The A-Train Rant 20th Edition!

Ranting-Homer

 

It’s not really the 20th edition of the “Rant,” I’ve done a lot of special rants for this blog as well. So there is more but this is my regular rant and I’ve done 20 of them. May not mean much to you but it means something to me. I’ve been able to break out and do this. So ladies and gentlemen…the 20th…A-TRAIN RANT!

  1. We may have seen the last of Stephen A. Smith on ESPN. It’s a shame too. Plus it goes to show you that we can’t speak our minds.
  2. The NFL will only protect the stars…if a bench player done this, he’s gone automatically.
  3. Women in media are not happy with the NFL.
  4. With that previous statement, Roger Goodell is officially the worst commissioner in sports.
  5. As a Bulls fan, I’m scared for Derrick Rose. Plus he needs to shut up and just play basketball.
  6. The Cardinals, Tigers and Athletics are the winners of the July 31st trade deadline.
  7. Dustin Johnson needs help.
  8. The NFL season is just around the corner.
  9. Shoutout to Aeneas Williams, well deserved member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Also to the other inductees going in on Saturday.
  10. Who do you get when they holdout, get no new deal, return to camp and still not get a new deal: Marshawn Lynch. (UPDATE: He finally got a bump in pay)
  11. This is why people don’t watch baseball…the game is watered down.
  12. Dallas Cowboys continue to be the laughingstock of the NFL.
  13. Brady Quinn knows when to say, “I’m done.” Tim Tebow does not.
  14. Damn shame there will not be an EA college football game this season.
  15. The San Antonio Spurs will be back in the Finals next season.

The A-Train

Bulls Get Consolation Prizes

pau-gasol-carlos-boozer-nba-los-angeles-lakers-chicago-bulls-850x560Since the end of their second championship run in 1998, the Chicago Bulls haven’t quite lived up to the hype of being a champion. The closest they have been to getting to the title was losing to the Miami Heat back in the 2011 Eastern Conference Finals, 4 games to 1.

In the span of the last 16 seasons, the Bulls seem to let big name superstars slip through their fingers and grab just “consolation prizes” through free agency.

During the seasons from 1998-2003, the Bulls have had the opportunities to lure in such players as Tracy McGrady and Tim Duncan. Both said no to Chicago. McGrady went on to Orlando and played for a slew of franchises. Duncan went on to win 4 more titles with the San Antonio Spurs. The Bulls went after free agents like Fred Hoiberg, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller, Eddie Robinson, and believe it or not…Scottie Pippen. Clearly, ALL CONSOLATION PRIZES. At the same time, those teams were horrific which included that 13-37 strike-shortened season back in 1999.

From 2003-2010, the Bulls signed 1 free agent…Ben Wallace, believe it or not, a consolation prize. Wallace, of course was the backbone of those Detroit Pistons’ teams that won 2 Eastern Conference titles and captured the 2004 NBA Finals. He signed a 4-year deal with the Bulls and never lived up to that deal, being dealt after just 1 and a half seasons with Chicago. So much for that idea.

It was very easy and widely known about the 2010 free agent class that came out (LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Carmelo, etc). Plus, Chicago already had Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah from draft picks, yet now were looking for a key free agent to add to their possible contention at a title.

As the reports and rumors were coming out that summer, the Bulls looked like they could have gained their piece. But none of the big names signed their name on a contract with Chicago. The Big 3 (as its famously known) assembled in Miami, thanks to LeBron. The Bulls however took…the man on the left of the photo, Carlos Boozer, aka yet another consolation prize.

Boozer, who was coming off a stellar year with the Utah Jazz, SEEMED like the solid piece that the Bulls needed. In his 1st season with Chicago, he helped them get to a 62-20 mark and the best record in the East. His numbers were solid but not the same as he was in Utah. He wasn’t a vital part of Chicago’s defensive scheme orchestrated by head coach Tom Thibodeau. He was a main liability, getting punked by other power forwards in the league, good AND bad. In this past season, he averaged under 14 points and 8 rebounds a night and hardly ever played in the 4th quarter of ballgames. Again, he was a defensive liability. It also didn’t help Chicago when Rose went down in back-to-back seasons. Nonetheless, Boozer was amnestied after the season and won’t be a part of the Bulls’ future.

Here we are 4 years later and Bulls’ management still can’t seem to lure a major free agent in a huge market. They even couldn’t get ‘Melo (personally I’m glad they didn’t) to play in Chicago. They went out and signed…the guy on the right side of the photo…Pau Gasol from the Lakers. AGAIN, another consolation prize. However, this one could benefit more than it could hurt. This new core could possibly win the East, thanks to LeBron again (going to Cleveland). Yet, it will definitely raise a lot of questions before training camp begins. I’m not going to ask them or answer them now. Stay tuned. Training camps and preseason will come faster than you think.

The A-Train

Hey Chicago, We’re Ready When You Are

Chicago_Bulls3

These days it’s tough to be a Chicago Bulls fan. I mean really tough.

