#TBT Sports Blog: New York Rangers Mark Messier

MIKE sports comic - former New York Rangers Mark Messier

Today’s #TBT sports blog remembers one of the greatest NHL players ever. This former New York Ranger earned his fitting nickname – the Messiah – in the Big Apple in 1994.

The Messiah moniker was a clever adaptation of New York Rangers’ hockey savior Mark Messier’s name.

That’s because New York sports fans attribute the Rangers’ first Stanley Cup Championship in 1994 to this 33-year-old hockey Hall of Famer. Messier boldly led his team to “Hockey’s Promised Land.”

Messier’s lore got its genesis just prior to facing elimination in Game 6 of the 1994 NHL Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils. Messier audaciously predicted a Rangers’ victory in the same fashion as Babe Ruth prophesied his “called shot” and Broadway Joe Namath predicted his “Super Bowl III guarantee.”

Ensuring that his “prophecy” came to fruition, the Rangers’ long awaited hockey Messiah found the back of the net three times in the decisive third period to close out the series.

Messier cemented his legacy as a New York sports legend when the Rangers advanced to defeat the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals. It marked the New York franchise’s first title in its 54 year history. The Messiah’s goal in the second period of Game 7 turned out to be the deciding factor in the Rangers’ victory.

Winning Stanley Cup Trophies was not new to Messier. He remains the only player in NHL history to captain two different teams to championships. The 26-year NHL vet won five titles when he played in his hometown in Alberta, Canada with the Edmonton Oilers.
Also known as Moose because of his strength and aggressiveness on the ice, the rugged Hockey Hall of Famer did more than accumulate team awards.

A 15-time all-star, Messier also won the sport’s highest individual accolades during his lengthy NHL career. He won the Hart Trophy in both 1990 and 1992 as league MVP. He was also awarded the Conn-Smythe Trophy as MVP of the 1994 Stanley Cup Finals.

A crowd favorite, Messier pocketed two ESPY awards for Best NHL Player and for Outstanding Performance Under Pressure. The NHL acknowledged Messier’s storied career by naming one of its annual trophies the Mark Messier Leadership Award. And, Hockey News recognized him as #12 on its list of greatest players ever.

In 2007, the Hockey Hall of Fame inducted the Messiah in his first year of eligibility. The hockey legend’s staggering NHL career statistics guaranteed his spot. The former Ranger and Oiler retired as second all-time in regular season points (1,887), playoff points (295) and regular season games (1,756).

Though he may be remembered as one of hockey’s best players to never have won an Olympic medal, Mark Messier will never be forgotten as New York’s hockey Messiah.

Because of his brilliant play and leadership that led the Rangers’ to its first Stanley Cup Championship in 1994, Mark Messier is an easy open net goal at #9 in New York Sports Icons.

New York Sports Stars and Landmarks

Click on the purple cover above to safely download my FREE sports comic book New York Sports Icons.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Hockey Footer

FREE Sports Comic Book: Favorite Satirical Sports Blogs

FREE MIKE Vol 9 Satirical BlogsMy newest FREE sports comic book is a compilation of my ten best satirical sports blogs from the past couple years.

Remember, the blogs are satirical. They’re scripted to make you laugh. That’s because the literary form of satire parodies the self-absorbed, playfully derides the renegades and cleverly exposes the foolishness of others.

Satirists like Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, Tina Fey of 30 Rock and writers Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park brilliantly bare the boorish behavior and pointless follies of the overt egos in this world.

In this collection of my ten favorite satirical sports blogs, you’ll enjoy my own outlandish observations and exaggerated opinions as they pertain to sports.

I scorn the scorn worthy, lampoon the lugs, conjure up some crazy thoughts and denounce dumb decisions.

As an equal opportunity offender, I write about the ridiculous that I’ve observed in the sports world.

In addition, I share some of my crazy conjecture about teams, events, players and, in one specific case, a famous NBA star’s mom.

Sure, some of my blogs are outrageous, but that’s the point. Satire serves to prove a point, and it perfectly applies to sports.

My book is intended to make you laugh about how the truly absurd sometimes happens in and around sports.

To those I’ve satirized in this book, may you and others laugh, too, while also benefiting from what I’ve published.

Look forward to hearing from you if you have a thought about what I’ve written and wish to challenge me on a point.

My email is mikeonsports@yahoo.com

Enjoy the read, and remember, it’s a book on sports satire.

Click HERE or on the purple cover above to safely download my free sports comic book on Favorite Satirical Sports Blogs.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!Basketball footer

Relive the Miracle Reunion: Hockey’s 1980 Miracle on Ice

1980 Winter Olympic USA Hockey victory

1980 USA Hockey Miracle on Ice

Every living member of the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team returned to Lake Placid, NY this week to celebrate the “Relive the Miracle Reunion” of perhaps the greatest upset in team sports history.

35 years after an underdog USA hockey team shocked a heavily favored Russian squad in the 1980 Winter Olympics, fans still vividly recall the amazing game and the strained political climate of the era.

That’s because the 1970s was a decade comprised of war protests, a Presidential scandal, and a troubling economy. In the midst of those uncertain and depressing times, Americans were nervous and ripe for a miracle to lift their spirits.

February 22, 1980 marked a national day of pride for Americans. It brought forth a miracle in the highly competitive arena of international sports.

Known as the Miracle on Ice, an unlikely hockey victory took place at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY and lifted America out of its funk. The event birthed one of the most amazing upsets in the history of sports.

Team USA’s stunning upset over the heavily favored Soviet Union National Hockey Team still stands as one of the greatest victories in the history of team sports. This USA win remains an unforgettable highlight of the 1980 Winter Olympic Games.

The semi-final match-up between the USA and the USSR not only paired two world super powers facing off against each other. It also featured a team of much younger American collegiate stars skating against older, better skilled and highly experienced Russians. These Russian players had been playing hockey professionally in Europe for many years.

The legendary Soviets dominated international hockey. They captured gold medals at the four previous Winter Olympics and held claim to 14 of the past 17 World Hockey Championships. They were major favorites. The scrappy Americans’ success in the semi-final would require a divine act to win.

