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2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions Tribute

It took a while, but here’s my tribute video for the Louisville Cardinals’ 2013 NCAA Men’s basketball championship. It was one of the most exciting basketball games I’ve had the pleasure of watching, rivaling even the 5 overtime marathon against Notre Dame. The second half delivered hard fought baskets, stifling defense, and relentless offensive attacks.

This was truly a worthy championship game full of champion performances. Peyton Siva delivered a performance akin to Derrick Rose’s championship game, ending his storied college career with his very best. Chane Behanan was a beast inside, standing as a man among boys. Luke Hancock was as close to perfect as a player could hope to ever be on the biggest stage of college basketball. The Cardinals showed the advantage of veteran experience and team chemistry that only comes with playing more than a year together, which has largely become a rarity for a lot of top programs.

Congratulations to the Louisville Cardinals from a proud Alumni!

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Go Cards!

Today, the Cards face number 9 seed Wichita in the Final Four in Atlanta. This video is in tribute to their amazing season. Go Cards! Do it for Ware!

The Game That Went Into Tomorrow

Notre Dame tops Louisville in biggest thriller of the Men's Basketball season.

Notre Dame tops Louisville in biggest thriller of the Men’s Basketball season.

It took five overtimes for something to finally give between Louisville and Notre Dame. When everything was said and done, the date was the 10th, and not the 9th it began on. As is with all games in all sports that go into tomorrow, this match-up will be remembered for its intensity, heart, and thrilling finishes.

In perhaps the most thrilling game in men’s basketball this year, Notre Dame and Louisville took it to five overtimes before ND finally came out on top. 101-104. ¬†For Notre Dame, it was a big win to move up in the rankings. For Louisville, it was a hard lesson in closing out games, which is something they’ve struggled with all year.

With 40 seconds to go, and a lead of 7, victory was nearly assured. However poor defense, and suddenly cold hands allowed ND to come back and force the first improbable OT. What transpired since was a back and forth game fought tooth and nail, with neither leading by more than three down the stretch. Each overtime ended with nail biting plays. Every basket was answered in kind. This was the kind of game we hope to see every night. It’s just too bad we left without the win.

Media Bias in Sports

ESPN ran this photo and its story on the NBA front page for over 24 hours.

ESPN ran this photo and its story on the NBA front page for over 24 hours.

Media bias is nothing new. We’ve seen it every day of our lives. and have generally come to either accept it, or ignore it. Like any business, the media is out for traffic, revenue generating traffic. They seek this out by writing stories about the most popular subjects within their spheres, but when does it enter the range of absurd? I think ESPN has shown us by running its story about Pau Gasol’s injury for over 24 hours.

Two nights ago, the Lakers won a nail biter after Gasol went down with an injury that required an MRI. Since then, the image of him on the ground in pain has been on their front page until finally, this morning, when they decided to run a fluff piece on the Heat.

To run this story on its NBA front page for so long is ridiculous. This isn’t exactly something new. In fact, this is probably Gasol’s third injury this season alone, as it’s become evident that age is catching up with him. It’s also even less of a shock to the Lakers, who’ve been suffering injury woes since the season began with three of its stars being out for extended periods of time. There really was nothing that warranted this story to take center stage while 13 NBA games were played last night. What, you wanted to see what was going on during actual play? Too bad, here’s Gasol’s face of pain.

No matter the reason, bias, traffic seeking, or just plain laziness, ESPN should really be ashamed for doing something so insulting to the very idea of news delivery.

Bounties, Cover-ups, No Hall of Famers, Fake Girlfriends. Is This the Year of the Sports Scandal?

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2013 is shaping up to be the Year of the Sports Scandal.

This year started off with a bang in terms of sports scandals. We’re only on the third week of 2013, and already we have so much going. The NFL continues to see more and more trouble with concussions, brain damage, and most recently, depression. This season, in fact, saw a spike in player deaths off the field for various reasons, all of them tragic. Moving forward, the NFL still must face issues with New Orleans’ apparent bounty system, which is under even more scrutiny now that all of the players have had their bans removed.

Last week, no players were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame for only the third time in history, because there’s still a rift between voters regarding players that have been found ¬†guilty of using PEDs. While this is not in of itself a scandal, it does put the spotlight on a rather scathing double standard. Players found guilty of PEDs in the MLB can’t play, but their records still stand.

Now, just this past week, the scandal gates were blown wide open when it was revealed that Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, whose death was once a story of overcoming tragedy and finding inspiration, was discovered to have never existed. This story has yet to be concluded, with questions swirling around whether or not Te’o knew what was going on, and if he was fooled, or part of the fooling.

Now, Lance Armstrong has topped them all by finally coming forward, and admitting to doing PEDs while he achieved his seven Tour De France win streak. His 2-part interview with Oprah brought an end to his long battle against allegations that he cheated with him giving an at times cold and calculated confession. Now it only remains to be seen just how far this rabbit hole goes down into the depths of Hell.

2013 is still young. We’re still 23 (Hello Mr. Jordan) weeks from the NBA draft, which is often hailed as one of sports biggest conspiracies year after year. The shortened NHL season is launching right now, which is sure to be rife with drama regarding player health, the hectic tightened schedule, and other bits of chaos. What kind of madness will 2013 bring next?

NFL Replacement Refs Deserve a Break

Finger pointing at the fall guys has become the norm in the NFL.

It’s no big secret to sports fans that the NFL is currently using replacement referees to officiate their games. This became the dreaded reality of the NFL ever since the labor dispute between the NFL and the official refs turned into a lockout. Ever since the announcement was made, media, fans, and team members have all been whispering about how bad the games are going to be.

From the get go, little was expected of the replacements outside of blundering calls, and missed fouls. In some cases, it really seemed audiences were more interested in watching the refs for mistakes, rather than the players. Botched pass play? Let’s look for a missed holding call an official ref would have never missed! Foul taking back a big gain? Clearly the fault is the replacement making a judgement call an official would have never screwed up. The replacements have had these kinds of scrutiny driven comments on every game, no matter the outcome. This, coming from the same fan base that has been largely claiming the games are being rigged by the officials for years. Blind hatred is being directed at what has become the easiest scapegoat to pick on. All sides are united, a rare occurrence, in attacking these men who’ve been handed their cards, and can’t do anything about it. The flop, turn, and river have already been laid on the table, and people are expecting them to win with a seven high, the absolute weakest hand in poker.

To be fair, mistakes have been made. You can point to them, but don’t fool yourselves into thinking official refs would have resulted in a largely different outcome. You also cannot rightfully blame the replacements for the state of things. They didn’t picket line the NFL offices and force the officials out. They didn’t feed dirty money to the owners to stonewall the negotiations. It was the NFL and the Official Refs that couldn’t come to an agreement. It was the NFL and Official Refs that got the league into this officiating situation. So, don’t go blaming the replacements for sour milk. It’s the people they’re replacing that left it out of the fridge in the first place.

Photos from New Orleans Final four Trip

I think I finally found where they moved the photo gallery option… I actually didn’t take a lot of photos, because I was shooting video most of the time, but here are some that I did get during the Final Four weekend.