Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
By Brent MacDonald
This is a glimpse at the series of events that occurred this past Thursday when a flurry of texts from ESPN graced my phone over a span of about two minutes.
Apparently, teams around the NBA decided the time was right to give their fans a few unexpected heart attacks.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are now just 19 days away from the 2011 MLS regular season. I would like to welcome you all to the first of our MLS previews. Last year I thought I was badass for writing two articles (links please) previewing the entire season. Well this year, I am going to one up myself; or to be more accurate, 17 up myself. That’s right, with help from the intern, we are going to spam previews so hard for the next 19 days that you will be thinking this about our stuff from last year.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
By Dylan Davis
As I re-watched highlights of the travesty known as Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference NBA Finals yesterday, the first thing that struck me (besides the WWF-style officiating) was just how talented the Sacramento Kings were that year. When thinking of the early 2000s version of the Kings, most people envision a freewheeling offensive juggernaut that wasn’t quite good enough to capture a championship. What people don’t remember is just how balanced and superbly fun the Kings were. They had outside shooting with Peja Stojakovic and Mike Bibby to complement the inside capabilities of Vlade Divac and Chris Webber. The entire first unit of Bibby, Doug Christie, Stojakovic, Webber, and Divac were superb passers and they were aided by a deep bench that included Bobby Jackson, Hedo Turkoglu, Scot Pollard, Lawrence Funderburke, Gerald Wallace, and the immortal Mateen Cleaves. While they weren’t exactly savants on the defensive end of the floor, Christie and Divac did provided a nice one-two shutdown punch.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Our six week trip around the Major Leagues continues this week as The Sack Lunch looks at the American League Central division. Over the past few years, this has been one of the more exciting divisions in baseball, needing one game playoffs in two of the last three years, with the White Sox beating the Twins 1-0 in 2008 and the Twins beating the Tigers 6-5 in 2009 in one of Chip Caray’s last games with TBS, and rightfully so. The Twins are coming off back-to-back division titles, do they have what it takes for a three-peat?
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
By Will Robinson
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be involved in professional sports. While I am not Ray Liotta and will likely never have the chance to even portray a Hall of Fame player in any capacity, I have been a sports fan my whole life. My earliest moment I can truly remember is watching John Elway on the sidelines, hurt, being interviewed on Monday Night Football against the Raiders. I watched at Lamppost Pizza in South Davis, which is now a Mitsubishi dealership. Or something. Anyways, I digress.
One of the chief moments after that was my dad turning on a basketball game in 1998. My dad mentioned something about the Sacramento Kings having a new owner, sparking up new player introductions, and overhauling the television production value. The Maloof family, the new owners, bought the team a few years previous and started turning the team almost immediately via various roster moves, such as the drafting of Jason Williams, the signing of Vlade Divac, and the trading for Chris Webber. They made the playoffs and took the third place Utah Jazz to five games. After that, my family, my friends, and I were hooked on the Kings.
Monday, February 21, 2011
By Evan Ream
Tomorrow, the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals kick off with both of the remaining MLS teams facing each other in the first of a two game aggregate series. While most MLS teams are still in preseason, this will give us an exciting look into the 2011 season with two teams that seem to be going in opposite directions. Both teams will be looking to be the first MLS team to make the semifinals of the CCL since its new format began in 2008.
I am going to keep both team previews relatively brief as I have more in depth MLS previews starting on Friday this week, but here are five things you should know about this match-up:
Friday, February 18, 2011
By Russell Jordan
First big announcement:
I have followed in the footsteps of fellow TSL writer Nick Gallaudet and am now officially a DIE HARD FAN of the PORTLAND TIMBERS. Sal Zizzo and Kenny Cooper may or may not have affected this decision.
So I took a bit of a vacation from my opinion posts. The “why” is not important, the point is your boy is back and he’s better than ever.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I’m trying to find a poetic and interesting way to describe my anticipation for the upcoming baseball season, but I can’t do it. Pitchers and catchers reported Tuesday, and I can’t think straight. I get this way every year, and that’s the beauty of baseball. The season is so long, and so much can happen that every team, except the Pirates, has a shot every year. Last year, my friend Alex bet Danny (of bowling fame) that the Giants would not finish above .500. Think about that for a second. That means that there was a, by most accounts, sane person out there that believed the Giants wouldn’t win 82 games, let alone win the World Series, and you know what, I was on Alex’s side. I didn’t think the Giants had nearly the talent required to win the Series, and they went out with their nasty beards and won the whole thing. That is why I get so excited every spring; anything can happen, and every team, except the Pirates, has a chance at a title. This week marks the first in a six week series in which I will take a look at every division in baseball and give you a look at what we can expect, and this week we start with the American League West.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Note: Check out this post on our NEW site!
