Wednesday, June 8, 2011

We're Moving!

The TPD is currently in the process of moving to!  We're very excited about it, as the new format has allowed us to become much more organized and pleasing to the eye.  The link to the new site is below:

Just a heads up, we will for a short while continue to post content on both sites, just to ensure that all of our readers have a chance to hear the news and transition over to wordpress with us!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

From the Horseshoe to the Hambrecht?

            With the recent news of Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor forgoing his senior season with the Buckeyes amidst much scandal, Pryor’s future is very much up in the air.  With continuing turmoil befalling the National Football League, Pryor and his agent have mentioned the possibility of Pryor playing in the Canadian Football League, or securing himself a private quarterbacks coach until the next NFL draft.  But Terrelle Pryor could be ignoring another option, the United Football League, and what a season of the UFL could allow Pryor to do to further his professional football career.
            Pryor’s departure from OSU comes after a shockwave of scandals and compliance violations ripped through the Buckeye athletic department, also leading the early leave of head coach Jim Tressel.  Already facing a five game suspension to start the season, Pryor looked to be continuing target for the NCAA, as they seem to have Ohio State in their cross hairs as the next example for stricter punishments, fresh off of retracting the 2004 USC title. 
            Despite it’s ending, Pryor’s career at OSU was nothing short of very successful.  Pryor arrived in Columbus as the top rated recruit in the high school class of 2007, and quickly made his way to the top of the quarterback depth chart.  The 6-foot-6 signal caller was a dual threat in the backfield, with an arm strong enough to keep Big Ten secondary’s at bay, and the legs to keep pass rushers modest and to not over pursue.  Perhaps even more important, Pryor was a proven winner, leading the Buckeyes to victories in both the Sugar and Rose Bowl. 
            With his future uncertain, the UFL certainly should be on Pryor’s mind.  His ability to scramble in the pocket, along with an ever improving passing game, could bring a dynamic that is about to seemingly explode on the UFL scene.  Along with other newcomers Pat White and Jeremiah Massoli, the three would join Daunte Culpepper as quarterbacks whose rushing ability must be respected.
            The 2010 season for Pryor was easily his best yet.  Looking at his career numbers, its easy to see that Pryor has truly developed into a premier dual threat quarterback, with his passing numbers increasing each of his three seasons, and his rushing numbers evolving as well.  During the 2010 Buckeye campaign, Pryor threw for over 2,700 yards for 27 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions, all while rushing the ball for 754 yards and four touchdowns.  Despite both his rushing yards and touchdown totals slightly dropping, his increasing in passing numbers from 2009 to 2010 tell of story of growth and improvement.  From 2009 to 2010 alone, Pryor’s completion percentage rose over nine percent; he threw for nearly 700 yards more, and increased his touchdown total from 18 to 27.  For a quarterback whose passing ability was questioned as a freshman, Pryor has proven he has the ability to command the pocket.
            With a track record of steady improvement, Pryor could certainly find a suitable home in the UFL, even if just for this coming fall.  The move might also be what Pryor needs coming off of a sour ending to his college career, as the UFL could provide a safe haven from legally stressed NFL.  Despite his transgressions, the numbers don’t lie; Terrelle Pryor certainly has the potential for a successful UFL career.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Nine Reasons to Love Baseball

So, to tide over all of TPD's readers, we're pulling out a piece from the archives that was penned a few years back.  We still feel the message applies though.

As we arrive upon the dog days of summer, we’re reminded that this time of the year belongs solely to baseball.  Sure the NHL and NBA playoffs are on, and although both of those events are some of the most entertaining, there is no doubt that baseball and summer are as American as apple pie on the fourth of July.  So to celebrate this time here are nine reasons to love this sport, one for each inning.

1. No Time Limit
Unlike most sports, baseball has no time limit. That means it ain’t over ’til it’s over, and the excitement of an extra-inning ball game is second to none. Need some proof? The longest recorded Major League game was on May 1, 1920. After 26 innings, Boston and Brooklyn ended with a 1-1 tie. Long enough for you?  If not, in 1984, Chicago defeated Milwaukee 7-6 in a game that lasted eight hours and six minutes.

2. Who Needs Instant Replay?
In baseball, there is no challenge flag, and the umpire crew is only allowed to survey the footage on a homerun call. From calling balls and strikes, fair or foul, safe or out, the game is completely under the umps’ control, which adds to the fact that baseball is a gentlemen’s game, and that ultimately, you can only control how you play your game.

3. Its Unique Language
ERA, WHIP, OBP, SLG%, BA, SV, K, BB, E, IBB, H, R, IP, AB, LOB, HBP, W, L, CS, RBI, 1B, 2B, 3B, HR, GIDP, DP – just a few examples of the second language baseball players and fans know and love. Baseball is all about numbers. It’s an intelligent game, not for the weak-minded, but yet when you boil it down, it’s quite simple. Hit the ball, field the ball, throw the ball, catch the ball.

4. The Presence of Failure
A 30 percent success rate in most sports isn’t considered good. But in baseball, fail to get a hit seven out of ten times, and you’re one of the better players. In baseball how often you fail is less important than your timing when you do succeed.

5. It’s a Game of Inches
Sixty feet and six inches. That’s the exact distance from the mound to home plate. The height of the mound from the ground is 10 inches, and 17 inches is the width of home plate. And those are just regulations. Imagine the actual surface area while trying to hit a round ball with a round bat. The batter has only fractions of a second to react to a 96 mph fastball. Baseball is as precise as it comes.

6. Every Player Has a Large Role
Everyone matters on the 25-man roster. Whether he is the third guy off the bench or the lefty specialist in the bullpen, each comes into play in almost every game.

7. The Postseason
It’s what every team strives for during the year. It’s the common goal. Whether it’s winning the division, or getting the wild card, the prize for best of the rest, the light at the end of the tunnel is the postseason. This is where dreams are made, or broken.

8. The History of the Postseason
To faithful baseball fans, some names will ring in memory forever. David Ortiz and his amazing 2004 playoff performance. Reggie Jackson, whose nickname is “Mr. October.” Joe Carter for his heroic walk-off home run that allowed the Blue Jays to take the ’93 World Series. Derek Jeter for his many postseason records. Don Larson for his perfect game five in the 1956 World Series. And of course (sorry, Cubs fans) Steve Bartman, who proved that the Cubbie Curse is still very much alive. The postseason has the power to take a no-name utility player and turn him into a hero, one who will live on in baseball history.

9. Baseball Is Truly American
As American as the Fourth of July and apple pie, baseball is a game that represents the red, white, and blue. Not only is it widely accepted as America’s pastime, but its everlasting spell is alive in every father and son who play catch. Baseball is a game that embodies the American spirit. It’s about patience (waiting for that good pitch), perseverance (playing through a slump), and seizing any and all opportunities (stealing bases).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movin' On Up!

The TPD is proud to announce that our writer, Eric Melch, has been published on the official UFL website.  To view the article, click the link below, and make sure to continue your support of the Two Point Diversion!

Land of Ten Thousand Headaches

The term “Minnesota Nice” is used to describe the usual happy and chipper demeanor of those residing in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.  However, this year has brought quite a bit of strain and hardship on those in who cheer for the teams that wear “Minnesota” on their uniforms, and in very few cases, does it look to be getting any better.  The Twin Cities are one of the few areas in the nation that support a team in each of the big four professional sports leagues; the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and the Minnesota Wild (NHL).  To give you a quick idea of what we’re talking about, lets take a look at each teams most recent season.

            The Minnesota Vikings came into the 2010-2011 season coming off of a NFC Championship game appearance in which they lost a heartbreaker to the New Orleans Saints.  With expectations high, the Vikings fell flat on their face.  The Vikings, led by aging quarterback Brett Favre, went a dismal 6-10, occupying the cellar of the NFC North division even falling below the Detroit Lions.  Despite returning much of their roster from the previous season, the Vikings could never put it together, with the tipping point coming in a trade for former Viking wide receiver Randy Moss from New England in exchange for a third round draft pick.  The much publicized reuniting of the two parties lasted only four weeks, in which Moss produced minimal numbers for the struggling offense, and was low lighted with an instance of physical abuse towards a plate of cold barbecue.

            Looking forward for the Minnesota Vikings, they have one thing many other teams in the league cannot claim, which is a top shelf level running back like Adrian Peterson.  Unfortunately for the Vikings, they don’t have much to help support Peterson, and defenses will lick their chops against this offense as they dare rookie quarterback Christian Ponder to throw the ball and load up defenders in to box to hold Peterson in check. 

The Favre experiment left the Vikings handicapped, as they now are going to have to rely on either Ponder of Joe Webb to command that offense, unless you buy into the idea of them signing Donovan McNabb.  Bringing Favre onto the roster was not a total bust, as he reinvigorated his career in 2009, showing some of the old magic from his Green Bay days in plays like this pass to Greg Lewis.  Overall, moving forward, Minnesota will have to try and balance providing Peterson with carries and putting their young quarterbacks into manageable situations for them to succeed.  All is not lost in Viking-land, and the promise of a new stadium in Arden Hills is giving the franchise some hope.

            The Minnesota Timberwolves were just recently dealt another blow to their perennially terrible franchise, by being overtaken for the first overall draft pick in the 2011 NBA draft by a Cleveland pick which had roughly a three percent chance of gaining the top spot.  Ever since the departure of NBA great Kevin Garnett, the T’Wolves have squandered any decent talent that had made it’s way onto their roster, more recently forward Al Jefferson. 

ricky-rubio.jpg            The 2010-’11 Timberwolves limped through the NBA season with a team of misfits and castaways, with the only shimmering gleam of hope coming from Kevin Love.  To be completely honest, the Timberwolves might be the best thing for Kevin Love’s production and statistics.  Don’t get the wrong idea, Love is a naturally talented rebounder and has made improvements on his offensive game, but on any team currently in the Conference Championship games, Love would be the third or fourth best player on the roster and would really only be used as a defender and rebounder.  With the Timberwolves, Love is their premium scoring option surrounded by a lackluster group of throw away guards and discarded big men (Darko is the prime example). 

            Finding hope in the T’Wolves situation is like searching for a attractive women’s softball first basemen, you really have to squint and hope to blur the edges enough to make it passable.  The Wolves are still waiting on supposed sensation Ricky Rubio to come to the team, and are trying to push the media and their fans into believing a team with Wes Johnson and Michael Beasley as primary scoring options other than Love. 

Moreover, the Timberwolves have always gotten placed in the draft in a position where they’re just out of reach of any marquee name players.  This year there is only one arguable sure thing in Duke guard Kyrie Irving, who will most likely be taken with the first overall pick.  If I were David Kahn, I’d go with Derick Williams from Arizona.  Put him at power forward, deal Love for a fast, lethal shooting guard (Stephen Curry maybe?) and then get Rubio over and trot out a lineup of Rubio, Curry, Johnson, Williams, and Beasley and go all out Phoenix Suns run-and-gun offense.  The fact that those five names are maybe their best chance at success should give you an idea of how far down this franchise truly is.

