Monday, January 23, 2012

"We are with you all the way"

Super Bowl 46 does not have my favorite teams in the big game, or favorite player, but there is no question who I will be pulling for. I'll be rooting on the New York Giants thanks to three players: Lawrence Tynes, Osi Umenyiora, and Jerrel Jernigan. All three played at Troy, and are therefore Trojans for life.

As the Troy fight song says, "We are with you all the way...," so I will be pulling for these guys throughout their careers.

And not just these three.

I keep up with every former Trojan who plays in the NFL. I make it a weekly routine to bring up the box scores from the weekend's games to see how the Troy guys did. Not every former player has had the instant impact of guys like Umenyiora or Demarcus Ware, but you will find Troy players scattered throughout the league making a play on Sundays. Elbert Mack of Tampa Bay is a top backup for the Bucs secondary, Leodis McKelvin had some big returns late in the season for Buffalo, DuJuan Harris became the backup to the league's top rusher in Maurice Jones-Drew (Jags OC Dirk Koetter said late in the season that Harris "might be the most improved player we have on offense"), Mario Addison went from undrafted to the Bears squad to making an impact on the Colts defense late in the year. Sherrod Martin, Steve McLendon, Cameron Sheffield are just some of the others who I will continue to watch over the next several years.

So come Super Bowl Sunday, I won't be pulling for just the Giants, but for the Trojans as well.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

So I was wrong.

Looks like I was wrong about the National Championship game. But I could also never pick Alabama, it's just the way I was raised. I know they are from my state and all this and that, but I just can't do it.

But what's next? Well in the college football world we have National Signing Day which will be February 1 this year. It's a day where college football fans turn their attention to fax machines around the country to make sure teenagers stick by their "commitments". There always surprises and these high school athletes have been trying to top each other in the way they make there selection. We'll have to wait and see what the players have in store this year.

But after that, it's the college baseball season I'm looking forward to most. It is probably my favorite. Baseball in general has always been my favorite, but the college game, especially with last year's rule changes has risen to the top. The season starts on February 17 this year, which is also my birthday. I will be ready for the National Anthem and then for the first time bat hits ball.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rematch Time

Well, the BCS National Championship game is finally here. Tonight, Alabama and LSU will match up for the second time this season. LSU got the better of the first game, winning 9-6 in overtime. What will the second game be like? Who knows. Many think we will see more offense and these teams open things up. I'm thinking these teams are still playing to win and may be conservative to a certain point.

Who I am picking? Well, for anyone who knows me knows it's not Alabama. I was raised with a certain passion to strongly dislike Alabama (Thanks Dad). I still think it will be a close defensive battle, but I have to take the Bayou Bengals winning 20-17.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Vacation

Christmas time is my favorite time of the year. I know this is a little late, but since I'm still on my Christmas break, it's still pertinent.

I get about two weeks off from work during this break. It is great to get some time away from work, away from all the problems and just catch your breath. I know come January 9, I will be rejuvenated and kind of eager to get back. While it is nice to be off, these times can be kind of dull. Finding something to do is not as easy as I wish it would be, but being lazy and spending time with my wife, is pretty nice.

Another great thing about this time of year is spending time with family. I don't nearly as much time with either of our families as we would like. But getting to enjoy time with family and listen to my Dad and his brothers and sister reminisce on the past is always fun. Getting to see my mom's side is equally as great. Having the whole family over to our house reminded me of my younger days when that's where everyone would be. We haven't had a Christmas like that is probably 10 years.

On the other side, it was so much fun to see our nephews open their presents and see their faces light up. They would scream about how that was exactly what they wanted and then immediately ask to have help to put it together. Those are the moments that make this time so fun, the joy on people's faces and just the time spent being around each other.

I'll have a sports blog up in the next day or so about the sports events and happenings that I'm looking forward to most in 2012.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Most wonderful time of the year!

Let the bowling begin.

The college football bowls begin today with three games to start the schedule.

But for me, the one worth watching the most today is the New Orleans Bowl as San Diego State takes on Louisiana-Lafayette. As a Troy Trojan, the New Orleans Bowl is a place I'm familiar with. I've been to all three of the Trojans trips to the Big Easy. I witnessed two from the sidelines and one from the stands. While it will be tough watching the game this year, I hope the Ragin' Cajuns pull out the W for the Sun Belt. I'm not necessarily one who roots for the Sun Belt teams throughout the year, but during bowl season I make an exception.

