Monday, May 6, 2013

AM in the Evening: 5.6.13 Edition

It's about that time, time for the famous "6-pack debate" to make it's triumphant return to the Sports Intelligentsia lineup. Your hots Andy and Mike (AM.... get it?) bring you the hottest topics and best sports debate with INTELLIGENT commentary.

Join us every Monday LIVE via YouTube and right here at Sports Intelligentsia. Subscribe to the YouTube page so you won't miss a single episode of this or any of our other shows!!  Check back here tonight at 7pmCT as we go LIVE with the re-debut of the show that hit the sports world by storm last summer:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Can Tiger Make Comeback?

Despite all of the drama from Friday leading into Saturday which resulted in a 2 stroke penalty, Tiger Woods has played himself into a position where he is in contention for the Green Jacket at Augusta. But to do so, Woods will have to do something he has never done in a Major, come from behind after 54 holes to take the title. He is 0 for 46 in comebacks in Majors and enters Sunday 4 strokes behind leaders Brandt Snedeker and Angel Cabrera who sit at 7 under par.

                                                          Snedeker looking for first Major

Woods has been extremely solid in 3 rounds this year, despite the 2 stroke penalty on Friday. He was able to stay in the tournament with some key par saves late in the round on Saturday.

Another obstacle for Woods to capture another Green Jacket is the field that sits ahead of him. A handful of players who have been right there with chances of grabbing a Majors Title sit between Woods and the lead including Adam Scott who looked to have the Masters Title recently only to have it taken away by Charl Schwartzel in 2011. Co-Leader Brandt Snedeker was in the final group in 2008 only to fall short of the title, leaving him in tears. Angel Cabrera seems to fly under the radar until it comes to Majors where he is always a factor.

Matt Kuchar who sits at 4 under has 5 titles on the PGA tour and it only seems a matter of time before he breaks through in a Major. Australian Jason Day, finished 2nd in the 2011 Masters and US Opens and appears to be back to his 2011 form. He enters Sunday at -5.

For Woods to make up the 4 shot deficit and make history with a Masters Sunday comeback, he will likely have to shoot the best round of his career in a Major. A round of 66 or 67 puts him in the conversation but he will need help from a really solid group of players ahead of him.

Whether Woods can add another Majors drama on Sunday remains to be seen, but with the names sitting atop the leader board, we are headed for an eventful Masters run to the Green Jacket. Fasten your seat belt.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Storylines Galore at the Masters

Two days into the Masters and there is already plenty of drama including a 14 year old making the cut, Tiger Woods looming large one minute and facing potential disqualification the next and a 53 years old near the top of the leaderboard with a legitimate chance to contend for the title.

One of the biggest stories of the tournament thus far is the play of 14 year old amateur, Tianlang Guan of China. Guan has made the weekend despite a 1 stroke penalty on Friday for slow play. Guan has handled the pressure of the tournament seamlessly and took the PGA ruling in stride afterwards saying that he respects the decision.

Speaking of penalties, Tiger Woods received a 2 stroke penalty for a drop on the 15th hole on Friday. Woods violated a rule which states that the ball should be dropped as nearly as possible to the spot where it was last played. Woods chose to replay the shot in the vicinity of his original spot. There was talk of disqualification but a 2 stroke penalty was given instead. The penalty drops Woods to -1 going into Saturday. Tiger has played exceptional golf, to the point he hit the flagstick on the 15th where the ball bounced into the water, almost a too precise shot.

Meanwhile, 53 year old Fred Couples has put together two solid rounds of golf and finds himself one shot behind leader Jason Day. Couples has the game to be a solid threat at Augusta and is one to watch this weekend.

Defending Champion Bubba Watson played himself from out of the cut back in late Friday with a strong finish after floundering a good portion of the round.

Lee Westwood, still in pursuit of his first Major after finishing so close, is -3. Many feel Westwood is right there due to break through. Two other big names are in contention in Sergio Garcia who led for a while and Rory McIlroy who has struggled lately but finished second at Houston last week. Garcia is -3 while McIlroy is -2. Phil Mickelson made the cut but has not play his best golf going into the weekend at 3 over.

Former majors Champions Webb Simpson and Graeme McDowell missed the cut.

Kobe Tears Achillies, ESPN Pushes False Narrative

Friday night ended for me with the images of Kobe Bryant walking off the court injured and as I woke up to the news of the injury being a season ending Achilles tear a sense of simple shock came over me. Not because of the injury per-say, but more because of what was taking place at the four letter network in reaction to the injury.

