Tuesday, June 21, 2016

2009 American Idol Audition Dates Revealed for Season 9 Contestants

American Idol audition dates are about to get started, as casting for the ninth season of American Idol gets underway. Even though American Idol season eight just came to an end with Kris Allen beating out Adam Lambert, it is time to roll out the carpets for the latest round of public auditions. The American Idol auditions will get started on Sunday, June 14th, and work their way around the country during the summer months. There are seven cities that will host the American Idol auditions this time around, and many prospective participants have a number of chances to make the cut.

Everything gets started in Boston, Massachusetts on Sunday, June 14th, as American Idol opens their auditions at Gillette Stadium. It is expected to be a big crowd on the first day of auditions, and the stadium is sure to be packed with Idol hopefuls. From there American Idol will make its way to Atlanta, Georgia, where they will hold auditions on June 18th. The Georgia auditions will be held in the Georgia Dome, which is quite capable of holding thousands of potential applicants during the whole process.

As the summer progresses, the American Idol crew will make their way to Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 30th for auditions at the Rose Bowl, to Orlando, Florida on Thursday, July 9th at the Armway Arena, and then over to Denver, Colorado on Tuesday, July 14th for auditions at INVESCO Field at Mile High. That is already a packed summer, but they plan on ending the session with two more audition sites in Chicago and Dallas before all is said and done. The dates and times for the Dallas, Texas and Chicago, Illinois stops have not yet been announced, but are expected to be revealed as the auditions start to get underway in June.

Those hoping to participate in the ninth season of American Idol will need to attend one of these various audition sessions, all with the hope of receiving one of the golden tickets to make their way to Hollywood week in the fall. From there the competition really ramps up for the finalists who will make it to the live shows in the spring of 2010. It’s a long process, but for the great singers out there who have yet to be discovered, this could be the chance of a lifetime to sing in front of millions.

American Idol Audition Schedule:

Boston: Sunday, June 14, Gillette Stadium

Atlanta: Thursday, June 18, Georgia Dome

Los Angeles: Tuesday, June 30, Rose Bowl

Orlando, Fla.: Thursday, July 9, Amway Arena

Denver: Tuesday, July 14, INVESCO Field at Mile High

Chicago: TBD

Dallas: TBD

Source: Entertainment Weekly

Tags:2009 American Idol Audition Dates Revealed for Season 9 Contestants

2009 ACC Football Season Preview

2008 Season Recap.
The 2008 ACC season featured an NCAA record 10 schools receiving a bowl bid. The ACC’s 4-6 record in those bowl games tarnished the achievement. One bright spot was conference champions Virginia Tech’s 20-7 win over the University of Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl. The Orange Bowl victory snapped the ACC’s eight-game losing streak in BCS Bowl games. It also gave the conference a much needed lift for the 2009 season.

2009 Season Preview.
After that dismal bowl record, the ACC looks to gain more respect from naysayers who feel the ACC is unworthy of being a BCS conference. Getting a team to the BCS Championship game could go a long way towards garnering the ACC more respect around the country. To get to the BCS Championship game, ACC schools must prove they can play against quality Big 12, PAC- 10 and SEC opponents. The first week of games on the schedule gives the ACC a golden opportunity to do just that. Maryland’s game on the road against California and Virginia Tech’s neutral site game against Alabama in Atlanta will tell us right away if the ACC is contender or a pretender in the BCS Championship chase. A win in both of those games could be a huge springboard for the conference’s chances at a BCS championship game bid.

Several teams in the ACC also have a lot of questions to answer this season. For example, can Al Groh’s Virginia Cavaliers turn around their program after a disappointing five win season? Groh needs quality linebacker play to make that happen. Further south, can Florida State get over a horrible scandal and return to the ACC title game? It will take a lot of work on offense to get them there. Finally, can Georgia Tech overtake Virginia Tech and win an ACC title? Heisman Trophy hopeful Jonathan Dwyer will have a lot of say-so answering that question as he tries to improve on an impressive 2008 season that won him ACC Player of the Year honors.

The answers to these questions will tell us a lot about the ACC’s future in the national college football scene.

Team Previews:

Atlantic Division:

Florida State Seminoles (9-4, 5-3 in the ACC).
2008 bowl result: Beat Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl, 24-21.
Coach: Bobby Bowden (34th season,309-91-4).
Career record: 382-123-4.
Offensive Coordinator: Jimbo Fisher (3rd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Mickey Andrews (26th season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Christian Ponder( 6-2,217,Jr.), RB-Jermaine Thomas (6-1,190,Soph.).
On Defense: CB-Patrick Robinson(5-11,194,Sr.), FS-Jamie Robinson(6-2,188,Sr.).

Key Games:
September 7th vs. Miami (FL).
October 10th vs. Georgia Tech.
The September 7th clash against the in-state rival is for bragging rights and a possible BCS bowl bid. The October 10th match up against the Yellow Jackets could be a preview of the ACC title game.

Seminoles’ Short Notes:
Florida State is trying to improve after back-to-back 7-6 seasons and a tough academic scandal that could cost Bobby Bowden some victories. To improve, the ‘Noles have to find a way to improve their play on defense. With only three seniors starting, it will be vital for the Seminoles to limit mental mistakes and big plays. Furthermore, the Seminoles’ offense needs a big lift from their experienced running back Jermaine Thomas. He will be the key to making Florida State’s offense go because he will be expected to run the ball more often than he did in 2008. Thomas averaged 7 yards per carry in 2008 and could really help the Seminoles’ ground game in a big way with even a 5 yard per carry average. When it’s all said and done, Florida State is still the best team in this mediocre division.

2009 Bowl Prediction: It’s the Gator Bowl for the Seminoles.

N.C. State Wolf pack(6-7, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 bowl result: Rutgers beat N.C. State 29-23 in the Papajohns. com Bowl.
Coach: Tom O’Brien (3rd season,11-14).
Career record: 86-59.
Offensive Coordinator: Dana Bible (3rd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Archer (3rd season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Russell Wilson( 5-11,191,Soph.), WR-Jarvis Williams (6-4,205,Sr.).
On Defense: LB-Nate Irving(6-1, 225,Sr.), LB- Ray Michel (6-0,224,Sr.).

Key Games:
September 26th vs. Pittsburgh.
October 31st at Florida State.

A win against the Panthers could help the ACC’s BCS Championship game aspirations. The Halloween match up against Florida State could decide the Atlantic Division crown.

Wolf pack Notebook:
For this team to be successful, first-team All-ACC quarterback Russell Wilson must build upon his success that saw him throw 17 touchdowns and one interception. He will have Jarvis Williams and Owen Spencer among others to throw to who are fast and know how to get open. Wilson must also improve his 54.5% passing efficiency and get help from an offensive line that has only three starters returning. On defense, Linebackers Nate Irving and Ray Michel must provide senior leadership and come up with big plays. Irving is returning from an injured ankle and is expected to give the Wolf pack some badly needed energy and toughness. The Wolf pack must also create more than the 28 turnovers it had in 2008. To sum it up, because of the question marks on the offensive line, the Wolf pack will have to wait until next year for a chance at an ACC championship.

2009 Bowl Prediction: It’s the Meineke Care Bowl for the Wolf pack in 2009.

Clemson Tigers (7-6, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 bowl result: Nebraska beat the Tigers 26-21 in the Gator Bowl.
Coach: Dabo Swinney (1st full season as Tigers head coach, 4-3).
Career record: 4-3.
Offensive Coordinator: Ron West (1st season).
Defensive Coordinator: Kevin Sweenie (1st season).
On Offense: QB-Kyle Parker (6-1,200,Fr.), RB-C.J. Spiller(5-11,195,Sr.).
On Defense: CB-Chris Chancellor 5-10, 165, Sr.), LB-Brandon Maye (6-0, 224, Sr.).

Key Games:
September 10th at Georgia Tech.
October 17th vs. Wake Forest.

The September 10th game against the Yellow Jackets will tell Tiger fans just how good their team is in 2009. The October 17th match-up against Wake Forest will be a key game in the divisional standings. A win gives the Tigers a serious shot at 3rd place. A loss puts them as low as 5th in their division.

Tiger Rags:
Heisman Trophy hopeful C.J Spiller and freshman QB Kyle Parker must have big years for the Tigers if they are to have any hope of a bowl bid. Spiller has proven he can play with the best of them, but what about Kyle Parker? He has never started a game in the college ranks before and head coach Dabo Swinney is banking on Parker’s ability to learn quickly. Thankfully, the Tigers have a solid offensive line that features Chris Hariston and Jamarcus Grant. These big guys can be counted on to protect Hariston and create some running room for Mr. Spiller. The X-Factor for the Tigers will be their defense. It’s led by Chancellor and Maye. Chancellor is on the watch list for the Thorpe Award that goes to the top defensive back in the country. That’s not surprising because he has had 23 career pass break-ups and eight interceptions in his career. He will be counted on to come up with some big plays and leadership for a defensive unit that is relatively young and untried. Because the Tigers’ quarterback and defensive secondary is relatively untried, 3rd place in their division would be very good for Clemson.

