Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Storming To The Championship

The Seattle Storm are the only team that provides any hope in the Emerald City of winning a championship. Sue Bird, Swin Cash, and Lauren Jackson comprise a nice nucleus and will be difficult to stop in the playoffs. The biggest obstacle in their path happens to be the most dominant player in the league. Diana Taurasi is the WNBA's reigning MVP and defending WNBA champion. The Western conference finals will come down to a battle amongst Huskies and Sue Bird has something to prove. The stakes are high for friendly rivals Bird and Taurasi and somewhere Geno Auriemma is smiling. How hard could it be to recruit when all you have to do is tell young athletes to turn on the television and see what happens when you go to UConn? In the end Sue bird's Storm are a better team than Taurasi's Mercury and the Storm have yet to lose a game at home. The Storm have home court advantage in the Series so I like their chances. Seattle embraces women's basketball more than other cities and I know the support will be there to help the Storm get over the hump. That being said they still have to find a way to stop Taurasi from having monster games and dominating the series. This type of rivalry is good for the league and serves as an inspiration for young lady ballers everywhere. Young Sam Rothstein predicts the Storm in 3 on their way to their 2nd WNBA title. Let's see if Sue Bird can beat her home girl.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Fantasy Draft Day Analysis

I had 2 more fantasy drafts over the weekend and they were dramatically different. The first draft was the first time I participated in the auction style. It's no surprise that my philosophy was to spend big for the marquee players early and fill out the rest of my roster with quality players at bargain prices. Jerry Jones and Dan Snyder would be proud. Implementing this technique I ended up with Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson, Reggie Bush, and LeSean McCoy. My team is very superstar driven and if the stars do what they're supposed to do Ill annihilate the competition in this league. I feel good about this one. The 2nd draft was picked for me by the computer. I had a previous engagement and couldn't make the selections personally. The computer didn't do me too dirty, but it auto picked way too many receivers. Fortunately 2 of them were Randy Moss and Reggie Wayne. I will have to be much more hands on in this league, wheeling and dealing and adding and dropping players. I have to take more of a Pete Carroll approach with this team. It will be fun to see which style is more successful throughout the course of the season. If I had to guess I would say the team with the stars will shine the brightest. At any rate I have 3 teams total with which to conduct this experiment. Can't wait for the results.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Clarett And Kindle

It is clear after hearing the stories of Maurice Clarett and Sergio Kindle that football defines certain people. It is not only what they do, but who they are. Some people can't imagine doing anything else with their lives. The dream should be over for Maurice Clarett. He challenged the NFL and lost, then after sitting out a full season blew his try out with the Denver Broncos. 5 years later after a prison stint he still has aspirations of playing pro football and was granted permission to try out for an IFL team. Sergio Kindle is so consumed by football he is willing to risk his life to get back on the field. He literally wants to play linebacker this season with a fractured skull. Although the doctors say the skull is healing faster than expected why would anyone take a chance with the protection of their brain? The logical thing to do is take every precaution necessary to prolong his life after football and take the entire season off yet Sergio is doing the exact opposite. It's sad to think the sport has such a hold on these 2 young men that they won't even consider what other options life has to offer. The system has failed them.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Cleavie The Greek Predicts Couture Over Toney

It's not that I think Randy Couture hits harder than James Toney nor do I think Randy would win a boxing match between these two opponents. The key to Randy Couture winning on Saturday is very simple. James Toney's skill set ( or lack there of) won't serve him well in the octagon. Certainly James Toney packs a powerful punch and he's used to fighting 12 round fights, but it's all the other things that go into mixed martial arts that will give him trouble. The wrestling holds, the grappling, the ground game, and having your opponent dive at your legs is completely foreign to a boxer. The only way James Toney can be successful in this fight is if he keeps Randy in front of him and they stay on their feet. Conversely Randy can beat James Toney in a variety of ways, most notably taking him out of his comfort zone. I'm assuming Randy is smart enough to do that. If he goes into the octagon pumped up and full of himself trying to prove he can out box James Toney it's going to be a long night for him. With smaller gloves against an experienced boxer Randy will get his head knocked off. As long as he plays to his strengths and takes advantage of Toney's inexperience in the octagon it should be a relatively easy fight. We'll see on Saturday.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Is Notre Dame Even Relevant?

Notre Dame is not relevant in today's football landscape and it's not for lack of effort believe me. The Irish have an exclusive TV contract with NBC (unheard of) to televise all of their games through the 2015 season, they remain independent while everyone else builds super conferences, and their recruiting class ranks in the top 10 almost every year. Notre Dame has never been on probation (a joke) and they receive an automatic bid to the BCS on their name alone. They can even afford to give their coach a $30,000,000 extension 7 games into his tenure and then buy him out 4 years later for underachieving. So why are they no longer relevant? Because Notre Dame hasn't won at a high level since the early 90's. Notre Dame once had a backfield with Ricky Watters, Jerome Bettis, and Reggie Brooks (all went on to start in the NFL). Notre Dame once had the Rocket returning kicks for touchdowns at an alarming rate. Notre Dame once had #1 rankings and national championships, but those days are gone. 20 years is a long time to be mediocre and quite frankly there's a whole generation that's grown up watching Alabama, Texas, Florida, USC, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma, and Ohio St. as the standard of excellence. Until Notre Dame returns to the dominating ways of the Lou Holtz era all the exposure, money, and talent in the world won't bring them back into the conversation. Next time Notre Dame wins 10 games you'll wake me won't you?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Matt Leinhart Is Not An NFL Quarterback

In the beginning I believed in Matt Leinhart. I believed when he won the Heisman Trophy, I believed when he came back for his senior season, and I believed when Pete Carroll's reckless play calling cost the Trojans back to back national championships. I believed when Leinhart and Reggie Bush were Sports Illustrated's sportsmen of the year and I cursed the Titans and the Jets for passing on him in the draft. I defended Matt when the coach yelled at him for having hot chicks beer bonging at his house and I defended him when Kurt Warner got the starting nod. I am a realist however and 5 years later the writing is on the wall. Matt Leinhart is not an NFL quarterback. His coaches don't believe in him and his teammates don't believe in him. The coach is already talking about changing the offense to accommodate Leinhart and he doesn't sound very confident. The secret is out, Matt Leinhart doesn't handle blitzes very well and that will be a problem with a mediocre offensive line. The speed of the game overwhelms him and I guarantee he will not finish the season as the Cardinals starting quarterback. Don't label Matt Leinhart a failure. He's made $10,000,000 playing football and he's not the first or the last quarterback to fall victim to the NFL. Truth be told he is a product of the system. USC had superior talent the entire time he was there. If your team is better than your opponent at every position you'll win a lot of games and look good doing it. Matt will have a fantastic career as a broadcaster in a year or two as long as he doesn't pull a Sean Salisbury on us. Good luck Matt. Sorry it didn't work out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The New York Jets Will Win The AFC Title

After watching the latest installment of HBO's Hard Knocks I'm convinced the New York Jets will win the AFC title this year (that is if they sign Darrelle Revis of course). This team reminds me so much of the Dallas Cowboys in the early 90's it's ridiculous. It all starts with Rex Ryan. He's cocky, brash, arrogant, and wants his team to believe they are the best on the planet. He's a perfect blend of Buddy Ryan and Jimmy Johnson. For now we'll just call him Buddy Johnson. Never mind what coach Dungy said about his language, his players respond to him and carry his personality onto the field. Coach Dungy has to realize most people aren't as spiritual as he is and some find it difficult to walk with God everyday. It's much easier to hit people, talk trash, and flourish in an environment that encourages that attitude. It is also very evident from Hard Knocks how much Buddy Johnson misses Revis Island and that he never thought in a million years he would go this far into training camp without his star cornerback. The Jets are making the same mistake the Seattle Seahawks made a few years ago with Steve Hutchinson. They underestimated his importance to that particular team and were unwilling to pay him what he was worth. In the end they realized the error of their ways but it was too late. The offense has never been the same. There's still time for New York to get the heart and soul of the team back and play for a super bowl. They have enough talent otherwise, they just need to sure up the playmaker and keep the chemistry intact. Doesn't New York vs. Dallas have a nice ring to it? Watch Hard Knocks and you'll see what I mean.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jay Mariotti's Glass House

Jay Mariotti is a popular sportswriter and a regular on the ESPN show Around The Horn. He's known for his no nonsense take on sports and his coverage of Chicago teams. Most people see Jay as abrasive and principled. Just last week he threw the book at Francisco Rodriguez for letting his team down and not showing personal restraint in a domestic violence dispute. In years past he's criticized athletes such as Warren Moon, Albert Belle, and Jason Kidd for getting into altercations with their spouse or girlfriends and not living up to the role model tag. After the events of early Saturday Jay finds himself cast in the same ugly light he has shun on so many others in the past. Should we wait to hear his side of the story before passing judgement? Should we wait until all the facts are in? Or should we rake him over the coals and grill him like a Coho Salmon? Of course we should grill him. Jay Mariotti has made a very comfortable living criticizing athletes for momentary lapses in judgement and "being human." Do I think Jay Mariotti is a woman beater? No. Do I think Jay got into a heated argument that went a little further than it should of? Yes. Do I think people should take it easy on Jay? HELL NO ! There can be no double standard in this instance. If he can dish it out so coldly he can certainly take the ridicule himself. I bet he'll cover sports from now on with a much different perspective. A perspective that realizes people aren't perfect, they make mistakes, and emotions sometimes makes you do things you wouldn't ordinarily do. A humanistic approach. More like say......Cleavie Wonder? Welcome Jay. Good to see you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Braves Will Win The NL Pennant

The acquisition of Derek Lee by the Atlanta Braves was a shrewd move and will pay big dividends down the stretch for the playoffs. Combining Lee with the likes of Jason Heyward and Martin Prado gives the Braves enough fire power to hold off the Phillies for the division title. Philadelphia still makes the playoffs however along with the Cincinnati Reds and my sleeper team the San Francisco Giants. The Padres (who have been red hot as of late) will cool off and the bitch ass Cardinals (Brandon Phillips words not mine) don't have enough left in the tank. I pick the Braves to win the pennant because the other teams involved in the chase will be exhausted. The battle for the wildcard berth may actually come down to the final game if not an extra game like last years AL Central division clash. Philadelphia and San Francisco both have better pitching but they will have to expend too much energy just to get in. Cincinnati will just be happy to be there so by process of elimination the Yankees will face Atlanta in a repeat of the 1996 World Series match up. I know it's only August 21st and a little premature to make predictions this bold so far in advance but I am the Oracle. I see things before they happen.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cleavie The Greek's Sports Betting Tips

Before the sportsbook enters the busy season allow me to give you a few tips that will help you win a high percentage of your wagers. I'd hate for you to have Tony Soprano's guys knocking on your door if it could be avoided.

1. Make sure the coach has a killer instinct. If you're taking a team and giving up 40 points you want to make sure the coach has a mean streak, a take no prisoners attitude. Avoid nice guys who put in the 2nd and 3rd stringers out of mercy.

2. Home vs. Away. Be sure to study the home team very carefully. The home team generally wins against the spread unless there are extenuating circumstances or the visiting team is overwhelmingly dominant. Be sure there are no distractions or recent developments that would sway the advantage.

3. Watch out for media darlings. Vegas has to protect itself against over eager unrealistic bettors that choose their favorite team no matter what. When New York teams are down bet against them. When Notre Dame is down bet against them. When North Carolina is down (basketball) bet against them.

4. Watch the weather. Rain and cold are the great equalizers. Don't take a great passing team in the rain and don't take a speed team in the cold. Also watch for warm weather (or dome) teams going to the Northeast in December or January.

5. Watch for wildcards. The 2 biggest wildcards are emotion and embarrassment. Watch out for teams that got humiliated on the road a year ago. The following year they always want revenge. Also take the home team whenever someone's jersey is getting retired. They win a high percentage of the time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Corey Pavin Can Save The Drama

As captain of the Ryder Cup Corey Pavin has the final say on the last 2 roster spots that don't receive automatic bids. He has speculated for months that if Tiger Woods didn't earn an automatic bid he may or may not select him for the team. This is what we call in the sports world a power trip. Corey Pavin is taking advantage of his position to invoke his own brand of justice. Just like so many others Corey resents the fact that Tiger Woods is bigger than golf and is the lifeline of the sport. He is going to take this opportunity to make the worlds #1 golfer and the athlete of the decade squirm and grovel out of animosity. His flimsy argument is that he wants to take the best golfers without providing preferential treatment to anyone. His motives are clear enough, put Tiger in his place and send him a message, but in reality he's making a huge mistake. The revenue and interest in golf has been down right embarrassing since Tiger Woods hasn't been himself. Leaving him off the Ryder Cup team would guarantee that the match up would have absolutely no viewership and very little relevance otherwise. Sponsors would be furious and PGA officials would probably have to step in and overrule him. There's too much at stake for his pettiness. Corey Pavin thinks he has the final say but does he really?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fighting With The In-laws

Every married man knows it's not always easy to get along with your wife's father. After all, you are married to daddy's little girl and nothing is too good for her. You might have a disagreement, an argument, or even an altercation. The two sides talk it out, clear the air, and over time the get over it. Circumstances change for you however if you are one of the top relief pitchers in baseball. Francisco Rodriguez got into a fight with his father-in-law and it could cost him $29,000,000. The New York Mets are furious that he injured himself in the fight (he will miss the rest of the season) and are exploring the possibility of voiding the last 2 years of his contract. Francisco Rodriguez also faces criminal charges because a fight with your father-in-law constitutes domestic violence. In other words a fight with your father-in-law is just as bad as punching your wife. We have no idea what caused the altercation or who's to blame in this scenario. We do know that Francisco Rodriguez got into a lot of trouble when his family business became public. The two of them have probably already resolved their differences, but the world has yet to pass judgement. We'll wait to see how that one night will affect the rest of his life.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jake Locker Is Crazy

For a college educated young man Jake Locker makes some very questionable decisions. I'm not talking about audibles or interceptions (Jakes accuracy has improved dramatically since Sark took over) I'm talking about the decision to come back to the UW for his senior season. By all accounts there will be a rookie wage in the NFl next year and the #1 pick in the draft won't make $50,000,000 guaranteed dollars ever again. With that door closed it's safe to say Jake easily cost himself $30,000,000 staying in school. Then there's the Leinhart effect. When Matt Leinhart came back for his senior season it gave everyone an extra year to pick apart his game and dwell on his flaws. Projected to go in the top 3 Leinhart fell 7 places to 10. That drop probably cost him $15,000,000. And of course the biggest risk of all is injury. In a sport where you can break your ankle or shred your knee on any given play it's hard to rationalize how the benefits of coming back to college outweigh the opportunities presented to him if he left. In the end I'm hoping for a cinderella story where Jake wins the Heisman, the Huskies go 8-4, and win a bowl game. Jake Locker saves the program and becomes the greatest Husky of all time. He's sacrificed a lot so lets hope he gets it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Rookie Better Be Raw

I had the first of my 3 fantasy drafts yesterday and I went out on a limb with my first pick. Coming out of the number 6 hole all of the premiere running backs were already taken. I could've selected a big time quarterback, but it was a little too early in the draft. I took a gamble and selected Ryan Mathews from San Diego. He put up impressive numbers in college (nations leading rusher last year) and will get plenty of carries replacing the great LT. In addition Vincent Jackson is still holding out and Darren Sproles is not an every down back. These facts are easy enough to rationalize, but I still question whether Ryan is ready for the big time or not. If he is he will anchor my team and give me carte blanche to talk trash all season. If not, Ryan will embarrass me and make me the laughing stock of the league. I'm putting the pressure on! The entire fate of my fantasy football season (league 1) rests squarely on his shoulders. I don't want to hear any excuses and I don't want to be disappointed. I'm predicting 1500 yards and 17 touchdowns for the young man. He better not let me down. Run Ryan Run!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Ultimate Sidekick

Scottie Pippen was recently inducted into the hall of fame for his role in forming the most dynamic duo in NBA history. He complimented Michael Jordan like peanut butter compliments jelly. Throughout his career I always thought of Scottie Pippen as Jordan's personal henchman. When he was on his game teams would have to pick their poison. Double Jordan and Scottie would kill you. For all his talents Scottie Pippen was never a franchise player. It is true that Jordan would not have won his 6 championships without him, but Pippen needed Jordan far more than Jordan needed Pippen. He was a complimentary player and not the marquee guy. This became very evident in Portland and Houston when he tried to carry a franchise on his own. It's always different going from 2nd fiddle to the number one guy and it showed in his performance. He let the pressure and expectation get to him and he never excelled the way he did when he was at Jordan's side. Scottie Pippen will be remembered more for playing with Michael Jordan than he will for his own individual accomplishments. Still, not a bad ride.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Are You Ready For Some Football?

As we gear up for the 2010 NFL season I decided to give you a list of my all time favorite player from each NFL team. Let me know what you think this list says about me.

Dallas Cowboys - Michael Irvin
New York Giants - Lawrence Taylor
Washington Redskins - Charles Mann
Philadelphia Eagles - Eric Allen

Buffalo Bills - Bruce Smith
Miami Dolphins - Dan Marino
New England Patriots - Andre Tippett
New York Jets - Curtis Martin

Arizona Cardinals - Roy Green
San Fransisco 49ers - Ronnie Lott
Seattle Seahawks - Steve Largent
St Louis Rams - Eric Dickerson

Denver Broncos - John Elway
San Diego Chargers - Junior Seau
Kansas City Chiefs - Derrick Thomas
Oakland Raiders - Marcus Allen

Chicago Bears - Dick Butkus
Detroit Lions - Barry Sanders
Green Bay Packers - Reggie White
Minnesota Vikings - Randy Moss

Baltimore Ravens - Ray Lewis
Cincinnati Bengals - Chad Ocho Cinco
Cleveland Browns - Bernie Kosar
Pittsburgh Steelers - Lynn Swann

Atlanta Falcons - Deion Sanders
New Orleans Saints - Bobby Hebert
Carolina Panthers - Julius Peppers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Warren Sapp

Houston Texans - Andre Johnson
Indianapolis Colts - Peyton Manning
Jacksonville Jaguars - Mark Brunell
Tennessee Titans - Earl Campbell

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Does Baseball Have A Pulse?

Just when I thought the 2010 baseball season was completely uneventful in comes Brandon Phillips of the Cincinnati Reds. Arguably the best 2nd baseman in the game and the catalyst of the surging Reds, Phillips spoke from the heart and called out his rivals. Brandon referred to the St. Louis Cardinals as "whiney little bitches." The Cardinals took offense (naturally) and a bench clearing brawl ensued during last mights game. Personally I find this refreshing. It's good to see opposing athletes don't have to be friends all the time and that there is still some emotion in sports. Animosity for your rivals makes sports exciting. It's the corporate entities that subdue the enthusiasm for the game while the media creates an atmosphere of brotherly love on the playing field. Fans however love the confrontations. I say let there be bad blood! Isn't the outcome more intriguing when the 2 teams genuinely don't like each other? If nothing else I bet you'll keep your eye on the next time Cincinnati and St Louis meet. These 2 in a playoff series is just what baseball needs to get out of its funk.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Superbowl Hangover

The Superbowl hangover is not like a hangover suffered from an excess of Jose Cuervo, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, or Pabst Blue Ribbon. A Superbowl hangover can last for years. The feeling of "missed it by that much" can linger on and on in a city while fans replay the game in their minds over and over again. Whether it's an improbable catch, a shoestring tackle, a dropped pass, or a blown call that determined the outcome of the game the what if scenario always stays with the losing team and its followers. To the outsiders looking in it seems like sour grapes. Everyone wants the losing city to get over it and move on. For the losing city the what if scenario brings people together in search of a common goal. Get it back! Get back there and win! We were so close I know we can do it next time! It's hard for people to rationalize that one play can change the course of history. One play can be the difference between trophies and parades and bitter defeat. That's why the hangover lasts so long. In reality the NFL changes every year. Players get older, injuries occur, assistant coaches become head coaches, and the chemistry is lost. There is no getting it back. Once it's gone, it's gone forever. Seattle, Indy, and Arizona I feel your pain, but you must start over and leave those close calls behind. It will haunt you forever if you let it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Allow Me To Re-introduce Myself

Sports fans are inundated with so much information, news, stats, and analysis we sometimes forget who the messenger is. Charles Barkley is so goofy and such a colorful character that we forget he is one of the 50 greatest players to ever pick up a basketball. We watch Terry Bradshaw on Fox gameday and listen to him yuck it up like a good old fashioned southern boy, but truth be told Terry Bradshaw is one of only 2 NFL quarterbacks to win 4 Super Bowls and played on arguably the greatest football team of all time. John Madden is coming out with the 20th cover of Madden football this year. How many gamers do you think know John Madden is a hall of fame coach and not just the tough actin tinactin guy? It's good to see former athletes and coaches parlay their personality off the field into a career after sports. Their accomplishments give them credibility to get their foot in the door but after that it's all up to them. We embrace them initially because of their expertise, but we continue to follow them because they make the game fun and give us a unique perspective. There are a lot of so called experts who never played the game yet give us their opinion like it's the gospel. It's different to listen to someone who has actually experienced what we are watching. If your personality overshadows your hall of fame credentials you done a great job of re-inventing yourself.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Training Camp Decides The Super Bowl

Although I picked the Oakland Raiders to win the AFC West yesterday there's really no way to predict who will win anything until after training camp is over. Too many critical injuries happen to key players before the season even gets started. In fact a team coming out of training camp healthy is the #1 indicator of whether they have a legitimate chance to win the Super Bowl or not. With that logic we can already take Denver and Baltimore out of the equation. As cruel as that may sound football is a very unforgiving sport and luck (or bad luck) is a key component to a teams success or failure. Training camp is a necessary evil however. Recently I've heard talk that training camp should be shortened or eliminated all together. Nothing could be further from the truth. You have to have some way of assessing talent and getting players into game shape. If you go out on the field fearing injury then you're better off not going at all. Injuries are part of football and the absence of training camp won't change that. Training camp is the only time coaches get to evaluate players running their schemes and competing for jobs. I wish there was a better method but there's not. Just cross your fingers and pray that your favorite team comes out of training camp unscathed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Oracle Predicts: Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders will win the AFC West this season. Don't get me wrong, the Raiders are still dysfunctional and Al Davis is a little old in the tooth but the rest of the division stinks. San Diego is mired in holdout negotiations and nobody knows how much Shawn Merriman has left in the tank. The Chiefs are improving and Eric Berry should help the defensive secondary but their still 2 years away from turning the corner and their receivers are subpar. The Broncos lost their best defensive player Elvis Dumervil for the season and the fans of Denver will pressure the organization to start rookie Tim Tebow. It's a risky proposition to start a rookie on any team let alone a squad decimated with injuries. In addition Tim Tebow's not really an NFL quarterback and will struggle mightily. He'll make a good coach someday though. By process of elimination the Raiders win the division by taking advantage of a weak schedule and a strange set of circumstances. 9-7 should get it done. Raider Nation stand up! It's been a long time coming.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weed Is Not Crack

I am not condoning the use of illegal drugs by professional athletes, but I do want to point out that some drugs are more harmful than others. If your star running back gets pulled over with a kilo of cocaine panic. If your starting point guard gets on a plane with a brick of heroin panic. If your ace reliever has a meth lab at their house panic. If your star quarterback gets stopped with a half a gram of weed........ Marijuana is an illegal drug, but to put it in the same category as other illicit drugs is unfair. It is not as harmful on the body, not as physically addictive, and certainly not performance enhancing. Anything done in excess can lead to problems, but the recreational use of pot shouldn't be compared to the recreational use of crack. In the news we hear countless reports of star athletes stopped at the airport or pulled over on a routine traffic violation with half a joint or a piece of weed smaller than the size of a quarter. The media then blows the situation completely out of proportion and makes the athlete sound like Tony Montana. Just because someone smokes a little weed now and again doesn't make them a full blown drug addict. Taking a puff to relieve the stress that comes with $35,000,000 is a lot different than snorting an 8 ball of coke. Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Biggie, Jay-Z, or Nas

There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The battle has raged on for decades now and each MC has a legitimate claim of victory. The styles are unique and each artist had displayed greatness and dominance in their own way. Here's how the argument shakes out:

The Notorious B.I.G. The Gayle Sayers of the group. His illustrious run at the top was cut short by his tragic death. There is no telling what he might have been able to accomplish in his career but while he was here there was nobody better. Although his material is limited the music is classic and will live on forever.

Nas The Pee Wee Kirkland of the group. A supremely talented lyricist and storyteller that has the ear of the streets. He's a legend in the 5 boroughs and will always be in their hearts. He's stayed away from the glamour and the spotlight but true hip-hop fans know what he's capable of.

Jay-Z The Michael Phelps of the group. He didn't start out at the top, but there's no denying he's there now. His longevity coupled with his extensive body of work, accolades, and sustained dominance has put the crown out of reach. That being said it's not out of the realm of possibility that Nas or Biggie couldn't surpass him (lyrically) in their primes.

Pick your favorite. You can't lose with any of these guys.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fantasy Is Reality

I've been chomping at the bit for fantasy football to start for weeks now! I can't wait to show off my general managerial skills and blow away anyone who steps in my path. I'm in 3 leagues this year. The first is a professional league that is all about the dough. It's a tight knit bunch that rarely has an opening. I'll keep the trash talking to a minimum. The second league is more recreational. There are some members that don't really pay close attention to their squad and suffer from memory lapses. I should cruise to victory in that league. The last league is personal, oh so personal. They actually had the nerve to ban me for the last 2 years. The commish said it was an oversight on his part, but who really knows. The important thing is that I'm back this year! This is the equivalent of John Rambo going back to Vietnam. I'm out for blood! The rivalries run deep in this league and the trash talking often goes off the charts. I'm making it a point to rub my dominance in their faces (Rufus?). It will be a lot of fun this year and you'll get to hear the commentary every week. Enjoy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wakamatsu Must Go

It would be a shame if Don Wakamatsu makes it through the week as the skipper for the Seattle Mariners. Things have gone from bad to worse all season for this ball club. There is no effort, no energy, and no sense of urgency to turn things around. The players have tuned the coach out and no longer respond to his leadership. It's not all Wak's fault. He doesn't do any of the fielding, pitching, or hitting, but he is responsible for getting his team ready to play. With 2 months of the season left the Mariners need fresh blood and a new voice. The Mariners are on the brink of creating a losing environment and a losing culture that is hard to break free of. Once you start expecting to lose and accept losing as a way of life you end up like the Pittsburgh Pirates or the Kansas City Royals. I would hate to see that kind of apathetic attitude take over Seattle. The solution isn't fair, but it's simple and necessary. The manager must go and the sooner the better. Seattle sports fans know only too well what can happen if you keep a coach or manager around too long just because they're a nice guy. As ugly as it's been there are still almost 60 games left and this situation could turn into a nightmare. Spare us the horror story and let Don Wakamatsu go. Sorry Wak.