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About me

Let me introduce myself


A bit about me

"I am the straw that stirs the drink." -- Reggie Jackson

This is my portfolio page. Please look around and check out my work. Afterwards, I encourage you to reach out and connect for a conversation! (Hopefully over drinks!)

Profile

@edthesportsfan

Personal info

Eduardo (Eddie) Maisonet, III

Lets connect!

Birthday: July 28
Phone number: 213.537.3873
Website: www.thesportsfanjournal.com
E-mail: ed@edthesportsfan.com

RESUME

Know more about my past


Employment

  • 2014-future

    Fox Sports Digital @ Yardbarker Editorial Producer

    Editorial and digital strategist for FOX Sports interactive media team, focusing on Yardbarker's social media engagement, publisher relations and new media verticals.

  • 2010-2015

    SB Nation @ Senior Writer

    Contributed to the news desk and editorial direction for NBA and college football.

  • 2013-2014

    Google @ Operations Coordinator

    Led onboarding of small and medium-sized businesses onto Google My Business platform.

  • 2009-2011

    Nielsen @ Retail Consultant

    Served as a retail consultant and consumer market researcher with a focus on Kroger and Safeway.

Education

  • 2016

    University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA

    Sport Management Masters Program

  • 2005

    Langston University Langston, OK

    Bachelors in Organization Management

  • 2010

    Media Bridges Cincinnati, OH

    Radio and Broadcasting Certification

Skills & Things about me

I Love Social
~10K
Social Reach
I Love Strategy
27
Clients & Counting
I Love Writing
9 Years
Writing Exp.

Portfolio

My latest projects


The Prototype: The Baddest Women Covering Sports

The Prototype: The Baddest Women Covering Sports

Without a doubt, my greatest love is sports, namely football and basketball. I can watch either one all day, whether in person or on TV. Part of my fascination with sports comes from the broadcasting side of things. As much as I pay attention to the games, just as much is given to the folks who cover what I’m watching. Women who love sports, TRULY LOVE ‘EM, are probably the biggest bonus for me. I mean, think about it: beauty, brains, and has knowledge and love for sports??? That’s what I call a WINNER. The women that compromise my list are the ones who are the pure prototype, when it comes to the broadcasting side of one of my true loves.

Pam Oliver - In my humble opinion, Pam Oliver is the baddest sportscaster of all-time. She currently has the most longevity, due to working at ESPN back in the day, as well as working for FOX now. Anytime she’s on the tube, you can tell she’s all business, so players, coaches, and everyone else has to respect her (my kinda lady). I was probably in high school when I noticed her roaming the sidelines for the first time, and telling my best friend that I officially fell in love with the lady. She’s from the crib as well (Dallas, STAND UP!!!), and ran track back in the day at Florida A&M, so that gets even more points from me.

Lisa Salters - She’s probably the most slept-on sportscaster, in regards to the ones who actually get legitimate air-time. I see her covering more college football and pro basketball now, which helps, because there is no work at nights, and on Saturdays. She used to play ball back in the day too (@ Penn State), which only enhances her credibility. Whether it’s a Saturday night in Happy Valley, or a game in The Q, you’re bound to get a healthy dose of this bad, bad lady. Plus, I just got done watching E:60, and when she showed the entire table her arms, it further let me know she’s the truth (Ed, you weren’t lying).

Sage Steele - The next woman I’m about to mention was exposed to me a few months ago (hey, I have a full-time job, and she only comes on during the morning Sportscenters, forgive me!). ESPN, I love you with all my heart, but y’all need to get on the damn ball. This woman needs more time to get her shine on. Come to find out, she’s been with them for a while now, so I feel like a bigger fool for never seeing her before, especially as much of an ESPN-junkie I am. Come to find out, Mrs. Steele (dammit, she’s married) has been doing her thing for years; first, as a broadcaster in Florida, and then in Maryland. Needless to say, I’ll be paying closer attention from now on.



Erin Andrews - The love of all frat boys, Erin Andrews as definitely put herself on the map for being a great (looking) sideline reporter. Andrews was a member of the Dazzlers — the University of Florida dance team — while "studying" in Gainesville so that makes it all the greater. The next time you watch a college football or basketball game, look at the kids in the stands go nuts when she comes on. Crazy. Besides that, she got stuck on doing NHL games too, so since I don't watch hockey all that often, I'll have to wait for the Fall.

Reischea Canidate - She's just bad, that's all I have to say. Thank you ESPN for exposing us to the greatness that is Reischea Candidate. Wow. She was previously working in New York as a sports anchor and now does SportsCenter highlights and First Take promos as well. Ed says we need to see her WAY more often, she might even be the first lady of Ed The Sports Fan, lol. Let's just hope she isn't related (or wifed up to) former Washington Redskins speedster runningback Trung Canidate. What kind of name is Trung anyway?

Honorable Mention: Rachel Nichols, Cindy Brunson, Stacey Dales, and Stephanie Ready


Who are your favorite women covering sports? Any we forgot?


Oh yeah, here are a couple of links to further entertain you during the day:

Mr. Factoid:
Josh Smith Gets Very Nasty On Jermaine O'Neal
Stank-O: The Best Playoff Series This Year not named Celtics v. Bulls
Mr. Swagger - Stop Wearing Skinny Jeans
Average Bro - Yet Another BET "Grown & Sexy" Channel? I'll Pass
Hip 2 The Game - Charles Barkley Drunk Dials Kevin Garnett

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Top 5 Greatest Boxers In My Lifetime

The Top 5 Greatest Boxers In My Lifetime


To be clear, I'm an 80's baby so I can only use what's relevant to me being conscious of what I was witnessing. So this will encompass the last 20 years or so of boxing. Let me also be clear about this, this is not MY FAVORITE BOXERS OF ALL-TIME because that list would be totally different.

Now, being that maybe the greatest fight of 2009 is about to take place in roughly 72 hours, I started to think who has had the biggest impact on the sport and has risen to the top of the mountain. Please be advised that I am almost 7,349% sure that you will not agree with me, that's what makes this great. LOL. Here we go...

#5. Roy Jones Jr. (53-5-0, 39 wins by KO) - Jones was named "Fighter of the Decade" for the 1990s by the Boxing Writers Association of America. As a professional he captured IBF championships in the middleweight, super middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. He also won the WBA heavyweight title in his only fight in this weight class. He is also noted for holding the WBC, WBA, IBF, IBO, NABF, WBF, and IBA light heavyweight championships at the same time. For many years, he was regarded as the Ring Magazine pound for pound champion of boxing.

If Roy Jones would've just stayed retired after getting knocked about by Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver years ago, I probably would have him higher on this list. Plus, he was the first dude that ever made cats with degrees consider going into boxing. He was on the Jordan brand, had hit records (YA'LL MUSTA FORGOT!!!! & I SMOKE, I DRANK!!!), and was participating in cockfights (nh)! Dude was on top of the world. However, for the simple fact that he really didn't have any legitimate competition is a two-pronged issue. Either he was not given any real competitors in his weightclasses during that time, or he was simply head and shoulders above everyone else. Its kind of like the Chicago Bulls in the mid-90's. Were they really that good (most would say so) or were there no legitimate contenders to the Bulls reign as champs in the 90's? Just a thought. Roy probably in his prime was the best ever, but his lack of competition (for example, although he did beat Bernard Hopkins much earlier in his career, he would never fight Hopkins when he ascended the ladder to champion.) and getting his ass handed to him by Calzaghe, Glen Johnson, and Tarver twice ranks him 5 on this list.

Biggest Wins: Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Antonio Tarver (once), John Ruiz, Felix Trinidad
Biggest Defeats: Antonio Tarver (twice), Glen Johnson, Joe Calzaghe


#4. Lennox "The Lion" Lewis (41-2-1, 32 wins by KO) - Lewis won gold for Canada at the 1988 Olympic Games as an amateur. As a professional boxer he became the undisputed World heavyweight champion. Along with Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Vitali Klitschko, Lewis is one of four boxers in history to have won the heavyweight championship three times.

