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We have seen this before…

June 15, 2011 Leave a comment

He has no answers...

With great power comes great responsibility. This is the phrase that I keep coming back to when trying to revisit the Miami Heat loss to the NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks just 3 days ago.

Since their victory the Mavericks have shifted to an afterthought and the story has become why did Miami and mainly Lebron lose this finals? Fairly or unfairly this story isn’t going away and it won’t for the foreseeable future. Not until Lebron wins a title.

Michael had it, Tiger had it, Kobe had it, Wilt had it, Ali had it, and Lebron has it. Freakish athletic ability that allows you to do things in your sport that few people are even capable of dreaming about. Like Lebron these other men all enjoyed their fair share of criticism. Because, like Lebron, they are and were so gifted athletically that winning was the only thing that the public would allow. Any sports fan, I can guarantee has made the comment, “Well if I was that athletic I would just go to the rim every time and dunk.” or “If I was that strong I would just run people over” or “Man I wish I had his ability I wouldn’t waste it.” But really would you?

People who have never had to deal with the things that professional athletes deal with have no idea what it is to have their lives. So here is the situation, you are a multimillionaire, you get paid to play a sport, shoot commercials, and make appearances, you get the money regardless, only you can’t ever say anything stupid in public, and by all means you cannot LOSE and if you do it is all your fault! I know that I get stressed out when I upset a friend or co-worker, now you are telling me I have millions of people who are pissed at me? And if I lose I am letting down millions of people who once believed in me?

Now you take the men I mentioned above, the icons if you will, who were held to an even higher standard. They are not allowed to let pressure get to them because we say so? How dare you act human in front of millions of people rooting for you to fail!! (Sarcasm folks!)

Now I don’t disagree that Lebron like all those guys before him hasn’t done the best job trying to gain our sympathy, but their was a time where everyone hated Kobe, Ali, Tiger(He is in the middle of his hatefest, maybe he and Lebron should go to Denny’s or Ihop and talk about it), Wilt, and even MJ. All of these men had their hiccups, their screw ups(or just screws TI-GERRR!) and all had reasons for being hated and all of those went away when they won.(Still waiting Tiger)

The past is forgotten by winning and winning a lot. It is forgotten by performing at the highest level when your team or your sport commands it. That’s why we love the icons so much, they delivered when they were supposed to deliver. The only reason they were able to do that time after time is because of the failures they went through to get them to that elite level.

So sure Lebron didn’t play in the Finals the way he did in the Boston or Chicago series. The way we have been dying for him to consistently play since he entered the NBA. But if both those series told us anything it’s that the ability to do so is in there somewhere.

Lebron has it in him to make shots and dominate games. To get to the rim when ever he wants, to get a triple double and be a lock down defender. The only problem is he only doesn’t when HE wants to and not when WE want him to . I think the greatest compliment that can ever be given to Michael Jordan is that he WAS Michael Jordan every time he stepped on the floor. He played his guts out and gave the fans and his teammates the same great player every single night no matter if it was in November or in Game 4, 5, or 6(haha little jab at Lebron) of the Finals , he was MJ, His Airness, the greatest of all time every single time he took the floor! If Lebron learns anything from this whole experience it should be that we want the 35 point, 12 rebound, 9 assist, 3 steals and 2 blocks Lebron every single night because anything else would be a waste of your great gift or power if you will…remember Lebron with great power comes great responsibility.

2010 becomes 2011 continued

January 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Boxing continues to be one of Americas forgotten sports. In one of my first posts on this blog I wrote about how Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. needed to fight to save boxing and nearly a year later the fight still hasn’t happened. Both have fought and both have won easily, but they have yet to fight each other. To make boxing even more irrelevant the heavyweight division is still without a major superstar. So the question is…

Will Pacquioa and Mayweather fight? Will the Klitschko brothers fight each other and give people something to talk about.

Answer: Pacquioa’s next fight has already been determined and that is against and over the hill Sugar Shane Mosely(Less sugar and more molasses last time I checked). Mayweather on the other hand will be fighting the law after numerous allegations were brought up against him. Will these two fight? I say yes, just not when anyone cares anymore. I feel like this will be a fight that happens late in both of their careers when they are not the tremendous fighters they are today.

As for the Klitschkos… noway this happens but wouldn’t it be great to see them duke it out? Not only would it unify 3 belts but what would be better than watching two brothers beat the hell out of each other!

Celtics won round 1… Lakers won round 1 and 1/2 and round 2. Round 3? Both are on a collision course once again to meet in the finals. This year however both paths are far more difficult, So the question is…

Will the NBA Finals be Lakers vs. Celtics?

Answer: No! Not only are the Lakers are too old, but they still have to go through the west. The Spurs are better, the Mavericks are playing defense, and the Thunder are better. The Celtics have to go through, wait for it…THE EAST! I know shocking right! The not only have to battle the Magic and the Bulls, but there is this little team in Miami that is starting to figure things out. One of the two may make it but I have a hard time believing that both will get there.

You remember this guy right? He was and still is the best golfer in the world. Sure he had a rough 2010, but who didn’t really? Sure his was far worse than most people on the planet but whose to say he can’t bounce back. So the question is…

Will Tiger Woods fix his golf game and start winning again?

Answer: PGA Tour you have been warned. Tiger fell off so much that other golfers actually started talking smack! If struggling through an entire golf season wasn’t bad enough, other golfers actually not fearing Tiger was the last straw. I foresee Tiger going bananas this year and leaving a clear path of destruction in his wake. Wins, Wins, and more wins.

Bonus question: Will Tiger Woods start dating again?

Bonus Answer: Now I would love nothing more than Tiger to start dating either Lindsey Lohan or Brittney Spears, but after the year he had I just can’t imagine him dating so soon. If he does date however I expect the women to be someone from high society without any history of any shady past whatsoever.

AND FINALLY……..

Both the NFL and NBA are in golden eras and both are in jeopardy of not having seasons next year. So the question is…

Will the NBA and NFL have lockouts next year?

Answer: David Stern and Roger Goddell call Bud Selig and ask him how 1994 was, PLEASE!!! No one wants to see a strike. In the NFL it would mean players like Tom Brady, Chris Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and Andre Johnson wasting prime years of their careers. In the NBA it would be a loss for Lebron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, and Kobe Bryant. Both leagues have never been better so hopefully these labor negotiations can be worked out before we lose any basketball or football.

2010 was a great year in sports and hopefully 2011 can be even better. Hopefully we will soon be able to find out the answers to all these questions! Happy New Years from SOGJ!

2010 becomes 2011

December 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Its been a while and a lot has happened that has not been blogged by your favorite writers here at SOGJ but a new year means a fresh start.

Sitting around deciding what to write about has been the hardest part of jumping back onto the blog. I didn’t whether to write a year in review or a prediction of things to come so I decided to combine the two ideas. The year that was and the questions the create for next year.

1. Brett Favre’s NFL Future

For 20 years Brett Favre has played in the NFL and finally after this season that may come to an end. After an amazing 2009-2010 season Brett came back after his annual, “I may reitre”, “I don’t know what I am doing”, “I want to play.” fall fiasco to play one of the toughest seasons ever by an NFL player. Now it is no secret I am not a fan of Brett Favre but I have to give the man respect for being an absolute warrior playing through multiple injuries that individually would sideline most men but he played with all of them. A fractured ankle, a concussion, a sore shoulder, a sore elbow, a fractured foot, and a broken reputation(thanks Jenn Sterger). So the question is…

Will Brett Favre retire?

The answer: Most likely I think he will. Now that being said it would not surprise me in the least bit if we see number 4 in purple and gold next year.

After a stellar college career Tim Tebow was suprisingly drafted in the first round by the Denver Broncos. Former head coach Josh McDaniels traded up to the first round to get the Captain of Team Jesus, even though most projections had him as a 4th round pick at very best. Most of the uncertainty was based around the fact that it took Tebow 3 days to wind up and throw the football. So what did Tebow do? He changed his throwing motion and eliminated his hitch. This was a positive sign that Tebow one day may be an effective NFL QB. Then the Broncos signed starting quarterback Kyle Orton to and extension, effectively ending any chance for Tebow to start for the foreseeable future. Flash forward 6 months, fire Josh McDaniels, take the Broncos out of the playoffs and Tim Tebow gets his chance to start and after two games he has looked good! So the question is…

Will Tim Tebow be a starting quarterback in the NFL for the next ten years?

The answer: I think yes. From what we know about Tebow is that he has the will of Rocky Balboa, the determination of a stubborn child, and Jesus on his side. He wants to prove all of America wrong that he can play.

Coach K has had 2 and a half of the best coaching years in the history of basketball. First he led the Redeem Team to the 2008 Olympic Gold Medal, then he led the his Duke Blue Devils to the National Title, and he followed that by leading Team USA to the World Championships. He will soon break the record for all time wins by a coach in NCAA history and his team is currently ranked number 1 again. So the question is…

Will Duke win another title and is Coach K the greatest coach ever?

I think that Duke will repeat in a walk. They are clearly the best team in the country, with the deepest lineup, and the best players. As far as the greatest coach ever I think he is certainly making a case for it. If in 2012 he leads Team USA to another gold medal there are few other coaches who have done what he has accomplished.

To be continued…

It took time to appreciate Scottie

August 13, 2010 1 comment

Always in MJ's shadow right where he liked it.

Growing up in central Illinois in the 1990’s if you weren’t a Chicago Bulls fan you were pretty rare. There were usually two schools of thought on who your favorite player was, obviously most went with Michael Jordan and everyone else rooted for Scottie Pippen. I fell into the first camp. I loved MJ he was the man. I knew Scottie was good but he was just Robin to Michael’s Batman. He was my little brother’s favorite.

Years later Scottie Pippen has made it to the Basketball Hall of Fame. It wasn’t till a few years ago, after watching and re-watching countless games on dvd, ESPN Classic, and NBA TV that I truly began to appreciate Scottie Pippen as a basketball player.

He was truly ahead of his time. I myself have been guilty of being in awe of how much of a freak that LeBron James is but give me Scottie’s smothering defense and I like my chances. He was a 6’7 point forward that could literally guard all 5 positions. MJ could take chances on defense to get his highlight dunks because he knew Scottie had his back. Playing against the Bulls defense with all its length and Scottie as its anchor was like trying to throw a hardball through a tree try as you might you weren’t making more than a dent.

Scottie got steals, blocks, and for my money is the greatest player I have ever watched at taking charges. He would throw his body in front of anyone to get a stop. I can remember a playoff game in the late 90’s where he took 4 charges! That’s in one game! Find me a time a superstar took 4 charges in a playoff series let alone a game!

Offensively Scottie was ever improving. Originally a slasher and occasional spot up shooter. He turned himself into a reliable go to guy and good 3 point shooter. I can remember before Tim Duncan shot 18 foot bank shots Scottie used it as a lethal weapon. He also became the NBA’s first point forward.

Scottie deserves his place in the hall and I am happy he got in. He will always be one of my favorite players to watch and  now I truly appreciate all the things that he did on the basketball court.

Can the Heat reach 70?

August 10, 2010 Leave a comment

In the 1995-1996 season the Chicago Bulls took the NBA by storm and won a record 72 games. Let me start by saying this is my favorite team of all time. This was the summer between my 7th and 8th grade year and I felt like I watched every game(my 3 year old sister could say all the names in the starting lineups)It was MJ’s first full year back, Rodman’s first year with the team, Scottie Pippen was at his best, Toni Kukoc was the best 6th man in the league, Steve Kerr was the best shooter, and Phil Jackson was the best coach. It was an NBA record for wins in a year.

Earlier in the week Jeff Van Gundy made the claim that he thinks this years version of the Miami Heat can match or beat this record. I have examined both teams schedules and I have my prediction on how the Heat will do. Lets go month by month…

October

The better gel early, they play Boston in Boston on opening night and Orlando 3 days later in their home opener. But they also play the Nets and the Sixers. Given that LeBron lost his last game in Cleveland in Boston and the Heat were bounced from the playoffs by the Celtics last year and the immense pressure of starting off well I say the Heat start 4-0. The Bulls won their first 5 games before losing on the road to a good Orlando Magic team playing without Shaq. The Bulls were also without Dennis Rodman. Penny Hardaway poured in 36 points while MJ had a bad game and the Bulls lost by 6. 5-1 through 6 games.

November

This is the most important month for the Heat. It is important they get off to a great start taking advantage of teams still getting used to each other. The Bulls started their season by going 12-2. The Heat play only 4 road games this month 2 tough and two very winnable. They also play NBA doormats Washington, New Jersey, Toronto, and Philadelphia this month. Possible loss chance Dallas and Orlando on the Road, and Boston, Phoenix and Utah at home. My prediction through 18 games on the for the Heat 15-3 (the Bulls through at same point 16-2).

December

Last month was most important but December will be the hardest early on  and second hardest next to March. They have 10 road games this month which include, LeBron’s first game back in Cleveland, Phoenix, Houston, Sacramento, Golden State, Milwaukee, New York, Washington, Utah, and at the Lakers on Christmas Day. They also have to play Atlanta at home as well as Dallas again. If they can make it through this stretch the record could start looking real. The Bulls on the other hand won 13 in a row to start December before losing to the Pacers. Through 28 games the Bulls were a cool 25-3 my prediction for the Heat 23-5.

January

This month is highlighted by a 5 game road trip ending with their first trip to Chicago. They also play OKC for the first time at the end of the month which should be a great game. They have to play Milwaukee back to back games and also get the Clippers, Detroit, Toronto, and Cleveland again. The tough games are Golden State again as well as Portland on the road. January is when the Bulls hit 5th gear winning 18 in a row going 31-1 in 32 games.(This team was so good!) So if you are counting at home through 42 games the Bulls were 39-3. The Heat will be 37-5.

February

More road games for the Heat in February than home games. 7 of the 12 games they play. This is the month where the Heat will be able to get some rest for the home stretch. Tough games at Orlando, Boston, and Chicago are offset by home games against Indiana, The Clippers, Washington, and the Knicks. Plus winnable road games at Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte, and Toronto. Tough month to judge with the All-star break in the middle. February of 1996 was the only month when the Bulls lost back to back regular season games and it actually doubled their losses to 6. Through 56 games the Bulls were 50-6, I think this is when the Heat can keep pace or they will lose it completely my prediction 48-8.

March

Heading into March the Heat will hover close to the 10 loss mark which will motivate them just a little more. I think this is a big month for Mr. Wade. Playing only 5 road games this month that being said MARCH IS A BEAR! The start of the month goes like this in order Orlando, San Antonio, Chicago, Portland, The Lakers, Memphis, Spurs again, and finally OKC. 8 games in 14 days against tough Western conference teams and Chicago and Atlanta! That being said Wade turns it up a gear and I think LeBron goes on a triple double streak of 6 games. After March Heat record through 75 games 66-9 which was exactly the same as the Bulls.

April

Here is where it gets really interesting. The Heat gunning for history taking every teams best shot have 7 games for history. Do they go for it or rest for the playoffs? I say they go after it! Lets go back in time first, the Bulls finished 6-1 in their final 7 games. Which moved their record to 72-10. All the games were against relatively easy teams. The Heats final seven games look like this Minnesota and New Jersey on the Road, Milwaukee, Charlotte, and Boston at home, and finally Atlanta and Toronto on the road. My prediction they are 69-12 heading into the Toronto game. Toronto will be playing for lottery ping pong balls but will give the Heat one of their toughest games of the year. I think the Heat will win and reach 70 games. Final record 70-12. The Bulls record is safe but the Heat become only second team ever to reach 70.

Who is David Kahn?

July 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Yep he hired Kurt Rambis

This summer I have become more of a sports junky than I thought possible.(My friends who may or may not be reading this are shaking their heads no.) But truly I have. It has gotten to the point where I have watched and DVR’d(I don’t know if it’s even a word) multiple NBA summer league games. I am really glad that I did. Upon watching the Sacramento Kings play the Minnesota Timberwolves(SOGJ’s favorite NBA player Patrick O’Bryant was playing for the Wolves) I became lucky to be introduced to possibly the worst GM in the NBA. Now if you are a follower of Bill Simmons which I am, you know that he mentions Mr. Kahn all the time. This is something that I have not taken much credence to, but just thought it was another running joke that he makes(There are certain things that he will constantly joke about and if you don’t follow him religiously you get lost.) That was until I saw Mr. Kahn in action. In the clip below he discusses with Chris Webber why Darko Milicic is a better player than every other GM in the NBA believes. Please pay attention to Chris Webber’s body language he sits there in complete disgust, also my favorite part is the 4:52 mark listen to Webber’s good luck.(This is classic tv)

Now since this debacle Kahn has been on a roll. He called Webber a schmuck and was fined today for talking about how Michael Beasley smoked too much pot in Miami! Really David you thought that was fair game for the media? I am sure Mike Beasley is thrilled.

Since Kevin Garnett was traded from Minnesota the team has been in a constant state of flux. This is only because of Kahn starting last year. He drafted Ricky Rubio who decided he like Spain much better than the frozen tundra of a Minnesota winter.(Do you blame him?) There current roster includes 3 point guards, 5 small forwards, 1 shooting guard, 1 power forward and Darko Milicic and Kosta Koufas. This was all done all the while giving up your best player in Al Jefferson for draft picks and Kosta Koufas! I am not an NBA GM but WTF!!!!!

Kahn is a one time sportswriter, one time lawyer, one time NBDL team owner, and two time sports executive. I guess that means that he is qualified to put together an NBA roster. If anything it gives myself and fellow blogger MEA hope to one day be NBA GMs. I know this I can’t wait to hear what he says next!

Summer of 2010

July 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Who would have thought?

For three years this summer has had a bullseye on it. We have waited and waited for something spectacular and regardless of how you feel about the newly created Miami Heat this summer has been spectacular. But they have only been part of the story that is the summer of 2010 there has been so much more.

The NBA Finals

It started in June where in a rematch of the 2008 finals the Lakers and Celtics collided in a classic 7 game series. Game 7 was an ugly, physical perfect game 7 that went down to the final minutes. Kobe had a horrendous 4th quarter which was very unlike the best closer in the game and it was (mentally disturbed) Ron Artest who hit the biggest shot of the finals down the stretch.

The World Cup

Once again fake football took America by storm. Once again many Americans began caring about Futbol! We finally had something to root for as our Americans got out of their group (apparently a big deal) and then were a poorly played game away from making the semi-finals. Its been a few weeks and like expected we have moved on from the soccer kick(bad pun I know) and we are ready for the real football to begin.

Strassmas!

Rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg made his Major League debut and blew away the Pittsburgh Pirates.(Most of these guys should be playing church league softball to be fair) He has made 9 starts and is 5-2. If he played for someone other than the Nationals he would probably have a better record. What I am most impressed by is his Matt Clementesque goatee that just seems to keep getting larger and larger.

Brett Favre

This was one of the many times he has retired.

Once again we have out favorite season Favre(Please insert heavy sarcasm). It comes right between summer and fall. This is the time of year we find out whether or not Mr. Favre feels his body is healthy enough to come back and play. It includes will he won’t he talk, Brad Childress visiting Mississippi(Happened earlier this week), Brett throwing laser beams to high school kids, and of course our favorite reporter Rachel Nichols setting up a tent on Brett Favre’s front lawn. She must get a Christmas card from the Favre family.

The NBA Free Agent Fiasco

In what was supposed to be a free for all it truly lived up to the hype. Whether it was the meetings, the rumors, the “Decision”, or just the fun NBA free agency lived up to the hype. We now have a legitimate possible super power in the East since LeBron, Wade, and Bosh joined forces. Chicago, New York, and Golden State all got better. This NBA season will hopefully be one of the best in a long time. Every time the Heat play they will get every teams best. They have become the NBA’s version of the Yankees.

This summer has been one to remember and I can’t for the fall. College sports, NBA and NFL we are truly living in a golden era of sport.