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Legendary Coach John Wooden Dies, A Great Loss for all of Basketball

If anyone with any sort of basketball I.Q. is asked to name the best coaches in the history of basketball, John Wooden will be on that list, and 90% of the time he will be number one on that list.

You could say he was arguably the greatest coach in the history of the game and it would be hard to argue it any other way.  This man set the mark that every coach at any level of basketball strives to achieve.

Born on October 14, 1910, Wooden learned his winning ways at a young age.  He reached the state finals 3 times during his high school playing days, winning the state championship once.  He then continued on to Purdue University where he led the Boilermakers to a National Championship in 1932.

While he was great during his playing days, he really changed the game of basketball forever through his coaching.  After spending 11 years coaching high school basketball and a brief tenure at Indiana State University, Wooden was named head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles.

During his 27 years at UCLA, Wooden turned the schools basketball program from one that was considered mediocre, sub par even, into one of the most storied programs in NCAA history.  He led the team to 10 national championship games, winning every single one.  He also coached the 1971-1974 Bruins teams to a record 88 consecutive games.

Wooden coached the likes of Bill Walton and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, just to name a couple.

In 1972 he was awarded Sports Illustrated’s ‘Man of the Year’ award.  He was also inducted into the National Basketball Hall of Fame that year, making him the first person to ever be inducted as both a player and a coach.

The most amazing characteristic Wooden portrayed was the ability to obtain all of this success, touch so many lives, and do it humbly and with God number one in his life.  He only made $35,000 a year, but never asked for a pay raise, because it was not important to him.  He taught his players the game of basketball while doing an amazing job at it. More importantly, he taught his players how to be gentlemen and men of God and that’s what made him the coach he was.

A great coach and a greater human being, John Wooden dead at 99.

Categories: Basketball, Sports

Worst Cities in America to be a Sports Fan

We all go through it, those of us who really care about the teams we cheer for, at least. Some of us go through it more than others. If you’ve lived in Boston you have barely gone through it at all since 2001. For some of us its more painful than others. Some of us expected it to happen, but hoped it wouldn’t. What am I talking about? The agony of defeat.

At the start of every year sports fans think that this could be the year for their team. Most of the time it’s not and most cities very rarely have a sports team that wins a championship in a given year. At the same time, most cities will provide a championship winning team in at least one sport every decade or so. These ten cities are the exception to that theory.

10. Cleveland

Teams: Cleveland Cavaliers (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), Cleveland Indians (MLB)

Championships: 6 (2 by Indians, 4 by Browns)

Last championship: 1964

Cleveland kicks off the list of worst sports cities at number ten. Their three sports franchises have been able to produce six championships for the city over the years. Most people under the age of 46 would have a hard time fact believing that, though, since their last championship was in 1964, making Cleveland the city with the 2nd longest championship drought of all cities with at least two major professional sports franchises. Who’s first you ask? Keep reading ad you will find out.

The Cavs came into this season hoping to end the drought knowing they had one of the best teams and the NBA. They also knew that if they did not win a championship that LeBron was as good as gone. They finished the season with the best record in the NBA but where beat by the Boston Celtics in the 2nd round. Now Cleveland fans will have to wait and see how the offseason plays out to see if they get James back, knowing that any NBA championship in the near future rides on his decision.

9. Cincinnati

Teams: Cincinnati Bengals (NFL), Cincinnati Reds (MLB)

Championships: 5 (5 by Reds)

Last Championship: 1990

The fact that the Cincinnati Bengals have not won a Super Bowl since they became a franchise in 1968 is pretty bad. Almost as bad is the fact that the Reds have only won 5 championships in 128 years. The last time the city of Cincinnati won anything was in 1990, before that you have to go all the way back to 1976, when the Reds won their 4th World Series Pennant.

Although the Bengals have never won a championship in their existence, they have been the best team in Cincinnati as of late. They finished 10-6 and 1st in the AFC North, but continued history by loosing in the 1st round to the New York Jets.

8. Miami

Teams: Miami Heat (NBA), Miami Dolphins (NFL), Florida Marlins (MLB)

Championships: 5 (1 by Heat, 2 by Dolphins, 2 by Marlins)

Last championship: 2006

Probably somewhere around half of the professional athletes in America live, at least part time, in Miami. It is a tropical paradise, yet none of the teams in Miami see to be able to use this as a selling point in bringing in skilled athletes. The Heat, however, where able to do this in 2006 when they brought in Shaquille O’Neal and teamed him up with Dwyane Wade for the cities last championship.