People forget that Lennox has beaten every single person he's ever stepped into the ring with (lost to Oliver McCall & Hasim Rahman, came back and avenged both defeats) and has beaten 1 of the 2 Klitschko brothers (Vitali, 6th-round TKO in '03) as well. Plus, let us remember that he was one of the first cats to be put on with FUBU!!! For Us, By Us! That clothing line was epic back in the late 90's, and he was repping it hard. He was walking into the arenas with the FUBU jersey with the new #05 on it! Remember y'all had that wack #92 one? LOL...but the truth of the matter is, he was the last real heavyweight that mattered. Him, Tyson, Holyfield, and Bowe would get you to pay that guap for a PPV fight back in the day. Will you pay the $50 to watch Wladimir Klitschko? Didn't think so. Oh yeah, and he was British.

Biggest Wins: Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Vitali Klitschko
Biggest Defeats: Oliver McCall, Hasim Rahman


#3. Bernard "The Executioner" Hopkins (49-5-1-1, 32 wins by KO) - He is best known for his ten year reign as Middleweight World Champion in which he successfully defended his title a record 20 times. He is the first fighter to retain all 4 major boxing governing body belts including the Ring Magazine belt in the same fight. He is the oldest man to ever hold the Middleweight Championship in professional boxing.

Clearly, B-Hop is one of the grimiest athletes I've ever witnessed in life. Dude is 44 years old and has defeated or taken to the wire almost every single relevant fighter (that's not a heavyweight) in the last 20 years. Here's his rap-sheet of fighters he's been in against: Pavlik, Calzaghe, Winky Wright, Tarver, Jermain Taylor, De La Hoya, Trinidad, Glen Johnson, Roy Jones. Wow. Now, this being a greatest boxers list, B-Hop has some L's on his record, but lets give the man some credit. He lost split decision to Calzaghe (which I thought he won) in which Calzaghe is 7 years his junior, he lost to Jermain Taylor twice (which I thought he won the first one, probably lost the 2nd) who's 14 years his junior! Then he lost to Roy Jones Jr. back in '93, and for the last 3-4 years Roy has simply ran from the fight. Plus when you realize he plowed thru Pavlik, De La Hoya, Winky Wright, Antonio Tarver, Trinidad, Glen Johnson with ease, his record is off the charts.

Biggest Wins: Kelly Pavlik, Oscar De La Hoya, Winky Wright, Antonio Tarver, Felix Trinidad, Glen Johnson
Biggest Defeats: Joe Calzaghe, Roy Jones, Jermain Taylor (twice)


#2. "Pretty Boy" Floyd "Money" Mayweather, Jr. (39-0, 25 wins by KO) - From July 18, 2005 through June 2, 2008 he was rated by The Ring magazine as the number-one pound for pound boxer in the world. Mayweather has won six world boxing championships in five different weight classes; he is the former WBC welterweight champion, a title he vacated upon his retirement. He was named Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year in 1998 and 2007. ESPN.com listed Mayweather at #48 on their "50 Greatest Boxers of All Time" list.

I definitely believe a couple of things about Floyd Mayweather which you may or may not agree with. Floyd definitely took over the torch from Roy Jones as being the fighter that some folks really did not like because of their flashy style, antics in and out of the ring, and utter dominance of the sport. Also, like Roy, he was definitely not trying to get hit. Behind Bernard, Mayweather probably had the greatest defense I've ever seen. Plus, Floyd wasn't playing around once started fighting professionally. He found SEVENTEEN fights in a 2-year span from 1997-98 on his way to gaining his first championship belt. Moreover, just look at some of the names he ran thru to get to the top: Diego Corrales, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah, Carlos Baldomir, Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton. None of those fights were close. Here's what's lacking for me with Floyd. One, he "retired" when the sport was loaded with talent. Right now, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams, Juan Manuel Marquez, and the #1 person this list were all poised to challenge Floyd. Floyd didn't want none, he felt like he proved he was the best. He's only the 3rd major champion to retire without a defeat (Marciano, Calzaghe, Floyd) and that goes a long way in saying who's the best. Who am I to say he ain't, but he's not #1 on my list. (Oh yeah, forgot to mention the fiasco he did with WWE at Wrestlemania XXIV and fighting the Big Show aka The Giant. It was 5'6" vs. 7'1" and he just hit him a chair repeatedly to win. Yeah, that was exciting.)

Biggest Wins: Oscar De La Hoya, Ricky Hatton, Arturo Gatti, Zab Judah
Biggest Defeats: None


#1. Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao (48-3-2, 36 wins by KO) - Pacquiao is the former WBC lightweight world champion, WBC super featherweight world champion, IBF super bantamweight world champion, and WBC flyweight world champion. He has also held the Ring Magazine titles for featherweight and super featherweight divisions. For his achievements, he became the first Filipino and Asian boxer to win four world titles in four different weight divisions. He is currently rated by the Ring Magazine as the #1 pound-for-pound boxer in the world.

Dude is off the chain, I've never seen a dude who fights with more reckless abandon and skill simultaneously than Pacman does. See, what makes him so raw is that he really didn't have a lot of professional training until he already was getting title shots. You can see that by some of the early losses he received during his professional reign. He was still "learning" how to fight while fighting the best in his sport. He earned the nickname "The Mexi-cutioner" after beating the 3 legends that currently reigned in the lightweight divisions, he defeated Erik Morales twice after losing to him the first time, defeated Marco Antonio Barrera, and had a draw with Juan Manuel Marquez then defeated him the second fight. Those three would not lie down, and Manny found a way to win. Plus he's now defeated David Diaz and Oscar De La Hoya (which makes me think, how much value is really put into a De La Hoya victory at this point?) as well, and with another victory against Ricky Hatton this Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, there will be no doubts.

Plus let me add this about him, he is a LEGEND/ICON/GOD in the Philippines. The man ran for Governor of the country a while back and barely lost, not because they didn't think he could do the job, but that they thought he would be better served in representing the nation as a boxer. Dude has been in movies, recorded albums, yet also put the entire hood on the squad (watch 24/7 and see what I mean) and goes and hoops with regular folks, goes and HUSTLES on the pool tables. Dude is a legend. I feel like Manny and I would go down and wreck a 2-on-2 game of basketball. Betcha you won't try to fight us lol...

Biggest Wins: Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales (twice)
Biggest Defeats: Erik Morales

Honorable Mentions - Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Shane Mosley, Wladimir Klitschko, Joe Calzaghe, Winky Wright, Pernell Whitaker, Erik Morales, James Toney, Marco Antonio Barrera

By the way, who are my favorite fighters? Miguel Cotto, Winky Wright, and Felix Trinidad

Is my list crazy? Are you excited for this fight? Let us know your thoughts!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

WTF?

WTF?

Game Four Final Score: Denver Nuggets 121 – New Orleans Hornets 63…

When I first saw this score pop up on my Game Cast (I don’t get NBA TV as a part of my cable package; DAMN YOU, Time Warner), I thought it was a sick joke. Granted, I know Denver is plain better than New Orleans, but this???? I called B-Lew, and he said he saw the same thing, and said this reminded him of the Finals, when the Bulls sprayed the Jazz by 42 points back in the day, except this was much worse.

121 – 63.

See, the post was going to be titled “WTF,” due to many events that transpired over the weekend, but after this game last night, everything else is getting put to the backburner. Yes, since this game got so ugly, I’m giving the Raiders a pass for missing out on Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, and even Percy Harvin, to take Darrius Heyward-Bey with the seventh pick in the NFL Draft. This blowout even takes the cake over that!

121 - 63.

WTF was going to also be in reference to the Chicago-Boston series, which has become a thriller. Game Four provided many memorable moments, tons of big-time shots, Jesus Shuttlesworth going crazy, Ben Gordon grabbing his nuts like we were back in the ‘hood, and draining clutch-shot after clutch-shot, but this game, this game on Monday, this…MASSACRE, has found a way to surpass that. It also found a way to top Hedo Turkoglu’s game-winner against Orlando, or as Chris Webber called him on Inside the NBA, the Michael Jordan of Turkey (which had everyone laughing, except for Sir Charles).


