Yes, Down The Line Sports Entertainment is a sports and entertainment blog that does not cover civic issues, however there comes a point where sports reality, reality, and the civic issues intertwine.
Sports reality is very important in many ways especially as devoted fans who will do anything and everything to will our teams on to victory. Sports is the MOST real thing on television besides the news. One might argue that the news is skewed and actually not real. But,
Imagine how the people of Chicago will react when the Cubs win a World Series?
Think of the feelings that you experience when you have a bet on the Kentucky Derby.
Is there anything more exciting than a buzzer beater?
Sports leaves each of us with a feeling that can’t be described. It leaves us with a memory that will always be tangible. You will remember where you were you seen Buster Douglas knock down Mike Tyson. You will remember being amazed as David Tyree made a catch using his helmet in the Super Bowl. You will remember the smell of the cold wind blowing in your face as you run in a marathon.
That is reality! You are experiencing it right? Those are priceless memories that can’t be taken away from you, right?
But, is that the same feeling you have when your first child is born, the regret of not paying a bill on time because you were laid off, or being a witness of a loved one struggling to hold on to their life.
Aren’t those same tangible, realistic feelings?
Below is a chart that compares and contrasts both sports reality, reality, and civic issues.
What happens when sports realities and reality happen at the same time to affect civic issues?
With that, I take you to Baltimore, Maryland where sports is at the center of reality. For those of you who do not know, Baltimore is the epicenter of protests and riots because of the handling of the death of Freddie Gray as he was being arrested. Since his death, the community and police have banded together to seek peace and find the truth. That is not being shown on television though. We are seeing looting, disrespect for authorities, burning of buildings, and a whole lot of destruction.
Yes, Freddie Gray died, but what does this have to do with sports and reality?
Because of protests, the Baltimore Orioles have not been able to play their home games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards because the team and Major League Baseball want to protect fans, players, employees, and umpires from potential harm.
The team has decided to play a game on Wednesday, April 29, in front of an empty stadium. The team was also scheduled to host the Tampa Rays this weekend, but instead they will travel to Tampa and act as the home team.
How are sports reality, reality, and civic issues being used in this one example? Well,
Hearing the cheering of the hometown team will not be a memory someone will gain this weekend.
Ticket holders who made plans for Monday and Tuesday’s games may not be able to attend the games on Thursday.
On Wednesday, the team will not have fans cheering for them. Therefore losing home field advantage.
Employees of Oriole Park at Camden Yards who make close to minimum wage will miss out on three days pay, as they will not be traveling to Tampa. I would think the team would pay them because this is not the employee’s fault.
Because there are no games being played either in public or in Tampa, the team will lose out on revenues that are generated by ticket sales, parking, concessions, and other revenue streams. Someone will have to pay for what the team has lost. Expect consumers to pay higher prices until the team recuperates its loses.
To the peaceful protestors of Baltimore, please know that people around the world and I see what is going. We respect you and encourage you to continue to seek the truth.
To the police and community leaders of Baltimore, please continue to share peace in a city that is desperate. Show shines of sympathy and empathy because people need it.
For the looters and destructors, hell terrorists, please start to think. Step outside of your body and look at what is going on. If you do that you will see:
One of America’s greatest cities being destroyed. Believe it or not, you will have to pay for those damages. Actually, the entire city and state will have to pay for your crimes.
People who have negative views of blacks will (in the their mind) be justified.
That all of this damage will have been for nothing. I am sorry to say that riots will not bring Freddie Gray back. No matter how many buildings are set on fire, Orioles games cancelled, or how much disrespect is shown to the police will bring this young man back. I’m sorry, that is reality.
Consider the phrase, “One bad apple spoils the bunch.” That bunch is inedible.
I hope that the Orioles are not punished for acts they did not commit.
Sidebar. Yes, this is a national mess that only local authorities have control over. Stick to local government. Let’s not make this more political that what it already.
Yes, sports reality is a “legal” high that can never be matched, but please notice the real issues surrounding you. There are parts of this country that are still fighting for voting rights and equality rights amongst other things. Seek to find issues that may interest you and use your voice.
After, remember that events that have already occurred cannot be prevented after the fact. If you want to see change get out in your community, actually speak to your neighbor, and network with people who are a different demographic than you. Be the person you want to see as a leader of your neighborhood.
The guys decided to preview WWE’s Extreme Rules which will be on the WWE Network this Sunday night and make their predictions. They will be back next week with another draft. This one will be the best female wrestlers of all-time. Will your favorite be drafted in the first round or even at all.
It is about time that the National Basketball Association does something about player eligibility.
It is clear that undergraduates do not want to be apart of a dynasty and play all four years in college. Instead, they would rather play one year and then turn pro as the current eligibility rules require them to do.
