John Haberman: Position: 1B/P
B/T: L/LHT: 6’1”School: Pacific
WT: 220 YR
John had an impressive debut for Pacific in the Big West Conference. A stabilizing presence in the lineup hitting .321, John also contributed as a southpaw pitcher coming out of the bullpen. In fact, he is the first Pacific player honored as Big West pitcher of the week. The son of John Haberman and Sandra Medina-Haberman, John is a social science major who has teaching and coaching aspirations after his playing career concludes.
Everyone with a maroon Marion Barber 21 jersey will be watching the border showdown on Saturday afternoon pitting the Gophers against the Badgers.
Ten years after the best Gophers team of my lifetime won ten games under Glen Mason, the Gophers will try to make their first New Year’s Day Bowl appearance since 1961. No matter what the future outcome may be, it has been awesome to see the Gophers rebound from some pretty sad times filled with poor game management and four-star recruits that ultimately flamed out.
Which college football team do you root for on Saturdays? What is your favorite memory of your squad from recent years? Thanks.
Killer Joe is a dingy, nihilistic collection of murky and unlikeable characters. Most of the dialogue leaves an uncomfortable ache and the incoherent ramblings mark morose transitions between shady characters. The performance of Matthew Mccougheny as a hitman antihero highlighted this noir. Things get complicated when a father and son enlist the help of the hitman adorned in black attire. What the performance lacks for in polish makes up for with intensity and a bizarre yet twisted level of down-home folksiness that only the leading man can provide. Mccougheny found prominence not as a teen idol but as a fresh-faced matinee idol in the late 90′s. He has a varied and eclectic film resume to a certain extent and this film is a striking contrast to his work as the premier romantic comedy leading man of the early 2000′s. While he is affable and engaging on football pre-game shows, Mccoughney’s Joe Cooper is a bad, bad man and he makes the part and the film his own with detached arrogance. Killer Joe has a string of actions that lead to a demoralizing ultimate conclusion. While the film may not be for everyone, it is an impactful slow burn marked by superb acting amid a bleak and sobering canvas.
Matt Jackson Position: INF
B/T: R/R Ht: 5’10 School: University of Washington
Wt: 158 Yr: FR Hometown: Morgan Hill, CA
Matt signed with the University of Washington during the 2012 early signing period. A 2011 graduate of Valley Christian High School, Matt was chosen by West Catholic League coaches as an All-Conference honorable mention in the San Francisco area. In high school, Matt hit. 320 as a senior, .405 as a junior, and .300 as a sophomore. Played on the same high school team as Shawon Dunston. Jr,, son of former Chicago Cubs SS Shawon Dunston.
Willmar Stingers OF Pat Stover received accolades from the noted publication Baseball America in their special December 12th double issue as one of their Top 100 collegiate players for the 2012 MLB First-year player draft.
Drafted out of high school by the Oakland Athletics in 2009 in the 17th round, the 6’4 corner outfielder from Santa Clara University obliterated Northwoods League pitching in 2011, hitting at a clip of .337, which led the Stingers and was good for sixth in the league.
A native of Rocklin, CA, Stover is entering his redshirt junior season ranked 78th on Baseball America’s Top 100 College Players list. Santa Clara is a member of the West Coast Conference and Stover is one of four players from the aforementioned conference on receiving distinction.
In addition to his stellar batting average, Stover had an impressive .408 OBP and a slugging percentage of .462 in 46 games for the Stingers. For a few weeks in the sultry sauna that is the Bee Hive at Baker Field , Stover sported a mohawk that was well-received by teammates and fans. He made his first team appearance on June 18th, hitting two singles and scoring his first run as a member of the Stingers. A focused competitor on the diamond yet courteous and genial off it, Stover also had 17 multi-hit games for the team and did not commit a single error the entire summer.
A well-respected authority on the game of baseball at an amateur, minor, and major league level, Baseball America is the paramount source of knowledge for any serious fan or employee of a baseball team, present company included. Although co-owners Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak resigned Pat Stover for the 2012 Northwoods League season, Stover is draft-eligible in accordance to MLB rules; congratulations and kudos to Pat Stover on this prestigious and well-deserved accolade.
College basketball is fun to watch and in this month of giving thanks I can not think of a better reason for hoops fans to rejoice than to watch the 24 hours of hoops coverage. While technically games tipped off last Friday, the idea of devoting coverage and designating a special de facto start to the regular reason has been an impactful reinforcement to both casual and die-hard fans alike.
The four-lettered network started this concept five years ago. I remember the college basketball coverage starting at 11 PM, right after Monday Night football concluded a weekend of professional football game action . That format has been tweaked with games like Colorado State vs. Gonzaga last night airing against MNF. Games were moved up compared to the past of waiting until the MNF outcome had been decided. No two fans are alike and not all college basketball fans necessarily consume football with the same fervent level of devotion. In accordance with the first rule of mass media, this is a way of giving the people what they want.
I know several student-athletes and the hoops marathon is a great way for me to tune in and possibly see the connections I made at games held in Waco, Texas and Fort Myers, Florida. Sports is a great way to bring communities and people together so it is neat for me to possibly see quality kids that I know supporting their university’s basketball programs.
Growing up as a fan of the Gophers athletic program, I have wondered about when and if the Gophers will ever play a game during this opening showcase. No doubt, factors like the conference network they are in and their national program status play a part. Big Ten programs have generally played in games during the Tuesday night slot when the 24 hour slate is winding down.
My earliest college hoops memory is of the Gophers playing teams like BYU and Arizona in the Great Alaskan Shootout. I usually asked my mom if I could stay up way past my bedtime to watch players like Sam Jacobson and Voshon Lenard win a critical Thanksgiving tournament that played a huge factor in getting them to the NCAA Tournament. I was unable to see that opening round loss to St. Louis but a teacher from a nearby classroom did give me an update while I waited for the bus to take me home. Here’s to hoping new coach Richard Pitino will help elevate the program to increased exposure and more importantly, prosperity moving forward.
A good quarterback like a good man is hard to find. Vikings fans and country music songstresses are in unison on that. Entering tonight’s game against the New York Giants, Head Coach Leslie Frazier will give Josh Freeman the start. A 2009 First-Rounder, Freeman will be the third different starting quarterback for the purple, never a good sign. When a team, whether by injuries to the starter or ineptitude, is down to their third quarterback, it is a painful and emotionally draining indicator that the time to think about next year is now. A similar state of affairs occurred in 2001 when the Vikings played out the string with third-stringer Spergon Wynn. I remember that time well and even though the Vikings had stability at the starter as Daunte Culpepper still had a promising future at the the time, it was a bland swan song to a season that yielded a less than optimal outcome. Injuries are part of the game but if you have to go to a makeshift route(s) at quarterback, it will get real old for fans.
Tonight’s MNF game will feature two struggling teams. Like the vast majority of most professional games you will see, the two starting quarterbacks will be two former first round selections in Freeman and Eli Manning. Unless the Vikings totally bottom out and secure the first overall pick and a chance to nab a franchise signal-caller on a rookie deal, they will have to evaluate all of their options. Freeman could be in the mix and in his mid-20′s, he is in his physical prime. It is easy to be intrigued by Freeman’s physical skill set.
At 6-foot-6 248 pounds, Freeman certainly looks the part in terms of prototypical size. He has a thick build and is tall enough to see the field and over oncoming rushers. Freeman has the big-league arm strength to zip passes downfield and he can make awesome throws when pushed outside the tackle box. Unlike Christian Ponder, Freeman can make any throw and deliver it with solid RPMs.
Released by the team that drafted him in Tampa Bay, Freeman signed with the Vikings two Sunday nights ago just as the San Diego Chargers were about to receive the kickoff in their late game against the Oakland Raiders. He will get a chance to show the Vikings what he can do, whether he has a solid grasp of the Vikings playbook or not. Having a stud running back like Adrian Peterson will help any quarterback and Freeman’s strength in driving the ball downfield can give wideouts like Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson more chances to make plays. While this season may be in lost cause mode, Freeman’s audition hopefully will be beneficial for all parties involved considering Jacksonville looks to be in line to secure the number one pick in next May’s (it doesn’t feel right still) Draft.
Bats: Left Throws: R
Height: 6’2 Weight: 200
School: St. Louis
Alec hit .271 as a freshman for the Bilikens and flashed serious glove as well, setting a single-season school record with 187 assists. The slick-fielder proved to be a tough out at the plate, striking out only 15 times in 188 at-bats. No sophomore slump for Alec in 2013, hitting .283 and posting a .406 On-Base Percentage through 44 games. As a prep, Alec earned the Carl Yastrzemski Award that honors the best player in Suffolk County (New York.)
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Height: 6’0 Weight: 200
School: San Diego
Drew is an excellent athlete; in high school, he was recruited to be a kicker by major college football programs like Boise State and USC. As a prep star in Ventura, CA, Drew threw two no-hitters. Drew delivered a solid freshman season for the Toreros in 2012, posting a 2.83 ERA in eleven appearances. Drew’s San Diego Toreros squad won the 2013 West Coast Conference Tournament.
This football season is still young but before we know it, snow will fall and we will long for these days when green leaves were still on the trees outside. Fall is and always will be a season of transition.
Football brings me in the house to hibernate, more or less. My TV and me. The picture is of me watching the games that bring relief from boredom and other less than desirable feelings.
I can’t help but think, “I remember when Monday night games were the de facto games of the week and not Sunday nights” or “radical wardrobe concepts like the 2013 Jaguars uniforms remind me so much of the Memphis Maniax threads of the ill-fated XFL.” With this evening’s Thursday night game, I can’t help but remember when Thursday Night games were infrequent. Eventually, logic won and since 2012, games were part of each and every autumn/winter night.
If there is a call for less football, count me out. Tuesday nights, Wednesday nights, Thursday, it really doesn’t matter. Heck, put games on Tuesday afternoons even though logic and common sense dictates against it. During fall, the experience of watching football is rewarding.
Tonight’s matchup between the Chiefs and Eagles will be an attractive matchup based on the old coach (Andy Reid) returning to face his old team and city and the contest will be the unofficial kickoff to Week 3. Even though the connection is faulty, it reminds me of when a freshman returns home for a weekend in mid-September although most freshmen might come home for a day or two during Labor Day Weekend.
Thursday night games were once reserved for the MEA mini-vacations. Now, they are a professional viewing institution. Teenage football fans don’t know of anything else, a far time ago with only one or two Thursday night games per year. Come to think of it, they won’t know what MEA is either. For once in my life, I feel like the beneficiary. You can never have too much money or football.