July 2013

Basketball

Jason Kidd and the Next Generation of NBA Coaches

Future Hall-of-Fame point guard Jason Kidd, who started 48 games for the New York Knicks last year, retired last month. Less than two weeks later, on June 12, he was named head coach of the Brooklyn Nets. Considering the recent history of the NBA, this was a pretty remarkable turnaround to say the least. In the past, former players have typically had to earn their dues for years as assistant coaches, broadcasters, or in front office roles before being handed the coveted role of head coach for an NBA team.

Football

Johnny Manziel, Frankenstein

The NCAA created a monster when it awarded its prestigious Heisman Trophy – deservingly so, too – to Johnny Manziel after just his freshman season. Oh, Johnny Manziel isn’t a monster to any- and everyone. Just Mark Emmert and the rest of the NCAA bunch. In fact, he’s not a monster to anyone else. The rest of us, we’re all cheering him on.

Baseball

The Adage that Didn’t Add Up

There is a popular saying that goes a little like this: Baseball’s the only avenue in life in which you can fail 70 percent of the time and still be considered a success. While it’s been around for years and in many different forms, you can especially thank Pete Rose for it. Does it make sense? Do you agree with the sentiment? Good. Now let’s attack it.

Football

The Bolted Badger: Life without Bret Bielema

Three conference championships and a cloud of dust marked the end of Bret Bielema’s tenure as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Gone to Arkansas and the glamor of the SEC, he left a bittersweet taste in the mouths of the Badger faithful, a fan base that loved much of what he produced in the win column despite routinely calling for his dismissal as head coach.

Hockey

Upon Further Inspection: The 2013 Hockey Hall of Fame Class

The Hockey Hall of Fame announced its newest members last week and in November will officially welcome two defensemen, one with sublime skill and the other highly physical, an all-time great power forward, an innovative coach and possibly the best female defender ever. And as with every induction year, the rallies of praise towards those selected are met with the cry of foul for those some feel are unjustly snubbed from being immortalized in downtown Toronto.

Hockey

Oil Stains: Why Edmonton’s rebuild hasn’t gone according to plan

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. After suffering through a terrible stretch of years that saw the Edmonton Oilers make the playoffs just once between lockouts (in 2005-06 no less), change was supposed to be on the horizon. Buoyed by a triumvirate of first overall picks from 2010 to 2012, netting them Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers were quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. Such reckoning, however, has yet to come – perhaps the result of Edmonton’s concerning lack of depth.

Basketball

When Juggernauts Fall

In the nearly 70-year existence of the NBA, a lot has changed. Players of a variety of races and nationalities now populate the league. The 24-second shot clock and three-point arc have been implemented. Shorts have grown longer, and tattoos more prevalent. The elite players of today earn more salary in a year than the legends of yesteryear did over an entire career. Throughout all that change, though, at least one thing has remained constant: the dominance of the Lakers and Celtics.