Thursday, December 29, 2011

Top 5 Yays and Nays of 2011

As a new year approaches us, lets take a look at some of the most miraculous and embarrassing plays of 2011.

Is there anything that can really top this electrifying acrobatic flip into the endzone. On a scale on 1-10, this clearly deserves a 14.



2. Derek Jeter gets his 3,000 hit on a homerun.
3. Dallas Mavericks capture their first title in franchise history.
4. Kemba Walker's game winner against Pitt.
5. Marshawn Lynch runs over, through and around the New Orleans Saint's defense for a 67-yard touchdown.

Ranking in at No.1 on SZG's Nay list was the CFL luncheon brawl between two retired football players. You would think that because of their age that this would never take place. Wrong, think again. Joe Kapp (one to the left) attempted to give Angelo Mosca a flower, but was rejected harshly. Mosca's refusal and swinging of his cane led to Kapp doing his best Rocky Marciano impression. Down goes Frazierrrr.



2. Chargers' kicker Nick Novak pissing on the sideline.
3. Miami Heat's Chris Bosh flopping against the Carlos Boozer.
4. Marion Barber's failed  backflip.
5. NY Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez flinching against the Buffalo Bills.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

NBA Forever

On the topic of NBA intro videos, how about TNT's stunning opener for the 2011-12 season before the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics' game. Personally, my favorite is  Patrick Ewing chest bumping Amar'e Stoudemire, but there are a myriad of captivating moments in this compilation video mashup of past and present NBA greats.

Heat control their destiny




From the looks of this intro, the Miami Heat must be the most fashionable and coolest team in the NBA.  The only thing missing from this music video is record label owner Uncle Luke and the Miami Hurricanes.
Granted the Heat currently stand at 2-0 with two victories over the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, but the three-headed monster and supporting cast in South Beach have yet to receive a glimpse of acceptance from anyone.
Miami understands their ultimate mission is to win the championship. Despite the team’s early success in the early half of this shortened season, the only play that matters is post-April. Playoffs as former Indianapolis Colts coach, Jim Mora would say. With the new acquisitions of Norris Cole who exploded for 20 points last night (14 in the fourth quarter (Lebron James was taking notes)) against Beantown and one of the best perimeter defenders in Shane Battier, Miami may have found the missing pieces to their aspiring dynasty. In addition, a healthy Udonis Haslem or who I would like to call Mr. Intangibles makes this squad look very scary.   
Last season is over with no matter how much the media may cast the shadow of them collapsing to the Mavericks in the NBA Finals. The main priority in the 2011-12 season is for the Heat to build chemistry and use these regular season games as building blocks. More than half of last year’s team has returned and their continuity has shown with their gigantic leads in the first two games against top playoff contenders. These  opening games weren’t a fluke either; there will be many more routs from this unit to come against the top-tier teams in the league as long as the Heat stay honest on the defensive end (and don't blow commanding leads like they did against Boston).
Who knows why this team has an extra bounce in their step? Whether it is because the NBA lockout is finally over or this new idea of a spread offense originating from the Oregon Ducks head coach, Chip Kelly, the Heat seem to be flowing on all cylinders under the helm of Erik Spoelstra. How long the Heat keep this up, lies in their hands, but one thing is for sure is that it is lucid that Miami has all the necessary parts to one day be named ‘champions’.

Friday, December 23, 2011

FF: Why Mozgov?

Facial Friday's winner is....(drum-roll please) : ............... Blake Griffin! I think it's about time we come up with a nickname for this young man. Any suggestions?

Blue v. Green

In the past decade, let alone 40 years of the 11 meetings between the Giants and Jets, this is arguably the biggest game between both New York juggernauts. And it only adds fuel to the fire that the Jets are under the helm of Coach Rex Ryan.
In typical Ryan fashion, the head coach for the ‘Green Machine’ voiced his opinion about Saturday’s Big Apple showdown.
“To say a team's better than you that never made the playoffs is ridiculous. Clearly, we were the better team my first two years. We get to prove it Saturday; who the best team is this year,” Ryan said.
To say that any journalist didn’t see this coming would be flabbergasting.
Since hired by the Jets in 2009, Coach Ryan has had the reputation to be quite braggadocios. Though he’s led the Jets to the AFC championship in his first two years, he’s not content with his alleged early success. He wants to make it to the Promise Land and win. Period.


“I didn't come here to be anybody's little brother. I came here to win, to be looked at that way and to take over not just this city, even though it's the city to take over, but also this league.”
Playing second fiddle is something that Ryan obviously despises of. In attempts to change the Jet culture with his egotistical and cool coaching style, Ryan will have to make sure his players can execute his game plan. Pre-game talk is irrelevant; the final score is the only thing that matters.
Both teams are coming off embarrassing losses and this thrash talk off-field frenzy is making the contest a lot more electrifying. The magnitude of the playoff implications in addition to being a cross town rival is the icing on the cake in this Christmas weekend matchup.
Did I forget to mention that media seems to forget that Plaxico Burress will be making his first appearance against his former unit?
Oh boy…this is going to be a good one. Bring your popcorn and sit back and relax as we’ll find out at 1 p.m. if Ryan bite more than he can swallow.
Green or Blue? What do you bleed?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Video of the Week: How to Love (Lebron)

Check out this Lil Wayne "How to Love" spoof on LeBron James. My NABJ (National Association of Black Journalists) friend passed it along to me and I thought I should share it with you guys, seeing as how comical it is.

Endurance is key


SZG thought for the day:

Don't be blind to player's endurance during this shortened NBA Season. Due to the NBA Labor disputes, some athlete's fatigue will be exposed more there others. Championships are won in the off-season through the growth of chemistry and the extra practices held during training camp; there wasn't too much of that this year. This is to remind you that there is a reason why Derek Fisher, the president of the Players Association, wasn't in the lineup last night.

P.S. Sources say that the New Jersey Nets are close to acquiring Dwight Howard.

NBA tip-off is 4 Days away

 

Not sure if any you got a chance to tune into last night's battle in the Staples Center, but it reassured how pumped I am that the NBA is BACK.
Despite the meaningless outcome of last night's contest, it seems as if there was a lot more adrenaline in the arena just for an exhibition game. Whether it be the fan's excitement that the city of Los Angeles has two NBA playoff contenders or the thrill and hopes for 'Lob City'(similar to the video above), I have a feeling that this abridged season is going to be something special to say the least.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Follow the La Salle Explorers over Winter Break


Youth hampers aspiring Explorers

By Justin Walters
Collegian Editor
After having a winless-outing at the Courtyard LaGuardia Turkey Classic in Long Island, N.Y., the women’s basketball team traveled out to West Virginia to face off against the Mountaineers.
Coming off a demoralizing one-point loss to Cal State Northridge, the Mountaineers were looking to add to the Explorers early season struggles, and that is exactly what they did.
The early minutes of the game were less than remarkable for both units with numerous sloppy mistakes as both teams committed seven turnovers. Freshman Ruvanna Campbell was the first to strike for La Salle with four straight points to push the lead, 6-5.
This slight advantage was quickly snapped after WVU’s Asya Bussie knocked down two free throws to ignite a 17-4 run bringing the score to 34-18. The Mountaineers would never look back.
In the second half, the Explorers battled to cut the deficit, but inexperience seemed to hinder the young Blue and Gold squad as their 20 turnovers led to the Mountaineers capitalizing on 20 points in return.
Despite trailing by a mere five points, 51-46, the Explorers comeback hopes vanished after sophomore Taylor Palmer sunk two treys, finishing the game with a team-high 20. Junior Alexis Scott recorded 21 in the 63-52 road defeat.
When it rains, it pours is a cliche that the Explorers found out the hard way in their next matchup as the Villanova Wildcats gave them their fourth straight loss.
From the tip-off, Nova pounded the ball inside as they dominated the smaller La Salle team. From post-moves to unguarded players in the circle, Villanova exploited La Salle’s size as they jumped out to a 20-4 lead.
La Salle finally found their formula as their team-leading scorer Scott alongside junior Brittany Wilson fueled a 12-0 run to end the nine-minute drought.
Though only down by 31-20 at the half, it seems as if the Explorer zone and press change wasn’t enough to impede the Wildcats momentum. Every bucket the Explorers worked for, the Wildcats answered right back.
In spite of the significant drop from last game’s 20, the Explorers still recorded nine turnovers compared to Nova’s six in the 67-51 defeat. The only noteworthy performance in this Big 5 game for the Blue and Gold was Wilson, who manufactured a season-best and game-high 24 points.
Under the helm of Coach Jeff Williams, the Explorers now stand at 2-7 compared to last year’s 4-5 start in his first year. As this team continues to develop, their chemistry will grow as Williams still hasn’t determined a concrete starting lineup. One night, it may be all freshmen and another might consist of returners.
“There will be early minutes for a lot of players this season. They don’t know how much they’ll play,” Williams stated earlier in the year.
As this team works harder to hone their craft, they will hit some bumps on the road with their daunting schedule.
One of the Explorer’s biggest and earliest tests came against national powerhouse No. 16 Rutgers who not too long ago played for the National Championship against the Tennessee Volunteers in 2007.
Not indicated in their 48-61 loss, the Explorers stood neck-and-neck with the Scarlett Knights throughout. It was just one of those nights where nothing would fall for La Salle. The Blue and Gold weren’t the only ones who found trouble procuring a bucket, as the Rugters shot a dismal 36.5 from the field (23-63).
Whether the Scarlett Knights ate their Wheaties or not that morning, the Explorers still showed that they can hang around with some of the best talent in this country.
Crawling happens before walking, and elementary school is prior to college. With that being said, Williams knows success won’t be obtained in his second year of leadership which attributes to his patience in his young team.
The Explorers have nothing but time on their hands to mold and grow. Conference play does not start until early January, and by that time La Salle’s progress should be shown in the win column.
“By January, we will be ready to go,” Williams said.
waltersj1@student.lasalle.edu

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Shaq's "Inside the NBA" Commercial



I think Shaquille O'Neal will fit in just right with Charles Barkley, Kenny Anderson and Ernie Davis.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Halftime Breakdown: Explorers v. Bucnkell Bison

In celebration of the La Salle Explorers birthday, Coach John Giannini and the men’s basketball team hosted the Bucknell Bison this afternoon.
With the lead of 43-23 at halftime, La Salle got off to an explosive start against the Bison. Last year’s No. 14 seed in NCAA tournament looked very stagnant on both sides of the ball.
Leading the Blue and Gold was senior Earl Pettis with 16 points along with freshman Jerrell Wright’s eight. The juices were pumping early for La Salle as they jumped out to a 14-5 lead in efforts to capture Coach John Giannini’s 400 victory.
Despite being up 20, the Explorers’ should not come out at half content with this lead. There is reason why the Bison made it to the NCAA dance while La Salle, on the other hand, didn’t even make it to the NIT tournament.
Ultimately, this game looks to be in the books if Coach G and his unit can continue to follow the same script from the first stanza.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Steve Johnson mocks Plaxico

