Category: Sports (page 2 of 2)

The Mother Of All Bat-Flips

Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays hit a mammoth tie-breaking home run in Game 5 of the ALDS game against the Texas Rangers. Bautista celebrated with what the internet is hailing as the “mother of all bat-flips” in celebration. The Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t take kindly to Bautista’s showboating, accusing him in an interview of, “doing stuff kids do in whiffle ball games and backyard baseball.” But the internet disagreed with Dyson and lit social media abuzz with gifs and memes hailing the bat-flip. That got others wondering the history of the bat-flip and multiple sources like Vice and the New York Times started patching together a history lesson I thought I’d pass along. While the bat-flip is engrained in baseball history from little leagues to the MLB, the first public shaming of the act came in 2001 from when Jimmy Rollins of the Philadelphia Phillies hit a two-run homer during an eighth-inning rally against the Saint Louis Cardinals . Kline, the relief pitcher for the Cardinals had choice words included profanities and a threat of beaning Rollins in the helmet next time. The next bat-flipping drama came just a year later when Todd Jones of the Rockies actually hit Bret Boone of the Seattle Mariners in the head with a pitch for a bat-flipping homer a few innings prior. The story ended up being used by the Mariners as a television ad that has Boone mocking the bat-flipping fu​el​ed by flipping everything from his toothbrush to a phone. You can watch it by Clicking HERE. As you can see there’s very little middle ground for the bat-flip debate. Those in favor enjoy the dramatic act as celebratory and say it has it’s place in the game right next to the high-five. Those opposed, a majority of which appear to be traditionalist and pitchers who just had a home run hit off of their pitch (Ironic?), say the bat-flip causes baseball to lose it’s class and makes a player appear young or unaccomplished and arrogant. The bat-flip actually has a massive place in Asian and Latin-American Baseball, meaning the controversy seems to be all American. As for me, I guess you could say I’m the traditionalist. My old man and grandpa always told me to act like I’ve been there before. When I scored a touchdown, hit a big shot in the basketball game or had a game winning hit in baseball, I was taught to respect my opponent and act like I’ve done it a million times before. Maybe that’s now considered “old school” or simply being no fun. I was also taught that I can’t control what others are going to do or say. Meaning if Bautista and other hitters want to throw it in the pitchers face and excessively celebrate, then they shouldn’t be upset if the pitcher makes his next move by showboating after striking them out or saying a few choice words. Remember it goes both ways in life! The MLB has tweeted a Gif of the “bat-flip” and it’s all over the internet so I thought I would include it below​.​

This is only an excerpt of the 10/19/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

Are You Ready For Some Football… How About Fantasy Football?

The 96th NFL season kicks-off on September 10th with the Pittsburgh Steelers visiting the New England Patriots, 7:30 p.m. CST on NBC. As most of you know, a federal judge erased New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension last week that was handed down by the NFL’s Roger Goodell. Unbelievably, the NFL appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan with a one-page notice from NFL attorney Daniel Nash. Surprisingly the league did not seek an emergency stay, freeing Brady to play while an appeals court considers the case. That could take months since the league would have to show it would suffer irreparable harm to speed up the timetable. I just think it’s ridiculous to think we are tying up our nation​’​s court system with a case regarding deflated footballs. In any regard, another football season is ready to get underway and “Fantasy Football” is on everyones minds…Below are a few fun facts to consider when setting your lineup or looking for some trade opportunities. ​(Sources: ESPN, OregonLive, Fantasy.USAToday)​

  • Everyones Playing – According to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, an estimated 56.8 million North Americans are playing fantasy sports. It’s not just for men, with 20% of players now being women. The average Fantasy player spends about $110 per year on the hobby. The states with “the most intense Fantasy Football participation” are: 1. North Dakota 2. Delaware 3. Indiana.

  • The First Draft – Believe it or not, the first Fantasy Football draft ever was held in 1963 by the “Great Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League.” The first pick, QB George Blanda.

  • Yahoo! Was the first of the top Fantasy Football sites to offer its service for free back in 1999. It continues to be the most popular fantasy site to this day. According to a Yahoo! survey, 35% of Fantasy Football players have rooted against their favorite NFL team if it meant their Fantasy team would win.
  • Who To Draft – Last year a total of 12.57 percent of fantasy owners who had the sixth overall pick in their NFL.com drafts won their league, which was the highest of any draft slot. A total of 73 percent of owners who took a running back in the first round won their league, with the next closest being quarterback (11 percent). The lesson here … take running backs early and wait on quarterbacks.