The fans of Miami have all but given up on their teams. The Marlins were second to last in average attendance last year with an average crowd of 18,770. The Heat and Dolphins each ranked 15th in their respective leagues for average attendance.

7. Kansas City

Teams: Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Kansas City Royals (MLB), Kansas City Wizards (MLS)

Championships: 3 (1 Chiefs, 2 Royals)

Last Championship: 1985

Last season was a textbook Kansas City type season with the Chiefs and Royals combining for a record of 69-109. For the Kansas City Royals every season since their 1985 World Series victory has been like that. They have failed to make the playoffs each of the last 24 seasons since 1985.

Only in the state of Missouri would the Kansas City Chiefs not be able to take the claim of worst team in the state, that honor belongs to the St. Louis Rams. The lowly Chiefs have not been to the Super Bowl since their only victory in 1970 and have not made the postseason since the 2006 NFL season, the 9th longest drought in the NFL.

6. Buffalo

Teams: Buffalo Bills (NFL), Buffalo Sabres (NHL)

Championships: 2 (2 by Bills)

Last Championship: 1965

Some call it coincidence, others call it bad luck, but most Buffalo residents call it the Buffalo Curse. This curse is Buffalo natives reasoning behind their teams inability to bring home a title in the last 45 years. The curse rose to popularity after the Bills lost 4 straight Super Bowls in the early 90’s and the Sabre’s inability to win a Stanley Cup.

Ever since the 1998 season, the Bills have been unable to achieve a winning record and have accumulated the longest current playoff drought in the NFL. With preseason and now regular season games being scheduled in Toronto, rumors are that the Bills are going to ditch the city of Buffalo and the curse in hopes of greener Canadian pastures.

5. Houston

Teams: Houston Rockets (NBA), Houston Texans (NFL), Houston Astros (MLB), Houston Dynamo (MLS)

Championships: 2 (2 by Rockets)

Last championship: 1995

The Dynamo and the Texans may both be relatively new teams in their respective leagues, but, in their short time as franchises, have not been able to change Houston’s losing ways. The Texans finally got their first winning record in franchise history in 2009 but were still unable to reach the playoffs.

Ever since 1995, putting on a Rockets jersey has been the easy way for players to say I want my career to end soon. Don’t believe me? Ask Tracey McGrady, Yao Ming, or Clyde Drexler. They will probably agree. The Rockets have not been able to win a division title and have only been able to make it out of the first round once since winning the NBA championship in 1995.

4. Atlanta

Teams: Atlanta Hawks (NBA), Atlanta Falcons (NFL), Atlanta Braves (MLB), Atlanta Thrashers (NHL)

Championships: 2 (1 by Hawks, 1 by Braves)

Last title: 1995

From 1991 to 2005, the Braves were arguably the best and most consistent team in Major League Baseball. The won an unprecedented fourteen strait division titles in the time period. Despite, making the playoffs fourteen years in a row, the Braves were only able to win the World Series once.

The Falcons, on the other hand, have almost always been a losing team. They have only made it to the Super Bowl once, a loss to the Denver Broncos in 1998, and have only made it to the NFC Championship game twice. They have recently been attempting to rebuild after star quarterback Michael Vick was arrested in 2007, but following a 9-7 record in 2009, things are looking up for the Falcons.

3. Phoenix/Glendale

Teams: Phoenix Suns (NBA), Arizona Cardinals (NFL), Arizona Diamondbacks (MLB), Phoenix Coyotes (NHL)

Championships: 1 (1 by Diamondbacks)

Last Championship: 2001

Just three years after becoming a franchise, the Arizona Diamondbacks became the winningest team in Phoenix history when they brought the city its first and only championship. That team, that featured Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, and Luis Gonzalez soon dismantled and the Diamondbacks have failed to make the playoffs all but two years since then.

The Suns and Cardinals have shown recent success, with the Suns making it to the the Western Conference Finals twice since 2005 and the Cardinals making the Super Bowl in 2008. Unfortunately, both teams were unable to capitalize and left their city with a mere one championship.

2. San Diego

Teams: San Diego Chargers (NFL), San Diego Padres (MLB)

Championships: 1 (1 by Chargers)

Last Championship: 1963

Like the city of Buffalo, the people of San Diego believe in a curse that has kept their teams from winning any modern league sports championships. The Chargers won the AFL Championship in 1963, the Super Bowl did not start getting played until 1969.

The Chargers have made the playoffs every year since 2006 but have failed to make it to the Super Bowl in that time. The only super bowl the Chargers have made in their history was in 1995 when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers. Don’t worry San Diego fans, while losing may be your specialty, you did not get dead last this time. That honor goes to…

1. Seattle

Teams: Seattle SuperSonics (relocated to Oklahoma City in 2009, NBA), Seattle Seahawks (NFL), Seattle Mariners (MLB), Seattle Sounders (MLS)

Championships: 1 (1 by SuperSonics)

Last championship: 1979

Hey Seattle, the only team to ever bring you a championship may have turned its back on you and left for Oklahoma, but if it’s any consolation you are officially the worst city to be a fan of. And another consolation is you got to keep the Seahawks and the Mariners, even if they had a combined record of 90-88 and both failed to make the playoffs last year. Although your sports teams as a whole may be pretty bad, you can give them a nice pat on the back because they have won your city the award for Worst City in America to be a Sports Fan.

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Categories: Uncategorized

World Cup Preview: What to Expect in the Group Stages

With a little over a month until we kick off the 2010 World Cup, it is time to take a look at what we can expect to happen during the month long tournament that will be highlighted by a final game between the two best teams in the world on July 11th in Johannesburg.

Group A

South Africa (90)

Mexico (17)

Uruguay (18)

France (10)

Unfortunately for the host nation, most of the glory of the tournament will be showing off their stadiums and their country to the world. This grouping will be a three team competition between France, Mexico, and Uruguay. By the time the tournament starts, France will be back on top of their form and over the Thierry Henry handball incident that snuck them into the tournament and they will win the group. The second team to advance will come down to Mexico vs. Uruguay. Whoever is able to win this game, will be the other team to advance out of Group A.

Prediction: France and Mexico advance

Group B

Argentina (7)

Nigeria (20)

South Korea (47)

Greece (12)

Argentina comes into the tournament with one of the best combinations of strikers in the tournament with Messi and Tevez. Greece has struggled in international play ever since their 2004 Euro championship, but this looks to be the best team they have had since then. South Korea is far better than their 47th world ranking leads you to believe, but will struggle against some of the top teams in the world compared to their performances against other Asian countries. Nigeria will be Greece’s biggest challenge in advancing to the elimination rounds.

Prediction: Argentina and Greece advance

Group C

England (8)

United States (14)

Algeria (31)

Slovenia (23)

If England hopes to advance as far in the World Cup as many experts are predicting they should, they better hope Wayne Rooney comes back from his ankle injury.  They also better hope Rooney does not need a game to shake off the cob webs as they open the tournament against the United States, England’s biggest threat in the grouping. The Americans come into the tournament looking better then ever and the people of the United States are more excited about this years World Cup than any World Cup then I can recall in my lifetime. Expect the Americans to not only advance to the round of 16, but to do so by beating England and winning the group.

Prediction: United States and England advance

Group D

Germany (6)

Australia (20)

Serbia (16)

Ghana (32)

Germany comes into this years World Cup looking as good as any team out there and has hopes of improving on their third place finish in 2006 and winning the tournament. Their first tests will come in the group round as they face Serbia and Australia, two teams who are not viewed as teams that will go deep into the tournament, but have a history of giving great teams trouble. Look for Australia to also surprise Serbia and win second place in the grouping.

Prediction: Germany and Australia advance

Group E

Netherlands (4)

Denmark (35)

Japan (45)

Cameroon (19)

Watch out for the Dutch team in this years tournament. I expect them to exceed expectations and possibly make an appearance in the championship game. The team that will give them trouble in this group round is Denmark, who has beaten the Netherlands five out of the last six times they have played each other. Cameroon barely qualified for the tournament, but with a striker who has the abilities of Samuel Eto’o, any result is possible.

Prediction: Netherlands and Denmark advance

Group F

Italy (5)

Paraguay (30)

New Zealand (78)

Slovakia (38)

Italy will have the easiest road to the round of sixteen of any of the countries in the tournament, as their toughest competition will be a Paraguayan team.  Paraguay finished third in qualifying in the South American region.  With New Zealand and Slovakia being content on simply making it to the World Cup, you can expect them, along with the defending champion, Italy, to make it out of the group stage.

Prediction: Italy and Paraguay advance

Group G

Brazil (1)

Ivory Coast (27)

North Korea (84)

Portugal (3)

Most people view Group G as the “Group of Death” in this years tournament, and for the Ivory Coast and North Korea, it is. Unfortunately, those two teams do not have any shot in advancing over top ranked Brazil team and a Portuguese team led by Christiano Ronaldo and Co. The match up between Brazil and Portugal will undoubtedly be the best match in the group stage and could possibly be a preview of the championship game.

Prediction: Brazil and Portugal advance.

Group H

Spain (2)

Switzerland (40)

Honduras (38)

Chile (15)

Spain comes into the tournament as one of the biggest threats to win the whole thing and, if it were not for a loss to the United States in the Confederations Cup, they would be entering the tournament as the top ranked team in the world. Chile, Honduras, and Switzerland all have a realistic shot at of placing second in the group. The team that advances will likely be whoever is able to beat or play Spain to a draw. If any of these teams are able to do that, they will likely only need to beat one of the other two opponents to secure second place in the group.

Prediction: Spain and Chile advance

Have an idea of who you think will advance out of the group stages?

Post your predictions in the comment section.

Categories: Soccer, Sports

Race to the heisman

By: Michael Dunham

With most teams regular seasons complete and conference championships on the horizon, it is make or break time for all of the serious Heisman contenders.  This weekend is the last chance for them to make an impression before the award is handed out for the 75th time on December 12.  Here is where each hopeful stands coming into the last week for them to make an impression on the voters.

Colt McCoy, Texas

McCoy is statistically one of the top throwing and running quarterbacks in the nation.  Leading the country in completion percentage (71.8%) he also has thrown for 27 touchdowns (8th in nation) with only 9 interceptions (9th in the nation) to counter.  While he has not been asked to run the ball very often, the one game he has gotten free reign to run he did so by running for 175 yards, including a 65 yard touchdown run to help seal the win over the rival Aggies.  He also produces the strongest career resume out of any of the Heisman hopefuls.  He recently became the all time winningest starting quarterback in ncaa history when he recorded his 32nd career win over Kansas.  He also has 13,060 career passing yards and 112 touchdown passes.

Mark Ingram, Alabama

Ingram has put up monster numbers as he has helped lead his Crimson Tide to an undefeated regular season and a showdown against the University of Florida for the right to play in the National Championship Game.  A huge game against Florida could be exactly what Ingram needs to surpass Colt McCoy as the leading Heisman Candidate.  Ingram has 1429 yards (6th in nation) on 221 carries, giving him the highest yards per carry of anyone with more than 220 rushing attempts.  The sophomore has performed his best when it mattered most, namely against LSU (144 yrds rushing) and Mississippi (172 yrds rushing).  He also has a career high 246 yards rushing in a 20-6 win over South Carolina.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford

Gerhart, the darkhorse of the Heisman race, leads a surprise Stanford team just like he leads everything else in the NCAA, overwhelmingly.  His 1736 rushing yards leads all of FBS by nearly 200 yards and he has done it on 311 rushing attempts, 26 more than 2nd place.  He also has 26 rushing touchdowns, yet again the most in the nation.  Gerhart has come on strong as of late, rushing for at least 175 yards in three of the last four games and only failing to eclipse the 100 yard mark twice throughout the season.

Tim Tebow, Florida

Tebow is all but fallen out of the Heisman race and is only where he currently is because he won the Heisman two years ago.  While he does have the 6th highest quarterback rating in the country, he is also 60th in the nation in yards and 41st in the country in touchdowns.  While he is the leader of an undefeated Florida team that has a very good chance of winning the National Championship, he is no longer the greatest football player in the NCAA.

To me, the race is a toss up between McCoy, Ingram, and Gerhart.  I would give my vote to McCoy because he has played his best at the end of the season when it mattered most and his teams national title chances where threatened the most.  Also, his career resume makes me like it even more, as it shows he has been doing this for four years and now deserves to be rewarded for it.  While Gerhart has been amazing, he came on to the scene a little too late and has not consistently performed throughout his college career.  Ingram may not get it this year, but being only a sophomore he will likely get it in the next year or two when McCoy, Gerhart and Tebow have all graduated.

