DeSean Jackson to Chip Kelly: “Are You The One?”

Chip Kelly is the one for DeSean Jackson.  Deal with it, player.

Chip Kelly is the one for DeSean Jackson. Deal with it, player.


These days, there is no bigger reality television than sports. And even during the off-season full of reruns, the NFL airs its original dirty laundry. And it’s still so compelling!

Few reality TV shows on-the-air right now remain as compelling as the off-season social dating experiment between Philadelphia Eagles standout wide receiver DeSean Jackson and its second-year head coach Chip Kelly. Based on last year’s pilot episode (the 2013-2014 NFL season), Jackson’s blazing speed and Kelly’s quick-tempo offense schemes seemed like a match made in heaven for Eagles fans.

Instead, that once perfect match is falling apart this week quicker than any drunken hook-up witnessed on MTV’s hit reality dating social experiment “Are You The One?”

NFL owners and general managers—huddled together for the NFL Owners meetings in Orlando this week—are tuning into this unraveling social experiment. If ratings could be measured in large market owners, then the Jackson-Kelly drama would be bigger than the last Super Bowl!

Like every other sexy player on “Are You The One?”, Jackson overcompensates for his lack of self-awareness by manipulating others (the media) for his own gain. Already getting $10.5 million after shining in his best statistical season under Chip Kelly’s up-tempo offense, Jackson is saying one thing–while his body language says the opposite. Jackson’s perfect match is standing right in front of him, and he doesn’t even know it!

Please, DeSean, don’t fool around no mo’! Don’t fall for the unique glitz and glamour of a slimmed-down Rex Ryan. Don’t fall for a recently blossomed California blonde like Mike McCoy. Don’t try to make your old flame jealous by sitting down to dinner with a sexy rival like Tom Coughlin.

MTV just picked up “Are You The One?” for a second season. That’s exactly what Jackson needs to do—pick up Kelly’s offense for another season. Even on concocted dating shows with endless booze and tropical weather, chemistry and compatibility don’t reveal themselves immediately.

Jackson is getting too old for the NFL-equivalent of a one-night stand. Stick around. Play it out. None of those other MTV island babes (Jacy, Shanley, Jessica, Coleysia, Paige, Amber, Ashley, Simone, Brittany, and even Ole Miss belle Kayla) or any other NFL coach will be as good as what you got now. Stay and make sweet with Coach Kelly! C’mon, Number Ten, do that sexy, sexy, that only you know how to do.

Chip Kelly and his offense is the only one for you! Dude, go kiss and make up, fast! Use that lightning speed of yours, and run back to the Eagles with your tail between your legs.

Or else you might find yourself being led on by one of Geno Smith’s errant throws across the middle—straight into the wake-up call that is the hard side of a Patriots’ free safety helmet. And it will be too late to go back to that Philly of a lover that you jilted with your words (and not just your actions, Jackson!)

Eleven More Non-Yankee Doctors Give A-Rod the A-OK to Play This Weekend

A-Rod has been giving a different finger to the Yankees this week.

A-Rod has been giving a different finger to the Yankees this week.

Yesterday, Alex Rodriguez and his camp tried to circumvent Dr. Chris Ahmad, the Yankees’ team doctor, in order to get his $275M Ego-ness cleared to play after a Grade 1 quad strain. Dr. Michael Gross took to the airways to proclaim A-Rod fit to play this Friday—despite the one simple fact that Dr. Gross had never examined A-Rod in person. In fact, A-Rod and Dr. Ahmad had never even met in person before.

Today, eleven more well-known doctors came to A-Rod’s defense to declare him fit!!! The Yankees and their fans should take notice!
 
 
 
 

Dr. Doug Ross

Dr. Doug Ross

The original McDreamy and McSteamy combined. Leave it to A-Rod to call upon Dr. Doug Ross, a physician as Dreamy and Steamy as A-Rod always thinks that he is.
 
 
 
 

Dr. Dolittle

Dr. Dolittle

“If I could talk to the animals, just imagine it, chattin’ with a Yank in Yankanzee. Imagine talking to a Cashman, chatting with a Jeter. What a neat achievement it would be!” (Rex Harrison had too much class to answer A-Rod’s Skype. But Eddie Murphy had nothing but time on his hand, and so he gladly gave Dr. Dolittle medical opinion.)
 
 
 
 

Dr. Evil

Dr. Evil

“Why make trillions when we can make…billions?” That’s how much the Yankees still owe A-Rod on his contract if he gets to re-take the field!!! A-Rod and Dr. Evil makes the Yankees Evil Empire look like a G-rated movie with a Steve Carell voiceover. As Dr. Evil would say, “You’re the best evil son an evil dad could ever ask for, A-Rod.”
 
 
 
 

Doc Emmett Brown

Doc Emmett Brown

A-Rod travels in Doc Brown’s DeLorean to go back to 1985…to the year before 11-year old A-Rod started using performance-enhancing drugs. Only then might A-Rod actually help himself.
 
 
 
 

Dr. Leo Spaceman

Dr. Leo Spaceman

At least 30 ROCK’s Dr. Spaceman has actually examined A-Rod in person–because it’s much harder to examine erectile dysfunction over the phone. (Although with erectile dysfunction, nothing is hard, right?)
 
