Idiotic Article

I just got finished reading an article on ESPN written by Ashley Fox, and it was terrible. She goes off about how the Patriots should have used better judgment when selecting Hernandez in the 4th round a few years back. She says that this has tarnished the Patriots name and they should be ashamed. Literally every comment rips her apart, even from people who say that they hate the Pats organization. If you have a few minutes go ahead and read this atrocity. One individuals act cannot tarnish a brand that is arguably the biggest in football. Here are a few comments that I pulled off ESPN that I thought were spot on/hilarious:

“If we cut everyone in the nfl with a less than perfect pasts, we would be stuck watching tebow playing on every team, every position.”- ChaosZero250

“Mrs. Fox, what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent article were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”- TheCaptainCOD4

“Seriously? Oh okay, we should have known he was going to murder someone in cold blood because he dabbled with Marijuana. Ashley Fox, quit your day job and go become a detective and save the world already.. idiot!”

“ESPN reputation tarnished forever! So what happens when ESPN hires a reporter who shows such promise, but since the loss of her beloved team, has serious character flaws. Three years later, she pens the most inane and puerile article known to mankind. Such a stain on the stellar image of the pristine sports channel!
ESPN should have known better! “- NEGino49

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First Gay Athlete

Jason Collins has come out to the public announcing just a few minutes ago that he is gay. He becomes the first active player in a major professional sport to announce this. As most know, the downloadCeltics had Collins on the roster this season before they traded him to the Wizards earlier in the year. Now, Collins is a free agent, and hopefully this will not deteriorate his value in any way.

He wrote the following for Sports Illustrated:

“Now I’m a free agent, literally and figuratively. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball,” he wrote. “I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”

It is great that he is the first major athlete to do so while still playing the game. I know there is going to be some bounce back from some players and organizations, but hopefully that is limited. It takes a lot of courage to do what Jason did. Congratulations

BCS Shakedown: Upsets Bring Big Changes to the Championship Race

Upset City: Just when Kansas State and Oregon thought it was safe to drive on their roads to the  National Championship game, Baylor and Stanford threw up road blocks and hard.

By now we all know The Wildcats (upset by Baylor 52-24) and the Ducks (upset by Stanford 17-14) have been taken on a detour to their new BCS destinations…one of the four other BCS Bowls. So, with that said, here’s a look at the new top four in the BCS Standings:

BCS Top 4: As of November 18th: 1. Notre Dame 2. Alabama 3. Georgia 4.Florida

Both Kansas State and Oregon fell out of the top four and are now sitting and sulking in their new BCS spots. Oregon is now ranked fifth with K-State ranked sixth. As mentioned in my last BCS article, this is exactly what Alabama and Notre Dame wanted to and needed to happen, in order for a shot at the title game.

With the upsets to K-state and Oregon, Notre Dame simply has to beat USC and their a lock for the title game. Bama meanwhile, just needs to beat Auburn and defeat either Georgia/Florida in the SEC championship game at seasons end. If Notre Dame and Bama win out, they will finish as the number one and number two ranked teams in the country and will play for all the marbles in Miami.

BCS Bowl Breakdown: With such a seismic shift in the BCS Standings, here’s a look at the new BCS Bowl Series Projections as predicted by ESPN’s Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards:

1. Discover BCS National Championship: Georgia vs Notre Dame (Schlabach’ pick) Alabama vs Notre Dame (Edwards’ pick)

2. The Rose Bowl: Nebraska vs Stanford (picked by both)

3.  Allstate Sugar Bowl:LSU vs Clemson (Schlabach’ pick) Florida vs Oklahoma (Edwards’ pick)

4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs Oregon (Schlabach’ pick)  Kansas State vs Oregon (Edwards’ pick)

5. Discover Orange Bowl: Florida State vs Rutgers (picked by both)

Here’s a link to the other bowl projections: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls/projections?season=2012

Final Thoughts: Seeing as I’m now 0-2 in calling the BCS National Championship outcome, I’m just going to leave it up to the fans on this one. What do you think will happen? Who do you have winning it all? Leave a comment below.

BCS Shakedown: Ducks and Wildcats and Leprechauns Oh My

ImageComputer Crash: By now we all know 9th ranked Texas A&M (15th ranked during the upset) and “Johnny Football” Manziel, sent shock waves down the spine of the BCS computer ranking system, as the Aggies knocked off Alabama last Saturday 29-24 in Tuscaloosa.

