Sunday, February 27, 2011

The NFL needs to take a serious look at professional rugby and regain the toughness that was once part of the league's tradition. As the sport of football has become more fragile in recent years, an infusion of hard-nosed aggression is needed. Enjoy this footage.

Posted on Sunday, February 27, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thousands of fans in Denver and New Jersey lamented the loss of Carmelo Anthony to the New York Knicks, whose fans spent Monday night celebrating the coming of a second superstar to the Garden.

Many fans and analysts have been quick to say that the Knicks gave up too much (which is another story entirely), while many others have taken up the mantra that the trade is bad for the NBA. They say the trend of bringing all of the big stars to the big cities hurts the marketability of the league. This is wrong. Carmelo is just the newest move in a hype machine that has been prevalent this entire year. Teams in the big cities attracting big players is great for the NBA.

It is hard to argue that the NBA is less fun when the Knicks are relevant. The Knickerbockers play at Madison Square Garden, arguably the biggest stage in the NBA. New York is the largest market in basketball, so having them even be considered a remote contender is going to bring more interest to the NBA.

To have the big players go to the big markets only makes sense for the league; it means more marketing, more merchandise, and more exposure. Los Angeles vs New York City would make for one hell of an NBA Finals, which means better ratings.

I can't even think of a reason why the big market-big player philosophy could hurt basketball. If you really think it could, look at the Garden crowd for every Knicks home game in the forseeable future. You might change your mind.

Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Jake Silver

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Posted on Wednesday, February 23, 2011 by Jake Silver

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Friday, February 18, 2011

Thank you Onion Sportsdome for the video. They are in a rush against time to save what's important from this valuable horse. The Onion Sports Network continues to provide viewers with entertaining sports news that can either be labeled creative or absurd. Either way, enjoy.

Posted on Friday, February 18, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

This is my latest story for bleacher report about the most notorious NFL bust of all time. Ryan Leaf, known as the biggest flop in history, was irrelevant under center in his limited time as quarterback. However, he is known more for his off the field tantrums and arrogant personality. Hated by his teammates and fans, Leaf snowballed towards mediocrity and was out of the league at 26. This piece looks at Leaf from a different perspective, as if all his mediocrity actually made him a legend. Doubtful, but enjoy the sarcastic article.                          -Z.Pumerantz 
As the pigskin fluttered across the field in a panic and he flailed his arms in frustration, it became clear that Ryan Leaf was on the way to a defining career.

The legacy of Ryan Leaf began in Great Falls, MT in 1976.

A golden arm with a self-righteous swagger, Leaf impressed scouts with his smug attitude. While his teammates and the locals despised his arrogance, it made him dominant on the football field and the basketball court. When he ditched Montana for Washington State University, Russell High School decided not to retire Leaf’s jersey because he broke their hearts.

A First-Team All American at WSU, Leaf was happy to move on from his small town and get rich. In 1997, he reached a significant stepping-stone in his premature career. A Heisman trophy finalist after passing for nearly 8,000 yards and leading his collegiate team, the Cougars, to their first Rose Bowl since 1931, Leaf was building his legacy as the cockiest quarterback ever and was ready to cash in.

The San Diego Chargers had the third pick in the 1998 NFL Draft but decided to trade up to the second pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, after becoming enamored with Leaf’s psyche.

The Indianapolis Colts had the first pick and had their choice of a Mississippi quarterback out of the University of Tennessee and Leaf. Many experts believed Leaf was a better prospect than his counterpart, a youth named Peyton Manning. The Colts felt differently and took their chances with the Tennessee quarterback. Colts fans missed out.

The Chargers were thrilled to draft Leaf second overall and gave him $31.25 million for four years and named him the starting quarterback before the season began. It was a great start to an egotistical career. Head coach Kevin Gilbride deserves most of the credit for helping Leaf enter the league. By naming him starter, he was altruistically stroking his ego and helping him become such a conceited figure.

His career didn’t begin as expected, however, as he won his first two games in the 1998 season, albeit passing for one touchdown and two interceptions. With the team winning, Leaf was seen hugging teammates and offering complements. Gilbride wasn’t going to allow this kind of kindness much longer as he urged his young quarterback to care less.

He began to take strides in his third game against the Kansas City Chiefs, completing 1-15 passes for four yards and two interceptions. In September, he was seen cursing at a cameraman and screaming on the sideline like a toddler. After four more games, Gilbride was fired because he couldn’t mold Leaf into a haughtier quarterback, despite the exciting recent outbursts.

While he failed mightily on the field in 10 games in 1998, completing 45% of his passes for 1,289 yards, two touchdowns and 15 interceptions, he was more arrogant than ever. He was on the way to becoming the cockiest. He decided to leave the chargers for the streets. He was ready for a new team and expected his agent’s phone to be busy. But it was his tantrums and aggravated assault on reporters and chatty fans that made him so unique. Teams hoped he still had that aggression within.

He then took his ego to Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers were more than happy to embrace his personality. This is when his career plummeted. Lacking the violent outbursts that made him so famous in San Diego, Leaf didn’t feel at home. He chose to leave again. Jerry Jones jumped on the chance. The Cowboys picked up the confused signal caller.

Unable to find his immature attitude, Leaf’s career with the Cowboys lasted four games, until he ditched his team for one final time and went to the Seattle Seahawks. With injuries plaguing his psyce, Leaf was unable to find the violent tantrums that once hinted to such promise a promising career.

It started with so many expectations from coaches and fans in San Diego. The young quarterback from Montana had the world on his back, carrying them to egotistical stardom. While he displayed some skill for the tantrum at times, he got bored with San Diego and decided moving on was the best choice. The rest is karma.

He could never find the immaturity that defined his early career and retired at the tender age of 26. He had lost his spark, lost his vigor. Feeling as if he lost his libido, Leaf took his talents to court and was arrested numerous times on drug charges following his NFL career.

San Diego will never forget the star prima donna and the short, but exciting career he had in the NFL as the sports cockiest player of all time. In these times, when players are humble and good teammates, the sport needs another Ryan Leaf to come along and infuse the sport with unwanted tantrums. Only time will tell if there is a second coming of the biggest prick in sports. As of now, the best bust of all time will suffice.

Posted on Thursday, February 17, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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Posted on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Sunday, February 13, 2011

This game appeared to be a dominant 9-3 victory by the New York Islanders, but when watching the plethora of fights in this game (17), it becomes clear that the NHL fining the Islanders $100,000 might not suffice. Islanders forwards Trevor Gillies and Matt Martin and Penguins forward Eric Godard were suspended as well.

Obviously fighting is a significant part of the sport of hockey, but not when it occurs play after play. The highlight video below is somewhat entertaining, to be honest, but not good for hockey. Mario Lemieux has already revealed his disgust with what took place on Friday night. Read his ESPN quotes here. Enjoy.

Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Posted on Sunday, February 13, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Monday, February 7, 2011

As the bulbs flashed, the crowd roared, and confetti flew, all eyes of the Cowboys stadium crowd and the record-breaking 111 million T.V viewers were on Aaron Rodgers, the clear MVP of Super Bowl XLV.

Off to the side though stood another Packer, one who was instrumental in the historic victory, one who managed to rise from obscurity this year to become a critical piece of the puzzle: wide receiver Jordy Nelson.

Buried on the Green Bay depth chart behind Greg Jennings, Donald Driver and James Jones, Jordy Nelson has never been a top weapon of Aaron Rodgers; having been drafted in the 2nd round of the 2008 draft, he came after the Favre era while Rodgers was still getting his feet under him. He played a minimal if not completely insignificant role in the '08/'09 seasons, recording only 55 catches for 686 yards in 2 full years.

His role in 2010 showed some change. He ended up recording 45 catches for 582 yards and 2 touchdowns, though he did not record the first 100 yard game of his career until he racked up 124 against the Giants in Week 16. Though he picked up his play during the last few regular season games, he was a non factor against the Eagles in the Wild Card round, leading many pundits to leave him out of consideration as a factor player for the postseason.

He worked his way back into the picture against the Falcons and Bears, posting 12 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown. It was in Super Bowl 45 however, that Nelson cemented his place in Packer lore forever.

With just over 3 minutes to go in the 1st quarter, Nelson beat Randall Gay to make a jumping catch of a beautifully thrown 29-yard pass from Rodgers, putting up the first points of the SuperBowl.

Nelson proceeded to be the go-to guy for Rodgers throughout the game, totaling 15 targets and racking up 8 more catches for an astounding 140 yards. Despite his stellar play, Nelson did have 3 critical dropped passes, fully half of the team's drops. Rodgers continued to rely on the young receiver, and one play after his final drop, on 3rd and 10 early in the 4th, Nelson snagged a pass, dodged a few tackles and dashed laterally across the field, going 38 yards and eventually being brought down on the 2 yard line. Greg Jennings caught what would be the game winning touchdown 2 plays later, though Jordy Nelson was the one who put the team in position.

Aaron Rodgers will be the first one to tell you that his teammates deserve all the credit; obviously this is untrue, but his teammates do deserve SOME credit. Rodgers played a historical game, but Jordy Nelson's SuperBowl should never be overlooked. A young and unknown player rising up to help his team win the championship is the stuff of legends. Nelson has his whole career ahead of him, and if he ever ends up in the SuperBowl again, the opposing defense better hope they have a corner that can match him.

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 by Jake Silver

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"As the clock dwindled, the Green Bay Packers only seconds away from a legendary Super Bowl victory, fans began to reminisce, grins and gratification omnipresent... "        click here to read the full article
Congratulations to the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers and their loyal fanbase. The team has come a long way since the Brett Favre days and could not be happier with their franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers leading the charge. Read why Rodgers will dominate the league for years in my latest Bleacher Report piece. Click Here to Read

Posted on Monday, February 07, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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Friday, February 4, 2011

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Posted on Friday, February 04, 2011 by Zack Pumerantz

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