Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Farewell Blogger.....



They say all good things must come to an end and that is very true here. Tru School Sports will be leaving blogger and switching to Wordpress so that means our time on blogger is done. Its been a great ride here on Blogger as I visited this page seemingly every day since June 2012 but its time to move on and take things to the next level.



We have had a lot of fun but soon this will all just be a memory as the URL for this site will once again soon read "truschoolsports.blogspot.com". So I hope you continue follow the site as we head into a new era, with a new logo and a new look. This is not the end but rather the beginning of greater things ahead for the TSS family........

Monday, December 30, 2013

Josh McRoberts has finally found himself with the Charlotte Bobcats

When you think of the Charlotte Bobcats big name players like Kemba Walker, Al Jefferson, and even at times Michael Kidd-Gilchrist come to mind. There is always one top performer for the Cats that fans often leave lost in their minds...8th year power forward Josh McRoberts.


McRoberts has been one of those players who has moved around often early in his career, and that has caused people to easily forget his name. Now at the younger age of 26, McRoberts is on his 5th career NBA team (Blazers, Pacers, Lakers, Magic, and Bobcats). Not to mention before he became a member of the Charlotte Bobcats he wasnt too great of a contributor anyways.


 The only season before his newest tenure with a team that McRoberts saw any significant time  on the floor was in the 2010-2011 season where he started 51 of 72 total games played. With the Indiana Pacers that season he averaged 7.4 points and 5.3 rebounds. He is a player that truly has struggled to find himself and what he wants to accomnplish in the NBA...until he became a member of the Bobcats.

As the 2012-2013 season began McRoberts was a member of the Orlando Magic where he once again was a guy seeing little over a quarter of playing time and failing to make a significant impact. You could just tell that the then 25 year old was sick of playing in a reduced roll and really wanted to find a fresh start, a new place were he could finally begin to be the player he once wanted.


On February 4th of 2013, McRoberts finally got his chance. He was traded for then Bobcat Hakim Warrick, and man did Charlotte win this trade. Warrick is now a free agent whose career looks to be over, and now McRoberts is enormously helping power this Bobcats team to just their second playoff berth in team history.

In the 26 games after the trade in the 12-13 season McRoberts already saw vast improvement. In 19 starts he put up career bests in both scoring (9.3), rebounding (7.2), and assists (2.7). His strong start in the end of the season earned him a new contract as McRoberts resigned with Charlotte on July 11th, 2013.


The hustle player has finally proved his worth in the 2013-2014 season as he has silenced the critics that called him "useless" and "unimportant" in past tenures. McRoberts has proved that being a starter is his true calling, and he is doing nothing less than impressing.

Averaging 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists may not look all that big...but they are contributing so much to Charlotte that you cant look past them. His ability to help on all sides of the court make him so special. McRoberts sneaky source of assists and 3 pointers have greatly aided the Cats this year and on into 2014.


 If he isn't having a good night scoring, hes having a great night passing. If he isn't having a great night passing, hes having a great night rebounding. If he isn't having an exceptional night rebounding, then hes having an exceptional night scoring! You get the point? McRoberts never lacks contributions, if he struggles with one thing he finds a way to benefit his team. That small trait has proved so much worth to Charlotte.

McRoberts has proved he is finally important and meaningful with the Bobcats, and though it may sound corny its the ultimate truth. Havinh him in the starting lineup of every game this season has made the 2007 2nd round draft pick one of the biggest contributors to a team that looks to be read for just their 2nd playoff appearance in team history.





Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, RantSports.com (covers the Charlotte Bobcats), and he also writes for the league news.us. Dan is also a YouTube sports talk show host where he talks on his channel (DanJcarney) about trending topics, questions, and breaking news about everything and anything regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, Subscribe to him on YouTube, or add him on Google+.


The Cleveland Browns need to release Brandon Weeden

Browns fans have the biggest say in this decision, not the front office. Instead of giving it their own thoughts...think of how the Cleveland fans feel! I'm sick and tired of hearing the name Brandon Weeden and I know all NFL fans feel the same way.


Whether its ranting videos, Facebook pages, or petitions before game day its all centered around the same thing...Cleveland Browns fans hate Brand Weeden and want him gone from the franchise.

I don't blame them because what it comes down to in the NFL is winning games and that is something the already aging quarterback simply cant do. Whether its a lazy play, an overthrow, or just a silly turnover in general the thoughts of the now 30 year old have clearly plumeted this season.

                  - A classic Wikipedia edit...Weeden isn't only a terrible football player


To be honest nobody was expecting this guy to be great coming out of the draft. When the Browns decided to select a 29 year old quarterback with their only first round pick it truly raised many heads...looking back at that pick now it really is just a shame.

Nick Foles is now a member of the 2013 NFC East division champion team. Foles threw 27 touchdowns this year with just two picks! And how far back was he picked from weeden in the 2012 draft? 66 picks.

        -Doesn't get any worse than this, your own team insulting your performance


Rusell Wilson...now a member of the top seed NFC team going into the playoffs and also a division winner who has made the playoffs already in his young career! How far back was he picked from Weeden in this 2012 draft? 53 picks!

