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Summer of Soccer 2019

By Andrew Dixon III

(Tallahassee, FL) Because my favorite sports are 1)basketball and  1A)soccer (or the other way around, depending on the day) this is always one my favorite times of the year.  Unfortunately with the close of one of most theatrical NBA Finals in memory, my channel surfing is now limited to The Beautiful Game.

But hey, it’s all good.

With three major international tournaments going on right now, soccer fans and novices alike have more than enough opportunities to get their soccer fix now that the club season is over.  The FIFA Women’s World Cup is already into its second group stage match, the Copa America tournament to determine the South American champions kicked off in Brazil on Friday night and CONCACAF’s showpiece, the Gold Cup begins today. By sheer coincidence, all three finals will be contested on July 7 in Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and Chicago, respectively.

FIFA Womens World Cup (TV: Fox, FS1, Telemundo)

As Queen Latifah and Monie Love once said,  “Ladies First”.  The Women’s World Cup, is already into their second round of Group Stage Matches with hosts France, Germany, England, Japan, the Netherlands and Italy all assured of advancing to the Round of 16 by the start of play Saturday. 

The favorites have largely taken care of business with the #1 ranked United States making the most definitive statement with their ruthless 13-0 annihilation of overmatched Thailand, setting a record for most goals in a game, in a half (10) and winning margin (more on this later). The hosts, enjoying massive support from their crowds, have also looked impressive with their very solid defense and control of the midfield.  Led by the likes of Valerie Gauvin, the impressive Eurgenie Le Sommer and Wendie Rennard on the backline, a showdown with the Americans looks likely in the quarterfinals, a match that may very well feature the winner of the tournament.   Two-time champions Germany have looked solid though not dominant in their first two matches and Italy has raised a few eyebrows, beating highly respected Australia with a 93rd minute goal and then dominating the Reggae Girls of Jamaica 5-0 thanks to a hat-trick from Christina Girelli.  The group stage finale for Italy matches them with 2007 Runners-up Brazil who gave away a two-goal lead and lost 3-2 to Australia.  The US returns to action on Sunday against Chile with a victory virtually assuring them of passage into the next round.

The results have not been as kind for the African and Caribbean teams.  Only Nigeria’s Super Falcons have recorded a win, a 2-0 victory over S. Korea, and need a point against France on Sunday to put themselves in a position to advance as a 3rdplace side.  South Africa took a first half lead in their opening match against Spain but conceded three second half goals and then were eliminated with their 1-0 loss to China. Cameroon struggled to produce much offense in a 1-0 loss to Canada. Jamaica’s debut in a major tournament has also been tough going as they have conceded eight goals in two matches and are all but mathematically eliminated. The pattern has been similar: too much defending and very little offense going forward, highlighted by an inability to string passes together through the midfield a lack patience in the final third of the field and a reliance of long balls being played into space with the hopes that a forward will run unto it.  It hasn’t been a recipe for success for any of the lesser regarded sides.  The inexperience has been telling and hopefully these teams will use this tournament to grow.

Copa America (TV: ESPN+, Telemundo)

The 46th edition of oldest international football tournament is underway as Brazil hosts its South American counterparts five years after hosting the World Cup. 

Brazil will look to repeat its feat last achieved in 1989 when they both hosted and won the title. If the Selecao win its ninth title, they will do so without Neymar who, after an injury plagued season with PSG, ruptured an ankle ligament in a warm up against guest nation Qatar and was ruled out, replaced by Willian.  A number of Brazil’s top players will be present, however, including the likes of Roberto Firmino, Phillipe  Coutinho and captained by Dani Alves who will be looking to lift Brazil’s first major title since the 2007 edition.

Argentina comes into this competition having made the last three finals of a major tournament without a winners’ medal. While Lionel Messi’s place in history assured, the one glaring omission to his resume is a major title.  While Argentina will again call on the likes of Sergio Aguero, Angel Di Maria and Paulo Dybala, their lack of speed which was exposed by Kylan Mbappe in last year’s World Cup remains a concern and they feature several inexperienced players in the midfield. They open today against a Colombia side that has established itself as a major threat through the likes of James Rodriguez, Davinson Sanchez, Juan Cuadrado and their captain and all time goal scorer,  the now healthy Radamel Falcao.  Uruguay, who has captured the most titles in this competition with 15 are also back with the likes of Luis “Just Bite It” Suarez and PSG’s Edison Cavani.  Chile, the two-time defending champions will make one last run with its golden generation of players such as Alexis Sanchez, looking to reestablish his form after an injury plagued year with Manchester United, Arturo Vidal, Eduardo Vargas and a return of Jean Beausejour. Peru and Paraguay also look to make deep runs in this tournament while Japan joins Qatar as a guest entry

CONCACAF Gold Cup (Fox Sports, Univision)

The Gold cup is played every two but this is the cycle that matters. All entrants are bringing their first team without worrying about World Cup qualifiers. 

While the US are the defending champions having won in 2017, 2015 champion El Enemigo is the team to beat. Despite missing players like Hrving “Chucky” Lozano due to injury, Carlos Vela and Javiar Hernandez for personal reasons, That Team Down South remains the kings of CONCACAF in most people’s eyes.  Veterans such as Raul Jimenez, Andes Guardado, and Hector Moreno return to international play as former Atlanta United coach Tata Martino leads the 10-time champions in international competition for the first time. The US’ road to redemption begins with this tournament, having lost at the semifinal stage in 2015 to a Jamaica side that wasn’t good enough to make the Hex and of course not qualifying for the World Cup last year.  After two dreadful results against Jamaica and Venezuela in warm up matches, coach Greg Berhalter welcomes Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Christian Pulisic back to help integrate new comers like Weston McKinney as they get their first taste of international competition. Runners-up two times in a row, Jamaica will host a Gold Cup match for the first time as they look to match their runs in the competition. The highly touted Andre Blake will anchor the defense in goal, Leon Bailey of Bayern Leverkusen looks to make his debut in the midfield.  FC Cincinnati man Darren Mattocks and LAFC’s Peter-Lee Vassell are amongst 5 MLS players suiting up for the Reggae Boyz.  Similar to Chile, this could be one of the last tournaments for some of Costa Rica’s stalwarts such as Bryan Ruiz and Celso Borges and Bryan Oviedo and Keylor Navas isn’t even here as he sorts out his club future. But Costa Rica still has the likes of Joel Campbell and Kendall Watson for a team looking to gain the semi-finals for the first time in 17 years.  Don’t sleep on two time finalists Panama either. 

With the Gold cup expanding to 16 teams, the Caribbean is well represented. Joining the Reggae Boyz are Haiti, winners in 1973 and quarterfinalists in 2002 and 2009; Martinique who also made the final eight in 2002; the Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago, semifinalists in 2002, Curacao and debutants Bermuda and Guyana who open against the US on Tuesday.

13-0: To Celebrate or not to Celebrate

Now back to the ladies.  A lot has been said about the US’ Wave Motion Gun destruction of Thailand in their opening match.  The glorified scrimmage, as it turned out to be, saw the US set all kinds of records and serve notice that THIS is the team to beat. Not the hosts, not Germany, not Brazil, THEM! 

So for me I don’t have a problem with the US continuing to score time and time again against a hapless opponent. Telling a bunch of world class athletes not to play at their best is silly.  Though “every goal counts” is a bit disingenuous when you’re one of the favorites playing against a team ranked much lower than you and should be reserved for mid-level teams like Nigeria and Argentina, it’s still all good.   

That being said, anyone who thinks the issue observers have from this match was the score-line is fooling themselves. It wasn’t. It wasn’t not even celebrating scoring in a World Cup. It was the EXURBERANT celebrations for each goal as the score line got uglier and uglier.  Swag surfing on the sideline, doing…whatever Megan Rapinoe’s celebration was (and she has long been one of my favorite players on this team and remains so), and celebrating every goal when you’re up double digits on a vastly inferior squad as if it was a 94th minute match winner was the issue. To pretend otherwise is, again, silly. 

Coach Jill Ellis as well as journalists and athletes who I respect have suggested that this would not be an issue if it was the Men’s World Cup. Abby Wambach herself stated that those who are criticizing the celebrations were looking at this through a paternalistic viewpoint.  Again, silly.

The record that the US now holds was set by Germany against Argentina in 2007. The Germans decimated the overmatched and lightly regarded Argentines 11-0 but as the score increased the celebrations decreased as seen in the video below demonstrates:

The gender issue is silly also. Let’s go back 17 years.  In 2002, the German Men’s World Cup team laid the wood to a substandard Saudi Arabian side in their opening match. As the goals piled up in the 8-0- win celebrations, did not. Even Miroslav Klose ditched his famed flip as he celebrated his hat-trick.  

I don’t have a problem with winning decisively and at end of the day, this isn’t going affect that US’ psyche as they go forward. If anything, it’ll give them an US vs. The World mentality that they’ll need in the latter stages of the tournament.  But the controversy is a legit question regarding sportsmanship that hopefully won’t be an issue as the tournament continues. 

Based in Tallahassee, Andrew L. Dixon, III has contributed soccer articles to BASN since 2004. He previously authored a column for the US Soccer website and attended the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He can be reached at [email protected]

The Talented 10 of 2018

By Anthony McClean, Editor In Chief Emeritus

NEW HAVEN — As we speak, the hours left in the 2017 sports scene are dwindling down to a precious few. Between the usual amount of upsets, buzzer-beaters, fantastic finishes and out-and-out robberies, there were several special moments from the last 12 months.

K.D. and the Warriors got their groove (and their crown) back, Money Mayweather unretired and made another lucrative trip to the bank, MLB crowned a new champion in Houston and the C.A.P. of Foxboro pulled off another Jedi mind trick on Super Sunday.

We saw Goal Brotha P.K. Subban put the Nashville Predators on his back all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals. We saw Serena take a much needed back seat for her new youngin’ while sister Venus was rising — again!

A funny thing happened to the UConn women along the way to another title christening.

By the end of March, they were doing their best Nina Simone impersonation by singing “Mississippi (State) Goddamn” following their OT loss to the Lady Bulldogs at the Final Four.

All in between, we saw and heard the NFL and their team owners continually show their royal pimp cards regarding Colin Kaepernick, their “loyal fans”, and anyone that dared to try and call them out on it.

While we put a final bow on 2017, we’ll try to do a little foreshadowing for 2018. What follows is a group of 10 folks we think you’ll be talking about over the next 12 months in the world of sports.

Most you’ll know and say “why are they on the list?” Some you won’t and you’ll say “who’s that?” But that’s the point. A year from now, we predict all those questions and puzzled looks will be answered.

We list them all alphabetically. Here we go!


Before you start screaming expletives and snide comments about his daddy, let’s just deal with Ol’ No. 2 on a pure basketball level. He like any other rookie coming in the league is gonna have his ups and downs. For these “pundits” to call him a bust when we haven’t even reached the All-Star break yet is just pure unadulterated bullshit. Yes, his jump shot and shooting percentage can be Aunt Esther ugly. But peep these numbers: Bob Cousy 35%, Jason Kidd 38%, John Stockton 47%, and Magic Johnson 53%. Those were the rookie shooting percentages of these legendary point guards. Needless to say, but the “Big Baller” — and his L.A. teammates — are still a work in progress.


If you thought that whole “Black Girl Magic” thing at the Olympics a few years back was just a passing fancy, allow me to introduce the next candidate for breakout athlete of the year. The 17-year-old native of Ghana, by way of D.C., just this month became the first black female to qualify for a U.S. Olympic speedskating team with a pair of victories in the 500 meters. After an impressive showing in the World Junior Championships at Austria in January (bronze medal), Biney used the Olympic Trials as her coming out party. Hopefully, she’ll get treated better by the media than Shani Davis did during the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.


Two years ago, the Georgia native was considered one of baseball’s top prospects. After struggling a bit during his rookie season, 2017 saw the Minnesota outfielder more than live up to the hype and then some. In the tradition of Mays, Flood, and Griffey Jr., Buxton has rapidly become the game’s best all-around center fielder. Skeptical? Check out the numbers: In the second half of the season, the 23-year-old put up a .893 OPS, just behind New York’s Gary Sanchez. For the season, he batted .253 with 16 home runs. He stole 29 stolen bases and was caught just once. He led all outfielders with 24 outs above average and was tabbed as Wilson’s Defender of The Year. All this while leading the Twins to a Wild Card berth.


When the former Hoya center was hired back in April to resurrect the struggling Georgetown program, you knew there would be growing pains. After an 8-0 start, Coach Ewing’s squad have lost three of their last five including overtime tilts to Syracuse and Butler. Off the court, Ewing has signed 6-9 forward Grayson Carter from Dallas, 6-6 forward Josh LeBlanc from Baton Rouge, and 6-2 guard Matthew “Mac” McClung from Virginia. Carter and LeBlanc are regarded as four-star recruits while McClung is considered one of the best to come out of the Commonwealth. While an NCAA berth may still be just out of reach, the immediate future with the new ball coach is definitely worth checking out.


Well, that was a real quick honeymoon in Marlinland!! But let’s be clear, Mr. Re2pect is doing the same thing his predecessors did to Miami coming in and out the door. But for some reason, Jeets is being depicted as the worse thing to hit Florida since Hurricane Irma left the coastland. Now sending the reigning NL MVP to his former cronies in the Bronx isn’t on the list of how to win and influence friends. But to be fair, Mr. Stanton set the narrow field of where he was willing to go. So as the perennial under-dwellers and their dwindling fanbase prepare for another sub .500 campaign, the new Grand Poobah will likely see more losing and undergo more scrutiny than he got in the Apple. Just remember, when you’re sitting in last place EVERYONE can hear you scream.


Looking up at all the teams in the Eastern Conference isn’t the exact formula for making the Stanley Cup playoffs. While the efforts of Kane (34 points), linemate Kyle Okposo (17 points), and All-Star Jack Eichel (team-high 35 points) have been admirable, the Buffalo Sabres are — to be nice — still struggling. And now, the trade rumors have started to get a bit louder in Western New York. And it appears that No. 1 on the hit parade is Mr. Kane. And the No. 1 suitors appear to be the Chicago Blackhawks. Reports have it that Buffalo scouts have been seen at Chicago’s minor league affiliate in Rockford on a regular basis. Could Kane go from the outhouse to a small suite near the penthouse? Stay tuned.


Pulling off the biggest upset of the college football season while leading Howard to its first winning season since 2012 was just part of the plan for this Eddie Robinson Award candidate. Add the fact that London was officially hired just before the National Signing Period, it makes the Bison’s final 7-4 record (6-2 in the MEAC) even more impressive. And don’t think that the rest of the conference hasn’t taken notice. With the full support of Athletics Director Kery Davis, Coach Mike’s second season in D.C. has the making of changing the course of power in the MEAC and beyond.


The athletic pedigree for this former University of Wisconsin standout by way of Hamilton, Ontario just bursts at the seams. The 5-8 forward is the niece of former NFL star Donovan McNabb and cousin to Edmonton Oiler defenseman Darnell Nurse and current UConn hoopster Kia Nurse. One of the best female hockey players in North America, Nurse tallied 76 goals and 61 assists in 150 games for the Badgers from 2013-14 to 2016-17. After playing for her country’s Under-18 title team in the 2013 International Hockey Federation, Nurse will now suit up for Canada’s women’s hockey team that will compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea in February. You go, girl!!


While the NBA media world perpetuates another Betty vs. Veronica moment between LeBron vs. Kyree, one of the other major players involved in the much-publicized deal separating them may have the last word on this simmering rivalry. The two-time All-NBA guard has been itching to get into the Cavs lineup after recovering from his hip injury.  And when you consider just how the Celtics were quick to ship him to the Cavs, I think Thomas will have a chip on his shoulder as large as the Cuyahoga River (flames not included) if the teams meet in the Eastern Conference finals. Now THAT’S must-see TV.


When 2017 began, the Clemson standout was leading the Tigers to their second national championship in school history, ending a three-decade drought. Fast forward to April. The Texans tab Watson in the first round with the 12th overall pick of the NFL Draft. Despite having an impressive preseason, Houston would name Tom Savage (who?) the opening day starter. But that wouldn’t last very long as Watson relieved the career journeyman QB in the season opener. What followed was him showing why he was the best QB coming out of the draft. In October alone, Watson threw 16 touchdowns in the month and set the NFL record for most touchdown passes by a rookie in a calendar month. Only an ACL injury prematurely ended what may have been a historic rookie campaign.

