Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Week 3 Review

After three weeks of regular season football, there are three unbeaten teams remaining and you can make the argument that all three are unexpected. The Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Bears remain in the unbeaten ranks and all three had legit reasons before the season started to not reach this mark. The Steelers are without Ben Roethelisberger, the Chiefs were believed, and still may be in the rebuilding stage, and no one thought the Bears would beat the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers in back to back games. However, despite all that all three overcame their perceived limitations and sit atop the league.

Here are more observations from Week 3:

Best individual performance: This has to go to the Eagles' Michael Vick. Vick is already the comeback player of the year and a legit early season MVP candidate. Yes, despite back to back games against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, Vick has shown enough to be thrown into the MVP conversation. In 10 quarters of football this season, Vick has thrown six touchdown passes and zero interceptions while completing 60% of his passes. His touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson on Sunday and his second one to Jeremy Maclin were things of beauty. Vick put those passes in places only Jackson and Maclin could have caught them and both had defenders around on each play. He has added a calmness and swagger to the Eagles they would not have if Kevin Kolb were still starting which is why I think the Eagles will win the NFC East.

Rebound performance of the week: How about the Ravens Joe Flacco? After a dismal performance in Cincinatti last week where he completed just 17 of 39 passes for just 154 yards and four interceptions, Flacco rebounded against Cleveland on Sunday completing 22 of 31 passess for 262 yards and three touchdowns; all of which went to Anquan Boldin. More important, Flacco threw zero interceptions. Yes, I know he did this against the woeful Cleveland Browns who might as well start doing background checks on Alabama runningback Mark Ingram, or University of Washington quarterback Jake Lockler in preperation for this year's draft, but after his performance against Cincinatti, Flacco needed this performance. Plus, with a trip to Pittsburgh coming this Sunday a warm up against the Browns is just what Flacco needed to work the kinks out.

Rebound win: This one has to go to two teams, the Cowboys and the Minnesota Vikings. Both were preseason Super Bowl favorites that had gotten off to 0-2 starts. More so, neither team had even remotely resembled the teams that won 12 and 11 games last season and their respective division titles. They both reverted to form on Sunday. The Vikings defeated the Detroit Lions at home, 24-10, while the Cowboys went on the road and beat the previously unbeaten Houston Texans, 27-13. The Cowboys showed the balance on offense they had been missing the first two weeks running 27 times and throwing 30 on Sunday while the Vikings got 160 yards and two touchdowns from Adrien Peterson. The wins also came at a crucial time as both teams are going into their bye week.

Most embarassing loss: There is no question this goes to the Washington Redskins, yes, my Washington Redskins. There is absolutely no excuse for the Redskins losing to the St. Louis Rams. It doesn't matter that the game was in St. Louis, or that the Redskins were coming off a game against the Texans in which they blew a 17-point second half lead. The Rams had lost 27 of their previous 28 games including 14 straight at home. To add insult to injury, the Rams combined had scored 27 points in their first two games of the season against the Arizona Cardinals and Oakland Raiders, yet lit the Redskins up for 30 on Sunday, and this is without star running back Steven Jackson who missed the entire second half with a groin injury. The Redskins have developed a penchant for embarassing losses the last two seasons, evidenced by losses to the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs last season.

Worst Individual performance: This, again, has to go to a Redskin. DeAngelo Hall told the local media on Monday after the loss to Houston that for the rest of the season he was going to guard the opposing teams top receiver. Hall even used the phrase "This is my team and my defense," while making this statement. However, Hall was taken to the cleaners by the Rams Mark Clayton as Clayton caught five passes for 85 yards, the last being a quick screen in which Hall slipped attempting to make the tackle which allowed Clayton to sprint 30 yards down field. The play set up a field goal that gave the Rams a 27-16 lead and for all intents and purposes the win.

Team on the brink: This has to be the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-10 on Sunday to fall to 0-3 on the season. Six days after falling to the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints on a last second field goal, the 49ers managed just 251 yards of offense while allowing 457, including 207 on the ground. This also marks the second time this season the 49ers have been blasted on the road. They also lost 31-6 in Seattle in Week 1. With a trip to Atlanta coming this Sunday, the Niners are staring their first 0-4 start since 2004 in the face.

Not off the hot seat: The Minnesota Vikings. Yes, they won on Sunday but questions still remain. Brett Favre threw two more interceptions on Sunday bringing his season total to six in three games. This after Favre threw just seven in 16 regular season games last year. Plus, with a receiving core without Sidney Rice for the foreseeable future and a tough schedule looming after their bye week, a return trip to the playoffs let alone the NFC Championship game don't look good right now.

