Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 10 Moments of 2012

10. Kill the head and the body will die. What better way than to start off this list than putting a price on someone's head. The malicious bounty investigation was one headline that permeated quickly throughout every newsroom. The average viewer may have never heard or seen this style of play before, but it was no surprise to avid football aficionados. Football is a physical game. What did you expect? But nonetheless, the world had it's moment of clarity and suspensions were served. In the end, I still see Sean Payton as a saint. You can take that figuratively or literally lol.

9. Staying in the NFL, what more can I say about Tim Tebow. He's the guy owners will let date their daughters, but not lead their team out of the locker room on Sunday. Did you guys really think the whole Jets relationship was going to work out? Silly rabbits, tricks are for kids. My personal take was to give Tebow a shot if Mark Sanchez really stunk up the joint. And in typical Sanchez flair, he did that and a lot more, but Tebow was left hanging. Poor lil tink tink.

8. Not sure how much longer I can wait for the rebirth of Tiger Woods, but I was sent down memory lane when he earned his 73rd PGA victory. As Warner Wolf says, "let's go to the videotape."

7. Number seven goes goes to number seven himself. Jeremy Lin. This story took the NBA by storm, and it was fascinating to witness. From sleeping on couches to starting for the Houston Rockets. Say what you want about the man, but he gave a spark to the New York Knicks when they needed it most. As for if Lin was actually worth all that money is different topic, but his stint in NY during the Carmelo Anthony injury was one of the better agape basketball memories of the year.

6. Wasn't sure where to rank this, but my list wouldn't be complete without it. Boxing fans have been yearning for a Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather bout, but as time passes along, it seems more like a hopeless vision. But I could careless thanks to Juan Manuel Márquez. Need I say more.

5. That brings up to our Top 5. And this spot is goes to Robin Roberts' and Chuck Pagano's perseverance. Earlier in the year, Roberts underwent a bone marrow transplant while the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts battled with leukemia. Don't know Pagano from a can of paint, but it was inspiring to see the overwhelming rally behind him during his time of remission. As for Ms. Roberts, I actually have had a chance to meet and speak with her when I interned with WABC-TV. One of the nicest ladies I have ever met, and I'm happy that both of these individuals beat out their diseases.

4. One of favorite numbers goes to my least favorite sport. Yup you guessed it right, baseball. Something about these Giant teams getting hot at the right team. New York and now San Francisco. Two unexpected World Series in three years. People can only call it luck for so long. Luck is where preparation meets opportunity, and the Giants behind Pablo Sandoval showed they were more than prepared by sweeping the Detroit Tigers.

3. King me. LeBron James finally got the monkey of his back and his "decision" paid off. I still to this day have no problem with his approach to free agency and deciding to take his talents to South Beach. The media repeatedly gave power to a gifted individual and he in return used it to his benefits. Maximus said it best, "are you not entertained?!"

2. There never really is a time in sports when we can ALL agree with the officials, but the NFL took this to a whole new meaning with the replacement officials. In other words, their play-calling was egregious. And the microcosm of their perpetual blunders occurred on Monday Night Football in Week 3. In retrospect, that may of been the best thing for everyone. It was the image that illustrated one of the NFL's greatest catastrophes. But we quickly became prisoners of the moment when the "real" refs returned and foot locker employees returned back to their regular duties.

1. And my most memorable moment of the year took place when I was given the opportunity to work for the 2012 London Olympics. Over 14 hours a day and seven days a week for about five weeks, but it was well worth it. To be this young and have any affiliation with the Olympics was a major blessing. To tell people that I covered the Summer Games that saw Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympian and Gabby Douglas become a star. Priceless. And for the last time, no I was not in London. I was stationed in Stamford, CT.

Happy Holidays everyone. Feel free to share the most cherished moments from your life/sports in 2012.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Facial Fridays: J.R. throwback

For the majority of J.R. Smith's career in the NBA, he has been labeled an uncoachable knucklehead. But the same can't be said about this year. Even Smith haters would commend him on his growth.
The electric guard has stayed levelheaded and has been a pivotal part of the remodeled New York Knicks. He's learned to coexist with Carmelo Anthony and knows his role on the team.
The league has always been aware of Smith's stunning prowess to erupt for 30 off the bench, but has never been privileged to the former high-school star being this composed and consistent. Don't get me wrong, Smith still does show signs of his old ways, but his vast improvements deserve a hat tip.
The Knicks have made me a believer and it's been a pleasure to see Smith find his moment of clarity. The combination of Mike Woodson's guidance and a larger responsibility has transformed into a sound evolution of a gifted athlete. 

MVP race far from an open discussion

Outside of Chuck Pagano’s fight with leukemia and an everlasting comedy of errors in the New York Jets’ organization, arguably the most alluring story of this season has been the comeback stories of Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson.
Phenomenal rebounds from both NFL stars, but still no undisputed victor on the MVP award. 
In the West corner represents the golden boy of the NFL that was given up on. Dumped to the curve by one organization, and exalted by another despite his ominous future. Four surgeries later, Manning has engineered the Denver Broncos to top contenders in the AFC. Despite the new supporting cast, Manning effortlessly has thrown for over 4,000 yards along with 30+ touchdowns. 
In the East corner, lies an indomitable force in the backfield. Running backs have cold sweats about ACL injuries; Peterson made his look like a mini-vacation. After being injured in Week 16 of 2011, and Peterson is now on pace to enter the 2,000-yard rushing club along with breaking Eric Dickerson’s single-season rushing record. 

Two remarkable stories fighting to be crowned as NFL MVP.
For the years in sports, the barometer for MVP candidates has been moot and this race is no different. But as close you may think this race is, the NFL’s best player this year wear has already been crowned. And he plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
What Peterson has done this year is beyond belief. Players that tear their ACL’s don’t come back swiftly. It usually takes athletes a year to bounce back and fully regain strength. Not only did Peterson play in Week 1 after suffering a shredding knee injury at the end of the season 2011, but he has single-handily carried his team to playoff contention. The work load has tripled after a ghastly tear, and Peterson has seamlessly excelled under immense pressure. 
The Vikings offensive is putrid without Peterson in the backfield. Furthermore, opponents know there is only one playmaker on Minnesota, which has led teams to stack eight in the box. And still Peterson puts up video-game numbers on defenses.
Peterson contributes nearly 65% of the Vikings offense each game. No other running back has that onus in the league.
When comparing the two superstars, the best measurement is how much value does each player have to their squad. This is a Most Valuable Player award if I remember correctly. 
The Broncos were a playoff team last year and advanced past the Pittsburgh Steelers behind a vaunted defense and miracle play from Tim Tebow a.k.a. the 13th Disciple. The Vikings were irrelevant (3-13).
Without “All-Day” running the rock, the only contention the Vikings would be in the race for is a first-round draft pack. I can’t say the same if I removed Manning from Denver. 
What Manning has done this year is unprecedented, but his MVP resume is not comparable to Peterson's. Comeback Player of the Year seams for suitable for the Broncos' quarterback, while AD should be given MVP regardless where his Dickerson chase ends. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

TBT: Calvin Murphy twirling

One thing is for sure, Calvin Murphy has a special knack with his hands. The dude can probably twirl a straw and make it look fascinating.
Outside of being a world class baton twirler (no big deal right lol), Murphy was also a phenomenal NBA star and was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 1993. The former NBA guard currently works as a CSN Houston Rockets Insider.
And although, I'm sure some of my followers are thinking I posted this video because there's a connection with my fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, you're wrong. He's actually a member of Iota Phi Theta if you were wondering. His twirling skills were born way before Greek life.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

TBT: Kobe-Lebron puppets

Still no Kobe-Lebron final, but these commercials were pretty funny back in 2009. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Watch: Do schools kill creativity

I've shared my affinity for poems and quotes with you before, but allow me to acknowledge my third amusement, intellectual and motivational speeches.
I found Sir Ken Robinson's discussion to be rather stimulating because of his perception of the birth of creativity, along with the meaning of imagination. Because there are so many sagacious points raised in this talk, it would be best for you to just watch it rather than me paraphrase his remarks.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jordan not the only "great" Kobe trails

Before the bantering begins of Kobe Bryant being just as good or even better than Michael Jordan, let's first examine if Bryant is the best to suit up in purple and gold.
Outside of Boston, the NBA's most historic franchise is Los Angeles. From Jerry West to Wilt Chamberlain, many have excelled in a Lakers uniform. It's really mind-boggling to think of all the A1-players that have come through LA. There aren't too many teams that have can have a fantasy draft within their own organization. With that being said, I like to understand and respect my history before I give any player the label of the greatest.
Yes, Mr. Bryant deserves credit for his litany of accolades, but even with them, he still hunts a greater Laker. Enter in the Magician himself, Earvin Johnson.
My reasoning behind Magic is simple. I use the LeBron James comparison. The Association has never seen a player like James before. His combination of power, strength and agility is surreal. Similar to James, the NBA still has yet to see a point guard like Johnson. What he did during the 80's and early 90's was prodigious. From his exceptional rookie performance in the NBA Finals to his stint with the Dream Team, Johnson is in an exclusive fraternity of NBA trailblazers.
Before there was a Bryant, there was a Jordan. Before there was a Johnson, there was a no one. And still no point guard has come close to having the same impact on the hardwood. Kobe is great, but his resume isn't better than Johnson's.

P.S. Although, I have Bryant edging out Lewis Alcindor, I thought I should mention my third place contestant. Just didn't seem right to rank my top two Lakers and not give you one more. Your welcome. You can thank me later for my sincere gratitude. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Play of the Year: Taylor Martinez (Big 10 'Ship)

Sit back and watch what Taylor Martinez does this play. As one of my coworkers says, "Catch me if you can like the gingerbread man."
Unbelievable play. Doubt I'll see a better college football year this year. The ESPYs should just hand the trophy over to him for Play of the Year. Yes, the play is that good. Remind you that he's a Quarterback.