What the heck did the Browns front office see in this guy? They passed up on two young guns poised for future success, and then got an already old turnover machine. Its a pure disgrace that this guy has even remotely represented the storied Cleveland franchise.

               -One of the greatest sports rants of all time! This guy truly hates Weeden's guts

5 times Weeden started this season for the Browns...and 5 times a big fat "L" was the outcome. He lost his starting job twice this season and it should have only been one time, in the preseason. This guy should have never stepped in as the starter because he was horrendous from the start. Not to mention he cant keep a halftime lead.

Weeden recently says he has gained great adversity from his experiences this season and he still has the ability to play at the starting spot, but the Browns shouldn't make the decision to bring him back. Terminate that mans contract...immediately.

-
                                                       -Get out of town Brandon!



Dan J carney is a sports writer for 3 online sports websites. He writes for Tru School Sports, RantSports.com (covers the Charlotte Bobcats), and he also writes for the league news.us. Dan is also a YouTube sports talk show host where he talks on his channel (DanJcarney) about trending topics, questions, and breaking news about everything and anything regarding the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL. You can follow him on Twitter @dan_jcarney, Subscribe to him on YouTube, or add him on Google+.

Best Available Head Coaching Job: Detroit Lions

Former Lions head coach Jim Schwartz helped change the culture in the organization in his five years in Detroit. Taking over an 0-16 team in 2009, Schwartz led the Lions to a playoff berth and a 10-6 record in 2011, their first playoff appearance in over a decade. 

Despite success in 2011, Schwartz complied an eyebrow raising 29-51 record in five seasons, including a 7-9 record in 2013. After defeating the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving, the Lions lost four straight games which caused them to not clinch the NFC North title and miss the playoffs. It also saw a frustrated Schwartz screaming at the fans in week 16 against the New York Giants after the fans booed at him for not going for the win and instead running down the clock to go into overtime. 

The disappointing 2013 season convinced team President Tom Lewand and GM Martin Mayhew to let go of the 47-year old. Both felt that the talent on last year's team didn't match the performance on the field.

"The simple fact is we have fallen short of the expectations of our ownership, and those expectations are simple," Lewand said on ESPN.com. "They, very strongly, want to bring a consistently winning football team to the fans of the city of Detroit."

Veteran Lions players took to the media and explained their feelings toward the firing of their head coach. Their opinions are similar to Lewand's in that they want to bring consistently to the fans and the city.  

"It's a business," wide receiver Nate Burleson said on ESPN.com. "When you don't get the results that the organization wants and what the people want, then decisions like this have to be made. So I understand it, but it's tough to deal with."

ESPN's Michael Rothstein said that Schwartz told his players about the decision in a team meeting. Center Dominic Raiola told the media that he feels bad for letting his coach down after what Schwartz has done for the team. 

"This place is totally different than when he first came here," Raiola said on ESPN.com. "For the culture he created, I can't stress enough that this job that he took was one nobody wanted. Who wants that job? A complete rebuild, a complete overhaul -- nobody want that job. But he took it, and he took it as far as he could take it.

"I feel awful for Schwartz, I feel like we let him down," Raiola added. 

Through the first nine games of the season, the Lions started off 6-3 and 3-1 in the NFC North. They accounted for only 13 turnovers with a +1 turnover margin. Stafford also had a total QB rating of 66.7. In the last seven games of the season, the Lions finished 1-6 with over 21 turnovers and a TO margin of -13, both worst in the NFL. Stafford's performance also declined, finishing with only a 33.5 QBR.   

The Lions have also fired offensive coordinator Scott Linehan and wide receivers coach Tim Lappano. All other assistants will be retained for now, including defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.  

With Lewand and Mayhew leading the search for a new head coach next season, they have begun the process of sorting out the right candidates for the job. Mayhew has reported that the players will not have any input in the search of a new head coach. Stafford has told reporters that he wouldn't mind having input but most likely won't happen. 

The next head coach of the Lions will take over a team that hasn't won a game in December in the past two years. They have finished in the bottom six in the NFL in giveaways every year Schwartz has coached. They also held a fourth quarter lead in 13 of the 16 games they played last season, but still finished 7-9. 

One candidate that could be a replacement is San Diego Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Wisenhunt. He has helped the Chargers clinch a wild card berth, as well as turning QB Phillip Rivers into a dominating Pro Bowl caliber player. Wisenhunt has also coached in the Super Bowl, almost winning in 2009 with the Arizona Cardinals and now retired QB Kurt Warner. He has also won the Super Bowl in 2006 with the Pittsburgh Steelers during his tenure as an offensive coordinator. 

Bringing in Wisenhunt will provide the Lions with an offensive minded head coach that can mentor and groom Matthew Stafford. He has an excellent portfolio in coaching quarterbacks to play at their full potential every week. 

Another potential head coach is Lovie Smith, who has spent nine seasons with the Chicago Bears, where he complied a record of 81-63. With the Bears, he won the NFC North three times and appeared in a Super Bowl once with backup quarterback Rex Grossman. As a defensive minded coach, Lovie has led some of the best defensive units in the NFL, ranking in the top 10 in takeaways and scoring defense multiple years. He has though struggled coaching offenses, hiring and firing many offensive coordinators during his tenure in Chicago. Its reported that Smith is a front runner for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers job, so the Lions will have to act fast if they want to hire Smith. 

Regardless of who takes over the Detroit Lions coaching position, they will be in a much different situation then when Schwartz took over in 2009. The Lions already have their franchise quarterback in Stafford, whoever comes in won't have to find their quarterback of the future through the draft or free agency. He will also have one of the most dominant defensive lines in the NFL, as well as a top 5 player in the NFL in wide receiver Calvin Johnson. 

With the right leadership next season, the Lions could easily win 10-13 games and potentially clinch their first division title since 1993. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Greg Schiano Could Land in Penn State If O'Brien Leaves

It's likely that Penn State's Bill O'Brien will leave next year to the NFL, where he's been flirting this past week with the Houston Texans. NFL Insider Jason LaCanfora reports that the Texans search for a new head coach is still ongoing.

If O'Brien does leave for the NFL, the Nittany Lions will be looking for a new head coach for the second time in three years. The program is still prohibited to receive a bowl bid for the next two years due to the sexual assault scandal in 2011. According to Ian Rapopart of NFL Network, Penn State AD David Joyner is looking at the NFL for their replacement of Bill O'Brien. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano is receiving interests from Joyner and Happy Vallley.

Rapoport also reported that Joyner is flying down to Tampa Bay to meet Schiano in person and make a push in the two-year head coach. Despite the reports, Schiano has expressed that he wants to stay in the NFL and denies the reports, but it's uncertain that he'll keep his job in Tampa Bay after finishing 7-9 in 2012 and losing more than 10 games this season.

"There's zero truth to that," Schiano said on CBSSports.com. "The only job I want is the one I have right now."

Prior to being the Buccaneers coach in 2012, Schiano was the head coach of Rutgers University from 2001-2011. He won five bowl games in his last 6 seasons, his last one being the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Other notable bowl victories include the Texas in 2006, International in 2007 and St. Petersburg in 2009. He composed a record of 68-67 in 11 seasons. Schiano was also a defensive coordinator at the University of Miami, an assistant for the Chicago Bears, and a graduate assistant and defensive back coach for Penn State before accepting the Rutgers job.

Along with Schiano, current Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak has been in discussion for the next head coach at Penn State. He quickly denied the reports as well. Munchak has spent the last three seasons with the Titans, his best season was in 2011 where he finished 9-7 and second in the AFC South. He also spent 14 seasons as the offensive line coach for the Titans from 1997-2010 and an offensive assistant for the Houston Oilers from 1994-1996.

The Experience of an NBA Game

Today, this is going to be a different type of article. Instead of covering something that happened in the NBA or talk about a team or player, I'm going back to the basics; watching an NBA game... live. 

I've been blessed to watch three basketball games live, Boston Celtics @ Golden State Warriors on February 22nd, 2011 and Boston Celtics @ Portland Trailblazers on February 22nd, 2012. Did I mention I am a diehard Boston Celtics fan? The third and most recent game I watched was on December 27th, 2013 and it was a thriller, Miami Heat @ Kings, in which the Kings won 108-103 in OT (I was going for the Kings). For those of you that haven't watched an NBA game live before, this article will bring you an experience of the whole process of the game (going to the arena, when you enter the arena, during the game, leaving the arena) and you will feel like you've gone to not one, not two, not three, not fo-- yeah, I'll just get on with it.

Going to the Arena

The drive to the stadium is one that you never forget; you have butterflies in your stomach, goosebumps all over your body and straight-up, feel giddy. The anticipation for the game is unmatched to anything. All your senses are enhanced by 10x and it's as if you can break a walnut with your kind (just go with it). When you get to the stadium, it's a stress reliever. 

When you enter the Arena...

The instant aroma of peanuts, sweat and things I'll never know is bless full (it smells better than it sounds, trust me). Entering the court area is the best part of being in the stadium. Believe me, I've entered and re-entered many times before just for the kicks. Walking through the tunnel and then seeing this explosion of bright light and... the court; big and sexy.


During the Game...

You'll be sitting in the seats, waiting for tip-off and when it finally happens, you can finally relax and enjoy the show you are about to catch. The atmosphere in the game is everything. I've been lucky to go to two of the NBA's finest fan bases' games, the Warriors and TrailBlazers. The better of the two fans are Portland's; I have nothing against Golden State's but that's the only professional team (other than soccer) that Portland has in it so it's bound to be loved a little bit more. The crowd's "ooh's" and "aah's" and them going ballistic when a player makes a fantastic play is what the atmosphere consists of.


Witnessing a buzzer beater is quite remarkable and I've been lucky enough to catch one. It was in the Celtics @ Warriors game and out of all people, Rajon Rondo hit a pull-up, buzzer-beating three pointer to end the 3rd quarter. I, as well as many others, went wild when drained it. Another thing about NBA games is that you might make a friend or acquaintance. For example, in the Celtics @ TrailBlazers game, I had some random dude who I'd never seen before, go up to me and comment on my jersey, "nice (expletive language) jersey bro!", and ever since that, I feel as if I would recognize him if I ever saw him again. The jersey I was wearing was the Rajon Rondo Majestic Fashion jersey, so I completely agree with the complement. Two if the best days if my life are the two games that I've witnessed. The Heat @ Kings game was the best game I ever witnessed. LeBron James had a few emphatic slams, igniting the crowd. When you're cheering for the underdog and the underdog comes back and wins, there is no one more excited that you are; that's how I felt when the Kings, lead by DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Isaiah Thomas, forced the game into OT and ran away with it, winning in the process. I didn't know how I didn't go deaf; the sold-out crowd, including me, was screaming at the top of their lungs, not giving one damn. It was by far the loudest I've seen people get.
The people you meet and how much you yell, all affect how much fun you have at the game.


Leaving the Arena...

The way you feel and act largely depends on the fact of whether your team won or not. The record for the Boston Celtics in the two games I've watched live are 1-1 (they manhandled the Warriors but lost to the TrailBlazers late) and for the Kings, 1-0, so I'll talk about both my experiences and how I felt and acted like. The worst thing about an NBA game is leaving; while leaving, you'll be clinging onto this experience. You feel as if you and your one true love are being separated and you can't do anything about it. 

If your team Won…


I was ecstatic after I witnessed my favorite team dominate the other team. The thing that made it even better was that I had made a bet with my uncle and aunt, who went to the game with my Dad and I, and the bet was that if the Celtics won, they'd get me a Monta Ellis jersey (the Mississippi Missile was still with the Warriors back then). I'd rather not mention the other end of the bet. Days after the game had ended, I still felt that same excitement that I felt when the buzzer sounded and Boston had won. The game against the Miami Heat was the best game I have ever seen in my life. It was a tight knit game in the 3rd and 4th quarters and the Kings finally pulled away in OT. The thing that I realized after the game is that every game I go to next, I'm going to compare it to this one and not many NBA games are going to be like it. 

If your team Lost...

Losing is a whole other story; you still feel thankful but you'll have the feeling of wanting more and then you question life and wonder "why me?!". Just like how it feels to lose in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, the feeling is horrible. The one game you go to is your Game 7 because not everyone can attend so many games and the game(s) you do attend, you feel the need for your team to win. That's how I felt when Wesley Mathews crushed my hopes with a couple three pointers to secure the win for the Portland TrailBlazers. 

Going to an NBA game is probably the best type of sports event to witness because of the constant action and how easy it is to watch and understand the game and I suggest you go to a game soon. I mean it; go on Ticketmaster and purchase tickets of your favorite NBA team now. I said NOW!








The Informer vs The Question 2013 NFL Picks Challenge: Week 17

Will the return of Aaron Rodgers lead to a NFC North Championship for the Green Bay Packers?

Ladies and gentlemen The Informer is not going to waste your time with a long winded opening rant.

It is Week 17 of the NFL Season so we all know what is at stake; there are 13 games with playoff implications including Packers-Bears fighting for the NFC North title and the Cowboys-Eagles doing the same for the "NFC Least".

Also, and obviously most importantly, The Informer has a chance at a .500 year if by the grace of the good "Tebow" he can go 12-4 with his picks this week.

In the semi-changed words of that guy from Meet the Parents: "Its a big shot week."

So without "Freddy Adu", here is Week 17 of The Informer vs. The Question's 2013 NFL Picks Challenge.

CAROLINA PANTHERS @ ATLANTA FALCONS (+7)

“The Question”

A Carolina Panthers victory means they will win the NFC South, receive a first round bye and possibly, with some help, get home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

If the Atlanta Falcons win they will get a worse draft pick.

Since the Panthers are playing for a lot this week I think they should be able to put Atlanta out of their misery fairly easily.

I almost forget: “Miss Informer” do you remember at the beginning of the year when I said the Falcons were going to be bad this season and you laughed at me and then picked the them to make the Super Bowl?

I just wanted to remind you, in case you forgot, that the team you picked to reach the Super Bowl is about to finish 4-12.

Pick: Panthers -7

“The Informer”

Wow a low blow right out of the gates from The Question.

It looks like someone is trying to get into The Informer’s head hoping for a massive choke job with his Week 17 picks.

Why does he want The Informer to choke? Because heading into Week 17 we both have identical 114-122-6 records.

The identical records is important to us because whoever loses the picks challenge not only loses bragging rights, but they also have to pay the other guys entry fee into our fantasy basketball league.

You read that correctly; The Informer has a friendly-wager with The Question on who will win their picks contest, with the loser having to pay their way into a money fantasy basketball league. Obviously, this would be the point of the article where someone should email The Informer the phone number for 1-800-Betsoff.

Getting back to the picks, The Informer would like to think The Question is right and the Panthers will show up and dominate this game. I mean, if they are the second best team in the NFC, then they need to prove they can beat one of the bottom feeders with a first round bye in the 2014 NFL Playoffs at stake.

Pick: Panthers -7

On Sunday the NFL says goodbye to a first ballot Hall of Famer.
The Informer note – We need to give a special shout-out to Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez who will be playing in his final game of a historically great 17-year NFL career. Gonzalez will retire with the second most receptions in NFL history (1,321), while also being one of only five players to reach 15,000 yards receiving. Also, to top it all off, Gonzalez is retiring with the sixth most touchdowns catches (111) ever.

