Is this thing on…

So the burnout of another season took it’s toll on the MotSaG…or more particularly YNBA…

Surprised? Not Really. It is tough to come up with brilliant material on a weekly basis when nothing is going on in the college football landscape. Here is a quick list of 20 general happenings over the last few months:

  1. Tim Tebow did something magical…not quite sure what it was…
  2. The CBJ made the playoffs and were happy to be there for a week.
  3. Jamal Berry likes to carry the ‘sticky icky‘ in his car.
  4. FC Barcelona won the Champions League against Manchester United and an angel got it’s wings.
  5. Tim Tebow did something philanthropic…not quite sure what it was…
  6. Carlos Hyde is a poor test-taker, or he is dumb, or he doesnt care, or he just really wanted to attend Fork Union next year.
  7. Terrelle Pryor looks like he can read a defense and cleaned up his throwing motion (a little), but there are still 4 QB’s on the Penn State roster that are better than him and a few PSU trainers, as well (Source: Any Ohio State Thread on Audibles).
  8. Ole Miss and North Caolina are in the top 10 in the pre-season polls. Thus fulfilling reason #4576 why polls shouldnt be released until the sixth week of the season.
  9. EDSBS’s Digital Viking Series has won over a nation of blog readers
  10. Deadspin…something is missing over there..well..besides Leitch, “Hirshey is the Closer”, and a gentle dose of “This Week’s Apologies”, but hey, they can embed youtube music videos like no other.
  11. Real Madrid spent over 200 million euros on two players…and that is without including the player salaries for the non-soccer crowd.
  12. The Cleveland Indians bi-annual YNBA soul killing exercise is in full effect this year.
  13. We were kind of ‘witnesses’ to BronBron getting faced…in a Ferris Bueller 31-Flavors kind of way…
  14. The Cavs got Shaq Diesel. Well maybe the Bio-Diesel Version. Doesnt this make Cavs fan hate Carlos Boozer a little more each year?
  15. The US Men’s Soccer Team had a great and completely unexpected run in the Confederations Cup (Spain…really?) and Landon Donovan has been rejuvenated. Did you hear that? That was Bob Bradley getting up from sucking his thumb in the corner.
  16. The Browns continue to be the Browns, but it could be worse…they could be the Seahawks (giggle giggle).
  17. Our Honor Defend’s “Better Know a Buckeye” Series has been top notch work for a slow summer.
  18. David Beckham came back from Italy to sounds of boo’s and a simple chorus of no one really giving a flying crap about David Beckham anymore. Beckham Experiment = EPIC FAIL
  19. Rick Nash signs with the CBJ for 25 years. Oh alright…8 years. Sorry Maple Leaf Fans.
  20. South Carolina really wants Ohioans to leave. It’s like a little kid running a lemonade stand asking someone with a ten dollar bill to get lost.

Columbus Crew – MLS Champions

CrewWhile we may be Buckeye-heavy this time of year, MotSaG is still an Ohio-themed sports site and we’d be remiss if we didn’t congratulate the Columbus Crew for winning the MLS cup.

Way to go, Crew!

I wanted badly to cover the Crew last week, but since (1) we were shorthanded at MotSaG, and (2) it was Michigan week, I never managed to put a few posts together about the conference championship game against Chicago last Thursday, nor the preparation for Sunday’s title match.

The Crew won their first-ever title by beating the New York Red Bulls, behind their leader and the MLS’s best player, Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Schelotto’s three assists and fantastic play earned him the MLS Cup MVP award.

So, all in all, between the Crew’s MLS Championship, the Buckeyes’ record-setting spankification of Michigan, and Mason’s first career shutout, it was a great sports weekend in Columbus.

The only thing that would have made it better would have been for the Crew to have won the title at home. I wish the MLS would abandon this desire to make soccer look and feel like the NFL. We don’t need a neutral site for the title – let the best team with the winningest record have the home-field advantage. But that’s nitpicking at this point. Congratulations, Crew! Enjoy a well deserved winter off.

Wednesday’s weekend reflections and meh…

Alright…I have had a few days to take in the massacre and it’s effects

Extreme situations often call for extreme measures. These measures do not include Todd Boeckman on a QB run on 2nd and 22. My god JT, wtf was that? Then again, maybe Todd was rolling out to throw to the TE..*laughing so hard there is significant pain in my side regions*

Every team that plays OSU knows that they are damaged goods right now. I havent seen an OSU team quit like that since Iowa in 2004. No heart…no fire…ridiculous.

Positives from the weekend for OSU…ahem..let’s just move onto another topic.

  • Oh wait…Terrell Pryor gets to play a lot more this weekend…or so we are led to believe.

Positives from the weekend for YNBA and some other jottable notes…

  • Watched Oklahoma demolish Washington. Seriously Buckeye fans, thank goodness the team wasnt spending the past weekend in Norman. Sam Bradford was nothing short of incredible (18-21, 300+ yards, 5 Touchdowns). Oklahoma (Not USC) looked like a well-oiled machine this past weekend, but the hype wasnt there with the game occurring in LA. Granted, this was Washington’s defense, but OU’s performance was efficient and lethal from the beginning of the game until the very end.
  • It was nice to see one of my teams show up this weekend. Liverpool FC decided that it had seen enough of Manchester United’s shenanigans and finally beat them (2-1) for the first time in Premiership play in almost five years. With the exception of a John O’Shea OG, it had almost been the same amount of time since Liverpool had actually scored a goal of any kind against ManU. The Mascherano-Kuyt-Babel connection put the game away in the 77th minute to set the Anfield faithful into a frenzy (Cue Seven Nation army and chant ‘Jav-i-er Ma-scher-a-no‘ over and over again). For the non-soccer types, pace and momentum matter just as much in soccer and football, and Liverpool carried the play to ManU for a good portion of the first half and dominated in the second.
  • The Columbus Crew settled for a 1-1 draw in Canada against Toronto FC. This draw sealed the deal on Columbus maintaining possession of the Trillium Cup. This draw on Saturday was really a win, as there were no Columbus fans accosted by Toronto FC supporters outside of the BMO, which seems to be occurring with greater frequency as this rivalry continues to grow. Crazy Canadians…
  • Champions League Group Stage play began on Tuesday (If you dont understand how the Champions League works…ask…because it is confusing as all get out, then attempt to ponder how crazy College Football would be in this format). Liverpool took out Marseille 2-1, as ‘The Captain’ Steven Gerrard provided some magic in the form of two goals to rally the Reds from 1-0. FC Barcelona also won it’s opening match against Sporting Lisbon 3-1.
  • Seems like the media has finally started to lay off of the Buckeyes after this weekend’s performance. Even Pete Fiutak has provided some perspective (See Part III), which is refreshing in that it comes from a national media type, as even the Herbstreit’s of the world have seemed to bash or distance themselves from the Buckeyes as much as possible.
  • Painfully going back to the USC game…I am not an expert in the ways of football or schemes, but it doenst appear to me that OSU is any less athletic than other elite teams (NFL draft numbers will generally support this claim). Once you infer that OSU may actually have the same type of speed and athleticism on its squad, the question of what differentiates the teams comes into play. All I know is that from other sports that I do participate, the less you have to think the more effective you are on the field. This especially holds true on defense. If the OSU offense is as predictable as everyone believes, then most teams will be able to pin their ears back and go to town, as they will have a pretty good idea of what is coming almost every time. I am going to stop here on this topic, but think about every time the OSU offense is faced with a 3rd or 4th and short…you’ve already called the play. OSU is running a slow developing play to the tailback. It doenst matter which one it is…you just know it is going to be painful to watch and in a lot of cases it just isnt going to cut it

I think that it is safe to say that no one is giving up on the season (players or fans), but if the current trends including lack of creativity and utter lack of execution at any level continue…this will be a long season. Things dont get any easier this Saturday, as Troy comes to town and is still looking for a signature win against one of the D-I big boys. I hope the Bucks are ready for Troy’s best shot. Maybe it is time for the Buckeye faithful to start singing YNWA before every kickoff…to re-affirm thy friendship to the O-HI-O.


West Ham Fans? Really?

CrewA short note on this one…

The Hammers of West Ham United FC (middle-of-the-road English Premier League soccer team) are currently on a short tour to play a few “friendlies” against the MLS All-Stars and started with a fixture against Columbus in Crew Stadium on Saturday evening.

Apparently a group of West Ham fans decided it would be a good idea to mess with the Hudson Street Hooligans at Crew Stadium, during the first West Ham “friendly” this past weekend. The H-Street Hooligans are an extremely rowdy section of Crew followers located in the northeast corner of Crew Staium that would be somewhat equivalent to “The Kop” at Anfield on massive amounts of valium. After a small altercation where the Ohio State Highway Patrol was called in to restore peace, there are a few questions that need to be addressed.

  1. How did all the six of the US contingent of West Ham fans find their way to Columbus?
  2. Can the MLS guarantee that this behavior will continue at every game? Toronto already does it’s part. I, for one, cant wait for Philly to get it’s expansion team. If yes, I may double the amount of season tickets that I may purchase for the Seattle Sounders FC in 2009.

Ahh…”The Beautiful Game”…Indeed.

Now back to regularly scheduled Buckeye programming.

Ohio – Year of the #2

2007 was the year of the “Almost!!” for teams that hail from the State of Ohio.

There were eight sports teams from Ohio that either lost a championship game or had the coveted #1 ranking elude them in 2007. Never before have so many teams from a single state reached within inches of the promised land, only to fail at accomplishing the utmost feat.

The following teams from Ohio finished #2 in their respective sports in 2007:

OSU Football Ohio State Buckeyes Football – BCS Title Game
On Janurary 8, 2007, one of the best OSU teams in history waltzed into the BCS title game cocky and overconfident. The Buckeyes had breezed undefeated through their schedule, including playing in two #1 vs #2 games and winning both convincingly.

History shows that the team never took its BCS opponent seriously, and after a 50-day layoff came to the stadium overweight, flat, and uninspired – and was promptly dispatched by a tough Florida team that had grown weary of hearing about its underdog status.

OSU Logo Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Basketball – NCAA Title Game
In some ways, the men’s basketball team was the antithesis to their counterparts who played in the ‘Shoe. Where Tressel had a team loaded with experienced seniors and veterans, Thad Matta would have to work with a group of highly-rated young freshmen and first-year starters, including the superstar Greg Oden, who was unavailable for the first half of the season.

The Buckeyes survived a tough playoff bracket and matched up against Florida in the championship game. Despite a career game for Oden, the Buckeyes simply couldn’t match up with a Gator team full of talented, experienced veterans.

Cavaliers Cleveland Cavaliers – NBA Finals
In June, the Cavs made it to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. Down by two games in the semifinals, LeBron James led the Cavs to four straight wins and a berth in the championship series against the Spurs.

San Antonio then swept the series, 4-0.

Columbus Destroyers Columbus Destroyers – ArenaBowl XXI
The Columbus Destroyers were the AFL’s Cinderella story in 2007. The Destroyers made it to the ArenaBowl with momentous upsets of Dallas and Georgia in the first two rounds of the playoffs.

They lost the championship to the San Jose Sabercats, 55-33.

Columbus Comets Football – NWFA Championship Game
What? You’ve never heard of them? Too bad. Columbus’ own women’s professional football franchise (full-contact, none of this powder-puff stuff) dominated the competition in 2007.

The women won the Southern Conference and made it to the NWFA Championship game — where they were beaten 32-0 by the Pittsburgh Passion.

Indians Cleveland Indians – American League Championship Series
The Indians capped a fine regular season by tying Boston for the best record in baseball. Behind Cy Young winner CC Sebathia, they upset the Yankees in the AL division series in four games.

Cleveland then took a 3-1 lead against Boston in the ALCS, but then lost the pennant with three straight losses to the Red Sox.

Football Saint Xavier Bombers – HS Final Rankings
Cincinnati’s legendary Saint X squad made it to 15-0 and the state title, but was given the #2 spot in the final national high school composite rankings.

The Bombers came in only four points behind Northwestern of Miami Florida. The two did not play against one another.

Ohio State Buckeyes Men’s Soccer – NCAA Title Game
OSU entered the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history. Playing as a five seed, they outworked their opponents though the playoffs, and met Wake Forest in the championship game.

The Buckeyes played a dominant first half, but Wake Forest came from behind late in the game on a controversial goal. The Demon Deacons went on to win.

So, what say you? Is this list an example of Ohio superiority in athletics, or weakness?

2008 starts off well, with another Ohio team competing for a championship as the football Buckeyes get a chance to redeem themselves in the Bourbon Bowl. Let’s hope that this pattern of #2 ends on January 7th.

Team Chivas beats Team Galaxy 3-1….

You may be wondering why this is on this site because neither of these teams are from Ohio. Well actually they both are. Team Chivas is my 4 year old son Eli’s soccer team. His team won 3-1 and is now 3-1* on the season, even though they dont keep score or award victories or losses in any game. I, as a ridiculously advid sports fan, do keep track of said info.

P.S. My son Eli although I love him very much has about as much athleticism as his good old Dad. So look for him to be blogging about sports in the future instead of playing them.

P.P.S. The one loss his team has I feel needs an asterisk as I am sure a couple of the the other teams players were like 12 years old and not 4 or 5.

In the mood for Crew food

CrewCrew playersThe Columbus Crew found themselves in an early led yesterday after a Sebastian Rozental goal, scored on a penalty kick in the 23rd minute. Rozental took the penalty shot after Real Salt Lake’s Willie Forko interfered with Thomas during a streak down the endline towards the RSL goal. After conferring for what seemed like an eternity, the officials decided on the penalty kick, and Rosental booted it past the RSL netminder for… blah BLAH, blah blahblah blah blahblahblah.

Last night was “Buck-a-Brat” night at Crew Stadium.

When a buddy called me up with an extra ticket to a Crew game, my first question to him was, “Is it on Wednesday?” Crew home games + Wednesday evenings = 100 pennies per grilled pork-veal product. Four quarters for a juicy, full-size Bob Evans bratwurst. Ten dimes per ticket into temporary Midwest heaven. With stadium mustard on the side.

pigcow product
Four dollars for dinner. Thirty-six dollars for beer. Welcome to the Midwest.

According to the Columbus Crew Media Relations dept., a total of 302,680 brats have been sold on summertime Wednesday evenings at the stadium. Now, if the average pig weighs 200 pounds, and the average brat contains a quarter pound of pork (with some baby cow thrown in), then over 302,680 brats, that works out to something like eleventy billion pigs that have sacrificed their lives for deliciousness.

Mmm… sacrificed pigcow product.

Oh, the Crew? Yeah, they lost. I think.

US and the World Cup

SoccerIn the aftermath of last week’s World Cup fiasco, I found myself wondering – how is it that the USA men’s team was beaten so badly? Obviously, the team’s level of talent doesn’t approach that of their African and European counterparts.

But more interesting than the US team’s humiliating performance was the fact that nobody even noticed. The world has gone ape for the World Cup, but here in the US, World Cup news is what gets shoved into newscasts between baseball scores and NHL draft news.

Men talking“So, didya hear that the US men lost?” “What US men?” “The soccer team, you dolt.” “Yawn… oh, yeah. What about it?”

So, here’s my attempt at an explanation as to why soccer is so popular worldwide, and why folks in the US generally don’t care.

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