With that said, here’s a check up on the new top 4 BCS Standings and Projected Bowl Predictions according to ESPN.com:

BCS Standings: Top 4 as of November 11th: 1. Kansas State 2. Oregon 3. Notre Dame 4. Alabama

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With the Crimson Tide rolling to 4th in the BCS polls it is likely that they will be on the outside looking in for this year’s national championship contest. Alabama would have to win out (including the SEC championship game) and hope Kansas State, Oregon, or Notre Dame loses, to even have a chance at the title.

This means Kansas State and Oregon will likely be on a crash course to meet up in Miami for the title game. The Wildcats remaining opponents include Baylor and newly ranked number 15 Texas, while the Ducks will face number 13 Stanford and number 11 Oregon State.

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Both programs could see upsets coming their way, ( K-State falling to Baylor or Texas, Oregon dropping either Stanford or Oregon State) but both are projected to play in the championship game for now. While we can’t count out Notre Dame, with games left against Wake Forest and USC, they simply would not outrank the Wildcats or Ducks if all were to win out. Dame, much like Bama, would need K-State or Oregon to lose.

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Predicted Bowl Projections: While there are 35 bowl games in all, I will only focus on the BCS Bowl games. Here’s the projections as picked by ESPN’ Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards:

1. Discover BCS National Championship: Kansas State vs Oregon (both projected the same pick)

2.  Rose Bowl:  Nebraska vs Notre Dame (both projected the same pick)

3. Allstate Sugar Bowl:  Georgia vs Clemson (both projected the same pick)

4. Tostitos Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs LSU (Schlabach’ pick) or Oklahoma vs Texas A&M (Edwards’ pick)

5. Discover Orange Bowl:  Florida State vs Rutgers (both projected the same pick)

Here’s a link to the other 30 bowl projections: http://espn.go.com/college-football/bowls/projections?season=2012

Final Thoughts: Seeing as how my last BCS article prediction (Oregon beating Bama in the title game) is shot out of the water now, I’d like to re-do my prediction. I whole-heatedly believe Oregon will win this year’s BCS National Championship against Kansas State, with the Ducks beating the Wildcats 30-24 in Miami.

Finally…Center Grades

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

Kevin Garnett

15.1

8.3

2.6

1.12

.94

+136

20.4

Up until last week, KG would have been placed with the power forwards, but with the injury to Jermaine O’Neal, KG has been moved to center and thrived. KG doesn’t have the quickness that he used to in his prime but understands maybe better than anyone else in the NBA how to use his body defensively and to be in the right position.

20120308-120538.jpgPositives: By all accounts KG, has not Pierce or Rondo has been the Celtics best player this season. He has the highest PER on the team as well as the best +/-. As I said up above, KG just understands the game. He is still quicker than most centers and gets to good position defensively and the five game win streak was correlated to KG being switched to center. His jumper from outside is still pure as ever. He stretches the floor just like Bass does, and allows room for Rondo, Ray, and Paul to drive the lane. He is still the heart of the Celtics and he brings the intensity to every single game. Last season according to Synergy, KG was the second best defensive power forward in the game, behind Taj Gibson.

Negatives: He has lost the quickness and the ability to jump that he had as a youngster and it shows on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Quicker players just go right by him as he helplessly looks on. Also, KG doesn’t seem to want or feel the need to box out. If he stuck a body on some players he would have saved at least 30 offensive rebounds this season for the Celtics. His knees are also a constant worry for the Celtics and his minutes need to be monitored.

Grade: B+

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

Jermaine O’Neal

5.0

5.4

.4

1.72

.32

+26

9.7

Positives: Jermaine O’Neal is the rare NBA player who has completely transformed his game. Long gone is the high-flying center that would sky for dunks on one end and have highlight reel blocks on the other. He still blocks shots now, but it is completely due to his great positioning and timing instead of athletic ability. He is also the rare player who has the ability to not only block shots, but be in position to take charges. Before his injury Jermaine was up and away leading the NBA in charges taken this year. He is also one of the Celtics best rebounders and provides much needed big man depth for the team.

Negatives: His offensive game has much to be desired. He has a decent 10-15 foot jumper, but outside of that, does not bring much else to the table. He is constantly hurt and his latest wrist injury, may keep him out for the rest of the season. Poor guy, because his body just doesn’t seem to be able to hold up anymore. On top of the wrist, his knees are farther gone than KG’s.

Due to the uncertainty with his wrist for the rest of the season. The Celtics may look to cut Jermaine O’Neal to open up space to sign another big man for the playoff run. They also were looking to trade his expiring contract. While I love Jermaine and his passion, I am not sure that the Celtics are going to have him on the roster past this season.

Jermaine O’Neal Update

Grade: C+

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Blocks

Steals

+/-

PER

Greg Stiemsma

1.7

2.3

.3

.89

.25

-82

11.1

Positives: The steamer has been a fun player to watch this year. Burdened with big expectations after a big preseason, Stiemsma has played well in some situations and looked lost in others. He is averaging almost a block every 9 minutes and has shown great defensive ability. He also has a better than expected 10-15 foot jump shot that he’ll hit every once in a while.

Negatives: He is not always ready to play and will sometimes just look lost or confused out there. He takes chances defensively going for the big block and can look silly out there. Other than a few jumpers, he is extremely limited offensively and has terrible hands. You gotta love the steamer though.

Grade: C

Power Forward Grades

Small Forward Grades

Shooting Guard Grades

Point Guard Grades

 

Celtics Weekend Review

The Celtics came out of the Weekend back over .500 as they won both games over the Nets and the Knicks. The Celtics beat the New Jersey Nets 107-94 and the Knicks 115-111 in overtime. Pierce was the leading scorer in both games as he scored 27 and 34 points. Kevin Garnett had double-doubles in both games as shot over 50% for the weekend in total. But the weekend belonged to Rondo. Rondo had 14 points and 13 assists in the first game, and then exploded Sunday for 18 points, 17 rebounds, and 20 assists. This was the third game in the last three weeks where Rondo had a triple double, and his fourth of the season. According ESPN Rondo joins Wilt Chamberlain and Oscar Robertson as the third NBA player in history to have over 15 points, 15 rebounds, and 20 assists.

Player

Points

Rebounds

Assists

Rajon Rondo

18

17

20

Wilt Chamberlain

22

25

21

Oscar Robertson

32

15

20

Add in all the missed layups Rondo had in the game and he could have easily had 25-30 points. Rajon also became only the 3rd player in the last 25 seasons to have over 15 points, assists, and rebounds in a single game, joining Jason Kidd and Magic Johnson. Shout out to my friend Cody for this stat, the NBA has had 10 triple-doubles this season, and Rajon Rondo has four of them. He has been the only player with more than one triple-double on the season.

Ever since the Jermaine O’Neal has been out with his injured wrist, KG has slid over to the five position. It has been huge for the Celtics. The rebounding has been better, and KG’s defense on the 5’s has been great. He has also been able to get his shot off better as the 5’s do not want to come out as far to defend KG and let him drive by for the easy two. If or when O’Neal comes back, the Celtics should stick with KG at the five and have Jermaine come off the bench. Bass and Wilcox are playing too well at the four to have both of them come off the bench for the rest of the season.

The Celtics play next on Tuesday at the Garden against the Houston Rockets at 7:30 PM.

Welcome to Boston, Jenny Dell

Think back to November 2011, when things seemed like they couldn’t get any worse for the Sox as rumors of Heidi Watney departing started here on the Boston Sports Blog (Heidi, Say It Aint So!). She even tried covering it up on vacation (Don’t Kill the Messenger). And we all know how that played out. I mean the Lakers? Really? Anyways, since her final days in Boston the buzz about finding her replacement has been pretty quiet until recently. Last night NESN confirmed that former ESPN anchor Jenny Dell will take Heidi’s place as Red Sox in-game reporter. More known for her insight on football, it will be interesting to see Jenny take on a full time baseball role. Either way, the Sox need all the momentum they can get heading into spring training after the disaster that was last September. Hopefully filling the hot side line reporter gap will be just the edge they need. Red Sox Nation, enjoy.

Gronk En Fuego

This honestly never gets old. I think Barstool put this up Monday, but my buddy Jake Hixon showed it to me the other night and I couldn’t not post it. Absolutely hilarious. We laugh at his reaction but he handled it pretty well for being that thrown off. I mean it wasn’t too far off any of his other post game interviews. Dominating the NFL, the party scene, and now Spanish interviews. How much more dominating can Gronk be? “Yo soy fiesta!!”

The Changeup

Talk about a trade. Bobby V for Tito. Tito for Bobby V. To be honest, I’m perfectly content with this move. It’s better than seeing him go to another ball club and win a World Series. Not that I’d wish him bad luck with managing another team, I’m just sure it would stir up a lot of criticism towards the Sox and leave an uneasy feeling in any Boston fan’s stomach. Now, we really have nothing to lose. Like I’ve said before, I like the fact that Bobby Valentine’s taking charge. I think it’s just the kind of change that the Sox need to get back on their feet. Some sort of momentum. With the news of Tito not going to another team, and instead getting behind the camera on ESPN, some of the player’s minds will be put as ease as well. More good news for Red Sox Nation and another step forward.