Retire a hero, or coach long enough to see yourself become the villian

“Retire hero, or coach long enough to see yourself become the villain”

After watching Jeremy Lin go 1-11 with 6 turnovers I had no interest in watching any more basketball. In my quest to find cinematic enjoyment I found myself watching ‘The Dark Knight” with Health Ledger, may he rest in peace. While watching the film the villain 2-face said the following quote  which made me think:

“Either you die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain”

Illinois basketball Coach Bruce Weber has witnessed the applause and praise become something far less desirable. The pundits have forgotten how he resurrected the basketball program and nearly led them to the National Championship with Dee Brown, Deron Williams and Luther Head. As the days to Coach Weber’s imminent firing approaches at season’s end, I am reminded that this has been the fate of several coaches and great players; it is the consequence of over staying your welcome and not knowing the right time to leave…

In Bloomington, Indiana was home to sport royalty and a coaching innovator that was praised for his intellect and high basketball IQ. Each year Coach Bobby Knight had his Hoosiers in contention for the National Championship due to his ability to bring great players like Isiah Thomas and Calbert Cheaney to leave their urban jungles and call the Hoosier state home. Coach Knight continued to collect wins and build championship caliber teams each year, and despite his well-known temper everyone turned a blind eye as long as the rafters continued to read “FINAL FOUR” or “ELITE EIGHT”. However, the once glorified coach was unable to keep up with the  new landscape of college basketball and those cheers of praise become glares of resentment toward an old-timer who refused to recruit and was no longer able to mount the banners he once did in years past. A coach that was once glorified and given the key to city of Bloomington was fired after nearly a decade of his young men graduating and getting their degrees but Coach Knight no longer posted the winning records he once did. Coach Knight’s antics at that time were no longer tolerable and were now considered grounds for termination due too fewer McDonald’s All-Americans signing Letters of Intent with the Hoosiers of Indiana and no new banners hanging from the rafters.

This year, another icon suffered the same fate and he resided in Happy Valley, the winningest coach in college football history the Great Joe Paterno. For nearly five decades he was the face of Penn State, the infamous coke bottle glasses accompanied with the rolled up slacks and white socks. The endless miles he walked up and down a sideline will forever be unmatched by anyone who aspires to coach this game we call football. However, only two weeks after being praised and cheered in a packed press room for reaching the 400 wins milestone those cheers quickly became words of condemnation that led to his termination as coach of the Penn State football team. For years, fans and spectators wondered when this icon was going to hang it up, several thought after the Orange Bowl when he beat his good friend Bobby Bowden and the Florida State Seminoles in 2006. Such an exit would have made him retire a hero, however Joe Pa chose otherwise and is now must face the consequence of his actions. And will be remembered not for the thousands of lives he changed but how he negatively impacted the lives of little boys he never even knew by saying nothing.

Life is filled with several more examples such the aforementioned Bobby Bowden being ‘fired’ from the university he helped erect or Jerry Rice & Joe Montana being released by the 49ers organization that they sacrificed their bodies to win 2 Super Bowl rings for. It appears that becoming the villain is a mask that we are all capable of adorning no matter the good deeds or sacrifices that we have made at some point in our life. The question is will you choose your exit? Or will you be escorted to that exit by security and  shown the door? Our fate is our own and in the end we may not choose how we are remembered.    – A.Denmark (@EatDrnkSlpSprtz)

Capt. ELITE: The Evolution of Eli Manning, the silent assassin!

Eli Manning, a man of few words, sent shock waves when he confidently proclaimed that he was an elite quarterback in the NFL. Radio pundits swiftly filled the radio waves dismissing Eli’s perception of himself alleging that a Super Bowl didn’t make you elite because quarterbacks like Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer were barely even average. Although every quarterback besides the two mentioned in the last twenty years have been inducted or are on track to be inducted into the Hall of Fame ( scroll and see for yourself

This season Eli Manning evolved into Captain Elite displaying impressive poise in the pocket and elevating the talent of his wide receivers, Hicks who was on the verge of being considered a bust and the ‘Salsa Dancing’ Victor Cruz an undrafted hidden gem that barely made the 53-man roster.

Captain Elite let his game do his talking, each week putting up impressive numbers consistently outshining the quarterbacks that many pundits considered to be elite like Aaron ‘Discount Double Check” Roger who many believe will be awarded MVP this season. Unlike the future ‘hall of famer’, Rex Ryan, Eli has won two Super Bowl Championships in four years.

Captain Eli has become the most unlikely King of New York, a southerner who is no longer just the little brother of Peyton but an elite quarterback in his own right.

Eli Manning lead his team over the 49ers and outdueled Tom Brady on the big stage for a second time to hoist the Lombardi Trophy not only cementing his status as an elite quarterback but also securing his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame.


A true leader leads by his actions, not his words.’ – A.Denmark follow me @Eatdrnkslpsprtz

Lin-sanity vs. Lebrick James

Well, ladies and gentleman, Thursday night Lin-sanity hits South Beach and the entire country will be tuned in. Despite the Knicks losing to the Nets on Monday the mania surrounding this upcoming come matchup will certainly have a playoff atmosphere.

The Miami Heat are going into this game with a 9-game winning streak and a lot of momentum. In addition, Lebron James is playing at a MVP level and the Big Three all seem to be on the same page. However, their momentum will all unravel and criticism would certainly ensue if the Miami Heat lose to the Knicks on Thursday.

Despite their impressive victory over the Kings last night there is cause for concern, the Heat allowed one of the worst teams in the NBA to score 108 points and despite putting up impressive offensive numbers their defensive effort in the game was unimpressive.

A similar defensive effort against the Knicks could be a cause for concern due the Knicks offensive power with Melo, Amare, and yes Lin. Wednesday night both teams get a primer before the big showdown on Thursday.

 Thursday night all the pressure will be on the Miami Heat because   they have the momentum and are expected my many to win this game convincingly. The Knicks enter the game with very little pressure, with the addition of their new pieces they have not had much time to play together, and Melo is clearly not in-game shape.The excuses for the Knicks are endless, but there is very little excuse for the Heat.

Will Lebron become a victim of Lin-sanity, like his peer Kobe? Will Jeremy Lin continue to put up impressive numbers or will it be turnover city? Will Melo play within the offensive or call isolation plays for himself? What the over under on alley ops from Wade and Lebron?

All these questions and more will be answered, Feb 23rd Thursday Night at 7pm in South Beach I am sure everyone from stepford wives to the residence at Saint Luke Hospital (Jeremy) will all be tuned in, I know I will be.

– Eatdrnkslpsprtz Writer: A. Denmark (follow me @eatdrnkslpsprtz)



The elite two (Syracuse & UK) & the Mediocre twenty-three!!

This 2012 college basketball season consists of two elite teams, Syracuse & Kentucky and then everyone else. The other 23 teams that make up the rest of the top twenty-five have serious flaws and very little distinguishes any of those mediocre indistinguishable twenty-three. Although  upset are what makes college basketball both memorable and exciting the performances of traditional powerhouses this season have been downright absurd. Tradition rich programs such as Kansas, Duke and UNC have caught the bug of mediocrity despite their rosters being filled with McDonald’s and Jordan All Americans.

Unable to change the channel any longer I found myself watching college basketball and it soon dawned on me that outside of Syracuse and Kentucky the remaining field of teams is absolutely mediocre and downright sub par in some instances. There was a time when all of the major conferences had teams that could cut down the nets in April. No longer is there a dominant team out west, once proud programs like UCLA and Arizona with Championship and Final Four banners decorating the rafters have failed to sustain basketball excellence,suffering embarrassing losses on their home floor at the hands a Loyola Maramount and Middle Tennessee State.

The remaining power conferences have not  been immune from this bug of mediocrity either. In the Big East, UConn and Pittsburgh have failed to produce despite the four and five-star recruits that sit on the bench. A conference that was known as a basketball power has been absolutely putrid to stomach, outside of Syracuse, Marquette, and Notre Dame it appears that effort is not being taught to the other teams in the Big East, a conference that was once praised for it tradition and excellence.

In the SEC it does not seem to be a point to even have a SEC tournament, the Kentucky Wildcats stranglehold on the conference continues for yet another year. The Wildcats remain undefeated in SEC play and it is likely that they will finish the season will that unblemished  record intact. It is projected that the SEC will only produce four tournament teams this year (Kentucky, Florida, Tennessee, and Mississippi State.

Although the Big 12 and ACC has been more competitive than years past each of conference seems to not have an elite team that will challenge for the National Championship. Before anyone shouts, UNC I will happily remind you of the butt whopping they received at the hands of FSU And before any Cameron Crazies goes crazy I will refresh your memory by mentioning their loss to Miami. Oh, and the Big Ten does not warrant being mentioned: Ohio State has Jared Sullinger and his bad back; Michigan, has no bench, and Michigan State, not enough talent.

March is steadily approaching and it is certainly gonna be one to remember, there will be more than one glass slipper this year, ladies and gentlemen Butler was only the beginning. Teams such as Murray State and Temple will have their dancing shoes ready amped to make a statement and secure their place in NCAA March Madness Infamy. – A.Denmark (@Eatdrnkslpsprtz)