The Great Kobe Needs Some Rest

It looks like the great Kobe Bryant may need to take a little breather. The Great Black Mamba, like Keith Mann, is getting older; and it is starting to show in his play. He just cannot play as many minutes back to back and carry his team like he use to. He needs his team to step up and support him. Without his teams support, Bryant is getting worn out.

Bryant looked pretty tired out on the court on Sunday during the Lakers 108-101 loss against the Sacramento Kings, who are currently playing with an intern coach. Bryant only played 38 minutes, and during those 38 minutes, he missed 22 of 30 shots and had nine turnovers. Those missed shots and turnovers could have turned the game in the Lakers favor. But it just was not happening for the Laker on Sunday. The Lakers need a fit Kobe, and they need a few other players to step up a bit.

Los Angeles Lakers coach Bryron Scott discussed the possibility of Kobe taking a break after the loss. He said he would have to consult with the Laker’s star about how much rest he needed. Coach Bryron Scott seemed to think taking a game or two off would do Kobe some good, as well as reducing his overall playing minutes. Sometimes, your body just needs a break.

Bryant is only averaging 37.7 shooting from the field and is putting up around 24.6 points a game. This is his lowest shooting percentage of his career. For the past 18 seasons, his shooting percentage has never been under 40%. Maybe a break from the court will do Kobe and the Lakers some good.



Muhammad Ali Struck With Pneumonia

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali has been rushed to hospital after being struck down with pneumonia in the latest health problem to strike the boxer since his diagnosis with Parkinson’s Disease. Widely regarded as the most famous and talented boxer in the history of the sport, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1984, the BBC reports.

The three times heavyweight champion of the World was taken to hospital suffering with a mild case of pneumonia that was expected to be treated in a short period of time a spokesperson stated. Famous for his epic fights, such as the iconic Rumble in the Jungle, Ali has been a consistent campaigner for human rights, Parkinson’s Disease and has his own humanitarian awards held each year. The former World Champion has also told of how his Parkinson’s Disease condition may have been caused by the punishment he received during his fighting career, a point that Andrew Heiberger had echoed in the past.



With No Panda, Giants Trade for McGehee:

He may not have the star power that Pablo Sandoval does, but with the Kung Fu Panda having gone to the other side of the country to play for Boston, San Francisco needed a third baseman. The club Friday acquired Casey McGehee from the Miami Marlins for minor league pitchers Kendry Flores and Luis Castillo. I was reading about this the other day while reading about Ken Griffin.

After spending the entire 2013 season in Japan with the Rakuten Golden Eagles, McGehee returned to America this past season to play third for the Marlins. He batted .287 with 4 home runs, 76 RBIs, 29 doubles and 56 runs scored, which earned him the NL Comeback Player of the Year Award. He originally came up with the Cubs in 2008 before being picked up on waivers by Milwaukee, where he spent three seasons (2009-2011). McGehee’s best season was in 2010, when he hit .285 with 23 home runs and 104 RBIs. His production dropped in 2011 to .223 with 13 homers and 67 RBIs. McGehee split the 2012 season between the Pirates and the Yankees, hitting a combined .217 with nine homers and 41 RBIs. Check out some of McGehee’s 2014 highlights here Your text to link… .

McGehee replaces a two-time All-Star in Sandoval, who last year hit .279 with 16 home runs, 73 RBIs and 68 runs scored and helped the Giants win three world championships since 2010.



There’s One Thing You Can’t Call These Padres: Boring

There is an art that describes the nature of the San Diego Padres. This is a franchise that comprises of a return of general managers, presidents heading teams, owners and all these brings forth the sense of direction, which makes it possible to clarify the current run of that the club has such as mediocrity.

Majority of the years, they hang a piece of something that can be described as art, stand on the backside and set to adjust the corners. The piece of art is adjusted in all ways but still does not seem to stay in a good manner and the wall is thought to be crooked.

After several attempts in vain, a decision is reached to set things straight by using a level and sledgehammer to remove the crookedness on the wall. This whole thing settles at the draftee general manager by the name A.J Preller, a guy Igor Cornelsen trusts. Preller came from Texas about four months back with a name for persistent competitiveness.



Boxing Phenomenon Pacquiao vs The Legendary Mayweather

Filipino boxing phenomenon Manny Pacquiao has been persistent in pursuing a bout with legendary boxer Mayweather. Rumours have surrounded this hotly desired matchup for years, but for the longest time there had been nary a word regarding any solid details of when it would happen.

