Archive for February, 2012

Quality >>> Quantity: Or Why Teams Should Trade Up for RG3

Posted: February 29, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NFL

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Tougher Decision: Trading Up or Which Socks To Wear?

s I grow a little bit older and wiser, I have picked the brain of many gentlemen that have walked the road of life before me.  As I have gathered, specifically when it comes to women, quality is almost certainly held in higher esteem than quantity.  As a young boy, we tell ourselves “two nickels make a dime every time.”  Guys are taught to mess around with as many women as possible, and sometimes you have to sacrifice quality to get what satisfy your urges.  But what happens when you meet “The One?”  Don’t the other scalawags that you used to talk to fade into oblivion?  Do you even remember the memories (if you haven’t already blocked them) of drunken one-night stands or of you falling on the grenade for your friend?  From what I gathered you do not, unless you are reminiscing with your boys in your mancave, because the lady that is making your sandwich is all that is on your mind at the moment.

I have this same mindset for this year’s #2 pick in the draft, which everyone and their mother deems to be Robert Griffin III.  The best weapon in the draft by far, Griffin wowed scouts with his interviews and field tests at the Scouting Combine.  It is rumored that at least 5 teams are trying to trade with the Rams who currently have the #2 pick.  One of those teams happens to be my Washington Redskins.  While many Skins fans would love to have Griffin, some are wary that the cost might be too great to bear for the franchise in order to move up for him (one happens to be a reporter who makes up stories but I digress).  These fans say the Skins should not trade their picks (we are talking about at least two #1 picks and multiple mid-to-upper round picks this year or next), and they should trade down and fill out the depth chart in other areas.  The Browns are wary of trading their two #1 picks this year for Griffin.

I find this scared thinking laughable.  Two nickels never make a dime.  Two role players don’t equal superstar and playmaker.  If you have a chance for a franchise guy, you go get him by any means necessary.  Let me prove it to you using 2 scenarios in my squad’s recent draft history.

Spending Too Much To Trade Up Is Crazy Talk

1999 Draft: This is arguably the greatest draft move by the Redskins in history (hopefully this draft will overturn that).  The Redskins got on the phone with crazy Mike Ditka of the New Orleans Saints, who was willing to trade his entire draft for Ricky Williams.  Yeah, Ricky.  The Skins pulled the trigger and received 8 draft picks, including the #1 and #3 in 2000.  Great trade for the Skins, so why did they only have one playoff win in 6 years after that?  Well, first off the Skins only draft 2 Pro-Bowlers with those picks.  Champ Bailey and Lavar Arrington were benchmark players for Washington.  In fact, the Skins only took 3 Pro Bowls in the 1999 and 2000 draft (Chris Samuels is the other player).But the Skins didn’t get enough value with all of the picks.  No game breaking receiver or running back.  No quarterback that would be a born leader (Tom Brady was selected in 2000 in the 6th round).  To compare, the Rams traded draft picks to the Colts in 1999, for Marshall Faulk.  Rams made out well with that trade.

2008 Draft:  After a decade of misjudging the value of the draft, the Skins finally maneuvered themselves to get 10 draft picks, you know to fill out the roster.  The Redskins picked great role players like 2 receivers and a tight end, an offensive lineman, and punter.  Amazing.  And how is this for a fact, only one player from that draft is on the team (Fred Davis), and he could very well be kicked off the club for drug usage.  What makes it hurt even more for Skins fans is that they could have chosen Jordy Nelson, Desean Jackson, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles (all 2nd round choices), Brandon Carr, Peyton Hillis, Carl Nicks, and Pierre Garcon.  They could have had all of that without trading!!!  Redskins had 10 pennies, couldn’t even turn it into one dime.

Now I’m not saying that trading up always works.  Redskins did very well trading down last season.  Atlanta traded up to get Julio Jones for a playoff run, that turned into 2 points in the wild-card round.  The Cowboys traded Herschel Walker in 1989 for a bunch of picks, which turned into Emmit Smith, Alvin Harper, and Darren Woodson to say the least, which turned into 3 Super Bowl titles.  But I want to point something out.  Trading up for a receiver is not the same as trading up for a franchise quarterback.  The Cowboys had Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin already in the fold.

