Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Is Randy Moss Better Than Jerry Rice?

     This Sunday is the Super Bowl and this year's big game is filled with headlines and stories. You have the "Harbowl" as San Francisco head coach takes on his brother and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. You have Ray Lewis's last NFL game EVER; after the Super Bowl, the three-time AFC Defensive Player of the Year will be hanging up his cleats. You have the Kaepernicking trend running rampant right now. You even have some drama swirling around 49ers backup QB Alex Smith and him demanding to be released or traded in the offseason.
     Then you have the storyline concerning 49ers wide receiver Randy Moss and his pursuit for a Super Bowl ring. 14 seasons in the NFL and he still has no Super Bowl ring to show for it. Still, Moss has amassed a Hall of Fame-type career: Seven-time Pro Bowler, Five-time All-pro, 2003 NFC Player of the Year, 2007 Comeback Player of the Year, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and many more accomplishments. He also holds many NFL records: The NFL touchdown reception record for a rookie (17 in 1998) and the NFL single season touchdown record (23 in 2007), to name a few. But is it possible to say that Randy Moss is better than former 49ers wide receiving great and Hall of Famer Jerry Rice?
     The reason why I bring this up is because on Tuesday at Super Bowl Media Day in New Orleans, Moss proclaimed himself to be "the greatest receiver ever".
     "Now that I'm older, I do think I'm the greatest receiver to ever do it." Moss said.
     This statement surprised Rice, who was chosen by NFL Films as the greatest player in NFL history.
     "I impacted the game by winning Super Bowls." Rice replied. "Randy is still trying to win his first one. I wish him the best of luck, but I was very surprised that he said that he's the best receiver to play the game."
     Jerry Rice is the NFL's all-time leader in many categories concerning wide receivers including receptions (1,549), touchdown receptions (208), and receiving yards (22,895). He also has three Super Bowl rings compared to Moss having none and played more games than any non-placekicker or punter in NFL history (303).  Randy Moss may have been selected to the Pro Bowl seven times, but Mr. Rice has gone to the Pro Bowl 13 times in his career while being selected as an all-pro 12 times. In fact, Rice was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIII. Did I mention that Jerry is a two-time (two-time!!) NFL Offensive Player of the Year, a three-time NFC Offensive Player of the Year, and is on BOTH the NFL 1980s and 1990s all-decade teams?
     Randy Moss may be one of the best deep threats to play the game while being one of the most dynamic receivers ever, but the fact that Moss has no Super Bowl ring brings him down in my book (Although that could change on Sunday). Therefore, I personally believe that Randy Moss is in fact not the greatest receiver ever. However, there is a certain receiver for the Detroit Lions that is on his way to claiming that honor...

Work Cited:
ESPN., com. Randy Moss: I'm greatest WR ever. Los Angeles: ESPN, 2013. Web. 


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Remember This: Rain Man Literally Making It Rain

      So the big story that has been showing up on Sportscenter lately has been about the 8th Grade basketball player with Down Syndrome and how he drained two 3-pointers in a basketball game. While that is a special accomplishment for the person with Down Syndrome, let's not forget about Jason McElwain (I'm not trying to show favoritism here). Jason McElwain was a former manager for Greece Athena's high school basketball team in 2006 who also had high-functioning autism. Then in a blowout of a basketball game, he did this:
      Twenty points in under four minutes!! Six 3-pointers in under four minutes!! Did I mention that McElwain's qualified for the Boston marathon?
      Anyways, both accomplishments are awe-inspiring and worth recognition. Congratulations to both of these special athletes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Special 100th Post!!

     Ladies and gentlemen, this is a very special blog post for me. This is my 100th blog post and I had many ideas for what I wanted to do for number 100. However, some of these ideas would either involve excruciatingly long lists or would carry on into the next post or two. Therefore, I've decided that it would be best to compile some noteworthy accomplishments in sports history involving the number 100:

  • Hall of Fame center Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2, 1962, setting the NBA single-game scoring record that is still untouched to this day. The Warriors played against the New York Knicks, defeating the Knicks by a score of 169-147. Wilt shot 36-for-63 from the field and 28-for-32 from the free throw line.
  • Jerry Rice holds the record for the most 100-yard receiving games in the NFL with 76. Emmitt Smith holds the record for the most 100-yard rushing games in the NFL with 78. 
  • Former Minnesota Twin Paul Molitor is the last MLB player to drive in 100 RBIs and hit fewer than ten home runs. He hit nine home runs and had 113 RBIs in 1996.
  • There are five NHL franchises that have never had a 100-point player in a season. Those teams are the Florida Panthers, New Jersey Devils, Columbus Blue Jackets, Minnesota Wild, and Nashville Predators. 
  • Speaking of the number five, there have been only five defensemen in the NHL to score 100 points in a season. They are Bobby Orr, Brian Leetch, Al MacInnis, Denis Potvin, and Paul Coffey. 
  • Rory McIlory was last year's PGA Tour Player of the year, finishing with 100 points. He went on to capture both the season money earnings and adjusted scoring average titles.
  • Former Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya was known as "Zoom-Zoom" for his ability to constantly hit 100 MPH or more on the gun with his fastball. Tigers ace Justin Verlander is also known for throwing 100 MPH late in a ballgame.
Work Cited:
NBA, Encyclopedia. Wilt Scores 100!. New York: Turner Sports, 2012. Web. 
PGA of, America. PGA Champion Rory McIlroy wins PGA Player of the Year and Vardon Trophy
     Palm Beach Gardens: Turner Sports , 2013. Web. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Postseason Pick 'Em: Championship Edition

     We're on the doorstep of the Super Bowl and the entire sports world is buzzing. With stories such as Lance Armstrong having the ball to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, Manti Te'o's non-existent girlfriend, and Kaepernicking, there's plenty to be talking about at the water cooler. Anyways, here's the breakdown of the two championship games:

San Francisco at Atlanta: Matt Ryan got a huge monkey off of his back last week when the Falcons defeated Seattle 30-28. They won on a 49-yard field goal from Matt Bryant with eight seconds left to edge the Seahawks. However, the Falcons came into the fourth quarter of that game leading 27-7. The point is that Atlanta suffered a major fourth-quarter meltdown. The Falcons will be getting DE John Abraham for this game, but they won't be able to stop Niners running back Frank Gore. San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh will lead his boys to New Orleans.
Baltimore at New England: In what appeared to be a lost cause for the Ravens last week at Denver, Joe Flacco proved his value in the playoffs by throwing a 70-yard dart to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left to tie the game. What's more is that Baltimore was all out of timeouts at the time. They went on to upend Peyton Manning and the Broncos in two overtimes by a score of 38-35, giving Ray Lewis one more week of football. Flacco's 5-4 lifetime on the road in the playoffs. In fact, one of his losses was last year's AFC Championship game, which involved a Billy Cundiff shank that would've tied a game. Baltimore would've won that game in regulation had Patriots corner Sterling Moore not stripped Ravens receiver Lee Evans of the ball. In a AFC Championship rematch, Baltimore wins in a squeaker.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

NHL Preview: Western Conference

     Last week, I gave you my preview for the NHL's Eastern Conference. Now comes the long awaited Western Conference Preview, complete with a Stanley Cup Finals prediction!!