  • QB Studs – The value of fantasy quarterbacks continued to rise last year. Sixteen signal-callers reached the 250-fantasy point plateau, which marks the fourth consecutive season that number has increased. That number has also doubled since 2010, when there were eight quarterbacks with 250-plus fantasy points. A total of 17 quarterbacks finished in the top 25 in fantasy points in 2014, which is the second-most since 2009.No quarterback posted double-digit fantasy points in all 16 games last season, but five did so in 15 games. Guess what, it wasn’t a Manning brother, Tom Brady, Aaron Rogers or Tony Romo, but rather Andrew Luck, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Ben Roethlisberger and Ryan Tannehill posted double digit points in 15 weeks.

  • Aaron Rodgers – has finished no worse than second in fantasy points among quarterbacks in five of the last six seasons. The only season he finished outside of the top two was in 2013, when he missed seven games with a broken collarbone.
  • Sleeper QB? – Beli​e​ve it or not Carson Palmer actually averaged 18.8 fantasy points per game, in the five full-games he played in last year, which would’ve ranked fifth among qualified quarterbacks if carried out for the full season. Palmer is currently ranked in most leagues outside the top-15 at quarterback. Perhaps he is worth owning?

  • Soaring with the Eagles – Since Chip Kelly took over in 2013, Eagles quarterbacks have combined to score 594 fantasy points (18.6 per game). In other words, Sam Bradford (perhaps even Mark Sanchez if Bradford gets hurt) is worth having on your roster. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles set single-season franchise records in points scored (474) and total touchdowns (54). The team scored 11 return touchdowns, the third-highest total in NFL history. Ten different Eagles scored a return touchdown in 2014, the most in a single season in NFL history.

  • Adrian Peterson – There have been only two seasons where Adrian Peterson has caught at least 40 balls: 2012 and 2009. They happen to have been the two best fantasy seasons of his career, and two of the three seasons in which he has played all 16 games. On a brighter note, Adrian Peterson has scored double-digit touchdowns every season of his career that he has played more than one game.

  • LeSean McCoy – This guy was a complete stud with the Eagles, and in each of the last two years he had over 300 carries. Just keep in mind he is now with the Buffalo Bills, where coach Rex Ryan hasn’t had a running back take 300 carries in a season since his first year with the Jets back in 2009. Also keep in mind, last season the Bills averaged just 1.97 yards before contact per rush, 28th in the league. Might be a tough year McCoy owners???

  • Matt Forte – Another complete stud…Just keep in mind last season, under Marc Trestman, Matt Forte accounted for 26 percent of the Bears’ receptions and 20 percent of the team’s receiving yards, both percentages were the most by any running back in the league. This year the Bears new offensive coordinator is Adam Gase, who in his past two seasons as offensive coordinator in Denver, allowed no running back to account for more than 10 percent of the team’s receiving yards. In other words they might ease the workload on Forte and in turn decrease his Fantasy value, just something to consider?

  • Jeremy Hill – The star rookie running back for the Cincinnati Bengals last season averaged a whopping 5.1 yards per carry, that rate led all rookie running backs. Since 2001, there have been only two rookie running backs that had as many carries as Hill (222) and averaged more yards per carry than Hill’s 5.1 rate. Those players were Adrian Peterson and Clinton Portis. Both of them finished as top-5 fantasy running backs in their second NFL season

  • Regie Bush – Is now the main running back in San Francisco after the 49ers traded Frank Gore to the Indianapolis Colts. Just keep in mind Reggie Bush has played all 16 games in a season only once since 2007.

  • Joseph Randel – With the Cowboy’s trading DeMarco Murray, Randle now becomes “the guy”. In a run-first offense behind the league’s best offensive line, I’m thinking he could put up fantasy-worthy numbers, especially with McFadden unable to stay healthy.

  • Todd Gurley – This rookie running back for the St. Louis Rams might end up being a real sleeper and a top-10 type player by year end. Rember, the Rams have Jeff Fisher as their head coach and he has always preferred leaning on one workhorse running back. Gurley is supremely talented and has been compared to the likes of Adrian Peterson. Look for him to make a move during the second half of the season…If someone drops him early you might want to grab him.

  • Sleeper Running Backs? – I’m not real sure he’s a sleeper but LeGarrette Blount, RB for the New England Patriots might be worthy of a look. You might also want to consider Falcons RB Tevin Coleman and Houston Texans RB Alfred Blue.​

  • Red-Zone Catches – In the past three years, no player in the NFL has more red zone touchdown catches than Jimmy Graham, just remember he’s not with New Orleans anymore. Larry Donnell was targeted 20 times in the red zone last season (all six of his TDs came on red zone targets). The only tight end with more targets in the red zone than Donnell was … Jimmy Graham.

  • Julius Thomas – Per Pro Football Focus, no tight end had a higher percentage of his fantasy value come from touchdowns than Julius Thomas (60 percent). Just keep in mind, last season, the Denver Broncos had 50 pass attempts inside an opponent’s 10-yard line, most in the NFL. While the Jacksonville Jaguars had just 12 such pass attempts, last in the NFL. Rember, Thomas is no longer a Bronco but instead a Jag…could mean a big difference in numbers.

  • Breakout Tight Ends? Last season, Travis Kelce (Chiefs) led all tight ends with 490 yards after the catch. Since 2006, the only tight ends with more yards after the catch in a single season were Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez (both in 2011). Cincinnati Bengals’ Tyler Eifert, is a big, athletic target who stands at 6-6 and 250 pounds, who flashed upside as a rookie and leading up to the NFL draft with a 4.68 in the 40-yard dash and a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Josh Hill of the New Orleans Saints also looks like a potential hidden gem after arriving in New Orleans as an undrafted free agent from Idaho State in 2013. As a massive target with proven scoring prowess.

  • Sleeper WR’s? There’s the obvious hype surrounding studs like Amari Cooper and Kevin White, but you might want to consider Philly’s Nelson Aghlor, Pittsburgh’s Martinis Bryant and Baltimore’s Marlon Brown.

  • Super Bowl’s 50th Anniversary – The leagues championship game is scheduled for Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California

  • Extra Point – The line of scrimmage for extra point tries will move to the 15-yard line from the two-yard line. Two-point conversions will still be spotted at the two-yard line. In addition Defenses will be allowed to return turnovers on two-point tries or blocked PAT kicks to the opposing end zone for two points, mirroring the NCAA rule adopted in the 1988 season.

  • Sleeper Defense? The Philadelphia Eagles D/ST are an interesting cross between good fortune and inevitable regression, yet overall improvements in team personnel at linebacker (Kiko Alonso) and in the defensive backfield (Eric Rowe, Byron Maxwell). The Indianapolis Colts D/ST plays just one offense that ranked among the top 20 in the NFL last season in its first five games, and that’s No. 17 Houston in Week 5. The Colts have playmakers at linebacker and in the defensive backfield, and they are well-positioned to create more takeaways (26 in ’14) and sacks (41).

This is only an excerpt of the 9/10/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a Free Trial.

9 Things You Need To Know About The Upcoming 2015 NFL Season

nfl(350)With the NFL regular season less than a month away, there’s lot of fantasy football drafts and talk in the office about the upcoming season. I wanted to take a quick second and provide some interesting items and notes about the upcoming season:

  • First Official 2015 GameThursday, September 10th, the Pittsburg Steelers at the New England Patriots at 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC.. This marks the 96th season of the NFL.

  • Training Camp – This year will be held starting July 22 through the end of preseason, September 3rd. Teams may start training camp no earlier than fifteen days before the team’s first scheduled preseason game. At this point, the rosters for each team will be open to 90 players. These rosters must be cut to 75 by Week 3 of preseason, and the final 53-man roster must be submitted by the end of preseason.

  • The Regular Season – The 2015 regular season will feature 256 games to be played out over a seventeen-week schedule which begins on the Thursdaynight following Labor Day. Each of the league’s 32 teams will play a 16-game schedule with one bye week for each team scheduled between weeks four and twelve. The regular season concludes with a full slate of 16 games on Sunday, January 3, all of which are expected to be intra-divisional matchups, as it has been since 2010.

  • Thanksgiving Day Games – These games will occur on Thursday, November 26, 2015. For the second consecutive season, the AFC was shut out of Thanksgiving, with all six slots going to NFC teams. As usual, three consecutive games will be played, with the Detroit Lions hosting the Philadelphia Eagles in the early slot on Fox and the Dallas Cowboys hosting the Carolina Panthers in the middle slot on CBS; this will be the Panthers’ first ever Thanksgiving appearance. The Green Bay Packers will host the Chicago Bears in the primetime game on NBC, where the Packers will also retire longtime quarterback Brett Favre’s No. 4 jersey.

  • Christmas – Christmas, December 25, falls on a Friday this year. In an unusual move for the league, the Oakland Raiders will host the San Diego Chargers at 8:25 p.m. EST (5:25 p.m. local time) on December 24. The game will be aired on the NFL Network. This is the second ever night game on Christmas Eve.
  • Postseason Games – The 2015 playoffs will begin with the Wild Card playoff round on the weekend of Saturday, January 9 and Sunday, January 10, 2016. The Divisional round games will then be played on the weekend of Saturday, January 16 and Sunday, January 17, 2016, with the winner of each of the games visiting the top two seeded teams in each conference. The Conference championships will be held on Sunday, January 24, 2016 with AFC Championship Game at 3:00 PM ET on CBS and the NFC Championship at 6:30 PM ET on Fox.

  • Super Bowl’s 50th Anniversary – The leagues championship game is scheduled for Sunday, February 7, 2016 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.
  • Rule Changes – Below are a few of the more interesting changes… Don’t forget we will see our first ever full-time female official in NFL history, Sarah Thomas, who will work as a line judge.

    • Extra Point – The line of scrimmage for extra point tries will move to the 15-yard line from the two-yard line. Two-point conversions will still be spotted at the two-yard line. In addition Defenses will be allowed to return turnovers on two-point tries or blocked PAT kicks to the opposing end zone for two points, mirroring the NCAA rule adopted in the 1988 season.

    • The Balls – There will be increased testing, oversight and security surrounding the balls. At random games, officials will measure the PSI of 24 footballs at halftime. Two officials, instead of only the referee, will measure and record the inflation of footballs before the game. These changes were made in response to the “deflategate” scandal.

    • Medical Timeout – Allow a certified medical trainer to call a medical time-out when a player appears disoriented and/or concussed. This time-out is not to be charged to the team whose player is injured, even inside the two-minute warning. The only substitution allowed is for the injured player and for a single player from the opposing team to match up.

    • Making offensive backs who chop a defender engaged above the waist by another offensive player subject to a chop-block penalty (15 yards).

    • Linebackers can now be numbered 40-49. An additional rule was also passed during the offseason allowing both teams to wear their colored jerseys for Thursday Night Football contests.

    • Pushing teammates at the scrimmage line during punts/field goals is illegal.

  • The Odds to Win the 2015 Super Bowl – Below are the latest online odds provided by Vegasinsider.com
  • Green Bay Packers 11/2
  • Seattle Seahawks 11/2
  • Indianapolis Colts 8/1
  • New England Patriots 8/1
  • Dallas Cowboys 15/1
  • Denver Broncos 15/1
  • Baltimore Ravens 17/1
  • Pittsburgh Steelers 25/1
  • Philadelphia Eagles 28/1
  • Arizona Cardinals 30/1
  • Kansas City Chiefs 30/1
  • New York Giants 30/1
  • New Orleans Saints 35/1
  • Miami Dolphins 37/1
  • Buffalo Bills 40/1
  • Minnesota Vikings 40/1
  • Atlanta Falcons 45/1
  • Carolina Panthers 45/1
  • Detroit Lions 45/1
  • San Diego Chargers 45/1
  • St. Louis Rams 45/1
  • Cincinnati Bengals 50/1
  • Houston Texans 50/1
  • Chicago Bears ​ ​60/1
  • San Francisco 49ers 65/1
  • New York Jets 70/1
  • Oakland Raiders 100/1
  • Tampa Buccanneer 100/1
  • Cleveland Browns 125/1
  • Washington Redskins 125/1
  • Jacksonville Jaguars 150/1
  • Tennessee Titans 150/1

This article is only an excerpt of the 8/17/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a free trial by clicking here.

 

World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams

Forbes recently released their annual list of “The World’s Most Valuable Sports Teams.”  For the third year in a row, soccer team Real Madrid took the top spot as the most valuable franchise, worth $3.26 billion. Football dominates the list though, with the NFL occupying 20 of the top spots. The 31 non-NFL teams on the list include 12 from MLB, 7 from soccer, 10 from the NBA, one from the NHL and one from Formula 1. The average current value of a team on the list is $1.75 billion, the highest since Forbes began tracking the data in 1998. Cost of admission to the 2015 list is also the highest ever at $1.15 billion, up from $856 million last year. Click the graphic for a larger view. (Source: Forbes)

This article is only an excerpt of the 7/30/15 Van Trump Report. Sign up for a free trial by clicking here.

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