post

Top 5 Super Bowl XLVII Contenders

With only a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, we can now begin to figure out which teams are the real contenders for Super Bowl XLVII. I will identify which five teams I believe have the best chances of representing and winning the Super Bowl come this February 3rd.

HOUSTON TEXANS


The Houston Texans are currently tied with the Atlanta Falcons for the best record in the league with only one loss each. The Texans have elite players on offense and defense that will be able to compete with the best teams in the league on any given Sunday. The offense features elite running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson with Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Schaub under center. The defense is also making a name for themselves with “Defensive Player of the Year” candidate in J.J. Watt and cornerback Jonathan Joseph. Out of all the Super Bowl contenders, the Houston Texans probably have the easiest remaining schedule and should be able to secure a first round bye week in the playoffs as well as home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Texans found themselves in the playoffs for the first time last year but with a rookie quarterback leading the way in T.J. Yates. This year should be a different story as the starters will have a chance to rest late in the season and gear up for the Super Bowl run.

ATLANTA FALCONS


The Atlanta Falcons are the other team with a 10-1 record. It should not be any surprise to faithful football fans that the Falcons are more than likely going to make the playoffs this year but what is surprising is how they are doing it this year as compared to last year. We all knew that the Falcons were a decent team before drafting Matt Ryan out of Boston College but Ryan has led the team to the playoffs every year in his professional career. Although Ryan has made the playoffs each year, he has not been anywhere close to sniffing the Super Bowl but this year may be different due to the emergence of second year wide receiver Julio Jones, a guy the Falcons went “all-in” for in the 2011 draft. The Falcons also have a much improved defense this year compared to past seasons, which could launch them straight to the Super Bowl in New Orleans.

SAN FRANSISCO 49ERS


The San Francisco 49ers were the surprise team of last season, going 13-3 and claiming a first round bye week in the playoffs. They made the NFC championship game last year but two muffed special team plays sent them packing. The 49ers have an elite defense that they rely upon in close games but the 49ers were able to sign a few offensive weapons during the offseason. They were able to lure away both Brandon Jacobs (who has not been able to do anything for the team thus far in the season) and Mario Manningham from the defending champion Giants. They were also able to sign veteran wide receiver and retired free agent Randy Moss to the team as a vertical threat. As of recently however, second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick has gained favor with head coach Jim Harbaugh over long time starter Alex Smith in the offense. Switching starters this late in the season could be the recipe for disaster or it could be the necessary ingredient for the 49ers to make a strong push to the Super Bowl.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS


The New England Patriots are the current reigning AFC champions and are considered to be on “cruise control” right now in the regular season. The Patriots have much of their same offense from last season’s Super Bowl run but the defense has been overhauled, by bringing in many young players. The Patriots were able to draft three stud defensive starters in Chandler Jones, Donta Hightower, and Tavon Wilson. Also, when predicting and previewing potential Super Bowl contenders, you can never count out Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as they have seen five Super Bowls together. Look for the Patriots to duke out the second first round bye week position with the Baltimore Ravens and the Denver Broncos. If the Patriots are able to secure a first round bye, they could have an easy time reaching the Super Bowl yet again.

BALTIMORE RAVENS


The Baltimore Ravens currently hold the second best record in the AFC only behind the Houston Texans. The Ravens are without their future hall of fame linebacker Ray Lewis although there are rumors that he may play in Week 15 but regardless of whether Lewis is on the field, the Ravens have a tough defense. The saying is “defense wins championships” and the Ravens have the offense and the defense to support that claim. The Ravens’ offense has been much improved every year since Joe Flacco’s arrival in Baltimore and this year Ray Rice and Torrey Smith are having career high statistics and will play vital roles in the Raven’s Super Bowl run come playoff time.

post

Knicks Start Out Strong with Melo Leading the Way

Well what do you know? The New York Knicks started the season 3-0! Yes! The New York KNICKS! These are the same Knicks who have been the laughing stock of the NBA (National Basketball Association) for years. The same Knicks who last had a 3-0 start in the 1999-2000 NBA Lock-Out Season.

The Knicks’ strong start made waves around the league. Why wouldn’t it? If you blow out the Miami Heat by 20 in the season opener, you will definitely get a lot of attention. These Knickerbockers look very different from the last time we all saw them (last year’s playoffs, where they were destroyed by the Miami Heat).

