Friday, July 29, 2011

Did the Lockout Actually Make the NFL More Popular?

By Charlie Scaturro

Rob Carr/Getty Images North America
On the heels of Monday's announcement that the NFLPA and the owners had come to an agreement on a new 10 year CBA, the NFL has opened back up for business and it certainly seems like fans all around the country have embraced the return of professional football.

The "craziest free agent signing period in the history of the NFL," has had the internet, TV, and all major media outlets buzzing for the entire week as NFL general managers run around with lampshades on their heads throwing money at whichever free agents they think can help their teams.  And while these free agent spending sprees are the first step in the NFL's return to normalcy, perhaps the most important development that took place this week was how the fans have flocked back to the game they love.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Does March Madness Bastardize College Basketball?

By Charlie Scaturro

I'm going to tread carefully on this subject because I love March Madness and I love college basketball.  In fact, I think the NCAA Tournament is hands down the best sporting event in existence and I don't think it's even close.

I do realize that in asking whether or not March Madness bastardizes college basketball I'm attacking the very thing that makes the game so popular, not to mention I'm attacking an institution that generates millions of dollars for college athletic programs across America.

At the same time, as a die hard college hoops fan who follows the season closely from November to April, I can't help but notice that the sport seems to change at the the end of February, transforming into something very different than what it was during the first four months of the season.

Friday, July 15, 2011

In Search of Next Season's Kemba Walker

By Charlie Scaturro

I hate to break it to all the Jimmer fanatics out there (and the ESPY'S as well) who hung on every pump fake and 30 foot three-pointer the BYU guard made last season, but the story of the year in college basketball was Kemba Walker. 

Fredette might have owned the more impressive stat line and shooting percentages, but Walker essentially willed an inexperienced roster, which was picked to finish 10th in the Big East before the season started, to an incredible 11-game winning streak which culminated in UConn's third National Championship.  Part of the reason why the Huskies weren't even thought to be one of the nine best teams in their own conference was because no one knew just how good the 6'1'' guard from the Bronx was going to be in his junior season.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Hangover Part III: The Aftermath of World Cup Soccer

Historically, the day after the MLB All-Star Game is the slowest day of the sports calendar year, so it’s no surprise that grown men in America have become completely obsessed with a combination of the two things they usually couldn’t care less about: Soccer and Women’s Sports.

The United States Women’s National Team (or #USWNT for all you @kerrancejames followers) has given us an epic ride over its past two games.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Things College Basketball Fans Should Be Excited About, Even In July

By Charlie Scaturro

As I write this, the NFL and NBA are both trudging through excruciating lockout proceedings and Bud Selig is busy pretending that anyone really cares about what goes on during the MLB All-Star break. 
In other words, it's a dark time for sports fans everywhere and while some might use this barren sports schedule to re-connect with other parts of their life, I'll be using it as a time to look ahead to the upcoming college basketball season.  We're still a few months away from meaningful college hoops, but as it usually does, mid-November will be here before you know it.

Here at Send It In Jerome, we've already unveiled our admittedly way-too early Top 25 rankings for next season and I figured I would follow that up with 10 things that college basketball fans should be excited about, even if it's only July.  There's no doubt that there are more players, teams, and stories that will make the 2011-12' season of college basketball unforgettable, but these 10 really stood out in my mind, so here goes.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Violating an Unwritten Law: Changing Favorite Teams

Over the course of a lifetime, a man may change any number of fundamental things about himself without much notice or objection from his closest friends, including hairstyle, diet, career, residence, political views, religion, or marital status.

Team loyalty is a whole different ball of wax.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Tragedy in Texas and Where We Go From Here

By Charlie Scaturro

By now I'm sure you've heard about Shannon Stone, the 39-year old Arlington area firefighter who suffered a head injury which subsequently took his life while he was trying to catch a foul ball for his son during a recent Texas Rangers game.  What happened on July 7th at the Ballpark in Arlington transcends sports and considering what was lost on this night, it truly makes the game of baseball seem inconsequential.

In what is one of the most tragic and heart wrenching tales of sorrow imaginable, a six-year old child witnessed his father die right before his eyes as he tried to create an incredible memory for his son (getting him a foul ball at a Major League Baseball game).

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Why I Don't Have A Problem With the NBA Lockout

By Charlie Scaturro

If you've been following along with the content here on Send It In Jerome, you know that I enjoy watching and writing about the NBA. 

But with the recent news that the league has locked out its players, a move which will most likely lead to a long and bitter work stoppage, the fears of NBA fans all over the country have been realized.  And even though this far from surprising development may leave me with less to write about and less basketball to watch (two of the more mundane consequences among the wide ranging affects that an NBA work stoppage will cause), I find myself content with the drama that's beginning to unfold between the players association and the owners.

As of Friday, July 1st, all NBA business transactions have come to a complete halt, the league has stripped it's official website of all images of current players, and most important for the average sports fan, it appears that the he (or she) will be dragged through the mud while an ugly standoff between the players and the owners who sign their checks begins to take shape.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Examining The Fit of Each First Round Pick in The 2011 NBA Draft (Part II)

By Charlie Scaturro

This is the second of a two part series, click here for picks 1-15.

If nothing else, the 2011 NBA Finals proved how much fit really matters in professional basketball.  A Dallas Mavericks team that didn't have as much star power or athleticism as the Miami Heat showed that playing as a team and having pieces on the floor that complement each other can win championships.  Guys like Tyson Chandler, DeShawn Stevenson, Peja Stojakovic, and J.J. Barea might not be complete players but because of the way the Mavericks used them, they didn't have to be.

To put it simply, winning in the NBA isn't always about assembling a team of the five most talented players you can find, it's more about assembling a team that fits well together.  Obviously you need your Dirk Nowitzki's if your team is going to experience success at the highest level of competition and it's certainly easier said than done to draft players who truly fit your system, but with another NBA Draft in the books I thought I'd take a look at how each first round pick appears to fit on their new NBA team. 

There might still be some trade movement with these picks (which seems to be getting more confusing for some reason now that we have access to things like Twitter and 24/7 sports coverage) and free agency certainly will affect how these rookies will fit on their new teams, but for now here's how things look.