Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Congrats Barack

In appreciation of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration; I would like to look back at the path that was paved, in the athletic field, in order for this momentous event to be had. While leaders like Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King are very important to the fight against oppression, many athletes have had intricate roles in order for American racism to be seen by the entire world. President Obama, congratulations and I personally believe these are going to be four of the best years in United States history.

Jack Johnson was the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world. He was the best boxer of his generation and helped show the athleticism that can be used in boxing. Before his appearance into the sport, many boxers dueled it out in the middle of the ring. It seemed as if the fight were about who could take more punches, not who was the better fighter. Johnson was a master of the sport and had a very patient strategy in the game. He would often feel his opponent out in the beginning of fights only to come down with powerful punches in the later rounds. His 89 win (49 by knockout) and 2 loss record is astounding. He paved the way for future boxers like Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield, and Mike Tyson to become stars in their eras.

Jesse Owens pretty much gave a big middle finger to the one man who wanted to see him fail most…and he wasn’t even an American. During the 1936 Olympics in Hitler ruled Germany, Owens won four gold medals in the 100, 200, 4x100 and long jump against what was supposed to be the superior Germans. The four gold medals won by Owens would not be matched until Carl Lewis did the same in 1984. Also, during the playing of our national anthem after Owens won a gold medal, he politely saluted our flag while a German next to him (and around the stadium) did their infamous Heil Hitler salute. This was a very poor showing of unsportsmanlike conduct during the Olympic Games because when two African-American athletes showed their pride in being black during the 1968 Olympics, they were banned from participating in the Olympics for life. Tommie Smith (Gold) and John Carlos (Bronze) raised their black gloved fists during the national anthem in protest of the oppression they, and their ancestors, had received in our nation. The Germans protest was a mere act of defiance to a superior competitor…disgusting.

Jackie Robinson, the first African-American man to play Major League Baseball, was an incredible second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. From 1947-1956, Robinson accumulated 1518 hits, 137 homers, and a .311 batting average. He went to the World Series six times and won it once in 1955. He brought a whole new style to baseball where his speed was more of a commodity than his slugging power. Robinson stole home a record 19 times and remarkably, none of these steals were from double steals. That kind of speed is hard to come by and the criticism he had to deal with proved how great a man this is. His number 42 was retired by the MLB in 1997 making him the only player in league history to have his number retired. Only players who wore the number before this time were allowed to keep it and Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees is the only active one left.

Wilt the stilt Chamberlain is one of the NBA’s greats. Before playing for the NBA, Chamberlain was a Harlem Globetrotter, where he showcased his phenomenal talents with a basketball. His number (13) was later retired by the Globetrotters. He won two championships with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 1972. Four time MVP, 13 All-Star selections, and had a career 31,419 points (ranks fourth in career points). Of his many records, he also scored a measly 100 points in a single game…where’s the effort Wilt? He was a god amongst mortals when he played and, quite possibly, is the most athletic seven-footer that has ever played.

Growing up, Ken Griffey Jr. was the man. He was a young kid that everyone adored. While he is currently a free agent, he will most likely be picked up in the near future. He was a new type of athlete that could be cool, yet sophisticated, cocky, but not a punk. He has played for three teams in the MLB including the Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, and most recently the Chicago White Sox. His career has been riddled with injuries and if this was not the case he would have most likely beat Barry Bonds’ “record” for home runs. He played on a Mariners team with Randy Johnson, Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez, yet he has still not won a World Series. Don’t let that sell him short though because he is definitely a first round Hall of Famer. His 611 homers, 1772 RBIs and 2679 hits in his 20 years is astounding seeing as he has played less than 100 games four times (that number is including the 1994 baseball strike where he played in 111 games).

Do I really need to explain Michael Jordan? I mean I will, but still the man IS professional basketball. Griffey probably modeled his style as a celebrity after Jordan. He has done plenty of charity work and starred in one of my favorite movies as a kid (‘Welcome to the Space Jam, here’s your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam…alright’ you know you loved it too). On the court he was never known as a dirty or disrespectful player like many players today (cough Jermaine O’Neal, Ron Artest cough). And how many people do you know that are known by one name…and aren’t super annoying? (Don’t come at me with Cher, or Madonna…you know they are annoying as h, e, double hockey sticks)

Jackie Joyner-Kersee is quite possibly the most athletic woman ever. She won three gold medals in the Olympics and set records in the long jump and heptathlon (still holds the heptathlon record). She was chosen as the Greatest Female Athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. Outside of the track world, Joyner-Kersee has started several charity groups that improve the lives of many different individuals. The Jackie Joyner-Kersee foundation “provide[s] youth, adults, and families with the resources to improve their quality of life and to enhance communities worldwide, with special attention directed to East St. Louis, Illinois.” ( “Athletes for Hope” was started by several famous athletes in hopes to “educate, encourage and assist athletes in their efforts to contribute to community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same.” “Athletes for Hope” is an extraordinary program that helps get athletes involved.

In his 15 year career, Reggie White touched many people. While he was a large, brooding man on the field, White was a very religious, kind man off the field. He was considered the “Minister of Defense” because of his religious ways. White is quoted saying “Jesus is coming back soon and I hope you’re ready,” to a rookie tackle who was using foul language toward White. White kept saying the same thing continuously and on the very next play, plowed through the rookie and sacked the quarterback. Aside from his intimidation factor, White made 13 consecutive Pro Bowls (1986-98) and is number two for career sacks (198) only behind Bruce Smith (200). Won Super Bowl XXXI and had a Super Bowl Record three sacks. White had over a thousand tackles and recorded three interceptions as a defensive end. He also, received the defensive player of the year award twice.

Now that Barack Obama has been inaugurated as President of the United States of America, the tribulations of these African-American athletes (and millions of other African-American citizens) have been well worth the success that we now show. Not only has our country ridded itself of historically the most unpopular president (according to Gallup polls), but we have also turned a new leaf in electing an African-American President. Civil Rights leaders throughout history have succeeded in the process of equality for African-Americans

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Conference Championships

This has been a huge week in the NFL. Tony Dungy retired, Jon Gruden was fired, and the Cardinals Cinderella story will expire. I can not wait for the Conference Championship games. Even though, once again, I will be stuck selling drugs at CVS Pharmacy, hmph.

Anyway, the Birds vs. the…well umm…Birds. I am pumped about seeing the Eagles play the Cardinals in what should be a high scoring game. The only thing that could stop that is the play of the Quarterbacks. Kurt Warner has never played particularly well against the Jim Johnson blitz happy defense and Donovan McNabb (along with the entire Eagles offense) has not been playing up to their potential. I think D Mack will come up huge in this his fifth NFC Championship game. Maybe 18-24 with 250 yards and 2 touchdowns…we’ll see, but Kurt Warner may not be so lucky. He is an old man now and ‘The Greatest Show on Turf’ is a distant speck in his rearview. So with the maximum four seconds he will have to throw before being enveloped by the Eagles defense does not bode well for Mr. Warner.

Therefore, the Cards are going to be playing on Edge…literally. Edgerrin James has actually been a positive for them this postseason with his nearly four yard per rush average and one touchdown. But don’t look for James to produce great numbers against the third ranked defense in the league during the regular season (92.2 rushing yards allowed per game). So while I still believe that the entire city of Philadelphia is still cursed, I (for now) feel safe saying that the Eagles are going to Tampa. Eagles 35 Cardinals 20. (DISCLAIMER: I make this prediction only because the Phillies are “World F***ing Champions,” as per Chase Utley. If this feat had not been achieved I would not have had the confidence to pick the Eagles to go to the Super Bowl because of the William Penn Curse. I thank you for your time.)

The AFC Championship pits a couple of heavy hitting defenses against each other. Numbers one and two statistically during the regular season, these two defenses have always been tops in the league since I can remember. Best part of this match up is, much like the Eagles-Giants last week, they are bitter divisional rivals. So not only are these teams meeting for the third time this season, but they hate each other (see how B-more feels about Hines Ward here,0,5770924.story). With all of the heat between these two teams, this game is going to be more fun to watch than your last “Little People Big World” marathon (except not as hilarious…that Roloff guy got a DUI!).

Big problem is that the Ravens have not had a week off in 18 straight weeks because of Hurricane Ike. The Hurricane forced them to take their bye during week two and play against the Texans during what should have been their bye…week 10. That could come back to haunt them with their 12 man injury report this week. Big names on the list? Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are probable, Le’Ron McClain,Todd Heap, Derrick Mason, Terrell Suggs, and Mark Clayton are all Questionable and Samari Rolle is Doubtful. These eight players are intricate to the success of the Ravens both offensively and defensively. I expect all of the previous players minus Rolle to play, but how effective they will be is tough to estimate. Ray Lewis could play hard with a broken leg, and Todd Heap is going to have to step up big for a pressed Flacco. I still have confidence for the Ravens however. We must reflect on the season between these two teams.

The Steelers have already won the previous two meetings by a combined seven points…two games figured by seven points…now that is as close as you and your cousin before you found out it was weird (admit it…FREAK). I just can not imagine a team beating another three times in a year. It’s just too difficult to do in our era’s NFL and the Ravens are looking for revenge. What better time to get it than for a Super Bowl berth. Look for another close one Ravens 17 Steelers 16. Matt Stover comes up huge.

Well that’s my Super Bowl picks. See you in Tampa.

p.s. Go to to read some more of my stuff. Thanks

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Divisional Playoffs

So, after my awful picks last week some may disregard my picks this week but I mean come on, Cardinals-Falcons? It's like choosing the wrong pair of leather pants. No matter which you pick, it just isn't going to feel right. Also, how couldn't I pick my Indianapolis Colts? They won nine straight! Plus I was picking between the Chargers and Colts, not the Chargers, Colts, and Darren Sproles. I shall take this time to congratulate you Mr. Sproles. I thought you were nasty at Kansas State and I believe you had the best game of your life against the Colts. Here's to you sir, and don't let the Steel Curtain hit you in the ass on your way out.

Now, this week in football should make for some good weekend television. Seeing as I will be spending 12 hours of my Saturday in CVS Pharmacy (yeah it's that awful), I shall miss the possibly the best game of the weekend. The Ravens will be headed to Tennessee to try to knock off the best team in the NFL. While the Ravens played a great game last week it was against the Miami Dolphins. However, I think that the Titans shall squander their opportunity this year to quite possibly the best defense in the playoffs (which Philadelphia could rival). Even though Ed Reed, Todd Heap, and Derrick Mason did not participate in practice this week, they should definitely be ready for Saturday. The biggest factor for the Ravens is rookie Joe Flacco. The Titans are going to pressure him heavily especially with Albert Haynesworth back in the lineup. He doesn't have to do much during the game he just has to do enough to not lose it. That means no stupid throws and knowing when he is going to have to just eat it for a sack. Remember Flacco, you can always get 'em next down or series.

For the Titans, Center Kevin Mawae said that he will not be playing this weekend. According to, during an interview on Tuesday, Mawae had ruled himself out for this weekend in hopes that he would be ready for the AFC Championship next week. Are you crazy sir? You are one of the best Centers in the game and you are not going to play in the playoffs against one of the top teams in the NFL because you have a sore elbow? Wah freaking wah. Man up and get out there. Even with Haynesworth back, look for the Ravens to come out on top in tough defensive game. Especially if Ed Reed can play. Ravens 24 Titans 14.

The "Prime Time Game" this week is the Cardinals vs. the Panthers. Where is flex scheduling for this mishap? Anyway, along with their other problems, Wide Receiver Anquan Boldin may be out this weekend for the Cardinals. While Larry Fitzgerald is a great receiver, the combination of the two can be tough to stop. While their play calling was relatively balanced, an increase in third down conversions (40 percent against the Falcons) would help immensely against a dangerous Panthers team that has quietly gone to 12-4 this season. DeAngelo Williams has ran for over 1500 yards and Steve Smith has over 1400 receiving and if Jake Delhomme can play well, the Panthers should win this game decisively. Panthers 30 Cardinals 17.


The Eagles-Giants game could possibly be the best game of the week (barring the Ravens-Titans game). These teams see each other twice a year in the regular season and always play each other tough, no matter their records. You can be sure that this game will be no different. The Eagles defense is just plain scary right now and with Plaxico Burress out with at umm...self injury, the Giants are going to have to rely on their run game. That shouldn't be too difficult with bruising back Brandon Jacobs. The man is enormous weighing in at a lineman-esque 264 and standing at 6'4. The bigger they are the harder they fall however, especially when 6', 210 Brian Dawkins is plugging the holes. Now I love Bob Sanders, but Dawk is definitely more of a team leader than Sanders. He just turns it on as soon as he steps foot onto the field.

As for the Eagles offense, they can not have the same showing they did last week. While McNabb had 300 yards passing and matched his one touchdown with an interception, the biggest thing they have to change is their running attack. Brian Westbrook, their biggest offensive threat, had 20 carries for 38 yards. I do like that Andy Reid stuck with the run however with 23 total attempts, but these attempts need to be successful against the Giants. Reid has to remember to stick to the run though in order for star rookie wide out DeSean Jackson to be a factor. This game is going to be a tough match up and I feel that the Eagles are going to come out on top. Eagles 23 Giants 17.

And the final game of the week. The Colts...I mean the Chargers are going to be in Pittsburgh for a game that could go one of two ways. It could be a nail biter or the Steelers could dominate. While I did praise Sproles earlier, I do not believe that he can damage the Steelers in the same way he did the Colts. The Steelers defense is better than the Colts hands down and the Chargers running game will sputter at best against the likes of Troy Polamalu, and James Farrior. So who do we give the ball to? Drum please...BIG PHIL! Come on Mr. Rivers, please prove me wrong this week. I would love to eat my words and say that you being an "awful quarterback" are false. But I do not see that happening and I think that the Ravens are going to see the Steelers in the AFC Championship. Steelers 24 Chargers 13.

This football season just gets better and better. From the beginning when Tom Brady was injured, blowing the AFC wide open, to week 17 having an improbable ending for the Philadelphia Eagles, this season has been fantastic. And now, the teams left are highly competitive, which is what the playoffs are all about.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Philip Rivers is awful

OK, so a lot of people that read this are going to think this is biased because I am a Colts fan and while much of my hatred for Philip Rivers may have stemmed from Saturday night's loss in Overtime, I can assure you I have hated Philip Rivers from day one. The man is supposed to be the leader of his team but he composes himself in an awful way. First, he started by stirring up a childish feud with fellow quarterback Jay Cutler. The main aggressor in the feud was Rivers and Cutler said he did not really care about it. Constantly, you can see Rivers jawing at opposing offenses from the sideline with his helmet off. He has no authority to do that. Hey Phil, you have two career tackles so don't forget YOU ARE AN OFFENSIVE PLAYER. Keep your mouth shut because it makes you look like an idiot to the entire United States. Have some freakin' respect.

And let's look at the Colts-Chargers game from Saturday. Rivers was 20 of 36 with one interception and no touchdowns. If not for Darren Sproles, the Chargers would have failed miserably. Of Rivers 20 completions, 13 of them went to either Antonio Gates or Darren Sproles. Peyton Manning's 25 completions were pretty evenly distributed to Dallas Clark (7), Anthony Gonzalez (6) and Reggie Wayne/Joseph Addai (4). Plus, my biggest pet peeve, If Gates or whoever Rivers' primary receiver was not open he would throw it at the feet of Darren Sproles in the flat. He gave no chance to his team's success and was pretty much just an anchor holding them down until Darren Sproles broke free and to the end zone. And I will be the first to tell you, Sproles had an amazing game. He could barely be stopped with a nearly 5 yard per carry average and two touchdowns including the game winner in overtime.

So while I am upset that the Chargers beat my Colts in poor fashion, I just want it to be known that Philip Rivers is a bad quarterback no matter what happened this weekend. It's just that this weekend his performance was on the national stage and further proved why it was a great call that he did not go to the Pro Bowl. Colt McCoy put on a better performance last night than Rivers has all season. I hate you Philip Rivers.

As for this week in football, Giants-Eagles? That should be one fun game to watch. I wish I did not have work so I could watch it. And I really hope the Steelers defense can put Rivers on his back all afternoon. Let's go Steelers. Best AFC match up this week is the Ravens-Titans however, especially after the defensive performance by the Ravens. Two more interceptions by Ed Reed, one resulting in a touchdown, makes him seem like more of an offensive threat. The man just can not be denied. Plus Ray Lewis is a scary man. Oh and the Cardinals are playing the case anyone cared. I'm guessing AFC Championship is going to be Ravens-Steelers and NFC Championship is going to be Eagles-Panthers, but don't hold me to that seeing as my Saturday picks were both completely wrong. Who do you think is going to win?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Wild-Card Weekend-Saturday

4:30 p.m. Falcons at Cardinals…This game could go one of two ways...Either a snoozer or a shootout. With the Cardinals defense giving up an average of nearly 27 points and the Falcons at 20, this should end up being a shootout. I’m excited to see if Matt Ryan can emerge as a great quarterback in his first playoff game as a rookie.

Defensive end John Abraham may play according to reports. With Abraham in the Cardinals will flounder much like they have the past couple of weeks….correction…whole season. In their last 10 games of the season they went 5-5 and beat the Rams (twice), Niners, and Seahawks (twice). That competition is about as stiff as grandpa without his blue bombers…gross I know but you get the point. The bird soaring at the end of this game is going to be the Falcons 38-27.

8 p.m. Colts at Chargers…This game is a rematch of week 12, where the Colts avenged their 2007 stunning playoff loss. But do not look for the Chargers to come out firing on all cylinders. LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates did not participate in practice this week and are both listed as questionable. Even if they do play, they are not going to be 100 percent and their quarterback depends on the play of these two individuals. Speaking of which, Philip Rivers is quite possibly the most overrated quarterback in the league and the way he carries himself on the field is embarrassing. He is too childish and immature to be considered a great quarterback like his competitor this weekend (who is now the MVP for a third time…Congrats Peyton).

The Colts big worry is not having linebacker Gary Brackett in the lineup. He is fourth on the team with 99 tackles and a very important part to stopping the Chargers run game. If Tomlinson is out do not completely write off the Chargers. Darren Sproles is a fantastic running back and he runs as hard as LT and is nearly as elusive, and he returns kicks too. This is going to be the better of the two games Saturday. Colts 24 Chargers 17.

So with that said, who's looking forward to Colts-Steelers? THIS GUY...and the NFC South Showdown of Falcons-Panthers could be good too...but I mean really the AFC is so ridiculously competitive I love it. You think my ideas are too far off? Get back to me and let me know.