Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NBA Draft

Again for those of you not familiar with this blog, these are just my opinions. Things stated here may or may not be correct to you, but I don't care because it is my blog and my thoughts. Just thought I would put in this disclaimer for everyone as a reminder.

The NBA draft is just around the corner and I have to say that for the most part I have not been to enthralled with the draft this go around. Logic says I should be very much intrigued by the draft and its prospects because my Utah Jazz are in a great position with the number 3 overall pick. And then they follow that up with the number 12 overall pick. Normally I would be ecstatic about this opportunity. However I am not so optimistic about our chances here.

See the problem is, I don't feel that this draft is anything to get excited about. Usually in any given draft there is at least one player who is the consensus #1 draft choice. I know Kyrie Irving is picked to go number 1 on most mock draft boards, but no one is gushing about the talent this guy has like they usually are about a player or two in each draft. In this case, Kyrie is just the "best player available" and that is why he is going to go first. There is no Lebron James, John Wall, Derrick Rose, Dwight Howard in this years draft. There is no one that is screaming "I am an NBA All-star currently so you'd better pick me" in this years draft.

I am not saying that there is always someone like this in every draft and surely every number one pick is not this caliber of player (see Oden;Greg, Bargnani;Andrea, Brown;Kwame, or Olowokandi;Michael). All I am saying here is that the Jazz have great picks in a relatively week draft. Just our luck. On the upside, many of these players are said to have great "potential." However you want to look at that, at least we should end up with a player who should be a little more humble and willing to learn in this years draft.

I am not hear to tell you who the Jazz should draft because there are so many routes the Jazz can take with the draft this year. They can trade the coveted third pick for a team who is desperate to move up. They could draft someone then trade them for someone they feel is a better fit for our team. They could draft a big man and hope a guard is available at 12. They could get their guard at 3 and go big at 12. They could get two guards, or two big guys who knows? Some scenarios obviously are better and more logical than others, but draft days bring out some twisted stories.

That being said, here are my thoughts on the draftees the Jazz are "supposedly" interested in.

Brandon Knight:
I feel that this is the guy everyone thinks we are going to draft, especially with Kemba Walker's stock falling while Knight's is rising? How does that happen anyway? Walker has been a stock roller coaster rising and falling with no apparent reason. Back to Knight. He isn't the most athletic guy, but fits the "all-around" mold. He is not necessarily great at anything other than being good at all things. He can shoot alright, he passes well, he directs the offense well and has good defense. He is a bit bigger for a PG, like Deron Williams, but lacks the play making ability of a DWill. My question is, will Knight really become a "franchise" point guard that you can build a team around? One website listed his ceiling as a player comparable to Drue Holiday, which would not so good for a 3rd pick. I think he is a good player who will function well at the PG position, but I just don't see him developing into big time go to player like DWill was. This may be a good thing, who knows. If he isn't that big of a player, is he worth the risk at number 3?

Enes Kanter:
Kosta Koufous in a smaller sized body. This pick sacres me. Of all the players in the draft, I feel that Enes is either going to be the biggest surprise or the biggest disappointment. I would not like to see the Jazz try this experiment. Sure ten years down the road we may well be kicking ourselves, but I think more than likely we are going to be laughing knowing we dodged a big bullet. Kanter has tried to play here for a couple years and has kept running into problems. He spent last year with Kentucky, on the practice squad. The verdict isn't out but I don't want to see my Jazz pick another big white guy only to see him physically and athletically be out matched and eventually drift into oblivion. I say pass on Kanter.

Kemba Walker:
Honestly, I think this is the most athletic option for the Jazz. The guy can score in multiple ways. He is a little undersized for SG which is the position I would like to see him at. Undersized meaning when he faces up on defense he could be facing guys ranging all the way to 6'8" which would be a huge 7" disadvantage. He could run the point but then you have a score first guy running the floor. My opinion, I would love to have someone like this to come off the bench. The Jazz have historically had some guy who comes off the bench who functions as bring the ball down and pass it to whoever. This worked great for Howard Eisley who had people like Karl Malone to make him look good. Truth is, if Karl Malone was on my team, I could pass him the ball and watch him score too. So, I am OK with Walker, maybe not at 3, but if he is around at 12 it might be a good option. Question is, will hie be better than...

