Thursday, December 8, 2016

Denial of Las Vegas Golden Knights Trademark Name is Ridiculous!

The US Patent and Trademark Office has denied the use of the Golden Knights by the new NHL team in Las Vegas. This is a ridiculous decision and makes me wonder who makes these types of decisions.

According to the reason given for the trademark denial was that the name was too close to the Golden Knights name used by the College of Saint Rose. Once again, are the people who made this decision playing with a full deck of cards (no pun intended)?

Multiple Sports Teams Use the Same Name

As noted by ESPN, there are numerous uses of team nicknames used by multiple names. The Tigers are used by Detroit's MLB team as well as LSU sports teams. 

The name Cardinals is used by Arizona's NFL team and St. Louis's MLB team.

The name Bruins is used by Boston's NHL team and UCLA's sports teams. 

The name Hurricanes is used by Carolina's NHL team and the University of Miami's sports teams. 

The name Panthers is used by Carolina's NFL team and Florida's NHL team.

I can go on and on but this post is not meant to be a list of all teams that have the same nickname. The intent is show that the decision to deny the Las Vegas hockey team the use Golden Knights name is ridiculous, stupid and ignorant.

It shows me that their is no consistency with Patent and Trademark Office when making decisions to accept or deny team names.

This Decision is Flawed

The team has the right to appeal the decision and they will. My guess is that they will win on appeal, especially if there is a credible and rational person who hears the appeal.

I would like to see the Patent and Trademark Office issue an explanation as to why they allowed multiple sports teams to use the same names before this decision. They should explain why other sports teams can use the same name but not the NHL's Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Going forward, does this set a precedence for other sports teams when they are deciding what nickname to use.

Some things just baffle me. I know that in the large scheme of things this is not a big deal but it's stupid decisions like this that make me mad because they are so stupid and flawed.

As mentioned earlier, I do think that the Las Vegas Knights will prevail in the end but a lot more money and time will have been expended in appealing this stupid decision.

It would have been nice if the Patent and Trademark Office had gotten this right Wednesday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Vikings Losses - What's to Blame?

During the Minnesota Vikings current tail spin and free fall from top of the NFC North much has been made of the injuries the team has sustained, most notably to the Offensive Line (hammered again and again by injuries),Adrian Peterson and Teddy Bridgewater.

To be fair, many teams have been faced with major issues. Some how the good teams find a way to win games. The Vikings weren't complaining too much when they won five games in a row. They seemed to relish in the fact that they were winning despite their injuries.

It's the Offensive Line's Fault for the Losses?

The Vikings have gone 1-6 in their last six games. Now the Vikings world wants us to know that their offensive line has been decimated and been offensive. 

The critics of the Offensive line might be on to something. The Vikings have been terrible in the running game all year and Sam Bradford has to be Superman in order to get a pass off before he's pummeled, sacked and knocked around.

So the injuries to the Offensive Line have had an impact but let's go back over the years. Aren't we talking every season and post-season about the putrid offensive line and their lack of protection for their quarterbacks?

How many quarterbacks of years past spent more time on their hiney than on their feet? So, while we blame injuries on the offensive line's problems this season, maybe we should ponder (no pun intended) that there's more at play than injuries alone.

Other Issues to Blame?

Where do I start? There are many issues that have come in to play with the Vikings past 6 losses. Special Teams, defensive breakdowns and untimely mistakes by the offense have all come into play.

It's important to note that the Vikings had a chance of winning four of their six losses (Detroit twice, Washington and Dallas).

Before Blair Walsh was released for stinking up the field due to missed extra points and field goals, we blamed him for the team's losses. He sure had a hand in them but in some of those games, the Vikings still had chances to win those games.

The defense has also blown some games with last second touchdown drives by their opponents and missed opportunities to close out games. Don't get me wrong, the defense has been the star of this team and have kept them in games that they had no place being in but they have also had their breakdowns. 

