Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday: Hot Tips

Happy Friday, everyone!

Here are some sports tips to chew on:

> First up: the World Series. It's now tied at one game apiece. Talk about how tough (and it is tough) to win in Philadelphia. It's a passionate sports town and the Phils are the defending champions. Despite the loss last night, the team still seems to have its swagger. Why? Because they split the two games at Yankee Stadium and now have the advantage. The Yankees can get it back by winning 2 of 3 in Philly.

> Next up: Brett Favre returns to Green Bay but this time as an opponent. Favre (Far-ve) played for the GB Packers from 1992 - 2008 (when he retired the first time). Now, he's playing for the Minnesota Vikings and that's a brutal rivalry. Favre and the Vikings beat the Packers in Minneapolis a few weeks ago. This time, the game is in Green Bay. How will Favre be treated? Will that make a difference in his game?

> Finally, some Friday slang: pump fake. This is technique that quarterbacks often use as a tactic to allow their receivers to break away from defensive coverage. A QB will pull his arm back and bring the ball forward like they're going throw it but they don't release. Moments later, they pull their arm back actually do throw the ball and, hopefully, find a receiver who is now open. By the way, Brett Favre is a QB who's very good at the pump fake.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

To the Bronx We Go!

Goooood afternoon! Here's the KQ Sports BBQ tip of the day:

> Talk about how tonight is a must win for the Yankees. The Phillies made it look REALLY easy in their win last night on the road (meaning the Phils were the visiting team). The Yankees lost at home.

> In a 7 game World Series schedule, the games are played 2 - 3 -2. That means the first two games are played in NY, the next 3 games (if all are needed) are played in Philadelphia, and -- if needed -- the final two games are played in NY.

> Because as many as 4 games could be played in NY, that gives the Yankees home field advantage. How and why did they get it? Because the American League beat the National League in the All-Star game in '09. That's how World Series home field advantage is now decided in Major League Baseball.

Tomorrow, we chat about football and perhaps some more baseball from the World Series.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The World Series!

The charcoal got a bit wet in the rain so it took a little longer to fire up the grill today but, wait no more. The World Series is here!

It's the NY Yankees vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. Here are some things to chat about:

> These are two teams that can generate some serious offense. Sports Illustrated is referring to it as The Big Bash because of Phillies' Ryan Howard and the Yanks' Alex Rodriguez. Both can hit "taters" or "the long ball" = home runs.

> Talk about the importance of winning Game #1. This is a best of 7 series but in the last several years, whichever team won the first game won the series. So Game #1 could be VERY important.

> Ask who the unsung hero could be. There's often an unexpected player who steps up and comes through and turns the tide of the Series.

That's enough tasty treats for now. Until tomorrow, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Sports Convergence


Today's tip from the BBQ: convergence. Fall is the time of year when there is a convergence of sports. So much is happening and I want to show you how plentiful the sports topics are:

> Major League Baseball (MLB) - The World Series begins tomorrow night
> National Football League (NFL) - The season is almost at the halfway mark
> National Basketball Association (NBA) - The season tips off tonight
> National Hockey League (NHL) - The season is well underway
> Major League Soccer (MLS) - Teams are in the playoffs

And those are just the professional leagues. Think about how many collegiate teams and leagues are at play!

There's no shortage of things to talk about right now. Talk about the upcoming World Series between the Yankees and the Phillies. Talk about what changes/improvements NFL teams (like the Chicago Bears) need to make in order to make the playoffs. Discuss whether the Lakers (and their team leader, Kobe Bryant) can repeat as the NBA champions and if the Pittsburgh Penguins (and Sidney Crosby) can again rise to take the NHL crown. Talk about your favorite college or university teams.

So, there is a convergence of sports this time of year. It really is magical!

That's it from the grill today. Tomorrow, we talk about the World Series!

Until then, enjoy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday = Slang

Hi (non) sports fans,

Today's tip of the day is a piece of slang that I heard a lot of yesterday.

While watching the Bengals pummel the Bears yesterday, the commentators kept talking about Cedric Benson "running downhill". What that means is that he's powerful runner and he had a full head of steam when he hit the line i.e. when he came into contact with the opposing team's defensive line. So, in other words, he's running so well, so effortlessly, he's making his runs look he's running downhill.

More tips and info tomorrow.

The grill is now closed but we'll be open in the a.m.

G'nite and enjoy!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Player and a Scholar

Amongst college students, you don't hear enough about the student - athlete. Here's a great story about one who not only deferred going to the NFL, but he also has big plans for his future...after the NFL.

Chat it up. It's good for all of us to remember that there's the game and then there's the game of life.

Sunday NFL

Big games today, friends!

