The Washington Post has been doing some reporting on American soccer superstars playing abroad since the recent uptick in support for the sport in the U.S. American “secretary of defense,” Tim Howard, had a rough night last night – suffering from poor defense and an own goal during Everton’s 6-3. Howard has been getting perhaps the most media attention since the conclusion of the 2014 World Cup, becoming an American hero with his impressive saves during the U.S. Men’s National team’s unexpected tourney run.
Howard isn’t the only player being tracked outside of Cup season – the Post has included a full roundup of teams playing abroad, listing their minutes and achievements (if any) for each respective game. Updates are also given for those playing without a club, listing deal updates and training schedules.
These updates are not something that would have been seen in past years. Soccer has gained a tremendous amount of popularity since this summer’s Cup tournament and it doesn’t appear to be dying out anytime soon – and i’m not complaining.
It’s been close to two years since I stepped away from blogging, thinking I’d be done for good. I’ve recently made the decision to return to the blogosphere officially within the next couple of months. Stay tuned for the official re-launch date for Source 4 Sports.
At the close of the Buffalo Bills 2012 regular season, head coach Chan Gailey was fired. The call game as a result of Gailey’s record, posting three consecutive losing seasons since being hired in 2010. Gailey is just one of many members of the Bills organization that has failed to earn them a playoff appearance in 13 seasons. While the Bills have expired four coaches over 11 years, they have also gone through nine quarterbacks over the last 15 years, each one lasting less than 2 seasons on average. Current quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, has averaged just 5 wins per season over the last four years. With the firing of head coach, Gailey, the Bills wasted no time filling the position. Just a few days later, the Bills announced that Doug Marrone was the new head coach that will prepare the team for the 2013 season.
Marrone has had 7 years of NFL experience but his most recent experience is with that of the Syracuse Orange NCAA Division I football organization. After serving as the New York Jet’s offensive line coach from 2002 to 2005 and then the New Orleans Saint’s assistant coach, along side Sean Payton, from 2006 to 2008, Doug Marrone was hired as the Syracuse University head football coach. With previous ties to Syracuse, Doug Marrone described his hiring as head coach at the University as a “dream job”. His mission was to perform a complete makeover of a football program that had been in caught in a downward spiral since the late 90’s upon the graduation of Syracuse star quarterback, Donovan McNabb. Since then the program suffered immensely with attendance at the Carrier dome at an all-time low. The team continued to perform poorly with no sign of improvement under Greg Robinson, the man who replaced Paul Pasqualoni after he was fired due to a stagnant record and tired playbook. Doug Marrone ultimately replaced Greg Robinson and he immediately went to work.
Success in Syracuse
Marrone made it clear early on that he was in charge and that only serious players with proper attitudes had a place on the team. Marrone brought in all new staffers and did not hesitate to revoke scholarships from players that were deemed unworthy. His move freed up room for new talent that would fit with the program he had detailed while also setting an example for what the tone would be like under the next four years of his leadership. With hard work and discipline, Marrone successfully helped the Syracuse football program turn a corner. He led the Orange to two 8-5 seasons and received bids to two Pinstripe Bowls, victorious in both appearances, with the most recent coming on December 29, 2012 against West Virginia.
On to Buffalo
Marrone is expected to work the same magic in Buffalo that he did in Syracuse, using his disciplinary tactics, intelligent recruiting and uptempo offense to revamp the desperate Bills football program.
The NFL season is off to a rocky start. Due to the lockout, the regular officiating crew has been replaced. In short, the officials CBA expired at the end of last year and when new agreements could not be reached, the NFL opted to hire and train replacement officials supposedly including “elite” retired college officials, smaller, non-BCS conference officials, and Arena League referees. Based on the first three weeks of football, it seems necessary that the NFL pony up the money to pay the original officials, as too many situations have come up where calls have been wrong or control of the game has been lost.
In week 3, Patriots coach Bill Belichick grabbed the arm of an official following a close, but good, winning field goal by the Raven’s as time expired. He grabbed the official to get his attention, as he had wanted an explanation for a play previously but had not received one. The official may have mishandled the situation by not addressing coach Belichicks concerns adequately.
