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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Sports Fans — Part of the Game Too

Posted by RichieZ23 on December 15, 2010

You might call me a fanatic.  When it comes to my favorite teams — the Iowa Hawkeyes, Dallas Cowboys, and Orlando Magic — I love them.  I identify with them that makes me spend my financial resources and invest my emotional time in the outcomes of their events.

It’s what makes sports so great.

I’m sure we can all remember our favorite sporting event.  Mine was being at the 2010 Orange Bowl in Miami and watching the Iowa Hawkeyes defeat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets for the first BCS bowl win in Iowa history.  That is a memory that you can never take away from me.  I also made sure to record plenty of video of it too.

The identity we have to our favorite teams cause us to feel such highs and lows from the outcomes and performances of our favorite teams.  I still get chills every time I watch this video from the 2010 FIFA World Cup:

That’s just 100% pure joy and emotion that might not ever be replicated again.  Some fans don’t even wait until the end of the game, or a game-winning shot to let out their emotions.  They just wait silently until the 10th point is scored in a basketball game, a tradition at Taylor University:

You always hear coaches and players thank the fans, and while it sounds cliche, it’s because it is.  But there is truth behind it.  Without us fans, these guys would essentially be playing by themselves in an open gym, field, or diamond.  It doesn’t matter what type of fan you are, if you support a team with either emotional resources or financial resources, you’re part of what makes the role of sports what it is today.

So next time you go to the stadium and arena and are idolizing the players performances, just know that you too play a part.


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White-Out — Sports Media and the Lack of Ethnic Diversity

Posted by RichieZ23 on December 1, 2010

I’d say there is a layer of white-out across the sports media.  It’s just I’m not sure if there is even a layer of ink underneath it.  It’s blindingly white.

According to the 2008 APSE-Report Card, there is a serious lack of ethnic diversity in the sports media.

Findings of the report card show that on average, whites account for 89.4 percent of the following job titles in sports media — sports editors, assistant sports editors, columnists, reporters, and  copy editors.

For a sporting world in America that is largely made up of African Americans, how can there be such little ethnic diversity in the jobs that cover these athletes?  Are we in the sports media not giving non-whites a fair chance?  I do not believe that to be the case.  While America is far from perfect regarding race relations, there has been progress made.  While it might be a small factor, there is little reason to believe that  racial discrimination is largely responsible for such a disparity between whites and non-whites in sports journalism.

Are non-whites just simply choosing to pursue other avenues in life besides those in sports media?  Quite possibly.  But why wouldn’t they want to be involved with the sports that are made up of their fellow race?  I don’t know.  I do not have an answer for that, as I am a white male.  But something just isn’t adding up here

Jason Whitlock, an African American sports journalist is one of the best in his craft.   Michael Wilbon is another African American who is one of the better sports journalists out there today.  Aren’t non-white kids and teenagers seeing this and wanting to be like Mike off the court, if they can’t be like Mike on the court?

Michael Wilbon, an Afican American sports journalist, is one of the more popular sports journalists in America. There should be more.

After all, if a large percentage of athletes in the United States are non-white, wouldn’t non-white reporters, editors, and others in the sports media world share a common bond?  This is not to suggest that race plays a factor in the quality of one’s work.  Far from it.  However, it is also realistic to admit that athletes would relate better to Stuart Scott than they would Skip Bayless.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume Scott and Bayless are equal in what they do as a sports journalist.  Wouldn’t Scott be better at relating to the player and asking better questions, thus hopefully getting better answers from the person being interviewed?  As previously stated, this is assuming that all other factors are equal in the perfect world — which rarely happens.  Being white or non-white obviously does not make you a good or bad sports journalist.  There are too many other factors.

But still.  Wouldn’t having a more diverse base of sports journalists both indirectly and directly improve the product due to the personal relationship phase of sports journalism?

Yes and yes.

An increase in ethnic diversity is needed to both potentially increase the quality of modern day sports journalism, and to also give non-whites opportunities in sports journalism.

It may be still a predominately white business, but at least there can be some color in it as well.

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Philip River is NFL’s Best Quarterback in 2010

Posted by RichieZ23 on November 30, 2010

I was not a believer in Phillip Rivers as an elite NFL quarterback before this year.  His throwing motion might be the ugliest I’ve seen since Joe Montain-ya.  He runs his mouth like he is Tom Brady when Rivers hasn’t even appeared in a Super Bowl, let alone win it.  The one time he visited the AFC title game, he lost to Brady and the Pats by throwing for just 211 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions.  I just didn’t think he was as good as he thought he was.I picked the San Diego Chargers to miss the playoffs, and the Oakland Raiders to win the awful AFC West.  Yeah, I’m not so sure about that now…

So far this season, Rivers has not only proved to myself and others that he is an elite NFL quarterback, he has proved that he is the best quarterback in the NFL in the 2010 season.  Rivers has passed for 3,362 yards and 23 touchdowns, both of which would lead the league if not for Kyle Orton’s 3,370 yards.

Philip Rivers has been the best quarterback in the NFL in 2010. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

But what makes it even more impressive, is that Rivers has done all this without his number one option Vincent Jackson.  He has also had his other targets Antonio Gates, Malcolm Floyd, and Legedu Naanee for extended time.  Patrick Crayton, who was acquired from Dallas via trade, will be out for awhile with a dislocated wrist.

And yet he’s still second in the league in yards, and tied for first in touchdowns?  Are you kidding me?  While he did get Antonio Gates back in the Chargers win over the Colts on Sunday night, what he has done this year with limited receivers is outstanding.  It will only get better as he has standout holdout receiver Vincent Jackson coming back from suspension.

For me, it’s a two-way race for the remainder of the season between Rivers and Mike Vick for MVP.

The Chargers don’t have the defense or running game that they used to have, but if they’re going to go anywhere this season, it’s going to be completely on the arm of Rivers.

As good as Rivers has been in 2010, he could get a chance to get back to the AFC Championship game, and earn the right to talk some real trash.

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Five Friday Favorites

Posted by RichieZ23 on November 12, 2010

Alright so I’m going to try some things that will be updated a bit more frequently, since I’ve obviously been doing a horrific job of staying on top of things lately.

Every Friday I’m going to pick five of my favorite teams to watch that I think will get a win.  So let’s get this started.

1.  Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants — Everyone is writing the Cowboys off for dead — and rightfully so.  They’ve played uninspired, mistake-ridden football for the majority of the season.  2010 is the biggest embarrassment in Dallas history.  But New York is banged up a bit, especially along the offensive line, and Jason Garrett has instilled a complete 180 degrees shift in mentality.  Everyone always talks about how talented Dallas is, yet they never live up to expectations.  A head coach like Jason Garrett just might be what the doctor ordered.  Look for Dallas to pull off the upset 24-21.

Jason Garrett has begun a change of culture in Dallas with more discipline.

2.  New York Jets at Cleveland Browns — What is going on in Cleveland?  They’ve already beat the Saints and Patriots this year.  Can they knock off the Jets too?  In short, no.  The Jets are one of the most talented teams in the league, with also one of the best head coaches to match.  Head coach Rex Ryan has brought with him plenty of swagger to go along with the hard-hitting Jets mentality.  The Jets prove why they are one of the NFL’s elite teams and win 31-13.

3.  Tennessee Titans at Miami Dolphins — Well the Randy Moss era kicks off in Tennessee.  With receiver Kenny Britt sidelined for weeks with a hamstring injury, the Titans desperately needed help at receiver.  Moss now steps into a lineup that has the most explosive running back, and now the best deep threat in NFL history.  Moss might not be the receiver he once was, but he still commands a constant double team, and will help out Chris Johnson in that he won’t see so many 8 and 9 man fronts.  Moss makes the Titans a legit contender in a tough AFC South.  Miami is also starting Chad Pennington, who has trouble throwing the ball further than 20 yards down the field.  Yeah, pretty bad.  Titans beat Miami and Moss catches a touchdown.  35-21.

4.  Kansas City Chiefs at Denver Broncos — Is Kansas City really for real this year?  Not yet, but they are better than Denver.  Broncos head coach has seemed to think that if he gives away all of his best players, the Broncos will somehow get better.  In 2009 he traded his 2010 first round pick to move up and draft cornerback Alonso Smith in the 2nd round.  Then in 2010 he traded Alonso Smith for tight end Dan Gronkowski.  Smith has damn near the same amount of picks (5) as Gronkowski has catches (5).  Division games are always close, but KC escapes 17-14.

5.  New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers — And now what may be the game of the week.  Actually, there is no maybe about it.  The Patriots and Steelers are two of the top five teams in the league, and could quite possibly be a preview of the AFC Championship.  The Patriots have ditched the spread offense that they employed recently, and have went back to more of a traditional base offense that won them three Super Bowls.  The Steelers have a tough as nails defense as always, but recently receiver Mike Wallace has blossomed into one of the leagues best deep threats.  He is averaging nearly 25 yards-per-catch, and is the spark plug the Steelers need.  The Steelers offense has a slight advantage on both offense and defense, but never count out Bill Belichick.  That being said, look for the Steelers to take out New England 28-27.

Those are my five favorites to watch.  What about you?

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NFL Football is upon us in less than 24 hours — Thoughts on Minnesota at New Orleans

Posted by RichieZ23 on September 8, 2010

Wow, I really need to get into a habit of updating this.  After that hiatus, I have fallen out a bit.

In less than 24 hours, the 2010 NFL season will be upon us.  We all finally got our first taste of real football this past weekend with NCAA football kicking off.  Boise and V-Tech?  Boise looked good don’t get me wrong, but they were an experienced team going up against a very young VT defense.  There was no reason for them to lose that game, but let’s not act like anyone thinks they’re the third best team in the country.  It’s kind of ridiculous that after the first week, we pretty much know Boise will be playing in a National Title game.  Playoffs are needed, just like the NFL.

Which gets me back to point.  The NFL season awaits us as the Vikings and Saints will do battle at 7 :30 p.m. Thursday night on ESPN in a rematch of the NFC title game last year in which Brett Favre got destroyed by the Saints — to which he still has not fully recovered.  Regardless, no one expected a 40-year old man to go out there last season and set the league on fire like he’s 30.

Brett Favre injured his ankle during last year's NFC Championship game and is still not fully recovered.

Minnesota in 2010

No Sydney Rice for 8 games, and an ankle that requires injections of lubricant lead us to believe that Favre will not repeat his statistical performance of last season.  Even if he was healthy and had Rice for the whole year, it’s hard to surpass 4,202 yards, 33 touchdowns, and only SEVEN interceptions!  Are you kidding me?  Brett Favre throwing just seven picks?  (Don’t worry he returned to form just in time for the playoffs.)  His 68.4-percent completion percentage and quarterback rating of 107.2 broke his prior career highs of 66.5-percent and 99.5 quarterback rating.  No way anything remotely close to Favre’s 09 performance happens again.

However, I fully believe that Adrian Peterson is going to take the reigns back from Chris Johnson as the best running back in the league.  The Vikings got pass happy last season, and rightfully so.  But now, the Vikings are going to lean heavily on Peterson this year, and I don’t doubt for a second that he will get the job done.  I think his fumble issues are a thing of the past, and that was really his only knock.  He’s stronger than C.J., just as fast, and while doesn’t have the wiggle that Johnson has, breaks more tackles and is a better red-zone back.

No Sydney Rice for 8 games will hurt Minnesota a lot, although their defense is still one of the best in the league.  Jared Allen gets all the attention, but Ray Edwards completes the pass-rushing duo for Minnesota, and then you’ve got the big ol’ Williams brothers in the middle with Pat and Kevin.  Then when you throw in former Hawkeye Chad Greenway, you can see why the Vikings have one of the better front sevens in the league.

I think the Vikings go 10-6 in 2010 and squeeze into the playoffs as a wildcard, with Green Bay running away with the NFC North at 13-3 or 12-4.  Missing Rice for 8 games and Favre playing on a bum ankle will take Minnesota down a notch from last year, although they will still be competitive in 2010, don’t expect to see Favre riding off into the sunset.  His best chance last year ended up in Tracy Porter’s hands with might be one of the most ill-advised throws you will ever see in the playoffs from a veteran such as Favre.

My thoughts on the Saints tomorrow.

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Time to Reassess Who Is Annointed As Role Models

Posted by RichieZ23 on April 15, 2010

The other day I overheard someone say how outraged they were that Tiger Woods cheated on his wife so often.  “Outrage” is not a term that I think should define your feelings toward what someone did, that you have no connection.  “Outraged” is what Tiger’s wife should feel.  As far as I am concerned, everyone else should feel completely indifferent, besides the fact that he was unfaithful.

I know why people get upset about this.  Morally, he did a bad thing.  I understand that.  But, his choices have in no way affected any of us negatively.  Personally, I have no stake in his choice to commit adultery.  I did not watch much professional golf and this has in no way affected my interest level, besides the fact that we get to make Tiger jokes now.  Within five years, the majority of people will have somewhat forgotten that this even happened.

So, I made the above point my response to their statement.  The other person informed me that it sets a bad example for the kids.  That he’s not being a good role model.

Besides his performance on the course, Tiger Woods (or other athletes) should not be viewed as role models in their personal lives. (Photo by Keith Allison)

Read the rest of this entry »

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