Kevin Lewis is a retired NFL linebacker.

Monday, November 28, 2011

All I want for CHristmas is the NBA

All I want for Christmas is the NBA

After 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.

NFL Hour of Power

The NFL hasn’t gone on as many of diehard fans had planned. We are in the third quarter of the season and finally the cream is starting to rise to the top. The power list is out and this is how it shakes up. Green Bay started fast and is continuing their dominance within a league that can’t seem to even slow them down. Aaron Rodgers has all but solidified the league MVP trophy even with six games left to play. Green Bay improvements this year have come because of their lack of injuries. They are getting huge play out their last year injured tight end, Jamichael Finley. He’s having a Pro Bowl year and seems to be getting better each game. The Pittsburgh Steelers are second on the list because of the stellar play of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Yes they are still very dominant on D, but Big Ben is set to have his best statistical year since the 2009 Super Bowl win. The Saints come up third on this distinguished list because of their explosive offense. The Saints are led by Drew Brees who is having another great year in the N.O. Defensively they’ll need to make huge improvements to be set for a Super Bowl run. San Francisco has been the biggest surprise and one of the most consistent teams in the league this year. It is very evident that the talent was there and the weak link was with ex-coach Mike Singletary. Vernon Davis and Frank Gore have taken their offense to new heights. While defensively, the niner’s are being thought of as a Super Bowl winning Ravens defense in 2000. They’re youngsters are led by the NFL’s best middle linebacker, Patrick Willis. Willis just has a way to finding the ball especially if it’s in the gut of his opponents. The New York Giants push their way into this list next. Eli Manning has had a great season this year and has done it without big names surrounding him. It’s amazing that his critics seem to be unfazed by this lack of talent and continue to say he’s not an elite QB. The Giants D continue to be their backbones as their sack specialist have a way of finding their mark. The Brady bunch could be higher on the list. They also could have a defense. They don’t so they won’t move up. Come on Patriots. The Baltimore Ravens have used Ray Rice and their defense to power their way on this list. Joe Flacco isn’t the guy to lead them back to the Super Bowl, so GM Newsome needs to draft a QB in the 2012 draft. The Bears may have been a few slots better, but they are coming in at number eight because of the loss of Jay Cutler. After a rocky beginning to this season, Cutler had finally begun to show up as the guy they expected two years earlier. The Houston Texans have also been bitten by the injury bug and have lost their QB Matt Schuab for the season. This will inevitably stop them from deep play into the playoffs. However, their defense will always keep them in the fight. This Detroit team closes our top ten list with a vengeance. Yes no one thought they could start off so good. Yes, fans started to believe in them. No, they haven’t handled success well and have begun to drop some games. NO, no one wants to play this team in the playoffs because there’s not a team in this league they can’t beat. 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 Kevin on twitter/klew59sports and facebook/klew59sports. If you have comments or inquiries contact him at or

Study Long Study Wrong

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 Kevin on and you have comments or inquiries contact him at or

Who are you when no one is looking?

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 Kevin on twitter/klew59sports and facebook/klew59sports.If you have comments or inquiries contact him at or