Browsing all articles from May, 2011
May
26

The Podcast United – Episode 1

After nearly a month hiatus, the solo podcast experiment continues! This is the third of four possible permanent podcasts. A reminder that you can check out the MMA podcast here, and the professional tennis podcast here.  This is the Podcast United and it concentrates on DC’s professional soccer team the DC United! The only topic is the United so this the most specific podcast. The final “test” podcast will be about sports videogames and is coming in a week or two! As always vote with your ears and tell your friends about them! Which ever podcast has the most downloads/subscribers will become a regular feature and the others will fall by the wayside.

Episode 1 Topics

Andy Najar commits to Honduras

United- AFC Ajax Friendly Recap

United May Games Review

Charlies Davies is 2nd in MLS Goal Scoring

Injury Report

Bill Hamid is now starting goalie

Has Manager Ben Olsen found his Starting 11?

 

May
11

Washington Sportsjam Pound-for-Pound MMA Rankings May 2011

Two of the champions on this list defended and retained their titles at UFC 129. Welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre stays pat based on his boring but strategic defense. Featherweight belt-holder Jose Aldo drops to the bottom of the list after looking beatable for the first time.

1. Anderson Silva (UFC Middleweight Champion, Record 28-4)

The “Spider” is an easy pick here, being the most dominant UFC champion of all-time. Since winning the UFC Middleweight belt in 2006 Silva has defended it a record of eight times ( He has also won 13 consecutive fights in the UFC). Until someone can dethrone him and take his belt, he owns this spot.

2. Georges St-Pierre (UFC Welterweight Champion, Record 22-2)
GSP was not able to dominate Jake Shields the way he dominated his six previous challengers. However he once again held off a red-hot challenger by not playing into their game and exploiting their weaknesses. It may not have been exciting but it was the smart move. He still looks unbeatable in the Welterweight division.

3. Jon Jones ↑(UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, Record 13-1)
Jones has looked unstoppable since he joined the UFC but many thought he would look more human once he fought the elite fighters. Turns out he doesn’t. He made just as quick work of former champ Shogun Hua as he did every other fighter he’s faced. While he still has to prove he can defend the title, he’s on a hot-streak right now and looks unbeatable.

4. Cain Velasquez ↑(UFC Heavyweight Champion, Record 9-0)
After the reigns of the hulking Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar, Velasquez proved that winning in the UFC required more than strength, power, and wrestling top-control. When Velasquez defeated Lesnar he proved that he was better all-around fighter than Brock and that he could contest with anyone in any aspect of a fight. There are a few UFC Heavyweights in his same class, but he’ll be a hard guy to take a belt from.

5. Jose Aldo ↓(UFC Featherweight Champion, Record 19-1)
Aldo may have gutted out a win against his most game challenger yet, but he did not look like his usual self in his first UFC title defense. His ground game and cardio were terrible, especially in the final round where he allowed the challenger Mark Hominick to stay in top-position for the final few minutes. Hominick ground-and-pounded away while Aldo just laid there. He wasn’t his usual exciting self in the standup either, relying on more technical striking. He may have mashed up Hominick’s face and won his first UFC title defense, but he didn’t look anything like the dominant WEC champion he once was. Worse, probable next challenger Chad Mendes thinks he found a weakness in Aldo’s game. Also, with the way Nick Diaz and Gilbert Melendez are fighting he may drop off this list.

Other fighters in consideration: Dominick Cruz, Nick Diaz, Frankie Edgar, Gilbert Melendez, Alistair Overeem

May
7

R.I.P. Washington Capitals 2010-2011

Another year, another playoff disappointment for the Washington Capitals. But should we really be surprised? The Caps weren’t the favorite to make it out of the Eastern Conference going into the playoffs, despite finishing first overall in the Eastern Conference. It wasn’t until after game one against the New York Rangers that people started to call the Capitals the best team in the East. But after a quick series win in round one fans wanted more. Just when it seemed like this team had turned the corner, they fell flat.

