Pressbox Hat Trick

Rants and commentaries on the latest hot topics in sport. Pressbox and hot dogs not included.

  • Expand The Damn Playoff: An Appeal

    College football, you are so, so stupid.

    And I love you so much.

    But you’re still so, so weird. And, every year, you seem to get dumber and dumber, yet people watch you more than they ever have before.

    Ultimately, people watch college football because they want to watch their teams win and their rivals lose. But, for the casual fan, college football is not unlike the NCAA tournament for basketball. People watch march madness to see, well, the madness.

    In a sport like college football, where winning is mandatory and losing is catastrophic, the stakes are high every single fall Saturday and the threat of imminent doom ever apparent every time a top-10 team takes the field. Do not be fooled, not a week goes by in college football where the words “national championship implications” aren’t thrown around. All it takes is one play to completely shake up an entire season.

    Nothing makes you want to sit on your couch for 12 straight hours like a little chaos. Trust me, I do it every fall Saturday and I hate it but here we are.

    2016 was a particularly chaotic year in college football. Let’s take a look at the games that shook up this season:

    Oklahoma loses to Houston.

    Oklahoma state loses to Central Michigan.

    Penn state loses to Pitt.

    Ohio state loses to Penn State.

    Michigan loses to Iowa.

    Michigan loses to Ohio State.

    That’s. About. It.

    What effect did those games have?

    Oklahoma loses to a “group of five” (a team from outside college football’s five major conferences) team that was ranked in the top-10 at the time on a neutral site field. Misses playoff.

    Oklahoma State loses a game in the last second against a non-ranked group of five team. Here is the play that beat them:

    Misses chance to make playoff.

    Penn state loses to bitter in-state rival Pittsburgh by three points. Misses playoff.

    Ohio state loses to Penn State on a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown (and it was magnificent). Still makes playoff, but barely.

    Michigan loses to Iowa by one point. Must now beat Ohio State to make playoff.

    Michigan loses to hated rival Ohio State in double overtime thanks to untimely turnovers by the wolverines and a little home cookin’ from the officiating. Misses playoff.

    There you go, that’s your entire season. 13 weeks of football, and the entire season turned on those six ridiculous games. Firstly, if you’re a casual college football fan, this season probably made you way more invested in it and I feel so sorry for you.

    Secondly, and more importantly: expand the damn playoff.

    How can we leave Oklahoma out when they won their conference, and have not lost a game since September 17th? Who did they lose to that night? Second ranked and most likely playoff-bound Ohio State.

    How can we leave Penn State out when they won college football’s toughest conference, beating Ohio state, Iowa and Wisconsin in the process?

    How can we leave out Michigan, who thrashed big-ten conference champion Penn State 49-10, beat #8 Colorado, beat #6 Wisconsin and were a yard away from beating #2 Ohio State in Columbus in double overtime?

    And how can we leave out USC whose three losses were to Utah, Stanford and the death star known as the Alabama Crimson Tide? All ranked in the top-10 when they played, by the way. They have no lost since their game against Stanford on September 23rd.

    I can go on; Wisconsin and Colorado are easily worthy of being considered amongst the top teams in college football, and included in the playoff.

    In a game that often hinges on nothing, how can only allow four teams to compete for a national championship? The playoff was designed to circumvent the subjectivity of the old system, that did such things as allow a national championship game between #1 LSU and #3 Alabama in 2011-12. A) they already played each other that year. B) since when are championships not decided between #1 and #2?

    If you want a real “playoff” to decide the best team in the country, expand the damn thing. Don’t assume that the four best teams in the country will be obvious year in and year out. Someone will always feel left out.

    I hate you college football.

    Ok bye love you.

    I’m done.

  • NBA Preview: Old Faces New Places

    • The NBA season is about to begin and there is a lot of changes. Courtesy Laslo Varga

    The NBA season is about to begin and there is a lot of changes. Superstars such as Kevin Durant and Dwyane Wade make their introduction on new teams.

    After seven all-star appearances for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Durant—the former 2013-2014 MVP—makes his regular season debut for the Golden State Warriors this fall. After failing to beat the Warriors in the western conference finals last year, Durant adopted the ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ mentality this summer and will hope the decision brings him a championship at the end of June.

    I disagree with Durant’s decision to leave Oklahoma City for Golden State because it was the same team that eliminated him last season. The Thunder had a 3-1 lead in the playoffs and blew it so it wasn’t like Durant had no chance to win a championship with the Thunder.

    The acquisition of Durant by the Warriors causes key players that were apart of the championship team in 2013 to depart because it’s extremely difficult to afford them.

    Guard Leandro Barbosa, who was important piece off the bench for the Warriors, signed with the Phoenix Suns for a two-year, $8 million contract. Center Andrew Bogut was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for a future draft pick to clear more salary cap space for the Durant acquisition. Marreese Speights signed with the Los Angeles Clippers. Even though the Golden State Warriors lost key players mentioned that does not guarantee them a trip to the NBA finals with Kevin Durant on the team.

    Kevin Durant moving to Golden State opened up Oklahoma City to acquire Victor Oladipo who looked like a promising guard on the Orlando Magic that finished with a record of 35 wins and 47 losses last season. It will be entertaining to see how Oladipo plays on a team with a big role and high expectations.

    Dwyane Wade is always in conversation as one of the greatest shooting guards in NBA history and for the first time in his career he will not be wearing a Miami Heat jersey.Wade has taken his talents to his hometown state Chicago along with veteran Rajon Rondo in hopes of being stiff competition in the eastern conference.

    After years of disappointment, the New York Knicks have brought some excitement with their acquisitions of former MVP Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah. The acquisitions bring much needed help to All-Star Carmelo Anthony who is the focal point of the team and it will be interesting to see how they play together this season.

    The defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers did not make any major trades. Instead, they signed all the important pieces to make another run at the NBA Championship. Players with small roles pay off dividends towards the end of the season, look for guard Mike Dunleavy to make a strong contribution to the team towards the end of the season and playoffs. He’s a known three point shooter and another weapon Lebron James could use to stretch the floor.

    With all these NBA All-Stars moving on new teams this year it will be very entertaining to watch, the chemistry between these new players with new homes will be the most challenging . Getting used to new teammates and new surrounding can take a little time for your favourite team to get into the win column.

  • PBHT79: The PLSQ/L1O Panel Edition (ft. Dino Rossi, Kambiz Ebadi)

    • Graphic Madelaine Gendreau

    In the hype of the Inter-Provincial Cup between the winners of the PLSQ, CS Mont-Royal Outremont, and League One Ontario, Vaughn SC Azzuri, Tristan D’Amours holds a panel discussion with the commissioners of both leagues. With Dino Rossi of League One Ontario and Kambiz Ebadi of the PLSQ, they discuss local soccer, helping out higher leagues including the upcoming Canadian Premier League and make a state of the league address.

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  • PBHT78: The “Hallelujah” Edition

    • Graphic Madelaine Gendreau

    On episode 78 of the Pressbox Hat Trick, Tristan D’Amours and Alex Perez talk about the Montreal Impact winning their MLS knockout playoff game, Tristan kinda let his objectivity down for a second… Also, they talk about reports rumouring FC Montreal leaving the USL and Safia pitches in on the NHL Las Vegas free agency rule and the start of the Montreal Canadiens’ season.

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  • PBHT77: The “U Sports are Real Sports” Edition

    • Graphic Madelaine Gendreau

    The CIS changed its name to U Sports. Tristan, Alex and Vince are not fans of this name, that’s putting it lightly. On Ep.77 of the Pressbox Hat Trick podcast, the guys go over the big events of last week: U Sports, Didier Drogba and Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla.

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