I worked a 12 hour shift last night, and went to bed as soon as I got home so I just missed this story breaking cause I fell asleep around 7:30 am, but man talk about shitting news to wake up to at noon on a Thursday.
The day we as URI fans knew had been coming for years has finally arrived, Dan Hurley is spurning the University of Rhode Island for a bigger program. It fucking kills me that it's UCONN, I fucking haaaaaaaate UCONN and all things Connecticut. I really wish he just took the money from Pittsburgh. I could live with that, but losing him to UCONN is extra salt in the wound. I partly blame Kevin Ollie for this, if you were a better coach this would've never had to happen to us. I love Jim Calhoun for his antics but I can't stand that program. Part of it is jealously, because there is no reason for the fucking University of Connecticut is God damne Storrs, CT to be a basketball powerhouse (although they've been v bad lately). Part of it is just hating the state of Connecticut as a whole (it's a trash state), but man oh man this news stinks on ice. Gonna sting for a while.
IMO Dan Hurley is kind of a fraud here. After URI's blowout loss to Duke in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament claimed he could "give two craps" (sweet use of the word crap like an 11 year old) about other coaching vacancies. The lie detector shows that was a lie, as less than a week later he's headed to Storrs, CT to fill a coaching vacancy at the University of Connecticut.
He said he'd be willing to take less money if URI decided to invest in their program. TBH I figured they wouldn't, but to their credit if this offer that has been rumored is correct, then you can't help but think Hurley was full of shit when he said that.
That's a legit offer by URI. 2 million a year, nearly identical to Ed Cooley's contract at PC from a money standpoint. They were going to build a practice facility, pay assistants more and charter flights for away games. They offered everything he asked for. Hurley would talk about how this program is a family and how he wanted to build it into something special, then jumps ship right as we're getting there. Idk how factual that tweet is but if it's true then I really have to credit my university for going all in. I thought they'd just cheap out and let Hurley leave, but by the looks of it they did all they could to keep him.
IMO Hurley's legacy at URI is mixed. He did turn this program around. and I'll always appreciate that. URI went from irrelevant to a team that could've been playing the second weekend of the NCAA tournament. At the same time I feel like URI could've done a little more, some of that is on the players, but a lot imo is on the coaching. I'm not going to hold E.C. Matthews tearing his ACL against him because that would be lunacy, but 2015-16 turned into a lost season after he went down after a 2014-15 season where URI was a win or two away from making the big dance. It felt like for 3 years URI was always that hot pick to make the next step, but they never did. Then last season in 2016-17 they finally did, but they really almost blew it. That season was so strange, started the year out ranked, beat Cincy, then stumbled and nearly played themselves out of the tournament discussion. Luckily to their credit the Rams finished strong, winning out after the Fordham loss to win the A-10 tournament. But that team should've never been an 11 seed, and this year the Rams should've never been a 7. After winning 16 games in a row, after clinching the A-10 regular season title, which frankly doesn't mean shit, even though it was the first in program history that the Rams took the foot off the gas.
They went 2-3 to finish the regular season and lost the A-10 title game. They fell from from a potential 4 seed all the way to a 7, where they ended up matching up with Duke in the 2nd round and got absolutely embarrassed. Had this team gotten a better draw by finishing strong they're probably still playing tonight or tomorrow. I've said it many times, Hurley is a great recruiter, but not a great coach. He'd get all pissy, and his team's offenses never seemed to click. Don't get me wrong, I'm really bummed we're losing him because he was great at getting talent, but think most basketball people would agree his actual coaching was a tad overrated.
As for who replaces him I have no idea, I hope it's David Cox but we'll have to wait and see. One of my friends was saying he wanted Rick Pitino but I don't think that would ever happen. Better chance that URI football finishes with a winning record, which says all you need to know about URI football. What I really hope happens, but probably won't is that URI still invests in their program like they were willing to do for Hurley. Build a basketball-only practice facility, spend more $ on the program, charter flights like a real program. Don't allow losing Hurley to set this program back into the barren Jim Baron days. Build off the momentum of the last two seasons. Have fun getting your ass kicked by MY Wichita State Shockers, Cincy and Houston, Danny boy.
As of now many recruits and returning players say they're staying at URI. Let's see how that goes. Not holding my breath
Song: When Did Your Heart Go Missing?
Album: Calling The World
YOU'RE A FRAUD HURLEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I saw this highlight last night and was absolutely blown away. What an athletic display of body control by Blake Griffin to hit DeAndre Drummond perfectly as he was falling to the hardwood. You don't see passes like this is the NBA v often, if ever. I might need to start blogging more highlights because this is a great way to do a filler blog.
More importantly it's an opportunity to explain how much I love poolball (pool basketball). Poolball is the greatest sport on earth. It combines water, shooting hoops, and dominating people physically. I am nowhere close to a great athlete, but in the water, really only in poolball, I shine bright like a diamond (diamond). There's nothing like the possibility of drowning while shooting hoops.
This type of falling pass to a dunk is my specialty in the pool. So next time you see an NBA player perform a maneuver such as this, just know that I have done it hundreds of time's on my friend's pools. Wish I had more (any) highlights of me to give as an example, guess you'll just have to invite me over this summer to see for yo selffff.
Actually,,, The Question Was "Which Cover Song Is Better Than The Original?" Not What's The Best Cover Song
A few days ago this tweet garnered a multitude of responses on twitter. Posing quote-tweet response questions like this is a great way to grow your #brand on twitter. I have tried many a time, and will continue to try to get one to go viral....but until then.
Anywho, the question was "What cover song is better than the original?"
But sadly, even the most handsome of thiccc boys sometimes can't follow simple instructions.
I've talked about how much I love cross-genre covers til the cows come home. Panic doing Starboy was awesome. Kings of Leon did a Selena Gomez cover. Post Malone performed All Apologies by Nirvana live. I think they're one of the coolest things in music. When an artist can put a completely different spin on a song. To me it's a great sign of respect, plus as they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. As a music fan it's really cool (I need a better vocab but it's only the perfect word to use here) to get a deeper glance into what the artists you like to listen,,, listen to, if that makes sense? Perfect example I would've never guessed that Rhianna knew about Tame Impala, just because my small brain pictures them in two totally different worlds. Rhianna is an R & B sex God and Tame Impala is a psychedelic rock group from Australia. As someone with a self-proclaimed eclectic taste in music as a fan I really appreciate seeing musicians I admire admiring the works of artists you at first glance may think have nothing in common.
Before I get to the song I believe is the greatest cover of all time (in the sense that it blows the original out of the water) I am going to include some of my favorite covers. Didn't include a lot of classics because everybody gives those songs their shine. Although I am opening with one of the most well known covers of all time. When you start a blog you can do whatever you want, kapeesh?
Beatles: "Twist and Shout"
Original artist: The Isley Brothers
A low key wedding song staple, if you're one of these people who thinks the Beatles aren't good or are overrated you are an idiot. I love this song.
Reel Big Fish: "Take On Me"
Original artist: A-ha
RBF and ska in general were really big when I was in like kindergarten and kind of irrelevant once I was old enjoy to really get into music. They're a band who's catalog I don't know that extensively, but all the songs that I have heard by them I really enjoy, their rendition of the 80's one-hit wonder Take On Me is one of my personal favorites. V different from the original in a brassy way.
Rihanna: "Same Ol' Mistakes"
Original artist: Tame Impala (New Person, Same Old Mistakes)
I love Tame's original but Rhianna's 2016 version of the closing track to Tame Impala's 2015 album Currents "New Person, Same Old Mistakes" puts up a great fight against the original. Sounds really similar but also really different. Both are great. Rhianna making this song earned her sooooo many points in my book. Big for her.
The Killers: "The Bucket"
Original artist: Kings of Leon
The Bucket is the first Kings of Leon song I ever heard. I remember seeing it on MTV2 back in like 2005 when music videos on cable were still a thing. One band I like playing a song by a band that I love. Brandon Flowers does a great job here, and the rest of the band sounds pretty spot on to the KOL version.
Nirvana: "Lake of Fire" and "The Man Who Sold The World"
Original artist: Meat Puppets and David Bowie
I have a love-hate relationship with Nirvana. I used to get so mad that BRU (RIP) would play them what seemed like 5 times an hour, maybe if they mixed in some more current music they would still exist? Regardless, despite my feelings about Nirvana and whether or not they're overrated musically their MTV unplugged performance to me is the standout of any unplugged show. These two covers, along with their original "All Apologies" are the best from that legendary set in late 1993. "Man Who Sold The World" definitely gets more recognition, but I love "Lake of Fire" as well and think it deserves a spot here.
Metallica: Whiskey In The Jar
Original artist: The Dubliners
An Irish folk song that's been played by millions. Used to be really into Metallica when I was younger, and this song was a masterpiece then, and is now. James Hetfield's vocals here are the highlight imo.
Alien Ant Farm: "Smooth Criminal"
Original artist: Michael Jackson
Who would've guessed I'd have back-to-back blogs featuring Alien Ant Farm? God Bless the internet. This song came out when I was in 4th grade and I can vividly remember someone bringing this CD into class and thinking they were so cool for liking it too. The lead singer's hair always stood out to me. 4Also did not know this was a cover until my mom of all people brought that knowledge to my attention. It's AAF's most successful song which I feel like as an artist has to be sort of bittersweet that you're most known for a song that isn't even yours, but I mean the money is still green so whatever. I like this version wayyyyyyyyyyy better than MJ's.
Darius Rucker: "Wagon Wheel"
Original artist: Bob Dylan
This song will always have a special place in my heart as it reminds me of my first 21 summer (2013). Hootie fucking rocks, and I will always, always love this song. Makes me so happy whenever I hear it. I used to get pumped up like a reebok whenever it came on at a bar, and probably still would today.
The Black Keys: "Never Gonna Give You Up"
Original artist: Jerry Butler
Brothers is one of my favorite albums of all time. This is one of the best songs on the album. Maybe the most relatable song ever. Dan Auerbach's range vocally blows my mind. +
Now is where we get serious. Here are IMO three covers that are better than the original. These are my top 3 favorite covers of all time.
Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse: "Valerie"
Original artist: The Zutons
This is one that I didn't even realize was a cover til years later. Who the fuck are the Zutons? IMO Amy Winehouse's best work. (RIP) What a voice she had. She was probably the least surprising member of the 27 club ever but it doesn't make it any less sad. What a talent. This song is just such a fun listen. Unlike the next two songs.
Pearl Jam: "Last Kiss"
Original Artist: Wayne Cochran
This song still gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Eddie Vedder's passion in the lyrics are as people who write at buzzfeed say, everything. That "hold me darling just a little while" is incredible. Loving this song so much caused me to research it a few years back. The original was in a sub-genre called "teen tragedy song". So many kids were trying in the 50's and 60's that that actually became a popular type of music. V fucked up. Some Susie Q shit up in here. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teenage_tragedy_song
Johnny Cash: "Hurt"
Original artist: Nine Inch Nails
Let me ask you something?
In the Hangover 3 when Leslie Chow is performing Hurt at karoke is it the NIN version or Johnny Cash?
It's Johnny Cash.
This is the greatest cover song of all time and it's not even close. Goosebumps and tear city. Maybe the saddest song ever. The pure emotion in the song by Johnny Cash in the video and in the lyrics in his final months still can bring a tear to my eye this day. It's like he knows he's about to go and this song is just recapping his time on earth. Even Trent Reznor himself has gone as far as saying (paraphrasing) this isn't his song anymore, it's Johnny's. If this song doesn't get to you you're more dead than Johnny Cash himself. Hurt by Johnny Cash is without a doubt the greatest cover of all time. No exaggeration a million times better than the NIN original.
Last weekend I went to Las Vegas for a dear friend of mine's bachelor party/ away for training for my other job depending on who you are reading this. Should you be in the latter this blog is purely a parody. I'll ask that you stop here.
Okay. Let's proceed.
Of the few flaws I have, I'd say not being well traveled is one of the biggest. It's really sad so many places on this planet haven't gotten to experience the doz man. In case you were wondering; my venmo is indeed open. I've lived in Rhode Island nearly my entire life, with a 2 year stint in lovely Jacksonville, Florida mixed in during middle school, and of course I lived in Nashville, TN for 45 minutes late last year. **insert audience sad groan sound here**
I went to Le Montréal with a few of the same people I went to Vegas with in June of 2012. I went on a cruise my senior year of HS in 2010, but spent most of the trip in the bathroom because I wasn't as into Dave Matthews Band back then as I am now, I did in fact drink the water.
Before last weekend the farthest west I had ever been was Milwaukee, Wisconsin when I visited a friend my freshmen year of college atMarquette. Besides the tension from going with a friend who's girlfriend I had just started sleeping with, eventually dated, then ruined my life it was a great trip. Other than that that's all I can think of when it comes to major trips I've taken.
After spending four and a half days in Vegas/ training for National Grid I learned a few things. As a former/future educator I feel like it is my duty, as the great unrecognized blogger that I am to teach you, my loyal readers a thing or two about going to Las Vegas. Whether you've been to sin city or not, please heed/take headed of my knowledge to better enjoy your next trip out West. Although the list is numbered, these are in no particular order, just wanted it to be easier for you to add up all the things you learned from what I learned about Las Vegas/ NG training.
1. Have Your License Ready Because You're Going To Get ID'd For EVERYTHING
As a 26 year old I can't stand getting ID'D. It's such a fucking hassle, brother/sister.
I'm over getting ID'd for at least the next 10 years. Then when it happens I'll officially be in the "I'm flattered they think I'm this young" territory. Until then, fucking stop.
Getting ID'd was cool at first when I was 21. I could stick it to the bartender/liquor store employee that I am in fact of age. Now it's just one more thing to do, and if there's one thing I hate doing, it's things. I'm huge with a beard. If you think I'm under 21 that means you think I was born in 1997 or later. You really think my fat ass was born after Biggie got shot? Nah dude. I can vaguely remember watching Princess Diana car crash coverage so yeah I think I can get a bud light without you busting my balls to see my ID.
Part of me understands why they do it, mainly to cover their ass with kids trying to drink and gamble, which is cool, but it is just excessive AF. Any time I got a drink, I was ID'd. Literally every time. If fitbits counting how many times you reached for your wallet I would've hit the 10,000 step mark. I drank and paid for it nearly every time NBD. If you're watching someone gamble and not even partaking on the fun like a small baller it doesn't matter...still getting ID'd. If I had donated to any of the multiple bums I saw I would bet they'd ask me for ID too. I would suggest getting one of those cases that they give NFL season ticket holders to just put your license in to save time.
2. Locals Get To Do Shit For Cheaper
I feel like I didn't word that correctly, but after two years on the blog that shouldn't surprise you. This one isn't necessarily the funniest thing in the world, just something I found interesting and kind of nice of Las Vegas. At many locations in the heart of Vegas they have local rates for Nevada residents. I thought that was a nice gesture because they very easily could be like no fuck you we're gonna charge you $23 for a $15 burger too, but they don't. Claps for you Las Vegas. Worked out real well for us because we hung out with a couple dudes from Gansett who live in Vegas now.
3. It's Extremely White
I'm talking strictly in the casino. I'd say realistically the crowd was 85% white, maybe even higher. I'm no forced diversity for the sake of diversity guy, but man it was like a Creed concert in this bitch.
4. Make Sure You Bring Comfortable Shoes
I fucked up, I took Emaka Ofakor and only brought one pair of sneakers (vans). Boy, oh boy did my feet pay the price. I went shopping and got some new gear for the trip, including the aforementioned vans. Big mistake by ole dozo. They weren't even that stylish and made my feet scream like Chester Bennington (RIPIP). Unless you're lucky enough to acquire a rascal scooter you're gonna be doing a lot of walking in Vegas. Do your dogs a favor and bring shoes that don't make you wish you were in a dead guy like Chester. Cannot stress enough the importance of wearing comfortable shoes while you're out exploring.
5. In-N-Out Burger is Totally Worth The Hype
I didn't take a lot of pictures of my trip, but one I did was the standard In-N-Out plate pic. I'm sure I'll instagram someday. I wrote about the best fast food back in 2016 apparently-today-is-nationalfastfoodday-im-here-to-get-the-debate-started-on-best-and-worst-fast-food-joints.html and did not include In-N-Out simply because I've never had it. If I were to update the list I think it'd earn the top spot. It did not disappoint. Animal Style fries strengthen my faith in the Lord. Plus it was relatively cheap for being in Vegas, so I bet had I been to a regular In-N-Out I bet it would've been even cheaper. Even though it's a small baller move, I'm never mad about saving money.
6. The West Coast Time Zone Fucking SUCKS
Between late nights from being there for a bachelor party, and waking up early to watch/gamble on college hoops sleep was not exactly a priority for the first few days. At first I thought I could just survive not sleeping for five days, but come Friday afternoon I was ready to take a 4 hour nap, which I did. Slept through the entire St. Bonnies game which made losing multiple bets on the game easier to swallow. The West Coast time zone just fucked everything up for me. You don't go out-out until like midnight, then when college basketball starts at 9 am you'll be lucky to get 3 hours of sleep since you need to get to the book early enough to get your bets in. I personally hated it, plus when they have the start times for the remaining games during the day in the corner of the screen you need to do math which is not something I signed up for. Idk about other people, but personally I felt like a real piece of shit being out after 4 am and thinking about how people back home are at work right now. Then when you go home you lose three hours. Not ideal!
7. I am NOT a Strip Club Guy
I knew this long before I went out west but this trip just solidified it for me. I am not a strip club guy. I love titties don't get me wrong, but I'm such a pussy that I can't even enjoy being there. Instead of just enjoying myself, staring at naked women I just can't help but think about how this girl got into her current predicament and it bums me out. Who didn't love you enough? What can I say I'm a romantic? I actually brought up how fucked up these girls live's must be and it really put a damper on the evening. I'm sorry, fellas!
Plus have you ever seen a vagina by itself? Not for me. It was like I was in Walt's Roast Beef these girls did not have a lot of tread left on the tires lololol.
8. There is Nothing More Awkward Than Being in the Front Row of a Strip Club When People Aren't Tipping
One night at the titty bar a bunch of us had front row seats! Well let me tell you, you better have the ones flying like you're a Wright Brother or else you're going to be having a really uncomfortable time. My rule of thumb for tipping was whenever the girl did a cool acrobatic move on the pole, or removed an article of clothing I felt obligated to pay my respect in the form of $1 bills.
Well at one point there was a girl up and I don't want to be crass but she was fugly. She must've been hired on an equal opportunity basis because was not even in the same ball park as the other chicks. Not only that but her pole moves were disappointing to say the least. Maybe her dad owned the club? Who am I kidding she doesn't know her father, she's a stripper! I could deal with a gross girl who could do some cool flips and stuff, but this girl was just sad. Stay in school!
She was not getting much love from me and my friends . As a former delivery driver, I felt guilty. I used to work for tips so I know how it goes. I haaaaaaaaated getting stiffed, and all I did was drive and jam out to some music. You're literally showing me your vagina. Even if it was fowl the least I could do was throw a few ones for the jesture, which I did just because I felt bad. Sure she asks us what was wrong, did she suck (which she did) but that only influenced me a little bit.
9. Being In a Sports Book During the End of a Game Is Incredible
I really am bummed out we didn't get to watch the UMBC upset in a sportsbook, but we did see plenty of games and their spreads come down to the wire. We were in a restaurant outside the book when Seton Hall hit a "meaningless" three pointer to cover and watching the reactions live were priceless. One of the more popular bets on the weekend were "first 15" which is simply where you bet on which team will score 15 points first. Those were some of the most exhilarating bets of the weekend even though I'm pretty sure I went like 0-8 on them.
10. I Love Redheads
After winning bets, nothing made me more excited than coming across a redhead, which couldn't happen enough IMO. Ask my friends, I think I said I fucking love red heads 197 times. Boy, I had no idea I was so into redheads until this trip, but they are now my thing. I will not sleep (except at night) until I find a redhead to be mine. They're delightful and rare and I am extremely attracted to them. If you're a ginger and are reading this, sup? They make the baby hummingbird in my pants flip its wings. That's a boner reference for those not following along. I followed a British red head out of my hotel (not in a creepy way, just pure happenstance) and man let me tell you, if I wasn't terrified to approach women I think she could've been the one.
10. Beer cost upwards of $15 at a bar
I knew Vegas was going to be expensive, but jeez man two beers for the price of a 30 rack after you just got a week's worth of my salary on the roulette wheel? Brutal.
11. Make Sure To Take Pictures
I didn't wanna get my balls busted by my friends for taking pics, and also didn't wanna be on my phone the whole time but I literally have zero pictures from the trip. We have one group photo. If you saw my snap/insta story you saw essentially every photo I took while in Vegas. One day we'll all be dead and have no phones to remember our trip to Vegas. How sad?
12. Don't Break Bro Code
***this older pic was intentionally used s/o t-ror***
Wow look at all the love those tweets got from an essentially inactive, but once v popular twitter account. If only some guy who ran that twitter account in college had a blog and was just waiting for his big break. He's already as, if not more talented than multiple people already working at barstool, how crazy would that be??? I bet if his tweets had the audience they'd get much more love as well.
There have been rumors about URI men's basketball coach Danny Hurley leaving the program for greener pastures pretty much since his first day in Kingston. The "URI is just a stepping stone school for him" narrative was heavy AF from the get go. His name was floated around when Rutgers had a head coaching vacancy. Due to his New Jersey ties it seemed like he was good as gone when the news broke that Rutgers was interested. Instead he signed a contract extension. After six seasons (holy fuck time is flying) as of now he's still here.
The 2017-18 A-10 coach of the year has been linked to two higher profile coaching gigs at the University of Connecticut and University of Pittsburgh. Both can offer him more money and are historically more prestigious programs, so it seems like a no brainer to move on right?
Well, Dan Hurley is not your typical coach. He didn't see URI as a stepping stone, but rather as a blank slate. URI was frankly, an irrelevant program before he showed up. From the 1999-2000 to 2011-2012 seasons the Rams made the NCAA tournament as many times as Alien Ant Farm won a grammy, which for those of you keeping track at home is exactly zero times. It was a program with aside from two Cinderella tournament runs and a coach who invented the fast-break, not much of a legacy. Playing in the A-10 in a relatively nice arena (don't get me started on the Ryan Center's design flaws) the potential to turn this program was there. It was a program that he could turn into his own. Make it his legacy to be the man who turned URI into a respectable basketball program at a national level.
In his 6 years as the Rams HC they've it to March Madness twice. I don't even count the first two years against him because he needed to recruit his own team and TBH if E.C. Matthews doesn't get hurt against American, he probably makes it to the big dance in the 2015-2016 season. So it's basically like 2 tourney appearances in 3 years.
After two straight NCAA tournament campaigns, (both time the Rams were able to win a game) URI is suddenly becoming a power in the A-10. They are talked about on a national scale, not just the ProJo or Narragansett Times. Idk if you know this or not but they had one of the deepest back courts in college basketball.
Despite interviewing with Pitt and UCONN it seems like Hurley is giving the University of Rhode Island every opportunity to hang on to him.
All Hurley wants is for URI (a historically cheap university when it comes to funding athletics) to put a little more money into the program to update it and so he can compete with other schools when it comes to recruiting. If URI is willing to spend millions building a dorm on a sink hole the least they could do is put some resources into the basketball program. I'm sure he wants a little more money too, but I don't think he's asking for too much. They don't need to pay him $4 million a year. I truly believe deep down he wants to stay, but if the school isn't going to invest in the program I understand why he'd move on.
He wants to take care of the coaches he has on staff, and the players on the team with nicer facilities (URI doesn't even have a basketball practice complex). Stuff like that matters when recruiting, shit like locker room and overall swag (what a lame wording by me) can be a deal breaker. I went to URI so I'm not exactly great with math and finances but there's gotta be a way this school with a 125 million dollar endowment can afford to retain one of the best coaches in college basketball.
So essentially Danny Hurley is willing to take less significantly less of a salary to stay at URI and keep building this program into something special if they can stop acting like a division three school when it comes to the athletic budget. In my eyes URI has two options here:
1. Build off the momentum of the last two seasons, and give Hurley what he wants to keep him, turn URI into a perennial tournament team which equals more money from the university in the long run.
2. Let him walk, and hire some nobody on the cheap, go back to being a middle of the road A-10 team that goes nearly two full decades without making the NCAA tournament.
After they lost Jim Harrick in 1999 the Rams replaced him with Jerry DeGregorio who won a grand total of 12 games in two years. I don't wanna wait until I'm 40 to see Rhody dance again. URI already runs a bare bones operation as it is. Their facilities are garbage, they have the minimum number of men's athletic programs to retain division one status. Even if they lose Hurley these are upgrades that need to be made.
The funny thing is I don't even think that Dan Hurley is that great of an x's and o's coach, but he's been so important in changing the culture of this program that you can live with some questionable offensive decisions and inability to close out close games. I truly believe he is what made URI basketball matter again. He is why guys want to come play at URI. The upcoming URI recruiting class is a top 25 class. His name and recruiting ability turned URI from an irrelevant program to a team ranked in the top 20 with NCAA tournament wins in each of the last two seasons.
