Evan Yezbick

More by Evan Yezbick

Spring Football Game: Not Just for Tailgating

4/17/2013

 

 

Wind, hail, and an early taste of Chippewa football are just a few things that attendees of the CMU Spring football game experienced on Saturday, April 13th in Kelly/Shorts Stadium. As the team was separated into the maroon team and gold team, coach Enos and the Chippewas gave football fans an early glimpse of their 2013-2014 football team.

Now, what exactly is the spring game? And what purpose does it serve? The spring game may not seem like a huge deal, but it serves as a measuring stick for their team. Throughout spring games, coaches often place their players in game situational plays such as a 3rd down and long, or 3rd down and short.

In this year’s spring game, the Chips weren’t only challenged with situations by coach Enos, but also by Mother Nature. As the hailstorm began, the ball became harder to catch, the tackles began to sting a bit more, and the football field turned white. 

 

As these conditions worsened, the Chippewas faced their hardest situation of the game; the weather. The Chips will benefit greatly from the weather conditions because playing in harsh conditions forces players to go back to the fundamentals of the game, such as holding onto the ball tighter and finishing tackles. 

 

Throughout the other situational plays, the players were tested by Enos and their respected positional coaches to determine how each player will react to different play-calling. Because the spring game is served as a measuring stick, each player is given an opportunity to play throughout the game and has equal opportunity to become a starter. 

 

Michigan and Louisville get set to battle for the NCAA Championship

4/8/2013

 

Upset after upset, this year’s March Madness has been anything but the expected. After making their first final four appearance in twenty years, the Michigan Wolverines are certainly shocking the nation and ruining many people’s bracket one game at a time.

Although the Wolverines went through a slight slump throughout their last few games before the NCAA tournament, they are undeniably back to playing like the team that was named the best in the country in late January earlier this season.

Starting as a 4 seed in the tournament, not many believed that the Wolverines would defeat number 1 seed, Kansas, or number 3 seed, Florida. However, after the Wolverines crushed the Florida Gators in the elite 8, Michigan became the favorite to win for the first time since the second round of the tournament.

After the Wolverine’s big win on Saturday night over number 4 seed, Syracuse, they will take on number one seed, Louisville Cardinals on Monday night for the NCAA championship.

The Cardinals seemed to have gained a second wind for their season after Louisville’s guard, Kevin Ware, suffered a career altering injury during the Duke game just over a week ago. Ware’s awkward landing on his leg not only changed his perspective towards the game, it encouraged his teammates to train harder, play harder, and win the championship.

From the Streets of Miami to Fortune and Fame

3/28/2013

 

Central Michigan University graduate and all-star football player, Antonio Brown, didn’t have an easy life growing up in the mean streets of Miami.

Throughout the former Chippewa’s teen years, he was often temped with theft, drug use, and any other crime you could possibly think of.  Although Antonio was faced with numerous challenges while growing up in the slums of Miami, his toughest task began when he was sixteen years old.

When Antonio’s divorced mother married a new man and left Antonio homeless, nobody could have imagined that one day he’d be an elite receiver in the NFL; except Antonio Brown.

While most would look at Antonio’s homelessness experience as a negative, he looks at it as an event in his life that shaped him into the person he is today.

 Although Brown wasn’t the top of his class, he was eventually able to become academically eligible and would later become a CMU Chippewa. Although Brown began his collegiate football career as a walk on, it only took a few weeks for the program to offer him a scholarship, and begin the rest of Antonio’s career.

It didn’t take long for Brown to make an impression at the collegiate level, as he was named the MAC freshman of the year, MAC’s Special Teams player of the year for two consecutive years, and is currently the Chippewa’s all-time leader in receptions.   

Antonio Brown represented the Chippewas in the 2010 NFL draft, and accomplished the goal that he had been dreaming about since he was in elementary school. Brown was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round, and made a great first impression to his new franchise and fans.

Understanding America’s Great Pastime

3/20/2013

 

Apple pie, the Fourth of July, and baseball are just a few of America’s signature traditions, and as winter is quickly coming to an end, baseball spring training has already begun.            

Whether you’re at Comerica Park watching the Detroit Tigers, or in Mount Pleasant watching the Chippewas, understanding the lingo of the game is crucial to understanding the great American pastime.

The following terminology won’t only allow you to understand the sport better, but hey, what athlete doesn’t like a woman who knows her sports?

1.     A fielder- A fielder is simply any of the 9 defensive players on the field.

2.     A strike- A strike can happen in numerous situations, but here are the most frequent:

a.     Foul ball.

b.     When the batter swings and misses the ball.

c.     When the batter gets caught looking and doesn’t swing at a ball thrown over the base.

3.     Strike zone- The area directly over home plate, where the pitcher must throw the ball in order to throw a strike.

4.     Ball- A ball is when the pitcher throws the ball outside the strike zone. The pitcher is allowed 3 balls, and the batter is placed on first base on the 4th ball.

5.     Full count (3-2 count) - A full count is when the pitcher has thrown 3 balls, and 2 strikes to the same batter. In this case, if the pitcher throws a strike he gets the strikeout, and if he throws another ball it results in walking the batter (automatically placing the batter on first base).

6.     Fly ball- A fly ball is when the batter hits the ball high in the air, fly balls are usually easily caught by the fielders.

Basketball 101- Road to March Madness

3/13/2013

Over the years, basketball has become less popular. Due to the NBA lockout a few years ago, and the fact that basketball has numerous rules and terms that may be hard to understand, many people find themselves neglecting the sport.

However, college basketball is incredibly popular throughout March, when the NCAA basketball tournament takes place.

Throughout this 68 team bracket, teams across the country compete for their chance at the national championship, as their fans fill out their brackets to compete for prizes and bragging rights. As the end of February is approaching, “March Madness” is right around the corner.

Understanding the following terms will allow you to follow your favorite team throughout the tournament and enjoy the 67 games much more.

Basic Basketball

1.  Technical foul –A technical foul most often comes from an act of unsportsmanlike conduct. The most common technical fouls come from an extra push or activity by the players after the whistle is blown, or excessive yelling by the coach to an official. For example, imagine CMU’s coach continues to yell at the referee on a questionable call and gets a technical. The opposing coach would then pick one of his players on the court to shoot two free throws.

Football Terminology 101

2/20/2013

 

It’s Sunday afternoon, you’re with your friends, and the Detroit Lions are playing their division rival, the Green Bay Packers. As you watch the game, you sit back and think to yourself, “this game would be so much better if I had an idea of what is going on.”

 Because of the complexity of football, many people often find themselves in this situation. Some people’s lack of sports knowledge may cause them to dread watching football because of the fear of being judged or teased about their ignorance.

Although football can be confusing at times, the following terminology will make you better equipped to enjoy this all-American pastime. 

Offensive terminology

1.     Extra Point: Many people who are unfamiliar with football often confuse an extra point with a field goal kick. An extra point is worth one point, and can only be attempted after a touchdown (6 points) has been scored.

2.     Field goal kick: A field goal kick is worth 3 points and can be attempted anytime while the team is on offense.

3.     Fair catch:  A fair catch takes place on a kickoff or punt return. In this situation, the return man for the offense waves their hand in the air to signal that the player will not return the kick. Once the player catches the ball, the referee blows the whistle to signal that the play is over.

4.     Touchback: A touchback comes off of a punt of kickoff return when the football bounces into the back of the end zone. Once the ball lands, the whistle will blow, and the ball will be placed at the offense’s twenty yard line.

 

Red Wings Fall Short to Blackhawks in Overtime Loss

2/4/2013

 

The Red Wings traveled to Chicago to face their bitter rival, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Sunday night and began the game with a very conservative attack.  It only took less than three minutes for the Hawks to gain an early one goal lead when Red Wings’ defensemen, Kent Huskins, put the Blackhawks on the first power play of the game.  

 

While many fans began to think that the game may be a blowout, the Red Wings kept composure and were able to hold the Blackhawks to a one goal lead heading into the final period.

The Wings began the third period with intensity, and Johan Franzen was able to tie the game for the Wings within the first couple minutes, which eventually sent the action-packed game into overtime with a score of 1-1.

 This was the second OT game for each team so far this season, and both were successful in getting the overtime win. It was a different story for the Red Wings in this overtime though, as Nick Leddy scored the game winning goal midway through the overtime period, giving the Blackhawks their sixth win of the season.

Although the Red Wings went 0 for 6 on the power play, they were able to make it a close game and challenge the undefeated Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks improved their impressive record to 6-0-0, while the Wings drop to 2-3-0 and are looking for a way to develop much needed team chemistry during the shortened season.

Not only are the Wings one of the worst teams in the league at converting on the power play thus far, they’ve also allowed 8 goals on 25 attempts of defending the power play in just five games this season.

After an exciting weekend of NFL action, the teams are finally set for Super Bowl XLVII

1/28/2013

Two Harbaughs, one Super Bowl

This past Sunday afternoon was filled with excitement when the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship, allowing the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.

The 49ers had a lethargic start to the game, but were able to overcome a 17-point deficit by not allowing Matt Ryan, and the Falcons offense to score a single point in the second half.

The 49ers were able to spread the ball around on Sunday’s game, and didn’t just rely on their young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, to make play big plays with his track-star speed. Although Kaepernick’s rushing yards were limited, he completed 16 of 21 passes, and threw for 233 yards.

Head coach of the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh, quoted “Everyone does a little, and it adds up to a lot.” With help from the entire team, the 49ers overcame the lead and were eventually able to cut the Falcon’s lead to 3 in the 3rd quarter, before the 49ers took the final lead in the 4th quarter. According to Elias Sports Bureau, the 49ers were able to overcome the biggest deficit in the NFC championship game, by surpassing the 13 point record in 1999. Not only was Jim Harbaugh able to make his mark in history, more importantly, Sunday’s win kept their hopes of winning the Super Bowl alive.

The Boys are Back in Town

1/21/2013

 There are two sides to every puck

 After a long four month wait, the NHL season is only one week away from beginning their shortened 48-game season. Although the players are happy about the end of the lockout, numerous fans around the country are planning to rebel against the upcoming NHL season when it begins on Saturday, January 19th.  

Due to the lack of games and limited talk on television about the professional hockey, many sports analyzers are comparing the NHL lockout to the 2011-2012 NBA lockout. During the NBA lockout, the league lost about a half-billion dollars due to the lack of games, sponsors, and retail merchandise. Although the NHL lockout (113 days long) has been shorter than the NBA lockout, (149 days long) it has been just as frustrating to the hockey fans.

Teams around the NHL are currently working on creating different types of “fan appreciation”, and developing methods to thank their supporting fans through the lockout. The New York Islanders are showing their appreciation to their fans by having a fan appreciation night during their second home game of the season. This game will be filled with children friendly activities such as adding a superhero theme to the game, and should serve as a great way to welcome their fans back to hockey season.

On the other side of the puck, many fans are ecstatic about the upcoming season, and will pay top-dollar for a ticket to see their team play throughout their shortened season. Many believe that attendance rates will be higher than ever because of the shortened season, and all 720 games will be played within 99 days. That being said, there will be at least one hockey game on every day until the end of the regular season.

 

The Boys are Back in Town

1/21/2013

 There are two sides to every puck

 After a long four month wait, the NHL season is only one week away from beginning their shortened 48-game season. Although the players are happy about the end of the lockout, numerous fans around the country are planning to rebel against the upcoming NHL season when it begins on Saturday, January 19th.  

Due to the lack of games and limited talk on television about the professional hockey, many sports analyzers are comparing the NHL lockout to the 2011-2012 NBA lockout. During the NBA lockout, the league lost about a half-billion dollars due to the lack of games, sponsors, and retail merchandise. Although the NHL lockout (113 days long) has been shorter than the NBA lockout, (149 days long) it has been just as frustrating to the hockey fans.

Teams around the NHL are currently working on creating different types of “fan appreciation”, and developing methods to thank their supporting fans through the lockout. The New York Islanders are showing their appreciation to their fans by having a fan appreciation night during their second home game of the season. This game will be filled with children friendly activities such as adding a superhero theme to the game, and should serve as a great way to welcome their fans back to hockey season.

On the other side of the puck, many fans are ecstatic about the upcoming season, and will pay top-dollar for a ticket to see their team play throughout their shortened season. Many believe that attendance rates will be higher than ever because of the shortened season, and all 720 games will be played within 99 days. That being said, there will be at least one hockey game on every day until the end of the regular season.