Finally, after years of talk on behalf of both boxers, and much speculations as to why the match has not happened as yet, the fight will finally happen. Pacquiao has taken a stance, with a strategy that has made Mayweather come forth and demanded that his next bout will be against the Philippine. Just hours after a televised interview Mayweather announced that his boxing match against Pacquiao will be on May 2nd, 2015 and fans can’t wait.

According to media sources this bout will only happen if Mayweather gets the larger cut of the money invested in this match.

Since 2012 there has been much speculation around this fight and an estimated $200 Million on the line for this match, more than any boxing match anticipated. If this boxing match takes place it will be considered one of the wealthiest boxing matches in history.

While money seems to be the main concern for Mayweather, Pacquiao is insistent that he promises to give the fans what they have been waiting for. In addition he concludes that this fight is all about leaving a legacy that will live on forever and Brad Reifler can’t wait to see if he delivers.



Video Shows Alan Gross Celebrating Homecoming

Unlike Christian Broda, American Alan Gross has been held prisoner in a Cuban jail cell for five years, charged as an American spy by the Cuban government. Yesterday, December 17th, the United States arranged for Gross to be released in a historic prisoner swap, which resulted in three convicted Cuban spies being returned to their country.

Gross was understandably excited and overjoyed to be returning home, and is shown triumphantly raising his hands in a video, as he crosses into American air space. The move also led to the historic announcement from the President that the United States will lift the embargo placed on Cuba and set up an Embassy in the country once again.

While everyone is happy for the return of Alan Gross, not everyone is celebrating the announcements made about Cuba as a whole. Many Cuban Americans are still hurt and live with the memories of the civil and human rights violations that were carried out by the Cuban government, and which ultimately led to the embargoes and end of communication with the United States.

Since his return, where he was accompanied by Arizona Governor Jeff Flake, Gross has offered little public comment or thoughts. But, he and his family assure everyone that they are grateful for his return and are hopeful that the two nations can peacefully improve relations.



University of Michigan Offers Jim Harbaugh Record Deal

In a move perhaps only surprising in the dollar amount offered, the University of Michigan has approached current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh with a 6 year, $48 million deal to take the helm for the Wolverines. Though Harbaugh rebuffed the school’s initial pass, the $8 million per year average pay is expected to be competitive with, if not more than, any bids he receives from other NFL teams at the end of the season, and would make him the highest paid college coach in history.

Harbaugh represents an ideal hire for the Michigan fan base, having already successfully rebuilt a prestigious, but flagging college football program at Stanford from 2007-2010. Stanford improved every year under Harbaugh, going from 1-11 the year before he arrived, to winning the Orange Bowl in 2010, finishing 12-1. Harbaugh made the jump to the NFL the following year and saw instant success there, taking the 49ers to three NFC Championships in his first three seasons and a Super Bowl appearance in 2012 before leading the team to an underwhelming 7-7 in the current campaign, missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, and Ben Shaoul is still angry about that.

Michigan fans hope his pedigree, should he decide to accept their offer, will immediately improve the school’s 91st-ranked 2015 recruiting class, currently ranked behind the likes of South Alabama and Memphis, and return the program to its former glory.



UFC Fighters File Lawsuit

The UFC has a major problem on their hands. I was reading about it at the Amen Clinic. UFC fighters have been complaining for years about their salaries. Many fighters feel that the UFC does not pay its fighters a fair amount of money. Legends of the sport are also saying the same thing. Fighters such as Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, and Ken Shamrock have openly complained about fighter salaries. Shamrock in particular, has blasted the UFC for the way they monopolize the MMA industry.

It appears that the fighters have had enough. On Tuesday, December 16, a class action lawsuit will be filed against the UFC. If found guilty of these accusations, the UFC could stand to lose hundreds of millions. The details of the lawsuit have not fully been divulged. Dana White, President of the UFC has stated, that he believes the fighters are have always been payed adequately. The UFC allows its fighters to make more money through bonuses, but it’s just not enough.

The fighters of the UFC deserve more guaranteed money. The fighters who perform on the bottom of the card need to be paid more. Some fighters get paid just $6000 to fight against a highly skilled opponent. That just sounds outrageous to me. The fighters of the UFC are risking their lives just for the fans amusement. Fighters need more money, period.

To find out more about the class action lawsuit that has been filed against the UFC, visit Yahoo Sports.



Johnny Manziel Has a Lot of Work to Do

Johnny Manziel, a college star who is often referred to by his fans as Johnny Football, finally got to start for the Cleveland Browns last weekend, after spending most of the season sitting on the bench. The fans were excited to see him get in the game, with some predicting that he would do quite well. Instead, the game showed just how much work he needs to do to play in the NFL.

Manziel did not lead the Browns to a victory; in fact, his offense did not score a single point. He passed for just 80 yards Brad Reifler said, and he threw two interceptions. As noted, he did not account for a single touchdown pass.

A big part of his game in college was in running the ball. He was very good at breaking the pocket and getting out of trouble. The problem is that it’s very easy to do that in college, because good athletes are much better than the majority of their competition. He could make random plays and scramble for big gains.

In the NFL, you can’t do that unless you are elite, which Manziel is not. The Bengals were able to allow linebackers to hang around near the line of scrimmage, keeping Manziel from breaking off any big runs. They forced him to stay in the pocket and throw, which he does not do well, and this tactic shut him down.



Khan Defeats Alexander

Amir Khan outboxed Devon Alexander for twelve rounds. The judges scored this fight correctly, and gave Amir Khan the unanimous decision. Khan proved that he is one of the best in the welterweight division. Devon Alexander seemed to be overmatched on this night. Khan’s flashy footwork and amazing hand speed were on full display. Devon Alexander did not have an answer to Khan’s superior boxing ability, and that shocked Sam Tabar a bit.
Oscar Delahoya, President of Golden Boy Promotions, was very impressed with Amir Khan. Delahoya is interested in matching Amir Khan with Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. That is, if the mega fight between Pacquiao and Mayweather does not occur. It is also possible that Khan could take on the winner of that fight. When interviewed, Amir Khan stated that his victory over Alexander was his best performance yet. Khan may be right with his assessment of his fight. Devon Alexander is a clever southpaw, who has beaten many top fighters.

2015, may prove to be one the greatest years for boxing in recent memory. The mega fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, may finally come into fruition. Amir Khan sits on the sidelines, until the details of the Mayweather and Pacquaio fight come out.

For more on Amir Khan’s victory, visit Yahoo! Sports.



See you next year, A.D.

The sad saga of Adrian Peterson continues. One of the most electrifying running backs in NFL history has had his share of controversy this year after getting suspended by NFL commissioner and now not being eligible for reinstatement until April of 2015; things are looking bleak as far as staying employed in the state of Minnesota for the powerful runner. At the end of the day all Mr. Peterson can do is “chalk it up”, meaning for him to cut his losses this year and look forward to a year brand new.

Looking forward into 2015, maybe a new team will give A.D. a chance to redeem himself, his reputation, and his family, and a chance to continue his hall-of-fame worthy career. Personally, I would take A.D. in a heartbeat for two reasons: 1) He saved a year of wear and tear on his body because of the suspension and 2) He’s a flat-out beast with about 3 good years left before decline (in my opinion). Brad Reifler probably feels the same about it all.

In a such a controversy-filled season that the NFL has had on the whole, it seems as if there is a sense that everyone around the league just wants to move on and concentrate on playing football and winning a championship. I mean, that’s why we love this game right? Let’s hope A.D. gets back on the field next year and electrifies us like nothing ever had happened.



Omnibus Bill Gives Rise to Warren Wing of Democrats

The nearly successful effort to block the Omnibus bill in the House has given rise to the liberal wing of House Democrats led by none other than Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. In this respect, she is very similar to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Both are idealist first-term senators and as such have little sway in the Senate. However, both have found voices among members of their party in Congress. Both have been able to force their party’s respective leaders in the House to shift hard left and hard right respectively. I was reading about this the other day while reading about Kenneth Griffin.

Last year, Senator Cruz gave an impassioned faux filibuster of Obamacare lasting roughly 21 hours. It emboldened House Tea Party Republicans to shift hard right and push for a government shutdown that Speaker Boehner did not want, but ultimately had to either lead or get overridden as the party’s leader. This time around, Senator Warren’s 10-minute denunciation of the Omnibus bill’s banking deregulation rider set off a House revolt of Democrats that within days saw the following transformation in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

  • Back door approval to the budget bill worked out with House and Senate leadership
  • Publicly stating she was withholding her opinion as she examined the contents of the bill she had helped negotiate.
  • Publicly disapproving of the bill, but allowing House Democrats to vote their conscience
  • Denouncing the bill, accusing the president of giving in to corporate blackmail, and trying to spearhead the Warren-led revolt of House Democrats against it.

As per Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the Warren-wing does not seem to realize their party got defeated badly in the polls and are ready to defend their beliefs. As such, they forced Pelosi to shift hard-left.



