Why Big Free Agents Should Consider The Jazz

One of the greatest stories in the NBA this past season no doubt has to the success of the Utah Jazz. After losing Gordon Hayward to free agency las summer, and being under .500 mid-way through the season, coach Quin Snyder’s team still found a way to not just make the playoffs, but advance to the semi-finals.

With free-agency period right around the corner in the NBA, even though big names probably won’t consider the Jazz, they should probably think again.

Utah is a young and growing team. Nothing was more obvious of that than to see the rise of rookie Donovan Mitchell this past year. Rookie of the Year candidate out of Louisville, this guard took the NBA by storm, and is already a star in Salt Lake City.

Though its not just Mitchell whose young talent is being used to perfection. Royce O’Neale, an undrafted free agent helped Utah especially in the playoffs, averaging 10.8 points and 5.3 rebounds during the Jazz’s post-season run.

Mitchell, O’Neale, along with other young talent, its obvious that Utah’s success is here to stay.

Also, the Jazz have been able to transform veterans careers.

Look at Ricky Rubio, who came over to the Jazz last summer. Though he started off the season a bit rocky, the point-guard managed to fit Snyder’s system like a glove. Most fans just knew him for his fancy passing, but Rubio drastically improved his game, and he’ll tell you himself that it was the best season of his career.

Jae Crowder is another player who saw his game change with Utah. Acquired mid-season  from the Cavaliers, Crowder’s defense and three-point shooting helped Utah make a late season push.

Rudy Gobert, a product of the D-League, has now emerged as a premier defender in the NBA, and will stay in Utah for the foreseeable future.

Also, Utah and Salt Lake City is incredible. They don’t have the crazy and unbearable media markets of New York and L.A. (cough cough Paul George) and the fan base is the best in the NBA, trust me on that one.

Players like Kevin Love, and especially Paul George could benefit from the Jazz. Its obvious that Love isn’t working in Cleveland, and George just doesn’t fit in Oklahoma City, so why not consider Utah?

George in particular, why not join the team that knocked his Thunder out of the playoffs just a few weeks ago? Playing alongside Mitchell, the two would create a duo that would benefit Utah’s offense in a variety of ways.

Jazz, without the offensive threat of George managed to win 48 games, knock out the “big-3” of OKC, and were one win away from grabbing the 3rd seed in the crazy-talented Western Conference.

Now, what could that team accomplish with one more piece to the puzzle? I’m not saying they’re going to end Golden State’s dynasty, or dismantle the Rockets, but its clear that the Jazz are here to stay around for a while.

 

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Stadium Review: Fenway Park

Even with being a fanatical Yankees fan, going to Fenway Park has been on my bucket list, and near the top.

Finally, this year we finally got to go. Here’s my review:

Buying tickets: First of all, my family and I lucked out, kinda. Because it had been raining and was cold all day in Boston, ticket prices for the Red Sox-Orioles game Saturday night had dropped significantly, and we were able to snag seats behind the catcher. However, if thats not the case, you’ll be dropping some serious dime on tickets.

Where to go before the game: I’d say, in my ball park experience, that the area surrounding Fenway is probably a step below Wrigley Field in Chicago. Around Wrigley, there’s a plethora of bars and restaurants. In Boston, you have a similar atmosphere, where you’re literally in a neighborhood and then BAM, its Fenway.

If you get to Fenway an hour or two before first pitch, I’d recommend going to Tony C’s. Its an absolutely huge bar thats filled to the brim with Sox fans.

PROS: When you’re actually inside the ballpark, if you’re as big of a baseball fan or sports fan in general, you’re in awe for a little. Growing up with the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, I could envision Bucky Dent hitting a home run, Varitek and A-Rod fighting, Roger Clemens and Manny almost fighting, great times.

In all seriousness, the beauty of the park is almost unlike anything I’ve seen in sports venues. The Green Monster is big and green, and the right field wall is as big as my fence, thought that was funny.

Another thing about Fenway, is that the stadium is so small (holding just over 37,000) that any seat is a good seat, and you can see everything on the field.

The Fenway Frank, I believe is right up there in ballpark hot dogs. Let me also say this, if you order any kind of food at a baseball game that isn’t a hot dog, you deserve to be violently thrown out of the stadium. That being said, the Frank is a step above a Dodger Dog, and behind Wrigley Field hot dogs.

The seventh-inning stretch is great, and also Sweet Caroline is something that I’ve always seen, and it was cool to experience that.

CONS: For being the oldest ballpark in America, you’d think that Fenway would be a little lower on the prices for food and drink, but oh how wrong you are. $5.75 for a Fenway Frank honestly is a little much for my taste, and if you drink, you’ll be dropping $7.75 for a beer.