Jimmer Freddette:
For the record Jimmer is a nickname, it really is James Freddette. As an avid University of Utah fan who had to put up with things like this all the time, I have been resistant to the idea of Jimmer in a Jazz uniform solely because of the banter I would hear from Cougar fans. Since the end of the NCAA tournament, the Jimmer talk as turned from greatest player in the universe to a more reasonable prospect for multiple teams. I am sure that the coverage he gets here locally is still a little bias, but if they are true the Jazz are not the only team interested in the Jimmer. Apparently everywhere he has gone, he has impressed. Like Walker, I am not sure Jimmer is the PG the Jazz need. In fact, I would rather have Jimmer at the 2 spot coming off the bench. He could be the white Jason Terry. From what I hear, Jimmer is much more athletic than people give him credit for. He is a dead shooter, but he can get to the rim as well. This is where he differs from J.J. Reddick or a Kyle Korver type player. If Jimmer is around at 12, it would be something to consider. I don't think he is worth the risk at number 3. This is for sure, if Jimmer is in a Jazz uni the Energy Solutions Arena should see an increase in ticket sales, that is how influential he is here locally.

Derrick Williams:
Some of the latest rumors suggest the Wolves would seriously consider Enes Kanter at 2. If that were to happen the Jazz would have to pick Derrick Williams. The new DWill is a more athletic big guy than what we have seen in the past. Some say he is the poor mans Lebron James. I would be OK with that. He has a great outside game as well as a decent inside game. He would only develop more and who knows what that would mean. Problem here is if he did develop into an all-star, would he stick around in Utah? History suggests its possible but with all the latest NBA trends he would be out of here as soon as possible. If he is available the Jazz would be foolish not to get him and at least utilize him while they could. Who knows, maybe he would fall in love with Salt Lake and never want to leave. Of course, if we picked up DWill, we would most likely have to shop one of our other big guys. could get interesting.

Jan Vesley, Jonas Valanciunas and all other Euros:
I am so disinterested in any European player that I refuse to discuss them on my blog. Is that ignorant, well yes. Quite ignorant actually. We have had such great luck with these guys in the past I don't want to consider these options. Besides, we still have Ante Tomic who needs to make the transfer from Europe to the NBA already. Lets work on him first before we pick up more.

Alec Burks:
Ronnie Brewer without the funky shot. Alec can get to the rim and is super athletic. I am always in support of this type of play. He makes hustle plays and is always roaming around the floor sniffing out plays. He doesn't have the greatest outside shot, but he tries. Who knows, maybe with Hornacek's influence he would develop said outside shot. At number 12, I would be OK with Alec Burks.

Chris Singleton:
I don't know a lot about this one other than people say we are interested in him. He seems like an OK pick with decent athleticism and an OK outside shot. He is also a rebounding threat on the boards. He is a defensive minded player who may fit in well with the Jazz. Is his bigger so again, how bad do we need more big guys? At number 12, I don't think we can lose with him.

Lastly I would just like to throw in players that may find themselves in a Jazz uniform after the 12th pick is announced. These guys are not talked about as much as the previous players, but I think the Jazz would show interest if they are available at the 12th pick; Tristan Thompson, Klay Thompson, Jordan Hamilton, Tobias Harris and Kenneth Farried.

Overall, most of these guys I am OK with at number 12 and as you can see there is only one guy I feel justified at number 3, Derrick Williams. And that is only if he somehow doesn't get picked up at 2. Other than that Knight may be worth the risk but anyone else I feel is too big of a risk or shouldn't go that high in this draft. So here we are with the Jazz finally in the mix with a great pick in the NBA draft. Problem is that we have the number 3 pick in a two player draft. Go Jazz!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No One Feels Sorry Anymore

This article probably has been inspired because of the loss my Yankees suffered at the hand of the Red Sox this evening. The Yankees are now 1-7 against the Bean Town Bombers this year. Similar to last year when the Red Sox started out the year with the advantage, I feel confident that my Yankees will rebound and get close to evening the season series between the two.

