The Other Lead – Your Sports Weekend in GIFs, Pics and Video

We’ll start this week with the fastest goal in MLS history, a Tim Cahill strike only 8 seconds into the NY Red Bulls’ game against Houston. An incredible goal no doubt, but the fault has to be place on the Dynamo defense. Houston lost and is now in position to miss the playoffs completely. Here it is:

Also on Saturday we had Game 6 of the ALCS, with the Red Sox one win away from facing St. Louis in the World Series. With the bases juiced and two strikes on him, Shane Victorino had the biggest home run of his career:

One of the best catches you’ll ever see happened in the Stanford-UCLA game. Stanford receiver Kodi Whitfield backhanded an bomb in the end zone for a touchdown:

Now for the NFL, how many people do you think it takes to cover Calvin Johnson? More than three, apparently. Megatron keeps amazing us with his otherworldly receiving skills, and he showcased them on Sunday against the Bengals:

Things didn’t go well for Nick Foles in his start in Philly against the Cowboys. The Eagles, who have been scoring 30 points a game this season, mustered only a single field goal in a 17-3 loss. This sums up the game:

Last but not least is the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs. They’re in sole possession of first place after the Broncos lost to the Colts and KC was able to hold off a Houston team that was desperate for a win. Here’s Alex Smith running a successful fake hand-off to no one when Jamaal Charles went the wrong way, then taking it in for a TD himself:

You keep keepin’ on, Alex Smith — though i’m not sure the ’72 Dolphins are shaking in their boots quite yet. The Chiefs face the Browns in week 8, so the streak is likely to at least continue for another week.

Game of the Week: Clemson vs. Florida State

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Clemson vs. Florida State ranks #2 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Can Jameis Winston take another step towards a Heisman trophy this weekend?

 

The Notre Dame-USC matchup is not the only game of interest this weekend. Florida State visits Clemson in a battle of AP Top 5 schools.

Why Clemson will win the (2nd) biggest game of week one:

Clemson is looking for revenge this season. The Tigers blew a 27-13 lead in Tallahassee last year and lost 49-37. Clemson players felt they should have beaten the Seminoles last season, so this is a payback game. QB Tajh Boyd is a Heisman Trophy candidate, and a victory this weekend could be the signature win he needs to sway the Heisman voters. The Tigers are a complete team – a high-powered offense complemented by an aggressive defense giving up just 16 points a game. This is the second Top 5 school Clemson has faced this season. The Tigers edged No. 5 Georgia in the season opener. Tiger faithful would like nothing more than to slay another Top 5 opponent on Saturday.

Why I could be wrong:

The Seminoles won’t be visiting Death Valley with an empty cupboard. Redshirt Freshman QB Jameis Winston has dazzled fans with his play and enthusiasm. Any reservations about who would replace first-round draft pick EJ Manuel have been put to rest by Winston’s play. If “Famous Jameis” can manage the game and avoid critical turnovers, Florida State can compete with the Tigers. The Seminoles have a solid offensive line and a running attack averaging 228 yards a game. If the Seminoles can run the ball and control the clock they could sneak out with the biggest victory of their season.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

Saturday’s game marks the first matchup of teams ranked in the AP top five this season. This is only the fourth time two ACC teams have played each other while ranked in the Top 5 since Florida State joined the league in 1992. In each of the past four years the winner of this game has won the ACC Atlantic Division. With both schools in the hunt for the BCS Championship trophy, this should be an electrifying game, and TicketCity can help you with any last-minute tickets to catch the action.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

My Big Ten Journey

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The boys at Wisconsin’s Camp Randall

by George King

During the past few years, my beloved nephews and I have embarked on a journey to visit all the Big Ten Football stadiums and experience game day activities at those most iconic campuses. Each campus has very unique rituals, and it has been a great memory-maker for us.

Our decision to do this started during our annual visit to Notre Dame. This campus is the center of college football. There is no stadium that has legends larger than the football gods of South Bend. Rockne, the Four Horsemen, Leahy and Gipp all played here. Ronald Reagan, a future President, was in “Knute Rockne Story”, a movie is still evokes emotion today. When you walk the hallowed grounds of Notre Dame, shivers run up your spine, as this is the birthplace of college football. Listening to the band perform, watching the team march into the stadium led the most recognizable fight song in all of sports is one great experience that is a must do on any college football fan’s bucket list. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the Fighting Irish are what the Yankees are to baseball, a national treasure.

One stop was the Big House for a Michigan Wolverines game.

One stop was the Big House for a Michigan Wolverines game.

During that same year 2011, we decided to do the state of Michigan. Visits to both East Lansing and Ann Arbor were put on our calendars. Although both teams played competition that was far inferior, we entered these gridiron cathedrals. Just hearing “Hail to the Victors” in person  is indescribable. However hearing it over twenty times as the Wolverines defeated Delaware State.. we’ll just say it was too much. State’s history is not as rich as their big brother in Ann Arbor, but it still has very passionate and knowledgeable fans. MSU has Sparty, and the boys loved the picture with him!

As the season came to a close, the boys and I watched a game on television. We started to talk about next season, and when the camera panned the crowd of corn cob wearing fans, my nephews shouted, “Let’s go there.”

Well the decision was made, Nebraska was our next destination. Nebraska entered the Big Ten in 2012, so it was not originally on our list, but we started planning our trip in December 2011. Our nine-hour journey was dominated by corn. This most boring trip and needed to be spiced up. Our trips always have side journeys to interesting sites along the way. Well, western Iowa is the home on John Wayne, Bob Feller, and the bridges of Madison County. These mini-journeys have fun and an educational purpose, which is a good sell to my brother as the boys need permission to miss an occasional day of school.

Big Red is huge in Nebraska. Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in Nebraska on football Saturday. All the consecutive sellouts are amazing, but as the fellow in the seat next me told me, “there is really nothing to do in Nebraska but watch football.”

Go Big Red! The boys at Nebraska's Memorial Stadium.

Go Big Red! The boys at Nebraska’s Memorial Stadium.

While walking to the game, a young man with a camera asked to talk to me. He was from the Omaha paper and the boys and I were in Sunday’s edition as Fans of the Game. He interviewed us and later sent me a copy of the photo that proudly hags in my foyer. We enjoyed Nebraska, the game, and the memories of visiting this school during their inaugural year of Big Ten Football.

During the drive home we decided to do another red-clad team, and it was “On Wisconsin.” What a beautiful campus, and sitting on the shores of Lake Mendota was the stadium, Camp Randall. It was an active military base during the Civil War and was even used to hold Confederate POWs during the conflict.

Wisconsin has resurrected its football program since the arrival of Barry Alvarez as coach, who is now currently the AD. That place knows how to do football. The tailgating in Wisconsin is second to none as the haze of cooking brat’s fills the sky. The aroma would make Jenny Craig quit any diet, as brats and beer are Wisconsin staples. At the start of the third quarter, the crowd and my two nephews went nuts as they played “Jump Around”. The vibration is so great you can feel the movement of the stadium. It must be on your list for Big Ten stadiums, as Camp Randall really does rock!

We finished up our season with visits to Illinois and Northwestern. Illinois was like watching football in a mortuary, as there has been not much to get the Illini faithful excited. Northwestern plays fun football, and Pat Fitzgerald has that team very competitive. Interest is improving, but the crowd generally small. Big Ten powers regularly outdraw Northwestern at their home field. For us, it was Go Cats!

Having fun in Evanston during a Northwestern game

Having fun in Evanston during a Northwestern game

At the start of the 2012 season, trips to Ohio State, Iowa, and Purdue were on the agenda. In September, the boys and I headed eastward to Columbus, Ohio and the “Shoe”. Our trip had two great stops along the way.

First, we stopped at the Hoosiers Gym in Knightstown, Indiana. After having the boys watch the movie the week before our visit, both of them became Jimmy Chittwood as they were shooting baskets in the gym that Gene Hackman once stood in for the 1985 film. It is a wonderful stop and the guides are very accommodating. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in New Castle is also good stop for any sports fan.

On Friday, we arrived on the campus of Ohio State University. As we walked toward the stadium, we saw the practice facility and the Woody Hayes statue. This large statue of the legendary Ohio State coach was a reminder of his impact on the Buckeyes. We made it to the campus early and watched the team march to the stadium. The boys slapped high fives with the Urban Meyer and Braxton Miller. Watching the Ohio State Marching band perform the Script Ohio during halftime was an experience I will always value.

However, my nephews really wanted to meet Brutus. The boys have pictures with Sparty, Herbie, Bucky, Brutus and now Harkey. These pictures to me are super valuable as they will always represent the great times we had doing this, and if God allows me a long life, I would love to show these photos at their respective weddings. I have enjoyed the trips to all these schools as they all celebrate football Saturday in their own way.

Next year, we visit Minnesota, Indiana, and Penn State and our journey will end. It was a great time that allowed this uncle to value the time with his young nephews, as I know I have given them a lifetime of great memories that are simply priceless.

Game of the Week: Texas vs. Oklahoma

TicketCity’s weekly ranking of the 10 hottest games in college football is designed to identify the match-ups with the strongest ticket demand on a weekly basis. This week Texas vs. Oklahoma ranks #1 on our list. Contributor Jeff K. gives the run-down on who will win this stage-setting match-up.

Will Stoops lead his team to another blowout in the Red River Rivalry

Will Stoops lead his team to another blowout in the Red River Rivalry?

 

Why Oklahoma will win the biggest game of week one:

The Sooners come into this year’s Red River Rivalry feeling good about themselves. QB Blake Bell has settled in as the starter. He has six touchdown passes and no interceptions this season. No doubt he has to be excited about facing Texas after running for four touchdowns in last year’s game. Oklahoma has averaged 54 points in the last two Red River Rivalry games. The key to an Oklahoma win will be to assert themselves on the ground. Oklahoma is averaging 246 yards rushing, and will face a Texas defense prone to giving up huge chunks of yardage. The Longhorns defense has been gashed by BYU, Ole Miss and Iowa State. The Sooners will want to get the “Belldozer” rolling early to steal the momentum.

Why I could be wrong:

Texas’ Coach Mack Brown is in the hot seat. He may very well be coaching his last Red River Rivalry game. Lately his teams have not been competitive in this series. Most expect this game to be over by halftime.

But it’s a game like this that can sneak up and bite the Sooners. This Longhorn roster is loaded with talent. Texas has the horses to compete with Oklahoma. It all starts with the run game. Jonathan Gray, Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron will need to move the sticks. The offensive line needs to dominate the line of scrimmage and Major Applewhite needs to get creative with Daje Johnson to take advantage of his skill set. Texas will need to control the clock to keep its beleaguered defense off the field.

Why you don’t want to miss this one:

It’s Oklahoma and Texas. Red and burnt orange-clad fans will patrol the State Fairgrounds under the watchful eye of Big Tex. Bragging rights for another year are at stake. Which the Texas team will show up? Can Case McCoy break the Sooner stranglehold? Will Oklahoma look past a struggling Texas team? Anything goes in a rivalry game, and TicketCity can help you be part of this year’s contest.

Jeff Kubiszyn is a long-time college football fan and joins TicketCity this season to highlight the biggest game of the week. He is by no means a college football expert, except at the dinner table. 

The Other Lead – Your Sports Weekend in GIFs, Pics and Video

We’ll start in Dallas where the Cowboys and Broncos combined for the 4th highest point total in NFL history. The Broncos won 51-48 with a field goal as time expired, but the highlight reel for this one might take half an hour to get through. Here’s Tony Romo showing us he can still evade pressure and deliver:

 

Because of the way AT&T Stadium is set up, the shadows and sunlight can give you some unique views of NFL football. Not too many 3:30 kickoffs in Arlington, but when they do happen you get pictures like these:

Denver Broncos v Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos v Dallas Cowboys

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the NFC East the Giants are 0-5 after a beating from the Eagles. It’s getting ugly in NYC:

 

The MLB playoffs are in full swing and while the Dodgers are up 2-1 on the Braves, ex-Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda wonders aloud to Magic Johnson what just happened after pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu couldn’t find first base with his foot to make the out. I’ll leave it up to you to lip read:

 

In the American League, the Red Sox are up 2-0 and will try to sweep the Rays out of the ALDS tonight in Tampa. David Ortiz took Cy Young-winner David Price deep twice in game 2, here’s the first:

By next week we’ll be into the League Championship Series in baseball and have a sole team in 1st place in the NFC East after the Cowboys-Redskins game on Sunday. This could be the best weekend in sports yet.