When I wrote yesterday’s free agency blog I briefly touched on the Bears. I didn’t give my take on Jimmy Graham because I had no clue how much they were paying him. Turns out it was SO MUCH MORE than I anticipated. They gave him two years 16 million and 9 million guaranteed.
What the fuck?
The Bears just cut Leonard Floyd because they didn’t want to pay him and he signed with the Rams on a 1 year deal for 10 million. So let me get this right, you’re willing to pay a beyond washed-up tight end 8 million a year but not 10 million for a guy who probably still has his best football in front of him. I would much rather have Floyd with Quinn and Mack, and have a deep defense than pay Jimmy fucking Graham who hasn’t been good since he was in New Orleans. He was bad in Seattle with Russell Wilson, he was bad in Green Bay with Aaron Rogers…Guess what he will be in Chicago?
It cool though the Bears traded a 4th round pick for Nick Foles and the contract that is overpaying him. Quarterback problems solved.
You know what troubles me about former super bowl MVP Nick Foles? His offensive coordinator in Philly was Frank Reich. Frank Reich is now the head coach in Indy. Did Frank Reich, who needs a QB, try and work a deal for Foles? No. Instead, the Colts signed the deteriorating Phil Rivers. This is a concern dude.
Since coming to the Bears GM Ryan Pace has drafted some serious busts with very high draft picks.
Kevin White – Often Injured Bust who is in danger of being out of the league #7 overall.
Mitch Trubisky – #2 overall picked ahead of Mahomes and Watson. They traded up from 3 to 2 to pick this guy because Pace was scared someone else would take him….I wish dude.
Leonard Floyd – #9 overall, not a bust but they also traded up for this pick with Tampa Bay and they cut him before his rookie deal was done.
If Foles wins the starting QB job the Bears will have no starters from picks 2,7,9 overall.
The Bears have a real tendency to trade up for guys who aren’t good. That’s not the mark of a competent GM.
Luckily Pace traded his last two first-round picks (this upcoming draft included) for Khalil Mack employing the strategy of not failing on your first-round pick by virtue of not having one.
If you went into a coma from drinking too much eggnog in late December just to wake up to the reality of March 17th, 2020 the shock of the world you now live in just might be too much to mentally grasp. This much change could cripple even the strongest of minds. Especially for sports fans. Imagine finding out that Kobe Bryant is dead in a tragic accident, all sports have been canceled until further notice, there will be no March Madness, Tom Brady is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, all at the same time! Oh yeah, it’s because of a virus shut down the country and crippled the economy, good luck finding hand sanitizer.
The only relevant “sports” that are happening is NFL free agency which has turned the league upside down with an unprecedented quarterback carousel.
Tom Brady is a Buccaneer.
Phil Rivers is a Colt.
Teddy “TwoGloves” Bridgewater is a Panther.
Ryan Tannehill is the guy in Tennessee.
Cam Newton is looking for a home.
Jameis Winston is looking for a home.
New England has no QB as of right now unless you count Jarrett Stidham which I do not. His name may be Jarrett but he has about as much potential as a Jared.
I think that New England will definitely draft a QB the question is how early and who? I saw a mock draft on CBS that had them taking Jacob Eason. Normally I’d say there is no way they would draft Eason…The Pats drafted his father over Dan Marino a long time ago. But then again they did draft Jarrett Stidham.
The guy I would like to see them take a chance on is Jalen Hurts. Hurts is first and foremost a guy who carries himself in a very professional manner. He is a natural leader and a guy that is athletic, smart, and showed improvement as a passer at OU. I have a feeling Bill Belichick is itching to run a different style offense with a more athletic QB. In Hurts you have a guy that is already a Patriot type player with athleticism that will work his ass off to get better each year.
If they took Eason over Hurts then the Patriots just want to try and do the same stuff that they did with Brady except with an ass clown at QB. (I watched way too much of Eason in College to think he’s good.) He would make a great NFL type throw here and there, but there is no consistency to his game and he has problems handling a pass rush that leads to bad decisions.
The Bears signed Robert Quinn (cool) but released Leonard Floyd (not cool) I love Quinn but Floyd is a good player that the Bears just didn’t want to pay, he’s going to find a home somewhere and be awesome.
Bill O’Brien…this guy. WOW.
He trades Nuk Hopkins for David Johnson and a 2nd rd draft pick to Arizona. I don’t know what to say. You could have just kept Hopkins and drafted a running back. You could’ve probably traded Will Fuller for another RB very comparable in ability to David Johnson. This is awesome for Kyler Murray and Arizona Cardinals fans. The NFC West looks to be very competitive next year. It’s very possible that the Rams who were just in the Super Bowl could finish in last place. The Texans are a ship with a buffoon for a captain, I feel bad for DeSean Watson.
Stefon Diggs is now a Buffalo Bill after getting traded for draft picks. I don’t think this will sit well with Vikings fans even if it makes sense. When the Vikings were in Seattle I saw the traveling fan base and there were a ton of Diggs Jerseys. Way more Diggs jerseys than Cousins or Adam Thielen. Diggs was the playoff hero vs New Orleans, those fans love him. Bills Mafia will love him too. I see what the Vikings are doing, they want to free up money to make sure the defense is still solid, and this draft which they now have a ton of picks in is loaded at the WR position. They will probably spend an early pick on a guy who can replace what Diggs gave them. Henry Ruggs would be an ideal fit.
I don’t think the Bears are done making moves they must sign a QB, Chase Daniel is a Detriot Lion now. I’m sure I’ll be back to blog my reaction to the fiasco that is the Bears QB situation.
The NBA stretch run express train has entered the station, rail riders! Hop aboard and stand clear of the closing doors. Don’t be frightened by the realization that today’s journey will be inspired by none other than ESPN’s Zach “Don’t Call Me an End Theory” Lowe. Despite our deep seeded hatred for ESPN’s coverage of literally everything, the Zach Attack’s format works perfectly for PBM to unveil all the elements of his consistently tumultuous relationship with the national basketball association. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know if I love what I love more than I love what I hate…it’s weird spot to be in for a budding mental health professional such as myself. But ya know what? Weird is good. Weird is new. And weird is gonna yield a breakdown of my current top ten love’s and hate’s in the polarizing stratosphere of the NBA.
