Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Free Agent Known As Prince!

Getty Images
A SIMPLE QUESTION: Why hasn't anyone signed free agent Prince Fielder?

I thought for sure that the Chicago Cubs or the St. Louis Cardinals would have jumped on the opportunity once Albert Pujols took his talents to Anaheim. I guess not.

Is it the plumpy Fielder's demands for a 10-year deal that is scaring teams away? Or is it the fact that public-enemy-number-one Scott Boras is his agent and it's no secret some teams hate dealing with Boras? Could be the latter.

At any rate, Fielder is the most coveted prize left in the free-agent field with the heftiest (no pun intended) resume. Can somebody please sign him already?!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CONGRATS Drew!

Getty Images
CONGRATULATIONS to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees on setting the all-time single season passing record. Brees now has 5087 passing yards, breaking Dan Marino's 1984 record of 5084 yards.

Here are the Top 7 (4800+ yards) all-time single-season leaders--

1. Drew Brees (2011) - 5087 yards [1 game left]
2. Dan Marino (1984) - 5084 yards
3. Drew Brees (2008) - 5069 yards
4. Tom Brady (2011) - 4897 yards [1 game left]
5. Kurt Warner (2001) - 4830 yards
6. Tom Brady (2007) - 4806 yards
7. Dan Fouts (1981) - 4802 yards

* Aaron Rodgers (2011) - 4643 yards [1 game left]

As we can see from the above list, it's no secret that 2011 is the year of the passer.

Getty Images

Bill Maher: The Moron of the Year!

Personally, I have no problems with Bill Maher and his atheistic views. He is free to believe (or not believe) in whomever he wants. But for posting this vile tweet on Christmas Eve he is (by far) the Moron of the Year, in my book.

Click on image to view larger
Keep your deranged thoughts to yourself, idiot!!!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Miami Heat: They're HERE!!!!

Getty Images/AP Photo
As the great Lionel Richie once said: "Well my friends the time has come...."

As the Silver Surfer said (of Galactus) in the Fantastic Four movie: "He's here!"

As Chief Martin Brody said in the movie Jaws: "We're gonna need a bigger boat!" And why? Because the 3-headed monster, soon to be nicknamed --THE DYNASTY-- has arrived. Like them or not, the Miami Heat are the REAL DEAL!

....And this time around, they will not be denied!

My NBA Finals prediction: Miami Heat 4 - Oklahoma City Thunder 2



MERRY CHRISTMAS, FOLKS!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Los Angeles Kings?

Getty Images
Two teams. One city. Is L.A. big enough for the both of them?

So with the NBA season set to kick off on Christmas Day, there is lots of basketball excitement in the City of Angels. For the past 50+ years the Lakers have had sole possession of being the only game in town with a whopping 11 NBA Championships under their LA-belt. The Clippers, on the other hand, have been lucky if they muster a winning season here and there.

But as the great Bob Dylan once said, "the times, they are a changin".

Have Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Chauncey Billups and the rest of the Clippers arrived? Will the Clippers dethrone the Lakers as the "Kings of L.A."? Or will Kobe Bryant and Co. hang on to their throne? These are the questions. We will soon know the answers....

Getty Images
This, no doubt, has become the biggest storyline of the upcoming NBA season.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

Kellen Moore: The End of an Era

Getty Images
And so the Kellen Moore era in college football is over.

Moore played his last game last night for the Boise State Broncos in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, a 56-24 victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils. Moore leaves Boise State as the winningest quarterback in Division 1-A (FBS) history with an astonishing 50-3 record. Two of the 3 losses (2008, 2011) were to another powerhouse "mid-major", the TCU Horned Frogs, both losses by 1 point. The other loss was another heart-breaker to a very good Nevada team in 2010, 34-31. In other words, Moore and the Broncos came within a whisker of going 53-0 in his 4 years.

