Monthly Archives: November 2012

2012 NFL Top 5 MVP Candidates

There are no clear candidates for this year’s NFL MVP award which should make for an intense and close race toward the end of the season. Listed below are the top five candidates to win the award and the reason why they should win the award.

Everyone who knows the NFL knows that Adrian Peterson had serious knee surgery less than a year before the season started, rehabbed his way back from his torn MCL and ACL injury, started Week 1 and is having one of his best seasons as a professional. He currently leads the league in rushing with 1,128 rushing yards and he is doing it virtually by himself without much help on offense being on the Minnesota Vikings. We don’t know what lies ahead for the Vikings but they are currently sitting on a record of 6-4 with the Bears and Green Bay Packers to deal with in their division, which may decrease Peterson’s chances of winning the award. Also, the award gives higher priority to the elite quarterbacks of the league but Peterson should be in a two man race for the Comeback Player of the Year award with Peyton Manning.

Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons came out of the gate full force making cases for all the awards and the Super Bowl. Recently however, they have looked mortal with Ryan throwing for 5 interceptions in Week 11 against the Cardinals and barely squeezing out victories. Ryan put up MVP like numbers early on in the season with above 70% accuracy and a high yards per game average however those numbers have fallen but the Falcons continue to win and stay on top of the football league which has a bunch of weight when it comes to MVP voting.

He is the reigning MVP and has statistics to back up his argument for winning the award again this year however Rodgers had such an unbelievable 2011 season that many voters will see a decrease in numbers. Not only has Rodgers been “un-Rodgers-like”, but Rodgers’ Packers started the season with a sub .500 record early on in the season. He has been able to steer the ship in the right direction despite numerous injuries to his wide receivers and offensive line. If the Packers can continue its winning streak and notch the top spot in their division, Rodgers could make a strong case for a repeat award.

It seems like Brady could win this award every year with different rosters and players surrounding him. This season has been no exception as Brady has been playing at an elite level yet again. He is currently third in total passing yards with 3,299 yards and leads the highest scoring offense in the league. Let’s not forget that Brady also threw for over 5,000 yards last season, a feat that would have been commended if it weren’t for Drew Brees. He is also leading his team toward yet another AFC playoff appearance and possibly another first round bye week in the playoffs. The fact that he keeps leading his team year after year and puts up elite numbers year after year, voters may become “numb” to Brady’s consistency and neglect what he has actually been able to accomplish year after year. He should still get a lot of attention come award time.

When teams are essentially being interviewed by a “player” during the offseason means the player is a sure fire Hall of Fame player which was most definitely the case when Manning “chose” the Denver Broncos as his new home and team. Manning has not disappointed either despite not playing in a regular season in almost two calendar years prior to the start of this season. Manning has everything going for him this season to claim his fifth MVP trophy. He has led his team to a 7-3 record among the AFC, thrown for 2,975 yards, 24 touchdowns, and only 7 interceptions with a 68.5% completion percentage. He has been able to turn around a franchise that cringed every time a pass was thrown to elite playoff contenders. Manning could be collecting his record fifth MVP award along with a Comeback Player of the Year award if he continues on this same path by the end of the season.

Hawks win easily their 5th straight 104-93 against the Clippers

Saturday night basketball and it was just too much from the Hawks. Again, it might be too little from the Clippers, who can’t wait to return home, after the 3rd straight away loss.

The Hawks controlled the game almost all the way from start to finish. Led by Jeff Teague with 19 points and 11 assists – his second double-double in the last 2 games – turned it up and caught on fire after the first quarter and kept really going till the end. The Clippers really froze down to start the second quarter allowing an 18-0 run. Zaza Pachulia added another 19points (season high) and 12 rebounds for Altanta, who got 17 from Josh Smith and 18 points from Lou Williams coming off the bench. “We’re playing well. The chemistry is there.”

As they did in Friday’s loss against the Nets, the Clippers didn’t do well offensively. Blake Griffin had 22 points and Chris Paul added 19, but the rest of the team had a tough night shooting the ball, just 39.1% on 18-46.LA was outscored 46-30 in the paint, pretty bad for a team ranked 3rd overall coming in the game. Quarters closed at 24-21, 17-30, 19-34 and 33-19.

The game included some real nice moments. After a first quarter reverse under the basket dunk Blake Griffin, it was Josh Smith who got off to a fast break and avoided the block of Griffin to stuff it hard to the rim with 7 minutes to go on the 3rd. Then again, Eric Bledsoe produced highlight material on a put back slam for the Clippers almost midway through the fourth period. But the dunks and the flying weren’t enough for LA.

