Archives for: 2009, week 00

01/04/09

Canada Shoots for 5th Straight Gold!

Permalink 03:24:15 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

(World Junior Hockey Championships)

Team Canada was barely challenged before knocking off a tenacious Russian team 6-5 (SO) on their quest for 5 consecutive Championship Golds. Playing in front of an enthusiastic home friendly environment Kanata (Ontario) will be counted on once again Monday night in the Gold Medal game vs Sweden. Sweden seeks for revenge from last years Gold loss while trying to keep Canada from making history.

The Jr's are a great chance to see the worlds next up and coming hockey stars. Highlight clips in this years tourney have featured Canada's John Tavares (14 points), Cody Hodgson (13) & Jordan Eberle (10). International players to keep an eye on are sharp shooters Nikita Filatov (Russia), Tomas Tatar (Slovakia) & Jan Kana (Czech Republic). Maybe there's a Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux type waiting to burst on the scene?

The World Junior Hockey Championships popularity has grown tremendously, especially with fans in participating countries. Here in the US, WJHC gets minimal coverage as most professional sports leagues are center of attention. Anyone looking for winter getaways should try timing a trip to a Jr's or Winter Olympic host city and catch a game while you're visiting.

01/01/09

Permalink 12:00:01 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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Dear Readers,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Make your resolutions now and do your best to fulfill all of your new goals!

I'd like to take time now to personally thank each and every one of you. Your viewership and input enabled All World All Sports (www.allworldallsports.com) to enjoy steady growth throughout our successful 2008 campaign.

2009 will be full of surprises, upgrades, videos and guest bloggers from around the world of sports.

Visit our other sites listed above to stay in tune with amateur and professional sports.

All the best,
Digger

12/31/08

NFL 2008 Wild Card Predictions (Sunday)

Permalink 12:12:12 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

Wild Card Sunday looks great on paper. Baltimore (11-5) will be ready for Miami's (11-5) wild cat offense. Question is, will they get faked out by Chad Pennington play-action passes? Philadelphia (9-6-1) completely demolished a confused Cowboys team and with a little help qualified for the Playoffs. They'll be playing a well coached Vikings (10-6) team filled with confidence after upsetting the Giants on a last second game winning field goal.

Wild Card Prediction time........Sunday's AFC/NFC Games:

Baltimore (11-5) @ Miami (11-5): It's defense all the way for the Ravens. Their crew is one of NFL's best. QB Joe Flacco must be efficient for Baltimore to have any shot at winning Playoff games. Play calling will be key vs Dolphins swarming defense. If offense can score, defense will take care of the rest. Miami's hopes rest squarely on Chad Pennington's ability to read/handle Ravens various blitzing packages and changing coverages. RB's Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams need to pound the ball between the tackles as there isn't a back in the league capable of beating these guys with outside runs. Field position is key for both teams.
Pounding, grinding football game. Ravens barely win in a game which might come down to the final series, 17-16.

Philadelphia (9-6-1) @ Minnesota (10-6): Both teams advanced into post-season play in their final game. Most, including myself, had written off Philadelphia weeks ago. Many were shouting for QB McNabb to be run out of town along with Head Coach Andy Reid. Well, both are being shown some serious love nowadays. McNabb has been nothing short of amazing. His passes have been crisp with pin-point accuracy. Sometimes Philly is victim to wide receivers dropping passes... something which haunts this team from time to time over the years. Eagles running game hasn't been nearly impressive as Sunday's opponent. Westbrook hasn't been given many holes especially on short yardage downs. Ball control, or lack thereof, can be crucial in Playoff football. Minnesota stumbled out of the blocks then poured it on mid-season. RB Peterson (1760 rushing yards) plays huge at home. Eagles defense will be tested trying to slow him down which might open the door for big plays from Vikings passing attack.
Tough game to call. McNabb looks too good to be ignored. Peterson faces a defense designed to stop him.
Eagles prevail.. this one could come down to the final play... 31-27.

NFL 2008 Wild Card Predictions (Saturday)

Permalink 12:01:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

The time has come... NFL Playoffs 2008 kicks with Wild Card Weekend. Great matchups await us all. Ironic, one of the AFC's hottest teams is guaranteed to lose this weekend. Smoking hot Indianapolis travels to red hot San Diego (Saturday). Both have been carving up AFC opponents lately. Another superb AFC WC game (Sunday) has tough as nails Baltimore taking on a well balanced Miami team which had only one victory a season ago.

NFC isn't to shabby either. Exciting Atlanta takes on a struggling Arizona team lucky enough to have won the NFL's weakest division. Red hot Philadelphia takes their show to Minnesota for Sunday's game. Donavan McNabb is lazer sharp these days. Minnesota's RB Peterson has been nothing short of amazing lately.

Wild Card Prediction time........Saturday's AFC/NFC Games:

Atlanta (11-5) @ Arizona (9-7): Atlanta had a storybook season. Rookie Head Coach, rookie starting QB, new RB... young team. QB Ryan is cool and collected. RB Turner exploded as a starter this year after playing understudy in SD (17 TD's and 1699 rushing yards). Sound football team on defense. Arizona has been cold lately. Offense out of synch, defense nowhere to be found. They'll have to snap out of their funk to give Atlanta a run for their money. If they do... watch out. Cardinals offense is dangerous when clicking. QB Warner had a huge season and has plenty of weapons.
This game reads Atlanta victory... 33-24.

Indianapolis (12-4) @ San Diego (8-8): Colts NFL's hottest, winners of 9 in a row. Manning has been great and could add MVP hardware. Indy must put up points .. plenty of them to win this game vs a hot Chargers attack. Indy's D is vulnerable with big play capability. San Diego overcame multiple bad breaks earlier this year. Terrible officiating late in games turned victories into defeats. Mid-season injuries to key players seemed to have left this team for dead. They got hot at the right time... as AFC West leading Denver got cold. 3 wins later and SD won the West at 8-8. San Diego's offense is explosive and they're matched up against the right defense. Problem is .. will their D stop Indy's offense? Yes.
SD knocks off Indy in a thriller, 41-37.

Stay tuned for Sunday's Wild Card Predictions...........

12/30/08

Final Snap: NFL Owners Waste No Time Sacking Losing Coaches

Permalink 06:30:30 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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by Digger

(NFL.com News, Final Standings, Playoffs)

Three NFL Head Coaches were fired within 24 hours of their teams season ending snaps. New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and record setting 0-16 Detroit Lions all canned their field generals after disappointing results.

(Jets Fire Mangini - press conference).

1) New York media hyped Brett Favre's arrival so much nothing less than a Super Bowl would suffice. The Jets soon found themselves with an 8-3 record after back to back big game victories against arch rival New England (34-31) and previously unbeaten Tennessee (34-13). After beating the Titans, newspapers and sports radio were making Super Bowl party plans.

Until.......... The Jets imploded. High's and low's of New York's season rode on Hall of Fame to be Brett Favre's right arm. Favre struggled early on trying to learn the Jets offense and get in synch with his new wide receivers. Easier said than done especially with terrible playcalling. For much of this season, playcalling doomed the Jets. Failing to stick with a ground game against weaker run defenses put way too much pressure on a QB not quite familiar with the offensive scheme. Pass protection was horrendous leading to ill-advised passes often turned into interceptions.

Mancini was not inspirational. Basically, this season boiled down to the Jets only having to win one game against either San Francisco or Seattle to qualify for the Playoffs. Mancini's team was not prepared. It appeared as if no coherent game plan was put in place.. .and if one existed (?) it was quickly abandoned after opening kickoff. The stuggling Niners disposed of NY 24-14 and thanks to many many bad in game decisions by Mancini, NY lost to the lowly Seahawks in Week 16 13-3.

In the Seattle game, late in the 4th quarter the Jets had kicked a 45 yard field goal to close the gap 10-6. The kick was negated by a penalty. Instead of attempting a well within range 50 yard FG, Mancini decided to punt. Many Jets players on the sidelines were visibly upset... as were the thousands calling into Monday's talk radio sessions. Soon after not attempting a 50 yarder, NY had the ball again still trailing by 7. On 4th and short deep in their own territory with time to spare... Mancini instructs his team to go for it... they failed turning the ball over to Seattle in field goal territory. A few plays later, a one score game became a two score game... soon to be final 13-3.

The Jets were not without hope. The final game of the year was against Miami. Once again the Jets were not prepared as former NY QB Chad Pennington, cut after Favre's signing, won the AFC East title in the Meadowlands, 24-17. Miami had perfected the Wild Cat offense and NY wasn't ready for it. Jets defense was less than spectacular all season.

MSN Sports recently wrote an article stating how Mancini was not to blame for any of NY's failures. It was all on Favre. Obviously written by someone not watching Jets games this season. Sure, Favre made plenty of mistakes trying to force the issue late in games. However, it was a total team collapse beginning with the coaching staff. Coaches did not have players ready to play. No motivation coming out of half time breaks. Very bad playcalling on both offense and defense. Defense was not good all year long. Linebackers were ineffective and defensive line was contained too often. Offensive line provided little pass protection and was beaten by blitzes all season. Offensive coordinator didn't design effective protection packages. Line did not open up running lanes for featured backs.

Mancini gone... great move by New York.

2) Cleveland's Romeo Crennel was canned after a very disappointing 4-12 year. The Browns had high hopes after 2007's 10-6 record. These hopes were soon crushed when Cleveland opened the year 0-3. Nine times they failed to score more than 10 points including season ending back to back shutouts. Extremely poor clock management and an inefficient offense soon weakened overplayed defense. It wasn't all Crennel's fault as both #1 & #2 QB's were shelved due to injuries. Plenty of players missed time as Cleveland never had a chance. Crennel was somewhat of a victim here but it was his inability to handle hard times which led to his firing. Talented team should have put up more victories. Season highlight was beating up the Super Bowl Champs on a national tv, 35-14.

Browns now searching for a new Head Coach.

3) 0-16 Detroit Lions!

Congratulations!

Not winning at least one game is quite an accomplishment.

(Rod Marinelli grilled interview)

It's been a terrible year in Detroit. Everything has gone wrong from economics to sports. The Lions made history with its' winless season. This team stunk... nothing else seems fitting. I can't believe an NFL team actually lost every game. But, when watching these guys on the field... it's very believable.

Inept. Coaching, players, front office, ownership, scouts... you name it.. a complete franchise debacle.

Detroit had a few chances for victories. They played Minnesota tough twice (12-10, 20-16) and almost knocked off Chicago (27-23). Otherwise, most games were not nearly as close as scores represented. You know there weren't any teams taking these guys for granted down the stretch either. No team wanted to be the joke of the year losing to these guys. No heart, no plan, no wins.

Not all hope is lost. 2007 Miami finished 1-15. 2008 Miami won AFC East (11-5). However, these Lions have very few similarities to Miami. Don't expect miracles anytime soon. What fans can expect is a new front office and coaching staff in place before the next NFL draft. Lions are slated to have two first round draft selections making this an interesting time for a struggling organization. Much can be done in the '09 draft. #1 overall pick could be traded for 2 lower 1st rounders (netting 3 total 1st round picks).

If the Lions play their cards right they can quickly turnaround this club. They've been in this position before and failed. Well... the failures are long gone. A new regime will soon be named. Plenty of talented NFL personnel are looking for employment. This is a perfect opportunity for a coach to mold a team from bottom up.

---------BREAKING NEWS----------------

While I was typing, the Denver Broncos (8-8) announced Head Coach Mike Shanahan has been fired! Shanahan had been affiliated with the Broncos for 21 years. He was cut loose after Denver's failure to secure the AFC West title by losing their final 3 games including a winner take all finale vs San Diego Sunday night.

Shanahan's first nail in the coffin might have been made against Buffalo (week 16). In a must win game which would have secured the AFC West division title, Denver failed. The Broncos final game was a massacre. San Diego was merciless 52-21.

Shanahan could be well sought after this winter. Many vacancies already on display with a few more soon to follow (Cincinnati, KC, STL).