Friday, February 27, 2015

KEVIN STALLINGS AND THE THREAT TO "KILL"


Kevin Stallings, the longtime Vanderbilt basketball coach, was caught on-camera
Thursday night berating one of his players for an apparent lack of sportsmanship.
"I'll (effin) kill you, Stallings said.

Really?

After the entire Mike Rice episode at Rutgers University, did Stallings not learn a
thing? Will the administration at Vanderbilt doing anything to Stallings after his
inappropriate comments on national television? Maybe they should attend more
of his practices that aren't attended by the media. A basketball coach yelling,
"I'll (effin) kill you" to a 18-year old kid?


Nice.

Baldwin was caught on camera clapping as a Tennessee player went by after the game.
One of the assistant coaches for the Volunteers informed Stallings of Baldwin's actions
and without getting his side of the story or seeing it on tape, Stallings launched
into his "I'll kill you" tirade, which was Bobby Knight-esque.

In his explanation to the media after the game, Stallings said:

"One of our players acted inappropriately and violated what we believe is good
sportsmanship following the game," Stallings said.

Acted inappropriately? How would described how you acted on national television, Mr.
Stallings?

Stallings said the player violated what we believe is good sportsmanship following the game.



Mr. Stallings, would you say you violated any decent human beings standards for
sportsmanship and respect?

What gives you, as a leader and employee of the university, the right to say, "I'll kill you"
to someone? Is that a good example to your players? What will happen if two players get
in an argument in practice tomorrow and one of them says to the other, "I'll (effin) kill
you."?

A lot of these coaches are totally out of control and just don't get it. Perhaps, the
money and pressure to win has gotten them all stressed out. They all talk about teaching
their players about life and being good men, but most of them never seem to be able to
walk the walk.

Stallings' reaction to Baldwin's alleged lack of sportsmanship was far worse than the
act itself. Baldwin didn't get in anybody's face and scream. He was just clapping and
could've been saying, "Hey, that was a great game."

At least he didn't scream, "I'll (effin) kill you."

Stallings should be suspended. Maybe then, he'll get the message on what sportsmanship
and human decency is all about.

Kevin Stallins, Dean Smith you are not.





Thursday, February 26, 2015

WHAT'S UP WITH LIFE AT 50?


The big 5-0. If you make it this far in life, it's somewhat of an accomplishment.
We all tend to take life for granted and often forget how blessed we are to make it
to such a milestone. I'm cool with being halfway to 100 and I'm loving life. Sure,
there are still challenges to face everyday, but we all know that's part of life's
journey.

While I really can't say I'm surprised by anything since turning 50, I have taken
notice of a few things since making the turn and strolling down the back nine of
life.

Life seems to be in such a hurry to get to the finish line once you hit 50. It's like
it  guzzled a case of Red Bull and floored the gas pedal. Everything goes by like
a bolt of lightning.

A year seems like a  month, a month seem like a week, and a week seems to
be over quicker than recess in  elementary school. Sometimes I just want to
scream, "Slow the eff  down! What the hell is the rush?"

Sadly, there are a lot more funerals to go to at 50 than weddings, christenings,
and First Communions. We are burying those parents of our friends who were
always giving parties, rides to freshman dances, and just being so cool during
our formative years.

I guess there will be only one more bachelor party to go to in my lifetime and
that'll be mine, except most of my friends will need to be in bed by 9 p.m., so
I'm not counting on it being an epic one.


At 50, those crows feet around my eyes have become more like rings on an oak
tree, telling the world just how old I am. Those rings are deep grooves and no
amount of botox can do anything about them.

I  value my sleep at 50 far more than I ever have.  9:30 comes around and the
sandman hits me like a ton of bricks. Forget staying up for Fallon, football, or
re-runs of "Breaking Bad",  sleep is my joy and entertainment!


At 50, I've discovered muscles I never thought I had and names I never knew
existed. When I was young, I'd have pain in my leg that the doctor would
classify as "growing" ones. Now it's something called the "IT band"
What the hell does the I and the T stand for anyway?

I did go to two Bar Mitzvahs in a three week period since turning 50. Jewish
woman love the way I take over the dance floor and go crazy when I show up in
my all-white suit looking like Tony Manero.


I ran my entire life and never had problems with my feet, but as soon as I hit
50, I come down with something called plantar fasciitis. WTF? It's the worst
thing I've ever  experienced in my life. Every morning I wake up, it feels like I
stepped on a land mine!

When I leave home in the morning, my reading glasses have become far more
important to me than my iPhone. It pains me they have become such a
necessity and having to admit that I am now "one of them", you know,
the old folks at dinner who have to put the readers on just to see the menu
and the bill to figure out the tax.


