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Archive for June, 2014|Monthly archive page

The Falcons Hard Knock Life

In Atlanta Area Stuff, Football Stuff on June 18, 2014 at 4:34 am

Falcons Training

Fans of NFL Hard Knocks series on HBO finally found out who the crew was going to follow this season. For better or for worse the Atlanta Falcons will be followed by HBO cameras all the way to the end of training camp. I am not sure if the organization volunteered or the NFL realized that somebody had to do the series this year. Due to the level of distraction associated with the show a lot teams have opted not to participate. The Falcons are coming off their first losing season in five years and I am sure that has some fans worried.

The teams that have traditionally been on the Hard Knocks program have not done exceptionally well during that season. That all being said there is nothing that has proved that cameras have caused the problems that plagued the underachieving teams of the past. There have been teams that have had good seasons like the 2010 Jets and last year’s Cincinnati Bengals team both made the playoffs and were competitive. That being said no team has made it to the SuperBowl while doing Hard Knocks.

The NFL tries to navigate an interesting dynamic of trying to give fans all access but at the same time teams maintaining their competitive edge. I could see why some teams would be apprehensive in bringing in extra distractions to a camp where they are trying to get younger players acclimated to the NFL. The organizations will also want to avoid any controversy that can come from cameras catching something that the American public may not be ready to see. As we learned with the Jonathan Martin/Richie Incognito incident last year football culture differs vastly from how we interact in polite society.

The Falcons are in interesting choice for this show. What makes me think that the team will be able to handle the pressure of the extra coverage also is not generally what television producers think make good programming. The organization has strong level headed leadership and Head Coach Mike Smith is not the colorful personality that will provide a lot of one liners. The club’s quarterback situation is stable and there won’t be a lot of high profile position battles. Their rookies will not even bring that much drama. Their first round draft pick is an offensive lineman who kind of already knows the NFL culture. The Falcons wins and losses this year will only be a result of the hard knocks that they deliver or fail to deliver to their opponents.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr

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The Parallel Existence of Lebron James and John Cena

In All Kinds of Sports, Basketball Stuff on June 14, 2014 at 4:38 am

Cena and Lebron

Listening to sports talk radio today, I heard the 8,456,377th discussion of whom or what people think LeBron James is or is not. I keep hearing why he is not a part of the great pantheon of NBA royalty and why other guys are better. It kind of took me to a discussion that wrestling fans have about John Cena. Both maybe the most polarizing figures of their respective professions. As I began to examine both men and how they are viewed they have a lot in common. Enough that I decided to post this both on the Kind of Like Sports and on Ring Time Pro Wrestling pages.

James and Cena are both apart of the first generation of athletes that are viewed through the scope of social media. The constant flow of Twitter and Facebook allow fans to debate the greatness of these versus the prior generation’s superstars. James has never been able to escape the shadow of Michael Jordan and constantly being told no matter what he does that he will never be a Jordan. Cena faces similar critiques that is no Stone Cold Steve Austin or will never be The Rock. Both are said to be the stars of what is believed to be the lesser era of their league or company.

Cena rose to the top in 2004 when he defeated the Big Show at Wrestlemania XX. He was not number 1 draft pick like James. The powers that be in the WWE expected Randy Orton or Brock Lesnar to be the unquestioned face of this generation. James on the other hand from day 1 had to prepare to take on the ghost of NBA past. Both have risen to the top and no matter how much they accomplish they still are dealing the comparisons to completed careers that happened prior to them. Both of James and Cena’s legacies are still being written.

Written By
Keith B. Holt
Follow on Twitter @Kholtjr