On the night’s notables, the season’s fourth technical of Blake Griffin came with him on the bench! Jamal Crawford scored his 26th four-point play with 7.43 left in the game on a tough high arcing shot. Josh Smith, the Hawks’ second-leading scorer, Smith with 15.2 PPG sat out the entire second quarter after coming to the bench with two fouls late in the first period.

“There was an exchange there … and I wasn’t going to play him, at least not in the rest of the half. We talked at halftime.” Said coach Larry Drew.

Coming up next For the Clippers, Monday vs. Hornets. As for the Hawks, Wednesday vs. Bobcats

Who Will Win the 2012 Heisman Trophy?

Matt Barkley, the USC Trojans QB who decided not to enter the NFL draft and return for his senior season, will not win the Heisman Trophy this year, that much is sure. But, who will accept the Heisman bust this December?

Late in the season it appeared that Kansas State Wildcats do-everything QB Collin Klein might be the guy. However, an ugly 52-24 upset loss to Baylor on Nov. 17 leaves Klein’s possibility as a finalist looming. Mante Te’O, the Notre Dame LB, has had an amazing season (tied for the FBS lead in interceptions with seven) under a fair amount of duress. Te’O lost both his girlfriend and grandmother earlier in the season, not to mention the stress of having to face every opponent’s best shot week in and week out as the Irish finished the season unbeaten.

The front-runner, however, for college football’s top award is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manzeil. The redshirt freshman has led the Aggies to a remarkable 10-2 record including an upset win over then top-ranked Alabama. Manziel, or “Johnny Football” as he has become known, is one of just a handful of quarterbacks who have thrown for over 3,000 yards and ran for over 1,000 in the same season. He leads the SEC in rushing with 1,181 yards and has run for 19 touchdowns.

When new head coach Kevin Sumlin took over, it appeared that the Aggies would be rebuilding while they entered the mighty SEC. After a season-opening loss to Florida, Texas A&M reeled off five straight wins and the legend of “Johnny Football” began to rise. If anyone needs validation that Manziel is deserving of the Heisman, watch the game film of the Aggies’ win over ‘Bama. Manziel was 24-of-31 passing for 253 yards, two touchdowns, and he did not throw an interception. He also rushed for 92 more yards against arguably the nation’s best defense.

Along with Klein, Te’O, and Manziel, the other finalists may be Oregon Ducks speedy RB Kenjon Barner who has rushed for 1,624 yards and 21 touchdowns, and USC wide receiver Marqise Lee, who has hauled in 112 receptions for 1,680 yards and 14 scores. This year’s winner will be announced on Saturday, December 8, live from the Best Buy Theater in Times Square.

Top 5 Super Bowl XLVII Contenders

We are now eleven weeks into the 2012 NFL regular season and it has been a surprising season up to this point among contenders and pretenders based on seasons’ past. It seems that the “bounty-gate” debacle has affected the New Orleans Saints more than perhaps even “expert analysts” have anticipated. The Arizona Cardinals jumped out to an early 4-0 lead among the NFC West and the New York Jets look like the preseason named “circus” after all, winning and losing by large deficits week by week. However, I believe we as fans can start to pin-point those teams who will be automatic locks in the playoffs and the potential Super Bowl XLVII contenders!

We will now take a quick look into the future and some of the teams that might be playing in the big game.

Barrys Ticket Service with Petros Padadakis

Right now the Houston Texans look to have the easiest road to a playoff bye week and home field advantage among the AFC. They have a complete team both on offense and defense with elite offensive weapons in Arian Foster, Andre Johnson and Matt Schaub to along with defensive swat man J.J. Watt. They also have by far the easiest division having to face the Indianapolis Colts, the Tennessee Titans, and the Jacksonville Jaguars. The only thing that will stop the Houston Texans from getting to the playoffs will be injuries to key players such as Brian Cushing. The Texans have also only made the playoffs for the first time in franchise history last season with a rookie quarterback leading the way. With experience and healthy players, the Texans could potentially see themselves representing the AFC in New Orleans.

We all know that Atlanta had a pretty decent team when they drafted Matt Ryan to take over at quarterback. Matty “Ice” has made the playoffs each of his five seasons in the league but has failed to make it anywhere close to the Super Bowl. The Atlanta Falcons were able to put all their eggs in one basket a year ago by giving up a ton of draft picks to select Julio Jones last year and we are now seeing those dividends as Jones is quickly becoming an elite wide receiver in the league alongside perhaps the best wide receiver duo in Roddy White. The reason the Falcons are one of the top teams in the league this year is because of their defense. Trading for Asante Samuel in the offseason and the emergence of William Moore and Thomas DeCoud in the deep secondary has made the Falcons able to pass rush the quarterback, something they have unable to do in past seasons. What looks like to be the “turning point” for Matt Ryan could result in a Super Bowl appearance by representing the NFC.

The San Fransisco 49ers came out of the gate blazing last season, ultimately claiming the second best record and a first round bye week in the playoffs. They were bested by the hot New York Giants and a few special team plays in the NFC title game to end their season. This year they have focused on improving the offense as the defense is still tops in the league. The 49ers were able to lure in two Giants in Mario Manningham and Brandon Jacobs as well as retired Randy Moss to bolster the bench. Under the lead of head coach Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers have returned to the dominant days of the 1980s only this time around the defense is doing the dominating. Alex Smith is finally starting to shape into what was once the number one overall pick out of Utah having the same offensive playbook in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career. If Smith can overcome his concussion suffered a few weeks ago, the 49ers should be able to secure a playoff spot and hopefully go beyond the outcome of last year and into the Super Bowl.

The New England Patriots are the current AFC champions and they still have all their offensive weapons with a much improved defense from a year ago. Despite some early losses, I believe that Tom Brady and company will be able to right the ship and sail into the playoffs perhaps with a first round bye. The main reason I believe they have yet another legitimate chance at a Super Bowl run is because of its young defense. The Patriots were able to draft a slew of young defensive players including the likes of Chandler Jones, Donta’ Hightower, and Tavon Wilson to play along with guys like Devin McCourty and Jerrod Mayo. No matter what though, the ultimate reason the Patriots are always a Super Bowl contender is because of #12, Tom Brady. Brady has led his team to 5 Super Bowls in his career, he can do it again.

Although Ray Lewis and LaDarrius Webb are out for the season I still have the Baltimore Ravens playoff bound and as a potential Super Bowl contender. The Ravens have a great defense and a great offense. Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan are almost mirror images of each other, both having made the playoffs every year in their career but never having made it to the Super Bowl although Flacco has come much closer than Ryan. You can almost sense that both of these guys have finally “figured it out” and are having monster years on offense running his respective team to the top of their divisions and conferences. Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta are also much improved weapons at Flacco’s disposal and I expect the Raven’s backup players on defense to fill in the hole that Lewis and Webb left fluidly. With the Steelers having to deal with major injury issues and the Bengals still young and inexperienced, the Ravens should be able to win the AFC North easily and make a strong push toward Super Bowl XLVII.

Bon Jovi Concert Tour

Tour dates announced for Bon Jovi

Bon Jovi Staples Center Los Angeles

Bon Jovi Staples Center Los Angeles

The Bon Jovi tour begins Feb. 9 in Uncasville, Conn., and will play mostly arenas in North America, though there are several stadium shows on the route, including a two-night stand at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., the band’s home state. The band will also play Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., and Ford Field in Detroit.

Bon Jovi will be playing the Los Angeles Staples Center on April 19th 2013.

Bon Jovi Tour Dates

Bon Jovi 2013 “Because We Can – The Tour” North American dates:
Feb 09: Uncasville, Conn. (Mohegan Sun)
Feb 10: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
Feb 13: Montreal (Bell Centre)
Feb 14: Montreal (Bell Centre)
Feb 17: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
Feb 18: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
Feb 20: Ottawa, ONT (Scotiabank Place)
Feb 21: Pittsburgh (Consol Energy Center)
Feb 27: Atlanta (Philips Arena)

Mar 01: Tampa, Fla. (Tampa Bay Times Forum)
Mar 02: Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (BB&T Center)
Mar 05: Charlotte, N.C. (Time Warner Cable Arena)
Mar 06: Nashville (Bridgestone Arena)
Mar 09: Cleveland (Quicken Loans Arena)
Mar 10: Columbus (Nationwide Arena)
Mar 13: St Louis (Scottrade Center)
Mar 14: Louisville, Ky. (KFC Yum! Center)
Mar 16: Oklahoma City (Chesapeake Energy Arena)

Apr 02: Calgary, Alberta (Scotiabank Saddledome)
Apr 03: Edmonton, Alberta (Rexall Place)
Apr 05: Winnipeg, Manitoba (MTS Centre)
Apr 07: St Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center)
Apr 10: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
Apr 11: Dallas (American Airlines Center)
Apr 13: Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center)
Apr 14: Des Moines, Iowa (Wells Fargo Arena)
Apr 16: Denver (Pepsi Center)
Apr 17: Salt Lake City (EnergySolutions Arena)
Apr 19: Los Angeles (Staples Center)
Apr 20: Las Vegas (MGM Grand Garden Arena)
Apr 23: Glendale, Ariz. ( Arena)
Apr 25: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavilion)

Jul 12: Chicago (Soldier Field)
Jul 24: East Rutherford, N.J. (MetLife Stadium)
Jul 25: East Rutherford, N.J. (MetLife Stadium)

The tour will also hit the following cities, with additional details to come:

Buffalo, N.Y.
Jacksonville, Fla.
Lubbock, Texas
Memphis, Tenn.
Milwaukee, Wis.
Portland, Ore.
Raleigh, N.C.

Heat Flames put out by LA Clippers

It’s early in the season but not too early to see a clear theme taking shape. The Clippers are legit and clearly the best basketball team that currently occupies the Staples Center. They’ve now run off four consecutive big wins against the Spurs, Grizzlies, Hawks and Heat, with the seven point margin over the Heat being the smallest margin in those four wins. Those previous four games, like last night against the Miami Heat, weren’t really all that close.

The most impressive part of the win streak is the types of teams they’re beating, matching up effectively with all of them. The Clippers can match the Spurs bench and versatility. They can match the Grizzlies superior size and strength inside. Last night they overpowered the small-ball heat with a dominating combination of size and quickness inside, depth off the bench and versatile perimeter play. Pick your style and this deep Clippers team can match it.

Last night was another impressive step in the evolution of Blake Griffin as a complete player. When his spot up jumper is falling he’s un-defendable. If the defender tries to come out and defend his jump shot he can easily blow past any four or five in the league. Try to cover him in the post? He can easily overpower smaller bigs like Chris Bosh. Try to cover him with Shane Battier? Good luck.

Beyond Griffin several others things stood out on the Clippers side yesterday, most notably the Clippers bench. Eric Bledsoe’s block on Dwyane Wade will make all the highlight reels and rightfully so. According to Twitter Lebron called Bledsoe “Little Lebron” following his performance. Highlight reel aside Bledsoe is quickly becoming a game-changing difference maker off the bench with his phenomenal athleticism and ability to get to the rim. He provides a perfect change of pace with Chris Paul, not giving teams any break when Paul gets a rest.

Bledsoe is just part of the story when it comes to the Clippers reserves. Matt Barnes and Jamal Crawford have stepped up huge in recent games. The Clippers second unit has a great balance of offensive threats (Crawford), defensive stoppers (Barnes) and size and strength (Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins). Early on there were questions about how Del Negro would mold this unit together. The roles are now being clearly defined and the argument can be made that the Clippers are now the deepest team in basketball.

A couple of early losses aside when power ranking the west the argument has to be made that the Clippers are the top team. Of course it’s a long season and injuries can happen, with Griffin and Chris Paul both being somewhat injury prone in the past. Still, unforseen injury aside the Clippers are going to be a forced to be reckoned with and are real contenders—and the top team in LA. Hopefully the LA media will get off the Lakers soap opera a bit and realize the story that’s brewing in Clipperland.

As far as the Heat are concerned it’s not surprising they lost to the Clippers in LA, something they’ve done in all three years of the Lebron James Heat era. The fashion in which the Heat lost that has to concern Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra. Like in Memphis and Houston on this current road trip the Heat displayed a lack of intensity on defense. The good thing for Heat fans is that the defensive intensity can be ratcheted up. The big factor that has to concern Heat Nation is the play of Dwayne Wade who just isn’t the same player. The second thing that jumped out is how another team was able to exploit the Heat’s “small ball”. Like Memphis earlier on the road trip it’s pretty clear that a team with dominant big men can exploit a lineup that sometimes employs Shane Battier at power forward. If Memphis or the Clippers find a way to get into the finals they could very well give the Heat quite a series.

Tickets for all Los Angeles Clippers home games are instock and onsale now.

NCAA Bowl Game Projections

2012 Bowl Projections
Texas A&M’s upset of Alabama a week ago has dramatically turned the tables on the 2012-13 bowl picture. With two weeks to go, plus a few conference championship games remaining to play, anything can happen. Nothing is guaranteed as the Tide proved last week, but here is a look at how the BCS bowl scenario may play out.

Discover BCS National Championship
Kansas State vs. Oregon
The Ducks reach the title game by virtue of three impressive season-ending wins over Stanford, rival Oregon State, and UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game. The Wildcats and their Heisman Trophy QB Collin Klein finish the season with Big 12 opponents Baylor and Texas then get a month-long break to prepare for the Ducks.

Rose Bowl presented by VIZIO
Wisconsin vs. Stanford
The Badgers get Nebraska in the Big Ten title game and get revenge for a 30-27 regular season loss. With Oregon going on to the national championship game, the Rose Bowl selects the next best Pac-12 team, the Cardinal, to represent the conference.

Discover Orange Bowl
Florida State vs. Notre Dame
FSU is clearly the best the ACC has to offer and after destroying whoever happens to back into the ACC championship from the Coastal Division will be the conference’s representative in the Orange Bowl. Notre Dame, which will make its case for a berth in the BCS title game after an unbeaten season, finishes the regular season ranked third and wishing it was 2014.

Allstate Sugar Bowl
Alabama vs. Louisville
The Tide wraps up the season with one loss and, being shut out of the title game due to the upset loss to the Aggies, wind up as the SEC choice. ‘Bama faces off against the Big East champion, Louisville. The Cardinals, under coach Charlie Strong, win out beating Rutgers in a season-ending Big East championship deciding game.

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl
Oklahoma vs. Georgia
With Kansas State heading to the national championship, the Sooners are the Big 12 choice to face off in a battle with one of the SEC’s best, Georgia. The Bulldogs struggle with the triple option in their final two games (Georgia Southern & Georgia Tech) but overpower both opponents to receive an at-large berth.

Spurs take first game in 2012-2013 season against Lakers

This was clearly a pretty important game for the Lakers. They played with a lot of intensity and urgency. Unfortunately many of the ills that befell them thus far this season reared their head again—turnovers, missed foul shots and poor late game execution.

Last night was another game where the Lakers couldn’t hit the big shot when they needed to down the stretch. Danny Green stepped up and hit a big three to put the Spurs up by 2. The best the Lakers could do on the other end was a desperation Gasol three. Granted the Spurs did a great job locking down the passing lanes and not really giving Gasol an option, but the execution was poor. The desperation three was something you’d expect from a young team, not the most veteran team in the league.
Offensively the Lakers lack of a perimeter game allowed the Spurs to double Howard in the paint. The Spurs pressure forced Howard into six turnovers and several other wasted possessions where the Lakers threw up less than an ideal shot. You have to wonder how healthy Howard is at this point. He’s clearly not playing up to his standard defensively and doesn’t have the explosiveness yet. Until the Lakers prove they can consistently hit a jump shot teams are going to continue to double-team Howard, forcing him to do a lot of work inside and probably not the best for his recovery from surgery. If he has to expend so much energy on the offensive end how will his defense not suffer?

The Lakers lack of bench was again a factor in the sheer number of minutes the top unit played. The foursome of Gasol, Howard, Bryant and World Peace averaged 38 minutes between them with Howard playing 41 minutes. Contrast this to the Spurs starting five who averaged just 31 minutes. Whether it’s Bernie Bickerstaff or Mike Brown there’s simply no confidence in the Lakers bench players. With Mike D’Antoni and his high-octane offense coming in its questionable how five players over thirty-two years old will hold up over the long run.

Bickerstaff only went nine deep in the rotation with three of those bench players (Chris Duhon, Antawn Jamison and Jodie Meeks) going a combined -22. Contrast this with the Spurs Bench that went a combined +23. Although these numbers don’t necessarily take into account the natural ebb and flow of the game the Spurs there was a +45 bench swing in favor of the Spurs. Pop was able to play is starters limited minutes and get quality from the bench.

There’s really no relief in sight for the top unit. Antawn Jamison is clearly diminished as a player and at thirty-six likely has nothing left in the tank. There are Steve Blake trade rumors but who are they really going to get for Steve Blake at this point? On his podcast Bill Simmons floated the idea of a package deal that would bring Josh Smith to LA. Smith would clearly fit in the D’Antoni system, but what would motivate the Hawks to make that trade? They’d get some value for Smith when it’s questionable whether they can re-sign them. Gasol’s contract would also give them cap flexibility in the near future as well as an elite center to combine with Al Horford. It’s a compelling idea if they can pull it off.

We’ll sit back and see what happens when D’Antoni takes over. He’ll have his work cut out for him.

Rose Bowl Stadium

History of College Football Bowl Games

As the 2016-17 college football season nears its end, talk of what teams will play in what bowl game has started. But where did the bowl games start? Here’s a brief look at the history of bowl games in college football.

Keep on reading!

Lineup announced for KROQ Acoustic Christmas

Kroq Acoustic Christmas Tickets

Kroq Acoustic Christmas Tickets

The 23rd Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas returns to the Gibson Amphitheatreon December 8th & 9th, 2012, featuring two nights of incredible performances from many of today’s biggest bands

Night 1 Lineup:

Night 2 Lineup

>Click here to sign up for information and tickets for the 23rd Annual KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas