Red Sox vs Yankees Is BACK!!!

Growing up, you knew what the big rivalry was in baseball. You knew very well that whenever the Red Sox and the Yankees played each other, it was important. It was important for two reasons, one because these were the two best teams in baseball, and whoever won usually won the American League. Two, because they absolutely hated each other, and something memorable and sometimes violent was going to happen.

2003 through 2004 was the golden era for this rivalry. Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS, Pedro Martinez (he still calls the Yankees his daddy) drills Yankee batter Karim Garcia. Then the next inning, Roger Clemens (we miss him so much) sends a fastball right above the head of Manny Ramirez, and that sets it off. Both benches clear, and Pedro tries to show his manliness by pushing 72-year-old Don Zimmer to the ground.

The next year, this time in the regular season, again at Fenway. Newest Yankee Alex Rodriguez gets drilled by Bronson Arroyo, then gets into it with Sox catcher Jason Varitek, another fight ensues.

14 years have passed since then, and to be honest, the rivalry has been desperately lacking some spice and hatred. I believe the hostility grew in the off-season, when New York signed slugger Giancarlo Stanton. It brought back memories of the 04 signing of A-Rod, when the Yankees stole him from Boston, though Stanton was never interested in going to the Red Sox (shocking right?).

Since those days at the turn of the century, and back into the 1970’s, the rivalry is different. The two teams haven’t met in the postseason since, the new Yankee stadium is half full, even when Boston is in town. You don’t have the Yankee fans chanting “WHO’S YOUR DADDY” at Pedro. The players have a ho-hum attitude towards each other, there’s just no hatred, its almost as if they like each other.

Then, on Tuesday in Fenway, like a phoenix arose from the ashes, something glorious and unbelievable happened. In the third inning the benches cleared briefly, when Tyler Austin’s cleats clipped Brock Holt’s leg on a slide into second base.

Fast forward to the seventh inning. Red Sox relief pitcher Joe Kelly hit Austin in the side. This resulted in Austin slamming his bat to the ground with a force that I believe only comes from years of built up Yankee frustration with the Red Sox. Austin charged the mound, Kelly not backing down, and the teams went at it.

Let me say this: I’m not the kind of fan who loves to see fights in sports, at least not all the time. To be frank, I love it when my teams get into fights. When the Heat and Pacers were getting chippy in the playoffs a few years back, it got me fired up.

When it comes to the Red Sox and the Yankees, I love the hatred, they call it a rivalry for a reason. I’m a journalist (not a very good one) so technically I’m not supposed to be a fan, but screw that, I hate the Boston Red Sox. To me this is the best rivalry in all of sports. It has been a long time coming, but I sure hope, and I believe all of America is rooting for this rivalry to be back. Sports are better, baseball is better, life is better when the Red Sox and Yankees hate each other.

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My Case Against Josh Allen, The Obsession Over Big Arms

The NFL Draft is three weeks away, and the talk of this years class are all the quarterbacks available. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Baker Mayfield are all great talents, and some say all five will go in the first round.

Allen, in my opinion, is the most interesting prospect out of these passers. Coming out of Wyoming, this giant of a man, is known for, well, his giant hands, and a huge arm. Allen went the junior college route out of high school, playing his final seasons for the Cowboys.

After an impressive sophomore campaign, in which we saw him throw for over 3,000 yards, Allen decided against declaring, and entered his junior season with high expectations. Though he was injured for some of the year, when he did play, he showed promise.

Coming into the draft, Allen’s draft stock is all over the place, but most have him going in the first round. Mel Kiper Jr. has Allen going number one to the Browns.

Physically, Allen looks like a number one pick. He has the skill set that some professional quarterbacks can only dream of, especially his arm size, which people are drooling over.

So after all of this, you probably expect that I’m a huge fan of Josh Allen. Now, let me tell you why you shouldn’t draft him, HIS STRONG ARM.

Let me take you back to 2003. The Baltimore Ravens were looking for a quarterback, and targeted Kyle Boller out of Cal. Boller was very similar to Josh Allen, big arm! In the combine, Boller threw 50 yards from his knees, can’t miss prospect right?

Another stat, Boller’s competition percentage his senior year was 53.4%. Allen’s completion percentage his senior year? 56.3%. Boller was a bust in the NFL, throwing just 48 touchdowns in his career, along with 54 interceptions.

Big arms mean a lot of things, that you can throw a 70-yard bomb. It also means that your arm could throw away a lot of games. Would you rather have accuracy or arm strength coming from your quarterback?

Tom Brady was drafted in the 6th round, you know why? His draft profile said he lacked speed, his size, and his lack of a big arm, he couldn’t throw a tight spiral. This past season in 2017, Brady led the league in completion percentage.

Let me take you to 2007. The Oakland Raiders have the first overall pick, and are looking at LSU’s JaMarcus Russell. Russell coming out of college, was described as the best prospect since John Elway, and an arm that made Brett Favre look like Danny Wuerffel. A big arm, can’t miss! When was the last time you heard anything good about Russell’s NFL career?

Long 80-yard touchdown deep throws are exciting, but would you draft a guy like Allen, who can’t make consistent touch throws? Allen is a gunslinger, and while sometimes that does pay off with guys like Brett Favre, do you take that risk?

Though I think he’ll go in the first round, to think that teams would take him over Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen at number one or two is ridiculous.

 

Selection Sunday Show Is Crap, ASU and Oklahoma Suck

Selection Sunday was today for those of you not interested in great things, and the NCAA Tournament begins this week, finally. However, I, with the rest of the entire country, had many problems with all of Selection Sunday, down to the very teams playing for the title.

Lets start with the show itself. The Selection Sunday show is always, always on CBS, has been since 1982. So what do they do this year, they change it to TBS, and it sucked. First of all, there was a delay, so the words didn’t match Ernie Johnson’s mouth, and there were people clapping in the background with no sounds of their hands, horrible.

Then, for some odd reason, the show announced the automatic qualifiers, and the at-large teams before showing the brackets into which they were placed. So the drama that we usually have throughout the show, ended very early for some schools. Also, the teams were announced in alphabetical order? And then the guys forgot how to spell, and announced TCU (Texas Christian University) after Tennessee, but I’m no brainiac.

Any-who, now to the bracket. Mostly I don’t really care, because Miami is a 6th seed and isn’t going to win anyway. However, two teams got in, and I am outraged.

  1. Oklahoma. Name me one player besides Trae Young on the Sooners, you can’t do it. The Sooners have an 18-13 record, along with a 8-10 record in conference play. They made it, instead of their in-state rival Oklahoma State, who beat Oklahoma twice this season, also swept Kansas, and on top of that has six wins over top-25 teams.

The Sooners have two games since February 2nd, and though they had success early on in the season in non-conference play, the reason that Oklahoma is going dancing this week, is that because of Trae Young.

2. Arizona State. Another case very similar to Oklahoma, strong team in non-conference play, starting out 12-0. The Sun Devils even had wins over teams like Kansas and Xavier. Fast forward to conference time, and they were a joke. They ended up 8-10, and losing 5 of their last 6 games, including a loss to Colorado in the first round of the PAC 12 tournament.

So why, why do teams like USC and Notre Dame get left out? It just goes to show you that the NCAA does not care about conference play, or how you finish your regular season, or what you place in your conference tournament. March has begun people, let the madness ensue.

Where Should Kirk Cousins Sign? Jets or Vikings?

With the free-agency period for the NFL right around the corner, it seems that Kirk Cousins has dominated the talk. Now, is that because of a weak free-agency class, or is Kirk Cousins really as good as advertised?

Cousins has shown that he can play, for sure. Three straight seasons of over 4,000 yards, 25 or more touchdowns, one division title for the Redskins.

Even with those stats, Washington has moved on from Cousins, trading for Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith. Now, with free-agency beginning on March 14th, two teams have emerged as clear cut favorites for Cousins to sign with, the New York Jets, and the Minnesota Vikings.

So why the Jets? Seriously Kirk, why the Jets? I will tell you why, BECAUSE THE JETS ARE WILLING TO PAY COUSINS $60 MILLION HIS FIRST YEAR IN NEW YORK. Like lets be real, when Cousins saw that the Jets were willing to pay that he thought,”man, maybe I could see myself in Jet green.”

The Jets have not a decent quarterback since Marc Sanchez, and thats being decent. Though, if Sanchez could lead the Jets to two straight AFC Championship games, who knows what Cousins could accomplish.

Jeremy Bates is the offensive coordinator for New York, the Jets sixth offensive coordinator in eight seasons, and head coach Todd Bowles, well, I’m just very surprised he’s still coaching with the Jets.

Bottom line for New York, is that they’re desperate. The jets are the second team in New York behind the Giants, they haven’t been to a Super Bowl since Nam, and they’re going to throw all the green out to sign Cousins.  However, its not a Kirk Cousins or bust situation, because New York can still draft a quarterback with their high pick.

So why the Vikings? Of all the teams trying to sign the former Michigan State Spartan, the Vikings have by-large the best roster. This team went to the NFC Championship game this past season with Case Keenum as their quarterback for goodness sakes.

They have a tremendous defense, Dalvin Cook who will be healthy, and a plethora of dynamic receivers. The Vikings also recently signed a new offensive coordinator, John DeFilippo. DeFilippo is still celebrating his Super Bowl victory with the Eagles as their quarterbacks coach, turning Carson Wentz into a Pro Bowler, and Nick Foles into a Super Bowl champion.

Another great thing about the Vikings, is that Cousins won’t have to throw 35-40 times in a game for them to win, and winning is something that Kirk probably wants to do. Even though Tom Brady is retiring soon and it’ll open up space in the AFC East, that will take several years, and the Vikings are ready to win now.

So yes, if you’re asking me, the Vikings are obviously the correct spot for Cousins to land. Will he do it? That remains to be seen. Denver Broncos general manager John Elway stated that the Broncos will also pursue Cousins very heavily. However, expect to see Cousins in a Purple People Eater uniform this upcoming fall.

Utah Keeps Tournament Hopes Alive With Win Against UCLA

45 seconds to go, with the shot clock winding down, Utah up by 3,  the Utes needed a score to seemingly put the game out of reach. With hot shooters on the court like Justin Bibbins, Utah turned to junior guard Parker Van Dyke. Letting a desperation three go while the shot clock expired, Van Dyke drilled it. The Bruins couldn’t pull off the come back, and the Utes held on to win, 84-78, keeping their tournament hopes well alive.

“The shot with 45 seconds is something that I’ll never forget”, said Van Dyke. “I got the ball with the shot clock running down. Didn’t really have time and I knew to I had to make a play so I let it fly and it felt good when it left my hands.”

With their 5th straight victory last night, Utah didn’t just defeat UCLA, they moved ahead of the Bruins for third place in the PAC 12 standings with just a week of regular season basketball to be played. The Utes avenged their earlier season loss to UCLA in front of a playoff-like atmosphere at the Huntsman Center Thursday night.

With both teams coming into the game desperately needing a win to improve their resume for the looming NCAA Tournament, the Utes and Bruins came out firing from 3-point range. Mid-way through the first-half was a scare for Utah, as center David Collette, who hit his first four shots, went down and was escorted into the locker room. Still, the Utes led 47-40 at the half.

Collette ultimately returned, and Utah built a 14-point lead early in the second half. Collette was automatic all night, leading the Utes with 21-points, going 9-for-9 from the field. Bibbins continued his hot streak, scoring 17 points while also adding 10 assists, as the Utes needed extra support without the play of injured guard Sedrick Barefield.

However, it was Van Dyke who stole the show against the Bruins. Four 3-pointers by the Salt Lake native cooled off a furious second-half comeback by UCLA, including two from beyond the arc in the final two minutes. The 6″3 guard also sunk two clutch free throws to seal the victory, high-fiving the courtside Utah fans after being fouled.

Van Dyke’s career high 18 points was enough to bolt the Utes into third place in the PAC 12 by night’s end, in a game that was seen all throughout the country on ESPN, with Bill Walton calling the game.

Regarding the win last night, Van Dyke had this to say, “The win against UCLA gave our team a lot of confidence. It made us realize how good we can be and that we can compete with anyone as long as we play our game.”

With a win on Thursday, the Utes now turn their attention to an even more pivotal matchup, as USC, another team that defeated Utah earlier in the year, makes their approach into Salt Lake City. The Utes sit one game behind the Trojans, and both teams are hot. USC has won three in a row, while the Utes will be gunning for their sixth straight win.

“We need to take the same focus into the next games that we had for last nights game,” Van Dyke said.

Another key component in Utah’s recent success is playing at home in front of their fans. The Utes are 11-2 at home at the Huntsman Center. “The Huntsman Center is a great atmosphere and we as a team play better together at home,” Van Dyke commented. “I love playing at home in front of friends and family with the team that I grew up cheering for.”

In terms of their tournament dreams, the Utes control their own destiny. Last season, four PAC 12  teams danced in March, and with a win last night, Utah is right where they want to be.

How Drake’s New Song Will Help The University of Miami

In the mid-late 80’s, the University of Miami was the nation’s premiere college football football program, for several reasons. One, because of their obvious success on the field, winning 4 national championships in 9 seasons, and also, their swagger that they presented themselves with. Now in 2018, Miami is on the rise once again, and exposure from one of music’s largest names will help regaining their swagger.

Drake, one of the most popular names in music today, released the music video for his new song “God’s Plan”. Throughout the music video, which was shot in the city of Miami, Drake is seen sporting a University of Miami sweatshirt while also on the campus for durations of the song.

Last week, Drake made a visit to the campus, while thousands of students stood below him at the Moss Terrace. You saw Drake throwing up the famous “U” that the school is known for. While on the campus, Drake also gifted a student at the University a $50,000 check for her tuition.

Drake told the students, ““I’ve been to a lot of places in the world,” he told the crowd. “I don’t think I’ve ever been to a more turnt school.” Students were heard chanting the familiar sound, “It’s great to be a Miami Hurricane!”

In the 80’s while the Canes were running rough-shot over the country, the rap group 2 Live Crew’s Luther Campbell, otherwise known as “Uncle Luke” also wore Miami gear during music videos. This brought credibility to the school, which went alongside the success that the Hurricanes were having on the football field.

What the university soon found out, is that with Uncle Luke sporting Canes gear, it helped immensely with recruiting, and all of a sudden Miami was the place to be. What we have here in 2018, is that Miami is once again relevant. A 10-3 record in 2017, trip to the Orange Bowl, and also, their swagger back. The Canes rocked the Turnover Chain on the sidelines, and the country took notice.

I have absolutely no doubt in my mind, that kids across the country, they see the Turnover Chain, they see Drake throwing up the U, and most importantly, they see winning on the field, and they’ll want to come to Miami. Drake isn’t the first celebrity to showcase the University of Miami, Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez were regulars at Hurricanes games in the fall, with A-Rod making an appearance on College Gameday prior to the Notre Dame game.

Famous rapper and Miami Liberty City native Trick Daddy, has also been known to support his Hurricanes. In 2014, Trick released his song “U Already Know” as an anthem to past UM glory, and future Hurricanes promise. The song was used for ESPN’s 30 for 30, “The U Part 2”.

While many people will look at this and say it may be a negative effect, because of some of the words that Drake uses. However, building a program is also about building hype, building excitement, and for Miami, regaining its swagger.

Why Have The Jazz Been Able To Turn It Around?

Monday night, fans were elated and couldn’t believe it that the Jazz had won their 10th straight game. On Wednesday evening, again at home, Utah fans expected to roll over the Suns, and thats what happened. A 10-point victory gave Utah its 11-straight win heading into the All-star break.

So without star player Gordon Hayward, who bolted to Boston last summer, and a rookie leading the team, how have the Jazz been able to do this? At the beginning of the season, writers across the league were saying that Utah wouldn’t even win 40 games this season. Now, though still not in the playoff standings as of right now, the Jazz have positioned themselves perfectly to continue their run once their schedule resumes next week.

So again we ask, how has Utah done this?

  1. Donovan Mitchell

This is an obvious first answer. The rookie out of Louisville is exceeding all expectations, and is clearly the favorite or runner-up for Rookie of the Year. Against the Suns on Wednesday, Mitchell scored 24 points, leading the team. It was his fourth straight game scoring over 20 points, and has emerged as the superstar for a city who is trying to find their next star after Hayward left.

2. Supporting Cast

One of the reasons why Utah has been able to win 11 straight, is that the Jazz, even though Mitchell is their superstar, haven’t needed him to be their star every game. Two games during the streak, Mitchell hasn’t scored 10 points, and one game he wasn’t even playing, and Utah found a way to win. Why? Its because the Jazz have players besides Mitchell who can create plays, and become clutch for them down the stretch.

One night it may be newly added Ricky Rubio, who against the Warriors, scored 23 points and 11 assists in the third win of the streak. Against the Raptors, Rudy Gobert, who spent this season injured, totaled 18 points and 15 rebounds in a win in Toronto.

And who can leave out fan favorite Joe Ingles. Ingles has emerged a crucial part of the Jazz success, whether its shooting the long ball from beyond the arc, or with his passing skills, which was evident in the win against the Spurs on Monday.

3. Quin Snyder

A coach who certainly does not receive enough praise. A coach who reminds me a lot of Brad Stevens, someone who can lose a star player from the season before, and get his team to exceed expectations and play to their absolute peak.

Take for instance Royce O’Neale. Royce is a player who went from a practice squad with Golden State, played overseas, and found his way to the Jazz. While other teams may have passed on him, Snyder and the Jazz use him. Last night agains the Suns, O’Neale scored 19 points.

Snyder, in his 4th season in Utah, has taken the Jazz to the second round, but this season may be his most impressive job with the Jazz.

With 15 of their remaining 25 games of the season on their home court, a second straight playoff appearance for Utah, in a season which seemed doomed, is extremely likely.