Rivers Rant: Houston, We have a surprise!

DJ

By the miracle of Moon’s mustache the Houston Texans have finally shown the testicular fortitude to go out and trade up to get a quarterback to be THE MAN. Win or lose the Texans actually shot for the target to get the future of the franchise and at the same time breaking a long belief that the front office was racist, in spite of having a Nubian brother running the day to day operations. It got to the point where fans of other teams would openly state there would never be another black QB in the city without a fuck given about our feelings on the matter. Privately there was a certain unspoken place in the heart of every fan in the city that believed it, but publicly was offended by such a thought. We would name every quarterback of color that has taken a snap from Tony Banks to BJ Daniels ignoring the fact that none of the got more than two starts. Well sorry to bury the lead, but with 12th pick, we the Texans of Houston have drafted a muthafucking black quarterback!

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To start or not to start?

By the time you read this the Texans will probably be in the West Virginia hills with much cooler/ better temperature than they will have here in town, and the weather is going to be pretty sweet too. The temperature I’m speaking of is the local media which is scorching when it comes to sports. The pressures of having a promising team seems to weigh heavy on the talking heads who call for the jobs of any and everyone involved with team decisions. They hold grudges and ridicule the team on decisions of the past. Most sound like out of town fans but the difference is they like to talk with the assurance of an insider. They make up more stuff than us fanatics in the barbershop.

The Texans not having a quarterback has been a major narrative for God knows how long. The team is damned if they do and damned if the they don’t with local media. They’re hypnotized by hate. They use different argument points to counter rational thinking. Either the team has passed on quality guys with bad draft picks, been scared to trade up to now they gave up too much to get a guy. Not only did they get a guy that for the most part was the popular choice, but have two quality PROFESSIONALS to bring him along. As the saying goes steel sharpens steel.

Not gonna lie it did seem like the organization had a written rule of no competition at the QB spot starting with David Carr. Granted David wasn’t dealt the best hand with no offensive line. (FUCK YOU TONY BOSELLI). Nor was there a much needed veteran quarterback to guide him along his transition into the league. The only competition I remember came four torturous years later on a golf course where the starting spot was decided by a bet between Matt Schaub and new head coach Gary Kubiwack. *not a typo*

The team has stated that Tom Savage is starter and Watson will be given the opportunity to compete which seems impossible for most to comprehend or believe. It’s easy to understand and trust Savage being the starter and I’m more than comfortable with him especially after surviving “The Brockening”. Besides having one of the dopest names for football along with Whitney Mercilus, well not the Whitney part, he has a cannon of an arm, knows the plays and been been groomed by Teapot. Hell Savage was the media darling the same draft as “A Brockalypse Now” the Jimmy Garoppolo before Jimmy Garoppolo if you will. He has potential, but he gets hurt about as much as a get hurt machine. He has the luck of a rabbit with three feet. His pain always ends up being the good fortune of someone else. Seems like 10 different guys have received Texans QB playing time since he been here only because of his lack of availability due to injury. Don’t get me wrong I’m not wishing ill on nobody, but it’s safe to say an injury to Savage is in the realm a possibility. He’s still basically as much an unknown as rookie when it comes to playing time, far from veteran leadership.  Which bring is to Brandon Weeden.

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Now let us continue…

For all the potential and familiarity of the offense with Savage, if we being real better yet trill, Deshaun Watson has had more serious action in the last two years than Tom’s whole career. Standing up to the pressures of back to back national championship seasons obama’s Tom’s two games and a couple of early exits that equate to spot duty. The two time Davey O’Brien award winner brings a little championship respect to the team.

In a perfect world you’d expect for a first round national champion to out play a fourth rounder, but that’s wishful thinking. Well put me in the wishful thinking party because I want Deshaun Watson to quarterback today, quarterback tomorrow and quarterback forever. I’m not racist cocksucker George Wallace and Deshaun ain’t segregation so we have to think rational here. You don’t want to throw him to the wolves with fresh wombs lest he be eaten alive. I understand there’s a process and that success in college doesn’t always translate to the pros, BUT I’m willing to put my money behind young master Watson.

