Saturday, February 26, 2011

Coach Like A Champion

Back in August I attended a workshop entitled Play Like a Champion. This workshop was presented by Notre Dame University and was a required workshop for all coaches who coach youths in the Catholic Diocese of Erie. The major premise of this workshop was that sports, although an undeniable aspect of our daily lives, is not the end all when working with youth. Sports at the grade school and even in the junior high and junior varsity level should be developmental. This is where we teach the children the fundamentals of the game. This is where we teach the kids to have sportsmanship and respect for their teammates as well as the other team. Too often we get caught up in the importance of winning. The old Al Davis tune - "Just Win Baby" gets played way too often in high school sports, and unfortunately grade school sports.

Don't get me wrong... I am not one of those feel good radicals who doesn't believe in competition. I love competition. Competition is what makes our country great. However, there comes a time and a place where we have to draw the line of what is competition and what is "win at all costs".

Today, I witnessed a failure of the "Play Like a Champion" workshop. At a 6th grade tournament at the Notre Dame grade school in Hermitage, Pa. I witnessed two coaches who completely forgot about their teams and tuned their headsets into the old Al Davis "Just Win Baby" tune.
Meadville was playing St. Joseph School. The Meadville team clearly was a better, taller, and quicker team. However, when Meadville was winning by 19 points ( 19-0), the Meadville coach was still pushing his team to do a full court press. The Meadville coach left his starters in after halftime where the score was 42-0. Meadville crushed St. Joseph School 66-8.

The kids from St. Joe's were demoralized. But before I completely make the Meadville coach into a demon, The St. Joe's coach had a big hand in this defeat as well. The St. Joe's coach left her first team in over 80% of the game. The second team sat on the bench and did not learn a single thing except that "we got beat pretty bad!" What made matters worse was that a first team player for St. Joe's should not have been playing at all since he was sick for two days prior to the game with the flu. The kid was very weak and could not hit the rim or backboard with his free throws. Meanwhile, there were 6 kids on the bench- sitting on their hands- saying, "yep, we are getting beat pretty bad!"

After the pounding, St. Joe's had to play a game in the "losers bracket". That game was immediately after the Meadville debacle. Once again, the same starters for St. Joe's started and the same 6 kids sat on the bench. The St. Joe's starters were dead on their feet by the middle of the second quarter. Reynolds went on to beat St. Joes 42-28. It was a shame since St. Joe's was a better team than Reynolds. But after playing back to back games with no rest in between and very little rotation of players, defeat for St. Joe's was inevitable.

So- what did the kids learn... mmm "We got beat- pretty bad".

All of us who are involved in sports. The coaches, the players, and the officials and the fans need to stop and take stock in what the game is all about. "Just Win Baby" may work in the Pro's and at the Collegiate level, but it has no place in High School, Junior Varsity, Junior High or Grade School Sports. We have a responsibility to teach our children to play like champions. In order to play like a champ, you have to coach like a champ!

Trade Deadline Deals

With the NBA trade deadline behind us and the NHL deadline about 36 hours away, I'd like to take the time to analyze the deals that have been made and the craziness behind the trade deadline. 

...and by taking the time, I mean I want to know what the fans think. What do you make of Carmelo and Billups going to the Bronx? What do you make of the Celtics getting rid of their young, starting center? How do you grade the Pens in their deals getting Neal, Niskanen, and Kovalev? What does this year's deadline tell us about each league as a whole? There's no limit to what can be discussed here regarding trades. Make fun of the leagues. Call teams stupid for their deadline decisions. Demand that players cannot demand trades like 'Melo did. You be the judge!

You can comment directly to this post, send a message to anybody in the 360 Sports Network, tweet us @3SNetwork, or comment us on the facebook group with your thoughts.

Friday, February 25, 2011

At least Pittsburgh fans have the Pirates to look forward to.

The Pens got downed 4-1 by the Carolina Hurricanes last night. Pascal Dupuis had the only goal and Fleury gave up the first point under 2 minutes into the game. The epic return of Kovalev got overshadowed by the beatdown and it does not look like Sidney Crosby is coming back any time soon.  Jimmy Murphy of and heard from a source in Pittsburgh that Crosby maybe done for the season. Via his twitter account, he said "As I have been told by Pittsburgh sources, Stephen Brunt now saying on Team 990 (in Montreal) he heard "whispers" Sidney Crosby maybe done for season."

With Malkin out for the season and Sid the kid most likely done for the year, its time for Pittsburgh Fans to focus their attention Bob Nuttings ball club. 

