The Cavaliers are Playing Chess While the Celtics Play Checkers

My Boston Celtics have been fighting valiantly against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, but the Cavs are just too damn good (thanks to the veritable, de facto Most Valuable Player and coach of the year, LeBron James). Sure, a series doesn’t truly begin until a home team loses, but the Cavs are toying with the C’s.

Does anybody else feel like Kyrie Irving doesn’t get the respect he deserves? He played at Duke for six minutes, long enough to wolf down a BLT sandwich and he spent the first three years of his NBA career dazzling the bitter fans in Cleveland and staying out of the national spotlight (mostly because, before LeBron’s return, nobody in America gives a shit about Cleveland). He has this Russell Westbrook-esque quality where he can concoct any shot he wants. He’s creative as hell on the offensive side of the ball. LeBron’s return has been a gamechanger for him.

No surprise, really. LeBron James is an elevator, unlike, say, Kobe Bryant or Michael Jordan. Before I tangentially go in five different directions and fail to make my intended point, LeBron being compared to MJ is the biggest misnomer ever. I know that MJ is widely considered to be the greatest of all-time, but LeBron is and has always been a pass-first player, somebody who’s more comparable to a Magic Johnson, an elevator. You can bet your bottom dollar that most players in the NBA would rather play with a LeBron in his prime over a Kobe in his prime, just because they know they’d see the light of day with the basketball. LeBron’s style is smiley, smiley “let’s contribute together!” Kobe’s is more harsh, isolated and singular. I’m not bashing Kobe, this time. It’s worked for him, considering that he wields five NBA Finals rings. I’m just throwing that out there.

Most Celtics fans harbor a special kind of hate for LeBron, thanks to what he did to our boys in 2011 and especially 2012. I mean, 2012 was the last fucking year, the last effing chance in this period of NBA history, to see the Celtics go back to another NBA Finals with that group of guys (Pierce, Garnett, Allen, Rondo, Doc) and LeBron crushed that chance, that dream. If that doesn’t define greatness on his behalf, I don’t know what does. Beating the Celtics was his last big obstacle en route to winning his first title when the Miami Heat crushed the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Finals that year.

This year’s Celtics don’t have the stars.

They are fun to watch. Great team chemistry. Brad Stevens is kicking ass as a head coach in the pros.

Stars win in the NBA. Don’t be a homer. Don’t be a dipshit. Don’t point out the San Antonio Spurs’ “team game” (Tim Duncan is top 7, possibly top 5, of all-time, player-wise). Look at championship teams of the past and you can see they wield stars. You can cite the 2004 Detroit Pistons, but they are an anomaly — they matched up against a dysfunctional LA Lakers team that still leaves me surprised they (the Lakers that year) were in the Finals due to the dissention going on that season. This Celtics team doesn’t have any stars — just really, really good, young players. Marcus Smart has the potential to be an all-star, but I feel like he’ll never be one of the top stars in the league. I’d love to be proved wrong, though.

Then, as it was, Then Again it will Be

The Boston Celtics are the 7-seed in the eastern conference playoffs and they’ll be facing an old rival in LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Usually on a day like today, I’d be rambling on about tonight’s UFC Fight Night on Fox (official picks: Machida via KO or decision, Paige VanZant by decision and Jacare Souza by obliteration over the brave soul that is Chris Camozzi), but my Celtics rallied to make the playoffs and they’ll be playing tomorrow.

Ah, y’know, this time of the year takes me back. Way back to 2008, which feels like ten minutes ago to me. “Seven years ago”, you say? That’s hard to believe. That was a magical time period. The Celtics were at the top of the NBA world after finishing the regular season with 66 wins. Their playoff run was thrilling that year. Listen, I’m rapidly approaching my mid-20s, so I obviously wasn’t around to witness the Celtics doing their thing in the late ’50s, all throughout the ’60s, and the bigtime ’80s run where they ruled the basketball world with the Los Angeles Lakers. When the 2007 season rolled around, following the acquisitions of Kevin Garnett (who, in the past, on NBA video games, I’d always trade for!) and Ray Allen, hope was brought about.

The seven game series between the Celtics and Cavs in the second round of the eastern conference playoffs in 2008 heated up quickly in the seventh game when Paul Pierce and LeBron James had a back-and-forth scoring attack where they’d both answer each other’s bucket with one of their own. I’ll never forget that.

I’ll never forget the way the Celtics booted LeBron James out of Cleveland after they sent him and the Cavs on his/their way in the second round of the 2010 eastern conference playoffs.

And then, well, in 2011, as a member of the Miami Heat, LeBron James and Co. decimated the oft-injured Celtics and smacked them right out of the playoffs. I don’t want to talk about 2012 — that shit still hurts! A 3-2 series lead blown because LeBron James couldn’t stop hosting his revenge tour against my C’s.

It’s been a while. Three years since the Celtics have met up with LeBron James. The song remains the same, but the scenery has changed. Doc Rivers is the Los Angeles Clippers head coach. Paul Pierce is a Wizard (what the fuck? He’ll always be a Celtic). Kevin Garnett is back in Minnesota. Ray Allen is nowhere to be seen. Rajon Rondo is a Dallas Maverick.

This team wields a bunch of fucking misfits, right? Marcus Smart, Avery Bradley, Evan Turner, Brandon Bass, Tyler Zeller, Kelly Olynyk, the newly acquired Isaiah Thomas (sixth man of the year, anyone?), Jae Crowder…

This Celtics team finished with the second best post-All Star game record in the league at 23-12, only behind the… Cavaliers… at 26-9. I’ve loved watching them play. I must give Brad Stevens credit, because he has all these young guys playing with a formidable chemistry. Selfishness isn’t apparent on the court. It’s almost like a younger repertoire of the Celtics’ adage of old, “Ubuntu”.

Surely this series will at least go six games.

Though, I’d rather see the Celtics pull off the upset (of course). The city of Cleveland doesn’t deserve to sniff a Larry O’Brien trophy.

Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds and PEDs

I follow the St. Louis Cardinals, lightly pay attention to the Atlanta Braves, and outside of that, I don’t pay much attention to whatever else is happening in baseball. The 162-game regular season isn’t my cup of tea (although cheap beer and summertime ball do go hand in hand and I love it), albeit I do love the postseason, as long as my Cards are involved and hopefully not playing the San Francisco Giants. I digress.

The notorious Barry Bonds recently started talking about the hatred towards the liar and cheater Alex Rodriguez. I don’t really give a shit about adding commentary in regards to that. I just want to roll my eyes that, with the aforementioned news, a shithorde of the angriest and loudest “they cheated!” voices start being doled out by the usual sports/baseball fans. These guys and gals apparently don’t even know the history of the game they are attempting to defend when they attack Bonds and A-Rod.

These people feel like Bonds and A-Rod fooled ’em. In reality, they are ignorant of the fact that baseball, much like virtually every sport, has never been ‘clean’.

Anabolic steroids and other PED (performance enhancing drugs) use wasn’t just invented in the damn ’90s. Legends Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle were both “dopers”, y’know. Hell, the word “doping” comes from a Dutch word for “doop”, which was the performance enhancing drug of choice for ancient Greece… Yeah, BC… But I digress. Back to baseball.

In 1958, steroids were approved by the FDA and sold OVER THE COUNTER (read that again, please). It wasn’t until 1990 that they became a controlled substance. Steroids existed for decades before then and, prior to that, players were injecting themselves with everything from testosterone to ground up animal testicles… Babe Ruth was known for injecting himself with a concoction of sheep testicles. Just sayin’. Hotdogs and beer, be damned.

Also, Jose Canseco wasn’t the one that broke all the stories. In 1960, George Walsh wrote an eye-opening expose on PED use in Sports Illustrated. The article’s title was, “Our Drug-Happy Athletes”.

HGH (human growth hormone) is also not something that’s all that new, either. In 1982, Dan Duchaine wrote a book called, “Underground Steroid handbook” and in it he discussed the use of HGH as a PED. The Olympic committee banned it back in 1989 after decades of suspected use.

As for ‘greenies’, the MLB should let up on players using stimulants nowadays. The biggest reason for lower scores throughout the duration of the season is because everyday players are so fucking tired from being on the grind.

The Shills of the Garbage Supplement Company That is MusclePharm

It’s unbelievably how far supplement companies (companies in general, but I’m going to bag on supplement companies in this post) go to avoid having any negative reviews toward their products.

The supplement business in fitness is huge. I’m not going to crunch numbers, but the amount of money poured into things like vitamins, minerals, herbs, protein powders, preworkouts and all that shit is astrofuckingnomical.

There’s only a few worthwhile supplements (vitamins and minerals-wise) on the market that are worth a damn: fish oil, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, zinc picolinate and chelated magnesium. Outside of that, there may be a few anomalies that are worth a shit for select people, but the aforementioned supplements are rockstars in my book.

I’ve been a caffeine junkie since March 28, 2009. That was back when I was staying up late every single night. I’ll always enjoy caffeine. I’ve taken breaks from it, but I always return. In the process, I’ve been an energy drink (mainly the low/no-carb variety) connoisseur. Started off with Monster Lo-Carb during most of 2009, and today I usually stick with BANG energy, SPIKE energy and VPX Redline when I’m not drinking coffee or taking ProLab’s 200mg caffeine pills.

When I heard about MusclePharm dropping their line of energy drinks, I got excited! Naturally, of course. “What are they gonna add to the table?!” I asked myself, with BANG energy and SPIKE energy offering the best bang for your buck in terms of what you get in their drinks, from creatine, glutamine, BCAAs, CoQ10 and 300mg of caffeine in VPX’s BANG energy to yohimbe, L-tyrosine, a shithorde of the most bioavailable form of vitamin b12 (methylcobalamin) and 300mg of caffeine in SPIKE energy, I wanted to know what MusclePharm was gonna bring to the table.

I liked MusclePharm. Truly so. Shred Matrix is pretty decent. Battlefuel XT is a solid product. The latest “Arnold Iron Cuts” was OK. But all in all, I thought they were a pretty good supplement company.

Enter their new energy drinks Energy Sport and Energy Sport Zero.

120mg of caffeine, the nonabsorbable cyanocobalamin version of vitamin b12 along with ingredients that mirror every single Monster, Redbull, Rockstar, Nos, etc. mainstream energy drink that’s on the market. Oh, and MusclePharm upcharges for their energy drinks, despite the ingredient panel mirroring exactly what the aforementioned products have.

But wait, MusclePharm adds something new to the table, guys and gals!

Beta-Alanine.

One ingredient. That’s it. That’s the only thing new they add to the table.

You can go out, buy capsules of beta-alanine, and stack them with a mainstream energy drink or superior energy drinks like VPX’s BANG energy or SPIKE energy, and you’ll be getting a bigger bang for your buck.

MusclePharm, your energy drinks are subpar. Not to mention you simpletons only added 120mg of caffeine to your drinks. What a joke. You buffoons were even too cheap and lazy to add the highest bioavailable form of vitamin b12 — again: methylcobalamin.

Here’s the biggest reason I’m bashing MusclePharm: their shoddy, robotic shills that are their customer service representatives are doing everything they possibly can to remove negative reviews from the internet.

On the god awful, piece of shit supplement peddling website Muscle & Strength, I posted two reviews — one deleted right after the other — with my honest take on MusclePharm’s energy drinks. They were deleted. I sent M&S customer service (which claimed to dish out “speedy replies!”) and received no reply despite a respectful and polite inquiry.

I posted a review on bodybuilding.com and was subsequently banned.

My Amazon reviews of this low quality product have received similar fate.

