The Sunday – Legacy

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 6.11.2017


The Series

There were people out there who thought that a Pittsburgh v Nashville Stanley Cup Final would be a ratings downer. Wrong. Apparently ratings are up and pretty substantially.

The Final has not been without it’s controversy. The fact is that even if the Pittsburgh wins this series which is likely, will it tarnish Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin? Nashville’s P.K. Subban has clearly gotten under the skin of his Team Canada teammate and also that of Malkin.

Crosby is one of the few NHL players that transcends the sport. Is it good for hockey if he is doing what he did above? Yes Subban can get under your skin. That’s part of his game as one of the better defensemen in the league but Crosby and Malkin need to rise above. Not only for themselves but also for their team and for the league.

Bye Bye Big Game Bob

Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops stepped down abruptly this week at the ripe old age of 56. He over course will stay on at OU as ‘special assistant to the Athletic Director’ meaning he gets paid to go do some fund raising.

He has 190 wins (most in Oklahoma history) and one national title (2000). He was nicknamed ‘Big Game Bob’ for his ability to win big games early in his 18 year career as head coach at Oklahoma. It was a nickname that some mocked later on going 0-3 in National Title games after winning his first and only title. Oklahoma did have 4 Heisman Trophy winners during his time as head coach and nine former assistants have gone on to become head coaches.

 

What?

LeBron showing why he is The King.

This is just mean…

…and so is this.

Moment of the Week

Let’s face it, the only thing missing from this picture is Gisele.

 

Beat The Freeze

Not sure when or why the Atlanta Braves started this but it’s amazing….

The Sunday – The Shots of March

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 3.26.2017

Shots

Sidney Crosby shows why he is one of the best players in his generation.

And so does LeBron James.

And oh is it pretty….

….when you include all of USMNT goals. All 6 of them.

 

The Madness Continues

Half of the Final Four is set with the other half being set today but Florida and Wisconsin reminded us why we love and hate this time of year.

Xavier may have lost a chance to go to the Final Four but this end of the half buzzer beater by J.P. Marcura is something to see. Even if it didn’t count.

What?

Devin Booker dropped 70 points on the Boston Celtics this past week. 70!

The Sunday – Goodbye and Dancing

Compiled by Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard | 12.4.2016

So Long Verne!

Verne Lundquist announced his final college football game on Saturday. While he will still be doing the NCAA Tournament and The Masters, he will no longer be doing the SEC on CBS. Thanks Verne! You’ll be missed.

 

He didn’t know….

It’s tough being a freshman in college. Well Bryant freshman Ikenna Ndugba just made it harder. He didn’t know that his team was down by a point and he dribbled out the clock. Not something you want to put on the resume.

 

Stay Classy Miami

Tickets are expensive enough. You shouldn’t have to go through this. And there is a kid in harms way!

 

That Just Happened

 

And everyone doing their best Steph Curry impersonation

 

 

Because

What To Watch: Fri. 3/18 – Sun. 3/20

All times are Pacific.

Friday March 18th

Dayton vs Syracuse – 9:15am CBS: 7 vs 10 match-ups are always upset prone.

Iowa vs Temple – 12:10pm TRUTV: Again, 7 vs 10 match-up.

Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors – 4:30pm NBA.TV: These two are first and second in the Atlantic division.

Michigan vs Notre Dame – 6:40pm CBS: The football rivalry may have ended but at least we get the basketball version in the Tourney.

Nashville Predators at Washington Capitals – 4pm NHL.TV: Two teams headed to the post season in a East vs West match-up.

Boston Bruins at Anaheim Ducks – 7pm NHL.TV: Tough task for the Bruins as they have to do a late season West Coast swing.

 

Saturday March 19th

Everton vs Arsenal – 5:45am NBCSN: You’ll be watching enough basketball to make your eyes pop out. Why not change it up and watch some top flight soccer?

Wichita State vs Miami – 9:10am CBS: The Shockers just seem to have the same players every year and every year make a run. Miami is a tough nut to crack. Very underrated team.

Sidney CrosbyPittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers – 10am NHL.TV: These two are conference, division and in-state rivals. Add in the fact that the Flyers are playing some pretty good hockey right now which means Sid and the boys will have their work cut out for them.

Indiana vs Kentucky -12:15pm CBS: This seems like it should be a Final Four meeting and not a 5 vs 4 game in the second round.

Detroit Red Wings at Florida Panthers – 4pm NHLN: The Red Wings are on the outside looking in right now while the Panthers are looking to maintain their spot atop the Atlantic division.

Virginia vs Butler – 4:10pm TBS: The real first chance for a number 1 seed to be taken down. Butler is Butler and they know how to knock off big dogs in the tournament.

Oklahoma City Thunder at Indiana Pacers – 4pm NBA League Pass: The Thunder and Pacers are both bound for the playoffs and both have a whole lot of talent to show off.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Miami Heat – 4:30pm NBA League Pass: LeBron heads back to South Beach. Always fun to see and both lead their respective divisions.

Kansas vs UCONN – 4:45pm CBS: The Jayhawks should be nervous about this one. UCONN is one of the hottest teams in the country and know what it takes to win it all.

Klay ThompsonGolden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs – 5:30pm ABC: The team with the best chance of knocking off the Warriors might just be the Spurs. They just have to prove it now.

Boston Bruins at LA Kings – 7:30pm NHL.TV: Like we said earlier, this is a tough, late season road trip for the boys from bean-town.

LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes – 7:30pm MLS.TV: The Quakes are 2-0 to start a season for the first time ever. The Galaxy will be ready as these two revive the California Classico.

 

 

Sunday March 20th

Manchester City vs Manchester United – 9am NBC: What an awesome game to start a Sunday.

Iowa vs Villanova – 9:10am CBS: Villanova may be a higher seed but Iowa has shown all year long that they can knock off anybody at anytime.

VCU vs Oklahoma – 2:15pm CBS: VCU is a team you never want to play in this time of year regardless if Shaka Smart is no longer their coach. They know what it takes to wreak havoc.

Washington Capitals at Pittsburgh Penguins – 3pm NBCSN: Two playoff teams in the Eastern Conference measuring themselves out and two of the biggest stars in the NHL in Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.

Sporting KC vs Toronto FC – 4pm FS1: A whole lot of talent on display and one, if not THE best environment in all of MLS. Oh yeah, Dom Dwyer is on fire.

Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks – 5:30pm NBCSN: The Wild are hanging on by the skin of their teeth to that last playoff slot out west. Jonathan Toews and the Blackhawks could care less.

What To Watch: Fri. 1/8 – Sun. 1/10

All times are Pacific.

Friday January 8th

Nashville Predators at Colorado Avalanche – 6pm NHL Gamecenter: These two are separated by two points in the Central.

Utah at Colorado – 6pm FS1: A pleasant surprise for a Friday night.

 

Saturday January 9th
BisonFCS National Title – 9am ESPN2:
Jacksonville State takes on North Dakota State. The Bison are seeking their 5th straight National Title. To do it, they will need to slow down a very high powered Jacksonville State offense and a defensive line built on SEC transfers. And Jacksonville State’s one loss this year came in overtime at Auburn. The Bison have a tall task in front of them if they want their 5th straight title.

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers – 10am NHL Gamecenter: The Caps are the class of the NHL right now but the Rangers are no slouches. Sprinkle in some rivalry and you got a nice game for a Saturday morning.

Maryland at Wisconsin – 10am ESPN: Still seems weird calling this a Big Ten match-up but it is. This one features the #3 Terps in a very harsh environment in Madison.

Kansas City Chiefs at Houston Texans – 1:35pm ESPN: The Chiefs are the hottest team entering the playoffs. They have won 10 in a row but the Texans have come together and down it with four different quarterbacks under center.

Chicago Bulls at Atlanta Hawks – 2pm NBA League Pass: Second in the Central vs second in the Southeast.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Montreal Canadiens – 4pm NHLN: Sidney Crosby gets to play at the Bell Centre on a Saturday night. Sure it’s a real easy ticket to get.