Here are the Broncos records in the 4 seasons Moore was at the helm:
  • 2011 - 12-1 (WON Las Vegas Bowl vs. Arizona State, 56-24)
  • 2010 - 12-1 (WON Las Vegas Bowl vs. Utah, 26-3)
  • 2009 - 14-0 (WON Fiesta Bowl vs. TCU, 17-10)
  • 2008 - 12-1 (LOST Poinsettia Bowl vs. TCU, 17-16)
In his article before last night's Maaco Las Vegas Bowl, Yahoo Sports! writer Pat Forde wrote: He’s the winningest quarterback in FBS history, going for victory No. 50 in this game. The only thing separating him and the rest of the Broncos from three consecutive unbeaten seasons – from 40-0 – is bad kicking. Two botched short field goals by Kyle Brotzman led to an overtime loss to Nevada last season, and a missed 39-yard field goal by Dan Goodale on the final play of the game led to a one-point loss to TCU this season. Goodale’s miss might be the only thing keeping Boise from the mid-major Holy Grail: a berth in the BCS championship game against LSU.
AP Photo

During Moore's career, Boise State (a so-called mid-major) won the following games against some of college football's powerhouse programs--
  • Sept. 3, 2011 - at #22 Georgia (W 35-21)
  • Jan. 4, 2011 - vs. #3 TCU (W 17-10) [Fiesta Bowl]
  • Sept. 25, 2010 - vs. Oregon State (W 37-24)
  • Sept. 6, 2010 - at #6 Virginia Tech (W 33-30)
  • Sept. 3, 2009 - vs. #14 Oregon (W 19-8)
  • Sept. 20, 2008 - at #12 Oregon (W 37-32) 


And let's face it, the only reason why the Broncos haven't won more games against other Power-6 conference teams is because nobody wants any part of them. All the major programs know that accepting an invitation to play Boise State means a strong possibility of a loss and nobody wants to put a dent on their national title hopes.

Getty Images
But if anything, during Moore's career, Boise State became a household name and put to rest the notion of a "mid-major". GOOD LUCK in your next endeavor, Kellen.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Aaron Rodgers: The AP Got It Right!

Getty Images
CONGRATULATIONS to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers on being named the 2011 AP Athlete of the Year. Let's face it, this is one of those years where the choice is a no-brainer. I mean, there really is no need to justify the choice. Just hearing-- 2011-- Aaron Rodgers-- Green Bay Packers-- pretty much says it all.

Rodgers guided the Packers to a historic Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV, was named Super Bowl MVP and has led his team to an incredible 13-1 record thus far this season. And he's having a monster MVP-type season (40 TDs, 120.1 passer rating) to boot. Who else accomplished more than Rodgers in 2011?

As for Sports Illustrated, they chose legendary college basketball coaches Mike Krzyzewski and Pat Summit as co-Sportsman of the Year. Personally, I have no problems with that. SI has a different criteria when picking their Sportsman of the Year. Sometimes their choice is not just about what an individual did on the field of play in that particular year. They also take life achievements (in any aspect of sports) into consideration. In the past they've chosen (the likes) of Dean Smith (1997); Don Shula (1993) and Arthur Ashe (1992) for their career achievements and/or philanthropy.

But if you're choosing an "ATHLETE", there is no question Rodgers is the obvious choice in 2011.

UPDATE (12-22-11): The Green Bay Packers are the new "America's Team". Read here.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Yu Darvish Sweepstakes: Do MLB Teams Love Buyer's Remorse?

Getty Images
I've never quite understood why major league baseball teams go on a frenzy to put up astronomical bids for players (particularly pitchers) from the Japanese League. The latest frenzy was for "pitching sensation" Yu Darvish. The AP has reported that the Texas Rangers have won the bid (for the rights to negotiate with Darvish) by posting a whopping $51.7 million.

I'll repeat that-- $51.7 million (a record bid).

That's the amount the Rangers have to pay Darvish's Japanese team, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, just for the rights to negotiate with him. If they sign Darvish to, let's say, a 5-year - $50 million contract, it means that they would have to shell out over $100 million for a pitcher who has not proven he can get the job done in the major leagues. I'm no expert, but couldn't they have aggressively gone after C.J. Wilson (a proven major league winner) and saved themselves 30 million bucks?

This same frenzy happened in 2006 when then-Japanese sensation Daisuke (Dice-K) Matsuzaka wanted to bring his talents to America. The Boston Red Sox put up a then-record $51.1 million bid for the supposed-Second Coming of Cy Young and went on to sign him to a 6-year, $52 million contract. For $103.1 million, the Red Sox have gotten 49 wins and a 4.25 ERA out of Dice-K in 5 seasons so far. So the Red Sox shelled out over $100 million for a pitcher that is averaging a little under 10 wins a season. Go figure.

Getty Images
And now the Texas Rangers are the new Boston Red Sox. Yes, Darvish has had great success in the Japanese Pacific League, but the major leagues is a whole different animal. The Japanese League falls somewhere in between Triple A and the majors, so let's see how Darvish fairs when he has to face the likes of Albert Pujols in the AL West.

But if the Rangers experience buyer's remorse in the future, they can just ask another bid-frenzy team, the New York Yankees, for advice on how they got over their Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa nightmares.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Andrew The Viking

Getty Images
If the NFL season ended today, the following teams would be the Top 6 pickers in next year's NFL draft:

1. Indianapolis Colts (1-13)
2. Minnesota Vikings (2-12)
3. St. Louis Rams (2-12)
4. Cleveland Browns (4-10)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-10)
6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-10)

And as we all know by now the "golden treasure" in the upcoming draft is going to be Stanford Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck.

So let's see:

With only two regular season games left it's going to be mathematically impossible for the Browns, Jaguars and Buccaneers to land the No. 1 pick. The Colts are in the driver's seat but the Vikings and Rams still have a shot at it.

The Colts have the great Peyton Manning at the helm and it would be an insult to him if they took Luck. Yes he's been out all season due to neck surgery but he's expected to be fully back next season. The Colts and Manning signed a 5-year $90 million contract last summer, so it looks like he'll be running the show in Indy for a few more years.

The Rams have Sam Bradford, whom they took with the No. 1 overall pick in 2010 and invested the family farm in him. So no Luck (pardon the pun) in St. Louis.

The Vikings have... (thinking)..... the Vikings have...? Hey Vikings fans, guess who's "IN LUCK" next season?!

Luck photo courtesy of the AP
In the world of the Vikings, will Luck be the Second Coming of Erik the Red? It sure looks that way.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Philly Keeps J-Roll!

AP Photo
Kudos to the Philadelphia Phillies who, according to the AP, have re-signed shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Yes I know, J-Roll's numbers have been down in recent years but, if there was ever a spark-plug on a team, Rollins fits the definition perfectly. Rollins is the straw that stirs the Phillies drink and the Phillies know it, otherwise why would they give him a 3-year, $33 million contract with an option for a fourth year?

According to the reports the deal hasn't been finalized but if J-Roll's tweets mean anything, it's a done deal. Good move Philly!


I'm sure Philly fans have no problems with that, J-Roll!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Welcome to the NBA, L.A. Clippers!


Dear Clippers' Fans,

After decades of agony and defeat, your ownership FINALLY gave me a call and decided to make a serious power move. You can now remove the brown bags off of your heads because on Christmas Day I will be delivering a new sheriff in town. Move over, Kobe!

Yours truly,
Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Go Tebow! Go Tebow! Go Tebow!

"It's not Tebow Time. It's Broncos Time." -Tim Tebow

AP Photo
It seems like Tebow-mania doesn't seem to end as a hot topic. Since taking over the starting QB job for the Denver Broncos, Tebow has compiled a 7-1 record and has helped the Broncos win these games in mind-boggling fashion. Tebow is yet to dominate a game from start to finish but with the help of a superb defense keeping the games close, has been able to snatch most of these wins in the fourth quarter and OT.

Now, why in the world is this happening?

Many people, including me, are asking this question. As a fellow blogger, The Sportaholic, put it, "Its so redundant at this point but I just have to ask the question once again? How in the hell are the Broncos able to do this week in and week out?" I'm with you, Sporty. I have no idea either.

However, I will venture a guess.

But before I do, let me just make a quick comment on the Tebow-hating crowd who have criticized him for "wearing his religious beliefs on his sleeves". Let it go, haters! At last check the NFL is a private entity and is not government owned. In other words, the separation of church and state laws don't apply. If Tebow wants to pray on the sidelines and thank his god at every press conference, that's his prerogative. Let it go! Quit trying to get a quick "15 minutes of fame" for yourselves at the expense of Tebow's strong religious faith. It's repulsive!

As for the Broncos sudden surge, it is and it isn't a mystery. I mean, let's look at the scores they've won by under Tebow's watch: 18-15, 38-24, 17-10, 17-13, 16-13, 35-32, 13-10. Six of the seven wins were very close games. On the flip side, if we look at the Broncos 1-4 start (before Tebow became the starter), they lost 3 of the 4 games by scores of, 20-23, 14-17, 24-29. It's safe to say that those games could have gone either way for them. The same way 6 of Tebow's wins could have gone either way. So the Tebow thing is deceiving because (a break here and a break there) and the Broncos could have started 4-1. With the exception of the Green Bay and Detroit games, the Broncos could have easily been 11-2 or 1-12 for that matter.

However!!!!

The only thing I can think of (that's helping the Broncos win these close games under Tebow's watch as opposed to earlier in the season) is the forgotten practice of SELFLESSNESS. Tebow has single-handily created an "us" culture in Denver. Breaking News: Selflessness works. Every player on the team has picked up their game a few notches because of it. The entire team has developed a Yogi Berra-esque "it ain't over till it's over" mentality. In last Sunday's 13-10 win over the Chicago Bears, kicker Matt Prater kicked two clutch field goals (51-yarder and 59-yarder) to win the game. Prater knew that the team had once again put itself in a position to win and that continuing the dream run was in his hands, well, in his foot. So the guy cranked it up a notch. He knew his team was counting on him, so he dug deep and got the job done. The "us" culture has turned the law of averages around in the Broncos favor. What else could it be? It's not like they were getting blown away during their 1-4 start.

Selflessness is contagious and Tim Tebow is the epitome of selflessness. And to all his haters out there-- selflessness is mastered through faith.

Getty Images
"If you believe, then unbelievable things can sometimes be possible." -Tim Tebow

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

10 Sports Dynasties That Might Have Been

Getty Images
Now that the 2011-12 NBA season will happen, sports prognosticators will return to projecting how many championships the Miami Heat will win. Forget about the disappointment of last season — this team has more than enough talent to bring home at least a few Larry O'Brien Trophies, right? That's what people were saying about the Lakers in the '60s, Mets in the '80s, and Mariners in the '90s (different trophies for the latter two, of course), yet they wound up with just two championships between them when all was said and done. The following would-be dynasties failed to meet expectations for a multitude of reasons — including injuries, team chemistry problems, free agency, drugs, and even a strike — leaving fans wondering what might have been had things gone a little differently.

1. 1940s and '50s Brooklyn Dodgers

Even if the Dodgers had won multiple World Series titles during this era, the franchise would've been more remembered for its role in integrating baseball by signing and promoting Jackie Robinson. More than just an inspiring figure in the Civil Rights Movement, Robinson was an ideal second baseman with tremendous speed, excellent contact ability, and exemplary defense. He played alongside Hall of Famers Roy Campanella, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese, Don Drysdale, and Sandy Koufax, one of the most talent-rich rosters in baseball history. From 1947 to 1956, the team won six NL pennants and the 1955 World Series, a resume worthy of NL dynasty status, but not MLB dynasty status.

2. 1960s and '70s Los Angeles Lakers

Before the Buffalo Bills, there were the Lakers. Sure, they had already won four of the first 10 NBA championships, but, with seven Finals losses in nine seasons during the 1960s and '70s, they were the original poster child for second best. The primary culprit for their failures was the Celtics, who reeled off a remarkable 11 championships in 13 seasons. The Lakers also faced a 76ers team with perhaps the most dominant player off all time, Wilt Chamberlain, and a hungry Knicks team led by Willis Reid and Walt Frazier. When management figured out the mere presence of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor wasn't enough, it added an older but still effective Chamberlain. The team finally got over the hump in 1973, after Baylor retired and Gail Goodrich had been added to the roster.

3. 1970s Oakland Raiders

Without question, John Madden is historically one of the NFL's elite head coaches. In just 10 seasons, he tallied seven first-place finishes in the AFL Western/AFC West Division and a .763 winning percentage, the best among coaches with 100 or more wins. Because of those accomplishments, along with his accomplishments as a commentator and video game icon, many people have forgotten his squads were on the cusp of achieving so much more. A defensive specialist, Madden coached some stingy units, but his team's prolific offense, led by Daryle Lamonica and eventually Ken Stabler, received the most acclaim. The Dolphins and Steelers, the era's two more memorable teams, however, were its kryptonite, shutting it down in three AFC Championship Games. The one year in which they defeated the Steelers to capture the AFC title, they went on to win Super Bowl XI.

4. 1980s New York Mets

Rarely do teams feature two once-in-a-generation talents at the same time. The Mets had one in the heart of their lineup and one anchoring their rotation. Darryl Strawberry and Dwight Gooden captivated the baseball world in the mid-1980s when they were called up, immediately emerging as two of the best players at their positions. Additional roster moves during the time period from general manager Frank Cashen, such as trades for Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter, enabled the Mets to ascend to the top of the NL standings in 1986, as they won 108 games. Their victories over the Astros in the NLCS and Red Sox in the World Series will forever be remembered by baseball fans. Unfortunately, baseball fans will also forever remember the internal strife that transpired during the ensuing years, ending with the team's ruination.

5. 1980s Houston Rockets

Sports fans were buying Mets and Rockets stock en masse during the mid-1980s. The Rockets, having recently selected 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson and 7-footer Akeem Olajuwon, The Twin Towers, with the No. 1 overall pick in successive years, grabbed national attention during the 1986 Western Conference Finals, when they stunned the defending champion Lakers in five games. They lost to the Celtics in a hard-fought six games during the Finals, but were expected to build on their success the following year. As it turned out, Sampson would play just 43 games because of a knee injury, and guards Lewis Lloyd and Mitchell Wiggins were suspended for the remainder of the season — and two more seasons — after testing positive for cocaine. Sampson was traded to Golden State 1987-88, and Olajuwon was left to lead a mediocre team until the championship years of the mid-1990s.

6. 1980s and '90s Oakland Athletics

To sustain a dynasty in baseball, a team must be built from the ground up. The A's did just that during the 1980s, and saw the fruits of the labor in 1986, 1987, and 1988, when Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and Walt Weiss each won AL Rookie of the Year. In 1988, those three, along with Carney Lansford, Dave Stewart, and Dennis Eckersley, led the A's to their first World Series appearance since the 1974, but they lost to the Kirk Gibson-inspired Dodgers. In 1989, with the return of Rickey Henderson, they swept the Giants, their Bay Area neighbors, in a series overshadowed by the Loma Prieta earthquake. In 1990, they were stunned by the Reds in four games. Their run, which included four division championships and three AL championships, ended with their elimination by the Blue Jays in the 1992 ALCS.

7. 1990s Orlando Magic

A recent expansion franchise, the Magic were bestowed an embarrassment of riches during the early 1990s when they twice won the No. 1 overall draft pick. The first time around, in 1993, they selected Shaquille O'Neal, a strong, athletic center who assuredly would be an all-time great. In 1994, they selected power forward Chris Webber, but traded him to Golden State for guard and No. 3 overall pick Penny Hardaway, who had drawn comparisons to Magic Johnson. It took just two years for Shaq and Penny to reach the Finals. During that time, Shaq began feuding with Penny and coach Brian Hill, eventually ending in his 1996 offseason departure for Los Angeles, where he'd form a dynasty with Kobe Bryant, with whom he also feuded. Penny battled injuries during the rest of his career, preventing him from fulfilling his vast potential.

8. 1990s Montreal Expos

The 1994 strike ruined baseball in Montreal forever. With local support dwindling, the team needed a memorable season to renew interest and secure funding for a new, more appealing stadium. The Expos were arguably the most talented team in baseball, sending five All Stars to the Midsummer Classic — Moises Alou, Marquis Grissom, Darrin Fletcher, Wil Cordero, and Ken Hill — and featuring future All Stars Larry Walker, John Wetteland, and Pedro Martinez. When the strike commenced on August 12, they had the best record in baseball, 74-40, and a six-game lead over the Braves. The team was on pace to draw 2 million fans, a benchmark they hadn’t reached in more than a decade. In the following seasons, players from the team dispersed, as ownership couldn't afford their salaries. A new stadium deal was never struck, and the Expos morphed into the Washington Nationals in 2005.

9. 1990s Seattle Mariners

At one point during the 1990s, the Mariners had arguably the three best players in baseball — Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, and Randy Johnson. Their record-setting offense featured guys such as Tino Martinez, Jay Buhner, and Edgar Martinez, each of whom enjoyed career years in the Kingdome. Their proficiency in that area, though, was often neutralized by their pitching deficiencies. After Johnson, their rotation was substandard, and the bullpen was inconsistent. As a result, they won just two AL West titles and had no pennants or World Series titles to show for it. The trade of Randy Johnson to the Astros during the trade deadline in 1998 began the exodus of the big three. Surprisingly, the Mariners won 116 games, an AL record, without them in 2001, though postseason disappointment again followed.

