Hail To The Red……

By Stefan Anderson

I attended college at Virginia State University located in Petersburg, Virginia, just miles away from the state’s capital Richmond. While attending VSU, I had noticed something you probably would see if you never been to the DMV Area (D.C, Maryland and Virginia not Department of Motor Vehicles), a fan base like no other.

You have your major fan bases like Cowboys and Steelers for example where fans will root for that team regardless of the outcome. Well after residing in Virginia for 4 years, I would add the Washington Redskins on to that list. Virginia has no major sports franchise in the entire state and being that the Redskins are the closest team they are Virginia’s team, as well as Maryland and Washington D.C. Redskin logos can be seen anywhere from scratch off tickets, supermarket promotions and even painted on most fans vehicles.

The term Redskin or the R-word is a considered a vulgar term because of the effects and usage in particular with Native Americans. The irony that we would have a term used in that context used to represent the team that plays in nation capital, but the arguments and debates whether the name should be changed have been fought over for many years and will until action is finally taken.

But some action has been taken in regards to the social issue that haunts Native Americans to this date. In a 177 page report, a federal board has canceled the team’s trademark registration because it is “disparaging to Native Americans. The ruling was given by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was celebrated by Native Americans, who have fought to remove the team’s offensive name.

This battle is only at its beginning steps as it goes further than trademark being cancelled for the name change to begin. With Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder is on record for not changing his franchise’s name at all. Snyder has been on record for stating “The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on reality.”

But Snyder , Roger Goodell and other executives in the NFL , must come together to make this change sooner than later ultimately if he does not want to lose one of the most loyal fan bases that exist in the NFL. With the NFL proposing a new rule implementing a penalty for anytime a player uses the N-word, an equally derogatory term used daily by African Americans, it would be only right for the NFL to change one of its franchises name to accomplish such things.

The National Football League has grown into one of the most popular sports in the country and can grow even larger if it takes charge and attacks its social issues that stand in front of them currently. With its first homosexual player being drafted, it shown how far and how much growth the game has and if changing a name that causes harm to a particular group that supports and builds your product to what it is today why not change the Redskins name to something that really symbolizes our nation’s capital. Or does our country really represent bullying and exploiting others for what makes us happy?

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We’re Just Getting Started

By Stefan Anderson

After the NBA’s scandal, lifetime bans, Floyd Mayweather winning again (Is He Ever Going to Lose?), the NBA playoffs continued. Returning to a first round, that has been more competitive than any in the years past. This year’s opening round of the playoffs is a great introduction to what could be a legendary postseason, which could be discussed centuries from now.

Aside from the Miami Heat and the Washington Wizards, every team had a very competive series leading to a record 5 game 7’s. One of the most intriguing series that didn’t lead to a game 7 was the Rockets vs. Blazers series, which nearly went to a deciding but was ended after a cold blooded dagger by Damian Lillard. These playoffs have had fans on the edge of their seats and reaching near heart attack but a joy to watch.

Throughout these game 7’s two things remained supreme, Star Power and Experience.

• In the Eastern Conference:
The #1 seed Indiana Pacers where on the ropes and were almost knocked by young, hungry Atlanta Hawks team. Down 3-2 in their series Indiana went on the road to fight for championship aspirations. After a lineup change that helped the Pacers downsize they were able to compete with the undersized Hawks teams that continued to spread their defense out and knock down 3’s. Including two tremendous games by their star Paul George and their leader David West.

The Toronto Raptors already had defied the odds this season they went on to win the Atlantic Division and earn 3 seed this season. The task of knocking off the veteran Brooklyn Nets seemed like a tough task but they were close to making it look easy. Putting the Nets in an uncomfortable position after 3-2 defeat, they looked to close out the series in game 6. But Brooklyn responded quickly by returning the favor in a 97-83 blowout to send the series into a game 7. In a game 7 where Brooklyn looked like the team everyone predicted them to be, the young Raptors made a final run to save their playoff hopes and show what they made of. Down 1 with a few seconds left, the Raptors lacked a prime go-to scorer or big shot maker and left the game in Kyle Lowry’s hands where he seen his last second floater get returned by the Veteran Paul Pierce. Aint that The Truth.

• In The Western Conference
The Spurs have had so many tough battles between them and the Dallas Mavericks, that you knew this year’s matchup would give you the same. The Mavericks different from those teams that once featured Dirk, Nash, Finley, etc. now have a new cast but still possess the same great talent with Monta Ellis, Vince Carter, Devin Harris, and of Dirk . But the Spurs have never lost core of stars and show that chemistry does mean something in this league. After watching Vince Carter hit the time machine and hit game winning shots, Manu Ginobli turn back the clock and show vintage Manu, this series reminded me of the early 2000’s. After former Spur now Mavericks Dejuan Blair come out and make clutch plays against his former team in 6, the series would be decided in Game 7. The Spurs proved once again why they had the best record this season and trampled the Mavs 119-69, led by Tony Parker’s 32 point performance.

Oklahoma City has had a great amount of trouble dealing with Memphis and their grind out style play in the past few years, especially in the playoffs. This postseason was no different. After 4 straight overtime games between the two, Memphis put OKC in a tough position once again. Down 3-2 facing elimination, who could the Thunder rely on to help guide to the promise land, Kevin Durant. The MVP Candidate went off for 36 and 10 to help force a game 7. After losing their star Zach Randolph due to an altercation, Memphis lacked their star power to compete for a final game where Kevin Durant chipped in 33 points and Russell Westbrook put in a triple double himself.

The Warriors and Clippers series went as planned as both teams were poised for a heavyweight bout in the first round. After facing so much attention of the court and it affecting the play on the court, The Clippers looked to be down and out for this series. But after their big man duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan put their team on their back the Clips stayed alive to continue championship dreams. Not that Warriors, do not hold star power in this time, they just need some extra help from a big man which they lost in the unhealthy Andrew Bogut.

For this to be the first round of the playoffs, shows exactly why the NBA playoffs are what they are for a reason. The Win or Go Home attitude gives the players that extra enthusiasm need and gives up fans the great show that we love to see. I cannot wait to see what happens in the second round.

And Number 1 Overall Pick Is …

By Stefan Anderson

After selecting Mario Williams, with the first overall pick in 2006, the Houston Texans are faced with the same predicament in this year’s draft. After suffering from a terrible season that included a 14 game losing streak, coming off a season where they won their division and franchise record 12 wins. Things took a turn for the worst in Houston, which leads to the question, What to do now? The 2014 season looks to be a year of optimism for the Texans as they make steps to rebuild and get back to their promiance as on the AFC’s contenders again.

After firing head Gary Kubiak and replacing him with Bill O’Brien, a coach that has dealt adversity in past becoming the first head at Penn State following the legendary Coach Joe Paterno, the team looks to be in great leadership and has the rebound and come back in a winning fashion. With the opportunity to have the number 1 overall selection in this year’s draft, the options on which way the Texans should go with their selection varies.

Many have already selected QB Johnny “Football” Manziel as the Texans first pick and to be the savior of his hometown team. The former Heisman winner has already stated his reasons why he should be selected. Daring the Houston Texans by saying “I want them to say absolutely, without a doubt, with 100 percent certainty, that I’m who they want,”. The Texas A&M also went to add, “I want everybody from the janitor at Reliant Stadium to the front office executive assistant all the way up to (owner) Bob McNair to say, ‘This kid is 100 percent, can’t miss. This is who we want being the face of our program. We want the Texas kid staying in Texas and leading the Texans.'”

Although, I am also sold on the Texas kid leading the Texans, I am going to give the Texans a better solution for the Texans to reclaim their crown of the AFC South. Draft Jadeveon Clowney . Yes, I am very aware of the Texans struggling offense from the year before. The Texans ranked 31st of 32 teams in the NFL in points scored last season, but will Manziel solve that issue? You have to take into consideration that they lost their biggest playmaker in Arian Foster last due to injury, when you have that happen you lose a guy who gave you 17 touchdowns in the previous season to go along with over 1600 all-purpose yards, not to mention rushing for 1,000 in the past 3 previous seasons. Therefore, I believe the Texans should go ahead stick with another Texas QB Case Keenum, who is from Brownwood, TX and started at the University of Houston. With the mentoring of Bill O’Brien, who is Tom Brady’s former QB coach will help Keenum develop into the QB, he is destined to be.

Unlike Manziel, Clowney is a player that comes along once a century. A defensive player that continues to dominate the field and make his impact known every time he steps onto the turf. With his ability to rush the pass and affect your run offense, will be a reason for QB’s all over the league to audible. Imagine JJ Watt and Jadeveon Clowney on each side rushing for your defense, scary site for every opponent in the league. The Texans lost 9 games last seasons with the point deferential was 7 points or less. With this explosive pass with the added Clowney, can help drive the Texans to help their team win more games and cause more turnovers ratio, where they fell from top ten to the second worst in the league. I know that offense sells tickets, but as the winner of this year’s Super Bowl has proven that “Defense Wins Championships”.

The Greatest Yankee Ever?

Captain Clutch calls it quits after this season

By Stefan Anderson

After announcing his retirement after this upcoming season in a statement given from his Facebook page, Derek Jeter, will end his legendary career after 20th year in service a Yankee. The decision coming on the final year of his contract, turning the age of 40 and after experience a brutal year plagued with injury, the timing seems right. This will be a tragic and emotional year for the New York Yankees, following Mariano Rivera’s retirement, failing to reach the playoffs and then watching the rival Red Sox win the World Series, the Bronx Bombers look to send their captain off with a World Series as well.

Mr. November has been class act since entering the league in 1996. Winning Rookie of Year that year and capping it off with a world series win during his rookie season. Although many believe that Jeter was just a great piece of the Yankees dynasty, that help bring and 4 championships during the 90’s under the management of Joe Torre. How many other players off of those championship teams stick out more than Derek Jeter? Yes, he was on some of the most talented teams we have ever seen in baseball history but you cannot discredit what the captain has done for baseball and the Yankees.

Derek Jeter has been voted into the All-Star game an immaculate 13 times including winning MVP during the 2000 game. Jeter has earned 5 gold gloves, 5 silver sluggers, 3,316 hits and can finish his career in the top 5 all time with 200 hits. Jeter has been the model leader for the New York Yankees during the regular season and the postseason. A career .312 hitter, Jeter has remained a great hitter during the postseason averaging .308 including his .327 average during the World Series is one the reasons he was given the moniker “Captain Clutch”. Jeter defense has been a clinic on how to play to play shortstop ,turning 1,360 double plays while having a .976 fielding percentage throughout his career.

Jeter has remained a model player on and off the field earning endorsements from Jordan Brand, Ford, Gatorade and Gillette just to name a few. For young aspiring athletes, Jeter was who you tried to play like and your favorite actress or singers wanted to date. Jeter embodied the true meaning of a franchise player and superstar, remaining with the Yankees through his 19 year career and represents the Yankees as much as the pinstripes do.

Whether this a great example of PR and marketing or whether it’s the way the Yankees send their stars out of the game. This season should a great one to watch as we get to view one of the greatest players of our generation call it quits.

Don’t Worry About It Too Much

By Stefan Anderson

When Marcus Smart decided stay in college for his sophomore year, unlike other college freshman standouts, he was looked at as mature by many. Choosing the option of staying in college to work on his game, working on his skills and to stay with college teammates Markel Brown and Le’Bryan Nash. The Preseason All-American was seen as a role model for college players to continue their college career instead of foregoing their sophomore season to pursue a NBA career. But after last night’s incident during Saturday night game versus Texas Tech, but as of recent Smart’s judgment and actions has been questioned. But I believe that this all could have been avoided if the little things were not paid attention to.

In the video shown above, following a hard foul given by Smart to stop a layup, Smart ended up in the crowd from momentum of his motions. While getting back up a known fan of the Raiders’ Jeff Orr, said something really stirred Smart up forcing him to shove Orr after the comments. This is not the first incident where Smart has shown his temper during his team’s current 4 game losing streak. But as I stated previous, do not worry about the little things. Was Smart reaction’s outlandish certainly, but if the All American paid attention what was really happening he could of realized the damage he causes his teammates.

Fans have always been known to rowdy and raunchy to opposing teams from the beginning of time. It is something that you come to expect with college basketball game. With this is incident is certainly different from previous situations. Jeff Orr appears to an older man than most energetic, obnoxious and sometimes intoxicated college fans. So when you see him make his comments to Smart after the foul, it really had to be something offense, and has been speculated that he made a racial slur , which is totally out of the line. Whether it right or but is completely wrong if this speculations are true, Orr is entitled to his opinion as a fan and can say whatever he wants , which he did, to take the opponents players out of the game.

Smart’s heated decision ultimately puts his team in jeopardy for the next 3 games as he serves his suspension for his actions. For the next 3 games Oklahoma State faces, #15 Texas, (2nd in Big 12), #21 Oklahoma (3rd in Big 12) and Baylor. With the upcoming conference games it could pay a toll on Cowboys without their star player Marcus Smart as well as playing in the rigorous Big 12 conference. But all is not lost for the young star as he remains amongst the top prospects for this year’s draft and could get his best revenge as he returns from his suspension against Texas Tech on February 22nd.
I am not going stand for Marcus Smart’s actions and what he did, but I can understand his frustration and passion for the game of basketball but if his anger could have been channeled to a different outlet, he could be still playing with his team and competing for the Big 12 regular season title. But instead has to sit back and face the media attention along with watching teammates fight without him and should be a humbling situation for Smart that will propel his game when he returns. When it’s all said and done, Smart could have made a smart decision by just not worrying about the little things (fans, losses, etc.) and focus on what the positives are for this season.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

By Stefan Anderson

When Marshawn Lynch would not speak during this year’s media day, it made him like unprofessional and immature to the masses . But Lynch was certain in actions and had no second guessing as the Seahawks lived up to “Beast Mode” words in Super Bowl 48. The Seahawks dismantled the Broncos 43-8 in Sunday’s matchup.

Seattle’s as a whole came out from the start of the game and proved that they deserved to win the big game. Opening the game with a safety caused on a botched snap to repeatedly capitalizing on Denver errors. The Seahawks did what they did all season causing steady havoc on opposing teams offenses. After forcing nearly 40 turnovers this season, and with a 20 plus turnover to giveaway ratio this season, The Legion of Boom continued to their efforts. Initiating the record breaking Denver offense to have 4 turnovers in Sunday’s game. Forcing two fumbles and 2 Peyton Manning interceptions, including one taken the other way by Super Bowl MVP, Malcolm Smith. The Seahawks also reiterated the cliche that “Defense Wins Championships”.

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson led his offensive team on the offensive of the ball where he won the showdown that no one believed he could win against Peyton Manning. Wilson ended the game 18 for 25, 206 yards and passer rating of 123 for the big game. Russell Wilson did a great job of spreading the wealth by passes completed to 8 different targets. With the win, Wilson joins Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Kurt Warner as quarterbacks to win a Super Bowl in their second year in the NFL. The victory of the Broncos also propelled his coach Pete Carroll too. Carroll joined an exclusive club of coaches, being 1 of 3 coaches to ever win a Super Bowl and National Championship.

No one had Denver coming out looking like the young, inexperienced club that they had the Seahawks quoted as. Denver never at one point throughout the game showed any heart or tenacity toward playing in a championship game. This is another damper in Peyton Manning legendary career that will cemented as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time and joining his rival Tom Brady, as one the greatest quarterbacks that made it to the big game lose twice and completing a fantastic season in horrible fashion. As good as the Broncos looked as the better team on paper with their record breaking season, the Seahawks showed and proved throughout the season they were the best team with their 6-2 record on the road and 7-1 record at home. Believing in Marshawn Lynch quote “I’m bout that action boss”.