What To Watch: Fri. 4/29 – Sun. 5/1

All times are Pacific.

Friday April 29th

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox – 4pm MLBN: Hey, it’s the Yankees vs the Red Sox. It’s doesn’t get any better.

NFL Draft – 4pm NFL Network/ESPN2: Rounds two and three will be in primetime and a lot of good players will be on the board.

Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers – 4:30pm ESPNEWS: The Pacers look to stave off elimination against the Raptors.

BLUES V STARS FIGHTSt Louis Blues at Dallas Stars – 5pm NBCSN: These two were neck and neck most of the regular season and the Blues just came off of a brutal series with Chicago. Will that and inconsistent goaltending be their downfall?

Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks – 7:30pm NBCSN: The Preds won three of the four road games against the Anaheim Ducks in the first round. Sharks better be ready to go.

Saturday April 30th

NFL Draft – 9am NFL Network/ESPN: Rounds four through seven. It’s also fun to see how delirious the commentators get by this point too.

New York Islanders at Tampa Bay Lightning – Noon NBC: Game 2.

Montreal Impact vs Colorado Rapids – 1pm MLS.TV: This is a surprisingly good matchup. Not many people picked these two to be in second place in the respective divisions. Yet here we are.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals – 5pm NBC: Game 2 of a series that is going to be the one to watch in the second round. Lots of stars, lots of offense and which ever team wins it will be considered the favorites to go to the Stanley Cup Final.

Sunday May 1st

Leicester City vs Manchester United – 6am NBCSN: Leicester City can wrap up the Premier League title. This still should blow your mind.

San Francisco Giants at New York Mets – 10am MLB.TV: Pretty good pitching matchup on tap as the Bumgarner squares off against Syndergaard.

Portland Timbers vs Toronto FC – 12:30pm ESPN: Michael Bradley and company head to the Rose City to take on a Timbers team that has yet to find it’s playoff form from a year ago.

Sporting KC vs LA Galaxy – 5pm FS1: This is a playoff game disguised as a regular season matchup. Let’s see how the Galaxy deal with Blue Hell. They’ve looked very good so far now and still have a couple of key guys out with suspensions and injuries.

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox – 5pm ESPN: What a game to cap off the weekend in sports. Big Papi has only got a few more games to get his knocks in against the Bronx Bombers.

Nashville Predators at San Jose Sharks – 5pm NBCSN: Game two from the shark tank.

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The Final Interview

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


The NFL Draft is upon us and while the ‘industrial draft complex’ is in full swing this time of year, this is in the enter a hiring event. Some players will be hired with a big salary, others with a low salary and some will not get hired at all. But some of those trying to get a job know this and there are some of the those who deserve a job anyway.

Scooby Wright III. Yes you read that right and that is his name. His twitter handle, TwoStarScoob. Why? That’s how many “stars” he was given as high school football recruit (max is five).

Scooby is a linebacker who came out of Arizona after his junior season in order to get a job in the NFL. A junior season in which he only played in a few games due to multiple injuries. He returned from all of the injuries to help Arizona to a bowl victory over New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl. A game in which he had 15 total tackles, 11 of those solo and two sacks. Oh and he was also PAC-12 defensive player of the year in 2014.

But Scooby will not be drafted/hired in the first round and probably not the second either.

He isn’t the “prototypical NFL linebacker” when it comes to size and speed. The scouts will say he can’t do this or can’t do that. The hiring managers will find something on the resume that they do not like.

Scooby is a smart guy and realizes what the doubters will say. He knows that some things on his resume don’t pass muster with the hiring manager. That is why his post in The Players’ Tribune is all the more impressive.

Scooby understands that the NFL Draft is a step in the job interview process. The combine, the private workouts, all of it is part of a process. And like applying for any job, there are requirements that you just don’t have.

Not enough experience, no previous experience in this or that and the new favorite…not a good culture fit. For Scooby it’s the size (six foot even) and speed (4.87 40 yard dash) and the fact that he hasn’t been in an NFL locker room before.

But before you feel too bad Scooby just remember, someone will give him a chance and he will in all reality prove to those that past on him……shame on you.

Another job candidate is Colorado fullback Jordan Murphy.

