Football

How to Value Joe Flacco

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco headed into this season without a guaranteed contract for next season and beyond. Fast forward to today; Flacco and his Baltimore Ravens are preparing to square off against the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl this coming Sunday. Are we ready to call him elite yet?

Basketball

Michael Jordan Comeback Watch: Charlotte Edition

There’s been talk of yet another Michael Jordan comeback in the air, and as of yet, nobody’s quite figured out if it’s actually serious or not. With Air Jordan’s 50th birthday fast approaching (on Feb. 19th), fans and critics alike are taking a good hard look at the man’s Hall of Fame speech and reconsidering the possibility of him putting on a uniform for one last, symbolic game.

Basketball

Reconsidering “Small-Ball” in the NBA

In the NBA, the writing has been on the wall for quite some time now. Teams are getting smaller, and the action is increasingly moving away from the basket. This isn’t necessarily a new trend, but it has been a somewhat controversial one. Gerard Spalding sheds some light on which of the current teams are pulling it off in 2012-13 and which have found success doing the exact opposite.

Hockey

NHL Goons Need Not Apply

Is the role of NHL goon less and less significant with each passing year? Was it every truly instrumental to the game in the first place? Tim Kolupanowich suggests as much while taking a good look at the difference between Toronto’s Colton Orr and Los Angeles’ Steve Bernier, between Maple Leaf Mike Brown and iconic Red Wing Kris Draper.

Football

Breaking down the zone read, a key San Francisco weapon

From Cam Newton to Robert Griffin III to Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick, many of the NFL’s most exciting young quarterbacks are frequently running systems and schemes that haven’t been seen much at this level, and they’re finding great success in doing so. One of the most intriguing elements that’s shown up to some extent in most of these new attacks is what’s known as the zone read. Might this be San Francisco’s ticket to Super Bowl success this weekend?

Baseball

The Spring Training Euphoria

The mantra pops up on Twitter, retweeted with exuberance; it surfaces in a Facebook post drawing dozens of likes; it dominates the thoughts of diehard fans akin to children counting down the days toward Christmas. Suddenly, well, this cold, harsh winter isn’t so bad after all. Ladies and gentlemen, “Pitchers and catchers are reporting”. Soon.

Hockey

An Early Look at Team Canada: Part 1 – Goalies and Defense

Canadians are, let’s just say, insatiable when it comes to hockey. Sure the NHL is back after an extended lockout, great, but what else? Ryan Fulford answers the question with a comprehensive look at the upcoming 2014 Olympics. With a breakdown of the expected goaltenders and defensemen, fans have one more reason to look forward to the Sochi winter games.

Football

Ray Lewis, Goodbye

Whether you love him or hate him, Ray Lewis has had a long, illustrious NFL career with the Baltimore Ravens. Not only regarded as one of the top defensive players of all-time, Lewis has the chance to give himself the ultimate football send off with a Super Bowl victory in less than two weeks. Charles Blouin-Gascon takes a minute to reflect on it all.

Basketball

No Rose? No problem: Why the Chicago Bulls might be the NBA’s most underrated team

Although Derrick Rose’s absence in Chicago is obvious, the fact that the franchise hasn’t spiraled out of control without its far and away best player is a testament to the rest of the squad around him. Mark Milner takes a thorough look at Carlos Boozer and the rest of the Bulls who have kept the Eastern Conference contender afloat all along.

Baseball

Mystery Beef: Why Justin Upton doesn’t want to play in Seattle

In killing the trade that would have sent four prospects to the Diamondbacks in his stead, Justin Upton has sent a simple message to an entire city: I’m just not that into you. It was a team already on his no-trade list, so you can’t really blame him, but why? What could one possibly have against Seattle? Harlan Ambrose speculates.