Sunday, December 4, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
All I want for Christmas is the NBAAfter the NHL, MLB, and the NFL found a way to negotiate and get their labor disputes behind them, finally the NBA decided to follow suit. Sources close to the agreement feel the main issue that continued to stall negotiations was the players felt the owners weren’t giving enough. If you look at the deal in its finality, the owners still didn’t give much. They gained five percent of all Basketball Related Income. This instantly gives owners $240 million dollars. Most would feel like they won the lottery at that point. The players feel as though they defeated the owners in forcing a hard cap, however this affects the players more. Not the Kobe’s and LeBron’s, but the mid-level guys who won’t make as much. Teams won’t risk going over the salary cap for these guys. The players are somehow calling this a victory for themselves as well. The real question is why did this take so long and how was this settled at 3a.m in the morning. The answer is quite simple….The NBA quickly found themselves as being irrelevant and saw how fast consumers moved on with the NFL, College Football and College Basketball. Heck, even some NBA veterans were coaching college basketball. Although people that were affected financially were concerned and watched and read everything they could to see if there was a deal on the horizon, most weren’t concerned. Don’t trust these words, look back at your favorite sports channels debates and storylines. Between the NFL, Sandusky, Joe Paterno, Bernie Fine (Syracuse), and the BCS drama, we didn’t have time for basketball. Even the once sought after charity game clips had begun to be few and far between. The NBA did the right thing in keeping their business going before it took a fateful hit, but fans now realize they can live without hoops. No MJ, Shaq, Bird, Magic, long gone is Jerry West, Wilt and Bill Russell, would you really be upset if the Grinch had stolen the NBA.
The writing is on the wall. The Big East has lost their ability to compete as a football conference and lack the desired power of their once envied basketball conference. With the anticipated additions of Boise State, Air Force, UCF, SMU, and Houston, the Big East is doing anything to save their BCS automatic qualifying bid. Since losing Pitt and Syracuse, the pressure has mounted on Big East Commissioner Marinatto to save a conference that is coding. When no interest from other power conference teams seemed to come their way, the Big East begin to look to smaller conferences to fill the void left by two of their strongest teams. As the other teams saw the declining respect of a once proud football conference, West Virginia has pulled the trigger and has now joined the Big12. This leaves a well-respected Louisville, Connecticut and Cincinnati as the only attractive teams left in the Big East. So what are they waiting on? The best offer of course. In a college landscape that has been filled with so much money that even “the Donald” would envy, they are seeing which conference would best suit them. Louisville needs to make a play at the Big 12 and even the SEC, while UConn should only look to Pitt and Syracuse for direction and join the ACC. This leaves Cincy in a tough situation. They lack the luster of a dime piece. They’re about a 6 ½. They work hard, have a great mind, but they rarely wear any makeup to cover their blemishes and could stand to lose a few pounds in problem areas. In conference terms, they have a stadium issue, it looks like a big high school. They are solid in their football and basketball programs, but NCAA tourney births are rarely their and more consistency in football bowl games could be better. Marinatto has stood idly by as the rest of the power conference commissioners have been sharks and made their conferences better. About eight years ago, everyone watched in amazement as John Swafford (ACC commissioner) jumped on the opportunity of acquiring Boston College, Miami, and Virginia Tech away from the Big East. Because of that acquisition, the ACC was able to almost match the amount that was given to the SEC from ESPN in television revenue. The PAC12, SEC and Big10 have now followed suit which almost left the Big12 in conference disintegration. Now, because Commissioner Marinatto “studied long and studied wrong”, the Big East is in total disarray trying to save a once proud conference. Kevin Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker who now does motivational speaking, complete athletic training, and coaching and football seminars. Also listen to him via radio on Fridays at 7p.m. on 740am and www.voiceamerica.com.Follow Kevin on twitte.com/klew59sports and facebook.com/klew59sports.If you have comments or inquiries contact him at www.klew59.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The covers have been yanked off of Penn State and have exposed a problem that lies within our great institutions of higher learning. The Brown wall that protects these universities from transparency to the rest of us to see is alive and well. ESPN exposed the real reported rape numbers that were going on at some of the most notable colleges and universities around the country. They on the other hand, had blatantly lied in order to erase any doubts of safety on their campuses. And of course, if they released the real numbers, they would suffer financially. Hazing, alcohol, and drug incidents are consistently unreported and clearly illegal in every academic institution in the country. The Brown wall keeps insiders in, and outsiders out. Let’s take McQueary, the Penn State coach who caught Sandusky in the act. At the time of the incident, he was a graduate assistant, which meant he was on the bottom of the coaching pole and was their attempting to start his coaching career. When he walked upon the terrible scene with Sandusky, these thoughts almost certainly came to his mind. This can’t be going on. I need to tell coach Paterno. You may wonder why calling the cops weren’t involved in those first thoughts. Since high school, players are taught to trust coaches and coaches closest confidants are other coaches. When you enter college this is strictly reinforced as coaches tell you very plainly that if anything happens, players should come to them first. It’s the kind of the situation that most went through with parents who said, “What goes on in my house, STAYS in my house.” This is no different on college campuses and especially inside of locker rooms. Don’t believe these words; ask a coach or athlete you know who their closest friend is? Undoubtedly, most of the time after they get through their faith and hopefully their spouse, their ex-teammate will fall in next. McQueary’s decision not to call the cops doesn’t come as a shock to anyone who has played or coached college athletics. This Brown wall that you’re bound to, forces you to fall in line or be made an example of. Look how Penn State has handled the situation; they hid it until finally an indictment came. Then they sat around and watched as the entire country put them on blast and then decided to act in the “Best interest of the university.” Notice that I didn’t say, what was in the best interest of the young boys who were victimized, or they acted in the best interest of what was morally right. They are as much to blame in this as Paterno and his staff. Where do we go from here? The NCAA in all of its rules, regulations, and committee’s lack the muscle or care to protect players, coaches and athletic personnel from telling the truth and thus, blowing the whistle. The government has GAP (Government Accountability Project), and everyone else has OWPP (Office of The Whistle Protection Program), except of course players, coaches and athletic staff. What they have is the promise of being black-balled through ought the rest of their profession for not being a “standup” guy, or for not protecting the program. None of the people involved should be excused from their outrageous behavior but, there needs to be something done and put in place so that no one has to think about their livelihood before they think about a LIFE. Kevin Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker who now does motivational speaking, complete athletic training, and coaching and football seminars. Also listen to him via radio on Fridays at 7p.m. on 740am and www.voiceamerica.com.Follow Kevin on twitter/klew59sports and facebook/klew59sports.If you have comments or inquiries contact him at www.klew59.com or email@example.com.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
The NBA is quickly headed into a lockout and fans are upset about the ramifications. The superstars of the NBA won’t be floating through our 3-d laden living rooms to the basket for monster slams. The three point shot of Ray Allen won’t be breaking the backs of teams down the stretch in the 4th quarter. It will be harder to emulate one of Kobe’s new moves without having the clear televised view. My game will struggle trying to use moves in these charity games having to solely depend on YouTube and its constant loading and its choppy at best picture quality. And worst of all, how can we survive without hearing Charles Barkley? You know, when Sir Charles listens to Kenny and Ernie has a conversation and then ignores them and completely talks about a different topic. Or he’ll all out create a hate campaign on an owner, player, general manager, referee, media member, or even a fan. No one’s safe from Sir Charles. All of this because of a lockout, what’s it all about. Well the owners made a bad deal in 1995 and 2005. In it they gave the players the right to make 56% of ALL of the NBA’s revenue. This put the NBA in a bad spot because teams that weren’t in well supported markets with lucrative TV deals weren’t able to cash in. David Stern (NBA commissioner) said that 22 out of 30 teams in the NBA are losing money. NBPA president Billy Hunter believes that number is really about 8. Why are NBA teams losing money at all? The reason is owners don’t share their money like in the NFL. NFL owners have practiced revenue sharing as a tool for decades and it has kept their league very lucrative. Basketball owners haven’t used this tactic and it has come up to bite them. Instead of using this smarter business plan, they’re individual greed is bankrupting their league. David Stern points the finger solely at the players to get liquidity back into the purses of ownership; however their problem may be solved themselves. The players should and are willing to give a percentage back to ownership, but owners for now seem to want wholesale changes. The owners want to garner majority of ALL NBA profits. They also want a hard cap. A hard cap will force every team to only spend a certain amount of money across the board like in the NFL, and is what helps create parody in their league. This means they don’t want teams like Miami to be able to exist. They want every team to have a superstar. The NBA forgets that their league was built to have major market teams dominate their league. If you think of NBA Champions, only a few markets matter, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Texas. Kobe, Lebron, Wade or Barkley, please, can any of you get us out this mess.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
NFL Surprises, Deebo’s, and “I told ya Boys”!!
The NFL is the best league in professional sports because predicting its results is next to impossible.
Surprises- The Washington Redskins are 2-0. Okay they haven’t played expected Super Bowl contenders, but they are 2-0 with Rex GROSSman. The Skins have won the old fashioned way, playing team ball.
The Buffalo Bills are also 2-0. I predicted they would win 3 games for the year. They have played very well especially QB Ryan Fitzpatrick. He has begun his year with a pro bowl type attitude.
Minnesota has shocked the league with their 0-2 start. Of course everyone is blaming Mcnabb, but their real problems seem to be a defense that continues to make huge mistakes.
Deebo’s (Juggernauts, bullies, teams or players that beat you down)
The Jets are continuing to dominate and beat down their opponents. Teams are going into games against them knowing they’ll lose the physical battle.
Deebo’s don’t always come in big packages. Steve Smith (5-9’ 185lb) WR of the Carolina Panthers is overpowering his opponents. Cam Newton’s throws it up and he goes to get it.
Darren Mcfadden, #2 in rushing, is finally looking like the back the Raiders saw in Arkansas. His bruising style of running along with his top end speed is a recipe for fear to his opponents.
“I told ya boy”!
Cam Newton, has been exactly who I thought he would be. He’s an athlete unmatched in his ability. He has a top ten arm and about to play his third game. He’s a winner that is playing for a losing franchise, but that will soon change. Cam is a beast! Where are all the Blaine Gabbert fans? Still waiting……..
The Patriots are on a tear and ready for the Super Bowl. I’m sure no one else is wondering why their my Super Bowl pick.
I said the Chiefs would be 6-11, they may be worse than that. Last year was a fluke, and the rest of the league already knows it.
Kevin Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker who now trains, consults and gives clinics to coaches and athletes. He also does sports talk radio. Please contact him at klew59.com,firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-354-2134.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
College Football is underway and after getting the “preseason” over it’s now time to make my picks. My picks will only come from the Major six conferences, SEC, Big Ten, Pac12, Big 12, ACC and Big East. There’s other conferences out their but let’s face it, for almost the last thirty years no team has won the national championship outside of these conferences.
SEC- The last five national champions have all come from this conference. LSU and Alabama are the stars of this conference. After these two teams there’s a huge drop off. South Carolina was projected to be Champs of the East division but, they have struggled to win against 2 not very good opponents. Florida will surprise everyone and in Will Muschamps first year play for a SEC title. The West division has both juggernauts, Bama and LSU. BAMA will win games with their run game and great defense and LSU utilizes the same formula. They should play for the SEC title, but since they can’t. LSU will win the SEC title.
Big Ten- With Ohio State seemingly a much weaker team because of an tumultuous offseason, the Big Ten will be down. Michigan, Iowa, Michigan St, Penn State, and Purdue are not the teams we are accustomed to. Nebraska will easily win the conference title and the title game in their first year. Nebraska’s high powered offense will shock and awe the Big Ten into making huge changes around the league in order to compete. Notably, lookout for Wisconsin and Russell Wilson.
Pac12- With USC under probation, someone in the conference needs to step up. Oregon did it last year and will do it again this year. Also Andrew Luck and the Trees of Stanford will also compete. LaMichael James and Luck will meet at the Heisman ceremonies again this year while Oregon still has a chance to maybe slide into the BCS title game. Stanfords’ defense just doesn’t have enough strength to put them into the title game but the will have another great year.
ACC- This division has 2 really good teams and the rest mediocre at best. FSU and Virginia Tech are the class of the ACC. The Hookies are back with their dominant still of defense but aren’t as explosive on special teams. FSU has boasted consecutive #1 recruiting classes and it has paid off. They will beat OU this week after being humiliated by them last year and make a push for the conference and BCS title games.
Big East- South Florida will dominate this division and win the conference title game. They had a huge showing on the road at Notre Dame against a talented team. This will help the Bulls down the stretch in conference play and against a very talented West Virginia team. South Florida should go undefeated and at least be in the BCS title game conversation. Also, don’t be surprised to hear BJ Daniels name in the Heisman discussion.
Heisman Notables (Best Chance of Winning): Montee Ball, Jr., RB, Wisconsin, Matt Barkley, Jr., QB, USC, Justin Blackmon, Jr., WR, Oklahoma State, Michael Dyer, So., RB, Auburn, Robert Griffin, Jr Baylor, LaMichael James, Jr., RB, Oregon, Landry Jones, Jr., QB, Oklahoma, Andrew Luck, Jr., QB, Stanford, Taylor Martinez, So. Nebraska, Kellen Moore, Sr., QB, Boise State, Trent Richardson, Jr., RB, Alabama, Denard Robinson, Jr., QB, Michigan, Darron Thomas, Jr., QB, Oregon, Russell Wilson Wisconsin QB
National Champions: LSU, at every level defense wins championships and they have the best one in college football.
Heisman Winner***LaMichael James*** MVP of college football ***JUSTIN BLACKMON***
NFC North - The Packers won’t be able to repeat as champs because they didn’t make any free agent moves and didn’t get better in the draft. The Vikings will be steady all year behind the biggest move this year, Donavan McNabb and his calming influence. Lovie Smith will be on the hot seat early because the Bears will struggle out of the gate behind a lackluster receiving corp. Detroit or should we say Suh will dominate on defense, but Mathew Stafford has still yet to prove anything but he’s injury prone.
Green Bay 10-6
Minnesota 12-4 Division Champs
AFC North – Pittsburgh still stands tall in this division. The Ravens can’t win when it counts with Flacco. Colt McCoy will have a good year in Cleveland. Cincy? Who knows, bad ownership, bad management, bad personnel, bad free agency, just BAD.It’s time to bring the famous name back….The BUNGLES!
Pittsburgh 11-5 Division Champs
AFC EAST – Host two of the best teams in football. The Pats got better in free agency and the draft. The will return to Super bowl form and win it all this year. The Jets will have a good year, but Rex Ryan can’t win fall short because the best team in the league, is in his division. The Dolphins will continue making strides to get better behind a tenacious defense. The Bills will continue to struggle this year.
New England 13-3 Division Champs
New York 11-5
NFC East Philly will dominate this division and face Minnesota to go to the Super Bowl. New York will rethink the Coughlin’s extension behind players’ unwillingness to play for him. The Cowboys still don’t have what it takes to win their own division. Shanahan may not be the guy we thought he was. The Skins get rid of Mcnabb for Rex GROSSman!
Philly 11-5 Division Champs
New York 9-7
AFC West – In the year of the offense, the Chargers will fair very will behind Phillip Rivers and Vincent Jackson. The Raiders will steadily improve with the young talent that continues to grow. The Chiefs will faulter this year because they didn’t use free agency affectively. Kyle Orton or Tim Tebow, who cares? Denver won’t be any good.
San Diego 11-5 Division Champs
Kansas City 6-11
NFC West Sam Bradford and Mike Sims Walker will light up the league this year. Arizona will improve from last year behind new QB Kevin Kolb. Seattle won’t be that lucky this year. The 49ers are about to years away from new coach Jim Harbaugh making his mark.
St Louis 10-6 Division Champs
San Francisco 5-11
AFC South The Jaguars will surprise everyone with their division title this year. Houston still won’t be able to get it done, even though the colts are down. The Titans will need more than Chad Johnson to turn this ship around.
Jacksonville 10-6Division Champs
NFC South The Saints will cause havoc for defenses in the run game this year. Atlanta is just built the way a team should be and will have plenty of success. Tampa will continue to use young talent to improve their team. Cam Newton will have a good first year in Carolina.
New Orleans 12-4 Division Champs
Friday, April 1, 2011
Barry Bonds BFF
Michael Vick should have had some Barry Bond’s type of friends. When Vick was accused of dog fighting charges, initially he denied them. It took the Fed’s about two weeks after to flip his Vicks boys. You know, those homeboy’s who athletes claim they will never leave or denounce. Take it from the politicians, if an associate you hang out with was found in the 3rd grade stealing gum. Denounce him! If a secretary was filmed by TMZ running a red light, denounce her! And of course, if two of your confidants were caught cheating on their taxes and their mistress, even though you were too, you must undoubtedly denounce them!! Unless of course, you have Barry Bond friends. Bond’s BFF Greg Anderson has to go down in history as the Greatest Friend of All Time. This guy has been to jail four times because he refuses to testify against his childhood friend Barry Bonds, talking about taking one for the team. Vick boys on the other hand told on him as soon as the Fed’s said they were taking them in for questioning. Bond’s is now fighting a perjury charge on trial. He is accused of lying on the stand about not knowing that he had been given steroids. Bond claims that Victor Conti gave him what he thought were supplements that he now knows were steroids. This trial is nonsense because nothing can really come out of it. Even if Barry Bonds is convicted what happens? Bonds would go to prison from 15 to 21 months (because it’s his 1st offense), while Victor Conti the guy who pushed steroids to many athletes spent only four months in jail. Baseball couldn’t be happier right now, having one of their home run derby ghosts of Christmas past blanketing news stories right as opening day begins. The only flip side is the fact that more viewers are interested in Barry Bonds than about whose going to be frontrunners for the World Series as this 1000 game MLB season begins.
Jalen Rose’s outstanding production “Fab Five,” showing on ESPN has exposed old feelings and scars felt by Chris Webber, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, Juwan Howard and himself. The Fab Five were treated like rock stars by many but also hated as well. They were sent hate mail by Michigan Alumni! They were stereotyped in every way imaginable but seem to rise above it all. What struck a chord to many, was the comment made by Jalen Rose about Duke Black players, calling them “Uncle Toms.” He was also critical of Coach K and the Blue Devils recruiting practices. Let me be completely transparent. I am a Duke graduate class of 2000. I also was an athlete at Duke. Having grown up on Mercy Drive, Cross Town, and graduating from Jones High School (all inner city poor neighborhoods and schools), I completely destroy the Uncle Tom statement. But, the more pressing issue is what Rose said a couple days later after the first Fab Five show aired. Rose said that Duke’s recruiting practices lead them to only recruit “affluent kids.” I think I completely destroy those comments as well. Duke doesn’t only recruit affluent kids, but they do only recruit kids who they think will represent our school well. Is this wrong? It can’t be, when you don’t think about this you end up like Lane Kiffin at Tennessee who stated they would only recruit kids who are focused on the NFL. Kiffin ended up with a few “dumb” thugs who went out and robbed a convenience store across the street from campus in their University of Tennessee sweat shirts. Or, you end up like the University of Florida who now has a team arrest record that rivals their number of NFL draft picks. Why should Duke lower their standards to have graduation rates as low as Syracuse, Pittsburgh, LSU, Auburn, UCLA, Maryland, and Kentucky? Duke’s recruiting process is different, it is more strenuous. The first thing the coaching staff wants to know after they find out if the kid is eligible is, can he graduate here. Then they want to know if the kid is a Duke guy. This means can the kid represent the school with honor, dignity and respect. These questions are important and help maintain the image that Duke wants of its school and its graduates. Who wants to be known as Footlocker State University or have the image of the old “The U.” Duke isn’t perfect and actually far from it, but just like BYU’s honor code our recruiting practices shouldn’t be changed just because Jalen and the Fab Five couldn’t get in.