Okay so maybe that may be a little to much to ask for from a Pittsburgh fan since Bob Nutting aka: The Worst Owner in baseball, is in charge of the Pirates Franchise, but for the very few Pirate die hards (which i am not) I salute you.  Its been basically two decades since the pirates had a winning season. That is just pathetic. The reasons for it is up for debate put the most common one is the ownership. I want to get excited about spring ball but i cant...i wont. Too many times have i gotten excited over the pirates winning a decent amount of games to start the season only for them to just completely collapse, but hey they are bound to get to the post season eventually right?....i cant even type that with a straight face. 

I guess we can only wait and see what happens with this ball club. We can discuss and debate this topic all we want but the fact of the matter is this: two decades of losing is two decades of losing. Something needs to be done. So Bob Nutting, wealthy pockets or not, do you really want to be known as a loser? If you don't then do something about it. If you don't care and just want a thick wallet then i don't blame you. You're doing a good job don't change a thing.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Michael Jackson had nothing on Kovalev!

The question is did the pens get the 1999 version or the 38 year old Kovalev who took shifts off and forced his way out of Ottawa.  I'm just excited to see him back in a pens jersey.

Check out the video ;)

From the PG:

The Penguins, looking to add some scoring with a lot of forwards injured, today acquired winger Alexei Kovalev from the Ottawa Senators for a conditional 2011 seventh-round draft pick.
Kovalev, who turns 38 today, has 426 goals and 1,017 points in 1,282 career NHL games. He was with the Penguins from 1998-99 through 2002-03 and topped 20 goals each season, scoring 44 in 2000-01.
Kovalev is in the second season of a two-year, $10 million contract and is eligible for unrestricted free agency July 1. The Senators have made several personnel moves and have wanted to trade Kovalev before Monday's NHL trade deadline.
Kovalev is high skilled but has been knocked for at times falling into a funk. He has 14 goals, 27 points in 54 games with Ottawa this season.
The Penguins are without top centers Sidney Crosby, who has a concussion, and Evgeni Malkin, who had season-ending knee surgery.If the Penguins win the first round of the playoffs and Kovalev plays in at least half the games, the compensation going to the Senators would jump to a sixth-rounder. The Penguins had two seventh-round picks this year before the trade.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Welcome Welcome!

First off, I must thank Alex for that wonderful introduction. I'm excited to discuss a wide variety of sports. Here's a little more background info about me.

I'm a huge Pittsburgh fan, especially the Steelers. However I also particularly root for the Cowboys (go ahead, shoot me), Red Wings (round two), and the Lions (they're going to the playoffs this year). 

I go to Penn State and follow as much of their sports as I can. I probably know the football team's players' names better than JoePa (well, ya that may not be saying much).  I also follow and root for Pitt and Michigan State....when they're not playing Penn State of course!

Finally, I am a die-hard fan of IndyCar racing. No, not NASCAR.  That's just glorified bumper cars. I can watch NASCAR every once in a while, but usually fight the z's when I do.  I'm sure there will be more on this to come down the road.

Thanks again to Greg and Alex for bringing me on board with 360 Sports Network, and let the fun begin!

Revenge of the "Super Freak"

I mentioned before that Randy Moss is my favorite athlete of all time. Im not trying to start a love fest or anything but i figure since i cant sleep i might as well explain why he is my favorite and what teams i think would be a good fit for him Next Season.

It's not that i like Randy Moss the quitter or Randy Moss the food critic (see caterer gus tinucci), i like Randy Moss the "Freak". When Moss first entered the NFL in 98', he shook the league up. He posted a riduclous 1,313 yards, 19yards per catch, and 17 touchdowns (NFL rookie Record) from 69 receptions. That is not what won me over though. What won me over was the way he made those receptions. I never seen anyone who could jump the way he could. The one handed grabs, the constant burning of defensive backs, and tip toe touchdown receptions won me over. As a kid i wished so badly that he would play for the Steelers but it just wasnt meant to be.

I will admit that i dont like the way Moss took plays off  in his career, or entire seasons like he did with the Raiders, but there are worse things a person can do -cough- Ben Roethlisberger -cough- and don't tell me that Moss is the only player to take a play off in the history of the NFL. That would just be stupid. It's not right to take a play off and i look down on it, but lets be honest, it happens all the time in any sport. If we are going to criticize Moss lets criticize him for shootin the Moon at Lambeau. Ill admit that was a "DISGUSTING ACT BY RANDY MOSS."