The Knicks have added veterans such as Jason Kidd, Marcus Camby, Kurt Thomas, Pablo Prigioni and the returning Rasheed Wallace. While those are very great additions to the team, it’s not a secret that the man behind the Knicks’ success is none other than Carmelo Anthony.


Anthony has shown things that he has never done before in his career. We all know ‘Melo can score! In fact, he’s regarded by some as the best offensive player or pure scorer in the league. But the critics have never been shy to point out ‘Melo’s lack of commitment on the defensive end. What we’ve seen thus far though, is something that should silence even his biggest critics.

‘Melo has been playing amazing basketball on both ends of the floor. He dominated the Heat with his shooting and inside game, while playing good defense on his rival LeBron James. Right after that game, Carmelo Anthony continued his onslaught as he scored 21 against the Philadelphia 76ers. But what really stood out is ‘Melo’s defense and hustle. There was even an instance where Anthony dived for a loose ball and went into the stands. This kind of hustle and heart is what is propelling the Knicks right now to success.

Right now, the New York Knicks came back to Earth having suffered 4 losses already. They fell short against the Grizzlies, Mavericks, Rockets, and the new kids in town, the Brooklyn Nets.

This doesn’t mean that the Knicks have become irrelevant though. They still have one of the better records in the NBA. Carmelo has been playing out of his mind, as he has been mentioned early on as a legitimate MVP candidate. ESPN and NBA.com have him at #2 in the MVP race. Carmelo Anthony can win that award if he continues to lead the Knicks to more WINS.

Everyone knows ‘Melo can score with the best of them; but the Knicks are going to need him to continue his stellar play on the defensive end. That is the only way for the Knicks to have a successful season and go deep in the Playoffs.

Can they go deep? Will the injured Amar’e Stoudemire and Iman Shumpert be able to return to their pre-injury form and help the Knicks in their title hopes?

There are definitely a lot of question marks for this New York Knicks squad, but unlike the past few seasons, this Knicks are definitely contenders.

Knicks fans; don’t forget to thank Mr. Anthony, okay?

post

2012 NFL Top 5 MVP Candidates

There are no clear candidates for this year’s NFL MVP award which should make for an intense and close race toward the end of the season. Listed below are the top five candidates to win the award and the reason why they should win the award.

ADRIAN PETERSON


Everyone who knows the NFL knows that Adrian Peterson had serious knee surgery less than a year before the season started, rehabbed his way back from his torn MCL and ACL injury, started Week 1 and is having one of his best seasons as a professional. He currently leads the league in rushing with 1,128 rushing yards and he is doing it virtually by himself without much help on offense being on the Minnesota Vikings. We don’t know what lies ahead for the Vikings but they are currently sitting on a record of 6-4 with the Bears and Packers to deal with in their division, which may decrease Peterson’s chances of winning the award. Also, the award gives higher priority to the elite quarterbacks of the league but Peterson should be in a two man race for the Comeback Player of the Year award with Peyton Manning.

MATT RYAN


Ryan and the Falcons came out of the gate full force making cases for all the awards and the Super Bowl. Recently however, they have looked mortal with Ryan throwing for 5 interceptions in Week 11 against the Cardinals and barely squeezing out victories. Ryan put up MVP like numbers early on in the season with above 70% accuracy and a high yards per game average however those numbers have fallen but the Falcons continue to win and stay on top of the football league which has a bunch of weight when it comes to MVP voting.

AARON RODGERS


He is the reigning MVP and has statistics to back up his argument for winning the award again this year however Rodgers had such an unbelievable 2011 season that many voters will see a decrease in numbers. Not only has Rodgers been “un-Rodgers-like”, but Rodgers’ Packers started the season with a sub .500 record early on in the season. He has been able to steer the ship in the right direction despite numerous injuries to his wide receivers and offensive line. If the Packers can continue its winning streak and notch the top spot in their division, Rodgers could make a strong case for a repeat award.

TOM BRADY


It seems like Brady could win this award every year with different rosters and players surrounding him. This season has been no exception as Brady has been playing at an elite level yet again. He is currently third in total passing yards with 3,299 yards and leads the highest scoring offense in the league. Let’s not forget that Brady also threw for over 5,000 yards last season, a feat that would have been commended if it weren’t for Drew Brees. He is also leading his team toward yet another AFC playoff appearance and possibly another first round bye week in the playoffs. The fact that he keeps leading his team year after year and puts up elite numbers year after year, voters may become “numb” to Brady’s consistency and neglect what he has actually been able to accomplish year after year. He should still get a lot of attention come award time.