Surprisingly, the Americans stayed close during the first two periods. Then, midway through the third period, the youthful Americans shocked the favored Russians. Captain Mike Eruzione found the back of the net past the Russian goalie and gave the USA a 4 – 3 lead.

The Russians found themselves trailing in the third period of this hockey game. They were unable to make up the American lead against a little known USA goalie named Jim Craig. Craig successfully turned back 30 shots that day against the otherwise superior Russians.

With the Americans clinging to a one goal lead, the game clock slowly wound down. As the final buzzer sounded, legendary NBC sportscaster Al Michaels shouted, “Do you believe in miracles? Yes!”

In the case of the 1980 USA Hockey Team, the unbelievable happened in Lake Placid, NY with one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports. This uplifting and divine sports event will be forever remembered as the Miracle on Ice.

R.I.P. to USA team coach Herb Brooks and defenseman Bob Suter who were the only members of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team not present for the “Relive the Miracle Reunion.”

Thanks for the incredible memory that still resonates 35 years later.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Hockey Footer

May 2nd Mayweather Versus Pacquiao Title Fight to Exceed the Hype?

pretty boy floyd

Boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. has already deemed his eagerly anticipated May 2, 2015 title fight versus Manny Pacquiao the “biggest event in the history of the sport.”

However, sports fans like me question whether the May 2 championship bout will exceed the hype.

Boasting boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (47 – 0 with 26 KO’s) squares off versus his long awaited ring rival Manny Pacquiao (57 – 5- 2 with 22 KO’s) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas in a little more than three months.

The fight is certain to raise the boxing bar on a number of fronts.

“This boxing match will have the interest in the United States of a Super Bowl,” boxing promoter Bob Arum told The Associated Press. “I think it will set all kinds of pay-per-view records and gate records. It will be the biggest boxing event of all time.”

Arum may be right. With ubiquitous media coverage, the classic showdown may be the biggest fight ever in terms of the combined HBO and Showtime cable television revenues and MGM Grand gate receipts. However, it won’t be the best bout in the history of the sport that both Arum and Mayweather lead sports fans to believe.

Money Mayweather will be 38 years-old and Pac Man 36 years-old when they enter the ring in early May. Both have been incredible performers in their sport. Pretty Boy Floyd has won titles in five weight classes, while Pac Man has earned championship belts in an unprecedented eight different divisions.

Championship fighter manny pacquiao

Boxer Manny Pac Man Pacquiao

However, boxing insiders have all acknowledged that Father Time has started tugging on both of these boxing “supermen’s” shorts.

After nearly six years of negotiation, their fight has finally come to fruition, but is it too late? Is either fighter what he once was? Have fans already seen the best from both fighters?

I believe we have.

Pacquiao’s slippage has been more noticeable than Mayweather’s. Pac Man has lost twice in the last few years, once to Timothy Bradley by split decision in 2012 and then again to Juan Manuel Marquez by KO in 2012. In addition, the aggressive Filipino fighter with lightning quick hands hasn’t knocked any opponent out since he floored Miguel Cotto in 2009.

On the other hand, Mayweather’s last KO was Victor Ortiz eight years ago. He’s wisely retreated over the years to become a predominantly defensive fighter who patiently awaits his opponents’ offensive mistakes. Curious to see how eager he will be in defending someone with Pacquiao’s boxing proficiency.

Though all early indicators point to Floyd’s corner as the Mayweather versus Pacquiao favorite, I’m not picking a favorite fighter at this point in time to win the belt in the May 2 fight.

The only guarantee I’m willing to make at this time is that the scandalous $89 pay-per-view price ($99 if you want HD) to view the bout will only by bested by two things; namely, the self-aggrandizing Mayweather’s non-stop swagger and the media’s excessive hype to promote a fight that should have happened five years ago.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: Boxing Footer

Miami Heat Benefit BIG with Goran Dragic on Busy NBA Trade Day

NBA BIG

Popular NBA BIG Marketing Logo

The former “BIG” marketing campaign proved to be an instant NBA media success. Its simple, but brilliant, message quickly resonated with fans. Seen across television, web and social media outlets, the “BIG” campaign captured what fans already knew about the NBA.

Already known for its big shots, bigger dunks and perhaps the biggest athletic stars on the planet like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul and Kevin Love, the NBA came up “BIG” again during yesterday’s trade deadline.

In the busiest swap day in league history, 39 NBA players changed uniforms. Fans will need at least a week to sort through the line up changes in order to voice their opinions of which teams benefited the most and which teams jettisoned players strictly for future draft picks or salary cap considerations.

However, of more than three dozen players dealt, only one true impact player’s trade caused a stir among fans and the media.

The Phoenix Suns traded disgruntled 2014 third team All-NBA star Goran Dragic to the Miami Heat. With this cautionary business move, the Suns knew they would not be able to keep Dragic once he became a free agent this coming summer. So, the franchise opted to send the point guard packing in order to obtain something of value in return this season.

The Suns may have received four players and two 2016 first round draft picks, but the deal instantly made the Heat better. Miami now emerged as a force to be taken more seriously in the Eastern Conference as the road to this year’s NBA Playoffs becomes narrower. With the addition of an elite scoring and defending point guard, the Heat boasts a very solid starting five with Dragic, blossoming center Hassan Whitehead, versatile Luol Deng and all-stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, making Eastern Conference foes nervous.

“We are incredibly pleased to take another step in getting the Miami Heat back to real championship prominence with the acquisition of Goran Dragic,” Heat president Pat Riley said. “Goran is an All-NBA player, including the Most Improved Player last season, and we felt that once he became available, we would do all that we could to acquire him.”

Another noteworthy trade involved the Portland Trailblazers who bolstered their bench with the addition of capable scorer and excellent defender Aaron Afflalo as well as an athletic defender in Alonzo Gee.

And, the surging Oklahoma City Thunder strengthened their core of already strong players by parting with plodding Kendrick Perkins and mercurial guard Reggie Jackson. The Thunder added young talent in Enes Kanter in the paint and Kyle Singler on the perimeter as well as savvy vets, capable of scoring quickly, DJ Augustin and Steve Novak.

In perhaps the least desirable news for a newly traded player, the contending Houston Rockets shipped point guard Alexey Shved to the NBA’s worst team the New York Knicks. Talk about a bad day!

The NBA is a league where the action truly is fantastic and where amazing happens on a routine basis.

So, it should be no surprise to interested basketball fans that with all the activity on a very BIG and busy trade deadline day yesterday, an already big NBA has gotten much more interesting and exciting, too!

I can’t wait for the NBA Playoffs to begin.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: NBA Legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Los Angeles Lakers' Kareem Abdul Jabbar

Today’s #TBT sports blog focuses on the NBA’s greatest scorer of all time who never needed all three of his names to be identified.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar was simply known as Kareem.

In addition to requiring only one name to be identified, Kareem also birthed a famous basketball nickname by perfecting an unstoppable shot. When he received the basketball in the post, he effortlessly released the ball high over helpless defenders who appeared glued to the hardwood, unable to block his shot attempt.

Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s signature shot, the Sky Hook, will always be linked to the 7’2″ and 225 lbs. NBA Hall of Fame center.

The nickname was first associated with this 1969 number one NBA overall draft choice during his rookie season by Milwaukee Bucks announcer Eddie Doucette.

Kareem easily finds his way into my sports comic book on Amazon titled Favorite Single Named Athletes.

Favorite Single Named Athletes

In his 20-year NBA career, Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s fluid hook shot enabled him to score more points (38,387) than any other player in league history. ESPN boldly called the Sky Hook the deadliest shot the NBA has ever seen. Jabbar could unleash his un-guardable shot whenever, wherever, however and on whomever on basketball courts across America.

Kareem credits the Sky Hook for his incredible NBA success. No other basketball player has ever remotely duplicated the Sky Hook.

Surprisingly, Kareem developed the move as a fifth grader on the New York City playgrounds. Years later, Jabbar would joke that the Sky Hook was the only shot he could use that didn’t get smashed back in his face.

Kareem retired in 1989. He still holds NBA records for most points, field goal attempts, field goals made, all-star appearances and all-star games played.

Thanks in part to the Sky Hook, Kareem’s career .559 career field goal percentage is one of the best ever in the NBA.

A three-time NCAA Champion at UCLA, six-time NBA Champion and six-time NBA Most Valuable Player, Kareem Abdul Jabbar proves that when you perfect a skill – or in his case a shot – then whatever you do in life, the sky is truly the limit!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Black History Month: Honoring Former WNBA Star Lisa Leslie

Former WNBA great Lisa Leslie

The WNBA could not have scripted a better person to become the “face” of its sport! I’m happy to honor this statuesque beauty in my latest Black History Month post.

Considered the greatest player in WNBA history, the beautifully poised and immensely talented Lisa Leslie graced the covers of magazine and television ads as a Wilhemina model at the same time she flourished as a professional women’s basketball player.

The 6’5″ University of Southern California grad became the number seven pick in the 1996 WNBA Draft while simultaneously signing on with one of the world’s most recognized modeling agencies.

Lisa Leslie graduated from USC as the PAC 10’s all-time leader in points, rebounds and blocked shots. She quickly asserted herself in the fledgling WNBA which debuted only a year earlier in 1995.

Leslie played brilliantly during her charmed 12-year career with her hometown Los Angeles Sparks. As the Sparks’ center, she led them to back-to-back WNBA titles in 2001 and 2002.

The cover girl center distinguished herself during her playing days by retiring in 2009 with these individual accomplishments: 3x MVP, 8x All-Star and holder at the time of her retirement as the WNBA career leader in points and rebounds.

Leslie also achieved two other unrivaled individual feats as a professional women’s basketball player. In addition to being named regular season MVP, All-Star Game MVP and Playoffs MVP all during her epic 2001 season, Leslie eventually invested in the same team – the Los Angeles Sparks – that drafted her and became a co-owner of this WNBA franchise.

Apart from the WNBA, Leslie remains the most successful female basketball player of all-time. She’s also the only Olympian ever to win four consecutive gold medals in a team sport – in 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008 – an accomplishment which may never be duplicated.

Most fans recall Lisa Leslie for her extraordinary WNBA and Olympic success as well as being the first woman to ever dunk a basketball during an official game. And, many fans see her today on television as a knowledgeable studio analyst for women’s basketball.

However, I choose to remember this statuesque basketball playing model as an inspiring author and role model who willingly gives back to her community.

Also, I think that we can all agree that Lisa Leslie’s is a face that no one will soon forget.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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MIKE on Sports Extending Digital Brand

MIKE on sports podcast

The Trademarked MIKE sports property is extending its digital brand.

With an ever growing portfolio of 635 sports blogs and 37 sports comic books (ebooks), the new MIKE on Sports podcast will launch this spring on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

MIKE on sports will be a treasure trove of smart sports narratives.

Each three to five minute podcast will purposely side step last night’s scores, today’s standings and tomorrow’s big games.

Instead, MIKE on sports will focus on timeless observations and often overlooked facts that comprise our American sports culture.

Light-hearted commentary will cover teams, nicknames, mascots, single named icons, famous sports landmarks and more.

The podcast will share silly observations on the sports world’s sights, sounds and smells. And, it will NEVER miss the opportunity to lampoon those whose words or deeds beg to be lampooned.

And, MIKE on sports will expound upon everything sports related EXCEPT what big named stars like LeBron James, Russell Wilson, Mike Trout, Cristiano Ronaldo or Sidney Crosby did in their last game.

Every fan agrees that the world of sports transcends religion and politics, cuts through cultural ties, eludes ethnicity, ignores bank account balances and fails to distinguish between sex, weight, age and even familial allegiance.

That’s why there so much to share in the MIKE on sports podcast.

Curious which sponsor will be first to the table to align with the fun, witty and entertaining MIKE on sports podcast.

Sponsor to receive a feature spot in the MIKE on Sports podcast, a banner ad on the MIKE web site and a fantastic partnership with the ultimate talking head on sports – MIKE!

