Tag: Football

Yankees Emphasize Russell Wilson over Cam Newton Qualities in Media Training

All New York Yankees can check their attitudes at the door—along with any other excessive outward emotions or opinions.

Following the trend of encouraging progressively more prescribed athlete reactions, the renowned baseball organization aimed to instill within its players the makings of a proper postgame interview.

Their subjects of study? Quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Cam Newton.

According to ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, the session went something like this: 

During the Yankees’ media training, the Super Bowl is being used to portray the right and wrong way to act. Part of a video shown to pitchers and catchers compares how Cam Newton handled his Super Bowl loss to the way Russell Wilson dealt with his defeat the previous year.

Sports fans are already well aware of the dichotomy between Wilson’s polite bow and Newton’s abrupt exit, but as many have pointed out, passion is a difficult thing to quell.

Wilson’s teammate Richard Sherman was mightily criticized for his own postgame outburst. Recently, fellow Seahawks defensive back Earl Thomas took to Twitter to criticize the NFL’s restrictions on individual expression. 

The various personalities seem to suit Seattle, but don’t expect the Yanks to be embracing the assortment of commentary. If tight-lipped is what they’re aiming for, however, perhaps Marshawn Lynch would have been the best example of all. 

[Yahoo Sports]

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

People in Sports Who Had the Best and Worst Year Ever

In life, and in sports, nearly everyone experiences prolonged periods of both success and failure. Of course, the 2014 sports year was far from different, as fans were treated to some truly memorable performances, of both the good and bad sort.

Madison Bumgarner, for example, had a downright iconic year, establishing himself as one of baseball’s all-time greats with the type of postseason pitching we’d never seen before.

In a similar vein, Russell Wilson led his Seahawks to the mountaintop and, in so doing, catapulted himself into the upper echelon of NFL quarterbacks.

In contrast, however, Tiger Woods battled injury all year long and lost his spot atop golf’s world rankings, while Robert Griffin did the same and lost his stranglehold on the starting quarterback spot in Washington.

So, with these guys and others in mind, we’ve done our best to highlight 10 People/Teams in Sports who had the best/worst year ever.

We should note, we’ve dodged the heavier side of sports in 2014, excluding from our list major violators like Donald Sterling, Jameis Winston, Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice and Roger Goodell.

Instead, then, we’ve explored those who struggled for non-legal reasons, and exalted the athletes who had a dream 2014.

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Is a ‘Bad Economy’ a Legitimate Excuse for Fans to Resist Buying Season Tickets?

Sports are a quality-of-life issue.

When budgets are tight, which goes first: season tickets or replacing the stove? Well, that depends—does the stove still work?

Keeping your granddad’s seats at The Meadowlands isn’t as important as paying the rent. Starting your own tradition with friends or children doesn’t carry the same imperative as little Joey’s school books.

Nevertheless, season tickets are far more valuable than a new DVD, blouse or video game. Yes, even Madden. In a possessions-obsessed world, it’s time to refocus on giving ourselves real-life experiences rather than merely things.

When was the last time that a new electronic toy let you say, “Yeah, man, I was there!”? The last time that a pair of shoes helped you bond with a relative from a different generation? That “Quest for the Planet Zycor” or “Gunman 14” truly inspired you?

Sports serve a multitude of purposes in our society: catharsis, escapism, motivation. As we head into the Olympics, let’s not forget that sports represent the evolutionary step of cheering our team on to victory as opposed to killing the tribe across the river.

That lesson alone is worth season tickets.

There’s a magical force field around a stadium that refuses to let the real world invade. I defy you to carry daily stress past the ticket-takers—who, by the way, are always smiling. Of course they’re smiling; they work at Tropicana Field.

Forget Disneyland; Dodgers Stadium is the happiest place on earth!

For a couple of hours, all we need to think about is cheering on our Kings/Thunder/Giants. No bills, bosses, laundry or responsibilities. The biggest decision: whether or not to put onions on that dog.

Come on, you know it sounds like heaven.

Remember how it feels getting dressed for a date? Getting the look just right? The tingle of anticipation? Playing out different scenarios in your head as to how the evening will go?

