What up World! Welcome to another edition of The Blog About Nothing. Once again, I’m your maestro of ceremonies, EJ, and I’m here to welcome you to a new blog and a new month. It’s August. Feels like this year is flying by, huh? The trade deadline just passed in Major League Baseball, preseason football is about to kick off in the National Football League, and for lovers of college pigskin (like myself) the college season kicks off at the end of this month. Forget Christmas. This is the most wonderful time of the year. This week I’ll add a little postscript to the Ray Rice story, I’ll give you an NFL team that I really like, a postscript to the baseball trade deadline, and finally a movie that I am looking forward to. It’s a lot this week so let’s get started.
Actually, before I get started I’d like to say Happy Emancipation Day to everyone celebrating in what was formerly known as the British West Indies. The Slavery Abolition Act of 1833, ended slavery in the British Empire on August 1, 1834. While some islands wait until the first Monday to celebrate, known as August Monday, I’d like to wish a Happy Emancipation Day to Jamaica, Barbados, Bermuda, Guyana, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and to my friends and family members from Trinidad and Tobago. Remember what this day means not only for us, but what it meant to our ancestors. Thank you.
“I made the biggest mistake of my life.” “It was a one time incident.” These are the words of Ray Rice, who gave a press conference to the media on Thursday to express his regret for the domestic violence incident that took place at an Atlantic City hotel. He expressed his love for his wife Janay, his girlfriend at the time of the incident, and that he will one day have to explain this to his two year old daughter. Ray stated that he has some things about himself that he needs to change, but that he would one day like to become an “ambassador” on the issue of domestic violence. In all honesty, Ray said all the right things yesterday, but I still cannot shake the feeling that a two game suspension is still too light a punishment for him.
As I stated in last week’s blog, we have no clue what led to Ray dragging Janay out of an elevator, but I cannot get past the face of a man who rather coldly dragged his girl out of there. He showed no care, and no compassion for a woman he says he loves. As far as a one time incident? I shouldn’t judge a man, I know that, but once again I can’t help but call bullshit on that. I’m not going to label the man an abuser, but some of what he said yesterday does sound like a man, who hits women. Especially that “one time incident” thing. That stuck in my craw. How many times have we heard stories from battered women and they say that everytime their man struck them they promised to never do it again? Too many. Far too many.
Commissioner Roger Goodell made this decision, to suspend Ray for two games and all in involve has to live with it, but it doesn’t mean that we have to like it. Ray’s press conference yesterday does not mean his critics have to sit down and be quiet because the man is contrite. Nope. I heard Ray yesterday. I heard him, and I still don’t like it. I don’t have to. I can go on feeling the two games were too light and I can go on being critical of him, the Baltimore Ravens, and the National Football League for the lack of serious punishment for a serious matter. The man only got a slap in his wrist. No telling what his wife got in the elevator that night. No telling.
A team in the National Football League that I like this season is the Detroit Lions. Now, the Lions have been knocking on the playoff door for a few seasons now, so it’s not like I’m predicting a worst to first here, but I think this is the year the Lions go from a team with potential to a team that can make a playoff run. The Lions have to face off against the AFC East which isn’t that daunting, but if they end up 11-5 or even better this season, it’ll definitely be a credit to new head coach Jim Caldwell because they’ll have to go through the vaunted NFC South to get there.
In there own division, the Lions will have to deal with the Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, and the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings do have one of the best players in the game in Adrian Peterson but the rest of that team doesn’t inspire much confidence. The Bears are a team that I’m unsure on. They have a good quarterback in Jay Cutler, and a strong offense but I can’t get a good read on them. The Packers? Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game, and that offense is real good, but I have questions about their defense. I question the Lions defense too, but I love their offense.
Led by quarterback Matthew Stafford, and All-World wide receiver Calvin Johnson the Lions offense is loaded. Running backs Reggie Bush and Joique Bell had solid seasons last year, and now under Caldwell he’s promised that the Lions will have more of a shared rushing attack. However, I think the X-Factor of the Lions offense will be Eric Ebron. The rookie tight end out of North Carolina, might be not a true tight end, in the fact that he isn’t a good blocker, but he can be Jimmy Graham lite for this offense. Like Graham with the Saints, Ebron is athletic enough to be spread wide, or in the slot, and take advantage of the mismatches he will have.
The defense has typically been where the Lions have suffered in past seasons, but I think that changes this year. Why? Ndamukong Suh is in a contract year. Suh is a polarizing player due to some antics on and off the field but the guy is a beast who better be focused on playing his ass off so he can get paid. The same needs to go for Nick Fairley who needs to get his head into the game after some off the field issues. A player I also like on defense is Ezekiel Ansah. Ansah came out of Brigham Young University (BYU) as unpolished but a freak athlete. With time and better understanding of the game, he’s going to exploit that advantage he has athletically. The front four is solid.
The linebackers and secondary? There are my question marks. I like rookie linebacker Kyle Van Noy from BYU but it’s too early to tell what if any impact he’ll have this season. The Lions season, and my boastful prediction of 11-5 is going to come down on that front four. They are going to have to be amazing this season. I think they will, and if I’m right you will remember this blog.
While I focus on the Detroit Lions, the baseball world is focusing on the Detroit Tigers who picked up ace pitcher David Price at the deadline. In a three team deal with the Seatlle Mariners, and the Tampa Bay Rays, the Tigers pick up one of the best pitchers in the game and place him in a pitching staff full of aces. The Tigers pitching staff now contains the last three AL Cy Young winners. Price joins Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer. The other principals in the deal were center fielder Austin Jackson going from the Tigers to the Mariners and infielder Nick Franklin going from the Mariners to the Rays. The Tigers move for Price, was meant to offset a big move made earlier in the day when the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics made a big move.
Yoenis Cespedes, he of the big arm and big bat, was traded from the A’s to the Red Sox for pitcher Jon Lester. Cespedes fills a big need for the Sox considering their outfield is a bit weak, but in acquiring Lester (and their earlier deal for Jeff Samardzjia which was made earlier this month) the 66-41 Athletics only cement their status as the best team in the American League and with their ace staff, you’d have to think the A’s have positioned themselves for a World Series berth.
Actually, how fun would an A’s-Tigers American League Championship Series be. If you love pitching duels that would be the matchup to end all matchups for this season. Price versus Lester. Scherzer versus Samardzjia. Any matchup really, would have a fan glued to a television. Even casual fans such as myself. Although, I only outlined the two biggest deals, some other notable names were moved yesterday. That’s likely because this season has created more teams that feel that they have a chance so there were more buyers than sellers at this deadline.However, there were also teams like the Mets and Phillies who made no moves, but now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed it will be real interesting to see what happens this month, and how the rest of the baseball season shakes out.
Finally, Mike Tyson and Jamie Foxx, have both come out and stated that they are working on a movie about Iron Mike’s life. Foxx, 46, is only two years younger than Tyson so either a younger actor is going to have to be cast as a young Tyson, or as Iron Mike himself suggested they can use CGI so that Foxx can portray young and old Tyson. The movie should start shooting in the next 12-18 months, so I’d guess that we are looking at a late 2016 or 2017 release. I don’t need to keep stating this but I grew up a big fan of Mike Tyson, I have read his autobiography Undisputed Truth several times so a Tyson movie, that has Mike’s approval is something I’d wait with baited breath to see but I do have one complaint. A minor one, but still.
My complaint? Jamie Foxx is too old. Jamie does do a great Mike impression, as evidenced by his standup performances and his performances on In Living Color but those In Living Color jokes were over 20 years ago, when Foxx was making a name for himself and Tyson was at his peak. Now? I’d have liked to have seen Foxx attached to the film as a consultant/present day Mike and see a younger actor take the role as a young Tyson. Since this film is still in the discussion stages, we just might see a younger actor, but as much as I want to see this movie come to pass, I’m unsure how well Jamie Foxx will fill the role.
That’s it. I’m done. Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting www.7poundbag.com. Peace.
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