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Categories: Football, Sports

Monday morning headlines: Week 1

By: Michael Dunham

LenDale White will stomp on the terrible towel, but Steelers will stomp on him. Running backs score more than anyone else and it is inevitable that the Titans will get down on the goal line, put in LenDale, and he scores and stomps all over a terrible towel.  Unfortunately for LenDale, Troy Polamalu and his flowing locks won’t appreciate it very much and will stomp all over LenDale and the rest of the Titans offense.  Steelers take the opener 17-7.

Minnesota wins Favre’s Viking debut, no thanks to Favre. Minnesota will win this Sunday, but its not because Brett Favre is a spectacular quarterback, it’s because Cleveland is terrible.  All those people putting Minnesota in the great team category just because they have Favre need to realize: Its not the Favre that Minnesota lost to all the time back in the Green Bay days, he’s old, he has a torn bicep, HE DOESN’T EVEN THINK HE CAN MAKE IT THROUGH THE WHOLE SEASON. Minnesota will win its first 3 then spiral down, quickly, and for Favre, painfully.  Vikings 21 – Browns 10.

Lions loose…shocker. The Lions will be leaps and bounds better than they were last year (winning one game would be leaps and bounds better than last year) but they will still be a terrible team in the bottom 5 of the league.  Matthew Stafford will come to his own over the course of the season but he will struggle in his first NFL start.  Simply, Stafford does not have the targets or talent around him to waltz in and tear it up his first time out.  27-10 New Orleans over Detroit.

The Vick hype won’t mean anything until McNabb finds a way to lose his starting job. Just like Christmas comes every year (and the Eagle fans subsequently beat up Santa), so does that game where Donovan McNabb does not start, either because of injury or because he gets benched for a rookie quarterback out of the University of Houston.  When the inevitable happens it will be up to Vick to perform and dethrone the man responsible for him coming to Philadelphia.  Vick won’t be able to play until week 3 but even then it will only be 5-10 plays a game at most.  Carolina over Philly 27-20.

Cowboys will be 1-0 when they open their new stadium. Tampa Bay will be one of the worst teams in the NFL this year and the Cowboys will surprise some people and do better than expected.  The Cowboys, Buccaneers game will be like when teams like Florida or Texas play teams like Southeastern Missouri State.  The game will count on both teams records but for one (Dallas) it will be an extra preseason game and for the other (Tampa) it will be a chance to pull off that upset that defines their season.  Dallas 30 – Tampa -14.

Giants blow out Washington in search of becoming repeat NFC East Champions. The NFC East is by far the most talented and difficult division in the NFL.  That being said, the Giants are much better than the Redskins.  Watching Jason Campbell pull himself off of the turf will just get boring by the end of the game because he will have done it so many times.  The Giants offense won’t be as good as in previous years but will have no problem moving the ball against Washington.  Giants defeat the Skins 17-3.

Green Bay starts run to NFC North title by beating Chicago in division bout. Green Bay and Chicago will be the two best teams in the NFC North with the Vikings underachieving and the Lions going 2-14.  The game will come down to the wire but the cheeseheads will take it in a nail biter.   Packers over ‘da bears’ 21-20.

San Diego vs. Oakland get lowest Nielsen Rating in Monday Night Football history. Seriously, who is going to want to watch this game?  Two smaller market, West coast teams playing a game that does not start until 10:15 on the East coast.  Outside of the maybe 1/4 of California residents who watch this, America won’t even know that a football game is going on.  Poor game decisions like this are part of the reason Sunday Night Football is taking over what Monday Night Football used to be.  Just like Shawne Merriman’s first game back after his steroid suspension, he will go out and get an insane amount of sacks but then disappear for the rest of the season. San Diego will win 24-7 in a game that will cost ESPN thousands.

