It’s Over! Cubs Win World Series


Witnessing the Chicago Cubs winning the 2016 World Series goes down as one of the most remarkable moments in sports history. The Cubs hasn’t been to the World Series since 1945 and hasn’t won a title since 1908 before this achievement. As a Chicago White Sox fan, I am extremely happy for the Chicago Cubs organization and their entire fan base. There have been generations that haven’t seen the Chicago Cubs on top of Major League Baseball. The Titanic sinking was more recent than the Cubs last championship title before this one (let that SINK in).

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I’ve watched quite a few games this postseason just to see if the hype around this team is true. This team on paper is strong in all the major categories: hitting, pitching, baserunning, fielding, and coaching. However, the one word that has defined this postseason run for the “Northsiders” is resilient. The Cubs hasn’t faced adversity all season until they reached the playoffs, and a lot of people and baseball analyst wasn’t sure how this team will react when their backs were against the wall. This Cubs team has proved multiple times during this postseason run that they will not give up. Game 4 of the NLDS against the San Francisco Giants was a prime example. The Cubs were down 5-2 in the top of the 9th inning. Chicago scored 4 runs that inning to win 6-5 to eliminate the Giants (The Giants emptied their whole bullpen and still couldn’t stop the bleeding).

The fact that the Cubs forced a game 7 after being down 3 games to 1 is resilient within itself. This game 7 will go down as one of the most memorable game 7’s in the history of sports, in my opinion. From the Cubs being up 5-1 in the middle innings to Cleveland hitting the 2-run home run down 3rd baseline to tie the game at 6 in the bottom of the 8th inning to the, now infamous, rain delay, this game had a story book ending. Two teams have suffered for decades, and both teams were deserving of ending their respective titleless droughts. Words can’t fully describe the story and impact of this game, but the atmosphere was like no other. Here’s the highlight to game below.

This Chicago Cubs team that is currently constructed is poised to be contenders for the foreseeable future. There were 1 million people that turn out for the Chicago Blackhawks parade and festivals in 2015. I seriously believe that number will at least triple for the Chicago Cubs. Wrigleyville in Chicago was packed instantly after the win.

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This was by far the best game of 2016. To me, this game tops game 7 of the NBA Finals when Cleveland came back down 3-1 to beat the Golden State Warriors. I know that the city of Cleveland hasn’t won a sports title in over 50 years until that moment. However, this Cubs team is “America’s Cinderella” that had never gotten over the hump for 108 years. This was the LONGEST drought in NORTH AMERICA sports (mind blowing). Cubs fans from all over the world will come to their victory parade. Congratulations again to the Chicago Cubs of ending something that has lasted for far too long. Chicago has truly become a “City Of Champions”. “Fly The W” Northsiders, you truly deserve it!

JGOOD

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Cy Young and MVP Contenders


One of my good friends, Chris (follow him on Twitter @mrwsa11), and I have compiled a list of contenders for this year’s Cy Young and MVP awards in each conference.

A.L. Cy Young 

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Zach Britton (Baltimore)

The Orioles closer has been unreal pretty much all year. He has 40 saves, 62 strikeouts, and an insane 0.65 ERA. Since May 1st, Britton has only allowed one earned run, and is the clear cut favorite for the Cy Young.

Corey Kluber (Cleveland)

The Indians ace is sporting a win-lose record of 15 and 9, helping to lead the charge for the club’s rotation. With 198 strikeouts and an ERA slightly above 3, he may benefit from the fact that voters usually don’t consider voting for closers (i.e. Britton) for the Cy Young.

Rick Porcello (Boston)

With an outstanding 20-3 record, Porcello has the best record amongst all pictures. It has been a resurgent year for him as he leads the Red Sox staff.

N.L. Cy Young

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Max Scherzer (Washington)

The Nationals ace is top 5 in wins, strikeouts, WHIP, and ERA. He is also tied for the most wins in all of baseball. It’s hard to argue against him.

“The 3 Cubbies” (Chicago)

Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, and Jake Arrieta are all candidates for the Cy Young. Lester is top 10 in ERA, WHIP, and strikeouts. Arrieta is tied for wins in the N.L with Scherzer and Lester (16). The surprise, Kyle Hendricks, leads all of baseball in ERA. His pitching isn’t as dominate as the others, but he still makes it difficult for opposing batters.

A.L. MVP

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Jose Altuve (Houston)

The Astros captain and leader, is batting .339 on the year. He leads the MLB with 190 hits, and is boasting a career best with 22 home runs and 92 RBIs. He’s your complete player.

Josh Donaldson (Toronto)

The Blue Jays star continues to be a solid all-around player in the MLB. Doesn’t matter from his bat to his glove, he has the opportunity to win his second consecutive MVP.

Mike Trout (Anaheim)

The game’s best player continues to put on a show. With his amazing defense and great hitting, Trout has proved that he will continue to dominate the majors, night in and night out.

Mookie Beets (Boston)

Beets is hitting .315 on the year with career best in home runs and RBI’s. If Beets can lead the Red Sox to a division crown, he has a legitimate chance of  walking away with his first individual award.

N.L. MVP

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Kris Bryant (Chicago)

In only his second year in the league, Bryant has become one of the top hitters, fielders, and base runners in all of baseball. With his versatility in these categories, he has become a clear favorite for taking home the N.L. MVP.

Daniel Murphy (Washington)

Murphy leads the N.L. in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS. This makes him a viable candidate.

Nolan Arenado (Colorado)

He leads the N.L. in home runs and RBI’s for the second straight year. You can’t argue against those accolades.

Anthony Rizzo (Chicago)

Rizzo is on track to hit 30 homers and over 100 RBI’s for his second consecutive year. With him being the leader for the best team in baseball, he will continue to be a contender.

 

Hardest Job In Sports


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You would think being a coach, manager, general manager, or owner would be the hardest job in sports because of the responsibility and impact they can have in an organization. Even with the tough criticism those positions endure in times of underachieving, those positions also receives accolades for their success.

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Being a referee (umpire in baseball) takes thick skin with no pride or ego. The title also requires integrity, humility, and confidence. You have to be able to call the game equally, be humble enough to admit your mistakes, but also be confident to make a call that you felt that was needed to be enforced. Unlike other positions, referees are usually in a lose-lose situation because someone somewhere is always going to be upset at a call OR lack of a call that was against their associated team. Reality is that every call is not going to be made and there are going to be bad calls made because of human error.

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At times, I am officiating flag football and organized basketball games at my second job. It can become difficult at times when you have both teams in your ear telling you what you are suppose to call or watch out for a certain illegal action. A lot of times it is a “lose-lose” situation because one team isn’t going to be happy either way.

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Refs are going to be highly criticized in the public eye, especially if the public and media feel that a game was decided by the officiating instead of the players. However, if everyone feels that game’s outcome was decided by the players, then you would hear little to nothing about the referees. It’s very rare to hear someone say that “the refs did a job officiating tonight” or “the weren’t any calls missed tonight”.

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At the end of the day, referees are the people that you will notice right away if a mistake is made, but you wouldn’t even think of mentioning if they are doing their job “correctly”.

JGOOD

Chicago Baseball On Fire


The Chicago Cubs went into this season as the favorites to win the World Series and they are playing like it. What’s surprising to most is that the Chicago White Sox are playing at an elite level as well. Both teams’ pitching and batting has been stellar.

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Personally, I would love to see both teams make a strong playoff run. I know we have a long ways to go but nevertheless this start is awesome for the city of Chicago!!

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JGOOD

Coming Soon


Since there’s no more football until August, we have to move away and embrace other sports during the NFL off season. Here’s a quick preview of what you can look forward to!

NBA All-star Weekend

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Feb 12-Feb 14
Includes:
Celebrity All-star Game
Rising Stars Game
3 Point Contest
Dunk Contest
NBA All-star Game

March Madness (NCAA Tournament)
Starts Tuesday, March 15th

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I will be hosting a contest with a prize to the winner! Stay tuned for details to enter. Entry is FREE!!

Opening Day (MLB)

April 3rd

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Spring Training starts within the next couple of weeks

What I’m Thankful For


I want to say Happy Thanksgiving to everybody. I hope everyone will have a chance to spend the holiday with their love ones. I am thankful for job, a roof over my head, and the people in my life. ALSO, there are other (sports related) reasons to be thankful for:’

Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers

 

Three games including watching my Chicago Bears play while stuffing my face!

John Fox

John Fox
Speaking of the Chicago Bears, I’m grateful for him being our head coach.

2002 West Conference All Stars

Ending NBA Era
This may be the last time we’ll be able to watch Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett so enjoy it.

Paul George

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The return of a Healthy Paul George!

Chicago Blackhawks and Cubs at Wrigley Field

Blackhawks and Cubs
I’m glad to see for the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time in 6 years. Also, I’m glad the Cubs are relevant again. It’s good for the sport of baseball.

Stephen Curry and The Golden State Warriors

Stephen Curry/Golden State
The reigning MVP and the Warriors have proven that the underdogs can get it done.

Ronda Rousey

Ronda Rousey Losing
She’s still the best but seeing her being human for once gives hope to others.

Creed

Creed
I’m a huge fan of the Rocky Movie Series. Creed looks like it’s going to be worth every penny.

Ben Simmons, LSU

College Basketball
Post about this is coming to a blog near you!

 

 

 

 

The Greatest


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We often call players who leave a significant impact “great”, and we call the greatest of the greats “The G.O.A.T.” (Greatest Of All Time). The players are legends, icons, extraordinary, almost invulnerable… we usually use them as the rubric to grade others by. These players set the bar of precedence. Only few players are even considered to enter “the conversation” and even at that point you will get heavily ridiculed. So what does it take to be considered the greatest, the best to ever do it, The G.O.A.T.??? What does it take to even be mentioned in “The Conversation”??? If you can’t even enter the debate, then you have been disqualified for the greatest throne.

How do you enter “The Conversation”? There has to be some guidelines right? (A sign that says “you have to be this tall” like at Six Flags or something).  Lets break it down!

Numbers
Do these individuals have the stats? We all heard the phrase “men lie, women lie, numbers don’t”. For the most part that’s true, and that’s the part we’re going to focus on right now. These players has to put up numbers superior to their piers. They should have the ability to rank in the top 10 in multiple statistical categories.

Consistency
Anybody can put up incredible numbers for a season or 2 but can they do it over the longevity of their careers? These individuals have to preform on a nightly basis. They have to average staggering numbers while playing at an elite level over several seasons.

Accomplishments
How many times were these players named to the all star team and/or all pro? Awards like Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and even the team awards are vital. And of course winning championships are an important factor.

Clutch Factor
Can these players perform when it counts? They have to have the ability to close out games, make game saving plays, and make the impossible happen at times.

Hall Of Fame
When its all said and done, will these individuals be enshrined? These players have to be good enough to make it to Canton, Ohio, to Cooperstown, to “The Hall”.

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So with those factors to consider, that will eliminate almost everybody. Once we get down to the smallest of smallest pools, we can only then enter them into “The Conversation”.

Once you enter “The Conversation”, it’s survival of the fittest. These are the likes of Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Willie Mays, Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, Pele, Wayne Gretzky,  Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Floyd Mayweather, Bill Russell, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, and the list goes on. So how do we separate the greatest from the greats? There are other factors, deeper factors, we will have to consider:

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Intangibles
All great players can make plays that show up on the score box but what about the plays and the characteristics that you will remember? “The Catch” by Willie Mays, “The Drive” by John Elway, “The Shot” over Craig Ehlo by Michael Jordan, “The Rumble In The Jungle” with Muhammad Ali, are prime examples of what this category is all about. It was their willingness to win plus the enchanted moment that lives on forever. You can’t teach heart and a desire to win. Only some players have that gene inside of them.

Revolutionary
Did these players change the way you play the game or the game itself? Were other players or teams have to alternate their game plans to try to deflect the greatness of one individual? Were the rules of a sport ever altered because of one’s dominance? This category will eliminate majority of the remaining  participants.

Iconic
When these players still be remember generations from now? Could people from all over the world still remember who you are and your greatness 20 years after retirement? Are people owning their memorabilia?

Legacy
Will everything they have ever achieved,  earned, accomplished, live on forever? Can something that has taken a whole career to build be demolished by any negativity? The legacy is a players ultimate portfolio, resume and transcript. ALL tangible and intangible factors are weighed and utilized to determine your rank amongst the field.

Only the strongest survive. Having debates over the greatest will forever live on. My plan wasn’t to pick the greatest but to give you all a template on how to pick one yourselves. With that being said, let the debates begin!!!

JGood