Central Division:
  1. *Chicago Blackhawks:  They have loads of talent at the forward position. Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Patrick Sharp, and Marian Hossa are all capable of producing at least 70 points in a season. The Hawks also have a very tough blue line. If the goaltending improves, then the Blackhawks will be hoisting Lord Stanley come June. 
  2. *St. Louis Blues:  St. Louis won't score a lot this year, but they won't let you score either. A great blue line and a fantastic goalie tandem in Brian Elliot and Jaroslav Halak, the Blues allowed the fewest goals per game in 2011-2012 (1.89 GA/G). 
  3. *Nashville Predators: Losing Ryan Suter hurts immensely, but Pekka Rinne is tough to score on between the pipes. Barry Trotz is also gaining a reputation as one of the best head coaches in the NHL today. The Predators could be a threat in the postseason if they can duplicate last season's power play success (NHL-best 21.6 power play efficiency).
  4. *Detroit Red Wings: With Nicklas Lidstrom retiring and Brad Stuart going to the Sharks, the blue line is vulnerable. Signing Jordin Tootoo helps, but it doesn't solve the problem. At least the Wings are expected to get Pavel Datsyuk back from the KHL. Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg are one of the NHL's better scoring duos. This will be a bit of a down year for Hockeytown.
  5. Columbus Blue Jackets: This team has absolutely no depth. What's more, their premier scorer/superstar Rick Nash got traded to the New York Rangers during the offseason.
 Northwest Division:
  1. *Vancouver Canucks: The Canucks will score a lot of goals via the Sedin twins. Ryan Kesler is expected to be returning sooner than possible, which is even better news for Vancouver. Cory Schneider was a stud for Vancouver last year, posting a 1.96 GAA, a save percentage of .937, and a 20-8-1 record last season.
  2. *Minnesota Wild: Minnesota make a tremendous splash in the offseason by signing both Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to long term deals. Both will help instantly; the Wild ranked dead last in goals scored per game with 2.02 GF/G.
  3. Calgary Flames: There's an obvious need for some new blood on the Flames. Both of their better players Jerome Iginla and Miika Kiprusoff aren't getting any younger.
  4. Colorado Avalanche: Colorado's a young team. Seriously. They have no veteran presence and a lack of goaltending that will keep them from making the playoffs.
  5. Edmonton Oilers: Another young squad, they'll need a lot of things to happen in order to move up in the division. Yes they signed Justin Schultz in the offseason, but they'll need Ryan Whitney to stay healthy and they'll need Devan Dubnyk to step up in order to at least contend for a playoff spot.
Pacific Division:
  1. *Los Angeles Kings: What's more dangerous than a defending Stanley Cup champion? A defending Stanley Cup champion that has practically all of its key players returning. Los Angeles managed to keep nearly the same roster that won the Stanley Cup in June intact. Jonathan Quick will stop a lot of shots and the Kings will be a threat in the Stanley Cup playoffs once again.
  2. *San Jose Sharks: The good news for the Sharks is that they got a good defenseman in Brad Stuart during the offseason. The question will be whether they're able to keep their second line healthy. Scoring won't be a problem with Adam Burish, Joe Thornton, and Patrick Marleau, though.
  3. Dallas Stars: The Stars will be a playoff team if Kari Lethonen improves on his performance from last season. The stars also need to sign Jamie Benn signed ASAP so that he can join the likes of Ray Whitney, Loui Eriksson, Mike Ribeiro, Jaromir Jagr, and Michael Ryder.
  4. Phoenix Coyotes: Phoenix still has an outstanding goalie in Mike Smith, but they can move up in the division with a stellar defense and plenty of underrated scorers.
  5. Anaheim Ducks: Injuries, Bobby Ryan trade talks, and a lack of toughness all marred the Ducks last year. Lubimor Visnovsky and Sheldon Brookbank were the only Ducks to finish with a positive plus/minus rating last year, and Visnovsky was picked up by the Islanders this offseason.
Stanley Cup Predictions:
     Eastern Conference Finals: Rangers over Bruins in seven
     Western Conference Finals: Kings over Blackhawks in six
     Stanley Cup Finals: Kings over Rangers in seven


Friday, January 11, 2013

Postseason Pick 'Em Part Deux

     I went 3-1 last week in my playoff pick 'em, so let's hope that the gravy train continues to roll this week!!

