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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

Mike Singletary Is A Football Coach

Mike Singletary Is A Football Coach

Let it be known that I cannot stand the San Francisco 49ers; never have, never will. As a Cowboys fan, it’s not genetically possible for me to like them, and for years, I’ve wished nothing but despair upon them. Now though, that hate has been quelled, and it’s all because of one man. A man that has come in, taken a team with decent talent, but with a losing mentality, and has instilled a sense of pride and self-respect. That man is none other than Mike Singletary.

It would be easy to say Singletary is a real man, since he’s Texas Made (Houston, STAND UP), but it’s deeper than that. For whatever reason, it took an eternity for the man to finally get an opportunity to be a head coach in the league, and once he did, he instantly showed people why he was long overdue. In his first game, he sent Vernon Davis to the locker room in the second half, and launched a memorable and inspirational tirade that immediately became an instant classic.

Now that right there is a real man; that’s a real football coach. He charged Davis up, challenged his manhood, and what has Davis done in response? He caught a touchdown in the next game, and Singletary was right there to show him love. On top of that, Singletary made him a team captain this season. He has finally started showing the potential everyone talked about when he was drafted, and I honestly don’t know if it would have ever happened, had Singletary not charged his ass up.

The man has a sense of discipline and knows how to motivate and empower his players. The Niners are off to a great start this season, and were one Brett Favre comeback away from being undefeated, but even in that, Singletary finds ways to keep his squad motivated. After the loss, he made sure his players kept their heads up (courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle):

"I don't want to see you looking at the floor! You didn't steal nothing! You didn't do anything wrong! We will see them again! In the playoffs! Hold your heads up! Don't you look down at the floor for nobody! You have nothing to be looking down at the floor about! Pick your heads up, put your shoulders back and let's rock!"

On top of that, I love the way he’s handling this whole Michael Crabtree foolishness. Anytime someone tries to bring it up, he shoots the nonsense down, and turns the focus back on his team. I’m honestly convinced that the day Crabtree decides to join the team, Singletary will break him down so bad, he’ll wish he was never born.

His team believes in him, and from what I’ve seen, the fans believe in the man as well. I never thought I would say this, but…I want the San Francisco 49ers to succeed. I honestly want them to win; of course, I’ll never, ever cheer for them, but I can’t hate them as long as Singletary is running the show. Earlier this season, I picked them to win the NFC West, and with this man calling the shots, it looks like they are well on their way.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda aka "Soul On Ice"

That is why Brett Favre is Brett Favre (Goosebump City)

That is why Brett Favre is Brett Favre (Goosebump City)

I must admit, Brett Favre will never be a trending topic on Ed The Sports Fan.

Not because I don't like Brett Favre, I don't hate the man. I hate the way the media gushes over #4 like he's Moses coming to part the waters with his right arm. (By the way, I'm not totally saying that he couldn't actually do this.) But when someone is talked about everyday for about 3 years straight and is not making an impact on what we call this game of football, that can get a bit irritating to say the least.

Which is why yesterday's classic versus San Francisco all the more amazing.

I feel like in my 20+ years of fanhood I've seen a lot of crazy things in my life, and I only can remember a few times when I actually got goosebumps watching something as great as what #4 pulled off yesterday.

- Pittsburgh vs. Atlanta, 1991 NLCS: Watching Atlanta's Sid Bream round third base (the slowest person on the face of this Earth) as then Pirates left fielder Barry Bonds threw home and Bream barely sliding under the tag. Goosebump city.

- Chicago vs. Indiana, 1998 Eastern Conference Finals: With Reggie Miller, I've had tons of goosebump moments (pause) but the best one was in the ECF's against Jordan and the Bulls. With a sprained ankle, one pushoff of Jordan (where you think Jordan got it from? LOL) and a turnaround three-pointer for the win....YES! Goosebump city.

- Texas vs. Oklahoma, 2001 Red River Shootout: Simply known as "The play that made Roy Williams known as Superman in the state of Oklahoma" as Texas was backed up into their own 3 yard line down 7-3. Chris Simms dropped back to pass as a cavalcade of Sooners defenders came on a blitz, all but one was picked up, my man Roy...as he leaps over the runningback and hits Simms, balls flutters and my main man Teddy Lehman catches it for the game-winning touchdown (all Texas hate mail can be sent to ed@edthesportsfan.com.)

Then there was yesterday...#4 drops back to pass, rolls right...sees nothing there, evades the oncoming defender and rolls back to the middle. Spots his fifth WR option Greg Lewis (just picked up as a free agent days before the season started) streaking across the back of the endzone fires a laserbeam to #17....oh, and Favre gets CRACKED at the end of the play. That's when the magic happens...

Big ups to Greg Lewis for making a phenomenal catch, and big ups to #4 for making me realize that sometimes all the BS is actually worth it.



The ETSF Roadtrip Diaries - The Shock The World Tour

The ETSF Roadtrip Diaries - The Shock The World Tour

Last July, an event was born that has changed my entire football-watching experience. I’ve always been a huge football fan, and would watch games at home, with friends at their place; you know things like that. However, something was laid before me that I couldn’t pass up; something that now has taken on a life of its own. It’s none other than The Shock the World Tour.

On the surface, it’s something that plenty of football fans already do, and may not even realize it. Some fans have season tickets for their teams, and go to every game, or damn near every single one. Other folks may pick a game here or there, and make sure to hit that one up. My version of The Shock the World Tour originally consisted of B-Lew and me going to one high school football game a week (when the playoffs started, the number increased), with the main event being the 2008 Big XII Championship. The XII was in Kansas City last year, in 21-degree weather, but even with the elements, there was tailgating, drank-sippin’, trash-talking, and everything that comes with the experience. There was even an interview that B-Lew did for the Kansas City-Star, while we were at the Big XII title game. Between high school and college football, we went to well over 20 games last year. There’s no need to even imagine the impact, because, this year, The Tour has spread all across the United States as Ed and his clan of goons in Cincinnati have kicked off their own Shock The World Tour posse. This year, the main event is Tampa for the ACC Championship, and the amount of money spent, along with food, drank, women, and all other shenanigans will be so high that it’ll be impossible for it all to be fully documented.

This weekend presents the biggest challenge yet. When this story is published, I will be on the highway, participating in Operation 939: TCU v. Clemson. 939 is the mileage from Denton, Texas to Clemson, South Carolina. This one is pretty simple. My older sister is TCU alumni/former cheerleader/season-ticket holder/rabid football fan, and got two tickets to Clemson for the game. There was no way I was about to pass up watching a game in Memorial Stadium and to see Clemson's phenomenal RB in CJ Spiller. She’s been to many road games, but never in a car. Of course, the catch is yours truly will be doing all the driving, while she’s sleeping, but I’ll take the trade-off any day.

So the questions today are simple: What’s the best road trip you’ve ever taken? Best live sporting event you've taken part of? LET US KNOW!

-K. Masenda

Leave Tony Romo Alone...

Leave Tony Romo Alone...

Yeah, I said it. Leave the man alone.

Now, its been made perfectly clear that if you've read this site enough times to know that Ed is not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, at all. The simple reason is that of overkill, as in growing up in Oklahoma and all of your friends being Dallas Cowboys fans, its gets real old.

You know what else gets old? Hearing folks complain and whine about #9 on Dallas. Tony Romo should be considered a God-send to all Cowboys fans, because lets be perfectly clear about who Tony Romo is and where he came from....

He was an undrafted QB out of Eastern Illinois, a Division 1-AA school, in 2003 and didn't play until the middle of the '06 season while he was a 3rd or 4th string backup behind the likes of former Cowboys' quarterbacks such as Chad Hutchinson, Quincy Carter, Drew Henson, 58-year old Vinny Testaverde. Finally, at halftime of that fateful game against the New York Giants, Tony Romo secured the starting gig for the world's most famous football franchise.

What I'm trying to say here is this, understand what you really have here at QB. You have a diamond in the rough, someone like Romo hardly ever slips through the cracks nowadays, with recruiting services, youtube, and 7-10 scouts per college team and pro team. So give blessings to the scout who pegged Romo as a sleeper, Coach Parcells for the courage to put him on the field, and to Sean Payton (former offensive coordinator of Dallas) for getting him ready to perform on the center stage. Remember Sean Payton wanted to trade for Romo once he secured the Saints job, he offered a 3rd rounder, Jerry Jones said he wouldn't take less than a 2nd. Smart move Jerry.

So when I see the ridicule (Tony Dorsett) hate (Emmitt Smith) and utter arrogance (Troy Aikman) from former Cowboys legends talk about #9, I need them to all fall back for a second. If I was a Cowboys fan, I'd pray for a much more competent coach than who he has now (Wade Phillips). Think about who Dorsett played for (Tom Landry) or who Smith and Aikman played for (Jimmy Johnson) and realize that Romo's going against the grain on this one. You should've never let Parcells go. I blame the supposed wunderkind offensive coordinator in Jason Garrett and his dream to stretch the field. I understand why you would want to do that and Romo's damned good at it, but I see Romo make more mistakes forcing balls to players who aren't open. He does it too much. This team's best strength are its backs out the backfield (how about some screens for Barber/Jones/Choice) and receivers who would work better running slants and drags, because their o-line can't hold up for longer than 2-3 seconds.

Plus, I'm sorry, but the Cowboys' defense isn't that great either. They got some athletes, but other than DeMarcus Ware, I don't fear anyone on that D. Terrence Newman is not a #1 corner, been saying it for years, yet you all won't get him any help. You aren't the Patriots either, so stop bringing in old and crusty linebackers (Zach Thomas, Keith Brooking) and get some playmakers (passed on Rey Maualuga) or something.

Let me say this too, Cowboys fans...stop using Terrell Owens as a scapegoat for previous' seasons failures. Just stop. Look, Tony Romo is a really good QB, but take a step back for a second. The 'Boys are 1-1. They lost to the '07 Super Bowl Champions by a field goal. The Cowboys are relevant because of Romo, let's be clear. I'm gonna say it again, you all should've never let Parcells go. So Romo is your guy, and honestly I'm not sure he'll ever be great, but he can make great plays from time to time and is a top 7 QB in this league. Quit expecting him to be the next Roger Staubach and just let him be Tony Romo, otherwise you will all be mad, upset, and carrying ulcers while looking at him throw another interception forcing the ball into triple coverage on that Green Mile of a flat screen TV in Texas Stadium.



The Darkhorse Candidates for a National Championship

The Darkhorse Candidates for a National Championship

Sometimes you've got to let things sort out a bit, and make a more rational decision. Trust me on this one.

You remember back in school, lets say college, and when you first got to college you saw the girls that had half their ass-ets hanging out and were real fair-skinned with long hair and you immediately thought, "Damn she is bad!" So did you and everyone else. After about a month, you realize that 2 or 3 of your boys had "relations" with the young girl, she's a chain smoker, seems like she's in college just to get out of her daddy's house, and generally is annoying. However, you also can remember that girl who always sat in the front of your English Lit 101 class and you noticed she was kinda cute, but she had on the glasses and kept to herself. Till that day you went to work out in the gym and she had the glasses off and was hitting the treadmill like a thoroughbred? That my friends is Mrs. Ed The Sports Fan...I mean, ummm...you realized she was a diamond in the rough, and a real candidate to be the #1 on your team!

Well, I say all of that to say this...it took 3 weeks to shake some of the contenders from the pretenders. We all thought that Florida, Texas, and Alabama would be major contenders to the throne, and with Oklahoma and USC taking early losses, doesn't mean they are out of it, but one thing's clear...courtesy of my boy Kenny...this thang has been busted wide open. Thus, I have 3 teams who when January comes around, could be that "diamond in the rough" for a national championship.

Miami Hurricanes - They are everyone's "sleeper" now that they've beaten #18 Florida State and #14 Georgia Tech in consecutive games, they are looking like the 'Canes of old. They have become the darlings of college football again, and deservedly so. With Jacory Harris looking like a young Bernie Kosar out there, magic can happen. They've got a great 1-2 punch at running back with Graig Cooper and Javarris James, plus the defense is looking real mean again...and mean as in, they probably would jab someone in their sleep if they could. That's the Miami I know, and coach Randy Shannon (with the thinnest moustache of all-time) is the glue. They've got 2 major tests coming up in #11 Virginia Tech and #10 Oklahoma. If they win those 2 games...smooth sailing for the 'Canes and the national championship.

LSU Tigers - This team has been creeping through the weeds this season, but let us not forget that they are only 2 years removed from a national championship in 2007. Last year's team was capable of winning another one, but they were severely weak at QB since the loss of Jamarcus Russell to the draft. However, watching LSU QB Jordan Jefferson, he seems to have a firm control of the offense and is finding people open whenever he wants. The run game is always solid (Charles Scott), receivers are nice (Brandon LaFell), and the defensive front four is loaded as always. The question here is the secondary, as they've sustained some heavy losses in recent years. If Chad Jones, who had 2 interceptions last week (and was the relief pitcher for the 2009 College World Series participant Tigers), can lead the way...Geaux Tigers could be in full effect for the crystal ball.

Cincinnnati Bearcats - Yes, you heard me, Cincinnati. There is a lot of talk around here in Ohio that the best team in the state does not reside in Columbus, and head ball coach Brian Kelly is starting a revitalization here in the Queen City. If you have not heard of WR/KR-PR Mardy Gilyard, then youtube him, like...right now. Do it. (waiting) Ok, now realize that ESPN's Todd McShay has UC QB Tony Pike as the 5th rated QB in the upcoming 2010 draft. With contributions coming from Jacob Ramsey in the running game and the defense had been fortified by standout linebacker Curtis Young (recorded 13 tackles last Saturday against Oregon State) recently sustained an injury to his knee and will be out 6 weeks. If UC can fill his shoes until he gets back, the Big East is theirs to lose.



The Agony of Defeat

The Agony of Defeat

I truly hate to lose.

There’s a reason why I always understand why some people don’t wanna shake hands, or talk much about it after they lose, but they still gotta make sure to be a good sport. They shake hands, give their competition their due, talk about it, and move on. Ever since I started competing, I’ve always done so with the intention to win. There were the spelling bees at Newton Rayzor Elementary (Denton, Texas STAND UP), basketball games in high school, intramural games in college, bowling, Connect Four, or anything else when there’s competition involved. I don’t know how to play “just to play.” In the words of Herman Edwards, “you play to win the game.” If someone doesn’t understand, or they play just for fun, then I won’t compete with them, because I simply don’t know what that means, or how to do it.

With that being said, week two of the ETSF Fantasy Challenge had the battle of Dallas, Texas vs. Cincinnati, Ohio as my team (You Can’t Whoop Me) square up against Ed’s team (The Sooner State Lions). In the end, Ed prevailed, and I took the L. Chris Johnson was the MVP for Ed this week, as Houston let him run wind sprints up and down the field as he gained 46 points this week. Dallas Clark had a huge effort last night, putting up 24 points from the TE position. My boy Steve Smith, Carolina version, tried...but 13 points couldn't cut it against Ed this week. Minimal points from Davone Bess, Heath Miller, and those MISSED FIELD GOALS from Jeff Reed were the nails in the proverbial coffin.

Typical of a man who’s never won anything, Ed sent me countless blackberry messages throughout the day of his dominance over my squad. (Here's one from Ed - "Just thought you should know Chris Johnson has more fantasy points than your whole team. What size shirt you wear? XL? Great.) Like Rasheed Wallace once said, even the sun shines on a dog’s ass sometimes, and Sunday was Ed’s day to bask in the glory. His team won, which means he won the bet, which means I’ll be wearing a Jacksonville Jaguars t-shirt and posing for a picture, as stated by our wager.

When you see Ed in the street, on Facebook, or on Twitter, make sure to tell him congratulations, buy him a shot, treat him to lunch or dinner, or whatever else you feel should be done in the honor of a man who has accomplished the biggest feat of his life. He found a way to make a way out of no way. After all the shortcomings over the years, he did the impossible, the unthinkable, the unreasonable, the unrealistic, the unimaginable, and the unfathomable: he came, he saw…he got lucky.

As you can see, I’m still working on that good sportsmanship thing.

Be easy.


-K. Masenda


Floyd Mayweather Needs To Fight Manny Pacquiao...Now.

Floyd Mayweather Needs To Fight Manny Pacquiao...Now.

Its been a busy couple of weeks for Ed recently, and I really have been perplexed in the recent chain of sporting events this past weekend.

Still one fact rings clearly through my head...

Floyd Mayweather might be the most dominant fighter I have ever witnessed in my life.

The way he dismantled Marquez, knocking him down in Round 3 (I think) and pummeling the Mexican was almost unsettling. It takes a lot of pride (and foolishness) to go thru 12 rounds of dismemberment the way Marquez did, especially since the man has already divulged that he drinks his own urine for his upcoming fights. So now your a piss-drinker and an embarrassed champ? That sucks...

So my point is this, Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather needs to happen. Pacquiao is scheduled to fight my favorite boxer, Miguel Cotto, next month. As much as I respect Cotto and think he is an awesome fighter, he might not be ready for the wrath and fury that Pacquiao's going to bring to that ring. So, seeing if Pacquiao beats Cotto...this has to be the next fight. No BS about money, or weight class, or anything else. Make it a 50/50 purse, fight in Vegas, and let me know if I have any shot at getting tickets.

Why? Because I'm going to do my best to potentially watch a fight of a lifetime. You should too. Lets go.



Clash of The Titans...Fantasy Football Edition

Clash of The Titans...Fantasy Football Edition

You have no idea the amount of collaboration that Kenny and I go through on a consistent basis to put some of the articles you read on ETSF. Truth be told, we probably wouldn't be where we are right now as a blog without Ken. That's real talk. However, let me make this perfectly clear, regardless of anything else that goes on from here on out, when we class on the fantasy football gridiron, I got 2 phrases for you...

"Hey Kenny, tell me how my @$ taste!"


"Yo Kenny, I'm really happy for you and everything, and I'm gonna let you finish, but Ed is truly one of the greatest fantasy football players of all time."

Ok, now that we got the trash talk out the way, I am fortunate enough to be matched up against Ken in our fantasy football league, "The ETSF Online Fantasy Football Challenge", as Ken's team "YOU CAN'T WHOOP ME" goes against my team "The Sooner State Lions." Here are the starting lineups as of Friday morning...

QB - Jay Cutler
RB - Fred Jackson
RB - Ahmad Bradshaw
WR - Larry Fitzgerald
WR - Steve Smith
WR - Davone Bess
TE - Heath Miller
K - Jeff Reed
DEF - Washington
Bench - Chris Chambers, Donovan McNabb (McRib), Martellus Bennett, Jonathan Stewart, Nate Washington, Kevin Boss

Goodness that's a monstrosity of a team. I mean, Cutler's throwing picks like Ryan Leaf did in San Diego, and although he has a good WR duo in Steve Smith and Larry Fitzgerald, he's leaning on two #2 running backs in his starting lineup.

Now let's check out Ed's lineup and see what he's working with.

QB - Philip Rivers
RB - Chris Johnson
RB - Clinton Portis
WR - Terrell Owens
WR - Devin Hester
WR - Derrick Mason
TE - Dallas Clark
K - Adam Vinatieri
DEF - Atlanta
Bench - Julius Jones, Mark Sanchez, Jerious Norwood, Issac Bruce, Ben Watson, Michael Bush

So with my squad, I definitely have strong players at QB, RB, and TE. However, can I really depend on T.O. Devin Hester, and Derrick Mason to consistently contribute for an entire season? I'm already thinking about trading them mofo's.

Ken and I have a wager on this game, we'll reveal it later on in the week. The question to you the reader is...WHO'S GONNA WIN? KEN OR ED?


What does Philip Rivers have to do to get some damn respect?

What does Philip Rivers have to do to get some damn respect?

Some call him arrogant, conceited, and a cry-baby. Others say he isn’t as good as the other two well-known, highly-publicized quarterbacks that were picked in the same draft as him, and for a moment there, I saw where they were coming from. However, two things happened that made me become a fan of Philip Rivers: him and Jay Cutler talkin’ crazy to each other during a Chargers home game a couple of years ago, and the 2008 divisional playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The San Diego Chargers were playing the Colts, the defending Super Bowl champs, and Rivers was having a field day, picking apart the Colts defense at will. He got injured on a pass to Darren Sproles in the second half, and as he was leaving the field, he got into an exchange with some Colts fans, and right there, I became a fan of the man. I’m not a fan of everyone who talks crazy, but if you can back it up, which is what he was doing, and has done ever since, I have no problem with it, whatsoever. The Chargers went on to win the game, and advance to the AFC Championship. Come to find out, the man was playing with a torn ACL, but still showed up, and did work.

Last year, he tied Drew Brees with 34 touchdown passes, while throwing only 11 picks, but once again, the disrespect was rampant; all of a sudden, not only was he not as good as Ben Aura (which I can understand totally), or Eli (which is absolutely ridiculous), but he wasn’t even the best in his freaking division, since folks were already crowning Cutler. I don’t wanna shit on Cutler to build up Rivers, so I won’t go that route. However, I’ll say the Broncos had a three-game lead in the division last year and only needed one game to clinch, but they couldn’t do so. The Chargers finished the season on a tear, caught the Broncos, smashed them in the deciding game, then went on to win their opening-round game against the Colts (again), before bowing out in the next round to the Steelers (the eventual champs).

There are some people who attribute his numbers to him playing in the AFC West, and for that, I understand where they’re coming from. The AFC West is God-awful, so that point is taken into consideration. There are others who say “well, he has the best running back in all of football.” Well hold on a second; let some people tell it, they say LT isn’t too tough, and just so happens to be hurt or injured during the latter part of the year, and if that’s the case, it would mean Rivers would have to pick up the slack, right? I mean, I’m just sayin; people can’t have it both ways. Eventually, people have to give the man his due.

In my opinion, he’s easily a top-ten quarterback, and if he gets the Chargers over the hump, and to the Super Bowl this season, I’ll vault him into the top-five. He’s a leader, he comes through in the late part of the season, and the man simply has no fear. Everything is in place for them to make it happen; guaranteed division title (about as guaranteed as can be), a team that realizes its days are numbered, and a star quarterback. Just wait and see.

Be easy.

-K. Masenda

Women Love Football Too

Women Love Football Too

Last week, we posted an article titled “Five Tips to Help Women Survive Football Season.” It was done to aid women who just don’t get, or understand, or just don’t like football season, and everything it encompasses. On the flip side, there’s a segment of women that truly love the gridiron, and the experience that comes with it. They know the game, understand the communal aspect, organize watch parties, wear jerseys, and will sit right up and debate the average football fan. In some cases, there are some ladies who know more about the game than some dudes who run around and masquerade as preaching the football gospel, and since we’re all about equal opportunity at Ed the Sports Fan, this piece here is all about women who love the game.

Believe me when I say this: there are more women who love football than we (men) have been led to believe. They’re not behind some glass-paneled, bullet-proof partition at your local museum either. They really do exist; from the time I started writing for ETSF, I’ve been fortunate enough to come across several of them, including The NFL Chick, Pigskinloving Lady (check out their new collaboration site called Gridiron Gals), and Lizz Robbins, who all have sites dedicated to football, and nothing but. On top of that, these women know their stuff!

It isn’t just limited to cyberspace, either. My older sister has been a TCU season-ticket holder for years, and a faithful traveler of the Horned Frogs. When kickoff is approaching, calls and texts come in from homegirls, blog buddies, and other female acquaintances, and it isn’t if me and my boys want lemon pepper or medium hot wings; it’s if we remembered to set our fantasy line-ups; there are some who are just as ready as men are to get to the stadium on game day, so we can tailgate, eat good, talk shit to the opposing teams’ fans, and just have fun. There are some who get utterly disgusted by hearing their phone ring, during any part of the game, just like men do. Yes indeed; there are women out there who are so into the game, that they don’t wanna be bothered by anyone, whatsoever...unless the person calling is watching the game (or another game that has implications) as well.

Also, there are women who have to deal with men who don’t understand their fascination with football. There could be a variety of reasons for this, but the ones that immediately come to mind are either (a) he likes the game too, but he’s intimidated by the fact that you know more than he does, or (b) he doesn’t like football, and if that’s the case, RUN IMMEDIATELY. It’s easier for a man to distance himself from a woman on game day if she doesn’t like football, but I can’t imagine (and don’t even wanna begin to) what a woman has to deal with when being with a dude who doesn’t understand or respect the fact that she’s into the game. All I can say about that is I hope your relationship, interaction, or whatever it is y’all call yourselves doing is strong, because if it ain't, run away from dude. The season’s too long to be dealing with someone who doesn’t get it. Just run, and run fast.

So for the women who love the game, such as the ones mentioned earlier, as well as Brittany, Channing, Ms.B with the Ph.D., Mrs. Fab, GelaTrish, Dawana (my partner-in-crime for Cowboys Training Camp), Susana, and the rest of the ladies who love the game and everything that comes with it, you’ve got a home with us at ETSF, and you’re always welcome to come to the crib, watch the games on the Hoshitoshi with us and the crew, and chop it up about all things football.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda

Reality Check - Its Gonna Be Okay

Reality Check - Its Gonna Be Okay

I thought it couldn't get any worse for me, my Heisman trophy winning QB was down for the count. The #1 TE in college football was out for the season. The loss to a non-BCS school would just fan the waves of hate on Oklahoma like never before. Then, I had to realize something...

Its going to be okay.

Its some people across these United States of America who are down and out right now. I'm looking at you Ohio State fan and Notre Dame fan. There's no lower point that where we are at now. I'm looking at you Oklahoma State fan. Because at the end of the day sometimes a win is still a loss and a loss is...well, a loss. I'm looking at you Cincinnati Bengals and Denver Broncos fan. Take one thing from all of this, and I promise it will be okay.

Its a long, tumultuous season. Pick up your face, dust yourself off, go cry in car when no one sees you, and get back at it.

There were a lot of big wins this weekend, but I believe the losses that were assessed were even bigger. On the college side there was no bigger set of 2 games I can remember in a long time as ND-Michigan and USC-Ohio State, and for the Irish where do you go from here? In the span of seven days you went from Claussen for Heisman and ND making a run for a national championship to being out the Top 25. Its going to be okay, take away the fact that Notre Dame's offense looks really good, and the defense is improving. You weren't going to go undefeated anyway, go play hard and get 8-9 victories and build for 2010.

Ohio State...well, I can't say the same for you. If anyone out there claims that this is a moral victory for the Buckeyes then you need to be shot. That was the most vulnerable USC team I've ever seen in about 7 years. It wasn't that USC wasn't good, they were very good, but they were very beatable on this day. The simple fact that Coach Jim Tressel coached not to lose, instead of coaching to win, makes it hard for me to believe that OSU can sustainably win big games. The Bucks defense looked phenomenal, it was unreal. However, Terrelle Pryor aka Chris Brown's taller twin brother couldn't make a play after the 1st quarter, and the offense as a whole looked lethargic. Again, its a long season, its going to be okay. Remember, you can still win the Big 10+1, so keep your sights in order.

As far as the pro game, after watching the Cincinnati vs. Denver game, I've come to the following conclusion...it might not be okay, and its a long season.



The Future of Mankind Rests On Ohio State...

The Future of Mankind Rests On Ohio State...

**Quick note - Today will be part 2 of a 2-part mini-series for "The Showdown At The 'Shoe" aka USC vs. Ohio State. Dr. Jeffrey A. Glenn aka "JAG" is an award-winning dentist here in the Cincinnati area who is also a world-renown (2-time) Ohio State Buckeye fan. Its now time for the Buckeye gospel. Thanks JAG!**

Well, I admit that this is an exaggeration, but, the people in Columbus and Buckeye fans around the country don’t feel that it’s a very big one. November 18th, 2006 was a glorious day for Big Ten Football. Its two most decorated programs, Ohio State and Michigan, were facing each other with undefeated records for the first time since 1973 and were ranked #1 and #2 in the country for the first time ever. Led by Senior quarterback Troy Smith, (who would fly to New York to pick up the Heisman in a month), the Buckeyes pulled out a thrilling 42-39 victory that lived up to all the enormous hype. There was actually talk of a rematch in the BCS national championship game but, in a close vote, it was determined that Florida would be the sacrificial lamb as the Buckeyes took their 2nd National Title in five years and Michigan would go out to Pasadena to smash USC and show that they were deserving of the title game after all.

Um, somebody forgot to give Florida and USC the script.

Rose Bowl: USC 32 Michigan 18

BCS Championship: Florida 41 Ohio State 14

Bowl Record for Big Ten: 2-5

How could a conference fall so far so fast? Since then, Ohio State made it back to another title game the following season only to get pummeled by LSU. In 2008, they were smoked by USC in Pasadena and lost its 3rd straight BCS Bowl Game to Texas. Michigan has fared much worse. Their opening day loss to Appalachian State is arguably the biggest upset in modern college football history and their 3-9 record of 2008 was inconceivable as recently as two years ago. The Big Ten has lost its swagger and is no longer mentioned with the Big 12 and SEC as powerhouse conferences.

Now the Buckeyes are looking at a shot at redemption right in the face. USC is coming to Columbus for a rematch this Saturday. Not only is it the most important game on Ohio State’s schedule, it’s the most important game for the entire Big Ten Conference. In addition to the fact that Ohio State desperately needs a win over a highly ranked program outside its conference, the game is of utmost importance because none of the excuses that the Buckeye faithful trot out apply in this case.

1. It’s hard for us to concentrate on the Bowl game because the Michigan game is such a gigantic struggle and emotionally draining experience. (This is the 2nd game of the season).

2. We always end up playing in warm weather places in enemy territory. We had to play LSU for the National Championship in New Orleans, for crying out loud. We would detonate any top team who had the audacity, the unmitigated gall to come to our house. (This game is in our house).

3. We had a quarterback controversy last year that fractured and distracted the team early in the season. (No controversy this year; Terrelle Pryor is firmly established not only as the QB, but the most talented and important player on the team).

4. Our top running back, Beanie Wells, was injured and didn’t play. (The current starting RB, Dan "Boom" Herron, and all other key players are healthy).

In other words, it’s put up or shut up time. Our excuses are our own. The other Big Ten schools need to put their animosity aside and root for the Buckeyes as if their beloved Nittany Lions, Wolverines or Badgers were putting on the pads to face the Trojans. Major economic repercussions are at stake. Due to its past reputation and huge fan base that’s willing to travel and pump megabucks into local economies, the Big Ten has had two teams in BCS Bowls every year since its inception. This is worth millions of dollars in revenue since the BCS Bowl payouts and TV exposure dwarf the other bowls and all Bowl revenue is pooled and shared equally by the eleven conference members. If Ohio State loses badly again, it will be tough to make the argument that we deserve to have two spots and it will be official that we’ve become a 2nd tier conference. Additionally, ABC shelled out $300 million for the rights to Big Ten football games and they didn’t do it because they wanted to show a bunch of unranked teams with regional appeal. If that happens, you best believe that they won’t pony up that kind of cash again.

In the day and age that we live in now, this has become much more than a collegiate football contest. It’s a battle to establish superiority in revenue and exposure to all the top high school players who are watching the biggest games and dream of playing in them. In the old days, the Big Ten and Pac-10 were considered the premier conferences and were contractually guaranteed a monopoly on college football’s marquee game, the Grandaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl. The BCS Championship game will be held in the Rose Bowl next January. Only this time, there are no guaranteed spots. The two teams will have to earn it and the loser of this game will most certainly not be there.


-Jeffrey A. Glenn aka "JAG"

The Showdown At The Shoe - Is USC The Real Big 10 Champs?

The Showdown At The Shoe - Is USC The Real Big 10 Champs?

**Quick note - Today will be part 1 of a 2-part mini-series for "The Showdown At The 'Shoe" aka USC vs. Ohio State. Phillip Barnett aka "I'm So Hideous" who is now contributing for the Bakersfield Californian, will bless us with the gospel that is USC football. Thanks P!**

First off I’d like to formally congratulate Ed and Kenny on a second consecutive Black Weblog Award for the Best Sports Blog. Good stuff.

I dread writing for readers who aren’t from California cautiously because for some reason, we Californians have been stuck with a stigma for lacking the logic to successfully debate about sports. Yes, I am a Lakers fan, but no, I’m not THAT Lakers fan. Yes, I’m a USC fan, but I’m not THAT USC fan. I don’t think Kobe was God’s Gift to basketball and I do think USC has ruined three straight years of GREAT football teams by losing to sub-par competition; but can I be real for a minute here? Thanks.

I’m trying not to do a lot of boasting about the excellence the Trojans have exuded for the past seven years nor am I trying to put down the fans of top ranked teams who will fall during the course of the season, because Rose Bowl wins have gotten old and mean nothing when the losses you have come against the likes of UCLA, Stanford, Oregon and Oregon State (x2) the last three years (hence my “I will not trash talk Oregon and Oklahoma fans until after USC wins the BCS Championship” Facebook status; sorry, Ed). But the thing is, USC has dominated the Big 10 conference since that 38-17 trashing of Iowa State in the 2002 Orange Bowl, and OSU isn’t going to be saying Rose Bowl wins are getting old until they win one (it’s been over a decade, 1997 anyone?).

Pete Carroll has spoiled us USC fans by scheduling and beating top ranked opponents, so at this point, Ohio State just looks like another tradition filled program who will, once again, fail trying to topple the Trojans. Look, I know it can be done (no need to remind me of VY10 38, USC 34), but looking at the scope of things, who else has a better record against the best in the country in the last seven years than the Trojans (13-3 against top 10 opponents since Pete Carroll took over)? A better question is why would the Big-10 conference start winning now?

2002: USC 38, Iowa 17

2003: USC 28, Michigan 14

2006: USC 32, Michigan 18

2007: USC 47, Illinois 17

2008: USC 35, Ohio State 3; USC 38; Penn State 24

Now I’m not ready to crown USC Big-10 champs just yet, because they do have to go into the ‘Shoe and take care of business. However, I don’t really see the outcome turning out much different from any of the other USC-Big Ten match ups we’ve seen.

Matt Barkley may not have much starting experience, and going to Columbus will be the biggest stage he’s ever performed on, but he’s the last thing USC fans are going to have to worry about considering he has what may be the best offensive line in the nation (five returning starters and tons, literally, of depth) and four other running backs after Joe McKnight those Buckeyes would love to have on their side.

Terrell Pryor should get all of the attention going into this game from the quarterback position, because he will definitely make or break OSU’s season. It’s unfortunate he’s going to have to be put in a position to where he’s going to have to make throws with only DeVier Poser and Dane Sanzenbacher out wide, who are well, less than explosive at the WR position and USC’s starting secondary features four starters, including the hard-hitting Taylor Mays.

Even with Cushing, Matthews and Maualuga gone, USC still has one of the fastest linebacker units in the nation with Michael Morgen, Malcolm Smith and Chris Gallipo, who will be out there just to make sure Pryor doesn’t get going early in the game.

Sure USC lost a lot of talent (11 drafted), but Ohio State did too (seven drafted), but Tressell hasn’t recruited talent like Carroll has, and I expect my Facebook status to read, “I will not trash talk Ohio State fans until after USC wins the BCS Championship” by sometime a little after 8p.m. PST.

-P. Barnett aka "I'm So Hideous"

Five Tips to Help Women Survive Football Season

Five Tips to Help Women Survive Football Season

At Ed the Sports Fan, we take immense pride in bringing you stories from a very unique and thought-provoking perspective. Some of them are good, while some are just plain out-there. There are others that are pure fantasy, and others that we feel will benefit you, the reader, as a whole. Today’s story will be just that: it will be something for all women to take in, and use as a tool to help you survive the next five months of your lives. Granted, there are some women who love football, so this is not written for them. This is for the women who may not understand a man’s fascination, love, affection, and bond with the game of football. One of my heroes, Dr. Cornel West, says “the benchmark of greatness is finding joy in loving and serving others.” With that said, it’s my honor and duty to present this to you. I’m doing this simply as a service to all women, and nothing more. I don’t want you to be mad once you realize that we’re gonna be unavailable for the next five months, unless there’s a crappy game on. Remember, it’s all out of love (and so we can watch the game in peace). Now...

#1. Adopt the “Cater to You” Philosophy - Once a woman finally realizes there’s no way she’s going to come between a man and football season, this approach becomes easier to embrace. I labeled this approach in honor of your girls, Destiny’s Child, so the words and the concept will sink in. There’s a part in the chorus that basically says, “I got your slippers/your dinner/your dessert, and so much more/anything you want, I want to cater to you.” Believe me, once football season is over (around early-February), a man will remember the times you catered to him, while we were in our sanctuary, and when you choose to have your Real Housewives of Atlanta Watch Party, or whatever show is “in” at that time, the favor will be returned, and we’ll be eager to do so.

#2. Learn to Respect the Communal Aspect of Football - Football is the one sport where all people can come together, and enjoy each other’s company, and be absolutely thrilled to do so. There can be a sanitation engineer, a waste collector, an office manager, CEO, bill collector, or whoever all in the same place, but when the game is on, it’s all good. For three hours, your occupation, past, present situation, or anything else means absolutely nothing. We’re all joined together for one reason: to enjoy the damn game. Baseball has too many lulls in a game for this to occur, and basketball’s too thugged-out for everyone to enjoy it. Other sports don’t compare either.

#3. Understand that People Alter Their Daily Schedules for Football Season - One of my boys altered his Friday work schedule, so he can participate in The Second-Annual Shock the World Tour this year. I, the very writer of this piece, am abandoning my usual 11 AM church service, and will start going to 8 AM church service, beginning this Sunday, so I can be back home in time for Sunday NFL Countdown, at 10 AM. I’ve gone to, maybe, two early services my entire life, so the fact this is occurring serves as a reminder of how crucial football season is. DVR isn’t the same, so don’t dare ask me to do such a thing, because it will never happen. Once again, it goes back to respecting the sanctity of the gridiron.

#4. Check your Facebook/Twitter Profile - Ladies, do yourselves a favor, and log-in to your Facebook or Twitter account tomorrow evening, around 6 PM (or 7 EST). I guarantee you will see a substantial amount of status messages that will solely pertain to the NFL starting up. I would ask you to just look at last week’s statuses, but they’ve changed so damn much that it would be a pretty tough task.

#5. Find Something To Do - Go to the mall and shop til you drop; go hang out with “mama and nem.” Read a book, learn a trade, do something, BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, do not disturb a man when the game is on. As I said earlier, football season has started, and it’s more than just a game. To reduce it to that is to trivialize it and spit in the faces of all of us who have awaited months upon months for this to start back up. Please, don’t fight it. You will only lose; instead, respect it, learn it, and who knows, you may even learn to love it.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Unsportsmanlike Conduct - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

On a special Tuesday edition of Unsportsmanlike Conduct, Ed The Sports Fan brings you the biggest names over the past weekend so that you can be thoroughly entertained like when you heard Shawne Merriman received a restraining order for suspected assault on his girlfriend Tila Tequila and you were mad not because he might've hit a woman, but mad that he was dating Tila Tequila. LMAO.

Down Goes Bradford
- Definitely the story of my weekend, I want to say thanks to all of my many friends who notified me to let me know of the shoulder sprain Bradford sustained against BYU, and to the untimely demise of Oklahoma in week 1 of the season. You guys are truly great, I love getting 37 text messages in a 30-minute period talking about "BOOMER SOONER...NOPE!" and "DOWN GOES BRADFORD, DOWN GOES BRADFORD!" and my personal favorite "YOU GOT BEAT BY SOME MORMONS!" Hey, stay classy Jonathan, thanks.

In all honesty, here's how I feel about Oklahoma right now. I'm salty, but if we were going to lose, better it be to a fast-rising, already ranked, potential top-10 finishing BYU team who we were (un)fortunate to lose to in week 1. We still got 12-13 games left, and the defense looked really good against the Cougars. Bradford's injury is not as serious as first believed (And please, lets kill all this talk about Sam's draft stock falling, its week 1! Let him at least recover 1st before we crucify his shoulder) and the schedule gives Landry Jones a chance to get in a groove before a big game against Jacory Harris and Miami (more on them in a minute). Give OU credit for playing very good teams in week 1, but in this instance, this is why many teams DON'T play tougher schedules, for what? To already be out of the championship picture? You know if you had a playoff...

They Are Back! Miami vs. Florida State = Instant Classic - Unless you actually are a student/alumni/fan of Florida State, I think everyone went to bed happy last night. Even FSU fans had to at least appreciate the big time effort of their team. Miami's 38-34 victory over the 'Noles reminded us why we loved/hated the 'Canes and the 'Noles. I just like shortening teams nicknames with apostrophes. Now, don't go crowning these two teams just yet, I watched that game and both teams still make some dumb mistakes, and still have some things to work on. (Can FSU run the ball? Can Miami pass block?) Jacory Harris and Christian Ponder let the world know that there were other up and coming elite QB's in the state besides that guy who wears #15 in Florida, and its a beautiful thang to see these two schools competing in a great game.

Shawne Merriman arrested & accused of choking his girlfriend Tila Tequila - WTF? Why is Shawne Merriman dating Tila Tequila? You can do better Shawne, trust me, you can do better. By the way, this photo is hilarious, just read the subject matter for the GGW magazine.

The Patriots trade 5-time Pro Bowler Richard Seymour to Oakland
- And folks wonder why the Patriots have sustained success...they have a perennial pro-bowler who's getting up in age in Seymour and they just flipped it to Oakland for a potential top-10 1st round pick in 2011. Seymour was only going to make $3.7 million (only? WTF am I saying) in '09 and would be looking for a big payday in a potentially uncapped 2010. The Patriots will replace Seymour, trust me on that one, and will have cap room to get another playmaker in their system soon enough.

A Quick Note about Weddings - If you're fortunate to attend or be in a wedding, make sure you enjoy those weddings in particular where there is an open bar. Just trust me on this one.

The 2009 Shock The World Tour - Coming to a High School Stadium Near You
- Kenny has been known to attend high school football games in Texas with regularity. I did as well when I was living in Oklahoma, however, now that I live in Ohio I haven't had the same type of gumption that Ken does. However, in 3 weeks that will all change as I will be attending the St. Xavier (where @JeremyKSmith is an alum) vs. the #3 ranked team in the nation Elder Panthers here in Cincinnati, check out Ken's most recent excursion to Longview, Texas with his patnas watching a game in the grass!

First One, Now Two Big Games featuring the Big 10 - Consider this judgement week for the powerhouses of the Big 10. Ohio State has glowing task of facing USC this Saturday in the 'Shoe, while the Notre Dame vs. Michigan game is lining up to be a good one as well. If the Big 10 wins these games, are they back? Also, be on the lookout for an upcoming double-feature from viewpoints from both USC and Ohio State...should be interesting.

We Are The People's Fan - There are a lot of conversations, thoughts, debates, and most notably, arguments that are sparked here at this website. That's something that Ken and I take pride in, the fact that at any given moment you feel the need to spew venom because of something you agree/disagree with from reading this site. What we are proud of more than anything is that everyone here respects what we do, and that is we try to be as original as possible. Period. We don't want to be ESPN, we don't want to be anyone else but ourselves. Because of the support of readers like yourself, we are proud to announce our selection as winners of the 2009 Best Black Sports Blog by the Black Weblog Awards Association! The Pop Bottles Tour will be cranked up soon, so get your popcorn ready!




September Is The Greatest Month Of The Year

September Is The Greatest Month Of The Year

**Ed's note - LaGarrette Blount mollywhopping the Boise State defensive lineman has me more juiced about college football than ever. Trust me when I say, yes Boise State might've won the game, but that Boise player lost the war. You get folded on national television like that, that's a lifetime achievement. ITS TIME FOR FOOTBALL BABY!!! -Ed.**

September is now upon us, which means only one thing: the beginning of college and pro football season. I’m a Facebook man myself, and everywhere I turned, there were reminders (status updates) of what was awaiting us. They ranged from the sentimental…

Kenny Masenda has tears in his eyes…

…to the motivational…

Rickie Frazier says any man watching RHOA tonight instead of football should return your manhood to the nearest sports bar, so it may be properly used. Thank you, and good day. If all the men in the house agree, can I get a boom shakalaka?

…to the direct and confrontational, as taken from a thread last night, in regards to someone who violated said direct Man Law:

My brothers, a man has stepped forth on my wall and has deemed himself an RHOA supporter. I’m so hurt a man would do such things. I say hang him by his toenails, ‘til he sings the fight song for every college team.

Yes, my friends. This time of the year is that real. I don’t need to do numbers-based research to prove my point. A majority of sports-related blogs I read are based around football and its vast and expansive greatness. Even when there is no football being played, we talk about it anyway. Now that it’s here, it’s gonna continue to dominate all forums of discussion. Even though college football started last night, it truly gets going with College Gameday on Saturday. For any fan, you have to tune in, so you can get your dose of Kirk Fowler, Lee Corso, and Kirk Herbstreit. No matter what you have to do, you must be in front of your TV on Saturday morning from 9 AM – 11 AM CST. For a God-fearing, church-going man like myself, I have taken the unprecedented steps (for me anyway) of going to 8 AM service on Sundays, as opposed to my usual 11 AM time, so I can be back home in time for Sunday NFL Countdown. Yes indeed, as I said before, it’s that real.

So for all my fellow football fans, its simple: play fantasy football and head to your nearest sports bar and get full on wings and drank. Invite the homeboys over to watch a game on the Hoshitoshi, or sit in your designated room at the house, with the surround sound cranked up, while tuning out everything else around you. Watch Lee Corso take a mascot’s head and place it over his head as he picks his winner for the Game of the Week, and revel in Joe Buck and Troy Aikman or Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth give us the play-by-play of our gridiron heroes. Whatever it takes to enjoy the beginning of the greatest time of the year, do so with the utmost pride and joy. For the ladies who love football, feel free to join in. We don’t discriminate. It’s all out of love; it’s all in the name of football.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda

Michael Jordan and The Bulls Got Off Easy...

Michael Jordan and The Bulls Got Off Easy...

There was an article written by Austin Burton of Dime last week where he wrote a story about Michael Jordan. More definitively, he wrote a story on how Michael Jordan was not definitively the greatest player of all-time. He did state that he is the best player in NBA history, but the margin isn't as widespread as fans will tell you. Yes, he's better than Magic, Bird, Kobe, etc. However, he's not THAT much greater than the 3. Its like Jordan being a 99 and Magic and Bird being 98's. Its an interesting article that is a great 15-minute read.

I preface this post with referencing that article to say this, in the competitive era of pro basketball for the last 30 years, Michael Jordan and the Bulls dynasty got off easy. Yeah, I said it. (Leon)

I truly believe after looking at basketball in the 1980's and the 2000's, that the level of great basketball players and great basketball teams were much stronger in those eras versus the 1990's. Let me make a cross-reference, the Bulls teams of the 90's remind me of Roy Jones Jr.'s dominance where he was pummeling any foe that was put in front of him, destroying cats at will. However, many pundits will say that Jones never really had any competition, and the competition finally caught up with him when he got old.

I think I could definitely say the same thing about the Bulls.

Lets look at the dynasties that basketball has had since 1980.

1980's: Lakers - 5 rings, Celtics - 3 rings, Pistons - 2 rings
1990's: Bulls - 6 rings, Rockets - 2 rings
2000's: Lakers - 4 rings, Spurs - 3 rings

Solo championships - 1983 Sixers, 1999 Spurs, 2004 Pistons, 2006 Heat, 2008 Celtics

Now, we all know the story of Jordan and his upward battle become the game's elite player and carry the Bulls to becoming an elite team, but I look back at what transpired before in the 1980's and after in the 2000's and I think Jordan missed some major bullets.

Think about the teams that were really good in the 1980's, of course you have the championship legacies of the Lakers, Celtics, and Pistons, however, the 1983 Sixers team (Mo Cheeks, Dr. J, Moses Malone, Andrew Toney, Darryl Dawkins, etc.) is still considered one of the greatest teams in NBA history. The Rockets were an awesome team in the 80's, (lost in the '81 & '86 finals to the Celtics) with Ralph Sampson and Hakeem Olajuwon forming the original twin towers. The Atlanta Hawks had a phenomenal team, with Dominique, Spud, Kevin Willis, Doc Rivers, and Co.

One thing I notice immediately is that all of the great teams in the 1980's had supremely strong frontcourts, and we noticed in the 1990's that Jordan and the Bulls definitely struggled with dominant frontcourts. In the 3 toughest series the Bulls had ('92 Knicks, '95 Magic, '98 Pacers) all of those teams had big frontlines and some really tough players. Fact: The '92 Knicks and the '98 Pacers are the only two teams in history to take the Jordan Bulls to 7 games. The Knicks had a ferocious frontcourt with Ewing leading the way, followed by Charles Oakley, Anthony Mason, and Xavier McDaniel. The Pacers had Rik Smits and the Davis boys, who lets be real, were super goons in the late 90's. The Magic team in '95 had Shaq and Ho Grant, and the Bulls couldn't do anything against them.

Now, we look at the Rockets dynasty of 1994-1996. How the hell does Chicago match up with them? First off, they have NO ANSWER for Hakeem Olajuwon (who is in his prime) at all whatsoever. Even if they had Rodman they wouldn't have had an answer. Plus, a young Robert Horry is matched on Pippen (lets remember that when Horry got to the league, folks were saying he was the next Pippen) and with his length (pause) he's gonna give Pip some problems. Of course, MJ destroys Vernon Maxwell, but doesn't that get equaled by Olajuwon? Also, MJ's not going in the lane like that against Olajuwon, so he's shooting more jumpers. Even if the Bulls beat the Rockets in the 1993-94 season, the 1994-1995 would've proved to be even more of a challenge with the addition of Clyde Drexler. Again, is it so definitive that the Bulls would've just ran through the Rockets?

Plus, the competition of other great teams were severely lacking in the 1990's. The Sonics were always good (and this was my favorite team growing up) but again, poor coaching and no real killer on the squad hurt their chances. The Jazz were always pretty good, but they got to the finals when the West got weak. Yeah I said it, plus I've always thought Karl Malone was seriously overrated, and when he got to the finals he got exposed as just a decent go-to guy. He wasn't a killer either. Realistically, the Bulls cost the '92 Knicks/Blazers a ring (could you just imagine a '92 NBA Finals with the Knicks and Blazers? Someone would've died), the '93 Suns a ring, the '98 Pacers a ring, and that's it. Because I can't sit here and say that I felt any of the other teams in the 90's were real threats for a title. San Antonio? Hell no. Cleveland? Hell no.

Moreover, if Jerry Krause would've done his job and kept MJ and the Bulls together for 2-3 more years, do they beat the '99 Spurs? The 2000-02 Lakers? MJ has to retire around that point, but Shaq and Kobe could've easily ushered them out the way just like Jordan ushered Magic and the Lakers out the way in '91. If the Bulls in '96 (72-win season) were stuck in the 2000's, I think they would struggle with a lot of the top frontcourts in basketball. The Lakers and Spurs dynasties of the 2000's would be a major headache for the Bulls, because they would have no defense for Shaq or Tim Duncan. Kobe, Tony Parker, and Ginobili would be headaches too.

I would even say that the coaches in the 80's (Riley, KC Jones, Chuck Daly, Billy Cunningham) and the 00's (Phil Jackson, Gregg Poppovich, Pat Riley, Larry Brown) were WAY BETTER than the 90's (after Phil who? Tomjanovich maybe, Jerry Sloan maybe, but George Karl? Rick Adelman? Paul Westphal? Puh-leease)

Michael Jordan is still the best player in NBA history. The Chicago Bulls rival the 60's Celtics as the most dominant dynasty in pro basketball. Yet, the 1980's and the 2000's were just better, period. February 17, 1963 was a good day for Jordan, the city of Chicago, and the NBA...because if he was born a year or two off-schedule, I'm not sure we have 6 rings and the Bulls dynasty.



They Were Who We Thought They Were

They Were Who We Thought They Were

I’ve had numerous conversations with Ed, B-Lew, and a few other homeboys of mine, and we all have different opinions on some of the running backs I’m about to go into detail about. The reason I’m picking these dudes is simple: one was the feature back last year for the first time; another will be the feature back for the first time, and the third is someone I just feel like highlighting. All three of them bring something different to the table, and for reasons we will all explore, I’m rarely surprised by what they do. As Denny Green once said, “they were who we thought they were.”

Marion Barber - Marion the Barbarian had a decent year in 2008, but it wasn’t anything close to what we saw, when he was backing up Julius Jones a couple of seasons ago. We know dude is a MAN. He can run around you or over you. I honestly don’t think the book is out on how to stop him, but I do think his drop in production was due to him being asked to start games, instead of coming in later, and pounding away on anyone attempting to bring him down. I can say this right now as a Cowboys fan: HE IS THE BEST RUNNING BACK ON THE TEAM, and if anyone else thinks otherwise, they’re out of their rabbit-ass mind. I love Felix just like the next Cowboys fan, but if you throw him out there to start a game, he won’t make it through half the season. Sorry, but it’s true. Tashard Choice is nice, but he’s the number three. My only hope is Barber goes back to running like the barbarian we know he is, because last season certainly won’t cut it, if the ‘Boys even wanna think about saying playoffs.

Maurice Jones-Drew - When I see Jones-Drew, I see the ultimate change-of-pace/situational back. With that being said, Ed came on this site, and said this man will go 1,000/1,000. Not only was that the most outlandish statement I’ve ever read, I haven’t seen proof that he can do what Ed has prophesized. I see someone who’s split time with one of the most underappreciated and dynamic running backs in our time, The Great Fred Taylor. What I also saw was his yards per carry decrease each season. For dude to get 1,000 yards receiving, he’s gonna need to catch at least 100 passes, if not more. I don’t know how 1,000 yards rushing is going to be easy, because he’ll have to carry the ball at least 15 times a game to do that. I’m just shocked, since he’s only done it once, and that was in his second year at UCLA, but like I said at the beginning, dude is a monster, and is definitely one of the most versatile players in the league, so I won’t put it past him; I’m just not ready to crown him yet.

Brandon Jacobs - I’m a Cowboy fan to the heart, but Brandon Jacobs is my dude. He’s definitely one of my favorite backs in the league, simply because when he gets the ball, great things happen. You don’t have to worry about third down much, because he’s gonna get you five yards a carry, as evidenced by the past two seasons. The Giants use him perfectly, and it also helps that there are other backs there as well, so they’ve never had to run him into the ground. Even though Derrick Ward went to the Bucs, Ahmad Bradshaw is more than capable of replacing him, and if he does, then it will only continue to help Jacobs and he’ll continue to be the monster we’re accustomed to seeing.


Be easy.

-K. Masenda


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Eddie is an experienced media professional, with past work as an on-screen talent, radio personality, podcast host and public speaker.


Eddie has nine years of experience, from his work with SLAM, SB Nation and Fox Sports and creating his own media company, The Sports Fan Journal.


Eddie is part blogger, columnist and journalist. He's written for Complex, SLAM, Fox Deportes, SB Nation and Yardbarker.

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