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Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

Witness… Part 2. The LeBron James Legacy continues

LeBron James i s coming home.

LeBron James i s coming home.

Below find LeBron James’ letter to Sports Illustrated followed by Bill Simmons from ESPN’s Grantland take on James’ return home to West Akron and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

On a quick side note, I lived in Fairlawn, Ohio & Bath, Ohio where LeBron lives now and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting LeBron in our earlier days. He is a class act, has always been a class act and now that he has settled into the role of being a father, man, provider, champion… The return home is a glorious and welcome one. I have of course moved down south to my original hometown of Sarasota, FL and if LeBron makes it down this way, he is more then welcome to stop by for a home cooked meal.

BY LEBRON JAMES (AS TOLD TO LEE JENKINS)

Before anyone ever cared where I would play basketball, I was a kid from Northeast Ohio. It’s where I walked. It’s where I ran. It’s where I cried. It’s where I bled. It holds a special place in my heart. People there have seen me grow up. I sometimes feel like I’m their son. Their passion can be overwhelming. But it drives me. I want to give them hope when I can. I want to inspire them when I can. My relationship with Northeast Ohio is bigger than basketball. I didn’t realize that four years ago. I do now.

Remember when I was sitting up there at the Boys & Girls Club in 2010? I was thinking, This is really tough. I could feel it. I was leaving something I had spent a long time creating. If I had to do it all over again, I’d obviously do things differently, but I’d still have left. Miami, for me, has been almost like college for other kids. These past four years helped raise me into who I am. I became a better player and a better man. I learned from a franchise that had been where I wanted to go. I will always think of Miami as my second home. Without the experiences I had there, I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.

I went to Miami because of D-Wade and CB. We made sacrifices to keep UD. I loved becoming a big bro to Rio. I believed we could do something magical if we came together. And that’s exactly what we did! The hardest thing to leave is what I built with those guys. I’ve talked to some of them and will talk to others. Nothing will ever change what we accomplished. We are brothers for life. I also want to thank Micky Arison and Pat Riley for giving me an amazing four years.

I’m doing this essay because I want an opportunity to explain myself uninterrupted. I don’t want anyone thinking: He and Erik Spoelstra didn’t get along. … He and Riles didn’t get along. … The Heat couldn’t put the right team together. That’s absolutely not true.

I’m not having a press conference or a party. After this, it’s time to get to work.

When I left Cleveland, I was on a mission. I was seeking championships, and we won two. But Miami already knew that feeling. Our city hasn’t had that feeling in a long, long, long time. My goal is still to win as many titles as possible, no question. But what’s most important for me is bringing one trophy back to Northeast Ohio.

I always believed that I’d return to Cleveland and finish my career there. I just didn’t know when. After the season, free agency wasn’t even a thought. But I have two boys and my wife, Savannah, is pregnant with a girl. I started thinking about what it would be like to raise my family in my hometown. I looked at other teams, but I wasn’t going to leave Miami for anywhere except Cleveland. The more time passed, the more it felt right. This is what makes me happy.

To make the move I needed the support of my wife and my mom, who can be very tough. The letter from Dan Gilbert, the booing of the Cleveland fans, the jerseys being burned — seeing all that was hard for them. My emotions were more mixed. It was easy to say, “OK, I don’t want to deal with these people ever again.” But then you think about the other side. What if I were a kid who looked up to an athlete, and that athlete made me want to do better in my own life, and then he left? How would I react? I’ve met with Dan, face-to-face, man-to-man. We’ve talked it out. Everybody makes mistakes. I’ve made mistakes as well. Who am I to hold a grudge?

I’m not promising a championship. I know how hard that is to deliver. We’re not ready right now. No way. Of course, I want to win next year, but I’m realistic. It will be a long process, much longer than it was in 2010. My patience will get tested. I know that. I’m going into a situation with a young team and a new coach. I will be the old head. But I get a thrill out of bringing a group together and helping them reach a place they didn’t know they could go. I see myself as a mentor now and I’m excited to lead some of these talented young guys. I think I can help Kyrie Irving become one of the best point guards in our league. I think I can help elevate Tristan Thompson and Dion Waiters. And I can’t wait to reunite with Anderson Varejao, one of my favorite teammates.

But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.

In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.

I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.

Lion Heart

Lion Heart

As Promised, below find a couple parts of Bill Simmons most recent article;

GOD LOVES CLEVELAND

Why LeBron James — unparalleled NBA genius, heir to Michael (and Larry and Magic) — went home

BY BILL SIMMONS ON JULY 11, 2014

Yeah, I read LeBron James’s classy letter in Sports Illustrated. I believe him. I think he wanted to come home. I think he always wanted to come home.

In the summer of 2010, LeBron handled everything wrong. He knows that now. His hometown turned on him. His former owner excoriated him. Everyone else hated what he did. We turned him into a wrestling heel, pushed him to a dark place, affected his personality, planted seeds of doubt that blossomed like a black rose during the 2011 Finals. It took LeBron nearly 15 months to recover from the damage, both mentally and physically, and when he did, he captured two straight MVPs and his first two NBA titles.

But he never forgot what happened, and deep down, he probably always wanted to atone. When the time arrived this summer, he flipped the script on us. This wasn’t a 24-7, overplanned reality show like the one in 2010. He said nothing. He hinted at nothing. During the first week of July, his agent took every meeting. During the second week, LeBron stayed in Las Vegas and made everyone come to him. He announced his decision in an online piece titled “I’m Coming Home,” then he flew to Brazil for the World Cup. So much for the Boys & Girls Club and Jim Gray.

Those four Miami seasons made me sure of one thing: He’s one of the greatest NBA players ever. Now he’s pursuing a greater challenge: bringing Cleveland its first title in 50 years in any sport. Add everything up and it’s the best possible story. He’s the conquering hero who came home, and, hopefully, will conquer again.

It’s also not entirely accurate. I think LeBron would have stayed in Miami — for at least one or two more years — if he truly believed he had a chance to keep winning there.

If you think of him like a genius, it makes more sense. He’s smarter about basketball than you and me, and, really, anyone else. He sees things that we can’t see. During that last Miami season, I don’t think he liked what he saw from his teammates. LeBron James wanted to come back to Cleveland, but he also wanted to flee Miami. His heart told him to leave, but so did his brain. And his brain works like very few brains — not just now, but ever.

