Average Thoughts From An Average Fan 10-29-12

It pains me to have to write the following paragraph…

One of the worst experiences in sports is watching your arch rival win.  Last night I experienced this for the second time in three years as the San Francisco Giants swept the Detroit Tigers en route to becoming the 2012 World Series Champions.  Like many other Dodgers fans it made me sick watching the black and orange dancing around in a celebratory fashion in October.  Once in 2010 was bad enough but to have to experience it again just two years later was a big time punch to the gut for fans of the azul.

Ok.  Now that I’ve got the paragraph from the “biased fan” perspective out of my system.  It’s time to express my feelings from the “mature adult” perspective.  If the players on this team weren’t wearing San Francisco Giants laundry it’s likely I would’ve been openly rooting for them to win it all.  When you look at the Giants line up on paper you don’t see a list filled with household names and superstars from top to bottom.But that’s what makes their story so great.

These guys played a great team game and everybody bought in to the goal and made whatever sacrifices were necessary to achieve it.  Isn’t that the kind of behavior we all want to see out of our favorite teams?  Is that not the kind of values we teach our kids to not only carry with them in sports but in everyday life?

I tip my hat to the Giants.  They deserve every bit of the success they achieved this year.  (Please Baseball Gods, don’t make me ever have to write that again)

Hopefully some good can come out of the Giants success as far as LA fans are concerned and that  Dodgers management will be motivated even further to step their game up and get the Dodgers back to the top of baseball’s food chain where they belong.

Another year of “The Association”  is upon us…

As another year of professional basketball entertainment gets underway on October 30.  My predictions for the season can be found here.  If you root for the Lakers, Thunder or Heat you obviously have the most to be excited about as your teams are the overwhelming favorites to hoist the Larry O’Brien Trophy at the end of the season.  If you have dreams of a championship and you root for one of the other 27 teams in the league then this year is likely going to be a complete and utter failure for you.

This past Sunday night on “The Average Joe Show NBA Preview Special” I had a moment of clarity about my view of the NBA.  The “one percent” have most of the wealth while the other 99% are fighting for what’s left.

The NBA is a lot like society.  In the history of the league there have been 63 champions.  The Boston Celtics (17), Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers (16)  have combined to win 33 championships.  That means either the Celtics or Lakers have won 52.4% of the time.

If you add in the Chicago Bulls (6) and San Antonio Spurs (4) that means those four teams have combined to win it all 68.3% of the time.  That’s four teams with more than 2/3 of all the championships in the history of the league.  Between 1987-1998 there were no “one and done” champion.  Every team went back to back or in the case of the Bulls “three-peated”.

If there’s any kind of “occupy” movement that should be going on, it should be in front of the NBA’s office.

I know a new season brings new hope and optimism each year but if you’re a fan of any team not named, Lakers, Celtics, Thunder or Heat you’re simply fooling yourself.

Do I think it’s the NBA’s goal to have such competitive imbalance?  Of course not.  But by making it a players league where the individuals, not teams are marketed along with not having a hard salary cap, the league is reaping what they’ve sowed.  It’s the big markets in one corner and everyone else in the other.

This is what the NBA’s commercials should be saying, “The NBA…It’s fantastic!  (Offer does not apply to Bucks, Kings, Bobcats, Hornets, Wizards or Raptors fans).

Once again I would like to thank Gary Bettman…

For proving that he is far and away the worst commissioner in all of professional sports.  A few days ago the league announced that all November games would be cancelled.  Now I just read that their annual “Winter Classic” out door game is expected to be cancelled in the coming days.

Way to go Gary!  Only under your leadership could a sport that I love lose an entire season due to a labor dispute and less than ten years later threaten to do it again.

It’s already bad enough that fan interest has declined and the TV deal is worse off than when you took over once upon a time but now you’re once again taking games from me.  Please step down and hand over the reigns to someone that knows what they’re doing.  Stop ruining a great game.

Also to blame in this matter is Donald Fehr.  You might remember him as the man who ran the Major League Baseball Players Association when they went on strike in 1994 ultimately resulting in the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series that year.

You’re bad for sports Donald Fehr and I can’t stand you!  Please go away and stop taking things that I enjoy away from me.

Joe Pacheco

Co-host “The Average Joe Show”

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Average Thoughts: MLB Playoff Edition 10-14-12

I love the baseball postseason…

And I can’t think of a better example why as to this year’s four first round playoff series.  The two biggest underdog stories of the year, the Oakland A’s and Baltimore Orioles took the favored Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees respectively all the way to a final fifth and decisive Game 5 in each of their series.

The defending champion St. Louis Cardinals overcame a 6-0 deficit in their Game 5 to stun the Washington Nationals and the San Francisco Giants won three straight on the road against the Cincinnati Reds while becoming the first National League team to overcome a 0-2 deficit in a best of five series.

I was rooting for Oakland, Baltimore, Washington and Cincinnati so even though I was disappointed by the outcomes of each series, all provided great drama and kept me glued to my seat until the very end.  As a baseball fan I can’t ask for more than that.  As for the next round, I’ll be rooting for St. Louis and Detroit.

A terrible occurrence took place in the Bronx last night…

When the Yankees lost shortstop Derek Jeter for the rest of the postseason when he fractured his left ankle while trying to make a diving play during New York’s 6-4 loss in Game One of the ALCS against Detroit.

Those of you who regularly read my blog know I never root for the Yankees and am in no hurry to see them win their 27th championship however I never want to see a player get injured, let alone a player of the caliber and class of the Yankees captain.  When I root for the Yankees to lose I want them to get beat when they’re at full strength.

Jeter’s injury is not only a loss for the Yankees but all of baseball this postseason.  Here’s wishing “The Captain” a speedy recovery.  I hope he eventually gets to end his postseason career on a healthy note.

I thought it was one the biggest crimes in baseball…

That the Washington Nationals continued to be stubborn in their position of not letting Stephen Strasburg pitch in these playoffs.  The decision by Washington’s management to shut Strasburg down after reaching a season innings limit is a huge slap in the face to every player and coach in the organization as well as every one of their fans who supports the team with their hard earned money.

Yes, the Nationals were way ahead of schedule in compiling baseball’s best regular season record at 98-64.  You can’t argue with the fact the team is in a great position to make annual playoff appearances over the next several years.  However, current success is not a guarantee of future results and chances to win the World Series don’t come along every year.

Not pitching Strasburg wasn’t the reason Washington lost Game 5 but during this off-season everyone in the Nationals organization along with their fans will be focused on what might’ve been.

Shame on the Nationals organization for letting their ego get in the way of a doing what’s best for the team.  You were a great story this season Washington but your decision not to play your best healthy pitcher means that I don’t feel sorry for you.

Never underestimate the heart of a champion…

The St. Louis Cardinals showed us why in a 9-7 win over Washington in the decisive Game 5 of their first round series.  Not only did they overcome a 6-0 deficit in the game but they were down to their last strike twice before pulling off the biggest comeback ever in a winner take all postseason game.

Since winning it all last year the Cardinals lost manager Tony LaRussa to retirement and their best player in first baseman Albert Pujols to free agency.  They respond by continuing to not only win but do it in a historically, dramatic fashion.  Congrats Cardinals!  You deserve every bit of your success.

Average NFL Thoughts From An Average Fan: 9-19-12

Here we are two weeks into the NFL season and those of you who take the time to read my writings had to think that I was going to emerge from the underground sooner or later to share with you, my loyal readers, some thoughts and opinions.  I figured now as as good of a time as any, so without further ado:

Let me start with a theory…

There are many reasons why American’s love football.  The hard-hitting and highlight reel plays are a couple that come to mind.  I think I might have figured out the biggest reason why we love watching the gladiators of the gridiron.  It’s because the NFL is the greatest reality show on television.  No matter how hard you try it’s nearly impossible to figure out each team from week to week.

One week the Patriots look great, the next week they lose at home to Arizona.

The Jets score 48 points at home against Buffalo then they head out on the road and look awful against the Steelers.

Those same Buffalo Bills rebounded from their embarrassing loss in week one to hand the Kansas City Chiefs a solid thumping in week two.

Everybody was riding high on the Cowboys after an impressive week one victory on the road against the New York Giants.  In week two they fall right back down to earth in a defeat on the road at Seattle.

These are reasons why the casinos in Las Vegas continue to build new attractions and taller buildings.  These are reasons why I don’t game on the NFL.  It’s too unpredictable and with the level of parody throughout the league it’s best to just sit back and watch.

Nothing upset me more…

Than watching my Oakland Raiders just come out and fall flat on their face against the Miami Dolphins.  The way the Raiders played you would think Miami is a Super Bowl caliber team.

Dolphins running back Reggie Bush looked like he did when he was running the ball for USC rushing for 172 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Reggie Bush is a good running back but I don’t think he’s that good.

The worst thing was watching Brian Hartline catch 9 passes for 111 yards on the same 10 yard out pattern.  I’m not an NFL coach but isn’t there some adjustment that can be made by the defensive coordinator or the defensive backs who are covering him?  For crying out loud he’s Brian Hartline, not Calvin Johnson.  If you can’t stop Brian Hartline from making the same play over and over and over again,  frankly you don’t deserve to win and the Raiders didn’t losing 35-13.

I can’t write one more word without getting this off thought off my chest…

How can the NFL talk about integrity and still have replacement officials two weeks into the season?  It’s painfully obvious that these guys have no clue what’s going on.  They’re calling penalties on plays that aren’t and failing to call penalties on plays that are.

In Monday night’s  game between the Falcons and Broncos the referees looked completely lost out there.  To paraphrase a tweet I read last night, the referees were doing their part to make sure Peyton Manning wasn’t having the worst night in the building.

Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, is running a multi-billion dollar business.  Mr.  Goodell, for the love of all creatures big and small please get a deal done with the regular referees and restore integrity to America’s favorite game.

I know we’re only two weeks into the season but…

This years 49er team looks like the best team in the league.  At minimum they look like the best team in the NFC.  They are coming off an outstanding season last year in which they appeared in the NFC Championship game and so far looked like they’re ready to achieve even greater things.

It’s amazing the job  Jim Harbaugh has done 18 game into his tenure as head coach.  Quarterback Alex Smith is finally showing signs of his potential as is tight end Vernon Davis.  Their running game is as good as any in the league and their defense is scary good.  Right now I’m having trouble finding a team that can slow them down.  Maybe Green Bay, but we all saw how things turned out in week one.

Just remember that this praise is coming from a die hard Raiders fan but when a team is impressive I’m not afraid to say it, even when it pains me to do so.  My hats off to you 49ers.  So far you’ve earned it!

An NFL icon has left us…

The man behind NFL Films, Steve Sabol passed away yesterday at the age of 69 from brain cancer.  Along with his father Ed Sabol, Steve captured the pageantry and drama of every NFL game each week telling its unique story through the eyes of a camera lense and with a narration on par with the greatest of writers.  The importance of Steve Sabol’s contributions to the game of football can not be understated.  What he did for the game is as important as any player, coach or owner.

This morning I was listening to The Dan Patrick Show and DP was saying that Steve Sabol is not in the NFL Hall of Fame.  If I wasn’t sitting down I would’ve fallen over.  How is this possible?  How can you ignore what Sabol did for the game for decades?  Chances are he’ll get in sooner rather than later because of his death but I think it’s one of the biggest crimes in sports that he would acquire such an honor posthumously.

Mr. Sabol should’ve been inducted into the Hall of Fame 20 years ago when he was very much alive and in good health.  Shame on you NFL and Hall of Fame voting committee for failing to recognize all the good Steve Sabol did for America’s favorite game and awarding him the game’s highest honor while he was around to appreciate it.

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Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan 7-30-12

There is no better time to be a sports fan than the present.  The major league baseball non-waiver trade deadline is less than 24 hours away, the summer Olympics are in full swing and NFL teams opened up their training camps today.

 

Let’s start with some of the recent baseball trades…


Like most Dodger fans, I love the recent acquisition of Hanley Ramirez.  The new LA third baseman is hitting .333 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and 5 runs scored in his first five games since being traded from Miami.  People forget that Ramirez is only 28 years old.  If he can recapture any resemblance of the all-star form he had with the Marlins where he was batting well north of .300 while scoring 125 runs and joining the 30/30 club, the Dodgers will have “gun and ski masked” the Marlins out of one of the games best talents.  Regardless when your third baseman is Juan Uribe, the only place you can go is up.


Not to be out done by their southern California rivals…


The Angels acquired former AL Cy Young award winner Zack Greinke from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for three minor leaguers.  After a disappointing start to the season and with their biggest division rival also rumored to be in the mix for Greinke’s services the Angels knew they had to make a big splash.  People can say what they want about Angels owner Arte Moreno but every year he at least takes some kind of action to put the Angels in the best position to win.  Add Greinke to a staff that also features Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson and Dan Haren and you might have the best starting pitching foursome in the game today.

It was the end of an era in Seattle…


On July 23 the Mariners said good-bye to the face of their franchise when they shipped Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees.  After the deal was made it was reported that Ichiro had gone to Seattle ownership and quietly asked for a trade.  Big props to Ichiro for requesting his deal the right way, privately and face to face with ownership.  Not through the press and publicly like a certain NBA center.

While I’m not happy that the Yankees benefited from the deal, I’m happy for Ichiro that he gets to spend the twilight of his career playing meaningful baseball.  While the old Ichiro that was getting 200 hits a year is long gone, this current version still has plenty left in the tank on a team that is stacked and loaded and in no way needs him to carry a big load.

I also want to give a big “thumbs up” to the Seattle Mariners for honoring Ichiro’s request and giving the future hall of famer who had given so much to the franchise, a chance to end his career on a better note than he would have had he been a stuck on a last place team that is year’s away from making any noise.

I don’t know what it is about the Olympics…


But I just love watching the games.  While I wouldn’t give a darn about most of these sports in the year’s in between the games I just love it when it’s “flag versus flag”.

Yesterday I found myself watching beach volleyball, Ping Pong, water polo, rowing and swimming.  If I came across these sports while flipping through the channels at any other time I would’ve just kept right on going but since it’s the Olympics and one country’s best is competing with another country’s best for world bragging rights I get hooked and before I know it hour’s have passed by.

On to the association…


Where weeks continue to pass by and still Dwight Howard is listed on the Orlando Magic’s roster.  I don’t know about the rest of you but I’m completely washing my hands of this story.  At this point, I truly could care less where he winds up.  In fact, I will no longer write or talk about Dwight Howard trade rumors until a trade has officially been announced.  Goodbye for now Dwight Howard.  See you when the season starts and we can talk about your play on the court or when you’re wearing an NBA jersey that is not Orlando’s.

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Average Thoughts From An Average Sports Fan 7-16-12

As former FBI Director Louis Freeh read the findings of his report regarding the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, all I could think of was that this has to be one of the top 10 worst days in the history of sports.

Penn State University President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President Gary Schultz all should have a special spot in prison reserved for them.  If Joe Paterno was still alive I believe he should have spent the last years of his life rotting away in a jail cell too.  No doubt Sandusky is the worst kind of human being there is.  Spanier, Curley, Schultz, and “Joe Pa” are not far behind.

I know  for decades Paterno did a lot of good things for a lot of  people, however his failure to protect the well beings of children undoes all of that in my eyes.  No longer can I  remember Joe Paterno as simply the head coach of Penn State football.  For me he is now Joe Paterno, a man who did nothing to stop child abuse of the worst kind.  Disgusting!

Now back to sports…

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant in a recent interview said this year’s version of the USA Olympic basketball team could beat the famous 1992 “Dream Team” who won the gold medal in the 1992 Olympics and was lead by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and numerous other hall of famers.

I admire Kobe Bryant’s basketball abilities a lot.  If his career was over today I would definitely put him down as one of the top 10 greatest to ever play the game.  But in this case Bryant needs to put down whatever delusional inducing substances are making him talk that way and come back to reality.  I love your competitive spirit Kobe but in this case you’re just wrong.  Plain and simple.

Speaking of competitive spirit…

You have to admire the guts of Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving.  The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year challenged Bryant to a one on one game.   Has Mr. Irving been taking bath salts?  Does he know who he’s messing with?

Bryant is a five time NBA champ, two time Finals MVP and former regular season MVP.  Not to mention he is currently fifth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.  He is one of the proudest men ever to play the game, and has a competitive fire that is second to none.  Although Bryant will be turning 34 this year, there is no way that he lets a young 20 something trash talker embarrass him.  Be careful what you ask for Mr. Irving because you just might get it.

In more basketball related news…

Despite trading for Portland Trailblazer point guard Raymond Felton, I can’t imagine the New York Knicks not matching the Houston Rocket’s 3 year, $25 million offer sheet for fan favorite Jeremy Lin.  Although you can argue whether it makes basketball sense for them to do so, what you can’t argue with is how much it makes sense marketing wise for the Knicks to bring him back.

Deep down New York knows they don’t have a strong chance to win a championship this season, but they do know that if they bring back Lin they have a strong chance to make even more money from ticket sales.  If you can’t win on the court, you might as well win in the financial department.

Before I go any further I must say…

On behalf of all Lakers fans I would like to thank Ramon Sessions for exercising his player option to become a free agent.  Because of your belief that you could make more money long term by doing so, the Lakers were able to make a trade to bring a future hall of famer and much better point guard in Steve Nash to Los Angeles.  Thanks again Mr. Sessions.  Your efforts were truly appreciated.  Best wishes to you in Charlotte where you’ll be lucky to win 20 games.  Meanwhile the Lakers will be competing for a championship.

On to baseball…

This Los Angeles Dodgers fan is extremely excited to keep reading they’re involved in several different trade talks to try and better their ball club, and make a second half run.  Of the various names they’ve been linked to I would most like to see them acquire Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster and Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez.

Dempster has pitched extremely well this season leading the majors with a 1.86 ERA while failing to allow a run over the past 33 consecutive innings he has pitched.  Moving from hitter friendly Wrigley Field to pitcher friendly Dodger Stadium would make Dempster that much better while increasing the Dodgers chances at a postseason berth.

Ramirez would give the Dodgers some desperately needed power production out of a corner infielder while providing great protection in the line up for Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.  The 34 year old currently holds a .272 batting average to go along with 10 HR,  52 RBI, 28 doubles and 50 runs scored this season.

And last but not least…

College football is under two months away from starting and the first NFL preseason games are a just a few weeks away.  Football season is almost here!  Yeah buddy!

Joe Pacheco

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There Are More Questions Than Answers In Adrian Peterson’s Arrest

On Saturday, July 7th news broke that Minnesota Vikings all everything running back Adrian Peterson was arrested in Houston, Texas for resisting arrest. Allegedly Peterson, his girlfriend and his family were asked to leave a night club twice by an off duty police officer (doing security for the club) only to have Peterson say that the group “had heard him the first time” then pushed the officer in the shoulder, causing the officer to stumble. It is also alleged that Peterson was visibly intoxicated and it took 3 police officers to detain him. The whole incident is on video, yet the version I watched on TMZ.com shows a club with patrons still lingering around and 3 policemen and I plain clothed officer holding Peterson trying to “escort” him out.

(photo courtesy of Necessary Exposure)

 

Before any rival NFC North fans start cracking (another) a joke about the Vikings and Peterson’s arrest, I caution that there may be more to this story. Peterson has never had any run-in’s or off the field incidents (other then a speeding ticket) during his time in the NFL. Furthermore this seems so far from his personality that it is a real head scratcher to most covering the NFL and those that know him personally. Lastly Houston Police Department is known in the entertainment and athletic circles for harassing African American and Hispanic athletes and entertainers.

 

I was told by a source that was there that Peterson wanted to get a glass of water before he left and was told by the off-duty officer that they had to leave immediately. That is when Peterson said that “they heard him the first time” and other words were exchanged between Peterson, his party and the officer. My source told me that Peterson was apparently (slowly) walking to the door when three other officers “ran up on him from behind and tried to detain him.” He went on to say “one police officer jumped on his back and tried to take him down but he couldn’t, so two more came to help try and bring him down. After that the remaining people in the club were all tripp’in out and it started to get crazy.”

(photo courtesy of Necessary Exposure)

 

It is fairly common for nightclubs and bars to hire off-duty police to run their security. A lot of the times the establishments will allow the security to have a drink or two (should they want one) throughout the night and allow certain people stay for “after hours” which is when the bar is closed to the public but the select few can stay and drink (normally for free) until the owner/manager decides to go home. From my experience most “celebrities” stay longer (if they do not have a security team with them) so they won’t get hassled by fans looking for an autograph or pictures.

 

But I digress. In Peterson’s case, from the video clip I watched, there were plenty of people in the club just hanging out. I question why Peterson was the person that officer targeted. Was it because Peterson allegedly said “that they heard him the first time”? From my experience (and I have said the same thing) if I am in a conversation about where we are going to next to eat or trying to round up my group it may take a couple minutes to get everyone together, the security would give us a minute or two then come back & insruct us to leave immediately. Why would an officer jump on his back when Peterson wasn’t expecting it? If he was slowly walking towards the door was it necessary for three police officers and an off-duty officer to bring him down and detain him? Wouldn’t Peterson walking towards the door be considered “complying”?

Photo courtesy of Necessary Exposure

 

I’ve worked in the entertainment industry and the club scene long before and while I was in radio. I have been in plenty of bars and clubs and the security is less than polite trying to get patrons to leave and can have a short fuse, rude and have no problem getting physical with whomever doesn’t obey their commands. Before this incident happened on July 7th it is well known that the H.P.D. is a Police Department that had “Hip Hop Police” (or a police department targeted minorities that drove expensive cars or had money). The stories I was told (over the years) by friends that are in the industry had me questioning why no one has filed a complaint or went public with any claims of racial profiling against the department. After Peterson’s arrest the first thing I thought was there had to be more to this story then what is being reported, partly because of who it was being arrested and mostly because who was arresting him.

 

Here are a few instances of the Houston police department and their run-in’s with athletes over the years:

 

In 1987 when two Seattle SuperSonics players, Dale Ellis and Kevin Williams, were arrested after an altercation with the assistant manager and two Houston police officers. The owner of the club said Williams had been blocking an aisle at a waitress station, and assistant manager Scott Shelton asked him to move. When he refused, a waitress told Houston police Officers who work off-duty security jobs at the club. As they were approaching, the two officers said they saw Williams punch Shelton in the face.

 

The off-duty police officers asked Williams to go outside with them, but when Williams refused, they told him he was under arrest and tried to take him to a club office.They had a hard time trying to handcuff him so Ellis came over and asked if there was another way to resolve the issue. As the officers took the players back to the club office, they found out that they were members of the Sonics and told the players they could call their coach to inform him of the arrest.

 

Then Houston Rockets Coach Bill Fitch joked  “They were arrested for what? Spitting on the sidewalk or beating us yesterday afternoon?”

 

This incident happened less then a year after New York Mets players Ron Darling, Bob Ojeda, Rick Aguilera and second baseman Tim Teufel were arrested outside a bar, after Teufel got into a scuffle with police when he was told he could not take a drink out of the building. Darling and Teufel were fined $200 and served a month of their one-year probation before it was dismissed. Misdemeanor hindering arrest charges against Ojeda and Aguilera were dismissed.

 

This past June three Toronto TC (MLS) players were arrested for public intoxication after being involved with a fight at a club in Houston. The Houston Police spokesman told reporters “Our officers tried to disperse the fight at which time they refused to leave and then began to have verbal altercations with the officers. One of them ran and so the officer ran and the officer took him into custody.”

 

On Saturday July 7th, I tweed current Green Bay Packers Senior Personnel Executive and former University of Miami &  Houston Oilers running back Alonzo Highsmith about Peterson’s arrest and the H.P.D. being “dirty” and he replied back with the following tweet:

Alonzo Highsmith@alonzohighsmith

@joearrigo remember when me and three friends pulled over with guns drawn! Report of 3 African Americans looking suspicious!! WTF

 

The Showtime Lakers teams were also effected by the H.P.D. James Worthy, their Hall of Fame forward, was arrested by Houston vice officers in 1990 on two counts of solicitation of prostitution and was jailed hours before the team’s game against the Rockets. Worthy was released on $500 bail and arrived in the second quarter of the Lakers/Rockets game.

 

Sgt. Ross Gonzales, the H.P.D. spokesperson at that time said that “At approximately 2:30 or 3 o’clock, he (Worthy) was arrested by undercover vice officers on two counts of solicitation of prostitution.” He went on to say  “Our understanding is that he contacted an escort service that we monitor. Two of our vice officers responded to the request he made. He arranged a transaction, at which time they made an arrest.”

 

Worthy had not been in any trouble off the court before or after this situation.

 

The alleged racial profiling of the Houston PD reaches into the world of Hip Hop as well.  A multi-platinum selling and Grammy Award winning rapper Chamillionaire wrote the song (which won the Grammy for  Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group) “Ridin (Dirty)’” about the corrupt Houston PD.

 

If the player (or person) that was arrested were a player (or person) with a history of violence or poor off-the field behavior it wouldn’t raise as many questions. But we are talking about the best running back in football that has only had one blemish on his off-the field history, a speeding ticket in 2009. He’s a person that takes being a role model to heart, does a lot for the communities he lives in and takes his off-the field image very seriously.

 

While I would dare to say Peterson would take back a few things that may have been said or how he handled the situation on July 7th, I can’t fault him for how he handled it. He wanted a glass of water and was trying to gather his group together to leave.  he was walking slowly towards the door when the police tried to take him down from behind. The off-duty police officer should have granted him a couple minutes to do get his water and party together, it’s not like Peterson or his party were causing issues throughout the night.

(photo courtesy of Necessary Exposure)

 

Until all the facts come out in this case, I caution all to reserve judgement, including NFL fans, reporters and most importantly NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. With his track record (something Goodell always takes into consideration) Peterson deserves to have due process and the presumption of being innocent until proven guilty. Especially with the the reputation and track record of the Houston P.D.

Average Joe Arrigo

 

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Do The Los Angeles Lakers Need Dwight Howard?

Dwight Howard is the big fish in the pond, err, I mean Magical Kingdom, but he wants to leave for Brooklyn. While the Nets would LOVE to team him with Deron Williams, Joe Johnson and Gerald Wallace to form a “Big 4″, they may not have the assets to land him. The Magic would LOVE to have a package centered around Los Angeles Lakers 24 year old All Star center Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers would like Howard, but he says he doesn’t want to go to L.A. and follow in Shaquile O’Neal’s footsteps. Howard also says wont sign a long term deal with any other team then the Nets. There is also the fact that the Lakers have trepidation with Howard because he recently had back surgery and it is reportedly “healing slow.”

 

One theroy of  the Lakers not making a deal for Howard is Bynum is 2 years younger, a better offensive player and while he is immature, he doesn’t have the baggage Howard has. If I had my way you would see a trade (that has been talked about according to my NBA sources) sending power forward Pau Gasol to the Minnesota Timberwolves for forward Derrick Williams, swingman Wesley Johnson and a first round pick. The T-Wolves covet Gasol (to team with fellow countryman Ricky Rubio) and love what he would bring to their team. The Lakers  would add the type of power forward (Williams) that fits the Lakers offense, being able to play outside the key and freeing Bynum up underneath.  Johnson is a swingman that can spread the floor (who also happens to work out with Kobe Bryant in the off season) and he can play the 2 or the 3 while bringing some much needed athleticism to the Lakers starting line-up. It would also free up roughly $24 million dollars for the Lakers as well.

