Welcome To Canada Mr Manziel

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 5.22.2018

Johnny Football is back. This time Manziel will be donning a Hamilton Tiger-Cats jersey and doing his magic in the CFL. It’s a smart move and one that could potentially make Manziel the most exciting, undersized quarterback in the CFL since Doug Flutie.

First, let’s be real about the expectations here. The Canadian game is significantly different than the US game. While it’s a style that fits Manziel’s skill set, it is also one he’ll have to adjust to. From the motion rules to the routes the receivers run to the way the coverage develops. It’s going to be a whole new thing for the boy from Texas to take into account. With a limited amount of preseason games and his late signing, it’s going to take probably half a season before Manziel starts ‘getting it’ but he could also pick it up a lot quicker.

The excitement that fans should feel is two fold. First Manziel has a coach who has won at every level of football and is a direct disciple of Mouse Davis who is the Godfather of the Run ‘N’ Shoot offense. June Jones offense employs concepts that every team in football now uses and it’s the foundation for the offense Manziel ran at Texas A&M.

Second, look at the comparisons between Manziel and Doug Flutie. Flutie is in the CFL Hall of Fame, won the Most Outstanding Player 6 times in 8 years while up north and also won the Grey Cup 3 times. Flutie’s arm, scrambling, and ability to extend the play proved to be a lethal combination in the wide open CFL. Manziel has a lot of the same characteristics as you can see from the two quarterbacks highlights.

Some will just say that the CFL is Manziel’s chance to get back to the NFL. Maybe but if Manziel zeros in on being a CFL quarterback, he has the potential to be one of the all time greats. This can go a lot of ways for Manziel but the bottom line is that he is in a great spot in Hamilton with a coach with a proven track record. Things could get very interesting in the CFL come August and September.

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The Sunday: Late Edition

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Sunday of Masters weekend brings one thing, waiting. Waiting to see if Augusta National is going to rear its ugly head and claim another victim in its rich history.

 

The Master

Spieth

Jordan Spieth is only 21 years old and now he is a Master champion. He is the second youngest to ever win the event behind only Tiger Woods. He was ice cold all four days. Grabbing the lead on Thursday and never looking back.

 

A Long Game

Box Score

When the Boston Red Sox meet the New York Yankees it is a notoriously long game.  Friday night went to a whole new level when they played 19 innings. The game was so long that Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira aged during the game. When it started he was 34 years and old and by the time it ended he had turned 35. It wasn’t all fun and games though, Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli went 0 for 8.

 

Free Johnny

Johnny Manziel was released from rehab over the weekend. He has a long way to go before claiming the starting quarterback job with the Cleveland Browns and living up to the first round draft pick status but at least now he is clean and sober.

 

What To Watch Fri. 8/8 – Sun. 8/10

All times are PST.

Friday August 8th

PGA Championship – 10am TNT: It’s the last major tournament of the year and Tiger is playing.

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays – 4pm MLB.TV: It is a possible playoff preview.

San Jose Earthquakes at LA Galaxy – 8pm NBC Sports: The first game of the Landon Donovan farewell tour.

Saturday August 9th

PGA Championship – 11am CBS:

Cleveland Browns at Detroit Lions – 4:30pm NFL Network: Johnny Football Pro debut anyone?

Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas – 6pm MLS Live: Two teams separated by 3 points in the standings battle for vital points.

DC United at Real Salt Lake – 7pm MLS Live: One of top teams in the East meets one of the top teams in the West.

Sunday August 10th

PGA Championship – 11am CBS:

Detroit Tigers at Toronto Blue Jays – 10am MLB.TV: It’s a nice Sunday pitching matchup as David Price heads to the mound for Detroit and Mark Buehrle for Toronto.

Sporting KC at Vancouver WhiteCaps – 5pm MLS Live: Vancouver is a tough place to play and they need points. SKC though is the probably the best team in MLS right now.

Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves – 5pm ESPN: Getaway game for two teams battling for control of the NL East.

Houston Dynamo at Seattle Sounders – 7:30pm ESPN2: Houston is starting to turn it on and Seattle has been struggling as of late.

Holiday Viewing Guide

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

The Holiday season isn’t done just yet which means that there are still sports to view on a random weekday.

Tuesday Dec. 31st

(In Progress) AdvoCare v100 Bowl: Boston College vs Arizona – 9:30am ESPN: The country’s best RB Andre Williams vs a tough and under appreciated Arizona team.

Chik-Fil-A Bowl: Texas A&M vs Duke – 5pm ESPN: It’s probably your last chance to see Johnny Manziel as a collegiate. There is also the possibility of a shootout on New Year’s Eve.

San Jose Sharks at Anaheim Ducks – 5pm REGIONAL COVERAGE: The Sharks ended the Ducks 10 game winning streak on Sunday night. Ducks are probably out for revenge.

Portland Trailblazers @ Oklahoma City Thunder – 5pm NBA TV: Two of the top teams in the Western Conference get down to business. Portland is looking to end a two game losing streak, a first for them this season, and OKC continues to try and get by without starting guard Russell Westbrook.

-Coolest event today is not the games themselves but the adventures of Fox Sports announcers Gus Johnson and Bill Rafferty. Check it out on AwfulAnnouncing.com

Wednesday Jan. 1st

Tottenham @ Manchester United – 9:30am NBCSN: It’s a full slate of games for the Premier League. This is the best match up of the day.