I wouldn't call this the touchdown celebration of the year, but you have to admit that it was pretty creative and comical. I wonder how much he'll get fined?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Halftime Breakdown: Patriots v. Eagles

After jumping out to an early 10-0 lead, led by an impressive Vince Young in the beginning minutes, the Philadelphia Eagles found themselves trailing the New England Patriots 21-13 at the half.
In typical Tom Brady fashion, the dynamic quarterback led his prolific offense to 21-straight unanswered points to settle down the Vickless-Eagles.
Despite Brady’s poised presence in the pocket, he is not unstoppable. The easiest solution to stopping the Bradys, Mannings, and Brees are pressure in the face. No quarterback likes it. If Brady doesn’t feel any stress from Cullen Jenkins, Mike Patterson, and Jason Babin, he will have a field day against this up-and-down Philadelphia defense.
The Eagles are clearly still in the game and have two more quarters left. If Young can improve on his ball placement, the Eagles may have a shot in the second stanza. Another possible quick fix to Young's inaccuracy is to give more hand-offs to Lesean McCoy who has only received six. It's not realistic for Young to be perfect; it takes a while for any quarterback to get back into the flow after not starting for a while.
I predict that the Pats will down the Birds with an ending score of 34-23.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Explorers’ freshmen look impressive

With high hopes for the 2011-12 season, the women’s basketball team got off to a terrific start in their season opener against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks.
The final of score of 63-43 was avenged last year’s 18-point defeat (85-67). Lehigh had beaten La Salle in the past three years, but the Blue and Gold made a decisive statement this past Friday at Tom Gola Arena.
In the early minutes of the contest, Lehigh jumped to a 5-0 lead, but La Salle quickly regained the advantage after a layup from sophomore Michea Bryant to make the score 10-5.
Lehigh would surge right back after an Explorers’ run closed the lead within one at 14-13, but that was the closest the Mountain Hawks would come for the rest of the game.
With the score at 37-24 at the half, the young freshmen propelled La Salle to triumph in this matchup.
Pacing the Explorers at half with 12 points, freshman Jada Payne would lead her squad out of the locker room to a 20-point victory with a game-high 15 points. Classmate Jordan Mosley also keyed in with a big 12 points while sophomore Jess Koci and junior Alexis Scott controlled the glass with eight rebounds.
In a beautiful offensive showing, La Salle also locked down Lehigh, who shot a miserable percentage of .171 in the second half in addition to having 23 turnovers.
“To start off with a win is great,” head coach Jeff Williams told goexplorers.com. “We started three freshmen, so it was just seeing how they’d react and they played pretty well.”
After getting off to good start under Williams, the Explorers traveled to Albany to face the Great Danes.
This game was a battle of runs as both units traded momentum back-and-forth.
Despite trailing 6-0 to begin the game, the Blue and Gold went on a 10-0 run with contributing three-pointers from Mosely and junior Brittany Wilson to control the lead. Albany then retaliated with a run of their own to recapture the lead at 21-20 with less than seven minutes remaining in the first period.
Following the slight deficit, the Explorers once againpowered back with a 12-2 run to go up 32-23, but the Great Danes had the last laugh heading into half as they led 35-34.
In the second half, there would be no lead changes though as Albany stayed on top until the end.
In a valiant effort to come back, the Explorers trailed 75-69 with just three minutes to play after a jumper from Mosley. This rally would ultimately fail as the Great Danes edged La Salle in an 81-76 home win.
The Explorers may have beaten the Great Danes in shooting percentage while outrebounding them 46-39, but this game was decided on the offensive glass as Albany pulled down 18 boards en route to numerous second-chance points.
Leading the Explorers in the loss was transfer Wilson with 17, while the new faces of Payne and Mosley totaled 16. Mosley also managed to grab a team-high nine rebounds.
The women’s basketball team will return to action during homecoming weekend against the national powerhouse Rutgers Scarlett Knights.
waltersj1@lasalle.edu

The Dukes upset the seniors’ final game at Tom Gola

After breaking their nine-game losing streak with a sweep of Coppin State, the women’s volleyball team welcomed the Dayton Flyers to Tom Gola Arena. The Flyers currently stood on top of the Atlantic 10 standings, while La Salle ranked last.
At the an unusual game time of 11 a.m. on Friday, this David vs. Goliath matchup started with the Flyers jumping out to commanding 11-1 lead. With this momentum, Dayton coasted to a 25-11 set victory.
With hopes to upset the No.1 seed in the conference, the Blue and Gold battled close with the Flyers in the beginning of the second set. After a kill from junior Samantha Tulskie, La Salle fought to trim the deficit to make the score even. This plan was unsuccessful as Dayton used a 7-2 run to close out the set in a 25-15 victory.
Undeterred by a 12-10 score in the third set, the Flyers proved they were too talented for the home team en route to their 25-17 victory.
Despite suffering a leg injury, senior Kourtney Clark pulled in 17 assists while Tulskie recorded a team-high 10 kills.
Entering into their final game of the season, the Explorers hosted the Duquesne Dukes. This game would also be the final home stand for senior group of Alexis Little, Alex Kennedy, Jacquelyn Mitrovich and Kourtney Clark.
Unfortunately for La Salle, the Dukes would spoil their senior honoring with a three game sweep (25-12, 25-18, 25-14).
In their final game for the Blue and Gold, Kennedy finished with four kills and one service ace while Mitrovich posted five kills and two blocks and Little added a kill and a dig.
The Explorers conclude their 2011 season with a 6-27 record. Though their record may not epitomize it, La Salle has made significant gains from last year. During a season in which the Explorers tied their most wins since 2008, there are still some positive notes to highlight from this season.
Faced with a surplus of injuries, the Explorers had many games this year with a small number of subs and still managed to push teams down to tiebreaking sets. The win column may not indicate it, but this strong unit has strengthened their talent and depth. Due to many role players stepping up this year, the women’s volleyball team will strive to have an even better season next year with the goal of gaining a berth into the A-10s.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Halftime Analysis: Cardinals v. Eagles

In a very less than thrilling first half, the Philadelphia Eagles lead the Arizona Cardinals, 14-7. In a game against a team that is missing their starting quarterback and three defensive starters, this game shouldn't even be close. But in typical Eagles' fashion, they let teams hang around just to lose in the end.
For those that aren't familiar with the Eagles' team, they have a great young, talented back by the name of LeSean McCoy. McCoy is the only Bird who has scored a touchdown in all eight games this season. In addition, with 825 yards so far this season, McCoy needs just 74 more yards to break Ricky Watters' team record (898 in 1996) for most rushing yards through the first nine games. The reason why No.25 doesn't get more hand-offs puzzles me.
Ultimately, regardless of who the Eagles play, there is no reason why this explosive unit shouldn't score over 28 points a game. Not as dangerous as the Green Bay Packers, but the Eagles are the closest to matching them on the offensive side in the NFC.
Mathematically, the Eagles are still in the playoff hunt despite what people think. The question is, will this team play like the "Dream Team" Vince Young called them or will they keep dreaming?

P.S. Congratulations to Randall Cunningham who was honored at halftime of the game.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Facial Fridays: MJ over McHale

I thought it would only be fitting that I award the great Michael Jeffrey Jordan with our Facial Friday of the week, seeing that a plethora of players feel as if he's traded sides: from players to owners.
If you haven't heard yet, former New York Knicks point guard Stephon Marbury is the most recent addition to this list of MJ critics. Below are some of Marbury's tweets. From the look of things, I would say he really dislikes Mr. Jordan, but maybe I'm wrong.
Do you think MJ should publicly step out and defend players?

"Micheal Fake Jordan is a sell out. #Period. He forgot which hole he came out of. I said it 'Stephon X Marbury.'"

"MJ went from MJ the black cat to a guy who forgot he was a player. Sell your team if you can't make a profit.. Your just a regular dude now!"

Embarrassing Moment of the Week: Sanchez cringes



I've played this about 20 times, and each time I laugh harder.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Success on the horizon for Explorers in second year

Just as the women’s basketball team did last year under the leadership of Head Coach Jeff Williams, these news Explorers will continue to surmount expectations.
Picked to finish at the bottom of the totem pole in the Atlantic 10 in the 2010-11 season, Williams drove La Salle to an unexpected 6-8 conference record in his first year. Not only did the Explorers A-10 record come close to improving their overall record from the 2009-10 season (7-23), the Blue and Gold also managed to finish ninth, five spots higher than they were predicted to finish.
In his first year as a head coach, Williams did fairly well for himself with a young, undersized team, looking trough the lens of how difficult the A-10 can be. Last year’s record may not exemplify it, but La Salle made significant gains in the conference and pushed many teams down to the wire.
“Last year was a learning experience, and we technically over-achieved, looking from the perspective of where we were picked to finish,” Williams said.
Though last year’s Explorers placed in the middle of their conference with the lack of experience and height, this season will be an superior test for the team and Coach Williams himself.
This season, La Salle will be without their ace, Ashley Gale. Gale not only led the team in scoring with her long range shooting, but she also was the face of their defense as she led the team in steals. Winning the 2010-11 Comeback Player of the Year and making it to the A-10 First Defensive team were minor accolades that Gale accomplished for her team. What she provided for them was heart and determination on a daily basis.
“I wish I had her one more year; [Gale] was a tremendous player, and her activity and leadership were invaluable,” Williams stated. “People seem to forget how good of a defensive player she was. She was the point of our presses and guarded the opponent’s best player.”
The Explorers may have lost their top-gun, but a majority of the supporting cast is returning in addition to the new faces acquired by La Salle.
Leading the Blue and Gold into this season will be last year’s second leading scorer, junior Alexis Scott, while sophomore point guard, Michea Bryant will take control of the backcourt. Senior Nadia Duncan will also be a key element this year with her aggressiveness on the boards.
In addition to the eight returners from last year’s squad, the Explorers embrace the talents of six new freshmen: Siobhan Beslow, Jordan Mosley, Ruvanna Campbell, Indigo Dickens, Jada Payne and Omaah Tayong.
Fitting each player into the rotation will be the biggest predicament for Williams this season. Along with the six new players, the team consists of two seniors, four juniors and two seniors.
“No one has a spot. They don’t know how much they will play which makes each practice more competitive,” said Williams. “The key is to getting them experience and allowing them to be comfortable with a lot of patience from myself. By January, they will be ready to go.”
These freshmen won’t be the only new faces to see the court; transfer junior Brittany Wilson will also see her first minutes in a La Salle uniform. While at Northeastern, Wilson led her team in scoring with 14.1 points per game and was a Third Team All-Colonial Athletic Association Conference selection while finishing the season ranked ninth in the CAA in scoring and 10th in rebounding.
On top of all the new faces playing on the hardwood for Blue and Gold, the Explorers will still have sophomore Jessi Koci filling in all the intangibles. After walking on to the team last year, there isn’t a doubt in Williams mind that he made the right choice in having Koci join the team.
“I saw her work ethic early in practice last year and her confidence has improved a lot over the offseason,” Williams said.
As the team keeps making strides to build their notoriety, Williams will face numerous nuisances in the beginning phases as a coach. Perseverance will be the key this year and for the following to come.
“My role at Pittsburgh and my mentors have made me prepared to take on this position,” Williams stated.
Williams knows what it takes to make it to the top as he spent his prior seven seasons at the University of Pittsburgh, including the last four as the Associate Head Coach. While there, he also helped guide the Panthers to postseason appearances in the past five seasons, including three straight NCAA Tournament trips with Sweet Sixteen showings in 2008 and 2009.
The Explorers are far from reaching these accomplishments, but with Williams as the spearhead, the promised land doesn’t look to be too far off.
With a daunting A-10 non-conference schedule, the Explorers will encounter many speed bumps this year. In addition to the six postseason teams in the 2011-12 non-conference schedule, La Salle will face a total of nine teams that finished with 16 or more wins last season and five with 20 or more.
La Salle may seem a little taller on the depth chart, but the inexperience on this unit will weigh a burden on them in this upcoming season as it did last.
The squad may be ‘Gale-less,’ but the team has many more options that weren’t there last year, mentioned Williams. This team is young and deep, and their hustle and tenacity will be pertinent to acquire success in Williams’ second season.
The first contest for the young and improved Explorer squad will be on Friday, Nov. 11 against Lehigh. Lehigh, which went 21-11 last season, crushed La Salle in their last outing by 18 points, but this is a new year and a different team.
As Williams said, “Lehigh has all our attention now. We have to take one game at a time.”
waltersj1@student.lasalle.edu

