Archive for April, 2012

Lamar Odom Ditching Reality Show To Focus On NBA Career


 BY MEDIA DAILY LA, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Lamar Odom. Photo by: David Shankbone / Flick

Lamar Odom has finally made up his mind, as Odom will ditch his E! Network reality show “Lamar and Khole” — which stars him and his wife Khloe Kardashian — to focus on his return to a NBA team.

TMZ is reporting that after the second season of the reality show ends, Odom will begin focusing on his return back to the NBA hard floor. Although Odom won’t have his own reality show, the couple — Lamar and Khole — will make appearances on the Kardashian’s family reality show “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” — a nother E! Network reality show.

It was reported back in March that Odom didn’t want to do anymore reality shows, as he believed it was missing up his game play on the basketball court.

Lamar was recently seen with Khole and his sister-in-law Kim in Brooklyn, as Lamar was teaching Kim how to play basketball, which will be featured on the new season of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.

 Be sure to check out other great articles at Media Daily LA.

LaMichael James’ Role In The NFL


BY JASON HARTZOG, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Despite having a handful of running backs already on their roster, the San Francisco 49ers selected Oregon running back LaMichael James with the 61st pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. Photo by: Neon Tommy / Flickr

With the 61st pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the San Francisco 49ers were proud to select LaMichael James, running back, Oregon.

The 49ers are now stacked at the running back position. They have recently signed Brandon Jacobs this offseason and they still have a stud in Frank Gore. Running backs Anthony Dixon and Kendall Hunter are also on the roster. I look at LaMichael as an upgrade to what Kendall Hunter brought to the table. He is a smaller back with a ton of speed. But James brings a lot more than just speed to the table.

LaMichael knows what it is like to play for a winning program … and produce. His years at the University of Oregon were very kind to him. He ran for 1,500+ yards in all three years to help the Ducks win the Pac-12 conference (formally known as Pac-10) each year. In his final season, he had four 200 yard games that helped him record a college career high of 1,805 rushing yards. This was done even after missing two games in the middle of the season due to a dislocated elbow. In his second game back from the injury he looked like he was back to his old self as he ran for 156 yards and a touchdown after being limited to just 13 carries in his first game back.

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Detroit Lions sign Boise St. QB Kellen Moore


BY CHRIS EDWARDS, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore may not have been slected in the 2012 NFL Draft, but he was signed by a team shortly afterward. Photo by: Jake Putnam / Flickr

The Detroit Lions went into the NFL draft with no immediate need for a quarterback, but with no third stringer on the roster they could afford to take a late round flyer or sign an undrafted free agent. The Lions took the latter route and signed Boise State signal caller Kellen Moore.

While Moore was disappointed, but not surprised that he wasn’t drafted he is excited for the opportunity to get a shot with the Lions.

“I’m excited, I’m getting my chance in the NFL and that is all that matters,” Moore told NFLDraftScout.com after his agent, David Dunn, reached an agreement with the Lions. 

“We had a lot of contact, a lot of teams, I really don’t even know how many teams, but a lot,” Moore said. “I like our decision. I am eager to get back there.” 

I guess that’s all you can ask for is a chance. In a league where size and arm strength define potential NFL quarterbacks no one looks at the fact that Moore is a winner. He went 50-3 at Boise State and was one of the most efficient quarterbacks in NCAA history (His pass efficiency rating of 168.98 ranks third in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision history).

I’m not saying he’s going to be a stud but Moore could be a good developmental quarterback backing up Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill.

Be sure to check out other great articles at just sports & just us .

How the West (and East) was Won: A Look at the NBA Playoff Picture


BY MATTHEW VINSKO AND BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writers

If you would have asked us this past summer who we thought would win the NBA Championship, I’m sure we would have had three answers for you: the Miami Heat, the Oklahoma City Thunder, or the most likely scenario, no champion at all.

With the lockout breathing down the NBA’s neck, it was hard to have realistic expectations for a 2011-12 NBA season.  Though the shortened schedule has led to its share of surprises (I’m looking at you, Utah Jazz), the older mainstays have managed to stay true to form and the young, upcoming teams have seemingly dominated a shorter, more physically daunting schedule (with the exception of the San Antonio Spurs; how does Popovich do it?).

Now that the regular season is over and the match-ups are set, it’s prediction time, and who better to run down the NBA playoffs than two diehard fans?  We will admit our last article was a WWE-themed article, so it’s time to pop our cherry once and for all and tackle a real sport.

Western Conference

(1) San Antonio Spurs vs. (8) Utah Jazz

Tony Parker and Tim Duncan were together for the San Antonio Spurs' last title run and will look to do the same this season. Photo by: Brit / Flickr

Matt: I was a little disheartened to see the Jazz easily dismantle the Phoenix Suns this past Tuesday, breaking the hearts of Phoenix fans while ensuring Utah’s trip to the postseason.  Now that it’s all said and done though, I have a hard time picking either of the two against the Spurs.  Though San Antonio showed last year that one-seeds aren’t unbeatable, I don’t see them losing two years in a row in first-round upsets.  Plus, Utah’s front court players (Derrick Favors, Al Jefferson, and Paul Millsap) aren’t nearly as intimidating as Memphis’ combination of Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol a year ago.  Expect a pretty lopsided series in my eyes where the veterans show the young studs a thing or two about postseason basketball.

Winner: San Antonio Spurs in 5

Brett: I spent last Tuesday night at Matt’s house, watching the Suns/Jazz battle it out for a playoff spot while simultaneously writing our Extreme Rules predictions. When the triple zeroes hit and the Suns had lost and missed out on a chance for the final berth, I was left not heartbroken nor happy, but relieved. Because I knew that I would not have to watch the Suns endure a humiliating first round exit to the Spurs, which is what the Jazz will encounter. San Antonio is a deep team, starting with their Big 3 of Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili (bleh) and Tim Duncan, the greatest power forward ever. Their bench is young and talented and the late-season acquisitions of Stephen Jackson, Patty Mills and Boris Diaw were solid. The Jazz are young but inexperienced in the playoffs and will have trouble containing the Spurs on both ends of the floor. This one should be a cakewalk for San Antonio.

Winner: Spurs in 5 (more…)


Remaining NHL playoff teams provide new, and better, look


Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne saved 94 percent of the shots he faced in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Photo by: Robert Claypool / Flickr

BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writer

Looking back on my first round NHL predictions, I got five out of the eight series correct in terms of the teams advancing (the Predators, Coyotes, Blues, Rangers and Devils). Out of those predictions, I only hit one on the head (Blues in 5) while I was barely off on the other four except maybe the Rangers, who I had winning in five but needed seven games. I was completely wrong on the Kings/Canucks, Flyers/Penguins and Capitals/Bruins.

But now looking at the second round match-ups, I can honestly say that I am still pleased with the outcomes. Not necessarily because of the games that will be provided, but because looking at the remaining teams gives me great joy because it upsets the established order that has come to define professional hockey in recent years. There are no Red Wings, no Blackhawks, no Penguins, no Bruins and no Canucks. Instead, viewers will get a nice, heavy dose of what people are not used to seeing, for the most part.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft with trades


BY JOHN HUFFSTETLER, Feedcrossing.com syndication 

Every year I make tons of mock drafts only to find out on draft day that it was primarily a large waste of time. These things are just too difficult to predict. There’s always a couple picks (exhibit A, Aldon Smith) that come out of nowhere and usually we see 5-7 trades in the first round alone. I’d say it’s more likely that someone would correctly pick every game in the NCAA tournament three years in a row before someone correctly picked the first round of one NFL draft.

That said, mock drafts are still great because you can make bets with friends, learn about the top prospects, see which teams are in good or bad positions, and narrow down those four or five guys that your team is probably targeting.

So here’s a (hopefully) interesting look at the first round of the draft that begins this Thursday night.

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be the No. 1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Photo by: Michael Li / Flickr

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford - I don’t think I need to say too much about this one. He’s the best quarterback I’ve ever seen and will be one of the next faces of the NFL.

2. Washington Redskins (from St. Louis) – Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor – This is another no-brainer. Perfect fit for Shanahan’s scheme and brings the star power that this franchise desperately needs.

3. Minnesota Vikings – Matt Kalil, OT, USC – I think that the Vikings front office will be torn between Kalil and Morris Claiborne. Claiborne is the better prospect in my book, but I think at the end of the day the Vikings will have to take Kalil to help out both Christian Ponder and Adrian Peterson. This team is rebuilding, and a franchise left tackle is a must.

4. Cleveland Browns – Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama - I think that the Browns will be intrigued by both Claiborne and Justin Blackmon, but this team needs playmakers more than another shutdown corner and it’s a deep receiver class. The running back position is becoming less and less important in today’s NFL, but Richardson is an elite talent who should have eight Pro Bowl caliber years in him. To me, the Browns have to take him.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU - Bucs fans are probably praying for Richardson to slip past the Browns, as he could make them one of the scariest offenses in the NFL, but Claiborne is still a great pick. Aqib Talib is talented but unreliable and Ronde Barber is on his last legs. Claiborne projects as a true shutdown corner at the next level. (more…)


Pushing the Envelope: WWE gets Extreme


BY BRETT MURDOCK AND MATTHEW VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com writers

After Wrestlemania, it’s hard to imagine the WWE topping itself.  After all, this year saw four hours of grappling headlined by John Cena versus “The Most Electrifying Man in Sports Entertainment,” The Rock.  It was The Rock’s first match in eight years, which garnered much hype.  But let’s be honest for a second; the event, though an instant classic, failed to live up to the buildup (and our predictions).

How do you beat a PPV headlining the returning Rock?  Well, the WWE is hoping another man returning after an eight-year absence can bring a spark in former WWE and UFC Champion Brock Lesnar.  Though he left the company on bad terms, Lesnar has returned and set his sights on Cena, who once again finds himself the underdog at Extreme Rules, set to air this Sunday, April 29.  Read on for insight from two still-closeted wrestling fans and their picks for the one night a year where the WWE goes Extreme:

United States Championship Match: Santino Marella (c) vs. The Miz

Santino Marella. Photo by: Krystal / Flickt

Matt: No one thought Santino Marella would be the dominating champ he has been since dethroning Jack Swagger a little over a month ago, myself included.  Known more for his comedic relief than his actual in-ring ability, it’s hard to take Marella seriously, especially when he’s a champion.  Still, the guy can entertain a crowd like very few can, and it’s been interesting seeing him dominating top-tier talent that he was losing to a few months ago.  The Miz, on the other hand, has been buried for the past year since his championship loss to the aforementioned Cena.  That is until this past Wrestlemania, where he pinned Zack Ryder and secured the win for Johnny Ace’s team.  So what does The Miz get for his hard work?  Why a championship match against Teddy Long’s former right-hand-man in Marella.  I can see this match going both ways, but I just have a feeling The Miz is going to come out and ride the hot hand he’s been seeing since his Wrestlemania victory.

Winner: The Miz

Brett: Santino Marella is arguably the most “over” wrestler in the WWE today. A goofy gimmick that appeals to a younger audience, he has found a way to generate interest from the older demographic as well. He won the belt in March and has held onto it ever since despite challenges that seemed to put him at a disadvantage. The Miz, on the other hand, has been stale as can be. The once-WWE Champion has been in a downward spiral in terms of being pushed and appearing on television. He has gotten some heat backstage for his antics and personality, thus leading some to believe that his downward trend is because of this. This match will be the “dark” match of the night, meaning it will not be on the pay-per-view broadcast but will be able to viewed online on YouTube. It appears that the WWE is serious about giving Santino some of the spotlight as evidenced by his recent opportunities at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and his captainship of Team Teddy at WrestleMania 28. The Miz has been buried hardcore, minus a few chances and the future does not look too bright for this once high-profile star.

Winner: Santino Marella

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Is Shane Doan the most under-appreciated athlete in Arizona sports history?


BY BRANDON J. SMITH, Couchsideshow.com writer

Phoenix Coyotes veteran Shane Doan has been in the Arizona desert for his entire 15-year career, but is he appreciated by fan in the Grand Canyon State? Photo by: Bridget Samuels / Flickr

What are the odds of Shane Doan being recognized if he walked into any random supermarket around Phoenix at any point between 1996 and 2011? I’m not sure, he’s a big guy, but you could find plenty of 6-foot-2, 220-pound bros at your local gym.  If you lined him up with Luis Gonzalez, Steve Nash, and Larry Fitzgerald, who do you think an average Arizona sports fan would gravitate to first?

Maybe at this point his popularity has increased incrementally, but over the past 15 years, given the amount of coverage the Phoenix Coyotes have received, I doubt Arizona fans have given Doan his proper due.

He’s the longest tenured professional athlete in Arizona sports today, and a last remaining member of the original Winnipeg Jets when they moved to downtown Phoenix in 1996, but I’m wondering how much he’s really appreciated overall. To give his time here some perspective, there are no current Expos with the Washington Nationals, and it’s been around seven years since that franchise moved from Montreal. You seldom get players to stick around in the same city for an extended period of time, and Doan has done it with the least popular franchise in Arizona.

How overshadowed has Doan been? Let’s think about the other three sports teams in Phoenix.

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Phoenix Coyotes advance in Stanley Cup Playoffs


Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is emerging as a leader of his team in this year's NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Photo by: Bridget Samuels / Flickr

BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writer

Heartbreak has come to define the Phoenix Coyotes in recent years. They have been plagued by ongoing ownership issues, tepid fan support and playoff disappointments. Just about when they seem ready to turn the page and start a new chapter in their history, they shut down the engine.

Well, its time to pick up the pen again as the Desert Dogs have advanced to the next round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 4-0 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game Six of their series, winning the set 4-2. They now face-off with the Nashville Predators, which eliminated the Detroit Red Wings in five games. The Coyotes series win was the first since the team moved from Winnipeg in 1996, the first time in franchise history since 1987.

This is a team devoid of top talent, relying heavily on their goaltending and team defensive structure. There are no Sidney Crosbys or Alex Ovechkins on this club. No Zdeno Charas or Shea Webers (who Phoenix will meet in the next series). No Henrik Lundqvists or Pekka Rinnes (another Predator). Nobody could’ve ever guessed that a team with Mike Smith as its net minder, 39-year-old Ray Whitney as its best offensive weapon and 20-year-old Oliver Ekman-Larsson leading the defensive corps would get to the playoffs, let alone win their division. But they did it, and have overachieved more than any team in the NHL this season.

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Adam Dunn: Back to normal?


BY SEAN HARRIGAN, Isportsweb.com syndication

Chicago Whitesox designted hitter Adam Dunn (formerly of the Arizona Diamondbacks) set a major league record for lowest batting average last year at .159. But he might be back to his former self this season, posting a .250 batting average with four home runs already. Photo by: SD Dirk / Flick

Anybody who remotely follows baseball knows that Chicago Whitesox designated hitter Adam Dunn had a historically awful season. Last season, he set a new record for lowest batting average at .159. Having only contributed 42 RBIs with 11 home runs, suffice it to say it was a massive blemish on an otherwise fantastic career.

In addition to his woes at the plate, Dunn had to go through something no pro athlete should have to endure and that’s getting booed by the hometown fans. The heckling was especially brutal following the All-Star break as the White Sox began to fall out of contention. Just having Dunn in the on-deck circle made Sox fans vocal with their disapproval that he was still suiting up every day. It also didn’t help that Dunn admitted before the season that he participates in barely any offseason training.

However, here we are in 2012 and I’m just going to put it out there, Dunn is doing very well (I’m knocking on wood of course). His BA is a bit low at .246, but he never did hit for a high average. What is important is his contributions to run production. He has 13 RBIs and that ties him for seventh in the American League. He also has hit three balls out of the park which puts him on pace to have the 30-plus home runs that the Sox paid for. I know it is very early and evaluating these stats in terms of the season doesn’t hold much weight, but I can be optimistic.

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McNabb puts himself in the Hall of Fame


NFL quarterback Donovon McNabb told some members of the press that he deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Photo by: Rick Burtzel / Flickr

BY CHRIS EDWARDS, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Since he’s been a man without a team Donovan McNabb has come off as cocky and bitter in recent interviews.

He still thinks he should be on an NFL roster and thinks it’s Mike Shanahan’s fault that he failed in Washington. Furthermore, he thinks if the Redskins draft Robert Griffin III that Griffin also will fail in Washington. He went on to say that Shanahan hasn’t won jack since John Elway hung up his cleats. While the latter is true, he keeps being smug and cocky when he shouldn’t be.

In an online interview, McNabb once again stuck his neck out for himself by saying he deserves inclusion into the NFL Hall of Fame.

“Absolutely,” McNabb said. “See, one thing that people don’t realize — I never played the game to make it to the Hall of Fame. I played the game because I love it. I played the game to win. I’m a competitor. When I step out on the field, I feel like I’m the best player on the field. Even these last two years, when people may look at it and say, ‘Oh, he’s done, or whatever.’ I’m 34, 35 years old but still, I played at the pinnacle, I played at the highest level of my career. I played there. And I would vote for myself for the Hall of Fame.” 

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NBA MVP prediction: Kobe Bryant


BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant may win the 2011-2012 NBA MVP after leading the league in scoring for almost the entire year. Photo by: Aaron Frutman / Flickr

With the NBA regular season winding down, some hardcore fans may already be pondering about who will win this year’s MVP award.

Certainly, there is a handful of superstars deserving of the honor, but the award is about more than just leading the league in scoring, rebounds or assists. An MVP has to truly be a leader, who would change the whole dynamic of their team if they were absent from the starting lineup. Think about when Michael Jordan retired from the NBA to pursue a baseball career. The following season, Scottie Pippen definitely didn’t get any MVP love and the Chicago Bulls simply weren’t the same.

So when I look at this year’s field of possible deserving candidates (in terms of what they do for their teams) for the 2011-2012 MVP award, there is really only three players — Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love — who fit that profile. The only problem is, Love’s Timberwolves have already been eliminated from playoff contention, so don’t expect him to even sniff at the trophy until Minnesota is better. And Dwight Howard’s absence from the Orlando Magic because of back spasms has only proven that he is the heart and soul of that team after Orlando slowly slipped further and further down the Eastern Conference standings once Howard started to miss more and more time.

So that leaves Kobe. Will he run away with the MVP award? Maybe not. After all, right behind him are superstars Kevin Durant and LeBron James, who rank No. 2 and No. 3 in the league, respectively, for points per game. But how much would Durant’s Thunder and James’ Heat be suffering if they weren’t there? Miami certainly could hold its own with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh running the show and you have to believe Oklahoma City could do the same with its depth.  (more…)


Mike Tyson back in the limelight with one-man Las Vegas show


BY IAN PALMER, Feedcrossing.com syndication

Mike Tyson. Photo by: Brian Wilkins / Flickr

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that former heavyweight world boxing champion Mike Tyson attracts crowds of onlookers wherever he goes. He’s well known around the world by non-boxing fans due to his controversial lifestyle and past. As a boxer, there are those who argue that Tyson was beaten in every big showdown he had, such as losing twice to Evander Holyfield as well as being knocked cold by Lennox Lewis and Buster Douglas.

But regardless of what you think of him as a pugilist, his life story is quite fascinating and this is why Tyson has opened a six-night, one-man show in Las Vegas. Tyson intends to take his act to
Broadway if it proves popular. It got off to a pretty good start on Apr. 13 when he entertained a crowd of 740 people at the MGM Grand Casino. (more…)


The Boston Red Sox: A team in turmoil


 BY LARRY UPTON, Phatz Radio / Feed Crossing syndication 

Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine may not make it the entire season in Beantown. Photo by: Nick Step / Flickr

No one’s saying it but the signs are right before our eyes. The Boston Red Sox have been a divided team.

The 25 man squad split into camps. One camp was thrilled to see Terry Francona “leave” town, another clique “upset” that he left, and still other players who just want to play baseball. Owner John Henry hires “old school” Bobby Valentine’s and despite concerns about his abrasive style, everyone hopes for the best. By the end of spring training not only players but front office staff were complaining about Bobby Valentine. Don’t know why anyone should complain or be surprised, that’s Bobby’s history.

Bobby Valentine’s been a lightning rod for trouble everywhere he’s managed. Most of it, self-imposed. The latest flap is over what he said about a Boston favorite, Kevin Youkilis. Valentine went on a local radio show and said, “Kevin Youkilis hasn’t been his old self.” The controversial manager should have stopped right there, but he didn’t. He had to add, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason!” OUCH…”Not in the game?” (more…)


Is Reds flamethrower being misused?


Despite being perhaps the best pitcher in baseball so far this season, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman is still being used as a middle reliever. Photo by: Brian Baute / Flickr

BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor

The sky looked as if it was the limit for Cuban flamethrower Aroldis Chapman when he made his Major League debut for the Cincinnati Reds two years ago.

Chapman dazzled baseball fans when he hit 103 MPH on the gun during his first outing on American soil. It seemed as if the 24-year-old Cuban Missile was destined for greatness. But injury and uncertainty plagued the young lefty early in his career. Although he tossed at speeds that are pretty much unheard of (including a 105 mile per hour pitch, which would be a Major League record), Chapman’s control was a question mark. Many predicted he would be a dominant starter, yet he couldn’t prove it to his own manager, Dusty Baker. And maybe Baker was right after he witnessed his 6-foot-4 hurler walk a disappointing 41 hitters in 50 innings last year.

But Baker better be second guessing what Chapman can do for his club in 2012. After losing out on a back-end of the rotation job to the formerly highly-touted prospect Homer Bailey in Spring Training because of control issues, Baker elected to throw Chapman back into the bullpen. The manager’s decision only proved to be a wake up call for the velocity-driven youngster.

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Couch Side Podcast — Episode 12: We’re talking ’bout playoffs


BY Couchsideshow.com staff

In this week’s episode of the Couch Side podcast, the dynamic duo of Craig Paul and Wade McMillin preview the NBA playoffs and analyze the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The hosts also discuss the Denver Broncos signing Brandon Stokley, an odd triple play and UFC 145.

Click here to stream/download Couch Side Episode 12  via iTunes

Click here to stream Couch Side Episode 12: NFL Mock Draft via our host site, TalkShoe

Click here to download Couch Side Episode 12: NFL via our host site, TalkShoe


Big Sky Basketball: NAU men find new leader in Jack Murphy


BY STAYSON ISOBE, Couchsideshow.com writer

Today, Northern Arizona University ushers in a new era in Lumberjack men’s basketball. After what seems like months of anticipation, the Lumberjacks have a new basketball coach in Jack Murphy and the hiring has received hoots and hollers that could be heard from atop the San Francisco Peaks.

So who is Jack Murphy you say? Well although he’s just 32 years of age, Murphy has a wealth of experience under his belt at both the collegiate and professional levels. He started of his career at the University of Arizona, spending eight years under Hall of Fame coach Lute Olson in a variety of positions. Hee began as a team manager, Murphy ascended up the ranks to recruiting coordinator, administrative assistant and video coordinator and finally took over as the director of operations. (more…)


Don’t count out San Antonio in the NBA playoffs


BY STAYSON ISOBE, Couchsideshow.com writer

San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich and point guard Tony Parker have won the NBA Finals before. With a possible No. 2 seed in the West Conference, the duo may do it again in 2012. Photo by: Tiago Hammil / Flickr

The NBA Playoffs are quickly approaching with just a week and a half remaining in the regular season. To think it wasn’t too long ago that NBA enthusiasts like myself were in doubt that there would even be a season.

Now everyone knows that the East is a two-team race (maybe three if you consider the resurgent Celtics a legit contender) with the Bulls and the Heat. If you’re a regular Couch Side reader or one of the few Twitter followers I have, you know which side I’m on.

As for the West, well everyone since the beginning of the season has assumed that Oklahoma City was destined to meet either Chi-Town or South Beach in the NBA Finals. Everyone assumed that the old guards, namely the Spurs and the aforementioned Celtics, didn’t stand a chance in the compressed, lockout-induced season.

But here they are, Greg Popovich’s boys in the silver and black just as they always are. With a week and a half remaining, the Spurs are just a game behind OKC for the top-seed in the West. The old guys are here and they’ve got the young, athletic Thunder in sight. (more…)


Edmonton Oilers win NHL Draft Lottery


BY IAN PALMER, Feedcrossing.com contributor

The Edmonton Oilers haven’t lived up to expectations on the ice the past few NHL seasons even though they’ve had the first overall draft pick the last two years. The Oilers will now get a chance to improve their team once again this summer as they will once again draft first overall due to winning the NHL’s draft lottery on Apr. 10.

The Columbus Blue Jackets finished the current regular season in 30th and last place in the league and had a 48 per cent chance to hang onto the number one pick overall.  However, the oilers, who finished in 29th place, had an 18.8 per cent chance at winning the lottery and hit the jackpot with it. Oilers’ general manager Steve Tambellini was obviously happy with his team’s stroke of luck and will be able to add another excellent top prospect to his roster or trade the pick for an established NHL player or two.

The Oilers already have some of the best players in the league, such as Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins thanks to the last two drafts as well as youngsters Sam Gagner and Jordan Eberle. Tambellini said if you’re in the draft lottery and have to travel to Toronto you might as well win it. He added that the franchise and its fans are really excited about the outcome and the chance of adding another young star to the squad.

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NHL Eastern Conference Playoffs: First Round Preview


BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writer

A couple of days ago, you witnessed the unveiling of my first round preview for the Western Conference playoffs. Now you have the grand opportunity to indulge in my Eastern Conference preview. Enjoy.

 (1) New York Rangers vs. (8) Ottawa Senators

 

New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist was in the NHL's top five for wins, save percentage and win percentage this season. Photo by: Gregory Manno / Flickr

The Rangers have looked like one of the NHL’s elite teams all season, and who could blame them? They have outstanding goaltending in Henrik Lundqvist, offensive firepower in Marian Gaborik, Brad Richards and Ryan Callahan and a consistent blue line presence with Marc Staal and Dan Girardi. They are a solid team all around and have the “New York” aura around them.

The Senators, after missing the playoffs last year, are back and looking to play spoiler. Led by the always dangerous duo of Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa will always look to their mainstays to guide the team. Defensively, Erik Karlsson and Sergei Gonchar hold down the fort while goalie Craig Anderson has had a decent season in net (2.84 GAA, .913 save percentage).

In order for the Senators to at least stay competitive, they will need superb play from Anderson and have a point-per-game pace from their gunners, Alfredsson and Spezza, along with Milan Michalek. And that is just not happening. The Rangers are too good on all three fronts and should pepper Anderson with enough shots from all angles to make his head spin.

Rangers in 5

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Tank time for the Philadelphia 76ers?


BY RAY HAGAN, Courtesy of feedcrossing.com

Philadelphia 76ers star Andre Iguodala is averaging just 12 points per game this season. Photo by: Philadelphia 76ers / Flickr

The Philadelphia 76ers were seen as a promising young team coming into the 2011-12 season. Thanks to a schedule-aided early season run of dominance, some national pundits began to muse that maybe this team was better than they’d given it credit for. Doug Collins was garnering talk as Coach of the Year; Lou Williams was a potential Sixth Man of the Year; and Andre Iguodala was, if not living up to his extension, at least not playing well beneath it.

Now here we sit, just after Easter Sunday, the NBA Playoffs looming and the once-promising Sixers season is unravelling faster than the mummy in Monster Squad (dated reference No. 1). There are rumblings that players want Doug Collins out, Spencer Hawes hasn’t been the same player since his return from injury, suddenly Iguodala is sniping at teammates (at least those shots aren’t missing.) And the team is clinging to its playoff life by one game against Milwaukee. (more…)


Couch Side Podcast Episode 11: NFL Mock Draft 2.0


BY Couchsideshow.com staff

The Couch Side gang of Wade McMillin, Craig Paul and Andy Paul, bring you the second edition of Couch Side’s NFL Mock Draft. Our hosts break down the rest of the first round (picks 11 through 32) to conclude Couch Side’s official NFL Mock Draft. The trio also discusses Bubba Watson’s win at the Masters. Click below to begin streaming or downloading the Couch Side Podcast, which is also now on KNWT 89.1 FM across the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.

Click here to stream/download Couch Side Episode 11: NFL Mock Draft (picks 11-32) via iTunes

Click here to stream Couch Side Episode 11: NFL Mock Draft via our host site, TalkShoe

Click here to download Couch Side Episode 11: NFL via our host site, TalkShoe

If you could like to listen to Couch Side’s top 10 picks, check out the following links for the 10th episode of Couch Side:

Click here to stream/download Couch Side Episode 10 via iTunes

Click here to stream Couch Side Episode 10 via our host site, TalkShoe

Click here to download Couch Side Episode 10 via our host site, TalkShoe


NHL Western Conference Playoffs: First Round Preview


BY BRETT MURDOCK, Couchsideshow.com writer 

Its been said that the playoffs are the real season, when the men are separated from the boys and the regular season means nothing. Well, it is that time of the year for the NHL and after a grueling 82-game schedule, 16 teams are in and ready to battle for one of sports’ most recognizable trophies — the Stanley Cup. The following is a breakdown of the Western Conference first-round match-ups, with predictions provided below each series.

 (1) Vancouver Canucks vs. (8) Los Angeles Kings

Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin led his team in points this season with 81. Photo by: VancityAllie / Flickr

Last year’s Western Conference champs, the Canucks, were a dominant force from top to bottom and appear to be at least 95% of their selves from 2010-11. They are a high-powered offensive club who prides themselves on their name and location, providing an intimidating factor. They blew through the Northwest Division and are the only team from the division to make the playoffs.

The Kings on the other hand blew their chance at the Pacific Division crown but played well enough down the stretch to be considered an upset special. They have a Vezina Trophy caliber goaltender in Jonathan Quick and nice offensive weapons in Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards, but their defense is suspect.

All in all, this should be the most entertaining series to watch with the abundance of offensive talent but the Canucks are rolling into the postseason. They are the more physical team and should wear down LA on both ends.

Canucks in 5

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Free Agent receiver Jerome Simpson sentenced to 15 days in jail


BY MM AND P, Cincyjungle.com writer

Free agent wide receiver Jerome Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail for drug charges. Photo by: Navin 75 / Flickr

According to WCPO, Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson was sentenced to 15 days in jail on Thursday, as part of a plea deal that included Simpson paying $7,500 in court fees ($5,000 can be donated to charity) and 200 hours of community service (he had already put in 50 hours).

Simpson was originally indicted for trafficking marijuana on January 19 after federal authorities allowed a “controlled delivery” of marijuana to Simpson’s front door. An eventual plea agreement between Simpson and Kenton County Commonwealth attorney Rob Sanders (aka, the prosecutor) recommended reduced time (as well as probation and community service) in exchange for a guilty plea.

Simpson is currently a free agent with a recent visit in St. Louis. Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has left the door open for Simpson’s return. There’s a good chance that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will weigh in, likely posing some sort of suspension on the wide receiver for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.

(more…)


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