Online Exclusives

An inside look at all the happenings in professional sports as spring approaches

Every year, the president of the United States addresses the nation and gives a status update on the happenings in the country called the State of the Union I’m not the president of the U.S. But I am a sports reporter, and spring — the season when everything starts to heat up — is upon us..

 NFL

Yes, it was only last month that the National Football League (NFL) crowned Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks as the league’s best, but it certainly does not mean the news stops rolling in. March proves more exciting than meets the eye in the football world. NFL teams go through two of the most important stages of their offseason: draft prep and free agency.

Big Moves

Free agency offered the chance for some of the biggest players in the league to test the open market and find themselves a new home for 2014, and that is exactly what happened.

 – DeMarcus Ware and Aqib Talib pile the defence a mile high in Denver
– Darrelle Revis is welcomed to the Boston sports scene after signing with the New England Patriots
– Julius Peppers brings some heat north to play with the Packers
– Quarterback Michael Vick flies out of Philly and lands in the Big Apple with the Jets
– Steve Smith decides to move up the coast to Baltimore after 13 years in Charlotte

What’s Next

The NFL will have its draft in May and the race for the first overall pick is underway. Keep an eye out for which player Houston takes out of the first pick front-runners: Johnny Manziel, Jadeveon Clowney, and Blake Bortles.

NHL

After coming back from the Olympic break, the National Hockey League (NHL) season has been a tale of two teams. The Boston Bruins are currently on a 12-game win streak, and have been making a joke of every team they face on the ice. The St. Louis Blues have also been playing admirably and looking to make a deep run into the playoffs starting in mid-April.

What’s Next

At the bottom of the Eastern conference playoff picture sit the Toronto Maple Leafs, Detroit Red Wings, and Washington Capitals. Pay attention in the next month to see these teams battle it out for seeding in the east.

 

MLB

 Ladies and Gentlemen, it is finally here. Baseball season is upon us once again. It’s been five months since the Boston Red Sox won the World Series and the long winter finally came to an end on the weekend of March 20–23 when the Los Angeles Dodgers topped the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia for the first two games of the young Major League Baseball (MLB) season.

Big Moves

There are many new faces on teams across the league. Robinson Cano got a big paycheck from Seattle, Jacoby Ellsbury jumped ship for the Yankees, Matt Garza will be throwing for Milwaukee this year, and the Red Sox bring back World Series MVP David Ortiz for the 2014 campaign.

What’s Next

Look forward to another exciting season of baseball, this year thankfully without the services of steroid slugger Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire year due to his recent doping scandal. This year also marks the last for Yankees legend Derek Jeter, who is set to retire after 19 years in the majors.

 

NBA

The season is winding down and the playoffs are front and center in the minds of National Basketball Association (NBA) squads. The San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and Oklahoma City Thunder are playing at the highest level, and looked poised for deep playoff runs. In the very weak Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors are playing well, and look to move with ease into the playoffs. The Western Conference proves to be the most competitive with almost every team having a chance at making a run at the championship. The playoffs get underway in mid-April, and are shaping up to be some of the best in recent years.

What’s Next

One of the biggest things to watch in the league at the moment is the MVP race between four-time MVP LeBron James and three-time scoring champion Kevin Durant. At the moment the MVP is in the hands of Durant after carrying his Thunder team to massive last second wins andonce again leading the league in points. When the playoffs get underway, look to see if the Indiana Pacers’ size advantage can down the Heat in the east, and if the Los Angeles Clippers have a chance at making the final in the west.

 

Regardless of your league or your team, it’s game time.