 
 
 

Dr. Jekyll

Dr. Jekyll

A-Rod also got a second opinion from both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but even Mr. Hyde sided with the Yankees team doctor.
 
 
 
 

Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Dr. Hannibal Lecter

It’s probably more likely that Dr. Hannibal Lecter is more of a wicked Red Sox fan instead of a loud mouth Yankees fan anyway. It stands to reason, Clarice.
 
 
 
 

Dr. Love...and Dr. Pepper

Dr. Love…and Dr. Pepper

This is a face that you can trust. The original Dr. Love (who eventually sold out to Dr. Pepper.) If you can’t trust a man with two doctorates, then who can you trust?
 
 
 
 

Dr. Frasier Crane

Dr. Frasier Crane

At this point, Dr. Frasier Crane may be the only person listening to A-Rod.
 
 
 
 

Doc

Doc

Through their union representative, the remaining six dwarfs are voting to replace Doc, ever since Doc declared A-Rod fit like Prince Charming. ESPN reports that Sleazy is the leading vote-getter, while Yusiel Puig once again loses in a mild upset.
 
 
 
 

Dr. Who (and counting)

Dr. Who (and counting)

Doctor Who??? Yup, exactly!!! Just WHO are these doctors of yours, A-Rod?!?
 
 
 
 

A-Rod should just take his stolen millions, and quarantine himself to some South Beach hot spot until some time after Pete Rose finally gets inducted into the Hall of Fame.

A-Rod needs to learn to keep his mouth shut

A-Rod needs to learn to keep his mouth shut

Still, you really gotta hand it to Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has already accomplished the impossible: ego-maniac third baseman has turned Brian Cashman and the rest of the New York Yankee management into sympathetic figures. Why come back when the crowds will shower him with boos—even more so at Yankee Stadium, than on the road. The Yankees cannot afford for A-Rod to infect their brand any more so than he already has.

(7/25/13)

The PSA on Being GLEE: Ryan Murphy Cannot Just Sweep Cory Monteith’s Death Under The Rug (or Under the Red Carpet)

Glee - Finn football locker room

Flaming Bag of Poo has a dark, but GLEE-ful, confession to make: In recent years, I only know which music is actually good and popular only once Finn Hudson, Rachel Berry, and the New Directions perform the song on GLEE.

It’s hard enough staying knowledgeable on music–especially when I have to stay knowledgeable about sports. For instance, Flaming Bag of Poo can name every NFL starting quarterback at any point during the season. I can spit out every MLB team by division. I can recite the starting line-ups of every NBA team. I can name the mascots of 90% of the Division I schools.

And yet, this is the very same Flaming Bag of Poo who has never missed a single episode of the hit Fox TV show “GLEE” since the pilot first aired in 2009. If a recent Top 40 song wasn’t covered on GLEE, then I probably wasn’t even aware of the hit original song. I have more downloaded GLEE songs in my iPhone than any single straight man should ever admit.

GLEE itunes

But there it is. I admitted it!!!

So, like millions of teenagers and teenagers-at-heart around the world, I admit, I was quite shocked when Cory Monteith was found dead last week. I was even more shocked to only now learn about his unfortunate history with substance abuse.

Cory-Monteith memorial

I won’t make light of Cory Monteith’s death. But I also won’t pretend that the world lost an important role model for teens. Let’s not glorify Cory Monteith’s struggles with substance abuse.

GLEE has almost become synonymous with the phrase “Public Service Announcement”. GLEE isn’t a success just because of teen karaoke. The comedy-drama-musical show and its viral PSAs have tackled everything and anything on the tweener demographic’s radar: Homosexuality. Teen pregnancy. Adoption. Bullying. Suicide. Cancer. Physical disabilities. Eating disorders. White men who can’t dance…

Glee - football team dancing

The greatest cliffhanger of the Fall 2013 television season may very well be: Can GLEE focus on an issue so close to home? Alcohol and substance abuse.

Indeed, Cory Monteith’s death was tragic and premature. But let’s not get carried away that his death was both sudden and premature. Cory did heroin. That’s like carrying a gun in your pocket, and then being surprised when it prematurely shoots you in the thigh. Even Cory was man enough to face the harsh reality by publicly addressing his teen years of substance abuse well before Rachel and Finn ever shared google-eyes at each other across the music room.

GLEE Finn and Rachel

It would be too easy to dismiss Cory Monteith’s substance abuse problems as just another example of Hollywood’s darker underbelly of fame and fortune. After all, this actor’s substance abuse began up in Canada—and ended in a Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel.

The producers of GLEE have the opportunity to make a serious impact on the millions of young adults and teens who use drugs–and put up the façade that they are invincible.

Finn Hudson (Cory Monteith’s character on GLEE) was so beloved because audiences found him relateable, fallible, and sympathetic; those same words could be used to describe Cory Monteith in his death. And that’s why there’s an important opportunity–if not obligation–here for GLEE.

Glee - Anyway you want it

Does Ryan Murphy and Fox have the courage to look at themselves, and use Cory’s actual death as an important teaching experience for some many young teens and adults who use recreational drugs as though they were just enjoying a beer? Does Finn Hudson pass away in a similar manner as Cory Monteith? Alone, scared, and making bad decisions with heroin?

