Monday, April 30, 2007

Random Sports Thoughts

I planned on posting a blog every day, but spring weekend kind of put those plans on hold for a few days. But now I will really start to try and make a post every day.

Today I'll start with just a few interesting thoughts from sports over the weekend.
  • NFL Draft: The draft has become an event that is looked forward too almost as much as many sporting championships. Its a day that begins a new NFL season, all teams are 0-0 and all are looking forward to the future. Unless you are a Dolphins fan (haha Dan) you can hope for a good season this fall or at least a better future with a young star. As a Patriots fan I am really happy about this draft. I really wanted to see them take a linebacker at the end of the first round (Paul Posluzny more specifically), but I am happy with Brandon Meriweather, as long as Belicheck takes away his gun. He can eventually be a replacement for the aging Rodney Harrison. But the biggest accomplishment the Pats made was bringing in Randy Moss for a fourth round draft pick. The reward is high, the risk low, as Moss is one of the best receivers in football. Hooked up with Tom Brady and looking to show the doubters that he is a winner, I expect a resurgence in his career and a Super Bowl parade in Boston once again.
  • Red Sox-Yanks: The Red Sox are firing on all cylinders when it means the most. These games against the Yankees are always important and to start 5-1 is huge. Yes, it's early in season, but they have the most wins in the AL and are looking good. I am looking forward to the return of Jon Lester, who is a great success story. Manny is finally heating up and we may have found our starting second baseman in Alex Cora, although I still think Dustin Pedroia is a starting-caliber guy. Josh Beckett=AL Cy Young winner, no doubt about it.
  • Rangers Overtime Win: The Rangers outplayed the Sabres in Game Two, but still got the loss. Coming back home at MSG they were in a must-win situation. In a great game, the Rangers overcame horrible, one-sided officiating to pick up a major win. Now the Rangers need to keep it going on Tuesday and bring the series back to Buffalo tied at two games.
  • NBA Playoffs: I can't get interested in this. There is too much else in sports going on, the NBA just basically sucks. Maybe I'll watch a couple finals games. But I am rooting for the Bulls to win it all, because of Ben Gordon.
It was a great weekend in sports and here at Fairfield and with baseball heating up and the hockey playoffs, it should be a great week as well.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

How Much Do Sports Matter?

I was thinking this morning about how much time I spend watching, reading about, writing about or listening to sports. Since I was young I have always spent most of my time during the day doing something that had to do with sports. Whether it was playing football with my friends, watching SportsCenter, or reading Sports Illustrated, sports was almost always part of my life.

Now as the sports editor of The Mirror, I am somehow thinking about sports even more than before. Sports is always on my mind. When I'm sitting in class trying to survive the boring lectures, I begin to think about the Red Sox game from the night before or the Rangers game that will be on later in the day. When I wake up, I watch SportsCenter and check, to find out what has happened in sports overnight, which usually is nothing.

When I'm doing homework or anything on the computer, I constantly check, waiting to see what happens next in the world of sports. When I read for fun, its usually a sports related book. I read Sports Illustrated and Sporting News from cover to cover each week.

Sports is a way for many of us to escape from the reality of our lives. It's a way for us to avoid the eight page research paper, which I should be writing right now.

But for me, it's my dream that sports becomes my life. I have always wanted to be a part of the sports world and in a way that has already happened for me, at least as part of the Fairfield sports world.

One day I hope to be sitting in an office, of a newspaper or magazine or sports Web site, writing about what goes on in the day in sports. I want it to be my article that someone like me checks on to find out how the Sox did the night before.

I can't imagine how amazing it would be to get paid to report about sports. I already spend so much time focusing on sports, it would be crazy to get paid for doing something that I love so much.

Hopefully one day I will get a dream job as a sports writer somewhere, but for now I'll just enjoy sports like I have all my life.

Monday, April 23, 2007

It's a Beautiful Day

The sun is shining, the temperature is perfect, and the Red Sox just swept the Yankees at Fenway Park for the first time in 17 years. Spring is FINALLY here and I am really excited about the baseball season, but today I really don't feel like talking about baseball. The NFL Draft is on the way and the NBA Playoffs just got started, but neither of those are interesting to me right now.

The only team on my mind other than the Sox are the New York Rangers.

The NHL Playoffs may be the most exciting of any sport to watch. Baseball is great, football always brings excellent games, and once and awhile I'll enjoy an NBA game, but hockey always seems to give seven exciting games in each series.

The Rangers did not dissapoint in round one, blowing out the Atlanta Thrashers and proving that hockey does not belong in the South. As a former Mirror editor put it so well, "What's next, baseball in Helsinki?"

Anyways, now the Rangers have the tough task of facing the Buffalo Sabres, starting with two games in upstate New York. The Sabres are a very exciting team to watch and no matter how the series turns out, it should be an enjoyable one. But I would be much happier to see the same Rangers team that shut out Atlanta 7-0, than the one we saw earlier this winter, when it looked like the Blueshirts might not even make the playoffs.

The Sabres feature quick, exciting, goalscorers, including my favorite non-Rangers player, Chris Drury, from Fairfield Prep. Drury is a guy made for the playoffs, as featured in an excellent Sports Illustrated article, which all sports fans should read.

He is a free agent after the season and Buffalo probably won't be able to bring him and fellow center Daniel Briere back next season. If Drury does hit the market, I'd love to see the Rangers make a play at him. Drury could be a leader that the Rangers need, both on and off the ice and a key player for many years. Put Briere along side Jagr and you have the makings of a dominant line.

Back to the Sabres though. Drury is joined by Briere, who had a team-high 95 points in the regular season and Thomas Vanek, who had 84 points along with other high scorers, including Jason Pominville. The defense is solid as well, backed up by a good goaltender, Ryan Miller.

The Rangers have improved a lot since the mid-season, when things looked very grim. Sean Avery has brought character and charisma to the team and ignited a fire in the Rangers that has yet to burn out. It will be hard for the Rangers to keep going in Buffalo, but it can be done.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bring Out the Brooms

The baseball season never really starts until the Red Sox and Yankees square off for their first series of the year. This weekend has been a great one for Boston fans, with two wins coming in two exciting games.

On Friday the Sox battled back to overcome a good performance by Yankees' pitcher Andy Pettitte to take the lead in the eighth inning, scoring off of the Yanks great closer, Mariano Rivera.

Rivera's blown save sparked a lot of nervousness throughout the Evil Empire, but as much as I would like to say that Mariano's days of glory are over, I have a feeling that it's not. Rivera is still throwing as hard as he did in years past and last year he struggled a bit early in the season as well.

There are few closers in baseball that I would want to have over Mariano Rivera. Jonathan Papelbon is about at that level, especially because of his age. Personally I would take Paps over Mo right now, but I think many would still take Rivera.

When you look at the struggles most other teams have closing games, Red Sox and Yankees fans should be happy to have great closers.

Saturday's game was one that the Sox had to win. Eventually the Yankees will get Chien-Ming Wang and Carl Pavano back, and will probably sign Roger Clemens (although I still hope the Sox will get him). The Sox will not have the chance to face pitchers like Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright later in the season and they need to grab these wins while they can.

David Ortiz proved once again he is one of the best hitters in baseball, with 4 RBI. Josh Beckett put in another good performance, not nearly as great as he has pitched all year, but it was enough to move to 4-0. Papelbon and the bullpen were dominant once again, proving that the decision to move Paps back to the closer role was a necessary one.

Now the Sox will look to sweep the Yankees at Fenway Park for the first time in 17 years. Once again the game will be nationally broadcasted, on ESPN, which is great for me, because its rare that Sox games are on TV here in Fairfield.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has had three great starts so far, but needs run support tonight. Hopefully Papi, Paps, Daisuke, and the Sox can pull out another big victory, to get the 18 game series started right.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Angry Sox Fan

Baseball is finally here. But I am not a happy Red Sox fan right now. I suffered through my math class, knowing that I was going to be able to watch the first Sox game of the season only a hour later. I got to the TV, turned it on, and ESPN News was on instead. For some reason, even though Fairfield isn't in the Sox blackout region, the game is blacked out. And the Yankees won. Its all their fault, if the Yanks hadn't played before, forcing ESPN to blackout that game, the Sox game would be on right now.

Instead I'm stuck listening to the game, which is weird without Jerry Trupiano. Listening to baseball can be fun, but I was really looking forward to finally watching a Sox game again.

And the Sox are down 2-1 to the Royals!