Friday, May 31, 2013

Rob Gronkowski Surgery

The future looks grim for Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski.

Gronkowski has had four surgeries on his forearm and will now undergo back surgery.

He emerged as a star a couple of years ago, but has been plagued by injuries lately.  Unfortunately, he will be sidelined again with back issues.

There is no doubt that he will eventually make it back on the field, but there will be many concerns.  Will he play at the same level that he has played in years past?

My main concern is not this season, but later in his career.  Right now, he is young and can recover quickly.  However, how will he hold up five seasons from now (if he survives that long)?  These injuries will take a toll on him, and his body will begin to deteriorate. His body will not recover as quickly when he is older, and his production will taper.

It is unfortunate that "Gronk" has to deal with these obstacles, because he has the chance to be something special.  Ten years from now, we could have been talking about a Hall of Fame player.  Instead, it looks like we might be asking the question, "What if?"

Please feel free to leave comments! I would love to read your thoughts!

Adrian Peterson Rehab

Here is a cool video of Adrian Peterson's rehab from his torn ACL.  (from the 1:12 mark to the 3:25 mark is the best).

 He defied all expectations.  I used to think that an ACL tear essentially ended one's career.  He proved me wrong.  The dedication and work that he put into his rehab is amazing.  It's hard to believe, but it seems that Peterson is better now than he was before he tore his ACL.  Adrian Peterson is a freak of nature.

Please feel free to leave comments!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Cam Newton Videobomb

In today's press conference, Cam Newton was "videobombed" by teammate Jordan Gross. Here is the video:

In somewhat related news, Cam Newton has lost 12 pounds in the off-season.  I think that this is a good sign for Panthers fans, not so much because he lost the poundage, but because it shows that he is working hard.  In a league in which we are seeing more and more read option and running quarterbacks, Cam Newton can make a huge impact.  

Please feel free to leave comments.  I would love to read your thoughts!

Kickalicious: Video by New Kicker of Lions

This is a video of Lions' new Norwegian kicker Havard Rugland performing trick "kicks."  Rugland is the replacement for Jason Hanson, who retired after last season.  Enjoy!

Please feel free to leave comments!

Coaching Philosophy

With all of the stuff going on at Rutgers about the coaches verbally and physically abusing players, I thought I would share my thoughts on the matter.

In today's world, it seems that some coaches equate yelling with coaching.  They think that scolding their players will automatically make them play better.

Personally, I do not think that constantly berating high school and college players is an effective coaching method.  It might work at the professional level, since those are adults, but I do not think that it works with kids.

In general, most of these kids are pretty good people and are not used to being yelled at constantly.  Consequently, when their coaches start scolding them for making a mistake, they become introverted and "retreat into their shell."  They become more afraid of making mistakes on the playing field, instead of just having fun and trying their hardest.  As a result, they play tentatively, which makes them ineffective.

You might be able to get away with yelling at college athletes, but definitely not at high school players. It will not work.  These athletes are still children, and they are human beings.  Therefore, they are going to make mistakes.

However, at the same time, each kid is different.  Some athletes might respond to the yelling, but I do not think that most do.  If coaches were to patiently talk with the players about how to improve, I think they would see a positive result.

Don't yell at the kid for blowing a coverage.  He already knows that he blew the coverage.  Instead, talk with him about his positioning on the field and how he can fix it for next time.

What are your thoughts? Please feel free to leave comments! Thanks!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Ultimate Team Sport

I'm not talking about football, soccer, hockey, or basketball.  Nor am I talking about baseball, lacrosse, or volleyball.  Instead, I am referring to doubles tennis.

Now, I'm not saying that all of the other sports are not team sports.  Of course they are team sports.  I am just saying that doubles tennis is the ultimate team sport.

In tennis, both teammates need to be actively involved in every point, every game, and every set in order to win.  Both players need to be communicating between and during every point, and each player needs to execute their shots.  The teammates need to be constantly "calling" balls during the points and yelling "switch" in order to keep the point alive.

Furthermore, each player needs to be in the correct positioning, otherwise you are setting your team up to lose the point.  If one player is in bad positioning, you are leaving a large portion of the court open for the other team to exploit.

Even if you are not involved in the rally, your positioning is important, because it will narrow the "shooting lanes" of your opponent.  Furthermore, you must always be ready to cut off a ball at the net or finish the point.  Without each player working cohesively as one, the doubles team will not win.

In contrast, in the other sports, not every player is involved in every single play.  During a run up the middle, the wide receivers are not going to play a big role.  Yes, they need to block, but unless it is a long run, the cornerback will not normally make the tackle.  Furthermore, in soccer, a defender is not going to be involved in a scoring play for their team.  Conversely, if one player is not participating in tennis, you are not going to win.