I've said this for years but I believe Dan Hurley could turn URI basketball into the next UCONN if given the opportunity. I know that sounds crazy but I believe URI could become a Gonzaga like program over time if the school would invest in the program. They play in one of the best mid major conferences in all of basketball, if not the best. Of course UCONN is a bigger school with a bigger budget, but it wasn't always that way. The success of UCONN basketball (both men's and women's) changed everything for the better for UCONN as a university. UCONN basketball wasn't exactly Kentucky, Indiana or North Carolina historically until Jim Calhoun showed up. They made the NCAA tournament just 13 times before Jim Calhoun became their head coach in 1986. Then he changed the legacy of that program forever. 3 National Championships, and a 4th that was won with his team. Storrs, CT isn't exactly a dream place to live for a college basketball star, yet he was able to get guys to go there, win and turn the University of Connecticut into a national title contender. I believe that Kingston, RI could follow suit.
One thing I hate during these debates on paying coaches is the whole "he's already the highest paid state employee". No shit, that's how college sports fucking work.
To quote the great Jim Calhoun in his famous "not a dime back" press conference, he referenced how much money he and the basketball program bring brought into the state of Connecticut. Same could just as well happen for Rhody.
This decision could potentially set the program up for a decade of success or going back to being a boring middle of the pack A-10 team. It really could change the future of the university as a whole. I truly believe that. I think Dan Hurley is the type of coach who could make URI one of the mid major powerhouses. It's a great campus in a nice location, with the hottest girls in New England (there's a URI smoke on barstool like 4 times a week), you can get guys to come here as long as Hurley is around. Dan Hurley wants to stay, all the school needs to do is invest in him and their basketball program. It comes down to simple dollar and cents. Does the University of Rhode Island want to invest in it's athletics as a potential revenue stream for the University or keep cutting corners? Gotta spend money to make money. All I want is for my Alma Mater to at least act like they actually care about winning instead of money.
Been busy with work and travel the last few days but you know I had to pay my respects to the drove of Patriots who moved to(less) greener pastures in free agency. You'd think in the twilight of Tom Brady's career the team would pull out all the stops, do whatever it takes to keep the core of the team together, but the Patriot way doesn't work that way. Fingers crossed there's a greater plan in store because I need the Patriots to be per-annual Super Bowl contenders or else my life has no meaning. When I was a kid I used to get so mad at players for not being "loyal" to the team. But as I've gotten older you realize how much of the league is a business. These guys put it all out on the line for their team, they are let go as soon as it's time to let them walk in free agency. Especially when the Patriots are notoriously cheap when it comes to extending their own guys. As much as I'll miss all these guys and agree that it is a massive loss, these aren't exactly shocking revelations.
Let's look at who the AFC Champions (and winners of 50% of the Super Bowls in the last 4 years) are saying so long to.
Nate Solder: 4 years, $62 million. New York Giants
Of all the guys leaving, this move is the most surprising to me. I'm never gonna fault a guy for going after the money in the NFL where your next snap could very well be your last, but I really thought out of tall the key free agents the Patriots had this was the one they'd keep on to. He's been involved with the community. A full time starter since 2012. Between his backstory with cancer, his charitable matters, and overall role and importance with the team Solder seemed like the one guy the Pats would bring back, like a McCourty or Hightower in their free agent years where multiple key contributors were free agents. There had also been serious rumors that Solder could retire. So in my head he was either coming back to New England or hanging up the cleats.
When you see the money (62 mil) it makes the deal a lot easier to swallow. As a football guy's guy I don't know all the inner workings of the Left Tackle market but I feel like that's a little overpaying for a guy of Solder's caliber. Not to pull a classic Boston kick a guy on the way out but, I'm okay with losing him when that's the cost. I like Solder, but he's not exactly an elite-LT, more of a second-tier guy. He gave the Pats 7 seasons, played on 4 Super Bowl teams and will clearly be missed. They say a good left tackle is like a water heater, you shouldn't even notice he's there. So as long as the Pats replacement can tread water in the NFL I think they can withstand this loss.
