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Alabama – A Dynasty Like No Other



If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to play Alabama in a National Championship game, look no further than the picture above. Georgia had a great gameplan coming into the game but, like so many teams in recent memory, ran into the buzzsaw that is the Alabama football program. Despite the all too familiar result, last night’s college football National Championship game had it all. It had a dominant first half performance by a team from Georgia which was not to be outshined by a great comeback and overtime victory by a dynastic team that always seems to win titles. Does this sound familiar to anyone at all? (Sorry Falcons fans). On the heels of one of the more stunning and exciting National Championship games in recent memory, a question comes to mind: is Alabama the greatest dynasty in all of modern sports? There’s no question that they are in college football, winning five of the previous nine national championships. But, how do they stack up with the likes of the New England Patriots or the UCONN Women’s Basketball team?

Now, I’m talking about modern sports history here so let’s talk about the last 15 years. During that time period, Alabama has not only won five national championships, but they have appeared in six of them. That is an incredible statistic when you think about all of the teams that compete in Division 1 college football. There are currently 129 Division 1 college football teams. Out of all of those, 64 compete in the Power Five conferences which make up a majority of College Football Playoff selections. This essentially leaves teams with a 1 in 64 chance of winning the national championship. When you look at those numbers and think about Alabama winning a third of the national championships in the last 15 years, you realize how astounding this team’s achievements really are.

The New England Patriots

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

A lot of people that watch sports compare Alabama to the New England Patriots. Both teams are dominant, coached by two of the best of all time and among other things, both teams are widely hated aside from their fan bases. In the last 15 years, the Patriots have made the Superbowl seven times and like Alabama, have won five titles. However, I would venture to say that their achievements are not quite as impressive as Alabama. The main reason for this is because the Patriots have had the advantage of consistency. Over the course of their reign, the Patriots have been led by Bill Belichick and Tom Brady; the entire time. The Patriots are impressive because no matter how much their players change, they always find ways to be successful. This is due in large part to the stability of having the greatest coach and quarterback combination of all time calling the shots together. While Alabama has had Nick Saban as their head coach for 10 years, college football does not grant them the stability offered in the NFL. We saw an example of this instability last night when Nick Saban pulled his starting quarterback Jalen Hurts at halftime after a horrendous first half in favor of true Freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. This seemed like an interesting decision but, as things usually do, it worked in Saban’s favor with Tagovailoa throwing for three touchdowns including the game-winner in overtime. This instability, combined with the fact that Alabama gets to hold onto their best players for four years at most before they go to the NFL or graduate, makes their achievements all the more impressive.

UCONN Women’s College Basketball

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

Now let’s compare Alabama to another college team but in a different sport: the University of Connecticut Women’s Basketball team. Over the last 15 years, the UCONN women’s team has won nine national championships. While this achievement alone is impressive, it is even more impressive how they have done it. In their nine national title games, UCONN has won by an average margin of 16.5 points. Not only have they been winning national titles like it’s nobody’s business, but they’ve been doing it in blowout fashion. This is incredible to think about, but it is also the reason why I believe they are not quite the dynasty that Alabama football is. They have a similar pedigree to Alabama, including a head coach in Geno Auriemma who is arguably the greatest basketball coach of all time. However, the lack of parity in women’s college basketball is this team’s downfall. For example, so far this season the UCONN women’s team has an average margin of victory of 36.2 points and their closest game was a 9-point victory over then number 2-ranked Notre Dame. While this is unbelievable, it also proves that there is an extreme dip in talent between UCONN and the rest of Division 1 women’s college basketball. So, if the level of talent that you’re competing against is nowhere near yours, can you really be considered one of the greatest dynasties in modern sports?

While there are other dynasties in the making in modern sports, including the Golden State Warriors of the NBA, the three teams above are three of the more impressive examples of dominance in their given sport. While you can make an argument as to which team is the better of the three, one thing is for certain; you do not want to play them in a championship game.

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Drake And The Raptors Are Donating Millions To Youth Groups



Drake continues to be an ambassador for the NBA and more notably for his hometown team the Toronto Raptors.  Drake and Raptors President Masai Ujiri held a press conference in the arena atrium to announce their $3 million (USD $2.4M) donation to help two basketball initiatives.

A million Canadian dollars will go to refurbishing 12 local community basketball courts over the next three years, while $2 million will go to the nearly century-old nonprofit federation Canada Basketball to develop the sport from the grassroots to pro.

This “Welcome Toronto” project “is an immersive brand experience focused on art, community and ball,” according to the franchise, and includes six themed nights per year for the next three years, new OVO-edition uniforms and an OVO-designed black and gold home court — but it’s the charity donation that makes it most important to Drake.

“The biggest thing I’m most proud of with this partnership is the million dollars that we’re going to be giving to the city to redo these courts” said Drake “hopefully, to create an amazing atmosphere for anyone in that community to come out and either play casual basketball or potentially breed the next generation of Canadian basketball superstars, which goes to our other donation of 2 million dollars to Canada Basketball who have produced incredible talent.”

The Toronto Raptors and Drake's OVO announced the "Welcome Toronto" program which includes donations to charity, plus OVO-themed attire and home court.

The Raptors announced six Welcome Toronto games for which they’ll wear the black-and-gold, OVO-inspired uniforms they unveiled last week, games that will be played on a black-and-gold Air Canada Centre court designed specifically for the occasion.

The games are: Jan. 26 vs. Utah, Jan. 28 vs. the Los Angeles Lakers, Feb. 2 vs. Portland, March 23 vs. Brooklyn and April 6 vs. Indiana.

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Lebron James And Steph Curry Named Captains For ASG



Lebron James and Steph Curry will put their GM skills to the test after receiving the most votes for the NBA All-Star teams.

