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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!)



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


Know more about my past


  • 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.


  • 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
Social Reach
I Love Strategy
Clients & Counting
I Love Writing
9 Years
Writing Exp.


My latest projects

Why You Bringing Up Old Sh*t???

Why You Bringing Up Old Sh*t???

Everything was going so damn smooth for a while there. Baseball highlights would come on ESPN, and they would strictly be about the games. We’d see some trade talk, but nothing too crazy. I was completely sold; as a matter of fact, I was so sold that I attended a Rangers game for the first time in years on Wednesday night, even though they had their asses handed to them by Detroit, but that’s beside the point. The point was baseball was fun again, and was serving as a nice distraction, until NFL training camps started.

Well, baseball’s own demons have found a way to ruin the party once again. With all the good the game has going for itself, The New York Times decides to bring this stupid list, FROM SIX YEARS AGO, back from the dead. They dropped two more names that seemed to “rock” the baseball world. They are two of our favorite players over here at ETSF: none other than Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

People are making this sound like it’s a big deal, and that Ramirez and Ortiz’s legacies will be tainted. I happen to disagree. For starters, I just don’t care if baseball players are ‘roid monsters or not. It still takes an incredible amount of skill to do what these guys do, even with the ‘roids. Secondly, it was six years ago! This list was never supposed to get out, but now that it has, names are dropping, and they’re dropping, little-by-little. If you’re gonna name-drop, then do it all the way. I’m tired of turning on Sportscenter, and hearing about this crap for half the show. If people want to bash these dudes for what they did, that’s fine. If they want to say they destroyed the integrity of the game, I’ll laugh in their faces before continuing on with my day. Don’t expect me to join in on berating these dudes, because I really don’t care what they did.

Bottom line is this: the Boston Red Sox won two championships with these guys being an integral part of the team. That cannot and will not ever be taken away. As it pertains to Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, they’ll always get love by millions of baseball fans, and that will never change. Maybe if this was said back when it first happened, we woulda gave a damn.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda

5 Guys Who Must Perform In '09

5 Guys Who Must Perform In '09

2009 is shaping up to be an epic football season, the Steelers just came off their 6th Super Bowl in February, the Patriots are getting their MVP QB back in Tom Brady, Dallas decided to add by subtraction, Philadelphia is loaded, Chicago's got a gunslinger, and the NFL has something that no other league has nowadays...parity.

However, there are 5 guys in the NFL that must perform at a high level for their team to succeed. If they fail, I can guarantee that their teams will not make the playoffs, or be a real factor in a run to a championship.

QB Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys - I am probably one of the biggest Dallas Cowboys bashers out, and the reason I don't like the Cowboys isn't necessarily the Cowboys themselves (ok a little bit) but its the fact that EVERYONE loves Da 'Boys. Its a stupid reason, but when you aren't a Cowboys fan and everyone else is, that ish will get on your nerves quick. Here's the thing, I've said for the last 2-3 years that I really liked the personnel on this Cowboys squad, especially on offense. They've got maybe the most intriguing 3-man backfield in the league with Marion Barber, Felix Jones, and Tashard Choice. They subtracted the headache in T.O. and still have a very strong receiving core in Roy, Witten, Crayton, Hurd, Austin, and Co. However, one man has to pull the strings, and that's Romo. He did some subtraction too, in ditching Jessica Simpson from the squad. (If you don't think he ain't got a "squad" then go wear a Favre #4 Vikings jersey in Green Bay one time) Tony Romo is a very good QB, however, he has to play within the system and make the right play, not every play. If he does that, Dallas will go 11-5. If not, Wade Phillips will be fired. Doesn't sound like a bad idea now actually.

RB Matt Forte, Chicago Bears - Just because Chicago landed a stud QB during the offseason doesn't mean that there isn't a just as important guy in the backfield. Forte showed that he is as versatile a runningback in the league, with his between the tackles running style and Velcro hands, he put up a phenomenal rookie season for a lackluster Bears offense. With #6 now taking the snaps, those safeties will no longer be able to crowd the line of scrimmage, which could mean bigger plays for Forte, which could lead to an NFC North crown in January.

LB Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens - When your team loses its #1 WR, its defensive coordinator, and 3 of its top defensive starters, your team is in a dire situation. Ray Lewis has dealt with overhauls of Baltimore's defense a couple of times now, but at age 34, the question is can he do this one more time? They still have Ed Reed and Terrell Suggs on the squad, but Ray-Ray is the anchor, and in that defense he HAS TO make plays. He's a hall-of-famer, and I'm looking forward to see if he can do it one more time.

WR Chad Ocho Cinco, Cincinnati Bengals - Hello, #85? Yep, its the truth again. I know that we talked before about how the haters, media, fans, and even your own QB have read you wrong in the past. We know who you really are and know what you're about. So I have no doubt that you understand what this season means for you, the Bengals, and the impact of this football season. See, we miss those flamboyant touchdown dances, wedding proposals for cheerleaders, and HOF jackets. Trust us, we really do, so you've gotta perform in '09. You've also got to lead, show Laveranues how they do thangs here in Cincy, teach Chris Henry how to live in the off-season and in the endzone (remember Chad's never been in legal trouble in the NFL) and show Carson that you are as reliable as they come.

QB Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks - Remember this fact, before the Arizona Cardinals won the NFC West last year with a 9-7 record, in the 5 years previous Seattle went 52-29, won 4 of the last 5 NFC West divisional championships, and made
an appearance in Super Bowl XL (which they should've won). Who was the QB? Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck had back surgery last year and missed the entire season, conversely the Seahawks went 4-12. Now #8 is back (literally) and healthy plus he's got a new legitimate receiver for the first time ever since Joey Galloway in the form of former Bengal TJ "Who's Your Momma" Houshmandzadeh. Seattle has always had a pretty stout defense, and if they figure out their running game (Julius Jones & TJ Duckett) then I believe they will win the NFC West back from Arizona. Hasselbeck's about the most underappreciated QB in the decade, and he might show why he's one of the better QB's in the league in '09.



Go To Training Camp, Now!

Go To Training Camp, Now!

**Just a quick heads up, its Ed's birthday today as he turned 26. He's getting old, but make sure you hit him up on here or at twitter.com/edthesportsfan, back to our regularly scheduled programming.**

It seems to be everywhere; there’s no escaping it, no matter what. Every time I go to someone’s blog or Facebook profile, people are saying the same thing, or a variation of it:

“God, I can’t wait for football season to start!”

“Damn, is it football time yet???”

“If football doesn’t start soon, I will go CRAZY!!!”

I could go on and on, but I think you get the drift. Teams have started reporting to camp, and with that, football season is officially underway. With that comes a time-honored tradition around The House of Ken; one that began back in 2002, went on hiatus for a few years (I HATE YOU, Oxnard, California), but is firmly back, and in full effect: Dallas Cowboys Training Camp, which can be summed up in two words: roooooad trip!!!

Training camp gives every fan a good look at what they should expect, come opening day. There are fans of quite a few teams that frequent the site, but I honestly don’t care about what y’all are doing; it’s all about the Cowboys, and even though my expectations aren’t as high as they’ve been in recent years, I’m still gonna make the four-plus hour drive to San Antonio next week, to see my team get themselves right for the season.

So if you really want a first-hand look as to how your team is coming together, take a weekend, gas up the ride and make the drive to your team’s camp. It’ll be worth the trip.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda

Lamar Odom Says Eff The Lakers (Maybe...)

Lamar Odom Says Eff The Lakers (Maybe...)

In a world where Lamar Odom was going to be paid over $8MM/year with the Los Angeles Lakers for the next 4 years and potentially be a key role player to a dynasty, Lamar could potentially be doing something that I would say no one sees coming.

Lamar Odom is stepping up to the plate, and wants to LEAD a team on a run to a championship. Lamar Odom just might, want to become a great player in this league.

Is this not the only reason why he would shun the Lakers' repeated offers to come back to the Lake Show and be a cog in the machine, Odom could potentially be the engine along DWade and Beasley in Miami. He instantly is slotted at the 4, and now become very formidable, with a flexible offense and a pretty good defensive unit with Jermaine O'Neal potentially anchoring the frontline. Now, do I believe that this team could win the East? Without a shadow of a doubt, no. However, they do become much improved and with O'Neal coming off the books, and potentially resigning DWade, they could be a factor in the next 2-4 years.

However, its got to be interesting to think what Lamar is leaving behind in L.A., where the stable is full, and Lamar would be probably the 4th option on the team. In all honesty, his role would be minimized, because there will also need to be flex-time for the gradual improvement of Andrew Bynum. I think we've all seen an unmotivated Odom in the past and the results have been very subpar, and I think Lamar recognizes this, he wants to be a lead dog now. He's learned how to do it playing under Phil and Kobe, and wants to shine some light on himself. Plus, if he plays well, he could probably get one more decent contract in 2013. If he stays in L.A., the money might come up a bit short.

The Lakers are in trouble if Odom doesn't sign with them. They will win the West, no doubt, but Boston, Cleveland, Orlando, and now maybe even Miami are going to be a problem for them in the Finals. Odom was the toughest low-post guy on their team, and now he could be back on the East coast. We'll see...



Mark Buehrle, You Are THE Man

Mark Buehrle, You Are THE Man

Ok, when Obama starts calling you from Air Force One to tell you congratulations...you've officially made it.

As stated in my last baseball post, I vowed to start paying more attention to the game, and right on time, I get a chance to see the 18th perfect game in MLB history. I tried to find an equivalent to a perfect game for basketball or football, but there’s nothing else that comes close to it. I’m sitting here looking at Mark Buehrle’s stats for the year, and he actually looks pretty solid. Then again, I haven’t actually seen him at length before today, so maybe Antone or The Rev can let me know how nice dude really is. One of the first ones to give him his props was President Obama, and since we all know he’s a true die-hard Sox fan, I got to admit that was pretty damn cool. Buehrle said his last no-hitter cost him some watches for everyone, and after Dewayne Wise saved his ass in the bottom of the ninth, it may cost him a new car. Hey, I think Franck Muller watches are fly too (J.E.E.Z.Y. from The Inspiration), but after a catch like that…yeah, I think a car will do the trick.

So I must say yes, in my re-dedication to baseball, I have been witness to this masterpiece, as well as Manny Ramirez showing the world that, once again, he can do no wrong. He gets hit by a pitch on the hand one day, and comes back and hits a grand slam the next. On top of that, he didn’t even go to batting practice! On top of THAT, his “it aint like I raped or killed nobody” attitude about the whole PED case is classic. I’m sorry, but that just makes me love the dude even more, because he keeps it 100. Ahh yes, here’s to more baseball…

Be easy.

-K. Masenda

The Four Point Play (The Saga Continues)

The Four Point Play (The Saga Continues)

ONE: Say It Ain't So – The Recent Ben Aura (Roethlisberger) Saga

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault, from an incident that stemmed last year. Ben Aura’s my dude, and I sincerely hope he didn’t do it. However, I’m not going to simply dismiss the woman’s claim that it could have happened. For folks who are saying she should have said something right then, it simply isn’t that easy to come out and say that, simply because she could get black-balled, and worse, no one would take it seriously. Times like these are when I’m glad I don’t have to get my hands dirty with this kind of stuff. We’ll just have to wait and see.

