Archive for October, 2011

Athletes We Hate

October 24, 2011

Hate is a strong word. It’s used a lot in sports, maybe too much. But get used to it, because that’s what this post is about. It is important to note that there is a big difference between sports hate and regular hate. Regular hate is not cool, unless it’s that kid in school who thinks he is a tough guy but really isn’t—you can hate him all you want. But that’s one of the few exceptions. Sports hate is different. It can be one tiny thing about the athlete that makes you hate him or her. So here is our list.

Rajon Rondo: He can ball. Don’t get us wrong. But he threw Kirk Hinrich into the scorer’s table which wasn’t a cheap shot. And he must have gone to the Carmelo Anthony School of fighting, because when Hinrich came after him to retaliate, Rondo just kept backing up. If you want to fight (PBSB are lovers not fighters) then do it, but don’t cheap shot somebody then wuss out when they come back at you. Also he used to wear his headband upside down—how annoying is that. We hate it when people try to make it seem like they don’t care, but are trying really hard. “What’s that, the logo is upside down on my headband…whatever I don’t care.” Yes you do Rajon, we know you do. Plus, the dude cannot shoot a jumper.

The Williams Sister: Serena and Venus Williams are the only hopes for Americans when it comes to winning majors, but we here at PBSB can’t root for them. Their shrieks and screams are just too much for us to handle. They aren’t the only females who scream too much when they’re playing tennis, but at least Maria Sharapova is somewhat attractive. Add to the screaming that the sisters are rude and it isn’t a combination PBSB can stand behind. Their outfits are also absurd. Serena also has a temper problem. Like a very serious temper problem.

Tom Brady: This one is more of jealousy-hatred than anything else. He’s too perfect. No one should be as talented and lucky as he is.

Super Bowl rings, money, Giselle Bundchen—you name it there is a good chance Tom Brady slept with it. He does have some bad hair though, so eat that, Tom. What!? Giselle likes his hair like that. Alright, well we have nothing against this guy then, but we still don’t like him. Our ACLs have never been torn, so take that, Tom.

Mark Schlereth: You probably know Mark from his ESPN work covering the NFL. But he wants you to know him as the guy who had thousands of surgeries. If I have to hear Schlereth complain about how many surgeries he had one more time, I will go to Bristol and break his leg so he has to get another one (it’s about the two minute mark when Mark talks about himself…and the four minute mark). You played football, Mark; it’s a contact sport, so get over yourself. Maybe you should’ve done ballet if you didn’t want to get injured…but then your toes might hurt. He also tried to be an actor on a soap opera…two strikes, sir.

Old Brett Favre: We love young Favre, but flash forward to 2005ish and on. Brett Favre is now the grizzled veteran. He’s the gunslinger. He’s mulling retirement. He’s retired. He’s making a comeback. He was inching towards breaking just about every passing record, including INTs. Offseason drama with Green Bay was the norm and Favre seemed closer to retirement than ever after the 2007 season. Favre retired but made a comeback and had himself cleverly traded to the Jets after requesting his release from the Packers, which then allowed him to go to the Vikings. The move to Minnesota could’ve been a brilliant dig at new Packers GM Ted Thompson if Favre wouldn’t have thrown one last deciding INT in the NFC Championship game. His name was in the news for all the wrong reasons after his sex scandal while with the Jets and he has now resurfaced, seeking attention by giving his opinion on his successful successor Aaron Rodgers. Favre went from a painstakingly consistent player to a man that seemed to be just like every other selfish, wayward athlete.

Paul Pierce: How does he do it? He’s not the biggest guy on the court and not nearly the fastest. Paul Pierce has been getting it done in the league 13 years now. Although he’s one of the worst floppers in the game and has been accused of faking an injury, Pierce has had an impressive career, all the more reason for us at PBSB to hate him. He’s an NBA champion and Finals MVP, albeit only after BOS signed KG and Ray Allen, but anyway he’s only one of three Celtics (Larry Bird and John Havlicek) to score 20,000 points with BOS alone, has a mean 3 pt shot and is a 9 time All Star.  But he cannot grow facial hair.

LeBron James: Now don’t just go putting PBSB on the side of “LeBron Haters.” If you’re not a diehard LeBron fan, it’s easy to hate him. How can you not? The man is 6’8 250 and can play virtually any position on the court. He’s still young and is now on a team that looks like they can help him earn his first, well deserved ring. It’s not his play on the court that makes us hate LBJ; he’s a clean player and his game speaks for itself. A perennial All Star, the #1 jersey seller and he’s endorsement laden; LeBron is very hateable. Things like “the Decision” and the constant comparisons to Jordan are what make us hate LBJ. There will never be another Jordan and LeBron needs to be put in his own category that includes other new age multipurpose freaks like Kevin Durant, LaMarcus Aldridge and Josh Smith.  

Rodney Harrison: He could be considered one of the dirtiest players in NFL history. A study done in 2008 showed he was ranked 2nd since 2001 with 14 personal fouls. He was also a part of the Patriot teams that were caught during Spy Gate, which also doesn’t help his cause. Somehow now he’s an NFL analyst for NBC, which is a whole other topic pbsb has beef; the selection of former athletes that get hired as analysts and commentators. Harrison did however score points for his owning of Athletes We Hate Semi-Finalist Freddie “FredEx” Mitchell in the 2004 Super Bowl.

Alex Rodriguez: A-Rod is just a crappy person. We here at PBSB don’t understand how he gets girls. Either he isn’t how he seems or some women like money. It’s probably the money thing, isn’t it? Most importantly, A-Rod cheated. He took steroids and we don’t like that at all. Speaking of cheating jerks…

Barry Bonds* and other roiders: These guys cheated, plain and simple. Traditional training wasn’t enough, so these guys (Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmero, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco and the list goes on) broke the rules by taking performance-enhancing drugs. We stuck to just baseball here, but let it be known all sport’s roiders are included. They’ve taken the joy away from the game. Now we question every single feat by an athlete. A guy jumps from 15 to 40 home runs…steroids. Someone works out all off-season and improves…has to be roids. The innocence is gone from baseball and every sport to a degree, and sadly it may never return.

For part one of this segment, Athlete We Love, continue reading below.

Athletes we love

October 14, 2011

This post and our next post will be all about the athletes who play the game. And whether or not we love or hate those athletes. Up first are the athletes we love (not all the athletes, just some of our favorites).

Michael Jordan: The greatest basketball player ever has to go top on this list. You knew exactly what you were getting from MJ. Every time on the court he gave his all. It’s not even possible to put a highlight reel of Air Jordan together (some people try), because it would be too long. Six-time NBA champ, five-time MVP (should have been more), six-time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time All Star, ten-time scoring champ, three time steals leader…OK I’ll stop there. There may never be someone as clutch as Michael again. And it wasn’t just his athleticism. He redefined his game as he got older and still dominated the league. Just remember he was not only the best offensive player in the league at the time, but also the best defensive player—an improbable combination that created one of the greatest careers in sports.

Derrick Rose: There isn’t any Bulls bias here…Rose is just the most fun player in the NBA to watch right now. That’s not to say he’s the best in the league, but he can get there. The jump he made last year was incredible. Rose truly cares about the game and wants to get better. You cannot say that for everyone in the league. While some people are out at clubs getting drunk, PBSB pictures Rose at home just hanging out. It’s perfectly fine either way (party or not) but we want the star of our team to care more about basketball than the hoochies at the bar. Rose extended his range, got even stronger and worked on his defense last offseason (some Derrick Rose in HD!); we can’t wait to see how he improves this year (get the season going!).

Richard Gasquet: This man has the prettiest backhand in the world. That isn’t a euphemism, he’s a tennis player. Gasquet hasn’t won a major yet, but he had some great tournaments last year. He also got off of a suspension for drugs, by claiming that he kissed a girl at a club who had cocaine on her lips. So whichever way that story goes, I’d like to hear more. We can even overlook the fact that he’s French and say we love him.

Ken Griffey Jr: The number one thing we can say about him is that he did it the right way. Nothing points to illegal substances and the shape of Junior’s career is the natural shape that it’s supposed to take. Great when he was younger and decayed with age. He always had a smile on his face and seemed like the most approachable guy in the world. He would be the all time home run had he not put his body on the line so much in centerfield…and had so many other players not used steroids.

Maria Kirilenko and Ana Ivanovic: Only a picture is needed to let you know why we love these ladies, so click on the links. We’ll wait…you done? How about now? OK. So, are they the best tennis players ever? No, but Ivanovic has a major win and Kirilenko is an up-and-coming 24-year-old. We don’t always have to watch sports for the talent, sometimes we watch for other things.

Andre Johnson: Johnson just does what he is supposed to. He catches balls and makes plays, but doesn’t have to bring attention to himself. And also he beat the crap out of Cortland Finnegan, which PBSB is OK with. And he has a really sweet voice. Sultry smooth.

Ed Reed: PBSB loves a guy who does anything to get into the endzone. And that is Ed Reed. He will pitch it, or even steal it from his teammate to score points. Reed interceptions are the most second exciting things in the NFL (only losing to Devin Hester returns…and speaking of Hester)

Devin Hester: Sports are about excitement and nobody brings more excitement when he touches the ball than Devin Hester. Anytime Devin has his mitts on the pigskin, it could go for six (or he could fumble it, but that’s exciting too). Here are the best from college and the pros.

Kevin Durant: Just like Andre Johnson, there is something to be said for guys that just do their job, and do it extremely well. KD is the best scorer in the league and a blast to watch, it only helps him that he is on a fun team like the Thunder. The only thing he is missing is a good nickname. And an MVP trophy.

Kyle Farnsworth: Not for his pitching…no we don’t care about that. It’s for this. Dude is a fighter. Just like Nolan Ryan, Farnsworth isn’t afraid to
beat the crap out of someone who he just threw inside on.

Mark Titus: Perhaps we see ourselves in Titus. We never peaked at the athletic level we wished. But PBSB did combine for one of the greatest plays in sixth grade basketball history. Sadly no film of this play exists, but just trust us, it was awesome. Any, Titus was the basketball walk-on at Ohio State that created the Club Trillion blog. Titus can laugh about himself, but he can still ball. A guy who knows his limits and can entertain us is a combination we can get on board with.

Charles Barkley: Chuck is just a fun loving guy. He was fun to watch as a player, and he may be just as fun to watch now as a personality. Charles was just 6-6, but averaged 11.7 rebound a game. In his post-basketball career Barley isn’t afraid to tell it how it is—or more accurately how he sees it—on any topic. It’s refreshing to find a guy that doesn’t care what others think and just speaks his mind, with humor as well.

Shaquille O’Neal: What’s not to love about Shaq? He was dominant on and off the court, winning 4 NBA titles, rookie of the year in 1993 and MVP in 2000 amongst many other accolades. Shaq was not only born for the basketball court, but also the stage. Shaq is both a versatile actor and rapper.

Jim Thorpe: An Olympic Gold Medalist in 1912 in the pentathlon and decathlon, played collegiate and pro football, baseball and basketball. And do you have a town named after you?

Orenthal James “O.J.” Simpson (as an athlete, relax): Orenthal started turning heads while at USC where he won the Walter Camp Award twice, theMaxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy in a landslide. Juice was a gifted runner who was the first NFL back to rush for over 2,000 yards (in a 14 game season) with the Buffalo Bills. He also acted and did some commentating before you know the whole murder case thing.

Jim Brown: He is considered by many to be the best football player of all time. 9 Pro Bowls, 3 MVPs, 9 All Pro Team selections, over 12,000 yards, 120 TDs and much more, all with the Cleveland Browns. He dabbled in acting and is also a member of the Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The scariest thing about Brown? People say he was better at lacrosse than football.

Young Brett Favre: Young Favre (1992-2006ish) was the poster child for the blue collar, tough nosed, selfless athlete. He holds virtually every NFL passing record including TDs (508), yards (71,838) and consecutive starts (297). Favre was named MVP three consecutive seasons (1995-97), was a Super Bowl Champion in 1996 and simply had fun out there making a name for himself as a gunslinger.

Jackie Robinson: Not much needs to be said about the man that bravely broke down the color barrier in professional baseball all while putting up some great stats including a .311 BA, .409 OBP and over 1,500 hits.

Wilt Chamerberlain: A Harlem Globetrotter, the only player to drop 100 pts in a game and the dude also had game off the court.

Barry Sanders: Watching Barry Sanders run was beautiful, even if it was against your favorite team. No one should be able to change directions that fast. Speed, vision, quickness Sanders had it all. He didn’t need to run through people, because he could just run around them. One of the greatest people to make a highlight reel of, there will never be another Barry Sanders.

Bo Jackson: Bo Knows that there’s a trend here with these multi-sport athletes. Jackson was an all-star in the NFL and MLB. He was drafted by the Yankees, but chose to play college football on scholarship at Auburn where he went on to win the Heisman.

Hey That’s Random It’s…

October 6, 2011

A new segment pbsb is introducing is the ‘Hey That’s Random It’s…’ The title pretty much says it all. Every week or so we’ll highlight some random aspect of athletics, be it a particular sport, game or player. This week it’s a player and ‘Hey that’s random, it’s…

Rasheed Wallace  

“Ball Don’t Lie”

Who better to start off this new segment than Sheed? Drafted 4th overall out of UNC in 1995 by the Washington Bullets, yes they went on to become the Wizards, Sheed went on to play 16 season in the NBA with the Bullets, Portland Trailblazers, one game with the Atlanta Hawks, Detroit Pistons and Boston Celtics.

Sheed tore it up at UNC

A Philadelphia native, Rasheed attended Simon Gratz High School where he drew the attention from the University of North Carolina. In the 92-93 season, Wallace was named by USA Today the High School Basketball Player of the Year. Rumor has is that Wallace’s coach would only play him for one half of the game, yet Sheed would still average 19 points. He was one of many future NBA greats to play in the McDonald’s High School All American game, which Sheed fouled out, something most players can’t say about their experience.

While at Carolina, Sheed excelled. He helped the Heels reach the Final Four in 1995 alongside Jerry Stackhouse. Sheed also holds the all time shooting percentage record for the ACC with 0.635. Off the court Sheed would hone his videogame skills at the student union building. Apparently Sheed had a nack for some Mortal Kombat II and NBA Jam. Reporters would have to seek him out to get interviews, which most likely annoyed the man while he’s trying to unwind.  Sheed spent just a short time at UNC, but definitely made a name for himself. He was drafted in 95’ by the Bullets, which began his 16-season career.

After a short stay in Washington, where he was named to the Rookie All-Star team, Sheed was traded to the Portland Trailblazers. His years in Portland could be considered some of his most memorable while in the league. This is where he would set the record for most technical fouls in a season with 41. Sheed holds the all time NBA record for techs with 304.

In Portland, Sheed’s notoriety grew. When asked if he could find a good cheesesteak in Portland, the Philly native appropriately replied “Hell no!” The team would be dubbed the “JailBlazers” because of the roster’s laundry list of off the court antics. The roster included: Ruben Patterson, a naughty Shawn Kemp, Damon Stoudamire and Zach Randolph, who, on paper made a pretty damn good line up.

The Jailblazers looked great on paper, which later was rolled into a fat spliff.

The project in Portland however did not work and Sheed was traded to Atlanta, where he played one game–one pretty good game (20 pts 6 rebs 5 blocks 2 assists & 1 steal). After the layover that was his career in Atlanta, Sheed was a Detroit Piston. Sheed would win an NBA Title in 2004 with Ben Wallace, Rip Hamilton, Chauncey Billups and co.

After the core of the Detroit team was broken up, Sheed signed with the Boston Celtics, which is where he would wrap up his memorable career.

Sheed giving a well deserved smooth to the Larry O'Brien trophy

Rasheed Wallace is the type of athletic personality that we love at pbsb. Yeah, he may have seemed like a jerk to some, but Rasheed Wallace was always a genuine person on and off the court. It has been said of Wallace that he would avoid post-game interviews to talk to his mom. Now how can you have animosity towards the guy after hearing that? He performed well on the court and backed up his talk. He was a star during every level of his basketball career. Players like Sheed bring an attitude and personality to sports that attract and create fans, like us.