My Visit to AT&T Stadium

Dallas Cowboys, General Sports, NFL

This past weekend, I spent the eve of my birthday (June 14th) visiting AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. I recommend a tour of the stadium for fans of all NFL teams, architects, and people who enjoy sports. This tour included visits to Cowboys Owner Jerry Jones’ “man-cave”, mid- and field-level suites, as well as the Dallas Cowboys’ and Cheerleaders’ Locker Rooms. At the end of the tour, I was able to walk around the field and take pictures as long as I wanted.

Mo_Claiborne

Surprised to see Mo Claiborne’s locker shared with Cowboys offensive assistant Kevin Carberry. #24 can possibly be on his way out of the door soon.

I’ve attended a couple Dallas Cowboys games and NCAA March Madness events at AT&T Stadium, but I’m pretty sure the best way to see the stadium is embarking on a tour.

Check out additional pictures from the tour below:

Cowboys Cheerleaders Locker Room

Cowboys Cheerleaders Locker Room

Cowboys Locker Room

Cowboys Locker Room

Cowboys Tunnel

Cowboys Tunnel

Miller Lite Club

Miller Lite Club

Mid-level Suites

Mid-level Suites

"Jerry's Box"

“Jerry’s Box”

James Harden Should Party Before Every Game

General Sports, NBA

the cola

James Harden went to a Drake concert over the weekend in Houston, then he went out and dropped 45 points on Golden State in Game 4 and extended the all-but-done Western Conference Finals series.  Then the rains came and flooded Houston to the edge of catastrophe…..coincidence?

hardendrake_fl2iw7The Houston Rockets internet blew up after photos came out of Harden apparently having too much fun (at a Drake concert?):

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.32.01 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.32.24 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.32.35 PMScreen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.32.44 PM

This is the most positive press Drake has EVER had, I think he needs James Harden more than James Harden needs Drake.

View original post

7 Signs Sports Culture Has Changed

General Sports, Home

The following 7 signs indicate a changing of the sports landscape. Some changes are more significant than others, but all serve as reminders that the good ol’ days can’t last forever. Let’s get started.

1) Athlete’s Personal Lives Are Big News

Social media has provided the opportunity for fans to be up-close and personal (maybe a little too close) to their favorite sports stars. Two months ago, ESPN showed a segment on Amar’e Stoudemire’s wine bath. To take things a bit further, the ESPN correspondent jumped into the tub with Stoudemire to give his personal take on the wine bath. Too much.

It’s a good idea to connect athletes to the fans, but this goes a little too far. Such as “reporting” LeBron James’ visit to the dentist.

2) No More Bo Jacksons

bo_jackson

Bo Jackson

 

Due to the demand of keeping athletes in a designated sport, this atmosphere makes it hard for athletes to transition and even excel in different sports simultaneously. Players are able to accomplish this in college such as, Jameis Winston (baseball/football at Florida State), but to perform at a high-level in the professional field is not an easy task today.

deion-sanders

Deion Sanders

Many people may have forgotten, but Deion Sanders is the only person to play in both a Super Bowl and a World Series, while also running track. That’s a true multi-sport athlete.

Multi-talented athletes could realistically play multiple sports at a high level. However, the specialization and time commitment required to have success in just one professional sport all but eliminates the possibility of anyone playing two.

3) Digital Trash Talk

If you’re familiar with ESPN’s 30-for-30 series, you may have watched Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks (A film that explores the rivalry between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks). This episode is most likely in my top 5 for the “30-for-30” series. The film shows how Reggie Miller did not back down to John Starks, Anthony Mason, or even Spike Lee on the sideline.

Reggie-Miller-turns-48.

Reggie Miller and Spike Lee (wearing the orange longsleeve and Knicks jersey)

 

If any player today re-enacted the verbal performance Reggie Miller put on display during the New York series in the 90’s, I would be very surprised. Today, most athletes take their beef to Twitter instead of doing their talking on-the-field. After all, athletes are often penalized for their conduct on the field.

The great thing about trash-talking in the days before social media was it generally had to be done in the flesh. Michael Jordan, Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali—their in-person big talk helped define each of them. For players today, it’s just not the same.

4) Baseball Cards Are Irrelevant

ken_griffey

Remember when you used to brag about having a player’s rookie card? Those days are long gone. The disinterest with collecting cards has greatly declined, as well as its value. With the vast array of video game selections, younger sports fans have a reason to turn a blind eye to the thrill of trading sports cards.

5) Memes Are The New Blooper Reels

Wishful Thinking in Dallas? (MeloDrama 2014)

Since the Internet is a thing, and since Photoshop is a thing, no longer can a player trip on a basketball court without the world mercilessly making fun of him.

shawnoakman

Baylor Football LB Shawn Oakman

The sports world is definitely not immune from the meme craze. We’ve seen players such as Shawn Oakman, Brandon Knight, and recently Tony Parker, become victims to the meme-driven social media culture.

I have to admit, most of these memes are pretty entertaining,

6) Unproven Rookies Lead Jersey Sales

Shortly after he was drafted in 2014, Johnny Manziel’s Cleveland Browns jersey led the NFL in sales for a time. When an unproven rookie can generate that level of popularity without having taken one snap in a professional game, you know times are changing.

27a34-moneymanny

Johnny Manziel

 

Manziel was a star in college, but people who bought his pro jersey did it largely for one reason: hype. We now live in a world where hype can, and often does, trump actual performance.

7) Selfies Are The New Autographs

spurs-selfie-accurately-captures-the-spurs

An autograph from your favorite player used to be the Holy Grail in sports. Now, it seems physical access to players is more limited, plus memorabilia dealers have left a sour taste in some athletes’ mouths. With autographs losing their luster, selfies have swooped in to pick up the slack.

Case in point: Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens recently posed for a selfie with a young fan during a stoppage in play. Instead of a signed puck in a glass case, the fan will likely preserve that selfie for years to come.

 

 

 

Chris Paul: The Time is Now (NBA)

General Sports, Home, NBA

The 2015 NBA Playoffs will be one of the most defining postseason years for Chris Paul. He’s probably the only player with more to gain and even more to lose. Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Kobe Bryant missed the playoffs, but their absence doesn’t take away from what they’ve contributed to the game. Although Wade and Bryant have rings, Carmelo is still in his grace period with New York as he returns from rehab.

chris-paul-clippers

“Clippers basketball is at a level many people my age have never seen. Seriously, never.”

As for Chris Paul, the time is now to distinguish himself among the greats who win, instead of those who don’t. Paul’s legacy hangs before his eyes as he presses toward the NBA Finals with the Los Angeles Clippers. His singular, extraordinary career offers no protection from a legacy of “what-ifs”. Only what he does from this point forward will matter. From the nature of Paul’s mature, “floor general” attitude, it seems his interest in individual awards has long dissipated.

The pain from 2014’s untimely playoff exit at the hands of the Oklahoma City Thunder still burns. This year’s Clippers team has a decidedly more serious edge. The team has been Los+Angeles+Clippers+v+San+Antonio+Spurs+Game+p3fqU239Pbklsuccessful in allowing the title of “Lob City” to slowly wither away. Also, this season has been free of last year’s Donald Sterling drama.

Clippers basketball is at a level many people my age have never seen. Seriously, never. The focus of the 2015 Clippers can mainly be attributed to the intensity and drive of Chris Paul. We are all too familiar with the rage of Russell Westbrook and Kobe Bryant, but Chris Paul’s rage is somewhat different.

Paul is one of the few players in the game who can offer empathy, as well as ferocity on the court. In order to win championships, you need players like this. Especially players who hold the position of the floor general.

This past March, Paul’s fire scorched Deandre Jordan several minutes later in a moment that will live in Vine forever. With the score tied at 87 (against the Portland Trailblazers) and 1.7 seconds remaining on the shot clock—2.8 on the game clock—Paul got off a shot, and Jordan grabbed the rebound under the basket with a second to spare. Jordan thought the game buzzer had sounded, sending the teams to overtime, so he didn’t shoot the ball.

Chris-Paul-angry

He was wrong. Paul was livid.

“Shoot the ——- ball!” Paul screamed, flailing as he jumped up and down. On the way back to the huddle, Paul shouted at Jordan, who had no response. After the game, Paul clarified that he was angered about the situation, not towards Deandre Jordan.

“The crowd roared, but come on, Chris Paul has always performed on this level.”

With a captain such as Paul on your team, there is no excuse but to enjoy playing with this guy. I am a Chris Paul fan and will gladly say he’s been my favorite player since his rookie year in the NBA. If he ever wins a championship, his ring will be the most deserved for a player of his skill and character. Chris Paul had an admirable season, but it was overshadowed by Curry, Harden, and Westbrook (which is understandable).

I can also point out that Chris Paul’s elite play has become the norm for spectators everywhere. Recently, Paul performed a dribble move—a one-handed fake bounce pass tossed several feet in front that spins back to him. The crowd roared, but come on, Chris Paul has always performed on this level.

Los Angeles Clippers v New Jersey Nets

I’m sure Paul doesn’t fret over the MVP Award noise. His eyes are focused on something greater. Something which people will always remember when they bring up the Los Angeles Clippers during Paul’s era. A championship.

The time is now for Chris Paul and the Clippers.

‘Til next time.

 

Duke/Wisconsin Championship Matchup (NCAA)

General Sports, Home, NCAA

Three weeks of upsets, busted brackets, and a dismantled quest for an undefeated season define this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Tonight, I’ll be a man of my word (and my bracket) and stick to Wisconsin to take it all. Duke is a great team, who also beat the Badgers earlier in December.

But, this is April. It’s the championship. Everything else before tonight’s tip-off does not matter at all.

GTY 468630468 S BKO BKC USA IN

The key for Wisconsin to win this matchup will depend on getting Duke’s big men in foul trouble and stretching them out to guard the perimeter. In December, Wisconsin’s field goal percentage was about 40%. Judging from the good shooting night versus Kentucky, the Badgers should carry the same momentum into tonight’s game.

For the Duke fans out there (who mainly want to avenge Kentucky’s loss), the Blue Devils still have a chance to cut the net when the buzzer sounds. Jahlil Okafor will be the catalyst for the Blue Devils to control the game. If Okafor has a great game, Duke’s team will follow suit.

The length of Duke’s big men will be a great match for Wisconsin, so I expect Frank Kaminsky to get more physical than Saturday’s game.

Duke fans should hope the Wisconsin guards have a bad shooting night, because it will be a long game if they’re feeling it.

This will be a close one with the Badgers cutting the net, 75-71.

Wisconsin v Arizona