Saturday, July 30, 2016

2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

This season is far from over for some teams. For others, the prospect of a better 2012 is the only thing keeping teams going.

There will be some high-profile free agents available in the off season, but with great players come high prices.

The diamond in the rough, the scrapheap and the fading veteran are always available for a reasonable price. Some fail, but others can be potential All-Stars.

Here are 10 affordable players hitting free agency that could be All-Stars.

Brandon Webb

Brandon Webb is a Cy Young winner who’s run into some injury trouble in recent times.

He hasn’t pitched in earnest since 2008, but any team who is willing to take a million dollar flier on him could have an ace in the hole with legitimate pitching credentials.

Derrek Lee

Derrek Lee is a solid veteran who might have one more good year in the tank.

He’s bounced around from Baltimore to Pittsburgh this year.

A one-year, $5 million contract could lead to a potential .300/25/100 year in the right situation.

Chris Carpenter

Chris Carpenter is a veteran with a good career who is having a down year.

A .500 record and a sub-four ERA is still pretty good for a 37-year-old.

Carpenter is coming off of $15 million this year and has a $1 million buyout that I would expect the Cardinals to pay.

A one-year contract around $6-7 million would be enough to see if there is still magic left in Chris Carpenter.

Ramon Hernandez

Ramon Hernandez would have been an All-Star if he was a full-time catcher.

Stuck in an awkward platoon, Hernandez has been bandied about as a trade option from June till today. He will move on from the Reds this year and a number of teams could get this potential All-Star for around less than $5 million.

Kelly Johnson

Kelly Johnson is a very good hitter for the second base position.

If it wasn’t for a paltry batting average this year, he could have made the All-Star team. He’s trying to regroup in Toronto after his recent trade from Arizona.

Johnson makes a little under $6 million this year and with his poor average, probably will sign for around the same price.

He is a powerful second baseman-a rarity in the league-and could be a real bargain next year.

Grady Sizemore

The highly-touted Sizemore has been riddled by injuries over the past few years.

He’s said to be a potential 30/30 guy but hasn’t had a full season since 2008.

If the Indians exercise his buyout, he should see free agency with a reasonable price tag.

Health and wellness could make Sizemore a bargain gem in 2012.

Ryan Vogelsong

He’s already been an All-Star this year, so next year should be no problem, right?

Vogelsong made a big splash with the Giants this season, and since he is on a one-year contract, his price is due to jump.

10 times the minimum is just over $4 million. If Vogelsong can repeat his success of 2011, one team is going to a get a good bargain.As Vogelsong actually has a year of arbitration the Giants will likely be the ones to reap the benefits of his baseball rebirth.

James Loney

I’ve always been a big Loney fan.

Although he doesn’t hit a for a lot of power, he drives in runs, and when he keeps his head down, can be a borderline .300 hitter.

I think he’s worth $4 million to see if he can boost his power.

Joe Nathan

Joe Nathan is an electric closer when healthy.

The last two years have been less than stellar for Nathan’s career.

He’s in the final year of a contract that pays him more than $12 million this season. The rebuilding Twins are likely to buyout Nathan after the season, leaving him free to test the waters.

Teams will be cautious, but he will garner a few looks and still has All-Star potential.

Jimmy Rollins

Probably the gem of this group.

Jimmy Rollins is still an immensely talented player. Although he is aging, he is still a very good player. I see him moving to an AL team where he can play short, third or DH on occasion.

A team would probably need to pay around $8 million for Rollins’ services, and that value could be quickly recouped.

Tags:2012 MLB Free Agency: 10 Cheaper Options Who Could Have All-Star Seasons

2012 Little Caesars Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Western Kentucky Vs. Central Michigan

Western Kentucky and Central Michigan will play in a 2012 Little Caesars Bowl matchup that is as tasty as a $5.00 pizza. Western Kentucky was 7-5 overall this season and finished in the middle of the Sun Belt standings with a 4-4 record in conference games. Central Michigan had to win their final three games to become bowl eligible with a 6-6 overall record.

When Central Michigan is on Offense

Central Michigan ranks 65th in the nation at 29.3 points per game. Quarterback Ryan Radcliff only completed 59% of his passes this season but did manage to throw for 20 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. Junior running back Zurlon Tipton was outstanding this season for the Chippewas. Tipton averaged 6.1 yards per carry on his way to 1391 yards and 19 touchdowns. Sophomore Titus Davis has the ability to stretch the field and racked up 860 on 20.0 yards per catch.

Western Kentucky ranks 51st in the nation in scoring defense allowing an average of 25.6 points per game. Quanterus Smith is one of the best pass rushers in the nation and ranks fourth with 12.5 sacks. Defensive back Jonathan Dowling is fifth in the country with six interceptions, three of which came in an overtime win against Kentucky. As a team, the Hilltoppers had 31 sacks and 13 interceptions.

When Western Kentucky is on Offense

The Hilltoppers rank 68th in the nation in scoring at 28.8 points per game. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes completed 64% of his passes for 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions this season. The Hilltoppers lean heavily on the run and running back Antonio Andrews has the numbers to prove it. Andrews averaged 5.8 yards per carry this season on his way to 1609 yards and 11 touchdowns. He is also the third leading receiver on the team with 34 catches for 411 yards.

Central Michigan struggled defensively this season. The Chippewas rank 98th in the nation in scoring defense giving up an average 33.3 points per game. Central Michigan gave up 50 points twice this season and 40 points three times. The Chippewas rank 98th in rushing defense giving up 198 yards per game on the ground. Expect a big game from Antonio Andrew and the Hilltoppers’ rushing attack.

2012 Little Caesars Bowl Pick Against the Spread

Western Kentucky is currently a 5.5-point favorite over Central Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl. Neither team was particularly impressive this season with the only win against a bowl team being Western Kentucky’s victory over Arkansas State. The big advantage in this game will be Western Kentucky’s running game against a very poor Central Michigan defense. Running back Antonio Andrews is effective in the running and passing game and will give Central Michigan fits. I’m taking Western Kentucky and giving the points.

Prediction: Western Kentucky 31 – Central Michigan 24

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Tags:2012 Little Caesars Bowl Preview and Pick Against the Spread: Western Kentucky Vs. Central Michigan

2012 GOP Field Shaping Up

With less than 18 months until the 2012 Presidential election, there is no clarity in the crowded, yet lackluster Republican Party field of candidates. The presumed front-runner, former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, is trying to ensure voters that he is someone who can be trusted; someone who will stand by his beliefs.

Romney is my choice for the Republican nomination due to his political pedigree and history of success in the business world, a prerequisite for fixing our economy. However, he has been dogged by the Obamacare plan that is strikingly similar to his Massachusetts healthcare plan. It is important to note that Romney is right to an extent about why the Massachusetts plan was viable, whereas the nation-wide healthcare plan is not. Such a plan can work in smaller domains, which is why universal healthcare plans work in Europe; they have much smaller populations than the United States. Romney’s argument is simple, yet logical, and more Americans need to understand that.

Joining the field of candidates is businessman Herman Cain. Cain is an interesting candidate for the Republican party due to his background but has virtually no shot to garner the nomination. With no experience in elected office, this Tea Party candidate is not a viable solution to face Obama. The Tea Party will not persevere as it is too radical and does not appeal to the voting mass. That combined with the fact that no United States president has ever had as little experience as Cain, bodes poorly for a Cain nomination.

Republican stalwarts Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have already thrown their hats into the ring. The one Republican who has national attention, but has yet to announce a run for office is Sarah Palin. For the sake of Republicans and the American people, I plead Palin and her supporters to keep their mouths shut and forget about a presidential run. Palin has absolutely no chance to win the election.

I thought the Palin VP nomination in 2008 was a smart move by the GOP. Put up an attractive, female governor on the ticket to steal Clinton supporters and independents. Boy did that backfire big time. Palin showed the world that she doesn’t know much about foreign policy after her Katie Couric interview. Then, Palin decided to resign as governor of Alaska to do a doomed reality TV show, latch onto the Tea Party, and say outrageous things that she felt would garner support. Unfortunately for Palin and Republicans, she only appeals to those in the GOP who don’t know squat about anything, and Palin has effectively made Republicans look stupid.

There is time for the Republican Party to find the right candidate for 2012. However, some of the candidates with no chance to win must step down soon and try to unite the GOP. Otherwise, Obama will surely win the election due to the schism that is currently present in the Republican Party.

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2012 NASCAR Season Review – Richard Childress Racing

Richard Childress Racing is one of the mega-teams in NASCAR, fielding winning teams in all three top divisions – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and the Camping World Truck Series. How did this multiple championship-winning team owner fare in 2012 across the three series? Very well, but not well enough to win another title.

Sprint Cup Series – Kevin Harvick led the three full-time cars with an eighth-place finish in the Chase, not winning his first race of the season until the second-to-last event in Phoenix. Harvick had just 14 top 10 finishes in 2012, his fewest since 2009. Veteran Jeff Burton finished 19th in points, with just six top 10 finishes in 2012, while Paul Menard had a career-best season, with nine top 10s and a 16th-place finish in points. Brendan Gaughan competed in four races in a fourth RCR car, with a top finish of 22nd at Bristol in March. Elliott Sadler also raced the fourth RCR car at Daytona in February, finishing 27th, while Austin Dillon raced the car at Michigan in June, finishing 24th.

Nationwide Series – Sadler earned his second runner-up finish in the Nationwide Series in 2012, finishing second both times to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Sadler won four times and earned 24 top 10 finishes in 33 race, also winning the pole four times. Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year Dillon finishes third in points, winning twice and earning 27 top 10 finishes, along with three poles. A number of drivers competed part-time in the Nationwide Series for RCR in 2012, including Harvick, who earned two wins and 10 top 10 finishes in 13 races. Other moonlighting drivers included Tony Stewart, Joey Coulter, Ty Dillon (who earned a third-place finish at the inaugural Nationwide Series event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway), Gaughan, Menard and Max Papis.

Camping World Truck Series – The younger Dillon brother, Ty, earned his own Rookie of the Year award in the Truck Series, winning his first race and finishing fourth in the title hunt. Through the first 12 races of the season, Dillon never finished worst than 12th. The second full-time Truck Series team, with Coulter behind the wheel, also went to victory lane this season, and finished third in points. Dillon and Coutler both won three poles each. A third team saw seat time split between Tim George Jr., Gaughan and Harvick, who earned a win in one of his three starts in the truck.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers the sport at Skirts & Scuffs and

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2012 NASCAR Season Review – Kyle Busch Motorsports

2012 was a bit of an oddity in Kyle Busch’s world – it was a season where cutting back on his racing schedule was supposed to help him in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen – Busch didn’t even make the Chase. When he picked up his racing schedule in both the Nationwide and Truck Series at the end of the season, however, something strange happened: Busch’s qualifying runs and finishes improved, to the point where he was one of the best drivers in that Chase. When Busch did moonlight in 2012, it was for his own team.

Kyle Busch Motorsports, founded in 2010 by Busch as a Camping World Truck Series team, expanded its program into the Nationwide Series in 2012, and had some growing pains along the way. While both full-time teams had top 10 finishes in owner’s points with multiple drivers behind the wheel, consistency was difficult to find.

Camping World Truck Series – Jason Leffler was originally hired to be the pilot of the #18 Toyota Tundra in the Truck Series for KBM, a pairing that lasted just nine races before Leffler was released. Six drivers combined to race in the other 13 races in 2012, and in spite of the varied styles of driving each week, all seven drivers – Leffler, Kurt and Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brian Scott, Drew Herring and David Mayhew – picked up at least one top 10 finish in the #18. The bright spots of the #18 team’s season: Scott’s victory in the #18 at Phoenix in November and the team owner’s runner-up finish at the season finale at Homestead-Miami – one of the best finishes of the season.

There was a second KBM truck in 2012, #51, and Hamlin took it to victory lane at Martinsville in October. In four additional races, NASCAR Mexico champ German Quiroga earned one top 10 finish in four starts in the #51. Overall, KBM’s Truck Series teams ended the season with two wins and 19 top 10 finishes.

Nationwide Series – expectations were high for the #54 Toyota Tundra in the Nationwide Series – and due to those expectations, it was a disappointing season. Brother Kurt Busch ran 11 races in the #54, winning at Richmond in April and collecting eight top 10 finishes. Kyle Busch competed in the remaining 22 races, earning 14 top 10s and three poles, but no wins.

Another disappointment for team owner Busch: he failed to win in the Truck Series for the first time since 2004, and failed to win in the Nationwide Series for the first time since 2003.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at and Skirts & Scuffs.

Tags:2012 NASCAR Season Review – Kyle Busch Motorsports

2012 Honda Fit Sport: An Impressive Top-notch Showing

The 2012 Honda Fit Sport was compared with five other subcompact cars and in a Car and Driver test and it came out on top. So what makes the Fit Sport so impressive?

Of the competitors (Chevrolet Sonic Turbo, Toyota Yaris SE, Hyundai Accent SE, Kia Rio5 SX, and Nissan Versa SL), the Fit is the tallest and thus offers a generous greenhouse and a 180 degree view outward from inside. It enables the driver to see way down the road.

Furthermore, the Fit Sport is fun to drive with its confident handling and brakes that are easy to modulate. Most of the time when a vehicle is fun to drive it lacks utility. However, the Fit Sport will carry much cargo when the second row seat is folded down (flat). The Fit has the most cargo space of the six vehicles compared at 21 cubic feet with the second row seat up and 57 cubic feet with the seat folded down (folding down the seat is a snap).

The interior of the Fit Sport is comfortable and will seat up to five. The controls are laid out for ease of use and work with Honda precision. The interior is appealing and looks like it is from a more expensive vehicle.

The engine is a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder providing 117 hp and 106 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic (the automatic is actually geared lower). The car’s 0-60 time is in 8.4 seconds and the braking from 60-0 mph is in 139 feet.

The suspension is MacPherson struts at the front and a torsion beam at the rear. The tire size is 185 55 16 inch.

The audio system is a six-speaker 160-watt AM/FM/CD unit with USB audio interface, MP3 auxiliary input jack, MP3/Windows Media Audio (WMA) with playback capacity, radio data system, and speed sensitive volume control.

Standard features on the Fit Sport include air conditioning with air filtration, power windows and door looks, cruise control, perforated leather-wrapped tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 10 beverage holders, door pocket storage bins (front), headlights on reminder, map lights, 12 volt power outlet, four cargo tie down anchors, rear window defroster, cargo area light, and more.

Safety features include dual-stage front air bags, side curtain air bags, ABS brakes, electronic brake distribution, vehicle stability assist with traction control, brake assist, and tire pressure monitoring.

The fuel rating for the Fit Sports is 27 city and 33 mpg highway.

The 2012 Honda Fit Sport’s starting price is $16,910.

If you want a fun drive that has utility in spades, be sure to test drive the Honda Fit Sport!

View the slideshow to see the 2012 Honda Fit Sport inside and out!

Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save money.” He welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags:2012 Honda Fit Sport: An Impressive Top-notch Showing

2012 MTV VMA Nominations: Adele's Lone and Ironic Nomination

The 2012 MTV VMA nominations have been announced, and British singer Adele only found one nod in her stocking this morning. Her powerful ballad “Someone Like You” was nominated for Best Cinematography. It is okay, you can reread that. Her sole nomination this year is for cinematography.

Oh the irony
Adele has a powerful voice, and in my opinion, “Someone Like You” truly highlights that. The piano drives the melody behind her, but her big beautiful voice strikes you right in the soul as the chorus hits. This vocally driven masterpiece happens to be one of my all time favorites.

I find it incredibly ironic that MTV would limit the performer that just won six Grammy awards for her voice is limited to one nomination for camera work. To heighten the irony, Adele has often had to deal with questions about her weight. (I am looking at you Karl Lagerfeld.) Now, MTV has limited their recognition of her to the pretty video category.

Are you kidding me?
I realize that the VMA’s are closer to the Teen Choice Awards than the Grammys, but MTV could find space for Selena Gomez & The Scene in the Best Female Video category and not Adele? Maybe I am too old to understand, but I am familiar with Gomez’s “Love You Like a Love Song”. This leads me to believe that voice, lyrics, nor cinematography have any effect on the Best Female Category.

But what do I know? I was there when The Buggles killed the radio star.

Tags:2012 MTV VMA Nominations: Adele’s Lone and Ironic Nomination

2012 NCAA Football Memorable for a Few Things

The 2012 NCAA Division 1A football season will be remembered for Alabama winning the National Championship over an outmanned and somewhat distracted Notre Dame team that featured LB Mantei Teo and his off-field problems with an alledged on-line girlfriend.

What will also be remembered about the 2012 season? The return of Southern California to bowl eligibilty and the absence of Penn State and Ohio State from bowl games. Both teams were placed on probation and basically put in the NCAA’s equivilant to “time out” with Penn State on probation for the misdoings of former defensive coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was tried and convicted of molesting 20 boys in his care in 2001, while Ohio State’s misdoings involved exchanging jerseys for tattoos, cash and other improper benefits. Both teams had successful seasons under new coaches but were not eligible to play in a bowl or win a Big 10 title. The Trojans returned to the bowl party under a cloud of controversy when they put up a billboard telling all of Los Angeles that this was their town. The problem? The billboard was near their inter-city and Pac 12 rival UCLA. The Bruins quickly let them know who was king of Tinseltown and beat the Trojans in the final game of the Pac 12 regular season in Pasadena.

2012 saw a once strong Auburn program under Gene Chizik fall flat on their faces and the Tigers failed to win a single game in the SEC. The nail in the coffin for the Tigers, two years removed from winning a national title themselves, was a blowout loss to Alabama in Tuscaloosa. A few weeks later, Chizik was basically thrown under the Auburn bus.

2012 also introduced us to Missouri and Texas A&M joining the Southeastern Conference. Both the Tigers and the Aggies had decent seasons in their new conferences, with A&M giving us “Johnny Football” in the form of Johnny Manzel, who picked up football’s biggest prize, the Heisman Trophy. It was also a pretty good year for Vanderbilt, who for years was the laughing stock of the conference, as they went to their second bowl game in as many years for the first time in a long time.

Speaking of teams not seeing a bowl game in a long time, there’s Duke. Yes. That Duke. The one that plays that other ball. The round one with Coach K. They made their first trip to a bowl game since the Clinton adminstration by beating North Carolina on the last day of the season at home before losing in the Belk Bowl in Charlotte. Another team not exactly known for making it a bowl (Vanderbilt) went to their second bowl in as many years and had their second winning season for the first time since they went 7-3-2 in 1974 and 7-4 in 1975. It would have been nice if these two could have met in a bowl game in 2012. After all, this is Vandy and Duke we’re talking about. Two schools that aren’t exactly football powers that you have to make at least a 1600 on the SAT just to get looked at with somewhat hefty price tags playing in a bowl game. Kind of strange, ya think?

2012 was a good year for some teams, a bad year for others. It brought controversy but it also had excitment and thrills and a suprise or two. What will 2013 bring? Can Auburn rebound from their dismal season? Can the Crimson Tide repeat as national champions? Can Johnny Football be the first two-time Heisman winner since Archie Griffin pulled it off? There are more questions than answers and the 2013 season has yet to see the light of day.

But as ESPN’s Chris Berman once said, “That’s why they play the games.”

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2012 Oscar Poster Unveiled

Each year the Academy of Motions Picture Arts and Sciences released its poster for its award show. This year they encourage all to collect and share. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the poster for the 84th Academy Awards® today in Beverly Hills.

The theme for the poster, which was created by award-winning graphic designer Anthony Goldschmidt, and Mark and Karen Crawford of the design firm Blood&Chocolate is, “Celebrate the movies in all of us.”
Movies have been a part of all of our lives and this year the Academy has tried to invoke that message in all of us. And perhaps, the collector as well. Academy President Sherak said in an AMPAS release,

“Whether it’s a first date or a holiday gathering with friends or family, movies are a big part of our memory.” One more feature about the poster, which has the golden statuette on one side and floating like features embedded, can be downloaded shared.

In fact, they encourage it. The image is available on the Academy’s website, A quick glance at the poster one can see those floating objects.

They represent images from eight films which span eight decades. They are “Gone with the Wind” (1939), “Casablanca” (1943), “Giant” (1956), “The Sound of Music” (1965), “The Godfather” (1972), “Driving Miss Daisy” (1989), “Forrest Gump” (1994) and “Gladiator” (2000). Seven of the eight won for Best Picture. “Giant” did not, but, its director, George Stevens, won for director. “The Academy Awards not only honor the excellence of these movies, but also celebrate what they mean to us as a culture and to each of us individually,” Sherak added.

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2012 NASCAR Season Review – Turner Motorsports

Turner Motorsports cemented itself as a NASCAR super-team on the rise with its impressive performances in the Camping World Truck Series and Nationwide Series in the 2012 season. In 2012, Turner Motorsports won 10 races, won its first NASCAR championship, and made its Sprint Cup Series debut.

Camping World Truck Series – Turner Motorsports supported three full-time teams and a part-time team for the 2012 season with big results: its first championship. James Buescher, driving the #31 Chevrolet Silverado, turned four wins and 14 total top 10 finishes in 22 races into the Truck Series title. Buescher earned his first career Truck Series win at Kansas in April, and followed it up with wins at Chicagoland Speedway and both races at Kentucky.

Nelson Piquet Jr., in the #30 Chevy, earned two Truck Series wins in 2012, the first of his career coming at Michigan in August, then following it up with the win at Las Vegas in September. Piquet Jr. ended the season seventh in points, with 15 top 10s and four poles in addition to the pair of victories. Miguel Paludo, in the #32 for Turner Motorsports, drove to a 10th-place finish in points, with five top 10 finishes and a pole at the season-opener in Daytona.

The fourth team had five different drivers behind the wheel, with Kasey Kahne winning at Rockingham in April in his only Truck Series appearance of 2012. Kyle Larson ran four races with the team, earning three top 10 finishes, including a runner-up finish at Phoenix in November.

Nationwide Series – a couple of months before Buescher earned his first Truck Series win, he got his first Nationwide Series win at the season-opener at Daytona. Piquet Jr. also got his first Nationwide Series win before his first Truck Series victory, at Road America in Wisconsin in June. Justin Allgaier, the only full-time Nationwide Series driver for Turner Motorsports in the #31, also picked up a win in Montreal in August, on his way to a sixth-place finish in points; he ended the season with 19 top 10 finishes.

Kasey Kahne and Brad Sweet combined for 11 top 10 finishes in 2012 (nine were Kahne’s) in the #38, while nine drivers combined to run the #30, with Buescher and Piquet Jr. getting the wins. Paludo also ran one race in a fourth Turner Nationwide Series car, the #32, at Road America.

Sprint Cup Series – Turner Motorsports took its first step into the Cup Series with a one-race deal with former Cup Series champ Bill Elliott behind the wheel, sponsored by Walmart. Elliott started sixth in the July race at Daytona, but finished 37th after getting caught up in an accident.

Paula is a freelance writer and photographer specializing in motorsports. She also covers NASCAR at and Skirts & Scuffs.

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2012 Presidential Candidates Enter the Digital World

Since the creation of social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube , businesses and other groups have taken advantage of promoting their products or ideas through advertisement or the creation of mobile groups. Now the 2012 presidential hopefuls are gearing up to enter the digital world of social media in order to advertise their campaigns. Through social media efforts, they are hoping to reach more people in order to get to the Oval Office .

Newt Gingrich is one such hopeful, making a splash into the race with an official tweet at 9 a.m. Wednesday stating that he is making a bid to run for president. However, the same social media he hopes will gain him favor with the populace can also be used against him. Hours before his official tweet, people are abuzz with their reactions on Twitter. Many people are making statements wondering if he is the best candidate for the job. Some even believe he is too old for the presidency, that he does not have the best experience, and question his sense of lifestyle. He is not the only presidential candidate hoping to garnish attention from the U.S population through the use of social media network; other candidates are using social media for their own gain as well in this 2012 race.

Republican candidate Herman Cain, a self-proclaimed media guru, is amassing quite a following on websites such as Twitter and Youtube. His speeches on Youtube are reaching thousands of views every day, and his official Twitter account is becoming a well-commissioned social media site for his campaign. He has even coined his own social media reference on Twitter with terms like #citizencain.

In April, President Obama’s team announced his bid to re-run for president through a video posted on his website and massive emails sent to his followers. Unlike his 2008 campaign, Obama is now embracing social medial in this second campaign for the Oval Office. He further kicked off his social media campaigning with online video answering questions from Facebook’s home office. Millions of people are following Obama on Twitter and his infiltration into Facebook advertising is helping him create a large fan base in the Facebook world.

Independent Mike Bloomberg is also using the social media train to help assert his name into becoming a wanted presidential candidate. His new official website has links promoting his Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn , foursquare, YouTube, and flickr usage and accounts. He is an up-and-coming hopeful trying to build his own social media credentials as the easiest way for him to garnish support for his presidential run against the power of the Democratic and Republican parties.

In the social media world, the presidential candidates are trying to create their own followers on Twitter or advertise on Facebook their ideals and what they stand for. The value of viewership and promotion in social media is definitely taking a new turn in this 2012 presidential race.

Sources: Michelle Castillo, “How Herman Cain won the GOP and Won over the Online Community.”

Perry Bacon, Jr. “President Obama Kicks off His 2012 fundraising campaign in Chicago.”

Newt Announces his Run and Peoples Reactions

Bloomberg’s Social Media

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2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions and Picks

It’s time for my 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks. The season kicks off with Dallas at the New York Giants on Wednesday, September 5. Who will emerge from this conference showdown as victorious in week one? The Giants certainly proved last year that winning down the stretch is far more important than what takes place in the early portion of the season. The Cowboys are a team looking for bigger and better things after struggling in 2011.

Eli Manning versus Tony Romo definitely sounds appetizing for the first week of the season. My predictions and picks for this game? I’d like to pick an upset and I feel that the Cowboys will be more than capable. However, I just don’t see Romo getting a whole lot of time against the Giants defensive line. For that reason, I predict the Giants will win an ugly one 26-21.

What’s next on the 2012 NFL week 1 schedule? Let’s look at the full slate of games on Sunday. Indianapolis is at Chicago to face the Bears. Is Andrew Luck capable of upsetting the Bears at Soldier Field? My 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks say that Luck will struggle early and often in his debut. The Bears win behind the strength of 3 Jay Cutler touchdown passes 31-13.

Philadelphia is in Cleveland to face the Browns. Oddsmakers might tell you the Eagles will walk away with a victory here. Those oddsmakers would be right. Michael Vick throws for 2 and runs for another touchdown as the Eagles win 27-14.

New England travels to Tennessee to face another young quarterback in Jake Locker. Tom Brady hits on all cylinders and the Patriots pick up their first win of the year 31-23.

Atlanta heads to Kansas City to face the Chiefs. Matt Ryan leads the way with 3 touchdown passes in a 30-16 Falcon win.

My 2012 NFL predictions and picks continue with Jacksonville at Minnesota. A lot could depend on whether Adrian Peterson returns or not in this one. I still think the Vikings down the Jags, who will probably be without Maurice Jones-Drew, by a 23-10 final.

Washington travels to New Orleans to face Drew Brees and the Saints. Can Robert Griffin perform “Cam Newton” type rookie magic starting in the week 1 NFL schedule? I don’t think so. Although I believe it could be entertaining. Saints still win 36-20.

Buffalo is on the road at New York to face the Jets. The Bills started well last season and struggled. I look for quite the opposite this year. The Jets get offense finally and beat the Bills 27-6.

St. Louis visits Detroit in what could be an interesting early season match up. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher could make a not so great team at least mediocre in his first year. For that reason, I think the Rams will play close but no cigar in Detroit. Lions win 31-23.

Houston hosts Miami elsewhere. The Texans Arian Foster runs wild with 3 touchdowns in a 33-10 blowout.

San Francisco travels to Green Bay to face the Packers. Aaron Rodgers is just way too much as the Pack gets in the win column with a 30-15 victory.

My 2012 NFL week 1 predictions and picks continue with Seattle at Arizona. This game seems like it could be irrelevent by mid-season. But I think the Seahawks could potentially challenge for a wild card position. Seattle wins on the road in the week 1 NFL schedule 22-17.

Cam Newton and Carolina are in Tampa Bay. Can the Panthers keep the offense going in 2012? My answer is absolutely. The Panthers roll to a 23-13 victory going away.

In what could be the most entertaining game of week one, Denver hosts Pittsburgh on Sunday night. The debut of Peyton Manning could potentially be run over by the Steel Curtain defense. But I don’t think so. Not in week one. The Broncos win thanks to 4 touchdown passes from Manning in a 31-27 battle.

The final games on the 2012 NFL week once schedule take place on Monday night. Cincinnati heads to Baltimore and San Diego visits Oakland.

My 2012 NFL 1 predictions? I’ll take the Ravens in a 24-17 victory and the Raiders at home 16-13. Ryan Matthews will not be available and I believe that could hurt the Chargers overall offense. Ray Rice gets busy with 110 yards and 2 scores for the Ravens in a week 1 win.

That’s all for my 2012 NFL predictions and picks for week 1. I’ll be back next week with another round of winners and losers.

Tags:2012 NFL Week 1 Predictions and Picks

2012 NFL Draft: Senior Quarterback Watch

Here are my top senior quarterbacks for the 2012 NFL Draft.

1. Nick Foles, Arizona ‘” Foles has great size and last season completed 67 percent of his passes, he is a good overall athlete. He needs to improve on some of his decisions when he forces passes into coverage and threw an interception in every game he played last year expect 3 games, and threw 3 interceptions in the Alamo Bowl. He has some of the same physical tools as Blaine Gabbert who was a first round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft.

2. Ryan Lindley, San Diego State ‘” Lindley has all the physical tools to make all the throws in the NFL, but what concerns me is that he has never completed over 60 percent of his passes in any season and the last two season has combined to throw 30 interceptions. He did show improvement from his sophomore season to this junior season and he should be better this season as a senior.

3. G.J. Kinne, Tulsa ‘” Kinne is a great overall athlete and has lead Tulsa in both passing and rushing for the past two seasons. He is a transfer from Texas and has all the physical tools to be a NFL quarterback, some are going to question the level of competition he has faced, but gets to open up this season against Oklahoma.

4. Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M ‘” Tannehill is a former wide receiver who started the last seven games at quarterback so he is a little raw but has all the physical tools to play at the next level. He has some good talent around him in wide receiver Jeff Fuller and running back Cyrus Gray and could really help himself this season.

5. Kirk Cousins, Michigan State ‘” Cousins is a good solid quarterback who is a leader and an accurate passer. The questions are does he have enough physical gifts to be a big time NFL quarterback prospects, right now the jury is still out on that.

6. Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State ‘” Weeden is a good quarterback who has a strong arm and threw for over 4,000 yards last year but will be 28 years old when the 2012 NFL Draft comes around and that will cause some concerns.

7. Terrelle Pryor, Ohio State ‘” Pryor is a better overall athlete then he is a quarterback right now and has started since he was a freshman and has been a very successful helping Ohio State win games. He improved as a passer last season and will need to again show that this season after he serves his five-game suspension.

8. Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois ‘” Harnish is a quarterback that I think will surprise some people this season and be a sleeper in next years draft. He is a good overall athlete who can make all the throws and move around the pocket and make plays with his legs. People are going to questions him playing in the MAC so will have to go out and have another outstanding season.

9. Case Keenum, Houston ‘” People might be right when saying that Keenum is a system quarterback but to put up back-to-back seasons of over 5,000 yards passing and 44 touchdowns is impressive and we will see how he comes back from his injury that cost him most of last season.

10. Dominique Davis, East Carolina – Davis is someone to watch this season, he started his career at Boston College and played some as a red-shirt freshman there even starting the 2008 ACC Championship Game against Virginia Tech where he threw for 263 yards. Last season Davis threw for 3,967 yards and 37 touchdowns, he completed 64 percent of his passes and rushed for 141 yards and 9 touchdowns.

11. John Brantley, Florida
12. Jordan Jefferson, LSU
13. Kellen Moore, Boise State
14. B.J. Coleman, Chattanooga
15. Michael Paulus, William & Mary
16. Matt Scott, Arizona
17. Brian Reader, Idaho
18. Austin Davis, Southern Mississippi
19. Stephen Garcia, South Carolina
20. Casey Therriault, Jackson State

Tags:2012 NFL Draft: Senior Quarterback Watch

2012 Movie Review

The 2012 movie review opinions are out this morning. As I read each 2012 movie review, I am reminded of the hype surrounding 1999 and the end of the world. We’re all still standing which leads me to believe this mass panic is a great way to drive people to movie theaters.

The Mayans predict the world will end in 2012. Director Roland Emmerich is renowned for movies about doom and gloom including Independence Day in 1996, Godzilla in 1998, the Day After Tomorrow in 2004 and in 2009 we get 2012. The movie features leading stars including John Cusack, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Peet and Danny Glover.

The 2012 movie review from the New York Times gave this doom and gloom flick a less than stellar review. Manohla Dargas of the Times states:

Mr. Harrelson looks like he’s actually having the kind of good time stupid movies should provide but that this one roundly fails to deliver. Despite the frenetic action scenes, the movie sags, done in by multiple story lines that undercut one another and by the heaviness of its conceit. Humanity is dying, after all, as the television talking heads keep repeating, and while most of the dead are specks on the screen, Mr. Emmerich occasionally brings you close to the calamity.

Nick Chordas at the Columbus Dispatch wasn’t impressed by 2012 either and was quite straightforward about his opinion. In his 2012 movie review, Chordas states:

The end-of-days extravaganza 2012 isn’t just the disaster porn that the movie trailers and TV advertisements promise.

It’s far, far more stupid than that.

Massive shifts in the planet’s crust result in the leveling of entire continents — yet cell-phone service remains uninterrupted.

Billions flee for their lives around the globe — but the same half-dozen characters continually and randomly run into one another.

The U.S. president avoids being crushed by the Washington Monument — only to end up getting smacked in the kisser by an aircraft carrier.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that 2012 is a very dumb and often very funny movie.

Whether the humor is intentional can be debated — and probably will the moment 2012 arrives on DVD and promptly becomes a drinking game…

Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave a positive 2012 movie review and stated:

Crowd-pleasing global annihilation is the goal of “2012,” and darned if they don’t accomplish it.

A big, loud, blow-you-out-of-your-seat blockbuster of the kind usually released in midsummer, it features all the stock cataclysms and characters of bygone doomsday epics. Once again we meet those familiar figures, the idealistic scientist, the pigheaded politician, the sympathetic and steadfast family man, and the obligatory cute females who exist to be imperiled and add love interest.

This time, however, they’re a bit more interesting than the usual disaster people doing the usual disaster things. “2012” is a have-it-both-ways hip/square doomsday movie. It serves up slaphappy sight gags in the midst of pulse-racing action crises, handling the threat of human extinction with just the right combination of facetiousness and sincerity.

Every 2012 movie review seems to find humor in this doomsday flick. While I don’t know if that’s what they intended, many do find all the end of the world hype humorous. After all, we were wrong in 1999…

Tags:2012 Movie Review

2012 Olympics Balance Environmental Impact Through Sustainable Development

The games of the modern Olympiad bring with them modern concerns about the environmental impact. From construction of the necessary venues to the international travel and worldwide broadcasts, the Olympics require a large investment of natural resources.

Plans for the 2012 Olympics in London are being guided with principles of sustainable development to tackle the environmental concerns inherent with an event on the scale of the Olympics. According to the official Web site of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games,, the 2012 Olympics are the first summer Games with sustainability built into all stages of planning.

The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has a sustainability plan that addresses climate change, waste and biodiversity. Objectives focus on the carbon footprint, water use, waste and recycling, sustainability of materials, biodiversity and ecology at Olympic venues, and other environmental impacts. One of the goals is to inspire lasting change toward sustainable living.

The creation of Olympic Park in the Lower Lea Valley area of east London is transforming a contaminated, industrial area to green space. The site (2.5 square kilometers, or nearly one square mile) will add more than 2,000 trees and over 300,000 wetland plants to create a park to be enjoyed by people and wildlife alike.

The sustainable development efforts at the park included dismantling, rather than destruction, of existing buildings to allow materials to be reused. In its first sustainability report released in April 2011, LOCOG reported that 98.5 percent of materials were reused or recycled during the demolition phase at Olympic Park, exceeding the goal of 90 percent. The temporary venues required for the Olympics are being designed for reuse and recycling after the Games.

Further environmental monitoring will be conducted throughout the ramp up to the Olympic Games. LOCOG plans to issue two more sustainability reports, one in the spring of 2012 and the final report in the winter of 2012-13, detailing the progress against environmental objectives for the 2012 Olympics.


Tags:2012 Olympics Balance Environmental Impact Through Sustainable Development

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