiar with the subject, I was able to remember what the commercial was about.  Of those commercials, I would say my favorite two were those made by Pepsi.  Comment which ones you thought were the best.

First Date Pepsi Max Commercial

This commercial delves into a blind date between two people.  All the conversation takes place in the actor’s thoughts.  The woman thinks about the guy: how much money he makes, if he wants kids, if he’s the one.  The man has one thing on his mind- he wants to sleep with the woman.  Then a Pepsi Max is placed on the table, and they both want the Pepsi Max.

I found this commercial to be very entertaining.  You never know what a person is thinking when you are on a date, but this advertisement went into what they thought people may think about when on a date.

Love Hurts Pepsi Max Commercial

This commercial involves a husband and wife.  The wife always finds the husband trying to eat unhealthy food, and makes sure that he cannot eat the food.  At the end, they both drink a Pepsi Max, which is fine because it has zero calories.  Another women comes up to the husband near the end, and the wife gets jealous.

I really liked the ending of this commercial.  The man is caught staring at another women and his wife throws a can at him, but misses and hits the new girl.  I could only imagine how funny this would be if I saw this in real life.

Thoughts on All Commercials during the Super Bowl

I was actually disappointed with this years Super Bowl commercials.  I was expecting a lot more advertisements that made me laugh hysterically.  However, there were many car commercials, movie commercials, and other commercials that just didn’t capture my attention.  I know that some people just watch the game because of the commercials, but I feel like those who did, have to have been upset with what shown during the game.

February 6, 2011 Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , , | 3 Comments

USC Recruiting Class on National Signing Day

FIGHT ON!!!

Even with the NCAA sanctions, USC managed to land the fourth best recruiting class in the nation.  The team was able to get one five star recruit, fourteen four star recruits, and many other recruits.  Take that NCAA!  Who would have thought that a team who did mediocre this past year and has limited scholarships would be able to have such an exceptional signing day?  People were in doubt that USC had the ability to gather a talented group of athletes, however we did it.  I have to give credit to the coaching staff for being able to pull this off.  I was told that Ed Orgeron was a master recruiter and he definitely proved that with this recruiting class.

Although De’Anthony Thomas (#5 overall rated player on Rivals.com) randomly decided to sign with Oregon, the group of athletes we have coming to school next year is top notch.  Fellow student Dozie Uche says this about the Trojans recruiting class: “It is beastly; we got the most quantity with solid quality.”  On Facebook and other social media sites throughout the day I saw other students reiterating that they were excited about the new recruiting class.  As a student here I don’t understand why recruits would sign anywhere else.  USC is rising in the educational ranks, the weather is amazing year round, and the football team has a storied tradition.  I may be a little biased since I go here, but these seem like good enough reasons to entice me to come to this school.

Kiffin commented on his thoughts about signing all these recruits even with all the trouble the football program is facing: “I don’t care how good a recruiter you are, if you weren’t at a place like SC … with all that going on, and all the ammo that everybody had going against you, for these kids to still choose USC because of the education, and because of playing football here, I just think it speaks volumes for USC.”  He seemed like he was surprised that he was able to land this good of a recruiting class.  However, like I said above, the education and football tradition is what helped people decide that USC was the place where they wanted to play football.

With this recruiting class, hopefully our team can get back on track and become a powerhouse again like it was a few years ago.  I still remember vividly going to my first game as a freshman against Ohio State with 90,000 other screaming fans.  Going to that game and being part of that crowd is a memory I will always have of my time here at USC.  I think every student should be able to feel what I felt during that game.  By gathering a solid group of recruits each year I believe that the football team will be able to make it back to the ranks it was when I first came to USC.

February 3, 2011 Posted by | NCAA Football, Sports | , , , | Leave a comment

NFL Pro Bowl 2011

On Sunday, the NFC defeated the AFC 55-41, yielding a total of ninety-six points in the game.  The final score was one of the highest in Pro Bowl history.  The AFC had a total of six turnovers in the game, five interceptions and one fumble.  At one point the NFC was winning 42-0, which for an All-Star game you would not expect.  The game began to get closer near the end, but I assume that was probably because the players didn’t want the fans to become bored with a blowout.  It was hard for the AFC to try and come back after all the turnovers, so the NFC won the game.

One of the things that I don’t find fascinating about the Pro Bowl is that players don’t even attempt to make hard tackles like they do in the regular season.  The players don’t want to hurt each other and I get that, but as a football fan, this causes the game to be less interesting to watch.  A running back will take a handoff and get hit by a few players before he is slowly dragged down.  Receivers catch passes across the middle and instead of getting lit up by a safety, the defender sits there and waits to tackle the player to the ground.  Although these are the best players in the game, no one is really playing to their full potential.  I’m not saying that I think players should go out there and try and injure each other, but I think that they should at least put in more effort to make a more exciting game to watch.

February 1, 2011 Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , , | 1 Comment