Pretty good career for a guy who once thought his future would be in the NBA (Along with football, Gonzalez played basketball at the University of California).

GREEN BAY PACKERS @ CHICAGO BEARS (+4.5)

“The Question”

I only need four words to describe why I am picking this game the way that I am: “Aaron Rodgers is back.”

That’s a good enough reason as any.

Pick: Packers -4.5

“The Informer”

Did you know that Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler is 1-7 in his career vs. the Green Bay Packers? Did you know in those games Cutler has 8 TD passes compared to 17 interceptions?

Did you know that Aaron Rodgers is 9-2 against the Bears (Chicago won earlier this season 27-20 in a game Rodgers threw 2 passes before breaking his collarbone so technically the record is 9-3)? Did you also know that Rodgers has not lost to the Bears since 2010 (Again technically he lost earlier in the year, but you get the idea)?

Throw in the revenge factor, Chicago did break the guys collarbone earlier this year, with the fact that the Bears have stopped playing defense in December and this game has all the makings of Packers victory.

The Informer only has one more question: Does anyone else think the 4th-seeded Packers will be one of the best Super Bowl bets?

Don’t forget, back in 2010 when the Packers won the Super Bowl they backed into the playoffs at 9-7 before Rodgers got hot and led his team to the Championship.

Pick: Packers -4.5

HOUSTON TEXANS @ TENNESSEE TITANS (-7)

There is only one good reason to watch this game and it involves the words “Heavy Gambling.” Since this is a garbage game that no one cares about we are not going to waste time discussing it.

Picks: Both The Question and The Informer are taking the Texans

CLEVELAND BROWNS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-7)

“The Question”

So let me get this straight: If the Pittsburgh Steelers, the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals all win then the Steelers will make the playoffs after starting the season 2-6? That absolute absurd scenario is about par for the course with this crazy NFL season.

Pick: Steelers -7

“The Informer”

Going back to preseason predictions; The Informer predicted the Steelers and Miami Dolphins would make the playoffs while the Baltimore Ravens would finish 8-8 and miss the dance all together. (The Ravens finishing 8-8 was the prediction that led to the people on Google+ calling me “The Miss-Informer.”)

Well . . . If the Bengals handle business at home on Sunday, then either the Dolphins or Steelers would make the playoffs while the Ravens would finish 8-8 and miss the dance all together.

So while it is true that The Informer had some pretty bad predictions this season, there is still a chance that he wasn’t all wrong.

(F.Y.I - If the Packers, Cowboys, 49ers and Saints win while the Panthers and Seahawks lose then The Informer will have went 8 for 8 picking division winners.)

Knowing how The Informer's predictions usually turnout, on Sunday the Steelers and Dolphins will probably lose, followed by Joe Flacco doing Flacco things while leading the Ravens into the playoffs where they will no doubt make the AFC Title Game and thus The Informer will once again be known as “The Miss-Informer.”

Like The Question said, this season has been absolutely absurd.

Pick: Browns +7

WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ NEW YORK GIANTS (-3.5)

“The Question”

After the Washington Redskins win this game are people going to start asking whether or not Kirk Cousins, not RG3, is the future in Washington?

Pick: Redskins +3.5

“The Informer”

The answer is no.

Listen what happened to RG3-10 this year is the media made his rookie season out to be something we have never seen before (We had from Cam Newton, Andrew Luck and Michael Vick) and thus built him so high that the only place for him to go was down.

Add in the fact that the guy was coming off of a knee injury and one should have expected a step backwards.

The thing is; Washington’s problems this season were not because of RG3-10, they were because their defense was atrocious, their offensive line was not good and Mike Shanahan refused to ride Alfred Morris like he did a year ago. 

“Informer you know this game means absolutely nothing: So why in the bluest of blue hells are you still talking about it? No one cares about RG3, "Elite Manning", or either of these two teams. Move on.”

That is a very good points figment of my imagination.

Pick: Giants -3.5

The Informer apologizes for wasting everyone's time, so to make up for it here is a song about a duck trying to buy some grapes. The Informer promises one listen and you will forgive him. 




BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-6)

“The Question”

A.J. “The Sickness” Green is a stud. And I really like the Cincinnati Bengals at home.

“The Informer”

First of all Mr. Question you are correct, "The Sickness" is definitely a stud.

Did you know that if Green catches three passes today he will have 259 receptions for his career? For those wondering, 259 would represent the most catches ever by a receiver after his third year in the NFL.

On top of that, A.J. only needs 76 yards receiving to set the Bengals franchise record for most yards in a season, and he is only 15 yards from moving into second place (He would pass Torry Holt) for most yards through the first three season of a players career.

The Informer is not exaggerating when he says "The Sickness" is hands down one of the best young WR to ever play in the NFL.

(The Informer note - In case you were wondering, the great, and future first ballot Hall of Famer, Randy Moss has the most yards receiving through his first three NFL seasons with 4,163 yards. And yes, the only reason The Informer included the three year yards stats was so he could mention how awesome Randy Moss was.)  

Speaking of great young players breaking franchise records, Cincinnati quarterback Andy "The Red-Headed Gunslinger" Dalton only needs 117 yards passing and two touchdowns to set the Bengals franchise marks in those categories. It maybe time for The Informer to stop calling Dalton a bad quarterback.

Moving on, the Bengals have been around since 1968, yet this is the first year that they have ever scored 40+ points four times in a single season. Furthermore, all four of those 40 point games came while playing at home; which is a big reason the Bengals are currently 7-0 at home on the season.

With that said, just like Jason, Freddy, the Candyman, Ghostface, Hellraiser, Pee Wee Herman and every other mid-80’s horror movie monster, these Baltimore Ravens are not going to die easily.

In the words of the mad Russian from the poker movie Rounders: “Hanging around . . . Hanging around . . . The Ravens have alligator blood.”

Pick: Ravens +6

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-11.5)

Since this game means pretty much nothing in the grand scheme of things, instead of talking about it The Informer is going to play a video of NFL MVP Peyton Manning playing football with some kids.

Why you ask? Because the NFL MVP Peyton Manning is really awesome and the video is really funny –that’s why.



"It's gonna be there forever." Classic Manning. 

Pick: Both The Question and The Informer are taking the Jaguars

NEW YORK JETS @ MIAMI DOLPHINS (-6.5)

“The Question”

There is no way to prove this or any factual evidence to support the theory, but I really think the Jets are rooting for the Steelers.

And I really think they are going to spoil the Dolphins season on Sunday.

Pick: Jets +6.5

“The Informer”

Ryan “RT1” Tannehill is going to get his nine wins just like The Informer predicted. However, The Informer is thinking they are going to do it in dramatic fashion which means a close game.

Pick: Jets +6.5

DETROIT LIONS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-3.5)

“The Question”

The Minnesota Vikings are a frisky team that should play good at home. Plus, the Detroit Lions are falling apart worse than one of The Informer’s Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: Vikings -3.5

“The Informer”

The Informer is going to ignore The Question’s insults and just get right to Calvin Johnson. The only reason to watch this game on Sunday is to see if the Lions great can set a couple of NFL records.

If Johnson has at least eight yards receiving he will become the first player in NFL history to have 1,500 yards receiving in three straight seasons.

Even more impressive, if Johnson has 108+ yards receiving on Sunday he will become the first player in the history of the NFL to have at least 1,600 yards receiving in three separate seasons. That is right; not Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Marvin Harrison or any other NFL receiver has ever recorded three seasons of at least 1,600 yards.

(Another The Informer note – Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison and Johnson are the only players to ever have two seasons over 1,600 yards. Total there have been 15 seasons where a WR had at least 1,600 yards. Also it should be noted that Josh Gordon is eight yards away from 1,600 on the year.)

Needless to say, history is knocking at Calvin Johnson’s door on Sunday and The Informer has a feeling "Megatron" is going to answer.

Pick: Lions +3.5

BUFFALO BILLS @ NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9)

“The Question”

I am thinking the Buffalo Bills will be able to hang close as the New England Patriots will be looking ahead to the playoffs.

Picks: Bills +9

“The Informer”

28-0, 49-21 and 38-7

Those are the scores of the Patriots Week 17 games for the past three seasons.

Basically, the trend is saying that New England likes to play their best football in Week 17 heading into the playoffs. Plus, with a victory and a Broncos loss the Pats will be the #1 seed.

Trust The Informer, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be ready to go this week, which is why New England is the first of two Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: LKLOTW Pats -9

TAMPA BAY @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-12.5)

“The Question”

Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints will put this game to bed early and leave no doubt. Remember if the Saints lose and the Arizona Cardinals win, then the Saints will not make the playoffs.

I don’t see a scenario where Brees and the Saints don’t make the playoffs.

Pick: Saints -12.5

“The Informer”

Drew Brees needs 219 yards to surpass the 5,000 yard passing mark for the third straight season. To put that in perspective; Joe Montana, John Elway, Brett Favre, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Fouts, Aaron Rodgers, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly and Tim Tebow have combined to throw for 5,000 yards THREE TIMES TOTAL (Marino, Brady and Manning). 

The Informer knows that Manning is hands down the unanimous MVP this season, but one of these years we should really think about giving the honor to the best quarterback not named Manning in the NFL. 

As for the game, The Informer said he had multiple Lion King Locks of the Week.

Pick: LKLOTW #2 Saints -12.5

DENVER BRONCOS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS (+12.5)

“The Question”

I am going to keep this simple; the Denver Broncos will take care of business and lock up the #1 seed in the AFC.

Pick: Broncos -12.5

“The Informer”

Did The Informer say he had two Lion King Locks of the Week? Maybe we should make it three?

Keep in mind MVP Peyton Manning needs 266 yards to break Brees' NFL record for most passing yards and the Broncos need 18 points to set the mark for the most points scored in a single NFL season.

The Informer thinks they will set both marks in the first half and coast to victory over the Terrell Pryor led Oakland Raiders.

Pick: LKLOTW #3 Donkeys -12.5

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (-1)

“The Question”

I may be wishful thinking, but a San Francisco 49ers victory coupled with losses by Carolina (Playing without Steve Smith mind you) and the Seattle Seahawks would make the 49ers the #1 overall seed in the NFC.

In order for the dream scenario to happen, my 49ers have to take care of business on the road Sunday.

