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NFL Playoff Picks, First Round
Published on January 5, 2012 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my first round NFL playoff picks.

Click here to read them.


NFL Picks, Week 17
Published on December 29, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 17 NFL picks.

Click here to read them.


NFL Picks, Week 16
Published on December 22, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 16 NFL picks.

Click here to read them.


Tebow vs. Brady
Published on December 19, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I offer my thoughts on Sunday's Broncos-Patriots showdown.

Here's an excerpt:

"I like Tim Tebow. He seems like a nice enough kid, friendly and enthusiastic, sort of like a puppy dog quarterback. No, it’s not Tim Tebow I have a problem with. It’s his most ardent fans, and the ridiculous sports coverage that accompanies his every move. The build-up for the Patriots-Broncos game was intense, and I knew things had finally gone too far when ESPN posted a poll asking the utterly absurd question: 'Who would you rather have at quarterback, Tim Tebow or Tom Brady?'

Um, I’ll take the Hall of Fame quarterback with three Superbowl rings over the quirky guy with seven pro wins and the weird throwing mechanics. I mean, seriously. Why is this an actual question? Is it because people like Jerry Angelo, the general manager of the Chicago Bears Football Club, say utterly ridiculous things when asked about Tebow, such as: 'I believe that there is some divine intervention associated with what’s taking place.' Or Chuck Klosterman writing, 'His faith in God, his followers’ faith in him — it all defies modernity. This is why people care so much. He is making people wonder if they should try to believe things they don’t actually believe.' Really? Tim Tebow’s 7-2 record has the power to trigger a religious conversion? Maybe Denver just has a good defense, and has benefited from a soft schedule."

Click here to read the whole thing.

 


NFL Picks, Week 15
Published on December 15, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 15 NFL picks.

Click here to read them.


Photographing Famous Athletes
Published on December 14, 2011 by Sara Foss

Sports Illustrated photographer is best known for his pictures, but in an entertaining magazine piece he writes about what it's like to photograph Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, Tiger Woods and LeBron James.

Here's an excerpt:

"I won't do negative stories on athletes I know. Get someone else. It would destroy all trust. I want to make athletes look strong and heroic, like comic-book superheroes. Sometimes I'm the opposite of a writer, who tries to humanize them.

My top five athletes of all time? John Unitas, Arnold Palmer, Jim Brown, Michael Jordan, Joe Montana. I love Joe Montana. He's a real guy's guy. I don't know any man who would not like Joe Montana.

Jim Brown would argue he's the best of all time, of course. One time I shot him for SI when ESPN was doing its top 100 North American athletes of the 20th century. They were down to the top 10, and it was all very secretive. Jim came in with his hat on for our shoot. I figured I'd provoke him and see what happened. So my first question was, 'Are you in the top 10?' And I could just feel his hair rise.

He said, 'Top 10?!'

I said, 'You know, I think you're in the top five, Jim.'

He said, 'Name the other guys ahead of me.' And then he starts naming them. 'Michael? He played one sport. Ali? One sport. I was the greatest lacrosse player. No doubt the greatest running back.' And it's true. Jim beat everyone at everything he ever did. He truly believed he was the greatest athlete of the century—as would Michael, probably, and Ali. But Jim may be right.

As far as photography goes, Jordan and Kevin Garnett are the best I've seen in front of a camera. They never change their posture or their faces. If I put a camera up to you, you're going to worry whether you're in the wrong position or whether you look like s---. They understood the camera, and they knew they looked good."

Click here to read the whole thing.


Rooting for the Local Team
Published on December 11, 2011 by Sara Foss

In my column this week at the DG, I write about taking in my first-ever local basketball game. I enjoyed it, but did reach the conclusion that, for the most part, I hate college sports.

Here's an excerpt:

"I love basketball, but I pay very little attention to college basketball, except when March Madness rolls around and I feel compelled to Get Into the Spirit of Things. My lack of knowledge results in random and fleeting loyalties: I’m partial to underdogs, but also to schools with unusual names, and schools that happen to be playing Duke. I also like to support Siena and UAlbany, because they’re local.

So when my landlord asked whether I wanted to go to the Siena-UAlbany game, I immediately said yes, despite my general ignorance about both teams. To make the event more fun, I decided to pick a team to root for, and since my landlord went to the University at Albany, rooting for the Great Danes (great mascot!) seemed like the thing to do. 'I’ve given it some thought,' I said, 'and I want the University at Albany to win.'

'I appreciate your support,' my landlord said."

Click here to read the whole thing.


Worst Owner in the NBA
Published on December 8, 2011 by Sara Foss

The Wages of Wins Journal has selected the Orlando Magic for its worst management of the year award.

This makes perfect sense. All-Star big man Dwight Howard (who's sort of a dunce, but also a world class talent) wants out, largely because he's unhappy with his teammates. (Gilbert Arenas, anyone?) And this week Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide announced his retirement after admitting that he contacted Howard at 1 a.m., saying "I was playing paddle with friends and had a couple of glasses of wine. Maybe Dwight thought it was inappropriate to talk business after a couple of glasses of wine... Maybe I should have waited until the morning."

Yes, maybe.
Anyway, bad sports owners abound, but Wages of Wins makes a compelling case for declaring the Magic the worst management in sports. Click here to read it.

NFL Picks, Week 14
Published on December 8, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 14 NFL picks.

Click here to read them.


Thinking About the NBA
Published on December 5, 2011 by Sara Foss

Bethlehem Shoals is one of the sharpest basketball writers around, and over at the new site the Classical he offers some thoughts on the upcoming NBA season.


NFL Picks, Week 13
Published on December 1, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 13 NFL picks.

Click here to read them.


Hooray! The NBA is Back!
Published on November 27, 2011 by Sara Foss

I wrote about my sadness over the NBA lockout a couple weeks ago. Well, now the NBA is back, and I'm very happy. Games should resume on Christmas, with my beloved Celtics playing the Knicks. The lockout should benefit the aging Celtics, because they won't have to play as many games, and will hopefully be more refreshed for the post-season. Of course, I still find it difficult to believe they can beat the Miami Heat. Or even the Orlando Magic. But you never know, and now we'll have the opportunity to find out.

Also, I finally watched the documentary "No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson," about Iverson's involvement in a racially-charged brawl in Hampton, Va., while still in high school. Directed by Steve James of "Hoop Dreams" fame, the documentary suggests that Iverson was treated with a much-heavier hand than a white athlete would have been, while still raising questions about A.I.'s judgement and culpability.

The incident could have derailed Iverson's career (tried as an adult and sentenced to 15 years, he spent just four months in prison), but his talent and tenacity ultimately won out. Iverson's antics in recent years have tarnished his legacy, but the film makes it easy to remember what a compelling player he once was. Nobody played harder, or with more heart, and when he was in his prime I found it impossible not to root for him. (Especially when he and the Sixers took on the Lakers in the 2001 NBA finals.)

 (More)


NFL Picks, Week 12
Published on November 23, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 12 NFL picks. 

Click here to read them.


More Penn State
Published on November 22, 2011 by Sara Foss

This post by Mr. Awesome on Et, tu Mr. Destructo is one of the best things I've read on Penn State, although it's about much more than that.

I love the title: "Penn State: 'Did They Do Enough?' Pretend Moral Quandaries for People who Don't Know Anything." Fittingly, the post includes a picture of a serious-looking Diane Sawyer.


NFL Picks, Week 11
Published on November 17, 2011 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I make my week 11 NFL football picks.

Click here to read them.


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