BY ZACK KELBERMAN, Feedcrossing.com syndication
While addressing reporters Wednesday, Harbaugh stated the team was never seriously interested in signing then-free agent Peyton Manning this offseason, calling it an “erroneous perception” that is “silly and phony.”
Harbaugh then went on to praise the incumbent Smith, who appeared to have one foot out the door despite reaching the NFC Championship Game in 2011.
“I’ve said it all along, Alex Smith has been our quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no scenario other than Alex choosing to sign with another team that we would have considered him not as our quarterback. It’s time to set the record straight. (more…)
BY ROSS PARCEL, Feedcrossing.com syndication
The Toronto Blue Jays have been near the bottom of the AL East for a long time. Even when they had superstar Roy Halladay, they were troubled to find success in such a powerful division. This year is different, however. Anything looks possible with the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox both hovering around .500 and upstart Baltimore Orioles leading the pack. Barring injury, the Blue Jays could contend and win the division this year. These three things are the reasons why:
The 29-year-old slugger is everything you could want in a Robin to Jose Bautista‘s Batman. He can play first base, third base, and even DH for the Blue Jays. Entering Tuesday, he has 16 HR’s and 41 RBI’s. This puts him tied for 2nd in home runs and 3rd in RBI’s in the whole league. His average is starting to creep back towards .300, sitting at a decent .274 entering the night. He is focused and on fire, which is scary for all AL East teams, especially once Bautista starts to hit. (more…)
BY WADE MCMILLIN, Couchsideshow.com editor
After two long suspensions for failing two separate drug tests, it looks as if Major Leaguer Manny Ramirez will once again return to the diamond for yet another short stint in baseball.
Except this time, the 40-year-old won’t be coming back to a marquee team. Instead he’ll lace up his cleats fore the underachieving Oakland Athletics, who rank dead last in overall offensive production, sometime next week. Will Ramirez be able to provide a spark to this dismal offense or stay clean for an entire season? It’s possible, but as my British friends say, ‘it’s not bloody likely.’
I have to believe that Ramirez can last the rest of this season without failing yet another drug test. However, it’s a stretch to think he can add much to Oakland’s pathetic offense, which is batting a majors-low .211 as a team with just 42 home runs, 162 runs and an embarrassing 384 strikeouts to 159 walks. (more…)
BY ANDREW WITTRY, Feedcrossing.com syndication
After Chris Bosh’s abdominal strain that sidelined him in Game 1 of the Eastern Semifinals, and falling behind 2-1 in the series, the Heat were thrown into a must-win scenario in Game 4. It was the first time all season that Erik Spoelstra’s squad had been in danger of being eliminated by a non-elite team (any team outside of the Chicago Bulls, Oklahoma City Thunder, and San Antonio Spurs). Their one-game deficit also marked the widespread realization of how important Chris Bosh is to the Heat. Bosh often gets discounted when it comes to the Big Three. Dwayne Wade is the long-time hero of Miami who brought a championship to South Beach. LeBron James is the four-time MVP who puts the Heat on his back night in and night out. And what is Chris Bosh? In reality he is an All-Star level talent who has 20 ppg and 10 rpg potential; however, the former Georgia Tech forward is the third scoring option in Miami and does not get the credit he deserves for the role he plays alongside D-Wade and LeBron. (more…)
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
Couch Side’s regular co-host, Craig Paul, makes his much anticipated to this week’s podcast. He joins regular host Wade McMillin for discussions about the Stanley Cup Finals, NFL Quarterback battles, the Roger Clemens trial, the NBA playoffs and sports memorabilia:
BY JESSE COLLIN, Feedcrossing.com syndication
There have been several forces working against Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton this offseason.
The first was the “Madden Cover Curse,” which Newton seemingly avoided by losing the vote to Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Now, fans are worried that Newton will fall victim to a “sophomore slump” after putting up ridiculous numbers during his rookie season. However, Newton will have the benefit of a full offseason heading into his second year – something that he didn’t have last season because of the lockout.
While Ron Rivera is certainly aware that it won’t be an easy task for Newton to duplicate his record-breaking rookie season, the Panthers head coach isn’t concerned about a potential slump for his star quarterback. (more…)
BY CHICAGO BEARS ADDICT, Feedcrossing.com syndication
“Da Man” is of course the do it all running back of the Chicago Bears, Matt Forte. The still unsigned Forte seems to be serious about not signing the contract that is on the table from the Chicago Bears, and the Bears are quite content to stand pat on their offer. There’s also the little 7+ million dollar franchise tag that is awaiting Forte’s approval. When neither side is willing to budge in a negotiation, the side with the least leverage and the most to lose has no choice but to cave. Forte has no leverage and everything to lose. The only play in this situation is to sign the long term contract the Bears are offering.
Whether you side with the player or the team, you have to look at the negotiation from a business standpoint. The revamped Bears offense will be just fine without Matt Forte. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will help out the passing game. Offensive coordinator Mike Tice and quarterbacks coach Jeremy Bates are set to install a more Jay Cutler friendly offense. And Michael Bush (a starting quality back) was brought in as running back insurance. If the Bears were to play without Forte in 2012, they’d be OK. From a financial point of view, if Forte were to hold out the 2012 season he wouldn’t be OK. Matt Forte needs the Bears far more than the Bears need Forte. (more…)
Ownerless. Starless. Penny-less.
All words, or variations of words, that describe the Phoenix Coyotes. And they never rang more true than this year, a season which saw a ragtag team of role players, veterans and second-chance seekers thrown together in the hopes of achieving something magical.
What transpired was unlike anything ever seen before in the Phoenix-metro area, the state of Arizona and the sports world across the board. A team that absolutely nobody picked to even make the playoffs mustered their way to not only a postseason spot, but a Pacific Division championship to boot.
Sure, the Desert Dogs have a few players on their roster that would be much more heralded and well-known in bigger markets, but you can count them on one hand. But for the others, this was the chance to be part of something bigger, something that would grab attention and something that analysts, fans and casuals look back on say, “Damn, that was fun.”
For nearly 100 games this season, regular season and playoffs combined, the Coyotes busted their ass in their search for glory, coming up just short as they fell to the Los Angeles Kings in five games in the Western Conference Finals. The final game of the season was as good as they get, with end-to-end action, big hits, controversy and a lively, enthusiastic crowd all thrown into the mix, creating a combustible element that seemed ready to explode at any second. (more…)
BY ZAC CORDOVA AND JUSTIN MILLAR, Feedcrossing.com syndication
• LA Dodgers: Pretender. Matt Kemp should change his nickname to “Mr. April” because he gets everyone thinking he is the best player in baseball the first month of every season. He is great no doubt, but has little help outside of Clayton Kershaw and Andre Ethier. AJ Ellis will cool off a bit, but they are too top heavy to be considered consistent enough to be a contender.
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
Couch Side baseball insider Brandon J. Smith makes his debut on our podcast to discuss the NBA playoffs, Stan Van Gundy’s firing, I’ll Have Another’s chance at the triple crown and Dallas Clark signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Smith and Couch Side host Wade McMillin also have a great baseball debate about who is the better player — Josh Hamilton or Matt Kemp. See who the pair picks as the MLB’s best by following the links below:
BY ALEX ROSE, Feedcrossing.com syndication
The day after each Oklahoma City Thunder game, the dedicated fan will grab their morning coffee and take a peak at the boxscore to see how many points Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook scored. They look to see how many blocks Serge Ibaka swatted. Maybe Durant and Westbrook combined for a massive 70 points (accomplished twice this season), or maybe Ibaka added another double-digit block game to his stash. However, when you come across Kendrick Perkins‘ name, the numbers look insufficient at best. For his career, Perkins has averaged a quiet 6.2 PPG, 6.2 RPG, and 1.4 BPG. As a member of the Thunder, his numbers seem even more anemic as he averaged just 5.1 PPG, 6.6 RPG, and 1.1 BPG in 65 games this year.
However, basketball is a game in which teamwork is hard to measure. There is no statistic that measures a player’s willingness to help their teammates succeed by doing the little things on the court. There is no statistic that measures the extra pass on the perimeter for the open 3-pointer when the defense is late to rotate. There is no measure that communicates how important a box-out can be so that a teammate can secure a tough rebound in the paint. Baseball is a game in which statistics can tell the whole story of a particular game. Teamwork is much less important. The major league baseball player is essentially left to his own skills when stepping into the batter’s box. (more…)
BY JOE WHITE, Feedcrossing.com syndication
Almost exactly a year ago I wrote this article chronicling the early season struggles of the Detroit Tigers’ bullpen. Well, here we are again. Fresh off of the Twins (the TWINS?!) dropping an 11-spot on the Tigers last night and the bullpen allowing 5 earned runs in their 5 innings of work, fans are rightfully concerned.
The bullpen has been bad but certainly isn’t entirely to blame here. The offense has been suppressed for most of the season and the starting rotation has been decent, but couldn’t be categorized as world-beaters at this point. The defense has been predictably unsuccessful but ranking 21st in fielding % is probably more than what most expected. Although the fact remains that it’s hard to create an error on a ball your range doesn’t allow you to reach.
But man that bullpen is frustrating! By the numbers it might actually be even more troubling.
Senor Slider is making his way back
Across all of Major League Baseball the Tigers’ pen ranks dead last in ERA at 5.17. Worse than even the horror show on the north side of Chicago.
As an entire staff, the Tigers are doing a decent job not walking the opposition, but as a bullpen, only 2 teams have walked more. In 116.2 innings of combined work, the ever rotating 7-man pen has walked 58 hitters. Teams are hitting .270 off of Luke Putkonen and company, which ties them for 4th worst in the bigs.
BY KYLE BLIQUEZ, Feedcrossing.com syndication
Recent history has shown successful NFL teams have two things in common: a quarterback that refuses to turn the ball over and a defense that forces turnovers. The past Super Bowl champion quarterbacks have featured Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning, all future Hall of Famers. The Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans and New York Jets have been successful lately, even with a lack of quarterback star power, because of the tenacious, blue-collar defense that has become customary in the locker rooms.
The Seattle Seahawks proved last year its defense is solid, allowing 19.7 points per game and just over 320 yards per game, good for seventh and ninth best, respectively, in the NFL. The offense hampered the team, however, and the Hawks placed 28th in yards per game and 22nd in passing yards per game. Aside from Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 12 touchdowns by himself, the team’s offense was virtually non-existent. Tarvaris Jackson is not the future of the franchise and, as much as we hate to believe, Charlie Whitehurst turned out to be nothing more than a failed experiment.
BY RICK ROCKWELL, Feedcrossing.com syndication
On April 18th, Tim Tebow was named to TIME magazine’s annual list of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”. Despite the prominent tribute from TIME Magazine, and the numerous other accolades, there’s a huge question that the diehard New York Jets fans and the Tebow critics still want answered. Can Tim Tebow be influential in helping the Jets win football games?
On March 22nd, the Jets shocked the football world, and their rabid fan base, by trading for the polarizing QB who was coming off a season where he rallied a franchise, a city, and his fans to an improbable playoff run. There were dramatic comebacks, magical moments, countless smiles, leaping tall buildings with a single bound and “Tebowing”, which ultimately resulted in a national craze known as “Tebow Mania”.
However, despite his incredible popularity and unfathomable success, the Denver Broncos didn’t waste any time shipping Tebow off to the Jets after they had won the Peyton Manning sweepstakes. Many of the players for the New York Jets were baffled because prior to the trade for Tebow, the Jets gave starting QB Mark Sanchez a contract extension to appease Sanchez after the team had flirted with the idea of signing Peyton Manning. The trade for Tebow seemed to contradict this contract extension.
Jets management quickly assured Sanchez and the fans that Mark would still be the starter. The management also declared that Tebow would be the backup QB and have special plays designed for him. Unfortunately, the trade had ruffled some feathers and a quarterback controversy looms on the horizon like a thunderstorm. (more…)
Couchsideshow.com is pleased to announce that bloggers Chuck Constantino, Trevor Gould and Brett Murdock earned their Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, Ariz., last weekend.
Constantino, Murdock and Gould spent the past four years working for the Lumberjack, NAU’s weekly student newspaper. Constantino served as the Lumberjack’s sports editor for two of his four years at NAU while Murdock proved as a solid sports reporter. Gould also served on the Lumberjack staff, covering Arts & Entertainment as well as sports. The pair join other Couch Side bloggers, Stayson Isobe, Matthew Vinsko and myself as other NAU graduates on our staff. I would personally like to thank and congratulate Constantino, Murdock, who earned print journalism degrees, and Gould, who earned a public relations degree, for their work on this website and their accomplishments in the classroom. All of you can now be proud to call yourselves GRADUATES! You’ve earned it.
Here’s a closer look at my experiences with these bloggers: (more…)
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
After two weeks off (apologies please), Couch Side host Wade McMillin welcomes in guest host Chuck Constantino to discuss the NBA playoffs, the Seattle Seahawks quarterback competition and Kyrie Irving winning the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award. Also, Wade has a very special interview with former Wyoming Cowboys center Adam Waddell. The 6-foot-10 Cody, Wyo., native talks about his playing days at the University of Wyoming, his future and what’s ahead for the Mountain West Conference.
BY MATTHEW VINSKO, Couchsideshow.com writer
Despite being a few upsets in the first round, it’s hard to call my first round predictions a failure. Who saw Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah getting injured in similarly gruesome fashions? Who knew a Memphis Grizzlies squad that impressed everyone last year would get upended by the up and coming “Lob City”? Not this guy.
Still, now that we’re onto the second round, we’re starting to see some contenders truly hit their stride, and some others happy to be here. Without further ado, here are some picks for the second round of the NBA Playoffs.
• Writers Note: I understand two games have already been played in the second round, but in my defense, I wished to wait until the first round wrapped up before writing up this article. After all, it was pretty easy to miss out on the openers when there were two Game 7s to be had.
(4) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Philadelphia 76ers
Honestly, this is not the matchup anyone expected coming out of the first round. First of all, everyone thought Rose’s injury-prone season would be refreshed in the playoffs against a very sloppy 76ers team that was lucky to make the playoffs. Secondly, even without Rose, the Bulls managed to ride a wave of success during the season, earning the best record in the conference over much healthier squads. People forget Richard Hamilton was hurt a lot too, which forced Luol Deng and the Bulls’ front court to respond accordingly, and time and again, they did.
Just not in the first round against a 76ers squad that seemed to finally get back on track. Spencer Hawes and Elton Brand were beastly down low without Noah there, and Jrue Holliday, Evan Turner, and Andre Iguodala all proved to be too much for a severely limited Bulls backcourt. The Celtics, on the other hand, struggled more than I thought they would in the first round, but still came out triumphant despite a brief Rajon Rondo suspension and an injury to Ray Allen. Kevin Garnett is playing like “The Big Ticket” of old, and it’s hard to see anyone stop this squad, especially after a comeback performance in Game 1 this past Saturday.
The 76ers have showed glimpses this postseason of what they were earlier in the season, but against a veteran team that finally seems to be hitting their stride, it’s hard to see them winning the series. I expect a close series just because the Celtics’ legs will have to get tired at some point, but in the end, the Celtics are just too much for a team who have no place being in the second round.
Winner: Boston Celtics in 6 (more…)
Remember when the Colorado Rockies of old had the Blake Street Bombers (Larry Walker, Vinny Castilla, Andres Galaraga and Dante Bichette) and still couldn’t muster many wins in the mid-90s?
Well it looks like the Rockies curse of never having any pitching has bitten the Minnesota Twins in 2013. When comparing those aforementioned Rockies teams to what the Twins are now, the similarities are quite glaring. Minnesota has a plethora of pop at the plate with players like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham, but without a decent staff of hurlers, the Twins currently sit at the bottom of the barrel in baseball. Sure, Mauer and Morneau are not the players they once were when the pair were winning MVP awards, however, this pitching staff doesn’t look even close to when the squad won six AL Central division titles from 2000-2010.
There’s a huge difference in those former rotations that carried players such as Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Eric Milton, Kyle Lohse and Joe Mays. The 2012 Twins’ starting five seem more like a hodgepodge of pitchers rather than a dominant force like the club had as little as two seasons ago. And the numbers further my case. The Twins are literally the worst team in baseball with a 8-22 record (Thursday, May 10).
So that automatically makes the pitching staff last in the league for wins and first in the MLB for losses. Furthermore, the Twins are last in the majors with a dismal 151 strikouts and are also the worst for ERA at 5.48. Minnesota is second to last for opposing team’s batting average at .287; runs at 165; and earned runs. That’s not exactly something manager Ron Gardenhire wants to write home to mom about. (more…)
BY ROBERT LITTAL, Feedcrossing.com syndication
You shouldn’t be shocked by this.
Considering everything former Portland Trail Blazers center Greg Oden has went through, it isn’t surprising that he turned to the bottle and was fighting a little bit of depression. When you have a lot of money and free time on your hand the two things you OD on are women and liquor.
Oden is a nice guy, I feel bad for him personally, but he has made more than $30 million in the NBA and hasn’t really played at all, so it’s hard to feel too bad for him. I am sure he isn’t the only athlete who has used alcohol as a coping mechanism for the good and bad things going on in their life.
Oden, who underwent five knee surgeries during his time in Portland — including three microfracture surgeries — was released by the Blazers in March. He appeared in just 82 games as a professional and hasn’t played since Dec. 2009. He spent much of his time in Portland alone or rehabilitating. All that time and freedom led Oden to alcohol, he said.
That’s because it wasn’t an NBA veteran who took Oden under his wing in his second season — it was his veteran cousin from the Air Force who moved into Oden’s house in Portland.
“If you know anything about guys in the Air Force,” Oden explained, “it’s that they drink a ton. My cousin got wrapped up in the NBA lifestyle and threw parties at my house all the time. So I got wrapped up in it too. When I played well, I’d drink to celebrate. And when I played poorly, I’d drink to forget. That second year in Portland I pretty much became an alcoholic.”
Back in June 2011, Oden’s agent Bill Duffy acknowledged that Oden had undergone “interventions” to help deal with the mental side of his injuries. He wants back in the league in 2013, but I just don’t see it happening. I wish him well and hope he does make it back, but it will and he will never be the same.
You could call this year’s rookie class of NFL quarterbacks special.
With the No. 1 pick went Andrew Luck to the Indianapolis Colts, who think the Stanford prodigy could actually be better than Peyton Manning. Then Baylor’s Robert Griffin III went off the board to the Washington Redskins, leaving D.C. fans salivating about what he might be able to bring to our nation’s capital. After that it was Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden, who were both selected in the first rounds by the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns, respectively.
Yes, this was an outstanding class of QBs and I didn’t even mention the likes of Brock Osweiler, Nick Foles or Kirk Cousins. But despite what these youngsters may bring to the NFL, I’ll be following a lesser known gun slinger when team camps get underway.
This man didn’t play NCAA Division I football or even Division II. Nope, he made a name for himself on YouTube and Div. III Monmouth College. I’m of course talking about the internet sensation, the trick quarterback, Alex Tanney. And before you dive even further into this blog, you may want to check out the following video if you haven’t already:
BY ALEX WIESNER, Feedcrossing.com syndication
I know Linsanity has already hit New York but it was short lived. After his knee injury, I think Lin will realize that he has to get himself in better shape. He openly admitted to being tired after playing in the amount of minutes he did after his promotion to the starting point guard role. Last season he averaged 18.2 points, 7.7 assists, 2 steals and 3.7 rebounds per game as a starter. I think that, if the Knicks’ make some roster changes (I want to see Dwight Howard in a Knicks’ uniform), Lin could have even better numbers. Keep in mind he doesn’t have to shoot a lot to be effective. He did shoot 44.5% last year from the field but, his best value is when he is distributing the ball. In games where Lin totaled 7 assists or more, the Knicks’ were 11-5.
Many people won’t consider Lin to be a breakout candidate but I do, and here’s why: he only played in 35 games last year, and only 25 as a starter. Lin is still relatively new to the scene and therefore, in my eyes, is a breakout candidate. If you can remember back to early February on our radio show, I called Linsanity about a week before it got mega-popular. I know what I’m talking about (non-humble brag).
BY Couchsideshow.com staff
About a week before the NFL Draft began, the folks from shopcade.com contacted Couch Side editor Wade McMillin about promoting one of their contests.
We believed it was in the best interest for this website to do so and in turn, couchsideshow.com would be promoted on Shopcade’s website. Well, that day has come! In Shopcade’s own blog, they profiled McMillin, asking him sports related predictions as well as to point out a few items he like on the website. To check out the blog/profile, click the link below to see how McMillin responded: