Monthly Archives: January 2010

Women’s Basketball: Elon Phoenix vs. Southern Virginia Knights

Be sure to check out the Elon University Phoenix Women’s Basketball team as they host the Southern Virginia Knights tomorrow at 11:45 AM in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix, with a record of 7-13, are coming of a 64-57 loss to the College of Charleston Cougars. The Phoenix will be hoping to snap this two game losing streak against the Knights, who come into this game with a record of 6-11. These two teams last played last year, when Elon defeated the Knights by a score of 74-33. The game will be called by Tom Waterman and Matt Curry, and can be heard on WSOE 89.3 FM. You can also listen to the game live and read the live blog updates on the website at wsoesports.wordpress.com. Click on the link below for live updates as they happen from Alumni Gym.

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Women’s Basketball: Elon Phoenix vs. College of Charleston Cougars

Be sure to check out the Elon University Phoenix Women’s Basketball team as they host the College of Charleston Cougars tonight at 7:00 PM in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix, with a record of 7-12, are coming of a heartbreaking 71-66 loss to Georgia Southern where the Phoenix erased a 22 point deficit before having their comeback fall just short.  The Phoenix will be hoping to get back on their winning ways against the Cougars who come into the game with a record of 13-6. The game will be called by Tom Waterman and Greg Brzozowski, and can be heard on WSOE 89.3 FM. You can also listen to the game live and read the live blog updates on the website at wsoesports.wordpress.com. Click on the link below for live updates as they happen from Alumni Gym.

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Super Déjà vu

Forty years ago the New York Jets pulled off arguably the greatest upset in the history of professional sports by beating the Baltimore Colts 16-7 in Super Bowl III. The Colts were favored by as many as three touchdowns in some books. That upset is the reason the AFL and the NFL merged, its historical significance is immeasurable.

I just finished watching Super Bowl III in its entirety, and there are some spooky similarities between the 1969 and the 2010 New York Jets (besides the fact that they’re playing the Colts.)

The similarities begin at running back. Like Matt Snell, Thomas Jones is a bit older and a bit banged up. Still, the team relies on him, especially in key short yardage situations like the final fourth down play last week at San Diego. Shonn Greene, like Emerson Boozer, is younger, more physical and offers a spark when he touches the ball. Unlike Boozer, Greene isn’t used to block as much. Instead the Jets lean on their bigs up front to create holes.

That’s where the second similarity comes; the offensive line. Just like in 1969, the current Jets offensive line is top notch. In Super Bowl III Joe Namath was touched just twice, last week Mark Sanchez was sacked only once. A strong and stable offensive front is key to playing physical football, both the 1969 and the 2010 Jets can attest to that.

Although Braylon Edwards is no Don Maynard, he’s still a legitimate deep threat. His speed and athleticism allow Jericho Cotchery, the 2010 version of George Sauer, to chip away at opposing defenses. Like Sauer, Cotchery has great hands and is dependable on third downs. Cotchery has already converted on key third downs in Cincinnati and San Diego this postseason.

You’re probably scratching your head trying to find a similarity between quarterbacks Joe Namath and Mark Sanchez. Well they both fit the dreamy (Yes, I said it) stereotype and they both played for major universities (Namath, Alabama and Sanchez, USC). But what you don’t know, or maybe forget, is that Namath did not attempt a single pass in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl III. Joe threw 19 touchdowns and 17 interceptions in the regular season, and the Jets were contempt with protecting the ball and running the clock. Barring injury, if Sanchez doesn’t attempt a pass in the fourth quarter against the Colts that’s a very good thing.

The strongest similarity between the 1969 and the 2010 Jets is the Ryan influence on defense. Buddy Ryan, the father of current head coach Rex Ryan, was the linebackers coach of the 1969 version of Gang Green. It was his first job as a professional football coach, and he created multiple blitz packages. The Jets defense forced four interceptions in Super Bowl III, three from Tom Moore and one from the legendary Johnny Unitas. All in all, it was the effort on defense that allowed the Jets to pull off such a momentous upset.

Today it remains the same for the Jets, and their defense will dictate their destiny.

This past week has been long. Longer than any other six-day period I can remember. This game is the biggest Jets game of my life. Sure, the 1998 AFC Championship debacle in Denver can be seen as equally important. But I was just 10 years old, and didn’t yet understand the history of this great game. Now I know that these opportunities are scarce, who knows when the Jets will ever reach this stage again.

