Hall Of Fame Debate: Andre Johnson


From the 1990’s to the mid 2000’s, “The U” (University of Miami) has produced NFL stars that have turned out to be present and future Pro Football Hall Of Famers. This list includes Michael Irvin, Warren Sapp, Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, and Devin Hester. Another player that can potentially join that list is Andre Johnson.

The 3rd overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft finished his career with 1,062 receptions (11th all-time), 14,185 receiving yards (10th all-time), and 70 receiving touchdowns. Johnson was a 7-time Pro Bowler, 2-time first team All-Pro, 2-time second team All-Pro, 3-time Wide Receiver of the year, led the league in receiving yards twice and holds just about every Houston Texans’ franchise records. He spent his first 12 seasons with the Houston Texans. Johnson spent 2015 with the Indianapolis Colts and the Tennesse Titans in 2016.

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Even though his most memorable moment was probably the fight with Cortland Finnegan in 2010 (he had it coming), Andre Johnson has been a true professional on and off the field. His foundation, the Andre Johnson Charitable Foundation, has provided kids with toys in the Houston community for years.

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When it’s all said and done, I believe Andre Johnson should be in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame one day. I don’t think he’s a “first-ballot” caliber player, but he definitely deserves a spot in Canton. He has always been consistent and underrated over his established career. The best quarterback that he’s ever played with was Matt Schaub (that’s not saying a lot). The Houston Texans may have not gotten over the hump during his tenure, but Johnson has always come to play every game.

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JGOOD

2017 NBA All-Star Weekend


February is one of my favorite months for sports because of the Super Bowl, pitchers in MLB report to spring training, college basketball is starting to get down to the wire, and NBA All-Star Weekend. This year, the festive event will take place in New Orleans. I took a trip to New Orleans in May of 2015, and that was one of the best experiences of my life. The culture in “NOLA” is truly one of a kind. The original destination was Charlotte, but due to anti-gay laws within the state, the NBA elected to change locations. The NBA just hosted the All-Star Game New Orleans in 2014.

Besides Kyrie Irving’s belief that the world is flat, the most intriguing headline of the weekend is Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook reuniting as teammates. Their brotherly friendship has been derailed since KD’s departure to Golden State. The two has yet attempted to patch things up so that should make way for an interesting interaction in the locker room. 

The events for Saturday includes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, JBL Three-Point Contest, and the Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. I’m picking Isaiah Thomas for the Skills Challenge, Nick Young for the Three-Point Contest, and Glenn Robinson III for the Slam Dunk Contest.

As for the NBA All-Star Game itself, I have Anthony Davis as the MVP. With that being said, I hope all the events live up to the hype! 
JGOOD

Respect Greatness


We are living in an era where we’re witnessing historical records are being broken, mesmorizing moments from deciding games are taking place, and once in a lifetime achievements are current. Clear examples of such greatness includes the Golden State Warriors winning 73 games in a regular season, the newly infamous Julian Edelman’s catch that helped propel the New England Patriots Super Bowl LI comeback, and the Chicago Cubs winning their first World Series since 1908.

We are also living in an era where we’re witnessing some of the best athletes to ever play. When I was a child, I saw Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, Ken Griffey, and Jerry Rice. As I got older, I witnessed Kobe Bryant, Mario Lemieux, Derek Jeter, and Randy Moss. Now there’s LeBron James, Patrick Kane, Kris Bryant, and Julio Jones. Over the past 30 years, we’ve have seen athletes come and go, but we have all been witnesses to the greatness that certain professionals have displayed.

In the last 12 months alone, we have seen some of the best championship sporting outcomes in history. We saw March Madness end with a buzzer beater by Villanova to beat North Carolina. Two months later, the Cleveland Cavaliers ended the city’s championship drought by coming back against the Golden State Warriors down 3 games to 1 to capture their first NBA title in franchise history. Fast forward to October, we witnessed another drought end but on a more significant level. The Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians in the 10th inning of game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 as well. Last month, we saw Clemson get their sweet revenge against Alabama in of the most fantastic finishes in recent memory. Serena Williams won her 23rd Grand Slam title. Less than 2 weeks ago, we’ve witnessed the best Super Bowl ending in NFL history. The UConn women’s basketball team are currently on a 100 game winning streak (that is ridiculous!).

It seems like we’re at a point where we expect great things to happen at every major sporting event. From The Master’s to Wimbledon; the Stanley Cup to the World Series; the NBA Finals to the Super Bowl, we are spoiled by greatness. Appreciate these moments while you can because all things (including exceptional moments) must come to an end.

JGOOD

Super Bowl LI


Today is bittersweet for the NFL. Even though this is the biggest game of the year, this is also the last game of the NFL season until the summer time. I do enjoy other sports that are active during the NFL offseason, but not having Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, and even fantasy football leaves an unreplaceable void. With that being said, let’s hope this game ends with a bang.

At 39 years old, Tom Brady is making his 7th trip to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have looked dominant the whole season, even with Brady being suspended the first 4 games of the regular season due to “Deflate-gate”. Even though New England has been without their superstar tight end Ron Gronkowski since November 13th, the additions of Chris Hogan, Martellus Bennett, and Michael Floyd have given the offense more depth. Already having Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis, the New England Patriots have never lost a step.

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This season’s league MVP, Matt Ryan, has led his team to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999. Ryan is the ringleader to this high-power offense, who was the highest scoring team in the NFL (33.8 points per game) 2nd in the NFL in total offense. Center Alex Mack has been the unsung hero of this offense. Atlanta arguably has the best 1-2 punch at running back with Devonta Freeman and Tevon Coleman. Atlanta finished top 5 in the NFL in rushing this season. The Atlanta Falcons have improved their wide receiver core by adding speedster Taylor Gabriel and possession receiver Mohamed Sanu. I forgot to mention that Atlanta already has arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL with Julio Jones.

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It’s kind of hard to bet against New England. They have had consistency at the coaching and quarterback positions between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Also, those 2 individuals had plenty of experience in the Super Bowl. Their offense is good because of their versatility. Their defense has played well at times, but it’s not as consistent as their last Super Bowl appearance 2 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England wins today for these reasons alone. However, I believe Atlanta’s offense will be a problem. Once this offense gets rolling, it’s almost impossible to stop it (I think of it like a snowball running downhill). New England has never scored a touchdown in the first quarter of any Super Bowl. This will probably be the toughest offense New England has ever seen in the biggest game. As good as Malcolm Butler is, I don’t think he can stop Julio Jones by himself (if he is to cover him). Atlanta’s defense has stepped up in the playoffs, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I’m officially going with the “underdog” tonight. I have the Atlanta Falcons defeating the New England Patriots 27-21.

JGOOD

Hall Of Fame Debate: Michael Vick


Growing up, there were only a few NFL players that really caught my attention because of their impact on the game. Deion Sanders is my favorite cornerback to ever lace ’em up. Randy Moss is my favorite wide receiver to step foot on the gridiron. My love for the quarterback position started with Steve Young and Brett Farve. All of them have inspired me and are now in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (except Randy Moss).

Since the dawn of time, quarterbacks have been known to stay in the pocket and deliver the ball to their targets. Until the impact of Warren Moon, the quarterback position has been predominately caucasian. Over the last 25 years, we’ve seen more diversity at the quarterback position. Also in that course of time, we have witnessed the evolution of dual-threat quarterbacks. We went from a few like Randall Cunningham, Donovan McNabb, and Dante Culpepper to the likes of Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Colin Kaepernick, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith, Tyrod Taylor, and more.

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The pivotal reason for the surge of dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL today was the emergence of Michael Vick in 2001. The former Virgina Tech star was the most electrifying quarterback in the history of the NFL. The number one overall pick, who ran a 4.25 40-yard dash time at the NFL Draft Combine, was embarrassing opposing defenses with his legs with his speed, agility, acceleration, and elusive juke moves. Also, he is the greatest video game athlete of all-time (if you played Madden 2004, you know what I’m talking about).

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Michael Vick finished his career with 21,503 passing yards, 131 passing TDs, 6,109 rushing yards (most ever for a quarterback), 36 rushing touchdowns, and went to 4 Pro Bowls. The Atlanta Falcons lead the league in rushing from 2004-2006, spearheaded by Vick, Warrick Dunn, and T.J. Duckett. Michael Vick had his best success as an overall quarterback under Andy Reid with the Philadelphia Eagles, especially in 2010 (3,018 passing yards, 21 passing TDs, 6 INT, 676 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs). Also, he had the greatest performance of his career that season in December against the New York Giants.

I’m not going to get into the dog fighting allegations again because it’s irrelevant at the moment (CLICK HERE to check it out), and he has had injuries that have derailed some of his progress as a player. However, I believe he deserves to be in the Hall Of Fame. His statistics as a quarterback are probably not Hall Of Fame worthy, but his impact and legacy, to me, are enough credentials to get him in. Do you think Michael Vick should get in?

JGOOD

BIG3


There’s been a lot of buzz going around of Ice Cube’s new basketball league called “BIG3”. Ice Cube and Jeff Kwatinetz have co-founded the new league. The newly formed basketball league will feature retired NBA players in a 3-on-3 halfcourt setting. Former deputy executive director of the NBA Players Association, Roger Mason Jr., has signed on as the commissioner to make this summertime basketball league a reality.

From left: Kwatinetz,  Lewis, Iverson, Cube, Martin, and Mason Jr. attend Wednesday's introductory press conference.
Left to right: Kwatinetz, Lewis, Iverson, Cube, Martin, Mason Jr.

The “BIG3” will feature 8 teams consisting of 5 players (3 starters and 2 bench players). Ice Cube has gotten NBA Hall Of Famer Allen Iverson to join as a player-coach. Other former NBA players that have expressed interest or have signed aboard include:

  • Rashard Lewis
  • Kenyon Martin
  • Jason “White Chocolate” Williams
  • Mike Bibby
  • Stephen Jackson
  • Bonzi Wells
  • Chauncey Billups
  • Jermaine O’Neal
  • Al Harrington
  • Ricky Davis

NBA Legends Gary Payton, Rick Barry, Clyde Drexler, Rick Mahorn, and George Gervin will coach but will not play.

The league is scheduled to start June 24 and will tour for 10 weeks throughout the summer. Personally, I’m excited to see the players that I grew up watching play basketball again in a competitive setting. Even if it is just 3-on-3, I get to relive some of my childhood just a litter longer. More news on the league will follow over the next few months. What do you think about the new summertime basketball league?

College Football Playoffs: Expansion Needed


The college football playoffs championship game is upon us. The defending champs, Alabama Crimson Tide, will take on the Clemson Tigers in what will be a rematch from last year’s CFP championship game (Alabama won 45-40). There are plenty of headlines you can make about this game like Alabama firing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin this week (which seems very untimely), even though he’s going to be the head coach of Florida Atlantic, and will Alabama’s true freshman QB Jalen Hurts have a better performance than he did against the Washington Huskies (completed 7-14 for 57 yards)? Also, will the Clemson Tigers get their revenge?

Alabama vs Washington; Peach Bowl
Clemson vs Ohio State; Fiesta Bowl

The storyline that was trending a month ago and that I’m bringing up now is that the college football playoffs should expand the playoff format, specifically from 4 teams to 8. When the topic first sparked a month ago, I was in favor of it. After watching the results of a couple of bowl games since then, I’m completely in agreement of this proposal. If you watched the Fiesta Bowl, which featured Clemson and Ohio State (Buckeyes), you watched a complete domination by the Tigers. Ohio State was considered a top-3 team during the regular season. Their only other loss was against Penn State (Nittany Lions). The problem with that was Ohio State didn’t advance the Big Ten Championship Game because of that loss. The CFP Committee has said that winning your conference championship game is a big factor to being selected to the playoffs. Penn State, being ranked number 5 in the country, after winning the Big Ten Championship over Wisconsin (Badgers) was snubbed from the college football playoffs (If you watched the Rose Bowl, you missed arguably the best bowl game thus far!)

USC vs Penn State; Rose Bowl

Another bowl game I want to mention is the Orange Bowl that featured Florida State (Seminoles) and Michigan (Wolverines). Florida State defeated Michigan 33-32 in a stellar performance, but I want to point out that both of these schools were worthy of being in the playoffs as well (in my eyes). Michigan was ranked in the top 5 for majority of the football season, and Florida State has been consistent throughout the year. If you included Michigan, Florida State, Penn State, and USC in the playoffs along with Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington, I believe we would truly find out the best team in the country. 

Florida State vs Michigan; Orange Bowl

We all know Alabama has been dominant for a few years now. We have also seen some pretty good teams over the years that we thought were dominant as well for a short period of time. Expanding the field to 8 teams would get rid of a lot of the “what if” questions. I’ve always wondered how Boise State would fare with the big schools a few years back, especially after beating Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. The many excuses of a team not being on a particular team’s schedule will diminish. At that point, we’ll just let the play on the field decide the best in the nation. 

What are your thoughts about expanding the playoffs? If you agree or disagree, please let me know your reasons.