Individual Award Based on Team Success, DUMB!

There has been far too much influence by team success on the individual awards. The latest was Jorge Guitierrez getting Pac-12 Player of the Year. Guiterrez wasn’t even the best player on his team, Allen Crabbe was. It is getting out of control. The Heisman, POY in conferences, MVP of leagues and so on, are all influenced to much by the results of their team. The team results shouldn’t have that much weight on the decision of an individual.

Everyone constantly rips the athlete that is selfish and self-promotes. People can’t stand Terrell Owens or knock Jay Cutler because he looked like he was pouting when he got hurt in the playoffs. They blame the individual for that. Yet, when it comes to picking an individual for their success over the season, they look at what the team has done then pick a player off that team. Looking at statistics, don’t you think it would be harder to be good with less talent around you, I do. Assists would go down, you would draw more double teams, making it hard to score and rebound when you are the best player on a bad team.

There is always the hypothetical trophy that is constantly debated amongst sports fans: The Best of All-Time. Is it Michael Jordan, LeBron James or Larry Bird? Is it Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas or Tom Brady? The championships that their team won is always what makes one the best. Who is a better quarterback, Trent Dilfer or Dan Marino? Well, Dilfer has a Super Bowl and Marino has none. I guess Trent is the better of the two. No! Marino might be the best quarterback of all time but doesn’t get the credit because he didn’t play on a stacked team.

Robert Horry must be in the top 10 players of all time because he has seven rings. He is better than Jordan for sure because Jordan only has six. These guys are better than Jordan too: Sam Jones, K.C. Jones (not the hockey player from Ninja Turtles), Satch Sanders, Jim Loscutoff and Frank Ramsey. They all played on the same team too. Crown them best of all time behind Bill Russel.

Team success can be influenced by the play of one individual and often is but team success should not be the reason a player wins an individual award. Stop looking at teams with a ton of talent and start looking at players with a ton of talent. Start looking at the guys that have a lot more pressure on them because they are carrying a team. Look at the guys like Brock Motum and Jared Cunningham. Take a peek at guys like Kevin Love and Monta Ellis. These are the guys that are being overlooked constantly.

Friday Night Wallpaper

In an effort to always bring all 70 of you the best in sports content every week, we scour the social networks and the internets for stuff that makes us laugh.

This week, courtesy of @danielkamas, we have a Photoshop practice file going viral with Seattle’s favorite leadoff hitter, Chone Figgins!

Feel your desktop burst into flames as he drops a white-hot bat with a lion’s roar and heads full steam to first base.  If there is one guy who can set the plate for Ichiro now in the 3-hole for the Seattle Mariners, it is a guy who has had his OBP go from .340 in 2010 to .241 in 2011.

Commemorate this epitome of a sunk cost with your own Chone Figgins Wallpaper for your computer!

Figgins: White Hot

Courtesy of @DanielKamas - this is Chone Figgins. White Hot.

#6 NFWF Podcast

I wish we had more to say for ourselves, but we don’t.  But hey!  It’s back!  After ringing up about $28 in unused LibSyn hosting (free money you guys, don’t go spending it all in one place) we figured after a hiatus, it’s back.  Consistently?  Who knows!  Life is unpredictable!  Live it to the fullest!

So sit back, fire up your favorite podcast catcher (with the Feedburner link in the top right), iTunes or Zune (I think!) and get our takes on:

  • UW Basketball Tournament Chances
  • Seahawks Free Agency Moves
  • WSU Post Leach Era, So Far.



Protecting The Money

The NFL isn’t concerned with injuries, just injuries to a chosen few. We all know who they are.


Ticket sellers.

The guys that pose in front of bathroom mirrors with razors, shill boots and push home and auto insurance onto the masses.

One large issue looming around the Saints, Redskins, and probably every team in the NFL is that the targets of these bounties aren’t on Joe Sixth-Rounder, throwing his body down the turf on a special teams play in an un-ceremonious fashion. It’s a target on the big players, the men who help the NFL push their business model into the billions of dollars while most of the league humps it for their version of minimum wage.

The NFL has now started investigating these allegations now that they have come to light. This will now begin some of the bigger witch-hunts in professional sports behind PED’s in Major League Baseball in our lifetime.

The general consensus I feel from reading the web, catching some sports radio from time to time and some discussions I have had with a few sports fans is that this probably has been going on for forever, and really isn’t that upsetting. The NFL is an extremely violent contact sport.

The wiring it takes to not only play this game, but to coach it at this level requires a little bit of a screw loose. The ones who orchestrates this on Sundays have insatiable thirst to demolish the opponent, whether they wear a headset or they have a mic in their helmet on game day. This mentality is what got them there, and they aren’t going to abandon it now.

For those who play this game, they play with a bounty system in their heads. If they knock out player X, and player X is really good, the chances of the team winning the game have become better. I find it laughable that the NFL thinks that a fine of a few thousand bucks to a group of guys who make well into the mid-six figures would even find it motivational. When you get to that level, chances are you want to hurt your opponent.

The line that has to be seen and crossed is if this had led to rules of the game being broken, and “dirty play” increased during those seasons in which it is said that this was to be going on.

Were measures that were against the rules of the NFL (as it regards to playing a game on Sunday) as they stood during those years being broken and lead to more injuries? Would the players that people would expect to have a bounty on their head, has their frequency of being injured increased?

My bounty bet? The game looks exactly the same. It always will.

Pac-12 Player of the Year

The regular season is wrapped up and it is time to give out the award for the Player of the Year in the Pac-12 (Which I finally have gotten used to saying. It only took an two entire sports seasons.) It seems to be down to two players, Terrrence Ross from Washington and Jorge Gutierrez of California. Here is the problem with that. Those two are good players, but the main reason they are the front runners is because of team success.

I am getting more and more of a beef with individual awards being based on team success. It even leaks into the “Who is the better player” debates. “Is Jordan better than LeBron? Well, Jordan has rings.” That argument is ridiculous. A championship is the ultimate team accomplishment. The opposite side of that is that an individual award shouldn’t be based on team success. I have gone off on this numerous times and could write a book on it. Well, not a book but like 300 words. I  have other things to do. So, I won’t go any further with this discussion.

Sticking to who should get the the Pac-12 player of the year, here are my candidates, in no particular order (wink).

Brock Motum – This dude is the only thing going on in Pullman lately. He has put the Cougars on his back and has pretty much went HAM in every single game. In a game earlier this season against Arizona State, Motum had 34 of WSU’s 67. That’s right. Motum 34 points, the rest of the Cougs 33. WSU did lose the game 71-67. With team result influencing people’s opinion, everyone should just ignore this game. Dumb! On Saturday evening with 9 minutes to go in the second half against USC, Motum had 27 and USC had 26. He was beating them by himself. Motum is second in the league in scoring, sixth in rebounding and eighth in field goal percentage. Probably the most efficient player in the conference. Although, he takes too many threes for 6’11″ guy.

Terrence Ross – If this guy could find some consistency, this wouldn’t even be a debate. Ross makes spectacular plays on the regular. Against Marquette, he had a 360 alley-opp dunk, that even as a Coug, I got excited for. Ross might be the most balanced player in the Pac-12. He can rebound and score with great success (Borat voice). Ross is fifth in scoring in the Pac-12 and fifth in rebounding.I am pretty sure Ross will get a lot of national spotlight during the NCAA tourney. That is if UW can win a couple games and he can find consistency.

Jared Cunningham – I wanted to put this guy first (not that this are in a particular order, as stated earlier) but outside of scoring he just do enough with the rest of his game to the leader in this debate. Cunningham does lead the league in scoring. His assists might be down because the rest of Oregon State’s squad can’t hit the broad side of a barn (old school cliche). He does the lead the Pac-12 in steals by almost half a steal a game. He, like Motum, is pretty much all the team has for leadership and scoring. I bet his back is pretty sore from carrying the team.

Maurice Jones – This guy deserves some credit. USC has been through the grinder this year. Six starters have gone down and there is like one scholarship athlete still alive on the squad. For anything to come out positive from this team is damn near a miracle. This guy needs to get a lot of praise and recognition for his performance this year.

Jorge Gutierrez – All I keep hearing is that Gutierrez should be the POY. He is only in the top 10 in one of the major statistical categories, assists. Points, rebounds and steals he isn’t in there. Coaches keep saying he should get the award based on leadership, saying he is such a great leader on the team and the team would be lost without him. Well, I guess the real Player of the Year on that squad is Mike Montgomery, I’m sure he is the best leader on the team. Can’t really give the coach a player award. I mostly put Gutierrez on here just to put him on blast. I will say this though, I love his hair. I seriously only wanted his hair in his photo. Just his hair no face or head.

