Nice post here that I spotted over at http://susanshan.com/... Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson took a lot of heat for dropping a potential game-winning pass Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, then took to twitter with this tweet where it was assumed he was blaming God for the drop shortly after the game:
@StevieJohnson13: I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!! AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…
If you recall this is the same Steve Johnson who hauled in 3 touchdown passes the previous week and has been enjoying a strong season so far. The next day, Johnson followed with a series of tweets explaining the previous one:
@StevieJohnson13: I learned A lot Within 24hrs. Saw Both Sides.(Ups&Dwns) I AM HAPPY & THANKFUL 4 YESTERDAY! w/out Sunday iWldnt have grew closer w/The Lord!!
@StevieJohnson13: And No I Did Not Blame God People! Seriously??!? CMon! I Simply Cried Out And Asked Why? Jus Like yal did wen sumthin went wrong n ur life!
@StevieJohnson13: So Before Yall..well I’m pretty sure you’ve awready judged me. I hope you guys look n the mirror. I dnt blame u 4 being mad @ my gm I WAS 2!
@StevieJohnson13: Spoke To Friends Fam Teammates and Most Importantly I Spoke With My Wife. I Honestly Believe Evrything Happens For A Reason! Everything!
@StevieJohnson13: S/O To My Real Friends And Fanollowers! Also Major S/O To Them Bills Fans! I Don’t Play For Myself and AnyOne who know ME knows That!
@StevieJohnson13: I PLAY W/PASSION AND EMOTION! I HURT WEN I DNT MAKE A PLAY BKUZ iKNO THAT’S WHA MY TEAM,FAM,N MY CITIES WANT TO SEE! N THAS A WINs N PLAYS!
@StevieJohnson13: I can continue but ill leave it at that! N THANKS AGAIN! Oh Yea And S/O To the Bills Fans That Bash Bills Players! Real Talk Its Still Luv!!
@StevieJohnson13: GMorning World.. (slowly walks in n looks around out the corners of my eyes) Nah Wutup World #LetsPutASmileOnThatFace New Day We ALL Blessed
After seeing this, recently retired NFL great Kurt Warner reached out to Johnson with these tweets:
@kurt13warner: @StevieJohnson13 Hey, man, we all have those moments! I had way too many of them… Keep ur head up, U will b on other side next time!
@kurt13warner: @StevieJohnson13 I asked same thing when released in STL & benched 3 times, But then God did his thing… Be ready! Enjoy watching you play!
@kurt13warner: @StevieJohnson13 Last thing… Keep representing the ‘Lucky 13′!
Nice gesture here from the classy Warner. People should take note of this and try to offer some support instead of constantly focusing on the negative. I personally didn't think Johnson was blaming God for the drop. Maybe I bought into the whole "Why So Serious" thing from his touchdown celebration on 11/20 (see here for more on that). The third year receiver has had a very good year so far and drops, mental lapses, etc happen sometimes. Either way, kind words often go a lot further than negative.
During last's night embarrasing Monday Night Football loss to the San Fransisco 49ers, Arizona Cardinals QB Derek Anderson was caught on camera sharing a small laugh with a fellow teammate Deuce Lutui. In the post game press conference, when a reporter posed Anderson with a question about why he was laughing Anderson blew up like he was accused of a felony and didn't have a proper alibi. Here's video of the melt down:
Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the question had anything to do with Anderson's practices during the week, how hard he studies, etc. All he had to do was simply answer the question like a professional (but this is the NFL, where "professional" is optional). I understand that the question about the laugh may have caught Anderson off guard, but that is no excuse. Maybe he should have had a Twix or froze time like that chick from that 80's TV show "Out Of This World". Either way, all he did was embarass himself even more.
The Cardinals QB position has been a joke this season since the release of former first rounder Matt Leinart and Anderson statistically has been one of the worst quarterbacks in recent memory (yes, even worse than Alex Smith). Get it together, Mr. Anderson.
Spotted this over at Slamonline.com, jocksandstilettojill.com also blacksportsonline.com.... Nice PR move right here. The Dallas Mavericks have released this video in similar fashion to Kanye West's "Power" video with the theme of a living piece of art. The video debuted at their arena Nov. 27th. Here's the video:
I can't front, the video is dope. But, um... what have the Mavs won? Granted they do have a finals appearance (which Dwyane Wade and the '06 Heat stole) but not much else. Dirk does have a MVP award in his trophy case, but I digress. I will say the Mavs have been playing good basketball so far and Dirk is playing out of his mind this season.
And nice touch including the cheerlears for some eye candy!
This has been brewing since the start of the season, when the high-profile Miami Heat lost their opener to the Boston Celtics. Everyone has speculated if Eric Spoelstra would be the right coach to lead this group of "superstars" to the NBA Finals, or if Pat Riley would relieve him of his whistle in a similar manner to the Stan Van Gundy situation (even Phil Jackson chimed in on it). It now looks as if the relationship between Speolstra and LeBron James is definitely shaky, according to this report from ESPN. There was already rumors of this after James allegedly accidently bumped Spoelstra with a shoulder during their loss to the Mavericks. Here's some of the story:
In contrast to the popular view that Spoelstra has been hesitant to jump on superstars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, sources say the Heat coach has shown no fear in criticizing them.
Exhibit A was a recent shootaround in which Spoelstra told James that he had to get more serious. The source said Spoelstra called James out in front of the entire team, telling him, "I can't tell when you're serious."
"He's jumping on them," one source said. "If anything, he's been too tough on them. Everybody knows LeBron is playful and likes to joke around, but Spoelstra told him in front of the whole team that he has to get more serious. The players couldn't believe it. They feel like Spoelstra's not letting them be themselves."