Anyway Moss is a free agent come March 4rth so its time for Moss to find a new home. After playing for 3 teams this season (getting traded from New England back to Minnesota and getting cut and pick up on waivers by the Titans) i am going to pin point some good fits for Moss.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs have a bright future and could use a veteran presence to go along with all of the young guys. Mike Williams is Randy Moss 2.0. He had 18 catches for over 20 yards and averaged 15 yards a catch. The learning experience would be invaluable for the 23-year old Williams. Assuming he would be willingly to play the mentor role, Moss could really help out Tampa Bay.

Washington Redskins: This one isn't to hard to figure out. They will be losing Santana Moss and the lack of a premier reciever will be shining pretty brightly. Losing one Moss and gaining another makes sense doesnt it?...

Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags finished 27th in passing yards with 191 a game. Moss could be a real help for a team that is on the brink of making the playoffs.

St. Louis Rams:  This team really needs a playmaking reciever who is capable of stretching the field and catching the deep ball. Brandon Gibson and Danny Amendola are the teams leading recievers and i don't think anyone really knows who they are so its pretty evident they could use Moss.

New Orleans Saints: Why Not? They are one of the best teams in a weak NFC who im sure will be a favorite to make the superbowl next season (Despite thier loss to a 7-9 Saints team in the playoffs) so we all know moss should be happy and motivated thoughout the season. Brees to Moss: that just sounds scary.

Atlanta Falcons: They have "Rowdy" Roddy White so they dont need Moss but imagine White and Moss having footballs thrown to them by "Matty Ice". That would just be epic.

New England Patriots: This is when Moss transformed from "Freak to "Super Freak". I know they traded him last season but remember Moss was the one who pushed for the trade. Randy made it known last year that he was full of regret for forcing his way out of New England. Under the right circumstance i could see Moss returning to New England for a low level contract, maybe for 2 million a year, in order to play for the patriots. If Moss goes up to coach Bilichick and tells him he made a mistake and  will revert to the 2007 version of himself when he broke Jerry Rices record, i could see him possibly taking Moss back.

I believe the "super freak" has some gas left in the tank but just how much gas remains to be seen but for now everyone should check out this Randy Moss tribute. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Greetings to one and all...

I am very excited to be part of the 360 project. I believe this new format will allow us to create even more dynamic posts on a full range of subjects related to sports. Stay tuned, we will dazzle and amaze.

Who and what we are.

360 Sports Network is a collaborative project focusing on the all elements of sports. We will be posting audio blogs and providing journal articles on a consistent basis to inform our followers of the latest happenings of Professional, collegiate, and high school sports. Please contact Alex Dellaverson, Greg Beshero, or James Dotson on this webpage or via Facebook with any of your thoughts or comments for this site. This is a public webpage so feel free to comment or leave your own journal articles. We look forward to serving and participating with the fans of all sports through this web page.

You can reach us on twitter @360sportnetwork

Credit is to be given to Cluth Productions for audio blogs and broadcast's.!/ClutchPro"

A little bit about myself: Im Alex Dellaverson and sports is a passion for me.  I am getting a degree through Penn State but will be earning  a certificate in business at Pitt main campus this summer. Steelers, Pens, Pirates, Pitt and Penn State athletics are the teams that i follow. I like the NBA but don't love it as much as NFL (Probably due to the fact that there is no Pittsburgh NBA team) but if i had to chose a team i guess it would be the Lakers. My pride and joy is Pitt Panthers basketball. I can talk hours and hours about Panther recruits and how much gratitude i have for Jamie Dixon and Ben Howland for create this monster known as Pitt hoops. Don't Get me started on Steve Pederson.

I play fantasy football at the start of every football season (both professional and college). My team name for fantasy sports is the Freakboyz, which is derived from my favorite athlete of all time,randy moss (let the bashing begin). 

Thats basically it for me. My co-bloggers will introduce themselves shortly but ill give you just a bit of a heads up on both of them.

Greg "The Mad Scientist" Beshero is everything fantasy football. He has been playing the game for over 15 years and instead of purchasing a fantasy book with cheat sheets for your draft, you are better off trying to purchase him for the day.

James "No Doubt" Dotson is everything Penn State. He is a student up at happy valley and knows the players, the coaches, and the big ten better than most people know their family members.

Ill get at all of you later on. Have a good day everyone

P.S i have a cool nickname too. "Wunderkind" because of my success at such a young age ;)