No one else really – The conference as a whole is down this year. There are other players worth mentioning. I will quickly recap who they are and why they aren’t on the list. Kyle Fogg, can’t make a jumper. Tony Wroten, can’t make a free throw or a jumper. Allen Crabbe, best player on his team but no one talks about him. DeVoe Joseph, not sure how your team or you are good.

Voters will just select someone off one of the top teams in the conference and give the award to him. I will argue that is harder to have a good season on a team with less talent than a team loaded with talent. No matter who wins it, I am just ready for the tournaments to start. That’s right I love them all, NCAA, NIT, CBI and the CIT. I honestly had to Google on Bing the last one.

I Am Good On Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning at the Line, making calls

Are you counting neck surgeries? I think you are wrong.

The deadline looms for the Colts and Peyton Manning to make a decision about his future in Indy.  Will he be cut before the roster bonus?  Will Indy keep him and draft Andrew Luck (or RG3 – holding out hope) anyways and pay two quarterbacks more than the GDP that Indy puts out in a year?

Nobody knows exactly what is going to happen, so of course the speculation has been rampant since the last game of the season in which Indy cemented their pick atop the 2012 Draft.  The prevailing rumor mill has Peyton being dismissed for the guy with the craziest neck beard in California and Peyton hitting the market.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Peyton as a person.  I think he is a great role model for countless kids across the country, learning how to play QB the right way as well as carrying himself in a professional manner.  It is arguable that he will go down as one of the greatest to play, despite his brother finding a way to win more Super Bowls than him at this point in their careers.

But to be perfectly honest, Peyton has had more neck surgeries than most WWE wrestlers will ever have, all in the course of a year.  Bones have been fused, nerves aren’t quite the same and his main issue is that he can’t feel the triceps on his throwing arm.  That’s a pretty big issue for a quarterback, let alone a human being that likes to use said arm.  So with that being said, of course he is being linked to Seattle.

I am not a huge Tavaris fan.  I think Tavaris is serviceable, and if given time (as he likes to hold the ball) he can make plays well enough to get this team through a few victories next year.  Some would argue that even Peyton with a dead arm is probably better than Tavaris, or Peyton going with his off arm may be more accurate than Jackson.  However, for a team that is reloading at all positions with youth, I don’t think going and getting a 35+ year old QB with a neck made up of solder & Gorilla Glue is the best option for the Hawks.  Between you and me, I would like to see Peyton go into the Hall of Fame sans a head halo, and at this point he seems to be on that route.

So this is my call out to Pete – let’s explore trading down and getting a QB in the 2nd or 3rd, maybe even later where these guys like to pan out.  Matty Flynn, everyone’s back-up-QB-turned-starter-de-jour was taken in the 7th round.  Here’s my vote for Brandon Weeden (yes, I know he is old, but still about 10 years younger that Manning) with that 2nd round pick.  Now that’s something I can get behind.

Jeremy Lin is Nothing Like Tim Tebow

Linsanity is taking over every sports outlet. As with any frenzy or mania, there starts to be comparisons to the last one. The comparison to Jeremy Lin that keeps coming up is how he is like Tim Tebow. These two are nothing alike.

Coming out of high school Tebow was a highly touted recruit. He went to one of the most prestigious football schools in America, Florida. The new Jesus played in and won two national championships in Florida. Oh, and he went on some little trophy call the Heisman. He was already one of the most popular players in all of football before ever getting to the NFL. The Broncos traded up and took Tebow in the first round of the NFL draft. Fans in Denver begged for Kyle Orton to get benched in favor of Tebow. When Denver played at Miami, the Dolphins had a Tim Tebow day. How does a home team celebrate a player on the other team? Because everyone loved him. Tebow was basically known by everyone in America before he ever started a game in the NFL.