Replacement officials admitted making two mistakes in Minnesota’s victory over San Francisco, while other questionable calls were made around the league that may have affected the outcomes. In the Minnesota game, the 49ers were granted two video challenges that they should not have been. In the Lions-Titans game, an inappropriate amount of yardage was marked of on a penalty. The same was true in the Redskins game. Also, in the Lions game, officials made conflicting calls on a play that was never reviewed. In the Cowboys game, Tony Romo fumbled twice that were only correctly ruled turnovers after Tampa Bay initiated challenges. A helmet-to-helmet hit in the Oakland Raiders game was not penalized and an incomplete pass in the Miami Dolphins game was ruled complete near the goal line.
In wake of all of the mistakes, the NFL needs to seriously reconsider their stance on the lockout as NFL fans are becoming increasingly disgruntled at the diminished integrity of the game. If things continue as they are, attendance and viewership will decline and revenue will be lost.
Below is a recap of scores from week 3.
New York Giants defeat Caroline Panthers 36 – 7
Chicago Bears defeat St. Louis Rams 23 – 6
Buffalo Bills defeat Cleveland Browns 24 – 14
Dallas Cowboys defeat Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16 – 10
New York Jets defeat Miami Dolphins 23 – 20 (OT)
Minnesota Vikings defeat San Francisco 49ers 24 – 3
Kansas City Chiefs defeat New Orleans Saints 27 – 24
Cincinnati Bengals defeat Washington Redskins 38 – 31
Tennessee Titans defeat Detroit Lions 44 – 41 (OT)
Jacksonville Jaguars defeat Indianapolis Colts 22 – 17
Arizona Cardinals defeat Philadelphia Eagles 27 – 6
Atlanta Falcons defeat San Diego Chargers 27 – 3
Houston Texans defeat Denver Broncos 31 – 25
Oakland Raiders defeat Pittsburgh Steelers 34 – 31
Baltimore Ravens defeat New England Patriots 31 – 30
Seattle Seahawks defeat Green Bay Packers 14 – 12
Following the late fourth quarter collapse Wednesday night against the Oklahoma City Thunder which ended after Los Angeles Lakers guard, Steve Blake failed to hit a wide open three pointer in the remaining seconds of game two of the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Blake not only began to trend on twitter, but his Wikipedia page began to get a new look as well.
From having his bio switched from just his name and some other history, Blake’s Wikipedia page had some new things added in. Like a new nickname; Steven Hanson “Steamy Stevey” Blake. Also, “He’s a massive choker, but he chokes as a favor to his buddy Kobe, so he won’t get the blame for his massive late game chucking choke fests. So Blake is a choker to make Kobe look like a non choker even though he is the biggest choker of all.”
Another thing that was added was a whole section, titled: “Round 2 Game 2 vs. The Oklahoma City Thunder” which read, “Blake missed a wide open 3 pointer to result in the downfall of the Los Angeles Lakers. Smh. He was wide open tho…. Reports that said Kobe made him walk all the way home to LA from OKC haven’t been confirmed.”
As for Wikipedia they are doing a good job of cleaning up the additions added by users as Wikipedia is known for that feature which they allow all web users to edit and add additional information to their pages.
As for Blake he has yet to comment on his updated Wikipedia page and most likely won’t.
The Lakers will try get their first win of the series again on Friday night when they’ll face the Thunder at home at Staples Center. Tip off time will be at 10:30 Eastern Time.
During the NBA All-Star game Los Angeles Lakers guard, Kobe Bryant suffered a broken nose as well a concussion due to a hard foul by Miami Heat guard, Dwyane Wade. Wade would say after the game that it was un-intentional and that Bryant knew that he had no intent to hurt him.
“I don’t know if anybody wants me to get down on my knees in front of the world and [apologize],” Wade said. “Like I said, I sent my apologies to Kobe, and I move on from it.”
“He knows it’s no ill intent on me to do that,” Wade said. “Did I take a foul? Yes, I took a foul. So, talk about me for taking a foul. But I never wanted that kind of outcome.”
As a result to the All-Star game injury, Bryant would have to wear a mask on his face as protection for his nasal injury. Though, despite wearing the mask it wouldn’t seem to really affect his performance. In his first game after the injury Bryant would score 31 points in a 104-85 victory over Minnesota, giving Bryant a new nickname; the “Masked Mamba.”
Bryant would tell reporters that he wasn’t too fawned of wearing the mask as he felt like there was a “sauna on his face.” He would also tell reporters that when he was done wearing the mask that he would plan to auction it off in the attempt to raise money for his charity.
Though, just a little over two months later, Bryant would keep his word as the mask that he wore for 11 games, would be auctioned off.
$67,100 was the final winning bid for the mask on Tuesday’s auction for the mask. The opening bid began at $250 which with Bryant’s signature added to it raised the $250 opening bid by 129 bids and $66,850 selling the mask at the final price of, $67,100.
As for where the $67,100 will go, it will go to the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation where the objective of the charity is to put an end to the homeless problems occurring in Los Angeles.
There are nearly 50,000 homeless people living on the streets of Los Angeles, and an estimated 7,000 to 10,000 of those homeless are younger than 24, according to the website for My Friend’s Place, a youth homeless shelter that Bryant supports.
As for whom the winner of Bryant’s mask was that answer is unknown. Though, the price isn’t; $67,100 sold to man or woman whom we may never know.
The NBA’s M.V.P. award is one of the most cherished awards in all of basketball and each season, it always raises the question; who’s that year’s best player. However, the true question is, is that the right question that needs to be answered?
Answered year after year by a panel of sportswriters and broadcasters from the United States and Canada, the NBA M.V.P. selection process is always a tough decision. Selected after a series of voting, awarded by points as such; first-place votes getting 10 points, second-place votes, seven points, third-place votes, five points, fourth-place votes, three points, and fifth-place votes, one point.
Once the points are then tallied up and accounted for, the answer to the question; who is the NBA’s M.V.P. of that season is then answered. Though, despite going through a points system selected by a wide-ranged and different-opinionated group of sportswriters and broadcasters are these writers and analysts making the right selections? Are they answering the right question of “who is that year’s NBA M.V.P.?”
M.V.P. or as it stands unabbreviated, Most Valuable Player means as it reads, Most VALUABLE Player. Though, despite being as clear as it’s written, this award, the NBA’s M.V.P. year after year always ends up being misinterpreted.
Winner after winner, at-least in past years always ends up being what seems to be that year’s “best” player instead of that year’s most “valuable” player.
For instance, in the current M.V.P. standings according to NBA.com, from numbers one to number five goes, LeBron James (Miami Heat), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma City Thunder), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers), and Tony Parker (San Antonio Spurs).
Now if the award, was selected as for what it truly stands for, Most VALUABE Player, then why is James, Durant, and Bryant ahead of other players such as Kevin Love (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic), Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) and others who show true value.
Now, don’t get me wrong, James, Durant, and Bryant are all very valuable players as all three are certainly among the top five players in the NBA. However, they don’t fit the M.V.P. award as the award is given to the Most VALUABLE Player, not the most OUTSTANDING or BEST player.
So how do we determine who’s valuable and who’s not? You look at that candidate’s team and ask, if you take this player away (The candidate you are selecting for M.V.P.) would this team still be able to produce wins? Would this team still be able to make it to the playoffs, if they are in the playoffs or contending for them? Or would this team even be able to win games, without this player? Those three questions, based off of the definition of the M.V.P. award should determine the winner of the award each season.
So based off of that theory of the M.V.P. award, the player who should be this years 2012 NBA M.V.P. is Minnesota Timberwolves Forward, Kevin Love. Love averaged a double-double for the third consecutive year in a row now for the Timberwolves as he averaged, 26.0 points per game and 13.3 rebounds per game.
Love, who missed eleven games this season due to different reasons, including the last seven games of the season which was due to concussion related problems, saw his Timberwolves struggle to win without him as during those eleven games; the Timberwolves went 2-9. As for the two games that they won, were against the Sacramento Kings (22-44), which they won by two (86-84) and the other victory which they won by 11 points (91-80) was against the Detroit Pistons (25-41).
Love did everything and anything in his power, game in and game out just to give the Timberwolves a win. However, even 51 points wasn’t good enough to fulfill that goal. As on Friday, March 23rd in a game the Timberwolves lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 149-140, in double overtime. Love who had 51 points, 14 rebounds, 7 three pointers, and a career high performance in points just wasn’t enough to get his Timberwolves a win.
So, the point that I’m trying to make here is, the Timberwolves finished 12th in the Western Conference with a record of 26-40. 24 of those wins came with Love; two of them came without him. Take Love away from the Timberwolves this past season and you have yourself the Western Conference version of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Love currently ranks sixth in the NBA’s current M.V.P. standings and most likely won’t win the 2012 M.V.P. award.
