Monday, May 31, 2010

The 5 Greatest Sports Movies

Have you ever noticed that movies rarely capture the essence of sports? With so many interesting characters and topics in the sports world I find this hard to believe. Sports is more dramatic than Hollywood and furthermore it's real. I don't know why they can't get their act together. Maybe the effort is there, but most of the time they fall miserably short. That being said here's the best of the worst or depending on how you look at it the 5 greatest sports movies of all time.

Honorable Mention: The Blindside. Given all that Sandra Bullock has been through recently I am compelled to give this movie a shout out. Plus it's based on a true story and that always helps.

5. Bull Durham. You gotta love the storyline of the old veteran taking the young hot shot under his wing and teaching him the ropes. The jealousy at the end lets you know how emotional sports can be.

4. He Got Game. The amazing part about this movie is that it barely scratches the surface of what top recruits really go through and it still looks over the top. The fact that Ray Allen isn't a great actor made the movie that much more believable.

3. North Dallas Forty. The first movie that took an honest look at what happens behind the scenes of football. The scene where Nick Nolte pops all his joints back into socket always gives me the chills.

2. On Any Given Sunday. Picks up where North Dallas Forty left off. In addition it delves into ownership, spouses, burned out coaches, and talk radio. You will never look at pro football the same way again.

1. Hoop Dreams. By far the best sports movie ever made. The research, time, and dedication it took to make this movie blows me away. It breaks my heart every time I watch that young man miss those free throws.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

UFC 114 Or Rocky III?

Is it just me or does Rampage Jackson vs. Rashad Evans remind you of Clubber Lang vs. Apollo Creed in Rocky III? Of course that fight never happened (unfortunately it was just that square off in the middle of the ring) but the personalities are eerily similar. Rampage is the Clubber type and ironically stars in the A Team movie as BA Baracus, a character Mr. T made famous. Rashad is the Apollo type smooth, polished, and resentful of the stereotypical images his counterpart projects. I'm not sure how good this fight will be though. I personally think Rampage is going to maul Rashad inside of 2 rounds. What's more curious to me is that this is probably one of, if not the biggest fight the UFC can put together. With all the talk of MMA being more popular than boxing why don't we see bigger pay per view numbers? Say what you want but neither Rampage or Rashad will make $40,000,000 for this fight. In boxing welterweights can make that much. MMA has a long way to go to be more popular than boxing but small steps lead to giant leaps. Lets see if this fight moves the UFC up the ladder.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Lebrontegate Is Real

You ain't heard it from me because I'm not one to gossip, but word on the street in the 216 is Delonte West boned Lebron James' mom. At first I tried to dismiss the story as a vicious rumor created by an overzealous fan starving for attention. Now that I have confirmation from the CLE I don't even know where to begin. Can you believe you have to explain to some people that boning your FRIEND/teammates mom isn't cool? Can you believe that some professional athletes still don't understand they live in a fishbowl and technology is everywhere? How do you justify boning your boy's mom? Instead of approaching Lebron and saying "hey bro, your mom's starting to make me feel a little uncomfortable" Delonte just rolled with it and did the deed. I know Delonte has emotional issues, bi polar disorder, and multiple personalities but they all should've known better. This whole situation is beyond repair. The fallout from this fiasco will cause a ripple effect throughout the league. Lebron is done in Cleveland. There is no returning to a situation that convoluted and dysfunctional. Even if they trade Delonte it would be difficult if not impossible for Lebron to remain in that environment. The memory of that betrayal would haunt him forever. The loyalty bond has been broken and it's time for King James to move on. I feel sorry for Dan Gilbert. There's no contingency plan for this kind of nonsense. Nowhere in the business plan does it stipulate watch out for teammates who might bone the star player's mother. He's probably huddled in a corner somewhere hoping Aston Kutcher jumps out and tells him this whole thing is a sick joke. Unfortunately the truth is far more disturbing than fiction. When all is said and done Delonte West will have to explain to the city of Cleveland why the 2 time NBA MVP no longer plays for the Cavaliers. He will have to explain to Dan Gilbert that although he paid him $4,254,250 last season his actions cost Dan over $100,000,000 with the departure of Lebron. He will have to explain how he single handedly DESTROYED an NBA franchise. I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that one. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Send Ichiro to New York

It's time to let Ichiro go. He's been exiled on Mariner Island far too long. During his time in Seattle Ichiro has won rookie of the year, AL MVP, Allstar MVP, 9 gold gloves, recorded 9 consecutive seasons with 200 hits, and broken the record for most hits in a season. All this production has generated exactly 1 playoff appearance and 4 winning seasons. This is hardly Ichiro's fault. Blame management for poor decision making and botching free agency. You don't surround hall of fame talent with the likes of Willie Bloomquist, Scott Spiezio, and Richie Sexson. Ichiro has wasted ALL his prime years in Seattle with nothing to show for it. What's done is done. Now it's time for the organization to do what's right and let Ichiro ride into the sunset as a champion. There's no better place than New York. The Yankees are odds on favorites to win it all without him but with Ichiro at the top of their lineup Vegas would stop taking bets on who will win the 2010 World Series. Ichiro has been loyal to seattle for many years. It's time for the Mariners to return the favor.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I Am A Hip-Hop Snob Part II

I may be a hip-hop snob, but at least I'm not a hip-hop purist. Hip-hop purist are so set in their ways they think Public Enemy are new school cats. For the purists everything is always in a historical context paying homage to the roots of the music. The definition of what constitutes authentic hip-hop has never changed. They fail to realize the nicest MC's are no longer huddled around park benches in the Boggie Down Bronx spitting rhymes for no paper. Nowadays there's more to rap music than battles and street cred. 2 turntables and a microphone at the playground is a far cry from videos, concerts at Madison Square Garden, and the world wide web. I'll be the first to admit the transition from underground to mainstream has diluted the product. Rappers with great skill and no marketability get buried while rappers with a catchy hook or gimmick go platinum. That doesn't mean hip-hop shouldn't be allowed to change. The purists don't understand that it's a young man's game and very difficult to compare eras. The exposure is greater and the corporate dollars have a great amount of influence. In the end purists are more critical of how hip-hop has evolved while snobs are more selective about what they listen to. I invite the purists to come to the new millennium with us. After all it's 2010 and Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, and Grandmaster Caz are not walking through that hip-hop door.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The New Stockton To Malone?

Give the Phoenix Suns credit. They showed a lot of heart in their 118-109 victory over the Lakers on Sunday. Amare Stoudemire looked grown mannish on the court going for 42 points and using Ron Artest like a rented mule. During this series one thing has become clearly evident however. Amare Stoudemire shouldn't leave Phoenix. His game is predicated on going to the basket off the pick and roll and he has no ability to create his own shot. He's dependent on Steve Nash to score the same way Karl Malone was dependent on John Stockton. Without a true point guard Amare is nothing and Nash is the last true point guard. The Lakers will win tonight and go on to take the series because they're too big up front and Kobe senses there's a REAL possibility of catching Michael Jordan and his 6 titles. That being said Phoenix has some positive things to build on. Steve Nash has 3 good seasons left, Robin Lopez is coming into his own, and Grant Hill has found the fountain of youth. If they can get Amare to stay and sign Steve's good friend Dirk Nowitzki Phoenix has a legitimate shot at a ring in the next few years. Lets see what the summer free agency period has in store for them.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Huskies Need To Be More Of A Slut

The mass exodus of basketball talent from the Northwest to the state of Kentucky has gone from puzzling to troubling to embarrassing. What started with Slick Rick Pitino cherrypicking Terrence Williams and Peyton Siva from the 206 has evolved to slime bucket John Calipari stealing the Turkish Delight Enes Kanter and Oregon's finest Terrance Jones. This has got to stop. By all accounts coach Lorenzo Romar is a class guy that exudes high moral character and integrity. He's the kind of guy you'd want to send your son to play for and teach him the fundamentals of basketball, life, and lessons that will make him a better man. Unfortunately that approach is losing the UW top recruits and as Andre 3000 so eloquently put it, turning and walking away just aint gonna work when they be robbing. The time has come for the UW to channel its inner Jenna Jameson. Tell the kids what they want to hear and let them know the school will do whatever it takes to keep them and do it well. The alternative is constantly losing on talent that has no interest in becoming a better person, only in becoming a better basketball player. The UW lost a recruit at a press conference with his entire family present wearing Husky colors! How is that possible? What could Calipari possibly have said to change his mind? High school kids nowadays are no more than Vegas flings and Whistler weekends. They'll be gone before morning trust me. The game has changed. Stay competitive Huskies!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

All Cycling And Track Guys Use Dope

Can you explain how a person ends up with someone else's blood in their system? Can you explain why someone would have 9 times the recommended dosage of cold medication in their system? It's because they're cyclist and track and field guys. They cheat. They all cheat. They have to. Anytime your success or failure is determined by .01 of a second you'll do whatever it takes to gain an advantage. There is no way to compete otherwise. If everyone else is doing it and you're not you will never win. God given ability is not enough to overcome that obstacle. Sports today is about money and fame not morality. In cycling and track and field it comes down to who has the best doctors, not who has the best technique or will to win. Sports fans will have to get used to the inevitable speech when some former champion regrettably admits to using PED's. We've seen it in the past (Marion Jones, Bjarne Riis) we're seeing it in the present (Floyd Landis) and we'll see it in the future(Lance Armstrong, Usain Bolt). Once you realize everyone's dirty in these sports you'll become de-sensitized to the drama. Embrace the dirt sports fans!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Brothers Johnson Need More Money

The brothers Johnson are in a no win scenario. Their performance on the field clearly indicates they are underpaid but ownership wants them to honor their ridiculous contracts. In a sport where every play can be career ending you have to evaluate a players worth differently. Andre Johnson is arguably the best receiver in football yet Brandon Marshall, Larry Fitzgerald, and Roddy White earn twice as much money a season. Chris Johnson is a freak of nature and hands down the most explosive player in the league. He is one of only 6 players in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season but Maurice Jone-Drew makes 3 times as much money. Most people would argue that the brothers Johnson are just being spoiled brats and should honor their contracts. No one put a gun to their heads and forced them to sign. In the real world that makes perfect sense but football is not the real world. You cannot apply the same logic. There is no apples to apples comparison. If you were making $50 an hour at your job and found out another company was paying $150 an hour to someone with less skills than you what would you do? You'd quit your present employer and offer your services to the company that pays more money. Football players don't have that luxury. Ownership can cut a player anytime they want but players can't leave and seek employment with another team. Ownership always has the upper hand. The only recourse is to hold out. It's the only thing that will get their attention. Good luck brothers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Always Take The Superstar Player Over The Coach

As the title of this blog suggests I always take the superstar player's side in a conflict with management irregardless of the circumstances. Although I fully understand that athletes are often headcases and superstars often have no grasp on reality they are superstars nonetheless and you have to treat them as such. If anybody could do what they did they wouldn't be superstars right? Enter Hanley Ramirez and Fredi Gonzalez. By all accounts Hanley was clearly in the wrong for dogging it on a booted ground ball and the manager was correct in his decision to discipline him. Then it got ugly. Hanley took his benching personally and called out the manager publicly. As strange as it sounds it's up to the manager to apologize and smooth things over from here on out. The Florida Marlins aren't going to trade their superstar shortstop with the 2009 NL batting title at his house. It's just not that easy to find another one of those. On the other hand do you think they can find someone else to sit in the dugout and eat sunflower seeds? Hanley was out of line on this one but what can you do? Superstar preferential treatment has it's drawbacks but in the end you always have to take the talent. Except for T.O. of course.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Am A Hip-Hop Snob

I am a self proclaimed hip-hop snob. I don't blame myself, I blame the 90's. During that era (the golden age of hip-hop)the talent level was as deep as it has ever been. Imagine a time when Jay-Z couldn't crack the top 10 nicest mc list. That's how deep it was. Newcomers had to earn their stripes. They had to be spectacular to break through and grab the attention of fans. Wutang, Outkast, Redman, Eminem, Snoop, Nas, Notorious BIG,Tupac, all came out in the 90's. I realized I was a hip-hop snob when I lost the desire to listen to certain artists. Don't get me wrong, I respect the artists trying to make a dollar and riding the wave of success but in truth the music doesn't move me. A few years ago it was Mike Jones and his ice age thing, nowadays it's Gucci Mane. marketing and promotion is not enough to sway my well trained ear. I realize times change and people change but once you've been exposed to greatness it's hard to settle for mediocrity. It's like going from drinking Cristal to drinking Cisco or from driving a Ferrari to driving a Yugo. I won't settle! Now that I've jumped down from my soapbox I feel better. At least I'm not as bad as those hip-hop purists........ I'll address them next Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can Don King Save Boxing?

Many of you view Don King as a despicable low life who exploits young impressionable inner city kids for their talents then robs them blind. This may be true, but lets not kid ourselves. Boxing is and has always been a corrupt sport. There's simply not enough supervision or accountability for what's going on. Bob Arum and Golden Boy Promotions are no saints. They're all out to make a buck in this ruthless sport and they apply just as many underhanded tactics as Don does. Don't hate the player, hate the game. Until the rules are changed and governing bodies have to answer for their decisions let Don do his thing. He's the best promoter out there bar none. If he was handling the Pac Man Mayweather negotiations we'd already have resolution. I'm not defending the guys morals, but just look at the state of boxing since he's taken on a diminished role. The heavyweight division sucks, absolutely sucks. Big fights happen too infrequently and the UFC even claims to be more entertaining than the sweet science. At least with Don you know what you're getting. Big money, big fights and a slimy snake you have to keep your eyes on at all times. A fool and his money will soon be parted and Don has a history of questionable accounting practices. That doesn't mean he can't make fighters money. Mike Tyson won more prize money than anyone in the history of the sport under Don's guidance. Is it his fault Mike went out and bought exotic tigers? Singling out Don King for boxing's problems is like singling out John Gotti for organized crime. He's not the only one doing it, but he is the most visible, the most hated. Don can save boxing if he gets a chance. It's a dirty job so send a dirt specialist to fix it. Simple.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Will I Ever Embrace Futbol?

I know it's the worlds sport. The World Cup is coming up and everybody's getting excited. I'm trying to get there. For whatever reason soccer doesn't move me like that. It's not that I don't understand the game or respect the skill level involved. I even have friends that have become stars overseas and flourished in their careers. It's not that I don't want to be a part of the rabid fans cheering their hearts out. I admire the passion soccer fans have for their teams. For me the game is just boring to watch. 0-0, 1,-0, and 1-1 doesn't hold my attention. Maybe it's because I didn't grow up playing the sport. Perhaps then I'd have more of an appreciation for the game. Maybe it's because soccer players are not as popular as other athletes in this country After David Beckham, Thierry Henry, and Rinaldo I can't name a single other soccer player. Maybe it's because the games are too long and not fast paced enough. I want to embrace the worlds game. My apathetic attitude is not for lack of effort. I understand what soccer symbolizes for the rest of the world and I've tried to get on board. I've tried to drink the Kool Aid. I don't know what it will take to get me over the hump, but I'll keep trying until I get there. World Cup Brazil 2014 might help.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Best 1-2 Combos in Baseball

If your team has 2 aces at the top of their pitching rotation you should feel pretty good about your chances to stay in the playoff hunt. A dominant 1-2 punch gives a team an identity and a foundation to build around. It sets the tone for everything that happens in the future. You always feel better going into a contest if you expect to win. Right now these are the top 5 1-2 combos in baseball:

5. Roy Halladay/Cole Hamels Phillies. Roy Halladay's ERA is a microscopic 1.59 and Cole Hamels is starting to return to his dominant 2008 form. Both of these guys will pitch a ton of innings and keep pressure off the bullpen.

4. Cliff Lee/Felix Hernandez Mariners. Felix has got command of all his pitches and big strikeout numbers. Cliff Lee is coming off a stint on the DL but has looked like his normal Cy Young self the last 2 starts. If the Mariners could score any runs these 2 could anchor a playoff run in a weak division.

3. C.C. Sabbathia/Phil Hughes Yankees. You get what you pay for and in this case that translates into productivity and wins. Phil Hughes is 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA right now.

2. Matt Garza/David Price Rays. It's no wonder Tampa Bay sits atop the AL East with these 2 young guns. With a 2.49 and 2.03 ERA respectively they have the attention of the rest of the league.

1. Tim Lincecum/Barry Zito Giants. With 3 Cy Youngs between the 2 of them they are the odds on favorites to win the NL West. It's good to see Zito return to his dominant form after the Alyssa Milano fiasco.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Lebron Ruins The Puppet Show AGAIN!

I knew I might have to talk about this, I just didn't know it would be this soon! The world wanted to see the puppets go at it, 24 vs. 23 for basketball supremacy. We all wanted to see if the young upstart could take out the wily veteran. Once again Lebron couldn't hold up his end of the bargain. It appears Lebron is more style than substance. The media likes to portray him as an unstoppable force who will win multiple rings and MVP trophies, a player that will carry the league to higher heights. Fairy tales don't always come true however and Lebron is nothing more than a wet dream gone dry, a paper gangster, a toy soldier. The Celtics didn't respect him after game 5 and in game 6 he looked like a 14 year old lost at an amusement park. Too old to go looking for his parents but not old enough to get where he needs to be by himself. I've said all along Lebron needed to go to New York and resurrect the Knicks franchise. After watching this seasons playoff collapse I take it back. The level of expectation will be too high and the city will eat him alive when he doesn't deliver. He is not what we thought he was. The regular season is for playing basketball but the playoffs is when we see who can really hoop. Lebron is not a hooper. When the air gets thin and the lights get bright Lebron ceases to be a great player. In this society championships validate greatness, noting else. Skip Bayless called him a ringless fake MJ, more Pippen than Jordan. As much as I don't like Skip I would have to agree. It's better that Lebron didn't face Kobe in the finals. Failure on the biggest stage is tough to overcome (just ask Dirk Nowitzki) and he has quite a few years left to carry out this charade. For all those teams fighting for Lebron in free agency you might do better signing the hooper from Miami. Think about it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Ghost Of Roy

A goaltender in the zone can pick up a hockey team and carry it through the playoffs if the superstitions, the rituals, and the mindset all come together in perfect harmony. Hot mits sink ships and right now Jaroslav Halak's mits are en fuego. He looks like a young Patrick Roy out there. He has single handedly taken out the 2 best hockey players on the planet in consecutive series. Winning a game 7 on the road is unheard of let alone back to back. Halek's performance almost makes Alexander Ovechkin look like less of a choke (almost). As you can see he's still in my dog house. The San Jose goaltender has toasty mits as well. Evgeni Nabokov has been playing outstanding and the Sharks will need that to continue if they want to advance past Chicago's tandem of Jonathan Toews and Patrick "Big Daddy" Kane. Conversely Roberto Luongo dropped the puck big time. He looked absolutely pathetic sprawling around in front of the net like an elephant on skates. He's climbing up the overrated charts at a rapid pace. If the mits don't lie we'll have ourselves a San Jose vs. Montreal Stanley Cup. Interesting.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hip-Hop Game Changer: Alcohol

Icecube got us started with the St. Ides commercials. The DOC took it a step further with a fridge full of 40's in Dr. Dre's Nuthin But a "G" Thang video. E-40 introduced us to Carlo Rossi and hurricanes while Mobb Deep roamed around the projects with Hennessy jerseys on. The connection between rappers and their drink of choice has a long history. From the days of Snoop with his gin and juice or DJ Quik and his OE, hip-hop has had an impact on what the public consumes. As hip-hop has grown so has its influence on what people sip on. Courvossier sales shot through the roof when Busta Rhymes dropped his video by the same name. Clubs used to run out of thug passions. Incredible Hulk no longer referred to a DC comic character. Drinks over the years have almost become a status symbol. Cristal for the ballers, Patron for the crazies, and Alize' for the in between. Corporate America also understands the correlation. Jay-Z pitched Heineken for a while, Dr. Dre endorsed Coors light, and Rick Ross is the poster child for 1800 Tequila. For better or worse alcohol consumption goes with the lifestyle and image rappers project. Until that changes it will continue to be a lucrative combination. We'll worry about all that moral stuff later.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is McNabb A Little Bitch?

Clearly something's going on behind the scenes that I don't know about. A month ago (April 5) I wrote a blog detailing how Donovan McNabb would be a perfect fit in D.C. Now I'm not so sure. We've had another incident where a player has thrown Donovan under the bus without even thinking twice about it. This is a disturbing trend. Players don't talk sh*t about the quarterback. It's an unwritten rule that's been broken time after time with McNabb. Coach Tony D'Amato once said the quarterback is the top spot, the guy who everybody's looking at first, the leader of a team whose teammates will break their ribs and noses and necks for you cause they believe! Cause you make them believe! That's a quarterback. I'm starting to get the impression none of that applies to Donovan McNabb. When he's publicly criticized players never rush to his defense. They leave him twisting in the wind like clothes on a laundry line during a hurricane. Hugh Douglass, Rush Limbaugh, Terrell Owens, and now Desean Jackson has something to say? Desean Jackson still has similac on his breath yet he has no problem taking shots at a future hall of famer. Something's not right here. On the surface Donovan appears to be a model citizen, someone that's always positive, optimistic, supportive, and inspirational. Underneath the surface players don't respect him enough not to call him out. If Donovan doesn't fix this problem it doesn't matter where he goes. Once you lose the locker room it's over for you. Hopefully he hasn't lost the Redskin's before he even gets started. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Technology Killed The American Sports Hero

Have you ever asked yourself what happened to the American Sports Hero? The simple answer is the new age arrogant prima dona sports athlete shirks the responsibility of being a role model. The real answer is more complex. The truth is there never were any sports heroes. The truth is athletes of the past had their infidelity and indiscretions covered up. They had affairs back then, it's just that their wives saved face with public appearances and their mistresses kept quiet. They knew their place unlike the vixens of today who post text messages and graphic pictures trying to get their piece of the spotlight. The other woman is no longer satisfied with being in the background. They still had DUI's and bar brawls, but that news was kept off the front page. The media was much more forgiving and much less sensational. They protected the athletes because they understood their importance. They knew young kids would emulate them and they covered up their flaws. Nowadays an athletes worth is measured by how big a story they can generate. The more controversial the better. If you follow a young millionaire around 24/7 and report to the world everything that happens in their life at some point they will engage in behavior the public will deem inappropriate. The camera phone, twitter, and facebook all but guarantee this outcome. Without these devices would Tiger Woods, Charles barkley, Shaq, or Aquaman even get into trouble? Unless we change the unrealistic definition of what makes a sports hero athlete after athlete will fall into the technological trap and we'll have to hear numerous apologetic press conferences. If we realize the concept never existed, maybe we'll stop chasing it.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Red Clay Ruins Dreams

Roland Garros is the scene of many heartbreaks for Americans. Sampras never won there, McEnroe never won there, and countless others have been turned away by the red clay. It's the great equalizer. The bad footing and the heavy ball makes for long rallies and longer matches. It is not a surface most Americans are accustomed to playing on and they struggle. The hard court is not good preparation for what they face in France. It has been said that to truly be a great tennis player you must win on hard courts, grass and clay. The latter seems to be the most difficult obstacle to overcome. Much like soccer the rest of the world has an easier time adapting to the change and this year won't be any different. Roddick has little or no chance and I were a betting man (which I am) I would put my money on Nadal. Serena has an outside chance, but Sharapova is overdue and her length will be an advantage. Can't wait for Paris.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Phil Is Not A Tiger

Phil Michelson has been thrust into the role of golf's savior because of the actions of his arch nemesis Tiger Woods. Tiger has been vilified for his infidelity and Phil has been anointed a saint for being a family man and standing by his wife and mother in their time of need. I applaud Phil for his courage in handling adversity, but the golf world is setting him up for failure. Phil is not the athlete of the decade. Tiger vs. Phil is not really a rivalry. Phil has had 13 years to prove he is Tiger's equal and has fallen miserably short. It's one thing to win as a feel good story every once in a while but it's entirely different to have the expectation of winning every tournament. At the end of the day sports is about winning, not inspirational events. If Phil had the pressure on him that Tiger faces he would melt like an ice cream cone in the middle of the Mohave Desert. Tiger was built for this, groomed for greatness since he was 3. Phil is a victim of circumstance and in way over his head as golf's poster child. TV ratings don't go through the roof when Phil is in contention going into the final round. Phil is a good golfer, but Tiger is the greatest ever. Let Phil have his time for now, but don't anchor a golf tour around him.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Floyd Is So Money

The Marquez fight was an exhibition. The Mosley fight was a heat check. The battle with Hatton was magnificent. His skills are extraordinary. Make no mistake about it, Floyd Mayweather Jr. is the baddest fighter in the world. Some people don't like to hear this because he talks too much. They would like to see someone, ANYONE shut this guy up. Their desire to watch him "put in his place" clouds their judgement. If you look at the big picture you realize there's no one on planet Earth that can hang with Mr. Mucho Dinero. Everyone talks about the signature fight that is absent from his resume, but how can you have a signature fight if you're way better than you opponent all the time? In the immortal words of Roy Jones Jr, "they got the nerve to say I ain't fought nobody, I just make em look like nobody!" He is tormented by his greatness. Fight fans want to believe Pacquiao can give him a good fight. He can't. Pac Man would get knocked out inside of 8 rounds. To my Filipino brethren I mean no disrespect with this statement. It doesn't matter if your White, Brown, Yellow, Puerto Rican, or Haitian when you get in the ring with Floyd it's the start of your ending. He's too fast, his defense is too good, and he hits too hard. Manny knows this, but he can't say it. He'd rather hide behind blood tests and defamation suits. If Manny ever decides that $40,000,000 is enough money to sign up for the ass kicking that awaits him we will have our signature fight. The public demands it at this point. The whole world will get to see Michaelangelo Mayweather create his masterpiece. We're just waiting for 1 "signature" to make it happen. Is that Manny on line 2?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hip-Hop Game Changer: Mary J. Blige

Mary J. Blige is the queen of hip-hop. She is not the queen because of her dope lyrics or masterful producing, she is the queen because of her classic hooks and symbolic meaning to the culture. Mary took some of hip-hops greatest beats and turned them into love ballads She gave the music a conscience and became the soul of the streets and the voice of the hustlers. Mary depicts the struggles of urban life, love, and heartbreak with a strength and energy people are drawn to. Her defining moment was the classic song You're All I Need where Mary and Method Man transformed into the modern day Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell. The blend of rugged lyrics with soft sweet melodies made Mary the ultimate ride or die chick. She has also collaborated with such artists as Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Wyclef Jean, Jadakiss, and Ludacris. Mary will be remembered most for her strength and courage to persevere through challenging times, but lets not forget her contributions to hip-hop. This is where Ashanti and Lauren Hill say thank you for my career.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Old Jr. Is Not The Old Jr.

There is no sports figure in Seattle history as beloved as Ken Griffey Jr. We've watched "The Kid" throughout his entire career. From the dazzling circus catches in the outfield to the flawless home run swing to the charismatic smile Ken has always captivated Seattle sports fans. When he bolted to Cincinnati we felt betrayed. We knew they couldn't love him as much as we do. Eventually he found his way home and we welcomed him back with open arms. We knew he wasn't the same Jr. but we'd rather have him around with diminished skills than no Jr. at all. Even though the Mariners have had Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Ichiro Seattle has always gravitated toward the Griffey mystique. He is an outstanding representative for the ball club and the fans still come to see him play. That being said it's time for Ken to go gently into that good night. I won't say he's washed up because I don't bad mouth Seattle sports legends, but he's hitting .224 with ZERO home runs and FOUR RBI's 25 games into the season. The Mariners have a dominant 1-2 punch at the top of their rotation and are surprisingly only 2 1/2 games out of first place as badly as they've played. It's not the humane thing to do, but it is the right thing to do. Ken is hurting the Mariners with his lack of production and he is a complete liability on the base paths. Does Don Wakamatsu have the guts to pull Seattle's prodigal son out of the lineup? He better if he wants to win. The writing is on the wall.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stay In THe Booth

Every year bad teams try to persuade an analyst or a commentator to come out of retirement and resurrect an underachieving franchise. Every year this experiment ends in disaster. Here are the 5 reasons it's always better to stay in the booth:

1. The booth is safer. In the booth you can look like a genius. You have the benefit of replay and you can second guess every decision with no consequence. The bullets aren't live.

2. You only miss the competition. Coaches miss the challenge of coaching but they don't miss the travel, the politics, and the pressure that comes with it.

3. The game passed you by. If you've been out of coaching more than 3 years and you're over 50 years old don't even think about it. You can't relate to the players and the game is played differently than you remember.

4. You don't realize how good you have it. Booth guys don't have much responsibility and only have to worry about a few games. That's a far cry from having to worry about every team for a whole season.

5. Your spot may be gone. If you leave your cushy job to see if the grass is truly greener on the other side there's no guarantee your seat will be there after you get fired or burn out.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Jamal Crawford Is Tony Soprano

It became official Friday night in Milwaukee, The Atlanta Hawks are Jamal Crawford's team. The city of Atlanta is cool with that and the Atlanta Hawks are cool with that. This is reminiscent of when Tony had to take the reins from Junior Soprano. Even though Junior was the acting boss everyone knew it was really Tony that ran the organization. Same with Atlanta. Joe Johnson has become a figurehead, the face of the franchise but not the heart and soul. Jamal is the heart and soul. Where as Joe isn't showing loyalty to the organization, always threatening to leave if he doesn't get a bigger piece of the pie, Jamal put the Hawks on his back and said do your worst. The team turned to him in the clutch and they prevailed. If you notice no one was asking Joe Johnson before game 6 if he was feeling the pressure to win. Instead they were asking Jamal if he was going to come through for his team. He did. Jamal makes it easier for everyone to earn. The 206 personality helps create a harmonious locker room environment. He even comes off the bench so as not to step on any one's toes. Joe Johnson is moody and jealous. He pouts when he doesn't get enough attention but if he gets too much attention he wilts under the pressure of expectation. This has been coming. Jamal's been the silent leader for quite a while. This is just the first time he has had to publicly display it. Atlanta will be better off for it.