Rivalry Week Is Here!

College football players and fans everywhere have been looking forward to this weekend since August. Week 14, known as Rivalry Week, is without a doubt the most exciting week of the college football season. There’s a special kind of passion associated with rivalry games that a non-fan simply wouldn’t understand.

Before the Harvard vs. Yale game in 1916, it’s said that Yale coach T.A.D. Jones tried to inspire his players by unequivocally asserting, “Gentlemen, you are now going to play football against Harvard. Never again in your whole life will you do anything so important.”

To some, that’s crazy. To true fans of college football, it’s real.

5 Best College Football RivalriesCollege football in general is built on a foundation of history, community and tradition. It’s the reason that fans plan their fall calendars around when their team is playing. It’s why  you can run into a stranger wearing your team’s logo and become instant friends. It’s why my dad, a die-hard Ohio State fan once told me if I were to ever get married on the Saturday of an OSU vs. Michigan game I’d need to look for someone else to walk me down the isle. Of course he was joking – I think?

Here’s a list of what I think are the 5 Best College Football Rivalries.

Anything can happen in rivalry week games. The energy and excitement that goes into these games makes predicting the outcomes based off stats nearly impossible. This year, the first in the playoff era, means more to some teams than just bragging rights.

Highly ranked teams like Alabama (No.1) and  Florida State (No.3) control their own destiny this week. A win against either of their rivals, Auburn and Florida respectively, puts them in the playoffs clean and easy. But like I said, anything can happen in a rivalry game. A loss could shake either program.

Ohio State and Michigan will face off in Columbus at 11 a.m. on ABC. At 7-0 in the Big Ten, Ohio State has already earned a spot in the conference championship game next week. Having already been beat by a bad Virginia Tech team early in the season, a loss a the hands of the Wolverines would surly end the Buckeyes playoff hopes. Look for this to be a serious battle.

Georgia Tech (No. 16) at Georgia (No. 9) will be another interesting rivalry to watch. Although their playoffs hopes were squandered by a Missouri win Friday, beating rival Georgia Tech still means a lot to the Bulldogs. They’ll need to have a storing showing against Tech, who’s won four straight and boasts the fourth best rushing attack in the nation.

No matter which rivalry you choose to watch this college football Saturday you’re sure to witness some scrappy and heartfelt football. Let me know which game you most enjoyed!

Cheers!

4 Sports Accounts You Must Follow

I’ve said it before. Sports provide endless entertainment. The term sports “fan” comes from the root “fanatic”. Webster’s defines a fanatic as a person “marked by excessive enthusiasm and often uncritical devotion.” Sports fans, by definition, aren’t expected to be logical, reasonable or especially serious. They’re passionate, off the cuff and dramatic.

These characteristics combined create one of my favorite things about sports: banter. Whether at the arena, around the water cooler or online, when people talk about sports you can pretty much guarantee the conversation will become A.) heated or B.) hilarious.

I’ve come up with a list of the 4 sports accounts you should follow if you want to be both informed and endlessly entertained.

1.) SB Nation

Look no further for up-to-the-minute sports news. Somehow, these guys seem to always get the scoop first. Every sport, every level, SB Nation has you covered. Not only do the authors create their own content, the site plays host to 307 other sports blogs covering niche topics.

2. Barstool Sports

Ok, if you’re an ultra-feminist this site might not be your favorite. With an open mind, however, it can be absolutely hilarious. The blogs contributors (nicknamed Stoolies) take the latest sports news and trending topics and report them with a witty frat-boy-meets-locker-room-talk flare. It’s as if you’re listening to a group of your best guy friends. You know they’re going to talk about the “smoke show” Tony Romo is dating, but you don’t care because you expect it from them. This article about Bryce Harper is just a nugget of Barstool gold.

3.) @JayBilas on Twitter.

This ex-college basketball player turned practicing lawyer and ESPN analyst is a must follow. He’s the perfect combination of candid, sarcastic and knowledgeable. For every absolutely ridiculous rap lyric he tweets there’s another with wicked-smart commentary on topics like NCAA sanctions and compensation for amateur athletes.

4.) @BillSimmons on Twitter

Bill Simmons says what’s on his mind without hesitation or apology. So much so that he was suspended by ESPN for calling NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell a “liar” in a recent podcast. His 2.9 million Twitter followers are proof the world likes to listen regardless. Check out the clip below.

There is an endless conversation surrounding sports, and the internet is the perfect place to tap in. Follow these 4 accounts, open your mind and prepare to laugh.

Fall Sports Guide

Fall is my favorite time of year for an endless list of reasons. I love nothing more than curling up on the couch with a Pumpkin Spice Latte and my favorite cozy crew neck.

Fall might also be the greatest time to be a sports fan. It’s the only time of year when every major sport is in season. Weather at the office, out with friends or at a family gathering, you can be sure sports fans everywhere will be buzzing. Here’s a few things you should be paying attention to.

MLB

Fall means MLB post-season. The “boys of Summer” have played 162 regular season games and the race to the World Series has begun.

  • The Royals – Everyone loves a comeback story. The Kansas City Royals gave us one of the most epic in MLB post-season history when they pulled through 12 innings of the most dramatic, gut-wrenching baseball possible to knock off the Oakland A’s in the AL Wildcard. I challenge anyone who thinks baseball is boring to go back and watch this game. Keep an eye on the Royals as they try to make their first run through the playoffs in 29 years. Check out this two-out walk-off.

NFL

With the NFL season in full swing there are a number of players and teams emerging as story lines to watch.

  • Johnny Manziel – “Manziel mania” was one the biggest sports stories of the Summer. All eyes were on the hard-partying rookie QB as he entered training camp to battle Ohio-boy Brian Hoyer for the Cleveland Brown’s starting job. Although Hoyer ultimately won that job, the world seems to stops every time Manziel takes a snap. Will he flourish or flop? The world will continue to watch.
  • League Under Fire – The NFL has been facing backlash and criticism after a series of reports have emerged about the bad behavior of a number of it’s players. Most notably is the story of Ray Rice. Who is now indefinitely suspended form the league after assulting his then-fiance in an elevator. Fans and coorperate sponsors alike are speaking out and asking for some accountability on the part of the NFL. It’ll be interesting to see what impact the drama will have on the season as a whole. So, stay tuned.

NBA

With just under 30 days until the start of the regular season, NBA fans are preparing for what will be one of the most dynamic and exciting seasons to watch in a long time.

  • The King – When LeBron James announced he would return to the Cleveland Cavaliers he created a shift in the entire structure of the NBA. Within weeks he took a mid-market team that hadn’t made the playoffs since his departure in 2010, and turned them into a championship-contending franchise valued at more than $100 million. Where they’ll end up remains to be seen, but you can be sure they will put on one heck of a show.
  • The Feisty Challenger – Washington Wizards’ Bradley Beal and John Wall recently engaged in some good old fashioned pre-season smack talking with Cavs guard Deion Waiters. Beal made a comment claiming the Wizards have the best backcourt in the NBA. Waiters quickly responded calling the comment “nonsense.” Wall chimed in just hours later telling a Washington news source that Waiters should win a playoff game before he starts talking. Shots fired! Drama is sure to be high when the teams meet for the first time this season on November 21st.

Think I’ve missed something? I’d love to hear your comments  and questions!

4 Reasons Being a Female Sports Fan Is Awesome

You might be thinking, “A bunch of sweaty smelly dudes running around hitting each other, bouncing balls or throwing things – Why should I care?” So, I’ve come up with a short list of the reasons I think being a sports fan, particularly a female sports fan, is so awesome.

1. Break Gender Barriers

As women continue to break gender barriers and stereotypes in all facets of life, the “boys’ club” that is the sports industry is finally following suit. Women like Rosalyn Durant, Vice President of ESPNU, Sharon Byers, VP of Sports and Entertainment Partnerships at Cola-cola, and Kim Williams, former COO of the NFL Network are all responsible for changing the way women are viewed in the industry. They greatest thing about these women is that they wear many hats. Wife, mother, community leader and sports fan are just a few. The point is – so can you. You can throw the most awesome Super Bowl party complete with perfectly coordinated snack foods that match your team’s colors, and sit on the couch with the guys to rip apart the poor play calling in the game. Prove you’re a renaissance women.

2. Have Endless Entertainment

If you’re a spots fan you’ll never be sitting home on a saturday afternoon wondering, “What the heck am I going to do today?” For every season you can pretty much count on there being a game to watch. Football – late Summer, Fall and Winter, Basketball – Fall, Winter and Spring, Baseball – Spring, Summer and early Fall. That’s not even including other major sports like hockey, soccer, track, swimming and wrestling. See what I mean? The entertainment sports provide goes far beyond just watching the games. Hilarious sports blogs like Bleacher Report, which now has a hugely popular app, are such a better use of that time spent sitting in the waiting room than surfing Facebook is. I promise, they’re more entertaining too.

3. Have Interesting Conversation

We’ve all been there. That incredibly awkward silence that comes in the form of office cafeteria line waiting, cubicle hovering and bringing the new boyfriend home to meet Mom and Dad. Sports talk is the perfect way to break tension in these situations. There’s a reason people have said, “So, how ’bout them Yankees?” for so long. Wouldn’t it be cool to contribute to, or even start, these conversations instead of nodding quietly on the side?

4. Buy Cute Gear

This, ladies, is my personal favorite. All avid sports fans need team gear. What would you wear to the games, tailgates and sports bar watch parties if you didn’t have some logo’d gear? You don’t want to be that fan at the Red Sox game happily munching on her nachos in a blue striped sweater – gasp – Yankee colors! Gone are the days that your only choice was to buy from the high-priced team shop at the stadium. Retail giant Victoria’s Secret is only one of the major labels jumping on the sports fandom bandwagon. They now offer an extensive line of licensed team apparel for college and pro teams of all kinds. Now you can not only fit in with the crowds, you can stand out! Adorable style + team spirit = game day perfection.