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.

Six NBA Teams of the Future 

By Aiden Ryland

1.Utah Jazz

The Jazz have a low-key squad. With young guys like Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert leading the way, they have a pretty damn good starting lineup and arguably the best bench in the league. The key for this team is it’s potential, as the whole starting lineup, as well as the bench are filled with young guys with extreme talent. The Jazz are a team I could definitely see making a jump up to 50 wins next season.

2. Milwaukee Bucks

In my opinion, this team has the brightest future of all. I mean, they’re slogan is #OwnTheFuture but the question is are they ready to #OwnThePresent? After watching them snap the Warriors winning streak to start the season, then end their own season with a lottery pick, I’d have to say Milwaukee is probably the most unpredictable team in the league. With future superstars like the “Great Freak,” Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton and Thon Maker already on board, this team has enough pieces to win now, the only thing stopping them from being dominant…is time.

3. Philadelphia 76ers


Ben Simmons already looks like he has the skills to be a future hall of famer. The Sixers kind of got a little twin towers action going with Noel and Jahlil. The X factor with this team is Joel Embid. Just how good can he be? If Embid pans out, the Sixers could trade him or Okafor for a guard and they would be just a bench away from being a playoff team.

4. Denver Nuggets


This team is full of excellent guards. Emmanuel Mudiay is showing the potential to be the best PG in the NBA. Don’t forget about Nikola  Jokic, either. The 6’10” Center, averaged 10 points and seven rebounds, in just 21.7 minutes on the court for the Nuggets. With all this raw talent, Denver just needs to be more consistent and boom they’re a playoff team.

5. Minnesota Timberwolves


Don’t worry, the fan favorite Timberwolves are here. Karl Anthony Towns is showing the potential to be the best center in the league someday. Andrew Wiggins looks like a possible future all-star. The big X factor for this team is Kris Dunn if he excels the Wolves will definitely be good. Honestly, I’m not a Zach LaVine fan, I don’t think he’s a good option for the Wolves in the long run but that’s just me. All they need is a good 3, a solid 2 that shoot and a solid 4 to compliment KAT and they’re golden. This team has always had trouble landing free agents though. Maybe the talent on this young squad can change that.

6. Los Angles Lakers


D’Angelo Russell is showing flashes he could definitely be an all- star. If Jordan Clarkson can continue to improve, the two of them could be a solid pair for this young squad to build around. You definitely can’t forget Brandon Ingram either, he’s got potential to be the next Tayshuan Prince or Kevin Durant. have him hit the weight room this off-season and he can be something special in this league. Don’t forget the Lakers are the Lakers, I mean who doesn’t want to play in L.A., they always find a way to be good.

Honorable mentions: Detroit Pistons, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic and the Phoenix Suns

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

The Big Fundamental Vs. The Mailman: a Myth Dispelled

Karl Malone and Tim Duncan were not only two of the best Power Fowards during recent history, they should easily go down in history as two of the best NBA players of All-Time. 

Although both were very well rounded players, Malone was a scoring machine, while Duncan excelled on defense.

Each of these big-men where the focal point of their respective teams through most of their careers, and were surrounded by other stars and key roll players.

Both men played 19 seasons. Malone’s teams were involved in the playoffs every year, while Duncan’s teams only missed one.

Although their careers did intersect momentarily, they played most of their games in completely different eras.

In the 80’s and 90’s teams were stacked with massive post players known for their defensive ability.

During the 00’s and 10’s front courts began to evolve into softer, more versatile players who could shoot from the outside.

In an era where analysts and fans instantly grant greatness to the player with the most trophies and awards, it would appear that there is a clear cut winner, but let’s take a closer look at the stats and make a more educated decision.

            Awards and Achievements

NBA Championships:

Duncan: 5

Malone: 0

All-Star Games

Duncan: 15

Malone: 14

Season MVP

Duncan: 2

Malone: 2

Finals MVP

Duncan: 3

Malone: 0

All-NBA 1st Team

Duncan: 10

Malone: 11

All NBA Teams

Duncan: 15

Malone: 14

All-Defensive 1st Team

Duncan: 8

Malone: 3

All-Defensive Team

Duncan: 15

Malone: 4

Rookie of the Year

Duncan: 1

Malone: 0

In this section, it’s clear that Duncan is the more decorated and acknowledge player by a decent margin.


