It’s Unfair that Athletes Compete on Dancing With the Stars

Photo: Parade

Tonight’s the night, folks. The hit show Dancing With the Stars returns at 7PM CST on ABC. The dancing competition that takes mostly C to D-list celebrities, stuffs them into dresses and leotards, and parades them out for our entertainment will get its 29th season underway with a slew of entertainers, singers, and most importantly, athletes.

DWTS has a long history of having athletes on the show, and they’ve been extremely successful. Starting in Season One with Evander Holyfield and this season with Vernon Davis, Charles Oakley, and Johnny Weir, sports stars have had their time to shine on the dance floor. The show even had an “Athletes Only” edition during the 26th season of the show.

Plenty of Mirrorball Trophy winners in the athletic field, so let’s look back at the storied history of this television franchise.

Emmitt Smith, Season 3

Photo: The Blade

The former Dallas Cowboys running back took home the Mirrorball trophy against a stacked field of Jerry Springer, Mario Lopez, and Joey Lawrence. Tucker Carlson was the first dancer eliminated.

Apolo Anton Ohno, Season 4

Photo: USA Today

I feel like Apolo Anton Ohno was on my Wheaties boxes annually during my formative years. He won Season Four against the likes of Billy Ray Cyrus, Joey Fatone, and Clyde Drexler.

Hélío Castroneves, Season 5

Photo: chelsiehightowerdance.com

One of Indy Cars Series’ best, Hélío Castroneves took the checkered flag in Season Five. Other competitors in Hélío’s season were Wayne Newton, Mark Cuban, and Marie Osmond.

Kristi Yamaguchi, Season 6

Yamaguchi completed the fourth straight season of an athlete winning DWTS when she was victorious in Season Six. The Olympic figure skater beat out a star studded cast that included Penn Jillette, Steve Guttenberg, and Adam Corolla.

Shawn Johnson, Season 8

Photo: ESPN

One of the many Olympic heroes to grace our list, Shawn Johnson tumbled and flipped her way to victory in Season Eight. Johnson took the crown over Denise Richards, Steve O, and Lil Kim. Johnson also finished in second place during the Season 15 “All-Stars” competition.

Hines Ward, Season 12

Photo: LA Times

Two years after winning his second Super Bowl in 2009, Ward took home some more hardware in Season 12. Hines held off the likes of Wendy Williams, Ralph Macchio, and Kirstie Alley.

Donald Driver, Season 14

Photo: OnMilwaukee

Donald Driver took home the Mirrorball Trophy in season 14 against fellow dancers Gavin DeGraw, Jaleel White, and Maria Menounos.

Laurie Hernandez, Season 23

Photo: Teen Vogue

Another Olympic athlete, another DWTS winner. Laurie Hernandez took the top spot in Season 23 while fighting off tough competition from Rick Perry, Vanilla Ice, and Amber Rose.

Rashad Jennings, Season 24

Photo: Glamour

Rashad Jennings may have ended up a better dancer than running back. He won Season 24 against Chris Kattan, Charo, and Mr. T, amongst other high-powered celebrities.

Adam Rippon, Season 26 “Athletes” Season

Photo: TV Guide

This one might be the most impressive of them all. Adam Rippon Season 24, which was all athletes. His win marked the 10th win for athletes out of 24 seasons at the time. The Season 24 field consisted of, amongst others, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jennie Finch, and Josh Norman.

Plenty of Dancing With the Stars seasons, plenty of athletes taking home Mirrorball Trophies. For a competition in which hundreds of participants have vied for the top spot, former players and Olympians have reigned supreme approximately 36% of the time. Maybe the executives over at ABC should consider a non-athlete season due to the sheer dominance we’ve seen every the lifespan of the show.

Sunday State of Mind: September 7th-September 13th

Photo: Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

Football. Is. Back. Enjoy this week’s SSM dedicated solely to the NFL’s return.

Texans and Chiefs, Thursday night
Football is back, no need to fright
Patrick Mahomes picked up right where he left off
So happy to see the NFL kickoff

Bears and Lions, Matt and Mitch
Football’s back, our scratch is itched
Three fourth quarter Trubisky touchdowns
Bears fans quickly changed to smiles from frowns

Seahawks and Falcons, offensive show
Both teams came out and let us know
Both teams are fine wines, and popped their corks
Russell Wilson won it, and is still a dork

Jets and Bills, breaking news
Jets fans better start chugging their booze
Brand new season, but same results
Unfortunate roster, full of football dolts

Packers and Vikings, guess who’s back
Aaron Rodgers came on in a full blown attack
Dalvin Cook, first game after signing a new deal
Low scrimmage yards but two scores, guy’s the real deal

Dolphins and Patriots, no more TB12
But Cam Newton’s talents, did New England delve 
Fins didn’t look great, have to knock off some grime
Sooner rather than later, it will be Tua time

Eagles and Washington, the football team
Philly started out hot, it seemed like a dream
But Washington came back and got the win
Eagles not made of metal, seem more like tin

Raiders and Panthers, down in Charlotte
High scoring game, offenses moving a bit
Raiders got a tough win on the road
Three tuddys for Josh Jacobs, guy was ready to explode

Colts and Jags, AFC South
Jacksonville came out and hit the Colts in the mouth
Only one incompletion for Gardner Minshew
Tough L for Phil Rivers, his first game in Colts blue

Browns and Ravens, the MVP Lamar
Looks like he’ll take Baltimore, again pretty far
Baltimore said let’s go out and wreck ‘em
The end of a shitty week for Odell Beckham

Chargers and Bengals, Joe Burrow time
First over all pick, he looked just fine
Chargers won though, lead by Tyrod Taylor
Plenty of future Burrow wins, guy’s not a failure

Cardinals and 49ers, battle in the Bay
DeAndre Hopkins came to play
Fourteen catches, 150+ yards
Great week one road win for the Arizona Cards

Buccaneers and Saints, Brady and Brees
Two future Hall of Famers, yes please
The Saints won at home this time around
Tom and Drew, round two, week eight, how’s that sound?

Cowboys and Rams on Sunday night 
The end of a great Sunday, it just felt right
New stadium for LA and they started with a win
No more Sundays without football, it felt like a sin

Steelers and Giants, Titans and Broncos
Two games on Monday night, anything goes
These games haven’t happened yet, so here’s a preview
There’s nothing better, than a NFL season anew

Hot Take: Patrick Mahomes is Good at Football

In today’s “embrace debate” culture we live in, there’s hardly anything we can all universally agree on. One of those few things is this: Patrick Mahomes is good at football. Can we agree?

In his first two seasons in the NFL, he’s racked up an regular season MVP and and a Super Bowl win (while also being the Super Bowl MVP). He parlayed that into a nice little contract for half a billion dollars. Not too bad for a 24 year old.

Let’s look at the numbers from Mahomes two full seasons at Texas Tech (per Sports Reference):

Now, let’s check out his first two years as the starting QB for the Chiefs (per Sports Reference):

So, we’re looking at 163 touchdowns, 47 interceptions, and over 20,664 yards in the previous FOUR seasons. For all of you math majors out there, this is what we’re looking at average-wise for Patty Mahomes:

TD: 41
INT: 12
YDs: 5,166

Final chart here, let’s get an idea of the average season for an NFL quarterback the past 10 years (per Pro Football Reference):

You’re reading that right, Patrick Mahomes’ average season the past four season is 15 touchdowns, 1 INT, and 1265 yards better than the highest (by average) NFL season in the past 10 years. Simply mind blowing.

Therefore, with all of the aformentioned research and analytics; we are here to say…Patrick Mahomes is good at football.

A Tuesday News Dump on Odell Beckham Jr.

Odell Beckham Jr. had a terrible, and if true, incredibly personal story leaked about him today.

I am disgusted. So disgusted, I can’t even muster up a response.

This story stinks. For someone to push something out there so vile is something I do not want to see. Some people have this man ranked as high as the number two wide receiver in the NFL, and he gets this treatment? It’s totally asinine.

One of the best Browns has had a log dropped on him out of nowhere, and if I were him, I would be quite grumpy. With the season kicking off this weekend, I’m sure OBJ is just trying to pinch off any distractions; and here comes these wild allegations, putting a total skid to any focus he had going on a tough Ravens defense that he’ll be feeling pressure from this weekend. All of this shit-stirring blew up simply because someone got diarrhea of the mouth on a podcast.

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Odell. You do not deserve this shitty treatment, my friend. I hope you throw a deuce to all of this off field crap, grab a seat, take a deep breath and squeeze this season for all it’s worth. If OBJ can do that, I have no doubt that we will all be witnesses to this man taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.

Sunday State of Mind: August 31st-September 6th

Photo: Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Enjoy this holiday weekend SSM.

The sometimes awful world of social media
This week gained a baseball encyclopedia
That’s right folks, the GOAT, Vin Scully has decided to join
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, excited for Vin to get going

Deshaun Watson, Texans quarterback, got his big contract extension
Four years, $160 million, no need for any pension
Watson’s not only a good quarterback, but a good man
This, this, and this, consider me a fan

This weekend we had a small dose of college football
Admittedly weak slate, biggest team playing was Marshall
Still good to see some shoulder pads popping
Hopefully the college football season won’t be stopping

The Aughts Hot or Not – Missy Elliott “Get Ur Freak On”

We are back to appreciate some more 2000’s music! Today, we’re diving into the 2001 mega-banger “Get Ur Freak On” by the one and only Missy Elliott.

Photo: Pinterest

This song still slaps to this day. You can’t sit there and tell me when that indistinguishable *duh duhduhduhDUHduh* comes on, you don’t start to bob your head like you’re in the music video with Ms. Demeanor. Such a smooth beat, and, as always, Missy kills it with the lyrics. This was one of my favorite songs back when it came out, and still is one of my favorite songs of the aughts today.

Music Video

At the outset of the video, Missy gives us a warning of what we’re about to witness, when she simply says “headbanger.” From here, we know we’re in for a wild ride. We’re basically set here in a sewer/underground world throughout the video, with wildly painted/costumed inhabitants (freaks, if you will) of the strange and vivid world Missy is spending this four or so minutes in.

We get some classic early 2000’s CGI around the 1:18 mark, when Ms. Demeanor’s neck wildly and unnaturally extends while asking “is that cho chick?!” The video was also chalked-full of early aughts hip hop royalty cameos: Ja Rule, Timbaland, Ludacris, Eve, LL Cool J, Nate Dawg, and Busta Rhymes.

Best Lyric

Ain’t no stoppin’ me, copy written so don’t copy me
Y’all do it sloppily and y’all can’t come close to me

Missy just throwing the gauntlet down here, as only she could. The lyrics really were the truth too. She was/has been so much different than other artists. She has seemingly done things her own way and carved out her own path; lyrically, stylistically, however you want to look at it. These few lines really drive that point home.

Worst Lyric

Quiet! (Shhh) Hush your mouth, silence when I spit it out
(Hah-choo!) In your face, open your mouth, give you a taste

This is just foul. Count me 100% out here. I didn’t want to bring light to it above, but the visuals during this lyric in the music video is also pretty graphic. I know the onus is on the lyricists to paint a picture with their words but…c’mon Missy, a little strong here.

Rating

Missy killed it with this one back in 2001. In my non-expert opinion, she is still killing it with this one in 2020. Silky rhythm, lyrics flow really well, and a music video, while an interesting concept, paired well with both. Count this one as a winner, folks.

Rating: 7 Carson Daly’s

Photo: USA Today

Sunday State of Mind: August 24th-August 30th

Photo: Photo by Kunal Shinde on Unsplash

Happy Sunday evening, all. Please enjoy this late night version of SSM.

Boycotts and protests, all over sports
NBA, MLB, NHL, demonstrations of all sorts
Athletes taking a social lead
No way you haven’t seen it, all over social media feeds

Alex Smith, the comeback is here
Did a full team practice, in half-padded gear
Any good news for the Washington Football Team
The owner, Dan Snyder, a piece of shit it seems

The MLB hot stove is totally back!
Baseball trades are here, good players and hacks
Jose Martinez, Mitch Moreland, and Tommy La Stella
All have new homes, big moves for these fellas

The NBA Playoffs are moving along
Celtics took it to the Raptors, beat them like a gong
The Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks, have all advanced
The quality of remaining teams has highly enhanced

Best NBA Dunk Contest Dunks

The NBA does their All-Star festivities better than any of the other big four sports. The rookie-sophomore game, three point contest, and dunk contest allow some of the best athletes we have to showcase their skills in unimaginable ways. We have seen some insane things over the years in the dunk contest. Why don’t we relive some of the greatness?

5. Dee Brown, “The No Look,” 1991

Video: Youtube

You know what makes dunking harder? Not being able to see. Dee went ahead and covered his eyes with the right, and threw it down with the left. Brown stood shorter than your average dunker at 6’1, making this dunk even more impressive.

4. Spud Webb, “The 360,” 1986

Video: Youtube

Spud Webb really did it for all of us short kings out there. Standing at the seemingly-undunkable height of 5’7, Spud couldn’t even palm a basketball. The athleticism to not only be able to dunk, but throw a 360 degree turn on top of it doesn’t even make sense.

3. Gerald Green, “The Cupcake,” 2008

Video: Youtube

This is by far the least athletic dunk on our list. However, it may be the most creative. Gerald Green brought a cupcake out, threw down a dunk, and simaltaneously blew the lit candle out mid-air. This dunk didn’t get points for freak athletic ability, but for thinking outside the (cupcake) box.

