10 Amazing Events That Sports Fans Need

Undoubtedly there are many concepts that we all wish could be implemented in or a sport or to a team. Whether it’s a pitching staff or a foresome that could be assembled to witness just once. With the  ongoing comparison between Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, we wish we could have seem them play against  each other during their respective primes.

Those kinds of drastic time-altering dreams will not be presented in this list, but ideas are formed from present athletes and current rules. For example, we all have our aspirations, but this list will present ideas such as the elimination of the NFL’s salary cap. Now that is one thing this guy totally disagrees with, but it is just one variation that could be presented.

Keeping true to form, we will not be falling into the ESPN trap of a MJ comeback at 50.  Don’t get me started on that one.

Now the odds of one of these occurring are as real as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend, but here we go….

10. Alex Ovechkin & Sidney Crosby Fight

Just once please.

We know you both hate each other and Ovechkin would probably win the fight, but just drop the gloves once.  Hockey needs the publicity anyway.

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9. Someone Breaking Cal Ripken Jr.’s Consecutive Game Streak

In the modern era of sitting out for a minor hamstring strain, it would be refreshing for someone to even come close to the length of Cal or Brett Favre’s consecutive games started streak.

Do you love the game?

Play the game with pride and don’t be a pansy.


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8. Just One Professional Team in Las Vegas

If Oklahoma City can have Kevin Durant, can Las Vegas at least have a MLS team?

The constant gambling is in question, but if an athlete wanted to gamble there are so many bookies and online resources for him or her to do so. I doubt they would walk into a casino sports book.

UNLV athletics do not suffice anymore in the Sin City! Anthony Bennett can’t even carry that overrated team.

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7. NCAA Penalty Standards

As of right now, there is no standard or structure of repercussions for infractions violating the NCAA rules.  Punishments have varied drastically from USC to Ohio State, even letting the person in violation (Terrelle Pryor) play in a bowl game.  Money talks, huh?

The recent tipping point of this is the University of Miami case, but what really set this off was the Penn State debacle.  Key members within the administration and athletic department are a part of a criminal case, but the NCAA penalized the current and future players of the Penn State football program who had no control over their administration.  This would not only be amazing, but is essential.

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6. Every Athlete Takes Performance Enhancing Drugs

If all athletes “misremembered” and took steroids it would be outstanding.  Who didn’t enjoy Mark McGwire’s home run derby show at Fenway Park?  Are you more upset at Lance Armstrong for taking PEDs or making us interested in cycling for a decade?

Let Kevin Durant bulk up and dominate even more.

To quote Daniel Tosh, “I want my sports like my video games; athletes hate life after sports anyway”.


5. NBA One-on-One Tournament

We just witnessed the recent decline of the slam dunk contest in the NBA and it is almost getting to a point where we are running out of ideas.

With that, let us step it up a notch and initiate an inaugural one-on-one single elimination tournament.   Kobe may have blocked Lebron at the end of the All-Star game, but can he do that up to 11 and win by two?  There can be arguments for each way, but let us get this settled.

Have Kyrie Irving back up his USA summer camp talk to Kobe and reveal Carmelo’s true defensive weaknesses to the world.

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4. The Top College Football Team Play the Worst NFL Team

Every year there are those clowns and trolls who profess statements such as, “Alabama could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.”  It is time to put these questions to rest.   Alabama has at most 15 players on its roster that may eventually play in the NFL, and possibly a third of that 15 will be top quality.

Let us assume a corner (Dee Milliner), two offensive linemen (Chance Warmack and Barrett Jones), a running back (Eddie Lacy), and a linebacker (Nico Johnson) will be impactful in the NFL in the future.   Alabama has five true NFL players, while the Jaguars have 22 to field a starting offense and defense.  The only thing Alabama has on the Jaguars is A.J. McCarron’s girlfriend.

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3. Baseball in the Olympics

Saying the World Baseball Classic is a bust has become an understatement.

It is too close to the regular season and all organizations are too worried to send their stars.  If and when baseball is re-entered into the summer Olympics, I implore the United States to bring as much enthusiasm as the World Cup into that.