Capital One Bowl: South Carolina vs Wisconsin – 10am ABC: Two teams that could be in the BCS if it wasn’t for a tough loss here and there. Should be the game of the morning.

Winter Classic: Toronto Maple Leafs @ Detroit Red Wings – 10am NBC (may change due to weather): It’s become and annual tradition on New Years day and made even cooler by HBO’s 24/7 show. This year a Canadian team finally gets to show it’s stuff on New Years Day. This time it’s outside in the Big House at the University of Michigan.

Rose Bowl: Michigan State vs Stanford – 2pm ESPN: This is going to be a good ole fashion, hard hitting football game. Should be tough, close and fun to watch.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs Central Florida – 5:30pm ESPN: Baylor scores a ton of points and Central Florida has been this seasons “cardiac kids”. Also, UCF QB Blake Bortels is a possible first round draft pick and has a smoking hot girlfriend.

 

Does The NCAA Need A New Leader?

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

With the opening of fall camp for college football the talk seems to be on everything off the field rather than what’s going on on the field. The main focus of the media attention, and the NCAA, has been on Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) and to some extent Jadeveon Clowney. The attention is warrented since they are the two biggest names in college football right now however the NCAA is in a horrible position as far as investigating any wrong doing by either player.

Did they or did they not take money for signing autographs?‘ This seems to be the main point that the NCAA is looking into as far as Manziel and Clowney are concerned. The NCAA is still reeling from a botched investigation of the University of Miami and has had an apparent “brain drain” when it comes to investigators. The NCAA also does not have subpoena power outside of it’s jurisdiction. Meaning that someone outside of the NCAA (buisness owner, fan, family member) does not have to talk to the NCAA or turn over any documentation.

NCAA INVESTIGATIONS

While member schools attempt to abide by the NCAA rules, the NCAA is quickly losing credability with universities, athletes and fans.

Is it time for a change at the top?

MARK EMMERT

Mark Emmert has been in charge for a little over three years now and has been by far the most visible President in NCAA history. However he may not be the person to take the NCAA into the 21st century.

Recently Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos purchased the iconic newspaper The Washington Post. While this is making big headlines no one really knows what its going to mean for the paper. Most seem to agree that a tech titan like Bezos with his bottomless checkbook and business track record could be the one to turn the Post, and the print journalism industry as whole for that matter, once again into a profit center.

JEFF BEZOS

Should the NCAA look into someone similar to lead them on their road back to credability? Maybe a more forward thinking person who will embrace the new challenges in this every changing world? Someone with experience implementing change in such a large organization and a track round outside of academia? Someone who can see into the future a little better, make adjustments, and still enforce rules?

Someone like a former General Stanley McChrystal. Here is a former General who led combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Someone who had to adapt to a new enemy and implement change in an organization that is very slow to recognize it.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal

With or whithout change at the top the NCAA has a credability issue. It botched a major investigation, got caught being hypocritical, and is doing a poor job of listening to the public and the universities they oversee. Change better come soon or we could soon see the industry run over the regulator.

Signing Day Part 2: Top Ranked Players Don’t Always Mean Top Players

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

# 22 and # 34. That is what QB’s Johnny Manziel and Marcus Mariota were ranked by Scout.com in 2011 when they signed with Texas A&M and Oregon respectively  Manziel went on to win the 2012 Heisman Trophy as the Nation’s best player and Mariota led Oregon to a 12-1 record and a BCS Bowl berth. They are considered by many to be two of the best QB’s in college football and two top contenders for the Heisman Trophy next year.

Top QB's

The Top 5 QB’s in the 2011 class were pretty good in their own right.

#1 Jeff Driskel  – Florida                                                                                                                     #2 Braxton Miller – Ohio St                                                                                                                     #3 Brett Hundley – UCLA                                                                                                                     #4 Kiehl Frazier – Auburn                                                                                                                      #5 JW Walsh – Oklahoma State

Everyone in the Top 5 has started games for their respective schools and all but one has played very well (Frazier being the lone exception). Jeff Driskel began to show his hype as led Florida to a BCS Bowl berth (12-0 Ohio St was ineligible for a bowl) and beat Manziel’s Texas A&M Aggies early in the season yet he wasn’t nearly as electrifying or dominate as Manziel or Mariota.

The truth is the rankings really don’t mean a whole lot. Maziel and Mariota are really good because  A) they’re really good players B) in an offenses suited to their abilities and C) coached really well. Driskel is working with his 2nd offensive coordinator in as many seasons and wasn’t the clear cut #1 QB on the team at the start of the year unlike Manziel and Mariota. What does that mean? It means Manziel and Mariota got more practice time with the 1st team offense then Driskel did during the fall camp. More coaching + more reps = better performance.

Malcom Gladwell wrote an amazing book called ‘The Outliers’ where he talked about things like the’10,000 hour rule’. Simplified, the more practice & coaching you get from an early age leads to better performance. Out of the 7 QB’s were talking about look who has done really well early in their career (Manziel, Mariota, and Miller) those who have done ok (Driskel, Hundley, Walsh) and the one who has done poorly (Frazier). The first group was the #1 QB on their team going into fall camp this past season. The other two groups had to battle it out in fall camp and during the season before they were named starters.

In the end it’s not the ranking but the situation. If a player gets the coaching and the reps in practice early then they have a tendency to turn out better than someone who hasn’t. The ranking out of high school means, in all reality, little to nothing. The situation, coaching and the practice means everything.