The Grinches of 2014

When Christmas time rolls around, you can’t help but think of your life and the people around you.  These swimming holiday thoughts are supposed to deliberately make you feel grateful and joyous that you don’t live in a third world country, can freely express yourself on a whim and have some form of sustenance to get you through your day, whether it be food or ESPN, you got it.  Life is good people!

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But you can’t help but wonder why so many people out there have it so good yet are complete jerk faces. Especially athletes.  So let us toast to this year’s Sports Grinches to more or less make us feel better about ourselves….when in actuality we still wish we were a rich Grinch.

1.  Floyd Mayweather Jr.

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How can I not pick this buttface.  You can always count on Mayweather to make the cut for the rest of his life.  But a little incident involving a friend’s suicide definitely put him over the edge this year.  Mayweather apparently witnessed his friend’s suicide over a face to face chat on his laptop.  He obviously failed at saving a life, so he decided to take his unapologetic ass to a Clipper game later that night.

Plus, is he really going to fight Pacquiao in May?  The fight will OF COURSE fall under the exact same day as the Cotto vs Canelo show down.  Sigh…….

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2. A-rod

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This jerk just doesn’t want to go away.  In the beginning of the year, A-rod  was expected to make his big comeback from his PED suspension.  That turned out to be a big fat NO.  It was then later revealed that he paid off a family member , his cousin, to keep his mouth shut about A-rod’s shenanigans.  Would it be terrible to just come clean A-rod??   One of the major reasons he is such a class-A Grinch is that jerk face smile he is always dawning.  Then again, the Yankees do owe him about $60 million……

 

3.  Roger Goodell

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There is just not enough time in the day to begin discussing the gravity of Roger Goodell’s “Grinch” behavior he so unabashedly displayed this past year.  We shall see how 2015 will unfold for Mr. Goodell….wait, I mean the NFL.

4.  Donald Sterling

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Well this guy should be at the top of everyone’s list for 2014.  Donald Sterling proceeded to become the most hated man in the NBA overnight due to his Uncle Ben behavior.  Well, good thing he is banned from the sport entirely.

5. Lebron James

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He went back to Cleveland.  Enough said.

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Do Women and Sports Mix?

We would like to think women and sports go together like peanut butter and jelly 😛 Might be a bit more complicated than that. It’s like what Smither’s said to Mr. Burns,”Women and Seamen don’t mix.” Ha, maybe not really.

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Women and sports have a very interesting and at times depressing relationship. With all of the controversy surrounding Ray Rice’s less than harsh punishment for hitting his wife versus the San Antonio Spurs hiring the first woman assistant coach, it’s unavoidable to question the “real” place women have in sports. There are several different sports that have a separate women’s leagues: WNBA, Softball, Soccer, Golf, Hockey.  And who can forget, lingerie football.  Kidding, kidding.

Of course the manliness sport has to have women play in their underwear……

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These women leagues have yet to experience the success of the men’s leagues, and sadly, probably never will.  Why?  For one, they are not commercially viable in part because people may think watching women play sports is not be as exciting as the big boys and flat-out just don’t care.  If people cared, they would be lucrative markets and be broadcasted nationally.  The popularity of the National Soccer League lasted about as long as David Beckham’s screen time in Bend It Like Beckham, Softball ceases to exist in the Olympics, the WNBA is going to have to hitch hike overseas, The National Hockey League ended 7 years ago and Golf…..well, let’s be honest, who the hell watches golf?

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Despite these women leagues, women athletes do in fact dominate other sports. Unfortunately, those other sports suffer the stigma of being labeled very feminine and dainty, displaying a downright sexist outlook on these women athletes. I’m looking at you Gymnastics, Figure Skating, Synchronized Swimming and Ballet.  YES, ballet.  Ballet is badass.  Haven’t you seen Center Stage? Seriously, can you don’t see those ballet dance moves done by the frail and feeble.

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In typical sexist fashion, these ‘feminine’ sports are slapped with heavy makeup, tight bright spandex, blinding sequins and at times, just awful…awful music. Despite the feminine presentation, these women are badass athletes who work hard to jump 10 ft in the air, land that triple toe lutz, tread water for hours on end while starving themselves.  That sheer dedication and their athletic prowess is immensely admirable and shouldn’t be dumbed down by being too “gay” or “soft.”  Because they are far from it.

The only sport that I can think of where women experience the same level of popularity and success as men is Tennis.  Tennis has become one of the most popular international sports, boasting around 1 billion fans around Europe, the Americas and Asia. Yes the uniforms are a bit ridiculous but the athletic intensity remains the same.  Serena Williams’ athletic power alone probably scares the hell out of men in Compton.

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It’s sad to say, but the reality is that women and sports DO mix but make some sort of odd concoction that doesn’t tend to sit well with the general male public. Then again, you have the women who have left their permanent mark on the sport they played, coached, commentated or just even loved.

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Danica Patrick

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Linda Cohn

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The interesting takeaway from this diverse list of women in sports is that they all are influential, business savvy, and intelligent individuals, yet not all are athletes.  Can we say the same about men?

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Patt Summit is known as one of the greatest coaches of all time.  Danica Patrick defeated all the conservative odds and became the first popular woman race car driver to compete with the boys on the NASCAR track.  Jeannie Buss pretty much single handily runs the Los Angeles Lakers (one of the biggest brands in pro sports) with no thanks to her co-owner brother.  The Williams sisters have permanently made themselves tennis royalty.  Linda Cohn has been a witty sportscaster for over 20 years.

Men do run the sport, but it’s the women who make it interesting. A bold statement that may be.  Bold enough to piss off the boys 🙂

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In an ideal world, women would receive the same respect as men in every facet of life.  But they don’t.  And the sports world is no different, maybe even worse.  Women and sports do mix but takes a bit more effort on the women’s side to make it functional.  Hats off to the women who have and still are succeeding in sports, leaving their mark on a male dominated world.

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BTW: Screw Roger Goodell for slapping Ray Rice on the hands and Stephen A. Smith for saying “She had it coming.” Watch out boys, you may have it coming….

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America the Beautiful

This World Cup has already proven a lot to the United States.  For one, it proved that we as a country might actually like the sport.

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It’s not that we don’t like soccer, we just haven’t embraced it.  If we fully embraced it, we would call it by its original name: FUTBOL.

Sadly, we already have FOOTBALL in this country.  The two just sound too similar, so I don’t think that will change.  We just love FOOTBALL too damn much.  Hell, I don’t even have a category for soccer on this blog.  I really should get on that…..

tumblr_n6y4myJiQB1ro7kx2o1_400 But this is the first World Cup that America actually cared because it may have been the best for our country.  Without question, we witnessed some historic moments, we made it out of the “Group of Death” alive (and kicking, haha!) topped by some amazing late game dramatics in each of the knock-out rounds.

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If we want to break it down, this World Cup had ESPN and Univision breaking U.S. ratings for matches played not only by the U.S. but also other countries.  Twitter had a good time too.  Here is a heat map courtesy of Bleacher Report, illustrating the Twitter activity taking place during the final game, Germany vs. Argentina.

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(On a side note: I think one of the reasons why this World Cup was the most watched in the U.S. is because of its location: Brazil.  Brazil as known as a diverse country filled with rich culture, food, music, ultimately exuding a passionate fan base.  One of the greatest soccer players to ever play the game, Pele, is Brazilian.  You think politically heated Russia and a controversial Middle Eastern country, Qatar, will get similar ratings?  I can’t predict the future, but I can see the ratings take a little dive in these upcoming World Cups.)

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So where does this leave American soccer?

I think America is on a healthy track towards embracing soccer.  It will just take time.  Maybe a little longer than American soccer fans would like, but this isn’t something that needs to be rushed.  Like anyone showing up late to the party, you’re not going to take 5 tequila shots to make up for lost time.  Well, maybe….but that’s just asking for trouble…..and is completely dumb.

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Just like any sport we love in this country, we want it to be able represent a unique personal trait that we can be proud of, something that will ultimately define our character.  Usually those terms include strength, perseverance, bold, determination and just straight up awesomeness.  Our goalie, Timmy Howard, definitely proved to be worthy of that category, setting a World Cup record with 16 saves in a single game. Despite the loss, he persevered through the rest of the world’s disbelief in team U.S.A.  Take that other countries who always do better than us in the World Cup!

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America prides itself on heroes, especially when it comes to world events.  Why do you think we have a daily medal count during the Olympics?  We have to feel like we are the best.  And when it comes to soccer, we aren’t the best.  It’s that simple.

If American history has taught us anything, we know we don’t like to lose. And when we do lose, we seem to overlook EVERYTHING that made us losers.  Probably because we were drunk……

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Maybe we will be the best someday but for now soccer is merely just a sport we are OK at, something we don’t want to fully embrace in our culture until we know we can unequivocally WIN.  I KNOW WE WILL WIN.  The chant isn’t as catchy but at least exudes some type of American confidence.  Besides, we started off as the underdogs and haven’t done so bad for ourselves thus far.  Soccer could merely be just another stepping stone for our nation to prove to everybody else that we are the best.

Besides….we can’t always let the Germans win.

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A Must Read!

Happy Tuesday to all!

I just received a lovely email from good ol’ Dad, sharing with me a fun-filled email that was sent to the Chicago Tribune Newspaper after an article, written by Clarence Page, was published, an article  about changing the name of the Washington Redskins.

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All I can say is YES, YES , YES.  Please read and tell me if you agree that we should send this guy a honey-baked ham.

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Dear Mr. Page…

 

I always love your articles and I generally agree with them. I would suggest, as in an email I received, they change the name to the “Foreskins” to better represent their community, paying tribute to the dick heads in Congress.

I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

 Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.

 The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Gone! It’s offensive to us white folk.

 The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men’s lives.

 I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.

Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged. We are talking about the horrible Oakland Raiders, the

Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!

 Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible fighting or even spending habits. Wrong message to our children.

 The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message to our children.

 The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Wrong message to our children.

 The Milwaukee Brewers. Well that goes without saying. Wrong message to our children.

 So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should. Just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress loves.

 As a diehard Oregon State fan, my wife and I, with all of this in mind, suggest it might also make some sense to change the name of the Oregon State women’s athletic teams to something other than “the Beavers.”

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America, F*ck Yeah….?

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The 2014 Olympics have come and gone, leaving America feeling restless and defeated.  Although the country’s ill-fated Russian relations may have come into play, America still came up short, winning 0 medals in events they usually dominate.  Dominate you say?

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When I think of the word “dominate,” I ultimately think of power, individualism and (in America’s case) imperialism.  Throughout our nation’s history, we have experienced more victories than defeat when playing on the world stage: The Revolutionary War, War of 1812, The Civil War (depending upon which side you were on), WWI, WWII, The Gulf War.  The Olympics are no different. Why do you think we have a medal count?

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The Olympics are any country’s chance to shine through athletic prowess.  Hmm, Russia figured that out real quick.  But the United States had other accidental plans, plans of unintentionally showcasing vulnerability and submission.  Two character traits the country would rather not show to the rest of the world.  Come on, aren’t we supposed to be THE world super power?

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Is this a possible foreshadowing of our future world standing?  Is this our time to step our of the spotlight and let other nations take the wheel?  Who the hell knows, I’m just talking about sports here.

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However, our less than stellar performance at this year’s Winter Olympics did bring our country of bit of shame, embarrassment and disappointment.  Especially in events we usually (and were expected to) win. But hell, must we always feel the need to win, to gloat and to feel accomplished?  Maybe that’s why ESPN, the supposed WORLD wide leader in sports, Olympic coverage was so limited.  Isn’t it safe to assume that there would be at least one Olympic athlete making the coveted Top 10 during ESPN’s SportsCenter every night during the Olympic 2 week run?? Maybe that is too much to ask of ESPN, a channel which seemed to be fixated on only AMERICAN sports rather than Olympic athletes who are competing against, I dunno, the WORLD!  Sure, fine.  The way ice is made more exciting than Lebron’s broken nose.

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The reason we are feeling such disappointment right now IS because of the media.  Good GOD, the coverage was just so skewed to the point where it almost seemed like we weren’t winning any medals. I wouldn’t say the ridiculous media hype placed on the US Olympic athletes in Sochi was the reason why they lost, but it definitely didn’t help.

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Rather than brush off our national disappointment, as Americans we should embrace it.  Brushing it off would be the coward’s way out. The United States is a country that prides itself on itself, a nation that has defied all odds by winning independence, practicing foreign diplomacy and building the most fortified military in the world.  The United States has the financial ability to send as many athletes as they want to compete on foreign soil among the best in the world.  That is an achievement of itself and should bring no disappointment to any country.  Well, except for that Olympic ring fiasco…..sorry Russia…..and that guy from Norway eating it during the Opening Ceremony.

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The whining and sniffling is a mere spoiled child that is used to getting everything it wants.  Let us embrace the change.  This disappointment, this change, is something that will make this country stronger, a strength that will make us become more poised in the way we conduct ourselves abroad, the expectations we hold and the outcomes we don’t necessarily desire, but need.

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This experienced disappointment would have been ideal if it was the Summer Olympics.  Or perhaps this disappointment came at the right time.  Slap in the face America.  Wake up! Let us share the crown with other countries and rejoice in diversity.  What’s the fun in winning all the time anyways?  Just ask Michael.

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Thank you Mr. Sam

The hot topic: Michael Sam.

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Let’s first just say a big “thank you.”  “Thank you” Mr. Sam for shedding light on an important yet at times  overlooked topic in professional sports, particularly the NFL.  The NBA already got Jason Collins, a veteran player who finally came out back in April 2013.  But having an up and coming NFL player come out confidently is very refreshing.

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Second, another big “Thank You” for your courage Mr. Sam.  Not only are you the SEC’s Defensive Player of the year, but you could perhaps be the most talked about NFL player of the 2014 season for your courage and frankly, balls, for being an “open, proud gay” man in football.  Sorry Richard Sherman.

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Some say time doesn’t seem to really move forward in sports, particularly the NFL (and Baseball….jesus they just introduced instant replay for god sakes).  The NFL’s conservative nature is almost palpable with their old school General Managers and white washed demeanor.  Hell, it took them almost 2 decades to realize that brain damage is a bad thing in football.

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But I commend the NFL for taking the news so well, expressing open acceptance of Sam entering the NFL draft this spring.  Then again….why wouldn’t they?  Why would the NFL even come out with a statement to validate their efforts towards tolerance?  Shouldn’t every sports organization in this point and time already be doing that?

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I get it.  We want to believe that we are all living in a world of that is more accepting of others. (Yea, tell that to FOX)  But are we really? Is the NFL really accepting Michael Sam into their world with open arms?

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Well apparently, Fortune 500 companies are.  This news comes according to Sam’s agent Joe Barkett, who says, “Every time I’m on the phone, I’m getting phone calls. There’s always one from a company expressing their interest in Michael. Name any type of industry, we’ve probably heard from a company in their sector in the last 48 hours.”

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Companies see is “market potential” for their monetary gain, completely taking advantage of his emerging “individuality.”  Sam just now has to pick and choose his endorsements wisely so as to not have the public perceive him as a sell out using his sexuality for profit.

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The first step for change is actual change.  Michael Sam now represents the change that is coming to the NFL whether it likes it or not.  With all the NFL insiders claiming that his draft status will be harmed is crap. Statements like that are more detrimental to themselves and their television station than Sam, making them all look like ignorant douches.  The NFL has yet to accept Michael Sam and everything he represents but has the ideal opportunity to take center stage for the recognition of gay athletes come Draft Day.

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If what some NFL insiders say is true concerning Sam’s negative draft status, then we truly are an intolerant society.  But it is highly unlikely that he won’t be drafted because the dude got SEC Defensive Player of the Year.  DUDE, the SEC- The almighty dominant conference in college football, the greatest college football teams in the world right?  What team wouldn’t want that player?!  They be crazy if they didn’t draft him.  (And just think of all the popularity of having the first “openly gay” player on your team).   Tebow couldn’t do it, but maybe Sam can.  Just Kidding Timmy!

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Michael Sam will be the change. He will get drafted.  He will play.  He will persevere.  And he will forever be a shining example for other gay athletes to be honest, forthright and strong.  Thank you Mr. Sam.

The only one who has everything to lose in this fight is the NFL.  So don’t fuck it up boys.

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New Years Resolutions Sports Fans

(I know I’m a week late but hey, that’s how 2014 goes….)

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Every New Years Eve there is a always a little flutter of chatter among party goers discussing what they wish to accomplish next year.  New Years Resolutions are far too common yet far too annoying.  I want to lose weight, I want to help those in need, I want to be just like Jay Cutler (well, I don’t know about that one)…..blah blah blah.

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How about if we could make resolutions for our favorite athletes?  Especially those who you KNOW are going to make bad ones.  Don’t look now sports fans, but here is your one and only chance to improve the lives of athletes and sports here:

1. Lebron James

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Does this guy really need a new years resolution?  Yes.  Stop being a douche-bag and talking about the Miami Heat like is it YOUR team.  My new years resolution for you is to NOT win the NBA Championship, become a bit more humble, maybe not whore yourself out to every endorsement deal that comes your way and, more importantly, educate yourself fool!

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Despite your lack of a college degree, you have seen the world, met new people and have the advantage to take hold of opportunities others would die for.  How about you enroll in some prestigious university part-time and learn something new….like not being a dumb as rocks douche-bag.

2. Nick Saban

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Oohhhhhh Mr. Saban.  I thought your new years resolution would be to start fresh and establish yourself as the Lord and Savior Football Coach for the University of Texas.  Sadly, no.  Alabama is here to stay.  I think Saban wants to achieve not necessarily the impossible, but to achieve the impressive.  With a new year, comes a new system, a system of College Football Playoffs baby!

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Although the Crimson Tide failed to make it to the BCS National Champion game nor win the Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma, I believe Saban will try to shock the world in 2014 by competing once again for the National Championship spotlight.  Saban will get into the final 4 team playoff whether we like it or not.  You go girl.

3. College Football Playoffs

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Oh man, I can hardly contain myself on this one.  I can only hope the 2014 College Football Playoffs will be nothing short of amazing.

But we all know that it may not be due to the expected controversy the elected Playoff Committee will bring.  This alleged Playoff Committee….who are they?  Why were they selected?  Will the Committee be better than the BCS?  Who the hell knows, but it is worth a try.

4. A-rod

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2014 A-rod just needs to shut up, retire and take it like a man.  Good Lord, he more or less will make it into the Hall of Fame, so why waste this year being a bitch fiddle?

With all the controversy surrounding Arod in 2013, 2014 should be a nice change for him by stepping out of spot light, stop embarrassing himself during interviews, start behaving in court and retiring with style.  The guy has more money than he knows what to do with, so he should put it to good use.

Just commission another artist to paint another portrait of you as another mythological creature…..how about a Minotaur?

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5. Jason Kidd

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Good lord does this guy need a good resolution, but it’s a very simple one: WIN games.

As his first year as head coach of the Brooklyn Nets debut season at the new deluxe Barclay Center, the Brooklyn Nets have sucked, to say the least.  With injured players and lack of motivation amongst star players like Kevin Garnett and the frog Paul Pierce, the Nets have not won as many games as expected.

Well so far soo good.  After vowing to be a new team in 2014, the Nets are undefeated in the new year, riding a four-game winning streak. But more than anything else, the Nets are fighting. They’re now taking a punch and showing resiliency instead of folding.  Is it all thanks to Jason Kidd?  Who knows.  He just needs to win from here on out.

6. Jonathan Martin

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New Year’s Resolution: Quit Football and become a guidance counselor for young football players all over America, teaching them the ways of how to avoid becoming a pussy.

Jonathan Martin made headlines this 2013 football season by reporting to the NFL concerning hazing shenanigans he traumatically underwent during his rookie season with the Miami Dolphins, more specifically placing the blame on one, Richard Incognito.

After reporting the hazing incidents to the NFL, he left the Dolphins and checked into a hospital to treat his “emotional distress.”  A week later he was spotted laughing and smiling and the USC vs. Stanford game at the Coliseum.  So Mr. Martin, 2013 clearly wasn’t your year, you weaseled  your way out the NFL and are sooOOooo distraught you might as well put your traumatic experience to good use.  Counsel kids about hazing, the good and the bad.  Become a sponsor for anti-bullying campaigns.  Just stop the bitching and do SOMETHING….and maybe apologize to Richie….his NFL career is clearly dunzo because of you.

7. Aaron Hernandez

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Just hope he doesn’t become somebody’s bitch. I mean the dude is a football player, so he is already pretty buff and can more or less handle himself, but you never know, it is prison.

Aaron Hernandez was arrested last year in Connecticut for the murder of a former NFL player named Odin Lloyd.  More recenetly, police now suspect Hernandez participated in a 2012 drive-by double murder using a truck loaned to him, according to a warrant released last week, and that those killings led to the murder Lloyd, for which the former Patriots star is now on trial.

Just keeps getting better and better for Hernandez.  Keep your head up bro and make sure to have your family and friends send you lots and lots of cigarettes.

8. Yaisel Puig

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Hit more home runs, sleep with more women, become a permanent United States resident, win the World Series…..and go to Driving School.

Yaisel Puig already has two tickets for reported reckless driving.  Was he crunk?  I don’t think so because the cops more or less made him submit to a DUI test.  The guy just has a need for speed.  So I say in 2014, convert that need for speed in women.  The guy made a 30 million contract over night with his blowout success with the Doyers last year, so just hire a driver and hit up the clubs for some reckless dancing and flirting.  Who the LA ladies what Puig Power is all about.

Just remember to wear a condom,  have fun and get ready for the 2014 baseball season!

9. Russia

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Be more accepting of athletes no matter what their sexual preference may be.  Hey, if the United States can do it, Russia can do it.  Democracy worked right?

President Putin of Russia decided to initiate a boycott on gay Olympic athletes.  As the host country of the Winter Olympics, you would think a world event bringing cultures together would be a bit more tolerant of different people.  Guess NOT.

Maybe when the actual Olympics commence, Russia will come to it’s senses and realize that equality should be had by all, equality that should distinctly and actively be recognized in events watched by the world.  Monkey SEE, Monkey DOO Russia.

10. Brazil

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May the World Cup crown the United States the champions of 2014 games…..I can’t even say that with a straight face…….

Every world cup brings hope for the United States, a hope that we can actually compete with the world in soccer.  Unfortunately, the U.S. did not receive a favorable first round group selection. The Americans wound up with the potentially punishing group they feared and will play Ghana, Portugal and Germany in June as they try to move to the next round.  This couldn’t be any more difficult.  But we Americans are known to thrive as the underdogs…..yea over 200 years ago….

Is it going to happen, are we going to win?!  I have no idea.  Maybe this year will be a first.  I bet you Benjamin Franklin would know what to do….

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11. Tim Tebow

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So I guess Tebow has finally given up on his dreams of playing quarterback in the NFL  because he has become an ESPN analyst for the SEC conference. He debuted his broadcasting talent during the BCS Championship game and didn’t do half bad.

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2014 Tebow is going to accept his future and become such an impressive college football analyst, he will replace Lee Corso on College GameDay, forever leaving our Saturday mornings free of embarrassing antics and pathetic winner predictions.  And give the college mascots back their glory dammit! Glorious 🙂

Feliz Ano Nuevo Everybody!