Friday, March 14, 2008

FA Cup Semi-Finals

The draw has been set for the FA Cup semi-finals, and with only one Premier League side left in the competition, it has an unfamiliar feel. Portsmouth and West Brom, the two favorites to win it all, will face off in one of the semi-final matchups, while Barnsley and Cardiff City meet on the other side of the draw.

Barnsley has been the big surprise, but they still remain the long-shot, despite having upset both Liverpool and Chelsea in the competition. West Brom are seeking their sixth FA Cup victory.

The semifinal matchups will be played at Wembley Stadium on the 5th & 6th of April.


Liverpool Advances

Liverpool is through to the Champions League quarterfinals after a convincing victory over Inter Milan, winning 3-0 on aggregate.

Liverpool held a 2-0 lead following the first leg and needed only to draw to move through to the next round.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Giants will need to spend to keep safety Gibril Wilson

The are continuing to try to sign S gibril wilson before he becomes a free agent on Friday, but it's looking less and less like it's actually going to happen. And it's not because the Giants aren't willing to spend to keep him.

It's because the 26-year-old Wilson knows he's going to get a lot of interest on the open market and understandably wants to see what he's worth. And, for a guy who made a career-high $1.3 million last season, it could be a lot.

The latest team to reportedly be in the Wilson hunt is the Philadelphia Eagles, who might be looking to replace 35-year-old Brian Dawkins, who missed six games last year and has only one more year on his contract. Wilson would be a natural fit there, since Steve Spagnuolo's Giants defense was so similar to the one Jim Johnson runs in philly.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were recently reported to be interested in Wilson, too. And I can tell you from my four days at the combine, that you can count on at least three other teams – possibly more – being in the Wilson hunt.

A strong case could be made that Wilson is the top safety in an underwhelming unrestricted-free-agent crop.

How much is that worth? Wilson is rumored to be seeking something similar to what Deon Grant got from Seattle last year – a six-year, $30 million contract with $11 million in guarantees. That's almost identical to what Michael Lewis got from the 49ers last year.

The year before Baltimore gave Ed Reed a seven-year, $44.4 million deal. At about the same time, Dallas extended Roy Williams' contract for five years, $25.2 million with $11 million guaranteed.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The World Of Intercollegiate Athletics

Football sport's major offense in 1905, aptly called the "flying wedge,"spurred the formation of the NCAA.

Though reportedly conceptualized with good intentions, the NCAA's nature of conceptualization is known to be "rugged" and resulted in several injuries. This initially prompted certain institutions to suspend organizers from running football. Still others urged for the reformation of football and for the abolishment of the sport from athletics in the intercollegiate level.

It was President Theodore Roosevelt who called upon leaders in college athletics to conferences that tackled and encouraged the clamored football reforms. In December 1905, New York University Chancellor Henry McCracken summoned a convention of thirteen institutions to commence alterations deemed necessary in the rules of playing football. Subsequently, another meeting in New York City was held in December 28 of the same year. That summit paved the way for the formation of the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States. Sixty-two members of the conference founded the IAAUS.

It was in March 1906 that the IAAUS was officially constituted. The following year, the association adopted the name "NCAA," which was carried on several years later, until the present. During the first years, the NCAA served mainly as a rule-making body and discussion group. In 1921, the National Collegiate Track and Field Championship was held, the first of its kind for NCAA. In the long run, the association formed more committees that impelled more sports championships.

Just like any growing institution, certain complex challenges bombarded the NCAA. The scope of the challenges and with the unprecedented growth of its membership as well as sports events, championships heightened the need for proficient leadership. In the year 1951, former NCAA part-time assistant Walter Byers became the executive director. From then on, a more formalized NCAA gradually came into being. The NCAA national headquarters was established at Kansas City in Missouri in 1952. There was also a program approved to control the televising of football games. Moreover, authority of enforcement was delegated to the NCAA's council. For the purpose of governing post-season bowl games, legislation was soon adopted.

The NCAA started the administering of programs relating to athletics for women in 1980. Certain divisions for NCAA established ten championships for the years 1981 and 1982. One year later, NCAA's 75th Convention, a historic event in the association, adopted a plan of governance that included programs, representations and services dedicated to women's athletics. The convention also paved the way for the expansion of women's championship through adding nineteen events to the program.

Furthermore, the NCAA underwent certain changes in its governance structure. Essentially, greater autonomy was provided for membership divisions. Presidents and officers of member universities and colleges were given much better and more control. This was a major revolutionized effort undertaken in August of 1997.

Though stricken with challenges, the NCAA today continues to grow as a stable association. With its various events and championships hosted throughout the years, the NCAA has served as an outlet for collegiate students to display their skills in football, among other various sporting activitie

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

National Football League (NFL) Football - A League Of Its Own

Certain activities define the character of a nation. Likewise, the National Football League (NFL) defines the American character probably more than anything else. Conceived as the American Professional Football Association in 1920, it soon adopted the name National Football League in 1922. Undoubtedly the largest of all professional football leagues in America, NFL is made up of 32 teams coming from numerous American regions and cities.

With seeds in the American college football genre, NFL football is a direct descendant of rugby football. Rugby football, in its turn, was imported to the US from Canada in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. In its infancy, it became synonymous with American college football with Montreal’s McGill University inviting Harvard University to Quebec to play the Canadian version of rugby football.

Meanwhile, professional American football was gaining momentum despite the renowned elite football college games. This was happening mainly on the East coast, while professional football was stealing the show in the Midwest. The American Professional Football Association was founded in Ohio with legendary athlete Jim Thorpe as President. It began with eleven teams and was not strictly a league. The main purpose was to end robbing other teams’ players to win a football game.

With the birth of NFL, rules became more stringent and laws began to be enforced. However, teams continued to trickle in and leave at the same pace. It was in the 1970’s and 1980’s that NFL football finally secured its position in the heart and culture of America as the most important football event of the nation. The Super Bowl, a name given to the final game in a NFL series, became an undeclared yet accepted national holiday.

What sealed the NFL football in every American’s heart was the cult it created. It was not only the game that mattered; it was the entire event, the entertainment, the TV coverage and everything that added to the glamour of the football series. To add further to the glitz, NFL introduced pre-season exhibition games. And to add a little more flavor the game, NFL opted to play them international. This came to be known as the American Bowls.

In 1991, it formed the World League of American Football with developmental purposes in mind. This body, presently known as the NFL Europa, has teams in Germany and Netherlands. In 2003, the NFL League launched its own cable-TV channel, the NFL Network