A Gem in the Rough

I was watching the Patriots Raiders game this afternoon when I caught this little guy. The game itself was mediocre at best, but this commercial was Super Bowl worthy. I’ll compare it to receiving a compliment from that guy/gal/inanimate object you’ve been crushing on at work ; hopefully not breaking any new ground, but at the same time giving you a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Watch Your Hands!

I guess you can scratch role model off the list. Former Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon is creating headlines for what he did in a game between his Philadelphia Phillies and the Miami Marlins, The Phillies are a dismal 69-81 so you can guarantee he wasn’t making news for his outstanding play.  No, Mr. Riverdance (which now seems so lame) got himself thrown out of the game for a lewd gesture he made while walking off the mound.

It all started when Papelbon entered the game up 4-1 and ready send the fans home happy. Well, Miami apparently didn’t get the memo as they rallied for 4 runs in route to a 5-4 win. While walking off the mound the Phillies’ closer was deservedly met with boos from the crowd. He didn’t take it very well and “allegedly” (my editor said I had to write this to stay out of legal trouble) grabbed his crotch in a show of outstanding class.

Papelbon

The MLB has since come down and suspended Papelbon for seven games.

The only thing I can say to that is… stay Classy Jonathan.

 

This…Is…PITTSBURGH!

If you haven’t seen this yet be prepared to waste the next 20 minutes (that’s a conservative estimate) watching it on replay.

This weekend Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled off a move that would make King Leonidas himself proud. The wide out was returning a punt  against the Cleveland Browns when he tried to “jump” (or at least that’s his story and he is sticking to it) punter Spencer Lanning. The jump didn’t work out so well, but the result was gif gold!

First the original….

King Leonidas 2

 

Notice the king’s fantastic posture, and his can do attitude as he kicks the Persian diplomat into the hole. (Side not: I love this movie and I am not ashamed to say it).

Now here is Antonio Brown…

Antonio Brown

They say all great pioneers build off those who came before them. Antonio Brown is no different. Notice how he took King Leonidas’s signature kick and added a little running start to it. Not only that but he kept running as if Lanning was just a poor animal who tried to cross the road as a semi was bearing down. I mean if I’m the Russian judge I’m giving the perfect 10 not to the Spartan but to Brown! And that my friends is how you make a statement!

How I Earned 2nd Place in my Sprint Triathlon

No that is not a typo. The picture below (as in the bottom of the article) will prove that yours truly grabbed a silver medal for my age group in the Check for Change Sprint Triathlon. Now I know what you’re thinking, and yes the triathlon groupies were fighting each other to mob me on the podium. What should also be known is that the only other age group I would have medaled in was women age 65+. Finally there were only four competitors in my bracket. I’m pretty sure one missed the race completely and the guy who came in third only had one leg.

Having gotten that little asterisk out of the way let’s look at the distances before I dive into this medal winning performance. The race broke down as follows; 0.5 mile swim, 17 mile bike ride, and a 3.5 mile run. Not to toot my own horn here but:

HOrn

My day started at the early hour of 6 am when we woke up in panic because no one set an alarm. That left this rag tag crew (my parents and myself) just 10 minutes to leave the hotel in order to still make it there on time. Following check-in we were given some prerace advice from the official timer of the day. His simple words of wisdom,

“If you are a slower swimmer make sure you hang out in the back or you will get run over in the water.”

With those encouraging sentiments we were off!  Let me tell you, swimming in a lake where you can’t touch the bottom is a whole hell of a lot different than practicing in a pool. I got about halfway through the swim when I realized I was not only exhausted but in the middle of this God forsaken body of water. Drowning was not my first choice, but I figured it beat being the one person who needed a lifeguard to take them back to shore. Plus if I really went under I could have at least tried to copy Squints from, The Sandlot.

Squints

Once I got back to dry land I almost fell over on the way to the bike station. Not only were my legs shot, but I’m pretty sure I was carrying extra weight having taken in about three gallons of lake water. Things did not get any easier once I hopped on the bike. I was quickly reminded how competitive this “fun” event was when a middle aged woman rocking a cyclist tramp stamp yelled some choice words at me for being too far over as she sped by. As I tried to catch her, and yell something snarky back, I quickly regained my appreciation for the automobile. I promised from that moment on I would never again complain about good old Chuck the Truck (yea that’s the truck’s name). In addition, once I got home I’d give him/her (haven’t decided if it’s a boy or girl yet) a hug and then wash him/her myself.

When I arrived at the starting point for the running portion I was met with yet another crushing blow. This time it wasn’t a physical aliment, but rather a right hook straight to the ego. As I began the final leg I heard a familiar voice pass on by. That voice belonged to my 50+ year old dad. Not only did it seem like he was growing stronger with each step (like some evil villain gaining strength from the misery of others), but his wave kicked off a minute after mine. As he motored along out of sight I wondered if the ambulance bill would have been worth it in order to solidify my fake injury and save some face.  Seeing how my income puts me below the poverty line I decided to suck it up and finish the stupid thing. For the next three miles I powered the little will I had left by cursing everything from the girl who gave me my race packet to the founding fathers who by setting up this great country kicked off a series of events which led me to this paved hell.

Now that I’ve had time to think about my performance I can promise one thing; I will never again run any race of any distance. If I am challenged in the future I will simply point to my silver medal, which I’m getting tattooed on me, and retell this story. Leaving out some of the details of course.

Medal Winner
A man we can all strive to be

Why I want Johnny Manziel To Fail

If the Fantasy Football name contests don’t give it away a quick look at the calendar will; football season is right around the corner. The 2014 NFL draft is now more than 3 months behind us, but the league’s 22nd pick is still making headlines (and not exactly for the right reasons).

I’m talking of course about Johnny Manziel or what is Alex, “The one person who’s living out most men’s fantasies”. The 21 year old not only partied his way through college, but did so to the tune of a 2012 Heisman Trophy and a first round pick in the NFL draft. The guy is so popular that you could probably get lucky with the right woman if you just mentioned he picked on you in high school.

Manziel

Now that we agree I would gladly switch places with him let’s dive into the meat of this; why I want Johnny Manziel to fail (at least to start). When Johnny Football (which is already trademarked by the way) came out and talked about his battle with the playbook it became pretty clear this first round pick wasn’t exactly a stickler for the classroom.

Quick question; how is that an acceptable answer? You just penned an eight million dollar contract, and walked away with an extra four million dollars for correctly spelling your name! When your job is to be a passible NFL quarterback how do you not pick up the playbook on a daily basis? Tack on the fact Cleveland hasn’t been to the Super Bowl since 1965 and it’s almost a crime!

Everything we have seen thus far indicates Manziel expects to go through his NFL career just like his college one; skating by on his sheer athletic talent.  In the world of instant information it wouldn’t take the 21 year old very long to realize that is a dangerous gamble. Just ask Ryan Leaf: one moment you’re an NFL quarterback, and the next you’re reduced to stealing prescription drugs from a high school prep student.

Young Johnny Manziel hasn’t known failure in his entire life, and that’s a problem.  If you haven’t been knocked down a few times what motivation do you have to get better? If you want evidence of this simply look at your most recent Super Bowl winner. Russell Wilson was an undersized third round pick who people thought would at best occupy a backup spot.

It’s now Maziel’s turn to break out of that stranglehold. Whether the Texas A&M alumni realizes it or not, the Cleveland Browns just did him a huge favor by making him their backup. Johnny Football is finally experiencing failure for the first time, and what he does next will likely determine his NFL career. Now he can either go take his ball and go home (to what is likely a gorgeous woman so he has that going for him) or ditch his stupid touchdown dance and take his job seriously.

If you’re a Cleveland fan you hope this is the first step to a path of maturity. But then you remember God hates Cleveland, and that trend setting touchdown dances aren’t easy to come up with on the fly.

 

MANZIEL-MONEY
With moves like that how could Michael Jackson not be proud!

 

Taking a closer look at the, “Decision Part II”

(Cue lights, camera, music and …)

Welcome back to the, Family Feud.  If you’re just joining us you’ve missed a good one as the 2010 NBA fans take on your 2014 NBA fan base. To remind our listeners, who probably just switched over from, The Bachelor, our question is; why isn’t the sports world outraged with the LeBron James, “Decision Part II”? 2010 you won the coin toss so you get three chances to guess the right answer.

2010: “Well Steve we are going to go with he didn’t catch his teammates by surprise and leave them in shambles.”

Interesting choice, show me, “Didn’t catch them by surprise!”

Blake

Oh I’m sorry. The judges think he caught his entire team off guard, and the facts seem to support the case. We start with the point the Miami Heat traded two picks and cash considerations for point guard Shabazz Napier. The UConn graduate impressed the nation with his NCAA title run, but until LeBron James began campaigning for him on twitter he never seemed like an ideal candidate for Miami.

Pick the scouting site of your choice because they all said the same thing; Napier is a point guard who can put the ball in the basket, but is physically a step behind, and sometimes has trouble making the right pass. The scoring sounds great, but the Heat didn’t need another offensive weapon. If they wanted a guard they should have focused on a physical guy who could have chased around the likes of Tony Parker and Derrick Rose. Instead they went out and grabbed the exact opposite because their star player wanted him.

I’ll give LeBron James the benefit of the doubt because perhaps at this point he was still leaning towards Miami. Plus the team’s initial pick, PJ Harrison, is facing charges of assault and battery for allegedly punching a rising high school basketball star. Let’s agree to disagree and move onto the next point.

When Dwayne Wade entered the 2014 off season he was looking at a two year 42 million dollar contract. That’s when Wade and Chris Bosh followed in the footsteps of LeBron James and opted out of their then current deals. It looked like Miami was poised to keep their core group together, and still have the money to bring in top level free agents.  However, that plan quickly fell apart when James bolted for Cleveland. Chris Bosh was able to get a max deal, but the move cost Dwayne Wade 11 million dollars over the next two years.  The 32 year old shooting guard is not strapped for cash, but something tells me he would not have been so generous if he had known how things would play out.

Alright 2010 NBA fan base guess again.

2010: “Well Steve let’s try it’s because he didn’t leave to form a super team”.

Show me, “Super Team.”

No No No

Another swing and a miss! It appears the judges are going off the rumors the Kevin Love trade is a matter of when not if. The reported trade has the big man going to Ohio in exchange for two number 1 picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, and a future protected first rounder.

Don’t get me wrong, I (Kevin) love the trade if I am a Minnesota Timberwolves fan. You’re getting two potential super stars in exchange for a guy who made it clear he wasn’t sticking around. I’m just here to point out James left his team (again) in order to find a situation where he could hand pick an NBA star rather than working through the shortcomings of the current roster.

When LeBron James made his decision I thought we would see him build a contender from within.  Instead we got more of the same. King James took one look around before piecing off the team’s assets to bring in the new, “Big Three”. Perhaps I’m being too critical of the two time NBA champion, but if you want to be compared to Michael Jordan I’m going to hold you to a higher standard. I’m not saying he shouldn’t make his team better, but do it the right way by developing the guys you have.

Well team that’s strike two. Let’s hear your final guess.

2010: “Ok Steve we are going to say it’s because he didn’t hold the league hostage and make a show of it.”

Ok… Show me, “hostages”!

Will Smith

 

(Side note: I am a HUGE Will Smith fan)

Sorry team that’s your third and final strike.

LeBron James’ made it clear he was seeking a max offer back on June 24th. James then took his sweet time waiting until July 11th to announce the, “Decision Part II”. During those two weeks the 4 time MVP toured multiple cities, and took a vacation while NBA free agency came to a standstill. It wasn’t as flashy as his TV special back in 2010, but can we at least agree it’s not hard to draw multiple comparisons? The story became national news, James used the feature to simply promote his own brand, and one city rejoiced while another was caught with its pants down.

So why are things different this time around? Could it simply be that NBA fans, and sports fans in general, just like Cleveland better? It’s clear LeBron James has grown both as a person and a player, but I’ not sure he has cleared that final hurdle just yet. Remember he only penned a two year contract in Cleveland so there is a possibility of the, “Decision Part III”.  Everyone, including James, has said the move is strictly to cash in on the new TV deal, and I do believe him. However, just a month ago the entire NBA world also thought he was staying in Miami.