Archive for January, 2012

Why did Ovechkin voluntarily miss NHL All-Star Game?


BY JOHN SCOTT, Couchsideshow.com contributor

Washington Capitals left winger Alexander Ovechkin voluntarily sat out of the NHL All-Star game Sunday. Photo by: Capitalpowerplay / Flickr

Last year, Sidney Crosby said he was going to miss the NHL All-Star game to protest the league’s player safety policy. As time elapsed, it was his concussion problems that kept him out of the All-Star game.

Now, the other famous hockey star, Alexander Ovechkin, decided he would not participate in the most thrilling game of the NHL season. On Jan. 23, Brendan Shanahan (Senior Vice President Player Safety and Hockey Operations) announced that Ovechkin would be suspended three games after his hit on Pittsburg Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek. Shanahan said Ovechkin “launched” himself at Michalek, leaving his feet and made unnecessary head contact.

“The moment Ovechkin launches himself into the air prior to the hit he becomes responsible for any contact to the head,” was Shanahan’s explanation for suspending arguably the league’s most interesting player. Incidentally, the NHL’s All-Star game fell right between Ovechkin’s suspended games.

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Athletes should learn from Posada


New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada retired last week after 17 seasons with the Yankees. Photo by: Jay / Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Athletes like major league catcher Jorge Posada are truly a thing of the past.

The 40-year-old backstop hung up his cleats last week, officially retiring from baseball and the New York Yankees, a team he spent all 17 years of his professional career with. Like many of the Yankee greats before him, Posada stuck out every single minute of his major league tenure in one uniform. It doesn’t happen often, but ball players who wear the Yankee pinstripes seem to know a thing or two about being faithful.

In the completely unusual instance that the Yanks actually bring up a minor leaguer from their own farm system, it seems that player will stay in the Big Apple until they’re ready to call it quits. It must be the nostalgia of the pinstripes or just the history behind the team. Whatever it is, players who come up through New York’s system are some of the most faithful athletes to one team than literally any other sport I can think of. It’s somewhat hard to believe considering the Yanks are regarded by most fans as the Sith Lords of baseball with their high-dollar spending. But the proof is out there for anyone to validate my claim.

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Couch Side Super Bowl preview: The Logistics/Prediction.


BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO & TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com

The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a rematch of 2008’s classic Giants-Patriots showdown. The Giants are coming in hot, but the Patriots are the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Couch Side Show bloggers Chuck Constantino and Trevor Gould weigh in on the matchup in part three of their Super Bowl preview.

Coaching

TCG (Trevor Courtland Gould): Bill Belichick, the most emotionless man on the planet, is a genius. His offensive and defensive schemes and strategies are unrivaled, and you would be kidding yourself to think he hasn’t forgotten about the 2008 Super Bowl loss.  There is no better coach in football.

CC (Chuck Constantino): Belichick. The man’s a genius; his adjustments and complex defensive schemes will be the difference. Plus, he is definitely still ticked about that ’08 loss.

Intangibles

 TCG: While the Giants are on fire, the Patriots are a well-run and well-oiled machine lead by easily the most brilliant man in professional football. Plus, they are out for blood after their 2008 loss.

CC: The Giants are hot and are the wildcard. Every year a wildcard team stuns the experts, and makes it to the Super bowl.  On the other hand, there is no David Tyree to make a circus catch. This one is close, but I pick the Pats, they’re too hard to game plan for.

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Bulls shouldn’t sweat loss to Heat


BY STAYSON ISOBE, Couchsideshow.com writer

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose missed two clutch free throws down the stretch in Chicago's loss to the Miami Heat on Sunday. Photo by: Derrick Story / Flickr

The Big Three versus the MVP. That was the showdown in South Beach on Sunday. The Miami Heat and the Chicago Bulls, the clear top-two teams in the East and quite possibly the entire league, squared off for the first time since their Eastern Conference Finals encounter in May. Unfortunately for the Bulls though, they came up short in the end just as they did a mere eight months ago.

Derrick Rose, the youngest player ever to win the NBA’s MVP, has openly shouldered the blame for the Bulls’ failure in the ECF. The five-game series loss ate at him alive and motivated him throughout the extended lockout-induced offseason. Even as he downplayed Sunday’s matchup against the Heatles, it was very apparent that he wanted this game bad.

In fact, up until the final 22.7 seconds of the game, D-Rose appeared to be on a mission to will his team to victory, to make amends for his “shortcomings” back in May. Rose could not be kept out of the paint, crossing his defender up and repeatedly twisting, spinning and weaving his way to the basket for layups. Then just as he had all game, he got to the free-throw line with a chance to give the Bulls their first lead of the game with 22.7 seconds left to play in the game. Yet despite a perfect 29-29 mark this season in the fourth quarter, Rose missed not only his first free throw, but his second as well, and the Bulls dropped a heartbreaker 97-93.

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Couch Side Super Bowl Preview: Defense


BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO & TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com

The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a rematch of 2008’s classic Giants-Patriots showdown. The Giants are coming in hot, but the Patriots are the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Couch Side Show bloggers Chuck Constantino and Trevor Gould weigh in on the matchup.

Defensive Line

New York Giants Defensive End Justin Tuck. Photo by: Chris Pusateri / Flickr

Trevor Courtland Gould (TCG): The Giants possess a defensive line that makes offensive lineman quake in their shoes. They are athletic, relentless, and have a mean streak to them. When Justin Tuck isn’t repping Subway sandwiches, he is wrecking havoc against opposing offenses. Linval Joseph and Chris Canty are solid tackles, and Jason Pierre-Paul has established himself as one of the premier athletic freaks in the NFL. And when one of them is tired, in comes veteran Osi Umenyiora, who is probably extra angry due to being relegated to back-up duty. This defensive line is scary.

Chuck Constantino (CC): This isn’t even close; the Giants hands down own the scariest defensive line in football. The speed and relentlessness of the front four cannot be simulated during practice leading up to the big game. These big uglies will hit Tom Brady all night.

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Couch Side Super Bowl Preview: Offense


BY CHUCK CONSTANTINO & TREVOR GOULD, Couchsideshow.com

The 2011 Super Bowl will feature a rematch of 2008’s classic Giants-Patriots showdown. The Giants are coming in hot, but the Patriots are the favorite to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Couch Side Show bloggers Chuck Constantino and Trevor Gould weigh in on the matchup.

 Quarterbacks

Tom Brady. Photo by Jeffrey Beall / Flickr

TCG (Trevor Courtland Gould):  Tom Brady, the one and only. He is too good, too clutch, and too fearless to be denied his fourth Super Bowl championship. He has established an unshakable rapport with his receivers and tight ends, and at the end of the day is one of the greatest players to ever set foot on a football field.

CC (Chuck Constantino): Tom Brady. His drive and determination are second to none. Brady holds total control of his offense and will simply play chess with the giants secondary. While Eli Manning is on fire right now, his receivers are constantly bailing him out on questionable throws. For every dime Manning throws, there’s sure to be a few more ducks.

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