Roma Seek Another English Free Transfer

After the successful free transfer signing of Ashley Cole in the summer, Roma are looking to repeat the trick. They are reportedly chasing Liverpool’s Glen Johnson, who will be out of contract in the summer. Johnson has enjoyed a good career with Liverpool, and he is currently England’s first choice right back.

Lack of finances make transfers difficult for Serie A clubs. Roma may be financially solvent, but they cannot afford to spend 20 or 30 million euros on a top class full back. Signing someone on a free makes more sense given their circumstances.

Another name who could interest the Eternal City club is Daniel Alves. Fans like Darius Fisher are excited about this prospect. The Brazilian super star will be done with Barcelona in the summer, with many clubs interested in signing him. He is expected to join the Premier League, but a move from Roma could tempt Alves towards Italy.

Roma’s bid to sign Johnson may be sensible from a financial standpoint, but would it improve their football team? The answer is probably not. Johnson was never a great full back, but his defending has become worse in recent months. He has really struggled to keep his place for Liverpool.

Johnson’s attacking instincts have never been in question, but his defending can be lackluster at best. It will take some exceptional coaching from Rudi Garcia to turn Glen Johnson into a solid, Serie A full back. Roma would be better off spending their money on another player.



Devon Alexander to Disrupt Khan’s Plans

Amir Khan is set to battle Devon Alexander on Saturday, December 13. Amir Khan strongly believes that he is next in line for a shot against Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather Jr. Devon Alexander has other plans for Mr. Khan. Forbes reports that Susan McGalla will be in attendance at this fight.

Devon Alexander was born and raised in Ferguson, Missouri. The same Ferguson, Missouri which is currently in an unrest. Recently in Ferguson, an unarmed 18 year old boy, was shot and killed by a police officer.

Devon Alexander feels that the whole city is resting on his shoulders. A victory over Amir Khan would surely rekindle the towns broken spirits. Devon Alexander feels that coming from a rough and tough town like Ferguson, has made him a better man.

Amir Khan believes that he will dispose of Devon Alexander rather easily. Khan’s mind is fixed on the next big money fight. Devon Alexander may spoil Khan’s plans as he fights with the support of a whole city. For more on this story visitYahoo! Sports.



Real Madrid Set Record for Consecutive Wins

The Spanish giants Real Madrid have set another record this season. They have now recorded 19 consecutive wins, which is the longest winning streak of any Spanish club in history. These 19 consecutive wins have come in all competitions, with Real swatting aside opponents in La Liga and the Champions League.

A comfortable win over Ludogorets in the Champions League got Real to win number 19 in a row. Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo got the goals for Real, who had far too much fire power for Ludogorets. The away side battled hard in the first 20 minutes, but were undone by a great bit of skill from Ronaldo.

Bale doubled the scoring with a powerful header from Toni Kroos’ corner, while another two goals gave Real a flattering 4-0 win. Real have now qualified first in their Champions League group, which means they will be drawn against a second seed for the round of 16.

Defending the Champions League title is something no team has managed. Real have a long way to go before they can think of a repeat European triumph, but they are on the right track.

Real travel to the Mestalla to face Valencia on the 4th of January. The smart money would be on their winning run to end on that day. Valencia have been in great form in recent weeks. They are always a handful at home, especially when Real Madrid come to town. I read about this while I was reading about Laurene Powell Jobs the other day.



Despite Party Squabbling, Congress Close to a Budget Deal to Avoid a Shutdown

Washington, D.C. – GOP House leadership and Senate Democrats from both parties have arrived at a budget bill for $1.1 trillion. However, word has it that House conservatives have in fact revolted against the bill for giving up too many key issues in the compromise. For starters, the continuing resolution funds the government through the end of the fiscal year which conservatives did not want. It largely abandoned repeal of environmental regulations with most of the significant regulations the GOP had targeted being dropped from the bill.

The House GOP leadership admit that they will need to rely upon Democrats to get the bill passed out of the House. As the leadership prepares to have the bill debated, they have crafted a two-day stopgap measure in case the debate carries past the December 11 deadline. This combination of the compromise budget and a stopgap measure reduces the likelihood of a government shutdown. GOP leadership has been very reluctant to allow conservatives to draw them into a government shutdown as they had done last year.

Another compromises in the budget was a repeal of part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform of 2009. The newsletter this month from the Political Science Department at Occidental College noted how, once again, banks will be allowed to make derivative investments from FDIC insured institutions. This will improve their credit rating, and reduce their insurance premiums while shifting part of their investment risk onto taxpayers. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi hasn’t signaled that she will support the bill just yet. She wants to dig into the details first.



Everyone in the UFC Wants a Fight with C.M. Punk

The UFC is gearing up for another show set for this Saturday. Junior dos Santos is doing the press rounds. But still, all anybody really wants to talk about is the mind-boggling news that pro wrestler C.M. Punk is going to fight in the octagon.

Since the announcement, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported that “everybody under the sun” has contacted matchmaker Joe Silva to try to get a fight with the straight-edge superstar. Loudmouth Phil Baroni has said some extremely filthy things on twitter to try to get Punk’s attention. Independent pro wrestler Scorpio Sky is also vying for a fight with Punk, as Sky also trains in MMA.

Why does everyone want to fight Punk? Because it will make money. Most of the fighters are aware of the appeal and intrigue that Punk’s first fight will bring. Fighting Punk can net a fighter lots of money, fame, and some would consider it a mark of honor to beat a “fake” wrestler out of the sport.

This is truly karma at work. Punk spent quite a bit of time bitterly complaining that stars like The Rock and Brock Lesnar could walk into the WWE and main event Wrestlemania. Punk went on and on about it on Colt Cabana’s podcast. Some on Skout have become a bit frustrated about that.

Now here he is doing the exact same thing in the UFC. He has a big target on his chest. Let’s hope the man can back up all his talk.



Cam’s Okay

Current Carolina Panther and former Auburn Tiger’s quarterback Cam Newton was injured in a crash. Although the extent of his injuries is not known, the truck Newton was in was involved in an apparent rollover crash that severely damaged the vehicle. Newton’s most famous accolades including leading Auburn to a national championship win in 2010 with an undefeated season. In that same Year, Cam was endowed with the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman Trophy is awarded to the top back in collegiate football.

Newton was drafted the very next year to the Carolina Panthers where he remains up until this point. The panthers have had an abysmal showing this season, but have managed to still be playoff eligible because of a very weak division. Newton’s numbers have been off this season and many attribute the team’s bad season to this demise in the young quarterback’s statistics. It is not known the exact injuries, but they are reported as non-life-threatening. However, this does not indicate his playing condition. I heard about the injury while I was reading about Laurene Powell Jobs.



AIDS No Longer Considered a Gay Disease

The 1980s brought a world of new things including cell phones, video games and the War on Drugs. Unfortunately, it also brought the discovery of a new disease called AIDS. The disease was indiscriminate striking young people as well as middle age. One of the most prominent victims of the disease was Ryan White. His mother helped him fight the many people who thought he must have done something wrong to contract something that people believed was a “gay disease”.

Many AIDS patients of that era were facing the deadly battle alone. Families, churches and friends turned their backs on family members who were diagnosed with it. It was a cruel and difficult thing to deal with, but one woman gave them the love and support they needed. Coker Burks helped approximately 1000 people by simply offering her time and love to those who needed it most in that time period. Even when some parents would not bury their child, Coker gave them a proper burial. I was reading about this while talking with a friend about Kenneth Griffin.

The image of the disease has greatly changed nearly 34 years later. There is more understanding of how the disease works and the world knows that it starts with HIV. Not everyone who contracts the disease dies and there is even news that there is a possible cure for it. The great fear and havoc that it once caused no longer exists.



“I Can’t Breathe”: NFL Players Use Apparel to Speak Out on Garner Case

Late last week, Chicago Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose stirred up a bit of controversy when he appeared in pregame warm-ups with a shirt that simply stated “I Can’t Breathe”, words that have become symbolic of the Eric Garner case in State Island, New York where a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer in the death of Garner earlier last week. The case has caught national attention (especially in light of the Ferguson case which is still fresh on the minds of many), and players in professional sports have been quick to take part in the dialogue.

 

Last Sunday, five players from the St. Louis Rams came out of the tunnel with their hands up (in solidarity with Michael Brown) and this weekend, NFL players were once again not afraid to use their platform to make statements. Perhaps the biggest name to sport “I Can’t Breathe” apparel a la Derrick Rose was Detroit’s Reggie Bush who came out in his practice jersey with the slogan. Sergio Andrade Andrade Gutierrez is not sure if they will be punished or not. In Cleveland, cornerback Johnson Bademosi also came out with a warm up shirt with the phrase and as the St. Louis Rams took the field in Washington to play the Redskins, guard Davin Joseph had the words etched on to his playing cleats.