Somebody, Please Kill Deflategate

While the football world continues to wait on the fate of Tom Brady, fans in New England are continually refreshing their Twitter feed and biting their nails down to a core.  These are stressful times for a fan base which should still be celebrating a Super Bowl win.  The fan base of the reigning champs are the most nervous as we get closer to training camps.


On May 14th, Tom Brady appealed the NFL’s decision to suspended the super star quarterback for four games and their has yet to be a final decision made by the league.  The league may just be dragging this out for the reason of “keeping the headline alive.”   Their is no bigger story in sports than Deflategate.  The story itself is not particularly important, but it’s the names involved.  Most notably : Tom Brady.   Tom Brady is to the NFL what Brad Pitt is to the movie industry.  No matter the roles they play – villain or hero – the public will show an interest.  The NFL knows this, and considering that this current time of the year is the deadest time for all sports, the NFL can keep their names alive and well as long as this headline story stays afloat.

Remember, the NFL is the same corporate monster that has made the NFL draft the second coming of the Super Bowl.  As soon as the Super Bowl is done, the NFL preps and shoves down the public’s throats all of the possible busts, locks and mock drafts we can handle – until April strolls around and presents us three days of draft coverage.  The NFL even muscled the NBA and NHL around when the league released it’s schedule for the upcoming season.  Three hour specials, team specific podcasts and blogs forgot a playoff run in two other sports, to debate and (over) analyze NFL team’s schedules for the upcoming season.


This is why, for all the negativity thrown at the direction of Roger Goodell, the owners love him.   He keeps this sport relevant twelve months in a year.  Sure, the negative press he can do without – but controversy sells, this is why Goodell is taking so long with this decision.

Can’t blame the guy.

The question is though: “What is Tom Brady’s play here?”

If Brady believes he’s 100% in the right, why would he accept a two game suspension?  One game suspension?  Even a fine?

The Patriots as an organization have stopped fighting the league on this matter.  This is all between Tom Brady and the NFL now.  Who’s to say that if Brady continues to fight the league that the relationship between Brady and the Pats won’t take a turn for the worse?

Of course these are all hypothetical questions, but it’s something to let stir in the mind as we are still waiting for the league to determine Brady’s punishment (if any).


As stated in an article on “Tom Brady: Haters Gonna Hate” the entire Deflategate issue is overblown nonsense, that is more driven by the hatred towards Brady and the Patriots than it is the “integrity of the game.”  Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stated how he prefers his footballs to be over-inflated and nobody batted an eye.  Tom Brady prefers his football’s to be deflated and people are calling for the electric chair.

It’s all a bunch of nonsense, which should not result in anything more than a fine of some sort.  Kudos to commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL though, for making this seem bigger than it is, for the sake of winning the headlines.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio


“Dirty Sprite 2” Album Review

Some artists fall into a realm of predictability while other artists are trendsetters.  Somehow, Future has managed to waiver between the two worlds.  His style is choppy and yet still melodic – something that is a lot harder to accomplish than it sounds and his entire career has seemingly been guided through the help of Autotune.   Future has been gaining fans through his work ethic.  If he isn’t releasing a new album, you can guarantee there’s a mixtape in the works.  He has released undeniable hits like “Bugatti” and “Move That Dope” and has been featured on almost every rapper’s albums in recent thought.  He is a fixture in today’s music scene and hopes to solidify his impact with “Dirty Sprite 2.”


It’s been four years since the release of his mixtape “Dirty Sprite” and Future decided to pay homage to that start and  to his loyal fans by calling his newest project “DS2.” Future’s fan-base has evolved on social media as the “FutureHive”  – which is a play on Beyonce’s “BeeHive” fanbase.   The FutureHive proved to be loyal as first week sales for “DS2” were in the 130,000 range which is a huge leap from his last album’s first week sales (“Honest” at 53,000).

The first track of the album “Thought It Was a Drought” pretty much sums up the theme and overall sound for the album.  It’s a drug inspired song inspired by actavis, which was removed from cough syrup due to people using it as a recreational drug. The lyrics are basic and ignorant:  “I just f*cked your b*tch in some Gucci flip flops/I just had some b*tches and I made ‘me lip lock/ I just took a piss and I seen codeine coming out/ We got purple Actavis, I thought it was a drought.”

