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8 Things to Always Avoid in Sports:

Some things are just obvious, such as not selecting a person without arms to play for your MLB franchise, but sometimes people avoid obvious miscues in sports.  The sports’ world “no-no’s” are all around you, here you go, a list for you:

#8: Drafting a Running Back in the First Round:

Named: “KiJana-ing”

Running back is theoretically one of the most important positions on the football field since he’ll touch the ball second most only kneeling to the Quarterback; however, it is also one of the easier positions to play on the football field.  Running backs need only one thing to be successful: a big o-line.  It doesn’t matter how if one has the blazing speed of Chris Johnson or the power style of Brandon Jacobs, if your line doesn’t do its job, then neither do you.

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Also, a great running back doesn’t have to be found in the first round.  If I submit Adrian Peterson, not a single one of the best running backs this past season in the NFL was drafted in the first round.  LeSean McCoy, Ray Rice, Matt Forte, and Maurice Jones Drew were all taken in the second round.  Frank Gore was a third rounder.  Michael Bush was selected in the fourth round.  Michael Turner was selected in the fifth round.  Fred Jackson and my boy Arian Foster were undrafted.

Arian also writes poetry in his spare time

Finally, the career for a running back is so dependent on injury that the reward of a first round pick on a running back does not come close to the rewards offered by such a selection.  Adrian Peterson, Jahvid Best, and Darren McFadden are all prominent running backs who who drafted in the first round…all sustained serious injuries this season.

#7 Overpay for a Relief Pitcher:

Named: “Bowden-ing”

When one looks at the important positions on the baseball field, relief pitcher should actually be held in pretty high regard.  The only reason one should never ever overpay for a reliever is because there are so many available and all are capable of getting the job done.  Many feel a reliever who can absolutely fire a ball at over 100 mph is the best type of reliever, but Trevor Hoffman became baseball’s all-time saves leader with a 86 mph fastball.  People who think it is a good idea to go out and sign a reliever who had a great year for double-digit millions of dollars are fools.

#6 Set Expectations (especially high ones)

Named: “Broadway Joe-ing”

It may seem redundant, but sometimes setting low expectations can be as bad as setting high ones.  Whenever a player talks about how poorly his is doing (much less expecting his team to fail) he is setting himself up for ridicule from not only other teammates, but management, fans, and the media as well.  When Greg McElroy set the Jets locker room has been a troubled place, he was on SportsCenter and analysts criticized him as being seemingly the stupidest person in the NFL.

I didn't expect that I'd be in the NFL either.

Clearly people can see the Jets locker room is in turmoil, but a player should never say it.  But, as bad as setting low expectations can be, setting high ones can end careers.  The most infamous of players making guarantees about winning games or worse championships.  It’s okay to say the team’s goal is to “win the championship” but to say “we are going to win the championship” paints a target on your face not just for opposing teams, but the media as well because as soon as you slip up it’s roasting time.  Athletes and coaches alike should just learn from the past and shut their goddamn math before attempting their best Joe Namath impression.

There can only be one!!

#5 Count on Talented Freshman:

Named: Calipari-ing

Every year we hear the same thing in college basketball about these superstar freshman who are going to come in and absolutely steal the spotlight from anyone older than 18/19.  Every year come NCAA tournament time we hear a new tune from the so-called analysts.  Rather than hype up the “diaper dandies” we hear about how this team has “senior leadership” or “tournament experience”.  The regular season consists of “I don’t know how anyone can beat John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins” and in the tournament suddenly people are singing “DeSean Butler, Wellington Smith, and Casey Mitchell have the poise from experience and have the leadership of upperclassmen and that overcame the talent of Kentucky”.

They also had Bob Huggins...Kentucky never stood a chance.

Even last year, it was Butler and Uconn in the championship.  Both teams relied on upperclassmen (juniors and seniors) not freshman to get to the National Title game.  VCU made it to the final four and also rode the back of upperclassmen.  So when filling out your bracket come tournament time, look for teams that have upperclassmen (not freshman) leading the charge and I promise you won’t be disappointed.

#4 Select a Big 12 Quarterback:

Named: “Gabbert-ing”

When Sam Bradford is the first name someone uses to argue that Big 12 Quarterbacks can be successful in the NFL, I already know I have the quarrel won.  Bradford has been okay in St. Louis, but other Big 12 failures are ripe throughout the NFL.  Blaine Gabbert may have been the most unimpressive of all rookies this season.  He was far outdone by second rounder Andy Dalton and even players who hardly received opportunities like Jake Locker looked better than Gabbert.

Even the Red Rifle's copper locks are more bearable than Gabbert's dirty mullet

Colt McCoy is likely to be replaced come April 2012.  Vince Young was good his first year, but lost the starting job to Kerry Collins.  There is a reason why Quarterbacks like Graham Harrell and Chase Daniel never get the opportunity despite more than solid college careers.  Everyone knows the Big 12 frowns on teams who play any type of defense whatsoever.  Dana Holgorsen couldn’t wait to get his West Virginia Air Raid into the defensively challenged conference.  Soon, Gary Patterson and TCU will be run out of town like Nebraska was and find itself in the Big USA (also known as the Big East).  While RG3 was my boy this year, I don’t like his odds in the NFL due to his spread offense at Baylor and the obvious fact that he’s a Big-12 Quarterback…drafters beware!

#3 Negotiate with a Japanese Player:

Named: “Darvish-ing”

Quick! what was the cost for the Texas Rangers to just start negotiating with Yu Darvish?  If you answered $51.7 million then you win my respect.  The Rangers “won” the Darvish bid war and eventually signed the Japanese “prodigy” to a 6-year $60 million contract.

CC chuckles at the platry number of $10 million/year

The deal is idenetical to the headline grabbing one of Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Boston Red Sox back in 2006…how has Daiskue done in the MLB?  His career ERA is a mediocre 4.18.  He does have a nice winning percentage of .630, but I could go .500 with the Red Sox offense.  The Cubs also went over to Japan for a player.  The club nabbed Kosuke Fukudome as its prize.  The Cubs paid him $12 million/year and he’s been less impressive than Dice-K.  All you need to know is on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kosuke_Fukudome.  Ichiro remains the constant in Japanese successes in the MLB, but Dice-K’s mediocrity and Fukudome’s awfulness leave me questioning the Ranger’s $111.7 million dollar decision on Yu Darvish.

Yu Darvish.....Darvin Ham?

#2 Argue with the Referees:

Named:”Krzyzewski-ing”

Arguing calls made by officials in any sport is as pointless as a brand new pencil (wow, see what I did there?)

Because it's dull...

Anyway, I mean not only would an official never go back on his word because a coach or player says something, but honestly he cannot.  To screw the opposing team over by saying, “Actually, I think you’re right and fuck what I just said” is pretty ridiculous.  Obviously there are make-up calls and what have you, but those things are so transient and often the momentum gained by the first missed call is so overpowering compared to the make-up call made four baskets later.  Arguing can culminate in two ways: 1) absolutely nothing happens and the game continues or 2) you obtain a technical foul or ejection often costing your team points, morale, and psyche.

#1 Win Too Much or Become Too Good:

Named: “Yankee-ing”

I considered many different names for this, but I figured instead of finding a single individual we must go to the archetypal example: the New York Yankees.  Once you start winning too much, every fan in a different area code from your team automatically is born with an inbred hatred of your team.  The best examples are the Yankees, the Miami Heat, Tim Tebow, Bill Belichick, and Kentucky/Duke basketball.  If there is one thing Americans enjoy more than sport itself, it is watching a favorite lose to an underdog.  Watching a titan fall is like cocaine for American sports fans and is what keeps us coming back.  There is no better night for me than when Duke, Kentucky, and North Carolina all lose in basketball.  One of my favorite games is Duke-UNC because one of them has to lose (do not be the cynic to my optimism and say one of them has to win, please:D).  Once you become a great team ro program, everyone begins to wish fro your downfall.  Everyone loved watching 18-0 New England squander a perfect season against the Giants a few years back and the highlight of Florida State beating Duke at the buzzer only a couple of nights ago is a clip loved by all noble sports connoisseurs.

Ah, the sweet taste of Duke failure.

That’s my list, enjoy.

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