Finally Kobe Bryant And Lebron James Can Rest Easy…Class Of ’17 Got Next

The next several weeks will bring a level of comfort to the NBA and its fans that has not been experienced since 2003 when Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony first entered the league, and a new set of superstars were among us. The generation that gave us superstars like Jordan, Barkley, and Drexler could finally rest easy knowing that the bar on NBA talent was once again at it highest.  Fans have not been disappointed for the past 10 to 12 years because the league has added stars such as Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, and a host of others.  Kobe Bryant had already been in the league at that point and winning rings.  In a certain sense  he was the star that would usher in the next group of league superstars and show them what it was all about.   Since the 2000 NBA season we have had the “Big Three” in Boston, the “Detroit 5”, and the mighty Spurs and in the end,  the NBA collective had their go to stars in Kobe Bryant and Lebron James.  We have come to that point of needing a fresh set of NBA superstars to uphold the bar of expected all star level play that fans look forward to for the 8 month season.

We may not have wanted to admit it but when Kobe walked away from the game in 2016 there was a gasp in the NBA community.  Could Lebron and the reigning league of all stars keep up with the high caliber of entertainment that has become a part of what the 25 year old and up fans have come to expect?  A year later and fast forward to the summer league and we get our answer.  The highlights from the NBA summer league 2017 has been special.  And it’s not because of 50 point nights or eye-dazzling dunks but for something much more important.  The learning curve of these first and second year players is something that has not been seen since when Lebron and Carmelo entered the league. Rookies Lonzo Ball and Jayson Tatum proved this in their showdown in Vegas when the Lakers squared off against the Celtics.  Ball had a triple-double while Tatum managed to overcome a 20+ point deficit with fellow young star Jaylen Brown and get the win.  While Tatum has been pretty consistent in summer league play, Lonzo Ball had a bad showing in his debut.  But to ignite behind the ill words of the social media world and come back with a triple-double proves that he has the fortitude to make great things happen during the upcoming ’17-’18 season.

Now clearly understand that no one is deeming the draft class of 2017 the next set of NBA hall of famers, but it is common knowledge already that these guys bring on an old school fearlessness with a new age level of talent.  The heads of the class are Markelle Fultz, Lonzo Ball, Jayson Tatum, and Josh Jackson.  They have a good support group with them in Jonathan Isaac, Dennis Smith Jr. and former Kentuckians Malik Monk and De’Aron Fox.   Add this group of rookies with the current crop of second and third year upper echelon players that are already making waves and we can finally say the league is ready if any of the Lebron-era heroes exit the game.  Furthermore the entire world of professional basketball can breathe a sigh of relief because there is definitely something special about the class of 2017.  Antagonists will try to say this “something special” phrase is cliche and used with every draft class.  I admit that it is used every year with certain players but hardly ever with draft classes as a whole.  At best this rookie class will bring the fans the brand of basketball that was a mainstay in the late 80’s and 90’s.  At worst we get a clash between the present and future that would be a classic master versus student battle.  Stay tuned…

Who Put These Women In Charge?…Why The NFL Would Thrive From More Female Coaches

Can females coach in professional football? Is it working now? Will it expand or will it turn into a temporary fad overcome with opposition bent on keeping NFL football an all men’s platform?   Yes, there are and hopefully will be more women coaches in the NFL, but initial praise goes out to Kathryn Smith, Jen Welter, and Collette Smith.  Kathryn Smith stepped into the NFL by joining the Buffalo Bills as a special teams coach.  Jen Welter was invited into the Arizona Cardinals organization as an assistant linebackers coach.  And Collette Smith was recently hired with the New York Jets as a defensive backs assistant coach. Big time kudos go out to Kathryn Smith and Jen Welter that have already silenced critics by showing the football world that they were able to take on the challenges that come with being an NFL coach.

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In 2016 Kathryn Smith entered the NFL with plenty of confidence and blazed a trail for future female coaches

Cliche jargon would want to turn this into a conversation about the female struggle and feminism movements, but any former or current football players know the difficulties that these female coaches face in just gaining respect as football instructors.  Imagine trying to gain other coaches’ respect let alone a bunch of protein filled testosterone packed athletes who want to only take directions from those who have field experience.  That said the fact that these women have been esteemed and have actually gained more cheers than jeers from the players they coach speaks volumes about the skill level they possess with coaching.

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Coach Jen Welter’s attention to detail impressed the entire coaching staff during her tenure with the Arizona Cardinals

While football is a game that is usually won by the team with the strongest and best athletes, detailed game plans are what the consistent champions rely upon.  Bill Belichick and the late Bill Walsh are the greatest examples of coaches who relied upon great game plans and putting their players in the best position to be successful.  Not to compare the previously mentioned female coaches to Belichick and Walsh in terms of building dynasties, but the comparison can be made in terms of being meticulous detail oriented teachers. Whether or not women pay more attention to detail than men as a whole is something to debate on another day. However, adding in the fact that any female coach entering the NFL has to undoubtedly work three times as hard to gain the approval of players, coaches, and even fans, there needs to be a resume with plenty of strong points on it.  In this case teaching a player effective tactics that helps them find success would outshine the yelling and screaming methods that plenty of coaches employ to cloak their inexperience or own discomforts.

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Coach Collette Smith quickly gained the respect of Jet’s players after being hired as their first female coach in late May

There are and will be a plethora of opinions on this topic for months, years maybe generations to come.  As for now the state of the game is still at best brutal, exciting, and a common ground where men of different backgrounds gather.  At worst it is a club for men hesitant to hire female coaches. These men will continue to perform extra cross checks for any woman that desires to be in a position that will affect a team.   One thing is for certain, take a close look at the players reaction to the first wave of women coaches and one can plainly see that these ladies brought plenty of strengths and few weaknesses to the game.  Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.


They See Them Drowning…But Say I’ll Pray For You??

There is a saying in the church and it goes, “If you see me drowning don’t pray for me, pull me out the water please.”  Now you may not think that this is what a person in good  conscious would do but there is a lot of this very thing going on in the sports world.  It’s now becoming a loud whisper because of the potential actions from the new generation of sports stars.  It include this year’s NBA draft class who are vowing to do what the current and past classes sparingly did which is put a combined effort into uplifting their communities.  While the reader may say “talk is cheap”, at the least we now have a young generation that recognizes the number of critical issues facing the black community and are willing to put action to the cause instead of wasting time being a “baller and shot caller.”  I consider it refreshing.  Someone has put the word into these young men’s and women’s ears and has let them know they have a rare window of opportunity. Don’t do as many of the past pro athlete classes have done and squander it.

Wise words from people who seem to be fed up with the flashiness and bragging while whole communities are in need of bread, clean water, and a wake up call.  A couple of libraries wouldn’t hurt either because whether you’ve noticed or not history keeps repeating itself in a certain demographic.  A lot of the reasons for this constant demise can be found in most books that are at our local library.  But let’s not digress into pointless rabble-rousing.  The facts are pretty clear.  There are a lot of past and current professional athletes who watched and are still watching their communities suffer whether it is from dirty drinking water or violent crimes against each other.  And while there is a lot of shoulder shrugging and issue deflection taking place, we do see a sort of conscious uprising from a younger generation that prefers to see a thriving culture rather than one that has to watch them show off their bling in front of the camera.

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The Flint water crisis is still at critical mass and there is more rhetoric being passed around than actual solutions

Maybe the younger generation of sports stars can no longer look at the hesitant actions of their predecessors after seeing what took and is still taking place in Flint, Michigan.  The water crisis there was nationwide news and while lots of bottled water and short term water filters were sent to help the residents, there was an absence of a final resolution.  Now any person with a first grade education would know that a new city-wide filtration system is expensive, but not more expensive than what a group of ball players could help purchase. Unfortunately, there will be the antagonists of actual humanitarian deeds come along and say things like, “it’s their money and they can do what they want with it” or “if you sports writers are so concerned why don’t you do something about it.”  At best these statements are as worthless as the water in Flint.  At worst the people who would say such things still believe in the plight of the sucka mc.  There are plenty of athletes that were born and raised near Flint, Michigan and some have assisted with the basic items previously mentioned.  For the most part though band aids have been used to stop a community that is hemorrhaging. This is only one issue, but it is far too obvious not to point out.  Another elephant that has stepped into the room with his arms aloof wondering if it will be evaded like those previous.

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Marshawn Lynch has been a very active leader with youth and speaks volumes for the professional athlete who uses his wealth to uplift his community

What can be done to get this plague of “self glossing first, uplift community later” habit to stop?  Nothing.  The wound is too deep.  It would be better to start with a fresh generation and teach them the correct way to uplift their neighborhoods so that the generation of young people after them will repeat positive change.  In no part are we ignoring the great things that have been done by athletes such as Marshawn Lynch, who builds community centers back in Los Angeles, or Lebron James, who sends countless amounts of teens to college with part of his salary.  The issue is that in such a state of disarray these are pebbles in an ocean of problems that have been formed over decades.  One shining fact that could cause a domino effect is that one of the nation’s top young athletes is from the city of Flint, Michigan.  Miles Bridges decided to opt out of this year’s NBA draft even though he was a sure lottery pick.  The draft of 2018 could see him at the number one spot, but it is his view of what is taking place back in his hometown that is moving him and many of his friends, who were actually drafted this year, to action.  Usually athletes in one sport such as basketball make friends with those in other sports so this conscious move to help a suffering people could be an epic one.  In other words there will be a massive attack on problems such as the lack of education and abundance of crime in urban communities.  And this will be done by a collective group who will have the resources and stage to make a significant difference.

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Miles Bridges keeps a close eye on the happenings back in his hometown of Flint and an even closer eye on the lack of assistance from those in a position to help

Although community issues such as poverty and crime go beyond the black community, the emphasis of this article is on the availability but lack of help in fixing the problem.  It is not a plea for those in these communities and neighborhoods to stand on a corner with a sign while crying about the problem. Nor is it an appeal to blame everyone else for the problems in urban communities.  It is just a note saying that another fruitless march for change will be ineffective and leave these areas in the same predicament for yet another generation.  There are enough people who want to reverse the oppression whether self-made or calculated.  Maybe a group cry out to wealthy entertainers such as professional athletes is exactly the thing needed.  Help should undoubtedly be contingent upon the individuals first helping themselves and second maintaining the better state that they are put in.  This would give those helping more of a reason to use their resources in help bringing about change.   At the end of this plot is a young generation watching to see if any progress will made.  They just hope that more action is the next move of a drowning people.  Spare a proactive generation the actions of this current group whose resolution to everything has become marching, praying, hoping, and waiting for things to get better.  Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.



Coaches And Stress…Why GM’s Are Now Intervening with the Health of Their Coaching Staffs

Warning! The stress of coaching  may bring about a heart attack or a stroke.  Head coaches throughout college and professional sports face this looming health problem over short or long periods of time.  While most of us barely make it through a fast food drive-thru without having 100 different stressful thoughts about 100 different stressful things,  imagine the life of a head coach.  Early mornings begin at 5:30am, late nights end at midnight or later and don’t forget the road trips.  Then there are the dreaded seasons or partial seasons where losses pile up and the bosses of the boss come to collect names.  And they aren’t bringing a kudos box for these names, they take down names of who was at fault for all the losing with a box of pink slips. Through all of this head coaches are expected to deal with this kind of hardship with great stability. While we think that coaching is just a day of calling plays, blowing whistles, and tossing a few pieces of harsh language towards players, it is much more.  Those head coaches have to account for the lives of the players and their assistants.  We’re talking about a body of maybe 150 staff and players when it comes to college football and maybe a little over 80 to 90 with the NFL.  Basketball may have a much smaller staff, but the seasons are much longer. What head coaches may be released in terms of staff stress is displaced with the potential problems that come with a longer schedule.  Now comes the general managers and owners who understand that heavy is the head that wears the crown.  And 2016-17 provided them all with plenty of warning signs that there needs to be immediate intervention in some form to not only keep coaches fresh but to also keep them alive.  

