Small Market Sports

Minorities in Coaching: A Statistical Study

by: Justin Kirsche, Matt Iorio, Taylor Beatty, Shane Date, and Andrew Magown

On January 17, 2013, the NFL announced it’s new selection of eight head coaches for the upcoming season, but surprisingly not a single one was African-American.

This announcement brought forth the question of just how diverse coaching is in America. This issue of diversity has been under increased scrutiny for over ten years.  Interestingly enough, the number of minority coaches within the NFL has dropped by a five to three comparison, with more positions being given to white males; compared to 2011 when there were 11 head coaches of minority race.

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Bye Week Update: Buffalo Bills

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The Ralph, under the lights. (AP Images)

I know their record is 4-7, including 1-3 in their last 4. I know they probably need to win out to even sniff the playoff race. I know they still have to play the Patriots IN Foxborough. But hear me out, the Buffalo Bills haven’t been in this good of a situation in YEARS. That’s coming from an eternal optimist dealing with his hometown team. Here’s a couple of the reasons I think Bills fans should be ultra-positive at this point:

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A “Wild” Season In Minnesota

Minnesota is the self-proclaimed “State of Hockey” and their team is showing America just why that nickname is so fitting this year. The Wild are off to a roaring start going 14-5-4 (32 points) which includes an astonishing 10-1-2 record on home ice at the Xcel Energy Center. 32 points has the Wild tied for the lead in the Central division with the Chicago Blackhawks and ahead of other powerhouse teams such as the St. Louis Blues and the Colorado Avalanche. 

In today’s NHL, you must spend money to succeed. Long gone are the days of building completely from within with low salary contract players. In order to build a winner, you have to dish out some cash, which is exactly what the Wild have done.

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Slowly but Surely, Sabres Begin to Rebuild

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Thomas Vanek skates with his new team. (AP Images)

Everyone knew it was going to happen eventually. No one knew where or when it would happen though. The first big shoe dropped in the Sabres rebuilding season earlier this week, trading star winger Thomas Vanek to the New York Islanders for 29-year old winger Matt Moulson along with a first round pick this year and a second rounder next year. 

The trade makes sense all around. Vanek wasn’t going to resign, even though there was talk of making #26 the highest paid player in the NHL…woah. 40 goals in two different seasons is good and all, but not worth more than MVP Alex Ovechkin or Stanley Cup Champions like Sidney Crosby and Patrick Kane. 

In return the Sabres got a decently talented player in Moulson who ranks in the top 10 in goals since the 2009-2010 season with 120. Moulson also carries a much smaller salary cap hit at just over $3 million as opposed to Vanek’s $7 mil plus per year. 

The more important aspect of the trade though, is the acquisition of draft picks. There is nothing more valuable to a rebuilding team than draft picks. Not only for drafting young talent, but picks are also perfect trade fodder if the Sabres intend on bringing in some more talented players in the off-season.

The next part of the rebuilding equation is Ryan Miller. As I stated in one of my earlier blogs, the Sabres need to do something with Vanek and Miller, Vanek is gone, Miller is next.

There’s been rumors of numerous new homes for the America’s Olympic hero in 2010, mostly in the western conference. The most interesting of which could be the young upstart Colorado Avalanche who, with recently embattled goaltender Semyon Varlamov, may be in desperate need of a goalie to put them over the top.

Where ever Miller ends up, the Sabres should expect to get a large package in return, possibly even bigger than what they got for Vanek. If not, Sabres fans have every right to be upset. Even more upset than the beginning to this dismal season has made them.


Motown Magic? Detroit Pistons Season Preview

Pistons GM Joe Dumars (AP)

With all the things there is to be miserable in Detroit, it’s looking like their basketball team might not be one of them! The Pistons’ lineup this year is completely revamped, with talent at every position. Current President of Basketball Operations Joe Dumars has done a masterful job compiling a team of skilled players through 3 different mediums: the draft, free agency, and trades. 

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Avalanche Alert!

First year head coach Patrick Roy has instilled a new mindset in his players. (AP)

For a good portion of my life on earth, the Colorado Avalanche have been one of the most consistently successful, and at some points dominating, hockey teams I have ever watched. However, with no playoff appearances for the past 3 years and no Western Conference Finals appearances since the ‘01-‘02 season, they’ve been more like a light dusting of snow than an avalanche. 

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Kiko Alonso, Model Citizen

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Kiko celebrates an INT vs. the Baltimore Ravens (AP Images)

All 32 NFL teams do an incredible amount of pre-draft scouting, scouring videos and picking out every flash of talent and deficiency they see. They also do extensive background checks and interviews to make sure their new employees will not only do their job but not do anything stupid while they’e not in the office. It is after all, A LOT of money they’re risking on kids fresh out of college. 

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Questions the Sabres MUST Answer this Season

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Thomas Vanek and Ryan Miller (Getty Images)

Everyone knows this isn’t the Buffalo Sabres year. ESPN recently ranked the Sabres 27th out of 30 teams in their preseason power rankings. In Wednesday’s season opening loss to the Detroit Red Wings, 4 players age 21 or under started. It’s pretty obvious this is a “rebuilding” year. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a VERY important year for the Sabres. Here are some of the big question GM Darcy Regier and the boys must answer in order to move out of the basement to a contender once again. 

  1. What’s going to happen with Ryan Miller and Thomas Vanek? Arguably the 2 best players of the past decade look like they could be moving on either during or after this season. It makes sense to try to trade either one or both of them, so they don’t skate town with no compensation for the team. However, fans might see this as giving up, admitting that this is a lost decade and potentially a lost few years. Especially with Vanek, he is without a question the most talented player on the team and is still not really considered “old” (29). The fifth overall pick in 2003 ranks in the top 10 in team history in goals, powerplay goals, and points. Miller on the other hand, who has been in Buffalo since 1999 and is creeping toward the end of his career at 33 years of age. The franchise’s all time leader in wins would have a high asking price, but there is ALWAYS a borderline playoff team looking for a goalie who could potentially carry them to the cup.

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