Friday, October 26, 2012

Cut to the Chase: Forecasting the Finish of the NASCAR Season

For a second time, we're opening the SIIJ door to an outsider. As was the case with last month's NHL article from Keith Gideon, this was written by a very good friend of mine - Doug Erwin. Hopefully this article won't have the same season-ending lockout effect as Keith's. Doug and I see eye to eye on a great number of things; the art of stock car racing is not one of those things. Fortunately, Doug has graciously volunteered to provide an SIIJ voice to that demographic. If you like what you see, check back in the future for more NASCAR articles, tennis articles, and maybe a college football article if Clemson does something worth mentioning. - Kerrance James

Hello Brooklyn: Welcome to the Modified Mediocrity Treadmill

By Charlie Scaturro

Source: Alex Trautwig/Getty Images North America

With all due respect to Dwight Howard landing in LA (and engaging in an awkward yet entertaining pissing contest with Shaq), and LeBron’s quest for back-to-back titles, the biggest story in the NBA at the start of the 2012-13’ season as far as I’m concerned is the Nets landing in Brooklyn. By now we’ve all heard about the Barclays Center, Jay-Z’s involvement with the team, and their new logo/uniforms, but in just a couple of days this team will actually step on a basketball court and start playing meaningful games (so much for just selling trendy merchandise and enjoying the warm glow that accompanies being the first professional sports team in Brooklyn since the 1950’s).

All of the fanfare and hype that has surrounded the Nets move to Brooklyn up to this point will begin to matter less and less as we begin to focus on, you know, the actual product Billy King and Mikhail Prokhorov have put on the court.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Your Cheat Sheet for NCAA Hoops Conference Re-alignment

With the start of college basketball season rapidly approaching (16 days!), I thought it would be helpful to put together a cheat sheet of all the conference re-alignments affecting the upcoming season. Last year, it took me at least a month to come to terms with the fact that Nebraska and Colorado were no longer in the Big 12, and to figure out where exactly they went; so we’re going to be a little more proactive this year and figure that all out before the games begin.

First, the easy ones – 15 Conferences that haven’t changed from last season to this season:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Random Mid-October NFL Thoughts

By Charlie Scaturro

Work is busy and time is at a premium, but here are a few random mid-October NFL thoughts I've had on my mind recently.

Source: Brian Bahr/Getty Images North America
Did the Giants really discover the “blueprint” to beat the 49ers?

After the Giants resounding 26-3 victory over the 49ers in Week 6, many people started asking whether Tom Coughlin and the rest of his coaching staff had crafted the “blueprint” for beating a San Francisco team that looked as formidable as anyone through the first few weeks of the 2012 season.

During their impressive win, there’s no doubt that the Giants did things to the 49ers that many teams would like to do; they ran the ball effectively, forced Alex Smith to lead San Francisco from behind, and they prevented a fearsome 49ers front seven from wreaking havoc. But the thing that always gets me about these so-called “blueprints” is that any coach not named Norv Turner already knows how you want to attack the opposing team, it’s a matter of executing such a plan.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

You Never Get Used to Heart Break

By: Kerrance James

More so than any other sport, baseball is like a marriage. Maybe you feel more passionately about other sports, but with upwards of 185 games per season, baseball is in your life more often than not. At times, your baseball cap becomes as much a part of your wardrobe as your wedding ring. There are quirks amongst your players and announcers that others probably don’t notice, but you grow to love or despise the person for them. And though you almost always forgive your significant other when they wrong you, you never truly forget.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Be Honest: If You Were a Chiefs Fan, You Would've Booed Cassel, Too

By: Kerrance James

As a life-long Chiefs fan (and it has been a long, long 26 years), I feel as though I’m required to weigh in on this whole Matt Cassel thing. So here goes nothing.

Let it be known that I am unabashedly one of those fans who has no issue with booing his favorite team when they egregiously underachieve. Aside from seeing the visiting teams play, the only highlight of having Wizards’ season tickets last year was when all 29 of us would make sure Andray Blatche knew how much we “question” his “talent” every time he came to the scorer’s table. That being said, here were my tweets about Matt Cassel while watching the game yesterday:

Monday, October 1, 2012

Random Thoughts on a Crazy Weekend in Sports

By: Kerrance James

Maybe the replacement refs weren’t so bad after all.

There were an awful lot of questionable calls yesterday, culminating in 3 pass interference calls in the final drive during the primetime game. While listening to the Redskins / Buccaneers game, the Bucs were flagged for an unnecessary roughness penalty for performing somewhat of a suplex on RGIII. The Redskins’ radio crew immediately started complaining about the call, saying that on that play, RGIII was a running back and you can’t overly protect him in that situation. So, to recap, the officiating/rulebook is so bad that people are even complaining when the calls benefit the team they’re supporting. I really think the only major difference between the “real” refs and the replacement refs was that the replacement refs had no confidence. Yes, the Packers/Seahawks game was a disaster, but so was the Packers/Saints game yesterday. The only reason the calls in the Seahawks game received the vitriol that they did is because we became pre-conditioned to doubt every single call they made. The real undeniable problem – and I’m not trying to open up a race debate here – is that predominantly white guys in their 50s can’t keep up with today’s athletes. The same thing has been plaguing college hoops for the past decade.