Dion Lewis: 4 years, $23 million. Tennessee Titans
Another guy Patriots fans knew was clearly gone, it doesn't make the loss any easier to deal with. Dion Lewis took the Patriots by storm when he emerged as a change of pace to low key work-house back in 2015 after not appearing in an NFL game in 2013 or 14. In 2015 had he not gotten hurt I think the Patriots end up winning the AFC, as the Patriots ability to move the ball on the ground all but evaporated in 2015, causing them to turn to guys like Steven Jackson who with all due respect was already done and finished when he arrived.
After a limited role in 2016 as he was handled with kid gloves coming off a knee injury. Lewis truly had his "I'm back" moment in the divisional round of the playoffs against the Texans where he caught, rushed, and returned a kick off for a touchdown. It was the first time a player had achieved the feat in post-season history.
Had he been relyied on more in the rushing game this season I think Dion could've easily rushed for 1000 yards. On only 160 carries attributed for nearly 900 years on the ground.
With the Titans moving on from Demarco Murray they will have a thunder and lightning backfield of Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis, which quickly becomes one of the most intriguing back fields in the NFL. I personally love the combo with how they complement each other. Even though the Titans made the playoffs in 2017 I think most people would agree they underachieved. Mariota took a serious step back in 2017, although that may be due to playing banged up. I think having a rushing attack of two great backs can only make things easier for Aloha Jesus. Either way I love this signing for the Titans from an impartial stand. The AFC South is seriously no joke, and I think with the next signing the Titans could easily take the next step towards a Super Bowl next year.
Malcolm Butler: 4 years, $62 million dollars. Tennessee Titans
As soon as the whole Super Bowl fiasco occured you knew Malcolm was as good as gone. Honestly the writing has been on the wall for over a year. He has been upset since what most fans would agree should've been his contract was instead awarded to Stephon Gillmore. His name was floated around in multiple trades with the New Orleans Saints. While I wish we knew more about the whole ordeal I'd starting to accept we'll probably never get the answers we want. At least not for a years.Talking like at least 15. Let's hold off of a 30 for 30 right before Belichick dies.
To me Malcolm Butler embodies what being a Patriot is all about. He went from a division 2 nothing, to a star in the blink of eye thanks to his famous interception on the goal line against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX. Always did what was asked, did his job and did it well. He was fantastic during his tenure in Foxboro.
You'd think the fact that he literally stole the franchise a Super Bowl, and has played at a fare above average level since would've earned him a little more credit and respect from the coaching staff. Clearly that was not so. I'm truly bummed out to lose Malcolm, but the fact that we knew it was coming for months makes it much easier to swallow. I'll go to my grave believing if he plays in Super Bowl LII the Patriots are Super Bowl champs. Can't hate Malcolm for getting paid. So jealous he's going to Nashville as I too am trying to get back to the music city and right what was a top three mistake of my life.
When Danny Amendola came into New England before the 2013 season fans were not happy. I can remember being devastated about the loss of Wes Welker, especially considered he landed in Denver; a team who had just defeated the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. The expected heir-apparent did not come close to achieving the statistically success of his would be predecessor in Welker, but was able to do what Welker couldn't. Catch the big passes in the Super Bowl.
Danny Amendola had a more than solid in his Patriot opener. 104 yards on 10 receptions. A perfect performance for the so called "New-Welker". However in that same game it was Julian Edelman's true
I'm a legit WR in the NFL, stop playing me at CB and on the kickoff team moment" when he scored twice and had 79 yards on 7 grabs.
Danny ended up missing a lot of regular season time during his tenure in New England and routinely agreed to take a pay cut to stay in Foxboro. He never had anything close to an 80 catch or 1000 yard season, but what Playoff Dola was able to do in January and Februray made the singing more than worth it.
Dola balled out when it mattered most. Two TDs in the 2014 Divisional Round against the Ravens.
In the Super Bowl he had 48 yards on 5 catches and a scored a 4th down touchdown during the Patriots 10 point comeback.
In Super Bowl LI Amendola had his finest day as a Patriot 8 grabs, 78 yards, a touchdown and the game tying two point conversion. Much like his entire career with the Patriots those aren't exactly earth shattering numbers, but they happened at the most important, clutch times.
Welker obviously had the best regular seasons, and over all career, but come playoff time it's hard to find many Patriots who were more important than Danny Amendola.
Song: Cherry Pie
Don't feel like wasting time using wiki to look up the album title. It's pie (insert pie logo) day. Few hours to blog back at the airport using airport during our layover. #vegas