The Everyday Man's Sports Blog

Follow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

Archive for the month “July, 2011”

A Passion For Writing

Writing is the last thing I thought I would be doing. As a kid growing up, I despised English class and writing. I was a student-athlete that was focused on either becoming a pro athlete or becoming a sports agent. English seemed like my stumbling block. Things like similes, metaphors and creative writing were things that I just wasn’t into.

Fast forward to July 2010. After many times avoiding the call, I decided to start writing about sports. Sports has always been one of my passions in life since I was a young kid. I began to immerse myself more and more into writing, finding more and more joy in spreading the knowledge of sports to everyone.

When I began to meet people on Twitter and Facebook across the country, I started to learn more about the power of words and the power of the human voice. The human voice is one of the most powerful things in this world. It can motivate, captivate and aggravate depending on what you’re trying to do. Another big thing that I learned is that I can affect a lot of people and educate and bring a voice to the everyday man, which I am.

Around May of this year, I encountered some men and women who shared the same vision that I had and also had a huge passion for sports. We began to converse via Twitter during the NBA playoffs. We would talk thru all the games and not only would we talk about the games, we would all blog about them too. The crew I speak of is now known to all as The Sports Blog Movement. I will say that this crew of special individuals has pushed me to become a better writer and also to use my knowledge to help other people grow in their writing as well. Now don’t get it confused. There is a base crew of the Sports Blog Movement, but we are all bloggers who are there to help each other, and even new bloggers, create and succeed.

While me and the crew were getting started and creating our own vision, I was contacted by a friend about an opportunity in radio. She informed me that I would need to contact a man who would offer me a great opportunity. After a few e-mails, me and the producer of this new show, Mr. Sedgewick Lloyd, met to discuss the show. The show fit the exact vision of my blog, except it was on radio. And the thing is, he had read my writing and thought I would be perfect to be the writer for his new and exciting sports show. A spark was lit and the passion was born for me to be the writer for The League Sports Talk Show. Me, combined with Alphonso “Vandy Al” Harvey and Dewayne “Kingfish” King and of course Sedgewick Lloyd aim to bring the local and everyday person into the wide world of sports by featuring the voice of the everyday man.

I wrote all this to tell you that writing is powerful. Writing became a passion that I never knew I had. Who would have known those similes and metaphors that I learned in English classes would turn into comparisons of players, sports events and issues in sports. Writing is a powerful tool and hopefully I can continue to use it to make some change in this world.

By the way, check out me and my crew, the Sports Blog Movement at our website, http://www.sportsblogmovement.com and “like” Sports Blog Movement on Facebook. Also, come check out Vandy Al and Kingfish as The League Sports Talk Show makes it debut on 880 AM in Nashville on Saturday from 2pm-3pm. Follow us on Twitter(@TheLeagueTalk) and go “like” The League Sports Talk Show on Facebook as well.

My Thoughts On Trade Of Kevin Kolb To Arizona

If you ask anyone about the toughest and most essential position in football, most will tell you its the QB position. That’s why you see teams spending big money and making huge trades for that one piece they feel they need. Well, this off-season is no different. In the Wild Wild West 2011 off-season of the NFL, the Cardinals have agreed to trade CB Dominique Rogers-Cromartie and a 2012 draft pick to Philadelphia for the prize of the 2011 NFL QB pool, Kevin Kolb. The Cardinals also are going to give Kolb a guaranteed $30 million in a new deal. All seem to be rejoicing and saying that Arizona made a great deal. All but me agree on that.

I believe Arizona got the worst of this deal. I know some will think I’m crazy, but let me explain why. Kolb hasn’t exactly had the most experience as a starter in this league. When Matt Cassel was traded from the Patriots to the Chiefs, he had started a full year and proven that he could at least handle the ups and downs of being a starting QB in the NFL. Besides that, let’s revisit the last time a Vick backup was traded for my case. QB Matt Schuab was supposed to be this great QB that was mired behind Michael Vick in Atlanta. The Houston Texans saw a potential superstar QB in him and made a big trade to get him. Fast forward to a now and while Schuab has put up stats, he has also incurred injuries and never got his team to the playoffs.

Arizona has been notorious for having bad defense. So, in order to upgrade their offense, they trade arguably their best defensive player to get a QB? To me, that doesn’t make any sense. What would have made sense is to trade for Kyle Orton from Denver. You could have upgraded your QB position and also kept your best cover corner. I think the world of rookie Patrick Peterson, but I question if he’s ready to be the feature corner on this team.

For the Eagles, they made out like bandits in this deal. This deal effectively takes them out of the market for a corner. This deal also saves them money. They get Rogers-Cromartie while he’s still in his rookie deal and they still have money to spend to improve their team and possibly go after the likes of LB Nick Barnett, DE Ray Edwards or DE Jason Babin. Another thing the Eagles could do is work out new deals for DeSean Jackson and Michael Vick as well.

In the end, these two teams still have to play the games, but in my estimation, the Eagles have always been a smart team when it comes to handling the salary cap and handling trades. I didn’t agree with the Donovan McNabb deal last year. I couldn’t understand it. But as I look at their organization now, they knew what they were doing and it was a stroke of genius. They seem to have perfect timing and this new deal to acquire a great young corner that they needed is just an example of the genius of the Eagles’ front office.

Sports Blog Movement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com

The NFL Lockout Battle Is Over, But Who Won?

The words a lot of sports fans wanted to hear happened on Monday. The lockout is officially over and football fans everywhere are rejoicing. But, with me being the person I am, I wanted to know what kind of deal the players agreed to and most importantly, who won in this situation.

As I reviewed the things that happened in this lockout, it’s obvious who the winners were: the owners. I know some may not agree with what I’m saying, but it’s the obvious truth when you look at it.

One of the main things you heard the owners say they wanted to do was cut the rookie pay scale. And they were successful in doing so. The owners cut the rookie pay scale by a whopping 50%. What this means is gone are the days of the monster rookie contract. For example, the Jamarcus Russell mega-deals will now be replaced by the number one pick, Cam Newton, receiving at the maximum four years and $22.03 million. This may look good on the outside for veterans, but the thing I want to know is when a veteran comes up for a new deal, will owners pay them their worth or will they short them what they feel they are worth? This is a question that will be answered in the near future.

Another big issue was the franchise tag. Players hate it when a team seemingly keeps signing them to one-year deal after one-year deal until they decide that player isn’t worth the franchise tag anymore and they let them go. This franchise tag was supposed to be an issue that Patriots QB Tom Brady, Colts QB Peyton Manning, Saints QB Drew Brees and, most notably, Patriots G Logan Mankins and Chargers WR Vincent Jackson were fighting to have abolished. Well, apparently, they dropped that issue for a new deal and guess what, the franchise tag stays. Look for more players to be bound by this franchise tag and not be allowed to have at least some sense of security with a multi-year deal.

In the beginning, the players wanted certain things, but in the end, it seems like the owners have got more of what they wanted than the players. And there are still more issues like worker’s comp to be worked out as well. The minimum salaries may have gone up to help the players, but the advantage is for the owners. What are your thoughts?

Sports Blog Movement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com

The Everyday Mailbag 7/26/11

The NFL is back!!! And so is The Everyday Mailbag! Let’s see what the sports world wants to know!!!

Q: ‎​What’s the biggest name on the MLB trading block?
-Joey K., Los Angeles, CA

A: The biggest name on the trading block is Mets OF Carlos Beltran. He’s having a good year with the Mets, the Mets are agreeing to pay his contract with a trade and all they are asking for in return is prospects. He could be the difference on a good team.

Q: What veteran QB is the best option for the and who are they likely to go after?
-Getahn W., Antioch, TN

A: I think that the veteran QB that would be the best option for the Titans would be former Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck would be a good QB to tutor rookie QB Jake Locker because of his success and professionalism in the NFL. He also is a QB that is winding down his career and would be a perfect bridge to Locker. He will be the veteran QB the Titans will likely go after.

Q: How much of the NBA season do you think the lockout will take?
-Mike S., Waldorf, MD

A: I honestly don’t see the NBA missing many games if they do miss any. I think the vision of lost money will get them to the table for an agreement. I would say at the most, 10 games.

Q: What are the chances that the San Francisco 49ers go after Kevin Kolb and/or Nnamdi Asomungha?
-Raimil S., Antioch, TN

A: The chances aren’t very high that the 49ers go after either one of these players. Kolb may be coming to the NFC West, but it will be to play for the Arizona Cardinals if he does. As far as Nnamdi goes, he will command too much for the 49ers. I see him going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Q: How many games do you think Ohio State will win this year?
-Bobby C., Sacramento, CA

A: I think Ohio State will win 7, maybe 8 games this year. They aren’t far and away the most talented team in the Big 10 this year with Russell Wilson transferring to Wisconsin from NC State and Nebraska entering the Big 10. It should be interesting to see what they look like this year.

Q: Will Kolb get traded and if so who will be Vick’s backup? Also, will they use the TE more this year?
-J. Hill, Eastern NC

A: Kolb will get traded. There’s no doubt about that. And from the looks of it, he will be traded to the Cardinals. As far as Vick’s new backup, there could be a few options for that. With that being said, there’s three scenarios in regards to the backup QB situation. There’s a rumor going around that the Eagles are looking towards Brett Farve to be the backup to Vick. Another scenario has 2nd year QB Mike Kafka being the backup QB. He’s a smart kid and the Eagles believe he can be a capable backup. The last scenario has former Titans QB Vince Young headed to the City of Brotherly Love when he’s released by the Titans. Of all the scenarios, I think the Kafka scenario is the most likely. Young and Farve may be too expensive for Philly.

Thanks for all the questions. And remember, if you have sports questions, I have answers!

Sports Blog Movement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com

Steel City Revival

The Pirates are leading the NL Central. I repeat. The Pirates are leading the NL Central. Anyone who had the Pirates leading the NL Central this late in the season also believed that there was gold at the end of the rainbow and that unicorns really exist. The Pirates are in first place in the NL Central and there are three main reason why..

Andrew McCutchen has been the heart and soul of the Pirates this year. He is leading the Pirates in batting average(.277) and homeruns(14). He is fulfilling the promise that all saw in him as he rose through the ranks of the Pirates farm system. McCutchen is the type of player that can have the same kind of effect that the Mets Jose Reyes has on the game because of his electrifying speed, power and his ability to make plays no normal outfielder can make. And the thing that’s even more scary about him is he hasn’t even reached his prime.

Another big cog on this team is the starting pitching duo of Kevin Correia and Andrew Karstens. These two guys have been the stalwarts of this revamped pitching staff that has an ERA that’s almost a full two runs better than last year and has more wins than all of last year already. And even though these guys have done so well, no one even knows who they are still. Its amazing to watch these two guys make a name for themselves. And it will also be amazing to see how they finish the season.

All the things that these three key players have done for the Pirates are great, but the undoubted captain of this ship is manager Clint Hurdle. Yes, the same guy who helped take the Rockies to a new level is now taking another unexpected team to new heights. Maybe its time for people to actually give him credit for what he can do as a manager. He should be the NL Manager of the Year for this outstanding job.

Now with all this said, the season isn’t over yet and the Pirates still have to fight off the Cardinals, Reds and Brewers to claim the crown. I think they need to make the move to go after another bat. A rumor floating around is the Pirates will be in the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes, especially if what the Mets are saying is true. The Mets are offering to pay Beltran’s contract for the rest of the year in exchange for prospects. If I’m the Pirates, I make that deal. Beltran is having a good year and we all remember what he did for the Astros the last time he was in a contract year. But for now, the Pirates have exceeded expectations and they are to be commended.

#SportsBlogMovement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com

The Everyday Mailbag-7/19/11

Its back! No, not the NFL. At least not yet. Its time for the Everyday Mailbag to strike again! Let’s see what the Sports World wants to know!!!

Q: ‎​Don Nelson is rumored to want to be the new coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves. What are your feelings on that?
-Dallah S., Manhattan, NY

A: I think that this would be a bad scenario for Don Nelson to walk into. Nelson is a coach that has traditionally liked veteran players, so for him to come coach a young team would wear his patience thin. And this team does not have very much potential to win, considering its current roster. On another note, it would be entertaining to see him try though.

Q: Do you believe the NFL strikes a deal this week?
-Jeremy W., Winnepeg, Canada

A: I believe they will. They have come to agreement on the years on veteran free agency and on a rookie pay scale and those were big hurdles to overcome. Only a matter of time and the time will be this week.

Q: Why can’t sports media members and fans give credit to the other team instead of blaming their team?
-Russ G., Walpole, MA

A: The reason why is because we all see things a different way as people in general. Some may feel that a team seized it opportunities and earned the victory. Some may feel that a team gave away the win by crumbling under the pressure. Its all in the eye of the beholder and in most media’s eyes, they’re going to see that the team crumbled instead of giving all credit to the other team or they will see a combination of the team crumbling and the winning team seizing its opportunity.

Q: Assuming a CBA by Friday, Titans will have to deal quickly with their own FA’s. Who gets offered?
-Chuck F., Mt. Juliet, TN

A: If you look at the season the Titans had last year, I don’t think they will really go after any of their own free agents to be honest. Tulloch is gone. They made that evident in the draft. He’s their biggest free agent in my opinion.

Q: When is Frank McCourt going to surrender the dodgers to MLB?
-Jesse Z, Los Angeles, CA

A: McCourt isn’t going to surrender the Dodgers to Major League Baseball. Baseball is going to have to wrestle away control from McCourt. This could go into September or the off-season.

Q:Where will Chad Ochocinco play after lockout?
-Dallah S., Manhattan, NY

A: I think that Chad will be one of two places. Chad will either be back in Cincinnati next year or he will be playing for the New England Patriots next year.

Q: Will there be a more intense sporting event this year than the WWC Final?
-Erin H., Hermitage, TN

A: I don’t think there will be but the good thing about sports is that we learn to expect the unexpected. I wouldn’t be shocked if I’m proven wrong and we do have a more intense sporting event this year.

Q: Who will be the next American golfer to win a major?
-Ricky K., Staten Island, NY

A: To be honest, I think the next American golfer to win a major will be Phil Mickelson. Lefty can’t keep struggling like he has down the stretch of the majors. He will eventually come through in the clutch again.

Q: How will Bud Selig handle the Dodger situation?
-Joey K., Los Angeles, CA

A: ‎​Bud Selig and MLB will be taking over the Dodgers until a suitable owner is found. This will be just like the Expos situation except the team will not be moving.

Thanks for all the questions! and remember folks, if you have sports questions, I have answers! Also, all who have read my mailbag today, take a moment and go to the Sports Blog Movement page on Facebook and click the “Like” button.

#SportsBlogMovement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com

Time For A “No” Man In Sports

Kevin Hart was hosting the BET Awards a few weeks ago and expressed that entertainers need “No” men to tell them when something isn’t a good idea. He felt that too many entertainers have too many people that boost their egos instead of telling them the truth. Well, I will take this a step further. I think athletes need a “No” man as well.

For those that don’t know what a “No” man is, a “No” man basically is a person who, at the risk of upsetting you, will tell you when something is a bad idea. Looking around the landscape of America, plenty of athletes need these people in their lives. The latest example of that is James Harrison.

James Harrison went on a rampage recently in the August issue of Men’s Journal. He went after the commissioner of the NFL and he also went after the star QB on his team, Ben Roethlisburger along with a few other people. Harrison basically chided both the commissioner and his star QB. But not only did he do that, he posed on the front of the magazine shirtless with guns. Now who thinks that the article and the picture were a good idea? I know I don’t, but I bet he asked a “Yes” man and he said it was a good idea. A “No” man could have really helped him here and maybe told him that this article and picture was a bad idea.

A “No” man could have changed some other things that have happened within the last year. For example, the LeBron James “Decision” program wouldn’t have happened if someone with some sense would have told him that maybe this isn’t a good idea. Heck, maybe some of the moments in history would have been changed with a “No” man. Maybe a “No” man would have been able to tell Michael Jordan that baseball was not his calling when he took a two year sabbatical to play in the baseball minor leagues.

All joking aside, a “No” man would have been good for these athletes, but for most of them, a better of sense of what they are saying and who they are saying it to has to be exercised. Money seems to have clouded a lot of people’s minds and vision as to what is right and wrong to say. Things are being said and people aren’t thinking. James Harrison wasn’t the first and he will not be the last, but maybe he will be the first to have a “No” man hired for him by his agent. Only time will tell. Maybe he has Kevin Hart on Line One.

Anybody out there know of any athletes, past or present, that could of used a “No” man or are in need of one currently?

The Everyday Mailbag-7/13/11

Another week brings another exciting round of sports questions. Let’s see what the Sports World wants to know!!

Q: ‎​How many NBA superstars do you see going overseas if the lockout continues?
-Joey K., Los Angeles, CA

A: I don’t see very many going overseas. I think they’re just talking right now and most of them that will go over there will have opt-outs in their contracts to come back to the states if the NBA restarts.

Q: Is this year’s ‎​women’s USA soccer team greater than last USA World Cup team?
-Dallah S, Manhattan, NY

A: ‎​This year’s women’s soccer team is good, but to compare them to the likes of Mia Hamm and the gang isn’t even fair at all. Hamm and the crew would dominate them.

Q: Could the lockout and possible exodus of players to Europe cause a divide between upper & lower tier players? European teams will want stars, not scrubs.
-Brian H., New Orleans, LA

A: I think the lockout will not cause a divide between players who play in Europe and those who decide to stay. I think each player has to do what they feel is in their best interests, so players will understand if Europe is the option for some of them.

Q: When do you think the NBA Lockout will end?
-Derrel J., New York, NY

A: The lockout will end close to the start of the season. October in my estimation.

Q: Since the WNBA has proven itself financially inept, what purpose does the NBA gain by sustaining its existence besides faux populism?
-William L., Sliver Valley, NC

A: The NBA really doesn’t gain anything, but I don’t blame the WNBA for that. I blame the NBA because they haven’t actively tried to market and help the WNBA until this year. Sadly, I don’t know how much longer the WNBA can survive.

Q: Will the NFL and the NFLPA sign a new CBA before July 21?
-Steven H., Westbury, NY

A: I think that they will, if they don’t, it could mean trouble. I think the big thing here is that neither side wants to lose money, so the season will start on time.

Q: Where are we mostly likely to see Kobe Bryant play next year? USA or China?
-Ricky K., Staten Island, NY

A: We will see Kobe playing in the NBA next year. I think that he’s just throwing that stuff out there about playing overseas. I think its all a bluff.

Q: With another fan almost falling from stands at HR derby, is it time for serious action and what can be done?
-Bobby C., Sacramento, CA

A: I don’t know if any action can be taken to stop fans from reaching out to get foul balls and HR balls. The only thing I can think of is maybe putting a net under the upper decks to catch fans in case of accidents like fans falling from the stands.

Q: Who do you think is the perfect fit for Plaxico Burress?
-Dallah S., Manhattan, NY

A: ‎​I didn’t see the fit for Plaxico in Philly at first, but I now see the need for him because of the need for a consistent receiver with good hands that runs precise routes in Philly. Jackson and Maclin are fast receivers, but they don’t run precise routes. Plax could school them on route-running and help the Eagles passing game. Now this is all based on the Plax that we saw before his jail time. If he returns to that form, the Eagles offense could be even more dangerous.

Q: Any thoughts on the Wolves finally firing Kurt Rambis? Who do you think they need to employ now?
-Mike, Waldorf, MD

A: I think the way they strung out Rambis was just awful. Why not just let him go before the NBA Draft? I think the Timberwolves front office handled this situation badly. In regards to who the Timberwolves will hire, at first I had heard that University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar was in the mix, but now I’m hearing that the Wolves are looking at Bernie Bickerstaff to coach the team. Bickerstaff is a well-respected assistant who has NBA head coach experience. Another rumor that’s being talked about is Don Nelson wanting to come out of retirement to coach this team. I think that rumor won’t come to fruition.

Thanks to everyone for their questions! And remember, if you have sports questions, I have answers!

Sports Blog Movement
http://www.sportsblogmovement.com
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Selective Media

Bengals CB Adam “Pacman” Jones has been arrested again. This time he was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest while at a bar in Cincinnati. This adds to the laundry list of things that he’s done in his career. Just when you thought he was turning it around, this happens. But on a more broad issue, I believe the media has some explaining to do as well.

For years, the media has been selective about who they publicly put out there in regards to their issues or brushes with the law. And to me, that’s sad. With all the news about Pacman, most have forgotten about the DUI that Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward got this weekend in Georgia. Ward’s DUI was worse than Pacman’s incident, in my opinion. But because Ward has no prior run-ins and is generally liked by the media , they are more prone to forget about his transgression and push it to the backburner.

It’s a sad reality but the media does pick and choose who to fry publicly and who to save based on prior issues and how that person relates to the media. What the reality should be is that when someone does something, whether its their first time or not, they should receive the same amount of scrutiny that the next man does if the media is going to scrutinize anyone. Both issues with Pacman and Ward were incidents that should have gotten the same amount of attention if any attention was given in my opinion.

The media going forward should look at these instances and take the fame or the likability out of public blunders. Judge the incident for what its worth, not the person who did it.

Risk Versus Reward

The lockout ensues in the NBA as the owners and the players cannot come to an agreement on how to share the revenue. Now comes the news that New Jersey Nets PG Deron Williams plans to play in Turkey if the lockout continues. I understand how much Williams would like to play and make some money, but this is a bad idea.

Basketball is a game of competitiveness and skill. Basketball is also a game of chance. Like any sport, there’s always a chance of injury. In this unique circumstance, the players aren’t bound to their contracts and they can play, if they like, overseas at least until the lockout is over. Injuries are a part of any sport and I know they can happen at anytime, but I don’t think I would chance millions overseas.

Injuries are not the only thing going through some of these player’s minds. Players, whether they admit it or not, are thinking about the potential of missing a paycheck. For some players, that paycheck missed could mean foreclosure on their house or their car repossessed. They need the money. But for other players like Williams, money isn’t the issue. Williams does have a wife and kids here in America, so what if they don’t want to go to Turkey? Would he still go? Could he take being that far away from his wife and kids?

As Williams sits and thinks about the decision that needs to be made, all these thoughts must be going through his mind. The decision seemed pretty easy at first when glancing at the issue. But when you take a further examination of the decision, its harder than you could ever imagine. In my mind, because of the risk involved with injuries and family issues, I think going to Turkey to play is a bad idea for Deron Williams.

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