Why the one and done rule has killed college basketball

The NCAA tournament and most of the entire college basketball season has been horrible to watch, and it's the NBA's fault. This is probably bad to say, but it's true. If your team isn't in the tournament, are you pretty fired up about that big Michigan-Loyola semi? How many games have you watched of the tournament? More than 3? Maybe. But I doubt it. The games are just tough to watch and it's bad basketball. Horrible shot selections, turnover after turnover, and teams lose their minds in a close game under two or three minutes. Thank goodness for Kansas-Villanova coming up this weekend and for that Duke-Kansas game. Those were solid games with some great players.  But I've long thought the NCAA tournament is overrated, and I know what you are thinking...."What?!  But the upsets, the games are on all day long, the buzzer beaters, the mid majors!"

It's cool there are games on all day long during that opening weekend, and I'm sure it would be fun to sit at home all day and watch that opening weekend assuming you have no kids there and you somehow have a super important job where you "work from home on your computer making ridiculous money." But after the first weekend, do you really want to see these mid majors or the random teams make it far? I don't want to see that. I want to see the best teams with the best players who have the best shot at actually making the NBA play it out. The great thing about basketball is also what's wrong with the tournament. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, and single elimination upsets happen ALL THE TIME. That's not true in pretty much any other sport. And it's also why in the NBA the best team ALWAYS wins it all. You can't lose to a team four times in a seven game series and still say you are better than that team. But you can lose once (looking at you Virginia and UNC) and say you should still be in the tournament. You also have teams that people argued should have been in the NIT this year that have made it to the sweet 16. There was like a week or two before tournament selections were being made and Syracuse was a "bubble team." Then they go on to make it deep in the tournament. People can argue it's parity all day long, and I do think there is less discrepancy this year in pretty much every team than in most years. But if there was only a 50% chance you were getting in the tournament and you make it past the first weekend while teams like UNC are going down, something isn't right. The teams and players just aren't as good year in and year out in the college game anymore. I know I sound about 150 years old right now, but I have a simple solution that isn't exactly rocket science. 

One way to easily fix this is change the one and done rule for high school basketball players. The NBA needs to step in and say anyone is available to leave for the NBA out of high school. But if you go to college, you have to stay at least three years instead of one. That's right, I said three years. I know that sounds like a lot, and at first there would be a ton of kids declaring for the draft out of high school. This wouldn't eliminate all under the table money, but it would eliminate a lot more than there is now. Certain kids would make the wrong decision to go to the NBA out of high school, but after a few years, most kids would end up going to college for the three to four years. There are not too many Kobe, LeBron, or Kevin Garnetts out there, and after seeing countless kids that declared early for the draft fall on their face, more kids would go to college. They would actually go to some college classes, and develop their game under a coach for a solid two to three years. Players have more practice time, more instruction, and more time with their team. The NCAA tournament and the whole college basketball season would be much more interesting and you would have constant storylines about individual players like you do in college football. The top teams and schools could actually have a player they get to know and root for more than a couple months. Look at Trae Young from Oklahoma. You think he could benefit from another year in college basketball to get smarter, bigger, faster, and to have more time under Lon Kruger? Of course that would help him. I have no idea how he's going to do in the NBA, but I'm willing to bet six years from now he has a much higher likelihood of being a stable player in the NBA if he came back for another two years at OU. I hope he goes to the NBA and plays great, but the NBA and college basketball will continue to fail kids like this until they change the draft rules. 

A letter to LeBron and Tiger

Guys, I have something very serious we need to talk about. It's been weighing on my mind for a long time. LeBron, I know you read my last couple posts and you're seriously considering having me come on full time as your PR coach, but I have even more advice for you. This advice will benefit your mind more than anything else, and this advice is the same for you as it is for Tiger. I think this advice will put both of you at ease and free your mind unlike it's been in probably five to seven years. You're both in a dark place right now. I've been there myself, and I know exactly how it feels. I can literally say the three of us are exactly the same in this regard. We've felt this way and it's not very fun. But I can tell you there is light at the end of the tunnel. It's a light that is liberating. You might feel self conscious. You might feel ashamed. But you shouldn't feel these things. After you take my advice, you will stand proud along with millions of us just like you. Do you know what I'm talking about? Do you know what you need to do? I think you both know. You've been holding back for years now. Again, I was the same way. It's a little like the five stages of grief,  but I would argue this only has three stages. First it's denial. "No, I could never do that. That's ridiculous." That's what you'll tell yourself. Then, it's bargaining. "Maybe if I just wait a little bit things will get better. There's treatment for this right?" But trust me, the last stage is the best. Acceptance. But there's one thing you have to do before you inhale that sweet breath of acceptance. 

GIVE IT UP ALREADY AND SHAVE YOUR HEAD

It's time to join the bald brotherhood. I told you I know how you feel. But guys, trust me, it's time. In fact, it's been time for several years now. It's time to stop paying for haircuts, it's time to stop bargaining in front of the mirror. It's time to stop researching hair restoration, that just looks horrible and fake (I'm looking at you Deion Sanders). LeBron, you even shaved it once last summer, what happened? Why did you go back? It was probably that damn PR guy that writes your tweets, wasn't it? Again, I'm here to help. Tiger, come on man. You too. I know your body is shot and your trying to compete again, and I sincerely hope you do. But shaving your head would help you worry about one less thing. Wearing a hat 24/7 is not helping anything either, by the way. I know your life had some rough patches there for a while and all that stress is toxic to a full head of hair. Shave the head and focus on tuning your game for the Masters this spring. That way when you take your hat off to shake hands on the 72nd hole after tapping in for the win, the whole world will be like "YES! Tiger's back, but more importantly, he finally did it, he shaved his head, I'm proud of that guy for so many reasons." 

Again guys, let it go. It's time. Join the brotherhood, and it is a brotherhood. What other group has Jason Statham, the Rock, Bruce Willis, Tyrese, Michael Jordan, David Beckham (when he shaves it), and YOURS TRULY? I should be charging both of you for such great advice but consider it my gift to both of you. You're welcome, and let freedom reign. 

Super Bowl reactions, prop bets, and Tide detergent

Another year, another great Super Bowl.  Let’s review some of the propbets I covered in an early post and see just how rich you now are because you read outsidethehustle. 


How many times will Al Michaels and  Chris Collinsworth say "dynasty?"
over/under 2.5

I took the over and I had literally no idea if this was over or under while watching. I don’t really remember hearing them say “dynasty” even once, so clearly they were in on this bet. I read there were multiple million dollar bets in Vegas and maybe one of those was Michaels or Collinsworth taking the under. By the way, how much money do you have to have to bet a million dollars? 50 million? 100 million? I can’t even wrap my head around that. And if you lose, do you just say “uhhh yeah I’m gonna need free rooms and shows every weekend here for the next two years since you just made so much money off me.” How could they say no to that? Plus, they have to figure you are a degenerate gambler and won’t be able to come to Vegas that many times without placing some more bets. Surely they give you free rooms for at least a year. 

Length of the national anthem
over/under 2 minutes

One of my buddies bet the over on this. And that was after a quick google search told him most of them have been under 2 minutes. After Pink finished he legitimately asked, “Did Pink miss that last note for home of the brave?” Uh no, I don’t think she missed the singing note and you definitely missed out on making money here. The same guy bet the color of the Gaterade poured on the  winning coach would be orange….and it was yellow….what an idiot.

Odds Brady wears a bandage on his right hand? Yes -130 No +100.

What did I tell you? If you were smart you would have taken your kid’s college fund and bet on “no.” I realized during the Super Bowl I have as much gray hair as Brady does, and he’s seven years older than me. It makes no sense. Our wives basically look the exact same, I wear Uggs in the winter (only around the house, don’t hate), and I wear Under Armour. What gives? But then I remembered he has just a little bit more money than I do, and he’s been on this TB12 method for a while now. So I’m not worried. Since I’m on the TB12 method now I won’t gray any more either. If you’re STILL wondering what the TB12 method is, go get his book. You basically workout with bands, don’t eat gluten (GO TO THE EAT TAB ON THIS WEBSITE IF YOU WANT TO LEARN
MORE ABOUT GLUTEN FREE LIVING), no sugar, alcohol OR caffeine, and you do the foam roller over your whole body for like three hours a day. I'm in. 

Let’s talk about the halftime show for a second. I don’t understand all the Internet hate for Justin Greatest Of All Time Timberlake. His performance was solid. Was it as good as one of his concerts? No, and I should know, I’ve been five times. He had the tribute to Prince, sang most of his hits, and took a selfie with a kid who looked like he belonged at a spelling B. People can hate on what he wore, I get that. Only JT could wear a bandana and clothes that had to have been sold
from a creepy neighborhood garage sale. At least he did wear some J’s. You can wear J’s and your street cred gets kicked up at least two or three notches. But I’m not sure what people think is an amazing halftime performance. Most every perfomer is going to sing, dance, play their hits, and that’s it. They won’t be ziplining, parachuting, dog sleding, or jet packing onto the field, and if you gambled on any of those prop bets, you lost. He entered via the field as I predicted. You're welcome. Regardless, do yourself a favor and get tickets to his upcoming concert tour, you won't be disappointed even if you were on Super Bowl Sunday.

The commercials? The commercials that I kept laughing at were all the Tide commercials with Hopper from Stranger Things, the popular Netflix series. Hopper was like "I am going to ride this Stranger Things money train until they shove me off!" He had to be in what felt like five different Tide commercials. Here is my favorite one. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doP7xKdGOKs

But maybe Tide was trying to steer the conversation away from the whole Tide Challenge thing kids are doing these days. Have you heard about this? I just learned what this is about a week ago. Kids literally eat the Tide pod things you wash your clothes with. Or kids cook them in a frying pan then put them in their mouth as long as they can before spitting them out. Apparently this is not good for your health but kids are doing it anyway. Shocker. Kids, and I mainly mean teenagers, are seriously so dumb. The fact that the human race has been around as long as it has shows how amazing our bodies can be. Think of all the stupid things kids do. Just in the last couple years the Internet has lit up because kids were doing the "gallon challenge" and the "bath salt challenge." Their minds sit there and think "what is the dumbest thing I can possibly do that could kill me but most likely I'll survive, but also could get me a lot of views on YouTube?" As I'm writing this I realize I sound like a grandpa, and I already gave away my actual age, but I don't care. Kids do stupid stuff. I guess you just have to hope your own kid(s) does less of it than others. 

Lastly, it was an amazing game. I wish Brady would have won another title, but I'm hoping he will be back next year. The Eagles had a great year and deserved to win. Nick Foles played great, and you can't help but be happy for him, especially with the way he handles himself. If you need a daily dose of inspiration, listen to his postgame comments here.

https://twitter.com/steveshenbaum/status/960605438978023425

 

 

Super Bowl prop bets

Every year, the Super Bowl has the best prop bets. If you have time, google all of them and run through the ridiculousness. The best part about it is people actually bet on these things. The number of available bets each year only increases, which tells me more and more people are throwing money at these things. When sports gambling (notice I said when not if) is legalized, I would give anything to just have like one tenth of one percent of all the bets placed on the Super Bowl. That's not even counting the people who gamble all year round. Just give me that much of all Super Bowl bets, each year, forever. The NBA is already going pretty hard to have a big stake in gambling, but Netflix, Google, Amazon...one of these will probably end up having the best seat when sports gambling is legalized. Then that company's worth will skyrocket even more. But let's look at some of these bets:

 

How many times will Al Michaels and  Chris Collinsworth say "dynasty?"

over/under 2.5

Gotta go with the over here, right? You have to think they will each say it once, that only leaves one of them having to say it one more time. And if you bet on this one, you have to be the guy yelling at everyone to shut up because you just want to hear the announcers all game. Remind me not to come to your party. 

Length of the national anthem

over/under 2 minutes

This one always blows my mind. This has to be rigged. Every year it's right at 2 minutes. If you take the over you have to be begging Pink to slow down at the very end. Also, you can bet if she will say "eagles" at all since she's a big fan.

over/under number of tweets from Trump during the game:3.5

This all depends if players kneel or sit. Or if somebody somehow makes a political stance that is liberal. Then I would take over even if it was like 7.5. Once he gets going there is no stopping that twitter train.  Otherwise, he will probably tweet a single congratulatory tweet assuming his boy Tom Brady wins. 

Odds Justin Timberlake makes his entrance via: zipline 2/1 car 5/1 motorcycle 7/1 jet pack 15/1 dog sled 20/1 parachute 50/1 field 3/1

Safest bet here is just the field right? Gaga's entrance last year was pretty intense, so maybe he goes parachute. I'm hoping for the old school Michael Jackson concert type entrance where he's shot out of the ground, lands on his feet, and stares out into the distance without moving for a solid 60 seconds. If you liked Michael Jackson in the 80s and 90s you know what I'm talking about and you know how great it was.

Odds to make a guest appearance during the halftime show

Jay-Z 5/1 Beyonce 6/1 Jimmy Fallon 6/1 Britney Spears 22/1 Snoop Dogg 25/1 Madonna 40/1 NSYNC 100/1 Janet Jackson 200/1. Please, anyone but Madonna. Literally everyone else on this list would be awesome. I would say Janet Jackson but since the odds are so horrible I would stay away from that one. Either way, his performance will no doubt be LEGEN (wait for it) DARY.

Odds Brady wears a bandage on his right hand? Yes -130 No +100. 

This has GOT to be the easiest money you could ever make, right? Surely he wears one since he did last week and no way is it all the way healed. But after reading his TB12 book, I would have to bet "NO." I mean, he doesn't even eat regular ice cream. He eats avocado ice cream. I love avocado but that sounds like the nastiest of nasty. No gluten, no sugar, no caffeine and not much alcohol (ok maybe he drinks like a single beer after he wins Super Bowls). With all that I'm going say there is no bandage. Suck it aging. 

I'd like to think the Eagles are going to win this game. But how can you ever doubt Tom Brady and Billy B? They just always find a way to get a win, so I'm taking them. I'm also predicting that, sometime this offseason, Brady will announce he's retiring so he can go travel with Gisele because, well, happy wife=happy life, and she wanted him to retire last offseason. At least that's what she told us when my wife and I vacationed with Brady and Gisele to an undisclosed location last offseason. However,  I am 100% confident in one thing with Brady. We won't have any more Brett Favre scenarios. Whether he retires this year or in two years, when he's done, he's done. I don't see how flirting with the NFL every year like Favre did. 

A letter to myself

I like Lebron. I have for a long time. I actually think, for the most part, he means well and doesn’t understand when he does or says things he looks stupid. Even when the whole “Decision” came out, and he took his talents to South Beach, I didn’t think he deserved all the flack he received. I just think he had (and maybe currently has) people around him giving him horrible advice. Not bad financial advice, because he’s killing it there. I just mean bad PR advice. When you surround yourself with a bunch of “yes men,” or people that will only agree with you, it’s hard to see when you’re doing something dumb. This is pretty much a rule in all aspects of life. I could go on and on about this, but I’m pretty sure you’re not reading this for my life advice, you’re hopefully reading this for some entertainment. Lebron surrounds himself with those people, which leads me to the latest thing he posted on Instagram. Click this below and read his post about reaching 30,000 points.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeTAoFBBxbG/?hl=en&taken-by=kingjames

 

30,000 points is a lot of points, an unbelievable accomplishment, and one very few people have attained. But he makes it soooooooo hard for someone to defend him when he posts stuff like this. Was this his decision? If so, I’m completely wrong about him. Surely, SURELY, it was someone inside his group of friends or business partners that was like, “hey LeBron, you know what would be cool? You should post a congratulatory letter to yourself saying how awesome you are on the gram.” I  mean, come on! It’s nauseating when people go third person and start saying their own name in regular conversations….(actually, if you know someone like this you probably shouldn’t be friends with them)…. But this is just next level. Maybe he doesn’t care what other people think, but I’m pretty sure he does. Maybe he doesn’t have a PR director? Maybe someone totally different runs his Instragram and creates posts and only runs it by him once saying “hey I’m gonna post this are you cool with that?” Either way, this just isn’t a good look for him.

 

So with how great this post is, and how seeing that sending a letter, from yourself, to congratulate your future self, is what everyone should be doing, I’ve decided to write myself a quick letter of congratulations. It will be for my future self to what will be my current self for being such a kick ass husband. Get it? Okay good. Here it is:

 

Zak, I wanna be the first to Congratulate you on being such a great husband. Only a handful have reached/seen it too. Please try to take a moment for yourself on how you’ve done it! You sometimes clean out the hair clippings in the sink after you shave or man-maintain your scruff. You love how every time you see a Target charge on the credit card it’s never under $100. You only make your wife repeat herself three times instead of four to show how great of listener you’ve become. You only stay in the bathroom an extra ten minutes instead of fifteen, claiming to have “stomach issues,” but only when the kids are acting extra crazy. You were always 100% locked in to your wife’s every need during both deliveries of your kids, because you would NEVER just chill on the couch watching Netflix on the iPad, laughing at your favorite shows.  And you typically follow up a compliment to your wife with a compliment to yourself. There’s so many people to thank who has helped this even be possible, and when you finally realize how great of a husband you are, look up to the higher skies and say THANK YOU. So with that said, congrats again old Zak. 1 Love! #striveforgreatness.

 

How was that? I thought that letter to myself was pretty solid. After Lebron’s post to himself, which has about 1.5 MILLION LIKES, he followed it up with this post:

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeVrRGHBQwS/?hl=en&taken-by=kingjames

 

See, this is all he had to do. Post something like this AFTER you accomplish the 30k in points, and you don’t look ridiculous. Lebron, I’ll be your PR guy, and I promise I’ll charge you pennies on the dollar for what you might be paying now. Let me do this, and I might even have so many more people like you, by the time you’re done playing, they might even be convinced you were better than Jordan. So go ahead Lebron, subscribe to outsidethehustle, and I’ll take you to the next level. You’ve got nothing to lose. Otherwise, I’ll be forced to keep writing my future self congratulation letters. And nobody needs to see that. 

Fake tough guys and other random notes

The NBA is the best. You never see more fake tough guys than in the modern day NBA. What other sport do you see guys act so tough and act like they want to constantly fight than in the NBA? Except nothing ever happens. Ever. Did you see the Clippers Rockets from earlier this week? The game got chippy and even the Houston coach, Mike D’antoni, got his feelings hurt because he said Blake Griffin pumped into him. Then after the game, supposedly Trevor Ariza is trying to go into the Clippers locker room and confront people in there? You’re gonna go into the opposing locker room and have it be like 1 on 12? Good luck with that. The best part about the story is it was first reported that there is apparently a back hallway that connects both locker rooms, and one player was knocking at the front entrance to create a distraction so Ariza and others could come in the other entrance. What? Who came up with this plan? And again, what were you going to do once you got inside?? I mean, whatever happened to when guys would just actually throw punches during the game.

 

In the 80’s and 90’s the NBA actually had tough guys that would want to fight. You think anybody wanted to mess with Alonzo Mourning. Dennis Rodman, Bill Laimbeer, or Grandmama Larry Johnson? Nobody in today’s NBA would ever want a piece of those guys. What bugs me isn’t that these guys don’t fight or want to fight like older NBA guys. It’s the fact they ACT like they always want to fight and ACT so tough. It’s not like anybody wants to see another Malice at the Palice brawl with Ron Artest….but come on. There’s a short list of guys that would actually get into a fight OFF the court. Draymond Green. Steven Adams. Guys like that. They would most likely get after it off the court. I’m not one of those “oh the NBA used to be so much better back in the day” kind of guys. But I do like it when the playoffs roll around and everything turns more serious. Today’s playoffs are more like what used to be the regular season in the 80’s and 90’s. I’ll argue all day the NBA has the best athletes in all of sports and watching them play will always be entertaining. But in the regular season, everybody just wants to go through the motions, be buddy-buddy, and then go to dinner after the game. This is all well and good, but don’t act like you wanna fight during the game when after the game is over you are going to meet up with the same dude and share a thousand dollar bottle of wine.

