Ricky Rubio is the Truth

December 31, 2011

The past week has been really awesome because there is a free trial of NBA League Pass on DirecTV.  This means that I have been able to watch any NBA game I want.  Because each team has already played at least three times, and because I have a lot of free time, I have been able to watch almost every team play so far.  The only teams I haven’t watched for at least a few minutes are the Hornets, Nets, and Bobcats.  By far the most fun team to watch so far has been the Minnesota Timberwolves.  They are young, fast, and most importantly have Ricky Rubio.

Rubio has almost single-handedly made the Timberwolves exciting to watch and competitive in their games.  The T-Wolves haven’t won a game yet but they lead the league in moral victories with close losses to the Heat and Thunder, the favorites in the Eastern and Western conferences respectively.  In many ways Rubio is the white Spanish Cam Newton.  All that’s left for Rubio to do to complete this comparison is to actually start winning some games and dominate the Rookie of the Year Award.  There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he is going to do these things.  Rubio’s first two games showed flashes of his potential but last night against the heat he completely took over on offense for long stretches at a time.  People have been gushing over his passing ability for like four years but no one could do it justice.  Rubio has a surreal ability to see, and then execute long fast-break and skip passes that I don’t think anyone else in the league could complete.  It also doesn’t hurt that he looks like he should be starring in High School Musical 6

When you think of a good passer people like Rondo, CP3, and Steve Nash come to mind.  All of these guys are exceptional passers but they do it in a different way than Rubio.  Those guys succeed because they can draw extra defenders to them and then find the open man.  Rubio does something a little different.  He is not yet a confident scorer in the NBA and as a result cannot draw double teams like the rest of the successful point guards in the league.  Rubio makes up for this with exceptional passing range.  Even if defensive players are not forced to double team him they still rotate towards the ball.  Rubio is so accurate that he can exploit this small space to get an assist.

This is a clip of all six of his assists from the Thunder game on the 26th.

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I have been watching the NBA for a long time but cannot think of anybody who Rubio reminds me of.  I had to go to my Dated References Consultant (my Dad) to come up with a player who had the kind of passing range that Rubio has displayed so far.  The only comparison he could think of was Magic Johnson.  This is not to say that Rubio is even remotely close to the player that Magic was but that they have similar court vision and passing accuracy.

When Rubio gets a little more confident scoring the ball then he is going to be a dominant point guard.  My bold prediction of the day is this: Rubio will be among the top five point guards in the league in five years.  People will talk about Rubio in the same breath as Wall and Rondo and only slightly below D-Rose.

This segment chronicles the excessive and hilarious stereotyping that sports announcers lapse into when commentating.  If you missed last week’s edition then this will make no sense so check it out here for a full explanation of the terms and what they mean.

 

Typically college basketball provides the best fodder for the Racist Announcer Watch because there are more games then there are competent announcers.  College basketball goes on hiatus however over christmas break, plus I have almost completely converted to the NBA except for Duke and UNC games.  Fortunately for me, Troy Aikman and Joe Buck still get paid to announce football games.  The Cowboys-Eagles game from last Saturday was littered with the casual stereotyping and racial profiling that is so much fun to analyze.

The most blatant example of this came in the second quarter when Aikman was singing the praises of Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee.  Aikman called Lee a “Gym rat” and proceeded to laud him for the time spent working out.  Lee is of course a white player.

This is absurd on a number of levels.  Firstly, Lee is a professional football player who damn well better be spending a lot of time in the gym.  Secondly it is pretty unlikely that Lee works out more than the rest of his teammates.  Here is a picture of Lee.

This is a picture of his teammate outside linebacker Demarcus Ware.

It’s pretty clear who spends more of his working out and yet Aikman never mentioned Ware’s work ethic or time spent in the gym.  Instead after a particularly awesome sack Joe Buck called Ware a “physical specimen” and Aikman concurred stating that Ware is an “exceptional athlete.”  Good work Fox broadcast team.  You are this week’s racist announcers.

 

 

Check back next week as I go to the tape to see if spectacular athlete Tim Tebow is given credit for his athleticism by the announcers.  (Yes I have tivoed the past 5 Broncos games.  If the rapture happens at Mile High Stadium I don’t want to miss it.)  My money is on “toughness” and “grit” being the buzzwords to describe Tebow.

As always follow me on twitter  @crow___bar to get updates on racist announcers who don’t make it into the blog.

 

When I came up with this idea I was really excited.  It combines my two favorite things to do.  Wasting time on twitter and making fun of people.  Unfortunately I didn’t really think through the consequences of following the absolute dumbest athletes on twitter.  My feed has been absolutely devastated by stupid retweets, bad jokes, and punctuation that would horrify a small child.  This weeks winner of the prestigious Athletes Who Are Too Stupid For Twitter award has tweets that range from confusing to idiotic to completely insane.  I am talking of course about Tony Allen.

Allen is the starting shooting guard for the Memphis Grizzlies.  He also might be crazy.  Allen has a miserable jump shot, can barely dribble, and as a result is always near the bottom of the league in field goal percentage and turnovers.  He is in the league for one thing.  His absurd, angry, and at times demented method of playing defense.  This picture shows him literally terrorizing Carmelo Anthony.

 

The look on Anthony’s face in this picture is very familiar to me.  I commonly make it when reading tweets from Allen.  Allen uses a mixture of commitment, effort, and insanity to become a dominant defender.  He brings those same attributes to twitter and the results are equally frightening.  With at least 40 tweets every day Allen smothers my feed the way he smothers ballhandlers.  He also fails to say anything sensical or interesting.  Here are a few of the most absurd:

“I called room service!! The phone ranged!! 75 times, order my food!dude said wait about hour ur whole team just caled and ordered somen.”

“I don’t trick but I can make u famous!”

“Hard on em mane!”

“45 degrees!!! She got her top drop,, she had 2 hit a skunk : its cold as I don’t know what! Smh”

“Stomach! Whas 2 my back!! Now I’m walkn like I’m 6 months!! Prego!! Leaving the chris”

“The LORD works in mysterioUs ways!!”

“Watching espn!! No closed captions !! Trying 2 lip read!! Remind me of the movie!! See no evil hear no evil”

 

As you can see most of these tweets are complete and utter nonsense.  I wish I could tell you that these are taken out of context, but there is literally no context.  Allen also seems to really enjoy exclamation marks but lacks any understanding of how to use them.  In some cases they appear to be used instead of commas, in others they serve no purpose whatsoever.  Occasionally Allen will actually use an exclamation mark correctly but this may just be an accident.  Capitalization also seems to be completely arbitrary.

Tony Allen’s twitter is so obnoxiously worthless that we can only wish his publicist had a little bit more Ryan from The Office in him.

He would have saved us all a little pain and suffering.  Allen’s twitter is @aa000g9.  Follow him at your own risk

 

 

For this weeks proper use of twitter by an athlete we turn to Duke shooting guard Andre Dawkins, and his wonderful analysis near the end of third quarter of Mavs-Heat game. “Yo but the Mavs really got 43 point right now tho.”  He also added after the game, “‘the mavs lost by 11?? That’s not bad’ *someone who didn’t watch the game*”  Accurate, entertaining, and most importantly understandable by the average human being.

 

If you missed last weeks AWATSFT check it out here for an explanation of rules of the game.

 

 

I Love the NBA

December 26, 2011

The NBA was by far the best present I got for Christmas.  One reason is that the only things I asked for were a fleece pullover and some loafers.  Another reason is that I didn’t even get any loafers.  But the real reason is that I absolutely love watching NBA basketball.  Every single game is worth watching for some reason.  The games between two elite teams feature basketball played at the highest possible level are a thing of beauty.  Games between lesser teams or mismatched teams are almost as good.  No matter how bad a team is there will be a few plays each game that are so athletically outrageous that it is worth your time to tune in.  I watched all five games yesterday starting at noon and going till about 1:30 in the morning.  In addition to really pissing off my family, I made a couple observations about each game that I feel you all need to know.

Game 1 Celtics-Knicks

Amare Stoudemire is a freak.  He single-handedly makes the people who say NBA players don’t play defense look stupid.  NBA players try hard on defense but its impossible to guard the best guys in the league.  Amare is big enough to play center.  He also has speed that can best be described by Marshawn Lynch.  Stupid Fast.  He can jump out of the gym and has a wide array of offensive moves.  And now he wets threes.  Stoudemire is so unguardable now that the Celtics tried a very bold strategy to stop him.  They chose to let Carmelo Anthony score so Amare wouldn’t get the ball.  Wait, they were actually trying to guard ‘Melo?  Nevermind.

Game 2 Heat-Mavs

I hate the heat so I will let the immortal Denis Green explain how I feel about this one

Game 3 Lakers-Bulls

This game was during Christmas dinner so I didn’t get to watch much of it.  I did learn a few things however.  Kobe is still really good.  Derrick Rose might be even better.  My fantasy team, Metta World Domination, is going to be in trouble if Joachim Noah goes 3-12 for the field and fails to block a single shot.  My grandmother’s creamed corn is amazing.

Game 4 Magic-Thunder

Kevin Durant falls into the same category as Amare.  Completely unguardable and awesome to watch.  Russell Westbrook needs to Paul Rudd to give him a few lessons.  He is doing way too much.  Dwight Howard is really good but is clearly counting the days until he can leave Orlando and get some real teammates.

Game 5 Clippers-Warriors

Lob City needs a little work but the Clippers are now relevant and probably will be better than the Lakers.  In the moral victories department, its clear that the Warriors also don’t suck nearly as much as they used to.

 

I have saved the best part of the NBA for last.  Before big games someone working for the league creates montages like this one.

If you don’t read a word of the post at least watch this video.  Its incredible.  Ive watched it 5 times and have gotten goosebumps every time.  And yes I have unlocked all of those classic players in NBA 2k12.  Thanks for asking

 

 

 

The Kansas City Chiefs

December 26, 2011

I like to think that I am a pretty reasonable and enlightened sports fan.  I understand the limits of the teams I root for and usually temper my expectations accordingly.  Duke basketball will always be good and sometimes great.  Duke football will consistently snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the most creative and frustrating ways possible.  I actually pride myself on this ability to be reasonable when it comes to sports.  One of my favorite activities is making fun of idiot homers like Knicks fans that think Iman Shumpert reminds them of Gary Payton, or Magic fans who think they can trade Jameer Nelson and Turkoglu’s dead body for Deron Williams.  Its entertaining listening to these poor bastards talk themselves into something that’s just not gonna happen.  Like Kendall Marshall ever being able to create his own shot.  Every once in a while though something comes around that knocks me off my douchey pedestal of rational thinking and reasonable expectations.

That thing is the Kansas City Chiefs.  For whatever reason I am incapable of objectively judging the Chiefs.  Maybe it comes from being the only person who cares even a little bit about the chiefs in the entire state.  There is no one to debate with or talk to about the team so its easy to convince myself that Matt Cassel is the next Tom Brady.  Whatever the reason, I just go nuts for the Chiefs.  My only piece of Chiefs gear is a massive bright red and yellow parka yet I still manage to wear this more often than all of the Duke clothes I’ve picked up over the years combined.  And if the team is even half-decent then nothing else matters.

Halloween this year I kept sneaking out of the party to go upstairs and watch the Chiefs-Chargers Monday Night game.  The problem was the party wasn’t at my house but some random UNC fraternity house.  I almost got my ass kicked by a robot wearing a Calvin Johnson jersey.  (Badass Megatron costume btw.)  I should have learned my lesson after the Chiefs despite winning that Halloween games lost five in a row and fired their coach.  Nope.  This past Saturday, Christmas Eve, I found myself drinking alone in a bar watching the Chiefs bid to sneak into the playoffs come to an end in overtime against Oakland.  After the second time the waiter came by to ask when my friends would be joining me I realized something.  Being a rational fan kind of blows.  All the fun is in the idiotic hopes and dreams.

The Chiefs lost and even if they had won the game they still would have had to defeat the Left Arm of God, Tim Tebow, the next week.  Needless to say the playoffs were never a real possibility.  But I had more fun ignoring the facts and just blindly hoping.  I now have a new found appreciation for the delusional fan-bases of the world.  So keep on keeping on Knicks fans, UGA football fans, and all the rest of you.  Maybe next season will be better.  Except for you Orlando.  Dwight is fucking leaving.

As for me, I will spend the winter convincing myself that Orton and Cassel are the second coming of Montana and Young and that next season really will be different.  It won’t be but at least I can take heart that the Chiefs are once again the best team whose mascot is kind of racist.  Suck it Redskins.

 

 

 

 

The Bowl System Blows

December 23, 2011

Seriously.  The current NCAA Football postseason is one of the worst things that has ever happened.  And I am not even talking about the championship game.  The BCS isn’t fair, but at least its entertaining.  The championship is usually a good game and even when its not we can enjoy the constant bitching from fans of the schools left out.  I for one enjoy seeing the state of Idaho get fucked every year.  If those people wanted to be winners then they shouldn’t have lived in Idaho.  My problem with the bowl season is what happens before the BCS bowls.

I am talking of course about the ridiculous number of worthless early bowls.  These games are where quality football goes to die.  There is nothing worse than getting stuck with nothing to watch on TV other than the Little Caesar’s Bowl featuring Western Michigan and Purdue.  Those two powerhouses with a combined record of 13-11 are in the only bowl game on December 27th.  I am always stuck with my family on December 27th and really need something more exciting to watch than goddamn Western Michigan.

And do not think that this is an isolated incident.  Over half the bowls are completely unnecessary featuring teams that no one wants to watch.  There are so many useless bowl games now that many of them cannot find real sponsors.  Sadly I only made up one of the following bowl names; The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Beef-O-Brady’s Bowl, and the Chipotlaway Underwear Stain Removal Bowl.  Why do there have to be so many of these bowls?  Teams that only win half their games are rewarded with extra revenue and exposure.  The early bowl games are like participation trophies for division one athletes.  And we all know that participation trophies are one small step away from communism.

Fortunately I have a solution.  Completely cut out half the bowl games.  Leave only the ones with a little bit of history and real sponsors.  I am talking about bowls like the Cotton, Gator, and Chick-Fil-A games as well as the BCS bowls.  Sorry Belk Bowl.  A sheisty regional department store isn’t making the cut as a legitimate sponsor.  Once all the weak sauce games are gone then we redistribute the games so that they run pretty evenly from the 23rd through to whenever the National Championship game is held.  The reason this doesn’t happen now is that there is still some lingering prestige that goes with playing in a New Year’s Eve or later game.  I’m not sure the exact year when this became bullshit but it certainly is now that the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl features 6-7 UCLA on New Year’s Eve.  Yup, a losing record.  I didn’t know till literally right now that losing teams were even allowed in bowls.

Once we get rid of the bad bowls and move the good ones around a little then there is only one thing left to do.  Make some sort of bowl season fantasy or gambling event.  The two most popular sports events in America are the NFL and the NCAA basketball tournament.  Not because these events are better but because we get to watch them with an ulterior motive.  Everybody watches the early round NCAA games not because they give two shits about Belmont but because their bracket is at risk.  The effect of fantasy football on the NFL is even more pronounced.  Last night a bunch of people came to my house to watch the Colts-Texans games.  None of us are from Texas or god-forbid Indianapolis, but we are all in fantasy leagues so the game was relevant and exciting. The MAACO Bowl last night was not.  We literally watched commercials instead of swtiching to that game under the reasoning that, “there might be a funny one.”

In case you still aren’t sold take a look at the refereeing debacle from the Idaho Potato Bowl.

 

 

Racist Announcer Watch

December 21, 2011

My absolute favorite thing about watching sports is the way announcers subconsciously stereotype players based on race.  It is absolutely hilarious and once someone points it out to you it is impossible not to notice.  Just to be clear, this segment is not about actual racial prejudice and injustice.  That is not chill.  The unintentional and pervasive stereotyping by the announcers however is hysterical and criminally under-analyzed by the internet.  That is where I come in.

Many of you may have no idea what I am talking about so here are a couple of examples.  Announcers commonly refer to white basketball players as hard-workers, gym rats, or hustle guys.  Black basketball players are athletic, springy, or explosive.  A white player is determined to have great court awareness or court vision, whereas black players are lauded for their length and bounciness.

The ultimate case study for announcer racism is when a mid-major team plays against a big time program.  Fortunately the Davidson-Kansas game from Monday night did not disappoint.  Davidson was described as a “scrappy” team six times.  Each of these six times all five Davidson players on the court were white.   Kansas despite having more steals and leading handily in the “hustle” stats was never once described as scrappy but rather were called “athletically superior” and “faster.”

The Racist Announcer Watch will crown a champion at the end of the season based on both quantity and quality of stereotypes used.  My money is on Mike Patrick.  Unfortunately this segment takes a lot of time so I won’t be able to post updates until late January when the dedicated Raw-Thoughts research team begins work.  Don’t worry though.  I will be tweeting Racist Announcer Watch details during the college and pro basketball games that I watch starting tonight with the UNC-Texas game at 7.  Follow me @crow___bar.  It should be a doozy tonight as I expect to learn that Tyler Zeller has great fundamentals and works hard whereas John Henson is really damn athletic.  It also could be a historic evening as Kendall Marchall’s assist totals may force the announcers to finally declare that a black player has good court vision.  He could be the Jackie Robinson of court vision.

 

This blog has already made me feel like Butters trying to destroy the world.  Coming up with something about sports that might be entertaining and isn’t already on Grantland is frustrating as hell.  That being said I think I beat Simmons and crew to this idea.  Without further ado, welcome to the first post in a recurring segment called Athletes Who Are Too Stupid For Twitter.  AWATSFT (the acronym needs work) is going to be a weeklyish chronicle of athletes who need to hand the keys of their twitter over to a publicist.  Social media is a big responsibility and not everyone can handle it.  The format is gonna be pretty simple.  I will announce the athlete with the worst twitter feed of the week and then give an example of someone who is getting it right.

 

The inaugural award goes to a special person who I am sad to say will probably be a regular in this feature.  I am talking of course about the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu.  Mathieu, or @tm7_era tweets hourly about anything and everything in his life.  He takes a steaming dump on the twitter feed of anyone foolish enough to follow him.  All weekend he gushed about his girlfriend with gems such as, “My baby always clutch ! I love her,” and “I miss my lady.”  Honey Badger followed that up with two days of sad heartbreak tweets.  The AWATSFT award clinching tweet being, “IS THIS A GOOD THANG!! iDK BUT IF god TOOK ME TO, HE WILL GET ME THROUGH!”  Capitalizing every word but God was a bold move there Honey badger.

The lesson here is pretty clear.  Don’t share your relationship and break up with 75,000 of your closest friends.  And if you choose to do so make damn sure you don’t come off as such a little bitch about it.

 

For a proper use of twitter check out Danny Granger @dgranger33.  His response to the vetoed Chris Paul trade was twitter gold.  “Due to the sabotaging of the LA/NO trade by david stern, and following in the footsteps of my athlete brethern Metta World Peace and Chad Ochocinco, I’m changing my last name to ‘Stern’s Bitch’ #effectiveimmediately.”  Sadly Stern’s Bitch pacers jersey’s are not yet available on their website

 

Full Disclosure:  I have been tweeting at the Honey Badger every day for about two weeks desperately hoping to get a retweet or mention.  All I have gotten is a cease and desist email from an LSU athletics official after my fourth tweet mentioning Honey Badger’s fake weed suspension.  I may or may not be extremely bitter about it.

Welcome to RAW Thoughts

December 20, 2011

I have been threatening to blog about sports and whatever else comes to mind for a while now and I recently received the domain name raw-thoughts.com as a gift.  In addition to being a cool gift this has kind of forced my hand.  Which I know damn well was the plan.  The eventual home of this blog will be at raw-thoughts.com but until I either learn about web design or find a friend to do it for me I am going to rock wordpress.

I assume if you are reading this you already know me but in the unlikely event that you do not here’s a little bit about me to help you decide if the blog is for you.

-I am a sports nerd and will probably at different times talk about all the major sports.  And hockey.  But only if the ‘canes are good.

-I go to school at Duke and am from Raleigh so ACC sports are a big deal for me.  And by ACC sports I mean football and men’s basketball because no one cares about anything else.

-I am a die-hard Chiefs fan and am pretty psyched that the real life Shane Falco suited up for my team this year. I am even more psyched that his worthless ass is back on the bench where it belongs.

-I am driving the Tim Tebow bandwagon and may or may not have actually bet on the broncos to win the super bowl at 25-1.  It seemed like pretty good odds.  Normally God is favored.

-I do not like and will never again mention women’s sports.  Watching, discussing, or in general acknowledging women’s sports is my nightmare.

-I am really awesome at Fifa.

-I don’t really have an NBA team so I get to root for the teams that are fun to watch and have my favorite players.  This season that team is obvi Lob City aka The Blake Show.  That would be the Los Angeles Clippers for those of you who do not speak douche.

-I hate the Miami Heat and think that Lebron is a whiny bitch for joining up with Wade.

-Dirk Nowitzki’s twitter description is one of my favorite things ever.  “Tall Baller from the G!”

-I am currently in the playoffs in 1 out of 4 fantasy football leagues.  This isn’t relevant at all but it proves I am a winner.  25% of the time.

-If Jason Segel is in a movie then I have seen it.  At least twice.  This also goes for tv shows.

-I think the Honey Badger takes what it wants.

-Sources say I got drunk alone last night and watched Friends with Benefits because I am in love with Mila Kunis.  Sadly these sources appear to me more accurate than the ones covering Dwight Howard.

 

If you like and agree with the stuff above then keep reading the blog.  If not then this is goodbye.  Its not me, its you.

 

-Weaver