NFL RB Adrian Peterson: Are You a Real Man?

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday Sports Blog horse collar tackles NFL Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson hard with this one simple statement.

“Any man can produce a child, but only a real man can actually father one.”

So, answer sports fans, Adrian Peterson, are you a real man or simply a selfish, undisciplined, sexual pariah who does not comprehend the consequences of his licentious lifestyle?

Certainly, you have demonstrated athletic brilliance with a football in your hands during your NFL career. However, why can’t you comport yourself as a real man, or father, off the football field with the same discipline and desire for excellence?

Why can’t you keep your zipper zipped and your hands at your side and off your progeny? Are you too consumed with sexual conquests and adding another notch to your belt? Is your need for attention so great and your insecurity so wanting?

The gaggle of children you have produced – 7 at last count, 8 when counting your pregnant wife and 9 if your alleged baby mama’s story stands true – need a father in their lives.

Your kids require far more than child support from a womanizing man who happens to share the same DNA. That’s right. They need love, attention and mentoring, and they desperately covet involvement from a true father figure  in their rearing.

What kind of a role model have you been and what kind of a role model will you be to the nine children you are responsible for bringing into this world?

You, AP, have not exhibited any of the traits of being that individual that they should genuinely admire and call dad. As much as we know to date, you have skipped on paying child support for three years to Erica Syion to the tune of $52,032 and have even abused one of the kids you sired as evidenced by your avoiding jail time in Texas by pleading no contest to reckless assault of your 4 year-old son in late 2014.

The NFL may have reinstated you and afforded you the privilege of carrying a football again on Sundays.

But, it’s now time for you to show some personal discipline every day of the week and be a real father to the legion of children you’re fathered from various women. And, by all means, learn some self-control and be a real man.

Children need a real man; i.e. a father, and not a child support payment from a philandering fool who just happened to procreate them.

And, that’s my 2 cents.

MIKE on sports!

P.S. Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard, are you listening?

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R.I.P. to Former NBA Favorite Darryl Chocolate Thunder Dawkins

Chocolate Thunder Darryl Dawkins

Former NBA player Darryl Dawkins

R.I.P. to former NBA favorite Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins as he is laid to rest this week after dying from an unexpected heart attack.

Though he never achieved the impossible expectations that others placed upon him, Darryl Dawkins will always be remembered as a beloved athletic showman with an infectious personality whom fans adored.

However, basketball fans should never forget that this freakishly sculpted 6’11” and 260 lb. physical specimen exceeded the entertainment value of any person that preceded him in an NBA uniform.

Ironically, Darryl Dawkins was nicknamed Chocolate Thunder by Stevie Wonder, the musician and performer who is also blind.

Dawkins became better known for his off-beat personality and ferocious dunking ability rather than his anticipated ability to dominate the game of basketball.

Drafted out of high school in 1975 by the Philadelphia 76ers, Dawkins entered the league with raw, physical skill. He demonstrated an even greater – and unexpected – talent for showmanship.

Chocolate Thunder performed adequately during his NBA days by averaging 12.0 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.

Dawkins even enjoyed three trips to the NBA Finals while playing with the 76ers. However, Dawkins never emerged as the superstar so many basketball fans expected him to become.

Despite achieving athletic super-stardom, Dawkins unexpectedly soared in popularity as one of the NBA’s most colorfully entertaining characters.

He is legendary for shattering a backboard during a meaningless game in Kansas City on November 13, 1979. Dawkins’ thunderous dunk also prompted the NBA to mandate breakaway rims in all league arenas.

Dawkins’ actions and words unveiled Chocolate Thunder as an athletically gifted giant of a man who unexpectedly became a better entertainer than basketball player.

Both colorful and cocky, Dawkins became an instant NBA cult-hero. The media focused on his rim-rattling dunks and his growing, outer-worldly persona.

The nutty Dawkins believed himself an alien from Planet Lovetron. He claimed to practice interplanetary funkmanship. He dated fictional personality Juicy Lucy.

In addition, Chocolate Thunder nearly always spoke in rhyme. He named his dunks things like Rim Wrecker, In-Your-Face-Disgrace, Yo-Mama, Go-Rilla and Spine Chiller Supreme.

Unfortunately, injuries slowed Dawkins later in his career. After the 76ers traded him to the Nets, Dawkins played in Italy, the CBA, the IBA and even did a stint with the entertaining Harlem Globetrotters.

Daryl Dawkins may never have realized the awesome potential that so many basketball coaches, players and fans expected of him.

However, this dunk-naming practitioner of interplanetary funkmanship made the NBA a far more entertaining sport.

With Chocolate Thunder rising above the rim, NBA basketball was definitely sweet to watch.

R.I.P. Darryl Chocolate Thunder Dawkins and thanks for the memories.

MIKE on sports!

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Philadelphia Sports Icons: New FREE Sports Comic Book

Philadelphia Sports Stars and LandmarksSince the Declaration of Independence was signed here in 1776, the City of Brotherly Love has nurtured a rich and diverse heritage.

The home town of the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall has also become synonymous with the birthplace of Chubby Checker’s twist and Pat Olivieri’s world famous cheese steaks.

Plus, other noteworthy Philadelphia foods have garnered national attention like Tastykakes, Italian hoagies and soft pretzels.

Legendary flag maker Betsy Ross’ name still stands as the city’s most historically celebrated. But, like the Founding Fathers who signed the United States Constitution in Philadelphia, Ross’ name is now mentioned in the same breath as other famous Philadelphians.

Dick Clark, W.C. Fields, Frankie Avalon, Will Smith, Grace Kelly, Pink, Boyz II Men, Tina Fey, Bradley Cooper and Richard Gere have all risen from Philly roots to international entertainment stardom.

Sports heroes have also afforded Philadelphia a rich heritage that rivals the celebrated of other great American cities.

In Philadelphia Sports Icons, I feature my favorite sports legends, beloved teams and cherished venues that have provided a common bond for this diverse, vibrant city.

The most dominating player in NBA history, whose very presence prompted universal rule changes in the game of basketball, soars into the first chapter of this book.

Blitzing into the next chapter is the NFL’s late Minister of Defense; he’s probably the most admired and successful football player in Philadelphia Eagles history.

The Cathedral of College Basketball comes next. It’s hosted more NCAA basketball games than any other arena in the country.

A former chubby NBA Hall of Fame player turned broadcasting superstar commands a colorful chapter all his own.

This Philadelphia Sports Icons book also revisits the improbable run of the 1985 NCAA Men’s Basketball Champions – the Villanova Wildcats.

A mature boxer who evaded a life of crime follows next. I chronicle his flamboyant entry into the ring and his weight class domination even at a surprisingly advanced age.

With both front teeth missing, a diabetic quickly skates into the book as the city’s most beloved and decorated hockey player.

Next, a seriously chiseled third baseman steps up to the plate. This Hall of Fame slugger spent his entire career sporting a Phillies uniform.

Another amazing basketball player swoops into the book, too. He’s known for effortlessly flying above the hardwood where he operated so brilliantly with a basketball, instead of a surgeon’s scalpel, in his hand.

My #1 choice in Philadelphia Sports Icons also ranks as perhaps the most hated team in hockey history.

But, the two-time Stanley Cup champion can never be overlooked. The team embodied the toughness and brawn of this working class city situated between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers.

As a bonus, this book culminates with a chapter about the most famous fictional athlete of all-time. He’ll undoubtedly inspire you to run up a few flights of steps while pumping your arms in euphoria.

Enjoy my FREE sports comic book Philadelphia Sports Icons.

Feel free to share it with friends.

Write me at mikeonsports@yahoo.com if you think one of your favorite Philadelphia athletes or icons should have been included in this book.

So, grab a soft pretzel or order a cheese steak and start reading!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Pitcher is Getting Shelled

MRO 84 Pitcher Getting ShelledToday’s Friday Sports Funny comes from a chapter in my FREE sports comic book Clever Sports Comics.

This image captures how overwhelmed a pitcher feels when he’s having a bad day on the mound.

When they don’t have their best stuff, pitchers can easily get knocked around – or shelled – by the opposing team. This can happen during an MLB, NCAA, high school or even a Little League game.

Buried under a huge pile of sea and even torpedo shells, the exasperated pitcher in this comic wearing the Mariners uniform gives literal meaning to the old sports cliché that the pitcher is getting shelled.

MIKE Vol 7 CleverClick on the purple cover to safely download this FREE sports comic book.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: MLB & NFL Great Bo Jackson

MIKE’s FREE Baseball BookToday’s #TBT sports blog highlights one of the greatest athletes ever.

A 1985 Heisman trophy winner, Bo Jackson didn’t just dominate on the football field for the Auburn University Tigers. He also excelled at two other sports: baseball and track.

Jackson was the number one overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Because the Bucs inappropriately contacted Jackson outside NCAA rules, the running back became ineligible for baseball during his senior season at Auburn in 1986. As a result, Jackson chose not to sign with Tampa Bay and agreed instead to play professional baseball with the Kansas City Royals.

Jackson played eight years in Major League Baseball with the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the California Angels. He also left his mark in the NFL while playing four seasons with the Oakland Raiders.

This phenomenal athlete is still the only person ever to be voted an all-star in two different professional sports (MLB and NFL). Oddly, he was not voted into either sport’s Hall of Fame.

Read other great short stories in MIKE’s FREE Baseball Book.

Click on the purple image below and download the book for FREE.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE FREE Vol 2 Baseball Comics

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Yankee Stadium Featured in FREE New York Sports Icons Book

House That Ruth BuiltOverlooking the Harlem River in the South Bronx, a more modern version of its legendary predecessor, Yankee Stadium, rests comfortably in the #2 spot in my FREE sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

Built in 1923, the “House that Ruth Built” or the “Big Ballpark in the Bronx” has literally moved directly across the street from the original structure.

Today, the bigger and splashier $1.5 Billion stadium sits proudly and prominently on East 161st Street.

The gleaming new structure still evokes awesome memories of the New York Yankees’ glory years. Winners of 27 World Series Championships, the Bronx Bombers are the most winning franchise in Major League Baseball history.

Proving that copying is the highest form of flattery, the new Yankee Stadium closely resembles its predecessor which hosted some of the greatest baseball players ever.

In addition to the original home run king Babe Ruth, the Bronx Bombers’ franchise boasts 34 players and 9 managers elected into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

Over the years, baseball legends wearing Yankees’ pinstripes have included Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Thurman Munson, Ron Guidry and, most recently, Derek Jeter.

Such was the success of the franchise that the Yankees have honored a total of 17 former players over the decades. Their retired numbers are displayed in the new stadium’s Monument Park in center field.

It’s no surprise why fans also refer to the park as the “Cathedral of Baseball.” Inside the stadium, the Great Wall located between Gates 4 and 6 showcases Yankees’ history, tradition and memorabilia.

Another stadium highlight is the Yankee Museum Ball Wall which features signatures of former Yankee greats.

The new sustainable Yankee Stadium debuted in 2009. While adhering to a strict green compliance initiative, it was constructed with 11,000 pieces of Indiana limestone, granite and concrete.

Every aspect of the new stadium follows stringent standards to lower carbon footprints. Energy efficient lighting, water saving restrooms and a focus on recycling all materials utilized in the food stalls set the bar for future environmentally friendly sports venues.

The late George Steinbrenner, who bought the New York Yankees in 1973 for $8.8 million, is primarily credited with restoring the fortunes of the franchise. He rebuilt it into one of the most admired and valuable teams in all of sports, transforming a teetering franchise into a sports entertainment powerhouse.

Steinbrenner’s vision to erect a new state-of-the-art ballpark has made the Yankees baseball’s most prized franchise. According to Forbes Magazine, the organization’s worth exceeds $1.6B or twice the value as its closest competitor.

The new Yankee showplace seats 49,642 fans for baseball including 4,300 club seats and 68 luxury suites. Surprisingly, its opening was not immediately embraced. Baseball pundits criticized the park, viewing it as a launching pad for the inordinate amount of home runs belted out of its ordinary 318’ LF, 314’ RF and 408’ CF dimensions.

Sportswriter Peter Gammons called the home run happy park one of the biggest jokes in Major League Baseball. Sportscaster Buster Olney mocked that the park’s design was a veritable wind tunnel.

Despite initial criticism and the preponderance of dingers, the HR frenzy abated. Yankee Stadium soon shone brightly as the jewel it was constructed to be among American ballparks.

As a footnote, Yankee Stadium serves as home to more than baseball’s Evil Empire. The new stadium hosted the 2014 NHL Winter Classic and it has served as the permanent venue for the annual December college football Pinstripe Bowl.

The stadium is now the new home of the city’s Major League Soccer franchise the New York City FC.

Sports fans expect that the long tradition of baseball excellence will continue in the South Bronx. They also anticipate that new history will be made in baseball and in other sports, too.

New York Sports Stars and LandmarksThat’s because the tradition rich, awesome atmosphere in which to watch baseball, football, hockey and soccer in a state-of-the-art environmentally friendly ballpark make Yankee Stadium a no brainer at #2 in New York Sports Icons. Safely download the FREE book now.

MIKE on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday Sports Blog: Chris Carter Comments

2 Cent Tuesday sports blog

 

Today’s 2 Cent Tuesday Sports Blog begs for a direct response from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell regarding Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and ESPN analyst Chris Carter’s  “fall guy” comments.

It appears as if Goodell’s very own Park Avenue Posse in New York City’s NFL offices has already covered for the Commish by denouncing Chris Carter’s reckless comments in a predictable prepared statement.

However, the embattled NFL Commissioner should have immediately addressed Carter’s irresponsible words which were housed for the past year on the league’s very own web site.

Instead, he allowed his high priced public relations “fall guys” do it for him.

At a 2014 NFL rookie symposium, the ESPN NFL analyst suggested that young players entering the league should have a designated “fall guy” to take the blame for immature and criminal behavior that will certainly surface at some time in their young lives as professional athletes.

What? Are you serious, Chris Carter? What were you thinking to utter such foolishness to impressionable young men?

Did you ever think to share your checkered history of drugs and alcohol and the deleterious effects they brought upon you, your family and even your teammates?

Imagine, if you still had your own “fall guy” as you propose? You would probably have never kicked your dependency problems nor enjoyed the excellent career as an ESPN analyst.

“Fall guys” are for cowards who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for mistakes.

Chris Carter should have implored players to surround themselves with people who won’t allow them to be in positions to get in trouble in the first place.

Carter’s reprehensible remarks are wrong.

However, Roger Goodell’s silence on this trending story is worse.

And, that’s my 2 cents.

FREE Sports Comic Book: New York Sports Icons

New York Sports Stars and LandmarksIn addition to famous former mayors Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg, New York City boasts a colorful array of popular places and legendary landmarks. These include the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, Central Park, Times Square, Broadway, the Diamond District, Mulberry Street, Madison Avenue and Wall Street.

The Big Apple also stands alone as an American sports metropolis.

It plays home to 10 major professional sports teams – two each in the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and now MLS.

The city that never sleeps is proud of its storied sports history. Its rich sports heritage comprises Hall of Fame athletes, championship teams, historic venues and even a little known urban sports legend.

My new FREE sports comic book New York Sports Icons pays homage to the city’s most famous and most admired.

This book recalls Broadway Joe Namath’s bold Super Bowl prediction and Mark Messier’s audacious Stanley Cup proclamation.

New York Sports Icons remembers the World Series heroics of a Messrs. October and November.

It also spotlights the illustrious careers of Major League Baseball’s greatest player ever and the sport’s most colorful catcher.

New York Sports Icons pays tribute to two heroes. One unexpectedly walked down Madison Square Garden’s tunnel and inspired his NBA team, while the other courageously walked across racially divided lines to change the game of professional baseball forever.

This book honors the storied environs of one of Major League Baseball’s most respected stadiums and the midtown Manhattan sports venue billed as “the world’s most famous arena.”

New York Sports Icons even includes a bonus chapter on a New York City playground legend who is regarded as the greatest basketball player to NEVER suit up in an NBA uniform.

Whether you’re from New York City, or just wish you were, be sure to enjoy the read and share this FREE sports comic book with friends.

And don’t ever fuh getta bout it!

MIKE on sports!

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FREE Baseball Sports Comic Book

 

MIKE FREE Vol 2 Baseball ComicsMore than 150 years ago, no one could have imagined how playing with a bat, ball and glove on a diamond-shaped field would ultimately emerge as America’s favorite pastime – Major League Baseball.

Before TV and the internet – and long before the popularization of professional basketball, football and hockey – American athletes and sports fans “passed their time away” watching or playing baseball.

Since its first formal game in Hoboken, NJ back in 1863, baseball quickly evolved into family friendly sports entertainment.

Since then, Major League Baseball has enraptured fans for decades.

From Spring Training to the dog days of summer and into the Fall Classic, Americans love their favorite pastime.

Because of this beloved sport, baseball historians, collectors, fans and trivia buffs have flourished in the past century and will find themselves attracted to this informative, light-hearted book.

In my second edition of FREE Baseball Comics, you’ll discover inventive images and brief commentaries about some of baseball’s most iconic players, teams and clichéd expressions.

You’ll applaud the success of MLB’s best team ever (the 1927 NY Yankees) and marvel at baseball’s most surprising champion (the 1906 Chicago Cubs).

You’ll read about baseball’s Big Red Machine, Big Unit and Big Hurt.

In addition, you’ll see featured favorite former baseball luminaries: Babe Ruth, Henry Aaron, Yogi Berra, Pete Rose, Brooks Robinson and Reggie Jackson.

In addition to legends, this book’s clever comics capture current MLB stars Derek Jeter and Joey Votto.

Plus, you’ll learn about two true baseball heroes, Three Finger Brown and Jackie Robinson, as well as an MLB all-star who also excelled as an NFL running back.

This FREE book will take you to the Boston’s landmark Green Monster and transport you high above the playing field to Pigeon Heaven.

This book brings to life some of the sport’s most colorful terms, like pinch hitters, pitchers dueling and napping runners.

Enjoy the read. It’s entertaining and, better yet, it’s FREE.

Just click on the large purple cover above and safely download this book.

Just don’t forget that this book won’t end until every baseball fan’s most beloved gal – The Fat Lady – belts out a few final bars.

Straight talk. No static.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Baseball’s Pinch Hitter

MRO 79 Pinch hitterToday’s Friday Sports Funny about baseball’s pinch hitter pretty much nails it!

Talk about poor communication between the catcher and his coach.

The smiling, eager catcher in this comic believes he’s actually following his coach’s direction. He’s literally pinching the batter.

However, he’s wrong, and his coach is trying to correct him.

Obviously, the batter is a pinch hitter, or a substitute hitter, called on to provide a key hit during a critical time of the baseball game.

This comic is one of 25 included in my FREE sports comic book about baseball humor and many of the peculiarities of the sport.

Just click on the purple cover below to safely download the book called FREE Baseball Comics.

MIKE FREE Vol 2 Baseball ComicsOn a 26 man MLB roster, there’s always one guy the team’s manager can direct to the batter’s box when some offensive firepower is warranted.

That person always needs to be ready to produce some late game heroics even after he’s been sitting at the end of his team’s bench for the past two or three hours.

None in Major League Baseball history was better than journeyman infielder Lenny Harris. He’s the answer to the baseball trivia question concerning who’s the most successful pinch hitter of all-time.

Harris’ 217 career pinch hits, or key substitute hits, hold the Major League Baseball record. And, it doesn’t appear as if any current player will surface his mark any time soon.

Now Harris was truly a guy his team could call when they were in a pinch!

MIKE on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Phillies’ Hall of Fame 3B Mike Schmidt

Philadelphia Phillies' Mike SchmidtVoted in 1983 as the greatest player in franchise history, this slugger spent his entire 18 year career in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform.

More than 25 years after hanging up his cleats, Mike Schmidt, or Schmitty, still holds 12 individual offensive records as a Phillies player.

Whether with a bat at the plate or a glove at third base, Schmidt’s total body of work in Philadelphia was impressive.

A sure-handed third baseman, Schmidt won 10 National League Gold Glove Awards while protecting the hot corner on the lightning fast synthetic turf of Philadelphia’s old Veterans Stadium.

Schmitty also utilized his raw power as a sculpted 6’2” and 205 lb. slugger to win eight home run titles during his career. In spite of an unorthodox batting stance, Mike Schmidt finished 15th all-time in Major League Baseball history with 548 dingers.

Schmidt kept himself in such great shape that legendary teammate Pete Rose made the following comment in his authorized biography Pete Rose: A Biography by David M. Jordan. “To have his (Schmidt’s) body, I’d throw in mine and my wife’s and some cash, too!”

He’s an easy walk-off pick for my #3 spot in Philadelphia Sports Icons.

Philadelphia Sports Stars and LandmarksIn addition to winning the National League MVP award in 1980, 1981 and 1986, the 12-time all-star retired with an enviable .267 batting average, 2,234 total hits and 1,595 RBI’s, 36th all-time.

Perhaps the highlights of Schmidt’s career were twofold: he hit four home runs in one game on April 17, 1976, and he won the MVP award while guiding the Phillies to the franchise’s first ever 1980 World Series title against the Kansas City Royals.

