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Where are they Now?

Ah, as High School basketball draws to a close we should anxiously anticipate the unveiling of the next “sure thing” moving through a year or two of the NCAA’s into NBA fame.  Names like Chris Webber, Kobe Bryant, “King” James, and Dwight Howard, all of which have done all but dissapoint.  But what about the ones that did disappoint, the ones that carried that world of potential to, well, not to the NBA.  Where are THEY now?

 

Jewish Jordan

"Jewish Jordan"

Tamir Goodman: Tabbed the Jewish Jordan, Goodman was recognized by Sports Illustrated, 60 Minutes, and ESPN after averaging 35.4 points per game at the Talmudical Academy of Baltimore, and was dubbed the 25th best HS basketball player in the country.  Goodman received a full-ride scholarship to the University of Maryland in 1999, but was released from his verbal commitment since the school could not accommodate his religious need to have Fridays and Saturdays free.

Goodman transferred to Towson University, but had a separate falling out as he thought his coach was Anti-Semitic.  Goodman finally had the opportunity to showcase his “Jordan-esque” skills when he was signed by Maccabi Tel Aviv in Israel.  In 2005, Goodman went on to serve in  the Israeli Defense Force, as a requirment of Israel.  After numerous knee injuries, Goodman returned to America, trying his hand with the Maryland Nighthawks of the PBL, yet today has has returned to Israel to play for the Maccabi Haifa team back in Israel.  Tamir is a motivational Speaker for youth in the Jewish Orthodox religion

Felipe Lopez

Felipe Lopez

 

Felipe Lopez: One of the most heralded players in US High School basketball history, Felipe landed countless accolades including Gatorade, Parade, and USA Today Player of the Year, McDonalds All-American MVP, and the cover of Sports Illustrated.  At 18, Lopez attended a conference with Jim Brown, Bill Clinton, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.  He went on to have a little success at St. Johns University, inlcuding a 17.8 PPG Freshman Year then managed to squeak into the NBA, where he averaged a career total of 5.8 PPG over 4 years.

Felipe has gone on to play ball in the Domincan Republic, where his family immigrated from, The NBA’s D-League, Germany, Spain, The CBA, Brazil, and today in Venezuela for Gaiteros del Zulia.

The Greatest of All Time

The Greatest of All Time

 

Earl “The GOAT” Manigault: Who could forget, when legendary Laker center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had his number 33 retired in the Los Angeles Forum, he was asked who the greatest player he ever faced was.  His response, yes Earl the GOAT Manigault.  

Earl was a basketball legend renowned for his dunking ability, even at 6 ‘-1”.  Rumored to have been able to touch the top of the backboard and execute on the Double-Dunk (Dunk with one hand, then with the other, all while remaining in the air).  Aftering receiving scholarships from Duke, North Carolina, Indiana and more than 70  more Universities, Earl opted to attend Johnson C. Smith University, where he lasted only one semester because of bad grades, which led to less playing time by his coach.  Earl fell into drug usage, catapulting him into prison on 2 separate occasions, but rebounded by starting the “Walk Away from Drugs” tournament held in Harlem, NY, still around today.  Earl passed away in 1998, but will always be remembered as the Greatest Of All Time!

Honorable Mention: Damon Bailey, Jerod Ward, Donnell Harvey, Sebastian Telfair, Leon Smith.

December 5, 2008 Posted by | NBA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Commitment to Excrement

Once upon a time in a NFL galaxy far far away the colors silver and black intimidated foes and inspired fans to don ridiculous costumes.  The times were good.  A nation of alcohol and qualude fueled miscreants followed their fearless, oil-slick haired, rogue leader and his soldiers into every Sunday.  After the battles on the field concluded, the battles in the stands and in the parking lots ensued.  Jail time for disorderly conduct was an express route to the Purple Heart in Raider Nation.  Drug bust for methamphetamine…even better.  The propaganda machine was strong.  Terms like “Winningest Franchise in Sports” and “Commitment to Excellence” trumpeted from the minaret to minaret from Oakland to Los Angeles.  Three Super Bowl titles in seven years.  A rollicking band of scurilous gridiron marauders filled to the gills with steroids, syphillis, and an utter disdain for the rest of the league were always a threat to hoist the Super Bowl Trophy.  The accomplishments of Raider Nation read like a mythical list of heroic feats that would humble Hercules, bring Odysseus to his knees, and would cause even the mighty Zeus to tremble like a newborn.

