Manti Te’o, The NCAA, and the Not Dead Girlfriend

It seems fitting that the one standing grace of college football, the shinning example of valor, pride and moral fiber, would end up being tied to a blatant lie of the worst kind. Notre Dame has had it’s struggles recently, failed high profile coaches, teams hyped up as “this is the team to win it all”, among other bold statements and praise. Finally a year where everything comes together for “America’s Team”. A light at the end of a long tunnel, prominence is in reach and, despite a thrashing at the hands of Alabama, the future is looking brighter each and every day.

The leader of this team, Manti Te’o, was that light, the warrior leading men into battle despite his team being David in the battle with, who we know as, Goliath. The man who put everything he had on the field, loved the team he played for, and fell short of becoming the first all defensive Heisman in the history of NCAA Football. Suddenly now this story starts to become a little hazy.

In an article published by Deadspin, they report that Manti Te’o is essentially a fraud. Not his abilities on the field or the prospect of him being a 1st round draft pick, but the story that lead him to become America’s Sweetheart. A man who himself was David fighting the Goliath, fighting pain and sorrow, living through the pain of losing two of the closest people in his life while still holding on the shoulders the hopes and dreams of the Notre Dame faithful. Yes, he lost his Grandmother, but the stories of him devoting his time to a girlfriend dying from Leukemia, who was in a coma after a car crash were as made up as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow or that Bob Costas isn’t wearing a wig.

Now we will all question, why?

I spoke with Brenden, a writer on here, of my opinions and hit upon something he urged me to write. Despite where you stand on this issue, the cracks in his story may have started to show and, thus, led to his falling short of becoming the Heisman winner.

Reading the Deadspin article made me realize they did their due diligence to find the facts of this story out. Many people may not have actually cared to look into this, in fact I’m sure most people at Deadspin were just researching it for facts and didn’t expect to find anything or maybe they were tipped off. Are we to believe the NCAA didn’t do this? They didn’t scrutinize over every single detail of the Heisman candidates lives to ensure nothing would come out to hurt them?

I say they did. I think they found out about this and it’s the reason Manti Te’o didn’t win the Heisman. Imagine that, a fraud, a fake, a despicable human being using a false story to perpetuate his own false idea of himself to the public being crowned the Heisman? I think not, not in this day and age.

The NCAA is probably the most corrupt organization in American sports. They can’t escape bad press but this they couldn’t stand, it would ruin the integrity of the one accomplishment they have complete and absolute control over. The main thing to focus on is despite it crowning the winner as “The Best Player in Collegiate Football” it also symbolizes the person, the person that everyone should strive to be, should want to be. Goodhearted, clean, sportsmanlike, at least in the eyes of the fans and future players who will take the field at these schools.

The NCAA and the Heisman couldn’t take the heat of this story once the statue of Te’o they themselves put on a pedestal started to crack. He was the example of what everyone should strive to be. He played hard, was polite, team oriented, passionate, faithful, he was the new Tim Tebow, a white light in a dark, dark cavernous hole the NCAA is in. Pairing the Heisman with a player who would destroy it’s reputation was unacceptable, so they didn’t do it. The NCAA will claim ignorance, they aren’t on trial here, and it’s probably what they should do, no one wants to be in the corner of a fighter who will undoubtedly lose this war.

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Kevin Durant Has No Regard For Human Life

Maricn Gortat does the most Polish thing possible…Puts up a weak defense and gets beat.

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How Should We Judge Lance Armstrong?

IMG_69591In Lance Armstrong’s upcoming interview with Oprah, he will admit that he did indeed use performance enhancing drugs. The years of denying rumors and going on the offensive against people who accused him of doping were all a lie. So were all of his Tour de France victories.

Yes, Lance Armstrong did cheat and then lie to the public about it, but the thing that makes his case unique is the Livestrong Foundation, which has raised millions and millions of dollars for cancer research. His foundation really put the fight against cancer in the spotlight with their yellow bands and having a dominant professional athlete as the face of the fight.

If Armstrong never won a tour title would people still be enthusiastic about wearing a yellow wristband? The answer is no. We don’t put losers on a pedestal. We want to be associated with a winner; what bigger winner was there other than Armstrong?

Cycling is the most doped up sport in the world; the guys who don’t cheat don’t win, and they sure as hell don’t dominate the way Armstrong did. With that being said, It still doesn’t make what he did right. If Armstrong admitted he used and then led a battle to rid the sport of the drug abuse, we would probably be looking at him in a different light today.

Here’s where things get cloudy…Anyone who has been directly or indirectly affected by cancer has to be appreciative of Armstrong’s efforts in the fight against it. However, the purists in sports have to also look at the basic fact that he cheated. Not only did he cheat, he lied about it for all if these years. His fight against cancer isn’t a sham, but his career is.

Armstrong did what many of us have. He got caught up in a lie and couldn’t find a way out before it was too late. Unfortunately for him, he was considered a role model and a hero to so many people.

Before we tear him down, make fun of him on social media sites, and say that he’s just another athlete who let us all down, let’s remember the good he has done. I’m not saying he belongs on a pedestal anymore, but instead of ripping him off of it, let him climb down himself.

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The Case For Craig Biggio

craig biggio23,000 hits. Seems like an automatic bid for the Hall of Fame…

Unless your name is Craig Biggio.

Biggio was an Astro for life; he came up as a catcher, played second base, and then later on in his career became a solid outfielder. What more can you ask of a guy? In this steroid induced ballot why couldn’t the writers elect someone who exemplified what the game is all about? Biggio is the white knight in the fog of this issue. Put him in. Set an example of how a player who did it the right way on and off the field earns his rightful spot in the Hall.

Don’t give me any of this “hit .280” crap either. The dude got 3,000 hits, including 600 doubles and over 450 stolen bases. He made six all star teams. Let that sink in for a minute.

BaseballReference.com lists Derek jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., and Robin Yount as similar batters to Biggio. As a matter of fact 8 out of the 10 they compare to Biggio are either in the Hall or are going there (sorry Johnny Damon).

Biggio not getting in would be another shame for this great game. None of this “he’s not a first ballot guy” either….I’m sorry is he going to be playing anymore? No. So what is going to change in his stats between now and then?

Looks like we can add Hall of Fame balloting to the jokes of what this game is becoming; file this in with All-Star game counting and the Astros being forced to move to the American League.

Baseball deserves better.

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Fashionably Late 2013 Predictions…

Writer’s Note: I apologize to the author of “An Irish Fan’s Take on the Massacre in Miami”. A real good article is being bumped to the bottom only because I take forever to write/post my stuff. So make sure you read it.

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The Great Joestradamus Predicts…

I like to think of myself as a smart guy. Thinking and being are completely separate things, but I like to think that I have an idea of what is happening in the sports world. With that being said, here are my predictions for what I hope will be an exciting 2013.

1) Tim Tebow will be released by the Jets (already confirmed) but won’t be able to find a job as a backup quarterback, not even with his hometown Jaguars. He’ll try to hang on, tauntrTebowCFL  signing a league-minimum contract to play tight end or special teams, but will once again ride the bench. He’ll be out of the NFL by 2014

2) Nick Saban will find himself at the helm of another NFL team (Detroit Lions?) at the end of the season

3) AJ Green will cement himself as the #2 Wide Receiver in the NFL behind, of course, Calvin Johnson

4) The Angels and Dodgers will struggle throughout the season. Only one will make the playoffs

5) Tiger Woods does not win a Major

6) Manny Pacquaio retires after one final fight with Juan Manuel Marquez    dwight-howard-dallas-mavericks

7) Dwight Howard will sign his free agent deal with the…………….Dallas Mavericks

8) After he is traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Brooklyn Nets

9) Cliff Lee, Giancarlo Stanton and Paul Konerko will all be playing for new teams by the end of the year (Lee and Konerko will be dealt at the trading deadline)

10) Craig Biggio and Jack Morris get inducted into the Hall of Fame

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An Irish fan’s take on the massacre in Miami

As I slowly sweep up the ashes of a dream season, burned to a crisp by Nick Satan and his Crimson Tide in last night’s BCS Championship, I think about a few things..

 1. My Irish certainly didn’t bring their a-game last night, but fools saying they did not belong in the game is ludicrous. There have been blowouts in title games before and no one said the lone eligible undefeated team didn’t belong in the game…I’m looking at you 2006 Florida over OSU. And I hope no one I know is dumb enough to compare Notre Dame’s undefeated season to that of BSU TCU and Marshall of the past.  The Irish may not be in a conference….but they play a tougher schedule than most teams in a power automatic bid conference. This year was no different. 

2. I’m not blaming the loss on the refs, the Irish were overmatched, but I do think we see a much different ball game if a few controversial calls go the other way. After Alabama scored quickly the last thing Notre Dame needed was a quick turn around and good field position…and the refs gave it to them. I can see the pass to Eifert being ruled incomplete. But the kick catch interference was a blown, game changing call…the situation went from Notre Dame football on the Bama 25 to Crimson Tide ball on the 40….and don’t even start the “he doesn’t have to touch him as long as he impedes the receivers ability to make the catch” argument…because one, he doesn’t and the coup de gras,

Rule 6 Section 4 Article 1b of the NCAA football handbook states…. “If interference with a potential receiver is the result of a player being blocked by an opponent, it is not a foul.”

Looks like Farley was being blocked from behind to me.

Now we have a Notre Dame in the Redzone with, possible 7-7 game instead of Alabama ball near the Irish side of the field and a probable, 14-0 game. After this the Irish play calling changes, momentum isn’t on Bama’s side and we get the title game we deserved

I can’t stress enough that I am not blaming the loss on the refs. But to disregard the fact isn’t right either.

3. For Notre Dame this wasn’t only the end of a magical season. I think this is just the beginning. Sure we lose a great class of seniors, but hopefully they have passed on their heart and determination to younger classes who admittedly will be much more talented.  Don’t look now but Brian Kelly and his staff has put together ESPN’s top ranked recruiting class full of athletic SEC-esque players, meaning their getting more talented and MUCH faster.

4. Notre Dame being good is amazing for college football…Ratings for the game were up 14% from last year’s SEC rematch.  Notre Dame is like the Yankees…passionate fan base…and an equally passionate base of people that despise them.

and no matter ho many people texted, tweeted or facebooked jesting my Irish, I’m proud to be a member of ND Nation now more than ever!!! I never expected them to do this well, but now onto a hopefully bright future!

Cheer, cheer for Old Notre Dame
Wake up the echoes cheering her name,
Send the volley cheer on high,
Shake down the thunder from the sky,
What though the odds be great or small
Old Notre Dame will win over all,
While her loyal sons are marching
Onward to Victory.

 GO IRISH!!!

AND in the words of Irish Chocolate aka Louis Nix III… ”Pasadena 2014!!!”

 

PS…Didn’t think it was possible, but last night I fell in love with Kate Upton even more…It’s like she knew what would be the only thing to cheer me up in my drunken stupor…”Its ok Notre Dame this happened to the Jets every week.”

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The Worst Announcer Not Named Joe Buck

Bucknell’s announcer loses his sh*t over a layup.

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