Chip Tha Rip and Bun B – get this fuckin’ party started!
I love Zion Williamson in every way you can. However, what I love the most how he walks during every moment outside of live game play. It’s a hybrid of “March of the Penguins” + “Go to your room, young man!’ Take it away, Chuck!
In addition to the humor residing beside his inexplicable gait, Zion has failed to disappoint in almost every quantifiable way. Peep the young king in action:
2. More Zion! Because using Zion to gaslight LeBron STAN’s from now until eternity is going to be just delightful! Zion has started his career better than Bron, did you know that? Using #numbers and #facts, Zion is officially a better hooper than the Kid From Akron until further notice. Here’s the evidence (which I can guarantee isn’t fake news):
3. I am enamored with Bradley Beal’s electrifying, unrelenting, and inexplicable hot streak that is driving his team towards possibly being the 8th seed in the East. I’ve always loved Beal because he’s an STL guy that plays an effortless style of basketball in the mold of TMac, Manu, and other elite scorers of year’s past. I’m now fully infatuated with him due to his insane competiveness and next-level elevation of each facet of his game. Peep his 2020 game log, please:
The man is a human torch right now. He’s rising his level and competing via peak performance in an era where most dudes would get elective surgery in lieu of playing alongside Beal’s supporting cast. His second best player can literally only shoot 3’s, and his third best player is a rookie from Gonzaga who is constantly overmatched at this natural position. Here’s the current Wizards squad in all their mediocrity infused glory:
Beal’s officially a made man around these parts. Any aggression upon him will be met with equal or more extreme measures from the caboose.
4. Keeping it in STL – I love that Jayson Tatum is making a push for a spot in the top ten players in the league. Tatum has gotten his flowers incessantly via mainstream media, but I couldn’t leave him off the debut love’s.
5. I’m romantically invested in the Clippers savvy deadline moves, continued improvement, and constant one-upping of the Lakers. I’m way more enthralled by the Clips bringing in Reggie Jackson than them trading for Marcus Morris, but the facts are that these two additions have enabled them to run TEN DEEP via two solidified five-man units.
They’re starting PG, PBev, Kawhi, Zubac, and Marcus Morris
The second unit is Trezz, LouWill, Reggie Jackson, Landry Shamet, and Jamychal Green.
The crunch time five includes Kawhi and PG + any 3-man combination of Trezz, LouWill, PBev, Reggie, and Marcus.
Versatility in spades, children. You know who doesn’t have anything close to this roster? The Lakers. You know who plays on Sunday? The Clips v. The Lakers. You know who’s gonna remain undefeated again LeBron’s merry band of buttheads? The Clippers.
Closing out my loves…
6. I love Golden State taking a chance on Andrew Wiggins while also being in position to add Obi Toppin via the lottery. I love even more how Steph is going to run with their young, role player laden roster to determine who fits and who doesn’t for next year’s unit. A starting five of Steph, Klay, Wiggins, Donkey, and Toppin has to be the favorite in Vegas, right? I’m salivating over this team being another squad equipped to dominate Akron’s only son.
7. I love Nick Nurse and the entire Toronto Raptors organization. Ujiri might be a top five executive of all-time, folks. The Kawhi trade + the Nurse hire + drafting Spicy P, VanVleet, Anouby, and Boucher makes one insanely scorching executive hot streak. Celtics v. Raptors in the second round is gonna be a dog fight – Tatum lining up against Siakam to determine best wing in the east has me drooling.
8. I love Charles Barkley’s hatred of the Rockets…”team full of munchkins.”
9. I love the battle for the 8th seed in the West. The Grizzlies, Pelicans, and Kings all have incredible young cores that are jockeying for invaluable post-season experience. Hopefully Jaren Jackson and Brandon Clarke (Grizz) and Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley (Kings) get healthy for the stretch run. I didn’t forget Portland – the Blazers don’t have a shot in hell to make the playoffs, and we’ll get into that shortly.
10. I love Giannis and the Lopez Twins setting the tone the Bucks via WWE inspired pre-game antics.
Shit like this makes me think they aren’t as fatally flawed as they might be.
Here’s where it gets fun, mafuckas! Preemo, Nore, and Blaq Poet – set it off!!
I loathe everything about JamesHarden as a person, as a player, and as a microcosm of our nation’s general insanity. This deserves it’s own blog, kids. It really, really does. In lieu of that happening right now, just watch this compilation of the self-proclaimed MVP doing non-MVP things:
2. I despise Doris Burke’s steadfast commitment to contradicting herself, fellating LeBron, and never delivering anything insightful via her horrfiic commentary. HEY DORIS! SHUT THE FUCK UP, K?!? LEBRON ISN’T IN THE DISUCSSION FOR MVP WITH GIANNIS. THIS IS NOT A NARRATIVE WORTH EXPLORING. IT’S NOT A DOOR TO BE LEFT OPEN. YOU WANT ME TO SHOW YOU WHY? HERE’S GIANNIS’ SEASON COMPARED TO LEBRON’S (keep in mind the Bucks thrashed the Lakers H2H and are 53-9 next to LA’s 47-13).
Doesn’t take a math major to determine who’s having the better statistical season, right? Here’s the kicker though, Doris. Bron might not be the most valuable Laker! His “best teammate” is the third best player when using advanced stats in NBA history! Let’s look at Brow v. Khris Middleton for good measure, Doris:
You know what grinds my gears, fellow travelers? You see the stats WS & WS/48? That means “win shares” and “win shares per 48 minutes.” It’s essentially how much an individual has contributed to his team winning games this season. That sounds like a way to determine a player’s “value” on their respective team, right? It appears as if the Unibrow is rocking around at 9.9 WS and .264 WS/48…wait, what? That’s more than LeBron’s 8.8 WS and .212 WS/48?!?!? RIDDLE ME THIS, DORIS! HOW THE FUCK IS HE THE MOST VALUABLE PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE WHEN HIS TEAMMATE IS WINNING MORE GAMES FOR THE LAKERS THAN HE IS??!??!? God damn it, I hate her.
