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New England Patriots – Faux Interview with Bill Belichick

Posted by TopOfTheThread on January 27, 2015

I was able to call the New England Patriots office and arrange a faux interview with Bill Belichick.  Belichick (BB) would speak with me only on the condition that I gave him my old, cut-up ESPN The Magazine sweatshirt.

BBbelichick

I asked him a series of questions trying to get insight into his peculiar personality.

Based upon your recent press conference, it seems obvious you like the movie My Cousin Vinny.  What are some of your other favorite movies?

BB: Eight Men Out, 21, The Sting

Who is your favorite U.S. President?

BB: Richard Nixon

Who is your favorite Wall Street personality?

BB: Bernie Madoff

What is your favorite quote?

BB: Rules are made to be broken.

What is your favorite quote by a celebrity?

BB:  Bill Clinton “…I did not have sexual relations with that woman …”

Who is your favorite baseball player(s)?

BB: Barry Bonds, Mark McGuire

Who is your favorite non-football athlete?

BB: Lance Armstrong

Who is your favorite female athlete?

BB: Rosie Ruiz

Who is your favorite youth athlete? 

BB: Danny Almonte

What is yout favorite song:

BB: Me and Mrs. Jones by Billy Paul, later remade by others, including Michael Bublé.

What is your favorite color:?

BB: Anything opaque, maybe black

Do you have anything else you’d like to say?

BB: When do I get my ESPN The Magazine Sweatshirt?

 

Ahhh! Now I understand!

(Obviously a fake interview but it was fun to think about  😉 )

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Who’s the rocket-scientist running this dysfunctional New York Knicks organization?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on December 20, 2014

Continuing the Knicks post (rant) from Nov 8th… (https://topofthethread.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/a-realistic-ny-knicks-assessment/ )

Knicks-logo-upside

 How long should we wait for a contending New York Knicks team? 

Oh yeah… how many years ago were we ‘tanking’ the season and playing the ‘salary cap game’? 4 years ago?

Oh yeah we were going to get Lebron James!   Are now we’re AGAIN ‘tanking’ to get Duke’s Jahlil Okafor? Are we? Is that the plan?

Two Bright Spots.

Amar’e Stoudemire seems “healthier” than in previous seasons but it would be a major accomplishment if he makes it through the season… I hope so, but really doubt it. If smart, the Knicks will keep him at 20 – 25 minutes per game.  He’s having a good year and it’s one of the few bright spots in a dismal season.  The other bright spot? Jason Smith.   It’s a shame no one notices it. See his stats. Give him 25 minutes. If you are going to run The Triangle Offense and need someone to hit an open ‘J’ (other than Melo), give it to Jason Smith.

The Triangle Offense.  The Triangle Offense.   The Triangle Offense.

That will save us!  You can have a triangle, parallelogram, or octagon offense… if you do not have talent you won’t win!   The Knicks have one player who would start on a GOOD NBA team; Carmelo Anthony.   Many of the other players are nice second team players but certainly not starters for a contending team.  (Even Amar’e should come off the bench.)

And Carmelo Anthony is not the prototypical team player.  He’s a great shooter and, on this team, one of the better passers. He is, by no means, a leader who makes the players around him better.   When the shot clock is down to 5, give it to Melo and there’s a good chance he’ll bail you out and score.  As far as the triangle, IMHO, it seems the offense may ruin his career.

Backward Logic and Strategy

Does everyone listen to ESPN Radio or other sports radio?   Recently there has been a lot of discussion about (football) quarterbacks and offensive schemes.    A good quarterback is an incredible asset and the scheme needs to meet his strengths.   The quarterback and team will not be successful if you do not leverage the strengths of the QB. You need to put him in a position to be successful.

The same hold true for basketball and the Knicks.  Carmelo Anthony is one of the top 5 – 10 players in the NBA.   Does The Triangle Offense fit his skill set?  The Triangle is a read-and-react offense.  Melo is a great scorer but does he have the basketball IQ to work in this scheme and  raise himself and his teammates to the next level.  I won’t pretend to know but he’s the Knicks $124 million asset and he’s not getting any younger. How long do you wait before implementing an offense that fits Melo’s skill set?

 Phil Jackson is New York’s Messiah

Before the season started everyone was excited about Phil Jackson coming to NY.  Well… it seems he’s come to NY at least part time ;).   All those championships!  The Zen Master!   Blah blah blah… The Triangle Offense… Oh come on…

As a Knick fan, I hope he has what it takes to be a general manager.  He’s never been a GM.

He has shown he can coach teams to NBA Championships with rosters stacked with 2-way Hall of Fame players.  Michael Jordan. Scottie Pippen. Kobe Bryant. Shaquille O’Neal.

Does it take a certain type of personality to manage these stars’ personalities? Absolutely yes. Props to him.

Is Phil in the same situation here in NY? No.   Does he have the talent to convert a bottom dweller to a championship team? Maybe. Who knows? But he has no track record in these conditions.

I hope he can do it. 

Going Forward

Frankly, I am not sure why any star player would want to come to the Knicks.  It would seem the only reason Melo stayed is because he could sign for more money on his current team.

Sorry for all the gloom and doom.  Deep down I’m hopeful for a Knicks turnaround. It’s just hard being both a New York Knicks and Jets fan.

 

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IMHO – Jumping the gun on the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Brackets

Posted by TopOfTheThread on March 17, 2013

Today is Selection Sunday. In approximately 8 hours, we will see the real brackets and scramble to complete them for our office, friends and online pools.

I know I am jumping the gun, but let’s take an early look at the tournament using Joe Lunardi’s predictions on Espn.com.

2013-NCAA Mens Basketball Brackets-east

East – IMHO:

  • Miami is the type of team that can make a run. Good, quick guard play from Larkin is the key to their success.  Their #2 seed is earned and it would not be a surprise if they made it to the Final 4.
  • Wisconsin is battle tested having gone through many wars in the Big 10.  While somewhat inconsistent at time, they have the tools to make a run.
  • Never count out Tom Izzo and Michigan State.  Many of their losses in the Big 10 could have gone either way. Yesterday Izzo commented he is ready to play non-Big-10 teams.  If he gets this far, he may be facing Miami and then Wisconsin again.
  • Louisville has had an up and down year. They seem to be on the upswing. This type of athletic, pressing team is built for this tournament.  Throw in Rick Pitino and watch out. I would not want to play them.  You need a solid, smart, well-coached team to break their press and force them to back off.  Who is that?

2013-Brackets- Mens Basketball south

South – IMHO:

  • This is the most unpredictable bracket. Duke and Michigan are  inconsistent.
  • Duke. Duke. Duke.  Ryan Kelly is back. Now they are supposed to be  a great team.  They can get to the Final 4. They will try to “out score” you. Defense is not great. The do not box out and give up way too many offensive rebounds. If their offense is hot, they will go far. Of not, they won’t.
  • Kansas is strong. McLemore and 7 footer Withey will be tough.  They have 4 players averaging in double-figure points.  I am unsure of them. I can picture them getting to the Final 4. I can also picture them getting knocked out by the likes of Michigan or Arizona.
  • Which Michigan team will show up?  That says it all.

2013-Brackets Mens Basketball-west

West-IMHO:

  • Regional and time-zone advantage to Gonzaga.  The #1 ranked team in the country.  Olynyk and Harris have good point and rebound numbers.  I have not seen them enough to contribute to the “weak schedule” argument.   The first few games will really tell the story.  If they win this bracket, they will have certainly earned it by facing the likes of  The Ohio State, Kansas State, and Syracuse.
  • The Ohio State is a tough team that finds ways to win.  Thomas and Craft get all the attention.  Smith is hot and cold.  Watch out for Ross and Thompson. They are long athletes who can put the ball in the hoop.  If they play well, they can make it to the Final 4.
  •  Syracuse is for real.  They have 4 players in double-figure points.  Long players in a tough zone defense.  Syracuse versus The Ohio State could be a great game.  I have no idea how that game would end.

