Why the Dak Prescott deal is good news and bad news for the Dallas Cowboys.

By Noah Trombley

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys agreed to a four-year/160 million dollar deal on the first day of free agency this year(2021). The deal also includes 126 million of that contract fully guaranteed to the upcoming sixth-year QB from Mississippi State. This deal has been a long time coming as the situation in Dallas became more and more of a circus the last two off seasons, and the Cowboys having to franchise Prescott both of those years to keep him the offensive leader of the team. However, the deal is done, and here’s the good news and bad news for Cowboys fans. The good news is that Prescott has more than earned his spot as the Dallas Cowboys leader over the last five seasons, including multiple trips to the postseason, one win in the postseason, and many moments where he was a vocal and calm leader steading the ship.

Who can forget the playoff game in 2018 vs. the Seahawks Prescott converted a 3rd and 14 by scrambling for the first down, giving his body to lunge for the yards to seal the win for America’s team. I could list many more moments from Prescott’s career so far, but nothing encapsulates what he means to this team more than that moment. Prescott has always been a consistent playmaker, thrower, and general on the field. Every year Prescott’s been a top 15 quarterback in terms of every stat, excluding his 2020 injury-shortened season. Still, even in that season, if he had continued at the rate he was at, he would’ve eclipsed 5000 passing yards;

Prescott as a quarterback was also shown during that aforementioned injury-shortened 2020 season where he suffered a dislocation of his right ankle. The Cowboys fell apart after their leader went down with the horrible ankle injury. The Cowboys went from scoring almost 40 points a game in the five games that Prescott played. To a drastic average of 10 points a game over the next four. The impact was felt immediately, and it took the Cowboys 4 weeks to get the team together to put together an excellent offensive effort in a win vs. the Vikings. Prescott embodies everything the Cowboys are, and he leads them in every facet of the game and more than proved his worth as the Cowboys quarterback. Now the bad news is that while Prescott more than proved his worth of this massive contract, I would argue the Cowboys did overpay the QB. The reason I say that is that Prescott and the Cowboys have been in contract talks since 2018.

The Cowboys had many chances to sign Prescott to a longer-term contract but got held upon the number of years the organization wanted him to sign for and how much Prescott wanted to sign. Prescott wanted four while the organization wanted 5. So the Cowboys continually betted against Prescott, and guess what? They lost out horribly. The Cowboys had to pay Prescott After QB’s like Patrick Mahomes, Carson Wentz, and Jared Goff reset the market value for that position. The Cowboys could’ve had Prescott on a much cheaper deal and wouldn’t have had to cave in after Prescott called their bluffs. This also leads to more bad news for the Cowboys, and that is that no high-paid QB wins much in this league. Look at Tom Brady; he takes pay cuts at every chance he gets for the teams he’s on for them to retain good players that increase the team’s chances to win in the playoffs and even SuperBowls. There’s a reason Brady has appeared in half of the Super Bowls since he took over as a starting QB and has won 8 of them.

As I said, Prescott has earned every cent of this contract, and I am not blaming him for demanding this much from the Cowboys. I blame the Cowboys organization themselves because they could’ve avoided this overpayment if given the contract earlier, as mentioned before. They had a unique opportunity, and they chose to bet against their star QB to the point where his value just went up and up. Look, this signing is enormous and had to happen between Prescott and the Cowboys, however coming from a Cowboys fan, I hope that the Cowboys don’t fall into the same pit other teams have when they are forced to overpay their QB. 

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Why Baseball Needs the Universal Designated Hitter

By Mike Rifkin

The end of February signifies the beginning of a new baseball season. One of the biggest takeaways from a shortened 2020 season was the designated hitter’s addition to the National League. As we approach the 2021 season, we don’t know if the DH will be retained. On February 9th MLB and the MLBPA reached a deal on health and safety protocols for the 2021 season.Two rules that are being retained from the 2020 season are seven-inning doubleheaders and starting extra innings with a runner on second base. There has been no mention yet of having the universal DH. There are baseball purists who like tradition and having pitchers hit in the National League.

Others do not believe in having designated hitters for teams, old school souls who remember that everyone got a chance in the lineup after playing the field. 

In 2008 Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang sprained his foot and tore a tendon running the bases against the Houston Astros then of the National League.And In 2015, Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright tore his Achilles s running the bases against the Milwaukee Brewers. While those are two examples of pitchers over-exerting themselves hitting, there are more supporting the need for the universal designated hitter. 

