Jerold Wells and Okori Wadsworth Talk March Madness on The Starting Five Live

Posted in Blogroll on March 19th, 2015 by Michael Tillery










Who really has a shot at stopping this? Nobody. 

Ahhh, March Madness is officially here…

History. A term thrown around in sports far too often. Sometimes it fits, and other times it’s nothing more than a segue word. At the onset of the 2014-2015 NCAA Tournament, history will be spoken from the developing lips of babes of bluegrass to heroes of decades long Wizard of Westwood inspired basketball lore. Does Kentucky go 40-0 and cast their one-and-done-genius head coach, John Calipari into the coaching pantheon inhabited only by those of multiple chips? Kentucky has been arguably the best there is in the game since Calipari took over the storied program, and the polarizing coach has compiled a stellar record over the course of his career. In the 16 years his teams have hit the tournament, he’s gone 43-14, sent teams to 5 Final Fours, and won a National Championship in 2012 — the first at Kentucky since Tubby Smith won in 1998. What will go down? We’ll see, and to talk about it today on #TSFLive, Jerold Wells Jr. and Okori Wadsworth join me, Michael Tillery, to pick every game in each bracket and also our Final Four and National Championship picks. We’ll do this weekly until the National Final kicks off on April 6 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Check the convo below and enjoy the tournament.

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Butkus Award Winner Patrick Willis: Love and Desire (Repost from before he was drafted)

Posted in Blogroll on March 10th, 2015 by Michael Tillery

I’ve done many interviews and not many have touched me emotionally like this one has. I honestly could feel myself welling up as Patrick described what he’s been going through with thepatrick-willis.jpg recent death of his brother Detris. I thought deeply about this interview long after because Patrick and I connected through our similar experiences. I shared with him how the death of my mother has affected me over the years to try to give him some perspective on what life is truly like when you lose someone dear. Detris himself was a great 218 pound linebacker prospect who lost his life when his body cramped up while swimming in a local quarry. Patrick is a great kid. He’s a smart kid.  He’s a humble kid that has been through it all and is much more wise as a result. Don’t get it twisted, he will be one of the best. He’s set his sights early on the Pro Football Hall of Fame and is deeply focused.  Patrick is a  ferocious hitter that will terrorize offensive schemes for years to come. Here’s an interview from earlier in the college football season.

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*Repost from 3/4/10* Hank Gathers: Forever Young

Posted in Blogroll on March 4th, 2015 by Ron Glover

(Getty Images)


The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

A.E. Houseman ‘To An Athlete Dying Young’

For twenty springs, I have remembered the man, the moment and his memory. Embracing who he was and what he meant to a neighborhood, a city and a university. Every year I seem to hold on a little tighter.

I hold on because I can’t let go of Hank Gathers.

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The 53rd Anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain Scoring 100 Points: TSF Live Interview with Gary Pomerantz, Author of Wilt, 1962

Posted in Blogroll on March 2nd, 2015 by Michael Tillery


Imagine if someone finds this tape…

Found a lost interview with author Gary M. Pomerantz. Check it after the jump as well as some very necessary commentary before the convo with Pomerantz begins. Calling you out Bill Simmons. Let’s rap about everything Philly vs. Boston. It’s long overdue bro…

You’re not chicken are you? Like the one that entertained Padres crowds as far back as when we were both sports wide-eyed and young of teeth? Seriously though Bill, let’s do this. It would be good for the people. Hollatchabuoy bro.

Anyway, let’s get to the interview…

I learned some things of Wilt Chamberlain (more commentary forthcoming)

Thanks for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the show.

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Predicting The NBA’s Second Half, Or Trying To

Posted in Blogroll on March 2nd, 2015 by Okori Wadsworth


With the second half of the NBA season currently steamrolling towards one of the most interesting playoffs in recent memory, many people will tell you that they know exactly how things are going to go.

Everyone will tell you they know who is going to win a championship, and who is going to win the MVP. Some people might even try to take the fun out of All-Star Weekend by explaining how the Dunk Contest is pointless.

I am not immune from proclamations of this sort. The only difference between me and everything else is that I do not claim omniscience.

Instead, I just tell you what I think I know. It is up to you to figure out if I have earned your respect as a hoops thinker enough to take what I say seriously.

