Sunday State of Mind: June 21st-June 27th

Photo: Wall Up

Here we are again, friends. We have reached the end of another week, and we’re here to review in the latest Sunday State of Mind.

Of all the good stories this year, and there are aplenty
My favorite of them all may be Trey Mancini
Fought and beat cancer last year, but missed the entire season
I’ll be watching the Derby this year, and he’s the only reason

Three double digit hitting streaks in the MLB
Bryan from Pittsburgh, JP from Seattle, and from Houston, Yuli
One week pitchers are too good, and getting checked midgame
After that we get three guys who look like their next stop’s the Hall of Fame

Even more destroying of baseballs, the big guy Kyle Schwarber
When he steps into the box, pitcher’s crouch in horror
Thirteen home runs in fifteen games, guy is on a tear
When he’s in the zone like this, it’s almost just unfair

Another no hitter was thrown this week, Dodgers looking like scrubs
After starting Zach Davies and throwing three relievers, got no hit by the Cubs
It’s the seventh no-no in 2021, tying a major league mark
You never know what you’ll see day to day, at the old ballpark

Can’t forget the NBA, Conference Finals in full swing
Bucks and Hawks are tied 1-1, Suns are doing their thing
The Clippers are missing their guy Kawhi, sidelined by a knee
If he doesn’t get back soon, eliminated they will be

We do have one Finals match set, in the NHL
Montreal and Tampa Bay, let the excitement swell
Will Lord Stanley reside up north? Will Tampa Bay repeat?
Looking forward either way for how the season will complete

Who Wore it Best? 59-50

Photo: Dr. Odd

The dog days are over, the dog days are done, and “Who Wore it Best” has returned. In this edition, we’re checking out the GOATs of the 50’s.

59 – London Fletcher

Photo: Pinterest

One of the most underrated players in NFL history. Fletcher racked up 2,031 tackles, four Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring in 16 seasons. He also never missed a game, which is incredible considering the beating an NFL linebacker takes season in and season out.

Honorable Mentions: Luke Kuechly, Carlos Carrasco, Jack Ham

58 – Jack Lambert

This man was MEAN. One of the stalwarts in the Steel Curtain Defense of the 70’s, Lambert racked up pretty much any award that was available. Six time first team All-Pro, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Jonathan Papelbon

57 – Johan Santana

Johan Santana had some nasty stuff. Over his 12 year career, he won 139 games while maintaining a career 3.20 ERA, was a two-time Cy Young winner, and tacked on a Gold Glove in 2007. “No-han” threw an unbelievable 134-pitch no hitter in 2012.

Honorable Mention: Rickey Jackson

56 – Lawrence Taylor

Photo: Seriable

Lawrence Taylor was an absolute DAWG. We’ve gushed over LT in previous blogs, but he’s that good that we’re going to do it again. Two Super Bowls, an MVP, three Defensive Player of the Year awards, and eight first team All-Pros are just a fraction of what Taylor accomplished over his incredible career.

Honorable Mention: Mark Buehrle

55 – Dikembe Mutombo

Dikembe Mutombo was way more than his infamous finger wag; he was a defensive stud. Mutombo lead the NBA in blocks three times and rebounds twice. He made eight All-Star games, won Defensive Player of the Year four times, and has his number retired by two different franchises in the Nuggets and Hawks.

Honorable Mentions: Junior Seau, Orel Hershiser

54 – Brian Urlacher

Brian Urlacher was the epitome of a Chicago Bears middle linebacker. He played his entire 13-year career in Chicago; tallying 1,361 tackles, two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and four first team All-Pros. The eight time Pro Bowler was also named to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.

Honorable Mentions:
Goose Gossage, Horace Grant, Randy White, Zach Thomas

53 – Artis Gilmore

Photo: NBA.com

Artis Gilmore was a stud in both the ABA and NBA. If you combine his career between both leagues, he was the Rookie of the Year, an MVP, made 11 All-Star games, and scored a shade under 25,000 points.

Honorable Mentions: Bobby Abreu, Mick Tingelhoff

52 – Ray Lewis

Photo: Zimbio

Say what you will about the overzealous speeches, or don’t say anything about the off field issues, but Ray Lewis could flat out ball. Two Super Bowls (including MVP in one), two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, and a seven time first team All-Pro.

Honorable Mentions: CC Sabathia, Patrick Willis, Clay Matthews

51 – Randy Johnson

The Big Unit! Easily one of the most dominant pitchers we’ve seen. Johnson ended his 22-year career with a 3.29 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 303 wins, a perfect game, one no hitter, five Cy Young trophies, and was the MVP of one of the biggest World Series upsets when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees in 2001.

Honorable Mention: Dick Butkus

50 – David Robinson

The very rare story of a service academy athlete becoming one of the best to do it in professional sports. Robinson reached the rank of lieutenant during his three years of service in the Navy, a great achievement. He wasn’t a bad basketball player either; in three separate seasons he lead the NBA in points, rebounds, and blocks. The Admiral also won Rookie of the Year, MVP, and two championships.

Honorable Mentions: Mike Singletary, Corey Crawford

A lot of solid athletes in the 50’s; strong showing by football and baseball. A severe lack of hockey here; will they recover in the 40’s? We’ll have to wait and see…

Sunday State of Mind: June 14th-June 20th

Happy Father’s Day! Read this week’s SSM to Dad since he was probably napping in his recliner during all the action.

Madden 22 has released their latest cover
Two goats, one game, great for football lovers
Brady and Mahomes are your newest cover boys
On the video game that has given all of us years of joy

Spider Tack introduced itself into the public eye
MLB cares all the sudden, truly wonder why
No chance that it could be because batting’s now a joke
Anything they can do to fix a sport that’s nearly broke

Suns and the Clippers, finals in the West
Phoenix and LA going to see who is the best
Bucks advanced in the East to face the 76ers or Hawks
Philly or Atlanta in game seven, loser has to walk

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

Photo: Faxo

A heavy dose of NBA this week, as Sunday State of Mind is back in a big way.

Your newly minted MVP is Nikola “The Joker”
He’s the best player in all the land, in no way a choker
The guy has done it all this year, averaged 26 & 11
Having a big man like that on your team must feel like absolute heaven

Bad news for the MVP, his team is playing the Suns
Denver is down three games to nil, looking all but done
The Nuggets need a miracle, to advance over Phoenix
Looking into Denver’s future, it’s all crying and Kleenex

As of writing this afternoon, all other series are 2-1
Jazz & Clips, Sixers & Hawks, Nets & Bucks, all fun
The Bucks stole one at home Thursday, otherwise have looked bad
Scary injuries for Embiid and Spider, Philly and Utah need their launch pads

Sunday State of Mind: May 31st-June 6th

Photo: USA Today

What a week it has been, and we’ve made it to the end. Sunday State of Mind is here to remind us how great it was.

Breaking NFL news, Julio to Tennessee
Henry, Brown, and Jones, a dominant big three
The Titans had to give up a bundle of draft picks
To improve their chances of getting to Super Bowl 56

Jacob DeGrom continues to simply be God status
His right arm should be ruled an illegal apparatus
Through nine starts this season, a 0.62 ERA
Mets should thank their lucky stars every fifth day

NBA Playoffs, first round is now done
Some tasty Western matchups, including Nuggets and the Suns
The Eastern Conference semis also do not suck
Sixers and the Hawks, Nets and the Bucks

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

It’s a holiday weekend, and we’re here with a wrap up of what happened in sports this week with Sunday State of Mind.

The biggest story far and wide, the rivalry continues to grow
Brooks Koepka went viral with disdain for Bryson DeChambeau
Most golf fans would agree with Brooks, Bryson’s a bit of a tool
No surprise Tom Brady came in, and continued his Twitter Rule

Another weird moment this week, in the story of Julio Jones
When speaking with Shannon Sharpe, “didn’t know” he was on the phone
Either way it seems to be the end of Julio in the A
His relationship with the Falcons continues to decay

The NBA playoffs just keep chugging along
The Sixers, Hawks, and Nets are all looking strong
The Cinderella Knicks might be ending their run soon
Only seemed a few weeks ago they were going to the moon

Who Wore it Best? 79-70

Photo: Dr. Odd

We continue our fashion countdown of who wore each number best. In this edition, we’re hopping into the 70’s. Will we get more NFL lineman? Will some random hockey or basketball players sneak in? Let’s dive in and find out.

79 – José Abreu

José Abreu has to be up there in the greatest players with the weirdest numbers category. According to Abreu, his mother picked his number so he would stand out. Stand out he has; Abreu was last year’s MVP, has garnered three All-Star selections, and even hit for the cycle in 2017.

Honorable Mention: N/A

78 – Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is the all-time leader in sacks with an outlandish 200. His resume is long and silly; we won’t waste too much time here, but just know he was named to two different All-Decade teams in the 80’s and 90’s.

Honorable Mention: N/A

77 – Ray Bourque

Bouruqe was one of the best defensemen in NHL history. His offensive numbers are pretty impressive for a defensemen, scoring 1,506 points in 1,518 games played.

Honorable Mention: Vladimir Radmanović

76 – Orlando Pace

Photo: USA Today

Pace was about all you could ask for in a left tackle during his career. In college, he was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy in 1996, which is wild enough for a lineman. In the NFL, he earned seven trips to the Pro Bowl, was a three time first team All-Pro, and a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.

Honorable Mention: PK Subban

75 – Joe Greene

“Mean” Joe Greene was one of the most dominant nose tackles in NFL history. He was a part of the “Steel Curtain” defense that won four Super Bowls in six years for the Steelers in the 70’s. Mean Joe was also named to the 1970’s All-Decade team on top of the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mentions: Barry Zito, Howie Long

74 – Kenley Jansen

Jansen has been absolutely lights out since entering the Majors in 2010. He’s recorded 312 saves, a 2.39 ERA, and a 0.91 WHIP in 636 innings in his career.

Honorable Mention: TJ Oshie

73 – John Hannah

Hannah was a dominant guard for the Patriots from 1973-1985. Over that time, he went to nine Pro Bowls, was a 10 time All-Pro, is a member of the 70’s and 80’s All-Decade teams as well as the 75th and 100th Anniversary All-Time teams.

Honorable Mention: N/A

72 – Sergei Bobrovsky

Bobrovsky has had an impressive run since coming into the NHL with the Flyers in 2010. Since then, he has an impressive .921 save percentage and a 2.41 goals against average.

Honorable Mentions: Carlton Fisk, Dan Dierdorf

71 – Walter Jones

We’ve gushed over Walter Jones before, and we’re here to gush again. A bonafide Hall of Fame left tackle, nine Pro Bowls, four first team All-Pros, and never missed a start in 180 career games.

Honorable Mention: Evgeni Malkin

70 – Dennis Rodman

Photo: ESPN

Who remembers this weird shit? Rodman played 12 games for the Mavs in the 1999-2000 season. Honestly, this is an awful number for this list and we’re obviously stretching here.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Have to be honest, I thought this edition was going to rely heavy on NFL offensive/defensive lineman. Pleasantly surprised with the baseball, hockey, and basketball representation here. On to the 60’s!

The NBA Dropped the 2020-2021 “City Edition” Jerseys Today and We are Now Fashion Critics

The NBA is the the best in the big four sports at a lot of things. They by far and away have the best commissioner in Adam Silver, they lead the charge in the “bubble” phenomenon while getting their sport back on track during the pandemic, and have been for the most part the league least afraid to take stands on both social and political issues.

They also are not afraid to get weird with it when it comes to uniforms, which I respect. Don’t get me wrong, I love the traditional uniforms of Alabama football, Yankee baseball, etc. But getting out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, both in uniforms and in life. In recent years, the NBA has begun creating new uniforms for teams, calling them “City Edition” jerseys that are meant to show “team history and unique city stories.” The 2021 versions were fully released today, and boy are they something.

Atlanta Hawks – while the MLK tribute is awesome, this looks like a jersey from a low budget, late 90’s Disney movie about a team full of scrubs who pulled out all of the right tricks, and had juuuust the right amount of luck to upset the far superiorly talented rivals from across town.
Boston Celtics – an ode to the 17 championship banners hanging in TD Garden, this jersey is the aforementioned far superiorly talented rivals from across town that the Atlanta Hawks beat in the low budget late 90’s Disney movie.
Brooklyn Nets – this jersey has the “Friends” font; and we all know how we feel about Friends around here.
Charlotte Hornets – this jersey looks like mint chocolate ice cream, and it makes me mad because I don’t have any right now.
Chicago Bulls – the Bulls slogan is “Touch the Clouds,” which is ironic because they haven’t touched anywhere higher than eighth place in the Eastern Conference in the past five years.
Cleveland Cavaliers – the font on the Cavs jerseys is as unbalanced and messy as the organization itself.
Dallas Mavericks – hard to find much wrong with these, besides the fact that one of the NBA’s best players, Luka Dončić, wears number 77. Get the hell out of here and give the man a real number.
Denver Nuggets – bold move by the Nuggets here to trot themselves out there wearing the Russian National Team’s uniforms.
Detroit Pistons – very fitting slogan here, “Tough Together,” Pistons fans have had to watch some tough looking basketball together for the last decade or so.
Golden State Warriors – hard to argue with this one, paying tribute to Oakland after moving into their new arena in San Francisco. Like most things The Warriors have done since they drafted Steph Curry, this was done right.
Houston Rockets – so we’re just copy and pasting the alternate Thunder jerseys here? Cool, cool.
Indiana Pacers – a nice throwback here that reminds me of one of my favorite players of all time, Rik Smits.
Los Angeles Clippers – these are pretty much identical to the Clippers 2019-2020 “City Edition” jerseys, so bonus points for fresh creativity. Bonus points for making me want to play Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas when I see the font.
Los Angeles Lakers – a throwback to the old Minneapolis Laker uniforms. Nice mix of old current uniforms with the updated Lakers font up top.
Memphis Grizzlies – these are solid, but I wish they would’ve just went for it with the old Vancouver Grizzlies uniforms, which are just gorgeous and remind me of another one of my favorite old players, Bryant “Big Country” Reeves.
Miami Heat – this is the perfect city/team for something like “City Edition” jerseys. Miami can do anything with any neon pink, blue, orange, etc. and make it look great. A very solid, wavy effort here.
Milwaukee Bucks – does anyone really associate Milwaukee with the Great Lakes? I don’t, but can only assume this is what Giannis Antetokounmpo wanted, and The Bucks continue to do whatever they can to keep him happy and in Milwaukee.
Minnesota Timberwolves – this is just generally boring. Also the slogan “The North Star That Guides & Unites” is pretty great for a organization that has seemingly no direction at this point.
New Orleans Pelicans – an ambitious stab here, although I think it came out looking more like what I would have came up with for uniforms of my “Create A Team” in NBA Live 2002. You know, the one with Steve Francis on the cover.
Oklahoma City Thunder – there is A LOT going on here. But the Love’s Truck Stop patch is always good for a chuckle.
Orlando Magic – Orlando has messed around with incorporating orange into their uniforms in last years “City Edition,” and I just don’t get it. They have a great color scheme, and should use it here.
Philadelphia 76ers – a lot of horizontal action happening here. This jersey looks like it belongs on an AAU team from Philly.
Phoenix Suns – these I can get into. The mountain formation of the classic Suns colors. Great look for Devin Booker and his new BFF Chris Paul.
Portland Trailblazers – fun fact: these jerseys are a tribute to a never-before released alternate jersey of the Flint Tropics.
Sacramento Kings – I can see thousands of bros at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza rocking these bad boys solely because is has “sac” on it, which is approval enough for me.
San Antonio Spurs – very smooth. Slick font, crisp lines across the chest. I’m all in here.
Toronto Raptors – from a team that’s going to be playing in Tampa Bay next year, missed opportunity to double up on your sales by throwing “Tampa Bay” and “Toronto” across the chest. Those friendly Canadians are too nice to make people pay twice though, eh?
Utah Jazz – cool idea, but why stop the color scheme at the top of “Utah?” Let those warm colors keep rolling in cold ass Salt Lake City.
Washington Wizards – ending our recap here with a banger. These are great, from the throwback logo to the flag pattern moving down the sides. This is the best thing the Wizards franchise has done in a while.

Even though it seems like the NBA season ended last week, it will be back on Christmas Day. Bring on The Association and all of the great, and not so great, “City Edition” jerseys that come with it.

Sunday State of Mind: November 16th-November 22nd

Photo: Sas Kia on Unsplash

A NBA specific SSM this week! We celebrate the start of free agency in the only way we know how…shitty sports poetry.

Your defending champion Los Angeles Lakers
Have not been free agency givers, but free agency takers
Montrezl Harrell, Denis Schroeder, and Wes Matthews too
The Lake Show roster will be stacked with players old and new

The Washington Wizards, a continuous mess
Robin Lopez signed, that’s good I guess?
There were rumors of a John Wall for Russell Westbrook trade
Sad state of affairs if that’s the best move that can be made

Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo both signed with Atlanta
Some serious veteran presence, both good moves, duh
The Hawks pair their new signings with a solid core
Make no mistake, this team is going to score

Very strange signing in the city of Charlotte
Gordon Hayward wanted a payday, and the Hornets bit
An injury-prone veteran got $120 million over four years
If I discovered this signing as a Hornets fan, I’d be in tears

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.