Rik Schneider Online

Friday, March 7, 2014

FOX Sports: Video: Daily Take: Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens Offseason Outlook



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

As far as the Ravens are concerned, they are probably going to need to sign a new every-down running back not only because of Ray Rice's current physical situation with the injuries, which is why he wasn't very productive in 2013 even when he was playing, but also because of his current legal situation, with what may have happened between him and his fiance in Atlantic City. So if I'm General Manager Ozzie Newsome, I'm looking at new running backs in the NFL Draft and in free agency as well as signing a possession receiver to complement Torry Smith, and having tight end Dennis Pitta back will be a big help as well.

Not much was expected from the Pittsburgh Steelers going into 2013.  They were expected to finish anywhere between 7-9 and 9-7, and they finished 8-8. This is an aging team with big holes on the offensive line, at running back, and with a beat up quarterback in Ben Rothlisburger, who's going into his eleventh season having taken all sorts of punishment in his career so far.  So if I'm the Steelers and running personal for them, I'm concentrating on these areas, including signing either a talented young QB or drafting one who could play right now if something were to happen to Big Ben.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Conel Rad: Video: How to Spot a Communist: 1950s Right-Wing Propaganda About Communism



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

The U.S. government, just a few decades ago, had an undemocratic habit of suppressing dissent by labeling any person or organization whom they perceived as disapproving official actions or policies, for whatever reason, as communist.  In the heyday of McCarthyism and cheerleading jingoism, this was an enthusiastic effort joined by both media and government, as exemplified by the video above.

Government propaganda, amplified by right wing media, about communism, tried to pick out individual people and give them the horrible label of communist, equivalent to being called a devil.  This guilt by association is very undemocratic and  typical of totalitarian republics.  So-called American conservatives often, unknowingly, advocate policies typical of totalitarian governments.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

FOX Sports: Video: Sports Butterfly Effect: What if the Portland Blazers Drafted Michael Jordan Instead of Sam Bowie



This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger

If only this were true, and the Portland Blazers instead of the Chicago Bulls had drafted Michael Jordan in 1984; how different the NBA would've been!  The Blazers and Bulls played each other in the NBA Finals in 1992, by the way, which was a classic six-game series that the Blazers could have won with Clyde Drexler at the off-guard instead of Air Jordan and Kevin Duckworth at center and instead of Sam Bowie, the man they drafted in 1984.

We'll never know, obviously, but had the Bulls drafted Sam Bowie instead of Michael, they would have been stuck with an injury-prone center who had a bad foot in college before he got to the NBA, which everyone including the Blazers knew about. That only got worse the more he tried to play in the NBA, because the man had a stress-fracture in his foot that never healed properly after he injured it the first time in 1981 or 1982, and this was from a movie made about big Sam's career. So his foot was simply never strong enough to play basketball, at least not basketball at the professional level.

But look at the positive aspect of this story, a team with both Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler on it. I mean, think about it, you have Mike at the off-guard and Clyde at the wing-forward because Clyde at 6'7", 220 pounds or so, was big enough to play up front. Both were great players, both were great scorers, both were very good defenders, both could handle the ball, both could shoot, both could drive, both could rebound, etc. If you had the Blazers, with Terry Porter at point guard, and then you had found a solid center, the Blazers would have been serious NBA Finals contenders for at least 10 years.

Without Mike and with Clyde Drexler, the Blazers were NBA Finals contenders for 3 years from 1990 to 1992, and then they fell back to the middle of the pack in the Western Conference in the mid-1990s. With Sam Bowie, the Bulls would not have even been a playoff team for probably another 5 years with such an big investment in their center, who was missing half of the season or more every year.  The Bulls and NBA would have been a lot different.