Category Archives: Current Events

Toys R Us Closing is Absolutely Heartbreaking

I woke up to this tweet today and was devastated. Yeah, I’ve known about Toys R Us closing, and obviously it’s no secret that toy stores/retail stores in general have been in trouble for years now thanks to online shopping, namely Amazon. But to see this picture just kind of puts it in perspective. My childhood may be over, but no kid is gonna get to experience Toys R Us ever again.

Honestly nothing compares to the feeling when your parents finally gave into your weeks of constant begging and brought you to the toy store to pick something out, or going through the catalogs ahead of Christmas or your birthday to pick out what you want. I’ll never get to watch my kids experience that and that really kinda sucks.

In general, technology has almost kind of ruined how kids entertain themselves anyway. Don’t get me wrong, video games/computer games were definitely a big part of my generation’s childhood. You could pretty much consider my PlayStation 2 my first girlfriend (don’t worry I didn’t try and have sex with it), but there were still plenty of other ways we entertained ourselves. Hot Wheels, Tonka Trucks, Slip n Slides, the whole nine yards. And do NOT even get me started on Playmobil, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you did your childhood all wrong.

Almost every day life gives you a “wow you’re getting kinda old” moment, but some of them hit harder than others. And this morning, Geoffrey the giraffe broke my heart. RIP in Peace to Toys R Us, the realest toy store to ever do it.

You’ve Heard of the Steroid Era…But We Are About to Enter the Weed Era

A few weeks ago, Cleveland Browns WR Josh Gordon revealed to ESPN that he smoked or drank before every single game he played in the NFL…and still led the league in receiving in 2013. However he managed to do that, whether the alcohol/weed cooled his nerves or made him feel like he was on top of the world, it’s an incredible feat.

Today, Stephen Jackson, a former 20 PPG journeyman in the NBA, revealed to Bleacher Report he smoked his entire career.

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A lot of high points during Jackson’s career.

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First things first, let’s not overreact to how good of a career Stephen Jackson had. He was good, probably never achieved over an 84 rating in 2K. He averaged 15.1 PPG for his career and never eclipsed more than 21 PPG. Good, but relax on the “Hell of a career” statement. Save that for the Hall of Famers, please.

Secondly, I think we are about to enter a whole new era of sports. Obviously, the 90s brought us the Steroid Era in baseball, which drizzled it’s way down into other sports over time. It was iconic, to say the least. It’s cheating, and it was entirely wrong, but Barry Bonds hit 73 HR in one season while batting .328…that is inhumane and absolutely incredible to watch. Bonds was hitting home runs with broken bats, and baseball reached a peak it had never known before.

But now, we are in the WEED ERA. Everybody and their brother is going to start revealing they smoked, drank, or did some other crazy shit before going out onto a field and being professional athletes.

Personally, I cannot wait until this happens. We’re gonna see things like Hines Ward smoked a blunt during halftime of Super Bowl XLIII, or Kershaw crushes Four Loko’s before every start. The Steroid Era took away from the accomplishments of athletes who used them, but the Weed Era is going to make your mouth drop at what some athletes accomplish while baked or drunk, further adding to their legacies.

A plethora of athletes are going to come forward, more likely when weed is entirely legal in more states so they avoid getting in trouble. Jackson could come out because he is retired and cannot exactly get in trouble with the league. Gordon came out because it was no secret and already got banned 7,000 times. Remember Michael Phelps? The guy smoked and got caught, but in case you haven’t heard, he was still an unreal athlete. The more people that get associated with this aspect of athletics, the more acceptable it will be, and the more people will continue to come out and say they followed the Josh Gordon Method. Not necessarily a good thing for sports nor the integrity of its players, but I believe it’s a trend that is about to hit this world hard.

Essentially, weed is going to be the backbone of athletics in like six years. Stay tuned.

Schiano is Getting a Raw Deal

Hell must be freezing over if I am writing an article about college football.  Over the years, I gradually realized that I could not spend all day Saturday and all day Sunday watching football, so the NFL and Sundays won out.  I was last “into” college football in 2006-7, when Rutgers football peaked.  Obviously, Rutgers University is currently at its peak, now that it can lay claim to “BTB” editor, Nick Costanzo.  However, the football peak predates Nick by nearly a decade.

In 2006, Rutgers rose from the ashes of years and years of terrible football to become a quality program.  The Scarlet Knights had a legendary win over #3-ranked Louisville in November 2006 (the “Pandemonium in Piscataway” game).  Later, in December, Rutgers actually had the opportunity to win the Big East and advance to a big-time bowl game.  All it would have taken was a win over West Virginia, but Rutgers lost a heartbreaker in double overtime.  The Scarlet Knights were then forced to settle for a berth in the Texas Bowl, where they easily dispatched of Kansas State.

Image result for 2006 rutgers
Photo courtesy of Bleacher Report

Why am I randomly bringing up Rutgers football today?  It is because the program’s coach during that “peak” was Greg Schiano.  Truthfully, I did not think he was a great in-game coach, but he was a strong recruiter.  Plus, it seems like players played hard for him.  Either way, the proof was in the pudding.  Rutgers has been terrible at football during most of my existence, but the program managed to have a few good seasons with Schiano at the helm.

Of course, Greg Schiano has now been a huge story this week – maybe not as big a story as Matt Lauer or Eli Manning, but still huge.  Schiano was set to be hired as head coach at University of Tennessee until a bunch of people in Tennessee protested the hiring.  The rationale for the protest was that these individuals believe Schiano was part of the Jerry Sandusky cover-up at Penn State.  I think that is silly logic and that Schiano is getting a raw deal.  I will explain.

In the early 1990s, Greg Schiano was a low-level assistant coach at Penn State.  During the hearings for Jerry Sandusky, Mike McQueary (a Penn State assistant coach in the early 1990s) testified that another assistant coach said, “Greg had come into his office white as a ghost and said he just saw Jerry doing something to a boy in the shower”.

That sure does not sound like “covering up” to me.  That sounds like someone seeing a horrible act and reporting it.  Given that, why are people flipping out in Tennessee?  It is because some people have lost all sense of degree.  It seems to me that people are equating Joe Paterno’s actions or lack thereof with Schiano’s, and that is patently unfair.

I assume that the protesters feel Schiano should have done more than tell another assistant what he had seen.  The protesters probably feel that he should have screamed from the mountaintops that he had seen a horrific crime and that Sandusky should be locked up in jail.  However, I find this to be an unreasonable expectation for a low-level assistant coach.  In any profession, low-level employees do not want to make big stinks out of things.  If a low-level employee has integrity, he/she will report a heinous incident to somebody “higher up”, and that is precisely what Schiano allegedly did.  Schiano allegedly DID report what he saw.  It is just that the people above him chose to cover it up.   That is on the people above Schiano, not on Schiano himself.

Greg Schiano was not in a position of power; it was not his job to see Sandusky brought to justice.  That job belonged to head coach Joe Paterno, school president Graham Spanier, and those in law enforcement.  Joe Paterno essentially “ran” central Pennsylvania in those days.  He was “above” the police and “above” the university.  The fact that he did nothing about Sandusky’s child molestation is criminal.  However, the fact that Greg Schiano – who was at the bottom of the coaching ranks – “only” reported the abuse to another assistant coach is not criminal.  Blame the head coach, blame the school president, and obviously blame Sandusky himself…but do not blame Schiano.  Furthermore, Schiano has claimed in recent years that he did not actually see any abuse, so take that for what it is worth.  That said, Schiano has not been found guilty in court of any crime.  He should be Tennessee’s coach.

 

PS: Since Eli Manning is a big story this week, I will weave Eli and Schiano with this nugget: I am a big Giants fan, but it never bothered me that then-Bucs-coach Greg Schiano had his defense rush Eli Manning on a 2012 “victory formation” kneel-down.  I had seen that done many times previously, and I do not really know why people freaked out so much about Schiano doing it.  “Keep chopping, Greg.”