Sunday, April 4, 2010

What Made the Red Sox Great?

I was trying to think to myself why I don't enjoy watching the Red Sox as much recently as I have in the past. They are still a great team with powerful personalities. However, there's always something missing. I don't think losing a big bat like Manny Ramirez was a huge loss, but not replacing him with a similar character was.

While the start of the Red Sox organization was decorated with championships, there was an 86 year drought of championships. In this time, the Red Sox had great players and great opportunities to overturn this history. However, they failed for so long. Over this time, I think the fans developed a feeling of despair. It seemed like the team would never win again and the odds were constantly stacked against the Sox.

I think that was part of the appeal of the '04 and '07 Red Sox was their ability to overcome the worst of situations. In '04, the Sox went behind in both the divisional and AL Championship series. The outlook was not favorable. There was 86 years of history against them as well. In addition, several times, the Red Sox found themselves on the brink of elimination. They needed to make a play in the last possible opportunity of the game in order to keep playing. The odds just kept getting stacked higher.

In all of this, these two teams overcame. They rose to the challenge. They were able to push aside everything that was against them to win. I've loved players and teams of the past, but these two teams in particular stand out. It's not because they won the championship, but rather they disproved expectations and sentiments that I had grown up.

Today marks the opening of the 2010 season. I don't know which characters will step up, and help the Red Sox overcome. I don't know if the Red Sox have it. But I'll be watching. I will be enjoying. I will be rooting. There is an idea that sports teams come to represent the cities and places which they are located. I don't think any team exemplifies Boston more than the Red Sox. I hope that they represent us well in this year's Major League Baseball season.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Barcelona's #4

A great analysis:
"We are not a team who play on the counter-attack. Our football is one touch, two touches. Fifteen good touches mean one chance of goal. If we want to create an attacking opportunity too quickly, we lose the ball. Without the ball, there is no control. Without control, there are no chances and, without chances, it is not Barcelona."

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Arsenal-Manchester United: In 3D

Game in 3D:
BSkyB is aiming to do for sports broadcasting what James Cameron did for cinema with special effects blockbuster Avatar, with the move to air this weekend's Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United in 3D.

The satellite broadcaster, which is showing the special 3D feed of this Sunday's Premier League clash in a handful of pubs across the country, claims it will be the first transmission of a live 3D TV sports event to a public audience
Tick tock.


Egpyt embarrassed Algeria:
Algeria ended their African Nations Cup in disgrace as they had three men sent off in their 4-0 defeat to Egypt in the second semi-final.

The Desert Foxes ended up with eight men, as Rafik Halliche (38), Nadir Belhadj (70) and goalkeeper Faouzi Chaouchi (88) were given their marching orders, allowing defending champions Egypt to run out easy winners to gain revenge for their World Cup play-off exit in mid-November last year.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Praise for Rich Rod Recruiting

National recruiting expert, Tom Lemming, had some praise for Rich Rod's recruiting class:
"It's an exceptionally athletic class," Lemming said. "It's a class full of athletes at every position. With (quarterback) Devin Gardner and (safety) Marvin Robinson, you're going to have more athletes at Michigan than in years.

"With these players, it's just a matter of time before (Rich) Rodriguez turns things around. Give him enough time, and it's a no-brainer he's going to turn things around."
Hopefully the athleticism translates to wins on the field.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paraguayan Forward Shot in the Head

Paraguayan forward Salvador Cabanas was shot in the head:
Salvador Cabanas, a forward for the Mexican team Club America, was in critical condition. He was conscious when he arrived at a hospital where he was being operated on to remove the bullet, team president Michel Bauer told Televisa network.
Sad story.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Inter Triumphs

Inter triumphed in today's Milan Derby despite having two players sent off. Manager Jose Mourinho had this to say:
“The only way we would have lost was if we had been reduced to six men,” he said. “It was very difficult but we were far better on the pitch.”
It was an impressive performance from the Neraazzurri, putting them 9 points clear in Serie A. No other top team enjoys that large a lead. It should send a message to Inter's opponents in the Champions League, Chelsea.


Jibreel Black has commited to Michigan. Here's more background:
Cincinnati (Ohio) Wyoming defensive end Jibreel Black gave Michigan an oral commitment for the 2010 recruiting class, according to and
On recruiting:
While coach Rich Rodriguez said U-M will probably take 26 in the class -- it can take one more than 25 because it was under last year, he said -- Black makes 27 and U-M reportedly is still recruiting.

That could mean that there are some players who may be uncertain whether they will qualify academically or as insurance against last-minute changes as a few players did last year, leaving U-M without recruits at a key spot: defensive line.
Should be interesting to see how things unfold.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Super Sunday of Sports

8:30 - Stoke V Arsenal
11:00 - Angola V Ghana
11:00 - Scunthorpe United V Manchester City
12:30 - Ivory Coast V Algeria
12:30 - Penguins at Flyers
2:45 - Internazionale V AC Milan
3:00 - Real Madrid V Malaga
3:00 - Jets at Colts
5:00 - Bruins at Hurricanes
6:40 - Vikings at Saints

Full day. I'll probably watch Arsenal, City, do some homework, the Milan Derby on the computer while switching between Real and the AFC Championship on TV, capped off with the NFC Championship in the evening.

Stoke v Arsenal

I was reading this great article recalling Arsenal's triumphs over Stoke in the FA Cup back in the early-70s.
Stoke fans never forgot the heartbreak caused, and the injustice that one of the most attractive sides in the country, had just one League Cup win to show for their immense talent.
I found some video:

Should be interesting to watch tomorrow. I don't think Wenger is going to play some of the star players like Fàbregas, Arshavin, Vermaelen, and Gallas. However, we might see the likes of Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, and Carlos Vela. Despite the priority in the league, I hope that Arsenal can find a way to advance. With both Liverpool and Manchester United out, it appears that Chelsea, Manchester City, and Aston Villa will be the other big competitors for the trophy and Arsenal definitely have a chance at Silverware. I hope Wenger at least puts Fàbregas and Arshavin on the bench.

Milan Derby

Tomorrow is the Milan Derby. It's one of the biggest rivalries in sports, and most certainly the biggest event in Italy:

Friday, January 22, 2010

Double Standards

One of the big stories out of Arsenal's 4-2 victory over Bolton was William Gallas's tackle on Martin Davies. Bolton Manager, Owen Coyle, dubbed it initially as "an assault." Here are Arsene Wenger's thoughts:

While I don't think the tackle, however bad it may have been, deserved the criticism it got, I think that Wenger's reasoning doesn't really hold suit. Kicking someone in football is a foul. To justify the kicking by saying other teams kick us is not correct. Yes it raises an issue here, and it is a completely valid one. However, in both cases, they are fouls and should be called and treated the same. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Return of FTR Sports

I have kind of slacked on keeping up this blog. I'm revitalizing this blog to move my sports related posts from my other blog, Shep's Universe, here.