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Some interesting tidbits on the Madness that is March Madness
The Big Dance, March Madness, the Field of 68, whatever you call it, it’s definitely one of the most interesting sports tournaments in the U.S., if not the world. 68 college basketball teams are scrutinized, speculated, and seeded into 4 regions; The East, South, Midwest and West. After the teams get ranked from 1-16 and face each other in a single elimination college basketball tournament, only one team is eventually crowned the NCAA tournament champion. The tournament is really popular and is shown on 4 TV stations, CBS, TNT, TBS and TRUTV, live. Last year, the tournament had its best ratings in over 19 years with over 10.7 television viewers tuning in to watch! Viewership is not the only thing that is popular with fans of the NCAA tournament, what’s also popular you say? Betting, and a lot of it; Over 12 billion dollars will be bet on all of the NCAA tournament games, that’s 2 billion dollars more than gets bet on the Super Bowl. One of the reasons the viewership has gone up, In my opinion, is the availability of the games. Back as late as 3-4 years ago, you couldn’t see all of the games, because CBS would only broadcast the games on their main channel. CBS would also only show some games on one other channel, like ESPN. However, CBS fine tuned this arrangement and has spread all of the NCAA tournament games over 4 readily available cable channels, the aforementioned CBS, TNT, TBS and TRUTV. Another interesting aspect is the internet. Fans can login to http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness and watch all the games on their computer as long as they have an internet connection, this brings even more viewership and excitement in.
This year’s Final Four and East Regional
The Eastern Regional is at Madison Square Garden March 28 and 30th. This is the first time that MSG has been used as an NCAA Tournament venue and the first time in 63 years that tournament games have been held in New York City. This year’s Final Four will be held in Arlington, TX at Dallas Cowboys Stadium. This is also the only the 2nd time in over 25 years the NCAA Final Four has been held near Dallas; last time was 1986. The Court will be set up in the center of the enormous stadium and will feature 4 of the remaining teams of the 68 team NCAA Tournament. As of the writing of this article 16 teams remain including Florida, Kentucky, Wisconsin, San Diego State, Virginia, Stanford, Dayton, UConn, UCLA, Stanford, Michigan State, Iowa State, Arizona, Baylor, Louisville, and Tennessee.
Tanking, everyone is talking about it…Is it the NBA’s biggest problem, is it a solution if your team is bad, or is it a necessary evil? I’d have to go with option 2 and 3, a necessary evil if you have been locked in the NBA basement for years and also a solution to get out of the basement. One of the teams that are being talked about a lot this year is the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers finished last season with a 34-48 record and missed the NBA playoffs by a few games. The team ended the season with a lot of question marks, would young guards like Jrue Holiday and Evan Turner ever become superstars? Would Spencer Hawes ever be a top 5-10 center in the league? Will the team with its current roster ever make it past the first round of the NBA playoffs? Well, Joshua Harris and the rest of his ownership group, who bought the Sixers from Comcast-Spectacor back in 2011, answered all these questions with an emphatic, NO. The first big move was trading Jrue Holiday to the New Orleans Pelicans, at the beginning of the season for the 6th pick in the 2013 draft, Nerlens Noel and a 2014 first-round pick. This allowed the Sixers to get a top rookie from the 2013 draft and possibly a top 10 pick in the 2014 talent laden draft. The Sixers also decided to trade Holiday, when they realized that rookie Michael Carter-Williams was probably a better point guard already. The second big move was to trade Spencer Hawes to Cleveland for 2 2nd round picks, Earl Clark, and Henry Sims. The third and final move sent Evan Turner and Lavoy Allen to the Pacers for Danny Granger and his expiring contract. The disappointed Granger refused to play for the Sixers, and so they bought out his contract and Granger decided to sign with the Clippers. After the smoke cleared, the Sixers then went on a tanking tear. The Sixers lost 17 straight games, getting them that much closer to a top 4 pick in the 2014 NBA draft. If tanking were an art form, GM Sam Hinkie and the Sixers ownership are Pablo Picasso. If you disagree with what they are doing, then what should the 76ers have done? Should the Sixers keep hovering around the .500 mark, sometimes making it to the playoffs with a few above average players like Turner and Holiday? I’d say no, and the proof is in the pudding…When was the last time the 76ers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals? And notice how I Said Eastern Conference finals, NOT, the NBA championship? Let me give you a hint, it was the last time they had a Superstar, and that Superstar was honored in a game against the Washington Wizards on March 1st at the Wells Fargo Center. Still don’t know? The last time was 13 years ago in 2001 when the Sixers had Allen Iverson in the prime of his career, sell out crowds, and a defense preaching coach in Larry Brown. From 1991 to 1998 the Sixers didn’t make the playoffs, they were bad, really bad, until they finally got a draft pick right, and in 1996 drafted Iverson. What does this tell you? It tells you that for the Sixers to compete they need to draft a superstar, and what better way to have a chance at drafting a superstar then trading away pretty good players for top draft picks. Why shoot NBA draft darts for over 7 years, like they did in the 1990’s? Accelerate the process, get better faster and yes TANK, tank away Sixers. Next week I’ll take a look at some of the solutions to ending this as a solution!
Recently, Richard Sherman of the Super bowl champion Seattle Seahawks went off about the San Francisco 49er’s Michael Crabtree in a post NFC championship game rant. In our last blog post I took a look back at some of the best coaching rants, so why don’t we take a look at the 20 best player fights and rants? Some are profanity laced ramblings or innocent rants about practice, others are some of the most infamous and outrageous fights, and will leave you speechless….Here they are in no particular order, my favorite has to be Allen Iverson practice rant, since I am a 76ers fan!
20.) Richard Sherman rants after the Seahawks NFC Championship victory against the San Francisco 49ers
19.) On May 7th 2002 then Philadelphia 76ers superstar Allen Iverson says practice at least 20 times in his now infamous rant when questioned by Philadelphia reporters about not going to, PRACTICE!
18.) Don’t call former St. Louis Ram Jim Everett Chris too many times, just don’t…In 1994, Jim Everett was on Jim Rome’s popular Talk2 show on ESPN. Rome thought it would be funny to call Jim Everett Chris multiple times, but each time he says it, Chris Everett, I mean Jim Everett keeps getting angrier and angrier, until all hell breaks loose.
17.) The infamous “You cannot be serious” John McEnroe tennis line judge outburst in the middle of a match.
16.) One of the greatest second baseman of all time, Roberto Alomar spat on umpire John Hirschbeck on September 27th 1996 after a called third strike. Then a Baltimore Oriole, Alomar, who was always a fan favorite turned to a villain that season. He also added insult to injury by claiming that Hirschbeck got fired up, not because of Alomar’s spit, but because Hirschbeck’s son passed away and another one of his son’s had a terminal illness. I was unable to find a video of the actual spit, so here is a image
15.) After a big New York Jets victory over the New England Patriots in January of 2011, Bart Scott blasts announcers and anyone else he can think of for not respecting the Jets.
14.) Kellen Winslow is a soldier at war on the football field in a post game interview after a game at Miami University.
13.) Serena Williams threatens a line judge in another infamous tennis meltdown
12.) Mike Tyson claims to want to eat Lennox Lewis’s children, in this famous rant after a boxing match.
11.) Tiger Woods loses his cool at the 2012 masters. Not the worst temper tantrum, but one of the only ones you will ever see out of one of the greatest golfers who has ever played the game.
10.) After a loss, former QB of the San Diego Chargers, Ryan Leaf, loses his cool at a reporter in the locker room
8.) Derek Anderson was caught smiling and joking on the Cardinals sideline, while his team was getting beat badly by the San Francisco 49ers…in a post game press conference Anderson explodes on a reporter about it.
6.) In one of the most outlandish videos you will ever see from the basketball court, a Desoto high school player beats up a ref after a foul call.
5.) Hall of fame Kansas City Royal George Brett loses it, after being accused of using too much pine tar on his bat. The famous Pine tar incident was started by then Yankees manager Billy Martin, who got the ump to reverse the homerun. Incidentally, the pine tar incident was one of the few baseball protests ever upheld.
4.) Los Angeles Dodger Carlos Perez vs. the water cooler
3.) Ron Hextall, then a Philadelphia Flyer, barrels out at the Montreal Candien’s Chris Chelios, in the 1989 NHL playoffs. Hextall had been waiting all series to get back at Chelios for blind siding Brian Propp in Game one.
2.) Randy Moss feels under appreciated in New England
1.) Starting as a shoving match between Ben Wallace and Ron Artest, the shoving escalates into a full on brawl with the Detroit Pistons fans. Coined “The Malice at the Palace”, this fight is one of the most outrageous professional sports fights ever caught on video…involving Indiana Pacer and Detroit Piston players, coaches and then fans.
With the NFL playoffs, NCAA college basketball and NBA in full swing, it’s always fun to take a look at some of the funniest coaching tirades. One of the other things that sparked my interest in tirades is the latest one, from Southern Illinois’ Barry Hinson. Hinson blew up after his team lost several games and shot poorly. I ranked them in no particular order, but ranked coaches with more than one tirade higher. My favorite tirade has to be Lasorda’s rant about Kurt Bevacqua….In my next blog post, I’ll take a look at famous player tirades.
20.) Pat Knight, Bobby’s Son goes on a rant about how bad his players are at Lamar
19.) Michigan Wolverine’s Women’s basketball coach Kevin Borseth freaks out about
his team’s rebounding
18.) Jerry Burns – forgotten F’bombed laced rant from 1989 when he coached the Minnesota Vikings
17.) Then coach of the San Francisco 49ers, Mike Singletary, goes on a rant about selfish players
16.) Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State football coach is “a man, and he’s 40″!
15.) Dan Hawkins – Colorado Buffaloes Football coach goes on a rant about Division 1 football, saying some players should just play intramurals.
14.)Famous Syracuse Orange coach, Jim Boeheim, explains how his team wouldn’t have won 10 games without Gerry Macnamara! NSFW
12.) Jim Calhoun had a few outbreaks a the University of Connecticut, here they are.
Including one where Calhoun tells off a reporter who questions his high salary and another where
Calhoun freaks out when asked about Ryan Gomes.
11.) Then coach of the Boston Celtics, Rick Patino tells Boston fans that old legends like Larry Bird, Kevin Mchale and Robert Parish aren’t walking through the door anytime soon
10.) Latest Tirade with Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson talking about how his wife could shoot better than 2 for 11.
9.) Lee Elia Tirade NSFW – Says the Chicago Cubs Bleacher bums don’t work and need jobs, NSFW…Elia later regretted the tirade, but it is a classic nonetheless.
8.) Hal Mcrae, then coach of the Kansas City Royals, goes nuts in the locker room at reporters questions about his managerial decision making..NSFW.
7.) Herm Edwards, as coach of the New York Jets, talking about how in sports, you play to win the game.
6.) Dennis Green, then coach of the Arizona Cardinals and his famous, “They are who we thought they were” tirade.
5.) John Chaney, then coach of the Temple Owls after a game against then coach of the UMass Minuteman telling John Calipari he will kill him.
4.) Earl Weaver, the famous coach of the Baltimore Orioles was kicked out of 91 games in his managerial career, some great highlights below.
Another Earl Weaver video below
3.) Tommy Lasorda, famous Los Angeles Dodgers coach, and Nutrisystem spokesperson had some legendary tirades with reporters and a rant about player Kurt Bevacqua…NSFW.
Lasorda argues about Reggie Jackson call.
Rant about News reporters NSFW
“Coulda Woulda Shoulda”
Bobby Knight’s infamous chair throwing
Flyers Tickets Preview For Upcoming Homestand
The Philadelphia Flyers have now won three straight games, defeating Edmonton, Ottawa, and Pittsburgh all in succession. After starting 1-7-0 and dropping all the way to 4-10-1, they have now climbed out of the bottom of the Metropolitan and have fifteen points through eighteen games. None of the other Metropolitan teams have broken from the pack yet, so they trail first place by a mere seven points.
The goaltending has picked up significantly during this winning streak with Steve Mason giving up two goals against the Oilers and grabbing a shutout versus the Senators, while Ray Emery gave up only goal against the Penguins. Brayden Schenn scored the lone two goals for Philadelphia against Pittsburgh, but that was all that was needed as Emery made 30 saves to hold on to the win.
This Friday, the Flyers will travel to Winnipeg to finish up their three game road trip, before returning home next Tuesday for a three game home stand against the Ottawa Senators, Buffalo Sabres, and New York Islanders. Despite their recent improvement, Flyers tickets are still remarkably inexpensive with tickets beginning at only $15 for the Ottawa and Buffalo games. The matchup versus New York is a little bit higher with the get-in price at $40. For both Ottawa and Buffalo, the cheapest lower level seat is $55 while it’s $80 for the Islanders. If you’re looking to be as close to the action, you can sit just a row off the glass right now $150 for any of the three games.
A year or two ago these prices were at least double and sometimes triple the rates they are right now, so now is the time to grab your seats before prices increase! They also have some marquee matchups coming up in the month of December with Montreal and Washington visiting during the middle of the month, so ticket prices will surely rise. And if the team can keep playing as well as they have the last few games, the sky is the limit!
Philadelphia Eagles Ticket Preview for the 2nd Half of the Season
Despite a frustrating 3-5 opening to the season, the Philadelphia Eagles sit just a game back of first place in the NFC East. After opening the season with a resounding victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football, Philly lost three straight (including two at Lincoln Financial Field) before righting the ship and beating the Giants and Buccaneers on the road. They sat at 3-3 with divisional rivals Dallas and New York coming to visit. Alas, the Eagles failed to score an offensive touchdown in either game and they now sit at 3-5 with an 0-4 home record.
Luckily, the Eagles will have two road games upcoming, before returning to the Link to face the Redskins. Eagles tickets for the November 17th matchup start at only $90 and lower level seating starts at only $157. Will that be the first home game that the Eagles can win this season? If not, they’ll have three more opportunities, with matchups against the Arizona Cardinals on December 1st, the Detroit Lions December 8th and the Chicago Bears December 22nd.
The cheapest tickets you’ll be able to find is for the Arizona game, starting as low as $60. The regular season home finale against the Bears starts at $90, the same as the game against the Redskins. Obviously the Bears are a much larger draw than the Cardinals, and with the Redskins a division rival, it makes sense that those two games would be a little pricier. The real value may be for the Detroit game. While the get-in price is $75, $15 more expensive than the Arizona game, you can find lower level seats for only $100. The game against the Lions could have major playoff ramifications so fans who pay a little extra could see a hugely important game.
The hope is Philadelphia can win either all or at least most of these final four home games, to give them a reasonable chance at the division title. 7-9 may be good enough to win it all, so make sure to head down to Lincoln Financial Field over the second half of the season and cheer on the Eagles!
Oh What a Night! Sixers knock off Heat in Home Opener, Will 76ers Ticket Prices Rise?
If this is how the Philadelphia 76ers’ season will continue, then we are in for a fun ride. The Sixers opened up the season with a resounding 114-110 victory over the defending champion Miami Heat. Rookie Michael Carter-Williams was the star of the show, scoring 22 points while adding 12 assists, 7 rebounds, and a whopping 9 steals. Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes both exceeded 20 points scored, dropping 26 and 24 respectively, and Tony Wroten added 14 points off the bench as the young Sixer team held off Miami for the upset.
The 76ers led to start the game 19-0 and then 26-4, before Miami narrowed the gap to two entering halftime. The 76ers were then trailing by nine entering the fourth quarter, but outscored the Heat 29-16 in the final 12 minutes to win by four.
A victory like this, as unexpected as it was, can certainly alter players’ and fans’ perception of the team. But will it result in higher prices for 76ers tickets? That’ll depend on how long the team can remain competitive. If they play like the hope opener, the 76ers will be a hot commodity all season long and Philadelphians will eagerly pay higher prices for tickets. But if pre-season expectations come to fruition, tickets will remain some of the most affordable NBA tickets all season long.
Either way, it’s fun to bask in the glory that is victory #1. The Heat dismantled the Chicago Bulls the night earlier, so this isn’t the case of a team beginning the season and trying to get the rust off the hinges. Miami was prepared to play and the 76ers were simply the better team. It may be a bit too much to expect close to a quadruple-double every night from Mr. Michael Carter-Williams, but if he can average even half of those figures over the course of the season, it will be a productive year for the Syracuse product.
The 76ers are home for five of their first six games so make sure to schedule a visit to the Wells Fargo Center and check out the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers!
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