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If Not Kobe, Then Who Is The Greatest Laker Of All Time?

In the 68-year history of the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers (the nickname makes more sense now, doesn’t it?) there have been a laundry list of excellent players. These great names have been instrumental in the franchise’s success.

With Kobe Bryant announcing that he will retire at the end of this season, now seems like as good a time as ever to list the top 5 players in franchise history.

Now this is only this writer’s personal list and there are arguments that can be made for a number of individuals.

A few things to note before the listing begins.

This will only encompass the respective players on-court careers. So as important as some people have been behind the scenes and in the front office, those achievements will not be considered.

As this is a list of all-time Lakers, the years and statistics listed will only be for those years that the players were part of the franchise.

  1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, C, (1975-1989) 22.1 Pts, 9.4 Reb, 2.5 Blks

Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

How can you go wrong with the NBA’s leading scorer? While he was originally drafted 1st overall in the 1969 Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks, Kareem spent 14 of his 20 season in Los Angeles. A major part of the 1980s “Showtime” teams, he was league MVP three times and an NBA Champion five times while playing in southern California.

2. Earvin “Magic” Johnson, PG, (1979-1991, 1996) 19.5 Pts, 7.2 Reb, 11.2 Ast

Photo Credit: tenaciousme/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: tenaciousme/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Another 1st overall pick, this time in 1979, “Magic” was a 6’9″ point guard and the distributor for the aforementioned “Showtime” teams. By the time his career ended, he was a five-time NBA Champion and a three-time MVP. One of the best play-makers of his size, Magic paved the ways for modern players like LeBron James and James Harden to be their teams’ primary ball-handlers.

3. Kobe Bryant, SG, (1996-2016) 25.2 Pts, 5.3 Reb, 4.8 Ast (as of this writing)


Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The “Black Mamba”, he is and has been the face of the Lakers for the majority of his 20-year career. Though he was only MVP on one occasion, he was a part of five championship teams. Bryant also holds the Lakers record for points with 32,785 as of this writing.

4. Jerry West, PG, (1960-1974) 27 Pts, 5.8 Reb, 6.7 Ast

Photo Credit: Prayitno /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Prayitno /Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The 2nd overall pick in 1960 (right behind fellow Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson), West does not have the accolades of others on this list. He was never league MVP and he only won one championship, though he was an All-Star selection every year he played. However, his pure play-making ability earned him nicknames such as “Mr. Clutch” and “Mr. Outside”. Nowadays, he is also known as the inspiration for the silhouette that makes up the NBA logo today.

5. George Mikan, C, (1947-1954, 1956) 23.1 Pts, 13.4 Reb (only BBA/NBA stats available)

Photo Credit: jpellgen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: jpellgen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Mikan was the first superstar of professional basketball. He arrived with the Lakers in his second professional season when they were part of the National Basketball League. The franchise jumped the next year to the Basketball Association of America, which the following year became the NBA. He led the Lakers to five BBA/NBA championships, while leading the league in scoring three times and rebounds twice.

Cover Photo Credit: jpellgen/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Serena Williams Named Sportsperson Of The Year After Record Breaking Year

By Kelsey D’Auben

Today, Sports Illustrated Magazine announced that world renowned tennis star Serena Williams, would be their 2015 “Sportsperson of the year.”

Williams is the first woman to receive this title since it was given to track-star Mary Decker in 1983. She is also only one of four female individuals to ever receive the title. The US women’s soccer team as a whole was also given the title in 1999.

Williams has been named one of the greatest female tennis players of all time. She holds the most major titles of any active tennis player, male or female.

Along with holding three major titles and 21 grand slams victories, Williams is the only female tennis player to ever win all four majors after the age of 30. She is also the only player, male or female, to hold grand slam titles in two different decades.

This year, she was on the path to getting the grand slam (winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open in one calendar year) but lost the US open after an elbow injury attained earlier this year.

Her loss was deemed one of the biggest tennis upsets of tennis history.

But nonetheless, she was still able to keep her No. 1 ranking at the end of the year. This is the 7th time Williams has been received the No. 1 ranking.

Sports Illustrated’s Christian Stone defended his publications’ decision to select Williams, despite some backlash from the public.

