Monday, October 16, 2017

Ten Takes (Some of the Fuego Variety) For the Upcoming NBA Season

Ah it's the most wonderful time of the year. If anyone knows anything about the old Puma of Chocolate origin it's that he loves himself some NBA basketball. In fact, I'll step out on a limb and say that the NBA is THE BEST SPORTS LEAGUE. This is not an invitation for debate, if you have a differing opinion I invite you to create your own moderately visited blog and espouse your own crazy opinions! Now that we got that out the way in honor of the upcoming NBA season I shall give you a few of the takes rattling around the Chocolate noggin.

1. Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be the 2017-18 Rookie of the year.
Quickly becoming one of everyone's dark horse picks to be rookie of the year, I am drinking the kool-aid. Wildly athletic to a Westbrookian degree, he landed in the perfect spot.
With an experienced coach and team which also happens to have one of the more selfless lineups in recent memory We could see him get points and assists needed to be a statistical virtuoso in his inaugural campaign. Add in the fact Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz will probably cancel each other out and Lonzo Ball is heading into the season depending on Brandon Ingram, Julius Randle and Brook Lopez.

2. Fred Hoiberg will get a contract extension.
Now just so we're clear, I'm not saying he deserves a contract extension. I, and many others think he is in fact the worst coach in the league.  You see because the basketball gods are fickle and blessed us with years of Michael Jordan we have since been cursed with years of Gar Foreman and John Paxson. The dastardly duo can never admit to being wrong and their biggest mistake to date, giving the seemingly nice fella from Ames the reigns to a team that should be consistent playoff contenders.

3. Brett Brown will be Coach of the Year.
Does this count as a hot take? I'm not sure. What I am sure of is Brett Brown is one of the best coaches no one has ever heard of. Why has no one heard of him? Because he's been with the Philadelphia 76ers and consistently been given one of the worst rosters in the sport. Now he has a good mix of youth (Markelle Fultz, Ben Simmons, Dario Saric, and Joel Embiid) and veterans (JJ Reddick, Robert Covington, Amir Johnson) to make some strides towards a playoff spot in the East. A big part of that will come down to my next take...

4. Joel Embiid will play in at least 65 games.
It's crazy that in 3 seasons he has only played in 31 games but here we are and we are still excited at the possibility of what he can become. In a brief showing last season he showed the footwork, speed, and power that had Bill Self losing all composure when he was at the University of Kansas.
If he stays healthy then a debt of gratitude is owed to Sam Hinkie. He played the draft lottery like a fiddle and possibly could set the Sixers up for a solid run of contention.


5. Toronto's window has shut. 
For a brief shimmering moment some believed that the Raptors had a chance to dethrone the Cavaliers. That was cute. While the rest of the Eastern contenders got better they stood pat, in fact they may have gotten worse. While Boston acquired Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward, Toronto added....googles furiously...CJ Miles? Well it could be worse he typed looking at a tear stained photo of Jimmy Butler.


6. Nikola Jokic wins the Most Improved Player Award
One thing I have learned from twitter is that outside of Kobe or LeBron no one has fiercer defenders than Nikola Jokic. And after seeing him in person last year as the Nuggets drubbed the Bulls I can see why. He has officially surpassed Kenneth Faried as the low post force and with the offense seemingly built around him the sky is the limit for the lanky Serbian.


7. Houston will earn the #2 Seed in the West...
Adding Chris Paul to the already strong core of James Harden, Trevor Ariza, and Clint Capela will definitely make Mike D'Antoni a happy man.
Now he has a point guard that is a marked improvement over Patrick Beverly and should open things up for sharp shooters such as Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon.

8. It Won't Matter, they're losing in the Second Round
Because like death and taxes the one thing you can always depend on is Chris Paul having an earlier than expected exit from the playoffs.

9. Giannis Antetokounmpo Will Win NBA MVP.
There I said it. Greek Freak joins the Parthenon of NBA Greats who have won an MVP award. Bad puns notwithstanding, the table is set perfectly for him.
He can play all 5 positions on the court, is on a young and exciting team, and I am guessing the media is getting fatigue from voting for LeBron, Steph, KD and Russ. That all plays into the hands of Giannis.

10. The Chicago Bulls Will Not Even Win 20 Games. 
Live look at most Bulls fans
This one hurts the most. As a lifelong Bulls fans I have seen some insane highs, but now we're about to witness the darkest timeline. A timeline where we see a player to watch as Paul Zipser. Where we are depending on Bobby Portis to become at best a poor man's Taj Gibson. As we're being led into games by Fred Hoiberg, a man who barely commanded the respect of a college locker room.

Well there you have it. Not sure these are scorching takes but they're mine and I am gonna ride with em.  Let the madness begin!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Hell in a Cell 2017 Preview

Hot diggity damn, the blue brand is back with another pay per view so your boy is back with yet another heaping helping of prognostication. For the most part Smackdown has been the superior of the two brands so we shall see if their quality continues.Without further ado I present to you how I think things will play out on Hell...IN A...CELL!

Randy Orton VS Rusev

In theory you would think that Randy Orton doesn't really need this win as the RKO is possibly the most over move in all of professional wrestling and let's be honest, Rusev could use the win. However let's be honest with how this is going to work out, Rusev is going to physically dominate the entire match yet will fall victim to the RKO out of nowhere. Hopefully it is interesting, maybe even find a way to work in the homie Aiden English, who weirdly has all of the heels respect.
Winner: Randy Orton

Bobby Roode VS Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler is currently working a "I hate any kind of showmanship" gimmick which is weird because he has made his career calling himself the Show-Off. Bobby Roode fresh off a great heel run in NXT is trying to establish himself as a face so expect an over the top entrance from Roode. As for the match really only one way for this one to go and that would be a truly glorious victory for Roode.
Winner: Bobby Roode

Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles (United States Championship)
Baron Corbin is a perplexing case. Wins the Money in the Bank briefcase but then loses on the cash in. Then in a match where John Cena could have put him over out the door he loses again. AJ Styles on the other hand has been the best wrestler in the world probably since he came back from Japan.
From a story line aspect it makes no sense to have AJ drop the title if he's not going to feud for the World title. I would expect AJ to win and continue adding some prestige to the US title.
Winner: AJ Styles

Charlotte Flair VS Natalya (Smackdown Women's Championship)
It was pretty cool to see Nattie finally get another run as champ given some of the terrible booking she has had in the past (she seriously had a gimmick where she farted a lot. Seriously). But I think the time has come to transition the title to someone else. Now I know what you're thinking, Charlotte goes over here. Not necessarily. I see Nattie coming out over Charlotte but Carmella with the help of her lap dog James Ellsworth gets the drop on her and successfully cashes in her money in the bank contract.
Winner: Natalya...then Carmella

The Usos vs The New Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championship) 
Smackdown has not been without it's faults, but what consistently has been great has been the rivalry of the New Day and the Usos. After kinda floundering the last few years as generic babyfaces the Heel Usos have been my favorite act in all of Smackdown.
They single handedly are probably responsible for American Alpha not taking off as they should because they're doing such great work that you can't help but cheer for them. Unless they are against the New Day, no matter what two members represent they have undeniable chemistry with the Usos. Now you add in the fact this match is going to be in a Hell in a Cell match and you have the match of the night guaranteed.
I would expect the New Day to win and possibly then feud with a debuting heel tag team (*cough* Authors of Pain *cough*).
Winner: The New Day

Shinuske Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal (WWE Championship)
Jinder has been a serviceable champion. Not the worst I've seen, but definitely more suited to be a mid-card heel than a main event guy. That being said I don't think the time is right to put the title on Nakamura. I feel that should be a big moment against someone who he has had a long feud with and you can have that big moment. So given that this match is not inside a cell I would expect the Singhs to continue their shenanigans and do their job and Jinder retains and moves on to the next feud while Nakamura begins the program that could lead us to a match with AJ Styles at Wrestlemania.
Winner: Jinder Mahal

Shane McMahon VS Kevin Owens
Now this match has to close to show. I mean KO busted open the guy's 70 year old father and gave him a frog splash. Also shout out to Vince McMahon for taking a head butt like that at 70. Now Shane is known for falling off very tall things and being hurled through very sharp things. So you know there is going to be a moment where he is on top of the cage and let's be honest that never turns out well for him. Owens is such an unlikable person yet one of the top guys in the business so while some will root for Shane and Owens will make it seem close there's no way he loses this match.
Winner: Kevin Owens

Well there you have it, another ppv down. I'll look to continue my streak with the next pay per view but if I don't chill out, this is free content.

Peace out humanoids.

Friday, September 29, 2017

September's Sit Your Ass Down Award: Classic Edition

Ah September, it has been quite a month. There has been no shortage of people worthy of this award and it even for the first time forced me to do a special edition of this award. Shout out you ol' Shitlock. But we must return to a sense of normalcy, after all that is what you, my tens of readers expect from ya boy. So it is without further ado that I present to you the recipient of the Sit Your Ass Down Award: Classic Edition!

This is a man who frankly probably should have been honored with this a ling time ago but better late than never I say. So Piers Morgan bring your Shepherd's Pie eating ass up here so you can sit your ass down!
You see a few weeks ago a video of sorority girls singing Kanye West's 'Gold Digger' (which still slaps HARD in case anyone was curious) and they repeatedly and rather enthusiastically seemed to revel in the line "She ain't messing with no broke nigga." And to those who took umbrage to these young white girls happily yelling nigga Piers has this to say: "How can it possibly be racist to sing along to a song that was No1 in America for TEN WEEKS?" Well there you have it gang. Had it only topped the 8 weeks, then you may have a point, 10 WEEKS?! Get over it snowflakes.

Of course that's absolute ridiculous reasoning. He even has the Welsh meatballs to basically blame hip hop artists for when white people say nigga. If that's the case I really am curious who was that fire chief from Pittsburgh listening to when he called Mike Tomlin a no good nigger. You see what this ass clown who has the same body composition as figgy pudding and people of his ilk are doing is acting like these white sorority girls and so many like them are just innocent kids. Fuck that noise. The bar is set pretty low people. If you're white you can't say nigga. That's it. Shit they're even letting white women become black women, you are literally allowed to do everything else. Just leave the n-word out of it.

To lay the usage of the word by people who aren't members of the black delegation at the feet of rappers is just ridiculous. Because something tells me Bull Connor was not listening to some fire mixtapes.
"I swear this Joey Badass negro is quite the rapper."
So in the words of the fine brothers over at Very Smart Brothas (Check them out, always a good read) "Piers Morgan Is Allowed to Say ‘Nigga’ if We’re Allowed to Smack the Pumpkin Spice out of Him When He Does."

So Piers, grab a steak and kidney pie and wash it down with a tall glass of shut the hell up when the urge to do something this stupid hits you. And please do us all a favor and sit your ass down. 

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A Very Special Public Service Announcement

Hi, I'm the Chocolate Puma and I am here with a very important public service announcement. You may remember me from such moments as telling people I disagree with on a cellular level to simultaneously sit your ass down while also informing them of their right to shut the fuck when grown folks is talking.
I'm here today to help out some people who may be curious how to avoid getting the soul slapped out of them by their black friends, family, and or coworkers. I'll give you 3 simple tips to ensure your soul stays intact.

Tip 3: Don't use black on black crime as a defense for well anything. 
Boy it should go without saying that the myth of the scourge of the black community being the most pressing issue affecting us has had more staying power than mediocre comedic actors careers (looking at you Tim Allen). Now while it is true that most crimes committed against black people is done by other black people, the same is also true of white people. In fact it's true across all racial and ethnic lines.
"So you can swag surf on the White House lawn but what about black on black crime?!"
You know why? People hurt those who are closest to them. Crime is intraracial. That being the case, I've never heard someone speak on the scourge of white on white crime. You know why? Because they don't care about black on black crime, they care about stopping you from talking about some black shit. So please...retire this tired reasoning.

Tip 2: Don't defend white people who say nigga, nigger, etc...
It's a tale as old as time, white person gets their inner Tarantino on and drops a n-bomb and the next thing you know you have tons of white people throwing their capes on and coming to the rescue. They assure us, the members of the black delegation that this person couldn't possibly be racist. Frankly, I don't care, although for that to be the go to word you use when angry says ALOT. I've seen the "I don't think anyone should be able to say it" argument quite a bit and to that I say:
Since I have to go through life getting it hurled at me be it at work from an angry customer or anonymous troll who didn't like a Game of Thrones tweet, I'd say if I wanted to use it I earned the right. Also given the social contract if the only thing you have to do not be a complete shit bag is not drop a n word when you get angry, I say you got off pretty easy.

Finally and most importantly...

Tip 1: Don't let your president get your ass kicked.
Since November asshats across the country have been emboldened thanks to the election of Orange Julius Caesar (shout out to Larry Wilmore). You're seeing more out and out racist behavior from city officials, fire men, and a host of others. Now what has ol' Trumpito done that's racist? Well confirmed accounts include, a housing discrimination suit brought forward by the Department of Justice, he lobbied to have the Central Park Five executed and even after being exonerated will not back down on his incorrect claims, not to mention many unverified accounts. So if you're feeling empowered to say something froggy, before the inclination to jump hits you remember that while some people are peaceful in the face of asshattery of this nature, some will offer you a 2 piece with a biscuit for the low, low cost of free-ninety nine.
The 2 piece aka the Chris Childs special. 


So if you follow these helpful pointers I can assure that you won't get a chakra re-aligning slap from the black person in your life.

Friday, September 22, 2017

WWE No Mercy Preview

Keeping with what I have been attempting to do with each pay per view this year I shall give my predictions on what I think will be going down at the next show. But before I do, I'd like to express a few thoughts on Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
The announcer, wrestler, manager, and well anything else you can think of in the wrestling world passed away this after a hell of a battle with cancer. Some of my earliest childhood memories of wrestling are of him as a manager, and most in my mind his friendship and partnership with Gorilla Monsoon. Their banter back and forth while also calling matches were not only entertaining, but also gave the proper gravitas to whatever match was being called. A consummate pro, and entertaining to the end. The Brain aka The Weasel will definitely be missed.

Now on to the show!

Jason Jordan VS The Miz (Intercontinental Championship)
Since coming over as the kayfabe son of Kurt Angle, Jason Jordan has just kinda been there. Impressive in the ring sure, but nothing that draws you to him. So what does creative do? They stick him with the Miz and let Miz do what he does best and that's talk. He has given us more to root for this guy with just a few promos than 2 previous months of squash matches. I see this as just the beginning of a possible good feud,  I expect the Miz to win with some shifty interference from the Miztourage.
Winner: The Miz

Sasha Banks VS Emma VS Bayley VS Nia Jax VS Alexa Bliss (Raw Women's Championship)
Ah yes the disjointed women's division. This...is a mess. And this is not the fault of the women at all.I just don't know what story they are trying to tell. Why have Sasha win bringing up past failed defenses only to have her fail to defend it? Why just throw Baley in because she showed up? Why have Emma go on conspiracy rantings about starting the Women's Revolution?
Guess who is getting squashed by Asuka next month?
Are they ever gonna address Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss? Also with Asuka coming to Raw what does that do? So I'm just gonna guess that say...Emma wins.
Winner: Emma

Enzo Amore VS Neville (Crusierweight Championship)
Since returning from injury and turning heel at the start of the year Neville has been amazing. The King of the Cruiserweights has dispatched every foe who has stepped up and challenged him. Enzo was kind of man with no home after Big Cass went down with an injury so he seems kinda shoehorned into the Cruiserweight division. That being said he is a bigger name than well all of the cruiserweights and has gotten smurfed by Neville on numerous occasions already so I expect a very over confident Neville to get rolled up and Enzo to walk out with the title.
Yeah...
Winner: Enzo Amore

Finn Balor VS Bray Wyatt
So the Demon Finn beat Bray at the last pay per view, and given that creative apparently has nothing for either of these guys let's just say Bray wins and they have a rubber match at the next pay per view.
My reaction to this match.
Winner: Bray Wyatt

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins VS Cesaro and Sheamus (Raw Tag Team Championship)
This match is possibly going to be the most entertaining on the entire card. Cesaro is probably the most gifted athlete in this match thus his nickname the Swiss Cyborg. Sheamus is a brawler who can puts on highly entertaining matches, while Rollins aka Crossfit Jesus shines with anyone. Hell this feud has even lit a fire into Dean Ambrose who seemingly was just going through the motions. That said I think Rollins and Ambrose retain here and maybe, just maybe some certain Top Guys are healthy enough to begin a feud with them.

Winner: Ambrose and Rollins

John Cena VS Roman Reigns
Ah yes, Big Match John versus the Big Dog. I honestly expect this to be a very good match. When Cena isn't making dick jokes and wanking motions in his promos is one of the best in the world (see his US Open challenge matches). And while it can be argued he has buried people in the past, in recent memory he has done a pretty good job of putting people over such as Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Jason Jordan just to name a few. If I were booking this, Cena wins, Roman begins to doubt himself and you have someone that fans can relate to and would want to cheer. Instead Roman will win, act like nothing happened and be shoved down our throats as the conquering hero.
"Something, something yard...something, something Big Dog."
Winner: Roman Reigns

Braun Strowman VS Brock Lesnar (Raw Universal Championship)
In the words of the great Jim Ross, this match is going to be a slobberknocker. Given the negative tag of "part-timer" you have to admit that Brock Lesnar has looked like a million bucks in his last few defenses and made his opponents look legit as bad asses. He did it for Samoa Joe, he did for everyone in the fatal four way, and I think that streak continues Sunday. Braun has been built as a monster but this dude...can...GO. He's faster than someone that size should be with the ability to do drop kicks and kip ups as if he was half the size. Honestly I don't mind who wins, but for the sake of having a champ on tv every week I am going to say Braun gets his first run with the title. Also he gave us this moment which I'll forever be grateful for.

Winner: Braun Strowman

Well there you have it, another pay per view another round of increasingly inaccurate predictions! Join me when I incorrectly pick the matches of Hell in a Cell in a few weeks! 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Fatherhood and Me

I have been meaning to write about this topic for quite a while. A few friends of mine wrote about their experiences earlier this year, shout out to John and Andy for setting the bar high. I have sat down many times and deleted all I wrote because I just couldn't get a cohesive point across and felt like a rambling mess. But here we are, at a place where I feel like the haze of being gifted with this precious gift combined with sleep deprivation and balancing work has begun to lift and the feelings of being a father are becoming much more clear.

I'm not what one would call a classically emotional person, I am much more likely to cry watching a fiery wrestling promo or a Sunday segment on ESPN than I am at say a wedding or a funeral. So when my son was born and there were no tears I wasn't shocked, what did shock me was it felt like I wasn't crying because there was a complete sensory overload.
Emotions flooding my body yet unable to get through.
So many emotions flooding in at once, as I gazed at this little guy who I had wondered how he would look for months finally in front of me. My body literally did not know how to react.

Now I have written many times of growing up without a father. So my fears before the arrival of the Cub were much more based on what the hell do I know to teach this guy?
So uh...you like stuff?
I would sit with him in his room, rocking slowly, nervously thinking of what to tell him even though I knew he had absolutely no idea what I was saying, there was this nervousness that it had to be as perfect as he was.
Raise em right.
One day I was sitting with him and began to read him a comic book, and just kinda got lost in it. I was finally relaxed with him and I looked down and he was just smiling at me. People say at the four to six month range babies get fun because their personality begins to shine through but for me, it was on day four and we haven't looked back since.

Everyday when I wake up (not counting the 4 am feeding) my only goal is to make his life better. Now while I didn't grow up with my father I was lucky enough to have some role models. Men from my church in good ol' Enterprise, Mississippi, my uncle, and a friend of mine who was kind enough to share his dad with me (shout out to you Jerry, miss you and that laugh that only comes when I have fallen off a bike head first after I did what you told me not to do.) The lessons and stories I have from all of these great men have provided a greater template than I could have ever imagined.


So armed with these lessons, and a few personal joys and passions of mine I try and share with him every day and while he has yet to show the same interest in documentaries and Japanese wrestling, I have no doubt that someday we'll get there. I hug and kiss my boy and bestow upon him these life lessons and pointless trivia that won't help him ever really, but will bond us forever.

He's my little buddy, the perfect member of our household, and the greatest gift my wife and I have ever been blessed with. The greatest gift I never knew I wanted.
"Please...no more jokes."



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

September's Sit Your Ass Down Award: Special Edition

I know this usually comes a little later in the month, and I assure you that you are going to get one at the end of the month. But what came across the timeline just had to be addressed.
This is Jason Whitlock.
Beware of men with no facial hair.
Now this wingding who often rocks fedoras in a feeble attempt to hide the fact his head has identical characteristics and composition as that of a melted milk dud is a talking head over at Fox Sports One. In addition to that he has been Colin Kaepernick hater number one. In fact it's all he talks about. And on Labor Day he thought it would be down right HILARIOUS to send out this image from his lightly watched TV show.
So no one thought this would end poorly?

Sigh.

You see Jason Whitlock is what happens when someone so badly wants to be recognized as a legitimate intellectual that they are willing to spout anything for a pat on the head and an "atta boy." You can tell that by his I  guess you can call it feuds with people who are actually respected like Bomani Jones and Ta Nehisi Coates. (Although not sure it can be regarded as a feud if neither of the other party even acknowledges your existence.) Side note: Bomani Jones earned my forever respect for the class he showed when out of nowhere he drew the ire of Ol' Shitlock.





Seriously look at the people co-signing this jester for mediocrity ridiculous ass claims such as the "left" sent Kaepernick to ruin football because it was making too many young black men rich and famous. This is a thing that he believes.

He has positioned himself as the guy who when someone says something fucked up racially and they say they have a black friend, he's that black friend. Someone so desperate to be seen as important that he has seemingly mortgaged his soul to create this anti-black brand and finally be looked at as someone worthy of respect.

This bulging wart on the ass of American broadcast journalism, has spent the last year running down anyone who speaks on topics remotely racial. When LeBron James had "nigger" spray painted on his house, Whitlock said it had nothing to do with race because LeBron is rich. The literal example of something being racist and he can't take his gravy filled jowels out the ass of white supremacy long enough to admit it.

And by having this caricature of Kaepernick on his show, a man who took a stand by taking a knee he showed just what he is about. Here is a man who has donated time, money, and spearheaded efforts to actually help the community and in the process is having his career sabotaged while Whitlock has spent his time on twitter proclaiming Kap isn't black enough and over using phrases such as "okey-doke" and "mainstream media."

So from everyone of us who have yet to achieve to ascend to his post-racial level, I politely ask you to in the wise words of the sage Black Dynamite: