Last year, during our 7th anniversary week we went through the best athletes to wear the number 7. So naturally, this year for our 8th anniversary, we decided to follow that up with a list of the best players to ever wear the number 8. Here we go:
Cal Ripken Jr.
Baseball's Iron Man. It's absolutely absurd to think that Ripken played in 2,632 consecutive games during his career with the Baltimore Orioles. To put that in perspective, only one active player in Major League Baseball, Alex Rodriguez, has played in more games than that total. The streak stands as maybe the most unbreakable record in baseball (yes, I believe even more than Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak).
For those who do not know, TicketNetwork is headquartered in central Connecticut, just a few miles outside of Hartford - aka the future home of a new minor league baseball team, the Hartford Yard Goats. If you live around here, you know that the new team nickname hasn’t exactly been met with glowing reviews.
Well, all you negative people out there, I have some news for you - Yard Goats is a fantastic nickname!
Why? It's minor league baseball. Teams around the country have ridiculous nicknames, which ultimately helps with marketing their teams. Take the Yard Goats as an example; following the announcement, people across the country were talking about the team thanks to Twitter mentions from places like ESPN and Sports Illustrated. Now, Yard Goats merchandise is a hot-seller and people are genuinely interested in games next year.
And like I said, the Yard Goats are not the only team who has used awesomely strange nicknames. Here are my favorites:
Affiliation: Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins
I neither know where Batavia is located, nor what a Muckdog is, but who cares!
The storylines in play at this season's Super Bowl seem endless. They go from stupid and overblown (deflategate) to historic (New England Head Coach Bill Belichick going for a record-tying fourth title). One of my favorites though is the match-up of quarterbacks. On one side you have Tom Brady, the 37 year-old veteran playing in his sixth Super Bowl; and on the other side you have Russell Wilson, the third-year player and defending champion. The NFL is a quarterback driven league, and it often takes a great quarterback to become a champion. Everyone has a list of their top Super Bowl QBs, so I decided to take a crack at it myself:
#1. Tom Brady
Yes, I am biased. Yes, I am a New England Patriots fan. In this case, however, I think I have a pretty strong argument. This is his aforementioned sixth time playing in the big game, winning three times before. The other two times, the Pats lost late in the fourth quarter. He is a few breaks away from winning all five. He has won two game MVPs and now is the all-time leader in postseason touchdown passes. You can make an argument for other players, but it's tough to knock the credentials of Brady.
#2. Joe Montana
While I have Brady slightly ahead, most other people place Joe Montana at the top of their lists, and with good reason. Montana played in and won all four times he appeared in the Super Bowl. He was game MVP three of those times, and in the only game he didn't win MVP, he led the 49ers on a last minute drive to win the game.
In recent memory, fans, analysts, coaches, and players have been yearning for a true college football playoff. Rather than seeing just the top two teams compete for a national championship, everyone has been determined to figure out a way to get four, eight, or sixteen teams to meet at the end of the season to determine the champion on the field, rather than through the polls. They got their wish this season and now four teams have a chance to claim a national championship for their school. This is the first ever College Football Playoff and the nation is eagerly awaiting to see how it will play out.
Despite the national fervor for this year’s playoff, ticket data on the secondary market indicates that ticket prices are still highly dependent upon where the game is taking place and who is actually playing. Each fan base is different, in both size, passion, and traveling tendencies, and that greatly affects how tickets are priced.
#1 (Maybe ever). Odell Beckham Jr. vs. the Cowboys
Wow. The catch that Odell Beckham made in their Week 12 game vs. the Cowboys on Sunday night was one of the those plays that transcends sports and has been described as one of the best plays in sports history, not just football. LeBron James took notice. So did Mike Trout. As did fellow wide receivers Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin. Get ready to see replays of the catch, because it will be shown for years to come.
#2. Rob Gronkowski vs. the Broncos
Prior to Beckham's catch, the best one-handed grab of the year belonged to Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots. Against the Denver Broncos in Week 10, Gronk snagged ball out of the air with his left hand and was nearly able to find his way into the end zone (one play later, he caught a touchdown pass). In the weeks since the catch, Tom Brady has said that it was the greatest catch he had ever seen on one of his passes. Randy Moss disagreed.