 

 

Some other quick thoughts:

 

-It’s been several weeks and I still can’t get over The OU-Georgia game. Also, did Alabama end up winning it all? I must have blacked out and I can’t find any coverage about how awesome Alabama is and always will be.

 

-We are two weeks away from the Super Bowl, a close second to July 4th for the most AMERICA IS AWESOME day of the year. It doesn’t matter to me who is playing, I love the Super Bowl. The hype, the commercials, the buildup, just everything about it is great. If you aren’t eating way too much of some kind of meat or drinking more than you should on a Sunday you aren’t doing it right. The Monday after the Super Bowl should be a National holiday.

 

-The NBA All Star game is coming up, and the starters were recently selected. There are two captains and those two choose the rest of their team. With how petty everyone in the NBA is currently, I don’t understand how the NBA isn’t televising the selections in primetime. Who wouldn’t want to see Westbrook get picked with Durant, or Chris Paul telling Curry to not pick his old teammate Blake Griffin, or Lebron picking Paul George because they want to play together next year, and so on and so on. This would be way better than the actual All Star game will be.

 

-Trae Young set all kinds of records Saturday with his 48 point performance in a loss against Oklahoma State. He’s an amazing player, the unanimous Player of the Year, and obviously I’m hoping he leads OU to the Final Four. But to me the most amazing stat from Saturday is he took 39 shots. 39! The game went to overtime, but it’s hard to shoot that many times in a college game. He has free range to shoot whenever and from wherever, as he should, but THAT IS SO MANY SHOTS. I don’t put up that many shots in pickup basketball, and trust me, I get up a ton of shots.

 

-I will probably post a full Super Bowl post next week including a game preview, a halftime performance preview since the GOAT is performing, and some gambling odds Vegas releases. Also, if you haven't already done so, go subscribe to our website on the homepage. You won't be getting mass emails and we will respect your privacy (unless we get offered a ton of money for your email info..in that case we will have no choice but to sell your stuff.......just kidding of course). We want to hear from you, things you want to hear more of, things you like or dislike, or any questions you have for us at outsidethehustle. 

NFL playoffs and jean jackets

-So I guess jean jackets are back? Is this a thing? Everywhere I go I see guys wearing jean jackets. I guess this has been coming back in style for a while now, but I had no idea. And they aren’t just the denim colored jean jacket either, I’m seeing white, black, all kinds of different colors. I don’t think there’s any way I could pull this look off. You know how much confidence you have to have to wear that? You better be a professional athlete, celeb, or someone that gets paid to wear certain clothes if you’re gonna go out rockin a jean jacket. If you’re a dude reading this right now and you’re wearing one, go subscribe at the bottom of the website, I have so many questions for you. When did you buy your first jean jacket? How did you decide on that one? Do you have a girlfriend or wife? Did they pick it out? Were you with them when they picked it out? Were you like "no I can't do that babe," and they were all like "yes you can you look great," and then you should said screw it? Did none of your guy friends give you grief the first time you wore it? Are you sure they are friends with you? I could keep going but I'll stop there. On to the sports world. 

 

-That Minnesota Vikings game had the craziest ending I’ve ever seen in a football game. Stefon Diggs  caught a last second touchdown throw that wasn’t even a hail mary, it was a deep throw down the right sideline and the DB just straight whiffed on Diggs, who just spun around and ran it the last 30 yards for a touchdown. I think I read the DB was a rookie, but wow, that can’t happen. You have one job on defense, and that’s to not let anybody get behind you, especially if you’re the last defender back. If the last second play is a hail mary and somebody just out jumps everyone else it’s one thing, or if the ball is batted around several times, but you never see this kind of thing happen in the NFL. Ever. I think they’ll ride this momentum into the Super Bowl with a win over the Eagles this next weekend, even thought the game is in Philly. This game would feel so much bigger if Carson Wentz didn’t get hurt. Now, the real question is, no matter how you end the season, if you’re the Vikings, what do you do with your three QBs? They have Sam Bradford, who was playing really well until he (surprise surprise) got hurt again. And they have Teddy Bridgewater, another guy they love and who was playing well before he also got hurt. No matter what happens the rest the season, you’d think Case Keenum has done enough to keep his starting job. But they have three guys that can and probably should be starters in the NFL. I guess it’s a good problem to have, but I’ll be interested to see how this plays out. If you don’t have a good QB, you have no chance to win in the NFL. Just think what a team like the Broncos would be if they had a good QB.