But If Done Right, Trading Up Works Wonders

Franchise quarterbacks are few and far between.  You can’t get by with a game manager, it’s not 2000 anymore.  You need a real quarterback to have a real chance to succeed (ask the Broncos).  The Patriots made the Super Bowl with a smoke and mirrors defense and no running back because of their all-world quarterback.  Alex Smith played at a pro-bowl level all season until the NFC Championship Game and look what happened. So for the Redskins, Browns, Seahawks, Dolphins, Cardinals, and that mystery team out there, that makes RGIII that much more valuable.  You have to pay the cost to be the boss.  But you will be surprised how much more complete your team can be with a franchise, game-changing quarterback, even though you may not have the draft picks anymore to complement him.  The Falcons traded up for Michael Vick and changed their franchise.  The Giants traded up for Eli Manning and they have 2 more Super Bowls in their trophy case.  So for general managers, remember two nickels never equal a dime just as draft picks may not equal a dynasty.

Remember to keep following the Mancave throughout the offseason for insights on what your team should do to improve themselves through the draft and free agency.

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Mark Calaway: Twilight of an American Hero

Posted: February 29, 2012 by arayegee in Wrestlemania, WWE

His government name may not ring a bell, but his stage name is one of the most recognizable in the history of sports entertainment. His slow walk down to the ring is as ominous and spine-tingling as the man himself. And his music is unmistakable. When that bell gong rings, its no question as to who is coming out. Since Stone Cold’s retirement, The Rock’s bolt to Hollywood, and Triple H’s new corporate role, Mark Calaway, better known as The Undertaker, has held the torch for what is remaining of  the infamous Attitude Era. For the past twenty years, he has been respected by his peers, feared by his opponents, and revered by the fans of the WWE.Since his WWE debut in 1990, he has been a dominating force in the wrestling industry. A 6’10, 300 pound giant with the agility and grace as a luchador and as powerful as anyone to step into the ring.  Countless World titles, Heavyweight championships, and Tag Team titles fill his resume.  His undefeated Wrestlemania streak of 19 wins and 0 losses is considered one of pro wrestling’s greatest accomplishments. To put it into perspective, his Wrestlemania victory total is equal to the amount of games won by the Washington Redskins over the past 3 seasons.

Many people wondered if The Undertaker would ever slow down. His finesse, his work ethic, his brutality, his aura were unshakable his entire career. He’s wrestled and defeated the likes of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, King Kong Bundy, Ric Flair, The Rock, and even CM Punk.  Had you seen him in 1994, you would have thought, in 2011, he’ hadnt aged a year. He has been THAT dominant.

The way the entire arena would go dark, and as the lights came back on, he would appear in the ring, staring down his helpless, unsuspecting prey.  The way he’d roll his eyes in his head, taunting his enemies.  The way he could  revive from a vicious beating in the middle of a match, deliver his own beatdown, and walk off victorious.

Wrestlemania 27 proved to be the first time we saw The Undertaker unmasked as Mark Calaway. The match, now on Youtube, was against an aging Triple H, and it started off just as violently as it ended.  (FYI: Wrestling isnt fake, its scripted. Just like the NBA was for the past 15 years. The athleticism, the talent, the precision, and the pain, is real. ) The Undertaker prevailed, but was carried out in a stretcher. He took punishment that you could tell he wasnt ready for, and  within minutes of the match, everybody knew it. The Deadman was a mere mortal in the ring, and his usually ice cold demeanor was replaced with a one of desperation.

This Wrestlemania 28 Hell in a Cell rematch against Triple H will likely be the last wrestling match of Mark Calaway’s historic career. His end, win or lose, will be the end of the the Attitude Era as we know it.  Those of us in our early to mid 20s grew up watching will no longer recognize the faces in the ring after this epic event. Both Triple H and The ageless “Phenom” has seen better days, and their 46 year old bodies know it. In fact, Id bet that ‘Taker’s body has known it for sometime now, its us that’s getting the late memo. All that the Undertaker has left to fight for is the preservation of his hallowed streak, and judging from last year’s fight, hes willing to go past what his body can take. Whatever happens in this match, lets pay homage to the Deadman.

LBJ

These Jerseys are Poop

It is clear that our game of the week for this week had to be none other than Knicks vs Heat. The game had all of the hype of a playoff game. Linsanity has been on a role, and this is the year Miami must win it all or they will be eternally slandered. Would the Heat stop Linsanity and the Knicks or would the Knicks put a halt to the Heat current winning streak?

Well, the game has concluded, and the Heat came away with another impressive double digit win defeating the Knicks 102-88. Probably the most impressive part of this game was the Heat team defense, and the Heat Big 3 dominating the game. Lin was held to under 10 points total while Bron, Wade, and Bosh all had at least 20 points. Not to mention LBJ was 2 ast and 1 reb from a tripe double.

What we have learned from this game is simply what we all knew once the Dallas Mavericks won the title last year. The Miami Heat will be best team in the NBA this year, and they will hold up the trophy at the end of the season. As my fellow mancaver dontbeskerrit stated prepare yourselves for the inevitable. LBJ gets himself a ring. Kind of anti-climatic, but hey its the NBA.

So prepare yourselves this weekend. Sit back open a couple of beers and enjoy the weekend of “no defense”. Otherwise known as 2012 All Star Weekend in Orlando. The only defense that will be going on this weekend will be the groupies blocking each other to be first in line for the after parties in Orlando. From TheManCave06 enjoy your weekend, and we hope you enjoyed this weeks Game Of The Week.

No Leadership!?

Posted: February 23, 2012 by LBC in NFL
Tags: , , , , ,
The Leaders

The Only Leader I see in Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys finished a disappointing 8-8 last season, and probably propelled the Giants to their second Super Bowl in four years by failing to win just one game. However, the off season is here and now we can evaluate all the things that went wrong for this team.

Recently Jason Hatcher a defensive scrub for the Cowboys speaks up, and says their is no leadership in the locker room. Demarcus Ware replies saying there are all different kinds of leaders such as silent leaders. Of course Jason Garrett steps in, and says there are all different kinds of leaders on the team. That we are compromised of players who lead in different ways. Basically saying there is leadership, but it is not the leadership you normally see.  That is complete *delete expletive*.

First of all, I have been saying for the past two years that this team has no leadership, and most of all no identity. This wouldn’t be a problem if Jason Garrett was an actual Head Coach and commanded respect from his players, and established a team identity. When you play the Steelers, Ravens, 49ers, Giants, Patriots, Packers, etc… you know what type of game you are in for. What do you expect when you are about to play the Dallas Cowboys? For a franchise with 5 Super Bowls and many HOF’s these current players have no pride in wearing the star on their helmet.

There is not one leader in the Dallas Cowboys locker room! This includes Tony Romo, Demarcus Ware etc… Every team needs that one person in the locker room that can pull the team together when a collapse is underway. It doesn’t matter whether they play on offense or defense, he just pulls the team together and holds everyone accountable. The Head Coach (*cough Jason Garrett*) needs to take on this role as only he can get players to buy into his philosophy and get them to play 100% 17 weeks for 60 minutes.

Seeing this make the news made me sick especially coming from the people who spoke. Someone in that locker room needs to step up, and call people out. Not everyone has the credibility to do this. In order to call people out you have got to have the respect of others. Jason Hatcher is respected by no one. Hence his statements mean nothing.

So to all you TheManCave06 readers thanks for the support, and be on the lookout for a NFL series coming this Spring/Summer. “Fixing your NFL team”.

3-pt Play: Time To Start Playing Like A Champion

Posted: February 20, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NBA

I had the privilege of watching the world champion Dallas Mavericks live on Friday night in Philadelphia.   After a lethargic 1st half, the Mavs, led by Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki thrashed the 76ers in the 2nd half.  Nowitzki scored 28 points, 24 after the half, while the Mavs held the Sixers to 24 2nd half points.  An impressive, championship effort by the Mavs, who had been playing at a high level  This wasn’t the type of effort that you saw from Dallas at the beginning of the season, when Dallas started 1-5.

However, I cannot let the Mavs, specifically Dirk slide on this one.  A couple of weeks ago, Dirk admitted to being out of shape heading into the season and needed to take 5 games off to get into playing shape.  Most of the national media said that the lockout had disrupted his offseason conditioning and that it would take a vet like Dirk and the rest of the Mavs some time to get into proper playing condition.  Are you kidding me?  You are the defending NBA Champion and you can’t come into the season ready to defend your title?  Could you ever see Kobe ever not being ready to defend his title?  If LeBron came into this season not ready to bring the Heat back to the Finals he would be crucified.  However Dirk gets a pass.  He even got an invite to the All-Star Game, one that he said himself that he didn’t deserve to go to.  It’s amazing that an NBA Champion has disrespected his position as the Top Dog for a summer of drinking Heinken and who knows what else.

However, Dirk has gotten his game together.  Over the last 8 games he is averaging 24.8 points, up 6 points from his season average and even 2 points better than his career average.  His improved play has help the Mavericks get back into the contender column in the NBA.  They play great defense as is, Lamar Odom hasn’t shown up, and Delonte West is hurt for a while.  If they keep up their play and get their horses back and righted, they could be threat yet again.  It’s about time they started playing like the champs that they are.  Other thoughts going into this week.

– It’s Insanity to Say Melo Can’t Play With Lin: Jeremy Lin did it again on Sunday with a 28 point, 14-assist effort in a bounce back win over the Mavericks.  He displayed everything that America (really, the world) has fallen in love with, capped by his swagger when he lined Nowitzki up for a dagger 3-pointer.  The Knicks scored 104 points against one of the better defensive teams in the league.  They are back on track going into this daunting week (Nets, Hawks and Heat).  Even better, they will get Carmelo Anthony back.  That’s right, I said the Knicks will be better with Carmelo Anthony.

All you have been hearing is that Melo will ball-stop Linsanity.  That Melo’s game and Lin’s game will not mesh.  People need to stop basing basketball opinion on Sportscenter highlights.  Let me describe to you the Knicks before Lin: A team with no point guard (Melo played point-forward, eesh), no consistent outside shooters, and Amare who may have the same ups as me at this point in his career.  The squad was a mess on offense.  Now here comes Lin, who executes D’Antoni’s system very well.  He has great chemistry with Tyson Chandler on the pick-and-roll.  He is an offensive threat, especially when he gets in the paint.  He shares the ball and gets everyone the pill where they want it so they have the best ability to score.  So why would Carmelo mess that up?

The problem with Carmelo this season is that he hasn’t had someone like Lin to get him the ball where he wants it, where he can be the most dangerous.  Lin has been getting trapped by opponents, which has helped produce a lot of turnovers.  You think that’s going to happen with Carmelo on the floor?  How dangerous would a Lin-Chandler pick and roll with Carmelo on the wing for a jumper?  I can’t wait to see this show.

What has truly been annoying about the Linsanity is that people refuse to let things play out; they must guess after 1 game (or after one Sportscenter highlight).  In this case, Carmelo hasn’t even been on the floor!  Let’s let this situation play out before we cast judgment.  You may be pleasantly surprised.

We Watch So You Don’t Have To: What’s up with these jerseys this season?  From the Hornet’s Mardi Gras jerseys they wore in the Garden on Friday, the Heat’s ABA throwbacks with pink trim, to the Grizzlies ABA abominations, its been a bad year for alternative gear.  But can I get a Chicago Zephyrs appearance at least once for my Wizards?  If you can’t win, at least look bad in style, that’s all I’m saying.  But whatever J.R. Smith was doing on Sunday with his Full Force-haircut, that ain’t what I’m talking about.

 

3-pt Play: So Now That Football Is Out of the Way…

Posted: February 14, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in NBA

If only we didn’t have the image of a blond-hair, blue-eyed Messiah imbedded in our heads, maybe we could start calling Jeremy Lin Basketball Jesus.  Well, I know David Stern is calling him that and he is Jewish.  Lin hit the court running in the right city, at the right time for a league that didn’t seem to be all that exciting this season (only 2 teams have improved their field-goal percentage from last year).  Now with all eyes on the association, people would have seen how bad basketball (if not dramatic) was being shoved out for fans on a night-in, night-out basis.

Then Basketball Jesus came to save the NBA from its sins (a dumb 66-game season instead of a 60-game season).

I won’t go into specifics of his on-court miracles (see this great article for that).  I won’t even begin to guess how long he will be here at this level with us.  I know he is not perfect with his 4.6 turnovers in this 5-game stretch as starter, but he is a playmaker that the Knicks needed at point guard.  I want to talk about what this means to the NBA.

The NBA has always embraced the superstars, the guys that could do things us normal humans could only gawk and marvel at and wonder how earth is that possible.  The superstars have been the miraclemakers so to speak.  But these guys drink their own kool-aid.  They have turned the great team game that is basketball into straight isolation plays on both sides of the court.  Superstars just want to play together because it’s easier to win a ring with all Supermans on the court and no sidekicks.  The NBA, which created this environment, tried to fight it and lost.  The era of the superstar is here, and ironically, it is making the casual fan sick.  But then Jeremy Lin came in the picture.

From Undrafted to the Grammys, America Loves the Underdog

In the spirit of Victor Cruz and Tim Tebow, and channel past underdogs like Muggsy Bogues, Spud Webb, and Earl Boykins, Lin has emerged as the underdog America loves.  And he actually has game!  Don’t listen to Floyd Mayweather*, he has put up numbers that hasn’t been seen since the ABA/NBA merger.  People that can’t be bothered with regular season NBA are now tuning into NBATV for this man’s games.  He is playing in the right city, in the right arena, and at the right time.  Because the Knicks were on the brink of oblivion.  But from destruction, Basketball Jesus has pulled the Knicks to the place of safety.

But let’s see what happens when Carmelo Anthony comes back.  Two more thoughts on the NBA this week.

We Watch So You Don’t Have To – The 2011-12 Wizards Season: Is it just me or is John Wall looking good these past weeks?  Over the last 5 games, he is averaging 19.6 PPG, 9 assists, and 4.2 turnovers.  He tied his career-high in assists with 15 in Detroit on Sunday.  At least Wall is dominating teams that don’t play defense.  Now if only he can be more consistent, or at least get teammates that will make him look better.  Javale McGee, Trevor Booker, and even Jan Vesely have also played well recently.

Let It Be Known Right Now: We had this discussion at the ManCave Super Bowl party so I wanted to declare it now on the blog.  The Miami Heat are going to win the Championship.  For all of you LeBron haters (which I have been in the past) just prepare yourself now for the inevitable.  It will make the pain in June when LeBron is lifting the trophy and Chris Bosh’s eyeliner is running down his cheek while he weeps more palatable.  I just wanted to let you know now, so you can get ready.

*- Actually let me clarify my thoughts on Mayweather’s comments.  The only thing that is wrong about the comments is that there is a persecution factor is that isn’t there.  There is nothing wrong with rooting for someone because of race, hell I root for Michael Vick to win a Super Bowl, and Floyd to stay undefeated in boxing.  There is a identify and pride factor in all of this.  Asian Americans may root for Jeremy Lin for a myriad reasons that include identity and that should be encouraged.  Floyd just wants black players to get the same credit.  But Floyd, LeBron, Kobe, Carmelo, CP3, and the rest have gotten a lot of love for their talents over the years.  Just because Lin gets hype doesn’t mean that there isn’t more hype to pass around.  This is a racial situation, not a racist situation.

One of the best things in sports is the story of the unlikely hero. It brings passion to the game, and has the ability to affect a large population to believe. This year in the sports world we have seen Victor Cruz and Tim Tebow with unlikely stories. After celebrating the SuperBowl New York can continue to celebrate as they now have Jeremy Lin. They are now believers in this kid with a 1500 SAT score and a degree from Harvard.

So just how good is Jeremy Lin? Well we knew he could dominate the Wizards. Shoot myself, RenzReport, ArAyeGee, and Dontbeskerrit, can all go for 25, 10, 12 against the Wizards. However, Friday night he shocked the world by going for 38 points against the LA Lakers. Lin is taking over SportsCenter with his improbable story, but watching him he is a good point guard and is highly skilled. I won’t call him great or mention him in the likes of the best PG’s in the game right now. For now, lets just sit back and enjoy Jeremy Lin revitalize this Knicks team who about a week and half ago we were ashamed to watch them.