  • 49ers vs. Packers: Justin Smith is likely to return for the 49ers this week, which will be good for them. They'll need to get to Aaron Rodgers early and often. This game will be a nail-biter, but I'm going with the 49ers merely out of the fact that they're the home team. Colin Kaepernick must be careful throwing the ball, though. Packers corner Casey Hayward had six interceptions this season.
  • Broncos vs. Ravens: Denver quarterback Peyton Manning is 0-3 lifetime when playing a playoff game in sub-40 degree playoff games. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 4-4 lifetime on the road in the playoffs. Still, Denver's rolling right now. Therefore, I'm leaning towards a Broncos victory. But watch out for Baltimore running back Ray Rice. He could be a pleasant surprise for the Ravens this week.
  • Falcons vs. Seahawks: With Atlanta defensive end John Abraham being questionable for this week's game with ankle problems, Seattle could just have Marshawn Lynch run the ball for a good chunk of the game. Atlanta QB Matt Ryan has also never won a playoff game in his career. The Seahawks are red-hot right now, so don't be surprised if they steal a game this week. 
  • Patriots vs. Texans: Houston looks for revenge against New England, who humiliated the Texans in Foxborough on December 10 with a 42-14 romp on Monday Night Football. What's more is the fact that the Patriots will have tight end Rob Gronkowski available this time around, who was out with an injury during that romp. However, this game will be closer with Texans running back Arian Foster rushing for another 100-yard game (He's the first NFL RB to rush for 100 yards in each of his first three playoff games) and defensive end J.J. Watt being a factor in this game. Still, I got the Patriots on top.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

NHL Preview: Eastern Conference

     It's about time that hockey returned, considering how much I can't stand watching the Detroit Pistons play. I'm positive that many of you share the same feeling that I do about the lockout ending. So I'm starting off with a little NHL preview with some predictions. Let's start with the Eastern Conference:

Atlantic Division:
  1. *Pittsburgh Penguins: The Penguins were one point short of having the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, and that was while having Sidney Crosby for only 22 games. However, Sid the Kid managed to score 37 points in these 22 games. Imagine how lethal Pittsburgh could be if Crosby could stay healthy for the entire season.
  2. *New York Rangers: On paper, they're one of the best teams in the NHL. Adding Rick Nash in the offseason to play alongside Brad Richards is a scary one-two combo. I also like John Tortorella as a head coach for the Rangers.
  3. *Philadelphia Flyers: Philly needs better goaltending from Ilya Bryzgalov if they are to at least contend for the Atlantic Division this year. A GAA of 2.48 and a save percentage of .909 last season is simply unacceptable. The Flyers also have concerns on the blue line and led the NHL in penalty minutes last year with 1,318 penalty minutes. But Claude Giroux (93 points last season) will be one of many Flyers to light it up this year.
  4. New Jersey Devils: The Devils will be a playoff team if Ilya Kovalchuk decides to return from the KHL. Keep an eye on New Jersey's tandem between the pipes; both Martin Brodeur and Jonah Hedberg are at least 39 years old. 
  5. New York Islanders: This team is just John Tavares and nobody else. Perhaps the only team that could be worse than the Islanders this year would be the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Northeast Division:
  1. *Boston Bruins: How gritty and tough were the Boston Bruins last year? The top five in the plus/minus rating category consisted entirely of Bruins. Center Patrice Bergeron led the NHL in this category last year with a +36 rating, followed by center Tyler Seguin (+34), defenseman Zdeno Chara (+33), center Chris Kelly (+33), and left winger Brad Marchand (+31). Perhaps one of the more complete teams in the NHL.
  2. *Ottawa Senators: A young, defensive-minded team, Ottawa got some scoring from Eric Karlsson (78 points) as well as center Jason Spezza (30 goals, 84 points). 
  3. Buffalo Sabres: Obviously, the Sabres have a great goaltender in Ryan Miller. Adding both Steve Ott and John Scott to the team gives Buffalo some grit as well. They'll need some production from someone other than right winger Jason Pominville, though.
  4. Montreal Canadiens: If Andrei Markov can stay healthy for the Habs and Carey Price can exceed expectations, then Montreal will be in the playoff hunt. Otherwise, they'll need some offense from unexpected places in order to be taken seriously.
  5. Toronto Maple Leafs: The Maple Leafs faded down the stretch last season because they lacked a stud goalie. They still do, but at least they have someone who can score in right winger Phil Kessel (37 goals, 82 points).
Southeast Division:
  1. *Carolina Hurricanes: The new look Canes certainly look great. GM Jim Rutherford traded for Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal this offseason. He joins his brother, captain Eric Staal, on Tobacco Road. Carolina also added Alexander Semin for one year and $7 million. Speaking of Eric Staal, the center had fifty points in his last 43 games last season. Head coach Kirk Muller also bolstered the power play, raising Carolina's team efficiency up from 12.2 percent upon his arrival to 19.6 percent the rest of the way.
  2. *Washington Capitals: Washington is always in the Stanley Cup hunt with Alex Ovechkin. But if the Caps want to be serious contenders, they'll need center Nicklas Backstrom to get healthy from a concussion. Yes, they picked up Mike Ribiero in the offseason. But losing Alexander Semin to free agency hurts.
  3. *Tampa Bay Lightning: There's plenty of firepower for the Bolts. With young stud Steven Stamkos and veterans Martin St. Louis and Vincent Lecavalier, expect scoring to be abundant for Tampa Bay. But the Lightning need to fix their problems with the backcheck in order to be a serious threat.
  4. Florida Panthers: Florida relied on an offensive explosion from former Penguin Kris Versteeg and Tomas Fleischmann last season to win the Southeast Division title, in spite of fading in the regular season. Stephen Weiss will put up points and the Panthers could be in the hunt for the Southeast Division again this season.
  5. Winnipeg Jets: Bryan Little must score thirty or more goals the way he did in 2008-2009 in order to at least get the Jets in playoff contention. Winnipeg's offense is practically barren.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Noteworthy Things That Happened During the NHL Lockout

