Lebron James Sending up to 1,100 Kids to College

Lebron James is a very polarizing figure. People either love him or despise him. I have never understood the angst people have with James; I get the fallout from “The Decision”, but he did raise a lot of money for charity with that debacle so I’ve always given him a pass there. He has once again gone above and beyond the scope of normal benevolence. Partnering with the University of Akron, a program is now in place that could send up to 1,100 kids to college on a full scholarship.

I am sure the haters are still going to find a way to hate on him for this, just like they found ways to blame him for every missed shot and defensive breakdown in the Cavs’ loss to the Warriors in the NBA Finals. I mean, we all know Bron-Bron was a complete no-show there, just like he is on the streets of his community.

Some Dude Named LeBron

I don’t know if you are aware of this guy or not, but there is some guy named LeBron James in the NBA.  Said guy is a pretty decent basketball player, too.  I think I saw him do a chest pass once that didn’t even bounce before it got to the other player.

Seriously though, how good is LeBron?  40 points, 12 rebounds, 8 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks.  That’s his line from last night’s Game 3 win for the Cavs, who could also be called LeBron And The Guys From The Break Room, but that would be too long to fit on a jersey (although I could fit it by sublimating it for sure).  If the Cavs win this series, there will be zero doubt as to why.

Is this the greatest performance in the NBA Finals in history?  Hard to think of one that would top it if LeBron averages 40PPG, 12RPG and 8APG on the way to lifting the trophy.

And who was the league MVP this season?  Stephen Curry was voted in but…

L.O.I.C.

I know this is lazy of me, but I do not have the time to post a proper analysis of this yet. However, you need somewhere to discuss this without being labeled as “ABCers” or “UNC Blinders Wearing Homers With Your Head In The Sand”.

ESPN write up is here.

CBSSports.com is here.

Yahoo Sports is here.

Why #Deflategate Matters

First of all, if you aren’t a semi-serious sports fan, stop reading.  Right now.  This is going to be a post about the air pressure levels of footballs, so it’s probably not something a casual sports fan cares about at all.

OK…for the rest of us, here’s why #Deflategate matters.

I didn’t do the research, but it’s out there.  Here is a post from Sharp Football Analysis that details just how much the New England Patriots’ tendency to fumble dropped once the rule changes Tom Brady (among others) lobbied for in the mid-2000’s went into effect.

Every single media member who talks about the air pressure issue talks about Tom Brady’s completion percentage, and how it didn’t change all that much.  They talk about the AFC Championship Game, and how it was a blow, and how the balls were switched in the second half anyway.

But, what they don’t talk about is how a ball that has less air in it is easier to grip.  Easier to catch.  Easier to hold on to after the catch.  Easier to maintain possession of as giant men try to rip it out of your hands.

Those situations are where the New England Patriots really gained an advantage over their NFL peers, and there are two things that are certain:

#1.  Tom Brady knew about the under-inflated balls.

#2.  It was NOT a one game event.

It’s easy to prove those two statements.

#1.  The guy who deflated the balls was a part-time, game day employee.  Tom Brady makes millions of dollars a year.  Do you think the part-time guy is doing anything to those footballs that wasn’t requested by the multi-millionaire star of the show?  I have never made a dime throwing a football.  But, if you lined twelve of them up in front of me, with two at 13.5 PSI, eight at 12.5 PSI, and the last two at 11.5 PSI, I have no doubt I could tell you which is which.  Tom Brady, who throws footballs for a living, would have known immediately if a ball wasn’t right, in the same way that a pro golfer can let you know if his grip has an extra layer of tape underneath it.

#2.  In the Wells Report, the guy who deflated the balls called himself “The Deflator” in text messages.  Text messages from May 2014.  Despite what New England and its fans would have you believe, there is not much of a chance that some inside joke between him and his friend was about something other than footballs.

New England plays its home games in some of the toughest conditions of any NFL stadium.  As it turns out, for some amount of time (more than one game) they have played those games with balls that were more suited for that weather than the rules of the NFL allow.  All of those games were not blowouts.

That’s why the team gets fined.  That’s why the team loses draft picks.  That’s why Tom Brady gets suspended.  That’s why the air in the balls is a big deal.

Bill Guthridge, 1937-2015

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From wral.com

Bill Guthridge, who assisted University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill head coach Dean Smith for 30 years before taking over the Tar Heel program in 1998, died Tuesday night at the age of 77.

Guthridge went 80-28 in his three seasons as UNC’s head coach before retiring prior to the 2000-01 season. Guthridge was the consensus National Coach of the Year in 1997-98 after leading UNC to an ACC Tournament title and the Final Four in the first season after Smith’s retirement. Guthridge, a Kansas State University graduate, join Smith’s staff in 1967.

He led UNC to two Final Fours in his three seasons as head coach. RIP Coach.

The Greatest Sports Weekend. Ever!

This past weekend had so many great sporting events going on, overlapping, on at the same time. What was a sports fan to do?  Me, I went and saw The Avengers 2.

For the most part, I just didnt care. I will break down the events and my viewership of them.

Mayweather vs Pacqiauo. The Fight of the Century.  Did not watch. First, unless Ali, Frazier, Hagler, Hearns, Tyson, etc are invovled, this isnt the fight of the century. There was no way I was going to pay $99 to watch two guys who should have fought years ago, and Mayweather wears a hat of ass. They both made a lot of money, I wasnt contributing.

The NFL Draft. Watched First Round, checked back in on the weekend. I mean did anybody really sit through the entire draft coverage? After the first round on Thursday, I occasionally checked in. I know the ACC had a lot of players picked. I did think it was cool that in the later rounds, fans got to announce their teams picks.

The Kentucky Derby. Did not watch. I have slightly more of an interest in this over boxing, but I was busy at the time of the race.  I didnt catch any of the 5 hour pregame show either before the two minute race. Honestly, this year I didnt even know who the favorite was. American Pharoh won.

Spurs vs LA Clippers, Game 7. Watched the 4th quarter. This was the best sports viewing for me on the weekend. Great game (the part I saw) and great finish with Chris Paul, with a bad hammy, hitting a shot with one second left over Tim Duncan (Wake on Wake crime). With Danny Green thrown in. The defending champs are done, classy team, Paul was in tears afterwards.

ESPN kept throwing Yankees vs Red Sox in the mix, but I didnt watch. Avengers 2 is very good. Not quite as good as the first but good.

Saw that Kenny Williams, former VCU commit, is going to UNC.

More Likely Than Not….

As I type this, the NFL Draft is about one and a half hours away.

More likely than not, Jameis Winston will be the first pick, and he will become a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

More likely than not, he has gotten away with sexual assault.

More likely than not, he deserves to be in prison.

I know that plenty of people consider the accusation against Winston to be just a bump in the road.  I know that plenty of people consider that accusation an “off-field issue” that Winston moved past, and I know that some people even see his ability to play while the allegations were swirling around him as a positive attribute.  I know that plenty of people see the accusation as false and meant to extort money from Winston.

However, I would love for someone to explain to me why they think the accuser made up her story.  None of the typical explanations make any sense whatsoever.

They say she was after his money.  They say she wanted to be with an athlete.  They say lots of things.  Those things don’t add up.

At the time she made the accusation, Jameis Winston hadn’t played any football in a Florida State uniform.  He was a redshirting freshman who wouldn’t see the field until the following fall.  She made the accusation in December.

The incident was immediately reported to police.  They ultimately botched the investigation (who knows whether or not it was on purpose), but it was reported the same night it happened.  She said she didn’t know who did it.  She eventually ID’d him when they ended up in class together the following January.

In order to believe she set him up, you’d have to believe that she knew she would get that opportunity to ID him.  If it was a set up, why wouldn’t she have given his name the night of the incident?  If she was after money, wouldn’t she need to know whose money she was going after?  If she was such a brilliant con artist, wouldn’t she know that there were several FSU players who were headed for the NFL that very spring?  Why would she accuse someone who, at the time of the accusation, wouldn’t even be able to get into the next TWO NFL Drafts?

People have said that the fact that the reports about the case started to surface in the middle of a very successful season for Winston and Florida State show that the accuser was just trying to get him in trouble.

Well, I can provide another motive for those reports.

Anger.

I have a daughter.  She isn’t in college yet.  But, I can imagine the gut-wrenching pain that a father must endure when he gets that call from his little girl.  And, I can also imagine the feeling of having that wound reopened on a weekly basis as every talking head on television sings the praises of the guy that his little girl ID’d as her rapist.

What father wouldn’t try to get the other side of the story out?  Who could blame him?  Who wouldn’t do the exact same thing?

The Buccaneers must certainly be hopeful that Winston won’t make another mistake.

Duke Reloads

In a hot recruiting battle that included all three of the triangle schools, and also Kentucky and Kansas for good measure, Kinston High School’s Brandon Ingram chose Duke as the place where he will take his talents next season. Coach K and his entire coaching staff made two trips to Kinston in the last week to make the pitch to Ingram, apparently keeping Jeff Capel around was a good thing.

“Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) is a profesional. He’s a player’s coach and I just love everything about him,” Ingram said. “Talking to Jeff Capel, he made a good pitch and they sold it well.” -wral.com

Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow and Tyus Jones led Duke to their 5th national championship before declaring for the NBA, now Coach K adds Ingram (another probable one and done) and last week Derryck Thornton, a five-star point guard from California, reclassified from the class of 2016 to 2015 and committed to Duke.

Duke has the number 1 recruiting class (again), and is poised to make another Final Four and national championship run.