With the sad news today of Ronaldo’s retirement, I would like to look back at the record he is most widely recognized for. Ronaldo is perhaps the greatest forward of all time, and he proved it on the biggest stage: the World Cup. In 19 World Cup games, Ronaldo scored 15 goals, nearly every one a demonstration of his sublime ability and determination. Today may be a sad day for the soccer community, but we will always remember what Ronaldo did on the biggest stage.
Friday, February 11, 2011
By Will Robinson
Today marks a very special day. One year ago, I was very bored and stumbled upon a revolutionary idea. Well, not THAT revolutionary idea, but something to cure my boredom. I talked to Evan and asked if he would be interested in starting a sports blog, and he was overwhelmed with enthusiasm to do so. I texted Dylan (aka Jamaal) to see if he was down, and he was. One year ago today, we had our first post. Granted, we really had NO IDEA what we were doing – we barely do now – but we managed to create an outlet for our sports thoughts and knowledge. I sifted through our MASSIVE archives and found some KEY posts that we made. Check them out after jump.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Note: Check out this post on our NEW site!
If you have read any of my soccer pieces, you know that I just started following the sport. I was sucked into the World Cup fever and unsuccessfully tried to follow the English Premier League, landing me with a little bit of a soccer void. I watched the MLS playoffs last year and enjoyed myself, although I didn’t have a team to root for (but I did have Connor Casey to root against). Now, with the announcement of the regular season schedule today, and friendlies already underway, it has come time for me to choose an MLS team to follow. I take my sports fandom very seriously, so this is selection process is very important. I am a very loyal fan, and I loathe bandwagoners, so I need to make sure I select my team for the right reasons, because once I make my selection, I’m sticking to it. There will be no backtracking or do-overs for this MLS fan, this choice is final, and without further ado, I am officially on the clock.
By Dylan Davis
If you’re one of the 111 Million Americans that watched the most disappointing performance by a Steeler (or in this case a whole group of them) since Terry Bradshaw in Failure to Launch, you were also witness to the best and worst that the NFL has to offer. You saw an entertaining game between two of the best young quarterbacks in the league who are surrounded with stars on both sides of the ball. You also saw the most stupendously overindulgent stadium of all-time play host to a game that has traditionally been more about the spectacle than the game. However, you also saw the flip side of the NFL coin. Christina Aguilara decided the original Star Spangled Banner wasn’t unique enough for her vocal capacities, so she changed a few of the lyrics; you saw the Black Eyed Peas turn in a halftime show that seemed to be Tron meets Spice Girls (see above); and a few hundred fans weren’t able to use their seats because of a fire code violation, but they probably saw more of the game than these people. Lastly, as soon as the confetti was cleared from the Cowboy Stadium field, all the talk turned towards the impending lockout.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
By Will Robinson
So. That happened. We may not have watched the greatest or the most entertaining Super Bowl, but the game was pretty damn good; the game also became the highest rated TV show in American history. The Super Bowl broke the record for the last three, maybe even four Super Bowls. The NFL is as hot as ever, and if a collective bargaining agreement is not figured out, then it will be one of the worst business decisions OF ALL TIME! Enron status, people. I’ll save all of this depressing, billionaire mumbo-jumbo for later when we are closer to the deadline. Until then, let’s talk about the big game.
Monday, February 7, 2011
By Evan Ream
I’m going to talk about Clint Dempsey. I swear. But first, I have an obligation to fill. I wouldn’t be a true Packer fan if I didn’t mention their victory in Super Bowl XLV. What a game it was. Some may have rated it as an average game, but for me nothing was more awesome than Aaron Rodgers go to work and Nick Collins’ pick-six, which was the epic play of the game in my opinion. If you are looking for analysis on this game however, you will have to wait until tomorrow where my colleague Will Robinson will be providing an in depth look on the game.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Check out our team previews from earlier this week: Packers and Steelers. Here are predictions about the big game from TSL associates!
