First Round in the Books

The Texans selected a playmaker in DeAndre Hopkins

The Texans selected a playmaker in DeAndre Hopkins

When a team takes a guy in the first round of the NFL draft they are looking at season impact players. The Bills took Florida State’s quarterback E.J. Manual and he might be the only player taken in the first round that is not expected to make his team better in 2013.

When you couple moves that have already been made in the off-season through free agency and what was done in the first round there are a few teams that are worth the price of admission and that I cannot wait to watch in the fall.

Houston Texans

I have to be honest; I was the cynical guy about the Houston Texans. I mused that Gary Kubiak was going to go defense and ignore his offense relying too much on his quarterback and on his mind.

I am so happy that I was wrong. The Texans grabbing Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins is enough to get me in a seat in 2013. Andre Johnson needed a weapon to play across from him and Hopkins has the speed, ball skills and attitude to be exactly what the Texans need to pull defenders away from the line of scrimmage to open up running lanes for Arian Foster.

They had other needs to fill but getting help for the passing game will make the entire offense happy.

Cleveland Browns

Let’s be honest; they are a hot greasy mess on offense besides having a good running back but the defense is better and got better in the off season and in the first round of the draft.

They got Paul Kruger in free agency from the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and in the first round of the NFL draft they got Barkevious Mingo from LSU. Those two on the outside of the 3 – 4 defense they plan on running is a very good set up.

By the way if you think I don’t Barkevious Mingo can handle the tough fans in Cleveland, he has a brother named Hughtavious. That fact alone has to tell you that he has thick skin. Those two kids must have caught hell growing up for those names.

Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings needed a lot of help and mortgaged the lion’s share of their draft to get three picks in the back half of the first round. The fact that Sharrif Floyd fell to them at the 23rd pick provides great value and could be the best value pick of any team in the first round.

They needed help in the defensive backfield and got it in Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes at pick number 25. He is a big bodied DB and in a division with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears and the Detroit Lions that size is a premium.

They rounded out the first round at pick 29 with the risky pick in Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. He has a huge upside because of his athleticism but also is raw as a receiver and has a lot of work to do in route running and being a polished receiver.

The Viking needed help and they made the commitment in the first round and probably won the day. I’m ready to see all three of these teams play as all three will be better in 2013 than they were in 2012.

 

Larger Than Life

always tell people to go to professional or college sporting event especially if they can get close to the players. The average size of a man is 5’11” and you will quickly discover at most sporting events that there is very little average about big time athletes.

 

A trip to the University of Texas, Alabama, the Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs and even the Dallas Stars will give you a real perspective on the size and speed of the athletes we look at on television.

Yao Ming and JJ Watt

Yao Ming and JJ Watt

The debate between Michael Jordan and Lebron James is as much useless as it is silly but it is still fun. The world had never seen a player like Michael Jordan but has never seen an athlete with the size, strength and speed of Lebron James.

JJ Watt is one of the most fierce and best players in the NFL. I spoke with him on Radio Row the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans and he is a big man. Again he is one of the most feared players on the defensive line in the NFL. Look at him next to former Houston Rocket Yao Ming. He is dwarfed. It looks like Yao’s head is twice as big as JJ Watt’s.

Get yourself to a game and get the perspective on just how large the athletes we see on television really all in real life.

I’m not a small guy and it amazes me

Postmortem

Well my 49ers did not get it done and they will have the sting of knowing they left a lot on the field against the Ravens. It was a crazy game and I have talked to a few people that were not like me and crazy enough to leave New Orleans the day before the game.

How could you not love that experience. It was one of the craziest Super Bowl games ever and was the longest game ever compliments of half of the stadium losing lighting for more than 30 minutes.

When the lights came back on so did the 49ers. They came roaring back in this game and for all intents and purposes should have had an opportunity to win with first and goal on the 7 yard line with over 2:30 left in the game.

It is always about the experience. It was one experience for the fans, one experience for the cities and an unexplainable experience for the Harbaugh family. As a father and mother it must have been bitter sweet regardless of the outcome. They had to be so happy for one son and probably naturally first went to the son that was stinging.

Sports and events are all about the stories, the experience and the memories. Super Bowl 47 had plenty of that and then some.

Super Week Rolls On

The Big Easy is not so easy. After talking to dozens of folks in New Orleans about the Super Bowl between San Francisco and Baltimore on radio and TV here’s what I know, “Nothing!”

I know Chris Berman says, “And that’s why you play the game,” but I wanted to know something. I’m the jaded journalist. I don’t cheer for much anymore as much as I pick. If there is any team based fandom left in me thought it is for the team I loved as a child the San Francisco 49ers.

I usually set myself up for failure when I think a game is going to be as good as I think this one is going to be. I mean both have good defenses with the 49er defense approaching that great category.

Both head coaches made tough decisions during the course of the season with offensive personal and coaching moves. Those two head coaches are brothers and grew up sharing a bedroom. This will be Ray Lewis’ last season and he will go down probably the greatest middle linebacker to ever play the game. Both quarterbacks are future stars of the game. Seriously, how could this not be an awesome game? On paper it could go down as the best Super Bowl ever.

And that ladies and gentlemen is why I’m setting up myself for disappointment. I’m hoping for the best but preparing for the worst.

You know what? It won’t matter. I mean if my 49ers win!

Swing In the New Year at Opening Day

With the Harbaugh Super Bowl just around the corner sports fans will have to turn their attention to the next big day of the New Year — MLB’s Opening Day. Hot dogs, peanuts, beer, and seventh inning stretches are just around the corner. With Opening Day games scheduled at venues like Minute Maid Park, Yankee Stadium, Turner Field, and Dodger Stadium, it’s a perfect time to catch a game. The slate is clean and the hunt for October begins in March with some of the most impressive match-ups the MLB has to offer.

To kick of the new season we head to Minute Maid Park where the stage is set for a Texas showdown. There will only be one game in the spotlight on Opening Night as the Texas Rangers head into Houston to play the Astros in their first game as an American League member. The two teams are not unfamiliar with competing on an inter-league basis as a part of the Lone Star Series which has been played since 2001 but now that they will be playing for divisional rights things could get a little more intense. Spoken as a true Astros fan, it’s been a little hard to root for a team that has been at bottom since the departure of the three B’s. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. With the new move to the American League the ‘Stros get the full-time DH, which will come in handy against an offensively stacked AL. To do the job the Astros brought in Carlos Pena who despite only hitting 19 HR’s last year carries a strong resume. Ironically the slugger’s MLB debut in 2001 was with the Rangers, a team that will be looking to bounce back from the mayhem of the 2012 Wildcard game.

After March 31st the flood gates open up to a two day opening day extravaganza. Besides some of the premiere games like Tigers – Twins, Giants – Dodgers, and Phillies – Braves one of the most intriguing game day openers is the classic Yankees – Red Sox rivalry. Despite having played each other for more than a century the two AL East foes have only met in the ALCS three times but every postseason since the inception of the wild card format has featured one of these teams. The Red Sox had to mosey their way through an 86-year curse but have managed to remain productive since breaking the Bambino’s curse with a World Series win in 2004. The Yankees have seen better times but they are always in contention, especially with names like Suzuki, Jeter, Pettitte, and Sabathia on the roster. In any light a rivalry that features two of the best teams, national attention, and the fiercest fans around is destined to be good, thus making the Yankees-Red Sox opener a must see in 2013.

No matter where opening day 2013 sends you TicketCity want to take you. So check out the full schedule of this year’s opening day games as well as your favorite team’s 2013 home opener schedule at TicketCity!