The Beauty Inside The Madness

Besides the Super Bowl, March Madness has always been my second favourite sporting event. It has all the drama, a sports fan could want. It’s here where we see the magic in sports and the true passion. A few minutes ago Phil Pressey, of the 3rd ranked Missouri Tigers, (whom I had winning it all in my bracket) missed a game winning 3 pointer and fell victim to 15 seed Norfolk State. Norfolk State has now cemented itself in sports history by being the fifth 15 seed to ever beat a 2nd seed. It’s here that we see the magic in sports, and why every year millions of us tune in to watch March Madness. In March Madness there isn’t just one winner there are several. There is the team that actually wins the tournament and then there are the winners in the teams that upset the heavy favourites the VCU’s, Norfolk States’ and the Davidson’s of the world. These teams, help us as people believe, they show us that anything can happen and that even the little guy can win. We’ve all heard the story of David and Goliath, but time after time we see the Goliaths win in the real world. So when we do see something like this happen it’s relieving and heart warming. Seeing the father of Norfolk States’ forward Kyle O’Quinn jump up and down and get all giddy in the rafters, made me forget about my bracket and actually cheer for Norfolk State. How could anyone cheer against them? In all the Madness that is March Madness, it’s times like these where we see the beauty and the passion in sports. Even if Norfolk State was too lose 100-39 in there next game, all they would remember, and all the world would remember is how on March 16th they upset the number 3 school in the Nation. So with that I say congratulations Norfolk State, you are the true winners of March Madness.
Like us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/criticsfromthecouch
Follow us on Twitter: @CriticsFTCouch

-McFultz

A Tale Of Two Nashs

This year in both the NHL and NBA, Phoenix Suns’ point guard Steve Nash and Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash are involved in major trade talks.

Steve Nash has been with the Phoenix Suns since 2004 and has given them all he has to offer, winning two MVP awards and leading them to several playoff appearances. Nash is now 38 and closing in at the end of his career. There is one thing Nash is missing though and that is an NBA championship. The Suns are not in the hunt for even a playoff spot let alone a contender for the championship. So what many people including me think they should do is trade him. The Suns need young players to rebuild their franchise. Steve Nash has done everything he possibly could for them, so why not give him the chance to end his career on a high note. Now there is a problem for getting a deal done, there aren’t a lot of teams who are willing to give up young players or picks for a 38 year old point guard. With that being said there are three teams that I can think of that could use Nash and possibly make a trade for him.

1) The Los Angeles Lakers, The Lakers need a point guard, badly! Without a point guard the Lakers have a slim chance of winning the NBA championship. However, with Steve Nash they have a solid chance of if not winning the championship at least making it there. The Lakers are a team who wants to win and would likely be willing to give up a draft pick  for a future Hall of Famer. Also after seeing them willing to give up Gasol for CP3 they may be willing to give him up for Nash. Nash would also be more willing to play for two or three more years.

2) The Indiana Pacers, the Pacers made the playoffs last year and should make it again this year. The Pacers have some decent point guards, including Darren Collison. However, they don’t have a true leader or man to run the court. Steve Nash is that. The Pacers could give up a second round pick, a future pick and one of those point guards.

3) THE BOSTON CELTICS! I have not heard this team named yet and I’m very surprised to say the least. The Celtics have had continuous problems with Rondo. Nash would give the Celtics the consistency that they so desperately need. The Celtics also are the type of team that I could see giving up draft picks for an old player. With Nash, the aging Celtics could make a legitimate run for the NBA championship.

 

Now for Mr Rick Nash, Rick Nash is latest man to be put on the trading block. He is also the biggest name out of all of them, and the most enticing. A lot of teams are interested in Nash. One team that could trade for Nash is my hometown Leafs, the leafs could make a deal for Nash getting rid of Nazem Kadri and other loose ends or draft picks. The Leafs have the GM to do so as well. Brian Burke has been able to muster up plenty of trades this would be one I’d like to see. Other teams Included could be the struggling Habs, The Penguins, pending a trade for Staal amongst other players and picks. We brought in one of our hockey experts, Vernon Smells, for his take.

Rick Nash was asked to make a list of just 5 teams, so it has to be a team he’s willing to go to. So as McFultz said, Toronto is a possibility, with Nash being a Brampton boy and all, I’m sure he’d love playing in front of all his friends and family, but will this deal get done? I doubt it, mostly because the asking price for Nash is huge, they would probably have to trade away multiple prospects and probably a 1st rounder to get him, and they aren’t willing to bring on that much of a cap hit when they already have 2 first line wingers. They’re still in desperate need of a center. As for Pittsburgh, I don’t think they have the cap space or the assets to pull this deal off. Montreal is an interesting choice, I can’t see him going there, as that Hal Gill trade sort of proclaimed that they were sellers, but they swear they’re not. They could probably muster up the assets(P.K Subban, Pacioretty, some prospects and maybe some draft picks) but they don’t have the cap. I also don’t see why a team out of the playoff picture would trade away their future for 1 player, or why Nash would want to play in Montreal, but it’s possible. Here’s my list of the 3 most likely teams Nash will be dealt to before the deadline.:

1) Los Angeles Kings. The L.A Kings have been looking for a star winger for a while now, they tried and failed with Kovalchuck, and now that Nash is available, they’re going to be trying harder than ever to acquire him. The most interesting part of this story is that they have the assets, the most likely trade is Nash for Bernier+Johnson+picks and/or prospects. As long as they move Bernier and Johnson, they’ll also have the cap space to get this deal done. The other side of this story is that the Jackets also want to move Carter, and the Kings may be one of the few teams interested, so maybe move Carter to the Kings and Nash elsewhere, but for the Kings, an organization in dire need of a cup, they will try their best to get Nash.

2) New York Rangers. The Rangers have shown great interest in Nash, and to be honest I’m really not sure why, they already have a high-scoring winger(Gaborik), and they’re second overall in the the NHL and a Stanley Cup contender, why mess with that chemistry? They do have the assets to get this deal done, but they’d have to give up Dubinsky, Del Zotto, Hagelin maybe, along with multiple other prospects and picks. I understand that he has nobody good playing with him, and he’s had much better years, but  essentially your giving up that much for a 27 year old on pace for 55 points and a -33 on the season. However, they do have high interest and are a front-runner to land him.

3) Philadelphia Flyers. The Blue Jackets and Flyers have been in major talks over the last week, Blue Jackets GM, Scott Howson, is reportedly trying to orchestrate a deal with Sean Couturier and/or Brayden Schenn, however, Paul Holmgren, the Flyers GM, is reluctant to give them up. There may also be a deal in the works including Bobrovsky, Van Riemsdyk and a draft pick. However, The Flyers are still more interested in acquiring another Defenceman, with the absence of Chris Pronger.

To me, the most likely scenario is that he doesn’t get dealt until the off-season. There will be more teams interested, such as The Red Wings, The Bruins and The Sharks, and more teams means higher return.

-McFultz & Vernon Smells

The League- Basketball- Week 5 Recap

If you haven’t read Week 4 yet, read it here: (http://criticsfromthecouch.com/?p=147). After another intense week, the playoff race is getting tighter. Ever player battling their hearts out for the “we still haven’t named it yet” trophy. Let’s take a look at last weeks standings, in case you’ve forgotten.

1. Kipling Ronald           30-6-0
2. Gonzo                         25-11-0
3. Vernon Smells           24-12-0
4. Soulless Sensation   17-19-0
——————————–
playoffs
5. McFultz                       17-19-0
6. other A                         16-20-0
7. other B                         14-22-0
8. other C                         13-23-0
9. zookeeper                  13-23-0
10. other D                       11-25-0    

Those were from last week, and YES, there were changes this week, first we’ll take a look at the scores from the week.

Vernon Smells               7
Gonzo                             2

McFultz                           4
Other A                            5

Kipling Ronald               6
Other C                            3

Soulless Sensation       5
zookeeper                      4

Other B                            3
Other D                            6

With Soulless Sensation, Mcfultz and Other A all neck and neck for that final playoff spot, all of those games were extra important. As you can see Other A was able to beat Mcfultz and Soulless Sensation able to stand tough against zookeeper to keep up his strong play.Another important game was between Me(Vernon Smells) and Gonzo. It was clear one of us was going to take over second place, and it was me with a great 7-2 victory, but don’t let the score fool you, it was much closer than it would seem. So, after these great matchups, let’s take a look at the new Standings.

1. Kipling Ronald           36-9-0
2. Vernon Smells           31-14-0
3. Gonzo                         27-18-0
4. Soulless Sensation   22-23-0
——————————–
playoffs
5. other A                          21-24-0
6. McFultz                       21-24-0
7. other D                         17-28-0 
8. zookeeper                  17-28-0
9. other B                         17-28-0
10. other C                       16-29-0

Some of the big changes include: me taking over second place, Other A passing McFultz and how everything below that switched around as well. Among the things that stay the same: Kipling Ronald still doesn’t have double digit losses, Soulless Sensation continues to barely hold on to that final playoff spot, and he’s getting a little bit closer to Gonzo of the Big 3. Let’s take a quick look at what matches will be happening this week.

McFultz
Gonzo

Soulless Sensation
Other C

zookeeper
Other D

Kipling Ronald
Vernon Smells

Other A
Other B

This week is huge, as Soulless Sensation tries to hold on to his playoff spot, while McFultz and Other A try to catch him for it. I have a chance to cut into Kipling Ronald for first place, and zookeeper wants to try and dig himself out of this big hole he’s dug himself into, to quote Troy Aikman on Madden 12. Here are the rosters, anything in Bold indicates the player was newly added.

Vernon Smells
 Kyrie Irving, PG
Jason Terry PG, SG
Mo Williams PG
Russell Westbrook, PG
Danilo Gallinari, SF
Richard Jefferson, SF
Paul George, SF, SG
Paul Pierce, SF, SG
Carlos Boozer, PF, C
Kevin Love, PF, C
Serge Ibaka, PF, C
Joakim Noah, PF, C
Mo Williams, PG

Kipling Ronald
Kyle Lowry, PG
Marcus Thornton, SG
Louis Williams, PG, SG
Gerald Wallace, SF, PF
Paul Millsap, PF
David Lee, PF, C
Samuel Dalembert, C
Pau Gasol, PF, C
Mario Chalmers, PG
Al Jefferson, PF, C
Luol Deng, SF
Ryan Anderson, PF, C
Elton Brand, PF, C

Gonzo
Deron Williams, PG
Iman Shumpert, PG, SG
Jrue Holiday, PG
Antawn Jamison, SF, PF
Deandre Jordan, PF, C
Joe Johnson, SG, SF
Chris Bosh, PF, C
Tim Duncan, PF, C
Tony Parker, PG
Brandon Jennings, PG
Anthony Morrow, SG, SF
Dwight Howard, C
Andre Miller, PG

Soulless Sensation
Monta Ellis, PG, SG
Ray Allen, SG
Devin Harris, PG
LeBron James, SF, PF
Josh Smith, SF, PF
Kevin Garnett, PF, C
Nene Hilario. PF, C
Tyson Chandler, C
Byron Mullens, C
Tony Allen, SG, SF
Andy Rautins, PG
Taylor Griffin, SF, PF
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C

McFultz
Darren Collison, PG
Nicolas Batum, SG, SF
Jason Kidd, PG
Shawn Marion, SF, PF
David West, PF
C.J. Miles, SG, SF
Marc Gasol, C
Andray Blatche, PF, C
Ricky Rubio, PG
Stephen Curry, PG
Steve Nash, PG
Jason Richardson, SG, SF
Dirk Nowitzki, PF

zookeeper
John Wall, PG
DeMar Derozan, SG, SF
D.J. Augistin, PG
Danny Granger, SF, PF
Thaddeus Young, SF, PF
Carl Landry, SF, PF
Blake Griffin, PF, C
Andrea Bargnani, PF, C
Anderson Varejao, PF, C
Leonardo Barbosa, PG, SG
Ben Gordon, PG, SG
James Harden, SG, SF
Al Harrington, PF, C

 

-Vernon Smells

                  

The League- Basketball- Week 4 Recap

Every year, at the beginning of the four major sports seasons (Hockey, Basketball, Football and Baseball) the staff here at Critics From The Couch, along with other various other friends partake in some friendly Fantasy action. At the moment we are in the middle of the NHL and NBA seasons. We play on Yahoo Sports(wouldn’t recommend it however) therefor Yahoo rules are applied. Our NHL league is kind of messed up, because rather than head-to-head we used rotisserie , which in my opinion is much less fun, but for the record, I’m in second place. Anyways, our Basketball league is in full swing, and it is head-to-head, so as the commissioner of The League, I feel it is my duty to keep the public informed about our league. How the league works is there are nine major stat categories(FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, BLK, STL, TO) and you change opponents every week, and each stat category counts as one game, for example if after the week is over you are beating your opponent in seven of the nine stat categories, and he’s beating you in 2, your record for the week would be 7-2. There are also trades free agents, and waivers. So let’s start with the standings

1. Kipling Ronald           30-6-0
2. Gonzo                         25-11-0
3. Vernon Smells (me)   24-12-0
4. Soulless Sensation   17-19-0
——————————–
playoffs
5. McFultz                       17-19-0
6. other A                         16-20-0
7. other B                         14-22-0
8. other C                         13-23-0
9. zookeeper                  13-23-0
10. other D                       11-25-0                    

As you can tell, the race for that fourth playoff spot is up for the grabs, where as Kipling Ronald is already all but assured a playoff spot early in the year. Gonzo and myself were tied every week until this one, as he won 1 more game than I did, but through the first 4 weeks of the season the top 3(Kipling Ronald, Gonzo and myself) have yet to face each other, but that’s all about to change, as I face off against Gonzo this week, followed by Kipling Ronald, and then 3 weeks later Gonzo and Kipling Ronald face off themselves. Even though it’s still early in the year, these 3 games will be key in determining the true identities of our teams. Let’s check out last weeks scores.

Vernon Smells 6
Other A              3

McFultz 5
Other B  4

Other C 2
Gonzo  7

Kipling Ronald 9
zookeeper        0

Soulless Sensation 7
Other D                      2

This was a pretty important week, as you can see. Just a couple weeks after being dead last in the league, the soulless sensation took home a solid 7-2 victory to boost himself up all the way to a playoff spot. Kipling Ronald came up with the first clean sweep of the season to secure his lead even more, and Gonzo had a nice 7-2 victory to claim sole possession of second place. Let’s take a look at the games this week.

Vernon Smells
Gonzo

McFultz
Other A

Kipling Ronald
Other C

Soulless Sensation
zookeeper

Other B
Other D

We have a big week, as Gonzo and myself fight for second place, McFultz and Soulless Sensation each fight in their own battles for that 4th playoff spot, and Kipling Ronald goes for another sweep.

I will be doing these posts weekly, as one will be released every week, sometime Monday-Wednesday. Follow the action week by week as the chase for the “we haven’t decided on a name yet” Trophy heats up. In case you’re interested, here are our rosters. In no particular order, but lineups are set every night with 1 PG, 1 SG, 1 G, 1 SF, 1 PF, 1 F, 2 C, 2 Utility, 3 Bench

Vernon Smells
 Kyrie Irving, PG
Jason Terry PG, SG
Mo Williams PG
Russell Westbrook, PG
Danilo Gallinari, SF
Richard Jefferson, SF
Paul George, SF, SG
Paul Pierce, SF, SG
Carlos Boozer, PF, C
Kevin Love, PF, C
Serge Ibaka, PF, C
Joakim Noah, PF, C
Spencer Hawes, C

Kipling Ronald
Kyle Lowry, PG
Marcus Thornton, SG
Louis Williams, PG, SG
Gerald Wallace, SF, PF
Paul Millsap, PF
David Lee, PF, C
Samuel Dalembert, C
Pau Gasol, PF, C
Mario Chalmers, PG
Al Jefferson, PF, C
Luol Deng, SF
Ryan Anderson, PF, C
Elton Brand, PF, C

Gonzo
Deron Williams, PG
Iman Shumpert, PG, SG
Jrue Holiday, PG
Antawn Jamison, SF, PF
Deandre Jordan, PF, C
Joe Johnson, SG, SF
Chris Bosh, PF, C
Tim Duncan, PF, C
Tony Parker, PG
Brandon Jennings, PG
Marshon Brooks, SG, SF
Dwight Howard, C
Andre Miller, PG

Soulless Sensation
Monta Ellis, PG, SG
Ray Allen, SG
Devin Harris, PG
LeBron James, SF, PF
Josh Smith, SF, PF
Kevin Garnett, PF, C
Nene Hilario. PF, C
Tyson Chandler, C
Byron Mullens, C
Tony Allen, SG, SF
Andy Rautins, PG
Taylor Griffin, SF, PF
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C

McFultz
Darren Collison, PG
Nicolas Batum, SG, SF
Jason Kidd, PG
Shawn Marion, SF, PF
David West, PF
C.J. Miles, SG, SF
Marc Gasol, C
Andray Blatche, PF, C
Ricky Rubio, PG
Stephen Curry, PG
Steve Nash, PG
Jason Richardson, SG, SF
Dirk Nowitzki, PF

zookeeper
John Wall, PG
DeMar Derozan, SG, SF
D.J. Augistin, PG
Danny Granger, SF, PF
Thaddeus Young, SF, PF
Carl Landry, SF, PF
Blake Griffin, PF, C
Andrea Bargnani, PF, C
Tristan Thompson, PF
Leonardo Barbosa, PG, SG
Ben Gordon, PG, SG
James Harden, SG, SF
Al Harrington, PF, C

 

-Vernon Smells