Archive for April, 2011

Kevin Durant: A Star Is Born

Posted by    |    April 30th, 2011 at 5:30 am

It clicked for Kevin Durant on Wednesday night.

With 3:31 left in the game, his Thunder were down 91-82 to the Denver Nuggets. Their other main scorers, James Harden and Russell Westbrook, couldn’t buy a basket from the perimeter, combining to go 5-22 from the field.

At only 22, his whole career is ahead of him. But those next three-and-a-half minutes will always be a part of his story.

Kevin Durant’s Game 5.

The first Matrix is the story of Neo’s journey towards becoming “The One”. When we first see him, he’s a socially awkward computer programmer struggling at his job and drifting through life.

He meets Morpheus, the charismatic leader of a band of vigilantes, who tells him that the world around him is an artificially created illusion designed to enslave him. And oh yeah, he also possesses God-like powers to change it and free humanity. (more…)

Part Deux – Round 2 Mock Draft

Posted by    |    April 29th, 2011 at 12:22 pm

As promised, here is a look at the second round:

  1. New England Patriots – Akeem Ayers (Linebacker – UCLA).  The Patriots just continue to get better.  They are the Anti-Texans.
  2. Buffalo Bills – Brooks Reed (Defensive End/Linebacker – Arizona).  They missed on Von Miller yesterday, but they will get a pass rushing linebacker.
  3. Cincinnati Bengals – Andy Dalton (Quarterback – TCU).  The Bengals prepare for life after Carson Palmer.
  4. Denver Broncos – Marvin Austin (Defensive Tackle – North Carolina).  Austin is a first round talent.
  5. Cleveland Browns – Da’Quan Bowers (Defensive End – Clemson).  Bowers just can’t slip much further.
  6. Arizona Cardinals – Justin Houston (Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Georgia).  Houston can be groomed to replace Joey Porter.
  7. Tennessee Titans – Stephen Paea (Defensive Tackle – Oregon State).  Paea lacks ideal size, but has freakish strength.
  8. Dallas Cowboys – Aaron Williams (Cornerback – Texas).  The Cowboys should be ecstatic to get a first round talent here.
  9. Washington Redskins – Ryan Mallett (Quarterback – Arkansas).  The Redskins have to take a quarterback at some point.
  10. Houston Texans – Brandon Harris (Cornerback – Miami).  Never underestimate the Texans’ ability to screw this up.
  11. Minnesota Vikings – Allen Bailey (Defensive End – Miami).  The rebuilding effort continues in Minnesota.
  12. Detroit Lions – Ras-I Dowling (Cornerback – Virginia).  I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I’m really starting to like the Lions.
  13. San Francisco 49ers – Rahim Moore (Safety – UCLA).  I thought real hard about putting Colin Kaepernick here, but with the 49ers passing on Gabbert yesterday, I just don’t see them taking a quarterback. 
  14. Denver Broncos – Orlando Franklin (Offensive Tackle – Miami).  John Elway is putting together a very solid draft.
  15. St. Louis Rams – Greg Little (Wide Receiver – North Carolina).  Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, Greg Little…how good would have North Carolina been this past season?
  16. Oakland Raiders – Colin Kaepernick (Quarterback – Nevada).  Al Davis is said to be in love with Kaepernick.
  17. Washington Redskins – Torrey Smith (Wide Receiver – Maryland).  A little help for their new quarterback.
  18. San Diego Chargers – Jabaal Sheard (Defensive End/Outside Linebacker – Pittsburgh).  An underrated prospect I like.
  19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Bruce Carter (Linebacker/North Carolina).  The Bucs’ stock is on the rise.
  20.  New York Giants – Mikel Leshoure (Running Back/Illinois).  The Giants don’t have a legitimate starting tailback.
  21. Indianapolis Colts – Quinton Carter (Safety/Oklahoma).  Bob Sanders has left the building.
  22. Philadelphia Eagles – Johnny Patrick (Cornerback/Louisville).  Andy Reid has to address this position.
  23. Kansas City Chiefs – Clint Boling (Offensive Tackle/Georgia).   I’m not sure if it will be offensive or defensive, but I think the Chiefs will take a lineman here.
  24. New England Patriots – Titus Young (Wide Receiver/Boise State).   They took an offensive lineman yesterday and a wide receiver today.  Tom Brady is happy.
  25. Seattle Seahawks – Marcus Gilchrist (Cornerback – Clemson).  Gilchrist can play corner or safety, and Pete Carroll needs both of those things.
  26. Baltimore Ravens – Martez Wilson (Linebacker – Illinois).  Ray Lewis has a new project.
  27. Cleveland Browns – Ben Ijalana – (Offensive Line – Villanova).  I’m still blown away at the king’s ransom Mike Holmgren got yesterday from the Falcons.  Just think, that could have been the Texans if they hadn’t won that last meaningless game.
  28. New England Patriots – Ryan Williams (Running Back – Virginia Tech).  It’s ridiculous how many picks the Patriots have.
  29. San Diego Chargers – Randall Cobb (Wide Receiver – Kentucky).  A little more help for Phillip Rivers.
  30. Chicago Bears – Christian Ballard (Defensive Tackle – Iowa).  The talent pool is really drying up.
  31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Curtis Brown (Cornerback – Texas).  I had the Steelers getting a defensive back from Texas yesterday, so I’m sticking with that today.
  32. Green Bay Packers – Jacquizz Rodgers (Running Back – Oregon State).  Rodgers will be a nice weapon in Green Bay’s offense.

Dallas, San Antonio and the Power of the Narrative

Posted by    |    April 28th, 2011 at 5:30 am

The seasons of the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs hung in the balance last night.

After blowing a 23-point lead in the second half of Game 4, the Mavericks needed a win in Game 5 to avoid giving Portland a chance to close out the series at the Rose Garden. A Memphis win in Game 4 would give the Grizzlies a 3-1 edge against the Spurs, a deficit only eight teams in NBA history have overcome.

But while both franchises have been phenomenally successful over the last decade, winning more than 50 games for more than ten straight years, the Spurs have won four titles and the Mavericks haven’t won any.

** Duncan’s Spurs and Dirk’s Mavs have played the Malone/Stockton Jazz, the Webber/Vlade Kings and the “Jail Blazers” in the playoffs. **

As a result, there was a lot less consternation in San Antonio than in Dallas, where Brandon Roy’s fourth-quarter outburst was met with equal parts hysteria and panic.

This game will be remembered long after the Portland/Dallas series is forgotten. (more…)

Barack Obama Launches Devastating Attack on Barking Carnival

Posted by    |    April 27th, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Earlier today, the President of the United States launched a devastating broadside against Barking Carnival. His words cut to the quick and we’re all still a bit shaken. Although our President did not name names, it’s clear enough that we were the target. (more…)

Vision Quest: The Most Underrated Sports Movie Ever Made?

Posted by    |    April 25th, 2011 at 11:59 pm

In 1985, a film called Vision Quest (based on the novel of the same name) performed a double leg takedown on coming of age sports movies. It got into my head when I first saw it and it never left. The movie still holds up 25+ years later, its realism and understatement in stark relief to today’s imperative for exaggerated stakes and stylized action.

It’s a minority view: it made a modest 13 million dollars in theaters, rates a 6 out of 10 on IMDB, and sits at a smooth 58% on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s generally dismissed by critics as a harmless piece of 1980s formula. It isn’t. The passage of time has only served to highlight the uniqueness of this film.

It’s About Sports, But It’s Not About Sports

The plot is straightforward: a high school wrestler named Louden Swain, raised by a single father after the family lost their farm, decides to cut two weight classes to take on the baddest wrestler in the state. His resolve is tested by Linda Fiorentino-induced priapism and a nitrogen imbalance caused by his starvation diet. (more…)