Thursday, April 28, 2011

Last Second Mock Draft

Three minutes before the Panthers go on the clock....

1. CAR - Marcell Dareus (dumbest decision ever if they go with Newton, but I think it's a strong possibility)
2. DEN - Patrick Peterson
3. BUF - Cam Newton
4. CIN - Blaine Gabbert
5. ARI - Von Miller
6. CLE - A.J. Green
7. SF - Prince Amukamara
8. TEN - Nick Fairley
9. DAL - Robert Quinn
10. WAS - Cam Jordan
11. HOU - Anthony Castonzo
12. MIN - J.J. Watt
13. DET - Tyron Smith
14. STL - Julio Jones (they will trade up to get him if A.J. Green goes to Cinci at #4)
15. MIA - Mark Ingram
16. JAC - Ryan Kerrigan
17. NE - Adrian Clayborn (but watch for NE to trade one or both of their picks)
18. SD - Aldon Smith
19. NYG - Corey Liuget
20. TB - Brooks Reed
21. KC - Da'Quan Bowers
22. IND - Gabe Carimi
23. PHI - Nate Solder
24. NO - Muhammad Wilkerson
25. SEA - Jake Locker
26. BAL - Jimmy Smith
27. ATL - Kyle Rudolph
28. NE - Danny Watkins
29. CHI - Cam Heyward
30. NYJ - Akeem Ayers
31. PIT - Mike Pouncey (look for them to probably trade with TB or KC and get Pouncey there)
32. GB - Phil Taylor

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Problem with College Football- The Jim Tressel Chapter- Part 2

To be perfectly honest, I thought the whole Jim Tressel situation had blown over. That was until I heard the whole ugly sequence once again on my car radio on my way home from work. In case you have been living under a large rock, here is the sequence of events that is dogging the Ohio State legend.

1 Terrell Pryor and friends decide to get tattoos at a local parlor. In exchange for the tattoos, Pryor decided to sign a few jerseys.

2. On April 2,2010, Columbus,Ohio attorney Christopher Cicero ( a former walk on Ohio State football player in his younger days ) decides to e-mail Tressel that the Feds have raided the house of the tatoo shop owner-Eddie Rife. In that raid, the Feds found a plethora of autographed Ohio State jerseys, helmets, cleats, etc...

3. Tressel responded to Cicero that he would get on this ASAP! Tressel then failed to notify anyone else in the Ohio State Athletic Department... but rather forwarded the e-mail to Jeanette, PA businessman Ted Sarniak who is a mentor to Terrell Pryor.

4. In September 2010, Jim Tressel signed a mandatory and routine NCAA compliance form that acknowledged that Tressel did not know of any NCAA violations

5. Fast forward to December and tatoogate is in full ink!

Jim Tressel has always been an inspiration. His matter of fact style has always transcended the sport. Tressel has always preached character. This was part and parcel of his success while at Youngstown State University and his many 1AA National Championships. In the past ten years as the Head Coach of the Buckeyes, he has amassed many victories over Michigan and has an incredible 106-22 record with a 2002 National Championship. These are feats of a disciplined coach and program- not that of a cheat.

Do I believe that Jim Tressel lied to the NCAA about the scope of this scandal. Yes! Do I beleive that Jim Tressel should be punished? Yes... but the punishment must fit the crime. The only crime that has been committed has been the crime of trust with the fans of both Collegiate Football and Ohio State. There will always be a patina of skepticism much like the skepticism that falls over unfaithful couples. It is a stain that can never be removed from the fabric. But... it can be overcome.

I thought it was curious that Tressel had requested a stiffer penalty than what he received. But- looking at this situation, I believe he understood the gravity of this situation and wanted it to "go away". If he were a lesser coach or even John Cooper, he would have been fired. But Tressel is legendary and I believe that he hoped that proposing a stiffer penalty on himself would help the situation "go away"

The only way out there to make things right in the land of Buckeyes is for Tressel to get everyone on the same page at Ohio State and take charge of what happened. He must stand tall- like the stoic vested general that he is and admit to his transgressions. But- he must also use this bully pulpit to help forge new rules for NCAA Sports. There is no reason why a college player cannot sell his autograph or even his personal property. It is perfectly legal for the players parents to do this, but not the player. The NCAA is full of archaic and questionable rules. There must be reform and there is no better person to lead the charge for reform than Jim Tressel. I find it very odd that Coach Kelly from Notre Dame is not on the hot seat for the death of a Notre Dame student who was ordered by Coach Kelly to videotape practice on top of a high lift during a windstorm.

Tressel must take the high road and lead the charge for NCAA reform. Yes, the stain of what he did can never be removed, but it should stand as a reminder to us all that the system needs to be changed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The National Anthem at Sporting Events

This post is about 20 years overdue.

One of the greatest traditions of sporting events across the United States of America is the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner before the start of a game. It's a way to show respect for our country and  remember what it took to allow us to enjoy such events. It is one of the most important parts of a game.

It is also one of the most embarrassing and disgraceful parts of a sporting event.