When R.A. Dickey and Ryan Vogelsong are our aces, instead of a rotation featuring Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver, C.C. Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw and Matt Cain, there is a major problem.
Take a look at our daunting roster this year:


The American outfield could be entirely represented from the city of Los Angeles with Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp.

The list goes on.

Let’s show the world that the United States is still the most dominating country when it comes to baseball.


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2. Lebron James, Usain Bolt, and Calvin Johnson in a Receiving Core

 We have Bolt at 6 foot 6, Lebron at 6 foot 8 and Megatron at 6′ foot 5 . Put Lebron at tight end and think not of Antonio Gates, but Lebron James!

Calvin Johnson runs a 4.32 40-yard dash, and James could most likely run in the 4.5 range.

Now Bolt, seriously, who is covering him? Yes, get a bump off the line but if not, he is gone.

We see the ease of the goal-line fade with Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson, which now goes to Lebron James, who makes that easier than an alley-oop in lob city.

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1. All of America’s Athletes Play Soccer

The world is captivated by Ronaldo’s ball skills and Messi’s quickness, but imagine if our finely-tuned athletes such as Reggie Bush, Adrian Peterson and Kyrie Irving were trained from infancy to play soccer.

Our nation would be at the top of the world. All other nations emphasize soccer as their game.

England plays soccer and rugby. Argentina and Brazil are top-notch soccer nations.

Unfortunately, there is such a selection of athletics to play in this country that soccer is not nearly a priority due to the lack of popularity, exposure and money.  A kid cannot not “be like Mike” if he is playing soccer.

Calvin Johnson in the box for a corner? Sounds good to me.

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Long Island Sound
Sports Activist for The Cover 4

Role Models & Performance Enhancing Drugs

peds steroids_mcgwire

Performance enhancing drugs have grabbed the headlines again in sports over the last month, questioning the integrity of several sports ranging from football to cycling. With discussions revolving around human growth hormone (HGH), deer antler spray and other anabolic steroids, the focus has been on cleaning up professional sports with the hopes of an even playing field. At the end of the day, that’s not the real priority at all.

Think back to 2005 when Congress put Major League Baseball on trial and invited some of the greatest sluggers in the history of the game along with commissioner Bug Selig and MLBPA head Donald Fehr to testify regarding their knowledge of steroids in the game. Many will remember Rafael Palmeiro’s denial, Sammy Sosa’s translator and Mark McGwire’s reluctance to talk about the past. Many may have forgotten who the final participants were in that hearing — the parents of former USC baseball player Rob Garibaldi and the father of Taylor Hooten.

Garibaldi’s parents sat before Congress, in tears, testifying that there was no doubt that steroids led to their son’s death. Garibaldi ‘s 2002 suicide was attributed to depression which was brought on by the substances he used. Hooten, a 17-year-old baseball player, also committed suicide after using steroids.

Congress’ focus during those hearings was not directed specifically at Major League Baseball, it was a clear message to the entire world of sports: Your actions as professional athletes, good or bad, influence and inspire young people to walk in your shoes. They don’t want there to be any more stories like Rob Garibaldi’s or Taylor Hooten’s.

Under the care of the best doctors in the world, it would make sense for professional athletes to take HGH to help them heal faster and get back on the field. The reality is that if kids see the best in the world doing it, they will want to do it too. Here’s the problem: No pediatrician or family doctor would prescribe those drugs for a kid or teenager, so they wouldn’t be taking them under a physician’s care, opening the door for abuse and overdose.

One thing to keep in mind: when Jose Canseco and company were using steroids, it wasn’t even illegal for MLB players.  Baseball turned a blind eye while McGwire and Sosa tore up the record books because its television ratings were booming and the popularity of the sport was off the charts. Players have come out since and said that everyone within the game knew players were taking steroids, the MLB simply ignored it. Had many of those players known the side-effects of what they were taking, they may have made another decision. Ken Caminiti admitted to using steroids during his 1996 NL MVP season. Caminiti died in 2004 after battling substance abuse the rest of his life.
The tragedy today is not that these players are taking substances to get ahead in their careers. Anyone could understand Ray Lewis using something to help him recover from his torn triceps during his final season with hopes of contributing to the Ravens’ Super Bowl run. The NFL doesn’t even test for deer antler spray, so whether he used it is just a matter of personal integrity. That’s not the issue here. This is all about the young athletes sitting at home that hear deer antler spray or some other substance may help them get ahead, without knowing the consequences.