 

While Howard is a force on the defensive side of the ball and known as the best center in the NBA right now, but Bynum isn’t that far behind and I could make the argument that Bynum is a better offensive player right now. Where Howard would really help out the Lakers is on the defensive side of the ball where his tough interior defense would be a welcome sight for Lakers fans everywhere and would clean up on the boards on a nightly basis. But Bynum has a better offensive repertoire and can hit free throws and knows how to play with Kobe, which is something that has to be considered as well.

 

The thought of Howard in a Lakers uniform is one that most Lakers fans have long wished for. But after Howard’s year long “indecision” on where he wants to play, asking for the Magic to fire head coach Stan Van Gundy (and later GM Otis Smith), unwillingness to sign long term with anyone he is traded to other then the Nets and the alleged off the court “irresponsibility” with women not to mention a surgery on a bulging disc in his back, the Lakers have concerns (from what I was told). They want to make sure his back is alright first. If it is then that is a relief and they feel that since they will have his “Bird rights” (meaning that they can sign him for more money then any other team) they would be able to get him to commit long term. I was told that Howard is intrigued by playing with Kobe and newly acquired 2-time MVP Steve Nash. But is that enough to change his mind, a mind that has changed time and time again?

 

What should the Magic do if they can’t deal him to Brooklyn, his desired destination? Should they hold onto him or deal him to another team? What they need to do is  make a decision that is best for their franchise in the short and long term and if that means deal him to L.A., Golden State, Houston or any other team that is willing to pay the piper then do it. Players don’t control where they go unless they are Free Agents and that is exactly what Howard is trying to do behind the scenes. Howard is the one who signed an agreement to “opt into” his contract last year prior to the trade deadline (after the team told him to wait until his agent was around but HE declined to do so) and now he wants out (again). It’s time for the Magic to make a move regardless of how Howard feels about it. He is gone in a year, so why let him walk and get nothing in return? He has already napalmed his bridges in Orlando and is the most “hated man in the NBA” by the way he has (mis)handled this situation. It’s time they get him out of there and get that franchise moving forward.

 

For the Lakers they are in a “win now” state of mind and that is evident by the addition of Nash. If they do deal for Howard they would have a center that can be a force on the defensive side of the ball and help create easy baskets by blocking shots and starting the fast break with Nash leading the way. But is the risk of obtaining Howard (both locking him up long term and his back) worth the risk? Jim Buss has been reluctant to deal Bynum for Howard (they had a deal in place last year but the Magic pulled out because Howard “opted in”) and the flashes of dominance Bynum has showed makes it a tough decision for Buss and GM Mitch Kupchak. They both know with Kobe, Nash, Howard and Gasol they have the look of a title contending team and that might be to great to pass up.

 

Everything I have been told is that a deal for Howard is not eminent. The Nets want to get a deal done by the end of next week and are trying to add a third team to the deal, otherwise they will wait until December when they can trade some of the newly signed players to the Magic. The Lakers on the other hand have reportedly told an unidentified player to be prepared to be moved in a possible Howard deal and seem to be playing it cool, not trying to make a brash move. The Magic also want to make sure they can lock Bynum up long term (which I was told wouldn’t be a problem).

 

Would Dwight Howard be a very good pick up for the Lakers (or any other team)? Yes. But the question is will he be the same player he has been on the court for the Magic for the past 9 years? Will be be the dominant defensive player that pulls down rebounds and dunks over any player in the NBA or will be the player that “shut it down” at the end of last years shortened season and is he worth that gamble? Dr. Jerry Buss is a gambling man and I think he would be willing to take that gamble. He’ll rely on the Lakers rich tradition of winning titles, the super star players who turn into icons, the L.A. skyline, beaches and Hollywood A-Lister’s that fill the Staples Center nightly with the beckoning calls of movie & T.V. roles in the offseason.

 

This is one decision I go back and forth with. But then again, so does Dwight Howard. I can’t imagine what he is going through and the emotions he is dealing with. I am going through them and I am just an “Average Joe”, not the person who’s livelihood everyone is talking about.

 

Average Joe Arrigo

 

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The Average Joe Show and The Average Joe Show blog are products of the MAB Sports Network

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