Mayweather vs. Pacquiao 2…But Why?

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So, if you refer to our blog on May 2nd, well, we told you so. The ‘fight of the century,’ really was a bit too late for these two fighters. The powers that be in boxing want numerous fights for these guys on their way out towards retirement. Multimillion dollar deal times 3, sounds a lot better than a one off, not to mention, it’s boxing. Every major rivalry in boxing where guys were close in weight during their respective eras would lead to numerous sequel fights. It’s the nature of the beast.

Many people complained about the fight itself, the style and pace mainly. To that, all I can say is, have you EVER seen a Mayweather fight? He’s had 47 before this one. That is his style, make his opponent work and tire throughout the round, and then attack when opponent is tired. This makes combinations easier to parry and counter punching is like fighting an opponent who’s in slow mo; it’s just easier hitting a winded guy. To be mad at this fight and how Mayweather fought it is to admit you do not follow the sport.

The shoulder injury suffered by Manny prior to the fight is super convenient, in the aspect that it has already opened dialogue for a 2nd matchup. Frankly, a shoulder injury is never convenient, but now the argument is out there that, “well if Manny was 100% he would’ve won.” I’m not one of those people to believe the previous statement, but, for a fighter who sets up with his jab like Manny does, that would definitely make it difficult to throw combinations and hold a proper defense. I’m interested to see what happens with the 2nd go round, mainly to see the hype machine, because the buildup is guaranteed going to be better than the actual fight.

No one can be mad at Manny for not disclosing this injury information pre fight. If he did that, this may have never went down, and imagine how pissed the world would’ve been if an injury held up the fight. The casinos would have zero bets on a fight that didn’t occur, and big prize fights are big for Vegas; travelers spend loot all over town for a big fight night weekend. Stars and celebs, athletes, musicians, everyone is there along with their money, so if this didn’t go down I think it would’ve been a big letdown to many. Again, this injury gives people a solid reason to still bet on Manny, and because people will bet, Round 2 will be coming soon…You can bet on it.

Prints in Spring/Summer ’15 Looks

Just like the early 90s, with neon and African inspired prints being the rage; this season is seeing a return of prints in many designer lines. Polo Ralph Lauren has brought some southwestern and nautical themed all over print shirts, pants and jackets for this year, and I’ve seen some pieces from Tommy as well. Just like everything, fashion is cyclical…so what goes around, comes around.

 

All over print shirts are easy to match up with just about anything, but can be dressed down to go with jeans, chinos, or shorts and some sneakers. If you work in an office, all over print shirts can easily be paired with a pair of dress pants and a wild pair of socks to set it off. Easy to rock, easy to look at, and they make you stand out in a crowd of bland single color shirts.

There’s always a clean selection of vintage all over prints in our shop, in numerous sizes, check the slideshow above for some choices we have available. But, if you wanted to buy new, you now have some options at your local department store as well.

NCAA Hoops Beef

The NCAA gets a lot of praise during March. Frankly, I am not going to help give them a handjob, I’ll leave that to ESPN and Turner. Between recruiting violations, recruiting 12 year olds, and the series of “one and done” players, NCAA Basketball is so damn hard to watch. When most of the action occurs off the court, there’s a problem.

2015 NCAA Mens Basketball Tournament

Watching the “I Hate Christian Laettner” documentary, I was reminded that we no longer will have a dynasty like the Fab5 in college hoops again. With players jumping into programs for just one season, it’s hard to get behind a team anymore. Of course we will always have the fans who LOVE their local team (because places like Kansas, Arkansas, and many other rural states without a big city have ZERO pro team in any sport, so what the hell else will they watch?) and alumni who support their particular schools, but I think these examples are the minority. People are now following a player they like, and after one season in college, that player is in the NBA, and eligible to be on a “fantasy team.” If the NCAA and NBA don’t come together to figure out a better way to develop these players, the NBA D-league is going to have to add expansion teams, because there are going to be a lot of shitty players out there.

You now have players turning to Europe to gain some polish, instead of spending time in college. Granted, Euro teams pay these kids and colleges don’t pay, so I don’t blame them for going abroad, but that just shows how flawed this system is. Furthermore, the news ticker has more lowlights than highlights; all we see about college ball anymore is recruiting violations, Lebron’s young son being recruited before high school, or some sort of booster paying players with the occasional arrest of a player. I don’t recall seeing any awesome dunks, big plays or anything like that on Sportscenter, really the only highlights are the lucky buzzer beaters that catapult a team into the next round of the tourney.

Basically, the game is watered down like a mother fucker. Players are leaving the college ranks underdeveloped and eventually that’s going to totally kill interest in the college game other than during March. This is going to have a carryover into the NBA, so these two organizations need to get together and change the rules about when you can go pro. If there was a 2 year rule as opposed to a one year rule, these players may gain some extra experience, and end up being NBA ready by draft time, instead of some back of the bench turd for 3 years. Something needs to be done before NCAA Basketball is viewed like the WNBA in this country.

Tarantino Top 5

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There are many great directors in Hollywood right now. Quentin Tarantino is basically legendary, and in film classes at universities across the country, he and his films will be studied for decades to come. Of any directors that have come about since the early 90s, Tarantino has such a unique and throwback style, that he has mass appeal across generational gaps, I mean I watched Pulp Fiction for the first time as a teen with my stepdad. The characters are verbose, the cinematography is awesome, and the fights/gun fight scenes are violent, bloody, and sometimes so radical they are funny. The following list is my top 5 picks of films that Tarantino has directed, so films he wrote or produced will not be on this list unless he was listed as the director. If you haven’t seen these flicks already, I’d highly recommend all of them.

5: Jackie Brown: Tarantino’s third successful film in the 90s, was basically a neo noir twist on 70s blaxploitation film. Heavily influenced by “Foxy Brown,” Tarantino even casted Pam Grier and Sid Haag from the 70s film to be in Jackie Brown. It’s a heist movie, with Tarantino deep dialogue, featuring: drugs, guns, crooked cops, girls, and of course a double cross.

4: Sin City: The only movie on this list NOT written by Quentin. Sin City started a whole new style in films, basically bringing comics to life and really making the movie feel like you’re reading the comic book. “300” and movies in this style have come since, and that’s thanks to the innovation of Tarantino. The movie itself is a noir drama with a super hero’ish twist. Very little color was used in the film except to accentuate violence. Great flick, solid story, and unique in style, the violence and gore just makes it that much better in my opinion.

3: Kill Bill 1 & 2: Kill Bill saga counts as one movie, that’s how it was originally intended to be released anyway. This is just an awesome revenge drama, done with some SICK fight scenes. This film has the “Crouching Tiger” feel in the fight scenes, but the classic Tarantino writing and character development; the dude can really do no wrong when he’s in the director’s chair. These films exposed a whole new generation to classic Japanese and Chinese films involving the protagonist fighting his/her way to the top to extract a great revenge.

2: Pulp Fiction: I mean….if you need me to say something about this movie, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.

1: Reservoir Dogs: This film put Tarantino on the map, and made him a household name. Heist film, ensemble cast, heavy and sometimes hilarious dialogue, incredible violence, and the propensity to use the word “FUCK” a lot. If you haven’t seen this movie, I won’t give anything away, but shame on you. I still can’t hear “Stuck in The Middle” without thinking about an ear being cut off by Michael Madsen…..oh shit….. late on the spoiler alert.

The Thing about Derrick Rose is…

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/207798970282840170/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/207798970282840170/

…compared to previous knee issues, this new “clipping” surgery is very minor. However, you have to wonder about the psyche of a man who has gone through as much as he has in such a young career. I’m not 100% sure, but by the time these 4-6 weeks are over to heal from the most recent surgery, I believe he will have missed more games than he has actually played in his career. Full disclosure, I’ve been a Bulls fan my entire life, over 3 decades of fandom, so this hits me hard, but I just do not think we will ever have the MVP Rose we once had, and it may be time to move on and get out from under his contract.