Sports Illustrated honors her dominance in 2015, when she won 53 of her 56 matches, three of the four Grand Slam events and built the most yawning ranking points gap between her and her closest competitor in tennis history,” Stone wrote. “We honor her, too, for a career of excellence, her stranglehold on the game’s No. 1 ranking and her 21 Grand Slam titles.”

But the title of “Sportsperson of the Year” isn’t just about being a good athlete. The title is given to athletes who display the true spirit of sportsman-ship.

The “Sportsperson of the Year” issue will hit the stands December 21st.

Cover Photo Credit: Yann Caradec/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The 2015 College Football Playoff Promises To Be Incredible

On Sunday the two matchups for the second College Football Playoff were announced. The No. 1 seed Clemson Tigers will the face No. 4 seed Oklahoma Sooners at 4 p.m. Eastern in the Capital One Orange Bowl on New Year’s Eve.

The Alabama Crimson Tide, the No. 2 seed, will face off against the third seeded Michigan State Spartans in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic at 8 p.m., also on New Year’s Eve. Both games will be televised on ESPN.

Both games look to be great matchups, but there are also some interesting off the field storylines that will make this year’s college football playoff even more interesting than last year.

#1 Clemson vs #4 Oklahoma: This game is a rematch of last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl during which Clemson stomped Oklahoma 40 to 6. It was a sweet win for Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, who faced his former team for the first time since he was fired in 2011. Clemson dominated the game from the very beginning as Oklahoma only managed to gain 275 yards of total offense.

Clemson hopes to do the same thing this year as it again boasts one of the nation’s best defenses. Led by players such as defensive tackle Shaq Lawson and safety Jayron Kearse Jr., Clemson has the nation’s 5th ranked passing defense, is 7th in total yards allowed per game, and has recorded over 38 sacks, good enough for 12th in the nation (NCAA statistics).

But outside of North Carolina and Florida State, Clemson hasn’t’ faced an offense as good and with as many athletes as Oklahoma’s.

But Clemson’s offense is just as good if not better this year under the reigns of true sophomore quarterback and Heisman finalist Deshaun Watson.

Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney have had a great season and have finally put to rest the slur of “Clemsoning”.

Last year, Watson missed the bowl game after tearing and playing with a partially torn ACL during the season’s final month, but he’s been playing like a man possessed this year. Watson won the ACC Offensive Player of the Year award, as he threw for 3500 yards, rushed for nearly 900, accounting for 41 touchdowns.

Bob Stoops looks to get some payback for last year’s embarrassing lose and earn a shot to win his second national championship. The Sooners’ offense, under the direction of coordinator Lincoln Riley, has torched teams in the air and on the ground. Former walk-on Baker Mayfield, considered by many to be a Heisman snub, has played fantastic and running backs Samaje Perine and Joe Mixon (a coveted high school player who sat out his freshman year for a domestic violence incident) are two of the better backs in the country. Senior wide out Sterling Shephard has also been one of the best wide receivers in the country during his four years in Norman.

Despite the Big 12’s reputation as pass happy, basketball on turf, Oklahoma fielded one of the better defensive units in the nation. The Sooners held opposing offenses to less than 21 points per game, recorded the 4th most sacks in the nation (38), and forced 26 turnovers (NCAA statistics). Eric Striker, properly named, is one of the nation’s premier pass-rushing linebackers, and cornerback Zack Sanchez has recorded six interceptions this year.

With two high powered offenses I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned into a track meet where the team with the ball last wins.

But if it’s soggy or raining in Miami, defense could ultimately determine who wins.

Clemson and head coach Dabo Swinney have had a great season and have finally put to rest “Clemsoning”, but I’m going with Oklahoma in this game. The Sooners are much more battle tested after having played in a fairly strong schedule against the Big 12 and a decent Tennessee team out of conference.

Final score prediction: Oklahoma 42-Clemson 35

#2 Alabama vs #3 Michigan State: Clemson and Oklahoma will be fast paced with lots of scoring, but this game will be more reminiscent of “old man football”. Both teams like to play smash-mouth football by running the ball down opponents’ throats on offense and stifling them with tough defense.

