Hate-Watching the Pacers

Jason Whitlock can be full of himself at times, but he’s still one of the best sportswriters out there. This recent column about the pain he experiences in watching his beloved Pacers is biting and hilarious. Of course he’s not the only one mocking Roy Hibbert and the emotionally fragile Pacers, but Whitlock does it more eloquently.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

WSOP gets underway

pair of aces in poker with poker chips

This is the time of year for poker aficionados as the World Series of Poker gets underway at the Rio in Las Vegas. The Rio has been slipping in recent years as a Las Vegas destination, but the WSOP always brings it back to the forefront as it gets invaded by poker fans and players who have been brushing up their skills all year online working on their game and going for bonuses like the 888 poker bonus. The atmosphere changes completely this time of year as the Rio becomes a mecca for the poker world.

Every year brings new highlights along with new issues, and the Las Vegas Sun pointed out 25 things to look for with this year’s tournament. The Rio will get some new attention with the all-new VooDoo Zipline, which stretches from one tower of the Rio to the other. The zipline is strung 490 feet above the ground and you can get up to 33 MPH on this thing. This attraction gives you an idea of what the Rio needs to do these days to grab attention, as newer and trendier casinos have swiped many of the young and beautiful visitors who no longer see the Rio as a real option unless they’re trying to save cash.

As for the actual poker, developments in online play with new state regulations are also have an impact. Online players have changed the sport, but sanctioned tournaments can make things even more interesting to the point where the WSOP might start looking seriously at hybrid games. We’ll see how that plays out. Also, WSOP.com is making it easier now for fans to track the tournament action in real time.

There’s no doubt that the WSOP will do everything possible to keep its status as the top tournament and event in the world. This year’s Main Event is featuring a guaranteed $10 million first-place prize.

Heat flop their way to victory

Yes, the Heat have been dominating the pathetic Pacers since the second half of game 2. So don’t get all excited over the headline here. But the flopping by Dwyane Wade we see in this photo is so lame it needs to be pointed out. Lebron James had how own flop during the game as well.

These should be technical fouls. Period. Perhaps we just need another official who has all the TV monitors at his disposal.

Johnny Manziel likes to party

Right – like we didn’t know this already.

Well, stuff like this will get plenty of attention, because Johnny Manziel loves the attention and outlets like ESPN can’t talk enough about him. The whole topic is already exhausting.

In the end, the key here is whether he can perform at the highest level while maintaining this partying lifestyle. The best quarterbacks live and breath football, so you have to wonder about a trip to Las Vegas in the middle of his first OTAs with the Browns. Did he really maximize his learning of the playbook by hanging out in Las Vegas? Only a fool would think that. But, the issue is how he plays when it matters. If he stumbles, stuff like this weekend’s events will be thrown back in his face over and over again.

This isn’t 1976 when party animal Kenny Stabler led the Oakland Raiders to a Super Bowl season. Johnny Football’s antic will be broadcast everywhere. If he plays well and wins he’ll add to his legend. If he messes up he’ll have to answer for it.

Who will contend for College Football Playoff?

The BCS is dead. Finally!

We’ve been complaining about it for years, and now we finally have a playoff system, so all of the debate around who is the best team in college football can at least be expanded to the four best teams who should play in the playoff. All of the debate on ESPN and other outlets will still be annoying, but at least the end result is somewhat more rational. Hopefully this will be a precursor to at least an eight-team playoff, but we can live with this for now.

With that in mind, now that the NFL Draft is over, people are starting to talk college football again, and you can have some fun looking over the college football futures as you contemplate who you like going into the 2014 season. There are plenty of teams that will give Florida State a run for the title, with Alabama, Ohio State, Auburn, Oregon leading the way. Then you have upstarts like Baylor who became a media and fan darling last season until they got smacked silly 52-42 by UCF in a huge Fiesta Bowl upset.

College football can be very unpredictable, and lately with all the new spread and hurry-up offenses things change very quickly. But we still see many of the regular names at the top.

One name that will get plenty of attention as usual is Ohio State, the team that many around the country love to hate. Urban Meyer has brought the program back after the brief hiccup during the Luke Fickell season, but the team has a ways to go before actually winning a national championship. You should keep your eyes on two critical factors: Braxton Miller and the defense.

You’ll see Miller in the futures as well, as he is again a legitimate threat to contend for the Heisman Trophy. Yet he is still an enigma, as he’s very injury prone and also very inconsistent. He’s an incredible runner out of the pocket. Frankly, at the next level, he should probably be a tailback. The reason has to do with his passing, which is still very mediocre. This year he’ll have some great receiving weapons, and he’ll also have some young backs who should do a nice job replacing Carlos Hyde. But the offensive line is very young, so this team likely will not be able to maul defenses with their running game like last year. Miller needs to step up and mature as a quarterback for the Buckeyes to have a chance at the playoff.

Then there’s the defense, which has been an embarrassment since Jim Tressel left Ohio State. Sure, they’ve had injuries, but the pass defense was a joke last season. Urban Meyer has pledged to fix it, and this year he promises to showcase press coverage from his young secondary. The key will be a dominating defensive line led by super-sophomore Joey Bosa. If the line lives up to the billing, then maybe the Buckeyes can finally get back to playing real defense again.

But the Buckeyes show how hard it can be to predict college football, so do your homework!

Related Posts