Jeremy Lin had a harder time getting to play in an NBA game. Lin couldn’t even get an athletic scholarship to his hometown college of Stanford. He played basketball at Harvard, hardly known for its athletics, Ivy league schools don’t even give athletic scholarships. After finishing up his four years at Harvard and getting his degree, Lin applied for the NBA draft but wasn’t taken. The Golden State Warriors signed him as a free agent to a partially guaranteed contract out of college. He played in 29 games but didn’t even average 10 minutes a game. He bounced between the NBA and the NBDL throughout last season. The Warriors cut him before this season. The Houston Rockets claimed him off of waivers but eventually let him go before he played in any regular season games. He was picked up off of waivers by the New York Knicks. He was only on the team temporarily until Baron Davis came back from injury. It took a bunch of injuries, including another one to Davis to get a shot. Lin came in during a game against the New Jersey Nets and went “H.A.M.” for 25 points and 7 assists. He started the next seven games. Almost no one knew who Jeremy Lin was before that game.

Another difference between the two is their level of play during games. Lin actually is playing well during this stretch of 7-1 for the Knicks. Tebow didn’t play well at all. The Broncos defense was playing insanely well during Broncos run to the playoffs. In 11 regular season starts, Tebow went 7-4 and didn’t carry the team at all in most of those games. Tebow had a completion percentage of 46.7, which is terrible for an NFL quarterback. Tebow was 34th in the NFL in completion percentage, which most of you know there are only 32 teams. Jeremy Lin’s shooting percentage was 50.4 during his run. Which would be 23rd in the NBA, with only two other guards in the top 25. Tebow threw for an average of 150 yards per game. Lin averaged 24.6 points a game and 8.6 assist per game. Lin’s numbers haven’t been matched by anyone in NBA history during the first seven starts of a career.

Another factor in the frenzy is race. It can’t be ignored. A few people have gone about bringing it up the wrong way. Floyd Mayweather said on Twitter that the only reason people care about Lin’s success is because he is Asian. That is ridiculous! That isn’t the only reason. It, however, is part of the reason. There has never been an Asian-American starter in NBA history. This does add to the intrigue of the story. We have seen the white quarterback that was a superstar in college go on to have an excellent NFL career. Lin is bringing an aspect to the NBA that has never been seen before, which opens our minds and breaks down stereotypes that have been in place with the NBA for years.

One other major difference is that half the people loved Tebow and the other half hated him. Lin seems to have almost everyone on his side. Both guys are men of faith. Tebow seemed to use his fame as a platform to promote his religion. That gets under people’s skin. Lin wants to become a pastor after his playing career but isn’t using his fame to push his religion. ESPN has covered them both to an extreme but Lin’s play has justified his coverage, Tebow’s not so much. That could have been another reason for all the dislike of Tebow.

It will be interesting to see how each of their careers play out. We will see how each will affect the game they are playing and the people watching them. I am going to go have a few “Lin” and tonics and hopefully I am not Tebowing over a toilet later.

Are the Winter X Games Really That Cool?

Only awesome thing to see at Winter X Games

A couple weeks ago, I turned on ESPN a few times  and saw the Winter X Games were on. I watched parts of a few competitions and realized it was one of the most boring sporting events I have ever seen.

The first event I saw was some big air ski event. It was just guy after guy going off a jump and doing two to three spins and landing forward or backwards, backwards being the “harder” of the two. That was all there was too it. I expected to see something crazy. Nope. Just 720′s over and over. Every now and then a competitor would throw in a back flip with a twist but that even got repetitive.

Some of the other competitions were pretty much the same thing, except they had something else attached to their feet or body. Sometimes it was a snowboard, other times it was a snowmobile. Those were essentially the same trick over and over.

Outside of the racing competitions, the Winter X Games are glorified figure skating competitions. I actually get excited when Scott Hamilton does a back-flip or Brian Boitano hits a triple axel.

When judges come into play, the sport loses value. Shaun White does the exact same trick as some nobody and gets a 93, while the other guy gets an 84. Don’t want that nobody ruining the little ratings the Winter X Games are getting. Slide that judge a couple Hamiltons and a Lincoln and keep the big names on top.

The average fan doesn’t see the difference in the technicality of the trick. They just see 54o with a McTwist landed without falling. Followed by the same trick by the next guy. Then, the scores come up and there is an eight point difference. It is just kind of lame.

I know the Winter X Games used to be a couple weeks long. Now, it is down to essentially a weekend. I wouldn’t be surprised if it got completely fazed out in the next few years.

I just picture the Winter X Games played by Bolo Yeung aka Chung Li , being held by the head by Jean Claude Van Damme, aka Frank Dukes and saying “matay.” Just give Winter X Games you are finished.

I Want the NBA Too – but the Kings?

After what seems like yesterday, the discussions are back.  Land is being purchased.  SoDo is the target for potentially a new multi-purpose (NHL & NBA) arena in Seattle.  With these discussions, this means a team for each is on the way.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am excited at the prospects of not just one, but two sports putting roots down here in the Northwest.  One, a sport returning since stolen only a few short years ago, and another which hasn’t been around since the 1920′s.  However, our collective Seattleite memories are pretty short considering the agony that NBA fans in this region went through as Clay Bennett up and bought the team from the clutches of an apathetic local owner.

Except this time, it is a Seattleite turned San Franciscan that is looking to uproot another NBA franchise from a community in which it has been a part of since 1985.

Granted, the history of the Kings has been quite a nomadic one.  Moving from Rochester to Cincy, Kansas City and now Sacramento, the Kings were living the current NBA business model before it was cool.  Their history is nothing like the one of the Sonics, granted as an expansion team in 1967 to Seattle, winning a championship in 1979 as the Seattle Supersonics and being unceremoniously moved to the heart of America to blossom into one of the leagues best young teams.

When the Kings moved to Sacramento, I would have tipped the age scales at 3 years old.  I don’t remember them as the Kansas City Kings, but as the Sacramento Kings, in which there is an entire generation of fans which grew up with them as only that.

Now they are on the way out if every rumor is to be believed.  A new stadium deal must be reached by March 1st or the relocation buzzards can officially circle around the Power Balance Arena.  David Stern is working with mayor Kevin Johnson (yes, the Kevin Johnson that was a thorn in the Sonics side as a member of the Phoenix Suns) in an attempt to “keep” the Kings in Sacramento.  An all too familiar story, as Stern supportively was behind that too here in Seattle before the Sonics moved.

Now the shoe is on the other foot and the excitement of the local NBA fanbase, at least the one that voices into sports radio locally is nothing but excited.  But isn’t the way Seattle is acquiring the team the same way that Oklahoma City did the same?  There is an air of hypocrisy that I can’t get my head around.  I want the NBA back now as much as the next guy, but at the expense of another community losing their team?

This hasn’t been said much, but I think our tactic should be different.  Expansion.  Start from scratch.  Authentically build another Seattle Supersonics.  No history coming in but the one that has been paused as the other team left.  No robbing a team from another community.  Let us not forget how we felt when the Sonics left, and doing the same thing to a community in which the Kings are the only act in town.

Joe Paterno’s Legacy

All it took was a week of Super Bowl talk and the Penn State scandal is already on the back burner, maybe even locked up in some Tupperware on a shelf in the fridge.

Just a week ago, the back and forth on Joe Paterno’s legacy was the hottest topic in sports, if not the country. People were on the “Joe Paterno is the worst human being alive” wagon for a few weeks. Then, he passed away and they were on the “Joe Paterno was the greatest man alive” wagon.

Which one is it people?

When history looks back on the JoePa is it going to shine favorably on him?

I think it will.

Joe Paterno’s good out weigh his alleged bad.  He coached at one school for 61 years and was head coach for 46 of those years. I can almost guarantee that will never happen again. I doubt anyone will even come close to that many years at one place.

Paterno donated, not thousands of dollars, but millions of dollars of his salary of the years to Penn State. All that money wasn’t donated to sports, it was donated to education. It didn’t benefit just his players, but every student that attend school in Happy Valley.

Remember JoePa touched many lives, not many kids.

Joe Paterno didn’t witness the crime, he was told about it second hand. Everyone wanted Paterno to do more, but he wasn’t the one that walked in on the Jerry Sandusky. The police should have already been contacted before Joe Paterno ever heard about it.

If we were going to place blame on anyone, it should be Mike McQueary. He is the only person that saw anything. He should have gone to the police.

Let’s say you saw a murder outside of your house. You don’t call your mom and let her know what you saw and expect her to figure it out. You call the police.

I can sit here and play the blame game for a few more paragraphs, but I won’t. The truth is Joe Paterno could have done more, however, McQueary should have done everything and he didn’t.

Joe Paterno was looked at as a great man for most of his life and will continue to be looked at as a great man going forward. Many people were positively influenced by him and for that they will always be grateful. Don’t let a bunch of outsiders who never met the man dictate how he will be perceived in history. See what the people who were around him for 61 years at Penn State have to say.


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