Metro Boomin produces most of the tracks on this album which hinders the albums overall performance.  All of the tracks have a slight trap-snare accompanied by a heavy bass line.  On the second track “I Serve The Base” – he talks about straying away from the pop-appeal the labels want him to become and he stays giving his fans that “dope” : “They trying to take the soul out me / They tryna take the soul out me / They tryna take my confidence and they know I’m cocky.”  And oh yeah, makes another reference to Actavis in this song as well. . .


The music doesn’t change much but neither do the song topics.  Every song is about drugs or women and on “Freak Hoe” it’s obvious which topic has his attention this time around.  There is nothing “lyrical” about Future, and there is no deep meaning to what he’s saying either.  That wouldn’t even bother the listener much if it was a good listen, and it isn’t.

Future is supposed to be one of those artists who’s hooks are his “big deal” but on songs like “Rotation” and “Trap N*gg@s” the disappointment is obvious.  “Rotation” : “I had to spank lil shawty with my jeans on / And i had a pistol in my pocket / Can’t trust none of these bitches, gotta be cautious / Can’t trust none of these bitches, gotta be cautious / I bought all the sodas at the gas station / I just put a famous bitch on rotation / I bought all the sodas at the gas station / I just put a famous bitch on rotation.”  “Trap N*ggas” : “When you wake up before you brush your teeth / You grab your strap, n*gg@/ Only time you get down on your knees / Shooting craps, n*gg@ /F*ck what you heard, God blessin all the trap n*gg@s / God blessin’ all the trap n*gg@s.”

The most appealing sound on the album might come from the track “Where Ya At” which features Drake.  Drake handles his feature well as he usually does and it keeps a typical bounce feel, but even then the excitement where’s off quickly.


Future is not leaving the music scene anytime soon, because he fits the whole “hippie movement” hip hop has been supporting lately.  He’s all about sex and drugs and one would have to assume that his legion of fans, the FutureHive are as well.   If poorly constructed ignorance is your thing, then the Future is now with “DS2.”  If not, find something, anything else, to listen to.

Rating 3 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

The Heartthrob’s College Football Top 25

1. Ohio State – It’s pretty easy to pick the team that won the National Championship and declare them to reign once again.   This season it’s more of the same though.  Urban Meyer is the best and most creative coach in college football today and has the best depth in the nation.  They’ll make sure teams like Virginia Tech (who beat the Buckeyes last year) and Penn State (who lost to Ohio State in double over time) are dealt with in a quick and efficient manner.  Michigan State is the one team in the Big 10 that can hang with them, and even then the Buckeyes should win by two scores.


2. TCU – If the Big 12 Conference had a championship game, they would’ve been represented in the playoff, but because they didn’t they were on the outside looking in.  TCU is returning most of their high powered offense including Heisman hopeful, quarterback Trevone Boykin.  TCU’s defense may take a step back, but not enough for them to struggle in most games.  They finish their season at Oklahoma and against Baylor and those two weeks will most likely define the Big 12.

3. Alabama – It’s evident that it doesn’t matter who starts at quarterback for the Crimson Tide because coach Nick Saban “finds a way.”  With that said it’s safe to say that Alabama may be tempted to test the arm strength of senior quarterback Jake Coker, but with a wide receiver like Amari Cooper now in the NFL, expect Bama to play it close to the chest.  With running backs Derrick Henry and Kenyan Drake – the pressure should not all go on the quarterback.  Bama’s defense is packed with NFL talent every year and the front line of the Crimson Tide defense may be one of the best in college football this year.  Bama will be challenged by the likes of LSU and Auburn but it’s hard to bet against the Crimson Tide.

4. Baylor – In a nut shell, one could say: “See TCU,” for a breakdown of what to expect from Baylor this season.  The loss of quarterback Bryce Petty will soon be forgotten after the first drive orchestrated by quarterback Seth Russell.  That’s not a testament to Russell’s ability either.  It’s the fact that head coach Art Briles has constructed one of the best offensive systems in recent college football history.  They bring back the best receiving core in the nation (watch for KD Cannon to be amongst the nations best).  Defensively, last year they were eaten up by opposing pass attacks, but even so – they are confident the opposition isn’t putting up more points than they will so. . .

5. Arizona State – NGSC Writer Antwan Staley told me “ASU has a chance to shock a lot of people” and he is right.  Last season they had the misfortune of being on the bad end of a 62-27 blowout win for UCLA – that won’t happen this season.  A Pac 12 Championship berth could be in the works considering their week four game against USC and late November match up against Arizona will both be played at Sun Devil Stadium.

6. Auburn – Auburn went 1-4 in their final five games of the season last year (including their three point loss to Wisconsin in the Outback Bowl).  This season they’ve added Will Muschamp as defensive coordinator (where he belongs) and will also have versatile rusher Carl Lawson back and in good health.  Auburn has an uptempo offense, but unlike most uptempo offenses that are more “finesse” they are brutal.  Gus Malzahn will look for his offense to exhaust the competition again this year and also he will look to keep the heads straight on a team that lost focus late last season.


7.Clemson – Nobody in their right mind will ever say “this is Clemson’s year” because they seemingly never want it.   When there is a big game on their slate, they just don’t show up (much like Georgia and Oklahoma, but we’ll get to them later).  Quarterback Deshaun Watson is one of the more interesting players this year , he played 8 games last year had two turnovers and threw the ball at a nearly 70%  completion rate.  Clemson’s defensive unit was the nations best last year but they only return three starters from that group.  A drop off is expected, but it shouldn’t be too drastic.


8.Michigan State – Connor Cook is the quarterback all pro scouts will have their eyes on this year as stands as the most “pro ready” to enter the next draft.  Before Cook gets ahead of himself though, he must go through this collegiate campaign.  In some ways this may be Michigan State’s best chance at winning the Big 10 conference in some time.  Cook returns to help give his coach Mark Dantonio another shot.  This is the only team in the Big 10 with a legitimate shot at knocking down Ohio State.  Last year they hosted Ohio State and lost 49-37; now with the game in Ohio State, not many are expecting ol’ Sparty to come away with the win.  An early game against Oregon this season will most likely prove to be important in late season standings.

9. USC – It seems that the USC Trojans were down long enough and they want to reclaim their title.  No, we’re not talking about the Pac 12 or National Championship titles – but the title of “the team you love to hate.”  Quarterback Cody Kessler returns with his 39 touchdown passes from last year to lead an offense that is putting their receiving corps in the hands of two big  junior college transfers (Isacc Whitney and De’Quan Hampton).  If the defense doesn’t play as timid as they did last year it could be a world of a difference. Visiting Arizona State early in the season may very well prove to be a problem and also don’t under-estimate the tenacity of teams like Utah and Arizona, who they may take for granted because they play them at home.

10. Oregon – Haven’t teams been watching film?  If you blow up the Oregon offensive line up the middle – it tends to destroy all their timing.  It’s been like this for years.  Obviously, nobody cares so Oregon just continues to do what they do every season.  Much like Baylor, this Oregon offense is a machine – even losing an all time great college quarterback like Mariota doesn’t make head coach Mark Helfrich freeze up.  The Ducks lost two offensive lineman to the NFL and are depending on a new signal caller to be as in-sync as last year’s offense.  That’s a tough go.  The Ducks will be in a lot more high powered shoot outs then they’ll care to be in and eventually just get gassed.  Sick jerseys though.

11. Tennessee – It’s been a while since the Volunteers were big players in the SEC and that time may be now.   Losing by one point to Florida and three points to Georgia was just brutal but this is a talented squad returning a lot of starters on both sides of the ball.  An early test will be Oklahoma to see if they are ready to play with the upper echelon of college football yet.

12. N.C. State – Some might think of it as a surprise to see N.C. State so highly regarded in these rankings and you wouldn’t be wrong to doubt it.  This year they play Clemson and Louisville at home and this year they visit Florida State, but we all know Florida State doesn’t have that ace up their sleeve anymore.  The Wolfpack have an underrated secondary and have a freshman at running back they may end up taking the majority of carries in Johnny Frasier.

13. Arkansas – The strength of the Razorbacks begins and ends with their massive offensive line.  This is a group that gave talented defenses like Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss fits last season and that trend will continue in 2015.  The problem with Arkansas may lie in their defense which means if you watch any Arkansas games, expect them to be drawn out and “ground and pound” for the most part.

14. Florida State – Florida State won a lot of games they should’ve lost due to late game heroics led by quarterback Jameis Winston.  With Winston gone, coach Jimbo Fisher has to find a way to keep his team focused for four quarters because they won’t have their superstar to bail them out.  Florida State has recruited better than most under Fisher so the talent will always be there, the question with Florida State is: how much control does Fisher have with these players?


