Archive for August, 2011

A few weeks back I wrote an article about what life would be like without the NFL and how other sports would emerge and take away some of the pain.  The truth is the NFL is too profitable, the players and the owners all make too much money and we were never really in any danger of losing the entire 2011 season.  The lone casualty of this whole lockout situation was the August 7th “Hall of Fame Weekend” game at soldier field featuring the Bears vs the Rams.   Without the possibility of a Kristin Cavallari sighting in Chitown I don’t think anyone gave a shit.  It’s August 11th and Football is back, baby!

I’ve immersed myself in football in the past week or so.  I’ve completed over 10 fantasy mock drafts.  I watched as much as possible of the 4 pre-season games this evening, from Michael Vick looking like an early MVP candidate to Tim Tebow making major strides towards that starting QB spot.  Then it hit me.  The “lockout” prior to the 2011 NFL season may have been the best marketing ploy in the history of professional sports.

Think about it.  We all love football.  Even your girlfriend watches the Super Bowl every year, cheering mindlessly for the “team with the nicest outfit”.  How could the NFL possibly make America’s most popular sport even more popular?  By threatening to take it away.

Try and tell me you weren’t worried what would happen to your fantasy league this year if there was no football.  Once that 10 year CBA was signed, how many emails and league invites have filled your inbox?

How many preseason football games have you watched in your lifetime?  How many did you watch today, and why is Sportscenter dominated by the highlights?

This whole lockout thing was viral marketing in it’s finest, purest form… and we fell for it hook, line and sinker.

 

Yet I couldn’t be more happy.

 

Last night was our first chance to see the US Men’s National Team play under new coach Jurgen Klinsmann (some of you may remember him as one of Germany’s all-time best strikers, and the coach of the German National Team in the 2006 World Cup).

The game ended in a 1-1 draw, and for the most part, I felt good about what I saw.  I liked the formation Klinsmann deployed (a dynamic 4-2-3-1), and even though I disagreed with some of the players he called up for the game, I realize that he did not want to use any Europe-based players currently finishing their preseason training.  I did dislike how defensive his midfielder was (Jermaine Jones, Kyle Beckerman and Michael Bradley are all better as holding midfielders – and playing Bradley in the Attacking Midfielder position didn’t make a lot of sense), but again, I have to attribute that to the players he had available to him – Freddy Adu was on the squad, but due to not being on a club was not fit to play.  I think this is a result that US can build on.  It will be very interesting to see what the team does next month in their friendlies against Costa Rica and Belgium. Read the rest of this entry »

The English Premier League season is set to kick off next weekend, now is a good time to bring you the EPL Preseason Preview.  This preview is a version-on-steroids of the EPL Power Poll which will be published every week for the duration of the EPL season.The transfer period is still open (clubs can buy and sell players until September 1st), these predictions may end up wildly out of date.  A few big signings are still expected.Because of the difference in structure of the European leagues, teams actually compete for several things.  The top finisher is the league champion (there are no playoffs).  The teams in the top 4 qualify for the extremely prestigious Champions League, which pits the top teams in Europe against each other.  The next 1 to 3 places (depending on other competitions) confer qualification for Europa League, a second tier continental competition.  While Europa League has nowhere near the prestige of Champions League, it’s still a desirable prize.  And of course, the bottom 3 teams are relegated into the second English division, called The Championship League (not to be confused with Champions League) Read the rest of this entry »

Kevin Durant has had a busy couple of weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

As we roll upon the weekend before the first NFL Preseason games start, most of the big time free agents have been signed and trades have been made.  Teams are now having their 1st official practices, and making moves to either get under the cap, or up to the cap floor.

Anyone who has a pulse and/or internet connection can see that one team in specific got MUCH better.  They are the Philadelphia Eagles. It’s hard to ignore a team that swooped in under the radar and signed the #1 or #1A cornerback in the league Nnamdi Asomugha, DE Justin Babin (12.5 sacks last year for Tennessee), TE Donald Lee (Packers), QB Vince Young (Everyone knows his story), DT Cullen Jenkins (Packers starting tackle had 7 sacks last year), and RB Ronnie Brown (Oft injured starting RB for the Dolphins the past 6 seasons). Its like the rich are just getting richer.

Then you have a team like the NY Giants who apparently have not gotten the text message that the flash mob has been moved to 12:30, because they basically have not signed a single player so far since free agency has started, with the exception of their own draft picks and free agents.

So before Braylon Edwards can get into another bar fight, here’s TSB’s Pre-Pre Season NFL Power Rankings… Read the rest of this entry »

Due to a move this past week I was unable to cover S4E2 “Thirty-Eight Snub”.  In this recap I will discuss both S4E2 and S4E3 “Open House”

 

After Season 4 shot out of the gates with the episode “Boxcutter”, fans were treated with a suspenseful 2nd episode in “Thirty-Eight Snub”.  The title is immediately explained as Walt is trying to decide which gun he wants to buy from an illegal arms dealer.  While he claims that his new piece is only for protection, we all know that he is looking to bust a cap in Gus the first chance he gets.  After seeing Gus murder a man right before his eyes, Walt feels his days are numbered (and it’s not the cancer that is going to get him).

Only 2 episodes into the season and it seems as if Breaking Bad is going in a new direction as far as character development goes.  In Seasons 1-3 it was almost all about Walt, a lot about Jessie and a little bit of the ancillary characters Skyler, Walter Jr, Hank and Marie.  While the title of the episode may lead you to think it’s all about Walt, “Thirty-Eight Snub” spends significant time developing Hank and Marie’s characters.  The frustration on Hank’s face as he recovers from the multiple gun shot wounds makes you really feel for the guy.  His obsession with the minerals (don’t call them rocks) is strange and his patience for his caring wife is non-existent.  While Marie is bending over backwards to accommodate Hank, he fails to see how much she is doing for him and returns the favors with salty remarks.  Marie’s gonna blow up real soon, you can count on it.

Read the rest of this entry »