PEYTON MANNING


When teams are essentially being interviewed by a “player” during the offseason means the player is a sure fire Hall of Fame player which was most definitely the case when Manning “chose” the Broncos as his new home and team. Manning has not disappointed either despite not playing in a regular season in almost two calendar years prior to the start of this season. Manning has everything going for him this season to claim his fifth MVP trophy. He has led his team to a 7-3 record among the AFC, thrown for 2,975 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions with a 68.5% completion percentage. He has been able to turn around a franchise that cringed every time a pass was thrown to elite playoff contenders. Manning could be collecting his record fifth MVP award along with a Comeback Player of the Year award if he continues on this same path by the end of the season.

post

Should You Start Looking at Betting On A Few Games?

Betting on big games can definitely tie a lot of things together for you, but the trouble is that you might be making a huge mistake by doing that. There’s no need to feel that you cannot get the best of both worlds here. You will get not only the joy that comes from being able to watch all of the big games, but you’re also going to be able to bet on the big games a swell. There’s nothing wrong with adding a little thrill and even a little bit of risk to your sports watching. If you lose interest in the game, you can at least see whether or not you’ve won some money. Naturally, a few warnings are needed whenever we talk about sports based gambling. You want to make sure that you’re not just throwing money away that you cannot afford to lose. Some people get so caught up in betting that they forget that it’s really entertainment. This isn’t what you’re going to do in order to pay your bills. You will still want to budget your money accordingly and make sure that you’re not dipping too much into essential money that’s necessary for other things.

If you’re going to look into betting, you need to find a good sportsbook online. Going to reviews is the most important step, but people will skip it anyway. It can be a tough road to travel if you’re going to jump into a sportsbook without looking at what’s actually available. You might be playing somewhere that isn’t going to give you a good bonus or get to you quickly if you have a problem. And trust us; you’re going to have problems eventually. You’re going to have times where you need to get someone’s attention.


There is a strong online community. So even if your friends get tired of watching the game with you, you will tap into a wide world of people that absolutely love to do nothing but talk about sports and gambling and everything in between.

With so many benefits waiting for you, there’s only one clear path to take. You need to look at what you can get out of a sportsbook, and then shop around for the best one to meet your needs. Tap into the community, introduce yourself, and see who you can hang out with. The rest is completely up to you, but we’re just going to assume you’re in for a great time!

post

Top Super Bowl Predictions in the NFL

Even though the Super Bowl isn’t set to arrive for another month or two, we are still thinking about who is going to play in the big game. There’s nothing wrong with making a few predictions amongst friends, right? And since you’re all considered to be friends of our brand new site, we figured we’d kick things off right by talking about Super Bowl predictions.

There are a few teams that we really love right now:

The Green Bay Packers. Look, let’s not even bring up the controversy from earlier this year. In our opinion, it was a bad call and the NFL missed a chance to make things right. That’s not sour grapes, that’s just facts.

However, we’re going to set that aside. Right now the Packers are running 9.75 to 1 at the big sportsbooks, so if you’re a betting person…study carefully.  What we like — 3rd in the NFC North. That’s nothing to sneeze at, though a lot of fair weather fans are already sleeping on the Packers. We’ll see what happens from here.


So, how ’bout them Texans? Yeah, we went there — the Texans can seriously bring a fierce game. There’s a good solid defense here, and the league needs to be watching the Texans if they want to keep their edge. Odds are good that we are going to hear about more good things from the Texans pretty soon.

Cowboys fans out there… we haven’t forgotten about you. The truth is that we just don’t think that Tony Romo can honestly deliver the type of ground game as a quarterback that the fans want — and that he’s going to need in order to lead his team to victory.  If the Cowboys end up going against the Broncos? Let’s not even talk about that. This isn’t just about Tebow, either. We’re not going to talk about him right now.

There’s something about the Miami Dolphins, but we’re not super impressed just yet. QB Ryan Tannehill is promising, but the road of shattered Super Bowl dreams has been paved with numerous rookies that just couldn’t deliver under pressure. Reggie Bush continues to shine…but for how long?

As we’re a new site, we’re going to want as much feedback and interaction with you as possible. So, tell us — what are you thinking about in terms of Super Bowl sports predictions? Feel free to always sound off in the comments — we don’t mind at all!

post

My Favourite Games #1

Manchester United 3 – 2 Deportivo La Coruna
Wednesday 10th April, 2002

This game sticks in my mind for one reason. I don’t really remember the goals (in fact the only one I do remember is the Deportivo consolation in the 90th minute – a free kick by Djalminha), but I do remember the atmosphere. You sometimes hear that the crowd was electric, and for me, this is the game I always think of when someone mentions it. Never have I heard a crowd like it.


I’m not sure why this game stands out more than others, but that doesn’t really matter. It was a quarter-final second leg in the 2001-2002 Champions League and, after a 2-0 away first leg win in the Riazor, United were favourites. However, they were missing the injured Roy Keane and the suspended Paul Scholes, so United had to rely on Veron in the centre of midfield… and the Argentine went on to have one of his best games in a United shirt, assisting with two of the goals.

This was also the game that saw Beckham ruled out and struggling to be fit for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, with Solskjaer replacing the England captain in the 21st minute. Despite these setbacks, when Solskjaer made the score 3-0 on aggregate that seemed to be it, however, a Laurent Blanc own goal meant that the Spanish side still had an outside chance.

However, Solskjaer again, and then a red card and a chorus of ‘adios’ first for Scaloni and then for Duscher meant that the game was beyond Deportivo and Giggs finished it off before the consolation free kick from Djalminha. United would go on to face Liverpool’s conquerors and eventual finalists Bayer Leverkusen in the semi-final, a tie which would see United eliminated on away goals.

This wasn’t the best game in the world, it wasn’t even the most important. But for me, the atmosphere has yet to be beaten, and this will be the game I always mention when I get asked: what’s the best atmosphere you’ve ever been to?  For me it was this. Unfortunately, the atmosphere at Old Trafford leaves a lot to be desired these days, however, back then the big European nights would guarantee a decent crowd. I’m glad I was there.

post

Will Mourinho be Sir Alex Ferguson’s Successor?

Sir Alex Ferguson has metaphorically the biggest boots in all of football, and certainly the Premier League. He has managed Manchester United for over 25 years now and has won everything in the game, including 12 league titles and two Champions League titles. His Manchester United side have been the dominant side of English football in the past two decades. Ferguson was opting to retire 10 years ago now, but decided to stay on and hasn’t looked back since.

You’ll hear him say before every season he has ‘another three years’ left in him, and he seems to continue. His health is good, and as long as it is, he won’t be leaving Manchester United. It’s strange to think that a lot of Manchester United fans have only seen one manager manage their team, and the world after Sir Alex is going to be a different one. Who will be able to take over from him? Is there anyone who can fill those massive boots? There may be one guy…Jose Mourinho!


Jose Mourinho is still at Real Madrid, and whilst he currently loves the challenge of managing the biggest club in the world, we all know he won’t be there for too many years to come. He got the Real Madrid job after being hugely successful with Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan, and has a record no other manager can really match, and he has only been managing for about 10 seasons, quite impressive. Real Madrid has always had huge pressure, and now even more than ever, as they are competing against Barcelona, which is one of the best teams anyone has ever seen. In his first season at Real Madrid, he got close to Barcelona, but not close enough, but it only took him to his second season where he had reclaimed La Liga back for Barcelona.

Perhaps his next mission is to win Real Madrid’s 10th Champions League title, and once or if he accomplishes that looks to go back to England. It may still be quite some time he stays at Real Madrid, as currently he is building a fantastic squad to match that of Barcelona’s, and has the potential to dominate Spain and the rest of Europe. One day he’ll will think it’s ‘job done’ though and onto his next career goal.

He has always stated how much he loves the Premier League, and says one day he will return and stay for a long time. With him saying that, you start to look at his potential new club. Liverpool is a candidate because it’s another job with tremendous amounts of pressure, but currently a long way away from securing their first title in over 20 years, it may appeal to Mourinho though.

Rumours he could be off to Tottenham, Manchester City or Arsenal, and even a comeback to his old club Chelsea has been wished by his old fans at Stamford Bridge. However, the most likely outcome would be for him to join United. Why do I say this?

Mourinho has said before that he has always respected Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United, and claimed to be a fan when growing up in Portugal. Mourinho loves the spotlight and he will get plenty of attention if he was to follow Ferguson. Mourinho has all the attributes and is the template of a fantastic manager, and his ambitions are matched by Manchester United. Both things go hand in hand, and some years down the line, we will see Mourinho return to the Premier League, and may walk out at the Theatre of Dreams to continue Sir Alex Ferguson’s legacy.