Thurman vs Porter Gives A Lift to Boxing

thurman-porter-fight (36) (720x480)_2

In boxing, rarely does an event live up to the hype.  Promoters have done a great job at making the public want to see a fight and then being let down because the fight was a disappointment.  Thankfully, last Saturday’s match-up between Keith “One Time” Thurman and “Showtime” Shawn Porter did not fall in that category.

 

These two young welterweights gave us an unforgettable fight.  The fight didn’t look like it would last too long because Thurman was catching Porter with some crisp left hooks early.  Even though his knees buckled a couple of times, Porter showed that he had a champion’s chin and never went down.  He kept coming at Thurman for twelve rounds.  Porter occasionally got him on the ropes and bullied him.  He even hurt Thurman with a good body shot that had “One Time” retreating.  The fight was so close that after it was announced that Thurman had won a unanimous decision the crowd booed believing that Porter’s aggression was enough to win the fight.

 

In this bout that were no losers. Both men accounted themselves well.  They left such a good taste in the fan’s mouth that days after it was over, people are still talking about it.  Presently in the boxing world, we have to shell out $50 or more in order to catch a fight that features two big names and then hope that it is a good enough to justify the money that was spent on it.  Saturday’s fight was free, it wasn’t even on a premium channel.  It was on CBS and they gave us more than we would have seen in a pay per view main event, especially for a fight that had been building up since late last year.   Boxing used to be one of the most beloved sports.  It was the norm to put the best fighters in a duel with one another but because of greed it has become a rare occurrence to see great match-ups.   Often when they finally fight each other both fighters are usually well past their primes.  Boxing needed a lift. Thurman and Porter provided that.  Let’s hope that the momentum of this fight can carry on from here and get boxing back where it needs to be.

 

By Shawn Buck (@buck4peace)

Advertisements

Teddy Bridgewater Key for Vikings Going Deep Into the Postseason

By Michael Eccleston

ESPN Senior Writer Matthew Berry came out with his rankings of the NFL quarterbacks coming into the 2016 season last month, and he ORIGINALLY ranked Minnesota Vikings’ Teddy Bridgewater 33rd…

33rd?

The injustice… I don’t care if it was fantasy quarterbacks or not. There aren’t even 33 starting quarterbacks in the NFL! That means he would have taken one of the current backup quarterbacks over the third year player out of Louisville. He had ranked Geno Smith ahead of him.. Ouch. That’s mind-boggling in itself. The fact that the Jets haven’t signed Ryan Fitzpatrick yet is a joke, but I digress.

Now, I’m not saying that Teddy Bridgewater is a star by any means, but this just didn’t make sense to me. So far in his NFL career, he has averaged just over 3,000 yards passing in his two full seasons and has thrown a total of 28 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Plus, he’s completed 65 percent of his passes. Solid. Steady. He hasn’t put up the flashiest of numbers just yet, but he’s young, and he’s shown signs of being a quality, reliable quarterback in this league. Bridgewater hasn’t put up the kind of numbers that will make you fall out of your seat because he’s had one of the greatest runningbacks in the history of the NFL in Adrian Peterson behind him. A lot of young quarterbacks will try to come in and be the gunslinger, forcing bad turnovers, but Bridgewater has understood the position that he’s been in, kept his composure, and has made smart decisions. That’s a sign of maturity, which is huge for a quarterback. He’s had great games when needed, and this team will become his sooner rather than later.

In Bridgewater’s first career playoff game this past year, his stats weren’t pretty throwing for just 146 yards, but he made some huge throws in the 4th quarter, and put his team in a position to win against the Legion of Boom and the Seattle Seahawks. If it hadn’t been for kicker Blair Walsh missing a 27 yard field goal, which is still difficult for a lot of people to watch, the Minnesota Vikings would have upset the Seahawks.

This is a pretty strong resume that Bridgewater has quietly started, and with young, talented weapons such as wide receivers Stefon Diggs, Charles Johnson, the addition of first rounder Laquon Treadwell, and runningback Jerick McKinnon coming out of the backfield to throw to, there’s no reason to think that he can’t get even better in the coming years.

It is difficult to go far in the postseason without at least an above average aerial attack. All I know is that when Teddy Bridgewater breaks out, the Minnesota Vikings will be Super Bowl contenders for years to come.

Yeah, I went there. The Vikings have one of the best young defenses in the National Football League led by linebacker Anthony Barr, cornerback Xavier Rhodes, free safety Harrison Smith, defensive end Everson Griffen, and defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Everyone who watches the Vikings, or who watched them play against the Seahawks, has seen them fly around relentlessly. Now, with a new dome stadium, they will be even more hyped up to continue putting pressure on the opposition and forcing turnovers. The offensive line was a weakness last season, but if they can clean that up and give Bridgewater some time to throw, along with that frightening rushing attack, this will be a fun year for Vikings fans.

This Vikings team is built to win now. The running game and defense are good enough to get them into the postseason, but if they want to go deep into the postseason, Bridgewater will have to take his game to the next level.

And I believe he will.

Check out our Facebook page here.

Which Cinderella Team Will Win?

This year in the MLB there are a lot of Cinderella teams that are trying to make a name for themselves. Three of the teams I will talk about is the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs. These three teams maybe not be a complete surprise that they are doing so well, but can they keep up their hot streak and win it all.

13576384_1168000196598033_693903375_n

The first team that is making a surprise run in the Baltimore Orioles. As of June 29,2016, the Orioles are four and a half games ahead of Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East. The Orioles are a fairly young team, their average age as a team combined is 28.1. This is really good because if they can keep this up they have a shot not just be done after having a couple good seasons. Right now the Orioles are on a six game win streak. They have two players that are leading the team in hitting they are Mark Trumbo and Manny Machado. Trumbo is leading the team in home runs and RBI, while Machado is leading the team in batting average, OPS and hits. As a team as a whole their batting average is .271. There are other players that are helping, but these two are the ones if they lose due to an injury it would hurt them the most. Their pitching is where my concern is at. Their best starting pitcher ERA is 3.52. That number is kind of high, especially right now there are pitchers with an ERA under 2, but on the bright side Chris Tillman as a 10-1 record with an ERA so high. Now their closer Zach Britton is doing awesome. He has an ERA .83 with 23 saves (which he is leading in save in the American League). This team maybe the team to beat in the American League.

 

13552582_1168001199931266_1064097696_n

Unless the Orioles have to face the Cleveland Indians. (Yes, I’m just as shocked to mention them too) The Indians are on a roll this 2016 baseball season. They are five games ahead of the World Series Champions Kansas City Royals by five games. They are on a 11 game winning streak after getting swept by the Royals. This winning streak matches their longest winning streak they have had in 34 years. The Indians aren’t missing Marlon Byrd as he is out due to a suspension that was given to him in the beginning of June. He was having a great season up to that point. The Indians still can depend on Mike Napoli, who is leading the team in home runs and RBI. While, Francisco Lindor is leading the team in batting average, OBP and hits. Their teams batting average is .260. Another reason they are winning is their pitching staff. They have two pitchers that have nine wins. One of their starters Danny Salazar has an ERA of 2.40, which is the second best right now in the American league. Their closer Cody Allen has 15 saves. Are the Indians just feeling the moment or will they become a real contender in the playoffs?

13576468_1168000266598026_955585603_n

The last team which isn’t too much a shocker to the world that they are doing good in the Chicago Cubs. Last year they made it to the NLCS but lost. The Cubs were also predicted by many analysts they would win the NL Central this season. They are a young team which means they could be good because if theycan keep this up, they have a shot to have several good seasons. Cubs are ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals by 10 games in the National league central. This team is dangerous they have Kris Bryant, who is leading the team with RBI, hits and home runs. They have Ben Zobrist, who has the best batting average on the team. Jake Arrieta isn’t too far behind Zobrist in BA with .294 and they also have Anthony Rizzo, who is leading the team in OBP. Their team batting average is .256. Now what is really killing other teams is their pitching staff. They have four pitchers in the top 20 so far this season. Which by the way they are the only team with four players that high. Jake Arrieta is leading the National league and the team with 12 wins. Jon Lester is leading the team with an ERA of 2.03, which is the third best in baseball. This team is actually lately looking a little shaky. Their last nine games they have lost six of those games. There is plenty of baseball left, but will they be able to keep up their hot streak or will they crash and burn.

Check out our Facebook page here.

Texas Rise: Texas Rangers 2016. 

The 2015 Texas Rangers went from a injury-plagued, ragtag squad to AL West champions by the end of the regular season. Although exited by the Toronto Blue Jays, what the Rangers accomplished in 2015 should have been a sign pointing up for the franchise.
Jeff Banister, manager of the Rangers, his philosophy is all about grit, grind and never quitting. The Oklahoma-born, Texas-raised former baseball star spent 29 years with the Pittsburgh Pirates as both a player and coach, minor leagues included. One could say that his gritty, determined mentality he’s brought back to the Lone Star state came from his personal experiences as a teen; Banister has his rising baseball career temporarily cut short after being diagnosed with bone cancer in his sophomore year at La Marque High School in La Marque, Texas. After being treated and cleared of the cancer that sidelined him, Banister took no time off before jumping back into the saddle…earning himself a shot to play baseball at the University of Houston before going pro. He’s steadily proving that he’s the man for the job since taking over for former manager, Ron Washington. His slogan for the team: “Never Ever Quit”, has been the driving philosophy adopted by the franchise.
The Stats.

“Never Ever Quit” is likely why the Rangers are the best comeback team in the entire league right now. The fact that they have precisely ZERO pitchers ranked in the top 50 in W.A.R (Wins Above Replacement) this season, with their record, is beyond impressive. Even more impressive: they have 8 wins when they’ve trailed by 3 runs. And they’re 17-5 in one run games. (the mic hasn’t dropped yet) which ranks the 2nd most wins in the league in that category.

Not to mention the clutch batting, which went on display at 2 in the morning during a rain-delayed duel against the New York Yankees. Four of the last five World Series winning teams led the MLB in clutch hitting:

Kansas City Royals 2015

San Francisco Giants in 2014

San Francisco Giants 2012

St. Louis Cardinals 2011.

It’s much too early to add the 2016 Texas Rangers to that list, but standing at a league-best 51-27 record and no signs of slowing down, it’s not a stretch to say that these Jeff Banister-led Texas Rangers are on the road to doing something special this season.
“Never Ever Quit”.
(Written by Micheal Hester)

Check out our Facebook Page here.

Terrell Owens: Hall of Fame Bound. 

 

Terrell Owens: Hall of Fame Bound.

Terrell Owens. If you’re a football fan, you either loved or hated the player. Perhaps both, as I did. The flamboyant, sometimes volatile, but dangerously elite wideout was a long and colorful NFL career. Owens was the type of player to obliterate your team’s secondary and dance on your team’s logo with a wide smile under his face mask. Again, you either love him, hated him or both.

Drafted in the 3rd round of the 1996 NFL draft by the 49ers, Owens’ rise to stardom didn’t come until the 1997 NFL season after Jerry Rice went down early in the season with a torn ACL. His first NFL touchdown came on October 20 against the Bengals, and it was off to the races for T.O.

There shouldn’t be any question of whether T.O is Hall of Fame-worthy or not. The controversy might fog it up, but the numbers make it a no-brainer.

We can focus on his meltdowns in San Francisco and Philadelphia. We can talk about him wearing a Michael Irvin throwback jersey while heading to the Eagles’ team plane in 2004, RIGHT after the Eagles suffered a loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Or his public bashing of the Eagles’ organization over their failure to acknowledge him eclipsing the 100th TD mark of his career. Or the alleged hydrocodone “overdose” in 2006 while in Dallas, which the Dallas Police Department later determined to be an accidental overdose. And not to mention the numerous… flamboyant… touchdown celebrations that many would consider “disrespectful”. But what (should) overshadow all of this: the numbers. There’s no denying that Terrell was one of the best wide receivers to touch the field. If you have any doubt about my last statement, this is for you:

5 time NFL First Team All-Pro.

3 time NFL receiving touchdown leader.

153 receiving TDs, ranking him 3rd overall in NFL history.

15,934 career receiving yards, ranking him 2nd in NFL history behind Jerry Rice.

Currently, the only player in NFL history to score a touchdown against all 32 NFL teams.

Consecutive seasons with at least 5 or more touchdowns, 2000-2010 (11 touchdowns) tied with Marvin Harrison, Jerry Rice, Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Don Hutson.

Nine 1,000 yard receiving seasons, including 5 consecutive.

Third all-time in regular season receiving touchdowns behind Jerry Rice and Randy Moss.

Second all-time in regular season receiving yards behind Jerry Rice.

I can continue, but won’t. Those statistics alone can’t be disputed. Love him, hate him or both, there’s no denying that Terrell ‘T.O’ Owens will be sporting the golden jacket one day in Canton. And we should all agree that it will be well-deserved.
(Written by Micheal Hester)

Po

State of the Jayhawks, Volume 2: The Long Road Back

Looking at the full spectrum of KU sports everything and everyone is rolling along quite fine these days. The men’s basketball team looks loaded again, we have possible Olympians in track and field and the team is seeking a run at its 2nd national championship in 4 years. The women’s volleyball team is coming off its first Final Four appearance in school history and even the once-dormant golf program is making a little noise. The one blight (if you will) on the athletic programs at Lawrence these days is the football program. Once a national power not that long ago the program has been reduced to less than a shell of its former self. Hope is on the horizon and help is on the way, but there is still a lot of work that’s left to be done before that day comes again in Lawrence.

Since winning the Big XII North (along with a #5 national ranking and winning the Orange Bowl that was a BCS game at that time) in 2007 the ‘Hawks have gone 25-72 since. 72 losses in 8 seasons since, including a 0-12 record in 2015. The current downturn of the program began with the dismissal of former head coach Mark Mangino, who took over in 2002 and led the program from the days of being a conference doormat and transformed them into a national power overnight. He led them to bowl games in 2 of his first 3 years at the helm and helped to end a 36-year losing streak to Nebraska. In 2007, Mangino coached the Jayhawks to a 12-1 record and an Orange Bowl victory over Virginia Tech. However, Mangino was dismissed following allegations of player abuse in 2009 and that’s where the slide to the bottom truly began.

Following Mangino’s dismissal came along Turner Gill (5-19 record) and alleged offensive genius Charlie Weis (5-21 record), both of whom basically gutted the program of any recognizable talent on both sides of the ball and left the program in tatters, one more than the other. The program was then handed over to former Texas A&M wide receivers/assistant head coach David Beaty, who without the proper resources on the field went 0-12 in 2015 – but not an ordinary 0-12. This was a beat down, no-hope-now-or-in-the-future type of 0-12. Losses like 66-7 at home to Baylor, 62-7 at home to Oklahoma, 49-0 to West Virginia at home and so on. While it may seem like the program may be taking a trip back to the mid 1980’s and seeing blowouts like the ones we took last season on a week to week basis that is not the case at all. Quite the opposite if you take a closer look as Beaty and his staff have done the legwork to take the Jayhawks from being bullied into becoming the bully once again.

The current staff has recruited several 3, 4 and even some lower-level 5 star recruits to come and play in Lawrence but one key thing Beaty and his staff have gone out hit the recruiting trail to get better players, ranking 84th out of the FBS schools in 2016 recruiting wise. They also realized that speed is a key and have gone out to get faster players on both sides of the ball. Kansas was one of the slowest teams in the country in 2015 but they’ve implemented programs in the off-season that will assist them with getting faster off the ball and away from defenders. This is one way better off they’ll be in the long run. They are also getting in some good transfer players like former Arkansas RB Denzel Evans, former Texas A&M WR LaQuvionte Gonzalez and former Colorado State RB and Wichita, KS native Deron Thompson on the team. They’ve lost out on some others and have had transfers, but all, in all things are looking up a little bit in Lawrence. The question at this point is will Beaty be given enough time to mesh all of this together or will he wind up on the wayside like Gill and Weis, forcing the program to hit the restart button again? I think he’ll be given time – but not much – to turn things around. Keep getting in the transfers and recruiting quality football players and continue to implement the right football system. Above all, they need to win games. This year’s schedule doesn’t look to provide that at first glance, but they’ll need to find a way to do it in order to start taking the first steps in restoring respectability to the Jayhawk football program.

Check out our Facebook page here.

 

My Life With Sports

photogrid_1465327007987

 

If I didn’t have sports in my life I don’t know what I would do. When I was a kid, I lived in not so great neighborhood. I was a very active as a kid always playing outside. My very first sport I played was soccer for the YMCA. I used to play goalie most of the time. I decided to quit because I got tired of people kicking me. After that I played softball forever, it seemed like. When I got older I added basketball and volleyball as well. There were times I had to go from indoor softball practice to go to basketball practice or, leave a volleyball game to go to a softball game. I stayed busy playing sports all the way up to high school.

Sports was bonding time for me and my family. My mom taught me everything I know about sports. She taught me all the rules to baseball, basketball and football. She practiced catch with me, made sure my form to shoot, throw or swing was perfect. She took me to my very first St. Louis Cardinals and Rams game. Now that I am an adult we still will watch a game or talk about sports. This year I was lucky enough to join my mom to Jupiter, FL. There we went to go see the Cardinals Spring Training game. She has never been to one, so this trip was even more memorable not just because I was with her, but, because I was there to see how much she enjoyed the games.

I also bonded with my grandparents through sports. When I was a kid, my grandparents were season ticket holders for Southwest Missouri State (now it is called Missouri State) basketball games men and women. I used to go with them all the time to games and we went to the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. My grandparents would also take me to Southwest Missouri St football games too. My grandparents and I could sit there and talk sports for hours. My grandma loved Peyton Manning so, of course, his name would be thrown into the conversation. I can still hear my grandpa telling me that Phillip Rivers was a cry baby. I used to laugh when he would talk bad about players. They were also very interested in how my teams were doing.

Lastly, I don’t know if I would have met fiancé without sports. We met each other during the 2011 NBA Championship round. This is when the Dallas Mavs was playing the Miami Heat. My fiancé took me to my first Dallas Cowboys game. I took him to his first MLB game. He taught me to play fantasy football. We can talk about sports all day if you allow us. We both have that competitive nature because we used to play sports when we are younger. When one of my teams plays his there is a lot of trash talk going on in our house.

217330_3173873481945_1508989266_n

In conclusion, sports has helped me build and keep relationships my whole life. Sports has also taught me never to give up. Just because you may get knocked down doesn’t mean you failed, it means next time come back even better than you did before.

Check out our Facebook page here.