Too many fans are entirely too disrespectful during the playing of our National Anthem, and it makes me go crazy.  And I'm not talking about hockey fans booing the Star-Spangled Banner or O Canada.  That's another big issue. Worse than disrespecting somebody else's national anthem is bad enough, but what really angers me is disrespecting your own. 


Let's start with the group of fans that has spurred me to post this: Chicago Blackhawk fans.  During the National Anthem, it is their "tradition" not to sing and not to stand there respectfully. They cheer. They scream. They clap. They shout. They say it's showing support for our country. I say it's a travesty. They literally drown out our country's song; how is that showing support?  And watching live footage from this on Sunday night, I took notice of a couple individual faces in the crowd.  The fans were just hollering and clapping. I saw at least five people just look up and just scream. And then I see (apparently non-regular Blackhawk) fans looking around in disgust and disbelief. This tells me that Chicago fans don't all like this "tradition" and it's because people are simply trying to be loud, not applaud our country. At the very least, it tells me Chicago fans don't know the words to the most important song in America. I respect your ATTEMPT to honor America, but it just fails.


Speaking of not knowing the words...Christina Aguilera's performance at Super Bowl XLV shows the role the performer plays in singing the National Anthem. She's too busy turning a 70 second song into a 2.5 minute spectacle that she forgot what verse she was on. Or she just doesn't know the words. Either way, performers care about sounding good rather than knowing what to sing. And for Christina, it's at the biggest single-day event in the world. Pitiful. 


Here's another national anthem performance that left fans shaking their heads. In 2001, less than four months before 9/11, Steven Tyler sang the anthem at The Greatest Spectacle in Racing: The Indianapolis 500. I can't even describe how bad it was (just listen for yourself).  Here's what I see from Mr. Aerosmith, and frankly from just about every famous singer who is asked to perform the anthem. I see a star trying to put his signature on an otherwise bland song. And by bland, I mean that it is heard more than any other song (even the new, can'tgetyououtofmyhead Rebecca Black song "Friday") and thus singers want to shake it up a bit.  But you can't turn a national song into an Aerosmith scream-fest.  And then ending it by saying "Home of the...Indianapolis 500" just further showed how dumb it was to invite this type of performer to sing the most important song of our nation. Just glad this happened BEFORE 9/11, because even though it should never happen in general, it even more shouldn't happen after September 11th.

Roseanne... -    -74,932,144 STARS

This is one I'll never understand. Roseanne Barr sings the national anthem at a baseball game (20 years ago now?)  I read somewhere that she was invited to sing AS A JOKE! a joke people? The only good thing about Roseanne's performance was that it was over in 45 seconds, not 3 minutes like some national anthems. She laughs in the middle of singing (if you can call it that). A sad day indeed....

"Oh!" -    3 STARS

I'm torn on this one. Penn State students, during the line "oh say..." will scream a big "OH!" I don't find too much issue with this one, I don't think...I don't know. What bothers me more is two separate instances where students would "sing along" and at "and the rocket's red glare..." start to "sing" in a high pitched voice (I'm sorry for all of the scare quotes). When I tell them to show respect, they say "I'm sorry, I'm tone deaf."  No, you're not tone deaf, you just have no respect for the country you live in. Don't. Mess. With. The. Anthem.

Actual Sing-Along! -    4.5 STARS

I loved seeing this happen! First of all, Jim Timney, a member of the US Army National Guard, is singing, not some pop superstar. Second, he sings it normally, not taking three minutes to sing or adding unnecessary inflections. Then, all of a sudden, he pulls the mic away from his mouth and stops singing. The crowd joins in, complete unison, and helps finish the anthem 18,000 strong.  Everybody singing along respectfully to a song we can all understand. The crowd loved it so much, they requested Timney return for the Game 2 anthem.

Pure and Simple -    50 STARS

When all else fails and when in doubt, just stick with the simple. The instrumental version is the best rendition of the National Anthem, pure and simple. The fans can sing along properly, if they desire, or can stand there with respect and not have to worry about some pop diva or rock legend butchering the song.

Follow the KISS principle people: Keep It Simple Stupid.  I've had enough of having to shake my head or look away in disgust during the Anthem, whether due to the performance or the crowd's behavior. My brother is currently overseas fighting for our freedom, and we're apparently tone-deaf and sing the National Anthem as a joke. I'm ashamed. My fellow Americans, let's grow up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NHL Playoff Preview

Check out our predictions for the 2011 National Hockey League playoffs! Make sure to leave your feedback and to subscribe on YouTube to get updates every time the 3SN team posts! Special thanks again to our two hockey specialists Ryan Iorio and Robbie Young for their assistance in this broadcast!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Open Wheel Racing, Weekend #2

Thanks to the addition of Ryan Mooney to the 3SN team, I finally have somebody to join me in racing discussions!

