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Jameis Winston: The Real Problem
Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of this weekend's game vs Clemson. Winston's Seminoles are currently ranked #1, while Clemson stands at #22. Winston's “suspension” is a punishment for his “offensive and vulgar” comments he made Tuesday. You're probably wondering what he said and I'm not going to make you leave this article to go find out. Like the mature man he is, he hopped up on a picnic table and shouted, “fuck her right in the pussy”. Is it funny? Yeah, sure. Not as funny as the original (see YouTube). However, as the leader of your team and arguably the face of college football, it's not very humorous. Winston doesn't necessarily have the greatest track record during his time at FSU. He has faced allegations of sexual assault and theft, both of which, he was found innocent. So you could say this is the first time he's ever been punished for anything. Pretty crazy how you can steal crab legs or sexually assault a woman but you can't yell something on campus.
Many people are upset that Winston was only suspended one half. You may recall that Johnny Manziel was also suspended for one half as his punishment last fall. People are crying for coach Jimbo Fisher to teach Winston a lesson and stop continually letting him off the hook with slaps on the wrist. If you are waiting for that to happen, my best advice is to not hold your breath. Fisher was hired to win games, not to shape character. His best chance to do that is with Winston playing. The half of a game suspension proves that. Losing even one game can be the difference from playing for the National Championship game or playing in the Little Caesar's Bowl.
Now despite his character, Winston is a great football player. So, like many athletes, Winston naturally thinks his gifts put him above the rest of the world and that he has his own set (or lack of) rules to go by. Assuming Winston declares for the draft after this season, it is likely that some team takes him in the top 5. As much as we want NFL teams to consider character when drafting a player, they really don't. Owners want to make money, and head coaches and general managers want to win games...so they can make money. If you've got a guy who can contribute to your team with a cloudy reputation, he's going to get drafted and he's going to get paid. If you're a coach, you just hope and pray that you're able to extract some value from your guy before he's arrested or suspended by the league.
You're probably wondering what my point is. With all of the recent crime circulating in the NFL , the handling of players like Jameis Winston while in college is why punks like him end up in the pros. Professional and collegiate athletes are given the longest leash of any person in the world. Here's an example, Dante Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian a few years back while driving drunk. The verdict? Probation and a one season suspension from the NFL. The maximum sentence in Florida for DUI manslaughter is 15 years. If you or I commit the same crime, I'm sure we are spending the next 15 years behind bars. A professional athlete? No chance. That's the problem and that's why so many professional athletes simply don't care. They know they are either going to get away with whatever crime they committed or they are going to get a severely reduced punishment, usually a monetary slap on the wrist. For example, a $5,000 fine to someone who makes $15 million a year isn't going to make that person stop whatever they are doing.
So what is the solution? It has to start in college. Players needs to be punished. Coaches need to be more than just the guy who calls the plays, they need to mold their players into adults. Players need to learn lessons and pay actual punishments for mistakes they make, regardless of their role on the team. The phrase is student-athlete, it's not the other way around. Jameis Winston, and all others, need to be treated as students. Until that happens, you will only see the prevalence of crime in professional athletes continue to rise.
Real Talk: Ray Rice
Since I am sure most of you haven’t had enough Ray Rice talk, I am going to give my first and only take on the situation. First of all, just because ESPN, CNN, or FOX tells us that we should care about something, doesn’t mean we actually have to care. They are in search of ratings and controversy. That’s what keeps them in business. We shouldn’t need a video like this to show us that domestic violence is a despicable, cowardly occurrence. This is why we have law enforcement, but unfortunately if the spouse does not want to press charges, there is nothing the law can do. This brings me to my next point. I think the thing that bothers me the most is the fact that Janay Palmer is trying to put the situation behind the family and move on, yet, we as a society are making her relive that moment again and again. Obviously what happened was horrendous, but that is why we have counseling, and rehabilitative services. This is a matter of letting that family figure out how to turn this situation into something of value to learn from, but instead, ESPN is it about ratings and dramatic television. Ray Rice deservedly had his contract terminated by the Ravens, but from Janay’s perspective, the provider for the family is now unemployed. It is unfortunate that people who have never been involved in a situation like this are so quick to judge and play internet police. Let the family work the issues out on their own.
The Real McCoy: Bad Tip or Bad Service?