15. Notre Dame – Brian Kelly coaches Notre Dame football the way he sees fit and if you don’t like it, he’ll tell you exactly what to do with your opinion.  Notre Dame’s schedule wasn’t too strong in the early goings which led a lot of people to believe they would beat Florida State.  It seemed like they were going to, then the wheels fell out from under that joy ride and their season went off-track with it.  Notre Dame’s offensive line is a strong point and should help coach Kelly install a punishing brand of offense with some flair in the passing game.  The defense returns nine starters, but that’s not necessarily a good thing considering they gave up 40 points a game in their last 8 contests. . .

16. UCLA – Last year was supposed to be the year of Brett Hundley.  That proved to be much of an overstatement but the Bruins still plodded along to win 10 games last year.  Honestly, they didn’t “wow” anybody – just made most folks scratch their heads with their victories.  But they are returning nine starters on offense and eight starters on defense, so it’s easy to assume it’ll be “more of the same” from UCLA this year.

17. Oklahoma – At this point Oklahoma gets a spot on the Top 25 for just “being Oklahoma.”  It’s seems wrong, but it is what it is.  Oklahoma and Texas are supposed to rule the Big 12 Conference, but as of right now, Texas is clearly rebuilding while Oklahoma is looking up at TCU and Baylor while fighting off Oklahoma State in the recruiting war.  Coach Bob Stoops is a coach that has proven time and time again he can only get his team “but so far.”  Truth is, Oklahoma will probably look great most of the season then fall flat the final three weeks when they play (watch this): Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State.


18. Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech is a pesky and annoying but at the same time a fun team to watch during the college football season.  Coach Paul Johnson’s spread option offense has been raising hell in the ACC for seven years now and it will continue to do so.  Losing the ACC title game to Florida State by two points was crushing but then rebounding and beating an SEC team like Mississippi State gives them the momentum they need going into this season.  Playing at Notre Dame and at Clemson may put a damper on things this year for Georgia Tech though.

19. Wisconsin – Wisconsin is always a one dimensional offense.  We all know they are going to run.  They will do it again.  This will never change.  This season though if Joel Stave is still the starting quarterback, there will be no reason for teams to not stack the box.  Stave proved to be less than average last season and that trend will surely continue.  October 10th at Nebraska may determine who will represent the Big 10 West, and ultimately lose to Ohio State in the Big 10 Championship game.

20. Texas A&M – It seemed Texas A&M found the replacement for Johnny Manziel with quarterback Kenny Hill.  Hill was an all out monster – until he faced better competition.  Then Hill fell apart, A&M suspended him and now Kenny Hill is a TCU transfer student who we will be talking about next season.  This year A&M has a five start quarterback recruit in Kyler Murray who may see time early if Kyle Allen slips up or doesn’t execute to the liking of coach Kevin Sumlin.  Sumlin saw his high powered offense get stopped cold by defenses last year, if the same thing happens this season, Sumlin will regret not leaving A&M when he could’ve, on a high note.


21. Ole Miss – Ole Miss saw it all slip through their hands last season.  After losing three of their last five regular season games they were thoroughly embarrassed by TCU 42-3 at the Peach Bowl.  Quarterback Bo Wallace is gone and there hasn’t been much word on who will be the starter for the Rebels come week one.  Coach Hugh Freeze has used two quarterbacks during a season before so keep your eyes open for that disaster.   Either way, whoever is quarterback has the pleasure of throwing to Laquon Treadwell, who is returning from last year’s gruesome leg injury and will hopefully be returning in the form of one of the nations best players once again.  Speaking of one of the nations best players – defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche leads a defense with seven returning starts, but the way Nkemdiche demands double teams, you can say the Rebels are returning eight starters.

22. LSU – Les Miles coaches the most boring yet consistent program in college football.  They have a great young running back in Leonard Fournette, but there is zero help coming from the quarterback position.  LSU is another strong SEC defensive team returning seven starters and it’s up to this unit to give the Tigers any chance of doing damage.  It took this offense to play against suspect defenses like Texas A&M and Notre Dame to put up 23 and 28 points, respectively.


23. Nebraska – With Bo Pelini out of the picture, Mike Riley begins his reign as head coach of the Cornhuskers.  The talent is there on both sides of the ball and the fan base has grown mostly impatient.   The quarterback position will hold back Nebraska though, especially when they play aggressive defensive fronts like Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan State.

