Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Quandry of The Anonymous NFL Executive

I have noticed a growing trend that occurs every year around the NFL Draft and I suppose you the loyal followers of the Puma deserve to hear about it. As we get closer and closer to the sports nerds Thanksgiving (Christmas of course being the NBA Draft) the "anonymous NFL executive" becomes a very vocal person. And usually this anonymous person does not come baring good news. And more often than not his verbal barbs always strike the black quarterback.

Don't believe me? How about this report on Teddy Bridgewater: "He's a dynamic playmaker, but is he the guy you want running your offense? They're very similar." The he in his quote is of course reference to the fictional quarterback Willie Beamen from "Any Given Sunday." 
Hmm...what's the similarity? I wonder...
The flashy, me first player who rarely put team first. Teddy Bridgewater was the most mild mannered player who never so much as had a parking ticket. Contrast that with the scouting report for the player who actually resembled Beamen the most, Johnny Manziel: "Mental Toughness: Performs at a high level under constant media attention and scrutiny."
What a leader!
He failed to mention constant spats with coaches and by his own admission learning a little over half of the playbook. But yeah he shows grit.

This year the man up to the plate is Jameis Winston.
Now allow me to state this, off the field he has been a moron and possibly a criminal. Thanks to the Tallahassee police screwing up the investigation, we may never know the answer as to whether he is a criminal. On the field however, there is no question that he is the best quarterback in the current draft. Don't take my word for it, how about we take the word of Steve Mariucci who has worked with such quarterbacks as Steve Young and Brett Favre. "The most astute X's and O's guy that he's ever put on the board." Rich Eisen added, "He was not only answering the questions that Steve was throwing at him but anticipating what that question might lead to next and answering that question before Steve even posed it."

Now look, off the field concerns are huge. But when evaluating a player, let's not make up things about his on the field play. Be open and just admit you're scared off by the off the field stuff. Believe me it's a legit reason to not draft a guy.

Well I've ranted enough. Suppose I'll work up a mock draft lottery for you all. I promise, no unnecessary slander.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Final Four Preview


What a tournament so far. Despite my bracket looking like the Red Wedding I have thoroughly enjoyed watching hours of this tournament…despite my hatred of the current NCAA system but that’s another post. Before I go into my preview that will inevitably be wrong I’d like to offer just a few of my favorite moments from the tournament so far.

·         Everything about Georgia State. From their coach falling off his stool seeing his son hit a game winner to the redemption of Kevin Ware these guys truly are the embodiment of March Madness.
Glad to see this guy back in the tourney.
·         The emotion that some of the coaches show for their players. It always warms my cynical heart to see a hall of famer like Roy Williams jitterbug after a victory or be brought to tears when asked about his kids after a loss. Definitely something we should see more of.

·         Notre Dame versus Kentucky. Wow. That may have been the game of the tournament and definitely one of the best I’ve seen in quite a while. Notre Dame had the perfect game plan and executed it to damn near perfection and they still lost.

Now on to what none of you asked for, my astute analysis.

Michigan State Versus Duke:
# 7 Michigan State:
What a run by these group of guys. I echoed the sentiment of Bomani Jones, who would have thought a team that lost to Texas Southern would make it out the Big Ten Tourney let alone make it to the Final Four. They are an excellently coached group but unfortunately Cinderella turns her slippers in after running into Duke. This is a team that lives and dies by the three and Duke is a team that can keep pace with you unlike Louisville. And if it comes down to free throws this is just a group that can be consistently counted upon.


#1 Duke:
This is going to be the most difficult thing I have ever written. So Krista if you’re reading this you should know I have vomited at the thought of praising the Blue Devils. That said I give praise where it’s due. Jahlil Okafor is a downright beast. We knew that coming into the tournament
Ugh.
What most of us didn’t account for were Tyus Jones, Quinn Cook and Justice Winslow all playing the best they have the entire season now that we've hit the tourney. I don’t expect this game to be a blowout but I do forsee a victory for these bastards from Durham. 

Wisconsin Versus Kentucky:
#1 Wisconsin:
There is in my opinion no team left in this tournament as annoying as the Wisconsin Badgers with their faux underdog persona. All season they have played up the scrappy band of misfits who happened to defy the odds and succeed. No, you have a team of All Americans and Mr. Basketballs and have been ranked in the top ten for the better part of the last 3 seasons. That said they have a daunting task ahead of them. Kaminsky versus Townes could be a draw, other than Dekker Wisconsin can’t keep up with the athleticism of Kentucky.  History will repeat itself.

#1 Kentucky:
This team is a modern marvel. I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Never before have I seen such a group of highly rated players put ego aside and buy into a coach’s system so readily. How else could you convince potential first round picks last season the Harrison twins, Alex Poythress, and Willie Cauley- Stein to say no to NBA millions for a chance at redemption? Take the experience of those players with the amazing play of the potential number one pick Karl Anthony Townes and there is no surprise this is a team that is on the precipice of history. Kentucky will win out and become the first every 40-0 champion.


There you have it folks. I’m the only person in America calling for a Duke-Kentucky final with Kentucky winning it all. Stand and be amazed by my individuality! Alright I’m off to shower again as speaking positively of Duke has me feeling quite dirty.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

I Love The NBA


Holy hell This NBA season has been quite the roller coaster. As a Bulls fan, this season has been a touch bittersweet.

The Good:
Threekola!

·         The emergence of Jimmy G. Buckets (The “G” stands for gets in the words of Stacey King.)
·         The ascension of Nikola Mirotic.
·         Tom Thibodeau remaining the tiny guard whisperer with Aaron Brooks.

The Bad:
Fred Hoiberg?

·         The continued knee woes of Derrick Rose.
·         Rumors of Thibodeau leaving and being replaced with Fred Hoiberg.

With all that said I remain confident we can make it back to the Promised Land barring Lebron going super saiyan. Now on to why you all came here, the unsolicited opinions of an egomaniac!

Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City

I know he missed time this season but he has been playing out of this earth and the player most responsible for the Thunder making a legitimate push for the playoffs. He does despite having the most inept big game coach in recent memory.

Rookie of the Year: Andrew Wiggins, SG, Minnesota
Wiggins joins such luminaries as Damian Lillard in making me look like a fool.
I admittedly wasn’t too big on Wiggins coming into this season. Now that he is comfortable in his game he has made me look like a fool and is potentially the franchise player everyone thought he would be.  More confidence has led him to be a 20 points a night scorer in the second half of the season and he was already a near elite wing defender.

Coach of the Year: Mike Budenholzer, Atlanta Hawks
Seriously would you know who this guy is?
No joke I had to google the Hawks to even find out who the coach was. Regardless of this fact I have to give props where they are due. He has taken the Hawks from the definition of a 6 seed to the front runner in the Eastern Conference and looking like a baby Popovich while doing so.

Disrespectful Play of the Year: Steph Curry destroying the ankles of Chris Paul
I mean…damn. Just…damn.

The Grim Reaper Award: Deandre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers
This goes to the guy who has taken more souls on the court and this season it’s not even close. Just ask Jason Smith of the Knicks about Mr. Jordan.

And while I know this is about the NBA I’d be remised if I didn’t mention the greatness of Dean Smith. Last week’s news of how he bequeathed one final gift for all his players didn’t surprise me at all. Just google the kind of crusader he was for civil rights and you will understand that it was about more than basketball for him. They truly don’t make them like Coach Smith anymore.

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Quick Rant Session From the Chocolate One

It seems like every time I write on here it’s because something has made me a bit angry and or annoyed me royally. Far too often I have sat down with the intent to write something fun and light hearted but I’ll see something so profoundly stupid I have to speak on it. I shall wax on just a few of these items in the hope that getting them off my chest will keep people who espouse said dumb ass opinions away from me.

The Oklahoma Frat Video and Subsequent Apology:
Sigh. Where do I even begin with this foolishness? I have seen people bending over backwards to come up with ways to defend these morons “youthful indiscretion.” My favorite being “well young black men say it, why don’t you get mad then?” This operates under the logic that every black person must think the same way in order to get basic human respect. You’re not stupid.

“There will never be a nigger in SAE…you can hang them from a tree, but they’ll never sign with me.”
The chant on that bus was not a confused kid who was mimicking Waka Flaka, it was an orchestrated chant that was the definition of racist and bigoted. Stop defending privileged assholes.

Empire and the Black Community:
Every time I log onto a social media site I was guaranteed to see at least one “while you’re watching Empire, I’m building one meme. If you are one of the people who believe that I’d like to offer you a hearty congratulation! You’re a moron. First, are you building an empire in one hour a week? If you are why are you making memes instead of budgeting your time better? You might be able to get that empire built in 45 minutes! Second and most important, it’s a damn tv show! Can we have 1 hour of just bad tv without it becoming a referendum on the black community? Jesus Horatio Christ.

The Police:
Contrary to what people may think, I respect the hell out of the police. Its hard thankless work and they truly are the thin line that separates the public from anarchy. But it does not mean you are above criticism. The idea that saying an admittedly small portion of police over step the bounds of the badge is not a slap in the face to the police. It’s calling those out who don’t deserve to wear the badge. In my eyes it’s disrespectful to the people who bust their ass and put their life on the line to let ass clowns who are nothing more than bullies sully their good name.

