Landon Collins’ Charity Softball Game Was A Hit

 

Thanks to the services of Joe Ruback (AKA License Plate Guy), Landon Collins, Brandon Jacobs and many other New York Giants, the first annual Landon Collins Celebrity Softball Game was a huge success. The proceeds from the event went to the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, a charity run by the coach that helps families (financially, emotionally, and practically) who have children with cancer.

Because of all the support and ticket sales, the game raised $30,000 for the Jay Fund.

The event also featured a dodge-ball tournament and a home run derby (which was dominated by safety Andrew Adams after hitting 16 home runs) along with the actual softball game. The current New York Giants roster was matched up against the 2007 and 2011 Super Bowl Champion Rosters.

 

The rosters were jam-packed with Giants legends such as Mario Manningham, Chris Snee and Plaxico Burress, along with current New York stars Damon “Snacks” Harrison, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Jason Pierre-Paul.

I was lucky enough to be there for the event (helping shoot video with SharkBite Productions) and got a chance to be around the enviroment of the fans and the players. Many viewers noticed that the event was “more structured” than charity softball games attempted in years prior.

Even Eli got in on the action.

The players were everything you’d expect. Zak DeOssie, JPP and Corey Webster were atop the list of humorous players, while Eli and Landon were very layed-back. Seriously, like 30,000 people asked them for a picture and they posed for everyone, along with signing a copious amount of autographs for fans.

It was a good time, for a good cause, with some good people.

Don’t Tell Me That Pick-Up Games Don’t Matter

The 2011 movie Moneyball delivered to us not only another great movie with fat Jonah Hill, but also a rather memorable quote: “We’re all told at some point in time that we can no longer play the children’s game, we just don’t…we don’t know when that’s gonna be. Some of us are told at eighteen, some of us are told at forty, but we’re all told.”

And while this article isn’t specifically about baseball, the quote still speaks volume. For most of the world, the games that mean something decrease with age once we’re told our competitive careers are over, and the trips to the blacktop or the turf or the backyard, playing pick-up with the boys, feel like the most important days of our lives.

Sure, from the outside, does it look a little weird to try really, really hard in a game to 11 where the winner receives literally nothing? Yeah, I won’t deny it.  But on the inside? You’re dialed in.  You’re throwing up shots left and right trying to fix your shot for the major comeback that’s never happening. You’re trying to look off the make-believe safety and throw a Dilfer Dime into the back of that endzone come hell or high water. And damn’t…you should be proud.

I think everybody remembers Hurricane Doug (a living legend) from that really funny Taco Bell commercial.  Hurricane Doug is you, he is me…he is us.

Besides his decision of eating Taco Bell right before an intense pick-up game, which is within the top five worst ideas in civilization’s history, Doug should be idolized.  That confidence he brings into an irrelevant game of basketball is great, and is what makes it fun.

These games give us a chance to fill Kobe’s shoes, or run like Randy Moss, and even on those rare occasions you get a good wiffleball game going, hit the shit out of the ball like Griffey.

My point being that being the try-hard of the friend group isn’t a bad thing, all it does is it makes the game that doesn’t “matter” feel like it does.  And for all the kids out there that stopped playing sports after high school, that matters.

The games we play may not mean anything anymore, but they still matter.  Keep going hard.

Except you, Brett Favre. Give it up already.

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Playing pick-up football in jeans is an absolute joke.  That’s what 20 years of football and 300 concussions gets a man.

 

Yankees/Red Sox Series Preview

Mood:

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Yankees/Red Sox is starting to look like an actual rivalry again, and it has me feeling like a little kid on Christmas. It’s the best rivalry in baseball, one of the best in sports, and the one that was a highlight of my childhood. It hasn’t been much of a rivalry at all the past five years or so, with at least one of the two teams seemingly having somewhat of a down year. But now, we’re looking at the top two teams in the AL East, both with cores of young stars looking to take the league by storm.

In the first two games these teams played this year, the Yankees won both at Fenway behind strong outings from Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino. They held the Sox to a combined one run and seven hits over 18 innings. While Severino has looked like an ace all year, the guy who is actually supposed to be the Yankees’ ace, Tanaka, has looked like anything but that. The guy has an ERA north of 6, and has given up 11 homers in his last 31 innings pitched. He takes the ball tonight against Drew Pomeranz. If Tanaka could have a strong start tonight and pick up the W, it would be a HUGE confidence boost for not only him, but his teammates as well. If the Yanks want to make a legitimate postseason push this year, Tanaka needs to be more like the guy we saw throw a shutout at Fenway instead of the one who got tagged for three homers and six runs in the first inning on Derek Jeter night.

As for the rest of the series, we’ll see CC Sabathia take on reigning AL Cy Young award winner Rick Porcello Wednesday, and Michael Pineda take on David Price in the series finale Thursday. I’m really excited to see how the Yankees fare in this series. These young guys (Judge, Sanchez, Hicks) haven’t battled for a division title yet, and even though it’s only June 6, every game counts against the Red Sox. The Red Sox have an impressive young core too, with the likes of Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and Mookie Betts, so I’m interested to see how they handle a game like this as well.

Speaking of Betts, ESPN would not shut up about how the handle of his bat is shaped different during the last series, and the company that makes his bats didn’t take it too kindly when I complained about it on Twitter.

Like congrats, you have one MLB player using your stupid bats. My baseball days are long gone, but I’d rather walk up to the plate with a tree branch than a freaking Axe Bat. Gotta love Twitter beef though.

We may not be back to the glory days of Jeter diving into the stands, A-Rod fighting Varitek or Manny being Manny, but this could be the first look at a great rivalry for years to come.

 

First pitch in the Bronx at 7:05 tonight, let’s hope Masahiro rises to the challenge.

Throwback to One of the Greatest Videos to Ever Grace the Internet

As a big LeBron fan who also can’t stand Kevin Durant, the first two games of the Finals haven’t exactly been what I was hoping for. So I’m not gonna write about them. Because I don’t know about you guys but if I see one more “Is KD better than LeBron now?”, “Are the Warriors the best team of all time?”, or “Will LeBron leave Cleveland again?” article, I’m gonna lose it like Lamar Odom post-Khloe (Tristan Thompson’s play through the first two games has kept the Kardashian curse alive, by the way.) So let’s throw it back to two of the more lovable NBA players of the past decade, Nick “Swaggy P” Young and Gilbert “Agent Zero” Arenas.

Basically, if you haven’t seen this video, Gilbert shows up to Swaggy P’s house shortly after his breakup with Iggy Azalea and makes himself at home. I don’t wanna spoil anything, so watch and enjoy.

First of all, NoChillGil may be the most fitting Snapchat username of all time. Guy is a straight savage. There are a few snaps in the video that are genuine laugh out loud worthy, but the last one does it for me. “Making room for your IG bitches” is just about as classic of a line as you can get.

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So as far as the best NBA duos go, LeBron and Kyrie or Steph and KD don’t even come close to Gilbert Arenas and Swaggy P. Or Swaggy P and his IG bitches.

Top Five Ugliest Players in the NBA Finals

First off, this list is long overdue. Ugly players come and go, but these players are on the biggest stage in the world right now, and there is no hiding. These are guys playing in front of millions of fans that in reality shouldn’t be allowed in public, let alone a professional court.

5. Channing Frye

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At first glance, he’s not that bad.  Good skin, good facial hair.  Take a second look though. His eyes are all crooked, he’s got elephant ears, and his head is uncomfortably long. He just defines the term “asymmetrical”.

4. Matt Barnes

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One thing about Matt Barnes is his shot is probably uglier than him, but that doesn’t excuse his fish eyes.  Personally, I’m not a fan of tattoo sleeves, but some people pull it off. Matt Barnes…you do not, and Kobe still didn’t flinch.

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3. Draymond Green

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His goatee looks like it was Sharpied on, for starters. His ears look like they start on the back of his neck and his nose pretty much takes up his whole face.  Maybe it’s just this picture because there’s times when I’ve seen not look as miserable, but wow this one is bad.

2. James Jones

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James Jones looks forty years older than he actually is, and his eyebrows can simply be mistaken for wrinkles. There’s also something about the tip of his head that severely pisses me off.  Overall, it just kind of looks like his face is being stretched outward.  Confirmed…ugly.

  1. Zaza Pachulia

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This guy makes the the Hunchback of Notre Dame look like John Stamos.  His face looks like he is suffering from a lifetime allergy attack.  I don’t want to beat a dead horse but Good Grief is this man hideous.

