Collier Shooting Affects Jacksonville Jaguars

It should not come as a shock that, after Richard Collier of the Jacksonville Jaguars became the third NFL player to be show during the course of eighteen months, the Collier shooting is affecting his Jacksonville Jaguar teammates. The shooting, which happened early in the morning on September 2nd, happened while Collier and a former Jacksonville teammate were waiting in the car for women that they had met when they were out at a club; while there were few specifics that were released about the Collier shooting, what is certain is that he has been hospitalized, has undergone surgery and remains in critical condition.

Initially after the Collier shooting, answers about his condition were give by the hospital staff; however, after Collier’s family requested that additional information not be released, the updates stopped – something that was explained by a hospital spokesperson. The Jaguars coach – Jack Del Rio – could understand why Collier’s family would request privacy. Since then, limited information has been released about Collier’s condition; the statements that have been made are that, since the shooting Collier has had some improvement and that his family is optimistic about his chances for recovery.

However, what everyone does know about the Collier shooting is that, for the first couple of weeks, his health will be touch and go; things could change at any point in time and, while Collier has been awake and alert at times, it’s clear that there is a great deal of recovery that he’ll need to do before his condition will be markedly approved. For the Jacksonville Jaguars whose season officially begins on Sunday, it stands to reason that Collier’s teammates are working through some shock, stress and anxieties of their own.

Collier’s Jacksonville Jaguars teammates, of course, recognize that he is not yet in stable condition and recognize that the twenty six year old offensive tackle still has a lot of recovery work to do. They recognize too that, in addition to being a Jaguars teammate, Collier is a friend – a friend who has a family and who is struggling and receiving care that is focused on his recovering from serious injuries. On Tuesday, rather than simply planning for the team’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans, members of the Jaguars team spent some time focusing on their concern for Collier.

Of course, there are members of the media who have, to some extent, questioned the Collier shooting – partially in response to Collier’s arrest during the season last year for driving while intoxicated. Jaguars’ teammates have quickly come to his defense, reminding the press that he was, in this case, victimized by a single shooter who has not yet been identified. Ultimately, as the police continue to gather evidence and to find the shooter and Collier continues to recover from the shooting, the Jacksonville Jaguars team will focus on playing the game and doing what they can to overtake the Titans in the season opening game. While the Jaguars may not be able to completely set aside concerns about the Collier shooting, it’s certain that they will be focused on and ready for the game.


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World Series 2008

Of course, the challenge for teams in Major League Baseball is that there isn’t just one ultimate series that matters; when it comes to getting to the baseball World Series, the best team from the American League and the Best Team from the National League both need to earn their spots in the championship series.

In both the American League and the National League, throughout the season all of the teams are competing to establish a record that will help them to get closer to the baseball World Series. The top four teams of the American League compete to advance to the baseball World Series – the top team plays the wild card (fourth place) team, the second and third place teams play, competing in best of 5 series to determine which teams advance to another five game series meant to determine the American League champion team. The same breakdown happens among the National League teams.

Playoff season ultimately brings together the championship team of the National League and of the American League to compete for the “World Champions” title in the baseball World Series – a game that takes place at the end of October. This has been the structure since 1994, and the determination of whether the National League team or the American League team gains home field advantage is made during the All-Star game mid-season.

Of course, while this structure was adopted by Major League Baseball for the baseball World Series in 1994, the World Series was not held that year as there had been a strike. 1994, however, was not the only year in the history of the baseball World Series that did not see the championship games played. Since the baseball World Series was first played with a match-up of the National League Pittsburgh Pirates and the American League team from Boston in 1903, a number of series has been missed.

In 1904, the World Series was not played because of the assertion that American League teams, because they were new, were simply inferior. A champion was not crowned in 1919 because the Chicago White Sox team had made an effort to fix the outcome of the game. 1989 led to an abbreviated baseball World Series tournament as both teams were from the area of San Francisco and a major earthquake occurred and disrupted the championship.

For baseball fans, the baseball World Series games are among those that are most watched and most looked forward to. Those who are passionate about baseball are often going to watch the series whether or not their favorite teams are involved simply because the series is a match-up of the best of the best teams in the nation.

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2010: World Cup Soccer in South Africa

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South Africa is not exactly one of those places where people plan a vacation and, therefore, with the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament to take place in South Africa, a great deal is being done to help prepare for an onslaught of visitors to the area. World Cut Soccer is, on many levels, something like the Olympics and baseball’s World Series rolled into one; teams from around the world are already counting down and competing with their eyes on the World Cup in 2010 and fans are already looking into learning more about places to stay and even driving rules in South Africa.

All of this – fans looking into lodging and travel, teams playing for a shot at making the tournament – is already taking place. Even with almost two years to go before the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa, the official web site is documenting the way that teams are playing and that features a countdown to the event (with well over 600 days to go). So far, there are two hundred teams that have entered into the competition; two hundred teams that are aiming to be one of the thirty-one teams that will compete.

Teams from Spain, England, France, Germany and Italy are all competing as representatives of European nations. Africa has a total of fifty-three teams that are working their way through the preliminaries, with Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Zambia, Swaziland, Togo and other nations participating. Asian nations that hope to be in thirty one teams who will compete for the 2010 World Cup Soccer title in South Africa include Korea, Iran and Saudi Arabia. New Zealand and Fiji are both vying for a position from Oceania.

On the other side of the globe, teams from North and Central America as well as the nations of the Caribbean are competing and preparing for a spot in the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa. So far, teams from the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Trinidad and Tobago and Honduras are leading the way. From South America, thus far, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay have taken the lead.

While it is far too soon to tell which nations will ultimately be among the thirty one spots in the 2010 World Cup tournament finals in South Africa, one thing is sure: each of the preliminary matches is grabbing the interest of soccer fans worldwide – all of whom are hoping that their nation or their favorite team will ultimately be represented. Photos of matches are available online, match details have been made available and these are just the first steps: the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will also offer live streaming coverage of the matches that are played; likewise, some preliminary matches will be aired live online.

The road to the 2010 World Cup Soccer tournament in South Africa is still long and winding, however that does nothing to slow down the ways in which players and fans have planned to travel it to reach their destination.

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Brett Favre and the New York Jets

It seems like it was just a few short months ago when Brett Favre sat behind a table and held a press conference to announce his retirement from the NFL – wanting to get out while he was still playing at his peak. Just as that choice was upsetting to a large number of football fans in general and to Green Bay Packers fans in particular, it would appear that Brett Favre was not entirely thrilled with the choice either.

In the weeks leading up to this year’s training camp, the rumblings started and then it was announced: Brett Favre was coming back into the game of football. While there were a number of challenges – including Brett Favre wanting to come back in as a starter although the Packers had a new quarterback – it looked for a while like everything was going to work out. When it didn’t, the NFL and agents, coaches and Brett Favre himself all started looking into other options that might be available.

Enter the New York Jets – a team that, during his career with the Packers, Favre managed to defeat only once in four games. The more that it became clear that Favre and the Packers weren’t going to be able to make it work, the more interested that the New York Jets became and the harder that they began to push to bring him to the team. Ultimately, the New York Jets gave the Packers a fourth round draft pick that will increase in value based on Brett Favre’s performance in exchange.

Rather than simply being the fourth round pick, the deal stipulates that if Brett Favre takes half of the total snaps while acting as the New York Jets QB, it will become a third round draft pick. If Favre’s performance includes being on the receiving end of more than 70% of the snaps and the New York Jets make it to the playoffs, the pick will happen in round two. If the percentage climbs over eighty and the Jets make it to the Superbowl, the Packers will have received a first round draft pick in 2009.

There are plenty of reasons why the move of Brett Favre to the New York Jets is something that’s being talked up. First, Favre’s three time MVP status helps to boost the reputation of the Jets – as well as promises to put a better team on the field for New York throughout the season. It’s likely because of this that, during the pre-season, Brett Favre was made team captain by the rest of the New York Jets players and why he will be the one leading the Jets into the new NFL season.

Of course, only time will tell whether or not the Packers are happy with their choice to go with Aaron Rodgers as QB and whether or not the New York Jets keep feeling great about picking up Brett Favre; but then, it’s those levels of speculation that keep NFL fans interested and ready to take in all of the action this season.

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Looking Forward to a New Season of the New England Patriots?

There are folks out there who have strong feelings about the New England Patriots. Some of them love the team – they are still celebrating the Super bowl victories, thinking about the Adam Vinatieri game winning kick in a blizzard to secure a playoff win. Other people are way on the opposite end of the spectrum. Rather than thinking that the New England Patriots are one of the greatest teams out there, they’ve got a dozen reasons why the Pats are insignificant – most often, the item topping their list is going to be last season’s spygate scandal.

Whether you love the New England Patriots or you wish they would drop out of the NFL altogether, one thing that you are going to discover quickly is that they’re still a talking point. When it comes to football, when it comes to chatting things over at the water cooler come Monday morning at the office, the New England Patriots are going to come up.

On one hand, talk about the New England Patriots is going to be focused on Tom Brady – on his potential injuries, on whom he is dating and on whether or not he’s played his best game. Others are going to be focusing on Bill Belichick and whether or not he is doing the best possible job as a coach – as well as focusing on the rest of the coaching staff of the New England Patriots. Others are going to be talking about passing yards, rushing plays, touchdown passes as well as those who came up against the offense and defense.

Ultimately, those who are watching the New England Patriots games – whether they are hoping that Brady and his team win or lose – are going to find that there’s something unexpected each week. It may be a matter of waiting to see what the commentators have to say; it might be able looking into the plays that are being made and trying to determine whether or not the calls that were made were the right ones.

The NFL season has not yet begun – though it will happen soon enough – and yet fans of the game are already talking. After watching pre-season practice sessions, pre-season games and as newscasters start covering the stories on the evening news or in the local papers, the notion that the New England Patriots’ season is about to begin is something that has a lot of people thinking about tailgating parties, about getting together with friends and about seeing what happens from one week to the next.

Whether you are looking forward to a new season played by the New England Patriots or other favorite teams or you just are looking forward to seeing what everybody else has to talk about, the football season is about to begin and, for many, that’s the most exciting thing that’s happened since, well, the Super bowl last February (though, perhaps for some New England Patriots fans, that’s still a sore subject) – here’s to a brand new season that’s coming right around the corner.

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