Thursday, January 12, 2017

January's If You Don't Sit Yo Ass Down Award!

Ah welcome back my loyal tens of readers; it’s a new year and the same ridiculous Puma here. I’d like to say that as I’ve grown older I am more measured and more mature. I’d like to say that. The truth is I am as petty as I have ever been. In fact I’d say as I grow older my super power has been my pettiness. It’s in this spirit that I present to you the first person to receive what will be a monthly installment I hope. I present to you January’s recipient of the “If You Don’t Sit Your Ass Down Award.”

This month’s recipient is a man that needs a bit of an introduction because frankly before this incident no one remembered or had heard of him. Bo Bice…Get yo ass up here so you can sit your ass down! 
If you don't get the...
If you are unaware why he may be receiving this prestigious award, I’ll bring you up to speed. Mr. Bice went to a Popeye’s, ordered food and was insulted and shall I say massively disrespected by the slur “white boy.” Wait… what? Hold on a second. 

Ok so let me get this straight, this wing ding is on tv literally crying because a Popeye's cashier said the horribly offensive line “He’s already got his — that white boy there.” He further went on to say: "If the tables had been turned and I used something as insensitive like that… I would be boycotted, there would be people not buying my albums." Hate to break the news to you champ but they weren't buying your albums anyway. Is this guy serious? Let me tell you I've been to that airport and he got off lucky if that's all he was called. 

Jokes aside, so you got your feelings hurt because she said you were a white boy? Bo, buddy, pal, being called white isn't a slur, or was it the boy part, the point is calm your crying ass down. At work I got called a nigger. This wasn't some long time ago, this was September. Hell last week I had another person ask me to teach them how to speak in ebonics. While not many come right out with the "n" bomb, little microagressions like the ebonics line are a daily occurrence. And guess what sport, I'm not special in this regard. I can't even tell you what a minority woman goes through as they get hit with the daily double of racism and sexism.

“Look through the comments of hate and ignorance that have been pouring in and tell me there isn’t a problem with race relations going on in our society, folks.”
You make a good point Bo, there is a problem with relations in this country, unfortunately for you this ain't it. I hope you cry just as hard when studies show black men with college degrees have the same chances for hire that fresh out of prison white men  or when banks use discriminatory lending practices that harm minorities. If you don't then by all means feel free to use this:

Monday, December 19, 2016

College Athletes Owe You Not One Dime.

One of the things that drives me absolutely insane is an unearned sense of entitlement. Today’s culprits of exhibiting such behavior would be college football fans and writers who are dusting off their moral soap boxes to condemn Christian McCaffrey who has decided to sit out the very prestigious* Sun Bowl. 
He has a few more of these in him for free right?
Now I’ve gone on record numerous times saying that college athletes should be paid and not to be repetitive but if you want guys to play in a meaningless game then you should…PAY THEM. If you don’t pay them, you can’t be mad at them when they take the necessary steps to prepare for the next phase of their career. 

But Puma, they get paid in an education you may be saying. I will counter with this. Say you have a student who is on an academic scholarship. This student is also a teacher’s assistant. Now because this student is providing a service to the university they are given a stipend. The athlete is doing the same thing.
Nothing to see here...
They are providing a service to the university because merchandise; concessions and ticket sales bring in big dollars. But because there is no respect for athletes and they’re seen in a lot of cases as idiots lucky to be on campus, they should shut up and not look out for themselves. 

Even former players are chiming in on this ridiculous non story. Ezekiel Elliott, currently killing it for the Dallas Cowboys said “I would do anything to play one more time with my brothers in that scarlet and gray.” That’s funny to me because he could be playing in college right now had he not gone pro early. 
Run and get paid young man.
I’m not knocking that decision just as he shouldn’t knock McCaffrey or Leonard Fournette for taking care of their bodies and deciding to sit out a meaningless bowl game to get ready for the NFL combine. 

Also I’m not sure if people know this but you can get really hurt playing football. I know it was surprising to me too. 
A sight no one wants to see.
Just google Jaylon Smith. He was projected to be a top 5 pick which would have at worst given him a 4 year fully guaranteed contract worth 23.5 million dollars.  Then in a bowl game that ultimately was meaningless, he destroyed his knee, dropped to the second round and received a contract of 4 years, 6.5 million dollars with 4.5 million guaranteed. Now after seeing that how anyone can be against a kid protecting his interests and his family's interests?

I love to watch college football, truly I do, but if a guy who is putting his body on the line and not being fairly compensated wants to put himself first for a change Young Puma respects it. As we see with coaches leaving at the drop of hat it appears the athletes are finally realizing that loyalty in the eyes of the NCAA is a one way street.

*Not prestigious at all, actually ridiculous.*

Friday, December 9, 2016

The 2 Cold Scorpio Year End Awards of Excellence

Another trip around the sun almost completed and you know what that means...time for year end lists galore! This year I have decided to write one of my mildly recognized posts about the sweet science of professional wrestling. I have named my year end award after one of my favorite wrestlers from my childhood, the ridiculously athletic and always entertaining 2 Cold Scorpio.  
How could I not be a fan?

Rookie of the Year:
Matt Riddle (Evolve)
The master of the bromission is a legit badass as he began his career as an MMA fighter for UFC. He has easily made the transition to the world of professional wrestling and is currently tearing it up for Evolve Wrestling. He has the personality, style, and pedigree as a believable badass that no doubt will lead him to the WWE sooner rather than later.
Dear Lord.

Most Improved Wrestler:
The Revival (NXT)
This is a little bit of cheating as this is a tag team but hey I'll allow it. Dash and Dawson were two floundering acts in NXT when they were paired together and thus the Revival was born. A throwback to the old days of wrestling when as they would say "no flips, just fists." They are a modern day Brainbusters. Using old school moves and just flat out common sense usually they dominated the NXT tag team scene. Also their finisher, the Shatter Machine, is one of the best tag team finishers I have seen in quite a while.

Best Heel:
The Miz (WWE)
Ok before you rip my head off think about it. The job of a heel is to aggravate and annoy your baby faces and crowd. Who does that better than the Miz? From his cocky Hollywood persona to his constant use of his wife as a distraction to win, there has not been a better heel than the Miz. Seriously, watch him verbally eviscerate everyone's favorite Daniel Bryan on the mic so bad that people though that this was real. 

Best Face:
Bayley (WWE)
 Sweet wholesome Bayley (aka wrestling bae #2) was a no brainer for the best face of WWE. The plucky under dog who was always a fan and is living her dream. While she is a ridiculously talented wrestler and her and wrestling bae #1 Sasha Banks have put on classics, it's her infectious smile and happiness, not to mention her motto of "hug life" that ensures she is the face of the women's division for many years to come.

Wrestler of the Year: 
Kenny Omega (New Japan)
There was no doubt in my mind when I was trying to decide who would be my wrestler of the year. Kenny Omega seized control of the Bullet Club in January and has been on a remarkable run which I wouldn't be surprised ended with a world title run. The Cleaner made an amazing run in New Japan's biggest tournament and turned in a classic against Hiroki Goto in the finals. Not to mention he is completely into his own gimmick.
Don't mind The Cleaner.

Top 3 Matches of the Year:
3. Cedric Alexander vs Kota Ibushi (Cruiserweight Classic)
For years Cedric Alexander has been a good wrestler. This year he became a great wrestler. He left Ring of Honor, lost 30 pounds and became a cruiserweight. Against one of the hottest free agents in the world Kota Ibushi I knew it would be good, I was wrong. This was flat out amazing. For 20 minutes they went back and forth trading acrobatic moves and power moves until Ibushi was able to finally put away Alexander with the Golden Star Power Bomb. 5 stars all around.

2. Shinuske Nakamura vs Samoa Joe (Takeover: Brooklyn)
Nakamura is one of my favorite wrestlers in the world and if Samoa Joe is motivated there is no better monster heel in the world. What happened in Brooklyn was a hard hitting, jaw dropping display of the stiff Japanese style that both wrestlers have become famous for. Although my favorite part may have been Nakamura's entrance accompanied by a live violinist. Quite apropos for the man known as Swagsuke.

1. Kenny Omega vs Tetsuya Naito (New Japan G1 Climax)
As you can tell I am a huge fan of Kenny Omega, Naito I was less familiar with but damn I am all in now. He is the leader of the faction Los Ingobernables de Japon translated to the Ungovernables, a group who could care less about wins and losses and more about chaos. Together they put together a completely dynamic and unpredictable match in the semis of the G1 Climax tourney. Naito was quite adept at reversing many of Omega's moves and for my money no one in the world mixes power and acrobatic moves better than Omega. By far my favorite match of the year.
Holy. Crap.
Well there you have it. Maybe I'll crank out some more posts before the year's end but if not allow me to say it's been real 2016. May 2017 be gentle, please for the love of God be gentle.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The What If All Stars

So I was sitting and the news came across that Rob Gronkowski had another back injury that was going to potentially keep him out for 2 months. This made me think about historically could he be on his way to the “What If” All-Stars. Now this is a sad list of people that you always preface their career with “what if they stayed healthy.” And as my mind is wont to do it wandered over to basketball and who could be considered the NBA’s version of this. So without further ado I present to you, the NBA all time starting 5 of What If All Stars.

Point Guard: Penny Hardaway
Growing up Michael Jordan was my favorite basketball player. Coming in right behind him was Penny Hardaway.

He was a modern day Magic Johnson. A 6’7 point guard who was able to score at will if he wanted to, but seemed to find more joy in setting up teammates to score. But after a trade to Phoenix he was plagued with feet injuries before having two microfracture surgeries on his knees effectively ending the explosive playmaker we had grown accustomed to seeing. 

Shooting Guard: Ron Harper
When people talk about Ron Harper now they think of the veteran who came in and played great defense and was the starting point guard on the greatest team in NBA history (shout out to the 96 Chicago Bulls) I think few realize that he was a pretty dynamic scoring guard in his own right. Easily averaging over 20 points a game with Cleveland and later on the Clippers, an acl tear zapped him of the explosiveness that was so integral to his game.

Small Forward: Drazen Petrovic
Drazen was already killing it in Europe before coming to the NBA but when he got here….man. When he became a starter in New Jersey after a brief stint in Portland Petrovic was that dude. Averaged over 20 points and more than held his own against the elite players of the league. Unfortunately a car accident extinguished his flame before we ever truly got to see how great he could be. 

Power Forward: Len Bias
You want someone who could do it all? Len Bias could do it all. Without a doubt a once in a generation player the man who could defend, rebound, shoot, dunk, and even tape ankles if you needed him to was going to extend the Celtics reign of dominance. Instead a cocaine overdose ensured that he would never get that opportunity to truly showcase his skills. He was  only 22 years old.

Center: Greg Oden

Talking about a man amongst boys, Greg Oden completely overpowered the college game from a defensive stand point and was beginning to do so from an offensive stand point.It was a no brainer that he was the top overall pick. Then as was the case with another Portland draft pick Sam Bowie, the injuries began to pile up. Zapped of his mobility and footwork he became a slow plodding player who never really recovered. 

Well there you have it. Guys who had things gone another way could have altered the landscape of the NBA but alas we shall ever know.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Finding Happiness in the Midst of the Sadness

The world has changed quite a bit since the last time I blogged here. I’m not going to go into the particulars of the election but needless to say I was a bit crushed by the end result. I gave myself a day to just be filled with sadness. Not at the election of racist, sexist and xenophopic marshmallow peep of a man, but more so at myself for believing that it wouldn’t happen. I allowed myself to feel like this country cared about people like me. Well message received.  Needless to say this kind of feeling does not leave one with the warm and fuzzies on the inside so I have begun to focus more on the things and people that bring joy to my world, because I’ll be damned if a walking cheeto is going to deprive the world of this glorious damn smile.

5. Basketball.
I was going to say Chicago Bulls basketball, then UNC basketball but as I write this currently I am watching a replay of Idaho vs Northern Illinois and have to come to grips with the fact that if basketball is on, there is a 89.75% chance that I am going to stop what I am doing to watch it.
Where the obsession began.
I can remember playing on a Fisher Price hoop at a quite young age against my older sister who had a ridiculous crush on Isaiah Thomas and just watching the game brings me back to that moment when I realized that no matter what basketball was going to be a love of mine for all time. 

4. Professional Wrestling
I’ve written numerous times about the love I have for professional wrestling. Believe it or not the Puma was not a very confident child, pretending to be Ric Flair, Sting and Ron Simmons made walking around the playground during recess a lot less intimidating. Not to mention some of my earliest memories is watching wrestling with my grandparents particularly with my grandmother as her favorite Dusty Rhodes battled with Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen. And with any mention of Dusty Rhodes you know I am going to show the greatest promo of all times…HARD TIMES.

3. Podcasts
I am a voracious listener of podcasts. Whether I’m cutting my lawn or cooking a meal for the Lady Puma I can no do these simple tasks in silence.  Listening to shows like TheBlack Guy Who Tips, Three Guys On, Jenkins and Jonez and of course the BodegaBoys has brought me an immense amount of joy. They are able to use humor while also striking a serious tone when need be. If you are looking for a welcome escape I definitely suggest giving any of these a listen. 

2. The Joy of Black People
I know a lot of people will say that things like the #UNameItChallenge or the Mannequin challenge or watching a tv show are a distraction from real world issues. I for one do not subscribe to said line of thinking. The world is  full of enough depressing things, I think it's healthy to sometimes just say screw it and have some fun. I promise you all those depressing things will still be there. when you're done having fun.

And I'm sure you're all wondering what is the number one thing that has kept me sane...

1. My wife and my upgrade.
Yes surprise, surprise. My truly better half has been the consistent bright spot in these troubling times. And the fact that she is carrying the Chocolate Cub has also filled a brother's heart with joy. No matter how much of a dumpster fire the world can be I think about that kid coming in the spring and I smile. Just a little bit of a spoiler alert people, if you think I am amazing (which you undoubtedly do), prepare to have your world rocked because my upgrade is going to blow your mind all over your face. So go ahead and get your affairs in order because this kid is about to DOMINATE.

Well folks that's all I got. I'll leave you with this, please don't forget to laugh in these times. Until next time be more like me because...