This game features another matchup of a coach going against his former school as Nick Saban leads the Crimson Tide against the Spartans. From 1995-1999 Saban led Michigan State and also employed current Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio. These two teams last met in the 2011 Capital One Bowl, a 49-7 Alabama victory.

These teams are so similar in regards to their playing style and philosophies, but Alabama just has better talent.

The Crimson Tide really has only one strategy on offense: giving Derrick Henry the ball. Henry has been a monster this year, shredding defenses on his way to one of the best seasons in the history of college football. Even when they know it’s coming, defenses have been unable to stop him. He broke Herschel Walker’s single season SEC rushing record with 1,986 yards and his 23 rushing touchdowns are currently tied for the SEC record with Tim Tebow and Tre Mason.

With teams selling out to limit the rushing attack and Henry, Alabama has enough of a passing attack to make them pay.

Jacob Coker hasn’t lived up to the enormous hype and expectations of Alabama fans, but he does enough to win games by avoiding turnovers and scrambling to avoid sacks. Calvin Ridley, a talented true freshman wide receiver, emerged as a playmaker alongside Ardarius Stewart and tight end O.J. Howard.

What hasn’t already been said about Alabama’s defense? Arguably the most talented front seven in the nation, the Crimson Tide are loaded on the defensive side of the ball.

In the secondary, Eddie Jackson has flourished after a move from corner to safety and Cyrus Jones has become an elite corner and return man. Linebacker Reggie Ragland draws comparisons to Bama greats Don’t’a Hightower and CJ Mosely, while the defensive line has potential NFL first round draft picks Johnathan Allen, A’Shawn Robinson, and Jarran Reed. This defense is simply lights out with the only concern being Kirby Smart’s possible source of distraction as he tries to balance his new job as Georgia’s head coach.

Michigan State follows a blueprint similar to Alabama on both offense and defense. Senior quarterback Connor Cook was receiving preseason Heisman buzz, but battled injuries and inconsistency all year. As the winningest QB in Spartan history, Cook has big game experience and when he’s hot he can beat anyone in the country. True freshman LJ Scott, the hero of the Big 10 Championship game, emerged as the leading running back this year and looks to continue his success against the best run defense in the nation.

Although they lost some talent to the NFL last year, Michigan State once again had one of the best defenses in the nation. Shilique Calhoun was a terror on the defensive line as he tallied up 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss and the Spartans ranked 7th in the nation in rush defense and turnovers forced.

These teams are so similar in regards to their playing style and philosophies, but Alabama just has better talent.

Michigan State prides itself on recruiting overlooked players to develop and coach up, while Alabama annually recruits the best athletes in the nation and produces numerous NFL draft picks. If this were 2013 or last year, I think Michigan State would have a great chance to win this game but they’ve been inconsistent at times this year (struggled against Western Michigan, barely beat Michigan, and lost to Nebraska). Meanwhile, Alabama has been out for blood since their home loss to Ole Miss in September.

Final score prediction: Alabama 23-Michigan State 10

Cover Photo Credit: John Martinez Pavliga/Flickr (CC by –SA 2.0).

Are There Too Many Bowl Games?

Ah, the FBS Bowl games.

A litany of college football action stretching from December 19 through January 11, encompassing 41 games and involving 80 teams. From the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl to the National Championship Game.

But while each of these games bring their own sense of basic enjoyment, even more so for the players and fans of those who are deemed worthy to compete in them, the basic question must be raised: are there too many bowl games?

In short, yes there are.

While it is a treat to have as much college football as humanly possible, and there is no shortage of pride when it comes to these post-season games, there are certainly too many in existence.

To understand why there are too many, one must understand what the bowls are meant to represent.

They are meant to be a reward, a pat on the back for success during the season.

However, in recent years, the meaning of “success” has become stretched.

For example, the Cure Bowl features a 5-7 team (San Jose State) facing a team that needed a win on the final weekend to reach .500 (Georgia State).

Another interesting thing that the bowls bring to the fans is an opportunity to see teams play against opponents that they would never face otherwise. But this novelty is undermined this year by the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl, which features two teams from the Mountain West Conference  (Nevada and Colorado State).

How do so many absurd bowl match-ups come about? For starters, take in this statistic. Of the 128 FBS programs in the country, a whopping 62.5% of teams make it to the post-season in some respect.

