It’s Monday: Kobe Bryant

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…The 2012 NBA All Star game was held over the weekend with the game taking on it’s usual form…a bunch of dunks and no-look passes in the first 3 quarters.  Then in the 4th quarter the game always becomes more competitive with teams from the East and West trying to gain a victory over the other.  But a milestone was reached during the game, Kobe Bean Bryant, the polarizing Guard of the Los Angeles Lakers became the All-Time leading scorer (271 career points) in NBA All-Star game history surpassing Michael Jordan (262 career points).  I started to wonder out loud…is Kobe Bryant really appreciated for his accomplishments? Or have his off the floor mishaps and his career starting when it did put a damper on his achievements?  If you would go strictly by his numbers, Mr. Bryant should be considered one of the Greatest Basketball Players that has ever lived.  He is a 14-time NBA All -Star, with 4 All-Star Most Valuable Player Trophies (tied with Bob Pettit for the most in History),  a 13-time All NBA team member, and an 11-time All Defensive team member.  Mr. Bryant is also currently 5th on the all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul- Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928 points), Michael Jordan (32,292 points), and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419 points).  This is truly some rarefied company to be in!  But yet there always seems to be a question about Mr. Bryant’s abilities.  In the beginning the discussion was always…he couldn’t win a title without former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal (the two won 3 NBA Championships together 1999-2002), but he has won 2 NBA championships since Mr. O’Neal was traded.  Then it became, he is trying to be like Michael Jordan.  But I ask the question…what NBA player past or present, didn’t/doesn’t pattern their game after the greats that preceded them?  Michael had Dr. J, Magic had Oscar Robertson…they all have someone.  But with Kobe it always seems to be something else attached to it.  I believe Mr. Bryant’s career started too soon…meaning…if their was a lapse in time between his and Mr. Jordan’s career, I think most fans could appreciate him more, rather than always comparing him to Jordan.  Mr. Bryant is an excellent basketball player…and if your dislike comes from what I’ve mentioned or some other basketball rumor, or his personality, or his sexual assault case on a hotel worker in 2003 in Eagle, Colorado (the charges were dropped when the accuser refused to testify), or whatever it may be…you’re witnessing something that doesn’t come along that often.  A man that is aliening his name to some of the greatest records ever by an NBA player.  And if you like or don’t like him…you need to respect what he is doing…because greatness doesn’t come along too often folks!  And even though we have been lucky to see it twice in the last 2 decades (Jordan, Bryant), doesn’t mean that it still isn’t great!!

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What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Brady Quinn

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…The Denver Broncos Football team had what some would call a really productive year (the team advanced to the Divisional round of the American Football Conference playoffs this season).  But we now know that not all of the players on the team took their accomplishments as a positive.  Brady Quinn…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING??  Mr. Quinn was recently interviewed by Mike Silver for Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) magazine and was quoted saying the Broncos were “lucky” this season and he also calls out starting Quarterback (QB) Tim Tebow…disputing people’s perception of him to possess a huge amount of humility.  Mr. Quinn also goes on to state that the reason for a lot of the team’s success this year was because of poor coverage and overall terrible defense by their opponents and not really anything to do with their offense.  Mr. Quinn was listed on the depth charts at the start of the football season as second string QB and that usually means that if, for any reason, the starting QB (Kyle Orton) could not finish a game or was not performing at a level the coaching staff approved of…then the second string QB would be thrust into the starting position.  But to Mr. Quinn’s dismay it didn’t happen.  Mr. Tebow was given that opportunity and was extremely successful when given the chance.  Now Mr. Quinn feels slighted.  Mr. Quinn didn’t just stop at Mr. Tebow’s performance, he also attacked his religious beliefs stating…”If you look at it as a whole, there’s a lot of things that just don’t seem very humble to me,” he said “When I get that opportunity, I’ll continue to lead not necessarily by trying to get in front of the camera and praying, but by praying with my teammates, you know?”.  Now Mr. Quinn, I could understand you being a competitor and wanting your chance…that’s the way you should feel…but the personal attacks directed toward Mr. Tebow and his faith were…allow me to borrow a phrase from football…”out of bounds”.  And I think that’s EXACTLY where you will remain…while Mr. Tebow continues to start, perform, win…and oh yeah……..Pray!  Brady Quinn…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!      

Thoughts On Thursdays: Forfeiting the Game

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…a Superintendent in Warren County Georgia has made a decision to force a school in her district (Warren County High) to forfeit a regional tournament basketball game bringing an end to their season.  Superintendent Carole Jean Carey arrived at this decision because of a incident that occurred during football season.  Warren County and rival school Hancock Central High faced each other and after the game was over, a huge brawl broke out between the two.  This melee gained national media attention (seen here) and was covered by nightly news broadcasts as well as sports talk shows.  The fight left the schools and their districts with shame and ridicule.  But my question to the school, the district and you Superintendent Carey is WHAT ABOUT THE BOYS?  The young men who had absolutely nothing to do with the altercation that occurred (in a entirely different sport by the way).  These young men who worked hard and sacrificed themselves…gave a 100% effort on and off the court…maintained a grade point average to play extra-curricular activities…and were good enough to reach the playoffs…what about them??  The Warren County Boys basketball team assembled outside their school the other day with arms locked in a show of solidarity in protest of the decision that was made.  These boys were just asking someone to give them a voice…to hear their side…well young men I have heard you!!  The decision that was made on your season ending was wrong!!  Their could have and should have been other alternatives to ensure safety…not just forfeiting the game.  If you’re unsure about the crowd that might attend…close the game to the public.  If you don’t want to do that then appeal to the local police station for police officers to provide security… or ask off duty police and fire fighters to volunteer their time to aid with crowd control.  Something could have been done!!  What are we teaching these young men?  Are we showing them that the only solution to an issue is just not deal with it??  We always teach kids that with hard work anything is possible in America…and the only way to win is to participate…and that is true…anywhere else except for Warren County Georgia!!  JUST MY THOUGHTS PEOPLE!!

What Were They Thinking Wednesdays: Rob Gronkowski

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Good Morning Toughtalkerz…Super Bowl XLVI was held this past weekend with the New York Giants defeating the New England Patriots 21-17….and with the loss (the Patriots’ second in their last two appearances) you would think that the team, their fans and supporters would be some what deflated…and spirits would be down following such a demoralizing defeat…right?  Well not everyone.  Tight End Rob Gronkowski…WHAT WERE YOU THINKING???  The Pro Bowl Tight End had a high ankle sprain injury that hampered his performance in the game, but it didn’t seem to slow or bother him at the post-game party given by the Patriots.  Mr. Gronkowski can be seen on video (here) dancing to a performance by LMFAO…taking his shirt off and partying the night away.  And I don’t believe there’s anything particularly wrong with that, but Mr. Gronkowski you just lost the biggest and last game of the season not even 3 hours ago….and now you’re partying like it’s 1999…(Shout out to Prince!).  Mr. Gronkowski, you’re 22 years old and with that alone I believe you deserve a pass, but with your Quarterback (Tom Brady) having to be literally dragged from the locker room because of the pain and heartbreak he was experiencing…and your Wide Receiver answering all questions about the pass he dropped and claiming total responsibility for the loss…you were just dancing the night away!  Mr. Gronkowski you should really take a few pointers from your teammates about professionalism…and having a passion for the profession you have chosen.  Because with the post game behavior you displayed it shows that you’re thoroughly lacking in both areas!!….Rob Gronkowski….WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!!!!!

It’s Monday: Tom Brady

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The New England Patriots are on their way to the Super Bowl…again!  And with every season that goes by Tom Brady continues to redefine the position of Quarterback.  And even though he didn’t have a “vintage” Tom Brady type of game in the victory on Sunday over The Baltimore Ravens, his leadership and commitment to his team embodies the player he has been throughout his 12 years in the NFL.  With all of his accomplishments thus far, I believe the biggest representation of his perseverance was displayed on draft night, the year 2000.  Mr. Brady wasn’t chosen until round 6 of the draft…Pick 199 (Which has turned out to be Patriot fans’ favorite number..I’m sure).  And ever since then he has left General Managers across the NFL second guessing and questioning their decision-making capabilities… asking themselves…how could we not see his potential??  Since being named the starting QB of the Patriots the team has appeared in 5 Super bowls (winning 3 of them) and with his heroic performances, Mr. Brady has begun to be mentioned in the pantheon of “Greatest Quarterbacks Who Ever Lived” discussions…along with his childhood idol San Francisco 49ers QB Joe Montana…who are the only players in NFL History to win Most Valuable Player and Super Bowl MVP awards multiple times (2 NFL MVP…2 Superbowl MVP).  And if the Patriots get the victory on February 5, 2012…Tom will join Joe with 4 Superbowl Championships as well!!  So Mr. Brady you are to be commended not only for your stellar play on the field but your hard work ethic that has enabled you to rise from pick 199 to possibly #1.  That’s #1 in the history of quarterbacks…when its all said and done!!!

It’s Monday: The Washington Wizards

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The 0-8 Washington Wizards lost another game on Sunday to the Minnesota Timberwolves and if it wasn’t certain…it is now…the Wizards are the worst team and organization in the entire National Basketball Association…by far!!  The lack of talent on this team is criminal!  How General Manager Ernie Grunfeld could assemble such a team, and believe that they could be competitive should be diagnosed as INSANITY!!  I believe that half of the team’s roster should be in the DBL (Development Basketball League) rather than being on The Wizards.  The team held a “players only” meeting on last week called by veteran Maurice Evans to go over some issues that they were obviously having.  After the meeting, they at least came out the next game and played with some effort and some passion…but to no avail.  They lost..AGAIN.  Now this…on Sunday Forward Rasard Lewis and Assistant Coach Sam Cassell engaged in a pre-game scuffle and after the altercation Mr. Lewis refused to join his teammates on the court and didn’t participate in the game.  (I guess that meeting didn’t go over to well huh Moe?)  This is just another reflection of the dysfunction of this team and their organization.  Something has to change here!!  I’m speaking directly to you Mr. Ted Leonsis…you’re the owner of this mess.  FIX IT!!  FIX IT NOW!!!  You have to do something…even if it means firing Mr. Grunfeld for assembling this mess you call a team or trading or cutting more than half of your roster…down to firing Coach Flip Saunders and his entire staff.  Whatever decision you come up with..Do IT NOW!  Because the lack of professionalism and effort displayed by this team and organization is not just embarrassing it has become shameful…

It’s Monday: The Packers Lost, Dolphins Celebrate

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I guess the 1972 Miami Dolphins can break out the champagne and cigars now…the Defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers lost their first game of the season to the Kansas City Chiefs (19-14) on yesterday.  And with that loss the only unbeaten team in league history (regular and post season) can do what they normally do when a team comes close to eclipsing their perfect status.  Rejoice.  But my question would be…what are you guys actually celebrating??  Are you celebrating your accomplishment? (which was great).  Or are you that caught up in hanging on to a record that was set over thirty years ago?  And you think it’s your only validation of who or what you achieved as a team…  I don’t know what it is, but I do know that every time a team comes anywhere close to achieving an undefeated season you summon the “FOOTBALL GODS”, take out your prayer beads and begin to wish defeat on whichever team that may be approaching your record.  The Green Bay Packers are 13-1 and are on the verge of possibly winning back to back National Football League Championships, so I think they have a little more on their mind than you and your perfect record.  So Miami Dolphins enjoy your moment, appear on as many sports-talk radio shows and do as many interviews as you can.  But just remember if the Packers win back to back Championships they would have done something even you, “THE PERFECT DOLPHINS” couldn’t accomplish!!!  And I believe that will suit them just fine…

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