As a youngster who followed the Yankees because that was the little league team I played for, every baseball item I owned had a Yankee emblem on it. I even had Yankee wallpaper and bedding (thanks mom). Point I am making here is yes I am from Utah and yes I am a Yankee fan. So what? Growing up all my friends were either Rockies or Twins fans. The Twins fans chose them because they had family from Minneapolis and reflected on going to games with the Grandparents. Those who chose the Rockies did so because they weren't baseball fans. They ironically enough were Bronco's fans too, but that's besides the point. As I got more and more into playing baseball, I had friends who were loyal to various teams like the Cubs, the Braves, the Angels, the Mets. I never asked why but just accepted that they liked that team, just like I liked the Yankees.

My point here is I am sick of people getting all up in arms that I like the Yankees. Truth be told, the only ones who really ever give me grief are Red Sox fans, except for one faithful Cubs fan who has recently taken a hatred towards the Yankees because Jorge Posada's name appears on the All-Star ballot. I don't get why everyone has to question my loyalty regarding the Yankees. It is ironic that many of the people who give me the most grief are not only Red Sox fans, but have become Red Sox fans within the last decade. Some of them who I knew in high school I would not have even guessed they liked baseball! If any one's loyalty is in question here...I am just saying.

All this brings us to today. So many of the Red Sox fans who give me a hard time often turn to the argument of "Yankees payroll" or "Yankees get all the national attention" or "every player on the Yankees is a horrible person simply because they where pin stripes." Fine. Argue all you want and 10-15 years ago I would understand your bitterness because you in the midst of a century long drought and were incredibly bitter towards everyone, especially the Yankees and their fans. Well, times have changed. You have not only won the world series and broke the curse, but you have won it twice. Your roster looks like something the Yankees would put together and you are in the spotlight just as much as any other team, including the Yankees.

I suppose I should congratulate Red Sox nation for this accomplishment but I cannot. Instead I am going to sound off because your success has supposedly earned you the right to be as arrogant as ever. You talk as if you are still in the midst of your curse and you hate everyone. Get over it. Your team's payroll has skyrocketed. You will bid for the best free agent on the market (see Crawford; Carl), trade for big name players (see Gonzalez; Adrian) and sign big name pitchers (see Lackey; John). Your gripe with the Yankees after all these years has become your identity. Kudos for figuring out how to win, it feels good doesn't it?

I know this won't stop all of the criticism I get all the time, but the bias for the Yankees is just as prevalent for your beloved Red Sox so stop all the whining please. As I watched the Yankees Red Sox game this evening, Nomar Garciaparra may as well have been down in the Red Sox dugout. It was driving me crazy. I felt that I was warranted in my complaint as even my wife took notice to the words coming out of his mouth. I understand the guy is a former Red Sox player, but it was annoying none the less.

Here is the bottom line to this article. I love the rivalry between the Yankees and the Red Sox. It is classic, one of the best in the world. Let's enjoy it. Give me all the crap when your team wins and I will make sure you hear it when I win. Just accept that your team is the same as mine. Literally. The only difference is our uniforms, cities and the 20 some odd championships the Yankees have. I get you have a history of bitterness and hatred and that is what makes the rivalry great, but get over yourself and realize the rivalry is bigger than me or you. No one feels sorry for you anymore because you are big time. You spend big time money, have a roster filled with big name players, and get big time media attention. Truth is both our teams are built to be hated.

I thought that this picture pretty much summed up my article.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Soccer Out of Obscurity

It has been a while and I can only hope that my three faithful followers can forgive me. Truth is I missed writing on my blog as it has always been a way for me to express my sports philosophy. Much has changed since my last post. I now work for Real Salt Lake, somewhere I never would have imagined working. Not because of the company but because of my personal preferences.

See, soccer has never been a priority to me. I played soccer just like every other 4 and 5 year old and thought it was fun to run around and kick a ball. I thought it was fun then and I am sure my parents appreciated the energy I exhausted running around pointlessly every Saturday morning. It was not long after that I discovered baseball, and then basketball, and then football. I eventually even took up golf, skiing, water polo, volleyball and other sport related activities. Soccer was a thing of the past, a childhood memory, a child's game.

Some of my friends pursued soccer further playing on "comp" teams. I had no idea what that meant. I knew more about super league baseball, AAU basketball, and Ute conference football than anything soccer. I had friends that played in high school, one of which went on to play college level soccer, but they never seemed to gain the attention as other "jocks" did. Granted I went to a high school that was all about baseball. None the less, soccer was an after thought in my mind. In fact, the only memory I have of being interested in high level soccer was right after I graduated from high school I went on a vacation with a bunch of my friends to Denver. The summer I graduated was also a World Cup year. While on vacation we would watch the World Cup, staying up late to catch the US play and spent the hours waiting playing FIFA Soccer on the PlayStation. Honestly that was the extent of soccer for me and I will be the first to tell you I was the worst at the video game!

Because I never had an attachment to soccer, I did not care for it. In fact, I would mock it openly. I thought it was boring, slow moving, anyone could play it if they wanted, and I hated the idea of a tie, a 0-0 tie especially. Growing up loving and playing baseball, if the score was tied, you kept playing until there was a winner. That was just they way it had to be. Why did soccer not understand that principle? How can people devote two hours of their life to a game, see no one score and walk away happy with what they saw? I would be livid if I paid to see a match and it ended in a 0-0 tie! No penalty shootout? No overtime? What? This thought process made me repulsed to the idea of soccer.

Fast forward to August 2009. I had been working/interning with Real Salt Lake for about 5 months. For those of you who need some details, Real Salt Lake was founded in 2005 as an expansion team for Major League Soccer. Prior to 2009, I had been to one Real Salt Lake game, I did not hate it, but I did not care for it either. Now working for Real Salt Lake, I found myself surrounded by people who knew much more about soccer than I ever did. Many of them had played high school or college level soccer. They had favorite teams from leagues I did not know the name of. They visited soccer websites to read about the weeks upcoming games instead of visiting ESPN like normal people. What was going on? What had I got myself into? Little did I know I was in for a ride.

At the time, my office mate was a die hard Barcelona fan. He had played college soccer and knew the game inside and out. I would talk to him often to try and learn why and how to like soccer. The first thing I decided was I needed to have a team. A team that I followed, knew the players, was loyal to. I wanted to create a little rivalry between me and my coworker so I began looking at teams from the Spanish soccer league. Real Madrid was too easy. Even I had heard of them. I wanted a team that would make me look like a real soccer guy, so I chose Sevilla. Sevilla does not have the reputation of Barcelona or Real Madrid, but they have finished top five the last few seasons, they had some big named players as well, and even beat Barcelona in league play! My devotion to Sevilla included printing out a big team logo and hanging it in my office, researching how to get my hands on a Sevilla jersey, bragging to my coworker about recent victories, informing all my other coworkers how great Sevilla was, and trying to stay up to date with all the team news.

Slowly I began to become more in tune with soccer and all its idiosyncrasies. Sevilla was playing in the UEFA Champions League at the time which opened a whole new door of unknowns for me. I learned the format of this tournament, I learned the purpose of the tournament, and eventually I was OK with a tournament overlapping with league play. It was intriguing and I was starting to enjoy following soccer. My coworkers began to jump on board and we soon all had our favorite teams and would brag about them. Every lunch we would discuss why our teams were better, where they were in league play and how they were doing in the Champions League. All this talk sparked such interest we found ourselves trying to find our team's games on TV. Anytime we found a European or South American soccer game on TV, we would call or text each other to tell them of the game we were watching. This led to us starting our own makeshift soccer fantasy league competition. It was great.

Real Salt Lake was helping my cause to get into the sport as well. In 2009 the team found a way to make the playoffs and made an unprecedented run to the championship, the MLS Cup. The Real Salt Lake organization flew us all up to Seattle to be there for the championship match up against the LA Galaxy. That was a trip I will never forget. Real Salt Lake upset the heavily favored Galaxy along with their big name players in a penalty shoot out.
We were champions. We were the best team in the league. Real Salt Lake was gaining local and national media attention and the talk of soccer was starting to rise. I found myself immersed in the middle of it all soaking it all up. I loved it. I loved to tell people I worked for Real Salt Lake. I loved to tell them we were champions.

Now wait a second, I loved to say what? Was this the same kid who once thought soccer was pointless? What had happened to me? I now found myself defending soccer. I found myself having a passion for the game and enjoying watching it on TV even. This has to be compared to someone who goes from hating golf to love watching it on TV. I had changed, forever.

Bill Simmons, an ESPN writer, shared some insight in an article he wrote after going to a USA vs Mexico match. I could not agree more with his article more and you can read it here. Americans still do not have the appreciation for the game that the rest of the world does. Someday I believe we will get there. MLS is still in its infancy and has a lot of room to grow. Americans are backing the national team more and more. Every World Cup comes with more anticipation and expectations than before. Real Salt Lake made history this year by competing for the CONCACAF Champions League Championship and unfortunately fell short in the finals against Monterrey. None the less they garnered a lot of national attention for what they accomplished. Soccer is slowly becoming more widespread and understood. Someday we will view soccer the same as the rest of the world.

Think about it for a moment. What other sport can bring nations together and unite the world for an entire tournament. The World Cup is just as big as the Olympics. That may be hard for many to digest, but it is the truth. Ask Brazil what event they are most looking forward to and I guarantee that the majority forget they are hosting the Summer Olympics in 2016. Truth is that soccer is the sport that for at least ninety minutes puts everything on hold. It amazes me and draws me more and more into the sport. Soccer is more widespread that you think. Every country in the world has a league, every country. Morocco? They have a league. Pappa New Guinea? They have a league. Don't believe me? Try visiting and read about them. Soccer is everywhere. Take our office fantasy league which started as a simple two team platform. We now each have 21 teams from different leagues around the world that we all follow and keep track of their points and standings. Not to mention the champions leagues they play in. And we are looking forward to expanding it to 32 teams for next season!

I have been converted. I love watching soccer. I love following soccer. Don't get me wrong, baseball is still my first love and will always be, but soccer has not only been promoted out of obscurity but has become one of my favorite sports to follow. I know there are still doubters out there and even people who think I am crazy, but ignorance will always be an easier route than an attempt to educate yourself. I know because I took that route for 25 years of my life.

Monday, December 15, 2008


So those of you who have not heard, the Arena Football League announced today that the 2009 season has officially been suspended with hopes to resume play again in 2010. For those of you who do not know what the Arena Football League is, its a football league that started just over 22 years ago and aside for the Canadian Football League, its the only league in America to survive as long as it has. Except of course the NFL. The AFL plays inside, has a shorter field, less players on the field, different goal posts, and has walls lining the field. It is a much faster paced game than traditional football, the scores are much much higher, and it is very loud. Some who are football die hards have a hard time watching because of the unorthodox style of play, but it is fun to watch the game.

The AFL apparently has a few teams that are really struggling financially, as well as the AFL its self. Suspending the season does not necessarily mean that the AFL is leaving for good, but taking the season off to step back and make necessary improvements to improve the financial stability of the league and its teams. The economic model that the league has been using is not as strong as it should be, and much like other companies in today's recession like atmosphere, the AFL plans to restructure and improve it to better benefit the league and its teams.

Those of you who know me know that I have been working for the Utah Blaze since August. This news took our office somewhat by surprise because the Blaze are not one of the teams who are struggling. Luckily for me, I was just interning here and not employed full time. However, I was offered to stay on and begin working full time in January. It doesn't look like that is going to happen anymore! I guess stuff like this happens and all you can do is move on and find something else. I thought trying to work in the sports world would somewhat protect me from things like a recession, but I guess I was proved wrong. I just hope that the guys I work with are able to find something else quickly, its not really a good time to find yourself on the unemployment list.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whoa, time flies!

So I swear that I have been super busy with school and work and stuff, but still does not warrant my lack of posting about the Utah BYU game. First off, HA HA! The Utes won. Second of all, I told you they would, the thing is they beat them by more than I thought they would!! I gave the Utes a two touchdown advantage (see previous post). I was mocked and made fun of all week by BYU fans for giving the Utes such a big spread, but they more than covered it. Even Utah fans thought that I was being unrealistic with my predictions. But I must say that I just had a feeling, I knew that the Utes would pull it off. It was destiny!

Just to recap, the game was over before it started. First off, BYU ran out earlier than they were supposed too. Utah was having their "senior day" celebration announcing all of the seniors names who then came out and stood with their parents. The Cougars ran out onto the field before this was even over! Stay classy BYU. Then for some reason BYU feels like they have to do the "Haka" dance before every game. I don't understand why they do this. Is it because of the Polynesian players on the team? Well Utah has just as many Polynesian players on their team and you don't see them do the Haka. Last I checked, Hawaii does it before their games, but that makes sense. And they do it only at home games, which makes even more sense. If BYU feels like they need to do that they can, when they are playing at home. And if it is that important for all their American players to feel like they are Polynesian for every game, then they should do it in the locker room before they come out to the field when visiting other teams. Anyway, Utah would not let them do their pre-game Haka, and rightfully so. Maybe that through BYU off their rhythm, but that was when the game was over.

Utah came out strong, scored first and built a nice lead. BYU, like they always do, brought it close and tied it for a while. Sakoda kicked a field goal and made it 20-17 with a little over two minutes left. Next cam what I believe was the ultimate demise of the Cougars. Max Hall through a pick and the Utes had a chance to kick another field goal before halftime. But wait, Max Hall in all his fury lost his cool and shoved a Utah player over after the play was over. This allowed Utah to score on a touch down pass to David Reed before halftime. Thanks Max! I lost all respect for Max Hall on that play. A QB can't lose his composure like that. What a loser, cost his team a turnover and a Ute touch down.

The Cougars made it interesting in the 3rd quarter bringing it close with a touch down right out of the gate making it 24-27. Still to today I do not understand why the coaches of BYU could not figure out how to be successful. On that touchdown drive, they march up the field 80 yards and racked up about 60 yards on the ground. Unga was running us over. So what did BYU do? They went to Collie of course. He is the big play maker on the team. He was the one who ultimately made it possible for the Y to win last year on 4th and 18. He was the leader WR in college football. But he was also the number one focus for Utah all week in practice. The Utes were ready for Collie and the Y's passing game. So what happened? Max ended up through interception after interception. The U's defense was just too prepared for Max. Thing that bugs is so many people chalked it up to Max Hall having a bad game, which he did. But the reason he had a bad game was because Utah was so prepared and read him like book. Don't believe me, then explain Paul Kruger's interception. It wasn't like Kruger was just sitting back waiting for it. He rolled of his defender and started running back to the secondary where he knew MAx would try to find Collie. Just like Sean Smith did as well. Which also reminds me, the phrase Utah fans are using to rub the win in BYU's face doesn't make sense to me. "Kruger is still wide open!" Kruger wasn't wide open. He did not sit back and wait for it. Max didn't throw it right to him, well he did but only because Kruger ran right to the passing lane. Anyway, Utah was simply more prepared that BYU was and it showed.

So for the second time in five years, Utah is off to the BCS to play in the Sugar Bowl. All the Y fans that said you would clobber the Utes, just remember this; Utah+BCS=2. BYU+BCS=0. Yeah so you have been to the Vegas Bowl four times in a row now. And I hope you thoroughly enjoy it again this year. Keep dreaming of a BCS bid and keep asking me what it is like! Oh and my score that I predicted that everyone made fun of me for? Yeah, it also won first place in the office poll which I will be rewarded for this Friday when my boss takes me out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory! HAHA 48-24!! GO UTES!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Few Thoughts for Rivalry Week

Well, its here. The Holy War is just days away. To say that I am excited is an understatement. I am beyond ecstatic! Never before has BYU rolled into town to face off against the Utes in such a high profile manner. Utah, ranked 7th in the BCS is looking for three things. First, a MWC championship. Its been four years since that accolade as been the Utes, and beating BYU for it makes it that much sweeter! Second, the Utes are looking their second trip to the BCS in four years as well. Utah and the MWC are still reeping the benefits from the last visit Utah made to the BCS in 2004 when they spanked Pitt 35-7. Another visit would once again solidify the strength of the MWC, Utah's program, and enable Utah to gaina few perks in the recruiting department. Third, Utah is looking for some much deserved revenge against the Cougars after their last minute miracles the past two years.
BYU is ranked 14th in the latest BCS poll, is looking for a piece of MWC title and bragging rights. People still speculate that the Y could land a BCS bowl, but lets be honest, its highly unlikely. BYU win or lose, probably will end up at the Vegas Bowl, again. The Cougars come in with one of the higher ranked offenses in the nation, but Utah rolls in with one of the nations better defenses. This game is going to be one of the all time greats to add to the list of classic games between Utah and BYU.
So who has the advantage? I gotta go with my Utes on this one, not just because I am a Utah fan. BYU granted has an offense that is potent and can put up points, they have proven that throughout the season. Thing is, when it came down to the bigger games two things happened. First, the Cougars struggled defensively allowing oppnents to score at will. The second problem was that when the defense got better, their offense did not look as good, for example, the TCU game. Utah was able to hang with and beat TCU because of their speed. Speed will be the difference in this game. Uah's defense is much faster than many of the opponents BYU has faced this year and will be able to shut down, or slow down some of that high profiled offense BYU brings to town. Secondly, Utah, namely Brian Johnson, will be able to expose the BYU defense to the point that it may be embarrassing for the Cougars at times. Mid-MWC teams like Colorado St. and UNLV were able to hang with the Cougs because their offenses were athletic enough to expose the vulnerable BYU secondary. Utah will do the same, only worse. Couple that with Utah's D and Utah has the advantage, period.
Final score prediction: Utah 37 BYU 24


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Umpire Blunder

For those of you who have been tuning in to the world series this year, you may have noticed that the umpires are not the greatest. You may have heard the TV analysts being critical of their calls. Of all their blown calls, has anyone else noticed that seem to go in favor of the Phillies? Maybe it is just that I want the Rays to pull off the upset, but it seems the Rays can't even buy a call these days. Cole Hamels' bach was clearly a blown call. Evan Longoria obviously tagged Jimmy Rollins at third. On top of that, there have been numerous times, most recently last night's game, where the blue behind the plate seemed to shrink or expand his strike zone depending on the pitcher. Kazmir had at least 5 balls that I can recall off the top of my memory that when they replayed the pitch with their nice little strike zone box graphic, it was obviously a strike! Kudos to Kazmir. I would have lost all composure and charged the ump. The first couple of times it would have bothered me and the blue would have known it. Then after Hamels got two or three balls called as strikes that were obviously not, especially if compared to Kazmir's balls, I would have completely lost it and been tossed out of the game. Maybe the powers that be are not wanting the Rays to win the series, but the blown calls have all resulted in scores for the Phillies. On top of that, I cannot argue the Rays have just simply been out played thus far and need to prove they can win. They have been sloppy at best through 4 1/2 games. I still think they can pull it out, but they need to focus and quit making so many errors on the field, and hit the ball! Go Rays! Oh, and the umps may be able to help just a little bit!!