If our offense is as complex as it’s said to be we need someone to learn and execute at a high level. Learning fast and execution happen to be two areas Deshaun Watson has shown a proficiency for on and off the field. The young man graduated high school early with a 3.7 GPA along with all the heavily documented home life situation. Went on to Clemson and AGAIN graduated early, this time he upped the ante by doing it this time in two and a half years with a degree in communication and a national title.At Clemson, Watson put up 10,138 career passing yards, 90 touchdowns and just 32 interceptions. He rushed for 1,744 yards and 26 scores. Everyone praises his leadership and preparation and it must be something for him to be named the starter in his freshman year. Dabo Swinney stated that he knew Deshaun was his quarterback after a camp his freshman year in high school. As legend has it he came in and basically took charge of the fellow camp attendees, leading them in drills new to himself. The talking heads call it the IT factor, the alpha dog, whatever IT is Deshaun has it in spades.

Now I totally understand him sitting a year or less and I might be persuaded to agree with you…might!  How do you tell Justin James Watt, chomping at the bit and coming off two back surgeries, having just watched his defense go No. 1 without him, while getting little to no help from the plate of raw Broccoli at quarterback, that you drafted the national championship all American stud of a quarterback, but Tom Savage is the starter?

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No disrespect to Nacho Man Savage, but his next touchdown will be his first and he doesn’t have big game resume/ pedigree. As much as I’d love to have my QB named Savage, I’m serious I really want competition. Now if said competition is even close by the slightest of margins you owe it to the defense and Nuk the Bomb to start Deshaun Watson. The team is stacked on paper boasting three or four quality running backs, something he never had in Death Valley. He has some big trees for tight ends with nice hands to act as safety nets. Along with the aforementioned Hopkins there’s Jaelen Strong, who defiantly owes a debt of gratitude to the football gods for the waiving of Keith Mumphrey, their last year’s 1st round pick, Fifth Wheel Fuller and and of course the fastest man in Texas the undrafted WendellScooterWilliams. All the ingredients are there for a successful rookie campaign for Watson if he’s truly the quarterback of the future, well the future should start now. You don’t let the valet drive the Bugatti, merely park it and Savage is the valet in this scenario and Watson is the new owner.

The argument going against New Moon headed into the draft was that he was bailed out by the NFL talents of others, namely Mike Williams. I challenge that by asking what quarterback got by without a great catch from a receiver a time or two? Deshaun Watson was supposed to be surrounded by more talented players than everyone else, but when the dust settled Mr. Biscuit and UNC and their eight wins had as many players drafted as Clemson, six. The media will use any and every excuse afforded to them to explain their supposed expert opinions on black quarterbacks pro ready. Last years first and second picks were locks for franchise QBs even though Goff only lead his team to one winning season and as for Wentz, he took over a team that won two years prior without him plus made it with him injured his lone full season as the starter. Now this isn’t an indictment against the talents because each young man has a trait that makes him pretty good, but the narrative was they were can’t miss prospects that would be franchise changers. Well the news coming out of Los Angeles is that it ain’t set in stone that Goff will be the starter. After a promising first half and a lackluster second half of a rookie season, Wentz is working with an outside quarterback coach to the dismay of the Eagles of course. I say that to say no rookie is a finished product and any player of worth that values his career will work to improve. It seems like black quarterbacks are judged on what they are right now while a white quarterback is seen for his potential in the future, in my opinion at least. I was told we as blacks have to take three steps for every one step whites take and It seems as though Watson was told the same thing because he has been putting in extra time after practices tighten up his throwing motion. You know how the saying goes amateurs practice til they get it right and pros practice til they can’t get in wrong.

The Texans are sitting on one mean ass team. The defense is primed and ready for some action, littered with stars, current and budding. The offense is nice on paper, but like they say just lacking a quarterback. We moved up 13 spots and got one of the best. DESHAUN WATSON TODAY! DESHAUN WATSON TOMORROW! DESHAUN WATSON FOREVER! 

