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Friday, August 30, 2013

NFC Preseason Predictions

With the 4th week of the preseason wrapped up, it's time for another year of The Sports Vibe's annual NFL Preseason Predictions. Today, we'll predict the results of the NFC:

NFC East:
1. Washington Redskins
2. New York Giants
3. Philadelphia Eagles
4. Dallas Cowboys

In one of the tightest divisons to predict, I chose the Redskins. Honestly, you could make a case for any of these teams, but I'm picking the 'Skins in the hopes that RGIII avoids a sophomore slump. If his knee recovers in time and he remains healthy, the Redskins will probably win the division. Otherwise, the experienced Giants will be nipping at their heels. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Beard in Dodger Blue

Oh no. No way. This can't be happening. Brian Wilson to the Dodgers?!?!?!

Our beloved Beard. The one who won us the first World Series in San Francisco history. The closer who won over the hearts of fans everywhere with his quirky, charismatic personality. Even when he wasn't playing, he still kept us entertained and made our Giants fun to watch.

And now he's with the enemy, in that hideous Dodger Blue. Giants fans everywhere, myself included, have no idea how we're going to root against him. But we will. We did it to Juan Uribe and we'll do it to Brian Wilson. We have no choice. He's a Dodger now.

I don't blame him of course for switching sides. It makes sense. The Dodgers are in the playoff hunt. The Giants are not. I'm sure anybody would choose to sign with the Dodgers in this situation.

But it still hurts to see a fan favorite switch allegiances like that. We as Giants fans have so many memories of this guy. I remember his strange spandex suit at the ESPYs. And his shoes controversy where he had to color his shoes with a Sharpie. And that 2010 Giants slogan, "Fear the Beard."

It'll be tough to see Wilson as a Dodger. But at least we can remember all the memories he gave us as Giants fans and not hate him too much. Go Giants!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sellers

The All-Star break is nearing, and many believe it ridiculous that the last-place Giants have 3 All-Stars in the game. What's more ridiculous? The Giants' belief that they should be buyers at the trade deadline. They should not.

Let's start with the obvious. The Gants suck right now. They just got swept by the 4th place Mets. They've lost 16 of their last 19 games. Brandon Belt can't hit, Matt Cain can't pitch, and Jeremy Affeldt just admitted that right now, he stinks. Injuries have caused this team to crumble. Ever since Ryan Vogelsong went down, it's been a spiral of injuries, with extended absences from Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval as well. Right now, the team we're putting out on the field feels very much like a minor league team, having seen the likes of Juan Perez, Cole Gillespie, Jake Dunning, Mike Kickham, Nick Noonan, and Tony Abreu all get significant playing time as the starters succumb to the injury bug. The Giants are in reverse right now, and there's no stopping it until Sandoval, Pence, and Belt get out of their slumps and Zito, Lincecum, and Cain get back on track. By the time everything starts clicking again, the Giants will probably be out of the running for the NL West crown. Which is why I'm advocating selling.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Dwight to Golden State? No Thanks!

It's been ages since I posted, but I did promise that the blog would be back up by summer, so here we go.

And I have the perfect topic for The Sports Vibe's return: the Dwight Howard Saga 2013.

After a disappointing season with the Lakers (some would say he tore the team apart), Howard is once again a free agent. And once again, there is significant interest from several teams. The favorites are the Houston Rockets (the most likely destination), Dallas Mavericks (who always like their veterans), Atlanta Hawks (Howard's hometown team, but one with literally no fan base), and the Los Angeles Lakers (absolutely no idea why he'd want to return to that disaster...or why they'd want him).

But wait, this just in, there's one more suitor: THE GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS.

That's right, the same Warriors who overpaid David Lee in 2010 - and then watched as he blossomed into an All-Star in 2013 before getting hurt in the playoffs and watching the Warriors play better in his absence. The same Warriors who struggled through Andris Biedrins as their starting center for the better part of the last decade and then chose to amnesty Charlie Bell instead of him in 2011, leaving the Warriors burdened by the Biedrins contract. The same Warriors who traded franchise icon Monta Ellis to Milwaukee for Andrew Bogut, a player so adept at appearing as if he has never played basketball in his life that when he dunks, the crowd goes wild. Alright, that one was unfair, but you get the point.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ode to Kaep

I haven't posted in a long while, so I apologize. I've been extremely busy, and the blog will definitely return to full swing by this summer.

But, regardless of how busy I am, there is no way I can ignore the performance that Colin Kaepernick put up on Saturday against the Packers. It was simply phenomenal.

From the start, when Jim Harbaugh switched QBs, I was a Kaepernick skeptic. I honestly preferred Alex Smith. I preferred his cautiousness and consistency over Kaepernick's daring and volatility. Alex Smith is not a bad quarterback. He can make the necessary throws, and occasionally can even scramble effectively.But now, my eyes have been opened: Kaep can do all that - and more.

Colin's performance last Saturday was powerful, to say the least. I remember the beginning, when he threw that ill-advised interception to Sam Shields. I was watching the end of the Ravens-Broncos game while keeping an eye on the start of the Niners' game. And as soon as he threw that pick, my immediate reaction was, "Alex Smith wouldn't do that." I was worried.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Getting the Job Done

Congratulations to the Giants and the A's for winning Game 3. After watching the games today, I feel like they both actually have a shot to win their respective series.

The Giants have Game 4 tomorrow. Barry Zito's starting, and although most fans grimace when they hear that Barry Zito is starting, Zito has been pretty good this season. The Giants have won the last 11 games he's started, which is pretty impressive. Some of that has to be attributed to luck, but Zito has been better than his average Giants self. Plus, the Reds do not even know who's pitching tomorrow. Cueto's injury still looms large, Latos is ill, Bailey and Arroyo can't pitch on such short rest, and bringing in Mike Leake would cause Cueto to not be able to play in the next series. The Reds could very likely send a reliever or an ill Mat Latos out to start tomorrow, which would definitely give the Giants the edge. The Giants have to take this one game at a time and produce. Today's game wasn't production: we won the game on an error. Tomorrow, we need some offensive production. Winning Game 4 is of the utmost importance. It's win or go home.

The A's are in a good spot as well. AJ Griffin is starting tomorrow against Detroit's Max Scherzer. Griffin has dazzled this season and this will be his most important start of his young career. The A's need to continue to master the subtle facets of the game to win. They need good defense and good pitching and the offense will come naturally. They need to ride the raucous Coliseum crowd to a victory. There's not much else to say. They're at home and they quite simply need to win.

Both our teams gave us a scare after the weekend, but they're both in a good spot for tomorrow. And if both can pull of a victory tomorrow, we're looking at the possibility of both of them advancing. Bay Area baseball is at its finest right now.

And we need our teams to WIN!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Home-Field Advantage?

Unfortunately, I have been super busy the last few weeks and haven't been able to post frequently. But now, the NFL season is well into gear and the MLB Playoffs are underway. Stay tuned for frequent posts.

Now, for the real reason behind this post: why on earth do the lower seeded teams in the MLB Playoffs get the first 2 games of the division series at home!?!?!?!?!?!? It makes no sense. The team with the higher record is supposed to "home-field advantage." This year, it's more like home field disadvantage!!!

The Giants got lucky. As the 3rd seed in the NL, they get to play the first two games of the series at home, which if your team plays at AT&T Park, is definitely an advantage. However, after losing last night's game, the series is going to be very tough to win.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Cardinal Rule (over USC)

On a day in which, mostly anyway, the teams that were supposed to win won, the Stanford Cardinal pulled off the biggest upset, over #2 ranked USC. The game was by no means a fun game to watch. Neither offense was very productive and it was a defensive slugfest throughout. Stanford QB Josh Nunes struggled mightily at times, bu the defense kept the Cardinal in the game and gave Nunes a chance to deliver when it mattered. And the result was absolutely spectacular.

The star of the game was undoubtedly Stepfan Taylor. His magnificent 1st half touchdown run in which he juked several would-be tacklers and took it to the house was a thing of beauty. His nimbleness and vision were on display for the entire game. And when Nunes struggled to make throws, Taylor was the one who kept the offense chugging along.

The defense played great as well. In fact, they were the star of the show until Nunes's heroics toward the end of the game. DE Ben Gardner was a terror in the pass rush, sacking Trojan quarterback and Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley on several occasions. DB Terrence Brown kept his composure despite several pass interference calls that went against him and kept the USC receivers, including starts Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, in check for much of the game. Overall, the linebackers wreaked havoc in the pass rush and in short yardage coverage, which helped the Cardinal force Barkley to throw the long ball on many occasions. Although the defense inexplicably gave up a first down conversion on a 4th and 19 that might have crushed the Cardinal's chance of winning, they held tight for the rest of the game to keep alive the upset-in-the-making.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Super Bowl Prediction

So, in my last two posts, I broke down the NFC and AFC and predicted the division standings for each division this season. And, my predictions came down to the Broncos and 49ers in the Super Bowl.

This would be a fascinating matchup if it actually came to fruition. Peyton Manning versus one of the other finalists that desperately wanted him to be their quarterback, the 49ers. I know that the Niners deny reports that they wanted Manning last offseason, but everyone knows that they did.

And if these two teams did indeed meet up, not only would it make a fantastic storyline, but also it would be a great game. The Niners' defense would try to neutralize the Broncos' offense and the Broncos' defense would try to stop the Niners' much improved offense. It would definitely be a defensive battle, and if you like that kind of game, you would be in for a treat.

The game would most definitely come to down to the execution of the offenses. And, in my humble opinion, despite the 49ers' offseason acquisitions, the Broncos' offense is slightly better than the Niners'. Therefore, the Broncos are my pick to win the Super Bowl this year.

That's right, I am picking the Broncos to win the Super Bowl. As long as they can sneak into the playoffs, they have a great shot at winning the whole thing, with their talented defense and their elite quarterback.

Have a great 2012 NFL season and keep visiting the Sports Vibe for opinions on the 49ers, Giants, and the rest of the Bay Area teams.

Friday, September 7, 2012

NFC Preseason Predictions

And I'm back, this time with predictions for the NFC. Here we go:

NFC East:
1. Dallas Cowboys (4)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (5)
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins

In what is probably the toughest division in all of football, I see the Giants falling flat after their Super Bowl season last year. I think the Cowboys will finally be America's darling after a return to form of Tony Romo and the addition of key members to the secondary (Brandon Carr, Morris Claiborne). The Eagles will live up to their considerably lesser "Dream Team" hype this season, but Vick's injuries will prevent them from winning the division. The Giants will suffer from Super Bowl hangover and struggle, especially after the losses of Mario Manningham, Brandon Jacobs, and other key players. Finally, I think the Redskins actually have the potential to surprise some pundits this year but they unfortunately play in a stacked division.