Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Storm Troopers are failing

Florida did it for the SEC Title Game, Miami did it for the Champs Sports Bowl, Arizona did it for the Holiday Bowl. What do this three teams have in common, during the before mentioned games the teams played in what is called the ""Storm Trooper Look'' and lost. Oregon started the trend a couple of years ago, when they came out against Washington and had white helmets, white jerseys, white pants and white shoes.
Sure the look was cool but now its getting out of control and bringing teams bad luck. Look at the results. Tempting the football gods is not good and for schools like Florida and Miami there is no reason to use this type of gimick and the results have shown that the football gods were not happy about their choice in uniforms.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Who said Hockey is not growing?

Look back at the United States World Junior Championships over the last couple of decades and it reads like a list of hockey playing states. From Minnesota to Wisconsin to Michigan, this years teams has representatives from those states and a couple of different ones.

A bunch of years back the National Hockey League decided to put teams in Florida, Arizona, Carolina, and Atlanta at the time the leadership said it was make the sport grown and by the looks of this years United States WJC team it appears to have worked.

Eight members of the teams are from nontraditional hockey playing areas. Defenseman John Carlson, Colonia, NJ; Matt Donovan, Edmond, Okla; John Ramage, St. Louis, Mo; Tyler Johnson, Spokane, Wash; Philip McRae, Chesterfield, Mo; Kyle Palmieri, Montvale, NJ; Luke Walker, Portland, Ore; and Jason Zucker, Las Vegas (pictured above).

Sure there are reason why these players are coming from different areas. One reason is that they are sons are former NHLers, like Ramage and McRae, and their fathers played in the those cities and have decided to live their after their playing careers have ended. But with the other kids it looks like their love of the game continued to grow despite playing in an area that did not embrace the sport.

Did you ever think that you would see the day where the a kid from the bright lights of Vegas would be playing the WJC. I'm just waiting for the day when the half of the WJC team is from Sun Belt state, don't laugh, its coming.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

World Junior Thoughts and Views

In a couple of hours, the World Junior Championships will be kicking off in Western Canada. During the last couple of years, the tournament has been a must watching at the OTWT home offices, almost becoming a holiday tradition.

After hours of reviewing the rosters, here are the three teams that I think that will medal during the tournament.

Gold: Sweden. Last year the yellow and blue clad gang gave a really good Canada team all that they could handle in the final. This year they take their charge one step further and win the gold and stop Canada's dream of a sixth straight title.

Silver: Canada: Last years team was anchored on defense by Myers and many other that are not back. This year team is not as good as last years.

Bronze: USA. Last year the United States came in thinking that they might be walking out with gold medals. That did not happen and the United States left Ottawa with egg on their face. Last years team featured a bunch of superstars, this years team is a lot different and that will show on the ice. Cam Fowler is going to lead this year. I think that they could be surprise team overall.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all from our family. While everyone is enjoying the presents and food don't forget the great week of sports that are on offer from the bowl games to the World Junior Championships to the great list of Boxing Day fixtures in the Barclays Premier League. So enjoy all.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

They are everywhere

First they sold themselves to people coming over the Delaware Memorial Bridge, now Rutgers is selling themselves to high school students. While I was covering a event at Southern Regional, the home of former Scarlet Knight Clark Harris, I noticed a Rutgers poster on the wall of the gym. The poster said "R You Next" and featured photos of former knights in the league. Its good to see Rutgers getting out in promoting themselves.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Why Manchester City will never win

There is something to be said about having the same people in charge for a while. This gives the leader of the team a chance to develop a team over a couple of years. Look at Andy Reid in Philly and Sir Alex at Manchester United, both have been at the job for a while and had great success.

But at Manchester City, having a leadership structure in place for a while is something that they want no part of. After City thrilling 4-3 win over Sunderland, the City leadership decided to sack Mark Hughes in favor of Italian Roberto Mancini. This makes no sense for several reasons, I would not say that Hughes has been super but Hughes is still in the process of building a team and it seems to be working.

