Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oregon: The University of Nike

Oregon's 145,000 square foot Football Performance Center is set to open this week. The state-of-the-art facility is projected to be the new standard in both player recruitment and development. Nike's Phil Knight controlled the entire design and construction of the building in order to ensure that his exacting standards would be met. Knight, who bankrolled the project, would not reveal the final cost. No stone was left unturned as Oregon strives to stay at the forefront in major college football.

Johnny Manziel: Fun Loving College Kid or Teenage Punk?

Johnny Manziel has been in the sports news headlines practically the entire "off season", or so it seems. We learned of his displeasure over a parking ticket at Texas A&M, read about his dismissal from the Manning Camp, and heard about his being tossed from a frat party at the University of Texas. In some circles he has been perceived as one not contributing positively to the image of a Heisman Trophy recipient. Contrary to the title of this post, I perceive Manziel as a young college student/athlete who has had an extraordinarily huge dose of fame and recognition dumped on him in the course of one football season, and I believe it has simply overwhelmed him. The accolades, the spotlight, the never ending attention, etc. has perhaps been more than "Johnny Football" could cope with. His support group, whoever that might be, could have possibly done a better job of preparing him for all of the off-field uproar that awaited him. But honestly, it's a good bet that most of the circulating information surrounding his actions has been blown way out of proportion. What he needs now more than anything is football. He needs the discipline and control of his Aggie coaches, the pre-season and then the week-to-week focus of nothing but football, and the camaraderie of his teammates. Being a successful student/athlete at Texas A&M will be the medicine for anything that might be considered a pitfall with Johnny Manziel. Come to think of it, I think we're all ready for a good dose of "Pigskin Therapy". Hang in there Johnny, football is just days away.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Alex Rodriguez: Beisbol no mas

Major League Baseball is out to get Alex Rodriguez, and I get the impression that the New York Yankees would help sign, seal and deliver him any way they could. Anything less than a lifetime ban from the game would be too light in the eyes of many observers. Rodriguez himself knows that his predicament is shaky at best. He is trying to cut a deal with MLB, but the commissioner's office knows they have the upper hand in this face-off. I believe the only reason the charges have not been brought forth against him is because the length of his suspension from the game has not yet been determined. It's only a matter of time. It's a done deal. A-Rod is definitely going down. It's just a question of how long the count will be for.

David Ortiz: A Free Pass On the House (Phone)

David Oriz goes ballistic after striking out and being ejected. I'll admit, he did get two bad strike calls during the at-bat, but wreck a dugout phone over it? Now MLB says Ortiz will not be suspended for his actions (and all the while I was under the impression that baseball wanted to clean up it's image). I don't think many coaches will use the video as a teaching tool for sportsmanship. Oh well, but beware next time something happens to set Big Papi off. No property is safe, especially since he fears no repercussions. Just sayin'...

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Todd Gurley: The Best of The Best

The Sporting News ranked the best running backs in the Nation's best conference, while at the same time predicting this to be the year of the running back in the Southeastern Conference. Holding down the Number One spot is none other than Georgia's Todd Gurley. He is followed closely by Alabama's T.J. Yeldon and his own Bulldog teammate Keith Marshall. The article went on to label the Athens twosome, know as "Gurshall" to the Bulldog Nation, as the best running back combo in the country. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Kolton Houston: Just Go Play Big Guy!

This Dawg is out of the kennel! Welcome back to eligibility Kolton Houston. The persevering offensive lineman has been reinstated by the NCAA with two years of playing time and the possibility of a third with an appeal. Although he is not 'game ready' at this point, Houston's presence adds needed depth to Georgia's line corps. (Did I just type that the Bulldogs have depth on their offensive line? Wow!). Nevertheless, it is good to have the drama that has surrounded  this player resolved. Gratitude, thanks and congratulations also go out to Ron Courson, Georgia's sports medicine director, for his untiring efforts on behalf of Kolton Houston. Happy Birthday, Kolton. You deserve it!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ryan Braun: Far Worse For Baseball Than Pete Rose...

Ryan Braun gets a 65 game suspension for taking PEDs. Pete Rose gets a lifetime ban for betting on baseball. What do the two have in common? Well, they both lied, and neither one of them will ever get to make it into the Hall of Fame. A sin is a sin, but is one guys fall from grace bigger than the other's? I will say that although Pete Rose tampered with the integrity of the game, he never disgraced the game on the field in any way as a player. On the other hand, Braun has stepped on every legitimate element that is the "Nation's Pastime". I personally believe Rose should be pardoned and allowed to enjoy the fruits of his career as the "Hits King", even being inducted into the HOF. And now I believe Braun should be banned from baseball for life. His stats are doctored by a foreign substance, his career numbers are phony, and his accolades are all undeserving. Braun has wasted his God given talents. Now he should be forced to sit out the game he cheated and feel those same talents erode from his very being. 

Phil Mickelson: Nice Guys Do Finish First!

Phil Mickelson won The British Open. He played a final Major round for the ages. He hit a three wood shot in the clutch we won't soon forget. He renewed his quest for a career grand slam. He again carried us along on his roller coaster, but this time he didn't break our hearts. He let us enjoy this monumental victory with him as he played tremendously well over the stretch of the final 6 holes. And he did all of this with his usual class and style. The British Open has a richly deserving champion, and all of us have a genuine hero.

Fredi Gonzalez: That's Why They Pay You the Big Bucks

The Braves B.J. Upton is finishing up a stint on the disabled list. That's really not such a huge deal because he's played as if he was disabled all year long. I think it's a much bigger issue that fellow outfielder Jordan Schafer is out with an injury. But to get to my point: Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez must keep the strong hitting Evan Gattis in the every-day lineup. His bat is much too valuable to the team for him to be sitting in the dugout. He can spell Brian McCann behind the plate occasionally, as well as Freddie Freeman at first base. However, he could start in the outfield every day. If B.J. comes back the same unproductive player he has been so far this year, Gattis has earned the right to replace him at one of the corner outfield positions. The question is, will Fredi Gonzalez have the guts to make this move. After all, it would be for the ultimate good of the team. Not to mention that's what a manager gets paid to do: make the tough calls.

Tim Hudson: Going Down When He Just Got Going...

Tim Hudson had not been particularly impressive during much of the first half of this 2013 MLB season. In fact, his name had been battered around in possible trade discussions. However, all of that began to change just prior to the All-Star break. He had finally begun to resemble the Tim Hudson of old. The "go-to" veteran on a Braves staff stacked with talent, but lacking experience. The starter Atlanta was counting on to lead the Braves in their second half stretch run for a division title is now lost for the year after suffering a broken ankle in Wednesday night's game against the New York Mets. A freak accident suffered in the 8th inning of his best outing of the season. Gone is the experience, the leadership, the stability and the tremendously proven ability. The Braves went on to earn the important victory for Hudson, and here's hoping Atlanta has enough to overcome the extreme cost of this win. They definitely have someone to play for now.