The biggest offseason news in sports was in the NHL – Ilya Kovalchuk ditching the NHL‘s New Jersey Devils to play in the lesser talented KHL in Russia. Ilya had 11 years and $77 mil remaining on his NHL contract.
The biggest non-sports related sports news was of course, the arrest of New England Patriots’ Tight end Aaron Hernandez, in connection with a murder investigation.
August will bring FOOTBALL ! NFL training camps officially opened during the weekend of July 21. Preseason NFL games begin on Sun, Aug 4, with the annual Hall of Fame game, which this year will feature the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins.
In the AFC, some wonder how the Patriot’s will do, with TE Hernandez having been released from the team, and TE Rob Gronkowski’s history of injuries, combined with the loss of Wes Welker to free agency (Denver). Who will be the new go-to guy for Tom Brady ? In Miami, with the addition of speedy wideout Mike Wallace, are the Dolphins ready to challenge for the division title ? Can the Pittsburgh Steelers overcome the loss of James Harrison on defense ?
In the NFC, now that defensive coordinators have had a full offseason to study the read-option offenses run with so much success last season, will San Francisco 49ers’ QB Colin Kaepernick be able to duplicate his success of last season ? How about RGIII in Washington, with his surgically repaired right knee ? In Seattle, will Russell Wilson fall victim to the “sophomore jinx” ?
The regular season will kickoff on Thursday, Sep 5, with a juicy rematch of this year’s AFC divisional round game between the reigning Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos. Peyton Manning threw two critical interceptions when the teams met in Denver on Jan 12, 2013, leading to a bitter 38-35 loss in OT. Despite his overwhelming reg season success, Manning now has a career playoff record of only 9-11; the worst career postseason winning percentage of any former Super Bowl winning QB in NFL history. Having already lost stud defensive sackmaster Elvis Dumervil in the offseason (Baltimore), Denver is also going to have to deal with a 4-game suspension of All-Pro linebacker Von Miller for violating NFL policy. Baltimore lost Ray Lewis to retirement, and Ed Reed to the Houston Texans.
NCAA football kicks off in August as well, as Head coach Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide set their sights on a third straight National Championship.
Summer is heating up. Get all the latest on all the teams in every sport, and get in on the action, by going to TopBettingAction.com betting sites, to get all the info. Make an informed decision, and enjoy the summer.