Archive for April, 2012

After what seemed an eternity of drafting, the NFL now has its newest crop of young talent ready to display before the masses.  There were trades galore during the primetime event Thursday, Friday and throughout out the day on Saturday.  Most of them were for good causes as fans and teams alike were delighted by the free movement in and out of rounds that allowed teams to actually get what they coveted.

As a southern style blog/report, we will focus mainly on the NFC South as I may choose to review others as I see fit(or upon request).  The Southern Division had two clear winners as the other two were riddled by either previous trades or penalty by the league.

The Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cleaned up early and often in hopes of returning to the forefront of a division they not too distantly controlled before.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Bucs really went after it in this draft.  First they traded down out of the top 5 and had a hand in making Cleveland trade up one spot for RB Trent Richardson.  With the 7th pick they took Alabama SS Mark Barron.  Instantly they gave themselves production in the back 7 they sorely needed.  Next at the bottom of the first they traded back in to select Boise St RB Doug Martin, complementing Blount in the backfield.  Hopefully this will take some pressure off of the struggling QB Josh Freeman.  In the 5,6, and 7 rounds they added youth and depth at positions of need adding a linebacker a corner, another running back and a tight end.  The first round alone is enough to give the Bucs an A but they kept at it in the later rounds giving this team a new look and hope for the near future.

Grade: A

Carolina Panthers:

Early on the Panthers looked to be the team that would land the top D-Tackle prospect in the draft were they to select Mississippi St. bulldozer, Fletcher Cox, in a mild upset the Panthers elected to go with the super talented inside linebacker Luke Kuechley.  Immediately fans jumped all over the pick wondering why they would pass on such a glaring need such as DT in lieu of a linebacker.  The Panthers would not be swayed as their very next selection caused even more heads to tilt in wonder when they selected a D-II offensive guard, Amini Silatolu.  After the early misdirection the Panthers got back on track using all of their remaining picks to hit major areas of need: DE, CB, WR/PR, and S.  After the initial shock of the early rounds(and a couple YouTube highlight videos) my nerves calmed and I began to appreciate the direction and overall quality of Carolina’s decisions.  Kuechly will be a stud and Silatolu will be a monter in the middle and Carolina is fast approaching one of if not the most talented Special teams units in the League.

Grade:B+

Atlanta Falcons:

Not much to see here as they gave up the farm last year to acquire WR Julio Jones.  Two offensive lineman, a full back, defensive end, strong safety and a d-tackle.  Most everything this team needs on defense was addressed in the draft.  The only thing missing now on defense is talent.  Julio better be good next year because they are going to have to score a lot of points in this division.

Grade: C

New Orleans Saints:

Oh boy, where to begin with the continuing disaster that is the NO Saints offseason?  How about the first round, no? Okay then how about the 2nd?  Not there either?  The 3rd? Yes finally the 3rd round selection of the Saints was a DE from Regina, Akiem Hicks.  And that pretty much does it for name recognition for the Saints draft.  A WR, SS, G, and Tackle  round out the late rounds.  Look on the bright side New Orleans, you still have Drew Brees, right???

Grade: D+

There you have it folks, NFC South draft wrap ups and grades to drink in.  The South should be interesting at the least to watch.  We very well could see a reversal of fortune for those that have held this division under there thumbs for a few years now.  The Panthers and Bucs are seriously gaining ground on Atlanta and New Orleans is only one more scandal away from being the ‘Aints again.

Keep it glued right here on True Talk, your source for Southern Sports!

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The day is now upon us.  Gathered like children round the Christmas tree with butterflies and knots in our stomachs, anxiously awaiting the arrival of that final piece or maybe the cornerstone to a bright new future.

Football fans everywhere are checking Twitter feeds and Facebook posts hungrily devouring every draftniks newest trade scenario and mock draft.  Each one providing their own insight to what is, without a doubt, the most unpredictable spectacle in all of sports.

Now that we are entering the 11th hour, every GM, coach and owner is up to speed on the players they want in the draft and even a few that they think could be there with their pick.  The stage has been set, and the most prolific collegiate football players in the nation will gather with friends, families and former coaches and wait to hear the commissioner  announce their name and placement in America’s favorite sport.