2. Aaron Gordon, “The Mascot,” 2016

Video: Youtube

My goodness. Aaron Gordon has always been a better dunker than a basketball player, so he clearly shined here. It seemed so effortless. Quick grab from the mascot, nice scoop under the legs, and a clean cut flush through the hoop. All while floating approximately seven feet in the air.

1. Vince Carter “It’s Ova,” 2000

Video: Youtube

This still gives me goosebumps. Vince Carter is the GOAT dunker, and there is no debate. This dunk itself, everything considered, is why it ends up at the top of our list. The visuals were so smooth, through the legs, flush, double point, and the cut throat statement afterwards: “it’s ova.” So simple, and so true. Long live Vinsanity.

The dunk contest has taken a hit over the last few years due to lack of creativity. I unfortunately tend to agree; how many different ways can one throw a ball into a hoop? Every once and a while though, we’ll see something that we haven’t seen before, which keeps me coming back every year.

Sunday State of Mind: August 17th-August 23rd

Photo: Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Happy Sunday, all. Please enjoy this week’s SSM…

Earl Thomas, in trouble a bunch
Sketchy activity with his brother, now a teammate punch
The Baltimore Ravens lost their defensive toy
Don’t be surprised if Earl is the next Dallas Cowboy

One of my new favorite teams, the San Diego Padres
They’ve hit five grand slams in the last six days
Hosmer, Machado, Fernando Tatis
Pitchers serving it up, and the Padres feast

No more Brooks Kopeka in 2020
The 2019 patella injury, still bugging him plenty
This week he withdrew from the Northern Trust
Ending his season, a total bust

This is a stanza I don’t want to write
The White Sox have taken it to the Cubs the last two nights
Jose Abreu is on an absolute tear
Sox beating up on the Cubs, a sight too sad to bare

Internet Holidays are Dumb

Photo: Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

The internet is a great thing. The internet is also a terrible thing. It has brought humankind closer together than ever imagined. It has also caused extreme hate to be spewed, and terrible things said that no reasonable person would ever say to another face to face.

One of the worst parts about the internet has been the surge of strange “holidays.” In the last couple of decades or so, we have been given the most random, worthless holidays seemingly out of nowhere. Where did all of these days come from? Who’s in charge? When does it end?

Not being a fan of random internet holidays, as well as being as masochist, I decided to do some research on a few.

Selfie Day – June 21

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, our parents have embarassingly done it. Selfies are the worst. Picture (pun intended) a world without selfies. No duck lips, no obnoxious filters that make us all look like 10’s, nothing. Instagram is flooded with incredible pictures of nature, sports, and technology. Life is great.

Well, dream’s over. The selfie is still here, and apparently we need Selfie Day to celebrate. An “art form” that is posted millions of times per hour on social media, needs to have a holiday solely dedicated to it. Seems logical.

The idea of posting your self-serving, attention-seeking face isn’t enough, so let’s assign an entire day of the calendar to celebrating the most overused social media play since unironically throwing #blessed in your Instagram caption. Please.

Caps Lock Day – June 28 & October 22

Dude, come on. What on God’s green earth would any of us need a “Caps Lock Day” for? There’s enough yelling, accusatory tone, and general aggressiveness on the internet. No one needs even more of a reason to yell in all caps.

Caps Lock Day was created at the beginning of the internet age, October 22, 2000. Some tool named Derek Arnold created the holiday, in part to “make that extra effort to annoy our Internet friends and co-workers and run afoul of case-sensitive passwords.”

Well, mission accomplished Mr. Arnold. The world is enough of a shitty place, and the internet sometimes makes it a lot worse. The last thing we all need is unnecessary caps lock work making everyone already more pissed off than they already are when they get online.

All of this on top of the fact that this holiday is biannual for some reason. I’m out.

Internet Day – October 29

This is it. This might be the one that sends me over the edge. Internet day?! All of us are on the internet 15 hours a day already. Why the hell do we need a specific day dedicated to the internet?

According to timeanddate.com, Internet Day: “encourages people to celebrate the Internet and to acknowledge that it has revolutionized how we communicate, gather knowledge and share information with each other. And yes, also how we waste our time.”

Isn’t our constant obsession and use of the internet enough? Aren’t we already constantly communicating, gathering knowledge, and sharing information? Most importantly, we already waste time on the internet every. single. day. We don’t need a specific day to recognize that.

The internet holiday phase needs to end. There has to be a holiday for everything at this point. Why don’t we just designate a random day “Day Day?” Any day will do, it’s just a day to celebrate days. How about Untimed Down Sports Day? Actually, not a bad idea.