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What do I love more; Fantasy Football, March Madness, or The NBA Playoffs?  That is almost like asking a mother to pick her favorite kid.  We know she has a favorite, but she’ll front like she loves them all equally ☺  Seriously though, professional basketball is my first love.  When I was a kid I would sit up watching playoff games with my dad.  My mom would be asleep, but my dad and I would be up watching Magic and Kareem get it done!  I loathed and despised Larry Bird and the Celtics.  Had no love for Isaiah Thomas in his booty shorts back when he played with the bad boys in Detroit.  Still not a fan of Isaiah, but that is another blog for another day.

I am going to put it out there now, I want a Kobe vs. LeBron finals.  And if you’re wondering, my dad is going for Lebron and I’m going for Kobe. Sorry, but I don’t believe in the Orlando Magic.  Yes, I think Carmelo can be amazing, but I’m hoping Gasol and Kobe get it together (well actually Gasol and Kobe aren’t the problem.  I’m gonna need Odom and Bynum to play like they want to win)!

As I watch LeBron play, I must admit I am often amazed.  The last second three-pointer…how often do we see a play like that in the playoffs?  I’m loving these playoffs because every team is playing to win.  The officiating is a bit bootleg, but what can you do!

The Lakers were the favorite to go to the finals, as were the Cavs.  Now both teams are getting a run for their money and it looks like it might not happen that way.  Maybe the Cavs can win the next three to make it to the Finals, and maybe Phil Jackson will be able to motivate Bynum and Odom enough to make them relevant in the next few games.  However it works out, I’m pleased with the level of intensity of this year’s playoffs.  I especially liked the intensity of the Celtics-Magic series.  When Rafer Alston slapped Eddie House in the back of the head, I cracked up!  Nothing like seeing a grown man get mushed in the head to brighten your day.

I am also pleased with this year’s batch of commercials.  I like the “Where Will Amazing Happen” flashback commercials, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Kobe and Lebron as muppets series.  Nike really outdid themselves.  Muppet LeBron with all that chalk.. HILARIOUS!!!!!

Having said all that, there is one thing about these playoffs I could definitely do without.  When I tell you Mark Jackson is the most annoying NBA commentator since the talking horse (AKA Bill Walton).  I just wish he would tattoo “I wanna be a coach” on his forehead and call it a day.  His voice is like nails on a chalkboard to me at this point.  I can take the bad officiating and missed calls all day and all night over Mark Jackson’s self-important pontificating!  He makes me sick.  I pray when the Lakers/Nuggets series ends, so does Mark Jackson’s commentary.

So to all my NBA loving Epiphanybloggers out there…what are you feeling about these playoffs.  The good, the bad, and the ugly…I want to hear it!

May 27, 2009 Posted by | Laughter, Opinion, Sports | 6 Comments

March Madness

The person that penned the lyrics “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” obviously new nothing about March Madness!  It’s that time of year again, and I am elated.  Selection Sunday is right around the corner, and then I shall commence to juggling my brackets and obsessing over the Final Four.  I’ll stay up until I am almost drunk from exhaustion, and plan my weekends around college basketball.  Games that come down to the final seconds are more exciting than the Ali-Frazier Thrilla in Manila (yes, I was a boxing fan as a little girl and I have a pic with Muhammad Ali to prove it)!  I repeat, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year.

My love of college basketball began in high school.  My 10th grade English teacher offered us extra credit for correctly picking teams…and it was on.  Back then Georgetown was the favorite, but I was big into the UNLV Running Rebels.  In the end, Michigan (a number three seed) beat out Seton Hall (a number three seed) in an overtime thriller.   I have been following the road to the Final Four ever since!  A few years ago I organized a team building exercise in a local sports bar to watch the opening Thursday afternoon game instead of working.

I am not ashamed to admit that I probably go overboard with March Madness, but it’s kind of hard not to.  First of all, you gotta love the athleticism.  These kids play hard all year and it is the ultimate WIN OR GO HOME scenario.  In professional sports, the athletes know there is always next year, but nothing is ever guaranteed in College Sports.  No matter how well you might have played in your conference, there is always a team that could be stronger, better, and faster than you.  A coaching shake up might keep you out of contention next year, or better yet the lack of a coaching shake up (as is the case with Gary Williams and UMCP), might keep you out of the Final Four for seven years!

Then there is the Cinderella aspect.  The bigger, stronger more popular team (i.e. ugly stepsisters) will lose to the homely, shy, unheard of team (i.e. Cinderella). There will always be an upset.  A number five seed will lose to a number twelve seed in the first round.  A number one seed won’t make it past the Sweet Sixteen.  Technical fouls will send a game into overtime…the list goes on and on.  How can you not get hooked to this?!?!?!

At this very moment I am mulling over my potential selections.  I am not a fan of Wake Forest, but I loath and despise Duke University.  My hatred of Duke goes back to high school.  Back then we had a rival school, Saint Anthony’s, that would beat us to death in Boys Basketball.  Bobby Hurley was their star player and he went on to become a star at Duke.  Now every year I root for UMCP and whoever is playing Duke.

So Epiphanyblog, who’ll be traveling that road to the Final Four with me?  Even though the brackets have not been decided yet, who do you think will win it all this year?

March 11, 2009 Posted by | Sports | 4 Comments

An Olympic Year

I was not at all hyped about the Olympics this year.  Another four years had gone by, and I thought it would be the same ole same ole.  Then I bought in to the Michael Phelps hype.  Let me start by saying he deserved all the “hype” and anything else that might come along with eight gold medals.  Several weeks ago I wrote a blog about the “best to ever do it”.  We mentioned Jordan, Magic, Kobe, Walter Payton, and a few other stellar athletes.  Somehow we managed to “skip” all the Olympians.

In other countries, Olympic athletes are treated almost like royalty, but in America if you don’t have a multi million dollar shoe deal, are you any less deserving of the “hype”?  Some Olympic athletes do get endorsements, and there is usually a lot of name recognition during the time immediately surrounding that years Olympics, but by December, they usually fade back to obscurity for another four years…..but is that fair?

By all accounts most of these competitors do so for the love of the game.  When they train, there are no cameras.  Nike and Reebok normally don’t come knocking until they have a few “Golds” under their belts.  Often times these are kids that have been training to make it to this world stage since puberty.

The Olympics will be over soon, but there are some athletes that made the history books for sure: Usain Bolt (Track & Field), and Michael Phelps (Swimming) for starters! Their records might eventually get broken, but at least for right now, in this Olympic year, they truly ARE the best to ever do it!

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Society, Sports | 3 Comments

The Road Less Traveled

It seems like only yesterday when I wrote my last article on the BET awards…my  how time flies!  One thing I can say about the BET awards….they will dig in the crates and dust off an old school group.  Did you see En Vogue and SWV?  I don’t know where they found Lisa Lisa, but obviously Cult Jam did not make the flight!  I initially was going to blog about the BET Awards 08 because while a lot of the performances were good (the aforementioned En Vogue/SWV dust off for starters), there was a lot of foolishness sprinkled in there too.  I was pleased with the Al Green tribute (and not just because my other Boo, Maxwell, came out and performed my favorite Al Green song).  I decided against a full BET blog when I realized that I’ve pretty much outgrown BET.  I hate to admit it, especially because I love hip hop, but I think I am a little mature for the likes of Lil Wayne, and Souljah Boy.    Rather than go through a blow by blow of last nights show (which by most accounts was not that memorable), I’ve decided to post about something a little more age appropriate and relevant.  The road less traveled……

If you read my post last week, you know I am a sports fan.  With the NBA draft fast approaching, and SAT scores looming for high school graduates the quandary of Brandon Jennings is interesting to me.  Basically he graduated from high school this year ranked as one of the top five basketball players in the country, but NBA rules prohibit him from entering the draft (you must be out of high school for one year before you can be in the NBA).  With my love of March Madness, I’d love to see him take a team to the final four, but first he has to qualify for NCAA sports…..hence the quandary.

From what I hear, Jennings is no scholastic prodigy.  Knowing that, he’s considering playing in Europe for a year, or sitting out all together and working with trainers.  (Either way he’d be eligible for the draft next year.) Why waste a year “pretending” to go to class, when you can be making money doing what you really want to do? I have long said college athletes should be paid.  These schools rake in millions from televised games and alumni.  Yes the kids get scholarships, but they aren’t allowed to work.  Some say they get money under the table blah blah blah, but when you compare that to what the schools earn…..it seems a little lopsided.  Is the road less traveled a better option?

