The First Annual Vivekies!

Welcome to the first annual Vivekies! The only award show that rewards the greatest, most entertaining, and somehow still existing professional basketball franchise on God’s green earth, the capitol city’s own Saaaaaaaaacccccramentoooooooo Kings!

I’m your host, Ben Wong, and tonight we’ll be handing out some of the most prestigious awards in all of professional basketball.

This is not the Maloofies, a similar award banquet held in past years to commemorate Kings players, often held at the Palms Casino, where guests were charged for bread and water that only 50% of the tables received.

No! There will be no more Maloofies (Raucous applause)!

This night, of course would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of our show’s namesake, Vivek Ranadive, and the man who Vivek once claimed would be the first “inter-galactic mayor of Mars,” Kevin Johnson.

Thank you gentleman. And now, without further adieu, the 2013-2014 Vivekies.

The Player You Didn’t Know At All And Now Love: Ray McCallum!



Let’s have a look at how two NBA point guards are finishing their 2014 seasons.

Player A: 8 points, 2 assists/6 points, 3 assists/14 points, 2 assists

Player B: 23 points, 8 assists/8 points, 8 assists/11 points, 6 assists

Player A is the opening night starter at point guard for your Sacramento Kings, Mr. (do you even remember?) Greivis Vasquez.

Player B is the opening night FOURTH STRING POINT GUARD for your Sacramento Kings, a player who was not even active on opening night, Mr. Ray McCallum.

They say it’s not about how you start, it’s how you finish.

The Detroit Mercy product’s start was pretty damn quiet. He began the season stacked behind Vasquez, then 6th man Isaiah Thomas, and some guy named Jimmer. He racked up the DNP’s and even was sent down to go tear up the D-League for a little bit.

And then the dominoes started to fall. Greivis, traded. Isaiah ascended to a starting role, and Jimmer was dumped after this awkward “we’re cutting you but have a happy birthday” photo.



Suddenly McCallum was getting all of the bench minutes at point guard, and even some clutch minutes at shooting guard over lottery pick Ben McLemore.

After some initial growing pains, McCallum blossomed.

A late season injury to IT has allowed Kings fans to fall in love with the 2nd round pick, and made GM Pete D’Allesandro look like a genius for drafting RayMac and signing him to a three year deal.

Ray has been freed. And it will be fun to watch number three spread his wings in years to come.

Signature Video Clip via Ben McLemore’s Instagram: (Ben and Ray do the “NaeNae” in Toronto)

The Player Most Likely To Leave Your Throat Hoarse From Yelling “No No No No No No YES!?” At Your Poor Television Every Night: TRAVIS OUTLAW!

Previous winners of the equivalent Maloofie include Eddie House (2004-2005), Donte Green (2009-2010), John Salmons (2012)

Travis Marquez Outlaw, who was once somehow the recipient of a five year/$35 million contract with the then New Jersey Nets, was in true NONONONOYES form this season.

Watching Travis Outlaw play basketball is an exercise in self-control. You need every nerve in your body not to unleash guttural screams to the heavens when he takes three turnaround jumpers in a row against a double team, and yet the sensation that hits your brain when he somehow makes the third one is almost too much to handle.

It’s like blowing an hair dryer right into your face.

Travis Outlaw also has the one of the worst trends going for him in all of basketball. When @SippiCountryBoi scored over 10 points this season, the Kings went… wait for it… 1-10. Yikes.

Oh Travis…

Signature Video Clip: (Mareese Speights abuses Travis Outlaw)

BIGGEST BOSS: Demarcus Cousins



Just look at these stat lines:

10/30/13 (Opening Night) vs Denver: 30 pts, 14 rbs, 2 stl, 2 blk

11/19/13 vs Phoenix: 27 pts, 12 rbs, 4 stl, 2 blk

11/23/13 vs LAC: 23 pts, 19 rbs, 7 ast, 1 stl

12/09/13 vs Dallas: 32 pts, 19 rbs, 3 ast, 3 stl, 1 blk

1/07/14 vs Portland: 35 pts, 13 rbs, 2 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk

3/09/13 vs Brooklyn: 28 pts, 20 rbs, 3 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk

3/26/14 vs New York: 32 pts, 15 pts, 8 ast, 1 stl, 1 blk

3/31/14 vs New Orleans: 35 pts, 14 rbs, 3 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk

4/13/13 vs Minnesota: 35 pts, 15 rbs, 6 asts, 1 stl, 3 blk

Also, there’s this:



Our beloved Boogie Cuz surpassed Chris Webber for most double-doubles in a Sacramento Kings season, dropped the best All-Star Youtube video since Chris Bosh’s used car salesman bit, became an unofficial member of OVO Clique, and fooled all of us with a tantalizing April Fool’s Joke.

He sure as hell got me.


Many wrote about him, none of us fully understand him, and plenty hate him. I am fully on the BoogWagon, seated next to Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, and I believe in Demarcus Cousins.

Demarcus Cousins is a 100% Unadulterated, Cage-Free, Authentic, Gluten-Free, Rick-Ross-grunt-before-you-say-it…. BOSS.

Signature Video Clip: Any of the links above.

Best Missed Dunks: Ben McLemore



Though he made the dunk shown above, and damn it was sick, Ben McLemore led the league this year in crazy missed dunks.

Ben’s high flying misses go flying towards the heavens, banging off the rim with an audible “blang,” sometimes finding their way into the paying customers.

With Ben, it’s all about patience. He’s about as green as they come, and it’ll be a little bit before the dunks start falling, along with the mid-range jumpers and corner threes.

In the meantime, just watch him fly.

Signature Video Clip: (Ben scares his mom by putting a snake in her Taco Bell)

Also, this:



 Most Ridiculous Play of the Year: Isaiah Thomas

Play starts at 1:18

I still don’t understand how this happened. It doesn’t make any sense. It’s stupid and stupendous, funny and fantastic, and boggles the mind more than a Neal Degrasse Tyson lecture.


First, our intrepid hero puts Steph Curry on skates, (ankle breaking joke deleted in respect to Curry’s injury history).


IT crosses SC so ruthlessly that Curry actually crashes into Isaiah, having lost all control of his limbs. Thomas has turned one of the league’s brightest stars into a sharpshooter with no legs.

Or as South Africans call it, “Oscar Pistorius.”

IT 3

Thomas falls flat on his chest, loses the ball, and then somehow gathers the rock and gets to his feet. Curry meanwhile, lays on the floor with a power-drill and some bits and begins reassembling himself from the knees down.


Then, with about two seconds left on the clock, he does the unthinkable! He hoists! Klay Thompson and Steph Curry converge but it’s too late. Isaiah gets off the prayer. On one foot. Off-balance.






Somehow, someway, Isaiah Thomas turned this: neck contorted, legs tangled, ball lost, hip buried in the ground, into a GO AHEAD LATE FOURTH QUARTER TRIPLE.

Pay the man.

Worst Play of the Year: Derrick (Not-so-Thrill) Williams

Damnit D-Will

Dammit D-Will

I used to do this all the time… when I was seven… on a Nerf hoop… barefoot… in my bedroom.

You know, like not in an NBA game as a paid athlete who’s main skill is converting dunks like these on television in front of thousands of people…

(closes eyes and shakes head eternally)

Best Viral Video: Quincy Acy

God bless you Q-Ace. Parenting is not dead in this country.

World's Greatest Parent

World’s Greatest Parent

After Cowbell Kingdom’s Jonathan Santiago Vined this gem, it found its way to Sportnation, BleacherReport, DLHQ, and of course, Twitter.

I’ll let Quincy himself give the appropriate reaction to this.


Previous winners of the equivalent Maloofie include:

Chris Webber (1999):

Chris Webber (2002):

Peja Stojakovic (2005):

Tyreke Evans (2010):

And that’s it for this year! Thanks everyone for coming out. Thanks to Pizza Guys, Zoom Imaging, and the Roseville Automall for being our only sponsors.

Stay tuned for the Vivekies postgame show, hosted by the one, the only, Newton Carruthers (Crowd boos loudly).



Give Me Dawson Or Give Me Death


Dawson with fellow specialist Andy Lee

Let me make this clear. I want Anquan Boldin back. I really want Donte Whitner back.

But I NEED Phil Dawson back.

There’s no doubt that Boldin and Whitner were huge parts of the 49ers success last season, but Dawson was crucial to San Francisco reaching the heights they reached.

Losing Whitner will impact the locker room the most. Losing Anquan Boldin will impact Kaepernick’s success the most.

If the 49ers don’t retain Phil Dawson, it’s the win column that will take the hit.


Phil Dawson was one of the best field goal kickers in the National Football League last season. Dawson was a ridiculous 32-36 in the regular season, booting balls through the uprights in an array of conditions.

He canned 21 yard chip shots in rainy Seattle, extra points in London, 52 yard bombs in windy Candlestick, and everything in between.

“Money Phil” also had a perfect playoffs, not missing a field goal or extra point during the postseason.

He hit game winners at home against Seattle in week 14, in Arizona to clinch the 5 seed, and in 8 degree weather at the notoriously tough Lambeau field to send the Niners to the divisional round.

He made a franchise record 27 field goals in a row and finished the season with the second most field goals (32) and points (140) in team history.

Phil Dawson was at the top of his game last season and deserves to come back and kick football’s for the San Francisco 49ers.


Only 5 kickers in the entire NFL turned in better percentages (makes/total attempts) with as many/more attempts than Phil Dawson last season.

Keep in mind that one of Dawson’s “misses” was a 71 yard free kick attempt against the St. Louis Rams.

He is absolutely a top 5 kicker, and not a replaceable commodity by any means. This is a big part of why the 49ers need to retain him. There are not kickers available with the skill and consistency of Dawson.

Dawson’s FG percentage has only dipped below 80% 3 times in his entire career, the latest coming in 2006. And he’s kicked in Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium and Candlestick Park, not quite ideal kicking conditions.


Boldin and Whitner can both change a game in ways that Dawson can’t. Nothing “Money Phil” ever kicks will change the momentum of a game like Whitner’s stone cold demolishing of Pierre Thomas in the 2011 NFC Divisional round. No matter how many field goals Dawson kicks, he’ll never be able to take over a game like Boldin did in week 1 like against Green Bay.

That said, Dawson has a bigger impact.

The Niners are a team that struggles to find the end zone. Since 2007, they rank 27th in TD percentage inside the red zone. They lead the league in field goal attempts inside the red zone as well. While this isn’t something the Niners should strive to continue, kicking field goals remains a huge part of their offense.

Having a good kicker means these red zone failures at least end in three points. How many times have we seen the Niners drive down the field on the first drive, only to settle for three (It happened in each of the three playoff games)?

Phil Dawson turns those failures into points with remarkable reliability.

And that’s why he’s a valuable asset that should be retained immediately.

Dope or Nope? A Guide to the Quirkiest On-Court/Field Features in Professional Sports

“What the hell is that?”

“That looks ridiculous”

“Hey, that’s kinda cool”

The following on court conundrums and field features inspire at least one of the previous reactions. Nobody can deny that they are all unorthodox, yet whether they are cool or not is absolutely debatable.

So I shall decide it now, once and for all.

Dope (It’s cool and I like it) or Nope (boooo it’s lame)?

5. PETCO Park’s Pregnant Right Field Wall, San Diego, California


At first, the right field wall looks absolutely normal. Nothing to see here, time to move on.


And then you notice that the home of the San Diego Padres has huge “bum bump” in its right field wall. A sore thumb sticks out less. What the hell is that? That, is a random box situated in play. A random box that makes no sense. Whose idea was this? It wouldn’t be that bad if they put in foul territory. Or if it ended out of play.


Citi Field in New York has a similar short porch type fence. But their wall ends with fair territory, not BEFORE it. What Citi Field has is a short porch. What PETCO has is a short in the mind of whatever knucklehead robot architect who thought adding a random mosquito bite in fair territory was a even a decent idea.

Verdict: NOPE

4. Milwaukee Bucks Ho”M”e Court, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

As you can see perfectly from a bird’s eye view, the Bradley Center floor has two darker wood grain M’s decorating each half-court. This is a tribute to earlier era of Milwaukee basketball, and a cool way to spice up one of the NBA’s more monotonous franchises. The M’s frame the buck at center court and balance the perpendicular “Milwaukee” graphic on the baseline. Also, the Bucks are the only team in the NBA to feature in court lettering of this type.



Verdict: DOPE! Points for originality and fit.

3. Koshien Stadium’s Dirt Infield, Nishinomiya, Japan

Koshien Stadium is the home of the Hanshin Tigers and one of the most legendary stadiums in all of Japan. It is home to Japan’s most prestigious baseball tournament, which is simply called “Koshien.” Every year, high school teams from all over the islands gather at Koshien to battle it out for Japanese baseball supremacy. The stadium has a full dirt, softball style infield. At the conclusion of their runs in the national tournament, high schoolers take a handful of the famous Koshien soil home with them. This soft surface has seen its share of talent (Japanese baseball legends Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Hideo Nomo and Kaz Matsui have all stepped on to its hallowed ground) since its opening in 1924. In 2010, Koshien was renovated to make sure future generations of Japanese ballplayers will continue the tradition of playing their national game on the Koshien soil.

Verdict: DOPE. Tradition plus history wins every time.

2. Jerry’s Larger Than Life TV, AT&T Stadium, Dallas, Texas

It’s pretty much the craziest stadium feature in all of professional sports. The over hanging videoboard in the new home of “America’s Team” takes that whole “everything is bigger in Texas” mantra to a whole new level.

According to the official Dallas Cowboys website:

Each of the four sides of the center-hung LED display is the world’s largest: 72’ high by 160’ wide equaling 11,520 square feet per side or 23,040 square feet of sideline displays.

It would take 4,920 52” flat panel TVs to equal the size.

Each side consists of the first true 1080 HD display in an NFL stadium- 1080 true pixels in height at 20mm spacing and capable of displaying HDTV at 1920 x 1080 [16:9] resolution.


Au contraire mon frere, this monstrous monitor IS in play. Too “in play” if you ask me. Punts have hit the videoboard twice, once in 2009 and again in 2013. In the most recent instance, the Cowboys were forced to re-kick after their own punter’s boot found the screen. On the re-punt, Brandon Tate of the Cincinnati Bengals took a much lower punt back to the house for a touchdown.

Verdict: NOPE WITH A POSSIBLE DOPE. All you have to do is move the screen out of punter range. Great idea, but it shouldn’t interfere with the game. After all, THAT is what fans come to watch.

1. Houston’s “Holy S**t, That’s A Terrible Idea” Hill, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas

Oh, Texas (sigh). Good god is this stupid. Not only do they have a random hill in center field, but an exposed flagpole is just hanging out there in the left third.

Tal’s Hill (named for former team president Tal Smith), is supposedly a nod to the old Yankee Stadium (which originally had an exposed flagpole) and to Crosley Field (the former home of the Cincinnati Reds had a hill in LF). Both have those parks have been destroyed, and Yankee Stadium moved the flagpole out of play in 1974.

Just as we did to these elderly stadiums, we should take a wrecking ball to this ridiculous hill. If you’re going to make a tribute to old stadiums, do it better than this. Arizona’s mound-to-plate path, the large grandstands in Cleveland, and brick at Baltimore’s Camden Yards and San Francisco’s AT&T Park are tasteful adaptations of classic ballpark style.


Who knows Houston? Maybe if you level out that hill, your team will stop doing this:


Updated: Overhauling America’s New Favorite Home Sport… Fantasy Football


I wrote this piece last year for my old blog. I have updated it a bit and reposted it here on the new blog in the hope that you fantasy fans may enjoy my lengthy opinions. Fantasy Football is here. Tis’ the season!

I love fantasy football. Fantasy football is so American. It takes football, the already perfect epitome of the “BIGGER, STRONGER, FASTER” attitude of the good ol’ U.S. of A, and kicks it up another four notches. Because watching absurdly tough men crush each other for several hours on a Sunday is simply not enough. We need MORE. The NFL recognizes this craving for more and more football by making the home experience better and better. The Red Zone channel, something journalist Dan Le Batard accurately describes as “football crack“, the 4 hour long pre-game shows on multiple networks, and the ability to purchase a crystal clear 40 inch flat screen for just 500 dollars all contribute to the NFL’s emergence in the home. Just 50 years ago, fans learned about their teams through a selective highlight montage during halftime of ABC’s Monday Night Football. They read about their starting quarterbacks and middle linebackers in the newspaper. If they were lucky, maybe there was a fuzzy black and white photograph of Jack Lambert, snarling like a hungry tasmanian devil, that they could nail to their wall. Today, if anything happens to my beloved 49ers, I know about in approximately 6 seconds via Matt Maiocco of’s twitter, my friends know because I have POSTED A STATUS IN CAPS LOCK TELLING THEM THAT “WE JUST GOT SENECA WALLACE!” in four seconds, and can read David Fucillo’s opinion (@davidfucillo) about it at in the time it took you to read this exasperating sentence.

Please pause and take a breath.

And don’t stop reading!

I haven’t even reached the summit of the article yet! To further my point, we no longer get our football information through the newspaper’s appraisal of impressive quarterbacking and line play. If I want any information regarding football, I can get in within 5 swipes of my index finger. At the most, I type half of what I want into Google and let the genius of two Stanford graduates and 16 years of innovation complete the task. I can pull up something as obscure as Andy Lee’s net punting average from last season (44.6, dude’s a beast), without any noticeable body movement. It’s easier than taking candy from a baby, or getting Mike Vick to fumble (10 cough-ups in 9 games last season!), or playing against Chilo Rachal!


As the football watching experience starts to fade away from waiting 17 years and spending lots of cheese to sit on a bench, shirtless, and braving “the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field” (did you read that in the NFL Films guy voice, because I did) and more towards the warm comfort of my living room filled with Wingstop and Tivo, an entire new industry has consumed America’s new national pastime: Fantasy Football.

Fantasy football, is the foam at the top of your glorious football beer. The jalapeños on the football nachos. Mmmm nachos.

It takes football, something more suited for the home viewer than ever before, and makes it better for YOU. Not you, the season ticket buying, paying, loyal customer. YOU, the loud mouthed couch potato who screams ridiculous things like “FREE PLAY” and “GET HIM” at your 60 inch LCD with one hand down your pants and the other wrapped around an onion ring. Please don’t take that as a criticism, if there is an opportunity for me to have my hands in that scenario, it’s happening. No questions asked. But I digress–Fantasy Football is perfect for today’s football guzzling America. Well, almost.