(BTW – Giannis is leading the league with 10.3 WS and .287 WS/48)
3. I hate Trae Young’s drowned rat face, but I hate his ridiculous hype machine even more. I guess it’s a hot take to think Trae Young is vastly overrated. If it is, consider me Scalding Smails. I’m going even further with this – Trae Young will NEVER make the playoffs as a team’s best player. You know how I know this? Because he’s never been a winner before…at any level. He’s 38-97 in his two NBA seasons. He lost to a garbage Rhode Island team in the first round of the NCAA tourney at Oklahoma. He never won a state title in high school, people! This clip sums up everything about Trae Young in a swift two minutes:
4. I hate that Dame Lillard is going to miss the playoffs because the Blazers acquired + empowered Carmelo Anthony.
Admittedly, he’s been better as Blazer than a Rocket. But that’s like saying gonorrhea is better than herpes. Here’s his shooting numbers at a glance:
What I want you to take away is that he’s averaging the third most attempts on the team despite ranking 15 out of 18 in shooting percentages / efficiency. He’s also preventing young players like Simons, Little, and Trent from truly developing. I hate Carmelo, and I hope Dame does too.
5. I’m angry and hateful that injuries have not allowed to see the Pacers play to their potential. Oladipo missed half the year and has looked beyond rusty upon returning. Brogdon has been banged up all season. Lamb is done for the year. Turner can’t consitently stay on the court. Their one constant force, Damontas Sabonis, is having his breakout year drift into the NBA ether due to his team’s pseudo irrelevance. And that’s a damn shame.
That’s enough hate…here are my honorable mention love’s to end this obscenely long blog on a positive note.
Chris Paul’s remarkable season in OKC – CP was an All Star and is doing his thing via true excellence as a leader.
Ja Morant trying to collect All Star bodies any chance he can – he’s gonna dunk on an All NBA guy soon. My bet is Gobert.
Bam Adebayo’s emergence as a legitimate stud.
Refering to Kyrie Irving as “the butterfly catcher” with ATrain. Never gets old.
PBM has left the building. Tip your servers, family.
Here at A-Train Sports, we do not recognize the failure of the XFL 20 years ago. As far as we are concerned the league never existed, and today February 8th, 2020 the REAL XFL begins.
I have already locked myself in as a DIE-HARD Dragons fan. I live in Seattle, as a boy the only thing I could draw with any confidence was a dragon. I read all the Game of Thrones Books. The Dragons are the squad, it’s a match made in heaven. Beyond that, I’m excited about the dragons merch.
Unfortunately, everything is either sold out or only the small sizes are left. The XFL shop needs to restock so I can get my dragon drip on.
My Blog Partner: Freddy Van Sheet aka PBM is located in St. Louis and is obligated to be a fan of the St. Louis Battlehawks. Look, there is NO LOVE LOST between the Battlehawks and the Dragons hopefully our friendship can survive this rivalry the way it has survived Cubs-Cardinals and Blackhawks-Blues.
Setting the Fan Culture:
Part of the reason for getting in early on the XFL is the chance to set the fan culture. Buffalo Bills fans break tables, Green Bay Packers fans embrace morbid obesity, Philly Fans throw batteries. If YOU get in on the ground floor YOU can set this culture. I’m not saying that Dragon fans will be spitting fire AT the game. But maybe at the tailgates?
This game is about to start and my arch enemy Greg McElroy is calling it. That does not bode well. I will pop back in to finish this Blog after the game.
XFL on ONE ready BREAK!
WOW. The XFL might actually work out this time.
My beloved Dragons lost 31-19 in a hard-fought game that had a little bit of everything.
Here’s the Good Bad and the Ugly.
I don’t know if it’s better than the NFL method but it doesn’t suck. I could see the NFL one day adopting this kickoff for safety reasons. I just wonder if we will see more or less return touchdowns using this system.
I never thought I’d ever hear Greg McElroy talking spreads and totals during a football game. But with the Spread… DC (-9.5) and total (51.5) openly displayed they have to talk about it, It definitely adds color to broadcast and gives the booth rats something to talk about, they don’t have to yak about bullshit to fill time the way Romo does.
I actually thought the football was good, it was like watching two decent big 10 teams play. That’s about the level of football we see. But there were a lot of BIG PLAYS, only time will tell if this is the norm, or if it was just this game.
Mic’d up coaches. I don’t love it. I don’t need to hear Jim Zorn’s dumbass this much. I reserve the right to move this to the good section if more XFL viewing changes my mind.
(I did enjoy the Zorn sideline interview where Zorn said he lied to his QB when he told him the INT “wasn’t his fault” because “he’s gotta go back out there”)
The replay process is open to the public and while I appreciate transparency, their process is terrible. It appears to be somebody’s grandfather decides replay before seeing every angle and just wings it. “Indisputable visual evidence” does not seem to come into play but neither does common sense.
On one play they took away the first down from Seattle at this guy’s first glance reaction. After he makes the decision they show a better angle he never bothered to wait for or look at.
Sideline Reporting MY GOD we don’t need this. They need to dial it back more.
This is one of the more awkward and intrusive things I've seen in a professional sports broadcast. I get the whole enhanced fan experience thing, but come on @xfl2020 & @espn, some moderation with the sideline reporting pic.twitter.com/bydNnx0gaL
Butler lists his top five hardest defensive assignments as LeBron, Kyrie, Durant, Steph, and Harden. He provides legitimate reasons as to why they challenged him, swallows his pride multiple times, and once again showcases that his attitude towards the game is rooted in the old school ways. This article and his impact on the Heat this season have forced me to reevaluate Butler – I now view him as a top ten guy in today’s league. Butler’s presence on the floor matched has matched the power of his written, and his stock is rising. You know who never, ever helps himself via the written word or any words for that matter? Kevin Durant. You know who else chimed in with a his top five toughest dudes to defend list? Fuckin’ Kevin Durant. This is his list.
In the wake of his nonsense with Kendrick Perkins, you’d think KD would take a breather from expressing his views on things to the public. His insecurity over Twitter gave Perkins enough room to arguably win their exchange, and it became yet another addition to his growing list of media fails. KD’s verbal warfare is the polar opposite of his offensive game on the NBA floor. Instead of countless defenders, it is ALWAYS Durant whom looks foolish. Examples? How about the burner Twitter accounts, his beef with Draymond, his text feud with Chris “Bum Ass” Broussard, as well several other spats that I don’t care to mention? That all said, it gives to context to his terrible list. Even more context can be ascertained when examining the backlash from his infamous move to Golden State after the 2015-2016 NBA season. With all the above in mind, I can firmly see what Durant’s agenda was in listing these five dudes:
LeBron is obvious and necessary. He is a top five player of all time, and he’s been Durant’s chief competition for the true MVP every season of his career. Kawhi is also obvious and necessary – they clashed in the western conference for the majority of each’s career, and they never backed down from each other. Here’s where it gets tricky…why the hell did KD include PG and Lou over his current and former teammates such as Steph, Kyrie, and Harden? You might say, “well, he probably never guarded Steph or Kyrie one-on-one for long stretches of time.” However, if that’s the reason why, it doesn’t add up. Lou Williams is the same type of cover (with lesser handling and shooting than both Steph and Kyrie), and that would mean he too wasn’t Durant’s defensive responsibility for large chunks of time. Combining that thinking with Durant’s inclusion of Paul George over James Harden and his EXTENSIVE history of insecure behavior allows me to really connect some dots. Ready?
Anybody remember any epic Durant / PG duels? Bueller? Let us look at their H2H stats to refresh our memories, shall we? Um, Kevin? He shoots 38% against you. You’re either hyping your own defense too much or you’re overstating PG’s offensive talents. I think it’s the latter, because it makes your mortal enemy (Russell Westbrook) look bad, and it also makes Kawhi’s move to the Clippers look slightly similar to your own highly scrutinized move to the Warriors. The intent to devalue Kawhi and/or justify his own career choices is not hard to see, as it also aligns with him including Lou Williams over the likes of Curry and Irving. Either way you slice it, including Paul George on this list is a joke. The numbers (and sane brains) suggest it should be James Harden in George’s place:
Lou Williams’ inclusion on his top five is even more comical, and when you see the numbers it becomes downright hysterical. Here’s KD v. Kyrie:And finally, here’s KD v. Steph:Kevin – YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS. Either this man doesn’t remember A SINGLE FUCKING THING from the games he plays, or he’s pushing an agenda that is patently absurd. No matter its catalyst, I find this level of ignorance offensive from an all-time great hooper.
We need to discuss Embiid’s placement in this grouping. We’ve established why he most likely isn’t doling out props to his teammates (both past and present). We’ve also established this list as a potential way to celebrate his own defensive chops, correct? With that in mind, he had to include a big man. But why Joel over Giannis? Numbers time!Wow, man. Just wow. Joel’s .373 FG% in their three regular season matchups made his list. Kevin Durant is fucking tone deaf. Let’s see Giannis’ stats:As expected, Giannis has performed at a better clip against KD than Embiid. KD included Embiid because Giannis is the reigning MVP and KD isn’t happy about that. Or maybe he does have the worst memory on Earth. Regardless, I bet when they see each other again Giannis brings the ruckus to Durant’s dome.
Despite all of the above, Durant’s biggest error was leaving a legend off his list. Let’s peep Durant’s H2H with one of the best offensive player of all time, Dirk Nowitzki (14 playoff games against one another):Of all the guys we’ve discussed, Dirk deserves his place on KD’s list the most. Why didn’t he get it? Because Durant is tone deaf, guys. His actions, his words, and the numbers add up to equal an absurdly confused, insecure dude. His attempts to script his own narrative, unlike LeBron, have backfired. His ways have made this meme a large chunk of his legacy:
Before we get down to business, please allow me to pump my own tires with that palindrome in the title – damn, it feels good to be back!
I was going to make this post about Burrow’s greatness and not focus entirely on OBJ, but ATrain already covered the first part. Let me be very clear – I’m writing this in order to ensure the narrative stays focused on the accomplishments of LSU and their legendarily fantastic quarterback. The Train said it best when he wrote “stats mean less without wins” (or something like that), Burrow managed to break / tie records both statistically and in the win column. And you know what? Thank God he did. He personified greatness in a time when our collective sports mind needed someone to do so. If he didn’t, who knows how college QBs would be discussed in 2020? Some putz on FS1, a million IG pages, and the youth of today might be arguing Colt Brennan’s 58 TD season was “greater” than Vince Young’s Rose Bowl winning one. I appreciate you, Joe Burrow. More than I can put into words.
Now…what I CAN put into words is my pure, unadulterated, and unquantifiable hatred of Odell Beckham, Jr. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s what that chump did in the face of his university’s beautiful moment last night:
LSU has already issued a statement saying it was prop money. You can find that here.
The author of the post I linked to above suggests that if you believe LSU, well, then you have to believe that OBJ went out and procured A LOT of fake money before this game. If you believe that, you’re in the same camp as those who believe LeBron was actually the official A&R for 2Chainz’s “Rap Or Go To The League” project (which means Bron spent hours with labels negotiating feature prices, typed all the lyrics into Rap Genius, and cleared every sample used on the album). I’ll be clear – if you’re in those camps, you’re a fucking idiot.
…ugh. I’m so fired up about this, rail riders. The fact that LSU had to officially address OBJ’s antics, not even twenty-four hours after their season of destiny, is beyond reprehensible! It is so disgusting not because OBJ broke NCAA rules that need to be broken, but because of the manner in which he decided to do so. Peel ’em off in the locker room, or at the club later, or today when they’re hungover and needing fuel for tonight, OBJ! But that’s not your style is it, dude? You needed to find your way into their spotlight, play the role of a “real one,” and cast a shadow over a beautiful moment that you had ZERO to do with. The only way you helped anyone last night was you gave us a reason as to why LeBron wouldn’t let you stay in his house.
I’m not about the cancel culture, people. I’m about second, third, and fourth chances if they’re layered with distinctly different intentions. I lose that empathy and sympathy when people continue to make the same mistakes over and over again. OBJ hasn’t changed, and he isn’t trying to in the slightest. Remember the boat trip?
OBJ and others did this before a playoff game. OBJ had a remarkably bad game following this ill advised journey, and he delivered this apology:
I believe he states that he has learned to not “take attention away from his teammates” or something along those lines. Whatever he says exactly, it can be paraphrased to suggest he’s gained humility, self awareness, and maturity from the experience. Guess what, rail riders? He fuckin’ hasn’t. Last night’s shenanigans show that OBJ still values his own grandiosity and arrogance more than all, and I doubt that will shift until his playing days start to dwindle. That will drive him towards a mindful post-retirement career (unlikely) or a very distasteful and highly publicized flame out (smart money is on this outcome).
Lastly, can you believe OBJ had the audacity to tell Burrow how to be a leader on IG? Peep this:
Um, Mr. Beckham? You spelled “many” wrong, and your sentiment is very far from reality. It most certainly is about getting to the top of the mountain, and Mr. Burrow most definitely lead the state school of his state in phenomenal fashion.
Congrats, Odell. You get the Jeru treatment, clown. Not only does your dogshit “guidance” have a paper trail, you once again got caught on video being a player who is only playin’ himself.
I was sitting outside the pool waiting for my sister at a Hotel whose name I forget in Las Vegas. While I’m waiting I strike up a conversation with a young dude of impressive stature. He tells me he played WR at Ohio State which immediately piqued my interest and we start talking ball. I said something along the lines of JT Barrett held Ohio State back because he wasn’t a very good passer and they had a plethora of WR talent that was going underutilized. To show this guy I knew the QB room at Ohio State I threw out some names I think I mentioned Haskins and even Tate Marell as possible replacements. My new friend seemed to agree with the idea but he pointedly at me and said “Joe Burrow.”
At that point I immediately took note of Joe Burrow, he wasn’t just a name anymore, a guy who practiced with him every day is saying he’s better than Dwayne Haskins, JT Barrett and the rest of the QB room. I kinda followed the QB battle that spring at Ohio State and when Burrow didn’t seem likely to beat out Haskins he transferred to LSU and the rest is history.
Burrow just finished the greatest season of all time by a college QB in terms of BOTH statistics and winning. I mean if you like stats how about 60 TD passes on the season a new record. How about 14 total TDs in the two-game playoff? But stats don’t mean a whole lot without winning.
LSU at the end of the season beat the #2 team, the #4 team, the #6 team, the #7 team, the #8 team and the #15 team in the country. And for the most part, they beat the crap out of these teams. This is the greatest team of this century and maybe ever.
The game looked in doubt early on but after 17-7 the LSU Tigers went on a 35-8 run to end the game and frankly coulda scored a lot more points if they kept passing at the end. The LSU defense deserves a lot of credit for making Trevor Lawrence uncomfortable for a lot of the game but when Burrow is having a game like he did it almost doesn’t matter.
I’m so happy for Coach Ed Orgeron. No guy deserves to be a Champion more than him. The energy and enthusiasm he brings to his team and to the game warms my heart and makes me smile. Coach O represents LSU so perfectly, it’s a match made in heaven.
The next big question for Coach O is who will he get to replace the Legend of Joe Burrow? Is a suitable replacement at QB on the roster? (I doubt it) Will he look to the transfer portal like Georgia did with Wake Forest’s Jamie Newman? Or is there a recruit out there who can win the job as a true freshman? My guess is they look to the portal first.
Congrats to LSU and thanks for an amazing season that was a lot of fun to watch.
Salutations! It’s good to be back blogging. Why did I take such a long break? The answer is simple.
Every blog would have been an iteration of:
“Freddy Can’t Coach a Soup Kitchen”
“Freddy K and the Nightmare on Lerner Way”
“Watching the Browns makes me want to claw my fucking eyes out”
The list of scrapped anti-Freddy Kitchens blogs goes on and on. There were so many that anyone reading would think that I am a die-hard Browns fan living in Cleveland. I am not. I was however heavily invested in Nick Chubb and Odell Beckham in fantasy football, this led to me watching more of the Cleveland Browns than anyone should.
What I saw was simple. The Browns were a ship without a rudder. Week in and week out they were woefully unprepared. They didn’t play to their strengths. They didn’t have an identity outside of being sloppy and undisciplined. They had talent that went unused and unrealized. They constantly got stupid penalties. The once-promising young Baker Mayfield looked like a man in his middle forties broken down by hard-living ready to give up on life itself.
Oh yeah, and your best defensive player ripped the helmet off Mason Rudolph and proceeded to hit him in the head with it at the end of a game that you WON! Ever notice how well-coached teams don’t have crazy shit like that happen to them? Unhinged tomfoolery was bread and salt to this Cleveland Browns squad and it all starts with the head coach.
Look, NFL teams have bad years, it happens. Sometimes the starting QB is hurt or you play a very difficult schedule. The team is in a rebuilding year, or lacks talent. Sometimes it’s not the coach’s fault. This Browns year was the opposite of that. Kitchens WAS the reason this team STINKS. I’ve seen bad coaches, Kitchens was beyond bad, he was horrific. Sometimes a guy gets fired and you now someday he’s gonna get a second chance. Eric Mangini got a second gig. Rex Ryan got another look. Adam Gase found a team to take him on.
(I just realized as I type this all three of those coaches were connected to the Jets)
If you think about it things actually broke the Browns way. They didn’t have major injuries. The schedule they had was almost laughable how easy it was. Big Ben missed the whole year and the Steelers were playing with bad backups and still had more wins. The other team in the division, the Bengals were almost actively tanking for the #1 pick which they got. Enjoy playing against Joe Burrow from now on Cleveland. The Browns went 6-10 with GOOD fortune. That’s unreal.
Freddy ain’t coaching in the NFL ever again. Not as the head guy. He should be the offensive coordinator for a school in the Sun Belt. That’s where his level is. No disrespect to Sun Belt coaches…I shouldn’t lump you in with this idiot I’m just trying to make a point.
The 2019 NFL experience for me personally was one of the worst so far in my lifetime. Freddy was a large contributor both literally and figuratively. The play of Russ Wilson and Lamar Jackson (The Ravens in general) were the lone bright spots in an otherwise dismal NFL year. Thank God for College Football.
As for the next Browns coach, you cannot do any worse so almost anyone you hire is addition by subtraction. I have a feeling we could see Mike McCarthy in Cleveland. (cringe) Lincoln Riley is probably a pipe dream. If you ask me this is the best of the available jobs in the NFL, even better than the Cowboys in terms of potential to win right away. Spruce up that O-Line, get Baker his confidence back, run Chubb and win.
The NBA is the best league in professional sports, and the start of the season has cemented their alpha-league status. Hip Hop is the best musical art form ever created, and the recent releases have once again distanced its excellence from the likes of country (NFL), indie music (NHL), EDM (MLS), and modern rock (MLB). What better time for PBM to cross-culturally compare the stars of the National Basketball Association with their Hip Hop equivalents? Each comparison is based on their musical success seemingly measuring up to their comparison’s on-court performance (sales/downloads and wins/per-game stats), their personalities aligning, and their flow / lyrical capabilities matching with on-court style and demeanor. The last measurable will be rooted in whether or not the two individuals are “battle-tested” (the great Joe Budden would consider this the most important measurable of all). Without further adieu, let’s get to the most obvious pairing first.
LeBron James is Drake.
LeBron’s regular season totals? They’re the equivalent of Drake’s sales and streams. LeBron’s continued stardom? Drake was also a child star / prodigy. LeBron’s “steadfast” loyalty to Akron and Ohio despite leaving the state for greener pastures multiple times? That would be Drake being the “biggest Raptors fan alive” while trying to celebrate titles with the Heat, rocking rival jerseys while performing in other cities to pander to the fans, and getting the stars of the Warriors names tattooed on his body.
Each man is the self-proclaimed “GOAT” when they’ve been bullied, disrespected, beaten, or outright ignored by their peers and their industry’s respective legends. Each man also has groups of diehard STANs that refuse to cite anything other than their individual numbers to fuel their arguments – this is where the “battle tested” component comes into play. How can both of these dudes think they’re the best of all-time when they both consistently lose to their peers (both young and old)?!? Think about it…
LeBron has consistently taken L’s to Kawhi, Steph, Durant, Tim Duncan, Paul Pierce, and Dirk in the playoffs. He’s lost MVPs to Steph, Durant, Harden, Giannis, and Westbrook! Right now, he’s not even the best player on his own team. He has one title that stands out as memorable and/or due to this contributions, and his overall NBA Finals record is 17-32.
Drake has been lyrically or conversationally DEMOLISHED in beefs with Common, Budden, Diddy, Pusha T, DMX, and Kendrick Lamar. His wins? Meek Mill and Tyga. Pusha T’s evisceration of him last summer stands out the most, as he even found a picture of Drake in blackface for the single’s artwork.
Wanna know what this makes this even better? LeBron and Drake talked about Drake’s defeat on LeBron’s shitty HBO show.
Listen to the language they use! Drake calls his non-response to Pusha’s brutality his “decision!” He said he didn’t want to let LeBron down by said decision! Who better to discuss how decisions can let people down other than LeBron James, right?
Lastly, each man has left behind no legacy in their respective professions. LeBron has nurtured ZERO young teammates in his career. In fact, he’s traded them all away for dudes who could help pad his stats in the moment. Drake has ZERO young men directly tied to his legacy in Hip Hop. There is no Roc Nation, there is no Death Row, there is no TDE, and there is no Dreamville for Aubrey. While each dude has their diehard admirers, their fellow professionals rarely stand tall for their skills. When they do, it is behind a microphone for clout and/or on a feature to get paid.
I nailed this one, people.
Kawhi Leonard is Pusha T.
Obviously, right? Both men ruthlessly slay the false prophets of their kingdoms in H2H competition. Each man was groomed for success by the legends of their respective fields. Each man has multiple styles to attack their crafts with, and both tend to be extremely enigmatic in their approach. They raise their levels when the stakes are highest, and are ruthless when they do it. What made this comparison fit the most for me was a defect that each man possesses – we don’t get enough content from either one. Kawhi’s “load management” routine is painfully detrimental to his legacy. King Push put out a slamming “album” last year – his first in a minute – but it wasn’t really an album. DAYTONA only had seven tracks and in actuality was more of an EP.
Ultimately, they’re both all-time legends of their craft. Unfortunately, we may remember each one for leaving too much on the table. Here’s their finest moments for posterity:
Stephen Curry is J. Cole.
Two Carolina-raised, soft spoken dudes. Two insanely intelligent dudes who cherish collaboration and love to foster the growth of their younger peers. Two men who don’t tout their individual accomplishments and whom don’t give any weight to individual awards – shit, Cole doesn’t even go to the Grammy’s. Lastly, two dudes who will be remembered as two of the most skilled individuals to ever hoop / rap – Steph is the GOAT shooter, and Cole just might be the most diverse / skilled lyricist to ever rock the mic.
The biggest connection for me is how they each make their fellow players / rappers better. Steph has brought up Klay, Draymond, Looney, and Quinn Cook. He saved or extended the careers of Livingston, Iggy, Bogut, JaVale, and David West. J. Cole’s Dreamville label made arguably the most complete album of 2019, and his labelmates carried the torch. Bas, Lute, J.I.D., EARTHGANG, and Cozz have flourished under J. Cole’s watch. All have ascertained individual success, respect, and relevance while consistently representing J. Cole’s standard for Hip Hop.
Here’s Klay on Steph and a collaboration from the Dreamville core MC’s:
Zion Williamson is DaBaby…I hope.
Nice Segway from that last video to this comparison. It’s actually more of a prediction, because Zion hasn’t shown us anything yet in the league. Stay tuned to see if he can match “Suge” on the floor.
Freddie Gibbs is Kemba Walker.
I really wanted to make Gibbs and Giannis work – especially because Freddie dropped a banger in the Greek Freak’s honor this summer.
Unfortunately, the styles and circumstances don’t quite fit. Freddie and Kemba though? Here’s why I went there:
Both are proven winners with All Star stats – even when they are supported by dipshits. Kemba won titles in UCONN and is currently leading the league’s #1 offense in Boston + dominated individually for the hapless Bobcats / Hornets. Gibbs has made two of the best Hip Hop albums in my entire collection when partnered with the genius of Madlib. He also managed to churn out bangers despite being minimized and ignored while on Young Jeezy’s BMF label.
Kemba is probably the best pure point guard in the NBA. He might even be the only one left in the mold of Zeke, young CP3, Deron Williams, Young Marbury, Nash, Kidd, and other 90’s-00’s legends. Gibbs is definitely the best rapper to be actively recording Hip Hop music. That isn’t saying he’s the biggest star, people. It’s saying NO ONE raps better than him when handed a microphone in 2019. Just like no other PG’s are leading the best offenses in the NBA like Kemba Walker.
No one will ever fuck with either one of these dudes. Kemba is a real one from the Bronx. Gibbs is a real one and a native of Gary, IN. They’ll beat the shit out of their foes if necessary.
Time to enjoy the masters at work:
Other comparisons to come if I have the time later on today…
James Harden is Travis Scott.
Kevin Durant is Kendrick Lamar.
Lou Williams, Pat Beverly, and Montrezz Harrell are Westside Gunn, Conway, and Benny the Butcher.
After ya let Jeru’s poignant words sink in, turn to this random Twitter user’s tweet that was cited today in several Apple News articles:
“No more King James – Chairman James from now on.”
Sheeeeesh! What a rough week for LeBron James, and what an even worse week for his now-defunct “Global Icon” blueprints. In case you missed it, LeBron called Daryl Morey “misinformed” following Morey’s tweets in support of the criminally oppressed people of Hong Kong. Morey did this right before the NBA’s pre-season trip to China (which included LeBron’s Lakers), and it turned to be quite disastrous for the league’s relationship with the Chinese government. Morey’s tweets, albeit ill-timed, were poignant and directly aligned with the thinking of anyone who steadfastly advocates for social justice, equality, and for essential individual freedoms to be available to all of mankind . They were the tweets of a man with a moral code, and someone whom choses civil liberties in favor of big government and/or big corporation’s agendas.
What’s transpiring between China and Hong Kong is one of the few bi-partisan issues allowed by the insanely contentious nature of the modern social scene. In today’s radically divided and fanatically argumentative global political climate, there is almost always two unwavering sides to every major sociopolitical issue. This is what a social systems theorist would call “the divide of two warring factions.” The way to find balance in two warring factions? It’s quite simple, actually. You must try to find or establish a single deviant party – i.e. a person or group of people who’s public sentiment and/or political motivations are indefensible when dissected underneath the cognitive microscope yielded by either side of the equation. LeBron James, by his own hand, has become a single deviant party.
Upon receiving the appropriate backlash for his idiotically insensitive and morally bankrupt stance on the nature of Morey’s tweets, LeBron backtracked his original remarks and stated Morey “could’ve waited a week” to press the send button.
My team and this league just went through a difficult week. I think people need to understand what a tweet or statement can do to others. And I believe nobody stopped and considered what would happen. Could have waited a week to send it.
He did not specify whether Morey waiting to send the tweets would’ve been better for his team’s safety while playing in China, been better for the NBA’s revenue agreements with China, or been better purely in relation to his own commercial interests. The unwritten contextual importance of that tweet is that it aligns with wanting Morey to keep quiet in order to allow LeBron, his Lakers, and the NBA to collect funds now presently unavailable to them for the foreseeable future. It appears as if NBA’s business dynamic with China is seemingly forever altered, which is the negative commercial result generally associated with radical efforts for social change in an extremely capitalist society.
With all of these developments taking form, LeBron STILL hasn’t quieted himself when it comes to this issue. Today on ESPN’s “First Take,” a press conference aired where he once again poorly addressed his verbal miscues! LeBron ate more crow while astonishingly coming across as even more grossly intellectually / socially incompetent. He voiced his growing desire to avoid a “word or sentence feud with Morey,” and did nothing to silence a rather large mass of humanity that is calling him out for his heightened usage of tone deaf, uneducated, and irresponsible language.
Side Note: I believe the expression you were searching for LeBron is a “war of words.” Despite butchering the common tongue, this was the smartest thing you’ve done yet in your most recent, self-created PR nightmare. A “sentence feud” with the MIT-educated Morey is as one-sidedly geared for his strengths as a game of 1-on-1would be for yours.
When searching for a pop culture comparison, I went to back the well of “The Wire.” I’m pretty sure I’ve cited this scene before. I think I did so in terms of either LeBron or Kanye West (my LeBronye blogged has aged really well, BTW) being a corporately designed false idol, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact at hand is that I can find no better on-screen equivalent to capture the current embattled nature of Chairman James. His insatiable ego coupled with his obsessive desire to be proclaimed a “king” and a “global icon” caused him to drift way too far out of his lane one time too many, and most people aren’t watching idly this go around. In the quote below, the socially conscious, self-aware sect of the world is playing the role of Avon Barksdale as LeBron James seamlessly steps into the shoes of the morally reprehensible Stringer Bell:
Side Note: It pains me to compare LeBron to one of my favorite evil characters of all-time. But think of it in these terms – I LOVE great villains. My love for great, self-aware villains is matched only by my HATE for hypocritical, self-righteous “good guys.” LeBron is what I loathe, and his recent missteps finally provide concrete proof his true colors. Also, I feel like I’ve already written this side note in another one of my many anti-LeBron blogs…
Avon’s words are just too damn perfect. They summarize exactly where LeBron rests in his poorly conceived quest towards being remembered as not only the “GOAT” hooper, but also as a brilliant artist, a socially conscious leader of men, and as a globally renowned commercial “icon.” LeBron, by his own hand, is going to be remembered as none of these things by the educated masses. Who are the educated masses, you ask? Those whom generate critical analysis rooted in a sound educational foundation and read critically constructed commentary from a variety of sociopolitical angles fit the bill. Apologies to those only read “practical shit,” but we don’t take to your kind here. It just so happens that PBM fits the lowest of these standards, and I also have appropriately sized platform at my disposal. Tough breaks, Bron.
No matter how hard Chairman James has tried to star as the heroic protagonist of an impossibly uphill personal success story, a journey unlike any before his time, he has succeeded only in creating a confused brand identity that is strikingly similar to a number of other great athletes. In LeBron’s misguided efforts to be remembered as an amalgamation of Ali’s impeccable moral standards and MJ’s iconic commercial value, he has merely become a legendary hypocrite. LeBron tried as hard as he possibly could to be an extension of the legacies of Jim Brown, Kareem Abdul Jabaar, and the aforementioned Muhammad Ali – I truly believe he did. Unfortunately, due to his lack of self-awareness and the absence of a legit, foundational education, he wasn’t afforded the wisdom to understand that in order to be mentioned in the same breath of social justice pioneers, you have to sacrifice an inordinate amount of personal commercial gains. Quite simply, in order to be “more than an athlete,” you cannot be driven by your “brand.”
As an athlete and as a brand, LeBron is bound to specific regulatory bodies. These regulatory bodies form “the system.” The system’s governing forces are the NBA’s operational modalities (including ethical principles, financial bylaws, and more) the personal viewpoints of the owners of the NBA’s franchises, the NBA league sponsors as well as the individual team sponsor’s stated revenue goals, and lastly the way in which the objectively biased media outlets covers LeBron’s contributions to the NBA (both on and off the court). The athlete LeBron obsessively compares himself to, Michael Jordan, did not transcend these impenetrable, commercially controlled systemic boundaries. He became a stakeholder within them.
Jordan’s form of the impossible (his escape of corporate puppet strings) was never and will never be truly grasped by LeBron. It’s something that is wholly unique to MJ as an athlete (thus making him an “icon). Jordan’s star power and on-court dominance was so incredible that he was able to ascertain enough wealth to become a member/facilitator of the regulatory system described above. That said, there is a largely ignored yet inherently vital component of Jordan’s unparalleled rise to iconic status. Jordan kept his mouth shut in relation to any subject matter outside of what recently transpired on his field of play. He used the system’s respect of that steadfast loyalty to maximize his personal financial gain, and thus allowed for the system to absorb him as one of its cogs. The same system that Brown, Ali, and Kareem consistently advocated against with righteous political actions and social justice advocacy, was and is wholly adhered to by Michael Jordan. This adherence bred MJ’s iconic place within in said systemic constructs, just as being advocates for infrastructural change bred iconic statue for Brown, Ali, and Kareem.
As a reference point, Shaq, Magic, Kobe, and other NBA greats have thrived in or “sold out to” the NBA’s regulatory system in ways similar to Jordan. They have not nor ever will join MJ as a governing member of system that created them. Each accomplished too little on the court, all haven’t matched MJ’s earning potential, and all have done too much in the way of documented public controversy. LeBron also isn’t going to match MJ’s basketball achievements (despite what ESPN or several NBA talking heads will have you believe). MJ dominated like only Russell before him, and had no peers come close to his performance as a winner or his loyalty as a leader. LeBron is ahead of his peers only in terms physical gifts and the cumulative statistical dominance available to him via those gifts. LeBron’s loyalty issues need not be mentioned here…
From a purely financial standpoint, LeBron most certainly can’t match MJ’s iconic earning potential – compare their shoes’ values on StockX or just try and think of the national ad campaigns both men have starred in. Jordan has/had Nike, Hanes, Coke, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Wheaties, Chevy, and more. LeBron? I can think of Sprite off the top of my head. Ultimately, a universal understanding that MJ dominates LeBron as an earner is punctuated by acknowledging Jordan’s 1.9 billion dollar net worth. LeBron’s personal fortune, while impressive, is less than a 1/4 of that and rests at 450 million (nestled in between Kobe at 500MM and Shaq at 400MM).
All that information brings us back to the quote from Avon Barksdale, because as of today, both literally and figuratively, LeBron James is both an athlete and a brand without a country. He isn’t smart enough or hard enough to do all of his talking on the court (despite his unmatched physical tools), and he most definitely is not smart enough or hard enough to embody an action-oriented existence built on sacrificing personal gain for socially significant, positively oriented systemic change. In the words of the kids, unsuccessfully trying to trademark Taco Tuesday “ain’t it, bruh.”
Wow. Having rested my case in terms of the basketball court’s verdict on “The Case of the GOAT” months ago, it feels awfully good to finally close his case in the court of public opinion as well. I’ll let you determine your own verdict – PBM’s prosecution rests.