For the 2nd year in a row, the entire sports staff at Clear Channel Media and Entertainment is going to host a day long event on the day following Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament. This year, that falls on March 12th. The event will once again be hosted by the Oxmoor Center on Shelbyville Road, and will encompass a total of 6 hosts and 13 hours of sports programming. Plus, we will host a BRACKET CHALLENGE with a chance to win a super-nice Gorilla Basketball Goal, courtesy of Steepleton's. Below is the entire rundown of events, so feel free to head out to Oxmoor any time in the day and you will get your sports fix headed into tournament time:
7-10AM: The EarlyBirds w/ Drew Deener
10-12PM: KentuckySportsRadio w/Matt Jones
12-1PM: Lachlan Mclean on WKRD
1-2PM: Drew Deener on WKRD
2-3PM: Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM: The Afternoon Underdogs w/Tony and Dave
530-6PM: Terry Meiners
7-9PM: Occupy Lachlan (the entire cast of hosts together on stage at the same time)
WHERE TO LISTEN ON THE AIR
Early Birds with Jody Demling
7-10AM (790AM WKRD)
The Tom Leach Show
9-10AM (1080AM WKJK)
KentuckySportsRadio with Matt Jones
10AM-12PM (1080AM WKJK)
Joe B. and Denny Show
10AM-12PM (790AM WKRD)
The Afternoon Underdogs with Dave Jennings and Tony Vanetti
3-530PM (790AM WKRD)
Sportstalk84 with Lachlan McLean
7-9PM (840AM WHAS)
This map courtesy of adweek.com.
by Shawn Teer
This is the time of the year that happens to be my favorite. It is warm outside, the trees are in full bloom and there are copious amounts of tennis on the television. Particularly, starting at the end of this month, my personal favorite Wimbledon starts, and just like every year, there is a field of players that are trying to win another title, or trying to make a name for themselves and win their first major title. This year will be no different, and I think that you have to focus on the gentlemen’s draw and the ladies’ draw separately because there are so many different players’ that can come into this tournament and make a significant impact on the way this tournament plays out, so let’s start with the gentlemen’s draw first.
The men’s draw is loaded with players that can change the way that this year’s Wimbledon final plays out. You have the usual suspects that seem to have been a mainstay for the last couple of years. Roger Federer, the un-rivaled king of grass seems to have his fair share of struggles as any other player would, but then he gets to the All England Club and seems to become temporarily un-aging and almost unstoppable. In the last couple of years, there have been more and more players that have come along and started to work harder and play with an intensity that can give Federer a run for his money. You have Nadal, the king of clay, and the world’s number one tennis player Novak Djokovic that are always in the middle of all the tournaments. Then you have players that can surprise you. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been slowly coming on in the past couple of years as a certifiable threat on every court and the grass is no different.
Perhaps the sentimental favorite is any player from the United Kingdom, particularly the 2012 runner-up Andy Murray. I swear the Brits there were on the edge of their seats and as a nation were praying and holding their breath in the hopes that he was going to win, but ultimately succumbed to Federer in four sets. The last time that a player from the hosting country won Wimbledon was in 1936 by the great British tennis player Fred Perry. I think that part of the fun of this tournament is that at any time you watch, you could see history being made.
Photo Credit - www.latimes.com
Story by: Daniel Farish
NBA FINALS PREVIEW
*In respect to full disclosure, I have been a Spurs fan since 1998 when I first got into the NBA*
There are two ways the NBA Finals will end. Either the supremely talented, destined Miami Heat will win in 5 games and help LeBron in his quest to be mentioned with MJ and Kobe…or the San Antonio Spurs will win in 7 games, giving Tim Duncan his 5th title, keeping the Spurs perfect in Finals appearances (5 for 5) and sending the Spurs’ Big 3 out in style.
Why Miami will win
The Heat rely on their speed and athleticism to beat teams. They don’t overpower anyone, just simply run by them. They struggled against Indiana because of the Pacers’ size. They forced Miami to slow down and take their time which disrupted the flow of the offense. The Spurs won’t do that. Miami will be able to play its type of game in the Finals, which spells trouble for the slower, aging Spurs.
