A Mishandled Tragedy

The Kansas City Chiefs endured a trauma unlike any other this past weekend. A player committed suicide in front of his respective coach and GM, after shooting his girlfriend NINE times. This left a 3-month infant parentless. There were no obvious warning signs of Jovan Belcher wanting to murder his girlfriend and wanting to leave his daughter behind. There is a warning sign, however, that we may not know our athletes as well as it seems. 

People didn’t know how to cover it. While a person took his own life is sad in its own right, him shooting his girlfriend and leaving his daughter with no direction, no answers is unequivocally a coward move. This forced the media into a tough situation on how to cover it and some did wrongly, including CBS whose NFL pregame show didn’t mention until 40 minutes in. What a disgrace. 

Then, some other journalists took it to another platform. Gun control. Totally. Because if Belcher didn’t have gun there’s no way he wouldn’t have found another way to manipulate this situation. You can talk about gun control, yes, but to push it in our faces and say if not for that, this wouldn’t have gone down, is just utterly inane.

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Ideal Bookshelf

For some people when you think of everything you learned and knowledge you’ve inquired, you can recall of all the books that you have read and scanned through. Some more than others,  but as I begin to read this article, I begin to ponder on which books were the most important to me and which ones carved out my ideals on how I think today.

To this day I remember the first book I thoroughly enjoyed and cherished reading and that was Harper Lee’s classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” It really made everything clear in life and that something could have a legitimate purpose. It showed how important family was and provoked me to learn more about the cultural of America and its history. Lee’s classic novel will forever be embedded in my memory.

Another book that had to be on my list is Walter Cronkite’s biography. He is everything that I strive to be in a reporter and is who I try to emulate. He knows the right times of when to objective and subjective and he was everything that news today is not. I’ve read his book numerous times and it is a must for everyone that wants to be a reporter. Those are the two books I would include in my ideal bookshelf with many more to come along the way.

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Stillwater Cancer Prevention Study

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Thunder’s Reality

The reality of the NBA is harsh. TV contracts and big money control and dictate where the best players. New York/Brooklyn, Miami, LA have become landing spots for all the super stars nowadays with the new CBA devastating all the small market teams.

The Thunder were in an interesting situation, they had such a promising future with three top-20 NBA players all under the age 24 with a bench that the Lakers would be envious of. But then the Harden trade happened and Sam Presti, the Thunder’s General Manger, was forced to make a decision and he made a rash one, giving Harden one hour to decide whether to stay or test out free agency. It exploded throughout social media and Presti caught a lot of flack. 

In reality, Oklahoma City still isn’t a top 30 market and will continue to be because that’s just how it works out. They will always be the team that has to work around the CBA and find ways to keep superstars around with friendly contracts and loopholes. If anyone can do this it’s Sam Presti who thoroughly understand’s the economy of the NBA. But sometimes the fairy-tale world comes to an end when it all seems too good.

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Connor’s Soundslide Project

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Rewriting the book on Lebron James

I love Bill Simmons. I’ll read everything he writes. But this isn’t about Simmons but rather what he points out in this intriguing article. A lot of the stuff makes you think in your head offering some juicy reassurance that Lebron is a freak and one of the 20 greatest basketball players ever to live.

Lebron has been through rollercoaster after rollercoaster each season. His image has changed over time, from good in Cleveland to complete disdain in his first year in Miami to “he’s becoming closer to Jordan” after his second year in Miami. This is what we’ve expected since he was a young gazelle-like freak in Cleveland. Everytime he’s in your town people will take notice.

But, people are still questioning if he’s the top 5 basketball players of all time and if he ever will be. Lebron is a changed man and no longer do you see “I’m better than you, you others are worthless,” James. He leads, he defers, he is understanding. Since the 2011 Finals loss to the Mavs, Lebron has taken on a new, fresh mature role and he’s trying to rewrite his own chapter, so that he can be remembered for the good and not by the bleak moments he has had.

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Statistical revolution

I’m have been always on board with sabermetrics from day one. I berate people who think average, RBI is more of a demonstrable skill than OBP, OPS and more advance statistics proclaim such as the ones on fangraphs.

I’ve read a lot of books on this and in today’s baseball world especially for the small-market teams being economically prudent is vital to have success. Yeah, some stats like the ones defensively (UZR), are hard to understand and need at least 3 years to stabilize. But now more than ever you can evaluate players in multiple ways. And the movement is certainly building up.

I read Moneyball when it first came out because I just read anything Michael Lewis put out there. I hated when the movie came out, because too many people used the term “Moneyball.” But, I’m a statistical nerd when it comes to baseball because it’s just another way to reinforce my arguments and opinions. Ben Bernanke’s article on the Nationals wasn’t anything new but it validated on how all baseball teams should think and run an organization. I considered myself a baseball hipster and I’m fine with that label.

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