Rivers

Rivers’ Rant: Bubba-Chuck, Earl & Me. Me and the boy A.I. got more in common than just ballin’ and rhymin’

AIDMX

I’m back like a rebel causing trouble, an assassin kicking ass on the double. And there’s not a muthafucka alive that’s gonna stop me, so fuck you and your punk ass posse.

Basketball and hip-hop go together like PB&J. No player/artist comparison displays that better than the astounding careers of Allen Iverson and DMX.

You’ve probably never thought about how similar the two are.

  • Both are great among stiff competition
  • Careers blew up in 1998
  • Both could’ve been so much more of not for personal demons

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In the 90’s hip-hop and basketball had finally surpassed their older counterparts like rock, football and baseball, in the cool department with the teen demographic. Hip-hop was our religion and the court was church. The Source and SLAM magazines were holy books. You were shunned if you didn’t know who was on the McDonald’s all-star team or the latest hip hop quotable.

I first heard DMX on the underground classic ‘Time’s Up’ by Mic Geronimo. He was featured on the song along with Jay Z and Ja Rule. Of course it was a banger, but I didn’t hear anything special in him.

When 2Pac and Biggie were tragically taken away it left a giant hole in the game. A lot of fans were like ‘OH SHIT, WHAT WE GONE DO NOW?!’ Sure things survived, but the only people moving units was Em, Pimp Juice and Jay. Dope as they may be, they just didn’t have the ruggedness or sincerity of 2Pac. They could make hits just nothing that touched the soul.

There were more Pac pretenders than contenders. Take ya pick from Lil Zane to Lil Wayne with more bandanas than shirts and more tattoos than talent. Then there was X.

‘Stay out dark/ Cause if I catch you when the sun is down/ run it clown…’

4, 3, 2, 1 came with four lyrical titans, Red and Mef, Canibus, LL and DARK MAN X. Everybody on that song was fire. It’s probably better known for the Canibus and LL beef, ok it’s only known for that, but for most people that was their first time hearing DMX. The others spoke about their skills and metaphorically hurting you, but not X, he said he was gonna rob you if he saw you once it got dark and you believed him. He went on to release two highly aggressive singles that had everybody barking.

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Allen Iverson came in like a whirlwind breaking the ankles of guards and disrespectfully dunking on centers. Like X he was featured on a hood classic that was Georgetown University with the great John Thompson and the not so great Othello Harrington. At the time Othello was the highest rated high school player of all time and was recruited to be the next great big man from Georgetown, but ended up being just alright. Harrington had a nice left hand, but came to the Rockets and wasn’t shit, but I digress. The Hoyas had recently added a kente cloth-like pattern to the jerseys and by the power of Alonzo Mourning they were cool again.

Allen Iverson was the first guard to be given the green light and boy did he use it. At first he played to the beat of Elder Thompson’s drum then in year three… RELEASE THE KRAKEN! The loss to North Carolina must’ve made John take it to streets and let little Allen takeover. When they got to the dance Hoyas were the sexy pick to win it all. They spanked the first round opponent, but it was their second round foe, The Texas Tech Red Raiders, where it got personal.

I’ve been posterized once in my life and it was by Gracen Avril, an all American McDonald all-star. You don’t know the amount of joy I felt as Bubba Chuck just destroyed him and the Red Raiders. Every time he scored on him it felt like I scored. The most memorable moment was in the final minutes of the game. The camera panned to the sideline and caught none other than Gracen Avril crying like a baby. I know I’m being Petty Riley, but it was at that very moment Iverson became my favorite player.

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It wasn’t until 1998 when these two guys really took over. Allen Iverson fresh off shaking the shit out of Jordan,  won the first of his three straight scoring titles and made cornrows and tattoos a prerequisite for urban basketballers. DMX dropped his first of three platinum records with two in ‘98 alone becoming the first hip hop artist to do so. It looked as if both guys were primed to take over the game only to be out shined by their more business minded monsters with clear cut plans for greatness, Kobe and Jay Z.

DRUGS AND ALCOHOL HAVE RUINED MY LIFE…

Addiction: a strong and harmful need to regularly have something (such as a drug) or do something (such as gamble)
: an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.

Both of these greats suffered tremendous losses and setbacks because of addiction. I would be here all day trying to document and recount each crazy ass headline involving these two but fuck it. DMX once slept under a table at a charity event for underprivileged kids due to “exhaustion” and no matter what Bubba-Chuck momma said the rumors of him being drunk with a pistol dragging his woman, who may or may not had on clothes, down the street never quite went away.

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For all the money they made they both were constantly dogged by rumors of being broke and close to rock bottom, but who knows? We talking about some game dogs that we loved for their pride, the giant size chips on their shoulders and the size of the fight in them. It’s been said that Allen has a mean nest egg he has to live to 65 before he can touch. He’s also doing something with Ice Cube so there is hope yet. DMX on the other hand looks pretty bad. He’s become the crackhead uncle of hip-hop. I have faith that he’ll come around and shock us with that Rudolph the red nose reindeer Christmas album. As for Gracen Avril. He’s a productive member of society and a great father. Currently training his young son to dunk on some words writing ass nigga like me.

Peace and harmony, Rivers

He Has Returned Home to Say Goodbye!

Hey Young World.  It’s ya boy 12 and I had to pay homage and bid farewell to one of my favorite dudes to ever put on the pads.  Despite so many people in the city of Houston aka The Tine, declaring that JJ Watt is the greatest Texan ever, I have to admonish you to pump the brakes.  The greatest Texan to ever do it is none other than #80 himself, Andre Johnson.

It’s no secret about how much of a fan boy I am for Dre so  you can keep JJ’s stats, analytics, and awards in your pocket bruh.  He’s #2.  I know it’s only my opinion but today at the Corner Store mine is the only one that matters.  Dre is the G(Texan)OAT, and he has officially been re-signed as a Texan so that he can retire where he belongs. Okay now that I’ve shown you just how objective I am, I’m going to post the link from his contract signing/retirement presser so that y’all can see and hear how a G goes out with style, dignity, and grace.

Andre Johnson: “My career ends here, I am very excited I was able to come back home”

Here are a few photos from what we hope to be a Hall of Fame career and the play I feel defined him as a player.

Rick Smith says that they are planning  a ceremony for Dre in the fall to take place during one of the games.  There should be a statue and Jersey Retirement that goes along with that in my opinion.

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Would You Rather Wednesday

Peace Fam. Today I was assigned to write the Would You Rather questions for my favorite radio sports talk show In The Trenches on Houston’s Sports Talk 790. ND Kalu, Greg Koch, and their intern will be reading my questions live on air and giving their honest opinions on which way they’ll walk when they reach the metaphorical fork in the road. So check out their show and take some time to answer my questions right here at the Corner Store.

 

Ken Griffy Jr and Mike Piazza were inducted into the baseball hall of fame. If the playing fields were level in regards to hitting and defensive talent, would you rather draft an outfielder or catcher 1st over all?

 

With Michael Jordan breaking his silence on race relations and violence and all of the other pro athletes that have been expressing their feelings about the violence, would you rather have your superstars stay silent and do the community work behind the scenes or use their fame as a platform to speak out?

 

With Josh Gordon being reinstated and Greg Hardy looking for work,knowing their issues, if your team was in need of a DE and WR would you rather have Hardy or Gordon?

 

Would you rather go the Astros route and bottom out for a few years before becoming perennial championship contenders or the Rockets route and try the plug and play philosophy with mostly free agent acquisitions to stay competitive?

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Black Lives Matter to Black Athletes

Usually I start my blogs off by saying something like “What it is World”, but we know what it is these days.  The great divide of America is what it is.  Don’t get it twisted, I’m not saying that this divide is something new.  America has always been divided, but too many people want to front like there’s this unbreakable solidarity that makes us Americans.

All I’m pointing out is that the divide is more apparent than it has been in recent memory.  It’s being broadcast on every news outlet that you can think of.  It’s the lead story.  It’s the biggest link on the web page.  Unlike Gil Scott-Heron’s vision of the revolution, The great divide has been televised!

Black athletes are starting to express their frustrations and displeasure with the murders of black men, women, and children at the hands of police officers from all over the country.  Recently New York Knick’s star small forward called out other athletes to take a stand and speak out against these acts of violence.  He asked them to stop worrying about losing endorsements and PC points, but instead use their celebrity to bring awareness to the fact that all violence needs to be put in check.

At this year’s ESPY’s awards Clipper point guard Chris Paul, new Bull’s guard Dwayne Wade, and Cleveland’s superstar forward Lebron James joined Anthony to take a public stand against the chaos.  I commend these men for putting people over prosperity during these difficult times.

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There’s a lot of distrust between the black community and the police that are paid to protect us and this is not a recent phenomenon.  It’s no secret that we have been the footstool of the criminal justice system in America since our emancipation from chattel slavery.  As a matter of fact the constitution states that,

The Thirteenth Amendment
Passed by Congress January 31, 1865. Ratified December 6, 1865.

Section 1.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for CRIME whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”.
Slavery was very profitable and the US economy was hit with a vicious blow to the jaw when Lincoln decided that it was best for his union to free what was then their economic life’s blood.  Trumped up charges started to come from every direction to keep blacks in servitude so that free labor could remain legal.  That’s another story.
The People’s Party aka The Black Panthers was formed as  a response to police brutality in black neighborhoods across the country.  Their primary function was to police the police by using legal measures.  They are often painted as a hate group that intended to kill whitey, but that’s a ball face lie.  They never went looking for anyone.  They only wanted to protect their community from the abuse that white police officers, whom they called pigs because they couldn’t legally cuss them out in public, handed out all too frequently.
The Black Lives Matter movement was formed as a response to murders and acquittal of police officers and vigilantes after they murdered several unarmed African Americans over the past few years.  They have also gotten a bad rap because a few people wearing BLM shirts have preached and/or acted out in violence towards police.  This does not represent the attitude of the entire BLM movement just like one psychopath with a rifle that aims to kill Muslims and Jews in the name of his Christ doesn’t mean that all Christians are mass murderers.
That’s like saying that all police hate all black people because an unknown percentage of them have the desire to use deadly force against us whenever they get a free shot.  I’ve been harassed and profiled more times than I would like to remember, but I know for a fact all  cops aren’t out to get me.  I’ll go a step further and say that all WHITE cops don’t have me in their scope’s cross hairs.  Some may actually have my best interest in mind.  I won’t know until we cross each other’s paths.
Some cops just want to do their jobs and go home to their families.  I can respect that, but those officers are the main ones that can do something about this notion that all cops have it in for Black People.  Those are the officers that can speak out against the murders and the lack of prosecution that we see over and over again when it comes to justice being served.  Then some people expect us to just accept it because the court carried out “due process”.  Bull Shit!  The courts have wrongly convicted so many black people since the issuance of the 13th amendment that we have no reason to blindly decisions as the most wise.
If officers start to speak out against their contemporaries that cross that line, then maybe we will start feeling like they are not all in the same gang.  We will start feeling like the code is more important than human life.  The rogue pigs make decent hard working officers look bad and that’s just the way of the world.  The good officers should denounce them instead of turning their backs on us and our feelings like the cops in Minnesota did during the Lynx players protest.
The off duty officers decided it would be better to leave their posts in the arena because some players wore BLM shirts than to stand in solidarity and protest the violence against citizens and officers alike.  That doesn’t look to us like the police want mend the rift between us and them.  Their actions only further promoted the idea that it’s us verses them.  I haven’t heard anyone call them out on that, but they are quick to call out athletes when they anti-law enforcement tweets.  It’s all wrong.
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In closing I think honest dialogue and wrong doers being held accountable by their contemporaries will do wonders in closing the great divide.  It may never go away because this country’s ground is soaked with native American and kidnapped African blood.  It’s had slaves, indentured servants, and immigrants thrown in concentration camps.  These facts can’t be denied, but so many people want to deflect the real issues and throw other points out there that has nothing to do with what the initial gripe is about.
They bring up black on black crime when we complain about white cops killing black people.  I say what about it!  Black people get prosecuted for killing other black people.  The prisons are full of black people that killed another black person.  One guy on twitter told me that he never sees rallies when black on black murders happen.  I asked him where the hell he’s been.  The stop the violence movement has been an ongoing thing.  Just because we don’t promote it to the white media doesn’t mean that we are not constantly organizing to correct our internal issues like black on black crime.
Do white people come to our communities and tell us everything they are doing to keep the peace in their circles? Hell no.  That doesn’t mean that it ain’t happening.  I also told this same dude that sometimes an act of violence on a black person that was perpetrated by another black person is often handled in house.  Just like in the old school Kung-Fu movies when a man’s master is murdered by rivals the bad ass star avenges the act of violence by employing some of his own violence.  The same happens in the black community. This know it all told me that I was incorrect.  We don’t have retaliation killings in the “hood”. Huh?
Bottom line is that there things that we all can do to reconcile this deadly beef or at least reel it in a little before more blood is shed in the streets of America.  I mean, I’m scared to let my son out of my site at times.  I made a cop flinch yesterday just by walking behind him at a subway to get some cookies.   It’s real out there.  I’m just glad some high profile athletes like Anthony, Paul, Wade, and James are taking it upon themselves to make people take notice. Peace
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When is bending the rules cool?

What up world? It’s ya man 12 again posted up at the corner store. Since the NBA playoffs have started and teams, like my Rockets, are being eliminated you hear the frequent complaints about the way games are being officiated.

Being a life long Rockets fan I’ve had a few teams that were the target of my sports hatred;mainly the Celtics and Utah Jazz.

These days it’s the record breaking Golden State Warriors. I’m constantly hearing my fellow Rockets fans call the refs out for letting the Ws get away with moving screens.

Well guess what Red Nation, too damn bad for us. The Warriors, led by the pure shooting Steph Curry and Klay Thompson, will continue to get away with moving screens because they can light it up.

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The NBA is popular because, unlike baseball and hockey, you get instant gratification. The scoring comes fast and in dramatic fashion. Each bucket calls for celebration. This allows fringe fans that don’t know much about the science of game to be involved.

Scoring sells tickets and no team can score in bunches like this incarnation of  Oakland’s beloved hoopsters. News flash, the NBA is a billion dollar entity and like all major corporations they are only concerned about capitalizing on the capital. They want that money. They can care less about the integrity of the rules. Maybe that’s another reason why baseball lags behind in the popularity race.

It’s the same with the music industry. Many of us wonder why there are so many talentless acts being pushed out there as the next great artist.  Fact is that the labels can care less about the art form. They care about the YouTube clicks. They are signing acts that have the ability to get young people left clicking on a mouse to see what they have going on.

Really talented artists are dinosaurs for the most part because they are more concerned about maintaining a certain level of artistic integrity  and producing quality albums whlie the industry now revolves around catchy cookie cutter sounds and social media.

So as long as Steph and company can continue to run up the score on opponents, on national broadcasts, they will be able to slide with a moving screen here and there.

It’s nothing new. When the Celtics were in their dynasty years Bob Cousey, Havlicek, and Bill Russell dribbled straight up and down. By the time Magic Johnson played he was turning the palm of his hand over with the ball sitting flushly in it,But… Magic was the engine that made Showtime run.

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I know it’s blasphemy, but Michael Jordan palmed the ball regularly and pushed off with his off hand to get separation from the defender. Truth is that Jordan filled seats, sold jerseys, and had TV stations vying for the rights to “Air” #23s games. So he got away with whatever he needed to.

My favorite player, Hakeem Olajuwon, often switched pivot feet en route to putting opposing centers in a popcorn machine. But he was so amazing to watch. we also have to account for the fact that like New York, L.A. and Chicago, Houston is a major broadcast market so when the Rockets were good the ratings were high.

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Although David Stern detested Allen Iverson, he was must see TV. The little dude, by NBA standards, was  a scoring machine and was the main reason that the 76ers’ bandwagon was filled to capacity. His crossover is legendary, and also illegal by the rules of basketball. We can’t change the fact that A.I. sold tickets in his home coliseum and in visiting cities.

The NFL went as far as changing rules that allowed the offense to have the advantage against the defense so that scoring could increase. Fans love scoring, especially fringe fans. Only football purists can appreciate a defensive struggle that ends in a 10-6 score. Most fans find that boring so they lose interest.

We just have to expect that The Defending champs will continue to get preferential treatment just like every other player or team that has the ability to make fans tune in and spend bread. They won’t be the last team to get away with rule infractions and they most definitely aren’t the first.

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How Important is Speed To the NFL Game?

Glad that you’ve found the time to come chill with ya’ boy at the Corner Store again.  Today I want to rap about speed and how it relates to the game of football.  Many football fans, myself included at times, tend to get obsessed with a player’s measurable combine stats.  Size, strength, and jumping ability all make us lean a little closer to the TV while watching the NFL combine, but nothing draws us in like raw explosive speed!  Ask Micky.

I find my self obsessed with the idea of Baylor’s WR Corey Coleman playing on the same offensive unit as my favorite team’s new running back Lamar Miller.  Fact is, there are many different variables that come into play when we’re talking about straight way speed and it’s effect on the grid iron game.  A player can have short bursts of speed that he can control in small areas.  most of us refer to that as quickness.  Some players have world class down field speed but have trouble getting to top speed early.  Others have both.  For example, I’ve been to track meets  and saw the hot shot running back who runs a legit 4.3 range 40 yard dash and as one would expect he shot out of the blocks ahead of the field in the 100 meters.  Around the 60 meter mark  he showed obvious signs that his initial explosion had fizzled out and a guy that he had a 7 meter lead on caught him and passed him up for the win.  A few years prior I saw another hot shot high school running back come out of the blocks and fall flat on his belly.  He was already a notoriously  slow starter so I just knew that the race was over for him.  He got up off of the track and commenced to “walk everyone down” with the exception of another hotshot running back who eventually won the district title.  The winner finished in the 10.5 range and barely beat the 2nd place finisher who started the race on his stomach.

As many have noted, football is more about short distance explosion than it is about out right speed.  The first 10 yards is essentially the holy land in the game of football.  He who can dominate that small stretch of field will have success.  Very few football players can boast about having short range explosion and long range speed.  The Viking’s Adrian Peterson is a player who can get to top speed at a fast pace and sustain that speed 80 yards down field.  Barry Sanders,  on the other hand, had the ability to hit top speed coming off of a dead stop.  He ran in the 4.3 range but had the tendency of sputtering toward the end of long runs.  Just so happened that he had such a big lead on them that it didn’t really matter if he sputtered or not.  Eric Dickerson didn’t have the initial first two step explosion of Sanders or Peterson but he was another that could hit top speed fast and the only dude that ever “walked him down” was the Washington’s Corner Back Darrell Green who made a career out of making everyone else look slow.

If it were all about raw speed, then Olympian sprinter Justin Gatlin would have made an NFL roster when he tried out for the Texans and Bucs during his suspension  from track competition.  I mean the brother won the Olympic gold in the 100 meter dash with a sub 9.9 time.  If raw speed was the determining factor then he would be the greatest to ever play.  Gatlin tried out for wide receiver, but was eventually dismissed with the label ‘track guy”.    Rahib Ismail never made a dent in the NFL even though he was clocked in the 4.1s when he was a student athlete at Notre Dame and he was actually a dynamic football player in college.  Bob Hayes and runnung back Robert Smith were track guys that actually had successful careers in the NFL.  I’ll let Texans Wide Receiver Nuk Hopkins tell you about speed at the WR position.

http://www.scout.com/embed/video/1663303

Anywho, the draft is right around the corner and all of the speculation will be rendered obsolete.  We’ll see who will be putting on our colors and who’ll get credit or blame the selections.  I won’t lie, and it’s petty, but I want to see some speed at NRG.

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