Murphy never carried the ball at Colorado but is trying to make it in the NFL anyway. His story reminds us all why you should always follow your dreams.

Murphy was in the Aurora theatre the night that James Holmes killed 12 people and injured 70 others back in 2012.

So Murphy put in his application with the NFL. He knows his qualifications are probably not what the hiring manager is looking for but he also knows that he only needs one person to give him a shot.

As you listen to ‘draft experts’ and analysis from various coached during the 2016 NFL Draft, just think to yourself, ‘would I want my interview on TV?’

The Sunday: The Prince of Respect

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Passing Of The Man

Prince is dead. There is no other way to say it, he was the man. In the wake of his death Mark Cuban ordered for as many Prince songs as possible be played during the Dallas Mavericks playoff game and Prince’s hometown team, the Minnesota Twins, changed up the LED’s at the stadium on the day that Prince passed away.

 

KANER

There is nothing to be said….Patrick Kane is just that good.

 

Fed Up

Kane’s teammate, goalie Corey Crawford, got fed up and took matters into his own hands.

 

Steal Home

Sometimes you have to get home no matter what. If that means stealing it, do it.

 

The Laser Guided Missile

Word to the wise, respect Yasiel Puig’s right arm….I mean laser guided missile launcher.

 

Triple Play The Hard Way

Really?

 

The Touch

It is oh so pretty…

 

Bubble

Johnny Cueto is a good pitcher….and good at blowing a giant bubble.

What to Watch: Fri. 4/22 – Sun. 4/24

All times are Pacific.

Friday April 22nd

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals – 4pm NBCSN: The Caps look to close out the Flyers in only 5 games.

LA Dodgers at Colorado Rockies – 5:40pm MLB.TV: Believe it or not but these are the two top teams in the NL West.

San Jose Sharks at LA Kings – 7:30pm CNBC: Couple of years ago the Kings came back from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Sharks in the first round and go on to win the Stanley Cup. Just sayin.

 

Saturday April 23rd

Hertha BSC Berlin vs FC Bayern Munich – 6:30am FS2: Berlin is not going to catch Munich but would they sure love to give Dortmund a chance to.

Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers – Noon TNT: Raptors are up 2-1 but it hasn’t been easy by any means.

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC – 1pm MLS.TV: Lots of talent on display along with the fact that these two cities don’t care for each other very much.

Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks – 3pm NBCSN: Series is tied 2-2 as they head back to SoCal. The road team has won ever game in this series. Weird.

St Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks – 5pm NBC: The Blackhawks staved off elimination to bring the series back to Chi-Town. Blues are still up 3-2. And yes, this series is turning into what we all hoped it would be.

 

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake – 7:30pm MLS.TV: The best game in the West for your soccer Saturday.

UFC 197 – 7pm PPV: Jon Jones returns to the Octagon to take on Ovince Saint Preaux for the interim Light Heavyweight Title. Not enough? Fine. Demetrious Johnson defends his belt for the eighth time and former Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis goes up against Edson Barboza which should, let’s face it, be the best fight on the card.

LA Clippers at Portland Blazers – 7:30pm  ESPN: Clippers are up 2-0 but beating Portland in the Rose City is a whole ‘nother thing.

 

Sunday April 24th

San Jose Earthquakes vs Sporting KC – 12:30pm ESPN: These two are separated by a point in the standings and there is a whole lot of offensive firepower on display in this one.

Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets – 12:30pm ABC: Steph Curry should be back in this one for the Warriors.

Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros – 5pm ESPN: And some Sunday Night Baseball to cap off the weekend.

Another Step Closer

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


Sling TV continues to slash and burn it’s way through the jungle of sports rights. Last week it announced that you can now get a FOX package on the service. This includes FS1 and FOX Regional Sports Networks, giving cord cutters another reason to move to Sling TV.

NEW SLING TV OFFERINGThe announcement kind of came in under the radar. It was all of a sudden…there and according to The Verge, you can get this new ‘FOX’ package (which is in beta) along with the original Sling TV package that has all of the ESPN channels including ESPN3.

