Alright, everyone, back again for this week. Sorry about missing last week. We've been extremely busy working on some new features to add. This week, we talk injury prevention (a highly important topic), the necessary characteristics to look for when choosing an agent, the overwhelming upset of USC by Oregon State (again), and the underappreciated role veterans have on the future of a ball club.

This is an important article for all of our female athletes, especially those female soccer players. The physical therapists in this article have conducted a test centered around warm-up exercises that will help prevent injuries to your knees. Male and female bodies are not built the same and therefore during sports and exercise they utilize different parts of the body. The article explains that while men use their hamstrings more, women use their quads, which adds strain on their knees. Their workout, which is included in a link in the article, decreased the chances of an ACL injury by 41%.
So check out this article and workout because no matter how great medicinal technology is, a major injury like a torn ACL is devastating to any player. Prevent injury by incorporating this exercise in your pre-game warm-up.
Plaxico Burress has been suspended from playing the Giant’s next game by the Giants organization. This suspension resulted from Burress missing work on Monday without a phone call explaining his whereabouts. The suspension for missing practice is going to cost Burress around $235,000 in lost pay. This behavior of missing practice can become expensive for players, but it is not the main point I want to bring to the forefront.
I want to draw attention to the backing Burress has from his agent, Drew Rosenhaus. No one really knows why Burress missed practice except a few people close to him, including Rosenhaus. We will never truly know if he skipped because of a legitimate family emergency or if he just woke up and said, “Screw it.” However, what we do know is that despite the real reason for Burress skipping, Rosenhaus has his back the whole way. Rosenhaus stepped in for Burress and defended him and his livelihood by filing an appeal and going to the media and backing his client. This is something that an athlete must look for in an agent-- someone who will have their back no matter the circumstances. Rosenhaus has stuck by other controversial players, like Terrell Owens, and both he and his clients have been rewarded generously. It is this dedication that a player must look for, not someone who will bail with the slightest sign of disaster. Burress is not a very popular player in the media and has a reputation as a selfish, arrogant player that teams put up with because he’s a player-maker. This reputation automatically leads to people assuming the worst when he misses practices no matter the real reason. Rosenhaus has an extensive list of successful clients and could have walked out on Burress for being a renegade and irresponsible. But he stuck with this client and showed Burress that he is there for him.
When something like this happens, we have to talk about it. This game could not have been more set up for a storybook upset than it was on Thursday night. USC comes in as the highly touted and hyped National Championship contenders looking to cruise their way through the season to another BCS title game under Pete Carroll. The Oregon State Beavers went is as huge underdogs with stories such as WR sensation Sammy Stroughter’s battle with depression and the wholesome story of a brother’s loyalty with the Rodgers boys. The game was played on a Thursday night when no other game was being played and weeks after USC embarrassed Ohio State and Oregon State got embarrassed by both Stanford and Penn State. It was a perfect setup and the Beavers did not disappoint.
Riding pregame emotion the Beavers came out and dropped 21 points on a USC defense that has been highly regarded as the best in college this year. They also held the same potent offensive unit that put up 35 points on another highly rated defense in Ohio State to no points. Many wondered if they could keep the passion going after the half, a time when many underdog teams fall back into their roles as punching bags and the favorites find their groove. It looked this way as USC scored on their first two possessions of the second half. Oregon State  did not let up though, battled, and came home with the huge upset. It’s great to see a team avoid intimidation and exploit a team’s weaknesses the way Oregon State did with USC. I hope to see more of it throughout the year as blowouts don’t really excite anyone.
The NFL Draft has evolved into a spectacle fit for two days of television and destined to move primetime. Everyone wants to see the face of the future for their favorite pro team. The bottom-dwellers want to see which star college player will turn around their good fortunes and the top-tiered teams want to see which player will fill the holes they have after the season. But most rookies don’t make an impact on the team for several years. Many sit the bench, man a clipboard, and watch all the while taking notes and trying to learn new playbooks. They must learn the increased speed of the game, the better reactions and instincts of professional players, and the mental stability that comes with mountainous expectations. The players that get overlooked are the veterans who are teaching these players those skills.
Kurt Warner is on the back nine of his NFL career, but is more valuable and important in the shaping of the future for the Arizona Cardinals than the first-rounders the Cardinals have drafted in recent and future years. He understands his role and embraces it willingly. He battled for the starting job in Arizona and won it due to his consistency and a lack thereof in a young Matt Leinart. As part of his job, Warner is now continuing to teach Leinart the skills and techniques he needs to handle an NFL career. Leinart came out of an extremely high profile college career playing in Tinseltown, where he was expected to dominate college football and party with celebrities. Leinart got away with it because of his success, bringing national acclaim and a Heisman Trophy home. But once he started to struggle in the pros, his personal life was put in question, was he mature enough? Did he even care? Enter Kurt Warner, who has coached him and even brought him to a musical while on the road to help cultivate this future talent of the Cardinals. Veterans like Warner are more valuable than their playing time and paychecks will ever put forth. They are crucial to the success of a football team in the future.
This article also shows how Warner manages the most sacred of gifts of life, family. A player’s relationship with his family can make or break a professional career. Players with troubled home lives can end up in trouble as they take out those frustrations on others around them or they end up in serious financial problems when they let the wrong people into their lives. Warner shows a great example of how supportive a successful family relationship can be for a player. He has a wife that stuck through him during the low points in his career (cashing in food stamps) and is now with him as he leads a dangerous Cardinals offense. He also has children who only want to see their dad more and don’t drain his bank account with child support payments. It is important for a professional player to have a crutch because it isn’t always about the Bentleys or episodes on Cribs. The best crutch is a great family.

As always, send any questions or comments to, and enjoy the games this weekend. Baseball playoff runs, conference openers, first week of Bye weeks, and hockey is back.

For all of our Nittany Lions out there, let's watch as the Spread HD continues to tear up defenses.