Archive for the 'random tanget' Category

USA Soccer Fantasy Team

With all the buzz around the World Cup the last couple of weeks, College FootBlog decided to take a look at our USA squad and also examine the athletes in this country that choose to play other sports and how that impacts our relevance in world play for the original “football” game that is celebrated so much internationally.

This edition of College FutBlog (if you will) takes a look at some of the top athletes in each of the major three sports to take a look at what might have been if our top athletes had focused their attention to Soccer instead of their sport of choice.  We only selected five athletes from each sport.  We took into account several skills, such as speed, agility and strength.  Needless to say, it is an impressive list of just a few of America’s top athletes.  Without further adieu, here is our breakdown of what could have been.

NBA

Chris Paul (PG/New Orleans Hornets):  Since his arrival to the NBA in 2005, Paul has been arguably the best point guard in the league.  He mixes speed and quickness with a high basketball IQ.  He is also known for his quickness and ability to make decisions on the move–skills that are vital in soccer.

Dwyane Wade (G/Miami Heat):  Wade burst onto the NBA scene in 2003, when he was selected unanimously to the NBA All-Rookie Team.  Among all the 7-footers who play in the NBA, Wade looks small in stature, and it surprises many to realize that he is actually 6’4″ and 220 lbs.  That size, along with his tremendous athleticism made D-Wade a no-brainer for this list.

USA Soccer Coach Bob Bradley could have used more speed and explosiveness at this year's World Cup--our Fantasy Soccer Team takes a look at what might have been (google images)

Allen Iverson (G/Philadelphia 76ers):  Although his best years are clearly behind him, Iverson is still recognized as one of the NBA’s best scorers.  “The Answer,” as he is known, was also an elite football player coming out of high school.  At 6’0″ and only 165 lbs., he has the measurables of a soccer player, but name us a pro soccer player that could drop 31 points a game in the NBA, like Iverson did in his MVP season of 2000-2001.

LeBron James (G/Cleveland Cavaliers):  Easily one of the best athletes in the world, some have suggested that King James could be an elite NFL tight end as well.  At 6’8″ and 250 lbs., he would be a little tall to be on a soccer field, but his freakish athleticism is unparalleled, and it is hard to imagine that there is any sport that he could not dominate.

John Wall (G/Washington Wizards):  Although he has not played a minute in an NBA game, many have the ex-Kentucky point guard pegged as this season’s Rookie of Year.  The 6’4″ athlete only spent one season at UK, but he made the most of his time there, earning multiple awards, including Yahoo! Sports’ National Player of the Year.

NFL

Chris Johnson (RB/Tennessee Titans):  Johnson is known for being one of the fastest (if not the fastest) players in the NFL.  His blend of speed and agility made him an All-Pro selection last season.  Despite his 5’11” and 200 lbs. frame, Johnson can run outside and between the tackles in the world’s most physical game.  He would not only be the fastest player on a soccer field, but he would also be one of the most physical.

Adrian Peterson (RB/Minnesota Vikings):  Peterson has the unique ability to outrun defensive backs, but he can also trample some of the best linebackers in the league.  At 6’2″ and 215 lbs., he still runs a 4.35 forty-yard dash.  That blend of size and speed would be especially scary on a soccer field.

Darrelle Revis (CB/New York Jets):  Known as one of the best cover-corners in the NFL, Revis has a blend of speed, agility and instincts that would seem to transfer easily to the soccer field if he had gone that direction.  His ability to accelerate and change direction on a dime made him a “must” on this list.

Steve Smith (WR/Carolina Panthers):  Although small in stature (5’9,” 185 lbs.), Smith packs a punch (just ask Ken Lucas).  His speed, agility and toughness have made him one of the most dangerous receivers and punt returners in the NFL since he was drafted in 2001.

Mike Vick (QB/Philadelphia Eagles):  Known more for his off-the-field issues, Vick still possesses game-breaking speed.  His 4.36 time in the forty-yard dash was the fastest of any player on the Atlanta Falcons’ roster in his rookie year.  His speed and escapability allowed him to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.

MLB

Carl Crawford (OF/Tampa Bay Rays):  Since his call up to the majors in 2002, Crawford has been arguably the most dangerous base stealers in the MLB, racking up nearly 400 stolen bases in his career already.  Hand-eye coordination is a must for baseball, and Crawford is no exception–his career batting average is just a touch under .300.

Shane Victorino (OF/Philadelphia Phillies):  The “Flyin’ Hawaiian’ is known for his speed and was an integral part of the Phillies’ World Series Championship in 2008.  Victorino is a switch hitter, who led the Majors in triples (13) last season and is one of the fastest players in the game.  This speed and versatility landed him a spot on this list.

Justin Upton (OF/Arizona Diamondbacks)At the age of 19, Upton was called up to the Majors.  The term “5-Tool Player” is overused in baseball, but Upton is one athlete that fits that bill.  He has a unique blend of speed, power and consistency at the plate, he is a solid outfielder (despite committing 12 errors last season) and arm strength.  Last season was a breakout year for the youngster, as he hit .300 with 26 homeruns to go along with 20 stolen bases.

Jacoby Ellsbury (OF/Boston Redsox):  In case you haven’t noticed, speed is a common theme on this list, and Ellsbury is no exception.  Last season, the young outfielder led the Majors in stolen bases with 70.  He got his initial call up to the Redsox in 2007, and has quickly become a fan favorite in Boston because of his speed and toughness.

Chone Figgins (2B/Seattle Mariners):  The 5’9,” 155 lb. outfielder amassed 280 stolen bases going into this season.  Figgins is not only known for his speed.  He is also known for his versatility in the field.  Since his call up to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he has played all three outfield positions, second base and third base.  This blend of speed and skillfulness lands him on our list.

Let us know your thoughts!  We would like to get a debate going.  Who did we miss?  And who else belongs on the list?  Respond to the “Comments” section and post your thoughts.

Guests Full of Shameless Plugs on ESPN’s Superbowl Week

I am as big of a fan of ESPN’s Mike & Mike in the Morning and The ‘Herd with Colin Cowherd as anyone, but I’m thankful that Superbowl Week has come to an end.  Don’t get me wrong, I am really looking forward to watching the Superbowl, but ESPN’s guests on my two favorite radio shows featured their guests’ products and advertisements, instead of expert analysis.

Instead of spending time on the big game and its analysis, guests like Mark Sanchez and Troy Aikman were dishing out more plugs than a Hans Wiemann treatment center. 

Jets QB Mark Sanchez awkwardly brought his products into his interview several times on ESPN's "Mike & Mike" last week (google images)

Good for Sanchez for getting some extra cash to promote Degree deodorant, but save it for the commercials.  On several occasions during Sanchez’ interview with Mike and Mike, he tried to invent a segue to push his product, saying that as a quarterback in the NFL, he knows all about protection, and that’s why he believes in Degree’s deodorant. 

That is perfectly fine for a 30-second commercial–our society expects that.  But when you are getting interviewed about your past season and the upcoming Superbowl match up, no one cares what Mark Sanchez puts under his arm pits.

Equally as bad was Troy Aikman’s spots on both “Mike and Mike” and “The ‘Herd,” where the former Cowboys’ quarterback talked a little bit about fellow teammate, Emmitt Smith and his likely induction to this year’s NFL Hall of Fame class, but that seemed to be drowned out by his shameless promotion of Campbell’s Chunky Soup and how he loves it and it is great for a quick meal on the run.

Somehow, I just don’t believe that Troy Aikman–after all the money from his NFL career and his current job as an NFL analyst alongside Joe Buck–is in the Fox break room, nuking his microwave bowl of Campbell’s Soup like the rest of us.

Aikman seems like a great person, but even if he does enjoy a bowl of soup from time to time, it is really doubtful that he has used the product more than a handful of times in the last decade–seriously, once you turn 12, you retire the Pac-Man thermos and canned soup is no longer a part of a the diet.

It is not advertising that is the problem.  In fact, the TV ads are why millions watch the Superbowl in the first place.  But let’s leave the shameless plugs for the commercials and not the interviews.  Don’t get me wrong–I am all about these guys putting some extra coin in their pockets, but maybe the athletes and the sponsors could choose a more acceptable setting to push their products.