A New Season Brings Hope and Uncertainty

15 09 2009

By Brendan Tyman

The National Football League’s season is underway and all thirty two teams are still in contention.

Now I will provide you with my predictions for the upcoming season.

NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP): New Orleans Saints Quarterback, Drew Brees

NFL Offensive Player of the Year: Minnesota Vikings Running Back, Adrian Peterson

NFL Defensive Player of the Year: Dallas Cowboys Outside Linebacker, DeMarcus Ware

NFL Rookie Offensive Player of the Year: New York Jets Quarterback, Mark Sanchez

NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year: Carolina Panthers Defensive End, Everette Brown

American Football Conference (AFC) Division and Wild Card Winners

AFC East – New England Patriots – Just too much firepower and most clutch Quarterback is back on the field

AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers – If defending champs remain healthy, they will continue to go a long way

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts – It is their time to recapture their magic

AFC West – San Diego Chargers – Window is closing on LaDanian Tomlinson and Shawne Merriman

AFC Wild Cards – Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans

AFC Wild Card Playoffs

Baltimore over San Diego – Joe Flacco outduels Phillip Rivers and Rivers continues to mouth off to Ray Lewis

Indinapolis defeats Titans – Vinatieri hits a field goal in overtime and causes Jeff Fisher to propose a rule similar to college about overtime

AFC Divisional Playoffs

Indianapolis eliminates Pittsburgh – Many key players out for Pittsburgh and Peyton takes advantage

Pats beat Baltimore – Brady to Moss is a combination that Ed Reed cannot even stop

AFC Championship Game

New England defeats Colts – Belichick cooks up a new defense with new players for Manning

National Football Conference (NFC) Division and Wild Card Winners

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys – Terrell who?

NFC North – Green Bay Packers – Easy schedule and continued emergence of Aaron Rodgers leads the Cheeseheads to forget about another quarterback in the division

NFC South – Atlanta Falcons – Explosive offense along with a solid defense puts Atlanta at the head of the division

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks – As long as their key players stay on the field, they can be a dangerous team

NFC Wild Cards – Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings

NFC Wild Card

Atlanta defeats Vikings – QB driven league and Matty Ice comes through for the Dirty Birds

Seahawks beat Philadelphia – 12th man hurts McNabb and Vick as they continue to feud in the locker room

NFC Divisional Playoffs

Dallas over Falcons – Romo finally comes through in the clutch

Seattle eliminates Green Bay – Packer fans can take solace in Brett Favre being out of the postseason

NFC Championship Game

Dallas over Seattle – A punt hits the board and Jim Mora protests to the Competition Committee in the offseason. How bout ’em Cowboys!

Super Bowl

New England over Cowboys – Brady cements his legacy with 4 rings and Belichick proves he can win with unproven players on defense


Boston, Philly, and St. Louis Pass Flying Colors On Deadline Day

1 08 2009

Phillies Giants Baseball

By Brendan Tyman

The Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals all pulled off major coups before the Major League Baseball trading deadline at 4 P.M. yesterday.

Yesterday, the Sox shipped left-handed pitcher (LHP) Nick Hagadone, right-handed pitcher (RHP) Justin Masterson, and pitcher Bryan Price to the Cleveland Indians for catcher/first baseman (INF) Victor Martinez. Then they traded for first baseman Casey Kotchman of the Atlanta Braves for first baseman Adam LaRoche. Boston did not need to give up their top pitching prospects in Clay Bucholz and Michael Bowden. Martinez can provide some pop even though he has struggled for the past couple of months with a .193 batting average.

On Wednesday, the Phills sent RHP Carlos Carrasco, INF Jason Donald, RHP Jason Knapp, and C Lou Marson to the Tribe for LHP Cliff Lee and outfielder (OF) Ben Francisco.Ruben Amaro got an ace even though it was not Roy Halladay.

Meanwhile the Cards had been busy plucking OF Matt Holliday from the Oakland Athletics for third baseman Brett Wallace, OF Shane Peterson, and RHP Clayton Mortensen. In addition, they received Julio Lugo from Boston for Chris Duncan. Lastly, they got INF Mark DeRosa for RHP Chris Perez and RHP Jess Todd. Now, they have another bat in the middle of their order in Holliday. St. Louis also added a versatile infielder (DeRosa) and a middle infielder who can hit at the top of their lineup (Lugo).

The most surprising thing was the Toronto Blue Jays did not trade Roy Halladay even though he only has a year and a half left on his deal. They will not get as much after this season for him as they would have now. Apparently talks with the Red Sox broke down because they were not willing to give up both Bucholz and RHP Daniel Bard.

The New York Yankees did not make a big splash as they do not have depth in pitching. The only move that was made was getting Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cincinatti Reds.

You’ve Got to be Kidding Me

20 05 2009

By Jim Chandley

Sorry all for the lack of updates of late.  Hope this holds you over for a while…

Manny Suspended 50 Games

8 05 2009
Manny Ramirez's suspension will end July 3, in time to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a playoff berth. (Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

Manny Ramirez's suspension will end July 3, in time to propel the Los Angeles Dodgers to a playoff berth. (Kirby Lee/US Presswire)

By Brendan Tyman

Yesterday, Los Angeles Dodgers and former Boston Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for an illegal substance.