Well glad I was able to get all of that off my chest. Hopefully I haven’t offended too many of you but if we’re being honest you and I both know I really don’t care. Stay tuned as I plan on actually posting a lot more in the coming months.

In the words of the legend Jalen Rose, “I GOT TO GIVE THE PEOPLE...GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT.”

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Trade Deadline Extravaganza!


The NBA trade deadline is like Christmas for this guy, I didn’t truly expect anything to catch me off guard. Boy was I wrong. Every time I underestimate this sport I love it hits me with amazing surprises. With that said allow me to dive right into my astute analysis of the so far confirmed deals.
-The Portland Trail Blazers received Arron Afflalo and Alonzo Gee from the Denver Nuggets for Will Barton, Victor Claver, Thomas Robinson, a second-round pick and a 2016 lottery-protected first-round pick.
Puma’s Opinion: I think this has the potential to work out very well for the Nuggets based solely on Thomas Robinson’s potential, which I still think he can be a productive player. Might not be the star everyone thought he’d be coming out of Kansas but he is young enough to rebound. The 2016 first round pick is just icing on the cake.
-The Philadelphia 76ers received JaVale McGee and a first-round pick from the Nuggets for an overseas prospect.

Puma’s Opinion: This just makes the 76ers the most entertaining team in the league for teaming JaVale McGee with Joel Embiid.
-The Sacramento Kings received Andre Miller from the Washington Wizards for Ramon Sessions.
Puma’s Opinion: A team desperately seeking leadership gets one in Miller while John Wall finally gets a suitable backup for the time being. This is a win for both teams in my eyes.
-The Minnesota Timberwolves received Kevin Garnett from the Brooklyn Nets for Thaddeus Young.
I'm delightful.
 Puma’s Opinion: The Nets get a steal with Thaddeus Young and Minnesota gets a legacy guy to bring a few extra fans in and teach the younger guys how to win and play in big time games.
-The Miami Heat received Goran Dragic and Zoran Dragic from the Phoenix Suns for Danny Granger, Norris Cole, Justin Hamilton, Shawne Williams and two first-round picks.
Never forget.
 Puma’s Opinion: Pat Riley is the devil. He gets Wade a suitable running mate and unloads the carcass of Danny Granger and the increasingly unpopular Norris Cole.
-Three-team deal: The Milwaukee Bucks received Michael Carter-Williams, Miles Plumlee and Tyler Ennis; the Sixers received a 2015 top-five protected first-round pick (from Phoenix, via Los Angeles Lakers); and the Suns received Brandon Knight.
Puma’s Opinion: Milwaukee continues it’s upwards ascent, the Suns inexplicably continue to stock pile point guards and the Sixers continue to go forward with their goal of having 16 picks in next year’s draft.
-Three-team deal: The Detroit Pistons received Reggie Jackson; the Oklahoma City Thunder received Enes Kanter, Steve Novak, Kyle Singler and D.J. Augustin; and the Utah Jazz received Kendrick Perkins, a first-round pick, a second-round pick and the rights to an overseas player.
Puma’s Opinion: OKC improves their bench with 4 very solid players, The Jazz got a guy who can go buy booze for Trey Burke I guess and the Pistons have a guy who can put up big numbers on a losing team.
-The Boson Celtics received Isaiah Thomas from the Suns for Marcus Thornton and a 2016 top-10 protected first-round pick (via Cleveland)
Puma’s Opinion: Both teams improve themselves. Isaiah Thomas will provide a spark off the bench behind Avery Bradley and Marcus Smart while Marcus Thornton joins the new look backcourt in Phoenix with Eric Bledsoe.
-The Pistons received Tayshaun Prince from the Celtics for Gigi Datome and Jonas Jerebko.
Puma’s Opinion: Another legacy trade, Prince is at the end of his career and gets rewarded with a trip back to the team where he made his name.
-The New Orleans Pelicans received Norris Cole from the Heat for John Salmons.

Puma’s Opinion: And Riley gets rid of one unlikeable guy for a solid bench guy. Definitely a win for the Heat.

Well it’s been a busy day but I promise I will be releasing my first half awards for the Eastern and Western conference.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Random Ramblings: Edition 3,269

Man it has been a rough, depressing, heart cringing time in the world recently so I will make this mostly light with just some ramblings. I promise only one or two things that may make my blood boil.

 Alright I am gonna weigh in on the Bill Cosby allegations. In the words of Dave Chappelle on Robert Blake, oh yeah, Bill Cosby did that shit. No two ways around this one. Ol’ Uncle Pudding Pop been drugging and raping women. This isn’t some massive conspiracy by the man to bring him down, its roosters coming home to roost. If this is a conspiracy it’s the worst one in the history of conspiracies. Let me get this straight, instead of bringing him down either at the height of his career or on the upswing you wait until basically he is not relevant in today’s society, past statute of limitations, and he keeps all the wealth he has amassed?
Would you take a drink from this guy?
Also come on, all these women coming forward and you mean to tell me not one is telling the truth? Word? Ok. I’ll leave you to your pudding pops and Kodak film.

Recently Derrick Rose wore an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt in support of the protests due to the non-indictment in the death of Eric Garner. 

After this many sportswriters have criticized and all but said he should shut up as he is not as well versed on the subject as they are. First of all, Rose grew up in Englewood. If anybody can tell you about violence it’s this guy. Also I’d like to add shut the hell up. Rose donates his own time and money to the youth of Chicago and a quick google search could have saved you the trouble of looking like an ass clown.

If you have not been paying attention the media blitz Chris Rock has been unleashing upon us please play catch up because this man is spitting so much hot fire right now.

Sportswriter Bryan Burwell passed away this past week. He was a legendary figure in the world of journalism and along with Ralph Wiley and Mike Wilbon, he was among the first black guys I saw actually covering the game instead of just playing the game. 

I’ll miss his always rational points on Sports Reporters. Rest in peace sir.

So Diddy slapped Drake in a night club huh? Not to be an old guy but rap beefs were better back in my day.

Run The Jewels. Download it. You won’t regret it. And it includes my close personal friend Killer Mike (Hey he tweeted me and I took a picture with him, that counts.)



Well I think I have rambled on enough for one day. Count down the days until I finally write my post on wrestling that the people have been clamoring for. PEACE!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

An American Tradition Unlike Any Other

In times like this I am reminded of an old Chris Rock Joke. Rock once said “If you're black, you got to look at America a little bit different. You got to look at America like the uncle who paid for you to go to college, but who molested you.” Days like today and last week that point is only magnified in my eyes. It seems that day after day you hear the tale of someone who was not lucky enough to survive a run in with police. It makes me sit back and reflect on all the times that I have had a run in and how I could have been that person who was being slandered in the press and reasons for my death justified. 

After the decision in Ferguson I was told by many, "you're not a lawyer, he was guilty." These people totally missed the point. I didn't know Mike Brown. What I did know was that he was an unarmed man who at worst stole a packet of cigarillos. Which means yes, he should have been arrested. But not executed in the street and left in the hot sun for hours like an animal, seemingly sending a message to a community that this is what happens when you defy us. I'm not here to argue innocence or guilt, what people wanted was a trial. That's all. Because the witnesses weren't the only people with inconsistent accounts that alone should be enough to warrant a trial. And if you focus on riots please miss me with that talk. Not condoning the actions but if one is going to riot, an unarmed kid is shot and left in the street is something to riot over, not running out of pumpkins.

"But Brian, if you just followed the law then none of this would happen!" Really? What about John Crawford III who was just holding a toy gun in an open carry state yet he was gunned down. Or what about Akai Gurley who commited the egregious crime of walking down the stairs. Or what about 12 year old Tamir Rice who was shot for having an airsoft gun 2 seconds after arriving on the scene? I've read more about his personal life as a victim than the cop who gunned him down. I even read that the video had a "suicide by cop" feel to it. A 12 year old. He's the one on trial. Not the person who shot him and then lied immediately about the circumstances surrounded the incident. 

I'm told all the time about the scourge of black on black crime despite the fact that talking point is bullshit. I'm told pull your pants up and show some respect for yourself and your community. I've done all these all these things and more. That hasn't saved me from police harassment. In my time in Chicago I've had guns pulled on me numerous times. Who did it? Was it those black people who hate smart black people like Charles Barkley said? Nah. It was the police. Well clearly I must have been doing something you may ask. Well here's what I was doing each time in order, walking from a party, walking from school, walking from the gym, and going on a run. Suspicious shit I know. And something tells me that if you ask a black person you know (because black women are just as victimized if not more) they can tell you similar stories. In fact our story is not uncommon.

So yes, I will get emotional about topics such as this injustice. I don't need condescending comments about how I need to hear both sides, and what I as a black person can do to make sure this doesn't happen to me. How about we have a discussion on how we can stop this kind of thing. It doesn't matter how rich you are, it has been deemed by the legal system that my presence and existence is threat enough.

As much as you people love to quote Martin Luther King, Jr at me when I bring all these points up, they seem to gloss over the fact that for as non violent as he was and how he was the embodiment of who you feel black people should be, he still got shot in the face for his efforts.