Friday, June 28, 2013

The NBA problem and the end of an Era.

Although I'm not a huge NBA fan, I always find myself watching the finals and being amp'd up for the draft each year. The 2013 draft didn't have the dazzle that past drafts have approached the late June humidity with in the past. There were no big names, no dazzling freshmen phenom, not even a big man who everyone knows will dominate. That's where the problem lies with the NBA. I personally thought the draft was very interesting, the Atlanta Hawks for example drafted 2 players from overseas. Many project all three of these players to be ideal bench players with the potential or ceiling of each of these players to be extremely high depending on their commitment on becoming bigger, strong and faster. The third player selected through the draft filled another need, the Center position. I have absolutely no problems with the way my home town team drafted. Danny Ferry and Coach Bud came from the Spurs who thrive on international talent. If the Hawks draft surprised anyone, you need to do your research son! Also the Hawks recently hired Quinn Snyder, who has been coaching and scouting overseas for the last few years. Anyway, onto the problem. Want to know why this draft sucked in terms of college talent? Look no further than the man at the podium. David Stern, you sir are a great money making machine in terms of putting the heart beat back into a league that was struggling when you took power. However, if you for once think allowing players after one year of college join your league was a good idea, you are dead wrong! The reason everyone is so weary of Nerlens Noel is because the kid tore his ACL and because the NBA is what it is, Nerlens took the millions over a year of rehab and excellent learning at Kentucky. I blame you Mr. Stern and Adam Silver will fare no better I'm afraid. 

Tonight, my friends and I will descend on the Ted in droves with thousands of other fans awaiting the opportunity to see the end of an era in Atlanta. The number ten will see its final display at Turner Field while being retired into Braves lore. Was #10 a good role model off the field? Not exactly, just ask the Hooters waitresses. Was #10 a great public speaker? Chipper really knew the words to say and seemed odd speaking in public. However, was #10 a professional? Absolutely! Chipper Jones was just what the doctor ordered for the Atlanta Braves and its die hard fans for almost 20 years. Chipper never once insisted that his off field behavior was that of being a role model, but what he did on the field is what made children and adults want to strive to be better athletes, and for that very reason, tonight's ceremonies will end a piece of my childhood that will never be forgotten. Thank you Chipper for teaching respect, discipline and loyalty to all of us who grew up watching you. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

What a beautiful Draft it was!

Once again folks, no excuse as to why I haven't posted in quiet a while, however watching the NFL Draft this weekend got my blood flowing again to write about my perspective on the NFL's premier event in which the public watches young adults true character bleed through in New York City. First of all, I do not think Geno Smith is an NFL ready quarterback, nor did he land himself in a good situation. Geno needed to be drafted by a team with an established mobile quarterback to learn from not a dumpster fire already ablaze. I also think Geno has a poor attitude; however, Thursday night after his name was not called after 32 teams picked players, Geno quickly rose from his seat in Radio City Music Hall and abruptly left the room followed by a barrage of criticism that followed that evening. No, I would never want myself or my child to attend the actual draft in fear this may in fact happen, but what did this young man do wrong? He was promised by draft "experts" that he would be taken high which is why he attended the event. Of course he looked distraught, his table was one of the only ones left in the house. Geno didn't throw a fit or act like a five year old, he simply heard the final pick and left. He's a 21 year old who just had his heart broken on national television, lay off corporate media!

Let's move on to the issue of this years draft being "boring". With the first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Kansas City Cheifs selected Goliath to protect Alex Smith. Offensive Tackle Eric Fisher stands at 6'7'', 307 lbs according to What is boring about this? The Cheifs already have their quarterback of the future, why not draft a brick wall to block for him? Fisher's tape shows why he's the highest draft pick ever from the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Before Fisher, Byron Leftwich held the title out of Marshall since 2003 as the seventh overall pick in the draft. In fact, what made this year's draft more interesting was the fact that after after teams loaded their offensive and defensive lines with mammoth gentlemen, there were still well known, high quality athletes being drafted in the later rounds. I feel bad for the guy, but hearing that the Philadelphia Eagles were able to draft Matt Barkley out of USC in the fourth round was an absolute steal if you ask me. If you ask me, this year's draft was a beautiful example of how a draft should be run, this way, no one loses tons of money on a lazy quarterback. Teams draft men to protect their signal callers and then draft the signal caller that will best fit the system. Call it boring, but more NFL teams should draft just the way the Eagles did this year.

The only quarterback taken in the first round of the 2013 draft was EJ Manuel out of Florida State. The Bills desperately needed to make a move at quarterback and although I really thought it would be Ryan Nassib out of Syracuse to join his old college coach, I think Manuel fits perfectly into the AFC East and has the mobility to escape pressure created because of a weak offensive line. If Buffalo needs help with that equation next year just go ask what will be a healthy Alex Smith how it works. I'm sure Smith will be able to pat the Mammoth Fisher on his back as the reason why Smith is healthy throughout the year in 2013.

Now, Ya'll go play in the yard!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Goodbye Chipper

I'm suppose to have a clever reason why I haven't posted in a while right? While I don't have a witty reason, I do have a good one. When homecoming hits any college campus, be it Divisions I, II, II or NAIA, things get a little crazy! The past two weeks have been filled with me madly dashing to create graphics and prepare a staff to deliver a wonderful production to all West Georgia Wolves fans. If you were at the game, I hope you enjoyed, if you were trying to watch the game on live stream....I tried. My bad.

Anyway, I have been an absent blogger during a chock full sports month. I did however have the opportunity to watch Chipper Jones' last regular season game at the Ted. Bobby Cox began the fading memories of my childhood last year when the number 6 walked off into Braves lore. My dad lost his Braves craze when the Braves stopped making the playoffs and barely won a game in October. So in salute to my father, you called it old man, Chipper went out the exact way you called it, collapsing in October. As much as I would have loved to see Chipper go off in glory, he went the exact way I thought he would, peaceful and early in the month of October.

Chipper, you were the one player in baseball that I have respected for sticking with his team throughout the good and bad. You kept my interest in the Braves through 22 years of watching baseball with my father. You were the man for a long time in Atlanta and Braves country will always chop even after you are gone. Although the season ended in an epic failure by umpire Sam Holbrook, the Braves lost due to an error filled game that could have easily been avoided, following my dad's normal prediction that the Braves crash and burn in October.

In reaction to the blown infield fly call....stay tuned in the next few days, I'm currently working on a post simply to idiot fans.

Until then, work hard, party harder and watch sports.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Don't give me a number until I've actually done something.

According to Yahoo Sports, the University of Tennessee Volunteers are now ranked #23 in the nation. Why?! The Vols have played an overhyped NC State team that fell flat on their face. The men in orange then played the daunted....wait for it...Georgia State Panthers. Tennessee started 2-0 in 2011 and Bray looked fantastic then as well. Barring Justin Hunter going down again against Florida this Saturday in Knoxville, it seems the Vols have the talent to top the Gators and prove their No. 23 ranking.

After watching the Georgia Bulldogs last night, the Bulldogs defense looks dangerous. SEC teams need to game plan around their mountain of a D-line. Missouri's welcoming committee to the SEC was interrupted by the Georgia defense. Once again, Aaron Murray looked overrated as usual, but of course Georgia fans think he's the second coming of Christ. Anyone remember him falling apart against Michigan State in their bowl game last year? Yea that's what I though.

Well, this was a short post, but one that needed to be mentioned after I was shocked that the Vols were ranked for the first time since 2008. As proud as I am of the Volunteers, I am very cautious of the weeks that loom ahead of the Vol Navy and company.

Wolves update: As everyone may or may not know, after graduating from the University of West Georgia, I landed a job at the university creating graphics and directing the video scoreboard team along with my boss. West Georgia has been a team on the rise in Division II rankings the past four years, but this year just has a different feel to the atmosphere. Last night, after a long evening and team becoming fatigued, the Wolves pulled out a 9 point win over Tusculum. Thanks to a wonderful field goal by Davis Brackett, the Wolves kicked into gear in the second half and finished off the Pioneers. Our team gets the next three weeks off as the Wolves hit the road, but I will be tuning into my radio and computer during those weeks to watch the Wolves develop on the field.

Today's photo is brought to you by the starter of the Tennessee Volunteers during the 2008 football season, Jonathan Crompton. Crompton was cut in August by the Washington Redskins and at the end of the 2008 season, Phillip Fulmer was released from the university. Just to put things in perspective.


Friday, September 7, 2012

I love this Industry! O yeah..and everyone chill out!

Yes I know, it has literally been forever. Since landing my new job with ITS at UWG and preparing for football season to begin, I have not even thought about a blog or anything close to writing. However, while researching the 1982 National Champion West Georgia Braves football team for graphic ideas, I ran across a quote that inspired me. In an interview after Media Day a few years back, the voice of the West Georgia Wolves, Mitch Gray said, “No matter what end of the business you are talking about -- whether it be radio, print, video, social media, public relations -- the one common thread everything has is writing." This coming from a man who has spent his life working in media, naturally would inspire me to get back to writing.

A little bit about Mitch Gray, a household name in the West Georgia region, has been the play by play announcer for close to 30 years. His booming voice can be heard on Saturdays here in Carrollton, GA announcing West Georgia Wolves football on the Wolves Sports Network. Mitch's story in itself is very unique. His play by play calls are amazing, his voice lights up my the control room I sit in for each game. We have Mitch specifically wired into the control room to make sure the listeners on the live online stream hear the voice of the Wolves. This man has a phenomenal voice and it is a blessing to the community that he stayed in the West Georgia area for all these years. Each time I walk into the athletic building, I always give a passing "Hey Mitch" if I see him. The man could meet you for the first time and talk to you like he's known you since you were a child.

Now, onto my topic for today. Everyone should know by now that I am a major fan of the Tennessee Volunteers. Last Friday night, after many speculated the Vols would fall to the NC State Wolfpack, Tyler Bray and Co. dropped back and laid the hammer down in the Georgia Dome. JuCo receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had two touchdowns, erasing any doubt that he could be as productive as former Vol Da'Rick Rodgers was during his time in Nashville. Immediately after the game, I was getting texts from friends how  Tennessee could be the second best team in the SEC. I wanted to turn my phone off so bad. I hate that after one game, so much hype is stirred about. It's one game! Yes, it was fantastic. Yes, we as Tennessee fans needed to see the boys in orange mean business in 2012, but let these young men have a chance to prove it week in and week out before the newspapers start writing how big of a "bust" this team is if they even lose one or two games. Its the SEC, everyone stay calm until after the Florida game. After the Florida game, I can either be proven correct that the hype of this years Vols was too much, or I will happily jump up and down like a kid at Christmas. My hate for the Gators is the greatest of all sports rivalries.

Side Note: Living in Carrollton, GA, while its a great place to start my career in this beautiful city its not exactly "Vol" friendly. As I was complaining last week how I couldn't watch my Vols on TV, my girlfriend reminded me that there is this thing called radio. I soon tuned into Bob Kesling on GoVols Extra online radio broadcast and fell back in love with listening to the game. I became so spoiled of watching the Volunteers that I forgot how surreal it feels to have someone else tell you about the game. I remember when I was just a runt, my dad used to turn down the television and turn on the radio volume so we could watch the game and listen to John Ward and Co. on the Vol Network. Ward has long since left the booth, but Kesling does a fine job and listening to his call on Friday night brought back memories of my childhood and watching some amazing games, but a sense that I was there at the dome watching the men from Knoxville simply because Bob Kesling was telling me about it.

Yes, I rambled during this post and spoke a lot about broadcasting and my love for the industry, but hey you did read a blog from a guy who has a communications degree, get used to it. If you like it, love it or hate it, let me know! Until next time, Go Wolves and Go Vols!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hey Tiger, for the love of the game PLEASE win one.

Two years ago on Thanksgiving day, Tiger Woods world was turned upside down. Every secret and female Tiger had hidden was now out in the open to not just golf fans, but the world. I for one was not surprised by the revelations of the months that followed. As a golfer, Tiger was fantastic, but as a role model he was a disgrace. Every shot Tiger hit awry, he let go an F word or an S word as his club landed in the pond or broke over his knee. That unfaithful Thanksgiving day was a blessing in disguise.

Let me preface the rest of this article by saying, I by no means condone what Tiger has done in his past or the actions that followed in the way that Tiger is still very egotistical.

That being said Tiger, the game needs you, the PGA needs you, the US Open needs Tiger Woods like a child needs its teddy bear. After watching the last three days of the US Open, I have come to this conclusion for one reason. No one in the field this year has a chance at winning this major and follow it up with multiple wins afterwards to stay on top of not only the golf world, but in the hearts of America. The PGA needs Tiger to win for the very reason of popularity. Many golfers have tried. I am personally a huge fan of Phil Mickleson, a family man, a role model, and o yea...Phil is +9 at the Open. Bubba Watson tried as well, O yea he and Rory Mcilroy missed the cut. As much as I would love to say any of these three men are going to kick back into gear and become golfs new heart throb, but that simply won't happen. These golfers have had two years to do it and the PGA has slowly slid in sports ratings.

In closing, the PGA's only chance at having a feel good story this year is on the shoulders of Tiger Woods. Tiger is still in very reachable distance to win the US Open on one of the hardest courses on the tour. Do it for golf Tiger, roar back with your fiery passion and amazing shots. No we won't be as obsessed with you as before, No you won't be the poster child you once were, but yes we will look past your stumbles in life for now and celebrate an amazing comeback with you determining passion you carry every tournament. Please don't curse along the way, trust me, that will help you in the long run. I know people still despise Tiger for what he has done and I would agree with them 100% in a discussion of morals. However, this isn't about morals, its about the popularity and face of a game that needs its consistency back and a good story line. That's the way I see it.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Commissioner Stern...Really?!

David Stern has been the commissioner of the National Basketball Association since 1984. In that time, Stern has conducted himself and his league in a relatively fair manner. Never putting the NBA in bad light and always being a very good interview. As far back as I can remember, David Stern has been my favorite commissioner of the three big leagues in North America (MLB, NFL, NBA). Now remember, no commissioner's slate will be clean, everyone has their controversies. I can take controversies within the league i.e. lockouts, suspensions, etc.., but the ONE THING a commissioner should be able to do, is professionally answer a controversial question without looking like a complete five year old.

Earlier this week, Jim Rome posed a question to Stern on his Radio show about the lockout being rigged. This has been a longtime speculation by many close to the NBA so the question seems logical except that no one has the guts to ask about the big elephant in the room. Leave it to Rome to go ahead and ask about said elephant. Usually Rome is very up front and seems rude at times within his show and I for one have never been a big fan, but for once, Rome did a great job prefacing the question to Stern. What was Sterns response? "Uh...I'm going to answer that two ways..." followed by, "Have you stopped beating your wife?".
The fact that Stern back tracked so fast tells me something is fishy in the NBA front office. But for a commissioner to take a personal shot at a journalist is beyond unprofessional! Rome handled himself as best he could for the rest of the interview. After some research, I found no evidence of Rome having any kind of domestic abuse issues and this is clearly a commissioner being surprised by a question and reacting like an adolescent.

Following the interview, the NBA released an ever more adolescent press release, backing the commissioner  because it was a "loaded question". Of course it was a loaded question, your league is under speculation for stroking the ego's of the new owner for the Hornets, a team that the NBA owns. And, after your commissioner made a fool of himself, the league follows suit. It shouldn't surprise us that Stern reacted this way, this is the same man who doesn't seem to mind that college kids who only attend college one year before going to the NBA receive zero education above high school, which makes for some very immature press conferences in the post season simply because the player never attended a public speaking class.

Commissioner Stern, go back to school and learn how to handle a tough question, take your athletes with you, Lord knows they need it too. Your run as NBA commissioner took a very ugly turn last week and those of us that have an education in journalism didn't appreciate it. That's how I see it.