Despite, showing that he’s truly the leagues most VALUABE player it just won’t happen as the selected panel of voters just aren’t getting the true meaning of the award and that’s the player who serves the most value, not who serves as the best player. As for the panel they’re picking the best player in the league and there’s a difference between the most valuable and the best player, as proven with Love this season.
This won’t be the first time that the NBA will make the wrong selection for the M.V.P. award, which is why they should make a new award, called the M.O.P., the Most Outstanding Player. Which in that case, Bryant, James and Durant would be ahead of Love as for what order? Well that’s another story.
Mike Ortiz Jr.: Why did you choose Syracuse University?
Chandler Jones: The reason I chose SU was because my brother went to school there and I followed him
Ortiz Jr.: What was your favorite moment at Syracuse?
Jones: My favorite moment at Syracuse was winning the pinstripe bowl at the Yankees stadium.. That moment will never be forgotten
Ortiz Jr.: When you guys won the Pinstripe Bowl, whose idea was it to high five everyone while running through the snow?
Jones: I don’t think it was anyone’s idea to run and high five everyone.. It was just the moment.. The fans stuck around to watch the ending ceremony and there were hills of snow do we climbed them
Ortiz Jr.: How did you like it?
Jones: I loved the pinstripe bowl… We went on trips everyday.. We had a little money to send.. It was the time of our lives
Ortiz Jr.: Take me through a whole day at the NFL combine.
Jones: At the NFL combine I’d wake up for a drug test at 5am. Eat breakfast. Sit through NFLPA meetings for about 3 hours. Go back to the suite to search and then meet with teams all the way until 11:30pm.
Ortiz Jr.: What was it like having your Pro day at Syracuse?
Jones: Having a pro day at Syracuse was pretty…Less nerve wrecking and I felt at home and more comfortable.
Ortiz Jr.: What do you think you can bring to an NFL team?
Jones: I think that I can bring pure heart and dedication…Someone that has the potential to dominate a season.
Ortiz Jr.: Would you rather be teammates with your brother or play against him?
Jones: It does mater if me and art were on the same team or not.. I’m just glad that we both have the opportunity to play pro.
Ortiz Jr.: Has your brother given you any advice throughout this process?
Jones: My brother told me everything to expect going through drills and meetings which gave me the edge over other prospects.
Ortiz Jr.: Have you improved on anything since leaving Syracuse, if so what?
Jones: Since leaving Syracuse I’ve became a better player, man and teammate…Coach Marrone did a great job of developing me into a complete player.
Ortiz Jr.: Do you stay in contact with any of your old teammates and coaches?
Jones: I talk to almost all of my teammates via twitter and all my coaches via texting 24/7
Ortiz Jr.: What was the best advice that you’ve received and from who?
Jones: The best advice I received was from myself and my heart on making my decision to make a transition to the NFL.
Ortiz Jr.: Where do you think you’ll be selected at?
Jones: I don’t know where I will picked…I just want to play football again.
You see advertisements all the time from people asking for your vote. Most of the time these people asking are government officials, senators, politicians, something along those lines. However, for Carolina Panthers quarterback, Cam Newton he’s asking for yours.
Posted on Youtube by SportsNationESPN, Newton in a seven minute long video pleads his case to be on the cover of this years edition of EA Sports, NFL Madden 13 video game.
With just about one day left to vote as the winner will be announced at 5 P.M. Eastern time on ESPN’s television show, Sports Nation aired on ESPN 2, Newton, is looking for all the votes he can get.
Matched up against the number sixth seed, Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson who lead all wide receivers last year with 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns is hard player to go up against. Though, despite facing a very notable player, Newton, is the number one seed.
Newton, NFL rookie of the year winner through for 4,051 yards last season, an NFL record for a rookie quarterback also rushed for 14 touchdowns, that too an NFL record for most rushing touchdowns by any NFL quarterback ever.
To get to the Madden Cover vote finals, Cam Newton etched out San Francisco 49ers linebacker, Patrick Willis by six percent winning, 53 percent to 47 percent of all voters. As for Johnson he dominated Green Bay Packers quarterback, Aaron Rodgers winning by 34 percent, 67 percent to 33 percent of all voters.
So, in the second year of the Madden cover voting, does Newton have the upper hand as the number one seed? He did make a seven minute long video? Or does the number six seed, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson have the upper hand?
No one knows and no one will know, until tomorrow at 5 P.M. Eastern time.
Newton’s video is up to over 140,000 views and is still climbing and just incase you haven’t viewed Newton’s ad for the 2013 EA Sports NFL Madden video game’s cover boy, then here it is below:
Mike Ortiz Jr.: When did you begin playing basketball?
Javon McCrea: I started playing basketball when I was 6 years old. Me and my uncle use to go out and play on the Fisher Price Hoops every day.
Ortiz Jr.: What was your best moment during high school?
McCrea: My best moment in High School had to be making it to the state championship finals. It was something me and my friends/teammates talked about doing our whole basketball careers.
Ortiz Jr.: How does it feel to be your High School’s most leading scorer of all time? Also when did you break that record?
McCrea: I broke the record my senior year. I believe mid way through. It felt good to accomplish something so big. My name will never be forgotten in Newark Basketball. It feels good to say that.
Ortiz Jr.: Take me through the game where you set the section V record for most blocks in a game?
McCrea: The previous two years we lost in the sectionals round. So I was determined to change that. I knew they would double team me a lot so my teammates would have to help me out. I wanted to focus on the defensive end of the floor rather than the offensive end. So I result I ended up with 18 blocks I believe.
Ortiz Jr.: Out of all your awards, honors, and accomplishments, which one stands out the most to you?
McCrea: The regional championship trophy my teammates and I received. We all just worked hard to get that.
Ortiz Jr.: Why did you choose the University of Buffalo to play basketball at?
McCrea: I enjoy my coach. And I knew they would push me. I also wanted to start a legacy. I was aware that Buffalo hasn’t done a few things other schools have.
Ortiz Jr.: What other schools were looking at you?
McCrea: Umass, Canisuis, Niagara and, Boston University.
Ortiz Jr.: Take me through your freshman year of College, how did it feel to not only be named Freshman Conference player of the year?
McCrea: It was a great honor to be named that. The conferences freshmen were really good last year. I just stayed determined.
Ortiz Jr.: Now you have yet to make it to an NCAA Tournament yet so I want to ask you when do you think that will be?
McCrea: Next Year we will be in the NCAA tournament.
Ortiz Jr.: Also many have said over the past couple of years and especially now that the lower conferences, like the Mid American Conference, should get more NCAA bids, do you agree?
McCrea: I definitely agree. The Mid American Conference is very under-rated. There are some really good schools in this conference.
Ortiz Jr.: So far, who’s been your toughest match-up as far a player that you’ve had to matchup with?
McCrea: I don’t really have a particular player I have struggled with. It’s been difficult this year to really name someone due to the double and triple teams they throw at me.
Ortiz Jr.: Do you plan on remaining at Buffalo for the rest of your college career? Or do you plan on transferring?
McCrea: I don’t Plan on transferring away from UB. We at least have to win a championship first.
Ortiz Jr.: What’s your main goal to get out of College?
McCrea: I definitely plan on getting my degree. Graduating is big in my family. I want to make my mother proud.
Ortiz Jr.: What are your plans after College, are they the NBA? If so what do you need to do to improve to be able to play in the NBA, or do you feel that you could right now?
McCrea: I see myself playing in the NBA. Anything under the NBA will be a disappointment for me. I need to improve ever aspect in my game before I think about it. There’s always room for improvement.
Ortiz Jr.: How did it feel to play on the Under 19 USA team? Do you think playing overseas helped you improve as a player?
McCrea: The USA basketball helped me out a lot. But it also help me realize that you can play against anyone. Just because the Media says the players are better than you doesn’t mean they actually are. If you believe the media then you are hurting yourself.
Ortiz Jr.: Now despite being a sophomore you’ve already made a great name for yourself at such a young age, but do you read the draft profiles and the rankings and the articles that are said about you? If so what’s the one that sticks out?
McCrea: I haven’t seen any of the draft articles yet but that stuff does attract my family members. They really enjoy to see things like that.
Ortiz Jr.: Also have any of those articles, negative or positive, motivated you?
McCrea: I’m not the person to get motivated off articles. My motivation is playing in the NBA. It motivates me everyday. Basketball has been great to me so far but im just getting started.
Ortiz Jr.: Last question, what’s the best advice that someone has told you?
McCrea: My mom told me never to quit. If you quit then you don’t have a chance. Nothing is impossible. And I have always remembered that.