Podcast for 11.2.10

November 3, 2010

Hey everyone. To those who didn’t join us live on the show today. Here’s the link to the Podcast. We did a special election night debate for the Heisman trophy as well as gave Adam props for having the best hair of everyone who works for Section 26 Sports. (Stay tuned past the final music, you’ll understand.)

We also wrap up the NCAA FB Top 25, get everyone ready for the Arkansas-Carolina game, and lament the lost season of the Clemson.

Section 26 Sports Podcast for 11.2.10


Brutal NFL Hits Must Be Punished

October 19, 2010

In America, we like to see action.  Most people watch NASCAR for the wrecks, hockey for the fights, and football for the bone shattering hits.

The problem is, those bone shattering hits are becoming less figurative and more literal.

After this past weekend in the NFL, these helmet-to-helmet hits have to stop.  It seemed like there was a letter that went out to all defensive players to try and kill an offensive player this week.

While that is drastic, look at this past weekend.  Joshua Cribbs (Browns), Mohamed Massaquoi (Browns), DeSean Jackson (Eagles), Todd Heap (Ravens), and Dunta Robinson (Falcons) all suffered concussions this week, that we know.

Robinson, who suffered a concussion on the hit he delivered to Jackson, Brandon Meriweather (Patriots), and James Harrison (Steelers) all deliverd some of the most brutal hits seen in the NFL in several seasons.

In each situation, the defensive player was head hunting.  Only New York Jets’ safety Jim Leonhard and Robinson were given penalties for their hits.

After such a brutal week, the NFL has announced that they will start suspending players for helmet-to-helmet hits that appear intentional and deliberate in injuring an player.

James Harrison, Brandon Meriweather, and Dunta Robinson all have been fined on Wednesday by the NFL for their hits on Sunday.

The NFL has to be strong in their enforcement of their new policy.  They cannot let players get away with these hits anymore.  They must stand tough, much like the implementation of the Player Conduct Policy.

James Harrison helped his cause by saying that he goes out there not trying to injure anyone, just hurt them.  The NFL is thanking Harrison for making it easier to fine him.

What had to get the NFL’s attention was the comments of two defensive players, who were somewhat considered dirty in their time, Tony Siragusa and Rodney Harrison.

Siragusa said on FOX’s telecast of the Falcons and Eagles that the Robinson-Jackson hit was one of the hardest he had ever witnessed.  Rodney Harrison said on NBC’s Sunday Night Football postgame show that this was one of the worst weeks he has seen for devastating hits.  Harrison also added that fines meant nothing to him when he played, but the threat of suspensions deterred him from making the hits.

While a different situation, the consequences of this game are remebered with the injury to Rutgers’ defensive tackle Eric LeGrand.  LeGrand is paralyzed from the neck down following a tackle he made on Saturday.  While he was not a trying to injure himself or another, it is certainly a reminder of the costs of the game of football.

So one wonders, will it take the death of a player, in game, to get the NFL’s attention?  Or is the announcement of possible suspensions enough for the NFL to be proactive, rather than reactive, if the unthinkable occurs?

The Top 5 Stories that Changed Sports this Decade

January 2, 2010

While I was bored sitting around in my hotel room in Birmingham, Alabama in advance of the PapaJohns.com Bowl between South Carolina and Connecticut, I was trying to figure out something interesting to write about.

After some inspiration from a segment I saw on a remotely popular sports show, I came up with the idea of a story about the top 5 stories that changed sports in this decade.

So here it is, the presumably last entry in my top 5 stories, the top 5 stories that changed the world of sports as we know it in the 2000s.

#5 – Dale Earnhardt’s death in the 2001 Daytona 500; February 18th, 2001.

Sports heroes are not supposed to be killed suddenly in a sport they love. However, it does happen. On Sunday, February 18th, 2001, on the final lap in NASCAR’s season-opener, the Daytona 500, Dale Earnhardt slammed the outside retaining wall in turn 4. As the field passed by, Earnhardt’s car slid to the infield, as the car he owned driven by Michael Waltrip won the Daytona 500. Rescue workers rushed to Earnhardt’s car, where he was airlifted to a local hospital, and later pronounced dead.

Sometimes it takes tragedy to find a fault in a sport. Following the incident, NASCAR took many steps to ensure driver safety. They began the mandated use of the HANS device, a head-and-neck restraint system. Just recently, the new Car of Tomorrow was introduced to make the car safer.

Unfortunately, it often takes tragedy to show that change is necessary.

#4 – 2008 Summer Olympics – Michael Phelps triumph in Beijing.