2009 Bowl Prediction: How does the Emerald Bowl sound?

Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-5, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 bowl result: Wake forest beat Navy 29-19 in the EagleBank Bowl.
Coach: Jim Grobe (9th season, 54-44).
Career record: 87-77-1
Offensive Coordinator: Steed Lobotzke (7th season).
Defensive Coordinator: Brad Lambert (2nd season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Riley Skinner (6-1, 210, Sr.), WR-Devon Brown (5-11, 195, Soph.).
On Defense: LB-Matt Woodlief (5-11, 254, Jr.), LB-Hunter Haynes (6-2, 240, Jr.).

Key Games:
September 12th at Stanford.
October 17th at Clemson.

The September 12th game against the Cardinal is important for the league’s BCS bowl hopes. A win gives the ACC a chance at a better BCS bowl bid. The October 17th match-up against Clemson is a key game in the divisional standings. A win gives the Demon Deacons almost a lock for 3rd or better. A loss puts them as low as 4th or perhaps 5th in their division.

Deacons Doings:
The Demon Deacons have to do three things to be successful in 2009. The offensive line must protect Riley Skinner and get him enough time to throw the ball. To do this, a young offensive line has to step up and play well right away. The offense also has to come up with more big plays of 20 or more yards. According to ESPN.com’s Wake Forest team webpage, the Deacons only averaged 10.4 yard per catch and 3.1 yards per carry. They can’t repeat those performances this year and expect to go to a bowl game. Finally, their defense must keep creating turnovers. Last season, they had 37 total takeaways. Anything close to that number will make it easier for Riley’s young offense to score points.

2009 Bowl Prediction: It’s the International Bowl for the Demon Deacons because Notre Dame and the Big East are going to have down years this season.

Maryland Terrapins (8-5, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 bowl result: The Terrapins beat Nevada 42-35 in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Coach: Ralph Friedgan (9th year, 64-36).
Career record: 64-36.
Offensive Coordinator: James Franklin (2nd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Don Brown (1st season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Chris Turner (6-4, 220, Sr.), WR-Torrey Smith (5-11, 195, Sr.).
On Defense: LB-Alex Wujciak (6-3, 255, Soph.), DE-Derek Drummond (6-4, 250, Soph.).

Key Games:
September 5th at California.
October 10th at Wake Forest.

The September 5th game against the Golden Bears is crucial for the ACC’s BCS championship game hopes. A win helps the ACC immensely. The October 10th game against Wake Forest will be a key game in the Terps’ hopes for a bowl game bid. A win gives the Terps an almost sure bowl bid. A loss makes things much harder because they still would have to play Virginia Tech, Florida State and N.C. State later in the season.

Terrapins Notes:
Maryland lost 7 defensive players to spent eligibility. According to www.accblitz.com, this left only 4 returning starters on defense. First year defensive coordinator Don Brown will have his hands full picking up the pieces. How well Brown puts those pieces back together will ultimately decide how Maryland does this season. Look for linebacker Alex Wujciak to step up and lead this defense through some hard times. Wujerciak was a second team All-ACC-pick as a freshman and has the tools to become an NFL caliber linebacker. The secondary features 3 cornerbacks who are either freshman or sophomores. This could spell a lot of trouble for the Terrapins unless they pick up quickly. On offense, Chris Turner is a solid quarterback who threw for 2,516 yards and 13 touchdowns. He will be throwing the ball to a young, but talented, receiving corps led by senior Torrey Smith. If Turner can turn in a 3,000 yard season with 20 or more touchdown passes, Maryland’s defensive troubles might not look so bad.

2009 Bowl Prediction: None.

Boston College Eagles (9-5, 5-3 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: Vanderbilt beat Boston College 16-14 in the Music City Bowl.
Coach: Frank Spaziani (1st year, 1-0).
Career record: 1-0.
Offensive Coordinator: Gary Tranquill (1st season).
Defensive Coordinator: Bill McGovern (1st season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Justin Tuggle (6-3, 222, r-Fr.), RB Montel Harris (5-10, 192, Soph.).
On Defense: LB-Mark Herzlich (6-4, 238, Sr.), CB- Donnie Fletcher (6-1, 186, Soph.).

Key Games:
September 5th vs. Northeastern.
September 12 vs. Kent State.

These first two games of the season might be the most important ones of all because it will expose new head coach Frank Spaziani to his new job. How he reacts to the pressure of making critical decisions will tell us a lot about his ability to lead the Eagles.

Eagle Notes:
The Eagles lost their last head coach to a squabble with AD Gene DeFillippo. They also lost their offensive coordinator to the NFL. As a result, a coach with only one game of head coaching experience takes over a program that has been to a bowl game the last five seasons. This year, it will be a different story as the Eagles pick up the pieces and transition to their 3rd head coach in four seasons. That being said, new coach Frank Spaziani does have some good players he can build his program around. Redshirt freshman quarterback Justin Tuggle has a great throwing arm and good instincts. He will have a lot to learn and I don’t expect him to win many games right away. Sophomore running Back Montel Harris could shine if his offensive line holds up. He ran for 900 yards as a freshman. On defense, senior linebacker Mark Herzlich leads a very inexperienced defense that has problems up front and in their secondary. This will make the year very long for the Eagles.

2009 Bowl prediction: None.

ACC Coastal Division:

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (9-4, 5-3 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: LSU beat the Yellow Jackets 38-3 in the Chick-Fil-A-Bowl.
Coach: Paul Johnson (2nd year, 9-4).
Career record: 9-4.
Offensive Coordinator: Paul Johnson (2nd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Bill McGovern (2nd season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Josh Nesbitt (6-1, 214, Jr.), RB-Jonathan Dwyer (6-0, 228, Jr.).

On Defense: SS- Morgan Burnett (6-1, 198, Jr.), CB- Rashaad Reid (5-10, 180, Soph.).

Key Game:
October 17th vs. Virginia Tech.

The October 17th game has conference title implications because it features the two best teams in the conference. A win by the Yellow Jackets gets them a leg up on the Hokies. A win against Wake Forest November 7th would give the Yellow Jackets a big edge for a conference crown.

Yellow Jacket Buzz:
The 2008 ACC Offensive Player of the Year (and Heisman Trophy hopeful) Jonathan Dwyer returns to lead a potent Yellow Jacket offense that ranked 4th in the Division I football with 273.2 yards per game. Teams will also cringe at the sight of an improved Yellow Jacket defense that includes Second Team All-American Selection safety Morgan Burnett. The Yellow Jackets are my pick to win the ACC title because the combination of Dwyer’s running and the defense’s team speed make the Yellow Jackets the best all-around team in the conference. A BCS championship bid is possible if the Yellow Jackets can run the table and if the league does well in non-conference games against other BCS conference schools.

2009 Bowl prediction: It’s the Sugar Bowl for the Yellow Jackets.

Virginia Tech Hokies (10-4, 5-3 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: Virginia Tech beat the Cincinnati Bearcats 20-7 in the Orange Bowl.
Coach: Frank Beamer (23rd year, 177-89-2).
Career record: 219-112-4.
Offensive Coordinator: Bryan Stinespring (4th season).
Defensive Coordinator: Bud Foster (15th season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Tyrod Taylor (6-1, 216, Jr.), RB-Darren Evans (6-0, 213, Soph.).
On Defense: FS- Kam Chancellor (6-4, 226, Sr.), CB-Stephen Virgil (5-11, 189, Sr.).

Key Games:
September 5th vs. Alabama in Atlanta
October 17th @ Georgia Tech.
The October 17th game has conference title implications because it features the two best teams in the conference. A win by the Hokies almost assures them a lock for the divisional and conference crowns. A win against the Tide on September 5th gives the ACC much needed credibility in the eyes of the BCS voters.

Hokies’ News:
The defending conference champions are favored by many experts to win the ACC title again. The only problem is Tyrod Taylor’s passing needs to improve and an untested group of young wide receivers is a huge question mark that should cast doubts about the Hokies’ offense.
On defense, the hokies look to have, along with Georgia Tech, one of the best defenses in the ACC. Led by Kam Chancellor, look for the Hokies to force more takeaways and pressure the ball more.

2009 Bowl prediction: If it wasn’t for a shaky offense, the Hokies would win the ACC crown again. As a result, I’m going to put them in Nashville for the Music City Bowl.

North Carolina Tar Heels (8-5, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: West Virginia beat the Tar Heels 31-30 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Coach: Butch Davis (3rd year, 12-13).
Career record: 63-33.
Offensive Coordinator: Mark Whipple (1st season).
Defensive Coordinator: John Lovett (1st season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Jacory Harris (6-4, 190, Soph.), RB-Greg Cooper (6-0, 202, Jr.).
On Defense: FS Randy Phillips (6-0, 210, Sr.), LB-Sean Spence (6-0, 211, Fr.).

Key Games:
September 19th @ East Carolina
November 28th @ N.C. State.
The September 19th game against the Conference USA champion Pirates is a litmus test for the Tar Heels. If East Carolina wins the game like they did two years ago, it’s going to be a long season at Chapel Hill.
The November 18th game against the Wolf pack has bowl implications. It’s simple. If the Tar Heels win, they go bowling.

Tar Heels’ Reels:
On defense, team speed and quick instincts will be vital for the Tar Heels’ success. Led by Sporting News All-American Delinta Williams, the Heels have a shot at forcing lots of turnovers and creating chaos upfront.
The offense will needs these turnovers because a shaky offensive line might make life difficult for junior quarterback T.J. Yates at times. That being said, Yates has three underclass receivers, like Gregg Little, who are good enough to contribute right away.

2009 Bowl prediction: How does the Chick-Fil-A Bowl sound?

Miami Hurricanes (7-6, 4-4 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: California beat Miami 24-17 in the Emerald Bowl.
Coach: Randy Shannon (3rd year, 12-13).
Career record: 12-13.
Offensive Coordinator: John Shop (3rd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Everett Withers (2nd season).
Key Players:
On Offense: WR-Dwight Jones (6-4, 220, Soph.), WR-Gregg Little (6-3, 220, Jr.).
On Defense: FS Delinta Williams (6-2, 206, Jr.), LB-Bruce Carter (6-3, 230, Jr.).

Key Games:
September 7th @ Florida State
October 3rd vs. Oklahoma.
The opening game of the season against Florida State is an in-state rivalry game. How can that not be a big game!? The October 3rd match-up against the Sooners could spoil the party for the Big 12 in the BCS title chase. A win by Miami puts its conference one leg up for the BCS title game.

Miami’s Musings:
On defense, look for some growing pains this year as the secondary and front linesmen learn a new defense that breaks down plays into roles for each player to perform. It will take some time, but the results will be worth it. On offense, look for Miami to throw the ball more in a Run N’ Gun style offense that forces opposing defenses to react as the play develops. This should make Miami a lot of fun to watch on offense. A bowl game is not out of the question. To get a bid, Miami’s young defense must step up in the clutch.
2009 Bowl prediction: None. The ACC doesn’t have quite the depth like it did last year.

Virginia Cavaliers (5-7, 3-5 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: None.
Coach: Al Groh (9th year, 156-44).
Career record: 82-84.
Offensive Coordinator: Gregg Brandon(1st season).
Defensive Coordinator: Al Groh (9th season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Vic Hall(5-9, 185, Sr.), WR-Jared Green(6-3, 225, Sr..).
On Defense: The entire linebacker corps. If they don’t perform well, it’s going to be a long year for Virginia.
Key Games:
October 10th vs. Indiana.
October 17th @ Maryland.
These games will determine if the Cavaliers can earn a bowl bid this year. Two wins will go an awful long way to getting them bowl eligible.

Cavaliers’ Notes:
Virginia’s new offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon has installed a modified spread offense that calls for the quarterback to quickly make good decisions. If senior Vic Hall can handle this offense, the Cavaliers will look respectable on offense.
The bug-a-boo about this team is its defense. Al Groh’s defensive scheme features a 3-4 defense that requires good linebacker play for it to work well. The problem is the Cavaliers don’t quite have enough experienced linebackers who are fast enough to make it work. As a result, look for another long season in Charlottesville.

2009 Bowl prediction: None.

Duke Blue Devils (4-8, 1-7 in the ACC).
2008 Bowl result: None.
Coach: David Cutcliffe (2nd year, 4-8).
Career record: 48-37.
Offensive Coordinators: Matt Luke, Kurt Roper (2nd season).
Defensive Coordinator: Marion Hobby, Mike Macintyre (2nd season).
Key Players:
On Offense: QB-Thaddeus Lewis (6-2, 200, Sr.), WR-Johnny Williams(5-10, 190, Soph.).
On Defense: LB-Vincent Rey (6-0, 240, Sr.), FS-Catron Gainey(6-2, 205, Sr.).

Key Game:
November 7th @ North Carolina.
The annual rivalry game with the Tar Heels is always fun to watch. Duke might be able to spoil North Carolina’s season with a win in this game.

Blue Devil’s Blue Notes:
Duke might be a basement team, but it won’t be for a lack of trying. Second year coach David Cutcliffe has a good quarterback in Thaddeus Lewis. The senior doesn’t have a lot of good offensive players to support him but they won’t give in either. On defense, the front line looks fine. It’s the linebacker and safety corps that makes this team looks like an 8 or 9 loss team. Duke has many young linebackers and, except for Catron Gainey, very few quality safeties. As a result, Duke will have to wait until basketball season to shine.

2009 Bowl prediction: None.

Additional Print Source:
Collins, Dan, and Ken Tysiac. “2009 ACC News and Notes.” Sporting News College Football ’09 June 2009: 20-35.

Tags:2009 ACC Football Season Preview

2009 Big Ten Tournament Preview: Minnesota vs. Northwestern

Minnesota faces off against Northwestern in the opening round of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament on Thursday, hoping to keep their NCAA Tournament dreams alive. If the Gophers can pull out a win, they have a chance to gain an at large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

After starting the season 12-0, Minnesota finished poorly, going 4-6 in their final ten games. One of those wins, however, came against Northwestern in a lopsided 72-45 decision. Minnesota finished the season seventh in the Big Ten conference with a record of 21-9. The Gophers finished with a sub par record of 3-4 against ranked opponents. Junior Lawrence Westbrook led the team in scoring, averaging 12.4 points per game.

Northwestern finished the season ninth in the Big Ten and with an overall record of 17-12. Northwestern did lose their last contest with Minnesota in late February, but they defeated the Gophers 74-65 in January. Against ranked opponents, the Wildcats were an average 3-3 on the season, but they defeated 19th ranked Purdue 64-61 just last week which will give them quite a confidence boost heading into their game against Minnesota. Junior Kevin Coble ranked fourth in Big Ten scoring at 15.3 points per game, and he also led the Wildcats in rebounding.

Northwestern, although losing their last match-up to the Gophers, seem to have the upper hand in this game. The Wildcats are fresh off a victory over Purdue, and will be looking to avenge their recent loss to Minnesota. Look for Northwestern to knock Minnesota out of the Big Ten tournament, and keep them out of the NCAA tourney.

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Tags:2009 Big Ten Tournament Preview: Minnesota vs. Northwestern

2009 AFC East Season Preview and Odds

The AFC East had some pretty good tem performance in 2008. The Miami Dolphins shocked NFL fans a season ago when they ended up winning the division with a record of 11-5, but can they do it again as New England’s Tom Brady, back from a season ending injury, will be back and in the hunt for a division title. Here I breakdown the teams to exposing their strengths, weakness’ and odds to win their division.

The Miami Dolphins +800

The Fins had an unbelievable season lat year winning the division and finishing with an 11-5 record. Unfortunately, they will not be able to sneak up on teams like they did last year and will have a much harder time snatching wins from unsuspecting teams. After Miami picked up starting QB Chad Pennington after the Jets released him for Favre, Pennington threw for 19 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions in 2008, showing he is a good decision maker. Ronnie Brown is an effective RB but he will not be enough. LB Jason Taylor is back after one season with the Redskins and will likely be paired opposite Joey Porter. Porter dominated last year, posting better numbers than he did in 2007. Miami will finish the year at 7-9 and miss the playoffs.

The New England Patriots +250

The Patriots will welcome back their Pro Bowl QB Tom Brady for the 2009 season. Without Brady, New England was unable to make it to the playoffs in 2008. A healthy Brady will be a boost to the Patriots offense, making them one of the highest scoring teams in the NFL this season. New England is poised to take back control of the division and will return as a Super Bowl favorite. RB Laurence Maroney returns as the starting tailback once again. Maroney played only three games last season all coming late in the year as he missed the first half of the season with injuries. WR Randy Moss will return and should be happy to see Brady back under center. Moss totaled 98 receptions, 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns catches in first year as Tom Brady’s teammate. The Pats defense will be equally as good with LB Teddy Bruschi and strong safety Brandon Meriweather. The Patriots will finish at 14-2 and easily win the division title.

The New York Jets +700

Not since legendary QB Joe Namath has Jets fans been this excited since the team traded up to draft USC QB Mark Sanchez with the fifth pick in this year’s draft. Although Sanchez seems to have all the tools to become a solid QB in this league, the 2009 season will present its share of problems for the rookie QB. Thomas Jones returns as the starting RB and will look to return to the end zone often, as he did in the 2008. WR Jerricho Cotchery will need to have a big year, as he is the clearly going to be Sanchez’s number one man with Chansi Stuckey as the number two. TE Dustin Keller should be a big part of the passing attack in 2009 as well. The Jets defense will have some holes even with monster nose tackle Kris Jenkins returning and LB Bart Scott coming over from the Ravens. The Jets are a season or two away from challenging New England for the division title. The Jets finish the year with a 7-9 record and won’t be in the playoffs.

The Buffalo Bills +800

Bills fans are anxious to see what WR Terrell Owens can do for their team on the field, or to it off the field. Owens brings lots of attention to the Bills and if he is able to focus on his play, should have a good year for them. The Bills have made it clear that QB Trent Edwards is their future for the franchise for years to come. He showed some good play making during his 2009 season, and should be happy with newly acquired Terrell Owens. Marshawn Lynch and Fred Jackson will return as the running back tandem along with free agent Dominic Rhodes, from the Indianapolis Colts. The Bills defense last year only produced 24 sacks and was amongst the worst at getting pressure on the quarterback. Things will not change much this season. Buffalo could manage to be in the playoff hunt for most of the year, but will lose some late games and finish out of the playoffs at 8-8.

