This week in sports, plus Week 3 Picks

Chad Johnson and his wifeChad Johnson plead no contest to assaulting his now ex-wife after an argument in their car that lead to Johnson’s release from the Miami Dolphins.  Johnson originally wanted to represent himself in the court of law, but when they asked what he plead, he put in the plea of “Child Please” and that the charges should “Kiss the Baby”.  After, Johnson was told those weren’t legal terms and that he should instead plead insanity.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy were in the same group to open up the Tour Championship on Thursday.  Tiger dubbed Rory the nickname, “The Intimidator” after the media asked if Tiger was intimidated by Rory.  McIlroy took the name seriously and showed up naked to the tournament looking to attack Arnold Schwarzenegger and to kill John Connor.   There is no rule against that, allowing McIlroy to shoot a -1 on the day.

Peyton Manning threw three interceptions Monday Night in a loss to the Atlanta Falcons.  Questions arose about Peyton’s arm strength after the game, where Peyton then called out every single member of the media to an arm wrestling contest while kissing his biceps. He then winked at the camera and gave a shout out to Ed Hochuli, who he’s been training with in the offseason to get his biceps up to par.

The New York Giants defeated the Carolina Panthers on Thursday Night Football.  The Giants were without starters Ahmad Bradshaw, David Diehl, and Hakeem Nicks, while the Referees were without any knowledge that an actual football game was being played.  Nicks, Bradshaw, and Diehl – despite being hurt – tried putting on Referee shirts from the Footlocker outside the stadium, proclaiming “We’d be a lot less bias than that guy that had Saints pictures on his Facebook!”

USC, the No. 2 team in the nation, was upset by Stanford on Saturday.  Midway through the 4th quarter USC was making an effort to comeback, but on a crucial third down when Lane Kiffin was calling in the play to Matt Barkley, he said “I Gotta Go”, and ran off the field.  USC would later be upset, and Kiffin explained that his wife made some exquisite Key-Lime Pie and he had to “get the f outta dodge”.

The NHL has locked out its players for the 3rd straight time under Commissioner Gary Bettman.  The NHL Lockout now ranks below the NFL Referee Lockout, the The Chicago Teacher Lockout, The Lockout between me and every girl in the world, The Lockout of Levi forgetting his keys in his car, and the Lockout of Homosexuals and Chic-Fil-A.

After a mediocre Week 1 where I went 8-8 (I look at Week 1 as my Preseason, just a warm up for the real season), I bounced back last week going 12-4 and getting my upset picks correct.  I look to maintain my awesomeness in picks in Week 3 and take some underdogs again.  Enjoy!

STL vs. CHI – The Rams are 1-1 with an improved defense, they will go into Chicago and pick off Jay “I’m Color Blind” Cutler at least 3 times. Winner: Rams

Buff vs. CLE – A battle of two of the more exciting running backs in the NFL, the New CJ2k and Trent Richardson, Buffalo will try and stop the run and will pull out a victory.  Winner: Bills Read more…

Odd similarities between LeBron James and Tiger Woods

December 30th  is a day that has given us two of the greatest athletes of our generation. Not just one, but two, of the biggest superstars on planet Earth. One Eldrick Tiger Woods in 1975, and LeBron James nine years later in 1984. In previous years these two were not only the best in their respective sports, but the most loved. Now in today’s sports world, things have taken a 180. Scrutinized, hated, and laughed at, are more current ways to describe both in relation to the general public.  So similar, yet so different are the careers they have had, and the situations they live in today.

2009, the year we found out that Tiger was only human in many ways. He was defeated heads up in the year’s final major championship by Y.E. Yang, capping off one of those rare 0 major seasons. It was the first time Tiger had lost when leading in the final round of a major. Just a chink in the armour, we thought. Then, the infamous Thanksgiving wreck, that proved to be much more. 2009, the year Tiger went from role model, to apologist.

2010, the year it all changed for LeBron. The Decision, to leave his home town and take his talents to South Beach. “Not five, not six, not seven,” we heard from the pre championship rally. While the season lead to a finals birth, LeBron faltered, to say the least, when he got there. 2010, the year LeBron went from the hero, into the villain.

2012, I can’t help but to think of the number three. Tiger Woods with three world-wide wins up to this point, at his tournament, at Arnold Palmer’s and at Jack Nicklaus’. LeBron James making history as one of eight players in league history with three MVP’s. After what each has gone through, whether it be self-inflicted or not, these wins are quite a bounce back. But with the microscope on full blast on both of these men, those are really just footnotes. No amount of regular season trophies will change the goal of winning championships of either men.

Sunday, June 17, 2012. This is the day that could turn the tide for both forever. Tiger wanting desperately to get back to the top of the mountain. LeBron James trying to will himself to finally reach the top. Nineteen majors, and an NBA championship. The things that keep these two fighting and fighting. No matter what anyone says, the competitive fire, and will to win keep them coming back. Win after win. Failure after failure. Now, Tiger is within striking distance at the U.S. Open, and LeBron has a oppurtunity to take a pivotal 2-1 lead in the finals. While neither can finish the job on this day, each can take a step in the direction of their ultimate goals. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but both have their obstacles. The biggest to overcome, is themselves.

Zach Leiken is a writer for The Sports Blitz Network and can be contacted at

Despicable athletes of Father’s Day weekend 2012

tiger woods baby 101 Despicable Athletes of Fathers Day Weekend 2012It’s hard to remember a sports weekend in which so many despicable athletes were front and center. Father’s Day Weekend is a time to celebrate great men in each of our lives. With so many bad characters making a case as most atrocious human being of the weekend, an examination is needed to determine who should have the most hate directed their way. Lets review the candidates:

 Tiger Woods

Infidelity, scandal, porn stars, entitlement, advertising based on the death of his father. Unless you have lived under a rock the past three years, you know all about Tiger Woods and his fall from grace. For the first time since his scandal, Tiger enters the weekend in contention with a very realistic chance of winning his first major since the 2008 U.S. Open. Do we want to hear Tiger redemption stories already? For a man who believed that he was so entitled, continues to curse and throw tantrums on the course, has never shown any kind of class or grace when dealing with the media, and in my personal opinion, has shown little signs of being remorseful, I am not sure that this is the story I want to have to listen to on Sunday, if ever.

Read more here…

Has Tiger Woods already peaked?

Tiger WoodsTiger Woods this past weekend said that he feels that he could win on the PGA Tour into his fifties and that if he felt that he had peaked competitively that he would pack it in.

Lets try to answer these statements now, shall we?

On whether Woods could continue to win into his fifties, the answer is an emphatic yes. Jack Nicklaus nearly won the Masters at 58 in 1998! His top 24 finish that year would have qualified him automatically for the 1999 Masters if needed. (Once you win the Masters, you are invited to play for life.) Tom Watson nearly won the British Open Championship at 60! He had a putt outright to win and nerves jangled his attempt to make the second putt to get into a playoff.

Certainly, Woods if healthy could be a contender into his fifties at certain venues on tour. He has won numerous times at Bay Hill, Firestone, and Augusta. What an older golfer may lose on power, they should gain with finesse and familiarity. On courses that Tiger has won on multiple times, he will always contend as long as his game remains sharp. Local knowledge is a real advantage and Tiger’s maturity and know how will pay dividends against the next generation of young guns who may not know just quite how to handle a moment. Read more here…

Top 5 sports video games women loathe

Any hardcore sports video gamer has had their share of loved ones attempting to limit the amount of playing time because they feel that it is a waste time. What gamer hasn’t heard their parents say “Those games are no good for you!” or your wife/significant other complain about the amount of time spent with your games rather than them. In fact, it’s one of the most common complaints from married couples.

What many do not understand is that when we play a sports video game we are taken away, yes like Calgon. It allows us to enter a superficial world where all we care about is the game in front of us and all the worries and problems of the day are behind us, at least for the moment.

It is our stress reliever and because we engross ourselves in a franchise, signing players, or shooting that winning basket we are able to relax and provide ourselves some much-needed stress relief.

Yes ladies, you have Yoga…we have video games.

There are certain games that have left their mark on us and continue to draw our attention away. It is very likely that these games are ones that you have seen us play…over and over again, but this is why.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! was one of the first sports games to hit the main stream. Published in 1987 it features a boxer named Little Mac working his way up the professional boxing circuits, facing a series of colorful, fictional boxers, leading to a final fight with real-life boxer, the then-World Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson.

While this game probably affected your parents more than anyone else, this game changed the way we looked at the sport of boxing. To many at this age we thought the actual sport of Boxing was like Rocky and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!. We would sit back and watch a young Mike Tyson blast his opponents, K.O. them, and all of this in record time!

Punch-Out!! was a the game of the late 80’s as Little Mac did everything he could to use his “star” power and defeat those like Glass Joe, Bald Bull, and Piston Honda. Knockout’s were fast and furious as rounds were full of punching and dodging in order to avoid each players special moves, it kept us coming back for more and more.

It wasn’t until we started watching other boxing matches that didn’t include Mike Tyson that we came to realize that Boxing didn’t resemble Rocky or Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! which only led us back when Super Punch-Out!! came out.


How many quarters were wasted in NBA Jam? It was your parents wallets that were really “On Fire!” back in 1993 when Midway initially released the arcade game. The game that was based on the original idea of Arch Rivals became exceptionally popular and generated a significant amount of money for arcades after its release. The typical cost to play a full game of NBA Jam in the United States ranged from $1.00 to $2.00. Nonetheless, the game was a smash hit. The original arcade release generated revenue of $1 billion in quarters and quite a few of them were mine.

NBA Jam, which featured 2-on-2 basketball, was one of the first real playable basketball arcade games. Instead of games like Double Dribble and Arch Rivals where you represent a random team and player, it was one of the first games to feature NBA licensed teams and a that players graphic. Because of this advancement we were able to play as Dominique Wilkins, Larry Johnson, and even Shaq! (Yes, Shaq has been around that long.)

A key feature of NBA Jam was the exaggerated nature of the play – players jumped many times above their own height, making slam dunks that defied both human capabilities and the laws of physics. There were no fouls, free throws, or violations except goaltending and 24 second violations. This meant the player was able to freely shove or elbow his opponent out-of-the-way. Additionally, the game had an “on fire” feature, where if one player made three baskets in a row, he would become “on fire” and have unlimited turbo, no goaltending, and increased shooting ability, until the other team scored (or the player had scored four consecutive baskets while “on fire”).

The game was filled with “Easter eggs” or special features that were activated by codes and joystick/button combination that would change the entirety of the game. NBA Jam kept us coming back for more and more and has continued to do so over the years for a number of systems. NBA Jam would also lead to NFL Blitz, another Midway creation that took a number of quarters.

NHL ’94 / NHLPA Hockey ’93

There is much to be said about NHL 94 and the introduction of the one-timer. It was also one of the first games where the game could accumulate records. The ability to try to break each record over and over kept the competitive spirit alive and gamers coming back for years. Still to this day there are many that love NHL 94 and describe it as the best sports video game ever.

While many remember NHL 94 for its game breaking play, what becomes forgotten was NHLPA Hockey ’93 featured the hard-hitting, skull fracturing, bleeding on the ice hits and featured the ability to have players fight each other. NHL 94 removed this feature which was brought to the attention of many during the popular movie Swingers.



Tiger Woods PGA Tour

The Tiger Woods PGA Tour series is developed and published by Electronic Arts featuring professional golfer Tiger Woods. Its realistic graphics and immense detail to the course allows the golfer in us to make-believe that we are on Pebble Beach.

One of the reasons so much time was spent on these games is because we are unable to quit during the middle of 18 holes. It’s realistic, was always my excuse. You don’t pay green fees and then walk off after only 11 holes? You finish the 18…

Things improved when Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2004 became the first game in which a gamer could enter his/her own face and create a replica of them. There was nothing quite like watching and designing yourself playing golf on Pebble Beach.


Ah yes, the evil one as many women call it. It doesn’t matter what version you started playing, but it’s like that old-time saying “once you start you can’t stop”.

John Madden Football debuted in 1988 for the Apple II series of computers but is more famous for its 1990 version for the Sega Genesis system. EA Sports was set out to design a complex simulator of NFL football and year after year they have continued their quest.

As football started to take over as America’s sport so did Madden. As of 2010 Electronic Arts has sold more than 85 million copies of Madden NFL since 1988, and as many as two million in one week, for more than $3 billion in total sales.

If there was one game that girlfriends and wives agree on that cause more problems in a relationship, it’s Madden. What hard-core Madden player hasn’t been thinking about the first thing they are going to do with Madden when they get home? Play friends on-line, develop plays, create players, create teams, or even create a dynasty are just some things that you are able to do with Madden.

There is no sports game that can say they take an entire day and turn it into “Madden Day.” August 10th of each year is the Madden release day which many hard-core gamers stand in lines at night to receive the new installment of the franchise. It’s at this point where we try to incorporate our significant other by asking them if they would like to come join us, only to realize that it is the last time they will be spending with us for at least a few weeks.

Let’s not even get into the Madden Curse…

GB Bongiovanni is the owner of The Sports Blitz and can be followed @GBBongiovanni