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Friday, September 30, 2011

Sportaholic Monday Night Football Photos.

For those who missed the first Sportaholic Monday Night football party at DJ’s Pub and Grub, its time for us to rub it in your face. Here are the pictures of the night taken by Ashley Danielle:

Lindsey of the Neon Kisses looks in disappointment as her team goes down to the Cowboys. She was a bunch of fun as she remained defiant as her team went down. Beer and Football just makes people get acquainted quickly as you can see from this photo.

The crowd was shown a good time and you can see by the look on everyone faces.

Two our winners in the prize giveaways. This lady knew everything trivia question about sports.

Bryan Thomas of Noomizo and Kandy Payne of Our winner for the Titans cheerleader calendar looks excited about his new eye candy.

The Sportaholic looking on in his Tony Romo jersey and Ashley Danielle is all smiles as well.

Patrons who participated also received prizes such as the Tennessee Titan cheerleader calendar autographed by all of the Titan girls, two free tickets to a comedy show at Zanies, free drinks, and much more. We have more trivia games and giveaways in store this weekend. It was a festive night and everyone seemed to enjoy the game as the Cowboys took down the Redskins.

For those who are looking for a place to relax and have a good time come on down to DJ’s each and every Monday night.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Weekend Setup

Conference play is finally here and the first thing that catches my attention on the schedule are three heavyweight showdowns in the ACC, SEC and Big 10. Fresh off their victory over Florida State, Clemson takes on Virginia Tech as the Tigers have no time to celebrate or rest on there laurels. It doesn’t get any better than Florida vs. Alabama in the SEC. This could be a possible preview of the SEC championship game as both teams have looked strong and this should be the stiffest test Florida has seen thus far. Nebraska’s inaugural Big 10 game is a doozy as well as the Huskers take on the favorite to win the conference in my opinion Wisconsin. This is week 5 already and the games are only getting better each week. This slate this weekend will have a lot to say about where some of the top programs really stand and as a fan I can’t wait to see who rises to the top. Can Florida find a way to break Bama’s impenetrable defense? Is Clemson for real or will they flake out against the more experienced Hokies? How will Nebraska’s superior D handle Wisconsin’s Russell Wilson and their ball control offense? A lot of questions that won’t be answered until the games are played but before they are lets break them down and see who has the edge.

#12 Florida (3-0) vs. #3 Alabama (3-0) – In the annual SEC showdown of the week, the Gators travel to get ol Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide. This one should be a tantalizing one for multiple reasons. The match-ups are crazy when you think about Florida’s speed demons Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps going against Bama’s rock solid front 7 with the like of stud LB Don’t’a Hightower and defensive linemen Courtney Upshaw. Charlie Weis has had success this year by mixing in screens and quick tosses to get his speedsters the edge but it will almost impossible against Bama as they have one of the fastest group of LBs in the nation. Weis also has coddled Jeff Brantley’s confidence by simplifying the offense and giving him a lot of short safe throws. If Florida is to win this game, Brantley will have to be able to complete some deep balls to his receiver because Bama will load the box to stop Rainey and Demps. Florida’s defense isn’t too shabby either as they have their own ferocious front 7 as well. Trent Richardson is bread and butter of the offense for the Tide of course but just like Florida won’t be able to break a lot of those big gainers, I think the same will hold for Alabama. A.J. McCarron will have to make some plays for his team in this one. He does have a better receiving core around him than Brantley does. Marquise Maze seems to always make a play for his QB when he needs it the most and this game shouldn’t be any different. This is one of those games where you throw out all the stats because anything could happen. If you like fast flying defense’s and speedy shifty running back, this is the game you should be tuned into this weekend. As for the pick, I just can’t see Florida beating the Tide. Bama’s defense is too tough and will be prepared for the two-headed monster of Rainey and Demps. Brantley won’t be able to make enough plays and that will be the determining factor. The Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide.