10. 1990s and 2000s Atlanta Braves

The Braves' incredible rise from worst to first from 1990 to 1991 came with the development of their young talent, launching a period of success matched by few teams in baseball history. From 1991 to 2005, they reeled off 14 consecutive division titles, winning three NL pennants in the process. Yet, few baseball fans can get over the fact the team took home just one World Series title. During most of those years, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz formed the most intimidating trio of starting pitchers in baseball, dominating during the steroid era. Steve Avery and Denny Neagle, also excellent pitchers, rounded out an almost flawless rotation. The lineup wasn't bad either, with MVP winner Chipper Jones and MVP caliber players David Justice, Fred McGriff, and Andres Galarraga driving in a bulk of the team's runs. Of course, the Twins, Blue Jays, and Yankees weren't exactly devoid of talent either.

This article was provided courtesy of Online Certificate Programs. To read original article, click here.

10 Most Shocking Retirements in Sports History


Many athletes have short-lived careers, and when they do throw in the towel, it isn't always on their terms. Injuries, age, and decreased performance are some of the common reasons athletes retire. But every so often, some athletes pull the rug from underneath fans, players, and coaches and surprisingly call it quits. Here are 10 of the most shocking retirements in sports history.

1. BARRY SANDERS

Hall of Famer Barry Sanders surprised everyone when he announced his retirement in 1999. Sanders was in the prime of his career when he called it quits because he had lost the desire to play. The news broke the hearts of football fans around the country, who wanted to see Sanders break the all-time rushing record.

2. YAO MING

Legendary basketball player Yao Ming shocked the world when he announced his retirement in July 2011. The 7-foot-6-inch Chinese athlete had been suffering from foot and ankle injuries and underwent surgery to repair a broken bone in his left foot in 2009. His injuries only got worse and Yao decided to retire from the game. The gentle giant was one of the most internationally known athletes, especially to come out of China.

3. MICHAEL JORDAN

Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. After nine incredible seasons, the beloved Chicago Bulls player made a shocking decision to retire. What fans didn't know is that this wouldn't be the last time they'd get to watch "His Airness" score on the court. After a short stint with minor league baseball, Jordan returned to the NBA and would retire two more times before ending his basketball career in 2003.

4. PAT TILLMAN

NFL player Pat Tillman surprised fans when he decided to retire from football at 25 years old and enlist in the U.S. Army with his brother Kevin, who was MLB-bound. Tillman finished out the 15 games of the 2001 season and turned down a $3.6 million contract offer to play for the Cardinals for three years. Sadly, Tillman was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2004.

5. MAGIC JOHNSON

Magic Johnson took fans, players, and coaches by surprise when he announced that he was HIV positive in 1991. Following this revelation, Johnson decided to leave the NBA, but returned for the 1992 All-Star Game to some players' dismay. Magic retired a second time, but came back in 1996 to play 32 games for the Lakers before bowing out for the last time.

6. BOBBY ORR

Hockey superstar Bobby Orr saddened hockey fans around the world when he announced his retirement in 1978 at the ripe age of 30. Orr was an unbelievable skater and a gifted scorer who revolutionized the defenseman position. The two-time Stanley Cup champion and Norris Trophy holder was plagued by a devastating knee injury that eventually caused him to call it quits after nine incredible seasons.

7. KIRBY PUCKETT

Kirby Puckett was a legendary baseball player and a heavy hitter with an impressive 2,304 hits, 1,085 RBIs, and a .318 batting average. Puckett shook the sports world when he said his goodbyes to baseball after discovering irreversible damage to his retina.

8. BJORN BORG

Bjorn Borg took the tennis world by storm from 1973 to 1983. Borg holds the record of being the only person to win Wimbledon and the French Open in the same year for three years in a row. Despite winning 11 Grand Slams, Borg no longer found tennis fun and surprisingly retired at the age of 26.

9. SANDY KOUFAX

Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history with an impressive 2.76 ERA, 2,396 strikeouts, 137 complete games, and 40 shutouts. Unfortunately, Koufax had chronic arthritis in his elbow, which caused the Hall of Famer to call it quits in 1966 at 30 years old.

10. JIM BROWN

Jim Brown was a legendary NFL player who left his record-breaking career with the Cleveland Browns to focus on his acting career. Within nine unbelievable seasons, Brown managed to rake in a total of 15,459 yards and earn Rookie of the Year in 1957. Brown's retirement announcement took everyone by surprise, especially since he was only 30 and was at the peak of his health and performance.

This article was provided courtesy of Top Online Colleges. To read original article, click here.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Say It Ain't So, Ryan!

Getty Images
It seems like the steroids debacle in major league baseball is like a bad hangover that refuses to go away. The latest headliner in this never-ending saga is 2011 NL MVP Ryan Braun, who has allegedly failed a drug test. Braun and his camp have vehemently denied the charges and will appeal them until their faces turn blue.

To be fair to Braun, the case is still being reviewed and we don't yet know if these allegations are true. But the fact that a steroids-related story is back in the headlines is troublesome and boring for that matter. When will the Steroid Era FINALLY rest in peace?

Today in his article, USA Today sports writer Tom Weir brought up an interesting point-- should Braun be stripped of his MVP Award if the allegations are true? Weir makes the argument that, yes, he should be because major league baseball has to toughen it's stand and cheaters should face tougher consequences. I agree.

Weir goes on to compare MLB's awards situation with that of the Olympics where cheaters (i.e. Ben Johnson and Marion Jones) were stripped of their gold medals when all their skeletons fell out of their closets. Good comparison.

Weir further goes on to say that chances are Braun, if (I repeat, IF) found guilty won't be stripped of his award because there is no precedent for it. This is according to Jack O'Connell, a head-honcho at the BBWAA, who hand out the awards. The thinking is that prior members of the Steroid Hall of Fame who won the award were not stripped. He mentions Alex Rodriguez (2003 AL MVP) and Ken Caminiti (1996 NL MVP). He should have also thrown in Sammy Sosa (1998 NL MVP ); Jason Giambi (2000 AL MVP) and Barry Bonds (let's say 4 of his 7 awards were under the juice).

My response to Mr. O'Connell's theory is-- everything has a beginning. Precedents have to start somewhere, don't they Mr. O'Connell?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

CONGRATS to Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears

2011 Heisman Trophy Winner


First-Ever Winner for the Baylor Bears (9-3)

AP Photo

The win by Griffin III was good for the game because it broke a disturbing trend of Heisman winners coming only from teams that were playing in the national title game. Since 2000, only Griffin III, Tim Tebow and Carson Palmer won the award from non-BCS national championship game participants.

--VAULT--

2010 Winner - Cam Newton (Auburn)


2009 Winner - Mark Ingram (Alabama)


  • 2008 Winner - Sam Bradford (Oklahoma)
  • 2007 Winner - Tim Tebow (Florida)
  • 2006 Winner - Troy Smith (Ohio St.)
  • 2005 Winner - Reggie Bush (USC) {vacated}
  • 2004 Winner - Matt Leinart (USC)
  • 2003 Winner - Jason White (Oklahoma)
  • 2002 Winner - Carson Palmer (USC)
  • 2001 Winner - Eric Crouch (Nebraska)
  • 2000 Winner - Chris Weinke (Florida St.)
CONGRATS always to all the winners! And yes, even Reggie Bush, his shenanigans were off the field not on the field.

    Novak's Piggy Bank

    Getty Images
    $12.6 million dollars.

    That's how much World No. 1 Novak Djokovic won in prize money in 2011. His total is the highest in tennis history. Djokovic broke the all-time record by having one of the greatest seasons in history which included-- a 70-6 match record, 10 singles titles (including 3 Grand Slam titles) and a record 5 Master's 1000 titles in 2011-- and he became the undisputed World No. 1 player in the process.

    Here are the 5 highest season prize money totals in tennis history--

    1. Novak Djokovic (2011) - $12.6 million
    2. Rafael Nadal (2010) - $10.1 million
    3. Roger Federer (2007) - $10.1 million
    4. Roger Federer (2009) - $8.8 million
    5. Roger Federer (2006) - 8.3 million

    Here are the 5 highest career totals--

    1. Roger Federer - $67.4 million
    2. Rafael Nadal - $45.0 million
    3. Pete Sampras - $43.2 million
    4. Novak Djokovic - $32.8 million
    5. Andre Agassi - $31.1 million

    I'd say that's a nice little piggy bank for Mr. Djokovic, so far....... And he's only 24!

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    General David Stern Flexes His Muscles!