This makes a mockery of the idea of the post-season, and calls into question their true purpose (which is to make money for the numerous sponsors and TV networks).

The real question is not if there are too many bowl games. The real question is how many bowl games should there be.

The answer to this question: 14.

To put it simply, only the top 26 teams, as ranked in the final College Football Playoff standings, should qualify for the post-season. These are the teams that not only have good, if not excellent, records, but they showcase the best of the conferences (and Independent teams). Why one more than the standard 25-team rank? On the surface, it is because an even number of teams must be chosen. But pragmatically, it is to allow for the inclusion of the best military academy (if not already ranked).

Below is this writers personal list of which bowl games should exist. Some of these may not be the heaviest hitters on the normal schedule (and one doesn’t even really exist), but there are reasons for all of them.

  • Military Appreciation Bowl (Annapolis, MD) – This game already features the top military academy. In the event that one of the academies makes it to the CFP, the naming tag still works.
  • Detroit Bowl (Detroit, MI) – Currently, the bowl game in Detroit is called the Quick Lane Bowl. Give this a new name and continue to play it, because there deserves to be at least one bowl game not in the south or west.
  • Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu, HI) – Just as the NFL Pro Bowl used to be played in Hawai’i as a sort of vacation destination, this will allow college players who normally wouldn’t play in that city/state to enjoy the experience.
  • Music City Bowl (Nashville, TN) – Normally a very solid bowl game. Could be used for the SEC, ACC, and/or Big East teams in the 20-26 range in the rankings.
  • Texas Bowl (Houston, TX) – Mainly here because Texas is too big (both in size and football fanaticism) to only hold one bowl game. Good site for Big 12, SEC, AAC, Sun Belt and/or C-USA competition.
  • Poinsettia Bowl (San Diego, CA) – Who wouldn’t want to go to sunny San Diego for a bowl game? Not to mention that the Mountain West teams could use a closer bowl destination.
  • Peach Bowl (Atlanta, GA) – A staple of the bowl game schedule. Usually includes an SEC team, but this year is hosting an ACC-AAC match-up.
  • Citrus Bowl (Orlando, FL) – Another bowl game with a lot of history which falls just outside the “Big 5”. Would be a nice fit between the New Year bowls and the National Championship.
  • Rose Bowl (Pasadena, CA) – The “granddaddy of them all”. Will of course continue the Big 10 vs. Pac-10 history.
  • Fiesta Bowl (Phoenix, AZ) – Not as historic as the other FBS bowls. Good place for the match-up of next two teams behind the playoff contenders.
  • Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX) – A major bowl in the house that Jerry Jones built. Kind of wish they still used the proper Cotton Bowl, but that’s life.
  • Orange Bowl (Miami, FL) – Historically the place for the ACC champions vs. Big East champions match-up. Few places better to hold a football game outside in January.
  • Sugar Bowl (New Orleans, LA) – Normally reserved for the top SEC team. In the age of the CFP, it continues to be held in high regard.
  • National Championship Game (Various) – The one game to decide the champion. Will continue to bounce around the five FBS bowl sites.

Now this plan probably isn’t perfect, and there would be some hiccups in the early years. But eventually, everyone would adjust just as they have adjusted to the new playoff system.

In the end, while not everyone will be happy, enough people will be to keep this bowl game line-up intact and bring the bowl games back into reverence as the games which decide who the best teams really are.

Cover Photo Credit: Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Here Are The 10 Best Millennials Playing In The NBA

By Jay Rumph

The 2015-2016 NBA season has already begun, and it’s time to decide on the top 10 players in the league- who also happen to be millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000).