Chris Bosh has been awful thus far in the Playoffs, especially in the ECF. He publicly apologized to his coaches, teammates and the fans. Is he the weakest link of the Big 3? Absolutely. But he is still an All-Star, who just happens to be playing like a scrub right now. He didn’t start Game 1 of the Finals last season, a 105-94 loss for Miami. He started the next four games, averaged a double-double (16pts, 11.5reb) and they won the series 4-1. Bosh knows how to step up in big games. He put up 16pts-15reb in Game 2, and 24 points in the series winning Game 5.
Game 7 of the 2013 ECF was the welcome party for Dwayne Wade to the Playoffs. It was his first 20-point effort in over a month. Given enough time, this 2x NBA Champion figured out how to play through the knee pain that has plagued him for months. He is the X-Factor to Miami winning title #3.
Revenge. LeBron James has wanted it ever since the 2007 Finals, when Tim Duncan & Co. swept the Cavaliers. It’s fair to argue that the 2007 Cavs were ill equipped to deal with the Spurs who were on their way to their third title in five years. This year’s Miami team is more than equipped; it has bench players who would have started on that Cavs team. LeBron has a supporting cast to go up against a veteran Spurs team who seem as deep as the Atlantic.
Why San Antonio will win
Erik Spoelstra is planning for Game 1. Gregg Popovich is planning for Game 2. Pop, a former spy as reported in Sports Illustrated, is routinely one, two, sometimes three steps ahead of his opponents. Just ask Zach Randolph. The Spurs offense is a slow, methodical, highly successful art form. As you watch the play unfold, you’re not quite sure what you’re watching. Then you see Parker come off his third screen with the option to shoot, drive or dish and it all makes sense.
Tim Duncan is playing his best basketball in 3 years. He’s averaging a double-double for the first time since the 2009-10 season. His free throw percentage this season (81.7%) was the highest in his career. He’s blocked more shots since the 2007 season. He and Parker run the most lethal pick-and-roll in the NBA due to two factors. Parker is playing at a MVP-level right now; NO one has had an answer for him.
He is averaging 23pts-7ast per game in the Playoffs, along with shooting 47% from the field. Duncan has improved that mid-range, FT line jumper. We have always known he works the wing bank shot better than anyone in the game. Add in the dead-eye elbow jumper and he has added yet another element to his game in his 16th season.
The X-Factor for the Spurs is Manu Ginobli. He hasn’t been that reliable 6th man that we’re used to. Don’t get me wrong, he has been playing well. His post-season averages in points, assists and rebounds are up from his regular season numbers. His decision making hasn’t been great, but because they haven’t been playing against superstar teams, it hasn’t cost them.
Make those same mistakes against Miami? Uh-oh. Get your head right and play like the Manu Ginobli we know? Hello NBA Championship #5 for the Spurs.
Regardless of how it turns out, this promises to be an exciting NBA Finals. Much more s than the 2012 debacle when OKC thought it was a one game winner-take-all contest. Either the Heat will dominate and their supposed superiority will shine through, winning in 5. Or the San Antonio Spurs will dig down deep, very deep, and shock the world. Oops, my sarcasm bled through. Would it be shocking? No. An upset? Absolutely.
Jeff – Miami in 6 or 7. They have LBJ and home court.
Josh – Miami in 6. Leonard can’t hold LBJ and the Spurs have no healthy 2nd scoring option
EJ – After G4 of the ECF I thought San Antonio in 6. Now, it’s all about Miami’s defense matching up and Wade/Bosh playing better.
Joey – Spurs in 6. San Antonio has the better PG and C. Better bench, coach and momentum. I don’t but in to the long layoff hurting them.
Ryan – Miami. I feel it’s going to be a guard based series, and Miami has better guards. Parker has never played well against Miami with LBJ on the roster.
by Shawn Teer
The French Open is one of the more interesting of the major tennis tournaments. For starters, there is the fact that the players are playing on clay. If you look at some of the greatest players of the open era of tennis, which started in 1968, the French is almost always the proverbial white whale. It seems to be “The one that got away” for most of the all-time greats. Unless you happen to be Bjorn Borg, or maybe perhaps the greatest clay player of the open era, Rafael Nadal. Nadal is a grand slam champion, but perhaps this tournament is where he seems to shine.
To say that Nadal is near unbeatable is quite the understatement. Nadal uses an extreme western forehand grip, and that seems to give him an edge on clay. If you are a hardcore tennis fan, then you are probably aware of what the slight or major turning of the racket can do to influence the spin of the ball when it is struck. The clay can play very fast, and also cause the ball to bounce higher when topspin from swinging low to high is introduced. The different grips can play a huge part, but the fact that he is so fast on the court that you just can’t seem to get too much past him.
It seems to be second nature for the Spaniard to slide around on the clay, and still be able to hit a shot that is almost perfect every time. The game of tennis has changed over my time watching and playing tennis. When I was growing up in the late 80’s and into the 90’s, the game was dominated by serve and volley type players like Pete Sampras. At the end of the 90’s, however it switched over to more of hitting the ball as hard as possible at the baseline and only come to the net as a last resort. This is mostly how you have to win at Roland Garros, and for players like Sampras, it was something that tennis players seem to never want to do, and that is to change their game up. For players like Nadal, it could not have worked out better for them and his titles and his near perfect record do all the talking.
As I mentioned before, in the open era, only Bjorn Borg can come close to matching the greatness that is Nadal on clay. Borg was hard to beat on any surface, but he was arguably the most deadly on clay. He won 6 titles and four of them back to back from 1978-1981. In the French Open he was 49-2 all-time. That’s pretty good, but Nadal is better. He too has won the title 4 times in a row, but his record is 53-1 and is still going in this current tournament.
When you put together the style of play with heart and determination, you tend to have a champion. When you have Rafael Nadal you have one of, if not the greatest clay court champion of all-time. It should also be known that Nadal is a grand slam champion, winning all four major titles, but the French is really where he shines brightest. He is currently at seven titles and still counting.
Photo Credit - www.edthesportsfan.com
Article by - Daniel Farish
There was a time when being “Big Man On Campus” in South Bend was a regal title. Kids practiced in their backyards, throwing footballs through tire swings while imagining playing underneath the holy gaze of Touchdown Jesus. We are a long way removed from the days of Tom Clements, Rick Mirer or even Brady Quinn. So what in the world is going on?
The last above-average quarterback to suit up in the navy blue and gold was Brady Quinn. Two-time All-American, recipient of multiple awards (Unitas, Baugh, Maxwell) but he had no bowl wins, including two BCS bowl losses (’06 Fiesta, ’07 Sugar).
Since Quinn’s departure the Fighting Irish have had six starting quarterback’s in six seasons. Whether the blame goes on the recruiting staff, coaches, players, or the unmatched level of pressure and scrutiny brought on by generations of loyal fans, not one quarterback has been the full package.
Demetrius Jones, 0-1 record as a starter
Jones spent his freshman year behind Quinn and was ready for the starting job in 2007. Instead he was benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen, prompting a transfer to Cincinnati. There he switched positions to middle linebacker after a failed attempt to unseat starting quarterback Tony Pike.
Yes, a former NOTRE DAME QUARTERBACK switched to middle linebacker. Sign #1 that maybe you guys missed on this one. In 2010 he transferred from UC to D-II Central State University in Ohio and played WR/TE.
Evan Sharpley, 0-2 record as a starter
Sharpley filled in for the injured Jimmy Clausen at the end of the 2007 season, Notre Dame’s first nine loss season. He was also a member of the baseball team. No shame here, the kid wasn’t a highly recruited player; just a backup who was put in a bad situation. But should he really have been in that situation to begin with?
Jimmy Clausen, 16-18 record as a starter
Clausen started nine games his freshman season. He would go on to start every game in 2008 & 2009. He helped deliver the first bowl win to South Bend since 1994 by beating Hawaii 49-21 in the 2008 Hawaii Bowl.
Although Notre Dame was bowl eligible (6-6) following the 2009 season, the University announced on December 4th that the Irish had chosen not to accept a bowl bid. Clausen decided to forego his senior year and enter the NFL Draft.
Dayne Crist, 4-6 record as a starter
Crist suffered a torn ACL (2009) and a ruptured patella tendon (2010) as a starter which limited his playing time both seasons. After being benched in 2011, Crist decided to transfer to the University Of Kansas. The Jayhawks finished the 2012 season with a 1-11 record as Crist compiled the worst Quarterback rating in NCAA Division 1A, 116th out of 116 qualifying quarterbacks.
Tommy Rees, 14-4 record as a starter
Rees was suspended by head coach Brian Kelly for the first game of the 2012 season after being arrested and charged with resisting law enforcement and illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor. He amassed a 2-0 record but was benched for the talented redshirt freshman Everett Golson.
Everett Golson, 10-1 record as a starter
Golson started following Rees’s suspension and eventually won the spot for the 2012 season. He led them to a 12-0 record (10-0 as starter) in the regular season. Not always pretty, or necessarily effective; Golson started some games that Rees finished. The undefeated record earned them a spot in the Nat’l Championship game; there they played the role of human sacrifice against the NFL-Lite University Of Alabama.
Present day Notre Dame is a cornucopia of limited potential, academic mediocrity and more questions than a pair of first-time parents. A bucket of radioactive slush is more stable than Notre Dame’s quarterback future. They picked up the #1 Quarterback in the 2012 recruiting class which turned out to be a disaster.
Notre Dame fans should be happy they don’t have Gunner Kiel anymore. The aforementioned #1 recruit had originally committed to Indiana University, and then LSU, before enrolling at Notre Dame. That’s not a reasonable line of decision making. Indiana isn’t just the doormat of the Big 10; they are the bug that is squished when people step on the doormat.
In April, Kiel announced he would be transferring to Cincinnati. Rather than be patient he ran elsewhere seeking playing time. Then the bomb hit. It was announced a few days ago that Golson was no longer enrolled at Notre Dame. Details released say that Golson had shown poor academicjudgment. Due to laws protecting the privacy of students, that’s all we know now.
Speculation abound, it doesn’t change the fact that Notre Dame has no solid starter for the 2013 season. Rees has a polished career record but was benched in favor of a redshirt freshman. How good can you really be if that happens? Insiders have commented that Rees has a very low ceiling as a starter. Behind him are two bench-warming upper classmen and a talented true freshman.
Three of their first five games are Michigan, Michigan State and Oklahoma. Only one of those is on the road, but it’s Week 2 in The Big House (Michigan). The Irish will know right out of the gate if they are competitive or not. I predict they will go bowling, but it won’t be in January.
Relevancy in South Bend is not a 12-1 season sandwiched between two 8-5 seasons. It has to be back to back multi-win seasons. Who will step up and lead this team back to relevancy? More importantly…back to greatness.
-by Shawn Teer
It is officially the end of an era in Chicago Bears football. The dominant middle linebacker Brian Urlacher announced his retirement after negotiations between his agent and the Bears organization broke down and he was left without a team to play for. Urlacher has had a pretty great career, as far as the Bears go it is legendary, and will be inducted into the ring of honor at some point. There is only one question now that remains. Is Brian Urlacher worthy of being inducted into the hall of fame?
To answer this question you have to look at stats. According to ESPN.com, in 13 years, he managed 41.5 sacks which is the same number that Ray Lewis, who played or 16 seasons has, and also just recently retired. Urlacher has 22 INT’s to Lewis’ 31. It could be argued that these numbers are not fair to compare, but these two were the faces of their respective teams. I think to make a case you could also look at other accomplishments outside of career.
Let’s look at pro bowl selections. According to bleacherreport.com, Urlacher has eight, which by the way is good for third most all time among Bears, as compared to the 11 time selection and most of any middle linebacker in Ray Lewis. What about championships? Lewis has two as Urlacher has none. I think the numbers speak for themselves.
It would be fair to say that Brian Urlacher has had a pretty great career. From the stats to pro bowl appearances it is safe to say that he is an elite player. I do not think, however that he deserves to be in the company of other hall of famers. It felt like every time that I would watch on football Sunday, one of the biggest stories the channels would air would be how Brian Urlacher was hurt and would miss a couple of games. I know that football is a sport that is among the most violent, but that is also why these guys train and prepare. I don’t feel that he should be in the hall let alone a first ballot hall of famer.