Thursday, January 29, 2009
The Super Bowl is approaching, with the actual game between Pittsburgh and Arizona a questionable match up. But while many expect that the Super Bowl might be a blowout, there will still be some suspense during the broadcast. As usual, whenever the Super Bowl isn't that competitive, people will still watch for the Super Bowl commercials. Once more, major companies are shelling out millions for big Super Bowl commercials and major exposure.
Super Bowl commercials are notorious for being just as big as the Super Bowl nowadays. People may bet on which company has the best Super Bowl commercials as much as they bet on the game itself. Super Bowl commercials have been legendary for about 20 years and beyond. The big rush of Super Bowl commercials technically began in the late 80's. But a select Super Bowl commercials were famous long before that, like the Mean Joe Green Coca-Cola ad, and Apple's legendary 1984 parody. Now, even more products are in on the act on Super Bowl Sunday, ranging from beer, soda and Internet websites.
Traditionally, Budweiser and Pepsi have had the biggest commercials. Pepsi has had Cindy Crawford, dancing bears and more icons over the years, while Budweiser has had the Bud Bowl, the Budweiser frogs, lizards and clydesdales, and Wassup guys. McDonalds also had Michael Jordan and Larry Bird providing nothing but net. This year, the Super Bowl commercials have already made news before the game. For the first time in 10 year, none of the Big 3 automakers will have Super Bowl commercials.
In addition, traditional Super Bowl advertiser FedEx has no spots, as the economy even hits the Super Bowl. The economic troubles may even be reflected in some of the ads themselves. Most controversial of all, PETA had a Super Bowl ad blocked by NBC. The ad promoted veganism by having hot women get...sexually excited with their vegetables. NBC nixed the ad, which is already on the Web.
Still, Super Bowl commercials sold for a maximum of $3 million for a 30 second spot. Budweiser, Pepsi and other big brands will once again have several chances to steal the Super Bowl with their ads. And a few summer movies will get to show some trailers while they're at it.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Ready for the 2009-2010 NBA season? Many of these players may be. Here is a list of the top 30 NBA draft prospects if the college season ended today. We could call it a mock draft but not knowing which teams will get what picks it makes it rather hard. But I digress, here is the list and maybe some of your favorite college teams have a few players you should be looking for to play in the NBA in the coming years.
30. Dejuan Blair- Pittsburgh Power Forward
29. James Johnson-WakeForest Small Forward
28. Josh Heytvelt- Gonzaga Power Forward
27. Wayne Ellington- North Carolina Shooting Guard
26. Sam Young- Pittsburgh Small Forward
25. Austin Daye- Gonzaga Small Forward
(30-25) The best pro out of the group could turn out to be James Johnson with all his athletic ability and court vision but he is still a raw talent that needs to improve his game
24. Tyler Hansbrough- North Carolina Power Forward
23. Tywon Lawson- North Carolina Point Guard
22. Omri Casspi- Israel Small Forward
21. Darren Collison- UCLA Point Guard
20. Eric Maynore- VCU Point Guard
19. Stephen Curry- Davidson Shooting Guard
(24-19) Are you a believer in Stephen Curry? I am the best pro out of this group will be Stephen Curry who should turn out to be a star in the NBA with his character and shooting ability.
18. Patrick Mills- St. Mary's Point Guard
17. Tyler Smith- Tennessee Small Forward
16. Gerald Henderson- Duke Shooting Guard
15. Demar Derozen- USC Shooting Guard
14. Jeff Teague- Wake Forest Point Guard
13. Patrick Patterson- Kentucky Power Forward
(18-13) Watch out for Jeff Teague who is bound to be a star in the NBA. Teague is the next great point guard to come out of Wake Forest and could end up being a great NBA point guard just like Chris Paul.
12. Chase Budinger- Arizona Small Forward
11. Earl Clark- Louisville Small Forward
10. Dajuan Summers- Georgetown Small Forward
9. Greg Monroe- Georgetown Power Forward
8. Damion James- Texas Small Forward
7. Gani Lawal- Georgia Tech Power Forward
(12-7) Budinger has not done much in college to improve his game but was once a lottery pick in the NBA. Look for him to improve his game in the NBA and rival Greg Monroe for the best out of this l ist.
6. Al-Farouq Aminu- Wake Forest Small Forward
5. Jordan Hill- Arizona Power Forward
4. Hasheem Thabeet- Connecticut Center
3. Brandon Jennings- International Point Guard
2. James Harden- Arizona State Shooting Guard
1. Blake Griffin- Oklahoma
(6-1) Blake Griffin can dominate a basketball game in college and will eventually do the same in the NBA. Thabeet and Jennings will have a lot of growing pains if they leave for the NBA early and James Harden should be ready to play right away.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It was revealed today that Mark Sanchez, the staring quarterback for the for the University of Southern California, will enter the 2009 NFL Draft. Based on his career at USC, I would question whether or not this is the right decision.
First of all, unlike his predecessors Matt Leinhart and Carson Palmer, he was not even a Heisman finalist. His name never even came up in the talks this year. Now, clearly, it is not necessary to be a Heisman candidate to make in the NFL (ahem, Joe Flacco and Tony Romo, I am looking at you). However, considering where he comes from, Sanchez should have at least been in the running. However, in 2008, the football analysts praised the dominating defensive performance of the USC Trojans. It was a rare moment when anyone even mentioned Sanchez or his play.
In addition, USC has a chance to compete for the national title every year. That's what Pete Carroll does; he prepares his team for the big game. Sanchez has a chance to take USC to the National Championship. This would make his stock in the Draft skyrocket. This year, his team lost to a mediocre Oregon State team to stop their BCS dream in its tracks. Knowing Pete Carroll, this will not happen again.
Finally, Sanchez is a good example of what is wrong with college football today. College is for earning a degree. It should not be a showpiece for talent for the NFL. USC did not pay Sanchez to play football; they paid his way through college. And now he repays that by hurting the graduation rate. I don't want to pick on Sanchez because so many players choose to enter the Draft rather than earn their degrees. What they don't realize is that they are one blown knee from being unemployed and without a degree to assist them.
Sanchez made a selfish choice to enter the Draft; in the long run, he is hurting his team, his school, and his coach. He is, unfortunately, not alone. The mistake is a common one. I just hope his knees hold up.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
There are a few playmakers lining up for Super Bowl 43 in Tampa Florida. A playmaker is a football player who can of course make a big play, usually a long scoring play to gi ve his team the momentum. Both the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers will be fielding several Super Bowl Playmakers in Tampa. The Super Bowl has a history of playmakers stepping up for the big game. Marcus Allen, Lynn Swan, Larry Brown (yes I said it!) and many others have made their place in NFL history.
This article will break down the Super Bowl 43 playmakers for each team with stats from NFL.com. I will exclude the quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as that is a given.
Super Bowl 43 Playmakers for the Arizona Cardinals
Larry Fitzgerald is the best wide receiver in the NFL at this time, bar none. Fitzgerald has stepped up his game in the NFC playoffs, where the whole word can see him shine. In 3 NFC playoff games, Fitzgerald has caught 23 passes for 419 yards and 5 touchdowns. His amazing 18.2 yards per catch in the playoffs set him up to be a playmaker in Super Bowl 43. In the 2008 NFL regular season Fitzgerald caught 98 passes for 1,431 yards and 12 scores with a long play of 78 yards. His average yards per catch was 14.9 which shows he stepped up his play in the post season.
Anquan Boldin is always a big play threat but has been injured in the playoffs after catching a long touchdown pass in the Falcon game. If Boldin is healthy and over his feud with offensive coaches, he can be a playmaker in the big game in Tampa.
J.J Arrington is a threat to break a play at anytime with his blazing speed. Arrington is used out of the backfield as a receiver or runner. But it is his kick returning ability that makes him dangerous. J.J. Arrington averaged 25.6 yards per kick return in the 2008 regular season. He also added a 93 yard touchdown return.
Dominique Rodgers- Cromartie is the Cardinals big play guy on defense. In the regular season he had 4 interceptions for 157 yards and one touchdown. He is a threat to have a pick six against Big Ben who tends to throw em up to see where they land at times.
1.) Manute Bol
Height: 7'7'' Weight: 225 Pounds
Manute Bol played 10 seasons in the NBA (1985-1995). He played for four different teams: Washington Bullets, Golden State Warriors, Miami Heat, and Philadelphia 76ers . He averaged 18.7 minutes played per game over his career, but only 4.2 rebounds and 2.6 points per game. Considering all he has to do is catch the ball and lay it into the basketball without jumping, how come he only averaged 2.6 points per game? He was known for his blocked-shot ability. He set a rookie record in his 1985-1986 rookie season blocking 397 shots. He is also tied for the most blocked shots in one-half with eleven and is tied for the most blocked shots for one quarter with eight, in which he accomplished twice. He still holds the record for most blocked shots per minute with (.176). He also played with Muggsy Bogues during the Bogues 1987 rookie season pairing the tallest and shortest players in NBA history in one season. He is also the only player in NBA history to block more shots then he has scored.
2.) Gheorghe Muresan
Height: 7'7'' Weight: 303 Pounds
Gheorghe Muresan played only 6 seasons in the NBA (1993-2000). He played for two different teams, the Washington Bullets and New Jersey Nets. He averaged 21.9 minutes per game over his career, but only 6.4 rebounds and 9.8 points per game. Another big man, yet a fairy low rebounds/per game average. Some of you might remember Gheorghe Muresan from the movie "My Giant" (1998), where he starred with Billy Crystal and Kathleen Quinlan.
3.) Yao Ming
Height: 7'6'' Weight: 310 Pounds
Yao Ming played 6 full seasons and is still currently in his 7th season in the NBA (2002-Present). He has played for the Houston Rockets his whole career in the NBA. He averaged 32.6 minutes per game, while ripping down 9.2 rebounds and scoring 19 points per game till this day. Unlike the 2 tallest centers in the NBA, Yao Ming has been a workhorse and knows how to tally a stat sheet and is the only player in the top 10 tallest NBA players that is still playing.
4.) Shawn Bradley
Height: 7'6'' Weight: 275 Pounds
Shawn Bradley played 12 seasons (1993-2005). He has played for three different teams:Philadelphia 76ers, New Jersey Nets, and Dallas Mavericks, where he spent the majority of his career. He averaged 23.5 minutes, 6.3 rebounds and 8.1 points per game during his career. Although he did average 2.5 blocks per game over his career, he has been known for a "Giant" who got dunked on many time.
5.) Chuck Nevitt
Height: 7'5'' Weight:250 Pounds
Chuck Nevitt played 9 seasons in the NBA (1982-1994). He did not play in 3 seasons over the 12 years of his career. He played for five teams throughout his career: Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers, Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, and San Antonio Spurs. He did not play more then 45 games in any season and just averaged 5.3 minutes, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.6 points per game throughout his career. Throughout his career he basically got play time during garbage minutes meaning his team usually had a big lead or was down to much to make a comeback, especially in Detroit. While in Detroit, the fans called Detroit's blow-outs, when Nevitt was able to get his minutes, "Nevitt Time". His nine seasons of minutes played totaled up to be about the length of 18 full NBA games.
6.) Slavko Vranes
Height: 7'5'' Weight: 275 Pounds
Slavko Vranes only played three minutes in one game with the Portland Trailblazers during his entire NBA career (2003-2004). He was drafted by the New York Knicks in 2003, but was released during the season, not playing one minute of any Knicks game. The Portland Trailblazers signed him a month after his release from the New York Knicks to a 10-day contract, where he played his only three minutes in the NBA.
7.) Mark Eaton
Height: 7'4'' Weight: 290 Pounds
Mark Eaton played 11 seasons in the NBA (1982-1993) and spent his whole career with the Utah Jazz. He averaged 28.8 minutes, 7.9 rebounds, and 6.0 points per game throughout his career. Mark Eaton was known for being a monster on defense averaging 3.5 blocks per game over his career and during his third season in the NBA he averaged a whopping 5.6 blocks per game.
8.) Rik Smits
Height: 7'4'' Weight: 265 Pounds
Rik Smits played 12 seasons in the NBA (1988-2000). Just like Mark Eaton, Rik Smits played his NBA career with one team, the Indiana Pacers. He averaged 26.6 minutes played, 6.1 rebounds, and 14.8 points scored per game during his career. Similar to Ralph Sampson and Mark Eaton, Rik Smits has had very a productive career.
9.) Ralph Sampson
Height: 7'4'' Weight: 235 Pounds
Ralph Simpson played 9 seasons in the NBA (1983-1992). He played for four different teams: Houston Rockets, (where he spent the first half of his career), Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, and Washington Bullets. He averaged 29.8 minutes played, 8.8 rebounds, and 15.4 points per game throughout his NBA career. He was teammates with another 7-foot player ,Hakeem Olajuwon, they were nicknamed the "Twin Towers".Throughout the middle of his career he battled knee injuries because of his big frame and when he was traded for the Rockets he was never able to stay healthy for a full season of games battling with knee and back injuries.
10.) Priest Lauderdale
Height: 7'4'' Weight: 325 Pounds
Priest Lauderdale only played 2 seasons in the NBA (1996-1998). He played one season with the Atlanta Hawks and one season with the Denver Nuggets. During his two-year career in the NBA, he averaged 7.1 minutes, 1.9 rebounds, and 3.4 points. After he left the NBA, he went to play basketball in Bulgaria.
Friday, January 16, 2009
Millions of young football fans cherish the idea of wearing the NFL clothing representing their favorite National Football League team. What keeps many from that dream is the price. Some NFL merchandise is pricey, particularly good quality jerseys. Many are being sold for hundreds of dollars, and the higher the quality, or rarer the item, the higher the price. Of course, there are cheap knockoffs of authentic NFL merchandise, however most young football fans will tell you quickly that these simply aren't what they want. They want clothing that looks good, and something close to a real NFL jersey. The NFL brand carries a lot of weight with them.
Of course some NFL jerseys sold in retail outlets or online aren't the real thing. If you've seen a real NFL jersey hanging on a wall in a football pub, you know how huge they are. Two people can fit comfortably into them. The jerseys were design for large men wearing even larger shoulder pads. Only the quarterbacks and kickers have shoulder pads that are comparatively smaller than the well padded ones that linebackers wear.
For small children however, a real NFL jersey is too heavy with designs that are too detailed for the child to appreciate. Kids like it simple and comfortable and they won't appreciate an authentic NFL jersey so there's no point in wasting money on it. A kids jersey needs to be made of a softer material with stitching that won't cause itching and chafing. You can buy authentic NFL kids clothing online at an NFL shop. Many people buying sports jerseys or receiving them as Christmas gifts discover that they're perhaps made for pickup football at the local park and not as casual wear.
Many NFL jerseys are purchased as collector's items. An authentic team jersey signed by a well known National Football League star can fetch a good price at auction. Most recently, throw back jerseys have become popular. These have the designs, colors and team logos from year's long past. You may even have throwback jerseys signed by former popular players like John Riggins, Jim Marshall, Dwight Clarke, Terry Bradshaw, Jerry Rice, Walter Payton, Ken Stabler, Fran Tarkenton, and even coaches such as Mike Ditka.
NFL Merchandise is a very popular Christmas gift item. Sports fans appreciate these collectibles, particularly those that are unique. Sports Bars often lacking in decor ideas, are perfect locations for framed football jerseys. Nothing makes a better statement for your sports bar than the appearance of a signed NFL jersey up on the wall. You might want to have a jersey handy and ask a pro player to pay your bar a visit. Have them sign the Jersey. Then you've got a collectible that can impress your football fan patrons.
Baseball Caps for Football Fans
Another in-demand type of NFL merchandise is baseball caps with the various team NFL logos on them. It's probably the least expensive way to adorn yourself with an NFL branded logo. Some merchandise manufacturers make NFL caps that have a rubber fan face built into it. Besides being a fun way to show you're fan fanatic, it might help keep you warm on cold game days in these coming months.
For the rabid NFL or college football fan, an impressive Christmas gift is a headwig, or rubber fan face for wearing at parties or the game. And the price of this fanwear is great. For less than twenty dollars, you have some authentic NFL merchandise with the fan's favorite colors and logo on it. Other items carried at an NFL shop are oversized inflatable footballs. These are a lot of fun for backyard play and take a lot of the seriousness out of the game. You can never have too much fun. For your car, you might want to block the Sun's UV rays from your kids in the backseat. It doesn't hurt to have a Steelers logo, or Jets logo, or Raider's logo on it as well. Show your team pride.
The most popular teams for fan merchandise aren't always what you'd expect. Fans in certain cities are very loyalty and spirited and they are more likely to get into the culture of football and adorn themselves with NFL branded clothing. Some of the more highly sought team merchandise is that of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Merchandise sales for the Steelers rose strongly after their recent win at the Superbowl.
Other teams that sell a lot of NFL merchandise are the Seattle Seahawks, Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Chicago Bears, Philadelphia Eagles, Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers. To find an NFL teams merchandise check online via Google or Yahoo. You'll find Chicago Bears Merchandise available at NFL.com or via the Bears official web site, and there are other NFL shops that offer official Chicago Bears merchandise. From collectibles to wearables, there are plenty of gift ideas for Christmas 2006. Stats show that fan interest in NFL football has continued to climb. Attendance at actual NFL games has risen and more games are shown on TV. That means fan-related items such as caps, fan faces, and headwigs are going to be present at all the games. Share the spirit this year with a visit to an NFL shop online.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
year's Super Bowl.
One thing we know for sure is the survivors of the conference
championship games will not be the teams who met in last year's
Super Bowl. The New England Patriots did not qualify fo r the playoffs,
and the New York Giants lost to Philadelphia last weekend.
With the frigid, snowy weather the northern portion of the United States
has been experiencing, it's only natural for fans to wonder what
kind of impact the weather will have on the games.
The weather should not be a problem in Arizona, where the current
forecasts call for sunny conditions and temperatures in the mid-70s
Sunday afternoon. But the NFL might wish it had reversed its schedule
and permitted the Steelers and Ravens to play in the afternoon instead
of the evening. Snow is a 50% possibility in Pittsburgh on Sunday
afternoon and evening, but, obviously, it will be warmer during the day
(predicted high near 27°) than it will be after the sun goes down (the
predicted low for Sunday night is 14°).
Philadelphia (9-6-1) at Arizona (9-7-0)
3 p.m. (EST), FOX
They say defense wins championships. If that is so, the Eagles may
emerge from the showdown with Arizona as the NFC's representative
in the Super Bowl.
But first, let's take a brief look at the offenses.
The offensive statistics appear pretty even. However, the Cardinals have
a statistical advantage at quarterback. Arizona's Kurt Warner led
the NFC in QB rating (96.9) while Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb was
10th in the NFC in that category (86.4). Warner also led the NFC in
completion percentage (67.1%) while McNabb was ninth (60.4%).
McNabb managed to finish fourth in the league in passing yards (3,916),
although he still trailed Warner (4,583). And Warner accounted for more
passing TDs than McNabb did, 30-23. It's worth pointing out,
though, that McNabb's longest pass completion (90 yards) exceeded
Warner's longest (79).
But, when you think about it, it probably isn't too difficult for
Warner to excel when he has receivers like Larry Fitzgerald (NFC's
leader in receiving yardage with 1,431, tied for first in receiving TDs
with 12, league leader in receptions with 96), Anquan Boldin (ninth in
the NFC in receiving yardage with 1,038, third in receiving TDs with 11,
second in receptions with 89) and Steve Breaston (11th in the NFC in
receiving yardage with 1,006, 12th in receptions with 77) as targets.
As far as interceptions were concerned, the two were fairly even. Warner
threw 14, McNabb threw 11.
Sixteen running backs in the NFL ran for at least 1,000 yards this
season, but none played for the Cardinals or the Eagles. In fact, no
1,000-yard rusher remains in the playoffs following the elimination last
weekend of the Giants, Panthers, Chargers and Titans, all of whom did
have running backs who cracked the 1,000-yard barrier. Of the running
backs who are still playing, Brian Westbrook of the Eagles came the
closest to 1,000, with 936 yards. Arizona's top rusher was Edgerrin
James with 514 yards.
Turning our attention to defense, the Eagles may be one of the few teams
in the NFL that can travel to Arizona with the confidence to shut down
the Cardinals' passing game.
During the regular season, Philadelphia held opposing QBs to a 54.1%
completion rate while restricting those signal-callers to a 72.9 passer
rating — and the Eagles had to face Eli Manning and Tony Romo twice, not
to mention a game against Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.
The Eagles routinely held teams under 200 yards passing, giving up an
average of about 182 yards/game. And the Eagles' foes averaged
about 18 points per game, while the Cardinals gave up nearly 27 points
Clark Judge of CBS Sports observes that the Eagles are on the brink of a
trip to the Super Bowl for the fifth time in eight years and suggests
that this time"it's more satisfying," given the obstacles he's
had to overcome.
When the Eagles faced the Cardinals on Thanksgiving night, Philadelphia
picked off Warner three times en route to a 48-20 victory.
I don't think it will be that high scoring again, but I think the
same team will prevail.
My prediction: Philadelphia 21, Arizona 17.
The Pittsburgh defense is solid. Rock solid. So solid that it's bringing back memories of the old "Steel Curtain" defense that helped the fame Steelers of Terry Bradshaw years win championships .
The next task for the Pittsburgh defense is rookie Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens. It could be one of the best defensive showdowns in NFL playoff history. The Pittsburgh "Steel curtain" against Hall of Famer Ray Lewis and the Ravens.
The winner will get a slightly better offensive team in the Super Bowl regardless of who wins in the NFC.
My prediction is that the Steelers defense will be too strong and Joe Flacco will toss at least two maybe three interceptions. Flacco hasn't struggled since the early part of the season and has played like a veteran quarterback. But don't look for that to continue in the cold cold Pittsburgh weather.
The Steelers will win an ugly one 13-6.