When you have this many serious knee issues at a young age, you have to worry about a few things, for any player, but especially D.Rose. Through media encounters, Rose has made it very clear that he wants to be able to walk when he’s retired; totally understandable as walking is pretty damn important. A couple seasons ago, Rose was coming back from another knee surgery and the Bulls were poised for a playoff run. The team doctors cleared him to play in the playoffs, but he chose to not play. The team even had his locker ready for him and still he was suited up with a tie as opposed to a warm-up jacket and sneakers. Personally, that burned me out on him, how are you going to bail on your team when they need you, bail on the city that raised you, bail on every Bulls fan across the globe? It’s a mental thing, D.Rose wasn’t ready, and he opted to sit…I’ve never seen that before.

Before this season started, Rose made it very clear that he would rest when necessary for a long playoff push, and he did indeed rest up a lot after hamstring issues arose in the first month of the 2015 campaign. Rose sat, and that’s what we expected. The MVP Rose is gone, we have a different player now, and I feel next season, the Bulls should really try to limit his activity and try to work a trade…UNLESS…Rose decides to put work in and become a jump shooter/actual point guard. With his injury history, the slasher speedster game he once had needs to go away to preserve his body for an 82 game season. He really needs to adjust his game if he wants to stay relevant in the NBA, and I truly believe he has the talent to do so. If he became a TRUE point guard ala Steve Nash, imagine what kind of team the Bulls would have.

Will the handlers in Rose’s camp keep him from coming back this year for a playoff run? Only time will tell us that answer, but if he does not return this year, and he doesn’t alter his game/style of play for next year, I really feel the best thing for the bulls to do is try and move him in the off-season, pay Jimmy Butler, and find a true point guard that could feed Gasol, Butler, and Noah the ball, thus putting the Bulls in a better position to win.

The Best 3.5 Hours of TV, Ever

The Best 3.5 Hours of TV, Ever
The Good & Bad from SNL@40

Last Sunday night proved to be almost as star studded of an event as the Oscars, but this wasn’t LA; bitterly cold New York City brought out the stars and Saturday Night Live alumnus alike, for the comedy’s 40th Anniversary Special. The show itself was great, I laughed out loud so many times during the old sketches and commercials, as well as the new sketches specifically for the special. The guest spots and musical guests were awesome (mostly, *cough* why Miley Cyrus though? *cough*), and the alumni other than Eddie Murphy, genuinely looked like they were having fun during the show.

The Good:

Well, when we get to see a NEW Jeopardy sketch, we’re all winners. Ferrell, MacDonald, Hammond kill it. There were careful mispronunciations (Sean Connery turns “Who Reads” category to “Whore Ads”) and Trebek’s mother jokes. The return of Turd Ferguson aka Burt Reynolds, to the Jeopardy stage was another highlight, however there is some controversy over who appeared in the Cosby Video Daily Double of the sketch, and I’ll get to that later.

The Californians, is a modern sketch that I personally liked. The Sketch mocks the accent, everyone being a blonde, the proud feeling Californian’s get when they know how to avoid traffic, and soap opera’s/reality dramas. Great guest spots from Bradley Cooper and Betty White, but Taylor Swift was horrible and should stick to…whatever it is she does as she almost tanked the sketch. Even David Spade made quick use of a guest spot at the end of the sketch.

The monologue by Steve Martin, where he is joined on the stage by just about everyone including Peyton Manning, was a great way to showcase Martin’s talents. Martin Short attempted a similar monologue with the help of Beyonce (Maya Rudolph), but it just didn’t hold a candle to the smug performance Steve Martin throws out there.

Pretaped winners: the Sandberg/Sandler collab video was alright, “Deep Thoughts with Jack Handy” is always a plus, “Mom Jeans” and “Super Colon Blow” were fun throwbacks, and Phil Hartman was then able to appear via old sketches.

