Saturday, September 19, 2009

Game of the Weak (Week 3)

Whoop Ass
Mike Hlas is an award-winning columnist with the Cedar Rapids Gazette and force behind The Hlog. Each week he will break down the biggest mismatch in college football. Considering the increasing number of Bowl Championship Series teams scheduling games against cupcake opponents, Mike's task is more challenging than serving as Lou Holtz's translator.

Why, Joe Paterno, why? Why do you keep scheduling Temple?

Is it to remind Philadelphia that your Penn State program is still the boss of college football in Pennsylvania?

Is it for the automatic win to pad your total for the most all-time major-college wins?

Or maybe you just enjoy beating up the little guy?

(Continue to The Wiz of Odds)

NFL Blackout: Jacksonville Goes Dark

A week after the Grill Room reported that up to 20 percent of the NFL games could be blacked out in home teams' markets this year, it looks like every host city but Jacksonville was able to escape the dark curtain this weekend.

Under NFL rules, a game must be sold out at least 72 hours in advance to be televised in the home team's local market.

Because of the challenging economic landscape, it is feared that many teams, especially those in hard-hit areas like Detroit, the Florida markets, and San Diego, might have trouble selling out home games this year.

We took our spotlight around the four NFL markets that were in jeopardy of going black this weekend, to bring light to our clientele at the GR on this dark subject:

(Continue to The Grill Room)

Manning vs. Miami on Monday Night

Needing a win in Week 2, one of the last players the Miami Dolphins want to see is Peyton Manning and his 1-0 Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. Monday in Land Shark Stadium.

True, Manning has had his struggles against the Dolphins. In fact, aside from New England, Manning's 4-7 record as a starter against the Dolphins is his worst against any NFL team.

The Dolphins have also had more success historically against No. 18 than any team in the NFL. Manning's passer rating (76.3) and minus-2 TD/INT ratio are his worst numbers vs. one team.

(Continue to Dolphins Watch)

Phaneuf Hit on Okposo ... Legal?

Scary scene in Calgary last night during a pre-season tilt between the Flames and New York Islanders. Rugged Calgary defenseman Dion Phaneuf absolutely crushed Isles winger Kyle Okposo (photo right) with a thunderous open-ice hit, and the 21 year-old was down on the ice for several minutes before being wheeled off on a stretcher.

According to the team, Okposo suffered a mild concussion, and there is no long-term prognosis on the injury just yet.

Debate is already raging as to whether or not it was a clean hit. Needless to say, you can check out the blogosphere and see that Isles backers thought it was a dirty hit by Phaneuf, while Flames fans see it is a perfectly legal blow.

If you have not done so already, check out the hit here.

(Continue to Jim Cerny's Rink Rap)

Senators Get Edge in Heatley Swap

OK, I've had a week to digest the first blockbuster trade of the NHL season, which involved two underachieving teams -- the Ottawa Senators and San Jose Sharks.

At first glance, I'm tempted to say the Senators, who lacked scoring depth behind the Big Three of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Dany Heatley, the latter of whom was shipped to the Sharks (along with a fifth-round draft pick) in exchange for forwards Jonathan Cheechoo and Milan Michalek, and a second-round pick.

Heatley, for reasons he has yet to explain -- maybe he never will -- wanted out of Ottawa, and it's never a good thing to keep an unhappy player around, no matter how talented.

(Continue to Through the 5 Hole)

UFC 103 Preview: Franklin vs. Belfort

This Saturday night won't be for the faint of heart but rather the enduring fight fans around the country as boxing and MMA go head-to-head with some of the very best their sport has to offer. Two big fights, one night, who will emerge victorious?

The UFC presents its 103rd PPV broadcast with "Franklin vs. Belfort", a catchweight bout at 195 lbs which is now being challenged by Floyd Mayweather who decided to take on the UFC and Juan Marquez on the same night. A dubious task that only the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in boxing would try to shoulder.

Regardless of what ensues, it will be an interesting night but I am here to break down the 103 card so let's get into it.

(Continue to Fighter's Corner)
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