Art shouldn’t just imitate life. Art should protect life, too, when it has the power to do so! Because that would be a GLEE-ful tribute to Cory Monteith, the former heart of the show.

And will help put Finn Hudson to rest.

GLEE - Finn Faithfully

(7/18/13)

Hollywood NFL Fantasy Mock Draft

Cuba Gooding, Keanu Reeves, Warren Beatty, Jamie Foxx, Sean Astin - great movie actors playing great football players

Cuba Gooding, Keanu Reeves, Warren Beatty, Jamie Foxx, Sean Astin – great movie actors playing great football players

In 1994, the National Football League reduced the number of rounds in the draft from 12 to 7. Nowadays, NFL teams draft with the intention of securing players who can actually make their roster. But it wasn’t always like that.

Prior to 1994, those late 12th round picks were practically throwaways, so teams might make speculative picks on multi-sport athletes intending to play other non-pro football sports.

Forget Mr. Irrelevant.  How about "Mr. Speculative"?

Forget Mr. Irrelevant. How about “Mr. Speculative”?

Instead of just “Mr. Irrelevant” (the last player chosen in each year’s draft), teams could practically waste a late-round draft pick on a “Mr. Speculative” (guys with no real intention to play in the NFL, but if they ever changed their minds, some NFL team would already own their rights.)

For example, did you know these late NFL draft picks?

Kirk Gibson was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 7th round.

Dave Winfield was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the 17th round.

Pat Riley was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the 11th round.

Burt Reynolds was even drafted late by the Baltimore Colts!

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds

Flaming Bag of Poo wondered: Among all the great sport movies of all time, which actors and fictional movie characters might have performed well in the NFL?

OK, let’s automatically disqualify any actor or fictional movie character in a movie about football. Because it’s too easy to imagine them playing football since we’ve already seen them win on-screen.

Thus, for the sake of this Hollywood Fantasy Mock Draft, you could not choose from: Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jerry Maguire), Keanu Reeves (The Replacements), Jamie Foxx (Any Given Sunday), Warren Beatty (Heaven Can Wait), Billy Dee Williams or James Caan (Brian’s Song), or Sean Astin (Rudy).

Kathy Ireland vs. Keira Knightey - wouldn't you get a kick out of seeing them in the locker room showers?

Kathy Ireland vs. Keira Knightey – wouldn’t you get a kick out of seeing them in the locker room showers?

Even in a supplemental draft, Flaming Bag of Poo could not even draft Kathy Ireland (Necessary Roughness) or Keira Knightley (Bend It Like Beckham) just for kicks to see them shower in the men’s locker room.

After watching tons of videotape, here are the Top 15 actors and fictional movie characters atop Flaming Bag of Poo’s Big Board.

#15 – Tom Cruise (The Color of Money, All The Right Moves)

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Yes, believe it or not, Tom Cruise only makes #15 on this list. We don’t count the gay volleyball scene in Top Gun, because when he jumps to spike, it looks like he’s spiking over a ping-pong table net. And in The Color of Money, it’s the pool where you don’t get wet and win gold medals. Few people actually remember his role as the football stud in All The Right Moves, but Flaming Bag of Poo remembers the movie because of Lea Thompson’s pre-Back To The Future hotness.

#14 – Jackie Earle Haley (Bad News Bears, Breaking Away)

Jackie Earle Haley

Jackie Earle Haley

How does a child actor go from playing the coolest stud on the Bad News Bears, to the runt on the Cutters cycling team in Breaking Away? I’m thinking cigarettes!

#13 – Kevin Costner (Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup)

Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner

Costner has starred in plenty of sports movies. But given his demeanor in all of them, he’s more of a punter than a running back.

#12 – Robert Redford (The Natural)

Robert Redford

Robert Redford

Redford was like the Jim Brown of his sports movie era. He doesn’t look like much compared to today’s muscular actors, but back in the day, he was a stud. He could play Aaron Rodgers in the story of his life.

#11 – Joshua Jackson (The Mighty Ducks trilogy)

Joshua Jackson

Joshua Jackson

Sometimes, you have to draft them young based on their potential. Would anyone ever guess that this star of the three Mighty Ducks movies would have sex with Katie Holmes before Tom Cruise would?

#10 – Charlie Sheen (Eight Men Out, Major League)

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen lacks in strength and speed, he brings the intangibles akin to Rodney Harrison or Warren Sapp. Dirty player with a motor mouth. Sounds like the defensive player that running backs and quarterbacks hate most.

#9 – Matt Damon (The Legend of Bagger Vance, Invictus)

Matt Damon

Matt Damon

Did you see Matt Damon bulk up for the soccer movie Invictus? Good thing that steroids aren’t illegal in Hollywood.

#8 – Sylvester Stallone (Rocky)

Sylvester Stallone

Sylvester Stallone

Stallone has inside linebacker written all over him. Bring his lunch pail to the movie set every day. Even if it’s filled with fried chicken sandwiches from his failed Planet Hollywood restaurant chain.

#7 – Dennis Quaid (Breaking Away, The Rookie, Everybody’s All American, The Express, Any Given Sunday)

Dennis Quaid

Dennis Quaid

Quaid is Costner, except Quaid looks like he could withstand a tackle without crying. Fearless and reliable, put Quaid in the slot, like Wes Welker.

#6 – Wesley Snipes (White Men Can’t Jump, Major League)

Wesley Snipes

Wesley Snipes

Snipes is the prototypical NFL CB…super fast and destined to get in trouble with the law. That’s why he would be a high draft pick. Snipes is Hollywood’s version of Pac Man Jones.

#5 – Scott Summers (Hoosiers)

Scott Summers ("Strap")

Scott Summers (“Strap”)

You might know him by his movie character name “Strap”. Or better yet, you know him as the brawny guy who prays. Obviously, if Hickory could barely could field a team for a basketball, they weren’t going to field enough guys for a football team. But Strap would make the ideal LB/FB.

#4 – Will Smith (The Legend of Bagger Vance, Ali)

Will Smith

Will Smith

When you think of the overused draft expression, “Take the best player available regardless of need”, Will Smith’s name just leaps off everyone’s draft board.

#3 – Denzel Washington (The Hurricane, Remember The Titans)

Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington

Nobody would ever mess with Denzel. Although I always think he’s more of a defensive player than an offensive player. The guy that would rather hit, than be hit. Denzel Washington and Ronnie Lott could be brothers.

#2 – Dwayne Johnson (Gridiron Gang)

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

People actually think “The Rock” got drafted after he graduated at “The U”. Nope. “Gridiron Gang” is a football movie, but he makes this list only because it’s more of a movie than pro wrestling is a real sport.

#1 – Steve Carlson, Jeff Carlson, David Hanson (Slap Shot)

The Hanson Brothers

The Hanson Brothers

Yes, it’s three guys. But you really always think of them as one. THE HANSON BROTHERS!!! It’s a little known fact, but in real life, only one of the actors was really named Hanson (David Hanson). The other two were Carlsons (Jeff & Steve Carlson). Imagine this trio as your starting linebacking corp in a 4-3 defense for the Kansas City Chiefs. (Yes, I know they played for the Chiefs in the movie, too.)

Let the 2013 NFL Draft officially start!

The Hollywood Stars, you are now officially on the clock.

Brooke Langton (The Replacements) - sexiest fictional football cheerleader ever

Brooke Langton (The Replacements) – sexiest fictional football cheerleader ever

(04/25/13)

Making The Playoffs Is The Worst Case Scenario For The Lakers

Celebrating...in street clothes (the Lakers new team uniforms).

Celebrating…in street clothes (the Lakers new team uniforms).

Almost as tragic as Kobe Bryant’s Achilles tear, something devastating happened yesterday on the final night of the 2012-2013 NBA regular season.

The Lakers squeaked into the playoffs! And Laker fans should be cursing and crying instead of bragging and celebrating.

GET REAL, HOLLYWOOD!!! Fans of the Los Angeles Lakers should not be celebrating last night’s so-called win over the turnover prone Houston Rockets.

This Lakers team will not win the championship. They will be fortunate just to get past the San Antonio Spurs. But do you really believe their backcourt has the stamina to carry them past the Denver Nuggets, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Miami Heat?

What a nightmare! All this for a first-round upset leading into an off-season as painful as Kobe’s early physical rehab will be.

Face it: this Lakers team needs to be in the 2013 NBA Draft lottery.

2012-nba-draft-lottery-chairs

Just like the passing of the torch from the late Dr. Jerry Buss to his yet-to-really-arrive son Jim Buss, the Lakers need to rebuild—starting next fall.

Kobe Bryant – If you’ve never ruptured your Achilles tendon before, then you really have no clue what you’re talking about. Flaming Bag of Poo suffered a complete Achilles tear years ago, and ever since, Poo has been unable to repeat as Slam Dunk Champion on the home office nerf hoop.

Because your expectations will hurt Kobe even more.

Because your expectations will hurt Kobe even more.

It’s in everyone’s best interests for the Lakers to “amnesty” Kobe’s $30 million in his final contract year. Yes, the Lakers need to take emotion out of the equation. Forget loyalty. Can the Lakers franchise really afford $30 million sitting in the training room until the prime Christmas Day matchup? (Can ABC really afford to put the Lakers on Christmas Day without Kobe???). Kobe is no longer the high-flying juvenile that the Lakers first drafted. This season was a grind on his aging body, and his Achilles won’t allow him to be the Kobe Bryant that fans will expect back from the minute he does walk back onto the court. Look at other basketball stars like Elton Brand and Chauncey Billups who have been a shadow of their former greatness since returning from Achilles injuries. Sir Charles Barkley didn’t even try. Kobe will be thinking about re-rupturing his Achilles every time he jumps. For $30 million, at best, you’ll get a ball-hogging jump shooter. Have you already forgotten Michael Jordan in his last season with the Washington Wizards? When the clutch, aerial moves ceased to exist…

michael_jordan_wizards

Amnesty Kobe! Spare Kobe (and Laker fans) the torture of trying to live up expectations that he’ll return as the same Kobe Bryant that we’ve been spoiled to depend on all these years. Set him loose for his own good. He’ll come back when he’s good and ready. (Really, do you think Kobe would really sign any other team other than the Lakers?) The Lakers could re-sign Kobe for the 2014-2015 season at something far less than $30 million because Kobe knows he wouldn’t look good in a Washington Wizards jersey.

Dwight Howard – The only guy not named “The Situation” who thinks that life is better in Jersey than in Los Angeles. Superman is saying all of the right things (OK, maybe not ALL…but SOME) right now. But wait until his exit interview with Mitch Kupchak once the Lakers get bounced from the playoffs. Dwight ain’t staying if Kobe isn’t coming back. And worse yet, Dwight ain’t staying if Kobe does come back!

Sign-and-trade. Everyone better get used to Brook Lopez in a Lakers jersey.

Pau Gasol – During offseason trade talks, Gasol’s name will be thrown around more often in than the words “salary cap”. The Lakers should trade Gasol for a couple athletes who can jump higher than Steve Nash and Steve Blake.

I wouldn’t even attempt to summarize the soft cap vs. the hard cap on team salaries. I couldn’t explain it better than Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NBA_Salary_Cap

Steve Nash – It’s painful enough to see this hobbled future Hall of Famer get through this season. Next season, Nash will only be another year older. Fans’ expectations may as well be the basketball rim—because “White Men Can’t Jump” Nash will never come close to touching it.

Steve Blake, Jodie Meeks, Darius Morris – Laker fans, these are your likely options to start in place of Kobe Bryant alongside Steve Nash throughout the 2013-2014 season.

Steve Blake - a full season starter?

Steve Blake – a full season starter?


Jodie Meeks - a full season starter?

Jodie Meeks – a full season starter?


Darius Morris - a full season starter?

Darius Morris – a full season starter?

It’s like finding out that you’re getting to sit beside a Jack Nicholson impersonator in the nose-bleed seats—instead of courtside with the real deal.

Ben McLemore – In this draft, McLemore is the next coming of Kobe Bryant. Because the old Kobe Bryant will never be back, the Lakers needed to get themselves in the lottery in hopes they land one of the top two picks. (Conspiracy theorists remember Patrick Ewing and the frozen lottery envelopes!)

The next Kobe Bryant for the Lakers?

The next Kobe Bryant for the Lakers?

Come on, Laker fans, let’s make a parade toward the NBA draft lottery!

AMNESTY KOBE BRYANT!

TRADE PAU GASOL!

THROW ALL THAT MONEY AT DWIGHT HOWARD SO THAT HE’LL STAY.

RETREAT TO THE GENTLE EMBRAE OF THE DRAFT LOTTERY SO THAT YOU HAVE A CHANCE AT WINNING BEN MCLEMORE, MERLENS NOEL, OR TREY BURKE!

START REBUILDING NOW FOR 2014 AND BEYOND!

Because what's a draft lottery without a representative from Los Angeles!?!?

Because what’s a draft lottery without a representative from Los Angeles!?!?

When winning is actually losing…Your Los Angeles Lakers.

As always, major props to Hoops Hype for such a great breakdown of NBA salaries!

http://hoopshype.com/salaries/la_lakers.htm

(04/18/13)

More Than One Shining Moment: Five NCAA Tournament Players Who Helped Their NBA Draft Stock The Most

Someone had a hand in Michigan's crack at the big prize.

Someone had a hand in Michigan’s crack at the big prize.

Flaming Bag of Poo sometimes cries during the final refrain of CBS’ annual “One Shining Moment” highlight montage after the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

Not because it’s so emotional.

Feeling a little low?

Feeling a little low?

But because of the sports letdown it signals. Four months of almost nothing but baseball until the NFL exhibition season begins.

Ugh. The agony of defeat (a/k/a baseball’s regular season).

Thank goodness, pro sports have created these artificial events called the “NFL Draft” and the “NBA Draft” so we don’t have to go cold turkey.

2013 NBA Draft

The NBA mock draft process started before the season tip-off last fall. Yes, players from Kentucky freshmen center Nerlens Noel, to Indiana sophomore center Cody Zeller, were near the top of everyone’s mock draft. Some players even helped themselves more during the regular season.

However, if you watched the 2013 March Madness, you might have noticed a handful of players who seemed to improve their draft prospects the most during that three-week run.

To borrow from the 2013 NCAA champion Louisville Cardinals, you have to RISE TO THE OCCASION.

Rise to the Occasion

Rise to the occasion!

Rise to the occasion!

Let’s take a look at five players who helped themselves most during the tournament:

Mitch McGary – This 6”10 Michigan freshmen center wasn’t even starting until the postseason began.

Mitch McGary

McGary was the perfect big body for Michigan’s guard-oriented offense. Above average passing skills for a big man. Rebounding. Post defense. Soft hands. Good footwork. With a reputation for inconsistency and foul trouble, McGary managed to avoid trouble until the second half of the championship game. Mitch McGary could turn into another Marc Gasol (Memphis Grizzlies).
Marc Gasol, Kenneth Faried

Luke Hancock – This 6”6 Louisville junior forward almost single-handedly catapulted Louisville from a 12-point first-half deficit to a second-half win against Michigan.

