Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Sister Eileen is Starring in RENT!

It is shameless promotion time! My sister Eileen has the starring role of "Mimi" in RENT at the Media Theatre just outside of Philadelphia!

The show will be running May 5 - June 6. So if you are going to be in the Philly area around that time go check it out! I will be going up there as will a large part of my family May 21-22.

Check out a preview here.

Can't wait to see the show! Break a leg Eileen!

Monday, April 26, 2010

NFL Draft Proves SEC is the Best Conference

It is not really much of a debate anymore. The SEC is the best conference in college football. While the four straight National Championships should be proof enough, the real proof comes in the NFL Draft.

Every year the NFL Draft selects the best college football players in the country. This year the SEC set a draft record, 49 league players selected out of the 255 drafted. That's nearly one in every five draft picks.

Taking a look at the 2010 draft, the next closest conference, the Big 10, had 34 players taken. The rest of the conference breakdown in the 2010 NFL Draft looked like this: ACC (31), Big 12 (30) and Pac-10 (29). (It should be noted that the Pac-10 and Big Ten have 10 and 11 teams in their conferences, respectively, so both of these conferences actually outperformed the ACC and Big 12 on a per team basis.) The SEC the conference has also led or tied for most players taken in the draft 11 of the past 13 seasons.

However, in my humble opinion I believe where the SEC has shown its true dominance is on the defensive line. Top teams all over the country have speed at the skill positions, but on the defensive line the SEC has had an overwhelming advantage. Look at the number of defensive linemen taken in the first round of the last four NFL Drafts: SEC (9), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), and Big Ten (4).

Again, the numbers do not lie.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pretty Damn Impressive

I was always a burner on the base paths when I played baseball. However, Fordham Short Stop Brian Kownacki leaped over the catcher to score a run.

One of the best plays at the plate I have ever seen. Something I don't know if I could have ever pulled off, or ever really thought of doing. I was the master of the hook slide around the catcher, but this play was way more impressive!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New NCAA Taunting Rule Has Bad Idea Written All Over It.

This week the NCAA's Playing Rules Oversight Panel has approved three rule changes for college football. Two go into effect this season and the new taunting rule starts in 2011.

The first rule change has to do with wedge blocking on kickoffs. The new rule says that when the team receiving a kickoff has more than two players standing within two yards of one another, shoulder to shoulder, it will be assessed a 15-yard penalty -- even if there is no contact between the teams. This one is pretty cut and dry and coaches should be able to make these changes on special teams.

The second rule has to do with the banning of personal messages on a player's eye black. This started with Reggie Bush writing 619 on his eye black as a nod to his hometown of San Diego and continued with Tim Tebow writing biblical verses on his eye black.

I really do not have a problem with this rule either because I personally do not care what statement you have to make on your eye black anyway, but if you just ban phrases that might be deemed offensive, that can open up a big can of worms. So it is probably best just to ban it all. I actually wanted to see someone on defense against Tebow with 666 on his eye black.

Now the rule that has most people talking is the new taunting rule. Starting in 2011, if a player is penalized for taunting an opponent on his way to a touchdown that play will be nullified. Currently, that would be a deal-ball foul and assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

But the new rule will make it a live-ball foul, meaning if a player holds the ball out in a taunting manner as he's crossing the goal line, does some type of somersault heading into the end zone or high steps his way into the end zone, the touchdown will be called back and the penalty will be assessed from the spot of the foul.

I do not like this rule change at all. To me it is way to subjective. For example, say a Tennessee player is streaking towards the end zone late in the fourth quarter for the go ahead touchdown against Florida. A Gator dives at his legs to try and trip him up and he high steps out of it and high steps the last five yards into the end zone. Is that taunting?

I do not want to be that official who throws that flag. You can just hear the outcry when the first one is thrown in the SEC. I have said this many times, one day a referee will get assaulted or even killed by fans for making a subjective call like that in a big game. I do not want that to happen, but if you put this rules into effect something bad will happen.

One thing to remember is that excessive celebration penalties won't fall into this category. So if a player is called for dancing in the end zone with teammates, that by rule is still a dead-ball foul and will be assessed on the ensuing kickoff.

This is also very subjective as well, just ask A.J Green and the Georgia Bulldogs.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ladies, A Little Manly Advice

There has been something gnawing at me for about a month and a half since my last relationship ended. I wanted to take some time and think about it so that my emotions were not all askew. I also wanted to look at what has happened to other relationships and see if I am not the only one with this idea. So ladies, here is a little advice from a man about relationships.

Ladies, DO NOT talk to your friends about a problem in your relationship before you talk to your boyfriend about it. It can only make things worse. This has happened to me on more than one occasion. A little tiff about a comment or action between a girlfriend and boyfriend can turn into an international incident once the friends get involved.

Let's say for instance you have mentioned to your girlfriend that you are looking to lose a few pounds and how you plan on accomplishing your goal. Your girlfriend then tells you how proud her doctor was that she has lost 11 pounds since she started her diet. You then reply, "Great! How much weight are you looking to lose?"

Now, I see this as an innocent question after a couple has been dating for a decent amount of time and you are both very comfortable with each other. Even after the fact that the man says he hoped that question did not offend her. Two days later, after talking it over with her friends, they all now believe that you called her a pig and you are the scum of the earth.

Look, I know that ladies are sensitive about their weight and their appearance, but you have to give a man some credit. Most men are not stupid enough to flat out call their girlfriend fat.

I understand that girls will talk to their friends about everything, but when a problem arises ladies, talk to your man before you hang him out to dry and your emotions take control. You think your friends can give you the best advice when in reality it is more like the Nuremberg Trials and the sentence has already been given.

Yes, I know it is much easier to just go to your friends and tell them what happened, but if you want a relationship to keep going communication is the key. You have to listen and talk to each other and not get your friends involved. And when I say talk, I mean TALK. Do it in person or at least over the phone, having an argument over text or IM is just plain gutless.

I hope I shed a little light on the subject.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Nick Stephens leaves Tennessee

It looks like the choice for starting quarterback just got a little easier. Fifth year quarterback Nick Stephens quit the team with a little over a week left in spring practice.

Stephens was frustrated with his loss of first team snaps during the course of spring practice. In his first scrimmage he did not perform very well (none of the quarterbacks really did) and Derek Dooley took away some of his snaps with the first team. It looks like he will probably go somewhere he can land a sure starting position, most likely in his home state of Texas.

His departure leaves junior college transfer Matt Simms as the leading candidate to succeed Jonathan Crompton as UT's starting quarterback. He will compete with freshman Tyler Bray, who, like Simms, was given more practice reps with the first team Tuesday, after the coaches evaluated last Saturday's scrimmage.

Stephens is the third prominent member of the Vols to leave this spring. Sophomore running back Bryce Brown left but his status is still up in the air, and sophomore Aaron Douglas, the only returning starter in the offensive line, quit the team for personal reasons.

Coach Derek Dooley remains optimistic about the team, but it has been really tough looking how the team will perform this fall. I have confidence in Bray and Simms, but they have not experienced the SEC wars. Losing Douglas is still the big one since he was the only starter left on the offensive line. No matter how great your quarterback is, if the defensive is in the backfield by the time he drops back to pass, he won't get it off.

I still remain confident in coach Dooley and his ability to rebuild the Vols, but it might take a few seasons to get the wins back up to where fans on Rocky Top want them. No matter how bad the situation gets, do not give up on the Vols!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Baseball Opening Day

As much as I love football, and eagerly await the kickoff to the new season, there is still something magic about Opening Day of the baseball season!

Everyone starts fresh and even my Orioles appear to have a shot of being a contender each Opening Day! Then the next day they are back to being awful. It's the smell of fresh grass, hot dogs, beer, and peanuts, it's hearing "Play Ball," "God Bless America," and "Take Me Out To the Ball Game" and knowing that America's pastime is back for another year.

I remember Opening Day for Little League in the small town of Perrysburg, Ohio where I went to elementary school. All us kids were in our new uniforms, we all got to play a quick game, and one year I got a huge ovation as I dropped the police chief in the dunk tank twice.

Yes, football is still my favorite. However, there will always be a special place in my heart for baseball and Opening Day.

As for this season, the Orioles will improve a little from last year, but still finish forth in their division. World Series Pick: Phillies over the Yankees.

Take me out to the Ball Game!