Upon Further Review

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards ~ Soren Kierkegaard

How Will It Play Out?

Two teams that you couldn’t convince me would make the Elite Eight, let alone the championship game are here. Now who wins between Kentucky and UConn?

Vegas likes the surging young Wildcats. My cousin, who has been on a hot streak himself with making money on the tourney, likes UConn.

Me? I have flipped a coin so many times that I hate the sight of George Washington.

Kentucky has the size and the talent. Connecticut has the defense and the senior experience. Kentucky has the confidence going down the stretch of big games. Connecticut plays an Ice-Man type game and strangles the life out of opponents. Calipari has the coaching experience, having won a title before. Kevin Ollie has the player experience, having played for UConn and in the NBA. Both teams were overlooked going into the tournament. Both are hot now. With that being said, what trumps what?

Well, if history is any indication, it would favor UConn. Yes, the Huskies veteran savvy and defensive ability, along with great guard play would make them the likely favorite.

In watching the Wildcats this season, I see a connection between them and the Fab Five of twenty years ago. They are young and they know they are good. In the first game of the season the you Cats looked overmatched by an experienced Michigan State team, before roaring back in the 2nd half to make it close. That game has been precursor for this Kentucky team all season-shaken, but not deterred.

The Wildcats have played high profile games against the nations best, a college version of Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, who’s super squads travel around the country playing the best teams, a model I am sure Calipari modeled UK after. And through baptism by fire Kentucky has reached the mountain top, much like its soulmates of twenty years ago in Michigan.

That upstart team was labeled the best recruiting class ever and they gained notoriety and fame before they played a single game. Yet, they proved the believers right and the haters wrong by coming together and making an unbelievable run to the finals their first year and another and more scrutinized run the next year. The Wolverines were both the hunters and the hunted. UK has been both for much of this season, too. In each season the Wolverines, much like Kentucky, had high demands and pressure placed on their talent. And each season saw very rocky moments and questions about talent over team perception that hung over each. It was not till the stakes and the games were the highest, in the NCCA Tournament, that the team and talent blended together to ignite championship game runs, but in those runs, nothing came easy.

Nail biter after nail biter defined both Michigan and Kentucky in their March to Madness, which made a lot of fans, media members, and observers believe that these teams times were right now. Battled tested, young, and talented was a recipe for a championship, right?

Which is why I am picking UConn with the senior leadership, the experience, the defensive ability to end the UK hopes of a title.

The game will be close, but much like when Michigan took on Duke and North Carolina, the spotlight for this game will change during the half when UConn comes out of the gates quickly and then never lets Kentucky get an offensive rhythm during the second half. UConn will get a big game out of Shabazz Napier and DeAndre Daniels and huge free throws down the stretch to take a tight game and down Kentucky.

Yes, Kentucky has won the big games, hit the big shots, are the sexier, more followed team, but what UConn has shown the past 3 weeks is that they are tough and they will lock down teams when the moment is needed. The big shot that Kentucky has hit the previous three weeks will not be as clean, rather, it will be contested or non-existent.

And tonight North Texas and the college basketball world will belong to the UConn Huskies.

April Answers

Yep, after months and months of watching College Basketball and one of the most exciting tournaments in history(Question:Shouldn’t College Basketball and fans embrace the one and done culture? If it produces a first weekend like this with Daytons wild opening weekend win and Mercer’s monumental upset, and toss in OT after OT and a string of close games, which I believe is directly linked with the lack of college basketball players longevity, then why would we not want players to just continue to pass through the revolving door. Its a gamblers nightmare, but a fan’s best friend. I am starting to warm up to it) and months and months of torturous and infuriating WWE storytelling, we have finally hit THE WEEKEND.

All the answers to our many burning question will be delivered concretely and I am hoping a let down won’t be as tremendous and so woefully miscalculated as the How I Met Your Mother Finale. We are Americans and we want resolution whether good or bad and not some type of toe the line, try to make everyone feel good, too smart for their own good finish.

We know that March Madness will give us that(If the refs just let the kids play), but the same can’t be said of the WWE, which has stepped into a possibly awesome and historic moment on accident. Very reminiscent of George Costanza’s brilliant scheme to have Jerry complete the Roommate Switch, only the switch does not occur and a menage a trois is accepted by the women, to which Jerry declines, and causes George to sum up the whole situation as, “Finding Plutonium by accident.” WWE, through various storytelling mistakes and blatant good luck, has discovered its Plutonium by accident. And we will tackle that plutonium rich accident coming up.

First, the Madness comes to an end.

I am a huge fan of and believer in the past being relevant in predicting sporting events. Unfortunately, the Universe does not believe that too. Which is why I have a terrible gambling record and an even worst bracket. But will I let that deter me from continuing this pattern? No. It is a DNA thing. An illness. It truly is Madness, but I like to compare the past and the present.

So, with that said, we shall bypass the semi’s and I will just pose the question- Is The 4th time a Charm for Kentucky?

Yep, it will be an all SEC final on Monday night as both Florida and Kentucky survive their dates against UConn and Wisconsin, respectively, on Saturday night and set up a flashback of sorts was two SEC foes, the only two SEC teams to make it into the tourney legitimately(Tennessee had to play a play in game just to make the tourney). What are the odds of two teams from the same conference meeting in the Finals Nate Silver? Riddle me that, buddy?

So how did I come to this conclusion? Thanks for asking. Lat saturday I watched the latest 30 for 30 creation: Requiem for the Big East. Excellent documentary and very sad how such a tremendous league could unravel and be consumed by the machine that it started in dealing with television revenue. I know there is no use crying over spilled milk, but it is a shame that the best basketball conference ever was so easily dismantled because Presidents wanted to line their pockets with football money. Sometimes tradition should trump money, and it does, when that tradition keeps money going to certain people and other people are exposed and manipulated for their talents. Its called college football. Big round of applause to the kids of Northwestern. Unionize the hell out of the NCAA, fellas.

So back to the rails we were on before, the big coming out party for the Big East was when they crashed the Final Four in 1985 and had three teams representing the conference in 1985(Georgetown, St. Johns, and Villanova). Georgetown led by Patrick Ewing and St. Johns headed by Chris Mullin, were expected to be there, but a catch fire, gritty, gutty team from Philadelphia, coming in as an 8th seed was not expected to be there.

Well, Georgetown dispatched of St. Johns and Villanova took down Memphis St, which led to a the Championship matchup of inter-conference rivals Georgetown and Villanova. Georgetwon was the undisputed #1 and Villanova was suppose to be the road kill on Georgetown’s path to the championship. But in the immortal words of Denny Green, “You wanna crown therir ass, you crown them. They were who we thought they were!!!” I am pretty sure Rollie Massimino said the same thing to his boys before they took the floor for the game.

The big misconception people had was that they did not know how well Villanova had played Georgetown that season. This was an era, The Golden Era, when college kids stayed four years and because familiarity breeds contempt, these two teams knew and did not like one another. That year in two games against Georgetown, Villanova lost by a combined 9 points in the two league matchups. With that said, it should have been viewed as a game that would be a slobberknocker of sorts, but because Villanov was flying off the radar and Patrick Ewing and Georgetown were such a known commodity, the writing was already spray painted on the wall.

And then the unthinkable happened. Villanova had the game of its life and Georgetown could not muster the same competitive spirit as its opponent. Game over.

That was nearly 30 years ago.

Fast forward 3 years and you have Danny Manning and the Miracles taking on the monsters of their conference in Oklahoma, a team that beat them the previous two times in league play by 8 points in each contest. But much like Villanova, Kansas was familiar with their in conference rivals and all it took was just confidence and the familiarity of having played this juggernaut twice during the season. No reason to be scared or nervous on the biggest stage when the familiarity of it all cushioned the nerves. It was just another regular season battle and Kansas was able to continue their roll to a title.

And since that time no two teams from the same league have played for the National Title.

Until Monday Night when the young Kentucky Wildcats take on the giants of their conference in the Florida Gators; a Florida team that has beaten Kentucky 3 times this season, but with each game the young kids from Kentucky have grown and grown and grown, taking down the murder’s row of the Midwest Region when everyone had left them for road kill. Now they are on a roll, playing the best basketball of their season and doing it in dramatic and thrilling fashion—by closing out close games. The mark of a team that “Gets It”.

And when the lights shine brightly on Monday and the Wildcats look across the floor and see a familiar foe, the lights will dim just a bit and that been here, done that feeling comes across they will settle in to playing a game they have been playing so well over the past month, all due to a springboard losing effort to Florida in the SEC Championship game. A game that showed them they belong.

And on Monday night they will hoist the trophy to show they truly belong.

Suggestion Box Time:

Does March Madness want to change their name to March Momentum Killer?

Can we somehow get the NCAA tournament to just go a week straight? Yes, it is only three days between Sunday and Thursday, but I feel the momentum of teams gets lost. I would like to see the magic continue. Classes? Aren’t these kids going pro? Don’t they have tutors? Isn’t this a business? Classes? They don’t need no stinking classes.

I just wish they could bypass the lag time and just continue the thrilling ride for a one week roller coaster ride of survival. And it truly would be a game of survival. Maybe a day off in between, but keep the ride going.

Also, can we cut down the TV timeouts to three 6 minute segments, instead of the under four TV timeouts currently being held. Yes, I know it is all about TV commercial revenue, but the flow of the game is so quick that basically the game is broken up into 4 mini quarters for a game. As a fan and as a player, I am sure it is tough to get into a rhythm playing that way. I know it helps in keeping games close as it cuts the kneecaps of momentum, but I want to see teams get a little more action and the best part is they get a two minute warning, a way to incorporate football into the game, a ploy that will help with the football craze of America. Just let the kids play.

Wrestlemania Madness

The Sow of the Immortals is here and it is time for the WWE to fulfill 8 months of waiting for their fans and let Daniel Bryan become victorious at Wrestlemania. The Yes Movement wins out, the fans blow the Superdome’s roof off yelling it, and the months of waiting and hoping end on Sunday night at the Show of Shows.

How did we get to this point?

Do we really want to re-hash 8 months of waiting? I certainly don’t.

I will summarize it in one event. Watching The Elimination Chamber, I knew it was coming, I didn’t want to believe it, I hoped it wouldn’t be true, but when Kane came out I knew that Daniel Bryan would not be winning…again. As I watched in disappointment my wife looks at me and she says, “You look so sad.” I was sad.

As I have written before, Daniel Bryan is all of us. He is a modern day Rocky. He is the average looking guy who is doing great things. If he ran for Governor of California today I am sure he would win(We did elect Arnold) because we believe in him. He has everyone believing. And that right there is probably the greatest feeling an entertainer can give the masses—Belief that our dreams are possible.

Now I applaud the WWE for stringing this story line out, even if they had it wrong a few short months ago, divine intervention, like what saved Jules and Vincent in Pulp Fiction, has saved the WWE. Months of nearly killing the Daniel Bryan momentum, story, and everything associated with him, finally, karmically, has turned in his favor. Whether is has happened entirely organically or by the aforementioned divine intervention is now irrelevant. It is here and the WWE has discovered plutonium on accident. It is now time to use that plutonium for greatness.

Daniel Bryan now must turn up the heat on himself and opponents. He must be thrown into the fire of heavy hitters. How the WWE has misfired on Brock Lesnar being a formidable opponent to the Undertaker, the WWE must make every ‘Big” challenger that to Bryan. He must have a seesaw battle in which he doesn’t look weak, but he sure as hell can be beaten. Every angle has to toe that line of Bryan’s ability to take down the larger foe, but also that unnerving feeling that WWE does not want him as champ and thus will hand him to the wolves.

I though the better story line for Bryan was to give him the strap at Summer Slam and then have him wade through the “Giants” of WWE before Triple H brings back his handpicked henchman, Batista, to take down Bryan at Wrestlemania to no avail. All of this leads to SummerSlam when Triple H reluctantly asks Bray Wyatt, who by that time will be a huge superstar, to take down the hero, Daniel Bryan.

But the past is the past and all we have is this Sunday and the excitement and the anticipation of two matches on the cards where virtually anything can happen. And I mean anything. Vince McMahon can interject himself. CM Punk could interject himself. Hulk Hogan could interject himself. I mean the possibilities are so enormous that I try to deflate them quickly, thus not be disappointed when they do not happen.

The key is that since WWE has put all of its eggs into two matches and one title, they need to make those matches pay off in a huge, huge way. The biggest of ways is to get Daniel Bryan the belt and keep it on him. No swerve. No messy story telling. No hemming or hawing. It is time to pay off on 8 months of viewers hopes being dashed. It has been a great, great ride; a really smart move on WWE’s part to play a dangerous game with the fans on how they have dismissed the fans grumblings and pissed them off to no end, all so they could get the internet going, the water cooler buzzing, and have fans hate watch their product.

But it is time to give the fans what they want.

It is time for Daniel Bryan to be champion.

Getting Our Goat

Daniel Bryan deserves better. From what should have been the greatest night of his life at Summer Slam, when he captured the WWE Title, and ushered in the newest installment of WWE’s greatest narrative- the underdog defying all odds- turned out to be the worst blunder WWE has made. 

WWE Bucknered what should have been a gimme. The fans wanted the everyman, Daniel Bryan, the guy who is very relatable to all of us who want to overcome the obstacles and become more than we ever thought possible. 

Instead, we were given two minutes to bask in our dream before, like everything else in an average person’s life, that euphoria was taken away when Triple H pedigreed Daniel Bryan and allowed Randy Orton, the guy from high school who is a huge dick drives a muscle car, stuffs kids into lockers, but ends up with the prom queen, to be the new WWE champion. And many WWE fans, myself included, thought that the WWE could produce a good story line o play out for the Summer months that would lead to a Daniel Bryan victory and usher in the People’s Champ(Sorry, Rock) to save us from the likes of Superman, John Cena, and the tired retreads of the WWE championship. 

Instead, we were subjected to the WWE telling us Bryan was no good and then showing us that he was not worthy of the championship belt in the past four months. 

From Daniel Bryan, most over, rock star, super star of the year, performer to Daniel Wyatt?

I will say this, I am intrigued by the Daniel Wyatt angle, it has been awhile since I have been at the edge of my seat for the finale of Raw, but watching Bryan decide whether or no to be Daniel Bryan or Daniel Wyatt was intense. However, I think that at the end of this particular program of Bryan being stuck in WWE Purgatory, the WWE universe would have rather had Bryan be Bryan and have been WWE champion for the Summer, heading all the way up to Wrestlemania. 

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Out Of The Furnace

My favorite time of year is here- The Christmas Movie Bonanza Season! You can save presents, and seasons greetings, and good tidings, and wishes of world peace, and all that crap. Just give me movies by David O. Russell, movies that star Christian Bale, Leo DiCaprio, and provide me with laughter from Ron Burgundy. 

Want to give me a Christmas Gift? Give me movie ticket passes. I am going to see all of them. This is the time when the heavy hitters come out, when Oscars are won and lost, and when movie magic happens. 

Which is why I am going with the first movie I am excited about this December of Out of The Furnace. The trailer looks good, Bale looks intense, and Woody from Cheers is continuing his monster, get out of my way, movie star comeback, while his Cheers co-star and at the time higher on the celebrity list, Kristie Alley, is trying to make a comeback in a sitcom with Kramer and her Cheers costar-Carla. Harrelson’s career looks like a popping bottles rap video compared to his Cheers co-stars. 

Out of the Furnace synopsis goes as such-

Russell Baze has a rough life: he works a dead-end blue collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell’s brother Rodney returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so - with nothing left to lose - Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother.

Just one note and that is Bale’s character has the same name as the winningest jockey in horse racing history. Interesting. Seems like foreshadowing a winner to me. 

Anyway, lets combine movie and sport and bring you those who are burning up in the furnace and those who are safely out of the furnace. 

In an hour and a half we will see the future of Jameis Winston. Will he become a Mike Tyson figure- a young sports athlete that seemingly had a Heisman and a National Title chance on the horizon to suddenly have it all ripped away. 

Or will he have a Kobe Bryant outcome where he is not charged, continues to play, but all anyone talks about is that possibility that Winston did something. Those whispers follow a person around like a dark cloud. Even winning the Heisman and/or a National Title won’t cure the doubt and suspicion. Only time will. And even then it never totally goes away. 

But if the worst case scenario happens this will be a firestorm, a rush to judgment on Winston, on the victim, on race, on athletes, on football, and on the justice system. Be ready for the onslaught of media coverage this yields if Winston is charged later today. 

Everyone will be in the furnace if that happens. 

No way to transition from that last one, but we will try. 

Mike Tomlin, thanks for answering the questions. Thanks for admitting guilt. Thanks for being the poster coach of what is unacceptable on field shenanigans. 

I think 100 thousand was good, but suspension would be better. I don’t want a draft pick stripped, I want personal accountability. Money is money, but losing your head coach for a couple of games and having an assistant take over, throwing off the whole team and system would mean more. 

I hope Jacoby Ellsbury knows that money is nice, but dealing with New York is not worth the price. Just ask Jason Giambi. 

You are playing a kids game. It is suppose to be fun. Playing in New York is not fun. It is a job, and a stressful one at that. You have just signed up to deal with expectations, media, fans, crazy owners, and the weight of a city that just saw your former team and rival win. 

I know Boston is a tough place to play, and they have media and fan pressure too. But they also are goofy, grow beards, and have fun. They are not the robots and polish, always have to be the boy scout the Yankees require. That is very boring and that lack of personal freedom is tough to take. Boston is Las Vegas to New York’s Pleasantville by comparison. 

That is enough to make even me break out with acne just thinking of the stress. 

Who openly wants to have that pressure. Money is nice. Lofty expectations and a merciless market is not. 

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The Monday Hangover- Stuffed Turkeys

I am sure that I am not the only one that feels another 8 hours of sleep is necessary after the long weekend. I am writing this and it is not even morning anymore. Not even coffee could cure the coma that I am in right now, which means this little post will be quick and painless…Unless I get on a roll. 

Anyway, we did have a good athletic weekend, filled with the boneheaded plays and decisions that can only be dissected and then made fun of in our 24 hour sports media setting. So let us get into the big turkeys of the weekend. 

I still wake up wondering if Nick Saban really asked his backup kicker to come in with 1 second left for a 57 yard field goal attempt for the win?

It is laughable, absolutely laughable of a call you will ever see. It is hands down, without a doubt, the runaway winner of the Stuffed Turkey Award for this weekend. Nothing even comes close. 

A Hail Mary would have been a better play. Almost anything besides kicking it would have been the right call in that situation. Taking the ball and throwing it into the stands. Trying to run the Annexation of Puerto Rico. Re-enacting the hook and ladder from Varsity Blues. It all would have been bad, but not as bad as backup kicker from 57 with a second left on the clock away from home. 

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And the worst part is that Saban asked for that second. He wanted that second on the clock after TJ Yeldon just barely stepped out. What would have been had time expired and OT had taken place. 

We know one thing is for certain and that is Auburn would not have ran back a missed field goal from 57 yards away for an improbable, exciting, shocking win that sent War Eagle into a frenzy and has the media scrambling to figure out how Auburn can get past Ohio State for a National Title bid and to continue the SEC strangle hold of football dominance. A record that looks to be in jeopardy. 

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Congratulations, Gus Malzahn, and the Auburn Tigers, you guys are officially back and the team that nobody, NOBODY, would want to play at this moment. The team is hot and extremely lucky, but we all know luck has almost everything to do with it. 

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The SI Jinx.

I read the story of AJ McCarron on the plane home this week and after anointing Alabama and McCarron the Kings of college football, I knew Auburn would win. It is just the logicalness of a jinx if there is any logic to it or behind it. 

The same jinx happened to USC before they ran into and lost to Vince Young and the Longhorns in Pasadena. That year, ESPN did a weekly matchup of USC against the greatest teams in college football history and each analyst came out saying USC was the greatest team ever assembled…

Until they weren’t. 

It is easy to fall in love with teams and if things really got wacky and God drapes himself in Crimson on his off days, and Duke Missouri, and Michigan State all happened to pull off upset after upset after…not gonna happen. 

Writers and talking heads need to check their definitives and their guarantees(I am truly guilty of this) at the door and if you want to write an article don’t put it in permanent ink where it can never be erased. The list of teams that were suppose to be world beaters and the teams that had no shot against them is so long and distinguished that to crown anyone before the crown is actually passed out is to forget the USC/Texas game, to forget Ohio St. beating Miami, it is to forget the New York Giants beating the undefeatable New England Patriots. And that is just scratching the surface. 

And I will let Denny Green finish off the rant.

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Unleash the Fury, Jim

What the Niners can learn from Tom Green, a Boa Constrictor named Mitch, and a mouse.

Unleash the Fury, Jim. Unleash it. 

That would be the words I say to Jim Harbaugh before the Niners take on Washington tonight in our Nations Capitol. And before Harbaugh could have me escorted(okay thrown) out by security, I would very quickly tell him- 

Jim, the movie is Road Trip, a comedy movie in 2000 that was directed by the same guy who brought us Old School and the Hang Over trilogy, though out of respect and dignity for comedy we will act as only the first one ever existed and the other two will be wiped away from our minds Men and Black styles, but only the first one of that series too, because the other two are terrible. Okay, okay way off topic. Back to Road Trip starring Breckin Meyers, Sean William Scott (playing the same character he only knows how to play-Stifler), and Tom Green. 

Tom Green is an interesting guy. He is kinda like your QB Colin Kaepernick in that he just came onto the scene out of virtually nowhere and became an overnight sensation. He had the Tom Green show and parlayed that into movies. He was basically the funniest guy on the planet in the late 90’s. He couldn’t miss. Everyone loved Green and his rather bizarre and somewhat confrontation humor that had no bounds. 

Sounds a lot like your out of nowhere QB from Nevada that sprang onto the scene, could do no wrong, and was about to revolutionize the sport. You had Ron Jaworski anointing him the greatest ever for God sakes. 

You go it, Jim. Good, now back to Tom Green.

Which is why he was cast in the movie Road Trip as Barry Manilow. Oh, you know Barry Manilow, Jim? Great. Can I finish my story now. No, I don’t care to hear his music, Jim. 

So Tom Green plays Barry Manilow, a guy who seems to be a college lifer at Ithica collge in New York. He has a set of good buddies, one of which has a girlfriend that goes to school in Austin. 

No, I said Austin, Jim, not Boston. Damn it, no I don’t want to get Lobster, Jim. I said Austin. Its in Texas. Geez, settle down. 

Anyway this guy cheats on his girlfriend and tapes the session, which is pretty ahead of its time in 1999 since that is all people do today. The sex tape accidentally gets mailed off to the girlfriend in Austin, Texas and the guys must set off to intercept that tape before the girlfriend sees it. 

That is everyone but Barry Manilow who has a phobia of leaving Ithica and would rather stay back and feed the boa constrictor, named Mitch, a live mouse. 

Barry sets off on trying to have a viewing of this killing as soon as his friends set off on their trip. His ceremonial offing of the mouse would seem easy, right. Only Mitch is not interested in the mouse, which frustrates Barry completely. 

That is, until one day, Barry dangles the defenseless mouse in front of Mitch, and Mitch, well Mitch finally takes the bait. He devours not only the mouse, but Barry’s entire arm. 

It was beautiful.

Jim just sits there and stares at me. I stare back. He stares at me as if to ask, “Is there more?” Is there more? Is there more? That is everything right there for you.

I don’t have a hat so I take Harbaughs and throw it to the ground in anger.

Damn it, Jim, I am a blogger not a god damn spoon feeder of metaphors. 

Okay, it is like this. You have this beast of a player in Kaepernick that has been, for a better word, neutered. He is this snake in a cage that is just kind of moping around as we all stand by goating him, yearning for him, maniacally and frantically hoping like a small child thrown into the deep end of the pool by their drunk uncle that someone will save the team.

Barry did everything short of unhinging the mouth and stuffing the mouse inside to get Mitch to eat, but Mitch refused. It was as if he was ordered not to eat and was following instructions.

The same type of instructions you are feeding Kaps to not run the ball. Why are you making the zebra change its stripe, Jim? Why?

The mouse begins to not even fear the Boa Constrictor, instead he just runs around freely and without worry because it knows the Boa Constrictor does not bite. It is a timid snake that might as well be a vegetarian. 

Jim, you have one of the single greatest athletes and threats in the NFL, but nobody is afraid of him anymore. Nobody worries about him as a running threat cause you have put the kabosh on it. So instead of having defenses playing on their heels, they are in Kaepernick’s face, gobbling him up.

The predator has now become the prey. And that is not right. 

Jim, take the leash off of Kaepernick. Unleash the fury, Jim. Kaepernick wants to pounce, he wants to feast on the NFL, he can be what he once was. But you have to take the No Running sign down. You must now dangle the mouse in front of him and let him unhinge those legs and run wild again. Kaeprnick is at his best in a chaotic, freelance position of power, where he can be free. It is not till Kaps feels free to do what he wants that he will be the QB he was last year.

Barry Manilow was not afraid to awaken the Boa Constrictor. He actually begged for it because that is the natural order of the world. For predators to use their natural instincts to hunt and to feed.  

So once again Jim, please, for the love of God…

UNLEASH THE FURY!!!!!


The Monday Hangover

It was a crappy week of sports this weekend. Football Sunday was a stinker, only saved by the nightcap between the Broncos and Patriots. College Football Saturday was relatively tame, say for a couple upsets that didn’t really register on the shock-o-meter, and the NBA is the NBA with a way too long schedule and way too many teams. It just wasn’t an intriguing weekend of sports. 

This weekend, more so than anything, was a reminder of how fragile and easy opportunities can be missed. The fall from grace can be swift, cruel, and unforgiving. From elation to sadness in .03 seconds is the most brutal occurrence, one that happens quite frequently, but as a player, team, and fan we always come back for more. 

So lets sweep away the awful stench that was this past weekend by recapping the worst of the worst like we are Fox News, and then hope the short week and Thanksgiving Day will provide feast for wow factor fodder. 

And here was the weekend’s worst.

The worst of the worst was Derrick Rose’s season ending injury. As a Bulls fan, a casual fan, and a die hard NBA fan, it does not get worse than seeing the picture above. Rose was quickly on his way to being one of this generation’s best. He has now become a prime candidate for the “What could have been” Hall of Fame. 

A guy who’s explosiveness, ability to cut quickly on a dime, and athleticism, will now have two major knee surgeries in three years. The question now is- What will become of Derrick Rose?

He has already lost a year to one knee surgery and this latest one will sideline him for the rest of this season, which essentially eliminates the Bulls from championship aspirations for now and the foreseeable future. 

Rose will have a lot of time to think and ponder what will be his NBA future. Rose will have to reinvent himself, if possible, into a player that does not log heavy minutes, shoots more jump shots and attacks seldom if ever, and must read opposing defenses in pick in rolls to set up teammates. And having to write that is sad because Rose was legitimately a strong candidate to replace Isaiah Thomas as the gritty, gutty, dynamic PG mantle. Rose, like Thomas, was the heart and soul of this Bulls team and now…

Well, now it looks like we may see a Gilbert Arenas 2.0 story, guys who had a ton of charisma, athleticism, and talent, but were waylaid by knee injuries that never saw them the same again.

From MVP to a What If in three seasons. Tough.

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On a day when Alabama, Florida State, Clemson, South Carolina, and we can throw Ohio State in there because they played Indiana, won by a combined score of 293-44, there was another supposed cupcake game that turned turned the Swamp into a interstate toilet. 

Yep, on a day when the big boys were feasting on smaller schools, it was Georgia Southern who continued to kick the Florida Gators while they were down, proving that Florid needs a new captain at the helm of this ship. 

This was a game the Gators paid Georgia Southern over half a million dollars to play. Obviously money well spent because the fans of Florida must have bought a whole lot of concessions to forget what they were seeing play out on their field.

This is a school that is known for offensive explosion and putting points on the board, but this years team is making Steve Spurrier grind his visor in his hands in his grave.This is a team ranked 111th in the nation in offense. 111? Teams ahead of Florida include football juggernauts San Jose State, Buffalo, Louisiana- Monroe, Eastern and Western Michigan.  When both the state of Michigan is dominating you in offense it is time to reevaluate your program because Florida should never be ranked 111th in offense…Ever. 

It really doesn’t get any lower for a Florida team that is not too far removed from the Tim Tebow glory days( I feel if Tebow can’t get a QB job in the NFL, Florida will be calling soon to hire Tebow to give inspirational speeches before, during, and recorded on tape like Kenny Powers for players to listen to in their cars) to now missing a bowl game, having a losing record, and losing to FCS teams. 

Oh, how the might have fallen.

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Let’s just say it, Oregon fans- Karma is a B!%CH

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In Nick Foles We Trust?

With 7 games remaining, can Nick Foles take the Eagles and fantasy owners to the promise land?

I am sure there are many fantasy owners just like me that are in a bit of a QB conundrum due to Aaron Rodgers getting hurt. And you might not even be snake bitten by the Rodgers injury, you may be hitting a bye week with Tom Brady, been scrambling ever since Matt Schaub went maverick and lost it, or have been juggling the headache of Geno Smith, Andy Dalton every other game is a good one fiasco for the past 10 weeks. But as the fantasy season pushes closer to the playoffs and the regular season comes to its most critical point with only 7 games remaining, it is critical, akin to breathing, to have a productive starting QB on your team. The NFL and fantasy mirror one another, and if you have a game manager(Alex Smith) running your team then you are going to be hurting come playoff time, but if you have a stud (Peyton Manning) you have the goods to hoist that trophy. Yet, the waiver wire is looking pretty weak as the proficient passers are gone, which leaves the likes of Dalton, Carson Palmer, Jake Locker, and backups galore to try and salvage one game or a few weeks. 

However, fantasy has provided the enigmas of all enigmas courtesy of Chip Kelly’s offense, a 7 TD performance against the Raiders, and the benefit of a schedule that screams make it rain like you were in a rap video strip club scene. 

Yep, Nick Foles, the question everyone from the Eagles organization, the still wide open NFC East, your teammates, fantasy owners, your family, and your mail man is-Can Nick Foles be the man?

I think the more fair question is-Can Nick Foles be consistent?

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Dueling Banjo’s

An up close & personal look at the CP3, Steph Curry shootout in Los Angeles last night.

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever…My man John Keats said that.~Kadeem Hardison as Junior quoting John Keats

Game 2 and night 3 of the NBA season produced a mano y mano shootout between the two premiere point guards in the game. I never expected to see the quiet, ninja like assassin like game from Chris Paul to go with a blizzard barrage of three’s from Steph Curry. Honestly, this Maverick and Ice Man battle should have removed the other eight participants and just had a one on one game between Paul and Curry. 

The game itself was nothing special, a Clippers win in authoritative fashion that was turned on its head, literally leaving me shaking my head, on the equivalent of back to back to back home runs in the form of Chris Paul alley-ooping to Blake Griffin for three ridiculous NBA JAMs On Fire type dunks. One was fine, typical Paul to Griffin type stuff that we come to expect. The second one was, okay maybe the Warriors should take care of the ball, and the third was “Light the fire and burn the tires, cue up the Kenny Loggins 80’s Top Gun Soundtrack because everyone is losing their minds at watching Paul to Blake hit Mach 7 on the scale of unbelievableness.” Yeah, it was that good that you make up words and become long winded trying to even describe it. The best way to describe it was me putting my head in my hands in disbelief. 

And that summed up the game, the Clippers manhandled and outplayed its rival to the North. A budding rivalry that should make their season series appointment television. It is on par with the Seahawks and Niners rivalry in two contending teams, in the same division, with very patriarchal coaches, and instead of defense, these teams are offensive powerhouses. It is even complete with disdain and contempt for one another. Paul and Curry love to go after one another, David Lee and Blake Griffin play for power forward supremacy, Bogut and Jordan play for worst free throw shooting center in the league, and Matt Barnes just doesn’t like anyone. The amount of skirmishes, even one featuring some barking between Mark Jackson and Blake Griffin made an appearance, and dust ups that occur makes the subplots of the game just that much more appealing. 

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Into The Great Wide Open

How The Western Conference Will Be Won…And Lost.

The Western Conference won’t be won as much as it will be survived. The NBA’s Western Conference is like the AL East in baseball; a ton of talent, exciting type of play, a sprint to the finish, and the Bluejays, which is equivalent to the Sacramento Kings. Sorry, Kings fans. 

It is up and down, no nights off, have your track shoes ready to roll when you come out west to play. Where the East is defense, defense, and more defense, the West is like the conference itself- Wide Open. 

So with so much depth from 1-10 in the West, how will it all shake out to a May conference winner? Lets pick and roll our way to a conference champion. 

Step Back from the Velvet Rope-Utah, Portland, Sacramento, New Orleans, Phoenix

Too young, too rebuilding, too DeMarcus Cousiny for a spot in the playoffs this year. Utah is committing their franchise to Gordon Heyward and Derrick Favors. That seems like a duo that will constantly be average to below average.

Portland doesn’t seem to know if it wants in or not and that type of attitude makes them sellers at the trade deadline in hopes of landing a couple quality young’uns to go wit Damian Lillard for the future.

Sacramento got rid of one black hole in Tyreke Evans and now they just have to trust their other black hole, DeMarcus Cousins to be able to grow up real fast, while trying to integrate Ben McLemore and find a trade partner for the not forgotten, just not playing Jimmer Fredette. I feel if The Jimmer went goatee or fu manchu that he would get more run, or went jail yard newbie and just clocked Cousins after Cousins went all Cousins. Who wouldn’t respect him for that.

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