Some believe that the Jets are playing with house money and have nothing to lose. My closest friends, including my Dad, have asked me to “enjoy the moment.” But it’s hard to take solace in a loss when you’ve come this far. When opportunity is lingering. When greatness is at stake. This team is special, there’s no doubt about that. Over a two week period it has turned doubters and skeptics like myself into believers.

Unfortunately that means a loss tomorrow would be that much more devastating, but as a Jets fan I wouldn’t expect anything less from the football Gods. Still I’ll kneel and pray to the pigskin prophets this evening in hope of an outcome that would be nothing short of a miracle.

Jets (+8.5) 21 Colts 20

To be perfectly honest I haven’t focused a bit on the NFC matchup this week because to me it doesn’t really matter. It’s a classic “stay-away game,” but if you put a gun to my head I’d say because of the Superdome…

Saints (-3.5) 31 Vikings 20

Rich Ryan

Women’s Basketball: Elon Phoenix vs. Georgia Southern Eagles

Be sure to tune into WSOE’s broadcast of the Elon University Phoenix as they host the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Phoenix currently have a record of 7-11, and are hoping to bounce back from a disappointing 61-60 defeat at the hands of the Wofford Terriers. The game will be called by Tom Waterman and Erik Kendall, and you can listen live to the game at WSOE 89. 3 FM and here on the sports blog under the listen live tab. Also, be sure to check out the live blog during the game here at wsoesports.wordpress.com.

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Matt Curry’s AFC and NFC Title Game Breakdown

My pick for the NFC champs this year will be the Minnesota Vikings because of their outstanding defense led by Jared Allen. They held the cowboys to only three points in their last playoff game and the defense will show how good it truly is this weekend when they play the Saints. Look for the defense to attack the Saint’s offensive line and make Brees uncomfortable in the pocket and possibly creates some turnovers in the backfield. The other and possible more significant reason for why they will win the super bowl is that the Vikings have the one two punch of Favre and Peterson. If you stop one, which is hard to do as it is, the other will burn you and it is hard for any team to keep this offense down for the whole game. The key for the Saints is to limit the damage, but look for the Vikings to lead early, and stay on top. The only advantage I will give to the Saints is that they are playing at the Superdome, which to me is the loudest and hardest place to play in if you are the opposing team. Other than that, look for the Vikings to pull out the victory by a score of 31- 17.

The AFC champs will be the New York Jets. Yes, I said it. The Jets will defeat the Colts on the road to make it to the Super Bowl. The reason for this decision is that the Jets have nothing to lose, and the pressure will be completely on the Colts. Peyton Manning is the one who will have to win this game for the Colts because the Jets will take away the running game, and look for the Jets to have great coverage down the field. It will be hard for Manning to get into a rhythm and I think it will cause this offense some trouble. As for the J-E-T-S, Jets Jets Jets, it is key for them to play to their advantage: the running game, and limited use of Sanchez. The running game will be successful this weekend and it will keep Peyton Manning on the sideline, which is the one place the Jets want to see Manning at. In the end, if Sanchez and the Jets can limit the turnovers and maybe create one or two of their own we will see the Jets win 24-21 over the Colts.

Matt Curry
mcurry3@elon.edu

Elon Women’s Basketball: Elon Phoenix vs. Wofford Terriers

Be sure to tune into WSOE’s broadcast of the Elon University Phoenix as they take on the Wofford Terriers on Monday, January 18th at 7:00 PM in Alumni Gym. The Phoenix are coming off a thrilling 63-61 victory over Furman. Calling Monday’s Game will be broadcasters Craig Filazzola and Rich Ryan. Coverage will begin at 6:45 PM, and with opening tip being at 7:00 PM. Be sure to listen to the game on WSOE 89.3 FM or online at wsoesports.wordpress.com.

Click on the link below to see live updates as they occur during the Basketball Game.

Elon Phoenix vs.Wofford Terriers

Playoffs Round 2

Well wildcard weekend was a disaster for me.  0 for 4?  Didn’t see that coming…  Hopefully I can improve this week.

CARDINALS/Saints – Last week was a wake-up call for me, as I’m sure it was for countless other football fans across the nation.  Kurt Warner is still a great quarterback (I would argue the greatest playoff quarterback in history).  Larry Fitzgerald (as well as the entire Arizona offense) can function without Anquan Boldin, who is expected to play anyway.  I simply cannot pick against this team right now, even away against a Saints team that was once the greatest in the NFL.  The Saints’ offense is still a force to be reckoned with, but I need Drew Brees to prove to me that he can get the gears turning consistently for this team.  The Saints have lost three straight, and not when they were necessarily trying to lose.  I like Arizona in another high-scoring affair, 35-31.

Cowboys/VIKINGS – This game is pretty much impossible to call with confidence.  The Cowboys are the hottest team in the NFL right now, coming off their second convincing win against the Eagles in a row.  Tony Romo has looked fantastic both when pressured and when given time to throw, and the offensive line has been dominating the trenches.  Not to mention the three-headed rushing attack Dallas boasts.  But if there’s any defense in the league that will slow them down, it’s that of the Vikings.  Jared Allen should be able to pressure Romo, and if the secondary can keep up with Miles Austin and Jason Witten, they should be able to force mistakes.  On the other side of the ball, the Vikings’ O-line needs to protect Brett Favre.  He has a lot of confidence after their systematic destruction of the Giants and a lot of rest after the bye.  The Cowboys cannot let Favre get comfortable, but they also cannot ignore one of the league’s premiere rushers in Adrian Peterson.  It’s a coin flip, really, but I’ll take Minnesota, 17-16.

Ravens/COLTS – I love the Ravens.  I love the aggressive, physical play of the defense.  I love Ray Rice and his ability to pick up yards after first contact.  I love Joe Flacco and the way he maintains composure in tough situations.  But the Colts are just too good.  Until Peyton Manning gives me a reason to doubt him, I won’t.  The Ravens got away with running the ball all the time last week because the Patriots couldn’t stop it.  Gary Brackett will not let the defense be that weak against the run.  Put simply, the Colts will dominate both sides of the ball and put an end to the Ravens’ Cinderella story.  Colts win, 34- 14.

Jets/CHARGERS – I must admit that I was very surprised by the Jets’ play last weekend.  Mark Sanchez was effective when asked to perform, and Shonne Green filled in nicely for Thomas Jones’s fatigued legs.  But I believe the Chargers’ defense will be good enough to disrupt the Jets offense.  However, where the Jets do stand a chance is on defense, where Derelle Revis has shut down every wide receiver teams have thrown at him all season.  He handled Chad Ochocinco last weekend; he’ll have no problems with Vincent Jackson.  Antonio Gates should have a good game, and I think LaDanian Tomlinson will be eager to dispel the criticism he has received this year regarding his underwhelming performance.  I give it to the Chargers, 27-20.

Sean Dolan

sdolan2@elon.edu

WSOE Sports

Reality Check (Divisional Picks)

On January 12th, Haiti was ravaged by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. The country, which has been long ignored, is now in panic and in need of support from anyone who can give it.

Pierre Garçon is a Haitian-American. Both of his parents were born in Haiti before emigrating to America, but the majority of his family still lives there. Earlier this week, Garçon heard from some of his extended family, but not everyone is accounted for. Pierre has been very vocal on his twitter account this week, urging people to donate any way they can. At his website he is raising money for a trip to Haiti with a Christian Ministry. Garçon is not a millionaire athlete, being a sixth-round pick he makes just above league minimum. His salary is of course much more than that of an average American, but his ability to give is miniscule compared to the LeBron James’ and Tiger Woods’ of the world.

Garçon is not the only Haitian-American athlete affected by this tragedy.

Jozy Altidore, a striker on the national soccer team, was born to Haitian parents as well. In 2006, Altidore joined fellow Haitian-American Wyclef Jean on a six-day service trip to Haiti. Unlike Garçon, Altidore has yet to hear anything from his friends and family in the Caribbean. Jozy is currently a member of the English Premier League team Hull City, so he is even further from his native people. Altidore is asking everyone for support.

“Put yourself there and imagine how scared and torn you would be,” he said on his twitter. “Please do anything you can to help them. I beg of you.”

Samuel Dalembert of the Philadelphia 76ers was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti before emigrating to Montreal, Quebec. This week Dalembert pledged $100,000 to UNICEF and is going to charter a plane to Haiti as soon as possible to distribute goods and to bring his brother and sister to America. He wanted to go sooner, but the Haitian government is only allowing select planes to land right now.

Dalembert pledged to match any donation made during Friday’s Sixers-Kings game in Philadelphia. The fans donated a total of $30,000.

The situation is tragic, and I echo the pleas of these three men. If you can donate anything, please do so. We Americans are so immeasurably fortunate it’s incredible, the least we can do is show support.



Despite the horrendous events in Haiti, there are still four exciting games on tap this weekend.

ARI (+7) @NO

OK, new playoff rule: Never, ever, ever, ever, ever bet against Kurt Warner and the Cardinals in the playoffs. I am riding the Arizona gravy train until it runs dry. Yes, I know I said last week that “It’s about the here and now.” But the Cardinals are undefeated (5-0) against the spread in the playoffs with Kurt Warner.

The only thing I’m scared of is Deuce McAllister.

How can I be afraid of an inactive running back that was signed yesterday and hasn’t played a snap all season you say? New Orleans needed a spark. All Saints players have heard is negativity since they lost to Dallas at home, and for good reason. This is a team, like Indianapolis, that was flirting with history. Unlike the Colts though, they were all in favor of going for it. Unfortunately they ran into a hot Cowboys team and followed that up with an embarrassing loss at home against Tampa Bay.

Still Drew Brees is Drew Brees, and the Saints can move the ball at will. This game will come down to who plays better defense. Easier said than done, and we all saw how terrible the Cardinals played last week. Still I think that motivates them to step up and play better this week. Jonathan Vilma is the best defensive player on New Orleans. Say what you want about Darren Sharper, but he was often lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to make key interceptions. Vilma flies around the field and tackles everything that moves. Unfortunately for him and the Saints, the Cardinals will force him to be in coverage by sending Steve Breaston and last week’s hero Early Doucet over the middle early and often.

Overall, in a game where both offenses are capable of putting up crazy numbers, I’m going to take a touchdown whenever I get it. Give me the points.

Cardinals 28 Saints 24

Sidenote: The over/under is 57 in this game…the largest NFL over/under in 20 years (before then, records weren’t kept). Please take the under


@IND (-6.5) v BAL

It’s funny how important a point, or even a half of a point is. If this game were seven-points or more, I’d be tempted to take the Ravens. However, Peyton Manning is worth seven himself.

The Ravens do match up well with the Colts. They play physical and will not allow Dallas Clark and Austin Collie to freelance over the middle without having their heads on a swivel. Ray Rice may have finally become a household name after his 83-yard touchdown run to open up last week’s game against New England. But the hip injury Joe Flacco is battling is very worrisome. Adam Schefter reported today that Flacco had to stand the entire flight home from Oakland in Week 17 because his hip was so enflamed. He almost didn’t play last week against the Patriots, and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are light-years better than any pass rusher New England sent at him then. I doubt he’ll walk away today unscathed.

Many will point back to Week 11 and say the Ravens are a lock to cover. Don’t forget that game was played outdoors in Baltimore, not inside in Indianapolis. The NFL’s MVP is surely excited to play a full 60-minutes, and it’s hard for me to see him losing this one.

Colts 31 Ravens 10


DAL (+3) @MIN

I just picked the Cowboys to win the Super Bowl last week, and I won’t renege now.

Dallas’ front seven continued their dominance last week against Philadelphia. DeMarcus Ware (2 sacks), Anthony Spencer (1 sack) and Bradie James (1 sack) all pressured McNabb continuously. The running game was superb as well, even though Marion Barber’s time was limited. Felix Jones (148 yd) and Tashard Choice (42 yd) both scored, and these two younger, fresher backs are much more explosive than Barber anyway.

Roy E. Williams was…wait for it…reliable throughout the game too. Miles Austin and Jason Witten draw coverage away from the 6′-3″ Texas native and if he musters the ability to catch the football he can then effectively move the chains. Offensive efficiency has been key to the Cowboys success in the second half of the season. Tony Romo has thrown only two interceptions since Thanksgiving.

More importantly, Romo finally has a playoff win.

Brett Favre has a few of those, and the only reason the Vikings sent head coach Brad Childress to pick him up at the airport was to win some more. The Favre-Childress marriage became rocky when the two butted heads after a loss to the Carolina Panthers in December though, and Minnesota finished the season 2-3. Adrian Peterson hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards since November 15th either. That’s two months.

To win the Vikings will have to score, score and score some more. If the game goes over (46) Minnesota will win more times than not, but the Dallas defense shouldn’t let that happen. I have a feeling Favre will finally throw that big interception too, followed by Joe Buck hitting us with the, “He just loves to have fun!” line.

I’m not bitter or anything, I promise.

Cowboys 17 Vikings 14

Rich Ryan

WSOE Sports

Elon Phoenix vs. Furman Paladins

The Elon Phoenix Women’s Basketball team took to the court in Alumni Gym on Saturday to face the visiting Furman Paladins.

The starting lineups for each team are as follows:

Furman Paladins

Guard Lee Stevens

Guard Raegan Thompson

Kali Holtfretter

Center Susan Troutman

Center Lakyn Ledfor

Elon Phoenix

Guard Ali Ford

Guard Kallie Hovatter

Guard Tiffany Davis

Forward Kelsey Evans

Forward Urysla Cotton

At the 15:43 mark in the first half, Furman has used a quick, early run to get out to an 11-4 lead. The Paladins have been on fire from the start as they are shooting 80% (4-5) from the field and 66% (2-3) from three. Every single point has come from guard Lee Stephens, who has yet to miss on six attempts.Meanwhile, Elon is having a tough time getting shots to drop as they are only shooting 17% (2-12).

With 12:01 remaining, the Phoenix shooting struggles continue as they are still down, 18-6. Stephens has still yet to miss for Furman and has 14 points now to lead all scorers. Hovatter, Davis, and Lei Lei Hairston all have two points for Elon.

With 6:24 left in the first half, Elon is trailing the Paladins by a score of 25-16. The home team is using their deep bench to get all of their players involved as 13 Phoenix have taken the court. Coach Karen Barefoot is trying to get some fresh legs out on the floor. Four players have two points for Elon while Stephens still leads Furman with 15. Kendra Berry has come off the bench for Furman and has six points herself.

The first half is winding down and Elon is making a serious push to get back into this game. Thanks to high pressure on defense from a full court press and shots starting to drop, Elon is only down three as Furman leads 32-29. Ali Ford has caught fire in this game and has scored 11 points in a four minute span. Courtney Medley has also given the Phoenix some life as she has contributed nine points and is perfect from three point range (3-3). The full court press has derailed the Paladin’s offense and caused them to make more and more turnovers. Both teams have 11 so far.

At the half, Elon has made this a ball game again as they only trail by a score of 36-32. Elon’s defense has been outstanding in causing pressure. Lee Stephens has not been able to get off any more clean, open shots as every single attempt of hers is met with a hand in her face. This ferocious defensive front has also limited the Paladin’s shot attempts. Furman has a much better shooting percentage than Elon (56%-36%) but the Phoenix have kept it close because they have gotten off more shots (36 attempts for Elon, 25 for Furman).  Ali Ford leads Elon with 15 points. She and Courtney Medley each have all of Elon’s three threes.

Just less than five minutes in to the second half, Elon has continued their hustling play to condense the lead to one. Furman now only leads 42-41. Elon has destroyed the Paladins on the boards the entire game, leading 25-14. One thing that Elon needs to try and do better is get to the free throw line. Furman is 5-9 from the line but the Phoenix only have one free throw attempt (which Ali Ford missed). If they get to the line more, that can only help the Phoenix establish a lead.

With 6:47 remaining, Elon is still down one to Furman, 54-53. It has been a back and forth battle so far in the second half; one team scores and another answers right back. Their is a great deal of excitement in Alumni Gym today as a larger than average crowd is getting veri involved in the game. Elon really has a home court advantage today.

With 3:55 left in the game .Elon has jumped ahead to take a 60-55 lead. Ali Ford has been great for Elon all game, scoring 23 points on the Paladins and dishing seven assists. Lee Stephens of Furman has had little second half success as Elon’s defense is still giving her fits.  Kendra Berry has done a good job trying to step up for the Paladins, contributing ten points, but Elon now seems to have an answer for anything they throw their way.

Elon has defeated Furman 63-61. Furman made a late push to try and catch Elon, but it was too little too late. Elon’s next game is at home against Wofford on Monday, the 18th, at 7:00 PM.