In Week 1 of Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Brandon Gould, challenges Staff Writer Ken Mauss, News Editor Hilarey Wojtowicz and Editor-in-Chief Caroline Russomanno to answer questions about which team will be crowned Super Bowl champions by the end of the season, who’s the greatest closer in MLB history and whether or not LeBron James has been making the right decisions.
1. The National Football League season is coming to a close, so who is your favorite to run the table and win the Super Bowl?
KM: The favorite to win the Super Bowl has to be the New England Patriots. They have the best postseason quarterback in the league with Tom Brady, who already has the most postseason wins of any quarterback in league history. They also don’t have to leave Foxboro where they are 8-0 this season and 8-1 in the playoffs behind Tom Brady. The Patriots are the best team in the league and with homefield advantage will be extremely tough to beat.
HW: There is no doubt about it, the New England Patriots, besides being my favorite team, are also my favorite to win the Super Bowl. At 14-2, the Patriots have a bye for the first week of the playoffs and are still going strong. As long as there isn’t an upset in one of their playoff games, like there was the first week with Indianapolis and New Orleans losing, the Patriots will definitely make it to the Super Bowl, and Tom can get another ring for his hand.
CR: Well, I was rooting for the Seahawks because I love to see the underdog surprise everyone, like the ’08 Giants beating the undefeated Patriots, but since the Bears steamrolled them, I’m going to have to go with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Their defense is solid and they’ve looked good in their last few games. Big Ben has been in these situations before, and he shines in them. The Jets offensive line has looked sloppy, the Packers are relying on a young quarterback, who has proven himself so far, but doesn’t have Roethlisberger’s experience, but they’ll still beat the Bears. It all comes down to experience, and the Steelers are the most experienced team this time around. They’ll win it all.
BG: Caroline gets 3 points for mixing it up and picking the Steelers. Experience does play a factor in the postseason and Big Ben has been around the block once or twice. Ken gets 2 points for supplying Tom Brady’s strong record at home in the postseason. Hilarey gets 1 point solely for her love for the Patriots and Tom Brady.
2. Trevor Hoffman has decided to bring an end to his career. Is he the best closer in Major League Baseball history?
KM: Trevor Hoffman is a great closer. That can’t be debated, but best of all time? Unfortunately, he’s not the best closer of his generation. Mariano Rivera is the best closer of all time. He’s only 42 saves
behind Hoffman’s record of 601 saves yet has shown no signs of slowing down at the age of 41. He’s an 11-time All-Star, while Hoffman has seven appearances. The biggest reason for Rivera being better than Hoffman? Rivera has 42 career postseason saves compared to Hoffman’s four.
HW: As of right now, I have to say yes, Trevor Hoffman is the best closer in MLB history. But, with his retirement, other pitchers who are right behind Hoffman, such as Mariano Rivera, are going to get a chance to bypass him in the upcoming seasons. Hoffman is atop the all-time save list with 601, and Rivera is pretty close behind with 559 saves. Both have been named to the All-Star team multiple times and both have also snagged the Relief Pitcher of the Year Award more than once. Right now, yeah it’s obvious that Hoffman is the best in MLB history, but I won’t be surprised if Rivera takes the top spot in another season or two.
CR: No. No, he is not. Mariano Rivera is the best closer in history. And that’s not just the Yankee fan in me talking. Hoffman has 601 saves to Rivera’s 559, and not only did Rivera do it in less time (he debuted two years after Hoffman and was not a closer until a few years after that), but he did it in the pressure cooker that is New York with five championships to boot. Plus, he is still the most lights-out pitcher in baseball. If you’ve been pitching for as long as he has, and guys still can’t figure you out, that’s something. And he’s still playing. If he stays healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that Rivera will break Hoffman’s record and go down as the best closer in history.
BG: Caroline gets 3 for pointing out that Rivera has had to deal with the pressure of New York. Ken gets 2 for listing postseason save totals. Hilarey gets 1 for giving Hoffman the edge.
3. The Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers by 55 on Jan. 11 and LeBron James decided to tweet about it. What do you think of the way James has carried himself this season?
KM: LeBron James has carried himself as many view him this season — a villain. He’s accepted that outside of HIS loyal fans (and the 18 actual Miami Heat fans) many are going to despise him, and it seems as though he’s OK growing into the role of the bad guy in the league. I personally don’t mind how he is carrying himself. Most people think he’s the bad guy; now he’s just voluntarily playing the role.
HW: LeBron James has a right to comment about bad karma against the Cavs because of what team owner Dan Gilbert had said back in July about James having bad karma coming his way this season while on the Miami Heat. However, I don’t agree that James should have tweeted about this because, yeah his old team may have lost 11 games in a row, but James hasn’t exactly been a star on the Heat this season either. James can direct the comment, that he claims he received from a friend and only re-tweeted, to Gilbert, but not at the Cavs. That’s kind of low.
CR: I’m really starting to think of LeBron James as one big joke. He keeps making one bad decision after another when it comes to PR and his public image. Why would you possibly do that? It’s one thing to make comments about Cleveland and how they “treated” him (even though I still hold that he treated them worse), but just adding insult to injury? That’s just plain dumb. You’re going to find that the people of Miami are going to start hating you if you don’t bring them a ring (and with the way the Heat’s been playing, that’s more than possible). You know what, LeBron? Karma IS a bitch, and she’s coming after you.
BG: Caroline gets 3 for stating how poor of a decision James’ tweet was and for her powerful closing statement. Hilarey gets 2 for saying that the tweet was a low blow. Ken gets 1 for being okay with James embracing his role as a villian.
Caroline wins this week’s AtD, 9 – 5 – 4