Hey guys. Its been awhile. Just fyi to all of my followers I’ve started a new site called underthebrooklynbridge.wordpress.com ill be writing all content under that page from now on so feel free to follow on there thanks for being patient its been a rough go lately but I’m back with more sports knowledge for ya. Peace and one love
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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.
So as you have seen my blog was dormant all week. Working 60 hours sucks and has slowed the creative juices. Fear not things get back to normal next week. Expect a ton of posts and some new tweaks. Higher learning will return, plus I will have random thoughts, nfl power rankings and some other goodies. Thanks for reading as always and stay tuned.
Am I upset that TCU spurned the Big East to join the Big 12? Hell no. I think it’s a great move by TCU because the competition is better, it plays more towards their market and it’s a return to a sense of traditionalism for the conference.
TCU was a member of the old southwest conference before it merged with the Big 8 and became the Big 12 in the mid-90’s. TCU has long standing rivalries with a lot the current Big 12 members including Texas, Texas Tech and Baylor and the rekindling of those rivalries would be great for the conference and college football as a whole.
The move also gives the Big 12 another big name as Texas A&M bolts for the SEC and. The addition of TCU is a great start, but the Big 12 needs to go further… they should go back to their SWC roots and readmit SMU and Houston into the new Big 12.
Why not? Houston is a great mid-major football school that has flirted with BCS contention a few times in the past decade and SMU is back on the rise under June Jones. these moves would make the most sense geographically and football wise and bring more traditionalism back to college football.
SMU and Houston were two of the many schools forced out of the Big 12 in the mid 90’s as realignment changed college football the first time. For them to rejoin the Big 12 would bring the conference full circle and add more balanced competition to the conference.
Let’s be real with ourselves, Kansas is not that good of a football program and Iowa State hasn’t been relevant for years, Houston and SMU have had better seasons than both Kansas and Iowa State in the last few years (also better than Colorado before they left the Big 12) and have great fans and great football history. They are true football schools who care very much for their teams and embrace the spirit and pageantry of Saturdays. Football is religion in Texas, high school games are just as big as NFL games in other cities, to add two more Texas schools to the Big 12 would make Saturdays even more of an event then they already are.
SMU and Houston are mostly offensive schools and their schemes fit into the way that the Big 12 plays (because as good as Oklahoma State is we know damn well that they play no defense at all. same for Texas Tech and Baylor.). if you think Big 12 games are shootouts now just imagine if Case Keenum and Kyle Padron were in the conference.
The only issue with the addition of these schools would be stadium sizing and marketability. Both SMU and Houston have stadiums that fit 35,000 people and they would be the two smallest stadiums in the conference. Also could Houston and SMU draw a good TV audience? SMU is located in Dallas but TCU (located in Fort Worth) has a strangle hold on the market thanks to their recent run in the spotlight. As for Houston, The Texans were having trouble selling out games as recent as two years ago so how can the city embrace a college team in the spotlight?
Even with the big city issues the schools fit the mold for the conference because the Big 12 doesn’t need any big name programs to add to their name brand. They need good football programs to keep the games competitive and exciting.
In a era where realignment is the main topic of discussion and everyone is trading in tradition for money the Big 12 is rebuilding itself by returning to its roots. TCU is the perfect addition to the conference and will help to continue the high level of play that the conference is used to.
The Big 12 should continue its back to the future realignment by adding SMU and Houston. It’s good for the conference, the region of which it plays and it’s great for the fading tradition of college football.
When Yao Ming retired this afternoon after 9 injury-plagued seasons in the NBA I couldn’t help but think of what could have been.
When he arrived on the scene Yao was an instant hit. On the court he was a mammoth specimen with unlimited potential. At 7’6” and 280 pounds Yao was one of the biggest men to ever play the game of basketball and also one of the most skilled men at his position.
He wasn’t as big in terms of girth like Shaquille O’ Neal nor was he as nimble as the man the roamed the paint in Houston before him in Hakeem Olajuwon. But Yao had the moves to out maneuver some of the best big men in the NBA and the smarts to guide him through each game.
In his early bouts against Shaq it was a tale of two centers. One who was an immovable object in the paint that intimidated his opponents with his large mass and unbelievable power, the other which even at age 21 was cunning enough to force his opponents into foul trouble and break them down with his prowess and ever evolving game. Yao got the better of Shaq in the win column during those as he was able to overcome those slights in power and speed and guide the Rockets to victory via his wit.
That was Yao, he was a new breed of center. In an age where the center was supposed to be a relic he was on the verge of making it the most ballyhooed position in the league again and start a revolution of the position.
He was skilled on the block as well as the outside. Yao could hit 16-foot jumpers just as easily as he could back Michael Olawakandi down in the paint for layups. He was an exceptional passer who could find shooters with ease and made life for defenders hard whether they were guarding him or watching the perimeter.
In the paint on defense he was becoming an emerging shot blocker who altered shots with his large frame and made life hell for driving guards as well as big men who were trying to score over him.
More than basketball however, Yao was changing the game with presence off of the court.
In his nine years Yao made the All-Star team 8 times thanks to a large fan base from his home land of China that rule routinely made him one of the top two vote getters. His impact helped the league grow exponentially in China as it now regularly sends reporters to the NBA’s main events. Since Yao’s arrival, China now regularly hosts numerous NBA players in the offseason such as Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant to hold camps in the country and help raise interest of the game.
Yao had a documentary about his arrival in the league, and a string of commercials that introduced him to the American population and showed off his funny side. He was truly the league’s first true international star and was on his way to being one of the brightest stars that the game has ever seen.
Then came the injuries.
After his first three seasons where he only missed 2 games, Yao missed 25+ games in each of his final 6 seasons including all of the 2009-2010 campaign. Whether it was his big toe or a forever broken left foot Yao couldn’t stay on the court. It prevented from having as dominant of a career that was foreseen by so many people from scouts to fellow players.
In 2006-2007 Yao was averaging a career high 25 PPG and looked like a surefire MVP candidate before his foot began to give him problems. After the injury he could never reach the potential that was seen in that season and in glimpses in the next few years. His lower body robbed him of what could have been a stellar NBA career and robbed the fans of a superstar that could’ve shined as bright as Michael Jordan, Julius Erving and the other big names before him.
Yao Ming was an exceptional player. He was an All-Star, one of the best centers of his class, and was a cultural force that transcended the Eastern and Western Hemisphere.
Unfortunately thanks to injuries we never truly got to see what Yao was made of. He could’ve been an all-NBA selection, a finals champion, league MVP and a possible hall of famer. We saw shades of it when he played Shaq and Dwight Howard and other excellent big men down in the paint. We could’ve been watching one of the best players of our era.
But we will never know.
The Mets have done a lot of dumb things in the last ten years; they gave Carlos Beltran $119 million dollars, they traded Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano, and they gave up half of their farm system for Johan Santana who has been a shell of his former self.
The Mets have become a big joke in major league circles and their money woes have only been topped recently by the Los Angeles Dodgers who filed for bankruptcy. Things were so bad that majority owner Fred Wilpon decided to rip everyone from his star third baseman David Wright to his superstar shortstop Jose Reyes.
Wilpon in particular said about Reyes that “he’s crazy if he thinks he’s getting Carl Crawford money” this offseason… if Wilpon had any sense in that old and decrepit skull of his he may want to rethink that statement.
Even though they sit nine games out of first in the NL East, the Mets have a decent shot at the wildcard at 5 games back and its mostly due… no wait, it’s because of the out of this world play of Jose Reyes. Coming into Thursday’s play Reyes leads the national league in batting average, runs, triples, doubles and hits, is second in stolen bases and in the top 10 in slugging and OPS. In other words without Reyes the Mets would be swimming with Jimmy Hoffa rather than having an outside shot at the playoffs.
And this is the guy that Wilpon wouldn’t give $142 million to, yet gave Beltran $119 million after one good stretch in October?
Beyond what he does on the field Reyes is the face of the team off of it. I know a few years ago the Mets had Wright positioned as their man of the moment but Wright hasn’t been that guy. Reyes is electrifying, he’s currently one of a handful of players that you HAVE to see play when he comes into town. Reyes is a marketable figure that you can bank on bringing in large amounts of revenue for your team. Who wouldn’t like having Reyes at the top of their order creating havoc on the base pads and then having the charisma to sell watches afterwards? You’d be crazy to think he’s not worth that.
Where I would see an owner not wanting to pay Reyes is due to his spotty injury history. Reyes has missed 155 of 324 games in the last two years, which would be a concern for anyone that has money to burn. Also in the years before his injuries Reyes was faded down the stretch when the Mets needed him most.
During their historic collapse in 2007, Reyes batted .205 and had an OBP of .279 as the Mets eventually lost their grip on the NL East to the Philadelphia Phillies and the next year Reyes faded again. As electrifying as he is Reyes still needs to prove himself when it matters down the stretch to show that would be worthy of such a huge deal.
After the bomb contracts given to Beltran, Santana and Carlos Delgado you could understand why the Mets would be hesitant to give another deal like that to Reyes. However, with the current state of the Mets Fred Wilpon would be stupid to let Reyes walk away to sign with another team and give fans in Queens even less of a reason to watch the Mets.
The smart thing to do for the Mets would be to sign Reyes and build around him for the future. It would give the fans a reason for hope and keep the Mets relevant.
However, with the way that things have gone for the Mets in recent years they may do exactly the opposite. They’re not called “The Mess” for no reason you know.
Yeah um… march madness took it out of me for a minute hence the lack of blogs in the last ten days. no need to fear though, there will be new stuff coming this week with the NHL playoffs, major league baseball and NBA playoffs all off and running and maybe even another feature. so no im not dead, just a little drained, but i’ll be back sooner than later peoples.