Archive for October, 2011

Eli is an Elite Quarterback

Posted in Giants on October 31, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

In August, Eli Manning claimed that he believed he is an elite quarterback in the NFL. Fans and the media laughed at this statement saying that Eli didn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, and Aaron Rodgers. As a Giants fan with full trust in Eli Manning, I backed his statement by agreeing with him 100%. As we reach the half-way point of the 2011 season, Eli ranks fifth in the league in passing completion, third in quarterback rating, and seventh in total passing yards. Clearly these stats prove that this guy is a top five quarterback in the NFL. He is hands down the leader and the MVP of the Giants this season. With a suspect/injured receiving core, Manning has made these guys look like pro bowlers. Yesterday, Eli saved the Giants from handing the Dolphins their first win with his accurate and clutch passing. Critics believed the Giants were going to have a miserable season since they didn’t sign any big-time free agents and lost a number of key players to injuries during the preseason. But Eli has lead the GMen to have a 5-2 record and the future is looking bright for Big Blue.

As the Giants reach the gauntlet part of the season, I have confidence with this team. The defense looked suspect in the first half yesterday, but came through with a strong fourth quarter and stopped Miami on their final five drives. With Tuck back in the lineup after missing the last three games, this squad is getting healthier and stronger. Like I said at the beginning of the season, it’s better for a team to have injury problems at the beginning of the year as opposed to down the stretch. Losing Terrell Thomas in the preseason hurt for the Giants, but they had plenty of time for Aaron Ross to get accustomed to start at corner. The Giants are in Foxboro to take on New England next Sunday, followed by San Francisco then home against the Eagles. We are already know the Giants have an elite quarterback, but it’s now time to find out if the GMen are an elite team.

How do the Yankees Fix up the Team for 2012?

Posted in Yankees on October 28, 2011 by sammywestside

This guy must be a Yankee in 2012 or else the bombers are in big trouble

The 2011 season by all accounts was an interesting one for the Yankees. They often defied odds and continued to win games when many thought they couldn’t. Despite this the Yankees still fell short of their yearly goal of winning a world championship. The good news for the Yanks is that they have a lot of talent still, the problem is it’s not spread out amongst positions.

The Yankees clear fault this past season was in starting pitching, despite having a statistically successful year. In the playoffs it was hard to rely on anyone not named CC Sabathia, despite the emergence of many unexpected starters. The problem continues into the offseason as basically the entire starting staff is in flux.

The biggest issue facing the Yanks is CC Sabathia. He can opt out of his contract and is expected to do so. This could be OK as long as he stays with the Yanks. There were fears when he signed that CC didn’t want to pitch in NY, but instead somewhere out west. This fear still looms a bit despite the fact that he has openly said he loves it here. Personally I believe that CC will stay, but I am worried. The new contract that he signs will most likely be 5 or 6 years, which would extend him to age 37 or so.

Beyond CC the worries mount. Youthful pitchers Ivan Nova and Phil Hughes are certainly expected to be part of the rotation next year but both have shown inconsistency or inexperience at times. Ideally you would like these two to be your 4th and 5th starters, or 3rd and 4th at worst.

Then there is AJ Burnett. Oh AJ what do we do with you? Are the Yankees obligated to put him in the rotation for next year? Or with his time dwindling in pinstripes, is it possible they choose to not ride the AJ roller coaster another season? For now you can’t expect him to be anything but perhaps the 5th starter.

The Yankees certainly have other options in the minors, but it seems like in their best interest to make another move or a starter. The options out there will include Yu Darvish, a Japanese protegy who could be coming to the US, CJ Wilson, Roy Oswalt, or perhaps Mark Buerhle. All these options seems interesting, but we’re not sure which will be available and which are actually good viable options. We will look more into this as the offseason gets into full swing.

The Yankees bullpen looks very good right now, but look for them to make a move or two anyway. Perhaps a reliable lefty out on the market, or an affordable former closer who could help them out.

Offensively the Yankees should be picking up the options of Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. Jorge Posada might have played his last game in pinstripes so the bombers could be shopping for a DH option if they don’t plan on Jesus Montero filling that role. Otherwise it could be role players that the Yankees are shopping for. Guys like Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones were great guys for the bench and hopefully they can find guys like that again for 2012.

For now we must focus on the issues of starting pitching, and at least one solid addition must happen for them to be successful in 2012.

Rex Talks the Talk; And Finally Backs It Up.

Posted in Jets on October 26, 2011 by kfaris89

After another week of smack talk from Rex Ryan, the Jets finally decided to back his coach up with their play on the field, particularly in the second half. The first half, to be honest, was more of the same Jets that have looked sub-par at best to start the year. The offense was anemic, they had let up 21 first half points, turned the ball over on offense. Needless to say going into the second half I didn’t give them much of a chance. But the Jets defense and running game stepped up big time. If you’ve been a reader on here you know I’ve been preaching since week one the need to run the ball. And that’s exactly what the Jets did. Shonn Greene looked like the guy people expected him to be, and Sanchez managed the game well from there.

It was great to have a Plaxico Burress sighting, because despite reports otherwise, I was beginning to think he was in fact still in jail and not on the Jets sideline. But Sanchez finally used him for what he was intended for. He was a presence in the redzone, looking  in that area. He didn’t get any shorter in jail and with him getting more time in the offense and more into football shape, I expect big things from him in the second half of the year. All in all I was definitely pleased with the Jets performance this week. The defense stepped up huge in the second half when it had to, making Phillip Rivers look like Kyle Boller at times. Keep up this intensity, and the Jets will be right where they need to be come playoff time, and hopefully by the offense will be clicking on all cylinders.

Week 8 Review, Week 9 Picks for College Football

Posted in College Football on October 25, 2011 by sammywestside

Don't let USC's victory over Notre Dame fool you, Lane Kiffin is still a bad coach

Last weekend featured two huge upsets in the top ten as Wisconsin and Oklahoma went down. The Badgers lost on an epic hail mary play to end the game, while Oklahoma got out gunned by the potent passing attack of Texas Tech. These losses open up opportunities for many other teams in the top ten to compete for a National Championship. For this week’s top ten we will look to see where some teams fell to after losses, and which teams are right there for a shot at playing in the big game.

1. Alabama

2. LSU

3. Stanford

4. Clemson

5. Oklahoma State

6. Oregon

7. Oklahoma

8. Boise State

9. Michigan State

10. Wisconsin

11.  Arkansas

12. Virginia Tech

13. Nebraska

14. South Carolina

15. Texas A&M

16. Michigan

17. Kansas State

18. Penn State

19. Arizona State

20. West Virginia

21. Houston

22. Miami FL

23. Florida State

24. USC

25. Texas Tech

Ok, now we need to take a peek at this week’s games and make some predictions:

Pittsburgh 24, UConn 17

Miami FL 24, Virginia 14

TCU 31, BYU 24

Florida State 35, NC State 21

Nebraska 24, Michigan State 21

Texas A&M 31, Missouri 24

Penn State 24, Illinois 21

UNC 28, Wake Forest 17

West Virginia 35, Rutgers 21

Oklahoma 35, Kansas State 21

Oklahoma State 49, Baylor 35

Georgia 21, Florida 17

South Carolina 28, Tennessee 21

Stanford 38, USC 28

Wisconsin 31, Ohio State 20

Clemson 31, Georgia Tech 27

“Jersey Sports Fan” – Funny Stuff

Posted in Jets, Mets, Rangers, Shout Out of the Week on October 25, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

If you don’t have anything to do today, I suggest watching all of these on youtube. This guy is hilarious.

Week 8 College Football Picks

Posted in College Football on October 21, 2011 by sammywestside

Kirk Cousins will try to lead the Spartans to an upset of undefeated Wisconsin

Once again a little late on this, but last nights showdown in Arizona wasn’t exactly very fun or interesting. This weekend there aren’t a ton of big games quite yet, but the biggest for sure is Wisconsin-Michigan State. This is probably the toughest test of the season for Wisconsin, and if they get through this they are favorites to going undefeated and at worst go back to the Rose Bowl. Michigan State got slapped around by Notre Dame but they looked very good last week against Michigan. The Spartans have a great defense, but perhaps not the kind of offense Wisconsin sports.

Now onto the picks:

West Virginia 38, Syracuse 21

Clemson 31, UNC 24

Kansas State 38, Kansas 17

Oklahoma State 38, Missouri 24

Florida State 27, Maryland 17

Miami FL 31, Georgia Tech 28

Boise State 45, Air Force 21

LSU 31, Auburn 14

Alabama 31, Tennessee 10

Notre Dame 35, USC 28

Stanford 38, Washington 17

Wisconsin 27, Michigan State 24

Why Does Anyone Care about Ballplayers Drinking in the Dugout?

Posted in Yankees on October 20, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Everyone Needs to Get Over the Fact that Ballplayer Drink During Games

I am now completely fed up with this entire story. This has been a typical story that has been blown completely out of proportion by the New York and Boston media. For all of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, a few weeks ago a report in the Boston Globe came out saying that the Red Sox starting pitchers this year drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse and dugout during ballgames. Since Boston had one of the worst collapses in history, this has been a story emphasizing the laziness of the 2011 Red Sox. Today, a report from the Daily News said that back in 2002 and 2003, Jason Giambi and Roger Clemens drank in the dugout as well. Since the end of the season, these stories of players drinking during games has had baseball fans in an uproar.

Giambi and Clemens Reportedly Also Used to Drink Beers in the Dugout...So?

Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and John Lackey have been public enemy No. 1 in Boston since this story broke out. For some reason, Sox fans have made these guys the scapegoat of the epic collapse. This is absolutely ridiculous. These guys drinking had absolutely nothing to do with the Boston choking. This kind of stuff is “G” rated compared to some of the things ballplayers have done in the past (Steve Howe in the 80’s doing lines of coke in the bullpen before warming up?). This story is comical and just something the Boston Globe writers are having a fun time with. Don’t buy into their bullshit. As for the Yankees, whether it’s true or not, who the hell cares if they were drinking? Baseball is probably the only game where players can get away with it. Imagine playing hockey or football after havinga  few beers? You would throw up. But not in baseball. Think about it, David Wells pitched a perfect game still drunk from the night before. To make a long story short, everyone needs to stop reading into this crap. It’s a shame this is still the biggest story in baseball right now, even during a very entertaining World Series.

ESPN’s “Year of the Quarterback: Depth Chart” – See it Now!!

Posted in College Football on October 19, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

So I just watched the third episode of ESPN’s fall show, “Depth Chart: Year of the Quarterback.” In each episode, ESPN goes to a top-tier Division I program and films a one-hour documentary about the team’s training camp and first game of the season. In the four episodes, ESPN travels to Auburn, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin, and Arkansas. Each of these schools have one thing in common – the quarterback position is up for grabs. In each episode, we divulge into the lives of the players and coaches throughout the competition. We see how they prepare, act off the field, and how their practices go throughout training camp. We hear in on the coaches’ private meetings with the players. We also learn the history of the programs through their traditions before the start of the season.

This series has a very “Hard Knocks” feel to it, but I think it’s even better since it’s college football. Don’t get me wrong, I love “Hard Knocks,” but in “Depth Chart” we see how these student-athletes are really just 18-22 year old college kids. On the field, they have incredible talent with professional potential. But off the field they eat at the school cafeteria, go to class, and play video games like regular college kids. Even though they are “celebrities” on campus, they still go through their regular morning and afternoon activities on campus like everyone else. We also witness how the freshmen mature as they learn how to dedicate themselves to their respected programs.

Out of the three episodes that have already aired, I would have to go with Auburn’s episode as my favorite. The quarterback competition between the polished yet inexperienced junior Barrett Trotter, the former high school star sophomore Clint Moseley, and 5-Star true freshman Kiehl Frazier is incredible. The way ESPN lets us experience every crucial moment of this close competition during training camp was amazing. But tonight’s Wisconsin episode on redshirt-senior transfer Russell Wilson was also phenomenal. In other words, watch them all! If you love college football, this show will give you chills. Period.

Week 7 Roundup, Midseason Report

Posted in College Football on October 18, 2011 by sammywestside

Michigan State is at the center of attention right now with their victory over Michigan, and next week's matchup with Wisconsin

This past weekend once again wasn’t very exciting for the top ten in College Football. Everybody won, and most did it pretty impressively. In some big games in the Big Ten, Michigan and Illinois fell from the ranks of the unbeaten’s via Michigan State and Ohio State respectively. There are now only 10 unbeaten teams left and the BCS picture is getting clearer with the official release of the BCS rankings. Some teams realized that they have a lot more work to do than others. At this point its clear that the 2 pairs of teams from the SEC and Big 12 have the big advantage. Only two can stay undefeated, and if they are successful in doing so they will play for the National Championship.

The rest of the real contenders is probably limited to just Wisconsin, Clemson, Boise State and Stanford. Each of these teams needs some help from the four previous teams because at best they need only of them to finish without a loss. At this point the teams are ranked Wisconsin, Boise State, Clemson and then Stanford. The problem is the rest of the schedule for many of these teams are an issue. Boise State will likely fall behind the others if they are undefeated at the end of the year because they play such an easy schedule. Wisconsin and Stanford also have the problem of their struggling conferences this year. Clemson also plays in a struggling ACC but their non conference schedule is better than the others and might put them over the top of Wisconsin and Stanford if they finish undefeated.

Now onto my poll for this week, which I rank teams solely based on who I think is the better team, and who would beat who. That’s all. Anyway here we go:

1. Alabama

2. LSU

3. Oklahoma

4. Wisconsin

5. Stanford

6. Clemson

7. Oklahoma State

8. Oregon

9. Boise State

10. Arkansas

11. Virginia Tech

12. West Virginia

13. Michigan State

14. Nebraska

15. South Carolina

16. Texas A&M

17. Michigan

18. Kansas State

19. Georgia Tech

20. Auburn

21. Notre Dame

22. Penn State

23. Arizona State

24. Washington

25. Houston

The Islanders are 3-1, Does This Mean They’re Good?

Posted in Islanders on October 17, 2011 by EAST SIDE RYNO

Is this the year John Tavares Becomes an NHL Superstar?

So the Islanders have won three of their first four games. Am I excited? Absolutely. But I’m not going to make the same mistake I made last year when I got a little pumped too early (after I posted that article, the Islanders lost their next 14 games). But I have to admit, this team is playing well. John Tavares is starting to look like a young Steve Yzerman, while his supporting cast has been outstanding. Matty Moulson and Michael Grabner have started where they left off at the end of last season. Plus, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov have been impressive in net so far. Even in the shutout loss against the Panthers, Montoya was solid after a rough first period. Nabokov looks great in his Islanders debut against the Rangers on Saturday. With DiPietro hurt (shocker), I’m hoping this goaltending consistency continues into this upcoming road trip.

Overall, I am not surprised by the Islanders fast start. Unlike the rest of the hockey world who still thinks the Isles are a joke, I believed they would start hot. Maybe this is the year this young team can put together a strong season? Maybe John Tavares is going to have his breakout year? It certainly looks like that so far. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Islanders being 3-1 only means they’re 3-1, nothing else. Still 78 more games to go. The Islanders take on the Lightning in Tampa Bay on Thursday night.