ESPN: World Wide Leader of Baloney

ESPN. The worldwide leader in sports….or is it something else, something dishonest, something false, something almost as fake as an E! television show.

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Although I do enjoy watching my Top 10 from time to time…and those damn 30 for 30s are just too good to pass up, lately ESPN’s news coverage has been a bit unbearable….in fact downright shameful.

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It all started last fall with Les Miles and his “pending termination” from LSU.

For a good two weeks ESPN wouldn’t shut up about LSU firing Les Miles, interviewing anyone they could find on campus to ask them their thoughts on the matter.  Yes, of course, one of the best college football coaches in the land who has taken his team to 11 bowl games with a 7-4 record, a coach that weaseled his way into convincing the NCAA to share a BCS Championship with USC, a coach who has an overall winning record with 112 wins and 32 loses is going to get canned. Makes sense to me.

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Hell the guy is environmental for god sakes, he actually drinks grass. Why would LSU get rid of this guy?

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It was so over-publicized that for his last home game in Baton Rouge, his team literally carried him off the field (RUDY, RUDY), because ESPN successfully convinced them that this was the last time they would be playing for Les Miles.

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ESPN fasho was front row and center for the post-game press conference for “The Announcement.”  Sorry Lebron, not this time.

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And you think it couldn’t get any worse?  Introducing Super Bowl 50, Cam Newton vs. White America.  I’m sure no one can exactly pin point who began this idiotic discussion, but I would definitely bet that ESPN had something to do with it.  And why wouldn’t they? Race is a hot enough topic that always ignites rapid fire op-eds and discussions in the news and beyond.  Some would say that’s just good journalism…..puke in my mouth.

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“The Plight of the Black Quarterback,” they are calling it.  Cam Newton is making headlines not because he has led his team to their second Super Bowl or the fact that he is highly favored to win this year’s MVP, but because of his celebratory antics and “fun” behavior on the field.

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Unfortunately, the rules that apply to other star quarterbacks in the NFL don’t seem to apply to Newton. And according to ESPN reports,  he apparently knows exactly why.

“I’m an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people,” Newton said frankly just days after winning the NFC Championship game. “[B]ecause they haven’t seen nothing that they can compare me to.”

Paging Russel Wilson……an African American Quarterback who actually has a Super Bowl ring honey, hold up.

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Perhaps Cam Newton is the one who brought up the issue, but ESPN is having a fucking FIELD DAY, covering the story like white on rice….sorry bad choice of words there.

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There is not much talk about Peyton Manning, no real talks about the point spread, only talks about Cam Newton and his race.

Linking his antics to his race is somewhat of a cowardly blow (YEAH CAM).  However, it is not ‘pathetic cowardice’ that ESPN is worried about it.  No, they need to hold the attention of their viewers at all costs, even if it means hosting an on-site poll asking fans to vote what they think of the issue.

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Newton’s “race” really isn’t the issue to begin with.  The only reason it is an issue is because ESPN is making it “THE ISSUE.” The true issue, which the ESPN poll participants have so sensibly concluded, is his behavior. Nothing about his childish behavior is linked to the color of his skin. Nothing about his college antics of cheating on a number of final exams, stealing expensive electronics from students’ dorm rooms, getting arrested in 2008 with charges of grand theft, burglary, and obstructing justice.  And who can forget his father, Cecil Newton, seeking $120,000 to $180,000 for his son to sign with the Bulldogs out of junior college.

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His past and present actions speak louder than race.  In fact, they SCREAM.

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By the way, someone should snatch that Heisman back…..

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Bringing up race is never a good idea, unless you are running a news station I guess. I understand why ESPN is fixating on the issue, but I feel that sports is the one place where ACTIONS should speak louder than one’s words or appearance. Only performance on (and off) the field should be judged. ESPN should know better.

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I can’t speak for everyone, but I don’t think we are judging Cam Newton by his race.  We are judging him strictly on his actions, both past and present.  Yes, he loves to have fun on the field and wants everybody to recognize it.  Fine, cool, go for it buddy.  Just make the cheerleaders look bad why don’t you.

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But why ESPN…WHY must you focus on his race? This merely makes the rest of us look bad because by watching your programming (which is prtety inevitable if you are a sports fan), we are unconscionably placing this topic of concern in our own minds, putting the discussion in the forefront, ultimately undermining what we have worked so hard to achieve as a society, where race shouldn’t the ultimate judgement.  It’s in the Constitution y’all!

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Now I am truly scared to see what type of questions ESPN reporters will ask Newton after the Super Bowl, win or lose.  “So Cam, do you feel any BLACK-ER winning/losing the Super Bowl….?”

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Do We Secretly Like Women Beaters?

The subject of women have recently been all the buzz in the sports world lately (and no, not exactly for athleticism….but by the way: Go Team USA)

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Women have been popping up all over ESPN because men have been popping them in the face!  And frankly, the overexposure has become a bit overwhelmingly nauseating.

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High-powered athletes are getting caught taking a few swings at the females.  So what else is new? The media has been covering domestic violence issues amongst athletes for as long as I can remember.  So what makes is worse now?

Well for one, social media.  No matter how much we can love social media for how it instantly connects us to the entire world, it would be naive to ignore the bad that comes with it. We want to know everything that is out there and we want to know it NOW!  We are all like children eating up any news that we find entertaining and dramatic, and notable athletes beating up women on camera is something we can’t get enough of.  The same goes for those who do the actual reporting of the news as well.

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Thanks to social media, we will always be in the”know” because we now can freely join in on the conversation without even being invited. #Rude

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Dare I say that our actions have led me to believe that we unconsciously reward these miscreants? Yes, I do.   Take for instance, De’andre Johnson, former quarterback of the Florida State Seminoles. Right after he clocked a female college student in the face at a bar and was promptly dismissed from the football team by Coach Jimbo, ABC’s Good Morning America Sports scooped him up for a sit down interview within 1 week of the released footage.  Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t sit down interviews require some sort of compensation? Compensation for Mr. Johnson, and granted, his Mother!

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Something isn’t right there….

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Same goes for Ranay Rice, Ray Rice’s personal punching bag for one fleeting moment in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.  That domestic dispute alone got more media coverage than the Super Bowl.  I’m sure Ranay Rice was compensated for her in-person interview(s) as well.  Believe me, there were multiple interviews.

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I know, I know, these in-person interviews aren’t all that bad.  For one, they shed light on an important issue that needs to be discussed and dissected in order to mitigate any similar future misfortunes. And two, it gives women who may have been victims of domestic abuse a voice, a once ignored voice that many can and need to relate to.

But do we really need to give all of these convicted male athletes another platform to plead their case? Do we need to hear more of their excuses for hitting a woman? Don’t get me wrong, female athletes can be guilty for the same actions.  Just look at Hope Solo parading around the Women’s World Cup like she is has never even touched a fly.  Homegirl has three domestic violence incidents under her belt, with her being the Fight Club culprit!  One of the very few situations where the double standard works to the advantage of women.  Sigh.

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I think we heard enough from males discussing the domestic mistakes they’ve made in the past.  Good for them….but do we really need to see it, hear it?  Can we, as viewers, even tell if these guys are telling the truth? By us merely watching their ESPN/Good Morning America TV spots on the domestic issues at hand inadvertently rewards these guys, listening to their forced apologies and considering absolution. We aren’t directly rewarding them for their actions but we are subconsciously thanking them for entertaining us, and of course, giving television channels their precious ratings.

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If compensation is actually accepted, then we clearly have our cultural priorities fucked up.  If we wanted to preserve any dignity that is left in these assailants’ souls, even their families, we as a society would let the armed forces deal with the legality of the situation (DUH!), but more importantly, we would merely walk away.  Why pay attention to someone who doesn’t deserve your attention, doesn’t deserve your beloved ESPN watching? The only reason we are paying attention to these stories is because violence is so engrained in our American culture. What can I say, America don’t take shit from no one.

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We need to make a conscious effort to stop rewarding these guys.  Paying more and more attention to these men is cowardice and shameful.  We are cowardice ourselves if we give these guys the time of day. Go watch something more positive and constructive, like Animaniacs.

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Let’s stop rewarding these guys by giving them the pleasure of sitting down and explaining themselves. Who cares? You hit a woman. You are scum.  Go away……

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OR Rhonda might call you out.

He Has Risen

The Resurrection is real people.  And no, I am not talking about Easter.  But if you put it that way, this may be an Easter of sorts….an Easter for one.

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Tim Tebow is gracing the NFL with his holy presence yet again. I don’t know about you, but frankly, I am quite excited about this revival.

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Throwing the words “resurrection” and “revival” could be a bit of a stretch, but hey, who am I to hate on one of Jesus’s football disciples? Granted Tebow never went to Notre Dame, but I am sure he has a poster of “Touchdown Jesus” pasted up on one of his walls next to his Florida Gator crucifix.

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Just like Jesus, Tebow has seen and experience adversity in his days. The NFL maliciously swallowed and spit out Tebow 2 years ago, leaving him nothing except his unrelenting faith in GOD and in the good graces of the almighty SEC Network.

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The comeback of Tebow is upon us and I couldn’t be more excited. And to top it off, I couldn’t think of a better city to open up their loving arms and embrace the God Squader like a brother than Philadelphia.  Although the Philadelphia Eagles already have a so-called “quarterback,” Tebow could be the perfect accessory to Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense.

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Will Tebow get any action? Who the hell knows. He only signed a 1 year contract agreement. As a die-hard USC Trojan fan, you would think I would be rooting for the ladder.  Don’t get me wrong, I am fully pulling for Matty Barkley to dazzle the City of Brotherly Love with his cannon of an arm and Little Rascal smile. Also pulling for Mark Sanchez to fully recover from his butt fumble concussion and come to realize that retirement would be more of a favor to the entire sports world than just himself.

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But you have to admit, there is just something about Tebow that is unrelentingly charming. Setting aside his “Don’t Get an Abortion Because I Was Almost One” SuperBowl commercial, Tebow has a great attitude on his shoulders, a contiguously positive attitude that many could and should envy. Can’t hate a guy for trying and trying and trying and trying to make his dreams come true.

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Rooting against Tebow is like rooting for Moses to drown in the Red Sea or for Joseph to never find that Technicolor Dreamcoat. No…..that’s just wrong.

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And the best part of all? Tebow-ing will be making it’s comeback with a vengeance…..in PRETZEL FORM.

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NFL Bust a Nut

The NFL Football Draft is almost upon us and the prospective picks are definitely the “buzz.”  But can we really take these meat heads seriously?

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In fact, can we take any professional football analyst, NFL scouts or coaches seriously?  Can we trust their judgement when it comes to selecting players who they deem worthy enough to take them to the Super Bowl promise land? It’s important to remember that more than half of these analysts, scouts and coaches were former football meat heads themselves.

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I love College Football, but honestly come NFL Draft season, I can’t help but get a little discouraged. Not only do you feel for these players whose futures lie in the decrepit hands of 60-something men who are either geniuses or don’t know what the hell they are doing, but you also can’t help but get your hopes up.  “Future of the Franchise” they will say!

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If you are a football fan, you can easily count the number of NFL busts. Although the list may be plentiful, it is still soul crushing to recall the fact that these once great athletes are now either in jail, on weight watchers, making PURPLE DRANK, addicted to drugs, etc.  It is the type of sad feeling that makes you evaluate and reflect on your own life and the choices you make along the way.

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Hello, have you seen Moneyball…?!

What isn’t sad is predicting the next upcoming NFL busts.  Maybe because it has yet to happen or makes you feel like a Jedi Knight predicting the future, but the point is that these players’ reality has yet to set in and the potential for them to “bust” is up in the air.  Feelings of grief and sorrow may or may not occur.  So hey, don’t feel bad!

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So here are my top 5 predictions for this year’s potential NFL busts.  The players on this list aren’t necessarily newbies or rookies.  Some are players who have played professionally for a few years and are on the verge of “busting.” SO let the judging begin.

 

1. Jameis Winston

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Jameis Winston seems like an obvious choice for the top pick in the 2015 draft. He not only led Florida State to an undefeated season and a national championship, but he won the Heisman Trophy behind some incredibly efficient numbers.

However, this past 2014 season?  Not so much. With 21 touch downs and 17 interceptions this year despite an offense with a massive talent advantage, I highly doubt that he has the budding future of a franchise QB.

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His long list of off-field antics is just embarrassing.  His shameful behavior has caused many to doubt whether he is too much of a risk to consider a franchise quarterback.  You have to admit, any 20-year who has the college football world at his feet is going to have some indiscretions under his belt.  But steering clear of the “no duh” obvious, a professional man would exercise some civility.  Yea, good luck with that Crab Boy.

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2. Johnny Manziel

Oh Johnny.  Where to begin….?

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Short, Frail, Incompetent, Party Boy, Immature, Out of the Pocket Scrambler, Fugly…..these are just some of the words that accurately describe Johnny Football.  Although he was an exciting player to watch at Texas A&M, he has barely seen any noteworthy action in the Pros.

For starters, he didn’t make his first start until the season was all but lost.  When he did start, let’s just say that it didn’t go so well. In total he has only thrown 175 yards with ZERO touchdowns. Go Team Hoyer.

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All he has been actively demonstrating is his lack of respect.  Although he may not look the part, he is definitely a Gronkowski “Meat Head” wannabe, partying it up every chance he gets (My apologies for sullying the name of “Gronk,” the meat head actually has a Super Bowl Ring).  Manziel’s partying ways took him all the way to rehab prior to his upcoming 2nd NFL season, which could more or less be the stark realization that he may not be cut out for the NFL limelight.

Not exactly sure if one can surmise that he is not talented or dedicated enough for the game, but one thing is for certain, he is well on his way to becoming a bust.

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3. Mark Sanchez

OMG, does this guy suck.  I have to admit, I DO love saying that 🙂

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Although he has played a number of years in the NFL, Sanchez has yet to experience any well-deserved credit for his less than stellar athletic ability.  And who the hell would give it to him anyway?

In his four years as a starter for the Jets, he was historically bad at playing quarterback, a fact that didn’t stop the Jets from signing him to a multi-million-dollar extension. Also, lest we never forget: the butt fumble.  One of the most glorious moments in NFL history… well not if you are a Mark Sanchez fan.

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The “Sanchise” quarterback is now the backup in Philadelphia, Nick Foles #2, another Pac-12 quarterback who didn’t nearly experience similar success at Arizona University.  My the tables have turned for Dirty Sanchez.

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4. Colin Kaepernick

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This may be a long shot, but Kaepernick’s performance towards the end of the 2014 was anything but stellar. With the sudden departure of his winning head coach Jim Harbaugh, the expected trade of their powerhouse running back Frank Gore and locker room shenanigans erupting, Kaepernick’s fate seems a bit muddled.

Sure he runs like a gazelle and has made a Super Bowl appearance, but without strength in leadership as well as support from his fellow teammates, Kaepernick may surely lose it. He can be just as disposable as his former mentor, Alex Smith.

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However, I do have to acknowledge the fact that Kaepernick wasn’t necessarily a top pick coming out of Nevada.  Being drafted in the second round isn’t bad at all.  But when the label “NFL Bust” is flung around the locker room, it is assumed that the player in question was initially expected to perform at a high level before seeing any professional action.  I am not sure if high expectations surrounded Kaepernick during the draft, nevertheless, his performance this last season along with the ambiguous future of the 49ers may mark the beginning of the end.

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(Yea, you tell him Sherman)

 

5. Ray Rice vs. Adrian Peterson

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The issue among these two players isn’t based on their athletic ability.  It’s their off-field antics that may haunt them for the rest of their lives, so much so that they may not recover.

Both were caught in the act of beating one of their family members publicly, who were then dually reprimanded by the NFL, forcing them to leave the game in the 2014 season.  Although Rice’s actions erupted a mass attack on the NFL and their domestic abuse policy, Peterson’s “debatable” actions also ignited an open commentary on corporal punishment.  It was so serious that the NFL had to give up a precious Super Bowl commercial slot addressing domestic violence, losing millions and millions of dollars, money which could have been allocated towards something that benefits everyone, like beer.

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Public perception has the keen ability (and perhaps burden) to either positively or negatively effect an individuals’ appearance and character.  Despite evidence to the contrary, that perception can be everything, especially in this digital age where information is at everyone’s fingertips in an instant.

This wouldn’t be your feel good come back story of the season folks. Rice and Peterson did some not so nice things and people will not let them easily forget, score a few touchdowns and collect their checks. Public opinion may never let these athletes recover.

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Despite the setback, I am certain that both Rice and Peterson will return to the NFL. Whether they return triumphantly is highly questionable.