Start of the post-Gale era

One thousand point club, single season steal record at La Salle, Most Improved Player of the Year in the Atlantic 10, first All-A-10 Defensive team, and first team All-Big 5 are just a few of the accolades that Ashley Gale was able to achieve in her senior year on the women’s basketball team.
Unfortunately for the Explorers, No. 5 will be in different shoes this year as she takes her new role as an alumnus and more importantly, a fan. Gale will root from the stands, but she surely will be missed in the box score. Though it would be great to have Gale on the team for another year, the fact of the matter is, she won’t.
With a newly renovated unit, scoring will come from different members of the team every night. Whether it is last year’s second leading scorer, junior Alexis Scott, or freshman Jada Payne, each player on this team will have to step up. If their number is called, they will have to produce or Coach Jeff Williams will look for a replacement.
As Williams stated, “No position is filled.” Though each player pushing each other and fighting for playing time, the team will improve their skills night in and night out. As the saying goes, you play how you practice.
With that being said, the hunger and determination shown by the team will be vital in their execution this year. Last year, the Explorers had a plethora of slow starts and relied on Gale to bring them back during a time of turmoil. La Salle will not have that this year. As the games progress, the team will begin to learn about each other as much as Williams will about them.
In their 2011-12 campaign, each game must be gritty. From the time those forty minutes begin until the referees signal the conclusion of the game, La Salle can never give up a second. Each breath counts, as a majority of conference teams and opponents will underplay them because of their youth and inexperience. The best resolution for this would be to make the underestimation into a loss for their opponent.
With the number of well-established teams they play out of the A-10 in addition to some of their fellow ranked conference teams, La Salle will be fortunate to turn a few heads sideways with some possible upsets.
Simply said, the La Salle’s women’s basketball team is the master of their fate. As each player finds her formula, the team’s chemistry will build. As the team’s chemistry develops, their confidence will rise. Ultimately, there is nothing worse than a fearless young team.
waltersj1@student.lasalle.edu

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Junior duo enter into the 1,000 dig club despite ninth straight loss

In hopes to break their seven-game losing skid, the women’s volleyball team wrapped up their three-game road trip against the Rhode Island Rams. Earlier in the season, the Explorers downed URI at home in a thrilling 3-2 victory. That was the past, though, and this upcoming contest was on Rhode Island’s turf.
Having difficulties procuring a win on the road has troubled the Blue and Gold all season, and this game would further exemplify the problem.
After trailing 10-4 in the opening set, La Salle couldn’t cut the deficit and eventually fell to the Rams 25-18.
The second and third matches were similar with Rhode Island scrambling to an early lead and never looking back. Now dropping their 12th straight loss away from 20th and Olney, the Explorers last  victory away dates back to September against Rider.
In the face of another conference shutout, senior Alex Kennedy manufactured a season-high nine kills, while junior Breanna Mazalewski posted nine digs.
Next up for La Salle was Xavier, who currently stood second in the Atlantic 10 standings. The Musketeers may have had a better record than the Blue and Gold, but this did not seem to worry La Salle at all.
The first set proved to be a dog fight that resulted in nine ties. The Explorers controlled the score with an 11-9 lead, but Xavier came surging back, finishing 11-1, to down La Salle in the opening round. The Musketeers would ultimately come up victorious, winning 25-17.
Xavier seemed to carry their momentum over to the second set, but the Explorers climbed back from behind to trail by one, 19-18. Sadly for the home team, the kill by fourth-year starter Kennedy would be La Salle’s last celebration. The Musketeers earned the set’s next four points on a service ace to ultimately close the second match, 25-21.
As for the third set, La Salle’s energy seemed deflated from the previous sets. Xavier came storming out with a bang to defeat La Salle with a 25-9 victory.
Despite another A-10 loss, the junior tandem of Samantha Tulskie and Mazalewski joined the 1,000 dig club. Tulskie recorded hers in the first set against Xavier, whereas Mazalewski entered the prominent club in Friday’s contest at Rhode Island.
With two games left on the season and the A-10 tournament off in the horizon, the Explorers will look to finish their 2011 season on a high note.
Dayton will travel to Tom Gola Arena to challenge Blue and Gold at home on Friday, Nov. 11.
waltersj1@student.lasalle.edu

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Loss of a King



Most known for his epic trilogy match with the great Muhammad Ali, 'Smokin' Joe Frazier passed away at age 67 after a battle with liver cancer yesterday.
Arguably, there is no other fight in history that matches blows with Frazier and Ali's duel. It was brutal, but respectable. Each fighter wanted to knock off the other opponents head for the love of the sport. This seems to be the opposite of what we see today. Ultimately, there is only one word that I could think of that exemplifies Joe's boxing career: HEART.
Above is footage from Frazier being honored by the NABJ Sports Task Force at the Sports Task Force Pioneer Awards this summer in his hometown, Philadelphia. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the awards ceremony  and actually speak with the legend after.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Facial Fridays (John Starks)

This dunk always seems to make people bump heads, so I'll address the question to my SZG followers...Did Jordan get dunked on?




Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Women's Volleyball 9.1.11 (Collegian Article)


Below is an article that I wrote for my school newspaper two weeks ago.

Volleyball suffers rough start to season
By Justin Walters
Collegian Editor


Following the same script for the past decade, the women’s volleyball team would open up the season at their annual La Salle Invitational at Tom Gola Arena. The first matchup for the Explorers this year would be against St. Peters. The last time both teams faced off was in 2009, which ended in a 3-2 victory for Blue and Gold.
This is a different year though and the Peacocks were looking to avenge their early 2009 exit from the La Salle Invitational. The first set against St. Peters was tight in the beginning with both teams being deadlocked at 12 apiece. Senior Alexander Kennedy erased that tie to give the Explorers a 13-12 edge, which propelled the team to cruise to a 25-14 first set victory. Senior Jacquelyn Mitrovich, freshman Jennifer Whelan and junior Kelly Scanlon all contributed in the kill column during the 13-2 run to close out the first set.
The Explorers carried this momentum to the second and third (25-14, 25-23) set to sweep St. Peters in the first round of their invitational. Senior Kourtney Clark led the assist category for the match with 29 while sophomore Rachel Finkbeiner racked up a match-high 11 kills.
Starting off with a phenomenal morning sweep against the Peacocks, La Salle would take on Canisius for the afternoon matchup. The Explorers came back from a 21-12 deficit against the Golden Griffins in the first match, but the away team would take the first set with the Explorers showing early signs of fatigue. The result would be the same for the following sets (25-18, 25- 13) ending in a sweep for the Golden Griffins. Despite the loss, Clark dominated again with a game-high 25 assists while tying with junior Brenna Mazalewski for the team led in digs with eight.
As the first day of the invitational concluded, teams would later find out that the tournament would be ending early due to the weather forecast.  With the Sunday games cancelled, the Explorers would play Providence for their last game of the tournament on Saturday morning.
In their match, both teams stayed close throughout trading points back and forth. With the score even at 23, the Explorers were the first to fall on a attack error ending in a 25-23 loss. The second set would imitate the first as the Friars stayed resilient till the end in a 25-20 win.
In efforts to come back, the Explorers answered back as they returned the favor to Providence with a 25-23 victory, but that would be their last lead. Ultimately, the Friars would triumph over the invitational hosts in a 3-1 victory.
With 27 kills, three aces and seven digs throughout the tournament, Finkbeiner shined her way to the All-Tournament team.
After the passing of Hurricane Irene, the Explorers continued their home-court stand against Townson on Tuesday evening. Despite the home-court advantage, the Explorers would add another loss to the column.
Townson came out strong from the first serve and never looked back as they sweep Blue and Gold (25-18, 25-19, 25-17).
In spite of their loss, Scanlon finished with a match-high 12 kills while Mazalewski led the dig column with 14.
Head coach Dave Stever has nothing but faith in his squad and he knows they’ll bounce back in no time.
“In addition to a lot of injuries, they are displaying great team chemistry…we’re just not producing in the win column.”
The Explorers will look to bounce back from their losing streak on Friday at 4 p.m. against Villanova at the Big 5 Invitational held the Palestra.

waltersj1@student.lasalle.edu

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Saturday's Quick Hits

1.  New Orleans Saints receiver Maruqes Colston suffered a broken right collarbone in the season opener against the Green Bay Packers. Colston will be out for a month.

2. Down two sets, Novak Djokovic still managed to rally from behind to beat Roger Federer to reach the US Open final.


3. Kyle Busch captured his eighth Nascar Nationwide Series race of the season this past Friday. Busch's victory was his 51st in the series, the most in history.


4. The NBA is still in a lockout...sighhhh


5. Don't forget to catch the first week of NFL tomorrow....



Thursday, September 8, 2011

Did you know: Pete Sampras


On this day in 2002, Tennis legend Pete Sampras won his 14th Grand Slam title against Andre Agassi in the U.S. Open. The only player to surpass Sampras’ record is Roger Federer (16).  

 Source: on-this-day.com

92nd NFL Season Opener

Today is the day! The Tupac NFL is Back (Rick Ross voice).
Arguably the only league that every game counts will commence this evening at 8:30 as the defending the Superbowl Champions Green Bay Packers host the New Orleans Saints. It will be interesting to see if the lockout had any effect on these two prolific offenses.
Kickoff is less than four hours away. Tune into NBC to see which team comes up victorious.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Lockout Lemonade

Below is a blurb that I wrote a while ago for an up-and-coming magazine called Deep Coverage. The magazine's mission is to give readers a chance to get to know players off the turf and outside the locker room. Check out the beta version of their site: http://www.deepcoveragemag.com/beta/.



NFL players and owners may be close to settling an agreement, but as of now, the lockout is still in full effect. In other words, NFL players are still UNEMPLOYED. Money is much tighter than it was a year ago. If you disagree, ask Detroit Lions Paul Pratt and New York Giants Steve Smith. As the video illustrates, both star athletes may be jobless, but they still have to find a way to eat and support their family. Selling lemonade is the new hustle. Despite the scorching heat, Smith and Pratt are showing they are willing to do whatever it takes to make that extra dollar or in this case 50 cents. With all the free time on their hands, more players are just finding new talents and hobbies to partake in and Lockout Lemonade is just another amusement.

Source: http://www.deepcoveragemag.com/beta/

Thursday, August 11, 2011

NABJ Stephen A. Smith Interview


Below is a video that I filmed for my friend Nick Creegan, the interviewer, during the 2011 National Association of Black Journalists Convention. Creegan is an aspiring sports talent like myself that will be entering his junior year at SUNY Albany. This young man is very ambitious and hopefully you'll see both of us on your monitors in the near future. You can check out more of his work at: atvalbany.com/watch-uaovertime or follow him on twitter: @Say_Eyes.
On another note, the video illustrates sports journalist Stephen A. Smith offering valuable insight about the communications industry and some of his personal stories throughout his journey in this field. As well accomplished as Mr. Smith is as a journalist, he once thought about making a career in banking... Check out the video to learn more.

P.S. Apologies for the shakiness on the video; I was using a hand-held camera to film.

Find out more about NABJ: http://www.nabj.org/?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Love it or Hate it of the Day: Primetime

It would only be right after his beautiful speech that I post some of Deion "Primetime" Sanders highlights. Chicago Bears' Devin Hester may hold the NFL record for returned touchdowns, but I don't think we'll ever see someone do it in Primetime fashion again.
So what do you think SZG followers...Will we ever see another Deion or do you think Hester is better?



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Touching Hall of Fame speeches

Two great speeches from two gifted athletes that have contributed so much to this game of football. Really key in to the rhetoric used by both NFL veterans and how much they pay homage to those that paved for them to achieve. Congratulations again to all the 2011 NFL Hall of Fame inductees.





Steve Williams best win ever?



For those that don't know, Steve Williams was recently released as Tiger Wood's caddy last month. Whatever disputes the two may have, the media has been living off soundbites from both gentlemen which has caused this "beef". There's no problem with Woods firing Williams, that's his decision. There is a problem with William's interview overshadowing the accomplishments by his new partner, Adam Scott. Everyone is focused more on exploiting William's quotes rather than highlighting that Scott won the 2011 Bridgestone Invitational in dominant fashion. Congratulations again Scott and keep up the great work.
There's a time and place for everything and Williams knew that the media wanted to hear him say something headline worthy...and he fell right into their trap. That's why the golfers get interviewed instead of the caddies. The lead story in the PGA should be centered around Scott, not Williams. Tiger made you how much money?

NBA Lockout Timeline


Source: cbssports.com

Love it or Hate it of the Day


On this day in 2002, Barry Bonds joined Babe Ruth, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players ever to hit 600 career home runs in the major leagues. The San Francisco Giants slugger entered the club at the age of 38. So my question to you SZG followers is, do you think Bonds should be inducted into the fraternity of America's pastime?

Source: nationalpastime.com

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plaxico Burress package



Above is my third package done at my WABC Internship. Please feel free to critique my work. I would only ask for your honest review. Thank you!

P.S.  I want to send a special thanks again to the management and staff of WABC. I truly do understand why they are the best at what they do. Did I mention they are the number one station in the number one market?....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Truman Football Death (WABC Internship)



Above is my second package done at WABC. It's voice-over on the tragic death of a high-school football player who died hours after his graduation. Let me know what you think.

P.S. The GOAL is to get 300 fans by the end of the summer on Facebook. I'm less than a 100 away! You can follow the link below or on the side column to like the page. Please show some love to the FB page if you haven't already. Thank you!!!

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Sports-Zone-Gossip/126138350759027

Friday, July 15, 2011

Felipe Lopez Foundation (WABC Internship)



Above is my latest on-air work at my current internship WABC. Thank you again to everyone that made this possible from Mr. JP to the photographer. This internship has been such a rewarding experience! In addition, don't forget to comment on my package. I know there is a lot of room for improvement, so I would only ask you for your honest critique.

Monday, July 11, 2011

#2 reaches milestone like a true Yankee


All he needed was two, but in classic pinstripe style, Derek Jeter went beyond expectations as he reached the 3,000-hit milestone this past Saturday at Yankees Stadium. Jeter may walked to the mound doing his regular routine against Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price, but during his post-game interview the future hall of famer admitted to how much pressure he felt was on him to reach 3K at his home stadium and before the all-star break.
Jeter started the game off with a single to left to put him one shy of the landmark and then came Mr. 3000….a 420 foot blast out of the park (his second longest homer ever). No. 2 has never been remembered by fans for hammering balls out of the stadium, but on this historic day in joining the fraternity of 3,000 he will be. The crowd was electrified and they had every reason to be as they commemorated the 1992 draft pick with earsplitting chants and honoring posters. It was a magical day for the Yankees' shortstop not only to reach the milestone, but to play nearly a perfect game going 5-for-5 for the afternoon in a 5-4 win over the Rays.
At the age of 37, Jeter becomes the fourth youngest to reach 3,000 hits and YES whether you believe or not…the first New York Yankee to! Not Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio or Mickey Mantle. Only Jeter. Arguably pro sports’ most storied franchise owes a lot of their success to this man.

Side note: Instead of selling the ball for a ridiculous amount, Christian Lopez returned Jeter’s 3K ball to him after the game. It was the right thing to do in Lopez’s eyes who told the press, “Mr. Jeter deserved it.” Lopez in return walked away with New York Yankees memorabilia and tickets worth around $70,000. So I pose this question to my readers: Would you have returned the ball? Suppose Jeter had a reputation similar to Barry Bonds, would you still?

The Big Aristotle working with Barkley?

According to CNBC’s Darren Rovell's tweet over the weekend, Shaquille "Shaq Diesel" O'Neal has agreed to join TNT. If this news is true, the Inside the NBA show will be one of the most interesting post-game shows sports has to offer. Love him as a commentator or not, Charles Barkley is pretty funny to watch. Add Shaq's personality to the crew and we're going to be in for a world of comedy. And if you didn't know, both of the NBA veterans already have great chemistry with each other. The video below clearly depicts their love for one another.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Facial Fridays: Kemp doing what he does best



Since nba.com is going old school due to the lockout, I thought I should do the same with this week's edition of FF. There were many great dunkers in the history of the NBA, but maybe non scarier than Shawn Kemp. He didn't just dunk on people, but humuliated them. I think this video is a good illustration of it.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Thursday's Quick Hits


1. Four years after releasing Michael Vick for his involvement in dog-fighting, Nike has re-signed the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback to a sponsorship deal.

2. After 43 years, Wimbledon has chosen to leave NBC for ESPN.

3. Derek Jeter is currently 3 hits away from 3,000. In addition, HBO Sports and Major League Baseball Productions are teaming up to produce a special [Derek Jeter 3k] featuring the future hall of famer’s quest for the milestone. Yankees play Tampa Bay tonight.

4. The New Jersey Nets’ Deron Williams is planning to play in Turkey if the NBA lockout isn’t settled.

5. The United States women's national soccer team team fell to Sweden yesterday, 2-1. They will face Brazil next in the quarterfinals.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Organizations echoing 2004


Thanks giving and Christmas without sports is like Five Guys no longer selling burgers. The two are integrated in each other. Yin and Yang. Bonnie and Clyde. Batman and Robin.
As the days of both the NBA and NFL lockout keep advancing, fans may have to ask themselves a question that once would be looked at as preposterous: What would I do without of arguably two of the most popular sports in the world didn’t play? Here are some possible ways time may be utilized. Men would spend more time with their wives instead of being zoned into the screen on Sundays. Libraries would be flooded more and student's grade point averages would soar. More people would watch hockey...NOT and many Lebron James thrashers would be jobless because they would have nothing to write about.
In all serious, the biggest consequence of both these lockouts (more of a negative outcome on the NFL due to the NBA being more of an individual sport) is the hard work put in the off-season by athletes to host either the Vince Lombardi or Larry O'Brien trophy. The bonding, three-day practices, pranks, etc. in the summer is what unites an organization together to overcome adversity in the regular season and surpass all doubters. Though players have made sacrifices during the hardship by staying committed to summer regimes and linking up weekly with teammates and friends, this still isn’t equivalent to mini-camp. Regardless of what the lockout result is in both leagues, a lot of players will lose a step in their game.
Despite the NFL being much more seasoned in the lockout crisis than the NBA, both national organizations are in full effect for work stoppage. Check out nba.com and tell me if you notice anything different.
A basketball player taking a pay cut due to an owner's mismanagement of spending should never transpire. These lockouts perfectly illustrate that everything in life is a business; there are no feelings. Still mad that Lebron left Cleveland? Some owners only care about one thing: the C.R.E.A.M. (Cash rules everything around me)
Though unfathomable to swallow, both leagues are heading in the direction of the 2004-05 “ghost” NHL year. There still is a plethora of time for the NBA to settle their disputes, but time can fly. The NFL would know best, who are currently on their 111th day of the lockout.
Hopefully the rigorous slaving away at a deal can be made soon because no matter what people want to admit, our society puts sports on one of the highest pedestals. With that being said, with no season in two of our most adored sports will result in 360 change whether it be in television or news. No need to quote NBA veteran Allen Iverson anymore when talking about practice. "We're talking about the season, not a game or scrimmage. The SEASON."