Featuring: Broncos D without Von Miller…. A-Rod and Yankees battle Red Sox…. AP Poll: Bama almost unanimous #1…. Also, the Champ and Chump of the Week!
If you’re like most, your preseason picks probably have the Denver Broncos penciled into Super Bowl 48. With good reason. Denver had a fantastic 2012 regular season, and have added even more ingredients to a recipe, that they hope gets them to their first Super Bowl since they took home the Lombardi Trophy in 1998. Unfortunately, one of the key ingredients in that recipe won’t be available for the first six weeks of the season, for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
Von Miller’s six week suspension, to start the regular season, thankfully for the Broncos is very early in the season. The impact could still be huge when you factor in the Broncos schedule. Denver hosts the Ravens in week one, then travels to New York to face the Giants in week two. Neither of those games will be easy with or without Miller. The AFC is by far and away weaker than the NFC, top to bottom. However, home field will still be huge. Losing Miller isn’t the end of the world, but there’s no denying the Broncos would rather play all playoff games at Mile High. This setback could put that in jeopardy…… One thing that never seems to be in jeopardy is the relevance of the Red Sox/Yankees rivalry.
No matter what the scenario, when the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees get together on the field, I suggest you keep informed with what’s going on in the game. Whether it be via Twitter, your favorite sports app or website on your smart phone, or just by flipping back and forth on your tv. I’m not one that’s fond of the notion that every time these two teams get together, its gotta be the game of the week. In this chapter of this epic rivalry, A-Rod gets hit intentionally by Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster. It took him four pitches to hit him. On that pitch, the home plate umpire warned both benches, but did not reprimand Dempster. Yankees manager, Joe Girardi took exception to this and proceeded to go off on the home plate ump.
In my opinion, Girardi was absolutely right, and I also loved the way he defended A-Rod in that situation. Then, the benches cleared, but it was much ado about nothing after that. Until, the 6th inning. A-Rod silenced the Fenway Park crowd, that cheered mightily when he was hit by the pitch, by homering to center field, off of Dempster. The longest homerun by a Yankee player this season. The Yanks went on to win the game and continue their hot streak. After the game, reporters asked Rodriguez; should Dempster be suspended for hitting him. A-Rod said: I’m the wrong man to be asking about a suspension”. Absolutely hilarious. By the way, Dempster was suspended by the MLB on Tuesday, for 5 games. How about that for payback?
Alabama receives 58 of 60 first place votes in preseason AP Poll. The Alabama Crimson Tide for the 4th time in school history will start out the season number 1, according to sportswriters across America. Bama was followed by Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, and Georgia to round out the top 5. Starting out number 1 in the sportswriter’s preseason poll has been kind to the Tide only once of the previous three times. 1978, when Bama won it all. In 2010, the Crimson Tide opened the season number 1 in the AP poll, but went on to lose 3 games, and watch their cross state rival, Auburn take home the Crystal Football. So, who challenges the Tide this season? Ohio State’s schedule is very favorable for a run, but are the Buckeyes deep enough? Stanford and Oregon out of the Pac-12 are very viable and should have an epic of their own. Georgia, knows all about challenging Bama, and this just may be their year.
Looking for a contender outside the top 10? How about two sets of Tigers. #8 Clemson: We will learn a LOT about Clemson in week their week 1 showdown against #5 Georgia. If, Clemson wins that game, the biggest stumbling blocks would be hosting #11 Florida St. and at #6 South Carolina. Clemson is capable of running the table, although I don’t think it’s going to happen. #12 LSU: is getting no love right now, because of all the talent the Tigers lost from last season, but there is still a lot of talent. LSU’s schedule is brutal, but it’s a safe bet the Tigers will win a game that could shake up the SEC or national championship picture. Rounding out the top 10 is South Carolina, #7 Texas A&M, Clemson, #9 Louisville, and #10 Florida. The 2013 college football season should be fantastic. Follow Sports & Swag for our own preseason poll and more before the opening kickoff to the season.
This edition marks the first edition of Sports & Swag’s Champ and Chump of the week! These weekly awards go to the individual that was extraordinary at their craft, and the individual that was completely the opposite in that particular week. Without further ado, this week’s Champ and Chump!
Champ of the week: Alfonso Soriano – New York Yankees
In one of the most incredible weeks a Yankee has ever had, who else could possibly win the first Sports & Swag; Champ of the Week? Putting your name in recognition with the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle will do that for you. Five homers and 18 RBI’s in the stretch of 4 games is absolutely mind boggling!
Chump of the Week: Ryan Dempster – Boston Red Sox
No need to ask why he’s here. Taking four pitches to hit someone should be enough in itself, but just the intent of hitting Rodriguez is why he’s here. Dempster, who’s usually a pretty decent pitcher, will get a chance to think about what went wrong during his 5 game suspension. That is, if he doesn’t appeal.
See ya right here next week! Feel free to comment and like our page on Facebook and Google+. Later.