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Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Niche Blog!

If you are interested in personal fitness, check out my new personal fitness blog by clicking the link below! Also expect some great new posts from this blog coming up since I don't have as many news shifts this week. Thanks!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

MIZ-DGB: Commentary for the Tigers' New Star

It's official--Springfield, Mo native Dorial Green-Beckham has decided to "continue his education" at the University of Missouri. Green-Beckham, a 6'6, 220 pound wide receiver from Hillcrest High School, is the consensus number one recruit in the nation as well as the U.S. Today Offensive Player of the Year. He decided on Mizzou this morning after considering other college football giants such as Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and Alabama. "DGB" is probably the greatest recruit ever brought in by the Tigers, but what lured this sure-fire NFL first rounder to Mizzou?

National top football recruit, Dorial Green-Beckham, at a University 
of Missouri basketball game with MU offensive football coordinator, David 
Yost. During his signing interview, DGB joked that he wants to convince 
Yost to cut his hair, revealing some sort of early personal connection
 between the star and his future coach. 
It's obvious that there are school's with greater prestige and talent than MU right now, particularly at the QB position, so why did DGB choose us? Well a for sure reason is that it is close to home, DGB has a brother battling cancer and wants to stay close by to support him (a noble cause). Another reason is the allure of Mizzou to SEC and the Tiger community. DGB took a recent trip to an MU basketball game where students and fans made his presence felt, cheering MIZ-DGB and creating signs specially for him. This type of support let DGB know as soon as he steps onto this campus that he is going to be a focal point and star player on the team. Mizzou making the move to arguably the best football conference in the nation probably didn't hurt either, and going into the weaker, east-side of the conference gives Mizzou tremendous upside heading into the SEC with DGB.

I really like this signing decision by the young star, not only because I study at Mizzou (obviously), but because it shows tremendous self-confidence in his own ability. He could have easily taken the easier road and gone to a better overall team with more supportive talent around him, but this signing shows he wants and will demand the ball all the time. He is going to be the best player on the team as soon as he steps on the field, and I love the swagger he has to be the go-to-guy right away. He has a tall order ahead of him, however, as Mizzou will have a tough schedule next season--taking on powerhouses Alabama, Georgia, and Florida.

Moving onto DGB the player, I believe his athleticism and skill set are most comparable to that of Detroit star receiver, Calvin Johnson ("Megatron"). Tall, fast, and extremely physical--they are both the type of player where a QB could just lob the ball in their general vicinity and have confidence they will raise up and snatch it every time. These types of plays will be key to Mizzou's success with DGB, considering they do not have the most pass-savvy or accurate QB (unless Franklin vastly improved in the offseason). His ability, along with fellow receiver T.J. Moe, to catch mid-range passes will be crucial to opening up the part of the field where DGB truly shines--deep, down-field passes. No matter what happens, it is obvious that DGB will have a great career where-ever he decided to go to school, but I'm more than ecstatic to have him in a Missouri Tiger uniform.

What's your take on the DGB signing--good or bad decision? Can he make an instant impact? Where will Mizzou end up in the SEC now that they have him? Be sure to comment below and let's get a discussion going!

-John Jr.
follow on twitter @JJ_OConnor

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Be on the Look Out!

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, it's been a busy week with classes really starting to kick-in and what not (I've been particularly busy with my reporting classes). Starting tonight I have a slew of great new articles and ideas in the works! Tonight's post will be about The Grey with Liam Neeson, I am going to see it this afternoon and should have a full review and analysis out by tonight!

I have been waiting a while to see this movie, and it actually scored a solid 77% on Rotten Tomatoes  which only further increases my excitement. I also plan to do a preview for the Super Bowl, some more news-based work, tons more show reviews, and if I can muster the energy--a full review on Modern Warfare 3 vs. Battlefield 3. So be sure to be checking back frequently for great new posts, or follow me on twitter for instant updates!