 Not every pitcher in baseball is Madison Bumgarner or Michael Lorenzen and are a threat at the plate. The pitchers should not be getting hurt running the bases. In 2015 Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals said, “If you look at it from the macro side, who’d people rather see hit Big Papi or me? Who would people rather see a real hitter hitting home runs or a pitcher swinging a wet newspaper? Both leagues need to be on the same set of rules.” 

Scherzer is correct because, as fans, we encourage more offense and a level playing field. But the universal designated hitter would benefit players in the National League because it allows them to give a player half a day off. They can keep them in the lineup without having them be in the field. Having designated hitters in both the American and National League level the playing field and allows for new and different guys to step up to the plate. It is time for baseball and commissioner Rob Manfred to make the universal designated hitter and bring it into reality. 

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The New King of Swing on Top?

By Lawrence Lang

After a promo for the ages, this past Friday on WWE’s Friday Night Talking Smack, the WWE Universe might finally be getting what they want a Cesaro push. For years Cesaro has been stuck in the mid-card in the WWE. Yes, he has had success in the mid-card, winning the WWE tag team championships once with Tyson Kidd.The Bar ( him and Sheamus) would win WWE Raw tag team championships four times and the Smackdown Championships twice. Then win the Smackdown Tag Team Championships again with Shinsuke Nakamura.

But some forget he is also a former United States Champion, which he held for 239 days, which was the 10th longest reign at one point in WWE. He also won the Inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, which we saw shades of (Hogan And Andre )Cesaro would pick the Big Show with ease and dump him over the top rope to win the match.

But the past is now behind us, and the present is here, and this might finally be time to give Cesaro what he ultimately desires a world title shot. He can do this if he wins the Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber PPV on February 21st. But if he does win, how battered and bruised will he be? Cause if he does win, his title match will happen right after against the WWE Champion Roman Reigns. Now, this can playoff a few ways. One (he’s in the match and is eliminated, and nothing happens after).

Two ( he steals the match as Kofi Kingston did a few years ago while still losing and the Cesaro section and the WWE Universe get behind him, and we see a repeat like Kingston). Or three ( he wins the Chamber and comes up short against Reigns, and we build up to Wresltmaina where we see Cesaro vs. Reigns for the WWE Title.

Looking at the big picture here, we most likely see Cesaro have his moments during the chamber match, probably hitting his trademark uppercuts and Ceasro Swing while probably coming up short in the match. But once again, if The Ceasro Section and WWE Universe can blow up his performance inside the Chamber on social media, there might be a case of deja vu for us cause after Kofi Kingston’s performance a few years ago, he got pushed to the moon. It capped off at WrestleMania, where he won the WWE Championship.

If this can Happen for Cesaro, WWE might have to change their plans cause they knew if they didn’t give Kingston the title at Mania a few years ago that there would have been a riot. Let’s hope the internet can get behind Cesaro at Chamber because Cesaro has had the pieces to be a world champion for years, and if people behind the scenes can’t see it now, they wasted yet another person who has the factor to be the guy.

Ps: The Dude could be one of the best Heel Champions ever; the man can speak in five different languages in English, French, German, Italian, and Swiss. Just imagine the crowd in the United States giving him heat, and mid promo starts speaking in a different language now that’s away to get even more heat; take note of that.

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Why the Releasing the Star has Bad Optics for the Organization.

By Mike Rifkin

The biggest offseason storyline out of Houston has been about quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Texans announced that star defensive end JJ Watt agreed to part ways. Since coming into the league, Watt has become one of the most feared pass rushers in the league; he is second in sacks since being drafted with 101. People can say this was a football decision on a player who was due to make 17 million dollars next season.But you need a leader like Watt said in a press conference after a week 16 loss to the Bengals “We’re in Week 16 and we’re 4-11, and there are fans that watched this game, that show up to the stadium, that put in time and energy and effort and care about this.

So if you can’t go out there and you can’t work out, you can’t show up on time, you can’t practice, you can’t want to go out there and win, you shouldn’t be here because this is a privilege.” JJ Watt is a natural leader for any team, but this situation in Houston has been a mess since their season ended. A team that needed good pr after the tumultuous weeks has had not looked suitable for the Texans organization.

But let’s go off the field to talk about the impact JJ has had on the city of Houston. After Hurricane Harvey hit, Watt raised 41.6 million dollars to donate to those affected. In 2018 after the mass shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, Watt offered to pay 10 of the victims’ funerals. After the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, Watt invited several children to meet him in Houston for some football fun.
Over the past decade, Watt was the face of the Houston Texans on and off the field. Eventually, he will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and will forever be one of the greatest defensive players in NFL history. Wherever he goes, he will bring class and dominance on the football field as JJ Watt looks for a Super Bowl ring. JJ Watt will always be synonymous with the Texans organization, but time will tell where the Texans go from here.

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Steve Cohen Has brought a New Feeling to Queens.

By Mike Rifkin

On Friday, February 5th 2021, National League Cy Young award winner Trevor Bauer signed a three-year contract with the World Series Champions Los Angeles Dodgers. Bauer was one of the top 3 free agents and Center Fielder George Springer and Catcher J.T. Realmuto. The 3 have two things in common: they all were rumored to have interest from the New York Mets, and two none of them signed in Queens. But instead of feeling down, Mets fans get excited because times are changing. 

On November 6th, 2020, Billionaire hedge fund owner Steve Cohen purchased the Mets for $2.4 billion from the Wilpon family. Cohen coming in was a breath of fresh air to the fans because the Mets were finally going to be a player in the free-agent market. Yes, they didn’t add one of the top tier guys on the free-agent market, but they were a finalist for 2 of them. Now being a finalist doesn’t mean much, but the Mets have become a destination for players.

A core that’s already led by two time Cy Young award winner Jacob DeGrom and First baseman Pete Alonso, along with Right Fielder Michael Conforto and others.  Just because he didn’t add a big free agent, the Mets have been active on the free-agent market. With signing reliever, Trevor May, Catcher James McCann, and starting pitcher Marcus Stroman accepted his one-year qualifying offer. Cohen hit the jackpot on the trade market when the Mets acquired star shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians. Lindor, who is upon becoming a free agent at the end of this upcoming season, hasn’t ruled out the idea of signing long term with the Mets. 

  At his introductory press conference, Cohen said, “We are not going to spend like drunken sailors.” This meant that Cohen had priced out what he was willing to spend on each free agent and would not budge from the number. Also, it shows that the Mets are going to be aggressive but smart. They realize they have options to do some other things. Cohen also talked about the team having good financial flexibility, which allows them to do some different things.

The Mets have two significant players to extend in Lindor and Right Fielder Michael Conforto, who has turned into a team leader and one of their most important players. Hopefully, with spring training on the horizon, Cohen and company can get these 2 signed long term. Mets fans get excited you have an owner willing to spend the money it takes to win as a fanbase; that is all you can ask.

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How Tom Brady Ended the G.O.A.T Debate

By Noah Trombley

On Sunday, January 24th, 2021, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led by Tom Brady went into Lambeau Field up in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and defeated the Packers 31 to 26 in a wild NFC Championship game. This win propelled Brady to his 10th Super Bowl and the Bucs to their first since 2003. We also saw a definitive statement made by the former Patriots and now Bucs’ future QB hall. Brady has now officially ended the Greatest of all Time debate regarding the Quarterback position in NFL history, and here’s why. For so long, critics of Brady had looked for any reason they could to cut into his legacy and to undermine his accomplishments, and for years there was always one reason they could point to his coach.

For 20 years, Brady and Bill Belichick ruled over the AFC and the entire NFL as one of the league’s most dynamic QB coach duos as they won multiple AFC and Super Bowl titles throughout their hall of fame careers.For many critics, Belichick was the only reason Brady was that good. They called him a glorified system quarterback who only worked because Belichick knew what to do with Brady and what he was comfortable running.

Well, that all changed last year when Brady moved down south off the Atlantic Coast to sunny Florida to play with the Bucs. No offense made here to Bruce Arians, but he is no Belichick, and this was the first time he ever heads coached a hall of fame caliber QB. Brady was coming into a brand new team, a new offense complete with all-new weapons that the former Patriot had never played with before, and a new coach with who he had never worked before. 

  With all these new things around him, what did Brady do? He just kept on winning, winning, and winning.  Brady propelled a former 7 and 9 Bucs team into an 11 and 5 powerhouse in the NFC and transformed this former lazy, sometimes high powered into yards and touchdown gaining machine that very few teams could stop during the regular season. Brady then led this team through the playoffs, including a thrilling wild-card game against a very formidable Washington Football. 

Then defeated Drew Brees in New Orleans (even after New Orleans smoked the Bucs twice during the regular season), led into the NFC title game, and earned another Super Bowl trip. Brady showed that he doesn’t need a great system or a great coach to be a great QB because, simply put, he is the greatest QB ever to lace up the cleats, and there’s no denying it anymore.

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Voting is a Privilege No Matter What it’s for

By Mike Rifkin

One of the days I look forward to is the announcement of who gets inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The game’s highest honor is to be among the all-time greats on a July day in Cooperstown, New York. As I got older, the day means more because now we are in the midst of players I watched as a kid, and I find it pretty cool that these guys I grew up watching are now Hall of Famers. The Hall of Fame always brings in great debate whether people feel an individual player belongs or not. On Tuesday, The HOF committee announced that no player would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. The closest individual to receiving the 75% needed for induction was Curt Schilling, who was 16 votes shy.

Next year is the tenth and final year of two notable players Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Bonds, who is the all-time home run leader, is believed to have used steroids to boost his power, same with Clemens. People need to realize that the steroid era happened and is a part of baseball history.

I get the stand against Schilling for his politics and against Bonds and Clemens for their possible PED use. Next year the final year of Bonds and Clemens will also be the first year of two other intriguing candidates David Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez. Ortiz, who is considered by some to be the greatest designated hitter of all time, was a 10-time All-Star and three-time World Series Champion and in 2013 was World Series MVP.

Ortiz had 541 home runs in his career. In 2004 He was named ALCS MVP when the Boston Red Sox became the first team in MLB history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit against the arch-rival New York Yankees. In 2003 Ortiz was named in the Mitchell report, which had over 100 players’ names saying all of these players had taken PED’S. Ortiz denied the allegations against him and never tested positive for steroids.

A-Rod was a three-time AL MVP; World Series champion hit 696 home runs. But Alex has some terrible things that hurt his on the field production. In 2009 he admitted to taking steroids from 2001-2003, winning MVP one of those years. In 2014 he was involved in another steroid scandal and was suspended for the entire season.

Now I understand why you don’t vote for Schilling for his politics. I get not voting for Bonds and Clemens. But if you have those thoughts on A-Rod and Ortiz, they cannot receive their vote either. I would vote Ortiz in, and eventually, the steroid era has to be acknowledged because it did happen.

They say that going into the Hall of Fame is a prestigious honor, but something that upset me the other day was that 14 voters sent in blank ballots meaning they didn’t vote for a player. But here is my issue with that if you are a writer and genuinely believe that someone belongs, make the case. Even if they don’t get the 5% needed to stay on the ballot, try to convince people that a player deserves at least more time to be considered. If you don’t want to vote for a single-player, then why do you have a vote?

Writers cannot tell fans that nobody on the current ballot deserves to be in the Hall. Why are writers punishing guys who may have played in the era but never were associated with steroid use, Can’t be punishing guys just because you don’t know who did what? If you want to hold players accountable, which they should, fans should hold the writers accountable on why they did or didn’t vote for a particular player; otherwise, the Hall becomes a very tricky situation.

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Andy Reid: Definition of Consistency.

By Mike Rifkin

As fans, we appreciate the greatness of players because they make the highlights. We don’t give enough credit to coaches who design the game plan. Over the past 20 years, we have talked about the New England Patriots’ domination and their six championships with Brady and Bellichick. Andy Reid, though, has coached two teams into hosting three straight conference championship games. He did it with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2002-2004, and now he is doing it for the third consecutive season for the Kansas City Chiefs. The knock-on Andy Reid was that he couldn’t win the big one until last year when his Chiefs beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

In all of their playoff games last year, the Chiefs trailed by double digits. (24-0 to the Texans, 10-0 to the Titans, and 20-10 to the 49ers) and came back to win. The Super Bowl championship is now a guarantee that one day coach Reid will go to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Andy Reid’s career record is 221-130-1. He ranks 6th all-time in wins and is six away from passing Curly Lambeau for fifth. He is also the seventh coach in history to take two different teams to the Super Bowl.

Andy Reid is not afraid to take chances, but none were more significant than in the divisional game last Sunday against Cleveland. He lost star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to a concussion in the third quarter. After the 2 minute warning on 4th and inches and backup quarterback Chad Henne in the game, instead of punting and trusting his defense, coach Reid decided to go for it, and Henne completed a sprint out pass to Tyreek Hill. The  Chiefs would run out the clock and appear in their third straight conference title game. 

Another way to appreciate Andy Reid’s greatness is that the three other coaches left in the AFC last week all coached under Andy Reid. So yes love the players you want because they make a great play, and we get enamored with the highlights like fireworks, but let’s give the coaches credit where it’s due. Andy Reid is one of the all-time great coaches in the league’s history, and let’s appreciate that we got to watch him coach. ( And yes, it’s the power of the Moustache)

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How the Laremy Tunsil Trade Can Still Help the Dolphins

By Mike Rifkin

2018 the National Football League saw Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson get sacked 65 times. After that season, head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien decided to upgrade his offensive line. O’Brien made a trade for All-Pro left tackle Laremy Tunsil of the Miami Dolphins. The transaction involved Laremy Tunsil, Wide Receiver Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round draft pick, and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick ( Noah Igbinoghene), 2021 first-round pick, and a 2021 second-round pick.

The deal has not been as good for the Texans, even though 2019 saw them come one win away from the Superbowl. Even with Tunsil, Watson has been at the top of the league at getting pressured. This offseason, O’Brien struck again with an awful trade when he sent star wide receiver Deandre Hopkins to the Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson. The Texans started this season 0-4 and on October 5th fired O’Brien as coach and gm.

The Texans wound up with a record of 4-12 and would own the third overall pick in the upcoming draft if not for the Tunsil trade. As for the other side of the transaction, the Dolphins missed the playoffs after going 10-6, which was their best finish since 2016 when they went 10-6. This new direction with GM Chris Grier and Head Coach Brian Flores and promising rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, the team selected 5th overall in the last year’s draft.
This past week Texans hired Nick Caserio from the Patriots, the same organization that O’Brien was a part of for five seasons.

Which led Watson to put out a tweet saying, “Somethings never change.” Waston has deleted the tweet, and now multiple reports say Watson would like a trade out of Houston. Watson’s most significant issue is that he does not give his opinion on who the GM and coach are of the Texans. Watson would like the team to interview Chiefs Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy for the head coach position. The Texans were the only team with a head coaching vacancy not to request an interview with the Chiefs coordinator.

Watson signed long term when he signed a four year $160 million contract with Houston. Because of the Tunsil trade, Houston doesn’t pick until the 3rd round. Of course, if you are Caserio, you want to keep Watson and build around him, but right now, why would Watson trust this organization that is not listening to its franchise quarterback?

This team needs a lot, and it’s most valuable asset is Watson. If you are Caserio, would you trade Watson to Miami in exchange for Tua, #3 overall pick, 2021 second-round pick, and either a 2022 first or second-round pick?

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New York Knicks Resurgence

By Lawrence Lang

We are only eight games into the Knicks 2020-2021 season, and it seems there is new life in the city that never sleeps for one of its basketball teams.After losing their season opener to the Indiana Pacers 121-107 and losing their second game to the Philadelphia 76ers 109-89. The Knicks got a surprise win against the Milwaukee Bucks, a team with 2x NBA’s most valuable player, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Brook Lopez, and Jrue Holiday Knicks win this game 130-110 in what many saw as a significant upset.

The Knicks have also now beaten the Cleaved Cavaliers, the Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, and Utah Jazz, losing a game in the middle to the Toronto Raptors.

Now, this begs the question, is there a resurgence now with this team? Players like Julis Randel, RJ Barrett, who is in his Sophomore season in NBA, Austin Rivers, and Elfrid Payton have stepped up and have taken their roles in leading the team.

In the past, when the Knicks would go down by 15 or more, the team would give up, but this time it seems that it fires the team up to try and get the lead back. Please take a look back at their last two games. First, they came back against the Hawks after being down by 15. In their previous game against the Jazz, Austin Rivers took control in the 4th quarter scoring 14 of the 34 points in the quarter and would end the night with 23 points. 

The only thing missing right now is a Madison Square Garden crowd to give more energy to this Knicks squad because this team is bringing a little bit of gas to a cookout that has been out of gas since the Carmelo Anthony fall out in 2017. This team might have what it takes to bring the Knicks their first playoff appearance since 2013. It might be a seventh seed or eight seed hell; it could be higher. This Knicks team has a few qualities that we haven’t seen for sometime Heart, Passion, Never give attitude, and Grit. Playing with this mentality, the Knicks might prove to the haters and bandwagon fans that they are not a joke and could be a sleeper team in the East

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