2013-NCAA Mens Basketball Brackets-midwest

Midwest – IMHO:

  • Indiana deserves the top seed in this bracket.  Zeller and Oladipo, NBA first-rounders, are the leaders of this team. Players like Watford and Sheehey greatly affect games and spread out the court.  On paper, I do not see how they lose.  But, of late, they have been losing.   It seems like Oladipo gets distracted and is not always on the top of his game.  If Zeller and Oladipo are on the top of their games, and everyone else plays average games, they will be hard to beat. 
  • Georgetown is long, lean, and athletic. They are coached well and will be hard to beat.  They play good defense.  IF they get by UNC, they will get to the Elite 8.  An Indiana v. GTown game would be fun to watch.  I would venture to say GTown could take Indiana out of their game.
  • North Carolina has had 2 seasons; the 1st half and the 2nd half.  They have that “Carolina Talent” and, if they play well, can get by GTown and Florida.  I doubt they can beat Indiana.
  • I have only seen Florida play twice this year.  Obviously they are a balanced team on the offensive side of the court.  Can they beat a UNC or GTown?  Can they beat a well-coached VCU?  We’ll know soon enough.

2013-Brackets NCAA Mens Basketball

IMHO:  Of course this not even using the actual brackets, but…

  • Final 4: Louisville. Kansas. The Ohio State.  Georgetown.
  • Final game:  Georgetown. Louisville.
  • 2013 NCAA Mens Basketball Champion: Louisville

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It’s Super Bowl Sunday…

Posted by TopOfTheThread on February 3, 2013

… and we need to have a quick chat about College Hoops.  I am a New Yorker and love hoops! This post is oriented towards the Knicks and Nets.

After yesterday’s college basketball game between University Of Michigan and Indiana University, I had to look at the 2013 mock NBA daft. (Thank you NBADraft.net).  It was a great game showcasing great college, soon to be pro, talent.

  • Trey Burke. Great Talent.  Plays taller than his 6’0″ size because of his step back jumper.Will he be the next Kyree Irving?  Or Austin Rivers? (Note: I am not giving up on the 6’4″ Rivers. He’s so young with tremendous potential upside, but IMHO, he was overrated coming out of Duke.)
  • Cody Zeller. Great Talent. Great height and I assume he will fill-out since he is only a sophomore. Awesome athleticism for a 7-footer. Nice touch on his shot.  Yesterday’s game was a Zeller Showcase! Forecasted to go to the Cavs? That would be interesting to see him lay with Kyree Irving.

The charts below have Zeller going 3rd and Burke going 21st?  Unless Burke “falls off of a cliff”, there is no way he will be available at 21.  And is he a fit for the Brooklyn Nets?  Drafting on the “best available player” theory, yeah, take him. But the Nets backcourt is strong.  (Full disclosure: I rushed to see a mock draft wondering if there was any way Zeller could end up with the Nets.  Deron Williams + Joe Johnson + Brooke Lopez (healthy) + Cody Zeller?  I know it’s a pipe dream and probably impossible, but that would put them up there with the elite teams in the league.)

2013 NBA Mock Draft

2013 NBA Mock Draft


  • Glen Robinson III. Talented. Just a freshman and probably still growing. Good size. Good body. Good blood-lines.  He disappeared against Indiana, but again, he’s just a freshman.  We’re getting into the pressure-filled part of the season. It will be interesting to see how he progresses.
  • Tim Hardaway Jr.  to the NY Knicks?  Athletic. Good size for a #2.  Does he have the NBA jumper? Great blood-lines.  He’s definitely worth taking a chance at the 25th pick.

Note to the NY Knicks:  If there is a way to trade up to get Trey Burke, do it!  Young athletic point guard.  Have him come in and work alongside Raymond Felton and be under the tutelage of Jason Kidd? What would be better than that?  A No Brainer. 

  • Victor Oladipo.  I do not know what to say about him. He’s a beast! A great athlete. Offense. Defense.  While he may not fit a prototypical NBA role, but he will carve out playing time and will be a major factor in games.  He may be the sleeper of the 2013 NBA draft. (More on Victor below!)

NBA Mock Draft

Before clicking on the image below, take a second to look at the image. The video goes by quickly and you may not appreciate what actually happened.  This ‘miss’ of a dunk, on a bad pass, may be better than any NBA or college dunks this year!

Indiana University Victor Oladipo missed dunk

Click to see video – Indiana University Victor Oladipo missed dunk

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Who else met the girlfriend of Manti Teʻo ?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on January 18, 2013

Manti Teʻo girlfriend

Manti Teʻo

Manti Teʻo

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NY Jets Football and Billy Joel’s We Didn’t Start The Fire

Posted by TopOfTheThread on December 30, 2012

NY Jets NFLWe all agree The Jets are a disaster on and off the field.

I wonder if Long Island’s Billy Joel is a NY Jets Football fan.   It would be appropriate  if  Billy, or someone with musical talent, would update the song “We Didn’t Start The Fire” to cover the last 2 seasons of the NY Jets.

Will someone talented at lyrics and music (like Billy), please jump in!

 Here’s fodder for the start of the effort:

  • Bring in Tim Tebow and disrupting a horrendous lockerroom to begin with
  • Rex Ryan big mouth
  • Cromartie with 10 kids with 8 different women
  • Jets provide Cromartie with a $500,000 advance so he could make outstanding child support payments.
  • Cromartie being the 2nd best wide receiver
  • Anotonio Holmes is injured, is he now the best receiver?
  • Darrelle Revis getting hurt
  • Dismantling one of the top rushing games in the NFL. Getting rid of Thomas Jones.
  • Skipping the 2nd string QB to play the 3rd String QB (McElroy)
  • QB McElroy starting one game and getting a concussion
  • Skipping back after the 3rd string quarterback to 1st string QB (Sanchez)
  • The lying by the coaches (or Tebow) about Tebow not wanting to play the Wildcat
  • The Butt Fumble
  • Santonio Holmes pouting on the side line
  • New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards is being sued for child support again
  • Braylon Edwards tweets the Jets are “idiots” and then is brought back.
  • Fire OC Shottenheimer – hire Wildcat expert  Sparano – Fire Sparano
  • Doing absolutely nothing in the off-season to help the team.
  • Fire Ryan. Fire Tannenbaum
  • And the cross-town rivals NY Giants win the Super Bowl Again!

Maybe it can be called “We Didn’t Start The Back-Fire”?

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We found the baseball ARod threw into the stands…

Posted by TopOfTheThread on October 19, 2012

We found the baseball ARod threw into the stands…  I guess she’s a baseball groupie with principles…

ARod Baseball found thrown into the stands during Yankee game vs Detroit Tigers

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Are people rooting for Tiger Woods?

Posted by TopOfTheThread on May 5, 2012

I was just reading an article by John Berry – Record-Bee golf columnist called “Tiger’s Act Wore Thin with Haney By 2010.”

Here’s a short excerpt: …In November of 2009, Woods won the Australian Masters, and yet Haney was concerned about Tiger’s on-course behavior and mentioned that he thought that Woods was troubled. A few weeks later, Woods hit a fire hydrant outside his Isleworth house on Thanksgiving night. That minor traffic incident led to a deluge of tabloid stories on Woods, porn stars, Waffle House girls and infidelity….Tiger Woods Golf Karma

Why do people root for Tiger Woods? I am not saying it’s wrong or right?  It’s just interesting to ponder.

Will he break Jack Nicklaus’ record for winning the most Majors? Are we rooting for him to break the record?

We all know he is not the model citizen…

  • He throws his clubs and is a hot head.
  • He uses foul language on the course.
  • And, according to reports, he is an adulterer and has had sexual escapades while his wife was home taking care of his children.

He swing may be something to emulate, but his character and certain ethics are certainly not something you want to duplicate.

Before that infamous 2009 Thanksgiving event, he was the poster child for golf and one of the world’s top Pitch-Men. Most people also believed he would break Jack Nicklaus’ record.

And now?  Will he will win another Major?  Is Jack Nicklaus’ record safe?

Is he going through a period of bad Karma? Everyone has good and bad in them.  We all go through ups and downs in life.  I am rooting for him.

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Brandon Jacobs linked to probe of New Jersey state troopers / dangerous high-speed road rally

Posted by TopOfTheThread on April 29, 2012

Here’s another “1 percenter” story and it supposedly involves the NFL’s Brandon Jacobs…

  • A story was published by CBS NY  and NBC Sports:  State Police patrol cars with their emergency lights flashing drove in front of and behind a caravan of dozens of Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other cars, all heading to Atlantic City driving way too fast, and all with their license plates covered by tape.
  • (Per NBC SportsBrandon Jacobs was reportedly one of the drivers when dozens of luxury sports cars were escorted by police going over 100 miles an hour down the Garden State Parkway last month in an incident that has some New Jersey state troopers under investigation.

>>> Please read the articles on  CBS NY  and NBS Sports

Where does the stupidity end?  

Some celebrities and wealthy individuals decide they want to drive 100 mph down the NJ Turnpike and our bureaucracy and police enable them?  What?

How was this initiated?  

Did someone reach out to the police and say

Hey, my rich buddies and I would like to speed down the turnpike. Can you help set it up?”    

Were the cops bribed? Cash? Giants tickets?  

WHERE DOES THIS END? 

* * *

1. Here is a video of the incident taken by a couple of kids who jumped into the “Road Rally”. The troopers assist speeding down NJ Turnpike, go through red lights, skip tolls, and the license plates are covered!  Its a long video but it is worth watching it.   Trooper escorting sports cars on Parkway (HQ Version) WE’RE IN THE RALLY!!!  (Below)

2. Watch Bob’s video “Laws DO NOT Apply to Celebrities According to the State of New Jersey…..” He calls it like it is.  Celebrities get special treatment. (Below)

.

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Metta World Peace (Ron Artest) violent assault on James Harden in NBA game (continued)

Posted by TopOfTheThread on April 24, 2012

To continue on the violent act of Metta World Peace (Ron Artest)… (see)

Charge him with assault!  There are precedents for filing charges.

Here are just a few examples of professional athletes previously brought up on charges for events during a “game.”  (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violence_in_ice_hockey#On-ice_incidents_resulting_in_charges)

  • 1988 – Dino Ciccarelli hit Leafs defenceman Luke Richardson with his stick. Charged and convicted of assault, he was sentenced to one day in jail and fined $1,000.
  • 1998 – Jesse Boulerice of the Plymouth Whalers was suspended for the rest of the playoffs after violently swinging his stick at Guelph Storm forward Andrew Long. Boulerice was charged with assault as a result of the incident.
  • 2000 – Marty McSorley of the Boston Bruins hit Vancouver Canuck Donald Brashear in the head with his stick in the waning moments of the game… McSorley was convicted of assault with a weapon and given an 18-month conditional discharge.
  • 2004 – After repeated failed attempts at instigating a fight, Todd Bertuzzi of the Vancouver Canucks sucker-punched Steve Moore of the Colorado Avalanche in the back of the head, knocking Moore unconscious…. Bertuzzi was charged by police, and given a conditional discharge after pleading guilty to assault causing bodily harm. …

* * *

I am not sure if all the above arrests (or charges) took place in Canada.

The local municipality, where the assault by Metta World Peace took place, should at least consider bringing charges against him. 

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