Why can’t players just turn pro after graduating from high school? The athletes would have the opportunity to sink or swim at the professional level, while the players who actually want to play college basketball and get an education will be able to play at a more prestigious school in a better conference and in front of more people.
There have been success stories for players who opted to go pro.
Players that skipped college
20 PPG; 12 RPG
18 PPG; 6 RPG
25 PPG; 5 RPG; 5 APG
27 PPG; 7 RPG; 7 APG
There have also been some disasters. Though some of the flops played many seasons in the NBA, they never quite prospered like they were supposed to.
If players decide to play for the NCAA, they should be required to play for at least three years like in the NFL.
If the NBA did this all parties involved would benefit from the change.
The NBA would be able to draft franchise players at a much younger age if players come out of HS.
Players that go to college will get a chance to learn from another quality coach before going to the pros.
The NCAA would be able to exploit players for more than one season.
The men’s college game would become even more competitive thus creating a better product.
Respected college head coaches opinions:
“College is not for everybody. So if a kid doesn’t want to go to college, let him go to the pros. Let him go into the [D-League]. And if someone does want to go to college, let them go. We’re still going to have great basketball teams,” Rick Pitino said.
“Major League Baseball has the best idea of all. Three years before they’ll take a kid out of college, then they have a minor league system that they put the kids in. I’m sure that if the NBA followed the same thing, there would be a lot of kids in a minor league system that still were not good enough to play in the major NBA,” Bobby Knight.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed seeing Kentucky season. I believe that John Calipari is a creative virtuoso in the field of recruiting. You deserve to go to the Final Four every year whenever you can build a new program with that high of a turnover. Conversely, wasn’t college basketball better with group of recognizable players? You will never forget the Fab Five or Phi Slama Jama.
There are arguments for both side of this issue, but any system has to better than the one they are currently operating under.
Photo: Getty Images
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I am an Atlanta Braves fan and I never heard of him. Apparently, he is a cheater. Sorry, that was unprofessional of me. According to the Associated Press, McKirahan has been suspended by MLB because he tested positive for Ipamorelin. It’s some type of human growth hormone.
I do not understand the reason as to why he would do it. The young player is currently making the league minimum. However, because of this little 80 game hiatus he’s is going on he will forfeit $221,858. This season he was scheduled to make $507,500.
So, I wonder if it was really worth it.
It was just nine days ago when I went on a rant because Jenrry Meija was suspended for a different PED.
When will players understand that they can no longer cheat the system, cheat their organization, cheat the fans, and cheat themselves?
We as fans need to do our parts as well and no longer approve the using of these drugs. We do not boycott games and or demand stiffer penalties. Isn’t it an endorsement when fans cheer a player that has previously cheated? Yankee fans, do I really need to bring up A-Rod? We’ll save that conversation for a later date.
It is time for this epidemic to cease to exist. I agree with the phrase “It ain’t cheating if you don’t get caught”. What should happen if you do get caught? When you get caught?
It is no surprise that DeAndre Jordan absolutely sucks at the free throw line, and San Antonio is taking advantage of it. That’s just something that they are supposed to do as competitors.
In the regular season he shot 39%.
This scheme is boring and it lengthens the game far too much. Seeing a fast paced first half get slowed down near intermission is depressing. Especially, if you our on the east coast and the clock has already struck midnight. Not to mention those watching internationally.
The method has worked through half time of game one, as Jordan is 5/12 from the charity stripe.
Overall, I believe in “Hack-A-_____ method. You cannot punish a team for intentionally fouling someone who is a bad free throw shooter. The best way to eliminate this problem is to teach said player how to shoot a free throw.
I have to say that I have not been this excited about the NBA playoffs in a long time. No one knows who is going to take the title home.
The Eastern Conference seems to be more chalk as compared to the West.
The teams out west are so comparable any team can represent the side in the championship series.
8 New Orleans v 1 Golden State
The Pels may have saved Monty Williams’ job by making it to the postseason for the first time in four years, but I’m sure they did not want to go against the best team in the NBA in the first round (record). New Orleans is young and they have a great nucleus, but it is not enough to defeat the Warriors.
7 Dallas v 2 Houston
Earlier this season, Dallas put all of their eggs in one basket so that they could win a title this year, but the experiment flopped. Rajon Rondo never became that spark plug that was going to distribute to Dirk, Parsons, and Ellis.
James Harden has had to lead the Rockets past a lot of people’s expectations. No one thought that they would get home court advantage and the number two seed with Dwight Howard only playing in 41 games. This series will be highly contested as both teams want to make the claim as being the “Best in Texas”.
6 San Antonio v 3 LA Clippers
The defending champs will have to start each round on the road if they want to repeat. The Spurs would have had the number two seed if they had beaten the Pelicans in the regular season finale. This team is experienced and rested enough to make a push this postseason.
The Clippers have solidified their position as being the best team in LA and will try to make it to the second round. Chris Paul played in all 82 games this season for the first time in his career. This team will be seen as a failure if they can not get over the hurdle once again.
4 Portland v 5 Memphis
I believe this will be the most compelling series in the Western Conference. Though Portland is the higher seed, they will not have home-court advantage as Memphis won their division.
The Blazers will need to have a healthy LaMarcus Aldridge to contend, but if he can’t they stand no chance. He missed three of the last six games because of a foot injury. Portland comes into the playoffs losing five of their last six contests.
Memphis is not healthy either. Mike Conley and Tony Allen need to get well for them to continue. I would think that Memphis will try to win this series by going to the paint.
5 Washington v 4 Toronto
Both teams enter the postseason warm and it seems that they’ve hit their stride at the right time.
Paul Pierce is using is veteran knowledge to call out his young teammates who need his guidance. John Wall has worked his way into the discussion of the best point guard in the league.
The Raptors seem to be happy just making it. This team is deep. They are also winners of 4 out of 5.
Note: Toronto also has Drake on their sideline. (Hey, he’s better than Spike Lee.)
We may look back at the end of this series and say it was a classic.
The bottom three teams in the East are not over .500 and do not deserve to be mentioned, however congratulations on making to the playoffs by beating the Knicks and 76ers. Expect no upsets here.
Major League Baseball apparently still has not done enough to get rid of this steroid nuisance that has plagued the league for over twenty years.
The most current cheater is the New York Mets relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia. He tested positive for using Stanozolol. The drug is a synthetic steroid.
Mejia will be suspended for the next 80 games.
“I know the rules are rules and I will accept my punishment, but I can honestly say I have no idea how a banned substance ended up in my system. I’m sorry to the Mets organization, my teammates and the fans, as well as my family.”
Baseball more than any other sport should spearhead drug testing and have the toughest regulations. The sport has had this black eye for far too long.
For many of us, baseball is considered to be a boring sport, period. I played until I was 19 and I too could never watch it on television. I absolutely love watching games live with a hot dog and beer in hand, but count me out if you ask me to watch baseball on the tube. However, make a movie about baseball and I am there every time.
Growing up, sports movies were a staple of my childhood, especially baseball. I remember watching The Sandlot, Angels in the Outfield and Rookie of the Year on VHS nearly every week. I could spew a list of baseball movies I absolutely love and maybe I will rank them sometime soon, but I am here to talk about my favorite players from those movies. I will compile a list of my ultimate fantasy team.
The guidelines are simple, the object is to win NOW. I am not talking about longevity for a career, just one year to win a title.
You get three starting pitchers, one reliever, one closer. As far as the fielders are concerned, you get the starting nine with a designated hitter and three bench players. Of course no team is complete without a coaching staff so you get three.
Keep in mind, this is going off of movies that I have seen. There are several movies that I will be stoned to death for admitting that I have not seen so let’s get that out of the way…The Natural, Bull Durham, The Scout, For Love of the Game and you will probably hate me for this last one and I can’t say I blame you, Field of Dreams (I cringe when I say it out loud and I am sorry).
Let’s begin with our pitching staff…
Starting Pitcher- Amanda Whurlitzer – Bad News Bears
My ace is a girl, deal with it. She has a mean streak and can hold her own in any given situation. She was handed a plate full of crap the second she joined the Bears, but it didn’t take much convincing to let the boys know she was the real deal. She has a nasty arsenal of pitches including her high velocity fastball, a mean curve and she bends the rules. Whurlitzer kept vaseline under her cap and would use that to execute the most illegal pitch known to man, the spitter. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying. #TeamAmanda
Starting Pitcher- Kenny DeNunez – The Sandlot
Who doesn’t love good old DeNunez? The kid has a swagger about him that I love. On top of that, no one could touch him, except for the rest of the guys on his team. He no-hit those preppy turds who challenged them to a game away from the Sandlot.
Starting Pitcher- Eric Van Leemer – Summer Catch
Although he is a bit of wildcard because of off the field issues and despite being a grade-A asshole, he has talent. He was working his way through the Cape Cod Summer League cutting down hitters like trees. Unfortunately, it was halted when he accidentally set fire to the pressbox. For one season, I will take the risk.
Relief Pitcher- Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn – Major League I & II
Naturally, no bullpen is complete without Wild Thing. All it took was some new specs to get him throwing strikes and burning people with the heat. The only reason I don’t have him as my closer is because you know damn good and well he will have an identity crisis.
Closer- Henry Rowengartner – Rookie of the Year
A simple arm injury turned this kid into a phenom beloved by the Chicago Cubs fans and one of the most dominant closers in Major League Baseball. When he finally lost his heat, he reinvented himself stealing a page out of his mother’s playbook, the Eephus. That’s right, the floater. The pitch that no one can hit and the pitch that no one can lay off of.
Lead Off- Willie Mays Hayes CF – Major League I & II
Is there honestly another option here? Plays like Mays, runs like Hayes. The only guy in the majors who can steal second, third and home all in one inning. You know he’s going and you still can’t stop him. He is a nightmare on the base path and a high average hitter. The perfect lead off.
2- Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez SS – The Sandlot
It was always known that The Jet would go pro in baseball. He was always head and shoulders above the rest. Throughout The Sandlot, the guy was never thrown out, even in his professional scene. He is your can’t miss prospect. On top of that, he was always a good guy. He took Smalls under his wing when no one else wanted him.
3- Dottie Hinson C – A League of Their Own
Athletic, beautiful, smart and could even manage a team. Although her heart wasn’t in baseball while her husband was overseas defending the United States in the war, she was still the best player in the girls’ league even with the distraction. If one year is all I need out of her, she is the focal point of my lineup.
4- T-Rex Pennebaker RF – Mr. 3000
Although the movie was centered around Stan Ross (they call him the boss), T-Rex was the one bright spot on the Milwaukee Brewers. He has a big frame, athletic, can hit, can field and can run. He is a do it all player and could be a league MVP.
5- Kelly Leak LF – Bad News Bears
Leak may be a child, but he is bad dude on the diamond. Pretty sure he hit a home run every time he stepped up to plate and helped elevate the Bears into a championship along with my ace pitcher. He was the kid you wanted in your corner. If this team ever has a brawl I can guarantee we won’t lose that either because of him and the next person in my lineup.
6- Jack Parkman DH – Major League II
After a short stint with the Cleveland Indians, he was traded because of his attitude and ability to give zero f****. He can hit for a ton of power and he is not someone you want as your enemy. “Don’t stand on the track when the train is coming through.”
7- Marla Hooch 2B – A League of Their Own
Marla Hooch, Hooch, Hooch. Timid and insecure about her looks because her dad raised her like a boy. That can’t all be bad because she is a hell of a ball player. Continue to gush because she is also a switch hitter. Thanks Mr. Hooch, because you made my team better.
8- Roger Dorn 3B – Major League I & II
Although we never got to see the bulk of his career, it was mentioned that he held his own both at the plate and in the field during his prime. As he got older, he cared less about winning and more about protecting his face. He will never be a stud on my team, but I don’t think he hurts us. Think of him as a glue guy.
9- Lou Collins 1B – Little Big League
Just an overall good guy who you want on your team. He always puts the team ahead of himself even when manager Billy Heywood benched him for bringing his mom home late one night. Collins sat there and took it like a champ.
1- Hamilton “Ham” Porter C – The Sandlot
Is there anyone on this Earth better at trash talking an opponent and backing it up? No, the answer is no. Although, if he tells anyone they play ball like a girl on this team, he may have an issue. No team would be complete without Ham though. Watch the classic scene below.
2- Ray Mitchell OF – Angels in the Outfield
The Angels got into the pennant race because they had God on their side. However, Ray Mitchell was the one player on the team who never received help from the higher power because he was an all-star caliber ball player.
3- Pedro Cerrano OF – Major League I, II & III
Who do you voodoo? Pedro freaking Cerrano. Guy can’t hit a curveball to save his life which is why I can’t plug him in the starting lineup just yet, but hey if I need a pinch hitter, I know who I am bringing in. Hopefully they give him the fastball.
Head Coach- Jimmy Dugan – A League of Their Own
Once he got over his drinking problem, he became one of the best managers in the league. He is a bit of a wild card, but hey Dottie Hinson can keep him in check.
Assistant Coach- Jake Taylor – Major League I & II
Coaching became his calling card after his playing days. He helped Rube Baker get over his issue throwing back to the mound. He also helped Ricky Vaughn and WIllie Mays Hayes get back to form.
Assistant Coach- Phil Brickma – Rookie of the Year
He is as out there as they come. He locked himself in a cage and missed a game. He locked himself between two doors in a hotel and missed game. He never lost his cool either. On top of that, the guy invented hot ice. He heats up the ice cubes in a microwave. What an innovator! ‘
So there you go, my fantasy baseball team from the movies. Feel free to comment with yours below. I would love to hear yours!
The guys return this week to discuss their favorite finishing maneuvers and give their opinions of what happened on Raw from Monday, April 6. Also, they evaluate some of the storylines and do a little arm chair quarterbacking.
Opinions are welcomed, what are your favorite finishers?