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Monthly Archives: April 2011

My Top-10 Draft Pick Predictions:

So, after writing my NFL Draft blog earlier (https://jefflangan.wordpress.com/2011/04/25/trends-for-the-nfl-draft/), I figured, why not make some predictions for how the draft is going to turn out.

These are my predictions:

1. Carolina Panthers: Blaine Gabbert, QB, Missouri

2. Denver Broncos: Marcell Dareus, DT, Alabama

3. Buffalo Bills: Cam Newton, QB, Auburn

4. Cincinnati Bengals: A.J. Green, WR, Georgia

5. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Fairley, DT, Auburn

6. Cleveland Browns: Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU

7. San Fransisco 49ers, Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina

8. Tennessee Titans: Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

9. Dallas Cowboys: Tyron Smith, OT, USC

10. Washington Redskins: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama

What do you think?

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

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Posted by on April 25, 2011 in College Sports, NFL

 

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Trends for the NFL Draft

It has been a long month and a half for football fans. Since the lockout, the only football news we have been subjected to has been news from courtrooms across the country, as well as representatives from both sides jockeying for the upper hand in negotiation.

But even with the stalemate in negotiations, we football fans have been looking forward to one thing: the NFL Draft. On Thursday, we get our first taste of the 2011-2012 season. And while mediation between the NFL and NFLPA not looking like they are going anywhere, this might be our only taste of football for a while.

Now, I do not know what is going to happen when picks start pouring. If I did, I would have submitted my picks to ESPN, and be a very rich man. Instead of giving you my picks, like everyone on the face-of-the-earth is doing, I figure I give you my five trends to look for during the three-day draft.

1. QB-Battle: This is a quarterback-heavy draft class. From Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, down to Andy Dalton and Colin Kaepernick, there eight to ten quarterbacks that could be quality starters in the NFL.

Besides the debate between who the top quarterback is, either Blaine Gabbert or Cam Newton, quarterbacks have been jockeying to get drafted before everyone else. Eight of the ten teams drafting first are in need of a quarterback, and many top-tiered teams need quality backups, or quarterbacks to train for the future. You will see a lot of teams drafting a lot of quarterbacks being drafted in the first round.

2. Who will be #1?: According to all the mock drafts out there, there have been at least ten different players that have been projected as the number one pick. Will one of those players actually be picked first? Will there be a sleeper? Those are the questions the Carolina Panthers will answer at around 8:10 p.m.

3. Trading down: Along with the quarterback position, it is a deep-draft as a whole. There are many quality players that can perform well at the professional level. With that being said, I predict a lot of teams will try and trade down to pick up more draft positions in the first few rounds.

4. Defensive-Heavy: What wins championships? Defense. Look at the Steelers, Saints, and Packers. All have a solid, and deep, defense. All teams will be looking to strengthen their defense, replacing key players, and adding depth in case a player falls from injury, which in inevitable in the league.

5. Filling holes: Another casualty of the lockout is that there is no free-agency. In February, teams look to bolster their roster by adding free agents, which could make an impact right away. Without this free agency period before the draft, teams will be looking to fill holes that would usually be filled by free agents. Since we don’t know when a new CBA will be signed, owners don’t know when free agency will start. The NFL Draft is a good start.

Hope this wets your appetite. I will be in front of my television Thursday, with my Broncos gear on, eagerly watching the draft. This could be a very long offseason. Might as well appreciate the little bit of football while I can.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 

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Why I Love the NHL Playoffs

Before the NFL lockout of 2004-2005, I was an avid hockey fan, and die-hard Colorado Avalanche fan. I was able to enjoy the Avalanche all the way on the east coast, with hockey being broadcasted on ESPN, ABC, and other television channels as well.

But the lockout changed everything.

When the NHL and NHLPA re-negotiated their Collective Bargaining Agreement, television broadcasting took a major hit. Now, I can only enjoy hockey on Verses, and sometimes NBC. And since I don’t get Verses at home, I can only watch hockey during the semester.

And with the playoffs in full swing, I am able to enjoy a lot of high-quality hockey.

This has been one of the most exciting playoffs I can remember. While watching the Canucks/Blackhawks game tonight, I heard an interesting stat. Today was the sixth straight night where a game went into overtime, and the 11th of the playoffs so far. There have only been two series-sweeps, two series-wins, and four series that are coming down to the wire.

That is why I love playoff hockey.

Playoff hockey is fast-paced, hard-hitting, and gets you to the edge of your seat. You don’t get this high quality hockey during the playoffs. This is the best-of-the-best. Everyone equally matched. You have rivalries, like the Bruins/Canadians, and interstate rivals, as in the San Jose Sharks and the Sacramento Kings.

You can’t script this stuff. The playoffs are supposed to be good, but this year’s playoffs are living up to the billing. Most, if not all of the games are being televised, so the public can watch. They are close games, with a bunch of them going into extra time. You have intensity and passion from the players, which can be felt through the television.

Let’s hope the rest of the playoffs can be this exciting.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Campus Lantern Articles, NHL

 

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Tribute to Andy Gerke

Have you ever met someone that has changed your life? Someone you will never forget? Someone you will remember forever?

Fortunately, I have.

I met Andrew Gerke a little over.three years ago. In my first season of drum corps, I didn’t know what to expect. Throughout the preseason camps, I thought I knew what drum corps was.

But Andrew Gerke turned it upside down.

He pushed us to our limit. If we were tired, he didn’t care. He kept pushing us. All summer. No matter the heat humanity, and precipitation. He had us going.

During that season, I didn’t understand why he kept pushing us.

After reflecting on my first season of drum corps, I finally got it.

It wasn’t because he didn’t like it. By pushing us, it showed that he cared about ua. He wanted us to perform at the best level that we could. He didn’t want it half-assed. No matter whether it was rehearsal, or performance, he wanted our best, all the time.

That’s what I will take from Andy Gerke. Do you best. And only your beat. Don’t settle for anything less than your beat.

From drum corps, to the real world, I always try to live up to Gerke’s standards. I never settle for less than I best. I push it in everything I do, and max everything out.

For those of you who know Gerke, I know you relect on how much he affected your life. For those who didn’t get to know him, ask yourself if you try your best 100% of the time. Do you hold yourself to a high standard? If not, try it. You won’t regret it.

4/14/09. I miss you Gerke. I think about you everyday. You won’t be forgotten.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in Random Thoughts

 

The Perfect Storm

While waiting for an oil change, I read a great article in latest edition of Sports Illustrated (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1183842/index.htm), about the financial problems of the Fiesta Bowl, which was one of the BCS bowls that was played at the end of the season.

Last year, the game which is usually played by the Big-10 champ, as well as an at-large bid, was a snorefest last year. Oklahoma dismantled UConn from the very beginning, blowing them out 48-20. The Fiesta Bowl has been a host for some of the most memorable BCS game in history. From Boise State’s ‘Statue-of-Liberty’ play against Oklahoma in 2007, to the Battle of the non-Automatic Bids in 2010, pitting Boise State against TCU, the Fiesta Bowl has been memorable.

But even with all of the memorable games, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl wanted more.

Long story short, the CEO of the Fiesta Bowl, John Junker, wrote checks to friends of the Fiesta Bowl, excessively spent money for the bowl game, and altered financial paperwork. He was promptly placed on administrative leave before the investigation, and fired after the investigation was over.

Because of these misconducts, the sanctioning body of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), the Fiesta Bowl could lose their BCS-eligibility.

The possibility of the Fiesta Bowl not staying in the BCS, and the success of this years March Madness, is creating a ‘Perfect Storm’ against the BCS, which could lead to an implementation of a playoff system in college’s most popular sport, football.

With the loss of one the most profitable bowl games, the BCS will be hurting. There has been outcry from the public that the BCS isn’t fair, and doesn’t give the smaller schools a chance to win the championship. Mark Cuban, wealthy businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has come up with his own playoff system, that is starting to get traction, which could lead to strong opposition of the BCS.

March Madness is also pushing the ‘anti-BCS’ rhetoric. In the Final Four, there are two teams that are outside of the Power-6 conferences (Big-10, Big-12, Big East, ACC, PAC-10, SEC), with one of those teams going to the finals. The underdogs have shined this month, knocking off the so-called ‘powerhouses,’ and providing excitement for fans.

This is what the BCS needs. They need a playoff system. It is unfair to the athletes, who train hard over the long summer months, and put their blood, sweat, and tears into their teams over the season, to rank them from a computer.

Having a 68-team playoffs like basketball is absurd. But a 16-team playoff would be perfect.

You have the winners of the Power-6 conferences get an automatic bid, along with the Mountain-West and Western Athletic Conference. After that, you get the top-8 teams in the BCS rankings. Seed them, then take the month of December, and play the games during the weekend. December is a dead month for college football, so you wouldn’t have to compete with many other sports for television time. You can then play the semi-finals and the finals the during the same time you play the other BCS bowl, so it would be like the BCS games anyway.

Now, the BCS will argue that they will lose money with a playoff system. But, in fact, they would gain piles of it. Think about it. I am not an accountant by any stretch, but just think of the fan support. They will buy more tickets and merchandise. TV stations would lineup down the block to get television rights for the games. And in advertising alone, you could make enough money to cover loss you would have transitioning from the old system.

So instead of making money off of five games, your making money off of 15-games.

With the BCS still deciding what to do with the Fiesta Bowl, all we have left to do, as fans, is to wonder what is going to happen. With all of the publics support, maybe the BCS will get the picture, and push for a playoff system in college football.

Agree? Disagree? Want your voice to be heard? Leave a comment below, or e-mail me at: jeff.langan.jr@gmail.com with your thoughts, suggestions of topics, or just want to talk sports. Follow me on Twitter @jefflangan, or subscribe to this blog.

I would love to hear your feedback.

 
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Posted by on April 2, 2011 in College Sports

 

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