What’s up world? February has come to an end. It seems like time is moving so fast. Kind of wish it would slow down some. Let me revise that: I don’t mind the work week going by fast, because like most people, I hate my job. What should go slow is the weekends. If I have two days to chill and do what I want, then those days need to be super slow so I can enjoy it. Am I right? Am I right? Anyway, this week I’ll try to make sense of what’s going on in Raymond Felton’s world right now, give my opinions on the NFL combine, ponder the future of Michael Vick, and I’ll close out with some sweet science on Mayweather-Maidana. Let’s do this!
Tuesday night (February 25th) I was at the St. John’s-Xavier game at Madison Square Garden. I’m a St. John’s fan, as well as a graduate of the University and I had a pretty good view of what may ultimately be a loss that denies the Johnnies a birth in the NCAA Tournament. After the game ended, I was drawn into a conversation with a very drunk fan. He loudly stated that Knicks point guard Raymond Felton should have “shot that bitch in the face” (“that bitch” is Ray’s soon to be ex-wife). My reply, in jest was “he (I actually said the N-word which caused this man to laugh hilariously . . . he was white) can’t shoot, he’d have missed her if he tried”. Yup, it’s been that kind of week for Knicks fans.
Raymond Felton turned himself into police this week after his soon to be ex-wife Ariane Raymondo-Felton turned over his Belgian made FN Herstal model 5.7 by 28 milimeter pistol. The gun, which can hold 20 rounds, was loaded with 17 armor piercing bullets, and had 1 bullet in the chamber. Mrs. Felton alledges that Ray would waive the gun around when the two were involved in heated arguments. It appears, according to her attorney, that Ray was cheating on his wife of all of 19 months, and she confronted him on it. Ray is out on bail, and will be allowed to finish the rest of this season with the Knicks, before his court proceedings starts on June 2nd.
I’m not sure what to make of all of this. New York City, and New York State, has very tough gun laws. Ray’s gun is registered, but it’s registered in South Carolina. Not in New York. Unlawful gun possessions usually leads to a 3 and half year prison sentence. We’ve already seen Plaxico Burress, as well as the rapper Lil Wayne, spend time in prison because of unlawful possession. Now, will Ray be joining them in that club? I’m unsure. He has been arraigned on lower felony charges (Class C and D) and those charges typically bring about probation, rather than jail time, but I question the motives of his soon to be ex wife, Mrs Raymondo-Felton. This whole thing has become a he said/she said situation, and of course the soon to be Mrs. Felton will benefit in her divorce proceedings from a tarnished Ray Felton. The facts do not change that it is Ray’s gun, and that it was not registered in New York, but his soon to be ex has everything to gain here. She can force a better divorce settlement, whether he goes to jail or not. She has given her self some damn good leverage. She’s no dummy. She’s a Cornell grad, and a student at Fordham Law School and has hired one of the best divorce attorneys in the business. I’m not saying she pre-meditated all of this, and forgive me, but I have to question her motives. All I know is that it’s not looking good for Ray right now. Maybe he should have shot her in the face. I kid, I kid.
The annual meat market that is the NFL Combine took place this past week. The week long event, highlighted by the 40 yard dash, tested football players but doesn’t really evaluate their performance on the field. I’m sorry but does the name Mike Mamula mean anything to anyone? A little history lesson in regards to Mamula is needed here. Mike was drafted 7th overall in the 1995 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Mamula, was a good defensive end/linebacker at Boston College, but he wasn’t top 10 worthy before he blew scouts away at the Combine. He trained specifically for all of the drills, and the Wonderlic test (a mental evaluation exam), and he impressed teams enough to warrant a high selection. So what happened? He became one of the biggest draft busts in NFL history and was out of the League after 5 seasons. Yup. Evaluating players off of things like the 40 yard dash, or their broad and vertical jumps is probably the dumbest thing ever. When their workouts surpasses what they left on tape as a player, that leaves open the door for busts. So while we all marvel over 6’5″ inch, 266 pounds, that is Jadeveon Clowney running a 4.52 second 40 yard dash, we have to remember that this past season at the University of South Carolina the defensive end had a subpar season and his own head coach questioned his effort.
That’s why I don’t really care for the Combine. Doesn’t stop me from watching it though on the NFL Network. Was able to see Clowney, Johnny Manziel, Sammy Watkins, and Michael Sam workout over the period of time the players were in Indianapolis. I don’t have an opinion on how good or bad they will be in the NFL, but I do believe that Michael Sam really hurt himself with a poor showing in Indy. While I am hopeful that Sam will be drafted, as I expressed in a blog on this site a few weeks ago, he had a poor showing at the Combine. He ran too slow, didn’t bench press enough, and his height and weight leaves him as a man without a position. He’s too small for defensive end, and he’s not a natural linebacker. Sam is attempting to become the first open gay athlete in the National Football League, and it could be that his testing holds him back, and not his status. I’m still rooting for him but he’s going to have to step it up in the months leading to the Draft.