The goal for professional sports by outlawing all of these substances is to clean up their sports and set an example for the younger generation. If it disappears from the pros, it will disappear from all other levels. The reason young people take those substances is because they believe it will help them reach their goals, since they see their favorite players doing the same thing. If there’s no benefit (or perceived benefit) of doing something, people won’t do it. Sports need to continue to alert young people of the negatives and consequences for taking these substances, with the loudest voices being the stars of each sport.

At the end of the day, all the discussion about PEDs and HGH comes back to the health and safety of the next generation. No amount of professional success is worth the life of someone’s child. So professional athletes, before you take that injection or use that substance, stop for a minute and think not about yourself, but about who is watching you and looking up to you.

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

For the Fans. By the Fans. Period.

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David Oleson
Sports Activist for The Cover 4

ESPN – Blinded By The Light


Why do we constantly talk about Tim Tebow?  Are LeBron James and Jay Cutler really such bad people?  Are the NFL personal foul calls that terrible?  These are just some of the questions that have been asked redundantly, skewed, or answered by ESPN and other sports networks in such a way that creates the image now perceived by the public.

The majority of the public does not recognize ESPN is owned by Disney, which is a business with the ultimate goal of making money. The purpose of this article is not to detract from ESPN’s success or prominence, but to enlighten viewers to their ulterior motives and recommend alternative outlets.

As most of us know, any television network’s success is driven by advertisements that are dependent on ratings.  ESPN is crafty in its way of creating ratings and the main technique it utilizes is creating controversy amongst all sports.  To enhance viewership, they present ruffles within the most highly watched sport at the most scrutinized position — the quarterback.  What other person to plug relentlessly than Tim Tebow?

Tim Tebow is a pop culture and  sports marketing god that carries a fan base similar to that of a boy band.  Try asking a diehard Backstreet Boys fan what they think of Nsync.  Tebow carries a following in person and on Twitter, similar to a cult. Daily, notorious ESPN troll Skip Bayless sets the controversial tone by shoving Tebow in your face, driving the pop culture icon to the front pages, causing unfair media questions and scrutiny upon his incumbent.  Theoretically, Tebow is Super Mario after eating the mushroom; however, those mushrooms are not permanent, and no one wants Tebow when his mushroom wears off.

Educated people within the NFL circle recognize the above, but still continue to publicly loathe the discussion.  How many times do you hear one of your friends say, “I can’t stand Skip Bayless!”?

Ever wonder why we think of LeBron and Jay Cutler the way we do?  Where is the origin of their disapproval?  First, LeBron held the most pompous press conference announcing his decision with one of the greatest lines in sports of the twenty-first century: “I’m taking my talents to South Beach.”  The event and phrase itself deserved at least a few months of scrutiny.  On top of the initial pressure of being the most highly touted player coming into the league in history, LeBron held his press conference creating ESPN’s dream scenario (insert conspiracy theory here).  Not only did ESPN cover this buzz relentlessly, but upon the start of training camp they ran a completely separate website for the Miami Heat titled the “Heat Index”.  Let me repeat, ESPN who covers the entire sporting WORLD, issued a webpage covering a SINGLE team in the NBA (http://espn.go.com/nba/truehoop/miamiheat/).  People wanted their insight on any down moment for LeBron, and ESPN presented every flaw, while creating buzz around the entire country.

