James Harden Epitomizes My Boredom With the NBA

The Golden State Warriors ran roughshod on the NBA this year. The San Antonio Spurs, a team I’ve had a deep affinity for, for so long, were right behind them. Kobe Bryant retired.

And I’m bored with the Association.

I’ve been bored for a while. I mean, I love the playoffs. I love basketball. But I’m rooting for something interesting to happen. I want rivalries and tough, physical play between players that want to win more than they want to breathe, but most of those days are over. Sure, there may be some ultra competitive players in the league today, but what’s advertised more often than not, and what’s in the limelight, are millionaire buddy-buddy basketball players high-fiving each other and homie-hugging it out on the court while wearing different jerseys. Their mentality seems to be, “Yeah, winning is okay, but I’d like to play with the other team’s star player and make sure we are still cool so we can hang out in cool suites in the offseason”.

I miss that “fuck you” mentality of players.

James Harden of the Houston Rockets is an unequivocal offensive juggernaut. He could be a superstar if he was dedicated enough to the game of basketball to play defense. There’s a video of him going around the web (I’m too lazy to find it and share) allowing a free layup on a fast break last night during game 2 of the Rockets/Warriors series. That’s a common theme with Harden. You can go on YouTube right this instance and spend a whole day watching his defensive blunders and still have room to watch even more.

Here you have a guy that is incredibly marketable (thanks to the beard), who can be among the cream of the crop as far as top basketball players go, yet he’s… unremarkably below average at defense, and not from a deficiency in talent but from being fucking lazy. What’s the point of watching?

The NBA playoffs are outright physical — you can tell from watching the games — but James Harden is one of the players on the court marking his stamp of an exception to that rule. Why?

Goff or Wentz, What Does it Matter for the Rams?

I’m leaning towards Jared Goff, for what it’s worth. As for Carson Wentz, I know small college program quarterbacks have had success in the big boys football league before, but those are exceptions and not the rule. A quarterback going from a little North Dakota State school to a professional football team based in Los Angeles? Seems like an interesting situation to me. By the way, who did Wentz play against in the FCS? I feel like you could’ve plugged anybody in as the quarterback for North Dakota State, and that team would’ve won.

Goff may be two years younger than Wentz, and he may also weigh less, but he can put on weight. He can go on a regular diet consisting primarily of ribeyes drizzled in butter and pasta. Goff also played at California, a Pac-12 school.

But at the end of the day, the Rams… oh, the Rams… they gave up a shithorde of picks to the Tennessee Titans for this number one overall pick, and at the end of the day I’m not sure Goff or Wentz will be worth their salt.

The Rams haven’t made any improvements to their team this offseason. They’ve lost players — from Chris Long to Rodney McLeod to Janoris Jenkins. That defense, as promising as it’s been, will take a step back. The offense is still a starless group outside of Todd Gurley. The offensive line is still a mess.

The Rams are going into the fifth year of a three-year rebuilding plan. What gives? Jeff Fisher should’ve been gone by now, and with a rookie quarterback inevitably coming in, that will buy him a sixth year after the Rams go 5-11 or 7-9 this year.

It seems to me that the team is sitting around with its collective thumb up its collective ass waiting for 2019 (the new stadium will be ready to roll by then) for the rebranding. This team isn’t geared to win games but to look pretty under the guise of glitz and glamor.

Let’s Take a Deep Breath (UFC 196)

Last night featured another damn good night of fights. The main and co-main event bouts lived up to the hype, anyway. Gian Villante/Ilir Latifi was a grindfest displayed by Latifi (a dominant one), but not very entertaining. I feel that Tom Lawlor soundly defeated Corey Anderson, but he wasn’t granted a decision. The Brazilian Amanda Nunes picked up a damn good showing against Valentina Shevchenko.

The women’s bantamweight division is more entertaining than ever! Miesha Tate defeated Holly Holm with a beautiful rear naked choke near the end of the fight last night to win the title.  At this point, the division has become a case of rock, paper, scissors. Ronda Rousey’s judo beats Miesha’s wrestling, but Miesha’s wrestling beats Holly’s boxing, yet Holly’s boxing beats Ronda’s judo.

As for the main event, Nate Diaz defeated the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, with a rear naked choke of his own in the second round.

In reference to Nate’s post-fight speech, I’m not surprised either, motherfuckers (look up that post-fight interview).

I wanted Conor to win, because he pisses people off (and he’s one of my favorite fighters to watch), but I knew Nate could beat him going in. While Nate is typically a 155-pounder, he’s fought at 170 multiple times in the past, and he’s the much bigger fighter.

Let’s take a deep breath, though, and not act like Nate dominated this fight. Conor clipped him many times and caught him with some good lefts and uppercuts. However, once Nate hurt him, everybody knew it was over. Conor was dead as soon as he shot in for that takedown! That was a safety measure for Conor, like how boxers hug up and clinch when they are rocked!

I’m just glad we don’t have to hear about a prospective Conor/Robbie Lawler fight, because Lawler would rip his face off with his punches. He’s much, much bigger, way stronger and would eat through any of the strikes Conor would have to offer. Also, before the pay-per-view, there were rumors of — if Conor beat Nate — Conor facing Georges St.-Pierre at UFC 200. Hell NO! That would have been a trainwreck.

Props to both McGregor and Diaz for this bout. McGregor for taking a huge leap in weight to go up and fight as a welterweight, and Diaz for taking this bout on 11 days’ notice!

Conor needs to go to 155 lbs. or at least try to not kill himself to stay at 145. Either way, a very, very hungry Frankie Edgar is on the prowl and has been so for a while (even if his fans annoy me).

MMA Fans, Quit Clamoring for Frankie Edgar to Receive a Title Shot

It’s been a long few weeks and I’ve missed out on touching on some heated topics in MMA. Anderson Silva fought Michael Bisping lost week (and lost in somewhat of a controversial fight), and nobody was talking about it beforehand due to Rafael dos Anjos pulling out of his 155 lb. fight with the Notorious One, Conor McGregor, and in the event of his absence he was replaced by none other that Nate Diaz, who will be fighting McGregor at 170 lbs. This is unprecedented (seeing a newly crowned champion go up two weight classes, a 25 lb. difference).

For those of you unfamiliar with Nate Diaz, he’s the little brother of Nick Diaz. Both are world renown (well… in the mixed martial arts world) fighters that double as elite boxers. For everybody who ever dubbed McGregor the UFC’s posterchild that was overprotected by Dana F. White and Co., congratulations, you played yourself. (Damn it, I had to use that meme sometime.)

Anyway, a lot of people are crying about Frankie Edgar not getting the title shot he apparently deserves.

But let’s face the facts, first. Everybody claiming that McGregor was gifted a title shot vs. Jose Aldo last year may or may not be right, but thinking that Edgar hasn’t been dealt a very fair hand by the UFC is illogical.

Edgar’s first title shot came off a win over Matt Veach (a fighter who was 1-0 in the UFC at the time). Meanwhile, Gray Maynard was simultaneously on an 8-fight win streak, one of which was over Frankie Edgar himself.

Edgar’s second title shot came off a loss (remember — he dropped the lightweight title to Benson Henderson and lost to Bendo again in August 2012).

Edgar’s third title loss came on back to back losses (he lost to Bendo twice in 2012 before losing to Jose Aldo in a featherweight title bout during Super Bowl weekend 2013).

Edgar has only fought twice a year — EVERY YEAR — for the last 8 years.

Eleven of his last twelve fights have been main events. The twelfth was a co-main event for one of the biggest events of the year.

He was even given TUF (The Ultimate Fighter) coaching exposure, and that season was one of the worst ever, what with its low ratings.

UFC on Fox commercials

Was given UFC on Fox commentating positions.

Edgar even received endless hyperbolic anointment and incessant fanboying from Dana White.

A guy that has been given title shots in 2 divisions and a horde of opportunities like TUF exposure probably shouldn’t be complaining about a guy that’s had title shots in two divisions and TUF exposure…

…But that’s none of my business.

30 For 30 — Four Falls of Buffalo — The Best 30 For 30 Yet!

The 30 for 30, “The Four Falls of Buffalo” about the 1990-1993 Buffalo Bills might just be the best one ESPN has made up to this point. I finally watched it a couple of mornings ago on Netflix. The final shot of legendary coach Marv Levy being knocked down on the sidelines from Super Bowl XXVIII while the upcoming poem was read was an accurate depiction of those relentless Bills teams that should’ve won one of those four games:

“Fight on, my men,” Sir Andrew Said

“A little I’m hurt but not yet slain.

“I’ll just lie down and bleed a while,

“And then I’ll rise and Fight again.”

The way Buffalo responded to Scott Norwood’s missed field goal from Super Bowl XXV gave me goosebumps. It almost makes me envious of Buffalo football fans (maybe Buffalo sports fans in general, but outside of football they have hockey, which I do not watch), because I’ve genuinely never witnessed that kind of camaraderie as a lifetime Rams fan.

The Bills deserve more credit in hindsight. They had the misfortune (after playing the Giants) of playing two powerhouses, one of which was the dynasty of the ’90s: a legendary ’91 Washington Redskins team and the ’92 and ’93 Cowboys. People like to give those Bills teams shit for losing four Super Bowls in a row, but the bottom line is that other AFC teams didn’t fare well either. In fact, from 1983 until 1997, other AFC teams (sans the Bengals) couldn’t even compete against the NFC in the big dance.

Anyway, that ’90 Giants team was no joke, either. Despite being underdogs in the game where Norwood missed the kick, they had previously slayed the back-to-back champion 49ers and essentially ended Joe Montana’s time in San Francisco. Bill Parcells had assembled one of the greatest coaching staffs of all time.

Take the time to watch this 30 for 30! It’s so well made!

Get Over Yourself

Stop being so harsh on Cam!

You don’t play professional football, so your opponent doesn’t count!

He’s a passionate guy! What? You want him to be passionate when he wins but not when he loses?

You’re just a hater, man! Stop hatin’!

Go on social media and find comment sections rife with that shit everywhere.

My personal favorite are the , “You don’t play professional football!” crowd. Yeah, and you’ve never been president of the United States, but I bet you spend ample time whining about that. Hypocrites.

Being passionate about winning doesn’t entail being a sore loser. I think handshaking in sports is a phony act, but that doesn’t mean you fail to commend your opponent(s).

Cam Newton mumbled in the post-game conference, had his hoodie on and acted like a 6-year-old child who didn’t get his way at the dinner table after demanding dessert over the vegetables.

Sorry, but he’s a 26-year-old man. He just lost the biggest game of his life — I understand that — but it’s time to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and at least pose as an adult. The NFL is a wreck for hosting both teams’ post-game conferences in the same general area, but that’s not a valid excuse for shitty, childish, sulking, pouty behavior.

Russell Wilson experienced even more extreme heartbreak last season, more-so than Cam did this year, because he threw an interception on what was virtually the last play of the game in a situation that originally spelled out a Seahawks touchdown.

Russell Wilson is a grown man with immense maturity.

Why couldn’t Cam do that?

That’s the standard.

Again, expounding from my last post, Cam will grow from this and get better, but why should he be let off the hook? He makes millions of dollars to play a child’s game, but he’s old enough now to assume adulthood.

Celebrate rarely; grind daily.

Cam Newton Had a Chance to Verify His Emotional Maturity Last Night

I gave Cam Newton the benefit of the doubt all season long. The first few years of his career (2011-most of 2014), he was an immature mess. Head down, sulking, pouty, childish. Then he bloomed this year. I looked past the celebrating and the “dabbing” (I still want to know what the hell that means?). I didn’t care. As far as I was concerned, he deserved the right to celebrate as much as he wanted to, as the Panthers were 17-1 going into Super Bowl 50.

keeppouting

Then the Panthers choked the game away. Graham Gano missed a field goal, their special teams sucked it up, they incurred a horde of penalties and couldn’t beat the Broncos over the top. Denver dared Carolina to pass and they couldn’t get the job done. Dropped balls and inaccuracy.

All week last week, people attempted to tear Cam Newton down, the way he carries himself on the field. I wasn’t one of those people, but I never could blame those who felt that way. Many people would write things such as, “I don’t know what it is, but he rubs me the wrong way”.

Cam had an opportunity to win over a lot of those detractors I’m speaking of. It’s easy to show class‘ when you win, but it’s most impressive when that classy behavior is shown following losses.

He had an enormous opportunity to win over a lot of those detractors, show at least a tiny iota of a modicum of humility and give credit where it was due. Cam didn’t. The dude could have just shrugged off the pain of losing and told the media members he’ll work hard in the offseason to get better. He didn’t even have to directly answer about the fumble (a la Bill Belichick) and keep saying it wasn’t enough to win and he needs to get better.

Cam didn’t.

He acted like a petulant child that didn’t get any dessert. He didn’t have to act like that.

Russell Wilson, who was a member of the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks from 2014, after failing to win back-to-back Super Bowls last year when he threw an interception on the one-yard-line, took accountability after the game, promised to get better and move forward. Why couldn’t Cam take that route? It’s arguable (I’d even say factual) that Russ Willy and the Shesquawks’ loss from last year was undoubtedly more difficult to swallow than Cameron Newton and the Panthers’ loss last night, but I digress.

Cam Newton will overcome this. He will get better, but he missed a great opportunity here, and that’s a damn shame.

But what do I know? I’m just a jackass with a computer.