Great short appearances by Bill Murray singing a rendition of the “Jaws” theme song as Nick Ocean, Adam Sandler as Operaman was fun, Tim Meadows self deprecating humor from the audience was hilarious and backhanded at the same time. And we even got a Jerry Seinfeld/Larry David reunion on live TV. Hell, even Joe Piscapo sang a little ditty as Frank Sinatra. The intro of Chevy Chase, by the past anchors of Weekend Update, was better than Heavy, uhm…I mean, Chevy Chase’s appearance. Norm Macdonald stole the show with one line, “We are just merely utility infielders…” while standing with Colin Quinn, Kevin Nealon, and Seth Myers, as he was introducing Chevy Chase.

The Bad:

Weekend Update was horrible, the lady anchors should’ve been unused, and instead let Macdonald, Myers, Quinn and Nealon go at it on the anchor desk. I always thought the Rosana character that Emma Stone impersonated was a regional, not really that funny of a character from the 70s era (sorry not a Gilda Fan), and Melissa McCarthy was just bad as Chris Farley. The only positive of this sketch was Ed Norton as “Stefan.”

The Jon Lovitz being dead running joke was pretty lame, I don’t know if it was an homage to the Beatles because Sir Paul was onset or what, but it wasn’t that good.

The Wayne’s World sketch was nostalgic, but still bad and full of catch phrases, the only highlight was telling Kanye West to remain seated numerous times.

Eddie Murphy and Chevy Chase both looked super reluctant to be there, and that is kind of sad that neither can show humility at this stage in their lives; but we’ll talk Murphy specifically and here’s where the controversy comes into play. Norm Macdonald’s twitter account went crazy Thursday morning with a full blow by blow story as to how some sketches came to be before the live show. Apparently, Murphy was supposed to play Bill Cosby in the Jeopardy sketch during the taped Daily Double. Well, Murphy’s excuse, via Macdonald’s twitter acct was, ‘I can’t kick a man when he’s down,’ referring to Cosby. Well that would normally be commendable; however, Murphy’s 20 second appearance was lackluster at best. In fact, Chris Rock’s introduction, and buildup of Murphy, was about 6 minutes longer than Murphy’s appearance. Murphy said the same quote almost identically 2x (once on stage, and once during the red carpet show beforehand) ‘the stage is SO small, this is like going back to high school.’ Eddie, are you too big of a deal to show us some humor? We wanted the 20 yr old “Delirious” Eddie Murphy, not the 50 yr old Eddie from “Daddy Daycare.” I feel like Norm was trying to cover for Eddie, as I’m sure like many comedians, he holds Murphy in a high regard, but with Murphy talking how ‘small’ everything is, I just feel like Eddie Murphy thought he was above this event, maybe he’ll change his mind in 10 years for SNL@50?

All in all, this was probably the best 3.5 hour block of television ever in the history of man. So many comedy, Hollywood, music, and Sports stars, it was a non stop cavalcade of hilarity. The worst part about the show was that it was live DURING the NBA All Star Game, in the same city no less. There were breakouts and duds, great writing that spanned basically 3 generations, and surprises all night. If you chose this show over the All Star Game, or you DVR’d SNL to watch later, you were rewarded with some of the best TV has to offer, and I for one, can not wait for SNL@50.

Laker Nation 5 Letters: R-E-L-A-X

Kobe Bryant
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Kobe may be done for the year (or most of it), but that doesn’t mean that he’s done for good. There are MANY reasons as to why I think he will be back; Kobe has a drive that separates him from other NBA’ers, which is why so many players hate playing with him. He pushes other players to play up to his standards, and generally that pushes them away, but it’s that same drive, and desire to do better, which is why I think Kobe will return for another campaign with the Lakers in the ’15-’16 year.

The Lakers, with or without Kobe this year, were going to have a very bad record. I don’t know if that was exactly the plan in the front office, but it seems to be the plan now, total rebuild mode. With the bad record, comes a high draft pick, and for the first time in many years, the draft is pretty full of good players. The Lakers could get significantly better from a top ten pickup to pair with Kobe, maybe use a later round pick or two for depth, and add a few free agents to fill out the starting lineup and bench, and Kobe could have a playoff team to lead. The Lakers should have a ton of cap space at years end to bring in at lease 1 really good free agent, and a couple others to add depth to the rotation.

