Reds & Blues Ep. 1 – 2018 FIFA World Cup

Welcome to QuarterMaster Sports’ soccer podcast, The Reds & Blues. This podcast is eventually going to focus primarily on the English Premier League, but since it’s currently in the offseason, we’re going to spend the summer focused on the World Cup. The Reds & Blues will be hosted by TreBabs & TyGuy and its name comes from our two favorite squads, Liverpool and Chelsea, respectively. After the World Cup, we will get into transfer talk, preseason, and look forward to the upcoming season. Hope you enjoy!

Put $5 On It: 2018 FIFA World Cup

Put $5 On It is back with the World Cup Edition. Some of us are more avid soccer fans than others i.e. myself. To be honest, if I don’t win this one, I’m going to be pretty embarrassed. But, all of us put in a bracket and put $5 on it,  so we’ll see how it turns out.

 

First up, Rongy.

Rongy went a little aggressive with his picks, namely Russia making it into the final four. He’s big into the Russian fixing the whole thing theory. Personally, I’m not buying it, but they could very well make it out of their group.

Tie-Breaker #1: Finals Score – 3-2

Tie-Breaker #2: Golden Boot Winner – Lionel Messi

 

Next up, TyGuy.

TyGuy has the revenge bracket, with Brazil making up for their embarrassing showing in the 2014 World Cup Semis.

Tie-Breaker #1: Final Score – 3-2

Tie-Breaker #2: Golden Boot Winner – Neymar Jr.

 

Thirdly, The Cannon.

The Cannon’s bracket is pretty straightforward…the best teams win. I’m not surprised that he took this route since the only soccer he watches is with me and he complains about it.

Tie-Breaker #1: Final Score – 3-1

Tie-Breaker #2: Golden Boot Winner – Thomas Muller

 

Finally, TreBabs.

Personally, I think that France has the best squad in this tournament. They’re young, so they could screw this up for me, but I’m rolling with Les Bleus.

Tie-Breaker #1: Final Score – 4-2

Tie Breaker #2: Golden Boot Winner – Antione Griezmann

 

Since the seeding in the World Cup relies on group play, it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint who has the best bracket. The best way to go about it is by percentage, so if two people end up with the same percentage correct, we’ll go to the tie-breakers. Stay tuned for the winner and check out our podcasts and merchandise!

Liverpool Is 1 Game Away from Champions League Semi-Finals

Liverpool is set to face-off against Man City in the second leg of their Champions League Quarter-Finals matchup at 2:45 PM, ET. The Reds won their opening match against City 3-0 at Anfield and baring a historic collapse, they’ll cruise into the Semis. Now, call me a pessimist, but this would be such a Liverpool move to mess this up.

Both Liverpool and Man City are known for their ferocious attacks, but each team has a health concern up top. Sergio Aguero was forced to miss the first leg of the competition and Mo Salah left the same game in the second half. While I don’t necessarily think Aguero is City’s best player, he does rank first on the team in goals scored in the Premier League with 21. Salah, on the other hand, is without a doubt the Reds’ best player and is almost a shoo-in at this point for Premier League Player of the Year. If I had to guess the two players’ availabilities, I believe that Aguero will start and that Salah will be available on the bench if needed.

Another thing that both teams benefit from is their top-flight managers, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola. Klopp and Pep are widely regarded as two of the best managers in the world and these two fiery tacticians have breathed new life into these historic squads.

So, how do all these things add up to Liverpool potentially blowing this? First, Man City benefits from playing at home in the Ethiad. Secondly, just in the Premier League, Man City has won by 3+ goals eleven times, including a home defeat of Liverpool by 5-0 earlier in the season. And lastly, Liverpool’s defense is suspect at best. Since they’ve acquired Virgil Van Dijk and made Loris Karius their starting goalkeeper, they’ve been infinitely better, but there are still holes in their back line.

Ultimately, I believe that Liverpool will advance to the next round, but it’ll be close, and there will be plenty of goals. Life as a Reds’ supporter is going to be a stressful one today.

My prediction:

Man City 3 – 2 Liverpool

Liverpool advances 5 – 2 on aggregate

“Put $5 On It”: The Masters

Like every degenerate group of friends who enjoy sports, the QuarterMasters love to gamble. We all play Draft Kings. We would also love to have a bookie and make big bets, but we aren’t ballin’ like that yet, and the one of us that does make a little bit of money is saving for a wedding. (Congrats, Cannon) So how do we get past this? Small bets between ourselves, of course. We all think that we know more about sports and pretty much everything else in life than the other, so every week we have a series of $5 bets. Most of the time, it’s just between two of us, but every now and then, we get into a pool. It’s a magical affair. So why not blog about it?

For the inaugural “Put $5 On It” blog, we all chose two golfers for the masters. One favorite (<60/1 odds to win) and one underdog (>60/1 odds to win). Whosever two golfers have the highest average finish wins the pot. Simple enough, right? Let’s get to who chose who.

 

TyGuy:

Jordan Speith: Day 1 (-6)                Day 2 (+2)              Day 3 (-1)           Day 4 (-8)                 Overall (-13)

Ian Poulter: Day 1 (+2)                    Day 2 (+3)              Day 3 (+2)         Day 4 (-3)                  Overall (+4)

 

TreBabs:

Rickie Fowler: Day 1 (-2)                Day 2 (E)                Day 3 (-7)            Day 4 (-5)                  Overall (-14)

Bryson DeChambeau: Day 1 (+2) Day 2 (+2)              Day 3 (E)             Day 4 (-1)                  Overall (+3)

 

Rongy:

Hideki Matsuyama: Day 1 (+1)     Day 2 (-1)                Day 3 (E)             Day 4 (-3)                  Overall (-3)

Kevin Kisner: Day 1: (E)                 Day 2 (+3)              Day 3 (-3)            Day 4 (E)                   Overall (E)

 

The Cannon:

Justin Thomas: Day 1 (+2)            Day 2 (-5)                Day 3 (-2)           Day 4 (+1)                   Overall (-4)

Kevin Chappel: Day 1 (+5)             Day 2 (+4)              Day 3 (CUT)       Day 4 (CUT)               Overall (+9)

 

As you can clearly see, we aren’t quite as smart as we think, but let’s see how it plays out. I’ll update the leaderboard each day.

It came down to TreBabs vs. TyGuy, but my guy Rickie Fowler came through in the battle of the bros. Winner of the inaugural “Put $5 On It” – TreBabs

Expect more “Put $5 On It” blogs every week!

Dolphins Acquire Robert Quinn From Rams

It was reported earlier today that the Dolphins are trading a mid-round pick and swapping late round draft picks to acquire DE Robert Quinn from the Los Angeles Rams.

Just when I began to lose faith in my Dolphins, they reel me back in. After Tannehill got injured in the preseason last year, it was a pretty wild ride in Miami. We automatically signed Jay Cutler to be a $10 million joke. He was a funny joke, we had some good times, but he was still a joke…and an expensive one. Then, they traded Jay Ajayi for a fourth-round draft pick. I was LIVID.

See:

BREAKING: Jay Ajayi To The Eagles

So that happened and we missed the playoffs. Always next year, right? Hard maybe.

My hope started to come back around the time the Dolphins Franchise-Tagged Jarvis Landry a couple of weeks ago, because no matter what happens with that, at least they aren’t letting him walk. And then, this. We not only have Cameron Wake,  we not only have Ndamukong Suh, but not we also have ROBERT QUINN!

Obviously, Adam Gase’s philosophy (besides hiring all of his boys from previous teams) is that if the opposing quarterback dies every week, they can’t beat us. I LOVE IT.

Two important items to note:

https://mobile.twitter.com/QMS_TreBabs/status/969700978684518401

This D-Line trio might actually end Tom Brady’s career. You heard it here first!!

Secondly, getting Robert Quinn for what seems like a 4th-rounder essentially means that they turned Jay Ajayi into Robert Quinn. I can get behind that. I realize that we took on a pretty good sized contract in the process, but we are also not having to pay Landry now. (Hopefully we get good compensation.)

All we need now is to draft the next great QB and let ol’ TanneTHRILL mold them and we will be set.

P.S. I have NO idea which QB we should draft…pretty much anyone besides Darold.

P.S.S. While we are at it, let’s sign Johnny Football to the practice squad. Why? Because it’s #COMEBACKSZN

PHINS UP!

 

Podcasts Are Coming!

In the fast paced society that we live in today, it’s hard to sit down and truly appreciate an article. Sports fans today prefer TV Shows or Radio, but the hot new media outlet on the market is podcasting. With podcasts, you can listen to your favorite personalities while you finish homework or commute to work, or during any other phase of your life.

Here at QuarterMaster Sports, we believe in adapting to best fit our fans, so starting next week we will be offering three new podcasts.

The Parley

Every Monday will feature “The Parley,” which includes all four of the QMS crew talking about the hot sports topics of the week. This podcast is sure to have no shortage of arguments and disagreements as Rongy, TyGuy, TreBabs, and The Cannon sort out who knows best.

That’s Your Opinion

Every Thursday will feature Rongy & The Cannon’s podcast, “That’s Your Opinion.” This will be a fast paced sports podcast that is sure to include the two’s specialty of NCAA Basketball as March Madness draws nearer.

Going Overboard

Finally, every Friday will feature TreBabs & TyGuy’s podcast, “Going Overboard.” This podcast will feature sports topics as well, but will also have real life debates, fantasy talk, and more. “Going Overboard” will be the perfect segue into the weekend as you wind down from work or school.

To begin with, all of our podcasts will be featured on SoundCloud. As always, you can find all of our content on our website and official Twitter page.

More information will be rolling out over the next week, but we hope that you come join us in our podcasting adventures!

Tulo Tricks Photographer Into Thinking He’s A Pitcher

Baseball is officially BACK!

Pitchers and Catchers reported to Spring Training last week, which gave a slight quench of the baseball thirst that has been mounting since the season ended last year. The offseason beforehand was even more entertaining than years past (mostly aided by my Marlins’ firesale.) But now, the full rosters have reported to their Arizona and Florida homes of the next month and BASEBALL IS BACK.

Admittedly, Baseball is not the most entertaining sport to the naked eye. The game moves slowly at times and there isn’t the instant gratification that is present in the nation’s other sports, such as Basketball, Football, and Hockey. Personally, I believe that Baseball is the best game of all, followed closely by Soccer. But then again, I may just be a boring old soul. To others, however, who don’t understand the inner workings of the world’s most in-depth mental game, Baseball relies on two things to reach the common fan…superstitions and shenanigans, which brings us to the title.

Tulo, the Comedian.

Yesterday, while taking Toronto Blue Jays team pictures, Troy Tulowitzki tricked the team photographer into thinking that he was a pitcher. “Why is this so funny,” you might ask? Well, first of all, Tulo is a Shortstop and has been his whole career. I understand that it’s Spring Training, which means young new players, so the photographer wouldn’t know their position, but come on…this is Tulo. Also, apparently the photographer assumed that he was a pitcher. It wasn’t like Tulo initiated the prank, he just saw an opening and took it.

Tulo is 6’3″ and weighs about 205 lbs, which doesn’t scream pitcher. Most pitchers are a little taller and lankier. It’s not the rule, but Tulo’s body type doesn’t scream pitcher, either. He also wears #2, which unless I’m missing someone, isn’t worn by any pitcher in the MLB. There’s only one player off of the top of my head that breaks both of these pitching stereotypes, and it’s Tulo’s teammate, Marcus Stroman, who’s only 5’9″ and wears #6.

Regardless of what the photographer is thinking here, its hilarious stuff, and the perfect way to get back into the lightheartedness of Spring Training.

Speaking of lightheartedness, here’s the best MLB Gif of all time:

Welcome back, Baseball. And, as always, RIP Jose.

Ball Bro’s Make Professional Debut

Ball Bros Make Professional Debut

LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball made their professional debuts earlier today for Vytautas in the Big Baller Brand Challenge in Prienai, Lithuania. The BBB Challenge is a series of 5 “friendly” games against other Lithuanian teams that range in the competitive level. Today’s game was against Zalgiris-2, the best team in Lithuania’s developmental team. Most of the team’s players are under 18 years of age.

The first game of the BBB Challenge was a spectacle, to say the least. The BBB logo was everywhere, including the center of the court and on the referee’s uniforms. The game was streamed on Facebook Live and announced by Rytis Kazlauskas, (play by play) and Rytis Vysniauskas, (analyst). The tandem was absolutely hilarious.  Considering they were announcing the game in a second language, Rytis & Rytis were actually pretty impressive. However, at times Kazlauskas struggled with which Ball bro was on the court.

Some viewers may have thought that was annoying at times, but come on…it’s the Ball family. I thought it just added to the spectacle.

