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Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Preston Soechting: Leader of the Cross Fit Nashville Revolution

I want to introduce everyone to Cross-Fit Nashville and its owner Preston Soechting. Preston is a military vet from Iraq and comes to Nashville with a ton of strength and conditioning training skills. Cross-fit Nashville is a fitness program that aims to improve your capacity in ten recognized general fitness skills: cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The result is comprehensive physical fitness and restored vitality. For those who want to take their training to the next level, the athlete who needs an off-season training program or anyone who just wants to train with the best, Cross-Fit Nashville is for you.

When I intially agreed to write this article for Preston I thought that I could handle this Cross-Fit program. I have always been a natural athlete and have participated in many other workout plans without even breaking a sweat. So I told Preston I would come out and see what all the fuss was about with his program. Boy was I ever in for a surprise. Noomizo founder Bryan Thomas and I decided to give it a go and by the time I was done with the workout, I wanted no more. It wasn't that it was too much, it was just very different from what I had expected and what I was use to. I usually hit the gym and lift weights then make my way to the basketball court for some cardio. Cross-fit intertwines the two by making you lifts weights in a technical manner and it incorporates cardio at the same time. To begin our program, we had to run 400 meters and do a set of 21 power lifts, followed by a set of clap push-ups. It was tough and I could feel every muscle fiber in my body pounding from the workout, which is what you want. I fully endorse this program for anyone interested in sculpting and molding their body into a masterpiece. That's exactly what will happen if you particapte and dedicate yourself to program.

So with my workout complete and my Cross-fit baptism behind me, I finally had a chance to sit down and talk with Preston about Cross-Fit Nashville. Without further ado, here is my exclusive interview with him, hope everyone enjoys.







1. Tell us about your background and how you came up with Cross Fit Nashville?

Preston: I was initially approached by my brother to try out CrossFit. He told me it was an awesome workout that I would absolutely love. This of course made me immediately not want to do it because my brother told me I should do something, however after much persistence on his part I gave in and finally did a workout. At that time in my life I would have told you I was in the best shape of my life. I was in the Army, I could max my physical fitness test, and I was running upwards of 20 miles a week. I did my first crossfit workout, and it completely destroyed me. It was a 3 round workout with pull ups and thrusters. It took me over 9 minutes to get 45 repetitions of each. I thought that surely this workout was a fluke and did a different CrossFit workout the next day and I was met again by the same result! It was then that I thought there must be something to this style of training. So i said I would give CrossFit a month and I have not looked back since. While on deployment my brother and I decided to open our own CrossFit Affiliate once I returned from deployment and I was able to get out of the Army.



2. Where did CrossFit Nashville originate from?

Preston: Once I separated from the military I moved to Nashville with the intent to open CrossFit Nashville and share CrossFit with everyone i know. Doing CrossFit makes your everyday lives better, and that is what fitness should be about, enriching our lives! People in the United States are in dyer need of a healthier lifestyle and I want to share that with as many people I can, most especially with people in the South. We live in a culture here that has us eating hot buttered rolls, sweet tea, and a dessert with every meal and that is considered "normal" and it shows in Tennessee's obesity rates. It is alarming how many people are literally eating themselves to death living a sedentary lifestyle and I will do whatever i can to help combat this unhealthy acceptance of what people think is normal.



3. How did you become part of the Cross Fit movement?

Preston: CrossFit is about broad, general, and inclusive fitness. We don't just make you strong or just give you a lot of endurance, but we are about training all ten general physical skills: Cardio-Respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. Quality of life just gets better for anyone who trains with CrossFit. From professional athletes to grandparents, everyone will benefit from an increased performance in these ten areas of fitness. That is what I love about CrossFit, while in the military I was always looking for what the best training tools were and tried many methods, from long endurance activities, to P90X, to yoga, to MMA/Combatives, and then I found CrossFit. CrossFit is the most well rounded fitness program available and that is why I became involved with CrossFit , I proudly stand behind it s methods, and I want as many people to try it as possible!




4. What are the points of emphasis that you guys teach?

Preston: The definition of CrossFit is this: Functional Movement done at high intensity and is constantly varied.


Functional Movement:


We train natural movements (ie: Picking things up off the ground, squatting, putting things overhead, running, jumping, pushing, and pulling), we train these because in life these are the movements we use all the time! These movements are multi joint movements that do not isolate muscle groups, because when in life to we ever curl objects from the ground?


High Intensity:


In CrossFit we train at a high intensity level. We do this because when you train at your hardest it yields results! Workouts are rarely over 20 minutes and until you experience CrossFit you do not realize how far you can push your body physically in a 10-15 minute workout. There is nothing better than being in a workout where everything in your body is telling you to stop, but having the mental toughness to push through and complete something very intense.


Constantly Varied:


Crossfit draws primarily from three areas of fitness. Weightlifting: (Cleans, Jerks, Snatches, Squats, Presses, deadlifts, and kettlebells), Gymnastics: (Handstands, Pull Ups, Dips, Muscle Ups, Pushups, Rope climbs, L-sits), and Cardiovascular Endurance: (Running, Jumping, Rowing, Swimming, Biking) So we draw from these three areas and combine them in as many combinations as possible! We know that doing the same thing over and over will not make you better, because you eventually will plateau and actually will start going backwards! So with CrossFit it will be at least 3-6 months before we would ever repeat a workout. This keeps workouts exciting and also makes you well rounded because you are constantly training something different.