Pick: 49ers +1

“The Informer”

If the Arizona Cardinals win and the Saints win, the Cardinals will become only the second team since the NFL merger (Joining the 2008 New England Patriots) to win 11 games and not make the playoffs.

As much as The Informer wants to see Bruce “All I do is win 11 games a year” Arians coach his way into a new nickname and out of the playoffs, this game has all the makings of a classic letdown performance after the Cards pulled the monster upset over the Seahawks last week.

Plus this 49ers team is rounding into playoff form.

Pick: 49ers -1

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS @ SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-9.5)

The Informer and The Question are both taking the San  Diego Chargers (-9.5) due to the fact that the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be playing their second string while the Chargers will be playing with a small possibility of making the playoffs.

One more note about this game: If Jamaal Charles has 100+ total yards in this game he will join Emmitt Smith as the second player to ever have 13 games in a single season with 100+ total yards of offense. Now The Informer knows he has been all in on Manning for MVP (Still the case), but Charles deserves to get a mention as the NFL's best non-quarterback this season.

Picks: Chargers -9.5

ST LOUIS RAMS @ SEADDERALL SEAHAWKS (-10.5)

“The Question”

Seattle needs this game to keep home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Plus they are not about to lose two straight home games to end the season.

Pick: Seahawks -10.5

“The Informer”

The Informer does not know when it is going to happen, but at some point in the very near future NFL teams are going to realize that Russell Wilson and his bland cast of receivers are not going to beat them and the Seadderall Seahawks offense will get exposed for being what it has been all year –mediocre.

In the words of Forest Gump, “That is all The Informer has to say about that.”

Pick: Rams +10.5

P.S. - Did you guys see how The Informer is calling them the Seadderal Seahawks because all of their players keep getting suspended for HGH Adderall? The Informer doesn't care who you are that is funny.

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ DALLAS COWBOYS (+6.5)

“The Question”

I know Tony Romo is out, but the Dallas Cowboys always play to their competition.

Pick: Cowboys +6.5

“The Informer”

Since 2008 the Cowboys are 0-3 in Week 17 games that decide the division. In those games they have been outscored 103-38. Now they have to play for the division title without their star quarterback? That can’t be good for them. 

The Philadelphia Eagles on the other hand are coming into this game as one of the hottest offenses in football. They have the NFL’s leading rusher (LeSean McCoy), they have a back-up quarterback who has thrown 26 TD passes with only 2 interceptions and they just destroyed the Chicago Bears on national T.V.

It is no wonder 70 percent of the public is backing a 6.5 point road favorite on prime-time.

So why is The Informer picking the Cowboys? Because at the beginning of the season The Informer picked Dallas to win the NFC East. During his prediction he said it would come down to a Week 17 showdown and that this time the Cowboys would prevail.

Well . . . There is no reason for The Informer to go back on his prediction now.

Therefore, The Informer is banking on the year of the back-up quarterback to continue and for Kyle Orton to channel his inner Thad Lewis, Brian Hoyer, Case “Brett Favre” Keenum, Matt Cassel, Matt Flynn, Jason Campbell and Jonathan Moxon while making just enough plays to earn Jerry’s boys a trip to the postseason.

Pick: Cowboys +6.5

It has been a great year y'all . . . How about we let Eminem take us into 2014?


Enjoy the last NFL Sunday of 2013. 

Happy New Years from The Informer and the voice inside his head.

Who Wants Andrew Bynum?

With the Cleveland Cavaliers filing divorce on Andrew Bynum, what is the next step for the 2x NBA champion and 2012 Second Team All-NBA center?

According to Yahoo! Sports Adrian Wojnarowski and Marc J. Spears, the Cleveland Cavaliers are "determined to unload Andrew Bynum in a trade," after he was suspended indefinitely by the team for "conduct detrimental to the team."

Cavs head coach Mike Brown did not say if Bynum has played his last game for Cleveland. He said the suspension is definite and "we all know what that means," according to Akron Beacon Journal's Jason Lloyd.

Bynum signed a two-year, $24.8 million contract last offseason with $6 million guaranteed before January 7. $12.25 million will be due after that date and $12.5 million will not be guaranteed until July 10, per ESPN.com. 

If the Cavs are pushing to trade Bynum, it's almost certain that he won't receive many strong suitors. Reports are showing that Bynum has been a disruptive presence in the locker room and has never liked basketball in the first place. Wojnarowski has also said that Bynum lacks a drive to continue to play the game at an NBA level. 

In the summer of 2012, Bynum was a key trade piece in a four-team deal which sent him to the Philadelphia 76ers and Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers. Despite his success in Los Angeles from 2005-12, Bynum sat out all of last season due to poor health with the 76ers. Instead of playing on the court, Bynum was seen on the bench with a different suit and different hair style.

The 7'0", 285 pound center has started 19 of the 24 games he has played with the Cavs. Bynum is averaging 8.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. It's a year in decline for the 26-year old who averaged 18.7 points and 11.8 rebounds per game for the Lakers in 2011-12. 

According to Sam Amico of Fox Sports, the Cavs will release Bynum before his contract is guaranteed for more than $6 million and that other teams are not interested in trading for the big man. 