Next, Smokin’ Jay Cutler has been considered one of the most controversial QBs in the NFL, and honestly, this can probably be traced back to two legitimate reasons for his troubling reputation.  The first and biggest reason was his decision to sit out of 2011 NFC playoff game with a knee injury. Some athletes, including Cardinals DE Darnell Dockett and Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, took to Twitter to announce their disapproval, stating that they’d play with the knee injury. The next issue was Culter’s cross-field rant with Phillip Rivers back in 2007. It could be interpreted that Cutler was being incredibly immature in this incident because Rivers’ Chargers were rolling.  Honestly, being an avid sports fan, there is absolutely nothing that Cutler has done to deserve such harsh media scrutiny outside of having a semi-accurate canon of an arm with a back pedal as a drop back.  Is his posture not that of a leader?  Please, and Belichick’s is?  He happens to grab water after a mistake and walks by his boss.  Please enlighten me of a single person that does not get frustrated in his or her working environment.  Does he look mad after getting sacked 7 times in a game?  I ask you to face Jared Allen with the Bears’ left tackle twice a year.  Furthermore, the chatter of him being a below-average quarterback can entirely be put to rest after a week and a half of Jason Campbell.  ESPN has taken his minor altercations and created controversy with a guy who, until this season, has had zero weapons at receiver and still has no offensive line.  Want a controversy?  See Tom Jackson convey his Denver Broncos grudge on national television here:

Each of these aforementioned athletes has done absolutely nothing off the playing surface to trigger the criticism they receive.  Each of these people has conducted themselves in a manner that represents their organization with class, even donating to charities.  Kobe and Big Ben are the star children again, but what about during their little frisky incidents?  It is particularly interesting that those incidents have not surfaced again because that would detract from game views or result in ticket losses. These athletes are unfairly judged in their workplace in order to drive ratings benefitting the business plan of ESPN.

Tonight on this SportsCenter’s made-up headline, “LeBron and Heat slumping, Cutler moping, and is Tebow the short-term answer for the Jets– right now!”  A completely false headline, but extremely believable.  You are now hooked and SportsCenter just opened.

Lastly, there has been a tremendous amount of conversation regarding the new NFL rule changes and the amount of “defenseless receiver” and “roughing the passer” calls that have recently been made.  Every day, ESPN, FOX, NBC, and CBS present this topic of whether this is impeding into the game play, and all the analysts that were former players uniformly agree that it does.  Analysts acknowledge the fact the league is looking out for players’ safety, but they all consistently leave out one critical point. The NFL is currently facing BILLIONS of dollars in concussion negligence lawsuits from a multitude of former players.  If they were to budge on any kind of stance regarding these issues, they would lose a tremendous amount of legal leverage which would be detrimental to the league and ultimately us, the fans.

Hypothetical situation: you are the owner of a small business that is facing a sexual harassment lawsuit. During that time, you determine it would be smart to reevaluate the procedures for your employees and enforce them more strictly.   Now, the judge can be more lenient and realize you are a competent owner.  Smart, right?  I know.

Has that picture ever been painted to the public regarding the new NFL safety rules?  No.  Why?  It would come close to burying the story leaving Skip Bayless and ESPN’s NFL Live with nothing to stir up on a Wednesday other than more Tebow and Cutler talk.

It should be noted that sports entertainment and talk radio thrive on controversy, rankings and conflict.  Any show on ESPN or NBC would not be in business without analyzing or creating some sort of controversy.  I, along with all of the sports community, will continue to watch our favorite shows that help formulate our own opinions on issues.  To resolve this issue, I suggest that you diversify your media outlets.

If you only watch Fox News and Rush Limbaugh, your views are obviously leaning in one direction.  If your only sporting intake is Skip Bayless and Steven A. Smith, then you have been exposed to a finite size of information.   To enhance this on the sporting side, much like in finance, diversify your portfolio of sports knowledge each morning by taking in a portion of Colin Cowherd’s show and Dan Patrick’s show.  If you are a West Coast late riser and indulge in some lunchtime viewing, you can flip between ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption and CBS’ Jim Rome.  It can be quite enlightening to hear two completely different perspectives when one of those despises the “Mothership”.

We all remember the high school essays of compare and contrast, which forced us to comprehend all sides of an issue, but we tend to lose this perspective as we get older.  These foundational values of debating or becoming a knowledgeable person can be lost amid the opinions forced upon us, but there is always an alternative side to any story.  Although the most powerful outlet presents a certain perspective, it does not necessarily mean it should be your opinion, it is the correct opinion, or is the underlying issue of the topic (i.e. NFL concussions).

In short, I encourage all of you to continue to watch ESPN as much as I do, but please maintain perspective of the big picture while watching it.  If you get mad at Skip Bayless, take a breath, and realize that’s exactly what ESPN wants you to do, move on, and look for an alternative opinion.  If you do not like Jay Cutler, just gather yourself and recognize that your hatred is either driven by ESPN or merely a personal problem.  For future viewing, I recommend you to become more educated on the topic by opening yourself up to different sports information dispensaries rather than simply watching ESPN and immediately posting to Facebook or Twitter in outrage because you are only contributing to the irrational, uneducated audience in which ESPN is aiming.

Thank you for reading The Cover 4! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook & Twitter.

Oh yeah, tell your friends too!

Long Island Sound
Sports Activist for The Cover 4

It’s Good! It’s All Good!!

The rumors are true.

I’m back to sports blogging! Watch out all you super fans, you’re about to be schooled!

Let me start by being frank.. I KNOW SPORTS BETTER THAN YOU DO. It is simple really.

I can give you a 24 year synopses in just a few moments… thanks for your time.

When I was young I watched sports center from dusk till dawn, attempted to read the sports section front to back, memorized every player on every NFL team and even made my own sports trivia questionnaire in the second grade. I was the only kid in class that didnt dream of catching the game winning touchdown pass for the Super Bowl. Why? Because I always imaged that I was the coach on the sideline or the General Manager in the press box.

Being from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania I have sports engrained in my blood; sports mean everything to the city of Pittsburgh. If you aren’t from a die hard sports city, you’ll just never understand the sense of pride and community we have in our teams. We say WE and US because thats how we grow up. Sundays are for church, brunch and 1 pm kickoffs; it is even acceptable to wear your Steeler jersey to church on Sunday!

I can remember being the only kid that cared more about 40 times, bench press reps and where someone was going to be drafted then pokemon cards or the new Batman or Spider man movie (I really did like Batman though). I waited for every madden to arrive at midnight and stayed up till 7 am memorizing each players ratings. My grade school notebooks are full of trivia questions, fantasy drafts and player rankings! I literally created mock NFL  teams with a fantasy draft process in the third grade. I AM THE SOLE REASON WHY YOU CAN ONLY HAVE THREE FANTASY TEAMS PER ACCOUNT! I believe I had 27 teams on yahoo at one point; I love drafting!

Before the NFL draft became a prime time sensation, I watched all 7 rounds every single year and didnt miss a pick! In the 9th grade I could predict who was going to be drafted better than the guys on tv! I watched every second of the combine when it was on NFL Network.

As life moved forward, I drifted a little farther from my sports bank but I always knew more than most; I swear I could be a sports anchor because I predict what they are going to say more times than not. I’m a student of the game!

I wish I had more playing experience but I’m grateful for the years of coaching and developing young athletes. Football has allowed me to travel the country, meet plenty of good men and create friendships that will last forever.

Why do I keep rambling about my past? Because history is the reason we are here today; without the necessary steps of the past, one would not be in the current situation.

I bring my blog to life because I feel I have a wealth of knowledge to share. Do I say things because I read them in ESPN or do I really watch games and know whats going on? You can be the judge.

Currently, I cant sit down and have intense sports talk with many people; my lifestyle doesn’t really allow it. Thus, blogging is back.

I will attempt to cover a number of issues in hopes of comments and respondents from those who know sports just as well, if not better, than I do. I love healthy debate so get at me!

There is nothing worse than trying to talk sports with someone who is so blinded by their own fandom or ignorance to the real facts of the sport; I SPEAK THE TRUTH!

Special thanks to my friends who encouraged me to get back to writing/blogging. Although my football website is retired, WordPress is allowing everyone to read my sports rants!

Get ready because I have a lot on my mind…..

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