TWO: LeBron, You Should be Ashamed of Yourself – The Jam Heard ‘Round the World Saga

As Ed and other people have said, if The King had simply let this ride, and not try to hide the tape, this wouldn’t have been a big deal. Jordan Crawford can do nothing for the rest of his basketball life, but since Nike and The King made this bigger than it really was, he’ll become an Urban Legend, and he’ll forever be known as “the dude who boomed on LeBron.” Sucks it had to be that way, especially because it was a regular jam; it wasn’t “The Lister Blister,” or Pippen on Ewing, or even T-Mac on Shawn Bradley (now THAT WAS UGLY).

THREE: Just Let Him Play Already – The Michael Vick Saga

Anyone who follows this site knows how I feel about Vick getting another shot to play. It’s simple; re-instate the man, and let him play. I’m tired of hearing this “if he shows remorse” crap. What does that even mean??? He did his time, lost all of his money, so that’s more than enough remorse, in my opinion. Besides, lets not act like there aren’t teams who won’t pick dude up; they’re just waiting on the green light from Roger Goodell, and he’ll be on a team in no time.

AND ONE: All Hail Jesse Holley – The Cowboys Have Our Fourth Wide Receiver Saga

When this show first came on, I honestly thought it was a joke, but after watching it more and more, and seeing Holley do his thing and win 4th and Long, I truly believe he can make the Cowboys team as our fourth wide receiver. The only receivers that I’m absolutely sold on are Roy Williams and Patrick Crayton. Miles Austin can stretch the field, but he’s injury-prone. Sam Hurd is good, but he also has issues staying healthy. Stanback hasn’t had a chance to prove himself, because he can’t stay on the field either. It isn’t entirely unrealistic that Holley will make the team. The more I think about it, I don’t see how he can’t.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda

The Phoenix Sunsets

The Phoenix Sunsets

If you didn't read the ETSF twitter page yesterday then you all would have realized ya boy Ed is sick as hell. Yep, Kobe playoff scowl sick. While sitting there last night thinking I was about to die, I got to watch a whole lot of ESPN and I saw that Steve Nash got resigned for 2 years/$22M and will have him paid until age 38. This got me to scratching my head...

Ok, its time to go on record and say that whatever the plans were for the Suns, Steve Kerr and "the mgmt." have gone terribly wrong. They have traded away Joe Johnson for Boris Diaw, traded Shawn Marion for Shaq, then traded Shaq for Ben Wallace and Sasha Pavlovic (by the way, I'm going on record as saying I don't like any grown man named "Sasha" yep, I've made my decision. That goes for you Vujacic) and got rid of a top-tier coach in Mike D'Antoni for novice 1st-year coach Terry Porter, then you fire Porter to bring in retread coach Alvin Gentry? You've had like 3 first-round picks in the last 8 years because you couldn't afford to sign them? You have muddled around signing, trading, or just outright letting Amare Stoudemire go away like general managers treat Brett Favre. (I promise that is the last time #4's name will show up in an article until he has a jersey on)

Plus, you just signed your franchise player who's value is sinking by the second, to a deal that will pay him $11M per year. You have not groomed a replacement for him (trust that Leandro Barbosa ain't the replacement) and the player you drafted this year (Earl Clark, Louisville) is being most compared to Lamar Odom and Tim Thomas. Does that sound like a good thing? In other words, let me paraphrase the great Packers coach Vince Lombardi on this one...


I have no clue, but get used to the Suns picking in the lottery in 2010, I can guarantee that.


We'll Be Back (Bradford, McCoy, Tebow)

We'll Be Back (Bradford, McCoy, Tebow)

**Today's article is from Blitz Magazine's Justin Haley, thanks and enjoy!**

The 2008-09 NCAA Football season had as many twists and turns as a VH1 reality show gone bad.

One of the most intriguing stories comes from this off-season with the nation’s top three Heisman candidates all staying for another year at their respective schools. 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford from Oklahoma, 2007’s winner Tim Tebow from Florida and last but not least, the Texas Longhorn gun slinger Colt McCoy.

The battle for the Heisman was one of the closest races the NCAA has seen in years; all three candidates had great years. With projections of all three being NFL-bound, one could pose the question of, “Why did they stay?”

McCoy - Since the beginning of this season in October, McCoy stated he’d like to stay next year in Austin, Texas. Frankly out of all three, he may have the best chance at being the top NFL prospect due to his huge arm. NFL scouts love quarterbacks who can throw the long ball. Staying in college was the best fit for him to sharpen his accuracy and run through his progressions as a pocket passer in order to get to the next level. McCoy may also have a chip on his shoulder feeling as if he may have been slighted this year for the Heisman. McCoy also wants to get a shot at the BCS National Championship, a task that both his peers have conquered. Expect him to be hungry for next year.

Bradford - At 6’4” with a calm collectiveness and accuracy to put a football to a receiver’s breadbasket, Sam Bradford had NFL scouts drooling this season. Bradford played in a pro-style hurry up offense and read defenses easier than a Dr. Seuss book, which is why he could have been heralded as the number one draft pick. The Florida Gator defense exposed him in his final game. It made scouts wonder if he couldn’t handle the pressure without a good offensive line protecting Bradford. Honestly, his O-Line kept him off his back all year until the loss to the Gators. While Bradford has the Heisman hardware for this year, he’d rather have the crystal football. Expect him to want to end his career holding a National Championship.

Tebow - This man quite possibly could finish his NCAA career as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. He’s got all the heart in the world and the will to make anyone a believer, however, scouts believe that even with all his credentials, he’s the worst pick out of the three to become great in the next level. He doesn’t have the arm of McCoy, or the accuracy of Bradford but Tebow’s got intangibles. Who holds a press conference and promises to the world no one will play harder than himself and his team until the end of the season? Tebow. With his arm or legs, he can win any game he puts his heart, mind and soul into. Although he didn’t play in a pro-style setting, he has accuracy, mobility and size. Tebow should have left to play in the NFL to prove doubters wrong, however Florida is glad to have him back to defend their title. This year, he should prove everyone he can stay calm in the pocket and deliver so teams won’t shy away from Tebow come 2010.

All three of these quarterbacks have great potential to be special in the league. I believe their draft stock can’t drop significantly unless the unforeseeable happens. These three have solidified their slots in the NFL with their attributes and acclamations.

We’ll just have to settle for them on Saturdays, but be sure Sundays are right around the corner for all of these men.



What Would You Do?!? - To Jilt, Or Not To Jilt?

What Would You Do?!? - To Jilt, Or Not To Jilt?

**My man AverageBro is a regular reader and sometimes guest post's on ETSF, make sure you check out a legend in the blog game, thanks fam.**

With 8 years in the game, I can safely say that being married this long, while a wonderful accomplishment, is hardly a cake walk. You've gotta worry about someone other than yourself all the time. You have to compromise. You have to sacrifice. You have to swallow your words. When you get right down to it, all most husbands are left with is The Big Piece Of Chicken and (maybe) the remote control. And that's the truth, Ruth.

Again, I'm not complaining (I sure hope it doesn't sound like I am), cause I really, really enjoy being married. Having a wife who looks like mine helps. But I am always telling single guys to tread lightly before they walk down the aisle. Marriage is a permanent decision (think about it) with permanent repercussions (think about it) if you eff' it up and decide you want out. If you aren't 100% sure you're ready for the commitment then you probably aren't, and you probably shouldn't ask anyone to marry you.

That said, I don't know whether NBA player Richard Jefferson qualifies as a stand up guy, or a spineless douchebag.

It was supposed to be the best day of their lives.

Former New Jersey Nets star Richard Jefferson and onetime Nets dancer Kesha Ni'Cole Nichols were set to tie the knot at the Mandarin Oriental last Saturday, NYPost.com reports.

But in an unexpected turn of events, Jefferson bailed the night before their wedding.

The cold-footed fiancé ditched his stunning bride-to-be at such late notice that some guests had already shown up to the extravagant $2 million event that never took place.

Jefferson — who was traded to the San Antonio Spurs in June — dumped Nichols just before the weekend, according to sources.

Although Nichols, 29, immediately called her family and friends to alert them of the ill-timed news, the basketball pro waited much longer.

"He called about two hours before the wedding. It was nuts," said one Jefferson pal.

Although Jefferson never showed up to the hotel, he made sure to give his best friend his Black Amex credit card, with which the guests made good use of during the night.

A jilted Nichols, who was "not entirely caught off-guard," checked into the hotel and was upgraded to a suite on the 45th floor overlooking Central Park on what would have been her wedding night, according to a source at the hotel.

"She just wants to keep this as quiet as possible and move on," a Nichols family insider told FoxSports. "She's doing just fine."

Jefferson also denied reports that he spent $2 million on the wedding, telling Stern he spent about a quarter of that.

Jefferson also denied to the Post rumors that he is gay.

"I'm not gay," Jefferson said. "That couldn't be any further from the truth. I have nothing to hide."

I guess you could read this two ways. Leaving your girlfriend of 5 years at the altar, after having informed her via email that it wasn't gonna work out, then flying to Paris to celebrate your freedom is a real bum move. Seriously, couldn't the guy have at least called her and said the same thing? That's pretty crummy, RJ.

On the flipside, he clearly wasn't ready to be married, and despite how weaselly his method of informing the young lady was, at least he did it now. What's worse for the girl? Getting married and finding out this guy's still got groupies in every NBA city 6 months from now, or saving yourself the humiliation and attorney fees when it inevitably fails? I say it's better to pay for your mistakes now than later. It sure as hell is gonna save Jefferson lots of money longterm. Nichols? Uhhh, not so much.

It should be also noted that Jefferson has since agreed to give Nichols a "six figure settlement" for her inconvenience, and still considers her a friend. But it does raise a good question to pose to ya'll.

Question: What Would You Do? If you're not ready to be married, should you still go through with the wedding anyway? Is it ever right to jilt someone? Aside from the fact that Jefferson informed his bride via email, is he a stand up guy for not going through with a marriage if he wasn't ready?


NCAA Football 2010 - The End of My Free Time

NCAA Football 2010 - The End of My Free Time

Ever since I've been old enough to pee my pants, I feel like video games has been a major part of my life. However, I fondly remember the hold on my life that sports video games had on me, especially football games. I can remember the first time I laid my hands on the first Tecmo Bowl and saw the #34 JACKSON for the Raiders as he ran diagonal sprints from top to bottom across the football field. I can remember playing Joe Montana football and every time I threw a pick the word, "INTERCEPTION!" would flash across the screen. (along with the joystick at the television) I can remember playing Madden, Bill Walsh Football, Mutant League Football (A CLASSIC!), NFL Blitz, NFL Gameday (who remembers how unstoppable Barry Sanders and Jerome Bettis were?) and any other football game that came out in my lifetime.

