Monday, August 31, 2009
So it's become very typical for NBA players to travel to China during the offseason. It's obvious that the NBA wants to expand its business opportunities over there, and if the NBA is going you can believe that Nike and Adidas are not far behind. Taking advantage of these opportunities, Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash traveled to China last week to do some promotions and do some charity work. While over there, Nash decided he wanted to make sure his skills on the court did not get to rusty.
So what is a two time NBA MVP to do when 3,000 miles away from home? You put on a costume and walk in on a local pickup game in the streets of Bejing. Check out this wicked costume that Steve Nash works out forhimself.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Once again, we are back and chatting with Jeremy Beynon of Heaven's Game for another edition of U.S. Rugby Chat. This week we are talking about foreign players and coaches and their impact on the American club system. Once again Jeremy brings forth is expertise on this subject, and I got the pleasure of tagging along for the ride.
Take a listen and enjoy.
Monday, August 24, 2009
It's pretty obvious that the top headline grabbers this summer have been Brett Favre and Mike Vick. However, oddly enough the similarities between the two gunslingers does not end there. Apparently both men have the ability to put an animals health in danger.
According to authorities in Winona Minnesota, a woman had a goat painted purple and gold locked in the trunk of her car and she was preparing for a sacrifice. The goat, which had a '4' shaved into its fur, was found by mechanics when the woman brought her car into a shop to have a fan belt replaced. After hearing the animal crying in the trunk the mechanics rescued the goat, where it was then turned over to authorities.
The Wiona police department have confirmed this to be a true and very accurate story. Oh, did I mention the goat was found on Friday afternoon just hours before Favre would play his first game as a Minnesota Viking.
If nothing else, this story goes to show that people in Minnesota are just crazy.
One sports scandal we're missing in the
While Charles Barkely has admitted in recent years to losing millions in Las Vegas casinos, that's about as close as we've gotten to a gambling scandal in professional sports in the US. No high-profile point shaving incidents, no players making big bets for or against their teams, nada, zilch. It's not that we're excited by the possibility, just that it seems odd that it hasn't happened of late, as you'd think mixing athletes and money would lead to all sorts of betting mayhem.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Once again, we are back and talking rugby with none other than Jeremy Beynon from HeavensGame.com. This week we get into a bit of dicey territory when we take a look at the Mid-Year report provided by U.S.A. Rugby. Take a listen and see how we interpret this massive document.
View the USA. Rugby Mid-Year Report Here.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Okay we are going to make this short and quick. Brett Favre is back. Well, I guess he never left the NFL really. Favre has boarded a plane and currently he is in St. Paul, at the Minnesota Vikings camp. Word is Favre has signed a deal worth about $12 million, and he will be on the Vikings roster in no time. According to Chris Carter he feels Brett Favre will play in Friday's preseason game. However, I don't think that will be the case, most likely he will skip the last two preseason games work on his understanding of the offsense and then make his debue in week one.
I could go deeper on this subject but really, I'm just sice of talking Favre.
Once again I had the honor of sitting down with Jeremy Beynon of Heavensgame.com to talk some American rugby. This week we discussed an interesting topic; race in rugby. While, I have never been someone to back away from the issue of race, it was actually Jeremy who brought this topic up. I'd like to think we came up with some interesting topics. So grab a drink and a seat and take a listen to U.S. Rugby Chat Episode 10 curtesy of Heavensgame.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Fights in training camp are part of football. Matter of here at Walker-Sports we like it when teams fight in camp. A good fight can give a team a spark and help them work through the dog days of summer. Most coaches when taken off the record would tell you they concur on that front.
And then there is the Oakland Raiders who can't seem to get anything right. According to reports coming from Raiders camp in Napa Valley, Oakland head coach Tom Cable found himself in an altercation with one of his assistants.
Tom Cable got into a fight with defensive assistant Randy Hanson in the hotel lobby at the Napa Valley Marriott. Police were called to investigate the incident after it was determined that Hanson's suffered a broken jaw at the hands of Raiders coach Tom Cable.
Police said that Hanson refused to press charges, and unless he changed his mind they wold not peruse the case any farther.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
As commissioner of the NFL I'm sure there are some things that cause Roger Goodell to wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. Included in Goodell's nightmare would have to be the image of players from one of his flagship franchises posing for a picture that would make the boys from Death Row Records feel ashamed considering the amount of firearms the player at carrying.
Well it looks like 14 members of the Pittsburgh Steelers made Roger Goodell's nightmare come to life. Members of the Steelers team were up in Pa, and took part of a shooting exhibition with a local police department. The day included using illegal guns that were aquried by the police department out of raids. Not that the Steelers did anything wrong, but this cannot be the image the NFL is looking for.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sometimes life is just cruel and there are not many people who know that as well as the Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton. The onetime baseball prodigy has gone to the top of the mountain, fallen down, dug his way back to the top, and with the recent images that surfaced this weekend, it appears he is back on his way to the bottom.
Everyone knows how Hamilton worked his tail off to kick a nasty drug and alcohol habit. During last year's MLB All Star game he stole the show. The hitting displace he put on during the home run derby. With that display Josh Hamilton became the feel good story of 2008. What a difference a year can make. Hamilton has spent the majority of the 2009 season battling injuries. Despite that, he was elected to the All Star game. Many groaned at this election. Now the fans has more to complain about. It appears that during off season training in January, Josh Hamilton fell off the wagon.
One night out and Hamilton showed a moment of weakness. He took up drinking, which is a bad thing considering his past. What made matters worse was someone had a camera and captured it all on film. While it may have been a temporal lapse in judgement, the images will remain on the Internet to haunt Hamilton forever.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Under a month away from the college football season and you can best believe that all of us here at Walker-Sports are bursting at the seams with excitement. That being said there is plenty of other entertainment going on in the sports world to keep us occupied till then, and of course there’s plenty enough to keep up ranting.
Tiger Woods shoots an average round to kick things off at the Buick Open then procedures to the torch the field over the next three days. Now that is what I call a slump buster…
Can’t wait till 2011 when the Mountain West Conference brings in Boise State. Then with Utah, Boise State, BYU and TCU no way the Mountain West can’t be qualified enough for a BCS automatic bid…
With Tavares Jackson suffering a knee injury, I wonder how long it will be before Rachel Nichols gets deployed back down to Mississippi?
At least the Pittsburgh Pirates trade away all their talent so they have an excuse for being horrible. What’s the Washington Nationals excuse?
I never thought I’d see the day when there was actual trash talking going on in swimming. Too bad it comes across as the lamest smack talk ever…
Another weekend another rained out weekend at Pocono…
It’s August, that means NFL training camps and with is a good training camp without a few fisticuffs…
Plaxico Burress is going to jail, that’s got to be the shock of the century. Heh…
Did the PGA just pull a LeBron of the Tiger Woods fart video?
Fedor goes to Strikforce and avoids/builds the Brock Lesnar hype just a little more…
Guess things are well in the Sunshine state with Urben Myer inking a new deal. Now how long till the Notre Dame faithful start that rumor mill back up…
Is baseball season over yet?
Boxer Rob Newbiggin seriously wants to become a woman and then fight as a woman. Now that is something I cannot even describe…
Looks like the Redskins blew it once again on a high profile free agent. Haynesworth has a bad knee and it will only get worse as time goes on…
The NFL teams taking hard lines against Twitter are just idiotic. Twitter is goes for the NFL…
Lou Holtz is thinking of running for Congress, I guess anyone can get into the Capital now days…
Is the NBA still really trying to hype Shaq vs. Kobe? That whole thing has to done with…
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Rolling our way through summer here in the United States, and we have arrived at Episode 9 of our U.S. Rugby Chat series. As always Walker-Sports has teamed up with our good friends from Heavens Game to bring you the leading voice on American Rugby. Take a listen and enjoy.
Monday, August 03, 2009
As we continue our countdown to the 2009 college football season, there is one thing we have neglected to do this point, and it may be the most important part of all of this. It’s time for Walker Sports first Top 25 poll of the year. Yall know the drill just like last season, we will be keeping you up to date with our very own version of the Top 25. Remember this isn’t the AP or the Coaches poll, we actually know what we are doing here at Walker Sports.
1) Florida Gators: This one was easy. The Gators are the defending champions and they have Mr. Football Tim Tebow back running the show. You can bet that Tebow will suit up and play linebacker if he thinks it will help Florida go undefeated and win a second consecutive national title. The only weak spot on the Gators team is at the offensive tackle position. If they can address that issue, as well as tame the wild expectations of Gatonation, then the Florida Gators will repeat as SEC and National Champions.
2) Texas Longhorns: Ask any Longhorn fan and they will tell you they were robbed last year by the BCS. Truth be told it’s hard to argue that point. For the 2009 campaign the Texas Longhorns have all the same faces back, including a hungry Colt McCoy. Unlike last season, this year Texas has gotten some favor from the scheduling gods. If Texas can maneuver an October stretch that includes Oklahoma, Missouri and Oklahoma State, they will be in the driver’s seat to win the Big 12 and earn a shot at the BCS Championship game.
3) Oklahoma Sooners: Once again the Sooners find themselves enter the season after suffering an embarrassment in the national title game. The difference is, this time around, the Sooners are bringing back all the familiar faces. Oklahoma returns Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, who is looking to repeat his exploits on the field. The Sooners have the most prolific offense in the history of college football. Oklahoma will score points in bunches this year, it’s just a matter of will they be able to beat Texas and keep the ship afloat to get back to the BCS Championship?
4) USC Trojans: There is no question that Pete Carroll has built one of the all time great dynasties of all time out in Southern California. However, the streak of seven consecutive years of 11-plus victories, Pac 10 Titles and Top 4 AP finishes could come to a crashing halt this season. Last season the Trojans were run by one of the all time great defensive units. Most of the guys on that unit will be playing on Sunday’s come fall 2009. To add to their problems, the Trojans are breaking in a new quarterback. First the first time in a long time the starting QB is not set in stone. USC will get through the 2009 season based on their overall talent and sheer athletic ability. But do not be surprised if they fail to make the Rose Bowl.
5) Penn State Nittany Lions: Penn State has a great quarterback in Daryll Clark and he will be called upon to lead the Nittany Lions through a talented Big 10 schedule. If Penn State can find any production from their receivers they could have a dangerous attack. A soft nonconference schedule will allow the Nittany Lions to remain in the top 10 for a bulk of the season, but the final month of the Big 10 schedule could prove dangerous.
6) Ole Miss Rebels: Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that starting the season at 6th in the country is a bit of a stretch, but it’s possible that Ole Miss can make some serious noise this season. In Jevan Snead, the Rebels have the best passing quarterback in the SEC (no disrespect to Tebow). Ole Miss also has a very soft nonconference that includes two FCS teams. Most importantly for the Rebels is they avoid the Florida Gators. This is especially important considering that Ole Miss was the turning point for the Gators and you can be sure they want revenge. The trick for the Rebels will be not reading their own press clippings and staying focused.
7) Virginia Tech Hokies: Virginia Tech is without a doubt the class of the ACC. Once again Frank Beamer and Bud Foster will team up to produce one of the strongest special team and defensive units in football. If the Hokies can get consistent play from quarterback Tyrod Taylor they could look to factor into the national scene. Most likely the Hokies will sludge their way through a mediocre ACC and hope for a favorable matchup in the Orange Bowl.
8) Ohio State Buck Eyes: It looks like the Buckeyes will finally lose their grip on the Big 10 this season, but that does not mean they are out of the race. Tyrell Pryor has proven to be a great quarterback, and one would expect he will only build on what he learned last season during his freshman campaign. In many ways the Buckeyes entire season rest on their week two game against USC. Beat the Trojans, and the OSU becomes a national powerhouse. Lose to the Trojans, and it’s another typical year in Columbus.
9) Oklahoma State Cowboys: I’ll make no quorums about it; Mike Gundy is one of my favorite coaches in college football. His 2009 Oklahoma State Cowboys are poised to reach heights that no Cowboys team has ever achieved. Senior Zac Robinson is in his third year as the starting quarterback of one of the best offenses in college football. The only reason most people failed to mention OSU last season was they were overshadowed by conference foes Texas and Oklahoma. In 2009, the Cowboys have a favorable schedule that brings all the big hitters to their newly finished Boone Pickens Stadium. If newly appointed defensive coordinator Bill Young can get his unit humming the way he did while in Kansas, the Oklahoma State Cowboys may be in for a special ride.
10) Cal Bears: Jahvid Best is the best running back in the nation. If it wasn’t for the likes of Tebow, McCoy and Bradford you’d be hearing about Best and his speed all season long. Nonetheless, Jahvid Best is the linchpin of a very good running attack. A rushing game that guided the Golden Bears to a nine win season last year. Cal will once again ride a solid rushing attack with a responsible passing game and find success in 2009. The key for the Golden Bears will be getting out the gates early in the Pac 10. Opening games against USC and Oregon could make or break a story book season in Berkley.
11) Boise State Broncos: Get ready for another year of watching the Blue turf on the 4 Letter Network. The Broncos reclaimed their thrown as kings of the WAC after allowing Hawaii to hold the title for a season. A 12-1 campaign that ended with a bowl game lost to TCU, once again proved that Chris Peterson is one of the great coaches in college football. After an opening hit out against Oregon, Boise State has a fairly easy schedule based on their standards. If the Broncos can stay focused all season there is a chance they could make another run at a BCS Bowl game.
12) Alabama Crimson Tide: The Tide almost put together a hell of a season last year when they jumped out to a 12-0 start. However, a 0-2 finish on the biggest stages brought Bama fans crashing back to reality. This year, Nick Saban and company will look to finish what they started. The key will be getting their offensive line to become the road graters they were at the beginning of the 2008 season. If the offensive line can open a few holes the Crimson Tide have the backs and the power running game that will chew up clock and dominate opponents, couple that with an always talented Saban defense and Alabama could be dangerous in 2009. To start the season the goal will be win the SEC and let the chips fall where they may.
13) Oregon Ducks: Chip Kelly has smoothly transitioned into the roll as head coach of the Oregon Ducks. With the transition he brings a gruff no nonsense East Coast personality that he hopes will rub off on his players. Last season the Ducks finished earned 10 victories on the field and finished ninth in the coaches poll. Kelly has already told his troops he expects to win a national championship this season. While that is unlikely the Oregon Ducks do have a chance to make a run at a Pac 10 title. The key will be getting off to a quick start against Boise State in week one.
14) Georgia Bulldogs: There is no question that the Georgia Bulldogs lost a lot of talent to the NFL over the offseason. While the 2008 campaign is considered to be a failure, the 2009 campaign could quickly become a successful one with just a few games breaking the right way for the Bulldogs. Once again the SEC East will prove to be very difficult, with their talent pool being rather shallow, I would not expect a lot from the Bulldogs. Even this 14th ranking is a bit of a preseason gift. That being said, Georgia will reach a bowl game and you will hear some faint rumblings from the Bulldog faithful.
15) Florida State Seminoles: Overall Florida State is most likely the second best team in the ACC, and most likely the best team in the ACC Atlantic. There are some hints the Noles have the talent they once showcased when they were the talk of the ACC. That being said, it will be the off the field stories that will determine the outcome of the Florida Sate season. Most likely the allegations will be enough to keep Bobby Bowden distracted from the task at hand, and most likely he will step down after the season.
16) LSU Tigers: It was not that long ago that the Tigers were one of the most feared teams in college football. Winning two national titles in five years will do that for a reputation. Last season LSU finished the season with a losing record in the SEC, but don’t expect that to be the case in 2009. The Tigers success will be based on the progression of sophomore quarterback Jordan Jefferson. If Jefferson can put it all together, and link up with senior wide out Brandon LaFell and tailback Charles Scott then the Tigers could find themselves as a player on that national scene yet again.
17) Oregon State Beavers: Last year, the Pac 10 championship was practically gift wrapped for the Beavers, but cross state rival Oregon stood in the way. In 2009 it will be tough for Oregon State to break out and earn a shot at the Pac 10 title. The main reason for a backslide will be the rebuilding of the Oregon State defense. The Beavers lost all of their starting secondary and three fourths of their defensive line. If the offense can put up some big points in the early weeks, they may be able to keep things under control while the defense plays :catch up. 18) Utah Utes Last season the Utes were robbed of the opportunity to at least compete for the BCS Championship. All Utah did was finish the 2008 season with a 12-0 record. That’s the Utes second perfect season in the last five years. In 2009, head coach Kyle Whittingham is hoping to prove to the BCS officials and the rest of the country that Utah and the Mountain West Conference are legit contenders. Despite losing some good talent, expect Utah to play with a chip on their shoulder and expect some big things.
19) Texas Tech Red Raiders: Gone are Graham Harold and all his passing accolades. But that does not mean the Red Raiders will ground their high powered attack, not as long as Mike Leach is calling the plays. Taylor Portis is the heir apparent to take over the signal caller position. He is not at Harold’s status just yet, but Portis has the potential to grow into another talented gun slinger. The biggest setback for Texas Tech is they are starting two freshmen at the safety positions. In a pass happy Big 12 conference, one does not want to find themselves hurting in the secondary.
20) Michigan State Spartans: The Spartans are deep with talent. Despite having to replace their starting quarterback and running back, Michigan State is returning 14 starters. Combine that with no Ohio State on the schedule and Michigan State has a chance to take the Big 10 title. Even if that does not work out for them, you can rest assured the Spartans will participate in a New Year’s Day game.
21) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: It’s time for Paul Johnson to prove to the nation that his version of the triple option offense can work in the big leagues. Last season, the Yellow Jackets finished the season ranked fourth in the nation in rushing. This year teams have seen and experienced the speed of this offense and will be better prepared to defend the option. The key will be can the boys at Georgia Tech throw some new wrinkles and new ideas into their scheme that will continue to keep opposing defenses guessing. If the answer is yes, then the Rambling Wreck could be in for a big season.
22) BYU Cougars: BYU is always a veteran and seasoned team that know how to play when they hit the field. You can believe the Cougars consider last year’s 10-3 runs a failure after all the national championship hype they received in the pre-season. This year the national championship talk is quiet, but if BYU can knock off both Oklahoma and Florida State in the first month of the season, you can believe they will become a network favorite to talk about.
23) North Carolina Tar Heels: Every year North Carolina has progressed under Butch Davis. 2009 the Tar Heels will look to take the next step and assert themselves on the national scene. The key to success will be finding some production out of what has been a stagnant running game. North Carolina needs to find away to avoid being drug down into the mediocrity of the ACC if they want to shine on the big stage.
24) Kansas Jayhawks: Todd Reesing is back yet again at quarterback (doesn’t it feel like he has been around forever?). The reason the Jayhawks make the Walker Sports Top 25 is because they have a great chance to win the Big 12 North. If Reesing remains healthy, then the Jayhawks have a chance to win the Big 12 North and perhaps earn a spot in the New Year’s Day game.
25) Cincinnati Bearcats: It is possible the Bearcats are the cream of the crop in the Big East. That doesn’t mean a lot, but it does mean the Bearcats have a chance at a second trip to Miami. The Cincinnati offense will be talented enough to put up some points. Tony Pike is back yet again, and he has the skills to lead the Bearcats through the treacherous Big East. Most likely the Bearcats won’t make any noise on the national scene, but they have what it takes to ruin the Big East for everyone else.