Kobe is #3 in NBA history in points, he just surpassed MJ this year, and I don’t think he will stop without being #1. Back to Kobe’s competitive drive again for this one; It’s either a 6th career ring, or #1 in points, whatever comes first, that will be the end to Kobe’s career, he won’t let an injury end it. It’s just how Kobe operates; he does things his way, for reasons we don’t understand. He’s the Frank Sinatra of the NBA in his mind. He will always have something to prove to fans and the history books, I guess constantly being compared to players your whole career, past or present, will do that to someone. He’s like the whiny middle child, who needs approval and coddling constantly for achievements. Maybe that’s why Phil Jackson left/retired? Another reason Kobe won’t hit the golf links and call it a career now, I really feel that Kobe will get the farewell treatment that Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter got in baseball. A little gift from each team that decides to have a little PR opportunity pregame with the NBA great, probably will end up being an NBA mandate to all teams. This type of sendoff could have some sponsorship dollars to be had for Kobe, and the NBA, so I’d think it’d be something they would want to explore, and Kobe has rarely said no to more money, case in point, his current contract with the Lakers.

I’d be willing to bet anyone, that Kobe is back for the Lakers next year. I’m sure he will be under a minutes limit/restriction of some kind, but he’ll be back. I also would be willing to guess that his surrounding cast will be significantly better than this year’s team thus far. I’m not going to speculate which free agent, or who the Lakers will draft, but I KNOW the Lakers GM and front office will definitely give their aging star a better team to work with in the ’15-‘16 year. The window is closing for Kobe to get his 6th with the Lakeshow, the Lakers will do anything to make that a possibility for Kobe, as he probably would’ve already retired and held a press conference if he thought he would play with the same caliber of team next year, as he had this year. I guess we will have to wait and see what the rehab process has in store for the Black Mamba.

Ralph Lauren Has No Contemporary

When I’m out shopping; whether its thrift stores or department/discount department stores, I’m mainly looking for Ralph Lauren designed brands. There are many reasons as to why, but mainly because Polo by Ralph Lauren is just one of those brands that stand the test of time. Designs from the 80s/90s from either the Polo or Polo Sport lines are still coveted today, and actually highly sought after depending on the piece.

Vintage Ralph Lauren Polo Clothing

Vintage Polo is wanted a bit more than similar brands like Tommy or Nautica, by today’s collectors. In my opinion, it’s because Ralph Lauren uses patterns and design concepts that fit whatever style you tend to rock. Whether it’s the preppy get up, utilitarian style, sweat suit, basic jeans and t shirt, or full on office approved attire; Ralph (Lauren) has always had your back, and probably was ON your back.

The materials and patterns used for many designs by Ralph Lauren are the main reasons why we CAN find a vintage knit sweater or 20 year old t shirt in great condition today. Cotton and poly/acrylic blends are the mainstay materials of Ralph Lauren’s designs, and have been; durable materials make for stay power in terms of condition, especially of an older piece. Sure, previous owner care has a lot to do with the condition of a vintage item, but I feel that good quality workmanship and materials help to keep the pieces intact, thus providing a chance for an item to be appreciated by a second owner/collector.

I feel true blue “Americana” is style taken from the Northeast historically. The New York/New England area IS where America started as a nation, so style trends that represent that area, and people of the area’s interests (i.e. sports like Polo, Rugby, Golf, tennis, just to name a few) are captured every year in Ralph’s lines. In terms of clothing, Ralph Lauren and Americana are synonymous in my opinion. Use of the American Flag in designs, and the fact that Ralph Lauren has exclusive rights to US Olympic Team uniform production as well as contracts with the US Open, further enforce Ralph Lauren as the MOST prominent of American clothiers and designers.

It all started with a necktie boutique for Ralph Lauren, which has lead to a multi national, billion dollar company. A college dropout living the American dream, by releasing classically American inspired clothing every year; that is then purchased, worn, collected, and appreciated by people across the globe.

Holidays & Sports, ’tis the Season

With Christmas over, and New Years upon us, this really is the best time of the year to be a sports fan. The weather is cold, so why not sip cold beer and watch some live action while wearing a sweat suit on the couch in the comfort of your own home?

