Sunday, November 29, 2009

Slang Sunday

Hello friends,

Today is Slang Sunday. So, here's the phrase of the day: the pocket.

In football, when the quarterback drops back to pass, the offensive line -- the center, guards and tackles -- is blocking the defense. The defensive line pushes forward, the offensive line is pushing back and holding them at bay. As that happens a "pocket" is usually formed, which allows the QB protection and, at times, they can even step into it. So the pocket can = protection.

Chat it up and enjoy!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Some results on the American League and National League Most Valuable Player Awards.

Here's what you can talk up:
> Joe Mauer, the Minnesota Twins catcher, won for the American League. He's a sweet swinging star. He won the batting title, meaning he hit for the highest average in the league. This is the second year that he won the batting title. Factoid: He is the 8th catcher in AL history to win the MVP. He also won a gold glove this year. (See previous KQ SportsBBQ posting on this.)

> Albert Pujols (POOL-hols), the St. Louis Cardinals first baseman, won for the National League for the second consecutive year. He's a power slugger and man, they don't come much better. He was a unanimous winner, receiving all 32 first place votes. He lead the NL with 47 home runs (and other categories) and was third in batting average.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Two-fer Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm throwing the turkey on the BBQ today.

Apologies for the delay in posting. I had to get ready for the family so, you are owed two tips. Here we go:

> Chat up who is going to be Notre Dame's next football coach. The signs are on the wall that Charlie Weis is going to be fired after Saturday's final game against Stanford. Here's why people are pretty sure: instead of staying in California to recruit players for next year, Weis will be traveling back to South Bend with the team. Some names being floated are Jim Harbaugh (head coach at Stanford) and Brian Kelly (head coach at undefeated Cincinnati).

> 3 NFL games are on the Thanksgiving slate. The Thanksgiving perennials are the Lions and the Cowboys. (They're not playing each other.) So, today here's what's on the slate: The Green Bay Packers vs. the Detroit Lions, The Oakland Raiders vs. The Dallas Cowboys, NY Giants vs. The Denver Broncos. Anything can happen on Thanksgiving Day (besides overeating, not being able to button your pants and a touch game of football). The Lions could beat the Packers, the Raiders could upset the Cowboys and the Giants could whip the Broncos. (Perhaps not likely but it's possible!)

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm grateful for my family, my community of friends and the unexpected generosity I've received over the past year. And, I'm grateful to those of you stop by.


Monday, November 23, 2009


Hi folks!

Today's tips can be summed up as NFL Smatterings. Let's get to the hot tips:

> The NFL remains fun to watch. The Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints remain undefeated. They've each won 10 games.
> The Colts are in the AFC = American Football Conference. The Saints are in the NFC = National Football Conference.
> In the Super Bowl, the AFC champ plays the NFC champ.
> What's that mean? It's possible (but not probable) to have two undefeated teams face each other in the Super Bowl. That would be amazing!

Chat. It. Up.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Catches: College vs. The Pros

Evenin' friends,

Tonight, we're talking about what's considered a catch in college vs. pro football. Specifically, if a player is thrown a pass that's taking them out of bounds on the field or in the end zone, there are different rules for college football vs. professional football. I raise this because often you see receivers tip-toeing down a sideline or in the end zone while catching a pass and their ballet-like movements make all the difference.

Here are the hot tips:
> In college football, the player must have control of the ball and have just 1 foot in bounds for a catch to qualify.
> For the pros, it's tougher: the player must have control of the ball and BOTH feet must be in bounds for a catch to qualify.
> This is why you see players drag their feet and make some of the most beautiful, aerobatic catches all in the name of staying in bounds and hauling in the ball.
> Check out this link and especially notice #'s: 10, 8 and 6. These are the pro's dragging their toes and making them count.


Saturday, November 21, 2009


Good morning, friends!

Hot tips of the day:
> Talk about today's football game between the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan.
> This is one of college footballs most storied rivalries.
> There's not as much at stake this year. Ohio State has already earned a Rose Bowl berth and is a ranked team. Michigan is struggling and unranked.
> Still, this is the type of game/rivalry where ANYTHING can happen - and has been known to. Both teams get UP for the game and Michigan could pull an UPSET. (UPSET = unexpected win).
> Toss around the team's nicknames - The Buckeyes and the Wolverines. "How well will Tyrelle Pryor, the quarterback, run the Buckeye offense?" etc.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Stars On and Off the Field

Hello friends,

Today, the BBQ celebrates a life. In fact, two remarkable lives.

Stefanie Spielman is a fighter. A bare knuckles brawler who fought the opponent of her life. She's not a professional athlete but she married one.

Stefanie died yesterday of breast cancer yesterday. She was just 42 years old.

She had a powerful man in her corner, her husband, Chris. Chris Spielman was a legendary linebacker for The Ohio State University Buckeyes. He went on to play professional football for the Detroit Lions, the Buffalo Bills and the Cleveland Browns. At one point during his pro football career, he stopped playing for a year to take care of Stefanie and their children. when she lost her hair due to chemotherapy, he shaved his head.

There are plenty of men who care for their spouses, who shave their heads, who leave their jobs when their wives are fighting cancer. I just happen to know about Chris because I'm a longtime fan.

The Spielman's raised millions of dollars for breast cancer research. Stefanie lost her battle but I'd bet that many other people are winning theirs due to the Spielman's generosity.

So, here's today's tip:
> Talk about the Spielman's and their contributions on and off the field.
> Read about Stefanie and her battle.
> Start here:

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NL Cy Young Award

Good evening! I'm sneaking this one under the wire!

So, the National League announced the Cy Young award winner. Tim Lincecum (LIN-sa-come) from the San Francisco Giants has won for the second consecutive year.

Talk about:
> How HUGE it is that he won the award in back to back years
> He won the award yet he only won 15 games. (Often, winners have had 19 to 20+ wins).
> Ask someone to name the previous back to back winner. (Answer: Randy Johnson).
> Ask people if they know Lincecum's nickame. (Answer: The Freak).

More later. Enjoy tonight's hot tips from the KQ Sports BBQ!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

MLB Award Season

(Non) Sports Fans, it's another day of awards in Major League Baseball.

Today's announcement is the winner of the Cy Young Award in the American League. Here are the tips:
> This is a pitching award named for, you guessed it, Cy Young. He pitched from 1890 - 1911 and won 511 games in his lifetime. FYI -- by comparison, a pitcher in this era who gets 300 wins in their career is considered a surefire Hall of Famer.

> This year's Cy Young winner in the American League is Zack Greinke of the Kansas City Royals. His won-loss record was 16-8. It's not the most outstanding record. In fact, the pitcher who came in 2nd won 3 more games than Greinke.

> So why did Greinke win? Likely because he had a better ERA. ERA = earned run average for each 9 innings pitched. Greinke's ERA was 2.16. The runner up's was 2.49. In other words, Greinke allowed fewer runs per game.

> FYI - if a runner scores because of an error, that's not included in a pitcher's ERA.

Enjoy today's hot tips!

College Basketball

Goood Morning!

Here are some hot tips from the grill this morning.

> Talk about the college basketball marathon that's going on. It started last night at midnight and will continue tonight through midnight. 19 games are being broadcast on ESPN.

> Talk about the near upset last night in Kentucky. The University of Kentucky (ranked in the top 5 of basketball polls) was nearly upset by Miami University. The Redhawks are unranked, unheralded and gave the Wildcats every bit that they could handle. THAT is what I LOVE about college basketball.

Chat it up and enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Slang Sunday

Greetings Sports BBQ Fans!

Instead of summarizing the sports situation today, we're taking a diversion. We're going to chat about football slang. Again.

Today's phrase: the blind side. We all know what it means to be blind sided by something. (And it usually stinks.) Imagine how physically brutal it would be to be blindsided in a football game.

Here's how the phrase is often used. If a right-handed quarterback is in the game and he drops back to pass, he's (often) turning his back to half of the field. So it's the left tackle's job to protect the QB's blind side. If the QB is left-handed, it's the right tackle's job to protect the QB's blind side.

So, next time you hear someone say the quarterback was hit on his blind side, ask if the QB is left or right-handed, then say, "Well, where was the left (or right) tackle?"

Just one more hot tip from the KQ Sports BBQ!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Heisman Trophy Watch

Good evening!

It's Saturday, which means it's college football. It's also a time to talk about one of the game's annual and most storied awards - The Heisman (HYES-man) Trophy. It's awarded to the nation's "most outstanding" college football player. Often, however, it's awarded to the most outstanding offensive player. It's often a quarterback or running back, even a wide receiver. There are rare occasions, however, when a defensive player has won it. Example: Charles Woodson of Michigan won in 1997 as a defensive cornerback.

Here's what you can chat up:
> Who's the front runner this year? Some say it's Mark Ingram, running back from Alabama. Others say Tim Tebow (TEE-bow) the QB at Florida and Colt McCoy, the QB at Texas are at the top of the list.

> What impact does a team's record have on a Heisman candidate? Often, quite a bit.

Enjoy today's hot tips from the BBQ!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Slang Friday

Hot tips from the BBQ this morning. Friday = Slang day.

Let's talk about football. Here's a term you can throw around this weekend:
> The Red Zone - this is the 20 yard area that sits between the offensive team (team with the ball) and the defensive team's goal. When a team is in the red zone, they are threatening to score a touchdown or field goal against the other team. Believe it or not, being in the red zone puts pressure on the offense. Some football teams are very good in the red zone. Some teams are not.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

More Gold Gloves - NL

Helllloooo peeps! What's that you say? I should have posted this yesterday? You're right; my bad.

Without further delay, here are the 2009 Gold Glove winners from the National League:
Adam Wainwright, pitcher, St. Louis Cardinals
Yadier Molina, catcher, St. Louis
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B, San Diego Padres
Orlando Hudson, 2B, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B, Washington Nationals
Jimmy Rollins, Shortstop, Philadelphia Phillies
Michael Bourn, Outfield, Houston Astros
Matt Kemp, Outfield, Los Angeles Dodgers
Shane Victorinio, Outfield, Philadelphia Phillies

Here's what you can chat about:
> Some people (especially those living in St. Louis) feel that Albert Pujols (PU-hols) should have gotten the nod at first base. He's won before, including in 2006. You might mention that maybe the fact that he made 13 errors this season impacted the outcome in the voting.

> Rollins and Victorino are repeat winners. Discuss what it took for them to defend their crowns.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Post-World Series = MLB Awards

Hey everyone!

Sorry that I had an off day yesterday. In sports lingo, that usually means no game. In KQ Sports BBQ lingo, it means I didn't I didn't post. But there's lots to talk about today like the post-World Series.

We're now in that period of time where there's still news from Major League Baseball. Over the next several days, there will be announcements about awards. Today's announcement is the American League Gold Glove winners. Tomorrow's will be the National League winners.

> Each league has 9 winners, 1 for each position: pitcher, catcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd base, shortstop, and three outfielders.

> A gold glove award indicates that these players are the best fielders in the entire league at their position. The award is sponsored by Rawlings, which makes (not surprisingly), baseball gloves.

> 2009 winners in the American League:
Mark Buehrle (BURR-lee), P, Chicago, this is his 1st award
Joe Mauer, Catcher, Minnesota, this is his 2nd award
Mark Teixeira (tuh-SHARE-uh), 1st base, New York Yankees, this is his 3rd award
Placido Polanco, 2nd base, Detroit, this is his 2nd award
Evan Longoria, 3rd base, Tampa Bay, this is his 1st award
Derek Jeter, SS, New York Yankees, this is his 4th award
Adam Jones, Outfield, Baltimore, this is his 1st award
Ichiro Suzuki (EE-cheer-oh), Seattle, this is his 9th award
Torii Hunter, Los Angeles, this is his 9th award

Enjoy! We'll check out the National League winners tomorrow!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

NFL : Week 9

Goooood Morning!

Tips of the day: let's focus on the numbers:
> This is Week 9 of the football season.

> The regular NFL season is 16 games.

> So, that means this is the start of the 2nd half of the regular season.

> There are still 2 undefeated NFL teams: the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints.

> Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans is the leader rusher. Adrian Peterson is tied with Stephen Jackson for 2nd.

> Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers has the highest QB rating. Peyton Manning of the Colts is 2nd.

> The leader in interceptions is Darren Sharper of New Orleans.

> The leading receiver is Andre Johnson of Houston.

> Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings has the most QB sacks and Curtis Lawson of the Atlanta Falcons has the most tackles.

Talk it up and enjoy!

*Player statistics source:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Upset Saturday?

Hope you're all having a great day!

Remember when I was mentioning all the undefeated teams in college football? Well, one bites the dust. The University of Iowa Hawkeyes lost today to the Northwestern Wildcats.

> Both teams are both in the Big Ten Conference. Talk about what Big 10 team could going emerge in the wake of Iowa's loss. Does Iowa still have what it takes to win the conference after this loss?

Another big game today: LSU (Louisiana State University) vs. University of Alabama. Alabama is undefeated but this is the SEC (The Southeastern Conference) and every week can mean an upset.

> What does Coach Nick Saban (SAY-ben) have to do to ensure his team stays undefeated?

Enjoy! Pro Football match ups tomorrow...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Boys of Summer Are Gone

The Major League Baseball season has finally ended. The Yankees are the World Series Champions.

Here's what to talk about:
> Was Hideki Matsui (hi-DECK-ee Mat-SUE-ee) the real Most Valuable Player for the series? Here's why this is a relevant topic: he played in only 3 of the 6 games. Yes, he drove in six of the Yankees runs last night. He was just one hit away from hitting for the cycle. (The cycle = a single, a double, a triple and a home run.)

> Here are other players who made a big impact in the series: Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter (GEE-tur) and Mariano Rivera.

Enjoy today's hot tips!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

College Football

Helllllooooo, (non) sports fans!

Hot stuff from the grill tonight is college football. Talk about the number of unbeaten teams and how some of them are a real surprise! In the BCS and AP Polls (Bowl Championship Series and Associated Press), the following teams have not lost a game:
> Florida, Texas, Alabama, Cincinnati, Iowa, Boise State, and TCU (Texas Christian University).

> The University of Cincinnati and The University of Iowa are surprises and, boy howdy, are they fun to watch! Iowa came back from being down in the 4th quarter last week to win and Cincinnati won without their starting QB.

> Talk about why it's good for college football (it really is). When teams like Cincinnati are playing this well, anything can happen and that makes games more exciting.

Enjoy the tidbits! Tomorrow, the World Series.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's spelled U-t-l-e-y and it = home runs

Good morning, BBQ fans.

Talk it up:
> The hottest thing on the grill today is Chase Utley. He's the Philadelphia Phillies 2nd baseman and, in last night's game, tied the record for most home runs in a World Series. What's amazing is there's still AT LEAST one more game to go. Who is Utley tied with? Reggie Jackson, one of the baseball's all-time great sluggers, who used to play for the Yankees.

> Talk about the drama of Utley's HRs vs. Jackson's. In 1977, Jackson hit 3 home runs in a single World Series game. It was breathtaking and legendary. Reggie was (and to an extent still is) a big personality and his performance helped earn him the nickname "Mr. October". Utley is more understated but talk up the excitement of their home runs and how they changed the game. And what nickname might be bestowed upon Utley?

Enjoy today's hot tips!

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Yankees are Coming...

Wow! Was last night's World Series exciting or what? I was just shutting down the BBQ for the night when the game got even more interesting!

If you thought the Yankees couldn't win against Philadelphia on the road (and I admit, I thought it would be difficult), you were in for a surprise. The Yankees led the game from start to finish and it was a very exciting 9th inning. As a result, the Yankees are up 3 games to 1 and can clinch ( i.e. win) the World Series.

Here's what to pay attention to in Game #5:
> The Phillies are starting Game #1 ace Cliff Floyd. If he pitches as well as he did on opening night, the Phils can get back into the series. But according to, he's pitching on only 3 days of rest and he's never done that before. Ask how many innings he can handle since it's short rest? Will the Phillies need to go to a middle reliever (a relief pitcher who pitches 3 or 4 innings before the "closer", a dominant pitcher (like the Yankees' Mariano Rivera) comes in for the 8th or 9th inning.)

Monday Night Football is also tonight with the New Orleans Saints taking on the Atlanta Falcons.
> New Orleans is unbeaten and their quarterback, Drew Brees (as in cool breeze) is one reason they're undefeated. The Falcons have Matt Ryan as their QB and he's coming off a very impressive rookie season in which he was named offensive rookie of the year. I'd talk about New Orleans' explosive offense, which includes Brees, Marques Colston, Jeremy Shockey and Reggie Bush. They have even more scoring threats but keep the conversation simple.


Sunday, November 1, 2009


Happy November!

I owe you two tips since I missed yesterday. Saturday, instead of talking sports, I was watching them and it was glorious!


Both tips deal with baseball:
> Notice that when a batter is bunting the announcers will talk about how the hitter "squares up" to the pitcher. That's because it's tough to bunt when hitters are in the traditional batting stance i.e. standing perpendicular to the pitcher. If they square up by facing the pitcher then they can move the bat up or down. The goal is to literally "lay down a bunt". Batters don't want the bunt to go up in the air. That makes for an easy out.

> In the World Series, you'll notice that when games are played at Yankee Stadium, an American League Ballpark, there's a designed hitter or DH. That hitter bats in place of the pitcher. But tonight, with the game in Philadelphia, a National League city, the pitchers are batting. Why? Home field rules apply. American League teams use a DH; National League teams do not. So pitchers hit in Philly; they don't in New York.

More tomorrow. Enjoy!