> Just for fun, let's start across the pond. Yup, London is hosting the game between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is the third year that NFL teams have squared off in London. This one, however, may not be much of a game. The Buccaneers haven't won a game yet so, barring a major effort and upset, the Patriots should win in Wembley Stadium.

> The undefeated Minnesota Vikings take on the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers. ESPN is calling it "The Battle in the 'Burgh". Count on it. The Vikes quarterback is Brett Favre (FAR-ve). The Steelers QB is Ben Roethlisberger (ROTH-lis-burger). He's only 27 but he's already been on 2 Super Bowl winning teams. I wouldn't be surprised if this one's a shoot-out, which means the quarterbacks will be throwing a lot and there could be a lot of scoring.

> ALCS - This MLB game was rained out last night so the Yankees have the chance to close it out against the Angels. If they do, the Yanks advance to the World Series to face the Philadelphia Phillies.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday match ups

Good morning! Step on up to the grill because we're serving up some specials today.

First course:
> College football. #1 ranked Florida has at least 3 starters who are out and that could be tough to overcome. #2 Alabama takes on Tennessee. The Volunteers (TN) are unranked but their fiery coach, Lane Kiffin, would love nothing more than to pull an upset. #6 Iowa has been a bit of a surprise this season so their game against Michigan State, which has beaten Michigan, could be very telling. Finally, #6 Cincinnati has been a true Cinderella this season but, alas, their quarterback was injured last week so it will be interesting to see if Cincy can take Louisville this week giving their QB time to heal and maintain their unbeaten status.

Second course:
> ALCS - American League Championship Series. It's Game 6 at Yankee Stadium tonight with the Yanks taking on the Angels. The Yanks are up 3 games to 2 and can close it out tonight in the best of 7 series but the Angels have momentum aka "The Big Mo". Two nights ago they survived a Yankee comeback and rallied to beat the pinstripes (nickname for the Yankees). Should be a fun one to watch.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Closing It Out

Hot topics coming off the grill today; we're talking slang.

When people talking about the playoffs (baseball, football, hockey, etc.), you will hear them say things like:
> "They've got to finish it."
> "Its time to close it out."
> "They've got to get OR They have the killer instinct."

What these terms typically mean is one team has the other team down, they have the advantage in the series and they use that leverage, that energy, that adrenaline, that confidence to close out the series.

In the case of Major League Baseball, The Phillies did that to the Dodgers the other night. Last night, the Yankees could not do that to the Angels. It was a wild game. The Angels jumped out in front, the Yankees came back and took the lead. What they couldn't do, however, was "finish it" or "close it out".

So, they go onto game 6 in the series and return to the Bronx and Yankee Stadium. NY will have the advantage. The question is, will they have the killer instinct and the ability to finish and close out the Angels.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Name The Stars

Thanks for stopping by the grill!

Here are the tips of the day:

> The NY Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies are close to clinching a berth in the World Series. Both teams are just 1 win away. The stars for the Yankees have been: Alex Rodriguez (also known as A-Rod), C.C. Sabathia (pitcher who has won 2 games in the series with the Angels) and Derek Jeter. This isn't to take anything away from the other players but A-Rod has performed extremely well and turned in a great post-season performance.

> On the Phillies side, shortstop Jimmy Rollins has had some clutch hits and Ryan Howard (a real slugger) and ESPN reports that Howard has 14 RBIs (runs batted in) in the 2009 post season and he's reach base safely in 17 straight playoff games. That's not a fluke; that's talent.

Enjoy the grub! We'll turn up the flame more tomorrow.

Monday, October 19, 2009


This afternoon, the BBQ grill is serving up Major League Baseball and Football. Tonight be on the look out for:

> How the Angels fare against the Yankees. The Angels are down 2 games to 0 against the Yanks in the American League Championship Series, which is Major League Baseball. It's best of 7 so if they don't bounce back today, the odds are heavily stacked against them for coming back and winning.

>Whether the L.A. Dodgers can come back against the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in the National League Championship Series. The Phils CREAMED the Dodgers last night, which can be deflating. It'll be interesting to see if the Dodgers can let go of that loss and start fresh tonight. They need to if they want to avoid getting into a 3 games to 1 hole.

> The San Diego Chargers vs. The Denver Broncos in Monday Night Football. The Broncos are undefeated and some pundits are SHOCKED by that. This is a big rivalry and it will be telling if San Diego's running back, LaDainian Tomlinson, and quarterback, Philip Rivers, can deliver great performances.


Saturday, October 17, 2009

NFL match ups + NFLers wear pink

Thanks for stopping by the grill today. Here are today's big NFL match-ups:

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cleveland Browns - tip: Troy Polamalu, one of the best safeties (and players) in the league is back for the Steelers. Talk about his impact on the Steeler team.

