I Think I Read Too Much

In my adult life I have become an avid reader of world history with a special affinity for the African presence in the grand scheme of things. You may wonder what that has to do with sports since this is a sports blog. I find that I’m starting to relate every situation I encounter with its historical origins, even sports takes. A few days ago when USA played against Portugal in the Fifa World Cup I was on the highway so I had to keep up with the score via twitter updates. That’s when I read the homie Lamont @sportsmediaLM on twitter type “that blak ass dude aint from Portugal,,,,,,,, HES BLACK not SPANISH” after a Portuguese player of African decent scored a goal. Initially I laughed cuz it was funny as hell and I could imagine actually hearing him say that in person with the accompanying facial expression that is generated on a black man’s face when experiencing that WTF disgusted moment. After I finished laughing my nerd gene kicked in and I immediately went to the thought that the “Fake Ass Black Portuguese Cat”, like Lamont called him, was a Portuguese citizen for the same reason that he, myself, and every other classified “African American” was an American.
We are all descendants of Africans that were taken captive off of the west coast of the African continent and Portugal was the first European country involved in the trans-Atlantic “slave trade.” They started the whole thing. In 1492, the same year that Columbus set out on his maiden voyage westward, Portuguese representatives landed on the west coast of Africa with the supposed intentions of trading with the indigenous people of the land and extending the “benefits” of Christianity to the traditional African Spiritualism practitioners. What they ended up doing was trading some African chiefs guns for African prisoners of war and taking their new “cargo” to their new colony on the other side of the Atlantic, which we now know as Brazil. This just so happens to be where the Fifa World cup is held in 2014. Yes, Brazil was the first slave port in the Americas. Portugal , of course, took some of their captives back to their home land as well to live a life of servitude. Their descendants are still there and some of them are playing futbol for the national team just like Brazil, Columbia, and the USA.
That same day my nerd gene even kicked in when I was talking to my co-worker about how different Spanish countries all speak different versions of Spanish based on the slang that they use. I assumed that it was because the Spanish colonized these different lands like Mexico, Cuba, Columbia, Dominican Republic, etc which already had existing populations that had their own distinct languages. Each Amerind, or Native American “tribe” spoke a dialect peculiar to their nation so when the Spanish instituted their native tongue as the national language of the conquered people they spoke a combination of the native language and Spanish. Since each land spoke their own language it stands to reason that their version of Spanish would be different from the version that other Amerinds under Spanish control spoke and the Spanish of Spain.
That’s right, sometimes it’s hard for me to enjoy a good joke without over analyzing it but I am who I am man.

I can only be 12

1984 NBA Draft in comparison

After watching the documentary about the 1984 NBA draft I wanted to know how this draft stood out from the rest.  Obviously having 5 hall of famers didn’t hurt its claim to be the greatest of them all, as well as Michael Jordan being a part of it.  I wanted to check out some other notable drafts and see where they rank.  This will be based solely on my fan boy eye test and not advanced stats or analytics.  I may do that later.  I just want to see how many names I recognize when I look at the individual drafts.

1969. This draft was headed up by The Captain. No not Jeter. Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul-Jubar.  The NBA’s most prolific scorer and master of the Sky Hook was the first pick of this draft.  The only other name that I recognize Jo Jo White who was selected #9 by Boston.  I only know who he is because he was a character in the movie Glory Road

1970. This draft started off with a bang. Bob Lanier, Rudy T, Pistol Pete, and Dave Cowens went 1-4 and Calvin Murphy and Tiny Archibald went 1 & 2 in the 2nd round.  That’s 5 Hall of Famers in the first 2 rounds.  

1971. The Only name I recognize is Artis Gilmore who was a HOF inductee. He was drafted in the 7th round due to the fact that he was already playing in the ABA.

1972 has Bob McAdoo,Paul Westphal, and Dr J highlighting the list. The Doctor went to the ABA instead.

1973 has Doug Collins as the #1 overall pick.  The only other name that I recognize is Kermit Washington because he crushed rudy T’s face in and was unjustly black balled after that.  anybody knows that if you are engaged in a heated fist fight and somebody runs up on you you are just going to swing and ask what their intentions were after.

1974 has Bill Walton and Jamal Wilks as their 2 HOFers

1975 has Sky Walker Thompson and Chocolate Thunder in the 1st round.  World B Free in the 2nd.

1976 has John Lucas #1 over all. Drugs cut his career short. Adrian Dantley, The Chief Robert Parish and Mitch Kupchak(lol) round out the 1st. Alex English and Dennis Johnson are both HOFers drafted in the 2nd.

1977 Benard King highlighted this 1st round along with Otis Birdsong, Cedric Maxwell, Tree Rollins, Jack Sikma and Norm Nixon.

1978 The funny thing about this draft is that Purvis Short was drafted before Larry the Legend Bird. Mo Cheeks went in the 2nd round

1979 Magic is the Class of the draft but Bill Cartwright, and Vinnie the Microwave debuted this same year.

1980 Joe Barry Carroll and Kevin McHale went in the 1st round and Larry Mr Mean (former Rocket is the only reason I know him)Smith & Rick Mahorn went in the 2nd

1981 Saw Mark Aguire, Isiah Thomas, and buck Williams go 1-3. Orlando Woolridge, Ro Blackman, Tom Chambers, and Larry Nance went in the 1st round as well.  Danny Ainge and Eddy Johnson went in the 2nd

1982 James Worthy, Terry Cummings, and The human Highlight film Dominique Wilkins went 1-3. Sleepy Floyd went 13.

1983 Ralph Sampson, Rodney McCray, Byron Scott, Thurl Bailey, Antoine Carr, Dale Ellis, Derek Harper, Clyde The Glyde Drexler, Mitchell Wiggins and John Paxson went in the 1st round.  Doc rivers went in the 2nd. This was a solid draft so if you put 83 and 84 together then you almost definitely have the most successful two year period of NBA worthy talent.

1984. Legend heavy this draft is(in my Yoda voice). Dream, His Airness, Bump and Thump Barkley, Stockton, 1984 is known for the top names but i saw some really solid players on that documentary that were not necessarily superstars or future legends. Here are a few.   Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, Jerome Kersey, Michael Cage(Whom the Dream put the Nigerian Knuckles on).

1985 was stacked with talent… Pat Ewing, Waymon Tisdale, Benoit Benjamin, Xavier McDaniel, Joe Klein(Dont remember how good he actually was but I remember him playing a while), Chris Mulin, Detlef Schremph, Charles Oakley, Mail Man Malone(with his horrible draft night suit), Joe Dumars, A.C. Green and Terry Porter were in the 1st round. Manute Bol, Hot Rod Williams, and Gerald Wilkins went in the 2nd

1986 Brad Daugherty, Chuck Person, Ron Harper, John Salley, Dell Curry(Stephs dad), Scott Skiles, Sabonis. 2nd round. Mark Price, Dennis Rodman, Nate McMillan,Duckworth, Hornacek.

1987 The Admiral, Pippen, Horace Grant, Reggie Miller, Mugsey, Kevin Johnson, Kenny Smith, Mark Jackson, Reggie Lewis(RIP) in the 1st. 

I’m starting to recognize too many players and my fanboy senses are experiencing overload. Now I’m just going to point out some super star drafts.
1996 had Iverson, Camby, Sharif Abdur-Rahim, Starbury, Antoine Walker(who never met a 3 he didnt like), Kittles, Kobe Bean Bryant, Peja, Steve Nash, Jermaine Oneal, Ilgauskas,and coach Derek Fisher.
2003 Leads off with the King, Melo, Bosh, and Flash Wade in the top 5. This draft is the closest thing I see to giving 84 a run for the title of best ever. We’ll see when all is said and done.Just a side note, The Class of 98 was pretty solid. with the exception of the Rockets drafting Bryce Drew in the 1st. Vince Carter, Dirk and the Truth.
It’s hard to go against 84 as the best but a few of these drafts have a legitimate gripe.
dream & bowie

MJ

dream & chuck

Running Backs Made Me Love The Game of Football

Right before waking up from a good sleep I dreamed about reminiscing with my cousins about a time in my life when I thought that if you were considered a good football player, then you must have been a running back. I got a good laugh out of that dream because I was sincere about that sentiment. Being the fact that I’m a Texas boy it’s no surprise that my favorite 2 players were Earl Campbell and Tony Dorsett when I was a boy. As a matter of fact, those were the only two players that I knew. When I saw pictures of Oilers great Elvin Bethea I only knew him as the giant with a gap tooth smile that I called Earl Campbell’s brother. That was his name, Earl Campbell’s brother. My love for the running back ran so deep that the only reason that I started hating the Cowboys is because they got rid of Dorsett and hitched their wagons to Hershel Walker. That disdain still remains to this very moment. I became a Bills fan in the 90s based strictly on the fact that I wanted them to beat the hell out of the Cowboys in Superbowls 27 & 28. As history tells it, I ain’t get my way. Anyway, I would like to discuss some of my favorite rock toaters briefly. 1.Jim Brown… Jim Brown is the MFN MAN!!! He’s still the baddest man on the planet. All great RBs are measured up against this standard bearer. Jim rode with Ali and against Kobe when it came to social issues and didn’t back down from it either. Mr Brown is the Muddy Waters of Running Backs. 2. Gayle Sayers… I remember reading Bill Cosby writing about how Sayers started to run one way and broke his body in two pieces to elude defenders. One side of his body was on one side of the field and the other half was on the opposite side. Can you imagine how my elementary school imagination processed this info? LOL. I took it literally like when I heard that MC Hammer could levitate and make his body flap in the wind like a bed sheet in a summer breeze. Sayers was amazing, but too bad that injuries cut his career short. He would return though in the form of Marcus Allen in my view. The Universe always corrects itself. 3. The Juice… OJ is the Rick James and Bobby Brown of Football(Without the Cocaine I presume). He’s remembered more so for his post career antics rather than his greatness at his craft. Nobody could F with the Juice or El Jugo as he’s known in So Cal(not really). He went for 2000 before the 16 game schedule was thought of. He even played in a movie that I loved as child called Goldie and the Boxer(http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079226/). His acting was ok but he was a master pill packer. 4.Earl The Bull Killer Campbell. I already spoke of my man crush on 34. He is Houston Pro Football. Too bad all of his records rest in Nashville now. I love The Earl like I love the Dream and Andre Johnson is in Close Proximity. Glad these dudes repped my city aka the TINE! 5. Sweetness… Didnt see much of Sweetness growing up because I came along at his tail end but film don’t lie. Walter Payton was a polished black Lamborghini on the field against beat up pintos and yugos. He was an offensive fighter as an offensive player. Beautifully violent! RIP 6.Eric Dickerson… Speed, Speed, Speed, and Speed. Grace and ease are two other words that come to mind. He outran everybody effortlessly. I would have loved to see him and Prime Time in a rundown situation. 7. Jamal Anderson… I was amazed at how nimble this big man was. He reminded me of former Oiler RB Lorenzo White but better and more decisive. He didn’t dance as much as White but his feet were amazingly light for a man his size. Another casualty of career ending injuries. 8 & 9 Emmit Smith and Terell Davis. I couldn’t appreciate how good these two were until they were done playing. Neither was flashy or explosively fast but they were fast when it counted. They were complete backs that could block, catch, and had the vision to make the right cut. Both are victims of being on great teams when it comes to the credit they deserve as all-time greats. I put Thurman Thomas, LT, Fred Taylor, and Curtis Martin in this category too when it comes to complete backs that get slept on for whatever reason. 10. Barry Sanders… Enough Said. He’s the Dominique Wilkins of the NFL. Human Highlight Film. Gone too early, but on his own terms and I respect the hell out of that. Like Jim Brown. 11 & 12… Bo Jackson & All Day Peterson… Like I said before, the Universe makes up for jipping us like when we only got a sniff of what Bo was gonna do to the record books before getting shelved by a low to no impact hit. Does anyone remember the guys name that Bo drug before tearing up his hip socket? NO!!! But God gave us Peterson to make up for the rip off. I was amazed at how deep he lined up in the OU backfield and even more amazed at how quickly he reached top speed. This man is unreal and when I heard that he considered playing at Texas I foamed at the mouth because I imagined him and VY in the same backfield!!!! Multiple National Titles. That would have been unfair. He has not disappointed in the pros either with the exception of early career fumble-itis. I know I left some top flight guys off of this list but these are just some my favorite guys to watch sense the days of work horse backs are fading due to the evolution of the NFL game. Guys like Edge James, Marshall Faulk, Otis Anderson, Priest Holmes, Ricky Williams pre weed sabbatical, Curt Warner, Eddie George, The Bus, Beast Mode and soooo many others deserve major major props in keeping my love for the running back position alive. Shouts to Mojo Drew, 23 Foster, Neo Soul(DeAngelo) Williams, Brick Wall Ben Tate, Speed of Light Jamal Charles, Shady Shake Ya McCoy and all the chain movers. 12 Salutes U Jim Brown