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TJ Macias of Baller Mind Frame Comes on The Starting Five Live to talk Mavs, Journalism and Baseball with Michael Tillery

Posted in Blogroll on February 24th, 2015 by Michael Tillery

TJMACIAS2Sports writing talent comes along all the time, but in rare cases, that talent is everything sui generis, and the field gets a sword as pen well needed charge. TJ Macias is a needle in a snark infused haystack poised to stick the hell out of the sports journalism game and ultimately blaze historically her own versatile and mad unapologetic name. Her writing is ferociously entertaining and will challenge your view of things — exclusive of sports. Shouts to Dennis Velasco, Baller Mind Frame Publisher, for putting TJ straight up on the map. She’s a proverbial beast, so watch out every sports man and woman stuck on the wrong kind of coooaast. Check out the interview after the jump.

Be PEace. – Mizzo

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Jameis Winston’s Goal is to Show, Prove and Silence at the 2015 NFL Combine

Posted in Blogroll on February 21st, 2015 by Ron Glover

(Brian Spurlock /USA Today)

Florida State QB Jameis Winston does a radio interview

The extensive dissection of Jameis Winston is officially underway.

Jameis Winston’s road to the NFL has been filled with unprecedented highs and head-scratching lows. The 2013 Heisman Trophy Award winner finished his career at Florida State with a 26-1 record, with many of those victories coming at the height of controversy.

Winston stood tall at the NFL Combine yesterday as he dealt with the obvious inquiries surrounding his character, his weight and freshly discovered “shoulder weakness”.

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Some Winners…and Some Losers of the NBA Trade Deadline by Okori Wadsworth

Posted in Blogroll on February 20th, 2015 by Okori Wadsworth


Who is closer to the Championship because of today?

Considering that up to now, there is no set-in-stone NBA Finals favorite we should have expected a trade deadline with a lot of moving parts. But this? THIS?

No one expected anything like this. Postseason contenders have been made, rebuilt, and broken up all in a day.

So, with the smoke hopefully cleared, here is who won and lost on this NBA trading deadline in no particular order.

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Jackie Robinson West Stripped of Winning US Little League Title: TSF Live with Michael Tillery and @TheBoyIllinois

Posted in Blogroll on February 12th, 2015 by Michael Tillery


What a moment this must have been for team as well as Mr. Obama.

So here we go again. Something prominent Black happens, and again we are witnesses to the destruction of a joy we rarely have known. These kids were stripped during Black History Month? Why not immediatedly after winning the US Championship? What’s really going on here? The administration and coaches couldn’t have been suspended and leave it at that? The way folks are coming after this team is straight up BS. I wonder if the same folks critical of a process they know absolutely nothing of, are willing to walk in the shoes of everyone on Chicago’s Southside. Yeah, do that and every coach knows in every league that location has always and always will be an issue when it comes to athletes. What about how Catholic schools operate? Their pool of talent is limitless correct? Are CYO leagues slammed by a press reserving their most critical prose for the blackest blood possible? Hell no. This just isn’t that big of deal to strip kids of one of most improbable sports stories in quite some time. I lived in another state during my 12 year old year in Little League. My coach drove 40 minutes to and fro. During All-Star competition, leagues called foul, but a handshake resolved the issue and I suspect there was amicable resolution simply because the adults aren’t playing the game.

The kids are…

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Geno Auriemma Gets His 900th Win: A retrospective interview of the Big East Conference (links to other icon convos as well)

Posted in Blogroll on February 5th, 2015 by Michael Tillery

Geno has an outstanding legacy at UConn — one that is still unfolding.

After a 96-36 drubbing of Cincinnati on Tuesday, Geno Auriemma became the fastest to win 900 games in the sport. Auriemma’s winning percentage of 87% is best all-time. Auriemma has won a record 9 National Championships at UConn, and has appeared in 15 Final Fours — also a record. Jamelle Elliott, Cincinnati’s head coach, played for and later was an assistant coach under Auriemma (He’s 48-0 vs. former players as coaches). The second ranked Huskies are riding a 20 game winning streak since losing to Stanford in November, and have yet to lose a AAC Conference game since moving over from the Big East. The Huskies sit a 21-1. Geno Auriemma won his 900th game in 1,034 games; Pat Summitt, formerly of Tennessee, did it in 1,072 games; Tara VanDerveer, Stanford 1,104 games; Barbara Stevens, Bentley (DII), 1,146 games and Mike Krzyzewski on the men’s side, accomplished the feat at Duke 1,183 games. Coach K recently won his 1000th game. 

March Madness will be here before you know it. As a precursor, here’s lost interview I did with Geno Auriemma while I was working on covering the BIG EAST conference as it was…

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Michael Tillery and Wendy Parker talk Diana Taurasi, Geno Auriemma, NFL, Braves and Hawks

Posted in Blogroll on February 5th, 2015 by Michael Tillery


Sitting out the ’15 WNBA season…

On this edition of TSF Live here on The Starting Five, I talk with Atlanta based sports writer Wendy Parker about Diana Taurasi sitting out the WNBA season to rest up for her season overseas in Russia. I guess the WNBA has to pay susperstars their worth or this will be the norm. We also talk Geno Auriemma winning his 900th game at UConn faster than any other college basketball coach, Super Bowl 49, a passing reference to Deflate Gate, the white hot Atlanta Hawks, and Jason Heyward leaving Atlanta for St. Louis via trade. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy the show!

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Michael Tillery recaps Super Bowl 49 with Alex Flum, David Steele and Ron Glover on TSF Live

Posted in Blogroll on February 3rd, 2015 by Michael Tillery

The GOAT? We talk about it…

Super Bowl 49 was definitely an entertaining affair. Tom Brady cemented his legacy as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, as the Patriots defeated Russell Wilson and the defending champion Seahawks, 28-24. The deciding play in the closing minute was rather dubious, and I wonder how this convo will develop in a year the NFL was slammed in the worse way regarding off the field scrutiny. Nevertheless, New England wins its 4th Super Bowl in 6 tries and all the leadup — whether it be the ridiculous Deflate Gate or the moronic convo surrounding Marshawn Lynch and to a lesser extent, Richard Sherman — only serves the casual fan.

Such a shame, but since the league is truly about the dough, how can it be seen as a bastion of morality?

Think about that…and understand nothing is impossible when a multi-billion dollar league is all about protecting the shield…

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Marshawn Lynch Gives the Media His Version of the Quiet Storm

Posted in Blogroll on February 1st, 2015 by Ron Glover


Marshawn Lynch gave the media an earful by saying almost nothing.

In three plus seasons with the Buffalo Bills, Marshawn Lynch learned the hard lessons that come with celebrity status. Not only are your mistakes magnified, but they will haunt you if you aren’t careful. As a young man dealing with unlimited finances and free time, Lynch put himself in some unfavorable situations. Ironically, the people who had the most to say knew Lynch the least.

The Buffalo and national media took their perception of Lynch and ran with the same disregard the five-time Pro Bowl running back has for would be tacklers.

Lynch has found peace in Seattle since his arrival in 2010 and while the media has been willing to forgive and forget one man’s past transgressions, he’s not as open to the idea.

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@TSFSports Super Bowl XLIX Pick: The Patriots Are Out to Defeat the Seahawks, Critics and Father Time

Posted in Blogroll on January 30th, 2015 by Ron Glover


New England’s self-proclaimed “Baller” faces Seattle’s defensive Shot Caller.

We’ve listened to how the New England Patriots are corrupt as an organization and the Seattle Seahawks are annoying narcissists for two weeks. One of the best Super Bowl match-ups in recent memory has become a media-driven carnival, but the tents are now lowered and the lights have dimmed. It’s time to talk X’s and O’s.

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NBA All-Star Game Reserves Announced on TNT: Damian Lillard and DeMarcus Cousins Wuz Wobbed

Posted in Blogroll on January 30th, 2015 by Michael Tillery

2015 NBA All-Star Reserves Exclusively Announced on TNT

“Neither one of us made it? Bro…this is some bullllllllllllllllllllsheeeeeeeeeit.”

Both cats are playing at the top of the league at their respective positions and deserve starting slots quite honestly. Boogie is as misunderstood as any and much smarter than most think. This is the second straight year Cousins was snubbed. I covered the ’10 draft and in a Marshawn Lynch kinda way, some in the media just won’t support his efforts as a center in the NBA. All the things many have said of Kevin Love (before this season), should have been said of Cousins as he entered the league. I’ll never forget telling Sixers brass, that he should have been the pick over Evan Turner, but that’s just me talking right? Ha.

DeMarcus’ snubbing reminds of Josh Smith missing out a few times while he was in Atlanta.

Cousins averages this year: 23.8 points a game, 12.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals in just 33.8 minutes a game.

Lilliaard: 20.3 points/6 dimes/4 boards.

Same thing with Lillard. Dude is a straight monster and match-up hell for any player in the league every night out. Surely, the 24 year old guard will take it out on the rest of the league in the 2nd half…as will Cousins.

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