There are also reports saying that a small handful of teams are showing interest in Bynum. According to USA Today, the Los Angeles Clippers would be interested if the Cavs release Bynum. Grantland.com reported that Miami Heat would be interested in Bynum. The Boston Celtics have also expressed their interests.

The Clippers would be bringing in a role player that would come off the bench for 20-25 minutes a game. The team already has their center in DeAndre Jordan, so adding a backup that has played in an All-Star game would help solidify the team's center position for the remainder of Bynum's contract. Bynum would also have the opportunity to play alongside Chris Paul and Blake Griffin, which would cause nightmares for teams on the offensive and defensive side of the ball when Bynum is at his best.

The Heat were exposed last season, especially in the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, with how small and undersized they were. They signed injury prone and Ohio State star Greg Oden last offseason to a one-year contract in order to boost their weakness. But if Oden proves that he's still the same-old Oden, then Bynum may be their big man for the future if signed or traded. Bynum succeeded playing alongside Paul Gasol and Kobe Bryant with the Lakers during their championship runs in 2009 and 2010, so having the chance to play with the 2x defending champions may bring out Bynum's good side. 

The Celtics would be taking a high risk, yet a high reward if they bring in Bynum to help out in the rebuilding process. GM Danny Ainge has a plan in bringing back Boston to contention in the Eastern conference which involves draft picks and expiring contracts. The Celtics already offered the Cavs a trade involving Jeff Green which they turned down a few weeks ago. Ainge is not afraid in taking risks signing or trading players, but it's hard to see an unmotivated player expressing interest in playing for a rebuilding franchise. 

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Mark Hendrickson: Modern Day 2 Sport Athlete?


Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders are names people always remember for being talented and exceling in professional sports at the highest level. They have garnered that attention and respect but I think their is one person people overlook throughout the course of history as a 2 sport athlete and that person happens to be Mark Hendrickson. Now if you're not an avid baseball fan then this name most likley dosen't ring a bell but just to inform you on Hendrickson he was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1996 NBA draft. You know what that means right? It means that not only did he play with the great Allen Iverson but that he was also in the same draft class as Kobe Bryant and Ray Allen. Thats only scratching the surface of the Mount Vernon, Washington natives multi sport career.

College


After being named All-State and leading both his high school baseball and basketball team to state championships while capturing player of the year honors Hendrickson would go on to have a very good college basketball career. His career numbers at Washington State are 13.9 points, 8.6 rebounds with 56% Field goal shooting and 37% 3-point field goal shooting. Hendrickson at 6'9 was versatile and was able to do a lot of things on he floor for his team. During his 4 year tenure at Washington State he made the All Pac-10 Conference 1st team twice. He also left the school as the 2nd all-time leading rebounder in history. He did all of that while playing baseball at a high level and being selected to multiple All Pac-10 teams. Mark Hendrickson was just very skilled in many areas as an athlete.

NBA


Hendrickson was a 2nd round pick in the tremendously talented 1996 NBA draft. That was a draft class that featured the likes of Ray Allen, Kobe Bryant,Steve Nash and his teammate Allen Iverson. Hendrickson was never able to find a home in the NBA as he bounced from team to team in his very brief 3 seasons. He bounced from team to team as he was never able to stay in one area for a whole season. He spilt time with the Sixers,Cavs,Kings and Nets. His career averages were 3.3 points, 2.8 rebounds and .6 assits per game. Its still pretty cool that he was drafted by 5 baseball teams in college and was in the same draft class as Kobe Bryant.



Pro Baseball


During his time in college Hendrickson was drafted to a major league baseball team 5 times.  He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves twice (1992,1994), the San Diego Padres (1993), the Detroit Tigers (1995) and then the Texas Rangers (1996). So that means from 1992-1996 Mark Hendrickson was wanted to pitch for an MLB organization but refuse to do so until after college. He was again drafted by the Toronto Bluejays in 1997 while he was in the NBA

After a few seasons of inconsistent minutes and playing time in the NBA Mark Hendrickson decided to play baseball in 2002. While he wasn't in the NBA during the summer Hendrickson pitched in the minor leagues for the Toronto Blue Jays organization from 1998-2001 until he finally got the call to the big leagues in 2002. He made 16 appearences where he went 3-0 with 2.45 ERA. The rest of his career was very mediocore at best as even in his best win-loss year of 8-7 he still has a 5.90 ERA with the Devil Rays in 2005. 58-74 was his career win-loss record where he posted a 5.03 ERA.He is also a foot note in baseball history as he gave up the 600th career homerun of Ken Griffey Jrs career as a member of the Florida Marlins. Hendrickson as a Major League Baseball player is a sub par innings eater suited as a 5th starter but he had a long 10 year career in the Majors in which he made over 10 million dollars. Not bad for a sub par 5th starter.





So while Mark Hendrickson's career in the NBA and MLB weren't hall of fame worthy the fact that he pretty much had the option to do whatever he wanted pretty much speaks volumes to him as an athlete. Maybe if he was on better teams his career would have turned out differently but he has shown that in the 21st century being a 2 sports pro athlete can be done. Hendrickson retired in 2011. He is one of only 12 athletes to play in both the MLB and NBA.

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