Now I love fantasy football just as much as the average Matthew Berry Love-Hate column reading lover of the NFL and this may come off as nit-picky and stupid, but here goes.

Fantasy football could be a whole hell of a lot better. I’m not saying that fantasy sucks, I’m just saying its not reaching its maximum potential.

This is how I would redesign fantasy football. Prepare to be amazed or be bored until your eyes glaze over and you begin to resemble a creature from The Walking Dead.

  • The Positions

ESPN’s standard starting roster currently looks like this:

One (1) Quarterback, Two (2) Running Backs, a Flex (1) (RB/WR), Two (2) Wide Receivers, One (1) Tight End, One (1) Defense/Special Teams, and One (1) Kicker.

This system is all fine and dandy. It serves its purpose. It does its job.

But, it should look like this:

One (1) Quarterback, One (1) Running Back, Two (2) Flexes (RB/WR), One (1) Wide Receiver, One (1) “Modern Flex” (RB/WR/TE), One (1) Defense/Special Teams, One (1) Kicker, and One (1) Punter.

The Justification for this absurb upheaval:

Modern Flex

The flex is the most exciting thing in fantasy. It forces you to make decisions. To check schedules and game splits, injury statuses and game times. Sure it’s fun to debate playing Andre Johnson over Calvin Johnson but starting him over Arian Foster! Now we’ve got a controversy. Take away the TE as a solo spot. More flexes = more fun.

What is a “Modern Flex” you ask? It’s the newest position in fantasy football. With tight ends like Jimmy Graham, Rob Gronkowski, and Vernon Davis emerging as pass catching monsters, these hulking hybrids deserve the ultimate challenge. The Flex. Sure, everyone drafts running backs and receivers way ahead of tight ends. But, would you rather have a 3rd receiver or running back over a ball hawking TE? Is Santana Moss a better play than Owen Daniels? Jimmy Graham or Demaryius Thomas? The possibilities are endless! Besides, do we all need tight ends? Should anyone own Zach Sudfeld or Brandon Pettigrew? Who IS Zach Sudfeld? All that bitching and moaning about Jermichael Finley’s “manos de piedra” would be erased. Thank God.

The Punter

A punter? Are you high? Why would you do that? Here’s why. Fantasy is founded off of simple stats. Field Goals, Touchdowns, And Yards. Punting is super easy to calculate. You could do the yards similar to the way field goal yards are counted. 20-30 yards = 1 point, 30-40 = 3 points, 50-60 = 4 points. 60+ and it’s 5 points. Also, -3 points for a shank (Less than 30 yards if it doesn’t land inside the 15). Add on bonuses (2 points if the punt lands inside the 20 yard-line and 4 points if it’s inside the 10) and you’ve got a new fantasy position! And with a new position comes new strategy. Do you take a punter who’s really good but team doesn’t punt a lot or do you take a less skilled punter who punts more frequently. And no negative points for blocked punts. I don’t understand how that’s the punter’s fault when some practice scrub fails to put his body on a backup corner.

  • Scoring:

This is the biggest problem I have with fantasy football. The scoring system sucks. Here is the standard scoring for ESPN:

The Quarterback

As of right now, a player who recovers a fumble for a touchdown gets 6 points, while a quarterback who throws for a score only gets 4. As Ne-Yo would say: “it just ain’t right!” Give the QB’s more points. I like that quarterbacks get points for how many yards they throw for. It’s only right. But, I think it should be tweaked a little. You should not only get a bonus for throwing for 300 or 400 yards, but an even bigger one if you do it in less attempts. Earlier this season, Drew Brees threw for 325 yards against the Carolina Panthers. He threw the ball an astounding 49 times. A couple weeks later, Alex Smith threw for 303 yards, but on only 24 attempts. This efficiency should be factored in. Brees shouldn’t be penalized for his fantastic performance, but Smith should be compensated for a 75 completion percentage. And also, don’t we know enough about quarterbacking to simplify this process. I’m not necessarily recommending it, but don’t we have Quarterback Rating nowadays. Couldn’t we just boil everything down to QBR? Interceptions currently drop a QB’s fantasy score 2 points. I think, if it’s returned for a touchdown or thrown in the red zone, it should be an extra two. This would create fantastic scenarios in which a play similar to James Harrison’s heavily debated, frantic, runback touchdown in Super Bowl XLIII knocks one of your buddies out of the playoffs.

The Flexes (again)

I like the fact that receivers and running backs get 6 points for not only a receiving or rushing touchdown but for a return TD as well. It adds a new wrinkle to the Devin Hester’s and Randall Cobb’s of the world. The yard system is solid as well, and I like the option of PPR (points per reception) too. I would give an extra point for converting on third down to receivers, backs, and quarterbacks.

The Kicker 

The current scoring system for kickers is mostly fine. The only tweak I have is the 60+ yarder should be added to the scoring system. This is an effort to keep up with the game. Out of the 10 longest field goals in NFL history, 6 have been kicked in the last 6 years. Currently, if Matt Prater knocks one in from 51 in Denver, and Sebastian Janikowski sneaks one over the crossbar from 60 yards out in Oakland, they get the same 5 points. That’s bull. I’d give an extra 7 for 60+, they don’t happen too often. Appreciate the rarity. Points should also be added for touchbacks.

The Punter! (again!) (Yay for Ray Guy)

See above.

Defense/Special Teams

This is where the real overhaul happens. The way Defense and Special Teams is scored in fantasy football is an absolute joke. It’s ridiculous. And it could be made better so easily. As it stands right now, most of the defensive points come from the other team not scoring very many points. This system does not account for a defensive touchdown or a safety by the other team.

This point total based scoring should only be for when your team is on defense. There should be bonus points for forcing 3 and outs, a certain number of QB hurries, and if you hold the opposing team’s offense to a certain yard total.

And now, my biggest beef with fantasy football’s current defensive scoring system. The following scenario, created by my good friend Ben Blanchard (@HamburgerMMA), illustrates the most glaring hole in fantasy defense.  Let’s say you have selected the Denver Broncos to be your defense for the day. They are playing the Bears and you figure Cutler will throw picks like an irate ice fisherman. The Broncos begin on offense. Manning goes out, and on the first play throws a interception right to Lance Briggs. Now your Broncos have to go out, when they thought they were going to have more time to prepare, and defend the diverse attack of Chicago, in their own territory. They tough it out and force a Robbie Gould field goal. This is a great victory for the Broncos. They have held the Bears, with the odds stacked against them, and kept their team in the game. They kept Cutler from developing a rhythm, and did everything they could possibly do. Yet, because of Manning’s mishap, something that doesn’t reflect their defensive abilities at all, they lose fantasy points. Those 3 points could push them over the threshold. What if that forced field goal makes the difference between Chicago’s total being 12 (3 fantasy points for Denver) and 15 (1 point). Because of a circumstance outside their control, they take a 2 point fantasy hit (more in some leagues). What they have done is something positive, and they get negative points for it. This is asinine. A player(s) should never be penalized for doing something great. The defense should get bonus points for holding the other team to a field goal. Any time your defense doesn’t allow a touchdown when their offense turns the ball over in their own half, the defense should get points. 3 if they hold them to a field goal, 4 if the other team doesn’t score. This is the mark of a truly great defense. They should be praised for being able to compensate for a crappy offense.

Additionally, return yardage should be calculated and scored like running yards. And, on punt and kick return team, if you bring the returner down inside the twenty, 1 bonus point.

  • Apologies/Thanks

Thank you for suffering through this ridiculous revamp of fantasy football. If you made it to here, I bow in gratitude to you and admire your loyalty and focus. However, I question your time management skills and the number of cool things happening in your life.

Thanks anyway!

Ben Wong


Competition is the Norm for Kings Guard Isaiah Thomas


This is nothing new for Isaiah Thomas.



These new guards, with their height advantages and impressive pedigrees might intimidate or hurt the ego of Isaiah Thomas… if only he hadn’t faced this before. A look into the hustlin’ husky’s past reveals why this is just another conquerable challenge for IT.

During his freshman year at the University of Washington, Thomas battled for time in the backcourt with sophomore Venoy Overton and senior Justin Dentmon. He started at the point and rode averages of 15.4 points and 2.6 assists to a Pac-10 Championship and Freshman of the Year honors.

The following season, Thomas continued to compete with Overton for playing time and also beat out top-ranked freshman guard Abdul Gaddy for the starting nod. He raised his averages to 16.9 points and 3.2 assists, drew comparisons to Damon Stoudamire and former Husky great Nate Robinson, and was named “All-Pac 10.”

As a junior, the Huskies star started over Overton and (now Toronto Raptors guard) Terrence Ross and crushed the Pac-10 as the Huskies leading scorer.

In cooooooolllld blooood (

As if that wasn’t enough competition, Mr. Irrelevant has butted heads with Aaron Brooks, Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton, and Jimmer Fredette for NBA minutes in his first two years. His hard-nosed and fearless play has made him a fan favorite, along with the dignity and respect he handles his off the court life. In multiple situations with varying degrees of difficulty and maturity, Thomas has shown that competition raises his game. He takes on all comers, and that’s what makes him uniquely qualified for his next challenge in the NBA: Backing up Greivis Vasquez and becoming the Kings 6th man.

As I’m sure you all know, the Kings acquired the 6-foot-6 Venezuelan in a sign and trade for Tyreke Evans (See: Vazquez, who posted averages of over 13.9 points and nine assists last season, figures to be the starting point guard for Sacramento.

I expect Vasquez to play well this season and take his game to new heights. This is because of Isaiah Thomas. Vasquez will have to play at a high level, because Thomas (and rookie Ray McCallum) will be nipping at his heels for playing time.

The ideal scenario for the Kings would mirror the rotation Rick Adelman used in the early 2000’s. Mike Bibby would start, and Bobby Jackson would come off the bench and play big minutes as well. Though Bibby started, he only played about 5 minutes per game more than Jackson. This balance in minutes would bode well for both the play and development (both players have less than three full years in the league) of Vasquez and Thomas.

On a more macro level, how would any of us react to our organization bringing in a new person to specifically replace us? Because they believe that this new person can do our job better. While that is certainly the harsh reality of professional sports, Thomas’ maturity and attitude are certainly admirable, especially when we consider that he is 24-years-old.

(From the Sacramento Bee) “It’s just another battle. And may the best man win the position. If they want to have it like that then we’re going to go to battle each and every day. Those are my teammates but I’m fighting for a position just like they are. Every time you’re losing, when you’re not making the playoffs everybody’s position is up for grabs. They’re going to try to bring in new guys at each position. I’m 5-9 – I know what they’re doing – 5-9 guys aren’t supposed to be in this league. I’m just going to keep working, keep battling. Like I told Coach Malone, you can bring whoever you want in here it’s going to be a battle each and every day. I’m ready for it. Vaquez, McCallum are some great guards, we’re going to have fun and make each other better.”

So what do you think Kings fans? Bobby Jackson 2.0?

Saying Goodbye to Tyreke Evans


Getty Images

If you visit the Sacramento Kings “Youtube” channel, as most Kings fans of my age frequently do, you will notice the different playlists. These playlists (collections of videos) are categorized into themes or titles including “Top Plays”, “Sacramento Kings Dancer Profiles”, “Features”, and “Game Highlights”.

One playlist is called “Popular Uploads”. This section is a collection of what Kings fans have viewed the most on Youtube.

And Tyreke Evans, the newest New Orleans Pelican, dominates this playlist. Reke is prominently featured in 7 of the top 12 videos.

This is why I believe that many Kings fans had such a visceral and harsh reaction to yesterday’s news. Since the Kings drafted him 4th overall in 2009 (an unpopular pick at the time), Tyreke has been the face of this franchise. It is definitely not something the soft spoken 23 year old chose, but a spotlight warranted by a high draft position, a lack of talent around him, and the remarkable “20-5-5” rookie season. While watching Tyreke acrobatically layup to these legendary averages was undoubtably one of the better experience I’ve had watching recent Kings basketball, the season hurt Reke’s career by raising everyone’s expectations. As we heard our prematurely appointed franchise savior’s name mentioned with some of the greatest to every play the game, I think we all forgot that this was a 20 year old kid. That he didn’t have an outside shot yet. That he shot only 75% from the free throw line that year. Being named MVP of the Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend didn’t exactly dim the bright lights. Nor did winning Rookie of the Year, while no doubt a great accomplishment. The multiple coaching changes, poor leadership in the front office, and crumbling ownership created an environment far less than ideal for breeding a superstar. The fact is, we put too much on Tyreke too early.

Personally, I feel like I’ve watched Tyreke for a very long time. I feel like I know his tendencies. I am prepared for the spin move in the paint that leads to a fancy flip off the glass. I don’t even groan anymore when his midrange jumper barely finds room. I feel like I’ve seen him drive bullheaded into the paint a million times, like I’ve seen it all.

The fact is, he’s been a King for 4 years. He’s played in only 257 games. There is still a lot of basketball out there for Tyreke Evans. He’s just getting started.

Realistically, we shouldn’t feel the connection to Evans that we do. His assists per game and points per game have decreased every year he’s been in the NBA. His free throw shooting has not improved. He’s 28% from three point range for his career and his rebounds per game have descended as well. In terms of Win Shares, a metric that measures the average number of wins a player produces for his team, Tyreke’s totals stack up next to second rate players such as Jodie Meeks, Rudy Fernandez, Luke Ridnour, and Rodney Stuckey. From a statistical standpoint, Tyreke Evans is a basic starting guard in the NBA. He’s not a terrible player by any means but he cannot be counted on as the leader of a legitimate playoff team. If New Orleans wants to pull themselves from the depths and fly to the top of the Eastern Conference, Tyreke Evans cannot be their alpha Pelican.

So why then do we love Tyreke Evans so much? Why did the news of his departure carry so much weight? The Kings chose to not overpay him. They decided instead, correctly in my opinion, to acquire as much talent as possible for him (a starting point guard in Greivis Vasquez), and create more room for Ben McLemore to grow and prosper.

Because Tyreke Evans is a highlight man. He is responsible for arguably the best Kings moment of the last 8 years, destroyed Gary Neal on a fast break dunk, turns layups in graceful moments of artistry, and plays the game with passion and emotion (and not the same kind of emotion that Demarcus Cousins plays with… because then I wouldn’t be writing this). As I mentioned earlier, Tyreke suited up 257 times for the Kings over four years. You know who else played in over 250 games for the Kings in his first four seasons? Francisco Garcia. Do you remember anything from his “reign” as a King? Of course not. But Tyreke will live on. Because Tyreke brings the highlights. I have watched his 64 foot buzzer beater against Memphis countless times. His joyful jump onto the scorer’s table, Donte Greene’s early celebration, and Pooh Jeter excited scurrying and gleeful leaps onto teammates’ shoulders will forever be etched in my mind. I’ll never forget when Reke and former King Omri Casspi took over the 2010 Rookie Challenge with a Showtimesque fast break. Reke is, and will forever be, a talented player who produces “oohs” and “ahhs”.

So do yourselves a favor. Go watch Tyreke do his thing: Enjoy the high flying hoops and ankle breaking crossovers.

Then click this:

And watch this:

And get excited for what this trade has officially brought us:


Ben Wong


Life of Kawhi: One Missed Free Throw and Kawhi Leonard’s Terrific Finals is Forever Out to Sea


It will be lost forever in the swirling tsunami of terrific basketball that was the 2013 NBA Finals.


Here we are, hours after the Miami Heat hoisted the Larry O’Brien trophy over their heads, minutes after LeBron and Wade showered themselves with champagne and pizza on stage with Drake, and as with each passing second more clips of Shane Battier knocking down triples make their way across all 3 of the ESPN’s, and I haven’t heard his name mentioned once.

Kawhi Leonard.

We’ll remember the series LeBron James had. We’ll remember the series Dwyane Wade had. We’ll even remember how Tim Duncan and Tony Parker performed, and all the outlets are pouncing on Manu Ginobili’s inconsistencies. Years later, when some guy goes off for a bajillion threes, Danny Green’s historic 2013 Finals will come up.

Kawhi Leonard, all of 21 years old, in only his second season in the NBA, had himself one hell of an NBA finals.

But when we talk about Kawhi Leonard’s 2013 NBA Finals, we won’t talk about the positives.

Kawhi Leonard averaged a double double in his first finals, 14.6 PPG and 11.1 RPG to be exact. He managed to have a huge impact on the offensive end despite hounding LeBron James for seven games. Leonard’s season averages are around 11 and 6, and while 7 games is a small sample size, the numbers show that he elevated his game in the finals. He dunked all over Mike Miller. He had 4 steals in game 3 and 2 blocks in game 4. He was a rebounding machine, collecting 14 in game 2. He was the best Spur in game 7 (19 points and 16 rebounds) and scored 16+ in three games this series. May I remind you that Leonard is primarily a defensive specialist? He only averaged 14.1 PPG at SDSU, playing against legendary defensive stalwarts such as Point Loma Nazarene, Occidental, and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Not exactly the Georgetown press or the ’96 Kentucky Wildcats

The point is, Kawhi Leonard turned in a complete performance for San Antonio. A performance that should not only be recognized, but celebrated by Spurs fans as the light at the end of the tunnel for this model of early aught greatness grows brighter.

But whenever his name is mentioned alongside the 2013 NBA Finals, he will be remembered for what he didn’t do. For the free throw he didn’t make. For the championship that he (along with some help from Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan) let slip from his grasp.

The scrolling Sportscenter topic graphic basically looks like this:





It seems we are obsessed with the “very good” and “very bad”. In the 2013 NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard was “good”. Not “bad”. Not merely “okay”. “Good”. “Good” isn’t easy. “Good” doesn’t just happen. “Good” is a result of talent, hard work, and dedication. “Good”, in this case, is greatness with blemish. And while greatness undoubtedly deserves it’s time in the spotlight, I think it’s time we give some ink and some screen time to “good”.

Because for San Antonio, good is only 21 years old. Good will have plenty of opportunities to find the port of greatness. Unfortunately for us, only time will tell if Kawhi Leonard can become something more than this…

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