Baltimore Ravens vs. Minnesota Vikings - tip: Brett Favre and the Vikings are undefeated but they're going up against a great linebacker. Ray Lewis may be in his 30's but he's one of the hardest hitters in the league. Chat up that match up.

New Orleans Saints vs. NY Giants - tip: Eli Manning, the quarterback for the Giants returns to his hometown of New Orleans to take on the Saints. He's been fighting an injury but is nearly 100%. The Saints QB, Drew Brees, is at the top of his game. This game could be a real shoot-out between the offenses. Talk about how these two QBs could rally their teams and what weapons they have. Giants: Brandon Jacobs. Saints: Marques Colston.

Chicago Bears vs. Atlanta Falcons - tip: the Bears lost a heartbreaker last season to Atlanta. The Bears would love revenge and they feel they have the QB who could help them pull it out. Jay Cutler is the QB for the Bears. Matt Ryan QBs the Falcons. Ryan was offensive rookie of the year last year and this year, he has additional weapon: tight end Tony Gonzalez, who joined the Falcons from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Finally, as you've watch the games this month, you have hopefully have noticed that many NFL players are wearing some pink accessories: gloves, cleats, shoelaces, sweat bands, etc. Hats off to the NFL and Tayna Snyder. It's a great tip of the helmet to an important medical issue and cause. Read more here.

ND vs. USC and The Red River Shootout

Good morning!

I'm getting a later start than intended. It took me a little while to light the charcoal this morning. But now that the grill is smokin', let's throw some burgers on.

If you find yourself in need of a topic/tip this afternoon or tonight, talk about this afternoon's game between Notre Dame and USC. This is a fantastic long-standing rivalry. In previous years, USC has been dominant and the Irish have taken it on the chin. This year, though, the Irish have pulled off some exciting 4th quarter comebacks. The game is at South Bend so ND could have an edge. However, never count out USC. They typically have talent and speed to spare.

Second tip:
Speaking of rivalries, chat up the Red River Shootout. That's the annual college football clash between the Texas Longhorns and the Oklahoma Sooners. It's a fierce rivalry between two nationally ranked teams. Texas is undefeated and ranked #3. Oklahoma has lost this season and is ranked #20.

Both quarterbacks, Colt McCoy of Texas and Sam Bradford of Oklahoma, are stars. Bradford won the Heisman Trophy last year and McCoy was a candidate last year and this year. The key is that Bradford has been injured this year. In fact, he's already been knocked out of today's game.

Talk about the impact of Bradford's absence in the game today, how his back up did (or didn't) step up and whether Colt McCoy rose (or fell) with the pressure today.

Other big college match-ups today: Iowa vs. Wisconsin, South Carolina vs. Alabama and Ohio State vs. Purdue.

Tomorrow, we chat about the NFL games.

Enjoy your Saturday!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hey Batter, Batter, Batter...Swing!

Tip of the day:

The National League Championship Series (NLCS) and the American League Championship Series (ALCS) are each best of 7. A team's has to win 4 games to advance to the World Series.

The Dodgers and Phillies are now knotted at 1 game each in the NLCS.

In the ALCS, the Yankees and Angels are playing their first game tonight. (Yanks are up 4 -1 ). The Angels have not played terribly well tonight; they've had 3 errors tonight and some other costly miscues.

More hot BBQ tips tomorrow.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Catching up...

I'm a day behind so I've got a little catch up to do.

Tips of the day(s):
#1: The LA Dodgers and taking on the Philadelphia Phillies. Joe Torre is the manager of the Dodgers. This is his second season with L.A. after spending from 1996 - 2007 managing the NY Yankees. He helped lead the Yankees to 4 World Series titles. Now, his LA Dodgers are taking on the defending World Series Champs. Ask whether Torre or Charlie Manuel, the Phillies manager, has the edge. Manuel doesn't have as many titles but he's experienced and a sage.

(If the Dodgers end up playing the Yankees in the World Series, we'll have lots to talk about!)

#2 Aaron Rodgers may not have lead his Green Bay Packers to a win against their former teammate, Brett Favre, and the Vikings but he's got a lot going for him. Rodgers has been sacked (tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he could throw the ball) more times than any other quarterback in the National Football League this year. Still, he has nothing but words of support for his offensive line (those are the guys up front who protect him: guards, tackles, the center, etc.) He could have thrown his offensive line under the bus (you already know that that means) but he didn't. He talked yesterday about the trust and confidence that he has in them. He demonstrated that there's no 'I' in team. (You know what that means, too.)

Servin'em up two at a time today. The BBQ grill is back on tomorrow.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What to Watch

I completely understand if you don't like or enjoy sports. Maybe, however, you like films.