Matt Martz is a freelance writer located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

Tags:2009 AFC East Season Preview and Odds

2009 Chevrolet Corvette - Pump Up that Speed in the Land Bound Cockpit

The ultimate choice in the sports car is the Vette, officially, the Chevrolet Corvette. It has the impact you would expect of an iconic machine in the market. With the modern models veering off just a bit from the normal model of the GM sponsored make. The car’s interior features some exemplary workmanship which complements the modern design’s outer exterior.

With the 2009 model year, a new entrant has been added to the corvette line up: ZR1. Available both as the rarer coupe and in the form of the luxurious convertible, the model has an option for the owner to have a two-seat unit for more personalization. The convertible comes with a colored-roof that is removable and includes features that make it have a leaning towards being a Targa. The car has the security of a fitted top therefore on sunny days you don’t have to lumber around with some tarp for your roof. The hard top is also guarantee for security meaning you can park the car and be sure to find your valuables intact if you decide to take a long walk.

The line of Corvettes currently being rolled out also features something new: the fixed headlights. But like all its predecessors, it has quite an emphasis on the speed factor. The only flaw with the corvette is the pricing, since the coupe is viewed as quite exclusive, the design of the newly created models doesn’t do much to let those with a preference for high end machines to express their extravagance. Although the body structure looks varied in construction, the ZR1 and the Z06 look pretty much like the standard Vette which does not seat very well with part of the consumer market.

The car though has some mind blasting speed worked into its V8 which holds a capacity 7 liter of gas. With a kick of 890hp the torque is mind bending as well and only comes a little to that of the Bugatti Veyron, or rather it is child to Veyron’s. The driver’s space is fashioned like a small cockpit, honoring the substance that the car holds as it prepares you for a booming road experience. In just 12 seconds the car hits sub-sonic speeds of 126 mph for the Z06, quite something for those who watch the F1.

Also addressed in the current model are the market critiques on the design, interior and exterior.

Tags:2009 Chevrolet Corvette - Pump Up that Speed in the Land Bound Cockpit

2009 Chevrolet Impala - Impala Impales Competition

The Chevrolet Impala is what everyone is talking about, and this year’s model stomps the competition with better highway fuel economy, better looks inside and out, and more horsepower than the other leading cars similar to it offered by other car companies.

With more options for monthly payments that suit your budget and many offers to save you money, the Chevrolet Impala is affordable, because everyone should be able to have a car that is both efficient and well equipped for the things you need. The Impala is just another great car that can help the environment and is available with the best technological advancements in safety and accident prevention.

Just how good is the Chevrolet Impala’s fuel economy compared to other cars? The 2009 Impala offers a whopping 29 highway fuel economy, compared to only 26 high miles per gallon in the Dodge 2009 Charger. It is also the preferred car in terms of aesthetic appearance and room efficiency of the interior.

It also offers more color options for the exterior, making it one of the most fashionable cars on the road. With the competition a long way from keeping up, the Chevrolet Impala is the best choice.

But how affordable is the Chevrolet Impala? I am glad you asked! A great car like this has to be worth a fortune, right? Wrong. The Chevrolet Impala will not have you drowning in debt for the next ten years like other high quality cars offered by competitors.

In fact, the Chevrolet Impala has a customizable plan for down payment and monthly payments, so you can figure out beforehand how long it will take for you to finish paying off your new car. You should be able to chose the down payment and monthly payments to fit your budget. With the Chevrolet Impala, now you can. Getting a fuel efficient, stylish car does not have to be stressful.

The Chevy Impala, offered by one of the nation’s leading car companies, is definitely no disappointment for all of those die-hard Chevrolet fans. The Impala lives up to its name. OnStar Automatic Crash Response is the standard for all Chevrolet Impala cars, as well as Remote Keyless Entry.

With so many great features available, it is unquestionable that the Chevrolet Impala will be a great ride for your hard earned money. In terms of quality, safety, and fuel economy, it just can not get any better!

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2009 Capital Pride in Washington, D.C

Capital Pride 2009 will be held in Washington, D.C. beginning on Friday, June 5, 2000 and running through Sunday, June 14, 2000. This is the 34th annual gay pride celebration to be held in Washington. In memory of the Stonewall Inn Riots, the theme of this year’s gay pride celebration is “Generations of Pride: Celebrate and Remember – Stonewall at 40”. This theme recognizes the past and looks to the future in unity. Capital Pride 2009 looks to be a week filled with exciting, entertaining and enlighten events. Make sure that you do not miss these events during the week:

Bachelorette Auction: This is actually a fund raising event to assist with the costs of Capital Pride. Participants bid on bachelorettes but they are actually bidding on packages that include such items as weekend getaways, airline tickets, hotel stays, etc. You may nominate a bachelorette by visiting the Capital Pride website and completing a 2009 Capital Pride Bachelorette Nomination Form.