Oft-injured, and soon to be free agent, Michael Vick is on the market. The former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback has been surpassed by Nick Foles, but Vick will be looking to move on from Philly and into a starting job elsewhere. The question is will he find one? The issue of Michael Vick is still a sensitive one. He’s years removed from a prison sentence for dog fighting, but he still has to carry that around with him, and he’s not going to be a fit in certain markets because of it. While Jeffrey Lurie, owner of the Eagles, and the Eagles organization showed him support, he’s out of a place in Philly due to Foles locking down the #1 spot in relief of an injured Vick last season. So while the City of Philadelphia and the Eagles have been good to Vick, it’s highly likely that he leaves town in the next month or so in the hopes of landing a starting job elsewhere. So where do I think he goes?
He could go to the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders, a team that could take a quarterback with the 5th pick in this year’s Draft could use an upgrade at quarterback. While I like the potential that is Terrelle Pryor, it seems obvious that the Raiders organization isn’t convinced that he’ll make the leap to a decent NFL starter. I could see Michael being a transitional QB for the franchise. Holding down the spot, until a developmental QB, that the Raiders would likely draft in a later round, is ready to take over the reigns. Also, his criminal past wouldn’t be a deterent in that organization. Another likely Vick landing ground could be the New York Jets. While head coach Rex Ryan, and General Manager John Idzik, is happy with the progress of Geno Smith, Vick could come in as a mentor, as well as probably take the starting spot outright due to his familiarity in offensive coordinator Marty Mohrninweg’s offense. The next step in Vick’s career should be an interesting one. Stay tuned.
OK, I don’t think Floyd Mayweather Jr. is a chicken, even if he was/is running from Manny Pacquiao, and won’t move up to 160 to cement his legacy by winning a Middleweight title. I just find this meme funny as all hell. This week, Mayweather Jr. announced that he’ll be fighting Marcos Maidana at a yet to be announced location on Saturday May 3rd. Mayweather in recent years has made a habit of fighting before Cinco De Mayo, and before Mexican Independence Day, so we can always count on May and September fights from the 45-0 fighter. The current WBC Welterweight Champion (147 pounds) will be facing off against Marcos Maidana, the WBA Welterweight Champion, making his first defense of the title he earned by embarassing Mayweather protege Adrien Broner last December. While Maidana should make for an exciting fight, because he is a brutal puncher, Mayweather Jr. should have no problem (no pun intended towards Adrien “The Problem” Broner) in going 46-0. Floyd still has cat like reflexes, a solid shoulder roll defense, and rarely takes punches. As long as he can keep Maidana off of him, he should win by decision.
However, I wonder where does he go next. While Mayweather is aligned with Showtime and Golden Boy, and they do have an impressive stable of fighters in the 147-154 weight classes, there really isn’t a huge money making fight out there. Well, there is one if he’s interested. In early June, Miguel Cotto will fight Sergio Martinez at Madison Square Garden for a Middleweight title. The fight being contested at 159 pounds, a catchweight and down from the baseline of 160 pounds, will contest two aging but battled tested warriors. Although Floyd has difficulty getting up to 154 pounds (to defend his Light Middleweight title), let alone 160, I truly believe he needs to make that last step up to middleweight in order to truly cement his legacy. His team needs to make that happen, and for Floyd to shake some of that chicken label, he needs it too.
This would be the end of the blog, but I have one more topic in me. Well, it’s more of a rant. I don’t understand why arrogance in sport is a bad thing. Former University of Oklahoma Sooners, and Dallas Cowboys, head coach Barry Switzer called soon to be NFL quarterback Johnny Manziel an arrogant little prick this week. I’ll probably speak about Manziel in length closer to the NFL Draft, but I don’t understand why his perceived arrogance is a problem. We have celebrated guys like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Deion Sanders, Brett Favre, and all of those guys are admittedly arrogant. Why is it fine qualities in them, but negative in Johnny’s case? I get that those athletes earned that gravitas due to an exceptional professional career, but I’m sure every last athlete I named entered the professional ranks with that same arrogance. Being arrogant and you’re an office worker may not be a good thing, but for a professional athlete, and a quarterback at that, it shouldn’t be perceived as a negative. I’d encourage it if I was his head coach, to be honest.
So, that’s it. I’m done. Thanks for reading, and thank you for supporting www.7poundbag.com. I hope you like the changes going on here at 7PB. We do this for you. Peace.
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