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.

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.