Here is our list of the top 10 millennials players in the NBA:

Photo Credit: Matthew Addie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Matthew Addie/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

1) Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, PG

NBA champion and reigning MVP, Curry has played lights out thus far in the NBA season. The Warriors are on pace to win over 70 games this season, with Curry leading the way. Leading the Warriors to an undefeated record at 22-0, Curry is one of a kind. He’s the best shooter in the league, and will be the best shooter in NBA history when his career is over. Only 27 years old, he has not reached his prime yet. This year Curry is averaging 32.4 pts, 4.9 rebs, and 5.8 asts with intentions on taking the Warriors back to the NBA Finals.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

2) LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers, SF

James has been the best player in the league for years now. He continues to be a dominant force, and does not seem to be slowing down any time soon. Returning to Cleveland last year, he lead the Cavaliers to the NBA Finals his first year back in Cleveland. Plagued by injuries, the Cavs were unable to defeat the Warriors in the Finals after six games. James put the team on his back during the finals averaging 35.8 pts, 13.3 rbs, and 8.8 asts against the Warriors. Without a fully healthy team, the Cavaliers were unable to reach their ultimate goal.

Today is a new day, and LeBron is ready for this season. He is still the game’s best all-around player, and the Cavs only go as far as James will take them. The ultimate goal for James is to bring a championship back to Cleveland. Will this be the year for the Cleveland Cavaliers?

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

3) Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder, SF

Kevin Durant is on pace to have his best scoring season yet. With a Returning from a foot injury that sidelined him for the remainder of the 2014-2015 NBA season, Durant looks to bounce back with full force. The former MVP is averaging just around 27.6 pts, 7.7 rebs, and 3.6 asts this year. In the last year of his contact with the Thunder, will we see Durant in a new uniform next year? His ultimate goal is to win a championship, and he finally has the supporting cast to help him achieve that goal.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

4) Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, PF

Davis is the youngest superstar in the NBA at age 22. Davis has tremendous upside and continues to improve every year. He led the Pelicans to an 8th seed in the Western Conference finals last year. A top candidate for the MVP award this season, Davis is averaging 23.8 pts, 10.9 rebs, and 2.8 blks. Last year he had the highest player efficiency rating in the NBA. The sky is the limit for Davis, but his main goal will be to win a championship.

5) James Harden, Houston Rockers, SG

The runner-up for the MVP award last year was James Harden. Arguably the best offensive player in the NBA currently, Harden scores the basketball with ease. James Harden is scoring points, assisting his teammates, and rebounding the ball for the Rockets. He’s averaging 29.5 pts, 6.7 rebs, and 6.6 asts this year, while trying to lead the Rockets back to the top of the Western Conference.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

6) Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder, PG

The 6’3” point guard can do it all on the basketball court. The most aggressive and explosive point guard the NBA has ever seen. He’s a playmaker, scorer, defensive stopper, and superstar. Last year Westbrook earned his first scoring title, fourth All-Star Selection, and the All-Star MVP award. He led the league with 11 triple doubles, while leading the Thunder in Kevin Durant’s absence. There is nothing that Westbrook can’t do, and he has not reached his prime yet in the NBA.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

7) Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers, PF

Blake Griffin is more than just a high flier. Probably the most athletic forward in the NBA currently, Griffin has worked on many aspects of his game. He’s a much more complete player then before, and has developed his face-up game to go along with his ability to score at the rim. Last year, he averaged 21.9 pts, 7.6 rebs, and 5.3 asts. He also shot 50 percent from the field and 73 percent at the free throw line. At 26, Blake is in his prime and has gained much experience through the playoffs playing alongside Chris Paul.

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

8) Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers, PG

At age 30, Chris Paul is a veteran in the NBA, but continues to be one of the best point guards in the league. The smartest point guard in the league, Paul can still score the ball, pass, and defend the best guards around the league. Paul has never won a NBA championship since entering the NBA. Last year he averaged 19 pts, 10.2 asts, 4.6 rbs, and 1.9 stls earning him second team All NBA honors.

Photo Credit: GAMEFACE-PHOTOS/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: GAMEFACE-PHOTOS/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

9) Demarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings, C

The Kings did not make the playoffs last year, but Cousins showed a ton of upside for the franchise. A very talented center, Cousins has the skills on both sides of the ball to be a top player in the league. Last year he averaged 24.1 pts, 12.7 rbs, 3.6 asts, 1.7 blks, and 1.5 stls which earned him his first All-Star appearance. We can assume that Cousins continues to improve his all-around game playing with Rajon Rondo this year.

Where's the blazer bro?  Photo Credit: Press Cambrabcn/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Where’s the blazer bro? Yes, we seriously couldn’t get a pic of him in a jersey. But trust us, he plays basketball. Photo Credit: Press Cambrabcn/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

10) Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, C

Great defensive player with a talented offensive skill-set. Gasol has emerged as one of the best big man in the NBA over the last couple of years. Last year, Gasol made first team All-NBA honors after he averaged, 17.4 pts, 7.8 rebs, 3.8 asts, and 1.6 blks. He also shot 50 percent from the floor, and 80 percent from the charity line. Marc sets himself apart from other big men with his mid-range touch and savvy post moves.

Do People Really Give A Shit About The MLS?

By Jasmin Ouseph

Here’s some breaking news. Sports are a pretty big deal to many people around the world.

Worldwide, football (or soccer, as we Americans have coined it) indisputably ranks as the most popular sport according to numerous sources.

In the United States, however, soccer comes in at a mere fifth place (based off TV ratings and revenue generated by league), preceded by ice hockey, basketball, baseball, and American football.

The premier soccer league in the United States and Canada is Major League Soccer (MLS), sanctioned by the US Soccer Federation, the official governing body of the sport in America.

The mission statement of US Soccer reads, “to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels.”

While gridiron football, baseball, and basketball are the preeminent American sports by general consensus, with others like auto-racing and ice hockey being more regional in their popularity, there isn’t a very defining pattern among the MLS’ viewership.

Among fans of the sport in general, opinions on the MLS specifically are mixed. The league is growing popular with young adults especially.

Kenneth Nti, a student at the University of Florida, believes that the MLS has “grown magnanimously from its birth within the nineties” and has the potential to establish a “soccer platform similar to those in Europe or South America.”

Statistically, at least, the MLS is on the rise.

A lot of that potential comes from the attention of international superstars that settle in the MLS upon retiring from Europe. Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard now plays for the LA Galaxy while Premier League and Serie A wonders Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo, respectively, both play for New York City FC.

Others, meanwhile, simply lack an interest in the MLS.

Leon Peter, a student at Nova Southeastern University, finds that although soccer is his favorite sport, he doesn’t pay much attention to the MLS.

“The play is just sloppy, not as clean,” Peter said. “The skill isn’t as apparent.”

It seems others with similar opinions would rather stick to the Premier League, La Liga, and other European tournaments that see more training, more funding, and more resources overall than the MLS does.

The possibility of a home MLS-member club to support would create a great addition to the league’s fan base.

Given the immense popularity of the sport in Latin America, and the rich Latinx presence in South Florida, David Beckham’s supposed proposition for a Miami-based MLS club would likely be met with big interest.

Statistically, at least, the MLS is on the rise.

According to Amy Rosenfeld, a Senior Coordinating Producer for ESPN who oversees all soccer content for the network (including broadcast of the UEFA Champions League, US Soccer games, and MLS), success for the league according to ESPN standards would physically look like higher ratings.

Given that the MLS is barely 20 years old (it was established in 1996, two years after the US first hosted the World Cup), its ratings are looking pretty impressive.

MLS national TV ratings have increased by 18% from the 2014 year average total.

Currently, ESPN2’s broadcasts are averaging 283,000 per game.

With the 2015 MLS Cup match last Sunday, featuring a 2-1 win for the Portland Timbers, ratings were up 4% for ESPN, 40% for Fox Sports and 3% for UniMas.

Soccer is the world’s sport, and it is slowly but surely on its way to becoming a bigger deal in the US.

While European league matches are still drawing on average three times the weekly viewers the MLS gets, that shouldn’t rule out the hope that the MLS will see a growing fan base and greater national interest in the years to come.

Cover Photo Credit: Ryan Knapp/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Interested in writing about the MLS? Join our team

Correction: 12-9-2015 1:37 AM EST- A previous version of this article had the wrong final score for the MLS Final. The Portland Timbers won 2-1.

In Shock Move, South Carolina Picks Will Muschamp As New Football Coach

Will Muschamp’s second chance will come at South Carolina. The Gamecocks have agreed to a deal that will make the 44-year-old Muschamp the 33rd head football coach in South Carolina football history, a source with direct knowledge of the negotiations told The State on Sunday morning. Like the man he is replacing, Muschamp last was a… Read More

College Football Playoff Set After Uneventful Championship Saturday

The College Football Playoff committee has set up the two games that will decide who plays for the national championship.