#13 Clemson (3-0) vs. #11 Virginia Tech (3-0) – Raise your hand if you had this pegged as the most important game on schedule for the ACC. Waiting…. Ok yeah like I was saying, this one is a bit unexpected as the Tigers have brought it all together under Tajh Boyd and his stellar QB play so far. Boyd has probably brought on a contract extension for head coach Dabo Swiney as this could be a defining year for his program. When ever I see Sammy Watkins run with the ball it makes me hold my breath. That guy looks like he runs a 4.0 forty time. I don’t know if it’s the purple colored jerseys or what but boy he is fast. The Hokies are where we expected them to be, at the top of the ACC. Logan Thomas and the Tech offense will have to rev it up this game to keep up with the high paced spread offense first year OC Chad Morris has bought in with him. The Hokies defense is always stout and this year is no different with a pair of talented defensive ends in James Gayle and J.R. Collins who combined for four sacks and 12 tackles last week. Defense and special teams have always been the linchpin of Virginia Tech under Frank Beamer and that won’t change anytime soon. So basically what this game boils down to is Tech’s tough nosed defense vs. Clemson’s dynamic offense. From everything I have read on Tech’s offense, it doesn’t seem to have the horses to hang with the Tigers on that side of the ball. The Hokies do have a legit run game with David Wilson coming off a 132 yard performance against Marshall. So of course Tech will try to control time of possession to keep that explosive Tiger offense off the field. I’m not convinced it will be enough as Boyd, Watkins, and versatile tight end Dwayne Allen should be able to power Clemson to the win. The Pick: Clemson Tigers

#8 Nebraska (3-0) vs. #7 Wisconsin (3-0) – It has looked so easy for the Badgers and new QB Russell Wilson these first few weeks of the season. Now comes in big bad Nebraska in their first Big 10 conference game. The Badgers have just been rolling over inferior opponents and averaging 48.5 points in the process. The usually dominant Bo Pellini defense of Nebraska however has been disappointing ranking 52nd in the nation in yards allowed (349.8 yards) a game. This will be the first time all season that the Cornhuskers will have all of their guns on defense as DT Jared Crick, LB Lavonte David and CB Alfonzo Dennard will all be playing together due to injuries. It will take a great effort from all of those guys to stop juggernaut Badgers offense and give their mediocre offense led by QB Taylor Martinez a chance. Martinez numbers aren’t impressive but he probably gets more flak then he should considering his circumstances. It will be hard for him and the offense to move the ball on Wisconsin unless Martiznez breaks a few big gains with his feet. He has the speed to make a big difference against the Badgers. He and Rex Burkhead carry that offense and they don’t really have much else. With that in mind its easy in my opinion on the pick of this game. The Pick: Wisconsin Badgers

Game of the Week: Florida vs. Alabama – Ok maybe I am a little bias when it comes down to the SEC but how can you not watch this game? Two fast and dominant defense against a the two headed monster of Florida and the beast of Bama in Trent Richardson. This will be a great game for all the obvious reasons and I will make sure to be watching.

Most Intriguing Game: Texas A&M vs. Arkansas – Hmm, lets see here. So we have two ranked teams coming off of demoralizing losses and they happen to be rivals from the old Southwestern conference. Sounds interesting already right? And it only gets better as the loser of this one chances of a BCS bowl would be shot. To top it all off these are two high powered offenses that will be conference foes in 2012. Count me in on this one as well.

Under the Radar Game: USF vs. Pitt – This game could determine the winner of the Big East as crazy as it sounds, and Pitt has won the last three in this series. USF has looked good this season and if they take this one, I think they would run away with the Big East title.

Wake me when its over game: Arkansas State vs. Western Kentucky – When I saw Western Kentucky almost spring the upset of Kentucky in the season opener, I thought those guys would run over all of their conference foes. But alas, they are 0-3 and their oppoenent Ark. St. is 2-2 but they are a FCS team. Oh wait, Western got hammered by Indiana state this year which is a FCS team as well. I will be snoozing loudly during this one.

Coach better get it right game: Ole Miss vs. Fresno State – Is there a seat hotter than Houston Nutt’s? Most people would say Mark Richt maybe but Nutt’s team just lost to the Bulldogs last week. He has to pick his team up from the depths and at least show that they have some pride. The way Vandy beat up on the Rebels it’s a surprise they were even competitive against Georgia. Houston can all but kiss his job goodbye if swoon continues and even if he wins a few games it may not be enough.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sportaholic Power Rankings Week 3: Rise of the Underdogs Edition.

It has to feel good to be a Detroit or Buffalo fan. It almost like a bad movie where the nerd keeps getting picked on until he finally stands up to bully.  These two teams have been bad since I can remember it seems but they have finally turned it around and are a combined 6-0. I don’t know which team was more surprising this weekend with Buffalo taking down the mighty Patriots for the first time in 15 tries or the Detroit Lions coming back from a 20 point first half deficit. These teams are for real too or at least that much can be said as I doubt any other team in the league is begging for these guys on their schedule. Buffalo has done it with an explosive offense led by Harvard grad Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson. Detroit has done it with a nasty defensive line that sets the tone for Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson on offense. Green Bay is still the defending champs and they moved to 3-0 as they continue their dominance over the Bears this year. What more can you say about Aaron Rodgers that hasn’t been already said.

Michael Vick just can’t stay healthy which is what I always said would be the determining factor for the so called “Dream Team” in Philly. Vick maybe should have sat this one out as he didn’t quite seem like himself. His rant on the refs won’t get him anymore calls and might even get him less. Refs don’t like to be shown up. Houston didn’t get a win against New Orleans but they showed mettle as they battled back instead of folding as they would have did in most years. Tennessee is winning with an unfamiliar formula of throwing the ball as Matt Hasselbeck is proving to still have some in the tank and then some. The loss of Kenny Britt will hurt though as Tennessee isn’t a team chalk full of playmakers. Chris Johnson where are you? He has looked sluggish as best but the team continues to win. It’s not his fault as the offensive line hasn’t had the same type of push it seemed to have the last couple of years blocking for him. It mystifies me that the Titans can have Mike Munchak, a hall of fame offensive linemen and Bruce Matthews, another hall of fame offensive lineman, yet they can’t seem to find anyway to get CJ a better scheme to run in.

Now let’s jump into the rankings:

1. Green Bay Packers (3-0) – The crazy thing about the Pack is that they are not even close to reaching their ceiling. Jermichael Finley is doing what I expected him to do this season as his three touchdowns broke the Bears spirit in their last game. He is such a match-up nightmare on the inside as he is big enough to catch over DBs and too fast for LBs to contain. Aaron Rodgers is consistently one of best each week as his 111.4 QB rating was more than enough to beat the hated Bears. Defensively this team just continues to churn out playmakers as well. Morgan Burnett basically is filling the role left by inured Pro Bowler Nick Collins and all he did was pick off two of Jay Cutler’s errant passes. The Packers have the mark of a great team as nothing seems to faze them. Having gone through the gauntlet last year, this team confidence is through the roof. They will rise to any challenge it seems.

2. Baltimore Ravens (2-1) – After laying a dud against the Titans, the Ravens went out and shellacked the no luck Rams. Baltimore may have found a new star at receiver as Torrey Smith racked up the fantasy points with 5 catches for 154 yards and 3 TDs. Joe Flacco has a couple of burners on the outside with Smith and Lee Evans. Flacco seems to be settling in this year as one of the better QBs in the league. Now is elite as he said in the off-season? No, not yet. Be he doesn’t have to be with Ray Rice in the backfield. (9 rushes 81 yards) and that tenacious defense behind him. Baltimore put up 21 points on the Rams before your beer could get warm. This is why last week I won’t get to high on the Ravens the way they beat the Steelers and I didn’t get too low on them when they lost to the Titans.

3. New Orleans (2-1) – Drew Brees just puts up numbers anyway you want to break it down. He and that offense can score at will as they did on Houston who incidentally entered the game as a top 5 ranked passing defense. Safe to say Brees exposed a few holes in that defense. Speaking of defense. New Orleans’s scares me. Even though they won the game, Andre Johnson was able to get over 100 yards receiving in the first half alone. Jabari Greer did intercept Matt Schaub when it counted the most but I still wouldn’t say that I trust that secondary of the Saints. And I would be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t mention those jerseys dating back to the Tom Dempsey days. They aren’t that nice on the eyes but I appreciate the heritage.

4. New England (2-1) – Admit it, when you saw the Pats go up 21-0 on the Bills you figured they would just run all over Buffalo. I expected Tom Brady to have some crazy stat line of 38/52 for 520 yards and 5 TDs or something but as the Pats found out Buffalo has some intestinal fortitude. The Pats offense stood up as Wes Welker went all Jerry Rice on us with his 16 catches for 217 yards and two TDs. But the most disturbing trend of that game was Brady’s penchant for interceptions. He threw as many as he did all last season in one game against the Bills. I can’t remember a game seeing Brady looked so flustered. The defense also couldn’t contain Fred Jackson on the ground nor Ryan Fitzpatrick in the air. Is it cause for concern on the Patriots march to the playoffs? Not in the bigger scheme of things but the Bills maybe made the blueprint for beating them. And they create yet another team of opposition in the all of a sudden tough AFC East division.

5. Detroit (3-0) – The Lions proved that they can take a shot and keep fighting as they overcame Minnesota’s 20 point lead in the first half. Minnesota would be 3-0 if it wasn’t for the 2nd half.. The Lions roared back (Pun intended) on the strength of Matt Stafford’sarm, Calvin Johnson’s hands, and Jason Hanson’s foot. Detroit doesn’t run the ball well as they only had 20 yards on 19 carries but Stafford has carried them so far. That defensive line isn’t too shabby either as they continue to control the line of scrimmage against all their opponents. The stop of Toby Gerhart did nothing more but add more motivation as it fueled the offensive players to get a score. Jim Schwartz deserves a lot of credit as he has this team 3-0 for the first time since the Billy Sims era. The Lions keep marching on and should be the chief opponent for the defending champs Green Bay. Who would have thought that going into the season?

Offensive Player of the Week: Wes Welker – This one was easy this week as Wes just obliterated the secondary of the Bills. He set franchise records with his 16 catches and 217 yards receving. It seemed that Buffalo let Welker get whatever he wanted to as they focused on the outside receivers and the tight ends. End result was a career day for Welker even though it came in a loss. Welker plays the slot like a maestro. He has every savvy move a veteran wide receiver should have. I know he made a lot of fantasy owners day with those monster numbers he put up. Tom Brady has thrown for more yards in a 3 game span than any QB in history (1,326) and a lot of that has to do with the exploits of Welker.

Defensive Player of the Week: Dwight Freeney This guy doesn’t ever slow down during the game. He and Robert Mathis just harassed Big Ben all night in their lost to the Steelers but it was Freeney who seemed to set the tone as always for the Colts defense. Freeney had two sacks and three QB hits and a forced fumble. Isn’t he supposed to be getting old? He has that constant motor that defensive coaches drool over. Freeney is one of the most underrated DEs ever in my opinion. If Peyton Manning had played in that game the way the Colts defense played then they probably would have pulled that one out. Freeney and Mathis will continue their reign of terror on opposing QBs this year even if it doesn’t amount into a playoff berth.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sportaholic Insider Special: The Nashville Predators, new season new attitude

I had the pleasure of attending the Nashville Predators first pre-season game and interviewing Christian Parker, Exeecutive Vice president Chief Sales & marketing Officer of the Nashville Predators. Nashville welcomed the Winnipeg Jets, formally the Atlanta Thrashers in their home pre-season debut. The Jets also had a number of familiar faces from the Predators as most fans will remember former goalie Chris Mason back to Smashville. After catching the first period I met with Parker and Jessica Jones to get the inside scoop on all things Predators including the team’s new jerseys, the importance of Blake Geoffrion, and what Atlanta’s move to Winnipeg means for Nashville.

However, the first thing I have to speak upon is the game itself. This was my second Preds game, my first one being back a couple of years ago. It was like I was rekindling my hockey passion as the crowd was electric and responsive for a pre-season game. Fans chanted and sang all game long and as the Preds scored multiple goals in the second, honky tonk had Bridgestone Arena rocking. The funniest part of the game may have been the mascot Gnash serenaded the former Atlanta fans as Ray Charles’s classic Georgia blared out the loud speakers. The halftime show feature t-shirts giveaways coming via the T-shirt launcher, as they were chucking shirts all over the arena. There was also the hamster ball race that pitted two young Pred fans against one another. Tim McGraw’s “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it” blasted from the PA as Sergei Kostitsyn, Martin Erat, and Patric Horqvist scored consecutive power-play goals. The fans of Nashvile showed why they are some of the best in the league most stayed to the ending of the game to show their appreciation to the home team. I enjoyed every second of the game and can’t wait until the next time I will be in attendance.

After the first period, I stepped back into Predators central office and spoke with Parker and Jones.

For those who are not familar with him, here is a bit of Christan Paker's background via the Nashville Predators team page on

Now entering his third full season with the Predators/Bridgestone Arena, Executive Vice President/Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Chris Parker has led the effort to secure partnerships with some of Nashville’s – and the nation’s – most respected and recognizable companies since being promoted to his current title on March 1, 2009. During the 2009-10 season, Parker directed the organization’s efforts to secure Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Inc., as the new arena naming rights partner. Additionally, he was instrumental in adding the likes of Patron Spirits Company, whose name is now on the Arena’s Suite Level Restaurant, the Ford Motor Company/Mid-South Ford Dealers, Comcast, and Nashville based entities Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Daily’s Convenience Stores and Mars Pet Care.

Parker also led the organization’s efforts to secure a new long-term television rights agreement with FOX Sports Tennessee/Sports South. The agreement, which increases the number of telecasts, is also the most lucrative in franchise history. On the ticket sales front, Parker initiated a restructuring effort that resulted in the creation of an inside sales team and a fan relations group more focused and dedicated on the needs of existing ticket holders.

A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in sports management and communications, Parker began his sports career with the International Hockey League head office in suburban Detroit.

Parker resides in Nashville and serves on several philanthropic boards and committees including the Alumni Advisory Board of the Division of Kinesiology at the University of Michigan, as Vice Chairman of the Bernard P. “Pat” Maloy Endowed Scholarship at Michigan and the Board of Directors for Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee.

Sportaholic: What was the idea behind the changing of the Predators uniforms?

Parker: We wanted to make an iconic symbol for the Nashville Predators. The head crest of the Predators has become synonymous with the Predators and we just wanted to enhance it. The original crest had around 11 different colors in it and we wanted to simplify it. As far as the jerseys are concerned, the color scheme used by the Preds is used by multiple teams in the league and we wanted to make Nashville’s logo one of a kind. (Laughs) Who can forget the mustard color jerseys? When you think of teams like the Red Wings you automatically think of their Red Wings on their jersey, so with the crest on the Preds jersey I think we are establishing our own iconic team identity.

New Preds Crest

Old Preds Crest

Sportaholic: How important is a guy like Blake Geoffrion to this team’s grass movement?

Parker: Blake is just a great story. He is a fourth generation hockey player right here from middle Tennessee. We as an organization have to be careful to allow him to develop as a player and not overexpose him for the betterment of advertising purposes. He is important because he can connect the younger fans to our team. They have a person that they can relate to in the local community.

Sportaholic: How does the move of the Atlanta Thrashers franchise opened up the door for Nashville is this region?

Parker: As soon as the news was announced that they would be moving to Wnnipeg, we sent information to fans of that franchise. Atlanta had a hard core base of hockey that we as a franchise recognized. We want to tap that market and grow Nashville into a regional team, not just a local team. The NHL has rules on territories as far as team are involved, so we couldn’t get into that market until now. Atlanta is one of the top markets in the country and we intend on making our way into that region. Geographically speaking, we are the closet team to that city, closer than Carolina and Tampa so we have to take full advantage of those opportunities.

Sportaholic: You spoke of the grass root movement that you wanted to continue to build on one the earlier question, what steps are the Predators taking in that department and what could they do to improve it?

Parker: We believe that we are doing a number of things to intiate the movement of hockey in Nashville. The get out and move program focuses on getting young players involved. We are tyring to get young players into roller hockey as much as we can. As you and I did when we were young playing basketball and football, we are trying to familiarize young players with the game as much as possible. Name recogniaiton plays a big part as well as we have guys like Shea Weber, Ryan Suter and Pekka Rinne who many of our fans know well.

Sportaholic: When I travel to different places in the country, I’m always asked the question about how Tennessee holds on to their coaches i.e Jeff Fisher and Barry Trotz. How do believe the continuity of having a staff in place for such a long time helps the Preds?

Parker: I believe Predators fan and Tenneseans as a whole can appreciate the longevity of Coach Trotz, GM David Polie and Brent Pederson. They have brought a certain level of contunity to our organzationn that you don’t see in sports franchises these days.

I would like to thank Jessica Jones for providing me with great seats for the game and Christian Parker for the great interview. Jessica also reiterated that she is a big Predators fan herself and one of her best friends is a Red Wings fans to which surprised me that they are still good friends with the way that rivalry goes. I also thank my colleague Ashley Danielle for her help in this process as well. This is the first of many inside stories from the Sportaholic and Noomizo covering the Nashville Predators. We congratulate the Preds as they seem to be a winning organization on and off the ice. They are building a franchise from the ground up as Christian reminded me this is just a 14 year old franchise. Compare that to a team like Montreal who has been in business for almost a century. Make sure to continue to check us out hockey fans as we promise to deliver the best local sports stories in middle Tennessee.

Editor's note: Here are some helpful links to connect with the Predators Get Out and Learn! (GOAL) intiative:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sportaholic Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos Preview and Breakdown

Tennessee Titans vs. Denver Broncos Preview:

The Titans did their best Dr. Jekyll - Mr. Hyde impersonation last week as they reversed roles from their dismal week 1 performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, to an unexpected dominant victory over the hated Baltimore Ravens. Many expected (including me) Tennessee to get trounced after what the Ravens did to Pittsburgh Steelers in their decisive week 1 victory against the Super Bowl runner-ups. The Titans showed a new and improved aerial attack as Matt Hasselbeck proved that if you can hold him upright, then he can deliver as he finished 30/42 for 358 yards and 1 TD pass. He and Kenny Britt, and Nate Washington made sweet music all day as Britt had 9 catches for 135 and 1 TD and Washington had 7 catches for 99 yards. It was by far the best passing performance I’ve seen from the Titans in quite a long time.

However, the one downside to the passing game was the inability of Chris Johnson to break loose. He was held to 53 yards on 24 carries, which amounts to 2.2 yards a carry. You can tell Johnson is still getting into game shape as well as learning the nuisances of new OC Chris Palmer’s offense. Its good to chuck the ball all over the field but the Titans bread and butter has always been the running game. Johnson has a great chance to get back into his groove against the porous defense of the Broncos. Denver comes into this game as the 28th ranked rushing defense allowing 131 yards a game on the ground and 4.4 yards per carry. If Johnson can’t run on this play-doe soft D, then he can’t run on anyone. I think this is the game he breaks off one of his signature long runs, he should be in better shape after being with the team and practicing for a few weeks now. As effective as the passing game was last weekend the need for Johnson to get his game back is a bit subdued. But think about if Hasselbeck continues to find success with Britt and Washington catching everything as they did last week and then you add the electric running of Johnson. It would make for a dangerous offense that would be capable of putting up points on any team.

The defense also looked surprisingly well against the Ravens as well. They held Ray Rice and the Baltimore run game in check and got pressure from all different sides on Joe Flacco. Derrick Morgan showed why he is a former 1st round draft pick as he was in Flacco’s face all game long and he recorded a sack and numerous QB hurries (That personal foul penalty was bogus by the way). Jonathon Babineaux and Barrett Rudd were also impressive as they played physical and delivered a few big hits on the Raven receivers that made them have alligator arms. This was such a stark turnaround from the team that was run on at will against Jacksonville. It’s like an entirely different team was on that plane for week 1.

So now the Titans take on a Broncos team on the decline and in disarray. It has been well chronicled that the fans of Denver prefer Tim Tebow over Kyle Orton as their QB even if Tebow is stuck at 3rd on the depth chart. Tebow did get some action last week as he was placed in as a receiver for blocking purposes. As far as the rest of the team, they are not very impressive. They are ranked 15th in total defense which isn’t too bad considering all things but they have sustained some injuries to key players on that side of the ball with Ty Warren out, Champ Bailey and Elvis Dumervil questionable. Their offense is pedestrian at best ranking 23rd in league averaging 314 yards a game (Tom Brady or Cam Newton would have that many yards by halftime) and they only average 22 points per game. They will get some help on that side as Brandon Lloyd is expected to be back at receiver and also RB Knowshon Moreno. Willis MaGahee did rush for over 100 yards last week and should get more of the load until Moreno is fully healthy. Eric Decker has also been a nice surprise as he had over 100 yards receiving and 2 TDs against the Bengals.

Now that we have an understanding of both teams let look at the three key factors that will determine the game:

1. Can the Titans passing game stay on the attack: As I mentioned above, last week’s aerial assault on the Ravens was the best I’ve seen from the Titans in quite awhile. Matt Hasselbeck should be able to find open lanes on the Broncos and with the emergence of Kenny Britt he should have a big target as well. Speaking of Britt, he is second in the league with 271 yards receiving yards this season and he is on a monster pace. He and Hasselbeck seem to have that chemistry you always want your QB and WR to have. Jared Cook has also been coming around here of late as well. The Broncos will have a hard time covering everything the Titans will be throwing at them especially if CJ gets on board. If the passing game plays as well as they did last game, the Broncos will be in for a long day.

2. How will the pass rush follow last week’s game? The Titans pass rush looked like the old days of Jim Washburn coaching as they just harassed Flacco all over the field last game. It was good to see as the Titans are known to usually have a strong defensive line. The Titans had three sacks on the Ravens and they will need more of the same against the Broncos. Kyle Orton shredded the Titans last year as he was 35/50 for 341 yards and 2 TDs. Now I don’t believe that is happening this year but if the Titans don’t get pressure on him it’s a possibility. Orton is underrated and as long as he is protected he can put up big numbers. The defensive line will look to add pressure to him as Jerry Gray has a nice mix of young and veteran players at his disposal. It will be interesting to see how that part of the game develops. If Orton is going down or getting hurried a lot, it could lead to a blowout for Tennessee.

3. Is this the week CJ kicks it into high gear? It seems like this has been one my key factors for every game this season. If you remember back to last year it took Johnson a few games to get it right but when he did boy was he a load. I think this is the week he starts on the upward trajectory as the Broncos will have plenty of holes for the explosive Johnson to run through. Mike Munchak has made it very public that the Titans will keep feeding their 53.5 million dollar man and I’m sure CJ wants to prove he is worth that kind of money. I look for him to go over the century mark this game and to do so with no problem. The Broncos don’t have the best LBs with rookie Von Miller probably already their best so Johnson has every opportunity this game to do his hands to the face dance multiple times.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sportaholic College Football Weekend Setup

The powers that hold the keys to college realignment have been doing a lot of moving and shaking here of late. Syracuse and Pitt are moving on to the ACC and Uconn may join them next and that’s just the latest move. The Pac-12 announced it wouldn’t entertain anymore expansion talk for now anyway and maybe that will extinguish the movement for the moment at the least. The SEC, Big East, and Big 12 still may add teams in hope of staying ahead of the curve and especially the Big East and Big 12 as their respective leagues have been the ones getting poached the most. College football and money are behind this force that has consumed the radical realignment that we are witnessing. That makes this and every upcoming season that much more important as teams jockey not to get left behind to the eventual shift to the 16 team super conferences. This week’s slate of games feature three showcase games in Oklahoma St. vs. soon to be SEC member Texas A&M, Arkansas vs. Alabama and LSU vs. West Virginia. Other noteworthy games include North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech and Arizona St. vs. Southern Cal, so not the best week of games and but not the worst either.

# 3 Alabama (3-0) vs.# 14 Arkansas (3-0) – The weekly showdown SEC game features a high-powered offense and a shut down defense. Every since Bobby Petrino step foot on campus in Fayetteville, it seems that the Razorbacks have chucking the ball over everyone. Tyler Wilson is the man at QB now since Ryan Mallet left for the NFL and has done a viable job in that role. The only problem is that he has never faced a defense as suffocating as what he will see from Alabama in Tuscaloosa this Saturday. Bama’s defense is near the top of the entire nation if not the best (LSU might have claim to that) and has a plethora of playmakers on that side of the ball. The Tide also run the ball like an old school team in the age of spread as Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy racked up 328 yards on the ground in their 41-0 win over North Texas. The Hogs will have to come up with a complex blocking scheme to keep Wilson clean in the pocket against this ferocious defense. Even if Wilson does stay upright it may be hard to find throwing lanes in the secondary of Alabama as Mark Barron and Dre Kilpatrick will be all over the Arkansas receivers. However, the Razorbacks may have the best collection of receivers in college football with the likes of Joe Adams, Cobi Hamilton, and Greg Childs so they will make plays against Alabama but will it be enough? It’s hard to trust a first year starter to go into a hostile place like Tuscaloosa and come home with the win. I also don’t trust Arkansas’s defense to stand up to Bama’s run game as they punished the Hogs on the ground last year and that much hasn’t changed from Arkansas’s defense. The Pick: Alabama

# 2 LSU vs. #16 West Virginia – An ACC-SEC match-up that will yet again pit a tremendous defense against an awesome offense. It has been well documented what the Tigers defense has done to its opponents this year. First its was the shutdown of the high-paced Oregon Ducks offense as they rendered Lamichael James and Darron Thomas ineffective with their no huddle break neck tempo. Just last week they week they held Miss. St, who had scored 42 points on Auburn, to just 6 points last Thursday. This is a defense that lost Patrick Patterson and Drake Nevis, arguably their two best players last year to the NFL and the Tigers seem to be even better this year. Morris Clairborne has done a masterful job taking over Patterson’s role and sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu has manned the other side of the field with no drop off. The Tigers will be tested yet again as they take on Geno Smith and Major Harris on the road this time is Morgantown. The Moutaineers like to spread you out and fling the ball but they run into a nightmare match-up against the Tigers as they have elite DBs that can cover in space. West Virginia will have to find a way to disturb Jarrett Lee and force him into mistakes, something he has avoided all year. West Virginia has nothing to lose in this game so they should let it all hang out. The only way I see the Moutaineers can win this game is if they could turn it into a shootout and that just isn’t going to fly with Les “I eat the grass” Miles defemse. The Pick: LSU

