The 2011 editions of the Little 500 and the IU Football “Cream and Crimson Spring Game” will both take place this coming Saturday, April 16th. This is the first time in recent memory when scheduling resulted in both happening on the same day.  

While large crowds are not usually the expected norm inside Memorial Stadium during Spring Football, having “The World’s Greatest College Weekend” going on at the same time will not do the people setting up the event any favors.

Coach Kevin Wilson in an address to students at an event last month said they would be piping in music and making it a big party-like atmosphere so that people will make the short walk from Armstrong Stadium and the surrounding areas.

The downside to all the plans IU Football are making is that there is no buzz surrounding the event….at all.

Having worked in IU Football recruiting the last two seasons inside the Bill Lynch administration, I know how important the game is for the prospective recruits they bring in for the game. They want to make the atmosphere exciting enough that these high school kids will sign on the dotted line while in Bloomington. Places like Alabama where they nearly sell out their stadiums for the annual games honestly expect the recruits to be so blown away that they sign in the middle of the game. IU Football does not have that luxury.

This is supposed to be a turning point for IU Football. If you get past the Little 500 aura that is surrounding this campus right now, people are excited, but hiding the Spring Game behind the Little 500 just slows that momentum moving forward.

Some people would argue that it was the Little 500 organizers who moved the date back a week and IU Football had no other options. I don’t buy this argument because you could schedule it at another time. You can schedule it as a night game on the Friday before or even during the week as a standalone event. I guarantee someone thought they could get a boost from having it a couple hours before the race and they will see it was just a bad idea.

I wish IU Football the best and I will most likely be at the Spring Game because I enjoy it, but the rest of the campus has what they believe are more “important” things going on that day.

The Little 500 is the largest collegiate bike race in the United States and is preceded by a week of programming around the Bloomington campus. Riders compete in four person teams in separate races for men and women around a quarter-mile track. Approximately, More than 25,000 people attend the races and associated events annually, with the proceeds used for working student scholarships at Indiana University. Grammy Award-winning, multi platinum recording artist and producer Lil Wayne, upcoming rapper Nicki Minaj, and Rick Ross is the official performer for Indiana University’s 2011 Little 500 concert. Lil’ Wayne will be having a concert at sold out IU Assembly Hall and then hold a after party at Jake’s Nightclub in downtown Bloomington. Lil’ Wayne has sold more than 10 million records, and his multi-platinum 2008 album, Tha Carter III, sold more than one million copies in its first week of release. This would be an unforgettable memory for IU students. The Little 500 event itself is crazy and students party and have a great time during this week watching the riders compete. Like I said above, the Little 500 is the largest collegiate bike race in the United States and having a artist like Lil Wayne coming as a special guest to perform during the Little 500 event will might make the best event of all time in IU history.

We are right in the middle of the second most important futbol tournament in the world (World Cup is first) and I want to make a preview of the quarter finals which start this week.

Real Madrid vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham has been one of the biggest surprises of the tournament. The Spurs actually won their group over Inter Milan, FC Twente and SV Werder Bremen. Tottenham then went on to beat Inter Milan in the round of 16. Real Madrid defeated Lyon in the round of 16. I expect Peter Crouch to continue his brilliant tournament, but Real Madrid will be too much. Their fast pace and Karim Benzema will prove to be a task too tall for the Spurs. Prediction: Real Madrid-5, Tottenham 2 on the aggregate.

Internazionale vs. Schalke

Schalke has also been a very pleasant surprise in this tournament. The German club won their group over Ly

Sneijder and Inter will be celebrating as they advance to the semifinals.

on, and then defeated Valencia in the round of 16. Inter placed second in their group and defeated FC Bayern Munchen in the next round. I fully expect the defending champions, Inter, to dominate these match ups, and end Schalke’s run in this tournament. Wesley Sneijder and Samuel Eto’o will rip through the Schalke defense and the Black and Blue will advance. Prediction: Inter-4, Schalke,1.

Chelsea vs. Manchester United

This is the match up that everybody is waiting to see. These two English powers, will be meeting again in the Champions League for the fist time since their epic final match up in Moscow three years ago. Although it is not the final again, these two games will prove to be the two of the best in the tournament. These two teams hate each other and I fully expect there to be some very harsh words and dirty tackles and tactics. This is by far the toughest match up to predict, but I think Wayne Rooney and the Red Devils will advance to the semi finals. Nani is playing his best futbol ever for Man U right now, and with experienced veterans like Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand, it is tough for me to predict. Chelsea will bring a great fight. With players like Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, and Didier Drogba, they have one of the most talented teams in the world, but they aren’t playing with heart lately, and that will be their downfall. The following video is very long, but worth the watch as it captures the entire drama of the 2008 Champions League shootout. Prediction: Manchester United- 5, Chelsea-4.

FC Barcelona vs. Shakhtar Donetsk

Shakhtar is another feel good story of the tournament. The Dutch club has won their group, which included Arsenal and they defeated AS Roma in the round of 16. However, they are now playing the world’s best team and it will take a miracle for them to win. I think Barca will show its might and clobber Shakhtar to advance to the semi finals. Barca has the world’s best player in Lionel Messi, quality defenders like Dani Alves and Carles Puyol, and another great striker in David Villa. Shakhtar’s Eduardo will have to have his best two games to keep this match up close. I think this one will get ugly fast. Prediction: Barcelona- 7, Shakhtar-2.

Offseason Acquisitions Set to Make a Big Impact

Posted: April 3, 2011 by Josh Tannenbaum in Uncategorized

Baseball season is back in action. Every offseason there seems to be a few big-name free agents that find themselves a new destination. This offseason was no different, but the acquisitions made this winter could play an enormous role in which teams are in contention come October.

The Red Sox had a relatively disappointing season last year. Despite winning 89 games, the Sox finished third in the AL East, missing the playoffs as the Yankees and Rays moved on. In response, Boston went out and acquired the two best available offensive players in Carl Crawford through free agency and Adrian Gonzalez via trade. Inserting these players into any lineup, let alone the Red Sox lineup, is a huge boost. The added offense in addition to their strong pitching staff and deep bullpen should translate into a very successful season for the Boston Red Sox.

In the National League, no team has been as competitive over the last 5 years as the Philadelphia Phillies. While their offense is not what it used to be, their pitching is being discussed as one of the best rotations to ever be assembled. It’s far too early to be making claims as such, but the hype is legit. Roy Halladay is almost unanimously dubbed the best pitcher in the game today. Cole Hamels is one of the  best, young lefties in the majors, having a bounce-back year a season ago with 12 wins, a 3.06 ERA, and 211 strikeouts. Veteran Roy Oswalt was added the rotation at the trade deadline last season, and pitched brilliantly in a Phillies uniform, going 7-1 with a 1.74 ERA down the stretch. And this offseason, Cliff Lee was brought back to Philadelphia via free agency. The Phillies traded Lee in a 3-way deal wot get Roy Halladay. Now the team has both of them. Lee is a fantastic pitcher who pitches deep into games and doesn’t walk anybody, but his postseason track record is what made him the talk of free agency this winter. Lee is 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 postseason starts in his career. He’s pitched 3 complete games, and has struck out 80 while only walking 8 in 76 innings. These four pitchers together in the same rotation is a scary thought for the rest of the National League. If they can get decent production from a talented, but aging lineup, then the Phillies might be making another World Series appearance.

Here are my predictions for the playoffs:

AL East: Red Sox

AL Central: White Sox

AL West: Rangers

Wild Card: Yankees

World Series Representative: Yankees

NL East: Phillies

NL Central: Reds

NL West: Giants

Wild Card: Braves

World Series Representative: Phillies

OUTCOME: Yankees over Phillies in 6 games.

This is Blue 2. The Official Butler University Mascot. While many just see a cute little dog that wanders the sidelines at the Final Four, Blue 2 is really so much more. This English Bulldog has his own YouTube Channel, Twitter account, and a Flickr photostream with over 5,000 photos.

With Butler being such a small school with about 5,000 students, its amazing how popular one little canine can become. Yahoo even posted an article today noting that AP Player of the Year and BYU standout Jimmer Fredette was being overshadowed by Blue 2 at the Final Four on Saturday in Houston with more fans wanting to meet the little guy instead of the future NBA draft pick.

So what makes this bulldog so interesting?

People love to see happy animals and this very well may be the happiest. A quick look at some of his pictures will show people always taking time to pet him and he always seems to be eating.

Each year they throw a huge birthday party and Blue always gets to just dig into the cake. There is also an old video of him in a little swimming pool and you can just see the excitement in the puppy’s face.

 

The dog’s handlers also do an amazing job giving the dog personality through social media. A lot of the posts include a little baby boy they call “baby bro”.  Many of the pictures show the two “brothers” sleeping alongside each other which results in what some would call “infinite cuteness”.

It would take a long time to highlight all the great pictures and video this bulldog has shared with his fans. I would just recommend giving him a follow on his Twitter account @ButlerBlue2 as he is sure to be posting Monday night as Butler faces UConn in the National Championship.

-Joshua Bowles (@Hoosier43)

I know not everyone is excited that the long season of baseball is here, but I for one am pumped! Especially after watching the whole Reds game Thursday that they never should have won. They played terrible but just like so many times last season, they had a come from behind win. They were 2nd in the MLB last year with 45 come from behind wins and 22 of those 45 coming in their last at bat. Wins like this mean a lot when the Reds only won the NL Central by 5 games over the threatening St. Louis Cardinals. I’m really excited about this baseball season for some reason because I have a feeling it’s going to be really exciting as a Reds fan.

With a 4-2 win over the Brewers, the Reds are now off to a good start sitting at 2-0. Since the beginning of the 2010 season, the Reds are 9-1 against the Brew Crew at home. Dominance like this doesn’t happen often. The Blue Jays have a similar record at 9-0 at home over the Orioles and the Astros have beat the Pirates in 9 straight at home.

PREDICTIONS

AL East winner: Yankees

AL Central winner: Twins

AL West winner: Rangers

NL East winner: Phillies

NL Central winner: Reds

NL West winner: Padres

World Series Winner: Twins in 7 over the Phillies

NL MVP: Joey Votto

AL MVP: Robinson Cano

Four Teams remain in March Madness

Posted: April 1, 2011 by yhk2 in Uncategorized

Finally, four teams have remained in March Madness and there are certainly full of surprises. Virginia Commonwealth University’s improbable run started when they defeated USC to clicn the No. 11 seed in the tournament and then beated Georgetown, Purdue, Florida State, and the number one seed Kansas University respectively to enter the Final Four. The No. 8 seed Butler Bulldogs reached their second straight Final Four as they beated Old Dominion, the number one seed Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Florida respectively. Last year, Butler lost disappointedly to Duke in the championship match and they are looking for revenge to win it all in 2011. Kemba Walker and the University Connecticut have been playing outstanding. They beat Bucknell, Cincinnati, San Diego State, and Derrick Williams’s Arizona Wildcats respectively to reach the Final Four. The team is expecting their star player Kemba Walker to step up and win their third national titles. University of Kentucky beat Princeton, West Virginia, the number one seed Ohio State, and UNC to enter their 14th NCAA Final Four and looking for eighth national title.

Kentucky is facing UConn and Butler is facing VCU in the Final Four at Houston and the fans are expecting some more surprises and upsets to make things interesting. Personally, I think Butler will win it all this year as they are thirty from last years defeat in the national championship against Duke. Butler will be the one coming off desparately and I believe having that sense of urgency in the game helps win basketball games. For example, after the LA Lakers lost in the NBA Finals in 2008 against the Celtics, the Lakers came out of sense of urgency the next season to beat the Magics to win it all. I believe this will be the case for Butler and they will win it all as the 2011 National Champions.