If the City leadership had allowed Sparky to say they might have been closer to being part of the Champions League then they are now that they have shown Sparky the door. Mancini will now come and try to overhaul the team, so the building process will again start over.

The thing with City is that over the last decade no youth team setup has produced the number of players that they have. While they have the money to spend on players they also have an outstanding academy. With the money and academy that they have there is no reason that they should not be part of the Champions League in the next couple of years.

The main reason that will not happen is because of the leadership of the Manchester City playing musical chairs with their managers. Stick with one guy and let him develop the type of team that he needs to be successful, just like Hughes was doing, but that was not good enough.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Would it be the right move?

The rumor wheel has been spinning in college football this week. One of the largest rumors floating around is about the Big Ten expanding to 12 teams and then being allowed to play a conference champions game in college football, which is a cash cow.

Among the schools that have been mentioned for the expansion are Missouri, Pitt, Cuse, and Rutgers. As a Rutgers season ticket holder the idea of being in the Big Ten is both exciting and scary.

Sure seeing Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State make trips to Rutgers Stadium will be exciting and a ton of fun.

But the negative is this question: Is the Rutgers football program ready to play at that level? If they go to the Big Ten fans can forget about seeing a BCS Game for a while if they stay in the Big East there is that chance in the next couple of years they could be in a BCS games. If they head to Big Ten Rutgers might be group with Minnesota and Indiana teams that struggle with the rigors of the conference.

The decision to move to the Big Ten , if the offer is made, will not be made just on football. The AD will have to look at other sports and see how they will fit in their new conference.

If the offer is made they have to take it but if that happens people can not get mad when the results are not the same for the football program. Hey, if they make the switch, there is always the dream of Rutgers in the Rose Bowl.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Will Colbert now feel the SI Cover Jinx?

So no Mark Ingram on the cover of SI this week, instead Stephen Colbert. I don't know if this is going to be good or bad, but we will see.

Its all about the U

Its all about the U. From Randy Shannon as a player to Randal Hill to Lamar Thomas to the greatest linebacker trio in college football history in Armstead, Barron, and Smith. The opening to ESPN's 30 for 30 "Its all about the U'' is epic to say the least.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Its time to go bowling

So UCLA is the last team to know where they are playing in their bowl game. Army loss to Navy send the Bruins to The EagleBank Bowl in Washington DC to play Temple. From the Only Time Will Tell Scouting Department, here are our predictions for the most wonderful time of the year.

New Mexico Bowl:
Fresno State vs. Wyoming: Fresno State
St. Petersburg Bowl: UCF vs. Rutgers: Rutgers
R+L Carriers Bowl: Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee: Southern Miss
Las Vegas Bowl: Oregon State vs. BYU: BYU
Poinsettia Bowl: Utah vs. Cal: Cal
Hawaii Bowl: Nevada vs. SMU: SMU
Little Caesars Bowl: Marshall vs. Ohio: Marshall
Meineke Car Care Bowl: Pitt vs. North Carolina: Pitt
Emerald Bowl: Boston College vs. USC: USC
Music City Bowl: Kentucky vs. Clemson: Clemson
Independence Bowl: Texas A&M vs. Georgia: Georgia
EagleBank Bowl: UCLA vs. Temple: UCLA
Champs Sports Bowl: Miami vs. Wisconsin: Miami
Humanitarian Bowl: Bowling Green vs. Idaho: Bowling Green
Holiday Bowl: Arizona vs. Nebraska: Nebraska
Armed Forces Bowl: Houston vs. Air Force: Houston
Sun Bowl: Oklahoma vs. Stanford: Oklahoma
Texas Bowl: Navy vs. Missouri: Missouri
Insight Bowl: Minnesota vs. Iowa State: Minnesota
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee: Virginia Tech
Outback Bowl: Northwestern vs. Auburn: Auburn
Capital One Bowl: Penn State vs. LSU: LSU
Gator Bowl: West Virginia vs. Florida State: FSU
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon: Oregon
Sugar Bowl: Florida vs. Cincinnati: Florida
International Bowl: South Florida vs. No. Illinois: USF Bowl: South Carolina vs. UConn: South Carolina
Cotton Bowl: Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss: OSU
Liberty Bowl: Arkansas vs. East Carolina: Arkansas
Alamo Bowl: Michigan State vs. Texas Tech: Texas Tech
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State vs. TCU: TCU
Orange Bowl: Iowa vs. Georgia Tech: Georgia Tech
GMAC Bowl: Central Michigan vs. Troy: Troy
BCS National Championship: Texas vs. Alabama: Alabama