 

-I’m sorry, but I’m just not buying the whole Belichick vs Brady thing right now. You really think Belichick is so fed up he wants to go to New York? And coach the Odell Beckham Jrs? I don’t think so. I don’t think Brady is going to play until he’s 45 years old, as he has said in the past, but he still has a solid one or two more years. That’s enough time for them to draft a QB this year and have him watch and learn from Brady. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Baker Mayfield to the Patriots???!!! That would be awesome, but I don’t have any idea when Mayfield will get drafted or how good he will be, and neither does about 99% of all the other draft geniuses out there.  I’m sure Belichick did not want to lose Jimmy Garoppolo, and rightfully so, but Belichik is the definition of the “next man up” attitude you have to have in the NFL. I think Brady will go down as the best ever, but I guarantee Belichick thinks he can win with pretty much anyone. Why else does he always let big names go? Why else does he sign guys you’ve never heard of who all the sudden put up huge numbers? He will figure it out, and he will keep figuring it out with the Patriots.  I’m rooting for a Patriots vs. Vikings Super Bowl in Minnesota. 

College Football National Championship

First things first, if you haven't been to the life changing event called a Justin Timberlake concert, do yourself a favor and get a ticket to his upcoming tour which was just announced. It'll be worth whatever price you're paying. Not sure where else you can get such great, free advice like this besides outsidethehustle. 

Anyway, okay fine, I'll admit it. I watched some of the National Championship game. I really didn't intend to but it started and our kids were asleep so I started watching. And the first half was just like any other boring, SEC snooze fest. So I fell asleep and obviously missed all the good stuff. Luckily, I had recorded it so I could go back and watch the second half and overtime.

Saban is, without a doubt, the best college football coach ever. I don't see anyone ever touching him either. I don't think he's going to retire anytime soon, his team is always stacked, and he's won 5 of the last 9 championships. 5 OF THE LAST 9. Wait, I don't think that sunk in with you yet. 5 OF THE LAST 9. That's ridiculous. By contrast, OU, who you obviously know by now I'm a huge fan of, and one of the top 5 college programs ever by any standard, has won 5 National Championships in the last 61 years. 61 years. And it's taken Saban a total of 9 to win the same amount. That's just insane. What makes it more ridiculous is he's been doing it without a star QB and with, at best, mediocre kickers. Go through the last 5 championships. Their kicking has been inconsistent and their QBs, while serviceable, solid starters, have never been big time. None of them have sniffed the NFL and most of them wouldn't start on the top 10 teams in the final top 25 polls from each year. That's how good the rest of Alabama and their coaching is every year. Also, how BIG OF COJONES does Saban have to pull his starting QB at halftime? I know he looked horrible and wasn't completing anything, but all he's done is taken Alabama to the championship game two years in a row, and only lost a total of two games, and he gets yanked at halftime? What other coach does that? No one. By the way, if you haven't seen Hurts post game interview you need to watch it here real quick. 

https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/jalen-hurts-gave-the-classiest-interview-possible-after-being-replaced/ar-BBI8ZkY

It was all class. There's gotta be like 1% of all athletes that would sound like that after getting benched in a national championship game. Honestly I don't think I would have had the same reaction. But his team won and he got them there, he deserves it just as much as anyone else. 

So where does that leave us? Just like we've been left basically every other year for the past decade. Chasing Alabama football. You know how I said they've been winning with basically zero star QBs? Well, it looks like they might have one now, and he was just a true freshman this year. Oh yeah, they also had like 10 other freshman playing significant minutes in the championship game, along with more 5 star recruits coming. Do I sound bitter? Jealous? Maybe I'm both, because everyone else is looking up at them. To the victor goes the spoils, and Saban just gonna keep Sabaning. 

This post took me way longer than it should have. I was interrupted because my son was calling me from his room way after he should have been asleep. When I went in there he was like "dad, I don't want this boogie on my finger. I just picked it, get it off finger." And it was a really big, slimy one. No problem buddy, I got you.  #parenting. 

Things I think I think that I'm 100% certain about

-I'm not watching the National Championship game this Monday. And it's not because I'm an OU fan. It's because 1) Alabama is going to win and exert their dominance AGAIN 2) I can't handle SEC! SEC! chants from the stands considering both teams are from the SEC and this is inevitable and 3) it's going to be a boring game. Most likely it's going to be relatively low scoring and one of those typical "defensive struggle" SEC games. Not gonna watch. Don't try to convince me to either.

 

-The Astros are going to visit the White House for their championship....AS THEY SHOULD. I don't care who is in office, if you get invited to the White House, you go. In fact, if you disagree with the President, which it seems, according to the media, 99% of people do when in reality about 50% of people do, you should absolutely go and at least try to start whatever dialogue you want. It's just plain dumb when people say they aren't going or wouldn't go if invited. I'm glad the Astros are going and whoever wins the Super Bowl should go too. Can you imagine what that would be like? Especially since there will be at least a handful of players from the winning team that kneeled during the anthem? Would Trump say never mind you aren't invited? The media will run with this story for weeks. 