Another tip if you’re going to be traveling to Fenway, go with small people. Why do I say that? Its because the seats were meant to fit people from Indonesia. The seats at Fenway are so small and so close together, that for three hours you’ll be touching shoulders the entire game.

Final Analysis: Fenway Park is great, and in the top 3 ballparks I’ve visited in my life. Its the oldest baseball stadium in America, and a part of sports history in a great sports crazed town. Even for a Yankees fan like me, you’ll love it.

FINAL SCORE: 9.2

 

My Conversation With Jay: The Red Sox Fan

The bar was packed, even with over two hours until first pitch. Though, my father and I were able to secure two seats on the bar. We look to our right, and there was Fenway Park, right outside the window.

After exchanging some pleasantries with the bartender, asking what food was good and what not, I started to strike up a conversation with the gentleman to my right.

His name was Jay, native of New Hampshire, hard-core Bostonian, and one of the most pathetic creatures I know, a Red Sox fan.

Mostly everyone who knows me, understands of my devotion to the New York Yankees, and even more so, how I feel about the Sox. However, I’ve always been enthralled with the Red Sox fanbase, and never have had the chance to discuss their fan-hood with a native.

As I enjoyed my burger and he sipped on his IPA, it was clear that he loved the Sox, like really loved them.

“Every year, I change my license plate to something about the Red Sox,” Jay said. “In 2002, I had it to remember Ted Williams with his batting average and number, he also died that year, so sometimes it feels I had murdered him.”

We discussed everything, from the rise and tragic fall of Tony Conigliaro, and also his top five Red Sox players of all time, Williams being number one, David Ortiz at two, and then  some forgettable names rounding out the list.

It came time that I asked him about the 1986 World Series, my personal favorite. 31 years after that historic, but if you’re a Sox fan it was a pure hellish night, and Jay is still in disbelief.

“It still baffles me,” said Jay laughing, but knowing deep down it still hurts. “We had them down to the final strike on two consecutive batters, how the hell does that happen? I still have nightmares about Bob Stanley.”

“And I’ll tell you something else, it wasn’t Buckner’s fault!”

After about 30-45 minutes of great conversation, I felt comfortable enough to tell him who I cheered for.

The way I said I love the Yanks was something out of Seinfeld. It was like the scene where George has to tell Susan’s father that his cabin was burned down. Its almost like I told Jay under my breath and very fast, very Costanza like. “Yankees!”

Towards the end, we talked a lot about what it means to him about being a Red Sox fan, and also the rivalry between Boston and New York.

“Baseball is just better when the Yankees and Red Sox are good, you know? 2003 and 2004, we’ll never have that again.”

I had always been fascinated by the fan-base of Boston, mostly because of the Red Sox, and how they somehow seem to represent the city that they play in, and my conversation with Jay perfectly fit my imagination.

He remembers exactly where he was during the 86 collapse. He could tell you what girl he was dating when Schilling pitched with a “bloody” sock. Jay embodied what you think of when you imagine a Red Sox fan.

As my father and I departed, I told him maybe we’ll see you guys in the playoffs this year. He raised his glass and said, “we can only hope so, go Sox.”

Also, his current license plate is in remembrance of October 27th, 2004, the day the Red Sox won their first title in 86 years.

 

Miami Monday: Malik Rosier

No question about it, the uncertainty that has ruled Hurricanes spring camp has been whether or not Malik Rosierwill remain the starting quarterback.

After a month and a half of debating and practice, head coach Mark Richt has made it clear Rosier is still the starter.

With less than four months away until Miami meets LSU on September 2nd in Dallas, now is the perfect time to preview the Senior Quarterback, and highlight his pros and cons.

PROS:

Rosier is coming off of a 2017 season which saw him lead Miami to a 10-3 record, their best season since 2003, a trip to their first-ever ACC Championship, and a spot in the Orange Bowl. Other accomplishments for Malik included defeating FSU, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame.

During that time, Rosier set the school record for “touchdowns responsible for” with 31. Starting all 13 games in 2017, Rosier has now helped regain Miami’s winning reputation, something that hasn’t been at the program for over 10 years.

Above all, Rosier has had a tremendous spring. After an entire season being the starter, the Mobile native knows the offense, and is competing well against other Quarterbacks, including N’Kosi Perry, someone who fans have wanted to see for a long time.

Another plus for Rosier and the entire offense coming into the new season, is a talent group of receivers. Though losing weapons from 2017 to the NFL like Braxton Berriosand Tight-End Chris Herndon, Miami has been able to almost reload as opposed to rebuild at the Receiver position.

Ahmmon Richardsis expected to be fully healthy by the time LSU rolls around in September, is by far Miami’s most talented Receiver, and a future player on Sunday’s. Speedy Sophomore Jeff Thomashas coaches reminiscing of Santana Moss, and is anticipating an outbreak season in 2018.

Lawrence Cager, along with new comers Mark Pope and Marquez Ezzard, round out an extremely talented receiver group. While on Tight-End, Miami has room for incredible potential. Returning is Michael Irvin II, who started the final two games of last season, and has had a great spring. Coming in the summer, are highly talked about new-comers Brevin Jordan and Will Mallory. Jordan is believed to the best recruit in the nation at the Tight End position.

CONS:

Now to the side where Miami fans will be intrigued. Though winning 10 games last year, Miami lost its final three matchups, and Rosier didn’t exactly play spectacular. In those three losses to Pitt, Clemson and Wisconsin, Malik completed just 44.9 percent of his passes.

Though Clemson was clearly better than Miami, fans remember the losses to Pitt and Wisconsin for Rosier’s shortcomings. Against Pitt, Rosier continually missed receivers. Then in the Orange Bowl vs Wisconsin, he threw three costly interceptions, including a miserable throw in the end zone in the second half, just as Miami looked like they were about to take the lead.

So yes, accuracy is an issue, and a problem that even Mark Richt has addressed. Though, on the bright side, Rosier completed 64.3 percent of his passes during the Spring game several weeks ago.

Along with accuracy, interceptions played a role in Rosier’s streaky play, as he led the ACC with 14 picks thrown last year. Even in games where Miami won, like Virginia Tech, Rosier still threw three interceptions.

ANALYSIS:

At the end of the day, what Malik Rosierbrings to the table, and will most likely keep him the starter at seasons beginning, is his experience.

Something that Perry, and talented Freshman Jarren Williams don’t have, is a 75-yard game-winning touchdown drive in Tallahassee to beat FSU for the first time in seven years.

So, Canes fans, take a deep breath, and believe in Rosier.

 

Design & Color Reverse Post

 

Nike Roger Federer ad

Designed by @FEDERERFAN07

This ad was designed by @FEDERERFAN07 and you can find more of their designs by clicking on the picture or by visiting https://federerfan07.com/2013/01/23/nike-tennis-earn-the-advantage/. I’ll be looking at this ad of Roger Federer, and seeing how they used basic principles.

PROXIMITY 

Proximity is important because it shows what items have a relationship in physical closeness. In this picture, the words in the top left corner have a relationship for several reasons. One of those reasons is due to the fact that they’re close together, and they also are the same font and style.

REPITITION

Repetition is when a picture repeats some aspect of its patter or design. With this particular image, again, the bolded letters are the same patter, style and font. I like the repeating usage in this picture because it conveys a strong message next to the athlete.

 

ALIGNMENT

Alignment is crucial in design because it allows the picture to look more calming. In this picture, I believe the bold words and the way they look make it much more calming to look at, and it just looks stronger. In the bottom, the smaller words look really good, and are also nice to look at.

CONTRAST

Contrast, in my opinion, is the most crucial element when looking at a picture, because it shows which image catches the eye. In this image you have several illustrations of contrast. First, the big bolded letters, because of obvious reasons, they’re big and white! Next, the Nike swoosh catches your eye because its a very recognizable brand and symbol.

COLOR

I really liked the color on this picture for several reasons. First off, the big bolded white words in the left color really stand out. Then, I really like Roger’s shirt, light blue, because it looks good next to the white letters in the opposite corner. Finally, the blue words at the bottom catch your eye easily.

Drafting Darnold: Through The Eyes Of A Jets Fan

A top five pick in the NFL Draft was nothing to new to the Jets, and millions of fans waited anxiously around the country, anticipating the name of the future for this infamous franchise.

In New Jersey, thousands of New Yorkers came to MetLife Stadium, while others crowded bars and family rooms. The Jets are coming off their second straight 5-11 record, and missed the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season.

However, on a comfortable night on the East Coast, a name is being circulated around the franchise, a new hope to a team that hasn’t won a Super Bowl since 1969.

That hope is 20-year-old USC quarterback Sam Darnold, who now knows that he’ll not be going number-one in the draft on Thursday night, after Cleveland made it known they’ll be selecting Baker Mayfield with the top pick. Darnold, now, has the possibility of dropping to the Jets at number-three.

2,248 miles away from New York City, Mike sits in front of a television, though he stands for most of the night. The 21-year-old native of Monmouth, New Jersey, sports a battered Wayne Chrebet jersey.

“We’ve put up with a lot of crap the last few years,  I don’t know how much longer I can do this,” Mike says. I then asked Mike how many times he’s said that line after a Jets season. “Every year I say it.”

Its obvious that Mike, along with the rest of Jets nation, wants Darnold, and who wouldn’t? Until Thursday morning, most NFL mock-draft boards had him going number-one, and is considered the most ready out of all the quarterbacks in this years class.