Bonehead decision of the week: Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy. McCarthy chose not to let the Bears score an easy touchdown on Monday night after a pass interference call gave the Bears a first and goal on the Packer 9-yard line with under two minutes to go and the game tied at 17. Instead, McCarthy burned the Packers final two timeouts in the hope Chicago's Robbie Gould would miss the ensuing game-winning field goal. Gould made the kick while McCarthy stood on the sidelines attempting to apply chiropractor tricks to his neck. Did he forget he has a quarterback by the name of Aaron Rodgers on the his team?

Capitals Sign Matt Hendricks to One-Year Contract

The Washington Capitals have signed forward Matt Hendricks to a one-year contract, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hendricks, a 6’0’’, 215-pound native of Blaine, Minn., registered nine goals, seven assists and 74 penalty minutes in 56 games for the Colorado Avalanche during the 2009-10 NHL season. Hendricks, 29, who was invited to the Washington Capitals’ training camp on a tryout basis, has wasted little time acclimating himself to Washington, leading the Capitals to their first preseason win with a hat trick in a 6-2 victory at Columbus.
Hendricks played for Capitals’ head coach Bruce Boudreau as a member of the Capitals’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hershey Bears in 2006-07. He recorded 18 goals and 26 assists for a total of 44 points in 65 regular season games that year. Hendricks also appeared in 19 AHL playoff matches that season, scoring eight goals and registering four assists.
Hendricks, who made his NHL debut in 2008, has appeared in 60 career NHL games with the Colorado Avalanche, posting 16 points (9 goals, 7 assists) and 87 penalty minutes. He also appeared in six postseason games with the Avalanche during their 2010 playoff run.
Hendricks was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the fifth round (131st overall) of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Caps Sign Poti to Two-Year Extension

The Washington Capitals have signed defenseman Tom Poti to a two-year contract extension, vice president and general manager George McPhee announced today. In keeping with club policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“Tom has played very well for the Washington Capitals and has been a key part of our success since he joined the team,” McPhee said. “We are pleased that he has made the commitment to remain a Capital.”
Poti, 33, recorded 24 points (four goals, 20 assists) and 42 penalty minutes in 70 games for the Capitals last season. In addition, he registered four assists and five penalty minutes in six playoff games. The 6’ 3”, 198-pound native of Worcester, Mass., ranked fifth among NHL defensemen and third among team defensemen with a career-high +26 rating during the 2009-10 campaign. He ranked second on the team with 121 blocked shots while averaging 21:24 of ice time.
Poti, who signed with the Capitals as a free agent on July 1, 2007, has appeared in 787 career NHL games with Edmonton, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders and Washington, recording 318 points (67 goals, 251 assists) and 578 penalty minutes. He has also registered 19 points (2 goals, 17 assists) and 29 penalty minutes in 51 career playoff games.
Poti was originally drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the third round (59th overall) of the 1996 NHL Entry Draft.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Week 1 Review

Week 1 of the 2010 NFL season has come and gone and already there is plenty to talk about. There are disgruntled wide receivers and wide receivers who need IV's. There are quarterback's who still make dumb plays and one who may have taken the first step in resurrecting his career.

Where to start?

How about New England?

Part of a plan?: Right after your team clobbers one of it's conference foes who happens to be a defending division champion, and one of your teammates has a breakout game in his first game after a major injury, what is their to be mad about? Apparently if you are Randy Moss; plenty. During his press conference after Moss and the Patriots had just rolled over the Cincinnati Benglas, 38-24, at Gillette Stadium in which the returning Wes Welker caught two touchdown passes, Moss decided it was time to once again voice his displeasure about his current contract situation. Moss is in the last year of his contract with the Patriots, and at this point the organization hasn't even begun discussions with him on a new one.

But, my question is this. Was Moss's outburst the sign of a player who has turned his back on his team? Or, is it simply the first step in Moss' plan to get the contract extension he so clearly wants? Only time will tell.

Reason to worry?: The Cincinnati Bengals have made it clear they are taking a run at the Super Bowl this year and made those intentions crystal clear when they decided to bring in flamboyant, but aging wide receiver, Terrell Owens to team up with the ultra flamboyant Chad Ochocinco.

Yet, on the last play of the first half Sunday with the Bengals trailing the Patriots, 24-3, neither Ochocino nor Owens were anywhere near the field. Both were in the locker room for what Bengals' Coach Marvin Lewis said were different reasons. Lewis said Ochocinco was being given an IV, which he apparently does on a regular basis, and Owens was simply being worked on.

With it being the opening game of the season, it's understandable if both player's were doing what Lewis said they were. Starters don't play nearly as much in the preseason as they used to, and the Bengals didn't sign Owens until a week before their first preseason game. Not to mention, Owens became visibly annoyed when asked about his absence at the end of the first half by the media.

For a team with Super Bowl aspirations, you would think their most vocal and recognizable players would be on the field for a critical play. But, then again, it makes for a better twitter post if they aren't.

Individual performance of the week: This has to go to the Houston Texans' Arian Foster. Foster went undrafted in 2009 out of the University of Tennessee, but ran through the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday to the tune of 231 yards on 33 carries with 190 of those yards coming in the second half. Foster also had three rushing touchdowns. Not bad for a guy who went undrafted after rushing for nearly 3,000 yards and scoring 23 touchdowns in four years in college.

Worst individual performance of the week: This is somewhat unfair, because his coach has written a check that his team potentially may not cash, but the Jets Mark Sanchez was flat out dreadful on Monday night.

Sanchez finished 10-21 for 74 yards on Monday as the Jets managed just 176 yards of total offense and only six first downs. Yes, the Jets were playing one of the premiere defenses in the league, but that defense was also down two of it's starting defensive backs, one of which happens to be Ed Reed.

Sanchez did not show the ability to locate the open receiver and at times looked like he had regressed from last season.

Part of the spotlight that's on Sanchez is becaue Rex Ryan has decided to crown the Jets as the next great dynasty in the NFL, which is unfair seeing as how Sanchez is in just his second year in the league and has plenty of improvement to make. Still, Sanchez has to play better then he did Monday if he is going to be considered among the league elite.

Surprise performance of the week: There was a guy who stepped under center for the Eagles in Philadelphia on Sunday and he looked a lot like Michael Vick. He wore number 7, displayed a strong left arm, and even scampered through the defense of the Green Bay Packers when it appeared the original play had broken down.

Yup, that was Vick, and the Eagles better give Vick's performance its due diligence. Vick replaced starter Kevin Kolb in the second half after Kolb suffered a concussion in the second quarter. Kolb finished the half, but there was clearly something wrong.

Vick finished with 175 yards and two touchdowns on 16 of 24 passing to go along with 103 rushing yards on 11 carries. Vick led three scoring drives, displaying an ability to stand in the pocket and read defenses that he had not shown at any time while with the Atlanta Falcons.

More importantly, he clearly provided an emotional lift for the Eagles who looked dormant under Kolb. Though Andy Reid has made it very clear that Kolb will be the starter when he is healthy, he may want to put aside his pride and go with Vick. If Vick can continue to play the way he played Sunday, the Eagles could very easily win the NFC East and challenge for the NFC Championship.

Bone head call of the week: This could be broken down into bone head call and decision, but lets not pour salt in the wound. Cowboys Coach Wade Phillips decision to let Offensive Coordinator Jason Garrett call anything but a kneel down at the end of the first half against the Washington Redskins on Sunday is the perfect example of what is wrong with the Cowboys.

Garrett decided to call a Hail Mary play with the Cowboys at their own 36 yard line with 4 seconds left in the first half. When Cowboys' quarterback Tony Romo couldn't find anyone open down field, he decided to flip the ball to tailback Tashard Choice in the flat. Choice had the ball stripped by Redskins' defensive back DeAngelo Hall, who subsequently picked the ball up and ran it in for the Redskins only touchdown of the night.

Dallas lost 13-7 when an apparent touchdown on the last play of the game was negated by a holding call on the Cowboys Alex Barron. That play may not have been necessary if Phillips had just told Garrett to tell Romo to take a knee.

Capitals Announce Composite 2010-2011 Television Schedule

The Washington Capitals will have all 82 games televised during the 2010-11 regular season, the team announced today in conjunction with Comcast SportsNet. Comcast SportsNet will televise 70 games, with all broadcasts available in high definition (HD) for the first time.
Comcast SportsNet’s coverage of the upcoming Capitals season includes 59 games on Comcast SportsNet and 11 games on Comcast SportsNet Plus. This season marks the first time that Comcast SportsNet Plus will be available in HD to all cable and satellite providers throughout the region. As details regarding Comcast SportsNet Plus HD carriage and channel location become available, check with your provider or go to CSNwashington.com or CSNbaltimore.com for information.
As previously announced, the remaining 12 games will be broadcast by the NHL’s national television partners, Versus and NBC. Versus will carry eight exclusive broadcasts, as well as three games it will air outside of the region. NBC will carry the 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic at Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, 2011, and is tentatively scheduled to broadcast three additional games during the second half of the season as part of its flexible scheduling.
Comcast SportsNet’s 70-game schedule of Capitals live game coverage begins with the team’s regular-season opener on Friday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m., when they travel to Atlanta to face the Southeast Division-rival Thrashers. The network’s back-to-back coverage continues the following night as the Capitals host the reigning Atlantic Division-champion New Jersey Devils for their home opener at Verizon Center on Saturday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m., when the team will unveil banners commemorating last season’s Presidents’ Trophy and Southeast Division championship.
Comcast SportsNet’s live game coverage of the Capitals this season will be led by five-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer Joe Beninati, veteran hockey analyst Craig Laughlin and longtime sideline reporter Al Koken, who return for their 14th season together as the Capitals’ television broadcast team. Jill Sorenson, who was recently named Comcast SportsNet’s Capitals television beat reporter, will also contribute to the network’s live game coverage.


2010-11 Washington Capitals Television Schedule
October
Fri., Oct. 8 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m. CSN
Sat., Oct. 9 New Jersey 7 p.m. CSN
Mon., Oct. 11 Ottawa 7 p.m. CSN
Wed., Oct. 13 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m. CSN/VS*
Sat., Oct. 16 at Nashville 8 p.m. CSN
Tues., Oct. 19 Boston 7:30 p.m. VS
Thurs., Oct. 21 at Boston 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Oct. 23 Atlanta 7 p.m. CSN
Wed., Oct. 27 at Carolina 7 p.m. CSN
Thurs., Oct. 28 at Minnesota 8 p.m. CSN
Sat., Oct. 30 at Calgary 10 p.m. CSN
November
Wed., Nov. 3 Toronto 7 p.m. CSN
Fri., Nov. 5 Boston 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., Nov. 7 Philadelphia 5 p.m. CSN
Tues., Nov. 9 at N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m. VS
Thurs., Nov. 11 Tampa Bay 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Nov. 13 at Buffalo 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., Nov. 14 Atlanta 5 p.m. CSN
Wed., Nov. 17 Buffalo 7 p.m. CSN+
Fri., Nov. 19 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m. CSN
Sat., Nov. 20 Philadelphia 7 p.m. CSN
Mon., Nov. 22 at New Jersey 7 p.m. CSN
Wed., Nov. 24 at Carolina 7 p.m. CSN
Fri., Nov. 26 Tampa Bay 5 p.m. CSN
Sun., Nov. 28 Carolina 5 p.m. CSN
December
Wed., Dec. 1 at St. Louis 8 p.m. CSN+
Thurs., Dec. 2 at Dallas 8:30 p.m. CSN
Sat., Dec. 4 Atlanta 7 p.m. CSN
Mon., Dec. 6 Toronto 7 p.m. CSN
Thurs., Dec. 9 Florida 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Dec. 11 Colorado 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., Dec. 12 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m. CSN
Wed., Dec. 15 Anaheim 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Dec. 18 at Boston 7 p.m. CSN+
Sun., Dec. 19 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m. CSN
Tues., Dec. 21 New Jersey 7:30 p.m. VS
Thurs., Dec. 23 Pittsburgh 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., Dec. 26 at Carolina 7 p.m. CSN+
Tues., Dec. 28 Montreal 7 p.m. CSN
January
Sat., Jan. 1 at Pittsburgh 1 p.m. NBC
Tues., Jan. 4 Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. CSN
CSN – Comcast SportsNet, CSN+ – Comcast SportsNet Plus
January (Cont.)
Sat., Jan. 8 Florida 7 p.m. CSN
Tues., Jan. 11 at Florida 7:30 p.m. CSN+
Wed., Jan. 12 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. CSN
Fri., Jan. 14 Vancouver 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., Jan. 16 Ottawa 3 p.m. CSN
Tues., Jan. 18 at Philadelphia 7 p.m. CSN
Thurs., Jan. 20 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Jan. 22 at Toronto 7 p.m. CSN+
Mon., Jan. 24 N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m. VS
Wed., Jan. 26 at Atlanta 7 p.m. CSN
February
Tues., Feb. 1 Montreal 7:30 p.m. CSN
Fri., Feb. 4 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. CSN+
Sun., Feb. 6 Pittsburgh 12:30 p.m. NBC
Tues., Feb. 8 San Jose 7 p.m. CSN
Sat., Feb. 12 Los Angeles 12:30 p.m. CSN
Mon., Feb. 14 at Phoenix 9 p.m. VS
Wed., Feb. 16 at Anaheim 10 p.m. CSN
Thurs., Feb. 17 at San Jose 10:30 p.m. CSN
Sun., Feb. 20 at Buffalo 3 p.m. NBC
Mon., Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. VS
Fri., Feb. 25 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m. CSN+
Sat., Feb. 26 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m. CSN
March
Tues., March 1 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m. CSN
Thurs., March 3 St. Louis 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., March 6 at Florida 5 p.m. CSN
Mon., March 7 at Tampa Bay 7 p.m. VS
Wed., March 9 Edmonton 7 p.m. CSN
Fri., March 11 Carolina 7 p.m. CSN
Sun., March 13 Chicago 3 p.m. NBC
Tues., March 15 at Montreal 7 p.m. CSN+
Wed., March 16 at Detroit 7:30 p.m. CSN/VS*
Fri., March 18 at New Jersey 7 p.m. CSN
Tues., March 22 at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m. VS
Fri., March 25 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m. CSN+
Sat., March 26 at Montreal 7 p.m. CSN
Tues., March 29 Carolina 7 p.m. CSN
Thurs., March 31 Columbus 7 p.m. CSN/VS*
April
Sat., April 2 Buffalo 7 p.m. CSN
Tues., April 5 at Toronto 7 p.m. CSN
Wed., April 6 Florida 7 p.m. CSN+
Sat., April 9 at Florida 7 p.m. CSN
*Versus outside of the Comcast SportsNet region
VS – Versus

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Knuble, Sloan Chronicle The Capitals' 2009-2010 On "Hockey Diaries: The Almost Season"

Having chronicled their personal journeys through the eventful 2009-10 NHL season by recording their thoughts and observations, Washington Capitals Mike Knuble and Tyler Sloan will give fans a first-hand account of life in the NHL tonight with the premiere of “Hockey Diaries: The Almost Season,” presented by NHL Radio and broadcast on Sirius XM Radio and streamed on NHL.com . Knuble will appear in person and in front of a live audience at Sirius XM’s Performance 1 Studio radio theater in Washington, D.C. Sloan will join via telephone as both players take questions from those in attendance and those calling in. Sirius XM will air the event live from 7-9 p.m. ET – the documentary for the first hour followed by the studio Q & A that will be hosted by Sirius XM’S Glenn Younes – on NHL Home Ice XM 204 and SIRIUS 208. The show encourages NHL fans to call in with questions during the live special. The number to submit questions is 1-877-645-6696. NHL Radio’s “The Almost Season” tells the story of the triumph and disappointment of the Caps’ 2009-10 season through the thoughtful audio diary entries of veteran forward Knuble and aspiring young defenseman Sloan supplemented by personal interviews and rich field recordings. “The Almost Season" captures the intensity of the game, the mood of the team and the psyche of the players as they chase down their four goals: win the division, win the Eastern Conference, win the Presidents' Trophy, win the Stanley Cup. “The Almost Season” was produced in association with Gemma Hooley and Chris Nelson of Media Chameleon. The executive producer is Gregg Baldinger, director of NHL Radio.

COMCAST SPORTSNET BEGINS EXTENSIVE NFL REGULAR-SEASON COVERAGE THIS WEEKEND

Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, the region’s leading source for television and online sports coverage, begins comprehensive coverage of the Washington Redskins and Baltimore Ravens 2010 NFL Regular Seasons this weekend with extensive television programming and online content on Comcast SportsNet, CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com.
Comcast SportsNet’s award-winning pregame show, Redskins Kickoff, will make its regular-season debut live from FedEx Field prior to the Redskins season-opener against Dallas on Sunday, Sept. 12, from 7-8 p.m., with an additional 20 minutes of exclusive online coverage at CSNwashington.com from 8-8:20 p.m. Host Chick Hernandez, along with analyst Trevor Matich, Redskin Mike Williams and television beat reporter Kelli Johnson, will provide complete pregame news, analysis and opinion. Redskins Kickoff will air prior to each Redskins game throughout the season.
Redskins PostGame Live, also hosted by Hernandez, begins immediately following the Redskins-Cowboys game for an hour-and-a-half of full postgame coverage, including player interviews and head coach Mike Shanahan’s press conference. The program, which will also air live from FedEx Field, will feature analysts Trevor Matich, Brian Mitchell and Rick “Doc” Walker, with Kelli Johnson reporting and providing interviews from the locker-room. Redskins PostGame Live airs on Comcast SportsNet following each Redskins game during the season.
As part of their expanded NFL coverage, Comcast SportsNet will deliver full coverage of the Ravens’ and Redskins’ weekly head coach press conferences in special shows hosted by Russ Thaler. SportsNite: Mike Shanahan Live, which will include analyst Brian Mitchell, debuts on Monday, Sept. 13, at 3:30 p.m. SportsNite: John Harbaugh Live will premier this week on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. Both shows will air at those times the day after every game this season, with consecutive airings on Mondays from 3:30-4:30 p.m. when both play on Sunday. Additionally, Comcast SportsNet will present Kelli Johnson’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Mike Shanahan the day after every Redskins game within SportsNite.
Beginning on Monday, Sept. 13, Comcast SportsNet will begin extensive Ravens postgame coverage online at CSNbaltimore.com. The special coverage, which will be highlighted by live streaming of head coach John Harbaugh’s postgame press conference, will include exclusive player interviews from the locker-room. Led by Comcast SportsNet’s Baltimore beat reporter Brent Harris, Raven’s postgame coverage will be available on CSNbaltimore.com immediately following each game throughout the season.
As the official cable network of the Ravens, Comcast SportsNet recently began broadcasting the team’s full line-up of original television programs. This programming includes five half-hour shows that air weekly throughout the season; 1 Winning Drive, The John Harbaugh Show, Game Plan, Ravens Report and Purple Passion. Comcast SportsNet airs that day’s respective Ravens show on weekdays at 4:30 p.m. and 12 a.m., as well as various other times throughout the week.
Comcast SportsNet’s expanded television coverage of the Redskins and Ravens will also be featured on the network’s full line-up of daily news and entertainment programs, including Washington Post Live, SportsNite and Redskins Nation. The network will also provide complete daily coverage of the Redskins and Ravens 2010 regular seasons online at CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, led by Redskins Insider Ryan O’Halloran and Ravens Insider John Eisenberg.
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic – the official sports network of the Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens, Washington Capitals, Washington Wizards, D.C. United, Atlantic Coast Conference and Colonial Athletic Association – delivers more than 500 live sporting events per year, along with Emmy Award-winning news, analysis and entertainment programming, to more than 4.6 million homes throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. Comcast SportsNet’s digital portfolio, highlighted by CSNwashington.com and CSNbaltimore.com, is the region’s leading source for online sports news and information.
Comcast Sports Group operates 11 sports networks that deliver 2,400 sporting events annually and sports news and analysis to more than 50 million cable and satellite homes. Comcast Sports Group’s networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, SNY, The Mtn. – Mountain West Sports Network, CSS, and Comcast Sports Southwest. Comcast Sports Group also manages New England Cable News (NECN), the nation’s largest regional news network, and The Comcast Network, based in Philadelphia and Washington, which delivers community-oriented programming. For more information, see ComcastSportsNet.com.

Caps announce Rookie and Training Camp schedule

The Washington Capitals 2010 rookie camp and training camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., will feature practices and scrimmages that are open to the public and free of charge.
Rookie Camp begins at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 12, at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. The five-day camp features a scrimmage at 11:45 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 15. Rookie camp will culminate with a game against the Philadelphia Flyers rookies at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 16, also at Kettler Capitals Iceplex (all tickets to that game were free and have been distributed already). This is the fourth straight year that Washington rookies will play Philadelphia rookies prior to training camp.
Throughout rookie camp Capitals veterans who have returned to the area early will skate informally.
Formal on-ice sessions of training camp begin Saturday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m., and include scrimmages at 12 p.m. on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday as three teams compete for the Gaetan Duchesne Cup, named for the former Capitals forward.
Washington will play its first preseason game at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at Columbus. The Caps open their home preseason schedule at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28, against Boston.
This marks the Capitals’ fourth training camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Metro-accessible, inside-the-Beltway practice facility that features two NHL-sized rinks. All on-ice sessions at rookie camp and training camp – like every Capitals practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex – will be open to the public and free of charge.
Media Note: Unlike previous years Kettler Capitals Iceplex will be closed to the media on the day Capitals veterans conduct physicals and off-ice testing. The first day of formal media availability will be the first day of camp, Saturday, Sept. 18.
Washington’s complete rookie camp and training camp schedule are on the following page.
2010 Washington Capitals Rookie Camp and Training Camp Schedule

Date Time Event
Sun., Sept. 12 10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice
Mon., Sept. 13 10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice
1:15 p.m. Veterans skate
Tues., Sept. 14 8 a.m. Veterans skate
10:30 a.m. Rookie Camp practice
Wed., Sept. 15 8 a.m. Veterans skate
11:45 a.m. Rookie Camp scrimmage
Thurs., Sept. 16 10 a.m. Veterans skate
3 p.m. Rookie game vs. Philadelphia
Fri., Sept. 17 Kettler Capitals Iceplex closed to the media
Sat., Sept 18 10 a.m. Group A practice
11:15 a.m. Group B practice
1 p.m. Group C practice
Sun., Sept. 19 10 a.m. Group A practice
12 p.m. Group B vs. Group C scrimmage
Mon., Sept. 20 10 a.m. Group B practice
12 p.m. Group A vs. Group C scrimmage
Tues., Sept. 21 10 a.m. Group C practice
12 p.m. Group A vs. Group B scrimmage
Wed., Sept. 22 10 a.m. Morning skate
11:15 a.m. Practice
1 p.m. Practice
7 p.m. at Columbus, Columbus, Ohio
Thurs., Sept 23 10 a.m. Practice
12 p.m. Practice
1:30 p.m. Practice
Fri., Sept. 24 10 a.m. Practice
11:15 a.m. Practice
1 p.m. Practice
Sat., Sept. 25 10:30 a.m. Morning skate
11:30 a.m. Practice
8 p.m. at Nashville, Nashville, Tenn.
Sun., Sept. 26 12 p.m. Practice
Mon., Sept. 27 10:30 a.m. Practice
Tues., Sept. 28 10 a.m. Morning skate
7 p.m. vs. Boston, Verizon Center
Wed., Sept. 29 10 a.m. Morning skate
7 p.m. at Boston, Boston, Mass.
Thurs., Sept. 30 11 a.m. Practice
Fri., Oct. 1 10 a.m. Morning skate
7 p.m. vs. Columbus, Verizon Center
Sat., Oct. 2 10:30 a.m. Practice at Verizon Center (closed to the public)
Capitals Convention
Sun., Oct. 3 12:30 p.m. vs. Nashville, Verizon Center

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Saints' Bush Dealing with Serious Distraction

The New Orleans Saints are preparing to begin defense of the franchise's first Super Bowl championship tomorrow night, yet all anyone can talk about right now is whether or not running back Reggie Bush is going to be stripped of his Heisman Trophy.

Bush, who won the Heisman in 2005 to cap a remarkable career at the University of Southern California, is now on the verge of becoming the first player in the awards 75 year history to be stripped of the most coveted individual award in college sports.

A Yahoo! report came out on Tuesday saying the Heisman Trophy Trust had decided they were going to strip Bush of the Heisman, yet on Wednesday, trust Executive Director Robert Whalen told the Associated Press that no decision had been made.

Whether or not the trust is going to strip Bush, or whether or not Bush is guilty of any wrong doing is a mute point, because a more serious issue is at the root of this situation.

Bush is accused of accepting money and other gifts from sports agents while still at USC. The NCAA has mandated for years that student athletes are not permitted to accept gifts or money of any kind from anyone. University's make millions of dollars every season in ticket sales, tv revenue and for appearing in bowl games, yet a very small percentage of that money is given to the players.

School Presidents, Athletic Directors, and coaches receive the bulk of that money in the form of higher yearly salary's. School's are able to renevate buildings on campus and athletic facilities in order to make the University more appealing for potential incoming students.

Yet, the players that are largely responsible for bringing in the money University President's use to improve their campus's receive little in return financially, and are told they must continue to live like poor college students.

What's wrong with a player taking $100 to buy himself some nice clothes, or go to a nice restaurant instead of having to go to McDonald's?

I've never been one to advocate breaking rules, nor will I ever be. But at what point do the rules fail the one's they meant to protect?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rex Ryan calls out DeAngelo Hall

Cindy Boren of the Washington Post posted a video on her "The Early Lead" blog late this morning containing a clip of the up coming "Hard Knocks" episode on HBO. The clip shows New York Jets Coach Rex Ryan calling out Redskins' cornerback, DeAngelo Hall.

Ryan tells Hall "you ain't gonna tackle nobody" and "that's why my brother got rid of your [bleep]." Ryan was referring to his brother, Rob Ryan, who coached Hall for the first eight games of the 2008 season while the Defensive Coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders released Hall because he "failed to adapt to the Raiders man-to-man style of defense."

The fact that Ryan called Hall out is not a huge surprise as coaches and players have had altercations in the past. I'm sure we all remember Atlanta Falcons Coach, Mike Smith, getting in Hall's face during an altercation during the Redskins-Falcons game last November, or when then Packers Coach, Mike Sherman, exchanged words with then Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle, Warren Sapp, after a Buccaneers-Packers game late in the 2002 season.

However, what caught my eye about this particular incident is that it happened in the pre-season. Smith's incident with Hall took place during the regular season and occured during a scrum between both team's after a late by Redskins safety LaRon Landry, while Sherman and Sapp exchanged words because Sherman took exception to Sapp's blindside block on the Packers' Chad Clifton after a Buccaneers interception. The block knocked Clifton out of the game and eventually out for the remainder of the '02 season.

But, what prompted Ryan to call out Hall during a preseason game? My guess is Hall was exchanging words with a Jets offensive player and probably sad something to the tune of "I'm going to get you", or "watch out cause I'm coming."

Some of it, also, is Ryan's ultra-competative nature. He wants the Jets to win every game they play in, including preseason, and wants them to play with that "baddest man on the planet" attitude at all times.

How well that will serve the Jets this season remains to be seen. But, one thing the rest of the league can count on is Ryan has no problem getting right in the middle of the battle.

Even if it is only preseason.

Nats-Marlins Brawl Raises Several Questions

Washington Nationals leadoff man, Nyjer Morgan ,made headlines, again, last night when he charged Florida Marlins pitcher, Chris Volstad, in the top of the sixth inning after Volstad threw his first pitch of Morgan's at-bat about six inches behind Morgan.

Morgan took exception to the pitch and charged Volstad, connecting with a left hook before being clothes-lined by Marlins first baseman, Gaby Sanchez.

Morgan's act can be taken several ways. On one hand, his actions show a lack of maturity and professionalism as Morgan is currently appealing a seven-game suspension for throwing a baseball at a fan in the stands in Philadelphai on Aug. 21. This, combined with his decision to bowl over St. Louis catcher, Bryan Anderson, last Saturday and Marlins catcher, Brett Hayes, Tuesday night speaks to a mindset of someone who doesn't respect the game and feels he is above the rules.

If this is the case, the Nationals should do what they can to get Morgan out of town as quick as possible.

However, another question is raised and one that I have been pondering for years. Why is it ok for a pitcher to throw a baseball as hard as he can at a defenseless batter, but it's not ok for two consenting hockey players to fight?

Wednesday's brawl happened for two reasons. One, because the Marlin's wanted payback on Morgan for seperating Hayes's shoulder on Tuesday night, which was accomplished when Volstad beened Morgan in the right hip in the top of the fourth inning Wednesday.

However, the biggest reason for the brawl was because Volstad didn't feel his fourth inning plunk of Morgan sufficed. So, Volstad took it upon himself to throw at Morgan, again, in the top of the sixth.

The explination for Volstad's decision was simple, according to the Associated Press who quoted Marlins' third-baseman, Wes Helms. "There's nothing good I can say about someone who doesn't play the game the right way and doesn't respect the integrity of the game,"said Helms.

Doesn't respect the integrity of the game? Helms claim had to do with Morgan's decision to steal two bases in the top of the fourth after Volstad hit him and the Nationals were trailing 14-3. How is a player disrespecting the game when he is trying to help his team win and the game isn't even half over?

Was Morgan trying to show the Marlins up by stealing the two bases? Probably. But what's wrong with that? What's wrong with a player standing up for himself within the rules of the game?

Wednesday night's brawl leads back to a long time belief that baseball players have "Carte Blanche" when it comes to standing up for one another.

I've read columns throughout my life that bash fighting in hockey, and more recently, the negative physical impact that playing football potentially has on player's brain functions; a few of which came from highly respectable newspapers.

But, when is the column, or story, going to come out about the free pass that Major League baseball players get for throwing baseballs at defenseless batters or charging semi-defenseless pitchers?

I guess it will come from me. A blogger who doesn't understand the double-standards in professional sports.