Sunday, February 21, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

I've been looking for sporting events to fill the FOOTBALL VOID with mixed results.

Basketball would be the natural filler for me, but in the NBA my team--the 76ers continue to be less than mediocre. The NBA All-Star weekend was disappointing overall with a weak slam dunk field (thought Lebron was going to spice that up?), a "Celebrity" Game where Michael Rapaport (who?) was the MVP with 4 points, H-O-R-S-E, and the most interesting thing about the NBA game was that they got over 100,000 fans in Dallas Stadium.

I've been getting more interested in College Basketball with March Madness on the way, especially in the Big East where Villanova (always want the Big 5 teams to do well) & Syracuse are at the top, although Georgetown recently beat Nova and this week almost finished a great comeback vs. Cuse. No March Madness ramifications, but We Are! Penn State! has won 2 Big 10 games in a row including beating Michigan (always enjoy beating the Wolverines in anything) yesterday.

Having worked for Penske at one time, I'm a casual fan of auto racing and tuned in to see Danica "Go Daddy" Patrick's NASCAR debut in-process last week just as she crashed out & this week she finished, but near the rear--3 laps behind the winner. I'm a "Tiger" golf fan, so his "sex addiction" has eliminated that as a possibility. Also Tennis never really captivates me until Wimbledon. Finally, I've not really gotten into the NHL (besides the Winter Classics which are very cool) since their Strike/Lockout.

This year we have the Winter Olympics to help with the FOOTBALL VOID. Our hometown hero, Allison Baver lost last night in one of her speed skating events, but will be watching as she still has a couple more shots at medals. Right now on ESPN, there's a 1980 Miracle on Ice (I was at a concert at Shippensburg when they announced that stunning upset of the Russkies) story that just got me warmed up for tonight's Team USA vs. Team Canada match-up, as we try to beat Oh Canada in the Olympics for the 1st time since 1960 (yes, 1960) which was actually The First Miracle on Ice
. I know it's only a preliminary round game, but gotta fill the FOOTBALL VOID.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Allison Baver, Speedskating Extraordinaire

The 2010 Winter Olympics are in full swing now, with medals being handed out left and right. I personally have watched multiple snowboarding and skiing events plus some curling, hockey, and figure skating. One event that I caught on Saturday but has been absent since then is speedskating, an event that has many people in the Reading, PA area excited. Why? Wilson High School alum Allison Baver will participate in multiple events, including the 1000m (finals-Feb. 26th), 1500m (finals-Feb. 20th), and 3000m (finals-Feb. 24th). This is Allison's 3rd winter games. Her team finished 7th in the 3000m relay in Salt Lake City (2002) and 4th in the same relay in Torino (2006). She finished 7th in the 500m in Italy as well. The Olympics are what everyone focuses on but she has also done extremely well in the World Cup and World Championships, leading Team USA in total medals on multiple occasions.

She also happens to be not only a Wilson alum but also a Penn State graduate, too. Thanks to this she is featured at Black Shoe Diaries in a new series called "Nittany Lion Spotlight". The article is nice and gives a brief biography on Allison and her past and present. It also touches briefly on her looks.

Allison Baver, Speedskating Extraordinaire

Not too shabby, eh? (The games are in Vancouver. I had to.) Well upon finishing the article I hit up the comments to see what everyone was saying. Towards the end I noticed a comment from user LionsandBear...

Click to enlarge.

LionsandBear previously mentions that his wife attended Wilson with Allison. With regards to this comment... I like it. However, I was quick to add the he had forgotten 2000 Summer Olympics (Sydney) swimmer Kristy Kowal, who earned a silver in the 200m breaststroke event.

And for those wondering what "The JuggerNitt" was referring to, watch this.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Let's Get It Started

I know we rarely get into hockey on here (despite at least 3 of us being big hockey fans), but I had to post this picture when I saw it.

By @NHLFlyers on twitter (via The 700 Level via TweetPhoto)

So awesome. The good guys take on the Swiss at 3 PM eastern today on USA Network. Let it begin, indeed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Tweet from The Man

Former star Penn State linebacker LaVar Arrington was angered by current Redskins RB Clinton Portis. Why? This is why...

LaVar Arrington was the man in D.C. when I arrived, and all of the sudden LaVar felt like it was competition, and he left D.C. He didn't want to be in D.C. any more. He gave back $15, 20 million to leave D.C., because he felt like he wasn't the main money guy, because everybody was getting [paid]. Laveranues, myself, Deion was still getting paid, so he even had input. So I think it was just the wrong attitude, and I think for some of the beliefs that was funneled through, it was like whoever gets the money was the captain.

-- Clinton Portis, on NFL Network, February 6, 2010.
Huh? Well, as you could expect, LaVar did not take kindly to that unsubstantiated diss. Arrington had a rebuttal... and what a rebuttal it is. Here's a tiny portion...

I get a call from Renaldo Wynn, my family, my teammate. I get a call from Cornelius Griffin, my family, my teammate. And you know what they say to me? They say to me, if we don't get this stuff restructured, if you don't restructure it and this collective bargaining agreement doesn't get done, we will be out of jobs. We will lose our jobs, because of how high your cap number is, and all the people that they have tried to restructure to be able to be under this cap.

Ok. So if that's the situation, you're telling me these are my teammates, these are my soldiers, we go to war together, I humble myself for a great purpose and I called the Washington Redskins and I told them there would be one condition that I would restructure my contract. If you think I'm lying, you can call Joe Gibbs, you can call the Washington Redskins. Ask them. I told them the restructured contract of every single individual on the defensive unit, if those contracts are guaranteed as opposed to just being stuck somewhere in a honor the contracts and I will restructure my deal....I was unselfish, and I was a leader, and I am proud of that to this day.

The Redskins did not guarantee those guys their contracts. They did not. So therefore I did not restructure my contract....It wasn't $15, $20 million that I threw away to get away from Clinton Portis. It was a $3 million bonus that I was due, that I took $1 million of it instead of 3. You keep the 3, you give me the 1, and let's part our ways

-- former Redskins (and PSU) linebacker LaVar Arrington, on The LaVar Arrington Show, February 8, 2010

Yes, folks. That is a small snippet of the "rant", though it was more of a rebuttal.

LaVar Arrington and Dukes for 106.7 "The Fan" in D.C.

So, after reading the full transcription (you can also download the entire thing here) I sent a tweet to LaVar (@LaVarArrington), simply saying "You're rant was epic and spot on. Awesome." And I got a response.

Simple. Nothing earth shattering, but awesome nonetheless. LaVar seriously tweeted to me. ME! And the great thing is I know he does it to a lot of people who mention him in a tweet. That's what's so great about LaVar - he LOVES HIS FANS, as he mentioned in the rebuttal. Wish there was a way we could get him back to Happy Valley.

Regardless LaVar, you're awesome.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl: Who I Wanted to Win VS What Really Happened

The first Super Bowl I remember was #26, Redskins vs Bills, Buffalo's second consecutive trip (and second of four straight). I was thinking today, before the Colts and Saints march in to the record books, what happened in past Super Bowls, in regards to who I wanted to win and what the actual outcome was. Check the list below.

XXVI Bills Redskins Redskins Redskins
XXVII Bills Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys
XXVIII Bills Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys
XXIX Chargers 49ers 49ers 49ers
XXX Steelers Cowboys Steelers Cowboys
XXXI Patriots Packers Patriots Packers
XXXII Broncos Packers Broncos Broncos
XXXIII Broncos Falcons Falcons Broncos
XXXIV Titans Rams Titans Rams
XXXV Ravens Giants Giants Ravens
XXXVI Patriots Rams Patriots Patriots
XXXVII Raiders Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers
XXXVIII Patriots Panthers Panthers Patriots
XXXIX Patriots Eagles Patriots Patriots
XL Steelers Seahawks Steelers Steelers
XLI Colts Bears Bears Colts
XLII Patriots Giants Giants Giants
XLIII Steelers Cardinals Steelers Steelers
XLIV Colts Saints Saints ????????