Top ranked Clemson will play fourth ranked Oklahoma while second ranked Alabama will take on third ranked Michigan State.

Who Win The National Championship

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Cover Photo Credit: Matthew Blouir/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Nick Saban Gets Emotional About Kirby Smart Before SEC Championship

It is rare to see Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban get emotional, save for a sideline outburst at a player or assistant from time to time.

But something rare happened Friday. Saban showed a softer side to the general public and the gathered press at an availability before the SEC championship.

Saban was asked by a reporter how Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart has changed as a coach over the past eight years.

“We’ve worked together for a long, long time,” Saban said in response to the question. “And he’s as good of an assistant coach and as loyal of an assistant coach as I’ve ever had on a staff.”

Smart is widely expected to be the next head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, meaning that the will leave Saban’s side for the first time in over nine years. Smart was the safety’s coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2006 while Saban was there and then joined Saban when he went to Alabama in 2007.

WATCH: Nick Saban becomes emotional while talking about Kirby Smart. (Video from

H/T: Saturday Down South

Cover Photo Credit: (Screengrab)

Kobe Is Not Great Anymore And That’s Been Brutal For Lakers Fans To Figure Out

By Ikeem Boyd

As a lifelong Los Angeles Lakers fan, Kobe Bryant’s decision to retire from the game of basketball is bittersweet.

He’s my favorite player of all time and played a huge role in raising five championship banners.

Kobe is the Lakers; the Lakers are Kobe’s team. That’s just the way that it’s always been for the entirety of my fandom and most of my life.

I’ve grown up with Kobe, and I can’t fathom an NBA season without him. Like every other Laker fan, and basketball fan for that matter, I’ll be sad that he’s gone. But at the same time, Bryant has left us all with great memories and he deserves to be celebrated for the remainder of the 2015-16 season.

The current version of Kobe Bryant is hard to watch. Seeing Bryant shoot 30 percent from the field on a nightly basis is tough.

His decision to retire is the right one. It’s not only best for Bryant as an individual, but it’s also best for the Lakers as franchise.

The Lakers can now focus on re-building the team around their young core of D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Julius Randle.

Lakers fans leave the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo Credit:johrling/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Lakers fans leave the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Photo Credit:johrling/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Greatest Ever? 

There’s always been this great debate about who’s the greatest basketball player of all-time. Let me preface what I’m about to say, by stating that I was born in 1992.

When Michael Jordan was dominating the NBA and winning championships with the Chicago Bulls, I was a young kid. I didn’t follow or fully understand the game of basketball then.

Even though I didn’t witness the Jordan era, I’m aware of his greatness, what he accomplished and what he did on a global scale for the NBA and game of basketball.

With all that being said, Kobe Bryant is the closest thing to Michael Jordan; he’s the best basketball player of my generation and the best basketball player that I have ever witnessed live.

I don’t really enjoy ranking the all-time greats because each is great in their own way and they each brought something unique to the table.

Besides, I haven’t been around long enough to have seen all of them live. It’s tough to make rankings off of highlight packages, vintage games on ESPN Classic and on statistics. I do know the greats of my generation, though, and who I got to see growing up.

The great players of my generation include: Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and a few others that are escaping me at the moment. Out of that bunch, there’s only one player that you can argue has had a better career than Bryant and that is Duncan. Bryant’s resume speaks for itself.

Where does that rank Bryant amongst the all-time greats? I can’t tell you. Everyone that you talk to will give you a different list. What I can tell you is that regardless of where you believe Bryant ranks on the list of all-time greats, he’ll always be in the discussion.

Although this season is looking like it’s going be another lost one for the Lakers, I’m excited to see how Kobe goes out. It’ll also be cool to see how the NBA, its players, coaches, and fans show their appreciation for Bryant and all that he’s done.

I’m hoping that during my next visit to Los Angeles, I’ll be able to catch a Lakers game. I have to witness greatness in person…one last time.

Thank you for a wonderful 20-year journey, Kobe. Basketball won’t be the same without you.

Cover Photo Credit: Keith Allison/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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