The days of Marcus Fizer, Dickey Simpkins, Mark Bryant, Matt Maloney, Khalid Reeves, Michael Ruffin and Khalid El-Amin are gone. From 1998-2004, the Bulls were 119-341, with 5 straight seasons of 50 or more losses and went through coaches like Tim Floyd, Bill Cartwright, Bill Berry and Pete Myers. Yes, the Jordan replacement…PETE MYERS! YIKES! But after clever drafting and added some key veterans, the Bulls became playoff contenders again. In the last 10 seasons, they enjoyed their finest season during the 2010-2011 season when they went 62-20 and Derrick Rose was named MVP. It looked like the Bulls would be CHAMPIONSHIP contenders, then…Rose gets injured in the 1st round of the following season’s playoffs and it went downhill from there. He didn’t play the following season after much controversy and distraction about his injury status, yet the team was able to make the playoffs only to get bounced by the eventual champion Miami Heat in the second round.

This season…PURE HELL. PURE H-E-L-L.

Not even a full two months have gone by and several Bulls players have been injured, including Rose (who’s out for the season again) and my “favorite player” to hate Carlos Boozer. Yes, him. The hate for LeBron has ceased. Not only that, the recent trade of Luol Deng to Cleveland for Andrew Bynum and draft picks. Bynum will never get to see a minute in a Bulls uniform because he was waived in under 24 hours. Just trying to get the room for cap space and lure a potential free agent, maybe a Carmelo Anthony, LeBron or a Kevin Love. Now, Love would be an awesome addition in Chicago, it would get him a chance at actually being on a playoff team…which he has yet to see in his (now) 6 seasons in Minnesota. Another funny possibility would be Blake Griffin. This is a business. Loyalty is so gone. That’s why I respect Timmy D and Kobe.

But back to the subject at hand…freeing of cap space to lock in a key free agent…the Bulls did that so well back in the 2010 free agent sweepstakes. It was so well that they went and got…Carlos Boozer. Yes, Carlos Boozer. He was the guy that was mentioned earlier in this blog. The Bulls couldn’t nab LeBron, they couldn’t get Dwyane Wade…the hometown guy, Chris Bosh or even Amar’e Stoudemire, not to mention Rudy Gay or David Lee. They got Boozer for 5 seasons, $75 million. The Sporting News couldn’t have said this any better, “Boozer, who has performed well below his deal for years, is set to make $16.8 million next season and does not fit the Bulls’ defensive approach, which has led him to spend time on the bench in clutch moments.” This was a guy who was an all-star with the Utah Jazz and averaged 20 points and right at 10 rebounds a game, and never looked like the same player back in Utah. His defense was just horrendous. Allowing smaller players, other power forwards, even slower players to outplay him. Not to mention the numbers are atrocious. This man TRICKED John Paxson, Gar Forman and Jerry Reinsdorf. Where is Jerry Krause when you need him? I see why they put the amnesty clause on him. No way you put that salary on this team.

As a Bulls fan, I can stomach this season. But I can’t say the same for the crowds that once sold out the United Center. For right now, those are gone. Yet, they have great young talent in Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler and Taj Gibson. Rookie Tony Snell is starting to get more in to the mix off the bench and hopefully Mike Dunleavy can fill the void that Kyle Korver left. Korver doesn’t fit the Thibodeau book of defense. But that efficient shooting is missed greatly. Didn’t necessarily get a good upgrade in Dunleavy. He’s decent but not a plus. At this rate, it looks like the Bulls are going to be revamped in a similar fashion the way the Portland Trailblazers and Golden State Warriors have done to get back into the playoff mix. If the Bulls don’t make the playoffs it won’t be a surprise. This team looked doomed after the Rose injury. The biggest questions will be…Can D. Rose be a solid player again? Can the Bulls lure a GOOD free agent? Can they become a contender again? Only time will tell. But for now, Bulls fans, you’ll just have to let this season go. But hey Chicago, we’ll be ready when you are.

A-Train

The RETURN of the A-Train Rant!!!

Ranting-Homer

Believe it or not, it’s almost been a year since I did this blog and I guess it’s a good time than ever to do the blog again…so hear goes…

LADIES AND GENTS…

A-TRAIN RANT 9.0 (OH YEAH, STARTING WHERE I LEFT OFF)

  1. Man, it sucks to be Derrick Rose, he can’t catch a break if it didn’t hurt him. The Chicago Bulls star is out for the season again with another major knee injury. He’ll never be the same explosive guy again, and if he does return he needs to change his game real quick.
  2. Mizzou is 10-1, they are not overrated…as a matter of fact that weren’t supposed to be there in the first place. Mizzou beat up teams that were beat down…SO WHAT! THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO DO! To those experts that said they weren’t going anywhere, your eyes have been opened. THANK YOU!
  3. The St. Louis Rams had a great win this past week against the Chicago Bears (man Chicago fans got it bad, real bad), BUT the NFL has horrible officiating…WHERE ARE THE REPLACEMENT REFS? To one Jerome Boger, you better be glad that one of those Rams coaches didn’t break your neck after that God-awful terrible call against Michael Brockers that was a clear hit and not a penalty…Use your eyes and what others see. WOW!
  4. Over the past week, the St. Louis Cardinals dealt former World Series MVP and hometown guy David Freese over to the Angels for two outfielders. Thanks Freese for 2011, and again thank you for two terrible postseasons thereafter. Not only that, the Cardinals really got in to the fun by adding former Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Peralta signed a 4-year, $52 million deal with the club. So management went out and got another cheater, does that sum it up correctly? Then general manager John Mozeliak goes and says he’s not the “moral police.” I understand it’s a business but damn, I guess cheaters do prosper in society’s eyes. SHEESH!
  5. EA Sports NHL 14 maybe on to something…they have predicted (SERIOUSLY) that the St. Louis Blues will win the Stanley Cup this year. So far (as of this post) they are 2nd in the Central Division with a 16-3-3 (Wins, Losses, Ties) record. So far, so good! GO BLUES!
  6. Last night’s Survivor Series was the worst WWE pay-per-view I’ve seen in a long time. Catch my new show “Beyond The Ropes” and the panel and I will go into greater detail. Link will be posted on this site.

A-TRAIN RANT IS BACK AND THERE WILL BE MORE TO COME…WE HOPE.

A-TRAIN OUT.

THE A-TRAIN RANT 2.0!

Time now for another great rant from the A-Train and it goes a little something like this…

(Clears throat)

  1. RGIII is a beast! That’s tough luck for the Rams (PLEASE prove me wrong St. Louis, PLEASE!)
  2. Jay Cutler just needs to shut the HELL up and play some football. BEARS FANS YOU CAN THANK ME LATER.
  3. Dwight Howard will be a hinder the L.A. Lakers…which means no championship for DH12…don’t believe me, ask James Worthy.
  4. The Mizzou Tigers might get only 1 win in the next three weeks…and I’m a Tiger fan.
  5. If the St. Louis Cardinals continue to keep playing so pitiful (yeah even the 2-1 win was pitiful…yet helpful), the Atlanta Braves will have a good laugh and sweet revenge. Trust me…they have not forgotten about last season.
  6. THE WASHINGTON NATIONALS ARE PURE IDIOTS! PURE IDIOTS! You have a top pitcher in Stephen Strasburg and say…”Well, let’s shut him down for the season. Don’t mess up that golden arm.” Manager Davey Johnson seriously doesn’t believe in this theory. He just fooling people that he is for this. Either way, I hope they get swept in the division series.
  7. Gary Bettman and David Stern are the dumbest commissioners in the four major sports.
  8. Bud Selig and Roger Goodell (BELIEVE IT OR NOT) are the smartest commissioners. Sad part…I can’t stand any of them, yet I’m stuck with them. A friend of mine is going to love these previous two statements. I can feel it. **Kanye shrug**
  9. I still have hope for the Baltimore Orioles winning the AL East…baseball needs a true shakeup and Baltimore is it. Hey, it’s going to happen in Boston, except in a bad and negative way.
  10. If replacement refs are keeping the NFL afloat, then just take it and leave them alone. It could be worse, no refs, no NFL games. SO BE THANKFUL.
  11. So Jim Calhoun retires…I wish the best for him. 29 seasons, 3 national championships…a good legacy for the most. Now, the stuff behind the scenes that were not so great, is between him, the University of Connecticut, the NCAA and God. Well…good luck to Kevin Ollie. But seriously though, a one-year trial??? He only gets one year to prove himself…C’mon man!
  12. As a sports gamer (person who plays sports video games for slow ones) I like EA Sports…BUT if they dare put out NBA Live 13 this fall, they should never make basketball video games again. IT’S ATROCIOUS, IT’S AN ABOMINATION TO FANS! Plus, that interview w/ the Live engineer…FORGET IT, I REFUSE TO DO IT, don’t ask why. Thanks.
  13. Speaking to EA Sports games…this is directed to EA Sports: If you know how to make good football games, WHY DO YOU KEEP COMING UP SHORT ON BASKETBALL, WHY? ASK YOURSELVES THAT, PLEASE! IT’S A DAMN SHAME!
  14. On a lighter note, shoutout to Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls…I’ll let you see it for yourself. He’s a class act in my opinion. More athletes need to be humble. REAL TALK. Here you go: http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/nba-ball-dont-lie/derrick-rose-breaks-down-tears-shoe-company-product-130215847–nba.html
  15. UPDATE: Good to hear that Jerry “The King” Lawler is back after having a heart attack on last Monday’s LIVE Raw broadcast. The thing I don’t like is that the doctors that treated him said…HE CAN WRESTLE AGAIN? You’re serious? King, listen. You have had a storied career, but it’s really time to hang it up. Go back to the announcer’s table and stay there. GLUED TO THE SEAT! THANK YOU!

After that, I’m spent. Good day, folks.

The A-Train