There are still questions as to the readiness of the venues, security and overall infrastructure for the upcoming soccer championships in Brazil, but as any diehard soccer fanatic knows, all that matters is what happens between the lines.

GROUP A
Anything less than a championship will be considered a failure by Brazil, especially playing at home. With five championships, football is not only the national sport, it’s an obsession. With international stars such as David Luiz, Neymar Jr., and Thiago Silva, expectations are sky high for this team.

Mexico poses the biggest challenge to Brazil in Group A. Expected to lead is Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, but the biggest concern may be how their midfielders adapt to quick turnovers.

Croatia is a relative newcomer to top-flight international play, but led by Luka Modric, they can be dangerous. Inexperience will be an issue.

Cameroon can strike quickly, but at this level, defenses are much stronger than what they’re accustomed to. There is talent here however, especially in Samuel Eto’o and Pierre Webo.

GROUP B
Defending champion Spain comes in as a tough match up regardless of the opponent. A nice mix of experience and youth is featured, with the biggest concern being defense. Standouts are Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.

Coming so close in recent tournaments is frustrating for The Netherlands. This year, it appears that they’re going to be too reliant on youth. Veterans Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder are the stand-outs.

Another relative newcomer to upper-level competition is Australia. The Aussies are a thrown-together squad this year, relying on aging veterans such as Tim Cahill.

Chile’s squad is led by Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal, but there’s little else. A lack of defensive consistency is also a concern.

GROUP C
Colombia’s Radamel Falcao is one of the most exciting players in the tournament, but he’ll need considerable help for to them advance past Round Two.

Ivory Coast is one of the more athletic squads in the tournament, but a lack of upper-level international experience will offset it. Also, midfield consistency is lacking. Didier Drogba is the team’s leader.

In the event for just the third time, little is expected from Greece. Strong defensively, uneven offensively, veteran Kostas Mitroglou is the team’s heart and soul.

2014’s “mystery team” is Japan. They’ve improved dramatically in recent years to become a solid, disciplined group, led by Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa.

GROUP D
In the Group of Death, it will be tough to advance, as all four clubs have tons of talent. With Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard, England can never be counted out, but it doesn’t appear that the Brits have much else in the way of a consistent threat.

For this year’s Uruguay squad, scoring shouldn’t be a problem, but stopping opposing advances will be a challenge. Luis Suarez is their headliner.

Historically, only Brazil has more success at this level than Italy. Exciting young players such as Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy are Italy’s immediate and near future.

Costa Rica’s strength is at the front and backsides, with a marked drop off in the middle. Any success at all will be a surprise. Bryan Ruiz is a proven producer.

GROUP E
Switzerland’s unpredictability is maddening. Wins against weaker opponents has boosted their confidence, but they’ll need more to advance very far. Gokhan Inler is their top player.

Roger Espinoza is the leader of the Honduran squad; unfortunately, he doesn’t have much help, making Honduras a likely first round fatality.

Playing in South America may be Ecuador’s biggest hope, but more experienced squads should handle them easily. Antonio Valencia is an aggressive attacker, but his supporting cast is mediocre.

France is an interesting collection of aging and (sometimes) temperamental stars. Playing without Franck Ribéry (back) is bad enough, but the uncertainty surrounding the rest of the team already made France an unlikely finalist.

GROUP F
Lionel Messi is a superstar, but he has plenty of help on the Argentine squad, including Sergio Aguero and Angel di Maria. Scoring is not a concern, but like so many prolific offenses, how they defend is key.

Nigeria is good, though very inexperienced. John Obi Mikel is top-flight with the ball, but there’s little else to get excited about.

Iran’s history in the tournament is brief, and just making the field is considered a victory. They qualified by upsetting South Korea, and their top player is probably Ashkan Dejagah.

Appearing in the tournament for the first time, Bosnia-Herzegovina is largely unknown on the international stage. The squad doesn’t lack in talent (Edin Dzeko, Asmir Begovic, etc.), but there’s little depth.

GROUP G
One of the best players in the world, Ronaldo will be the defensive focus of every opponent. He’s not all that Portugal offers however, with Bruno Alves, Raul Meireles and Nani also experienced and talented.

Placement in probably the toughest grouping doesn’t help their chances, and fallout from the Landon Donovan omission lingers for the U.S. Michael Bradley should be the leader, but they really need Jozy Altidore to break out of his slump in a big way to advance.

Advancing to the tournament for the third consecutive time, Ghana, has a star in Asamoah Gyan, but that’s about the extent of it. More defensive intensity is needed at this level.

Germany looks to be among the favorites. Talent, experienced and smart, few squads can match up with standouts such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil.

GROUP H
“Potential” is the key term for Belgium. Loaded with young players, this team is one to keep an eye on. Eden Hazard is the leader, but he has plenty of capable support.

Algeria is more than capable of pulling off an upset or two. Sofiane Feghouli and Carl Medjani are world-class, and with several promising young athletes, the future looks bright.

South Korea’s standouts are midfielders Ki Sung-Yueng and Lee Chung-Yong, but there’s not much else available to expect much advancement.

Russia has plenty of talent, but teamwork and cohesiveness is iffy. Alan Dzagoev has shown he can terrorize defenses, but there’s still too many holes.

Don Zimmer Helmet Pic

Don “Popeye”  Zimmer during his tenure as a Yankees coach

Younger fans may not remember Don Zimmer. For fans of a certain vintage, though, Don Zimmer’s name is synonymous with baseball history. A baseball lifer who died Wednesday at the age of 83, telling the story of Zimmer’s odyssey through Major League Baseball is akin to providing a history of the game as it used to be, decades ago.  Vin Scully,  the beloved Dodgers play by play man, was reminiscing about Zimmer this week, and called him “the most beloved Dodger among his teammates.”

Since 1954, Don Zimmer was part of MLB, whether as a player, a manager, a coach or as an advisor, as he was in his last gig with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Zimmer was one of the original Mets during his 12 year career as a player — playing for the Dodgers on both coasts, as well as the Cubs, the Reds, and the original Nationals.  He also is remembered fondly for leading the Chicago Cubs to a division title in 1989, with Harry Caray calling all the games and extolling the legend’s exploits, only to find himself fired a couple of years later after bucking unsuccessfully for a contract extension.

“Am I any different [than the players, in terms of a need for financial security]?” Zimmer told the GM. “What am I? A piece of garbage in Lake Michigan?”

After being fired, he invited the Chicago beat writers up into his suite, where they drained the minibar, at the expense of the Cubs.

Younger fans are encouraged to ask their fathers — or their grandfathers — about Zimmer. Chances are that if they loved baseball, they have opinions, and maybe a story or two.

If you are looking for a Father’s Day gift for your father or grandfather, meanwhile, why not consider a  piece of Don Zimmer memorabilia? Chances are that it will lead to interesting conversations, both about baseball and life.

Don Zimmer Jersey

Autographed Don Zimmer Jersey — Verified Signature

 

Miami Heat vs. San Antonio - 2014 NBA Finals

Here are some names that will indefinitely warp you back in time: Keith Van Horn, Chauncey Billups, and Tracy McGrady. These classic NBA players all have two things in common – they were all drafted behind Tim Duncan in the 1997 NBA Draft and they are all retired or (in Chauncey Billups’ case) rumored to be on their way out. While these iconic names have thrown in the towel to their NBA careers, Tim Duncan is still showing, 17 years later, why he was a number one draft pick, as he leads his team to a NBA Finals rematch against Lebron James and the Miami Heat.

In 2012, Reggie Miller coined the nickname “Old Man Riverwalk” for Tim Duncan and if you consider his ripe old age of 38 and the fact that he plays in the city of the infamous Downtown Riverwalk, it seems rather fitting. But statistically, Duncan appears to have turned back the hands of time to give Father Time a nice slap in the face. No, he’s not scoring 25.5 points per game as he did in 2001-2002 or the 12.9 rebounds per game he achieved in 2002-2003, but rather, a modest 15.1 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game, which is relatively outstanding, considering he’s competing in an NBA that is entirely different than his rookie year… 17 years ago! He’s evolved over time to maintain a fundamentally sound, consistent performance and nicknames aside, he and his team are heading into the 2014 NBA Finals.

All throughout the 2014 NBA Playoffs, the entire Spurs team was inundated with nicknames referring to age, such as Boris Diaw’s moniker, “Old Man at the YMCA,” or “El Contusion,” the nickname given to the aging Manu Ginobli, but oddly enough, their upcoming NBA Finals opponent actually leads the league in the category of average age per team for the 2013-2014 season – 30.3 years old. Who would have thought that out of 15 players, the average age of the Miami Heat was exceeding the San Antonio Spurs (28.5 years old) by a couple years? Anyone stuck in the frame of mind that the Miami Heat are simply going to blow the “old men” of the Spurs out of the water might be surprised when the two teams hit the hardwood.