I'm not saying that players in other sports aren't needed to win.  Every player needs to contribute in order for a team to win.  However, not every player is crucial to each play.

On the whole, doubles tennis is the best representation of communication and teamwork.

In you opinion, what is the ultimate team sport?
Please leave your comments below.  I appreciate your insight!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Beauty of Twitter

Tweet Tweet!!

No, I'm not talking about the bird that flew into my windshield today as I was driving down the highway.  That's just Natural Selection at its finest for the Darwinists.

I'm talking about Twitter, the social networking sensation that is sweeping across the nation.  Instead of watching Fox or CNN, I just check the trending topics on twitter.  It gives you instant news in the palm of your hand.  In addition to being helpful for regular news, it is also great for sports news.

I get regular updates from Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen, even though I am not watching ESPN.  Furthermore, I get scoring updates from team twitter accounts, such as the Packers and Cubs.  The Cubs account just tweeted that Alfonso Soriano hit an RBI single to give the Cubs a 7-0 lead (a rare occurrence).

Twitter allows you to stay up-to-date on all the sports news, without having to turn on ESPN or pick up a newspaper.  You can be at the lake or the pool and stay informed.  

Moreover, you can follow your favorite athletes and get a glimpse into their life.  For example, I favorited Clay Matthews' tweet  showing him signing his new contract for the Packers.

If you haven't created a Twitter account, I encourage you to do so.  Warning:  it is addicting.

You can follow me @SportsGuyRamble

Please feel free to leave comments.  I would love to hear your thoughts!

A Day to Be Thankful

On a sunny, warm day in May, we have a lot to be thankful for.  The "Opening Day" of summer, Memorial Day, is a day in which we should remember those who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedom.
Without these heroes, we would not be watching the French Open, baseball, or the Spurs vs. Grizzlies tonight.  There would be no Stanley Cup Playoffs or the Indy 500.  We would not be grilling out, enjoying the nice weather, or spending time with family.  I am afraid to think of what are nation would look like if we did not have these heroes...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A New Respect for Lacrosse

This weekend, I've been watching some of the NCAA Lacrosse games on ESPN.  I can't help but watch in amazement, as the players sprint down the field as they get wailed on by the defenders, while wearing no protection except for a helmet, some thin shoulder pads, and gloves.  Truthfully, it makes me question their sanity.

If you've never watched Lacrosse, it is a mix of hockey and soccer.  There are goalies for each team, and they play on a grass field.  They use sticks with a "net" on the end to catch the ball and shoot.  The positions are similar to soccer, with goalies, defenders, midfielders, and attack men.

It is a brutal sport.  Basically, when you have the ball, it gives the defenders a free license to swing at you, as if you were a piƱata.  My brother plays lacrosse, and he'll come home from games with cuts and bruises all over his body.  It looks like he just got out of Fight Club.  When I ask him what happens, he just shrugs his shoulders and says that he got slashed by someone.

Not only do they get beat on with sticks, they also do a lot of running.  It is a fast pace game that involves a lot of running up and down the field.  Those guys have got to be in awesome shape.

Between the abuse and the running involved, lacrosse is the ultimate sport.  Lax Bros, as they call themselves, you have my respect.

Please feel free to leave comments.  I would love to read your thoughts.  Thanks for looking!

The Guys in the Trenches

With Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers geting record deals this offseason, the quarterbacks are getting all of the attention once again.  Quarterback is the glamour position.  They get all of the endorsement deals and all of the attention from ESPN.  Even in high school, the quarterback of the football team dates the Homecoming queen.  Quarterback is widely accepted to be the most important position on the field.

However, I would argue that the big guys up front are more important.  Without a good offensive line, your team is not going anywhere.  Even the best of Quarterbacks can be neutralized if the pass rush gets to him.  Just look at Tom Brady.  When someone gets in his face, he is turned into a mediocre passer.  In addition, in today's NFL, all starting quarterback are able to make the throws.  It has become a prerequisite.  The bad ones just can't do it under pressure.  However, if you give the quarterback time and space to throw, even Mark Sanchez will be able to hit a Wide Receiver.  Of course, this all starts with a big, athletic Left Tackle, who can protect the blind side of the Quarterback.  Furthermore, a good offensive line can make an average running back into a good, maybe even very good, running back.  If you can create a big enough hole, just about anyone can run through it.

If you do the math, a solid passing game and a respectable running game equal a good offense.  You're already a 1/3 of the way there (defense and special teams).  Although I can ramble on, nothing will change.  The Offensive linemen will still fly under the radar and remain unrecognized.  I guess it's just something to consider...