24. Boise State – Boise State just doesn’t get how this works.  They had an opportunity to move into a competitive conference and decided to go to the Mountain West.  Why?  Their toughest stretch is a two game road series against Colorado State and Utah State.  Yeah.  . . Boise should dominate the Mountain West Conference this year and nobody but Boise and their fans will be impressed.

25. Bowling Green – Last season quarterback James Knapke stepped up when starter Matt Johnson went down and did a great job filling in, even led the Falcons to a bowl game victory over South Alabama.  This year Knapke has to take a seat and wait his turn again as Matt Johnson is back and ready to lead the fast paced Bowling Green offense.  The Falcons have an under-the-radar receiving core with Roger Lewis and Ryan Burbrink – also watch out for Baylor transfer Robbie Rhodes.  The MAC Conference isn’t known for great defensive play, so there’s no reason to go there. . . It may start out brutal for the Falcons, but if they focus on the MAC it should be a fun and exciting ride to the Mac Championship Game.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

The Dez and Demaryius Difference

Today two wide receivers signed contracts at almost the same exact time.  Dez Bryant and the Dallas Cowboys ended their stand-off with a five year, seventy million dollar contract (of which forty five million is reportedly guaranteed).  This comes about with Dez continually saying that he would sit out until a contract was agreed upon.   Minutes after this signing,  reports came out that the Denver Broncos saddled up with their star receiver Demaryius Thomas for the same numbers except his guaranteed dollars came at about forty three and half million dollars.

They both came into the league in 2010 but it’s their last three seasons that have put them amongst the best wide receivers in the NFL.  Demaryius has had the luxury of being in a pass happy Peyton Manning offense so his yardage numbers noticeably bigger than Bryant’s.

Last Three Seasons:


Demaryius Thomas

Year                    GS         GP      REC       Yards             AVG.     Long   TD

2012 16 16 94 1,434 15.3 71 10
2013 16 16 92 1,430 15.5 78 14
2014 16 16 111 1,619 14.9 86 11


Dez Bryant

Year                   GS             GP         REC     Yards     AVG.       Long    TD

2012   14 16 92 1,382 15.0 85 12
2013 16 16 93 1,233 13.3 79 13
2014 16 16 88 1,320 15.0 68 16


For Dallas, this should not have taken as long as it did.   Dallas has a franchise quarterback in Tony Romo, who last year put up MVP caliber numbers while returning from back surgery.  Romo is in good hands behind one of the best offensive lines in football, who gives him time to find receivers and allows those receivers to get open on long-deep-routes.  The Cowboys decided to not give a long term contract to their workhorse running back Demarco Murray, so it only made sense to give the long term deal to Bryant.  In 2010 the Cowboys moved up three spots in the first round to draft the talented wide-out who came with “character issues.”

For the Cowboys not to extend their first round draft choice, he would have had to be an all out bust.   Dez Bryant has been the number one wide receiver option they hoped he’d become so making a fuss and not meeting him with the numbers he wanted initially didn’t make much sense.


For the Broncos, it’s a little different.  Yes, Demaryius is just like Dez in the sense he was drafted in the first and has possibly exceeded even the loftiest of expectations that were set for him, but there is the elephant in the room that must be discussed.  That elephant, is Peyton Manning.  We saw a deterioration of sorts last year with the Broncos quarterback.  Maybe some of us are pulling the trigger to quickly on what has been a fantastic career but at some point he is going to become too old to play football.  Let’s not forget Peyton is one good hit away from never playing the game again and last year his arm seemed to have the fluid motion of a wet noodle.  Sure Demaryius has looked great – when Manning has looked great – but how will he fare when Manning’s time is up? That time could very well be at some point this year or early next season.

Also keep in mind for Denver that they’ve hired Gary Kubiak to be head coach and Kubiak is very much one of those “control the clock” kind of coaches.   Running the ball will take over because 1) that’s how Kubiak likes to coach and 2) the Broncos are looking for ways to not exhaust Manning’s arm during the season.   This can cause Thomas to either get frustrated and want to leave, or it may cause the Broncos to realize they are over-paying for a position that isn’t as important in this offense.