 

-If you haven't seen Carmelo Anthony's post game interview from Thursday night after they beat the Clippers, do yourself a favor and go google it. This was after midnight in the central time zone, so there's no way there were a ton of Thunder fans watching at that point, but the Thunder broadcast didn't bleep anything out when Melo got water poured on his head and had some choice words.  You could see Nick Gallo's life flash before his eyes. He sometimes works the sidelines and started laughing after Melo went all bleepity bleep but you know he was like I can't believe that just happened, Presti please don't fire me. You know the Thunder organization flipped when this happened also and he's gonna be fined a ton of money. But it was pretty funny. 

 

-I literally can't think at all when my kids are screaming. If both kids are crying, my brain totally shuts off. I realized this the other day when I was running pushing both of them in the mini shopping cart we have and they both flew out and started wailing (they're fine, relax). It's all fun and games until kids start crying. Anyway, they are both crying and I'm just standing there like is everybody ok? I realized I can't think or do anything when they're crying. It's horrible. People just need to bring their babies in with them when they go on the five hour excursion known as buying a new car. Once you start negotiating, just have your baby start crying and no way does the salesperson know what to do next. Oh, you want free oil changes and 10k off the sticker? No problem, just get the baby to STHU and I'll go get the paperwork ready. 

 

-Have a good weekend. 

OU-Georgia Semifinal game

The Rose Bowl has become the most must-see bowl game of every year, and it’s not even close. Last year’s game was a thriller, and by now everyone has at least seen the highlights of the OU-Georgia game. If you read my first post below you’ll already see my predictions are almost perfect for 2018…...except for the predictions that have already played out. Those I was wrong about. But guarantee the others are correct. Anyway, if those two teams played ten times, I think they each win five times. They could not be more different in terms of style of play, but I think both teams are very evenly matched. Mayfield had another great game even with the interception, and overall the offense showed why they were the best in the nation this year. Now can we talk about the OU defense? When is OU going to find an identity on D? I’m so tired of hearing they are running a 4-3. Then it’s a 3-4. Then they change to a 50 defense. I’m not talking about in-game adjustments being made.  Anyone who has followed OU the past 5-6 years knows they don’t do that. I’m talking about an actual scheme they stick with and can have success with. And then recruit the type of players that are going to thrive in it. The disparity between the offense and defense blows me away every year. And don’t tell me about how you have to recruit to play in the Big 12, and how you have to have smaller linebackers that can tackle in space for these air show offenses. You should be recruiting TALENT. Period. Bigger. Faster. Stronger. That’s all that matters. And OU has those athletes on offense, but hardly ever on defense, especially at linebacker. When’s the last time OU had an impact player at linebacker like Roquan Smith for Georgia?  Maybe Curtis Lofton? Like 9 years ago. I’m not saying Beal and Murray were the reason OU lost the Rose Bowl, but if you can ever bring yourself to go back and watch that game, only watch those two on every play. You won’t like what you see.  And the game winning touchdown? Nobody even got a hand on the runner. That’s hard to do. That’s like air balling a free throw. Oh wait, the Thunder have a guy that does that too. Never mind. Here’s the bottom line. I don’t care if you are playing little league football, high school, college, or in the NFL, if you score around 50 points, you should win.

 

I think it’s just time for Mike Stoops to go in a different direction. But if you’re Riley, how are you gonna fire or encourage Stoops to go elsewhere after the smooth transition you received from Bob Stoops? You can’t do that and he won’t. The only way Mike leaves is if OU rattles off a 7-5 record a couple years in a row, and that isn’t happening anytime soon. I know several teams would kill to be OU, and I sound like a spoiled fan, but sometimes when you are so close to being #1, that’s the hardest last step to take. Ever since the Bradford years, they’ve been a really good team, but several steps away (or a great defense away) from stepping into being a championship team. Once any person, team, company or business tastes success, they are going to want more. And then more after that. This is only natural and success should strive to make you hungry for more. Mo money mo problems. OU fans know what I mean.

 

Last thing….I liked how after the game while walking off the field Davin Bellamy was yelling at Mayfield to humble himself. Then in the locker room afterwards he said something like “I mean, all the flamboyancy. I carry myself the same way. Humble yourself.” Huh? You carry yourself the same way? Meaning you’re cocky too? But he should humble himself? Even after he put up 48 on you? Oh, ok. I liked Baker’s response to that in the post game interview. He basically said something like he can say whatever he wants because they won. Very true. This goes without saying but I’m gonna miss watching Mayfield play. He’s definitely one of those guys you hate if he’s not on your team, but trust me, you LOVE him if he is playing for your squad. The fact that he had to walk on is still just plain ridiculous to me. Fun fact. The last two Heisman Trophy winners OU has had, they didn’t originally recruit out of high school. How crazy is that? They offered Bradford late and only after a couple other Big 12 schools offered him, and everyone knows about Mayfield’s walk on story. But man, I’m gonna miss watching him throw, taunt, strut, grab, and make clutch plays. Do you, Mayfield. Now and hopefully in the pros. Mayfield forever. 

The Thunder are back, baby…and so am I! Things got a little crazy for a while and I got way too far behind on blogging about the games. December just got away from me. Going forward, I’ll most likely post about once or twice per week, centered around any and all sports, but also go into some Thunder basketball. With the tens of millions of you that had subscribed to blcbreakdown.com, I know you were desperate for my in depth analysis during the past month, and for that I apologize. But now you have a new site that isn’t just focused on sports.... now you have travel and food, so what more could you even need in life? If you don’t love food, traveling, or sports than you are probably not very fun to be around, so if you see me around OKC, don’t try to chat me up. Thanks. If you don't care about the Thunder and you have no heart or soul skip down to my 7 bold predictions below. If you do care about the Thunder keep reading. 

 

-What have I been saying all along for the first month of the season? I don’t care what happens or what their record is before Christmas. The NBA season is a marathon not a sprint, and even now people think they’ve got it all figured out. People need to relax and enjoy the games where they play well and actually move the ball, and not expect everything to click going forward. Don’t be surprised if they come back down to earth and lose to a team they shouldn’t lose to….like the Jan 4th game against the Clippers or a 15th game against the Kings. Either way, they are playing much better and all three stars are finally scoring. I knew the national media would be all over the Thunder and start saying Presti needs to break up the team. I actually like Colin Cowherd but watch this video of him and all the doom and gloom he’s bringing in this video.

 

https://www.foxsports.com/watch/the-herd-with-colin-cowherd/video/1116615235535

 

Wow. That was one of the most depressing videos ever….After watching that I didn’t know if I should call my wife to say I love you foreva boo boo or try to call Sam Presti and tell him I love him no matter what. Either way he’s wrong about how that specific win from the night before doesn’t matter. Every win matters, and every win gets you closer to the 3 or 4 seed come playoff time. And everyone knows that home court is huge in the playoffs. The point is, videos like this and other national media are going to swing back and forth between super low like this and super high like they are right now. We just need to enjoy the ride and hope the Thunder gets any win they can and starts to ultimately peak come April.

 

-Westbrook has been the biggest difference during this turnaroud. He’s shooting 56% the past couple weeks, that’s a huge deal considering he shoots around 45% for his career. A big part of that is he’s not shooting hardly any threes lately. His mid range game is almost always on point, but I cringe whenever he starts hitting some threes, because that means there’s about six or seven more that are coming that won’t be going in. If he can continue that it makes a huge difference.

 

-I’ve been amazed at what Melo and PG have been saying all season long. I don’t think I’ve heard one time where they say something negative about the team or Westbrook. And you know they had some things to say early on. Or when Roberson used to airball his nightly three or free throw. Speaking of Roberson, I have to give credit where credit is due. He’s been playing great defense and isn’t taking many shots. When he does shoot, it’s typically been off a cut to the basket which, even if he misses, at least he’s close.

 

 

7 quick Bold Predictions for 2018 that are 100% going to maybe happen

 

1. Tiger Woods will finish in the top 3 of at least one major. The best thing for golf would be if we would win another major but I just don't see that happening. His back can't hold up and once he starts playing more this year, he will continue to break down and have to take weeks off. But nothing is better than the Masters and if Tiger was leading or a couple shots off the lead going into Sunday that would be the most watched golf tournament in history. I would watch all six hours of coverage. Well, I actually do that anyway so nothing would really change there. 

 

2. Oklahoma will win the national championship. Okay fine, I'm a homer. But I do think they will play Clemson in the title game and shake and baker mayfield will summon some Sooner Magic. I just hope the Sooner defense plays well enough to win. It all comes down to them. I was there for the Iowa State game and I'm pretty sure I could have scored that day. But they also played a much more physical Ohio State team and gave them all they wanted. Given, JT Barrett can't throw a 15 yard out, but he's a winner and that's a really good team. I'm banking on that defense showing up the next two games. If the Iowa State OU defense shows up, Georgia is putting 50 up. 

 

3. No matter what happens the rest off the college football season, your SEC friends or family will tell you how great the SEC is and how that's a real conference and how they always have high draft picks and on and on and on.  They will tell you this even though 

-they will have won one national championship in the last five years

-their bowl record this year will be under .500

-they have the worst coaches in any conference that is a constant musical chairs

 

4. The Warriors will win another NBA title and this time Steph Curry will be MVP. I just threw up.

 

5. The Patriots will win.....again. I'm a Dallas Cowboys fan but I do love me some Tom Brady so I'm not mad about this. They outcoach and outsmart every other team and their sustainability is crazy. In 20 years this dynasty will be even more amazing than people think it is now. And since we all want to live the dream and beat our kids in sports when we are in our 40's I'm currently reading the TB12 method, the book Brady wrote. Haters gonna hate. 

 

6. The Dodgers will win the World Series this year. The 2017 World Series was incredible. Even if you're not a baseball fan, you missed out if you didn't watch it. The Dodgers have the most stacked roster and the deepest pitching, and they will get past the Astros in another rematch. 

 

7. Sports gambling will be legal. I don't know if it will be legal in all 50 states, as each state might have to make the ultimate call, but it will be legal. 

 

More to come later. Have a healthy and happy 2018.