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.