Saturday, December 31, 2011


These are Garrett and Corey’s predictions for the 2012 sports year including the College Football, NFL, NCAA Basketball, NHL, NBA, MLB, and a special commentary at the end for a special event this year!

Corey:  First up, the first event of the calendar year, is the BCS Championship between LSU and Alabama.  Garrett, your thoughts?

Garrett:  2 words, ROLL TIDE.  This time around Alabama capitalizes on offensive opportunities and shows why they had the #1 defense all year slowing down LSU’s offensive attack.  SCORE:  Bama 17 LSU 10. Fun fact: Nick Saban becomes the first coach to win 2 BCS titles with 2 different schools

Corey:  Even though I disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say it.  LSU wins again but in a prettier fashion.  2 words, Honey Badger.  I hate his guts but he’s a gamer.  Special teams wins it again for the Mad Hatter.  SCORE:  LSU 24 Bama 21

Corey:  More football this time around with the SUPER BOWL, heading into the final week, a few teams jockeying for position but most playoff teams are pretty much set.  It was almost a dream season for the Packers until they lost to whatever team that is in Kansas City.  However, it looks like a repeat for the cheese heads as they ONCE AGAIN beat the Steelers in a rematch.  SCORE:  Pack 28 Steelers 24

Garrett:  Not since 04-05 has a team repeated as Super Bowl champs until this year.  The Packers squeeze by the Saints in the NFC title game and house whatever AFC team decides to show up.  SCORE:  Packers 40 AFC 20

Corey:  Solid football analysis right there if you ask me!  On to a little basketball.  Let’s cap off March Madness with who we think is cutting down the nets in the Big Easy come April.  Boomer, who ya got?

Garrett:   So far this season, 4 teams have been a notch above the others:  Ohio State, Kentucky, North Carolina and Syracuse.  These 4 teams end up in New Orleans with Ohio State erasing past demons beating an SEC team Kentucky on the back of Jared Sullinger.  SCORE:  OSU 62 UK 60

Corey:  You know that kind of hurts my feelings right?  Don’t care who the Final Four is but I do agree Kentucky goes to the championship game.  However, they obviously win it because Thad Matta doesn’t know what a bench is and Calipari is just due for some good luck right?  SCORE:  UK 72 Opponent 64

Corey:  On to my least favorite sport of these categories and that’s professional basketball.  What a joke, I don’t even want to give a prediction but in the spirit of this blog, I’ll attempt it for humor’s sake.  I despise LeBron and the Heat but they make it back to the Finals.  They are defeated by another West foe but this time it is my sleeper pick:  Kevin Durant’s OKC Thunder who win it in 7.  SCORE: OKC 98 MIA 90

Garrett:  I like your OKC pick however I believe we finally get to see the Finals matchup the media has been waiting for for years.  The LA Lakers versus the Miami Heat.  Kobe versus Lebron.  Kobe wins his 6th NBA title tying MJ.  Lakers in 7.  P.S. I hate LBJ’s face and everything about him.  SCORE:  LAL 94 MIA 86

Corey:  Ok, enough of that crap finally, on to a sport I know everyone has been dying to hear about and America’s past time, the National Hockey League!  Alright Garrett, who’s holding Lord Stanley above their head come June?

Garrett:  Great, my least followed sport.  I’m just going to throw in some guesses here.  The San Jose Sharks make their first appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals however let’s party like it’s 1994.  The Ryan Callahan led New York Rangers have a parade down Wall Street with Lord Stanley winning in 6.  SCORE:  NYR 2 SJS 1 (OT)

Corey:  Dang Garrett, you almost sound like you know what you are talking about.  I could be a sell out here and go with my Pens but I won’t cheapen this blog more so than it already is.  Unfortunately I have to sell my soul here and pick my least favorite team the Philadelphia Flyers to win it in 5 games in a rematch with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2 years ago.  I hate my life.  Giroux is awesome.  SCORE: PHI 4 CHI 3

Corey:  I just realized that these championships all take place in the first 6 months of the year and we have to wait nearly 4 more months to crown an MLB champ.  Just another fact proving baseball is just too long and boring to hold most people’s interest.  Nevertheless, third time is the freaking charm for the Texas Rangers because I’m in love with Josh Hamilton.  Rangers are ticked, sweep my beloved Braves.  SCORE: TEX 3 ATL 1

Garrett:  In a matchup that no one would predict, besides yours truly, we will have an I-71 World Series featuring the Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians.  Again, it’s heartbreak in Cleveland.  Reds in 7.  SCORE:  CIN 5 CLE 4

Corey:  Wow, I should shut down this entire blog before we even get started based on that bull crap of an answer.  I would say you’re stupid but I don’t have to.  Moving on, our special guest in our predictions for 2012 is the London Summer Olympics!  As former track athletes, the Summer Games hold a special place in our hearts.  Besides the obvious patriotism factor, this is just a chance to see the best athletes in the world.  So Boomer, what are you most excited about come August?

Garrett:  The return of Michael Phelps!  It’s hard to imagine Michael repeating his 2008 performance but I do believe there are at least 2-4 gold medals within grasp at these games.  A side note, I’m really interested in the track events with Usain Bolt going up against Tyson Gay.  Also, because it’s obvious, the distance events because I just want to see an American medal in something, anything.  I also want to see Team USA Men’s Basketball repeat with a probable new look depth chart.

Corey:  Speaking of Phelps, I could really eat a footlong sub right now.  I’m very excited for the 2012 Summer Games but only because of the track events.  All the other sports are rather irrelevant in my mind except maybe the gymnastics because that stuff is impressive.  As much as I’d love to see Americans medal in the distance events, I’m a realist and look forward to faster times.  And like Boomer, I want to see USA back on top for the fastest man in the world.  Bolt’s a freak of nature, what a tool.  USA USA USA!

Boomer's Fiesta Bowl Preview

Preview: 2012 Fiesta Bowl 41st edition “Shoot-out in the Desert”

            Date/Time: January 2, 2012 8:30 PM (EST)

            Stanford Cardinals (11-1) vs. Oklahoma St. Cowboys (11-1) Favorite: Cowboys by 3

            All-Time Series: 1st meeting between the two teams

Boomers Four Keys in creating a “Fiesta”:

1)     Andrew Luck vs. Brandon Weeden     

I can’t imagine seeing these two teams in this game, if it were not for the two quarterbacks on each side. Andrew Luck the foregone #1 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft had a stellar season, 3,170 passing yards, 35 TD’s (5th in the nation) to only 9 INT’s. The Heisman Runner-up the past 2 seasons, Luck showed all season what kind of quarterback he would be in the future. Weeden, 28 haha, led Oklahoma State to their 1st Big 12 Championship in school history. Weeden’s numbers were among the leaders in the nation, 73% passes completed, 4,328 passing yards, and 34 TD’s. In the end, I like Weeden and his sidekick two-time Biletnikoff Winner Justin Blackmon (1336 receiving yards and 15 TD’s.) Advantage: Oklahoma State

2)     Stepfan Taylor vs. Joseph Randle

With the focus of both offenses being on the passing attack, I believe whichever team can mixed in the running game most effectively, will go a long way in winning this game. Stepfan Taylor was the Cardinals #1 running back providing the Cardinal attack with 1,314 total offensive yards and 10 TD’s. Taylor will be counted on to provid the Cardinals offense with some balance, and help open up the passing game for Luck. Joseph Randle finished the regular season with 1,193 rushing yards and 23 TD’s (4th in the nation). Randle also showed he could be a reliable set of hands catching the ball out of the backfield (38 catches, 238 yards, 2 TD’s). Both running backs will do a great job spelling each one of their Quarterbacks, but I’m going to have to go with Randle in this match-up. Advantage: Oklahoma State

3)     Let-Down vs. Opportunity

Each team is probably thinking, “what if”, with both teams being passed over by Alabama (another one-loss team) to play LSU in the National Championship. With that, both teams can play this game two ways, play like you have been left off the “invite” list or show the nation on national television that you deserved a shot at the National Championship. Both programs are excellently coached and I can’t see either playing below their potential. Both teams will play with a chip on their shoulder. Advantage: Both teams

4)     David Shaw vs. Mike Gundy

Both coaches will be coaching in their first BCS bowl game as Head Coaches, Coach Shaw being on the Stanford staff last year as an assistant. Coach Shaw took over the Stanford program from previous Coach Jim Harbaugh (watch your handshake with that guy, haha) and guided the Cardinals to an 11-1 record in his 1st year at the helm. Coach Gundy has come a long way from his “I’m a man, I’m 40” rant, to guide the Cowboys to the schools first ever Big 12 Championship. It will be interesting to see how each one matches each other as the game goes along. I’m leaning towards the more experienced coach in Gundy in this one, coming up with a BCS bowl victory. Advantage: Oklahoma State

Prediction: Oklahoma State 38, Stanford 35. I’M A MAN, IM 25!

Boomer's Rose Bowl Preview


 Preview: 2012 Rose Bowl 98th edition “The Granddaddy of Them All”

Date/Time: January 2, 2012 5:30 PM (EST)

Wisconsin Badgers (11-2) vs. Oregon Ducks (11-2)  Favorite: Ducks by Six

All-Time Series: Wisconsin 3-1 Last: 2001 (Oregon, 31-28 @ Wisconsin)

Boomer’s Four Keys on smelling the “Roses”:

1)      Russell Wilson vs. Oregon’s Secondary

Russell Wilson connected on 73% of his passes with 31 TD’s to only 3 INT’s on the year. If only it were not for the two late minute loses, Wilson could have found himself in NYC for the Heisman Ceremony. Oregon’s secondary was able to collect 6 INT’s, but have allowed opponents to pass for 243 yards/per game (82nd nationally). At times, Oregon’s defensive secondary has been suspect, case in point Matt Barkley 323 yards with 4 TD’s. In the end, I believe Russell Wilson will be able to find some holes in Oregon’s secondary throughout the game. Advantage: Wisconsin

2)      Oregon’s Spread Attack vs. Wisconsin’s Defense

There is not another offensive attack more exciting to watch then the Ducks. Any given play could go for a touchdown. The Ducks were 3rd in the nation in scoring (46 ppg); the Ducks use an up-tempo offense that really puts defenses under pressure. Wisconsin was 6th in the nation in scoring defense (17 ppg). Wisconsin has to avoid giving up the big play to the Duck’s offense. Ha, Good Luck. Advantage: Oregon

3)      Monte Ball vs. Oregon’s Front Seven

Mr. Touchdown will have the challenge of going up against a defensive unit that has improved throughout the season. Monte had one of the all-time greatest individual seasons which included a trip to NYC for the Heisman Ceremony (1,816 total yards of offense, 39 total TD’s with one being a passing TD). Monte will definitely be the focal point of the Duck’s defense, a unit that gave up 137 rushing yards per game, 46th in the nation. Wisconsin’s offense will rely heavily on Monte rushing the ball, as well as, catching the ball out of the backfield. Advantage: Wisconsin

4)      Bret Bielema vs. Chip Kelly

This match-up will be the 2nd trip to Pasadena for each head coach. Coach Bielema coached in last years Rose Bowl, losing to TCU 21 to 19. Coach Kelly’s first appearance came in his first year at the helm with the Duck’s in the 2010 Rose Bowl, losing to Ohio State, 26-17. Coach Kelly will be going for his first bowl win, coming up short last season in the National Championship Game against the Cam Newton-led Auburn Tigers, 22 to 19. Coach Bielema has a career record of (3-2) in bowl games. Coach Kelly will want to play a fast pace game, while Coach Bielema will look to run the clock and keep the ball out of the Duck’s hands. Which coach will get to lift the Rose Bowl trophy for the first time?
Advantage: Toss-Up

     Prediction: Oregon 35, Wisconsin 31. QUACK QUACK QUACK

Gainer's Winter Classic Preview

Preview: 2012 NHL Winter Classic; 5th Edition; “The Classic”
  • Date/Time: January 2, 2012 @ 1 PM at Citizens Bank Park (home of the Philadelphia Phillies) on NBC
  • New York Rangers (21-8-4, 46 pts) at Philadelphia Flyers (21-9-4, 46 pts); Tied for first in Atlantic Division
  • All-Time Series:  Philadelphia Flyers, 114-112-37 (263 meetings)--  First 11/16/67 --> Flyers 3-2 @ Philadelphia)
    • Previous Meetings this season:
      • 12/23/11  New York Rangers, 4-2 @ Madison Square Garden
      • 11/26/11  New York Rangers, 2-0 @ Madison Square Garden

Gainer’s Four Keys to the “Ice Bowl” victory:
1. The Atmosphere

One cannot ignore where and how this game is being played.  With the Winter Classic becoming an annual tradition, the players and coaches look forward to playing in it.  It brings back the pond hockey memories of their youth and truly is a spectacle any sports fan can enjoy.  On top of that, the addition of the HBO Films series 24/7: Road to the Winter Classic that started last year, fans can further connect to the teams through a behind-the-scenes journey of the month surrounding the event.  This is the one game a year where weather can play a factor.  The first Winter Classic in Buffalo back in 2008 had snow falling which forced teams to switch sides every 10 minutes.  In Pittsburgh last year, it rained and was nearly 50 degrees outside.  We are a week away and the Philadelphia forecast is calling for rain and in the mid 40s similar to last year’s game.  On top of the weather, there is the crowd.  The set up is an ice rink right in the middle of a baseball stadium similar to 2 previous Winter Classics held at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.  This creates an unusual setting.  Yes there will be nearly 44,000 people in attendance which doubles even the largest NHL arenas but the fans are not on top of the rink.  This will be an adjustment for both teams, especially sight lines for goaltenders, but overall a quick adjustment once the game gets going.  ADVANTAGE: Philadelphia Flyers (an already avid fan base, outside, for a hockey game?! Could get ugly…)

2. The Goalies: Henrik Lundqvist vs. Ilya Bryzgalov

The goalies are the true stars of this year’s Winter Classic.  Henrik Lundqvist of Swedish descent has played his entire career for the Rangers since 2005.  In 2006, 2007, and 2008, he was nominated for the Vezina Trophy given annually to the NHL’s top goaltender and is the only goalie to record 30 wins in each of his first six seasons.  In the 2006 Winter Olympics, he led Sweden to their second gold medal as well.  “King Henrik” has nearly average 70 starts a year is a workhorse.  Only 1 season did he not help the Rangers qualify for the playoffs and it was on the final shot of a shootout in the final regular season game against their very opponent of this game, the Flyers.  Ilya Bryzgalov is in his first season with the new look Philadelphia Flyers, he was the big off-season signing for the Flyers who are historically known for never having the “go to” goalie.  He was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks and was the back-up goalie for the Stanley Cup winning team of 2007.  In the 2010 season, he was the runner-up for the Vezina Trophy with the Phoenix Coyotes.  He helped lead the team that season back to the playoffs for the first time since 2002 with 42 victories.  Bryzgalov is quickly becoming a fan favorite with his extremely odd personality garnered through his appearances on HBO’s 24/7:  Road to the Winter Classic.  With two of the perennial top goaltenders in the NHL since the lockout, this game could come down to who makes the big save.  ADVANTAGE:  Lundqvist NYR (He is the anchor of a top flight defensive team and 7th ranked penalty killing unit)

3. Top Forwards of Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr vs. Gaborik-Richards-Callahan

Both squads have a little different look this year compared to last year.  The Rangers still have Marian Gaborik the sniper but Callahan has the “C” on his sweater this season and has become quite the force.  The big change is the guy up the middle in Brad Richards who comes to re-unite with Coach Tortorella from their Tampa Bay Lightning championship back in 2004 before the lockout.  Richards comes over from Dallas where he blossomed into a top flight center and signed a big contract in the Big Apple.  The biggest change though comes in Philadelphia where Captain Mike Richards and Alternate Captain Jeff Carter were BOTH traded in the SAME day this past offseason.  Only 2 years removed from a Stanley Cup Finals appearance against Chicago, General Manager Paul Holmgren decided it was time for a change.  By trading these 2 All-Stars, the team is putting their focus on young stud Claude Giroux and frankly, he has been more than advertised even with a concussion so far this season.  On top of that, the Flyers brought it former Penguin Jaromir Jagr who returns from a multiple year hiatus in Russia.  I don’t have to say what kind of player JJ is, one of the all-time greats.  These 2 flanking each other has also re-energized Scott Hartnell into producing his finest year yet.  It’s safe to say these 6 guys can put the puck into the net.  ADVANTAGE:  Hartnell-Giroux-Jagr  PHI (Giroux is the NHL leading point scorer and is making Jagr young again)

4. The Head Coaches:  John Tortorella vs. Peter Laviolette

Tortorella of the Rangers and Laviolette of the Flyers both bring a championship pedigree to this matchup.  Torts won it with Tampa and Brad Richards back in 2004, the last season before the lockout, over the Calgary Flames and Laviolette won it with Carolina Hurricanes back in 2006 over the Edmonton Oilers, the first year back from the lockout.  They are both extremely well respected throughout the league and know how to relate to current day players.  Laviolette is in his 3rd year behind the bench of the Flyers after getting to the Finals with the team back in 2010 and losing in the second round, embarrassingly, to the future champs, Boston Bruins.  His challenge has been incorporating the new look forwards and a franchise goal tender into his system.  He’s also dealing with not having his Captain Chris Pronger who’s out for the season with a concussion.  As a Penguins fan, I know how challenging it is to lose your Captain for the whole season.  Tortorella is in his 4th season behind the bench of the Rangers.  Two of the past three seasons, he has not been able to get the team out of the first round of the playoffs.  However with newly acquired center Brad Richards, expectations are high for this squad.  Torts is known for his fiery attitude and brings an intensity behind the bench.  His Rangers team has been known for its goaltending and strong defense over the past couple years even without the long term loss of their top defensemen too in Marc Staal due also to a concussion.  Bringing an offensive mindset to a team has paid off being a top 10 team in goal scoring.  As an added bonus, these coaches are 1-2 ALL TIME in wins for U.S. born NHL coaches.   ADVANTAGE:  Tortorella – NYR (has his team in the top 10 in both goals per game offensively and defensively and have the 2-0 edge this season out of their 6 match-ups)

PREDICTION:  New York Rangers 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2.  The trend is official as the team with a 2nd Winter Classic appearance hosting loses.  This is scrappy, physical and penalty filled.  The goalies come up big but the Rangers pick up the big goal in the third to seal the deal.