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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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,
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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?
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.
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.
I will be the first to admit when I have made a mistake. I might have been a bit too ambitious on season two’s design. It lacked the simple elegance of the first season, and did not have the required boldness to stand out in the crowd. So after Cam’s torrid tear through the second half of the season, I have decided to re-print the original tees!
However, we have made some slight changes. We are using a better quality tee shirt, which is fitted and softer than ever before. We are now printing locally, thanks to the talented guys over at Ink Floyd. And the design is even better than before.
So here is the new In Cam We Trust Tee shirt…. (yes… the electric highlighter yellow will return.. at some point.. ) Order yours Here!!!
I love almost everything about football, but there are a few things that I really hate. Right now I hate fantasy football, mostly because I got destroyed by the Seahawks and their defense (thanks Skelton and that other shit bag). But one thing that really bothers me is winning meaningless games, or the idea that these guys are now playing hard for their coach. NOW is the key word. Why is it the only way a coach can motivate his players is if they are playing to save his job? Is this the only way he can motivate players? And really, is that him motivating the players or are they playing to save their own jobs? A new regime means heads are going to roll, no matter your status or contract, so you better play your ass off. The same thing happens every year when a coach gets dismissed, the temporary coach always looks great.
The Panthers looked great on Sunday, it was a big game for us, and it was by far the biggest win of Cam’s career. But how much of it was on the coaching staff? If the Panthers win out, and finish at 7-9, does that justify Rivera getting another shot? Or has his complete mismanagement of game situations and clear short comings as a head coach sealed his fate? Unfortunately I am in the camp thinking the latter. Ron sounds like a great guy, and I am sure he is a super nice person, but he is just not cut out to be a big time head coach. He’s too nice. He’s not arrogant enough, or poised to make the hard calls and big time decisions. Look at the coaches that are successful right now, they are assholes. Most people outside their own organization don’t really like them. Saban, Belcheick, Harbaugh, Tomlin – these guys have an edge to them and they know what they are doing. Rivera is just not wired that way. I will say it again: you do not get interviewed NINE times for head coaching jobs and get passed over. There is a reason for that.
So, here I am content about tossing this nice guy out on his ass, but what’s my plan for replacing him? Hire Chip Kelly. Pay whatever it takes and make it happen. Here are my five reasons why I think he would make a great hire for the Carolina Panthers.
1. His offense and Cam make a great match. Let’s face it, if you wanted to design a perfect NFL QB for Kelly’s high octane offense, it would be Cam Newton. He can make all the throws, is a dangerous runner, has the body to take some hits, yet he is great at avoiding them as well, and he has already excelled at running a similar system in college. I am not saying run the same offense that they run now, in college, but a version of a hurry up, up tempo offense would kill defenses. Look at how effective the Patriots are at running a hurry-up no huddle offense. They destroyed the Texans D on Monday night. Now sprinkle in the threat of the QB taking off and running as well. It would be a nightmare to stop. Besides, running no huddle, speed packages allows you keep the defense from subbing players, having time to mask their coverage, and organize blitzes. They remove all the things that give the defense an upper hand.
2. Belichick is stealing FROM HIM. As I mentioned earlier, the Patriots are running a no huddle, speed offense to devastating effect. Where did the concepts and principles come from? Chip Kelly. Arguably the best coach in the NFL is stealing things from Kelly! Granted Belichick is the Quentin Tarantino of stealing shit from other people and making you think he is a genius for uncovering it. But still, the idea that it’s not time of possession, but how many plays you run that is more important come straight from Chip. As well as the method in which they call the play. I personally love the style, and it makes no sense to me why it has not been part of the NFL game for longer. I mean a team struggles to move the football, and then all of the sudden they are at the end of the game, and in a two minute drill and they fly down the field. Leaving you to say, “WHY DON’T WE DO THAT ALL THE TIME!!” Mix in draws, runs, options, bubble screens, slants, and then you have an offense.
3. Practices are great. Apparently everybody that has ever watched Oregon practice all marvel at how effective and fast they get it done. In fact they rarely do fitness, because they practice so fast. Some have said this is the reason that Chip’s style will not work in the NFL, because no professional player will practice at that breakneck pace. Why not? Because they are lazy? Because they are overpaid and not used to it? Well then why the hell do you want guys like that on your team? If it proves that it can be effective then guys will buy into it. Because when it comes down to it, you have some of the most competitive people on the planet playing this game. If practicing fast on Monday and Tuesday results in wins on Sunday, they will do whatever it takes. You might have some guys moaning and bitching at first, but once they see the results they will shut the hell up.
4. Success of recent college coaches. In the past, I would have said no way in hell do I want a college coach. They never succeed. In fact they suck and are back in the NCAA faster than you can say sanctions. However, the college game has changed. No longer do only the big programs get national TV coverage, no longer are college players ego-less hard working players, and no longer is the college game based on whose bigger, stronger and faster. Scheming and offensive game planning in college have radically evolved, just like the defenses. How else do you explain rookie and second year QBs having so much more success than in the past? The college game is much closer to the pro game than ever before. Players are big time stars and coaches are constantly in the media and adept at dealing with the pressure much better than before. Plus, I think that college coaches are much better at getting the most out of what they have. They do not try and fit square pegs in round holes because it is what is expected in the NFL, and that is how a certain type of role should be filled. They simply create a square hole for the player and get the most out of them. Kelly has this figured out. He knew he could not play smash mouth football with the rest of the big boys of college football, and developed his own system and style that capitalized his players unique abilities. I do not think Kelly would use the same style exactly in the NFL, but he would evolve and adapt.
5. He’s a bit of an ass as well. I mentioned it before, the great coaches are not humble quiet guys (maybe Tony Dungy). They are innovators – loud, brash, not afraid, arrogant, and motivators. Kelly seems like all those things. And while the Nike money has definitely helped turn Oregon into a national power, his offense has been the main driver of success. I also like the fact that he is not afraid to take risks, goes for 2, try on-side kicks, and has the balls to go for it on fourth down, RIVERA…
Chip is the guy that we have to take a shot on. When we had the number one pick in the draft, we could have played it safe and grabbed a DE or DT, but we did not. We swung for the fences and took the guy with potential to be a superstar in the league. So I say we do the same damn thing again. If Kelly’s system, practice tempo, and mantra can work in the NFL then we could have a system in place that could revolutionize NFL offenses. We made the safe hire with Ron Rivera, and I am sure you can go out there and find another extremely competent coordinator who might turn out to be a solid coach. But we have been down the coordinator route and if you do what you always do, you will continue to get what you always get: mediocrity. So let’s take the chance, because greatness never comes to those who are afraid to take risks every now and then.
Journalism is all about timing. You can have the best story in the world, but if Joe Schmoo down the street beats you to it, than you are garbage. Some commentary can be timeless, while others can be just irrelevant. So why, in December, is Pete Prisco writing about the mother fuckin’ Pro Bowl? Last season’s on top of everything else. Oh right, because Cam Newton is a dick, an asshole, and a prima donna. He was arrogant and aloof, he didn’t spend his time kissing the ring of Ray Lewis and posing for pictures with other player’s families. So, Pete, it then took you a YEAR to poll the NFL players about these actions and finally deliver this ground breaking piece of journalism?
Besides the fact that it is about a year late and about someone who has taken steps to be more mature on and off the field, who gives a shit? It’s the Pro Bowl man. Half the players say they don’t even want to go. Where are the people coming out of the wood work being pissed at them? “Well, he acted like an ass for not even showing up to the game and the week, thinking he is better than us.” I mean really it is the fucking Pro Bowl! Who watches the Pro Bowl? Nobody! Who cares about the Pro Bowl? Nobody. And who really cares about the HONOR of the Pro Bowl? Seriously? Let’s look at it for what it is, a fucking vacation. Guess what? You can do whatever the hell you want to on vacation, because IT IS YOUR VACATION! So what if he did not take part in your group hand holding sessions, he was doing what he wanted to after the season, with his family.
I am tired of people bashing on Cam’s character, he is young and needs time to mature. Yes, there are younger players that act humble and are probably more mature, but newsflash that is life. People mature at different levels and different speeds. The media has this idea of Cam in their minds and that is the way they are going to show him. They want to continue to portray him has a spoiled, selfish, arrogant dick. It is what gets the most traction and views right now, and it is what they will continue to promote. People blast him for charging for autograph sessions, yet he usually always stays and signs after games and practices (not to mention that Tony Romo, Drew Brees, and Tim Tebow all are signed by the same firm and do the same thing). Rick Riley blasts him for being the last guy on the bus, and holding up the team, because he was pouting in the locker room. Wrong Rick, he was signing autographs for fans. He wanted to enjoy his Hawaiian vacation with his family and not the other NFLers who he doesn’t really know. Big fucking deal. Nobody mentions or talks about his work with the United Way, taking a group of under-privileged kids up to DC and showing them around the town. Lobbying to make sure they have the funding necessary to have a safe afterschool environment. Why not? Because he does’t self promote those things and the media has a fascination with making him into a villain.
He is loud, confident and wants to be the best. Add that to the fact that he is not winning right now and he makes an easy target for the media and jerk-offs like Prisco (which for some reason, when I hear his name all I can think about is Prezbo from the Wire, but not after he earned his stripes with Lester, suspension moron Prezbo from season 1.). Winning and maturity takes time, Durant came into the league and put up great numbers, losing for 2 seasons till he had some help, but he did it quietly. Jordan was killed early on in his career for being an arrogant ass, frozen out of an All Star game, being fined every game for wearing Air Jordans and his chain, yet it does not matter now. Hell he still probably is, but he won to validate that arrogance. These things take time and I am looking forward to the day, when the critics do not have anything more to say because he has shut them up, with wins. It will happen. He is too talented and too good for it not to. The maturity will come, there are already signs of it. Eventually this story will fade away, because that is what happens. In today’s world of social media, opinions change with the tides and are always changing, just ask Lebron. But, I for one could not care less about the current media personification of Cam, because I have faith, a belief that we still have something special.
In Cam We Trust.
Every once in a while you read a quote that just seems to sum up everything perfectly. So while most of you do not go around reading quotes in your spare time like I do, there is so much beauty in the spoken word, it is simply amazing. Now I am sure if I could get Morgan Freeman or the late James Earl Jones to read some of these out loud it would be nothing short of epic.
Thus begins a new section at Speak Easy, The Monthly Quotes. It might be about the month in a quote, or just something that sounds really cool. They would be great to spout off at parties or just whenever you feel like it.
As I sat here trying to add a little or explain the quote, I had a “what the fuck am I doing?” moment. These are fantastic examples of expression in the simplest and purest form. They do not need to be explained or analyzed, because if you do not understand then you are never meant too. So just enjoy.
“You boys can keep your virgins
give me hot old women in high heels
with asses that forgot to get old.”
“Sex is kicking death in the ass while singing.”
“there is always one woman to save you from another and as that woman saves you she makes ready to destroy”
“what matters most is how well you walk through the fire”
“the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”
“You don’t know what you live for, until you know what you would die for”
“The problem with the world is that the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence”
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
“It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.”
“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
“Life is short, Break the Rules.
Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY.
Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably
And never regret ANYTHING
That makes you smile.”
“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.”
“Nothing Great ever came THAT easy.”
The pressure is good for you
Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.
Nothing happens until you make it happen
The harder you work the luckier you get
I know I was born, I know I will die. The in-between is mine.
I did not write any of these, but they are all outstanding and should provide some great motivation or whatever…