Monday, January 16, 2012

The Heat of Battle

     When a player makes an out of character mistake in an important moment, it is often attributed to "the heat of battle." Now, that phrase has become a talking point for the US and the world. Young Marines took pictures of themselves urinating on the dead body of Taliban militants, and now, over a year later, they have been mysteriously leaked just as these soldiers are coming home.
     The first thing that comes to mind is, "Not again...." as these stories, though infrequent, linger in the air and tarnish the name of the greatest fighters on the planet Earth. Many have said that this is some kind of racism, and CAIR has all but agreed with that, essentially saying that they expect the soldiers to be punished to the extent of the law and beyond, when they themselves have no authority to punish, or even the right to talk about such punishments. These Marines were younger than 25 years old, they hardly old enough to drink alcohol, let alone put their lives on the line for our country, AND they were coming directly off the field of combat, where defeat means certain death, and winning simply means to fight another day and do it all again. I don't know what that feels like, and neither does CAIR, and neither does the vast majority of the world, yet we hold them accountable for a mistake made in the heat of battle. What hypocrisy!

     These Taliban fighters aren't a nation, they are a group of terrorist extremists, therefore they DO NOT receive any protection from any war crimes, so the actions were not necessarily illegal, albeit asinine. This was a mistake, and they know it, yet we cannot even begin to comprehend what it feels like to be in their shoes and barely survive a battle. This was blown completely out of proportion. These are KIDS... let them learn, not suffer.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Seeing Red

     On Tuesday, my hometown Cincinnati Reds added a top-tier arm to their bullpen. Walt Jockety signed closer Ryan Madson, formerly of the Phillies, for one year and just over $8,000,000, a great deal that has caused much of the baseball world to predict that the Reds will win the NL Central. Madson replaces Francisco Cordero, known to Cincinnati fans as "Uh-Oh", for his ERA has gradually gone up and always seems to put the lead in jeopardy. Madson, however, is the opposite posting a 2.37 ERA and saved 32 games, making him a valuable commodity to own.
     The Madson signing is not even the biggest or potentially the most beneficial to the Reds' hopes of winning the division. This offseason, the Reds front office has shown that THIS is the year they contend and make a run at the National League Pennant, and this was shown by their trading for Mat Latos, a hard throwing 24 year old ace who was a contender for the Cy Young award a few years ago. And on top of that, they traded one of the then expendable starters, lefty Travis Wood, to the division rival Chicago Cubs for reliever Sean Marshall, who will now create a formidable one-two punch with Madson in the 8th and 9th innings.

     Taking all these moves into account, I predict the Reds win the NL Central by 3.5 games, finishing with a record of 94-68.

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Saturday, January 7, 2012

Becoming Brady

     He steps up into the pocket, dodging the 400lb. missiles hurtling toward him, finds an open receiver down field and fires, putting the ball where only his man could catch it. The receiver catches the ball, and rumbles forward for a first down. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has performed this drill many times over, whether it be in practice or in front of the masses. Last year's MVP has passed for over 5,000 yards this year, making many people wonder if he was ever human. After all, he is arguably the best quarterback in history, and is married to a supermodel. He was probably one of those highly-touted, and later highly-drafted prospects who never had to work and fight for a starting job, right? Wrong.
     Brady was an average college player his first two years at Michigan and had to compete with a freak athlete, one of those aformentioned highly touted prospects, Drew Henson. Henson played baseball and football in highschool, and according to his Michigan coach, "was the most talented quarterback I've been around." Henson's father used his son's rare and outstanding ability to play the MLB against college football coaches. Henson would always compete with Brady until that one fateful day. One man compared the two to Superman and Batman, saying that, "Batman doesn't have super powers, but he still believes he can whip Superman's ass." That was how Brady treated his stay at Michigan. He never complained, he never offered any excuses. He just worked. His passes suddenly became accurate, and his reads were nearly perfect. However, nobody wanted him.
     He was slow, and scouts believed he lacked armstrength, and as  result he plummeted to the 199th pick of the draft to the New England Patriots. There, he would have to wait for an injury to even have a chance, and he took it and ran with it. He never lost faith in himself. At Michigan, the seeds of a legend were planted, and Brady is still proving he deserves to start.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dust Has Settled

     The Week 17 dust has settled, and the madness has ensued. Today is 'Black Monday,' the day after the regular season is over and the day where the most firings occur. As predicted, Steve Spagnuolo and Raheem Morris, coaches of the Rams and Buccaneers respectively, have been fired, and their former employers have begun looking for suitable replacements. The Colts proved their futility, losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and have 'earned' the right to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (At Left in Colts Uniform) with the first overall pick of the NFL Draft, and the St. Louis Rams will pick second. However, Week 17 was also a good week. The Bengals, behind rookies Andy Dalton and AJ Green, are back in the playoffs, and the Jets aren't. The always entertaining Rex Ryan, coach of the New York Jets and America's favorite loudmouth, couldn't lead his team to another AFC Championship Game, as he has for the last two seasons, and his usually stout defensive unit stumbled to a  fifth place finish and out of the top 3 where it usually ranks.

     Now that the season is over, I think now is the time to give out some awards...
MVP: Peyton Manning, QB Colts- The MVP is for the most valuable player, and Manning proved how valuable he was to the Colts by watching them fail epically without him.

Best QB: Drew Brees, Saints- Aaron Rodgers is on everyone else's lists, but he didn't play week 17, plus Drew Brees has a limited cast and still broke the record for most passing yards in a season.

Best RB: Ray Rice, Ravens: The Swiss Army Knife of the NFL, he rushed for over 1,000 yards, and had over 600 receiving yards.

Rookie of the Year: Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: Broke too many records to be ignored.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Plays of the Year

     Happy New Year! Now that 2011 has come and gone, I have decided to post the two best plays of the year, and I encourage you to post your favorite plays as well.

Number 2. Marshawn Lynch Touchdown Run VS. Saints
Number 1. Jerome Simpson VS. Cardinals