Friday, February 4, 2011
By Brent MacDonald
I went to the All-Star game last weekend; it was a hell of a time.
David Stern really out-did himself on this one. Cheerleaders from every team switching off during breaks? I thought my grandpa was about to have a heart attack in the seat next to me.
Usually the gramps refrains from attending NBA All-Star weekend with me, as his doctor has deemed them a ‘sleeping aid’. Luckily I’m not 70 years old yet, and have been able to stay awake through the sometimes-painful experience of all-star weekend.
But this year was different.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
By Will Robinson
The longstanding history of the Steelers is that they have always been a run first, smash mouth football team. While media members still love to play this angle up and say that is how the Steelers have had success, they are clearly a pass first time. This year they were about 50-50 throughout the whole year, but in the first four games without Big Ben (with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch), they called more run plays, to the tune of 123 to 81. By the end of the regular season, they had eight more pass attempts than run.
When I was four years old, I remember sitting in my grandparents’ basement watching Super Bowl XXX (that’s Super Bowl 30 for those of you not in the know). I remember eating cake adorned with Steelers and Cowboys insignias while sitting on horrific eighties-style shag carpeting watching a TV that’s probably been turned into a nice home for a family of landfill rats in the 16 years since. While I don’t remember all that much of the game (other than one of my cousins crying afterward), I do remember being severely disappointed at the outcome. The Steelers lost that day 27-17 to “America’s Team” and from that moment forward I was completely devoted to the Black and Gold of Pittsburgh’s finest.
To be perfectly honest, it hasn’t been very difficult rooting for the Steelers. If the previous paragraph had been about the days leading up to Super Bowl XLIII and my lifelong allegiance to the Arizona Cardinals, you probably would be more impressed. Since that fateful day in Tempe, Arizona, Pittsburgh has been to the playoffs nine times and captured two Super Bowl crowns. Only once in my lifetime (1998-2000) have they missed the playoffs multiple years in a row. It’s obvious to see why they are one of the most popular American football teams in the world, and why I won’t be alone in throwing on some Steelers paraphernalia this coming Sunday. With that being said, a majority of the country will become honorary Cheeseheads for a few hours on Sunday because of one man: Ben Roethlisberger.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
By Nick Gallaudet
The Major League Baseball offseason has not been particularly exciting this year. Aside from Cliff Lee’s surprise signing with Philadelphia and Adrián Beltré picking the Texas Rangers, there have not been many big names switching clubs. The main storyline of this offseason was the Yankees and their effort to re-sign SS Derek Jeter. Jeter was not the only big name to create a stir demanding a boatload of money, however. Recently, Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, widely considered the best hitter in the game, asked for a 10 year, $300 million contract. At first glance, these situations are similar; the face of a historical franchise asking for a raise; Jeter has five rings and Pujols has one ring and three MVPs; and both are heroes in their city and fan favorites. The reality, however, is that these situations are very different. Jeter is 36 and towards the end of his career while Pujols is 31 and coming off one of his most productive seasons ever. Now, with that information, we’re going to play a little guessing game. I think one of these players should have gotten the money they were asking for (Jeter asked for a 4-6 year deal for $22-24 million/year), and one of these players is gouging his franchise. Conventional wisdom says pay the superstar that is still posting eye-popping numbers, but my wisdom has never been regarded as conventional. Pujols is holding St. Louis hostage and Jeter deserved the $100 million-plus contract and here’s why…
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
With the official statement that Sochaux has agreed to loan Charlie Davies to DC United for the 2011 MLS season pending a full medical evaluation, United fans everywhere can start dreaming of the playoffs once again. At first glance, it looks like Charlie is headed to a bad situation in DC, who were the league’s worst team last year with just six wins compared to 20 losses. However, upon taking a closer look, DC is one of the most promising sides for the upcoming season; they have loads of potential. I know Bill Parcells once said, “The definition of potential is that you haven’t done sh-t yet,” but this squad has the chance to “do sh-t.”
By Will Robinson
The high octane Packer offense is led by sixth year Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who has exhibited commanding performances during the post season. Rodgers succeeded Favre in 2008 and has put up spectacular numbers, and has been to the playoffs twice in his three years starting. The loss of running back Ryan Grant added weight and pressure to Rodgers this season, but all he has done is shine through. The Packers trailed by no more than seven points this year, thus all of their defeats have been within that same margin.