#7 Oklahoma St. vs.#8 Texas A&M - The Big 12 is just trying to keep it together at this point and it’s a shame that this featured game won’t garner the buzz it should with all of the Big 12’s turmoil. Even with all of the tumultuous things going on off the field, the Big 12 still puts a good product on the field as two top 10 ranked teams will do battle in one of the best college atmospheres in College Station. This will be a high scoring game as the Cowboys feature maybe the best QB-WR duo of Brandon Weeden and Justin Blackmon and Texas A&M’s trio of Ryan Tanneyhill, Jeff Fuller, and Cyrus Gray isn’t too shabby either. Oklahoma St. is among the top three in the nation with 52.3 points, 601 yards of total offense and 408 passing yards per game. Brandon Weeden has thrown for 350 yards or more in three straight games and RB Joseph Randle has run for 120 yards for three straight games as well. The Cowboys have just an explosive offense all around. The Aggies will bring pressure from the edges and should be able to get a few licks on Weeden. Texas A&M already has racked up 11 sacks this year and they will make sure to make it hard as possible for Weeden. The Aggies actually out gained Oklahoma St. last year 535-351 in last season’s game but were killed by mistake as they had 5 turnovers. This should be a close though as the two teams have played seven game that have by decided by five points or less since 1997. I know the Cowboys will put up points but I don’t know if they will stop the Aggies from doing the same on defense. I put way more trust in Texas A&M’s defense to at least get a few stops. The Pick: Texas A&M

Arizona State vs. # 23 USC – Everything seems to be going sunny out west as the Pac-12 has been the trendsetter among conference it seems. They were one of the first to start the talks of expansion as they added Utah and Colorado to the ranks and now they put the brakes on just as it appears this whole college movement thing was about to get out of control. The conferences premier game this week feature a Sun Devil team that are the prohibitive favorites reach the first Pac-12 championship game from the South Division. The reason they are the favorites is because USC isn’t eligible for the post-season of course. So the two teams will square off at Sun Devil stadium this Saturday to settle the score. Southern Cal hasn’t looked all that impressive to me as they barely beat conference newcomer Utah 23-14 a couple of weeks ago. Arizona St. couldn’t pull out the win last week against Illinois and dropped out of the rankings after a short visit. Both teams have good QB play with Matt Barkley of USC and Brock Osweiler of ASU. Barkley has been on everyone’s radar since his freshman year and has gotten better each year as a starter. The Trojans passing defense has also taken a big step from last year’s 400 yards per game average in 2010 down to 317.3 this year. Arizona St. also has a good defense but was dealt a major blow last week as conference defensive freshman of the year Junior Oneyali was injured and could miss the rest of entire season. I like what the Sun Devils have on defense even without Oneyali and the experience they have with 30 seniors on the roster should put away any jitters they have taking on the West Coast’s giant Trojans. The Pick: Arizona State.

Sportaholic Picks for other notable games:

North Carolina vs. Georgia Tech: GT

UCLA vs. Oregon St.: Oregon St.

Florida St. vs. Clemson: Florida State

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Introducing The Sportaholic Monday Night Football Show at DJ's Pub and Grub


Looking for a place to catch the Monday Night Football game? Well look no further my friends as the collaboration of The Sportaholic, Beatknockin radio,, and DJ’s Pub and Grub have your covered. Introducing the Sportaholic Monday Night Football show live from DJ’s Pub and Grub, which is located off of Annex Avenue (In the same lot as Strike n Spare across from the Nashville West complex.). Show time begins at 7:00 pm and DJ’s is offering the following specials: Extended happy hour til 8:00 pm, $2.00 off liquor & drafts, $2.50 bottles, Fresh smoked BBQ, and of course the Sportaholic/Beatknockin special 2-4-1 drinks and $.50 wings.

We will also be joined by Neon Kisses, who will entertain the crowd with trivia games and giveaways. will be in attendance and we welcome all of Nashville to come out and celebrate the best part of Mondays. If you haven’t been to DJ’s, then you’re in for a treat as they have some of the best food in Nashville. The menu is stacked; check it out at this link: So make sure you come in and check out us out each and every Monday’s at DJ’s Pub and Grub for the best in sports talk and food. Contact me for any other details by e-mail at