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Players and staff on West Virginia had a nervous moment after Coach Huggins fell faint during a game this past season

As like most work places management can be messy. There is the boss, the middle management, those who think they are boss and the people who take orders from all the above bosses.  But sports provides a unique system where the head coach is a cross between middle management and the boss.  And while crap does roll downhill, the stinky aroma tends to rise right back up and somehow gather right next to the coach and his assistants.  These middle men live between the double edged sword of expectant team owners, general managers, and athletic directors while on the flip side have to deal with a fan base that will call for coaching changes with the first sign of a bad season.  Yes, the situation can be compromising but with sports there is always going to be good and bad.   As the head coach you get to make the final calls.  If those calls are wrong you end up suffering a two way wrath.  Being this uncategorized middle man/boss provides a different sort of stress level that can and many times has been too much for an individual to handle.

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Gary Kubiak suffered a stroke while coaching for the Houston Texans and was forced to take a lengthy leave of absence

The number one fact about stress is that it kills without prejudice.  What’s worse is that it’s a silent killer and it definitely doesn’t refer to a clock when it strikes its victim.  Are there warning signs when an individual is becoming ill from stress?  That may seem to be an obvious yes if you’re a fan with zero playing experience on the collegiate or pro level.  Players who have played on those levels understand that coaches develop hard-day habits.  On those difficult days coaches may do such things as flick their hair a bunch of times or something as extreme as cracking a pencil across their knee.  These habits become a part of the staff and players’ lives.  It’s not until a coach turns pale or gets uncharacteristically silent that players and other staff know there’s something wrong.  By then it’s too late and medical personnel are rushing in to check the vital signs on a coach who has been the victim of a mild heart attack or stroke.

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Overcome by chronic headaches, Steve Kerr had to take a break from coaching during the 2017 championship run of the Golden State Warriors

So what are team owners, general managers, and athletic directors doing to make sure their coaching staffs stay healthy?  Many are taking a page out of  Texas A&M’s manual for taking care of staff.  The coaching jobs at Texas A&M  are those that can take their toll on staff and players because of high expectations to win.  Scheduled staff golf outings,  one day get aways, and mandatory exercise programs are definitely benefitting the staff.  Since implementing this official “staff care program” coaches on the football, basketball, and baseball teams say they feel physically and mentally better.  And when signs of being overwhelmed are seen, coaches are monitored by training staff over a period of two to three days.  And for those readers who would “jack-assedly”  venture over to say that soon coming country club environments will be the result of these staff care programs. Figure it like this:  Hundreds of thousands of dollars are invested into the health of the athlete.  It would not be a bad idea to put some financial backing into the coaching staff’s health and well being.  Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.

The Newest Trend Of NFL Players Retiring Early…Good For The Player And The Fan

We would all retire early if it meant leaving our profession at the top of our game and several million dollars in the bank.  Even if our passion was our career, early retirement has a special ring to it. In the past couple of years football fans were shocked to see the retirement of Patrick Willis and other players at the pinnacle of their careers including future hall of fame Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions.  The average age of early retirees has been 30 years. A prime age for a player to have at least five to six more productive seasons.  Of course, there are anomalies such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Charles Woodson who put on all pro performances in their upper 30’s with Brady still being active in the league.  But outside of these athletes gifted with longevity, more and more players are deciding to take advantage of the opportunity that comes with walking away from the game early.  Currently the NFL allows a player to retire after 3 years of holding an active roster spot. And since most players come into the league at 23 years of age, the majority players with a decent contract at the end of their 20’s are absolutely capable of having an awesome retirement.

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Money and financial stability should be well taken care of by the time NFL athletes reach the age of 30.  With all the resources provided through business mentoring and financial advisors, players should be able to transition to the life of a common man pretty fast.  Have there been horror stories of players going broke after leaving the game? Yes, indeed, but the components of an athlete struggling after a professional career are pretty diverse many come down to choices made or made by default.  That said, the growing trend is for early retirees to have a finite plan that is implemented the very day they hang up their cleats.  And with sound financial advice and smart spending being an old but fresh idea with this new generation of stars, there are plenty of players coming into the league with a ready made exit plan.  

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We can take Patrick Willis and Calvin Johnson as  prime examples of players who were successful during their football career and had a seamless transition into life after football. Patrick Willis was one of the most menacing hitters to ever put on a San Francisco 49’ers uniform.  His early retirement sent a ripple of stunned looks on 49er fans’ faces as well as the entire fanbase of the NFL.  Willis was easily set to have more all pro years and was as finely tuned of a player that an all pro linebacker could be.  However, he chose to head into the exclusive land of Silicon Valley where he has put his footprint in the business of startups.   Calvin Johnson is another example of an early retiree that stunned football fans around the league.  The 6’5,  238 pound Johnson nicknamed “Megatron” was a bigger version of hall of famer Randy Moss.  His consistent scoring in the red zone along with weekly punishment of smaller defensive backs made him the ultimate offensive weapon.  His retirement was followed by several business ventures including restaurants and youth organizations.  While these are only two cases of early retirees, they are great examples of how an athlete can properly plan his exit from the game of professional football.  Both players gave a great experience to the fans and are young enough to enjoy their families and a life of financial stability.  

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Now comes the NFL fan who for the most part has the patience of a lottery winner that’s given an IOU.   NFL fans want wins for their favorite teams, big numbers from their favorite players, and longevity in those respective favorite players’ careers.  Two out of three ain’t that bad.  At the least the fans will get an extra dose of the honeymoon phase with players exiting the game early at the pinnacle of their careers.  At the most you’ll have the NFL young star player barrel reloading every five to six years.  Not a bad trade off at all.

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If this trend continues, the quality of the NFL will gradually get better.  You’ll have players competing in their prime physical forms.   The fans will have a lot less frustration with aging players who have had their good sense knocked out of them and owners will be able to avoid the inevitable hard breakup with long term veterans.  In a nutshell the NFL will become a young man’s league sticking close to the slogan of “milk the cow while the utters are full.”  Or something like that.  Love it or hate it but in the end….it is what it is.

The “Super Team” Project Is In Full Force And Minnesota Is Winning…

If you haven’t noticed yet, the NBA is on the move to create the next super team.  Actually team owners are out to create a unit that can take down the Golden State Warriors in the West and the Cavs in the East.  The Minnesota Timberwolves are creeping closer and closer to doing both of these.  Say what you want but adding one of the league’s youngest superstars in Jimmy Butler just put the T-Wolves on pace to go extended rounds with any team in the league.  You have three legit all stars in Butler, Wiggins, and Towns.  Giorgiu Dieng brings factual big man presence in the paint with a very capable but tradeable Tyus Jones at guard.  Can Minnesota beat the Warriors in a playoff series at this point.  Probably not.  Give them one more defender that can play 30 to 35 minutes per game and we have something that can get very interesting come playoff time 2018.

The Unforgiven…How The Vetting System At Oregon State Failed

Placing judgement on a group of individuals is not at all the purpose of this article.  Instead the criticism of a vetting system that failed the family of a toddler along with unsuspecting student-athletes is the main point of this piece.  

If the reader has not heard by now, there is a pitcher from Oregon State by the name of Luke Heimlech who was passed up by MLB teams during this year’s draft.  Why did they pass on him?  After researching his background they came across info that disclosed his guilty plea in a child molestation case.  Now before we go and bash any coach or recruiting director on how an individual who did such a terrible act was able to take residence in a Oregon State uniform, the facts must be laid out.  This act was committed before Heimlech was admitted to Oregon State and in the process of recruiting kids from high school, a crime of this sort could in fact be missed.  But we are not focusing on the when or the why.  We are looking at the how.  Without claiming to be an on staff scout or recruiter for an NCAA university, I do have some idea on what they focus on when recruiting a potential prospect.  These focuses usually include game day performance, grades, and behavior/attitude not necessarily  in that order.  While it seems almost impossible for an infraction such as child molestation to be missed on a prospect’s scouting report, figure what a person would go into a relationship looking for.  Probably nice looks, good personality, and a good job.  You usually assume that you a person doesn’t have mass murderer on their life resume or is a member of terrorist organizations.  So would an unsuspecting coach see a hidden monster in a young man who has the athletic drive of a potential pro ball player, the innocent looks of Pee Wee Herman, and the personality of a paperboy? Probably not.  Moreover a coach would likely see opportunity and have the concerns of his program in mind and miss a lot of the unseen flaws in a prospect.  And for reasons of saving face, we all have made mistakes in our life and are still making them to date.  

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The MLB decided to pass on Luke Heimlech after his pass reveiled sexual misconduct towards a six year old toddler

Let’s switch gears over to the prospect only to take it back to the staff at Oregon State later.  This is a young man who admitted that he committed a heinous act and asked for the mercy of the court.  There’s a saying that goes “two things are unforgivable and those are blasphemy against the Almighty and sexual assault against a child.”  Now even if you don’t believe in the Almighty, you have to know that it is absolutely unacceptable to commit an act of such evil against a toddler. So what’s next? Do we sit here and throw stones at a young man who is already walking around with a cast out sign above his head not seen since the days of Cain and Abel, or do we look into the program that allowed him to represent it and other student-athletes.  A re-trial of Luke Heimlech by a public empathetic to victims of sexual assault would be fruitless.  The verdict is in and his act makes him a little more than a young man with a monster inside him and a little less than the monster itself.  

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The Oregon State coaching staff hopes to avoid rigorous controversy from the ordeal with their star pitcher Luke Heimlech

But there’s still a big fat elephant in the room trying to hide behind a curtain of fault deflection.  The Oregon State coaching staff has to pocket some of the guilt in terms of the cloud it put over the program.  Who made the mistake of missing such a critical error in Heimlech’s past?  Over-thinking critics will assume that the staff slid the crime under the table because the reward outweighed the risk.  The prospect had so much upside that one bad decision such as molesting a child didn’t carry enough weight to keep him off the field.  I guess an assumption within an assumption is a waste of time so we will error on the side of saying no human is that selfish to brush aside such an act in order to get a few more wins on their stat sheet.  Bottom line is that someone dropped the ball in this one. No pun intended.  This situation may not have the magnitude of the Jerry Sandusky ordeal in terms of the actual incident taking place in a team locker room.  There are similarities though.  Some how the vetting system at a major school failed the student-athlete body and the family of the victim.  Chalk it up as one more scandal in a bucket of sports program scandals.  The outcome of this will more than likely fall in the hands of a public that is already oversaturated with issues in sports.  At the least we can commend the MLB for stopping this situation from snowballing even more.  Imagine the public outcry if Heimlech would have continued playing in the college world series or the MLB?  Love it or hate but in the end…it is what it is.

The Big Switch…The Soon Coming Loophole In Sports For Transgenders

Juwanna Man was a movie made in the late 90’s that portrayed an unaccomplished male basketball player posing as a female to play in the women’s pro league.  The plot was pretty simple but unabashedly gutsy in its delivery.  A young man by the name of  Jamal Jeffries had big dreams about playing pro basketball.  When those dreams came to a sudden close he saw a loophole in the rules and morphed into his role as Juwanna Mann. His skills that lacked on a men’s court were above average in the women’s league. He became an instant star.  

If sports fans have been watching the latest news and paying attention to social media they probably feel like they’ve traveled back to the future.  There have already been a couple cases of transgender athletes who have sort of taken advantage of the rules.  I say sort of because treading lightly on this subject is a must.  And not so much to avoid offending readers but to give those who are transgender athletes the benefit of the doubt.  It wouldn’t be fair at all to say that every transgender athlete has intentions of flipping the policies to favor their sports career.  Surely there are those that have consciously decided to go through the proper procedures to identify with their inner persons without losing their desire to play team sports.  

My point is is that there are plenty of glaring loopholes and that there have already been instances where we have seen the enormous gap in competition when a male steps into a woman’s uniform.  There will be plenty of critics that will come and turn this article into a women’s power movement.  But before looking at an opportunity to cut down the writer and article claiming male chauvinism, take a look at the process, a very easy process at that.  

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Miguel A. Núñez, Jr. plays as Jamal Jeffries, a basketball star who posed as a female player after being banned from men’s basketball.

Here’s another not so fictitious scenario.  A male track runner, who is declining in his performance on his college track team, is finally asked to leave the team.  He loves track. He would do anything it takes to get back out there and compete.  Then, an idea pops up in his head after seeing a couple of commercials on sex changes.  Four very short months later and after getting the proper paperwork processed for identifying as the opposite sex, this individual walks onto the female track team at a different college.  He’s an instant star. Since the head coach likes to win the fact that the system is flawed is only a second thought to the success story.  

This may not have been the case with Texas high school wrestler Mack Beggs, but his case caused a nationwide uproar.  Beggs was born a female but is on testosterone in his transition to manhood.  He won the state title for girls after being allowed to wrestle as a transgender boy.  Simply put, testosterone is a steroid and would give an individual a big advantage against their opponent.   The controversy came about because of the way he won.  In short he tossed his female opponents around like rag dolls and won most of his matches in a matter of seconds.  There weren’t too many critics defending Mack Beggs, because while he seemed a very skilled wrestler, the advantage of the testosterone shots was obvious.  Just one case of a loophole, but something tells me there will be plenty more.

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Mack Beggs became the first transgender high school athlete in Texas to win a state title


Many will smile and shrug off the possibility of a man ever playing female sports.  It makes sense.  With so much money involved with athletics these years it’s hard to imagine something as twisted as a male athlete using the system to gain success and notoriety.  And for those of you who would ask if this would work the other way around for a female to infiltrate male sports.  That would be a big maybe.  There are sports that require the gracefulness of a female competitor such as gymnastics, but that scenario is much too awkward and complicated to broach.  This could all just be a flash in the pan. It could go away with a board of policy makers sitting in a room tying up any loose ends on rules with transgender athletes.  The question is whether a small flare of playful opportunity turns into a forest fire of individuals bending the rules to benefit their sports careers.  

Side note. Get prepared to see your first male athlete in the WNBA.  Along with the first male player will come an outrageous fan appreciation for the ridiculousness of it all. Welcome to the age of social media and absolute narcissism. 

Now aside from making three categories for competition, male, female, and transgender; policy makers in sports had better start to come up with a plan to thwart this potential problem.  We may be a couple years away from things getting out of control.  Don’t think for a second that there isn’t an athlete somewhere out there that sees opportunity in posing as the opposite sex to prolong his and her career, especially if there has yet to be a single rule against it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I’m eager to see the first female athlete go sub 10.5 in the 100 meter or do a 360 dunk, but not if it means having to constantly see the imprint of a jock strap and cup through their game shorts.  Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.

The Side Chick Epidemic…A Confused Confidence

Somehow the word side chick has become a proud title for some females. For some odd reason the two word term has come to represent sexy, wild, and fun.  Unfortunately the words that follow the previous three are usually divorce, unplanned pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases.  Not to mention the career toppling embarrassment that inquiring fans flood social media with.  All of a sudden the theory of the side chick seems like a bad epidemic rather than a fly by night fad that will soon go away.  Yes there have been relationship “infractions” since the beginning of mankind, but this new type of companion stealing is like a virus that mutates and adjusts to opposition and rejection.

At its base the ideal that this new but familiar phenomenon is attacking is family structure.  Go after the male, pull him out of the household using some kind of method, in this case temptation, and consequently there is an eventual breakdown of the family structure.  This may seem extreme but there are hundreds of examples of this over the past decade especially in sports.  Since this is not a ploy to embarrass, highlight the bad decision-making, or go on a personal attack against current or former pro athletes I’ll leave it to the reader to google cases of side chick infidelity that led to some pretty hectic situations.  It is no wonder why the side chick epidemic is targeting households in this age and era.  It joins a plethora of things attacking the family structure.  But in this case there is a more sinister yet stealthy approach to entering a pro athlete’s life and turning it upside down.  Side note.  There are plenty of readers who will proclaim that this article places all the blame on the female when in fact it is more the fault of the male, who in the end has to make the final decision to fall to the temptation.  In a nutshell severe pain follows the pleasure in this case.  Such is the folly of a fool that succumbs to the sweet nectar of a harlot.  But let’s not digress by playing a fencing game of who retains the most guilt.  As the old saying goes it takes two to tango.

side chick blog

Ronnie Rose is infamous for going on a seasonal “baller” hunt

Now for anyone wondering how this epidemic can be contained, they should look into the signs and setup of it all.  Pay attention enough and you’ll notice five things that are blaring on the side chicks that attend professional events.  They are as follows:

1) A side chick almost always shows up in all designer clothing and accessories.  I suspect the underlying tone to this is quality begets quality or rather money attracts money.  If dressed to impress there is a better chance at getting attention.  An old school way but still effective in most circumstances.

2) Studying the prey involves attending more than one game or event.  What better way to capture the catch than to observe their ways.  And if you’ve ever been an athlete especially on the pro level you know that most days consist of a regiment.  An athlete is usually in a certain place at a certain time.  They have some of the most strict schedules and any determined or potential side chick can pick up on this and thus plan around it.

3) While they may seem unethical, the side chick does have a set of morals that were instilled in them at one time in their lives.  They just have an uncanny way of putting them on the back burner in order to achieve their final objective which in their head is nabbing a “baller”

4) Side chicks are almost poetic with their words and unsuspecting males are mere putty in their hand after a little more than 10 minutes of talk.  Thus it is highly suggested to avoid talking or allowing a respective companion to talk to a potential side chick for more than a couple of minutes.

5) The number one tool of a potential side chick is communication.  Unfortunately there are plenty of ways to have contact with someone these days.  Social media gives everyone plenty of tricks in the bag if and when they plan on having inappropriate contact with an individual.  That said it would be insane to try to isolate one’s companion from communicating with people.  But I’m not here to offer solutions but rather to point out what all former or current athletes know and that is if a side chick wants to talk to someone they have plenty of ways of getting through.

side chick tv cover

This TV show may be a waste of time but is a stern warning about the side chick epidemic

Call it a whimsical way of looking at one of the more featured problems in professional sports.  The side chick epidemic has become so evident that they even have a tv show based around individuals who fall into that category.  There are other tv shows following the lives of side chicks such as Basketball Wives but I don’t think the women in that particular show realize that they in fact the side chick.  Usually the title of spouse eliminates any element of being the second option.  But again I digress. In the end this is the sort of epidemic that will only end with a shock of morality amongst the victims.  And if today’s society is a sign of things to come, we are a long way from this problem going away.  Love it or hate it but in the end…it is what it is.