It’s no surprise that baseball writers voted Mike Schmidt into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1995 on the first ballot with 96.52% of the total vote. That ranks as the 4th best all-time.

The Phillies formally retired his #20 in 1990. In addition, the franchise honored Schmidt by adding him to the team’s Wall of Fame in Citizen’s Bank Park and erecting his statue. It was fittingly placed just outside the stadium’s third base gate to the ballpark.

The Sporting News recognized Schmidt’s stellar career twice. The publication named him Major League Baseball player of the decade in the 80’s. It also honored Schmidt as #28 on its list of top 100 greatest players ever and as the highest ranking third baseman on the esteemed list.

A rotator cuff injury derailed Schmidt’s career in 1989, but his memory continues to flourish in Philadelphia.

That’s why this Baseball Hall of Fame third baseman is an easy choice at #3 in Philadelphia Sports Icons and the subject of today’s #TBT sports blog.

MIKE – on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: Did NFL QB RG III Step Out of Bounds

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog raises the question whether or not Washington Redskins’ QB Robert Griffin stepped out of bounds with his recent comments to the media.

Yesterday, the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner answered questions about his personal health and his team’s forecast for the forthcoming season by boldly stating that he is the NFL’s best quarterback.

Yes, that’s right, RG III said best.

Not one of the best, but best – as in better than four-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, NFL career TD passing record holder Peyton Manning, two-time league MVP Aaron Rodgers, super-talented Cam Newton and my favorite NFL signal caller Russell Wilson, who has made back-to-back trips to the Super Bowl.

Brazen, shocking, reckless, cocky, foolish or “shaking some trees in an effort to jump start a languishing franchise bold” are some of the adjectives that may best describe Griffin’s comments.

Yes, I believe the beleaguered QB stepped waaaaay out of bounds with his recent remarks in order to motivate his team and re-establish himself as the essential leader needed to restore the franchise to prominence.

No, I don’t think Griffin is cocky or foolish. But, I believe his words showed premeditated, but calculated risk. And, I admire his gamble.

QB Robert Griffin IIIBut, will it work?

Rewinding the football clock, I immediately liked RG III the first time he caught my eye in a Baylor Bears uniform in 2010.

Like so many other football fans, I gushed over the kid with the infectious personality, surreal athleticism and exceptional poise. It was easy to believe that he would instantly become one of the NFL’s most promising new stars.

And, for one season, he did!

However, injuries and team personnel issues hampered Griffin his next two seasons after suffering LCL and ACL tears in 2012 and a badly dislocated ankle in 2013.

The injuries forced the 2012 NFL offensive Rookie of the Year and 2013 Pro Bowl selection to struggle mightily and, at times, completely miss games.

Griffin’s numbers in every major statistical category – games played, wins, attempts, completions and rushing yards – fell off a cliff and the once surging DC area franchise he led into the 2012 NFL Playoffs posted a lackluster 4 – 12 record last year.

Yet, RG III was confidently quoted as believing he was the best QB in the NFL. Sure, I both admire and question his spunk for speaking so audaciously.

And, like so many other football fans, I’m pulling for his return to excellence on the field he so effortlessly ran around as a spectacular NFL rookie.

However, RG III needs to quietly go about his business. He needs to lead by example by winning games, not challenging criticism and avoiding outrageous proclamations like “I’m the best NFL QB” at all costs.

If he keeps his trap shut, his eyes open for improvement and his amazingly athletic body in the pocket more often, the electric QB will bounce back with a bang that will resonate throughout the league.

Yes, if he heeds his coaches’ advice, RGIII will once again hurdle over all would-be competitors to become one of the NFL’s better quarterbacks.

Maybe not thee best NFL quarterback, but one of the better QB’s.

And, that’s my 2 cents.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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FREE Book Worst About Sports: Philadelphia Sports

MIKE Comic 52 Broad Street BulliesPhiladelphia has routinely furnished the sports media world with front page fodder. Historically, the city’s fans and professional teams have been deemed by many as the worst in sports.

It’s only fitting that Philadelphia sports finds its rightful place in a book titled Worst About Sports.

From the NBA’s most hapless team the 1972-3 76ers, to the NHL’s most polarizing franchise the 1970-6 Flyers…..

From the Phillies fan’s silly sex for World Series tickets scheme in 2009, to the debatable Eagles’ signing of Michael Vick…..

From the senseless boneheads cheering a seriously injured Michael Irvin in 1989, to the cowardly cops’ tasering a teenager running onto the field at a 2010 Phillies game…..

…..Philadelphia has routinely earned its sports reputation as irrational, unruly, and at times, repugnant.

As memories waned of the spring 2011 intentional vomiting incident during a Phillies game, American sports fans have reason to continue piling on Philadelphia sports long after the final whistles blow.

In fall 2011, Philadelphia sports once again made national news thanks to back-up QB Vince Young. Fans outside Philadelphia immediately directed their ire against the City of Brotherly Love when Young referred to his new Eagle squad as the Dream Team.

Young’s innocuous comment served as bulletin board material for opposing Eagles fans and teams throughout the 2011 NFL campaign. The Eagles, and more specifically Young, quickly learned that his Dream Team quip became an ongoing nightmare for the rest of the year as the Eagles struggled mightily.

Already universally maligned, Philadelphia sports didn’t need any additional reasons to be disparaged.

With an avalanche of angst directed against them for the Dream Team comment, Philadelphia sports suffered front page sports shame again.

Now, sports fans across the country are only left to wonder (or secretly anticipate) what callous, uncalled for occurrence will happen next involving City of Brotherly Love fans or teams.

Worst About SportsRead what else is Worst About Sports in MIKE’s FREE book!

Click on the yellow image above and download the book for FREE.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Makeable Putt in Golf

MRO 76 Makeable Putt w borderWatching the Golf Channel this week immediately elicited painful memories of my own golf game.

And no recollection is worse than bogeying the makeable putt in golf.

As a career duffer, I have a bad short game and my putting is horrible. I struggle at times to make the simplest shots on the golf course.

That’s why in today’s Friday Sports Funny I’m sharing a chapter from my FREE book Clever Sports Comics.

It features one of my favorite sports comics – the makeable putt.

You don’t need to be a PGA golfer to understand this ridiculously obvious sports cliché.

I love the comic above in which a golfer stands over his putt before a cavernous hole on the 16th green preparing for an easy tap in.

In this case, the caddie doesn’t appear too confident.

It’s evident that the caddie’s fingers are crossed and his facial expression shows that he’s a bit worried.

Today’s Friday Sports Funny paints a great picture for all of us NOT to take the seemingly simple things in life for granted – like in this case – a makeable putt on the 16th green.

MIKE Vol 7 CleverClick on the purple cover above to safely download this FREE sports comic book and feel free to share it with family and friends.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Hall of Fame RB Jerome “The Bus” Bettis

The Bus Jerome BettisToday’s #TBT sports blog highlights the career of former Pittsburgh Steelers great Jerome “The Bus” Bettis.

The legendary running back got inducted into the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH this past weekend.

Here’s a chapter excerpt from one of my books, NFL Favorites, into which “The Bus” motored into the #7 spot.

MIKE sports comic book NFL FavoritesWhen it comes to taking kids to school, there’s no bigger way to travel than by bus. The NFL has its own bus, and his name is Jerome Bettis.

This powerful running back got his nickname “The Bus” for transporting would-be tacklers on his back nearly every time he carried the football for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bettis was built more like a linebacker than a quick and fast ball carrier.

One of the best big backs in NFL history, Jerome Bettis ended his 13-year NFL career as a 2006 Super Bowl XL Champion with the Steelers.

In addition, the retired Bettis is now ranked as the sixth all-time rusher. He ran for 13,662 yards and scored 94 touch downs. Big number 36 also made the NFL Pro Bowl six times.

The nickname “The Bus” was first used during his college days at Notre Dame. But, the clever nickname was put on hold, or sort of parked in the garage, for several years.

Nobody remembered the name during his early NFL years with the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams called the powerful running back the “Battering Ram.”

Bettis earned the “Battering Ram” name because of a spectacular first season with the Los Angeles team in which he was named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

After relocating to St. Louis in 1996, the Rams surprisingly traded Bettis to the Steelers. Pittsburgh radio commentator Myron Cope quickly called Bettis “The Bus” because of his punishing running style.

Also, “The Bus” nickname fit perfectly with the colors of the Steelers black and yellow uniforms.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher named Bettis the team’s feature running back, and The Bus starred in Steel City both on and off the field.

The popular Bettis was voted the Steelers’ Most Valuable Player three times.

Bettis was also awarded the coveted 2001 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award, the NFL’s highest honor, for his community involvement off the football field.

Now an NFL Network analyst, the always smiling Bettis is still called “The Bus” in the broadcast booth.

He’s also earned respect away from the gridiron and the studio where Bettis founded his non-profit Jerome Bettis: The Bus Stops Here Foundation.

No football fan ever questioned that Jerome Bettis’ final stop would be in Canton, OH.

There, the deserving former NFL running back, known as The Bus, was rightfully enshrined last weekend into the 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Congrats to “The Bus!”

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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2 Cent Tuesday: A Mayweather vs. Rousey Bout?

2 Cent Tuesday sports blogToday’s 2 Cent Tuesday sports blog highlights what scores of fight fans would love to see happen, but unfortunately will never come to fruition; i.e. a Mayweather vs. Rousey bout.

Like countless sports fans, I would overpay to watch a Pay Per View no-rules fight featuring undefeated welterweight boxing champ Floyd Mayweather, Jr. square off in the UFC Octagon against undefeated MMA fighter Ronda Rousey.

Yesterday on ESPN, the always self-aggrandizing Mayweather responded to Rousey’s recent comments, “I wonder how Floyd feels being beat by a woman for once. I’d like to see him pretend to not know who I am now,” by avoiding them completely.

The narcissistic fighter answered Rousey’s jab with a counter punch that he’s the best fighter ever and no one should begin to challenge him until they’ve also earned $300 million in 36 minutes.

Few would argue Mayweather’s excellence in the ring. However, many (including me) would love to speculate what would transpire if a no-holds-barred-bout actually did happen and the preening little Mayweather tried to defend himself by not running around inside the ropes to avoid his opponent.

And, many more would enjoy seeing the mouthy 38 year-old, 150 lb. Mayweather, a convicted domestic abuser and batterer, go toe to toe against a confident, but ferocious and athletically gifted 28 year-old, 135 lb. female.

pretty boy floydHowever, in spite of his enormous ego and insatiable thirst for money and fame, Money Mayweather is too smart to ever agree to fight Rousey – regardless of the pay day.

His advancing age, a no-rules environment and an overwhelming fan base eager to see his defeat will preclude this much ballyhooed bout from ever happening.

Plus, Floyd would never admit it publicly that he probably would not beat a highly inspired Rousey in the cage.

That’s why Pretty Boy Floyd will wag his tongue incessantly and carefully avoid Rousey directly.

On the other hand, the bantamweight MMA extraordinaire will continue dominating the Octagon against female opponent foolishly brazen enough to enter it.

And, that’s my 2 cents even if it’s fun to argue, “what if?”

Whom do you think would win?

MIKE on sports!

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MIKE Sports Comic Book: Best About Sports

Best About SportsThe subject of sports always triggers debate.

Pick a star player, celebrate a title winning team or remember a championship moment, regardless of the sport, and I guarantee that a lively discussion will quickly follow.

Animated, verbal altercations about any accomplished athlete or team embroil sports fans everywhere and foster what I believe is Best About Sports.

Once again, I bring to life about what I believe is best about sports in the updated second edition of my FREE sports comic book.

In a relative’s living room, at a neighborhood bar or around the office water cooler, the mere mention of a certain player or team will instantaneously ignite colorful conversation and more than likely ruffle some one’s feathers.

Reference the New York Yankees & impassioned Boston Red Sox fans will be eager to engage in an animated verbal altercation.

Criticize Kobe and Los Angeles Lakers lovers will immediately compare the Black Mamba to MJ as well as list Bryant along with Magic, Wilt, Kareem, Shaq and even Mikan in their long line of NBA titles.

Praise the Pack and surely Steelers, Saints and Patriots faithful will some how seek to metaphorically kick you right in your Cheesehead.

Wear a FC Barcelona jersey in public and you’ll quickly feel the glaring eyes of Manchester United hooligans lurking ominously nearby.

Sports chatter stirs the embers of conversations from yesterday’s big game as well as from championship games played decades ago.

Fans who can’t remember what they ate for lunch have amazing recollection of events on the ice, hardwood, pitch, end zone or home plate from decades back and always seek outlets to share their passion, opinions and angst.

Plus, the fact that sports are universal is one of the things I truly find what’s best about sports!

Sports transcends religion, cuts through cultural ties, eludes ethnicity, ignores bank account balances and fails to distinguish between sex, weight, age and even familial allegiance. Your team is your 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.

Your choice may defy logic, strain family ties, break stereotypes and shatter urban myths, but it’s your choice, never to be forced upon you.

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. That’s why this book is so important to me. It’s the culmination of the top 25 things I like, no love, about sports.

My top 25 in Best About Sports includes names and teams, stadiums and sports, plus sights, sounds and even a little trash talk.

Remember, it’s my book! My opinion. My prerogative. My top 25. And, it’s FREE! Share it with friends.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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FREE Book Boston Sports Icons Features Cheers’ Sam Malone

MIKE sports comicIf Italian Stallion “Rocky” Balboa is every movie fan’s favorite boxer, then Sam “Mayday” Malone must be every television viewer’s most popular relief pitcher.

In the same way the boxing “Rocky” never actually threw a punch, Malone never really appeared in late inning relief at Fenway Park.

Both imaginary sports characters are just legendary, but they’re perennially loved by sports fans to this day.

Sylvester Stallone propelled Rocky Balboa to universal movie stardom. And, TV actor Ted Danson transformed a washed-up baseball player and recovering alcoholic named Sam Malone into an iconic television star during the 1980’s.

As a result, bar owner Sam Malone is widely regarded as Boston’s most celebrated fictional athlete. That’s why he’s the “closer” in the bonus chapter of my FREE book Boston Sports Icons.

Boston Sports Stars and LandmarksMajor League Baseball history will reveal that Malone never played for the Boston Red Sox as a late inning relief pitcher.

Instead, the fictitious pitcher rose to fame as the undisputed star and central character of the hit NBC sitcom series known as Cheers.

Set in Boston, Cheers was the friendly neighborhood bar that Sam Malone bought after his supposed five year stint with the Red Sox organization. The bar he owned and tended was figuratively located in the hallowed shadows of Fenway Park.

And, Cheers’ bar patrons absolutely loved him.

Most Baby Boomers have fond memories of the sitcom Cheers. To this day, Boomers can still recite the popular jingle from the show’s theme song, “You wanna go where everybody knows your name!”

Ironically, not every television viewer knew Sam Malone’s name when Cheers debuted in 1982. The show finished dead last in network ratings its first season and should have been cancelled.

However, Cheers was inexplicably given an opportunity to continue for another season. And it flourished. Soon after, the shallow, promiscuous, narcissistic and, at times, doltish Malone performed brilliantly. The sitcom rose to national popularity and became ingrained in America’s cultural consciousness.

Sam Malone was the unquestionable star of the series that spanned 11 years and 275 total episodes. Pew Research Center voted Sam (Ted Danson) the #1 television personality in 1993. He commanded as much as $475,000 per episode, a whopping sum in the early 90’s.

Accompanying washed up Major League Baseball reliever Sam Malone on the Cheers set was an eclectic, but brilliant group of characters. America’s television audience quickly fell in love with Cheers ensemble of quirky personalities, self-absorbed lives and outrageous back stories.

From crazy, easily agitated Carla (Rhea Perlman) to lovable, chubby Norm (George Wendt) and from prudish, elusive Diane (Shelly Long) to unwieldy windbag Cliff (John Ratzenberg), Cheers resonated with viewers who became easily enraptured by the show’s story lines.

The Cheers sitcom showcased Boston at its best and regularly recalled exploits of the city’s successful professional sports teams. It’s final episode in 1993 tallied 80 million viewers, second only in television history to Mash.

Though a fictitious TV character, Sam Malone brought national focus to Boston as an avowed American sports capitol.

So indelible was his mark among American TV fans that an actual Cheers bar is found on Beacon Street that keeps the former fictional character’s lore alive today in Boston sports.

A recovering alcoholic and a teller of outrageous womanizing tales, Sam Malone may have never actually toed the rubber at Fenway Park.

But, this lovable scallywag and fictitious late inning reliever for the Boston Red Sox will always be loved as Boston’s most famous fictional athlete.

Enjoy Boston Sports Icons and feel free to share the book with friends!

MIKE on sports!

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Friday Sports Funny: Other Team Runs Like Deer

Today’s Friday Sports Funny, the other team runs like deer, is self-evident.

Intimidation is written all over the faces of these three runners.

Fear grips them as they gaze at the ominous shadows of powerful deer their opponents cast onto the track.

How ironic that these opponents are only shadows and real runners cannot be seen anywhere in the picture.

What a great lesson to learn in any sport.

Sometimes our imagination plays tricks on us.

Negative, fearful thoughts can make our challenge, or in this case our opposition, appear bigger, stronger and faster that they really are.

Intimidation and fear can quickly paralyze athletes in any sport whether it’s football, baseball, basketball hockey or soccer.

Imagine stepping into the batter’s box in an MLB game and facing the imposing 6’10” Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson on the mound.

Imagine having to guard LeBron James in an NBA Finals Game.

And, imagine trying to defend Megatron Calvin Johnson of the Detroit LIons in the open field.

Yup, I’d be a little apprehensive, too.

However, unlike the fearful runners shivering in apprehension as they look at the shadow of the much larger deer with hinds feet, we do not need to follow in their foot steps if we’re prepared and are poised to give our best.

Hey, but let’s not forget that this is only a comic, or my Friday Sports Funny, because the other team really doesn’t run like deer.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski

MIKE Comic YazToday’s #TBT sports blog looks back on one of the top 10 Major League Baseball players ever simply known as Yaz.

He’s also #7 in my FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons.

Yaz proves the best way to follow an icon on the same team while playing the same position is to become a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame legend, too.

That’s exactly what Carl Yastrzemski accomplished in 1961 when, as a 20 year-old rookie left fielder for the Boston Red Sox, he replaced the brilliant “Splendid Splinter” Ted Williams.

Yaz’s strong work ethic, marvelous athleticism and unparalleled commitment to the game equipped him to escape the looming shadow of the beloved Williams’ incredible career. He, too, would become one of Major League Baseball’s best players ever.

After 23 years in the same Red Sox organization, Boston’s iconic #8 etched the following impressive numbers in Major League Baseball history books upon retirement.

Yaz finished 1st in total games played with one team, 2nd in total games played in MLB history, 3rd in total at bats, 6th in bases on balls, 8th in hits, total bases and doubles and 13th in career RBI’s.

It’s no wonder he became a first ballot Cooperstown inductee.

Carl Yastzremski was the son of Polish potato farmers living in Long Island, NY. Yaz never forgot the promise he made to his parents to graduate from college. Few fans know that Yaz originally attended the University of Notre Dame, playing for the Irish on a basketball scholarship. Additionally, he had once broken NFL Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown’s Long Island high school basketball scoring record.

However, like Jim Brown, Carl Yastrzemski chose another sport in which to excel. Yaz left college in order to join the Boston Red Sox franchise as a second baseman. The club quickly changed his position from infielder to outfielder, but fortunately failed to convince Yaz to change his unusual swing.

As soon as he got his start in the big leagues in 1961, Yastrzemski became known for his unorthodox batting stance. The young left-handed hitter held his bat high over his head. This odd approach led to a dramatic arced swing in which fans almost expected to hear an audible swoosh.

Immediately, baseball players of all ages copied Yaz’s batting stance, but none experienced the same success as the young Boston Red Sox left fielder.

Yaz dominated pitchers at the plate. He compiled a .285 career average, belted 452 dingers, collected 3,419 hits in 3,308 games and hit for the elusive Triple Crown as the American League MVP in 1967.

Yastrzemski also excelled in the daunting environs of Fenway Park. He won seven Gold Gloves for being the best at his craft in spite of dealing with the dastardly 37’ wall, the intimidating and unpredictable Green Monster, in Boston’s left field.

An 18 time MLB All-Star, Yaz may be best remembered for more than his athletic excellence. He was an amazingly committed and loyal guy who did more than just play his entire 23-year career with one organization.

Carl Yastrzemski kept the promise he made to his parents after skipping out on his basketball scholarship at Notre Dame. Yaz made his family proud in 1966 when he graduated from Merrimac College in North Andover, Massachusetts.

With a big bat and a bigger heart, it’s easy to understand why this son of Polish potato farmers swings in at #7 in Boston Sports Icons.

Boston Sports Stars and LandmarksClick on the purple cover above to safely download my FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons.

And, even while reading the book, you’ll almost hear the audible swoosh of Yaz’s swing!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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