Hmm…

MusclePharm, you were so desperate to join the energy drink world with the least amount of effort or ingenuity possible, so you threw together a subpar energy drink knowing full well that your sheepish fanbase would be suckered into paying an upcharge for it due to the name on the cans. My review of your awful drinks has received a high amount of views, and I can only hope that more and more people will open their eyes and see how garbage this product is

MusclePharm, fuck you and fuck your shitty energy drinks. Try to aspire to be more creative and crafty like BANG energy or SPIKE energy.

Duke Won Their Fifth National Title and Bo Ryan is a Poor Sport

Bo Ryan is a bumrat schmuck.

I reckon I’m a few days late in touching on this topic, but the truth remains. The Wisconsin Badgers’ basketball program’s head coach bashed the “one-and-done” college basketball shindig following the Badgers’ 5-point loss to the greatest college basketball head coach of all-time, Mike Krzyzewski, and the Duke Blue Devils. He called it “rent-a-player”, before backpedaling and trying to say that he was talking about “fifth year seniors using an extra year of eligibility”. Bullshit.

I learned to definitively look past other people’s bullshit a while back. I spent the years 2008-2011 with the biggest liar I’ve ever met in my entire life (well, she was more of a liar in 2010-2011 and beyond more than any of the other two mentioned years, but I digress), and nowadays it’s so goddamn easy to spot that kind of backpedaling, “Well, what I meant is…” garbage behavior, the same kind that “Bumrat Bo” Ryan engaged in.

The bottom line is that Bo Ryan would take a “one-and-done” player in a heartbeat. In fact, his program has went after ’em but has failed to obtain them. His Badgers had the advantage of keeping players for multiple years for the sake of continuity. What happened to Wisconsin in the national title game is that talent won out. Duke has better players. And it showed down the stretch. It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish.

I love it when Duke’s basketball program wins. So much anger and outrage everywhere on the internet.

MusclePharm’s New Energy Drinks (Energy Sport and Energy Sport Zero) are Terrible

They are awful, terrible, unoriginal, trash, useless, unimaginative… garbage.

This is the result of MusclePharm's lazy and unimaginative company, desperate to join the energy drink foray but too damn lazy to add anything new or interesting to the table, so they basically make a copycat of ingredients already seen in Redbull, Monster, Rockstar and Nos, throw in a cheap amount of beta alanine and market it as something interesting when it's nothing more than liquid digshit in the guise of an energy drink.
This is the result of MusclePharm’s lazy and unimaginative company, desperate to join the energy drink foray but too damn lazy to add anything new or interesting to the table, so they basically made a copycat of ingredients already seen in Redbull, Monster, Rockstar and Nos, throw in a cheap amount of beta alanine and market it as something interesting when it’s nothing more than liquid digshit in the guise of an energy drink.

I’ve used a couple of MusclePharm products: Assault is a pretty good preworkout supplement. Battle Fuel XT is formidable. Shred Matrix isn’t half bad.

Yesterday, April Fools Day, MusclePharm released their brand new energy drink line: Energy Sport and Energy Sport Zero. I didn’t look up anything about these drinks. I figured, coming from a supplement company with health in mind, they’d be alright, and so I didn’t do my due diligence in researching the product. Yeah, whoever even buys one can of this is a fool, so well played on releasing this new line on April Fools Day, MP!

Y’know, before I continue, I just want to say that MusclePharm’s sponsored athletes speak for themselves: their head honcho ‘sponsored athlete’ that I see featured the most is San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colon Crappershit… I mean Colin Kaepernick! I digress.

The regular Sport Energy from MusclePharm? 39 grams of sugar, only 120mg of caffeine, and the ingredients mirror what you’d find in a typical Redbull, Monster, Rockstar or Nos. The only difference is the inclusion of beta alanine. Whoop-de-fucking-do. There’s nothing special about this drink. “But Troy! What about the zero sugar version?!” Who gives a shit? It still only has 120mg of caffeine and only brings beta alanine to the table. The promotion around here is that you buy 2 for $4.98. What a ripoff.

Step your game up, MusclePharm. These drinks are molecular structured garbage. Veritable dogshit.

The two best energy drinks on the market right now are SPIKE energy and VPX’s BANG. Both are imaginative, creative, crafty and bring something new to the table.

