Who Wore it Best? 89-80

Photo: Dr. Odd

Round two of who wore it best is here. We’re ranking the GOAT to wear each jersey number. If you missed part one for jersey numbers 99-90, check it out here. For now, let’s dive into numbers 89-80.

89 – Mike Ditka

Everyone knows Ditka lead the Bears to their only Super Bowl in ’85. Did you know on the field he was a five time Pro Bowler, first team all-pro four times, and was the rookie of the year in 1961? Ditka also has the number 89 retired for both the Bears and at the University of Pittsburgh.

Honorable Mention: Alexander Mogilny

88 – Patrick Kane

STRONG number here. Kaner takes the crown as a sure fire Hall of Famer with three Stanley Cups, the 2013 Conn Smythe trophy, and nine all-star selections.

Honorable Mentions: Albert Belle, Antoine Walker, Michael Irvin, Allan Page

87 – Sidney Crosby

Crosby has an even stronger resumé than Kane. Two Conn Smythe trophies, two Olympic gold medals, three Stanley Cups, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Honorable Mention: Rob Gronkowski, Dan Otero

86 – Antonio Freeman

Slim pickings at number 86. Antonio Freeman had a respectable NFL career; in 1998 he led the NFL in receiving yards, was named to the Pro Bowl, and was named first team All-Pro. He also tacked on a Super Bowl win in the 96-97 season.

Honorable Mentions: Buck Buchanan, Nikita Kucherov

85 – George Kittle

Photo: ESPN

Kittle hasn’t been in the NFL for too long, but has already done some serious damage. In three and a half seasons (he only played eight games in 2020), Kittle has made two Pro Bowls, was a first team All-Pro in 2019, and has racked up 3,579 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention: Antonio Gates, Baron Davis

84 – Randy Moss

One of the best athletes to ever play wide receiver. Moss has unreal runs with the Vikings from 98-04 and Patriots from 07-10. He lead the NFL in touchdowns in five different seasons, was a four time first team All-Pro, and is a member of the NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team.

Honorable Mentions: Prince Fielder, Chris Webber

83 – Wes Welker

Unreal bad luck for Wes Welker that he played six seasons with Tom Brady and two with Peyton Manning and has exactly zero Super Bowl rings. He did however revolutionize the slot receiver position, collecting two first team All-Pro selections and leading the NFL in receptions in 2007, 2009, and 2011.

Honorable Mention: N/A

82 – Ozzie Newsome

Photo: FanDuel

Ozzie Newsome was one of the first tight ends to stretch the field; he paved the way for the Gronks, Kelces, and Ertzs of the world that we see in the NFL today. He is a member of the Browns Ring of Honor, bringing in 662 catches, almost 8,000 yards, and 47 touchdowns during his career.

Honorable Mention: N/A

81 – Marian Hossa

Our second Blackhawk to crack the list. Hossa was a huge part of the Chicago’s three Stanley Cups in the 2010’s. He also was named to the All-Rookie team in 1999 and made five All-Star games.

Honorable Mentions: Tim Brown, Phil Kessel

80 – Jerry Rice

Photo: USA Today

No doubter here; the original GOAT. The career accomplishments are almost embarrassing: three Super Bowls, ten first team All-Pro, 13 Pro Bowls, member of the 75th and 100th NFL Anniversary Teams, and first team All-80’s and All-90’s Teams. Rice’s career stats are also zany: 1,549 catches, 23,546 yards, and 208 touchdowns.

Honorable Mention: N/A

Heavy football and hockey vibes in this edition. We’ll crack into the 70’s in our next edition of Who Wore It Best.

Sunday State of Mind: March 1st-March 7th

NBA All-Star Sunday is our focus this week. We recap an enjoyable Sunday night, event by event, in this week’s SSM.

The premiere event in our basketball binge
Was the Taco Bell sponsored Skills Challenge
A long shot winner, Domantas Sabonis
Dribbling, passing, shooting, guy could not miss

Next event up, the three point contest
From behind the arc, let’s see who’s best
Trey’s were falling, it was a tree point flurry
An obvious winner here, the man, Steph Curry

The dunk contest was the halftime show
We had Obi Toppin and two names you won’t know
It was Anfernee Simons of Blazers fame
Who won the contest, and cemented his name

Now the main event, Team Lebron vs. KD
Alley oops, no defense, and plenty of three’s
A glorified scrimmage, but it’s always fun
170-150 was the score, Team Lebron won

Another ASG in the books, a way different look
Great job by the NBA, and all who partook
A normal All-Star weekend next year, fingers crossed
Without events like this, sports fans would be lost

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: September 21st-September 27th

Sunday, it’s here…so is this week’s SSM. Let’s hop in:

Last week of baseball, wrapping as we speak
The MLB made it through, and reached their seasons’s peak
The postseason starts next week, will be a wild story
To see who takes home the COVID World Series Trophy

The NBA is winding down, Lakers took out the Nugs
The Heat and Celts could be done soon, makes me sadly shrug
Either way, it’ll be the Lakers and LeBron
A few more games and before you know it, the NBA will be gone

The NHL is also close to closing out their year
The Lightning and Stars are wrapping up, with their grown out playoff beards
If the Lightning win on Monday, they’ll be hoisting up Lord Stanley
If the Stars pull it out, we’re talking game 7, the cup won’t be won handily

Your NFL surprise of the year, the Chicago Bears
Moved to 3-0 today, and this writer cares
Trubisky was benched, Nick Foles was the hero
Who would’ve thought after three weeks the Bears losses would be at zero?

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.

Wildest Player/Team Late-Career Combos

The birth of #TompaBay got us thinking; what are the wildest player/team combinations we’ve seen in sports?

These kind of late-career transactions have happened for numerous reasons; a player got fed up with a coach/team *cough Tom Brady cough*, the team got sick of the player, or maybe the player was ring chasing or looking for one more payday with a big contract, and was willing to go wherever needed to get that money. Nothing wrong with that.

For whatever reason, the below combos make me feel quite uncomfortable:

Kerry Wood, New York Yankees

As a Cubs fan, this one cut deep. While I don’t hate the Yankees, Kerry Wood was who you thought of when you brought up The Chicago Cubs during his time in the majors. Kid K spent his best years (1998-2008) on the North Side. After singing a two-year deal with Cleveland, Wood was traded to the Yankees on July 31, 2010. He primarily worked as Mariano Rivera’s setup man.

Luckily for us Cubs fans, Woody came home after his half year in New York. He signed a one year deal to come back to the Cubs and end his career in the blue pinstripes instead of the black ones. The way it was meant to be.

Patrick Ewing, Seattle Supersonics

Patrick Ewing is arguably the best player in New York Knicks history. I’m not old enough to realize how great Walt “Clyde” Frazier or Willis Reed were, but seems only appropriate to throw them in the discussion with more current Knicks like Carmelo Anthony & Allan Houston. For such a “storied” franchise, this is actually a pretty brutal top five list.

On September 20th, 2000, one of the largest trades in NBA history ended Ewing’s 15-year run in New York. The trade included The Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and of course the Seattle Supersonics. Tough break for Patrick in my opinion; nothing against Seattle but I think the Emerald City would come in third place of places I would prefer to move if I had the choice between there, LA, or Phoenix.

Emmitt Smith, Arizona Cardinals

When Emmitt Smith was released from the The Cowboys in 2003 after 12 years in Dallas, he was the all-time leading rusher in NFL history. He had racked up 17,162 yards, scored 153 touchdowns, and won three Superbowls. He was a part of the “triplets” in Dallas with Troy Aikman & Michael Irvin. The guy was the Dallas Cowboys.

When Bill Parcells took over the Cowboys, he decided it was time for a change, and released Smith on February 26, 2003. I think we all would have been happy to see Emmitt call it a career at that point. However, he decided he still had some left in the tank, and signed a two-year deal with The Arizona Cardinals. What resulted were two forgetful seasons highlighted by his return to Dallas to play the Cowboys on October 5, 2003, where he rushed six times for negative one yard.

Shaquille O’Neal, Boston Celtics

The Big Shamrock! One of the cornerstone’s of the Lakers early aughts dynasty ended his career with the rival Celtics, tragic.

I think it’s fair to say once The Big Aristotle’s runs with The Lakers and Heat were over, it was pure ring chasing time for the big fella. Shaq’s tenures in Phoenix, Cleveland, and of course Boston were a bit hard to watch as his body began to break down.

The silver lining we can take from all of these stops are the nicknames that we were given along the way: Superman, The Big Diesel, Big Daddy, MDE (Most Dominant Ever), Wilt Chamberneazy, and my personal favorite from the Phoenix days…Shaqtus.

Randy Moss, Tennessee Titans

Photo: Fansided

Randy “Imma Play When I Wanna Play” Moss. One of the most supremely athletic wide receivers we’ll ever see. If you haven’t, I would suggest taking some time out and watching any highlight tape of Moss’ career, like this one. He was so good that his name became a verb. If you ever get “Moss’d,” you might as well hang up your cleats.

After setting records with Tom Brady in New England, things started to unravel for Moss. His second tenure with The Vikings lasted less than a month, he made six catches with The Titans in eight games, retired for a year, and played his final season with The San Francisco 49ers in 2012.

Michael Jordan, Washington Wizards

Not even going to talk about it.

More often than not, these late-career moves do not worked out well. While it’s nearly impossible in today’s business of professional sports for a player to spend an entire career with one team, loyalty is still something that can be appreciated. However, when the business side makes itself prevalent, we as fans can be given the gift of some hilarious and awkward visuals with players in new uniforms.