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More on NFL:

NFL Power Rankings [Preseason]

Jerry World Revealed: All about the new Cowboys Stadium

Categories: Football, Sports

NFL Power Rankings [Preseason]

by Michael Dunham

With the NFL preseason officially started, its time for all of you die hard football fans to get out your foam finger, drinking hat, and, of course, your favorite teams jersey.   The closer that the beginning of the season gets, the clearer each teams possible performance level becomes.  As of right now, the picture looks a bit like this:

1.  Pittsburgh Steelers – Being that they are the defending Super Bowl champs, an arguement is not really that necessary, but for those who want one, here you go.  Ben Roethlisberger is entering his sixth NFL season and already has two Super Bowl rings.  That alone is unprecedented, but what is even scarier is that he is just reaching his prime and has basically the same team that won a Super Bowl last year.  As long as Rashard Mendenhall can be a strong no. 2 back and James Harrison can be as good as he was last year the Steelers are primed to repeat.

Key addition(s): Keiwan Ratliff.

Major Loss(es): Larry Foote, Bryant McFadden, Nate Washington

2.  New York Giants – Although the Giants will definetly be without Plax this season, they will, barring another injury, have Osi Umenyiora.  The Giants had one of the best defenses in the league last year and with the addition of one of the best pass rushers in the game will be even better.  If Domenik Hixon can do what a No. 1 receiver is required to do, the Giants should be a force to be reckoned with.

Key Addition(s): Chris Canty, Rocky Bernard.

Major Loss(es): Derrick Ward, Sam Madison, James Butler, R.W. McQuarters, Plaxico Burress

3.  New England Patriots – The only reason they aren’t No. 2 is because of the questions concerning how Tom Brady will bounce back from that season ending ACL injury.  With the firepower on that offense and the standards of the Patriots defense, Tom Brady’s performance could either shoot the Pat’s to the top or could drop them severely.

Key Addition(s): Fred Taylor, Greg Lewis, Joey Galloway, Shawn Springs

Major Loss(es):  Matt Cassell, Heath Evans, Jabar Gaffney, Mike Vrabel, Roosevelt Colvin, Ellis Hobbs

4.  Indianapolis Colts – They lost Head Coach Tony Dungy as well as Marvin Harrison and Dominic Rhodes, but they still have the one thing that makes that franchise so great, Peyton Manning.  All Dwight Freeney, Gary Brackett, and Bob Sanders (if he can stay healthy) is do what they have always done: Make sure they allow less points than Peyton can score.

Key Addition(s): Adam Seward

Major Loss(es): Marvin Harrison, Dominic Rhodes, Keiwan Ratliff

5.  San Diego Chargers – If they can avoid being the biggest bust in the NFL for the second season in a row, they will no doubt be a division winner and could possibly get a first round bye.  This is not so much because of how good the Chargers are, but also because of how terrible the rest of their division is.  Having, i mean getting, to play Oakland, Denver, and Kansas City two times a piece, the Chargers should at worst go 5-1 in the division, what they do in their other 10 games will determine how good they really are.

Key Addition(s):  Kevin Burnett

Major Loss(es): Igor Olshansky

6.  Philadelphia Eagles – After losing three offensive starters over the offseason, we will see how good Donovan McNabb really is this season.  It also does not help that the Eagles lost All Pro safety Brian Dawkins and play in the toughest division in all of football.

Key Addition(s):  Leonard Weaver, Matt Wilhelm, Michael Vick

Major Loss(es):  Correll Buckhalter, L.J. Smith, Tre Thomas, Jon Runyan, Brian Dawkins, Sean Considine

7.  Atlanta Falcons – The addition of Tony Gonzalez help elevate Matt Ryan into the elite level of quarterbacks in the NFL.  The defense will need to step up over the course of the season or the Falcons can easily drop from the 7 spot.  Also, the fact that Michael Vick is no longer their problem can do nothing but help them.

Key Addition(s):  Tony Gonzalez, Mike Peterson

Major Loss(es):  Grady Jackson, Rod Coleman, Keith Brooking, Lawyer Milloy

8.  Dallas Cowboys – I think that the ‘Boys have really been underrated coming into this season after the disappointments of last season but with the releases of T.O. and “The Pacman” and the offseason for Romo and Williams to create that QB – WR chemistry, the Cowboys could come out and surprise a lot of people this season.  Plus, it cant hurt that they will be playing all there home games in their new, 100,000+ fan stadium.

Key Addition(s): Jon Kitna, Igor Olshansky, Keith Brooking

Major Loss(es):  Terrell Owens, Chris Canty, Pacman Jones, Kevin Burnett, Anthony Henry, Roy Williams, Keith Davis

9.  Tennessee Titans – The loss of defensive crazy man Albert Haynesworth really hurts the Titans defense, but this is still basically the same team that went 13-3 and obtained the best record in the NFL last year.  The battle between Tennessee and Indy for first in the AFC South should be one of the best in conference battles in the NFL this season.

Key Addition(s): Nate Washington, DeMarcus Faggins

Major loss(es): Albert Haynesworth, Brandon Jones, Justin McCareins

10.  Carolina Panthers – After an offseason where the Panthers did absolutely nothing and were handed the 2nd hardest schedule in the NFL, look for them to come a bit short of the 12-4 record they had last year.

Key Addition(s): None

Major Loss(es): D.J. Hackett, Ken Lucas

11.  Arizona Cardinals

12.  Baltimore Ravens

13.  Chicago Bears

14.  Miami Dolphins

15.  Minnesota Vikings

16.  Green Bay Packers

17.  Washington Redskins

18.  New Orleans Saints

19.  Seattle Seahawks

20.  Buffalo Bills

21.  Houston Texans

22.  Cincinnati Bengals

23.  San Francisco 49ers

24.  New York Jets

25.  Denver Broncos

26.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers

27.  Jacksonville Jaguars

28.  Cleveland Browns

29.  Kansas City Chiefs

30.  St. Louis Rams

31.  Oakland Raiders

32.  Detroit Lions

Agree?  Disagree?  Post your top 10 in the comments section!

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Categories: Football, Sports

Jerry World Revealed: All about the new Cowboys Stadium

by: Michael Dunham

“The eight wonder of the world”, “Jerry World”, “Six Flags over Jerry”, “Jones Mahal”

These ridiculous nicknames have all been used to describe the new Cowboys stadium, but after actually seeing the stadium those names not only do not sound ridiculous but might even be understatements.

As you pull up to this spectacle like no other, it looks as if a massive space ship has landed in right in the middle of the city.  The giant structural beams (the largest in the world) and the two way glass that lights up at night are only fractions of some of the amazing things that make up this building.

Walking into the stadium it looks like you are walking into a five star hotel, or better yet, a palace.  You then must go through the enourmous two story Cowboy Pro Shop, that has almost everything you can fit a Cowboys logo onto in it, to get up to the main part of the stadium and the giant mezzanine concourses.

How big are these huge mezzanine concourses you ask?  9 acres, thats how big.  Big enough that owner Jerry Jones plans on selling up to 35,000 “party passes”, which allow you entrance to the game but limit you to concourse access only.  These party passes are on sale and only cost $29 for anyone who might be interested.

Once you make your way to your seat on one of the four different levels, you can sit down and feast your eyes on the massive 70 yard long HD JumboTron (The largest HDTV in the world).  Just in case you were wondering, thats 600 tons of television hanging over the field.

If you get bored of the jumbotron, which is highly unlikely to happen, you can look up at the enormous retractable roof (yet again, the biggest in the world).  If its closed and you want it open, I can call up my boy Jerry and he can have it open for you in 12 minutes, making it the fastest retractable roof in the world.

Once the game starts you might notice that their are boxed off patios right next to the field and those are in fact the field level suites.  They are actually lower than the field so your head will only be about 3-4 feet above the ground.  A field level suite ticket not only allows you access to your suite but also to the legends club where you will get to watch the players as they make their way to the field.

These suite tickets also allow access to the press conference viewing room, where fans can actually watch as all of the Stars get interviewed after the game, no pun intended.

The number of seats at each game will be dependent on how big the game is.  Each row of seats is hooked on to a single bar so that the Cowboy Stadium crew can easily slide seats closer together and add more seats to each row.  They will be able to fit up to 100,000 seats in the stadium when necessary.

For those of you who think Jerry is funding this $1.1 billion monument to everything Cowboys, your wrong.  It’s actually all you Cowboys fans, and anyone else planning to attend an event at the stadium.  How, you may ask.  First, you will have to pay for an insanely priced ticket to get in, and season ticket holders will have to pay a seat license fee of up to $50,000 per seat.  Then, if you plan on buying concessions, you can buy a pizza for $60 bucks, some nachos for $8.50, and a bottle of beer for the one time low price of $8.  Also, if your planning on driving to the game, parking will cost you at least 20 bucks and possibly more than 60.

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Categories: Football, Sports