-John Jr.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

NOT a State of the Union Post

Disappointed? Get over it, I have really nothing I want to discuss about the State of the Union address except that it was beautifully written (I just read the transcript). I wouldn't know anything about how it was delivered because I was too busy watching perhaps the greatest show on television. That's right I'm talking about FX's hit comedy, The League. After a test first-season of only six episodes, The League has really hit it's open-field stride in the second and third seasons. This semi-scripted blend of crazy antics and adult-rated humor spells for television greatness for the likes of men (and women) everywhere, but what makes such a simple idea so great?

The League - The Return of Rafi

 Scene from the premiere episode of Season 3: The Lockout

The League is built upon the premise of a group of friends participating together in a Fantasy Football league. Basic enough, but there is some unseen beauty behind such a simple male activity, an essence that is captured perfectly in this show. Every guy has that tight group of friends that just like to hang out and talk shit on each other the whole time, and that is exactly what this show captures with perfect technique. 

The on screen chemistry and humor produced by this group of actors is unlike anything I have ever seen from a television series before. Every line--every joke--every plot keeps me hooked and hanging on every word. It's a television experience unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It's rude, crude, and classless--which only makes it that more fresh and real; it's a real breathe of fresh air from your standard television sitcom.  

The Cast of FX's hit show The League
I absolutely love this show. I mean, I love this show so much that I was watching re-runs on Netflix as opposed to the State of the Union Address! Call me crazy, but that is the level of entertain this show can provide. An entertainment so great that I completely disregard all the problems and tribulations of our country's crumbling greatness (sounds bad when I put it that way). This might perhaps be my favorite television show right now, and that is a bold statement for someone of such high standards for acting and production as myself. 

If you haven't watched The League yet, than you are missing out on television genius. Season three wrapped up not too long ago, but you can be sure I am ready for the next season of this witty and hysterical mastermind of a show. You can catch it only on FX (or Netflix, or any other place you can "download" it off the internet). 

Slightly buzzin,
-John Jr. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joe Paterno: A Heartbreaking Farewell

Legendary Penn St. football coach, Joe Paterno, passed
away early this morning at the age of 85. 
This is not easy--the scandal that occurred at Penn St. will always blemish the legacy of this great football coach. It is not easy to see what happened to Joe Paterno and Penn St. University, and it's evener harder to understand why it had to be this way. I believe that Joe Paterno was a great man, and it is just my hope that he will be remembered for the lives he impacted positively, but it simply is not that easy.

I'm not going to delve deeply into presenting the news or life of Joe Paterno, it is all over ESPN and other media outlets right now, and I have posted a link below. This commentary is designed to present my opinion of Joe Paterno's life-long dedication to his passion, and also the heartbreaking issues that possibly contributed to his death. I realize I am just a college student, but I really was deeply saddened by Joe Paterno's faltering state, and I awoke at the crack of dawn today just to see if he had survived the night. So while I may not have expert opinion or knowledge, this is clearly an issue that means something to me. This has been a long time coming for me to share my honest opinion about this, and with that being said, here is my insight...

I believe, despite all the negative questions about the character of Joe Paterno, that he was a man of great moral integrity, and I believe he was wrongfully terminated. Attack my character if you want, but if you saw Paterno's interview about how he wished he had done more, than you would also have seen the expression of a man with a truly broken heart. A broken heart that I undoubtedly believe contributed to the set of complications Paterno was already dealing with from his ongoing battle with lung cancer.

Coaching was his life, and that life was ripped from him by the despicable actions and mistakes of others. Sure, Paterno's actions involving the scandal might have been considered naive, but many people criticizing fail to place themselves in the context of the situation. At an institution such as Penn St., one cannot just assume that because someone tells you they saw something that you can report it to the police. How many times do we see in the sports and pop culture that someone is falsely accused for an action they simply did not do. Sure, Paterno could have further investigated the situation, but making a call to the police based on the word of one person would be an extremely foolish move.

I believe the blame for the lack of action from the university falls solely on assistant coach Mike McQueary. When you actually witness a crime being committed, you are obligated as a citizen of the United States to take action and report such crime. If anyone should have called the police, it undoubtedly should have been McQueary because he was a first-hand witness. Paterno was placed between a rock and a hard-place when McQueary reported to him what he had seen. If Paterno got the police involved and the allegations were false, he would have destroyed the life of one of his colleagues and friends, and would have done so based on the word of someone else.

The problem with the action that Paterno took is the allegations look overwhelming true, and so now his image is tarnished because of something almost completely out of his control. It's obvious in that situation that Paterno handled the situation with the utmost professionalism and class while abiding to all of Penn St.'s legal procedures, but anyone would wish they could do more to help protect innocent children.

All of this is hard to deal with because it destroyed the lives of so many, including irreversible pain to the lives of innocent children. I needed to express my dismay for how the situation was handled in regards to Joe Paterno, however. It's not about him losing his job, it's about a man who for 85 years prided himself on his character and class, and was then stripped of those titles that he so deserved. One action (or lack of action) cannot undo 45 years of previous greatness. I am not wavering, Joe Paterno's legacy of character and class will live on my heart as well as the heart of countless others.

I will always look up to Joe Paterno as a role model for his pride, character, passion, and professionalism. This is a heartbreaking farewell for a truly great man who deserved nothing but our respect and admiration. Paterno's football legacy may or may not be tarnished by this scandal, but his legacy of character remains pure and eternal in the hearts of us all.

Click here for all the details about Paterno's death and legacy via ESPN

-John Jr.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Redefining an Industry: Honoring Sarah Burke

Canadian freeskier, Sarah Burke, passed away last night after
battling critical injuries she received from a training crash on Jan. 10. 
Many of you (including myself) knew little-to-nothing about the Canadian freeskier, Sarah Burke, until her recent training crash on January 10th. I'm not trying to be shallow, but honestly much of what I knew about her I feel like was only available because she was in the limelight for being very attractive while being successful. After her accident I obviously watched the news and ESPN to delve deeper into the life of this revolutionary athlete, and that was how I discovered the ways in which she completely redefined the sport she loved.

Burke began skiing at the age of 5, and found an immediate attraction to performing aerial tricks and spins. As a teenager she began to compete in half-pipe and slope-style competitions, but was turned away or forced to compete with the boys because of the lack of women's divisions. After proving that she was more than capable of competing with even some of Canada's best male skiers, she moved on to compete in the Winter X-Games where she would win 4 gold medals and press them to add a division for women's slope-style competition.

Her list of accolades do not end there, however, as Burke was the first skier to win an ESPY athlete of the year award in 2007. She was also was the first woman to ever land a 720, 900, and 1080 at a competition, but perhaps her greatest accomplishment was her campaign to include her sport as an official competition in the Winter Olympics. A campaign that proved to be successful when in 2011 the Winter Olympics Committee announced that the 2014 Winter games would include both half-pipe and slope-style women's skiing competitions.

Unfortunately Burke would never get the opportunity to win an Olympic Gold Medal when she passed away last night at the age of 29, but her legacy will live on through the countless number of women who will now have the opportunity to compete as Olympic athletes in the sport the Burke held so dear to her heart. Those close to Burke, however, would tell you her best qualities were not her skiing prowess, but her humbleness and accessibility. She was always trying to make connections with her fans and spread her knowledge for the sport to aspiring competitors.

Even in death she was trying to impact the lives of those around her, requesting that her usable tissues and organs be donated. I hope I have been able to shed some light on the life of this amazing athlete and even more spectacular human being. Take some lessons from Burke in her remembrance today, and share you life, time, and passion for what you love. Who knows, it might be you that opens the door for great new accomplishments for not only yourself, but more importantly, other people with the same passion.

Click here if you wish to make a donation to Sarah's family to help pay for her costly medical treatment.

-John Jr.