First tip of the day:
There are several documentary films coming up on ESPN that feature some outstanding directors/storytellers. Tonight's featured piece, "The Band That Wouldn't Die", is from Barry Levinson, the Oscar-award winning director. The film is, in part, about when the Baltimore Colts fled the city in the middle of the night and moved to Indianapolis. However, it's told through the team's beloved marching band, which refused to quit even when the team left.

Second tip:
Yes, the Indianapolis Colts once really were the Baltimore Colts.

Read more about ESPN's series, 30 on 30.

The briquettes will be hot again tomorrow. More to come then.

Until then, enjoy!

Monday, October 12, 2009

MLB Match Ups

Hello, friends!

Here's the tip of the day:

Chat about the fact that the match ups between National League and American League Championship Series are now set. The National League and American League each have 3 divisions: East, Central and West. Each division crowns a winner and then a wild-card team, which is whichever team has next best winning percentage.

So, those four teams engage in the divisional championship series. The two winning teams then play for the League Championship series.

In the American League, it's the NY Yankees vs. The LA Angels of Anaheim.

In the National League, it's the Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Phillies won the World Series last year so they are the defending champs.

Chat it up and enjoy the hot tips comin' off the BBQ.

More soon...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Columbus Day chatter

Perhaps you're working tomorrow and need a few tips for what to say when sports comes up.

The Yankees sweep the Twins, and the Angels sweep the Red Sox in a best of 3 series. Is this the year the Yankees are back? Do they finally have the right alchemy of talent to take it all the way. The league championship series are up next.

A Kenyan broke the course record by 1 second and won an additional $100K. He apparently is going to donate the money to under-privileged children in Africa.

8300 of the runners raised money for charities. How amazing is that?

Brett Favre just turned 4-0. His Minnesota team is 5 and 0 (undefeated). In all of his years in the NFL, Brett Favre has never started a season 5 - 0.

The Cincinnati Bengals have won 4 games this season, 3 of them they've pulled out in the 4th quarter. (if you're not aware, this is a team that used to be called the "Bungles".) The Big Cats may well be back. Huzzah!

4.) The Denver Broncos may be for real! They beat the Patriots in overtime (OT).

Talk it up, folks.

Happy Columbus Day and come back and see us at the BBQ.

Friday, October 9, 2009


First my (non) sports fans, a shout out. I just returned from Montana, one of the most beautiful places with the most amazing people. It was a memorable trip. If you ever have the chance, get there.

Now, let's talk about emotion.

The MLB divisional playoffs have been spectacular. As I write, the Yankees and Twins are going to the 12th inning. No, wait...the Yankees just ended it on a walk off home run by Mark Teixeira. Talk about emotion!

Indiana and Phoenix are playing in the WNBA Finals. Some of the best known players in the league, Cappie Pondexter, Diana Taurasi and Katie Douglas are playing their hearts out -- with emotion.

The Cardinals played their hearts out last night and they lost. Some say it was crushing. But was it? The Cardinals were one of the best teams in the regular season and now they're down 2-0 in the playoffs to the Dodgers. Can they come back? Yes, but I think they've got to find the right balance of fight and grit and emotion.

Emotion is just one the many variables in sports. How athletes channel the emotion, that adrenaline, that's careening through them.

Keep watching the playoffs. It's just getting good.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Talk it up, the MLB playoffs are back!

Tip of the day:

Talk up last night's 1-game special regular season playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins. It was EPIC! The winner goes on to play the Yankees in the post-season playoffs. The loser goes home. The Twins won in 12 innings (that's 3 extra innings) and it had all the elements: the cliffhanger, excitement, the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.

More from the BBQ later...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Defense! Defense!

Alright sports novices, post for the day:

When people talk about the Notre Dame's win over Washington yesterday, listen to where they give credit. Are they saying that it was Jimmy Clausen who pulled it out, or Robert Hughes or Golden Tate? How about Kyle McCarthy? They all deserve a lot of credit.

But I've gotta give a shout out to the d-e-f-e-n-s-e. ND's defense shut down Washington on 3 consecutive goal line stands. That unit and those stands made it possible for the Irish to pull out another late win.

I'm not taking anything from Clausen, Hughes, Tate or McCarthy but don't forget the guys that the legendary Keith Jackson called The Big Uglies...the linemen up front who got the work done.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Some persepctive on sports

Talk this one up: a Boston College football player who is battling cancer. He could have left school and probably been a first round draft pick. He was diagnosed with cancer and isn't playing this season.

Good news? He's nearly cancer free. Better news? Mark Herzlich understands what's really important. Life.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Remember the other day...?

Read up and have something to contribute around the water cooler about Monday night's game.