The suspense is palpable and every nerve in the body is rapid-firing signals back to the brain faster than they can be decoded.  A hush comes over the capacity crowd in the Radio City Music Hall as NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, makes his long walk to center stage, note card in hand.  Lightly he adjusts the level of the microphone before making his opening remarks.  The buzz begins to build in anticipation of the draft’s most famous words before they are uttered for the first time in 365 days.  Teeth clinch, heart rates jump, sweat beads on the brow of fans all over the world as Goodell announces, “And with the first pick of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…”

As fans we all have our preferences and predictions, both positive and negative, as to what direction our favorite teams will go.  Lost in all the hustle and bustle of this modern “holiday” is the birth of hope.  With each pick and trade that comes off the board hope replaces the anguish and frustration that all but one team felt as the final seconds ticked off of the clock signifying the end of the season.

With that new-found hope message boards, forums, team websites, fan pages and, yes, blogs much like this one, will collectively rejoice the coming of a new season.  And whether you take the time to think about it or not, you are filled with great expectations as whatever team you pull for is right back in the hunt for that ever so elusive Lombardi Trophy.

Every Team is back at 0-0 and with that beautiful statistic in place the mind can drift, wonder, and maybe even dare to dream that at the end of it all your team will be the one left standing in a perpetual blizzard of confetti as the star player looks into the camera in front of millions of fans to proclaim, “I’m going to Disney World!”

As I leave you with the taste of victory lingering on your mental pallets, just take a moment and remember the feeling that hope provides.  That warm fullness that wells up inside to the point of bursting.  Savor that moment, let it sink in and enjoy these few brief hours out of the long day, week, or month that has been eating at you.  Take this time to push back all the nonsense of your normal day-to-day and just relish this time out, breathe deep the minutes you have to sit back and embrace something so trivial yet so very, very important to, yes, the cultural fiber of our great nation.  Celebrate no matter what happens and let the games begin!

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Everybody remembers Michael Jordan.  He soared into our living rooms with flashy dunks, unbelievable layups, clutch shots, suffocating defense, oh, and those 6 NBA titles.  MJ was the best basketball player the world had ever had an opportunity to watch up close.  From the time he entered the NBA he began to take the sport over.  He joined with a little shoe company called Nike and released the first ever Air Jordan.  Not too long after that he hooked up with an upstart sports drink label named Gatorade.

The success never ended for Michael, he had won championships and awards at every level of competition.  Corporate sponsors lined up to endorse his every move.  He even made a kids movie with the characters of Looney Toons back in the 90’s, Space Jam.  It seemed as though MJ had the “Midas Touch”.

After the abrupt departure of music mogul, Bob Johnson, Charlotte was left a brand new franchise without an owner or a direction, Michael Jordan stepped up to the plate with the cash on hand and the dream of being the first former NBA player to own his own franchise.  The NBA could not wait to throw MJ back to the forefront of the league as ratings and attendance across the league had dipped markedly since Jordan’s final retirement.

Most remember Michael’s first attempt at a front office gig up in Washington when he infamously drafted Kwame Brown with the number 1 pick.  After a rocky tenure with the Wizards Jordan was unceremoniously fired.  He was never even allowed back into the facilities to retrieve his belongings.

Just a few years later Jordan was given permission to acquire the majority rights of the Charlotte Bobcats.  His first move as owner was to bring in those he was familiar with.  He chose Larry Brown to coach his team.  This seemed to many as the beginning of a great duo to get the reeling Bobcats back on track.  It didn’t last long.  Soon Jordan blew up the team that Brown had assembled and even gotten to the playoffs.  Brown spoke out against the moves by the front office and was shortly relieved of his duties.

What happened to that Midas Touch?  Jordan had gone from the most prolific athlete of a generation to an absolute atrocity behind the scenes.  His current Bobcats team has lost a franchise record 23 straight games and is 2 losses away from having the worst winning percentage in league history.

There is still time for MJ and his staff to right the wrongs.  They should be in good position to get the number 1 overall pick in this years draft where a certain collegiate stud is waiting in the wings to step in as the next Tim Duncan.  Anthony Davis is one of the best prospects at his position to come out since Kevin Garnett.  Jordan could get a longer leash if they manage to get Davis and truly try to build a winning program here in Charlotte.

The city of Charlotte deserves so much more from their basketball team than they are getting.  Even Jordan remembers what it was like to have to come here and play the Hornets in the “Hive”.  Those fans didn’t leave they are just waiting for their team to come back.

Jordan, you have gone from first to worst.  Now its time to dust off those old fingers and get that golden touch back and bring this city what it wants and needs, something you already have 6 of.

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NFL Films has been a staple in my life and has molded the way that I view football and its impact on the American Culture.  Today, NFL Films will unveil the premiere episode  that displays Tim Tebow as the 7th greatest Heisman Trophy Winner of all time.

Let that sink in a minute.

Ok, now that was the 7th greatest Heisman Trophy Winner of all time.  If we were sticking specifically to the college ranks then there might be an argument here, but this is NFL Films we’re talking about.

From USA Today:

1. Barry Sanders
2. Roger Staubach
3. O.J. Simpson
4. Paul Hornung
5. Charles Woodson
6. Tony Dorsett
7. Tim Tebow
8. Earl Campbell
9. Marcus Allen
10. Cam Newton

Tim Tebow ranks ahead of Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, and Cam Newton.  The closest of the three would be Tebow to Newton, but you would have a hard time getting Newton away from the Panthers with a fourth round pick like the jets gave Denver for Tebow.  So what is this madness spewing from NFL Films?  Have they lost their minds?  I wish upon a star that Earl Campbell could show up in that powder blue uni’ and smash the NFL Films front office through a wall for such blasphemy.

It appears as though the film company has decided to just cash in as hard as they can on Tebowmania while leaving a little wiggle room for that new guy down in Carolina.  This list should at first glance make you laugh, then it should make you ball your fists and look for the first solid surface in which to put it through.  Absolutely detestable that they could muster the gumption to make such an inflammatory list.

Look if Tebow is a better NFL player/Heisman Trophy Winner than Campbell and Allen, why not have him a little higher on the list?  I mean no one of this Tebow generation really remembers Tony Dorsett or Paul Hornung right?  For that matter the only ones that know anything about OJ are the ones that watched him struggle to put on that little black leather glove.  So just go ahead NFL Films, put Tebow right up there at number 1.  You’ve already spit in our faces lets take it up a notch and see how far we can go?

Honestly this sort of thing frightens me as  an NFL fan.  How can anyone with any sort of self-proclaimed knowledge of the sport just accept this as truth and walk away?  This aggression will not stand with the Dude, man!  I don’t even like the fact that Cam Newton is on the list.  He was fantastic as a rookie but so were everyone of the other players on that list, well, except for Tebow.

For all that’s been said, this is just an attempt to boost ratings for a network that wants to drive traffic and nothing moves the needle right now like Tebow and Newton.  So, for all my moaning and complaining about this list, it is what it is, a marketing tool for the league.  Lets be honest with ourselves, they are the best in the world at marketing their product to the millions of baby birds with our mouths agape waiting for the next spoon-full.

***********Update************

NFL Films has released a statement to try and validate the placement of Tim Tebow on their top 10 list of greatest NFL players to win a Heisman Trophy.  Per Profootballtalk.com the official NFL Films Blog reveals the factors behind the selections:

Who had the best NFL career?
Who had signature plays and great moments?
Who had box-office appeal? Who sells tickets? Who sells jerseys?
Who has cultural resonance? Who passes the Mom test?

This helps a total of none when i look at this list.  It still makes me want to regurgitate my lunch.

NO

Last year about this time you could not read a single printed word about the NFL draft with out it inevitably leading to a backhanded remark to the potential number one pick, Cam Newton.  It began with the inflammatory comments about Cam’s willingness to be a star, entertainer, and icon.  From there it snowballed to an all out assault on his character.  In the end it had very little effect on his draft position as he went number 1 overall to the Carolina Panthers.

Fast-forward to this year and it seems that the same trend is continuing with this crop of draftees.  Recently, it has been reported through unnamed scouts that two of the top three projected picks are now character risks and teams should be wary of drafting these players early.  Robert Griffin III(QB, Baylor) has been reported, much like Cam Newton was, as a selfish, me first kind of player that has the makings of a bust in the NFL, while Matt Kalil (T, USC) is being touted as an entitled child.