The main story entering the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing was Michael Phelps trying for eight gold medals in swimming competition. Phelps won all eight competitions he was entered in, including the closest finish in Olympic history. For one of the first times in a while, the United States had someone to full out support in the celebrated games.

Phelps rose to glory as he won each gold medal, including winning by 1/100th of a second over Milorad Cavic in the 100 meter butterfly. Phelps would go onto to easily claim his eighth medal, passing Mark Spitz record.

Phelps became the poster boy for everything there was to be positive about Olympic competitions, something that was stuggling popularity in the United States. However, his ability to ‘survive’ the pressure came to the front page of newspapers as the photo of him allegedly inhaling into a bong at the University of South Carolina was released.

#3 – Super Bowl XXXVI; St. Louis Rams vs. New England Patriots; February 3rd, 2002.

In a time when the definition of hero was being fixed, the underdog becoming the favorite, and everyone joining together, it was the best time for a new team to jump into the fray in the NFL. Enter the New England Patriots, coached by Bill Belichick, who mostly had been a .500 coach in his career, and Tom Brady, a young quarterback who no one had heard of until the franchise’s long-time quarterback, Drew Bledsoe, suffered a major injury. Oh by the way, they were 14 point underdogs to the mighty Rams. What does that recipe create? A dynasty.

The St. Louis Rams were well on their way to a second Super Bowl, when the Patriots went against the game’s tradition, and chose to be introduced as a team. This was unheard of, as players used this opportunity to realize a dream. The Patriots were not interested in just playing by the rules. They were the new team on the block, and it worked.

So what has it lead to, three Super Bowl titles, becoming the team of the decade, and at the same time becoming the most hated team in football. My opinion, this Belichick coached Patriots’ team with Tom Brady’s impeccable leadership abilities is one of the best teams to ever step on a football field.

#2 – Barry Bonds Breaks the Home Run Record

Hank Aaron set what many thought to be a unbreakable record, hitting 755 home runs in his career. That career mark is something Aaron was very proud of.

Barry Bonds was a great doubles hitter his entire career. Early on in his career, he would easily hit .300, 30 home runs, and 100 runs batted in. He had spent his career with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants.

However, in 2001, Bonds’ body morphed into that of a power hitter. He hit 73 home runs, the most by any player in a single season, and by far the most in his career. Quickly came the questions of his steroid use. Vehemently denying any use of performance-enhancing drugs, Bonds quickly began to close in on Aaron’s record. On August 7, 2007, Bonds broke Aaron’s home-run record.

Aaron did congratulate Bonds’ in a pre-taped video that played over the videoboard, but it was known that Aaron did not support Bonds’ feat due to the alleged steroid use.

Bonds in the end will go down as a player who may have used performance-enhancing drugs to set all of the records he did. My argument always is, steroids do not help you hit the ball, that is a natural ability. Steroids only help you hit the ball farther.

#1 – The Attacks of September 11th, 2001

This is probably the number one story of the decade, not just for sports, but for the entire world. For the first time in about ten years, the United States was on the wrong side of an attack. We were not the aggressor in a violent situation.

Weather often postpones or prohibits a game in many sports, but never had their been a situation where every sport in America was shut down for about an entire week. There was no baseball, no weekend football games, no NASCAR races. This was a time when people needed to reorganize their priorities.

As the country tried to pick up the pieces following a challenge to the fundamental rights of freedom in this country, as well as getting the trust back that it is safe to go out, the time seemed right for the athletes to return to the playing field.

After a brief layoff, the sports world returned. Each and every stadium had ceremonies honoring and remembering the events that occured on that Tuesday. The touching part is that to see athletes that we often see as objects of entertainment, were now people again too. Athletes losing control of emotions during these ceremonies, that were unseen in sports.

But what did these events do, it brought the American people back together, sometimes through sports. After 9/11, one of the greatest Super Bowls were played and the most entertaining World Series in recent memory was played.

No doubt that the events of 9/11, while it was brief, brought a feeling, an emotional attachment to them that had not been seen in some time.

It was a great decade for sports, and hopefully in the 2010s, more great moments that capture the sports world will continue to wow us for the next ten years.

Happy New Year Everybody!!!

Podcast for October 27, 2009

October 28, 2009

James and Shawn talk the tipoff to the NBA season, the BCS 10, and Carolina Panther’s news out of the NFL.

Podcast for Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Live from Williams-Brice

October 3, 2009

We’ll be blogging and tweeting live from Williams-Brice Stadium tonight as the Gamecocks host the S.C. State Bulldogs. Check back here soon.