If there is one thing guys will always be romantic about, it is baseball. I’ll be the first to admit it’s difficult to really express emotions about real life stuff, like those you care about and your deepest passions. But when it comes to a bat, a ball, and some expensive hot dogs on a summer day, I’ll scream my thoughts from the nosebleeds to whoever is listening.
There’s a few particular days where those emotions run high. Any Game 7, Yankees vs Red Sox/Mets (or any rivalry game for other fans), certain player’s final game, and of course, Opening Day.
And in case you live under a rock, today is Opening Day. I know this Sandlot scene is about July 4th and baseball, but I still feel it captures the beauty of baseball and the awe we absorb when the game comes around.
With that said, there are a few matchups that I think fans should be looking at today if they want to watch some good baseball:
In wake of Barry Bonds missing out on the Hall of Fame for yet another season, I decided to put this piece together that I’ve been thinking about for a while.
Barry Bonds is arguably the most polarizing figure in the history of professional sports. His historic stats paired with his shameful steroid allegations make for heated arguments between baseball purists and analytical feens. With the exception of Brady/Belichick multiple cheating scandals and Pete Rose’s gambling problem, Bonds is the most notable disgrace to sports due to the magnitude of his records.
First let’s go over what Bonds HAS done, in case anyone forgot. The iconic numbers we are all familiar with are:
2,935 hits, 601 2B, 762 HR, 1996 RBI, 514 SB, 2558 BB, .298 BA, .444 OBP, .607 SLG, 1.051 OPS, and 688 intentional walks. If you want to really dive into all these stats and see where they all rank, head here:
Bonds played his final game in 2007 at the age of 42. That year he was an All-Star and also broke Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record. Milestones and accomplishments aside he was relatively productive that year, playing in 126 games while batting .276, hitting 28 home runs and bringing in 66 RBI. He also led the MLB in OBP at .480 as well in walks with 132.
He finished with crazy numbers, but if it wasn’t for a little backroom drama, he would have finished with even better ones. Bonds, and many others, believe there was heavy collusion after that 2007 season to not sign him to any team because he was such a toxic distraction anywhere he went. Not only was he a bad teammate (he needed four lockers to himself and didn’t talk to anyone), but his perjury and steroid investigation was becoming too much for any team to handle or be associated with. With his play slowly declining, his worth no longer outweighed the risk.
But, let’s say somebody had taken a chance on him, thrown him in a comfortable DH role in the American League, and he rode out 1 year contracts until he couldn’t do it anymore. We would probably have seen the first, and only, 800 home run career. He would continue to Gretzky his intentional walk record (second is Pujols and it is not even a little close). He is behind Aaron in RBI by 301, and while I’m not sure he would’ve caught up to that I think it would’ve been close.
My point is that like Tom Brady, there was really no end in sight for Bonds. He is already statistically one of the greatest player of all-time, but if baseball hadn’t turned a cold shoulder to him in 2007 then it would not even be a question.
Yet, he remains in the likes of players like Tony Womack, Eric Gagne, Jorge Posado, Fred McGriff, and the other 99% of professional players that never made it to the Hall of Fame. That’s the way it should be, in my opinion, for anyone who used steroids. You cheated, therefore your stats are simply not what they would be were you playing at everybody else’s level. It’s like when the 12 year old in Little League hit a growth spurt and was 6 ft 4 batting against little Timmy who didn’t reach puberty until sophomore year of high school. Like the 12 year old giant, Bonds and all the other players had an incredible STRENGTH advantage. Yes I get hitting a baseball is hard, but everybody else is playing the same exact game so don’t give me that argument.
I would like to raise the question of what if Barry Bonds never took steroids? Would he have been enshrined already in Cooperstown? Would he be locked into baseball immortality? I think yes.
I am basing that statement off this ESPN article which gives an in-depth timeline of Bonds’ steroid usage. In it, it suggests nothing started being fishy with him until 1998. Ironically, that is also the exact year you saw his stolen base numbers start to dip dramatically. People forget Bonds was a 40/40 player at one point, and even stole 52 bases one year. In 1997 he stole 37 bases, in 1998 he stole 28, and then in 1999 he stole 15. Every following year it went lower and lower. This drop off could certainly be attributed to old age, but I have a feeling that ESPN article and his decrease in speed is not a coincidence.
So, for the sake of argument, we are cutting Barry Bonds’ non-steroid career off after the 1997 season. That would put his statline after 12 seasons at the below:
374 HR, 1094 RBI, .288 BA, 417 SB, .406 OBP, and THREE MVP awards.
For reference, here are Hank Aaron’s numbers after 12 years:
398 HR, 1305 RBI, .319 BA, 149 SB, .375 OBP, and ONE MVP (He only won once)
Following the 1997 season, Bonds was 32. As stated above, he finished when he was 42. Let’s say the steroids not only let him hit the ball farther, but also gave him an extra year or two down the line in terms of career longevity. We will halt his steroid-less career at 40 then.
In order to predict his stats, I’ll take his annual career averages and add them onto 8 more seasons. Therefore:
HR: 31, RBI: 91, AVG: .288, OBP: .406, SB: I will not be counting because this is something that would decrease with age regardless of steroids, so I don’t think there’s a fair way for me to measure it.
Taking those averages and making 8 extra seasons out of those numbers, Bonds would finish with:
595 HR, 1822 RBI, .288 BA, .406 OBP and we’ll say one more MVP award, considering A-Rod was nasty and Griffey was dominating.
That would place Bonds in the TOP 10 in home runs. THE TOP 10! He would also be 21st on the RBI list, only 14 simple RBI behind Ken Griffey, Jr, who by the way received 99.32% of the Hall of Fame vote his first time around.
Bonds was a Hall of Fame caliber player his entire career, well before the steroids (again, presumably). He was headed to a first-ballot Hall of Fame ending, a member of Cooperstown forever. But, he got caught up with the wrong people, and probably got greedy.
Would he be considered the greatest home run hitter of all-time? No, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth would hold that honor still, the way it should be. Would our jaws be dropping at the sight of his 2001 stats? No, I doubt it. But would we be talking about how Barry Bonds, the man with the video game numbers, might be a forgotten member of the Mt. Rushmore of baseball? Nope.
Barry Bonds was going to be a Hall of Famer without steroids.
Bonds went big when he chose to do steroids. It was a time when nobody thought anything would happen. Everybody was doing it, so what’s one more. But a lot of other players did not have the incredible gifts Bonds was given, that he was already putting on display on a daily basis. Look at his numbers with Pittsburgh and you’ll see. So when Bonds decided to start juicing, it almost made him TOO good that it became suspicious. He was already miles ahead of the rest of the MLB, and this put him well out of reach. That’s why he hit 73 HR, knocked in 137 RBI, batted .328, and got on base over half the time. That is not supposed to happen.
That is also why I firmly believe Bonds should never touch the Hall of Fame. He had a talent level people can only dream about, but he tainted it. He got too hungry. He went too big. People could know his name now like they know somebody like Jim Thome or Albert Pujols. Respectable legends of the game. But instead they look at his name and they instantly think cheater.
I personally think what a shame it is that a Hall of Fame career was blown because his ego got in the way. Even though he is the “Home Run King”, he’ll be chasing Hank Aaron’s legacy for the rest of his life.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has a new show coming out on NBC called “The Titan Games”. Simply put, it’s a series of challenges that test these men and women physically as well as mentally as they try to knock off one of six other “titans” that they compete against throughout the show.
I have a feeling that when I watch roughly the first 14 seconds of this show I’m going to want to workout non-stop for the following 48 hours. There are going to be multiple contestants moving 80 feet tall steel beams with the same amount of struggle I exert to throw snow over my shoulder. I plan on feeling embarrassingly weak from the moment I turn this show on…and I love it.
Dwayne Johnson is in one of those annoying life situations where everything he touches now makes hundred of millions of dollars. It’s like, he doesn’t even need an original idea and these networks are jamming their annual profit miles deep into his pockets. And honestly, kudos to The Rock and his PR team for keeping him in the “absurdly strong and overwhelmingly vascular” club of actors and actresses after he dressed up as the Tooth Fairy for an entire movie. The fact that he now has a show about the strongest and toughest people in the world after pulling that stunt is truly something to marvel at.
Anyway, back to the show. The best way I can describe “The Titan Games” is it being the real-life version of the Salty Spitoon (RIP Stephen Hillenburg) with The Rock as the bouncer. If that doesn’t make you want to sit your out-of-shape ass down every Thursday starting January 3rd, then I honestly don’t know what will.
And what better time to start a show about people who have their shit together physically and mentally than January 3rd, a day into “The Resolutioners” prime time. Absolutely genius. People will be flocking to the gym like a bunch of drunk college kids surround the guy who brought Chick-Fil-A to the party. It’ll be madness, and guys in the demographic of 18-24 will be attempting tire flips through flaming hula hoops daily at their local New York Sports Club while the older men in their 40s reclaim their youth by attempting to bench press 225 again like they did during their high school football years. Even if you don’t work out, go to the gym the day after this show premieres because it’ll be an incredible sight.
There’s also supposed to be a lot of great storylines to follow throughout the series, so I hope this is one of those shows that sticks around for a while. I’ll definitely be tuning in next month.
Former Secretary of State under the George W. Bush Administration could be the next Browns head coach? When you’re as bad as Cleveland has been for the past decade, you really have to explore ALL options. Crazier things have certainly happened. I mean Magic Johnson has a Grammy and Kobe has an Oscar. Apply for the job you want, not the one you’re qualified for.
Unfortunately, there is absolutely no truth to the rumors. The Browns have denied it, and Rice turned down the job almost immediately.
This would certainly be an unprecedented moment in NFL and US history. It might rival Trump becoming President, which whether you are a Democrat or Republican have to acknowledge is a wild concept. It’s like if JJ Watt became the next Crocodile Hunter (RIP Steve Irwin). It would just be a head-scratcher. Although, Watt versus the crocs of Australia would be must-watch television. That’s a free idea, Animal Planet. Run with it.
I know this wasn’t something the team actually tried to do, but to be honest I believed for a second it was happening. They have officially entered the “Fuck it” zone and any rumor I hear about them is credible. If you told me the front office hired my Operations Management professor as a special advisor to try to streamline the offensive efficiency, I’d buy it. If I heard Denzel Washington got a phone call about the being next head coach, I’d head to Google to see if he took the job.
The Browns overall just need to stop trying to be a successful franchise. The NFL is a lot more fun with them as the “bad team”. When the Seahawks clock in for a qualified stinker, at least I can fall back on the fact that Hue Jackson was 3-36-1. Somebody needs to set the low-bar, and life is better/funnier when it’s the Browns. It’s like, I know I’m a really bad cook, but when I hear that some people my age don’t know how to boil water, it makes me think maybe I should submit for some open chef jobs. The Browns being historically atrocious keeps things in the status quo. Please, never change.
The Giants have started this year worse than anticipated, and their dreadful past two seasons were highly unexpected. I remember at the beginning of the 2017 campaign, they were placed at #2 overall in Bleacher Report’s NFL Power Rankings. Later that same year, they had the #2 overall pick in the draft.
Most of it can be blamed on Ben McAdoo, who was a dumpster fire of a football coach. I could probably have thrown my mom out there on the sidelines and she could’ve won 4 or 5 games. And she still asks me every year when the Seahawks are going to be in the Super Bowl. They’re not Mom, let it go and let’s move on.
The other percentage of failure can be blamed on injuries, the offensive line, defensive inefficiencies, and of course, Eli Manning.
I have really never seen anybody personify the quote “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become a villain” more than Eli Manning. I mean, this guy was a king. He was the face of the NY Giants. Manning beat the greatest quarterback of all-time TWICE in the Superbowl in miraculous, comeback fashion. He had an MVP caliber season in 2015 and was/is on his way to being a Hall of Famer.
But in Week 13 of 2017, McAdoo benched the Giants’ legend, and it caused an uproar throughout the league…especially in New York. Fans were absolutely outraged and horrified that anybody could blame Manning for the Giants atrocity of a season.
One year later though, it looks like McAdoo was just ahead of the curve.
He had the guts to bench a guy that was underperforming and didn’t work for his offense, much like Shumur did with Erik Flowers earlier this year. Problem was, nobody gives two shits about Flowers. But people care about Eli Manning, and McAdoo’s choice got him fired (and so did being a really bad football coach, don’t forget that). Giants fans defended Eli, got him his job back, and preached that he was capable of leading them to the Promised Land one more time with the right pieces. The front office listened to them.
Now here they are one year later, sitting at 1-7 with Saquon Barkley in the backfield instead of having Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, or Josh Rosen under center. Giants fans are screaming at the organization and at Eli for screwing their season up, but I think they have to put some of the blame on themselves. I find it wild that Giants fans were in agony at the fact that Eli was benched last year, and those same fans are calling for him to be benched this year. Yes, there are some different situations now, but what has really changed about Eli?
You have to imagine that the front office is confused. When the season was ending last year, the fanbase was saying “How could you do that to Eli? He still has talent, this isn’t his fault. He’s our guy”. Then they’re like “Okay, sure, let’s take Barkley then”. Then the Giant fans are like “Wooaahhh, wait, Eli’s not good anymore. We need a quarterback for the future”.
It’s like when a girl says she’s fine. She’s not fine, and she wants a franchise quarterback. Don’t listen to her.
To all those people who wanted the quarterback of the future, I say that you had your chance to move on. But when that Week 13 benching came, everyone was stuck in the past and didn’t want to accept the fact that maybe their hero had overstayed his welcome.
It is time for a new quarterback in New York. Manning isn’t the right guy anymore, but I’d be extremely shocked if you saw somebody else under center this year. The Giants are losing a lot right now, but one thing they can’t afford to lose is their loyal fans who still want to see Eli ride off into the sunset like so many other New York legends have done.
Definitely a tough week for CP3. Not many times are you going to get another man’s sweaty saliva catapulted all over your face mid-professional basketball game, then get hit with another bombshell that most of the people you’ve played with for 14 seasons don’t actually like you. This is the type of “Bad Day” Daniel Powter was talking about (that’s a 2005 reference, if you don’t know what song I’m talking about you are too old for this blog).
But Glenn Davis’ comments actually got me thinking. Whether or not Paul is a bad teammate, I think it’s interesting to note who really is. So I made a compilation of some of the worst teammates in sports history. Bleacher Report did an article similar to this in 2010, and I actually had the idea to do this before I saw the article, but I’m not trying to get called out or anything. Plus, I think there have been a surplus of bad teammates in the past eight years that aren’t on their list.
It’s also important to note that I don’t think somebody is a “bad” teammate for being cocky/lazy when they’re the star (ie: TO, Randy Moss, Allen Iverson). Being a stud athlete is a way of life, and sometimes passion/arrogance gets the best of people. If it doesn’t affect the play, I don’t classify it as being any worse than what these guys below do. I don’t agree with it, but it’s hard to classify them as being “bad”. Odell, Steve Smith, and a lot of other players get caught up in the center of drama because the media loves to play off them, but a lot of guys in the locker room respect the passion, and that’s what it is all about. I also don’t consider Le’Veon Bell or Aaron Donald bad teammates for holdouts. They’re trying to get their generational wealth and be paid like they are supposed to, I don’t blame them. If you were working at a job that wasn’t paying your worth, you’d be mad too. I just wish I didn’t trade for Bell in fantasy.
Enough explaining, here’s the list:
Delonte West: If you don’t know this story, read a book. Delonte West is notorious for sleeping with LeBron James’ mom. That is a line that you do not cross. Rumors of the “happening” rose around in the first round of the playoffs, and led to the Cavs being knocked out immediately. LBJ shot .340 from the field in the last three games, and I don’t have game clip from the series, but I’d be shocked if LeBron even passed the ball once to West that entire series. Not to mention, West was in trouble with the law for gun possession.
Manny Ramirez: It really pains me to put him on this list because the excuse “It’s just Manny being Manny” is a solid one and my absolute favorite line ever (see This Is Sportscenter commercial below). But when you need to get forcefully traded from the team that you helped end their 84-year championship drought because your teammates hate you, I think that’s a lock for the bad teammate list.
Plaxico Burress: When Plaxico Cheddar Bob’d himself in 2008, it was pretty much the beginning of the end. He had his teammate lie and try to cover up the situation. According to Bleacher Report, he also got fined over FIFTY times in four seasons. C’mon man.
Gilbert Arenas: I mean, pulling a gun on your teammate in your locker room isn’t going to be great for bonding. As Girardi would say, “It’s not what you want”. And please, we can never forget this video of him basically breaking and entering into Nick Young’s house while he was going through a breakup.
Tonya Harding: The knee and the hammer thing. Duh.
Carmelo Anthony: He might be one of the few people in the history of life to make cornrows look iconic. Regardless, once his play declined, his attitude no longer became worth it. He doesn’t even bother trying on defense and takes every shot on offense. Anthony won’t even consider coming off the bench this year. That’s a spot-on “Me Guy” thought, and is the main reason why the Rockets cannot possibly win this year.
Richie Incognito: This was one of those events that Sportscenter kept covering a few years ago that I simply could not follow. It’s not that the Miami Dolphins aren’t an exciting team to follow, it’s just that they aren’t an exciting team to follow. Granted the situation, it’s something I should have paid more attention to because this guy is an absolute prick, and that’s a relatively nice adjective for him. He verbally abused his teammate Jonathon Martin by threatening to hurt his mom and gave him death threats. There needs to be another list for this guy to describe how truly bad he is.
Dwight Howard: This guy used to be the answer to every team’s question. Remember the “Superman” dunk? He was the shining star of the NBA after that. Although, he 100% peaked there, and the fame got to his head. He thought he was a megastar and turned into a cancer in every locker room he went to. Howard couldn’t mesh well with anyone, and became the game’s most talented journeyman.
Carlos Zambrano: He punched his catcher mid-game, screamed at his teammates, and basically gave up on in baseball in the middle of one game. Maybe this is where Vontae Davis got his retirement idea from. Apparently, Zambrano has matured since he has left baseball, which is good to hear.
Sammy Sosa: Back-to-back Cubs here, sorry Chicago. Not only did Sammy cork his bat, but he did a lot of steroids. He was also described as a major cancer by his teams.
Barry Bonds: There’s a long list of why this guy is a shitty teammate, but I don’t even want to talk about them. You really didn’t want to be in our childhood video games, Barry? We had to play with Reggie Stocker and Jon Dowd. That’s how you want to be remembered? The greatest home run in baseball history (*) is named Jon Dowd, per MVP 2005. Absolute disgrace, and Bonds should be left out of the Hall of Fame for that reason alone. If he makes it in, I hope somebody spraypaints Jon Dowd across his plate.
Jimmy Butler: This is confusing to me. While I think Butler strongly compares to the likes of TO, Randy Moss, etc in terms of that cockiness, there is something different about Butler. He is a shitty teammate because he wants to win so bad, which is kind of like Catch-22 (again, read a book). If he can grow up one day and learn how to be a leader, he can get himself off this list.
JaMarcus Russell: Like I said above, cocky or lazy can be backed up with good play. Problem with JaMarcus Russell is he wasn’t good, so that hurts that theory. No problem though, he can throw a football 80 yards from his knees.
Jeff Kent: To be honest, when I started doing research for this blog, I did not think I would come across former second baseman Jeff Kent. Apparently, this guy was a total scum. He didn’t talk to anyone, and when he did, it was to big-league them. Literally not a single person he ever played with like him. A ripe 0.00%. Kudos to Kent, that’s tough to pull off.
Kawhi Leonard: One thing that is a lock to get you on this list is being sketchy, and that’s exactly what Kawhi has been for the past year or so. Not playing all last year even though he got cleared by certain doctors, requesting a trade, having rumors be spread he will NOT stay in Toronto, then saying he’s gonna play in Toronto year…maybe. Plus this laugh…THIS LAUGH. I Do Not Trust Him.
I definitely missed a few people, so comment anyone else that you think has been a trash teammate over the years.
The Yankees were eliminated from the 2018 ALDS this past week, and wrapped up a season that was filled with records, yet overloaded with disappointment. It ended the way it should’ve, with a too-little-too-late rally coming up short, an impressive lack of hitting with runners in scoring position, bad starting pitching, strikeouts, and horrible, horrible managing from Aaron Boone. Every flaw the Yankees were worried about coming into the season absolutely came back to bite them in the ass. Regardless, the Red Sox were clearly the better team, or at least were able to perform like it, and they move on while the Yankees can start to work on their offseason golf hacks.
The worst person about the end of every season is the overreactions. Yankee fans immediately jump to “When is Cashman gonna fire Boone?”, “Why didn’t we get deGrom at the deadline?”, “We need to sign Harper and Machado this offseason”, and the worst one “Giancarlo Stanton needs to be traded”.
People who want to trade Giancarlo Stanton after a year of 38 HR and 100 RBI are the same type of people who watched the video of Kobe jumping over a car, tried to do it themselves, then miserably failed and had to go to the hospital because they broke their foot. They think that just because some people hit home runs and bat .300 that everybody should. They think that just because Aaron Judge got on base the at bat before, Giancarlo Stanton needs to as well. They think that just because Kobe jumped over a car, they can too. It doesn’t work like that, and it never will. No two players are the same, and you definitely can’t jump over that BMW.
And to be fair, I don’t want to defend Giancarlo too much either. He was not effective this postseason, and does strike out a hefty amount. His best game in the series came in the blowout loss when he hit the ball hard three times. He struck out on three pitches TWICE in massive, game-deciding situations. He wasn’t good, but don’t even act like when he stepped up to the plate every time you didn’t have a feeling he was going to hit a ball all the way to Moron Mountain (Space Jam reference for you uncultured folks out there).
You don’t give away a guy like that. Last year, he was a player who anybody in baseball would have been blessed to have on their team (as a player, ignoring contract issues). He is a guy who instantly makes your lineup more dangerous simply by writing his damn name on the lineup card. People don’t think about it, and maybe it’s because the Yankees never had a consistent #3 hitter and Judge was hurt for 2 months so the results weren’t as clear, but those top of the lineup guys are going to see MUCH more strikes with Giancarlo in that 4 spot over Andujar, Bird, Didi, Hicks or whoever else was going to bat there at the beginning of the season without him. Point at his final numbers all you want, which still are better than most of the players in the league, but his name alone makes him an asset. You cannot deny that.
The worst part is…the same people who are yelling to trade Stanton are probably the same ones who criticized the Marlins for trading him. They’re like a bunch of people who eat Milky Ways instead of Snickers…never satisfied (ha). No, I don’t think the Yankees needed him to be successful this year. Perhaps they could have waited and gotten Yelich, who likely would have been a better fit for the lineup. But he fell in their lap, and Cashman did what anybody would have done.
Let me put this into a simpler perspective as to why he should not be traded:
-The Red Sox recently offered Mookie Betts a HEFTY extension that he turned down. They did this because they see his potential. He is 26 years old (as of October 7) and on his way to his first MVP.
-When Giancarlo Stanton won the 2017 NL MVP, he was 27 years old (one year older than Betts for those of us without a calculator nearby).
-BUT, if next year Betts hits, oh I don’t know, 38 HR, has 100 RBI, and bats .266 in his age 26 campaign, should the Red Sox then trade him? Were they stupid to offer him a massive contract extension? NO!
If you didn’t get the analogy, I’m basically saying that the only difference (in terms of player impact) between trading Stanton this year and trading Betts next year (if he runs into a bad campaign) is the age difference of two years. Players have down years, it happens. Pitchers adjust, or they throw them less pitches to hit. You cannot be blind to the other ways a player impacts a roster besides general stats, and if you give up on an MVP-caliber player after ONE SEASON, you are an irrational, uneducated thinker. The Yankees have TWO franchise players nearing/in their prime, with a heavy youth movement on the way. Stanton will come around, and the argument that he should be traded is absolutely absurd.
Creed II is the movie you didn’t know you needed until it was announced last week. The long-awaited sequel for Creed, the Rocky series spin-off film from 2015, is set to be released on November 21 of this year. Here’s the trailer:
If you found yourself intensely shadow boxing while watching this, you’re with the rest of the world. When I finished watching Creed for the first time, my immediate thought was this has to be up there with the best of the Rocky movies, and competes with Rocky IV for the top spot.
Then…Warner Bros. pulled a Family Feud-Steve Harvey on us and said “GIVE ME CREED. GIVE ME ROCKY IV” and made them meet at the center with the question being “What is going to be the best movie in the history of ever?” Survey says…Creed II.
The only thing that could make this movie any better is if Rocky and Ivan Drago got in the ring and went at it for Round II, like some sort of remake of Grudge Match (that’s when Stallone and DeNiro fought each other in an actual movie at 70 years old). The last time we saw them together Rocky pretty much ended the Cold War with this speech:
Things are heating up again with Russia, and don’t think it’s a coincidence that Rocky is coming to the rescue again. Somehow Sylvester Stallone is going to finish this movie as the new US Ambassador to Russia.
On a more serious note, Michael B. Jordan is a great actor and I’m excited to see where the plot heads towards. We know Rocky was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, but also that he was receiving treatment last movie. It seems like in the trailer he was in a lot of the film and looking relatively healthy, so maybe he gets better? Is there another plotline that is going to be developed in order to keep things going, or is this expected to be the final piece of the franchise? Stallone had said in the past, “There’s more to go. I would like to follow this character until eventually he’s an angel.” Does this happen in Creed II?
There’s a lot of questions that I want the answers to. Going to the movies is an absolute sham nowadays, but there is no part of me that cares about dropping $20 to go see this movie in theaters that weekend. I’d expect the same from all other Rocky fans out there.
It was a gloomy and gray Tuesday morning. I had to get up early to go to the DMV because Saturday they closed early on my ass when I was literally two people away. I had a three hour class and a full day of work right after. And to top it off, the Seahawks were embarrassed on Monday Night Football. Yet, on this day, and amongst all this, I found peace.
The score does not in any way indicate the way the Seahawks-Bears game went last night. They lost 24-17, with a less than 1% chance at tying it up in the last ten seconds if they recovered an onside kick. As a team, they had 276 total yards, but 99 of those came on the final drive when the Bears defense was in protect mode. They were 5 for 13 on 3rd down, lost 2 fumbles, threw a pick-six, and at one point were only averaging 2.9 yards per play. There was one time where I walked out of the room for a second right before first down, and by the time I came back they were already punting. But, as I said before, I have found peace.
The Seattle Seahawks are 0-2, with Dallas coming to them next week. They lost to the Broncos and the Bears, two teams with good defenses. The thing is, if you want to be a Super Bowl winning team, you have to beat teams with good defenses. That is not in the Seahawks destiny this year though, and now that I have come to realize that, I have found peace. I’ve said it three times now, so I’ll explain.
I’ve officially accepted the Seahawks run as a contender is over. It’s a hard reality to face, and one you don’t truly believe until it actually happens to you. I compare it to being on the receiving end of a dad-bod. You’re young, you workout a few times a week, but let’s be honest, you drink a lot of beer and McDonalds tastes so good. For a while, you’re in denial. The v-shape starts to fade away underneath a plump circle that is now your stomach. You think “Nah, I’ll just go for a run tomorrow and I’ll be back in shape in no time”. Similarly, the Seahawks thought, “We’ll sign average linebacker Barkevious Mingo and we’ll be back in contention, even though we lost Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, and Richard Sherman!”. Friends, it doesn’t work like that. Life doesn’t work like that. In football, and in dad-bods, there is a point of no return. One day you’ll look in the mirror and you’ll say to yourself “I think I’ve peaked”. The Seahawks have reached that point, and if this paragraph sounds a little familiar, you might have too. It’s better to just accept it. Once you embrace your current fate, life becomes a whole lot simpler. And you find your peace.
You see so many fans who get frustrated over every loss because on the surface they think their team has a chance to play on that Sunday in February, but deep down they know it’s over. When you wholeheartedly come to terms that your team is mediocre at best, everything around you opens up. The sun comes up, the grass gets greener, people get kinder. The games become easier to watch, and your Mondays through Saturday aren’t filled with “what ifs” and getting angry at Colin Cowherd for insulting your team’s “pitiful” performance.
This isn’t an overreaction to an 0-2 start, trust me. If the Seahawks of three years ago started 0-2, I probably wouldn’t even be panicking. They had an abundance of talent and usually found a way to figure it out. But this year, you can just see it. There’s a lot of young players who don’t really understand the flow of an NFL game, or what to do when they are forced to adjust on the fly. Beyond them, the veteran talent really isn’t there. They have the makeup of an average to below average team. And you know what, that’s okay. We had our reign at the top, it’s time for somebody else.
The frustrating part is when the team you know can’t compete does not just rebuild already. I would love nothing more than to see the Seahawks tank this year, get a top pick and impact player, and explode back onto the scene in two or three years before Russell Wilson leaves his prime. I pray Pete Carroll is thinking the same way, but it also gets me nervous because he might be trying to squeeze the last bit of success out of his former championship window so when he is done coaching after the 2019 season, he’ll retire knowing he at least gave it his all. I don’t think many coaches plan to start a rebuild at 67 years old, and I think it’s a reason Earl Thomas is still in a Seahawks uniform.
He believes in his team more than he should, which I respect. If the Seahawks turn it around this year, please, shove this article in my face forever. I’ll be glad to take the beating. But, it’s gonna be really annoying to see them try to capture the magic they’ve lost when they could bite the bullet now and find their way sooner than later.
A little advice from a hardcore fan, just press “Go” on the rebuild button. It’s green, it’s big, and it’s wrapped with a 5th overall pick in 2019 and a 12th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft (on top of the Cowboy’s picks when we finally trade Earl Thomas there). It’s a beautiful thing, and I’ll take hope for the future as opposed to dismay in the present any day. Delayed gratification is a beautiful thing, let’s get this thing started.
Many eras ago, there was a time where NBA players truly hated one another. A time once the playoffs rolled around, nobody was all talk. It was time to man up or go home. Not “If we lose it’s okay, we’ll just move our vacation together up one week”. One of the guys who spearheaded that era was Lakers center Andrew Bynum, as seen below:
A few days ago, we learned that this former Lakers, Cavs, and Pacers center is en route to an NBA comeback.
Despite the fact that his dribbling sort of reminds me of Stanley from The Office (gif below for all you uncultured swine), I’m actually really pumped for Bynum.
Why? Am I former Lakers fan? No. Did I place an irrational bet years ago saying he would be a Hall of Famer? Fortunately, no. Does he represent something larger than any of you probably understand? Fuck. Yes.
Andrew Bynum’s comeback is not just about a former star center playing basketball again. It’s so much bigger than that. His attempt to get on a professional court again gives hope to players of the past just like him. That’s right, every oversized and overrated center that ever graced the NBA is looking at Andrew Bynum right now like “Holy shit, he’s gonna do it”. Greg Oden, Kwame Brown, Anthony Bennett, Darko Milicic, and Sam Bowie are all sitting on their couches viciously icing their knees and crying their eyes out. But deep, deep under those tears of failure is a glimpse of hope. A belief that just because you’re a big man that fell out of the NBA, and your body was bigger than your brain could handle, that you and so many others could be great once more. If Bynum completes the comeback, it will be a lesson to all of them…don’t give up, even if literally every doctor tells you that you should. Listen to your heart, not your knees.
Fortunately for him, Bynum is the rich man’s version of all these players, and actually had/will continue to have a solid career. At his peak, he averaged 18.7 PPG and 11.8 RPG. Knee injuries derailed him, but at one point he was part of discussions in a blockbuster trade for Dwight Howard and Chris Paul. He was an impact player without a doubt.
Most people will shake their heads at this, much like we do with all old players who leave the league. But, at 30 years old, this really isn’t that far of a stretch. He could really go out and perform well in front of a couple of teams, and they’ll decide to take him as a project. Off the bench, you’ll get a player similar to Dwight Howard’s level of production, probably a little less. Regardless, a veteran who has been to the end of the world and back is great for a young team with young big men on the team (@SacramentoKings?)
You know what, give me Andrew Bynum in a Kings uniform by mid-October or I’m not watching a single second of the NBA season this year. ALL IN.