Luke Hancock

It would be easy to say that Hancock’s quick trigger three-point shooting is NBA-worthy. But Hancock proved in the tournament that he is tougher than a Kyle Korver or Jason Kapono. Under Rick Pitino, Hancock found the willingness to play solid defense. You have to wonder if any of the taller, longer Syracuse Orangemen can play man-to-man defense as good as Hancock. With a history to two bad shoulder injuries, Hancock certainly shouldered the load and helped lift his team to the championship. Luke Hancock could turn into another Steve Novak (New York Knicks).
NBA: MAR 04 Knicks at Celtics

Sherwood Brown – This 6”4 Florida Gulf Coast guard-forward may have been the Atlantic Sun Player of the Year, but he was probably better known because of his dreadlocks and confident swagger.

Sherwood Brown

At times, it seemed like Brown defended against the opposing team’s best non-center. And then at other times, he was mayor of Dunk City. Do you think the NBA could use a powerfully built 6”4 player who can dunk, shoot three pointers, rebound, and play defense against bigger and quicker players? Sherwood Brown could turn into another Gerald Wallace (Brooklyn Nets).
Gerald Wallace

Ron Baker – This 6”3 Wichita State point guard didn’t even play—much less even start—until mid-March because of injuries.

Ron Baker

But Baker weaved through the Louisville pressure defense as though he had seen it every day in practice for years. Baker never had to be the go-to man on a team that saw even production from up-and-down its bench. Still, with his calm leadership of the offense, backcourt rebounding, developing three point shot, and limited turnovers, with more playtime, Baker brings the sort of workman-like approach that helps—more than hurts—any ball club. Ron Baker could turn into another George Hill (Indianapolis Pacers).
George Hill

Trey Burke – OK, everyone knows about the NCAA Player of the Year.

Trey Burke

But this 6”0 Michigan point guard proved that he could rise—instead of wilt—to the level of higher competition and big games. With excellent quickness and ball-handling skills, you want the ball in Burke’s hands to make all the right decisions. And with an outside shot that you have to respect, he can create his own shot at any given time. Did you see that deep game-tying three-pointer against Kansas? Did you see that questionable foul on his nearly game-saving block against Louisville? Burke is a better pro prospect than Kemba Walker after he had carried Connecticut to the championship a few years ago. Trey Burke could turn into another Chris Paul (Los Angeles Clippers).
Chris Paul

These five rising stars gave fans and NBA scouts more than one shining moment.

Cue the music. Because it’s a long four months until we hear MNF’s “Are You Ready For Some Football?”

Four months of baseballs means four months until you see cheerleaders again.  So take this one in...

Four months of baseballs means four months until you see cheerleaders again. So take this one in…

(4/10/13)

My Sports Bucket List: Reviewing the Madness of Las Vegas for the First Weekend of March Madness

A panorama shot of Cosmopolitan Hotel's Brera Ballroom set up for the NCAA March Madness viewing parties.

A panorama shot of Cosmopolitan Hotel’s Brera Ballroom set up for the NCAA March Madness viewing parties.

I once told a fiancée that I could never get married during the month of June. Me…in a church…on some weekend during NCAA March Madness? Total deal-breaker!!!

(And yes, folks, to this day, Flaming Bag of Poo remains single. This may come as no surprise to Poo’s readers. But that should come as a welcome relief to all NFL cheerleaders and Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover models–there’s still hope for you!)

Sports Illustrated cover girls still have hope.

Sports Illustrated cover girls still have hope.

I even have a buddy who joins our March Madness group in Las Vegas each year, even though the tournament usually falls on his wedding anniversary. (Yes, folks, he’s now happily divorced.)
That is the power and madness of March Madness.

Planning one day to meet your friends in Las Vegas to watch the men’s college basketball tournament??? First, you better follow Flaming Bag of Poo’s Tips For Enjoying NCAA March Madness. Consider this your March Madness scouting report (Vegas style).

First tip: Don’t go the very first weekend of the tournament!!!

Second tip: Do go to the very first weekend of the tournament! (Well, at least once.)

Why the paradox, you ask? (Flaming Bag of Poo’s readers are smart enough to know the definition of a “paradox”.)

Because it’s not easy. Nothing is ever easy in Vegas.

(Except for making the drunken Midwest chick who broke off from a bachelorette party because she was getting jealous of the obviously less-attractive bride who managed to land a doctor for a groom.)

drunk-young-woman-las-vegas

For as long as I can remember—and when the drinks are flowing, you can’t remember long—I head out to Las Vegas for March Madness.

march-madness_616

During the second weekend for the “Sweet Sixteen” and the “Final Eight”, I knew every Las Vegas sports books like the back of my hand.

• Thursday & Friday’s “Sweet Sixteen” games start at 4:15pm PST, so arrive at the sports book no later than 2:30pm PST to grab a seat.

• Saturday’s “Final Eight” games start at 1:30pm PST, so drag your hungover butt to the sports book no later than 11:30am.

• Sunday’s “Final Eight” games start at 11:30am PST, so drag your remaining troops to the sports book by 9:30am while the casualties tried to get some sleep before the 11:00am hotel check-out.

I even had my prime casino spots for that second weekend of the tournament. (But Flaming Bag of Poo won’t list them, because I don’t want you getting to the sports book ahead of me and my crew!)

But for 2013, the second weekend coincided with Easter weekend. We assumed that all the fun Catholic sports chicks would stay home for Easter, so we decided to check out the first weekend of the tournament for once.

The first weekend of March Madness is supposedly the second busiest weekend of the year. Everyone wants to be inside a sports book. Hence the problems.

1. Expect a sausage fest. sausage display

2. Expect casinos to reserve all the best seats for actual VIPs and high rollers.

3. Expect restaurants and casinos to charge ridiculous prices to watch the games at their “parties”—and then find out that the entrance fee doesn’t even guarantee you a good seat.

4. Expect to stand…for all twelve hours worth of games.

5. Expect to arrive a couple hours before the first tip-off just to find a place to stand.

6. Expect douche bags to arrive earlier than you and attempt to hold seats for all their other douche bags buddies who slept in.

7. Expect really slow, really long, lines for the sports book betting windows because the newbies are asking the attendants how place parlays and first-half betting.

8. Expect more smoke than most firemen experience on a daily basis.

9. Expect a sausage fest! (Yes, Poo knows he has mentioned this before. But seriously, where were all the hot girls who claim to fill out their brackets just as much as guys?)

sausage display

I found the previous year’s schedule of fun March Madness viewing parties in the Las Vegas Sun.

Las Vegas Sun

http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2013/mar/19/events-guide-march-madness-viewing-parties-2013/

This proved quite handy, since many events’ tickets sold-out before visitors arrived into Las Vegas. I bought tickets to Cosmopolitan’s “Hoops & Hops” Saturday viewing party in the Brera Ballroom. I kept telling my buddies that Cosmopolitan would have a good demographic…considering the bevy of beauties that always stay at Cosmopolitan.

For Thursday and Friday, we tried other casino sports books. We arrived in town 9:00am Thursday right before the first tip off. We went straight to the biggest sports book—Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (LVH) off-strip. Formerly the Las Vegas Hilton. They even had a 1,500 seat theater showing the games.

Ridiculous. So packed. Standing room early this early? The line for betting was more than 150 people long. The theater was full. Tons of dudes, with a handful of women wearing sports jerseys thinking that makes them look slimmer. We left LVH before the first TV timeout.

Throughout the next 24 hours, we tried unsuccessfully to find a good sports book to sit down and watch the games. Everywhere was standing room only. Even on Friday when we hit the sports books before 7:00am. Venetian, Mirage, Mandalay, Caesars, MGM Grand.

Venetian sports book - at midnight.  Because during the game, from this same spot, you could never see the TV screens over the crowd.

Venetian sports book – at midnight. Because during the game, from this same spot, you could never see the TV screens over the crowd.

We finally went off-strip to Rio, where at least the drinks were free that day. I was nice to a VIP sitting alone in his booth, and he let me sit at the edge of his booth while my other buddies stood. The Rio waitresses there are really nice, but they were few and far between—unless you were a VIP. The screens at Rio are barely better than my home living room.

Hoops Hops signage3

While picking up our “Hoops & Hops” tickets at Cosmopolitan Will Call on Friday, we heard that the general admission tickets wouldn’t guarantee you a seat. So we made plans to get up extra early on Saturday and wait in line.

This is how we looked after a two-hour nap in between the poker room and getting in line at Cosmopolitan.

This is how we looked after a two-hour nap in between the poker room and getting in line at Cosmopolitan.

How early you ask? (OK, I’ll reveal this secret tip, since I have no plans to do this again next year.) Flaming Bag of Poo and his buddies were at the front of the line outside the Brera Ballroom by 5:30am.

The guys behind us in line for "Hoops & Hops".

The guys behind us in line for “Hoops & Hops”.

(Yes, waiting in line early did result in our choice of prime non-VIP tables inside, so it was totally worth the effort).

Brera signage

When you're the first one to get inside, you get a chance to take these really cool shots of the set-up.

When you’re the first one to get inside, you get a chance to take these really cool shots of the set-up.

View of the central bar.

View of the central bar.

I tip my hat off to Cosmopolitan’s “Hoops & Hops”. For the $40 general admission fee, Cosmopolitan provides the best venue for the tournament.

Hoops Hops 6

Hoops Hops 03

A readily accessible bar.

Hoops Hops 01

Although we weren’t big fans of the choice of craft brew beers (3???). Nor the limited selection of food.

Hoops Hops menu

But Holsteins isn’t too far of a walk across the Cosmopolitan casino, and you could phone-in your order and bring any Holstein food or drink (much better beer selection) back into the Brera Ballroom.

“Hoops & Hops” even had a basketball hoop to shoot from!

Flaming Bag of Poo's textbook form!

Flaming Bag of Poo’s textbook form!

The seats, couches, and stools were all very comfortable. They offer six huge screens—plus at least 20 more good-size screens.

Hoops Hops board

And if you wanted to splurge for one of the VIP couch areas, you had at least three screens to yourself—plus a gaming system if the basketball games were blowouts.

Hoops Hops 04

Viewing the VIP area beside the basketball hoop.

Viewing the VIP area beside the basketball hoop.

Fortunately, there was also a Cantor betting window right outside the ballroom.

Cantor betting line

Flaming Bag of Poo's NCAA betting tip - take the offensive-minded favorites to cover the first-half spreads in their first game.

Flaming Bag of Poo’s NCAA betting tip – take the offensive-minded favorites to cover the first-half spreads in their first game.

And the women?!?!

Negatee-VO! A bigger flop than Georgetown against Florida Gulf Coast. Cosmopolitan didn’t even supply “Hoops & Hops” with hardly any female servers. None scantily clad.

The home team at the Cosmopolitan.

The home team at the Cosmopolitan.

Who wants to order cocktails from male servers that look like they moonlight at Chippendales?

Steerhead

Perhaps Flaming Bag of Poo’s expectations were too unrealistic for the first weekend in Las Vegas. Yes, it was madness. But not a good madness.

Maybe again? Maybe never!

This guy had never placed a sports bet until we corrupted him that weekend!

This guy had never placed a sports bet until we corrupted him that weekend!

(03/28/13)

Argentinian Lionel Messi is a bigger proof of divine intervention than new Argentinian Pope Francis

Argentina savior

Don’t cry for me, Argentina.

Because Flaming Bag of Poo still thinks chooses Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi over your newly elected Pope Francis The First as the greatest Argentina native ever.

Besides, after watching Messi score between three AC Milan players earlier this week, Messi has at least one miracle up on Pope Francis. In fact, the Vatican should declare him “Lionel Messi The First”.

Naming Messi the new Pope would have been a step down for a star of his short stature.

Naming Messi the new Pope would have been a step down for a star of his short stature.

Even Diego Maradona’s “hand of God” cannot even compare to Messi’s divine skills.

Yes, don’t cry for me, Argentina.

Don't_Cry_For_Me_Argentina_single_cover

Afterall, I still think Madonna was a perfect choice for Evita!!!

But she should have worn her Catholic school crosses from her “Like A Virgin” video.

MADONNA (MTV AWARDS)<br />
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<p>(Yes, Flaming Bag of Poo was raised Catholic.  And I’ll probably burn in Hell for this post…)</p>
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Revisionist Basketball History: What if Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant had played for Mike Krzyzewski at Duke?

michael-jordan-lands-50th-sports-illustrated-cover

Not even Father Time could stop Michael Jordan the way that Dean Smith could.

Even when Michael Jordan sank the game-winning shot to beat the Georgetown Hoyas in the thrilling 1982 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship, few experts could have predicted back then that Jordan would eventually be considered the greatest professional NBA player ever.

As perhaps the greatest Carolina Tar Heel Michael Jordan turns 50 this week (marked by his 50th Sports Illustrated cover)…

UNC Dean Dome basketball court

…and as Duke Blue Devils and UNC Tar Heels renew their well-known rivalry tonight on the hardwood, Flaming Bag of Poo wonders: What if Michael Jordan had played for Duke instead of UNC?

Might his Airness have won more championships in his first five years? Did Dean Smith really stunt Jordan’s basketball growth with the slowdown tactics of the Four Corners offense?

Duke Cameron basketball court

Well, let’s take a look. Let’s examine the rosters that Michael Jordan would have joined had he signed with Duke out of high school.

Duke 1981-1982 – A relatively no-name roster by Duke standards led by Dan Meagher in Coach K’s second season of rebuilding. But UNC won the national championship over Georgetown, while Duke doesn’t even make the tournament with a 10-17 overall record.

Duke 1982-1983 – Johnny Dawkins, Mark Alarie, Dave Henderson, and Jay Bilas join a freshmen class that would later be known as Coach K’s first legendary recruiting class. But the Blue Devils still don’t make the tournament at 11-17.

Duke 1983-1984 – Tommy Amaker joins to run the point, and helps Coach K make his first NCAA tournament with Duke at 24-10 before they lose in the Round of 32.

Yes, Jordan made more NCAA basketball tournaments and won more championships at UNC than his counterparts at Duke won over that same span. And yes, the Duke stars during that span never really made a huge mark in the NBA. So, OK, perhaps Jordan was best served under Dean Smith.

23 Bulls Jersey

It’s too bad that Jerry Tarkanian’s Running Rebels didn’t reach their peak until five or six years later. Can you imagine Jordan as a Running Rebel scorer who also would also be taught air-tight defense?

However, now Flaming Bag of Poo wonders about another great scorer…the player most often compared to Michael Jordan: Kobe Bryant.

It has long been rumored that Kobe Bryant had narrowed his two college choices to Duke and UNC (if had not jumped straight from high school into the pros with the Lakers). Kobe Bryant has always been publicly fond of Mike Krzyzewski—and vice versa.

Duke Cameron basketball court

So, let’s take a second look at Duke basketball—focusing on the Duke teams had Kobe Bryant stayed through his junior year like Michael Jordan did with Carolina.

Duke 1996-1997 – Guard-heavy featuring Jeff Capel III, Trajan Langdon, Steve Wojciechowski; went 24-9 and lost in the NCAA round of 32.

Duke 1997-1998 – Great freshmen additions of Elton Brand, Shane Battier, William Avery went 32-4 and lost in the NCAA Elite Eight.

Duke 1998-1999 – Add Corey Maggette to a super sophomore class to go 37-2, but lost to UConn in the national championship game.

Great ball movement and team defense were great hallmarks of those Duke teams. Hmmm….maybe some of that could have rubbed off on Kobe Bryant.

And then Bryant wouldn’t be so busy beating up on 7-footers. Especially the ones on his own Lakers teams.

24 Lakers jersey

Ah, yes. What if…

(2/13/13)