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

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NBA Preview Part 5: Southeast Division


                                                   Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks
Key Additions: Tiago Splitter, Tim Hardaway Jr., Justin Holiday, Walter Tavares
Key Subtractions: DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic, Elton Brand, John Jenkins
Outlook: Winning their division title in 21 years, the Atlanta Hawks are ready to defend their crown. The team overachieved last year because they have a solid foundation. “Star power” usually carries a team to the Finals. This didn’t have a bonafide superstar, but had underrated players that teams took for granted. DeMarre Carroll was a big loss for them. He wasn’t their best player, but he was the glue guy (Exhibit A: Eastern Conference Finals after he got hurt). Adding Tiago Splitter and Tim Hardaway Jr. gives Atlanta some much-needed depth. They managed to keep Paul Millsap in the “final hour” during free agency (Almost joined the Orlando Magic). I expect them to have a decent chance of winning their division again.

Charlotte Hornets
Key Additions: Nicolas Batum, Jeremy Lin, Frank Kaminsky, Spencer Hawes, Tyler Hansbrough
Key Subtractions: Noah Vonleh, Gerald Henderson, Lance Stephenson, Mo Williams, Bismack Biyombo
Outlook: The Charlotte Hornets are talented enough to make the playoffs. Al Jefferson gives opponent’s problems on a nightly basis. Kemba Walker and newly acquired Nicolas Batum are underrated. I’m still trying to figure out Frank Kaminsky, but I’m sure he’s better than Kwame Brown. Jeremy Lin comes in with a chip on his shoulder. Everybody remembers him for his 15 seconds of fame (Linsanity). I’m sure he wants to change that perception.  Also, this team has quite a few young players that plays with a lot of energy. That means, they have the opportunity to steal some games that they shouldn’t win. If the chemistry is right, they should in the playoff hunt.

Miami Heat
Key Additions: Justice Winslow, Gerald Green, Amar’e Stoudemire
Key Subtractions: Shabazz Napier, Michael Beasley
Outlook: In my opinion, this is the one team that could prevent LeBron from reaching his 6th straight NBA Finals appearance besides the Chicago Bulls. They arguably have one of the best starting lineups in the league. Justice Winslow was a steal. They got Stoudemire and Green at a bargain price. Most importantly, Chris Bosh is back. Ultimately, this team is going as far as Dywane Wade carries them. The chronic knee and miscellaneous injuries will play a key role in how this team performs. Also, Pat Riley and the Miami Heat WANTS to be LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This team may win the division, but if they don’t, good luck trying to put them out in the playoffs (with a healthy D.Wade if course).

Orlando Magic
Key Additions: Mario Hezonja, C.J. Watson, Shabazz Napier
Key Subtractions: Kyle O’Quinn, Maurice Harkless, Willie Green
Outlook: I really like their rookie Mario Hezonja. His attitude alone makes me think that the Orlando Magic will be alright in a few years. This team is young, athletic, and will be fun to watch on the fastbreak. They almost added Paul Millsap until he returned to the Atlanta Hawks in the final hour (that would’ve been big). Their offense in the half court will continue to struggle until a post presence is acquired. Tobias Harris and Victor Oladipo will have to take their game to the next level if the Magic wants to make their first playoff appearance in the “Post-Dwight Howard” era.

Washington Wizards
Key Additions: Gary Neal, Jared Dudley, Kelly Oubre Jr.
Key Subtractions: Paul Pierce, Kevin Seraphin, Rasual Butler
Outlook: I am a fan of their back court. When Bradley Beal isn’t off and John Wall is not turning over the ball, this team can give any teams headaches. Otto Porter showed signs of real potential during the final few months of the Wizards season last year. Adding Gary Neal was an underrated move because they finally have a guard that can shoot off the bench. In my eyes, losing Paul Pierce was significant. Not only he can still score around 15 points a game, he brought mental toughness, crunch time abilities, and championship experience to a young core. Only time will tell if “The Truth” rubbed off on the rest of the team. If not, I don’t expect a real title run.

Leave Vick Alone


It has been 8 years since Michael Vick has went to jail (yes 8 years already), and some people are still trying to backlash his occupation. There’s a petition going around in Pittsburgh with over 15,000 signatures in hopes for Vick’s new team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, to release him.

Michael Vick first arrived in the NFL in 2001 and made an impact since day one. The have been few quarterbacks that scrambling ability such as Randal Cunningham, Steve Young, and few others. However, Vick revolutionized the QB position forever with is off the charts speed, agility, and acceleration. The NFL has never seen a player that can throw the ball approximately 60 yards with a 4.25 40 yard dash time.

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Vick spent his first 6 years in Atlanta demolishing defenses like a wrecking ball. In case you forgot how explosive he was, he’s some highlights below:

Michael Vick Career Highlights

The link shows his highlights in Atlanta, the allegations, and his time in Philadelphia. Vick served 23 months in prison and 2 more in a halfway house for his infamous involvement in dogfighting. Ever since being released, Michael Vick has been ridiculed for his part in harming of the dogs. People have protested and signed petitions to keep him out the league. Even though he’s still employed by the NFL, how long does Michael Vick have to deal with this? What else does he have to do to be okay in the court of public opinion?

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Michael Vick has served his punishment in the court of law, rightfully so. We all understand the severity of his actions but how come he’s constantly getting harassed? He’s made speeches about his changes, and he’s one of the few athletes who is serious about the changes he has made in his life.

How come majority of people didn’t backlash Plaxico Burress when he became the “Cheddar Bob” of the NFL? Even though the incident was self-inflicted, he still had a firearm on him and went to jail for nearly 2 years. He played in the NFL 2 more years after that.

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What about Donte Stallworth committing vehicular manslaughter in 2009. He was suspended for the 2009 season and spent 30 days in jail. He ended up playing 3 more years afterward. How come “the people” aren’t at his throat for taking somebody’s life (yes, he KILLED a human)?

Better yet, what about his current teammate “Big Ben” Roethlisberger. “Big Ben” was accused of raping a woman back in 2008. He was found guilty, but a settlement was made to dismiss the case. How often do you see people holding up signs or signing petitions to remove him as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers? Same thing that be said about Kobe Bryant and his Colorado scandal. He took some heat for a while, losing sponsors and endorsements, but eventually, the majority of people have forgotten that even occurred.

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How come we can’t let go of what Michael Vick has done? In my eyes, he’s done more than enough. This country loves to give second chances, and who are we to judge for his actions… he did the crime and did the time. He’s made motivational speeches and had done community service. Other players have done worse and don’t get this much treatment from “fans”. It’s 2015, let it go.

JGood