The biggest question now that the season is over is whether or not head coach Bruce Boudreau should get fired. In my opinion, no. The playoff failure is hard to overlook, especially after being swept by the Tampa Bay Lightning. His playoff record is 17-19, and he has only won two of six playoff series. Not good. But I’m going to argue that this was Boudreau’s best season as a head coach. After an eight game losing streak (all caught on tape during HBO’s 24/7), most people had written this year’s team off. The Caps weren’t going anywhere and Boudreau’s head was being called for. Still, General Manager George McPhee and owner Ted Leonsis had faith in the coach and didn’t fire him.

After being destroyed 6-0 by the New York Rangers in February, Boudreau changed the team’s style of play. The once offensive juggernaut became a defense oriented team. The Caps were blocking shots and getting back to stifle odd man rushes from the opposing teams. In a month the Washington Capitals went from fifth in the Eastern Conference and second in the Southeast division to first. Boudreau should have been nominated for the Jack Adams award. To change the team’s style of play midseason and bounce back to take first place in the second half of the season is impressive.

If you believe McPhee and Leonsis when they say the team is still ahead of schedule then there should be no questions about Boudreau’s job security. Despite the playoff loss, the Capitals had a great season. They were able to overcome a tough losing streak midseason, hang another Southeast Division banner in the Verizon Center rafters, and finish first overall in Eastern Conference. And the future is bright for Caps.

For the first time since trading goalie Olaf Kolzig the Capitals are finally stable in net. Goaltender Michael Neuvirth has proven himself worthy to be the Caps number one goalie. Neuvirth had a great regular season followed by an incredible series against the Rangers. While Neuvirth didn’t help the Caps win any games against the Lightning, he was able to come up with big save after big save to keep the Caps in games. Goalies Semyon Varlamov and Braden Holtby are both quality backups and have proven they can start and win games for the Caps. Goaltending is not an issue this offseason.

The Capitals young players will have more experience next year. Defensemen John Carlson and Karl Alzner were the Caps best defensive pairing all year and were in their first full season together. Carlson did struggle in the playoffs but next year we will see a continuation of improved play. Center Marcus Johansson’s play improved all season. The Caps will look for him to step up into that second line center role next season.

Players who were brought in at the trade deadline like center Jason Arnott and left winger Marco Sturm will most likely not be back with the team next year. Defenseman Scott Hannan is a question. He played well but with Dennis Wideman under contract for next year, Hannan might not be brought back. It would be nice to have these players back, but they may not be needed with the younger talent stepping up.

The Capitals will have to stick top Boudreau’s new defensive minded scheme next season to be successful in the playoffs. But they also need to find their heart. Yes the power play was woeful. Yes, their stellar penalty kill let them down in the playoffs. Yes, center Nick Backstrom was a nonfactor in the playoffs. But this team just didn’t have the drive to win a championship this year. It’s not just in the playoffs. Too many times this season the Capitals didn’t even show up to play until the third period. By the time the team turned it on and played hard, it was too late. The Caps didn’t come close to being a good as they could’ve been because they just don’t try hard all the time.

It was a fun hockey season and a frustrating one. And for another year, it ends in disappointment for Caps fans. But I want to say thank you the Washington Capitals for another year of hockey. It was a season of highs and lows and while it ended on a low note, it was still a great season.

I can’t wait for the 2011-2012 season to start.

May
6

Episode 49 – The More Disappointments Show (2011 Redskins Draft and Caps Playoffs Recap)

Mark and Bryan discuss the Redskins 2011 draft, the Caps latest playoff collapse,preview the Stanley Cup and NBA Finals, and give a Nationals update. Make sure to rate us on itunes and subscribe to the feed! Also make sure to watch the blog and twitter for the 50th Episode special coming soon!

NFL/Redskins

  • Cam Newton drafted 1st overall
  • Redskins take Ryan Kerrigan in 1st Round
  • Redskins draft grades

NHL/Capitals

  • Capitals playoff recap
  • Stanley Cup Predictions

NBA

  • Playoffs Update
  • NBA Finals Predictions

Nationals

  • National update