Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Houston an ideal spot for Reed, other aging NFL stars

By: Seth of Reddington

HOUSTON, TXEd Reed has done it all. 

Super Bowl winner, 9-time Pro Bowler, former AP Defensive Player of the Year, former college roommate of Reggie Wayne.

At 34 years of age, some would ask, "Well, what's next?"

The answer: early retirement … sort of.

Reed, currently a free agent, visited with the Houston Texans on Thursday and Friday to discuss a potential deal.

Reed sat down (he stood) with a few reporters after exiting the offices of Reliant Stadium late Thursday evening. When asked what he thought about Houston so far, Reed replied, "I like it. It's a great complex, a great area and I have a lot of respect for what Arian [Foster] and Andre [Johnson] have done here."

"This organization seems to be on the up and up," said Reed while trying to keep a straight face. He appeared to be holding something back. After all, with Reed's impressive body of work and nearly every team showing some sort of interest, many within the sports world were surprised to see Houston listed as his first choice.

Reed explained, "To be honest, I'm getting up there in age, and the idea of warm weather and a shortened season just sounded really good. I mean, when I was in Baltimore it seemed like every year I was out there destroying my body until like late January. This year it was February! Nope. Not this guy. Not anymore."

He added, "The Texans have only made the playoffs twice since I've been in the league, and they've proven that the Cincinnati Bengals are the only team they can get past."

Reed nodded.

"I like my odds on that."

The future hall-of-famer already has 61 career interceptions in the NFL, but it appears he doesn't plan on adding to that impressive total anytime soon. "I mean think about it- JJ Watt knocks down every ball thrown on that defense, so they won't need me to do much in the secondary. They're offering me big bucks to play under a roof, watch JJ Watt terrorize quarterbacks and hang up my cleats in early January? Where do I sign?"

He would go on to mention Houston's stellar retirement community and his need to get away from elite quarterback Joe Flacco's flamboyant personality.

Reed's weekend meetings were cut short on account of a visiting Pitbull concert, but league sources expect Reed and the Texans to come to a deal sometime this week.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Space Jam Sequel: The Modern Day MonSTARS

The original Mean Team

While I was recently working on my latest screenplay, "Space Jam II: Return of the JAM!" I came across the quandary of which NBA Stars would be unwillingly sacrificing their powers to the mischievous and parasitic martians known as the Nerdlucks/Monstars.

Now while I don't wish to divulge the genius of my current writings until it reaches the silver screen, I have deemed it acceptable to display the rough draft of who the starting 5 for the new and improved modern Monstars.

Point Guard: Tony Parker 

There's not really anyone like Muggsy nowadays, other than maybe Kevin Hart, so I went with a different approach. I thought maybe a smooth talking, great passing, French point guard with a super-duper hot wife who could make a sweet cameo would be absolutely magnifique. 

For a guy who literally should be a front runner in the MVP conversation every year, "the French Prince" is often forgotten as a premiere point guard more than the second Vivian Banks in the last seasons of Fresh Prince. So, what better way to give him some notoriety than have him star in his first major role alongside other NBA super stars.

Shooting Guard: James Harden 

This was pretty simple for me. He's an All-Star, he's the leading scorer and catalyst for one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, and has a personality that most NBA fans seem to gravitate towards. Overall the two biggest reasons for the selection have to be that:

1) In "Space Jam," the Monstars were missing some serious perimeter shooting. They started a point guard in Muggsy Bogues who was hardly known for his shooting prowess, (career 3PT% of .278), and the other four starters consisted of Barkley and LJ (Forwards) and Ewing and Bradley (Centers).

2) Its not often you get to see an Alien with a giant freaky beard. I could only imagine he would end up looking like some form of Alf-like creature trying to eat Sylvester the whole time.

Small Forward: Paul George

Screw it! You're telling me a hybrid SG/SF with more hops than a Three Floyds Alpha King, has competed, (and been robbed), in a dunk contest, is an All-Star in only his 3rd season and also competing in his first ever 3-point competition isn't good enough to be in Space Jam II: Return of the JAM! just because he's soft spoken, generally stoic, and is from a small market?!

Oh, you were trying to tell me that you actually agree? Good deal.

Power Forward: Blake Griffin

What's the one thing every cartoon alien team from the small theme-park planet of Moron Mountain needs? A player that can Slamma-jamma with the best of them. Blake Griffin is already considered by many a top 10 dunker of all time in his short career and continues to climb the ranks since his recent partnership with fellow Lob City-mate, perennial All-Star Chris Paul.  On top of his already fantastic playing ability, he has impressed with his acting abilities in many commercials and short films during the player lockout of 2011.

Center: Brook Lopez

With Brook Lopez comes opportunity. Sure, he doesn't have the dopy lovableness of a Shawn Bradley, or the bad-assery of a Patrick Ewing, but he's a sturdy offensive-minded center with All-Star credentials.  While my mind told me to go with someone who had a little more personality, like a KG or a Tyson Chandler, my heart just kept saying, "pick a really tall, dorky, white...ish guy with some Latin American flair" and that I did. 

Most of all though, I love the idea of the Monstars accidentally stealing Robin Lopez's talents instead and ending up losing the game on a missed layup or him being useless throughout the game. (Robin had 10 games in 2012 where he went for a combined 5 of 29 from the field with a total of 11 rebounds. Did I mention he was playing over 12 minutes on average in those 10 games?)

So, there you have it. What do you think of the new team of stolen talents? Who would make up your modern day Monstars?

Friday, February 22, 2013

NBA Trade Deadline Analysis: Winners and Losers

Georgios Printezis
The Winners: 

Daryl Morey, Houston Rockets GM: The Sacramento Kings called him. You always win when the Kings call, unless you're being drafted by them. Which reminds me, rookie forward Thomas Robinson is a winner for escaping from Sacramento in record time after being drafted by the franchise. He did it in only eight months, shattering the previous mark held by Kenny "The Jet" Smith, who played his first two and a half seasons with the Kings.

Memphis Grizzlies: Acquired one-time NBA Champion Dexter Pittman, who has career averages of 2.8 points, 2.0 rebounds, and is consistently among the league leaders in minutes on the bench per game. Hey, someone has to keep Zach Randolph's seat warm.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Acquired rights to forward Georgios Printezis. Enough said.

The Losers:

Morris twins are reunited
Milwaukee Bucks: Acquired sharpshooter J.J. Redick in an attempt to get Monta Ellis to pass the ball every once in awhile. Those close to Ellis suggest he will continue to take long contested 2-point jump shots with no intent to pass to a wide open Redick.

Charlotte Bobcats: Let's be honest: they're losers every day.

Lindsey Hunter, Phoenix Suns head coach: Suns acquired Marcus Morris and reunited him with his twin brother Markieff, and Hunter inherits the task of telling them apart. Kansas coach Bill Self famously told the duo to enter the draft after their junior seasons so he wouldn't have to worry about getting their names wrong ever again. The Suns, themselves, made the mistake in the draft just two years ago when they accidentally drafted the wrong brother. (Repeating their own history of twin follies, they once drafted Robin Lopez, thinking he was Brook.)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

NBA Star Search

Over the past two years there has been a certain buzz about our beloved Association. A buzz I’ve refused to buy into. I’m man enough to say that it was primarily out of bitterness. But the truth of the matter is, the NBA just flat out sucked for a few years. And when I say sucked, I don’t mean there was a lack of talent, or even that it was less entertaining. Basically, I think it just wasn’t as marketable to the common American and left the mainstream sports fan disinterested. (In other words it was just like baseball is all the time).

Its like in 1969. The Beatles released their best complete album, Abbey Road, broke up on a high note, and let the rest of the music world fend for itself. In a lot of the ways the Beatles were like Jordan’s Bulls.

 And I can prove it.

The Beatles on Ed Sullivan
They both had a long fought early beginning of humbling, and do-or-die pressure in which they thrived to show their talent and motivation to do what they love, and show their early potential. Then, when finally having the chance to show on the big stage what they were made of, dazzled with big numbers and performance. The Beatles, while in Germany, mastered their craft by playing live shows in harsh environments and improved on their individual skills leading to a flurry of #1 hits and international record-breaking live shows, and Jordan while in high school was deemed too short to play at 5’ 11”, but ended up becoming the junior varsity star averaging 40 points a game. It gave him the confidence to become a high school McDonalds All American. Like the Beatles, these early roadblocks helped mold him into a winner and pushed him towards his true potential. It all seemed to come together while at UNC winning a national championship by hitting a game winning shot as a freshman which put him on the national radar and prepared him for his famous early NBA success such as: 63-point playoff game against Boston, his first MVP and Defensive player of the year, and memorable Dunk Contest performances.

Next on the list was dominance. Utter and complete dominance, which cemented them both as unstoppable. The Beatles had their movies that were actually good (i.e. Hard Day’s Night, Help!), their first 3-peat of albums (Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Peppers), and their final tours. Jordan’s Bulls finally got over their fear of their rivals and proved their dominance over experienced peers and rivals: The Pistons (The Temptations), Lakers (Hendrix), and Celtics (Dylan) for their first 3-peat of ‘91, ‘92, and ‘93.       

Jordan with the Barons
The only thing that could stop either of them was themselves. The Beatles had a major meltdown during the Let It Be sessions, in which they experimented with a sort of “behind the scenes” documentary which turned out to be a power struggle, leading to the hiatus in Rishikesh. And Jordan’s Bulls seemed to completely collapse after the death of his father in 1994. He left the NBA to pursue baseball which led to the hiatus with the Birmingham Baron ... ikesh.

Finally, they both had their great comeback where they secured legendary status, created their finest work, and cemented themselves as the undisputed greatest in their respective fields. The Beatles gave their infamous concert on the rooftop, released their best and most influential albums: the 3-peat of The White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. All of these records had hits, but more importantly, they showed The Beatles’ astounding creative developments. On the other side, Jordan and the Bulls had their record-breaking 72 wins in a regular season. And when they lost their quickness and athleticism they stayed smart and clever, which eventually led them to their 2nd 3-peat in ‘96, ‘97, and ‘98.

Greatest band ever?
After they both finally shut the door on their careers in music and professional basketball, a void was left that was impossible to fill. That didn’t mean the media, and fans alike didn’t keep searching for suitors to fill those spots. The Lakers (Zeppelin) and the Spurs (Stones) of the early ‘00s kept basketball purists interested and also fueled fire for debates. But it was no hope. Never again would the NBA or music thrive as it did. The mid ‘00s of the NBA were once again uneventful, as were the ‘80s of music. You had the multiple attempts of resurgence by young stars hoping to be the Beatles or Jordan like Vince Carter (Billy Joel), T-Mac (The Police), AI (Prince), and Dwyane Wade (Gloria Estefan and the Miami sound machine), but they weren’t all built physically or psychologically for the challenge. Even Jordan himself attempted a comeback with the Wizards, which was even more disappointing than what the wannabes could produce.

Then the chosen one appeared. Although Kobe was satisfying and almost as successful as Jordan, he was the same. He was a prototype. I don’t think this takes away from his accomplishments or his abilities, but he wasn’t fresh. He was like U2. Fantastic, fun, British, mega-stars! But in the end he wasn’t the type of player where people came away and said “I’ve never seen anything like him before.” 

King James on the other hand was new, fresh, and made for the mainstream media. In many ways he was the new electronic pop music of the current generation. Many purists who loved the days of Jordan and even the era before him see Lebron as a troubling development. His running back-esque drives to the basket, and the new “Big 3” (which was much more dominant than any team in the history of the NBA) still failing to produce, made his overall attitude seem crass and embarrassing in a sport full of hardworking, over-competitive athletes. But, it’s making this NBA season one of the most memorable. 

The overall looming question is, can you ever really love something as much when you only love it to see someone fail? I am as competitive as they come, I can’t imagine watching any sports game and not instantly choosing a side. But in the NBA there are different rules (or at least I think there should be), almost a pecking order for viewers and fans. Your loyalties lie to The Heroes, The Villains, and then The Team, in that order. If you ask 100 people on the street who the starting point guard for the ’91 Bulls was, I’m sure the percentages would break down as: 60% Scottie Pippen, 30% Dennis Rodman, 5% B.J. Armstrong, 4% Peter Cetera, and 1% Phil Jackson.  That’s how important the individual star is in this league. It’s why Michael Jordan is praised and loved to the extent that everything he touched turned to gold. It’s why any Hollywood producer thought Space Jam was a good idea. I mean they had Taz starting at power forward! And yet, a whole generation is turned on to that movie and loves it, because of Michael Jordan and the idea that he can win a game against giant aliens with the powers of 4 great NBA players and Shawn Bradley at their disposal. (My one flaw with this movie is that the MonStars really were under prepared. Couldn’t they think to bring some subs with them, no wonder they were getting destroyed in the second half).  

All that ranting aside, it’s very clear how important a star is to the Association. Just as much as every team needs a guiding force and face, so does the league. So why doesn’t Lebron fit into the mold? Well, maybe it’s the same reason that modern day pop stars aren’t revered like they were. Most people argue this has been a milestone year for the NBA because the large majority of fans were honed in not to see any particular star rise to the peak of their athleticism, but to watch the most athletic star fail. It’s the same with stars like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. They can sell out stadiums, have numerous Billboard hits in the top 10 at a time, and musicians and critics will continue to bash them (while secretly singing along to their songs). We want to see them fail, and until they fail and a new star comes along, or they prove the haters wrong, the rebirth of the NBA, will be a very real death.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Anonymous reporter makes up anonymous sources

UNNAMED LOCATIONAn anonymous sports reporter admitted to making up anonymous sources “a time or two” in order to write a story in a recent conversation with Alexander the Great Sports Blog.

“It's possible that every anonymous source I've ever used may have never actually existed,” said a reporter who wishes to remain nameless, “but I swear at least a few of them were real.”

When pressed for what stories that he may have used a nameless source, he offered a few examples.

“Oh, you know the usual stuff,” stated the reporter, who is not in anyway fake or fictional. “The anonymous teammate, coach or high-ranking team official thinks Tebow blows, unnamed disgruntled player thinks his coach sucks, nameless baseball player says everybody is still on steroids or HGH-- the staples, really.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Raiders fire Dennis Allen, hire winner of local Madden tournament

Raiders owner Mark Davis is excited about the future
OAKLAND, CA—In a move straight from the playbook of the late Al Davis, his son, Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis, announced today that head coach Dennis Allen has been fired, and 18-year-old Kyle Wheaton, winner of a local “Madden NFL 13” tournament, will take over as head coach.

“When my dad saw talent, he didn't let it pass him by,” said Davis. “The way this kid controlled his team with the push of a button on a controller, input a fury of audibles at the line of scrimmage and showed the courage to go for it on 4th and 17 from his own 13-yard line was amazing to watch, and I can't wait to see him use that genius for the Raiders.”

The tournament of 16 amateur Madden enthusiasts was held at one of GameStop's Bay Area locations in downtown Oakland. Davis attended the tournament by chance.

Monday, February 4, 2013

ESPN: Next 30 for 30 will be all Tim Tebow

(Photo from deadspin.com)
BRISTOL, CTESPN's much anticipated sequel to their award-winning 30 for 30 series will be 30 films all inspired by Tim Tebow.