Friday Sports Funny: These Guys Own the Paint

MRO 62 Team Owns the PaintToday’s Friday Sports Funny brings to life the oft overused sports cliche “these guys own the paint!”

When a basketball announcer reports that guys own the paint, you know exactly what he means.

Your mind immediately conjures up images very tall, muscular players standing protectively under the opponents’ basket.

The big guys are guarding the hardwood real estate within the painted lines on the court.

No need to even attempt entering their domain because they’ve surrounded the basket like protective sentinels.

Like the stack of buckets in this comic, these big men are blocking the basket.

In the case of this comic, it’ll be real tough to score against these guys. They figuratively – and literally – own the paint!

For more Friday Sports Funnies like the one above, safely download my FREE College Basketball Comic book.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Former NHL MVP Super Mario Lemieux

NHL great Mario Lemieux

Today’s #TBT sports blog focuses on a former Stanley Cup champion and incredible overcoming athlete.

My post blog centers on former Pittsburgh Penguins center Super Mario Lemieux.

Let’s take a look back at this hockey hero.

The likeable hero of the top selling video game series of all time was introduced during the rookie season of one of the most admired National Hockey League’s players ever.

Beginning in 1985, Nintendo’s Super Mario Brothers reigned over video game sales. That same year, Super Mario Lemieux of the Pittsburgh Penguins began dominating NHL games with his speed, strength and superb hockey skill.

Boston Bruins great Bobby Orr once remarked that Mario Lemieux, nicknamed Super Mario, was the most talented hockey player he had ever seen. Lemieux’s excellence on the ice allowed him to lead the NHL in scoring six times. He also won the Hart Trophy three times as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Mario Lemieux: 1999 Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee

A 1997 inductee to the Hockey Hall of Fame, big #66 finished his hockey career with 690 goals and 1,033 assists. He was the only player ever to score five goals in different ways in a single game. These goals included an empty net, power play, penalty shot, shorthanded and full strength.

The 6’4″ and 235 lb. French Canadian’s career highlights include an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002, a World Cup of Hockey Championship in 2004 and two NHL Stanley Cup Championships in 1991 and 1992.

Lemieux also won a third title in 2009 as Chairman of the Board of the same NHL team he played for, the Pittsburgh Penguins, whom he rescued out of bankruptcy.

The former Penguin battled injuries and illness that sidelined him for several seasons. Lemieux overcame back problems and a bout with Hodgkins disease to return to the ice after he had already retired. He proved that hockey’s Super Mario trumps any video game heroics and is much more than just a hockey hero.

Video game icon Super Mario may have shown off his heroics by successfully saving Princess Toadstool from her nemesis Bowser during their valiant Nintendo struggles.

However, ice hockey hero Super Mario Lemieux repeatedly showed bravery, courage and an amazing personal drive.

That’s why he effortlessly skates in at #1 in my sports comic book Favorite Overcoming Athletes. Click HERE to safely download from Amazon.

In addition to Super Mario Lemieux, you can read about Jason Kidd, Ian Thorpe, Jackie Robinson, Three Finger Brown, Bernard Hopkins and other amazing overcoming athletes.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Remembering NFL “Sweetness” Walter Payton on Valentine’s Day

Sweetness Walter PaytonHappy Valentine’s Day, sports fans!

On this special day in which we acknowledge the sweethearts in our lives, I thought my sports blog today should remember the extraordinary NFL athlete Walter Payton known as Sweetness.

The adjective sweet should never apply when talking football. Except, that is, when referring to Chicago Bears great Walter Payton.

Respectfully and singly known as Sweetness, Payton also rushes his way into #21 in my sports comic book Favorite Single Named Athletes.

Payton’s nickname personified the type of person he was off the playing field. The Sweetness handle was given to him because of the former running back’s gentle nature and engaging, caring smile.

Mike Ditka Said Walter Payton Was Best NFL Player Ever

Former Bears coach Mike Ditka called Payton the greatest football player ever. Ditka also said that his star player was even a greater human being.

Few would argue with Iron Mike for making such an audacious claim. Payton’s legacy stills looms especially large both on and off the football field.

During his celebrated 13-year career, Walter Payton held numerous NFL records. They included career rushing yards, career rushing attempts, most yards in a single game, most career 100-yard games, most 1,000 yard seasons and several others.

In addition, Payton was named to nine NFL Pro Bowls and won two NFL Most Valuable Player awards. His Bears team also won Super Bowl XX in 1985.

Sweetness’ most significant accomplishments may have taken place off the gridiron. That’s where he touched countless lives. Payton’s impact has been so profound that the NFL renamed the Man of the Year Award after Sweetness, who coincidentally received the league’s highest honor in 1977.

Payton and his wife Connie started a foundation that has brought national awareness to the growing need for organ donations. Sadly, Payton died in 1999 following a struggle with a liver disease.

It’s ironic that a tough Hall of Fame running back who only missed one game in his illustrious 13-year career – playing in the unofficial NFL Black and Blue Division – would be called Sweetness.

In the case of Walter Payton, the Sweetness nickname couldn’t be any sweeter. It also couldn’t be more deserving.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Clever Quote From FIFA Footballer George Best

FIFA footballer George Best

“Maradona good. Pele better. George Best.” ~ painted on a mural in Belfast, Northern Ireland

This funny, but clever quote is written on a wall to memorialize George Best, Northern Ireland’s flamboyant FIFA international footballer.

George Best was also known as the Fifth Beatle, a tribute to the iconic musical group The Beatles.

The former FIFA star died as an alcoholic in 2005 due to complications from a liver transplant.

 

Best’s undisciplined and extravagant lifestyle contributed to his demise as a player and also as an individual.

One of the many colorful quotes attributed to this Fifth Beatle reads, “I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.” The words were funny, but sadly, true.

The Northern Irish have idolized Best as the most gifted and entertaining soccer player ever.

That’s why the clever mural in Belfast, Northern Ireland reads, “Maradona good, Pele better, George Best.”

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#TBT Sports Blog: The NBA Rash Bruce Bowen

ESPN NBA announcer Bruce BowenKnown by his itchy nickname the Rash, Bruce Bowen scratched, clawed or chafed his way to become an NBA Champion.

Bruce Bowen is my pick for today’s #TBT sports blog.

Not only did fans love Bowen’s clever nickname the Rash, but they admired his tireless defending on the basketball court that helped his team win three NBA Championships.

Bowen did not get drafted out of Cal State Fullerton in 1993. Instead, he bounced around in his early professional basketball days.

After playing for teams in France and in the CBA, and later for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA, Bowen finally found a home for eight years with the San Antonio Spurs.

Bowen discovered his special skill with the Spurs. He established himself as a terrific, tireless defender. Spurs teammate Sean Elliott originally referred to Bowen as the Rash. Elliott cited Bowen’s irritating pressure on the other team’s leading perimeter scorer and said, “Bowen’s just all over you like a rash.”

Bruce Bowen: Five-Time NBA All-Defensive team

As a five-time NBA All-Defensive First team, Bowen was vital to the Spurs’ success. Not only could Bowen knock down three pointers from the corner, but he could also be counted on to annoy, hound and harass high scoring opponents like Ray Allen, Vince Carter and Kobe Bryant. A frustrated former Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson even called on the NBA to investigate Bowen for his overly aggressive play on his Mavs’ top scorers.

The defensive-minded Bowen blended brilliantly with his offensive-minded Spurs teammates Tim Duncan, Man Ginobli and Tony Parker. The Rash celebrated three NBA World Championships with Duncan, Ginobli and Parker in 2003, 2005 and 2007. The San Antonio Spurs organization recognized Bowen’s unsung contributions to the team’s success by retiring Bowen’s #12 jersey in 2012.

Bruce Bowen is now a well-spoken NBA talking head on ESPN. The bow tie clad announcer shares with sports fans how he became a key member of three NBA Championships teams.

Bowen laughs that his on-court talent, named after an unsightly skin irritation, ended up serving as his ultimate claim to fame – the Rash.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: There’s No “I” in Team

 MIKE Sports Comic: No "I" in TeamToday’s Friday Sports Funny – there’s no “I” in team – brings to life one of my favorite sports cliches.

The well known cliche may be old and overused. However, if you’ve ever played team sports, you’re certainly aware of the timeless coaching cliché – there’s no “I” in team.

And, if you embrace teamwork and understand selflessness on the field, court, rink, pitch or diamond, then you’ve probably recited the cliche a million times while playing or talking about sports.

The No “I” in Team Sports Cliche Applies to All Sports

This adage applies to team sports at all levels – from youth leagues all the way up to the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and FIFA levels.

In this comic, the hockey coach pointing to the chalkboard reminds his players that hockey is a team sport and that selfishness will always need to take a back seat for the good of the squad.

However, the well meaning coach also appears a bit confused.

He looks around the entire locker room to discover that the team’s name has been intentionally misspelled.

The overt misspelling underscores the belief that there’s no “I” anywhere in team – as well as in the spelling of the Cheefs name, too!

Write me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com and share with me one of your favorite sports cliches.

You never know. It just might make it into a future Friday Sports Funny blog.

I’ll give you credit, too, because it’ll be a collaborative effort, and I’ve always been a firm believer that there’s no “I” in team.

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2 Cent Tuesday: New England Patriots’ Tom Brady NFL G.O.A.T.

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday states the obvious!

Congratulations to the undisputed NFL G.O.A.T. Tom Brady and his New England Patriots for their stunning 34 – 26 overtime victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday night’s Super Bowl LI in Houston, Texas.

Leading the Patriots’ epic comeback, Brady showcased his football excellence once again when the game’s outcome mattered most.

Few football fans can argue that the 39 year-old quarterback is the sport’s G.O.A.T. or greatest of all-time following his flawless fourth quarter and overtime performance.

Tom Brady rallied his team from a dramatic 19 point fourth quarter deficit to earn his fourth Super Bowl MVP trophy, while captaining his team to a Lombardi Trophy for the fifth time in his illustrious career.

Tom Brady Accepts MVP Trophy From Roger Goodell

Brady also displayed unparalleled maturity and professionalism immediately after the game. That’s when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended the QB star for the first four games of the season for purportedly deflating footballs to gain an advantage, ironically presented him with the game’s MVP award.

Brady traded no barbs with the sheepish Goodell while awkwardly shaking the commissioner’s hand and accepting the coveted trophy.

In addition, a humble Brady insisted that he was undeserving of the MVP acknowledgement and offered the award to RB James White who scored the winning touchdown in overtime for the Pats.

For a Super Bowl game that started slowly, Sunday night’s finish will be considered the best ever in the history of the championship game.

And, that’s primarily because of the guy directing the New England Patriots’ offense.

So, love him or hate. Cheer him or jeer him.

The New England Patriots’ #12 Tom Brady should be every NFL fan’s only choice as the sport’s G.O.A.T. or greatest of all-time.

Even the basketball’s Michael Jordan, hockey’s Wayne Gretzky, baseball’ Babe Ruth, track and field’s Usain Bolt and soccer’s Lionel Messi would unanimously agree.

And, that’s my 2 cents!

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: NBA Icon Wilt Chamberlain’s Quote

Wilt the Stilt Chamberlain NBA

Today’s Friday Sports Funny recalls one of my favorite sports quotes from NBA Icon Wilt Chamberlain.

“Nobody ever roots for Goliath.” ~ Wilt Chamberlain’s response to how basketball fans often treated him

Wilt’s incredible dominance as an NBA player prompted many fans to root against this giant, or Goliath, of a man.

He so totally dominated his sport that the league enacted rule changes to make the games fair for the other 99.9% of the players.

Today’s wider lane in the NBA and goal tending penalties were imposed because of the way Chamberlain vanquished all opposing basketball players.

Wilt overpowered basketball opponents whenever he stepped onto the hardwood. The 7’1″ and 260 lb. player effortlessly prevailed over all smaller, less physically gifted competitors.

Wilt Chamberlain’s towering size, strength, scoring ability and stamina empowered him to become the greatest player the NBA ever witnessed when he entered the league in 1959.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: University of Michigan’s Fab 5

The Fab 5Today’s #TBT Fab 5 sports blog recalls one of the best freshmen classes in the history of NCAA college basketball.

Their Fab 5 nickname sounded more like the popular Beatles band from the 1960s. Instead, the catchy moniker heralded the most important recruiting class in the history of college basketball at the time.

The University of Michigan’s legendary Fab 5 recruiting class had four of the top ten 1991 NCAA basketball recruits.

Their fifth recruit also ranked among the top 100 high school basketball players in the nation.

Members of the Fab 5 would all become future NBA players. Chris Webber was the nation’s #1 recruit. Juwan Howard was the #3 recruit in the country. Jalen Rose was the country’s #6 rated recruit prospect.

The Fab 5 also featured Jimmy King the #10 rated recruit and Ray Jackson, who completed the group at #84.

Under Head Coach Steve Fisher, the talented Fab 5 advanced to the NCAA Championship finals in their freshmen and sophomore years. In 1992 the team lost 71- 51 to the Duke Blue Devils, and in 1993 they suffered a 77- 71 defeat to the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Fab 5 succeeded on the court at the University of Michigan, but the players left an even bigger mark away from the hardwood.

ESPN 30 for 30 Films Featured the Fab 5

ESPN 30 for 30 Films told of the players’ influence in transforming the landscape of college basketball. Much of their story mirrored the cultural influence of London’s musical group the Beatles, referred to as the Fab 4.

This group of young basketball stars brought their own brand of style to the game. They introduced hip-hop music, baggy shorts, brash talk, shaven heads, black shoes and black socks into the then conservative culture of college basketball.

The totally talented bunch of athletes all left school early. They entered the NBA Draft and sparked a future wave of college athletes who would do the same for the NBA.

This recruiting class may be the best ever in college basketball. Yet surprisingly, they never won a national championship.

In addition, the University of Michigan was investigated for violating several NCAA rules. Unfortunately, the university later lost many of the wins and awards earned during the Fab 5 era.

Many fans agree that the Fab 5’s reckless actions hurt their legacy.

However, this group still stands in collective NCAA memory. They were the brash, entertaining, talented and most transformational group of athletes to ever step onto the hardwood of college basketball.

Like them or not, the Fab 5 deserves a spot in NCAA Basketball Favorites – baggy shorts, brash talk, black socks, bald heads and all.

MIKE NCAA Basketball FavoritesEnjoy reading about the University of Michigan’s Fab 5 and other great players and moments in NCAA basketball history.

Click on the blue cover above and safely download the book from Amazon.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Anybody But the New England Patriots!

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogIn anticipation of this weekend’s Super Bowl 51, today’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog tackles the privilege of rooting for your favorite team in spite of what others think about your choice.

That’s because sports transcends religion, cuts through cultural ties, eludes ethnicity, ignores bank accounts and fails to distinguish between sex, weight, age and even familial bonds.

Regardless of the sport, your favorite team is simply your favorite team – not your dad’s, your sister’s or even that of your spouse.

Your inalienable right as a sports fan is to root for whomever you want and root against any team you deem appropriate to direct your angst.

Sure, your choice may defy logic, strain family ties, break stereotypes and shatter urban myths. But it’s still your personal choice, one that should never be forced upon you at any time.

Root For Atlanta Falcons or New England Patriots?

You may live in Atlanta, but love the New England Patriots. Or, you may call New England home, but your Boston College ties have you cheering on Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons and against Tom Brady.

The right to root for your team and your favorite player is buried deep down in your DNA. It’s your privilege and your prerogative in spite of what others think or say.

Not only is it your right to choose your favorite team, but I propose it’s also a God-given sports right to cheer against another team.

Why can I hear a chorus of “Amens!” from all the Patriots haters out there?

It’s healthy and even cathartic to vent your sports fan frustration toward bitter rivals who have beat up on your boys too often in the past or carry themselves in a far too confident manner. Articulating your angst by deciding “Anybody, but…” is what’s best about sports.

For example, it’s OK if the continued, unabated success of college programs like Duke and Kentucky basketball or Alabama and USC football ruffle your feathers.

It’s understandable if the 27 World Series Championships that New York Yankees fans routinely bring up in baseball conversation makes your blood start to boil.

Plus, Bronx Bomber fans always seem to reference baseball’s purported greatest team ever – the 1927 Yanks.

It’s alright if the preponderance of championship banners hanging over the courts at Staples Center in Los Angeles or TD Bank North Garden in Boston cause you to grind your teeth.

It’s a part of the game when storied soccer teams like Manchester United, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid spend boat loads of cash to consistently attract the toptalent in the world and make you want to scream as your local club wallows in mediocrity.

Hey, maybe the original America’s Team (the Dallas Cowboys), the wanna-be America’s Team (the New England Patriots) or the most likely choice from Titletown for what should be America’s Team (the Green Bay Packers) give you indigestion at the sound of their names.

No worries, man! Just ease up. Flip on ESPN Sports Center and relax.

It’s OK to blow off some steam. Remember that you’re just fine. Allow that cup of angst to spill over as much and as long as you want.

Remember, it’s your Constitutional sports right to root for – or against – any team from any town at anytime.

In my house, the sports motto has always been, “Anybody but…”

So, “Go Falcons, and I’ll root for anybody but the New England Patriots!”

Shop for Thousands of 100% Authentic Autographed Sports Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor fans interested in shopping for authentic sports collectibles from their favorite teams, star players or championship seasons, click on the Sports Memorabilia logo above.

If, by chance, you opt to purchase any Sports Memorabilia product, we will earn a small commission. So, thank you.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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