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Well if you haven’t seen it by now, take a minute out of your busy day and watch this incredible dunk from a Clippers big man…and his last name is not Griffin:

Three things come immediately to my mind when I watch this:

1) Poor Brandon Knight.

2) DeAndre Jordan gets higher in this clip than a college kid in Colorado who got a prescription for glaucoma.

3) Poor Brandon Knight…

Because here is what sucks for him, he was just being a good teammate. Jordan got separation from his defender and Knight comes down from the corner (where he was guarding his man, Matt Barnes) and then proceeds to get sat on.

Now granted this looks embarrassing for Knight, and he has gotten plenty of flack for this clip (shortly after the game ended someone changed Knight’s Wikipedia page to state, “On March 10, 2013 Knight died in a game vs the Los Angeles Clippers. The cause of death was determined to be DeAndre Jordan”). But what message does this send to other players in the game? If a man is coming down the lane and he has the ability to dunk, just get out of his way so you don’t ever get embarrassed? 

I was fortunate enough to graduate from a private high school so I never really had to worry about this.

But there are many people that do. And in this scenario, I do wish the basketball culture would focus on the inhuman, athletic ability of DeAndre rather than what happened to Knight.

Jordan deserves praise, Knight doesn’t deserve ridicule.

But it is the culture in which we live in, and people who get dunked on will continue to be mocked. So in this culture how in the world can you try to save face after something of this magnitude happens right above your head? I think just the way Knight did:

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PS: What is going on in LA? I can’t even do these things in video games…

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As we turn the corner heading into the last half of the NBA season, I am reminded of how idiotic some journalists can be. Not anyone on this site, we are all awesome. It’s mainly the big name guys that frustrate me…especially good ole Skip. There are many reasons to hate Mark Cuban, but this is not one of them.

Johnny Manziel was the best player in college football last year. I will accept no other nominations. He won the Heisman his freshman year. No one else has EVER done that, and I won’t even begin to look at his stats.

I don’t remember seeing a guy with his playmaking ability. And before you start posting clips of Tebow and Cam in college, I would argue that they were pure, athletic specimens. Granted Manziel is an incredible athlete as well, but he possesses something beyond just raw athleticism. He has a knack for the big play. He has the feel, for me, of an offensive Honey Badger. He just always seems to be there to make the big play when his team needs it. Hopefully, ole Johnny Football will do a better job at staying away from trouble (although some of his off the field issues already, even before his success, concern me).

This is what I really want to talk about though – Johnny was the best player in college football last year, but at the beginning of August, he wasn’t even clearly the best quarterback on his own team!

Throughout the spring, it was a four-way battle to replace first round pick Ryan Tannehill: Johnny Boy, Jameill Showers, Matt Joeckel, and true freshman Matt Davis. Though, the battle seemed to really be between Manziel and Showers.

But Showers was the presumed favorite throughout the process. Even after the Spring game, everyone seemed convinced that Jameill was going to be the man. Even one week before the announcement, people were still predicting Showers to replace Tannehill.

Sure he was the only one on that list to have any kind of FBS experience, but still. We are not talking about just a couple of average QBs duking it out for a spot; we are talking about the HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER!!! Shouldn’t that decision be crystal clear?

Finally on August 15, Sumlin announced that Manziel would take the first team reps up until the Louisiana Tech Game:

“Johnny has performed the best at this stage and we will proceed until the season opener with him getting the first-team reps.”

Sumlin said in another statement:

“My policy is simple really; the best player plays. Competition is a great thing and we need more competition at all of our positions. All of our quarterbacks have competed well, and I expect them to continue to push Johnny.”

It is almost comical to look back now and read these articles from when the Aggies were unsure of who their quarterback would be. It is even more enjoyable to look back and read stupid people’s comments about the future unknown quarterback.

Here is a gem from @v2the4:

“…growing pains for Sumlin and his offensive coordinator, Kliff Klingsbury…they were spoiled the last four years by having Case Keenum under center, but at tamu, not only dont you have a qb, but you only have one WR to count on right now in Ryan Swoope…”

Man, you look like an idiot.

However, More than any of the idiocy or madness that seems to continually swirl around Johnny Football, this is my main point: he won the Heisman, but he also almost lost the starting position on his own team. Had he not come back in the fall and listened to his coaches, we may have never gotten a glimpse at the phenomenon that is Johnny Football.

Here is what Kingsbury had to say right after Manziel was announced the starter,

“He was making some plays in the spring but he was pretty reckless with the ball.”

Kliff would also add,

“He just came back to camp and was making really quick decisions, protecting the football really well.”

He listened to his coaches and made some changes in being more cautious with the football. It appears that is what pushed Sumlin and staff over the edge to go with the redshirt freshman.

So I cannot help but wonder… how many more potential Heisman winners did not take their coach’s advice and ended up on the bench, never to take a snap? How many potential offensive record setters just tried to rely on their talent and remained reckless, so the coach went with the reliable veteran instead of the young gunslinger? How many legends just never got a chance?

Now I realize this is a unique situation. I know that Sumlin’s system provides a great opportunity for unreal numbers. I know that you would say that Johnny would have eventually gotten his shot, even if not this year, and we would have seen then, but I still can’t help but wonder, “What if?”

If it wasn’t crystal clear for Sumlin that he was watching a Heisman trophy winner practice right in front of his eyes, then I would venture to guess it could have happened to another coach.

I realize this is all speculation. There is no way to ever know what might have been for these lost Heisman winners, or if they even exist.

I could very well be completely wrong, but I could just as easily be completely right.

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By: Caleb Brasher

The Cliché Award

Caleb Brasher —  Sunday, January 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

Today, I will give out an award for the most cliché sentence that has ever been uttered in the English language. And the award goes to………..Allison Williams! She wins today’s award for her performance at the halftime recap of the Florida-Florida State game. I will just let her words display her brilliance in reference to what Coach Muschamp told his players at halftime:

“He told his players about those slip ups; it’s all about focus; this is a big game; we need every snap; you have to play with emotion, but you can’t let it overcome you or you’re not doing your job.”

Impressively cliché indeed.

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By: Caleb Brasher

Just 9 More Yards

Caleb Brasher —  Friday, January 4, 2013 — 3 Comments

This last weekend, I found a new level to my own depravity. As I watched Adrian Peterson attempt to break the record for most rushing yards ever in a single season held by Eric Dickerson, I found myself lost in anticipation.

The odds could not have been more against AD. He blew up his knee last year and it usually takes about 24 months to fully recover from what he did to his knee according to the surgeon who performed the surgery, Dr. James Andrews.

Not only that, he plays on a team where he is the team. You don’t have a legitimate passing threat to worry about; you have Adrian Peterson. And yet he continued to run all year. All the way to this last drive for the record.

He began the final drive needing 45 yards to break the record. 45 yards to go down in NFL folklore. 45 yards to have a Disney movie made about him with Jaime Foxx as the lead role. 45 yards to greatness.

The drive began to dwindle, and it appeared that little could be done for the record to fall. Then Adrian did what Adrian does: he ran through people. He shot through the line on his way to a 29 yard run, leaving him just 8 yards short of the record, 9 yards short of breaking it.

But then they brought on the kicker…

My heart sunk as I knew that the record would not fall today. Dickerson would remain on top. AD would fall just short. I watched as Blair Walsh’s field goal soared through the uprights and the game was over, the record still in tact.

Then a thought went through my mind that went something like this, “Man, he only needed 9 more yards to greatness. Oh well. Maybe next year.”

Maybe next year?!?! Was I really saying that? Did I really believe that??? Have I grown so romanticized in our Hollywood, American culture that in order for me to remember Peterson’s season and tell my grandkids about it is if he had broken that record, if he had only gotten 9 more yards?

9 yards is nothing. 9 steps. 8.2 meters. 27 feet. 324 inches.

One time in elementary school, the wind was blowing just right, and I spit 9 yards. It is nothing. And yet it is everything.

But I found myself peering into my soul to see what it was that sparked that thought. Now to be transparent, 95% of me was and is blown away at what AD did this year and could arguably be the greatest season any NFL player has ever had, but there is still that lingering 5% that wanted more. Not much more, just 9 yards more.

We love legend and we love stories of triumph. Unfortunately for our society, the triumph must always end with the underdog on top in the final scene. There is no other option. Anything less than victory is defeat. Or in the words of the philosopher Ricky Bobby, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Say what you will about how ridiculous that mindset is, but think about if any part of you believes that.

I think the small part of me that began to already forget what Adrian had done was because it wouldn’t make a good movie. In the movie, it would come down to his final run. And he would burst through the line just like he did in the actual game. But then as the defenders began to wrap Jaime Foxx up, he would drag his opponents with nothing more than heart and determination. Much like Spike did in “The Little Giants.” It would of course be in slow motion and “Can’t Stop Me Now” by Afrojack and Shermanology would start playing in the background. I am tearing up just thinking about it.

But that’s not what happened. Adrian didn’t break that tackle and Afrojack didn’t drop that beat. Instead, Adrian Peterson will be in second place in NFL history. And that just doesn’t sound as good. It sounds a little too much like real life for us. We want something dramatic and triumphant and odds-defying. We don’t want normal and disappointing and runner up. And yet that is what we got. But let us not lose the legend in search of the legendary.

He is unlike any other player in our time. And if you were able to watch him this season, tell your kids about him. Tell them about how you got to see the greatest individual season in NFL history. And when they ask you, “But didn’t somebody rush for more yards than him?”, all you have to say back to them is “You know, there is someone who ran for more yards than he did, but no one ever ran for those yards quite the same way he did.”

What is 9 yards? It is a mirror that showed me how I long for the dramatic escape from reality that only Hollywood can provide. It is so small that it is right there in reach and yet now entirely unreachable. It is “disappointing.” It is second place. It is first loser. But you know what it is not? It is not forgettable. I believe it is the greatest season any player has ever had.

So while those measly 9 yards may make AD second place, it does not make him second best.

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By: Caleb Brasher