5. Coming from a military background and training, do you think Cross-Fit training harder than military training?

There is a great physical demand than must be met with much of the training i did in the militray, physical and a mental toughness must be there because not only is your body taxed physically, but sometimes you must perform with little to no food and you must perform running on no sleep and to do that is one of the hardest things i have ever had to do. Somewhere along the way gyms have transformed from places you go to work, sweat, and get results to places that are filled with machines, towels, air conditioning, televisions, and saunas. These are awesome luxuries, but these tools are unnecessary to achieve your fitness goals. With CrossFit you will meet with other like minded individuals who are here to work hard, push their bodies to their limit, that is what will give you results and that is what fitness is about!






6. Who are you trying to target as perspective clients?

Preston: CrossFit is for everyone! It is in our DNA to perform these functional movements and doing them brings out the "Athlete" inside all of us, we could do all of these things as kids (jumping, climbing, running, squatting) but we sometimes get lazy along the way and lose those abilities. CrossFit is about getting that ability back! We can increase the quality of life for everyone, from athletes to grandparents!




7. What are you rates and schedule of classes?

Preston: We have classes 6 days a week and run morning classes and classes from 4:30-7:30 in the evenings. We have group classes that meet so that you are working out next to other people. This creates an awesome community of people who all cheer each other on and only want everyone to perform their best. Working out in groups helps you to push your body further than you thought you could. The first session is always free, and after the first session we determine your rate based on the number of classes a week you will attend. We offer family discounts, student discounts, and discounts to all military, police, and fire fighters.



8. What is the most difficult part of Cross-Fit training?

Preston: The most difficult part is battling the mental demons in your head that telling you to stop because your body is getting uncomfortable, we train in groups because when you are by yourself it is much easier to just quit, or stop working because no one is watching. We all have this battle every workout, that is why at CrossFit Nashville there is always a trainer right there with you to encourage and cheer you on to complete the workout. A big part of CrossFit is learning how far you can push your body, and that limit only increases the longer you do CrossFit because you learn that the mind shuts down much sooner than your body.



9. How can viewers contact you for further information?

Preston: Anyone can call me at (615) 927-4473, or email me at preston@CrossFit-Nashville.com. I can be reached anytime and I will work with anyone that wants to achieve their fitness goals. Viewers can also check out what we do at www.CrossFit-Nashville.com it is my website for the gym and you can get a better look at what we do. But the best way to experience CrossFit is to come out and do it!

The biggest and best moves so far in the NFL free agent and trade frenzy


The Free Agent bonanza is finally reaching second gear as a flurry of signings and trades have changed the NFL landscape. It was just a matter of time since the new CBA agreement was agreed upon, that big deals would follow and boy have they ever. Teams now are flush with cash thanks to the new rookie wage scale and also after waving some big name players. Big money teams such as the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets are already flexing their muscles by signing resigning their own in-house major free agents. In contrast the Dallas Cowboys and the Baltimore Ravens have cut some of their most familiar and respected players such as Marion Barber, Todd Heap, Leonard Davis, Derrick Mason and many more to clear cap space and make a run at some of the prime time free agents. In this unique and one of a kind free for all, each team has its own dynamic that it is trying to conquer.


So here at the Sportaholic we have decided to list our biggest moves thus far this off-season. There are sure to be many more to follow including the impending signing of Nnamdi Asomugha, the most important of all the free agents. His signing will surely become the biggest of all player movement when it happens, but in the meantime here is our list of the best moves so far.



1. New England trades for Albert Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco: I have to start off by saying the hoodie always finds a way to amaze me. Bill Belicheck has a way of getting the most out of disgruntled veterans (Corey Dillon and Randy Moss) and he addressed two major needs facing the Pats. They once vaunted New England front 7 only produced 36 sacks last year and that was only good enough for 14th in the league. They also just released their leading sack specialist Tully Banta-Cain who had a team high 8 sacks. To address that middle of the road pass rush, Belicheck swung a trade for the talented but mercurial Albert Haynesworth. He immediately bolsters that unit and if motivated could make the Pats defensive lines one of the better one in the league. Now the question becomes can the Pats way of business and commitment of excellence make Haynesworth return to form? That remains to be seen. Everyone saw what Haynesworth is worth when his mind is not in the game, after the Washington debacle. When add Haynesworth to Vince Wolfork and the returning Ty Warren, then you have major beef up front. It will definitely be hard to run on these guys. And if Haynesworth doesn’t want to act right, then Belicheck has no problem cutting his loses like he did Randy Moss last year.

New England also obtained Chad Ochocinco in a stunning turn of events. Ochocinco was a one man rock show in this summer as he tried his hand at alligator wrestling, bull riding and Nascar but now he has to curb his enthusiasm and join one of the more stricter locker rooms in football. New England has been searching for a big play receiver every since releasing Randy Moss. Adding OchoCinco to the likes of Wes Welker and Deion Branch gives them an impressive receiving core. Tom Brady now has one more weapon at his disposal and believe me he will get the most out of Ocho. New England has responded loud and clear to the threat of the New York Jets and seem to be placing all their chips on the table with these two moves.