Who could have guessed that LeBron had only seven Miami games left? At the time, I thought their gamble to keep resting Wade at the expense of LeBron — which I never agreed with — was improbably paying off. I thought they were headed for a three-peat. I thought LeBron was never leaving Miami. I couldn’t see the things that he saw.

I watched Game 4 from our NBA Countdown set, sitting on the metal steps, and at one point, I emailed an NBA Entertainment friend asking if their photographer could snap a picture. I thought it could be a cool photo — me wearing a blue suit, surrounded by happy Heat fans dressed in white, the Celtics fan trapped in enemy territory, all of us watching someone at the peak of their powers. I just wanted to have it for 30 years from now. I know that sounds sappy, but that’s how I felt.

The truth is, I didn’t know when this would be happening again. And I still don’t.

Magic and Bird were done before I graduated college. Jordan came and went before I turned 30. Duncan, Kobe, Hakeem and Shaq never quite got there — all of them were great, but they were never GREAT. Durant might be a magnificent scorer and an even better teammate, but it’s hard to imagine him getting to that last level. After him, you’re looking at Anthony Davis — someone with an infinitely better chance of becoming the next Duncan than a basketball genius — and there’s nobody on the immediate horizon. This might be it for a while.

So yeah, I wanted a picture. Shoot me. I was there for Larry. I was there for Magic. I was there for Michael. And I was there for LeBron James. Now he’s bringing his genius back to Cleveland. It’s the right move at the right time for the right guy. This will be fun.

AFC Championship preview — Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots

AFC Championship preview — Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots

Déjà vu, from French, literally “already seen”, is the phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or experience currently being experienced had been experienced in the past. – (wikipedia)

Tom Brady to Wes Welker

Tom Brady to Wes Welker

Now some might take the position that ‘past results are no indication of future results’ (i.e.) roulette statician’s & most stock brokers financial consultants.

Other would argue that pulling underlying fundamentals from those past records can support foundations in postulating what will happen in the future.

Either way, I am going with my gut.

I felt great about Ray Lewis two weeks ago. I felt good about Ray Lewis last weekend and I feel indifferent this week. Same goes for almost all the Ravens.

Ray Lewis' finale?

Ray Lewis’ finale?

As for the New England, the opposite has been true. I am weary of the Patriots when they enter the playoffs as they have been more sizzle then steak in the past. This year continues to change my perception and mold my belief that they have what it takes… namely, a running game! (See Packers, Green Bay!)

My prediction

New England – 37 Baltimore – 24 I don’t think it feels this close.

NFC Championship Game – SF vs. ATL

San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons

Colin Crabtree

Colin Crabtree

This certainly seems like an easier pick to make… but once you really examine the depth of these teams, you come to find its not such an easy pick and some of the things you felt so confident in, could in fact be areas where you may well want to have some trepidation about.

Colin Kaepernick – One of those areas. This guy balls hard. 181 yards rushing last game, and when he started to break off the outside and find a lane it felt as if I was sitting on a airplane on a runway looking out the window watching another plane take off… He has the acceleration that can almost only be measured in horsepower.

That being said… He has actually performed a little worse then Alex Smith did. I know it doesn’t feel like it, but its true… Point of reference —-> Grantland’s Bill Barnwell

SF Running Game is solid. Frank Gore looks good to go.

The SF defense is about as stout as they come... They are susceptible to allowing the big play here and there, but they usually make the other teams pay. If they can consistently get to Matt Ryan, this could be a lockdown!

Atlanta on the other hand STILL doesn’t strike fear into most people... But they should. They are akin to a reliable automobile. They are well balanced on both sides of the ball. The largest weakness in the past was the running game and a sometimes porous defense. Say hello to Jacquizz Rodgers and a defense that has locked down inside the redzone.

Here’s proof that no one believes in Atlanta… (except Georgians!)

Falcons

Falcons

With Julio Jones and Roddy White AND Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta is always in the game (see Seattle game ending)!

My prediction

San Francisco – 32 Atlanta – 28 Gonna be a close one!

A Season on the Brink. Week 3 recap & week 4 predictions * The Perspective (*w/ brief recap of week 2)

A Season on the Brink. Week 3 recap & week 4 predictions (*w/ brief recap of week 2)

It’s Kind of Good!

Sound the Alarms!!! Is it too early to start panicking if your 0-3 or 1-2?
The answer is NO! Now is a great time to start to start planning for some changes or aggressive moves. If not now… when? 0-4 could very well stand for off-season and 1-3 or 2-2 gives hope where its desperately needed.

Here are some interesting numbers from Matthew Berry at ESPN regarding the percentages of making or missing the playoffs depending on winning or losing the next weeks game.

Recapping Week 3

Just like week 2, a couple of players completely and totally wreaked havoc upon a team.
Week 2 examples Eli Manning – 49 pts & Bob Griffin3 – 42 pts (although we expect QB’s to wreak havoc, but more guys with names like Rodgers, Brady and Brees)
Reggie Bush – 39 pts
Victor Cruz – 35 pts (because it’s still so fresh)
and RB CJ Spiller with 30 pts

Week 3 Break Outs
Jamaal Charles – 46 pts(Of course I played against him. “Please keep handing the ball to Jamaal! Let’s get him 300 yards rushing!” ~ Things I may have sarcastically yelled at the television
Andy “The Ginja Ninja” Dalton – 43 pts (another QB… just not the one we expected!)
Chicago Defense – TD, TD 42 pts
A.J. Green – 35 pts
MoJo-drew – 34 pts

8 of the 10 stars above helped their respective fantasy teams reach victory! The 2 that didn’t, of course faced other teams with the other 8 players on them. The point being that most weeks, you just never know who is going to bust out or go off… but you can pretty much rest assured that they wont be from Cleveland, St. Louis or Tampa Bay.

My week 3 picks were 3 correct and 3 incorrect and after tallying the Week 2 predictions at 4-2, that leaves me at 10-8. At least I’m getting something right. Oy Vey!

In keeping in line with missing my picks on a regular basis, here is a link to Bill Simmons’ of Grantland, on his week 4 picks and some reader’s mail. Good stuff!

Week 3 game recaps are as follows;
Pounder – 144 ComebackKid – 116
Well, if my preseason prediction is correct, 9 consecutive losses should take place now and Pounder will finish the season 3-9. I’m willing to take my lumps and say, I may have called that a tad wrong. Just. A. Tad. The craziest part about the 144 points is that Pounder left 30 points on the bench by starting different players. Scary good start to the season. Harumphhh to the rookie, Mr. Clark!!
ComebackKid will be fine, but sometimes you are the bug, sometimes your the windshield… Really, any scoring day over 105 points is solid in this league, so 116 is spilled milk.

That’s One in a Row – 127 Oy Vey – 111
That is indeed 1 in a row. “Serenity Now, Serenity Now, Serenity Now!!!” ~ Things I’m saying as I write this…
Seriously, everything looked golden and I was dreaming about my 1st win of the season and how to best gloat humbly through this blog. Then Jamaal Charles slowly walked over, stared me down, reached out, ripped the still beating heart from my chest and threw it across the room. (Too much?) I kept pleading with myself as if I was talking to Kansas City’s coaches, saying things like, “What about Payton Hillis?” “What about Dwayne Bowe?” “What about Priest Holmes?” “Please take your foot off my throat Mr. Charles!” Sadly, no one was listening to the last beats of my heart as Jamaal caught another pass and took it to the house in the background, of the horrific scene…
Congrats to 1 in a row, as they get off the schneid (which reminds me… Happy Yom Kippur!)and settles in at 1-2.

Gippers Gangsters – 126 Victory Cruz – 98
A tri-fecta of players clinched this win. Bears D (42), Peyton (27)(the original) and Mike Wallace (24) scored 93 pts. A valiant effort from Cruz’s MoJo-Drew (34) but alas, not to be. That’s another newbie near the top of the league. The veteran’s of this league have officially been put on notice! The rookie’s mean business.

In-Zane in the Membrane – 115 A Stafford Infection – 100
Congrats to Danny for scoring 100 points. His team is having identity issues these days. Matt Stafford is struggling, Chris Johnson is who we thought he is, a bench warmer and possibly the earliest pick to end up on the waiver wire w/o an injury and Kevin Smith just lost his job to Mike LeShoure.
In-Zane isn’t much better, when you really break this down. Andy Dalton had a great matchup and exploited it for (46 pts) all it was worth. Reduce this to his average effort (20 pts) and its a loss. But we could play hypothetical’s all day. A win is a win!

Team A-Shift Rules – 111 Jace Invaders – 68
The worst showing since Carl Lewis or Roseanne Barr tried to sing the national anthem. It was fugly. Take away Darren McFadden’s (25 pt) effort and it sets catastrophic lows, but it only leaves Jace at 2-1, and later this season no one will remember this as more then a loss.
As for our other rookie, 3-0 and no looking back. We could use some replacement referee’s for this fantasy league!!

Team 3-peat Zalla – 98 Rodgers A-Doodle Doo – 80
Like a monkey with brain damage trying to peel a banana, this matchup was sad, comical and uplifting all at the same time! Oh, Aaron Rodgers, where art thou? 7 points, when we needed 37 points!! Alfred Morris (is that Batman’s butler??) and Andre “3000” Brown are scoring machines! I’m nervous for both these teams (let alone, my team).

Gangnam Style!


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Onward to the week 4 matchups and quick picks.

In-Zane (2-1) vs. Pounder (3-0)
I’m exhausted and I have no idea.
Pounder – 121 In-Zane – 119

A-Shift (3-0) vs. 3-Peat Zalla (1-2)
Matchups look too juicy!
A-shift – 133 3-Peat – 113

ComeBackKid (2-1) vs. Victory (1-2)
Another matchup mismatch.
ComeBackKid – 118 Victory – 112

Gangsters (2-1) vs. in a Row (1-2)
Upset special. I’m really just looking at player matchups this week and it seems to bode well for In A Row.
In A Row – 117 Gangsters – 97

Jace Invaders – (2-1) vs. Oy Vey (0-3)
I can’t believe I’m winless 3 weeks in. This is the week that breaks that streak!! I’m calling it = A replacement ref makes a horrible call that results in my player scoring just enought to eek out a win.
ZOHAN LIVES!!
Oy Vey – 108 Jace – 107

Rodgers (1-2) vs. Stafford (0-3)
I think this week is when most of Rodgers team remembers how to play football.
Rodgers – 135 Stafford – 88

As for some players I think will do well this upcoming week…

Tom Brady and Wes Welker facing Buffalo should equal fantasy success!!

Aaron Rodgers – New Orleans defense will get discount double checked!

Alfred Morris – Kind of like this matchup against Tampa Bay for the young RB.

Adrian Peterson – faces detroit…so yeah.

Calvin Johnson
– faces Minnesota passing defense… so yeah.

Percy Harvin
– again, facing Detroit passing defense… so ummmm, yeah.

Darren McFadden – love this matchup against Denver running defense

Jamaal Charles – still on fire

Jermichael Finley
– Gets back on track against New Orleans

Ray Rice – Cleveland? Reality check. Rice should battle Arian Foster for top RB this week.

I realize most of those picks were on the surface and rather easy. So here are a few deeper picks.

Matt Ryan
– facing Carolina
Ryan Fitzpatrick – facing New England and will most likely have to play catch up in scoring
Drew Brees – Again. I realize it’s a rather easy pick, but I can see Brees having to throw 55 times to try and rally from a huge deficit.
Jacob Tamme – Oakland is weak against TE’s
Owen Daniels – Going to reign havoc on Tennessee defense. I guess no football teams in Tennessee are that good. Ouch! Too soon?
Matt Schaub – revenge for the ear ripping and its also tennessee…
Finally I think Jordy Nelson finds paydirt this weekend.

Have a great week and like Tupac once harmonized…, “Ya Got to keepa your head up!”

NFL Playoff Predictions – Wildcard Week — The Perspective

NFL Playoff Predictions – Wildcard Week — The Perspective

Boat's n' Ho's

Cincinnati versus Houston – Sat 4:30pm
Houston – 24 Cincy – 13

Detroit versus New Orleans – Sat 8pm
New Orleans – 41 Detroit – 30

Atlanta vs. NY Giants – Sun 1pm
Atl – 34 NYG – 17

Pittsburgh vs. Denver – Sun 4:30pm
Denver – 20 Pittsburgh – 17

Original Pre-season & midseason updated picks for your Super Bowl winner!

Here are some other good sites for predictions and write-ups for this weeks upcoming games!

Bill Simmons 

ESPN – Mike Golic & Mike Greenberg

Sports Illustrated – Peter King

Michael Silver, Jason Cole & Les Carpenter – Yahoo Sports NFL Playoff Picks

RAGNAR + TEBOW + SQUARE1 Burger + CIGAR CITY Maduro = Awesomeness!!!

Week 15 Fantasy Football Predictions, Angels & Demons and Sleepers. Updated 12/18

Week 15 Fantasy Football Predictions, Angels & Demons and Sleepers.

Will_Ferrell_in_Talladega_Nights__The_Ballad_of_Ricky_Bobby

Will_Ferrell_in_Talladega_Nights__The_Ballad_of_Ricky_Bobby

Week 15 Fantasy Football Predictions, Angels & Demons and Sleepers.

Chances are, if your actually reading this, then your still “alive” in your fantasy football playoffs. For me I am still in the playoffs for all 3 of my teams, which is amazing in its own special way. Last week was so explosive in that many usual suspects that deliver steady performances either dropped off or dropped dead. Either way, those players ended a lot of fantasy seasons last week.
I had Aaron Rodgers on one of my teams, but fortunately that is a 2 week round format and I also have Arian Foster and Malcolm Floyd & Jason Witten. It certainly helps to have a solid overall lineup and not face a team with a Darren McFadden or Matt Schaub.

Anyhow, as we look ahead at week 15 we can’t help get the phrase “Don’t get cute here” or our take, “Don’t outsmart yourself, as you were obviously dumb enough to get yourself this far.” So subbing in Mike Goodson against Arizona for Adrian Peterson facing the Chicago Bears is the definition of “Getting Cute” or “Too Smart for your own good”. Ask yourself who got you to where you are right now? Names like Drew Brees, Peyton Hillis, Roddy White, Jason Witten & the NYG defense should resonate through your empty head right about now.

That seems like a good segue to visit our ANGELs we believe will lead you to the promised land this week. *One final time* I won’t be placing obvious names on this list or at least too many obvious names. Some will seem obvious but have a perplexing matchup or dynamic to their game. (i.e. – Greg Jennings is a must start, but he might have Matt Flynn throwing to him & same goes for Larry Fitzgerald and John Skelton) Just Saying.

Ricky_Bobby

SRQ 2010 Champion

Week 15 – ANGELS

Jay Cutler – We think he redeems himself somewhat this week against Minnesota. After the debacle at home this past week against NE, he can only go up, and we think the Bears recall they have a good RB as well. OY Vey. How this team leads their division is mind boggling. Its like Jacksonville. Minus 3 last play insane endings, they are 5-8. The Jags have been outscored by their opponents by 36 points. At least Chicago is 4-0 in their division. We think Cutler solidifies the Bears hold on the division this week. UPDATE – This game is taking place on the Frozen OUTDOOR Tundra of Minnesota Gohpers stadium. We will Pass on Cutler in the nasty weather instead of a climate controlled cushy dome. Instead look for Josh Freeman here.

Jon Kitna – Should have a solid week against a fluid Washington Redskins Defense who although they looked solid last week at home, will have less in the tank at Dallas this week. We think Kitna delivers a little special something under your tree.

Adrian Peterson – If Tavaris starts, Adrian is most likely affected negatively, but then you whisper to yourself, “Its ALL-DAY Peterson” and you remember he is a must start, because… “Did Adrian peterson get me here?” You bet your sweet patutie he did, even if the weather sucks, he is scratched up. UPDATE – I consider Peterson the F-150 of Running Backs.
Matt Forte – He does face Minnesota Run defense which is no laughing matter. But he can catch, and since we are on board for Cutler, we think Forte gets that secondary love.
LaGarrette Blount – Off the Sleeper list! Against Detroit, he should do work. Get past Suh and he should break the goal line.
Jonathan Stewart – Faces Arizona defense that loves to allow running yards to opposing RB’s. Should do well this week.
Ryan Torain – He is the guy, whatever that means in Washington. Your playing with fire here and you’ve been warned. He could be 1 of 3 things this week. A solid performer with 100+ and a score, a whelming kind of RB 60+/- yds with no score or lose you your championship by losing carries to Keiland and Davis. Good luck with that. UPDATE – A little nicked up, but still after last weeks performance, he must start, especially with Grossman as the QB, although look for 8 in the box.

Dwayne Bowe – But ONLY if Matt Cassel starts this week. If Brodie is under center, drop it like its hot, which may be D-Bowe’s motto when Brodie throws him the rock. Evidenced by the last 2 weeks ZERO points. UPDATE – We are sketchy on this pick to begin with. Even if Cassel makes it back, the Chiefs are going to run at least 60% of the time. You’ve been warned.
Miles Austin – Kitna is going to throw as Garrett wants to win and try to secure the head coaching gig. Who else is going to catch these passes, Ogletree? Martellus? I don’t think so. UPDATE – Dez is out, Roy Williams is Questionable leaving Austin. May have double coverage, but we can see 5 catches for 80 and a score.
Wes Welker – If you own him, your already starting him, but against a stout Green Bay defense that is going to be on the field a lot longer then usual, as unsure if Matt Flynn starts for GB at QB and they seem to have no running attack even though they have 6 RB’s. Welker goes to his happy place…the slot. (Insert crude joke here.)
Pierre Garcon – He got moved from our sleeper list to our ANGELS list. Its like going from the practice squad to the starting lineup. In Pierre we trust!
Mike Williams & Mike Williams 2.0 – Both WR’s have good matchups this week, but more importantly, if Mike Williams 2.0, the grunge version plays as he almost did this past week, he should have the better day. Tampa Bay has a few weapons like Winslow, Benn, Cadillac catching out of the backfield, where Seattle has squadooosh!

Jason Witten – He will produce this week against TE friendly Washington… lets say 9-12 points.
Browns DST & Patriots DST – Solely on matchups. Browns face Cincinnati and Pats face GB with Rodgers…Maybe.

talladega_nights

talladega_nights - Shake n' Bake

DEMONS
The Usual Suspects wont be on here. Just some new players who will break your heart and leave you out of the money and reeling.
Matt Hasselbeck – Especially if Mike Williams comes back. They will need MW to replace Deon Butler who is out. Its now or never for Hasselbeck. We thinks never.

Joe Flacco – New Orleans is sneaky good on defense and the team is firing on almost all cynlinders. Baltimore might find tough conditions, even at home. Ray Rice might represent, but we think Flacco leaves a bit to be desired.
Ryan Fitzpatrick – Facing a surprisingly stout Miami Defense isn’t a situation we want our Fitzy involved in. UPDATE – Fitzy is looking a little better as every additional QB for other teams is ruled out, game-time decision or placed on IR/bench…. i.e. McNabb we are looking at you and Cassel.
Mark Sanchez – Facing Pittsburgh defense and he seems to have forgotten how to actually play football. He is the next Joe Namath though, allegedly. UPDATE – Troy Polamalu is out for this game, so Sanchez’s stock just rose a point.
Drew Stanton – Its Drew Stanton. Even though Tampa Bay is banged up on defense, I just don’t believe in Stanton. UPDATE – Drew is looking a little better as every additional QB for other teams is ruled out, game-time decision or placed on IR/bench…. i.e. McNabb we are looking at you and Cassel.
Tavaris Jackson – Even with the weapons this guy is given… AP, Sidney Rice and maybe Percy Harvin, he will underwhelm for your team. UPDATE – Jackson is on IR and out for the year. Favre is crusty and most likely out, so Volcano Joe Webb has been named the starter. Just close your eyes and imagine the name above is Joe Webb versus Tavaris.
Kyle Orton – Even though they are playing Oakland. The vaunted Oakland passing defense is a legend of yesteryear. I.E. – Jacksonville and Pittsburgh and San Diego I vs Oakland. I rest my case. WARNING * Orton is a risky play, but you already knew that. UPDATE – Orton might not play much if at all. Tebow has taken the majority of first team snaps.
LeSean McCoy – I jumped on his bandwagon for the first time about 4 weeks ago. I’m officially jumping back off. I see nothing but bad fantasy performance here. I’m probably biased and he will catch 6 for 80 with a score, but in my gut, i think he goes for closer to 8 to 12 points..total. The only things named “Le” are “LeCar” and “LeCreuset” (which is a plate maker) and the infamous “Pontiac LeMans”.
Cedric Benson – Look. If you can’t help yourself, I certainly cannot help you. If you find yourself in the semi-finals or championship and you are contemplating using Cedric Benson, do yourself a favor and just send me your next season’s leagues’ dues in a check to my work address. I’ll gladly take your donation for the advice I give. I’m the Madame Cleo of Fantasy Football jibberish.
Rashad Jennings – I understand he has a TD in three straight games and he is facing the Colts non-existent run defense. Please tell me you’ve heard of Mojo (aka – Maurice Jones-Drew). If not, please spend the next 3 hours quietly meditating on how you ever made it this far. Rashad may get some carries and he may accumulate some yards, but we just don’t see 4 in a row for this backup.

Steve Johnson – Hello #1 WR coverage. I think Cameron Wake will be so far up Ryan Fitzpatrick’s posterior that Fred Jackson will get more targets then Steve Johnson.
Anquan Boldin – Derrick Mason better get this guy a nice watch or a gold chain with the trinket of “Decoy” on it. ‘Quan will draw top coverage against stingy New Orleans and others will grow fat and happy.
Hines Ward – Don’t trust him this week against pissed off Jets defense. Plus, Roethlisberger has looked banged up as well. Its gonna be a lot of Heath Miller & Rashard Mendenhall. UPDATE – Likely to be sipping Mojitos on Revis Island this weekend.
Antonio Gates – Chances are he won’t be playing much if at all, and even if he does play next week or the week after, you won’t care by then. I’m sure that you, like me, have eaten up a deserved roster spot in hopes that AG makes it back, but just like in Old Yeller, its time to grab the gun and take Gates out back. “Thanks for always being there, doc.” <— points if you know the movie this quote is from. Let me know on Twitter at @seandreznin
Packers DST – We are down this defense ONLY if Aaron Rodgers is OUT. If A-Rod plays then start GB Def.
Olindo Mare – Been on a downward point slide for the past 3 weeks and facing an Atlanta juggernaut doesn’t make this very attractive.

fight_600_1

fight_600_1

THE SLEEPERS

Kerry Collins – With Chris Johnson in the backfield and Kenny Britt back and of course everyone’s favorite “Decoy”, Randy Moss loitering about 5 yards off the line of scrimmage, we see a solid fantasy effort here.
Colt McCoy – If he starts (He is the confirmed Starter for the remainder of the season (12/16/)) then he is a sleeper against Cincy Defense.
Tim Hightower – If you need a filler RB, you could do worse. Last week was a gift, this week could be similar. Enjoy it while it lasts… two weeks from now he could be fumbling 3 times and Beanie to the rescue!
Javarris James – I put him on here again, because if he gets you 8-10 points, are you going to complain?

One borrowed sleeper, is this. Either Louis Murphy or Jacoby Ford (whomever does not draw Champ Bailey). May the force be with you.
Sidney Rice – He’s back and this time he brought Tavaris! Oy. Still he’s solid.
Kenny Britt – He’s got his boy Collins making it rain down on him, not R.Kelly style, more Pacman Jones style. Moving on.
Vincent Jackson – Keep up with the practice/injury reports, but if he goes, he should deliver some points. (12/17 UPDATE – BOOM! Nailed it! Too bad I had a Christmas party and left Malcolm Floyd in on one team = ZERO DNP) GRINCH!

Bo Scaife & Owen Daniels – Its all about the QB in one case, and reclaiming a starting gig on a high powered 2nd half offense.

Dallas DST / Dolphins DST / Oakland DST – All Matchup based guesses.

As for our SRQ 2010 league predictions.

Here goes the quick breakdown:

In the 9th place game;
TEBOW – 99 vs. HOT TUB – 70

In the 7th place matchup;
Calvin & Da Munks – 119 vs. Rooster – 117

In the 5th place contest;
BenBowski – 101 vs. Team RC – 121

In the 3rd place, Runner Up Game;
Cassel Fit for a King – 78 vs. Manning & Rivers, Inc. – 119

Finally, in the Battle Royale, Season 2 Conquest….

A Cool Winters Brees (11-3) Highest scoring team in league

vs.

Team EV’s All-Stars (10-4) Winners of 8 in a row

Looking at each teams rosters we notice that most players have nice matchups, which could result in a real slug it out points fest!
So much depends on weather conditions and little variables but the bottom line is this. Based on the projected season long averages, ESPN has Brees winning 142-120 over EV.

We call it a touch closer. 134 – 127 with the crown going to….

….

….

…We’ll just have to play it out and see who the winning team is.

Insane Trophy for Champion - Ricky Bobby Style

Good luck to all teams and its been a hell of a season. We have some things to iron out for next season, but I would also suggest some fun additions as well. Maybe a ridiculous trophy and/or presentation, a punishment for the worst team, cash prizes for things like most points scored all season/ in a game / etc, etc, etc… All in all, a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed it as well, and let me know if you’d like to see more of something or less of something in these write ups.

Dre.

Fantasy Football Week 11 Predictions and Prognostications

Anchorman__Channel_4_News_Team_by_Kelevra

Anchorman__Channel_4_News_Team_by_Kelevra

Fantasy Football Week 11 Predictions and Prognostications

Ron Burgundy: I don’t know how to put this but I’m kind of a big deal.
Veronica Corningstone: Really.
Ron Burgundy: People know me.
Veronica Corningstone: Well, I’m very happy for you.
Ron Burgundy: I’m very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.

Well, after the complete beat down performed by record setting Team RC (161 team points), I am going to ease into this weekly Angels & Demons section. Dip a toe in the water, if you will.

My Angels for this week.
Drew Brees against Seattle after a Bye Week. I’ll take 2 scoops! Shaun Hill against a Dallas Defense that gives out touchdowns to opposing QB’s, like Jehovahs Witnesses give out flyers on the Boardwalk.

Carson palmer grow his vulture wings and feast off the carcass of Buffalo whether they win a nail biter or get demolished. I think it’s a nail biter and Carson throws some INT’s along with TD’s.
Peyton Hillis should DO WORK against run friendly Jags D.

Rashard Mendenhall against Oakland Run D. Yesssss Sir! Calvin aka MEGATRON Johnson against Dallas Defense… See Shaun Hill notes above.

Peyton Manning (The original Peyton or the O.P.) against porous NE Pats D. Same old Peyton! LaGarette Blount against 49ers. Normally Bucs don’t do well on West Coast, but I think this new regime has completely shaken any old curses.

Matt Cassel vs. Phoenix Redbirds. Advantage Cassel. Dez Bryant seems to like his hazings doled out by Kitna and there will be blood. Lions blood. As Dez should go off.

Kyle Orton against San Diego equals FF goodness! Larry Fitzgerald is ripe to devour this week.

Aaron Rodgers against Minnesota seems like as good a way as any to come back after a refreshing bye week. We think the rest did the Mustachioed Rodgers good. Mark Sanchez gets the Houston Texans worst ranked defense to come to town. Are you kidding me? He is gonna do work.

Flacco versus Carolina Kitties who are starting a 3rd string RB, and a 4th string QB. Flacco will be pulled by the 3rd qtr as the Ravens will be ahead by 30 pts.
MoJo Drew is going to have a good day catching the ball against surprisingly good run defense in Cleveland.

Tom Brady is going to have to throw a lot against Indy high octane offense in this matchup. Kind of iffy on Sam Bradford. He will probably get double digits in FF points but were are guessing low teens as Atlanta is a solid defense and his WR corp is thin.

Fool us once, shame on you, Fool us twice and we suck. David Garrard is going to throw all day on Cleveland and light the Cuyahoga back on Fire! Jon Kitna will have a decent day against Detroit, although I fathom he may have the paw print of SUH on his helmet by the time this game is over.
I can only pick two players off RC’s roster so I’m done, but I am staring longingly with a crush as her roster is stacked! Gonna be another good week.

Demons include;

Is Dustin Keller really going to drop another stinker on us, even against “It’s your offenses birthday” Texans D? If he does, he will find himself surfing the wire.

Is this the week Mike Vick gets stopped, throws an INT, is discovered to have sent Brett Favre a text? We think the NYG’s game plan a bit better and maybe a slipup here or there for Vick but all in all not too bad. Pierre Garcon on the other hand… We have no words….Oh yeah, I guess we do… CATCH THE BALL!

Matt Schaub at the Jets. Oh Lawd have Mercy. Stay Away. Schaub is toast this year and other then an easy game peppered in too make you forget how terrible he has been, the stink grows.
We think Adrian Peterson has a tough go of things this week facing a rested, stingy Packers Defense.

We are down on Ahmad Bradshaw, although we think he does ok because of his pass catching skills, but its going to be tough running, unless Philly repeats and Bradshaw grosses points in garbage time.
Big Ben against Oakland. Im getting queasy just thinking about this one. Ben seems shaky as he has underperformed in his last few games and although this looks to be a fantasy point rich matchup, maybe in the run dept, but not the pass.

Screw it. LeSean McCoy because I hate him. Loathe him. He is the debbil. We asked this question last week and the answer was, surprisingly “NO!” If Cedric Benson hasn’t produced yet, he has to against the RB friendly defense of 1-8 Buffalo, right?

Mike “Turner the Burner” against surprising ST. Louie D and Brandon Jacobs against Philly.. NO to both…. NO X 2.… No Squared…. Nyet…
Unsure about Steven Jackson against ATL D. We’ll hedge our bets and say minimal performance.

SO FRESH & SO CLEAN – 134 ROOSTER 125

CALVIN & DA MUNKS – 135 M&R, INC. – 121

BIG BENBOWSKI – 115 CASSEL FIT FOR A KING – 105

HOT TUB – 111 TEAM EV – 109

TEAM RC – 126 BLEEDING – 106

Mike McDermott: “Fold or hang tough. Call or raise the bet. These are decisions you make at the table. Sometimes the odds are stacked so clear there’s only one way to play it. Other times, like holding a small pair against two over cards, it’s six to five, or even money, either way. Then it’s all about feel, what’s in your guts.“

From Anchorman!
Brian Fantana: [about Veronica] I’ll give this little cookie an hour before we’re doing the no-pants dance. Time to musk up.
[opens cologne cabinet]
Ron Burgundy: Wow. Never ceases to amaze me. What cologne you gonna go with? London Gentleman, or wait. No, no, no. Hold on. Blackbeard’s Delight.
Brian Fantana: No, she gets a special cologne… It’s called Sex Panther by Odeon. It’s illegal in nine countries… Yep, it’s made with bits of real panther, so you know it’s good.

I realize now, through your vigil and vitriol filled letters that I am not Matthew Berry but kind of like a Tall Bill Simmons, which is flattering like calling a small Killer Whale a Porpoise. It hurts bro, it hurts. Have a good week, and good luck to all the athletes competing in Ironman Arizona! Go Sarasota Storm!

Fantasy Football Week 9 Recap

Funny Poster

I want to try a new format this week for the Fantasy Football Week 9 recap.

Rather then actually look just at the specific match-ups and regurgitate obvious statistics, I am going to highlight both obscene performances and strong showings from individuals as well as disappointments from others. I will attempt to touch on the actual SRQ 2010 match-ups, but I am going to try to make it a bit more mainstream of a write-up then solely for just us. I look forward to your responses and feedback.

Alright, even with the new format, I still need a template to tie the week too. In the past, I have used such stalwarts as Jersey Shore, characters from The Office, Epic Fail people (I.e. Charlie Sheen, Jesse james, etc) & Adam Sandler characters.
After some completely ridiculous thought and deliberation, I am leaning towards either catering the template towards “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” characters or tailoring the article after NFL players who are less then admirable, morally. Let’s start writing and see what happens. {I eventually decided to go straight up, and save the silly antics for the Predictions write-up, later this week}

Obscene Performers
Look, by now we have come to expect Phillip Rivers to go bonkers every week and throw 3 or 4 TD passes to either mainstream studs like A-Gates or Malcolm Floyd, but this week, he dropped 34 FF pts on us throwing to Seyi Ajirotutu (27 pts), utter washout Patrick Crayton (7pts) and Randy McMichael (14 pts) (didn’t he used to wrestle in the NWO or something?)

Peyton Hillis (33 pts) went schitzo by dropping 184 rushing yards and 2 Tds on the NE Patriots and Bill Simmons #1 poll ranked team (see article here), although, to be fair, his article basically boasted of the parity and confusion in the Nfl this season and how there really is no clear cut favorite. (evidenced by Brownies dominating Patriots, Steelers basically ripping a victory out of Jordan Shipleys hands on 4th down & Indianapolis playing with some substitutes backups and falling just short against the Philadelphia Eagles.)

T.O.(32 pts) , The Packers Defense (30 pts) , Jacoby Ford (24 pts), James Jones (22 pts) , Jacob Tamme (22 pts), Nate Burleson (21 pts) and hell, we will even include Brett Favre (28 pts) on this list as if you believed Favre would break his personal best record for yardage in this game, you should be writing this and not me. I almost started him over Matt Stafford (26 pts), but fortunately, they had similar point games! While the Pack may have won a fantasy match-up for you (wink, wink! Team EV All-Stars) Jacoby Ford was not on a starting roster and only won the game for the real Raiders. That guy was playing on a different level.

On the other end of the spectrum, in no particular order of stinky failure;
Jon Kitna (5 pts) made the packers Defense look like the steel curtain. We thought Kitna was going to have a big week throwing a ton of passes to Jason Witten (4 pts) trying to avoid Clay Matthews baring down on him. Oops!

Brandon Marshall (5 pts) somehow has become a pretty good candidate for one of the largest busts of the year. Save for 2 weeks when he scored double digit FF points (28, 18) he has been in single digits every game since then, with the last one the lowest yet. Oy Vey!

Another star receiver, Andre Johnson (4 pts) did a lot of nothing. Now he has Matt Schaub throwing to him and he is constantly nursing injuries, but 4 points is low, even for Andre, especially after he was clutch the past two weeks.

Roddy White (4 pts) A 38 point dropoff from the previous week, notwithstanding, this was a scary game for Roddy White owners (Hasselbeck Girl) as he left the game with a knee injury and did not practice on Tuesday Nov 9. We’ll just have to see what happens, but if you have another serviceable WR, you may want to consider starting them in place of Roddy as he plays on Thursday night against Baltimore.

Thomas Jones (3 pts), Calvin Johnson (1 pt on Revis Island), Chad Henne (2 pts), Miles Austin (1 pt) & Felix Jones (1 pt), only because if the cowboys can’t pass and Marion Barber is an actual zombie and they lied to us about using Tashard Choice more, then how does Felix not get any FF points? Maybe now that Wade Phillips has rejoined his walking dead counterparts, Felix will get a boost, but we ain’t holding our breath. For fear of asphyxiation.

Now, heading into Week 10, another 4 teams are on Byes and this can severely affect teams rosters and waiver wires. Throw in a couple more injuries and watch the waiver wire fireworks!

Bye week studs include;
Drew Brees
Aaron Rodgers
Greg Jennings
Philip Rivers
Antonio Gates
Darren McFadden

Brandon Jackson (although calling him a stud is a stretch)
The above mentioned Jackson is reason enough for not putting players like Ryan Matthews and Marques Colston here. Not quite enough consistency to be considered star worthy players.

Injuries to keep an eye on;
Matthew Stafford – looks done for the season
Austin Collie – out for a couple weeks but should return eventually
Roddy White – Knee tweaked, but returned to game and says will play on Thurs
DeAngelo Williams – Out for a couple weeks and even if he returns, will anyone care?
Jonathon Stewart – Head injury. See above DeAngelo notes
Matt Moore – Out for season – Not easy to be Carolina Panther these days!
Joseph Addai – Shoulder still not healed – most likely out for a couple more weeks
Stephen gostkowski – Out for Season
Hakeem Nicks – Mild Ankle Sprain – Probable
Alex Smith – I have no idea
Matt Hasselbeck – No idea here either, but even if he comes back, he has been BUNK this season
The Redskins backfield – Who knows with Shanahan . Torain, Portis, K-Williams or even james Davis? Your guess is as good as mine

Quick recap from last week.
Even with little to no help from Lucifer, I mean, LeSean, Can I get a Hot Tub holds off Benbowski. Big Ben dropped such a stinker on Monday Night, that he snuffed out Benbowski’s hopes of the playoffs as well. At 3-6, there is still a chance, but it reminds me of a certain Dumb & Dumber moment about 1 in a Million, and such. Hot Tub at 4-5 is better suited to regroup and claw their way back into contention, but with Aaron Rodgers on a BYE and getting stonewalled on the waiver wire. How do you not put in a back up bid for Colt McCoy and let him go to Peyton/Rivers for $1, I’ll never know. I had a back up bid in place in case you outbid me for Shaun Hill. Well, there is always Tony Pike or maybe Tim Tebow, as he could run for a TD.
PREDICTION – BENBOWSKI – 105 HOT TUB – 102
Final Score – Hot Tub – 108 Benbowski – 92

M & R, Inc versus Calvin & his Munks. Oy Vey. The hits just keep on coming. Before the games started there was an upbeat hope to this match-up. Maybe Derek Anderson could go off or Calvin Johnson would duplicate his 3 TD day, but alas, once the games progressed a bit, reality set in. M&R, inc sits near the top of the division at 6-3 and looks poised to take over the top spot soon. Thanks Paulie! Grrrrrr. Calvin heads into a winnable match-up next week and at 2-7 is playing for pride and to also keep others from making the playoffs! Go Get Em, Calvin!
PREDICTION – M&R, INC – 137 CALVIN – 90
Final Score – M&R, Inc – 130 Calvin – 112

Just utter destruction here. Nothing to see. Please keep moving. Henne & Kitna could be a cancelled detective show on Lifetime. Their respective performances were so bad (that the criminals got away, the crime still remains unsolved and they had to call in Monk to try and solve the case), that they crushed RC chances through and through no matter how the rest of the team performed. Add in Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson on BYES and fuhgettaboudit.
6-3 Austin looks legit (See luckiest team in the league notes) enough to stay near the top of the league and if they get consistency from Bradshaw and Brandon Jackson then why not them? Team RC has a good chance to shake up the league and save their season by attempting to upset the league leader in their week 10 match-up. At 3-6, they need a win to resurrect their season.
PREDICTION – RC -99 AUSTIN – 97 (Went for the upset, though Kitna would actually do well. FAIL)
Final Score – Austin – 124 RC – 68

I Ain’t No Hasselbeck Girl squeaked by Team Stop the Bleeding this week. Both teams got great performances from some players. Arian Foster (33 pts) vs. Turner the Burner (24 pts) & DeSean (22 pts) and next thing you know, Bleeding had a chance heading into Monday Night. Well, the smack talk early on became a quiet mumble as T.O. scored again and again for Cincy and eliminated the Steelers D pts. But alas, a good effort by both teams. Hasselbeck Girl 7-2 sits atop the league with 6 Wins in a Row (En Fuego!!) and looks primed to make the playoffs, but a loss looks very likely this upcoming week as the dreaded BYE week doldrums set in. Bleeding is 4-5 and needs some TUMS, stat! 3 losses in a row and this week they face scrappy Calvin who will battle. Its gonna be a good fight.
PREDICTION – HASSELBECK GIRL – 139 BLEEDING – 134
Final Score – Hasselbeck Girl – 132 Bleeding – 119

The Best game of the week, hands down. Every play the Cincinnati offense ran on Monday night made the score of this contest change and switched leads! It was Carson Palmer for Rooster versus RB Cedric benson and EV’s ALL-stars had a 5 point cushion heading into the game. Now, against steelers defense, you gotta think the run is non existent and Carson will have to throw because the Bungles will be down by 30 points at halftime, but low and behold. A pretty even matchup became the best game of the week.
EV hangs on for the win thanks to the Packers Defense DOING WORk (30 pts) and she left some points on the bench as well. Impressive. She will need to start all the right players next week as EV’s 5-4 record and 3 game winning streak come up against M&R, INC (6-3). Important game! As for Rooster, their ability to battle each week, just missed but they find themselves at 5-4 and should rebound nicely as they head into a match-up with Benbowski. That should define some futures, fo sho.
PREDICTION – ROOSTER – 109 EV’S – 79
Final Score – EV’s – 118 Rooster – 115

Well, all in all, a 2-3 week brings my overall prediction record to 10-10. I’m actually kind of disappointed that I’m .500 after this long, I would have thought I would do better. I’ll just have to enjoy my 7-2 record and first place seeding, as I feel a loss coming on this week. I mean, does Drew Brees, really need a week off?

Good luck all!

Down Syndrome Football player scores TD in heartwarming story

I confess to being a groupie of a couple of sportswriters. I can’t get enough of their witty, snarky, sharp & poignant writing. I eagerly await each article and covet it, similar to a hungry dog and a piece of meat. These writers include Bill Simmons (aka, the Sports Guy) and Matthew Berry (aka, TMR) both work for ESPN and both are tremendous at their craft.

It seemed a wide chasm between anything else I could find and read that even came close to the enjoyment that I received from the aforementioned writers, but alas, my search has found a writer. Although his writing skills are not the reason I trumpet his articles here and now, it is more the content of the stories with his writing the expensive frame to the masterpiece. I receive so much inner joy from reading his uplifting stories and articles that my heart gets so warm, I have to be careful to avoid heartburn. Zing. Ok. I. Digress.

Below find another gem from Mr. Cameron Smith over at Yahoo and his section called Prep Rally which I find to be a wonderful story of Human Spirit providing hope, compassion and character when often times these things are overlooked for the pursuit of money, a win, entertainment, etc. (i.e. – Braylon Edwards, Michael Vick (although he served his time), Plaxico Burress, Roger Clemens, Barry bonds… and the list goes on and on…)

Below find the same lovable guy Ike Ditzenberger and his amazing teammates & competitors doing a similar good deed during a JV game. Karma is a wonderful thing people.

Hilarious “Press Hop 2” video * LeBron, OchoCinco & Tiger, Oh My!

by Page 2
The long awaited sequel to DJ Steve Porter’s “Press Hop.”

Hilarious “Press Hop 2” video * LeBron, OchoCinco & Tiger, Oh My!