    AP Photos
    Can anyone explain to me why NBA strongman David Stern vetoed the trade that would have sent New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul to the Los Angeles Lakers in a 3-team trade which included the Houston Rockets? I know that Stern "rules with an iron fist" but isn't this going too far? I also know the owner-less Hornets are controlled by the league, but does that mean they can't freely make trades?

    My understanding is that Stern wants to put a halt on players dictating where they wanted to play, like that Carmelo Anthony thing of a year ago. But um, commish, in 66 games, Chris Paul is going to dictate where he wants to play anyway. In 66 games, he's "outie like Curt Gowdy" from New Orleans, so why not allow them to get some good players instead of losing him for nothing, sir? It's not like the Lakers were giving them a ball-boy and a cheerleader for Paul. The Hornets were going to get Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Kevin Martin and some extra goodies for their once-franchise player. What's wrong with that, sir?

    Was Stern influenced because some owners, like disgruntled Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert, "cried bloody murder" when they learned of the blockbuster trade? I think so.

    Bad move, commish!

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    Whoa!!!! The Angels Land The Granddaddy Of Them All!

    Getty Images
    Well fellow baseball fans, the unthinkable has happened. According to the AP, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have dug into their deep pockets and landed the "granddaddy of them all". No, not the Rose Bowl, the free agent-granddaddy of them all-- Albert Pujols.

    Wow!

    I could have sworn for the life of me that Pujols, especially after winning such a dramatic World Series, was going to be a St. Louis Cardinal for life. Oh well, shows how much I know.

    The deal is reportedly for 10 years, $250 million, which has many people asking-- will the Angels suffer from buyer's remorse toward the end of this deal when age starts catching up to Pujols? At 31, Pujols still has a few rock solid years left but once he gets into, let's say, A-Rod's age group, will he be more of a liability than an asset, like the Yankees are experiencing right now with the aging A-Rod? Only time will tell.

    The Angels also snatch the best free-agent pitcher on the market, C.J. Wilson, for 5 years, $75 million, so there is no doubt the Angels mean business. On paper they (now) look like a force to be reckoned with but as baseball has always proven (especially in recent years)-- we still have to play the games. Let's not put the Angels in the World Series just yet.

    Tuesday, December 6, 2011

    The MLB on TSC: Life After The Unforgettable Game 6

    After a 2 month hiatus (or something like that) the MLB on TSC makes it's triumphant return or a quick cameo since, after all, baseball season is over.

    Here are some odds and ends from the world of major league baseball since the St. Louis Cardinals shocked the world by winning their 11th World Series championship--

    RON SANTO FINALLY GETS HIS DAY

    Bleacher Nation
    It was long overdue but Cubs great Ron Santo FINALLY gets elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee. For many years people were wondering why the 9-time All-Star had been shunned from baseball's highest honor when he clearly had the resume to get in. On paper, Santo's career numbers (.277 AVG, 342 HR, 2254 H, 1331 RBI) don't resemble what we today consider Hall of Fame numbers but considering the era he played in, those were better than great numbers for a third baseman. His 5 Gold Gloves and his philanthropy off the field were also reason enough to consider his candidacy. On December 5, a year and 2 days after his death, Santo finally got his day.

    TERRY FRANCONA AND BOBBY VALENTINE SWITCH JOBS

    Getty Images
    So I hear ex-ESPN baseball analyst Bobby Valentine is the new manager of the Boston Red Sox and ex-Red Sox manager Terry Francona is the new baseball analyst on ESPN? Hmmmm? I wonder which gig pays more and is less stressful?

    THE MIAMI MARLINS-- THE NEW "EVIL" EMPIRE

    marlins.com
    So the 2012 Marlins get a new name, a new ballpark (Miami Ballpark) which cost half a billion, a new manager (Ozzie Guillen) and they are the new force to be reckoned with in the free agent sweepstakes (Heath Bell - 3 years, $27 million and Jose Reyes - 6 years, $106 million). And they are making a serious push for the "2011 free agent-granddaddy of them all" Albert Pujols. Say what?! Where is all this dough coming from? Isn't this the same team that for the better part of the last decade and a half dumped all of it's star players because it claimed it had no loot?

    THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (REDUX)

    Getty Images
    Is it me or it's true that the Texas Rangers were TWICE-- I'll repeat that-- TWICE-- one strike away from winning their first-ever world championship and it didn't happen? Nah! Stuff like that only happens in the movies. Wake me up when this dream is over..........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz