Archive for November, 2011
The players’ now disbanded union attorney, David Boies, decided to pull out the class action anti trust lawsuit filled in California and will opt to choose the Minnesota court system as their preferred venue. A list of top-notch players including Carmelo Antony, Steve Nash, Kevin Durant, Chauncey Billups, Rajon Rondo, Caron Butler, Baron Davis, Ben Gordon, Kawhi Leonard, Leon Powe, Anthony Randolph, Sebastian Telfair, Anthony Tolliver and Derrick Williams have jointly filled an amended an antitrust lawsuit against the NBA. For the record we must say that this is a very similar strategy to the one used by the NFL players during this last summer when the NFL team owners opted for a lockout as they were too working on a new collective bargaining agreement.
The NBA team owners began the lockout on July 1st and despite the many hours of negotiation and the promises of an imminent agreement to be reached soon, the disputes over the negotiation table are now officially finished and both parties have now decided to opt for a legal dispute. Not only that but the league has announced that the season has been canceled all the way up to December 15th, but an agreement on the distribution of the basketball related income is so far from been reached that many players are finally accepting the fate that they might have to end up playing abroad this season.
We know there will be no basketball up to mid December, which means that the better part of the first quarter of the season has been drained down the toilet and fans across the globe are starting to wonder if the there will be a 2011-2012 season at all. The last time the owners and the players went on a lockout, the NBA season began on February. This time, many believe that this season could be just as short or shorter.
The main difference between the NFL and the NBA’s lockout is that the basketball team owners have announced that two thirds of the league’s team are finishing the season with red numbers and that it’s becoming less and less financially sound to support the teams. On the other hand, basketball related income has increased each year since the last collective bargaining agreement and the players are stating that the teams are miscalculating their total income. They certainly do acknowledge that some franchises are not in an optimal financial situation but they state that it’s not more than 3 or 4 teams. The NFL teams were hoping to gain more money from the football related income, but they weren’t finishing the season with red numbers. The team owners have made an effort to keep this as the cornerstone to take away 7% of the income that the players have in their current agreement to reach a 50-50 split.
The lawsuit is holding tight on the grounds that the players have been much more lenient during the bargaining stages of the dispute, but it states that the owners have not made their part. The lawsuit reads:”Although the NBPA made concession after concession, including concessions that would cost its members more than one billion dollars over a six-year period, the NBA essentially refused to negotiate its basic 2007 demands, refusing to back off its demand for large salary reductions and harsh player restraints.”
Vince Young came in filling for the injured Michael Vick and managed to turn things around for the Philadelphia Eagles. At 4-6 for the season, the Eagles are very far away from been the dream team that many had announced at the beginning of the season. Quite the contrary, they have been quite an utter disappointment so far, but one thing is evident: they know how to break down the New York Giants and what’s more important, they’ve now done it with a undermanned team. The young quarterback who had only thrown one pass before this match (an interception, by the way) not only managed to fill in for Vick, he also orchestrated a diligent 4th quarter 9 minute play that covered 80 yards to take the go ahead point and defeat the New York Giants 17-10 on Sunday Night.
As if this wasn’t enough of a challenge for the Eagles, they also relied on a young receiver, who hadn’t had a catch all season long. The 24-year-old Riley Cooper was had 5 catches for 75 yards and one touchdown. He lived up to the expectations and finished just a hint behind DeSean Jackson who had 6 receptions for 88 yards. As a matter of fact, it was this trio of players that made that turnaround possible. Philadelphia converted six third-down plays with including one in the final winning drive when DeSean Jackson made the first-and-goal with a 10-yard catch to the 10. Vince Young would put final touches with his second touchdown pass of the game to a wide-open Riley Cooper.
The New York Giants on the other hand are starting to look a bit too much like their in-state rivals, the New York Jets. At 6-4 for the season, the Giants are showing some signs of weakness and their playoffs chances could seriously be jeopardized unless they close the season with some consecutive wins. Eli Manning had a very irregular night, completing only 18 of 35 passes for 264 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Sure enough, his 24-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz was enough to bring back the Giants into the game and tie it at 10 a piece with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter, but they still manage to lose a game against a rival that threw three interceptions.
And that’s what’s got to be bothering the younger Manning brother. Eli knew he had a very bad night, but on the other hand, so did Vince Young. The fill-in quarterback finished the night with 23 of 26 passing for 258 yards with two touchdowns and 3, yes 3 interceptions, including the one that would set up Cruz’s touchdown to tie it at 10. Then again, it was a very week performance from the Giants. Consider that Eli Manning had very little, none we could actually say, help from the rushing department. It’s like if the Giant’s runners never got going. They only threw in 29-yards for this match.
The Giants will now face the New Orleans Saints at the Super Dome on Monday Night Football. The Eagles will have to face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday afternoon at home. Stay tuned for more NFL betting news.
The thing about having a guy like Aaron Rodgers as your starting quarterback is that even if he’s not having a great game, if he’s throwing more incomplete passes than usual, he can always get back to his game just when his team needs him most. For the better part of Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Rodgers was off his game, and that was giving the Bucs enough motivation to hunt down the defending Super Bowl Champions until they were down 26-28 with little over 4 minutes to go in the fourth quarter. The pressure was on for the Packers who were quite close to losing their perfect season. But at the end, with little under three minutes to go, Rodgers connected a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson to help the Packers survive the Buccaneers in a 35-26 win.
Once again the Buccaneers made evident that some work needs to be done at the defensive end of Green Bay. The Packers weren’t really able to stop quarterback Josh Freeman and tackling running back LeGarrette Blount, a duo that kept on moving the chains against the Packs. This less then optimal performance from the defense should be enough to set off the panic alarm at the coaches’ offices. This week, head coach Mike McCarthy should have plenty of mistakes to point out during the video analysis to try to sort these issues out before their next game during Thursday Nov. 24 against the 7-3 Detroit Lions in the much-anticipated Thanksgiving match at Ford Field.
The Buccaneers have lost now four consecutive games and at 4-6 for the season they are far away from been the team that most Tampa Bay fans would dream off. On the other hand, these guys managed to stand up tall against the only lossless team left this season and the Super Bowl defending Champions. The Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman had a very decent performance throwing for 28 of 38 passes for 342 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. LeGarrette Blunt, on the other hand, leaded the rushing department with 107 yards in 18 carries including an intense 57-yard touchdown run when he simply cleared off 6 tackles from the Packers. He sure made it look easy as he brushed off the Packers defenders without too much of a hassle proving once again that they are weaker then one would expect from a 10-0 team.
Aaron Rodgers wasn’t too happy with his performance on Sunday, but things still worked out well for him. Rodgers completed 23 of 34 passes for 299 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Not exactly the numbers we’ve grown used to from the talented passer, but despite making a turnover while the game could still go either way, he pulled it off with that late pass to Jordy Nelson. At the press conference Rodgers said: “I didn’t throw the ball very well. I’m not trying to be ridiculously humble right now, I’m just frustrated. The ball wasn’t coming out the way I wanted it to today.” As of press time the Packers are a 6-point favorite on the spread for Thursday’s game against the Detroit Lions.
Blame it on Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears, but so far it seems that we might end up with an all SEC National Championship game. He was the cornerstone of an 48-25 win over the Oklahoma Sooners this weekend. The Oklahoma Sooners and it’s sister school, the Oklahoma State Cowboys were both making a strong case for the a spot into the BCS National Championship Bowl, but both Big 12 schools dropped their games this weekend, and now it seems as if it’ll be up to the perfect LSU Tigers, the 10-1 Alabama Crimson Tide to take a go at the most coveted game in College Football.
The Bears quarterback was unstoppable this weekend. Griffin completed 21 of 34 passes for 479 yards and four touchdowns, including a 34-yarder to Terrance Williams with 8 seconds left. He was also the rushing leader for the Baylor Bears with 18 carries for 72 yards. Griffin numbers were extraordinary, but so were some of the plays his team pulled off. There was one in particular that couldn’t had been better. Griffin made a powerful pass down the middle that first deflected off the hands, then the helmet of intended receiver Tevin Reese. The football went about 20 yards farther down field, and was grabbed out of the air near midfield by Kendall Wright, who sprinted to an 87-yard touchdown to make it 24-24 with over 6 minutes to play in the third quarter.
The Oklahoma Sooners had a great chance to get back in the fight for the National Championship last weekend, but now, once again and despite starting the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the Nation, the Sooners will have to settle for the Big 12 Championship and perhaps a spot in one of the BCS Bowls. It’s a little of a disappointment for Sooners fans across the Nation. For starters the Sooners had the National Championship game at stake before Saturdays game. It’s been quite a similar story all along for the Oklahoma. Great expectations once again turned into a season of underachievement.
By kickoff time, Bob Stoops and Co. knew that Oklahoma State had lost its perfect season after the Cowboys fell 37-31 to Iowa State on Friday Night. Many of us were expecting that the sister schools would play it all out on Saturday December the 3rd. Oklahoma State was a clear favorite over the then 5-4 Iowa State, but the Cyclones took advantage of their home field and sweep Oklahoma States chances at a National Championship. So that should had been a quite a spirit booster for the Sooners. Their conference rival and No. 2 Oklahoma State were down and just before kickoff, the Oregon Ducks had become a 2-loss team when the Ducks failed to pull off a comeback against USC. So right before the Sooners went out to the field, the whole scenario couldn’t have been any better: before them, they had the Baylor Bears, a team that had never managed to win a game against the Sooners and two of it’s rivals for the National Championship game had lost vital games. But then it all went south.