If you think the Rocky franchise didn’t get played out at the end, you’ll enjoy this

Juan Manuel Marquez v Mike Alvarado

 

Juan Manuel Marquez’s last win got me feelin some type of way.

I’m not really hyped for a potential fifth installment of the Many Pacquiao Juan Manuel Marquez rivalry but it may be the best fight available for the 40 year old. When I heard that the winner of Saturday’s fight between between Mike Alvarado and Marquez would probably face Pacquiao I reacted like a child who was told that they had to eat all their vegetables before they could leave the dinner table. Even seven-year-olds know that broccoli is good for them but at that age vegetables are gross and they will stay gross no matter how many times your mom tells you it’ll help you grow up to big and strong. Likewise, I don’t really give a damn about Marquez’s rivalry with Pacquiao anymore. I don’t care how many times the boxing analysts tell me about how their respective styles makes for one of the best match ups in any weight division a fan could ask for. I don’t want to hear about how either one could get a surprise knock out of no where. (As much as I am bored by the idea of seeing this match up a fifth time I’d like to congratulate Pac Man on getting up after Marquez knocked him out last time. He didn’t get up in time to keep the internet from turning him into one of the best sports memes in history.)

I don’t need another 24/7 series about how both of them still have so much to prove. Neither of them have anything to prove. They are both great fighters with Pacquiao being just a little bit better overall.

The only really compelling thing to come out of a fifth fight between these two is the drug test results. No one should be jumping to the conclusion that Marquez is using performance enhancing drugs yet. But there’s some evidence against him being clean and its not a good look. I really want to dismiss the, physical signs, the resurgence of power late in his career and the fact that his trainer has already been caught distributing PEDs but the last time I did that was in 2007. Turns out the arguments for Barry Bonds being clean while breaking the home run record and Marquez being clean the past two years are pretty similar. Hopefully it won’t get to appoint where we look at the acne on Marquez’s chest and wonder why it was unbelievable that he was clean. Best case scenario is we get to make fun of him for him for hitting puberty in his early 40’s.

The Pacquiao camp putting him through increased drug testing aside, it seems clear this fight is going to happen. And that’s a shame since there are several other attractive option that we are not going to see.

Ruslan Porvodnikov aka someone who looks like they're not afraid to die

Ruslan Porvodnikov aka someone who looks like they’re not afraid to die

Look at this guy. Not only dose he look like the type of guy you don’t want to see in dark alley, he probably walks through dark alleys just to see if anything pops off. He probably has a training regiment that involves getting into drunken bar fights grizzly bears. (I assume that in Russia bears just kinda walk into bars and everyone just casually continues to drink their vodka.) He punches so hard he gave Tim Bradley a speech impediment for months after their fight. The upside to fighting Ruslan Provodnikov is that we already know how this fight is going to end: someone is getting knocked the fuck out. It could be Provodnikov getting out boxed by somebody with superior counter punching skills. Or it could be Provodnikov landing one of those slow Debo power punches that sends Marquez flying across the ring like he asked for his bike back.

(Either way it would be more exciting than a potential match up with someone like Brandon Rios. Rios, who is calling out Marqueze for some reason, is like one of those NFL teams that looks really good against teams like the Jaguars and Browns and then gets murked by the Patriots. He’s the Miami Dolphins of the Welterweight division)

He didn't get that crown for his technique

He didn’t get that crown for his technique

In speaking of rematches I don’t want to see Marcos Maidana fight Money Mayweather again either. Maidana needs to bring his reckless ass style into the ring against Marquez. This match up presents similar elements of style to the potential fight with Provodnikov. Maidana is one of the bussiest fighters out right now. He tired a bit in his last fight but still managed to throw 858 punches in 12 rounds with Pretty Boy Floyd. I like watching Maidana box because I’m not entirely sure he knows how to box. He throws hella punches. None of them looked like they were taught to him by a trainer. He just be in the ring having flash backs to when he used to fight in the streets. And from what I can tell, it seems like he used to win a lot of these street fights. No one you scrap with on the streets is gonna be ready for 858 punches. Since Marquez loves to counter punch seeing him go against someone as active as Maidana could be fun. Not $65 on pay-per-view fun but more like, find an illegal stream once the main event starts fun.