These two wide receivers will be compared to each for the rest of their careers and this day in particular is a big one for their respective franchises.   The winner of this day is the Dallas Cowboys though, because of the talent that is Dez Bryant and how the Cowboys’ offensive situation seems more appealing moving forward.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

“Dreams Worth More Than Money” Album Review

Meek Mill is the Maybach Music Group’s aggressive, energetic, rapid-fire MC, who embodies a youthful exuberance blended with the mentality of an O.G.   On his first album “Dreams and Nightmares” he laid down one of the best intro-tracks of all time with the title track and was able to hit the airwaves with “Young and Gettin’ It”, “Amen” and even his bonus track with Big Sean “Burn.”   He was making a living getting featured on tracks with various artists and because of his energy was usually the highlight of a track.  Recently Meek Mill has just been released from jail (for a parole violation) and has been seen publicly with his new girlfriend, the pop/rap star, Nicki Minaj.


Fans of Meek Mill expect this album to be a “step up” from what he has already accomplished – much like his peers J. Cole and Big Sean.  The album opens with “Lord Knows” which openly sounds like a track trying to match the magic created on “Dreams and Nightmares.”  It doesn’t reach that level but it does create a comfortable atmosphere for most of the chaos that comes soon after.  The song itself displays the confidence and hunger that is still in Meek Mill.

“Jump Out the Face” features Future, who pretty much takes over most of the duties on this track.  It’s a typical “young man flossin'” track which is right in Future’s zone: “Jump out the Rari, jump out the Wraith/ Then I hop in the Margiela then hop in some Bape/ Then jump out the face, then jump out the face/Money’ gon’ stack and this money gon’ fall.”  Drake makes an appearance on the track “R.I.C.O”  which is given some clever production by Vinylz.  Drake handles his business opening the track but Meek fails to carry the load, while coming up through the rear.  While Drake says things like : “I go make 50 million then I give some millions to my people / They gon’ go Tony Montana and cop them some Shaq at the free throws,” Meek has more of a lack-luster effort with: “I’m back on that hood sh*t / Ya that wish you would sh*t/I’m talking that cross you that fade you fourth quarter like Jordan we back on that bullsh*t.”


The issue with Meek Mill is that he’s a one trick pony.  His delivery is the same on every track and the content of his lyrics are repetitive.  On what is guessed to be an apparent tribute to 2Pac is the song “Ambitionz” where Meek struggles keeping cadence with a slowed down version of the original.   The Weeknd is featured on the track “Pullin’ Up” where Meek plays the role of a “brazen playa” telling a girl to make sure her man stays in the house when he pulls up to her place to pick her up.  It’s easy to see why Nicki Minaj fell for the “sweet talking” Meek with lines like: “Pull up on ya, put it on ya/ F*ck you in the car, if he lookin’ for ya/Seen you with your man and said “What up” to ya.”  The hook provided by The Weeknd has a very similar melody to the hook of his own hit record “Earned It,” – so it’s a lazy effort from The Weeknd to say the least.

The love affair between Nicki Minaj and Meek Mill are put to the test in the form of music as the two collaborate twice on the album.  “Bad For You” with Nicki on the hook and Meek handling verses, they give a glimpse into the start of their relationship: “Wanted that for a long time/ cool with it I get it though/First year we both fronted and we had feelings we didn’t show. . . We just f*cking up the city, going hard every night / N*gg@s hatin’ on us, you know lord they ain’t right.”   Meek handles things well here but the track itself is just a snoozer.   It doesn’t get much better for the Nicki and Meek collaborations as they are joined by Chris Brown, who (much like The Weeknd earlier. . .) sounds like he’s sung a hook a million times before.  The funny thing about this song is that although in their relationship they might have all the chemistry in the world, it just doesn’t come off that way musically.


It’s not all bad for Meek Milly on this album though.  The Danja produced “Stand Up” gives a Miami Vice kind of feel to it and Meek rides this beat with his trademark flow better than he does throughout the album.  Meek Mill pulls off the autotuned hook nicely and hits with insightful lines like: “Don’t be selfish young n*gg@, just man up, don’t give the fam up / Facin’ 20 years when they added the grams up / Plus 5 more, he got booked with a handgun/And now he in the courtroom, givin’ his mans up. . .”   The piano keys on classic, hit with what sounds like out of tune drums from a live jazz session set the tone on “Classic,” produced by Bangladesh.   This track finds Meek Mill at his best with wordplay and humor: “Make a movie on your b*tch, Tell her friend to get a role / you thought she was innocent, we laughing like ‘she been a ho’ / Jumpin out the Benzos, meet yo b8tch in the friend zone/ She told you I was ‘friendzoned’ what? I’m in the endzone.”

Tracks like “Cold Hearted” and “The Trillest” are supposed to give us a more down to earth Meek Mill, but he can’t let go of that aggressive style at all which will ultimately hold him back.  Tracks like “Check” and “I Got the Juice” are lazy and seem to have found Meek stumped on the road to creativity.   His energy definitely does not match the excitement of the listener after one disappointed listen.  Hold on to Nicki young man, because the reviews you’ll read for this album will break your heart.

Rating 3.5 out of 10

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio


Is RG3 Done?

Why does 2012 seem like a century ago?   More importantly – how does Robert Griffin III look at that season and realistically see him doing that again?  The Redskins bet the house on RG3 in the 2012 draft and it seemed like a work of genius.   RG3 played as if his DNA was extracted from Steve Young and Randall Cunningham to form an unbelievable and instinctive quarterback – for one season.   He was a legit dual threat quarterback who totaled over 4000 total yards, 27 total touchdowns and 7 turnovers.  He was nothing short of electrifying.  RG3 made the Redskins “must see TV.”

Things started to get weird for RG3 in that same magical season though.  He suffered an LCL sprain due to a hit from Baltimore defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and then after a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Griffin needed ACL and LCL surgery.


His 2013 season came with much fanfare and expectations but fell incredibly short.  RG3 was so unimpressive he was benched the final four games of the season.  Last season some nasty truths seemed to be revealed – as it appeared that RG3 was not heavily liked in the locker room and was pretty much playing the role of “teacher’s pet” to team owner Dan Snyder.  The Redskins finished with four wins last year and started three different quarterbacks during the season.

So that brings us to 2015, where we are in the month of July and already we are hearing folks speak ill of the former Baylor Bear.  Former NFL quarterback Mark Brunell was questioned about RG3’s ability to succeed in the NFL and he responded: “From what I’ve seen the last couple of years — listen, he burst onto the scene and that was impressive — but like I said, he has gone backwards. It’s not just his decision-making, it’s his fundamentals. He’s taking too many hits, he’s quick to get out of the pocket. Last year was difficult to watch. Does he have the skill set? Yes, but we haven’t seen it in some time.”


Even the biggest RG3 supporter has to agree with Brunell.  At times RG3 seemed like a fish out of water playing the position of quarterback.  Some say that defense players and coaches watched film and caught up to him – but it’s more than that.   Every time Griffin takes a big hit or is on the ground for longer than four seconds, the Redskins faithful hold a collective breath.  It’s not just his inaccuracy and indecisiveness throwing the ball – it’s also his apparent fear while playing the game of football.   He’s just too small to get away with his brand of football and the way he wants to play.

That’s the other issue.   Is RG3 even coach-able?


It was well documented that his relationship with former coach Mike Shanahan went sour and it seems that his relationship with head coach Jay Gruden isn’t all sunshine and roses either.  After a loss to Tampa Bay, coach Gruden made the following comments on Griffin’s performance : “Robert had some fundamental flaws. His footwork was below average. He took three-step drops when he should have taken five. He took a one-step drop when he should have taken three, on a couple occasions, and that can’t happen. He stepped up when he didn’t have to step up and stepped into pressure. He read the wrong side of the field a couple times. So from his basic performance just critiquing Robert, it was not even close to being good enough to what we expect from the quarterback position.”  That isn’t exactly endorsing your quarterback or even giving the lame Marc Trestman excuse of “I don’t know . .  .we had a good week of practice.”

When RG3 underperformed this year, he seemed to want to blame his teammates more than assume responsibility.  Nobody is saying he has the greatest pieces around him, but nobody is going to feel bad for you when you start dogging the guys who are playing just as poorly as you are. 

For a guy with a degree in political science and hoisted a 3.67 GPA in college, he comes off as an arrogant brat who doesn’t understand the way the world works.  It’s a shame really, because he did give football fans one of the most magical seasons ever to watch but it seems that all that magic is gone.  One has to feel for Jay Gruden.  He was given this job, this opportunity and he is seemingly forced to do the impossible : coach up RG3.  Jay Gruden was a guy who was excited about starting Kirk Cousins at QB and hugged his third stringer Colt McCoy after an upset win on Monday Night Football over the Dallas Cowboys.  In the times he interacts with RG3 on the sidelines or talks about him publicly, he only seems frustrated and bothered.


It’s not hard to see that this won’t end well for the Redskins.  RG3 gave them one season of hope.  Unfortunately, one season of hope is a garbage return for the three first round picks and one second round pick the Redskins dealt for his services.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Is Love’s Heart in the Wrong Place?

Many thought and speculated about Kevin Love’s options before free agency began this season.  He opted out of his contract late in June with the Cavaliers, which surprised nobody – it was just “good business.” Soon after,  many assumed he was done in Cleveland.

There was actually good reason to believe that would be true.

It was nearly a year ago that Kevin Love was traded to Cleveland and it seemed that LeBron James had constructed another power-house “Big Three” in his homecoming to Cleveland.  James, Love and Kyrie Irving, were looked upon as a younger version of James, Bosh and Wade in Miami.  LeBron James is arguably the most unselfish superstar the league has known and it seemed like an easy fit with Love and Irving.

Things didn’t work out for Love as he had planned though.


Love’s points per game averaged dropped by ten points (26.1 in 2014 compared to 16.4 in 2015), his rebounds per game dropped from 12.5 to 9.7 a game, three point percentage, field goal percentage and free throw percentage – all took a slight drop.

There is a simple reason for the numbers being dropped.  Aside from many who think it’s a “system” thing – it was more of a “culture” thing.  Love played in Minnesota, where he was the star of a bad team.  He was able to put up numbers and play however he wanted without the stress of “expectations.”  Before he knew it, he was thrust into a position where the expectation in Cleveland was “to win a championship,” (it’s still kind of weird to see the words “Cleveland” and “championship” in the same sentence, but that’s another story.)

Love had his struggles in Cleveland and they were all well documented.  He was not getting many minutes in the fourth quarter, and when he did, he didn’t get many touches – and every body language expert in the world told us he was un-happy.  Love and Jame’s relationship seemed to be sour and Love just looked like the odd-man out in Cleveland.   This is why many expected Love to look elsewhere in free agency.

The Lakers were always a team that many thought Love would ultimately end up.  He’s a native of Santa Monica, California who went to school in UCLA so the math made sense.  Love wasted little time when free agency began and agreed to go back to Cleveland for five years at $110 million.

The money is great obviously and the ongoing sentiment as to why he stayed in Cleveland is because “he has the best chance to win a championship there.”  Fine.  Considering how weak the Eastern Conference is, there is a lot of truth to that statement – but so what?

Love did not seem happy in Cleveland.  How could he be?  He’s the third offensive option on a team who’s star apparently favors the likes of Tristan Thompson over him.   This brings to light a  question:  Is success worth one’s happiness?


In short the answer is “no.”  How many successful millionaire businessmen are alcoholics on suicide watch?  How many actors choose to live in seclusion to hide from the bright lights?  How many music artists end up hating the music industry after a successful career?   The answer to all of these questions is many.  Love may have joined the Cavaliers just to avoid publicly being scorned.  Let’s all be honest, that’s what would have happened.

LeBron for one, controls the basketball media.  Everyone wants to be LeBron’s friend and would’ve written stories on Love being soft or wanting to be a star on a losing team again.  Many would’ve said if Love couldn’t fit in with the ultimate team guy in LeBron then he won’t fit in right anywhere.

Most would’ve said Kevin Love cares more about getting paid and putting up ridiculous stats than winning championships.  Let’s say that was true – what would be wrong with that?


What’s wrong with wanting to have fun while playing ball and getting paid nicely for it?  Nothing.   The rhetoric here is all backwards from people who will never be given the choice in their lives that Kevin Love had to make.  Kevin Love’s career could turn to a guy who was a 25-10 a night guy to someone who is just another name on a roster with LeBron James.  Yes, his career could add an NBA Championship or two with Cleveland – but was that even Kevin Love’s end-game when it’s all said and done ?

Knowing who LeBron James is though, Love would not be there if LeBron didn’t want him there.  With that being said nobody should be surprised if Love requests to be traded one day from Cleveland – with or without a championship.  A lesson is to be learned here.  If you’re not happy where you’re at – move on.  Love had that choice but decided to stay in Cleveland.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio