Breaking the Mold

By LaDonna Williams

As a woman that loves sports, especially football I feel like I am a rare gem. I am not saying I am the only woman that watches sports, because I know plenty of women that watch every sport out there.  I also know some men that don’t watch sports at all.

This blog may piss off some ladies and men that don’t watch sports, but you all need to listen. There is nothing worse than a nagging spouse during a sports game. You had the whole morning, or afternoon depending on when the game comes on to address your issues. Don’t come at us during the game. The game we are watching we probably already had it mapped out in our head what we are wearing, eating and where we are watching the game before the game actually came on.

For me, watching a game is a way for me to be loud, yelling at the television, or jumping up and down without getting judgement from others. I am a trash talking girl when I watch a sports game on tv or live. If you don’t want your spouse to be loud during a game. Then don’t get mad when they leave and go somewhere to watch it. Don’t text ask what we are doing when you know dang well the game is on. If it’s not a life threatening situation, don’t call or text just to nag.

Break the mold spouses, allow your other half to watch the game in peace. Watch the game with us and try to learn what the heck is actually going on. Just ask questions during commercials or replays so we won’t miss nothing.

Allow us to enjoy our games, especially football season. We only have it from August through February.

Do all championships matter?

January 15th, 1967
Bart Starr and Vince Lombardi enjoy a cigar together. They have just won their 4th championship together, it’s a back to back championship  (they would 3-peat a year later) they had just won a game they had considered a formality. To us now it was a way more important game. It was Superbowl I. This date divides NFL fans like no other. Imagine what Vince and Bart would have thought if this game, that meant so little to them at the time, would matter more then the 3 championships they had already won. That this one was more real then then the one they had won just the year before.

…do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport?

In 2020, just 4 years from now, the NFL will celebrate it’s 100th anniversary. That NFL season will crown a champion at Superbowl LVI  (56). That leaves 44 championships that happened before the Superbowl. Do those presuperbowl championships count? This question divides many NFL fans. If you enjoy a good argument go to a group with a Packer fan (the NFL leader with 13 if you count presuperbowl) and a Steelers fan (the NFL leader if you only count Superbowls with 6) and ask them if championships count before the Superbowl era. 

This begs the question; do all championships deserve to be counted in any sport? Should we count World Series titles from before the league was integrated? NBA championships from before the NBA and ABA merged? Stanley cups from the original 6 days? College football National Champs from before the playoff system (or before the BCS)? Any heavy weight boxing champion since Lenox Lewis? 

Here’s the argument for why they shouldn’t count in the various sports. 

Baseball

So we can talk about how pitchers pitched in 3 and 4 man rotations on 3 day rest. Or how there was no such thing as specialized relief pitchers, set-up men, or closers. Let’s focus on the integration of the league. 

Stars like Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson would have dominated in any league or era. Had they not been stuck in the negroe leagues, how many MLB records would these two hold? How much would the influx of these stars affect who won world series? How can you say you’re the World Champs if half the best players in the world play in a different league?

Basketball 

Which  NBA team drafted drafted Dr.J? The Milwaukee Bucks. Thing is he signed with a team from the ABA. As did so many of the stars of basketball. The two leagues champions both can legitimately claim to be the world champs. They didn’t play each other so who is the true champ?

Hockey 

Six teams. “6.” How can you call yourself the champion of anything in a 6 team league?

College Football

Here’s the one the argument is easiest. Before the BCS sportswriters just picked a champ. The top 4 teams rarely had played each other in the season. There were multiple champions in several seasons. There were years that a one lose team was champ over an undefeated team. 

Even the BCS era can be debated. Could the 2007 Florida Gators really have beaten the USC squad thats almost entire defense has made a nfl pro bowl? How can anyone justify having the championship game being two teams from the same division of the same conference? 

The NFL

Really there is no reason other then calling it the superbowl to start counting then. It started at the end of the second Packer dynasty, how can you say that the 66 or 67 Packers are intrinsically better then the 65 or 63 Packers? Many will tell you 1932 is the true start of modern football. You can make the argument that football wasn’t the game we know until 1981, when the west coast offense proved that a pass first offense can win, and transformed the league from a running back driven league to a quarterback driven league. You can even argue that nothing before 1993 and fee agency really can count. Deion Sanders, Charles Haley, and Reggie Whites free agent moves definitely changed who would win the championships for the next few seasons.

This all seems legit. The athletes back then weren’t as big or fast as today. The number of teams they had to play was so small how can they be considered champs? There were other leagues playing so how can one leagues team be the true champ?

So why should all championships count?

Simply put those other leagues weren’t as good. The NFL and AFL had agreed to merge in 1962. They had drafted as one entity from that point forward. The AFL (then the AFC) wasn’t able to actually compete with the NFL until 1969. That’s 8 years of building on equal terms before they compete with the NFL. When the NBA and ABA merged the ABA contracted 2/3rd of its teams. They entered the nba as essentially ABA all star teams. They didn’t dominate, these all star teams didn’t even win a championship in the NBA. 

It comes down to this you play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion.

Can players play in any era? I’m sure Dick Butkus  would still be a pro bowl middle linebacker today. Jim Brown would still be a star. Deacon Jones could lineup with JJ Watt.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robinson or Bill Russell would still dominate.

With their style of play, Jerry West and Pistol Pete Maravich would probably be bigger stars today then in their era.  Lou Gehrig and Ted William’s bats would have been feared in any era. 

You can only play the teams they put in front of you. You beat them and you are the champion. Period. If you win a NFL championship in 1941 and you win a championship playing in the NFL in 2011 you’ve won the exact same thing. What would you say if in 2027 they decide that all championships before instant replay don’t count, since they cannot be accurate?

You can’t pick and choose. You can’t say that college football championships only count from the BCS on and then say that all World Series count. You can’t say that all NBA championships count but only Superbowls count for the NFL. 

Either all championships count in all sports, or you have to draw a line in every sport. How does that line change if those teams were the best in the world in their time? 
J.Russell Zinn 7/28/16

Shame on Bucks Fans!

This season started out almost exactly like it should have for a team in their second year of rebuilding.

They were sloppy and had no chemistry. They made bad passes and missed easy shots. They struggled on defense…

but nobody seemed to understand.

How could this be happening?

The year before they won 41 games and made the playoffs, even without injured rookie, Jabari Parker, for most of the season.

Now Parker was coming back and they added coveted big man, Greg Monroe, to help with scoring and rebounding in the post. 

 

Fans were going insane with the possibilities. 

They could win 60 games.

They could lock up a top spot in the East.

Hell, do we dare say, “They could win it all?”

I get it. The natural progression after having a good year, and then adding star players, seems to be a better season.

I can’t blame fans for thinking that way, because most of the general managers in all 4 major sports still haven’t figured that out.

“Winning”…in the words of Yogi Berra…”is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”

The Bucks definitely have the physical ability to win now. They are tall, young, and athletic. They’ve got ups and jams. 

 

They just don’t have the experience and maturity yet.

That’s precisely why they can dominate the best team in the league and then fall flat on their faces. 

 

And it’s exactly why you don’t get overly excited about a team that had the worst record in the league just two years ago, and who’s stars where still in diapers when Tim Duncan was drafted into the league.

However, that doesn’t  mean you can’t be proud of them and support them.

Giannis Antetokounmpo just became the first Milwaukee Buck in history to record 4 triple doubles in a season.  

 

A season where his own fans are cheering for him to fail.

Why? 

They want him to tank this season, so the Bucks can “possibly” win the lottery and add another inexperienced young star who will take time to gel with the team and develop.

Because they haven’t  learned yet that adding talent doesn’t equal instant improvement.

Because the Greg Monroe signing wasn’t enough to prove to them that changing the chemistry of a team can actually make you take a step back.

