Yankees, Red Sox 0-3, panic in the Bronx and Beantown

Both the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox started their seasons 0-3. This hasn’t happened in all of eternity, or at least since the Cubs last won a title.

The amount of suck happening in the two ball clubs has caused panic in the Bronx and Boston. Fans in the Bronx are calling for Jeter and A-Rod to get their old asses off the field and get some players who don’t need canes to walk. Mariano Rivera, in an un-Mariano Rivera-like move, gave up a a lead to the Tampa Bay Rays leading fans to call for him to join the other fogeys in the nursing home.

Over in Beantown, in true Bostonian fashion, fans just swore a lot and burned sh*t. And then drank themselves into a stupor. The terrible start has also prompted fans to believe there is another curse placed on the team: the curse of the Epsteino (like the curse of the Babino, only not).

It’s rumored that Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park will burn to the ground if neither team makes it to the post-season. OK, the rumor was literally just made up here, but it could happen. We’re dealing with New Yorkers and Bostonians here. It could happen.

At the rate these teams are going, the Cubs may win a title before either team wins a game. The Cubs are due for a win.

 

Who am I kidding? The chances of the Cubs winning a title are about the same as a guy named Bubba winning the Masters.

Oh, wait. That happened?

 

freshmen look towards the big leagues

With the end of the NCAA season fast approaching, and the smell of the draft just in the distance, freshmen from teams around the nation look into their future. Some, such as Austin Rivers (Duke) and Anthony Davis (UK) have their mind made up and they are looking to start the career on the professional level. While others, such as Cody Zeller (Indiana) and BJ Young (Arkansas) are still lingering the possibility of continuing their college stardom. 

Zeller, Indiana Freshman, has made a mark on the Indiana team helping Crean make “The Movement” possible. But even though he has tasted success in the Big Ten, is that enough for him? Teams such as the Detroit Pistons have revamped their draft decisions around the undeclared forward. He has the decision of whether or not to follow his his brothers footsteps and finish out school, or to step out of the family norm and go out on his own. 

**** See  http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2012/03/one_week_later_espn_changes_de.html

BJ Young, the young star at Arkansas has made it publicly known that the decision to enter the draft is a major possibility, but he has yet to look in to the world of agents. His options are still open after his star season with the razorbacks, but the possibility of stepping onto the big stage has set his sights on a new court outside of Fayetteville. 

**** SEE http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/colleges/arkansas-freshman-g-bj-young-considering-nba-draft-hasnt-hired-agent/2012/03/30/gIQAndaZlS_story.html

 

Tagged ,

#Linsanity

Jeremy Lin became an overnight celebrity in February after he had 28 points and eight assists in his first career start for the New York Knicks.

The undrafted point guard from Harvard lit Madison Square Garden and the Twittersphere buzzing with talk of Lin.

Twitter instantly blew up (as it often does when certain players have big games) with the new hashtag #Linsanity. According to a Mashable.com article, “Journalists and fans on Twitter used the hashtag to examine his statscrack jokes, add tidbits to further burnish his legend, and extoll his virtues as both player and person.”

A Mediabistro infographic examines how the hashtag and @JLin7 (Lin’s official Twitter) exploded. Lin went from having 45,000 followers to having more than 459,000 followers. The infographic also says, “Since #Linsanity was first mentioned on Twitter on February 4th, mentions on #Linsanity now outpace mentions of #Knicks over 2:1.”

The hashtag became newspaper and magazine headlines. Nike even put out a shirt with the phrase Linsanity.

The hashtag is being used today to report on Lin’s injury. He will be out for the rest of the season because of a torn meniscus in his knee. Twitter is buzzing with the idea of #Linsanity being over. Someone even tweeted “jeremy Lin having surgery on his #Liniscus in his knee ! no more#linsanity.” Apparently there is even a hashtag called #linsurgery. No one ever said we were the most clever at coming up with hashtags.

We live in an age where someone can become famous because of social media, and not necessarily because they are good at using, but just because people are talking about you on there, Jeremy Lin is the best example of how important it is to get people talking.

Twitter- LeBron James

LeBron James’ Twitter feed is unique. His background is a montage of pictures of what appears to be his fans.  He doesn’t tweet every day but for the most part it seems like when he does tweet he spends some time on it.  He has definitely been commenting on the NCAA tournament and seems to have a lot of opinions about who should win.  He wrote “Aaron Craft best defensive perimeter and maybe all around in college ball!” on March 22nd.  He then congratulated Ohio State on moving onto the Elite 8.  He like Ohio State a lot because he gave Urban Meyer a shout out. I think it is cool when the NBA players comment on specific parts of a college game and on March 22nd he also said he thinks the Charge Call is out of control in college.  He even talked about UK and the Blue Nation.

His interaction with fans on twitter is not overbearing like some people who retweet things each night.  He asked last night for questions and said he would answer them for fifteen minutes.  I think that is a good way to control the crazy tweets he must be getting all of the time.  He would be someone who would deal with Twitter differently than the average person.  For instance, he probably never looks at his mentions or even has the capability on his phone because of the number of tweets he gets. 

Twitter is important for people to become accessible to the fans though and I think it is helpful. He seems to use it in a good way and expresses his opinions but also gives credit to people he holds in high regard.  When it comes to his own game, he will let you know if he feels that he is disappointed in a loss.  One example is on March 3rd when he said, “Man I have a sick feeling right now! Really wanted tonight’s game. I just had to make one more dang play out there”.  This is a way to show his fans that he is a real person and cares about wins and losses. 

Christian Watford

Twitter Handle T-shirts Now Sold by the NBA

As another attempt to gain more Twitter followers and attention for their organization through social media- as if these athletes don’t already have more than enough, the NBA is now selling T-shirts with twitter handles of some of the most popular players in the league who have twitter accounts. For now their naming it an “exclusive collection”, but my thoughts are that this will be an ongoing trend as twitter continues to grow.

The only players to currently have these t-shirts for sale at the NBA store include Blake Griffin, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, Jeremy Lin, and Kevin Durrant. Each shirt consists of the teams name and logo with a hashtag on the front and the players twitter handle and number on the backside of each shirt.


The NBA must be doing something right when it comes to connecting fans with social media, the organization currently has 4,592,469 followers which is well over a million more than the NFL has. These twitter t-shirts will only contribute to the growth of their twitter platform.

This NBA isn’t the only professional sports league to catch on to the Twitter apparel idea. Major league lacrosse and also hockey have taken a stab at this type of marketing for their social media platforms as well.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of the NBA twitter t-shirts being made for other players as there are 350 active players on twitter.  The shirts both generate more revenue and promote the organization in a fun way.

@NBA

“News and Notes directly from the NBA”.  This is the description given on the Official NBA Twitter Page. At this point, almost every league has their own twitter page, using the site to connect with fans and keep people updated and the latest scores and news. So what specifically does the NBA use their page for?

When you first go to the NBA twitter page, you see that it has a simple layout. There are no enlarged photos of some of the most well-known players, or pictures of basketballs.  Instead, it is a simple black background, with advertisements for the upcoming good games, and what channels you can find them. Just below that is sort of an “encouragement” message, asking fans to use the #NBA hash tag when talking about the current games.

The NBA page just has over 4.5 million followers, and follows just under a thousand. Personally, I think that those are both good numbers, and it’s nice to see that they are making an effort to follow a somewhat large number of people. Usually, official websites do not follow that many Twitter members. Most of the tweets provided by the NBA are game updates. They have half-time and final scores for all NBA games, and they also comment if there is an impressive play that occurs during the game. The NBA also retweets things tweeted by certain athletes, whether it be a clever or informative comment, or a picture of a certain athlete at an event.

While most people see Twitter as a social media that allows fans to connect with others that they usually wouldn’t have the opportunity, the NBA twitter pages seems to be used more in an informative way. There is nothing wrong with this, and it almost seems easier to keep it this way. If fans want to interact, it would be best to interact with the TV personalities, not the league itself. The NBA Twitter Page should keep on doing what it is doing. It is easy to navigate, it isn’t too busy, and it gives the facts, making it easy for fans to follow.

Top Game- Winning Shots in NCAA Tournament History

There are a lot of things that occur during the NCAA Tournaments. Many people look forward to their team winning the tournament all together. It is celebrated as the greatest shot in college basketball history and arguably the greatest shot ever in sports. Here are 7 of the greatest winning shots in NCAA tournament history:

 

1.  Bryce Drew from Valparaiso in 1998, first Round Valparaiso trailing Ole Miss by two, seconds left to play, the leaning three-pointer well behind the arc gave 13 Valparaiso a 70-69 win.

2. Christian Laettner from Duke in 1992 East Regional Final Calvin Hill threw a  desperation 80-foot pass to Christian Laettner, who caught the ball, faked and put up a shot from the free-throw line as time expired.

3. U.S. (Ulysses S) Reed, unable to get the ball to any of his teammates and with time running out, took a desperation shot from beyond the mid-court line, left. The ball went in and Arkansas defending Louisville, 74-73.

4. With the game tied at 52 and four seconds to play, NC State’s Dereck Whittenburg flung a desperation heave.It was an airball, but Lorenzo Charles turned the miss into a dunk.

5. Keith Smart hit the winning jumper in the final seconds for the 74–73 win over Syracuse.

6. Tyrus Edney went with 4.8 seconds left and made a game-winning layup as the buzzer sounded, giving the Bruins a 75-74 win over Missouri.

7.  With only one second left in the game, Scott Burrell threw a full-court pass to George. George caught the pass, spun around and released as time expired for a 71-70 win.

 

 

And then there were eight…

As of Friday night, the field of 68 was cut to just eight.

The season started in November with 338 Division I basketball teams trying to become champions. For the eight teams still playing, they are only three games standing between them and the trophy.

The Midwest region will see arguably the most interesting matchup with UNC facing off against Kansas. The Tarheels squeaked by Ohio on Friday to get to the Elite Eight and possibly without Kendall Mashall at point guard (wrist), this game will show what UNC is made of.

The South region showcase the heavily favored Kentucky Wildcats against the Baylor Bears. Most analysts (and most of the country, except of course Hoosier fans) chose Kentucky to win it all a long time ago. Most people have already said it’s Kentucky’s title to lose. Let’s see if Baylor has anything to say about that.

The West region features the Florida Gators versus the Louisville Cardinals. This is probably the least talked about region. Florida is in the Elite Eight again this year, but are trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s loss to Butler. Louisville hasn’t gotten a lot of attention this year, so a Final Four appearance would be huge for this team. Rick Pitino hasn’t won a national title while at Louisville (but won one at UK, so Louisville will be wanting one soon). Could this be the year for the Cardinals?

Finally, the East region has Syracuse pinned against Ohio State. Both Syracuse and Ohio State started the season strong, but encountered a couple of bumps along the way. However, both teams found their way (at least enough to get to the Elite Eight). Now it’s time to see how good these teams really are. Syracuse was No. 1 for part of the season and Ohio State was ranked as high as No. 2.

Now, it’s time to cut the field in half. New Orleans and the Final Four await.

The Match Up: North Carolina Vs Kansas

This happens to be one of the most anticipated games of the NCAA tournament.  The elite 8 match up is one that players aspire to be a part of from the time the realize what the NCAA tournament is.  Dreams are realized in these games and the realization that there are only eight teams left playing this weekend is amazing to think about.  The tournament is designed to move fast and allow fans to get a lot of basketball in just a few weeks.  This particular game is going to be watched by a lot of people.

The game will come down to which team is the toughest and which team will execute under pressure. With that being said UNC faces a tough backcourt with the Kansas Jayhawks especially since UNC star Kendall Marshall is a game time decision due to the surgery repair from a broken wrist he suffered two games ago.  The question is, even if he does choose to play how successful will he be with that hand?  Injuries can have as much of an impact on the success of a team as any other factor.  The injury to a team late in the season can be a significant factor that people can’t predict.

College Experts say there is no way they will win this game without him and for the most part that seems to be true. They went into an overtime game with Ohio University and with Marshall playing in that same game, the game wouldn’t be close. Not only is Kendall Marshall one of the best point guards in the country; they are also missing a starting guard Dexter Strickland who is out for the year with a torn ACL. In order for North Carolina to win this game they will need a big game for forward Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller who has been more than capable all year.  Overall this will be a tremendous high-energy exciting game. My prediction is that Kansas will win but I can’t wait to watch the game it airs at 5 pm eastern time.