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Most casual basketball fans will agree that the meat and potatoes of the NBA schedule starts in earnest on Christmas Day. We get to see who is who in the NBA by this point about 2 months into the season. The playoff picture is still a bit out of reach, but at least we know by now who the contenders are in each respective conference. At almost the same time, NCAA basketball is getting into their conference matchups, and games that actually matter are a weekly occurrence. With all this round ball, have the remote ready.

Hockey has lost some popularity in the U.S. since their lockout and loss of contract with ESPN, but with all of the young stars in the game, and large markets winning Lord Stanley’s Cup recently, I feel resurgence is right around the corner in terms of popularity of the sport, especially in smaller markets. These New Year’s Day Winter Classic games are a stroke of genius as well, playing outdoor games in a baseball stadium is a nice way to try and gain a larger audience, I only wish that the Classic was limited to ONLY “original six” teams to participate in, either way, once the holidays are over, the season is about half over, and playoff spots are on the line. Get serious time.

Baseball hot stove is always a fun and exciting time for baseball fans and winter meetings just ended with only about a month and a half left before pitchers/catchers report to spring training. A lot of teams made some huge moves this offseason, I’m not going to play favorites yet, but eventually I will do a top to bottom division by division preseason comparison and preview once rosters are more settled.

Of course, with all the bowl games on TV, it’s clearly bowl season for NCAA Football. The first ever College Football Playoff is about to happen on New Year’s Day, and if that isn’t enough excitement for you, the NFL playoff picture is now finally solidified, and Wild Card games begin next weekend, check back towards the end of the week for our NFL playoff picks to click.

What if? Retraction Vs Expansion in American Pro Sports

professional sports logos

I was drinking some IPAs the other night, for a blog review…yeah…anyway, and I had a thought, “What if we removed 2-4 teams from every American major professional sport? Think about it, revenue sharing between the league and teams would go up as they absorb the other teams share, and also, payroll would go up, so your favorite team can sign that needed player or two in free agency, or keep that superstar with a long term deal.

Every league could stand to lose a couple teams, a lot of reasons stand out from attendance, to bad stadium situations, or maybe just poor location because the degeneration of a city that was once more economically sound. The NHL would probably benefit from this the most, they’ve had numerous teams move and change names because of bad markets/lack of fans during 90s era expansion. Realistically, does there REALLY need to be two teams in Florida? Two New York teams (3 if you include NJ I, in the New York greater metro area)? Two LA teams (Kings/Ducks)? I’d say you could move any of the above teams to a Canadian city lacking a NHL team, and it’d be a greater success, then simply fold 2 other teams of the above. I mean the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg and became the Jets (again) so there is definitely some history here.

The NFL, well, I’m just going to say a couple teams need to move. The most profitable league in the US really doesn’t need my opinion, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it type of thing. But, there has to be better markets out there for a team like the Jaguars, Rams, or even the Bills of Buffalo.

In the MLB, just think if they squashed the Rays, Marlins, Astros, and Brewers, hypothetically. There could be an awesome free agent signing season, their revenue sharing would be divided up between the remaining teams, and the farm systems of these teams could be redrafted by the other MLB clubs, bolstering their own farm systems making for more active trade deadline deals. Your favorite team would be able to afford 2-3 more stars, and definitely afford to have a deeper and more talented bullpen or starting rotation. It just leads to better competition all around the league with every game and at bat.

As far as the NBA is concerned, a move for Sacramento seems imminent, but they need to go to Seattle or Vegas. One of the Texas and California teams could definitely go away though, and that would make for heartier rotations around the league. Like baseball, this would provide more depth in the NBA-D League, to stash talent in case of injury. Again, revenue sharing goes up for remaining teams, and your team maybe is able to add one more max contract player. Better competition, less market saturation, and more fun for the fans in general.

This is clearly a hypothetical scenario, but how much fun would it be to watch it all go down? All the free agent signings, redrafts, more robust payrolls, deeper benches and minor/developmental leagues, to me, in the current economy, it just makes sense.

-Mr_Sneakerjunkie