Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Another story I saw on ESPN... apparently Texas U. head football coach Mack Brown believes that if Reggie Bush gives up his Heisman from '05, it should go to runner-up Vince Young. Here's some background info; Bush recently has taken some heat from improper benefits he received while a member of USC's power house of a college football program. After a outstanding 2005 campaign Bush was awarded the prestigious Heisman Trophy.
Here's my take; Mack Brown needs to silence that nonsense. Everyone knows D-1 college athletes get some kind of compensation besides scholarships (it's just a matter of if or when they get caught). After Vince Young went pro, the man could barely put together a proper sentence like any student of a top college should be able to. You can't convince me that he didn't get "special benefits". Colleges and the NCAA make millions of dollars a year off of these players while they are in school with ticket sales, jerseys and other various merchandise. Shouldn't these players be allowed to make a living off their exploits? And furthermore, Reggie Bush was awarded the Heisman based on his on the field accomplishments that season, and whether or not he got a little something on the side shouldn't be the issue, right?
Mack Brown's words sounds like those of a bitter coach whose program hasn't produced a Heisman winner since Ricky Williams in 1998. You would think beating USC & Reggie Bush in that great championship game would have been enough. I guess not..
According to this story on ESPN, reigning Heisman Trophy winner running back Mark Ingram recently had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and will miss Alabama's season opener against lowly San Jose State. As anyone who follows college football is aware, star players play limited roles in season openers anyway so Ingram won't be terribly missed for this game. Expect to see sophmore RB Trent Richardson (who happened to rush for 109 yards in the championship game last season) get the bulk of the carries as the Crimson Tide roll over the Spartans. (bet you didn't know this was San Jose's mascot, did you?)
The redshirt junior Ingram decided to skip declaring for the draft last year to help Alabama make another run at the BSC championship and if minor, this injury will not have an effect on a title run. Healthy recovery, Mark. Roll Tide!
And so the "Year of "Athletes Being Idiots" continues... As this storythis story on Black Sports Online reported yesterday, a sex tape of New England Patriots rookie linebacker Brandon Spikes leaked yesterday. First off, as the picture up top displays, dude looks a little suspect to me, but that's just my opinion. But nonetheless you would think in today's age of technology, camera phones, youtube and the "devil" that is World Star Hip Hop, athletes and celebrities would learn not to put themselves in a postion to be exploited and publically embarassed as such. It almostseems as if they purposely allow these types of things to happen for the exposure. Hmmm...
Monday, August 30, 2010
You may have heard of this new internet thing called "Twitter". If you haven't, you can think of it as a global chatroom, only people can't hide in their mother's basement behind usernames like "SuperGangstaCuz" and expect people not to find out their true identity.
I'm on Twitter, so are the rest of the staff at Los That (@marcusjnorris, @A_Ramsey, and @lostherod, follow accordingly). It takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, it can be pretty entertaining. People tend to speak freely, with less fear of being politically correct. Most "tweets" consist of people one of four categories:
A.) The Stand-up Comic Tweet
B.) The Inspirational Tweet
C.) The Breaking News Tweet
D.) The We're All Watching the Same Thing on Television Tweet
E.) The How to Lose Friends and Alienate People Tweet
The "Category E" tweets happen more times than you'd think, given the socially network'd time we live in. What happens is tweeterers forget that tweets don't always convey the proper tweeting context (also known as tweetext) and once one tweets a tweet that's a tad bit off-color, it stays in the tweetisphere forever, like a bad coffee fart in a room with no windows.
This weekend, the sports world was treated to a Category E Tweets. Carmelo Anthony's Twitter account posted an offer of $5,000 to anyone willing to "slap the s***" out of Kat Stacks "pigeon faced" self.
Now, you may be asking yourself, "What or who is Kat Stacks, and why would an NBA player want to slap the s*** out of one?". Andrea Herrera, aka "Kat Stacks", is a professional groupie, who sent Anthony some late night tweets that caught the attention of his wife, La La Vasquez. She responded the way any wife would, by putting the pressure on the husband (Anthony) to make Stacks stop...through Twitter. (Uh oh)
So Anthony does what he did, and ends up complicating more of his already fractured reputation. (Remember this, and that? He is still trying to make people forget this. And of course, there was that whole "brawl/sucker punch".)
He speaks of hitting a woman, publicly, and then follows that with showing a pic of the money. Of course he later came out and said his account was hacked, and it wasn't him, blah blah, yeah whatever.
Even worse news for Anthony, Stacks has stated, via Twitter, that she's filed a police report on him. So he may be the first million dollar athlete to go to jail for assault with a tweetly weapon.
The moral of the story is best said by Confucius, via Jay-Z in "The Takeover": "A wise man told me, don't argue with fools, because people from a distance can't tell who is who. So stop with that childish s---, n---- I'm grown..."
Melo, you're in the middle of a trade request, and you're trying to get a team to pay you $20 million a year. Stop Twitter beefing with groupies. Please.
As for the Los That Links
- Manny says "Two fangas, sideways!" to Los Angeles.
- The USA basketball team survives a scare against Brazil.
- Glenn Beck held a special rally at the Washington Monument for "Special Americans" (whatever that means), and Tony LaRussa showed up with Albert Pujols. Former LaRussa BFF, and "Friday Night Lights" author Buzz Bissinger was none too happy about it.
- Troy Polamalu has his luscious locks insured for $1 million (Pause).
- Chris Bosh is getting hitched.
- I'm amazed, and disappointed, at the restraint of the guy in the red shirt.
Some players get way too many passes. After spending the majority of the season on the DL and now being claimed off waivers on Friday, Manny Ramirez will be taking his talents over to the Chicago White Sox for the rest of the season. If you remember the Dodgers acquired Manny in a similar fashion back in '08, when Boston traded him to them after he spent a lot of time on the DL. There was speculation at the time if Manny was really injured, as he came to the Dodgers and put up MVP-caliber numbers. Whether this will be the case in Chicago is yet to be seen, but I wouldn't be shocked if Ramirez had a monster September and helped push the White Sox into the playoffs.
It's not difficult for a franchise to be enamored with Manny Ramirez. He has put up Hall Of Fame worthy numbers over the course of his long career. He is the type of hitter that opposing managers hate to see at the plate at critical points of the game and is rumored to be a decent teammate. Sure, you have to deal with the quirks of "Manny being Manny", but that's very little considering what he brings on the field. He stays out of legal trouble and fans love him. What gets lost in the fact that when Manny is unhappy, he has a tendency to force his way out of a team's favor. Ramirez proclaimed that he wanted to end his career in Los Angeles and managed to squeeze $45 million out of the Dodgers for 2 years. And what do the Dodgers get in return? 65 games on the disabled list, ending with a one pitch ejection during a pinch at-bat. Really, Manny?
Let's call it what it is. Manny Ramirez is the baseball equivalent of a mercenary and a master manipulator. He's very smart and still produces enough that another team will desire his services, but does just enough that his current team is willing to part ways with him. He is aging after turning 38 this summer and he isn't really able to play the outfield effectively anymore (not that he ever was, see here for examples), but I have a feeling Chicago will not be Manny's last stop. Let's not forget he will be a free agent again this summer and has always said he wanted to play for that famed franchise in NY. Don't be too surprised if you see Manny being Manny in pinstripes next season.
Expectations are always high for a team coming off a championship season. After winning the Super Bowl in 2008, The Pittsburgh Steelers had an up and down season in 2009 but still managed to finish with a respectful 9-7 record. Controversy hit the team in the offseason, as franchise QB Ben Roesthlisberger being suspended for the first 6 games due to violating the NFL's conduct policy and the team also traded troubled receiver Santonio Holmes to the Jets (as he was also facing a suspension to begin the 2010 campaign). The Steelers are hoping head coach Mike Tomlin can keep the team together and make a return to the playoffs.
The Steelers have always had the identity of a hard-nosed team that relies heavily on the running game, but that trend has shifted over the last couple of seasons with Roethlisberger under center. Roethlisberger's strong arm and accuracy has allowed the offense to incorporate more of a vertical attack and they have been quite successful with this strategy. With "Big Ben" missing the first 4-6 games, look for third year RB Rashard Mendenhall to see a lot action early & often. After sitting on the sideline for most of his rookie season Mendenhall was made the starter for '09 and responded with over 1100 yards rushing. He's a solid back with good speed and the power to move the pile so another 1,000 yard season should not be a problem.
With journeyman back up QB Byron Leftwich holding down the starting QB spot in Roethlisberger's absence, the passing game will take on a low-risk, low reward focus. Expect a ton of short passes to reliable veteran WR Hines Ward and TE Heath Miller. Despite just average speed, Ward continues to be productive with precise route running and great hands. He's also known as the best blocking wide out in the NFL. Now that Holmes is no longer in Pittsburgh, speedster Mike Wallace will start opposite Ward and it looks like he is more than capable of handling the responsibility. Wallace runs a 4.3 40 and is a deep threat on just about any down. His value should skyrocket once Roethlisberger is back on the field. The offensive line is massive and should provide good protection for whoever is under center.
The "Steel Curtain" runs a classic 3-4 defensive scheme, with their defensive ends & massive DT Casey Hampton occupying blockers and allowing their spectacular linebackers to make plays all over the field. LB LaMarr Woodley is a terror on opposing quarterbacks and finished last season with 13.5 sacks, while 2008 Defensive POY James Harrison brought pressure from the other side to account for 10 sacks himself. Middle linebackers James Farrior and Lawrence Timmons are reliable tacklers and able to get to the ball carrier in a hurry. When healthy, perennial Pro-Bowl SS Troy Polamalu technically plays like a fifth linebacker, as he is always around the line of scrimmage and in the backfield causing havoc. He has the speed to cover slot receivers, a knack for making big plays in the clutch and is still one of the most feared hitters in the game. CBs Bryant McFadden & Ike Taylor are decent in coverage and capable of getting the job done. The Steelers should again rank among the league leaders in total defense in 2010.
Even with Ben Roethlisberger missing the beginning of the season, the Steelers still have a defense that is strong enough to carry them to a few victories early. Mike Tomlin and staff seem to always do an excellent job of motivating the players and you can never count out that Steeler pride. Expect the Terrible Towels to be waving in excitement all season as the Steelers attempt to make a return to the playoffs and another run at a title. Just make sure to keep Big Ben out of the bars, clubs, family barbeques... hell, anywhere there are women present.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
No delay today. Let's get right to the links.
- Hide ya kids, hide ya wife! J.R. Smith is choking e'rbody! (www.yahoo.com)
- Rumor has it that Shaq is engaged to "Flavor of Love's" Hoopz. Signs it might be time to retire No. 194: proposing to Flava Flav's sloppy seconds. (www.yahoo.com)
- On a lighter note, how about a little suicide cover-up? (espn.go.com)
- Hey Doc, Ron Artest says stop yer b-tchin'. (www.slamonline.com)
- Elin says she didn't beat Tiger with a golf club. Straight face, and everything. (www.blackportsonline.com)
- Meanwhile, Tiger appears to have gotten his groove back just hours after finalizing his divorce.
- New USC Athletic Director, Pat Haden, says that if Reggie Bush had his soul, he'd return the Heisman. I say, yeah, but what do you need with a Heisman when you have the power to take other people's souls?
- The internet was created for the Chicago White Sox organization, family members, and friends, to take shots publicly at each other for our amusement. (sportsillustrated.cnn.com)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
It started around the time I was 9. Like the Skynet program from Terminator, that was the time I became "self-aware". My parents split, and I'd officially pledged my lifetime allegiance to the Lakers, 49ers, SF Giants, and hip hop. What I knew about life was falling apart around me, and it seemed sports (through TV) were the one thing I had control over, so I clung to it.
I'll save the rest for my autobiography, but know that over my odyssey of following sports, I've always been fascinated by the marital divorces that happen within. It reminds me of the traumatic events that made me divert the bulk of my attention towards them in the first place (I'm big on nostalgia). Not the divorcing of players and teams (see: Johnny Damon and Boston Red Sox), or teams and fan bases (see: Supersonics and Seattle), or the divorcing of minds and logic (see: Philadelphia and Fans Expectations) but the divorces between actual men and women.
Make no mistake, the soap opera aspect to sports is what secretly drives the industry. ESPN didn't build their brand by simply showing game scores and highlights. That just brought people in the door. What made us stay was the drama.
Divorce is the apex of human drama when it comes to intrapersonal relationships. It goes against the natural impulse of people to forge relationships with others by signaling a permanent ending to one. Don't be fooled by divorce rates, people love to keep contact with other people, even if its in the most superficial sense (How many friends do you have on Facebook? When is the last time you were in the same room as them?). That's why divorces, long after they've become so commonplace, continue to get the attention they do.
Americans love watching others public humiliation. Its the tie that binds us together. Its fun to look at others struggle so publicly. It appeals to that same basic human instinct that makes us stare at car crashes.
The top 10 sports divorces that have happened within my time following serve as proof.
This one had it all. An all pro wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, and a multi-platinum R&B starlett from "TLC", domestic violence, strippers, and of course, the burning down of a million dollar mansion. The only reason its so far down on the list is because just like "mama and 'nem" the two never officially tied the knot, so their split, while sensational and headline-grabbing, was never recognized by the courts. This ended badly for Rison, who was never the same player, and eventually had to be forced out of the NFL so that Jerry Rice could have his jersey number 80 when he signed with Oakland in 2001.
Left Eye had a much worse ending. Rest in peace.
Finley was an all star pitcher for the California/Anaheim Angels (before the lates renaming), and Kitaen was the George Washington of video vixens, appearing in the classic Whitesnake video for "Here I Go Again". Really, the couple had a pretty uneventful marriage until one night in 2002, when Kitaen went all "OJ" on Finley, and had to be arrested on charges of, you guessed it, domestic violence. Finley filed for divorce three days later. We eventually found out that Kitaen had a substantial drug problem, and she appeared on Dr. Drew's "Celebrity Rehab", possibly causing the largest outbreak of "Masturbators Regret" that this country has ever seen.
Jeff Gordon spent many moons as the "Golden Boy" of NASCAR. He married his "Golden Gal" in 1994. There's was a marriage right out of the script for "Talladega Nights", right down to them meeting when Gordon won the Winston Cup, and Sealey was "Ms. Winston". Gordon was winning championship after championship, and Sealey was living the trophy wife life, right up until 2003, when they divorced.
Their story doesn't end there. After the divorce, Gordon remarried a super model (Ingrid Vandebosch), and Sealey had a cougar rendezvous with a kid named James Dixon II, that resulted in the birth of a baby boy, and then re-married a man Mullins Mcleod, who ran for governor of South Carolina. Sealey made the news recently because she attempted to have the new baby's last name be "Gordon", even though it wasn't his, AND she was married to another man.
Only in America.
The Wade's were this generation's rags-to-riches story. They grew up together on Chicago's south side. They were high school sweethearts. They werer partners through D-Wade's meteoric rise from little-used reserve, to blue chip recruit at Harold L. Richards High School, to his incredible Final Four run at Marquette that made him a number 5 overall pick by the Miami Heat (This is the point where the needle skipping off the record noise starts).
By all accounts, once the Wade's hit Miami, "that's when signals got crossed, and (they) got flipped" (Hov!). D-Wade was allegedly hitting everything moving, possibly even Star Jones (eww).
The couple filed for divorce in 2007. During the divorce, Siovaughn accused Dwyane of everything from adultery to giving her an unspecified STD (rhymes with "smerpes"). The divorce even played a role during this summer's free-agency, when the Chicago Bulls believed they had a shot at landing Wade, due to the custody battle. Ultimately, Dwyane re-signed with Miami.
2007-08 were not kind to A-Rod. Over that time period: 1.) He announced his intention to be a free agent during the World Series broadcast. 2.) A photo of he and a muscular exotic dancer/escort emerged from the tabloids. 3.) He was mentioned in connection with a madam (aka female pimp) who said their paths had crossed professionally. 4.) His wife filed for divorce. 5.) He was romantically linked to a 50 year old (so, so old) Madonna. 6.) He went on television and denied ever using steroids, only to have his positive test leaked to the public just before Spring Training in 2009.
Now, A-Rod has always been an easy target for people, but even the biggest detractor has to admit that was quite a bad stretch. Add to that, Cyntia sought comfort in the home of friend/rockstar Lenny Kravitz, who had to release a statement saying they weren't romantically involved.
Focusing on the divorce, Cynthia had demanded the $12 million home, as well as alimony, and custody of the children. The two settled in July of '09, but the terms were never disclosed.
Ironically, divorce has been great for A-Rod. He shed his "choker" label by helping the Yankees to their first World Series win in 10 years. He also hit his 600th HR, and has been romantically linked to actresses Kate Hudson and Cameron Diaz.
(Numbers 5-1 coming tomorrow)
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Remember the days when the Chiefs used to be good? Well, that's not much the case anymore for a team that has been in a rebuilding phase for the last couple of seasons. It seems as if GM Scott Pioli is attempting to create a Patriot-type atmosphere with all of the ex-New England assistant coaches they currently have on staff. Non-the-less, 2010 may end up another season that sees the Chiefs again picking amongst the top on the draft if the offseason.
The Chiefs do have a few bright spots on the offensive side of the ball, with RB Jamaal Charles & WR Dwayne Bowe. Charles is a shifty back with breakaway speed and also a solid receiver out of the backfield. He will split time with veteran RB Thomas Jones, who was sent packing from NY after racking up 1,400 yards and 14 TDs. QB Matt Cassel was a bit underwhelming last season having only thrown 16 TD passes in contrast with 16 INTs, not to mention sacked a whopping 42 times. It's tough to complete a pass when you're constantly on the turf. Kansas City hoping former NE offensive coordinator and ND head coach Charlie Weis can produce better results in 2010. His main target will again be Lowe, who took a step back after a solid 2008 campaign. WR Chris Chambers has a penchant for making difficult catches, although it's his decision making that's keeping him in the headlines recently (see here). Look for rookie playmaker Dexter McCluster to get looks in the slot and also out of the backfield.
KC's defense is anchored by a young and talented D-Line, featuring Glenn Dorsey & Tamba Hali. Hali can create pressure off the edge while Dorsey can get in the backfield and be disruptive from the tackle position. The linebackers are aging, with Mike Vrabel & Demorrio Williams as the. The Chiefs used the fifth overall in this past draft on S Eric Berry to be the star of the secondary and he has potential to be a great one. CBs Brandon Flowers & Brandon Carr make decent starters and rookie DB Javier Arenas will get a shot in the nickel.
There are too many question marks for the Chiefs. The verdict is out on the Cassel experiment but right now it appears to be a mistake, and young head coach Todd Haley has his hands full trying to turn around this franchise's fortune right now. The young players will show flashes of brilliance but expect the Chiefs to again be picking at the top of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Commitment to Excellence... The Silver and Black Attack... The Black Hole... My Raiders Ehh... The Oakland / Los Angeles / Oakland Raiders... The Diabolical Al Davis...
These are all terms that describe a team, an owner, dammit a way of life when you are an Oakland Raiders fan. The Raiders have one of the most storied franchises in sports history. I think they are the epitome of what a fan looks for when choosing a team to support. You have an owner that runs the team his way, either you love what he does or you want to kick him in his throat until he decides to step down. You get players, for the most part, that play hard and leave everything they have on the field (with notable exceptions...). The team has transcended into pop culture with the fad of starter jackets and the era of real gangster rap. Their fans or ride or die, literally. You bet not say nothing bad about the Raiders in Oakland or in certain parts of LA, it could get ugly real quick (I know you 49er supporters, losmarcus, don't want to hear that). So what's in store this season for a franchise that is trying to get back to the glory days, hell, or at least the playoffs...
Now that one of the biggest draft busts in history is gone in JaMarcus Russell, the Raiders look to veteran Jason Campbell to lead the way at QB. This is a good move, as Campbell is a leader who can potentially give you fantasy owners a minimum 3,000 yard season and hover around the 20 TD mark. The addition of Campbell improves the team by 3 wins alone, and he has a good supporting cast on paper.
At running back there is the dual threat of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. Both are underrated backs, but they haven't exactly lived up to their full potential due to the injury bug. McFadden has the versatility and the 4.33 speed to be a game breaker whenever he touches the ball. Bush, on the other hand, has the power to go along with elusive speed to give the Raiders a RB they need to keep defenses honest. I look for one of them, more than likely Bush, to have a breakout season.
Speed is the theme at WR, especially with almost draft bust Darius Heyward-Bay. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Heyward-Bay will improve on the 9 rec, 124 yrds and 1 TD performance from last year. Louis Murphy emerged late in the season as a WR who can make tough catches and run well after. I noticed a trend last season of when Murphy scores no one else can; hopefully that changes this season. At tight end, Zack Miller is one of the leagues best. Fantasy owners should definitely pay attention to him, I think he will get a lot of red zone looks.
On paper the Raiders have a solid defense, but somehow it didn't translate to the field last season. My thoughts are fatigue played a big factor, since Mr Russell would habitually get the offense off the field. This season hopes to be different as one of the best (top 3) cover corners, and Skip Bayless debater extraordinaire, Nnamdi Asomugha leads this group into battle. Asomugha had an outstanding campaign last season with 34 tackles and 1 INT. Numbers consistent of opposing offenses not wanting to throw to that right side of the field. Buzz out of camp says Asomugha will stay with the opposing teams best WR, even if they try and move him around. At tackle, notable veteran Richard Seymour will look to lead and teach his group on how to play the position effectively. Hopefully that will translate to better QB pressure and effective run stopping for this group. The linebacker core will feature rookie Rolando McClain. He is looking a little confused in pre-season so far, but I'm sure the natural talent and instinct will take over. All in all, the goal for this group would be to translate how good they look on to the field.
Normally I would not comment on ST play, but Sebastian Janikowski has a boot. A fantasy pick because it doesn't take much to get into his range. I believe Jason Campbell can lead the offense into Janikowski range.
The Oakland Raiders will improve on a 5-11 record from last season. I am going to stick with my comment from earlier and give them a +3 in the win column just due to Jason Campell being better than JaMarcus Russell.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
You never want to kick a man when he's down, unless of course that man is Jay Mariotti.
Mariotti, 52, is a writer for Fanhouse.com, a former writer for the Chicago-Sun Times, and a regular guest commentator on ESPN's "Around the Horn". He was arrested early Saturday morning on charges of suspicion of felony domestic assault. Something to do with his girlfriend allegedly flirting with another man at a club in LA.
Those who are familiar with Mariotti's work, know that he's prone to call for quick and definite punishment whenever an athlete finds themselves on the wrong side of the law, or a very conservative public opinion.
Here's Mariotti on whether Mike Vick should be allowed back into the NFL after his prison time.
Here's Mariotti on how LeGarrette Blount should get jail time for last years Oregon-Boise St. brawl.
Here's Mariotti on MLB's "too soft" stance on violence, on and off the field.
And trust me, he's much worse on television.
Here's hoping that Mariotti takes accountability for his actions, and asks for the judge to punish him to the fullest extent of the law.
Friday, August 20, 2010
The federal government formally indicted Roger Clemens with multiple charges of perjury yesterday. This goes back to his testimony from 2008, where he claimed he never used performance-enhancing drugs. If he's found guilty he could face up to 30 years in prison.
If you ask me, they're wasting taxpayer money going after professional athletes who tell lies. What they need to do, is go after the rappers.
Now I'm not against rap. I'm not against rap-pers. But I am against those thugs...who tell lies on their resumes. They get in the studio and wax poetic about a gangsta lifestyle that few people, let alone the rappers telling them, have ever lived. Sure, the studio isn't a courtroom, but you tell me what a 10-17 year old kid holds in higher regard. How many actual lives have been lost due to kids emulating a baseball player's work habits versus that of a gangsta rapper? Not the metaphors, but the actual claims that these dudes make.
Wouldn't it be surreal to see these claims being brought up to Capitol Hill?
"Gang affiliated, colors prosecutors painted, cause the n----s I employed names synonymous with Mi-yayo!" - Rick Ross, "Maybach Music 1"
"I got bloods on stage and bloods at my shows
F--- wit my bloods got blood on ya clothes
And I'm blooded (Su-whoop) And I'm blooded (Su-whoop)" - Lil Wayne, "I'm Blooded"
"I be wit' a gang of gangs, who hang and bang..." - Juelz Santana, "Dipset (Santana's Town)"
I'm just saying, Clemens, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro aren't exactly influencing the hearts and minds of teenagers the way Weezy, Ross, and Juelz are.
Food for thought.
- This is still "Los That Ladies". Mindy McCready, Clemens alleged former under-aged lover, feels bad for the Rocket. Good for her, getting past that whole statutory rape thing.
- Cheryl Miller makes it to the FIBA Hall of Fame. A very handsome woman, and legendary basketball player.
- Nenad Kristic must have been influenced by the gangsta-rap he hears back in the states, because he had to be held overnight after an awesome brawl. No women were hurt.
- A guy with a woman-sounding name is back on the field after a bout with migraines. Percy Harvin is back on his feet, for the time being.
That's all I got. Gotta go hang out on the corner!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
One thing is for sure; this is definitely not last season's Chargers squad. Aging franchise running back LaDainian Tomlinson was released in the off season, while emerging #1 receiver Vicent Jackson looks to be out for 10 games after holding out due to a contract dispute. Still, the Chargers have enough talent on the roster to remain relevant in the AFC.
Quick; who led the AFC in passer rating in 2009? If you guessed anyone besides Philip Riversthen you were incorrect. Rivers is the unquestioned face of the offense with Tomlinson now toting the pigskin for the Jets. The Chargers chose to draft highly-touted RB Ryan Mathews to fill his shoes. Mathews is a tough runner who should make an impact immediately. He will be backed up by change of pace speedster Darren Sproles. Rivers loves to fling the ball downfield and All-Pro TE Antonio Gates remains his favorite target and is a virtual lock for 80 catches, double digit TDs and around 1,000 yards. The other options in the passing game are WRs Malcom Floyd & Legedu Naanee (if you asked "Who?" you are not alone). Floyd is a big receiver and a nice target for Rivers in the red-zone while the verdict is still out on Naanee as a starting NFL receiver.
Despite having playmakers a plenty, the defense only finished in the middle of the pack in 2009. They run a base 3-4 set, with the linemen occupying blocks and allowing LBs Shaun Phillips & Shawne Merriman to get in the backfield and be disruptive, either by rushing the passer or stopping backs for a loss. If Merriman can return to form he'll be impossible to block consistently. CB Quentin Jammer is solid in coverage and trading Antonio Cromartie to NY opens up a starting nod for 2008 ist round CB Antoine Cason to prove he get the job done.
The Chargers are in one of the NFL's worst divisions and luckily for them it won't take much to win it. The new pieces on offense will make 2010 an up & down season for San Diego but if the young unit can gel quickly the Chargers could have a nice foundation to be good for seasons to come.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Don't hate the player. Don't hate the game. Hate the fact that you aren't winning.
That's my advice to those who are truly, internally, bothered by the hoopla that is Brett Favre. Yes, he's coming back for one more year with the Vikings. Yes, the Vikings sent three players to go convince him to return. Yes, he's essentially held the franchise hostage from the time he threw the interception that ended the 2009-10 season, until now. Yes, he's being afforded far more leeway than any other player in the NFL could ever imagine asking for. Yes, its unfair.
More directly, I feel the way Lil Wayne did at the end of an old Gangsta Grillz mixtape song. His mother warns him to tuck his chain in because it's dangerous among the hoodlums and thugs in the mean streets. His response:"I'll be d-mned, Mama. They know who I am, Mama. I'm still yo lil boy, but to them, I'm the man, mama."
Now Favre is in a totally different context, but the response still fits. He's the man. He isn't playing by the same rules as the rest of the guys out there BECAUSE HE CAN. Period. If he couldn't, he wouldn't. He's put 20 years as a professional into this here game. He's never missed a contest. He's re-written the record book for players at his position. If he doesn't want to report to camp until he's darn good and ready, so be it.
(Gangsta Grillz, you bastards!)
Los That Links
- Hardcore Sports Radio host (and this summer's rising media star) Bomani Jones was on "ESPN First Take" and expressed his opinion about Carmelo Anthony's value as a franchise player. Anthony responded by calling him a "hater" via Twitter. Probably wasn't a good idea.
- In another display of athlete sensitivity, rapper Joe Budden and Glen "Big Baby" Davis have Twitter beef. (via BlackSportsOnline)
- BYU is declaring their independence from the Mountain West. Meanwhile, the Mountain West is flirting with Fresno St. and Nevada.
- Rex Ryan: "I ain't gotta take that (bleep) from punk-(bleep) Tony (bleeping) Dungy. (Bleep) him!" Not really.
- The MLBPA will not let Francisco Rodriguez' money go without a fight. No pun intended.
- Shake Weight for women? I can dig it.
After winning their first 6 games last season under upstart rookie head coach Josh Mcdaniels, the Broncos would up going 2-8 to finish even at 8-8. There have been a few changes to the roster, as Mcdaniels decided to ship star receiver Brandon Marshall off to Miami, draft one of the best college QB's in history (yes, that Tebow guy) and also trade for a another young & former first round QB Brady Quinn. These moves can make or break the Mcdaniels Era in Denver.
A staple of the Denver Broncos offense has always been to employ a zone blocking scheme, which allows the RB to read one block and hit that whole aggressively. That will still be the case in 2010 with second year back Knowshon Moreno, who has the potential to be a breakout player this season. QB Kyle Orton is steady and reliable in the short passing game. Denver used the twenty-second overall pick in the draft to pick up Demaryius Thomas, a big receiver who may be able to fill Brandon Marchall's shoes as Orton's favorite target. But don't expect much this season. Eddie Royal is a nice route runner with good speed to get down the field and also make plays in the return game while veterans Brandon Lloyd & Jabar Gaffney can fill in the slot. TE Daniel Graham will be primarily used as a blocker, as many of the Broncos offensive plays utilize 3-receiver sets.
The loss of star pass-rusher LB Elvis Dumervil to a torn pectoral muscle will be a huge hit to a defense that is lacking playmakers. MLB D.J. Williams is solid and makes a lot of tackles and CB Champ Bailey is still one of the best in the business, but there is no replacing Dumervil's pressure on the QB. Simply put, the Broncos will give up a ton of points.
Without Durmervil, I can't see the Broncos being able to keep offenses from lighting up the scoreboard. The offense is young and will have flashes but inconsistency will cause too many mistakes for them to compete in a shootout. Denver should try to get golden boy Tim Tebow on the fast track as he'll probably be starting a couple of games and taking a ton of hits by season's end.
Quick story I just stumbled on over at Media Take Out. Apparently Jay-Z hit Prince James with the cold shoulder at a show in NY over the weekend. Check it out; you be the judge. I can't really say anymore about Bron Bron these days...
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
I'll never ask another grown man for an autograph. Can't do it. Won't do it. It's a pride thing. How anyone over the age of 18 can look themselves in the mirror after doing so.
So imagine my disappointment after getting word that two Cincinnati reporters asked Denver Broncos rookie QB Tim Tebow for his autograph, after his first pre-season game. I'm no "journalistic-ethics" whistle blower, but I am big on self-respect. And frankly, I don't see how you can have much self-respect if you're asking a kid in his underwear to write his name on a piece of paper so you can show it to other people.
Now I'm aware of Tebow-mania. I know that his popularity spreads far and wide over this great land of ours (even on this site). He's a modern day folk hero, only all of his accomplishments have been captured on film with audio. There is no hate being thrown on Tebow (this time).
No, this is directed at anyone 18 and up who is out there asking other people for autographs. Consider this a public service announcement. Please, stop it. You're an embarrassment to yourself and others.
People tend to confuse you with people like us, but we're not the same. We follow sports because we love the game. You follow sports because you love the fame. Two different kinds of lame, but your's carries the heavier stain of shame.
(End Hip Hop Quotable Rant)
On to Los That Links
- Lebron James explains the difference between Akron and Cleveland in a GQ interview, and actually brings some clarity to the situation that led to "The Decision". He also took one fabulous picture.
- Running back Stafon Johnson can't catch a break, unless of course it's a bone in his body.
- Watch as the generation gap between me and the current NBA rookies grows, to the tune of Cali Swag District's "Teach Me How to Dougie".
- And finally, JR Smith improved upon his legacy as the Michael Jordan of neck tattoos.
There seems to be an epidemic going around and it's been affecting a few young star athletes these days. It has recently struck the likes of LeBron "Prince" James, Carmelo Anthony, and to a lesser extent the Cowboys Martellus Bennett (who?). It is the ability to distinguish an opinion or constructive critism from "hate". It's as if they consider anyone who disagrees with what they are doing as a "hater". Here's why I disagree...
I think what these young players fail to realize is that they are public figures. In today's technology age anything they do and/or say in public is accessible to fans and the media. Critism is part of being a high profile celebrity. People look up to these players and when they do things that people don't agree with the people have every right to express their opinions. Disagreeing with the way LeBron handled free agency doesn't make a person a hater, it makes someone a critic (granted, Dan Gilbert did go overboard). Bomani Jones' opinion of Carmelo on ESPN "First Take" this morning doesn't make him a hater, it makes him a sports journalist with an opinion. He's doing his job. The entire fotball world calling Martellus Bennett a bust doesn't make everyone a hater, it makes them correct (#shotsfired).
What these players should do is use all the critism and opinions as motivation to prove all the naysayers wrong. Maybe talk to some veterans and learn what it means to truly be a professional and stop acting like children. You don't have to go out and be saints because stars are still human, but learn how to be an adult.
There's an old saying that goes "talk is cheap". You want to hush the critics? Prove it with you play and not your tweets and interviews.
Alright Fantasy Owners, if you still have a draft coming, take this list and create a football powerhouse. No explanations needed, and it begins...
Super Stat Players (The No Brainers)
The players in this group will be top 5 statistically in their respective position categories. Even if they have an "off week", their fantasy points should not go under 12. You can also expect 25+ points at least once this season...
Peyton Manning - QB Indianapolis Colts
Drew Brees - QB New Orleans Saints
Tom Brady - QB New England Patriots
Chris Johnson - RB Tennessee Titans
Adrian Peterson - RB Minnesota Vikings
Maurice Jones Drew - RB Jacksonville Jaguars
Andre Johnson - WR Houston Texans
Brandon Marshall - WR Miami Dolphins
Randy Moss - WR New England Patriots
The Model Of Consistency
The players in this group will give you consistent points throughout the year, 10-20 fantasy points a week. These are the types of players you need to challenge week to week in your league.
Aaron Rodgers - QB Green Bay Packers
Phillip Rivers - QB San Diego Chargers
Tony Romo - QB Dallas Cowboys
Donovan McNabb - QB Washington Redskins
Matt Ryan - QB Atlanta Falcons
Matt Shaub - QB Houston Texans
Cedric Benson - RB Cincinnati Bengals
Shone Green - RB New York Jets
Steven Jackson - RB St. Louis Rams
Ray Rice - RB Baltimore Ravens
Reggie Wayne - WR Indianapolis Colts
Miles Austin - WR Dallas Cowboys
Larry Fitzgerald - WR Arizona Cardinals
Players to nab if the above aren't available
This group will be considered draft steals because you know the owner picking after you wants them too.
Joe Flacco - QB Baltimore Ravens
Mark Sanchez - QB New York Jets
Eli Manninng - QB New York Giants
Kevin Kolb - QB Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Palmer - QB Cincinnati Bengals
Chad Henne - QB Miami Dolphins
Michael Turner - RB Atlanta Falcons
Frank Gore - RB San Francisco 49ers
Ronnie Brown - RB Miami Dolphins
Jamaal Charles - RB Kansas City Chiefs
Greg Jennings - WR Green Bay Packers
Calvin Johnson - WR Detroit Lions
DeSean Jackson - WR Philadelphia Eagles
Steve Smith - WR Carolina Panthers
This group is poised for breakout years, depending on certain things falling in their favor. Things like staying injury free, or if QBs decide midway through the first game that they are going to play this season, we are all waiting Brett...
Jay Cutler - QB Chicago Bears
Jason Campbell - QB Oakland Raiders
Sidney Rice - WR Minnesota Vikings
Percy Harvin - WR Minnesota Vikings
Devin Aromashodu - WR Chicago Bears
Eddie Royal - WR Denver Broncos
Mike-Simms Walker - WR Jacksonville Jaguars
Caddilac Williams - RB Tampa Bay Buccaneers
D'Angelo Willimas - RB Carolina Panthers
Darren McFadden - RB Oakland Raiders
These rookies will have an impact on their teams
Ryan Matthews - RB San Diego Chargers
Javid Best - RB Detroit Lions
CJ Spiller - RB Buffalo Bills
Dexter McCluster - RB\WR KC Chiefs
Dez Bryant - WR Dallas Cowboys
Jermaine Gresham - TE Cincinnati Bengals
I'm not a fan of tight ends, kickers and defense, but here are a few to get you by...
Antonio Gates - TE San Diego Chargers
Jason Witten - TE Dallas Cowboys
Brent Cellek - TE Philadelphia Eagles
Vernon Davis - TE SF 49ers
Nate Kaeding - K San Diego Chargers
Sebastian Janikowski - K Oakland Raiders
Rob Bironas - K Tennessee Titans
Robbie Gould - K Chicago Bears
NY Jets Def/SP
Chi Bears Def/SP
Minn Vikings Def/Sp
Phi Eagles Def/SP
Alright owners, thats all I have for you player wise. Get your fantasy stat studs in the first couple of rounds, then make sure you get serviceable players after. If you win your league with the help of this list, give a shout out to the blog, and if it fails you, mi mal...
Monday, August 16, 2010
How's it? Sorry for the continual delay on the Los That Links posts. I'm sure your entire day depends on us providing work distraction. Still on the island of Kauai (Mahalo), but will be returning stateside soon.
Big thanks to ALR and lostherod for helping out with technical issues. Them brothas is talented. On to Los That Links.
- And on the seventh day, God rested. He sat down in front of the big flatscreen in the sky and watched Tim Tebow make his NFL debut. He was pleased...but still skeptical.
- NBA rookie Lance Stephenson is keeping the Indiana Pacer arrested development tradition alive.
- Proven baseball veteran and Hall of Famer the day he retires, Stephen Strasburg, is tired of these unproven rookies holding out for higher pay.
- Brian Westbrook signs w/ the San Francisco 49ers, ensuring a Super Bowl season. Or not.
- Tony Dungy:"Roger Goddell should talk to Rex Ryan about his foul language."
Rex Ryan: "Go (bleep) yourself with your (bleeping) bible, you (bleepity-bleep), (bleep) sucker."
- Reports are Carmelo Anthony won't re-sign in Denver. It remains a total and complete mystery as to where he'll possibly sign. A complete unknown.(Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...)
- Aaron Schobel retires. Aaron, we hardly ever knew you. No, seriously, we don't know who you are.
- Finally, the Francisco Rodriguez locker room fight with his girlfriend's father resulted in a suspension, a torn hand ligament, and apparently, a loss of $30 million if the NY Mets get their way. And you though Manny Pacqiao vs. Floyd Mayweather was gonna cost some money.
According to this ESPN report, Carmelo Anthony's days as the face of the Denver Nuggets are nearing an end. There has been speculation of the seperation since Anthony has yet to sign a 3-year, $65 mil extension offered by the team earlier this summer. Now it remains to be seen if the Nuggets will deal Carmelo before the season starts or if they will hold on until the trade deadline and see if he changes his mind. This has definitely been quite the summer in the NBA. Stay tuned...
- Jean Pascal (Light Heavyweight #2 rank) defeated Light Heavyweight Kingpin Chad Dawson by 11th round unanimous technical decision over the weekend. Damn good fight to watch, as Pascal was bringing the fight to Dawson. The fight ended due to bad cut over Dawson's eye from an accidental headbutt. It looked like Dawson was actually about to finish Pascal off prior to the clash of heads, but doctor stepped in and said nope. My only issue with "Bad" Chad is when you clearly have the man fearing you, why wouldn't you keep punching? I don't get the logic of throwing the good combos, then stop and stare...
- Preseason football is in full effect and it's quite exciting to have another sport to watch. On Tebow watch, he didn't look horrible and he clearly has much to work on. I don't think the throwing motion matters as much because he can get the pass off. He needs to work on staring down receivers and making quicker decisions. He'll find away to make it work in the NFL...
- Jimmy Clauson is going to take Matt Moore's job in Carolina, only a matter of time...
- I remember having a conversation with a USC alum last year about Matt Cassell. He told me Cassell was a product of the SC system and would be an outstanding QB no matter where he is. I scoff at you good sir, cause Mr. Cassell is clearly a product of the New England system where he could just sit back and hit open receivers. I'm not saying he is bad, I am saying he is not worth the mega contract he signed with the KC Chiefs...
- I like the idea of TO getting the majority of the looks from Carson Palmer in preseason, he needs the reps to help get this paper offense legit... Also Jordan Shipley should take the slot for the Bengals...
That's it that's all...