Blessed with Success: The Warriors’ great run

I remember growing up watching the Warriors as a kid and never thinking my team would ever win a title in my lifetime. I was so accustomed to the team either never being good and if they made the playoffs, not being good enough to make any dent. To me, this was my Warriors. It wasn’t what other teams experienced. I had heartache and sadness for so long. It was all I knew and expected.

The team had the magical “We Believe” run but even at that, I knew this was going to be one shining moment in another long stretch of futility. It wasn’t until the 2013 playoffs when they took down Denver in the first round did I think maybe the team might be good enough. But that was still a pipe dream. Could my Warriors actually develop into a winning team with established superstars? Little did I know that right before me was future Hall of Famers Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green developing into greatness.

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My WrestleMania 37 predictions

Well, thanks to COVID-19 last year, WrestleMania was forced into the Performance Center. This year, with limited fans in attendance, the attempt to pull off this show in Tampa Bay is going to happen. Once again it’s a two-night affair and I am going to make my predictions on what will go down.

Kickoff Pre-show: WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL — NOT HAPPENING
– The match will be cancelled for the second straight year.

Kickoff Pre-show: ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL — SMACKDOWN
– This match happened on SmackDown with Jey Uso winning.

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NIGHT 1

WWE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH 
– Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley (C)

It seems like this is set up for McIntyre to get his WrestleMania moment in front of a live crowd. But should he get the win? The way the story is building up there seems to be more affection towards the Hurt Business and what they’re doing versus what McIntyre’s identity has evolved into recently. I still think the whole plan is to have Drew McIntyre win but I am don’t think it’s the right move. The momentum is hot for Lashley and there’s a lot more potential with him remaining as champ.

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WWE RAW TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
– AJ Styles/Omos vs. The New Day (C)

The build to this has not been that great. Styles and Omos just showed up and got that title show. The New Day have been very consistent as a team and it would make sense they would win. But I like that this is the chance for Omos to really display his power and give AJ Styles another title on his resume. I say Styles and Omos win this with ease to help establish them as a new force in the tag team division.

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WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH
– Naomi/Lana vs. Mandy Rose/Dana Brooke vs. Carmella/Billie Kay vs. The Riott Squad vs. Tamina/Natalya

The winner of this match faces the current tag team champions in Night 2.

This is a thrown together hodgepodge of a match. Right now, the only tag team that has any momentum is Tamina and Natalya. But if they win, would they want two heel teams to face off for the championship? Unlikely. The best storyline would be for Lana to get her vengeance but would WWE want that? Maybe. I still think The Riott Squad could open up a lot of possibilities as well as they are a long-established team. I will pick them to win and face the champs in Night 2.

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CESARO vs. SETH ROLLINS 

Cesaro is seeking that big WrestleMania singles win and this is set up nicely for that to happen. Rollins is still acting like his own egotistic self but that works, adding my sympathy for Cesaro’s plight. I expect a swing rotation to possibly go over 30 and that would help secure Cesaro for the win.

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BAD BUNNY & DAMIAN PRIEST vs. THE MIZ AND JOHN MORRISON 

This is a strange storyline but with Bad Bunny’s name and all eyes on the music star, then it would make sense for him to win. Miz and Morrison are kind of floundering after Miz’s one-week reign as WWE champion. But unfortunately they’re going to lose to the music star and Damian Priest, who would benefit greatly from a win in his rookie year. Bunny and Priest are winning this.

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WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH
– Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (C)

The story has gotten stale but it all points to a big breakout for Bianca Belair. Banks doesn’t need the win but with her influence can elevate Belair to the top. This will be a great match and could possibly steal the show for the night.

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BRAUN STROWMAN vs. SHANE McMAHON (CAGE MATCH)

I don’t like the direction this is going. After being the champ at last year’s Mania, Strowman is stuck with this awful storyline. Give Braun Strowman the win because any other result would make no sense.

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NIGHT 2

WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH
– Daniel Bryan vs. Edge vs. Roman Reigns (C)

This is the most intriguing match of the entire event. Each one of these men could win the title and the direction the company goes with it could work very well. Bryan could recreate his WM30 moment (and maybe have one great run before he retires) and it would be great TV. Edge winning would also complete his comeback and his new heel angle works well. Or if you want to build Reigns as the big bad guy, then him winning would grow his ego and work very well going forward. Nobody suffers with the loss and anyone winning will benefit greatly. I predict Daniel Bryan wins and would have the perfect way to ride off into the sunset.

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WWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH
– Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka (C)

Because of Charlotte Flair getting COVID, it seems that is the reason why Ripley got put in this title picture. Asuka hasn’t had a respected run as champion and they might just give it to Ripley freshen it up. I still think Asuka needs this win to establish her dominance but could Ripley afford consecutive Mania losses? I think Rhea Ripley wins this but I hope Asuka is booked better going forward.

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WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH
TBD vs. Shayna Baszler/Nia Jax(C)

This should be the Riott Squad based on my prediction and I think they will do it. I expect Reginald to get involved somehow and perhaps Carmella will get her revenge. But even if that doesn’t happen, it’s time to crown new champs and finally give the squad something good to work with after all these years.

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WWE INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE MATCH (NIGERIAN DRUM FIGHT)
– Apollo Crews vs. Big E (C)

I am not sure what to make of Crews and his new identity, let alone this match stipulation. I like him embracing his African roots but to jump into an accent like that is just weird. Meanwhile I think Big E takes the win because his momentum needs to continue growing. Is there a way Crews and E can look strong after tonight? Maybe. And I bet that is the way it has to go. No squash or anything. A good brawl.

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“THE FIEND” BRAY WYATT vs. RANDY ORTON

Everything points to Bray Wyatt winning this. His character will benefit from it and it might even be a cinematic match. I’m for this.

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KEVIN OWENS vs. SAMI ZAYN

Kevin Owens got his big moment last year and now it’s time for Sami Zayn to win and get his. The conspiracy theory storyline has been pretty tough to take in but it will all be worth it if he wins and grows a bigger ego on how he is right. I would love for Zayn to actually wrestle and avoid scheming his way out of things. Perhaps we can have a little bit of both to make this work.

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WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH
– Sheamus vs. Riddle (C)

Very simple. Let Riddle keep the title and let him build himself up with his crazy gimmick. Sheamus doesn’t need this right now.

I hope it is a good show through two days. This is as close to normal as we’ve ever had in the pandemic. Hell, maybe Gronk returns for something in either night. Or maybe Becky Lynch or Ronda Rousey make a surprise return. Let’s find out!

What it was like attending Opening Day in 2021

Opening Day in Oakland. April 1, 2021.

Last night was a special night for me. And for Major League Baseball. After not being able to have fans in attendance all of last year except for a few postseason games, the league is back in full swing with fans being able to attend games in limited capacity. Except for you Texas Rangers. Shame on you.  

The COVID-19 pandemic hit across the United States and all of Major League Baseball in early spring last year and the league had to shut down everything. It was only months later into the summer did the league begin playing games. No fans in attendance and my hopes of attending a big league game that season was dashed. 

I usually find myself in Oakland for a handful of games every year to see my hometown A’s. Since moving to Los Angeles, being able to attend games at the Coliseum has been challenging but I have found ways to fly or drive back home. The team didn’t allow any fans in attendance at all last season, opting for cardboard cutouts among other silly gimmicks. But this season, they’re letting fans in at a limited capacity (20 percent) and I knew immediately I wanted to be in attendance for that first game. I booked my flight and bought my ticket to Opening Day in Oakland. I had to be there. 

This will be my first live sporting event since a Warriors game in San Francisco last January. The pandemic took away any other chances of me attending any other sporting events since then. But now a little bit over a year later, I am back at one of my favorite places ever. 

The Coliseum site itself has been a vaccination site in recent months and now it’s welcoming fans back for a live event. I wanted to document everything about my experience in my first game back. I wanted to see what was different now than what it was like in 2019, the last season the team was able to have fans in attendance. Here’s what I saw.

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Determining the best Super Bowl game ever with a unique grading system

Was Super Bowl XXXII the greatest Super Bowl ever?
(Photo by Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Last night’s Super Bowl game wasn’t all that exciting. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers grabbed the lead early and its defense suffocated the Kansas City Chiefs. And with that, the 55th Super Bowl game ended with a 31-9 blowout.

While watching the game last night I started to think about all the previous Super Bowl games and which one is the best game ever. If you ask based on the qualifier of the actual gameplay, then you will get a ton of answers and all are debatable. We could look back at the New York Jets’ major upset in Super Bowl III. Or maybe Joe Montana’s late drive to seal the win in Super Bowl XXIII. Or maybe the New York Giants taking down the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII?

These are just a few examples of some games worth considering. But I feel that there should be some other qualifiers. The gameplay is important, but the visuals to me are a very important factor into the decision. For a long while, the Super Bowl was played under sunny skies. Now, depending on the location of the game and the game start time, that option may not exist. Even games played indoors eliminate the sun from being a factor.

Another thing that matters is the field itself. This is a personal preference, but games played on grass are visually more appealing than games played on any other surface. And with the rolling out of astroturf and field turf, it seems like every other year we lose that element.

And as you know, I am a big uniform guy so finding a good contrast in both teams’ uniforms is important to me. I love it where both teams don’t share any of the same colors and that there is a good balance of colors on each uniform. For example, the Seattle Seahawks wearing a blue helmet, with blue jerseys and pants isn’t visually that strong. And on the other hand, despite the Pittsburgh Steelers having a very classic uniform, I am not a fan of a black helmet on a white jersey with yellow pants. It’s too many different dominant colors on one uniform.

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Warriors fall flat again in tribute to Oakland roots

The new Warriors uniform that pays tribute to Oakland.

The Golden State Warriors announced new uniforms for the team in their upcoming season. The uniforms are a tribute to their Oakland roots.

This isn’t the first time the Warriors have tried to pay tribute to Oakland with their San Francisco move finalized, but this will be the first time they will wear an Oakland-themed uniform while playing in San Francisco.

Despite the goodwill these uniforms are attempting to make, it’s still a slap to the face of the city of Oakland.

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Will the Oakland A’s finally win a postseason series?

Do the A’s have what it takes to win it all?

Today the Oakland Athletics embark on their third consecutive season in the playoffs. The last two years, the A’s failed to win the division and were forced to play in the Wild Card Game. Both times, the A’s lost and their postseason dreams ended just like that. This season with the 60-game schedule due to the pandemic, the A’s won the West and don’t have to worry about a one-game schedule. They will now play a best-of-three set against the Chicago White Sox. The A’s will play all these first round games in Oakland, which is a nice reward for winning the division. It’s a different format than previous years because of the pandemic but I won’t complain about it. The A’s clearly were the best in the division and have earned this right.

But will they win this series? Will they go far into the postseason?

Having watched the A’s this season I believe that they have what it takes to win it all. However, they need to be so perfect in everything they do in these playoffs. On paper they are not the best but they have found ways to get it done on the field, leading them to a 36-24 record this seasons.

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My WrestleMania 36 predictions

What a strange time we are right now. COVID-19 has forced this major event out of the stadium and into the WWE Performance Center. No fans. Two nights. It could be great. It could be awful. I have no idea which nights the matches will take place. Here are my predictions.

Kickoff Pre-show: WOMEN’S BATTLE ROYAL — NOT HAPPENING
– There will be more than 10 people in the ring so this match won’t go as planned. 

Kickoff Pre-show: ANDRE THE GIANT MEMORIAL BATTLE ROYAL — NOT HAPPENING
– There will be more than 10 people in the ring so this match won’t go as planned. 

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WWE CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE MATCH 
– Drew McIntyre vs. Brock Lesnar (C)

It would be a great way to start the first night of the show with this match. The hype for this has died a little bit but the potential of Drew McIntyre is still pretty strong. However, with so much uncertainty right now, it might be a good idea to have McIntyre win the title and then not be in any foreseeable matches. So right now, having Brock Lesnar hold the title until maybe SummerSlam is the way to go.

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The coronavirus scare and what’s next in sports

It’s crazy to think that this is a reality. It’s hard to even grasp that this coronavirus pandemic has led to this.

But then again, I haven’t been able to recall a time where something like this has happened here in America. Has a pandemic led to professional sports leagues to suspend or even cancel games?

The initial thought was that it would just be a case where games would be played without fans. But with now players contracting the virus, it is very apparent that there is no reason to play any games until we know what to do next.

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My thoughts on Kobe Bryant — the ultimate nemesis

Here is Kobe Bryant dominating my team once again, dropping 51 points .

I hated Kobe Bryant.

Growing up in the Bay Area as a Warriors fan, why would you like him? He entered the league in 1996 and at the time I didn’t think much of it. After all, he was this high school phenom but hadn’t proved anything yet. But because he was on the Lakers, I knew that this guy was the enemy.

Over the years, that enemy became the villain. He was the nemesis. He was the thorn in my side and on the side of my favorite team.

I rooted against him.

I hated it when the Lakers won three straight titles. I hated seeing him make those game-winning shots. I didn’t want to hear it when he scored 81 points. I was upset that he won two more titles later in his career.

I would intentionally agitate fans by claiming that he wasn’t the G.O.A.T. and that he wasn’t even the best player of his own generation. (Tim Duncan is better.) When he scored 60 in his final game, I looked at the flaws of his stat line and instead tried to direct the narrative to the Warriors who had just won their 73rd game that same night.

Heck, even when the Lakers retired both his jerseys, I was finding ways to hate on this unprecedented move for a team I didn’t care about.

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NFL denying throwbacks for 49ers in Super Bowl was best decision

The uniform matchup from the two teams’ preseason meeting in 2019 is what we will get at the Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs are going to face off in Super Bowl LIV in a couple weeks and one of the first big news stories that came out this was the uniform matchup for the game.

The designated home team rotates every year and this year the AFC team is the home team. The Chiefs are going with the red jersey and white pants for the game. That means the 49ers will be in a white jersey. However, it was reported that the 49ers petitioned to be allowed to wear their throwback uniforms for the game.

The NFL denied that request and the image you see above is what the Super Bowl matchup will be.

It is the best move by the league.

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NFL looks worse for this Colin Kaepernick private workout

Well, the NFL is doing what it can to make itself look like a league that isn’t blackballing Colin Kaepernick. They’ve set up a private workout this Saturday in Atlanta for Kaepernick to show off his skills. All NFL teams are welcomed to send in reps to watch.

Sounds like a good and favorable thing for Kaepernick, right?

Well, not exactly. In fact, the whole thing smelled fishy from the beginning. We’re close to three seasons since Kaepernick was last in the NFL and now the NFL wants to help him out? Sure, there was that whole lawsuit issue but surely that meant that was in the past and the present is now, right? They’ve made peace and moved on, right?

Actually, according to Mike Silver, it’s not what you think. Charles Robinson also shared some information as well.

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