Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A Topic More Important Than Sports

In the sports world, there hasn’t been a lot going on. The NBA is coming up on the all-star break. My campaign to get James White in the dunk contest is in full effect. In fact, I think that’s the only reason the Spurs called him up from the NBDL. If he was a good basketball player, he’d probably go down as the greatest dunker of all time.

I’d love to see him go against Vince, Kobe, Iguodala, Nate Robinson, J.R. Smith, T-Mac, and Desmond Mason in one of those old-school, eight man free-for-alls. (I’d put Jason Richardson over Desmond Mason, but he’s hurt.) 2000 was the last year there was a deep field, and it was the most entertaining dunk contest I remember.

Going back to White, if you don’t know who he is or think I'm exaggerating about his dunking ability, look at this. (Here's bonus footage of him in last year's college dunk contest. He came in second because he barely missed one of the sickest dunks ever, twice.)

As I continue to ramble on, the Super Bowl hype continues. I’ll analyze the game in a few days, but as of now I’m definitely undecided.

Something outside of the sports world that I’ve been reading about lately that’s disturbing are incidents of racism happening across the country. Despite all the coverage Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith have gotten, racism is still very much alive.

On a more publicied issue, I don’t think Joe Biden’s comments about Barack Obama weren’t racist, just ignorant and poorly worded. However, under the mainstream media's radar there have been reports of three racist MLK parties in the past few weeks. With everything Martin Luther King has done for America, its disturbing that people in my generation have such little respect for that he’s done, in addition to the overall racism of these incidents.

Perhaps more unfortunately, one of those parties was a University of Connecticut Law School party. As a black man, I hope I’m never falsely accused of a crime in one of those kids’ area. I can’t imagine getting a fair trial from someone who thinks of black people as 40-oz guzzling, bling-bling rocking idiots.

Part of the blame for these parties has to go to the music industry. MTV, BET, and other outlets portray us as such and we don’t do much to stop it. In fact, many of us not only support the music industry but some of us try to emulate what we see on the screen.

Speaking of music, Paris Hilton sort of is a singer. She also has been caught using the N-word twice, most recently at this party. Yet, I’m sure this won’t stop black people or minorities within the music, fashion or whatever industry she’s in from dealing with her.

Bringing it back to sports, Nick Saban called somebody a coonass, allegedly while retelling a story. Let’s see how many Cajun players decline to play for Nick Saban because of this. I’m guessing around zero.

That’s probably not that different from the number of black kids who refuse to play sports in South Carolina, a state that still flies the Confederate Flag on their statehouse grounds, and Mississippi, a state that has the “Stainless Banner” displayed on its state flag.

Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to break out the soapbox this week.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

NBA All-Star Snubs and Subs

Since I’ve been gone, a lot of happened in the world of sports. In a matter close to my heart, Drexel lost to VCU 75-68 in the CAA game of the year.

Serena Williams dominated Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open final to win her 8th Grand Slam title. Roger Federer won his 10th Grand Slam title at the same tournament the next day.

The Super Bowl is now a week away, and we’re still talking about black coaches.

Aaron Brooks, not the one in the picture, from Oregon has made the race for college basketball’s player of the year a three way battle between him, Alando Tucker of Wisconsin, and Kevin Durant from Texas.

All of these things are cool, but since I want to get on my soapbox, I’m going to talk about the NBA’s All-Star selections.

I, like many, think the process needs to be overhauled. Shaq is starting for the Eastern Conference, thanks to the fans. He’s played in 6 games this season, only topped 20 points and 10 rebounds once (in different games), and is averaging 12 pts, 6.5 rebounds and 1.5 blocks. ‘Zo Mourning (his backup and non all-star) is averaging 10 points, 5.7 rebounds, and almost 3 blocks.

Yet, when Shaq retires, his number of All-Star game appearances will be used to place him as possibly the 2nd or 3rd greatest center of all time. Nobody is going to say, “Hey, he only really earned one of those all-star games with the Heat.” Unless the fans are going to start voting for the Hall of Fame, we shouldn’t vote for the All-Star game.

At the very least, fans shouldn’t have total control over who starts. Unless, of course, nobody cares that Yao Ming will be the leading vote getter for the rest of his life, thanks to the billion plus people in China.

Second, there should be more flexibility with positions. Currently, there has to be 2 centers, 4 forwards, 4 guards, plus 2 wild cards on each team. You’d be hard pressed to find 4 good, legitimate centers in the entire league. The 12 best players from each conference should be selected, regardless of position.

Third, why not expand the roster by at least 2 spots. There are always at least two guys getting shafted each year because of fan voting, limited position flexibility, and the 12 man limit.

Alas, here are your starters for the Eastern and Western Conference. Guys in regular font are rightful starters, guys in italics are guys who should be on the team but not starting, and guys in bold aren’t All-Stars.

Eastern Conference
C Shaquille O’Neal
F Chris Bosh
F LeBron James
G Dwayne Wade
G Agent Zero

Western Conference
C Yao Ming
F Kevin Garnett
F Tim Duncan
G Kobe Bryant
G Tracy McGrady

Along with Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki and Carmelo Anthony should be starting at forward, and Nash at the point. Nash and Dirk are 1 and 2 in the MVP race, and ‘Melo leads the league in scoring. I know he missed 15 games, but he got shafted with the suspension. Shaq should be home.

Here are your Eastern and Western Conference reserves:


C Dwight Howard – 17.1 points, 12.3 rebounds, 1.8 blocks. If bound by positions, he should be starting center over Shaq.
F Jermaine O’Neal – 19.2 points, 10.4 rebounds, 3 blocks. Playing the best defense of his career and he is a candidate for Defensive Player of the Year.
F Vince Carter – 25.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists. Vince is doing his thing, and should be a guarantee. He might get shafted for the years that he made it thanks to the fans.
G Jason Kidd – 14.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 9 assists. He’s a triple double threat every time he takes the floor, him and Vince should have the Nets in first place when its all said and done.
G Joe Johnson – 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. He’s the guy from the horrible team that makes it, since he’s having a better all-around season than Michael Redd.
F Caron Butler - 20.8 points, 8 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 2 steals. He’s playing some of the best all around ball in the entire conference. He’s finally living up to his potential.
G Rip Hamilton – 22.9 points, 4 rebounds, 3.7 assists. He’s the best player on the best team, having a great season.

Two who will get screwed:

G Michael Redd – 27.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists. In reality, he’ll probably make it over Joe Johnson. I’m taking Joe because he dishes out more dimes, and shoots it at a higher clip.
C Emeka Okafor – 15 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3 blocks. He edges out Eddy Curry for the “Guy who should be on the team instead of Shaq award.”


C – Yao Ming’s Replacement – Dirk Nowitzki – 25.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 50% FG. The best player on the NBA’s best team should be starting in the All-Star game. Especially since he has a good chance of being MVP.

C Amare Stoudemire – 18.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.4 blocks. This will go down in history as the best post-microfracture surgery season ever.
F Carmelo Anthony – 31.5 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4 assists, 49% FG. He’s having the season of his life and should finally make the all-star team after getting shafted in his own town last year.
F Carlos Boozer – 22.1 points, 11.8 rebounds, 3 assists, 57% FG. If Utah was playing better, he’d be an MVP candidate too.
G Steve Nash – 19.5 points, 11.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 54% FG, 50% 3PT. This is one of the biggest no-brainers ever.
G Allen Iverson – 28.8 points, 7.5 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 2 steals. It’s a shame he had to sit out all those games, but I’m glad he’s on a Denver team that wants him.
F Josh Howard – 19.4 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1 steal, 1 block. He’s Dallas’ Matrix Jr.
F Shawn Marion – 18.7 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.4 blocks, 52% FG. The Matrix Sr. is still one of the most unheralded players in the league.

Two who will get screwed:

G Kevin Martin – 20.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1 steal, 49% FG. I’m surprised Mark Stein didn’t mention him in his column. He’s having a career year for the pathetic Kings.
G Baron Davis – 20.6 points, 8.6 assists 4.6 rebounds. 2.1 steals. His field goal percentage sucks, but otherwise he’s thriving with Nellie in Golden State. He’s also made Jason Richardson expendable, who the Warriors can use to get a better fit for their system.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Why A.I. and 'Melo Will Work

Many people in the sports world have been questioning whether or not Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson can co-exist. After their first game together, a blowout vs. the Grizzlies, the reactions have been mixed.

On the Yahoo! Sports side, you have Adrian Wojnarowski, who’s all for the team. Steve Kerr, on the other hand, isn’t really sold on it.’s Kelly Dwyer thinks the duo needs to shoot better to be more effective, but is fairly optimistic.

Over at the worldwide leader, Mark Stein loves the pairing of course. Most of his friends on “Around the Horn” today hated it, with Jay Mariotti as the ring leader. I’m sure these guys will tell us when he becomes the leader of the Nuggets bandwagon after they crush the creampuffs on their schedule from here until the all-star break (9 of 13 teams under .500).

Those who don’t think they can co-exist talk about who’s going to get the shots, who’s going to be the alpha dog, etc. They believe that when both aren’t averaging 30 points a night, one will get mad at the other, etc. Those who believe in the duo cite that Iverson is ready to just win at his age, and he’ll happily defer, which I believe is true. However, there’s another dynamic that not a lot of people are talking about.

Carmelo Anthony is 22 years old, going on 23 in May. When Allen Iverson debuted in 1996, ‘Melo was 12 years old. Look at this picture.

Both cornrows, headbands, tatted up, even the arm sleeves and rubber bands look similar. Iverson was probably the athlete Anthony admired the most as a teenager. I’m 21, so I can relate.

Michael Jordan was the man when guys our age were little kids, but after Iverson did this to Mike, he became the new favorite player for many of us. We still wanted to be like Mike but we knew we couldn’t.

However, A.I. was like us. He was young, small, flashy, and had a “Reasonable Doubt” mid-90s swagger. He wasn’t soaring through the sky, fighting off bad guys and giving kids Valentine's Day cards.

He was crossing people up and breaking ankles, wearing a doo rag and white T to the press conference after the games, talkin’ bout practice. At 12 years old, nobody could dunk, but we could all cross somebody up, or at least make a semi-respectable attempt.

The point is this; Iverson is going to try to make it work as much as possible because this is the best team he’s played on as a professional. But Anthony is going to try to make it work as much as possible too, because he’s playing with a guy he’s obviously been looking up to.

The Nuggets may not win the championship this year, but with a healthy K-Mart (knock on wood), a skinnier Nene, and some seasoning they might be the early favorite for 07-08.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Championship Weekend Wrap-Up

Now that we all know that there are two black coaches in the Super Bowl for the first time, etc., etc., I have nothing to write about today. I was actually going to take a different angle and talk about Tony Dungy's coaching tree, but Jeffrey Chadiha beat me to it.

Oh well, I'm 2-0 with predictions on the blog, and being right is the only thing that matters. (The scores were way off, but the teams were right.)

I'll be back tomorrow with something better, if there's anybody out here. As for news, I just heard that the Patriots are looking at boosting their receiving corps by signing Taylor Jacobs. (That's a joke folks, but it would be nice to see the Caldwell, Jacobs, Gaffney trio reunited).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bears vs. Saints (The Other Game)

I was definitely wrong about the Saints. In a column I wrote for The Triangle after their win over the Falcons, I ripped the City of New Orleans for spending all that money on Superdome repair. I figured the Saints would suck eventually, fan support would dwindle, and the Benson’s would be deep in the heart of Texas by 2008 at the latest. Oops.

This match-up pits America’s Team from the city America still forgets vs. Da Bears. If the Saints win, we’ll hear stories about still unrepaired New Orleans, Katrina victims, and the greatness of Reggie Bush and Sean Peyton.

If the Bears win, we’ll hear about “The Fridge”, Sweetness, and of course The Super Bowl Shuffle. Can Rex Grossman win the big game? That’ll probably still be asked if they win the big game today.

Bears Passing Game vs. Saints Pass Defense

The Saints corners are old and slow. If you don’t believe me, then read this. Meanwhile, Bernard Berrian is very fast. He caught a 68 yard touchdown pass last week, and in 6 of the 15 games he’s played this season he’s averaged over 20 yards per catch (including last week’s playoff game).

His quarterback is the much maligned Rex Grossman. It was only about a year ago when Rex was the Bears savior. Remember that Bears team that won all those games with Kyle Orton as QB on the strength of their D? Then Grossman came back and played hero for a few games, remember?

I remember. Grossman may be the worst QB left in the playoffs, but he’ll torch the Saints slow QB’s.

Advantage: Bears

Bears Running Game vs. Saints Run Defense

The Saints gave up 129 rushing yards during the regular season, while the Bears ran for 119. Factoring in the cold weather and home field advantage, there isn’t much else to say.

Advantage: Bears

Saints Passing Game vs. Bears Pass Defense

The Saints have the most prolific passing game in the NFL this year, while the Bears have a pretty decent pass defense. Their corners are good, but their best safeties are hurt. The Saints have done a great job of protecting Drew Brees, but the Bears are good at pressuring the QB into making mistakes.

Advantage: Push

Saints Running Game vs. Bears Run Defense

I was going to go with a push on this too, until I saw ESPN’s NFL Matchup show this morning. They showed how the Bears weak side linebacker is afraid to take on blocks. You can’t be scared in the playoffs.

On another note, Reggie Bush is good but he’s not God and he’s not rebuilding New Orleans with his bare hands either. Deuce is the Saints running game; Bush is just a nice compliment.

Advantage: Saints

Special Teams

This dude that plays for the Bears is amazing. (Whats up with this Bow Wow song on all the highlight reels on Youtube? There has to be a better song) Meanwhile, the Saints still have this guy kicking. (Shoutout to Hampton Road's own, Aaron Brooks - the Greatest QB in Saints history, who made a cameo in the last clip. Don't believe me? Check out his numbers vs. Archie Manning. Keep in mind that Archie played 6 more seasons than Aaron did with the Saints.)

Advantage: Bears


Defensive genius Lovie Smith, who helped design the “Tampa 2” defense, takes on the great Sean Peyton, who was the NFL's greatest coach in 2006.

Advantage: Push


No city deserves a trip to the Super Bowl more than New Orleans. However, their luck has to end at some point, doesn’t it? First, Miami signs Culpepper. Then Houston takes Mario Williams. Then nobody take Marques Colston, and the list goes on. Since they’re over due with karma and luck, there’s only one way to go with this.

Advantage: Push

Final Score: Bears 20, Saints 17

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Greatest Game Ever (Preview Edition)

The match-up of the century is among us again. The greatest game ever played part 100 will be played tomorrow as the Colts try to knock off the Pats for the first time, like ever. (They’ve actually beaten the Pats twice in the regular season the last two years, but that doesn’t count).

Peyton Manning is apparently trying to win his first big game or something. So is Tony Dungy. Tom Brady and Bill Belichick can do no wrong.

Tom Brady keeps winning games, even though he’s playing with wide receivers picked up from a local Boston Intramural flag football team.

Adam Vinateri is the best soccer player in NFL history. The Colts have the best defense in the league now, after weeks of having the worst.

Bill Belichick is a defensive genius, but Tony Dungy isn’t. Tony Dungy is the mastermind behind the “Tampa 2” defensive scheme that many defensives in the league run now, but he’s not a defensive mastermind.

I could go on, but I’m not. The point is everything now is hyped to the point that it’s past ridiculous. However, I can’t help but to put my two cents in the debate on who’s going to win. The proof is in the match-up flavored pudding.

Colts Passing Game v. Patriots Pass Defense

The last two times Peyton played New England, his stats look like this:

20-36, 326 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT – (week 9 2006)
28-37, 321 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT – (week 9 2005)

Very similar stat lines indeed. That shows me two things. First, the Patriots DB’s aren’t as tough as they used to be, or they’re not allowed to be as tough as they want to be by the NFL’s strict pass interference rules.

Second, they’re not getting any pressure on Peyton. If you pressure Manning, he makes bad plays, if you give him time, you’re dead.

Advantage: Colts, especially if Rodney Harrison can't play.

Colts Running Game v. Patriots Run Defense

Joseph Addai and Dominic Rhodes are the main reason why the Colts won against Baltimore last weekend. That and a dumb Ravens game plan. Meanwhile, the Patriots were horrendous against the run last week vs. the Chargers. Does two decent RB’s = one LT? No, but I still like Indy.

Advantage: Colts

Patriots Passing Game v. Colts Pass Defense

In a normal game, I’d take the Colts. The Pats are playing with an old WR, and WR cut by WR deficient Philadelphia, and a WR who wasn’t better than Eric Parker in San Diego(who had two bad drops and a muffed punt last week). Coincidentally, Gaffney and Caldwell were teammates at Florida.

On top of that, the Colts are finally at full strength in the secondary and Dwight Freeney and his gang up front are on fire.

However, for some reason the Patriots seem to do everything better in the postseason, especially blocking and route running.

Advantage: Push

Patriots Running Game v. Colts Run Defense

As I noted before, the Colts have the best defense in the league now, even though their run defense was atrocious in the regular season. However, Kansas City and Baltimore have pathetic passing games, so Indy could play to primarily defend the run.

New England has an excellent passing game with Tom Brady, which should open up the run. That is, of course, if New England chooses to stick with the run. The Patriots abandoned the run last week, and they’ll do it again if it’s a shootout.

Advantage: Push

Special Teams

Vinateri over the other dude is a no-brainer, but Terrence Wilkins returning kicks makes me nervous.

Advantage: Push


In a match-up between two defensive geniuses, the coaching shifts to the offense. I’ll take the offensive coordinator in the booth over the one on the field that doubles as a QB.

Advantage: Patriots


The Patriots don’t pay people, so karma has to catch-up with them some day. Troy Brown got screwed by them and that was like two years ago.

In my opinion, the Patriots also have an inordinate amount of luck. (That Brown strip last week wasn’t luck though; it was an instinctive defensive play by a player that sometimes plays defensive.)

As for focus, I don’t know if the Patriots will be focused, believe it or not. I mean, Tom Brady has a new girlfriend. And with all those troublemakers they have, that should hurt their focus too. (I’m talking about the guys dancing on the Chargers logo last week, if T.O. did that, he’d be in jail right now)

Plus, if they’re any hot women in Indy I’m sure Belichick will have his mind elsewhere. Especially if they’re married.

Advantage: Colts

Final Score: Indianapolis 27, New England 17

Friday, January 19, 2007

You're Killin Me Ronnie, I mean Mike Vick

On Wednesday morning, Michael Vick was at Miami International Airport to board a plane heading back to Atlanta. He was asked to throw away his water bottle, and was so reluctant that the TSA staff decided to dig the bottle out of the trash.

According to the police report, the bottle contained "a small amount of dark particulate and a pungent aroma closely associated with marijuana."

Not very good news for Vick, who's no stranger to to bad news. In my first post, which I'm sure all 2 of my loyal readers remembers, I said that I have a bias towards athletes from Hampton Roads. Well, Mr. Mexico, how am I supposed to defend this?

Well I cant, because it seems as though the he was in possession of one of these.....

Since I can't explain or defend it, all I want to know is how reluctant was Vick to give up the bottle? Was he this mad about it? Guess it runs in the family. At least everyone else from the area has behaved this week.

On another note, it is Friday, here's my Mid-Season CAA review from The Triangle, Drexel's student newspaper.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kevin Durant > Greg Oden

One of these two guys will be the number one pick in the NBA Draft in June. (If they both come out of course) If I'm a GM I'm taking Durant, even though Oden has a million times more hype.

First, Durant has a better game for today's NBA. Durant is a long 6'9 that can handle the ball like a guard, post you up, or take you off the dribble. Plus, he rebounds too.

Oden is an old school post player who's pretty one dimensional offensively. In today's NBA, the traditional center is almost obsolete. Even Yao Ming can do things facing the basket. Shaq and Zo Mourning are two of a dying breed and they're pretty much done.

Durant can not only check today's version of the center, but he can exploit them off the dribble. Durant has taken over games with Texas already and he's going to be the most dangerous individual player in March. Oden is phenomenal, but he can't take over a game like Durant.

Last, lets look at the stats. Now I know Oden is still recovering from an injury and doesn't get many minutes, so this may not be fair. (I'm leaving off Free Throws because Oden is shooting them with his other hand right now.)

Durant - 25 PPG, 11 RPG, 2 APG, 2 STL, 2 BLK, 49% FG, 37 % 3PT

Oden - 15 PPG, 10 RPG, 1 APG, 4 BLK, 61% FG

Oden's numbers are very good numbers, especially for somebody who's hurt, but this guy has similar numbers with absolutely no hype or notoriety. (Oden is scoring twice as many points, but he gets twice as many shots per game)

I'm definitely not saying Chaz is as good as Oden, what I'm saying is that Oden isn't the end all be all, but Durant might be. The proof will be in the March Madness flavored pudding. Both are balling with teams of essentially all first year players, so lets see who leads his young team the furthest this season.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Welcome to the wide world of sports, sportsology style. I figure this would be a good time to get all my biases out there so here we go (with little rhyme or reason):

  • I go to Drexel University, so I'm a big fan of the "mid-majors" in college sports.
  • Steve Nash is my favorite basketball player.
  • I'm from Hampton Roads, VA, so I might be a little overprotective of our hometown guys (i.e. Allen Iverson, Michael Vick, not so much Marcus Vick). Be prepared to read about our guys.
  • Although the Sports Guy is my favorite sportswriter, his support of Boston teams at all costs makes all Boston teams intolerable to me. I especially hate the Patriots and the Boston Yankees.
  • I'm a young dude, so I feel like I can relate to the athletes and I will defend an athlete a lot of times when most sports writers are bashing him.
  • I think rankings are cool, but I think a good computer rankings system is often superior to biased human polls.
  • I'm a big fan of my dad, even though he thinks he knows more about sports than me. He's very biased towards his left coast teams. Be prepared to read about him and his predictions. For 2007 I'm 0-2 against him (Ohio State's L against Florida and Michigan's L against USC)
  • I love post game tirades and the guys who give me things to laugh about on Youtube. (Sgt. Kellen Winslow's rant is my all-time fav.)
  • I think not having a playoff in college football adds to the excitement of the sports regular season.

That's all I can think of for now. Feel free to call me out at anytime.