There was a prescription for a female fertility drug.  According to a source, the drug, human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, is used by steroid users to begin their testosterone levels as they end a steroid cycle. Ramirez will forefit $7.7 million of this season’s $25 million salary

This brings into question how long has Ramirez been utilizing banned substances and whether his numbers are tainted. If he took these drugs during his tenure in Boston, then the World Series titles in 2004 and 2007 are cast with a cloud.

In “The Recruit,” Al Pacino tells Colin Farell’s character, “Nothing is what it seems.” This line can define the steroid era and its aftermath. After prominent players such as Alex Rodriguez and Ramirez have admitted and been suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs, people do not know how to classify the great athletes of the 90s into the 21st century.

Nobody will know the full extent of who used what and when. Questions will constantly arise.

What A Night, What A Series

3 05 2009
Chicao Bulls center Joakim Noah can only pray that his team pulls through after fouling out in the last minute of Game 7. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Chicao Bulls center Joakim Noah can only pray that his team pulls through after fouling out in the last minute of Game 7. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

By Brendan Tyman

The Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls provided more drama than a teen romance. There was everything from all of the overtimes (7 in seven games) to all of the buzzer beating treys launched by Ben Gordon and RayAllen.

Game 7 was anticlimatic compared to the other six games of the series in which four went into overtime. The score was not decided until the final minute and there was no extra time.

The C’s used a 22-2 run in the second quarter to spark a 109-99 victory over the Bulls. This stretch lasted 7:40 and it got the Garden roaring.

After the contest, Paul Pierce walked back to the locker room looking as weary as Max Baer in “Cinderella Man.” after his bout with Jimmy Braddock.

In this final edition of one of the best series of all time, the Celts’ bench came alive as Eddie House made all 5 of his jumpers (including four 3-pointers) and scored 16. Brian Scalabrine added 8. Mikki Moore even got on the scoreboard with 4 points. Ray Allen and Paul Pierce led the team with 23 and 20 points, respectively.

Ben Gordon led all scorers with 33. John Salmons really struggled after lighting up Boston in Game 6 with 35 points, as he only shot 3-12 from the field. Derrik Rose posted 18 points. Joakim Noah grabbed 15 boards before fouling out in the final seconds.

A few things taken from this series is Boston is still resillient and they are battle-tested. If the Bulls resgin Gordon (impending free agent) this summer and with Luol Deng coming back, they could be a very frightening squad. Just ask Doc Rivers.

Exciting Weekend

27 04 2009
A fan holds up a broom as the Boston Red Sox swept a three game series against the New York Yankees last night. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A fan holds up a broom as the Boston Red Sox swept a three game series against the New York Yankees last night. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

By Brendan Tyman

This past weekened provided several highlights and the only downside for Boston sports fans was the 121-118 loss suffered by the Celtics in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series versus the pesky Chicago Bulls.

The image that will stand out the most is not the NFL Draft or the last second treys knocked down by Ray Allen and Ben Gordon to send the contest into another frame for their respective teams, but Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home with 15-year veteran Andy Pettite on the mound.

Things could not get better as Boston has become the center of the sports universe. Many analysts declared the New England Patriots as having one of the best drafts and being set for 2010 with 3 second round selections. The Boston Red Sox just swept the New York Yankees and the 9-game homestand. The Boston Bruins finally got revenge on the Montreal Canadiens and are currently relaxing while their future opponent is battling. The Boston Celtics are the defending champions and looking to repeat as world champions. Two Boston College players were just chosen on the first day of the Draft (B.J. Raji was the first defensive tackle taken by the Green Bay Packers and Ron Brace was taken by the Pats).

If you are a Boston sports fan, you can be thankful for living in this glorious renaissance in sports history. Enjoy weekends like this past one because they do not come along very often.

Celts Lose Heartbreaker

26 04 2009
Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce pleads an official to call a foul. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce pleads an official to call a foul. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By Brendan Tyman

With an opportunity to put Chicago in a deep hole, the Boston Celtics could not take advantage.

Ben Gordon hit a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left to force another overtime period and the Bulls overcame a late rally by the C’s to win 121-118. The Eastern Conference quarterfinal series is now even at 2 going back to Boston for Game 5.

Of course, the contest would not have made it into overtime if not for a Ray Allen trey with 9.8 ticks left in regulation. Both teams battled it out and it was fairly close for the whole game as neither squad held a double-digit lead.

Paul Pierce led all players with 29 points, but shot ineffectively for most of the game.  Allen added 28. Rajon Rondo posted another triple double with 25 points, 11 rebounds and assists.

Derrick Rose went for 23 and nearly had a triple double with 11 boards and 9 dimes. Gordon tallied 22. There were six Bulls who scored double figures.

Now the Celtics will have to make another trip to Chitown, which is something they did not want to do.