I'm 11-7, not too shabby. Of course there were some that I really didn't care, like XXX, XXXIII, XXXIV, XXXVI, and then this years. I'll be happy whether the Colts or Saints win.

Here's to a great Super Bowl XLIV!

And I can't wait to be at Super Bowl XLV a year from now! Yes, I am going. Exactly 10 years after I was at Super Bowl XXXV!


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

I waited patiently for the SFH's Joey Mays to make his pick (check out his playoff prognosticating record below) and now I'm going the opposite way with the Saints. That and I polled my facebook friends
and those results tell me that the Colts will be leading before Drew Brees & THE SAINTS GO MARCHING IN for a late touchdown to win the Super Bowl 28-22. And remember, you heard it right here in the Sports Fountainhead.

My Picks for 2010 NFL Playoffs: Super Bowl XLIV

K.I.S.S. - Keep it simple stupid.

High scoring, light on defense. Cliches out in full force: turnovers, line play, great QBs being great.

Peyton Manning - soon to be the greatest QB of All-Time - is too much for the mediocre Saints defense, and he out guns Drew Brees and a surprisingly balanced New Orleans attack. The Saints ground game looks good early but can't keep up with the high-flying Colts.

PREDICTION: Colts 38, Saints 27

Saturday, February 6, 2010

35-24 Colts

Don't question it, just roll with it. I'd offer insight but I recently completed digging my car out of 30" of snow and plan on doing no thinking for the rest of the night. I'm just gonna sit back and hopefully watch Ilya Kovalchuk score some goals for my Devils.

Friday, February 5, 2010


By Your Athletic Supporter, Jack Strap

Years back they said that the Dallas Cowboys were AMERICA'S TEAM. I never understood that, but realized that maybe that was because I was an Eagles fan & simultaneously a Cowboys-hater. In the midst of the Jerry Jones era, I'm not hearing that anymore which is good, but think it's time for a real AMERICA'S TEAM & would like to nominate the New Orleans Saints.

My case for the Saints as AMERICA'S TEAM starts with the severe strife that New Orleans has gone through since Hurricane Katrina. This football franchise has had a lot more disappointments (i.e. Aints) than success, but now they are in their inaugural Super Bowl. Their QB Drew Brees also seems like a really good guy in addition to being a top-rate QB. So let's kick-off the Saints as AMERICA'S TEAM with everybody getting behind them to upset Peyton Manning (Who Dat?) & his Colts (who dem?). And following that will be the greatest Super Bowl celebration in history--think Mardi Gras on Bonds/Sosa/McGwire Steroids.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Penn State to Start True Freshman at QB in 2010?

According to Craig Haubert and Billy Tucker of ESPNs Scouts, Incs. expect that to be the case. They believe it will be true freshman Robert Bolden - over sophomore Kevin Newsome and fellow true freshman Paul Jones - taking snaps under center come September.

7. Bold move in Happy Valley

A true freshman will be leading Penn State's offense before the 2010 season is over because Daryll Clark is gone and a new starter needs to emerge. Robert Bolden (Orchard Lake, Mich./Saint Mary's) will prove to be the best overall option over Kevin Newsome and fellow true freshman Paul Jones (Mckees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox).
If that happens it would show a huge operating change as Joe Paterno has historically favored upperclassmen at every position, not just QB. His philosophy has been you have to earn your chance to play. Of course in 2005 we saw the emergence of a young WR corp. Plus, the defensive coaches have never considered class standing a determining factor in playing time.

There had been murmurings that JoePa and the Nittany Lions would look at current WR Brett Brackett and backup QB Matt McGloin for the starting QB spot as well for 2010. So as it appears, this is a completely wide open QB race with 5 players. Who will really be considered for the spot? My money would still be on Newsome since he has a year in the system and some, albeit limited, experience in Saturday's. However, Bolden may be may #2. And since it is only February - and he is enrolled early - maybe Bolden may start as a true freshman? That'd be something. Whoever it is better be ready for Saturday, September 11th.

EDIT: Thanks to a commenter for correcting my "early enrollment" mistake. It was Paul Jones, not Bolden, who is already on Campus. I think this makes Bolden's chances even slimmer now.