I have to side with Spoelstra on this one. Clearly "letting them be themselves" didn't work out so well for LeBron and Chris Bosh on their previous teams and Spoelstra's job is to coach them, not be a kindergarten moderator. Another sign that #6 needs to grow up and mature if he ever wants to win that coveted ring.
The Miami Heat so far are only 9-8. Spoelstra isn't the Heat's main problem. They have horrible point guard play, soft big men in the paint and no defined roles on the offensive end. Sure they can probably win 45-50 games on talent alone but to this point their weaknesses have been exploited by the other top teams in the NBA.
Would a change to Pat Riley make a difference? Maybe. Is he a tougher disciplinarian than Spoelstra? Definitely. Will it be enough for the Heat to win a ring this season? Unlikely.
We'll see how it all plays out, but until James and Bosh start to grow up and show some accountability instead of saying it's still early a coaching change might not make much of a difference.
In today's game between the Houston Texans and the Tennessee Titans, all-pro wide receiver Andre Johnson and Titans chippy DB Cortland Finnegan got into a tussle that would make Chuck Norris proud. Here's the video:
Both players were ejected for the incident. Finnegan took a couple to the back of the head from Andre Johnson, who is usually one the quietest players in the NFL. He did go the the "U" so you know he's got a little hood in him so I'm not at all surprised he popped off. Finnegan is known as one of the NFL's dirtiest cornerbacks anyway. Maybe he should have picked on someone his own size like a kicker or something (Johnson is 6'3 220). Finnegan was definitely out of his weight class.
As if the MJ comparisons weren't enough, it seems Kobe Bryant is attempting to emulate another legend.
The Basketball Jones reports Kobe will be rocking Dr. Seuss-inspired sneakers for the Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Day matchup against the Miami Heat. Often accused by opponents and teammates of having a heart two sizes too small (ba-dum, ching!), Bryant will debut the Nike Zoom Kobe VI, and attempt to steal Christmas cheer from Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. (No word on whether Eric Spoelstra will be involved.)
Of the seven teams with three wins or less, two (Cleveland and Buffalo) aren't likely to remove their coaches this season or next. The Browns have been competitive all season, defeated the Super Bowl champion Saints, and Super Bowl contending Patriots, and have looked good enough in losing to the Jets, Bucs, and Chiefs to secure Eric Mangini a return in 2011.
The Bills won't get rid of Chan Gailey for three reasons: 1.) He was hired in January. 2.) He wasn't their first, second, third, or fourth choice. 3.) Bill Cowher and Jon Gruden aren't walking through those doors.
BONUS: The Bills may be moving to Los Angeles.
So that leaves Mike Singletary (49ers), Josh McDaniels (Broncos), Marvin Lewis (Bengals), John Fox (Panthers), Jim Schwartz (Lions), Jason Garrett (Cowboys), and Leslie Frazier (Vikings). Garrett and Frazier are both filling in as interim coaches, but they count because neither has much job security beyond Week 17.
But the coaches most likely not to last until the end of the season have to be Singletary, Lewis, and McDaniels. In that order.
Alex A. Tame - My question is, the owners don't care about the team or what? Singletary should be fired since he was so stubborn to keep Alex "useless" Smith in the first place. Now we are screwed no matter what. Why teams like the vikings and the freaking cowboys woke up and fired their lousy coaches and we can't do the same?
Eddie Darosa - The smoke screen that is Mike Singletary has evaporated and unfortunately when the smoke cleared all that's left is a bad football team still.
Chris Baker - The 49ers just lost to the 0-5 panthers! They have a 1-5 record don't you think it is time to fire Mike Singletary. It should be as simple as this win more than 50% of your games keep your job. Lose more than 50% of your games and you should be fired. Lose 80% of your games and you should be canned for sure.
But for a really classy website, you have to visit the one dedicated to Josh McDaniels. The firejoshmcdanielsnow site serves as a weekly reminder why McDaniels needs to be outed as the head coach of the Broncos. It's best captured with this excerpt of the site's most recent posting:
"The win against the chiefs was a total mirage. Tonight was The reality and The reality is The broncos never had a chance to win this game and The broncos are a bad team.
3-7 on the year.
5-15 in the last 20.
Last place in the AFC West.
Where is the light in this tunnel?
Fire Josh McDaniels Now!"
McDaniels was given a ton of personnell leeway with the Broncos, and hasn't proven to be a savvy arms dealer. He allowed Jay Cutler to rub him wrongly enough that there was nosalvaging their relationship, and essentially traded him outright for Kyle Orton. I'll actually call that a wash, given that Orton has performed admirably in Denver (90.7 QB rating, 6,825 yards, and 38 TDs in 26 games).
McDaniels also gave up Brandon Marshall for two second-round picks, Another wash for now since Brandon Lloyd, Marshall's replacement, is having a career year (10 games, 54 catches, 1,046 yards, 7 TDs). McDaniels spearheaded adding Virgin Mobile (Tim Tebow) with a premature first-round selection, then added another high profile quarterback (Brady Quinn) a week later, even though the starter (Orton) isn't in danger of losing his position to either.
Simply put, McDaniels has the look of a guy in over his head. He's been given everything he asked for, and it hasn't translated to on-field success. In fact, since the 6-0 start last season, the team's 5 wins are only better than the Detroit Lions (3).
Marvin Lewis, the most tenured of the coaches, only has two winning seasons in his eight years in Cincinnati. The Bengals won the AFC North last season, and this year were picked by some to be Super Bowl contenders. But the team is 2-8, and as wide receiver Terrell Owens said after the 49-31 loss to the Bills this weekend, they are "terrible".
Lewis has also battled perceptions of, as the NCAA would dub, a lack of institutional control. Twenty Bengals have been arrested since the 2005 season, and that was before they signed Adam "Pacman" Jones and Tank Johnson. There is also the tragic Chris Henry saga.
Team owner Mike Brown is one of the most frugal (cheapest) owners in the NFL, so don't expect anything in the way of an in-season firing. Lewis returning next season is an entirely different question.
However, it wouldn't be the first time Lewis escaped the grim reaper. Check out the headlines that come up when you Google "Fire Marvin Lewis". People were calling for his job back in 2007, and earlier.
Nice read right here from yahoo sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.... According to this interview, Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant says he was mentored by none other than the legendary Michael Jackson during his rookie year (Bryant was right out of high school and 18 at the time). Here are some quotes from the interview:
He noticed I was getting a lot of [expletive] for being different,” Bryant said. “It sounds weird, I guess, but it’s true: I was really mentored by the preparation of Michael Jackson."
“We would always talk about how he prepared to make his music, how he prepared for concerts,” Bryant said. “He would teach me what he did: How to make a ‘Thriller’ album, a ‘Bad’ album, all the details that went into it. It was all the validation that I needed – to know that I had to focus on my craft and never waver. Because what he did – and how he did it – was psychotic. He helped me get to a level where I was able to win three titles playing with Shaq because of my preparation, my study. And it’s only all grown.
“That’s the mentality that I have – it’s not an athletic one. It’s not from [Michael] Jordan. It’s not from other athletes.
“It’s from Michael Jackson.”
Despite all the corny and cheesy jokes some will make of this, if you actually pay attention Bryant is dropping some knowledge for some of the youngsters. Being great is all about preparing yourself to be great, then executing. This theory can be applied to all facets of life, not just musical or athletic.
The article also goes on to say this...
And you won’t be the one to stay too long, to make them rip the jersey off your back?
“Just thinking about some of the guys that I take advantage of now, taking advantage of me later – that doesn’t sit too well with me,” Bryant said.
That's a warning for anyone trying to take Kobe's crown as arguable the best player in the NBA.
Take a few minutes and read the full article. It's a great read if you can seperate the accidental comedy aspect of the subject and find the true meaning of the words that were spoken.
Without fantasy football, I would never have heard of third-year Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson. Now, he may just be my favorite player in the NFL.
Johnson first caught my attention about a month ago, when I needed to add a wide receiver to my fantasy squad, "Grandad Pause!". He had just come off of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars where he caught two TDs, so I took a flyer on him.
In his first game with my squad, he caught 11 passes for 145 yards, and he hasn't seen the bench since. Still, I had zero idea who he was, what he looked like, or even (before I began writing this) where he was from.
Fast forward to yesterday, and America witnessed Johnson play "The Joker" to TOcho's "Batman and Robin" in the Bills 49-31 come-from-behind blowout over the Cincinnati Bengals, and it is possible that a star has been born.
Only time will tell if Johnson is able to parlay this newfound success into stardom, but I'm hoping he does. In doing my research (and examining some of the tattoos) I discovered that Johnson and I both are Bay Area (Yay Areaaaaa!) natives, so aside from my own fantasy success, I now have even more of a reason to wish him well.
Johnson is well on his way to a 1,000 yard season, and he his 9 TD receptions are good for third in the NFL. More importantly, he was featured in ESPN Monday Night Countdown's "C'mon Man" segment, in which eventual Hall of Famer (if there is a God) Chris Carter was so befuddled by Johnson's press conference performance, he took off his own shirt, and finished the segment in his "wifebeater".
Long time, no Los That Links. In fact, it's been almost three months. The last time Los That Links went up, we acknowledged that Brad Childress had lost the control of the Minnesota Vikings. That was September 10, 2010, after the season opening loss to the New Orleans Saints. The team has won a grand total of three games since then.
Last night's final Week 11 matchup between the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers notwithstanding, it's safe to say that there are five storylines worth paying undivided attention to as we head into the NFL's stretch run. Here they are, in reverse order.
5.) Mark Sanchez is the Third Best Quarterback in the AFC
You don't want to believe it. It's bad enough that he's younger and better looking than you. But now he's more than just a game-manager; he's a game winner?
This is the same guy who led his team to within one half of the Super Bowl during his rookie campaign last year.
Tom Brady and Peyton Manning will be 1A and 1B until they decide to hang up the cleats and make Sketchers Shape-Ups commercials full-time. That leaves Phillip Rivers, Joe Flacco, Matt Schaub, and maybe Kyle Orton as legit competitors to the "Third Best QB" title.
Rivers, the most viable of the competitors, has put up gaudy numbers this season (2944 passing yards, 19 TDs, 102.9 QB rating going into last night), but it hasn't translated into wins. In fact, in crunch time against Kansas City, Seattle, St. Louis, and Oakland, when he had a chance to win the game for his team, he either threw an interception or an incompletion.
Flacco has a better overall QB rating (92 to 82), but only one more TD (16 to 15) and has also shown the fourth quarter comeback-ability (seven in his career). He defeated the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers on fourth quarter drives this season, and he almost defeated the Atlanta Falcons with a TD pass to Todd Heap with 1:05 left in the game. But Sanchez gets the edge for all the superficial reasons (bigger city, better name, "Hard Knocks", USC pedigree).
Schaub and Orton are both playing for sub-.500 teams, and I wouldn't trust either of them leading my team during a late drive over Sanchez.
4.) Surprise, Surprise! Bill Belichick Knows How to Coach
It's Week 11, and the New England Patriots have found themselves in an unfamiliar place; tied for first in the AFC East. See, they're typically the sole controllers of that top spot by this time of the year. Since 2001, when Tom Brady took over as starter, the Patriots have won the AFC East seven out of the eight seasons he started more than one game. The two times they didn't win it, they still finished above .500 (9-7 in '03, 11-5 in '08) yet missed the playoffs.
This season, the Patriots have decided to go back to the formula from their 2001-2004 Super Bowl winning teams. They dumped Randy Moss in October, and went two wide receivers under 5'11" (Wes Welker and Deion Branch) and a rookie (Brandon Tate). They traded former first round pick Laurence Maroney to the Denver Broncos, lost Fred Taylor to injury (surprise) and teamed two running backs with laugh out loud names (Benjarvis Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead) to the tune of 880 yards rushing and 10 TDs. They have the league's worst rated pass defense, but they forced three interceptions out of Peyton Manning last night.
Seven teams in the NFC (Atlanta, Philly, Chicago, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Green Bay, and NY Giants) have six wins or more. One more team will be given an automatic berth out of the NFC West, even though it's likely they'll be an eight win team at best. That leaves five playoff spots available for the aforementioned squads.
So who makes the cut? It all depends on whose QB you trust the most.
Now we're down to three. Chicago and Green Bay will fight it out for the NFC North, meaning you must choose between Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers. The inclination is to go with Rodgers (95 QB rating, 19 TDs, 2,601 yards) over Cutler (85 QB rating, 12 TDs, 2,064 yards). However, Chicago has the advantage in the head-to-head (the Bears defeated the Packers 20-17 in Week 3). With their Week 17 matchup looming as the game that will decide the NFC North, do we trust Rodgers to come through in a big game?
(Well, over Cutler we do. So the edge goes to Rodgers here.)
Two spots left; New Orleans, Tampa Bay, NY Giants, and the Bears still on the table. Give the Saints and Drew Brees the wild card on the strength of Drew Brees (93 QB rating, 2,969 yards, 22 TDs in what's supposed to be an off year).
So, the final NFC playoff berth goes to (drumroll please)... the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
I believe in Josh Freeman (2,099 yards, 15 TDs, 92 QB rating), and so should you. He's the NFC's Mark Sanchez (all the way down to the curly hair). He has six fourth-quarter comebacks in his young career, four this season (Cleveland, at Cincy, St. Louis, and at Arizona). He doesn't turn the ball over (only 5 INTs). We all laughed at head coach Raheem Morris when he said his team was tops in the NFC.
(As I put the pipe down and realize that would mean three teams out of the NFC South would qualify, even though they all face each other, and Tampa Bay would need a win against Baltimore, New Orleans, or Atlanta, I feel more and more uneasy. The Giants would be the safer bet, even with Eli Manning's inability to slide, and tendency to play catch with the other team. But I'm sticking to my guns, dammit. Believe in the legend of Josh "Catcher" Freeman!)
2.) The Helmet-to-Helmet Rulings Will Cost a Team Their Season
It's coming. Like a blind-sided hit to a defenseless receiver, it's coming. It might be a playoff game, or a game during the stretch run, but at least on team will go down in flames based on a subjective call concerning a helmet-to-helmet hit. It was a bad idea when Goodell made his move six weeks ago, and it looks even worse now.
Let it be known, the rule "emphasis" (it isn't a change; helmet-to-helmet hits have been banned for a long time now) was decided on not for the safety of the players, but for television ratings. This rule is one of many rules that have been made in the offense's favor going back a decade now. Think I'm lying?
Two teams (Oakland and Philly) have scored 59 points this season. Both happened after Goodell's announcement.
The Buffalo Bills led by the mighty Ryan Fitzpatrick, scored 36 points on the road against the Baltimore Ravens, and 35 points on the road IN THE SECOND HALF against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL wants points, and could care less about safety. They want the players to allow more catches, which make greater quarterbacks (the marquee position), which drives TV ratings, which puts them in a great bargaining position for an 18-game regular season.
So if your a fan of a hard-hitting team (ie. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Jets, Giants, or Philly) you've been warned.
1.) There is No MVP
In this age of NFL parity, the talk of a league MVP has become an exercise in futility. The clear choice is Vick, but he's missed four games. So the clear choice is Peyton (20 TDs, 7 INTs, 3,000 yards passing), but his team is in second place in the division, and has played poorly on the road. So the clear choice is Brady, only he's lost his head-to-head matchup with Sanchez, and his team is also in second place. So the clear choice is Sanchez, but it doesn't feel right to give it to a guy with an 82 QB rating.
So we drop to the not-so-clear choices like Rivers (a .500 team), Ryan (winning, but not blowing us away with anything other than impressive home numbers), Roddy White (a wide receiver, and not even the best one in the conference), Drew Brees (impressive numbers during apparent Super Bowl hangover season), Troy Polamalu (definite team impact, but not close to his best season), and more names to let you know we've stretched our imaginations way too far (David Garrard, Clay Matthews, "Big" Ben Roethlisberger, etc...).
So enjoy the debate, but don't be too set in a position. Unless some phenomenal performance develops over the next six weeks (which would need to blow Vick's previous six weeks out the water) this is the perfect season for the loathed Co-MVP award. Parity rules.
Per this tweet from Fox Sports Jay Glazer, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has been fired this morning. No official announcement has been made, but I'm sure one will be released at some point today. Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier will be named interim head coach.
The Vikings are a dissapointing 3-7 this season after being considered a Super Bowl favorite in the NFC. Brett Favre was "talked" into returning for one more season with the Vikings during the preseason, but the 40-yea-old has been hampered by injuries and ineffective more times than not.
The Vikings season has been something of a soap opera, with Favre, Percy Harvin and other players expressing displeasure with Childress in the media, and Childress doing the same at times.
Will this head coaching change have a big effect on the season? I think it won't, as they Vikings still have an aging QB at the helm and are 3rd in their division. Frazier has been a favorite for head coaching jobs in recent seasons and he may do a solid job.
Young, who had completed 12 of 16 passes for 165 yards, was replaced in the third quarter by third string quarterback Rusty Smith, after Young injured his thumb on a long completion to Nate Washington. Smith finished the game 3/9 with 62 yards and one interception.
Head coach Jeff Fisher said that he wasn't satisfied with Young's ability to control the ball after the injury, which is why he wouldn't allow him to return to the game. Then he heard about the quarterback's post game theatrics, and cast doubt as to whether injured or not, he will not have Young returning as a starter.
"Vince tore a flexor tendon in his thumb and I was not satisfied with his ability to control the ball so I stayed with Rusty," Fisher said. "He never said to me he was OK and wanted to go back in, and I was told he was a little upset after, and I was also told he threw half his uniform in the stands."
"Clearly that is no way to respond, so we have some things we have to sort out with him. He may need surgery, and if that's the case, he is done for the year. If that's the case, Rusty is our guy."
Fisher, who has developed a pattern of jerking around his alleged franchise quarterback, pulled Young out of the game for the second time this season. Young, on the other hand, has developed quite the reputation for being hypersensitive to criticism from coaches and fans alike, and reacting to both with outrageous behavior.
Titans fans probably thought they were past this stage of development with their franchise quarterback, after the ordeal two seasons ago when Young was booed, benched, and his own mother put out an A.P.B. on him, fearing he was going to commit suicide. He was inactive the rest of the season, and in 2009, he entered the season as the backup to Kerry Collins. The Titans got off to an 0-6 start, and Young was given the starting nod again.
All was forgiven after he led the Titans to five straight wins, eight wins total in the ten games he started, and missing the playoffs by one game. The 2010 season was supposed to be the year it came together for Young, but it appears as he's reverted behaviorally, and his time in Tennessee may be done.
Saw this via Chris Johnson's twitter feed... Looks like the star running back will be launching a "clothing line" next week. I honestly don't know what else to say. I'm speechless and that doesn't happen often at all. Here are pics...
Looks like something that would be sold at Wal-Marts nationwide. This right here will set our people back almost as much as Flava Flav and Waka Flocka, but I digress. At least it's original (which in this case might not be a good thing).
Can't knock the man's hustle though. Getcha money CJ28.
Numbers often don't lie, but if I told you that a player who is averaging a paltry 10.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg and shooting only 38% from the field was making $19,573,711 this season alone would you believe me? What if I told you that same player still has two more seasons and $43.8 mil left on his contract? You would think I was joking, right? Well the player just described is none other than Orlando Magic forward Rashard Lewis, who is in the fourth year of a 6-year, $112.7 mil sign and trade deal that was negotiated back in 2007. Someone give his agent a raise.
If you have seen any Orlando Magic games this season, you'll notice that Lewis has looked every bit of lost out on the court. He has scored less than double digits in 5 out of the Magic's 11 games so far this season. His worst performance might have been when Oct. 29th against the Heat, where Lewis was 0-9 from the field and fouled out in only 25 minutes of play. The Magic lost that game by 26 points. Ask yourself, is that worth $19 mil?
So far this season Rashard Lewis has made Albert Haynesworth look like Charlie Hustle. There has been little effort and also what seems like a lack of focus. Some would argue that decline in play would be because Lewis has played more power forward this season which puts him in tougher match ups, but I don't buy it. Lewis has played a flex forward position since back in his all-star days with the Sonics so that point is moot. Lewis' production has been on the decline every year he has been in Orlando, from averaging 18.2 in 07-08, to 17.7, 14.2, and 10.5 so far this season (respectively). His shooting percentage has also been on the dropping every season which is definitely a cause for concern.
From my perspective, I think Lewis' reduced role has played the biggest factor in his decline in play and effort. Lewis is part of a deep forward rotation that includes Quentin Richardson, Mickael Pietrus, Brandon Bass, Ryan Anderson and sometimes Vince Carter when the Magic go to a smaller lineup. Lewis is the type of wing player who needs touches to be successful and in the current Magic system he is expected to be more of a spot up shooter, which doesn't really utilize his full potential.
So how do the Magic fix this issue? Trading Lewis is pretty much impossible with that much money and years left on his deal, unless they find a taker in a team who needs a scoring swingman and would be willing to trade large deals. A team that would fit this description: the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers could trade Baron Davis and a throw-in like Rasual Butler (who's contract is up after this season) and they also have the cap space to afford Lewis' contract. Lewis is only 31 (same age as Baron) and the swap would fill needs for both Orlando and Los Angeles as the Magic need point guard depth and the Clippers need a 3. A change of scenery might be just what both players need to jump start their careers. Tell me that doesn't work... I thought so.
Maybe I should get Orlando GM Otis Smith and Clippers GM Neil Olshey on the horn and make this happen. Fans of both teams can thank me later (no Drake).
Just a thought.
-ALR (follow me on twitter @a_ramseyLTSB)
Manny Pacquiao doesn't want to fight black fighters. This is according to former middleweight world champion, Bernard Hopkins.
Fanhouse.com reports Hopkins making some jarring statements concerning Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, and the potential of the two fighters going toe-to-toe.
Why would Pacquiao lose to Mayweather?
"Floyd Mayweather would beat Manny Pacquiao beacause the styles that African-American fighters, and I mean black fighters from the streets or inner cities, would be successful."
Why does he feel that way?
"Maybe I'm biased because I'm black, but I think that's what is said at people's homes and around the dinner table among black boxing fans and fighters."
"Most of them won't say it [in public] because they're not being real and they don't have the balls to say it."
Isn't that, like, a little racist?
"Listen, this isn't a racial thing, but then again maybe it is. (The) style embedded in most of us black fighters, that style could be a problem to any other style of fighting."
Anything else you'd like to add, B-Hop? How exactly would Mayweather beat Pacquiao? Be as vague and cliche as possible.
"I think (Mayweather) would pot-shot Pacquiao and bust him up in between the four-to-five punches that Pacquiao throws and then set him up later down the line."
The race card has rarely been played so sloppily, but then again, what do we expect from a 45-year old boxer who spent five years in prison?
I'm one of the people who believes Mayweather would indeed beat Pacquiao if the two ever fought, but for none of the reasons stated by Hopkins.
Yes, I'm black. Yes, I have balls.
If you read between the lines, these comments were most likely made to stir up some interest for "The Executioner's" Dec. 18 bout against Jean Pascal on Showtime. And we may be the ultimate suckers for giving this "analysis" any run. However, when a former champion, and somewhat eloquent speaker comes forward with such a harsh criticism involving two of the biggest names in the sport, its kind of hard to pay it no mind.
If you haven't heard, Portland Trailblazer center Greg Oden will miss the remainder of this season after having micro fracture surgery on his left knee. Oden missed all of his rookie season due to injury and parts of two other seasons also due to injuries. In all , Oden has played a total of 82 games out of a possible 328. Do the math and he has played in only 25% of his team's games since being drafted #1 overall back in 2007 (if you recall, that's the same year the Sonics got Kevin Durant at #2. Ouch.) When he has played, Oden has averaged 11.1 ppg, 8.5 boards and 2.29 blocks.
Drafting first overall can be somewhat of a crap shoot. Sometimes you hit the jackpot (Magic, Patrick Ewing, Hakeem Olajuwon, AI, LeBron to name a few) and other times you end up with squat. Putting it lightly, Oden has been a bit of a disappointment so far in his NBA career. So this all leads to question; is Oden the biggest NBA number one "Bust" in history? Let's take a look at a few other #1 picks who did not pan out as expected...
"Never Nervous Pervis" was a 6'9 forward/center who started all four years of his college career at Louisville but never quite lived up to his #1 billing. Ellison spent most of his rookie season on the shelf with an injury and ex-teammate Danny Ainge even nicknamed him "Out Of Service Pervis". Ellison did have one solid season in Washington where he averaged 20 & 11 but injuries kept him off the court more than on it. 1989 was a weak draft overall, but Sacramento could have went with Glen Rice or Tim Hardaway.
Michael Olowokandi, 1998, Los Angeles Clippers (career: 8.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg)
True Clippers fans remember the day Olowokandi's name was called first and booing immensely. Olowokandi had NBA size at 7'0 270, but little else in terms of basketball skill. After a big senior year at Pacific (first mistake) the Clippers passed on the opportunity to draft Mike Bibby (who filled a glaring need), Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki & Paul Pierce to select the Nigerian big man with stone hands. True sign of Olowokandi's in-effectiveness; his career shooting percentage was .435. Ouch.
Kwame Brown can at least rest his hat on being the first high school senior to ever be drafted first overall. He was also the first ever draft choice of Michael Jordan as a GM. Too bad that didn't pan out the was MJ expected. Brown killed everyone in workouts prior to the 2001 NBA draft and Jordan jumped at the opportunity to select the 6'11 kid, passing on the likes of one Pau Gasol. Things went downhill for Brown once Jordan decided to come out of retirement and play for the Wizards. Jordan even went as far to call Kwame a "flaming ____" in practice once which would probably crush any man's confidence. Even's Jordan's old coach Phil Jackson called Brown a "pussycat" in the media. Talk about pouring salt in a wound. Kwame Brown is only 28 and still in the NBA (he can now be seen riding the pine for Charlotte) but he'll never be able to shake the "bust" label.
As you can see, there are a few players who were actually worst number one picks than Oden (I have to say that so far Kwame takes the cake). Every team can't land a stud like John Wall or Blake Griffin with that first pick. It takes a combination of great scouting, thorough evaluation and a lot of luck to draft a sure thing or a player that can change the course of a franchise (or in the Clippers case, sell some tickets and jerseys).
So don't worry to much Greg; Sam Bowie and Pervis know how you feel. You still have a chance to save your career and make good on that #1 status. Too bad it might not be in Portland.
You gotta love Ron-Ron. Per this story seen over at cbssports.com, Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest wants to take a shot at an NFL tryout when his contract with the Lake Show is up. Here are some of his quotes from the story:
“God willing, after my NBA career, God willing I’m still athletic enough – which I’m trying to take care of my body as best as possible and be prepared for this day, for this tryout of an NFL team,” Artest said. “... It’s a fantasy of mine. It’s an opportunity because I’m athletic. So if that fantasy can be fulfilled, and if it’s something that can really be reached as far as a goal, I’m going for it.”
The 31-yr-old Artest won an championship with the Lakers last season and his contract is up after the 2013-2014 NBA season. Artest is already built like a defensive end and he keeps himself in good shape, so maybe he can pull it off. He has good footwork on the court and is a pretty tough character. Artest wouldn't be the first basketball player to turn to football, as San Diego Chargers start tight end Antonio Gates played forward for Kent State before successfully giving football a try.
Rumors of the pending divorce between San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and actress wife Eva Longoria have been swirling around the last couple of days; now this recent foxsports.com report is saying the divorce is over former Spurs teammate Brent Barry's wife Erin Barry. Here's a pic of Mrs. Barry:
Say it ain't so TP. Say it ain't so... This is a script right out of a lifetime movie. At least Parker recently signed an extension with the Spurs so he doesn't have to worry about job security. But damn, son. Say it ain't so...
Pure genius! If you haven't heard, Bosh has looked lost on the floor more times that not while on the floor with #6 and Dwyane Wade dominating the ball. The "Big 3" experiment might pan out over the course of the season but so far they have faced a few growing pains while trying to adjust to each other and this new system. So far the Heat are 6-4 and in 5th place in the Easten Conference. They still have 72 games to get it together so we'll be watching.
Per sources and this story from the Washington Post, Michael Vick's jersey from the Philadelphia Eagles 59-28 victory over the Redskins is being sent to be displayed in Canton.
In the Monday Night Football match up, Vick was 20-28 for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns while also running for an additional 80 yards and 2 scores. Vick was named NFC Offensive Player of the Week for the second straight week, and is the first QB to receive the honor since Randall Cunningham back in 1998.
This has been quite a comeback story for Vick who was once the highest paid player in the NFL. Vick has looked better than ever and is currently leading the NFL with a 115.3 passer rating. Amazing story considering Vick wasn't the Eagles starting quarterback entering the season. If he can continue on this torrid pace Vick will definitely be a candidate for MVP.
The road to the 2011 Final Four is underway and here are a few interesting story lines to keep an eye on as the season unfolds...
Can the Duke Blue Devils repeat as National Champions?
There is a very good possibility a repeat is on the horizon in Cameron due to the old adage, "Guard play is the key to NCAA Tournament success". This guard group is led by senior Nolan Smith, who could very easily win ACC Player of the year. Complimenting him is stud freshman Kyrie Iriving, who was the top rated PG coming out of high school and for good reason. I know they played Princeton, but 17pts and 9 assists isn't bad in a debut. Another piece in that guard play is Seth Curry, transfer from Liberty College that averaged 20 points as a freshman. Just for good measure, there is sharpshooting Andre Dawson who can come off the bench and easily knock down shots. Stellar guard play will probably be a Duke staple this year, but the front line has improved as well.
Another ACC player of the year candidate is Kyle Singler, but he can actually be a National Player of the Year candidate as well. Singler is complete college player as he can shoot from just about anywhere on the floor, create his own tough offense and can play defense. Miles and Mason Plumlee will add interior presence on the defensive end and clean up a few of those missed jump shots on the offensive end.
On the whole, it's tough to bet against Duke because they are such a well put together team, but we all know the Tournament is full of surprises.
Sticking with the ACC, will Harrison Barnes live up to the hype?
Harrison Barnes is a freshman at North Carolina that has been put into the perfect storm. North Carolina has been gutted by the NBA draft and is currently putting the pieces back together. Barnes has the potential to be a good scorer and be one and done in Chapel Hill. He has pretty good range and is quite explosive around the basket. UNC has a lot of work to do, finishing 10th in the ACC last season, but Barnes is the type of player that can elevate the play of his teammates.
The Big 10 Conference will be regarded as the best conference this season...
Purdue, Ohio State and Michigan State were tops in the Big 10 last season with 14-4 conference records.
Purdue's major loss is Robbie Hummel, who tore is ACL in practice and is out for the season. I don't think it will hurt them too bad as they had to play without Hummel for at least half of last season as well. They should finish in the top 3 again this year.
Ohio State will have to deal with the loss of Evan Turner, last season's National Player of the Year. Look for David Lighty to make his mark, and keep OSU in the discussion around the top of the conference.
Michigan State is my pick to win the conference as long as senior guard Kalin Lucas stays healthy. Lucas probably would have left for the NBA last year, if it wasn't for injury. This brings opportunity for MSU because Lucas is a top 5 guard in the country and having him back will win the Big 10 and I'll even predict at least an Elite 8 showing.
The middle of the conference is packed with talent as well with Illinois, Wisconsin and watch out for a team who could make some noise in Northwestern.
Gonzaga's Stephen Gray will be a good story and probably win WCC Player of the Year.
Kentucky's Brandon Knight is John Calipari's next one and done, but his impact for the Wildcats is going to be something nice.
Saw this via a RT from fellow blogger Stiletto Jill (check her blog out http://jocksandstilettojill.com/). Per this story on warriorsworld.net, it seems as if the Golden State Warriors' medical staff may have mishandled an injury forward David Lee suffered after his elbow caught Knicks forward Wilson Chandler, breaking 2 of Chandler's teeth into Lee's elbow. Here's the sequence (according to the report):
•Abdenour puts a wrap around Lee’s Arm during the game
•Abdenour puts another wrap around the arm after the first one bleeds through with about 3 minutes left in the game
•Supposedly, the Knicks medical staff takes care of the cut
•David wakes up with the most pain he’s ever felt in his life, swollen arm, can’t move his hand
•Bulls medical staff checks out Lee for the next game in Chicago, suggests a visit to the hospital
•Lee has surgery last Friday for an infected laceration
•Lee is back in the hospital again today
I'm no doctor, but missing a couple weeks from a "cut" is a lot of time, and waking up from said cut with your arm swollen is cause for serious concern. But I do know that infections are a serious matter and should be handled accordingly. Hopefully they can get this resolved quickly and Lee can return to the court without any further complications.
Per ESPN's Michael Smith, QB Donovan McNabb and the Redskins agreed to a 5-yr extension with the Redskins worth reported $78 mil, with $40 mil in garauntees. Per this new ESPN report by Adam Schefter the true guarantee is only $3.5 million and the deal has clauses galore that would need to be reached for McNabb to see the full extent of the deal. Here are the details:
One of the contract's most significant points is a payment due this offseason, when the Redskins must decide whether or not to pay McNabb a $10 million option bonus. If they do, it would trigger the rest of the contract and make Washington liable for McNabb's $2.5 million base salary in 2011.
So in essence, the Redskins paid McNabb $3.75 million in 2010 for the right to pay him $12.5 million in 2011 and control his rights. If the Redskins cut him after this season or trade him, they are only on the hook for the $3.75 million. Boiled down, the deal's real guarantee is $3.5 million, though if McNabb suffered a catastrophic injury this season and never played again, he would receive $25 more million.
This is following the bye Redskins bye week, after coach Mike Shanahan pulled McNabb late in the game due to poor conditioning (McNabb has been nursing injuries all season.
McNabb is in his 12th year in the NFL and first with the Redskins. So far this season he has completed 57% of his passes., with 7 touchdowns, 8 interceptions and a QB rating of 76.
Remember that old Nintendo game "Mike Tyson's Punch Out"? Well here is a funny video I was put up on that features 8-weight class champion Manny Pacquiao as a character against some of the fighter from the game:
Shoutout to G (@CILII_blog) for sending this over to me. The video looks like it was originally posted a year ago before Manny's dismantling of Miguel Cotto, and with Pacquiao battering Antonio Margarito why not post if for you all to enjoy. Boxing fans everywhere are waiting for a super fight between Pacquiao and the undefeated Floyd Mayweather, Jr. but who knows if it will ever come to fruition. We can only hope so...
Here is a cool video seen over on Kevin Durant's twitter feed that explains some of Durant's gestures during the course of a game and was originally posted by this kid who says he's Durant's neighbor (@kd35sneighbor):
Good stuff. The video series has been entertaining so far this season and since we support KD35 over here at LTSB this gets some shine. You can view more of the series at Mathias' youtube channel here. Enjoy
In boxing news, Manny Pacquiao took Antonio Margarito to the proverbial woodshed as he won a unanimous decision at Cowboy's Stadium. Long story short, Pac's speed was too much for Margarito to handle. Margarito is a tough customer, evident by the 401 punches he took to the face, and has that warrior spirit. At the end of the day though, Pacquiao is upper echelon of boxing and really only rivals one other...
In that respect, people have mixed reviews on whether Floyd Mayweather Jr is afraid to fight Manny Pacquiao in what would be this boxing era's super-fight. The answer is NO. People have to realize that Floyd Money is an entertainment genius. The payday just doubled if this fight was indeed next. Yes, I am not blind to the fact that there are two hold ups for this fight to take place.
The first being the Olympic style drug testing that Money wants in an effort to "clean up the sport". It's believed that the boxing commission does not test for HGH in it's steroid testing and Pac has jumped from Flyweight to Welterweight, which is somewhere in the neighborhood of a 40 lb weight difference. Also safety wise, if there was some funny business in the Pac camp, getting hit in the head is a little different from hitting a baseball farther. Just saying...
The second is the perfect 0 on in the L column of Floyd's record. I can understand not wanting to blemish that, but I don't think he will. They say styles make fights and these two have exactly what it takes to make this fight exciting. Pac is quick, tough and precise with his punches. Floyd is quick, tough and precise with his punches. Floyd has the defensive advantage, while Pac has the advantage in making punches come from anywhere. I think what would give Floyd the decision is the defense, since he can turn misses into counter punches. I'm getting chills just thinking about it...
Anyway, good showing last night from Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito, but boxing needs Floyd and Manny to get this done!!!
Per this story on the NY Post Anheuser-Busch, the makers of the popular American beer Budweiser, is suing Major League Baseball for refusing to renew their sponsorship deal as "the exclusive beer of America's Pastime". Anheuser-Busch is claiming both sides agreed to to terms back in April but that the league skirted out of the deal in September.
Here are some quotes from the suit:
"Anheuser-Busch has spent decades, and millions of dollars, building the reputation and goodwill of Budweiser and other Anheuser-Busch brands with these fans," the suit says. "Their loss would be unquantifiable."
Major League Baseball is citing an agreement Anheuser-Busch signed with the NFL to become "the official and exclusive beer sponsor of the National Football League" back in May, claiming the agreement would cause a change in "marketplace dynamics". The deal with the NFL goes into effect next season.
Sounds like Anheuser-Busch is trying to get a monopoly as a professional beer sponsor for big league sports. Nonetheless, it's an interesting lawsuit to follow if you're into marketing and things of that nature.
I guess Budweiser can't have their beer and drink it too (sorry, bad pun?)
Congrats to Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant on scoring his 26,00th career point against the Denver Nuggets. At 32, Kobe is also the youngest player to accomplish this incredible feat. There is no question Kobe Bryant is the best basketball player in the NBA, if not the planet, and this is just another notch on the utility belt of The Mamba. Congrats from LosThatSportsBlog, now on to that 6th championship...
The "rookie" power forward for the Clippers is averaging a double-double this season (16 ppg, 10 reb) and has quickly become a fan favorite for his reckless on-court play. However, this showing of off-court recklessness is sure to have the Clipper faithful resorting to the same head motion they've grown accustomed to watching the team play for the last 30 years, the head shake.
You may now resume not giving a d--- about the Clippers.
Tough blow for the Kentucky Wildcats... Per this report on ESPN, Freshman big man Enes Kanter has been ruled out for this season due to illegal benefits he received while playing professionally in Turkey (no Iverson). Of course, Kentucky plans to appeal the NCAA's decision.
The 6'11 272 lb Kanter played three seasons professionally overseas and was expected to have a big impact on the Wildcats chances of replacing all of the talent that jumped to the NBA draft this summer. The report says Kanter was paid over $33k more than his expenses for the 2008-2009 season in Turkey.
The news is unfortunate for Kanter as he was playing professionally overseas to help prepare him to take his game to the states. The 18 year old forward/center is currently ranked #5 on ESPN's big board for the 2011 draft. If the ineligibly ruling sticks the best option for Kanter may be to just make the jump to the NBA, which he was probably going to do anyway.
Kentucky is currently ranked #11 in the nation. Still, it's hard for Kentucky to replace a 6-11 mobile big man in the middle. Best of luck to coach Calipari and the Wildcats this season.