SPIKE has been around for years! From SPIKE Shooter (8.4 ounces) to SPIKE Shotgun (16 ounces), the Shooter features 300mg of caffeine while the Shotgun wields 350mg. I prefer SPIKE Shooter, between the two, as it’s just a quick dose of l-tyrosine, yohimbe and a high level of the most bioavailable version of vitamin b12… methylcobalamin, speaking of which MusclePharm Energy Sport only features the low-bioavailable cyanocobalamin form of b12. How despicable. MusclePharm was too cheap to put any work or money into their shitty energy drink line, which is going to fail because it literally brings nothing else to the table outside of beta alanine.

VPX is a top notch company. Jack Owoc is one hell of a CEO. He connects with consumers, listens to what they want, is a faithful family man and he knows how to run a damn company. Hats off to him for what he’s done with VPX. The only thing I’ve disliked that he’s done, in terms of business related decision making, is reformulating Redline after a horde of dipshits were misusing the product back in early 2010. Speaking of Redline, it has beta alanine and a host of other worthwhile features/stimulants to boot, unlike the one-dimensional shitshow that is MusclePharm Energy Sport and Energy Sport Zero.

Anyhow, VPX BANG is the best energy drink out there, currently. With 300mg of caffeine in a 16 ounce can in five different flavors (fruit punch, blue razz, champagne, lemon drop and the brand new kickass Star Blast (‘kickass’ isn’t a part of the name)), the drink features its own patented creatine, glutamine, CoQ10 and some BCAAs (branched chained amino acids).

The absolute best energy drink on the market, alongside SPIKE energy. VPX BANG features patented creatine, CoQ10, glutamine and a shithorde of amino acids along with 300 milligrams of caffeine to get your ass in gear as well as to live powerfully!
The absolute best energy drink on the market, alongside SPIKE energy. VPX BANG features patented creatine, CoQ10, glutamine and a shithorde of amino acids along with 300 milligrams of caffeine to get your ass in gear as well as to live powerfully!

What the fuck new or innovative does MusclePharm Energy Sport bring to the table? It sounds to me that MusclePharm desperately wanted to join the energy drink game but was too lazy to concoct anything interesting, imaginative or revolutionary as opposed to what SPIKE has done or what Jack Owoc is doing with the boys and girls at VPX Sports. That’s lazy and terrible business ethics. This has essentially turned MusclePharm into a shoddy supplement company.

The bottom line? Check out VPX BANG and SPIKE energy.

MusclePharm, you blew it.

I Really Can’t Wait Until July 11th for UFC 189

With all this blatant hype building during the UFC world tour series featuring Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo (obviously for money, generating talking heads for UFC 189 on July 11th in Las Vegas), I’m becoming more and more excited for their featherweight title fight. Yes, it’s a circus; yes, it’s a veritable comedy. That’s why it’s amusing and compelling. Hyping fights has been going on since the late 1800s.

Even without the shit talk, this is an extraordinarily compelling fight. Jose Aldo hasn’t fought a guy who’s primarily a striker since Mark Hominick. McGregor brings so many things to the table that other challengers to Aldo’s featherweight title never have. For the first time that I can think of, Aldo is being matched up against somebody significantly bigger than him in McGregor. Outside of leg kicking McGregor to hell and winning by outpointing him, Aldo is going to have a difficult time compensating for his inferior size and strength.

Everybody likes to bitch about McGregor ‘not facing anybody’ in his leadup to a featherweight title shot vs. Aldo. Well, who did Chris Weidman face before Anderson Silva? Mark f’n Munoz? Weidman defeated Silva twice within six months and toyed with Lyoto Machida (sans Machida going on a little striking spree in the 4th and 5th rounds of that fight) last July. (And, next month, in May, Weidman will defeat Vitor Belfort). Who did Jon Jones beat of merit in the leadup to his light heavyweight title fight with Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua?

People who engage in the “who’d they beat?!” and “MMA math”-esque arguments aren’t interested in dialogue or logic. Styles make fights.