Wednesday, February 24, 2021

College Football GOAT Conversation #365985

Earlier this week , as I was doing my usual perusal of the sports landscape, seeing what topics were being bandied about, one topic made me immediately become an old man and begin to yell at those younger than me to get off my damn lawn. You see the topic of who was the greatest college football player came up and while I will not debate who the greatest on the collegiate level is, what I won't do is stand by and see some of the people who should be mentioned in this conversation have their accomplishments minimized by those not yet old enough or well versed enough to recognize greatness.

Peter Warrick, WR, FSU (96-99)

Alright this is the person who got me most heated at people not realizing just how dope he was. Peter Warrick was a damn cheat code when he played for the Seminoles. The wideout position was not the marquee position it had once been but when FSU put Warrick on the field he was electric. He was a two-time consensus All-American and finished his career ranked among the top 3 in receptions, receiving yardage and touchdown receptions. He wasn't just a receiving threat, my man was a damn threat anytime he got the ball. He scored 4 rushing touchdowns and returning two punts for scores. He was the definition of a damn problem.

Steve McNair, QB, Alcorn State (91-94)

Air McNair doesn't get nearly the amount of props he deserves for how great of a player he was. McNair was so dope he Alcorn State games aired on ESPN. Alcorn State plays in the lower I-AA division, now the FCS or Football Championship Subdivision. In his senior season, McNair shattered NCAA all-division records, as he had damn near 6,000 yards in total offense. My mans was responsible for 53 combined touchdowns. He was so dope that not only did he win the Walter Payton award for the top Division I-AA player he finished third in Heisman Trophy voting. That's like someone from AAA getting MVP votes for the major leagues. Put some respeck on his name.

And last but certainly not least...

Tommie Frazier, QB, Nebraska (92-95)

No list of greats can be complete without mentioning Tommie Frazier. Tommie was so damn good he had brothers rooting HARD for a team from Lincoln, Nebraska. He was an absolute cheat code. You KNEW he was running the ball and there wasn't a damn thing you could do to stop him. He was the first quarterback in over 40 years to lead a team to back to back national championships. And while one play doesn't cement you in the GOAT conversation, his 75-yard touchdown run against Florida in the national championship game showed just why he was beloved from Compton to Brooklyn. He broke seven tackles and brought two hapless Florida defenders several yards before telling them GET OFF ME and strolling into the end zone. Look at this resume upon leaving Lincoln and tell me he doesn't get enough props:

  • 33–3 record as starter
  • 2 national championships
  • 4 Big Eight Conference championships
  • former Nebraska Cornhuskers record for total offense, career (5,476 yards)
  • former Nebraska Cornhuskers record for touchdown passes, career (43)
  • former Nebraska Cornhuskers record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback, season (14)
  • former NCAA record for rushing yards in a bowl game by a quarterback (199)
  • former Nebraska Cornhuskers record for total offense in a bowl game (304 yards)
  • longest touchdown run in a bowl game (75 yards)

So folks there you have it, just a quick you know what grinds my gears in the form of some of my favorite athletes who in turn should become some of your favorite athletes.


Friday, January 29, 2021

Tom Brady Is An All Time Great...HOWEVER

I feel like I need to write this because I'm seeing more and more of some not so fact based storylines and feelings being pushed and it would be downright irresponsible of me to not be your Sherpa to the light and the side of right in this instance. 

Before I go into this impassioned statement, let me state, Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. There get off my back, I hate the guy but I gotta give props where it is due. What I will not do however is not let the totality of his career, overshadow what the reality of the moment is. And that reality is, at this moment in time, January in the year of our Lord 2021, there is no greater quarterback on the planet Earth and possibly any other planet in our solar system that is playing better than one Patrick Lavon Mahomes II.

I've seen this described as the best quarterback matchup in history, however, watching these two teams play it doesn't feel like that. While it's true, Brady had an amazing season, considering he's 43 and on a new team. However, let's not pretend that three wins which the Buccaneers have in the postseason are solely because of number 12. Let's take the Green Bay game for instance.  He was 20 out of 36 passes, 280 yards, and three touchdowns. He also had three interceptions in 7 pass attempts. 

Basically being bailed out by the defense and Matt LaFleur deciding with some curious play calls that he did not want to win that game. Now juxtapose that with Mahomes, who against the Buffalo Bills completed 29 of 38 passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions as the Chiefs easily won.

Now you may be thinking what about everything he did in New England? Sure, for the bulk of that run he was amazing but we can't overlook the fact that the last time he was in a Patriots uniform he looked closer to done than he did the best quarterback in the game. 

He completed 20 of 37 passes for 209 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He threw bad passes all over the field and his interception came at the end of the game and was returned for a touchdown. The Touchdown Tommy who threw 50 touchdowns in a season was more than 12 seasons removed and he definitely looked it.

So, allow me to reiterate, Tom Brady is arguably the greatest quarterback of all time, but right now he is an above average quarterback on a good team. And there is absolutely no shame in that. He is still at worst, a top  2 quarterback of all time. But since Mahomes became a full time starter? He has been the gold standard of quarterbacking in the NFL.

Mahomes has led his team to more wins, has more passing yards, more touchdowns, a higher quarterback rating, and has a higher completion percentage. If you only take into account the playoffs, both have a 6-1 record but Mahomes again has more passing yards, higher completion percentage, higher quarterback rating, more touchdowns, and fewer interceptions. 

By every measurable metric the best quarterback, for this season, this era in which we are currently in is Patrick Mahomes. 

Monday, January 25, 2021

My Black Quarterback Agenda Continues!

Oh ladies and gentlemen it has been a while since I graced the hallowed pages of the Puma blog, but I felt that the time was right for me to return to the written word because I feel that you, my loyal readers deserve to know my feelings on the subject. Now what could be of such importance that I had to come back and right about it? The new president and his administration? No. A global pandemic? Nuh uh. The thing that has so ruffled a brother's collar has been the coverage of black quarterbacks in the NFL. You're damn right. 

So coming into the playoffs, one of the most prevalent storylines was "Can Lamar Jackson finally get over the hump and win a playoff game?" What makes it an absolutely bullshit narrative is the only person who got this was Jackson when guys like Phillip Rivers, Baker Mayfield, and Josh Allen all skated. 

The 2019 MVP, Big Truss, Woo Woo
Jackson just competed in his third season, and second as full time starter and we, we being the national media, not you my loyal reader, you good, treated Jackson as a guy who has been to the playoffs for years yet never sniffed a win. And therein lies the difference in how these quarterbacks are viewed. 

For instance, Josh Allen has had an amazing season.

He does have flaws to his game, yet to mention these and you are going to be drowned out by how he is a transcendent talent, an MVP candidate, etc etc etc. Allen led the Bills to the playoffs last season, yet there was no talk coming into these playoffs of "if he was able to win in the playoffs." Nor should there have been I would like to reiterate. But in comparing the treatment of Jackson to Allen, let's look at the numbers shall we? 

In 3 seasons, Jackson has a better win percentage, higher completion percentage, more passing tds, higher QB rating, fewer interceptions, more rushing yards and a higher yards per rush average. Not to mention Jackson had a historically great season winning MVP in 2019 with 36 passing tds to only 6 interceptions. Add to that 1,200 rushing yards and 7 more tds on the ground and you have a guy who should be getting praise instead of needless scrutiny. 

Now back to Allen, who I would like to state is a cool football player. The things he can do are amazing, he is definitely a guy who should be lauded. But let's pump the brakes on some of the more hyperbolic praise shall we? I saw the question posed, that basically asked had Allen caught up to Patrick Mahomes. 

And to this I state, are you on crack if you believe this? Something has clearly altered your way of thinking or clouded your judgement. So allow me to run down some of the accomplishments of this man, who like Allen is just in his 3rd year as a full time starter.


Allen has 1 - Pro Bowl and 1- 2nd Team All Pro to his resume. A great start to his career but what we are seeing in Mahomes is unprecedented. In the media's attempts to anoint the next Great White Hope let's not overlook the undisputed champion and all of the other "dual threat" quarterbacks that will be running the league sooner rather than later. 

Hopefully soon the narrative crafted will match the accomplishments of the young men who achieved the..

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

A Lesson in Grace and Humility...

It has been two weeks and I have been struggling with my feelings on the election. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy Donald Trump lost, but I am also concerned on a few fronts. How could so many of our fellow Americans choose to vote for this man? And now that he has lost shouldn't we extend grace and love to those who have fallen to the point of voting for a man who is clearly a grifter? Shouldn't in the face of victory we show humbleness and set an example to Trump and his associates how we as a nation....

Ok, first and foremost, when it comes to Donald Trump and his associates, fuck him and them as a staff, record label and as a motherfucking crew. We are supposed to open our arms and extend grace to a group who literally would not piss on you if you were on fire? Oh no no no no no no baby. Your boy here is going to flame, roast, flambee, insult and verbally bitch slap these idiots who willfully and with great malice took it upon themselves to enact some of the most hateful and spiteful laws and jam the courts with people WOEFULLY unqualified to rule over a damn wet t-shirt contest. People who are openly racist, and peddle shitty theories like black people could advance if they wanted it more, calling nations shit hole countries, and much worse. These people are not worthy of grace, and while we know they won't truly be socially cancelled as they should be and they'll be on tv as talking heads sooner rather than later, the absolute least we can do is publicly shame these idiots. 

As for people who voted for this bullshit human and his bullshit brigade, you getting this work too. One of the common reasons I have heard for voting for this shit stain of mammal was "he's not a career politician." Uh...the job is for a fucking politician! You mean to tell me you'd get a brain surgery from a tax actuary just because he's not a career surgeon? Hell no! Just say you're one of two things. One, you're a racist and you dig his racist policies. or two, you're not racist but you're cool with racists which make you a shitty human. For four years we have heard about "liberal tears" when very real things such as having an Attorney General who ignored cases of police misconduct instead of diving deep and exposing these travesties like Eric Holder did with the Ferguson Report, or the increasing difficulty to even fucking vote in black and brown communities. So in the face of all of the roadblocks, YA'LL man went out there and got waxed. I will not forget those that voted that monster in office, and I damn sure am not forgiving any of ya'll. Ya'll really voted for a man with a whole ass Wikipedia page on his racism! That's fucking insane! 

So in summation, fuck Donald Trump, I'm glad he lost and no I will not be humble or show any grace or civility in the fact that I am happy he lost. 

Aight, I'm out. 



Wednesday, September 30, 2020

NBA Finals Preview

 Ah yes, tonight the NBA Finals kicks off and your boy has to say he is pleasantly pleased. I am so jaded by 2020 I had no faith that the bubble would work, let alone to get to a point where we would be crowning an NBA champion. And after an exciting playoffs seeing the demise of Brett Brown in Philadelphia, and epic collapse by the Clippers and an ascension by Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets we have reached the final two. 

Point Guard:

Miami is going to bring out Goran Dragic to run the point against the Lakers. And while he isn't the deadliest 3 point shooter you can always count on him and his solid and efficient mid range game to get you at least 15-20 points per night. Kendrick Nunn should also have a better series than he did against the Celtics. Meanwhile the Lakers are bringing out Rajon Rondo and Alex Caruso, bringing both good defense, a wealth of knowledge from Rondo and hustle from Caruso I can't pick who has the advantage. 

Advantage: Draw

Shooting Guard:

The Lakers have the most unintentionally hilarious group at shooting guard it's ridiculous. First you got Dion Waiters who in his mind believes he is the baddest man on the court at all times. Then you have JR Smith who may be either the highest or most confused man on the planet and you have pure hilarity. Danny Green and Kentavious Calwdwell Pope round out the position and compared to the other two are damn Rhode scholars. The Heat have the stories of the bubble with the inspired play of Duncan Robinson and the wildly entertaining Tyler Herro. Better shooters, Herro is rebounding and passing extremely well, so I am gonna roll with the hot hand.

Advantage: Miami 

Small Forward: 

This is the undercard to the main event here. The Lakers have the man who has a statistical claim to be the GOAT starting at small forward and he is playing like a man possessed. In a close out game in his 16th season he casually dropped a 38 point, 16 rebound, 10 assist triple double in 40 minutes. While Miami has someone I am familiar with, Jimmy Butler leading the way. He has played great defense, provided some tough baskets and apparently selling coffee at $20 a cup so that better be the best damn coffee ever. All of that said even with Jimmy Buckets and Anre Iguodala the advantage is clear. 

Advantage: Lakers

Power Forward:

So the Heat have been rolling out with Jae Crowder at power forward and while he is a very good 3 and D player to have, not sure if he is best suited at power forward. For some reason Kelly Olynk and Derrick Jones are not really seeing the floor so this is the clear weak spot for the Heat. The Lakers are bringing Markieff Morris and Kyle Kuzma. If ever there was a contrast of styles and personality this is it. Morris is famously about that action boss. Seriously. Google "Morris twins beat up..." and there will be MULTIPLE entries. Kyle Kuzma is a nice guy, just a bit corny. That said they have a pretty good rotation going here with contrasting styles that should keep the Heat off balance. Either that or I'm afraid of Markieff Morris if I doubt him.

Advantage: Lakers

Center:

Now the Heat have possibly the most intriguing player in the series to me in Bam Adebayo. He is one of the most athletically gifted big men to come out in the last few years. He can guard literally any position on the floor. And this season we saw his offensive game take a leap that has me quite excited to see how he progresses. On the other side we have the gold standard of NBA big men, Anthony Davis. 7 footers should not be able to do the things that he regularly does. Just last round he hit a step back three pointer fading away to win the game at the buzzer. WHAT?! He also happens to be one of the 2 or 3 best defensive players in the league. You add in the perpetually goofy Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee and as much as I love Bam, the Heat just won't have the size to contend with the Lakers.

Advantage: Lakers

Coaching:

I gotta give credit where credit is due. When Spoelstra took over as coach of the Heat I thought he was just Pat Riley's hand picked stooge. Boy was I wrong. He took a team with 3 of the best players in the league, managed those egos and got two championships out of it. Since LeBron's departure he has developed a team that was not expected to contend and even though he is using a zone defense which I don't agree with, the results are there. I think between he and Frank Vogel, Spoelstra is the better X's and O's coach of the two. However, it would take a hell of a 

Final Prediction:

I think the size and the fact the Lakers have the two best players on the floor by quite a margin is going to lead to the moment we all knew was coming. As Thanos said, dread it...run from it...destiny still arrives. 

Lakers in 6. 




Friday, September 25, 2020

Rage

"To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage almost, almost all of the time..."

James Baldwin said this in 1961 and 59 years years later that rage burns brighter than an Olympic flame. On September 23rd Attorney General of Kentucky Daniel Cameron and his grand jury decided that in the death of Breonna Taylor only charges of "wanton endangerment" because some of his bullets fired at Taylor and her boyfriend went into the adjoining apartment. To give some context, a class d felony includes such crimes as unauthorized use of a credit card and stalking. I just...I don't have the words. 

Louisville police from the get go, were operating on the shakiest of grounds. Apparently while investigating an ex-boyfriend, they believed her to be a part of a drug ring. Never mind the fact that she had no history with drugs. Ignoring that she was one of the first responders during a pandemic that people claimed they loved and respected so much. Never mind that the ex-boyfriend and focus of the investigation was in jail, they made the decision to bust in rocking plain clothes and got surprised someone shot at them. A man protecting himself and his girlfriend with his legal firearm, that's what 2nd amendment folks are always screaming about right? Well their silence is deafening and we all know why. 

I've seen so many excuse, just looking to blame a black woman for her own death it's disgusting. Let's just say for a moment, that everything being alleged is true. Does this make her worthy of death? From the constant changing of the narrative by Louisville PD to the convenient non use of body cams, their word is quite shit. They can't be believed. Hell, the ex boyfriend who is the drug dealer has since become a more credible source than the police at this point. When he was offered a deal to say she was involved and he rejected it, when it was to his benefit to do so, said all I needed to see. And if this was the shady den of a drug mistress, why was her family awarded 12 million dollars in a wrongful death suit. Are you telling me some wrongdoing caused her death but no one can be punished for said wrong doing?

I'm filled with rage, righteously so in my opinion, as the Attorney General stands up there with disingenuous tears welling in his eyes. Speaking how he feels the pain, and about his experiences as a black man which came across as hollow as he ignored those feelings of pain if they were ever there. He firmly planted himself at feet of Mitch McConnell and sold his soul for the opportunity to be Mitch's go to guy.  The lacky for a turtle faced hypocrite hellbent on being the ultimate power broker in American politics. 

I struggle with finding optimism some days, but that state of rage that Baldwin spoke of all those years ago is never ending. 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Death is not the end. It’s more of a... stepping off point

Celebrity deaths don't usually hit me hard. There is a general sadness of course that someone has left behind family members, friends and what not but in general if I didn't know them rarely does it bring a tear to my eye.

With the sudden passing of Chadwick Boseman I have been hit with such an astonishing level of grief that it's hard to put into word. I knew him only through movies and interviews but  he was so much more than an actor to me, and to black people in general. 

I came to really follow his work after it was announced that he would portray Black Panther on the big screen. Now Black Panther is a character that is deeply personal to me for many reasons. The main reason being growing up there was such a lack of black superheroes and one day, I saw this character with the Fantastic Four. It was amazing. A black character that wasn't like a caricature of a pimp or something. Wasn't the butt of jokes or obviously made to be inferior to his white counterparts, he was a god damn king. I was convinced I would never see him on the big screen and given his proper due.

Chadwick Boseman has entered the chat! He took a role and a character that if we're being honest the masses had not been introduced to and took us on a journey. He completely owned the role to the point that if people saw him in the street, they gave him the Wakandan salute as the royalty that he was. 

He could have stopped right there but he proceeded to portray all of our heroes. Jackie Robinson, Thurgood Marshall, James Brown. To the point that the running joke was he was eventually going to portray every black person on the planet. 

The man was so immensely talented and making sure our heroes got their roses. The love and recognition that they deserved while they were here. And now he has joined the greats of the past without I feel ever getting his proper due. Maybe because we took him being on our screens  for granted, maybe because it's human nature not to appreciate greatness until it no longer walks amongst us.

So Mr. Boseman, forever king of Wakanda, I thank you. I thank you as the father of a young boy who LOVES Black Panther. Who wears his mask and will only answer you if you call him the Black Panther. I thank you for the 8 year old boy who got that comic in a Mississippi gas station, I thank you as the 35 year old man who giddily put on his Wakandan sweatshirt and showed up an hour before the movie started to see his hero. The solace that I can take from this however is that for as awesome as T'Challa is, the man behind the portrayal was was even more of a superhero than the Wakandan royalty he portrayed. When I declared it the movie of the decade this is how I felt: 

"I get chills when I think about Black Panther. Was it the cinematic masterpiece that some would expect from the movie of the decade? Probably not. You can even make the argument that it wasn't the best Marvel movie of the decade. But what it was, was this beautiful piece of blackness that we don't get to see enough of, and that representation matters baby. After seeing it opening night I wrote this:

"I...I don't even really have words for what I just saw. Thank you Marvel and thank you Ryan Coogler. That awkward 8 year old who got a copy of Fantastic Four with a black super hero in it from a gas station in Mississippi is so damn happy with what he saw tonight." "

So King, as you said in Black Panther, “Death is not the end. It’s more of a... stepping off point.”