Anthony McClean can be reached via email at [email protected]

Packers Make Organizational Changes

By Troy Sparks

Sports Writer for Southern Lakes Newspaper

After a disappointing 35-11 loss on the road to the Detroit Lions to finish 7-9, the Green Bay Packers came back home to 1265 Lambeau Dr. to get their own house in order.

Just about every Packer fan knew that defensive coordinator Dom Capers had to go because the defense under his leadership played below expectations. Yeah, there were some injuries, but whoever you plug in there as the next man up should’ve been able to get the job done.

Head coach Mike McCarthy relieved Capers of his duties. He was a fine coordinator and had a long career in the NFL as an assistant and a head coach. Perhaps, the task of coaching this new era of young players has passed him by at the age of 67.

Capers had the support of some of the players on the team who blamed themselves for finishing near the bottom of the NFL defensive rankings. The Packers were ranked 28th in total defense. They gave up an average of 348.8 yards for the 16 games. Green Bay ranked 17th against the run, giving up 112 yards a game and their average of 236 passing yards placed them 28th out of the 32 teams. So, let’s just say that the overall play of the defense was far below expectations.

When the defense such as Green Bay’s didn’t perform like they should have, the blame falls on the coaching staff.

Packer fans wanted Capers out of there a long time ago but McCarthy stuck with him. Seeing that the Packers’ chance of making the playoffs for the ninth year in a row was not likely to happen, McCarthy had no choice but to make the change.

The Packers were 22nd overall in defense in 2016, which included being ranked 31st out of the 32 teams in passing yardage. In 2014 and 2015, they were in the middle of the pack at 15. In 2011, the green and gold ranked last in defense, 11th in 2012 and 25th in 2013. In Capers’ first year as defensive coordinator in 2009, the Packers were second in the league in total defense and fifth in 2010, the year they won the Super Bowl.

So what happened to the defense in the last five seasons? Inconsistent play, letting some of their good defensive players go into free agency, draft picks that didn’t work out and passing up good free agents who could’ve improved the defense.

Add to that the communication breakdown between players and coaches and some finger-pointing of what happened on the field and why it happened. McCarthy also fired a couple of defensive assistants.

Green Bay was 31st in total offense. Losing starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers to a broken collarbone in his throwing shoulder gave the keys to the offense to backup Brett Hundley. Hundley had three years of learning the offense. When Rodgers went down at Minnesota, Hundley was thrown to the wolves and he failed miserably.

Pulling out a couple of overtime wins against Chicago and Cleveland was nice, but it appears that Hundley wasn’t ready to be a starting QB. His throwing accuracy was off the mark and he missed too many targets. The 59.7 rating in the nine games that Hundley started wasn’t enough to make that playoff push.

And since the offense didn’t perform up to snuff, offensive coordinator Edgar Bennett and quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt both lost their positions. Bennett may still have a role in the organization since he’s been an asset both as a former Packers player and position coach.

Team president Mark Murphy would lead people to believe that the Packers’ board of directors didn’t pressure him to replace Ted Thompson as general manager. Murphy answers to the board. Thompson answers to Murphy and McCarthy answers to Thompson.

The newly-created role as senior advisor keeps Thompson in the organization. The Packers are in search for a new GM and will interview Eliot Wolf, son of Hall of Famer Ron Wolf. Brian Gutekunst and Russ Ball will also be interviewed. Murphy will interview people outside the organization as well.

The new GM will want to pick his own guy as head coach. Murphy gave McCarthy a one-year extension through the 2019 season, so McCarthy is on the hot seat next season. Even if the Packers make the playoffs next season, the new GM may still want to hire his own guy to put an end to the old guard. McCarthy and the new GM may not see eye-to-eye if the new GM comes from outside the organization.

McCarthy and Thompson were together for a long time and got along with each other just fine. For all that playoff experience based on the roster that they put together, winning one Super Bowl in the eight straight playoff appearances is unacceptable.

Consider Eliot Wolf and Gutekunst good as gone if neither don’t get the job. The frontrunner for the job within the organization is Russ Ball, who manages the salary cap and negotiates player contracts. He does not have any scouting experience and Murphy said the next GM doesn’t need any.

We can anticipate some more shakeups in the offseason in the reshaping of the organization and who knows how many more coaches, players and front office people will be sent packing. The sense of urgency to win is now and the Packers will do what it will take to reach the championship level once again.

Alvarez versus Golovkin

By Tom Donelson

There is nothing like the anticipation of a big fight and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez faced ‘Triple G’s” Gennady Golovkin in the most anticipated fight of the year with two of the best Middleweights fighting, hoping to add to the history of one of most celebrated division.

The first round began with Triple G’s coming forward as Alvarez boxed and using his feet to set up his punches.    Triple G’s jabbed while Alvarez countered with two big rights of his own. A close round to score with Alvarez showing defensive skills. HBO Harold Lederman had it for Golovkin but could easily been scored for Alvarez. 

The second round saw Golovkin showing respect for Alvarez and Alvarez landed single punches but punches had yet hurt Triple G’s and Triple G’s failed to land the big punch.  Golovkin, like Alvarez, had yet to land a combination.  This round easily went to Alvarez as he landed twice the power shots.  Could have been Alvarez two to zero or an even fight.

Golovkin started the third round with jabs while Alvarez landed a couple of combinations including body shots.  Alvarez movement avoided three big Golovkin shot but by the end of the round, Golovkin started forcing Alvarez to the rope.  This round went to Alvarez in my estimation.  Harold Lederman had it two to one and I had it three to zero for Alvarez.

In the middle of the fourth, Alvarez stayed on the rope as Golovkin landed his first big flurries of body shot.  Triple G’s landed three big rights over the last minute and Triple G’s easily won this round. HBO had it two to two even and I had it three to one for Alvarez. 

Alvarez again allowed Triple G’s to hit him on the ropes over the first minute of the fifth round and second minute was in in the middle of the round with Alvarez having the advantage but over the last sixty seconds, Alvarez moved back to the rope and Triple G’s landed a solid right.  The Alvarez corner lecture their fighter to stay in the middle of the fight.   This was another Triple G’s round.

Alvarez managed to keep most of the sixth round in the center and landed good combination while Triple G’s landed a few power shots of his own. This was a close round but I gave this Alvarez the round and Harold Lederman had it the other way.  Halfway through the fight, HBO has it 4 to 2 for Golovkin and I have 4 to 2 for Alvarez and Max Kellerman stated that both of us could be right. 

The seventh round is another difficult round to score as Triple G’s landed more punches but Alvarez throwing bombs back.  Whit Triple G’s landing more punches through seventh, I gave this round to Golovkin.   

The eighth round began in the center of round but Golovkin own defensive techniques frustrated Alvarez as Alvarez not able to counter successfully plus Triple Gs forced Alvarez to the rope as he successfully cut off the ring.  This was another Golovkin round as he is taking control of the fight.  Alvarez at this point has yet to really hurt Golovkin.    I had the fight even and HBO has it 6 to 2 for Alvarez.

Alvarez won he first minute in the ninth round but after the first minute Triple G’s pushed Alvarez around the ring and walking through Alvarez best shots, not a good sign for Alvarez with three round left.  The fight looked to be slipping away from Alvarez.  This was another Gennady round and I had Golovkin by one.
The tenth round saw Alvarez nail Triple G’s with a combination and for the first time, he stunned Golovkin but as the round progressed, it is Alvarez who retreated as Golovkin regain his control of the round. With two rounds left, I had it six rounds to four for Golovkin.

Alvarez landed solid combinations and countering Golovkin but Golovkin walking through the punches but Alvarez landed the most punches throughout the eleventh round.  I gave the round to Canelo but it was close round that could be scored for Golovkin.  On my score card, I had Alvarez needing the final round for a draw and a 10-8 round to win but there was no evidence Alvarez could knock Golovkin down.

Alvarez started out fast over the first minute of the bout and landed more punches throughout the final round and on my card, I had the final score 114-114 and Harold Lederman had it 116-112 for Golovkin.  One judge had it 118-110 in favor of Alvarez and the other judge had it 115-113 in favor of Triple G’s with one more judge calling it a draw.  I couldn’t understand the 118-110 score card for Alvarez but the most I could have seen Alvarez winning was by a 115-113 margin and neither fighter won ten rounds.

This was a good fight and a close fight, worthy of a rematch.  This fight lived up to the hype as both fighters did what they needed to do. Alvarez showed boxing skills and won those portion of the fight that were in the middle of the fight but Golovkin cut off the ring and forced Alvarez to fight. When the fight went to the rope, Golovkin held the advantages.  As for the fight scoring, it is generally agreed that Alvarez took the first three rounds and took the last two rounds while Golovkin dominated rounds 4 through 10.  If you believe that Golovkin took all of the rounds between 4 through 10, then you would have Triple G’s winning the fight but if you gave one of those rounds to Alvarez, you end up with a draw.  This was one of those draws that didn’t leave the fans angry as a case could have been made for both fighters. 

Decisions Decisions

By Tom Donelson

Sometimes decisions done for all the right reason in sports don’t always work out.  One example was the Kansas City Royal decision to go for the playoffs as oppose to trade many of their key players for prospects before they leave in free agency.  Dayton Moore felt he owed it to the fans and to the core group that won the 2015 World Series one more shot and he made some good moves on paper by obtaining additional relief pitching in Brendon Maurer, Ryan Butcher, and Trevor Cahill along with Melky Cabrera to boost the offense.  These moves should have been enough to take the Royals home and at the trade deadline, they were one of the two wild card teams and not far from winning the Central Division. 

The problem is that you can design the right plan but if the players don’t execute, it will be for naught.  And that is what happened, as the pitching collapsed, hitters went cold and now the Royals are three and half games out of the wild card with twenty-seven games left.  Not impossible but improbable as the Royals have too many weakness and injuries to key players down the stretch.  The game plan that looked solid is now turning badly. Moore made all the right moves but the results hoped has yet to happen.  Next year, some of the new players may produce and the Royals may resign a couple of their free agents; allowing the rebuilding process to happen sooner.  That is a big if for a team that refused to tank.

The Boston Celtics just completed a major trade to get Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers for Isiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, Brooklyn Nets unprotected draft pick and a 2020 second round pick.  On the surface, this looked like a victory for Cavaliers due to the haul but Danny Ainge decided that he wanted an great player and felt that Irving has yet to scratch his potential. As Ainge noted, “We have good players but we need to great players.”  With the addition of Gordon Hayward and Irving, Ainge may have his super players and with the future emergence of Jayden Brown and Jason Tatum, he may have two more superstars in the wing.  Ainge wanted a team of young stars maturing together and peaking over the next three or four years and with this new nucleus, he may have it.  Ainge was looking for the future and wanting to win now.
Ainge has the reputation as a GM who will hoard assets but he is also willing to gamble and while not all his gambles have worked, he has managed to build one NBA championship and was six minutes away from another and now he has built his second contender. 

Ainge has rebuilt a team that won 53 games with only four returning players from last year.  He has put together a whole new team with many key performers from last year including Crowder, Thomas and Avery Bradley gone.  Rarely has a contender dramatically changed their roster just as the Celtics have.  The starting lineup this upcoming year will have four new players with only Al Horford the remaining starter from last year. 

Last year team was good enough to reach the Eastern conference finals but they did not have the firepower to compete with Lebron James led Cavaliers.  Ainge decided to throw the dice and recalibrate his team.  Ainge big gamble is that Irving will become a superstar player to go with Hayward while Tatum and Brown will mature quickly over the next couple of years.   This is a gamble that could end up with banner number 18.  It could take this team awhile to jell over the first quarter of the season  or it could be like the 2008 title team when the big three of Garnett, Pierce and Allen jelled quickly and went on to win their title. 

Ainge is betting big and the lessons from this year is that many of gambles can have merit on paper and not work.  Royals went for it now as oppose to tanking and build for the future because they felt they owed it to their fans and players; on paper it was the right decision but it has not proven on the field.   Ainge is now gambling but his gamble is not just for 2018 but beyond over the next four or five years.  If Irving takes to Steven coaching and become a more complete player, the gamble will succeed.  For the Celtics, success will be measured by banner number 18.  

The Big Fight

By Tom Donelson

The big fight proved to be closer than expected and even had some drama before Mayweather finally ended it in the tenth.  In the early rounds, Conor McGregor proved a riddle that it took Mayweather nearly half of the fight to solve and the Irish MMA fighter managed to land a few blows against Mayweather. Over the first five rounds, McGregor landed 51 punches to 40 for Mayweather as his style confused the boxing master but from sixth round to the end, Mayweather landed 130 punches to 60 punches, many of them power punches. From the fifth round, the fight started to change as Mayweather connected more consistently but it wasn’t until ninth that the fight entered its end phrase as McGregor wore down under the Mayweather pressure.

What are some of the lessons of the fight?  First is that the talk about McGregor fighting his first boxing match was overdone if for no other reasons that MMA fighters actually do box as part of their fights and McGregor has knocked people out with his punches. Mayweather admitted that McGregor was better than anticipated and McGregor southpaw stance was awkward for Mayweather to solve.  McGregor also played counter puncher and his jab was effective enough over the early rounds to allow him to land some solid upper cuts. McGregor won the first three rounds and the fourth was close as well. 

The second lesson is that Mayweather may have won but he showed two years of ring rust and at times, reminded us that he indeed was forty.  Mayweather still proved to have his accurate touch as he connected on nearly 60% of his power shots and overall, he connected on 53% of his punches compared to 26% for McGregor.
The Third lesson is that Floyd Mayweather is the master promoter and along with Dana White UFC publicity machine, he may end up with the biggest PPV sell of all times and remember the Mayweather/Pacquiao PPV attracted over four million.   Mayweather is a businessman who fights but he also knew what the audience wanted and this crossover fight has the potential of helping both MMA and boxing as fans actually saw a competitive fight.  Mayweather is the third athlete to earn billion dollars along with Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan.

The Fourth Lesson is that McGregor did well in his first official boxing match and even managed to land more punches in ten rounds than Pacquiao did in twelve rounds.  The video released about his sparring session with Paul Malignaggi showed that he had boxing skills, so by going ten rounds with one of boxing best will enhance his own reputation and marketing. 

The final lesson is what happens when a fighter takes control of his destiny.  Mayweather is his own boss and keeps much of his earnings. Pacquiao had to split his take from his bout with Mayweather with Arum and a portion of Conor’s purse ends up in the UFC and White’s pocket.  Mayweather along with De La Hoya have long controlled their destiny and kept much of the purses during the last portion of their career.  They changed boxing since they showed that fighters can not only fight in the ring but they can promote their own fights.  Both De La Hoya and Mayweather control their fate financially, and this could impact Conor McGregor and the UFC.  On the average, boxers make more money than MMA fighters and McGregor finally earned a big pay day plus his performance will enhance his own status.  The question for the UFC, will this open door for the top fighters get a higher share of the PPV gate. 

This event should benefit both MMA and boxing as casual fans showed up to see the event and saw a competitive fight.  For boxing, the next big event is Alvarez-Triple G’s and who knows, this event might provide a bump for the event.

NBA today
By Tom Donelson

When Brad Stevens stated recently that there were three positions, ball handler, wings and Bigs, he noted the new trend in the NBA that is making the old positions of Power Forward, small forward, shooting guard, point guard and center obsolete.  The Warriors has become the poster child for this view of basketball. 

I suspect that this trend started accidently when Pat Riley convinced LeBron James to join Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami.  Young head coach Erik Spoelstra, taking advantage of multi-talented big three, used his team in different way.  Bosh could shoot from the outside and this allowed James and Wade enough spacing to drive to the basketball.  Not only that, but his team had players who could defend multiple positions.

There was one rival general manager who caught on to this, Danny Ainge and this was one of the rationale for his trade for Jeff Green and giving up Kendrick Perkins in 2011.  While the discussion at the time concentrated on salary flexibility but Jeff Green had potential to be a all-star as he was the third member of the Oklahoma City Thunder behind Durant and Westbrook.  He had the talent to play both inside and outside but unfortunately for Celtics and Green, he never fulfilled his potential nor did he drastically changed the Celtics who contained superstars from their 2008 championship team and who played the more classic basketball positioning.
When Ainge traded Garnett and Pierce and Coach Doc Rivers left for Los Angeles Clippers, Ainge rebuilt his team in the image of the new NBA started by the Heat but two other teams proceeded Celtics.  LeBron James left the Heat after four straight NBA finals and rejoined Cleveland Cavaliers.  Cavaliers traded first round draft pick Andrew Wiggins for Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving was already on the team so the Cavaliers now had their big three. Love was a tough rebounder and scorer who averaged 25 points per game and 12 rebounds per game when he was at Minnesota plus he could be effective from the outside.  Just as in Miami Heats, James along with his new side kick Irving, could drive to the middle plus James and Irving could shoot from the outside.

Not only that, James could guard any position but in the West, the Golden States Warriors pursued a similar strategy as Steve Kerr took over from Mark Jackson in 2015.   With shooting guards Steph Curry and Klay Thompson along with Draymond Green, the Warriors played a similar style.  Kevin Durant proved to be final piece for the Warriors in 2017. For the past three years, Cavaliers and Warriors have confronted each other in the NBA finals while the rest of the NBA watches. 

Durant like James can play both inside and outside offensively and defensively.  Both teams showed the changes in basketball as you have wing players who can power forward, small forward and shooting guard. James is one of those players who can play wide variety of positions both defensively and offensively and his counterpart on the Warriors, Kevin Durant is similar.  Both team rosters allowed both team to play big or play small ball, depending upon the circumstances.

Brad Stevens and Danny Ainge are attempting to build a similar team to compete with both Cavaliers and Warriors, by drafting players who play the wings and guard variety of positions.  Jaylen Brown will be asked to guard shooting guard, small and power forward and throughout his rookie years found himself guarding LeBron James. 

There are Bigs like New Orleans Anthony Davis and Demarcus Cousin along with Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns can not only play on the inside but offensively play on the outside showing that even the Bigs can play outside. 

When Pat Riley put his super team together in Miami, he changed NBA not only by encouraging super team formation but how the game itself was played.  
The Boston Process
By Tom Donelson

We often hear about having faith in the process, mostly from Philadelphia 76ers fans but if there was a team that had a process, it was the Boston Celtics who saw a team that won 24 victories in 2014 with a rookie coach and four years later, they won 53 games and best record in the Eastern Conference. 
The Celtics process began after the 2013 season, when Danny Ainge traded Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce for a slew of first round draft picks and a few pieces that the Brooklyn Nets wanted to be rid of.  The year before, Ray Allen left the Celtics for Eastern Conference rivals Miami Heat, something that left a bad taste in the mouth of the other two big three, Garnett and Pierce.

The first move toward the rebuilt began with the trade, but the first big decision after that was hiring Brad Stevens, the Butler College coach.  Butler was a mid-level basketball power but Stevens managed to take Bulldogs to the national championship twice and they came within a missed shot that ringed out of the basketball of upsetting Duke in their first title game.

Normally college coaches don’t work out and the last college coach Rick Pitino, Celtics hired did not work out so well. While Pitino was able to improve the Celtics in his first year, he never truly brought the Celtics back and eventually quit.  The problems with college coaches like Rick Pitino is that they were not satisfied with just coaching but wanted to run the team and in the case of coach Rick Pitino, he had to coach the team that general manager Rick Pitino put together.  General Manager Pitino was the reason that Coach Pitino decided to go back to college.

Stevens proved to have the following qualities, he was a player’s coach who understood that he had as much to learn about the NBA game as his team and the second quality is that he understood the game that was developing in front of him.  As Stevens mentioned recently, the NBA today is made of wings, ball handlers and the big guy.   The game has changed and it didn’t hurt that Stevens reputation as an imaginative coach has impressed other NBA players and coaches. He is one of the best coaches when it comes to planning plays after time outs. The one last quality was his modesty and his wiliness to allow Danny Ainge to be the General Manager.  That is another quality that has to impress many NBA players in a player’s league.
With hiring of Stevens, the rebuilt began in earnest.  Ainge proved adept at finding players who not only fit the system but also who had the potential to develop like Isiah Thomas and Jae Crowder.  The second year of the rebuild, the Celtics made it to the playoffs as the eighth seed. Year three, Celtics won 48 games and last year, they won 53 games with the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The rebuilt is nearly finished as Ainge has added Al Horford and Gordon Hayward to go with Isiah Thomas plus Ainge has load of draft picks left.  He also has young players including Jason Tatum, Jalen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier that can help now but will be part of the starting line up four or five years from now.

While the emphasis is on building Super Teams, the spending cap in the future may preclude the formation of future super teams.  The Celtics have done the next best thing, build a contender while storing young talent for the future.  In three years, Celtics could have a starting line up with Jason Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Isiah Thomas, Al Horford with Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier Semi Ojeleye and the dancing bear Guerschon Yabusele coming off the bench plus Ante Zizic providing rim protection and rebounding.  The 2016 and 2017 drafts may prove one of the best drafts in Celtics’ history as Ainge may have drafted two potential All-Stars and slew of role players. 

Celtics have built a team that can not only compete now but compete in the future.  While many have wondering what moves Ainge would do,  he signed two of the three best free agents available over the past two free agents market, kept much of draft assets and still have ton more as he could have as many as six first round draft picks over the next two years so he can keep rebuilding while competing. 

Process of rebuilding requires both a capable front office, coaching and luck. The 76ers have had bad luck with injuries hitting many of their top draft picks and finally this year, 76ers might finally make a run at the playoffs if their rising stars stay healthy.  Celtics luck was picking the right trading partners, draft picks that are starting to pay off and finally one of the best coaches in the business.  This year, half of the team part of the 53 victories are gone but the replacements represent a step forward.  The only gamble is that much of the bench will be young and inexperienced. 

Pac man down under

By Tom Donelson

Manny Pacquiao faced Jeff Horn in Brisbane Australia and his goal was to look impressive to get a big pay day, with the goal to entice Mayweather for a big money rematch.  For Jeff Horn, this was his opportunity to become a known entity in the Welterweight and even win a title in front of his fellow countrymen. Horn came into this fight as a significant underdog.  Horn hoped that age would benefit him as he was the younger fighter by nine 9 years.

Horn came out the first round as he forced Pacquiao on the rope a couple of times and while Pacquiao countered; Horn legs served him well as he moved out of harms’ way.

In the second round, Horn continued to move and his awkward motion gave Pacquiao trouble but the Pac Man landed three big lefts.  Horn finished the round with a flurry but Pacquiao landed the bigger shots in the second round.

Pacquiao started to take command in the third round with more accurate punches as Horn threw a lot of punches but many of Horn punches missed its target.  The fourth round saw a similar pace as third round as Pacquiao threw the more accurate punches as Horn threw more punches but just as third round, Horn punches missed Pacquiao.  Horn’s right eye started to bleed due to Pac Man’s straight left.

The fifth round proved to be action packed and while Pacquiao landed the more accurate punches, Horn landed some nice right hands and while I had Pacquiao winning the round, this was a close round that the judges could easily see different.

In the sixth round, a clash of heads produced a cut along the hairline from Pacquiao and for the first time, Pacquiao slowed down after seeing his own blood. Horn nailed Pacquiao with a solid right that staggered Pacquiao. As the round ended, Pacquiao looked concern as for the first time, the possibility he could lose the fight.I had the fight Pacquiao 58-56 halfway through the fight and ESPN Ted Atlas had Pacquiao in front 59-55.
Throughout the seventh round, Pacquiao tied Horn up when Horn got inside but a second head clash opened up second cut above Pacquiao right eye.  The last thirty second saw Horn landing two big rights and Manny Pacquiao counters missed.   

During the eighth round, Pacquiao tried to set traps to catch Horn as he comes in but Horn landed right hands as Pacquiao started to look his age as those Horn right hands started to land more consistently. Ted Atlas noted that Pacquiao missed many of his counters that years earlier would have hit their target. After eight rounds I had it (76-76) while Atlas had 77-75 in favor of Pacquiao.
Pacquaio landed big shots throughout the ninth round as Horn appear to wilt. Blood started to pour out of Horn’s right eye.  Pacquiao best round up to this point as he simply pounded Horn.  The referee threaten to stop the fight but Horn’s corner begged for one more round. Ted Atlas gave Pacquiao a 10-8 round due to his domination. (I will state that when scoring a fight, I only give 10-8 rounds in the event of a knock down.  Boxing is a subjective enough of a sport to score and for me to score a 10-8 round, I want to see a fighter hit the canvas.)

Pacquiao slowed down in the tenth but his punches were more accurate as Horn fought hard and landed some rights of his own.  Horn was the aggressor but Pacquiao countered more accurate and when Horn came in close, Pacquiao tied him up.  I had Pacquiao up by a 106-103 score and Ted Atlas had it 106-102 going into the final round. 

Horn came out in the last round with an attempt to win the bout but while he landed the better punches, it was a case of too little, too late or so I thought.  While Horn threw more punches, Pacquiao landed nearly double the punches. 115-113 was my final score in favor of Pacquiao and Ted Atlas had it 116-111. The judges had it 115-113, 115-113 and 117-111 for Horn in an upset.  This was hometown scoring as Horn won a fight he should have lost but then Pacquiao showed himself to be an 38 year old and only in the ninth round did Pac Man look like the Pac Man of old as he nearly stopped Horn.  This allowed Horn to finish the fight which allowed him to get the decision.  Pac Man of four or five years ago would have stopped Horn but that Pac Man was not fighting but the 38 year old Pacquiao was in the ring and he allowed a fighter who he would have beaten easily years ago to have a chance to win.  

One final point is why was this on ESPN to begin with as oppose to PPV.  While many on ESPN were talking about a new era in boxing and with less fights on PPV and more fights on television. The reality is that Pacquiao would not have attracted enough interest for this fight to have viewers pay 50 dollars to watch. The days of the PAC Man being a big PPV draw is over and ESPN were willing to put up enough money for Pacquiao get his 10 million dollar pay off.

Yes, I will agree that this was a bad decision but it was not highway robbery where many rounds were close and as boxing writer Tim Dahlberg observed, “Forget about the punch counts, which showed Pacquiao landing twice the number of punches that Horn did. Those punches are counted by humans and with the awkward style of both fighters, it was difficult without the benefit of slow-motion replays to see just who landed what as the two flurried furiously at times in the ring.

In my opinion, Pacquiao was the better fighter but the judges saw it differently rewarding Horn aggressive nature and if nothing else, ESPN can now 

How do we measure Greatness between Men's and Women sports
By Tom Donelson
Recently when John McEnroe confronted with the question on Serena Williams’ place in the Tennis world, he stated what should be obvious; Serena Williams is the greatest woman Tennis Player but she would not be competitive with most men Tennis players, much less the top players.  The observation that McEnroe that Williams would not be a top Men’s tennis player started a firestorm but it is neither controversial nor insulting to Williams as McEnroe noted, “Yeah. That doesn’t mean I don’t think Serena is an incredible player. I do, but the reality of what would happen would be I think something that perhaps it’d be a little higher, perhaps it’d be a little lower. And on a given day, Serena could beat some players. I believe because she’s so incredibly strong mentally that she could overcome some situations where players would choke ’cause she’s been in it so many times, so many situations at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, etc. But if she had to just play the circuit — the men’s circuit — that would be an entirely different story.” 

This doesn’t mean we should dispute Williams’ accomplishment or that she is great athlete.  Nor should we get into a urinating contest comparing women and men tennis sports for they are different games just as the best WNBA players would not be competitive with the best of NBA players but they are among the best women players in the world. 

Both Venus and Serena played a male tennis player, Karsen Braash, about twenty years ago and Braash, ranked 203 easily beat both of them.  Writer Alec Dent noted, “McEnroe isn’t the first player to suggest men are better at tennis than women. Another famous example is Richard Raskind, who probably knows more about the dissimilarities in the men’s and women’s tours than anybody else. Raskind was a male tennis player in the 1950s who didn’t achieve anything of note during his playing career — that is until 1975, when Richard Raskind became Renée Richards. Playing as a woman, Richards reached the 1977 doubles final of the U.S. Open and in 1979 was ranked as high as 20 in the world at the ripe old tennis age of forty-four. After retiring, Richards said, “Having lived for the past 30 years, I know if I’d had surgery at the age of 22, and then at 24 went on the tour, no genetic woman in the world would have been able to come close to me.” Looks like even the most famous transgender tennis player of all time agrees with McEnroe: There are differences between men and women.”

While I am one of those who view Serena the Greatest woman Tennis player certainly in the Open era, but there are others who has similar claims that can’t be discounted.  While Steffi Graf won one less major title in the Open era but was number one about year longer and won a calendar slam along with a Olympic Gold. Martina Navratilova was also number one longer and won more doubles and mixed double despite winning five fewer major single titles than Serena.  Margaret Court won 92% of grand slam while winning more single titles.  Tennis, like Golf, has a very simple way to describe greatness, how many majors you have won.  Every year both Golf and Tennis has four majors in which the best of the best performs and greatness is easily define.  So can a case be made for Court to be the greatest since she won 24 majors or do we give it to Serena since she won her title during the Open era in which the number of competitor expanded? 

While many will remember the Billie Jean King victory over Bobby Riggs but Riggs was in his mid-fifties and he had already defeated Margaret Court easily before that.  Riggs simply proved that the top women tennis players could be a male player who was some twenty years past his prime.
Braash noted, “Both sisters are great tennis players and hit the ball extremely well. However, if you've been playing on the men's tour there are certain shots you can play that are going to put them in difficulty. Try and put a lot spin on the ball - I was hitting the ball with a degree of spin they don't face week-in, week-out. Another key is to chase down every shot. In our match, they were putting shots into the corners that on the women's tour would be winners but I was able to return them.”

Making the point that Serena would not make much of a dent on the Men’s tour doesn’t diminished what she has done on the women’s tour.  She is a great athlete who continued to dominate the tour after she turned past the age of 30 and she has a serve speed that matches many male players. Women and Men play a different game but there is no doubt that Serena Williams is more known than many of her Male counterparts and produce television ratings when she plays.  McEnroe did not insult Williams but noted that she is an incredible player but added that she would not a top player on the Men’s tour.  The top three women players have won more majors than the top men players and within the context of their sports, they are indeed great and you can make the case greater.  If you measure by physical talent, then Roger Federer is the greater player but if you judge by Major wins, then it is Serena 

Cavalier,  Are We Witnessing the Demise?

By Tom Donelson

Writer for The Batchelor Pad Network

Cleveland Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert may be facing his biggest challenge of keeping his team together if the rumors are true that the Cavs are ready to ship Kevin Love to Indiana for Paul George.  If this deal goes through, this could be the move that either keeps the Cavs competitive for the next few years or simply bring it all crashing down.  
Cavs view George as a better choice for defensive reason against the Warriors and despite playing well throughout the playoffs, there is the belief that Love hurt the Cavs on defense against the Warriors.  So what is the downside?

George has made it clear that he will be a free agent after this year and his preferred team is the Lakers and if Cavaliers come up short next year, does George stay or move on? Or even worse, will LeBron be convinced that he will not win another title with Cavs if they fail to win with George?  If George leaves, does LeBron follows George to build yet another super team with the Lakers?

While much of the attention has been focused on the draft, in trading Love, Cavs are trading away a young player with three years left on his contract and obtaining a player who is a one year rental and the only way George stays around in 2019 is if Cavs win the title but come up short, he may have his foot out of the door. 
Another deal could involve Jimmy Butler but this requires players and draft picks, the latter the Cavs are short of.  Butler could be a better fit since he has two years on his contract and this gives LeBron an incentive to stay with two young studs in Irving and Butler. Love will be playing somewhere else.

The real key issue is LeBron and whether he believes he can win another title in Cleveland and if not, he may end up out the door looking for another super team.  The loss of Griffin may not be helpful in keeping James, since he is the guy who built the Cavs championship by getting the pieces to surround James for three straight NBA finals with one championship.  Instead of master strokes to keep the franchise in championship mode, Gilbert has set into place the demise of the Cavs’ run. 

Meanwhile NBA draft is already off to rousing start and we haven’t even got to the draft night as Celtics traded their number 1 for two number ones, the number 3 in this draft and either the Lakers 2018 if it comes between 2 and 5 or the 2019 Sacramento Kings who as a franchise is always good to bet on when it comes to lottery picks.
Celtics now have a bigger decision, do they cash in the draft pick and collect a Jimmy Butler or sign a Gordon Hayward? Butler is at the right price for a couple of years so Celtics can sign one max free agent just as Blake Griffin or Hayward.  Celtics have draft picks and they enough players to supplement the draft picks, the key is what Ainge is willing to give up.   Bulls have been debating to start over or rebuild around Butler.    

The big discussion after the playoffs were the Celtics close to the Cavs but with the firing of Griffin and the Cavs now looking for a short term solution, the Cavaliers may be ready to implode quickly and Celtics and other in the East may not have long to catch up but then that still leaves the problem of beating the Warriors, a championship at its peak and years left of championship runs.

Clarke No Longer Considered for DHS Post

By Troy Sparks

T.B.P.N. Contributing writer

That “dream” job working in the Department of Homeland Security under Secretary John Kelly is gone for Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. He withdrew his name from consideration.

The self-proclaimed “People’s Sheriff” told a local conservative radio station that he was leaving for Washington, D.C. to take a position in the DHS department. He said he would start his new position at the end of June.

A lot has happened since he made the public announcement in May.

There was no formal announcement that Clarke would be added to the DHS department, which doesn’t need Senate approval. Meanwhile, the sheriff has problems of his own in his department.

An inquest jury found reason to charge five Milwaukee County corrections officers in a downtown jail that Clarke oversees for an inmate death in April of 2016. That inmate died from dehydration seven days after his water supply was shut off after he flooded his cell. The officers who worked in the isolation area ignored that inmate’s request for help and other inmates also asked jail staff for assistance to no avail.

Now it’s up to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm whether to charge them with a crime. There’s probably a 75-25 chance that he won’t charge them.

Clarke didn’t speak too much about the inmate’s death other than that he was in jail for firing his gun inside a crowded casino. It was also brought to Clarke’s attention that the man had a bipolar disorder.

A former female inmate recently sued Milwaukee County. She said in 2013, when she was 19, that a guard shackled her to a hospital bed while she gave birth.

The Naval Postgraduate School recently withdrew Clarke’s thesis paper from their website after it was reported that he copied words from other sources without giving proper credit. He referred to that part of his work as a “formatting error.” They are still investigating the alleged plagiarism incident.

About five months ago, Clarke said he felt threatened because a man who boarded the same plane from Dallas back to Milwaukee asked if he was the sheriff. After Clarke said yes, the young man shook his head and kept walking to the back.

Clarke turned around and asked the man if he had a problem and alerted his deputies in Milwaukee to take the 24-year-old into a room at the airport after he exited the plane. They asked this terrified guy if he was trying to threaten the sheriff.

The man was free to walk and leave the airport under the watchful eye of Clarke and his deputies after about 30 minutes of interrogation. And then Clarke made some immature and a racial remark on his Facebook page about the incident a few days later.

In early June, one of his deputies on foot patrol at the Milwaukee lakefront with less than a year on the job shot into a vehicle that a 19-year-old was driving with two other passengers inside after nearly getting struck by the SUV.

The teenager ignored a previous deputy’s order to stop about half a mile back. He sped away, hit a minivan and drove on the median and in the direction of the walking deputy, whose close-up shot into the SUV stopped any further threat of innocent bystanders being in harm’s way.

The young man died at the hospital and the female passenger in the front seat suffered a shoulder injury and has since been released from the hospital. The passenger in the back seat wasn’t injured but was taken into custody.

The deputy is on administrative leave per standard procedure and by state law, an outside law enforcement agency is handling that case.

It’s too bad that Clarke doesn’t interact with the public like he used to. If you want to hear him rant and rave about the liberals or anyone else who hates him, you would have to catch him on Facebook or Twitter or on his podcast. Right now, he has a big mess on his hands.

So where does sheriff Clarke go from here? There are rumors out there that he’s exploring other options, including taking a private sector job. The people around here can’t wait to see him go, but if he sticks around and runs for re-election next year, then it will be a long road ahead.

Piece of McGregor

By Tom Donelson

T.B.P.N Contributing writer

Conor McGregor-Floyd Mayweather is halfway done as McGregor has made his deal with UFC chief Dane White but the second half of deal is still left to be completed as Floyd Mayweather has yet to sign on the dotted line but somehow gets the feeling that this fight will get done simply because the money is simply too much for anyone to pass. For Floyd Mayweather, this will be his last chance to make one big pay day at the age of 40.

According to Dane White, this will be a straight boxing match, which favors Mayweather. While McGregor is only 28 and Mayweather hasn’t fought in two years, boxing favors Mayweather since this is what he does best and McGregor is not a boxer by training.   

Regardless, we will see boxing best boxer in this young century facing the biggest name in the MMA’s and that alone will guarantee the biggest gate, even bigger than Pacquiao-Mayweather which beat the 4 million mark.

For both the MMA’s and boxing, this is a big event since it puts both sports on the map and could help both sports.  If White and McGregor are willing to simply go straight boxing, then this aids boxing and Mayweather.  White and McGregor are in effect playing with the House money since if McGregor loses, it would be no surprise but what will happen if he wins?  This could help MMA’s since if their best can find a way to beat Mayweather, then MMA’s will have the bragging rights to the best fighters in the world and if they lose, no big deal. 
Mayweather will be the fighter with the pressure under those circumstances to win and win easily for anything less represent a victory for MMA’s.

MMA’s has created a niche with many younger fans compared to boxing and for boxing to regain its mojo, Mayweather needs to remind many modern day combat fans what their parents and grand parents’ love about this sports.

There was a time when Muhammad Ali or Joe Louis were the biggest sports heroes of their days but today, more sports fans may know Conor McGregor than most boxers with maybe the exceptions of Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao, the latter near the end of his career. 

Boxing may be in line for a renaissance with the recent victory of Anthony Joshua over Klitschko for the heavyweight title and the rise of younger fighters in all divisions.  The upcoming Gennady Golovkin-Canelo Alvarez this upcoming September will be boxing marquee event.

Mayweather-McGregor will be a major event highlighting both sports. If the fight is competitive, then it could be a boost for both sports.  For many sports pundits, boxing and MMA’s is the red light district of the sporting world, boxing for its brutality and past corruption and MMA’s have often been compared to cock-fighting but both sports have sporting arts that have existed for thousands of years. Even in their brutality there is an art when masters practice these sports. 

For a brief moment, Mayweather-McGregor may give both sports wide spread publicity and what they do with it is another thing.

OAKLAND, CA.- The Elders and Ancestors have spoken and the Cleveland Indians still don’t understand. The Cleveland Indians are fighting powers unseen. This baseball organization continues to use Chief Wahoo as a Mascot thinking nobody would notice during this year’s World Series. They lost. This organization also thinks there are no consequences for displaying this awful logo. They lost. They did not wear the traditional Cleveland home white uniforms at Progressive Field. They lost.
The United States of America also tries to defy Mother Nature and Native Americans by building an oil pipeline through disputed Native American land and through a major water source. The divine signs were everywhere. Buffalo that haD not been seen in this area for years showed up, and marched straight toward the pipeline. An American Golden Eagle soared over the construction site, landing on material that was supposed to be placed at the pipeline that day. The Eagle would not let the workers near the material. Two weeks ago a massive fire erupted at the top of the hill; the fire went out without coming near the protesters.
HEX Marks The Spot!
It’s not the name…it’s the Hubris which comes with knowing ownership doesn’t give a Rat’s Ass about who it adversely affects. Which is why a hex was created to deter this franchise from succeeding. Oh they win a few games; but if this Series and the parallel incidents in North Dakota tell us anything, it’s that things intercede (‘The Force’ if you will, just ask Yoda) whether people adhere to a linear or instinctual path of thinking.
Karma may be late sometimes but she always keeps an appointment; and until that stupid logo is changed to something respectful of Native Americans, the HEX shall remain!

The Cleveland Indians also felt that unseen force when they had a three game lead. THEY LOST. They felt it in game seven when they were on the verge of winning the World Series with a two run lead in the 8th inning. Cleveland had just tattooed the best relievers in baseball; Aroldis Chapman gave up a two run homer to Rajai Davis that tied the game. THEY LOST THE GAME.
Mother Nature had other plans and sent rain to Progressive Field creating a 17 min. game delay.  The Chicago Cubs went into the club house and gathered themselves with a speech by Jason Heward. They came out and took the lead in the 10th inning ending that 108 drought. The Billy Goat Curse is over but the Chief Wahoo Curse remains.

Tensions continue to rise over the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline-DAP (also known also as the Bakken Pipeline), a proposed 1,172-mile project currently under construction. Demonstrations over the pipeline have traveled from North Dakota’s northwest Bakken region to Southern Illinois. 60 Tribes have joined the protest which has grown steadily over the last few months. As many as 7,000 plus people have reportedly joined the Standing Rock Sioux in protesting the pipeline, which is slated to travel beneath sacred Native lands and cross under the Missouri River, the region’s main source of drinking water. The protesters have gathered along the border of the Standing Rock Sioux’s reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, blocking the construction site.
This land is also under dispute because of another broken treaty. Native American protesters now occupy privately owned land in North Dakota in the path of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline. They claim that they are the land’s rightful owners under the Fort Laramie treaty of 1851.
The 1851 treaty established Sioux territories from the Heart River just south of Mandan, well into Montana, Wyoming, and Nebraska. In fact, the treaty included almost all of South Dakota west of the Missouri River.
Protesters have used that as justification for setting up camp and roadblocks leading to this confrontation.
“That 1851 Treaty was never canceled. Nobody ever said it was no good anymore and so in that respect, since it’s been ratified, it was established as the lands the United States took under the Indian Claims Commission,” The ICC said in 1974 the United States took more than $17 million worth of Sioux land. Tom Disselhort, a former Indian law professor says even though Congress appropriated for it, the tribes never accepted the money. Another treaty broken by the United States.
Did the Cleveland Indians get the message ? Or will they continue to disrespect our Native American forefathers and mothers, by wearing Chief Wahoo on their shoulders and caps. The Curse still lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Gary Norris Gray – Writer, Author, Historian. Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove  and The Batchelor Pad Network, Disabled Community Activist.

Bowie State Routs Elizabeth City State 56-7 to Capture CIAA North Crown
Published: November 5, 2016

BOWIE, Md. - The objective of the day was simple ... Win! From the opening possession, that's exactly what Bowie Statefootball did on Saturday afternoon, routing Elizabeth City State 56-7 to win the CIAA Northern Division title and punched their ticket to the CIAA Championship game. The 56 points were the second highest all-time for Bowie State versus Elizabeth City State and the highest point production of the year for the Bulldogs.

Prior to the game, 13 Bowie State seniors were honored along with a special Senior Day presentation to ECSU senior Victor Tabbs (Suitland, Md.) who tragically loss his father a week ago which did not allow him to take park in Senior Day at the Vikings home finale.

The Bulldogs amassed 657 yards of total offense with sophomores Amir Hall (Bowie, Md.) and Robert Chesson (Annapolis, Md.) leading the attack. Hall passed for 296 yards, completing 18-of-27 passes and three touchdowns. Chesson carried the ball 17 times for a game and career-high 223 yards and scored two touchdowns. Seniors Nyme Manns and Jordan Garrison, both of Baltimore (Md.), were BSU’s top receivers with 53 and 51 yards respectively.


Bowie State’s defense was led by redshirt freshman Oluwaleke Ajenifuja (Beltsville, Md.) and graduate student Kevaugn Townsend (Fort Washington, Md.) with seven tackles each. Graduate student Antoine Young (Washington, D.C.) tallied six tackles while senior Heleaince Gates (Philadelphia, Pa.) along with redshirt freshman Victor Mack (Odenton, Md.) recorded five tackles apiece in Senior Day.

Elizabeth City State (5-5, 4-3 CIAA, 3-2 North) were led offensively by quarterback Daquan Neal (Franklinton, N.C.) with 202 passing yards, completing 16-of-36 (one interception). Neal scored ECSU’s only touchdown of the afternoon on a 3-yard run early in the second quarter. Deshon Saunders (Suffolk, Va.) was the leading ground gainer for the Vikings with 79 yards on nine carries. James Roe (Richmond, Va.) and Montrez Brunson (Norfolk, Va.) caught three pass each for 65 and 21 yards respectively in the loss.

The Vikings defense was paced by Jonathan Turnage (Greenville, N.C.) with a half dozen tackles and the Elizabeth City State trio of Malcolm Cherry (Lewiston, N.C.), Jaelen Williams (Raleigh, N.C.) and Caymen Battle (Miami, Fla.) contributed five tackles each.

Bowie State opened the scoring on a Chesson 57-yard scamper just 45 seconds into the game. Freshman Gene Carson (Accokeek, Md.) added the extra point for the early 7-0 lead. A Hall 1-yard run around the left side gave the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead at the 9:47 mark of the first quarter. On ECSU’s next possession, Bowie State blocked a Joshua Laverty (Edenton, N.C.) 30 yard field goal attempt and scooped up by sophomore Bryson McAdams (Odenton, Md.) for an 82-yard return for a touchdown to push the Bulldogs lead to 21-0.

Bulldogs sophomore Maurice Williams (Baltimore, Md.) scored his fourth TD of the season at the 7:45 mark of the second quarter from five yards out and Chesson followed that with a four yard score a little over four minutes later to extend the Bowie State lead to 35-7 at the half.

Hall and Chesson teamed up for an 8-yard pass, catch and score with 5:55 left in the third quarter. Graduate student Tony Squirewell (Upper Marlboro, Md.) recorded his first touchdown of the season when he hauled in a 48 yard pass from Hall with 2:46 remaining in the third to extend the Bowie State lead to 49-7.

The Bulldogs closed out the scoring early in the fourth quarter on a Hall to sophomore Deron Smith (Bowie, Md.) from 55 yards away to account for the final 56-7 margin.

Bowie State (7-3, 6-1 CIAA, 4-1 North) will face Winston-Salem State (8-2, 7-0 CIAA, 5-0 South) for the second consecutive season for the CIAA Championship next Saturday at 2 p.m. in Salem, Va.

~ BSU Sports Information

 Shaw Holds On For 35-32 Win Over Saint Augustine's in Inaugural Raleigh Classic

Published: November 5, 2016

RALEIGH, NC – Shaw University closed its 2016 slate with a 35-32 victory over cross-town rival Saint Augustine’s Universityin a Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) contest and the first annual Raleigh Classic sponsored by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance on Saturday afternoon at the George Williams Athletic Complex.

The victory snaps a two-game losing skid against the Falcons as the Bears conclude the season 2-8 overall, 2-5 in the CIAA and 2-3 within the Southern Division. SAU falls to 2-8 overall, 2-5 in conference play and 1-4 in the division.

Although statistics showed the Bears with a total offense of 309 yards compared to the Falcons 460 yards, Shaw got off to a fast start and season-best four touchdowns in the first quarter sparked by a nine yard pass from junior quarterback Darron Downing (Portsmouth, VA) to sophomore wide receiver Raymond Green, Jr. (Durham, NC) for the games first score of the contest at the 11:31.

The next possession on defense for Shaw, senior defensive back DaShawn Harris (Durham, NC) caught an interception at the 29 yard line and put the Bears in great scoring position which led to Downing connecting with freshman receiver Christian Folston (Como, NC) for his first career touchdown and a 14-0 lead over SAU with 6:33 on the game clock.

With great momentum from the Bears defense, Shaw’s senior defensive back Bruce Parker, Jr. (New York, NY) earned a pick-six for 70 yards as his touchdown stretched the Bears lead 21-0 with 5:14 remaining in the first quarter before Downing rushed for 76 yards in the end zone that gave Shaw a commanding 28-0 lead heading into the second quarter.

SAU scored its first touchdown in the second stanza after Lenwood Joyner ran for 31 yards in the end zone. The Falcons failed to complete a two-point conversion as the score showed 28-6 in favor of Shaw with 11:40 left. Two plays and two interceptions later, the Falcons cut the Bears lead 28-12 with another score before a touchdown from junior receiver Karocqus Jefferson (Williamston, SC) gave Shaw a 35-12 lead at intermission.

What has been a struggle for the Bears all season was the third quarter, Shaw allowed SAU to get back into the game when the Falcons scored 14 unanswered points for the quarter. SU had a nine-point lead in the final quarter but SAU Julius Murphy found Charles Edmond for a 39 yard touchdown, cutting the lead to just three points (35-32) with 25 seconds remaining. The Falcons would not complete the two-point conversion as the Bears took the ball over at the Falcons 46 yard line for the win.

Individually, Downing completed 16-of-25 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns in addition to 14 carries for 121 rushing yards. Folston led the receiving unit with two receptions for 75 yards and one touchdown while junior receiver Trevante Long (Greenbelt, MD) had seven catches for 44 yards.

Defensively, senior linebacker Keelan Jones (Kansas City, MO) recorded a game-high 15 total tackles, including 11 solo, four assisted and two tackle for losses. Senior defensive lineman Venson Jones, Jr. (Newport News, VA) added six tackles and Parker, Jr. contributed five tackles.

~ Shaw Sports Information

Benedict Rallies Past Kentucky State, 39-35
Published: November 5, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. - The Benedict College Tigers scored 19 fourth-quarter points to rally past Kentucky State University and knock off the Thorobreds 39-35 on Saturday in Alumni Stadium in an SIAC matchup.

The win improves the Tigers to 5-5 on the season and 4-3 in the SIAC. Kentucky State, the SIAC Western Division champions, falls to 4-6 overall and 4-3 in the SIAC.

"What a big win. That was super," Benedict head coach Mike White said. "I thought we would play better the first half, but this shows how resilient the guys are to fight back and never give up. I'm almost speechless now trying to figure out what I'm going to say to them here at the end of the game, but I'm so happy for them."

The Tigers trailed 28-14 at halftime, and were behind 35-20 going into the fourth quarter. But Benedict got a short touchdown pass from Okechi Ntiasagwe to cap off a drive that ended with 13:31 left in the game to cut the lead to 35-26. The Thorobreds were forced to punt on their next possession, and George Myers Jr. ran the short, line-drive kick back 43 yards before being stopped two yards short of the goal line. Two plays later, quarterback Phillip Brown scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak, cutting the lead to 35-33 with 11:39 left to play.

Kentucky State fumbled on the kickoff return and Benedict recovered at the Kentucky State 34-yard line. The Tigers chewed up some clock on the 10-play drive, getting a 3-yard touchdown run by Jeremy Johnson with 6:38 left to play to give Benedict its first lead, 39-35.

The Thorobreds were able to get two more offensive possessions and moved the ball to the Benedict 18-yard line with time running out when Edward Kirkland intercepted a pass by KSU quarterback Jules St. Ge with 17 seconds left in the game. Benedict ran out the clock for the win.


"I'm just glad that we do not give up. That's all I ask of them, to show them that the Tigers are here to stay for four quarters," White said.

Kentucky State recorded a season-high 456 yards of offense in the loss. Running back Reginal Harris recorded a career-high 229 yards of total offense (195 yards rushing, 34 yards receiving) and scored three touchdowns.

The game started out ominous for the Tigers. Benedict received the opening kickoff, but fumbled the ball back to Kentucky State. The Thorobreds scored on the very next play, with Harris running around the end and down the sideline for a 48-yard touchdown. Benedict starting free safety Robert Cummings was injured on the play and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital for tests. He returned to the Benedict sideline by the end of the game. Cummings also serves as the holder on field goals and extra points, which may have hampered kicker Tory Mimbs, who missed two extra points and a 40-yard field goal.

"It makes us kind of vanilla as far as what we can do when you lose a guy like Bobby. Then Kirkland was hurt and you're playing so many new guys in the secondary, you had to stay plain," White said. "But the guys hung in there and made a play and made another play, and here we are."

The Tigers tied the game on their next possession on a 22-yard pass from Brown to Ntiasagwe. The Thorobreds pulled ahead 28-7 before the Tigers scored on a 2-yard run by Brown with 6:50 left in the first half. The Thorobreds had 296 yards of total offense in the first half, including 216 yards rushing. White said the coaching staff challenged the team to play better in the second half.

"They showed me the first-half stats and that we had already given up 200 yards, believe me, I said that to them at halftime," White said. "We talked about how much it meant for our program, all-conference teams, just to man up and play better than we played that first half. We as a staff challenged them to come out and play. Leadership kicked in and here we are."

Myers finished with 171 yards rushing on 25 carries. Phillip Brown completed 10-of-19 passes for 109 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more. Ntiasagwe caught five passes for 44 yards and two touchdowns. Kendrick Frazier led the defense with seven tackles.

Benedict wraps up the 2016 season next week at home against Point University at 2 p.m. for Senior Day. Kentucky State travels to face Fort Valley State in the SIAC Championship game next week in Montgomery, Ala.

~ Benedict Sports Information

Prairie View Rallies to Down Alcorn State
Published: November 5, 2016

Slow starts have led to exciting finishes. Weather delays, blood pressure medicines, defibrillators, energy beverages, virtual seat belts, and rollercoaster rides have all been a part of this year’s fan experience at Panther football on The Hill.

However, with three games played at the new Panther Stadium, PVAMU football remains unbeaten, and, after Saturday’s 31-27 come-from-behind win over two-time defending SWAC Champion Alcorn State, the Panthers (6-3 overall, 6-1 SWAC) remain in the hunt for the SWAC Championship Game or FCS playoff berth.

“I think we like giving our fans close games at home, but I’m proud of the guys,” Panther head football coach Willie Simmons said. “I’m proud of the way they fought and responded, being down again early, never quitting. These guys have the heart of a champion. I’m happy to see them respond to adversity in good ways and see them continue to fight and plug through.”

QB Jalen Morton accounted for four touchdowns (two passing, two running), and Sta’Fon McCray and Caleb Broach combined to rush for 141 yards as Prairie View A&M defeated the Braves (3-5 overall, 3-4 SWAC) for the second straight season.


“I’ve got to tip my hat to Alcorn State,” Simmons said. “That’s a first class organization. It’s a reason why they are the two-time defending champs. I know a lot of those guys there, a lot of those coaches. They run a fine program. We knew it was going to be a 60-minute ball game. We’re happy to be able to do enough in all three phases.”

Prairie View A&M trailed 14-0 late in the first half before getting on the board twice in the final minute of the first half. McCray’s 6-yard scoring pass from Morton with 32 seconds to play cut the Panthers’ deficit in half. On the ensuing kickoff, Alcorn State failed to cover and Arthur Lockett recovered at the Alcorn 15. Armaury Martinez’ 32-yard field goal on the last play of the half cut the PVAMU deficit to 14-10.

The Panthers scored on their third straight possession to open the third quarter. The five-play, 64-yard drive ended with Morton’s 13-yard touchdown run to put Prairie View A&M in front for the first time, 17-14 with just over 13 minutes to play in the third quarter.

After the Braves regained the lead, the Panthers scored touchdowns on back-to-back possessions. Morton eluded defenders and fired a 44-yard pass to Darius Floyd in the end zone, who made a diving catch to put the Panthers ahead to stay, 24-21, with just over four minutes to play in the third quarter.

On the ensuing PVAMU possession, Morton led the Panthers on one of their most impressive drives of the season. Driving 85 yards in 13 plays, taking more than 6 ½ minutes off the clock, Christian Rousseau’s eight-yard run on a fake field goal on fourth-and-three from the Alcorn State nine-yard line gave the Panthers a first down.
Morton’s one-yard score on the next play gave the Panthers a 31-21 lead with just over 10 minutes to play in the game.

After Alcorn scored with under seven minutes to play, PVAMU’s Treveon Billings blocked the PAT to give the Panthers the final margin. The defense sealed the deal, holding the Braves without a first down on the final two possessions.

The Panthers return to action next week in the final home game of the season against SWAC Western Division co-leader Southern at 1 p.m. (, again looking to stay in the hunt for the postseason.

“We keep finding ways to get it done,” Simmons said. “Hopefully, we can figure out why we keep starting so slowly. I don’t know if it’s what we’re eating, where we staying. I don’t know, but we have to figure something out. We have a really good Southern team coming in right now that’s undefeated in conference play. It’ll be hard to start slow against that bunch, and be able to beat them. We have to come faster next week. Again, if we can continue to finish the way we’re doing, I like our chances.”

~ PVAM Sports Information

NC Central Scores in All Three Phases in 38-19 Win over Delaware State
Published: November 5, 2016

DOVER, Del. – North Carolina Central University scored touchdowns in all three phases of the game to hand Delaware State University a 38-19 defeat at Alumni Stadium on Saturday.

Senior receiver LaVontis Smith enjoyed his first two-touchdown contest in his two seasons at NCCU with four catches for 51 yards. Sophomore running back Ramone Simpson posted 112 yards rushing, including a 24-yard touchdown run. Junior linebacker Reggie Hunter intercepted his third pass in the last two outings and returned the pick 19 yards for his first career trip to the end zone. And NCCU junior Mike Jones returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown, the second-longest punt return in school history.

NCCU senior quarterback Malcolm Bell completed 17-of-31 passes for 223 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 18 yards. Bell moved past Brad McAdams (5,687 yards from 1992-96) into fourth on the Eagles’ career passing list with 5,693 yards through the air.

As a team, NCCU amassed 469 yards of total offense with a balanced 245 yards passing and 224 yards rushing. The Eagles defense racked up 10 tackles for a loss with three sacks.

Hunter led the way for NCCU with a team-best seven tackles, including a stop for a loss. Frederick Henry-Ajudua and Kenneth O’Neal each recorded six takedowns and a sack.

NCCU (7-2, 6-0 MEAC) remains unbeaten in the conference with its 13th consecutive win over MEAC opposition, including seven straight to end the 2015 campaign.

Delaware State (0-9, 0-6 MEAC) was topped by receiver Aris Scott with five receptions for 128 yards and two touchdowns, while Brian Cavicante collected a game-high 13 tackles with a sack.

Up next, NCCU hosts Howard University on Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. inside O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium for “Military Appreciation Day.”

~NCCU Sports Information

Chowan Soars, Records Fall in 73-0 Win over Lincoln (Pa)
Published: November 5, 2016

MURFREESBORO- Chowan University closed out the 2016 season on a high note with a 73-0 win over Lincoln University (Pa)on Saturday afternoon.

Saturday's game was Senior Day for 17 Chowan football players and three Sapphires and also served as the 31st Annual Chowan University Jim Garrison Hall of Fame Game.Tyree Lee recorded a single-game record 243 rushing yards on Saturday.

Chowan ends the year with a 6-4 overall record and 4-3 mark in CIAA play.  The Hawks move to 6-1 in the series against the Lions and recorded a winning season for the second consecutive year; a first in Chowan' NCAA Division II era.  Lincoln (PA) concludes the 2016 season with a 1-9 overall record and 0-7 mark in league play.

The Hawks racked up 671 offensive yards in the victory while holding the Lions to 154 offensive yards in the setback.

Jordan Watkins completed 22-27 pass attempts for 314 yards for Chowan.  He threw five touchdown passes for the Hawks, tying the school's single-game passing records (5, CJ Westler vs. Johnson C. Smith, 2008).  Tyrone Carter notched eight receptions for 171 yards and three touchdowns with Ryan Nolan tallying seven receptions for 122 yards and one score.  Nolan also recorded two carries for 22 carries with one touchdown while also heaving a 45-yard touchdown pass for the Hawks.

Tyree Lee led the Hawks' ground game with 22 carries for a school record 243 yards and two touchdowns.  Lee ends his career for the Chowan Blue and White with 2,114 rushing yards.

Jason Epps completed 8-33 passes for Lincoln (PA) for 119 yards.  Cody Waddell notched 1 carry for 19 yards while Larquise Hobbs notched four receptions for 48 yards on the day.

Defensively, Tyler Wilson led all players in the contest with 12 tackles (six solo, six assisted).  Stephan Bolding followed with nine tackles (four solo, five assisted).

Demetrius Newberry paced the Hawks with 10 tackles (four solo, six assisted) with five tackles for loss (21 yards) and one pass breakup.  Chris Rodgers followed with five tackles with one stop for loss (one yard).

The Hawks dominated the contest from start to finish on Saturday.  Chowan scored on their first drive of the game and never looked back, scoring 21 points in the first quarter and 24 points in the second quarter to take a commanding 45-0 lead heading into the halftime break.  The Hawks built on the momentum in the second half and scored 14 points in both the third and fourth quarters to earn the 73-0 victory.

~ Chowan Athletics Communications

Tuskegee Golden Tigers claim victory in final seconds
Published: November 5, 2016

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | As the clicked down to triple zero, the 14th-ranked Tuskegee University football players ran around the Legion Field turf. Some were hugging fans, others were jumping around with teammates and one was even doing a snow angel around the hash marks near the Tuskegee sideline.

The reason? The Golden Tigers battled back from a deficit they faced for the first 58 minutes of the contest to turn back Miles and hush the visiting stands with one big play after another, punching the ball in with 1:15 remaining on the clock and defeating Miles 13-10 Saturday night in a Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) contest.

After Nick Christiansen missed his fourth field goal of the game, a 49-yard attempt, the Golden Tigers took possession of the football with 2:54 remaining and no timeouts. And the offense responded quickly. After a first down catch was ruled incomplete on the Tuskegee sideline, Kevin Lacey hit Javarrius Cheatham for a 12-yard gain and a first down at their own 39-yard line. The next play, Lacey hit senior Dekendrick Moncrief on the sideline for a 14-yard gain to the Miles 47-yard line which forced a Miles timeout with 2:24 to play.

The Golden Tigers faced a second down after an incomplete pass when Lacey hit Moncrief for 14 yards to the Miles 33. On the next play, senior tight end Leo Gilbert ran across the field and caught his lone pass of the game. He turned the pass and catch into a 23-yard gain and set Tuskegee up at the Miles 10-yard line. After a false start call pushed the ball back to the 15, senior fullback Jerome Lewis caught a 13-yard pass from Lacey and set the Golden Tigers up first and goal at the two-yard line with just over 90 seconds to play. On the very next play, senior fullback Branden Wilson sent the crowd into mass histeria with a two-yard plunge that gave the Golden Tigers the lead.


However, there was still time on the clock when Miles got the ball back - only the Golden Bears were out of timeouts which forced them to play quickly.

After an incomplete pass from David Whipple, the All-SIAC quarterback found Mitchell Parker for a 12-yard gain and then on third down hit William Kelly for a three-yard gain with 33 seconds remaining. On fourth and seven, Whipple's pass short hopped the receiver and all Tuskegee had to do was kneel the football for the victory.

For the ninth time this season, the Tuskegee (8-1) defense kept an opponent from 300 yards of total offense as they held Miles to 283 (187 passing and just 96 rushing). It was also the sixth time this season that the Golden Tigers have held an opponent under 100 yards rushing in a contest. Junior Kalil Gray led the Tuskegee defense with nine tackles, while junior Osband Thompson finished with eight. Fellow linebacker Quavon Taylor finished with six tackles.

The defense recorded three sacks and nine tackles for loss, while recording three pass breakups.

Lewis led the Golden Tigers offensively with 41 yards rushing on just three carries, while catching two passes for 29 yards. The Golden Tigers rushed for 100 yards as a team, with Brandon Gainer picking up 35. Lacey finished with 201 yards passing on 15-of-32 passing with a pair of interceptions. Meanwhile, Desmond Reece led the team with five catches for 63 yards.

Tuskegee returns to action next weekend on the road against Albany State, with kickoff time to be announced this week. The game will be carried on the Tuskegee Digital Network.

~ Tuskegee Sports Information

SWAC FB RECAPS for November 5, 2016
Published: November 6, 2016

Prairie View A&M 31, Alcorn State 21

PRAIRIE VIEW, Texas -- Jalen Morton scored two touchdowns on the ground and threw for another as Prairie View A&M overcame an early 14-point deficit to beat Alcorn State 31-27 on Saturday.

Morton's 44-yard touchdown pass to Darius Floyd with 4:05 left in the third quarter gave Prairie View (6-3, 6-1) its first lead of the game at 24-21. Morton's 1-yard touchdown run capped a 13-play, 85-yard drive with 10:15 left to go.

Noah Johnson made it a one-possession game with 6:46 remaining, but Alcorn State (3-5, 3-4) punted on its next two possessions and turned it over on downs with 1:53 left.

Johnson finished with eight carries for 135 yards and three scores for the Braves, who intercepted Morton three times.

Sta'fon McCray pulled the Panthers to 14-7 with a six yard touchdown run to finish an 11-play, 52-yard drive. Quadre Butler fumbled the ensuing kickoff with 32 seconds remaining before the break and Armaury Martinez made a 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Mississippi Valley State 41, Arkansas-Pine Bluff 7


PINE BLUFF, Ark. -- Slade Jarman completed 17 of 23 passes for 214 yards and three touchdowns and Mississippi Valley State defeated Arkansas-Pine Bluff 41-7 for its first win of the season on Saturday.

The win snaps a nine-game losing streak for the Delta Devils (1-8, 0-6) dating back to last season and was their first victory since a 27-24 overtime win against Alabama A&M on Nov. 7, 2015.

Austin Bray provided a duel threat at quarterback with Jarman, finishing a perfect 6 of 6 for 96 yards and three scores. Joshua Banks added seven catches for 108 yards and a score for MVSU.

Jarman and Bray each threw two first half TDs and the Delta Devils had a comfortable 27-0 lead at the half.

Brandon Duncan threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jaelen Collins for the Golden Eagles (1-8, 1-6) lone score.

Grambling State 56, Alabama A&M 17

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Devante Kincade threw four touchdown passes, Jestin Kelly ran for 200 yards and a score, and Grambling State cruised to a 56-17 win over Alabama A&M on Saturday.

Chad Williams hauled in two of Kincaid's touchdown throws, both in the third quarter, to put Grambling State (7-1, 6-0) up 42-17. Williams added a three yard touchdown run in the first half and finished with 97 yards on six catches. Kincade was 19-of-35 for 238 yards passing.

Devohn Lindsey and Dominique Leake each caught first-quarter touchdown passes to give the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead. Martez Carter had a 5-yard touchdown run and Donovan McCray recovered an AAMU fumble and returned it 57 yards for a touchdown to help seal GSU’s sixth straight win.

De'Angelo Ballard completed 16 of 45 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown for Alabama A&M (3-6, 3-5), and had a rushing TD.

Southern 26, Texas Southern 10

BATON ROUGE, La. - Lenard Tillery rushed for 125 yards and a touchdown and Southern University converted two interceptions into scoring drives to beat Texas Southern 26-10 on Saturday.

Tillery scored on a three-yard run and Herbert Edwards scored on a one yard run after Treveon Epps picked off a second-quarter pass by Averion Hurts to lift the Jaguars (7-2, 7-0) to a 14-7 halftime lead.

Danny Johnson picked off a pass by Hurts in the fourth quarter, setting up Ruan Albuquerque's first of two 28-yard field goals. Roshaud Turnerintercepted Hurts, leading to a score and 23-10 lead after Jeremias Houston recovered Tillery's fumble in the end zone.

Hurts was 13 of 24 for 168 yards passing for the Tigers (3-6, 3-4). Jarius Moore intercepted Austin Howard's first-quarter pass and returned it 73 yards for Texas Southern's only TD. Brad Woodard gained 105 yards on 11 carries.

Alabama State 14, Jackson State 7

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Alex Anderson scored on a 15-yard run with 9:01 left to play as Alabama State defeated Jackson State 14-7 on Saturday.

Anderson's score was set up when Christian Jacquemin punted the ball 30 yards with the Tigers at their own 12-yard line. Khalid Thomas returned it 12 yards, and a Jackson State penalty put Alabama State (3-6, 3-5) in scoring position.

Jackson State (3-6, 3-4) turned the ball over on downs and punted on its final two possessions.

After a scoreless first half, Jarin Morikawa threw a 63-yard touchdown pass to Jairus Moll with 7:55 left in the third to give the Tigers their only lead of the game.

Jujuan Young-Battle threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Palmer Graham just more than three minutes later to tie it. Young-Battle threw for 125 yards and ran for 43.

Morikawa was 24 for 43 for 234 yards.


WSSU Rams Hold On For A 28-21 Road Win over Fayetteville State
Published: November 6, 2016

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – Winston-Salem State rode the back of sophomore running back, Kerrion Moore, who finished the day with 259 all-purpose yards, and the defense rose to the occasion in the second half, as the Rams came away with a 28-21 road win overFayetteville State at Luther “Nick Jeralds Stadium.

After a scoreless and defensive first quarter, Winston-Salem State would finally break the scoreless tie with 1:04 left before halftime, when Rod Tinsley would find an open  Anthony Rook in the back of the endzone, for a 15 yard touchdown pass and catch to give the Rams a 7-0 lead.WSSU's Moore leaps over an FSU defender

The FSU Broncos would not waste any time in answering the Rams score, as Brian Walker would return the kickoff 99 yards for a score to tie the game with 45 seconds remaining before the half.

WSSU would begin their drive with just 37 seconds left before halftime, and on the first play, Rod Tinsley would find an open Demeeko Jones down the middle for a 42 yard completion. Two plays later, Tinsley would find Canard Brown in the corner of the endzone for a 33 yard touchdown, to give the Rams a 14-7 advantage heading into the locker room at the half.

Coming out for the second half, the Fayetteville State Broncos, marched down the field in nine plays, covering 33 yards, before stalling and settling for a 27 yard David Lamb field goal, to cut the WSSU lead to 14-10.

The Rams would regroup and with 4:36 left in the third quarter, Rod Tinsley would hook up with Kerrion Moore for the play of the game. Tinsley would hit Moore on a crossing route, and Kerrion Moore would do the rest. Moore raced up the right sideline, hurdling a Bronco defender, and finishing off the pass 70 yards later with a touchdown, moving the Rams to a 21-10 lead.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Justus Pickett would score from one yard out, and Will Johnson would connect on the PAT to seemingly put the game away with a 28-10 advantage.


But on this day, in a rivalry game, it’s never over until the clock hits triple zeros. The FSU Broncos would march down the field and with 2:23 left to play, DeMarius Davis would find Marquez Beeks for an eight yard touchdown pass, to cut the lead to 28-18.

The Broncos would attempt and recover the ensuing onside kick, and with 59 second left, David Lamb would hit a 25 yard field goal to cut the lead to 28-21.

FSU would attempt a second onside kick, but this time, the Broncos would be called for illegal touching, as they recovered the ball before it went ten yards, giving the ball to the Rams, and allowing them to run out the clock for the 28-21 win.

Kerrion Moore had his best day ever at WSSU, as he finished the game with 122 rushing yards on 19 carries, and Justus Pickett ran for 45 yards on nine carries with one touchdown. Rod Tinsley rushed five times for 25 yards and Xavier Quick also rushed five times for 16 yards.

Kerrion Moore led the Rams receivers with seven catches for 116 yards and one ESPN Top Ten touchdown pass and catch. Moore caught a crossing pass, and hurdled a Bronco defender and raced 70 yards for a touchdown down the right sideline. Demeeko Jones finished with three catches for 45 yards, and Canard Brown had two catches for 40 yards and one touchdown. Anthony Rook finished with three catches for 30 yards and one touchdown. Quincy Jackson (18 yds), and Michael Benis (2 yds) each finished with one catch.

Cameron Sullivan led the Ram defenders with 11 tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss, and Jarrell Bright had nine tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and two sacks. Jayron Rankin had an outstanding day, finishing with eight tackles, two tackles for a loss and an interception. Braxton Daye seven tackles and 0.5 tackle for a loss, while Tyrell Flemming had five tackles, Xavier Gregory also had five tackles 1.5 tackles for a loss and one tackle and one pass breakup. PJ Clyburn also picked up five tackles and De’Andre Blevins had four tackles, as did Amyl Smith and Jack Nimmons.  Smiht also picked up 0.5 sack and 0.5 tackles for a loss.

Winston-Salem State will immediately turn their attention to the CIAA Championship Game, and its opponent, Bowie State University. Bowie State defeated Elizabeth City State, 56-7 on Saturday to secure the Northern Division.

WSSU and Bowie State will compete for the CIAA Championship crown on Saturday, November 12th, at Salem Stadium in Salem, VA. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:00pm, and the game will air nationwide on the ASPiRE Network.

~ WSSU Sports Information

NC A&T Aggies Rally Late to Beat SC State
Published: November 6, 2016

GREENSBORO – North Carolina A&T is ranked 10th in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision. They are the No. 1 black college football team in the nation, and they are the two-time defending Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football champs.

Therefore, they know every game they compete in, they’re going to take the other team’s mightiest blow. Saturday afternoon at Aggie Stadium, the 10th-ranked Aggies took a left uppercut, straight jab and right cross that would have knocked out most teams. Instead of staying down however, the Aggies overcame their second fourth-quarter deficit of the season to come away with a 30-20 win over South Carolina State on Senior Day.

The win keeps N.C. A&T (8-1, 6-0 MEAC) in a first-place tie with North Carolina Central (7-2, 6-0 MEAC) after NCCU defeated Delaware State 38-19 on Saturday. S.C. State fell to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the MEAC.


“It does make you play better because everybody we play gets ready to play us now. We’re the standard these days," said N.C. A&T head coach Rod Broadway. "Teams think if they beat us, they can get on the right track. So we’re going take everybody’s best shots, but our guys aren’t going to get hit and not hit back. We’re going to stand there and fight with them.”

SCSU quarterback Caleb York threw his share of haymakers after entering the game toward the end of the second quarter. He ended the first half with a 41-yard touchdown pass to De’Montrez Burroughs. With 3:03 remaining in the third quarter, he connected with Quan Caldwell for 46 yards down to the Aggies 1-yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the 1, York ran into a fortress the Aggies front formed at the goal line before bouncing outside to score and give the Bulldogs a 20-16 lead with 1:56 remaining in the third quarter.

“South Carolina State is a good football team, a really good football team,” said Broadway. “I think they’ve won five or six championships in the last 12 years, so they’re always tough. They had lost one conference game and three Division I (FBS) games coming in here, so we knew it was going to be a dogfight and it always is.”

To withstand SCSU’s upset bid the Aggies went back to playing the type of defense that has them ranked No. 1 in the MEAC. SCSU compiled 359 yards of offense, but only 46 of those came in the fourth quarter. After forcing the Bulldogs to punt from their own 11, Jerome Pettiway shanked a 26-yard punt that gave the Aggies 1st-and-10 from the Bulldog 37. On 3rd-and-7 from the Bulldog 9, Raynard turned to his right, and when he did, he saw man-to-man coverage on freshman receiver Elijah Bell.

He tossed a pass in Bell’s direction on a fade route, allowing Bell to outfight the defender for the ball and the touchdown. It was Bell’s second TD reception of the day, and it gave N.C. A&T a 23-20 lead with 5:25 to play. Bell said he thought the play was going to 6-foot-4 wide receiver Denzel Keyes, but once Raynard got to the line of scrimmage, he saw something different.

“South Carolina State stacked their coverage to Denzel’s side, so I knew it was going to Elijah,” said Raynard who was 18-for-30 for 169 yards and two touchdowns. “Elijah always makes plays every day in practice and in games. I went to him because I knew he was going to make the play.”

Redshirt sophomore cornerback Marquis Willis then came away with the knockout play. He intercepted a York pass near the SCSU sideline and returned it 29 yards for his second career pick-6.

“I think it took a lot of character for our guys to come back,” said Broadway. “We gave up some big plays here and there, but this team has something in them that they keep fighting.”

Redshirt junior Jeremy Taylor led the Aggies defensively with 12 tackles and two pass break ups. The Bulldogs did hold All-American running back Tarik Cohen to 57 yards on 16 carries. Cohen did, however, score a first-quarter touchdown giving him his first career TD against the Bulldogs. He also had 48 yards receiving on six catches.

Before the game, Cohen and teammates Tyree Andrews, Oluwafemi Bamiro, Gerald Caskey, Wes Cole, Demetrius Fairley, Malik Hampton-Prioleau, Cody Jones, Angelo Keyes, Denzel Keyes, Corbin Martin, Anthony McMinn II, Marquis Ragland, D’Anthony Ross, Lorenz Suttles and Michael Weaver, Jr., were honored as a part of the Aggies Senior Day ceremony.

“These guys are special. They’ve hung in there and helped to develop this team and this program,” said Broadway. “They got us back in good graces around the country, and I couldn’t be prouder of those guys. We still have two more games with these seniors, so we’re going to enjoy two more games and try to win two more games and then see what happens.”

N.C. A&T will finish on the road at Delaware State on Saturday, Nov. 12 and at NCCU on Saturday, Nov. 19. Both games start at 2 p.m.

 Tennessee State Edges Austin Peay, 41-40
Published: November 6, 2016

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. --- Freshman Steven Newbold caught his second touchdown of the game with 1.7 seconds left and Lane Clark kicked the extra point to give the Tennessee State football team a 41-40 road win over Austin Peay at Fortera Stadium on Saturday night.TSU Sports Photo

A six-play, 81-yard touchdown drive led by senior quarterback Ronald Butler turned out to be the difference for TSU, which improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in Ohio Valley Conference play. On the final offensive play for the Tigers, Butler eluded the pass rush, stepped up in the pocket and delivered a 21-yard strike to Newbold in the corner of the endzone.

Butler turned in another strong performance with four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns to go with 342 yards of total offense.

On the other side of the ball, Antonio Justice, Jr. led the Tigers’ defense with nine tackles, 1.5 for a loss and one sack.

Austin Peay used a double lateral which gained 42 yards to move to the TSU 24. The Governors needed six more plays to enter the end zone as they scored on the first drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. This marked the first lead the Govs have held in a game since week one of the season.

The Tigers responded with touchdowns on three consecutive drives to take a 20-9 advantage. Ronald Butler found Steven Newbold at the nine yard line and the freshman did the rest avoiding three governor defenders before crossing the goal line for the Tigers first score. APSU earned two points as the snap on the extra point attempt slipped through the hands of holder Austin Rowley. The Governors picked up the ball and used a lateral to return the other way to make the score 9-6.

The Tigers needed just two plays on their next drive to hit pay dirt. Butler opened the series with a 12 yard run moving to the APSU 27. Butler dropped back on the next play and found Mahlon Medley across the middle for the sophomore tight ends first career touchdown. The score gave the Tigers their forst lead of the game at 13-9.


The Tigers put together their longest drive on the next possession. TSU used nine plays to travel 92 yards for the final TSU score of the first half. Earl Harrison, in his first action in three games, broke through the middle of the line for a 43 yard run to the APSU 49 on the first play. The Big Blue offense continued the drive by converting on a 3rd-and-18 as Butler found Chris Rowland streaking down the middle of the defense for a 25 yard reception.

Three plays later the Tigers were in another third and long, only to see Butler connecting on a 17 yard pass play to Mazio Rhodes for another first down. On the very next play, Butler scampered for the first of his two rushing touchdowns as he went 13 yards untouched. The score extended the TSU lead to 20-9.

Austin Peay charged back with 10 unanswered points to cut the TSU lead to one at 20-19 as the two teams entered the locker room.

The second half began with Erick Evans carrying on back-to-back plays of seven and 19 yards as the Tigers crossed into Governors territory. Butler teamed with Patrick Smith for the only time in the game on a 39 yard strike, making the score, 27-19. Smith scored his 11th touchdown of the season and the 21st of his two-year career.

Butler continued his six touchdown night with the longest run in his career. The senior quarterback opted to keep the ball and broke around the right side of the line and outran the defense 84 yards. The scoring play gave TSU its largest lead of the game, 34-19.

The Governors came storming back with 21 straight points, taking a 40-34 lead with 1:05 remaining, setting up the Tigers final drive.

Newbold finished the game with four receptions for 72 yards and two touchdowns. The true freshman now has five scoring catches on the season.

Next up for TSU is a home game versus Tennessee Tech on Nov. 12 at Hale Stadium. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. and the game will serve as Senior Day for the Tigers.

~ Tennessee State Sports Information

Xavier Nuggets Rally Late for Sixth Straight GCAC Volleyball Tourney Title
Published: November 6, 2016

Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) survived four Talladega match points in the final nine rallies Saturday and earned its sixth consecutive Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) volleyball tournament championship with a 16-25, 21-25, 27-25, 25-13, 20-18 victory at Dillard's Dent Hall.

The Gold Nuggets (16-16) earned a sixth consecutive bid to the NAIA National Championship, which will begin Nov. 19.Xavier University of Louisiana
2016 GCAC Volleyball Champions

Tournament MVP Juliana Tomasoni had five kills in the final set, including the match winner. Teammates Hasani Salaam and Amanda Perry joined Tomasoni on the all-tournament team.

XULA trailed 23-19 in the third set before getting five kills from Taylor Ducros to extend the match. XULA evened the match at two sets apiece after an early 8-1 run which included a pair of assisted blocks by Tomasoni and Salaam.

"We knew what we were capable of," Tomasoni said. "We just put everything together. We started over from the third set, and everything worked out. Our communication was so good, and we were more efficient." The fifth set had 10 ties and six lead changes. XULA won the championship on its second match point. XULA rallied from a 5-1 deficit in the fifth to take 7-5 and 13-10 leads, but an attack error and two Talladega kills tied the set at 13. Yet the Lady Tornadoes were unable to clinch despite serving for match point at 15-14, 16-15, 17-16 and 18-17. Preceding Tomasoni's kill was Salaam's block which gave the Gold Nuggets a 19-18 lead.

XULA outhit Talladega .250 to .219. Tomasoni had 23 kills and hit .385, Ducros hit .455 with a career-best 21 kills, and Salaam had 10 kills, four blocks and hit .318. Perry had 14 digs and Kayla Jones 12, and Ralitsa Slanchev served three of the Gold Nuggets' nine aces.

XULA won the GCAC regular-season championship by two matches over Talladega but lost in five sets at Talladega this past weekend — its second conference defeat in six years.

Talladega (21-13) entered the final with a 10-match win streak. The Lady Tornadoes won in five sets Friday against Dillard in the semifinals and rallied from an 8-4 deficit in the fifth.

The Saturday victory gave XULA a sweep of all four GCAC fall championships. The men's and women's cross country teams repeated as conference titlists Oct. 22 — 10th in a row for each. Volleyball secured the regular-season title, also the sixth in a row for XULA, by winning at Southern-New Orleans Oct. 20.

Alabama State Wins First Ever SWAC Soccer Championship

RAIRIE VIEW, Texas – For the third time on four seasons, No. 3 Alabama State made an appearance in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Soccer Championship game. The third time was a charm for the Hornets as they defeated No. 4 Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the school’s first ever tournament crown.

Ariela Lewis scored both goals for ASU with one assisted by her twin sister Aaliyah.Alabama State University
2016 SWAC Soccer Champions

Sunday afternoon marked the first championship for ASU head coach Jodie Smith who just completed his  10th season.

Ariela put the Hornets in the scoring column first at the 24 minute giving her team a 1-0 lead. Mercedes Padilla assisted on the game’s first score. Ariela would again strike for ASU at the 65 minute mark expanding the lead 2-nill.

Gianna Guyot led ASU (11-9-1)  with six saves while UAPB (8-8-2) was led by Makayla Cowles and her four saves.  

UAPB outshot the Hornets 12-10 with Karissa Fenwick and Allison Herrin both finishing with three attempts each.

The Golden Lions would not go away quietly. The same team that eliminated top-seeded Howard Friday scored on a penalty kick at the 73 minute mark from Maria Jean.

Alabama State will now await its fate for the NCAA Soccer Tournament.

Iman Shumpert Delivers His Daughter With His Bare Hands
By: Naturally Triece

Teyana Taylor and her NBA baller fiancé Iman Shumpert now have even more reason to celebrate, being that their new baby girl has finally come into this world. On December 16th, Wednesday, the couple gave birth to their daughter, Iman Shumpert Jr. in the bathroom of their home. Shumpert conducted the delivery himself.

Taylor described the birth of their child via Instagram on Thursday, posting an image of the newborn baby – nicknamed Junie – while her father held her.

The birth came as a big surprise, only three weeks before January 16th, 2016, which was her expected due date as the couple had once shared. Taylor says that she didn’t even know that she was in labor until she felt her daughter’s head and had a fast delivery at home in the bathtub. Shumpert handled the birth with his bare hands.

Check out the heartfelt caption that Taylor left under her new born baby’s image:

On Dec 16th at 6:42am in our bathroom Junie decided she wanted to take her first breath into this world. She came out as a wonderful surprise to everyone! Not knowing I was in labor until I felt her head…it took two ten count pushes with my fiancé playing Dr and she entered this world into his bare hands! Eyes full of tears and barely able to speak to the emergency operator @imanshumpert tied a pair of red headphones around the umbilical cord and the ambulance made there grand entrance 5 min later. She opened her eyes right away, gazed into mine and never cried! He handed her to me wrapped in our bath towel and wiped her face for me to see what LOVE really is. She has blown Christmas away! Our family is complete. Her blueprint will be unmatched. Welcome Iman Tayla Shumpert Jr. Mommy carried you. Daddy delivered you.#MeetTheParents we love you baby girl

Taylor and Shumpert got engaged in November after Shumpert proposed with a ruby engagement ring on the night of Taylor’s baby shower.

Wow! So beautiful! Congratulations to Iman and Teyana on the birth of their new baby girl!

Gilbert Arenas Makes Disgusting & Sexist Comments About The WNBA


The 2015 WNBA season came to a close back in October, with the Minnesota Lynx winning their third title in the past five years. While many celebrated, ex-NBA baller Gilbert Arenas offered up some advice to the professional basketball league that left many outraged.

“Odd” is not the best word to describe Arenas’ take on the WNBA. Instead, you may want to use a word like “sexist,” or even “disgusting.”

Just this past Tuesday, the ex-player posted a video to his Instagram account of scantily clad women playing basketball. In the caption, Arenas took it upon himself to say, “NOW this is what america was hoping for when they announced the #WNBA back in 1996… not a bunch of chicks running around looking like, cast members from #orangeisthenewblack.”

The comments only seemed to go from bad to worse!

Mike Bass, the spokesman of the NBA spoke in regards to Arenas’ ignorant comments.

“Gilbert Arenas’s comments are repugnant, utterly disrespectful and flat-out wrong,” Bass said. “WNBA players are strong, talented and determined individuals who give it their all on the court and serve as inspiring role models to millions around the world. They should be celebrated for their accomplishments, not disparaged with ignorant insults.”

‘New York Liberty’ star, Swin Cash, shared her thoughts on Arenas’ remarks, saying:

“People keep sending me this Gilbert arenas post, but I don’t care! He obviously needs a hug& attention so y’all give it to him!”

To top off all of that foolery, Arenas pre-emptively lashed out, claiming that the people who were calling his comments sexist were “9 times out of 10” the ugly ones.

This foolish man, who is still somewhat of a public figure, obviously has a little bit too much time on his hands. His comments were in no way amusing.

Let’s just pray for him.

The Everyday Man's Sports BlogFollow Mike Patton aka The General as he puts his thoughts in on sports.

The Bulls Are Following Jimmy Butler’s Lead

Derrick Rose was once the toast of the city. He was the hometown boy making good and leading this Bulls team back to the top of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. But after leading the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, there has been a steady fall in his play. Of course injuries led to a good portion of that fall, but he just has not been able to reach the same level he was before. The team that he was once the leader of has become accustomed to playing without Rose while his various injuries have kept him on the sideline mostly during the past four seasons. One player that grew the most while Rose was injured was guard Jimmy Butler. The athletic swingman out of Marquette was seldom used in his first season. But as time has gone on, Butler has gotten better and better each year. Going into his contract season in 2014-2015, Butler took it up another notch. He averaged 20 points a game and was still the defensive stalwart that many were used to seeing. His play had him being mentioned as one of the top two-way players in the NBA. All while Butler was rising, Rose was still trying to get it figured out once again. He was making things happen on an inconsistent level. Sure, he had some games where he looked spectacular and then he had others where he looked like he was laboring. The toll of the injuries just looked like they had worn on his body.

Despite some delaying on their part, the Bulls made the decision that signing Jimmy Butler to a five-year max contract was in their best interest. And he has shown that last year was not a fluke. Despite a change in system (the Bulls fired defensive-minded coach Tom Thibodeau for more offensive-minded Fred Hoiberg), Butler is still putting up similar numbers to last year. Consequently, Rose is still being the inconsistent player that he has been over the past few year. The glimpses of what he used to be are still there. But so are the times where he looks like he is laboring on the court. There used to be a time when Rose was considered the leader of this team. The Bulls level of success would ride or die on the shoulders of the hometown kid. But as time as went on, the dynamic has changed. Gone are the times when the Bulls are depending on Rose so much that they falter when he is inconsistent. And just like those times have passed, so have Rose’s quiet leadership of the team. The change has been evident on the court all season: Jimmy Butler is now the leader of this team. Amazingly, no one really expected Jimmy to ever reach this level when he was drafted 30th in the 2011 NBA Draft. But through hard work and determination, he has made himself into the most indispensable player on this Bulls’ roster. And he has also become the guy the Bulls look to in the fourth quarter when closing out games. Gone are the days of leaning on Rose when the time comes to finish off a team.

Derrick Rose has not come into a new chapter in his career. He is still one the highest-paid player on this Bulls team, but he is not the guy that leads them anymore. Unfortunately injuries took away from what he once was. In preseason practice, he suffered a broken orbital bone in practice that caused him to miss the preseason. He did not miss any regular season games, as he returned opening night wearing a mask. The result of the orbital bone fracture is double vision that he continues to battle every game. He recently shed the mask, but admitted that the double-vision is still there. But even with the injury, Rose’s role with this team was going to change. Gone are the days when things began and ended with his offense. Now he has to co-exist with another playmaker in his backcourt in Butler. And even he has probably realized that Jimmy is the focal point of this team. For virtually his entire career since Simeon high school, Rose has been the guy with the ball in his hands. With his current situation in Chicago, Rose now has to learn how to pick his spots. He will not be bringing the ball up the court or initiating the offense as he once used to all the time. Some of those responsibilities now fall on the shoulders of Jimmy Butler. But one thing that Rose can do with Butler as the focal point is work on his movement without the basketball. That is one part of the game Rose has never really had to work on coming up. The ball always used to be in his hands. If he is able to work on things like that when the ball is not in his hands, then it will make him a better player.

It seems like yesterday when Rose was the man for the Bulls. Now that torch has been passed to Jimmy Butler. Butler is the one the Bulls follow. Rose is still an effective point guard, but the inconstancies and injuries have taken that time away. Now he has to accept that he will not be the focal point at all times. And if he is able to master that concept and pick his spots for this team, they will be better because of it.

For more sports talk, feel free to follow me on Twitter or check me out on Facebook.

The 4 Reasons Why Giving up Alcohol and Coffee Was Worth It

I haven't had a single drop of alcohol or coffee in exactly 15 months. A couple of my friends on Facebook and Twitter asked me to write about my experience, so here it is in a nutshell. With more than a year of no alcohol and coffee, I did notice some side effects.

More Money

After two months, I noticed that I had $1000 more in my bank account. Yes, that's a lot, but do the math, and you'll realize it's actually not that much. I live in New York. In order to spend $1000 on alcohol, I only have to spend $33 every day. Assume that I have two to three cocktails every other day (which are $10 each without tip), include some wine bottles every month to have at home, and I can easily spend $1000.

Some might consider this alcoholism, but trust me when I say that having one to two drinks every day in New York is more than normal. Also, going out for drinks means that the occasional dinner and snacks out also happens more frequently. You don't just drink. You get hungry and buy some food, and before you notice, you spend $1000.

Less Gossip

If there is one thing I noticed quite early, it's the lack of social interaction my new diet brought with it. Here is what happened: I didn't really go out anymore. It's exhausting to explain again and again why​ I didn't drink and to say "NO, one drink is not okay."

When people ask me to join them for drinks, I mostly default to "no" because I don't want to deal with gossip as a sober person. If I do go for drinks, I last maximum one hour because that's how long my attention span as a sober person lasts in a group of drunk people.

While I was never a party animal, not drinking alcohol made me go out even less. It's amazing to see the culture of drinking slowly fading away from your life. It made me realize how many friendships are actually based mostly on our drinking habits.

"Let's go for a drink" is so ingrained in our lives. Who says, "Hey, let's just meet up as sober people and talk about stuff"? Why would you do that? "Let's get a drink" needs no explanation. It's a thing. Everyone knows what happens next.

Better Sleep Quality

Removing alcohol from my diet increased my sleep quality drastically. You sure do fall asleep easier with one to two glasses of beer or wine, but the actual quality might suffer. Now I sleep better, and I wake up with more energy. Before my mornings were always ruined: Even if I only had two beers at night, I could feel it. (If you're in your early 20s, ignore this. It doesn't affect you yet.)

Less Panic, Less Stress

This might be something more personal and not relatable, but removing coffee from my diet helped me become more relaxed. Coffee always made me stressed out. It increased my chance of becoming anxious and also f*cked up my digestion. Not only does removing coffee and caffeine from my diet make more relaxed, I also poop like a king.

I love the smell and taste of coffee, so now an occasional decaf does the trick. I also drink tea—iced in the summer, regular in the winter. I found that "going for a coffee" turned out to be more of a social activity than the actual craving for coffee. Keep the social habit; replace coffee with something else.

Overall, I'm very happy about my decision and have no desire to start drinking again. I'm also not telling you to do the same. If you're happy with how things are going, don't change anything. I changed my habits out of curiosity, and I like how it turned out.

P.S.: Before someone asks: I do not smoke cigarettes. I also don't smoke weed. I also don't take any drugs whatsoever. (I have the Internet. That's addiction enough for me.)

Yours truly,

This article was original published on Medium and reprinted with the author's permission. Tobias Van Schneider is the co-founder ofSemplice, a new portfolio platform for designers, as well as the host of NTMY. Previously he served as the Design Lead at Spotify. If you enjoyed this article, sign up for his personal weekly email list to read more.

The Devil and his bride continues…………….

By L.A. Batchelor

NORTH CAROLINA – Sure the Kentucky Wildcats have a National Championship under current head coach John Calipari and they have had and will have lots of blue chip recruits to not just add to the fold but to reload for Final Four aspirations yearly. But is Kentucky heading towards the fate of UMASS and Memphis who were also led by Mr. Calipari down the road of embarrassment, shame and NCAA violations? Almost 7 years ago I wrote an article on the coach and the program seemingly on the path of UNRIGHTEOUSNESS yet a marriage on a collision course to happen and it did. Read below:

The Devil and his bride are finally together
Calipari and Kentucky: A match made in hoops hell

by L.A. Batchelor at [email protected]
POSTED: Apr 4, 2009

On Tuesday, March 31st, 2009, Lucifer and his bride consummated their marriage to the sum of a eight-year, $35 million deal.

That's right, the University of Kentucky signed former UMass and Memphis men's basketball coach John Calipari to a long term marriage to lead their basketball program back to basketball royalty.

Calipari brings a legacy of Final Four appearances to a program that hasn't made to that kind of prominence in well over a decade. But he also brings elements of lies, deceit, recruiting violations, a poor graduation rate of students, arrogance and anger among his peers.

This actually works for Kentucky because of their history of racism, exclusion and elitism. I guess you can say this is a match made in.........................HELL!

Those at ESPN (Which stands for the Evil Sports Prick Network) like Dick Vitale, Digger Phelps and others would lead you to believe the hiring of Calipari is "The Best Fit" for Kentucky.

For me, the question is what does "The Best Fit" actually mean?

If it means Kentucky wants a coach with one of the lowest student basketball athlete graduation percentages in the country, then he is the best man for the job.

If it means Kentucky wants a coach who only recruits players who have great athletic ability, but poor academic ability, sign him up.

If it means Kentucky wants a coach who will make promises of success but leave the program before the high expectations are finished while also leaving the program filled with scandal, animosity, player departure and transfers, he's the guy.


Let's take a look at Calipari's college basketball career and trail of NCAA violations:

UMass: The Minute Men rose to prominence during the 1995-96 season when they were ranked No. 1 and made a run to the Final Four only to see it tarnished after it was reported that Marcus Camby took $40,000 from an agent.

It led to Calipari's quick exit out of UMass to the south to take on another program with a history of scandal -- Memphis (formerly known as Memphis State), who had their own scandal and violations back in 1985.

The Tigers' basketball program turned in paperwork Thursday to report a possible minor NCAA violation after learning that Dave Bronczek, the president/CEO of FedEx and a prominent Tiger booster, placed a phone call to an employee whose son is being recruited by the school.

Though a FedEx spokesman said the call was "congratulatory" in nature and Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson characterized it as an "innocent mistake," boosters are prohibited by the NCAA from having contact with recruits or their parents.

Calipari said he had no knowledge that Bronczek was planning on making the phone call. Yeah ok. I guess he had no knowledge of Marcus Camby taking $40,000 from an agent too.

Now, he goes to a school with a pedigree of racial discrimination, hate, violations and scandal. A school that has a past of inequality and injustice that represents a state that supported the very same practice.

That's ok for Calipari. He is like the medicine man going city to city with tap water, pretending to heal the sick only for the citizens to find out he or she was a fraud after he moved on to another city filled with more suckers.

He is the attractive man or woman you meet and fall in love with, only to find out the time you spent with them that felt so magical, was actually a one night stand or a short term feeling of passion.....on their part.

He cares about his success, his family and his money at the detriment of the black athlete that cares about the same things but is prohibited from those things unless he eventually left college to "play for pay".

So if you are a school/university that wants the "quick fix", the glits, glamour, the marquee name and a coach that cares more about kids with a basketball in their hands rather than a book, then Calipari, or other coaches like him are the best qualified for you which is very evident the Wildcats when making this shady person their leader of men.

That was nearly 7 years ago and I know what you are saying…… He has brought home a National Championship, no issues at Kentucky thus far and even UMASS decided they would retire a jersey in honor of Calipari to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the university’s 1996 appearance in the men’s basketball Final Four, when he was at the helm of that team.

First , shame on UMASS for celebrating someone who has brought ruin and shame to your program. Let’s not forget that The N.C.A.A. found years ago that Calipari’s star player, Marcus Camby, had accepted large sums of cash and services, not the least the ministrations of a prostitute, from a couple of scalawag agents. The N.C.A.A. fined the university $151,000 and forced the Minutemen to vacate postseason victories and the Final Four appearance. Calipari at the time pronounced himself shocked and surprised.

The N.C.A.A. fined the university $151,000 and forced the Minutemen to vacate postseason victories after finding that Marcus Camby, far left, had accepted gifts from an agent.

At Memphis, he reeled in Derrick Rose, a superior talent and gifted athlete who currently plays guard for the Chicago Bulls. A guard in college at Memphis who passed the SAT test because someone else took the test for him.

The N.C.A.A. stripped Memphis of a season’s worth of wins and Calipari said essentially these accusations were shocking. The N.C.A.A., again, held him guiltless.

On October 7, 2011, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal reported that on May 28, 2010, John Calipari, Derrick Rose, and University of Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson reached a $100,000 out of court settlement  with three attorneys who represented Memphis season ticket holders and threatened a lawsuit over the vacated 2007–08 season. Also as part of the settlement, Calipari donated his near-$232,000 bounes  to the Memphis scholarship fund.

In the end John Calipari has a group of enablers called players, coaches and the NCAA. All are guilty to falling to his carishma, charm and obvious people/coaching skills. They believe or want to believe in the man as a coach, a father figure and realist when he tells his kids to go pro based on their skill set and the kids he has waiting to replace them. He smiles and shakes hands with parents telling them I will “Protect your son as my own” when he really means “own” in terms of cattle plowing the field on a slave plantation. When he smiles and winks at the reporter covering the program he coaches and gives the tickets to the NBA Scout coming to see one of his high flying talent live on television worldwide.

No Coach Calipari is not guilty alone, as I stated he has enablers. But what John Calipari is primarily guilty of is the explotation of so many African American males who are looking for ways out to feed their families. Not just a mom and dad but syblings who cheer for them and hope for a brighter future. He is not coaching a lot of kids who Ideally could have played at Duke, North Carolina or UCLA, he is coaching thos e who look for a way out not of poverty and strife not a way to help it. Those who know how it feels to hope for their next meal not pay for it. The kids that want programs to get away from gang violence not kids who create programs to prevent it.

Coach Cal is an opportunist and quite frankly if you shake his hand, count your fingers. For those who are fans of his and fans of Kentucky, Memphis and UMASS who support him and think I am being to harsh or wrong, look up THE REAL NUMBERS. I am sure if I received over 1000 emails, much of which were telling me I know nothing about Kentucky, some calling me the “N” word, etc………..It’s ok, I am a big boy, I can handle it and I will respond to each and every one of the emails.

As I ended the article, I will end it again by saying : So if you are a school/university that wants the "quick fix", the glits, glamour, the marquee name and a coach that cares more about kids with a basketball in their hands rather than a book, then Calipari, or other coaches like him are the best qualified for you which is very evident the Wildcats when making this shady person their leader of men.

Thanks to Sports of The Time by Michael Powell

And The Boston Globe

To Contact LA Batchelor, email him at [email protected] or [email protected]

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Or [email protected]



Gary Norris Gray

"YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME"- Herm Edwards stated this many years ago in New York City but the following athletes never got a chance or will never get a chance to prove that they were the best in their sport. These twelve athletes would have broken many records if they had stayed healthy. Wish they all could go back in time and play the game they loved again.

Hip Pointer

Vincent Edward Jackson one of the greatest athletes of our time could not continue because his body would not allow him to play. Mr. Jackson played in two sports, baseball and football. It has only been done once since, Bo, that was done by Prime Time, Deion Sanders of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta Braves along with Dave DeBusschere of the New York Knicks and Detroit Tigers.

Jackson would run over players on the football field and climb walls on the baseball diamond. The body strength of this man still amazes many fans. He returned to baseball after hip surgery which was unheard of at that time. A healthy Bo Jackson would have shattered records in the National Football League and scared many Major League Baseball pitchers at the plate with his bat.

Within a month after Jackson injury in Cincinnati he was diagnosed with avascular necrosis of the hip joint which can be degenerative if it is not corrected quickly. He also lost cartilage in that damaged hip. Mr. Jackson could no longer play football and played baseball with the Chicago White Sox for a short time before retirement.

  1. Sandy Koufax
  2. Elbow
  3. Koufax was on of the first group of pitchers who moved from New York to California who starred for both the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. Arthritis took out one of the best pitchers of our times with 165 wins and World Series victories. He pitched a no hitter and received the triple crown of pitching for three years in a row ERA (earn run average), wins, and strikeouts dominating the game between 1961-1964.

  1. Tiger Woods-


    Mr. Woods could have been the greatest golfers of all times with his determination on the golf course. He won a major on a broken leg, "how many players have done that?" but a broken marriage, a broken will, and a bad back stopped him at 17 Majors victories. Woods is three major victories behind the legend Jack Nicklaus. Father Time is catching up with Tiger Woods and Father Time is undefeated.

  1. Warren Wells

Substance abuse, Mental issues, and Arrest

Warren Wells would have broken many records if he had played at least three more years. He was one of the best Oakland Raiders wide receivers to ever wear the Black and Silver. He played two complete seasons in Oakland Alameda County Coliseum lighting up the scoreboard..The Mad Bomber, quarterback Daryl Lamonica and Warren Wells stretched defenses to their limits and forced coaches to use a disguised zone, which was illegal. He lead the league with receiving yards 1,260 and average over 20 plus yards per catch with the old AFL-NFL rules of defenders clutching and grabbing receivers all the way down the field. Now imagine Warren Wells playing in the NFL today he would be a fantasy football God. Rest In Peace Brother Wells. 

  1. Mario Lemieux

Back, Cancer, Disc, Hip flexor

Super Mario thought he was the second coming of number 99 Wayne Gretzky wearing the number 66, "The Magnificent One" or Le Magnifique played consistently in the shadows of number 99. The Pittsburgh Penguins would win five Stanley Cups, and Mario won the MVP and scoring championship. He was a multiple All Star, but it seemed like it was not enough.

The difference between Gretzky and Lemieux were clear. Number 99 scored goals fast with his speed and grace on the ice, number 66 would pile drive his way to the net camping out at the slot (goal crease) waiting for a pass from his teammates using his size to score moving opponents away from him . In his later years he would enter the offensive zone and head straight for the net area and not move until the puck came close to him.

He is still the only player to score five different ways in one game. A power play goal, a shorthanded goal, a even strength goal, an empty net goal, and a penalty shot. It has not happen again.

Lemieux would miss two full season and retired twice because of the body pain. Even if he played those two seasons he might not have scored enough goals to catch Gretzky.

  1. Michelle Wie

Wrist, Bone chips, Neck, Back, Knee, and Ankle

The pressure was put on this young woman at an early age to perform every time she stepped on the golf course. Following in her mother Bo, who won the amateur woman's championship in South Korea 1985. Michelle followed in her mother's footsteps with her golf clubs at the age of four. In 2000 Wie became the youngest golfer to qualify for the U.S. Open and the youngest to make the cut in 2003.

Ms. Wie has won five LPGA Ladies Professional Golfing Association Championships but many more could have been won if Michelle had participated in more women's tour then men. Many golf fans insist that Wie's playing tournaments with men caused her to change her swing, creating the mounting injuries. Emulating the unusual torque of a golf swing by Tiger Woods.

Cannot believe that Michelle Wie will be 30 years old this year and might be moving on from golf as she marries Jerry West's son Johnnie West the second weekend of August in Beverly Hills, California.

  1. Roger Maris

Broken hand, a Bone chip, Hip bone bruise

Maris seem to always be the third or fourth famous player in New York Yankee pinstripes behind The Babe, Gehrig, and The Mick. Maris had to deal with an unforgiving New York press corps even though he broke Babe Ruth's single season home run record. The press would not leave him alone until the single season home run record was broken, the press would not let Roger forget he had more games to reach the 61 plateau. Roger Maris retired a St. Louis Cardinal which did not set well with many New Yorkers because it was the direct National League rival to the Bronx Bombers.

Hitting 275 carrier home runs, not enough, hitting 61 homers in one season, not enough. This is the legacy of a farm boy from Minnesota.

  1. Ray Emery

Hip, Torn abdominal muscles,

Sugar Ray-Ray Emery got the name because of his fighting skills on the ice, a.k.a. Sugar Ray Robinson. He was one of my favorite goalies because of his style of play in the nets. He made me a Ottawa Senator fan for life. Ray Emery was one of the first goalies to combine the butterfly style with the standard stand up goalie style. Goal scorers could not figure out the best way to score against him, high or low. This skill kept him in the league.

Emery could not shake the backup role even after the record breaking start in 2005-06 win nine wins in a row his rookie season. He also won 17 in a row in Chicago when he first arrived with the Blackhawks. Where-ever he went he won consistently in Ottawa, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Anaheim but as a backup.

Ray had to defend himself year after year and would not back off of any fight. He became famous after the donnybrook in Buffalo where he took on the Sabre goaltender in the middle of the ice.

The League also showed its racial difficulties and started to change its attitude toward Black Goalies. In the 1950-60's the worst skater would end up in net. Emery and the new Black goalie infusion changed this attitude with their skilled skating in the 1970's. The league knew that goalies were the new stars of the game just as quarterbacks in the National Football League and Black skaters had to be limited. Emery was the first salvo in this unwritten limitation by the league to control Black goalies, even though Sugar Ray won he would be shipped (traded) from team to team and never maintaining the starting position. This cost him victories with the inconsistencies from moving from team to team.

Emery had the same medical issues that Bo Jackson had but the doctors caught the disease in time for him to return to the ice. "The Razor," (his second name) still missed a season because of this serious injury and never returned to full strength the rest of his carrier.

In Ray Emery style he won six in a row in Anaheim leading the Ducks to the playoffs and repeated in Chicago getting the Hawks to the playoffs. Sugar Ray is one of the most underrated goalies of our times. Rest in Peace Brother Ray Emery.

  1. J.R. Richard

Stroke, Blood clot

J. R. Richard on the mound for the Houston Astros in the 1980 was a scary sight because of his size, his long arms, and his fast ball. Richard was the original Big Unit before there was Randy Johnson. The lanky tall right hander hid the ball during delivery and this drove batters crazy because they could not pick up the ball before it cross home plate. Richard could also be wild as batters dove for the dirt on many occasions.

Richard was an all-star at a very young age and would bounce from minors to majors many times because of his inconsistent control on the mound. Once J.R. found his stride nobody could stop him in 1976-81, leading the league in strikeouts, ERA,  and hits allowed per nine innings.

A blood clot in his neck caused a stroke and almost ended his life. The Houston Astros and Richard fought over his physical health before the stroke in 1980. He complained to the Houston medical staff that he had a dead arm that felt heavy. The Astros organization did not believe him and told him to keep pitching. He is lucky the medical staff at the Astrodome acted quickly to get medical attention. J.R. was on the road to breaking the major league record for strikeouts. It would not happen because Richard was never the same after the stroke.

  1. Eric Lindros

Concussions, Ribs

This is a classic example of a spoiled brat with great hockey skills. Eric Lindros was one of the biggest men in hockey at six feet four inches and over two hundred fifty pounds. He was truly a power forward that played center. He would bounce defenders off the boards with this big body. Lindros would not listen to doctors, teammates, and coaches about his health and playing time. This would get him into trouble time and time again.

Lindros was drafted by the Quebec Nordiques in 1991 in the Entry Draft which he did not want to wear the sky blue and white because the team happened to be in last place and in Canada. He wanted to be a star in the United States. The Nordiques finally traded him to Philadelphia where he became a superstar. He would score a point a game which was incredible at the time.

Lindros would also use his big body to score goals in tight spots and became the captain of the famous "Legion of Doom" leading them to the playoffs for the first time in six years. The joy in Philly orange did not last long. After seven years in Philadelphia Lindros' health began to take a tailspin and a fight with general manager Bobby Clarke did not help. In a game in Nashville Lindros suffered a rib injury. The club wanted him to fly back to Philadelphia; but teammates instead took him to a local hospital and saved his life.

Two years later New Jersey Devils defenseman Scott Stevens lowered his shoulder and ran into Eric in the middle of the ice in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals creating his second concussion in a week. The Flyers lost game seven and Lindros was traded to the New York Rangers the following spring. The injury bug would not shake Lindros with three more concussions in New York.

Lindros would play for the Toronto Maple Leafs in another contract disputed season he broke his wrist creating another issue as Eric would leave Canada for his last team, the Dallas Stars.

Lindros could have scored a goal a game the rest of his carrier if he had stayed healthy.

  1. Carey Price

Knee, Groin, MCL sprain, Concussion, Fatigue

If this player had played 80% of his game he would be leading the league in victories and games played taking over the lead from Hall of Fame All Star New Jersey Devil goaltender Martin Brodeur. It would not happen.

Carey Price took the mantle from Patrick Roy in Montreal and should be the number one goalie in the number of wins but every year Price missed games due to injury. In 2015 Price missed 70 games with a knee injury this has been the story for this butterfly defending goalie his whole carrier.With all of these injuries he has won over 270 games with one team, The Montreal Canadiens. Price has always been number one and did not have to fight to regain his starting position unlike other goalies.

This man had a heavy load following in the footsteps of Hall of Fame Hab goalie Patrick Roy. Roy started the butterfly goalie craze and Price just continued it in Canada. The end is coming near for number 31 the last question will be can he reach 300 victories without another injury?

12. Daunte Culpepper 

Torn Ligaments, ACL, MCL, Shoulder

The National Football League wanted a big, strong, tall quarterback and in 1999 Daunte Culpepper was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings. In the 1999 draft which featured Donovan McNabb, Culpepper would also joined the professional ranks. One year later he would pass for over 3, 000 yards and 33 touchdowns a good start for the young quarterback. Because of his height he could survey the field throwing to the open receiver. He also had the firepower of a James Harris as the ball flew down the field. If he did this every year he would have sooner or later lead the league in passing. This is one instance that being a pocket quarterback would have protected him from injury.

Then the EA Sports Madden Curse (cover of the video game) struck and Culpepper had three bad seasons in a row and injuries kept piling up. The curse was that if your photo appeared on the cover of the Madden Video Football Game you were going to have a very bad year. It happened to Daunte the next three years, Culpepper did not preform well on the field and it cost him a contract in Minnesota. Also the fact of being a Black quarterback did not help.

Then came the cruise boat incident in the off season and things would never be the same. The charges of lewd conduct on the boat with his teammates were dropped but Culpepper's days in Minnesota were numbered. He would get traded to Miami and fight for the starting job the rest of his carrier.

While in Miami he had his knee scoped to clean out the bone chips floating in the knee. New head coach Nick Saban put him on I.R. Injured reserve. Culpepper could not get his starting job back with the Dolphins and it cost him another year.

Culpepper would sit on the bench in the backup role in Oakland under new head coach Lane Kiffin wasting his talent, again. The Raiders were going nowhere fast as starter Josh McCown went down with an injury in game three. The Raiders were also negotiating a contract with JaMarcus Russell at the same time. Complete confusion with the team by the bay. Culpepper would not finish the season in Oakland with another injury off the field after game 15. He never wore the Silver and Black again.

Number 11 retired for six months and waited for another chance at football, The Detroit Lions came calling and Daunte wanted to play. Culpepper started four games before the injury bug hit again. It might have been the best thing for him because the team went 0-16. This time the injury was his shoulder and this time was truly the end of a disappointing quarterback carrier.

Daunte Culpepper with his throwing skills and vision should have been one of the top three quarterbacks in the NFL. Bad luck, injuries, and bad decisions shortened his stay in professional sports.

These twelve athletes could have changed history if they had stayed healthy if they had listen to doctors or their team coaches. Three of them still have a slim chance to make my wish come true.

Gary Norris Gray - Writer, Author, Historian, Gibbs Magazine-Oakland, California and New England Informer- Boston, Mass. THE GRAYLINE:- The Analects of A Black Disabled Man, The Gray Leopard Cove,  and The Batchelor News Radio Network, Disabled Community Activist. Email [email protected]

©Copyrighted Gary Norris Gray @ Gray Leopard Prod