     So the NHL lockout has FINALLY ended as both the NHL and the union have reached a tentative agreement this morning. However, the damage to the 2012-2013 season has already been done. Starting from September 15th of 2012 to January 6th of 2013 (113 days), the NHL has cancelled a total of 625 games through January 14th, 2013. This includes the Winter Classic at the Big House in Ann Arbor on January 1st and the 2013 All-Star Game. So what went on during this time span? Well...

  • Manti T'eo and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish tore up the college football landscape, en route to a BCS Championship matchup with the defending champion Crimson Tide of Alabama.
  • The Los Angeles Lakers fired their head coach Mike Brown after a 1-4 start, in spite of acquiring both Steve Nash and Dwight Howard in the offseason. They're currently 15-17 through 32 games.
  • Barack Obama was re-elected the President of the United States.
  • A fiscal cliff deal was reached, which includes an 2% tax increase for certain taxes (Social Security goes up from 4.2% to 6.2%)
  • Former Heisman winner RGIII led the Washington Redskins to their first home playoff game since 1999, finishing with a 10-6 and an NFC East crown.
  • The New Jersey Nets moved to Brooklyn and fired their head coach Avery Johnson during the season.
  • The San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers 4-0 to win the World Series.
  • The NFL's replacement referees caused an array of mistakes and errors through the first three weeks of the NFL regular season.
  • Paul Taglibue reversed the ruling in the Bountygate scandal, overturning the suspensions of the players involved.
  • Everyone was (and still is) doing the "Gangnam Style" as it became the first Youtube video to reach a billion hits.
  • David Beckham won the MLS Cup in his last season with the Los Angeles Galaxy. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Update: Rookie Sensations

     The NFL Playoffs is often the host for most of the NFL's more elite quarterbacks. These elite quarterbacks are usually the players that carry their teams to the postseason. But this year rings a different tune. Nearly half of the playoff teams in the NFL have starting quarterbacks who have two years of experience or less. In fact, a third of these NFL starting quarterbacks are rookies. Instead of Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, and Eli Manning, you have the likes of Andrew Luck, Colin Kaepernick, Russel Wilson, and Robert Griffin III.
      Anyways, here's the picks for the wild card weekend:

  • Bengals over Texans
  • Packers over Vikings
  • Ravens over Colts
  • Seahawks over Redskins

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Watch This: Goldberg-esque Tackle

     All I have to say is: Holy snikies, what a hit!! Turns out that this hit by South Carolina's Clowney shifted the momentum to South Carolina in the 4th quarter. They went on to upend the Michigan Wolverines with eleven seconds left in the Outback Bowl 33-28.