Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Things to Watch in Super Bowl XLVIII

Broncos Seahawks Super Bowl

The penultimate stage for American sports is here once again. The Super Bowl XLVIII match-up is finally set as sports fans will take sides between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks. Two polarizing styles of football, one epic battle. Who are you taking?

Even Las Vegas has had some trouble picking sides in this gridiron showdown. Sports betting sites, like, have given the slight edge to Denver but not by much. Some odds lines have the Broncos favored by up to three points while others say the Seahawks are two-point favorites.

Regardless of the odds, there will be plenty of storylines to follow during the game. Here are the top 5 things to watch:

1. Old School vs New School (Peyton vs Russell)

In today's pass-heavy game, the focus on quarterback play has only intensified. The championship game will shine its bright light on two contrasting quarterbacks: one with an old school, inside-the-pocket approach, the other with a new school, mobile approach that relies on improvisation. Peyton Manning is a first ballot Hall of Famer with a Super Bowl ring to backup his credentials. Russell Wilson is a young, exciting QB with plenty of potential. The clear edge goes to Manning but Wilson isn't a push over and will pose a worthy competition.  

 2. High Octane Offense vs Lockdown Defense

Besides contrasting QBs, these two teams have completely different identities. The Broncos boast an impressive offense that can score in bunches, while the Seahawks pride themselves on having a staunch defense. We will literally be watching the league's #1 offense play against the #1 defense. It doesn't get any better than that.      

3. Richard Sherman’s Mouth

After the Seahawks defeated the 49ers, Richard Sherman made headlines with a controversial post-game interview aimed at Sand Francisco and WR Michael Crabtree. Sherman's rant made it easy for fans to paint him as a villain and jump on board the Broncos bandwagon. Meanwhile, the media will be swarming the Seahawks' outspoken cornerback before and after the game. Should be interesting to hear what Sherman will have to say. 

4. Running Back Battle

Marshawn Lynch is called Beast Mode for a reason. His earth-shaking, breakout runs have built that title and earned him a spot as the #6 rusher this season. Denver also presents a surprisingly strong ground game spearheaded by Knowshon Moreno (#12 on the list). While passing will be the main course, running will be a strong side dish that will determine who takes the prize.     

5. Battle of the Elements

Last but not least, we should not ignore the weather in this year's Super Bowl. Forecast predictions have the temperature around 19 degrees with wind gusts nearing 20 mph. Little to no chance of rain or snow but this is the first cold weather Super Bowl in recent history. Both teams will be battling more than each other, which will make for a more entertaining game. 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Dolphins Throw it Away Once More

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Despite controlling their playoff fate, the Miami Dolphins failed to secure a shot at the NFL postseason once again - leaving them sitting at home for the fifth straight year.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has clearly stated that he isn’t ruling anything out during this offseason, which could include parting ways with GM Jeff Ireland, Head Coach Joe Philbin and/or other members of the team staff. While the Dolphins issues do not solely lie on the coaching staff, odds suggest that Philbin could be on his way.

"I'm making no comment on that,” said Philbin after seeing his team throw away their best chance of reaching the playoffs in recent history. But building a winning franchise takes more than just replacing a head coach every few years.

Teams wouldn't suffer droughts of five straight seasons at or below .500 if that were the case.

An offensive line wouldn't allow just short of 60 sacks in a season if that were the case (the most in franchise history by a wide margin).

An offense as a whole wouldn't combine for just seven points in the final two games of the season if that were the case.

The Dolphins seemed to survive the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin scandal by going 5-2 after the controversy reached national headlines. But losing two straight to finish the season sealed their fate.

There's at least one major positive to take away from the season: the development of quarterback Ryan Tannehill. The question will now be whether the youngster can lead the team into next season’s playoffs, something the oddsmakers predict could happen.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Best Loss in Heat History

Source: Nick Laham/Getty Images

What are the odds? The odds that something that seemed like a misfortune actually was a blessing in disguise. The odds that an unlikely bounce of a lottery ball changed Miami Heat (and NBA) history.

The odds are 1.7%.

That was the probability of the Chicago Bulls securing the #1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA Draft. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat held a 25% chance at winning the top pick. But that day the Bulls were just a bit more lucky.

Or were they?

At the time, the definitive #1 pick was the University of Memphis’ superstar guard, Derrick Rose. Leaving Kansas State forward Michael Beasley as the consensus #2 selection. Miami had their eyes on Rose all along, but fate would not make their vision a reality.

Living Up to the Hype

In the ensuing seasons, Rose lived up to his expectations; showcasing his explosiveness and leadership qualities at the pro level. Rose even became the youngest MVP in NBA history in 2011. His future seemed very bright.

Beasley, on the other hand, wasn’t on the same track; lacking maturity and falling short of top-pick-level production. Averaging just over 14 points in two seasons with the Heat, things didn’t look as promising for him. Eventually Miami shipped Beasley off to Minnesota for a second-round pick.

The Unexpected 

Well, remember that 2008 lottery ball? Nobody expected that improbable bounce to have such profound impact five years later. Enter 2013, where we see a much different picture.

A picture that has Rose missing two consecutive seasons to devastating knee injuries. A picture that has Beasley back in a Heat uniform playing at a highly efficient level. A picture that illustrates a completely unexpected plot twist.

Imagine what would have happened if the odds were in Miami’s favor on the evening of June 28th, 2008; selecting Rose with the #1 pick. Would Miami have gone after both LeBron James and Chris Bosh with Rose on their roster? Would they have reached the NBA Finals in three consecutive seasons? Would they be back-to-back NBA champions?

On that draft day, losing was the best thing to ever happen to the Miami Heat.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Miami New Times Web Awards 2013 "Best Sports Blog" Finalists

Tonight the winners of the Miami New Times Web Awards will be announced at Shots Miami in Wynwood. Miami Sports Generation is honored to be nominated as a finalist for Best Sports Blog in Miami! We were selected amongst a group of fantastic sports blog in South Florida, including:
For those of you interested in attending, RSVP here. The event will start at 7:30pm and run through 10pm. Feel free to connect with us on Twitter or Facebook. We'd love to meet you and talk Miami sports. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

The Jonathan Martin Aftermath

Miami Dolphins Offensive Lineman

UPDATE (11/14/13): Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is scheduled to meet with Jonathan Martin after NFL investigator Ted Wells meets with him in the coming days. Ross wants to "know what the real facts are" before making a final decision on Martin and Richie Incognito. Much to the chagrin on many Dol-Fans, this story is far from over.

The repercussions of this will include an impending lawsuit against the Dolphins on behalf of the Martin family as well as one from the Incognito camp. Plus, this will undoubtedly result in a league-wide culture change in NFL locker rooms.

UPDATE (11/6/13): New developments have raised questions about Jonathan Martin's claims of harassment. A new report claims that Martin considered quitting football before the lunchroom prank was made on October 28th. Another report indicates that coaches urged Richie Incognito to "toughen up" Martin after missing two OTAs this offseason.

UPDATE (11/5/13): Hear our on-air interview discussing the Martin-Incognito dilemma.

Miami Dolphins Offensive Lineman Jonathan Martin left the team last week following an incident with teammates. What we didn't know was the aftermath that Martin's departure would bring.

The latest casualty being Dolphins Guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended late Sunday evening for "conduct detrimental to the team." Coach Joe Philbin informed Incognito that he was suspended indefinitely until the NFL conducts an investigation on this matter.

As a result, Miami is now down two starting offensive linemen; a unit that was already ranked at the bottom of the league in sacks allowed.

Two schools of thought have emerged from this situation. One siding with Martin's claims of bullying and intimidation going on in the Dolphins locker room. The other siding against Martin with the idea that he is not emotionally equipped to handle an NFL locker room setting.

The NFL will be investigating for accounts of alleged hazing and player misconduct over the course of the next few days and weeks. No timetable has been set on when the investigation will be completed.

Meanwhile, it is highly unlikely that Martin returns to the team ever again after this incident. Expect Miami to release in the near future or trade Martin in the offseason. Incognito's future is also uncertain and will likely be based on the NFL's findings.

The Second Round Curse

Miami's 2nd round curse continues with the Martin saga unravelling. The last notable 2nd round draft pick that panned out for Miami traces back to 2001, when they selected Wide Receiver Chris Chambers with the 52nd overall pick.

Since then, Miami's 2nd rounders have included LB Eddie Moore ('03), DE Matt Roth ('04), John Beck ('07), Samson Satele ('07), Phillip Merling ('08), Chad Henne ('08), Pat White ('09), Sean Smith ('09), Koa Misi ('10) and Daniel Thomas ('11).

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