The only team of the major four in the Twin Cities that plays it’s games in St. Paul is the Minnesota Wild.  The Wild play at a great arena, the Xcel Energy Center, and are privileged enough to play in what is widely regarded as the State of Hockey.  However, it’s no secret that Minnesota has an ugly past with professional hockey, losing the North Stars back in the ’93-’94 season to Dallas and being teamless for a period of six years.  Since their creation in 2000, the Wild have had great fan support, but have lacked the extra gear to make a real competitive splash on the league.  This past season was no different, except the fact that for the first time the Wild saw their attendance numbers drop, most likely caused by the decrease in quality of play and the increase in ticket prices.        
The 2010-2011 season was another middle of the road performance for the Wild, who went 39-35, putting them in third place in the Northwest Division behind Vancouver and Calgary.  At one point during the season, the Wild seemed to be pushing for a playoff spot, but a crash and burn performance put those thoughts to rest.  The one point of promise for the Wild is that they do still identify quite a bit with their fans.  Their roster is full of fan favorite guys such as Cal Clutterbuck and Mikko Koivu.  One thing with being in the middle of the pack is that arguably, the Wild are only a move or two away from being a competitive team, and perhaps there are greener pastures in the future for this team.

Perhaps the one bright spot over the past few years in the Cities has been the Minnesota Twins.  The Twins have battled for the AL Central title and won it six times over the past 10 seasons, and have been led by homegrown golden boy Joe Mauer.  After signing a blockbuster deal this past offseason, Mauer has been bit by the injury bug, joining first basemen and neighbor to the north Justin Morneau, who was still feeling the lingering effects of his concussion he suffered last season. 

joe-mauer-twins-20ad5804db9ea7ee_large.jpgThe Twins 2011 season thus far has been devastating.  The Twins are currently 13-27, the worst record in Major League Baseball, and despite an inspired performance from the on again, off again Francisco Liriano on the night of the passing of Twin great Harmon Killebrew, Twins fans have had very little to cheer about.  Even Liriano’s no hitter a few weeks back was about as ugly as a no-no can get.  Beyond Liriano, the Twins pitching staff is a snore fest, with guys like Carl Pavano, Kevin Slowey, and Nick Blackburn making up the starters.  The Twins could also be mistaken for their AAA Rochester affiliate, as the players being called up and sent down have made the Twins roster a revolving door of overwhelmed minor leaguers and underperforming big leaguers. 

Little hope lingers amongst Twins fans, as they finally may be witnessing the end of their run.  Talk of moving Mauer from behind the plate and into the outfield to protect their $23 million investment has left fans torn into two parties, and besides prospect Kyle Gibson, there seems to be little help lying in wait in the farm system. 

Overall, the Twin Cities could be better regarded as the Thin Cities when it comes to athletic talent.  In fact, if you really want to witness the best team built for success, be sure to tune in to the Minnesota Lynx this summer during the WBNA season, as their starting five ladies all were former collegiate All-Americans, highlighted by Maya Moore.  The past sentence should give you an idea of the dire situation Minnesota sports fans find themselves in, and it’s only a matter of time before that “Minnesota Nice” wears off and fans serve up some “Minnesota Ice.”

Saturday, May 14, 2011

TPD Joins YouTube

Hello all of our TPD readers.  Just a quick update.  TPD has created a channel on YouTube, the link is below.  We probably won't be posting very many videos unless our writers decide to capture some footage while their out and about at various sporting events, but make sure to subscribe to us and we'll favorite some really entertaining videos and also some videos that pertain to our articles.  Check us out, and don't forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter (@twoptdiv), or sign up with your gmail account via this website!

Thanks to all, this has been really great so far!

Two Point Diversion YouTube Channel

Friday, May 13, 2011

Eight for the Octagon



Many soccer fans argue that the U.S. isn't as talented nor successful as the rest of the world because our premier athletes choose to play other sports rather than futbol.  While soccer tries to break it's way into the big four professional sports played in the U.S., MMA has been a growing industry, which made TPD ponder, what if our premier athletes choose to put on the gloves and step into the Octagon?  Here are eight athletes we feel could hold there own against the likes of Jon Jones, Cain Velasquez, and GSP.

-Patrick Willis, LB, San Francisco 49ers
6’1” 240
            At 6’1”, 240 lbs., Patrick Willis would fit right in height wise in the heavyweight division.  The middle linebacker for the 49ers is a freak of nature on the gridiron, being as built as he is with an uncanny amount of speed and quickness to compliment.  He is also a smart player, basically quarterbacking a 49er defense that was the top unit in 2009.  A three-sport athlete in high school (football, basketball, baseball), Willis was named Mr. Football in the state of Tennessee not only as a linebacker, but also as a running back.

-Andre Iguodala, F, Philadelphia 76ers
6’6” 207
            Iguodala can be described in one phrase: freak of nature.  The 76ers small forward is all muscle, and combines that with NBA level speed, as well as a quickness and tenacity that allows him to be one of the top level defenders in basketball.  At 207, we would see Iguodala dropping down to the Light Heavyweight division.  Picture this for one moment; a championship match up for the Light Heavyweight title between Jon Jones and Andre Iguodala…yeah, we just got chills too.

-Russell Westbrook, G, Oklahoma City Thunder
6’3” 187
            Russell Westbrook is not only crazy athletic, but he brings attitude to the hardwood as well, a skill that would serve him well if he were to step into the ring.  The former UCLA Bruin and Kevin Love roommate (a little T’wolves shout out), currently commands to court for the young Oklahoma City Thunder, and his game is driven by his attitude and swagger.  Unlike many of his other NBA counterparts on this list, Westbrook’s height would be very similar to what he would be facing off against in the Middleweight division.

Vernon Davis: Enough muscle for ya?
-Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49er’s
6’3” 250
            The three sport athlete at his Washington D.C. high school, Vernon Davis has no shortage of athleticism at his disposal.  Depsite excelling at football and basketball, Davis was able to win a DCIAA championship in the high jump for his track and field team, leaping a height of six feet and five inches.  Standing at 6’3”, he would stand eye to eye with former champ Brock Lesnar and would stand over currently champ Cain Velasquez by two inches and roughly six pounds.  Combining his size and speed, along with his ability to handle blocking charging defensive ends and linebackers, we feel Davis would be a handful in the Heavyweight division.

-Carl Crawford, OF, Boston Red Sox
6’2” 215
            TPD had trouble finding some baseball players that would hold their own in the Octogon.  With Nolan Ryan retiring some years ago, and Milton Bradley being literally too crazy to be considered, we choose Bo Sox outfielder Carl Crawford.  Widely regarded as one of the hardest workers in the MLB, Crawford combines power and speed like nobody’s business.  His overall speed and athleticism, combined with superior hand eye coordination and quickness would allow Crawford to somewhat compete.  To be competitive, Crawford would most likely have to drop down to 205 and fight as a Light Heavyweight, as 215 is on the lighter end of the Heavyweight scale.

-Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore Ravens 
6’1” 250
            We know Ray Ray is old, but the man has a swagger that is second to none.  And although it may be true that he is beginning to lose a bit of his speed, there’s no doubt his confidence and experience gives him an edge on his competition.  Pertaining directly to the Octogon, Lewis was a 4A Florida State Wrestling Champ back in high school, and a career of crushing QB’s and navigating his way through an offensive line prove he has the mentality as well as the intelligence to break down a situation with multiple factors in mere fractions of a sentence.  Now imagine he only has to train all of his fury on one opponent standing across the mat.

-Rajon Rondo, G, Boston Celtics
6’1” 171
All successful NBA players have length, but Rondo is seen as in a class of his own.  Combine that length with the evasive way he manipulates himself through the lane, and you’d have a sneaky, slippery fighter that would use his length and craftiness to defeat his opponents.  Rondo would have the ability to fight at either the Middle or Welterweight division, in either scenario his length would allow him to better defend against the better grappling techniques seen at the lower weight classes.

-Matt Carkner, D, Ottawa Senators
6’4” 231
Ground and pound, NHL style.
            A solid defensemen for the Senators, we only choose one hockey player to put on this list, because honestly, they all like to fight and could make up a list of their own.  Carkner is a big body with a nasty streak, always being at the top of the NHL in fights.  Carkner’s only shortcoming would be his height combined with his weight, with Cain Velasquez standing three inches shorter but 10 pounds heavier.  However, no one could question a hockey players balance and coordination, so we wouldn’t worry too much about his ability to handle his body in the Octagon.

Honorable Mention:

-LeBron James, F, Miami Heat
6’8” 250
          James is just a bit too tall for MMA, but regardless, we'd never want to see King James across the ring from us.

-Rickie Weeks, 2B, Milwaukee Brewers
5’10” 215
         Unlike James, Weeks is a bit on the shorter end of the spectrum, but if he dropped down to 205, it'd be an interesting prospect.

-Julius Peppers, DE, Chicago Bears
6’7” 283
        Peppers is about 20 pounds too heavy for the Heavyweight division, but he's crazy athletic nonetheless, and handles himself well with his quick feet.

A UFL Future for Five QB's

The UFL Draft took place on May 2nd, with a total of 52 players selected by the five teams that make up the UFL.  Of those 52, five quarterbacks were taken in the draft, each of them show promise to contribute to their team and build a successful career in the UFL.  Here is a break down of the five signal callers taken in the 2011 draft, and their prospects for the 2011 UFL season.

Jerrod Johnson Texas A&M (2010): Hartford, 1st overall pick
            YRDS: 1,947 CMP%: 56.6  YPA: 6.98  TD: 14  INT: 9  SACK: 25  RAT: 125.4
jerrodjohnson1.jpgOther QB’s on Roster:
            -Josh McCown
            -Colt Brennan*

            The 2010 season for Jerrod Johnson was cut short as he only completed in seven out of the thirteen games, even missing their Cotton Bowl matchup against LSU.  To get a better idea of Johnson’s skills, look at his ’09 campaign in which he threw for 3,579 yards, 30 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.  Johnson is a big quarterback (6’4”, 238 lbs.) who is able to survey the field over the line and pass with solid accuracy (roughly 60% completion during his ’08 and ’09 seasons.)
            Johnson joins the Colonials in what we see as a three way battle for the starting position.  We feel that Johnson, Brennan, and McCown, the returning starter, all have a legitimate shot at the starting quarterback job.  McCown returns to the team after a season in which he threw for over 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns, and Brennan joins the squad coming off of a lackluster NFL career with something to prove.  Look for a tight three way battle, but all of the QB’s should get a look this season.

Ryan Colburn Fresno St. (2010): Sacramento, 3rd overall pick
            YRDS: 2,817  CMP%: 63.1  YPA: 7.83  TD: 23  INT: 9  SACK: 36 RAT: 144.9

Other QB’s on Roster
            -Daunte Culpepper
            -Liam O’Hagan
            -Jeff Mroz* (Yale)

            In the 2010 Humanitarian Bowl against Northern Illinois, Fresno State quarterback Ryan Colburn did quite a bit to try and will his team to a victory.  Colburn threw for 288 yards on 28 of 38 (73.7%) passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions.  Despite coming in a 40-17 loss, the performance was indicative of Colburn’s final season as a Bulldog, in which his only two subpar performances came against Hawaii and Boise State.  Colburn is also a big quarterback, standing at 6’3” and weighing in at 220 lbs.
875563.jpg            Colburn arrives on the team with the most returners at the position.  Colburn will have to compete with last years starter, Daunte Culpepper, a seasoned vet who had a very successful season with the Mountain Lions last year, throwing for 1,900 yards and 10 touchdowns.  OHagan has been a consistent back up in the UFL since 2009.  We see Colburn landing in a solid position in which he can learn quite a bit from Culpepper, as it’s somewhat unlikely he’ll be able to steal away a starting spot.  However, look for Colburn to get a decent amount of time this season.

Mike Teel Rutgers (2008): Las Vegas, 31st pick
            YRDS: 3,418  CMP%: 61.4  YPA: 8.63  TD: 25  INT: 13  SACK: 16 RAT: 148.1

Other QB’s on Roster:
            -Chase Clement

            Teel was originally drafted back in 2009 out of Rutgers by the Seattle Seahawks in the sixth round (178th overall).  Most recently, Teel was released by the Chicago Bears after only a few weeks on the roster.  Never registering any stats during his brief NFL career, we look at his years at Rutgers, specifically his 2008 season.  Over his four year career as a Scarlett Knight, Teel was able to lead his team to three bowl victories, coming against Kansas St. (’06), Ball St. (’07), and North Carolina St. (’08).  Much like Colburn, Teel stands at 6’3” and weighs in at 230 lbs.
            Teel’s primary competition for the starting job of the Loco’s will be returning third stringer Chase Clement.  Clement threw for only 212 yards last season and one touchdown with Las Vegas last season, playing behind Tim Rattay and Drew Willy.  Teel comes in as a challenger, and Clement would seem to have the upper hand just on experience alone as a member of the returning UFL Champions.  But Clement was still a third string QB, so you can bet that Teel will give him a run for his money.
Jeremiah Masoli Ole Miss (2010): Omaha, 38th pick
            YRDS: 2039  CMP%: 56.4  YPA: 6.89  TD: 14  INT: 13  SACK: 11  RAT: 121.1

       Other QB’s on Roster
            -D.J. Shockley

Masoli-Jeremiah-Oregon-Ducks-02-222x300.jpg            Obviously known more so for his time with the University of Oregon, Masoli’s final season at Ole Miss was less than stellar.  Although his completion percentage never reached higher than 58%, Masoli completed only 56.4% of his passes during the 2010 season, which is reason for concern.  Despite his lower passintog numbers, Masoli has always made up for his shortcomings in the pocket with his rushing ability.  In 2010, Masoli ran for 544 yards, the smallest amount in his career, the high coming in 2008 with 718 rushing yards.  The other possible issue with Masoli is that he is rather small in stature, standing only 5’11” and weighing 220 lbs.
            Masoli joins the Nighthawks competing with third stringer D.J. Shockley.  Shockley backed up Jeff Garcia and Matt Gueterrez last season and only compiled 30 yards passing.  Much like Mike Teel, Masoli comes in only second on the depth chart because of his lack of UFL experience.  However, in a similar situation to Pat White joining the Destroyers, Masoli brings an added element of athleticism to the table with his ability to rush the football and scramble.  In an open battle for the starting position, we see Masoli having a real chance as the signal caller for the Nighthawks this season.

Derek Devine Marshall (2006): Virginia, 45th pick
            YRDS: 23  CMP%: 66.7  YPA: 7.76  TD: 0 INT: 0  SACK: 0  RAT: 131.1

Other QB’s on Roster
            -Pat White*

I0000FfVOn7sJ1t4.jpg            The second quarterback taken in the draft with prior experience in the NFL, Devine was signed by the Seattle Seahawks in 2007 as an undrafted free agent, and then was given an opportunity with the Washington Redskins in 2008.  Much like Teel, Devine was unable to record any statistics during his NFL career and views the UFL as a second chance.  Devine is highly unproven but has the stature much like the other bigger quarterbacks taken in the draft (6’3”, 224 lbs.). 
            An unproven Devine will compete with the possibility of Pat White, an interesting match up that should end up heavily in White’s favor.  We see White having the potential to have an extraordinary season, with his ability not only to pass the ball, but his lethal running ability as well.  However, White’s NFL career was without many high points, but ultimately we feel that his athletic ability will overtake Devine, but there are certainly no guarantees.  

Monday, May 9, 2011


TPD would like to apologize for the lack of regular content recently.  Most of our writers are college students, and this current week is finals week so we've all been busy preparing for those a juggling studying with watching no-hitters, and the NBA and NHL playoffs.  We promise new content tomorrow and hope you all keep coming back to the TPD!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Media Guide: A Fantasy Swiss Army Knife

Used as a go to piece of information by journalists, and a collectible item by diehard fans, the media guide has always been a multifaceted tool.  But in today's fantasy leagues in which players delve deeper and deeper into the control and building of a franchise, the media guide offers valuable information to the fantasy manager on all levels.  By bringing to gather valuable statistical information on players of all levels, the media guide also breaks down a players career, how they got to where they are today, and other personal information as well.

In leagues that try to mimic the professional organizational structure as much as possible, the media guide offers a fantasy manager a one stop shop for all of the player information, from the major league level down to the minor league affiliates.  Leagues that allow players to take control of a franchise and build it over years and years much like a team would in real life can use the media guide to see the most recent draft selections, and also look at the Rookie league rosters as well.  Most media guides are roughly 450 some pages, and provide background information on the organization, as well as the executive and coaching staffs that make the team tick on a day to day basis.

Beyond being incredibly useful for fantasy players and stat geeks, the media guides are just plain fun to read and browse through.  I stumbled upon the 2011 Oakland A's media guide this past week online, and found myself turning through the pages for quite some time.  For baseball fans, nothing is more interesting than seeing individual players broken down, both statistically and on a career wide level.  Fore example, a large number of players currently on the Oakland roster were all originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox.  The media guides also provide historical information on the teams, previous first round draft picks, former award winners, team record holders etc.  Some interesting draft picks I cam across in the Oakland media guide:

6a01157061294d970b01156f8a556d970c-800wi.jpg1966: Reggie Jackson, OF
1984: Mark McGuire, 1B
1985: Walt Weiss, SS
1990: Todd Van Poppel, RHP
1994: Ben Grieve, OF
1996: Eric Chavez, SS
1998: Mark Mulder, LHP
1999: Barry Zito, LHP
2001: Bobby Crosby, SS
2002: Nick Swisher, OF
          Joe Blanton, RHP

Most media guides can be found at the ballpark, and some are found on the teams website, or eBay if you're attempting to look for a bargain.  TPD did a little research and was able to find three media guides offered for free online, and those are listed below:

Oakland Athletics 2011 Media Guide
Detroit Tigers 2011 Media Guide
Cincinnati Reds 2011 Media Guide

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


ALDS Match Ups

1. New York Yankees (win in 4 games)
4. Detroit Tigers

2. Texas Rangers
3. Boston Red Sox (Wildcard) (win in 7 games)

TPD foresees a common matchup taking place in the ALCS this coming fall.  A classic match up between the Yankees and Red Sox will determine the AL representative in the World Series, and it will place arguably two of the best teams in the entire league this season.

Yankees vs. Tigers
The Yankees will make quick work of a far inferior Tigers team.  TPD was tempted to give Detroit one game in the series when they have Verlander toe the rubber, but he'll be matched up against Sabathia, and we feel that those two cancel out, ultimately allowing the better offense to win.  Despite a solid core of batsmen in their lineup (Cabrera, Ordonez, and Martinez), they can't stand up to the slug fest that is the New York roster.  Overall, New York's depth will be too much for the Tigers to handle, and a much deeper pitching staff overall will lead the Yankees to victory.

Rangers vs. Red Sox
The matchup between the AL West champ and the AL Wildcard should be the most interesting of them all in the Division Series in both leagues.  TPD firmly believes in the pitching staff the Red Sox have put together, and with the resurgence of Josh Beckett, the Red Sox look to have a formidable pitching staff set for the playoffs.  Texas, on the other hand, is more of a toss up when it comes to their staff.  The Rangers are going to be relying on a lot of young, inexperienced arms to lead their team during the playoffs, and despite their juggernaut like offense, their youngsters will ultimately be their achilles heel.  We expect the Red Sox offense to also be in good shape, and feel that the early struggles of Carl Crawford will ultimately blow over and he'll be to true form far before October comes around.

Note: Two Point Diversion is proud to announce our new endeavor with the website  We will be posting content on their site a few times a week.  Be sure to check us out on ProFSL, as well as our Facebook and Twitter.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The 2011 UFL Season

With the NFL in constant limbo, there are two football seasons that seem to be set in stone to play this coming fall.  NCAA football as always will dominate Saturdays, but if you still haven't heard, the United Football League (UFL) plays under it's lights primarily on Thursday nights during the fall season.  Created two years ago in 2009, the UFL has been a haven for castaway NFL'ers looking for a second chance, and those not-so-marquee name players from the college ranks looking to continue their playing careers and move a step closer to the big time Sundays of the NFL.  The UFL this year has a golden opportunity with the chance of an NFL lockout, to be the primary supplier of professional football, and could make an entry into the fantasy sports market as well.

The past two seasons, the UFL has done it's best to attract bigger name players onto their rosters, and this year, two players in particular caught our eye.  You may remember quarterbacks Colt Brennan and Pat White from their days at Hawaii and West Virginia, respectively, but we can almost guarantee you don't remember them for their playing days with the Redskins and the Dolphins.  Both Brennan and White have been listed on the 10 man reserve list for the Hartford Colonials (Brennan) and the Virginia Destroyers (White), the UFL's newest franchise.  Brennan's place on the Colonials has an added bonus for the quarterback, a chance to be reunited with Jerry Glanville; the two were together at Hawaii when Brennan set the NCAA record for touchdowns in a season.

 TPD predicts a breakout season for the young Brennan, who despite limited playing time in the NFL, has always possessed the skills to be an effective passer when placed in the correct system.  We predict Pat White to be competitive as well.  Last season, Daunte Culpepper joined the UFL with the Sacramento Mountain Lions, and had the most rushing yards amongst quarterbacks in 2010 with 94.  Pat White, if given an opportunity, could smash that number and bring some of the flare seen in the NFL to the UFL if Virginia chooses to operate out of a Wildcat package now and then.  Both quarterbacks are in positions to compete for the starting jobs, Brennan competing with Josh McCown, and White's field being wide open on the brand new Destroyers.

Some other names perk our interest quite a bit as well.  Former Cal running back J.J. Arrington joins the Las Vegas Locomotives, and the Omaha Nighthawks welcome back Ohio State running back Maurice Clarett.  Arrington joins the two time defending UFL champion Locomotives, who were led on the ground by back DeDe Dorsey, who was second in the league in rushing behind Florida's Dominic Rhodes (547) with 439 rushing yards.  Arrington has a chance to join a platoon of RB's that were both equally effective last year, as fellow Locomotive back Marcel Shipp gained 318 yards on the season.  Maurice Clarett accumulated 154 yards on the ground running as the primary backup to former Green Bay star Ahman Green (253).  However, we see Clarett's role increasing and expect him to have a standout season as well.

Stay tuned to TPD as we'll continue to provide coverage of the UFL and breakdowns at each position.  Despite the low key nature of the league, TPD sees the UFL as a great league to follow and watch, especially if you're looking to follow some players from your alma mater that may have made rosters.  It's also a great opportunity for a nice little fantasy league as well, and there are enough players with names that are recognizable to football fans that you don't have to be a diehard to be competitive.

Monday, April 25, 2011


NLDS Match-Ups

1. Philadelphia Phillies (win in 6 games)
3. Milwaukee Brewers

2. Colorado Rockies
4. Atlanta Braves (Wildcard) (win in 5 games)

TPD likes the NL East this year, particularly the two teams sitting atop of the division at the end of the year.  With Atlanta winning the wildcard and Philadelphia having the best overall record in the NL, we see them both moving on through the NLDS.  Here are our breakdowns of the two series:

Phillies vs. Brewers
We have this one going six games, but to be completely honest, we're not totally sure we picked the correct winner.  Part of TPD really wanted to go with the Brewers, as we feel this series will be pitchers duel after pitchers duel.  We like the Milwaukee offense a lot more than Philadelphia's, but we like the Phillies starting staff more than Milwaukee's, if only by a hair.  However, the playoffs are all about pitching, and a great pitching staff can find more ways to silent a great order than the other way around.  We see Philly taking this series, but not by much.

Rockies vs. Braves
This series is much like the one above.  We like Colorado's offense a little more than Atlanta's, but we're head over heels about Atlanta's pitching when compared to the Rockies' staff.  TPD thinks the top three starters for the Braves will be too much for the Rockies to handle, and that Colorado doesn't have enough pitching to keep the series close.  We see Ubaldo Jimenez getting the Rockies one win, but the Braves will take the other four in efficient fashion.

As always, please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  Comment on the posts if you agree, disagree, etc. and spread the word about the Two Point Diversion!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

MLB Picks: NL West

NL West
1. Colorado Rockies
2. San Francisco Giants
3. Los Angeles Dodgers
4. San Diego Padres
5. Arizona Diamondbacks

The NL West is really a very dull division this season.  Despite the fact that the eventual World Series Champs came out of the West last season, TPD really is not too excited about any of these teams, that is except, Colorado.  The Rockies are off to a hot start, and that offense is going to be a tough customer all season long.  The only issue we see Colorado running into down the road is their pitching, but with an offense like theirs and Tulo leading that club, their pitchers will have plenty of breathing room.  We have the Giants coming in second in the division, and its mainly because they don't seem to have any consistency.  That pitching staff looks great on paper, but when game time comes around, you can never be quite sure what you're going to get.  Brian Wilson may have had the "fear the beard" mojo working for him last season, but we don't see the dominating stuff that carried this team in the late innings of the playoffs.  Plus, that lineup isn't all that intimidating, and really can't hold up against to better pitchers in the league.

Of the three teams that round out the bottom of the division, only San Diego gives us any hope.  With all of the off-field issues surrounding the Dodgers, its anyones guess as to how their season will play out, which is too bad because guys like Andre Either and especially Matt Kemp (who's been really pulling his weight in fantasy ball this season) are having great starts to their 2011 campaign.  San Diego was hurt by the loss of Adrian Gonzalez, but still has a young, promising pitching staff.  However, they have NO offense.  Truly, absolutely NONE of it.  There isn't a bat in that lineup that would make any pitcher worth his salt take a second look.  TPD doesn't see much success in Arizona either, as the D-backs really don't look to pose much of a threat this season, but they too have a young core of players that could be built around in the years to come.

MLB Picks: NL Central

NL Central
1. Milwaukee Brewers
2. Cincinnati Reds
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Chicago Cubs
5. Pittsburgh Pirates
6. Houston Astros

TPD believes in the Brew Crew big time this season.  With a pitching staff that will soon feature Zach Greinke, Shawn Marcum, and Yovani Gallardo (Who finally doesn't have the burden of carrying a staff), we see Milwaukee taking charge of the division.  The only thing that could through a wrench into their success is the decision on what to do with Prince Fielder at the deadline.  Many believe Prince won't be coming back, so it will depend in large part as to how the Crew is competing at that point.  If they're in charge of the division and rolling right along, we predict they'll keep Prince, or if they do deal him, trade for something adequate as well.  Any sign of trouble however, and Prince might be out in exchange for players that will payoff a few years down the road.

Cincinnati and St. Louis are interchangeable in our book.  The Reds are showing why they won the division last year, and they aren't just a one hit wonder, and St. Louis is now turning their season around as Pujols starts to heat up.  Our only concern with both teams is the starting staff.  With Wainwright out, St. Louis is lacking a third solid arm in their rotation, and the Reds staff still seems unproven.  Looking at the lower half of the division, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and Houston all seem a bit hopeless.  Chicago is a team lacking any excitement as there is really no marquee player in their order, and they have a staff that just doesn't do it for us either.  TPD really likes the roster the Pirates have put together, but they're still a few years away from really competing.  Keep an eye out on Pedro Alvarez, we really think he has the makings to be something great.  And Houston is perhaps the most helpless.  A staff without a pitcher that would make you even slightly scared, and a lineup thats a yawn fest as well.  Look for a tight three way race for the top, but ultimately St. Louis will fall off and Milwaukee's pitching will take them to the next level.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

MLB Picks: NL East

NL East
1. Philadelphia Phillies
2. Atlanta Braves
3. Florida Marlins
4. New York Mets
5. Washington Nationals

As big of fans of Atlanta as TPD is, we don't see them being able to beat out the stable of aces the Phillies have on their roster.  Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt are too good to be consistently beat, making them a long-term threat in the playoffs as well.  With that said, their offense is still shaky especially with the loss of Utley, and that bullpen isn't as solid as they'd like either.  Atlanta's starting staff is no slouch either, with Lowe, Hudson, and Hanson.  They'll be competitive all year long and with the solid start Chipper Jones has had, he brings an extra bat to a pretty decent lineup.

Florida always seems to be frisky, and this year again is no exception.  Mike Stanton is thought to be the real deal, and this season will be a good test.  Combined with Chris Coghlan, Gaby Sanchez, and Hanley Ramirez, this is a young Marlins team that will give the top teams a run for their money.  The Mets are almost to the point where they really don't matter.  Gone are the days of 2001 when Piazza and the crew led the Mets to the series, and now you rarely hear anything but disappointment out of Citi Field.  The team is highlighted by Bay, Beltran, Wright and Reyes, but rarely are all of them able to put it together at the same time.  And unfortunately, with Washington, they lost their big ticket name in Stephen Strasburg, who is currently on the 60 day DL but not really likely to see much time this year.  You know things are rough when Livan Hernandez is leading your rotation, but the Nats are young and are looking to just get better with each game.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chipper Jones

In honor of Chipper's great start to the season, here's a link to a video we think is just about as good as it gets.

MLB Picks: AL West

AL West
1. Texas Rangers
2. Oakland Athletics
3. Los Angeles Angels
4. Seattle Mariners

This season is highlighted by a number of teams in contention that are depending upon young pitchers to carry their staff.  The two teams TPD sees finishing at the top of the AL West are among those teams.  With the loss of Cliff Lee, the Rangers are now depending on hurlers like Colby Lewis, and youngsters Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando to carry the team on the hill.  The plus for the Texas pitching staff is that the Ranger lineup can absolutely mash, which gives their pitchers plenty of wiggle room as they grow throughout the season.  The Oakland Athletics are another team depending on a stable full of young promising arms.  Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonalez, and Brandon McCarthy (who TPD thinks has the makings of a really great pitcher) make up the A's starting staff, and all show great promise.  Oakland's only issue lies in their batting order, which is made up of consistent hitters, but lacks the few great stars needed to carry an offense.

At the bottom of the division, we find the Angels and the Mariners, both predicted their by TPD because of their pitching staff.  L.A.'s offense has some staying power, and they'll prove to be a formidable opponent, but beyond Jared Weaver, the rest of the staff is a number of question marks.  Look for them to compete however, and TPD wouldn't be shocked if they were in a tight race for the top spot coming down the stretch.  One thing we are certain of however, is a last place finish by the Mariners.  One can only watch in disappointment as an aging Ichiro Suzuki finds himself on a poor Mariners team again.  The pitching staff is highlighted as always by King Felix, but also has added interest with rookie Michael Pineda.  Ultimately, the Mariners will falter in large part because of their inability to produce runs.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tecmo Super Bowl

Hey all,
Just found a great link to a website that will let you play old school Tecmo Superbowl Football.  The game is a classic and lets you play as Bo Jackson and other greats of the game.  Check it out:

P.S. How awesome is the music for the game.

MLB Picks: AL Central

AL Central
1.Detroit Tigers
2.Kansas City Royals
3.Cleveland Indians
4.Minnesota Twins
5.Chicago White Sox

TPD predicts a huge swing of power in the AL Central this year.  As of this moment, Cleveland and Kansas City sit atop the division, but similar to the young pitching staff of the Orioles, we're not sure how long they can hold out.  To be completely honest, this is just a shot in the dark, and this division could go any number of ways.

TPD likes Detroit to pull out the division because of their offensive power and a pitching staff headlined by Justin Verlander, one of the only true go-to aces in the division.  Kansas City and Cleveland are interchangeable as far as we're concerned, and it's obvious that they are trying to change the culture in their respected cities, whether or not that will last is yet to be seen.  The Twins and the White Sox are huge question marks to us right now.  Minnesota has perhaps the most boring and un-intimidating starting staff in the majors.  It's a yawn fest from Pavano to Duensing to Blackburn and Slowey.  The only pitcher who shows promise is Liriano, and thus far he's had a down year.  Combine that with a shaky bullpen with a battered former closer and an offense that can't seem to string hits together, and you've got a team that unless it can put itself together, will find its way to the bottom of the division.  The White Sox, on the other hand, we believe are just off to a slow start, but they also could just not have the "it" factor this season.

Like we said, TPD has know idea how this could end up.  We could just as easily seeing the normal order of power come back into place with Chicago, Minnesota, and Detroit all fighting for the top spot while the Indians and Royals settle back into the cellar.  But why not shake it up a bit, right?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

MLB Picks: AL East

Two Point Diversion is starting a six part blog post over the next few days that will name our predictions for this young MLB season.  We'll go division by division, offering some explanation for our predictions ultimately leading to our playoff and World Series picks.

AL East
1. New York Yankees 
2. Boston Red Sox
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Tampa Bay Rays
5. Toronto Blue Jays

TPD has the Yankees taking the AL East this year.  Unlike Boston, New York has the swagger of a team that can win, and their starting staff continues to make strides later in the rotation.  An absolute front man in Sabathia will lead that team to the top of the East.  Despite their recent funk, Boston has too much talent to stay at the bottom of the division for too long, and a re-emergent Beckett and Dice K are pivotal to their season.  Baltimore is the up and coming team, and its about time.  A staff thats carried by a group of young arms and a lineup that rivals some of the best slow pitch, 12 ft. arch softball teams, TPD thinks the Orioles show promise, but look for them to take a dip in the middle of the season once teams start seeing the young pitchers a couple times around.  Tampa and Toronto both show some promise, but are shells of their former selves after both teams lost key players this past offseason.  We feel legitimately upset for David Price, and feel that Kyle Drabek has the tools to be a consistent starter down the road.  Post a comment if you agree or disagree with any of our decisions, and check our Facebook page and our Twitter for updates!

Book Recommendation

With college basketball ending a few weeks ago and the NBA beginning their playoffs, we felt that some of you basketball lovers out there were looking for a good read to go along with all the recent basketball action.  If interested, check out Play Their Hearts Out by George Dohrmann.  The book follows an AAU coach and his team throughout their careers, and most of the players are now playing college ball around the country.  It's a solid read and very well written, as Dohrmann has quite a list of accomplishments under his belt, including a Pulitzer Prize for his work with the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Nonetheless, check the book out, its a solid read for any sports fan and a great one for a basketball fan, especially if you liked Hoop Dreams.  Also, you can check out Dohrmann's website,, on which he updates information about the players followed in the book (we recommend that you read the book first before going to his website, the end of the book lists where all of the players are attending and it's an added level of suspense throughout the book).

Welcome to Two Point Diversion

Hello and welcome to The Two Point Diversion, a sports blog that is meant to entertain, inform, and interact with it's readers in a variety of ways.  We'll post columns, our takes on stories and issues in sports, short news pieces, and other opportunities available to our readers.

One of the first things The Two Point Diversion is planning on offering is a UFL Fantasy Football league.  With the unpredictable future of the NFL this coming season, we thought it would be a great way to get to know the other professional football league in U.S.  The TPD has been a huge fan of the UFL from the start and wants it's readers to join in on the fun.  So stay posted as more information will be coming soon.

As always, feel free to contact us at, or find us on Facebook or on Twitter @twoptdiv.