Posts Tagged ‘sportsroll’

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by @anarchyroll

sportsrollby @anarchyroll

I recently heard that Luol Deng had the third longest tenure in Bulls history behind Michael Jordan and Scotty Pippen.  He was certainly paid as if he had the talent of those two.  The problem is he never produced like he was paid to do.  The Chicago Bulls recently traded Luol Deng to get his contract off of their books.  The 2013-2014 season is already over for the Bulls. Hopefully Joakim Noah doesn’t injure himself playing his heart out like he does every night.  The season is a wash, that makes two in a row

Deng was only traded because of the Derrick Rose injury situations.  The team is headed for rebuilding whether they want to acknowledge it or use that word or not.  They need to dump as much salary as possible.  They need to get as many draft picks as possible.  They need to build the team around Jimmy Butler and Derrick Rose.  Joakim Noah is my personal favorite basketball player since Michael Jordan (besides Tim Duncan) but even he probably needs to be traded for draft picks. I wouldn’t pull the trigger on that trade myself, but it is for the best in the long run.

Luol Deng is a nice guy and an even better ambassador for the Bulls, the city of Chicago, and basketball in general.  The media has been using that to remember Luol Deng fondly and highlight his many positives on his way out the door.  He played very good defense, was a textbook team player, was coachable, humble, and hardworking.  What Luol Deng was not however, was a superstar NBA player despite being paid like one.  His contract numbers indicated he was a top player at his position, he is not and was not.  Deng is the third or fourth piece of a championship team, never forget that.

If he was better than that, wouldn’t the Chicago Bulls have won an NBA Championship or at least gotten to the NBA Finals? Deng was supposed to be the number two, and although he was able to guard LeBron James, he couldn’t mount half the offensive numbers needed in clutch situations OR series’ to warrant his pay range or more than two all star appearances in almost a decade in the league.

Luol Deng is a nice guy but he should have been traded years ago. If Derrick Rose’s decision making and Carlos Boozer’s defense (lack thereof) didn’t occupy the ire of Chicago sports fans, Deng would have been in the crosshairs much sooner. Luckily for him, he got out before things got really bad.  Although I don’t know how lucky one can be going to Cleveland for any reason.

Hopefully Deng realizes before he’s too old he needs to take less money to play for a contender while he still can be a starter with some lead in his pencil.  He is a great regular season player, but vanishes in the playoffs on the offensive end every single time.  That is likely due to the incredible effort he gives defensively night in and night out against the league’s best.  That would be an acceptable excuse at half the base salary he’s been taking home for his last two contracts.  Kobe Bryant once wanted to be traded to Chicago to play with Luol Deng, seems like another dimension and a long time ago.

Luol Deng is a nice guy who plays damn good defense. That is good enough to be a number three or four, unfortunately he was paid like a number one or two. For that reason the Bulls made the right call in trading him and getting what they could in return to look towards the future.


by @anarchyroll

I’m a Chicago resident and the Bears are always in the news, mostly because the two baseball teams (Cubs, White Sox) are perpetually in the shitter due to both bad management and even worse scouting.  The basketball team (Bulls) had a historic run for a decade over a decade and a half ago. The hockey team (Blackhawks) finally started acting like a major market franchise when the cheapskate geriatric owner died and his son took over and ipso facto, they’ve won two titles in four years.

The Chicago Bears are the Chicago team. They crammed a century’s worth of success into one season (1985) and that white hot fire has evolved into a searing hot coal of football passion ever since. How else does Ditka still have a job at ESPN after falling asleep on air?  How is Dan Hampton allowed to be an analyst when he clearly has never even taken a community college public speaking class? Why did Walter Payton get a SI cover story in 2011 when he died in 1999? Because the Bears have that aura. They are the original NFL franchise, and are treated as such both locally and nationally.

The items keeping the Bears in the current news cycle is the contract extension of Jay Cutler and the defensive coaching shuffle.  In my opinion, both actions the Bears took are indicators of poor management decisions, that of an organization running on gravitas and reputation rather than intellectual talent and experienced decision makers.

There is NO reason Jay Cutler needed a contract extension for $50 million in guaranteed money.  Not with one playoff win anyway.  Firing defensive coaches after their first season in which four starting defensive players went down with season ending injuries does nothing to make a team better.  Jay Cutler needed to be rented with the franchise tag for one more season, and the defensive position coaches needed to be given a chance to coach all of their players for one full season before being given their walking papers.

The franchise tag is not a cheap option, I’m aware. In fact, it is an expensive option, that is why the concept was agreed to in collective bargaining back in the day.  But Cutler DID NOT and HAS NOT earned $50 million in guaranteed money, yet. He can, I believe he can, he has shown flashes of being able to prove he can, but he is a poster of inconsistency and being injury prone.  Those are not characteristics of someone you give a huge contract extension to, when you have the ability to franchise tag them and make them earn it for another year.

The Bears fans don’t want to rebuild, no Chicago fan ever wants to hear that word.  But if the Bears gave Cutler a year to prove himself of the contract he has just been given, that would have been the last year for a bunch of defensive veterans to know whether they are going to contend for a title in Chicago, or latch on to a contender elsewhere.  The Bears could have drafted a QB this year, made Cutler perform under the franchise tag next year, and by this time in 2015 we would know if he’s our guy or if it is rebuilding time.  Instead we get more high priced instability, let’s hope this gamble pays off.

As for the coaches that got fired. Lance Briggs, Henry Melton, Charles Tillman, Kelvin Hayden, Shea McClellin, and Patrick Mannelly all were injured for part or the bulk of the season. How can you fire coaches based on that? I know the Bears finished the season as one of the worst defensive teams, but that happens when the injury bug bites.  The winning franchises are pictures of stability and the Bears look unstable everywhere except at wide receiver as a team on Soldier Field and an organization at Halas Hall.

But it’s not all doom and gloom, we finished one win short of the playoffs two years in a row. A bummer yes, a sign to blow it all up and start over? No, not yet. Another year, with another coaching staff however means it’s time for the wrecking ball.

sportsrollby @anarchyroll

The distance between the #1 and #’s 2 & 3 are vast in the world of professional mixed martial arts.  When the distance between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and the closest things resembling competitors; the World Series of Fighting and Bellator MMA is as great as it is, desperate times call for desperate measures. One doesn’t need a look at their financial books, one need only look at the crowd size of their televised events to know that even if neither company is at immediate risk to going out of business, they are both desperate to bring new and existing mma fans into their respective folds. Which brings us to the event, if one can call it that from this past week.

World Series of Fighting challenged Bellator MMA to a cross promotional pay per view event.

Why? The same reason Sirius and XM are now the same satellite radio company. The same reason Pro Wrestling USA was formed in the 1980s. The same reason kids get in free at the local rodeos and wet t shirt contests are held at bars.  Good for the sport? Sure.  Good for the fans? Yes. A desperate attempt to stay relevant and stay within the same galaxy as profitability, absolutely.

I am in favor of a WSOF vs. Bellator show, just not on PPV.  PPV has been in decay for ten years and in 2014, the corpse is starting to stink.  WWE the PPV innovator and porno the PPV dominator, are or have moved to online Netflix style stream services to compete with rampant digital piracy. The ratings for Bellator are aight, WSOF’s ratings, well not so much.  TNA Impact Wrestling, the whipping boy of the pro wrestling critic world, gets double Bellator and 10x WSOF and is considered less than second rate by the hardcore sports entertainment fan base.

Desperation is a stinky cologne.  The idea of this show reeks of it not matter how in favor of it I personally am. Bellator doesn’t need the WSOF, but it’s not vice versa. WSOF desperately needs more eyeballs on its product both in the arenas and on screens. Bellator can just as easily scoop up all the fighters WSOF has if they company were to fold due to unprofitability, which is presently what the promotion is.

I’m not a WSOF hater, as a pro wrestling fan, let me tell you competition is VITAL to combat sports, real or simulated.  Two national promotions on cable television is the minimum needed for the fans, three is even better. Both of pro wrestling’s boom periods of the 80s and 90s were directly correlated to a “Big Three” national promotion hydra (80s: NWA, AWA, WWF | 90s: WWF, WCW, ECW). So don’t get me wrong, I am rooting for WSOF to stick around for a long time and for Bellator to start averaging over 1 million viewers a week on a regular basis. A cross promotional event would pop a rating, fill an arena, and be good for the sport of mma as a whole.

But would the NFL do a cross promotional event with the Super Bowl champions versus the CFL Grey Cup winner?  And would they put it on PPV or on television where the biggest possible audience could see it. Why does the UFC put titles on their FOX cards at least once a year? Why did WWE just move all their PPVs to an a la carte digital cable service for $10 a month when they were charging $60 per event? It’s about eyeballs on screens, selling ads to those eyes, and popping a rating to gain leverage in future contract negotiations.

So if you’re gonna do it, do it right. Bellator is on Spike, owned by Viacom, which owns CBS.  Put the event on CBS in prime time, show the world that mma is more than just the UFC, not just to the hardcore fan base willing to pay $50 at home or $5 at a bar. Yes, please, thank you, you’re welcome.