About Evan Knopp

Content Specialist at TicketCity.

Top Games of the Cavs 2014-15 Season

It looks like the Cavaliers are the new force in the Eastern Conference this season after LeBron James returned to Cleveland last week. It looks like the Cavs aren’t done this off-season, with rumors swirling that they are going after Minnesota’s want-away power forward Kevin Love. The big man would be a great fit in Cleveland and they’d likely be heavy favorites to win it all this season with his help. The storylines will be plentiful for many reasons, including a few opponents that stick out as ones to circle on the calendar when the NBA schedule comes out next month.

LeBron has raised the stakes in Ohio once again. (GETTY)

Miami Heat

The Heat are going to have to move on with LeBron James this season, but they’ve brought back the rest of the big names on the team and added one more. Luol Deng will take LeBron’s spot in the lineup after signing as a free agent, and he’s a solid player — albeit one with impossibly-sized shoes to fill. His 16 points and 5.7 rebounds per game are small in comparison to Lebron’s 27 points and 6.4 rebounds. LeBron will gain the support of the Cleveland fans back pretty quickly, but how will be greeted in Miami? The Heat and Cavs could be the two best teams in the weak Eastern Conference.

San Antonio Spurs

The reigning champions have returned every player from a team that demolished the Heat in the NBA finals, and will be a force once again. You keep thinking they’ll be too old, they’ll keep on winning championships. If the Cavs pull off the trade for Love, this could be a very even match up — outside of coaching. Gregg Popovich has proven himself the best in the business, and he’ll have his Spurs ready for LeBron on the Cavs, like he did in the 2007 NBA Finals when San Antonio swept Cleveland.

Indiana Pacers

This is another possible Eastern Conference Finals match up, and the Pacers might feel this is finally their time to shine. Roy Hibbert played at his worst at a critical time and Indiana allowed the Heat into a fourth straight finals appearance, but the Pacers are a much younger team and will stay at a top level. The Cavs will be a young team outside of LeBron, and this Indiana vs. Cleveland matchup might be the one to watch for in the upcoming 3-4 years. Other teams like the Thunder, Lakers and Rockets could prove to have some great games against the retooled Cavs, but grabbing a ticket to any of the three matchups listed above would guarantee you some top-level, competitive basketball.

Ash and Swoopes Both in the Hunt at Texas?

Tyrone Swoopes might pry the job from Ash (Eric May)

The Texas Longhorns have been longing for that next great Texas quarterback since Colt McCoy was hurt in the first quarter of the 2010 National Championship game, and they still haven’t found him. Garrett Gilbert was supposed to take the torch from McCoy (to whom it was passed after Vince Young), but he fizzled out in Austin and transferred to SMU. David Ash was then the heir apparent, but he’s had mixed results and has had some recent health issues. Case McCoy had his moments, but no one on the 40 acres really saw him as a national-title contending QB before he graduated in May. The fans have grown restless, as heard by the boos that have been known to come out of the stands at DKR from time to time. The options have opened back up again before the 2014 season, so let’s take a look at who might energize the crowd in Austin this season.

David Ash will likely go into camp as the front runner for the QB job, but will Charlie Strong hold him in the same high regard that Mack Brown did? Brown gave Ash every opportunity he could, even when it was obvious Ash needed to be taken out of the game. The leash might be a lot shorter, especially with Strong trying to get the Longhorn faithful on his side early on. You don’t do that by leaving a bad quarterback in the game for too long. Ash will need to prove himself to the ex-Louisville staff and offensive coordinator Joe Wickline as well.

The other main option will be dual-threat QB Tyrone Swoopes. The sophomore got in at the tail end of five games in 2013, all with the game already in hand for either Texas, Oklahoma State, or Oregon. Swoopes had a tremendous second half at the Texas Spring game, making lots of fans wonder whether Strong is seriously considering giving him the job out of the gate. For his sake, Strong has said a decision won’t be made until right before the season.

The last, long shot option is Jerrod Heard. The freshman out of Denton is not expected to get much playing time this season, but if Ash and Swoopes don’t produce, why not? Heard is also a dual-threat guy, but he’s a very polished passer that likes to use his legs to give himself time to throw instead of just taking off down the field.

Texas fans having been aching for a quarterback to lead them back into the national title hunt, and 2014 could produce that guy if Strong is willing to take a chance on a young guy should Ash not pan out.

Best Buy of the Dallas Cowboys 2014 Season

It’s almost time for Cowboys football, and if you’re a Cowboys fan you know that going to a game at AT&T Stadium isn’t the cheapest thing in the world. In fact, when you include the atrocious parking fee that the stadium charges, it can empty your wallet. However, by shopping for games that don’t carry as big of a demand, you can see the Boys play at half the price you might have paid otherwise. Let’s take a look at the best and worst buys of the 2014 Dallas Cowboys season.

Dez Bryant is the showstopper in Dallas

Cheapest ticket: vs. Arizona Cardinals, November 2, 12:00 PM

You can get a seat in the upper level of this one for $35 at the moment, and getting down near the field won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. Currently a pair in section 144 runs about $129 a ticket, which is pretty close to face value. The Cardinals don’t have the biggest fan base in the NFL which contributes to the low prices, but let’s not forget this team went 10-6 last season. Arizona was the only team to beat the Super Bowl champion Seahawks on their home turf, and in the second half of the season they only lost two games by a combined six points. It’s the cheapest ticket of the season against what could be a very good Cardinals team. Get to this game and save some money while seeing a good game.

Most expensive ticket: vs. San Francisco 49ers, September 7, 3:25 PM

A pair of tickets in the upper level will run you $157 each for this game, which is about $50 more than any other game on the schedule. The cheapest field level seats are currently in section 148 at $311 each. Lots of reasons for this. It’s the first game of the season, the 49ers have a huge fan base, and they’re predicted to be one of the best teams in the NFL once again in 2014. The Cowboys might actually match up with San Francisco better than people think, and the Cowboys have a three-game winning streak over the Niners. Could be a good game, but it’s definitely the most expensive of the season.

Other notable game ticket prices:

vs. New Orleans Saints, September 28, 7:30 PM

$91 cheapest seat — $219 field level

 

vs. Houston Texans, October 5, 12:00 PM

$107 cheapest seat — $226 field level

 

vs. New York Giants, October 19, 3:25 PM

$61 cheapest seat — $187 field level

 

vs. Washington Redskins, October 27, 7:30 PM

$63 cheapest seat — $186 field level

The Longhorn Traveler’s Guide to the Big 12 – 2014

Longhorn fans know just how fun it is to watch a Texas football game in Austin, but sometimes it’s good to step outside the friendly confines of DKR to see a game. While you’ll never get the chance to see a Texas game in Norman, there are some fun trips to take to see the Longhorns play. No non-conference away games this time around, but between two neutral-venue games in the Dallas area and four away games in the Big 12, there’s a few great trips to take in there for 2014.

Dallas

TEXAS/OU in Dallas ( JH JACKSON PHOTOGRAPHY)

There are two Longhorns games in the Metroplex this year, beginning with the game at AT&T Stadium against the UCLA Bruins on September 13. It’s the first time the Longhorns will play in the massive new Cowboys home stadium, and UCLA should be pretty good this year. Getting to Dallas is easy enough, it’s just deciding where to stay that can be tricky. If you just want to be near the game, Arlington has a ton of hotels in the area to accommodate the usual Cowboys/Rangers crowds. Some even have shuttles to the stadium to save you from the big parking lot prices. Tickets for this one start at $90, and if you’re willing spend $50-60 more, you can get a sweet deal on a 200-level seat with great views of the game.

The second game is in Dallas proper, and it’s one of the best away-game experiences in the entire country. Texas/OU weekend is a must for every Longhorns fan, this year taking place on October 11. It’s one of the best rivalry games in all of sports, period. Get a hotel in areas like Midtown, Downtown or Market Center, and you’ll be close to the action. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit operates to and from the Cotton Bowl on game day, and you can park your car at the station while you’re at the game. I’d suggest getting to the station early (9 AM) so you can get some food at the surrounding Texas State Fair before kick off. Make sure you get your tickets on the Texas side, as you don’t want to be surrounded by a sea of crimson. Demand is high and tickets for the game start at $166.

Lawrence

The game against the Jayhawks is early this season, kicking off on September 27. If you’re flying, you’ll be heading into Kansas City (MCI) and renting a car for the 45-minute drive to Lawrence. If Topeka is a cheaper option, it’s even closer. There are a few hotels near campus, including the Oread Hotel, Holiday Inn, Hampton Inn, and the Springhill Suites. Check out Mass St. when you’re in town for the college-town experience, and Milton’s is a must for breakfast before the game. Tickets start at $33.

Manhattan

Getting into Manhattan for a Kansas State game is the same as Lawrence. You’d be flying into Kansas City and driving to Manhattan, which is two hours away. A flight into Topeka would cut that in half. There are not a lot of hotel options in Manhattan, and most will be south of campus. The Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, and Comfort Suites will give you a good deal and they’re not far from Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Check out the Chef for breakfast before the game, and for a drink head to the So Long Saloon or Rock-a-Belly. Tickets aren’t too pricey for this one, starting at $62. 

Lubbock

Texas is a big state, and the drive to Lubbock will make you realize how there’s still a lot of open space out there. It’s a six-hour trek northwest into the plains, but as we’ve seen the Longhorns always play well against the Red Raiders. There is a Days Inn right across University from the stadium, but I’d suggest the MCM Elegante Suites. It’s comparable in price, much nicer, and gives you a big room and a free happy hour. Chimy’s is a good place for a drink if you like margaritas, and Italian Garden is the best place in the city for Italian fare. Tickets for this one start at $82. 

Stillwater

The Oklahoma State Cowboys have become just as dangerous as the Longhorns and Sooners in the Big 12, and Boone Pickens Stadium is a great place to take in a game. Stillwater has a combination of a college and old-town feel, and you’ll love it if you’re a red dirt country fan. It’s about a 6.5 hour drive, or you can fly into Oklahoma City and drive the 75 miles north to Stillwater. For hotels, checkout the Fairfield and Microtel off Hall of Fame Avenue. The price to get into this one starts off at $73.

A Look Towards the Premier League Season

We’ve finished up the Round of 16 in the World Cup with the United States meeting its demise against Belgium in extra time yesterday, so while we are in full World Cup mode I thought I’d take a step out and talk a little bit about the upcoming English Premier League season. The league will probably see unprecedented popularity this year with all the new soccer fans in the country, and with every game live on NBC, there’s no reason to miss any of your team’s games. Whether you like defending-champion Manchester City or bottom-table Sunderland, there will be lots of fun games to check out.

If you want to see some of the clubs here in the states, you’ll have your chance this month when premier league teams make their way across the pond for a few friendlies. Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur are just a few of them. Arsenal make its first appearance stateside in 20+ years. Lots of soccer to be seen after the World Cup ends.

Willian’s goal to finish off the Reds. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester City and Chelsea look to me to be the best two teams in the league this upcoming season, especially with Chelsea already making some big moves in the transfer market. They’ve had trouble getting that one remarkable striker, but they’ve locked up Diego Costa to try to be that guy. The Blues sold off David Luiz to PSG for an incredible sum of money, but spent most of it to bring in midfielder Cesc Fabregas back to the Premier League from Barcelona. Manchester City hasn’t been quite as active, but they’ve retained their core players and will likely make a big splash before the transfer deadline.

Arsenal looks to be making big moves early on after finishing fourth in the table once again. The BBC is currently reporting they are closing to sealing a deal for Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez, who impressed during Chile’s run at the World Cup. They also seem keen to bring in a left back, likely targeting Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy. The Gunner started well last season, but faded back to fourth as they’ve been prone to do. Arsene Wenger’s club could be battling it out with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham to stay in the top 4 and qualify for the Champions League once again.

Introducing the newest Premier League Teams:

Burnley

Burnley is in Lacashire, north of Manchester, and they will play in the Premier League for the second time in the last decade. They participated in the top tier in the 2009-10 season, but were relegated immediately. Nicknamed the Clarets, BFC wears the same colors as Aston Villa and West Ham United, so get used to being even more confused every weekend.

Leicester City

The Foxes play in King Power Stadium, which is northeast of Birmingham. A former mainstay of the Premier League, they fell down to League One in 2008. They have new owners that have promised to bring in big names to help them get to the top three in the league. If they keep their promise, Leicester City could be in the top half of the table sooner rather than later.

Queens Park Rangers

Back to the top tier of English football after a season down in the Championship League, Harry Redknapp’s club should be one of the lower table teams once again. Rumor is that Loic Remy will be gone by August, and the Loftus Road club is definitely not going to content for anything big.

The World Cup may be over soon, but come mid-August, check out the Premier League for a season of exciting and tumultuous football.