"Sports and Entertainment" by Jay Miner

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No Turmoil for Thunder

In past years there has been talk and speculation going around that superstar NBA teammates Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. The talk has stemmed from past season and the “shoot first” mentality of point guard Russell Westbrook. Kevin Durant has been recognized of the star of the team since the team moved to Oklahoma City from Seattle in 2008. With the ability to score points in bunches at the flick of his wrist many people believed that Westbrook should look to give the ball up to Durant as the clock is winding down and the game is closing to an end since Durant has proven to get the job done for his team time and time again. Westbrook was just starting to come into his own and still learning his way as an NBA point guard but now the star player from UCLA who was drafted to OKC the year they made their move to Oklahoma is proving to be every bit of spectacular that everyone in the Thunder organization knew that he would be.  Just a few years ago, Durant was given a contract extension by the owner of the Thunder, chairman Clay Bennett. To many in the sports world that contract extension would place a focus on Kevin Durant claiming him to be the best player on the team’s roster and the guy to go to down the stretch of every game. Just early in this season the team has played its way into becoming recognized as on of the best teams in the Western Conference and all around the NBA and with all of the team’s chemistry and all around well play going in their favor point guard Russell Westbrook was also offered a contract extension for 5 years worth $80 million dollars. With Durant’s contract extension beginning at the start of the current season and Westbrook’s beginning at the end of this current season as he rookie contract comes to a close it is safe to say that the two stars will be together on the court for at least the next 5 years or so. The extensions of the contracts for both players have done nothing but made the two of them closer as teammates as they continue to learn and grow from each other on the court. Just last night to two players were in action against the Golden State Warriors as Oklahoma went to take a victory on the road with a score of 120-109. Both stars complemented each other well as Westbrook played outstanding and posting solid numbers, 28 points and 11 assists, while Durant also played a big time role posting, 37 points and 14 rebounds. The two players are in full stride as the look to get one step closer than they did last year as they fell to the Dallas Mavericks in the Western Conference Finals and make their run to the NBA finals. 

Dwayne Wade: Back to Business

After sitting out the previous 6 games due to an ankle injury that he sustained earlier this season, Miami Heat superstar Dwayne Wade made his return to the hardwood last night to face off against the struggling New York Knicks at the American Airlines Arena. In the absence of Dwayne Wade the Miami Heat have been just as good without him posting a record of  8-1 since Wade went down with the injury on January 13 against the Denver Nuggets. Lebron James has been an early candidate for league MVP early this season for the incredible numbers he has been posting as well as for the way he has carried the team since Wade went down but on this night Wade would prove that his injury did not slow him down. Wade looked as if he never missed a game. Same moves, same athleticism, agility and endurance on the way to posting 28 points and 5 steals while defeating the Knicks (99-89)  and sending them to another loss without their superstar Carmelo Anthony who was out due to injury. With the return of Dwayne Wade on top of the dominance Miami has shown in his absence thanks to Lebron James, Chris Bosh and role players, the Heat look poised enough to make another run at the title that they were so close to last season.

The Miami Heat who have posted a record of 14-5 which places them in 2nd place so far in the Eastern Conference trailing only the Chicago Bulls who they take on this Sunday at American Airlines Arena. They are hoping that the momentum that has been gained during Wade’s injury and with Wade helping them sustain that momentum with the victory last night, they soon hope to take over that number one seed as the season continues to go further along. Along side of Dwayne Wade’s big return, Lebron James helped his superstar counterpart with a lot of work by posting 31 points and a couple of monster dunks that made the crowd jump out of their seats. There is no question that Miami is one of the best teams in the league and they look to make their title run but to finish the journey by holding up the trophy at the end of the season in June.      

SUPER BOWL REMATCH

This year’s Super Bowl match up will look very similar to many players and sports fans alike. The AFC Champion New England Patriots have been in this position many times before with their star quarterback, Tom Brady leading the way time and time again. With tremendous stats coming out of the 2011 regular season Tom Brady had posted incredible numbers ( 39 TD’s , 5235 yards).  This is Tom Brady’s 5th time playing in the Super Bowl in his career. His record was 3-0 in the big games previously played until his undefeated Patriots took on the underdog New York Giants in the 2007-08 Super Bowl game where he suffered his first Super Bowl loss.  Fast forward the clock 4 years and in the 2011-12 title game the Giants have picked up steam and rolling in full stride since their week 17 victory against the Dallas Cowboys the have not looked back as the have defeated every team that has been put in front of them including the previous Super Bowl Champs, the Green Bay Packers (15-1).   Leading the way for the Giants is Eli Manning (29 TD’s 4933 yards)  who is emerging out of the shadow of his older brother (Peyton) and blazing his own path to glory as he sets his eyes on his second Super Bowl title which would put him one ahead of his older brother. There were a few weeks of the season where the Giants looked as though they would not be able to make it to this point of the season and took heavy criticism. Dropping 4 games in a row from weeks 10-13 to top NFL teams such as the San Fran 49ers and the Green Bay Packers. During the next 4 games to end the season the Giants would go 3-1 and start their magical run to the Super Bowl. With many of the same players from the 2007 Super Bowl on the same team it is difficult not to draw comparisons from that game to the game that will be held on February 5, 2012. The players have been down playing the significance of what it means to play in the big game facing the same opponent again.  With the Patriots out for revenge with a slightly revamped roster from 2007 adding their star tight end  Rob Gronkowski (90 rec, 17 TD’s)  who some would say fills that void Randy Moss left behind in 2007 and with the emergence of star wide receiver Victor Cruz ( 82 rec, 9 TD’s)  for the New York Giants this Super Bowl should be an epic battle with spectacular plays as a rivalry has been formed between the two teams with the Giants winning the last two meetings. Will the Patriots have their revenge and reclaim the title that they have held many times in the past or will the Giants continue with their winning ways and once again spoil the Super Bowl Parade plans of New England?? February 5, 2012 the world will know the answer as these two greats teams collide for what is hoped to be another classic Super Bowl game.

Joe Paterno 1926-2012

Everyone that has any affiliation with Penn State University, students, administration, alumni and college sports fans know all about the legacy of Joe Paterno.  Born on December 21, 1926 in Brooklyn, New York, he was originally intending on becoming a lawyer after playing quarterback and cornerback while attending Brown University. After his college football days were completed he was persuaded by his coach Rip Engle, who had recently taken over the head coaching position at Penn State, to sign on as an assistant coach in 1950.  It was not until 1965 that Joe Paterno known as “JoePa” would become the head coach at Penn State and start to implement his morals and academic ethics into his recruiting and coaching style that would make him into the Men’s Division 1 football all time wins leader. During his time at Penn State,  NFL offers from teams such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots would come knocking on Paterno’s door but he choose to keep his loyalty to the University of Pennsylvania. From 1965-2011, Joe Paterno spent that time making Penn State into a force to be reckoned with on the grid iron and in the classroom. Giving the university two national championships (1982 , 1986) two undefeated regular season (1968, 1969) and 37 bowl game appearances producing 24 wins. In the process of becoming one of the greatest coaches in college football history he would also become a celebrity figure in the Penn State community as well as contributing over $4 million dollars to the university during his time there. Unfortunately in November of 2011, Joe Paterno’s longtime assistant,  Jerry Sandusky was arrested on allegations of child molestation. When information started to be revealed about the allegations on Jerry Sandusky, the long term career of Joe Paterno was brought to a quick end about an alleged role he played in the situation. Not long after being fired, Paterno was hospitalized twice, once for a fall in his home and another for complications of a lung condition that he was previously diagnosed with. Those complications would prove to be fatal as Joe Paterno passed away on January 22, 2012. His legacy at the university will be forever unmatched because of the tremendous body of work that he has developed over the past 61 years. His statue sits on campus in front of Beaver Stadium as a reminder to all of those who wish to remember his legacy and his life.  Joe Paterno was 85 years old at the time of his passing. December 21, 926- January 22, 2012.

Jordan Fined 100 Grand!

Michael Jordan was fined for making comments about the owners position and view on the deal trying to be worked out for the collective bargaining agreement in Australia’s Herald Sun last month. With the NBA being in a lock out stage it is against NBA policy to speak publicly about it while the lockout is still current.   Jordan who is known worldwide for changing the way the game was played when he was drafted to the Chicago Bulls in 1984 and arguably the greatest player in NBA history is now the owner for the Charlotte Bobcats. The comments that Jordan made that got him fined, he stated that the NBA’s model is broken and would like revenue sharing for small markets such as the Bobcats and the Bucks. Jordan also stated that “owners are not going to move off what we feel is very necessary for us to get a deal in place where we can coexist as partners.” The latest news on the NBA lockout was earlier today 9/13/2011 as the NBA and NBPA met for 5 1/2 hours and are still at a stand still. Union Chief Billy Hunter stated that “Players understand that they may miss half of the 2011-2012 season.” Right now it is not looking good for the NBA but as long as the CBA talks are still taking place then there is still a chance for the two sides to reach an agreement with the scheduled time of training camp just a few weeks ahead.

NFL Sunday and 9/11

Yesterday was the first NFL Sunday since the NFL went into a lockout stage earlier this year. Yesterday also marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. The NFL played their part in honoring the victims that were lost during the attacks and honoring the fire fighters and police officers that were lost as well as the military personnel that continue to keep our country safe. Many of the coaches wore hats engraved with “F.D.N.Y” or “N.Y.P.D” on the top of their caps and many player wore cleats or gloves with the American flag with “F.D.N.Y” on them as well. To start most of the games that were played yesterday, players ran out of the tunnel and onto the field holding onto the American Flag as the crowd would burst  into roars of cheers as everyone wanted to do their part in showing honor and respect of the fallen hero’s from that tragic day. Everyone that was of age on 9/11/2001 can remember that day like it was yesterday and tell you everything that they were doing and where they were at the time. It is a day that will be forever remembered by this country as that day will go down as the worst incident to take place on American soil. The first Sunday of the NFL season and the anniversary of 9/11 brought many people to tears and they used football as a gateway to escape the pain of this horrific day for a few hours. As NFL fans from all over the country wore they favorite teams colors they filled the stadiums in unison and brotherhood to embrace and recognize a brand new football season and the 10th anniversary  of the United States fallen soldiers. We thank the NFL for the tributes paid to the hero’s of yesterday. Gone but never forgotten! 9/11/01 – 9/11/2011. We Remember! 

MAN-NING DOWN!

For the first time in his football career, future Hall of Fame Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is going to miss substantial playing time due to a neck injury that he has been unable to recover from thus far.  Peyton originally had surgery done on his injury back in May and has been taking the time and going to rehab to try and re cooperate but has not been able to get healthy enough to get on the field. That resulted in Peyton missing the entire pre-season and the Colts used veteran quarterback Kerry Collins in place of Peyton. The Colts organization was hopeful that Peyton would be fully healed by the start of the 2011 season but just as recent as 9/8/2011, Peyton under went another surgery on his neck and the recovery window for him is 2-3 months. Peyton, who is in the top 5 of almost if not all quarterback categories in the NFL is probably the single most important piece to any team in the NFL. It will be difficult for the team to hit key strides during tough games if Peyton is not behind center and leading them down the field. Many of the players have already rallied around Kerry Collins and said they have full trust in his ability to lead them on the field and they back him up 100%. From the outside looking in it does not even seem as though the Colts have a chance without their leader, esp when they are facing a fierce division rival in the Houston Texans. To check out the game for yourself and decide on how good or bad the Colts will look without Peyton, tune in to the game this Sunday on the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001. Kickoff is at 1pm est time.

NFL IS HERE

After months of speculation of even having a football season due to the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement, a crazy free agency period that landed players on teams you would have never thought of, I’m happy to announce that the NFL season will kickoff tonight at 7:30 pm est time. The defending champions Green Bay Packers will take on the previous champions, New Orleans Saints. The hype around this game is not only because of both of these teams winning the last two Super Bowls and not only for having two of the best quarterbacks in the league in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees, but it is as big as it is for the simple fact that the season is back.  Football owners, coaches, players, analyst and fans were just a few months ago fearing the possibility that a season would not even be underway at this point. Now that the season is here, there is a feeling of relief and unbelievable comfort for all football fans. Even if The Packers or The Saints are not one of your favorite teams, you still feel the energy and excitement of the game that is going to happen tonight.  Two high powered offensive teams and two power house defensive squads make for a very anticipating game of top level football tonight.  Tune in tonight as this will be a very electrifying game of football as the NFL season kicks off for the first time this season!

Rumble at Randolph’s House

A man that will remain nameless was beaten on Saturday and treated for face and head injuries. The victim stated that he was at the residence of Memphis Grizzlies star power forward Zach Randolph. Randolph lives in Portland, Oregon and the victim stated that he was going to his home to purchase marijuana.  An apparent drug deal gone wrong as the victim received an unhappy welcome.  The victim stated that there were close to 20 guys in the house and did not identify Randolph as any of the men. Randolph was unable to be reached for any questions and will not be answering any at the advice of his lawyer. The police did search the home and did not find anything that would be suspicious but they did find blood evidence that matched the victims story to how and where he was beaten and with what.  Randolph could be facing serious charges if he is placed at the home of the incident and identified at the time of the incident. Randolph who just signed a 4 year contract extension with the Grizzlies earlier this year could be putting his career in jeopardy if he is tied in with this unfortunate situation.

Lil Wayne with Lil girls?

There is rumor going around that superstar rapper Lil Wayne was recently engaged with sexual activity with a 16 year old girl. The girl who will remain unknown due to her age made a video and addressed all of the rumors circulating around the situation. She stated that she never went any where or did anything with Wayne and all of the photos that were taken of them were taken on Wayne tour bus but a photo surfaced that showed her and Wayne in a hotel room with one another and they both seemed to have on limited clothing in the photo. A texting conversation that she had with a friend of hers shows that sex was a topic between them.  Lil Wayne who is on probation after serving jail time for a gun charge would be found in violation of his probation if charges are pressed against him for this situation. This could take a bad turn for his career if this information turns into facts and saw in the public eye. Lil Wayne is at the top of his career and this could take a large blow to the belly of his career. 

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