Despite all of that, Jabari, Giannis, and Khris, want to play their hearts out now. Even if they finish the season with a very mediocre record, miss the playoffs, and get a lousy pick in the draft. 

Who are we not to cheer for them? 

 

To not be proud of them for giving their all in the middle of a hopeless season?

Isn’t that even more impressive then if they won a ring?

Isn’t the confidence that they are gaining from this struggle exactly what’s going to win them one of those rings someday?

Would they be better off adapting a loser mentality now, just to try to change that later in order to win?

This team has 3 of the best up and coming  young stars in the league and are possibly on their way to dominance. 

 

Even if they aren’t, they are doing things that we have the honor of appreciating and celebrating righ now.

Get behind your team Bucks fans, or you just might miss out on something amazing.

You may just learn that the future is already in progress.

Milwaukee Bucks: Finding the Future

After seeing vast improvement, and making the playoffs last season, the Bucks ended the year with a few question marks, but very high expectations. The offseason is still young and they’ve already had great news at all five positions this season.

  • The number 2 overall pick in last year’s draft, power forward Jabari Parker, is making a steady recovering from last year’s season ending ACL injury. After somewhat of a slow start to last season, the young forward started to find his grove and was really proving his value to the team. The general consensus was that the 12.3 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game he was averaging, would make him the easy choice for Rookie of the Year.  He is an integral part of this young, athletic team the Bucks are putting together, and his ability to become a leader in the locker room could be a major driving force.
  • With Jason Kidd as their Head Coach, point guard is a very important position on this team. That may explain why they were wiling to give up a 1st and 2nd round pick for the 6’6 Greivis Vasquez, who most consider to be a back up on this team. The veteran from Venezuela who has averaged 9.2 ppg and 4.9 apg over his career, seems to be a great fit for the Bucks. He led the league in 2012-2013 with 9 apg, and his 3.79 3 point percentage from last year fills an immediate need for the young Bucks  who struggled with shooting last year. He can also play the two, and adds immediate depth and veteran leadership to this team who seems poised to make another playoff run.
  • The Bucks may have gotten the steal of this year’s draft, by selecting shooting guard Rashad Vaughn with the 17th overall pick. At just 18 years old he is somewhat raw and projects to be the second youngest player in the league next year. According to experts he is not a project player but could improve his shot selection, passing and defense. Fortunately for him those are all areas where Jason Kidd’s players succeeded last year. The area where this kid doesn’t lack at all is as a scorer and shooter. As a freshman he averaged over 22 ppg game which is something only 29 other players have done in the last 15 years, and shot 38.4 % from beyond the arc. This makes him a wonderful fit for the Bucks who seem to want groom him as a sharp shooter off the bench. Vaugh is used to being one of the top players in his age class, and if he can bring a bit of that swagger to the big leagues, he could be a vital cog in this team moving forward.
  • There seemed to be no certainty that the Bucks would resign Khris Middleton, their best player as the season ended last year. However, the young small forward agreed to a 5 year $70 million deal on the opening day of free agency. With that deal, Milwaukee locked up the rising star who started to find his grove after  Jabari Parker went down with his injury, and led the team into the playoffs when Brandon Knight was traded at the deadline. Middleton averaged 13.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.4 apg and  1.5 steals per game, but those numbers don’t come close to explaining the impact he had as he took the team on his shoulders at the end of the year. “Money” Middleton has become the guy the team trusts to take the big shot, and should be the cornerstone this young team is built upon.
  • Center was the biggest position of need for the Bucks last year. The fans spent the last part of the season fantasizing about what big name would be signed, and management seemed eager to fill the spot with any of the big men available. As things turned out, Greg Monroe seems to be a better fit than anyone could have hoped for as he agreed to terms with Milwaukee on the second day of free agency. Not only does he give the Bucks a huge presence in the post, but he seems to tie together all the loose pieces. He struggles at defense, which is one of the team’s strengths, but brings rebounding and post scoring, which has been a glaring need. He truly could be the missing piece this team needs to be a serious contender.

There is no doubt this team is coming into their own under Jason Kidd. Not only is he extremely adept at teaching the players his schemes, but he has also improved their defense, passing, and overall knowledge of the game, and is displaying genius in building a team around player chemistry and talent. The players he chooses aren’t always pulled from the top of the list, but they are players best suited to his team. 

Without seeing this team in live action on the court, it may be too early to get overly excited. However, it’s hard not to be hopeful at the way this is all coming together. My best guess for Milawaukee, after watching the hard work the front office has put in, is that the future is now.


Spurs Out to Make it Back to Back

The Spurs have made a late charge this season that should scare any team in the West, including the Warriors.

With Kawhi Leonard playing better than ever, the Spurs are looking for him when they need a bucket. He’s been averaging a solid 16.6 points, and 7.2 rebounds a game. He’s been very reliable, and is really growing as a player. 

With big, Mr. Fundamentals, you are always going to get the same thing game after game. Tim Duncan is contributing  his usual 13.9 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. So he is averaging a near double-double.

 Manu Ginobli seems primed for some serious action in the playoffs. He is averaging 10.6 points and 4.2 assists a game. Which isn’t his careers best, but it’s definitely not to shabby. 

The team also gets Tony Parkerback from injury, and he is playing better than ever, and once again sparking the team as they make a late surge for the playoffs. Although he is only averaging 14.2 points and 4.9 assists a game. It’s his presence that is the most important part of his play at this point.

 Some other keys to the Spurs success are Danny Green, Marco Belinelli, and Patty Mills,  who are playing great basketball at the time. 

Danny Green is averaging 11.8 points a game. Belinelli is averaging 9.3 a game. Mills is putting up around 6.7 points a game. With the Big four playing great, and quality role players playing well too, you can be sure Coach Pop will have them ready for the playoffs. 

I haven’t seen a more consistent team then the Spurs in a year’s, and that should equal success in the playoffs. Even if you catch them on a bad night you will still be in for a dog fight.

If the Warriors and Spurs meet, I would give the advantage to San Antonio. They are just so consistent and always play to win. If you want to beat them, you have to bring it consistently, because they won’t beat themselves. 

If the Spurs do end up winning their second of back to back championships.  There will be no doubt that they will have earned the title, DYNASTY! Watch out for Coach Pop and these Spurs!


Player Names

Points a Game

Tony Parker

14.2

Tim Duncan

13.9

Kawhi Leonard

16.6

Manu Ginobli

10.6

Danny Green

11.8

Marco Belinelli

9.3

Patty Mills

6.7

 


 


-MasonJTAnderson 

Boston Celtics: Young Guns Playoff Berth


After being a team in a major rebuilding stage last year. The Celtics have surprised a lot of people with a playoff berth. 

Although they are young and got rid of key players. The Celtics put together a solid, young team who play well togethr.

Look at Avery Bradley for instance he has stepped into a large leadership role this year. Last year he was a key role player now he’s the guy they’re looking for a big shot. 

Another big part of the playoff berth, is the play of Isaiah Thomas who they acquired this season. Thomas has been playing very well lately and is hungry for more. 

Another reason for the Celtics success is thAt they play team  ball, and don’t care who scores. 

With a young front court in Zeller, Olynk, and Sullenger the team has looked to Brandon Bass to mentor the young guns. The post play has been fantastic especially for the young guys. Evan Turner is also a key player averaging 9.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 5.4 assists a game. If you look at it from my angle,  it appears as if like he’s responsible for about 21 points a game,(Including his assists and points).

Now onto coach Brad Stevens he might not have been very popular after the Rondo trade, but look at it this way he made a team that is winning games. He also has numerous first round draft picks. So for just his first few years as a N.B.A. Coach, I think he’s doing a stellar job. So for being called a major rebuilding team, the Celtics definitely  are on the right track! The Celtics are a team to be afraid of with great young talent and nice draft picks coming in the near future.

-Mason JTA