Of course, one could argue that that was my first mistake of the day (and probably not my last), as turning on the four letter network for anything but PTI or live sporting events is a risky proposition to begin with, but I digress.

So, as I listened to the extent of the injury and what Kobe himself had to say about the injury we got the blowhard of all blowhards, Stephen A. Smith, coming on the screen to push an idiotic narrative that it appears ESPN is set to run with and it's this - Kobe Bryant's injury is because he was playing so many minutes.

Yep, that's it... a freak injury that could happen to anyone, at any time, for any reason is all about the fact that a 34 year old man was playing the 2nd most minutes in the league this season behind only the Bulls' Loul Deng.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Masters Day Two: Amen Corner Tells Interesting Tale

Amen Corner - it's beauty is undeniable - so to is the fact that it could be the most brutal stretch of holes in all of professional golf. On Friday morning we got two examples of how to handle the brutal life at holes 11, 12, and 13  as two of Thursdays most exciting stories went in vastly different directions in Amen Corner.

Of course we are talking about Tianlang Guang, the 14 year old amateur that had played himself into position to make the cut should he have a steady round of golf on Friday, and the venerable Sergio Garcia who found himself tied atop the leaderboard of the Masters for the 1st time ever following a completed day of competition.

Guang, easily the biggest hyped storyline of the tournament on Thursday (and rightfully so), came in to Amen Corner at +2 for the day, bogeying holes 4 and 7, and could've easily packed it in mentally. Instead, following a bad 2nd shot on No. 11 Guang buckled down and focused mentally, hitting a perfect chip to within a few feet of the hole. He made par and proceeded to not let one bad shot ruin his pretty good round of golf on the day, repeating pars on 12 and 13 and surviving Amen Corner like a true veteran would do.

Then... Well, we have what happend to the guy who can never seem to get out of his own way in a major.

Sergio, a veteran of 58 majors in his lifetime, wasn't playing his best round of golf heading into Amen Corner, after all he was already +2 on the day, but was at least still within easy reach of the lead. However, a shot into the water on 11 saw Garcia make bogey and drop to +3. He wasn't done though as he survived the par 3 12th - but looking rattled. That rattled and frustrated mentality cost him as he went off the rails again on 13, bogeying the hole and running Amen Corner at a disappointing +2.

Guan and Sergio may be heading in opposite directions this weekend as Guan sits on the cut line (at time of this writing) and Garcia remains in contention as Dustin Johnson and others couldn't pull away at the top of the leader board. But, if you saw Amen Corner happen to the two most talked about players from Thursday you'd think Garcia was the 14 year old kid buckling under the pressure and Guan was playing in his 58th major all-time and that, for me at least, is the most remarkable story of this tournament so far.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCAA Basketball Walk-On Policy Evil?

As our motto and creed states, we try to be your "home for INTELLIGENT sports talk," and generally speaking we try and give fresh angles and perspectives to news, however the other part of that equation is also pointing out unintelligent pieces of work and that's what brings us to you today.

What's the unintelligent piece of work we bring you today?

It's an article that accuses everyone's favorite whipping boy, the NCAA, of allowing nefarious coaches to take advantage of the system of walk-on's to boost grade point averages and generally keep good players from playing basketball on a night in and night out basis... or something of that tone.

How do they chose to prove their point? Why, they use the Wisconsin Badgers announcement that Aaron Moesch, a little recruited forward out of Green Bay, WI will walk-on to the basketball team at the UW as the example of what's wrong with college basketball and the evils of the NCAA.

Yep, those evil Badgers are at it again - I mean they are everyone's example of how not to do things in college basketball right? They don't graduate their players, consistently make the NCAA tournament or treat their walk-on's as anything less than sub-human or anything... Either that or the exact opposite - as in having one of the highest graduation rates in history, making the NCAA tournament for 15 straight seasons (every one under Bo Ryan's 12 years at the helm), and have one of the best walk-on programs in the country.

Friday, April 5, 2013

AM in the Evening - Video Debut

Part of what makes us unique here at Sports Intelligentsia is that we were founded on being a multi-platform conglomerate from the very inception of the idea - we were meant to give you radio, blogging, and reporting from the very jump.

Well, we've upped the ante once again as we debut our latest platform of INTELLIGENT sports talk - our live YouTube talk shows!! We started it off with the first ever LIVE AM in the Evening Google + Hangout and as we grow this format we will be phasing out some of the radio formats we've been using.

Google + Hangouts will allow for the best of both worlds and to allow for you the fan to interact more quickly with the shows as they go on air. Here is our first sampling from AM (Andy and Mike) in the Evening. They talk all things college basketball on this one, so enjoy: