In Week 12 of Around the Dorm, second-time “Ref” Joshua Fidler challenges Staff Writers Krystal Spencer and Kevin Lee, along with Sports Editor Hilarey Wojtowicz to answer questions about which team will be representing the NFC West by the end of the season, which team is currently the best in the NBA and how soccer and the MLS could become more popular in the United States.
1. Which team will represent the NFC West? As of Nov. 21, no team was over .500, and all the teams had given up more points than they scored.
KS: These teams are tragic … can’t we just give their spot to another NFC team? I’m just gonna go ahead and say that the Seahawks will take the division with a record of 8-8. Hasselbeck is the most competent of the West Quarterbacks and while their defense is inconsistent, they still leave room for an upset against a better team. Plus they have home field advantage for four of six games and are 2-1 in the division.
HW: I have to say the St. Louis Rams are going to take the NFC West. They have Sam Bradford for their quarterback, and even though that hasn’t gotten them to a .500 record yet, they are holding strong at 5-6. Every loss has been close except for one, and every win has been a definite win. Bradford is holding the team together and with his defense behind him, they’ll be able to pull past the Seahawks for first in the division.
KL: The Rams will represent the NFC West. Sam Bradford is easily the best quarterback in that division, and as we know, having a good quarterback keeps teams in the game. I also love Steve Spagnuolo as the head coach of the Rams more so than any coach in that division. Spagnuolo has transformed the defense from last year to the ninth best defensive team this year, which is giving up a stingy 19.8 points per game. Although the offense hasn’t played as well, it will develop more consistency for each game Bradford plays, allowing him to gain more experience. Eight wins should be enough to win this division, and the Rams have a significantly easier schedule than the Seahawks for the remainder of the season.
JF: I give Kevin 3 points, for saying that the Rams have a good defense, Sam Bradford is doing well and that they have an easier schedule than the Seahawks. I give Hilarey 2 points for also picking the Rams. I give Krystal 1 point for picking the Seahawks.
2. Who is the best team in the NBA right now?
KS: Well it’s definitely not the Miami Heat! But seriously, we all know it’s the Lakers. Yes, the Spurs are on quite the hot streak, but Los Angeles. is the most consistent team in the NBA. Somewhere, somehow, San Antonio will falter, and the Lakers will resume their place at the top. For now, I’m more than happy to see someone else with the best record in the league. It’s about time someone made a
serious challenge on the Lakers’ reign.
HW: The Lakers are definitely the number one team right now. The Heat just haven’t stepped up to its full potential yet, and even though Boston is right behind L.A., they don’t have Kobe Bryant. The Lakers are gaining more points a game than the other contenders and coming in strong every game. They’re definitely first right now, but I’m going to say I wouldn’t be surprised if an underdog team came in and gave them a run for the top spot.
KL: Without hesitating, the Lakers are easily the best team in the NBA right now. They have two legitimate MVP candidates in Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. With this being said, boy do I love me the Utah Jazz. I think that the Jazz are one team that could creep into the discussion sooner rather than later. Deron Williams is an MVP candidate in his own right, and if he keeps this current play up he should definitely be in the discussion come seasons end. The Jazz have arguably the best big man combination in Paul Milsap and Al Jefferson, and with a point guard like Deron Williams who can get the ball to either, makes the combination even more lethal. In a seven game series, I think the Jazz is one of the few teams who could really give the Lakers a run for their money.
JF: Since everyone picked the Lakers I will give 3 points to Hilarey for saying that the Lakers are outscoring their opponents. I give Kevin 2 points because, having an MVP doesn’t make a team the best in the league. I give Krystal 1 point for not saying why the Lakers are the best.
3. The MLS cup was Nov. 21. Did anyone care? What is a way to improve soccer’s popularity in the United States?
KS: I’m an avid soccer fan … but I didn’t watch the game. The problem is that most soccer fans can’t deal with the confusing playoff selection or lack of star power. European leagues bring all of our heroes together in one place. The MLS has taken strides with David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy) and Thierry Henry (New York Red Bulls) but until they have a full arsenal of famous players (or those team actually win an MLS Cup), their fan base will remain limited.
HW: Alright, I’m a soccer player. But I’ll be honest, I don’t watch the MLS. First off, they need to put the games on primetime networks during the season in order to get people to notice that the games are actually happening. Second, they need to highlight the star players in the league. You’ve got David Beckham, but he’s also from England. Start talking about the American all-stars and get people interested in them. We can’t all suddenly be fans of America soccer players during the World Cup and forget about them until the next one. I’m a big Donovan fan and people need to see that American soccer players are just as entertaining as Cristiano Ronaldo and Ricardo Kaká once in a while.
KL: We’ve all played rec soccer when we were kids so it’s not because that Americans don’t like the game of soccer itself. In order to improve soccer’s popularity in the United States, the MLS needs to do a better job of recruiting the star players overseas. Sure David Beckham was a nice addition to the MLS, but he was more of a celebrity. The MLS is such a diluted pool of talent that it makes it easy for Americans to overlook the MLS, considering that we have the best basketball, football and baseball leagues in the world. All the big names that we know like Ronaldo and Kaká are all overseas. So what’s the point in watching the MLS? Until the MLS can up the star power in its league, it will never be a powerhouse like the NBA, NFL and MLB.
JF: I give Krystal 3 points for saying that Europe is taking all of the players, not just the good European ones. I give Kevin 2 points for saying that the MLS needs to recruit overseas players that are not past their primes. I give Hilarey 1 point.
Kevin wins this week’s AtD, 7 – 6 – 5