LiAngelo’s Performance

Gelo was announced in the starting-five for Vytautas and actually played a pretty decent game. He finished with a team-leading 19 points, with a handful of rebounds and a few steals to go with it. There were times when Gelo looked out of place on the offensive end of the floor. He missed some easy scoring opportunities. That being said, he looked completely in control on the defensive side. At times he had to play against physically superior players and held his own. The most impressive thing from Gelo’s performance is that it genuinely looked as if he was giving it all the duration of the game and got into a better flow, offensively, as the game progressed.

LaMelo’s Performance

Melo’s game is the epitome of his father’s personality but on a basketball court. It’s flashy, entertaining, but down-right ridiculous at times. He came off the bench and immediately bricked an NBA range three. There were times when he showed flashes of greatness and times where he showed that he was a 16-year old kid. Melo finished the game with 10 points and a handful of both assists and steals. He was at his best when he used his quickness, especially on fast-breaks, driving to the basket, or going for steals. There were a few instances on defense, however, where he sold out too hard for a steal. He finished the first half with 3 fouls and there were a few instances when the opposing guards blew by him. I still think that LaMelo could be the most talented out of the three Ball brothers, but he needs to mature both on and off the court for that to happen.

Overview & Looking Forward

This wasn’t NBA-level basketball, but it was really entertaining. There was a good amount of sloppy play at times, but there were also a few ballers on the court. The Ball brothers had a couple talented stretch-fours on their Vytautas squad and the coach’s son, Edvinas Seskus looked to be the clear leader. On the opposing Zalgiris-2 side, PG Rokas Jokubaitis was the game’s leading scorer with 31. He could legitimately be a future NBA prospect with the right exposure. He’ll surely get that playing against the Ball’s.

There are four more of these BBB Challenge games, which is where I assume the Ball brothers will get the majority of their playing time. If you didn’t get the chance to check today’s game out, I would certainly tune-in in the future. No matter the NBA future of the younger Ball brothers, the family certainly knows how to put on a show.

The Buffalo Bills Are In The Playoffs

The Buffalo Bills have made the 2018 NFL Playoffs, ending an 18-year drought, and it is GREAT for the NFL. Now, I say this as a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan, but really, it was time. The Bills started the day on Sunday as the most unlikely of the four teams vying for the two wild-card spots to make it, but alas they found a way.

Before anything else, of course, the Bills needed to beat my Fins. And, to be honest, I didn’t really see a highlight on RedZone of the Dolphins until the fight at the end. Ol’ David Fales did his best, but like his namesake…he failed.

Next, the Bills needed some help. They needed the Titans and Bengals to win. Blake Bortles was out there throwing the ball to the other team and it just seemed like the Jaguars didn’t really care that much. What was really exciting, was the Red Rocket, Andy Dalton marching the Bengals done the field to knock the Ravens out of playoff contention. I was super surprised because I don’t think anyone is used to Dalton being a clutch QB, but then I remembered it was the regular season. I honestly don’t know what was better, the game-winning drive or the Bills’ reaction.

Never mind. Of course, the reaction was better. Look at my boy, Zay…so excited.

So why is it good for the league, you ask? Well, I’ll tell you.

First of all, the Bills are “Panthers North,” as we like to call them at QMS. Just off the top of my head, the former Panthers on the Bills include Kelvin Benjamin, Joe Webb, Mike Tolbert, and Sean McDermott, who is their new Head Coach. Wouldn’t it be something if the Panthers and Bills somehow met in the Super Bowl? Rongy’s head might explode.

Secondly, BILLS MAFIA. My words couldn’t do them justice, so here are some highlights.

And finally, the most important reason that the Bills making the playoffs is good for the league…Zay “Darth Zayder” Jones. There’s no secret that I’m a big Zay Jones guy and he had an up and down year, to say the least, but he’s going to be a stud. Trust me. Hailing from ECU, better known as WIDE RECIEVER UNIVERSITY. The guy can flat out catch the football. Look for him to have a sneaky big playoff run because the playoffs gon’ be LIT.

The Bills meet the Jaguars in the first round and this game will really depend on two things. Is Shady McCoy able to play and which Blake Bortles will we see? Bortles is a total bro, but I’m picking Bills Mafia to find a way in a close game. If they win, then they go to Foxboro, and it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season, right?

I’d like to end this with a RIP to the Chargers’ season. The Cannon almost had an aneurysm knowing that a team that the Chargers beat by 30 is making the playoffs over them. Got to love tie-breakers. Also, congrats to the Browns, who now rightly own the longest playoff drought at 15 years and counting.

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