The new rule changes allow both players to pick the starters for there teams no matter the conference. The coaches will pick the reserves for each team the same way.  James, as the NBA’s top vote getter, will make the first pick in the draft to determine sides for the All-Star Game next month in Los Angeles.

Curry has been an advocate for the change in the format and was excited at the prospect of becoming a captain. “Why not?” Curry said. “I’ll be the first to usher in the new system. I used to go to the playground all the time and you wanted to be the guy picking teams. That meant you were something on the court back in the day. It’ll be a cool vibe to see how it all shakes out and how unique you can make the lineups.”

After the announcement, Steph took to Twitter to showcase his excitement.

Curry is having fun with the process stating “I may just have to go pick all guards, get the shortest team possible, have some fun with it.” Though that’s not possible with some of the rules. Steph has not decided who he would draft to the Chef Curry squad but thinks picking the reserves is where most of action will be.

“It’ll be interesting to see, probably after the starters are picked, as the reserves are going and you see how the teams are going and you have to pick certain positions, certain skill sets, to try to round out a solid team or just go crazy with it and come up with something funny, like I said, maybe if I could pick 12 guards, see how that goes.”

King James put it plain and simple,  “I’m trying to win.”

“This is the reason they did this format to make it very competitive,” James said. “The All-Star game hasn’t been what it should be the last few years. I’m going to take it upon myself and obviously the rest of the guys to go out there and play the game the right way and compete. Our fans deserve it.”

Lebron also gave some insight on how he manages teams with video games.

“I’m not telling you,” James said. “I’m going to try to build the best team I can. I don’t play fantasy anything. And I don’t trade guys onto teams when I play 2K or play the video games so this is different for me. But I know watching guys and loving their game and all that, if you had an opportunity to play with that guy, how special that would be.”

Checkout our predictions for the starting lineups for the game.

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What We Learned From 2018 College Football National Championship



Every boy dreams of the day he gets an opportunity to play in the College Football National Championship game. This day came for many freshmen, true freshmen at that. But imagine being a backup to a 25-2 starter Jalen Hurts who has all of the credentials yet still having your name called to start the second half. Well, that’s exactly what happened to true freshman Tua Tagovailoa, but not until the Georgia Bulldogs struck first.

I can guarantee nobody would have predicted younger brother Riley Ridley to outplay big brother Calvin Ridley in the first half either, but he certainly did. With: 12 left in the first half, Sophomore WR Mecole Hardman took the snap on a designed run to the left for the game’s first touchdown. That touchdown put the Bulldogs up 13-0 following a couple Rodrigo Blankenship field goals and was a prime example of how the game was going at that point.

Although being outscored and outplayed by Georgia in the first half, Nick Saban again showed that he’s tough to be outcoached. As Kirby Smart drew up a creative game plan to start the game, it’s how you finish that matters. Saban knew he needed a spark to start the second half, so he decided to bench Hurts and go with true freshman Tua Tagovailoa. It didn’t take long at all before Tagovailoa made a huge impact by making an impressive third-down run for a first down. The freshman put a classy drive together by eventually hitting Henry Ruggs III for a 7-yard score to bring the Crimson Tide within six points.

Just when it looked like Alabama was back in business, another true freshman by the name of Jake Fromm launches an 80-yard dart down the sideline to Hardman for his second touchdown of the game. The high tempo game was then back to a two-score game that didn’t stop there, it was actually just getting started. After both freshmen quarterbacks traded interceptions on back to back positions, Tagovailoa is then able to get them within field goal range. Kicker Andy Pappanastos does the rest by draining a 43-yard field goal to bring them within 10.

Georgia will then go three and out to give the ball back to the Crimson Tide once again. Oh, how the “tides” have turned by this point in the game. Alabama then gets a huge energy boost in its ensuing drive from freshman running back Najee Harris who then pounds the ball right down the field to give Pappanastos a thirty yard try this time. Pappanastos knocks it down to come within seven with 9:24 left in the game and make it a 20-13 score.

With another missed opportunity on a third and short, the Bulldogs found themselves giving the ball up to the Crimson Tide with only a touchdown lead. Just when it looked like Georgia had stopped Alabama’s momentum, Malcolm Parrish gets a huge pass interference call on third down to keep Alabama’s drive alive. With a crucial fourth down from seven yards out, Tagovailoa throws a touchdown pass to wide receiver Calvin Ridley to make it 20-20 with less than four minutes remaining in the game.

The ensuing drive by Georgia is shut down yet again by Alabama with enough time to do some damage. After making all of his field goals inside forty yards during the regular season, Pappanastos hooks it wide left for the second time of the game inside that range as time expires in regulation. Alabama wins the coin toss in overtime but defers the ball to Georgia first to see what they need to score in order to attempt to beat Georgia. The Bulldogs decided to be conservative by running the ball on the first two downs forcing themselves to pass on third down and they take a sack. That allows for a long 51-yard field goal attempt by sophomore Rodrigo Blankenship who is clutch and sends it right through the uprights to go up 23-20 in overtime.

On Alabama’s first offensive play from scrimmage in overtime, Tagovailoa does what every quarterback is taught not to do and gets sacked for a 16-yard loss. It doesn’t take him long to make up for his mistake though. The very next play he looks off senior strong safety Dominick Sanders to allow himself enough time to throw a perfect 41-yard toss to Devonta Smith for the exciting finish and win.
Nick Saban and his Crimson Tide get a 26-23 victory in a thrilling matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs while Tua Tagovailoa gets the offensive MVP award and Da’Ron Payne receives the defensive MVP award. Nick Saban also gets his second straight championship, as well as a 5th national title in 9 seasons. Saban now ties Bear Bryant with 6 national titles.


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