The World of Sports: Cocktail Hour with 1raregrl, the Muse and the Assistant

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Normally, since it’s football season, I would analyze all of the NFL football games but there has been so much going on in the sports world that I decided to do something different for my blog this week and that’s give some tidbits about a couple of professional sports.


Let’s start with the Dodgers. This team went from languishing in the bowels of “never being great again” to making it to the World Series this year. Clearly, once the team was out of the clutches of an incompetent owner to more competent owners and better management success was just around the corner. On a side note: I was watching a football game on Sunday and an announcer said that “the Astros deserve to win the World Series because the people in Houston have been through so much.” Seriously, that is one of the dumbest statements I’ve heard from an announcer and they make plenty of dumb statements. News Flash, it’s may the best team win, whether it’s the Dodgers or the Astros, don’t look for the Dodgers not to play to win or the Astros.


The cream has not risen to the top for any NFL team. No one team is making enough waves for the media pundits to make any predictions at this time. Actually, it’s been a very interesting season and I’m glad that there are no real front runners. That being said, there are some really bad teams and honestly those teams have always been bad and will probably continue to be bad because of poor leadership from the top down to the coaching staff.

Albeit I am not a Patriots fan and never will be, the one thing I can say and will continue to say is that Belichick has gotten it right and what I mean by that statement is that his game plan is not built around a person, not even Tom Brady, it’s built around the team.

Cleveland Browns:

Let’s talk about Hue Jackson, who has become the new Jeff Fisher and Bill O’Brien of the NFL. Clearly, Jackson is having a difficult time communicating his vision for the Browns. He has a quarterback merry-go-round going on because he’s allowing the media dictate who the quarterback of the team should be. He should do what Dallas did when Troy Aikman went 1 and 15 his first year as a starter, they stuck with him and developed him and he turned out just fine.

Throwing DeShone Kizer under the bus in front of the media because he stayed out late on a Friday night and the game was on Sunday was unprofessional and classless. Besides, it was Friday night, young people are able to do that without a problem. If he had a problem with it, he should have discussed it with him privately and not told the world. Someone needs to communicate to Hue Jackson that great leaders inspire people and that’s not what he’s doing.

Pittsburgh Steelers:

Big Ben’s head clearly is not in the game and it’s time for him to move on.

Atlanta Falcons:

What is it going to take for the Falcons to realize that Matt Ryan is not a leader in pressure situations? Why does the offensive coordinator continue to call for a pass play on short shortage instead of running the ball? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Matt Ryan is not that guy. This is why it’s important to win when you go to the Super Bowl, because you may NEVER get back there regardless of how much talent you have on the team.

Denver Broncos:

Defense wins games but the team still needs to have some semblance of an offense. Trevor Siemen is young and they just need to stick with him. I am all about giving the young QB’s an opportunity but the team has to have a coach that has the ability to communicate effectively with the GM.

Los Angeles Rams:

The jury is still out, I don’t care how many games they win.

San Diego Chargers:

Yes, I said San Diego Chargers. They need to return home. I don’t care how much of a media darling Philip Rivers is, he’s not a Hall of Fame QB. Honestly, it’s time for him to hang up his cleats as well.

Miami Dolphins:

They called Jay Cutler out of retirement, paid him millions of dollars and now he’s out for he’s season. Oh well those are the breaks, no pun intended.



Kyrie Irving wanted to be the “focal” point of a team and now he has the opportunity since Gordon Hayward is out for the season. The strange thing about him wanting to be the focal point is that he was that before LeBron turned to the Cavs and as Shaq put it “he didn’t do anything.” If the rumors are true that Kyrie was taking advice from Kobe Bryant, a man who was accused of rape and has no friends because he’s inept at fostering relationships, good luck with being the “focal point” of anything accept your ego.


The BIG three on this team will be amazing once they figure out how to ensure that everyone on the team gets’ involved.  The Thunder will be one of the teams to beat in the West.


There is a great deal of talent on this team and once they figure out how to play together, they will win another championship.  LeBron is the best player in the league by far.  D. Wade won a championship in college and won a NBA championship before LeBron so he knows how to win.  Honestly, T. Lue needs to improve his substitution abilities.  His substitutions suck and that’s real talk.

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Professional All-Star Games: A joke or what?

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Fans have been asked to PAY and sit through “All-Stars” games for the NFL, MLB and the NBA for far too long and get nothing in return. The attendance at the NFL Pro Bowl saw decreases through the years when it was held in Honolulu but attendance increased when it was held in Glendale, Arizona and Orlando, Florida in 2015 and 2017, respectively. I am not a fan of the NFL Pro Bowl because there is too high of a propensity for players to be injured playing in a game that doesn’t mean anything.  With respect to the NFL Pro Bowl, it is my recommendation that the players be given a lettermen jacket and a check.  Stop requiring the players to play in a game that could result in them having a career ending injury.

The MLB All-Star game was a joke initially because there was no incentive to win and if there was a tie, the game could end in a tie, which resulted in fans crying foul. In an effort to prevent tie games and provide additional incentive to win, MLB reached an agreement with the players union to award home-field advantage for the World Series to the champion of the league that won the All-Star Game.  After several extensions it was agreed that awarding home field advantage to the winning league would remain in place until 2016.  Starting in 2017, home field advantage in the World Series will go to the league championship team with the highest regular season win-loss record.  I wonder if this change will cause the game to go back to having tie games and the players not having an to incentive win.  Only time will tell.

The NBA All-Star game is a total joke and something needs to be done sooner rather than later. Fans spend a lot of money during All-Star weekend and are not getting a return on their investment.  The skills contest, 3-point shooting and dunk contests are absolutely horrible.  Why don’t more players participate in the contests? Why are only four players participating in the dunk contest?  Yet, during the “joke” all-star game several players are dunking like crazy?  Why didn’t Steph Curry and James Harden participate in the 3-point shooting contest?  The all-star game is supposed to be the elite of the elite in the league and they should give the fans something to cheer about.  Instead, they are boring people to tears and charging fans a fee to see them be the Harlem Globetrotters.

Some fans of the game are saying the players are afraid to lose because it could impact their brand. Really, I thought being a competitive basketball player was their brand and more importantly their job. If that’s truly the case, these players are selfish and don’t need to play in the All-Star game.

Fans pay to see a competition, not men patting each other on the back and feeding each other’s egos. If this continues, my recommendation is to give the NBA All-Star players a lettermen jacket, a check and let them be on their way as well.  There is no need for fans to pay to see weak performances.



Athletes and Drugs: Is it primarily an NFL Thing?


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It has long been a question in my mind given the number of NFL athletes that are sanctioned for illegal use of drugs each year, if NFL athletes are the biggest offenders. I just don’t get it.  Sadly, most of the athletes in the news are NFL players so I decided to research 2016 and determine which professional sport has the most athletes either fined or suspended for drug use.

Based on the information I was able to locate for 2016 from Spotrac the numbers are as follows:

  • NFL suspended or fined 32 athletes;
  • NBA suspended or fined 2 players; (O.J. Mayo has been banned for 2 years); and
  • MLB suspend or fined 82 players and this number includes minor league baseball players as well.

Spotrac is a source that tracks suspensions/fines assessed on players by all of the professional sports teams. If you would like to check my source you can go to

Another piece of information that I found interesting is that a lot of these players are suspended or fined for Performance Enhancing Drugs (PED) use. Athletes are also suspended/fines for issues related to domestic violence, fighting, illegal hits etc., which the above-referenced numbers do not include.  Unfortunately, drugs whether it’s PED or some other substance is the biggest problem.  One thing to keep in mind is that 2016 is not over so more fines to come.

The leagues make an enormous amount of money from these suspensions/fines. The NFL is making approximately $16M in 2016 from these suspension/fines.  I can understand when tempers flare on the field and a fight breaks out because as the old saying goes “boys will be boys” but the drug thing is mindboggling.  They may as well just set their money on fire because that’s what you’re doing when you purchase illegal drugs and end up getting popped for it.

Are basketball players less likely to do drugs than football and baseball players? With respect to my initial question, clearly drugs are not just an NFL problem and NFL players are not the biggest offenders.  It crosses all of the professional sports and ethnicities but the problem is real and it’s one that has to be dealt with.

Should consideration be given to legalizing certain drugs?



Why African-American athletes are asked what they are going to buy?


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It never fails every time an African-American athlete receives a notable contract the media immediately ask, how they plan to spend their money.  Why?  Most recently C.J. McCollum of the Portland Trailblazers was asked what his purchases would be with his increase in salary.  Dirk Nowitziki and Kevin Love received notable contracts and neither of them was asked how they plan to spend their money.

This question assumes that all black athletes come from poverty and have no desire to do anything except spend their money without any forethought.  It is these kinds of questions that continue to shape the opinions about people and the media is the primary source of this kind of mind control.  An increase in salary doesn’t mean that the person is going to go out and purchase a bigger house, a fancier car or throw it away gambling.  It annoys me that the media puts these young men on the spot every single time their contract changes financially.

The media makes a point of highlighting the salaries of athletes, which I feel is unprofessional and classless. In the real world, salaries are never discussed and it’s really taboo because it can create animosity in the workplace.  I understand that professional athletes are bound by their respective collective bargaining agreements and discussions regarding salaries are common but the media shines a spotlight on the athletes to a degree that is borderline sinister and mean spirited.  How an athlete plans to spend his money is nobody’s business, especially not the media, who is lying in wait for the athletes to make a mistake so that they can say how the person didn’t deserve the money.

The next time an athlete is asked that question, he should asked the reporter how he spent his last raise.






The Cleveland Cavaliers: What’s Really Going On? Is LeBron in or Out?

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The Cavaliers management thought changing coaches would positively impact the Cavaliers ability to win a championship.  Coach Lue and David Griffin, the Cavaliers GM had a meeting with LeBron about his behavior with Dwayne Wade during halftime at the Miami game in March, which the Cavs lost by the way. Apparently, LeBron’s behavior was inappropriate and totally unprofessional.  Instead of warming up, he was chatting it up with D. Wade.  After his meeting with Coach Lue and David Griffin, he apologized and said that he needs to do more as the team goes into the post season, DAH!!!!

By chatting it up with Wade when he should have been warming up reflects that he’s not truly committed to the Cavs. It is saying that he doesn’t have to be in Cleveland next season and that he can go and play somewhere else, which is true.  However, a real leader shows that he’s 100% “all-in” for the team and nothing and nobody can change that.  He uses his abilities to hold the team and Cavs management hostage and it’s detrimental to the team.  His behavior is very nomadic, which has a negative impact on the entire organization.

Fast forward to the Cavs loss to Chicago on Saturday, April 10th.  There is no way the Cavs should have lost to Chicago.  My expectation for LeBron is that as the leader of the team, he should be able to lift his teammates to higher heights and win games against a team like Chicago.  Let’s dial back the hands of time for just a moment, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird etc. would not have allowed the Cavs to lose to the Bulls if they were the leaders of the Cavs.  The mere fact that LeBron was more interested in chatting it up with D. Wade instead of warming up in Miami, speaks volumes to his lack of leadership.  The players that I just mentioned would NEVER have displayed that kind of behavior during a game.

I like LeBron and would love to see him win a championship with the Cavs but unless he develops a leadership mentality that his teammates can buy into, the Cavs will not win a championship with him as the “quasi” leader of the team.   Based on how Coach Lue handled him after the Miami incident, it is clear that the teamed needed someone who is not afraid to tell LeBron to get his act together.   There is an old saying that LeBron should heed and it is: “you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar” because right now his behavior is all vinegar.  Kudos to Coach Lue.

Since he enjoys fraternizing with D. Wade so much, D. Wade should tell him the story about the time, Shaq and Alonzo Mourning picked him up and drove him around and talked to him about the importance of taking a leadership role on the floor so that Miami could win a championship. As a result of that talk, D. Wade developed into a leader on the floor and helped lead Miami to its first championship.  If this is lie, Shaq, D. Wade and Zo told it.  I’m merely recalling an interview I saw after Miami won the championship.

Food for Thought LeBron:  Your marketing firm dropped Johnny Manziel because it was determined that his behavior was not good for your “brand.”  Ask yourself if your behavior is good for the team.  You have got to learn how to be a leader that motivates your teammates to win at all cost.  You possess a lot of great qualities but you need to strengthen your leadership skills.  It can’t always be about you “baby boy.”  LeBron stop using your talent as a way of keeping your teammates and management guessing as to whether you’re truly committed to the team.

It is time for LeBron to be 100% all-in and step up to the plate and display real leadership skills. #1raregrljustsaying




Bring My Child to Work Every Day: Are you kidding Adam LaRoche?

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According to reports Adam LaRoche left $13,000,000 on the table when he chose to quit his job with the White Sox’s because Kenny Williams, the Executive Vice President asked him not to bring his 14 year old son to his work with him on a daily basis. Is this man an adult or what?  There is not a job in America, unless you are a teacher and your child attends the school you teach at, where it’s okay to bring your child to work with you every day.  Professional athletes need to understand that regardless of the sport, it is still a job and should be treated as such.

I am appalled that Adam LaRoche felt entitled enough to do that. There is a liability involved with having children in the work environment.  What if the child is hit by a ball or accidentally knocked down and injured?  Do you think LaRoche would say “that’s okay” he should not have been in the way.  My bet is he would try to extract a pound of flesh from the White Sox organization for his kid’s injury.

The entitlement mentality displayed by some of these professional players never ceases to amaze me. As for the other players on the team who were contemplating “boycotting,” the owner should have said, please do so and every player that participates in the nonsense should be FIRED.  I have NEVER heard of such inane, unprofessional behavior.

The owner, EVP, coach and GM need to have a come to Jesus meeting with the players and communicate in no uncertain terms that “going forward” no one is to bring their child to work without the express permission of the GM, president and coach and if anyone does so without approval, expect to be suspended and/or ultimately fired for insubordination in conjunction with the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  The owner should be in attendance to remind them that they work for him and that he signs their paychecks not vice versa.  He should tell them when they have their own team, feel free to do whatever they please but as long as they work for the White Sox organization, they will abide by the rules or they can leave of their own free will or be let go.











Peeling Back the Onion on NFL Contracts Causes Some People to Cry

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People of are the misguided belief that football players in the NFL make a boat load of money and that they’re being greedy when they hold out for more.  Once I started investigating NFL contracts and comparing them to NBA and MLB contracts I was blown away by the disparity and injustice of the pay scale.  I decided that’s it’s time to peel back the layers of the onion on NFL contracts and show fans what’s really happening to these men.  Honestly, the majority of them are not being paid for the hazardous work they do.  If you are not Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, the money is funny.

One thing to consider is that statics show the average playing career for a football player is approximately three (3) years unless he is a super star and does not receive a career ending injury.  Of the 53 man roster, most fans only know the name of the quarterback, wide receiver, tight end and running back.  There are the Richard Sherman’s and J.J. Watts but they are few and far between.  Football is a violent sport with the highest propensity for injuries of all the professional sports.  A lot of the contracts the players enter into NEVER materialize and the management knows from the onset that they have no intention of honoring these deals.  I will continue to cry foul on the NFLPA because the leadership is poor and is not working in the best interest of the players.

I have said it before and I will say it again, Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the NFL, is guaranteed a salary of $44,000,000 a year and his head and body is not being busted up.  Keep in mind the $44M is just his salary it is not inclusive of bonuses, which I’m sure he receives.  The NFL is a well-oiled machine, there is no reason to pay Goodell this kind of money and only pay the players peanuts who are putting their minds and body on the line.

The owners in the NFL are the wealthiest of all the professional sports.  The average ticket prices for the professional sports are as follows:

NFL — $84.00

NHL — $62.00

NBA — $54.00

MLB — $30.00

Get this:  the NFL team with the highest ticket price for the 2014 season was the New England Patriots so not only do they cheat to win but they rip off their fans, call the Police!!! I CRY FOUL!!!

The NFL 2015 league minimum pay for players depending on their years in the league is as follows:

0 $435,000
1 $510,000
2 $585,000
3 $660,000
4-6 $745,000
7-9 $870,000
10+ $970,000

NBA 2015 League Minimum Pay:

Years in NBA  2015-16
0  $525,093
1  $845,059
2  $947,276
3  $981,348
4  $1,015,421
5  $1,100,602
6  $1,185,784
7  $1,270,964
8  $1,356,146
9  $1,362,897
10+  $1,499,187

MLB minimum pay for 2015 is $507,500, years don’t matter because players receive a cost of living increase each year they’re in the league.  Therefore, the league minimum is primarily for players new the league.

As you can see, as the layers of the onion are peeled back, NFL players are not being paid anywhere close to their counterparts in other professional sports.  Please, I know what they’re been paid is nothing to thumb your nose at but put it in perspective, the sport is violent, a lot of them have ended up with early onset Dementia and Alzheimer’s or other debilitating ailments that the average person does not encounter.  Keep in mind you’re looking at “gross” before Uncle Sam takes his cut and the agent.

For instance, the league minimum for one year is $510,000, ½ goes to Uncle Sam, now he player is at $255,000, less another 15% to the agent $38,250 so the player’s net pay over 16 games is $216,750. Put that in the hands of a young man that has never had a dime in his life and he broke and delivering pizza during the off season and praying he gets’ picked up for the next season.   Don’t add a “baby mama” in the mix.

See how peeling back the onion can make you cry.