Darnold had a stellar career at one of the most recognizable schools in America, USC, capturing a Rose Bowl in his first year with the Trojans, and piling up a 20-4 record. At 6″3 221, the kid, don’t underestimate the word kid, looks like an NFL quarterback.

“He’s perfect. It’s been a long time since we’ve had someone like that taking the snaps.  Sanchez was a tease, Pennington left us, and thats it, nobody,” Mike says with his thick Jersey accent that sounds like he’s from outer space out here in Idaho.

The Draft starts, and as expected, Mayfield goes first, much to the delight of Mike, and New York fans everywhere.

Next is the the Jets roommate, the Football Giants. Though Saquon Barkley is still available, Mike is nervous. “I mean, Eli is old, they need a QB, and I know that if they take Darnold, we’d be dumb enough to take Barkley.”

Though taking Barkley wouldn’t necessarily be “dumb” I see where Mike is coming from. The missing part from the Jets having success since, well, the 1960’s, is the quarterback position. The last QB from the Jets that made a Pro Bowl…..Brett Favre in 2008, whose stint in a New York uniform was so short that Mike completely forgot about him being his starting quarterback for a season.

Meanwhile the Giants are on the clock, and they take Barkley.

The Jets are next.

Mike is standing, as he has been since the beginning of the draft, and now pacing in his small living room, but looks confident, but still can’t stop moving.

He tells me of a story that his father tells him every time the draft rolls around. His dad, a lifelong Jets fan, who grew up going to games at Shea Stadium, remembers the 1995 Draft. In that April, a certain player by the name of Warren Sapp, drops in the draft because of off-the-field issues, and New York all of a sudden has a chance to take this future Hall-of-Famer.

“My dad is sitting there watching on tv, so excited that the Jets are about to draft Sapp, and we take Kyle Brady……..WHAT DID HE EVER DO???”

So frankly put, bad draft selections aren’t too rare of an occurrence with the Jets.

Roger Goodell stepped up the microphone, and called out…..Sam Darnold, quarterback, USC.

No words by Mike, just clapping of the hands. New York has their franchise quarterback, and their future.

The very next day, on the front cover in the sports page of Newsday, Darnold, not Barkley, is printed large enough for the 82,500 fans that will pack MetLife Stadium this fall.

 

Miami Marsh: Heat Lose Game Three, Whiteside Struggles Continue

All Heat fans wanted was Miami to win one of the first two games in Philadelphia, and give the Heat a chance in the series. A game two victory accomplished that, and fans really thought that this series was going to go to Miami.

Then, Thursday night in the Triple A, it was as if the Miami Heat and its fanbase got punched in the stomach. A 128-108 loss to the 76ers, now trailing in the series 2-1, tonight couldn’t have gone worse.

There, right in the middle of the embarrassment that was the Heat tonight, is their 7-foot center, their franchise player, Hassan Whiteside, with yet another disappointing, almost let-down of a performance.

Whiteside,  had been criticized for his performance in the first two games in Philly, where he scored a grand total of 6 points, was again missing in Miami for game 3. On Thursday night, Whiteside was on the court just 13 minutes, scoring 5 points and pulling down two rebounds.

Now of course, the loss can’t be pinned on just one player. After all, Miami was able to pull off the upset in game 2, even with Hassan’s struggles. Unlike Monday night, there was no Dwyane Wade magic on Thursday, going just 2-for-10 from the field.

The final score presents a game that was a blowout, though it didn’t seem like that in the slightest. The first three quarters, the game was neck-and-neck, with teams trading leads, and tensions flying high. In the second quarter, 76ers Justin Anderson and Wade got into it underneath the basket, resulting in a double-technical.

Trailing by just two after three quarters of basketball, you honestly felt as if Miami was going to pull it out. In the two years that have passed since the Heat have hosted a playoff game, you forget that some of the magic during the Big 3 era is gone, completely.

Though, it just seemed like it was going to happen. Then, in a blink of an eye, it was over, Philly was up 15.

And what a perfect night to defeat Philly too. Joel Embiid was out there looking like Batman, and yet he scored 23 points. In the defensive hellish nightmare that was game one for Miami, when the Sixers hit 18-three-pointers, they matched that number again on Thursday.

But man it almost felt like the good ole days, with the all the fouls and shoving, and face-to-face action. It reminded you of the playoffs several years ago when Miami would play the Pacers or the Bulls. Or for you elderly Heat fans, the epic battles with the Knicks in the 90’s.

The only difference between that Miami team four-five years ago, and now? LeBron would go off for 35 points, and the Heat would advance no problem. Now, we’re going crazy when Justise Winslow scores 19 points.

Now of course the series isn’t over, game four will be Saturday afternoon, where Miami will desperately try to even up the series, before heading back to the Wells Fargo Center.

But right now, as Heat Nation tries to re-coop, that 2-1 deficit looks like a mountain.