Well, I'm a little older now, I'll be 26 in 12 days. I've stepped up my video gaming, got the PS3 on deck and stay consistent on my EA Sports library with the latest Madden, FIFA, Fight Night, Tiger Woods, etc. However, the craze of all video football gamers is the iconic game of NCAA Football. NCAA '10 has just launched and you wouldn't believe the text messages, sh*t talking, e-mails, phone conversations, and utter hate I receive when it comes to competing in this game. You see, this game gives you ultimate power, you can run the option, run and pass with college football's best, hit-stick a WR coming over the middle, and you can have the crowd chant whatever you want! Insanity at its finest.

Point being this, there's going to be a bit less free time in my life than usual. I will be up till about 2am in the next month playing the hell out of this game. I might even miss a post or two during the week. And it is totally acceptable for any of you to call me out and tell me how horrible of a person I am that I'm not writing. Hell, you can email me personally at ed@edthesportsfan.com if it makes you feel any better.

Guess what though? In another month, after I've mastered all the new-ness of NCAA '10, I'll have another game that will consume my life. Madden NFL 2010. You can ask about me on that game, I am a legend. Maybe one of the greatest players in Madden history. You can ask anyone from Langston University (stand up!), the entire state of Oklahoma (405, 918, and the 580 please stand up!) and anyone here in Cincinnati where I currently lay my head.

You wanna do something about it? We can battle. PS3 Gamertag - CoolBreeze5

Get at me!



The Rebirth of Baseball Fandom

The Rebirth of Baseball Fandom

**Quick note, before we get to Kenny's article both Kenny and I want to say thanks for all the good folks who signed up for the 2nd Annual ETSF Fantasy Football Challenge. Be on the lookout for prizes and giveaways coming soon. Big shout outs to @WTFMoments, @TDSellars, @KleanKutt, @mrconcepts, @blewis09, @BlkSportsOnline, and @aliltwitofthis on Twitter for signing on! Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled programming.**

Well, I’m sure it was bound to happen one of these days. There’s so much down-time between the end of basketball season and the start of training camp, that something has to be done, in order for me to enjoy some kind of sporting activity, and to make my watching Sportscenter actually be worth a damn. Come to find out, the MLB All-Star festivities happened right on-time, and after watching the events of the last couple of days, I came to a startling conclusion:

I’m starting to like baseball again.

At the moment, this game is in the bottom of the ninth inning, and the AL is up 4-3. For starters, I love the fact that the All-Star Game actually has some significance. The winner gets home-field advantage in the World Series, and while some people think the idea is stupid, I absolutely LOVE IT. It lets me know the ass-grabbing (pause) will be at a minimum, if not absent altogether, since they know so much is at stake.

The second is the Home Run Derby. My only knock on the derby is its too damn long, but besides that, I love the fact that the best home-run hitters are pretty much in it every year. Even during the time where I severely disliked baseball, I always dug the fact the best home-run hitters were always in the derby. I certainly can’t say the same happens in basketball, and we won’t even get on football. Another thing that’s happened is I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for Albert Pujols. Last night, he was being interviewed during the derby, and listening to him break-down the science of hitting (hand-positioning and foot-positioning were just a couple of ways) was pretty damn fascinating. It may seem kind of corny to say that, but I enjoy athletes who are not only great, but are true students of the game.

*well, the AL won the game 4-3; back to the blog*

Anyone who watches enough sports knows what I mean between a player being a student of the game and just being a good player. For example, I could listen to Peyton Manning talk about dissecting a defense all day long; he’s not only great, but his preparation is remarkable. Besides, as Charles Barkley once said, “just because someone can play, it doesn’t mean they know what the hell they’re doing.” Listening to Pujols on Monday truly made me become a fan of his, and realize why people hold this dude in such high regard (yes Ed; the love-fest worked, because they converted me, of all people).

I’ll never refer to baseball as “America’s Pastime” again, simply because I think football has surpassed baseball, by far. What I will do is start paying attention again, and it won’t just be in October. On top of that, the Rangers are actually worth a damn this year, and the ballpark is literally ten minutes away from my apartment, and now that I have plenty of free time on my hands, I’ll make sure to take in a game (it’ll be during $1 Dog Night, of course).

Be easy.

-K. Masenda

The 2009 Home Run Derby - Who's Gonna Win?

The 2009 Home Run Derby - Who's Gonna Win?

I'm just warning you all ahead of time, the lovefest that is about to happen in St. Louis tonight is going to make some of you queasy. And for good measure, as the league's preeminent force is about to take center stage this Monday night as the NL's 4 best sluggers and the AL's 4 reject sluggers duke it out for bragging rights in the 2009 Home Run Derby.

The National League boasts a quartet of hitters that are unquestionably about to do damage in Busch Stadium. The four hitters are all first baseman too, so all they know how to do is slug. Here is the lineup.

1B Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers - 22 HRs, 78 RBIs, .315 AVG
1B Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres - 24 HRs, 52 RBIs, .250 AVG
1B Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies - 22 HRs, 57 RBIs, .257 AVG
1B Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals - 32 HRs, 87 RBIs, .337 AVG

Now, lets check out the American League participants. Not nearly the names that you see from the NL, but some great hitters and boppers coming to participate.