MIKE Sports Comic: All Sports Footer

ESPN College Basketball Dick Vitale’s Diaper Dandies

Dick Vitale's Diaper Dandies

NCAA Basketball Freshmen Diaper Dandies

By this stage of the NCAA college basketball season, fans start clamoring for ESPN’s highly animated Dick Vitale to put a lid on his preponderance of “diaper dandies”  references.

The sophomoric sports quote works great early in the season during the months of November and December. But, once the college hoops season swings into full gear and heads toward tournament time, the phrase “diaper dandies” becomes a bit tiresome.

As a colorful sportscaster, Dick Vitale has always had a talent for coining popular phrases. College basketball fans can easily recite and apply Vitale’s extensive, cliché-laden vocabulary.

Thanks to ESPN’s Vitale, fans understand that a P.T.P. is that special Prime Time Player. They also know who’s on everybody’s All Rolls Royce Team. Even more, fans know a Dow Joneser is an up-and-down performer on the basketball court.

For a former coach who speaks in corny sentences, leave it to Vitale to connect baby diapers with highly recruited college basketball freshmen. The term Diaper Dandies became famous when Vitale named Carmelo Anthony, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant to this highly respected breed. His connection created one of the sports world’s most recognized nicknames – the Diaper Dandy.

However, as the 2014 – 15 NCAA college basketball season nears its eagerly anticipated annual March Madness tournament, the “diaper dandies” of November and December have matured into talented young men capable of taking over a game all by themselves.

This year’s crop of first year players is no different than Vitale’s original “diaper dandies”. Their once raw potential has become more refined and their amazing athletic ability has become complimented with a better understanding of the game.

This year’s crop of “diaper dandies” like Tyus Jones and Jalil Okafor of Duke, Devin Booker and Karl-Anthony Towns of Kentucky, Stanley Johnson of Arizona, Jakob Poelti of Utah, Melo Trimble of Maryland and perhaps this freshmen crop’s dandiest of them all D’Angelo Russell of Ohio State have failed to disappoint.

Vitale’s ponderous reference may be growing weary at this time of the year. But, these “diaper dandies” will display how a season of college basketball has transformed them into the talented, strong and smart young men we’ll be cheering as the annual NCAA post season tournament tips off in just a couple weeks.

Anxiously awaiting for March Madness to begin.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Remembering the NFL’s Sweetness on Valentine’s Day

Sweetness Walter Payton

The late Chicago Bears’ RB Walter Payton

On Valentine’s Day each year, we traditionally remember our sweethearts with flowers and sweet gifts like specialty chocolates, roses or jewelry.

It’s only fitting that on this special day, we remember one of the NFL’s greatest players ever. Simply and singly known as Sweetness, Walter Payton rushes his way into my Valentine’s Day blog.

The adjective sweet should never apply when talking football. Except, that is, when referring to this Chicago Bears running back.

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.

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Black History Month: Remembering Jesse Owens

the Buckeye Bullet Jesse Owens

Olympic Champion Jesse Owens

Before MLB’s Jackie Robinson, the NFL’s Jim Brown, the NBA’s Wilt Chamberlain or boxing’s Joe Louis, track star Jesse Owens was regarded as the USA’s first ever African American sports icon.

In celebrating Black History Month, let’s remember this extraordinary individual who flew past his competitors on the track and soared above the hate and discrimination that he faced away from it.

The son of an Alabama sharecropper, James Cleveland Jesse Owens battled pneumonia as a sickly child before his family moved north to Cleveland, Ohio.

Years later, a much stronger and healthier 5’10” and 165 lb. Owens blossomed as an outstanding track and field athlete at Ohio State University.

Named the Buckeye Bullet for how quickly he flew around the track, Owens shattered sprint and long jump records during his college days. He won eight individual NCAA individual championships.

Perhaps the greatest single day accomplishment in track and field history occurred on May 25, 1935. Owens tied the 100 yard dash world record and broke three other world records in the long jump, 220 yard dash and 220 yard low hurdles.

What makes Jesse Owens’ feats so amazing is that his incredible performances in all four events took place in the time span of less than one hour.

Owens’ success continued after his college days.

He is best remembered for his magnificent performance at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, Germany. Jesse Owens captured four gold medals. He won the long jump, 100 meter dash and 200 meter dash and anchored the USA’s 4 x 100 meter relay team.

Wins aside, the most dominant athlete at the 1936 Berlin Summer Games may be more admired and respected for the way he excelled on the world stage.

In spite of German dictator Adolph Hitler’s desire to showcase what he believed was white Aryan supremacy, this black skinned American athlete blasted past all would-be competitors.

Jesse Owens’ success at the Berlin Olympics even prompted a German sports apparel maker to present him with the first ever sports sponsorship contract for a black athlete.

Sadly, Owens’ respectability and celebrity status in Europe wasn’t similarly honored when he returned home. In a gathering at a New York landmark before the start of a ticker tape parade, Owens was forced to take a freight elevator to meet up with his victorious fellow Olympic athletes – simply because of his skin color.

Following the 1936 Olympics, Owens found employment by racing against cars and horses in carnival type events. He played briefly with the Harlem Globetrotters and later served as a motivational speaker. Often when he traveled, this great Olympic champion was forced to stay in separate black only hotels and eat in black only restaurants.

One of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century, Jesse Owens was eventually acknowledged for his accomplishments.

In 1976, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Gerald Ford. In 1980, former President George H. W. Bush presented Owens with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest award.

Oddly, Jesse Owens chain smoked cigarettes for 35 years and died of cancer in 1980. This remarkable Olympian may be remembered as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time.

Equally importantly, the Buckeye Bullet will always be loved and respected for the way he utilized his athletic fame to break through the scourge of racism.

Owens is also an easy choice at #7 in my sports comic book Favorite Flyers in Sports available for only 99 cents on Amazon.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: 2011 Satire on Tim Tebow

heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow

QB Tim Tebow

Today’s 2011 #TBT sports blog rewinds the clock several years to a satirical piece I penned about Nike recalling Tim Tebow’s new cross training shoes.

Many Tebow fans may have genuinely believed the former Florida Gator’s new Nikes really don’t leave actual footprints in the sand.

Read more…

(Satire) Facing extreme pressure from both special interest groups and the United States Government, Nike plans to recall its new limited edition Tim Tebow Air Trainers.

The blue and orange Tim Tebow endorsed shoes, which sold out on nikestore.com in 5 minutes last week, sparked a firestorm of protests.

Among the disgruntled groups were:

Southern Baptists, calling for a boycott of the sneaker giant, expressed outrage at Nike for naming the new Tebow shoe Air Trainer 1.2 instead of John 3:16.

Jesse Jackson, threatening to picket Denver Broncos’ home games this season, assailed Nike for failing to offer similar shoe deals to other NFL left handed, Heisman Trophy winning back-up quarterbacks of color.

Pro Choice groups, still steaming from the QB’s Pro Life Super Bowl ad earlier this year, protested that the Tebow endorsed shoes infringe upon a woman’s constitutional right to choose. Pro Choicers plan to boycott not only Nike, but also Jockey, Bible makers and all other products associated with the evangelical NFL rookie.

The ACLU, claiming the Promise decal on the shoes’ heel is another Tebow attempt to proselytize his faith, filed suit in Federal Court against the NFL to protect every American football fan’s fundamental right to separation of church and football, I mean, state.

Finally, Homeland Security, reporting that any purchaser who actually wore the new Tebow shoes demonstrated an ability to walk on water while leaving no discernable footprints in the sand. That shocking news forced Homeland to raise its Threat Level to Red. The Department feared that terrorists would go undetected if they wore the new Tim Tebow shoes.

However, NCAA and NFL players quickly challenged Homeland Security’s charge by offering, “The new Tebow shoes may not leave footprints in the sand, but when the bruising 235 lb. QB runs over you on the goal line, they definitely leave cleat marks on your forehead.”

MIKE – the ultimate talking head on sports!

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Favorite Single Named Athletes in Sports

Favorite Single Named AthletesSingle named athletes aren’t the only famous people with mononyms.

Throughout history, singers, politicians, philosophers and spiritual leaders impacted societies to such a degree that a single name identified their fame.

These single named icons were instantly known by a reference to their first or last name. A full name became unnecessary.

Spiritual leaders like Jesus and Mohammad never required a last name. Neither did famous philosophers like Plato and Aristotle or a pacifist like Gandhi.

Similarly, political dictators like Stalin and Hitler never needed a first name. Last names were all we needed to identify them with the atrocities they committed.

Modern day entertainers reach the pinnacle of success when only one name is necessary for fans to equate them with their talent.

For example, hardly anyone can recall their last names, but everyone knows that Shakira can make you dance, Cedric can make you laugh and Kanye and Kim can, well, can you annoyed.

And when it comes to Elvis, Madonna, Beyonce or Bono, all we need is one name. We can instantaneously identify these entertainers and belt out a few bars from one of their hits.

In the world of sports, it’s no different.

A simple name, first or last, constitutes celebrity. A single name signals to sports fans everywhere that an athlete has arrived.

Mention his or her name and people will start to rattle off statistics, count off career highlights and recall favorite all-time performances of the lone named individual.

For example, say Serena or Marta, and talk of women’s tennis and soccer will surface.

Reference last names Tebow and Bolt, and fans will likely break out into a Tebowing stance or Lighting Bolt pose.

Sports fans know that Sweetness is not a candy bar, Magic is not a trick, Babe’s not a cute girl. They also know that Bird’s not a winged creature and Kobe is not Japanese beef.

You don’t need to audible like Peyton or get locked in a double-choke hold by Hulk to enjoy this book.

Like the previous athletes mentioned, we all know the drill. There is only one Shaq, LeBron, Kareem, Wilt, Yogi, Messi, Tiger and Pele.

Their personal stories and clever comics are found in my sports comic book Favorite Single Named Athletes. It’s available for safe download on Amazon for only 99 cents.

Check it out. Sports fans of all ages will enjoy the read.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

MIKE Sports Comic: All Sports Footer

Black History Month: Jackie Joyner-Kersee

heptathlete Jackie Joyner Kersee

Olympic Champion Jackie Joyner Kersee

As we celebrate Black History Month, let’s recall the stunning athletic and physical accomplishments of Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

In 1990, Sports Illustrated named Jackie Joyner-Kersee the greatest female athlete of the 20th Century.

At that time, no one challenged the Sports Illustrated bold proclamation. Since then, no female athlete has come close to rivaling Joyner-Kersee’s brilliant athleticism.

Joyner-Kersee remains the most decorated female track and field Olympian ever. Her incredible point total in the heptathlon may never be surpassed.

An athletic prodigy from St. Louis, MO, Joyner-Kersee’s basketball ability enabled her to earn a scholarship to UCLA. Jackie starred for the Lady Bruins and graduated in 1985 with an impressive 1,167 career points.

However, basketball would not be the reason why Sports Illustrated acknowledged her athletic greatness just five years later. Following her graduation from UCLA, track and field consumed Jackie’s life and propelled her to international stardom.

Ironically, an old movie galvanized her interest in a tremendously challenging, but mostly unheralded, track and field event. The 1975 film about legendary sports star Babe Didrikson Zaharias inspired Joyner-Kersee to catalyze her superb athleticism in the heptathlon.

Following her college basketball career, Jackie devoted her time to master this grueling sport comprised of seven individual events: the 110m hurdles, 200m dash, 800m run, shot put, javelin throw, high jump and long jump.

As evidenced by her famous quote, “It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret,” Jackie Joyner-Kersee had no regrets when competing on the track. She prepared expertly and excelled at both the long jump and the heptathlon. At one time, she held world records in both sports. Her 7,291 points in the heptathlon may never be broken.

Jackie’s unrivaled athleticism enabled her to capture Olympic gold medals in 1988 in Seoul in the long jump and heptathlon and in 1992 in Barcelona in the heptathlon. She won three more Olympic medals (one silver and two bronze) in addition to winning four gold medals (two in the long jump and two in the heptathlon) in the Track and Field World Championships in 1987 and 1991.

The 5’10” and 150 lb. Joyner-Kersee’s most incredible feat may not have been her dominance in the long jump and heptathlon. Her biggest accomplishment may have been her courage and resolve to excel as a world class athlete while overcoming the debilitating medical condition known as exercise induced asthma.

Wow! That’s a noteworthy accomplishment for a woman who can confidently look back on her career with no regrets. She’s also featured in my book Favorite Female Athletes.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee always looked forward. She carefully prepared for whatever shoe sought to do and emerged victoriously. Not only is she recognized as an amazing athlete. She’s also known as an inspiring role model who refused to allow exercise induced asthma to deter her from becoming, as Sports Illustrated chronicled, the greatest female athlete of the 20th Century.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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NBA All-Star Guard Chris Paul Needs an Assist

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Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul desperately needs an assist.

Coach Doc Rivers must intervene on his behalf. He should consider recruiting Chris’ television twin Cliff to first help the perennial all-star curb his own tongue and then advise his “brother” to convince his Clippers teammates to stop their incessant whining.

Their hissing and hollering is hurting them.

The Wake Forest grad made headlines last night following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ dismantling of his Clippers team on TNT. Paul’s frustration with the officials showed forth with comments regarding rookie female official Lauren Holtkamp.

“I think we’ve got to show better composure, but at the same time some of ‘em was ridiculous. Like the tech I got right there was ridiculous. I don’t care what nobody say, I don’t care what she say, that’s terrible. There’s no way that can be a technical. We try to get the ball out quick every time down the court and when we did that she said ‘Uh-uh (no)’ and I said ‘Why uh-uh?’ and she gave me a tech. That’s ridiculous. If that’s the case then this might not be for her.”

Discuss all you want whether Paul’s remark was sexist or not. I don’t.

Debate whether CP3 intended to utilize the “her” pronoun to express his angst. I didn’t.

And, speculate just how much the NBA league office will fine Paul for his words. I won’t.

Instead, what I will do is focus on the story the media should be feasting on. Paul and his highly overpaid Clipper teammates can’t bridle their on-court emotion.

The team’s constant bickering to officials, not just rookie refs, affects their play on the court. Savvy and never shy TNT announcer Charles Barkley cited their irksome behavior several times last night.

But, like hungry ravens, the media descended upon Paul for his unintentional, though ill-advised comments about a female rookie ref and not for the unnecessary and unrelenting griping of one of the NBA’s better teams.

With a 33 – 17 record, the underachieving Clippers are only fifth best in the Western Conference. After watching them against the Cavs, they didn’t even look like a playoff caliber squad.

However, what they’re really good at is squawking. According to ESPN’s NBA statistics, the Clips lead the league in technical fouls. Out of 360 total players in the NBA, the Clippers rank first in the league with the most techs, and dubiously place five of their players in the top 40 and three in the top 10.

To no one’s surprise the always protesting Matt Barnes tops the league’s “T” list with 11, followed by Blake Griffin’s 9 in the fourth spot and DeAndre Jordan’s 7 in sixth. A “better behaved” Chris Paul scoots in at #29 and reserve guard Jamall Crawford at #36.

Watching the Clippers on television is annoying. They yammer about nearly every call. They protest just about every whistle and seem to jaw with the refs whenever there’s a dead ball.

Chris Paul is the biggest culprit. He may not get t’d up as often as his teammate Matt Barnes, but Paul is constantly jibber-jabbering, gesticulating and pouting.

Though he’s one of the NBA’s top talents, Paul must learn to bite his tongue and grow up. As team captain, he must improve the tempestuous body language he portrays on court. And, as head of the National Basketball Players Association, he must set a better example to not only the fans, but for the players he represents.

That’s why Chris Paul needs an assist.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Curling at 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi

Winter Olympic Sport of Curling

Winter Olympic Sport of Curling

Today’s #TBT sports blog turns the calendar back about a year to revisit a snarky post I wrote about a non-sport sport.

Here’s what I penned last February…

The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games is officially over, but my memory of the Olympic winter “sport” of curling is not.

It haunts me like an Alex Rodriguez toothy, fake smile and a pompous, pontificating Ray Lewis comment.

Following the hilarious hammer throw at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, I never imagined that my sports viewing standards could sink any lower.

Well, that’s until I caught the comedic competition called curling at this year’s 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Sure, I realize the Winter Olympics are officially over. But, the bizarre sight of skinny Norwegians sporting flashy harlequin pants while swooshing plastic kitchen brooms across an ice skating rink
has been burnished in my memory.

Who on planet Earth, other than their mothers, would ever consider these swashbuckling Nordic Broadway wannabes true Olympians?

Just how inebriated were IOC members when they sanctioned curling as an Olympic sport? It even got me thinking.

If curling is an official Winter Olympic sport, could ice fishing, snowman building and snow angel making be very far behind?

Word has it that on the slushy, just-about-snowless Russian hills in Sochi that, after watching the curling competition, frisbee golfers and beer pongers begun petitioning the IOC for official sanctioning in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

Is it just me or do you also view curling as scandalously skirting the sanctity of sports by not requiring even the remotest semblance of athleticism?

Let’s be honest. Have you ever heard anybody say, “I’m playing in a real competitive inner-city curling league this season?”

Or, “Who will you pick as your sweeper in next season’s Fantasy Curling League?”

Or, worse yet, “Let’s run on over to Dick’s Sporting Goods! I hear they just stocked their shelves with latest curling gear, and their curling broom assortment is awesome!”

As far as I’m concerned, any sport that rhymes with twirling can’t possibly be any good at all. Enough of this nonsense!

All this talk of curling makes me think about hurling my lunch!

MIKE – thee American made voice on sports!

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Boston’s Beanpot Hockey Tournament

MIKE Comic The Beanpot

Boston’s legendary Beanpot Hockey Tournament faced off last night at the TD Bank Garden. It was the 63rd time Boston’s top four college hockey programs took to the ice for this annual event.

The Beanpot Hockey Tournament may not be universally known outside the Boston area. However, its storied tradition makes it one of the premier athletic events during the New England winter.

The Beanpot burst onto the Boston sports scene in December 1952 like a bone jarring check into the boards. It was years before face masks appeared on goalies and ESPN television coverage became ubiquitous. The Beanpot became an instant draw by pitting Boston’s four best collegiate hockey programs for bragging rights among the area’s passionate hockey fans.

Now in its seventh decade, the Beanpot brings Harvard, Northeastern, Boston College and Boston University to an annual battle at the Boston Garden as players vie for Hub City’s college hockey supremacy.

The former ECAC, now Hockey East, hockey programs originally faced off in the prestigious tournament over 60 years ago. They have been integral participants in this intensely localized, two day event.

With its debut, Beanpot fever emerged in the Boston area. The sports event capitalized on all four schools. They were comparable in student enrollment and located only short trolley rides away from each others’ urban campuses.

Four highly motivated hockey teams enthusiastically descended upon the bad ice of the old Boston Garden each year.

And, one school skated away with a coveted trophy from one of college sports’ best overall experiences.

Surprisingly, the Beanpot began with small expectations in December, 1952. “It was designed as a filler,” said Northeastern coach Jack Grinold, the unofficial historian of all things Beanpot. “I mean, it was originally the first two nights after Christmas of 1952. It was to help the arena on off nights. It’s way, way beyond that now.”

However, a brilliant marketing ploy moved the event to the quieter month of February. This bold move greatly boosted attendance. A few years later, the annual tournament transformed from popular to iconic.

Legendary stories have always accompanied Beanpot references. None is better than the 1978 Beanpot when the epic Boston Blizzard of that year dumped over two feet of snow and stranded hundreds of fans for two days at the old Boston Garden. Until they were able to return home, fans from the four rival schools were forced to reside harmoniously in the old Boston Garden.

Since its inception in 1952, Beanpot rivalries have flourished in Boston hockey circles. The area’s rabid fans eagerly await each February tournament to help free them from New England winter doldrums and fuel an early spring fever.

According to former BU forward and 1980 Olympic gold medal winner David Silk, “Tradition and emotion are two words that come to mind when referencing the Beanpot. Anyone who has a pulse around here (Boston) knows about the tradition of the Beanpot.”

Per Silk’s quote, tradition certainly abounds at the Beanpot. Some fans can purportedly recite overall tournament records and individual stat sheets from all 60+ years of games.

Led for 40 years by legendary coach Jack Parker with three national titles, Boston University tops the Beanpot record book. B.U. has captured 29 overall wins and has scored in an incredible 96 straight games since 1963.

Boston College ranks second in Beanpot titles with 19 and has historically taken the ice as B.U.’s cross town rival and most hated nemesis. BC owes its success to Jerry York, college hockey’s most successful coach with five overall national titles on his resume.

Harvard’s place is secure in Beanpot history with 10 total titles and the tournament’s top scorer Joe Cavanaugh with 19 points.

Not to be overlooked, Northeastern has captured four Beanpot crowns and boasts the tournament’s best goalie in Bruce Racine who tallied an amazing 237 saves in 8 career games.

Boston sports fans have so totally embraced Beanpot hockey over the years that the wildly successful annual tournament has spawned Beanpot competitions in other collegiate sports around Boston.

Beanpot tournaments in baseball, softball, cycling, rowing, women’s hockey and lacrosse have steadily grown each year in the Boston area.

When it comes to tradition, rivalry, school spirit, great hockey and a short break from a long winter, the annual Beanpot Hockey Tournament reigns supreme for Boston sports fans.

This hallowed hockey tournament finds the back of the net in the #6 spot of my FREE sports comic book covering Boston Sports Icons.

Boston Sports Stars and Landmarks

Click on the purple cover above to safely download this FREE sports comic book. Enjoy the read and share it with friends.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Former NFL “QBKilla” Warren Sapp Now Bankrupt & Unemployed

Former pro athletes bankrupt.

Retired and broke professional athletes.

Following yesterday’s arrest for assault and solicitation of prostitution, former NFL “QB Killa” Warren Sapp now finds himself bankrupt and unemployed.

The NFL Network terminated the once dominant NFL Hall of Fame defensive tackle who had served as an analyst for the network.

Sadly, Warren Sapp is no stranger to controversy and off-the-field headlines. Old #99 has built a dubious reputation over the years as lout, lecher and overly loquacious loud mouth.

It’s no surprise after reading today’s Tweets, Facebook posts and web site article comments about the recent Sapp news that many football fans like me are happy to see him go.

Sapp’s cackled laugh and brusk delivery on camera made him difficult to watch. Knowing just how much of a well-documented scoundrel he had become made him even harder to like.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s recent arrest isn’t as troubling, though, as his unchecked ascent into our living rooms as star of a television commercial and celebrated NFL Network analyst.

Didn’t the NFL Network do a background check before they cultivated this scoundrel as one of its respected talking heads? Hadn’t its HR Department scanned easily obtainable court documents? Shouldn’t its Research Department have conducted some elementary analysis on Sapp’s life off the field to determine his marketability on screen?

Or, was the NFL Network only interested in creating on-air conflict with this colorful, controversial personality to boost ratings and not be concerned with social accountability until their hand is forced?

Sapp’s checkered past has shown that he has never learned personal responsibility and self-discipline. Never.

In addition to squandering a personal $82,185,056 fortune, Sapp has fathered six children with five different women. Unfortunately, his womanizing has come with price of a blindside blitz. The once dominant NFL defender has cried uncle for his inability to pay court ordered child support payments.

One mother from NJ claimed Sapp has no contact with his children and exposed Sapp as an inexcusable lout for brazenly attempting to defraud paternity suit proceedings by sending a substitute to supply DNA results.

Last year the petty Sapp fired a barrage of unnecessary cheap shots at 2014 NFL Hall of Fame inductee Michal Strahan. Sapp’s silly remarks demonstrated to the sports world just how small minded the big fella #99 had become.

Sapp stories are a dime a dozen in the Tampa Bay area where fans have grown weary of the former Buccaneer’s chronic immaturity and poor decision making.

Last summer the itchy-eared Sapp stiffed a waitress on a tip for a modest bill because he he did not appreciate her playfully calling his lunch party “boys.” And, there are endless stories of Sapp dissing would-be autograph seekers although he has always seemed to eagerly embrace the media spotlight.

Knowing that Sapp’s undisciplined, off-field behavior and poor monetary decision making contributed to his squandering a personal fortune, it’s no surprise that #99 is in the news again.

Sadly, Warren Sapp has no one to blame but himself. A lifetime of bad choices coupled with an even bigger ego has metaphorically ironically sacked the former “QB Killa” who sadly finds himself bankrupt and unemployed.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Seattle Seahawks Costly Super Bowl XLIX Miscue Will Sully Legacy

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The Seattle Seahawks’ one costly miscue in last night’s Super Bowl XLIX game will sully the team’s legacy for the foreseeable future.

The inexplicable play led to the Legion of Boom initiating an unnecessary brawl and to the complete unraveling of the team’s disciplined, vaunted defense.

An ill-advised play call from the one-yard line while only 20 seconds away from winning a back-to-back Super Bowl championship, Seattle Coach Pete Carroll opted to throw the football instead of handing it off to arguably the best running back in the NFL Marshawn Lynch.

Though Seahawks’ WR Ricardo Lockette appeared to be open as the pass play unfolded, free agent CB Malcolm Butler made a brilliant break on the ball and intercepted Russell Wilson’s goal line pass.

What happened next triggered a series of inexcusable actions and words from Seattle players that will certainly sully NFL fans’ perception of an already brash Seattle Seahawks’ organization overflowing with cockiness.

Fans and pundits alike have already called out the Seahawks players as classless, poor sports and undisciplined for how they allowed the game to end as well as what they said after the final whistle.

All negative remarks aimed at the team are appropriate given the way the Seahawks imploded shortly after 1 billion NBC Sports viewers witnessed them give away Super Bowl XLIX. A demoralized Patriots defense, who had squandered another brilliant Tom Brady 4th quarter comeback, found their heels dug helplessly on the goal line until the Butler pick which will never be forgotten in New England football lore.

Following the Butler interception, the Pats sought to “take a knee” and run out the clock. However, some Legion of Boom defenders could not control their emotions and went bonkers. Many started pushing, shoving and even punching Patriots players.

Seahawks LB Bruce Irvin was ejected for throwing a punch and DL Michael Bennett was tossed and pinned by New England TE Rob Gronkowski for his involvement in inciting the brawl.

Ironically, Irvin continued to pop off in the locker room by voicing his displeasure at the coaching decision to throw the ball at the 1 yard line.

After both teams were separated and the final whistle blew, many Seahawks continued echoing their frustration at their own coaching staff. While heading into the tunnel to the locker room, they lashed out at Head Coach Pete Carroll and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bovell for the dubious play call that led to Wilson’s interception. NFL reporters Melissa Stark and Mike Freeman immediately shared the regrettable Seahawks comments on Twitter.

For a reigning Super Bowl champion who seems to always play with a chip on its shoulder while demanding respect from the rest of the league, their behavior last night was deplorable.

To criticize your coaching staff after starting a scrum when the final outcome of the game has already been decided was despicable. Sadly, the immature Seattle griping gave credence to many NFL fans who viewed the Seahawks as an arrogant, dirty and undisciplined squad.

Sure, the Seattle team is tenacious and skilled, but they’ll be remembered for the foreseeable future as the reigning Super Bowl XLVIII champion that, with one costly miscue, incredulously gave the XLIX title away title to the New England.

They’ll also be rightfully excoriated for the shameless actions of a few of their teammates who kicked and moaned and pouted their way off the Super Bowl field.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Super Bowl XLIX Winner: Patriots or Seahawks?

The Vince Lombardi NFL Super Bowl Trophy

Predicting the Super Bowl XLIX winner is anybody’s guess.

Las Vegas odds makers have made the New England Patriots a slim one point favorite over reigning NFL champs the Seattle Seahawks.

Both teams are now 14 – 4 for the season, and either surging squad can victoriously walk out of University of Phoenix Stadium with the Lombardi Trophy in hand.

Unfortunately, my favorite NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles, failed to qualify for the post season, so I feel no allegiance or harbor no animosity toward the Pats or Hawks.

My bottom line is that I just want to watch an exciting game and do not really care which team wins.

However, if compelled to pick a winner, I want to witness excellence and good sportsmanship avail and unnecessary arrogance defeated.

That’s right, arrogance needs to go down, haughtiness needs to be humbled, smug trash talk smashed and hubris humiliated.

My desire is to see a good game played by great athletes giving their best while all players, coaches and owners keep their mouths shut, refrain from talking smack and play within the rules set forth.

I’m tired of Deflate Gate and the New England Patriots’ holier than thou dismissal of a potential egregious rules violation. A dozen NFL footballs “mysteriously” got deflated in a Gillette Stadium restroom, and it wasn’t the toilet paper dispenser that let out the air. My gut tells me that eventually New England owner Robert Kraft won’t be getting the apology he earnestly expects.

I’m sickened by Patriots’ star QB Tom Brady expressing complete ignorance about Deflate Gate and actually thinking football fans outside of New England would believe his feigned naievete.

I’m alarmed that safety Brandon Browner would suggest that his current Patriots teammates should target his former Seattle injured teammates Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas.

I’m perplexed why stellar Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch would continually flaunt with possible NFL suspension or fines by his selfish, near defiant lack of respect for NFL rules.

I’m annoyed that Seahawks DE Michael Bennett and CB Richard Sherman would ignorantly rant that the “NCAA is one of the biggest scams in America” after receiving afree college education, room and board and the privilege of playing Division 1 athletics at Texas A&M and Stanford respectively.

I’m aggravated that mouthy Seattle WR Doug Baldwin acts and speaks like the chip on his shoulder is as large as the state of Washington’s Mount Ranier. Just play the game young fella and determine a way not to find yourself stranded on Revis Island.

And, I’m most flummoxed that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hasn’t emerged as the stronger leader he needs to be as evidenced by his pretentious response to CNN reporter Rachel Nichols’ fair question during this week’s press conference.

The blustering talk of bloviating athletes has prevailed these past two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIX.

That’s why I don’t care if either the New England Patriots or the Seattle Seahawks win.

I just want to see arrogance defeated.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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