Grappling Kings Part 1: The Closed Guard & An Appreciation Of Marcelo Garcia

Posted in Blogroll on September 30th, 2011 by Okori Wadsworth

Helio Gracie, The Man, The Myth, The Father of What We Know

On the basis of some general confusion, and the fact that Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan generally treat every single brand new follower to the sport as though they have seen every single fight from UFC 1 to the present and know instinctively what every last position that they are going to see is, I figured that I would go through the trouble of finding the four main grappling positions most people see when they watch the UFC (and since largely the UFC is on the verge of committing a kind of hegemony, one could reasonably make the argument that at this point UFC=MMA).

Where are we starting? The most flexible position that exists. The Guard. And if you can hang so far through the long explanation, I’ll do you a favor and show you all of the tricks in action by one of the most graceful and fluid men doing anything related to grappling that I have ever seen. Marcelo Garcia.

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Ron Glover’s NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

Posted in Blogroll on September 29th, 2011 by Ron Glover

Things have officially gone haywire in our current NFL Power Rankings. Last week I threw the Bills, Lions and Redskins bouquets last week by placing all three in my top 10. So what happens??? The Bills come back from 21 down to defeat the Patriots and the Lions comeback from 20 down at the half ON THE ROAD to put the Vikings season in dire straits. The Skins put on a good showing but came up short against the Cowboys.

Time’s yours…

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Ron Glover’s NFL Questions & Answers: Week 3

Posted in Blogroll on September 27th, 2011 by Ron Glover

PHILADELPHIA, PA - SEPTEMBER 25:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles sits on the sideline with an injured hand in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants at Lincoln Financial Field on September 25, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Giants defeated the Eagles 29-16.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

For the second season in a row there has been a discussion about the hits that Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has taken after he has released a pass during a game. Sunday Vick let his frustrations flow and some in the press chose to label it as whining. Is it whining when every time a lineman falls at Tom Brady’s feet he’s snapping an evil glare at the back judge that didn’t toss a flag and miraculously one lands on the turf? Is that protection only for special quarterbacks? I can still remember the personal foul penalty assessed to the Eagles defensive end Trent Cole for literally glancing the helmet of the Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning in a game last season.

Get it right refs!

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A Note On My Carmelo Anthony’s Ali Quote Piece

Posted in Blogroll on September 26th, 2011 by Michael Tillery

In this business proper credit needs to be given when quoting reporting peers. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Here’s an example via Yahoo’s Kelly Dwyer in a blog post entitled Carmelo Anthony doesn’t understand ‘Muhammad Ali-type statements’ where he gives David Aldridge credit for the Anthony quote despite obvious print and video evidence Aldridge attributed the quote to me:

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Carmelo Anthony: “Athletes today are scared to make Muhammad Ali type statements.”

Posted in Blogroll on September 26th, 2011 by Michael Tillery

Doing what we do at The Starting Five, whether it’s editing, reporting or writing, there is one priority…to get it right. I know personally some athletes have become hesitant to speak out whenever some have something authentic to say because some fear an omnipresent backlash affecting their bottom line. This is simply absurd because athletes have unique perspectives on life just like anyone else.  Hypothetical but some of you will say something similar to the following: “Well athletes are representing something bigger or I don’t pay my hard earned money to hear an athlete speak on anything more than the game. They are just athletes and should just shut up and play ball. If I want to hear politics I’ll turn on C-Span or talk radio. Athletes should not bite the hands that feed them because they are making millions to simply play a kid’s game while I’m out here struggling working 4,080 hours a week just to be broke.”

Well maybe you should have picked up a basketball instead of a tire iron. Athletes are getting paid market value just like the owners who sign their checks or actors in Hollywood or musical artists in Detroit…and yes shock jocks on talk radio.  If they have something on their mind, why should they be afraid to speak? Think about the conversations you have and ask is there a filter for your words? Carmelo Anthony is one to say what is usually on his mind within reason and at the Battle of I-95 (Melo had 31 points and 17 rebounds in the Baltimore’s 131-122 loss to Team Philly), he took the opportunity to do just that.

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Ron Glover’s NFL Predictions: Week 3

Posted in Blogroll on September 24th, 2011 by Ron Glover

As I looked at the six division rivary games that will take place this weekend, I thought of some of the images from these games. Here’s one that I think slipped through the cracks. The Charles Martin hit on Jim MacMahon in this 1986 contest ended Jimmy Mac’s season and derailed the Bears chances for a repeat as Super Bowl Champions. It isn’t called the Black and Blue Division for nothing.

Peep the hit list on Martin’s towel and whose number is at the top of the list – think this would fly in todays NFL?

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Two Things I Think I Know About UFC 135

Posted in Blogroll on September 24th, 2011 by Okori Wadsworth


UFC 135, There are a few things happening on this fight. A LHW title defense by one of the most intriguing fighters in the world (Jon Jones)? It’s here, the chance to maybe see the last gasp of one of the truly dominant champions of recent vintage (Matt Hughes)? That’s here too. A scowling, middle-finger-throwing, submission genius (Nate Diaz)? That’s a lot to think about, and even more to think that you know. But I do know 3 things.

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Flyers Forward Wayne Simmonds Has Banana Thrown At Him During Hockey Game

Posted in Blogroll on September 23rd, 2011 by Ron Glover

The incident occurred when Simmonds went in on a SO attempt.

With everything that’s occurred in the news this week and weeks past, I’ve really felt my inner man being put to the test when it comes to race and matters surrounding it.  

After what Philadelphia Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds had to endure last night, I’m officially numb to all of this now…

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Ron Glover’s Week 3 NFL Power Rankings

Posted in Blogroll on September 22nd, 2011 by Ron Glover

I apologize for overlooking the dramatic comeback win Sunday by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Josh Freeman threw for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a game the Bucs trailed Donovan McNabb and the Minnesota Vikings 17-0. More importantly, he orchestrated two fourth quarter scoring drives, including the eventual game winner.

This was the eighth fourth quarter comeback for Freeman who is only in his third season.

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Troy Davis Denied Clemency By Georgia Parole Board

Posted in Blogroll on September 20th, 2011 by Michael Tillery

If you have ANY question of reasonable doubt research the case…

An important offering by Jasiri X that spells out the case…

Troy Davis denied clemency

We all have studied the case so no reason for a long write up. I feel in my heart of hearts if white folk (en masse) cared about this case (other than the officer who lost his life being white) Troy Anthony Davis would not die tomorrow. We are at a time where Blacks are forced to be objective in matters of race or shut out of the system. In this case there is a Black man convicted of murder and sentenced to die so the narrative on this is driven by the passion and experience of Black folk. Do some care? Yes, but everyone else (ALL RACES) could care less if Troy Davis dies because they are not affected (including Black people). PROVE ME WRONG and sign the petition or call every number you can in Georgia. That’s the only way I can say it. I don’t care about the generalizations, backlash or whatever. Go get the person who did this but looking at the facts of the case, Troy Davis, it appears, didn’t commit murder.

Georgia Parole Board (404) 656-5651. Call…press 5 and hold. You will get through in a short time. Don’t think this can’t be you people. Seriously #TroyDavis

Call Governor Nathan Deal’s office (404) 656-1776. He has to sign the death warrant


Ron Glover’s NFL Questions & Answers: Week 2

Posted in Blogroll on September 20th, 2011 by Ron Glover

The Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Detroit Lions are all 2-0. With the exception of maybe the Lions, no one expected all three teams to be among the NFL’s undefeated. Meanwhile,  Philadelphia, Atlanta, New Orleans and Baltimore are 1-1, and the Eagles could be without Michael Vick for a week or two. Another observation is the media seems to go the extra mile for Tim Tebow while phasing out Cam Newton.

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Ron Glover’s NFL Predictions: Week 2

Posted in Blogroll on September 17th, 2011 by Ron Glover

Week 2 in the NFL has as many questions as Week 1. Can the Detroit Lions come out of the chute 2-0 for the first time in forever?  How much will Michael Vick’s return to Atlanta affect his play and that of some of his former Falcons teammates? And when was the last time a Raiders/Bills matchup drew any interest?

I took a beating in last week’s 1pm games but rebounded nicely in the 4pm and prime time games to finish 9-7. I’ll continue to get a feel for team as this season rounds into shape.

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Victor Ortiz, Floyd Mayweather And The History Of The Welterweight Upset

Posted in Blogroll on September 16th, 2011 by Okori Wadsworth


Floyd Mayweather is one of the best fighters in the world. Let’s get that out of the way right now. Now if you want to argue the degree to which he’s better than, say Nonito Donaire or Sergio Martinez that’s an argument we can have. But he is by any objective measure, one of the best fighters in the world, and one of the best pure boxers any of us have ever seen. And next Saturday night, live on HBO PPV you’ll get to see him do what he does best against Victor Ortiz. Or will you?

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Ron Glover’s Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

Posted in Blogroll on September 14th, 2011 by Ron Glover

Ok folks, this is the first go round of the new season so don’t expect this to be just right just yet. My hope is by the third or fourth week we should be on a roll. The rankings for this week are based on win, loss, performance  and projection for the season. This is probably the only week projection will be a factor since I didn’t release a pre-season ranking.

Let’s Janikowski this thing…

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Why Does Serena Williams Catch So Much Shhhhhhhh?

Posted in Blogroll on September 13th, 2011 by Michael Tillery

Enough is enough…

On this day…Rest in power Tupac Amaru Shakur. “Give ’em the finga…”

Now let’s get to it about the lovely Serena Williams. This is not about her body or the ignorant box most want to slam her in but more the great example she has set for our nation’s youth since she picked up a racket.

Get off her back. She’s one of the best and two “incidents” in 15 years does not make Serena Williams some villainous pariah subject to criticism from sports fans and “experts” near and far who don’t even watch the sport. Everyone is not going to react like you. If we all acted the same this world would be boring as hell. In my line of work, I choose to scrutinize the action before the reaction and Serena has been treated as if she is not an American.

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