Category Archives: sports

Should the “Final Four” be moved out of Indianapolis?

Sometimes you have to wonder “Can’t we all just get along?”

In case you haven’t heard, a law has been passed in the state of Indiana that has the nation, organizations and some media figures in an uproar.

The Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), signed into law by Governor Mike Pence last week, makes it legal to discriminate against LGBT customers in the name of “religious freedom”.The bill has set off a wave of criticism from all over the country, calling for the resignation of Pence and moving major sporting events like the upcoming NCAA Men’s Final Four and the 2016 Women’s Final Four out of Indianapolis.

ESPN reporter Keith Olbermann called for not only the NCAA but the NFL, who took quick action after a similar law was passed in Arizona before Super Bowl 49, as well as the NBA to cease doing business in the state. He went on to suggest the NCAA, which is headquartered in Indianapolis, should move their offices if the state chooses not to repeal the law.

Here’s the entire segment:

Now, I would like to throw in my two cents on the matter, but before I begin I want people to understand where I’m coming from and understand my mindset (or at least part of it). Now, I grew up as a Christian, in fact I would consider myself Christian to this day. I had a pretty basic Christian upbringing as a child, went to church, attend sunday schools and youth groups, read my bible, etc. Obviously there are certain things were are told from the Bible that we as Christian should try to incorporate it into our everyday lives (don’t steal, don’t kill, respect your parents,etc.). Now though there are rules that we should live by, one of the biggest things to remember is to love each other or love your neighbor as yourself. Now there is a lot of things going on in the Bible, but love is probably one of the bigger messages that book has to offer. Loving your neighbor as yourself is probably something not only Christian, but pretty much everyone has at least heard about at least once.

Now, I don’t want to make this post all about religion, I wanted to just make a point.

My mindset when it comes to topics like homosexuality is that though I was taught that being gay was a sin, I’m still going to treat you with the same respect I would treat anyone else that I know or see on the street. You being different from myself isn’t going to change the way I act around you, life is way to short for all that. We all have done wrong or done something that others would agree with, does that mean that makes them less of good person than yourself. I get that people don’t agree with that kind of lifestyle and have their own opinions about the matter (which they can have), but don’t we all have more important things in our own lives to deal than worrying about how a homosexual chooses to live there lives?

Though it might be too late for the NCAA to move the men’s Final Four tournament out of Indy, I think it’s best to move the women’s tournament as well as any other operations in the near future, and I think other big name organization should follow suit if something isn’t changed. Some might say “Oh it’s the business has the right to serve whoever they want”, but to say I’m not going to serve you because you look a certain way or you don’t have the same views as me or because you’re different is absolutely ridiculous to me,IT’S FREAKING 2015 FOLKS, GET OVER YOURSELF!!!!

I look at this situation and wonder how this is any different from what African-American went through during the civil rights movement, not being served inside restaurants because of the “law” says the owners didn’t legal have to serve them because they didn’t like their skin color. How can you say “I’m against racial inequality but if your gay, you need to find somewhere else to go”.

What’s the difference, your still alienating a specific group of people. How is that “justice for all”. This is supposed to be a country that gives equal opportunities to those who put in the work and strive to make something of themselves. If this is the case, my question to Gov. Pence,the state of Indiana and anyone who agrees with this law is what kind of message do you think you’re sending to not only the gay community but anyone who is different from you when you pass this bill?

The word “equality” doesn’t come to mind.

Advertisements

Has Free Agency Effected Ravens Draft Plans?

The first week of the “new” NFL league year has left the league in turned upside down. This has been one of the more exciting starts to an off-season in quite some time. Teams are trading their star players left and right, players are returning to their previous franchises’ and of course millions of dollars are being thrown like monopoly money.

Certain teams have used this off-season to show the rest of the league they are ready to throw everything on the table to win the Lombardi right now (like the Bills, Chiefs and Eagles),while some try to make do with what they have and build towards the future at the moment.

This is something the Baltimore Ravens have been doing for years under General Manager Ozzie Newsome and its been working. This off-season has been no different…

For the Ravens, this off-season has been a little bit smoother than the last year’s. The team lost the “original raven” in Ray Lewis to retirement, they traded away the play-off warrior founded in Anquan Boldin, they were coming off an 8-8 record, missed the playoffs for the first time under John Harbaugh, the Ray Rice scandal was all the nation was taking about and it seemed the team, as a whole, took a few step backwards. Of course the move to acquire Steve Smith from the Carolina Panthers really saved what had been a terrible off-season.

This year, things weren’t as crazy, but the drama was still pretty present after loss to the Patriots in the divisional round of the playoff. The team thought they were keeping Gary Kubiak as their offensive coordinator, but he pulled the Ol’ Baltimore Colts/Mayflower stunt and headed to ELWAYLAND up in Denver (no hard feelings Gary). Then, we realized that we still have a good bit of dead money to deal with after cutting Rice during the season, which meant we had little cap space to make any moves (which was huge) and we might not be able to keep, possible any of the unrestricted free agents that were going to hit the market. Then, POOF…it’s March, and free agency is quickly approaching and a lot of money i needed, well that normal means cuts (i.e. Jacoby Jones,Terrance Cody and Chris Canty). Then we lose Torrey Smith to the 49ers (blow to the wide receiving core), then Pernell McPhee to the Bears (blow to the linebackers),then Owen Daniels to the Broncos (blow to an already weaken TE core), then as soon as the Free Agency doors open up…BOOM, Haloti Ngata is traded away to the Detroit Lions (huge blow to the D-Line and the defense altogether).

Obviously, something need to be done to make space for the team’s need and with some of those guys gone means there’s money to be spent:

  • RB Justin Forsett   (Three year deal/ $9 million)
  • S Kendrick Lewis  (Three year deal)
  • CB Anthony Levine (Two year deal/ $2.2 million)

But that Ngata trade still kinda stings, but Ozzie knows what he is doing.

But, even with guys like NT Brandon Williams and DT Timmy Jernigan being very capable replacements for Ngata, they can’t truly replace a player like that, he is a one of a kind, though he was declining due to age and injury, we saw how much of an impact he was during the playoffs after being suspended for four games. Now fans want to know what the priority is now heading into the draft. Is the secondary still number (ranked 31st against the pass in 2014), is replacing Torrey Smith for a bigger wideout our biggest concern or is replacing that big hole left by Ngata now more important than anything else?

Let’s not forget, there are still plenty of qualified free agents out there right now to help replace some of the needs the Ravens now have (and the list keeps piling up), but how much money is Ozzie planning to use?

I don’t have the answers to a lot of these questions, it seems the mock draft for us keeps bouncing around from WR being our top concern to DL to DB. All I can say is IN OZZIE WE TRUST!

It’s official: Flacco is Elite!!!

Kubiak believes Flacco is elite, one of the best players he every coached. Photo credit: zimbio.com

Kubiak believes Flacco is elite, one of the best players he every coached. Photo credit: zimbio.com

I think we can all say that Joe Flacco is pretty much an above-average quarterback, and is obvious the best QB Baltimore has had since the late, great Johnny Unitas laced up his cleats in ol’ Memorial Stadium.

But, can we slate Flacco as an elite in the league yet? Gary Kubiak thinks so.

This past Wednesday at the NFL scouting combine, the former offensive coordinator for the Ravens was asked that 3-year-old question…”Is Joe Flacco an elite QB?”

He’s response: “You bet he is”

Well, if he says he is I guess it has to be true, right? I mean the guy was just his coordinator like a week ago, he spent the entire year with him, following him around, grabbing lunch, showing photos of their kids…oh and playing football I guess. And yes, Flacco’s numbers were probably the best they have ever been during his time in the league, it was clear to see this season, it was “Good Joe”/”Bad Joe” every week (Thank God!) But, does he measure up to a Manning, a Brady, a Rodgers, a Brees or even a Roethlisberger?

I think it’s WAY too early to welcome him into that prestigious club right now, but the resume’ he has to offer has him knock at the door. He has beaten most of the guys on the “elite” list when it counts the most, the playoffs. He has knocked off Manning, he’s knocked of Ben and it’s pretty much a boxing match every time he plays against Brady, in Foxborough. He’s numbers would say he’s pretty average. He has never broken the 4,000 yard mark in a regular season, has never been selected to a Pro Bowl and can still have some pretty terrible games in a season that makes you question how he got into the league   (cough* Houston cough*)

So he’s got a lot of work to do  but you have to think he’s knocking at the door, the run he had in the 2012 playoffs is simple LEGEN *wait for it* DARY!, and if you consider Philip Rivers, Jay Cutler, Andrew Luck and Tony Romo elite-like QB, you can’t tell me Flacco isn’t on deck or at least above these guys on the list. (I mean most of those guys are one-and-done type
QBs in the playoffs). Let’s see what he does this season, he does what he did in 2012 without the locker room figures of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, makes the playoffs and the Ravens win the Super Bowl on his back, you have to consider him, whether he has the numbers or not. PERIOD.

Even The Greats Need Help Sometimes…

I was having a conversation a little while at dinner with a few of my friends about the Chicago Bulls’ championship teams back in the 90’s with Jordan and company. We all agreed that obviously MJ is one of the greatest, and possible the greatest to every play the game, but one of my friends felt that his legacy was tainted because he had the help of guys like Pippen, Cartwright, Grant, Kerr and Rodman. And that was the comment that ended our friendship (kidding! No, but really)

Yes, Jordan was surrounded by decent players, he and Pippen were basically the Batman and Robin duo of the early 90’s. But , just because the guy got an extra hand to get over that hump doesn’t diminish the fact that he is one of the best. Jordan made himself a household name way before those guys were around, heck during his rookie season in 1986 he put up 63 points during a playoff game against Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in Boston (where they were 40-1 that season) and still ended up losing and ultimately getting swept.

His example and plenty others just prove one thing: Even the greatest need help sometimes too!

Think about any great, elite-type players in any team sport (Football, Basketball, Baseball, etc.). Now think about if they won a championship or not. Now think about the team and the players that surrounded them, would they have won that championship without those guys.

Take Peyton for instance, think about all those record-setting teams he played for all those offensive weapons he had whether it was Harrison,  Wayne, Clark, Thomas or even Welker. There were years where those certain teams were locks to take home the Lombardi, and yet they would always come up short.

Except for one season:2006, the same year that majority of the Colts defense seemed to be at full strength heading into the playoffs. That year, Manning walked away with a championship, what was the difference? Out of those years (including right now while he’s in Denver) he had solid players on both sides of the ball.You give a decent QB a good offense and an ok defense your promised a few games for that season, you gie an elite QB like Manning that same offense and same defense he will at least get you to the big game.

Great players need help around, they can’t do on their own, ask Brady and all those records he broke back in 2007, he went 18-0 and still walked away a loser that season. Why? Because his defense was exposed to be not a that great.

Still don’t agree with me, ok. What about LeBron? Isn’t the whole reason people hate him so much is because he left his hometown, his home team and pretty much wasted an hour of everyone’s day with that “I’m taking my talents to South Beach special”. What was his reasoning for leaving? Did you look at the roster he had to work compared the to Miami Heat roster with Pat Riley down there finding decent player left and right? Who would you want Sasha Pavlovic or Dwayne Wade, Drew Gooden or Chris Bosh? Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Yeah he could have done a better job getting down there, but it’s easy to say because James had the guys around him he didn’t always had to be “Superman” or the hero to make to the dance, but even then it seemed as though the pieces around him helped elevate his game higher than it was by himself in Cleveland. Think the same can be said about Kobe  and the Lakers when they required Shaq (though he did win two more after the two spilt), you can say the same for Isiah Thomas and the “Bad Boy” Piston of the late 80’s, Montana or Young and all that talent that surrounded them during their years in San Francisco.

The point I trying to make is that the whole idea of there is no “I” in team is apparent in team sports, you can be the biggest, baddest player that ever was, you might be able to win yourself a few games, set some records and make a brand for yourself. But, I have yet to see the day that one player won a championship all by himself (Kobe is trying is hardest to do it in LA, but it’s time for him to call it a career on his own terms before it’s too late).