Going to a professional game is just like that.

Making sure your brand new RGIII sweatshirt is ready; worrying just a little bit about Osi Umenyiora. Wondering whether Cliff Lee will finally get a win or if anybody will get a puck past Jonathan Quick.

And then there’s the awe. Maybe we can’t pack up and head to the Grand Canyon, but sheer athletic brilliance can also take your breath away. Heck, Marshawn Lynch’s playoff run activated Richter scales across Seattle.

The hands-down best Super Bowl tweet came from filmmaker Albert Brooks:

“You never watch pro football and think, ‘I could do better than that.’”  

Sports are a showcase for the possibilities of the human body and the human spirit. We can’t do what the athletes do, but we can bear witness to and celebrate the excellence. Much as we may hate to admit it, Al Davis had that right.

And we can celebrate together. Look at the “Jumbotron” during any seventh-inning stretch and you’ll see America displayed at its best as the cameras roam the stands. Men and women; all ages and ethnicities.

“Take Me Out To The Ballgame”* was written as a woman’s plea to be taken to see baseball instead of a show. Females at the ballpark were frowned upon back in 1908. Kind of gives it a whole new meaning, huh? 

Going to “the game” is a privilege and a joy.

If you need any more justification for keeping (or getting) your season tickets, take another look at the Los Angeles Kings’ trip to the Stanley Cup championship. 

What else is there to say? Sadly, some people don’t understand the joyous holiday of attending a sporting event.

Alas, I can’t help them.

It’s like a joke: if I have to explain why it’s funny—it’s lost on you. Give your tickets immediately to someone who “gets it.” Sports outings are too precious to be wasted on the ungrateful.

“Take me out to the ball game.


Take me out with the crowd.

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack

I don’t care if I never get back.”



*Lyrics by Jack Norworth, Music by Albert Von Tilzer


For more sports and football thoughts:

When Booing is Wrong

When Booing is Right

Peyton Manning as Football Experiment

Junior Seau Changes Us Forever

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Ranking the All-Star Games in the Four Major Sports

The NBA All-Star Game is to be held on Sunday, and we have every reason to believe it will be a terrific event for fans and families alike.  

But how does it compare to the games in the other professional sports?  

Certainly, all of the games have their own strengths and weaknesses, but which one is the best overall? Here is a comparison of the games for the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB.

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New York Mets: How They Are Similar to the New York Giants Right Now

The New York Giants have made an improbable run toward the playoffs this season. When they got into the playoffs, they extended that momentum even further into a Super Bowl bid. It wasn’t easy, though. They began the season picked by almost every expert to finish last or near to last in their division.

Another team (the Philadelphia Eagles) in their division had made a flurry of offseason moves, including signing the Giants’ biggest free-agent Steve Smith and grabbed the attention span of football fans everywhere.

Still, another team in their division (the Dallas Cowboys), who were the defending division winners the previous season, were returning with a renewed focus and energy to make good on their previous success.

As for the Giants, themselves, they had lost key free agents and were wondering how and where the replacements would come from. There were questions of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place throughout the organization. They spent money on role players as opposed to the big names.

Then, when they began to practice, that’s when everything really turned for the worse. Their top cornerback Terrell Thomas went down with a season-ending injury. That was followed by a string of several other injuries to the roster. The Giants were a team in despair—injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only had two things going for them. One was a coach the players would run through a wall for in Tom Coughlin. Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise Eli Manning.

Then, something miraculous happened. They found their stride. The rest has brought them to where they are today—two weeks away from playing in their fifth Super Bowl.

You may be asking yourself  “That’s great for them, but this is a Mets’ site so what does this has to do with the Mets?”

The answer to that is very simple: with just weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Mets are in a very similar place at this point of the offseason as the Giants were just before their season began.

Think about the staggering similarities. The Mets lost their key free agent. Everyone has spent the offseason pining over the departure of Jose Reyes.  Whether it was the right move by the Mets or not will be determined by hindsight. For now, let’s all agree that it has the potential to hurt them this year if no one steps up to fill the void.

Next, the Mets are picked to be last or next to last in the division for this upcoming season. Here’s why:

The Miami Marlins made a series of splashes (pardon the pun) in the offseason that have put them in the headlines and become the media darlings. One such move includes signing the Mets big free-agent Jose Reyes.

Another team, the Philadelphia Phillies, are the defending division champions and have an equally strong team returning with a renewed focus and determination to make good on their previous success. That’s not even mentioning the Washington Nationals’ or the Atlanta Braves’ offseason stories into the mix.

As for the Mets, themselves, they are a team entering the season replacing their roster losses with role players as opposed to big names. They are wondering where the production will come from to adequately replace the voids left behind.

They have a question of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place within their clubhouse. There are questions of health across the board for this roster as well. In particular, Johan Santana and Ike Davis seem to have their names mentioned often in that discussion over the past few months. They are a team in despair; injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only have two things keeping them afloat from last season. One is a manager the players would run through a wall for in Terry Collins (funny how he has the same initials as Tom Coughlin, isn’t it?). Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise David Wright.

Much like the Giants, something magical could happen in the season for the Mets too. Everything fell into place for the underestimated and overlooked Giants team. The Mets are underestimated and overlooked too. Why can’t they find their stride.

After all, the games are won on the field, not on paper. If that were not true, the Giants would never be where they are right now, and the Mets can draw motivation and solace from that fact.

They have to play the games. They have to perform to their capabilities and see where it takes them.

If they leave it all out on the field, they will have made another miraculous New York storied season by this time next year.


(For more on the New York Giants, please visit Big Giants Boom. For more on the New York Mets, please visit Mack’s Mets.)

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The 20 Greatest Individual Seasons in Sports History

Brady and Moss both had great 2007 seasons, but were they good enough to crack the top 20?

The athletes on this list had absolutely amazing and dominant seasons. There are some names you know will be on this list and there may be some you did not expect.

The list consists of athletes from sports that are big in America: football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, etc. Sorry soccer fans but there are no soccer players on the list. Also there are no rugby, cricket, Formula 1 racing, or athletes from other sports that are popular around the world but not in America.

So here it is; the 20 greatest individual seasons in sports history.

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Oakland Raiders Will Show Kansas City Chiefs Who the BMOC Really Is

During college days, there was the acronym “BMOC” which stood for “Big Man on Campus.”

In the ’60s, the BMOC was usually a tough guy, a football player, tall and muscular and ready to fight for what he believed in, at the drop of a hat.

The BMOC got his tag because he was like an undefeated champion on the college campus. Few folks would tease or intimidate this man.

Well, the Kansas City Chiefs come from Missouri and that is the state that used to have the motto, “Show me, I’m from Missouri.” In just a few more days, the Oakland Raiders will show the Chiefs that they are emerging as the “Bad Men in the AFC West.”

A showdown is expected in a few more days. It might play out like the “High Noon” episode in an old movie.

One website ranked various categories such as offense, defense and other statistics. Here is a small sample. You can visit the website for more details.

KC 1 6 5 12
Oak 22 25 16 21

The Football Outsiders have the Kansas City Chiefs ranked above the Oakland Raiders in both the offensive rank and defensive rank.

When the passion of the Oakland Raiders is high, numbers are not an accurate measure of what can happen.

Let’s just say that the Oakland Raiders have been acting like the “Bad Men in Coliseum.”

For the past two weeks, the Raiders have been making the differential between them and their opponents large and wide, with a 45-point lead and a 30-point lead in consecutive games. That’s 75 points gained in an eight-day period.

So, the Kansas City Chiefs may have a “show me” attitude because they are from Missouri, and the Oakland Raiders are quite capable of showing their opponents who, indeed, is the BMOC in the AFC West.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Ohio State Buckeyes: Sabino’s Redshirt Pulled Out of the Closet

Let the conversation move back to football and defeating the Golden Gophers.  This afternoon Jim Tressel made it clear that barring more injuries at linebacker, Etienne Sabino will retain his redshirt status and have two years of eligibility remaining. 
I think this is good news for a number of reasons. First, it means Sabino’s junior year wasn’t wasted. Second, it keeps him happy, which means a more positive and cohesive locker room. Third, it helps the Buckeyes in the future, since they are looking thin at linebacker for 2012. Lastly, it restores my faith in the coaching staff, who are the ones that asked Sabino to redshirt in the first place. I would have been extremely disappointed if they forced him to play. 