121 – 63.

No playoff team should be beaten by damn near 60, and in the event it does happen, you should be taken out back, and put to sleep…like, right now. This was absolutely disgraceful to the game of basketball. Hopefully, Denver puts them out of their misery in Game Five. There’s nothing left to be said, partially because I don’t know WTF to say. The score speaks for itself.



Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

The NFL Draft Diary, Part II

The NFL Draft Diary, Part II


Al Davis did it again.

How does this happen?

I'm not sure?

Can we all agree to treat Al Davis like a horse that needs to be put out of his misery? Done and done.

I will go on record and say that this was by far one of the more boring drafts I've witnessed in recent memory. No spectacular trades, no crazy picks (besides the Raiders) and I'll be damned if Todd McShay and Mel Kiper got the draft pretty close. I had the honor to work with Ken and B-Lew while on the draft escapade so here are some of the exchanges from this weekend.

Pick #1 - Matthew Stafford, Detroit Lions

Ed: Is doing a graduation speech? Goddell just addressed the crowd like we were about to walk the stage LOL!
Ken: That was quick (pick was handed to commish in 4.2 seconds)
(Boos rain in from the NYC crowd)
Ed: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
B-Lew: hahahahahahahahah
B-Lew: they booed him
Ed: LOL
Ken: Highland Park in the building, Dallas, Texas!
(Crown chants "Overrated!")
Ken: Maaaaaaaaaaaan
Ed: hahahaha
Ed: OVERRATED!!!
B-Lew: He never won a SEC championship
Ed: i mean, this is different, he got booed by the general body. McNabb got booed by all the Philly fans, we see how he turned out. We'll wish the best of luck to Stafford

Pick #4 - Aaron Curry, Seattle Seahawks

Ed: His suit looks 2 sizes too small
Ken: That fool needs some uhhh what's that stuff? Pro-Active?
B-Lew: That suit is horrible, I wouldn't wear that to my own funeral.
Ed & Ken: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Pick #5 - Mark Sanchez, New York Jets (pick traded to by Cleveland)

Ed: Cleveland just made a trade to the Jets. The Jets are gonna get Sanchez!!!!!
B-Lew: Wooooooow, that's a good pick up.
Ed: That's a great pickup, they need some receivers asap now.
Ken: J E T S...Jets Jets Jets!!!
B-Lew: The Jets fans are going crazy, but this won't work. Mexicans in NYC, that wont work, its too cold!
Ken: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Pick #6 - Andre Smith, Cincinnati Bengals

Ed: Cincinnati on the clock...
Ken: What are they gonna do?
Ed: I say Eugene Monroe
B-Lew: Me too
Ed: WTF...Did they all come from church?
Ken: What kind of jacket is that?
B-Lew: They just came from 37th Choir Annual at the Convention Center
Ed: Gospel Explosion Extravaganza!
B-Lew: Andre Smith is definitely the choir director
Ken: HAHAHAHAHA
Ed: (pours himself a drink)

Pick #7 - Darius Heyward-Bey, Oakland Raiders

Ed: Man the Raiders are going to mess this up, I can feel it.
B-Lew: Crabtree in black in silver
(the pick comes in for DHB, he has a supremely stunned look on his face)
Ed: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
Ken: ARE YOU F*CKING NUTS????
Ed: WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW
Ken: SERIOUS???? Well, at least Crabtree ain't going to the Raiders. But I wasn't expecting it on this. Wooooooooooooow...
B-Lew: Al Davis like speed
Ed: Al Davis did it again
Ken: They graded him at an F
Ed: haha
Ed: Even DHB looks stunned
Ken: I would hate to be a Raiders player, he looks like "ah f*ck..."
B-Lew: LOL

Pick #9 - B.J. Raji, Green Bay Packers

Ken: Raji's going to Green Bay, easy.
(pick comes in)
Ken: Damn, they having a White Tee Draft Party in his house!
Ed: LOL, right. Man it look hot as hell in that house
Ken: Hahahaha! All those damn people in there
Ed: Wow, they still got the plastic on the lamps. You paid now fam, take it off!
Ken: hahahahahahaha
B-Lew: ahahahaahahahaahah

More to come, will update later today.

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The NFL Draft Diary Preview

The NFL Draft Diary Preview


Not too much to post here today, the NBA Playoffs are gearing up and believe it or not, take some time and watch the NHL playoffs too. My Philadelphia Flyers are putting in work against Sid the Kid and the mighty Pittsburgh Penguins. I know that The Rev is doing his daily diligence in following this matter.

Now, please be advised that one of the most epic posts in ETSF history will be coming back for its 2nd installment in 2009..."The NFL Draft Diary" which will provide the inside scoop on all things for Draft Day this Saturday afternoon.

Here are some questions for you to consider tomorrow afternoon's draft...

Biggest Sleeper of the Draft? Josh Freeman - QB, Kansas State, Larry English - LB/DE, Northern Illinois, and Michael Oher - OT, Ole Miss

Biggest Bust in the Draft? Matthew Stafford - QB, Georgia

Biggest Question Mark in the Draft? Pat White - QB/WR & Percy Harvin - RB/WR, Florida

Biggest Loss of Income in the Draft? Gerald McCoy - DT, Oklahoma (projected top 5 pick, ahead of BJ Raji)

Biggest Attention Whore of the Draft? Mark Sanchez - QB, USC (Can someone make the "Dirty Sanchez" joke and get it over with?)

Luckiest Guy in the Draft? Knowshon Moreno - RB, Georgia (Headed to Philadelphia)

Fastest Guy in the Draft? Jeremy Maclin - WR, Missouri

Most Immediate Impact Player in the Draft? Michael Crabree - WR, Texas Tech & Vontae Davis - CB, Illinois

The Biggest Record That Will Fall? For the first time in 15 years, the University of Miami will not have anyone selected in the first round of this weekend's NFL Draft. No Hurricane will go in the second or third round, either ... or, maybe, at all. Folks, the real recession is in Miami.

Anything I'm missing? Let me know your thoughts on the draft and be ready for the NFL Draft Diary on Monday, thanks!

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Four-Point Play: Make The Right Decision

Four-Point Play: Make The Right Decision


Before I begin, all hail The Mount Mutombo, Dikembe Mutombo. He injured his knee in Game Two of the Houston-Portland Series, and is now calling it a career. There will never be another defensive player as intimidating and hilarious (classic finger wag) as The Great Dikembe Mutombo.

ONE - Houston, We Have a Problem

The Rockets-Blazers series is all tied at one game each, but it honestly doesn’t have to be. The one player in this series who cannot be guarded is Yao Ming (okay, B. Roy can’t be either, so we’ll say two). My point is when Houston gets him the ball, no one can stop him. Last night, he got off SIX shot attempts, and they lose by four. I understand he was in foul trouble, and Portland starting using Pryzbilla to front him some more, but there’s no way in hell they can only have him shoot six times, and expect to win. Houston has officially made this much harder than it has to be, and if they find a way to blow this series, one they should win due to sheer experience alone, I will officially hate them.

TWO - R.I.P. Detroit Pistons

Well, it’s been real, but it’s safe to say this version of the Detroit Pistons, as we know it, is finished. It’s hard to really pin-point one moment when we knew the empire crumbled, but when you see Ben Wallace contributing for Cleveland, Mr. Big Shot doing his thing in Denver, and the overall body language of a team that was once a beast, it has to be something their fans are truly, truly sick about. Hopefully, Joe Dumars will be able to get them back on track sooner than later, but for now, they are officially done, as is this series.

THREE - Ladies and Gentlemen, We Have Ourselves a Series: Boston v. Chicago

If it wasn’t for Ray Allen channeling his inner-Jesus Shuttlesworth, the Celtics would be down 2-0 to the Bulls. Chicago is not going anywhere, so Boston better get it together quick. Their frontline is dropping like flies, Paul Pierce is stinkin’ it up, and there are only so many games you can count on Big Baby to give you 26/9. I think Rondo can continue to do his thing, but he and Rose will just continue to cancel each other out, along with Gordon-Allen in The Battle of UConn Two-Guards. It’s up to the role players, from each team, to win this thing.

