Brandon's Blog

A look at life's happenings in the world of sports & in general

They Were Penn State

leave a comment »

20120723-214911.jpg

They were Penn State, the above upcoming Sports Illustrated Cover says it all.

Before I begin let me say that the victims are the ones we all must remember here, none of the unprecedented sanctions handed down by the NCAA today to Penn State University for the inexcusable acts committed both criminally by the walking monster Jerry Sandusky, and former leadership including Joseph Vincent Paterno on a ethical level by covering up the most horrific criminal act on the planet, sexual assault of multiple innocent children can possibly take away the hurt caused to each and every one of the victims and their families.

Over the course of the last year the world has watched one of the biggest falls from grace we’ve ever seen…Joe Paterno has fallen and fallen justifiably although posthumously very hard.

Last November Jerry Sandusky, Joe Paterno’s long time top assistant and defensive coordinator was arrested inappropriate relations with a child in the shower of the Penn State locker room, this in itself horrific enough but than we find out that this happened back in 1998, here it was 2011 and we just hear about it now? Something wasn’t stirring the kool-aid. Paterno at first denied any prior knowledge then said as more pressure came “I notified my superiors”….Hey Joe here’s one, “Why in the Hell did you not notify law enforcement and your superiors?”

Oh that’s right you and your superiors were to wrapped up in protecting your false clean image of a football program to be bothered with stopping a molester. Not only did Paterno not do anything back then, but continued to allow Sandusky around the Penn State football team for subsequent years to come even after learning of the 1998 events. All this time passed and unfortunately that meant multiples of more victims for Sandusky, by the time the formal arrest was made and formal case against Sandusky was brought to trial in June of this year, there were 48 criminal counts against him. How many of these counts could have been stopped if any of the Penn State leadership stepped up in 1998? The thought just makes me furious.

Joe Paterno was fired four days after Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November, Penn State’s then president resigned on the same day. Paterno was billed as a hero by most on the Penn State campus for his some 60 year career with the school, many feeling at that time his firing was unjust. Paterno passed away a few short months later in January 2012 as a result of lung cancer…..still the perfect image was intact.

That image of perfection would quickly begin to fall apart as the months progressed and the criminal counts and victim volumes increased during the criminal investigation Jerry Sandusky, in fact Sandusky was charged as I said with 48 total counts covering multiple victims….

“He was Joe Paterno, coaching legend. He is in my opinion Joe Paterno aide to Jerry Sandusky child molester. Joe wasn’t a part of the physical acts but he did absolutely nothing to stop him back in ’98 and as as result allowed for many more victims”

All of this was brought into light by the Louis Freeh investigative report that was done within the ranks of Penn State in the midst of the Sandusky developments. It wasn’t only Paterno but the nearly the entire administrative leadership group at Penn State that stood idle and let Sandusky go on, the Freeh report was released earlier this month. Late last month Sandusky was convicted on 45 of the 48 counts.

With it (Freeh Report) Joe Paterno’s squeaky clean legacy was shattered, detailing the full and blatant cover up for Jerry Sandusky. Penn State’s new administrative leadership responded by removing the statue of Paterno that was dedicated in 2001 when he set the record for most wins, up next NCAA sanctions those came down today and are detailed here

Unprecedented in severity they include

1. 60 million dollar fine, to be paid to an endowment for child sexual assault victims
2. Four year post season ban * Current players can transfer immediately and maintain eligibility (great move by NCAA)
3. Loss of scholarships down to a total of 15 from 25 annually
4. Vacate all wins from 1998 to 2011 (that’s 112, in all 111 for Paterno), means Paterno is no longer the winningest coach ever

All of this action including Sandusky’s prosecution occurred after Joe Paterno passed away, the legacy now left is a tarnished one if not in shambles.

Penn State will play football this upcoming year but it will be many more before they compete for a championship, and rightfully so….this tragic story his many layers and as I said it is the victims who we must always remember in spite of all these layers.

A school remains in the wake of this scandal as well, and as criminal cases still remain the final chapter in this story has yet to be written….but until that time the school….”They were Penn State”

Written by Brandon

July 23, 2012 at 11:07 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

I can drive….but I can drive like this in my dreams

leave a comment »

Ken Block and Travis Pastrana become a permanent part of my blog solely because this is one of the coolest videos I’ve ever seen

Urban Playground: San Francisco

20120716-201957.jpg

20120716-202202.jpg

Written by Brandon

July 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

David, Neil, & Dwight….The New Three Stooges

leave a comment »

The Timberwolves and Trailblazers have quite a history when it comes to player battles in recent years. First the Wolves took on what turned out to be an injured Martel Webster, the Blazers failed to disclose Webster had back problems…..

Then Blazers star Brandon Roy retired last year due to his knee issues, only to come out of retirement and sign with the Timberwolves, this one stings Portland because the amnestied Roy thus relinquishing rights to sign him as a free agent for three years.

Last but not least we have the preverbial jewel as it were in the battle royal, swingman Nicolas Batum, after weeks of speculation the frenchman has finally signed his offer sheet with the Wolves, the Blazers are now officially on the clock in this edgy game of chicken having 72 hours to match or lose Batum to the Wolves.

In recent days Minnesota GM David Kahn and Portland GM Neil Olshey have been engaged in sign and trade talks that have ranged to the moon (multiple first round picks) and back (with just players) for Batum’s services to come to the Wolves, Portland has vowed from day one they would match any Wolves offer for Batum, and in fact the two GM’s have behaved like babies in the media because of this BFB (Battle for Batum)

Ultimately here Portland holds all the leverage, Nicolas is a RFA so the Blazers have his rights. I want Batum on the Wolves but not for multiple first round picks, make it maybe one future first rounder and a player or two, but if it isn’t meant to be at a reasonable cost then it isn’t meant to be at all.

I expect the Blazers to match and thereafter we’ll see where the BFB goes, it may end outright but what would the fun be in that, I say Neil and David go meet Jerry…..maybe they can bring Dwight Howard too! Ha……

20120716-195953.jpg

Written by Brandon

July 16, 2012 at 8:01 pm

God Created Me with Physical Imperfection &

leave a comment »

I wouldn’t want it any other way. It will be thirty years ago in November, I came into this world three months early, weighing in at 2 lbs. 6 oz.

I was supposed to be born in January, the doctors told my parents and my brothers they didn’t know if I would survive…my brothers answer each of them “yes he will he’s our brother”. One night I had a brain hemorrhage …….

Then they said if he may require 24 hour care, and he my not survive, again my family “yes he will”

My family never left my side & after some extensive time I was discharged to begin my life outside of the hospital walls…just about the time kids normally start to walk I wasn’t, we all knew then life for me was going to be different. At two years old I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. This was a result of the brain hemorrhage I had just after my birth, effecting every person differently the doctors were not sure of my effects initially.

Blessed with two of the greatest parents ever, they started me immediately on private physical therapy.

As time progressed I developed the appropriate cognative abilities for speech and mental processing, this meant I would be in mainstream schooling from Kindergarten on up, so the only true impact the CP had on me was my walking ability and my fine motor skills (handwriting) illegible if you don’t know me, extremely so for anyone if I get fatigued.

When I was young I walked with a walker thanks to the therapy because my parents thought that was best, I had never used a wheelchair until the summer of 1995, this was the year my parents and I moved from Chaska Minnesota to Santa Barbara California. Not knowing anyone my Mom enrolled me in Santa Barbara Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp, just as it sounds a wheelchair sports camp for kids with all levels of disability, staff made chairs available for kids like me who did not have their own.

I zipped around and had the time of my life all week, in fact life was about to change for me….forever….

I shocked myself and my parents when at the end of camp at family day, I was awarded the John Castro Memorial Award as the Most Outstanding Camper, the award was in fact a custom made wheelchair…during the course of the day as I did my activities my parents saw how much more freely I moved in the chair compared to my walker and to be honest as I continued to grow walking fatigued me horribly. So the award meant me with chair of my own and that was a perfect match.

Then some years the time came for me to learn to drive, my junior year in high school, my parents hired a hand control trainer to put me through my behind the wheel training because the CP would not allow me to safely operate the pedals with my feet. I passed my drivers test on the first try and haven’t stopped driving now some 12 years later.

Quite a long way and a big difference from near dead at birth to the need for 24 hour care….to driving I mean huh? The doctors said I wouldn’t, God told them “oh yes he will & he will do so by my hand”

The road to my independence today from birth through college to where I have a full-time job at a local hospital that I love more then anything in the world I could ever do for employment and have had now for nearly five years, wasn’t an easy one, I didn’t know why I was different and couldn’t play little league or high school sports, or why people stare…I went through stages where I hated my parents and the world…..but you know what? that was all then, today I see it all for what it truly was way back at my birth and still continuing today. God has given me physical imperfection as his gift.

People say “Brandon if you could trade anything just to walk, would you?” My answer “Absolutely not” for if I did I would not be me, and though I’m far from perfect being me is pretty awesome.

I have tremendous family and amazing friends, all of whom God has brought into my life over the course of these almost thirty years.

God gave me physical imperfection as a gift and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s not fo me to doubt his reasons but only for me to trust in his plan.

I use my wheelchair and have hand controls in my car but these things are tools for my independence they do not define me…

20120711-220942.jpg

20120711-221005.jpg

20120711-221049.jpg

Written by Brandon

July 11, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Posted in Life

International Love by the Minnesota Timberwolves

leave a comment »

The Minnesota Timberwolves are a young team on the rise in the NBA. Led by superstar power forward Kevin Love and Head Coach Rick Adelman they like the hit song by Pitbull is titled are showing some International Love this offseason.

Adding 6’6″ Alexey Shved from Russia, I expect him to flourish off ball screens in Adelman’s offense.

Aa well they have agreed to an offer sheet with Portland Trail Blazers player and French born star Nicolas Batum. The Blazers have indicated they intend to match the offer sheet, however the Wolves are pursuing sign and trade options to bring Batum into the den at Target Center definitively.

Batum would be a great addition for the team, the Wolves have expiring contracts of Martell Webster and Brad Miller to offer up with the potential of J.J. Barea, Luke Ridnour, Wesley Johnson or Derrick Williams hitting the Oregon Trail as well.

If I had a vote I’d say give Wesley and J.J. but hey who am I? As well one would expect the team to likely exercise its amnesty option on Darko Milicic’s contract to free up more cap space. Oh snap I was just about to buy his #31…(just kidding) bye bye Darko I won’t shed a tear.

Russia and France aside for a moment I would do an injustice to the International path the team is on, without mentioning Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio who dazzled all of us with his magical passes until tearing his ACL. Ricky is expected back next year but not likely at the season start at this point.

The thought of the Spaniard, teaming with the Russian, and Frenchmen intrigues me I hope it becomes reality.

Let us not forget Rubio, Shved & Batum would be teaming with rising player and Montenegrin Bulldozer Nicola Pekovic. A true International Wolf Pack if you will.

Added already this offseason was former Blazers All-Star Brandon Roy who is returning to league after sitting out last year with knee conditions, Roy can be great again without a doubt but it’s up to Rick Adelman to manage his minutes.

Of course Kevin Love is the unprecedented heart of this team, he was recently quoted as stating “I want to win” Well Kevin as a fan of this I team I want you to win too, I hope these moves and more wins become a reality. Go Wolves…..Hoooowwwll!

ESPN.com details the Shved move, and the potential Batum sign and trade here

20120710-200246.jpg

20120710-200258.jpg

20120710-200316.jpg

Written by Brandon

July 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

‘A’ Warm Welcome Indeed

leave a comment »

Today the State of Hockey was formally introduced it’s newly inked superstar players forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.

The men assembled to be formally introduced as members of the Minnesota Wild, sitting behind a table on a riser along side Owner Craig Leipold, General Manager Chuck Fletcher and Head Coach Mike Yeo.

Each got their sweater for the first time, Suter # 20 and Parise # 11

There was something extra on the left upper chest of each, a large can’t miss Alternate Captains ‘A’

I’m not going to lie I got chills seeing this on each man, a near unprecedented action for any player joining a brand new team. It speaks to the genuine character and leadership qualities of each man.

Zach Parise didn’t even notice his ‘A’ until a member of the media pointed it out 🙂

The Captain ‘C’ will continue to reside and rightfully so with Wild center #9 Mikko Koivu, but with #9, #11 and #20 wearing the letters the leadership of the Minnesota Wild is in great hands for years to come.

20120709-195655.jpg

Wild.com details todays events, and also has lots of related multimedia available enjoy!

Written by Brandon

July 9, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Minnesota Wild

Yo Adrian…I Got Your Back

leave a comment »

First off let me say that I have nothing but respect for law enforcement, and the sacrifices officers nationwide make to protect the streets across this country.

I have family members who serve in law enforcement some (now retired) and others still actively to this day, serve with honor protecting the citizens of their respective cities, investigating drug dealers to homicides and everything in between….

That stated I have to back up my boy, Minnesota Vikings Superstar All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson. AP was arrested over the weekend and charged with resisting arrest after a evening at a club in Houston Texas.

Details are still emerging but what we’ve heard at this point is Houston law enforcement came in at closing to clear out the club. Peterson was there and wanted a drink of water before departing, “Go Now” he was told, Peterson began making his way towards an exit when an officer jumped on his back, two more officers joined the fray and Adrian was placed into cuffs.

Officials said in a statement later on in the day that Peterson was arrested because he pushed an off duty officer who was working security. None of this makes sense to me

1) Adrian Peterson has always been a star that his kept his name out of the media for these legal reasons.

2) To be charged with resisting, should there not be a second charge that led for grounds to be arrested in the first place? For example if he did push someone where is the assault charge?

Peterson has hired well known defense attorney Rusty Hardin, who was quick to release this statement as outlined in a article posted this evening on ProFootballTalk.com Hardin says Peterson is the victim in fact he was struck in the face twice without provocation.

This makes most sense to me, it sounds in this case as though law enforcement was overzealous here, maybe there was a bit too much testosterone flowing and they wanted to “tackle the football star”

We will see how the legal process plays out, but I expect Peterson to be cleared and this whole case thrown out. If in the end guilt is found on his behalf, then Adrian should and will be rightfully subject to discipline by the legal system in Texas, the NFL & the Minnesota Vikings.

In this country “you are innocent until proven guilty” I say to Texas prosecutors “prove it”.

20120709-193610.jpg

20120709-193627.jpg

The one thing Adrian is guilty of in my eyes is perhaps less than stellar judgment, I mean after all he is rehabbing a very severe knee injury. He probably shouldn’t have been at the club at close, but the fact remains these charges and the surrounding circumstances do not make sense.

Written by Brandon

July 9, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Posted in Minnesota Vikings