Jim BoeheimUNC at Syracuse – 5pm ESPN: Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim returns to the Orange bench after a nine game suspension. It’s his last season leading the Cuse but we doubt the Tar Heels will show any mercy.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals – 5:15pm CBS: Is there anything better than a divisional rivalry masking as a playoff game?

St Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings – 7:30pm NHL Gamecenter: These two are even in points but that means that the Kings lead the Pacific and the Blues sit in third in the Central.

 

Sunday January 10th

Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings – 10am NBC: The game has a noon local kickoff time. That should put the temperature around 0 and that’s without the wind chill. Aren’t you glad you don’t have tickets?

Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins – 1:40pm FOX: Boy does benching Robert Griffin III in favor of Kirk Cousins look like a good idea now. Problem is that arguably the best quarterback in the NFL in Aaron Rodgers is on the other sideline. In any event we still have this Cousins gem.

Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets – 4pm NBA League Pass: Paul George of the Pacers is having a heck of a season. He is 7th in scoring which is five slots behind James Harden of the Rockets. These two alone are enough to watch this one.

Villanova at Butler – 4:30pm FS1: Not a bad way to cap off the weekend. A Big East top 25 match-up in the heart of basketball country.

Failing Eventualy Does Matter

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Dan Bylsma was let go yesterday by the Pittsburgh Penguins. It marks the end of a tough six months behind the bench for the Penguins and for Team USA in the Winter Olympics.

Bylsma is the winningest coach in Penguins history (252-117-32) and lead them to a Stanley Cup in 2009 (albeit he came on in February of that year.) But blowing a 3-1 series lead to the New York Rangers may have sealed his fate.

Dan Bylsma

The fact is that Bylsma couldn’t get the Penguins back to the Stanley Cup Final even with players like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the ice. While these players have had injuries over the years (Crosby missed most of the 2010-2012 seasons with concussion type symptoms) the Penguins were still a force to be reckoned with and were always an odds on favorite to win the Cup.

Two other things didn’t help Bylsma the first six months of this year. First was the non-medaling performance by Team USA in the Winter Olympics and then a 5-1 shellacking at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks on national TV during the Stadium Series.

Bylsma probably won’t be out of work for very long since there are three teams besides Pittsburgh looking for head coaches right now.

While the Penguins organization felt that a change needed to be made the move also points out again that sports is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ business. Yes the expectations are high in Pittsburgh and they should be. Look at the team they have now and the history they have. So remember that while you may hear buzzwords like ‘fail fast’ going around right now, you can only fail for so long before you have to pay the piper.

 

The Mental Challenge

By Brad Hubbard | @bradhubbard

Once again the USA Hockey team lost to Team Canada in the medal round of the Winter Olympics. The Women’s team lost to Canada too, blowing a 2-0 lead. The women will take home a silver medal and the men will go home empty handed. Either way, you don’t win silver or bronze but lose gold.

Winter Olympics

Canada’s national sport is hockey. The US, not so much. Team Canada’s hockey team is a whose who of professional hockey players. From Sidney Crosby and Patrice Bergeron to Ryan Getzlaf and Patrick Marleau. You could make a medal winning team of Canadian players who weren’t on the roster.

Does that matter? Yes. Is it all that matters? No.

The US had as good of a shot as anybody at winning the gold in men’s and women’s hockey. The talent level is good enough and so is the coaching. Now it may just be a question of psychology.

The men have now lost to the Canadians in the medal round of the last two Winter Olympics. If and when they meet again, it’s going to be a mental challenge more than anything.While it may not be as challenging as beating the Russians back in 1980 it’ll still be a challenge.

What To Watch Thurs. 10/24-Sun. 10/27

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

Thursday October 24th

Carolina Panthers @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 5:25pm NFL NETWORK: If you really, really have to watch a football game on Thursday then this is your best option. Carolina is pretty good. Tampa Bay isn’t. Judge for yourself.

St. Louis Cardinals @ Boston Red Sox-5:10pm FOX: It’s the World Series and that NFL game is probably going to get out of control in a hurry.

San Jose Sharks @ Boston Bruins – 4pm NHLN: San Jose is 8-0-1 and Boston has been in the Stanley Cup Final two of the last three years. It’s worth tuning in.

Friday October 25th

Boise St. @ BYU – 5pm ESPN:  Both these teams are good and it’s a Friday night in Provo. It should be rocking.

Saturday October 26th

Texas Tech @ Oklahoma – 12:30pm FOX:  Lot of hype around the turn around job that Kliff Kingsbury has done at Texas Tech. Oklahoma needs to regain some of the swagger. Knocking off the latest ‘next big thing’ might do the trick.

UCLA @ OREGON – 4pm ESPN: Two future NFL signal callers (UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota) are on display. Not to mention that this is probably a preview of the PAC-12 title game.

Pittsburgh Penguins @ Toronto Maple Leafs – 4pm CBCBattle of the leaders in the east. Sidney Crosby and a Saturday night in the TO!

Stanford @ Oregon State- 7:30pm ESPN: Oregon State is number one in the country in passing and ninth in the country in points scored. Players to watch in this one are Oregon State’s Brandin Cooks (nation’s top receiver) and Stanford’s Ty Montgomery (returned two kickoff’s back for touchdowns). Big trap game for Stanford as they play Oregon next weekend at home. If they’re not careful then they may get into a shootout with an Oregon State team that can put up some big time points.

Sunday October 27th

Manchester City @ Chelsea – 9am NBCSN: Two top flight clubs on a Sunday morning.

Dallas Cowboys @ Detroit Lions-10am FOX: This could come down to who has the ball last. Not to mention a chance to see two top WR’s in Calvin Johnson and Dez Bryant.

Washington Redskins @ Denver Broncos- 1:25pm FOX: RGIII vs Peyton. Both these teams can get hot and score a lot of points in a very short amount of time.

All Injuries Are Not Created Equal

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

If you weren’t watching the Louisville v Duke college basketball game on Sunday then you missed one of the most gruesome public sports injuries you may ever see. If you want to see it for the first time or the 15th it can be found on some major Internet sites. The bigger question is why are so many people outrages by CBS’s replays?

Louisville’s Kevin Ware broke his leg right after contesting a jump shot in the first half of an Elite 8 match up against Duke. He landed right in front of his teams bench. It was immediately apparent that his injury was serious. Several of his teammates looked immediatly away while others were doubled over on the court in shock. Players and Head Coach Rick Pitino had tears in their eyes as the medical staff attended to Ware. Turns out that his leg is broken in two places and the bone was sticking out.

The reaction on Twitter was first asking for prayers then by half time of the game the conversation turned to ‘Why are people showing this replay?’ CBS did not show a replay of the injury during their half time show citing the gruesome nature of the injury. They did show several replays after it had happened. Last fall several media outlets replayed South Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore’s injury in which he dislocated his knee tearing just about every ligament imaginable. ESPN (who broadcasted the game in which Lattimore was injured) replayed the injury more than CBS did. Are all injuries not created equal?

Gruesome injuries are just that, gruesome. People turn away in shock and horror and rightfully so. It doesn’t help anyone to see something like that multiple times. Once is enough. The uproar over seeing Ware’s injury a few times vs no uproar over seeing Lattimore’s several times does lead us to look at the circumstances.

The Louisville v Duke game is on National TV during March Madness. The winner goes onto the Final Four. It’s a big deal. Lattimore’s injury happened in a conference game during the regular season. The game was also Nationally televised however it was not the main game of the day, kicked off  and was on ESPN. Did the high profile stage on which Ware was injured lead to more people seeing it? Of course.

Ware plays basketball and Lattimore football. Do we expect more gruesome injuries in football than in basketball? Are we more mentally prepared for the possibility of a gruesome injury during a football game because of the physical contact and not in basketball because they don’t wear pads and helmets?

Either way you look at it a gruesome injury makes the game secondary and rightfully so. Let’s also not forget that in the NHL superstar Sidney Crosby had emergency surgery Saturday night after being hit in the face with a puck. He has a broken jaw. Last weekend Denny Hamlin of the #11 car in NASCAR suffered a compression fracture in his back after a wreck. injuries are going to happen in sports and sometimes they are very, very hard to watch. Let’s hope we see less of them the rest of the year.