AND ONE - When All Else Fails, Draft an Offensive Lineman

The consensus number one pick this Saturday is Matthew Stafford, but I’m just not sold on him. I know he’s from the crib (972, STAND UP), but I think that’s due more to the quarterbacks who decided to stay in school next year, and not come out. Detroit’s in such disarray right now that I honestly think they can get another QB later in the draft, and go with a more sure thing. On top of that, who the hell is going to block for Stafford? The same cats that blocked for Daunte Culpepper??? Lets hope they do the right thing, and take Jason Smith.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

Running To Daylight - Rashad Jennings

Running To Daylight - Rashad Jennings


This story is run in conjunction of (Full All Out) Blitz Magazine.

Sometimes you've got to deal with what life puts in front of you. For Rashad Jennings, he's handles these situations like any runningback would, he acts instead of reacts.


1-on-1 with a linebacker in the hole, shake him and bust it (open) outside.

1-on-1 with a defensive back, put the shoulder down and bust it (open) outside.

1-on-1 with a Dad diagnosed with diabetes (and having to have his leg amputated), pack up at Pitt and move home to Lynchburg, VA and attend Liberty University.

Don't let the small school fool you, Rashad Jennings is about as legit as they come. He was originally penciled in to be the starter at runningback at Pitt a couple of years ago (opening the way for LeSean McCoy), however, family troubles made the burden too heavy and coming back home was the only option for Jennings. You see Liberty University is 10 minutes away from his hometown of Forest, Virginia, and being close to his mother and father was of most importance. Some decisions are hard for some people, this one was a no brainer.

Three seasons at 1-AA (I still refuse to call it FCS) Liberty later, Jennings left his mark as only a runningback with bad intentions would. Amassing over 4,000 yards in rushing with 42 touchdowns to his credit, statistically he's on par with the rest of the top tailback prospects.

Measurables? At 6'1", 230 lbs. he definitely looks like an NFL back. At the 2009 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, he ran a sub 4.6 40-time and has worked hard enough to now push himself to be a 2nd-3rd round selection. After reviewing all of the information available, if there is someone to compare him to it would probably be Tim Hightower from last year's draft. Nice size and good combine numbers out of a small school, with big upside. With private workouts finished up with Denver, New England, NY Jets, Philly, and New Orleans, he's definitely a desired asset.

I had the chance to talk with Rashad earlier and discuss his thoughts on the draft, life at Liberty, and his potential contribution to an NFL team.

Ed The Sports Fan: How you been? T-Minus 6 days until the draft, how you feeling?

Rashad Jennings: Every emotion in the world is running through my body, from the highs to the lows. I remember I was the kid on the sideline "picking my nose" just wondering what would happen next. (Laughs) It's a comfortable yet exciting feeling though, being able to do what I said I wanted to do as a 6-year old is a liberating feeling.

ETSF: Some sources are projecting you in about the 3rd-round, and I see you as the "Tim Hightower" of the draft and could be a real value pick. How do you feel you can contribute to an NFL team?

Rashad: Whichever team selects me, my first priority will be to help the team win. Winning over the respect of the players in the locker room, and doing whatever it takes to get us a victory is the biggest thing.

ETSF: Who was your favorite team growing up?

Rashad: Well, when I tell people everyone laughs, but my favorite team growing up was the Arizona Cardinals. Everyone around here was either Redskins or Cowboys fans, but I really liked Arizona!

ETSF: (laughing) Wow, didn't expect that one. Favorite player?

Rashad: Definitely Eddie George.

ETSF: What would you say the toughest or hardest things you've dealt with growing through the draft process?

Rashad: Waiting for the actual draft, waking up everyday not knowing what will happen on April 25th. Also not knowing what type of recognition and success I would've had at Pitt. At the end of the day, football is football, and I feel like I would've been successful wherever I played.

ETSF: Tell us what you got out of the Senior Bowl earlier this year.

Rashad: The coaching was the best, getting the opportunity to work with (Jacksonville coach) Jack Del Rio and (Cincinnati coach) Marvin Lewis was the best. I feel like I'm very coachable, and being able to learn simple techniques and tips worked wonders even in practice. Imagine what I could do in a real game. Plus, the pros come out and worked out with us as well, and Maurice Jones-Drew roomed with me while at the Senior Bowl. That was fun.

ETSF: What's the first thing you're going to do after you hear your name called?

Rashad: (Laughs) Probably ball out and start crying, feeling elated. Being thankful for my family and truly being happy. After that, just focusing on getting on that plane and going to work.

Rashad will be graduating with a double-major in Sports Management and Business, and will be walking the stage May 9th.

Who are the sleepers in this draft? Are the small school players becoming in style in the NFL circles? Let us know your thoughts!



-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Above The Rim is the Greatest Basketball Movie Ever Made

Above The Rim is the Greatest Basketball Movie Ever Made


(If you think that title was long, thank Ed for not running the original title, "If It's Not Your Favorite Movie, then DIE...hahahahaha!!!" Wow...)

When I hear of great basketball movies, the ones that always come up are He Got Game, Hoosiers, and White Men Can’t Jump, just to name a few. Hell, some people even have the nerve to say Space Jam is an all-time great basketball movie, and while I worship damn near anything Jordan, even I don’t believe it belongs amongst great hoop films. Anyway, all of those are good movies, don’t get me wrong, but there is one that will always reign supreme, and it’s none other than the 1994 CLASSIC, Above The Rim.

I won’t spend time telling you what the movie is about, because it’s one I like to think every basketball fan has seen. If not, put it on your list of must-see movies before you kick the bucket. First off, take a look at the collection of raw talent in this movie. The fact that no one role makes or breaks the movie is beyond phenomenal. Before everyone got to know Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale, basketball heads knew him as Motaw, the hot-headed, right-hand man to Birdie, played by The G.O.A.T., known as Tupac Shakur (yes, I refer to him as the G.O.A.T. , but that’s a discussion for another day). There was also Leon, who most people may know as David Ruffin, and while I’m not mad at cha for doing so, he’ll always be Thomas Shepherd in my eyes, always. There was also the downright hilarious Flip, played by Bernie Mac (may he rest in peace), and Bugaloo, played by a super-young Marlon Wayans. Even Pee Wee Kirkland has a role in here as a scout for Georgetown, which happens to be my team, so that adds to the greatness of the film. Of course, you’ve got Duane Martin, who plays the role of Kyle Lee Watson to a T.

This is a movie I can recite frontwards, backwards, sideways, upside down, eyes closed, you name it. I’ve probably seen it 5,000 times, and still watch it at least once a month, and sometimes more, depending on my mood. The basketball scenes were nonstop, and the storyline flowed perfectly. Birdie was a cool balance of a dude you wanted to root for, but also someone you knew was foul, and had to get his sooner or later. The same can be said for Thomas Shepherd, and even with his foolishness, you still wanted to see some kind of happy ending for him, especially with the way the movie begins. There were times you would cheer on Kyle Watson, and there were times you wanted to curse him out for being so selfish and stupid. The fact this movie is able to bring out a mixture of emotions is yet another reason it is indeed the greatest. On top of that, the soundtrack is SICK. It is literally unbelievably, unfairly good. Do yourself a favor and add that one to your CD collection as well; it’s definitely worth it.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

Pressure Bust Pipes - The NBA Playoffs

Pressure Bust Pipes - The NBA Playoffs


Wow...

I'm salty that I didn't even get to watch the first 3 quarters of the Bulls vs. Celtics game on Saturday, I was out with my 2 kids that I mentor out and about and all I keep getting is these text messages vibrating on my phone. It went on for roughly 90 minutes. This is how it went...

==vibrate==

M*thaf*ckin D. Rose!!!!

==vibrate==

ROSE!!!!

==vibrate==

WTF is wrong with Ray Allen?????

==vibrate==

Rondo might be a top 3 PG in the NBA, yeah I said it.

==vibrate==

Someone go outside and shoot Joakim Noah...

==vibrate==

M*thaf*ckin D. Rose...

You get the point, the weekend was interesting on so many angles, that its hard to put it perspective because this is only the first game of the playoff series. One question though, are these upsets really upsets? Are we witnessing the breakout of our next stars? Is the old guard changing? Since I didn't do an NBA Playoff preview (Really, did you need a playoff preview from us? There were about 459,328 of them online or on tv, blogs were covering it, and my momma said that its "LeBron's time" which left me baffled. We know you are paying attention, we're here to keep you thinking) so my series prediction's will be listed as well.

1. Bulls 105, Celtics 103 - Along with the aforementioned ordeal I was put thru, two things jumped to me immediately. One, you've gotta think Ray Allen won't shoot 1-12 again, but didn't he do that last year against the Hawks? Couldn't find the rim with a flashlight. Two, The Bulls bench scored a total of 10 points on 4-20 shooting. I'd expect both to improve tonight in Boston. Is Boston really better than Chicago at this point, especially with Garnett out of the lineup? Chi-town finished 18-11 after the Salmons/Miller trade, and projected to 82 games, they'd be 51-31...don't underestimate Ben Gordon playing his arse off for a contract either...

Series Prediction - Celtics in 7

2. Mavericks 105, Spurs 97 - I'm not sure if its fair to say the Spurs are dead, when probably their best perimeter player (Ginobili) is out for the playoffs. You take away anyone's best perimeter player and they are going to be affected. With that said, this series has the makings of going 7 pretty easily. No one on the Mavs can guard Tony Parker, yet no one on the Spurs can guard Dirk Nowitzki. Same could be said about Jason Terry and Tim Duncan. So, I leave it up to the role players in this one. In game 1, Jose Juan (Carlos) Barea balled out of control and pushed the Mavs into victory. He's not doing that all series, but who else will step up. I think I like Barea (Puerto Rico stand up!), Howard, Bass, Stackhouse, and maybe even Jason Kidd more than Bowen, Finley, Udoka, Bonner, and Mason.

Series Prediction - Mavs in 7

3. Cavs 102, Pistons 84 - Your 2008-09 Eastern Conference Champion Cleveland Cavaliers...and R.I.P. The Detroit Pistons core. Answer me these questions...Is Rodney Stuckey really a PG? (Will Bynum is the best PG on the Pistons, watch the tape) Do we really believe in the Michael Curry era? (Should've got Rick Carlisle) Is Joe Dumars really the GM we all praise him to be? (Think about it, they missed out on Bosh, traded Billups for Iverson, hired Flip Saunders and Michael Curry, signed Kwame Brown, and is banking on the '09 free agent pool to resurrect the franchise. Who do they go get, Carlos Boozer? Bosh? How much better does that make them? They got one right, signing Rasheed Wallace while he had a couple of years left. Rasheed is still decent, but he's not a main cog. They have no studs on their team now and its their own fault.) LeBron might not break a sweat coincidentally.

Series Prediction - Cavs in 4


4. Rockets 108, Blazers 81 - This series of all series is to me the most intriguing, as realistically everyone is penciling the winner of this matchup to have a realistic (albeit slim) chance to beating the Lakers. However, after having a discussion with Kenny last night, I was informed by him that Houston will "destroy" Portland as long as Houston feeds Yao in the post. Which after careful thought, I must say that I totally agree with him. Think about it, Oden and Przybilla against Yao? Really? Plus, they can throw Artest and Battier on B-Roy? You're counting on LaMarcus Aldridge, really? I really like Portland, but the realization hit me square in the face which leads me to something else about Portland.

How good is Portland really? Let's be realistic about their team right now, besides Brandon Roy, isn't their whole team really replaceable? Look at their team, as Kenny so eloquently stated it for me this weekend, they went so completely left of the "Jail Blazers" that they went for nothing but young talent, which is great, but here are the problems with this team.

- Who the hell is Brandon Roy or anyone else on the team going to learn from. They are the 2nd youngest team in the league, average age is 24. Brandon Roy is the veteran on this team, and he's only in his 3rd year. Imagine leading the company you work for after 3 years. Right, I thought so. There are no veterans on this team, look at the maturation of the Celtics. Big Baby plays his ass off because he knows Garnett will get in his ass. Same with Rondo, who not only had Jesus and The Truth to guide him, but he had Sam "I Am" Cassell showing him how to do the big balls dance as well. This is a big deal, and Portland must address it in the off-season. A Lindsay Hunter, Kurt Thomas, or Richard Jefferson would do wonders.

- Brandon Roy is great, no doubt. However, look at his game, can he really be counted on doing it all by himself. Let's be real right now, I respect my dude J. McFly at Mr. Swagger, who tried to tell me that LaMarcus Aldridge is the most underrated player in the league, but sir that's just blasphemy. He's not underrated, sorry. LA had 7 points and 3 rebounds against Luis Scola (who had 19 and 8) and at this point in his career I'm not sure if he's already hit his ceiling. He's 18 and 7, and he's only 23 years old, but you're in the league to win championships. Is he the answer for a post man? Not sure.

- After B-Roy and Aldridge, couldn't you upgrade literally every position on the court? Portland needs a PG in the worst way, Steve Blake is not a #1, Jerryd Bayless is too young, and who the hell is Sergio Rodriguez? Travis Outlaw believes he should be getting as many shots as Carmelo Anthony (!) so best believe he won't be a Blazer next year, lol. Nick Batum is there to play defense, that's it. Rudy Fernandez might stick, but as long as he/the team realizes that he's a role player then they are ok. Pryzbilla is great off the bench, and Oden is...well Oden. Or as I like to call him, the real life Benjamin Button. (Did you see his '92 crescent moon part?) Point is, they need to make a move for a major cog, players 3-12 are expendable, treat 'em as such. Go get Vince, or Ray Felton, or Andre Miller, Shawn Marion, or someone that can have an immediate impact. Truth is, they wouldn't have this problem if they had only done one thing differently two years ago...


- Which is drafting Kevin Durant instead of Greg Oden. Go ahead and put Durant on the Blazers right now and think about the implications. Now instead of being Roy, Aldridge, and an iffy Oden...you're now Durant, Roy, and Aldridge with the same team! My head just exploded. How much of a monumental error could this be? You knew Oden had knee troubles, and you knew Durant was a gifted scorer, you thought Travis Outlaw was the answer at the 3? I'm done.

Oh yeah...

Series Prediction - Rockets in 6

Part Two tomorrow, let me know your thoughts...

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

MVrePeat: Don’t Forget Kobe

MVrePeat: Don’t Forget Kobe

(In part 1 of the MVP Series, Ed lobbied for Mr. LeBron James for the MVP award. Yesterday in Part 2, Kenny showcased Dwyane Wade for the MVP award, and today in our final installment, we will have a guest-post by Reverend Paul Revere to state the case for Kobe Bryant. Its been a fun 3 days. Make sure you go check him out and let us know how you liked the series.)

Hello one, hello all. Reverend Paul Revere, creative genius behind The House That Glanville Built here to do the impossible: argue that yes, Kobe Bryant deserves some consideration for the 2008-09 NBA MVP.

Now, some of you may be wondering, “What’s the point?” After all, LeBron has this thing all wrapped up, and the consensus is even if some fluke accident happened in the balloting, Dwyane Wade is the man most deserving after King James. I mean, some people don’t even have Kobe in their top three. Well, maybe I’m nuts, but I’m going to have to respectfully disagree.

You want to know why Kobe Bryant deserves to be the MVP? Well, if being the best player on the best team in the best conference in basketball isn’t enough for you, perhaps this will at least give you some food for thought. Kobe is the MVP because he has the most beautiful game in the NBA, by far, and in my book, beauty is the most valuable trait of all. I mean, think about it fellas, who’s more valuable in your book, a beautiful woman or a not-so-beautiful one?





Who’s more valuable to you?

Honestly, I used to despise Kobe Bryant. Everything about him. I’m a Sixers fan, a Philadelphian through and through, and when Kobe dissed his home town in the 2001 NBA Finals, I was ready to write him off forever. I was a junior in high school at the time and when Kobe said he wanted to tear Philadelphians’ hearts out, that was it. Kobe was dead to me.

But then as I got a little older, I truly began to love the beauty of players’ games, and as I watched Kobe Bryant play, there was none more beautiful. Slowly, he began to win me over, and while I won’t root for Kobe or the Lakers to win, I love watching Kobe Bryant play perhaps more than any other player in the league.

Where LeBron dominates with his incredible physical gifts and matures before our eyes, his game is more aggressive, more physically awe-inspiring than beautiful. And Dwyane Wade, for all his tremendous talent and all-around game, is anything but beautiful when he plays, what with his awkward shots, choppy style and reckless abandon.

But Kobe, Kobe is beauty on the court personified. He can do anything on the hardwood, just like Wade and LeBron, but the way he does it just seems effortless. And that’s the sign of true value, making something so incredibly difficult look so incredibly easy. Take, for instance, his performance mere hours after the Lakers found out Andrew Bynum would be down for a while, which I wrote about back in early February:

Hours after the Lakers found out Andrew Bynum would be lost 8-12 weeks with a torn MCL, Kobe reminds everyone that it was he who won the MVP last year, he who has three championship rings, he who, when on his game, is the most efficient big-time scorer in the NBA. And yeah, he plays defense too.

Last night, Kobe scored more points in Madison Square Garden than anyone ever. More than Wilt. More than Bird. More than Jordan. More than anyone. 61 points. 19 of 31 from the field. 3 of 6 from three. A perfect 20 for 20 from the line. 20 for 20. Wow.

It was ridiculous. Kobe was hitting shots very few players in the league can even get off, let alone make, LeBron included. And that's the difference between Kobe and LeBron. Don't get me wrong, LeBron James is this year's MVP, a true freak. He can run, he can jump, he's a beast, he's now d-ing it up and he clearly makes his teammates better. Physically, there's never been a player like him. When it comes to getting to the rim, going through a defense or using his body, LeBron has no peer.

But if you truly needed one player to go and get you 40, 50, 60 points, would you honestly take LeBron over Kobe, even right now? I wouldn't. Here's why: For all the great things LeBron can do, he is nowhere close to Bryant as a shooter. Can't touch him. Kobe has every shot in the book. He's as lethal from three as he is throwing down an alley-oop. His mid-range game is insane, and the scary part about it is it doesn't seem to matter if someone is guarding him or not. No one makes more highly contested, perfectly defended shots than Kobe Bryant. No one.


And even today, with all we’ve seen from LeBron, would you still trust him more than Kobe to get you 40, 50 or 60 if you really need it? Would you still trust him to make a perfectly guarded jump shot with the clock winding down more than Kobe? I say no. Kobe’s the guy who you know can and will do that for you. That sounds like an MVP to me.

-The Reverend
www.edthesportsfan.com

Flash for MV3

Flash for MV3


(In part 1 of the MVP Series, Ed lobbied for Mr. LeBron James for the MVP award. Today in Part 2, we will have Kenny showcase Dwyane Wade for the MVP award, and tomorrow Part 3 we will have a guest-post by Reverend Paul Revere to pub for Kobe Bryant. Should be an interesting 3 days. Let's go.)

Rewind one year ago today: the Miami Heat just completed a monumental fall from grace. Two years before that, they were the kings of the court, the NBA champions, and at the center stood a man who put on the greatest four-game stretch in Finals history, since The G.O.A.T. But in 2008, the team was a shell of itself, and he was injured, and pretty much left for dead by many in the mainstream.

Present-day: The Heat are now the #5 seed in the East, experienced a 27-win improvement from the previous season, despite starting a rookie point guard, untested role players, a rookie head coach, as well as a high-profile rookie that’s been relegated to the bench damn near all season. Once again, at the center of it stands the same man who was left for dead a year ago, came back with a vengeance, acted a fool during the Olympics, and carried over that same intensity to this season. That man is none other than The Great Dwyane Wade.

Now I know I’m fighting a losing battle. ESPN experts, the TNT crew, and darn near everyone else have bought into the notion that there is only one MVP, LeBron James, but hear me out. If you look at the effect this man has on every facet of the game, along with what he works with, you’ll be hard-pressed to show me another player who is more valuable than #3. We all know the obvious; leading scorer in the league, and makes his impact in other ways as well (passing and defense). Take Wade away from the Heat, and you get last year’s results. Arguably, if you take away James and Kobe Bryant, both of their squads would still make the playoffs (well, no arguably for the Lakers; they’d definitely still make it). To me, that’s a huge factor in determining value and worth to your team, and even the entire league.

He is the sole threat on the Miami Heat, the one player that every team game-plans for, and it leaves teams the ability to devise multiple schemes, trickery, or any type of defense geared just for him. As for the Cavs and Lakers, there are multiple players that must be accounted for, outside of the obvious with LeBron and Kobe. Mo Williams and Delonte West are capable to drop 30 if need be for the Cavs, and we know Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom, and Andrew Bynum can do it as well. Can the same be said for any secondary player on Miami? Before someone tries to say Michael Beasley, I’ll say no to him, due to the fact his minutes have been inconsistent all season.

This weekend, the Heat will square off against the Atlanta Hawks in the first round, and if they can advance, they’ll be on a collision course to face the Cavs in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. By then, the MVP will be decided and awarded, but it will give the country a chance to see two classmates (both came out in 2003) duel again, and while one will be the popular choice, the other will be The People’s Choice, Mr. Fall-Down-Seven-Times-Get-Up-Eight, the last man to make Converse cool again, not named Chuck Taylor…the one and only Dwayne Wade. MV3.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

This King is Most Valuable (5%)

This King is Most Valuable (5%)


(In part 1 of the MVP Series, Ed will lobby for Mr. LeBron James for the MVP award. Part 2 will have Kenny showcase Dwyane Wade, and Part 3 we will have a guest-post by Reverend Paul Revere to pub for Kobe Bryant. Should be an interesting 3 days. Let's go.)

LeBron James for MVP. This shouldn't be too hard. I mean we can look at this with some sense right? I could put up a smorgasbord of statistical dominance by Mr. James in his 2008-09 season (which John Hollinger from ESPN has said that his season might be the best season of all-time behind Jordan's season back in 1987-88) and convince 95% of the nation on why he should be MVP.

However, you all are not the 95% I need convince. You all are the 5 percenters. That's right, the 5% of sports (basketball) fanatics that I need to convince. Why? Because you all actually give a damn about what goes on in between the lines of that 94-foot hardwood court.

Its crazy though, to call you fanatics. I myself, refer to myself as a fanatic (Fan = Fanatic), and as Dr. Harry Edwards once proclaimed, "I cannot be a fan, because that is be a fanatic, and I take my sports way more serious than that." I think that is something that we can all appreciate it.

Fact of the matter is, LeBron isn't for the 95%, he's for the 5%. Because he gives a damn, and not in relation to himself but to his teammates and how he plays the game (unlike that guy who wears #24 for the Lakers). I take you back to when Andrew Bynum went down in a heap after said person wearing #24 for the Lakers crashed into his teammates' knee. Did he go to the aid of his fallen teammate? Did he take a knee and hope that his teammate would be okay? (Of course this is also the same teammate that #24 from the Lakers wanted traded) No, of course he didn't. He scrunched his face up and was upset that his teammate's KNEE COULDN'T HOLD UP! He was mad at Andrew Bynum for getting hurt. Face looked like when someone walks into a room and someone farted real stinky like, that's what #24's face looked like.


What about LBJ? Oh, you mean the guy that does the photo shoot with his teammates before player introductions? Oh, you mean the guy that is currently 9th in assists per game this season? The guy who's teammates would go to war for? Yeah, he ain't that bad of a guy. See my point is, sometimes being the MVP is more than just scoring points, getting rebounds, and making plays. Its about the will to win. I'd never knock #24 from the Lakers' will, no sir, I'd never do that. But do you believe in players 2-12 on that squad? More importantly, do you think they believe? In my heart I feel that on paper the Lakers are the best team in basketball. They have 3 very good to great big men on they roster, plus a dearth of shooters and the guy with the most killer instinct in the game. However, this team got labeled soft last year when they got beat down by the Celtics, and their souls were exposed. They laid down.

The last thing I can imagine in Bron Bron laying down, and I can't see the Cavaliers lay down. Mr. Triple-Double won't let it happen. He's made Mo Williams and Zydrunas Ilgauskas all-stars. He's 23rd in the league in blocks, and has worked hard to make himself more accountable defender. Now, more importantly, he's battle-tested. He's been to the brink before, battling the Pistons with a performance of a lifetime to get to the finals, going 1-on-3 against the Celtics before going down in 7. Losing to Spurs in a sweep in the 2006 finals didn't help either.

My dude was 22 years old then, the NBA's glory as being "King of Mountain" had been rested upon his feet. Free agency looming. When's the last time you've thought about 2010? Jay-Z? Him becoming a billionaire? Yet somehow he's found a way to stay ripe with focus, and because of it his team is focused, now equipped with the best record in the NBA. Now, at the ripe old age of 24, he's more poised than ever to show the world who the real witnesses are. The 5 percenters. King James 4 MVP

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The MVP Series - Who You Got?

The MVP Series - Who You Got?


Its that time of the year again, as the regular season winds down we are left to answer two questions about this 2008-09 NBA season.

Who will win the NBA Finals?

Who will win the MVP?

The first question will play out before our very eyes in the next couple of weeks, but the second question is a quandary that leaves us all a bit perplexed. History tells us that the best player on the best team has a strong chance to win it. (LeBron) Carrying your team through stretches of time with teammates on the mend and yourself injured means a lot to voters as well. (Kobe) Or you can look at it with the "how much does this one person make us competitive/relevant/not-horrible" angle and history serves that precedent as well. (Wade)

In this 3-part series, we will look at LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade as we will make the case for each of the 3. Honorable mention must go to Dwight Howard and Chris Paul (Who realistically, should be getting major votes for their teams success. Would their teams make the playoffs with someone average in their positions?) Chauncey Billups also deserves tons of credit as the Nuggets are a firm #2 seed in the Western Conference after being traded for Iverson. Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, and Brandon Roy (my new favorite player in the league) all deserve some spotlight as well.

However, it ain't about them right now. King James, Black Mamba, Wade County. Choose up.

Part 1 tomorrow...

Feel free to check out last year's pieces on Kobe, KG, and CP3...

Kobe - http://www.edthesportsfan.com/2008/04/black-mamba-for-mvp-ugh.html

KG - http://www.edthesportsfan.com/2008/04/kg-4-mvp.html

CP3 - http://www.edthesportsfan.com/2008/04/mvp-4-cp3.html

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

The Nextology of Michael Jordan - Kobe Bryant

The Nextology of Michael Jordan - Kobe Bryant


Good Friday to you all, hope you all enjoy your Easter weekend. I've been meaning to share this with my people for awhile, and its a goody. This post can be found courtesy of Dr. Anklesnap from Hoop Doctors and since I know a ton of you (and I want to poke you in the eyes because of this) are Kobe Bryant fans, I thought that this article would be a great comparison between the two all-time greats. Ken, prepare to sit down and ponder...

The Hoop Doctors love Michael Jordan. That’s got to be pretty obvious to everyone by now. So in honor of Michael, and to discourage the media from pretending to be clairvoyant in the future when it comes to comparing young ballers to the greatest to ever play, every week I will be shining a little light on each of the media’s shortcomings when it has come to these ridiculous and presumptuous predictions.

These posts are not intended to disrespect any of the players compared to Jordan in any way. They all had excellent careers and were or are tremendous basketball players. It is not your fault someone with very little knowledge of the game or even the skill to play this game decided to call you the “Next Jordan”. Part VIII to my series called “The Nextology of Michael Jordan” will be looking at Kobe “Black Mamba” Bryant:

But to take a good look at how different their careers were, I think you always have to start off by taking a birds eye view of the comparison by checking out their individual career stats. Here is the statistical comparison below in this chart:

From the feedback we have received thus far on this series it seems everyone reading is anxiously awaiting our final installment, the comparison to Kobe Bryant. We can make this as simple or as complicated as we want. The simple question is ‘who would win in a game of one-on-one between Michael and Kobe? Curiously, this exact question was asked recently of Jordan at a development camp he runs. This link has his answer…..I tend not to argue with the greatest ever, so i’ll take that as fact. Let’s move on to the more complicated version then, shall we?

Statistics:

When looking at the on-court statistical comparison between the two, it is quite simply not even a contest. Quite a few Kobe fans (many of which were not old enough to watch and appreciate Jordan in his prime), will try and tell you that the statistics are an unfair comparison since Kobe came into the NBA straight out of high school and in his first couple of years did not receive the same playing time as Michael did. While I will grant them that fact, it must be duly noted that Kobe has been in the league for 13 years now, and has only had 3 seasons where he averaged over 30 points per game. Jordan on the other hand had 8 of his first 13 seasons averaging over 30 points per game. Let’s forget point scoring for a minute though, because regardless of how it plays out, Michael and Kobe are both prolific scorers. Kobe has proven that fact by scoring 81 points in one contest against the Toronto Raptors in January of 2006. In that same season of 2005-06 Kobe also put up huge scoring numbers of 35.4 ppg on the year, which was quite close close to Jordan’s phenomenal 37.1 ppg in 1986-87.


So where else is Kobe trailing Michael statistically? A lot of fans would probably key in on the fact that Michael Jordan was a better passer and outperformed Kobe quite a bit in the assists column, or they might notice that Jordan had a better field goal percentage therefore saying he was a better scorer. But where I would like to focus is on the defensive end. Kobe is a great defender, and he proved as much the last two summer’s playing for Team USA often taking it upon himself to shut down the opposing countries biggest scorers. But has it translated for Kobe to his defensive play in the NBA? We all know Michael Jordan was a 9 time NBA All-defensive First Team selection and in 1988 was voted in as Defensive Player of the Year, and for good reason. Kobe has great numbers defensively, but if you look at how Kobe trails Michael significantly in defensive rebounding, steals, and blocks you start to get a flavor for the intensity Jordan brought to both ends of the floor. Kobe is a good defender, but he definitely is a much better offensive player, and on some nights leaves nothing to be desired on the defensive end. Michael Jordan was probably one of the most offensively and defensively balanced players to ever play the game. He rarely, if ever, took a night of defensively.

Awards:

One of The Hoop Doctors readers last week when we did the Dwyane Wade comparison was kind enough to point out that of all the players compared to Jordan in this series, Dwayne Wade was the only player who has won an NBA Finals MVP Award. I would like to point out that Jordan has 6 of them, but regardless the point was well taken. Performing on the NBA’s greatest stage, the NBA Finals, and winning an award recognizing your achievement towards your contribution to your team’s success is the ultimate praise given out by the league. So to be clear, Kobe Bryant has three NBA Championships but due to the fact he played alongside the Diesel, Shaquille O’Neal, he doesn’t have any NBA Finals MVP awards as Shaq back then was clearly the dominant force driving the Lakers success. Kobe does however have a long list of awards and achievements during his career worth noting. Here is a comparison of the two player’s accolades:

I realize that Kobe’s career is far from over, but after 13 seasons in the league I think the above table of awards, really speaks for itself when you are looking to compare Kobe Bryant to Michael Jordan. Kobe is a great player with many accolades, however Michael Jordan is in a whole other universe, as the greatest player to ever play this game.

Intangibles:

Lately there has been a lot of talk about how Kobe Bryant is the only player in the game today that has the same level of fierce competitiveness that Michael Jordan had. You know that feeling you got watching Michael play that told you he hated to lose more than anything in the world, and would do whatever it took to make sure he was a winner. Although Kobe early in his career was often labeled as selfish and only concerned with his own personal glory, over the years he has taken some huge strides towards involving teammates, and putting the team winning games before his own personal success. But regardless of how fierce a competitor Kobe is, I can’t help but think about how he ran Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal out of LA a few years ago. At the time Phil was still the best Coach in the league, and Shaq was still the most dominant center and arguably the most dominant player in the league. When you really get down to comparing Kobe’s competitive edge with that of Michael Jordan you have to wonder, would MJ have ever turned away Phil Jackson and Shaquille O’Neal, regardless of his off-the-court relationships with the two? I highly doubt it. Michael loved to win too much.

The other comparison I often hear with Kobe Bryant in the last two seasons since L.A.’s rejuvenation, is that Kobe makes his team better like Michael Jordan. As far as intangibles go, I think this is a ridiculous statement. Michael Jordan in his prime was a leader that players wanted to follow. He was a guy that lead by example and his teammates followed. He was a player that did make everyone around him better, regardless of the quality of his supporting cast. When Michael did have a good supporting cast they set the record for most wins by any team ever in an NBA season at 72 wins. Kobe on the other hand is more often than not criticized by teammates after they leave LA about being a tough teammate to play with, both on and off the court. People often neglect the fact that when crunching the numbers throughout Kobe’s career the Lakers lowest winning percentages have come when Kobe averages more than 30 points a game.

So that is it for the series “The Nextology of Michael Jordan”……for now…..Why? Because the media has proven one thing over the years…although I cringe at the thought of another player being compared to Michael Jordan in the future by the media, it is bound to happen. I just hope to hell they at least wait until his career is over and done with before they pull out their lab coats and start dissecting his performances.



Tell us your thoughts below on Kobe Bryant being called ‘The Next Jordan’…..Thanks for tuning in…

-Ed.
www.edthesportsfan.com

Four-Point Play - Read The Memo Edition

Four-Point Play - Read The Memo Edition


ONE - No Fear: How Much Noise Can Denver and Portland Truly Make This Postseason?

These two teams truly have a shot to disrupt some things in the Western Conference. While some people are ready to crown the Lakers, the Nuggets and the Blazers aren’t going to back down one bit. The Nuggets are due to make a run, and while I still think the Blazers are about one more year away, they play with no fear, and truly think they can beat anyone they play against. Needless to say, next weekend should be very, very interesting.

TWO - Charge it to the Game: Is it Time for The Answer to Retire?

Here’s the reason why this question is being asked: Allen Iverson will have to go to a team where he either (a) accepts he will not be the man anymore, or (b) go to a laughingstock. I’d rather him hang it up, before he goes to a team where he gets his numbers, but they can’t play worth a damn, and cannot win. At the same time, I don’t know where he can go, contender-wise, and get a chip. I hope it comes to me sooner than later, but if not, it’s been a fun ride.

THREE - Somebody Lied to You, Buddy: The Epidemic of Underclassmen Leaving Early

There’s a harsh reality with every NBA draft, and it seems like some of these cats always miss the memo. There are two rounds, each with 30 picks. You have your sure-fire picks, your players that got hot during the tournament, and your overseas players. After all of those, there is not much left to choose from, which leaves some of these fools, who declare early, out in the cold. If they stay their behinds in college, they could probably be lottery picks next season, but there’s either some cousin, an agent, a homie, a girlfriend, another family member, or someone else that gasses ‘em up, and tells them they should go to the league early. It happens every year, and this draft will be no different, if not worse. Here’s a free piece of advice: don’t be a fool, stay in school.

AND ONE - Your Wish Has Been Granted: How Will Jay Cutler Fare in the NFC?

Well, the crybaby got his wish, and was traded to the Chicago Bears last week. Honestly, I think this tilts the balance of power in the NFC North in their favor, simply due to the fact that Jay Cutler is just that damn productive. The Bears defense is 100 times better than Denver’s, on their worst day, and they already have the running game taken care of. If Cutler can bring the same effort to the Chi that he had in Denver, they’ll be alright. If not, the Vikings will be waiting in the wings to repeat. Either way, it doesn’t matter what either of them do, because the Cowboys are gonna find a way to get the job done this year.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

WrestleMania XXV: One More off the Bucket List

WrestleMania XXV: One More off the Bucket List

Growing up, there was one sport that ruled above all. I had to make sure I was awake on Saturday morning, so I could catch it on television. There was also the occasional Saturday Night’s Main Event, a program that I had to hope my dad would let me stay up and watch, long after I was supposed to be asleep. It wasn’t basketball, football, and damn sure wasn’t baseball. That sport was none other than professional wrestling, and in particular, the World Wrestling Federation.

While some young kids were going crazy over Jordan, Johnson, and Bird, I was watching “Macho Man” Randy Savage beat “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase in the finals of the tournament to crown a new WWF Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania IV. I was hooked from that moment on. There had to be a time in my life that I got to watch a WrestleMania in person, whether I was a young boy, or a grown-ass man. It didn’t matter when it happened; it simply had to happen.

Many more WrestleManias came and went; there was Wrestlemania IX in Las Vegas, WrestleMania XII when Shawn Michaels beat Bret Hart in an Iron Man Match for the Heavyweight Title, and there was the following one, where Bret Hart beat the dog-crap out of Stone Cold Steve Austin. There was XIV, when Stone Cold beat Shawn Michaels for the title, with Mike Tyson serving as the guest referee. There were countless other ones, including WrestleMania XVII in Houston when The Rock took on Stone Cold for the championship, and the common theme rang loud and clear: I didn’t get to see any of them in person. At this point, it seemed like this portion of my bucket list would be incomplete, and along with that, my passion for watching professional wrestling was slowly going to hell. But then B-Lew, one of the homies, as well as another avid fan of the WWF, came through and had the same passion, if not more, than I did, and we both had a common destination on the Bucket List: to get to a Wrestlemania one day in our lifetimes. Once he found out WrestleMania XXV would be in Houston, he hit me up, and we went about getting our tickets. Another one of our frat brothers, Carlos Qualls, is a wrestling fanatic as well, so we all ended up making the voyage, and he was able to get there a day before we did.

We got to Houston on Saturday morning, watched the Final Four with one of our sorors, and decided to stay in, so we could get up early Sunday morning, and get involved with all the madness that is WrestleMania. We got a chance to meet The Great Ted Dibiase, as well as another wrestling legend, The Great Dusty Rhodes. We were also in close proximity of the G.O.A.T. of professional wrestling, The Nature Boy Ric Flair, and to think, all of this happened in a two-hour span. There was still the actual show, which was approximately six hours away.

Fast forward to 3:30 P.M. and if there was a time when 72,000 people were about to be turned away due to a bomb scare, a crazy man holding the building hostage, or any other madness, it was around then. Ticketmaster messed our order up so bad, that one ticket was in Section 130, Row L, and the other was in Section 518! Needless to say, if they didn’t get it right, I was on the verge of fucking up EVERYBODY’S WrestleMania, because there was no way in hell I waited 21 years and drove 4+ hours to sit in the nose bleed section. After a few strings were pulled, the ticket fiasco was taken care of, and we ended up getting better seats than we originally had.

In all, WrestleMania XXV was everything I thought it would be. Kid Rock did a mini-concert (by no means was I a fan of his, but after that show, I just may become one), the building was packed, the matches were live, and the fans came from all over the world, which made my little four-hour drive seem like a walk down the street. Simply put, it may well be the single-best sporting event I’ve ever seen in person. It’s safe to scratch this one of the bucket list, for now and ever more.



WHATS ON YOUR SPORTS BUCKET LIST? WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU'VE GOT TO SEE BEFORE YOU HIT THE ROAD JACK? ANY FAVORITE WRESTLERS? LET US KNOW!!

Be easy.

-K. Masenda
www.edthesportsfan.com

(Ed's note: Let's take this moment to congratulate the winner of the 1st Annual ETSF March Madness Bracket Pool, Mr. Jonathan Forna from none other than Arlington, Texas. Mr. Forna was able to pick 52 of 63 games correctly and also picked UNC to win it all. He will be receiving a 1-year subscription to DIME Magazine and a t-shirt from BettorFan as well. When asked how he won the bracket he responded, "Because I'm a Que and I went to Langston, and I wake up listening to UGK and Slim Thug." Profound words from Mr. Forna...except for the Que part, lol.)

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