OF Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers - 22 HRs, 53 RBIs, .263 AVG
OF Brandon Inge, Detroit Tigers - 21 HRs, 58 RBIs, .268 AVG
C Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins - 15 HRs, 49 RBIs, .373 AVG
1B Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays - 24 HRs, 58 RBIs, .228 AVG

In previous years, there have been some mammoth performances in the HR Derby and they've truly been a sight to see. Watching Josh Hamilton from the Rangers go off last year and hit 28 HRs in Round 1 was truly amazing. Even more so was the obvious (or for some of you, not so) fact that he used to be addicted to the crack cocaine. Cocaine is a helluva drug, and he came back to becoming the #1 overall pick everyone knew he could be. ESPN's been showing all of the previous HR Derby's and they've been phenomenal to watch. To watch Ken Griffey Jr. beat all the "steroid boys" aka Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, etc. and rock the backwards hat and the custom Nike's while launching bombs over the Green Monster in Fenway Park was amazing. Go watch Bonds in his skinny days back in '96, beat McGwire then. Truly amazing.

So here's my pick for tonight's contest, I'm letting it be known right now that I'm going with my boy Prince Fielder to win this competition. His daddy, Big Cecil tried to win it some years back but baby boy Prince got it for the Brew Crew. Of course, if Pujols knocks off about 25 in round 1 I'm changing my choice.



"Michael Michael Michael You My N*gga..." - By Ron Artest

"Michael Michael Michael You My N*gga..." - By Ron Artest

Its Friday, and I know you need something to laugh at considering all the sadness that's been going on around the world. So who better than to put a smile on your face (besides me) than my dude Ron Artest.

Yep, I said it. Ron Artest.

Check out his new cut called, "Michael Michael Michael" (You My N*gga)

Sigh. Yes its real.

Memorable Quotes from the song...

"I know a thug who would cry for you..."

"I hope you in heaven I hope to see you next year..."

"Even though I'm always strapped, I'm putting down my mac for Mike Jack, he so wavy!"



The MLB Baseball Awards At The Half

The MLB Baseball Awards At The Half

I must say that usually the summer is when the sports news usually slows down and we take the time to reflect. Not this season, between free agency, the draft, US Soccer, Lance Armstrong going for #8, and the death of Air McNair, the news has continually flowed in.

However, lets not forget that game that's played on the diamond. There are some exceptional stories happening in baseball, regardless of any steroid allegations or that dude named Bud Selig. Let's get into it.

National League MVP - Albert Pujols, Cardinals: He hit an absurd 14 HRs in June, and now Pujols sits at 31 HRs and 82 RBIs at the half. 60 HRs is a real possibility as the Cardinals battle for the NL Central title. His OPS (On-Base % + Slugging % for you novices)is near 1.200 overall (that's alot), By the way, and he stole 9 bases for good measure. At this point, he is the preeminent force in baseball today, and folks are going to realize, either you walk him or he's gonna beat you.

American League MVP - Torii Hunter, Angels: Sitting quietly in the suburbs of LA, Torii Hunter wants you to respect his gangsta. He's been saying it for years, "I can lead a team, and I am a great player." After signing him to a 5 year, $70M contract in 2008 the Angels wondered if he was really worth the investment. He is cashing in royally now, currently hitting a remarkable .305 average while bashing 17 HRs and 65 RBIs while stealing 13 bases. The Angels are in 1st place while dealing with injuries and new young players and a ton of thanks goes to Torii. Respect given sir.

National League Cy Young Award - Tim Lincecum, Giants: The MLB 2K9 coverboy has led up to his billing, and at this point he's probably the best pitcher in baseball. Averaging more than a strike per inning, he's got a low-2 ERA and 9 wins at the half. The San Francisco Giants are actually relevant again since the Bonds era. Dan Haren probably could win this award too, we'll see what happens.

American League Cy Young Award - Zack Grienke, Royals: Kansas City is just blessed to have this guy rolling, at one point Grienke was battling depression and thought that he might not ever pitch again. Now? He's the best pitcher in the American League. 10 wins and at a strikeout per inning clip will do that for a pitcher. Now if the Royals could only improve at every other DEPRESSED position on their team, then they might be on to something. Sorry about that Stank-O and any other Kansas City fans.

National League Breakout Player - Pablo Sandoval, Giants: Also known as "Kung Fu Panda" by Giants' fans, the 5'11", 245-pound corner infield has brought flexibility, power, and versatility to the Giants' lineup. Able to play first base, third base, and catcher, he helps out big time. Plus, he's sporting a .328 average with 13 HRs and 48 RBIs at the half. Keep it up Big Panda.

American League Breakout Player - Aaron Hill, Blue Jays: Who saw this coming? I surely didn't or I would've picked him on my fantasy baseball team...(By the way, if you are in my fantasy baseball league, I need to make some trades so holla at me)...Getting 20 HRs at the half from your second baseman is huge, and he brings his glove to the field as well. I foresee a golden glove sitting on his mantle by the time the season ends.

National League Rookie of the Year - Colby Rasmus, Cardinals: Hitting in front or behind Albert Pujols doesn't hurt, and Rasmus has begun to prove that he's worthy of handling such a role. The rookie has 10 HRs and 32 RBIs at the half and more playing time is sure to follow, plus he plays a mean center field.

American League Rookie of the Year - Ricky Romero, Blue Jays: If you haven't heard, the Jays are thinking of moving Roy Halladay, maybe the best pitcher in baseball. Why would they do that? I have no clue, but one reason might be Romero. He's been lights out since getting called up and has not disappointed yet. He's currently 6-3, with a 2.85 ERA and a recent pitching gem against the hated (or loved) New York Yankees, holding them to one run.

We all know that this is just the first half of the season, and as wild card races and pennant races start to tighten up, these players will be called upon to do great things. We'll see what happens as summer turns into fall.



The Legacy of Air McNair

The Legacy of Air McNair

Since the death of Steve McNair, I’ve had a number of conversations with people about his impact, his legacy, as well as the circumstances regarding his untimely demise. I have no desire to get into his personal business, whatsoever. Instead, this will be about someone who will be remembered as a legend for the Tennessee Titans football team, a legend on the HBCU circuit, as well as a great man of the community.

My first memory of Steve McNair was of him doing work for Alcorn State, back in the day. The fact that he was at a Black college wasn’t a factor at the time. I was 12 years old, and hadn’t developed the sense to know the difference between Colorado, Penn State, and Alcorn State. What I do remember most was seeing a dude running and throwing, and people saying the word “Heisman” when talking about him. Once I got older, I realized how big an impact Steve McNair had on the college scene, for small-school impact players, and for SWAC football. It took two running backs, from big-time Division I programs, with monster seasons, to beat him out for the Heisman. We can take a look at how players from smaller programs and smaller conferences are discriminated against every year, when it comes to the Heisman. Here’s a harsh fact: since 1994, the Heisman winners have all come from the Big Ten, Big Twelve, Pac-10, and the SEC. In my opinion, that’s not an accident. The last person to win the award, that wasn’t from one of those conferences, was Ty Detmer at BYU. I say all that to let people know what McNair accomplished at Alcorn State should not, and cannot, be taken for granted. If someone was to say we may never see another quarterback like Steve McNair come out of the HBCU circuit, I’m inclined to believe them. It’s not that they don’t exist, because I see plenty of them every Friday night during high school football season, and that’s just in Texas alone. It’s simply the fact they have the opportunity to go to bigger schools now, and the opportunity to play quarterback for those teams.

After college, he was drafted by the Oilers, and once they moved to Tennessee, made his mark as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He was definitely one of the toughest quarterbacks I have ever seen. On top of that, he repped his fraternity, Omega Psi Phi, to the fullest. If you’re a member of any of the Divine Nine family, you’ll understand my excitement. He’d score a TD, throw up the hooks, and even I, as a brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, would get excited right along with him. My boys and I would joke that Air McNair wouldn’t be able to do much of anything after football, because he took such a pounding. There were times he would just peel himself off the ground, get back in the huddle, and keep driving down a defense’s throat. No matter how hard he got it, he’d just keep on coming.

It was the same even when he went to Baltimore for his last two seasons. People talk about how good of a man he was, and how he always treated people with dignity and respect. I saw enough of him over the years to know he was a true teammate, and was never a “look-at-me” player, even if he had the credentials to do so. That’s how I choose to remember Steve McNair over anything…as someone who made his mark, someone whose feats and impact have not been duplicated, and as a stand-up guy.

-K. Masenda

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - oh, what a weekend

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - oh, what a weekend

To those unfamiliar with this post, it was a staple here on ETSF. Unsportsmanlike Conduct (12 men on the field) was a weekend recap of the 12 biggest news stories from the weekend. With the sports season slowing down we kinda did away with it, but this weekend is cause for bringing it back. So sit back, relax, and enjoy.

#1. Roger Federer breaks Andy Roddick's spirit and becomes Tennis' all-time champion in majors. - Quite an impressive feat when you think about it, at the age of 27 (this is supposed to be old in tennis by the way, something I never understood. In basketball, your prime is between 27-32...and in tennis your out of it? Weird...) Andy Roddick might've played the match of his life, and he probably beats 999 out of 1,000 of the top tennis players in the world, but he couldn't beat "The Fed" (arguably one of the greater nicknames out). How many more does he have in him?

#2. Manny's back! - Fans (including myself) are happy to see him gregariously having fun out there back on the field. The media (does this include me) are not happy with the adulation he's receiving (I disagree with this) and did you see him bust it down the line last night? Amazing. At the end of the day, folks want to be entertained, and the less we know about the players, sadly, the better.


#3. Rasheed verbals with the C's - Are the Celtics trying to create my favorite team in Beantown? Goodness gracious, you're telling me they could conceivably go Rondo, Allen, Pierce, Garnett, and 'Sheed? Add in K-Perk, and they've got some serious goons! This is like a Goon Squad All-America Squad! LOL...I mean, they had to make this move considering...

#4. Shaq to the Cavs - I know this happened earlier in the week, but as I've let some of you all know offline, I'm not the biggest fan of this move. Its just a visual thing, I have a hard time visualizing this working. When I heard Shaq to Phoenix, I truly believed they were championship bound. Last time I checked, the Suns didn't even make the playoffs. Maybe Cleveland felt like they had to make this moves considering...

#5. Vince to Orlando - Which is just a baffling and totally interesting move, because even though Vince was 20/5/5 last year and brings more athleticism to their lineup, they lost their best young player not named Dwight Howard (Courtney Lee) and their best playmaker in....

#6. The Michael Jordan of Turkey goes to Portland Toronto - Hedo going to the Blazers would've made Portland the OFFICIAL darkhorse in the West. (Anything before this year saying they were a darkhorse is absurd. They have one player who is irreplaceable and that's BRoy. They could use an upgrade at EVERY other position. Yes, that means you LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, and Travis Outlaw) Yet, Portland low-balled him and Hedo pulls a Carlos Boozer and bolts for Toronto. Sneaky move by the Raps, because this could help keep Chris Bosh in the T-Dot. However, all of these moves have now been overshadowed by those damn Lakers...

#7. Ron-Ron Hoodalizes ESPN and goes to the Lake Show - This is a punch to the gut for me, as I'm a HAYOOGE Ron-Ron fan. Been one since St. John's. Him and Kobe were meant to be rivals, and now they're on the same squad? Its like the Batman and the Joker joining forces. At this point, I'm just hoping that Ron forgets that its only practice and breaks Kobe's ribs like he did MJ back during his 2nd retirement.

#8. Add it all up , the elite get richer and the scrubs get poorer - Watch this year, the top teams are going to be really good, and the decent teams that made some moves are going to be even better...and the teams that sat back and did much of nothing, are going to STRUGGLE. Don't sleep on the moves that San Antonio, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, Golden State and Detroit are making as they all added decent cogs to teams that needed a player or two to go to the next level. Also teams like Phoenix, New Orleans, Philly, and Houston might be done as they are severely behind the eightball.

#9. Tiger Woods wins his own tournament - Ain't that cheating? LOL

#10. Albert Pujols is really, really good. - As the MLB All-Star voting comes to a close, take heed to the season that Pujols (leading vote getter for his hometown All-Star game in St. Louis next week) is having, his full season projections go something like this: 62 HRs, 159 RBIs, .336 avg, 20 SBs, 130 runs, and an OPS of 1.200! Dude's putting in major work, respect his gangsta.

#11. Ed got it in at Atlanta with frat and fam this weekend, Ken got it in at the Essence Festival in N'Awlins. The 4th was reaaaaaaaaal live. Ask us about it offline lol...

#12. Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Steve McNair found dead in Nashville - Truly a sad moment for all fans of sport, I still haven't totally come to grip this. (This might sound bad, but I felt way worse about McNair passing than I did Michael Jackson) I've always considered McNair a true legend, from the way he went about the game and the way he left it on the field. We all know his story coming from the backwoods of Mississippi, going to Alcorn State (HBCUs stand up), and pretty much putting the Oilers/Titans on his back. Making the Ravens' offense legitimate for the first time maybe ever. We already know all this. My boy Law made an interesting point, because the news is that Steve was with his "side-chick" and was in a crib and whip in which the property is in his name, and now he's found dead at the crib? Wait, Steve...you're married with 4 kids right? Law has only one thing to say: he would still be alive if he had been with his wife and kids that night. I couldn't agree more with that statement, so as much as I'm going to grieve the loss of #9, I'm also going to remember what good things I have in my life, and I'd encourage you to do the same.



It’s Time for Allen Iverson to Retire

It’s Time for Allen Iverson to Retire

I never thought a story like this would come from me, and for good reason. Allen Iverson has been my favorite player ever since the Georgetown days. Once he got drafted by Sixers in 1996, he instantly became my favorite player in the league, surpassing even The G.O.A.T. Even to this day, nothing has changed. I say all that, so you will see this is a story coming from a fan of Iverson, not someone who can’t stand the sight of him, or someone who is just a plain hater. This is coming from someone who wants him to leave the game with his dignity intact, while he’s still a very productive player, and someone who doesn’t want to see him reduced to a jersey-seller, a seat-filler, but with no chance of winning the championship. Simply put, I don’t want my favorite player of all-time to be reduced to a basketball version of the UniverSoul Circus.

When people look at Allen Iverson, they see someone who is a team-wrecker, a diva, and someone who doesn’t care about winning. People choose to forget he has carried teams on his back for years, and was dealt the short end of the deck in others. Last season was a nightmare in Detroit, as everyone who witnessed was aware of. He was reduced to coming off the bench, publicly complained about the role, and was then deactivated for the rest of the season with a back injury. Last season also marked the end of his contract, which now makes him a free agent. This is where things really get interesting.

There’s no denying that Allen Iverson can still be productive. He can go somewhere and get his starting job, minutes, shots, get 20 points a night, and remind people why he’s still one of the best players in basketball. However, it will be on a team who has no earthly chance in hell of winning a championship, and even I, as an Allen Iverson fan, will be the first to admit that. I hear teams like Charlotte and Memphis, and all I can do is laugh. Charlotte is on the verge of being a playoff team with a mix of young players, a couple of veterans, and with Larry Brown running the show. Sure, Iverson could go there, but what will that really accomplish? They’re going to make the playoffs whether he’s there or not, so that scenario is out. Memphis is a million years away from being a contender, so that move does nothing either. The only thing he can gain from going to those places is a nice payday, and he’s had plenty of those. The primary objective should be to win a championship, period.

The only team I can see him playing for, while being a productive player, and having a chance to win a championship, is the Boston Celtics. Even with that, it’s about a big a pipe dream as can be had, simply because (a) he wouldn’t start, (b) he would have to become a true role player, and (c) he won’t get big money from them. For something like this to happen, he would have to completely buy into what Boston is doing. Granted, I think he’s better than Ray Allen, but I know he’s not a better fit than Ray for Boston’s system, so there would be, and should be, no change in the starting line-up. When I ask people why he couldn’t be a Ginobili, why he couldn’t become the best sixth-man in basketball, and simply be instant offense off the bench, they say the pride factor will keep him from doing so.

No other real contender (San Antonio, LA Lakers, Cleveland, Orlando, Houston) needs him, so it’s either time to swallow some pride, or charge it to the game. He’s someone who knows he’s better than a lot of players at his position, but unlike those players, they know what their roles are, and there’s no extreme circumstance that will make them have to swallow their pride. With that said, if he chooses to retire now, not only will his legacy remain intact, he’ll be remembered as one of the best players of our generation. His fans, such as me, won’t be mad at him for it one bit. However, if he does choose to stick around for the payday, for the starting job, for the points, but with no realistic chance of winning a championship, that will be something that even I will no longer be able to defend.

-K. Masenda


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