The Cleveland Browns’ offseason isn’t getting any prettier.
After firing head coach Rob Chudzinski after just one season (a move Browns players are calling “a joke”), and with his potential replacements avoiding the job like the plague, another sticky, icky situation is developing on the shores of Lake Erie.
Former Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee WR Davone Bess posted a tweet (now deleted) early Thursday morning that appeared to contain marijuana, along with the words, “We da real dons!” Whatever that means. Bess is either a fan of marijuana, social media, or both, because this isn’t the first time he’s been caught green-handed. Even worse, Bess was arrested this morning on charges of assaulting an officer at Fort Lauderdale International Airport. The bottom line is that the Browns are a mess right now, with individuals both in and outside of the organization becoming increasingly distrustful of the guys in charge. Fans are getting upset, and the Browns know it. Unfortunately, the team’s issues will take more than just one season to solve.
Perhaps trading Davone Bess to Denver would be a good start.
#TheReturn is upon us. Murdoc and Hollywood are back, and better than ever.
The BCS bowl games kick off today and I have made my picks:
Sugar Bowl: Louisville vs. Florida
I think Florida will destroy Louisville in this match-up. Another example of SEC dominance.
Orange Bowl: Northern Illinois vs. Florida State
Although I would love to see Northern Illinois win here, I think Florida State will take it. I think depth of schedule is the key here and Northern Illinois lacks the experience of playing against top-tier teams.
Fiesta Bowl: Oregon vs. Kansas State
Very torn over this game. I am going to choose Oregon based on their experience in big games, but would not be surprised if Kansas State has figured out the Oregon offense.
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Motivations will be high for Wisconsin with Bielema leaving and for Stanford for losing to Notre Dame and losing their shot at the National Championship game. I think Stanford dominates here.
BCS National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Alabama
Despite being a Notre Dame fan, I think Alabama wins this match up. Nick Saban has too much time to prepare and I think that is the difference maker.
He’s the man who needs no Lintroduction.
That’s right, I’m talking about upstart Knicks star Jeremy Lin. Almost overnight, it seems, the nation was struck with a wave of what ESPN was quick to label “Linsanity.” With a few big games for an otherwise-underachieving team, Lin became the most talked-about individual in sports since Tim Tebow. Ability, stats, and media attention aside, there’s one thing underlying the Jeremy Lin phenomenon–one single thing that remains the elephant in the room, and one single thing that our passive-aggressive culture won’t allow us to tackle: race. It probably doesn’t help the issue that Lin just happens to be breaking out during Black History Month.
Now, let me be clear–I’m not looking to start some sort of scholarly debate about sports and sociology here. But we’d be lying to ourselves if we said that Lin’s meteoric rise to superstardom wasn’t at least somewhat attributed to the fact that he is an Asian-American basketball player. There’s nothing wrong with that. We as humans have a natural tendency to fixate on the different, the unique, the distinct. As an Asian American in a sport that is predominantly…not Asian American, he is just that. The problem takes shape when we expand to say that Lin’s acclaim, not just his popularity, is undeserving because of his race.
Lin’s “mistake,” as it were, was becoming a star in a sport that has become primarily the turf of African Americans. There are few things in America that “belong” to African Americans, and that are founded upon African American excellence. There’s a certain mentality here that basketball is “our thing,” and that this kid is the insurgent (or perhaps, Linsurgent) threatening all of that. Take rap and hip-hop, for example. Eminem, a white rapper who began his career as the sun set on the Biggie/Tupac era and now considered one of the all-time greats of his generation, was originally criticized and dismissed as stealing his style from established rappers, such as Nas. He gained media attention not only for his vulgar and reckless style, but for the fact that he was different–he was a white guy who was as good as black guys at their own game.
The not-so-invisible catalyst contributing to Lin’s rise is no different from that of Tiger Woods in golf, Kirby Puckett in baseball, or the Williams sisters in tennis. All noticeably excellent athletes, all even more noticeably unlike the rest of the pack. It’s just the fear of something being “taken from us” that has caused the push back against Jeremy Lin. But like Woods, Puckett, the Williams, and even Eminem, with continued success, Lin will be accepted, embraced, and possibly even revered.
One thing’s for certain: his career should be Lintriguing to watch.
It’s a great time of year. Bowl games are wrapping up and Wild Card weekend is kicking off. Here are my Wild Card weekend picks:
Lions vs. Saints
I am going with Saints, but only because they are playing in their house. The team had a meltdown last year at Seattle, but not this year with Drew Brees playing lights out on his house.
Falcons vs. Giants
Again, if this game was in Atlanta I would go with them no questions asked. With the game at the Giants, I am going to go with them, but I am concerned which Eli will show up? I’ll gamble and guess the Super Bowl stud shows up.
Bengals vs. Texans
I like Cinncinati’s Red Rifle (Andy Dalton) and AJ Green combo. Houston seems beat up, so I’m going Cinnci.
Steelers vs. Broncos
Last week and the two prior put to rest the nonsense called Tebow Time. I see the trend continuing, so have no concessions going with Pitt.