Posts by Paullin:

    What I would do if I where Gettleman

    February 24th, 2017

    Panthers Off-Season Plan

    The biggest thing is to stop panicking. There is one franchise in the league that is good every year, and that is the Patriots. Everyone else is up and down, we were good for 3 years, and finally our record in close games swung and we had rash of injuries. It’s unaccountable that we have had the most concussions in the league. It’s not like our helmets suddenly became those ones that you used to get soft serve ice cream in. So, while Gettleman clearly made a few mistakes in the previous off-season. Namely starting with rookie corners, cutting Josh Norman, not investing in o-line. But he deserves the benefit of the doubt and a chance to atone for his mistakes. For everyone’s sake, we have to hope that the old dog can learn some new tricks. But if he can’t, here is what I would do if I found a Being John Malkovich door in my house that allowed me to become Dave.

    1. Address the Problems with the O-line in two phases
    First, with a weak tackle draft, it has to be address in free agency. Take a chance on Matt Kalil or Luke Joeckel, they have the talent but something apparently has not clicked. We could buy low on either and see if they can turn into something close to where there draft spot indicated. Second resign Trei Turner this off-season, don’t allow other teams to set the market for a pro bowler. Another option would be to spend 9 to 10 mil on a one or two year rental of Andrew Whitworth, who still is a top level tackle in the league even at 35. The second part of the plan would be grab a tackle in the third or fourth round, we have two third’s so that would make the most sense. A guy like Roderick Johnson from FSU, whose not a day one tackle could turn into some good with a few years of seasoning. Or go for with Julie’n Davenport, a small school guy with great physical skills.

    2A. Bring in a veteran slot receiver
    We have two trees on the outside and they are young as well. Too many times last season we lacked the dependable slot receiver. Someone to make the tough 3rd and 5 catch that Jericho Crotchery made over and over on the way to the Super Bowl two seasons ago. Plus I think his knowledge and experience was sorely missed in the meeting room on a week to week basis. We have already brought a prime target in for a visit, so lets go ahead and sign Victor Cruz for the slot role and look for some one explosive in the draft. Possibly in that third to fourth round range where a guy like Dede Westbrook would be perfect. Unfortunately, Cooper Kupp has probably already worked his way up into the top of the second round, so the value is no longer there.

    2B. Go after a #2 WR in Free Agency
    Let’s face it, Funchess failed to make a jump last season and Teddy Ginn is always going to be a roller coaster. So spend a bit of money something in the 7 to 9 mil a year on a guy like Robert Woods or take a gamble with a big play guy like Desean Jackson. Both offer different things, Woods is one of the better blocking WR in the league, which we value and he is young and makes tough catches with reliable hands. Jackson on the other hand is better version of Ginn, with more reliable hands. I prefer option A.

    3. Franchise KK Short
    He’s too good to let walk out the door for nothing. So slap the tag on him, which for a DT, is only more expensive than a safety, TE, and Kicker.

    4. Address the DLine
    CJ wants to come back, he will at another cheap team friendly deal. Talk to Addison and start with a reasonable number, somewhere in the 6 to 8 mil a season range, and if he accepts great, if not walk away. He’s not worth the 9 or 10 he probably will get on the open market. Replace him with a first or second round pick, I personally would be shocked if Tanoh Kpassagnon is not a Panther next season, if he’s available for us in the second round. Hell I could see Gettleman using the 8th on him, if he dominates the combine like he might. Also wouldn’t mind if we took Soloman Thomas from Stanford at 8, but for now we have other uses for the pick.

    5. Aggressively pursue a safety in Free Agency
    Pick up the phone and call Eric Berry’s agent, it probably will not amount to anything, but you have to make the call. If you can get him for 12 to 14 mil a season, something like 4 years for 48 mil, with about 25 guaranteed you have to do it. No one plays the second half of contracts anyway. But likely that doesn’t work. So you go after Tony Jefferson from the Cardinals, one of the better safeties last year, is only 24 and would be cheaper than Berry. Coleman was a great find, but at this point we know what Tre Boston is, he is a un-even erratic player. I don’t think that is going to change. The position has to be address. Adams and Hooker at 8 would be great but I don’t know if either will be there, plus as I mentioned earlier, we have another use for the that pick.

    6. Revamp the backfield
    Cut Cam Newton… Ok, not funny. But there are seriously people out there who think that is a good idea. Do they not realized how bad most of the other starting QBs are in the league are? There are 32 spots and maybe 15 qualified people to fill them. It’s to the point that people are ready to give up a top ten pick for a guy who has started two games. Or the fact that Kirk Cousins has an outside shot at becoming the highest paid player in the NFL. Think about that when you are ready to replace the one legit superstar this town and team have EVER had. Alright, off my soap box. But changes are going to happen to the people that Cam hands the ball off too. Toilbert is already gone, J-Stew is most likely gone as well. Curtis Artis Payne clearly has not done enough to show to coaching staff he is ready or capable and Fozzy is a change of pace back at best. So it leaves us with two options, one, go with Fournette or Cook with the eight pick. Or grab someone like Freeman from Texas or another back in the second and pray they are half as good as Zeke last season. On one hand I am usually totally against picking a running back in the first round, let alone in the top 10, because a great RB can be found in ANY round of the draft. But the more I look at our team and at these two RBs I see a great opportunity to land an explosive home run hitter that for as good as J-Stew is, could never be. So you gamble, and with our 8th pick we take Leonard Fournette.

    Here is how we line up next season.

    Pos No. Player 1 No Player 2
    LWR 13 Kelvin Benjamin 17 Devin Funchess
    RWR 19 Victor Cruz 10 Dede Westbrook
    LT 73 Matt Kalil 71 Julie’n Davenport
    LG 68 Andrew Norwell 0 Amini Silatolu
    C 67 Ryan Kalil 66 Gino Grad.
    RG 70 Trai Turner 79 Chris Scott
    RT 74 Mike Remmers 60 Dayrl Williams
    TE 88 Greg Olsen 84 Ed Dickson
    QB 1 Cam Newton 3 Derek Anderson
    RB 28 Leonard Fournette 43 Fozzy Whitaker
    LDE 95 Charles Johnson 94 Kony Ealy
    LDT 98 Star Lotulelei 65 Chas Alecxih
    RDT 99 KK Short 92 Vernon Butler
    RDE 96 Wes Horton 97 Tanoh Kpassagnon
    SLB 54 Shaq Thompson 56 Jeremy Cash
    MLB 59 Luke Kuechley 56 Ben Jacobs
    WLB 58 Thomas Davis 55 David Mayo
    LCB 24 James Bradberry 22 Leonard Johnson
    SS 20 Kurt Coleman 22 Tre Boston
    FS 33 Tony Jefferson 42 Colin Jones
    RCB 26 Daryl Worley 23 Captain Munneryln
    Special Teams
    P 8 Andy Lee
    PK 9 Graham Gano
    LS 44 JJ Jenson
    H 8 Andy Lee 5 Palardy, Michael SF16
    KO 9 Graham Gano
    PR 19 Dede Westbrook 11 Captain Munneryln
    KR 19 Dede Westbrook 43 Fozzy Whitaker

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    Vinny Chase’s Movie Career

    September 3rd, 2014
    • Entourage movie is coming out next summer, but I felt a fun side project would be to create movie posters for all of his movie from the TV show, including the ones that never saw the light of day. While some of the movies had posters created for them in the show, and I choose to go another direction. Enjoy!!!  In chronological order according to the show!
      I also used several sources all through out the internet, and I do not claim to own any of them, it was for fun and thanks to all!
    • Head On – with Jessica Alba
    • Queens Blvd – A film by Billy Walsh
      (Styled after the NYC Subway system)
    • James Cameron’s Aquaman
    • Medellin – The Pablo Escobar Story
    • Smoke Jumpers – Unreleased Warner Bros action movie
    • Gatsby – A Martin Scorsese Picture
    • Ferrari – The Enzo Ferrari Story
    • The Takeover – A film by Nick Cassavettes
    • Airwalkers – Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe


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    The League Returns – Draft Reactions!!!

    September 3rd, 2014
    First off I would like to thank everyone that participated in our annual fantasy draft, some of you have been around since the beginning, others not so much. However we welcome you with open arms. Before we get to reviewing and grading the draft, I would like to take a moment to explain the reason the draft was delayed over an hour. It cost us millions in advertising dollars and everyone deserves to know the reason.

    Due to the immense popularity of “The League” (not the popular FXX show, but our actual Fantasy League) Terrorists took control of ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol and shut down the servers, specifically related to our league.  It was a calculated move and we had no chance to make a preventive action and delay the draft. (Oh, that is not what happened? People were bitching about a trade? A trade any of them could have made? So they could get a shot at the player they wanted?)

    ANYWAY on to the Draft grades

    Take what you think a normal person would score in one season and Cut it in half and that will be my point total all season — Brian Edwards

    Besides Forte-gate Brian drafted with the success of someone who usually finishes at the bottom of the league. This year he won’t have any excuse for reaching on a tight end in the SIXTH round might be ok if he was a top five guy, but Dennis Might as well be a Pitta Pit to catch anything. C’mon man.. Then he went all Homer-rific and grabbed an over the hill DeAngelo Williams and the racist Riley Cooper in back to back picks, he cares as much about his bench as Ferguson cares about blacks.. Actually the Riley Cooper pick makes sense.. Grade – C (Everyone is getting C’s because every team on paper could go either way… )

    Lawyer Phil, who is so busy chasing ambulances, he can’t even come up with a team name, seriously it takes two f’kin seconds. – Phil The Newly Single LARGER game Hunter Gillespie

    It pains me to write this because my giant sized hard on / man crush for Cam Newton is well documented (IN CAM WE TRUST tees now available!), but Cam in the third round is indefensible, hes gimpy playing behind a questionable o-line and has NO ONE TO THROW TOO!!* (*=these are the general opinions of EVERY moronic national media pundit, not me.. IN CAM WE TRUST!!)

    Phil also is going young, I mean Selena Gomez on Disney channel young, by picking Rookies to start — Either way good luck with that Sankey Sammy you got going on.

    Team Brune, aka the 30 year old who STILL PISSES HIMSELF — last weekend by the way.  I am sure he was probably furious because he ruined his tapered skinny seven jeans and his man-frock / hippie Brooklyn shitty guy scarf. (also seriously get a team name as well..)

    I think I know a bit about football, maybe really I don’t, however still I know names, and when I have google a guy you drafted in the third round, something is wrong. I mean seriously Michael Floyd in the third round??? Playing Seattle and San Frans D four times wasn’t bad enough he was the perma-Statue Carson “wasn’t one of my shittier little brothers the Bachelor” Palmer throwing to him. I mean all power to you for draftin on that 65 / 1100 / 5 stat line upside. Way to go!!

    And I also have to say that RGIII has now been officially re-named Tripp I can’t slide Griffin, and landed a reoccurring role on Family Guy as the Peter’s long lost Co-joined black twin separated at birth. He will suck this season but provide hours of entertainment to high college kids who still watch Family Guy, so great pick. Go enjoy your 5 and 8 season with some extremely overpriced craft beers.
    JP – you are excused from the bashing because you have kids and real problems, and I will just leave you with this..

    I will remember to change or NEVER EVER SET my KEEPER to Matthew Fratastic pudgy face fuck boy Stafford again.
    One more time,
    I will remember to change or NEVER EVER SET my KEEPER to Matthew Fratastic pudgy face fuck boy Stafford again.
    Seriously, repeat after me..
    I will remember to change or NEVER EVER SET my KEEPER to Matthew Fratastic pudgy face fuck boy Stafford again.
    I will remember to change or NEVER EVER SET my KEEPER to Matthew Fratastic pudgy face fuck boy Stafford again.
     Why THE Helu would you ever pick a Redskin There – Brad
    I have never known Brad to enjoy cannabis but I guess he doesn’t mind when his running backs smoke it, cause taking Le’Veon “I pick up weed from my weed guy and then don’t even fucking wait till I get home to smoke it” Bell in the third round is a bit of a boom or bust pick (I know there is a weed joke in there, but I just can’t seem to find it……………… ) Besides that he picked the greatest bro ever in Gronk, although his status is quickly coming under fire from a new dark horse candidate in the lil-Molly poppin’ midget Wes Welker. As if he didn’t have enough problems with his mind, lets throw some ECSTASY on the pile. At least Gronk knows to tell his X-man not to cut that shit with amphetamines… Over under on the weeks till Brad picks up Manziel to complete his Bro-tastic team..
    Haha — Monica — Don’t even bother taking the time to remember the name, because the ADD mother fucker will change it the next week anyway.. — Eric Paullin

    Some one forgot to tell me it wasn’t 2 years ago and CJ Spiller blows Fred Jackson’s nut sack, ie it was a huggge reach there, as was taking a second year guy in the third round. But lets face it, I suck at fantasy anything, as a matter of fact, I have never been good, I think I spout off some bullshit about winning a league this one time, well, that was a Speak Easy Sports Staff league, which is me, and myself, and probably  some kid in Indonesia that I pay to write one article a week. (Did I mention I also had two teams?? AND I TRADED PLAYERS BETWEEN them???)  So the secret is out of the bag, I am also married now and Brunch is now my power drinking time, so fuck off BOTTTOMLESS MIMOSA’S!!!!!!!

    Alright now time to get some real work done, I have to take a shit, but then I will come back and “grade” the rest of you degenerates, the ones that actually had good teams last season and made the playoffs.. So it might be hard to make fun of you guys..
    Part 2

    Alright Part 2, I feel lighter… and now that I have probably gotten most of ya’ll in trouble by cussing like a sailor in your work email’s I will continue. Maybe I will post it straight to the message boards – or not.
    On to the playoff teams from last year..

    The worst of the playoff teams, The I do not care about anyone on my team as long as my 6 foot 5 inch Adonis of a man Calvin “My Love Steed” Johnson is on my team Larmore.

    As if one Mandingo style lover was not enough he had to pick the other freakishly big and strong although slightly older Wide Receiver Johnson as well. I am sensing a pattern here.. And I am Terrified of the showers like a team mate of Michael Sam’s when he drops the soap ( Took me almost a 5000 characters to work in an off color Michael Sam joke! Whooa, Hell, ya, kick the tires and light the fires we are going to rope some steers and queers in Texas!!! Ok, that was too much. I am sorry.. really sorry, now I know what Jerry Jones meant when he said is seeking a return to the “glory hole” days for his franchise.)

    Team TD Machine — the regular season champ and token black guy. WE HAVE ONE!!!!

    No Asians, but we got a black guy, who lives in Texas?? C’mon now..

    After a spectacular regular season Mike just burned out / flamed out in the playoffs, and lost in the first round, he definitely should have picked Peyton Manning cause that is exactly what he does as well. But no he didn’t, he just started the whole Forte-gate mess which concluded with him having to draft a player from Cleveland, seriously no wants to play football in Cleveland.. NO ONE.. they have a fucking brown helmet.. there name doubles as SHIT. On top of that he is buying into the fact that the Jets will have a functioning offense, on that actually gains yards and not for the other team or relating to Rex Ryan’s belly girth. On a side note, how much money would you pay to see Rex Ryan do the truffle shuffle.. seriously A-MAZING

    Crown Town Chumps — The hodgepodge of a team that some how snuck into the playoffs, because Josh Gordon became Superman, now he’s just reallllyyy high ….

    Not sure where to start, there is the overpaid Foster who is nearing 30 as the first pick or the fact that the second pick, gained almost a quarter of the YARDS in his entire career in one game.. And then there is the reach for Cordellelia “the newest member of Desperate Housewives” Patterson (that show has been off the air for like 5 years, get some new material.. Right, Scandal, does that work? Ya, Cordellia is the newest intern for Olivia Pope and Associates, who is banging the Prime Minster of Turkesmistein and a illegitimate half sister to Cyrus Bean.)

    Also its not 2009, McFadden and Gates suck… Just in case you didn’t know..

    Big Balls Rodgers – Time for a new name and a new pic Jon, I know you like to remind us how young you look when you shave off your beard, but we don’t need to see you giving us the finger every weekend.

    Then again it is good you can grow better facial hair that Andrew Luck, seriously what the fuck is that? I tried to name it the other day, but I couldn’t find the right words, besides Shitty pube neck foreskin. Maybe you will have better luck, and then maybe you will have found the perfect name for your team. I guess you don’t get HBO, cause if you watched Hard Knocks there is no fucking way you would have taken Stephen Jackson.. Like EVER. Dude is done with playing football, he is going to open up shitty art galleries allover the world and sell paintings that JP’s little girl could do in a blindfold with her left hand. The last thing he wants to do is take an more hits, his ENORMOUS fore head and jaw are already swollen enough..

    Ohh Kill em — Soon to be replaced by what ever Drake sings about next. I though my man crush on Cam was bad. Hass and Drake just put out there own Kim and Kayne on a motorcycle music video.. It was raw dog and completely disgusting, but I thought Johnny Manziel’s direction was tasteful, he didn’t show tooooo much penetration..

    He must have gone to the Jay Bilas school of drafting cause most of the picks dripped of buzz words like “upside” “potential” “Length”  “girth” — Ok maybe not the last one, but dropping the two of your first picks on second year guys like Gio and Andre is a risky move, but you know what the say, the ACC is the power conference.. (really NO ONE says that?) But I suppose when you have a superstar ELITE QB like Jay Cutler everything will work out..

    I guess he just wanted to have the two biggest cum-stains for QB’s I mean Jay Cutler and Matt Ryan? I don’t care what they do on the field, they are fucking shitty people, I don’t think anyone has ever said, man I can’t wait to go hang out with Matt Ryan, fucking tool. Oh and Jay Cutler married a realty TV star, that just screams attention worse that pulling yourself out of the NFC Championship game cause you got a boo boo.. Pussy.
    And we come to our Champion, Paul I FINALLY won Curuso –

    While we are on the subject of duesh QB’s lets talk about the Colin “my nose enters the room before I do” Kaepernick. This skinny cholo is a tattooed tampon and I hope he dies of gonorrhea. But eight round is not terrible value there.. (wait that was something nice, you can’t type that..) Paul you remember that you are drafting RBs to play football not star in star tapes with there horse cocks right?? So why did you pick Trent Richardson? Seriously, him four white girls, deer antler spray, a bag of blow, T-rich and you have a phenomenal sex tape, but him running the football? I wouldn’t even watch that locked in a basement on a cell phone with bad reception.
    The draft is over!!! Get your line ups ready! The real football starts tomorrow night!!! I will be hammered on Sunday at Queen City Q, bottomless mimosas, and Sanagria for 10 bucks plus they have shredded lettuce and a delicious Beef brisket..

    Tooo-Da-Looo bitches..

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    Speak Easy Apparel Launch!

    March 13th, 2014

    There was no fancy party, just a lovely evening with friends and an amazing dinner at Wendy’s. But Speak Easy Apparel has finally launched. With the help of Design By Humans, we are now proud to offer over 10 new designs for the Summer, with many more exciting tee shirts coming soon.

    The tee shirt blanks that they use are some of the most comfortable available and fitted to perfection. I know most people prefer to buy in person from myself, but with our new production this is much more practical. It also allows us to offer women’s cut and sizes.

    So please visit the store, select your style and color, and look forward to your tee in the mail in about a week!

    Some of the highlights for the Summer are:

    Release the Kraken
    We franchised the beast, so it was only fitting to make a classic tee for one of the most entertaining Panthers.

    IN CAM WE TRUST Season 4

    Since we finally made the playoffs, and Cam started to come into his own, it was time for a new tee, he is no longer hiding behind the shades, he is becoming Superman.

    Our Pop Culture Line

    W-E-T Bandits
    From the classic Home Alone, a fun tee for the nostalgic 90s kids.

    He’s Fancy, He’ll go glove
    Scene… Penalty Shoot out, USA wearing their alternate Duck uniforms that have nothing to do with America, and Coach Bombay goes to his bench to put in an ice cold goalie against the tourney’s leading scorer, Iceland’s Gunnar Staal.

    We have plenty more designs as well. So check out our shop.

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    Use the Force, Kuechly

    August 23rd, 2013

    We have a new superstar in Carolina, he seems to be everywhere on the field, so now you can support him everywhere off it.

    Limited numbers on this first print, so get yours today!

    Order Here!!

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    Vegas Baby..

    April 9th, 2013

    One of the positives from a trip to Vegas that revolves mostly around sports betting is the arguments that you get into with your boys over the action. These conversations are usually soaked in alcohol and laced with profanity, however they are the reason I started this site. They usually take all kinds of directions and for the most part are based on sound judgment and logic. However, it is that last 10 percent of the argument that is based on personal feelings and beliefs. That shakes everything up. So we begin with chronicles our spirited debates (really only three that I remember with a decent recollection).

    Who was a better “COLLEGE” player, Durant or Melo? This conversation has nothing, to do with what type of player they are now in the league, but which one did more in college. At the time of the argument, wireless internet was expensive and we were hammered so the numbers of there one season in college basketball were unknown. We assumed that Durant’s were slightly better.

    Games: 35 Mins 35.9 SPG 1.9 BPG 1.9 RPG 11.1 APG 1.3 PPG 25.8
    Games: 35 Mins 35.9 SPG 1.6 BPG 0.9 RPG 10.1 APG 2.3 PPG 22.8

    While Durant’s number are marginally better, it can also be said that the BIG 12 is not nearly the basketball powerhouse that used to be the Big East. You could argue that Durant’s supporting cast was weaker, he had a few NBA players on the roster with him, but they were mostly all sophomores and freshman. However, looking at the ‘03 ‘Cuse team, they were not much better. In fact, they only had 9 scholarship players on the roster. Warrick was a break-out sophomore star, but Gerry McNamara and Billy Edelin were freshmen. Both teams had only one senior on the roster and two current NBA players. So to me it comes down to results. Durant’s Texas team lost in the round of 32 to USC and finished the season 25-10, including several double-digit losses. Melo on the other hand, went 30-5, won the National Championship and the MVP for the Final Four. He dropped 33 on Texas in the National Semi-finals, then followed that up with a double-double in the championship game. So to me, Melo was clearly a more successful college player. However, my colleague argued that Durant was better overall because of better numbers, having a weaker supporting class, and a joke of a head coach. Yet the fact remains that Melo was the leader and best player on a CHAMPIONSHIP winning team, which to me makes him a better college basketball player because being a great college basketball player is all about winning. Nobody remembers that Adam Morrison dropped 28 a game; they just remember him balling like a baby after they lost in the tourney. Melo cut down the nets, Durant lost before the sweet 16! (I know it is slightly unfair that my colleagues have no rebuttal, but being the Editor-in-Chief has its perks.)

    The Melo/Durant discussion then evolved in something else all together. Melo and Durant were the first in the modern era of freshman superstars. Melo showed that with the right group of kids, one superstar could take an average team with talent and some other skilled guys and take them to the championship. Calipari has built his career on getting these types of players. It’s like catching lightning in a bottle – you have to have the right mix, perfect chemistry, and the right kind of superstar for it to work. However, these kids do not come around every day, which is what Kentucky learned this year. That leads to my next debate, which quickly became an agreed upon fact.

    Kids are EXTREMELY over-hyped these days. With youtube, twitter, and ESPN, every recruiting class gets treated like a game changer. Nearly every class is proclaimed to have the next Durant and the next superstar. Which in fact is not only completely unfair, it’s downright stupid. It’s not the kid’s fault, it’s the media, they place this huge burden on an 18 year old kid’s shoulders and say hey, go out there and drop 20 a game while saving your school’s program. It’s a HUGE ask, and basketball is the worst. Every year we on some kid whose the next so-in-so, when in all actuality he’s a really good player, just beneath the hype. Basketball is the worst, because one player can greatly affect the entire game, so everybody wants to think that the next kid coming in is that guy. Sometimes they are, let’s go back (using ESPN rankings)…

    2007 – Hyped since a sixth grader, OJ Mayo was suppose to be the next Lebron. How did that work out? Well, turns out he was so much better because he hit his growth spurt before everyone else. Still an average NBA and college player. Kevin Love was not quite a game changer in college, but still pretty damn good. Derrick Rose, ok game changer, should have been National Champion if he could hit free throws.
    2008 – While 2007 had the talent, 2008 did not. Brandon Jennings opts to go overseas, while Samardo Samuels (another ESPN Next Hype Machine product) is still eating his way through Kentucky. Then there is the standout college quartet of B.J Mullens, JaMychal Green, Demar DeRozan, and Ed Davis…basically nothing.
    2009 – The first of John Calipari’s UK classes, with Boobie Cousins and John Wall taking them all the way to the Final Four, the rest of the class were average college players, Avery Bradley got suspended, Derrick Favors decided Georgia Tech was a good idea, and Xavier Henry is in the D-league.
    2010 – My favorite, the Black Falcon, Harrison Barnes. Was actually a decent college player, however he was nowhere near the hype that was bestowed upon him. The rest of the class propelled Kentucky to an Elite Eight finish and there is no telling what would have happened if Kyrie Irving had not broken his foot, because he could have had a huge impact, judging by the games he did play.

    2011 – Anthony Davis was a next to this world athlete and he was a game changer, built with the left over pieces from the year before and the hustle and heart of Michael Kidd-Gilchrist they did the whole Melo thing.
    2012 – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHA Shabazz…Noel…but still, they were hugely hyped. I never saw it in Shabazz, he just never made you say damn or was really explosive and to say that Noel had an any kind of offensive game is unfair.

    So what does it tell you? Yes, there are a few kids out there that really can change a program, but they are not going to do it by themselves. Most of the time you’re getting a solid player who needs to grow and develop, sometimes you’re getting a Rose, Wall, or Anthony Davis. The hype train just needs to slow down. But it never will, because everyone is afraid they are going to miss out on being the first to say that this kid is good. There should be no reason why a freshman should be considered for an All-American spot, it’s just stupid. However there is a bit of a trend, up a year, down a year, up a year down two, wayyyyy down this year, so it has to be up this coming year right? While I am contradicting myself right now, it brings me to my next point, I DO believe in the hype about Andrew Wiggins.

    This kid is ridiculous. He’s basically skipped a grade and STILL is the top player in the class. On top of that when you watch his highlight reels, you cannot help but say WHOA…it’s damn near incredible. The hops are off the chart and the way he plays is so effortless and smooth. On the latest one, what I notice more than anything is the handle and speed. He is fast. I am terrified, repeat terrified, that this kid is going to end up at UNC, because, one, I hate them, and two, we have to play him twice a year. He will light up college basketball. I just have a feeling. But I am usually wrong, although I did have a sneaking suspicion that Florida Gulf Coast would definitely cover against Georgetown… (Editors note: Still believe even after a disappointing showing in the Dunk Contest, he was a bit TOO ambitious, although the reverse 360 between the legs with the left hand was the dunk of the night, sorry tall dude that won, you just hit all your dunks the first time with power.)

    Which leads to my final point. We are sooo lucky now. We have it so good. I watched NCAA tourney games streaming in-flight, was tired of the only game they were showing in the bar during my lay-over, so popped on to an app and picked which one I wanted to watch. On top of all of that, we’re getting to watch some of the most incredible individuals play at incredibly high levels. I know we had Jordan, but I don’t remember the uber-athletic freak Jordan, I remember the turn-around, shoulder shrug Jordan. We get to watch LeBron go from incredibly hyped teenager to super-star to villain to now the hands down best player in the NBA. Maybe it is because I was born two days before him, I feel much more of a connection to him than any athlete because I have been there through the journey. Been there in the low points, when almost every one of my friends, and girlfriends, were giving me hell for being a LeBron fan. I have been there through it all. When I witnessed that incredible game against Detroit so long ago, to finally winning a ring, I felt justified. It’s not just Lebron, right now we have two guys playing every Sunday in Spain that are doing incredible things every week. Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (he is not just Ronaldo, to me that will ALWAYS be the Brazilian, who despite everything was still a legend in his own right) will go down as two of the top players of all time, and they are JUST hitting the peaks of their careers. It is just incredible to think about. We are so lucky, because not only are we in the presence of great talent, we also have an unprecedented level of access to our athletes in today’s world due to social media. We are entering a golden age of sports and I could not be happier.

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    The Second Annual Speak Easy Awards

    February 22nd, 2013

    Welcome to the Second Annual Speak Easy Sports and Entertainment Awards! Or the Easy’s for short! Like Lebron’s mom! Wait, it’s not four years ago, those jokes aren’t funny? HE WON A CHAMPIONSHIP?!?! Well, there goes that joke, that joke, maybe that one…Oh, just say Honey Nut Cheerios? OK, that works. The Easy’s for short! Like Honey Nut Cheerios! Seriously, what a year it has been.

    Apparently LeBron finally got his first ring. It’s about damn time (wait, he already said that, shit I need better writers). So now does this mean that Skip Bayless has finally shut up? (No… Long pause, followed by a Vietnam like flash back of explosions and Skip scowls, and the word Tebow echoing over and over)

    The Giants won another Super Bowl with Rainman doing Rainman things. Although apparently being an idiot savant is transferable, how else do you explain Joe Flacco doing Eli-like things this post season. (Oh, really he’s just that good? Said NO ONE ever about Joe Flacco).

    The Giants won the Super Bowl…I just said that…ohhh the Giants won the World Series! Congrats, San Fran needed that. Wait, how did Jack Black hit three home runs in one game? Right, but he is the voice of the Kung-Fu Panda…Oh, Pablo Sandoval is also the Kung Fu Panda? Glad I didn’t waste my fifteen bucks to see that un-needed sequel.

    ** Production director off stage: Maybe we should have gotten a sports personality to host these awards and not Ryan Lochte. This is just not working. Bring in the back up host…**

    This year we also had the Summer Olympics in London and man did the Brits put on a great show. They even managed to convince the weather not to be all Englandy for almost the entire time. We had our most decorated Olympian go out with an average showing by his standards, but pretty damn impressive by anyone else’s. Usain Bolt showed why he is the best sprinter ever, and then partied with some Swedish handball players. The US actually won a diving medal and somehow the Chinese competitors were never heard from again. We saw huge upsets. The US basketball team, full of young hungry college players and D-league amateurs toppled the three towers of the unstoppable Spanish National team. It was a great moment for Merica’, we were basking in revelry and chanting… (Oh we were supposed to win? Lebron, Kobe, Paul, Melo, Durant, AND Westbrook?) So we were still chanting USA! USA! The women’s soccer team won gold over our new Asian rival Japan. Then Hope Solo got married to an out of work NFL tight end with a track record for domestic abuse. Is that TV series going to be on Bravo or VS? Sign me up. On top of all of that we had numerous stories about all the sex that occurs in the Olympic village. Really? You had to report that if you get thousands of hot fit athletes living together for two weeks, they are not going to be banging each other silly? Oh and throw in that you really only have to be coherent for two or three days during that time? Duahhhhh

    But before I waste all my great material, let’s get to the awards!

    The Fredo previously The Norman Bates
    Usually reserved for the biggest jackass, or villain in the past year of sports, but this year we are tweaking it a bit. Not only a villain, but the kind that plays your friend, tries to make everyone think he is great guy, just misunderstood. Yet secretly he is behind the scenes stabbing you and everyone else in the back.

    And the Easy goes to..
    Dwight Howard!

    Let’s run the stats, three botched trades, two coaches fired, and an entire NBA basically hijacked while we waited on you to make your decision. Only to come to find out that you are NOT that good anymore! You have single-handily destroyed the Lakers…OK, I can’t say that with a straight face, but you certainly have not helped them. You don’t have the hops anymore, and simply aren’t the same player. It’s like Superman died and but Clark Kent is still fumbling around in front of us. In Orlando, you basically convinced management to fire the lovable loser Stan, in hopes that will convince you to stay, and you left anyway! First trying to force your way to Brooklyn, because you want to be cool and hang with Jay Z. That does not work, so you say you don’t want to go to LA. Then end up in LA, only to show up as previously referred to Clark Kent and get that coach fired as well. Although let’s be honest Mike Brown never should have gotten the job. And to top it all off, you sit there the whole time with this big dumb aw-shucks grin and say you did not do anything! You are the worst kind of bad, smiles to your face while you twist the knife in the back.

    The Squeak aka Lil Bitch
    I joke last year about naming this award after this year’s winner. So I guess it’s fitting that he would be a whiney little bitch this year. There was a ton of deliberation about this, and in the end it just came to me. It was so clear, how could I have missed it.

    And the Easy goes to..
    Cristano Ronaldo!

    Come on down, you clearly deserve this, only this guy would bitch about not being happy. Seriously you are 27, play for the biggest club in the world, make close to 40 million euros a season, are arguably the most all around physically gifted player, and you bang a swimsuit model. Scratch that, one the most famous Sports Illustrated cover swimsuit models. Yet, you refused to celebrate your goals, because you are un-happy with your situation. Then proceed to pout and not disclose why you are un-happy or anything of that nature. Needless to say that you keep banging in goals so your teammates put up with your childish antics, yet they most likely treat you like shit off the field, because they do not like you! Which is clearly your fault, you berate them in games, routinely refuse to defend, and had been know to pout and sulk up and down the pitch when your service is not there. Grow up, stop complaining, be a leader, and become a decent human being off the field and maybe people will actually give a fuck about you. Oh and when your waxing your body be careful with the hot wax around your balls… (It’s rumored he missed a game because of a waxing accident in and around his genital area.)

    The Vinnie Chase
    Name’s not changing ‘cause it’s a throw back to when the show was good. Comeback of the year, player, team, whatever…just a great comeback.

    And the Easy goes to..

    Adrian Peterson, sorry Peyton, but AD was nothing short of epic this year. From tearing his ACL in December to coming 9 yards short of breaking the single season rushing record 12 months later is just awesome. Peyton you took a year off, found the perfect team to fit your talents (see talented receivers, good defense, great o-line, and a moronic offensive coach) and still had a great season. Average numbers by your own lofty standards, but AD’s season was all-time great. He started slow and then exploded, in an age where running backs are usually as interchangeable as spare parts, you show that there is NO ONE like you in the league right now. 8 guys in the box, doesn’t matter. 1019 yards AFTER contact, most guys aim for a season with a thousand yards. He did it with a crap QB and the only other weapon on the team banged up for long periods of time. He was simply inhuman at times. 6 yards a carry???? Come on man, he is the only back in the NFL who can run between the tackles for the tough years, emerge for the pile, and OUTRUN the secondary. I would have liked to see Jim Brown in person, but since Barry Sanders retired there has never been another running back I have enjoyed watching more than Adrian Peterson. He is simply the best and he proved it this past season.

    The Leon Lett
    This award should go to the replacement refs, however we feel it just to cheer or jeers the athletes and not 40 something men who normally ref high school lacrosse. They were never put in a position to succeed so they are eliminated. While there were many deserving candidates, ridiculous celebrations, football players running towards the wrong end zone, basketball players trying to put the ball in their own net, again, and again, there was only one true winner,

    And the Easy goes to..
    The Buttfumble.

    Seriously, never has there been one play that so completely defined a season, career, or even a team as the buttfumble. It has Mark Sanchez trying desperately to do things that he cannot do (like throw completions) in the style of his unwanted media circus back up, Tim Tebow. Did he not see the giant butt of his offensive linemen in front of him? Did it appear suddenly like some David Copperfield Houdini butt. Or did he think it was so easy to be Tim Tebow, he thought “I can do his job with my eyes closed!” But don’t worry you paid him 40 million before the season started! It is almost eclipsed by the fact that they activated Greg “My sister is really hot, but now over shadowed by Catherine Webb” McElroy to start over Tebow the following week.

    The Leonidas
    Thinking I should rename this award the EPL best play award. Moments, truly great moments in sports are hard to come by, and legendary epic ones are even further between. To me the best play has to mean something, it has to be for something, so while there might have been more amazing plays throughout the course of the year based on pure skill, these mattered more. While I might have already given away the winner, there are a few honorable mentions, who could be winners in their own right.

    Austin Rivers Buzzer Beater to knock off UNC– Hate the kid, but damn this show was cold blooded. Against a 5 UNC at their place, the step back three to win the game. Did not do much else the rest of the season, but that moment was the reason people watch basketball, and you can’t beat that when these two teams meet, that clip will be added to the long list of amazing buzzer beaters in this storied rivalry.

    Mario Manningham’s Catch along the side line of the Super bowl. Every close Super Bowl has a moment, a moment when everything turns, while some could argue that it was when Welker dropped that pass, most would say it was the amazing catch that Manningham made along the side line. Pinned deep in their own terrority, Rainman lets it fly, huge play momentum full swing and now the game is the Giants to lose.

    Olympic Moments, From Gabby Douglas winning the team gold with a brilliant floor exercise, to Alex Morgan’s last second header to send the US Women into the finals. The drama for these once every four year moments is always incredible, however the biggest one for me, had to be Bolt, Usain Bolt. They spent two days talking about how he was not the fastest anymore, his training partner was better, his back was hurting, his times were not that fast. In the fastest field of all time, nearly everyone running sub 10 seconds, he pulled away like he does and dominated. Everyone says if there is one thing you see in your lifetime, it’s the 100 meter finals. It is the biggest event of Olympics, hell Kobe and Melo could not even get a seat, and Bolt rose above like no one before him and reaffirmed his claim as the fastest man alive. There should be no doubt now, and this one was tough for me not to be number one. (It’s really like 1b. in all fairness)

    And the Easy goes to..

    Sergio Aguero’s last second winner to win the Premier League title. Why is this the best? Mostly because of the looks on the Man United players faces, when they heard mid-celebration that they had lost the title. But really it is because with one moment – eight months of games, battles, training, and competition was decided in a 15 second moment. The fact that the regular season means something more than just playoff seeding makes this moment all the better. Add to the fact that Manchester City has been United’s little whipping boy for over 30 years and you have one magical moment. There are thousands of reaction clips all over YouTube just from this one play. Manchester Utd, on the field causally beginning to celebrate their defense of their title, to complete bedlam when Aguero smashed home the winner. I personally cannot do it justice, except to say that out of all the things that happened in sports this year, I know exactly where I was when it happened and how epic the emotions were. That is what this award is about, those kinds of moments.

    The Aaron Sorkin
    This is a tricky one this year, because we easily could have gone with a tragedy. Depressing dramas are all the rage right now, and the Tale of Penn State University is a sordid one and despicable by nature. However, again we here at Speak Easy are always optimistic, we try and focus on the positive side of sports. So with that being said the best story of 2012 was in the end a pretty easy choice.

    And the Easy goes to..

    The 2012 Olympics

    For two weeks they captivated the world. There was an amazing, inspiring story every night and non-stop Bob freaking Costas. It’s the time of year when everyone knows what a 3 and a half inward tuck is, and how the splash amplitude effects the judges score. We care about sports we have never even heard of and for once display a sense of national pride that is very rare in US sports. I cannot count the number of times that I was chanting USA! USA! USA! randomly in some bar over those two glorious weeks this summer. However the best part about it is that it creates national heroes and gives 15 minutes of fame to people who actually deserve it and not Honey Boo-boo or a Jersey Shore reject. But people who spend their whole lives training and working in a gym for that one moment of glory with the whole world watching. It’s impossible to pick one storyline from the 2012 games, so the whole damn thing wins the award!

    The “Charlie… That Hurt… It Really, Really Hurt….”
    Simply put, we are honoring the most Outstanding Achievement in a YouTube Production. This may or may not be related to sports.

    And the Easy goes to..

    Gangnam Style.
    ONE BILLION YOUTUBE VIEWS!! That is a ridiculous stat, oh it’s also the most viewed video in the history of YouTube. Not to mention that it was everywhere in 2012, even NFL players were going Gangnam style (although it was about 3 weeks late) after sacks, touchdowns, and picks. When you turn on pop radio and hear a foreign Korean song, only because of the ridiculously popular YouTube music video, you know something went wrong. Check that – I just watched it again, and it is still just as funny and ridiculous, although I did mute it.

    The Plaxico
    So no one tried to drive 200 pounds of weed across the Mexican boarder or some other really really dumb crime, so there are no clear cut winners. However we did find out those athletes are just like us, and they like to party. The one downside of being a famous athlete is that if you get rip-roaring shit canned, chances are EVERYONE is going to know about it and there is a chance you’re going to get messed with as well. Those are pitfalls that I am sure everyone out there would gladly accepted for the fame, money, and some groupie love. So who got the craziest this year?

    And the Easy goes to..

    Shaun White, while Adrian Peterson got really rowdy at the club, and quite a few other people decided to get behind the wheel after having a few too many, I think Shaun wins this year. Dude got absolutely blasted, might have been on some other PED’s (and By PED’s I mean drugs that enhance your drinking skills, and prolong your ability to consume alcohol). Regardless, he went all Axel Rose and smashed a phone in the lobby, pulled the fire alarm and then fled the scene. I will be honest, besides pulling the fire alarm, I am 100 percent sure that I have done worse late night at a hotel as well. Although I am not instantly recognizable because of my lack of bright red flowing locks.This is when the story gets slightly comical. Apparently during his daring escape, he was followed by a “citizen” who convinced the cab driver to call the cops, and thwart the Flying Tomato’s getaway. After realizing he was caught, he charged the would-be do gooder, possibly attempting some sort of drunken kick which failed to connect leaving the off-balanced White to take a nasty tumble which landed him in the hospital and left us with this sweeeettt mug shot. He’s won everything else, why not an Easy!

    What a year in sports it has been, truly amazing. We have seen it all this year, and really seen some things we do not need to see again. (the entire NY Jets season). But let’s also take the time to remember those we lost this year as well. Not just in sports, but the horrific incidents in Sandy Hook and Colorado, so while we might like to have fun here at the Easy’s we would like to end it with a moment for all those lost this year. Big and especially little, you all will be missed.

    Thank you and good night!

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    The Flacco Dilemma

    February 7th, 2013

    Joe Flacco is in a great position, his agent is in an even better position. Flacco, who just won the Super Bowl MVP, put together one of the most impressive post-season’s since Montana. He has more leverage than should even be fair. However, it brings a few interesting scenarios and one all important question.

    First, is the fact that the franchise tag is now pretty much out of play. The non-exclusive tag (allows Flacco to negotiate with other teams, the Ravens then get seven days to match the offer, if they do not they get 2 1st round picks from the team that made the offer) which would have been offered to Joe before he won the Super Bowl would have allowed him to be paid around 15 million a season, while they get to negotiate a long term deal. Before the Super Bowl, no team is going to make a ridiculous offer that the Ravens are not able to match and on top of that give up 2 first round picks for a guy who was streaky and average at best. After the run, it is completely feasible for a team like the Browns to throw a ridiculous 120 million dollar contract out there and put the already over the cap Ravens in a serious dilemma. If they cannot afford to match the offer Flacco walks. That will be followed by now-retired Ray Lewis doing some mercenary work and facilitating the murder of someone in Browns Management (because he has never done that before…). So they have to use the exclusive tag, which pretty much guarantees Flacco 20 million plus a season for one year. What would you do?

    Then there’s the bigger question, the question that his agent really does not give a fuck about, but will ultimately decide Flacco’s legacy (a sentence I never thought I would type) and whether he continues to win and be successful. That is, at what point does Flacco accept less money to ensure that the team is still competitive? This question is not just for Flacco, but for all QB’s and superstar players. Now for guys like running backs and wide receivers, I say get as much as you can whenever you can, because most of you are 2 years removed from the league AT ANY TIME in your career, so get paid. Quarterbacks on the other hand, if they play consistently well, will have 2 or 3 contracts in their life time and 2 of those might be pretty big (although the new rookie wage scale wrecks the first one, which used to be ridiculous).  So, does Flacco go into the cap strapped team and demand to be paid ridiculous sums of money? So much that they have to cut o-linemen, or even his favorite target, Boldin?

    It becomes a tricky situation, because just like anyone, he wants to get paid. But, how much is he willing to sacrifice? On top of that, what if he gets the huge deal and the team, because they have less cap room, ends up worse off? His performance begins to suffer and he ends up getting cut three or four years down the road? A team that was built for so many years on their defense is no longer able to constantly field a quality unit and begins to give up tons of points. Will he allow his agent to do this to his team?

    I mentioned this earlier, but it stands a reasonable chance of happening. Flacco gets paid, and Boldin, who is 32 gets cut. The Ravens have survived not by paying aging stars or quality players they have discovered, but on the philosophy that “we found them once, we can find another one”. However, a 27 year old player at the most important position coming off his best season ever does not fall under this category. It is a great example of how messed up the financial system in the NFL has become. To keep your star QB and MVP, you have to let go of his favorite target and best clutch receiver.

    So the future of the Ravens rests with Joe Flacco, will he have the humility and the control over his agent to get him a solid deal, while still allowing the Ravens to be fiscally competitive in the future? Or will he be selfish and demand that they pay him?

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    Super Mario Returns!

    February 5th, 2013

    And as quickly as he came, he is gone. He’s heading back home, where people most likely still do not understand him. Yes, Mario was sold from Man City to AC Milan, in a move that was hopefully beneficial to both parties. A lot has been made of Mario’s antics on and off this pitch, his talent, and his complete lack of commitment to getting the most out of it. And while we now know that most of these stories are the stuff of tabloid legend, I still choose to think of Mario’s time at City as the stuff of legends.

    Was he the most prolific goal scorer? NO, in fact he was quite the opposite. Moody and sullen, pouting like a child when the service was not their or recklessly flying into challenges and earning well deserved red cards. But Mario was an entertainer. For all of the talk about his stupid antics, his notorious ways, one could never say he was not entertaining.

    He might be stupid, but it is genius the way he has limited the access of the media to him and let his legends grow. He has become a modern day tall tale. The Paul Bunyon of football. He take a trip to fill up his tank of gas in his car, and somehow through the internet and social media it turned into him buying gas for everybody that came through for the next hour. A simple Christmas shopping trip turned into him walking around Manchester in a SANTA suit passing out 100 pound notes. Every time I hear a story about Mario, I laugh and think, “Oohhh Super Mario is at it again!” But NOT once did I actually question the accuracy of the story, because there is nothing I would read that I thought he might not do. From Camo’ing up his Bentley to renting a van because he could not bring all the girls home to his place from the club in said Bentley.

    A recent article wrote about how all these things are simply false propaganda, created by the media, that Balotelli is just an average guy, eccentric, but average. I ask if we really need to know that? Was the wizard of Oz better once the curtain was pulled back? NO! So, let us enjoy Mario, we need more personality in this game. We need his antics and hijinxs. Give me the tall tales any day, because it is more entertaining. I am tired of hearing about teammates sleeping with each other’s wives and players visiting pros. I’d rather hear about Mario going out for an ironing board and coming back with an ATV 4-wheeler, trampoline, and some crisps.

    My point is that by distancing himself from all of the social interaction typical of a footballer, yet embracing the “possibly” fictitious persona, Mario has managed to create an image of ridiculous awesomeness that we have never seen. Yes, his performances on the field have been mediocre to poor this season, yet AC Milan was already selling his jerseys before the transfer was even finalized. He might not be a role model or a genius or a knucklehead, but he is entertaining as hell.

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    The Low Down Dirty Shame

    January 8th, 2013

    It’s a damn dirty shame, ACL-gate in our nation’s capital.

    DC has always been known to have some shady characters, from accidental shootings, missing call girls, oval office blowies, and hotel break-ins. But right now there is nothing more sleazy or slimy than the guy that goes to work at Fed Ex Field every day. Here is a man who built a reputation off the greatness of John Elway and running the legs out of Terrell Davis. He has never cared for the people he coached or given a damn about the long turn health of his players. I would not be surprised at all if at half time of Sunday’s game Shanahan was in the training room going all Bud Kilmore and forcing Lance Harbor to take the pain killing shot. Meanwhile, he knew perfectly well that Moxon was more than capable of playing well for him. Substitute the names and you get the idea.

    As much as I salute RGIII for effort and desire to play, at some point someone has to sit him down and say enough is enough. Hand the ball to Cousins to come in and save the day. Just because your kid says he wants to play in traffic, should you let him? Hell no, at some point the higher ups had to look at the shell of a player that was out on the field and realize that one, he is only hurting himself, and two he does not give you the best chance to win the game. But that is Shanahan’s MO. He let Terrell Davis play with migraines and who knows how many concussions. He made the wrong call, and the worst part is now he is trying to shift the blame from everyone but himself. Blaming the world renowned orthopedist that cleared him to play and then on to RGIII himself saying he promised he could play. You do not need a doctor to tell you what you could see with your own two eyes in that game on Sunday. RGIII was Bob, he could not run, he couldn’t transfer the weight to make accurate throws down field, and he was not a good QB.

    However, it is not like you had damn Johnny Utah backing him up, you have Kirk Cousins, who has played great in just about every game he played in this season. He came in cold against the Ravens, completing two huge passes for the touchdown, and then running for the 2 point conversations. He has been a viable option, so when Bob is clearly playing awful and not the same player, why the hell do you not make the switch? No, you wait until the knee completely buckles and gives out, most likely tearing the ACL in the process.

    Regardless, Shanahan has completely mishandled the situation and possibly seriously hurt the future of his franchise. I really believe that he is a Bud Kilmore clone and the only thing that matters to Mike is the 13 district championships. Players are paid field hands, and he has every intention of using them up and discarding them when he sees fit. A real coach would have walked into locker room at half time, sat down next to Bob and said, “You’ve a been a warrior out there for me today, you’ve given me everything you had. We’re only here because of you; now let us take it from here.” Bottom line, the Redskins needed Tony D’Amato, not Bud Kilmore, and RG III is the one who has to pay the price.

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