Then there's Adam Thielen's fumble while trying to catch a punt that cost the team last Thursday's game to the Dallas Cowboys. There's also some untimely interceptions that Bradford has thrown. Sam has been great in keeping interceptions to a minimum but with little room for error any interception is a killer for the Vikings, especially if it occurs in the red zone or in the end zone!

I could go on and on but when I have to determine what's to blame for the Vikings losses, I conclude that the whole team is to blame. That may be cop-out but that's how I see it.

There's a lot of blame and bad luck to go around with this team. The Vikings could easily be an 8-4 team heading into week 14. What's kept them from that record is bad plays by many players on both sides of the line!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

In a Word for the Week of 02-29-2016 – Peyton Manning Retiring

Welcome to another In a Word posting. In a Word is a weekly recap of the week’s major sports stories (each story recapped in one word).

The news that dominated the end of this past week in sports has to be Peyton Manning's announcement regarding his future in the NFL. NFL fans have been waiting for his decision since the Denver Broncos won Super Bowl 50.

Peyton Manning has given NFL fans lots and lots of memories. On Saturday, Peyton informed the Denver Broncos that he will be retiring. He will officially announce his retirement on Monday.

Sports fans will argue with one another where Peyton’s place is among the greatest quarterbacks. For me, he has to be in the top three but where he belongs is a tough one to call. My top three are Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Joe Montana.

Many sports fans will argue with my ranking. Ranking NFL quarterbacks is one that includes lots of bias. I wasn’t around to watch some the greats of past generations. The game was also different 40 years ago. So rankings are based on who we’ve grown up watching.

Now let’s get to the recap. Funny thing with our post Super Bowl recaps is that the NFL continues to dominate our recaps. The headlines range from players getting into trouble, being released or retiring.

(NFL) DenverBroncos – Offer

(NFL) TonyRomo – Surgery

(NFL) AtlantaFalcons – Idiotic

(NFL) – TerrellSuggs – Arrested

(MLB) JenryMeija – Ridiculous

(UFC) – NateDiaz – Shocker

(UFC) Meisha Tate – Champion

 (NCAAB) Bo Ryan – Cleared

(NCAAB) BenSimmons – Ineligible

(NFL) PeytonManning – Retiring

(NFL) TreMason - Zapped

(NFL) JosephRandle – Busted

(NFL) BuffaloBills - Released

(NCAAF) Lovie Smith
- Illinois

We look forward to another week in sports!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Minnesota Wild – Oh So Close But Rejected Again

The past two games for the Minnesota Wild have seen the team come close to winning games. Instead of victories, the Wild have come up on the short end of the stick in three consecutive games.

Now Wild fans are left to debate if the Wild team we’ve seen in the past three games is the real Wild team or is it just bad luck for the team that sees itself four points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.

Wild Lose At Home To New York Islanders

On Tuesday night, the Minnesota Wild came so close toforcing Overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers when a Charlie Coyle shot intoa nearly empty net was reviewed. It looked like a goal at first glance but after an official review it was ruled that there was no goal. The Wild came 1.6 seconds from securing at least one point.

Philadelphia netminder Michal Neuvirth made an incredible save adding to a list of steals he made all night long.

The Wild had their chances. Goals that seemed like an inevitability didn’t materialize. We shouldn’t be surprised. This is the Wild we’ve become used to in the past couple of months. The four game winning streak that ended with a victory over the Blackhawks last Sunday saw the Wild netting goal after goal.

Minnesota Wild Stymied By Washington Capitals

On Friday night against the Washington Capitals, the Wild played well for two periods and had a lead in the third period but in typical Wild fashion, a couple of breakdowns led to two Washington goals and in a blip the Wild had recorded their third consecutive loss.

The theme has been the same. Scoring goals has been a problem, even when the Wild have had numerous chances!

Once again Alex Ovechkin scored a big goal! The goal tied the score in the third period and it was Ovechkin's 40th goal of the season. With the goal,  Ovechkin 10th player in NHL history to score fourty goals in eight seasons.

Ovechkin has scored four of his forty goals in the past two meetings between the Wild and Capitals. In fact those games have come just weeks apart of each other.

Has this been the real Minnesota Wild? It might be. In the past two months, the Wild were arguably one of the better team s that out chanced their opponents. The problem is that they were near the bottom of actually scoring goals.

Has the real Wild Resurfaced?

The Real Minnesota Wild Has Resurfaced

It looks like Minnesota is reverting back to the team that got Mike Yeo fired. This team of underachievers is set to give the coaching staff fits. Some fans thought that the worst was over, especially when they went on a four game winning streak.

In the team’s winning streak, they scored 5+ goals in each game. With the exception of the Chicago Blackhawks the Wild faced inferior opponents. Those opponents were perfect for a team looking to rebound from nearly two months of losing.

Now the Wild have faced credible opponents and will continue to do so. We’re seeing the same old team that failed to score goals the past couple of months. Things don’t get easier as the Wild face the league’s best team, the Washington Capitals.

The Wild have to win and win now. They have to find a way to score goals.

Wild Have Remarkable Ability Of Making Opposing Goalies Look Great

On paper and with the naked eye, Neuvirth looked great against the Wild. On his game winning save that was ruled a no goal, he looked great. Let’s slow down a little bit. The Wild are inept. In the no goal ruling, all Coyle had to do is one-time the puck into an open net. Instead he controlled the puck and shot. That extra second gave Neuvirth enough time to make a great save.

The Wild have built up a reputation as team that out chances their opponents. Someone must tell them to score goals. Especially when a goal is almost impossible to miss.  The Wild have an uncanny ability of making opposing goalies look great.

It’s still a small sample size of games since Mike Yeo was fired. The Wild came out firing in the first four games after John Torchetti took over as interim head coach. The past three games have seen this team revert back to the team that saw Mike Yeo get fired.

It’s looking more and more like this is a player issue and not a head coaching issue. The players have difficulty putting a full 60 minutes together and they may not be as talented as we thought they were.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The NFL Can Force Change By Hitting A Player Like Vontaze Burfict In Their Pocket

Vontaze Burfict of the Cincinnati Bengals was suspended for three games for his dirty hit on Antonio Brown in the closing moments of the AFC wild-card game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Burfict’s believes that he was flagged because of his bad reputation as a dirty player.
I’m not going to argue why I think that Burfict’s hit was dirty. I’ve already writtenan article about that. I will argue that the only thing that matters is if Burfict is true to his word and changes the way he plays.

Hit A Dirty Player Where it Counts

The NFL can force players to change their dirty playing by hitting the player where it counts most, which is their wallet. It doesn’t matter if the NFL changes the player’s opinion. The only thing that matters is if the player changes the way he plays the game.

In Burfict’s case, he will have to sit out the first three games of the 2016 NFL season due to his three game suspension (for the hit on Brown). That’s sure to put a dent in Burfict’s wallet.

As for Burfict’s reputation. Sure it plays a part. If a player makes too many dirty plays, then the officials will take notice and flag a player every time his hit looks dirty. The NFL will also increase the penalties it dishes out to the dirty player based on that player’s reputation.

That’s exactly what happened in Burfict’s case. The NFL wins here. They don’t need to try and force the player to agree with them. They only have force the player to change the way they play the game.

Let’s be honest, if Burfict fails to change the way he plays the game, he will continue to be suspended and even banned form the game.

Is Vontaze Burfict Playing victim

I do believe that Burfict sounds like he’s trying to portray himself as a victim. I don’t think that he thinks that there was anything wrong with the hit on Brown. By saying that if he wasn’t #55 he wouldn’t have been flagged for the hit, he is excusing his actions and blaming the officials for flagging him, only because of his reputation. That’s bogus.

While I don’t believe that the officials targeted Burfict because of his reputation, I do think that the NFL considered his reputation when handing out his suspension. I do think that the NFL does believe that his hit was dirty. I don’t think that anyone is picking on Vontaze. They are picking on his actions and making him pay for it.

Now Vontaze might actually get it. If he doesn’t play within the rules, the NFL will continue to fine and suspend him. He has no choice if he wants to receive a paycheck. That’s the beauty of suspensions. They hit the dirty player where it counts. That’s one of the only ways to force a player to change the way they play.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

In A Word For The Week OF 02-15-16 – Retiring

It’s time for another In a Word posting. In a Word is a weekly recap of the week’s major sports stories (each major story in one word).

Even in the offseason there’s enough NFL news. Many times during the offseason we read about players’ criminal activity. There doesn’t seem to be a shortage of those stories. There was one story of player criminal behavior this past week. I’m sure there will be more going forward.

The stories that really dominated NFL news this week were the number of players that retired! It’s usually a time to reflect on the player’s career when we’ve watched that player during their career.

We’re more than just an NFL weekly recap (although the NFL sometimes dominates the recap).
Let’s hope that feel good stories dominate the news this offseason.

Now for the recap.

(NFL) Jarod Mayo – Retiring

(NFL) Roger Goodell – Rich

(Boxing) Manny Pacquiao – Disgusting

(NFL) Jared Allen – Retiring

(BPL) Manchester United Fans – Curse

(NFL) Los Angeles Rams – Cut

(NFL) Heath Miller – Retires

(NHL) Jaromir Jagr – Third

(NFL) Joeseph Randle – Criminal

(NFL) Johnny Manziel – Video

(Bundesliga) – Bayer Leverkusen vs. Borussia Dortmund – Halt

(NHL) Minnesota Wild – Hot

(NBA) Anthony Davis – Amazing

(NASCAR) Denny Hamlin – Inches

We hope that you return next week for another In a Word recap.

The Minnesota Wild Loved Their First NHL Stadium Series Game

Minnesota Wild fans have waited many years to host an outdoor game. They've also waited for a home win in 2016. Wild fans saw their team's first ever stadium series game and they saw their team win a home game. 

The Wild entered the game on a three game winning streak that saw the Wild score five goals in each game. Today at TCF Bank Stadium, Wild fans saw their team torch the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks. They beat their Nemesis 6-1. The Blackhawks were never in this game.

John Torchetti Has Put the Torch In The Wild

There's no question that since John Torchetti has taken over as the interim head coach of the Minnesota Wild, that the team has played with a sense of urgency and energy.

The offense has exploded as Torchetti has allowed players to play their game and awarded players that have produced with more playing time. The players have responded and seem to be rejoicing in their new found freedom to play their own brand of offense.

Eric Haula has blossomed into the offensive player that Wild fans knew he was capable of becoming. For me the player that has responded the most is Jason Pominville. He had struggled to net a goal and he's now scored multiple goals since Torchetti took over the reins of the team.

The Wild have not only won games but they've exploded as far as scoring goals is concerned. For this Wild fan, it's been amazing to see the team score five goals or more in the last four games.

The Minnesota Wild Passed Their Biggest Test Since Torchetti

Today's game against the mighty Blackhawks was the team's biggest test since Torchetti took over. This was a huge with a capital H test for the Wild and the Wild passed this test with flying colors.

The Wild destroyed the Blackhawks. The mighty team today was the Wild.

Going into today's game, I didn't feel the Wild would win. The Blackhawks always seem to have Minnesota's number in big games. I was fearful that the momentum that the Wild had gained would disappear.

I'm extremely happy that I was wrong. This was the type of game that will hopefully give the Wild even more confidence as they face tough competition going forward.

It's a Wrap

I'm not going to feel too comfortable yet. This is the Wild we're talking about but I do see major signs of improvement with this team.

The Minnesota Wild have shown their fans that they are capable of playing great hockey. This team has improved in each of their past four games.

The Wild are now back in the playoff race and if they can continue to play the way they have the past four games, there's no reason to believe that they won't make the playoffs.

Before I sign off from writing this post, Wild fans should keep Jason Zucker in their thoughts and prayers. Let's hope that Zucker is fine.