Soccer Weekly: England bleeds – blue?

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Check out the new England away jerseys…  Blue. Blue. Blue. (And white). But it seems as if blue is becoming a theme in english soccer.  Chelsea just won the UEFA Champions League, Manchester City just won the Barclays Premier League – and teams like Man U and Liverpool are falling fast. (And when Man U tried to jump on the Blue boat, it just proved how powerful blue was

The point is that now the two most powerful teams in england right now are Chelsea and Man City. They are playing incredibly well, and the managers are managing well.

This changes a lot, because it used to be Arsenal, Man U, and Liverpool, and Chelsea and Man City were afterthoughts. But now it’s all them. Some of it could be money. Some of it could be luck. But it was due. Except for one season, it was Man U, Liverpool, and Arsenal at the top of the table. But like in baseball, superpowers change, and it went from red to blue. It’s as simple as that.

Except for the downfall of Liverpool, I’m actually enjoying this. It’s gotten boring seeing Man U, Man U, Man U, Man U, and – let me guess – Man U? Wow!! I must be psychic!! England has shifted, and all we can do? Is wait and watch.

 

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The Updater: New big teams in baseball

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Who would’ve thought the standings would look like this? I saw the NL east coming, but with the other two, you got me there.

Right now, the Nationals are in the lead of the NL East and have won exactly 60% of their games so far – 27, to be exact. That, I saw coming, and if you really want to know, please just read past posts. But the Dodgers having a best-in-baseball record of 30 and 15? That I didn’t see coming, but I feel pretty stupid not for doing that.

At the end of last year, 2/3 of the team was batting higher than .277 – which is good. The combined era of the team’s pitching rotation was 3.38, which is great. And considering they retained most of these players, is extremely good. So, there goes the D-Backs’ hold of the NL West, or really, the Giants and Diamondbacks’.

With the Rangers, they’ve been dukes in baseball for a while. But with the way Josh Hamilton is playing, they’ve become kings and are officially the team to beat.

So, now you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is he telling me all this?”

Here’s why – because it used to be different. Oh, once upon a time, teams like the Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees ruled baseball, and nobody could stop them, no matter how hard they try.

But now there are new kings in baseball, and I think they could be here – to stay.

 

Lob city is gone, but not dead.

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The Spurs completed a sweep last night in LA, where they hoped for 2 championships in the same year. The Kings’ dream is still alive, but as it looks, LA will not be hoisting the Larry ‘O Brien trophy this year. The Lakers are one loss away from elimination, and Lob City is out.

Lob city, by far was my favorite team to watch all year. It took the excitement of Blake Griffin, and then put some wins behind it. It seemed like that 2012 was the year that LA had two teams, not the Lakers and a joke. No, wins brought LA to the postseason.

They were tons of fun to watch. Between Blake Griffin’s countless incredible dunks (GRIFFINATION!!!) beating the Lakers, and filling the stands with 19,000 people, it was great. You never knew what you’d see tonight, a blow out, a last second buzzer beater, or a normal win – with abnormal dunks from Blake Griffin. They were .606 in the regular season, winning their first playoffs since 1997.

They had a great series against the Grizzlies, which went down to the last minute of game 7. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin combined for 27 points, but the bench picked them up, scoring 55 points.  Unfortunately, it left them tired and overwhelmed, and were swept by the Spurs.

But this isn’t it for the super team from LA. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made it to the finals next year, because Lob City is here to stay.

The Updater: Bryce Harper all the way

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Is anybody else noticing this? I guess it’s just me. No, I’m kidding, unless you’ve been living under a rock and praying to the football gods lately, you know what I know. Bryce Harper only has 15 hits, and is only batting .246,  but when he hits them – he hits them hard. 9 of his 15 hits are XBH. 2 Home runs in two nights, his only stolen base is (surprise, surprise!!) home plate.

That’s what I like about this game. Bryce is a guy who will run his hardest even if it’s just a ground ball to third base, a guy who gets the best type of revenge, scoring, a guy who always ready to go.

The Nats are 8 and 8 with Bryce in the Major Leagues, but that’s without major contributors Michael Morse, Drew Storen and Jayson Werth. Imagine his true potential with the Nats with Michael, Jayson and Drew – incredibly, nearly scary, so scary that #FearTheNats will be trending on Twitter.

While the Nats do have to pass a very vital test against the Braves, O’s, Red Sox and Rays, it seems likely. Bryce Harper has been another great asset to a great Nationals team this year, with nearly everything – and once injuries are out of the picture, expect Bryce’s RBIs, BA, OBP and slugging to improve with veterans to get on base and mentor him to make him even better.

Welcome to the show, Bryce Harper, and I hope you enjoy your stay – because it looks to be a long one.

 

Is Starting RG3 a good move?

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To me, it seems like a PR move and a football move. A good PR move, and a bad football move. In case you might have noticed, the Skins drafted Kirk Cousins in the first round after drafting possible franchise QB RG3 in the first round. The fans were angry, thinking that they didn’t have trust in RG3. So, (like everybody thought he wouldn’t be the starter) they named him starter, right after a rookie mini camp.

So what is it? Football or PR? It’s both.

It’s a football move, a bad football move. Why, you ask? Personally, I would definitely make RG3 the starter. That is, Rex Grossman the Third. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

RG3 needs to have his work cut out for him. He needs to work, work, work to improve. Because, in all honesty? He isn’t a perfect QB. He needs to improve his arm, work with his new running backs, because, unlike Baylor, the ‘Skins weren’t built around him.

Originally, in fact, it was all about Jason Campbell. Then they hyped it up for McNabb. Then they showed it for Rex Grossman and John Beck. Now, we say the same for RG3. We say, every year, “We have the right guy! This is the year! This is our chance!”

Every time they name a new starter though, they seem to lose. Not having confidence in the QB is something they should show to RG3 until August. If you give somebody a starting position from the start, he doesn’t work as hard. And he comes not working super hard, and not playing super-well like they expected.

So, please, name Rex Grossman the starter until you are 100% RG3 is better than hm.

Also, it’s a good PR move.

Because Redskins fans are like dogs. As soon as you see something new, it becomes the focus in your life. It’s important, and they’ll say “Make him the starter!! He’s the best thing that ever happened to us!!”

Now, I like RG3, don’t get me wrong, but Redskins fans are obsessed with him. So they said, “RG3 is perfect, why would you ever draft another QB?” (In case you’ve been wondering, it’s a safety move, in case he gets hurt or is bad.) And since the Redskins worry so much about that, they named him the starter.

Which won’t make him the best he can be. Hope you’re happy now, DC. Because you may not be as happy when RG3 isn’t as great as he could be.

Thunder Rolling

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What’s that you hear? Maybe a plane? Or some rain? OK, I’ll admit even thought that was a cheesy joke. But that’s not the point. The Thunder are, in terms, rolling over the competition (If you’ll excuse my bad pun). Oklahoma has shown that it’s a place for winners, not Pedigree factories.

Kevin Durant has three NBA Scoring Championships under the long, long, long list of his accomplishments, which is a new thing this year. The only thing lacking on that long list of accomplishments is an NBA Championship. Which could be set to change. The only thing keeping him from an NBA Championship is himself.

He’s an accomplished player, but what I worry about is that he could be too worried about leading his team. All he simply has to do is to play the game he’s always been playing. Playing like this, he will.

The best players are the players that play the same, or if not better under pressure, which he does, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s all he has to do to help the Thunder roll to an NBA championship.

The other man, the arguable left hand man to Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, has been sneaking up on you for quite a while. In his rookie season, he was an okay point guard. 15 points a game, 5 assists per game.

The next year, he boosted his ppg by one and apg by three.

Then he exploded to 21 points a game, and is still there. He’s an asset to an OKC team that has more than one superstar. Which means, there isn’t one.

Which has actually seemed to help them in the past years, unlike the Lakers, where Kobe got all the attention and the playing quality went down. In DC, Gilbert Arenas got all the attention and they plummeted. No superstars, no problem.

It’s time for the Thunder to roll to an NBA Championship.

Double post: HALLELUJAH!!! The BCS Goes Final Four! and The Caps are winning for a reason

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Part I

HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!!!

In this first ever NCAA Football post, we celebrate. Celebrate because the evil empire, being the BCS, has fell to the knights of righteousness, and not-money-hungry people. Today, the BCS has decided that it will now go to a four team playoff. In case you couldn’t guess where I was

And no more Utah’s, Boise States, USCs and TCUs, all of which finished with 12 win records. This is the best four teams in the country. With room for upsets and with room for cinderella, the once all-powerful BCS is dead.

“The king is dead, long live the king!!”

The semifinals will be on January 1st, no matter what. But this is the best part for me, what I’m about to say.

If you’ve ever noticed, the big bowls are always in Miami or Tampa or New Orleans or in a dome. In the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, the games are played at the higher seed’s home or the higher seed gets home advantage. Now, in the semifinals, on new years day, they will be played at home – because in all honesty – do you think somebody from California will go to Florida or somebody from Indiana to California just to watch the game? Instead, games are at the one and two seed’s home stadium. And for Florida? Now they could get an extra home game.

I used to think College Football was pointless, since only two teams had a real chance. No more, that will die exactly 611 days from now, 611 days until we see College Football become a true playoff system, and a league worth following.

Part II

The Capitals have beat the Bruins, and are facing the Rangers, for all you hockey fans who have been living under a rock. The Capitals have been the one, two, or three seeds the past four years, and have lost half the time in the first round. But they improved their record to .600 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs first round. But this time, the Caps may go further than the second round, where they have lost every single time they’ve advanced.

They’ve been one, two, and three seeds. And been upset. The Capitals had tons of pressure, and now the pressure’s off. Leaving them to play, and win – beating Tim Thomas and the Bruins. With rookie Braden Holtby, who is playing most outstandingly. The pressure’s off, and the playing’s up. DC may have a shot this year, with good reason.