Addressing The Stupidity Problem In Professional Sports

If you stop and think about it and really break it down, professional athletes get paid every day to do the same thing that four year olds do on day-to-day basis: play games. Yes I obviously know it’s not that simple, calm down. But just think about it. At its most basic level, a professional sports league is a group of teams playing a game. LeBron is playing the exact same game that a 12-year-old kid from New York City plays after school each day. The only difference; LeBron gets paid millions of dollars to do so.

Now for an athlete to get paid in the first place, they have to sign a contract that was offered to them. In every job that requires you to sign a contract, all you have to do in order to stay employed and get paid is to follow any rules that your contract includes. That’s it. Really, that’s all you have to do. Just follow the rules and you’ll live happily ever after.

For professional athletes is a pretty fucking sweet deal they are getting. This is how I imagine a conversation between a player and a GM after the player signs a fat extension: “Boss, are you telling me all I have to do is follow these rules and I can make millions of dollars?” Yes, that is EXACTLY what they’re telling you. The GM wouldn’t even respond. He would just shake his head yes and that’s it. That’s how simple it is. Have you ever wished you could have a set of step-by-step directions that tells you how to make millions of dollars? That’s what these pro athletes are getting here. On top of everything, these rules also happen to be unbelievably simple to follow. Things like “Don’t get arrested” and “Don’t do drugs” top the list. Seems easy enough, right?

Now that we have established how easy it is for professional athletes to be and stay successful, we can talk about how dumb some of these players are when it comes to following these rules. And I say ‘dumb’ because honestly it’s the nicest way I can possibly put it when talking about some of these guys. For example, this past weekend the NFL was in the news for its players being really dumb. The news broke last Thursday on July 2 when the NFL handed out a multitude of suspensions, including some of the top players in the league at their positions. Antonio Gates, Sheldon Richardson and Rolando McClain were all suspended for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. (Remember the “Don’t do Drugs” rule? Yup I was thinking the same thing don’t worry.)

To be fair, pro-athletes have been doing dumb shit for decades. Honestly a lot of the stuff people would consider dumb these days weren’t considered to be so back in the day. For example, Wade Boggs claims that he drank 100 beers the same day they had a game. Dock Ellis throwing a no-hitter while tripping on LSD is another example. To put those things in perspective, Pablo Sandoval was benched being on his phone during a game, and a few years ago the Boston Red Sox got a lot of heat for drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during a game. Really? People got upset over that? WADE BOGGS DRANK 100 BEERS THE DAY OF A GAME AND NO ONE BATTED AN EYE. I can understand funny stories like this. I honestly don’t even mind Sandoval using his phone mid-game. What I do mind is players doing things to get them suspended or hurt for multiple games that were ultimately avoidable/preventable.

For example this past weekend Jason Pierre-Paul decided that, as a professional football player, it was a great idea to buy a truckload of fireworks and personally set them off. That really wouldn’t have been that bad of an idea as it was the Fourth of July and people tend to set fireworks off that night…except for the fact that he’s a fucking professional football player and fireworks are dangerous as shit. As everyone is well aware of by now, one of those fireworks went off in his hand, causing severe burns and potential nerve damage in his fingers. The man was just franchise tagged by the New York Giants and there was a long-term contract extension offer for over $60 million on the table as well. Well, after fucking up his hand, the contract extension offer was pulled and JPP’s long-term future with the Giants is up in the air.

Nothing in the world pisses me off more than hearing stories like the one about JPP and his fucking fireworks or guys like Josh Hamilton who recently mixed up his cocaine and Vitamin-C (he probably thought they were the same thing). They have one job: Don’t do anything stupid. I mean goddamn, if I had the talent that JPP or Hamilton have, I would make it my priority in life to NOT fuck up. If the Giants walked up to me and said, “You’re really great at football so were going to pay you $60 million a year to tackle whoever is holding the football. All you have to do in order to earn that money is continue to produce on the field and don’t do anything stupid off the field.” Come on, man. If you give me $1 million and tell me its all mine as long as I don’t do anything stupid for a year, you can bet your ass I’m swimming in cash a year later.

It’s pathetic that so many of these grown men continuously fuck up time and time again. I’m sure Justin Pierre-Paul is a great guy and all, but when you start drawing comparisons to Plaxico Burress you need to stop whatever you’re currently doing and start doing the exact opposite. JPP is lucky that he didn’t lose a finger or two, and while he didn’t shoot himself like Plax did, it’s still an all-time bonehead move to blow up your hand with fireworks. Bottom line is, if you’re a professional athlete stop doing stupid shit. Hey pro-athletes, FYI: there are hundreds of guys grinding every day to make it big, and they would gladly take your place if you continue to be stupid. So, stop being stupid so we, the fans, don’t have to watch scrubs come in and replace your sorry asses.

The 2015 Mets Are the Most Mets Team of All-Time

The New York Mets have won four games in a row. As I typed that sentence I couldn’t help but laugh and think to myself, “This team just will not go away.” One would think that a four game winning streak following a seven game losing streak is a sign of a turnaround. A signal that the team can handle adversity, overcome it and thrive in its aftermath. And, you know, that very well could be what is going on here with the Mets. But I’m just really, really skeptical.
Since starting off the season 13-3 and going on that tease of an 11 game win streak, the Amazins have gone 27-34. It has been a rollercoaster of a season so far to say the least and, despite everything, the Mets currently sit 2.5 games out of first place in the NL East. All of this has led me to believe that the 2015 Mets are the most Mets team in the history of the Mets.
Just think about it. The team comes into this season with playoff aspirations, takes a series from a stacked Nationals team right out of the gate and then drops two of three from the fresh off a fire-sale Braves. The Mets then go on an 11 game win streak, but lose their captain and best player David Wright to injury (who is still out) in the process. The team then goes on a 27-34 stretch, which included a seven game losing streak followed by a four game winning streak and sent Travis d’Arnaud (twice) and Daniel Murphy to the DL in the process. Oh and our Gold Glove center fielder is playing through an elbow injury and our one offseason acquisition (Michael Cuddyer) has, pardon my French, played like a steaming pile of horse shit. Have you ever seen a stretch of play that varied, inconsistent and injury riddled? I definitely haven’t. However, this team just continues to stay relevant and keep you interested, yesterday’s game(s) being the perfect example of this.
If you were around to watch the Mets play yesterday, you were treated with almost two games worth of baseball. The Mets finished up Saturday’s rain shortened game, starting in the 7th inning and finishing in the 13th, after Lucas Duda won the game with a failed fielders choice to home plate. Then the real show began. Steven Matz, the highly touted pitching prospect that has been dominating AAA ball all season long, was finally called up. And boy did he live up to the hype.
Watching Matz was like something out of a movie. The 24-year-old southpaw started out his major league career by throwing the ball to the backstop, followed by letting up a leadoff homerun to Brandon Phillips four pitches later. After a rocky start, Matz settled down and retired the rest of the batters the next two innings. In the bottom of the second with the young lefty at the plate, Matz sent a ball to deep center for two-run double. It didn’t end there though. Matz singled in the bottom of the fifth and hit a two-run single in the bottom of the sixth. You almost forget that he’s still a pitcher who threw 7.2 innings while giving up five hits, two runs, three walks and six K’s. What. A. Debut. Its almost like the Mets’ pitchers are hitting better than our batters this season…Oh wait that’s exactly what it is.
One of the story lines coming into the game was that Matz, originally from Long Island, grew up a Mets fan and was finally living his dream and pitching for his favorite big league team. I get chills just thinking about what he must’ve felt after the game. Can you imagine putting on a show like that in your MLB debut for the team you grew up rooting for? Unreal.
So, last night was just another example of how up and down team this team is. Some days the team hits. Most days they don’t. And almost every day it pitches well. That’s what the 2015 Mets are right now and we’re all going to have to deal with it until Sandy Alderson grows some balls and trades for a veteran bat that can turn this fringe playoff team into a possible contender. Yes, I said contender. With this pitching, any team has the ability to be a contender. Its all going to depend on what Sandy does from now to the All-Star break to improve the lineup, and knowing these Mets, it’s going to be hell of a ride till then.

Tom T-Money’s ESPY Picks

Best Male Athlete: Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, LeBron James, J.J. Watt.

My Pick: LeBron James.

To me, this one is pretty obvious. LeBron James is undoubtedly one of the best athletes in the word and what he accomplished in the 2014 -2015 NBA season is nothing short of remarkable. A newly assembled Cleveland Cavaliers finished the season 53-29 and fell just short of an NBA championship. The unfortunate injuries of Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, Anderson Varejao, and the empty bag of shits J.R. Smith gives were major setbacks for the Cavs, and had these circumstances been any different, it is reasonable to say that LeBron could have been donning ring number three. David Blatt’s biggest contribution to the team was suggesting all players wear a Yamaka during warmups, which was immediately shut down by Iman Shumpert because he didn’t want to mess up the hair. With a beat up Cavaliers team and a Rabbi for a coach, LBJ singlehandedly carried them to the Finals and almost did the unthinkable. Give the man his damn ESPY.

Best Game: A’s vs. Royals (MLB AL Wildcard), Spurs vs. Clippers (Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference Quarterfinals), Seahawks vs. Patriots (Super Bowl)

My Pick: Seahawks vs. Patriots

I still get a quarter chub thinking about the amount of wings, pizza, and entertaining football I watched during Superbowl XLIX. I’m neither a Seahawks nor Patriots fan, so I was just hoping for a good game and it certainly was that. True Story: the hair on my balls stood straight up when the Patriots defense made the huge interception to save the game and I’m pretty sure Pete Carroll is still giving himself titty-twisters to this day for not running the ball with Marshawn Money Lynch on this play. Gotta love the Superbowl.

 Best Comeback Athlete: Rob Gronkowski, Alex Rodriguez, Derrick Rose, Lindsey Vonn

My Pick: Rob Gronkowski

This one was mainly done by a process of elimination. Elimination #1: Lindsey Vonn. Yeah she has a nice face, but skiing is kind of irrelevant in my humble opinion. Elimination #2: A-Roid. Sure, 3,000 hits is cool but you know what isn’t? Sticking a syringe up your ass to make you hit a ball better. Elimination #3: Derrick Rose. I would call it an okay comeback. He went from averaging 25 PPG in his stellar 2010-2011 season to just 17.7 PPG this season. Give the guy credit though, he’s playing on one leg out there. All that’s left is the party animal himself; Rob Gronkowski. Superbowl Champion and a 12 touchdown season, Gronk definitely deserves the award over the other athletes.

Best Female Athlete: Ronda Rousey, Breanna Stewart, Lindsey Vonn, Serena Williams

My Pick: No Opinion

Alright guys let’s face it, out of all of these women, the only one I’ve seen perform was Serena Williams on Sportscenter highlights and I was too busy staring at her thunder thighs and biceps to know what was going on. On to the next one I guess.

Best Breakthrough Athlete:  Odell Beckham Jr., Mo’ne Davis, Cardale Jones, Jordan Speith

My Pick: Jordan Speith

From winning the Green Jacket at The Masters to his comeback victory at the U.S. Open in Chambers Bay, it’s safe to say Jordan Speith is having himself quite a year. Speith has put himself among some very elite names after being the 13th player to win back-to-back major tournaments. Other golfers to have done this include Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Phil Mickelson, and Arnold Palmer. Who knows, if he keeps golfing this well he may have a refreshing beverage named after him one day (or have a golf club smashed through the rear window of his SUV from a psycho wife… but let’s not go there).

One Love,

Tom

What Makes a Team Valuable: Location or Historical Success?

According to a study that we have conducted here, at East Coast Egos, we have come to the conclusion that the world is full of no-good, godforsaken, bandwagon sports fans. We have found a way to back up this notion with statistics: There is a much greater correlation between a teams’ historical success and their value than the amount of local supporters they have and their value.

Value, of course, is derived from the amount of fans that a team has, amongst other factors. In ECE’s study, we took the top 31 ranked teams on Forbes’ 2014 Most Valuable Sports Teams list and weighed them against the teams’ success and population in their metropolitan area. Success was measured by major championships won by the respective team.

Although there are outliers, such as the poor San Antonio Spurs and Montreal Canadiens, this study is shockingly accurate

Here is a look at the data:

bandwagon2

For those statistics nerds, there is a .136 correlation between a team’s home metropolitan area population and their respective value. On the other hand, there is a .781 correlation between the amount of major championships a team has won and their respective value. For everyone who slept through statistics class, a higher correlation suggests a more significant association, and the highest possible linear correlation is 1.

So when your friend from Minnesota tells you that he likes the New York Yankees “because he always has,” you now know that, statistically, he is likely to be just another goddamn bandwagon fan.