Archive for November, 2012

BREAKING NEWS: The BrooksWeekly Sports Podcast is now scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. It will be aired through blogtalkradio.com in debate format between myself and Randall Thomas. The moderator for the show is Lakendra Lewis. Follow us on Twitter @ijuswanawrite @RandallKThomas @just_asKEN. Use the hashtag every7days.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks

Did head coach Jim Harbaugh make the right decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith?

Did head coach Jim Harbaugh make the right decision to start Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith?

I’m getting closer to scheduling the BrooksWeekly Sports Podcast. This time the on-air podcast will be in debate style between myself and Randall Thomas. Follow us on Twitter @ijuswanawrite and @RandallKThomas for more updates. You can also look for updates on my Facebook page, Kelton Brooks.

It’s hard to believe we are already near the final quarter mark of the NFL season. So much has happened over recent weeks.

Once a Super Bowl favorite, the Philadelphia Eagles are in shambles and look to clean the house at season’s end. Tebow who? He’s inactive this week due to injury, but he wasn’t much of a contributing factor. Does anybody remember that the Arizona Cardinals started the season 4-0? If I were the Kansas City Chiefs, I wouldn’t dare think about tanking. Geno Smith of West Virginia? Matt Barkley of the University of Southern California (USC) Neither of them appear to be franchise changing quarterbacks to me, but both are an upgrade over incumbent Matt Cassell and Brady Quinn. Who said you can’t lose your job because of an injury? Ask Alex Smith. As phenomenal as Colin Kaepernick is playing, I should point out that the last game Smith completed, he finished 18 for 19, 232 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. Just had to throw that out there.

Now, to the realm of predictions.

Brooks Wooten
Saints vs Falcons Falcons(W) Falcons(W)
Jaguars vs Bills Jaguars(L) Bills(W)
Seahawks vs Bears Bears(L) Bears(L)
Colts vs Lions Lions(L) Lions(L)
Vikings vs Packers Packers(W) Packers(W)
Texans vs Titans Texans(W) Texans(W)
Panthers vs Chiefs Panthers(L) Chiefs(W)
49ers vs Rams Rams(W) 49ers(L)
Patriots vs Dolphins Patriots(W) Patriots(W)
Cardinals vs Jets Jets(W) Cardinals(L)
Buccaneers vs Broncos Broncos(W) Broncos(W)
Browns vs Raiders Browns(W) Browns(W)
Bengals vs Chargers Bengals(W) Bengals(W)
Steelers vs Ravens Ravens(L) Ravens(L)
Eagles vs Cowboys Cowboys(W) Cowboys(W)
Giants vs Redskins Giants(L) Giants(L)

Brooks’ Bits

San Francisco 49ers (8-2-1) at St. Louis Rams (4-6-1)

The tie-breaker. Will someone win this time? Since Jim Harbaugh has been the head coach of the 49ers, only one team has rushed for over 150 yards against them, and that came two weeks ago to the Rams. Rookies but key contributors, Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins scored three of the Rams four touchdowns in last week’s win over the Cardinals. The two sat out the first meeting for violating team rules. Can this upstart defense put a stop to the NFL’s newest darling, Colin Kaepernick?

Philadelphia Eagles (3-8)  at Dallas Cowboys (5-6)

Remember the Eagles calling themselves the “Dream Team?” What about a “dynasty?” This once boastful team is now up for house cleaning. What about the Cowboys? Another season displaying their waste of talent. They are just an accident waiting to happen every game. This Sunday night game will still be highly televised, but this eye sore may be hard to watch.

Words from Wooten

Seattle Seahawks (6-5)  at Chicago Bears (8-3) 

With both Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner suspended, this is will very difficult for Seattle to come into Chicago and expect to get a W. On the other hand, I believe Jay Cutler is back so the Bears offense should be back to normal. Look for a good game with these two going up against each other.

Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5) at Baltimore Ravens (9-2)

Hey diddle diddle, Rice up the middle. With Pittsburgh’s front 7, its pretty hard to do such. On the other hand, Ray Rice is da man so he will make it happen. Now I’m not sure if Ben Roethlisberger is playing. If he is, they still loss because he’s not at 100 percent, not even 70 percent. Look for Pittsburgh to struggle in this one. (ESPN has reported that Roethlisberger is OUT)

New York Giants (7-4)  at Washington Redskins (5-6)

First off RGIII has made a few defenses look pretty stupid. He’s better than what I expected, but I’m still apprehensive about RGIII and Andrew Luck because when two QB’s are drafted numbers 1 and 2 in the draft, somebody does really bad. Anyway, I got the Giants taking this one.

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks

BREAKING NEWS: The BrooksWeekly Sports Podcast is scheduled to return. Instead of having guests call-in, this time it will be in debate format between myself and colleague Randall Thomas. We also look to have a moderator refereeing the debate. Follow me on Twitter @ijuswanawrite and Thomas @RandallKThomas for updates for the scheduled day.

Also, my apologies for the late release.

Moving along…

With the playoff picture starting to form, look for perennial powerhouse teams to take a stranglehold on their divisions.

You know the drill BrooksWeekly faithfuls, read ‘em and weep.

Brooks Wooten
Texans vs Lions Texans Texans
Redskins vs Cowboys Redskins Redskins
Patriots vs Jets Patriots Patriots
Vikings vs Bears Bears Bears
Raiders vs Bengals Bengals Bengals
Steelers vs Browns Browns Steelers
Bills vs Colts Bills Colts
Broncos vs Chiefs Broncos Broncos
Seahawks vs Dolphins Seahawks Seahawks
Falcons vs Buccaneers Buccaneers Falcons
Titans vs Jaguars Titans Titans
Ravens vs Chargers Chargers Ravens
49ers vs Saints 49ers 49ers
Rams vs Cardinals Rams Cardinals
Packers vs Giants Packers Packers
Panthers vs Eagles Panthers Eagles

Brooks Bits 

Atlanta Falcons (9-1) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-4)

A red-hot Bucs’ team who are on a four game winning streak take on the division leaders as they claw for a wild card birth. These two teams couldn’t contrast more in styles. Tampa Bay has a balanced offense by leaning on rookie of the year candidate, Doug Martin and third year ascending quarterback Josh Freeman. The Falcons high-octane offense soars with wideouts Julio Jones, Roddy White and Mr. Consistency Tony Gonzales. Who will stop who first? Hopefully Matt Ryan won’t throw another 5 interception.

Green Bay Packers (7-3) at New York Giants (6-4)

One of best matchups this week on Sunday night. For some reason I believe the Giants will do the opposite of what they did last year. I still think they will squeak into the playoffs because they will win their division. NYG picked a bad time to be in a funk as they face off a scorching Packers team who have reeled off 5 wins in a row. Will the Eli and the G-men dissect the Packers ailing secondary? Or will Green Bay continue to roll?

San Francisco 49ers (7-2-1) New Orleans Saints (5-5)

My favorite game of the week. At Nevada, Colin Kaepernick was Tebow. I am not surprised by the move to implement him as the stater. That is why he was drafted early in the second round in last year’s draft, to replace Alex Smith. After starting the season 0-4, the Saints have won five out of their last six and look to seek revenge in last year’s divisional nail biter in Candlestick Park.

Words from Wooten 

Denver Broncos (7-3) at Kansas Chiefs (1-9)

Denver wins. Enough said. I still think the top 5 BCS teams can beat the Chiefs.

Carolina Panthers (2-8)  at Philadelphia Eagles (3-7)

This may be an interesting game here. Philadelphia is Turnover City and Carolina continues to beat themselves. Philadelphia will win because of their defense.

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks

Great news everyone, I am now a part-time contributor/writer on ramblinfan.com which is featured on the St. Louis Rams team page on SportsIllustrated. Check me out on their as well.

Thank you all for the support.

Moving along…

How ironic is it that I finished in a tie with Delonte Wooten. (@WootBoogie)

Brooks: 8-4-1

Wooten: 8-4-1

You know the drill:

Brooks Wooten
Dolphins vs. Bills omit Dolphins
Cardinals vs. Falcons Falcons Falcons
Browns vs. Cowboys Cowboys Cowboys
Packers vs. Lions Packers Packers
Bengals vs. Chiefs Bengals Bengals
Jets vs. Rams Rams Rams
Eagles vs. Redskins Redskins Redskins
Buccaneers vs. Panthers Buccaneers Buccaneers
Jaguars vs. Texans Texans Texans
Saints vs. Raiders Saints Saints
Chargers vs. Broncos Broncos Broncos
Colts vs. Patriots Patriots Patriots
Ravens vs. Steelers Ravens Ravens
Bears vs. 49ers 49ers 49ers

Brooks Bits

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-4) at Carolina Panthers (2-7)

Cam Newton is in one heck of a sophomore slump and the bleeding doesn’t look to stop as they face a streaking Bucs’ team who have won their last three games. How will the Panthers contain the surging Josh Freeman as he connects with 6-foot-5 wideout Vincent Jackson.

Indianapolis Colts (6-3)  at New England Patriots (6-3)

Just like old times huh? Well, sort of. Can ROY favorite Andrew Luck go toe-to-toe with Tom Brady like his predecessor? It’s hard not to root for the Colts as they continue to play admirably for head coach Chuck Pagano who is undergoing chemotherapy. The ChuckStrong Colts will move the ball on one of the NFL’s worse defenses, but beating Brady in Foxboro is a tall order.

San Diego Chargers (4-5)  at Denver Broncos (6-3)

I guarantee you that the Chargers has this one circled on the calender. Since blowing that historical 24-0 lead to Denver, San Diego has lost three out four and the Peyton Manning lead Broncos has emerged as one of the top teams in the league. I just don’t see the MVP leader, Manning ,slowing down his miraculous return from two major neck surgeries.

Words from Wooten

Philadelphia Eagles (3-6) at Washington Redskins (3-6)

Looks like its Nick Foles against RG3 in a rookie QB showdown. This one here, will definitely be interesting. I got RG3 rushing for 100 yards in this one.

Arizona Cardinals (4-5) at Atlanta Falcons (8-1)

Arizona is going up against the wrong team to bounce back from a 5-game losing streak. Look for Matt Ryan to connect a few times with both Julio Jones and Roddy White. Man! Michael Crabtree sure did make Patrick Peterson look like a kid a few weeks ago

Chicago Bears (7-2) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2-1)

With no Cutler, the Bears will definitely get pushed around. On the other hand, Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman will walk away with an INT and forced fumble. The guy is underrated. He shut down Andre Johnson! The NFL should definitely give him the credit he deserves. Sorry Bears, but you guys won’t win this one.

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks

BY KELTON BROOKS

To the average spectator, the sport of boxing is straightforward: two athletes standing toe to toe in a ring, exchanging punches.

Once homeless and searching for his next meal, repeatedly wearing the same worn clothes, incarcerated for five years and fathering two children has been a reality for Anthony Harris.

“When I was growing up, we didn’t have that much of nothing. We struggled trying to live life, living in boxes, and sometimes we barely had food on the table,” he said

Harris also said if it wasn’t for The Pantry, United Way of Oxford-Lafayette County, which is an all-volunteer organization that provides a family in need with a one-week supply of food and staples, he would have gone days without eating.

But it still wasn’t enough.

A quick left past the busy intersection of Molly Barr Road and North Lamar Boulevard lies a house supported by cinder blocks, a window with no glass with tattered curtains, vines and roots growing through the outer walls and a battered door that has been tampered with on numerous occasions.

The inside holds a broken thermostat with neither the heat nor cold, squeaking wooden floors and a short, narrow hallway that could barley support two people. These conditions are unfit for a house with four children, a mother and three teenagers, but this house is home to Harris.

“I’m over here every day just trying to do something around the house,” Harris said.

“If I’m not here, I’m either at practice or out looking for a job, putting in more applications,” he said.

“But I still haven’t found anything yet.”

Beyond the courage Harris draws from himself and the motivation from his troubled past, his boxing coach pushes him harder than any other boxer.

“Anthony is a jewel in the rough,” Coach Brian Hawks.

“He started heads above the guys that I get, he was already athletic, coordinated and very fast hands,” Hawks said.

Harris has been attending the Oxford Park Commission for the past four months. The OPC is an activity center that contains a portion that consists of boxing.

“He’s improved on a fundamental level in terms of his defense, keeping his hands up, using his footwork to allude, and his punching power has increased through various strength exercises and the heavy bag,” Hawks said.

After a few personal talks with Harris, Hawks knows what boxing means to him.

“Boxing in this location in particular has always been a haven or refuge,” Hawks said.

“The little I know about Anthony, I can tell his attitude is conducive with change and making a positive influence on his life, I’m really happy for him.”

Coach Hawks also added that it takes a boxer nine months to get a boxer into “good fighting shape,” which includes the physical aspect as well mental.

“This is a tough profession, most fighters a farm fighters, which means they don’t get anywhere in the game,” said Jon Lewis, Chairman of the Mississippi Athletic Commission.

