Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My Favorite Wrestlers ever.

Growing up I had a few dreams. To play basketball for Georgetown University, to marry Hillary from the Fresh Prince and most prominent was to become a professional wrestler. So in honor of this I have decided that I will share with you my loyal fans my five favorite wrestlers of all time, note I said favorite not greatest so please don’t beat me up internet community.

5. Mr. Perfect
Most kids my age loved the Ultimate Warrior and don’t get me wrong I am a fan of the man from Parts Unknown but through those battles the arrogant heel who was as technically sound as they come always made my day when I could catch one of his matches.

4. The Legion Of Doom
If you are a wrestling fan I guarantee the hair stands up on the back of your neck when you hear the classic yell at the beginning of their theme song. Whaaaaaaaaaaat a ruuuuuuuuuuuuuush!

3. Randy Orton
The Viper, The Apex Predator, Arrogant ass. Sorry I added the last one. As much as I wanted to hate this kid I just found myself as a massive fan of his legend killing arrogance which has led to a sort of psychotic focused monster.

2. Stone Cold Steve Austin
Back in the day when he was Stunning Steve Austin and teamed with Brian Pillman I liked the guy. But after his classic rant against Jake the Snake at the 1996 King of the Ring where he proclaimed for everyone “Austin 3:16 says I just whipped your ass,” I became a huge fan of his. In my eyes Austin from that point on could do no wrong.

1. Bret Hart
The Hitman is by his own admission the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. His technical style was so much more appealing to me than the high flying theatrics of others, something about seeing a sharpshooter applied made me happier than you run of the mill top rope finisher.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Like sand through an hour glass these are the insane ramblings of the Chocolate Puma.

3. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 241-of-343 passing for 2,937 yards, 31 TDs and eight INTs; 39 rushes for 133 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards

My how the mighty have fallen, the presumptive winner has struggled in a thorough beat down by Oregon and a win against Cal. Hasn’t been awful by any means but has not been as dominant as you would expect from a Heisman winner.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 236 rushes for 1,380 yards and 20 TDs; 26 receptions for 322 yards and two TDs; three kick returns for 66 yards

Had a really good game but wasn’t exactly going against the Steel Curtain in Georgia Southern. He did what he had to do to stay in the second position, but we will see how he does this week in the Iron Bowl.

Drum roll please...

1.Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor
Season Stats: 245-of-336 passing for 3,572 yards, 33 TDs and five INTs; 135 rushes for 550 yards and five TDs; one reception for 15 yards

Boy does it make me happy to put RG III back up top. With a Heisman worthy performance against Oklahoma the electric Griffin threw for 479 yards, rushed for 72 and had 4 touchdown passes including an amazing final drive to give Baylor the 45-38 victory. Amazing game from the most electric player in all of college football.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tebowmania: Dissected

Last night I heard one of the most idiotic things I have ever heard in my entire life. After the Denver Broncos pulled off a stunning upset against the New York Jets in which Tim Tebow capped off an impressive 95 yard drive with a 20 yard touchdown I heard from more than one person that this was “the Drive 2.0.” In case you don’t know, the Drive refers to the 1987 playoff game in which John Elway led the Broncos on a 98 yard drive to tie the game which they eventually won in overtime to advance to the Super Bowl. An impressive drive last night it was, but remember not the playoffs and it occurred mid season. Slow down.

The real point of this is to shed a little light on the perception that Tebow alone is responsible for the team’s turnaround. Nothing could be further from the truth. While he has contributed, the real reason for this turnaround has been the improved play of the defense. So let us do a game by game analysis shall we so this can be objective as possible.

Game 1: Versus the Miami Dolphins:
Stats by Tebow: 13-27, 161 yards, 2 touchdowns.
Actually this is the game he had the most impact on. It should be noted however that this came against a winless team starting their backup quarterback.

Game 2: Versus the Detroit Lions
Stats by Tebow: 18-39, 172 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception, 3 fumbles.
By far the worst game of his season completely overmatched when his draw play was taken away by Suh, Avril, Vanden Bosch and that ferocious d-line of Detroit. The offense left the defense in awful spots all game as they couldn’t advance the ball and gave great field position all day.

Game 3: Versus the Oakland Raiders
Stats by Tebow: 10-21, 124 yards, two touchdowns
Played ok, missed numerous receivers all game. The defense was the star of this though as they caused turnover after turnover against backup quarterback and Carson Palmer who the week before was having tea parties with his daughter. Overthrew Eddie Royal and Eric Decker by miles all game and the running by McGahee was the offensive star.

Game 4: Versus Kansas City
Stats by Tebow: 2-8, 69 yards, 1 touchdown
That’s not a misprint. He threw only 8 passes. The running game bailed them out as did the special teams with Eddie Royal consistently giving great returns and a short field for the offense.

Game 5: Versus the New York Jets
Stats by Tebow: 9-20, 104 yards
Tebow was awful for 55 minutes and made a great drive at the end of the game. Rushing game was held in check I have no idea how the Jets blew this game as they only gave up 10 points. The defense also scored on a pick 6 of Mark Sanchez.

Now some of you may be saying, “Well Brian you can’t measure intangibles!” This is true but allow me to give you the real reason behind the turnaround. That would be the defense. In games before the bye week the defense gave up 28 points per game. In games after the bye the defense has given up 15.5 points per game. Champ Bailey has locked down one side of the field and Von Miller is the young player who should be getting the majority of the hype. He has settled the linebacking corp and the return of Elvis Dumervil from injury have helped improve the pass rush.

As I have said on numerous occasions, this is not an indictment of him as a person, but sometimes you grow tired of hearing someone who has done so little garner all the praise. I even heard someone refer to him as "the spiritual defensive coordinator." Are you f'in serious? While this experiment has worked now it’s nothing more than a modified version of the wildcat and we all saw how well that ended. Make him a rushing fullback in the mold of Mike Alstott. That way you get his between the tackle running, but you also need a quarterback who can actually complete a pass.

Weekly Heisman Rankings

The time has arrived for the Puma to give his weekly Heisman rankings. Those of you who follow this will know that I have been quite supportive of a certain player, but unfortunately I had to drop him from my top 3. RG III, I know you can rebound and make your way back on this list.

3. Case Keenum: QB- Houston

Season Stats: 279-of-376 passing for 3,951 yards, 37 TDs and three INTS; 37 rushes for 104 yards and two TDs.
Fine, I have to give props where it’s due. Even though his level of competition isn’t exactly the highest you gotta give this kid his props. A 37-3 td to interception ratio? Sick.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 204 rushes for 1,205 yards and 18 TDs; 25 receptions for 318 yards and one TD; three kick returns for 66 yards.
Wasn’t amazing against LSU but then again who is? He bounced back with a good game against Mississippi State and looks to continue that against Georgia Southern.

1. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 221-of-313 passing for 2,680 yards, 29 TDs and seven INTs; 34 rushes for 134 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards.
Threw two picks in an ugly loss against Oregon, but no one played well in that game. He has to have a bounce back game against Cal or he could lose ground to Richardson or the fast rising Brandon Weeden could make his inaugural appearance on the Puma’s list.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Black Walnut, Racial Identity and Me

I wonder if I’m black? This might seem like a weird question to ask given my obvious abundance of melanin in my skin. But I guess that this may not enough to make one black according to one “conservative” commentator. Now when I say conservative, I don’t mean my Republican friends who differ with my political beliefs, I mean those who believe our president is a Kenyan national with hopes of planting anchor babies, I don’t really listen to them. Victor Davis Hanson wrote a piece for the National review which states why Herman Cain is a real black guy and Obama is not.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have known what constitutes authentic blackness. But thanks to people like Mr. Hanson and of course my favorite buddy in the world black walnut himself Herman Cain, the debate that seemed to be everywhere during the ’08 election is revving back up. Unfortunately people of Mr. Hanson’s ilk confuse me. You see way back in 2008 and shortly after the election of BHO the same people who are claiming that the current heat Cain is feeling is because he is black and the Democratic Party and their liberal agenda are racist wanted us to believe that because a black man was in office racism was no longer a problem. So if I understand their logic our President was black enough to end racism except for when our candidate has gotten himself into trouble?

The problem with this is as I have said on numerous occasions is it portrays being Black as one set list of things. If you don’t fit in somehow your blackness isn’t as authentic as someone else’s. Mr. Cain is a republican businessman who made his wealth peddling bad pizza, I am a democrat who like hip-hop. Am I blacker than Herman Cain? No, because it’s not something that can be measured. In his book, “Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness” writer Toure states: "If there are forty million Black Americans then there are forty million ways to be black. There are billions of cultural artifacts of blackness... Not one of these things is more authentic than the other." And this is true. I listen to all forms of music (minus country) , love documentaries, and have no interest in becoming a rapper. Do these things mean I am not as black as Herman Cain?

I think what angers me most about these people is that while they argue over who’s blacker, they are missing the beauty and complexities of Black culture. It has infinite possibilities and a chance to learn from them all. When you box yourself into one narrow preconception of what Black is you’re still Black, but you become something else as well.

An idiot.

A Letter to the NBA

Dear NBA,
Hi, you may not know me so allow me to introduce myself. My name is Brian Thompson and whether you know it or not I love you. Yes it’s true. I love you as much as it is possible for a young man to love a sports association. That’s why it is with much pain that I write this letter to you. You see my first love is basketball, and when you love something you have to let them know when they are making mistakes just like you applaud them when they do so something amazing. This time you’re wrong.

You see I remember the moment I fell in love with this game. I was a wee child probably no older than 3 or 4 years old sitting on the floor of my grandmother’s living room watching these amazing athletes glide like gazelles up and down the court with the ability to soar through the air as if blessed with the gift of flight all the while displaying the toughness of a gladiator. From NERF battles against my sister who was a stand in for the Detroit Pistons to annoying older cousins and kids from church to let me join in their games, some of the happiest moments of my life came from the joy the NBA inspired. And now because of poor planning, disregard for the fans and a lack of perspective you’ve thrown away the opportunity to affect another generation as you have affected me.

I am not going to choose sides, I think both the owners and the players are wrong and we the NBA fans are left to suffer. I could bring up that the owners never intended to have a season with their unreasonable negotiating tactics. Refusing to budge and wanting to be saved from themselves for handing out years of ridiculous contracts. I could bring up the players who should realize that they will never win the battle of public opinion as people are hungry and jobless and don’t want to hear how many concessions you have given during these negotiations. In times such as this, just play. I understand it’s a business, but at the same time you are already the highest paid athletes. Perhaps within your own union teach rookies to be responsible with money instead of buying your entourage tattoos and a fleet of hummers.

You’re both wrong for not finding a way to give people what they want. And while I openly realize that in a world with so much injustice a game is not the most important thing in the world, seeing my favorite sport played by the greatest players in the world does give my mind the break from heavy issues of the day that it so sorely needs. So NBA I will watch you when you return, but until you get your act together I will have to get by with watching your little brother College Basketball. He’s not as good but hopefully he’ll always be there as a backup.
The Chocolate Puma

Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

In the wake of the Penn St. awful scandal I will just keep my list short and sweet without the normal banter you are used to. Maybe next week I will muster the energy to give an iota of interest to college football but I am too disgusted right now.

3. Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor

Season Stats: 202-of-273 passing for 2,781 yards, 26 TDs and four INTs; 106 rushes for 386 yards and four TDs; one reception for 15 yards

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 172 rushes for 1,078 yards and 17 TDs; 23 receptions for 292 yards and one TD; three kick returns for 66 yards.

1.Andrew Luck
Season Stats: 194-of-272 passing for 2,424 yards, 26 TDs and five INTs; 29 rushes for 147 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Weekly Heisman Rankings

Well folks it’s that time again, the Chocolate Puma’s weekly prognostication of this year’s Heisman race. Enjoy.

3. Robert Griffin III: QB- Baylor

Season Stats: 175-of-232 passing for 2,375 yards, 23 TDs and four INTs; 88 rushes for 322 yards and three TDs; one reception for 15 yards.
RG3 had a chance to impress a lot of voters against Oklahoma State and while he can’t be blamed for the loss as the defense gave up 59 points, there were stretches where he had no impact on the game whatsoever.

2. Trent Richardson: RB- Alabama

Season Stats: 149 rushes for 1,016 yards and 17 TDs; 18 receptions for 212 yards and one TD; two kick returns for 43 yards.
Richardson didn’t play, therefore didn’t hurt his chances. A game against LSU could make or break his Heisman hopes.

1. Andrew Luck: QB- Stanford

Season Stats: 174-of-242 passing for 2,218 yards, 23 TDs and four INTs; 25 rushes for 144 yards and two TDs; one reception for 13 yards
His pick 6 almost sent him spiraling in the rankings but the consensus future number one pick composed himself and eventually led his team to an overtime victory over rival USC.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Here we go again...

Before I begin this rant which will inevitably end with incoherence, anger, and allusions to rubber novelty poop I would like to say that this is not meant as an assault on Republicans or those with conservative values. We’re cool. No, this is an assault on the so called experts who call themselves conservatives and spout nonsensical, idiotic, and downright offensive rhetoric.

The first person I will wax poetic on is the human skeletor woman who calls herself Anne Coulter. Recently during her “I haven’t gotten any attention lately, let me say something incendiary” tour she made this remarkably offensive statement, even for her. “"Our blacks are so much better than their blacks. To become a black Republican, you don't just roll into it. You're not going with the flow. You have fought against probably your family members, probably your neighbors, you have thought everything out and that's why we have very impressive blacks in our party."

First and foremost, this statement implies that blacks are property. Secondly, this statement shows that she thinks it’s absolutely impossible for a black person to process information and then logically chooses an opinion that differs from hers. Then this beacon of hope for the black community declared “The only racism you hear in America is against conservative blacks." Well glad that’s over for me as a somewhat liberal black man. How can someone who is not black, who does not have to deal with day to day instances of institutional racism, declare who it affects? It would be like me declaring sexism is no longer a problem for anyone except black women. I don’t know the struggle of being a woman and am not qualified to speak on what affects them.

The second person I am going to look at is one of our leading candidates, black walnut himself Herman Cain.

A few weeks ago he proclaimed that racism doesn’t hold anyone back anymore. Well seems like as soon as people began bringing up a few claim of sexual harassment what does the man who would like his Secret Service codename to be “Cornbread” do? Why he cried racism. So let me get this straight, it’s not racist, just complaining when people talk about legit discrimination due to one’s race but when people bring up things you may or may not have done its racism? I don’t get it. And the idea of sex scandals isn't race or party specific. America loves a sex scandal. Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Larry Craig, Anthony Weiner, and the list goes on.

I fully recognize that my side of thinking doesn’t have all the answers. I know that you need the working ideas of all involved to come to a logical solution to problems. If this means I’m not one of “their” blacks I think I’ll be alright.