I realize that most people graduated from elementary school, but a lot of them
never moved on from their ways in it. Parents yell and scream at their kids' games
and fights sometimes even break out. Gossip and backbiting seem to get worse and
the vitriol that is spewed when a celebrity falls from grace is frightening.

Age discrimination is real.

Most of all, I've realized that 50 is still just a number. I am young, healthy, and still
able to do most things I could at 25, albeit at a much slower rate. There is much of
life to be lived and I'm going to keep on living it with a smile on my face.


I did my first Ironman at 50. My goal is to do my last one at 85. And every one in
between.

Life is a sport, drink it up.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

NOW LET CHRIS KYLE REST IN PEACE



Eddie Ray Routh, the ex-Marine who slaughtered Chris Kyle at a shooting range
in 2013, was convicted Tuesday of murdering the man who gained fame as the
"American Sniper." It ends a painful period for the family of Kyle and a somewhat
of an embarrassing one for a part of our society.

Hopefully, Kyle can finally rest in peace now.

Kyle made four deployments to Iraq during his time as a Navy SEAL. He became
the most decorated sniper in U.S. history with 160 kills and wrote about his experience
in the best-selling book, "American Sniper." Few people criticized Kyle after the
book came out, but once the movie sky-rocketed at the box office and gained critical
acclaim, the haters and attention addicted snipers came out in full force.


Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore fired the first and loudest shot, saying he
considered snipers 'cowards' because his grandfather got picked off by one in a
previous war.

Moore accomplished what he set out to do and that was gain attention and
become 'trending", at the expense of Kyle. He was well-aware that 'American Sniper'
was in the public's focus and putting Kyle in the crosshairs would bring him the
attention he craved even if it meant taking a hit himself.

Unfortunately, others ran with Moore's tag of Kyle as a coward and instead of
honoring a war veteran, people criticized him. Oh, no, nobody said a peep when
the book, "American Sniper", was published, but as soon as it was brought to life
in the theatres, people got on their soap boxes and became critics of Kyle and the
job he was assigned to do.


There were heated debates on Fox, CNN, and all the 24-hour news channels who
hoped to use Kyle and the manufactured 'controversy' to drive the ratings ups.
That's how it works in television. Yep, a dead man can't defend himself, but we'll
let the experts toss mud on his grave and invite the defenders to defend him. It
should make for great TV.

Sadly, we forget about the real important thing and that's the true legacy of Chris
Kyle. Unlike most of us, Kyle fought for our country. While we were living our
fantasy life back home, Kyle was in the brutal reality of war where limbs get
blown off and people die every single day. Even though most people back in
the United States forget about our troops battling in wars that have long since
really mattered to many, they continue to fight.

Kyle, like everyone else who fights for the United States was assigned to do a job.
He didn't ask to be a sniper. His superiors noticed he had a great shot and put him
in a role where they thought he could excel and help the team accomplish a mission.
They gave him assignments and he did his job, plain and simple.


People like Moore see how Kyle is depicted in a Hollywood movie, which makes
things more dramatic and powerful, and they think Kyle is just a blood-thirsty
psycho-manic, who gets a rise out of picking the enemy off when they aren't
looking.

Ridiculous.

So many people in our society think it's easy for these highly-trained soldiers to
pull the trigger and kill people. They think because these warriors put on a uniform,
they suddenly morph into cold and callous killers who are somehow supposed to
walk back into society and not be affected. There's a reason PTSD is such a problem
with veterans in this country. It's real and it's dangerous.

And people want to criticize Kyle and others?

Kyle, like anyone else who spends a minute, a month, or years in combat, should
be considered heroes. Yep, every single one of them, whether it's the veteran homeless
guy begging for money on the street or guys like Kyle who have been immortalized
on film.

They should be thanked, respected, and honored on more than just Veterans Day, too.
One day where everybody says thank you on Facebook and Twitter because it's
the cool thing to do, is not nearly enough.

Our government should take care of them instead of spending $150 million a year
on making sure the prisoners in Gintanimo Bay get three squares a day.

Chris Kyle will always be a hero to me. I don't care what he looked liked, talked
like, or how many people he killed. He did the job he was assigned to do for our
country and that's the only thing that matters.


Monday, February 23, 2015

IF YOU CALL UPTON, 'B.J', HE'LL KILL YOU. IT'S MELVIN!


Every once in a while the sports world gives you a story that makes you laugh out loud.
That Manti' Te'o tale about falling in love with some imaginary girl sure gave the nation
a barrel of laughs several years ago.

When I read a headline this morning that read, "B.J. Upton changes his name to Melvin
for the 2015 season", I roared out loud. Fans and management have wanted Upton to
go away, or at least into the witness protection program, so killing off  'B.J' seemed
beyond comical to me.

For the last two years, fans in Atlanta had already changed Upton's name for him. He
became "B-K" Upton after whiffing more than 300 times and hitting around .200.
Yep, all that production for a guy whom the Braves signed for a 5-year, $75-million contract.


The Braves have tried to trade him for as little as a bag of baseballs, but they've been
rejected. I'm sure they tried to throw him in the deal that sent his brother to San Diego,
but I'm confident the Padres said it would've been a deal breaker.

So, now, to change his luck, Upton is doing something drastic: he's changing his first
name. Upton wants to be called 'Melvin' which is his real given name. His daddy started
calling him Bossman junior while growing up and little Melvin became 'B.J', and B.J.
Upton  had a nice ring to it and fit a prodigy who had amazing talent on the baseball field.

Instead of changing his stance, his approach, his diet, his contact lenses, or even work ethic,
Upton changed his name. Yes! That will make him a better hitter! It may even make him
cut down his strikeouts on the year from 135 to 130. Hey, any little thing might help.


Perhaps, Upton got the idea from Giancarlo Stanton who changed his name from "Mike"
to the one with the big G. And you know what? Stanton's stats actually improved! He
went from a career .261 hitter in his first three years to a career .277 hitter.  His slugging
percentage went up to, not to mention his taxes. The Marlins slugger signed a $325 million
deal in the off-season.

That's the ticket, Upton, must've thought. He was doing everything wrong to get himself
out of a horrid slump. Nothing worked so this must be the key to self-improvement. Can
you just see all young baseball players around he country changing their names when
they get in a batting slump?

"Hey, Peter, you're playing third today," says the coach.

"Coach, I'm no longer Peter, my name is Thurston. It's a family name and it might help
break me out of my slump I'm having in T-ball. Got it, coach? Thanks."



I would love to be a fly on the wall on the first day of first full workouts for the Braves
and Upton announces his new name to his teammates. (Think of the scene from the
movie, "Stripes" and that guy who threatened death if anyone called him Francis.)

"My name is now Melvin, any of you cats call me B.J. and I'll kill you!"

Fredi Gonzalez, Braves manager, "Ok, lighten up Francis. We'll call you Melvin. Now
can you go out and at least try to hit better than Dan Uggla?"

Melvin? Really? Couldn't he come up with something better like Usain Upton or even
Erkel Upton?

Nobody was scared of him as B.J., do you really think an opposing pitching is going
to be afraid of a hitter named Melvin?  And really, when he introduces himself to the
ladies around Atlanta, do you think they're going to be impressed with a .198 hitter
named Melvin?

Bad call, Upton, you should've stuck with B.J. and just taken more batting practice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

PABLO SANDOVAL AND THE WEIGHT WATCHERS IN BOSTON.



When it comes to anything in sports, no fan base overreacts like the one in Boston. Remember
when the Patriots got blown out by Kansas City during the fourth week of the season? Yeah, they
jumped ship as if the entire team was infected with the Ebola virus. They said Tom Brady was done
and Bill Belichick couldn't evaluate talent anymore.

Yeah, how'd that one turn out?

Forget about the snow, the sky is now falling in Boston once again. An unflattering shot of Pablo
Sandoval was tweeted out and Red Sox nation is falling all over themselves because the Kung Fu
Panda appears to be pregnant---with triplets.

Yep, so that is the hot-button topic that could melt the mounds of snow in the Commonwealth.

Just as the overreaction was to the Patriots demise, the "Pablo is fat and out of shape" cries are comical
.

This just in. Pablo Sandoval now is no different than the third baseman who helped the
San Francisco Giants win the World Series in 2014 and two other ones. There is a reason
he is called the "Kung Fu Panda" and its not because of his distinct black and white
coloring.

Sandoval is a dough-boy, always has been, probably always will be. The Red Sox didn't just drop
a $100 million contract the panda without doing their homework. Panda didn't pump up on steroids,
all those late-night, post-game spreads are most likely to be the culprit for his expanding waistline.

It doesn't matter.



Sandoval is a .294 career hitter, who although has never driven in 100 runs in any season,
can also play great defense. His gut has never gotten in the way of his hitting or fielding, so
all this talk about his belly is ridiculous.

If Bill Belichick evaluated Sandoval, he'd say, "He is what he is." That's an out-of-shape
ballplayer who produces. That's the bottom line.

If Sandoval doesn't produce, then Red Sox nation can start yelling at him to 'mix in a salad'.
But it's not even the first week of official spring training. Would you rather see a ripped-up
player who can't hit his weight or a soft and chunky Sandoval who is going to hit .300 with
20 home runs and 90 RBI's?


In the immortal words of Aaron Rodgers, "R-e-l-a-x", Boston, just relax, It's not a bad thing
to enjoy the Super Bowl victory a little while longer.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A-ROD'S APOLOGY LETTER: THE FIRST VERSION



Alex Rodriguez apologized to the world on Tuesday with a handwritten letter where he
acknowledged his 1,001 mistakes. From his writing, it's pretty obvious A-Rod didn't author
many love letters during his youth. A letter, Alex, really? We wanted to see your face when
you lied through your teeth or the beads of sweating dripping down your face when you
gave us a twisted story.

SportsRip obtained an exclusive copy of the first draft of A-Rod's letter. It was far different than
the one that showed up all over the Internet. Here are the contents.

First of all, I'd like to apologize to Mike Francesa of WFAN. Mike, you've been in my corner of
the way. You have some weird obsession with me, but that's cool. I'm sorry I lied straight to your
face. I know you're listening so I just want to say, "my bad." I hope we can still be BFF's.


I'm sorry, this is stupid, Yuri, my former pack mule,  made me do this. This is corny as hell.

Did Francisco Cervelli have to do this?

To Brian Cashman, I'm sorry that you still owe me $61 million, but the reality is, it's not your
money so pipe down, will ya?


Reggie Jackson, I'm sorry the Yankees made you go into the witness protection program
because of those comments you made about my PED use. Dude, you're no longer the straw that
stirs the drink, I am. When I'm the highest-paid player in the game, I wield some power. The
Yankees had to  make me happy, so they made you go away.

Jeter, I'm sorry you chose to bow out before the 3-ring circus returned. This is going to be
epic. Do you have any of those Flinstone Vitamins left in your locker?

I apologize to my fans for kissing that mirror and laying out without my shirt on in Central
Park. That wasn't a good look. Big egos have a way to making you big, stupid things. It
won't happen again.

Katie Couric, I am sorry you lied to you, but you used to work at NBC, so you're used to
the lies. How is Brian Williams doing these day?

I don't really know this year is going to turn out. I could be the highest-paid bench player
in MLB history.  Or the magic of youth may return to PED-infested body. I really don't know.
I ask for your full support and offer me another chance. That would be six now, but what's
another one.

Monday, February 16, 2015

JIM CANTORE VS PAUL DEVLIN: TAPE OF THE 'WEATHER' TAPE




Since transitioning  from sports into news, I've had the opportunity to cover numerous
snowstorms in New England. When snow is in the forecast, one of the first things that
    comes out of the news director's mouth is, "Let's get Devlin out there at 4:30 a.m." I
    embrace the elements with driving rain, sleet, and snow pelting my face like darts
    going into a board. It's the next best thing to covering a Super Bowl.


   When extreme weather breaks, the Weather Channel send its Tom Brady out to cover it.
   Jim Cantore is the meteorologist by which everyone is measured against. When I grow up
   I want to be just like him. After covering more than 20 storms, I thought it was time
   to see just how I measure up with the Sultan of Storms. Here's a tongue-in-cheek look
   at the tale of the tape.

First job out of college:

                                                      Cantore  The Weather Channel 


                                                       Devlin   The Boston Red Sox



Jobs since:

                                                                         Cantore  0


                                                                    Devlin About 23



Salary:

Cantore $1.2 million a year

                                                                Devlin Not enough.


Passion:

                                                        Cantore Covering the weather


                                                                    Devlin Eating



Most famous hit:

                                                 Cantore  Kicking a heckler live on-air.


                                            Devlin Belting a home run in "Bull Durham."


Famous for:

                                               Cantore  Being overly dramatic all the time.


                                        Devlin Being overly dramatic when the time is right.




Most proud of:

                                              Cantore Building a snowman in Syracuse


                                           Devlin Finishing the Ironman in Lake Placid



Gets excited when:

                                          Cantore Boston gets hit with an epic snowstorm.


                               Devlin When he can report on the weather from inside the car.



Most used lines on the air:

                                       Cantore  Stay inside for this one, it's going to be epic.



Devlin     Hey, those national guys are always wrong. Get out and do what you have to
                do, the world is not ending. No need to buy every loaf of bread at the market.




Hidden talent:

                                            Cantore  Can do bicep curls in his sleep.


                                  Devlin Can dance to any song, anytime, and anywhere.



Career goals:

                                      Cantore  Report live from the middle of a Tsunami.


                                       Devlin  Report live from San Diego every single day.