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wow Sports Illustrated might have gotten it right

While the rest of the world is focused on Tiger and his running around, Sports Illustrated did the right thing and put the right story on the cover of their magazine. Sometimes SI falls short of expectations, but this week they hit the nail right on the head.

The Tiger Woods story is not a sports story its more a national gossip story, now if Tiger heads to The Masters and blows a three shot lead with four to play, that is a huge story, but really what sports fan cares if he is hooking up with a waffle house waitress in every city.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Saying Good Bye to Legend

You could see it coming a mile away, there was Buster, Tim, and Jayson and some how Peter was seeing less and less airtime. So yesterday Peter Gammons, one of OTWT all time favorites, announced that he was leaving the ESPN and heading to do work for MLB Network and NESN.

The move does not come as a shock to most people for the last couple of years, the four letter network has been focusing most of their baseball insider time on the more high energy Buster Olney. Gammons, who had been at the four letter network for the last two decades, will do studio shows for both networks.

While ESPN might look at Gammons as surplus to requirements, he is the reason that so many people love the hot stove part of the season. During his time at the World Wide Leader, Gammons was at the front of reporting things and his love for the player development side of baseball was second to none.

As a person that also loves players development, Gammons was a hero. During the summer he would talk about Cape Cod League and the draft. This was done in a time that no one really cared about either. I always thought that this was the best part of his work, he would always let fans know what is in the farm systems. I know that Keith Law is good at that, but no one can replace Gammons knowledge and I have always like Law.

Gammons will be great on MLB Network, but the big looser in those whole thing is ESPN, why would a network let go someone like Gammons its makes sense to me. One of the positives is that Gammons will be able to spend more time with his band.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Professional Tailgating: Not the best way to end the season

The OTWT Tailgating Crew made their final trip to Rutgers for their battle with West Virginia and as usual the 'Neers won again. But it was a fun way to end the season including a game of kick about with an orange juice container.

It was so cold that the propane tank could not take it anymore
Our tailgating neighbors were getting ready for the World Cup

The 'Neers fans were out in force
A nice game of kick about with an orange juice bottle.

It did not go well for the Knights on the field.

Its was cold enough for Santa to come out for the game

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Cover Story: Bobby Says Good Bye

First Notre Dame decided to change coaches, now the unthinkable has happened at Florida State. Come next year, Bobby Bowden will not been seen on the sidelines. The legend decided to call it quits yesterday after 44 seasons in coaching. Here are how the newspapers in the Sunshine State covered yesterdays events.

Tampa Tribune
Tallahassee Democrat
The Florida Times-Union

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Cover Story: Bye Bye Fat Man

In Indiana some stories are made for the front page and yesterday showed that. Papers around the state featured the same story the firing of the fat man from Notre Dame. Here are some of the papers front pages:

The Times

South Bend Tribune

The Elkhart Truth

Monday, November 30, 2009

Clemson fans really like CJ

The Clemson fan base showed their love for CJ Spiller by taking out a full page ad in the USA Today Sports section. Now that does not come cheap. In the ad it list Spillers achievements both on the field and off the field. It also has a photo of former Clemson head coach John Heisman. I wonder why that is there.
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My Thanksgiving Weekend

The Thanksgiving weekend means a variety of things to a variety of people. For me it means a couple of things: stomach aches from eating too much, trips up and down the Garden State Parkway, and sports lots of it from college football to the NFL to college basketball to maybe a little NHL.

This year has been no different. Starting with the Lions and ending with Josh McDaniels saying "winning Mother Fucking game" and Brian Dawkins playing like an animal. Also on the plate was a sock that had a hole in it as well as watching various college basketball games that featured coaches in camping shirts, for some it was a good look while for others it was a fashion disaster.

Day two of the weekend started in freezing weather on the golf course. Sure I played the whole round in a woolie and under armor, I did not hit the ball that poorly. The rest of the day was more of the same college football. To end the day I listen to Mark Jones call the WVU/Pitt game and I'm dumber for it right now.

Day three has been a little calmer. It Started with the Premier League and then moved on to college football which was good but the only negative is that Matt Millen has followed me again. On Thanksgiving night he called the Giants and Broncos and on Saturday he called Georgia Tech, make him stop. He is the worst.

Day four has been full of stress, mostly from the eagles but it all worked out in the end as they beat the skins. The day started by watching the premier league game between Arsenal and Chelski, thanks gunners for helping me out. The Heels also beat Nevada for Ole Roy's 600 win wrapped up the day.

It's been a long weekend. I have watched so much sports that my eyes hurt. Also my fingers hurt from sending a ton of text messages. Just look at the labels on this post and you can tell how busy a weekend its been. I'm happy to head back to work just so it slows down my sports watching for a couple of days.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Fakes are sometimes better then the real thing

So Al Davis and John Madden have a lot in common, their connections to the Raiders and their loss of their minds at this point. Both also have another thing in common, their fake twitter personalities are funnier they are.

Some classics from the Fake Al Davis:

  • Note to self: don't hire anyone whose name starts with Mangin-
  • Thank god the Twitter is around to help journalists compare Jay Cutler to Jeff George in real time.
  • Cutler hasn't been the same since Jeff George bit him during the last full moon
Some classics from Faux John Madden:
  • Winter tip: Always keep a copy of Madden 07 in your vehicle to use as an emergency ice scraper or coaster! That's all it's good for anyway!
  • Jon Gruden is like the Chucky looking, eccentric illegitimate son I never had. I'm so proud of him!
  • Today MLB voted Joe Mauer as the most valuable player in the American League which means Mauer is probably pretty valuable to his team
  • Heres your holiday drink recipe of the day.. To have a "Summerall" simply have an entire bottle of scotch in under 45 minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is not the way to get me to fill something out

So on Thursday, the Only Time Will Tell Tailgating Crew headed to Madison Square Garden for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, which was a lot of fun.

While sitting at work on Monday, my blackberry started buzzing and I had an email it was from the Madison Square Garden asking me to fill out a survey on my experience at the home of Basketball and to entice me to fill out the survey they offered me a chance to win tickets to the Knicks Bobcats game on Dec. 20. Really this is the way to get me to do something offer me tickets to see teams that feature Nate Robinson, David Lee, and Jason Richardson. This is not exactly what I want to try to win.

If the people at the Garden wanted to get me fill out the survey they could have offered me tickets to one of the number of college basketball games they host. Maybe even the Holiday Festival but an NBA game between two terrible teams is not the way to go. As they same thanks but no thanks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Professional Tailgating: The 'Cuse is in the house

After spending Thursday night seeing the Syracuse basketball team the next logical step was to see the football team. So a fellow member of the OTWT tailgating crew and I head north to see Rutgers travel to Syracuse. Sure it did not end with a Rutgers win, but it was still a good time.

Otto is everywhere
Our pregame meal spot, The Varsity. Not bad at all
All of the basketball jerseys that have been retired in the dome, including one of my favs, Billy Owens
The Cuse still loves Melo

Its never good when you are this close to the band

The Rutgers band leader did not have a lot to cheer about

Professional Tailgating: The Defending National Champs

On Thursday the Only Time Will Tell Tailgating Crew headed for the big city, New York to see their beloved North Carolina Tar Heels. Good seats and cheap tickets led to a good night.

Everyone knew the Heels were in town
The great popcorn spill of Endy in the Outfield make for a mess

The Heels are introduced

The Heels and Bucks prepare for battle

Dickie V Shoot foul shots

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Daily Mail's guide to the World Cup

The Daily Mail runs the rule over the teams that will be South Africa next summer for the world cup.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coaches vs Cancer Notebook

Thanks to wonders of modern technology I'm filing my Coaches vs Cancer notebook from the train leaving the event. Technology is a great thing right. Now on to the notebook.

Game 1 Cuse vs Cal
• 1:08 into the game Triche heads to the bench for Jardine. Quick hook for freshman.
• Cuse might be better with Scoop at the point then the freshman. Team moves better with him in the lineup.
• Wes Johnson might be the most athletic player Jimmy has ever had at the 'Cuse and a one and done.
• I think this Cuse team might be better then last years.
• The biggest issue with Cal is that they need a third scorer to take the pressure off Randle and Christopher.

Game 2 UNC vs. OSU
• Ohio State is so small on the back line they are going to have trouble rebounding all year.
• Jon Henson is skinny on tv but he is really skinny in person. Show that kid a cheese burger.
• The PA got one of the Wear twins mixed up have to love that.
• The lack of outside shooting is going to continue to haunt the Heels. Guard plays wins in March and right now they lack that.
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Irish hearts and French Hands

For a 120 minutes the Irish National Team played their hearts out and with one hand Henry took their dreams of a World Cup away. Here is how the Irish newspapers covered the events yesterday in Paris.

Irish Times
Irish Independent
Irish Examiner
Irish Daily Star

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cover Story: SI College Basketball Previews

Coming to a mailbox near you in the next couple of days the Sports Illustrated College Basketball Preview. Again this year, the magazine has gone with different regional covers.


Michigan State

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Going to be a busy next couple of days

This is the best time of the sports season. College Basketball is just started, College Football is coming to an end. The NHL, NBA, NFL are all going. With all of these options, the OTWT Tailgating crew can not help but head to some games. On Thursday the gang will be at the Madison Square Garden for the Coaches vs. Cancer events which features 'Cuse vs. Cal and North Carolina vs. Ohio State. Then on Saturday, the gang will be making the trip from home base in New Jersey to see Rutgers take on 'Cuse in football. A couple of big events in a couple of days, should be a lot of fun. Check back later in the week to see all of the sites and sounds from the events.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A new way to recruit

For the last couple of year the world of recruiting has started to change. Instead of players keeping their views on their recruitment underwraps, players are taking all of the their thoughts to the public, while others are coming up with tech savy ways of announcing which programs they will play for.

St. Patrick's Guard Kyrie Irving has been at the front of using social media during the process. Irving, who has signed on to play at Duke, has been keeping people up to date with his views with his twitter account. In October, Irving let the world know that he was hanging out with fellow top recruit Tobias Harris at Kentucky. In addition to the twitter, Irving also has a ustream channel that he takes questions from different fans. The twitter aspects of recruiting appears to be growing with 2010 basketball class: Will Barton (Memphis), CJ Fair (undecided), Josh Shelby (undecided), and Kendall Marshall (North Carolina) all have accounts, some of them are open to the public while others are protected. These few just show how much social media is growing when it comes to recruiting.

On Friday, Harrison Barnes took announcing his college pick to a different level. After giving a speech about the final six six schools that were involved in the recruiting process, Barnes said he would Skype the college coach that he was committing to after a couple of seconds Roy Williams face popped up on the screen. I guess the days of just picking a hat up and putting it on are almost over.

Social media is continuing to grow and over the next couple of years many other top high school players wilil be turning to social media.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Professional Tailgating: USF is still not that good

It was not the best start of the season for the State University of New Jersey, but it appears that they have turned it around by doing what they do best beat the hell of the South Florida. Here are some of the sites from the Rutgers South Florida game.

The game was so big that even the Arsenal fans game out of the game
White Castle and Blue Moon what could be better for a cold windy night of tailgating
The cars coming in late for the game
Our friend gets himself stuck under his car looking for his glove that blew away
Despite a ton of empty seats, love the RU in the crowd nice touch

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A National Tragedy

Around Germany today, people were still in shocked over the death of former National Team goalkeeper Robert Enke. According to reports in Europe, Enke committed suicide after battling depression for many years. The story was front page all over Germany this morning

Here is how some of the German newspapers cover Enke's death