Also thanks to Mr. Mooney, I found myself checking out the first F1 race of the year live at 3 in the morning, and found myself loving every minute of it!  The Buton/Massa battle for the first 12 laps or so was one to rival any battle for position in any form of racing! Sebastian Vettel ended up leading from start to finish, winning by over 22 seconds. A rather exciting race to watch, especially in seeing the new rules take place, including the KERS and overtake rear-wing, which Ryan and I will discuss at a later date.

That being said, I am still all about the IndyCar Series. This series features an even mix of road/street races and oval courses. This schedule is unique to any other racing series (F1 has solely road/street course races, NASCAR has 2 road races out of 36 events) and to me is what makes the IndyCar Series the most demanding of the drivers, teams, and crews.  Though every track is different, to be able to properly adjust your car from one week of maneuvering through city streets efficiently, to the following week having your car set up for 200+ mph speeds on a 2 mile oval, takes the utmost skill.

The first IndyCar race of the year was two weekends ago, the same day as the F1 kickoff event. 25 racers took the green flag on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Florida, and what resulted about five seconds after the green flag waved was something to behold.  Helio Castroneves bumps Marco Andretti from behind going into turn one. Andretti ends up on his head, his teammate Mike Conway also out of the race, and pre-race
favorites Castroneves along with Scott Dixon and Ryan Briscoe are forced to pit due to damage. The Indy race finished with its own intense battle between Simona de Silvestro and Tony Kanaan over the last half-dozen laps. Young de Silvestro raced to a 4th place finish after starting 17th, and battled the veteran
Kanaan to some of the most fun racing they've had in years (just ask their Twitter pages). Reigning series champion Dario Franchitti won the race, and pole-sitter and road course master Will Power finished second.

Now after a week off for both series, it's time to go racing yet again! F1 races in Malaysia this weekend. The course looks open for lots of overtakes, something that has been absent over the past few years in the series. The front straight will have cars going over 180 mph before going into turn one at speeds more around 45 mph. Might see some incidents there for sure. Turns 14 and 15 each go into their own individual straightaway, so when you get on and off the throttle will be key here and lead to many passing opportunities! Tune in live at 4 am Sunday Morning to watch live, or replayed later in the day. My prediction: Watch Mark Webber to take charge. He's been fast all weekend, and if he leads going into turn one at the start, he might not be caught.  Top Five: Webber, Vettel, Button, Massa, Hamilton.

The Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama will air live at 3pm Sunday. Barber Motorsports Park hosts this event, and the track allows so much diversity in racing styles that anything is possible. Most of the turns will be taken at high speeds, unlike St. Pete which had turn one at 60 mph at best. Nice partial straightaways to pick up speed and many elevation changes make this track a fun and intense race course! There aren't too many good passing zones here, though, so it is surely a strategy race. Two stops or three? Primary or alternate tires? Save fuel or go all out? In the end, it will not be about who has the best strategy but who has the best strategy adjustment mid-race.  My prediction: First practice is just starting, so can't tell for sure who looks fast. So far, Castroneves and Conway lead the way, but top finishers from last week haven't taken the track yet. But in a strategy race, it's hard to go against Team Penske. And on a road race, hard to go against juggernaut Will Power.  So look for Power to be in victory lane, but keep your eye on Simona, she's yet to disappoint in her two years in IndyCar.  Top Five: Power, Conway, Franchitti, Castroneves, de Silvestro.


What I loved best about the Indy race was the finish: NINE different teams represented the top 10 finishers. This shows every race will be competitive, which is a huge plus for IndyCar!! Also, look at the ratings. NASCAR is going downhill quickly with ratings (the only reason they even survived was Indy's split with CART in the mid 90's) and the St. Pete race had the highest ratings for an IndyCar race besides the Indianapolis 500 since 2007. The sport is rising. Sponsors are flying in, new teams are forming, and fans of all ages are joining the ride! We're going to see more racing teams attempt to qualify for the 500 this year than we've seen in close to a decade! I just hope everybody will come along for the ride and see what true racing looks like!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Who will be the top dog come monday?

college basketball story thumbnail

A few thoughts... 

-The 3SN team correctly picked Uconn vs Butler in the national championship game

-Butler lost to lowly Youngstown State University this season, and now they are in the national championship game.

-Ever since the YSU loss, they haven't been defeated

-Back to back national championship game appearances. Florida did it last in 2006 and 2007.

-Who doesn't want Brad Stevens as their coach?

-Lets say if Butler losses to Uconn on monday, is their any chance he leaves butler and goes to a bigger school for more money?

- If Butler wins no way he leaves

-Is Butler an elite program?

-If they aren't an elite program, they will be come Monday night

-A horizon league team made the National championship game 2 years in a

-Do mid major schools still exist in college basketball?

-Uconn won the big east tournament and are 1 win away from claiming the national title, what happend to big east teams being to tired after the conference tournament?  

-If Uconn does win, expect to hear the big east apologist to surface again claiming the big east is the best conference in the nation hands down.

-VCU deserves praise for what they accomplished. ESPN is reporting right now that their fans are celebrating in the street right now. Talk about support! When was the last time a teams fans celebrated in the street after a loss?

- I get my points across using question marks, ya know?