When Cody and I first created this blog, we really wanted to strictly talk about sports. Unlike ESPN, which is nothing more than MTV or TMZ, with a score ticker at the bottom, we wanted to focus on the games. However, every now and then something comes up that needs to be addressed. Apparently, Eagles RB LeSean McCoy and some friends visited a Philadelphia burger joint and racked up tab of over $60. If you haven't heard the news, you're probably wondering what the problem is. The restaurant posted a picture of McCoy's receipt showing he left only a $0.20 tip. For you non-math majors, that equates to roughly a 0.3% tip. So if McCoy just left a shitty tip, then yeah, he's an ass. However, as with all stories, I think there is another side to the story. Management claims that service was “impeccable” and that they were accommodating and that McCoy and his table were rude and made inappropriate comments. Bullshit. I don't know McCoy personally, but he's always seemed like a good dude in media interviews. In fact, many waiters/waitresses have reached out and said that McCoy has tipped them well. McCoy hasn't really commented on the situation when asked about it, so it's hard to just assume why he did what he did without knowing for sure.
Since I don't know what actually happened, I can only speculate. In order for someone to leave a 20 cent tip, you must have been a shitty waiter. You either suck at your job or you were annoying as shit while the man and his friends were eating. See, the guy left 20 cents. He obviously was trying to send a message to the kid. Leaving nothing wouldn't have done that. I'm sure the kid has gotten Canadians that do that all the time. It was the fact he left a tip that small that makes me believe there was something that happened. Even when I have had the shittiest service, I have never left less than 10%, and my bank account couldn't hold a flame to McCoy's.
According to the restaurant's management, it was their decision to post the picture online, and not the waiter's. If this is true, the kid is probably embarrassed as shit. All of Philly hates him now. And for the restaurant owner, you are a moron. Your city's best athlete chose your restaurant out of every other food joint in town, and you're gonna try and throw him under the bus like that? With what to gain? They've done nothing but hurt themselves. According to Yelp, a popular rating system, the restaurant only has 3/5 stars, so it's not like they have the best reputation. Respect the man's privacy. Don't post people's receipt on line, no matter who it is. That is just going to make people not want to come. What is your message, tip well or we will exploit you? Yeah right. Good luck with that idiots. There is a reason a multimillionaire left a 20 cent tip. Figure it out before your restaurant goes under and you are filing for bankruptcy.
Kevin Durant Free Agency Rumors
Probably the most requested topic since Cody and I started this blog is the Kevin Durant free agency decision. So, what better to do on a Wednesday night at 10 pm then to write about it. My last few posts I have really tried to be professional. I've spelled checked, proof read, used “big” words, and held back on profanity. If you know know anything about me, then you know how passionate I am about KD. With that being said, brace yourselves for an amateur-level, probably profane rant with lots of grammatical errors.
Anyways, so Durant is going to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2015-2016 season. There's no hiding the KD-Westbrook co-existing dilemma. I for one, don't think they will ever reach their ceilings as teammates. Their games don't fit well together. That's a whole different issue though. Kevin Durant is from a small Maryland suburb. Many people are speculating that he is going to “go home” and sign with Washington, in a move similar to LeBron. People have tried to justify this by using the fact KD is expected to sign a major shoe deal with Under Armour, who's headquarters are conveniently located in Maryland.
Kevin Durant is NOT going to sign with the Wizards. Playing with John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Marcin Gortat doesn't give Durant any better chance than he's got by playing with Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka. The difference from LeBron going home is that he went back to a contender that he knew he was going to build. While I would expect KD would have the same managerial powers LeBron has in Cleveland, I still don't see it happening. Wall and Beal were both left off of the USA FIBA World Cup team. They more than likely both be all-stars come the time KD will be a free agent, however, they aren't going to complement Durant's game. The only reason why I could see Durant leaving the Thunder for the Wizards is due to the move from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference. The East is much weaker than the West, and it would give Durant an easier path to the finals. However, the only true threat to the Thunder out West is San Antonio, and in 2 years, Duncan and Ginobili will be retired, and Parker will be near his end. Kawhi Leonard will be an elite player, but he's unlikely to have a strong core around him unless they land some big free agents of their own. Come the 2016-2017 season, the West actually may be easier than the West.
Now I'm not completely ruling out Durant leaving OKC. They are a small market team, it's tough to bring in star players to play with. Sam Presti and management refuse to go over the tax threshold as we've seen back when they had to choose between Ibaka or Harden. If the Thunder do not win a championship in the next 2 years, it is very well possible Durant leaves town to team up with some other star players. However, there is no chance a player of his caliber (top 2) in his prime, who has yet to win a ring, will go home, especially when home is the Washington Wizards.
Current State of Boston Sports
As much as I would like this article to look professional, I know it will not. I have little statistical or analytical evidence to back my statements, and my opinions will be extremely biased. I am a spoiled Boston sports fan, and unless you are 100 years old, you are as well. I am 22 years of age, and have already witnessed 3 World Series titles, 1 Lord Stanleys Cup being hoisted 10 feet in the air, 1 NBA Championship because ANYTHING IS POSSIBLEEEEEEEEEEE, 3 Super Bowl victories, and 1 heartbreaking dropped pass to Wes Welker. Not to mention all of the divisional and conference hardware. I will rationalize our spoiledness (?) by stating that we deserve every positive thing we receive after 1 year with Bobby V as the manager of the Sox. Seriously, Dr. Phil wasn’t available? Martha Stewart maybe?
For me, it’s not really about the championships because I understand those are rare and the best team does not always come out on top. It’s more of a crap shoot once you get to the playoffs in any sport other than basketball. In basketball, the best flopper ALWAYS wins. I am partial to longevity and consistent, sustained success. The Patriots and more recently, the Bruins have shown this type of trend in contrast to the roller coaster rides which are the Red Sox and Celtics.
I figured we would start with the Red Sox since we are enduring your typical World Series hangover year. This will essentially be a recap of the trade deadline moves and what the Red Sox look like moving forward. The moves will only be a success in my eyes if Lester resigns with the Sox in the offseason. If not, we really didn’t get much in return. I do not consider an aging DH, a mediocre #4 pitcher and an outfielder with an expiring contract to be sufficient return on investment for a top 10 pitcher and a solid #2. We do have some talented young arms, but I see September either leaving us excited for the future or disappointed from all the hype. I know we all want to see what Owens can do, but for those of you who think nothing bad can happen by rushing a pitcher into a major league pitching rotation I would like to site one “Daniel Bard.” Remember him? Bard was a starter by trade and clearly wasn’t ready to make the jump, but they rushed him up anyway. Another thing…where is all of our money? We just won a championship, didn’t resign Ellsbury, haven’t resigned Lester, locked Pedroia up with a hometown discount, and only have short term deals invested in the rest of our roster. I get the whole Carl Crawford thing, but not every stud we sign to a big deal is going to wither away in the spotlight. This is Boston, spend more money.
The bottom line is that you have witnessed what happens when management goes into a season without a plan, while putting too much stock into unproven players. Sizemore may have needed more time, but we couldn’t afford to wait and see, and I just don’t see the upside on Bradley Jr. I am glad they finally sent Bradley down because although it is important to develop your young talent, it becomes counterproductive when that player can’t even get on base. We will have to make some smart decisions in the offseason in terms of pitching depth and offensive production. Hopefully we can use some of the prospects in our farm system to land a big name like Stanton or Tulo in the offseason, and sign a free agent pitcher to add some depth along-side Lester.
I suppose no news is good news from Bruins camp as we gear up for another championship run. This is a typical Boston Bruins offseason if you have been paying attention for the past few years. Since the Joe Thornton trade and the acquisition of Zdeno Chara, the offseasons in Boston have been rather uneventful. Sign the young talent, and keep your core intact has been a winning trend and it continued this offseason. I will say I am not concerned about the lack of activity for two reasons: 1. We would have won the cup with a healthy defense last year and 2. As long as Chara, Bergeron, and Rask are breathing we have a shot. I will admit, however, that I was in favor of a Marchand/Lucic deal as we have seen a massive dip in production since the Stanley Cup win in 2011, but Lucic has a nack for making big plays in the post season, and Marchand is still a young, talented player. If they continue to decline this year, I want them gone, but for now I still love them. Lastly, Lucic needs to fight more. They have plenty of depth to replace him on the first line for 5 minutes and his nose couldn’t possible look any worse. He is a better player when he plays with an edge, so I don’t know what he is worried about.
As of right now I have the lines looking something like this:
Lucic Kreici Eriksson
Marchand Bergeron Smith
Soderberg Kelley Fraser
Paille Campbell Caron
Obviously a lot of old faces, and mostIy veterans to start the year, but I am excited at the possibility of seeing more young talent up with the club this year especially since I think they will make a big move at the deadline no matter what. I also really want to see what Subban can do in net. I have heard some really great things about him so hopefully they can get him a couple starts this year. If he is half as talented as his brother we should transition nicely out of the Rask era.
The bottom line is that the Bruins are a year or two away from having to make some big decisions in terms of having to pay Krejci, Boychuk, and Campbell whose contracts run out this year, let them go, or trade them. It should be an interesting year for the Bruins, but I predict another Cup appearance.
I am absolutely loving the 2014 roster. Let’s start on defense where you can take your pick of All-Pro talent: Revis, Browner, Mayo, Hightower, Wilfork. Jones, McCourty, Chung, or Dennard. Belichick hasn’t had a true shutdown corner since Ty Law, and now he might have two on one defense. The acquisitions of Revis and Browner do a couple things for the defense. 1st, this takes the pressure off Mayo to patrol the middle of the field by himself, as Browner is essentially a defensive back in a linebackers body. 2nd, it takes the pressure off of Wilfork and Jones to have to get to the QB within 2 second or give up a 50 yard bomb downfield. Revis is out to prove that he is still the top corner in the game, and now he is two years removed from that major injury. You better believe ole’ Billy will put Revis on his island with a Corona and let him earn his paycheck every week.
Now for the offense, and what can I say other than Tom Brady? He is the heart and soul of the Patriots organization and in him we trust (for the next few years at least). I am not sure what we get from Gronk, or Amendola considering those guys cannot stay on the field but you know Julian “Lil Tron” Edelman will be ready to go after his coming out season last year. More good news from Patriots camp is that our newest receiver Brandon Lafell is reported to have had “unreliable hands” in camp which is exactly what we need! They may be better off recruiting some of those stationary tackling dummys for Brady to throw to on Sundays. In all seriousness, hopefully Dobson and Thompkins can settle in this year and help Brady by getting open down field. Lastly, let’s all send our prayers to Derrick Johnson (played at Maine) in the hopes that he can make the 53 man roster. Amen.
The bottom line is that comparatively speaking, the Patriots are stacked. We can win with a lot less as we proved last year.
Gotta be honest here, I am a bit of a fair-weather Celtics fan. When they are competitive, I love watching, but this has been a rough couple of years. It was painful watching this years team, but it was even worse watching Pierce, Garnett, and Allen age on the court every night together. I have to say I was confused until I heard a plan Ainge may have. Rondo is in a contract year, and that means he will be playing his ass off to earn a fat new deal next year. Considering the east is the minor league of professional basketball, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Celtics were in the 7 or 8 spot come playoff time, but if not…buh-bye Rondo! We have a very young, talented roster with plenty of guards, so losing Rondo wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
The Bottom line is that we have great defensive players, but we need a wing player who can score 15-30 every night. I cannot predict the future, but I think the Celtics either make the playoffs or pack it in early again and go hard for a top pick which means Smart gets a lot of playing time and will be ready for 2015. I miss Pierce.
One more thing. I love Boston Sports and I will till the day I die. When I say “we” it’s because I am invested in how they are doing. I am upset when they lose, and jubilated when they win. I but memorabilia, tickets, and beer while I watch games. All of these things give me, and countless others, the right to say “we” when we talk about our teams.
Thank you for reading, and I hope it was entertaining! If you guys disagree or have any opinions you want to share, leave a comment!
Johnny Manziel Middle Finger Incident
Last night, the Cleveland Browns and the Washington [Redskins] played each other in an NFL pre-season game. As expected, ESPN was dominated by Johnny Manziel today. However, it wasn't for his performance, showing up late, being drunk, which cleat he tied first, or any of the usual Johnny Football talk ESPN shoves in our faces. Manziel struggled, which is a re-occurring theme for anyone who has ever played QB for the Browns. They suck. Manziel got frustrated and was caught by one of ESPN's 5 million HD cameras flipping off the Washington sideline. Of course, there's no talk of what was said to provoke him. My guess is that Brian Orakpo pissed him off one too many times. Orakpo was taunting Manziel all game by mocking him with the money sign, that Manziel has made famous.
Unlike my co-writer Cody who strongly dislikes Manziel, I love him. Sure he's a punk, immature, cocky, spoiled, etc. but there is no denying he is fun to watch. He's one of the most exciting players to ever play the game. Don't misread this as me saying he is one of the best. He's not. So don't quote me as saying he is. Will he have a successful NFL career? I don't know, maybe. Certainly not playing in Cleveland. They have no receivers, a mediocre at best running game, and a terrible offensive line. Manziel is small and he's not going to make many friends. You can bet your a** that guys are going to target him and try and show him who his daddy is. NFL players don't like when certain players get special treatment or attention from the media. This results in many of them playing with a chip on their shoulder when their teams square off (See Tim Tebow). Tebow was targeted, Brady is targeted, anyone who is good or gets talked about a lot is targeted.
Anyways, my thoughts on Johnny flipping the bird? I loved it. As a fan, I thought it was hilarious and it got me pumped up. It feels real. I like that he plays with emotion. It gets me excited. Of course if I am Browns' management, I am livid that he is drawing negative attention to himself and the team. But, I am not an NFL coach, so I don't have to worry about that. If I was playing and someone was talking sh** from the other sideline and I wasn't having a very good game, I'd probably lose my composure too. That being said, I can't blame him for letting his emotions get the best of him.
Johnny Manziel has the toughest job in the NFL. He plays the hardest position for one of the worst teams in the league, and his every move, on and off the field, is closely watched by people looking to make another headline. To succeed he certainly needs to mature both as a player and a person. He's got a long way to go. Manziel isn't the first player to flip off someone and I can promise you he won't be the last.
Durant Withdraws From FIBA Tourny
If you're going to fault Kevin Durant for withdrawing from the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup, then you need to fault LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, LaMarcus Aldridge...you get my point. Durant clearly isn't the only NBA superstar who is electing to not participate. If Paul George never gets hurt, Durant probably doesn't withdraw. There's no doubt George's injury scared him. That fear is the same reason none of those other players I mentioned earlier are playing. As a professional athlete, you are paid for what you can do with your body. Unless your body is intact and healthy, you aren't getting paid. This tournament is meaningless. At it's roots, it is a summer basketball tournament. It isn't the Olympics. If it was, you would see all those players in uniform. Simply put, it isn't worth the risk. As some of you reading this may know, Durant's seven-year, 60 million dollar shoe deal with Nike is set to expire. Under Armour is reportedly prepared to offer Durant a contract that will pay $325 million over 10 years. That's an average annually salary of $32.5 million...off the court. Durant's NBA contract with Oklahoma City will pay him just under $20 million for the 2014-2015 season. So yeah, this shoe deal is huge. Can you see why Durant is afraid to play and get hurt? If something were to happen (knock on wood), KD's out A LOT of money. I'm as big of a KD fan as anyone out there, so I'll be there first to say I'm disappointed that I won't get to see him play for the U.S. However, I can't say I fault the guy. I'd be pretty careful myself if my body were worth that much money.
Lance's 2014-2015 NFL Predictions
1. New England Patriots
2. Buffalo Bills
3. Miami Dolphins
4. New York Jets
1. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Baltimore Raves
4. Cleveland Browns
1. Indianapolis Colts
2. Tennessee Titans
3. Houston Texans
4. Jacksonville Jaguars
1. Denver Broncos
2. Kansas City Chiefs
3. San Diego Chargers
4. Oakland Raiders
AFC Playoff Picture
1. New England (BYE & Home field)
2. Denver (BYE)
6. Kansas City
#6 Kansas City @ #3 Indianapolis (Indianapolis Wins)
#5 Pittsburgh @ #4 Cincinnati (Pittsburgh Wins)
#5 Pittsburgh @ #1 New England (New England Wins)
#3 Indianapolis @ #2 Denver (Indianapolis Wins)
#3 Indianapolis @ #1 New England (New England Wins)
AFC Champion: New England Patriots
1. Philadelphia Eagles
2. Dallas Cowboys
3. New York Giants
4. Washington Redskins
1. Green Bay Packers
2. Chicago Bears
3. Detroit Lions
4. Minnesota Vikings
1. New Orleans Saints
2. Carolina Panthers
3. Atlanta Falcons
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1. Seattle Seahawks
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. Arizona Cardinals
4. St. Louis Rams
NFC Playoff Picture
1. Seattle Seahwaks (BYE & Home field)
2. New Orleans Saints (BYE)
3. Green Bay Packers
4. Philadelphia Eagles
5. San Francisco 49ers
6. Carolina Panthers
#6 Carolina @ #3 Green Bay (Green Bay Wins)
#5 San Francisco @ #4 Philadelphia (San Francisco Wins)
#6 Carolina @ #1 Seattle (Seattle Wins)
#5 San Francisco @ #2 New Orleans (San Francisco Wins)
#5 San Francisco @ #1 Seattle (Seattle Wins)
NFC Champions: Seattle Seahawks
New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks (Seattle Wins)
Donald Sterling Drama
I wasn't going to write about this subject until somebody requested that I do so. Frankly, I am just tired of hearing about it. It's all ESPN has talked about for the last 3 months or however long. The Donald Sterling fiasco. I want to make it VERY clear in this post that I do NOT support Sterling's comments by any means whatsoever. I am not racist, I voted for Obama. But seriously. In my eyes there are 3 losers in this whole situation.
The first loser is the LA Clippers. All this negative attention has been nothing bad news for LAC. Rivers wants out, Chris Paul is refusing to play, Blake Griffin is refusing to play, and free agents have shown little interest in joining that situation. So, yeah, for a team that many see as a legitimate title contender, it sucks. If somehow Sterling isn't ousted as an owner, that team is in trouble. This shouldn't be an issue as the court has ruled that Shelly Sterling's sale of the Clippers for $2 Billion was authorized. I'm sure Donald Sterling will find ways to fight this til the end, but I don't see him winning this battle.
The second "loser" is Sterling himself. Notice I put loser in quotations. Honestly, he's not losing much. He acquired the team in 1981 for $12.5 million. It was sold for $2 Billion. I'd be reaaaaal happy with that return on invest if I was him. So yeah, America hates him. Do you think he gives a damn? Hell no. He's loaded. He's 81 years old with Alzheimer's. He's much closer to the end than the beginning, if you catch my drift. So, he's technically a loser, but the key word is technically.
The third and final loser is this V. Stiviano chick. First of all, is there a less intelligent person in the world? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you. Stiviano is a 31 year "Instagram enthusiast" who was considered one of Sterling's mistresses. AKA she was a 31 year old nobody. Sterling bought her a luxury apartment, lavish vehicles, and gave her a chunk of change as a monthly allowance. For what in return? Probably nothing. Sterling probably just got to look at her. As I mentioned before, Sterling is probably on the outs. He's old and isn't the healthiest looking guy out there. If Stiviano keeps her mouth shut, I bet she convinces him to leave her a good chunk of his estate. But nope, she burned that bridge. She's cut off now. I hope she's happy because she screwed up a REAL good thing. That's why she is the biggest loser in this whole thing.
So you're probably wondering what my stance on the situation is. I intentionally saved it for last. I think it's bullshit. Do I support his comments? Hell no. But I don't think it's right he's being punished for being illegally recorded for speaking his mind in his own home. Hell, if everything I said was tape recorded and released, I'd probably be in prison. I am a very opinionated person and am not afraid to speak my mind amongst friends, family, and even myself. So it's ridiculous he's being punished because some gold digger f'ed him over in the privacy of his own home.
That's my take on the whole situation. Hopefully everything resolves itself soon so ESPN can get back to letting us know what flavor ice cream is LeBron's favorite and what color cleats Johnny Football wore at practice.
J-E-T-S..Stop, Stop, Stop!
You know the old saying, “the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?”. Well, clearly that's the case in the Big Apple. New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan has been making promises that he hasn't been able to keep as long as he's been at the helm. It seems like every year he's promising a super bowl victory to the media. Well, it appears Rex's soldiers have taken after him. Recently, 2nd year QB Geno Smith, 2nd year CB Dee Milliner, and veteran linebacker Calvin Pace have all made bold claims. Smith, who led the league's 28th ranked passing offense last season, says he will be a top 5 QB in the NFL either by the end of this year or next year. Dee Milliner, who 85% of the people reading this will probably have to Google search to even identify, claims he is the league's best CB ahead of Richard Sherman, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and Darrelle Revis. Calvin Pace, who clearly has been drinking from the same Gatorade jug, claims he is apart of the league's best defense, despite the Jets being ranked 11th overall...meaning there are statistically 10 teams better than them. Of the three claims, Pace is the closest, but still pretty far off. The Jets had the 4th ranked rush defense but were ranked 22nd at defending the pass, which you would think would be better if you had the league's best cornerback.
It's one thing to be confident in yourself or your team, but these guys look like idiots. As I've been writing, I've been trying to think of how to react to Dee Milliner's claim. Do I post his stats? Do I post the stats of the corners who are ACTUALLY top players in this league? I really don't know. I don't think even Dee Milliner believes he's the premier corner in the NFL. But hey, maybe he does. Truthfully, as a 2012 All-American coming out of Alabama, Milliner has been a huge disappointment as a top 10 pick. Last year, he had 3 interceptions. All-Pro CB Richard Sherman, who is widely viewed as the best cornerback in league by everyone not named Dee Milliner, had 8. That's almost 3 times as many interceptions. You can do the math yourself, but I would take Sherman 11 times out of 10. We have seen what happens when Richard Sherman feels disrespected. While “the lion shouldn't lose sleep over the opinion of the sheep”, I wouldn't be surprised if Sherman plays with a chip on his shoulder just to make it crystal clear to Dee Milliner who the best corner in the game is!
Despite Rex Ryan being confident in his 2nd year QB, the team went out and signed veteran Mike Vick. When healthy, Vick has shown Hall of Fame level talent. If you ever had Madden 2004 for Xbox or PlayStation, you know what he was capable of doing every time you played with the Atlanta Falcons. If Mike Vick wasn't as fragile as a piece of glass, he'd be the starting quarterback in New York. With that being said, I don't think Geno Smith is the best quarterback on his own team, let alone the best in the league. Coming from a guy who had 26 turnovers last year compared to 18 scores, I think that it goes without saying Geno Smith has a long way to go before he should be making any personal claims about being in the top 5 anything. I am confident the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Philip Rivers will show him exactly where he stands when their teams square up against him this season.
Kevin Love Trade
For the past few months, there has been a lot of talk regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves star forward, Kevin Love. Love, who will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2014-2015 season, has already expressed his desire to test the market. Can you blame him? A perennial All-Star who has yet to play a playoff game who can average 20 and 20 for you.
Prior to the NBA Draft, it appeared as though the Boston Celtics were the front runners to obtain Love via trade. Shortly after "King" James announced he'd be taking his flopping.. I mean talents.. back to Cleveland, the Cavs have emerged as the top candidate with the Bulls, Warriors, and Nuggets supposedly in the mix. We can realistically rule out the Nuggets, as they have nobody to offer. The Warriors made a formidable offer centered around Harrison Barnes and David Lee for Love and Kevin Martin. As an OKC fan, I can tell you Kevin Martin is the last guy you want on your team in the playoffs. In his only season with the Thunder, the guy couldn't hit the broad side of a barn in the playoffs. While some may think the offer is substantial, the T-Wolves have made it clear they want prized shooting guard Klay Thompson. While the Warriors are interested in Love's services, they have held strong that they won't move the one dimensional three point shooter.
We could talk about the Bulls offer centered around Dougie McDermott, Jimmy Butler, and whoever the heck else Chicago offered, but I'm not going to, only because I know Love isn't going to play with a guy with glass for knees for the next however many years his extension will be. So with all that being said, the best offer yet has been from the Cavs. Cavs player-GM LeBron James has reportedly offered this year's first round pick Andrew Wiggins, last year's first round pick Anthony "Bust" Bennett, and a future 1st rounder for Love. Before I give you my opinion, let me just say I HATE LeBron so it's taking all my will power to not just talk crap about him. Nonetheless, this is a professional forum and I am trying to be un-biased.
I decided to start a new paragraph because I didn't like where the last one was headed. So anyways, yeah, that offer. Pretty good if you ask me. Love has already said he's gone, so you can either wait and play out the season, miss the playoffs AGAIN, OR, you can pull the trigger now and get some valuable pieces back for Love. Andrew Wiggins is hyped up to be the next Jesus Christ and Anthony Bennett supposedly is really good, but who knows, I've never seen him play. Wiggins and Ricky Rubio are both young and may turn out to be something special. Who knows, but hey, even if he turns out to be a bum, it's better than losing Love for nothing, right? The ex-Miami Heat bandwagon now turned Cleveland die- hards are hesitant to trade Wiggins due to his ungodly potential. I get that, he's a first overall pick for a reason. However, let's be realistic. LeBron didn't come back to Cleveland to wait for Wiggins to be relevant. No, him and Kyrie want to win now! Your best option to win now is a team featuring LeBron, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. LeBron will turn 30 this season and we may be 4 years away from Wiggins reaching his ceiling. 4 years may not seem like a lot, but that's A LOT of wear and tear on a guy like LeBron who propels himself into the air and crashes like a Malaysian Airliner (too soon?) anywhere from 5- 1,000,000 times a game for a 100 games a season. But seriously, this trade makes sense for both teams. Cleveland gets a top 5 player and a guy who is in serious win-now mode and Minnesota gets 2 guys they can start rebuilding with. I still think Anthony Bennett blows and the first round pick will be late in the draft, but hey, something is better than nothing..unless you're talking about beer in which nothing is much better than a warm Natty Light.
That's my opinion. Don't like it? Well that's okay. Someday I probably won't like it either so you're way ahead of me. Like it? Then great. Stay tuned for more talk on the Kevin Love situation as well as anything else I feel like ranting about to you fine people. Take it easy, and if it's easy, take it twice. -Lance
ESPN, “The World Wide Leader in Sports.” Really? You are the WORLD WIDE leader in sports? Good grief. You are the world wide leader in NFL training camp, LeBron James, soccer every 4 years, college football, and baseball when it includes a team from New York, Chicago, Boston, or L.A. ESPN has transitioned from focusing on the highlights to stirring up controversy, and reporting stories that pander to the worst kind of fans. Ever been to the comment section of an ESPN article? It is the largest collection of trolls on the internet. Essentially, ESPN is the E! News of sports, keeping us up to date with all of the drama and hookups in the sporting world. “Let’s check in on Patriots camp” aka “Are Gronk and Brady still marrying Supermodels and banging Porn stars?” “Now over to Browns camp where we see their back-up quarterback taking dry snaps.” However, I will say that those Make-A-Wish stories melt my Goddamn heart.
The best thing ESPN has done in the past 20 years is hire Frank Caliendo and force Mel Kiper and Todd McShay to debate over 7th round talent with great “Eye discipline” or “leap timing ability.” Honestly, Todd McShay and Stephen A. Smith should have a made up phrase contest.
Quick note on LeBron. Whether you are a LeBron guy or not, can we all agree that the love affair is getting out of hand? I mean really, I don’t need to see Brons 11 year old son make an open layup on a bunch of scrubs. I used to love LeBron, but constant exposure to his life and decisions has drawn similarities to the Kardashians which really turns me off on multiple levels. This guy gets more exposure on ESPN than Obama gets on Fox News, and that shit is annoying.
Can we bring back Thursday night hockey? I don’t even care that Colorado and Detroit played every other week, but merely giving Barry Melrose a 60 second cameo every 2 weeks to talk about his suit is just embarrassing. It’s a step up from their back room facials edition where they ask Barry what he thought about the Pens game, and end the video after a couple lame comments about Crosby, but still embarrassing.
While we’re at it, how about a little coverage of the premier soccer leagues all over the world. We, as Americans, are missing out on watching some of the most talented athletes on the planet because some of us are too close minded to appreciate the skill involved. Yes, I know it is boring to watch 90 minutes with limited scoring opportunities, but that is not what the game is about. Scoring is almost secondary to controlling the ball and tempo of the game, utilizing space and time, and trying to break down the other team’s defensive strategy. Cliché, I know, but I digress. I love the game, but it is hard to follow in this country.
The top 10 plays of the night are a perfect microcosm of what ESPN is. Can someone explain why a breakaway dunk is a better play than a 40 yard strike to the upper 90? Why a sliding catch in baseball is better than a tic-tac-toe passing play in hockey? It’s all about ratings, and unfortunately, it’s what losers who have never played any type of competitive sport want to see because they can’t understand how difficult it is to do some of these things.
Look, it sounds like I hate ESPN. I don’t. I watch Sportcenter almost every day. I am simply trying to convey the lack of substance behind the statement “World Wide Leader.”
You are not, and probably never will be.
NFL Talk: Domestic Abuse vs Pot
The NFL just handed Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice a 2 game suspension for his right hook uppercut on his bae that knocked her ass the fuck out! All jokes aside, domestic assault isn't funny. Now I'll be the first to admit that professional athletes are given special treatment. You and I do our best Ali impression on a significant other and we're gonna get a front row seat behind bars for a long time. In fact, I'm willing to be that more people are torn over how to draft a guy in their fantasy football league that's gotta sit week 1 and 2 than they are concerned with how his wife is holding up.
As I'm sure you know, the Browns drafted Johnny Football with the 22nd pick in the recent NFL draft. He is currently “competing” with incumbent Brian Hoyer, who is coming back from a torn ACL, for the starting job (like anyone really wants that). No matter who wins the job, there will be a gaping whole on O. WR Josh Gordon who was a fantasy savior for many teams, and a fantasy nightmare in my case, is facing ANOTHER suspension for smoking “the pot”. Seriously, how many times is this dude gonna get caught with weed? What a noob. The guy has lost millions for a little green bud. But hey, to each his own, who am I to judge?
So now here's the dilemma. Rice knocks his wife into next year and gets suspended 2 games and Josh Gordon gets caught with a naturally occurring herb in his car and get suspended for....A WHOLE SEASON. Seriously NFL? What lesson are you trying to teach? So many kids look up to these guys as role models and they are going to take away that marijuana is more serious than hitting a woman. ERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR! Wrong message you idiots. You're going to corrupt an entire generation. I get that Gordon is a repeat offender and that there is a strict substance abuse policy, but come on.. I'm not interested in getting into the whole marijuana should be legal debate because for this is a sports forum not Congress' political agenda.
Now despite the verdict, I can't say I am surprised. Roger Goodell is a clown. I see right through the "bro daps" he gives all the first round picks. You're not cool, bro. You're ruining the integrity of this league with all your ridiculous rule changes. In short, no matter what rules are in place, you can't possibly justify the discrepancy in suspension lengths for two crimes that are polar opposites of each other. Come on NFL, figure it out. -Lance
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© 2014 Cody & Lance