Still serving a suspension for beating up a Mexican in his last bout

Still serving a suspension for beating up a Mexican in his last bout

He’s the “Can Man” anybody can get it and since he should probably shut the fuck up with all the talk about fighting Pacquiao he can settle for the next best thing. Also, since he just beat the fuck out of a Mexican when he fought Carlos Molina he may want to see if he can duplicate the result against a big name fighter. I’m biased on this one. I consider Broner to be my spirit animal. I think his level of arrogance is inspiring. Sometimes I quote him to remind myself how good of a writer I am. (“I’m the can man, any blogger can get it,” I say to myself as I walk to the computer with Kendrick Lamar performing Backseat Freestyle along side me as my personal hair brush man is there to make sure my waves are on point.) Suits and 40’s needs to launch an investigation to find out why the  dude who’s brushing Broner’s hair has the nappiest hair in existence but I digress. Broner has some serious ass hand speed and his defense isn’t bad. If he increases his punch output he could give Marquez a fight worth watching. Its always interesting to see which counter puncher pushes the action and since Broner models himself after Mayweather it may actually be Marquez that pushes the action.

But, whether we like it or not we’re getting part five of a good yet tiresome rivalry. There are other fights on the table but the fight we get later this year will guarantee at least 800,000 pay-per-view buys. Marquez is too smart to turn down easy money like that.

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The Ballad of Joe Dumars

As Stan Van Gundy enters in to his totalitarian rule of the Detroit Pistons it signals the official end of a player having a nearly three decade run with a team. A former player that immediately moved to the front office, making no sideline appearances along the way. Here is his ballad.

The 18th pick of the 1985 NBA Draft was greeted with a reception congruent to the player’s personality: silent. The same way he moved into the top ten all-time NCAA scoring list at McNesse State University. His walk to greet David Stern seemed almost nervous. He initially looked to the floor on his way to the podium. Joe Dumars had officially arrived to the NBA.

His interview following his selection showed more of his soft-spoken and unselfish nature. He immediately had to field questions as to how he would function on a team that already had a dominant guard in Isiah Thomas. “I think I can make the adjustment” Dumars sheepishly replied. An eager team player excited to play with someone he admired. A far-cry from the brash, physical, and then unhappy Rick Mahorn the Pistons had acquired just a day earlier.

Even though the the 76ers with Moses Malone managed to sneak themselves a title, albeit in a dominant sweep, the 1980s NBA was dedicated primarily to the league’s two most prolific teams: Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers. “Showtime” Lakers were the dominant team to start the decade.  as the NBA’s best and most entertaining team, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy thrived regardless of who the coach seemed to be. Though they seemed to thrive under the mafioso Pat Riley. The Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parrish led Celtics  were a 1980s Spurs: solid fundamentals and high levels of execution. Not to mention they had plenty of physicality (see Robert Parish forearm to Bill Laimbeer).

Near the end of this decade these two coastal royalties began to falter in the age old struggle against old age. Rather than casually pass down a torch, both teams clinged on their perennial success to the bitter end. Despite this, some team needed to fill the gap between the end of Celtics/Lakers dominance and the prominent rise of the basketball Messiah from North Carolina, Michael Jordan. Enter the Bad Boy Pistons.

Isaiah Thomas was the frontman for the group. He was the first and longest standing piece of the Pistons, drafted 2nd overall in 1981. Bill Laimbeer was next in a 1982 trade to Cleveland. With these two alone the team managed a bit of success, but wasn’t at the same level of the elite teams.  Dumars and Mahorn changed this with their arrivals in 1985.

The backcourt combination of Thomas and Dumars was difficult to guard and get through. Entering the league with a reputation for being a scorer, Dumars quickly became known for his defense. This paired quite well with a dominant defensive guard like Thomas. Chuck Daly’s team was forming an identity.  Despite a record and playoff result in the 1986-1987 season mirroring the previous season there were expectations for this team now.

Those expectations were met the following year during the 1988 playoffs. Off-season additions of John Salley and future Hall of Famers Dennis Rodman and Adrian Dantley. Dantley was a savvy veteran who served as a mentor for many of the Pistons, but formed a particularly close bond with Dumars. Mitch Albom of the Detroit Free-Press described them as “best friends”. A swollen Isiah Thomas ankle and a “phantom foul” by Lambier were the only two things separating this team from the start of a three peat in a seven game Finals series against the Lakers.

The following year would feature a rise in Dumars and the same finals matchup. Dumars’s stats saw an increase in nearly every category except steals, which dropped from 1.1 per game to .9. Midway through the season however, he would see his mentor, Dantley, be traded to the Mavericks for Mark Aguirre. His finest performances would happen during the 1989 playoffs on both ends of the floor, first being defensively. Starting in the playoffs the previous year the Pistons instituted a defensive strategy that would be later known as the “Jordan Rules”. Though this strategy ended up making Jordan deal with a lot of double teams, the primary defender he faced was Dumars. Jordan would later be quoted as saying that Dumars was the most difficult defender he ever faced. Then came the Finals.

A rematch from the previous year excluded Byron Scott and Magic Johnson due to respective hamstring injuries. With no Scott or Johnson, the Detroit backcourt was nearly unstoppable. Dumars averaged 27 in the four game sweep scoring over 30 twice. Floaters, fall-aways and crossovers accompanied his tight defense (including a game saving block followed by a save on David Rivers in Game 3). He was named the MVP of the series. The 1990 season followed with another rise statistically for Dumars, his first All-Star game selection, and another championship (despite the loss of his father).

The next five years wouldn’t be so great for Dumars. In 1991 Jordan became ready with Pippen at his side.Chuck Daly would leave following the 1991 season. In 1992 Ewing and the Knicks started to rise as well. In addition to other teams getting better, the Bad Boys had become old men. Isiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer would retire in 1994, along with Dennis Rodman getting traded to San Antonio. The draft that year would provide the new teal colored Pistons a spark in Duke University’s Grant Hill.

Dumars was now in the role of Adrian Dantley. He saw many much of himself in Hill, particularly in their quiet natures. Joe would give Grant advice and guide him though he didn’t think he needed much. “You don’t need a sledgehammer with Grant, just a chisel” he said in a 1995 interview. Dumars would see the playoffs three more times before his eventual retirement in 1999.

Few people make the transition from having a highly successful NBA playing career to having that same success on the sideline or in a front office position. In the last decade or so the first name that comes to mind is Larry Bird and his work with the Indiana Pacers (also Danny Ainge if you consider his playing career highly successful). Dumars also made the wonderful transition from the court to the front office.

He gained the position of president of basketball operations almost as soon as he stepped off of the court in a playoff loss to the Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, and “Thunder Dan” Miami Heat. What ensued was a thirteen year coaching carousel with the longest tenure being three years, a championship, and the signing of many washed up veterans. The first move he made was one that was a bit difficult for Pistons fans but ended up being very beneficial. Shortly before the 2000 season, the man he claimed made it worthwhile to continue to play, Grant Hill, was traded for Chucky Atkins and Ben Wallace, a future staple.

The next two years would feature just as shrewd moves made by Dumars. Rick Carlisle was put in as head coach. Mehmet Okur and Tayshaun Prince through the 2001 and 2002 drafts. Jed Buelcher, Jerome Williams, and former Michigan State star Mateen Cleaves into Jon Barry, Clifford Robinson, and former high school and college star Corliss Williamson in 2001. This was followed by a trade the next season for Richard “Rip” Hamilton losing Jerry Stackhouse. This was another highly questioned move considering Stackhouse had just scored 57 in a game that season. These moves led to a sixth man award for Williamson, defensive player of the year award for Wallace, and a coach of the year for Carlisle in the 2003 season.

The 2003 season contained a very important step before the 2004 championship season. Dumars signed a player that was inconsistent near the beginning of his career, but was fresh off of a breakout season in Minnesota. He was similar to Dumars in that he could play and wore the number four on his jersey (though this was not an option in Detroit). Dumars and the Pistons signed Chauncey “Mr. Big Shot” Billups to a six year $35 million dollar contract from free agency.

Even with his constant improvement in his short tenure, Rick Carlisle was let go and replaced by Larry Brown in 2004. Brown was known for his excellence in coaching and similar tenure lengths to Carlisle’s in Detroit. Dumars coupled this signing with an acquisition of Rasheed Wallace in a three team trade with Boston and Atlanta. Sheed would provide a lot of energy to a superstar deprived team as they won in five against the final Kobe and Shaq Laker team. Dumars has ended another Laker era. This time from the front office. The next season would be another Dumars led team to the Finals…with a different result. It would also be Brown’s last and the start of the Flip Saunders era. Lastly, the 2005 season was marked the start of what would become a trend for Dumars’s signing habits: aging veterans.

It started with the signing of Derrick Coleman. Coleman would only play five games for the Pistons as well as be a participant in the most entertaining game in NBA history. Coleman was obtained in a trade for a declining Corliss Williamson with the Philadelphia 76ers. 2005 also marked Dumars second subpar first round pick in Jason Maxiell (the first obviously being Darko Milicic in 2003). Maxiell was a watered down version of Ben Wallace (who he was supposed to replace), never quite becoming the shot blocker or defender Wallace was.

The herd of aging veterans grew with the additions of Dale Davis in 2005, Tony Delk in 2006, and hometown hero Chris Webber in 2007. While they did lose quite a few role players, (with the exception of Ben Wallace leaving) the starting lineup involving Rasheed Wallace, Billups, Prince, and Hamilton had stayed intact. Dumars made sure to keep his core guys. This helped the Pistons to achieve the feat of reaching six straight conference finals from 2003-2008.

Flip Saunders had the highest winning percentage of any Pistons coach since they had moved to Detroit from Fort Wayne. After the sixth conference finals loss, however, Dumars was no longer content. “Everybody is in play” he said in a 2008 interview. He stuck to his word.

At the start of the 2008-2009 Dumars fired Flip Saunders, replaced him with assistant Michael Curry, and traded Billups for another superstar veteran far past his prime: Allen Iverson. “The Answer” was not the solution for the problems that the Pistons had at the time. Neither was Michael Curry. 17 PPG was a far cry from the 30+ production we Iverson nearly a decade earlier. The offseason addition of Will Bynum was not the best back up plan either. This was the last time the team made the playoffs, but no thanks to Curry. The team finished with their first sub .500 winning percentage since 1999. Curry and A.I each exited at the end of the season.

The 2010 season were when things began to get bad. Enter John Kuestner.  Much like Dumars’s own experience, the core of the 2004 championship team was aging and leaving. Rasheed Wallace left for Boston. Dumars continued his trend of signing old former stars, this time a familiar face, by adding a now older and less effective Ben Wallace for the remainder of his dwindling career. Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva joining the team were a slight alteration to the old veteran trend, but they could not compensate for the disappearing core.The draft picks were not working out extremely well either.

2005 pick Jason Maxiell started the season under his third coach in five years. 2006 pick Will Blalock lasted only one season not filling the role of Billups predecessor. 2007’s Aaron Afflalo was scrapped for a second round pick. 2009’s D.J White was instantly traded for Walter Sharpe. The new rookie class of DaJuan Summers, Austin Daye, and Jonas Jerebko did not show a change in trend (despite the high effort from Jerebko). 2007’s Rodney Stuckey was on his third coach in three seasons, but still managed to have a career year and serve as a bright spot. With an aging group of veterans and struggling young players the team found winning to be quite difficult posting a 27-55 record.

In the 2010-2011 season Dumars hopped back on the washed up veteran horse by signing Tracy McGrady. T-Mac’s production was nearly half of what it was during his prime. Dumars still had not learned his lesson. His drafting abilities seemed to have improved though based on his selection of Georgetown’s Greg Monroe. Despite this, the team performed poorly and the carousel continued to spin.

Lawrence Frank showed no signs of reviving this team. He was helped by Dumars greatest addiction with a trade of Ben Gordon for Corey Maggette. To start the 2012-2013 year, with Ben Wallace retiring and Rip Hamilton leaving for Chicago, Tayshaun Prince became the final member of the 2004 squad. Prince would leave for Memphis the following year.The center had formed a singularity.

The new Detroit Pistons were full of talent still. Continuing with the draft momentum of 2010 the team added Brandon Knight and Kyle Singler in 2011. Dumars then would draft Andre Drummond in 2012. This fresh young core of players has struggled thus far under the tutelage of Frank, Mo Cheeks, and the even worse John Loyer (according to ESPN). In his final year of 2014 Dumars had his old habit creep up one final time by signing Josh Smith, the patron saint of bad shooting, and former floor general Chauncey Billups.

The losing finally caught up to Dumars, when he lost his job. As Chauncey Billups stated “That’s the NBA, sometimes it’s just time for a change, and obviously that time’s now, but what he did here was remarkable”.

Stan Van Gundy inherits his dictatorship from a man who was an integral part of a franchise for 30 years.

     

 

Suits and 40s’ Solution to The Donnie Situation

 

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Race Jam

By now we’re all pretty up to date on the Donald Sterling situation. First there were the tapes. Then there was NBA Commissioner Adam Silver’s banhammer. Now it’s in the super exciting stages of court threats, suits and countersuits! Today Sterling’s attorney said that he doesn’t accept the NBA’s sanctions and may take this shit to the streets court. Meanwhile, Shelly Sterling (who is not just complicit but a key component in Donald’s racism) is vowing to fight to retain her stake in the Clippers organizations. This is all the saddest thing in basketball and makes me want to sob into my Marco Belinelli Hornets jersey.

People much smarter than myself have spoken on Donald Sterling than I could ever hope to (seriously, listen to that; thank you, Bomani). Here’s my take: Donald Sterling should not lose his team because of something he got caught saying on tape. That is not the reason he is losing the Clippers. He’s losing it because he’s human excrement who has done actual, real racist shit that destroys lives. The NBA is an exclusive, private club and can kick members out as it pleases, and Sterling’s history of cretinous actions more than justifies the NBA’s decision. I think that the world will be a better place when Donald Sterling no longer inhabits it.

The question is, how do we solve this situation as quickly and cleanly as possible? Well, we here at Suits and 40s have our own solution. Normally, I don’t advocate for the death penalty or executions in general. It is a gruesome, unnecessary measure that disproportionately targets minorities and has killed far too many innocent people for my liking. HOWEVER, I think this idea carries promise. Look: Donald Sterling is on the way out. He has cancer, and 80-year-olds don’t normally fare well with such things. However, he is going to fight this in court as long as possible. As the most tenured owner in the league, he must have an intimate knowledge with the pile of skeletons in the NBA’s closet. Adam Silver does NOT want those bodies to come out in public view.

As I said earlier, I think the world will be better off without him. That is why I suggest to America, the NBA and the world that we execute Donald Sterling. Execution via LeBron James dunking on him.

Here’s how we set up the dunk of the year: Adam Silver has a meeting with Sterling. Silver tells Sterling that he will have one opportunity to keep his team. Sterling must beat a team of NBA players in 5-on-5 basketball in a Space Jam-type scenario. “Look, Donald, you don’t even have to be like Michael Jordan and carry the team to victory. You’ll have four NBA players on your side. As long as your TEAM wins while you’re out there, you can come into the league office tomorrow and piss on a picture of MLK.” This would probably be enough to win over Sterling. “So I can win my team back AND look like Michael Jordan to the public? The help blacks couldn’t help but love me again!”

Of course, there are a few obstacles. First, LeBron James doesn’t strike me as a person who would willingly end the life of another person. However, he’s already given very strong words in support of removing the Sterlings from the league. Something tells me if Donald Sterling was trying to take a charge in the restricted area, Bron Bron would flush it. We also have to convince other NBA players to play on the same team as Sterling. We obviously couldn’t tell them the stakes of the game, or that it is an elaborate setup. We just have to say, “Trust us. We know you’re not happy to be playing next to this monster. This is happening for a reason. Just go out there, play ball, and you’ll see why eventually.” Once they’re on board, we have the scene. Now we just need the actors.

To properly set the stage for the riveting court case (PUN) of LeBron’s Nuts v. Sterling’s Face, we (it’s all we from here because this game is for ‘MERICA) need the proper players on both teams. For LeBron’s team, you obviously start with King James himself. How you gonna have Bron dunk on somebody if he ain’t out on the motherfuckin’ court? Besides him, we’re going to need the right combination of players to give LeBron a clean driving lane to meet Sterling at the rim. As LeBron’s actual team, the Heat, know so well, spacing is critical to this. That’s why we need two deadeye shooting guards to keep help defenders out of the paint. So we go through the phone directory until we get to “Splash” and give a call to the Steph Curry and Klay Thompson. Now that we have our backcourt, we’re going to need two other pieces who will help set the scene. I spent a while thinking of what would be the best screener for LeBron in this situation. I realized who would be great: DIRK. Dirk’s A+++++ shooting presents a problem in any scenario. But in pick-and-pops he has been known to fuck up all kinds of defensive principles. Assuming the big guarding the pick-and-pop stays attached to Dirk’s hip, LeBron should have a clear lane to get a full head of steam on his way to the paint. Now we need one final piece to the puzzle. We need a person who will be utterly useless from anywhere on the court except right next to the basket, thereby camping his ass down there and keeping his man there as well. Who can do this better than anybody? Who has the necessary experience of being an offensive wasteland? Why, hello there.

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HAS THERE EVER BEEN ANYBODY MORE PERFECT FOR THIS JOB THAN PERK? Yes, the two key players in this team Perk ‘n Dirk. (As an aside, Perk ‘n Dirk should start a restaurant together where they sell pork and duck entrees. HOLY SHIT PERK ‘N DIRK NEEDS TO HAPPEN TOMORROW.) As an added bonus, just imagine Sterling having to guard Perk in general. We could have Perk just being mean as fuck to him for the entire game if Sterling survives dunk #1. I bet that Perk would even push Sterling toward LeBron as James came down the lane. Perk is the best.

Now that we have Team Dunk on Donald, we need Sterling’s teammates. Obviously, Donald “Black people stink and Mexicans drink all day” Sterling will be out there. The next most important components will be the guys guarding the screening action. For LeBron’s man, we need someone who THINKS they can still guard him, but can’t actually. I nominate Tayshaun Prince. He’ll put in a game effort, but shit, man, when you’re old you’re just old. As far as the big man is concerned, we need someone who understands defense and isn’t trained in dropping back on picks. As such, bigs like Roy Hibbert or Joakim Noah can’t make the cut, as they’re too used to sagging into the paint to cut off lanes to the rim. Interestingly, I’d say the best fit for creating a LeBron-Sterling poster would be LeBron’s teammate Chris Bosh. Bosh comes from a hyper-aggressive Miami scheme that traps hard on ballhandlers in screens. However, he’s also a smart defender, so Bosh will ease on the trapping to stay attached to Dirk, thus opening the lane for LeBron. As far as the guards, I decided we need two guys who actively try on defense and understand principles, but also won’t provide rim protection. I think Mike Conley and J.J. Redick would do just fine. Redick isn’t a great on-ball defender, but he understands his role and won’t sag off far from either Curry or Thompson.

With these pieces in place, we just need Team Bron to run a high pick-and-pop with James/Dirk, and then watch history happen. With Perkins hanging out under the rim, we’re ready for prime time. I’m looking for some combination of Damon Jones, Jason Terry and Paul Millsap. Boom. LeBron dunks, Sterling passes away, racism in America is fixed forever and ever. If Sterling somehow gets up after the first one, we just call “Make ’em Take ’em” and run that shit back. If Team LeBron somehow gets to 15 points and Sterling’s still alive, well then we just ban him from the league anyways. But, still: let’s make this happen. For America. For basketball. For all the minorities’ lives that Donald Sterling has irreparably damaged. Let’s put LeBron’s nuts on Donald Sterling’s head for them.

#DUNKSFORJUSTICE

If you thought heavyweights were boring don’t worry, Briggs is here.

If you’re casual fan of boxing you’ve probably never heard of Shannon Briggs and you’re probably wondering why somebody’s parents would name their son Shannon. If you’re a more devout fan of the sport you remember him as one of the many to lose to Vitali Klitschko. Well, Briggs has been out the game for a minute but he wants you, and the younger Klitschko to know that he’s back and in shape. And if you thought he was playing he will show up at your gym and let you know what time it is.

There are few highlights here:

-Wladimir has no idea who the fuck he is because Briggs has cut his stupid ass locks off since he returned to action

– Briggs isn’t there to train. He just wants to talk shit. And throw a shoe to prove a point.

-Briggs gets so animated with he’s saying that he has to be restrained and removed from the gym

-He looks ridiculous for yelling like he is but when he takes his shirt off (which will become a theme later) you can tell he is actually in shape.

-As he’s being pushed away from Waldimir he lets him know that he plans on stalking him (“Everywhere you go, I go”) and that if he wants to continue the conversation he’ll be outside.

That last note is really important. Because it turns out he wasn’t fuckin joking. This Ain’t no game to Briggs. He has nothing better to do. He’s the last fighter Don King managed that I have thought about in the past few years. And now that he’s knocked out two dudes so obscure they don’t even have pages on Wikipedia pages he’s ready to talk his way into a fight. Call him crazy but Briggs is a man of his word. And if you thought visiting someone at the gym was unusual, Shannon “The Stalker” Briggs is at your press conference doing calisthenics.

This dude is straight out of WWE with the way he comes in unannounced. I can almost hear Jim Ross saying “Bagwd! is that Shannon’s music? What’s he doing here?! Vince McMahon banned him from the building earlier tonight on RAW” (I’m not sure what his entrance music would be. Briggs is 42 so he may go with something old school, but “Momma said knock you out” is a little cliche. Maybe some Gang Starr? Or something from the GZA)

This may be the only time in history where someone shows up at a press conference and the two fighters who are scheduled to get into the ring want to team up and fight against someone else. I can hear Jim Ross again. “Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. McMahon has just announced a triple threat match for the WBO World Heavyweight title.  We’ve got some combustable elements in the ring right now and its all coming to a head next week on RAW.”

But there’s a larger issue Briggs is brining attention to. The heavyweight division is damn near unwatchable right now. The last two fights Waldimir was in were just painful. Briggs is right, Waldimir is fighting bums in boring fights and the lighter divisions like welterweight and lightweight are getting more attention. If the economy rebounded tomorrow, people still wouldn’t have room in their budget to pay to see him fight. In an era where there aren’t too many people to get excited about, why not fight the old, loud mouthed stalker who can’t keep his shirt on? Briggs was also right about Waldimir’s last fight. It was boring and I watched it because I don’t love myself enough. The Ukranian got the easy knock out and all I could imagine is shirtless angry Shannon Briggs yelling at the tv trying to figure out where Waldimir would be next so he could yell at him and do push ups in his presence.  If Bernard “The Alien” Hopkins can unify titles at light heavyweight at the age of 49 (the nickname fits since no human being should be winning titles at that age and as long as we’re speculating on ring music the next B-Hop fight should have him walk out to this) then Briggs deserves to at least be considered for a title shot. If the shoe throwing, shit talking and press conference stalking is any indication how the fight will go,I hope Briggs does some Ric Flair type cheating just so Jim Ross can call the action. “Oh no the referee is out. Whats Briggs looking under the ring for?! The ref is out and there’s no one to stop Briggs from using the steel chair!”

If we can’t get Mayweather-Pacquiao we’re at least owed a Briggs-Klitschko fight just because the press conferences would be the most entertaining thing to happen in the division in 10 years.

 

Breaking up is hard to do

I normally don’t use this blog to talk about the failings of my personal life but I’m  going through a pretty tough break up right now. I mean, I’m not sure if I should part ways or…fuck it I’ve been down this road before. We’ve been going through the same bullshit of going all the way since I was 11. At a certain point they’re supposed to give you what you want and put out, right? I feel like an asshole for not wanting to wait any longer but…how many goddamn time can this Sharks team led by Patrick Marleau and Joe Thorton make it to the playoffs and not put out with at least one Stanley Cup Finals appearance? And then they have the nerve to drop four straight games while up 3-0 to the kings. I’m thinking its time time to move on from this relationship.

How long can I sit here listen to this bitch make excuses about how they’ll be ready next year and tell me to be patient. “Its okay, we’ll get that goalie who we couldn’t score on in 2010 who played with that really good Blackhawks team and we’ll ride him to the finals.”

Yeah, and the Antti Nieme gets benched in game 6 after getting pulled from games 4 and 5 because he and every defensive pair playing in front of him decided to play traffic cone defense.

And remember that time they brought in Martin Havlat to be a goal scorer? I don’t care how good his wrist shot is, I ain’t never heard of sniper so good he could score goals from the bench. Homeboy stays injured. He’s never played the full 82 game schedule and he hasn’t played in more than 70 since coming to San Jose. And while the Sharks were producing the third most painful loss in Bay Area history (The game we never speak of is second on the list and losing Mac Dre is obviously first) he managed to limp on the ice for one game and produce a plus/minus of -1. Yeah, not what we had in mind when when you signed you to that lucrative deal. I just know Havlat and Derrick Rose are seeing the same doctor.

But its not really the on ice talent I have an issue with. Its theses fat ass contracts put together by GM Doug Wilson that keep the same core players together for the long term. They’ll fire coach Todd Mcllenan but it won’t make any difference. They’ve gone through three coaches since 2002 with different levels of talent and have made it to the third round once. The next coach (insert generic Canadian name here) is going to come in with high hopes. I’ll reevaluate my relationship and tell myself that this time it’ll be different this time. “Maybe I won’t get my heart broken April again. Maybe we won’t score on ourselves in OT again. Maybe we can actually score on Jonathan Quick when it counts”

Also, I am sick and tired of hearing about how good this Kings defense is like it some big fuckin surprise every year. Like Logan Corture is forced to shoot from a bad angle and says “Damn, I thought I’d get a better shot off than that.” Well, surprise mothafucka the Kings defense has been good every year for the past five years. Its hard to score on them. Don’t get surprised by snow in the winter and do be surprised when the Kings only allow you to score twice. (Courture had a goal and two assists in this series but the highlight was him exposing Mike Richards as blind because apparently he wasn’t trying to see these hands. )

But the coach won’t make a difference. There is no radical strategy to fix a team that is built to disappoint. But I still want this coach fired. I want Wilson fired, I want the team destroyed so they can win no more than 30 games next year. I need a team that is so bad they can’t even get my hopes up to disappoint me.

And thats why its time for me to take a break with my relationship with the Sharks. I need some time to figure out who I am as a hockey fan. I may even try to play the field a little bit. I hear the Pittsburgh Penguins are looking for bandwagon fans to hook up with on their way to the finals. But the long term option that really looks good is the Winnipeg Jets. Why the Jets? If you look at the roster it’s pretty clear that they are the official hockey team of civil rights. The Jets are by far the blackest team in the NHL. Not only do they have not one, but two, black players they even got Devin Setoguchi who looks like he’s Asian or something. (If his team mates don’t call him Gucci Mane in the locker room they need to start. Imagine Setoguchi scoring and hearing this while the goal horn sounds in the background and bunch of drunk Canadian hockey fans with lean in their cups chanting “Bricksquad”  and saying “BURR” at the top of their lungs)

So, until the Sharks decided to rebuild for real instead of putting the team on the ice that should win but never actually does, I’m officially breaking up with the Sharks.  In the meantime you can catch me in the streets wearing my Evander Kane Jersey rooting for a team that is actually trying to build a winner from the ground up while bumping songs from Trap House III in the whip to support of Devin “Gucci Mane” Setooguci.

But I’m a sucker for love so I’ll probably be back to my abusive relationship with the Sharks in October. Even if I do end up outside the SAP Center sounding like this guy.