The big thing here is the FOX Regional Sports Networks (FSN). So if you live in New York and cannot get the Yankees because you are a Comcast subscriber, well now you have an option. This of course depends on if you live in the footprint of the YES Network. While I have yet to confirm it, I am confident that you can cut the cord in Tennessee and get FSN Tennessee with this new package (someone in Nashville confirm this for me please).

I have always made the argument that cord cutting is really possible for the sports fan but this addition only adds to the argument. Now there are still a lot of caveats to cutting the cord. NBC Sports is still not available without a cable or satellite subscription which makes watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs a bit of a problem. There is also the issue of watching local teams in a market like Denver or San Francisco.

None the less, this move by Sling TV is welcome news to the cord cutting sports fan.

The Sunday: Posing For Greatness

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


See Ya Kobe

Kobe Bryant is a first ballot Hall of Fame inductee and in all likelihood will have a statue created of himself outside of Staple Center. He has won multiple MVPs, NBA Titles and he did go out on a relative high note. I say relative because while he did score 60 points in his final game, his team finished with the second worst record in the NBA recording a meager 17 wins.

Bryant will go down as one of the best in Lakers in the franchise’s history and one of the greatest players in NBA history. No doubt he would have prefered to have gone out with another NBA Title but as the song goes, you can’t always get what you want.

 

73

While Kobe was hanging 60 on the Utah Jazz in his final game, the Golden State Warriors were making NBA history by winning their 73rd game of the season.

 

Drogba Returns

And he does this for his first goal of the season.

 

Storyteller

Speaking of greats in Los Angeles, there is no one better than Vin Scully. On Friday he did only what Vin Scully could do, tell a story about killing a snake while never missing a pitch.

 

Come and Go

It’s one of the tougher pills to swallow in collegiate sports, coaches leaving for other jobs. Some do it rarely, others do it often but there may not be anyone who did it like Chris Beard.

Beard spent one season at Arkansas – Little Rock before accepting a job a UNLV only to leave a few weeks later for Texas Tech. It’s enough to make anyone frown. While it may be justifiable in the eyes of some, it is a tough pill to swallow for many. One of those is Yahoo Sports writer Kevin Iole. He wrote an opinion piece on the subject.

 

And Pose

Dallas Stars forward Jamie Benn may have been knocked into the boards but at least he posed for a picture when he got up.

What To Watch: Fri. 4/15 – Sun. 4/17

All times are Pacific.

Friday April 15th

TOEWSChicago Blackhawks at St Louis Blues – 5pm NBCSN: If this series turns out to be like the one they played a few years ago then we are in for a treat. So far it has with the Blues winning game 1 in OT.

 

 

Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros – 5pm MLB.TV: Two teams who fully expect to be in the post season. The Astros have taken their lumps here at the start of the season but they send last years AL Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel to the hill.

SF Giants at LA Dodgers – 7pm MLBN: The pitching match-up alone is why you should watch this one as Madison Bumgarner goes against Clayton Kershaw.

Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks – 7:30pm NBCSN: The last playoff series to get started and it may be the best of the bunch.

 

Saturday April 16th

Chelsea vs Manchester City – 9:30am NBC: In past seasons this would be a game that would decide the Premier League title. Not this year but it’s still a fun game to watch.

NY Rangers at Pittsburgh Penguins – Noon NBC: Pens are up 1-0 and the Rangers may be without goalie Henrik Lundqvist.

Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors – 12:30pm ABC: Well those 73 wins the Warriors had during the regular season officially mean nothing.Now the title defense truly begins and it starts with a very dangerous Rockets team.

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington Capitals – 4pm CNBC: Game 2 and the Flyers have to find a way to kick it into gear.

San Jose Sharks at LA Kings – 7:30pm NBCSN: Not only is it game 2 but it is still NorCal vs SoCal.

 

Sunday April 17th

St Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks – Noon NBC: Game 3.

LeBron JamesDetroit Pistons at Cleveland Cavaliers – Noon ABC: It’s time for King James to start another quest to bring a title to Northern Ohio. New coach may make a difference and a healthy Kyrie Irving will make a big difference.

Orlando City vs New England Revolution – 12:30pm ESPN: These two are separated by a single point and City is making the Citrus Bowl a very tough place for their opponents.

FC Dallas vs Sporting KC – 4pm FS1: FC Dallas is riding high after drubbing the defending MLS Cup champs at mid week. Meanwhile SKC has to rebound from a surprising loss at home to Colorado. Very interesting indeed.

SF Giants at LA Dodgers – 5pm ESPN: Sunday Night Baseball at Chavez Ravine. Two franchises that have a very genuine hatred of each other.

Memphis Grizzlies at San Antonio Spurs – 5pm TNT: The Spurs might be the only team able to beat the Warriors but they have to take care of business first by beating a scrappy Grizzlies team.

Nashville Predators at Anaheim Ducks – 7:30pm NBCSN: The late game to end your weekend the right way.

Portland Trail Blazers at LA Clippers – 7:30pm TNT: Rip City heads to Lob City and this should be a very close series.

Kings Of Nothing

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


While the NBA world has marveled at the skill and domination of the defending champion Golden State Warriors this season, 90 minutes east of Oakland (give or take how bad traffic is) is one of the NBA’s biggest head scratching franchises, the Sacramento Kings. The same franchise that will soon be on it’s ninth head coach since the ’06-’07 season. It’s time to say that it’s not the coaches fault.

The Kings has a good run under in the early 2000’s under head coach Rick Adelman and owners Joe and Gavin Maloof. There were some legendary playoff series between them and LA Lakers that really got the Central Valley of California revved up. Those days are long gone and the Kings have yet to be back to the playoffs since Adelman was the coach.

The Maloof’s sold the team to Vivek Ranadivé back in 2013 and it’s gotten worse despite the fact that Ranadive was able to get a new downtown arena built that will open next season. This season was marked by, well, a lot. The star player hates the coach, the coach hates the front office and the front office is in waaaay over it’s head.

Other than that things are fine.

The sad thing is that it doesn’t have to be this way. The Warriors were almost as bad for a very long time. Between the RUN TMC days until a few years ago with the arrival of Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, being a Warriors fan was nothing to brag about. But unlike the Warriors who finally put all the pieces together, the Kings seem to grab nothing but round pegs for square holes.

CousinsAll is not lost for the Kings. They have talent on the roster in DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Rajon Rando just to name a few. They were within arms length of a playoff spot this season despite the drama. The real problem is is that the front office is asleep at the wheel….or driving from the backseat.

Vlade Divac has no business being a GM of an NBA franchise at this point in his career. He is a great guy and an icon of the franchise but the Kings need a serious GM with some experience. Once they find that then they can go get a head coach. Since Ranadive took over as owner, the front office and head coach have not been on the same page and the results on the court reflect this disfunction. That is a must if you are to be a playoff team in the NBA…or any sports franchise for that matter.

So while the Warriors break NBA records and have the star player of the NBA on their roster, the Kings fans will have to wait another couple season before they will see playoff basketball in the River City. But on the bright-side, at least they get a new arena next year.

The Collapse Without Humility

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard


The powers that be in the golf had to be beside themselves when this past Saturday morning roll around. The majority of the leaderboard at The Masters was golfers under 30 and the last group of the day feature two of the brightest stars in the golfing solar system, defending Masters Champion Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. Then Sunday evening rolled around and none of the “stars of the game” had won the coveted green jacket thanks to a spectacular collapse by Spieth.

Spieth’s horrible 12th hole is being well documented around the sports world. It was so impressively bad that even the ‘Golden Bear’ Jack Nicklaus offered up his thoughts on it.  Credit to Spieth in getting himself together for the jacket presentation to winner Danny Willett. He didn’t have it together when the camera followed him off the 18th hole and into the clubhouse.

Spieth is the future of golf. We have many, many years left of him dueling it out with other young premier golfers like McIIroy, Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Bubba Watson and Willett. He does however have a lot to learn about humility.

Golf is not game of beating the person next to you but about controlling yourself and staying disciplined. Spieth does this most of the time but there are cracks that show that he has a lot of maturing to do. Tiger Woods needed time to grow up and he eventually did and so will Spieth. The golf world hopes this happens sooner rather than later because he is one of the biggest stars they have and he is only 22-years-old.