Who invented democracy?  The Raiders did.

Who discovered electricity?  The Raiders did.

Who freed the slaves?  The Raiders did.

Who stormed the beaches at Normandy?  The Raiders did.

Who unlocked the mysteries of DNA and the Human Genome while simultaneously inventing the internet, the Brazilian wax, and the stylized mullet?  That’s right…The Raiders did.

We’ve all heard the stories and we’ll pass them on to the youngsters when they’re of age.  In the meantime we must confront the demons of our present with the same resilience used by the ancient Raiders in the dark times when freedom was at stake and the 1977 playoffs came down to an overtime catch by Lord Dave Casper.

On Thursday December 4, 2008 the San Diego Chargers defiled Raider Nation for the 10th consecutive time.   No respect, no vaseline, not even a peck on the cheek.  The powder blue-wearing, surfer jerk, bi-curious San Diegans grinned as the Raiders cowered on the field.  The effort on the field only reflected the turmoil in the Nation.  From the top down and from the bottom up, the Nation has fallen to its knees, its mouth sore from fellating the mascot of every other team in it’s division for the past six years.  Mind you, the Denver Broncos mascot is a horse, so you’d see why oral soreness is a problem.

The once fearless, rogue leader who thumbed his nose at the mighty Pete Rozelle, who told Oakland “F You I’m going to LA,” and then told  LA “F you I’m going to Oakland,” has devolved into a living carcass encased in one-piece pantsuits, still believing his finger is on the pulse, the very lifeblood, of football’s ethos.  Subsisting on a diet of shrimp, white wine, metamucil, and anger, the great emperor has lost his way.  Sitting in the Great Hall of Raiderdom, lonesome and deranged, Emperor Davis commands his peons to do his woefully inept bidding, each move sending Raider Nation into further decline.  His peons, none of whom have the intestinal fortitude to say “enough is enough,” watch and bask in hedonistic selfishness as the modern day Nero fiddles while his Rome burns.  The time has come for a hero. 

Is there not one hero left in the Raider Nation who can muster the soldiers, inspire the people, and challenge the Overlord for his position?  Technically, no.  The emperor owns 51% of the Nation.  To hell with technicalities.  Technicalities are good for resolving Dungeons and Dragons disputes, and defining one’s sexuality.  We need a hero.  Actually we need an entire battalion of heroes armed with new soldiers, a playbook from this century, revised marketing schemes, improved customer relations, a better stadium, some sort of parking discount policy, and the promise of more than 9 wins per year.  Basically, the Nation needs everything except upgrades in color scheme and cheerleaders.

The impossible is not what we ask.  We stand at the precipice of death and life.  The tenuous crossroads where futility and senility meet prosperity and vitality.  Staying on the current path will only lead to further mockery, denigration, and increased jaw soreness.  Down the other path lies the unknown.  But, did not the Autumn Wind blow our ancestors down the path towards excellence when our dear fallen leader was young and his chi was resolute?  The answers lie within us, oh mighty Raider Nation.  Do not let us plummet into the chasm of Cincinatti Bengaldom.  Stand strong against the temptation to resign ourselves to the timeless mediocrity of the Detroit Lions, the Arizona Cardinals, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Seattle Seahawks.  No, let us rejoin our brothers from the classic age.  The Steelers, the Cowboys, and the Giants all would still welcome us at the table of champions if we could purge ourselves of the leprosy that infects our very souls.  There is light.  And in this light, the colors of silver and black warm us as our own sun warms this planet upon which we dwell.  Fear not, the Autum Wind is a Raider pillaging just for fun.  We’ll knock you ’round and upside down, and laugh when we’ve conquered and won.

FlyMaster Signing Off…For Now!

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Features & Opinions, NFL, Talkin Trash | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment