March 3rd, 2014 at 6:45 PM
By Sports Media 101
As part of the new "Gridiron Glory" exhibit appearing at the Liberty Science Center in New Jersey — an exhibit featuring a number of items from the Pro Football Hall of Fame — Sports Media 101 will feature a series of articles pertaining to the science behind several sports. Enjoy!
Kicking a football involves kinetic energy and projectile velocity. The rotational kinetic energy of the kicker’s leg rotating at the hip joint is what creates the power that will drive the football over defenders hoping to block his kick and through the uprights. A kicker must concentrate on his strike point (where his foot will make contact with the football) as he is moving towards the targeted spot for the hold. Meanwhile, the ball is being snapped to the holder, who must receive the snap and get the ball down in time for the kicker to execute the kick while 20 people collide just yards away – 11 of them hoping to block the kick. Punts and kickoffs occur under their own sets of circumstances and are very different kicks beyond the actual technique of punting a football or the fact that a kickoff allows the use of a tee. Field goals, kickoffs and punts have differing needs in terms of distance, height and hang time.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 28th, 2014 at 7:57 PM
By Ricky Cibrano
One down, one to go?
The New York Rangers have agreed to a six-year extension worth $33 million with defenseman Dan Girardi. The deal caries a reasonable $5.5 million cap hit, and reportedly includes a full no-movement clause the first three years, and a modified no-trade clause the final three. The pact will keep the 29-year old under contract through the 2019-20 season.
“Dan has been a Ranger for his entire career, signing with us as an undrafted free agent and working his way to become a top defenseman in the NHL,” said Glen Sather in a press release on the team website. “His dedication to this club, as a leader both on the ice and in the locker room, is invaluable to this team. We are happy to have been able to ensure that he will continue to wear the Blueshirt.”
All along it seemed as if the Rangers and Girardi would find a way to reach an agreement. The assistant captain's demands were not outlandish, and the two sides never seemed to be more than a year and a few pennies (in terms of professional sports at least) apart in negotiations.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 26th, 2014 at 10:30 PM
By Ricky Cibrano
What's the best way to get a Hart Trophy winner and two-time NHL scoring champ? Draft one. But having one engineer a trade to your side is a close second.
And it appears that's exactly what Martin St. Louis is looking to do. Rumors broke last week that the mightiest of mighty mites could be in play, and that Glen Sather did, in fact, contact Lightning GM Steve Yzerman about a captain-for-captain swap (a deal Stevie Y rejected). Now today comes the revelation, courtesy of TSN, that St. Louis is "locked on" the New York Rangers.
That report came on the heels of the Lightning captain publicly addressing trade rumors, saying:
"I've had conversations with Steve about my future with the team and I'll leave it at that."
Sometimes it's what you don't say that's most newsworthy. The fact that St. Louis had a chance to publicly deny that he wants out of Tampa and chose not to gives credence to TSN's report. The former MVP was snubbed by his own GM for selection to team Canada in 2010, and only made it this time around as a replacement because teammate Steven Stamkos wasn't healthy enough to go.Read more... Join the Conversation...
February 25th, 2014 at 5:39 PM
By Ricky Cibrano
With NHL games finally drawing near, let's finish up our look at the New York Rangers' defense Corp, with an examination of Marc Staal, John Moore, and Kevin Klein.
When Marc Staal came into camp healthy at long last, played well in the preseason, and scored the Rangers' lone goal in the season opener, there was talk of the 27-year old taking the proverbial step up to the ranks of the leagues elite blueliners. That chatter hasn't come to fruition just yet. It's not as if Staal has played poorly–that's far from the case–but the hope was that with Alain Vigneault taking the shackles off his defenseman, Staal would see an uptick in his offensive production, much like Ryan McDonagh. With just 11 points so far, that hasn't happened, but Staal remains a very solid top-4 defenseman, who on many teams would be pushing for an even larger role. He's been a little bit up and down–lights out some games, a tad mistake prone others–but by and large, when healthy, Staal remains a defensive force on the Rangers' blueline. B
John MooreRead more... Join the Conversation...
February 24th, 2014 at 10:52 PM
By Ricky Cibrano
When the New York Rangers' made defenseman Dylan McIlrath the 10th overall pick in the 2010 draft, it raised more than a few eyebrows. Almost four full years later, those eyebrows are still raised.
McIlrath, nicknamed "The Undertaker" in his junior hockey days in Moose Jaw, is a player who, if you couldn't guess from the moniker, was drafted much more for his physical prowess than his skill or even defensive acumen. In the days following the pick, phrases such as "a long ways away," "must improve his play with the puck," and, perhaps most damning of all, "needs to improve his skating" were used to describe the selection of McIlrath.
A general rule of thumb: If skating ability is a question mark, a player might not be worthy of the 10th pick in the draft.
Hindsight is always 20/20, and in the case of the 2010 draft, it's painful. The list of notable players still on the board when McIlrath was selected is neither short nor unaccomplished. Cam Fowler (12th overall) is already a US Olympian, Jaden Schwartz (14th) has 42 points this year, his teammate with St. Louis, Vladimir Tarasenko, has 18 goals. Others still available included Evgeny Kuznetsov (25th), who is considered one of the best players in Europe and is expected to come to North America soon, and Nick Bjugstad (19th), who's lit the lamp 13 times for Florida. Read more... Join the Conversation...