Posts Tagged ‘Israel Soliz’

jasoncollinsNBA player, Jason Collins, has come out as the first openly gay player in any of the big four professional American sports.

When I first heard the news of Collins coming out my first reaction wasn’t, “This is a great day for tolerance in sport and America,” nor was it, “Oh my god, this is going to bring down American and decent society as we know it.” My first reaction was, “Who the hell is Jason Collins?”

If you had the same reaction here is Jason Collins. He has played for the New Jersey Nets, Memphis Grizzlies, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics and most recently, the Washington Wizards. This may be the reason that most people have never hear of him.

He is 34-years old and is currently a free agent. It is being reported that he is an “active NBA player” but in reality he has no team to play for. Thirty-four is pretty old by NBA standards and being a free agent probably makes it easier for Collins to come out. To me it seems like Collins is announcing this because he is about to retire.

Even though he says he wants to continue playing his age makes it very unlikely that any team will pick him up. Plus there will probably be some outcry from religious nuts towards any team that even considers signing Collins. There will probably be some very ignorant comments coming from players as well.

I think what Jason Collins has done is a great thing. I have always said that there are gay players in every professional sport. They have just been too afraid to come out for fear of reprisals and a fear that they may be committing career suicide.

It’s tough being the first person to do anything and Jason Collins has paved the way for other gay athletes.  Hopefully, the reaction to Collins’ announcement will be positive. I’m sure there will be some negative, hurtful comments coming from the usual suspects but overall I think America is ready for this.

I had no idea who Jason Collins was before today but I am positive that I will remember who he is for the rest of my life. Good luck, Jason, and thank you.

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While the Mamba’s away, the mice will play. The Lakers are fighting for their playoff lives Wednesday against the Houston Rockets but that has not stopped Dwight Howard from thinking up new nicknames.

Kevin Ding has reported that Howard now wants to be called, “The Chocolate Mamba.”

I’m not sure how Kobe Bryant will receive the news but already many Lakers fans are not taking to the new name.

Howard has a long history of keeping things light and joking around but with so much on the line it seems a little ill timed to be thinking up new nicknames. Of course, if the Lakers get into the playoffs no one will think twice about the name. And if the Lakers win a championship Dwight can call himself whatever he wants.

But for tonight, the Chocolate Mamba better have a hell of a game and lead the Lakers into the playoffs.

bquinnI am not sure what is going on with the New York Jets. They went from a Super Bowl contender to an absolute joke in about three years. And now they have finally put on the big red nose with their latest acquisition. According to reports they have just signed Brady Quinn. Yes, THAT Brady Quinn.

I’m still trying to figure this out.

Bringing in Tim Tebow was an absolute bust. Mark Sanchez is inconsistent at best. So I don’t understand what Quinn brings to the table. The guy has been around the league more than Kim Kardashian.

Word has it that Jets QB coach, David Lee, like Quinn and that is why they are bringing him on board. But what are they really getting? If he is the replacement for Tebow then this is a lateral move. Quinn has had a lackluster career so far. He is Tebow without the religion.

And he is certainly not a replacement for Mark Sanchez. As bad as Sanchez has been, Quinn is not an upgrade. This signing, if it goes through, makes no sense. But then the whole Jets organization has not made much sense lately.

2010 -- Skip BaylessDuring the Washington Redskins playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Redskins QB, Robert Griffin III, suffered a knee injury.  Going into the game there was much speculation as the weather RG3 was healthy enough to play. Specifically, team doctor James Andrews stated that he thought RG3 was brought back too quickly.

Immediately after the injury the Internet exploded with accusations from Skins fans that head coach Mike Shanahan left RG3 in the game too long and he was to blame for the injury. It was another example of a coach (and by extension, the NFL) not caring about the health and safety of a player.

And it’s a valid argument. Most rational people would make that connection.

But what if you are a complete idiot with no real grasp on reality and you just want to create some controversy? Then that do you do? Professional instigator and part time Internet troll, Skip Bayless, decided to weigh in with one of the most idiotic sports takes ever. He came to the asinine conclusion that Dr. Andrews was to blame for the injury when he unleashed this spectacularly moronic tweet.

“@RealSkipBayless: Hope Dr. Andrews is pleased w/ self, publicly going after Shanahan, creating doubt in RG3’s mind by saying still nervous about RG3’s knee.”

There is a lot of insanity packed into those 140 characters.  First off, he makes it seem like Dr. Andrews has concocted some kind of diabolical plan to wreck Mike Shanahan’s career.  Bayless is so used to coming up with idiotic sports takes just to piss people off and get some publicity for himself, he thinks that’s the way everybody operates.  Unfortunately for him that’s not the way normal people (e.g. Non-egomaniacs) operate.

And to say the Doc put doubt in RG3’s head is ridiculous. Pro athletes are some of the mentally tough people on the planet (with the exception of Tony Romo). RG3 knows his body better than anyone else. He knows what limitations, if any, he has on any given day.

But Skip got what he wanted; he used a player’s injury to bring attention to himself. Never mind that in order to get that attention he has to come up with an opinion that is so devoid of logic that even members of the Tea Party think he is insane. It’s all about getting the spotlight on himself. At that, he’s brilliant. He just sucks at everything else.

People hate LeBron James. I mean really hate LeBron James.

They hate the fact that he left Cleveland. They hate “The Decision.” They hate that he went to Miami and teamed up with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in order to win a title. And they sure are going to hate it when he wins his first championship.

He’s going to win a championship. The Miami Heat are one win away from winning the NBA Finals.

It’s going to happen.

But the people that hate him are in a shrinking group. Mostly located in Northeast Ohio. LeBron has won a lot of people over with his play this season. Myself included. I’m certainly not going to become one of the slobbering LeBron Apologists that can see no wrong in what he does, even when he does wrong. And I’m not a bandwagon fan who sees that he is about to win a championship and wants get a bit of his shine.

I’m a sports fan and there is no better storyline than that of redemption. And that is what LeBron James has done this season. He’s redeemed himself.

He has had an incredible regular season and a spectacular post-season. He was the league MVP and he will be the Finals MVP. And he has pretty much kept his mouth shut and not said anything stupid and egotistical like last season. There have been no lame routines with his team mates like in seasons past. He’s playing like a professional. He’s playing with purpose.

America loves a comeback, and LeBron has made a great comeback this season. It’s going to be interesting to see how the rest of the media will portray LeBron after the Finals. I’m sure ESPN will continue to slobber all over him as usual. They will probably even take a victory lap. But will the rest see the changed person that I and others have seen? I hope so.

Will the fans that hated him finally give him some credit? I’m sure some will. Winning has a tendency make people like you.

LeBron James has been through one hell of a journey. He went from most loved to most hated faster than any celebrity ever has.

I hope this season hasn’t only changed the perception of LeBron but I hope it has also changed him as well.

The Miami Heat are in big trouble. Not only are they on the verge of being eliminated from the NBA playoffs by the Boston Celtics but they are on the verge of being dismantled.

After losing Game 5 at home last night, the Heat have been subject to even more scrutiny than usual. And no one is safe.

Most of the criticism has been aimed at head coach Erik Spoelstra. There is no doubt that he has made mistakes and has been out coached. Not playing Chris Bosh down the stretch in the fourth quarter might have sealed his fate. Even if Bosh wasn’t 100% you still have to put him out there to give yourself a chance to win. Like most of his team, he seems to fold under pressure. I can’t tell if he is infecting the team or they are infecting him. No matter what happens, Coach Spo will probably not be back next season. But you can’t blame everything on him.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade deserve some blame, too. Both of them will disappear for stretches at a time. LeBron has always had a weak psyche. When the team is winning he is the first one out there posing and preening for the cameras but when they are losing he sulks and seemingly gives up. He’s like the bully who finally gets punched in the mouth and runs off crying. The whole team is like that.

Charles Barkley was right when he called them a “whiny bunch.” They are. The fact that LeBron and Wade didn’t show up for the post-game press conference last night proves it. They were sulking in the locker room instead of facing the press. If Kobe Bryant had done that he would have been savaged in the press. When the Heat win they can’t wait to tell everyone about it. When the lose they pout like petulant little children.

And that is what the Heat are missing. They lack the maturity to deal with the ups and downs of professional sports and the mental toughness to needed to compete for a championship. The head coach can’t instill it in the team. LeBron James never had it. And Dwyane Wade is losing it with each passing game.

If the Heat lose Game 6 in Boston (and they probably will) you can expect to see some major changes in the Heat organization. You will also see the end to the failed experiment of stacking a team full of superstars in an attempt to win a championship.

The Heat Era is about to end and the Team Era will return to the NBA. And that’s what we’ve all been missing.

I know this is coming a bit late but better late than never.

 

Chicago Bulls vs. Philadelphia 76ers

I’m actually watching Game 1 of this series as I write this. I don’t see how the Sixers can hang with the Bulls. Chicago has the best record in the East and while I’m still a bit concerned about Derrick Rose’s ability to stay healthy I think the rest of the team will step up when needed. I got the Bulls winning in 5 games.

Miami Heat vs. New York Knicks

I can’t imagine anybody outside of New York City thinking the Knicks have any chance against the Heat.  New York is an okay team but they still are not a championship caliber team. I know Knicks fans don’t want to hear that but it’s the truth. Nothing less than a championship will suffice for the Heat. If they don’t get it, this season will be a failure. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Knicks get swept but I got the Heat in 5 games.

Orlando Magic vs. Indiana Pacers

The Magic are is such disarray I don’t see how they can get past the Pacers. Dwight Howard did all he could to destroy the team but they made the playoffs anyway.  And now he’s not even playing. The Pacers are no joke they are going to be contenders going forward. I got the Pacers in 4 games.

Boston Celtics vs. Atlanta Hawks

The Celtics may be old and their window to win another championship has certainly closed but they can win this series. The Hawks always seem to be content with just making the playoffs so I don’t think they are going to move into the second round. It’s going to be a close series but I have the Celtics winning in 6 games.