Month: March 2014

Podcast for Monday March 31, 2014

In today’s podcast we talk about MLB Opening Day and the NCAA Tournament.

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Ralph Wilson, More Than Just An Owner, A Football Pioneer

The passing of Ralph Wilson on Tuesday has marked the end of almost five and a half decades of Buffalo Bills ownership. Having lived more than 95 years, his life and accomplishments should be celebrated.

Specially, his efforts that would lead to the love-affair obsession that is the National Football League.

While 1920 marked the inaugural year for the NFL, 1960 became the beginning of a revolution. And it took the establishment to say “no.” That’s the one word Lamar Hunt got when he wanted to purchase an expansion team. On his flight home to Dallas, the idea of the American Football League began. And its beginning was Wilson himself, giving Buffalo its football life.

With his passing, all of the original AFL owners have left us, including Hunt in 2006, and Bud Adams just last fall.

Long before there were four straight Super Bowls in the first half of the 1990s, the Bills took the AFL crowns in consecutive years of 1964 and 1965. Perhaps forgotten at times, because of Joe Namath’s guarantee in Super Bowl III, but this was a decade in which the second-class league started to change the status quo.

Think about the NFL until the 1960s, a league known for defense and when it came to offense running the football. OK, maybe the passing game was somewhat of a factor, somewhat, considering that delivering the ball meant “short air.”

The AFL was about experimentation, as if the 1960s weren’t. Aside from everything else, the AFL’s experimentation was in the form of letting the ball loose. The wide-open passing game is what the NFL is all about now, to the point where if your team does not have a quarterback, oh well.

Anyone who wants to know about what the AFL has meant in terms of the league we can’t enough of the most, then watch the documentary “Full Color Football.” This is one of the greatest sports documentaries that I’ve seen, and if witnessed by you, there might be an agreement between the two of us on its greatest. You will even learn how the “Super Bowl” got its name coined.

Maybe the last 15 years of Wilson’s leadership have not been the best in Bills’ history. They have not made the playoffs since the 1999 season and we remember the miracle in there last postseason game, a miracle for their opponents on that Saturday afternoon in Jan. of 2000, the Tennessee Titans.

In fact, from 2000 to now, the Bills’ have only posted three seasons of .500 or better.

Perhaps the times had passed Wilson as owner, but the legacy goes beyond bringing the AFL to Buffalo, eventually leading with the merger in the NFL. The legacy is Wilson being part of a group of pioneers that formed a league that would translate into everything the NFL is now. A cultural obsession.

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Podcast for Monday March 24, 2014

In today’s podcast we talk about the NCAA tournament, in segment 2 we talk about Mark Cuban’s comments on the NFL and we close out the podcast talking about Nick Saban’s idea of a combine for underclassmen.

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Major League Baseball Has Dropped The Ball, Committed An Error With Opening The Season in Australia

To “play ball” officially points to the land down under, and therefore, Major League Baseball has dropped the ball, a Popfly, face it, they are about to commit an error. And so, this weekend the rites of spring with hopes filled with summer, with that one club standing in the fall, begin in Sydney, Australia.

Perhaps unorthodox, the 2014 MLB season will be commenced between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks with two games at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Then again, maybe not unorthodox after all, considering that cricket has influenced the game we have come to know as the “Great American Pastime.”

This game may be our pastime, but its interest expand beyond our borders and oceans. Besides the Latin and Asian nations that have produced its share of ballplayers over the course of time, only six active players originate from Australia. But that does not mean the game is played in this land far away from American shores. The Australian Baseball League has its game played in the months that we know as winter, although it’s summer when Christmas time comes and when the New Year emerges. It’s a six-team lead that since its formation in 2009 has seen the Perth Heat win three out of four of its championships.

OK, now that the fact of organized baseball in Australia has been established, no better way to break in its fall than with something that symbolizes spring here, the opening of Major League Baseball.

My goodness, how wrong is this? Sure it’s going to be played on a cricket surface, sure it’s going to resemble the cookie-cutter stadiums that housed not only an MLB team but also an NFL team. Why wake-up in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate opening day. Maybe it will be a Saturday morning here, but in Los Angeles and Arizona, does anyone want to get up a 1AM, the time of the first pitch of the first game in those markets? And trust me, I’m aware the second game is later on in the day, 7PM (PST).

What happened to tradition, one day, pretty much every major league team opens the season. That is how it should be, one day, 30 teams, 15 games, all in first place heading into the day.

Hey, while the Diamondbacks and Dodgers welcome-in our spring, every other ball club will be involved in spring training play. How messed up can that be?

Well, perhaps it’s not all that bad. At least Vin Scully is making the trip.

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Podcast for Monday March 17, 2014

In todays podcast we talk about the NCAA Tournament and MLB Opening Day.

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Big East Tournament Schedule

 

GAME Time (CT) Team  Team  TV 
Wed., March 12
G1 6 p.m. 8 Seton Hall 51  9 Butler 50 FS1
G2 8:30 p.m. 7 Georgetown 56  10 DePaul 60 FS1
Thurs., March 13
G3 11 a.m.  1 Villanova 63 8 Seaton Hall 64 FS1
G4 1:30 p.m. 4 Providence 79 5 St. John’s 74 FS1
G5 6 p.m. 2 Creighton 84 10 DePaul 62 FS1
G6 8:30 p.m.  3 Xavier 68 6 Marquette 65 FS1
Fri., March 14
G7 6 p.m. 8 Seaton Hall 74 4 Providence 80 FS1
G8 8:30 p.m. 2 Creighton 86 3 Xavier 78 FS1
Sat., March 15
G9 7:30 p.m. 4 Providence 65 2 Creighton 58 FS1
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ACC Tournament Schedule

 

Game Date/Time (ET) Team Team TV
Wednesday March 12
1 12 p.m. 12 Wake Forest 81 13 Notre Dame 69 ESPN2
2 2:30 p.m. 10 Miami 57 15 Virginia Tech 53 ESPN2
3 6 p.m. 11 Georgia Tech 73 14 Boston College 70 ESPN2
Thursday March 13
4 11 a.m. 8 Maryland 65 9 Florida State 67 ESPNU
5 1 p.m. 5 Pittsburgh 84 12 Wake Forest 55 ESPNU
6 6 p.m. 7 NC State 67 10 Miami 58 ESPNU
7 8 p.m. 6 Clemson 69 11 Georgia Tech 65 ESPNU
Friday March 14
8 11 a.m. 1 Virginia 64 9 Florida St. 51 ESPN2
9 1 p.m. 4 North Carolina 75 5 Pitt. 85 ESPN2
10 6 p.m. 2 Syracuse 63 7 NC State 66 ESPN2
11 8 p.m. 3 Duke 63 6 Clemson 62 ESPN2
Saturday March 15
12 12 p.m. 1 Virginia 51 5 Pitt. 48 ESPN
13 2 p.m. 7 NC State 67 3 Duke 75 ESPN
Sunday March 16
14 12 p.m. 1 Virginia 3 Duke ESPN
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Cornerbacks, The Biggest Need In Free-Agency Or The Draft

If the team that wins the Super Bowl has any meaning for the other 31 organizations of the NFL, it’s a question of “how did they do it?”

Case in point, the Seattle Seahawks, winners of a Super Bowl more than a month past us, both memorable and forgettable, the latter for anyone that’s a Broncos loyalist or just loves Peyton Manning in terms of what he brings on the field and off, practically selling Buicks and credit cards on television.

Anyway, let’s face it, Peyton couldn’t figure it out, the Broncos couldn’t figure it out, then again many teams in 2013 couldn’t figure it out. That’s scoring against the Seahawks tough defense.

Especially, those in the secondary.

With the season that Richard Sherman had, not to mention his energy displayed by a certain postgame interview, teams need to focus their attention to an aspect of defense beyond pass roughing. They need to focus on pass breaking.

Now, the days of free-agency means the needed help in the third level, as this has become a top priority.

If you look at arguably the top three biggest players heading into this year’s open-market, all were defense. Outside of DeMarcus Ware, the two biggest free agents and now signings have been Aqib Talib and Darrelle Revis. And the best part of these moves, the chess game that has come about between the Broncos and Patriots.

With the tone set by the Seahawks, the next few years will mark keen interest in seeing what makes up for a successful defense, does it start in with the front four or in the secondary, pass rushers or pass breakers?

In this quarterback oriented NFL, the challenge resides in defenses to figure out how to contain the arms of Peyton, Brady, Brees and Rodgers. Now the torch is slowly, but gradually shifting to the likes of Wilson, Griffin, Kaepernick and Luck; guys who have become almost just as much for the feet as their arm strength is concern.

If you look at it, we have already seen a change in the way defense is being played. The days of Buddy Ryan’s 46 has given way to the Cover 2, therefore more pressure relies in the secondary.

One concept that will never change, finding a way to disrupt the passing game, for the NFL might be a quarterback driven league now but the truth is this will not change, not until football ceases to exist. The only question remains as far as the future, rushing the passer or breaking (and intercepting) the attempt of the passer?

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SEC Tournament Schedule

Game Time (CT) Team  Team  TV 
Wed., March 12
G1 6 p.m. 12 Auburn 56 13 South Carolina 74 SEC TV
G2 After Game 1 11 Vanderbilt 68 14 Mississippi State 82 SEC TV
Thurs., March 13
G3 12 p.m. 8 Missouri 91 9 Texas A&M 83 SEC TV
G4 After Game 3 13 South Carolina 71 5 Arkansas 69 SEC TV
G5 6 p.m. 7 LSU 68 10 Alabama 56 SEC TV
G6 After Game 5 14 Mississippi State 66 No. 6 Ole Miss 78 SEC TV
Fri., March 14
G7 12 p.m. 8 Missouri 49 1 Florida 72 ESPNU
G8 After Game 7 13 South Carolina 44 4 Tennessee 59 ESPNU
G9 6 p.m. 7 LSU 67 2 Kentucky 85 SEC TV
G10 After Game 9 6 Ole Miss 73 3 Georgia 75 SEC TV
Sat., March 15
G11 12 p.m. 1 Florida 4 Tennessee ABC
G12 After Game 11 2 Kentucky 3 Georgia ABC
Sun., March 16
G13 2:15 p.m. Game 11 Winner Game 12 Winner ESPN
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NFL Pro Days for the Week of March 10, 2014

 

March 10, 2014
Brown
Northern Colorado
South Florida
Troy
Urbana
West Chester
Grand Valley State
San Diego
Villanova
Lamar
March 11, 2014
Bryant
Connecticut
Jacksonville State
Kansas State
Michigan State
Monmouth NJ
Temple
Toledo
Whittier
Iowa State
UCLA
March 12, 2014
Alabama
Boston College
Colorado
Colorado State
Eastern Washington
Marshall
Michagan
Nevada
North Dakota State
Oklahoma
Rutgers
Southern Cal
March 13, 2014
Emporia State
Hawaii
Idaho
New Mexico
Ohio
Oklahoma State
Oregon
Samford
South Dakota
UNLV
Washington State
Western Michigan
West Alabama
Wyoming
March 14, 2014
BYU
Eastern Kentucky
Kansas
Kentucky
North Alabama
Oregon State
Texas Tech
Tulsa
West Texas A&M
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