Regardless of where you stand on this topic, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs are repeating history and going head to head in a Best of 7 Finals series – you don’t want to miss it! For the best NBA Gear for either the Western Conference Champs or Eastern Conference Champs, depend on the unparalleled selection at Fansedge.com. We hope you are as excited as us to see the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs going after the Championship title again!

The first round of this year’s NBA playoffs was incredible, with the most overtime games ever, teams winning on the road, and near-upsets left and right. The second round was much more to script, with the number one and two seeds advancing in each conference. Then, in the Eastern Conference Finals, the Miami Heat proved that they were still the Champions, and cruised to the NBA Finals in a six-game victory that was much easier than most expected.
Spurs conference champs

The Western Conference looked to be a tougher fight, but the Spurs were determined to make it back to the Finals, this time to finish what they couldn’t last year. Although the first 5 games were all won by the home team by large margins, the Spurs were determined to break that trend and push the Thunder on their home court. An ankle injury to Tony Parker put than plan into doubt early, but the heroics of Manu Genobli and Tim Duncan were too much for Westbrook, Durant and the rest of the OKC Thunder in the end.

So now the NBA Finals are set. A rematch of last year’s finals, Heat vs Spurs, in what was one of the best Finals in history. There is a lot at stake here as well… a Three-peat for the Heat would put them in the ranks of the best teams in NBA history. The Spurs want to win another title for the Parker/Duncan combo, which would be their fourth, making them one of the most successful ever. Hopefully we have another Finals to rival last years, and all fans will end up winners.

FansEdge adds new products all of the time – every day, actually – but for the first time starting today, you will now be able to purchase casual surf apparel including board shorts, beach apparel, casual backpacks and so much more! Not only that, but we are proud to also offer Skateboards and casual Skate clothing as well. We have added the biggest brands in the Action Sports apparel market, including:

It doesn’t stop with great apparel however, as we now carry Oakley Sunglasses, Vestal Watches, and even Skateboards by Plan B, Blind, Element, and Enjoi among others!

We are very excited to add all of these products to the FansEdge lineup, and look forward to bringing in even more exciting products in the near future!

seahawks-2014-super-bowl-champions-merchandise

The Seahawks have captured their first ever Super Bowl Championship title in team history. Honor this amazing moment in Seahawk history with some brand new Seahawks Super Bowl Champions gear. We’ve got a full slate of products for fans to choose from including t-shirts, hats, jerseys, banners, car accessories, beanies and much much more! Find great deals on the newest Super Bowl Championship merchandise. From new team Super Bowl designs to Championship styles of your favorite player, we’ve got it all at our online Seahawks Pro Shop.

Seattle Fans! Bragging rights are yours for the next few months so don’t let this rare opportunity pass you by! Get your new Super Bowl Champions merchandise now before its too late!

Here’s a look back at their Championship season:

Week Date Opponent Results
Final score
1 8-Sep at Carolina Panthers W 12–7
2 15-Sep San Francisco 49ers W 29–3
3 22-Sep Jacksonville Jaguars W 45–17
4 29-Sep at Houston Texans W 23–20 (OT)
5 6-Oct at Indianapolis Colts L 28–34
6 13-Oct Tennessee Titans W 20–13
7 17-Oct at Arizona Cardinals W 34–22
8 28-Oct at St. Louis Rams W 14–9
9 3-Nov Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 27–24 (OT)
10 10-Nov at Atlanta Falcons W 33–10
11 17-Nov Minnesota Vikings W 41–20
12 Bye    
13 2-Dec New Orleans Saints W 34–7
14 8-Dec at San Francisco 49ers L 17–19
15 15-Dec at New York Giants W 23–0
16 22-Dec Arizona Cardinals L 10–17
17 29-Dec St. Louis Rams W 27–9
Playoff round Date Opponent (seed) Results
Final score
Wild Card First-round bye    
Divisional 11-Jan-14 New Orleans Saints (6) W 23–15
NFC Championship 19-Jan-14 San Francisco 49ers (5) W 23–17
Super Bowl XLVIII 2-Feb-14 vs. Denver Broncos (1) W43–8