“They’re not that many organizations or gyms for that m matter to support the amount of fighters we get every day,” Lewis said.”

When a boxer begins their pro careers, the normal process is to escalade through the amateur ranks, but Lewis said this isn’t always the case.

“Some people that go pro in boxing never have an amateur career,” Lewis said.

“Sometimes kids that do lengthy amateur careers did well, but they got too washed up with too many fights.”

Lewis knows there are people who come to boxing looking for a way out. He message to them were simple and direct.

“For kids who come in looking for boxing as a scapegoat, they better be prepared to strap up.”

Harris improvement in his skills isn’t solely coming from the strenuous and draining training regiment, but also the pain from his past.

“Boxing is where I can take out my frustration when I’m in the ring,” Harris said.

“Not just letting it all out on my opponent, but just to be in the ring is letting it out,” he said.

“It relieves a lot of pain from my past.”

Harris also said he’s not boxing just for himself, but his whole family.

“I’m going to keep doing this until I get bigger and better,” Harris said

“I’m doing this for my mom, my nieces and nephews and to let the homeless kids know that I feel they’re pain.”

Be sure to check out Justin Long ‘5 for the Title’ (recent post tab) follow him on Twitter @ItsFlyyingJ 

Continuing my dominance with predictions, check out the results from last week:

Brooks: 13-1

Wooten: 11-3

Thomas: 9-5

Ream ‘em and weep:

Brooks Wooten
Colts vs Jaguars Colts Colts
Giants vs Bengals Giants Giants
Titans vs Dolphins Dolphins Dolphins
Lions vs Vikings Lions Vikings
Bills vs Patriots Patriots Patriots
Falcons vs Saints Saints Falcons
Chargers vs Buccaneers Buccaneers Buccaneers
Broncos vs Panthers Broncos Broncos
Jets vs Seahawks Seahawks Seahawks
Cowboys vs Eagles Eagles Cowboys
Rams vs 49ers Rams 49ers
Texans vs Bears Texans Bears
Chiefs vs Steelers Steelers Steelers

Brooks Bits

New York Giants (6-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)

With the Giants hot start to the season, I can’t help but to think the defending champs will go into reverse down the stretch. They have always started mediocre and finished strong, perhaps this season is different as they look to keep the engine churning. Cincy is on a 4 game losing streak. the second-year pro Andy Dalton needs to be more assertive, maybe a win over the Giants will ignite the spark that head coach Marvin Lewis is looking for.

Dallas Cowboys (3-5) at Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)

It has been rumored that regardless of what happens to either team, both will look to offer the head coaching job to the Saints suspended HC Sean Payton. Well in the meantime, which one of these teams will right the ship? This is a must win game for both, a 3-6 record will all but end their playoff hopes. The Eagles makeshift O-line has to find a way to contain DeMarcus Ware from causing chaos all game long. As for Dallas, the Eagles defense looks like a chicken running around with its head off at times, Big D must expose Philly’s defense. Hopefully Dallas won’t beat themselves.

Houston Texans (7-1)  at Chicago Bears (7-1)

Is this a possible Super Bowl Preview? This game will be decided by defense. Chicago has been known for a poor offensive line. Jay Cutler has to be cringing after every sack and swatted ball by the leading candidate for defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt. And don’t think Matt Schuab and Andre Johnson isn’t paying attention the league’s interception leader in Charles ‘Peanut’ Tillman. This may be one of the best games of the year.

Words from Wooten

Indianapolis Colts (5-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)

Unfortunately, there is no hope for Jacksonville. At this point in the season, I feel like the top 5 BCS teams can beat them with a comfortable margin. Especially Bama. (RollTide)  All in all, Jacksonville needs to draft Manti Te’o (MLB from Notre Dame) or a franchise caliber quarterback  to progress their rebuilding process.

Atlanta Falcons (8-0) at New Orleans Saints (3-5)

As much as I love New Orleans because of my Louisiana past, I’m giving this one to Atlanta. They are clicking on all cylinders and there are playing like they want it all.

New York Jets (3-5) at Seattle Seahawks (5-4)

It is safe to say that Tebow Time is over. New York has made a mistake by trying to make Mark Sanchez something he isn’t, a franchise QB. Seattle’s 12th man will significantly intensify this game.

*Brooks Bits part-2

I can’t believe the NFL is already passed its halfway mark. With the usual suspects peaking at this time of year, the surprising Atlanta Falcons are still undefeated at 8-0, and the Chicago Bears’ (7-1)  and their drive halting defense is arguably the league’s best team. Lets take a look at the division leaders thus far:

AFC NORTH                                                                    NFC NORTH 

1. Baltimore Ravens (6-2)                                            1. Chicago Bears (7-1)

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)                                         2. Green Bay Packers (6-3)

3. Cincinnati Bengals (3-5)                                          3. Minnesota Vikings (5-4)

4. Cleveland Browns (2-7)                                           4. Detroit Lions (4-4)

AFC SOUTH                                                                   NFC SOUTH

1. Houston Texans (7-1)                                                1. Atlanta Falcons (8-0)

2. Indianapolis Colts (5-3)                                             2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-4)

3. Tennessee Titans (3-6)                                             3. New Orleans Saints (3-5)

4. Jacksonville Jaguars (1-7)                                       4. Carolina Panthers (2-6)

AFC EAST                                                                         NFC EAST

1. New England Patriots (5-3)                                   1. New York Giants (6-3)

2. Miami Dolphins (4-4)                                            2. Philadelphia Eagles (3-5)

3. New York Tebows Jets  (3-5)                               3. Dallas Cowboys (3-5)

4. Buffalo Bills (3-5)                                                  4. Washington Redskins (3-6)

AFC WEST                                                                       NFC WEST

1. Denver Broncos (5-3)                                               1. San Francisco 49ers (6-2)

2. San Diego Chargers (4-4)                                        2. Seattle Seahawks (5-4)

3. Oakland Raiders (3-5)                                              3. Arizona Cardinal (4-5)

4. Kansas City Chiefs (1-7)                                          4. St. Louis Rams (3-5)

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Kelton Brooks

BY JUSTIN LONG

Aaah, another season of the sport that helped mold and shape me as a youth: professional basketball. No offense to any other sport, but the NBA is unique in that each season, the storylines of the league may change drastically, and cellar dwellers can turn into championship contenders with the turn of one or two trades. Here are some storylines from what I see as the 5 true contenders to the title this season.

Miami Heat: After many attempts, a ring was finally presented to the “King,” Lebron James. The Heat maintained their core team of James, Dwyane Wade, and the always comical Chris Bosh; Miami is in position for another run to the title adding one of the greatest shooters of all time in Ray Allen and one of the greatest thieves of all time in Rashard Lewis. Will the Heat’s additions prove to be enough to take them to the top again?

LA Lakers: Obviously the big winners in the summer’s ongoing Dwight Howard sweepstakes, the Lakers came up with a windfall, only losing their sputtering young center Andrew Bynum and a handful of bench players. Also, the Lakers came up with yet another bonus by scoring the aging, yet still excellent point guard Steve Nash. Creating what is yet ANOTHER team of “super starters” with Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Howard. Although this team is very capable, it is faced with the daunting future of very short term contracts. How will this team respond to its new challenge of “championship or bust?”

Oklahoma City Thunder: Last year was a phenomenal year for the young team; advancing all the way to the NBA Finals. Expect young stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook to continue their streak of dominance at their positions. However, this year’s team is indeed a different one due to the loss of the $80 million dollar man James Harden off the bench. Although the starting 5 won’t change much (the addition of Kevin Martin), there will be undoubtedly a different dynamic in the bench play of the Thunder. Will this move hurt or help the budding team?

Boston Celtics: With the loss of Ray Allen to their conference rivals, this team just keeps looking older and older. The addition of Jason Terry and Courtney Lee should help their chances of remaining relevant, as well as drafting a pair of young centers in Fab Melo and Jared Sullinger. The  stalwart play of all-star PG Rajon Rondo will provide a huge burst of energy to the team. Although, the overriding question of the season will remain: Will this team have enough gas at the end of the season to make the most of what will more than likely be its last season at its current state?

Dallas Mavericks: The Mavs were one of the many teams who were jilted by Dwight Howard in this summer’s soap opera, as well as missing out on the Deron Williams boat. The Mavericks endured all sorts of lineup changes and could end up having the most solid starting five in the league. The addition of Chris Kaman and Elton Brand provides them with much needed toughness in the post, and the addition of OJ Mayo and Darren Collison provides a young, explosive backcourt with room to grow. Look for the Mavs to make a deep run.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

#every7days

-Justin Long

edited by: Kelton Brooks