After some time off, going to get back into regular posts

I agree that the NCAA and the college sports landscape should be re-evaluated, but I have recently found myself as one of the few defenders of the NCAA.  This is less about the belief in the system and more about how painful it is to watch the NCAA flail to defend the good it does for thousands of young men and women.  I touched on this subject and some recommended changes a couple of years ago (, everyone should check it out.  But now, because they are a bit inept at doing it themselves, I offer a brief, three pronged defense of the NCAA.

-         1.  The NCAA pays student athletes with scholarships.

Dwight Howard got what he was waiting two years for this week.  In some ways it was about money and championships, but more so than anything else it was about Dwight Howard being the center of attention.  He finally had everyone reporting on his every move, discussing the meetings that he was taking and having fast food chains offering free chicken fingers for life.  In all of the “D12” madness, maybe the most telling move about how off kilter the NBA actually is had nothing to do with Howard.

As Ray Lewis prepares to for his last NFL game, it is being called the end of an era for the Baltimore Ravens.  I think it is actually a great time to evaluate the state of the middle linebacker position.  Players such as Lewis have been vital to top tier defenses over the years, but it might be time for that to change.

Over the past several years the NFL has undoubtedly become an offensive league.  Teams are putting up numbers that few could have dreamed of a decade ago.

I think it became clear this week that the Baseball Hall of Fame has issues it must address.  Some voters care about steroids, some don’t.  A few writers actually have good reasons to back up their point of view, most don’t.  This debate will go on for years, so all sports fans should brace themselves.  In all of this, nobody is digging into what is a the interesting the candidacy of Craig Biggio.  Biggio has no steroid allegations against him and got the most votes is this year's voting.

With so much talk surrounding Chip Kelly’s coaching future, many people were caught off guard when Syracuse’s Doug Marrone became this year’s first college coach to jump to the NFL.  The buzz around Kelly’s potential jump to the pro game has always revolved around whether his offensive system and coaching philosophies will translate to the next level.

With last ditch efforts underway to save the NHL season, even if a deal is struck it is unlikely to address the real issues facing the league.  Quite simply, the NHL is in a deep state of denial.  Some became optimistic this season could be saved when the latest proposal from the league made concessions in regards to maximum contract lengths.  In reality, the NHL’s problems have little to do with Alexander Ovechkin’s contract.

There have been a lot of gimmick offenses run by NFL teams over the years.  Most quickly faded away, but others have dropped the gimmick label and to become a standard part of offenses across the league.  For example, the shotgun formation made the transition from gimmick to staple.  Initially, lining up in the shotgun meant a pass 98% of the time and conventional reason suggested that once defenses recognized the formation they would adjust their schemes accordingly and shut it down.

Two really good things happened to US Men’s Basketball this past weekend.  The first almost everybody is aware of- the team won a gold medal.  The second is good news for all fans of watching the best players in the world play basketball for their country, and that was the head of FIBA (basketball’s international governing body) saying that it is highly unlikely that men’s basketball would move to an under-23 format for the 2016 Olympics.

I understand why many baseball players are switch hitter.  It is a fact that it is easier for a righthanded batter to pick-up a pitch from a lefthanded pitcher than a righthanded pitcher.  However, I also know that it is difficult for even the best athletes to be evenly comfortable hitting from both sides of the plate.  I am not saying that there should be no switch hitters in baseball, but I do think that many current switch hitters should reevaluate their choice.

Will soccer ever make it to the “big time” in the United States?  This question has been asked over and over again since the US hosted the ’94 World Cup and the formation of MLS shortly thereafter.  This has also been phrased as “when” or “why soccer will never” become a major sport in the US. 

Several signs say that soccer should already be granted “major sport” status.  The 2011 season saw more people attend MLS games than the NBA was able to draw during their 2010-2011 season.