2. Kevin Kolb traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a 2nd round draft pick: This one was as a surprising as the Kat Von D and Jesse James breakup. Everyone saw it coming and now that the deal is done, it makes for one of the most sensible trades this off-season. Philadelphia has put all its faith in Michael Vick 2.0 and with his play from last year, it’s not hard to understand. Kolb became expendable and his play has shown he has the potential to become one of the better QBs in the league, especially in the QB ravaged NFC West. Enter Arizona team that tried its hand at Derek Anderson, John Skelton and Max Hall. Much to the joy of future free agent Larry Fitzgerald the cards have played their hand well and landed Kolb. The Cardinal knew that if they were to have any chance of signing the face of their franchise in Fitzgerald, then they had better get him a QB. The Eagles needed another DB to pair with pro bowler Asante Samuel as they had no one else to depend on at cornerback. Rodgers-Cromartie(Formally of Tennessee State University) is already one of the better corners in the league and only with get better with more experience. He is long and speedy which should suite him well facing the like he will in the NFC East. When you play in this receiver talented division then you really have no choice but to make sure you shore up your defensive secondary and that’s exactly what the Eagles did. But they didn’t stop there as they also were able to pry away a second round pick from the Cardinals. Some analysts are griping that Arizona over paid for an unproven QB but I say great trade for both teams due to the circumstances they faced. Arizona drafted another freakishly athletic corner in Patrick Patterson that will take DRC's place. You can’t have good football team without a good QB and Kolb will be an upgrade over anybody else the Cards could have trotted onto the field this year.

3. Reggie Bush traded to the Miami Dolphins: This trade was plain and simple a must for the New Orleans Saints. Reggie Bush’s deal would have been a cap hit of $16 million dollars and with the new salary cap being slashed along with Bush’s limited role in the Saints offense, there was no way to justify paying him so handsomely. The Dolphins on the other hand are about to lose their two leading rushers from last year in Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams. Bush will add a different dimension to their offense with his speed and elusiveness. He also gives the Dolphins a highlight reel star which is just what the people of Miami love to see. If the Dolphins are able to land Kyle Orton as expected, I think this move will pay even more dividends. Anytime you can throw Brandon Marashall and Reggie Bush on the field, then you have a chance for fireworks on offense. Now I don’t think the Dolphins are kidding themselves into thinking that Bush will carry the rock 25-30 times but they did draft Daniel Thomas out Kansas State so they will pair the two. Bush can make you jump out of your seat on one play and pull out your hair on the next so it will interesting to see the next phase of his career. The Saints needed to clear up their back field after drafting former Heisman winner Mark Ingram, who should solidify a solid rushing attack for the Saints. Sometimes deals are done out of necessity and this was one of them. As weird as it will feel seeing Bush in another jersey, this is deal that was necessary for both teams.

4. Donovan McNabb traded to the Minnesota Vikings: This is a deal that should have happened last year but of course there was that whole Brett Favre thing (I tried so hard to make it through this column without mentioning him). McNabb finally gets a chance to run a team with a legitimate running attack. His ouster from Washington was another inevitable move for the Redskins of course, but they did manage to get a few draft picks for him. Speaking of the Skins they have decided to go with John Beck as their starter, at least for the mean time. I question that move but hey Shanny has proved me wrong before. This is a coup for Minnesota as they now have the veteran mentor for first round pick Christian Ponder to bridge the gap before he becomes the starter. I do have to question McNabb’s performance after just a dismal display last year. Head Coach Mike Shanahan openly questioned McNabb’s work ethic and off-field preparations and eventually benched him for the great Rex Grossman. Anyone that gets replaced by Grossman has to be questioned. Overall however, I think McNabb has every reason to have a resurgent season as a Viking. Adrian Peterson will do the heavy lifting and all he has to do is make a few plays here and there. If McNabb can at least play half as good as his pre Washington Redskin days, then the Vikings become a dark horse in the loaded NFC North.

5. Jonathon Joseph signs with the Houston Texans: This deal actually happened as I was writing this column. Joseph was rated was the 2nd best corner on the market and the Texans couldn’t wait for Asomugha or didn’t feel they had the means to sign him. This may not be the big fish that Asomugha is, but Joseph will come in and start immediately for the porous Texans secondary. He should provide instant relief for the worst defensive back field in the league with his speed and range. A lot of people aren’t familiar with Joseph but hardcore football fans know that he is one the better defensive backs in the NFL. He was a former first round pick in 2006 and has 14 interceptions since being drafted so the five year $48.75 million dollar contract awarded to him is justified. If the Texans can get anything out of last year’s first round pick Kareem Jackson, then maybe the Texans have their two corner backs for the foreseeable future. The Joseph signing also drops one of the major pursuers of Asomugha off the market, making the Jets the favorite to land the all-pro cornerback.





5. The Wait for Nnamdi: Now I know what your saying, Asomugha hasn’t even been signed yet. But his signing will represent the biggest and most important deal of al the free agents. He will single handily shift power to which ever team he chooses rather it be Dallas, Detroit or the New York Jets. His deal will also be a domino effect for players as he is the biggest name on the board. Sources are saying that he prefers to play in New York and if that is true could you imagine him being paired with the best corner not named Nnamdi Asomugha? He and Darrelle Revis would be able to shut down any elite receiving core while letting the Rex Ryan defense attack in so many various ways. Ryan’s defense relies on corner’s being able to defend in press man coverage and they would have the best two players in the league at just that with Revis and Asomugha. As far as need, Houston was by far was the best fit until they signed Jonathon Joseph. Where ever and when ever his deal gets done it will affect the entire league and test the limits of the new collective bargaining agreement. He will get his money from someone and it appears the Jets are the front-runners for his talent at this point but don’t be surprised if the Cowboys are secretly plotting to make a late run at him, as their secondary floundered last year under Wade Phillips.

Honorable mentions:


Sidney Rice to Seattle Seahawks: This deal screams that Rice just wanted to get paid or some kind of way he was convinced by teammate Tarvaris Jackson to join in a bolt for the Northwest. I don’t see the logic in going to a Seahawks team that will feature either Charlie Whitehurst or Jackson starting. I also understand that if I was to receive a five year $41 million dollar deal, then I probably would go anywhere and play too. Pete Carroll does like big, physical, receivers but his numbers surely take a dip due to uncertainty facing the QB position.

Jason Babin signs with Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles have really impressed me with their wheeling and dealing as they added one of the leading pass rushers to their defensive line. Babin played well for Tennessee last year as he amassed 12 sacks and was one of pleasant surprises of the season last year. Now when you pair him with always consistent Trent Cole on the other side of the line, you have a pretty formidable defensive pass rush. Just another savvy move by a smart front office as they have added a franchise corner in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, a second round draft pick and Babin who had 12 sacks last year so far in this shortened off-season. And the Eagles probably have a few more tricks up there sleeve. Vince Young is rumored to be on their radar.

Roy Williams to the Bears: The Bears needed to add depth and experience to their wide receiver unit and they got a decent player in Williams. Williams actually enjoyed his best years under current Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz so maybe this could work. Then again Williams could revert back to his Dallas ways and drop every 1 of every 4 passes thrown his way. He is the big strong receiver the Bears wanted but I would be scared to depend on him for anything. He has a chance to be Jay Cutler’s go to receiver and when you have speedsters like Devin Hester on the other side and Johnny Knox in the slot then you have a chance at being explosive at the receiver position. But this all depends on how Williams plays.

So that does it for the list so far and it’s safe to assume this will change as the free agent sweepstakes will continue. Big names such as Asomugha, Cullen Jenkins and Antonio Cromartie are still on the board. Most teams have the money and will have to make upgrades to their teams if they want to compete. A word of caution, as one source close to the free agents stated that “Sometimes the best move is the move you don’t make.”

Make sure to tune into Beatknockin.com online radio tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. as I will speak on all of the biggest free agent moves and trades in the NFL, plus much more. Special guest Don Merrimon of the Gridiron Press magazine joins me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Matt Hasselbeck brings to the Tennessee Titans


So the inevitable news that Matt Hasselbeck signing with the Titans has finally came to fruition. The 3-time pro bowler has bought his talents to music city as the veteran QB that the Titans so publicly craved and, also as the mentor to 1st round pick Jake Locker. The response that I elicited so far has been a mixed bag, as most people remember the brittle and banged up Hasselbeck from over the recent years. Most forget that he led Seattle to a Super Bowl and four consecutive division titles. His name seems to make most here in Nashville think about one of the two aspects stated above. So for those who are not familiar with the new projected starter for the Titans, I want to walk down a history of Hasselbeck’s career and achievements.




Height: 6 ft 4 in Weight: 225 lb

• 3× Pro Bowl selection (2003, 2005, 2007)                     

• 1× All-Pro selection (2005)

TD–INT

176-128

Passing yards 29,579

QB rating

82.2



Hasselbeck also owns a laundry list of Seattle Seahawks passing records:



• Games Started at Quarterback - 131

• Highest Passer Rating, Season (Min. 200 attempts) - 98.2 (2005)[20]

• Most Pass Attempts, Season - 562 (2007)[20]

• Most Pass Attempts, Game - 55 (at San Francisco, 12/1/02)

• Most Pass Attempts, Career - 3,806 [21]

• Most Pass Completions, Season - 352 (2007)[20]

• Most Pass Completions, Game - 39 (vs Detroit, 11/08/09)

• Most Pass Completions, Career - 2,572 [21]

• Most Passing Yards, Season - 4,279 (2007)[20]

• Most Passing Yards, Game - 449 (at San Diego, 12/29/02)

• Most Passing Yards, Career - 29,579 [21]

• Most 300+ Yard Passing Games, Career - 16[22]

• Most 300+ Yard Passing Games, Season - 4 (2002 and 2003)[22]

• Most 3,000 Passing Yard Seasons, Career - 8[20]

• Most Consecutive Seasons, 3,000 Yards Passing - 4 (2002–05)

• Highest Completion %, Career (Min. 200 attempts) - 60.2%[23]

• Most Touchdown Passes, Game - 5 (tie w/5 other players)

• Most Consecutive Attempts Without an Interception - 159 (2005)

• Lowest Interception %, Career (Min. 200 attempts) - 2.7%[23]

• Only Seahawks QB with 13 wins in a season (13-3 in 2005)[20]



I don’t know how to take the records he holds for Seattle as they have never really had a QB that stuck around as long as Hasselbeck did. One thing I can say is that I believe that Hasselbeck is a winner. He has proven as much with the Seahawks. I firmly believe this was a great move for Tennessee for multiple reasons. He already has a relationship with Jake Locker as the two were workout buddies in Seattle. He already is familiar with Mike Reinfeldt and Chris Palmer who both previously worked with the Seahawks organization. And the last is that he has proven that if you can provide him a decent run game and protect him, then he can put up solid numbers for a team. Now as far as his injury list, it goes as the following:

In 2006 he suffered a second degree MCL sprain and also broke fingers on his non-throwing hand

In 2008 Hasselbeck suffered from a back injury that affected a nerve in his lower back

The back injury led to a weakness in his leg that brought on a knee injury

In 2009 suffered fractured ribs against the San Francisco 49ners in week 2.

In 2010 suffered multiple injuries including broken wrist and concussion.

Now conversely, I have heard whispers of Titan fans wanting Donovan McNabb instead of Hasselbeck. Those whispers are warranted as most Titans fans are use to mobile QBs after having Vince Young and Steve McNair (RIP). But if you look at the numbers then you will see that Hasselbeck over the last two years has McNabb beat on just about everything. McNabb is also coming off his worst seasons as a pro following a dismal performance in the nation’s capital. He had 15 interceptions in 13 games and was eventually benched in favor of Rex Grossman. That’s right, benched in favor of Rex Grossman. McNabb was openly criticized about his readiness for game day plans and Coach Mike Shanahan stated that McNabb was not fit enough to run the two minute drill. That is two things that you have never heard about Hasselbeck. Yes he does get dinged up a lot but his level of preparation or his playing shape has never been questioned.

In summarizing, I believe Matt Hasselbeck was the best possible move for the Titans to make. He has experience, familiarity with the coaching staff, and a working relationship with rookie Jake Locker. He should come in and immediately take the reins as the starting QB and make an impact on and off the field. As long as the Titans offensive line can keep him clean, then Tennessee has a chance to be a decent team this year. Hasselbeck should be able to thrive in Chris Palmer’s system when you couple him with electric RB Chris Johnson (Provided that he is playing due to his contract dispute). He proved that he still has something left in the tank with his heroic efforts against the New Orleans Saints in last years playoffs. Hasselbeck threw for 272 yards and four touchdowns in the Seahawks upset of the defending champion Saints. The Titans made the most sensible move in obtaining Hasselbeck and they should reap the benefits this fall.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Weekend Run-down July 25, 2011


I don’t know where you are while reading this but chances are it’s probably hot where ever you may be. Here in Nashville the mercury rose to over 95 degrees this weekend and will get up to 98 this week with no end in sight. These are the dog days of summer and of course that means not much in the sports world to go around. The big subject for most is the NFL labor dispute, and it looks as if it’s finally coming to an end. Sources close to the action are reporting that the players could ratify the deal as early as today, hopefully so as it would be welcome news to all the football fans (Including myself) out there. Cadel Evans made history as the first rider from down under to win the Tour de France.The old fox Brett Favre just can’t seem to give up football and the Seattle Mariners just can’t seem to get a win.




Now for the rundown:



The NFL is ready for business?



As I stated above it seems both sides are finally ready to settle on a new CBA. ESPN is reporting that free-agent negotiations and trades could begin as soon as Tuesday can be filed with the league office Friday at 6 p.m. That’s means that its time for the free-agent bonanza folks. Every big named player including Nnamdi Asomagha, and Matt Hasselbeck, Kevin Kolb, and Donovan McNabb will be able to be moved by this weekend. Thank God this soap opera is over and we can get back to the business of football. It really sucks looking at Sportscenter as it is in the summer, and when you take away the occasional football update it makes that even worse. The players have to re-certify but that should be done soon. Neither side won this battle but the fans ultimately won’t judge either just as long as we get to see some football in the fall. Let the festivities begin.



Brett to the Eagles? Did I hear that right?



Now that lockout appears to be in its final moments its only right to begin the annual Brett Favre watch right? There are reports surfacing that the old gunslinger is being recruited by Philly to backup star Michael Vick. This guy just can’t leave it alone can he? He played probably his toughest year last season, taking on various injuries including his shoulder, ankle and rotator cuff and yet it seems all it takes is for a team to show some interest and him and he could possibly jump right back in. At least this time around he would be a backup and wouldn’t have to endure such punishment. Said Vick “I would be honored to have Brett Favre as a backup," Vick tweeted. "That will be amazing learning how to toy with defenses the way he did his whole career." The jury is still out on this one. We will have to wait and see but it just wouldn’t be a proper summer without a Brett Favre watch would it?



Cadel Evans wins the Tour de France:



Cadel Evans became the first Australian to win the prestigious Tour de France. The world most famous biking tournament seems to always be clouded by doping scandals, but this year seemed to go rather smoothly. Previous 3-time Tour winner Alberto Contador finished 5th after dealing with his own allegatiations. This was a rather entertaining Tour this year with 7 riders donning the yellow jersey. Frenchmen Thomas Voeckler held it for 10 days, to the delight oaf the French but couldn’t hold off the Aussie Evans who became the oldest Tour winner ever. He was also just the third non-European to claim the title, joining Americans Greg Lemond and Lance Armstrong. Congrats to Evans and of course Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!



Seattle Mariners lose their 15th straight:



It seems like every sport has that one team that has an epic losing streak. NBA = Cleveland Cavaliers, NFL = Carolina Panthers and now MLB = Seattle Mariners. The Mariners were actually a .500 team (43-43) before this losing streak and they just ran into a buzz saw in the Boston Red Sox. The Mariners have one of, if not the best pitcher in the game in Felix Hernandez but he hasn’t had the run support needed to win games for them. Seattle’s problem is its bats as the Mariners rank near the bottom of every offensive category in major league baseball. Their schedule isn’t doing them any favors either as their next two series are against the Bronx bombers of New York and a hungry and young Tampa Rays team. Ouch.



Alright that’s all have for my over the weekend coverage. Make sure to check back this week as I have some more announcements coming and we will cover all things post NFL lockout. Hope everyone enjoyed a nice and prosperous weekend. Stay out the heat folks!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Finally Friday: Weekly Roundup Edition






The end of the work week is finally here and in celebration of a grueling work schedule, I’ve have brought back a Sportaholic tradition in the “Finally Friday” article. This week saw its share of highlights, bloopers, and rants from various sports. I have posted an assortment of links for your enjoyment, you can thank me later. Hopefully everyone has a nice safe weekend. Join me as I will be hosting the Sportaholic sports radio show on beatknockin.com along with Ashley Danielle AKA the “Sports Chick” this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST, so if you are up that early please tune in and listen.



So without further ado, here are the best stories of the week links below:

















Shaq gets right to it as the “Big Analytical”, says Miami only has Big 2:



What NFL players association really thinks about the owners proposed new CBA:

Did the owners try to pull the wool over the players heads? This guy thinks so:



So is Kobe serious about playing in Turkey with Deron Williams? Depends on who you talk to:








Mike Slive wants the SEC to change its recruiting ways:






I had a feeling this Longhorn Network thing would be a problem for the Big 12:


Being loyal is overrated, just ask former Tiger Woods caddie Steve Williams:













By far the funniest highlight of the week, little fans with big problems:









The Pittsburgh Pirates are in 1st place and have everyone pulling for them:









Its always good to brush up on your sports knowledge, its like a man law or something:



                                                     
Derek Dooley and the Tennessee Vols heating up on the recruiting trail:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Major Concerns of the Tennessee Titans 2011 season


How great is the feeling of football coming back to us? All signs point to the lockout ending in a few days so its time to get back to the business of talking on the field football again. The Tennessee Titans probably have the worst situation coming out of the lockout. Let’s go down the list of problems facing this team:




• New coaching staff in transition including new Head Coach (Mike Munchak), Offensive Coordinator (Chris Palmer) and Defensive Coordinator (Jerry Gray)

• The retirement of Kerry Collins may hinder the development of the Titans first round draft choice Jake Locker

• The saga of off-field incidents involving the Titans best receiver Kenny Britt.

• The contract dispute in the making for the Titans best player RB Chris Johnson

• The possibility of losing major players due to free agency (Stephen Tulloch, Jason Babin, etc)



These are the biggest question marks for a team that less than a year ago was one of the most stable franchises in all of the NFL. The time has come to assess the Titans biggest needs as free agency is set to become a 2 or 3 week bonanza due to the labor strife.



Biggest Concerns:



1. Quarterback. To be a top team in this league, you have to have a surefire QB. The Titans carousel days of Vince Young and Kerry Collins have mercifully come to an end with the Titans selecting Jake Locker with the 8th pick of the draft. But with Collins retiring and the Titans undoubtedly not ready to toss their future QB to the wolves just yet, they have to sign a veteran QB to facilitate the transition of Locker. Most reports have Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck as the primary target of the Titans. He has connections to the franchise as GM Mike Reinfeldt was formally of the Seahawks and has ties to Hasselbeck as well as incoming OC Chris Palmer. Even Hasselbeck’s brother Tim of ESPN has discussed the possibility of Matt joining the Titans.



Another interesting name floating around was soon to be former Redskins QB Donovan McNabb. The Redskins will probably release the former Pro bowl QB as soon as the lockout is lifted going in favor of John Beck (Who again?). McNabb did look past his prime a bit last year with Washington but he still can get the job done as a veteran mentor for Locker. McNabb could parlay a year of good play with the Titans into a multi year deal with another team.



Off the radar picks include former Arizona Cardinal first round pick Matt Leinart, Baltimore backup Marc Bulger, and Trent Edwards formally of Jacksonville. All these players could be stop gaps until Locker is ready to take the reins.




2. Kenny Britt’s head: Britt seemed to enjoy his extra off a little too much this year. He was involved in several highly publicized incidents including: Allegedly made inaccurate statements on his driver's license applications on two occasions, Britt was also charged with tampering with evidence, obstructing a government function and resisting arrest while allegedly crushing a cigar containing what officers suspected to be marijuana, He was charged with theft-by-deception, a misdemeanor, after he was accused by two bail companies of not following through on paying the bail money for a friend who had been arrested, Britt pleaded guilty to separate motor vehicle violations related to an April 12 arrest on speeding charges in his hometown of Bayonne. He initially faced felony charges before prosecutors dropped them, citing his lack of a criminal record, and finally he was accused of being involved in a bar fight Oct. 22 in Nashville, but authorities later decided not to charge him. Whew, what a list. Dennis Rodman would be proud of Kenny for this but unfortunately he isn’t the one signing the checks for him. He is all but guaranteed himself a call and maybe a suspension from the commish Roger Goddell. I have spoken about Britt on my radio show to gauge the response on how the community feels about him and what I received was an indifferent attitude towards his transgressions. Britt is talented and has the potential to be a top flight NFL receiver but following in the footsteps of former Titans headache Adam “Pacman” Jones will do him no favors. A veteran has to step up and mentor the young Britt and tell him his place in the league. Just because one has success doesn’t mean that they are destined to great. Britt was recently seen at a Britney Spears concert onstage with the pop singer here in Nashville and it seemed to get a little racy at times. All in the day of the life for Britt, hopefully when the season ramps up, the shenanigans will end for him.



3. Chris Johnson’s contract dispute. As much as it pains me to say it, being a running back in the NFL means that more than likely you have a shortened career due to the nature of the position. You are constantly being hit rather it be from tackles or blocking for the QB. So when you come into the league and exceed expectations, you want to get that big and loaded contract as soon as possible. Johnson has certainly earned a new contract as he is one of the top 3 RBs in the NFL. To illustrate my point here are Johnson’s numbers since arriving in the NFL as the 24th pick of Tennessee:



Season Team Rushing Receiving Fumbles

G GS Att Yds Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Avg Lng TD FUM Lost

2010 Tennessee Titans

16 16 316 1,364 4.3 76T 11 44 245 5.6 25 1 3 2



2009 Tennessee Titans

16 16 358 2,006 5.6 91T 14 50 503 10.1 69T 2 3 3



2008 Tennessee Titans

15 14 251 1,228 4.9 66T 9 43 260 6.0 25 1 1 1



TOTAL 925 4,598 5.0 91 34 137 1,008 7.4 69 4 7 6



• He broke the 2,000 yard barrier and also set the single season yards from scrimmage record (2,509) in 2009 and was named to the All-pro team.



• His 1,364 ranked him fourth in league last year despite constantly facing eight man and sometimes nine man fronts from the defense.



• He was ranked the 13th best players in the league by the NFL Network.



If these numbers don’t make you want to sign a guy to a long-term contract, then I don’t what will. Bud "Bottom Line" Adams is usually thight with his wallet but he pays his stars (See: Eddie Geroge, Steve McNair and Frank Wycheck) but thats about all he pays. As I stated earlier, RBs usually have a short shelf life in the NFL, but that shouldn’t hinder Johnson from the dollar signs. He is only in his fourth year and the biggest declines at that position usually happens with players in their late 20s and early 30s. He is the main attraction for Titan fans as his speed and style electrifies LP field on Sundays. When you go Titans games just look around and see how 28 jerseys you will see. The Titans tried to appease Johnson by moving $2.5 million into a signing bonus for the 2010 season but Johnson wants his full due now and why shouldn’t he. If the Titans are serious about being a contender for the next few years, they have to sign the centerpiece of the team. If Johnson ever makes it to free agency, he could be as good as gone.




4. Coaching staff in transition: One of the worst parts of the lockout in my opinion was the no interaction of the players and coaches. Teams with new coaches like San Francisco, Carolina, Denver, Cleveland, and Tennessee haven’t had a chance to integrate their locker rooms as a result. It puts those teams at a disadvantage out the gates as they will have to quickly accustom themselves to their new surroundings. The Titans situation couldn’t be a worst position as they parted ways with Jeff Fisher, the longest tenured coach in the league at his time of dismissal. Hiring Munchak was good because the team did have familiarity with him as he has been the Titans offensive line coach under Fisher since 1994 and overall with the franchise since being drafted by the Houston Oilers back in 1982. Munchak may not be new to the team but OC Chris Palmer is. He will be giving the task of molding young Jake Locker into the eventual leader of this team. Palmer does have a good track record as he guided Eli Manning to his best season ever. DC Jerry Gray also has some experience with the Titans as he was the defensive back coach for the 1999 and 2000 season.



Furthermore, the team will basically have to learn an entirely different system under all of the new coaches. Munchak has promised changes and will run a more flexible offense around Chris Johnson with Palmer calling the signals. On the defensive side, Gray also has promised changes and hinted at shifting between a 3-4 defense and 4-3. These type of changes in philosophy and mentality take time and with the short amount they will have, can you not expect some problems in this transition? Munchak also has to put up with the problems created off the field with Britt to show what kind of enforcer he will be as the head man in Tennessee. It’s going to be a lot of his plate to make this first season successful for the Titans.



So as you can see, the Titans face a litany of questions coming into the 2011 season. There are plenty reasons of concern that this could be a down year in Titanland. But one thing I have learned in this business is to never underestimate this team. The last time I did back in 2008, all they did was obtain the best record in the league that year at 13-3. Hopefully this is one of those situations this time around as well.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Urgent Breaking News: NFL Labor Deal Imminent:


The 17 week NFL lockout may be coming to an end soon my friends. Multiple sources including ESPN, Sports Illustrated and Yahoo! Sports are reporting that the owners and players union have cleared most of the major hurdles regarding the Collective Bargain Agreement. The two sides have agreed to a new salary cap set at $120 million (down from $128 million last year) and also a rookie wage schedule that will differ from the top 10 picks to the next set of 10 and so on and so forth.


This is the most eventful day out of the entire lockout as both sides finally have agreed on some of the toughest issues concerning the lockout. Sources are estimating that the deal could be in place within the next 24-48 hours so stay tuned. The news of an imminent deal should put a smile on every NFL fan as we can finally see the light of a long winding tunnel that has consumed the league into lockout mode March 11.

I for one always thought that a deal would be struck right in the nick of time as both sides stood their ground but recognized that losing any time of the season would be detrimental to both. The players have made concessions on the Judicial review front and the momentum seemed to build from there. The current salary cap would put teams such as Dallas and Pittsburgh over the current number but exemptions could be made due to the nature of the shortened amount of time to fix their cap space.

Hopefully we are in the last hours of this horrific and time-consuming debarment of football. The seeds have been laid for the eventual end and lets hope the players and owners don’t fumble on the goal line and get this deal done.

Women's Top 5 Reason's For Loving Football

Ashley Danielle is back! She is chronicling the rise of women in today’s NFL and also the top 5 reasons women love the game of football so much.




Things have definitely changed since the first days of leather helmets and footballs. The biggest change in my opinion is the inclusion of women into the testosterone and ego filled world that is the NFL. Back in the old days, women tended to be at a football game for one or two reasons: A family member was playing or they were a cheerleader. Fast forward to now and the game has exploded on the woman front as there are now women only fantasy football leagues and women catered football parties. Even the NFL has recognized the potential women gold mine as they now have a separate apparel line to cater to females. What we see as the norm now in Erin Andrews, Pam Oliver, and Suzy Kolber reporting on the sidelines was non-existent about 20 or 30 years ago. The change in football culture has been stunning as most women viewed the sport as downright barbaric not long ago, but modern women are some of the most passionate fans of all nowadays.





To give us more insight on the woman and football phenomenon we bring in former Titans cheerleader Ashley Danielle to give us her thoughts and share her top 5 reasons women and football are enjoying such a great relationship these now.





So sorry that I have been on hiatus but I am happy to get back to writing! Women do have more power in the world of the NFL than previous years and that is a huge stepping stone. Female reporters, photographers and even cheerleaders grace the sidelines during the games which make us somewhat of a sideline distraction. We've put in years of hard work to get to that point and I'm proud to have been apart of that. Female fantasy football leagues and parties are on the come up and I think should get more into that in the near future. Something that Carlos did not mention was the all female football league. I don't know about any of you but I keep up with the LFL now. Those ladies bring a whole new light to football. If you haven't seen them then you're seriously slacking!



Now I must say that the top 5 reasons that I love football would not be the same for the general population of females. I'll try to keep my extensive football knowledge out of this....hehe!



The top five reasons women love the game....



5. Tackling

This is a sensitive subject because yes the sport can be barbaric to most women. The thought of 200 pound men hitting each other is not what they want to see on a Sunday afternoon. Don't get me wrong but there are some ladies that do like seeing hits. I actually find myself cringing with excitement when someone gets leveled from a kickoff or punt return. The women that love tackling are the same ones that enjoy WWE, professional boxing, MMA or anything that has to do with extreme sports. Finding a girl who loves hits just as much as you do is a total rarity and I would advise keeping your guard up if you ever find one!



4. Love of the game!

Some of the female population actually know what in the hell is going on out there on the field. These lovely ladies purely love the sport or secretly wish that they could put on the pads and make some tackles themselves. (Especially if the game is less than spectacular!) These women may be mom's of sons that play football or grew up around the sport itself. I happen to be one of these women. I love the game, everything that comes with it and cry like a baby in February when it's all over!



Now we get to the girly stuff...



3. Tailgaiting/Beer

Who doesn't love to tailgate hours before the game and knock a few cold ones back? These women may not know much about the game but they sure do know how to have a good time. Great relationships can be made when you're tailgating. This is where women learn information about the game that they would otherwise be oblivous to. For instance, Kristie was invited to the game by a coworker. While tailgating she may learn who played the Titans last week and scored the winning touchdown. Kristie, who knows very little about the game, can now say she learned something very valuable the next time she's out on a date. You never know when Kristie may have to answer a trivia question about week 8...lol! Kristie now has a new perspective of the game of football and looks enticing to the guys. How great?!



2. Looks

Some guys just look AMAZING. Point blank, period! Not only are they great professional athletes but they have the entire package including a great face. Although I love the sport, there are some players that just make me feel like I've walked into a sauna. I am not the only girl that thinks this guys.... remember that!! If you don't find your lady staring too hard at the television, especially when Miles Austin gets a close up, then you should leave her! I'm just saying.






1. Uniforms

Now I know plenty of divas that watch the game purely to see men in uniform. It's so sad to say but those posterior regions look rather nice in pads and that's why we don't mind sitting for 3 hours to watch the game with you. Hey...what can I say?! Men have there reasons of watching women's tennis; we have a reason to watch the game. The best asse....ahem...uniforms include the Cowboys, Ravens, Saints and even the Cardinals. Now that's not all of them, those just happen to be MY favorites. These teams' uniforms look slimming in the right areas and delicious from others. Sorry guys but you asked for it!



Now these top 5 reasons girls tune in to watch football are generally speaking and from a standpoint that most men have already stereotyped for us. There are plenty more reasons why a women may watch football....to look at the cheerleaders, eat excessively at the games, watch the mascot or even just tag along to make you happy. Whatever the reason may be just know that she's putting forth her best effort to understand the game.



Just my two cents....



Cheers!



Ashley Danielle

Follow me on twitter @_ashleydanielle