 

 

 

 

 

Kristaps Porzingis Confirms that 2017 is the Summer of Shooters

Being a Knicks fan is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. The best way I could describe it is going to a restaurant and ordering a hamburger, knowing you’ll be satisfied with just a mediocre hamburger. Instead, the chef comes out from the kitchen and beats you repeatedly with his dough roller. This goes on for the length of the NBA season, about six months. However, if there has been one bright spot about being a Knicks fan in the last five years, it’s 7’3 Latvian superhero Kristaps Porzingis.

This guy is a pleasure to watch play, and has become a role model for young Knicks fans everywhere. But that’s not just because of his play on the court. He’s also the man off of it. KP has been living life by the mentality of “Shooters Shoot.” This is not referring to basketball. Basically, “Shooters Shoot” is Porzingis’ version of Wayne Gretzky’s “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” but referring to hitting on girls on Instagram.

Shooters do indeed shoot, and sometimes the shots go in. Look at this exchange KP had with smokeshow Abigail Ratchford earlier this year.

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From 3-point range!! Unfortunately, shooters also sometimes miss shots. If that was a three-pointer, commenting heart eyes on a picture of a girl who has a boyfriend must be a half-court shot. No way he would do that, right? Wrong. Why? Because shooters shoot, baby. This one did not turn out as well for everyone’s favorite neighborhood Latvian, as the girl posted this picture in response..

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The bottom part translates to “Do you sleep peacefully, Kristaps Porzingis?” Ouch. This surely would have thrown him off, right? Wrong.

This guy, man. How can you not love him. If there is one thing we can learn from him, it’s to accept that not every shot will go in. Even Michael Jordan missed a few. But don’t let the missed shots get you down, keep putting them up like you’re LaMelo Ball in a 3-point contest.

Summer 2017 is officially the Summer of Shooters. Is everyone going to have the same level of success as a 21-year old millionaire NBA player? Probably not. But that does not change the fact that shooters shoot.

Shoot Your Shot Memes

Birds Fly High at Citi Field

Well gang, we now are aware that we have a famous reader following BTB… Mr. Met! How do I know that you ask? Well, did you see what happened Wednesday night after a supposed fan told him that I put the Mets AAA mascot on my “honorable mention” list for worst mascots in the Minor Leagues? Have a look:

Well… actually only some of that story is true. Yes, Mr. Met gave a fan the finger, but no it was not because I put the 51’s on my worst mascot list (however they would probably crack the top 5 after this stunt).

This jogged my memory to other mascot incidents sports has encountered in the past. Here are a few videos of some fan favorites:

How about a college example? In this clip the Ohio University Bobcat was supposed to have a fake tussle with the OSU Buckeye. As Ron Burgundy would attest… it escalated quickly internal fight and the Bobcat needed to be escorted off the field by the po-po.

We then move on to the Philly phanatic and Tommy Lasorda going at it. The two never got along, but this was one of their finest moments. Ultimatley, Lasorda got the best of the famous phanatic and taught him who’s boss.

Although planned, there is nothing like a Giant mythical bunny assaulting some of our founding fathers in the traditional President’s Race at Nationals Park. Personally, I think terrorists could be responsible for planting the rabbit but who am I to question.

Finally, in a non-violent example, here is a video of some sort of Rockets mascot (I don’t know what the Rockets mascot actually is and I don’t really care if this is the creature they use or not) scaring the pants off some players including Dwight Howard who answers with a kick in the jimmies.

Getting back on track… in the hours following this incident many have come out and said although Mr. Met’s actions were extremely uncalled for mascots do take a lot from fans. I am sure you can imagine (whether it be you or someone you know) what goes through a drunk fan’s mind when the mascot comes around. In an article by current ESPN Staff Writer and former Mr. Met, AJ Mass, (that’s right… there actually may be a future for the people in those costumes) mascots are known for taking a lot of crap. My favorite explanation from his piece is “I’ve been there. I’ve had beers poured on me. I’ve had drunken fans attack me from behind in an attempt to knock me to the ground. And yes, when the Mets were losing big — which happened quite a bit during my tenure in the suit, from 1994 to 1997 — I was on the receiving end of many four-letter words that weren’t ‘M-E-T-S'”.

In any case, it seems that Mr. Met has had enough of our shit, and he isn’t afraid to let loose anymore. Under that jolly old costume there is was an angry elf. That smile is just a mask for a mascot.