2009 Capital Pride Parade: This year’s parade is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 13, 2009. The parade has been voted the best parade in Washington, D.C. two years in a row and this year’s parade will be even better. Do not miss this spectacular event celebrating all that is great about Gay Pride. Participants spend a great deal of time creating and perfecting their floats so you do not want to miss all of the pageantry of the parade. For more information about entering the parade or the parade route, visit the 2009 Capital Pride Parade website.

Festival: The annual street festival begins at11:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2009 and ends at 6:00 p.m. that evening. The festival is on Pennsylvania Avenue near the U.S. Capitol. The festival brings together people for a day filled with food, music, live entertainment, education and attractions. You will want to make time to visit each vendor’s booth so that you do not miss anything.

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington: The GMCW will be performing for Capital Pride 2009 on Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University. You do not want to miss this moving performance entitled Through A Glass, Darkly. The performance is expected to be outstanding and includes actors, dancers and the chorus.

Interfaith Service: Do not miss the annual Interfaith Service to be held on Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 7:30 p.m. This year’s service will be at the Church of the Pilgrims and will feature Rev. Darlene Nipper. This is an opportunity for people from all faiths to join together in celebration and prayer for the gay community.

Town Hall on HIV/AIDS: This will be held on Monday, June 8, 2009. This event will be an opportunity to receive information and education about this epidemic as well as get answers to questions. This important event provides practical and up-to-date information.

Comedy Showcase: Get ready to have your funny bone tickled by some great performers at the comedy showcase. This event is scheduled for Wednesday, June 10, 2009 and will be a time of fun and laughter for everyone. Laughter is the best medicine but thankfully, you can be in great health and still enjoy this event.

Closing Party: Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end but you do not want to miss the closing party on Saturday, June 13, 2009. This party is a time to come together and celebrate the week’s events but more importantly to celebrate the accomplishments over the past 40 years. Do not miss the opportunity to participate in the closing party.

For more information about Capital Pride 2009, visit their website at www.capitalpride.org often for the latest information and schedules.

Source: www.capitalpride.org

Tags:2009 Capital Pride in Washington, D.C

2009 Christmas Gift Ideas You Can Make

Making a gift can not only save you money, it is a great way to show someone that you care enough to be creative and fun with their gift. These three ideas will inspire you to make your own Christmas gifts!

Scrapbook – If the word “scrapbooking” incites a fear response – don’t worry. Scrapbooking in its original form was an art that used found objects. You know, things around the house. Making a keepsake album is a gift straight from the heart.

First, find a blank album and a small pack of photo-safe paper at your local craft or retail store and you’re ready to get to work! Next, select the pictures that you would like to place in your album. This step is the hardest part, because you don’t want to overcrowd your album. A good tip I learned the hard way is to plan what you are going to do on your page before you start pasting.

At this point, you can decide what you would like to add to your pages. You can cut the photo-safe paper into borders for your pictures and pages, or cut a small piece as a background for what you’d like to write.

If you’d like to decorate your page even more, you can use small sequins, beads, ribbon, fabric, leaves or anything else you have around the house. If you do use these items, don’t place them directly on the pictures because they aren’t safe for your photos.

Make a Delicious Goody – King Arthur Flour is my one-stop recipe website. Their website is entirely free and run by professional bakers. They not only have delicious recipes, they actually have support and answer questions that you have about baking. On each easy-to-follow recipe, they include extra tips and advice. Last Christmas my entire baking menu came from King Arthur Flour – the cookies and brownies were very delicious and moist! The 2009 Christmas baking section is easy to find and includes beautiful cakes, breads, and cookies – including one for stained-glass cookies for brave bakers who want a challenge.

Make sure you bake your goody a day or two before giving it as a gift. Store what you make tightly in plastic wrap and present your gift in a tin, a basket, or wrapped in a box with pretty ribbon.

Sew by Hand – If you are looking for an easy sewing project, try making a pillow – it couldn’t be easier. You can make your pillow fun by choosing themed designs, or you can use flannel to make a comfortable pillow for lounging.

After you select your fabric, you need to make sure that the thread you are using will blend in as much as possible, so determine the dominate color in the fabric and buy thread to match. Lastly, pick up a sewing needle and a bag of stuffing.

To make your pillow, cut out two equal-sized squares and place the decorated sides facing each other. Make your stitches evenly around the edges, and leave about four inches toward the corner big enough for your hand. Knot your thread when you are finished, and snip your thread. Turn your pillow right side out, stuff, and make your last stitches discreetly in the seam you left open.

Making a gift by hand isn’t as hard as it seems. Hopefully these ideas have inspired you to try a homemade gift this 2009 Christmas season.

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