Injury Update: Coach Tressel also reiterated this afternoon, that Ross Homan will not make the trip to Minnesota as he continues to recover and that Dorian Bell is still being held out of action.  That leaves Andrew Sweat, Brian Rolle, Jonathan Newsome, Storm Klein, Jordan Whiting and Tony Jackson as the remaining linebackers.  On a positive note, tackle J.B. Shugarts is expected to travel and play on Saturday.   

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2010 NLCS: Another Fall Double-Header in Philadelphia

At 1:00 PM on Sunday, the Philadelphia Eagles will host the Atlanta Falcons at Lincoln Financial Field. 

At 8:00 PM that same day, the Philadelphia Phillies will play the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS. 

The city of Philadelphia is growing accustomed to these Fall double-headers, featuring the Eagles and Phillies.  Twice during Philadelphia’s World Series runs in 2008 and 2009, the Eagles and Phillies have played on the same day at their home fields. 

This Sunday should bring back memories to Philadelphia fans.  Both good and bad.  

Will the history of these double-headers in Philadelphia repeat itself this Sunday? 


Double-Header 2009

On November 1st, 2009, a war between New York City and Philadelphia took place.

Last year, the Eagles hosted the New York Giants in an early afternoon game, the same day of Game 4 of the 2009 World Series between the Yankees and the Phillies.   

The Eagles, many would say, upset the Giants that Sunday and won the game in a blowout, 40-17.  Donovan McNabb threw for three touchdowns while Philadelphia’s defense forced four turnovers.  

The Eagles moved to 5-2 on the season and NFC East title was in their sights…

It was a good start to the day, but the Phillies had lost Game 3 the previous night and now trailed in the series 2-1.  Could Joe Blanton shut down the New York Yankees lineup later that night?    

Let’s just say New York lost the battle, but went on to win the war. 

The Phillies trailed for most of the game, but managed to tie the game in the bottom of the eighth on a Pedro Feliz home run.  Then Brad Lidge entered the game in the top of ninth and was one strike away from pitching a scoreless inning.  A Johnny Damon single, two stolen bases, and an A-Rod single would give the Yankees the lead, as New York would score three runs in the ninth.  

That game pretty much wrapped up another World Series title for the Yankees.  


Double-Header 2008 

This Sunday would be a much better day for Philadelphia fans.  

On October 26th, 2008, the Eagles played the Atlanta Falcons, an appetizer before Game 4 of the World Series. 

Brian Westbrook was the star of the game, rushing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. The Eagles defense forced the inexperienced Matt Ryan to throw two costly interceptions as Philadelphia would go on to win the game 27-14.   

Heading into Game 4, the Philadelphia Phillies led the series 2-1, so this was crucial game for the Tampa Bay Rays. They decided to put Andy Sonnanstine on the mound.  

The Phillies crushed the Rays, winning 10-2 and taking a commanding 3-1 series lead.  Sonnanstine would only last four innings and give up three earned runs, including a based-loaded walk in the first inning.  

Ryan Howard was an absolute monster: two HRs, five RBI and four runs.

Philadelphia fans knew things were going their way when pitcher Joe Blanton hit a home run in the fifth inning.  


Double-Header 2010? 

So what will happen this Sunday in Philadelphia?  How many fans will be in the parking lots from 11 in the morning until 11 at night? 

History bodes well for the Eagles.  They are 2-0 in the double-headers, winning by double digits on both occasions. 

History also bodes well for the Philadelphia Phillies.  Why exactly? 

In 2008, the Eagles hosted the Atlanta Falcons.  After their win, the Eagles and Falcons both had the same record, 4-3.

In 2010, the Eagles will host the Falcons once again.  After the Eagles win, they will have the same record as the Falcons.  Both teams will be 4-2.

Coincidence? I think not.  

Sunday will go down in history as another great day for Philadelphia sports.


Looking Ahead 

If the Philadelphia Phillies advance to the World Series, Game 1 will be at 7:57 PM on Wednesday, October 27th. 

It is the same night as the Philadelphia 76ers’ home opener, which is scheduled for 7:00 PM.  Not a big deal?  Wrong. 

It is the debut of Evan Turner and not to mention, some team called the Miami Heat. 

Will the 76ers management be rooting for the San Francisco Giants?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Five Reasons You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Fantasy Basketball

Are you new to fantasy basketball? Maybe you have played fantasy sports before but have been hesitant to try out fantasy basketball for one reason or another.

Well, here are five good reasons why you should take the leap and give fantasy basketball a chance if you’ve never played before:


    1) Like any other sport, it takes time to learn.

    Remember your first baseball draft? When you took players from your favorite team instead of the best available? When you took Peyton Manning No. 1 overall because “he’s the best player in the league”?

    It happens.

    Your team more than likely sucked, but since then you’ve crushed the opposition for a couple of titles. If you’re already a fan of fantasy sports, you should be a little more prepared to embark on a new journey than you were before. Even if you’re not, there’s no reason to take the Ricky Bobby philosophy on winning and losing.

    So go ahead, take your team’s starting five, get your college team’s up-and-comers. Maybe it’ll work out, maybe not. Either way, you’ll have the enjoyment of another fantasy sport added to your repertoire, and hey, there’s always next year.


    2) The scoring is the same as fantasy baseball.

    I would even go so far as to say that players are more easily compared in fantasy basketball than in any other league.

    In fantasy baseball, pitchers convolute things. Looking at the pros and cons of a specific hitter versus a specific pitcher becomes completely relative to the makeup of one’s team. This leads to a lot of difficulties when ranking players and reviewing trade offers.

    Football’s problems are much more obvious. Because it’s based on a point system, taking the best player doesn’t always translate to creating the best team. Of course, one can compare players by their average points per game, but these can be very ephemeral. Two one-yard rushing touchdowns will outdo a player who has 115 rushing yards with no touchdowns.

    This is not to say that fantasy baseball and football are unfair. I just think the use of the same stats for every player in the game and the use of rotisserie scoring give basketball the best translation from on-the-court to fantasy scoring.


    3) The schedule should not turn you away.

    The spotty nature of the NBA schedule per team, therefore per player, can turn a lot of people off to fantasy basketball. It shouldn’t.

    Sure, you don’t have a daily schedule like the MLB or a weekly appointment like the NFL. There’s no debating that. And it does stink to check your roster every day only to see that you only have one or two guys playing on a number of nights.

    The solution: Set your roster in intervals. Every three days. Once a week. Something defined. The stability of playing time in the NBA means that you will rarely have a guy starting that doesn’t actually play, even if you don’t take the time to study your team every single day.


    4) Of the Big Three, the NBA offers the smallest player universe, and therefore, the smallest number of relevant fantasy players.

    This makes the amount of information that you need to be process much smaller. Not that you should stop visiting your favorite fantasy basketball site. You should never do that. Many people actually do the opposite with the NBA.

    The smaller player universe means less information to wade through on a daily basis, so one can more easily extract the data that applies to them from their favorite site. A site like rotoprofessor.com/basketball, maybe?


    5) It’s fun.

    If you’ve played and enjoyed fantasy sports, you know this point already. I think it’s worth further emphasis, though.

    Remember the feeling you got from buying Josh Hamilton cheaply this year? Or how about all the sympathy you’ve received since taking Matt Forte ahead of Chris Johnson last year?

    There are conversations and debates that you can only have if you’re playing fantasy. It’s as simple as that. If you like basketball, why wouldn’t you participate in something that simultaneously makes you more informed about the league and lets you compete against others?

    It’s a win-win.


      So with all that said, if you’ve never played fantasy basketball before, there’s no reason to be afraid. Give it a shot and see for yourself how much fun it can be. And of course make sure you’re checking out the Rotoprofessor for all your fantasy analysis.

      To view the first part of Will Overton’s Top 200 Rankings on Rotoprofessor, click here

      Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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