                      

                              Stats

Points Per Game

Duncan: 19.0

Malone: 25.0

Rebounds Per Game

Duncan: 10.8

Malone: 10.1

Assists Per Game

Duncan: 3.0

Malone: 3.6

Steals Per Game

Duncan: 0.7

Malone: 1.4

Blocks Per Game

Duncan: 2.2

Malone: 0.8

Total Points

Duncan: 26,496

Malone: 36,928

Malone was clearly the more dominant player all around, as shown most emphatically by the fact that he outscored Duncan by over 10,500 points. He accomplished this feat with superior       

              Shooting Percentages

FG %

Duncan: .506

Malone: .516

3-Point %

Duncan: .179

Malone: .274

Free Throw %

Duncan: .696

Malone: .742

As far as the game goes, the only two stats that Duncan had an edge in, were rebounding and blocked shots. The two players were almost even in rebounds. So the only area where Duncan was dominant was blocked shots. 

Malone was a better inside and outside shooter, a better passer, pickpocket, and extremely more prolific as ascorer.It’s very clear that Malone was way better statistically on the court. 

So that leaves the question as to why Duncan was able to win more championships, and why he was given more honors?

 

There are only three reasonable options; Either the competition wasn’t as tough in Duncan’s era, he was surrounded by better talent, or a mixture of both.

Sure Duncan won more titles, but as far as which big man performed better on the court, Malone is far and away the better player. 

Once again showing that rings are in no way a proper reflection of greatness.

Kevin Durant + Golden State = Undefeated?

The last time I asked a similar question, Dennis Rodman had just joined forces with Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, who were known for their offense, but were also elite defenders, and even though everyone laughed, the rest has become well noted history.

The Bulls went on to become the best team NBA fans had ever seen, while winning 25 more games then they had the year before.

Rodman was a hard nosed, unselfish, defensive player, who lived to rebound the ball and get it back in Jordan’s and Pippen’s hands. He didn’t ask for the rock or even seem to want it, he knew his role, and that’s what made that team almost unstoppable. 

Two decades later the all-time win record has finally been broken again, by Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, and now the “Splash Brothers” find themselves joining forces with one of the best offensive players in the league, Kevin Durant.

As a matter of fact, all three of these players take their role of putting the ball in the hoop very seriously, and none of them are consistently considered a top defender.

When asked just recently about Curry’s defense, Durant responded, “I mean, getting steals … that’s a part of playing defense.  He’s pretty good, but he doesn’t guard the best point guards.”

Even though they have all three improved  on defense, none  of these players are going to step out on the court with the intention of playing a complimentary role. They are all going to want to shoot freely just like they did last year when all three of them finished top 12 in scoring.

But is that a bad thing?

 They are all also stellar three point shooters, and are virtually unstoppable when they are hot. They will be able to spread defenses out even more than normal and create open shots as teams will be forced to decide who to cover.

There have been plenty of super teams before, but have we ever seen three young players, so hungry, focused and still waiting to hit the peak of their prime?

All three players have reason to have a chip on their shoulders and to want to prove to the others that they belong among the elite.

The hardest pill for opponents to swallow, is that before Durant, this Warriors team has actually been underrated.

Nobody expected them to play such a thorough season in 2014-15, and even after that, it was a complete surprise when they came out so dominant in 2015-16.

That is a testament to Coach Steve Kerr, who played on the Bulls team with Jordan, Pippen, and Rodman, and has as good of an understanding as anyone, of how challenging and important it is to find a way to blend and soothe egos.

He’s also had experience playing on the San Antonio Spurs, who personify class, and have learned how to render some of the best players in the game virtually egoless.

As far as a perfect record, only time, a little bit of luck, and fate can decide that, but the initial outlook is that this may be just as close to a perfect fit as possible.

Thon Maker: International Man of Mystery, Lands in Milwaukee with 10th Overall Selection 

The Bucks love young, tall, versatile, athletic players, with ridiculous wingspans. They get just that with the Sudanese born world traveler.

The biggest question critics are asking  about Maker, is whether or not the 7-foot-1, 216 pounder, who measures 7,3″ from fingertip to fingertip, is big and strong enough to compete with NBA sized post players?

 After watching him consistently drain shots from behind the arc, spin past hapless opponents, slice to the basket, thread passes between defenders legs, and finish with explosive dunks, it seems, what they should be asking,  is whether or not their is anyone in the league who is athletic enough to keep up with him.  

He’s raw, and somewhat untested, but he has no lack of world experience. He escaped a war torn country as a child and used determination and witt to hop around the globe on his way to Milwaukee.

The Bucks have built a team of players without a true position, who use their remarkable skills to define themselves. They were looking for a post player who could add to that, and now they have him.

“He can stretch the floor right now. Give him a little time to gain some strength and we think he has the chance to be a special player.” Bucks General Manager, John Hammond, said about Maker. “He’s got some steps to go through, but if you watch him he’s really multidimensional. His experience is limited but he has a great feel of the game.”

With all the talent the Bucks currently have on their roster, it’s easy for fans to get caught up in a win now mentality. The  team has promised to “Own the Future” and it looks like that is what they continue to plan to do.

When asked what position Maker will play, Hammond answered, “We’re going to figure it out. We have a vision.”

It hard to know exactly what the Bucks have up their sleeve for this tremendously talented player, but that will just add to the excitement as the mystery continues to unfold.

Nobody Wants to See These Young Bucks in the Playoffs…

They me be inconsistent, and even downright awful at times, but if the Bucks have proven anything in this roller coaster ride of a season, it’s that when they are focused, they can hang with anybody.

It seems a long way out, and maybe even improbable, but I know the Golden State Warriors don’t want to be locked up with them in a 7 game series. 

 
When Greg Monroe came to town this fan base was in a frenzy. To listen to fans in Wisconsin talk after free agency, you would have thought this team was headed for an undefeated season, and a championship.

Then reality struck. Turnovers, poor communication and bricks rained down on Milwaukee like cats and dogs.
All of a sudden, the conversation turned from trophies, to tanking, lottery picks, and trading away stars.

But then, like what happens with most young franchises that are built on a solid foundation, one player started to find his groove, then another, and then the team started to look like a young squad should in the second year of rebuilding. 

 
They began to gel and play defense and now this team who individually looked like world beaters but together seemed like a circus, has started to find chemistry.

Khris Middleton has rediscovered his shot and his place as the leader of this team, the one that everyone else can use to help define their game and build around.

“We’re getting back to our principles,” Middleton said. “We’re starting to figure out these rotations and how we need to play defense and getting back to stuff we were doing last year. It’s been great these last couple games.”

Greg Monroe is finding his place as the stabilizer. Realizing the team is better when he just relaxes and let’s the game happen, instead of trying to carry everyone.

Giannis Antetokounmpo is the wild card on this team. Just like any forward who has the moves and agility of a guard, he presents a matchup problem for opponents. The problem is, no one, including the “Greek Freak” knows just how good he can be or exactly where he fits on this team.  

  
Michael Carter-Williams is the one caught in the middle of this inexperienced team. How is a facilitator supposed to figure out his role when the rest of the team is still defining theirs? 

That is why he can look so on point some nights and so discombobulated on others. He has shown the talent to be a great leader but will need the most patience to find his niche.  
  
Jabari Parker has very high exactions to live up to after being a high draft pick but is also the least experienced of this young crew due to missing a major portion of his rookie season with an injury. Because of this, he may take some time to reach his full potential but with the flashes he’s shown I’m sure it will be well worth the wait.

“I know what skills I have,” Parker said. “I’m just playing my role. It’s there. It’s always been there.”

John Henson is another player that could turn out to be a star in this league, but Milwaukee has been ultra “patient” with him. However, it looks like he is starting to come into his own as a defensive monster and when he does they will have no choice but to find minutes for him. 

 
The major negative I see for the Bucks at this moment is that they are too versatile and unorthodox. 

They have tall guards and very athletic forwards, which makes it sometimes hard to define positions and duties.

 If they are ever able to find were everyone fits and learn to gel these talents,they will create unthinkable match ups and these problems will quickly become positives. 

 
The front office is dedicated to bringing Milwaukee not only a good team, but one that is built to last for years to come.

That takes patience, not only with the players, but from fans.

This young team has already shown talent and maturity beyond their years, and I can guarantee one thing. Even though this team is built for the future, if they continue to progress at this rate… 

 
Nobody will want to meet these young Bucks in the playoffs this year!