I will check in throughout the bowl season with predictions and thoughts on games, but I will be looking forward to next years bowl games already because I know that Troy will be back and make another statement in the bowls.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Doyle Alexander for Who?

You can find this post as well as a bunch of other good ones on

Bud Selig is having a nice laugh right.

Sure, the NL MVP and star of his hometown team recently tested positive for PEDs, but Selig has been made to look good by one man: David Stern.

This NBA trade fiasco with Chris Paul has been laughable. And the reason Selig can have a good laugh about it is the endless trades baseball teams make throughout the year, in season and out. Selig has even allowed trades of teams MLB has taken ownership of; much like the NBA has with the Hornets.

Just look at what the MLB-owned Montreal Expos gave away to get Bartolo Colon back in 2002: future all-stars in Brandon Phillips and Grady Sizemore and a Cy Young Award winner in Cliff Lee.

Maybe those guys weren’t superstars at the time, but that is one of the great things about baseball trades. Those minor league prospects that few people of have heard of can turn into franchise icons.

John Smoltz and Jeff Bagwell were both prospects in the minors traded at the deadline. Smoltz went from the Tigers organization to Atlanta for Doyle Alexander (sounds like a President from the late 1800’s). Sure, Alexander had an immediate impact for Detroit, going 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA to help the Tigers win the 1987 AL East Pennant, but which name is going to live on longer in that trade?

Bagwell was sent packing to Houston from the Red Sox as double-A third baseman. The player the Red Sox got in return, relief pitcher Larry Andersen. Anderson had limited success in Boston, while Bagwell become one of the best players in the 90’s with a possible induction into Cooperstown on the way.

Mark McGwire’s magical (now tainted) chase of Roger Maris in 1998 would have happened in Oakland instead of St. Louis if not for a trade that sent Big Mac to the Cards for T.J. Mathews, Eric Ludwick and Blake Stein.

But it is not just the deadline deals that are so great, some great and not so great moves have been made in the months leading up to Spring Training.

How did Ozzie Smith end up with the Cardinals? In December of 1981, Smith along with Steve Mura, and Al Olmsted came from San Diego for Garry Templeton, Sixto Lezcano and Luis DeLeon.

Ten years earlier, during the holiday season of 1971, Hall of Famer and strikeout king Nolan Ryan wound up with the Angels in a trade that sent Jim Fregosi to the Mets for Ryan, Frank Estrada, Don Rose, and Leroy Stanton.

Another superstar traded in the offseason: Ken Griffey, Jr. He was sent from Seattle to the Reds for four players in February of 2000. While Junior never had the big impact in Cincinatti that Reds fans hoped for, the move shows that anyone can be moved anytime in baseball.

Theo Epstein made one his better moves in the offseason, when he acquired Josh Beckett from the Marlins in November of 2005. Two years later, Beckett helped lead the Red Sox to the World Series going 4-0 in the playoffs with an era under 2.00.

Trades like these are just one of the things that makes baseball so great. The offseason is never really “off” with the constant watch for players on the move. At anytime Brian Cashman of the Yankees or Jon Daniels of the Rangers could be looking for that next Nolan Ryan or Ozzie Smith.

Sure, your team may lose that great pitching prospect, but in return you get that leadoff hitting centerfielder that you have been wanting for years.

So while the NBA and David Stern figure out how many trades they can veto or how many four-team trades they allow, baseball fans can watch the proverbial hot stove for the player who will help their team to the pennant and anticipate who exactly is going to be the “player to be named later”.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That's What it's Called??

(To start things off, this is not a sports post, just a personal story.)

Do you ever remember being told something when you were young, and continuing to believe that thing for far too long. No, not like the Easter Bunny or Santa, but more like a word that you started saying when you were young, and even though it was wrong you were never corrected.

For me, that word is “beezer”. I started saying it when I was young, still use it to this day, but it wasn’t until late in my high school years I realized it was a made up word.

What does it mean? Well, imagine the sound of a beard trimmer or clippers for shaving heads. They make a “buzzing” sound or to me a “beezing” sound. And ever since one day as a little boy at the barber shop when I heard that sound, those things have been known as “beezers”. It was used a noun as in “go get the beezer” or as a verb “time to beezer your hair”.

So it was a strange and disappointing day in high school when I remarked to my friend that I needed to “beezer up my hair” and he had no idea what I was talking about. I had been led on this whole time to believe that’s what they were called! My parents lied to me!

But now the word has become a joke in our family. It is still used and will continue to be and I am sure when I have kids they will be told it’s a beezer.

So, does anyone else have stories like that or did my parents just want a good laugh later on in life??