Baseball, The Book Club, The Rev

Book Review: ‘Reggie Jackson: The Life and Thunderous Career of Baseball’s Mr. October’

I’d dare say that anyone who has even a remote interest in baseball knows the name Reggie Jackson. Certainly any baseball...

Football, Soul On Ice

The Transformation Of Brandon Marshall

When it comes to the game of football and playing wide receiver, Brandon Marshall has always been up there as one of the...

Basketball, Furious Stylez

Tempering Expectations For Derrick Rose

One of the hardest things to cope with in sports is realizing that a beloved athlete may have lost his edge. It’s such...

Oklahoma’s Sugar Bowl Victory Over Alabama Made Me Believe Again | 4 Comments

I can’t remember being as happy as I was last night. Going into the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday night between my beloved Oklahoma Sooners and the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide, the perceptions on how this game would end were unanimous. From my Uncle Bill to Kenny, L-Boogie and Bill Ross, Bob and Chris Mitra, Josiah and Allen Kenney, CJ and Boadu and the rest of the Boomer Sooner nation, we thought we were sheep being led to slaughter. These...

Starting Lineups: The Bill O’Brien Dilemma | 3 Comments

As any regular reader of The Sports Fan Journal knows, I am a Penn State alumnus, graduating from the College of Communications in 2006 with a journalism degree, and I am also a lifetime member of the Penn State Alumni Association. Given all the turmoil surrounding my alma mater the past few years, it’s been quite an odd time to be a part of the Penn State community, and things haven’t gotten any less odd in the past few weeks with all...

The Charlotte Hornets Are Back: Is Hugo The Hornet Rocking Jordan XI’s In The New Charlotte Logo? | 1 Comment

Now that all all of the hype as died down from the recent news of the NEW Charlotte Hornets logo set, I thought I’d take a moment to put my two cents in the pot of public opinion. First of all, let’s not forget: The Charlotte Bobcats (as they are known now) are still a sub-.500 team that will probably make it to the playoffs ONLY because they play in one of the worst conferences in all of professional sports! So while, like most Carolinians,...

Starting Lineups: Everything About The NHL Winter Classic Was Great… Except The Hockey | 2 Comments

I find myself torn on the Winter Classic. This seems to be an unpopular opinion. In truth, there is a lot to love about two rivals battling it out in the elements in front of thousands upon thousands of spectators. It’s a celebration of the elemental nature of the game. Hockey needs the cold like basketball needs the hoops. Without it, the sport would cease to exist. On Wednesday afternoon, mother nature kicked it up a notch, dusting the ice...

Dear God, What In The World Was Cody Zeller Thinking? | 4 Comments

God bless Cardboard Gerald for all of his hard work and dedication. His given name is Ben Swanson, and he truly is one of the finer young journalists in the basketball blogosphere, but I only really know this man for his blogging exploits in covering the Charlotte Hornets Bobcats under the name Cardboard Gerald. So here it is, on a day full of recovery on the first day of 2014, and CG decided to bless the world with this amazing Vine of Cody Zeller. A...

The Five Coolest of 2013: #1 – LeBron James | 0 Comments

LeBron James is a real man. When we were kids, struggling to find our identities in this weird world that was “middle school,” our moms probably had a conversation with us about fitting in and being ourselves. “Don’t change who you are to fit in with other people, be yourself, and things will work out.” That’s what my mother would say to me, as I would plead for some new Nikes, some new gear from the mall or the...

The Five Coolest of 2013: #2 – Floyd Mayweather | 1 Comment

The inclusion of the #2 athlete on the five coolest is a first-timer. In the previous three editions, his name came up each time, but it was hard to include him due to the lack of frequency he displayed in the ring. As much as he was revered, Ed and I knew he needed to turn up just a tad bit more before we could justify his inclusion. That’s why when the news broke that he signed a six-fight deal with Showtime that put him on pace to fight...

UFC 168: The Shock Of Defeat And The Gall Of Victory | 1 Comment

It’s difficult to remember almost anything that occurred at UFC 168 before the shin-shattering moment where MMA fans around the world witnessed the end of Anderson Silva’s career. UFC 168 offered several memorable moments leading up to the main event, but they’re hard to recall and certainly pale in significance to what happened to Silva. The lone exception is the disrespect Ronda Rousey continued to shovel toward Miesha Tate, and more...

The Five Coolest of 2013: #3 – David Ortiz | 0 Comments

“This is our fucking City.” — David Ortiz With five words, David Ortiz went from a baseball player to The Voice of the Citizens of Boston. After the horrifying events during the Marathon last April, David Ortiz stepped on the field at Fenway, uttered those five words and the city and the team had their unofficial rallying moment of the season. Granted, the 2013 season was still much underway, but for a team who was God-awful the...

The Five Coolest of 2013: #4 – Jameis Winston | 4 Comments

This all starts with a conversation I had one night with one of the biggest Florida State Seminoles fans I know, TSFJ’s own Garfield Hylton. The crux of the conversation was the amount of faith Florida State fans were immediately putting in Jameis Winston, which at this point the young man had only played in a grand total of three games. The reason I even asked about their faith in Winston was because this same team was the one that has now...

The Five Coolest of 2013: #5 – Richard Sherman | 8 Comments

On January 11 of this year, Justin Tinsley penned a piece about a particular dread-locked defensive back and the reasons people should join his fan club. At the time, the person checking in at number five on this list was coming off of an All-Pro season in only his second season and was making the rounds to the masses to see just how much of a household name he was. Now that he is closing in on the end of his third season, along with another trip...

Who Are The Five Coolest People In Sports For 2013? | 1 Comment

Let me explain to you the best part of making this list. I haven’t talked to Kenny Masenda in almost two weeks and yet he knew and  I knew that this list had to be created. We’ve both been traveling across the globe for business and pleasure and it’s safe to say that we’ve both stalled a bit in getting this here thing done. And then it happened. Three phone calls, six hours of conversation, one cry out of blasphemy, one sermon...

Starting Lineups: Rodgers Returns, Romo Relinquishes Regular Role | 0 Comments

The two biggest games on the final 2013 NFL regular-season weekend center around injured starting quarterbacks. The biggest news to break yesterday was the return of Aaron Rodgers under center for the Green Bay Packers, as they take on the Chicago Bears to decide the winner of the NFC North. How Rodgers acclimates in his first game action for months will go a long way in deciding which of these division rivals will head to playoffs. Of course, the...

A Cowboys Fan And An Eagles Fan Say 5 ‘Nice Things’ About The Opposition Heading Into Sunday Night | 11 Comments

Last year, as the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles were stumbling over themselves in committing football follies left and right, Cowboys fan Justin Tinsley and Eagles fan Reverend Paul Revere squared off in an email chain of the ages on our teams’ incompetence. This year, things are vastly different. In the 2013 NFL regular-season finale, the Eagles will take on the Cowboys in “Jerry’s World” on Sunday Night Football...

Starting Lineups: Go Support The Backpack Baller – Kevin Durant’s First 25 Years In 250 Pages | 1 Comment

You know you’ve done something with your life when you’re playing basketball in Madison Square Garden on Christmas Day, and you’re the marquee attraction for all to come and see. This was the life of Kevin Durant yesterday, a man who led his comrades into battle with the fledgling New York Knicks and proceeded to decimate a lifeless Knickerbocker squad into submission. The 123-94 score doesn’t fairly represent the end status...

The NBA On Christmas Day Open Thread: We Got 14 Hours Of Basketball Under The Tree | 7 Comments

Merry Christmas everybody. May your mornings be filled with presents, your afternoons be filled with delicious food and your evenings filled with fellowship with friends and family. Oh yeah, may your day also be filled with an entire day of basketball greatness. In the spirit of Christmas, TSFJ will be providing an open thread for all of the latest and greatest happenings that’s taking place during the 5-game slate the NBA schedule gods have...

Starting Lineups: Are Gamers Athletes? | 4 Comments

Years ago, my best friend and New York Amsterdam News reporter Stephon Johnson and I had a debate on what’s really a sport and what isn’t one. This was about a decade ago when ESPN began showing the World Series of Poker during prime time hours while the NHL’s coverage was (coincidentally) declining. Poker was all the rage for a couple of lazy summers but, at least on ESPN, receded back to a spotlight just larger than the one afforded to PBA...

Crowning The 5 Best Boxers of 2013 | 1 Comment

This has been a fantastic year for boxing fans. Al Berstein, Showtime’s Hall of Fame announcer, said 2013 was the best year for boxing in 25 years! I’ve got to agree. It’s not because we got all the fights we wanted — that obviously didn’t happen. In fact, that’s likely never to happen, and that’s okay. If we don’t have anything to complain about, then we have probably just stopped caring. It has been a...

Starting Lineups: DeMarco Murray Deserves Better | 3 Comments

Let’s just get this out of the way right now. I’m a DeMarco Murray homer. Ever since my manager Brent told me to go on YouTube to check out this kid who might be attending in Oklahoma, who in his words, “runs fast as greased balls and cuts like a weed-wacker” (I’m from Oklahoma, what do you expect?) named DeMarco Murray, I’ve always been a huge fan. Outside of All Day, there hasn’t been a better tailback...

Apollo Creed Had The Best Entrance Ever: James Brown’s ‘Living In America’ In Rocky IV | 0 Comments

I don’t know who the cable programmers are, but they definitely know what they’re doing. Here I am, trying to get some work done on a typical Tuesday night, and as I’m going through some paperwork and scanning channels on my television, what movie comes across my eyes? Rocky III. All of a sudden I’m just cussing and fixing myself a drink, because although the movie is 38 minutes in, I already know what’s about to happen. I’m...

Starting Lineups: Maurice Clarett Is Not Who You Thought He Was | 1 Comment

Following the crowning of Florida State freshman quarterback Jameis Winston as the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner, ESPN ran another brilliant film in its “30 for 30″ series, “Youngstown Boys,” describing the rise and fall of both Maurice Clarett and Jim Tressel. As always is the case in this series, the documentary was expertly done and brought new perspective to a highly publicized story. It certainly cast things in a new light...

Listen To This: Rick Ross Feat. Jay Z- The Devil Is A Lie | 5 Comments

Social media is great. I was in the middle of working in my usual spreadsheets and sipping on coffee on a typical Thursday morning when I saw this tweet scroll down my timeline on Tweetdeck: If you do an NBA draft all-time,,, there’s no way LeBron is in the top 30 — Juicy Jr. (@Hananymous) December 19, 2013 It was by far one of the more absurd things I’ve read in a long time. I sat here and almost spit my coffee out while simultaneously...

The Army Perspective: A Q&A With 2 Black Knights On Army-Navy | 3 Comments

via Military Times After the cacophony of bowl selections and coaching changes at the end of the regular season, there’s one college football game that takes center stage in the most unique of settings. It’s showcased as the definitive display of honor, duty and valor for young men who embark on careers where the enemy is no longer another player. And yet, there’s something deeper and almost unseen that fills the air when these two teams meet. This...

Starting Lineups: Your Barclays Premier League Holiday Viewing Guide | 0 Comments

We are entering that time of year again. As the holiday season reaches its heights, so too does the Barclays Premier League. Each team will play four times between now and January 1. When the snow settles on New Years Day, the Premiership table will have a new look to go with the new year. Here are the four games that deserve your attention. Remember, all games can be found on either  NBC Sports Network, NBC or online with NBC Sports Live Extra....

This King Shall Rise: The Arrival Of Isaiah Thomas | 4 Comments

By Esau Howard / @easystylez When it was reported that the Toronto Raptors would be trading Rudy Gay to the Sacramento Kings in a deal that involved a handful of players, I admit I got excited. Not because I had any interest that Rudy Gay would suddenly “get it” with this new team, though I certainly wouldn’t count him out. I got excited because Sacramento included Greivis Vasquez in this deal. By moving Vasquez, the point guard reins of the...