These reports are coming from left field and no one is sure about the motives or the lack there of behind these allegations.  It’s puzzling to say the least.  I’m wondering why these reports would come out the week prior to the draft and why anyone would attempt such a brazen strategy to hurt the “stock” of a potential player.  The cynic in me says that these unnamed sources are just front office personnel that would hope for one of these players to slide to their particular team so that they themselves could select this player and rejoice in their victory.  However, the flip side of the coin is that these sources have actually found something of a red flag in these top prospects that worries them about their projection to the next level.

For these two specific examples, RGIII and Kalil, nothing leading up to the draft or during their careers have sent any negative vibes about their potential.  RGIII is a Heisman Trophy winner and each of his interviews have been exemplary.  The Baylor standout has awed fans and scouts alike on and off the field.  Nothing has even hinted that this future NFL QB is a selfish me-first player.  Is he just good at interviews?  Does he revert to his true form when the cameras are off?  Only a select few people know him in that context, unfortunately I am not one of them.  RGIII looks like a good prospect with a bright future with a team that will need him.

Kalil is somewhat more of an unknown quantity than his Heisman winning counterpart.  Matt is the younger brother of current starting center for the Carolina Panthers, Ryan Kalil.  It’s extremely hard for the general public to gain a proper perspective on an offensive lineman.  Offensive lineman live by the code of if you don’t hear their names then they have done their job.  This is what makes it so difficult to get to know them personally.  The main thing for an offensive lineman is to be noticed without being noticed.  Sounds tricky, huh?  They do that by creating gaping holes and lanes for their skill players to exploit.  Just think, who are usually the first teammates to reach the end zone in celebration after a running back breaks a long touch down run?  That’s right, the big guys up front.

So, why would we only hear about Kalil’s sudden entitlement issues 7 days before the draft?  Your guess is as good as mine.  I firmly believe that these two kids will get drafted 2 out of the top three spots and these recent reports will be listed as story lines all the way through the draft and mini-camps, OTA’s and training camp.  Only until these guys step onto the field and display their talents will these unfounded reports be validated or forgotten.

I’m sure that the two players described above hope that their rookie seasons come close to that of the previous years number 1 pick.  If they do we will all know that these sleazy shock news reports were just draft fodder to drum up controversy right before 8pm April 26, 2012 at Radio City Music Hall in New York, NY.

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Hockey Fight

After a recent fights on the ice lead to the suspensions of several players and the injuries to others.  The National Hockey League is getting some serious backlash from its corporate sponsors.  One sponsor in particular has gone so far as to threaten a complete pull out if the NHL doesn’t do something about this quickly.

Now I know its hard to believe that one sponsor dropping its support of the league would hurt at first but what real damage could be done by only one company?

It is believed that if the sponsors start to pull money the dominoes have been tilted and they begin to fall one after another until there are no more sponsors.  That is the current fear.

More recently though, as the playoffs have commenced the on ice violence has increased exponentially.  11 game misconduct penalties have been levied against players. 8 teams have already had at least one player ejected as a result.

Common sense would dictate that the league would take notice of the distaste the sponsors are showing right now, however, the league is also very aware of one infallible truth, The Fans Like Fighting.

So, with that being said the NHL still holds the trump card.  If the fans still like what is happening on the ice someone, somewhere will come out to sponsor the melee.

The sponsors have every right to withdraw their money if they feel like doing so, just remember that if they do someone with the same money will fill their spot and be thankful for it.

It’s a nice gesture to look after the safety of the players from a sponsorship view point but the fans ultimately hold all the cards and the League will do whatever they have to do to keep those fans glued to the carnage in the rink.

2012 NFL Schedule Released

Posted: April 18, 2012 in NFL
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NFL Kicks off the season with the Cowboys and the Giants

It must be that time of year again.  The NFL has officially announced the full schedule with dates and times of every contest for the 2012 season.  Just 9 days before the anual draft the slated schedule is packed with intriguing match-ups.  The anual kickoff game will feature the defending Superbowl Champion New York Giants against their bitter rivals, the Dallas Cowboys.  How’s that for opening day fireworks?  The remaining games do not disappoint the rest of the way.

Week 1:

Along with the kickoff game on Thursday their are some really good games that Sunday as well.

Pittsburgh @ Denver

Peyton Manning will get a true test as early as it gets.  He will be charged with the task of dismantling one of the best defenses in the league.  Meanwhile, Big Ben and the Pittsburgh offense will have a test of their own as they face one of last years stingiest defenses with budding superstar and reigning defensive rookie of the year, Von miller roaming from sideline to sideline.

San Francisco @ Green Bay

San Fran is trying to continue its resurgence to the forefront of the NFC as they clash with Arron Rodgers and Company.  The Niners have arguably the best defense in the NFC and they will need it in this early matchup with the Pack.  Aaron Rodgers must feel like he has something to prove after piling up the best record in the league last year and falling short in the Playoffs.

Week 2:

 Chicago @ Green Bay

The Bears are an interesting team as they completely fell off the map last year when starting QB Jay Cutler went down.  They never could quite recover.  With a new Coordinator on offense and a new front office the bears are making good moves in the offseason and are looking to put together a full season with an aging defense and lethargic(at times) offense they look to bounce back and make a playoff run that could help take Head coach Lovie Smith off of the hot seat.  Green Bay will look to hold serve against their hated rivals.

New York Jets @ Pittsburgh

Tebowmania will reach a fever-pitch if the J-E-T-S are struggling at this point.  Mark Sanchez will have a fight on his hands against Pittsburgh as the Jets try to regain their hold on the AFC East.  A win here would quiet the fans but for how long?

Week 3:

New York Giants @ Carolina

Cam Newton will make his primetime debut in his new hometown against the defending Superbowl Champs.  Cam vs Eli, what more could you ask for on a Thursday?

New England @ Baltimore

Tom Brady and the Patriots will have a rematch of one of the best playoff games in recent memory when they take on the Baltimore Ravens who have made a mission to take the next step and make it to the Superbowl.  Fans will all remember the end of that playoff game so the atmosphere will be thick and heavy.  This one is important.

Week 4:

New York Giants @ Philadelphia

This will be a telling matchup as to which of these teams will control its share of the division until they lock up again near the end of the season.  The winner will be in the drivers seat.  Hopefully the “Dream Team” will live up to its billing this year and perform more like they did at the end of last season at the begging of the new one.

Oakland @ Denver

The Raiders looked promising last year before they took a step back towards the end of the season.  The most promising aspect of this matchup is the Quarterbacks, Peyton Manning vs the rejuvenated Carson palmer.  This rivalry has been heated to say the least and with the new star power at the QB position this has all the makings of an instant classic.

Week 5:

Denver @ New England

Tom Brady vs Peyton Manning…

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh

The great instate rivalry, Big Ben vs Vick.  This game has lost a little luster recently as the Eagles have struggled and they have not played in a while it seems.  This will be another good test for both teams early enough to judge against each other.

Week 6:

New York Giants @ San Francisco

A rematch of the NFC Championship game.  These two should be rockin’ and rollin’ by this point.  A great game to watch with these two hard nosed defenses going at it.

Indianapolis @ New York Jets

A good test for the new kid on the block, Andrew Luck.  If the young gun pulls the upset here the boo birds will be out in full force calling for their messiah(Tebow).

Week 7:

Detroit @ Chicago

A great divisional game between 2 playoff contenders.  Stafford/Megatron vs Cutler/Marshall how could this be anything but good?  We will have to see how the Cutler/Marshall experiment will work this time.

New York Jets @ New England

If New York hasn’t imploded under the weight of Tebowmania a thrashing at the hands of Tom Brady will bring down the house.  By this point the Jets will have no choice but to put in the 3rd year signal caller.

Week 8:

New England @ St. Louis

New England  will be a strong test to see whether Jeff Fisher’s claims of the ability of Sam Bradford being the best QB in the league.

 New York Giants @ Dallas

The series could determine first place in the division by this point.  Eli and the Giants could go a long way in ushering both Romo and Garret out the door if the ‘Boys fail to reach the playoffs.

Week 9:

Carolina @ Washington

This matchup is interesting because of the possibilities of the QB’s Newton vs RGIII could be phenomenal.  Both of these teams are in rebuilding mode with the Panthers being slightly ahead because of the rapid accention  of Cam Newton.  This should be a good one.

 Buffalo @ Houston

Can the Texans put a full season together with a healthy QB?  Will Arian Foster continue his torrid pace?  These questions and more will be answered in this great matchup.

Week 10:

 Denver @ Carolina

Old school vs New school Peyton Manning and his new Coach John Fox who happens to be the former coach of the Panthers will travel cross country to take on Cam Newton and Ron Rivera in a QB duel you just can’t miss.

Dallas @ Philadelphia

You know the drill, this one is just too important to both squads.

Week 11:

 Green Bay @ Detroit

This series is going to be good for a long time to come.  We all hope for 100 combined points in this one.

 Baltimore @ Pittsburgh

Blood guts and glory, the winner will be wearing all three as they take hold of the division and prepare for the playoff race.

Week 12:

 Houston @ Detroit (Thanksgiving)

You wont have to worry about the turkey putting you to sleep this year, because this game will keep you on the edge of your seat.  The running and passing of Houston and the Passing of Detroit could make for an epic turkey day football feast.

 Carolina @ Philidelphia

Circle this one on the Monday night calendar.  Vick vs Newton in an ultimate primetime showdown.

Week 13:

 New Orleans @ Atlanta

The Dirty birds will host a Sean Payton-less Saints in what could be a fight for first place not only in the division but for the over-all #1 seed in the NFC.  It will definitely be a showdown.

 Pittsburgh @ Baltimore

See previous matchup.

Week 14:

Tennessee @ Indianapolis

Another showdown of the young QB’s.  This one could be interesting as to how the power in the AFC south has shifted.

New Orleans @ New York Giants

If New Orleans hasn’t fallen apart this could have huge playoff implications.  We will have to wait and see if this as important then as it looks now.

Week 15:

Carolina @ San Diego

Cam Newton will travel to test a Charger’s team that will once again be healthy.  This could be huge right before the playoffs for both squads.

San Francisco @ New England

Two big teams playing big time football at the end of the season will make for great TV.

Week 16:

 Atlanta @ Detroit

Ryan/Jones vs Stafford/Megatron   fireworks all around.

San Diego @ New York Jets

One of these teams will be in the playoffs one will have Tebow under center.

Week 17:

Philadelphia @ New York Giants

Same scenario… different results?

Carolina @ New Orleans

This could be where the two teams take different paths one moves on the other stays home.  The playoffs will start a week early for these two teams.

Derrick Rose Hot Sauce

After a hard foul in a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons, Derrick Rose received minor attention from the medical staff on the Bulls’ sideline.  In the media room after the game Rose let his true feelings be known to the public in criticizing the hard fouls he has received as of late.

“I’ve gotta be the only superstar in the league that’s going through what I’m going through right now,” Rose said at the time, referring to a lack of foul calls in his favor. “But I can’t say too much about it.”(ESPN.com)

I did a little research about why Rose may feel he is being targeted and found that the budding superstar has played in all but 6 games in his career until this season.  An NBA season consists of 82 regular season games, and Rose has completed 3 seasons, thats a grand total of 146 games in which he has played in 140.  Remember, this season has been shortened by almost a third and Rose has already missed 23 games.  While injuries may not be directly related to fouls one has to consider the fact that Rose has been taking some hard fouls as of late and his durability has suffered as well.

Rose has played with injuries before so I do not believe this is a question of toughness or a half-hearted attempt at getting more favorable calls on the court.  I do believe that the former MVP has noticed a trend developing that needs to be addressed before the injuries pile up and the NBA loses a star that they can ill afford.  However, the NBA should not institute a no foul policy on Derrick Rose, I just think that the rules should be evenly enforced throughout the league.

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Lamar Odom

The Dallas Mavericks, defending NBA Champions, have essentially released 13 year veteran, Lamar Odom.  The decision came soon after Mavs owner, Mark Cuban, questioned Odom’s commitmentment to the team.  Odom has struggled mightily this season recording career lows in almost every statistical category.

With the “release” Dallas still retains the rights to Odom and would receive compensation from any team that looked to sign the maligned vet.  According to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, the two sides reached an agreement that allowed the two parties to separate immediately.

“The Mavericks and I have mutually agreed that it’s in the best interest of both parties for me to step away from the team,” Odom said in a statement to ESPN.com. “I’m sorry that things didn’t work out better for both of us, but I wish the Mavs’ organization, my teammates and Dallas fans nothing but continued success in the defense of their championship.” […]

Sources said Monday that Odom’s departure will be immediate and that the Mavericks intend to simply list him as inactive for the rest of the season instead of outright releasing him, leaving open the possibility that they could still trade him after the season in conjunction with the draft. Any team that has Odom on its roster as of June 29 must buy him out by that date for $2.4 million or otherwise accept responsibility for the full $8.2 million that Odom is scheduled to earn in 2012-13.(http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/lamar-odom-leaves-dallas-mavericks-rocky-disappointing-season-152007017.html)”

Most observers feel that the versatile big man will return to the Lakers where he never quite recovered from a perceived betrayal after a failed trade attempt earlier this year.  Meanwhile the Mavs are still on the hook for the remainder of Odom’s salary.  Charles Barkley had a few choice words about the situation you can read here:http://espn.go.com/dallas/nba/story/_/id/7802095/joke-dallas-mavericks-pay-lamar-odom-charles-barkley-says

The Mavs will move on and probably make the playoffs while most players at this stage of their careers never fully comeback from things such as this.  Lamar Odom should try to regain his form but in my opinion that would be a lot easier said than done.  His psyche has been damaged, and it looks as though he has lost all confidence.  Maybe he should relax for the rest of the year on Mark Cuban’s dime and reflect on whether or not he should return.

Ozzie Guillen Strikes Out In Miami

Posted: April 11, 2012 in MLB
Tags: , ,

Ozzie Guillen

Reports have flooded national and local media outlets of the outlandish comments made by Florida Marlins Manager, Ozzie Guillen.  Usually, a person’s individual comments manage to muster a small outcry of outliers that are “offended” by this or that.  This time the enigmatic manager has managed to enrage an entire population of displaced refugees.  Guillen made remarks to Time News online during an interview in which he said that he both “loved” and “respected” Fidel Castro.

What is the big deal?  Fidel Castro has been 90 miles south of Florida running Cuba for more than 50 years.  Most of us have only read about the man.  We all know about the Cuban Missile Crisis from the 60’s but thats about it.  Now, as a former history major, I recall a tad bit more than the average person my age and I realize that what Ozzie did was very, very insensitive to say the least.

Lets put a little perspective on this, Ozzie has been more than outspoken in his career as both player and manager.  This is one reason his celebrity has lasted as long as it as, well, and the fact that he is pretty good at the whole baseball thing.  If he were to have said this as the manager of just about any other team in the world it may have made a ripple in the grand scheme, but it didn’t happen anywhere else in the world.  It happened in the one place that has more Cubans per capita than anywhere else save Cuba itself.

Think about it, some of these Cubans risked their lives to cross 90 miles of open ocean on little more than a pool float to make it to the freedom and promise of a better life here in America.  The last thing i would assume that they would want to hear is some off the cuff remarks of a millionaire baseball manager lauding the praises of one Fidel Castro.  It seems to me like a slap in the face and I can’t say that I blame them all that much.

Lets say Joe Torre or John Fox come out in an interview and speak on how much they respect and love the courage and ingenuity of Adolf Hitler?  What do you think would happen then?  I’d be willing to guess that they would be thrown to the court of public opinion and torn limb from limb.  I’m not saying that they are the same thing but I’m pretty sure you get my point.  Just the thought of praising a man such as Fidel Castro or any person who has brought evil and tyranny to their own people should be enough to make one at least pause and contemplate the consequences of such a statement.

On the other hand, Guillen has never apologized for anything in his life and that is to be respected I suppose, but in this case Guillen has apologized to a fault coming as far as to tear up in his apology to the latino people as a whole.  And for that I do commend him, however, this could all have been avoided with a little self-censuring or even just a splash of common sense.  You are in Miami Ozzie!  Think man, Think!