August 31, 2012

Written by blueadmin. Posted in August 12, Blog

College football kicked off on Thursday, with South Carolina getting a hard-fought win at Vanderbilt. UCLA had a great start under new coach Jim Mora Jr. by beating Rice. Mike Leach’s first game as Washington State coach did not go as well with BYU winning, 30-6.

This should be a great season with the usual big names likely to contend for the national title. USC, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, the big boys should battle it out. Oregon is a potential sleeper out west.

I love the fact that Michigan and Alabama are meeting Saturday night at Cowboys Stadium, the house that Jerry Jones built. A great opener for two top 10 teams, and a lot is at stake. In college football, a loss can prove costly in terms of national championship hopes. Give credit to those schools for playing such a tough game in the first week.

The Heisman race should generate a lot of buzz to. Will USC quarterback Matt Barkley, who turned down the lure of boatloads of cash and NFL fame to return this season, be the dominant performer. For a player like Denard Robinson of Michigan, the opener on national TV versus the Tide could be big in the Heisman race if he has a great performance.

College football is back, baby! That means college hoops is not that far away!

August 29, 2012

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in August 12, Blog

Wow, I had a blast down in Miami.

I went to see the Marlins play the Nationals. Marlins Park is a beautiful new stadium and the locker room and everything there was first class.
I really enjoyed meeting several of the players, including Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Ruggiano, Wade LeBlanc and Logan Morrison of the Marlins, and several Nationals, including Sarasota’s own, shortstop Ian Desmond. I wish my Rays could have that new stadium in Tampa. I also met Bryce Harper, pitcher Gio Gonzalez and Bryce Harper. I also saw the skipper, Davey Johnson. Stephen Strasburg had a tough night. Maybe I was Miami’s good luck charm?

I went to dinner at Prime Italian and the food was excellent. There was so much of it!

The next day, I spent time at the pool at the Fontainebleau, then went to New Cafe for lunch, and off to see another game featuring the Marlins and Nationals.

It was great meeting the nice fans down in Miami.

August 26, 2012

Written by blueadmin. Posted in August 12, Blog

The Dodgers and Red Sox pulled off a blockbuster deal over the weekend. Sports fans were buzzing over this big trade.

Los Angeles added Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford (who just had Tommy John surgery and will be out until next season. The Dodgers gave up several solid prospects and veteran James Loney.

New owner Magic Johnson and his group want to win NOW! Magic doesn’t ever want to be second-best at anything. Gonzalez paid instant dividends by hitting a home run in his first at-bat with LA.

Punto is a nice utility player who can help out at several positions. Beckett, if he could return to his form of old, could help the rotation. The change of scenery has to help.

Boston cleared a lot of salary in this deal, looking to invest next year and in the future. In the long run, the players added could become very good. At least that is what Ben Cherington and Red Sox management is counting on.

It has been a tough season in Beantown. It is time to try something different.

Now the Dodgers have a lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Hanley Ramirez and now Gonzalez. Los Angeles has to be one of the favorites to win the NL now.

August 18-29, 2012

Written by Dick Vitale. Posted in August 12, Blog

What a thrill it was for me to me in Williamsport, PA at the Little League World Series to be inducted into their Hall of Excellence.  It was such a special moment and one I will cherish and remember forever.  I traveled to Williamsport for this special occasion with my entire family, including my wife, two daughters, two son in laws and five grandkids.  I can’t thank Dennis Lewin, Scott Rosenberg and Chris Downs enough for their incredible hospitality and the warmth and generousity they offered me and my family the entire weekend.  They toured us through the living facilities for the various little league teams, the cafeteria in which they eat, the rec center for the players – what an experience.  It is truly a first class operation, and the opportunity of a lifetime for these youngsters.  I was honored to be inducted into the Hall of Excellence alongside Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President of Southwest Airlines.

We had the opportunity to watch several games over the weekend, and I was so impressed with not only the quality of baseball but the character of the youngsters and the coaches.

A very special weekend in my life…

August 6, 2012

Written by blueadmin. Posted in August 12, Blog

The Olympics have produced so many great moments already.

Think about it. Michael Phelps became the all-time leader in medals and in golds won. Ryan Lochte and several other Americans impressed in the pool. Missy Franklin was America’s swimming darling.

Gabby Douglas and the U. S. gymnastics team earned gold. Douglas won the all-around and impressed with her smile and poise.

Andy Murray had a breakthrough win over Roger Federer to win the men’s tennis singles gold. Will this help Murray’s confidence to bigger and better things in the Grand Slam events? Serena Williams blew out Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals and Maria Sharapova in the finals to dominate the women’s tourney.

It was a great time for siblings in doubles. Serena and Venus Williams won their third gold in doubles. The Bryans,Mike and Bob, beat the french pair of Michael Llodra and Jo-Willifred Tsonga to capture gold in men’s doubles.

Usain Bolt set an Olympic record in the 100 meters, showing why he is the world’s fastest man.

Those are just a few of the memories created already. We have another great week ahead from London.