Raw Thoughts has a running column called Athletes Who Are Too Stupid For Twitter in which I profile athletes who need to be a little more careful with their social media output.  Previously scholars like Tony Allen, the Honey Badger, and Jamaal Charles have been the recipients of this esteemed award.  I have really enjoyed writing these posts as it allows me to combine my two favorite things, sarcasm and wasting time on the internet.  Unfortunately Raw Thoughts is officially retiring AWATSFT.  That is because one man has permanently taken over the crown of the stupidest athlete on twitter.

Meet Delonte West.

 

Delonte West, or @charleeredz13, has a consistently dumb and annoying twitter feed.  It is a depressing mixture of poor grammar, self-promotion, and replies to cute girls who tweet at him.  Delonte consistently talks himself up as a rapper and on October 28th tweeted 14 youtube videos of his own highlights.  Needless to say, following Delonte has been a burden on my twitter feed and to some extent my soul.  But today it was all worth it.  Delonte West sent out a string of tweets that are unequivocally the stupidest yet funniest things ever written down by mankind.  I could spend all day talking about this but let’s just get right down to the evidence.

 

“Teams That Should Take a Chance on Delonte West | Bleacher Report http://m.bleacherreport.com/articles/1389198-teams-that-should-take-a-chance-on-delonte-west …”

Delonte West was unfortunately just cut by the Dallas Mavericks due to a combination of poor play and and even worse conduct.  He obviously was researching potential new teams and though the rest of the world should know he still has a shot to play in the NBA.  Pretty reasonable by his standards.

“It’s not even takin a chance…I’m not comin to yr team riddin a motorcycle… High Q player/person ..low cost…great influence on young P.”

Here is where Delonte starts to fly off the rails.  He appears to take issue with the language used in a relatively complimentary article and tries to rebut the notion that he is a risky addition for NBA teams.  The bad spelling and gratuitous use of the … is bad but Delonte’s choice of words is even more unfortunate.  He should probably leave motorcycle talk out of job applications (sadly that appears to be what these tweets are) since he was pulled over on one in Maryland in 2009 while packing two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun in a guitar case.

“Defend and play all 3 guard spots…complete player…can be a scorer if asked can be whatever a team needs do to wide verity of skill set..”

Having dealt (very poorly) with questions about his conduct, Delonte now moves on to describing his skill set.  The point of this tweet is to show of his versatility.  Sadly what it actually shows is that Delonte West doesn’t know how to spell “variety” or that there are only two guard spots on an NBA basketball team.  Not sure which is worse, but its all bad.

“Only ask for communication about when checks come up missin or short…other than that…let’s win some games and have fun while we doin it!”

Delonte now shows that he is low maintenance and will only have problems if he doesnt get paid on time.  This would be a reasonable statement if he were applying to Taco Bell.  Since it is the fucking NBA however I think its a little ridiculous to worry about checks bouncing or coming up “short”

“And yea..this is my resamay…Coach….?, let’s go..take me a day or two to figure offense and a few mins to figure out defense…!!”

Delonte now confirms that these tweets are a sad, sad attempt to get an NBA job.  And of course, “Resamay.”  Really bro?  If that is how you think spelling works then why isn’t your name Delantay?

My rates..are league minimum…non garentee…cause Iknow that by time I get there u see what I’m about..what I bring everyday…”

This is actually a pretty reasonable thing to say.  Typos and horrific spelling aside that is probably what a GM or coach would want to hear from a guy like West.

 

And finally we come to Delonte’s finest work.  If he is the Picasso of stupid tweets then this is his Guernica; a masterpiece that is sad and beautiful in equal parts.

Iim not worried about what the next man has on his plate…if he has a steak and patatoe..kool…I’m fine with my popeyes ….”

This is a mind-bogglingly (I may have just made up that term) ridiculous tweet.  Not only is it a really poor example of why he is willing to take less money to be on the team, but it also looks like a 4 year old wrote it out.  And Popeyes?  The league minimum salary for a veteran player like Delonte is over 1.2 million.  Pretty sure he can still get the steak.

 

 

As you can see, Delonte West is a desperate man.  He is also a really dumb one.  Regardless of the spelling, grammar and typing errors the entire idea of this sequence of tweets is really ill-advised.  NBA GM’s and coaches won’t hire Delonte in part because he is unbalanced and makes bad decisions.  These tweets only confirm this opinion of him.

I will always respect Delonte West because I am 82 percent sure he banged Lebron’s mom, but there is no doubt in my mind he is the stupidest athlete on twitter.  Long live the king.

 

 

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Flowers for Duke Football

October 16, 2012

I have seen Duke lose a lot of football games, and I will almost certainly see them lose a lot more.  But Saturday’s loss to Virginia Tech made me feel worse than any of them, and it’s not even close.  I was watching the game at a bar in Durham with a couple of friends my age and a bunch of much older Duke fans, including a couple of former players.  It was a fun crowd and the excitement level for the game was completely unprecedented for Duke Football.  The Blue Devils’ performance over the past couple of weeks had people thinking that they could actually win in Blacksburg, an unfathomable idea in years past.  I was certainly buying the hype, but I wasn’t alone.  Against all odds Duke Football had become relevant and competitive.  Of course it was never going to last.

Duke’s performance in the first quarter of the game was nothing short of dominant.  They took a 20-0 lead over the Hokies and looked for all the world like blowing Virginia Tech off its own field.  The end of the first quarter was the high water mark of Duke Football in the past two decades.  We looked great, and most importantly people really seemed to care.  The bar I was at was going nuts, and people from all over the place were interested.  For the first time ever, friends were texting me about Duke Football in a non-sarcastic manner.  A State fan let me know that both State and Duke controlled their own destinies with regards to the ACC Championship game and a South Carolina grad I know asked me if I would go see Duke if they played USC in a BCS game.  These expectations were premature even at the time, but it was nice to have dreams bigger than “hopefully winning six games and losing the Independence Day Bowl.”  I felt like a real college football fan.

As a diehard Duke fan I had resigned myself to low expectations and even worse results from my college football team.  I was at peace with this.  You can’t be good at everything, and Duke has basketball.  That seemed fair.  But this year has been so exciting that I threw myself into Duke football and after the first quarter yesterday really believed things were going to change.  I saw a competent football program as a real possibility.  Then the second quarter started and things began to slip away.  By halftime even though Duke still had the lead I don’t think a single Duke fan on earth really believed the blue Devils would win the game.  The all too familiar pattern of turnovers, penalties and poor defense had already begun to assert itself.

The second half of the game was a special kind of hell as Duke fans had to watch their promising team slide back into the abyss of incompetence and depression that has encompassed the football program since 1994.  Pretty much everyone I was with had an attitude of grim acceptance that I found even more terrible.  There was none of the rage, anger, or yelling that I normally associate with college sports fans.  The most common refrain was, “Classic Duke” or “Same old Duke.”  It’s like we all knew deep down that Duke Football was never meant to win big road games or ever escape from the ACC basement.

I have spent most of my time since the game trying to come up with an analogy or some way of describing the two hours of crushing sadness that was watching the final three quarters of the game on Saturday.  The best thing I can come up with is that being a Duke fan is like being Charlie in Flowers For Algernon.  (In case you were raised by wolves and haven’t read Flowers for Algernon here are the sparknotes.)  Think about it.  Charlie was a mentally handicapped man (Duke Football over the past 19 years) who had experimental surgery to try and increase his intelligence. (The hiring of Cutcliffe and his fancy new ideas about stadium renovation and “bowl games.”)  The surgery was successful and Charlie was able to live a normal life, (this season for Duke) albeit a brief one because the effects of the surgery were temporary.  This revelation rocked Charlie and his behavior became increasingly erratic. (Duke fans during the last three quarters of the game on Saturday.)

I could go on but I think you get the point.  Duke football fans got a taste of the good side of college football.  The wins, the night games, the AP votes.  All of it was great but it was never meant to last.  Seeing what life was like with a successful college football team and then feeling it slip away was what made this loss so much worse than any other Duke football defeat.  Charlie knows that game only too well.  He regressed entirely and spent his final days in an institution.  We can only hope that our ending is a little better than his.  Maybe Duke can keep some semblance of their new-found abilities and win another game or two and take us to the promised land. Or at least to Shreveport in late December.  I have my doubts though.  The Blue Devils have new coach and some really sick black uniforms but at the end of the day it’s the same old Duke.

 

 

This is the Year

October 9, 2012

It finally happened.  Duke Football has a good team for the first time in 19 years.  Duke has looked pretty good all year, (beat down at the hands of Stanford aside) but until the game last weekend I wasn’t convinced.  The UVA game is the exact kind of game the Blue Devils normally blow.  Not this year, despite a ton of injuries and a very slow start Duke ran the Wahoos off the field in the second half and won easily.  Blowout wins over ACC opponents, or any opponent really, just don’t happen for Duke.  Or at least they didn’t used to.  This year’s Duke Football team is better, deeper, and utterly unrecognizable from its recent predecessors.

There are definitely valid concerns about the strength of schedule so far, the defense, and the injuries but I do not care at all.  I am drinking the Duke Football Cool-Aid.  And there are three main reasons why.

 

1.  David Cutcliffe

As a lifelong Duke football fan I have had to endure some of the worst coaching of all time.  (Or at least some of the worst coaching not done by Romeo Crennel)  Recently Cutcliffe has been refreshingly competent, calling timeouts at reasonable times and making play calls that make sense.  Cutcliffe has also shown some serious balls over the past couple of years calling for fake punts and onside kicks and surprising and mostly effective times.  Most importantly however, Cutcliffe has been able to recruit a little bit.  Duke will never be able to compete with the top tier football schools for recruits but under Cutcliffe we are bringing in enough talent to compete.

2.  Sean Renfree and Anthony Boone

There are teams in college football that can succeed without great quarterback play.  these are usually recruiting powerhouses such as Alabama and LSU that can stack their defenses and O-lines to the point that QB play is pretty much irrelevant.  Duke is the exact opposite kind of program.  Due to a number of factors, (academics, geography, old-timey stadium) Duke cannot and probably will never be able to bring in the athletes needed for a nationally dominant defense or O-line.  This is fine but it means that Duke is going to require consistently excellent QB play in order to succeed, and with the exception of the Stanford game they have gotten it this season.  Both quarterbacks have different strengths but I have made it very clear where I stand.  I think Anthony Boone’s mobility is crucial important behind what can be at times a shaky offensive line.  Regardless of who starts however I think Duke has one of the best QB’s in the ACC and has a chance to win every game. (Except the one at Florida State.  That’s going to be an ass-kicking.

3.  Conner Vernon

Vernon is an absolutely amazing receiver and gives Duke something it almost never has.  A dominant offensive playmaker who can singlehandedly win games.  Against Virginia, Vernon caught two long touchdown passes by essentially jumping over his defender and grabbing the ball.  The throws were good but Vernon just bitched the DB’s on both plays, pretty much like other team’s good recievers have been doing to Duke for years.  Its a good feeling to finally have that kind of player on our side.

 

The entire Duke team has played well this year and I do not mean to trivialize their contributions by only singling out a few players.  That being said a great coach like Cutcliffe and offensive playmakers like the QB’s and Vernon are what I feel most confident about in this team.  I truly believe they are going to take Duke to unprecedented heights.  And I don’t mean just six wins and a crappy bowl game.  The ACC Coastal division is an absolute wasteland this year.  Virginia Tech is historically bad and Georgia Tech might be worse.  UNC is good but they are cheaters and are thus ineligible.  I really believe Duke can win the division and go to the ACC Championship game in Charlotte.  I am driving the Duke football bandwagon and I suggest you all hop on soon.  Once the Blue Devils beat ass in Blacksburg this weekend there may not be any room.

 

The Worst team in Football

October 3, 2012

The Kansas City Chiefs are the absolute worst team in professional football.  And that includes Canada.  This may seem odd since the Chiefs have an explosive RB in Jamaal Charles and a bunch of other offensive weapons.  They also have a young but talented defense.  The Chiefs don’t have the personnel to be a Super Bowl contender but they could easily be average.  They are really only failing at two positions, head coach and QB.  This is unfortunate because these are the two most important components of a good team.  It is impossible to succeed with out at least competent performances from these two spots, (Cut to Drew Brees nodding sadly) and the Chiefs have not received anything close to competence out of QB Matt Cassel and head coach Romeo Crennel.  The Chiefs have the saddest, most worthless QB head coach duo in the league.

 
The Chiefs are used to crappy quarterback play, (they haven’t had a truly elite QB since Len Dawson in the 70’s) but this year might be a low point.  Cassel has been so terrible that the team is considering benching him only four games in to the season.  This would be fine except that the backup is Brady Quinn.  Brady fucking Quinn!  That guy might have the worst track record of any QB in the league over the past 5 years.  And yet somehow Cassel’s performance makes him look like a reasonable option.

The most frustrating thing about Cassel is that he has all the tools to succeed.  He isn’t cursed with a noodle arm like Chad Pennington or Jake Delhomme.  Nor is he a young guy with potential like Tannehill, Russel Wilson and any number of other struggling QB’s this year.  At this point in Cassel’s career (he is 30) what you see is what you get.  And what I see is a guy who sucks ass.  Last Sunday’s 3 interception 2 fumble disaster was the icing on a really shitty cake for Cassel.  His quarterback rating was 11.9 out of 158.3, and for the season is only 48.3  The only QB more depressing than Cassel so far this year has been Mark Sanchez and at least the Jets have The Left Arm of God to turn to once they bench him.  The Matt Cassel-Brady Quinn QB tandem leaves the Chiefs with no hope for either the present or the future.

 

And yet somehow the coaching situation for the Chiefs is even worse.  Romeo Crennel has been one of the worst head coaches in the NFL for over half of a decade now.  His stint with the Browns was an unmitigated disaster marked by dumb mistakes and you guessed it, sheisty quarterback play.  In fact the only other team dumb enough to try and start Brady Quinn at QB was the Browns under Crennel.  Crennel is known as a defensive coach and has actually been effective as a defensive coordinator for multiple NFL teams, and yet somehow he is presiding over a talented defense this year that is last in the NFL in points allowed at a whopping 34.  His expression during games waivers between anger, sadness, confusion and my personal favorite, “Where did I leave my keys.”

 

None of these emotions have successfully motivated any of his teams.  Crennel has also failed when he ventures into personnel decisions.  He was the driving force behind the Chiefs’ decision to spend a first round pick this year on defensive tackle Dontari Poe.  Poe is a physical specimen but was an average player in college at Memphis and left school after his junior year with only 5 career sacks. (as a reference point, Julius Peppers left UNC with 30.5) To the surprise of absolutely no one except for Crennel, Poe has struggled in the pros.  Apparently being able to dominate Conference USA is a pre-requisite to NFL success.  Who knew?

It didn’t have to be this way.  The Chiefs had a very disappointing season last year and fired head coach Todd Haley with 3 games left to play.  They rightly let Crennel finish the season as an interim head coach but then rather than having a broad search for a new coach they chose to give the permanent job to Crennel after the season.  For some reason promoting the interim coach common practice throughout the NFL but it makes absolutely no sense.  These coaches were coordinators or assistants on a team so bad that the head coach was fired.  I do not understand how that level of performance deserves a promotion. No struggling business would fire the CEO and then immediately give the CFO his job full time.  They would look outside for a promising candidate and try to change the losing culture.  The Chiefs had a chance to do this but instead went with the a proven loser with absolutely no track record of success as a head coach.

 

So to recap, the Chiefs have a QB whose ceiling is average and whose floor is worse than Brady Quinn and a head coach who sports a .375 career winning percentage in the NFL.  It is going to be a long season.