Who am I?

I'm from Houston, a graduate of the University of Texas, a fan of the Houston Astros and Houston Texans. But this blog will be about the "greater sports", whatever that means.

Follow me on Twitter: @lhd_on_sports

Labels

LHD_PotW (402) MLB (139) NFL (130) NCAA (109) NFL Playoffs (58) NBA (55) NHL (47)

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/17/2019

What is sweeter than a first championship trophy?  A second championship trophy.  One of the winningest driver on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has come up short the past few years despite being on the very short list of top wins for each year.  This year, he left no doubt.  Kyle Busch dominated the field in winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 by 7 seconds over teammate and 2017 champion Martin Truex Jr.  Busch drove flawlessly, outdueling fellow playoff contender Kevin Harvick in several sequences in the first two stages.  But Harvick could never capture the speed over the long runs (only one non-stage yellow all race) and faded.  Then there was Truex Jr. and Denny Hamlin with crucial pit crew errors (wrong tires on each side and an ill-advised aero tape applied).  By the end, it wasn't entertaining.  Kyle won, and it was another huge win for Joe Gibbs Racing.  Which dominated the year.  Congrats Kyle Busch, you're the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/10/2019

What a weekend in college football, with the headliner being the annually anticipated matchup between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Louisiana State Tigers.  For the last eight years, the outcome was seemingly written before it began.  This year was a different story.  Led by emerging Heisman favorite, Joe Burrow, the Tigers took the Tide in their home stadium.  Burrow rarely missed his target, going 31/38, for an astonishing 393 yards and 3 touchdowns.  When passing lanes weren't open, or when called upon, he also ran for 64 additional yards totaling over 450 yards from scrimmage.  Not your usual Alabama defensive effort but this wasn't the usual offense that they've faced.  Joe Burrow went into Tuscaloosa and took the Crimson Tide's milk money.  Our Sportsman of the Week made sure of it.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 11/3/2019

The World Series was a roller coaster of road wins and momentum, but in the end, the hottest team in baseball won it all for the first time in franchise history.  The Washington Nationals rolled into the World Series having won 16 of their last 18 games, but it took a full seven to beat the team with the best 2019 record Houston Astros.  Winning all four games at Minute Maid Park.  Ironically, Anthony Rendon, a native Houstonian, dealt the death blows to the Astros in Games 6 and 7 not a stones throw from where he grew up.  In the final two contests, he was 4-9, but with a 2B and 2 HR, knocking in 5 runs.  Four of the five RBI came in the 7th inning or later where both games were within a run until the Nationals had more clutch.  Led by who may be the National League MVP, and our Sportsman of the Week, Anthony Rendon!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/27/2019

It's hard to believe that the NCAA Football regular season is about 2/3 over, and the Conference title races are starting to take shape.  In the middle of the Big 10 as usual, is Ohio State.  Defensive lineman disruption specialist Chase Young of Ohio State has shored up the Buckeyes defense in a way that their last few teams didn't have.  In their biggest game of the year, he showed up to play.  He had six tackles, including 4 were sacks, a fifth was for a loss.  Throw in two forced fumbles that were recovered by the Buckeyes.  The result, a discombobulated Wisconsin Badgers offense, and a 38-7 win over their best opponent to date.  There seems to be little in between the Buckeyes and another Big 10 title game, and this year, very likely a playoff berth.  While the Buckeyes have weapons on offense, it's Heisman candidate Young and that defense that seems to be the difference.  Chase Young is a sure-fire NFL Top 5 pick, and the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/20/2019

In what was billed as an epic heavyweight American League Championship Series, the little guy won.  The Houston Astros and New York Yankees were tied 1-1 coming into three key games in New York, and Jose Altuve helped deliver the American League West Champion to their second World Series bid in three years.  He started Game 3 with a solo home run in the first, then ended the series with an epic walk off 2-run home run off of fireball closer Aroldis Chapman to defeat the Pinstripes.  For the week over 4 games, Altuve went 5-16, 1 2B, 2 HR and 6 runs scored (out of his team's 19 runs).  He also walked 3 times and never struck out.  The three-time American League batting champion is the leader of the Astros and has them in position to win a second title.  He is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/13/2019

Major sports benchmarks are made for breaking.  Not the least of which is the 2 hour marathon.  After millions of tries, it has now been broken.  Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge shattered the milestone by 40s, a mere 0.3% below but the best ever.  Kipchoge ran the record in the Ineos Marathon in Vienna.  He's been winning major marathons for 5 plus years, in Chicago, London, and Berlin.  Also won Olympics and attempted to break the 2 hour mark in a controlled event but fell short.  But now the record has fallen, and Kipchoge is the one that will be remembered with the Roger Banisters, Usain Bolts, and Michael Johnsons for redefining the event.  The 34 year old may even top that mark, time will tell.  But he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 10/6/2019

Baseball postseason is in full swing and it doesn't take long for stars to emerge.  The National League Wild Card Washington Nationals surged from May to the end of the season to overtake the league competition and secure a spot in the postseason.  And they took advantage.  Stephen Strasburg proved pivotal in the Wild Card game as the Nats came back on the Milwaukee Brewers to win 4-3 Strasburg notched 3 critical innings of relief and got the win (3IP, 2H, 4K).  He then followed up with 6 innings of dominant ball (6IP, 3H, 1ER, 10K) to secure NLDS Game 2 for the Nationals to head home with the series even.  He's tapped to start Game 5 in LA and may propel his team to their first NLCS.  But Strasburg has emerged as a co-ace to Max Scherzer nad is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 9/29/2019

The NFL season is young, and too many times a team is counted out before it has a chance to hit its stride.  Such is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Given up for dead after an 1-2 start against suspect competition and double digit underdogs heading to NFC Champion undefeated Los Angeles Rams, the Bucs delivered.  Especially Chris Godwin.  In racking up 55 points, the Pirates in Pewter Pants went to Goodwin 14 times.  He caught 12.  All 12 were a first down, two were TDs.  And he racked up 172 yards, one of the top performances this year.  The Swashbucklers aren't on a lot of radars for the playoffs.  But with the Saints QB injury, slow start by the Falcons and Panthers, they may be a team to watch.  Thanks to Chris Godwin, the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 9/22/2019

In one of the biggest conference games to start the Big 10, a strong Heisman candidate stepped up and made a statement.  Jonathan Taylor of the Wisconsin Badgers plowed through what was expected to be a stingy Michigan Wolverine defense for over 200 yards.  203 to be exact, on 23 carries for two TDs.  His longest was a spectacular 72 yard scamper in the first quarter to set the tone for the game.  He even missed the 2nd quarter with a cramp, but returned in the second half to help ensure the 35-14 conference opening victory in one of their toughest projected games.  The win thrust the Badgers up to Number 8 and solidifies their favorite status in the Big 10 West.  Taylor has averaged over 2000 yards his first two seasons and is likely to find himself in New York competing for the Heisman, which he finished 9th last year.  Taylor is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 9/15/2019

The Baltimore Ravens have suddenly surged to favorites in the rugged NFC North thanks to the emergence of their quarterback.  Lamar Jackson was handed the reigns of the offense this offseason as former Super Bowl Champion quarterback Joe Flacco was traded to the Denver Broncos.  And Jackson has seized his chance in two weeks.  This week he tallied 392 total yards and 2 passing TDs, including 120 on the ground as the Arizona Cardinals had no answers.  Week 1 he notched 324 yards before the offense called off the dogs against the hapless Miami Dolphins.  With Division opponents already with 5 losses, the undefeated Ravens seemed poised to breeze to the playoffs.  Then it will be even a bigger stage for the former Heisman Trophy winner.  But for this week, Lamar Jackson has been the story of the NFL and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 9/8/2019

Grand Slam majors are hard to win, especially when legends like Serena Williams is in her home country going for her seventh United States Open title.  But Bianca Andreescu didn't flinch.  The Canadian teenager announcer her presence on the scene with a decisive 6-3, 7-5 straight set victory over Williams.  It was her second finals victory over Serena after beating her in the Rogers Cup Final (in her home country) upping her match victory winning streak to 13.  It took 3 sets to win in the prior 3 rounds (4th, quarter, semi), but with this victory she's up to number 5 in the world.  Is she the next big thing?  Maybe, but she is certainly the U.S. Open Champion and the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 9/2/2019

Legends are dominant, and our Sportsman of the Week was dominant again.  For the third time.  Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros joined elite company in pitching the third no-hitter of his career.  The first was 12 years prior, but the 36 year old seems to be getting better with age. Verlander flummoxed the Toronto Blue Jays for only a handful of hard hit balls and just one walk to go with 14 strikeouts.  And did we mention no hits?  Also no runs.  There was drama, as the Astros entered the ninth inning tied as they had yet to cross the plate as well.  But rookie Abraham Toro launched a 2-run home run in the Top of the 9th to turn the attention back to Verlander.  And he delivered.  He may be pitching the best of his future Hall-of-Fame career and he is undoubtedly the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 8/25/2019

The baseball pennant race is heating up, and a new team is starting to look like a favorite.  Or at least a team that will be a tough out.  The Washington Nationals have been surging and find themselves with the third best record in the National League, good for the top Wild Card.  Led by Anthony Rendon, the Nationals offense hasn't missed a beat since the departure of free agent Bryce Harper.  The Nationals went 6-1 over the week all in road games, with Rendon notching a hit in all 7 games, going 14-29, with 2 HR, 6 R, and 7 RBI.  He suddenly finds himself in contention for a batting title and a 12 game hitting streak.  The Nationals let Harper walk away.  They may want to think about keeping the free agent to be Rendon in house.  But will it be after a deep playoff run?  Time will tell.  But Rendon will continue to be a tough out, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, August 19, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 8/18/2019

One of the best young bats in Major League Baseball is almost forgot how young he is because he's already been around so long.  And won a World Series.  Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox is evolving into one of the elite hitters in the game and he's still just 22 years old.  His amazing 2019 campaign (in spite of nothing but disappointment around him for the Sox) is MVP worthy.  But this week was over the top.  He went 16-27, with 7 2B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, and even had a 6 hit game and 4 hit game.  That's an OPS near 2.000.  The Red Sox went 5-1, even beating the surging Indians 2 out of 3.  If the Sox have a playoff run in them, it'll be on the back of Devers.  He's our Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 8/11/2019

It seems like more than ever, young talent is emerging in Major League Baseball and setting new records.  This week he comes in the name of Aristides Aquino.  The Dominican Republic rookie was called up August 1 and has done nothing but mash since.  In the six games this week, he was 11-22, with 6 HR, with 8 R, 11 RBI while his Cincinnati Reds went 4-2.  His 8 HR in 11 games set a record, and his OPS is north of 1.200.  Will he keep it up?  No.  But is he yet another fun player to watch?  Absolutely.  As the Reds rebuild, Aquino is a big part of it, and he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, August 5, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 8/4/2019

The future is now.  Major League Baseball has a future generation that is mouth watering.  We got a taste of our Sportsman of the Week during the 2019 All Star Game Home Run Derby, and now Toronto Blue Jays 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is doing it in real games.  The 20-year old phenom is settling into a star player role.  Vlad Jr. went .500, with 3 doubles, 3 HR, 11 RBI in just 6 games.  But more importantly, the Blue Jays are getting better and went 4-2 this week.  Vlad Jr. joins other baseball sons like Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette and forming a core that will carry the Blue Jays to the top of the AL East sooner than later.  But Vlad is already here.  And he's only 20.  And is our Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 7/28/2019

The summer sports season is never complete without the three-week bicycle ride through the French country-side.  Better known as the Tour de France.  The 106 year tradition is renewed every year throughout the flat lands of the country, the coast, the hills, the Alps, the Pyrenees, and ending in Paris.  But the more things are the same, the more they change.  Once again, a rider from Team Ineos (formerly Team Sky) won.  But the who wasn't expected.  Egan Bernal of Colombia exceeded his high expectation to (relatively) easily take the Maillot Jaune on the 19th stage and hold it through Paris.  Whispers around the team buses had him as having better form than team leader and 2018 Tour winner Geraint Thomas.  But who would the team protect?  It never was an issue.  Bernal stormed through the decisive stages when he needed to and took a 1:00 gap into the final Alps stage and could not be challenged.  At 22 years old, Bernal was the youngest rider out of ~200 in Le Tour.  And he is the winner.  It's was never a matter of if he would win a Tour.  But how many.  The count is on.  Bernal is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 7/21/2019

In the last major golf event of the year (which is early for me, considering it's not August), a (relative) hometown favorite won.  Ireland's Shane Lowry won The Open (known New World as the British Open) for his first major of his career and first Tour win since 2015.  After two positioning rounds of 4 under par the first two rounds, it was his third round of 63 (-8) that sealed the victory.  He played an even +1 round on Sunday as he still won by six strokes (none of the Top 5 finished under par in the last round either).  Lowry has been trending up, with a number 2 finish at the Canadian Open, and now the biggest victory outside of the United States.  The 32-year-old Lowry will not be forgotten, and is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Sportsteam of the Week Ending 7/14/2019

In a busy time of the sports calendar, it was at team facing tragedy that won the week.  The Los Angeles Angels faced the worst thing possible as a team.  Losing a player.  Tyler Skaggs passed away on July 1 from unknown cause.  On the road in Arlington, TX, the team had a day off to mourn, but trudged through the rest of the road trip into the All-Star break.  It was the first game after the break that was legendary.  At home with every player wearing Tyler Skaggs #45, Taylor Cole and Felix Pena faced 28 batters, retiring 27.  The one that wasn't retired?  Walked.  That means no hits.  It was a game designed for Cole to get through the first part, then have Pena take over.  And both executed perfectly.  The game was never in doubt as the Angels beat the Mariners 13-0, but after a rough week, the Los Angeles Angels are the first Sportsteam of the Week!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 7/7/2019

Another week, and another woman takes center stage.  The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) lived up to the billing by winning their fourth World Cup over the Netherlands 2-0, the second Cup in as many tournaments, but perhaps never facing stiffer competition.  The USWNT stormed through all the best European teams on European soil.  In order: Sweden, Spain, France, England, Netherlands.  Outside of their matches against the United States, they were a combined 20-2-1, with only Netherlands beating Sweden, and Spain going 1-1-1 in pool play as the losses.  Against the USWNT?  0-5.  Led by goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was able to stymie opponents to only 3 goals throughout their 7 games (0.4 goal average).  In the finals she could not be scored upon, but really saved the team in their semifinal battle against a resilient English team that controlled the ball 58% of the time and matched the US with 4 shots on goal.  Naeher stopped them all and is a worthy Sportswoman of the Week!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 6/30/2019

Round of 16 and Quarterfinals.  Two goals apiece and the United States Women's National Team is moving on to the Women's World Cup (WWC) semifinal [editors note, at time of publication they won that too].  But our Sportswoman of the week has used her veteran savvy and extreme skill to score all the teams' goals in defeat of Spain and France (2-1).  The first two were on Penalty Kicks, the latter two from the field.  And against France, against a hostile environment.  In what may have been the most highly anticipated women's soccer game in history, Rapinoe struck early on a brilliant free kick, and late on a hard counter attack.  Both were needed and Rapinoe earns the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 6/23/2019

Another week, another first time major golf winner.  This time, the ladies.  Hannah Green leaped from obscurity to snap the KPMG Women's PGA Championship at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.  The most surprising thing was how close the more experienced and close to the lead competition was, that the 22 year-old Green fended off wire to wire.  Shooting a steady 68-69-70-72 to win by one stroke (despite hard charges from Sung Hyun Park and Mel Reid who shot 66 and 68 respectively in the last round).  The Australian Green won by one stroke.  Mainly by posting a Top 2 score each day the first two days.  Is this her first big splash on the scene of a long career or an alignment of stars never to be replicated?  We'll see over the next couple of decades.  But Green is the Longhorndave Sportswoman of the Week!

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 6/16/2019

Underdog.  Beating the big boys.  Wasn't supposed to win.  All qualities for a great Sportsman of the Week.  35-year-old American Gary Woodland was well below the radar for the 119th United States Open, but put together four consecutive rounds at 2 under par or better.  Only two other golfers finished all four rounds under (John Rahm, Brooks Koepka).  Woodland had only one tour win since 2013, and that was a playoff win over a year prior in 2018.  But Woodland entered Sunday with the lead, with big dogs chasing him.  Like 2-time defending champion  Koepka.  Former major winners Louis Oosthuizen and Justin Rose.  Even Tiger Woods who birdied six of his last 12 holes.  But Woodland didn't fluster. He didn't have his best round, but down the stretch he didn't falter.  He punctuated his win by, while needing just a 3-putt, putting in a 30 foot putt dead center.  And took his trophy.  And the Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 6/9/2019

Pitching a no-hitter is a frequent path to the Sportsman of the Week.  Striking out 19 batters in a game would similarly get you there.  Doing both?  Really strong chance.  Vanderbilt's Kumar Rocker pitched the game of his life, when his team really needed it to win a pivotal Game 2 of a 3 game set against the Duke Blue Devils.  In an elimination game, Rocker threw 131 pitches, 89 for strikes (57 in the strikouts) to send the series to the third game, which the top ranked Commodores also won.  It was Rocker's 10th win of the year.  He only walked 2 facing 2 more than the minimum in the first no-hitter in NCAA Super Regional history.  Rocker rocked the Blue Devils and duly earns the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 6/2/2019

This Blog always loves an underdog and an unexpected champion.  Andy Ruiz Jr. fits both.  Even at 6'2", 270 pounds, and significantly lacking what we would call "muscle definition".  The American heavyweight of Mexican descent survived the first knockdown of his career to beat British Champion Anthony Joshua by 7th round Technical Knockout Saturday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  In a wild third round, Ruiz Jr. was felled once, but came up inspired and sent Joshua to the canvas twice.  Joshua never seemed to be the same.  Ruiz Jr. again floored him twice in the 7th round, the second Joshua looked reluctant to continue and that was that.  Ruiz Jr. went off as an 11-1 underdog, but now sits at 33-1 with 22 KO.  The one loss to Joseph Parker, then Heavyweight Champion.  But now, Ruiz Jr. is champion.  Joshua is contractually guaranteed a rematch and certainly will have his full attention on Ruiz Jr.  But it is Ruiz Jr. who is now the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO Champions.  And the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/26/2019

The Toronto Raptors shocked a lot of teams to crash the NBA Finals, however it was done with a familiar source.  Forward Kawhi Leonard outplayed MVP candidate Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo to win Games 3 through 6 and pace the Raptors to their first Eastern Conference title.  According to media reports, Leonard was slowed by injury, but it didn't show.  In the four wins to beat the Bucks, Leonard averaged 29 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists when they needed it the most.  Leonard is an NBA Champion and showed that he is ready to take down the Warriors.  For the second time in this blog history, Kawhi Leonard is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, May 20, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/19/2019

The NHL Playoffs are reaching a crescendo with two teams that haven't won a Stanley Cup ever coming from the West.  The St. Louis Blues were one of the worst teams on January 7, but may just punch their ticket to their first Stanley Cup Final since 1970.  Led by rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington.  Binnington started his first game on January 7 and led the team to an improbable 29-9-5 streak to get a key Wild Card spot.  A spot they've parlayed into being one game away from a shot at their first Stanley Cup Title.  Binnington has been brilliant in the last 4 games, with a 3-1 record, with only 3 GA in 77 shots in the wins.  His loss, to be honest, involved what should have been called a hand pass.  Will Binnington get the job done in Game 6 (at home) or 7 (in San Jose)?  Time will tell.  But Binnington shows that a hot goalie can carry a team, and he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/12/2019

The weather is warming up, and that means baseball season.  The Oakland A's aren't off to a strong start, but starting pitcher Mike Fiers sure gave the fans a show.  For the second time in his career, he completed nine innings without a batted ball in play resulting in a batter reaching base that wasn't scored an error.  In other words, he pitched a no hitter.  Fiers only walked 2 batters while a third baserunner reached on an error.  And he needed to keep the bases clean to protect a 2-0 lead (only 1-0 when he took the mound in the 7th).  Further adding to the unusual event was that the game was delayed 90 minutes due to a malfunctions in the lights.  Maybe the Reds bats fell asleep and never woke up.  But really, Fiers proved he could do it on his first no hitter in 2015, and backed it up against the Reds.  Mike Fiers is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, May 6, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 5/5/2019

The Conference semifinals are going down to the wire in several series.  Except one.  The Carolina Hurricanes, fresh off of a dispatch of the defending Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals, continued their winning streak and crushed the New York Islanders in four straight games.  Led by Teuvo Teravainen, the Canes showed no mercy.  After clutch 1-0 and 2-1 wins on Long Island, the red hot Canes lit the Isles up for 10 goals over the last two games.  Teravainen netted 2 goals in Game 3, and added a goal and assist in Game 4.  Overall, he skated to a +5 +/-.  For the playoffs, he's netted 6 goals in 11 games.  A young Finnish leader of a budding dynasty, our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/28/2019

The NBA playoffs are winnowing down to the elite, and one of the elite that's been underrepresented is the Portland Trailblazers Damian Lillard.  The veteran guard without superstar help, has continuously led his teams to playoff berths, and in this case, dramatic victories.  Lillard had what many have called one of the best playoff games in NBA history.  In a closeout game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lillard delivered the fatal blow.  A 37-foot cold blooded 3 pointer in a tie game.  This capped off a 50 point masterpiece, in which he hit 10-18 three-pointers.  Will this be the year that the Blazers surge to a Western Conference Final?  Lillard will be tough to beat.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/21/2019

One of the lower key best times of the sports year is the first round of the NHL and NBA playoffs.  With sixteen teams and eight matchups in each, ever weeknight is filled with action on multiple channels to follow.  And at least in the NHL, upsets are common.  The Colorado Avalanche had relatively low expectation coming into the season.  In fact, they had not made it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 9 years.  But as the six seed, they knocked off the Pacific Division Champion Calgary Flames in a swift five games.  The Avs took a body blow in Game 1 lowing 4-0, but then ran off four straight, including two on the road.  It helped to have Mikko Rantanen as the star.  The 22 year-old racked up 5 goals and 2 assists in the final 3 games, including the overtime Game 4 winner to send the Avs up 3-1 instead of tied 2-2.  Rantonen along with his sidekick 23 year-old Nathan MacKinnon have the Avs poised for many more runs, and it won't be another nine years before they get past the first round.  Maybe not before they win a Stanley Cup!  Mikko Rantanen is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/14/2019

There is no question what the biggest story in sports this week was.  And it wasn't the NBA or NHL playoffs, or MLB.  We're talking Tiger.  Tiger Woods.  Maybe you remember him.  In the Masters, the biggest PGA tournament of the year, he won his fifth Green Jacket.  And 15th Major.  He did it by emerging from a star-studded field, including 2018 major champion Brooks Koepka and Francesco Molinari along with Dustin Johnson, Tony Finau, and Webb Simpson.  But it was Tiger who down the back stretch, was nails.  He went from tied to 2 strokes ahead as other contenders made mistake after mistake.  On the 18th hole, he needed a 5 bogey to win.  He took all five.  Greatness was returned, as Tiger won his first major in 11 years and fifth masters to go with 1997, 2001, 2002, and 2005.  Amazing to think the fans born the first year he won The Masters are at most 21 years old.  And here we are with Tiger Woods back on top.  Enjoy it fans.  It's what sports is about.  And Tiger Woods is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 4/8/2019

The Virginia Cavaliers won their first Men's NCAA Basketball Championship and it was due in large part to a balanced guard attack as they survived late surges and drama in the Sweet 16 and Final 4.  But it was Junior Ty Jerome who filled the stat sheet more than most.  The 6'5" Jerome led the Hoos with 14 assists total in the last two games, but surprisingly notched 15 rebounds while scoring 37 points of his own over the two games, well above his 13.6 PPG regular season average.  This was coming off a 24 point performance in the Regional Finals, he simply was the engine that led Virginia to their first National Championship and is our Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/31/2019

The Madness of March is dying down now that we're in April, but the Auburn Tigers have redefined the role of unexpected party-crasher.  Having beat the Big 12 powerhouse Kansas in the second round of the NCAA tournament, they faced the top seeded ACC North Carolina Tar Heels in the Sweet 16.  Led by Jared Harper and 11 assists and 9 points in 25 minutes, the Tigers separated quickly from Carolina for a 97-80 victory.  But it was in the Elite 8 against another powerhouse and fellow SEC rival Kentucky that Harper really shined.  He poured in 26 points, highlighted by 11-11 from the free throw line (and 12 points in overtime out of his team's 17 total) to defeat the Cats and avenge their last loss on February 23.  Yes.  They haven't lost in over a month.  The Tigers look poised to beat their next Goliath and it will be on the leadership of our Sportsman of the Week, Jared Harper!

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/24/2019

The effort of the reigning National Basketball Association MVP cannot be ignored.  James Harden has willed the Houston Rockets from outside looking into the playoffs early in the season to a strong hold on the third seed while setting scoring records not discussed since Wilt Chamberlain.  Harden is averaging an astronomical (get it, Rockets) 36.4 points per game.  Second place is 28.2 (Paul George, OKC).  For context, the distance from 1st to 2nd (8.2 points) is larger than the distance from 2nd to 33th (Nikola Jokic, DEN, at 20.2).  This week, Harden scored 177 points over 4 games (44.25 average, team went 3-1 ), including a 61 point effort (matching his career high) and a 57 point effort in back to back games.  These were two of his eight 50 point games.  The rest of the league combined only has ten.  Over the week, he was 28-53 on 3 pointers, well over 50% for a stretch not being hesitant while the other team knows it's his game.  Harden may just will the Rockets to their 3rd World Championship and first in nearly 25 years.  He is our Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/17/2019

March is for NCAA basketball Madness and it starts with the conference tournaments.  After 2+ months of beating each other up in the regular season, every conference goes to a major city in its region to battle again over the weekend to determine who is the champion, or at least the other champion and get that automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.  In rare cases does it matter for a major conference in terms of the berth, but for the Duke Blue Devils, it was time for revenge.  Led by the acclaimed most talented freshman in college basketball Zion Williamson, the Dookies avenged regular season losses to Syracuse (quarterfinals) and North Carolina (semifinals) before dispatching of Florida State for the ACC conference title.  Williamson, who hadn't played in 3 weeks since he blew out a shoe and hurt his knee in a second regular season loss to North Carolina, led the way.  Over the three games, Zion poured in 33 field goals on 43 shots, including 3-6 beyond the arc to average 27 points and 10 rebounds in a dominating effort.  Zion looks poised to lead Duke to their potential sixth national championship and first in 4 years, and it looks like he may not be stopped.  Zion Williamson is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/10/2019

The spring sports season is filled with a lot of variety, and the NHL regular season is winding down with stars emerging.  The Florida Panthers left wing star Jonathan Huberdeau netted 9 points, all in his last 3 games as his team went 2-1 as they try to angle for a Wild Card spot.  Huberdeau has reached the 20 goal plateau for the 3rd time in 4 years, and his 74 points are a career high.  Hard to believe he is in his 7th year as a 25 year old, he will surely be a force for future years.  And is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 3/3/2019

In the calm before the March Madness and baseball storm, a new PGA Tournament Champion emerges on the sports scene.  Keith Mitchell beat some heavy hitters to win the Honda Classic.  Mitchell birdied 4 of his last 7 holes to hold off Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.  That Koepka that won the U.S. Open and PGA Championship in 2018 and is poised to be a force in all majors this year.  Sergio Garcia and Justin Thomas could be seen further down the leaderboard.  The 27 year-old Mitchell had nary a win even on the Web.com tour, but now he registers as a legit PGA champion.  And that can be said by few.  Our Sportsman of the Week!

Monday, February 25, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 2/24/2019

There's an American sports legend among us, but not nearly appreciated enough for her dominance.  Mikaela Shiffrin.  At the age of 23, she rocked the World Championships of skiing with gold medals in Slalom and Super G with a bronze in the Giant Slalom.  Winning her fourth straight Slalom title was a challenge, given her health.  She went from a tickle in her throat to borderline pneumonia in about a two hour span (credit Denver Post).  She currently sits at the top of the World Cup standings with top points in the Slalom, Super G, and Giant Slalom.  Her dominance continues the rest of the ski season, but she is a worthy Sportswoman of the Week!

Monday, February 18, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/17/2019

It was a redeeming end to a tough month for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR).  Having lost the former Super Bowl champion coach's son J.D. Gibbs to a neurological disorder just over a month prior to the season opening race, JGR managed a nearly unprecedented sweep the podium at the Daytona 500, led by prior champion Denny Hamlin.  With three major crashes in the final 20 laps, Hamlin skillfully stayed out front and let the chasers knock each other out, while holding off JGR teammates Kyle Busch and Erik Jones along with defending Cup Series Champion Joey Logano over the final Green-White-Checkered overtime finish.  Masterful use of pit stops along with execution throughout the afternoon, Hamlin's car was clean and fast.  But it was the 21-car-pileup with 10 laps to go that broke the field wide open and left a handful of other decorated veterans like Busch, Kevin Harvick and Logano as major threats to Hamlin's victory.  But Hamlin held them off and took home the trophy for his team.  And most importantly, JGR and J.D. Gibbs.  Hamlin is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sportswoman of the Week Ending 2/10/2019

The greatest female alpine skier in American history retired on top.  Well, maybe not on top.  But still impressive.  Lindsey Vonn (USA) won a bronze in the World Championship Downhill in her final competitive race.  At 34 years old, she is the oldest lady to win at the Worlds.  She beat fellow American, Lindsey Vonn who won two years ago at age 32.  She won the bronze in the downhill following a crash in the Super G less than a week ago.  She becomes the first female skier to win at six Worlds.  She won 82 World Cup races.  But her body is done.  The surgically repaired knees, worn out neck, sore back, hours in the training room.  She won again.  Maybe not gold, but bronze.  Which is enough to be the Longhorndave Sportsmwoman of the Week!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 2/3/2019

The Super Bowl is America's biggest sports stage and the world watches its players.  All season, fans and pundits discounted the New England Patriots as not being what they once were.  But in the Super Bowl, they were who they thought we were.  For the sixth time, Tom Brady led his team to a Super Bowl championship (defeats of the St. Louis Rams, Panthers, Eagles, Seahawks, Falcons, and now the Los Angeles Rams).  This time the final was 13-3.  But it was a receiver who was the most unstoppable force.  In a defensive struggle, where very third down counted, Julian Edelman was the key to moving the chains, keeping time of possession, and willing the Patriots to victory.  at 5'10" and 198 pounds, he looks a lot more like a normal guy in your gym than the best player in the Super Bowl.  But in Super Bowl LIII, he garnered 10 catches (on 12 targets) for 141 yards.  Both were season highs.  He had a carry for 8 yards as well.  Brady will always be remembered for the glory and rightfully so.  But it was Edelman who stole the Super Bowl LIII show.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/20/2019

Two games, two overtimes, the Conference Championship Game weekend was full of excitement.  And controversy.  But we leave that for another day.  The New England Patriots are no strangers to the Super Bowl, nor having winning Sportsmen of the Week.  But it's a rookie that stole the show this week.  Running Back Sony Michel was a key factor in the Patriots controlling the clock at nearly a 2:1 ratio and keeping the Kansas City Chiefs offense on the sideline.  Michel toted the rock 29 times for 113 yards, nearly 4 yards a carry but they were tough yards (11 yards was the longest...he was grinding).  Add two key touchdowns (to go with his 3 last week) and it was the respect for the run that opened up passing lanes for Brady to score TD on the last 3 drives.  Michel now has 3 100 yard games out of 4, and seems strong for the Super Bowl.  Yet another key weapon for the Patriots, and our Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/13/2019

The NFL Playoffs are reaching a crescendo as the Division Playoffs yielded the four finalists for the Super Bowl.  While the winners were all the home team favorites, it was a surprise player that carried the Los Angeles Rams to their first NFC Championship Game in 17 years.  Veteran running back C.J. Anderson stepped up as a 50/50 back to superstar Todd Gurley and delivered.  Having been the Rams featured back in the final two regular season games (which were of little importance to the Rams playoff seeding), Anderson eclipsed 100 yards on both occasions.  Now he did it when it mattered most.  Anderson notched 123 yards and 2 TD against what had been considered a stingy Cowboys defense.  And the yards were hard earned, as no carries were longer than 15 yards meaning Anderson made each and every carry count.  The Rams moved on with a 30-22 victory that was less in doubt than the score seemed.  And the 27-year old veteran looks poised to provide balance to MVP candidate Gurley.  Which will be a lot for the New Orleans Saints to handle.  Anderson is the epitome of Sportsman of the Week!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Sportsman of the Week Ending 1/7/2019

Another week, another dominant performance, and another National Championship for the Clemson Tigers.  Led by super freshman Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (and last week's Sportsman of the Week Justyn Ross), the Alabama Crimson Tide were overmatched.  Lawrence torched the Tide defense for 347 yards and 3 TD in a flawless performance with no interceptions.  Lawrence also scrambled effectively for 27 yards on six carries.  The end result was a dismantling of the number one Alabama 44-16, the worst loss in the Nick Saban era.  It marks the second title for Clemson in 3 years, as well as the third straight title game loss for the Southeastern Conference.  And the best may be yet to come for Trevor Lawrence who will have at least two more years at Clemson.  But for now, he is the Longhorndave Sportsman of the Week!