Most college bound athlete’s dream of going to the pro’s.  They attend schools that have programs that will boost their chances of a professional career.  Many star college athletes don’t even plan to finish….it’s just a waiting game until the right agent comes along and tells them a pro team is interested.  As a parent, do you encourage your child to take the road less traveled, or do you pump up the virtues of a good education.  Let me re-phrase that…..if you knew your child was capable of making millions starting in a couple of months, would you tell him to get an education first?  Hold that thought…..

Apparently Jennings has discussed this with his mom and they are weighing their options.  He told The New York Times “For a person that plays ball, our dream is to get to the NBA. Our real mind-set is that we’re trying to get to the league, take care of our families. They’re making us do college … I told my mom that (going to Europe) was something we should look into.  So let’s say you have a child with talent and a dream.  Do you encourage him to follow his dream or get an education?  If his dream was building the worlds tallest popsicle stick tower do you encourage that, or drop him off at State U?  If his dream could put you in a mansion and pay off your credit card debt, do you send him to Europe and pray he doesn’t get injured?

If you want to be a doctor, or a Human Resources Administrator a college degree is kind of important, but does a degree equal longevity in professional sports?  I don’t know if the NBA was looking out for the kids when they enacted this one year rule, but I guess a year of college is better than no college at all.  I’m sure David Stern (whom I can’t stand), was not expecting a crafty Brandon Jennings to come along and create an alternate route, but if this was your kid, or your situation what would you do? Is the road less traveled worth it if big money is waiting at the end of that road?


June 25, 2008 Posted by | News, Opinion, Sports | 3 Comments

Simply The Best!

Does the name Napoleon McCallum mean anything to you?  Well in 1994 he was injured in the first Monday Night Football game of the season (Raiders vs. 49ers).  That injury will forever live in infamy in my head, as I remember my friends and I being floored while watching the instant replay over and over again.  If you haven’t guessed by now, JerzeeChick loves sports!  Treacherous injuries, great feats of scoring, stupendous dunks, and Cinderella teams MAKE MY DAY!  I participate in no less than three fantasy football leagues a year.  I do fantasy basketball, and I am ashamed to say how many brackets I have floating around during March Madness.  I live for playoff games (NBA and NFL), I love college basketball *go Terps*, and I’ve been known to follow soccer every now and then (Manchester United all day every day)!  Because I’m an avid sports fan, this week was particularly hard for me.  The NBA finals ended, Tiger is on “injured reserve”, and baseball just doesn’t excite like other sports.  I root for the Yankee’s. I boo the Braves, but other than that I am not interested J   

I am not a real fan of golf, but who doesn’t root for Tiger Woods?  Before he stepped on the scene, people weren’t really checking for golf.  Now he has spawned a generation of golfers and golf fans.  No one can touch him, but pound for pound is Tiger simply the best athlete to ever play ANY GAME?  When we look at his career in its entirety, and all that he has accomplished in such a short time, is there any athlete out there as good?  I guess I will give Tiger the golf crown hands down, and look at other sports individually.

Peyton Manning and Michael Vick broke records, but are they better than Joe Montana?  Bill Russell has won more NBA championship rings than any other player, and I doubt if we’ll see that record broken in our lifetime.  Some say Jordan is the best to ever play the game of basketball, but others say Kobe Bryant or maybe LeBron James will eventually surpass him.  Muhammad Ali was the greatest, but before Mike Tyson went crazy, was he on par to surpass Ali?  Venus and Serena brought those beads to the Grand Slam tournaments and upset a lot of folks!  When they are at the top of their game, they are unstoppable, but are they the best?

When it comes to teams, I think those 1990 Running Rebels from UNLV played some of the most exciting NCAA basketball I’ve ever seen in my life.  Of course nothing is more exciting than the last quarter of this year’s super bowl!  Did I mention I hate the New England Patriots?  All year we heard how the Patriots were the best team to ever play the game of football……but when it was all on the line they couldn’t beat Big Blue *go Giants* .  If you almost make it to the mountaintop, are you still the best?  If Kobe never wins a ring without Shaq, does that mean he’ll never truly be the best?  The “simply the best” statement is very relative!  I think Serena is better than Venus.  Walter Payton will always be my favorite back, and yes I chose Kobe over Shaq!

As I twiddle my thumbs and research the hottest rookie’s drafted by the NFL this year (never too soon to start scouting picks for the fantasy drafts), I’d like you to complete this sentence for me: (BLANK) is simply the best to ever play the game of (BLANK)!





June 18, 2008 Posted by | Opinion, Sports | 10 Comments

Why Do People Cheat?

When I was little, I used to play games with my older cousin.  She would usually win because she was older, and better at them than me.   Eventually I got tired of losing so I decided to level the playing field.  I had a deck of Old Maid Cards, and I scribbled a little circle on the back of the Old Maid card so that I would not pick it from her hand.  I started winning of course, but then I got sloppy.  I started peering too intensely at the cards before I would take them from her hand, and then she was on to me.  She realized what I had done, and so to even things out, she marked almost all of the cards so that I would no longer know which one was the Old Maid Card.  I cheated because I got tired of losing.  In the end, my cheating got me nowhere.  I got caught, and she continued to win.              

I no longer cheat at cards.  Is it because of my Old Maid fiasco? *doubtful*  Is it because I believe in that If you lie you’ll cheat, if you cheat you’ll steal, if you steal you’ll kill adage? *not so much*   I just think that when you get caught cheating, even in a simple game of UNO, it reflects poorly on your integrity.  I just would rather not have “cheater” as one of the adjectives used to describe me at any friendly gathering!              

Anyone that has ever been cheated on by a significant other knows first hand what cheating can do to any relationship.  I will give cheaters the benefit of the doubt in that they never think they will get caught, and thus never intend to inflict the hurt and despair their cheating subsequently causes.  Having said that, I still come back to my original question, why do people cheat?  Chris Rock said he’d rather get caught stealing something from the government than get caught cheating on a woman.  I cheated at Old Maid because I wanted to win, but in a relationship, what exactly do you win?  As a matter of fact isn’t it pretty much a lose-lose situation?   

Do you think the athletes that use steroids are cheaters?  I understand that steroid use is illegal in competitive sports, but does using these banned substances constitute cheating?  Let me begin by saying what Marion Jones did was dead wrong!  I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt.  For a moment I was like, maybe she didn’t know she was taking steroids.  Maybe she really thought it was herbs or something.  Then I saw a news report that stated there was a good chance the people on her Olympic Relay team would also be stripped of their medals, and I got a little hot.  I hate it when one person spoils it for everyone.  She was the cheater, and now the whole team has to suffer.  Again, cheating is a lose-lose situation.            

I am not an athlete, but I think it’s your natural abilities that should propel you, and the playing field should remain level.  If I were an athlete and I found out my opponents were using steroids it would make me not want to play anymore. (Yes, I would take my ball and go home!)             

Barry Bonds will forever have a cloud of scandal hanging over his home run title.  Assuming he took the steroids, I’m sure in the back of his mind, he was trying to win.  He did the needful to score homeruns and lead his team to victory.  Marion Jones I’m sure wanted to win as well.  She was poised to go into the record books, and winning as many medals as possible would cement her place in sports history.  She’s cemented in sports history alright…but not for the reasons she wanted to be!  Barry Bonds will literally have an asterisk on his hall of fame baseball for all the world to see.  Yet another example of cheating as a lose-lose!            

A football coach is credited with coining the phrase:  Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.  Really?  Is that the problem?  Have we become so obsessed with winning that we forgot another little phrase most of us learned in grade school:  Cheaters never prosper!  Church folks will tell you in a heartbeat: What’s done in the dark, will always come to light.  Anyone that watches Maury, or Jerry Springer can attest to the fact that all the cheating gets uncovered when those paternity test results get read.  Don’t athletes realize that the pee test will shut them down?              

Does the desire to win cloud a person’s judgment to the point of stupidity?  Does the rush of getting away with something give us that air of I’ll never get caught arrogance?  Time and time again we see people getting busted cheating.  We’ve all known a classmate who got caught.  We all have at least one friend who’s man or woman got busted doing something they had no business doing, yet people continue to cheat.  If there are any cheaters in the blogosphere, I need to know…Why do people cheat?  More importantly, does the reward you gain by cheating out way all that you stand to lose WHEN you get caught?


October 11, 2007 Posted by | Celebrity, Life, Opinion, Relationships, Sports | 6 Comments