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Penn State Starts From Scratch

ImageIts finally over. The horror stories, the controversy, the debates, everything.

After the NCAA beat Penn State University to the point of death today (hell the death penalty mightve been easier to deal with) now we can put to rest the worst sports scandal in the history of sports and begin a process of healing.

That’s easy for me to say, I wasn’t one of the victims that were harmed by Jerry Sandusky or a student or football player that is affected by the cover up by former “leaders” Grant Spanier, Tim Curley, Gary Schultz and Joe Paterno.

The last ten months have been similar to a time warp in the twilight zone for everyone in the Penn State community. State College went from a haven for football on Saturdays where over 100,000 blue and white clad fans got together for white outs, 7 nation army chants and “We Are Penn State” chants to being known as a sanctuary for child molestation.

The entire community has been put through the modern day equivalent of chinese water torture. Their hero Joepa is now a fallen angel due to his inability to do more in reporting the vile and haneous acts of Sandusky. Their university once known as being heralded as the leaders of men is  now a fractured and broken home where leadership led them astray and put things that didn’t matter ahead of things that should have.

For the football players past present and future their lives have been greatly affected even more so. The man that they took so much pride in being associated with let them down. The current players have no forseable future with the programs handed out today. Once NCAA head Mark Emmert handed out an unpresedented $60 million fine (one year’s equivalent of earnings from the football program), a four year bowl ban and a reduction in scholarships they saw their chances at college glory go to waste. For the future… who knows. Players have already jumped ship due to the current profile of the Penn State and with the sanctions handed down by the NCAA it makes it extremely hard for Penn State to recruit going forward.

The penalties pale in comparison to the terrible acts by Sandusky on his victims but it hammered home a point. The “leaders” at Penn State put football ahead of common sense, it’s only right that the proper punishment would be to cripple the football program setting it back for years before it can be competitive again.

Players can transfer if they want, but at this stage of the game it becomes a huge hassle for kids to transfer, comb through paperwork, move, find housing and get classes scheduling done. So for at least one year these kids are screwed as well.

You can argue about the penalties, punishment and how it was handled. One thing that you cannot argue with is that it had to happen.

Penn State had to face its maker and it did. The unfortunate part is that the people that are most responsible for it wont be apart of the punishment. Spanier, Curley and Schultz are already fired, Paterno is no longer with us and Sandusky… well lets just say the rest of his life and afterlife wont be the pleasant form of existence one can hope.

But it’s finally over. The healing process begins and even though a huge black cloud lingers over State College, PA the students, faculty, citizens and football players can try to find some sense of normalcy.

Hopefully many lessons were learned not just by Penn State but by colleges across the country as well. footbal is entertainment, not life. Life comes before football or any other monetary form of entertainment. Once you place life second bad things happen and many people get hurt.

Ten Months ago Joe Paterno was loved, he had a statue named in his honor, students walked around in solice in a carefree community, Penn State was a school that did things the right way, many alumni praised and lauded Joepa, and football was front and center in lives of the Nittany nation.

Today none of this is the case. Penn State suffered, hurt, and was punished.

Now they start from scratch. Hopefully they can gain everything back that they lost.


Nashville Has To Keep Weber

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You lose Ryan Suter your second best defenseman and arguably one of the top 5 defenders in the league, you can get over that.

You lose Jordin Tootoo a resident tough guy and fan favorite, that’s ok he’s replaceable. You can get over that.

Losing Shea Weber, your heart and soul, your captain, the man that represents Nashville hockey and is quite possibly the best defenseman on the planet.

That’s another story.

Yet that is what the Nashville Predators are facing right now. The Philadelphia Flyers signed Weber to a 14/ $110 million dollar offer sheet in an effort to steal Weber away from the only team he’s ever played for.

The Predators have only five more days to match and the question that’s swirling in my head is why they haven’t already matched it?

You don’t let players like Weber walk away. This isn’t like the Knicks and Jeremy Lin. You can get another guard that does the same things as he does and plug him in easily.

Weber is a different story. He’s one of if not the best defensemen in the NHL. He’s a former Norris trophy winner who will win about three more before his career is done. He’s a natural born leader as captain and with Pekka Rinne leads possibly the best defensive team in the league.

To let him leave would mean to let everything that Nashville built go to waste. Yes they would receive four first round picks, but does that really add up to what you lose in Weber?

Coming into this offseason you knew that Nashville was going to lose either Weber or Suter to free agency due to money. They can survive without Suter, but losing both he and Weber would be too much to overcome.

For Nashville’s sake I hope that they match Weber’s deal no matter the cost.
Weber is the face and leader of their franchise. Losing him would mean missing the playoffs, falling into the lottery of the draft and starting over when you were considered a possible Stanley Cup contender.

Something’s you can get over, losing Weber is most definitely not one of them.


The Knicks Have A Plan

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As I was about to throw my phone across the room in anger because the Knicks were about to let their first really good point guard since Rod Strickland (smh) walk away I saw this aura with a orange hue hover above me.

It was the ghost of Knicks coaching great Red Holtzman who prevented me from making a $250 mistake.

Enough intro, here’s what happened:

Red: what the hell is wrong with you?
Me: I’m sick of this damn team! Every year it’s the same old (bleep). Bring in older players, poor contracts, and letting go of really good players that we really need. Why?!?! Why us?!?! Did you see our draft?! Kostas Posdonous? Who the hell is that.
Red: (to the side) let me not bring up why we have no draft picks.
Me: huh?!
Red: nothing. Look, calm down Kevin it’s not the end of the world. What of I told you that the Knicks had an actual plan?
Me: is Isaiah Thomas apart of it?
Red: thank god no! It’s bigger than even his narrow- minded head could come up with. You should thank the Houston Rockets for doing you a huge favor.
Me: you’re losing me Red.
Red: have you seen that contract? It’s horrible. 5 mill over the first two seasons then 14 mill in the last season. If the Knicks agree to that then they’ll be paying $40 mill after luxury tax rapes them in the last year of that deal.
Me: … Ouch.

(side note: while everyone was dissecting Carmelo Anthony’s “ridiculous contract” statement… Um he’s right. I liked Linsanity, I like Jeremy Lin, but in two years unless he actually becomes Steve Nash 2.0 do I want to kill my luxury dollars on him? Hell no.)

Red: yup. Who knows if this kid is more than a 35 game wonder. Why kill your dollars for him?
Me: ok Red, I get that… BUT WE HAVE NO POINT GUARDS!!! We just signed Jason Kidd at 39 and the flabby wonder Raymond Felton. We’re still a crappy backcourt team especially without Iman Shumpert.
Red: but can you hold on for one more year?
Me: huh?
Red: picture next offseason Chris Paul in a Knicks uniform.
Me: I don’t get it.
Red: this is the real reason the Knicks aren’t signing Lin its CP3. Paul already rejected an extension with LA and is eyeing the Knicks. Neither team has enough firepower to make a deal happen right now so instead Paul will play out his last year and join the Knicks after the season. In order for the Knicks to have a shot at getting Paul they can’t sign Lin. It’s too much money, too much luxury tax and too much hassle.
Me: oh (bleep).
Red: next year the Knicks can also kill Amare Stoudamire’s deal as well to give them more room and sign an actual power forward who can rebound and isn’t scared of the paint.
Me: you hate Amare too?
Red: don’t get me started.

(think about this for a minute. It’s possible that next year the Knicks could have CP3, and Melo. Get rid of Amare’s horrible deal and get a real power forward or trade him for Josh Smith like I’ve been asking for 890 years, and they’ve quietly built up a decent bench with Steve Novak and Felton who works way better as a backup instead of a starter. Wait a minute, will the Knicks actually be a competitive basketball franchise that can actually function? Brain overload.)

Me: so wait a minute, we’re actually looking ahead, being patient and building this team up for something big instead of rushing?
Red: crazy isn’t it? It only took them ten years to figure it out.
Me: but I have to sit through one more crappy year.
Red: it’s the Knicks you’re used to it.
Me: true.
Red: Linsanity was fun, it was great, we all bought t-shirts and watched his highlights. But after 35 games, five turnovers a game, poor defense and that horrible contract the Rockets are giving him, is it worth it to give up something bigger for a few more dollars in merchandise?
Me: I guess you’re right.
Red: the Knicks are getting close. Brooklyn’s making noise, the Cavs may get Andrew Bynum, and the Heat and Celtics are there. However, Chris paul in NYC changes everything. The Knicks become important, they become a title contender and they become the big boys in the East. That’s real insanity. So cheer up, relax and don’t worry, the Knicks may be alright after all.
Me: thanks Red I appreciate it… Wait, why’d you say MAYBE alright?
Red: it’s the Knicks. You know if anyone can screw this up they can.

Thus is the life of a Knicks fan. Even with a plan coming together we all know that at any moment things can get jacked up.


The Dwight Howard Horror Show Continues

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Enough Dwight Howard already… Enough!!!

I’ve had it, I’m sick of it and I wish that it would go away preferably by cannon fire.

This saga has made the plights of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony seems like fairy tales. We had somewhat of a clue as to what their plans were but the saga of Howard has been one big roller coaster of uncertainty.

At this time last year all signs were pointing to Howard going to the Lakers. Then it was Chicago, then Howard wanted Dallas, then Brooklyn, then the Clippers (that’s right, someone actually wanted to play for the Clippers. Crazy right?), then Orlando, then the Knicks became an option, then Stan Van Gundy said Howard wanted him fired, then Howard denied it, then Howard scratched his opt out clause saying he wanted to stay in Orlando, then he wanted out of Orlando again, the SVG got fired, then Brooklyn had a four team deal on the table, Orlando said no, now it’s the Lakers again…

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

MAKE IT STOP!!!!

In 12 months Dwight Howard has gone from one of the games most fun and endearing players to a sissy and a chump. Countless people have complained to me about Howard and his flip flopping and how it’s upsetting them as fans.

Can you blame them? We’re in the big 3 era of the NBA like it or not with players positioning themselves like dominoes to fall into place with the right team. However, in the case of Dwight Howard this goes far beyond positioning, this is whining, crying and bullying at its worst.

Howard is like your little daughter who wants everything her way and stomps her feet, screams and throws fits to get it. At least you can tell your child no, in the case of Howard you can’t do anything right.

Orlando has tried and tried to make both team and player satisfied but to no end. They unjustly fired Van Gundy who did nothing but lead them to their second finals appearance for Howard only to have him ask to be traded again. They’ve tried to trade Howard everywhere only to have him or the team involved say no. They have upset fans, confused players and the entire league staring at them wondering what’s next.

What can they do? They have the great new problem in the NBA, a player who wants everything his way on his terms and doesn’t care who he hurts to get it.

It happened in Cleveland, Denver, New Orleans and almost in Utah before they told Deron Williams to step off.

Now it’s happening in Orlando and they really can’t do anything about it. The best deals on the table are for teams Howard doesn’t want to go to (hi Houston) and the teams he wants to go to don’t have the assets for him.

This saga could spread into the upcoming season with his free agency a torturous 365 days away.

Hopefully both sides can come to some sort of agreement to get Howard out of Orlando and out of the headlines. This thing has dragged on long enough and needs to end soon.

Who knows what Howard will ask for next. Maybe a trade to FC Barcelona?

Thanks a lot LeBron and Carmelo. Look what you guys started.


A Good Draft

Brow Down.

HOLY $#!! I’M ALIVE!!!

It’s been a minute I know but I had to come back on the night of the biggest draft since 2003.

I’m not into basketball like I used to be, but I’ve been looking forward to this draft since last May when the Cavaliers got lucky in one of the worst drafts in recent memory. The possible names that were available for this draft were like a basketball purist’s wet dream. Jared Sullinger, Perry Jones, Terrance Jones, Harrison Barnes and Jeremy Lamb were just the tip of the iceberg. These guys were sophomores that we knew were coming out and after seeing them in their first year in college we thought that they could all get better.

Add that to the McDonald’s All-Americans that had the possibility of being one and done (Anthony Davis, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Bradley Beal) and we were looking at the deepest draft since 2003 where we had three superstars (Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade), several other big contributors (Chris Bosh, Nick Collison, David West and Kirk Hinrich) and a gaggle of role players that can make a difference on any team in the league.

A funny thing happened on the road to the Prudential Center though, not that we should be surprised. Perry Jones became fragile, Barnes fizzled, so did Lamb, Sullinger’s back cost him, oh and Dion Waiters, Tyler Zeller and Damian Lillard balled out.

The sure things don’t look so sure anymore, the draft doesn’t seem like it has the cant miss players that we all thought. There are question marks all up and down the draft once we get past Anthony Davis (who still needs a refined offensive game to match his foolish defensive skills) all the way into the late first round.

Some players have fallen farther than anyone could’ve thought and some guys are rising that we had no idea could rise.

One thing is for sure, man there are no foreign players anywhere to be found.

Outside of Evan Fourier the foreign expansion is bleak. The boom in foreign expansion that came in the 2000’s looks like it’s all dried up. It’s so bad I haven’t even seen ESPN’s Chad Ford hyping up a guy that we nothing about from some third world country… WHAT’S THE DRAFT COMING TO?!

So now that it’s finally here, how do I think it’s going to go? You all know me, I’m not conventional, so keep that in mind as we go through picks 1-30 and even throw in the Knicks 48thpick for fun. (Because you know in the deepest draft in 10 years the Knicks don’t have a first round pick thanks to Isaiah Thomas who hasn’t even worked in the organization in close to 4 years… I hate the Knicks.)

Who are you?

1. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: ANTHONY DAVIS, PF, KENTUCKY

The NBA rigged pick (oops, did I go there?) is the only real no brainer in the first round. Anybody that watched 2 seconds of college basketball knows that Davis is the real deal. He’s tall with a huge wingspan, can run the floor, pass and well there’s his defense. Led the nation in blocks and made it look easy. Davis instantly becomes one of the best interior defenders in the game and helps the Hornets add 10-15 wins in year one. He needs to develop more of an inside offensive game but so did Lebron James and… well… look what happened.

2. CLEVELAND CAVALIERS: BRADLEY BEAL, SG, FLORIDA

Yeah, the Hornets trade this pick for more picks (because they need help everywhere) and the Cavs get the type of guard that will take some of the offensive pressure off of Kyrie Irving. Beal is one of the big risers who started off as a late first rounder at the beginning of the season but his stock just kept climbing.

He has an NBA ready body and a Ray Allen type of game. He needs to improve defensively but you can’t pass up a guy who can possibly score 23 points a game.

3. WASHINGTON WIZARDS: HARRISON BARNES, SF, NORTH CAROLINA

He’s not, the second coming of Kobe Bryant like we thought, he can’t find his own shot and he shrunk in big moments at UNC. But Barnes has a high IQ, super athletic and brings some sort of continuity and stability to a team that desperately needs it.

4. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: THOMAS ROBINSON, PF, KANSAS

Man… I love T-Rob. He’s big, strong, can rebound, score face up and back to the basket and is a leader. Man… I love T-Rob.

5. SACRAMENTO KINGS: MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, SF, KENTUCKY

So apparently being a poor shooter overlooks the fact that, a. he’s a gym rat and a psychotically hard worker, b. has won on every level that he’s played, c. is the best on ball defender in this draft, d. can get to the rim at will and runs the floor better than anyone in this draft. That’s enough reason to drop him from number 2 to number 5 or lower… ok, gotcha.

6. PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS: DAMIAN LILLARD, PG, WEBER STATE

I’m not even going to lie to you, I know nothing about him, haven’t seen him play and don’t know why he’s ranked this high when he’s never played in the NCAA tournament, never played a top 25 team and is apparently a 6-1 shoot first point guard. Good luck Portland!

7. HOUSTON ROCKETS: ANDRE DRUMMOND, C, CONNECTICUT

Yeah this seems like a reach I know, but Houston is hell bent on getting into the lottery to try and entice Orlando into a trade for Dwight Howard (which by the way is completely stupid on Houston’s part) so once that fails why not fill a need and draft Andre Drummond. Drummond at one point was considered the top pick in the draft. However, questions about his motor and offensive game have soured scouts on him.

Let’s be real though, Drummond is a shot blocking machine in the NBA. He can rebound like crazy and who doesn’t need an improved offensive game in this league. Drummond to me can become a great center and pairing with Kevin McHale, who was a pretty good big man in his day, can help him reach that potential really fast. It’s a risk but hell, go for it.

8. TORONTO RAPTORS: DION WAITERS, SG, SYRACUSE

I’ve heard people say he has a lot of D-Wade in his game, some say that he is a glorified sixth man. I think Waiters is the second sure thing in this draft after Davis. Waiters is the type of player that lives for the big moment and excels in crunch time. With Waiters in Toronto I think they could become a playoff team… once they start playing defense.

9. DETROIT PISTONS: MEYERS LEONARD, C, ILLINOIS

This has bust written all over it. Leonard has risen up the boards recently but he doesn’t seem ready to bang down low with big boys yet until he puts on some weight and rebounds better.

10. NEW ORLEANS HORNETS: AUSTIN RIVERS, SG, DUKE

Go ahead and pass on him… you’ll be sorry.

 

Ok, so I’m a Duke fan, I watched “Sub-Zero” play all year, nothing about him impressed me at all. He’s a ball hog, who shoots too much, plays no defense and due to his size is going to have to play some point guard in the league, which I don’t think he can do because he doesn’t pass. I understand that the Duke team he played for was offensively challenged to say the least but he’s not the type of guy that makes his team better. He’s a streak shooter that’s a liability in numerous areas.

But New Orleans needs a scorer with Eric Gordon leaving so what the hell? Try him out.

11. PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS: TYLER ZELLER, C, NORTH CAROLINA

I think people are sleeping hard on Zeller. He’s not the most athletic guy in the world but he can be asset on defense and block shots and rebound. He’s not a stiff like Leonard.

12. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: TERRANCE JONES, PF, KENTUCKY

Is he a 3; is he a 4, will his on court body language improve? Look, he’s a good defender; the Warriors need defense, badly. Start him at the 3, let him roam with David Lee and Andrew Bogut and win a few more games because you don’t allow 106 a night. Makes sense?

13. PHOENIX SUNS: JEREMY LAMB, SG, CONNECTICUT

He disappeared in that dreadful end to UCONN’s season last year. By himself he can’t carry a team but when paired with a good point guard he can do wonders. If the Suns can bring back Aaron Brooks this will be a great pick.

14. MILWAUKEE BUCKS: JOHN HENSON, PF, NORTH CAROLINA

Congrats Milwaukee you get the cousin of Brendan Wright and the second cousin of Ed Davis, a tall lanky “power forward” would crack a playoff teams top 8 players. Good job.

15. PHILADELPHIA 76ERS: PERRY JONES III, SF, BAYLOR

You all know how I feel about PJ3; he’s a complimentary player with the motor of a model T Ford. If Perry Jones wants to be great he can be, but it’s going to be hell to get him going. Maybe Doug Collins is the guy to do it, who knows.

16. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: MOE HARKLESS, SF, ST. JOHN’S

Picture a 3 on 1 break with Steph Curry running the break. Klay Thompson on one side and Moe Harkless on the other… no proceed to tremble with fear 6 or 7 times a game.

17. DALLAS MAVERICKS: TERRANCE ROSS, SG, WASHINGTON

6-7 wingman that can fill it up and bring energy… Dirk approves.

18. HOUSTON ROCKETS: QUINCY MILLER, SF, BAYLOR

When I saw him play in November I immediately fell in love. An ACL injury limited him after January but once healthy Miller is an asset on both ends of the floor.

19. ORLANDO MAGIC: MARQUIS TEAGUE, PG, KENTUCKY

Teague improved his stock in the NCAA tournament and looks like a very good starting  point guard that can average 15 and 9 in the league.

20. DENVER NUGGETS: KENDALL MARSHALL, PG, NORTH CAROLINA

At one point he was a top 10 pick, then we realized that he’s slower than molasses. He should be a good backup to Ty Lawson

21. BOSTON CELTICS: ROYCE WHITE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT POSITION HE’S GOING TO PLAY BUT WHATEVER IT IS HE’LL GIVE TEAMS NIGHTMARES, IOWA STATE

He’s big, strong, athletic and has anxiety disorder. Kevin Garnett can’t wait to get him into camp.

22. BOSTON CELTICS: JARED SULLINGER, PF, OHIO STATE

Have fun dealing with him the next ten years.

 

He’s red flagged for having a bad back and possible weight problems… so?

Sullinger is the best back to the basket player in this draft. He gets after it defensively, rebounds well and has more low post moves than Dwight Howard. He has a refined game that fits in the league and could average 17 & 10 a game. I know there are health risks, but look at his tape at Ohio State, he’s a gamer, a big time player no matter the situation. If you pass on Sullinger you’ll be sorry and if he falls here or further to a contender that needs low post scoring (OKC) you’ll really be sorry.

23. ATLANTA HAWKS: ARNETT MOULTRIE, PF, MISSISSIPPI STATE

Not the biggest fan of his game but he has size and can rebound. After losing Al Horford this year the Hawks need more insurance.

24. CHARLOTTE BOBCATS: JEFFREY TAYLOR, SF, VANDERBILT

The Bobcats continue to add pieces with the 6-7 athletic defender from Vandy

25. MEMPHIS GRIZZLIES: JOHN JENKINS, SG, VANDERBILT

Well O.J. Mayo, it’s been fun… here’s the door.

26. INDIANA PACERS: DORON LAMB, SG, KENTUCKY

The Pacers need outside scoring, badly Lamb is a great shooter with penetration skills and should be able to help Indiana immediately

27. MIAMI HEAT: FAB MELO, C, SYRACUSE

OH MY GOD, MIAMI ACTUALLY HAS A CENTER?! LET’S THROW A CELEBRATION!!

28. OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER: DREW GORDON, PF, NEW MEXICO

Kind of a reach but OKC needs another big body and even though he’s raw offensively he can be developed.

29. CHICAGO BULLS: TONY WROTEN JR, PG/SG, WASHINGTON

The Bulls need a fill in for Derrick Rose until he’s healthy. Wroten can play both guard spots and gets to the rim a lot.

30. GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS: DRAYMOND GREEN, PF, MICHIGAN STATE

Good size and strength for Golden State to play around with.

Well there you have it. Months of anticipation, speculation and revelation have brought us to this night. It’s going to be interesting to see where everyone goes and if this draft will be as good as we said it would be in years to come.

As for the Knicks:

48. NEW YORK KNICKS: KHRIS MIDDLETON, SF, TEXAS A&M

Last year he was a late lottery first rounder, this year thanks to injury he falls deep into the second round.

Even the Knicks could get a gem in this draft. Maybe it will be worth the wait and worth my first blog in a few months.


Amare’s Story

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Whenever I used to get mad at anything back in the day I used to turn on A Tribe Called Quest’s 8 million stories.

It was a song off of their Midnight Marauders album that was the antithesis of a bad day.

Why am I telling you this? Because after Amare Stoudamire decided to kill his season and the Knicks slim playoff chances I needed a breather and this song was this the first thing I thought about.

Naturally I wondered what would happen if Amare was Phife Dog on this song.

Well, here’s what came out of those thoughts:

Went to NY to get a new deal
Dolan opened up gave me $100 mil
Openly said that the Knicks was back
Fresh blue suit with a matching hat
Hated D’antoni out in Phoenix
Now I’m the man I’m the cleanest
New York had to drop David Lee
What they don’t his game is just like me
Went to Melos wedding back in August
Told him roll here and we’d all fit
Yeah to score both of us would need the ball
And we can’t play D but no prob at all
Started ballin out fans shouting MVP
Yet couldn’t rebound or even play d
Droppin 25 a night NY lovin me
Around January up there goes my knees
Finally the Knicks bring Melo back home
Should’ve known then that trouble would soon be on
He like ISO me I like to run the floor
And in half court i probably shouldn’t play at all
Everytime I saw the paint I had to peel out
When the playoffs came around I had to deal out
Shots started droppin low like my scoring
Couldn’t play a good game against Boston
All these problems that I’m havin and I cant correct them
And to top it off the league is locked out kid

(side note if you ever have a bad day A Tribe Called Quests 8 million stories is the best song to listen to. It covers every single bad part of everyone’s day. When I lived in Maryland this song was on repeat weekly. Yeah, I’ll never get over my hatred of Maryland.)

The lockout is over less stress see
Chris is now ballin with LAC
we need a point guard since we dumped Chauncey
Can baron be the man unlikely
Mike and Melo really ain’t workin
Here comes Linsanity now I’m really hurtin
Once Melo left I thought my game was on
Instead Tyson Chandler had it goin on
Can’t get a shot with Melo or J Lin
Back sat me down now they ballin
Woodson took over talkin bout defense
Moved Melo to the four now they intense
Came back now here are down 2-0
So frustrating make me wanna hit the door
See this piece plastic taking out my frustration
Damn, here come the ambulance racing


Miami Better Be Right About Ryan Tannehill

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When the Miami Dolphins hand in their eighth overall pick to commissioner Roger Gooddell I hope for their sake that the name Ryan Tannehill isn’t on it.

Listen Miami, I know you’ve had a bad winter and spring. I know you missed out on Peyton Manning, I know Matt Flynn said no thanks to you, but is that still reason to reach for a QB most people didn’t have in the first round at number 8?

Here’s a few a things that you should know about Tannehill:

He’s 6-5, has a strong arm, is pretty athletic and can put up yards.

He also can’t read coverages, he’s also a poor decision maker, he’s only been a QB for 2 years (was a receiver at Texas A&M). He cant hold a lead (remember the Oklahoma State and Arkansas games?) he’s terrible under pressure and most important Miami is that you’re trying to talk yourselves into him.

Are you really sure that Tannehill is the guy that you want to be your QB of the future? Are you positive that he’s not Chad Henne 2.0? Is he really better than Brandon Weeden or Russell Wilson (yeah he’s 5-11 but if he was 6-2 he’d be the number three pick in the draft… Seriously)?

Aren’t there other areas that you could improve in while this year and get a better QB next year (Andy Murray and Matt Barkley are light years better than Tannehill)?

Why not draft Melvin Ingram or Michael Floyd? Why not trade back and get Jonathan Martin to protect a QB?

The Dolphins need so much help in so many areas that drafting a QB no one is sure about may be a waste of time.

If you draft the wrong QB you’re setting yourself back years. Everyone knows the the Dolphins won’t be good anytime soon so why are you in a hurry to draft a subpar QB?

Look, if you think Tannehill’s the man for you then by all means snatch him up. However, you better be very sure about this.

The Lions set themselves back five years with Joey Harrington, the Cardinals are losing time with Kevin Kolb, and the Bills wasted three years with Trent Edwards and aren’t sure about Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Quarterback is the hardest position to judge in this league and you better right or face major consequences if you’re not.

If I were the Dolphins I wouldn’t take Ryan Tannehill and miss out on other future prospects. However, if that’s your guy you want then take him.

Just remember all of the QB’s you’ve run through since Dan Marino, all of the failures you’ve had on the field and all of the areas that you need help in.

Now double check that card and hand it over to the commish.

Don’t make the wrong choice Miami, your immediate future depends on it.


Bruins Fans Go Too Far

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I am a black man. I love hockey. I hate the Bruins and the Capitals for different hockey reasons.

I hate the Bruins because I’m a New Yorker and hate anything Boston. I hate the Caps because they’ve bounced my Rangers in the last 2 years that they’ve played in the playoffs.

I don’t hate anyone person on each team. Sure I call Alex Ovechkin names, don’t like Tim Thomas for not seeing president Barack Obama and I think Caps fans are bums but that’s just me being a fan.

The reason for this politically correct explanation of my hockey allegiances is because after last nights racist twitter bashing of Capitals forward Joel Ward I feel like fans need to get a grip on reality.

In case you missed it Ward beat Boston with a rebound putback in overtime to lift the Caps to the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Almost immeadiately after scoring his winning goal angry Bruins fans took to twitter to bash Ward and mainly used his skin color as a target.

The word nigger was spewed in more tweets than I would like to remember and once again put Boston’s race relations in a bad light.

Boston has long had a reputation of racism towards black athletes and last night Bruins fans did there best in bringing them back to life.

The tweets were a reminder of just how stupid something like racism is and how even more stupid it is in 2012 in Boston where it’s most notable athletes are Paul Pierce, David Ortiz and has hailed guys like Deion Branch and Pedro Martinez in the past, all of whom are dark skinned.

I understand the anger associated with watching your team lose in the playoffs. Last year I blasted any Caps fan I saw for not being real hockey fans and for the Caps being lucky.

But it’s a game. What do you get for taking your frustration out on a guy who was just doing his job and scored the biggest goal of his life?

Furthermore why is his race such a big deal?

What’s the satisfaction gained from sitting in front of your computer and calling Joel Ward the N bomb on twitter, Facebook or any other social network?

It’s degrading, despicable and gives hockey another unnecessary black eye.

Hockey has had the worst race relations due to its lack of ethnicity and much ballyhooed moments of ignorance (yeah I mean you the guy who threw a banana at Wayne Simmonds in London, Ontario back in October). I know hockey isn’t the only place where incidents involving race happens (go to a Utah Jazz game in the NBA and see for yourself) but because of its demographic and history it’s always magnified when things like this happens.

In the heat of the moment as fans we all lose our cool, but to degrade another man because of his skin and ethnicity is unacceptable and intolerable.

I hope that the people who wrote those things take a step back and realize how awful it was to put those things out to the public and do their best to not do it again.

Does it anger me as a black man? Yes it does. But it won’t deter me from watching a sport I love and follow immensely.

I’m a huge hockey fan and will continue to be one. Incidents like these are not reflective of the league. I know how great a sport it is for all cultures that participate in it and hope that people find different avenues to express their frustration.

I also hope that if the Caps play the Rangers again that we kick their tails up and down the ice and get revenge for our last two oustings.

It should be hatred of team in sports not hatred of race.


The £50 Million Goal

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I hate Fernando Torres… Seriously.

Even in my infancy as a Chelsea fan I’ve been able to transfer some of my New York uncalled for hatred towards a soccer player that has resembled Carl Pavano more so than Wayne Rooney.

When Chelsea decided to pay a ginormous transfer fee to get Torres from Liverpool last January I became skeptical almost immeadiately.

I wondered aloud why did Chelsea need another striker? They had Didier Drogba coming off of a career year, vets like Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda and young guys like Soloman Kalou and Daniel Sturridge coming up.

Paying a kings ransom for an up and down, yet immensely talented player like Torres seemed like overkill. It was like watching the Yankees trading for Alex Rodriguez, we didn’t need him but hey you can’t have too much offense right?

Well once Torres hit Stamford Bridge the offense must have been left behind in Liverpool. To say that Torres has underachieved with the Blues is like saying the Rangers giving Wade Redden $39 million dollars was a slight mistake.

Torres has scores 4 goals in 16 months with of premier league play with Chelsea… 4. Including FA Cup and Champions league action he’s scored 13.

The man who has the highest transfer fee ever has been a disaster on the field. Either Torres has had the worst luck in the world or maybe he really is just a bum.

Ever since his arrival Chelsea dropped from first to third in last year’s EPL table and is currently sixth. To compound things he has been outscored by the man who he replaced and is now a substitute in most matches that being Drogba.

Hell in it’s semifinals match against defending champion Barcelona Drogba scored the only goal to give Chelsea the advantage in aggregate.

So in entering Tuesday’s second match against Barca you had to figure that Drogba would once again outshine Torres and lead Chelsea to an unexpected appearance in the Champion League final.

And then divine intervention took place.

At the 80 minute mark with Barcelona leading 2-1 (and tied in aggregate scoring) manager Roberto Di Matteo subbed out Drogba for Torres in an effort to get some fresh legs on the field for a late push.

With Chelsea on the brink after losing John Terry to a red card and a bad foul taken by Raul Meireles deep in their defense end somehow the ball found Torres with nothing but green grass and Barca goalie Victor Valdes in front of him.

With one quick move and a leap Torres found the back of the net and Chelsea found its way to Abromovich’s much wanted Champions League final.

Ain’t that a trip.

It was easily the greatest and most memorable goal in Torres’s career. In ten seconds Torres took all of the bad karma that he had gathered since coming to Chelsea, all of the disappointment, the underachieving and poor press and buried in victorious fashion leaving the Blues sideline jubilated and Camp Nou stunned.

It was what Abromovich had envisioned when he signed Torres coming to pass. After 16 months of disappointment, sorrow and despair Fernando Torres finally arrived as a member of Chelsea FC and proved he was worth the hefty price paid for his transfer from Liverpool.

Am I exaggerating? Maybe a little. But coming through in the clutch goes a long way for any athlete with his perception and fan base.

Torres was facing pressure to succeed and was viewed as a disappointment by most everyone around the game. By lifting Chelsea to the Champions League final Torres has excersized a lot of those demons and has given himself another chance to prove his worth on a bigger stage.

If Chelsea defeats Bayern Munich in the final in late May we will look back at the Torres goal in Camp Nou as the defining moment in their run.

It was the moment that sprung Chelsea to an elusive title, that makes them one of the premier clubs in all of football and means that £50 million was the proper price to spend on a mercurial forward who had seen better days in his career but finally proved he was worth the money.

I wish I could say the same for Pavano.


The NHL Playoffs Are Out Of Control

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Playoff time in the NHL is the greatest time of year in any sport.

The action gets so jacked up and intense that you would think that games 1-7 are life or death. Year after year players leave everything on the ice whether you are an 8 seed or a 1 seed in the name of Lord Stanley.

Injuries don’t matter, hits are harder, everyone gets in the way of slap shots… it’s a daily spectacle that leaves you on the edge of seat and wincing at every bone-crushing check and unbelievable save.

You know this going into the playoffs and you adjust accordingly as a player and as a fan… However, this year’s playoffs?

Man, no one was ready for this.

Virtually every series except New Jersey vs. Florida has been hate-filled and angry.

St. Louis hates San Jose, Ottawa wants revenge against New York, Phoenix and Chicago have traded blows… Then there’s been the Philly and Pittsburgh series, where do we begin there?

These playoffs are on steroids, everyone’s angry at everyone, violence has been kicked up several notches and Brendad Shanahan hasn’t had much time to make a sandwich because he’s too busy looking over tape of reckless hits.

What the hell is going on?

In the first round of this year’s playoffs there have been more match penalties, more suspensions and more game misconducts than in years past… AND THE PLAYOFFS ARE ONLY A WEEK OLD!!

Look at these occurances and consequences:

Shea Weber fined $2500 for throwing Henrik Zetterberg’s head into the boards

Carl Hagelin suspended three games for elbowing Daniel Alfredsson in the head an giving him a concussion

Aaron Asham suspended four games for trying to decapitate Braydon Schenn

Nicklas Backstrom suspended one game for cross checking Rich Peverly in the head

Michael Shaw suspended three games for knocking goalie Mike Smith in the head

James Neal suspended one game for blindsiding Claude Giroux

Raffi Torres suspended indefinitely for concussing Marian Hossa…

And let me reiterate that the playoffs are only a week old.

I know that hockey is a violent sport and stuff like this happens, but not as frequent as this.

There has been more goonery than actually hockey it would seem to the casual hockey fan. In an interview Dan Boyle said that it seems like guys are just trying to start stuff on the ice. Jonathan Toews doesn’t know what to expect right now… Both guys aren’t alone in their feelings.

At first I was loving the hate being spread around the playoffs. It felt like old time hockey and was great for the game. Now it’s getting out of hand.

The Torres hit should be the last draw for Shanahan and the front offices in the league. They have to start hammering guys with longer suspensions to get their points across.

Shanahan has been criticized for being to lenient on more skilled players like Weber and Backstrom and hammering guys like Asham and Hagelin who are either too young or not as skilled.

He’s got to make things fair across the board. Like Colin Campbell did to Matt Cooke last year Shanahan has to start doing to these players.

Hockey is a self policing game, however when there needs to be stiffer policing from suits in the offices.

Shanahan has to suspend Torres for the rest of the playoffs and encourage referees to get tougher on the ice. Referees have to call these games tighter, which means more penalties and control these games before they continue to get out of hand.

Games like Sundays Flyers-Pens free for all are great once in a while but they’re happening every night in the playoffs. The league has to get this over excessive play under control before someone gets really injured out there.

The over aggressiveness has taken away from some great hockey as well. Jonathan Quick has been putting on a show in the Kings-Canucks series, the Predators-Red Wings matchup has been great with Pekka Rinne dominating the action and game 3 of the Rangers-Senators series was non stop up and down hockey with great goaltending from both teams.

The playoffs have been their normal unbeatable selves, however the action has to be placed back on the skillful play and not on the over excessive violence that has stolen the headlines.

I’m all for a few fights and scrums but this has been ridiculous.

Hopefully we can get back to the great hockey that’s been played so far and not have anymore Marian Hossa incidents.