Archive for January, 2014

THE A-TRAIN RANT 16.0!

Posted in Baseball, Basketball, Football, Hockey, NFL, Sports, Tennis, Wrestling with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 21, 2014 by A-Train

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Time for another edition of The A-Train Rant…16-point-OH!

I have a lot to say on this day. Here we go.

  1. Roger Goodell continues to kill the NFL. I feel indifferent if professional football should go away as a whole.
  2. Tom Brady is a sore loser.
  3. Bill Belichick needs his eyes checked.
  4. Ohio State really sucks along with my Tar Heels. I knew UNC would be bad this year after watching them BEAT Kentucky.
  5. Joel Embiid of Kansas shouldn’t look at being #1 overall in the draft. He has great game so far, a lot more to work on and doesn’t need to focus on the NBA. He doesn’t need to be a Ralph Sampson or Hasheem Thabeet.
  6. I think I may have found a new favorite team…it’s the Golden State Warriors. Yes, they lost last night. But at the same time, this is a young team with a great head coach in Mark Jackson and should make playoff/championship runs for years. I love this team.
  7. The St. Louis Rams should get Clowney or a signal caller to wake up Sam Bradford in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Not an offensive lineman. Work with the linemen they already have. Stop thinking that the next big draft pick is going to be the answer.
  8. Joakim Noah scares me as an NBA player. Last night’s Lakers/Bulls game indicated when he gets the ball under 2 minutes, he forgets how to play basketball. I like his energy but it seems like it spirals out of control when the game is on the line.
  9. Speaking of that Lakers/Bulls game…the Lakers got cheated in that game. Taj Gibson’s last second lay-up shouldn’t have happened the way it did. The clock didn’t start when Gibson got the ball.
  10. Clayton Kershaw deserves every bit of that $215 million the L.A. Dodgers gave him.
  11. Fighting in hockey is probably the reason why I watch it. Sad.
  12. What the hell happened to Serena Williams? She might be done with tennis.
  13. So far EA Sports is on point about the St. Louis Blues. They simulated their season and it came out that they would win the Cup. It would be the franchise’s first. I would love to witness that for real (on TV of course or downtown).
  14. Super Bowl 48’s matchup on paper looks like it’s one for the ages. The NFL is getting what they want by playing the game in it’s “normal” element.
  15. Carmelo Anthony needs to leave the Knicks. All he’s doing is bringing them down instead of building them up.
  16. Paul George’s 360 dunk was very impressive. To anybody that thinks it wasn’t…get a video camera, go find a court and do the dunk. If you can, the dunk wasn’t impressive. Point blank.
  17. Speaking of that dunk, George won’t be in the dunk contest. This is a great indicator that All-Star Weekend needs to die. Who can forget the ever-popular 2Ball competition? SMH
  18. I hope the WWE gets this new WWE Network correct.
  19. I can’t wait to see what the Ultimare Warrior says at his Hall of Fame speech.
  20. I will participate in Warren Buffett’s BILLION DOLLAR (yes that’s correct) bracket challenge. CBS, ESPN, Fox Sports’ bracket challenge’s better up their game. $1,000,000 means nothing anymore.
  21. FINALLY. This whole Richard Sherman thing indicates how silly, stupid and crazy us fans really are. I think we are worse than the athletes themselves. What Sherman did wasn’t right. But don’t dare call him a thug. A thug is a criminal. If that’s the case, Sherman robbed the 49ers of going to the Super Bowl. That’s the best description of what a thug is. People are getting mad that Sherman’s antics have been compared to Muhammad Ali’s antics. It has great comparison sports-related. Talk trash. Back it up. Ali did that. So far, Sherman has done the same. 20 interceptions in just 3 seasons indicates that. With that said…
  22. Justin Verlander needs to (in the words of Chris Jericho) SHUT…THE HELL…UP.

GOOD DAY EVERYONE.

A-Train

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THE ASSOCIATION REPORT: First Edition

Posted in Basketball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2014 by A-Train

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Getting the new year started (yeah it’s 3 weeks in, SO WHAT) with The Association Report: First Edition.

While there may not be an NBA team here in St. Louis, the fans here definitely have something to cheer for. Three Missouri collegiate teams are playing some real good basketball.

You can definitely check out the hometown Billikens, who are currently undefeated in Atlantic-10 play and ranked in the Top 25 in the country. The Billikens are trying to prove to not only St. Louis, but to the rest of the country that this team is not a fluke after last season’s great success. A matter of fact, dating back to the 2011-2012 season, the Billikens are an astonishing 71-17 overall with a conference record of 29-7 (as of this blog date), 1 conference championship (also regular season title) and 2 straight NCAA tournament appearances. The play of Jordair Jett and Dwayne Evans indicate that this team could surprise people in the tourney. Definitely no fluke here.

Just a ways down Interstate 70 are the Mizzou Tigers, who currently sitting at 14-3 overall; you can overlook the 2-2 mark in conference play right now because it’s early. To me, it looks like an entirely different Tigers team. This team is led by three transfers in Jordan Clarkson, Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown. The good thing about this team, they can all shoot the rock, and they look at bit bigger than past Missouri teams, especially in the backcourt. My biggest hope is that they can get some in-state recruits. That has been Mizzou’s biggest heel. Many top recruits in the state go on to bigger programs and play. Current NBA players David Lee, Otto Porter and Bradley Beal come to mind about those that were not heavily recruited  enough by Mizzou. Send the house to these guys, especially if they fit what’s best for the school. But if it the transfers are what’s getting the job done, use that ploy as well. It really looks like Frank Haith knows what he’s doing, and is the right man for this job.

Not to forget, the Washington University Bears. Yes, that’s right. The Washington University Bears. This Division III powerhouse is 9-0 at home, with an 11-2 record and ranked 7th in the nation. I remember seeing the school on CBS for the Division III National Championship a few years back, apparently those coaches know what it takes to make a champion having won it, twice. Had to show love to these guys as well.

If college isn’t your sport than there are at least four other NBA teams that one fan can cheer for…whether it’s the Bulls, Thunder, Grizzlies or Pacers. Speaking of the Pacers, I had a feeling this team would be successful…but not THIS successful. Indiana currently sits at #1 overall in the NBA with a 32-7 record, with a home mark of 21-1. Of course, their biggest challenge is knocking off the defending champion…the Miami Heat.

Speaking of the Heat, recently LeBron James mentioned about that he’s “upset” about not taking as many shots as Kevin Durant. I have come to dislike LeBron again for his constant flopping (aka LeBroning) and getting away with lots of calls (most superstars get calls anyway). But besides that, his game is fine and he doesn’t need adjustments. Period. This guy can shoot 10-15 times a game and still score 20-30 points a game. The reason? He gets to the stripe. He shoots a lot of free throws and that can definitely add up. Plus, he can do this with ease. With a reliable post game, he can be even deadlier. He can be motivated by what Durant is doing, but he doesn’t need to. That’s the journalist in me and not the fan.

A-Train

Hey Chicago, We’re Ready When You Are

Posted in Basketball, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 8, 2014 by A-Train

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These days it’s tough to be a Chicago Bulls fan. I mean really tough.

The days of Marcus Fizer, Dickey Simpkins, Mark Bryant, Matt Maloney, Khalid Reeves, Michael Ruffin and Khalid El-Amin are gone. From 1998-2004, the Bulls were 119-341, with 5 straight seasons of 50 or more losses and went through coaches like Tim Floyd, Bill Cartwright, Bill Berry and Pete Myers. Yes, the Jordan replacement…PETE MYERS! YIKES! But after clever drafting and added some key veterans, the Bulls became playoff contenders again. In the last 10 seasons, they enjoyed their finest season during the 2010-2011 season when they went 62-20 and Derrick Rose was named MVP. It looked like the Bulls would be CHAMPIONSHIP contenders, then…Rose gets injured in the 1st round of the following season’s playoffs and it went downhill from there. He didn’t play the following season after much controversy and distraction about his injury status, yet the team was able to make the playoffs only to get bounced by the eventual champion Miami Heat in the second round.

This season…PURE HELL. PURE H-E-L-L.

Not even a full two months have gone by and several Bulls players have been injured, including Rose (who’s out for the season again) and my “favorite player” to hate Carlos Boozer. Yes, him. The hate for LeBron has ceased. Not only that, the recent trade of Luol Deng to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum and draft picks. Bynum will never get to see a minute in a Bulls uniform because he was waived in under 24 hours. Just trying to get the room for cap space and lure a potential free agent, maybe a Carmelo Anthony, LeBron or a Kevin Love. Now, Love would be an awesome addition in Chicago, it would get him a chance at actually being on a playoff team…which he has yet to see in his (now) 6 seasons in Minnesota. Another funny possibility would be Blake Griffin. This is a business. Loyalty is so gone. That’s why I respect Timmy D and Kobe.

But back to the subject at hand…freeing of cap space to lock in a key free agent…the Bulls did that so well back in the 2010 free agent sweepstakes. It was so well that they went and got…Carlos Boozer. Yes, Carlos Boozer. He was the guy that was mentioned earlier in this blog. The Bulls couldn’t nab LeBron, they couldn’t get Dwyane Wade…the hometown guy, Chris Bosh or even Amar’e Stoudemire, not to mention Rudy Gay or David Lee. They got Boozer for 5 seasons, $75 million. The Sporting News couldn’t have said this any better, “Boozer, who has performed well below his deal for years, is set to make $16.8 million next season and does not fit the Bulls’ defensive approach, which has led him to spend time on the bench in clutch moments.” This was a guy who was an all-star with the Utah Jazz and averaged 20 points and right at 10 rebounds a game, and never looked like the same player back in Utah. His defense was just horrendous. Allowing smaller players, other power forwards, even slower players to outplay him. Not to mention the numbers are atrocious. This man TRICKED John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jerry Reinsdorf. Where is Jerry Krause when you need him? I see why they put the amnesty clause on him. No way you put that salary on this team.

As a Bulls fan, I can stomach this season. But I can’t say the same for the crowds that once sold out the United Center. For right now, those are gone. Yet, they have great young talent in Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Rookie Tony Snell is starting to get more in to the mix off the bench and hopefully Mike Dunleavy can fill the void that Kyle Korver left. Korver doesn’t fit the Thibodeau book of defense. But that efficient shooting is missed greatly. Didn’t necessarily get a good upgrade in Dunleavy. He’s decent but not a plus. At this rate, it looks like the Bulls are going to be revamped in a similar fashion the way the Portland Trailblazers and Golden State Warriors have done to get back into the playoff mix. If the Bulls don’t make the playoffs it won’t be a surprise. This team looked doomed after the Rose injury. The biggest questions will be…Can D. Rose be a solid player again? Can the Bulls lure a GOOD free agent? Can they become a contender again? Only time will tell. But for now, Bulls fans, you’ll just have to let this season go. But hey Chicago, we’ll be ready when you are.

A-Train

The Three Days Of Awesome

Posted in Football, NFL with tags , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by A-Train

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Happy New Year to you all. If you hadn’t caught the last three days in sports…WHERE IN THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN HIDING?

It’s the “Three Days of Awesome” rant:

  1. No more BCS. Thank God.
  2. The final BCS national championship game had the best ending since Texas-USC in 2005. I hated USC ever since. So glad they aren’t winning like they used to.
  3. Auburn losing is retribution for Mizzou. Great effort but they failed like Kansas City. Speaking of KC…
  4. Great job hiring Andy Reid, Kansas City. He’ll never win a Super Bowl with KC. Don’t believe me, look at his resume with Philly.
  5. Andrew Luck has got crazy confidence. I actually thought he couldn’t make the comeback. Thanks for my near heart attack.
  6. New Orleans finally got over the hump and got a playoff road win. Damn shame because the Rams beat the Saints and the Colts.
  7. Shame for Marvin Lewis…best coach in Cincinnati history and still can’t find his first playoff win.  If he gets fired, I won’t be surprised.
  8. The Cotton Bowl had Big 12 written all over it.
  9. Ric Flair must have really whipped the Niners into shape or Jarrett Bush really sucks as a football player. I dislike the Niners but after that, I see why the Packers defense was so bad.
  10. Mizzou’s 2013 team reminds me of the 2007 team…only difference was that this Mizzou team had a better defense.
  11. Clemson and Ohio State equally had enough offense and enough drama for every fan.
  12. A.J. McCarron’s mom needs to shut up. Get over it, your boy’s team got beat and yet you had to watch the national championship because of Katherine Webb’s alma mater.
  13. Somehow it was easy to figure that people would not take too well that a black man would be the head coach at University of Texas-Austin. That’s why boosters and others that donate should NOT have any power. Texas will mess around and do Charlie Strong like how Notre Dame did with Tyrone Willingham, Mississippi State with Sylvester Crooms, and even Kansas with Turner Gill. Racism is still in sports, folks. This needed to be said.

Other than that, the last 3 days were still awesome. More to come soon and Happy New Year.

The A-Train

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