#JoeMixon the #MichaelPhelps of #CFB American Hypocrisy at its best

michael-phelps-mug-shotMichael Phelps, the undisputed greatest swimmer of all time  graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the twelfth and possibly final time. Although his athletic prowess is unquestioned, his antics outside of the pool has also been well chronicled as well. But for some reason the possession of illegal drugs, alcohol abuse and his arrest for DUI have been forgiven in exchange for 23 Olympic Gold Medals.

Once Phelps committed these heinous acts he was charged, sentenced, and eventually forgiven. His antics were explained away as bouts of immaturity and after he served a short suspension from the pool, Phelps endorsements and the media love-fest soon returned.

When the video of Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon was released I could not joe-mixon-plea-dealhelp but think about how differently  Mixon was being treated. Although Mixon’s actions were indefensible, the same folks who excused the actions of the ‘GOAT’ in the pool seem determined to prevent this troubled young man’s second chance at redemption.

So as the public execution of Mixon continues and folks call for this young man to be kicked out of Oklahoma and black balled from the NFL, think about Phelps. Each time you see an Intel commercial think about the privilege Phelps has received. Think about how quickly the American public dismissed his actions which could have cost you the life of your loved one. Were Phelps antics any phelps-faceless heinous or irreprehensible than Mixon’s? Is price of forgiveness paved in gold medals and record breaking peformances?

If Phelps can be given an opportunity to re emerge from his troubled past and become the ‘GOAT’, Mixon is more than deserving of the same chance. Is America is truly the land of second chances or is that a privedge only reserved for only aselect view?  Has Mixon played his last down in Norman? Is he really undraftable? Stay tuned…I know I will

#Countdown2Kickoff Here Comes the Boom #SoonerMagic

baker mayfieldAlthough the Oklahoma Sooners fell short of the College Football Playoff title game, the season was far from a disappointment.The Sooners won their first out right Big 12 Conference Championship since 2010 and with Coach Bob Stoops signed through 2022, winning conference titles may be destined to continue.

In year one of the Lincoln Riley era, a once anemic offense exploded one big play after the other. Baker Mayfield went from outcast to walk-on to All-American and his Heisman snub may be just fuel the Sooners’ fiery leader needs to duplicate and exceed the success of last season. The Sooners may be a spread offense, but their run game is certainly not for the faint of heart. Samaje ‘Optimus’ Perine shrugs off arm tackles and if defenders dare to try and tackle low, they are liable to be ran over or receive a stiff arm from Perine’s legendary 23 inch biceps. And if body blows by Optimus were not enough Joe Mixon  will have defenders begging for a pass just to get a break from the onslaught of punishment.

Since Sterling Shepard has finally ran out of eligibility, the wide outs will need to step upperine and mixon in order to keep opposing defenses from putting nine in the box. Thirty percent of the Sooners receptions must be replaced and early buzz suggests that talented sophomore Mark Andrews just may be the next great Sooner receiver. Unless the Sooners intend to run a wing-t, playmakers will have to step up and fast because the Houston Cougars and the Ohio State Buckeyes will certainly be ready.

charles walkerOn defense the Sooners have talent but most are largely unproven. The Sooners may have lost 4 1st team BIG 12 players to the NFL but 4 BIG 12 2nd teamers are poised to take their place. Cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and PJ Mbanasor boast both the size and speed to likely play on Sundays. And despite questions at linebacker, an experienced defensive line led by All-American Charles Walker will be terrors in the backfield.we are bringing the Boom

The Sooners came up short last season but it appears Big Game Bob Stoops may be back. With few questions on offense, the Sooners title hopes will rely on DC Mike Stoops and the Sooners defense. Offense may sale ticket but defense still wins championships. Will 2016 be a BOOM or a BUST? Stay tuned…I know I will. – A. Denmark

 

Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on GoogleListen to eatdrnkslpsprtz radio  Subscribe to podcast

 

My college football blues – The thrill is gone 9 months until the euphoria returns #collegefootball

The Euphoria that follows the kick off of a new season of college football unfortunately inches closer and closer to its final curtain call. The All-american teams have been announced, the hardware has been handed out, and the well deserved assistant has finally earned the chance to run a program. This year was marked by new faces like Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M becoming the first freshman to win the Heisman and the return of Notre Dame from the depth of mediocrity contending for a National Championship after so many yearspetrino of years of disappointment. And who can forget Coach Petrino and the motorcycle scandal that kicked the 2012 college football season off with a bang conjuring up memories of another native Arkansan’s fall from grace.
The Preseason Magazine you bought in May is now wrinkled up in your bathroom or its being used for scrap paper for the little ones. And although your preseason magsfavorite team may have made it to a bowl game, your jubilation at their success is met with sadness because the next game will be the last game. Each week you feverishly switched channels and scheduled your days around the big game that was coming on that Saturday.With each punt return or hail mary that was answered it was the topic of conversation with your friends and peers in the workplace.
Only a Handful of days remain, when we must find something else to fill this void and although the NFL and basketball are options, they just do not hit the spot. What is the cure for this madness? How can we go on? preseason magazines do not come out til June and recruiting will be over in February. The agony the pain of manziel cutcollege football fever, an addiction that spreads from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea.
A Toast to a great season, may it hold us over until another arises that first fateful day in September. Too the true college football fans continue to EAT DRINK SLEEP SPORTZ and we shall enjoy each touchdown as if it was the last one. Be sure to check out my radio show eatdrnkslpsprtz radio every Tues/Thurs. 630 EST and Sat 10am EST for more sports news from myself and friends. Stay tuned… I know I will. – A.Denmark (eatdrkslpsprtz2)
Anthony Denmark is a writer for eatdrnkslpsprtz.com. Follow him on Twitter@eatdrkslpsprtz2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

The Bob Stoops Dilemma: A Victim of his own Success – Why Winning is no longer enough? #boomersooner

Thirteen years ago the Oklahoma Sooners welcomed Bob Stoops with open arms to Norman with high hopes of restoring glory to a once proud program.His hiring yielded immediate results with Coach Bob ‘Big Game’ Stoops bringing a National Championship back to Norman in only his second year on the job. During his thirteen years in Norman he has won seven Big XII Championship and accumulated an impressive 77-3 home record.

Despite his success it appears that Soonernation and Bob Stoops have come to a crossroad. Although Coach Stoops is nearly a lock  for nine wins every year and favorite to win a Big XII Championship every year so much more is expected. There was time when winning was enough but in Norman another nine win season and another Big XII Championship is expected and is considered by Soonernation to be underachieving.

Stoops has raised the bar so high in Norman that his own success has become his downfall. Although he has collected his fair share of awards and trophies besides their dominance in the Red River Rivalry the Sooners have failed to win when it truly counts: 1-3 in Title Games (55-19 to USC; 24-14 to UF;  21-14 LSU) 2-5 BCS Games; 7-6 Bowl Record.

When the Sooners leave the comfort of the Big XII and face non-conference foes with equal talent Bob Stoops fails miserably making several pundits question why are we paying $4 million dollars to a coach who chokes when it TRULY counts.

His struggles have put the Athletic Director, Joe Castigilone who hired him into a conundrum. Although you may be unhappy with his performance how do you fire a coach whose won 7 Big XII Championships? And if you fire him who do you get to replace him? There is no easy answer to either of these questions, there only hope is that Stoops leaves to take another coaching somewhere else.

However, the secret is out and although several prominent programs were looking for head coaches to fill their vacancies traditional powerhouse like his hometown Ohio State Buckeyes or former employer the Florida Gators did not even give Bob Stoops any consideration choosing instead to hire an unproven defensive coordinator in Will Muschamp and his Youngstown Ohio native Urban Meyer who had retired the year before due to health complications.

It appears that the Sooners and Bob ‘USED TO BE BIG GAME’ Stoops are stuck together and although they will have the talent to contend for the National Championship, Soonernation may have to continue to settle for another Big XII Championship, unacceptable losses (Texas Tech, BYU, and Baylor) and a poor showing in a BCS Bowl Game. 

On Saturday the Sooners were out-toughed and out-executed by Optimus Klein and the undermanned  Kansas State Wildcats. It looks like another disappointing and underachieving Sooner team. Will Coach Stoops and the Sooners ever be able todo what is unexpected and fulfill their promise of bringing the National Championship back to Norman? With Texas Tech next Saturday we shall see how Landry Jones and the Sooners respond. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

Road to the BCS Title: There can only be 1! Teams may appear better than they seem #bcstitle

We are only going into the fourth week of the season and several  sports pundits have prematurely deemed several traditional powers to be back among the nation’s elite after witnessing them demolish FCS pansies and outclassing undermanned programs. In the words of the Lee Corso from College Gameday I must say “not so fast!”

A few weeks ago Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban went on a tirade lecturing the national media on prematurely ordaining his team as a shoe-in to contend for the national title. Although his delivery rubbed many media member the wrong way his message was SEARS CRYSTAL TROPHY CLEAR, its far to early in a long 15 week season to foolishly overlook opponents and make grand predictions because in college football any team on any day can lose.

The road to a BCS Championship is long and arduous and despite many teams possessing the talent only two teams out of a field of 120 will get the opportunity to play for the crown of being the nation’s best. So far this season we have bared witness to dominant performances by Alabama and LSU but several other teams in the top 15 raise more questions than answers regarding their true legitimacy as contenders for the national title.

Future Hall of Fame Head Coach Bill Parcells once famously said “YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE” but despite several teams being 3-0 we still have no clue who they are:

  1. Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) — Two very impressive wins over teams ranked in the top 10. The O-line gave up 6 sacks to WKU and suffered a costly injury when RB Fowler who was lost for the season. O-line issues must be addressed before their match-up with LSU Nov. 3rd
  2. LSU Tigers (3-0) — LSU regular season record remains unblemished with dominating performances over powerhouses Idaho, North Texas, and Washington. These wins have come at a huge cost losing 6 players due to academics and 3 to injuries including starting LT Faulk,  LB Tahj Jones, and RB Alfred Blue. The depth of the Tigers will be tested, the talent is there will inexperience be too costly
  3. Oregon Ducks (3-0) — like the Tigers the Oregon Ducks have survived a “tough” gauntlet of unranked opponents in TN Tech, Ark State, and Fresno State and have looked impressive in their wins over these ‘tough’ foes. The Ducks have barely broke a sweat in their wins but suffered two huge losses in G Carson York and All-American safety John Boyett. With a tough conference schedule awaiting the decision making of QB Mariota and a inexperienced O-line and secondary will be tested.
  4. Florida State Seminoles (3-0) — not one to avoid tough opponents the Seminoles paid Murray State and Savannah State for wins and put a shellacking on perennial powerhouse Wake Forest. These wins were costly losing All-Americans DE Jenkins to injury and Greg Reid to suspension.
  5. Georgia Bulldogs (3-0) — the Bull Dogs survived a scare from the Missouri Tigers despite 6 players being lost due to suspension. Will the Dogs be able to just say NO TO DRUGS??
  6. Oklahoma Sooners (2-0) — So you get nearly outclassed by UTEP and still find yourself in the top 10. Coach Stoops did not get the Nickname “Big Game Bob” for nothing…
  7. South Carolina Gamecocks (3-0) — A pass interference no call from Vandy warrants being ranked in top ten
  8. West Virginia Mountaineers (2-0) — James Madison + Marshall = Heisman Frontrunner?
  9. Stanford Cardinals (3-0) — yes they beat SC but nearly loss to San Jose State only winning by 3
  10. Clemson Tigers (3-0) – 26-19 to Auburn who almost lost to Louisiana Monroe, enough said

As the quest for the Sears National Championship Trophy continues as the season progresses the rankings will certainly change and I am more than certain that a few of these teams currently ranked in the top 10 may not even finish the season in the top 25. Who will be those teams? Who will hoist the trophy at season’s end. Stay tuned… I know i will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)

 

Countdown to College Football: OU Sooners – Coach Stoops, Aging Coach. Declining Program. #boomersooner

In 1999 Coach Bob Stoops assumed the challenge of returning the Oklahoma Sooners football program to one of the nation’s elite. During his tenure at Oklahoma he has won a national championship, coached a Heisman winner and countless All-Americans, won 4 Big XII Championships, and boosted the national exposure of the football program which has attracted five-star recruits from all over the country.

In spite of the accolades and an impressive 139-34 winning record, the shine from the BCS title that Stoops won 13 years ago has faded and seasons of unfulfilled expectations and poor showings in big games remain fresh in the minds of pundits and fans alike. This upcoming season the Bob Stoops era is on the line and if he is unable to maximize the impressive array of talent on his roster, it may be time for #soonernation to find themselves a new coach.

The Sooners will be led by quarterback Landry Jones who turned down millions from the NFL to return for his senior year in Norman. Considered a first round lock by most draft analyst little drop off is expected from a potent offense that returns play-makers at wide receiver in Kenny Stills and spring break out star Trey Moyer. Dominique Whaley returns from a broken ankle and leads a deep stable of running backs but there are huge holes along the offensive line due to two expected starters being lost for the season because of injuries. Although the Sooners lost a lot of senior leadership from last year’s team the firepower that they possess on offense will certainly put up a lot of points and set a few Big XII records.

Mike Stoops returns to Norman to salvage a defense that has played very poorly and has failed to live up to  expectations, despite the collection of five-star recruits on the defensive side of the ball. Their secondary has at times looked lost and have been consistently susceptible to big plays. In order counteract the spread offenses in the Big XII the defensive coordinator has installed a new defensive scheme which include a “2 linebacker 3 cornerback sets”. Along the defensive line the Sooners have a wealth of big bodies who have yet to fulfill the expectations everyone had of them as five-star recruits. Future first rounders Tony Jefferson at safety and Corey Nelson at linebacker will set the tone for the defense and may be up for postseason honors if they continue to play at an All-American level.

Thirteen years ago the Sooners won a BCS title and since then they have failed to meet the lofty expectations time and time again. Winning records used to be enough to keep your job, but losses to inferior teams and poor showing in BCS Bowl Games is no longer acceptable.

The time has come for Bob Stoops to make Norman, Oklahoma the Mecca of College Football once again, its been long overdue. Will the offensive line protect Landry Jones? Will the defense return to the days of dominance. Stay tuned… I know I will – A. Denmark (@eatdrnkslpsprtz)