Friday, January 17, 2014

The Anti-Tanking Manifesto (Why it's Misdiagnosed, Useless and Shameful)

Bill Simmons was maybe the first person I heard it from. The concept of "tanking" - where teams intentionally lose to help themselves in the upcoming draft. It was back in college when Simmons was busy writing columns that would influence me and a generation of future bloggers/sports websites.

It used to be something I frowned upon. Teams trying to lose? It sounded pathetic and limp. Who dare intentionally try to sabotage a season for the hope for getting a player who won't singlehandedly turn a team around. It sounded more like a private idea before Simmons announced it and promoted it every year.

A decade later, here we are. Tanking is a full-blown public term of endearment. Fans openly root for tanking. It's discussed at the beginning of a season. Now that it's hit home with the Lakers, it's made me even more vocal about why it's such a ridiculous concept.

Maybe it's because of how I'm wired. I'm a competitor and I have been since Day One. Get the best grade on a test. Do your best in athletics. Bring your A game and don't settle for less. I root for my teams to show effort all the time and win or lose, I'll respect it.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Farewell to the BCS: A Symptom of Bigger NCAA problems

Props to Jameis Winston becoming the second freshman QB (and 1st redshirt) to win a national title. Props to Florida State's defense coming alive in the second half and special teams changing the game. Props to Tre "Lil Maseo" Mason for balling out once again for Auburn in defeat.

Now that Florida State can celebrate a national title after one of the best national title games I've seen, it calls for us to throw the BCS into a coffin and quickly bury that monster. Yet not before we take one more look at why it resembles the best of college football (and the NCAA's) and its hypocrisy.

I vented my personal beef with the BCS earlier this season and this week, I helped bid farewell looking at the highs and lows of the era. As we lower it into the grave, let me provide some last words.

The BCS started out with good intentions. Yes, it got a few games right here and there and for the most part, the national champion was deserving. However, let's not forget what it revealed as it devolved into a mess.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Brett Hundley Returns: A Smart Decision UCLA's Celebrating

As I said above, Brett Hundley made the right business decision staying at UCLA. You can praise him for his loyalty but Hundley isn't risking his career for that alone. He's doing it to grow as a quarterback and a leader. Applaud him for realizing that he could improve his skill set as well as contribute to something special at UCLA.

For every Matt Leinart, Jake Locker, Matt Barkley or others who come back to get burned, there’s guys like Johnny Manziel and Vince Young who improved their stock by getting better on the field. So what does this mean for the Bruins? Let's break it down.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Welcome to 2014: Links and Stuff

So I have a 2013 recap post planned here but in the meantime, I have good links to share from the last of my 2012 and the beginning of this year.

From last night, I had the great privilege of being inside Staples Center for the Downtown Showdown, hosted by Torrance High School. The hosts swept both games for the first time and here's one video interview of several I did following the games. (Daily Breeze)

My Top 10 games of the year. Done before Texas A&M had their excellent comeback against Duke on New Year's Eve. (Bro Jackson)

Earlier this week, two of California's best teams faced off in a battle of locals. Redondo defeated Bishop Montgomery in a thriller. (Daily Breeze)

I'll be at the Paul Pierce Winter Classic this weekend at Inglewood High School for two days of great hoops. Also, for my Southern Cali folks, check out Redondo High School for their Take Flight Challenge on Saturday. Two great hoops showcases.