Don't Sleep On The Wizards This Year
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Don't Sleep On The Wizards This Year

Washington finally looks legit.

The Washington Wizards have had a very odd year. A slow start plagued them to begin the season, leading to a 2-8 start where they looked horrendous.

Luckily, Washington eventually hit their stride and ended the season 49-33. That was good enough for a Southeast division title and the four seed in the Eastern conference playoff picture.

The Wizards have now been to the postseason three of the past four years. The previous two times, Washington cruised by their first round opponent and looked poised for an Eastern Conference Finals berth. However, they stumbled in the second round and were ousted from contention.

This time around, I believe it will be different.

The Wizards have handled the Atlanta Hawks so far in this first round matchup. They're up 2-0 in the series thanks to a dynamic backcourt.

John Wall and Bradley Beal are lethal in their own separate ways. Wall's mix of speed, athleticism, and court vision has been on full display. He's netted back-to-back 32-point games to go along with 14 and nine assists.

Beal is known more for his versatile scoring ability. He can simply light it up from all areas on the floor.

The duo of Wall and Beal will carry the Wizards past Atlanta. In the second round, Washington will face either the Celtics or Bulls.

Surprisingly, the eighth seeded Bulls have taken a 2-0 series lead over the top seeded Celtics. Boston won't go down easy but a Chicago series victory would make Washington's path to the Eastern Conference Finals significantly easier.

I like the Wizards to make it there regardless. They will probably take on Cleveland for a trip to the NBA Finals on the line.

Washington can definitely give LeBron James and the Cavs a battle. I just don't know if they have enough firepower to get past them. Either way, Washington is a team nobody should sleep on.

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John Ross Doesn't Need An Island

He's about to make a killing.

John Ross is now officially the fastest man in the history of the NFL Combine. He is not, however, the owner of a fancy new island.

For those who don't know what I'm talking about, John Ross, a former wide receiver for the University of Washington, recently broke Chris Johnson's 40-yard dash record after posting a 4.22 at this year's NFL Combine. And at first glance, it looked like he had won an island too.

Still not following? Well let me clarify even further. Before this year's NFL Combine, Adidas made a promise: if any athlete broke Johnson's 40-yard dash record of 4.24, said athlete would then receive their very own $1 million island. However, there was one catch: the record-setter had to be wearing 2017 Adizero 5-star 40 cleats.

And while John Ross did break the record ... he was wearing Nikes.

No island for Mr. Ross.

Now, some of you may be thinking "Well, what an idiot! That guy gave up an island just because he wanted to wear his Nikes. "

But Ross saw it a different way. Take a look at the response he gave when asked why he chose to wear Nikes instead of wearing Adidas and subsequently winning an island.

"Fuck you Adidas, I don't need your damn island. I'm getting PAID!"

And let me tell you: John Ross has already gotten paid. Because Ross, who is apparently a genius, had already signed a deal with Nike before the NFL Draft, and was therefore contractually obligated to wear Nike's new Vapor 4.2 cleats. He wasn't relying on a 40-yard dash to make some money: he knew he was a big deal before he even got to the NFL combine, so he capitalized ASAP.

I'm willing to go as far as to say he probably knew he could beat the record in the first place, and was still smart enough to realize that any athlete in their right mind would rather be with Nike instead of Adidas, regardless of how many islands were up for grabs.

Furthermore, who the hell wants an island? Unless you're Richard Branson, who literally has so much money he doesn't know what to do with it, or Nicholas Cage, who literally has so few brain cells that he has no idea what to do (period), why would anybody want to be responsible for their own island?

What if a hurricane hits it? Or if random people start washing up on shore? And how would you even get there? Would John Ross have bought a chartered a jet to get there? Would he have spent his valuable time learning how to operate a boat just so he could chill out in the middle of nowhere for a few days? (No to that last one, because rational ignorance, remember?)

Basically what I'm saying is islands are stupid, Adidas is still Nike's black sheep little brother, and John Ross was going to be a big deal regardless of whether or not he won his super special (stupid) island.

And Nicholas Cage is a moron.

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Redskins Continue Primetime Woes

Redskins outplayed by Cam and the Panthers on Monday Night Football

With Washington's loss to the Panthers Monday night, they have fallen behind both the Bucs and the Packers in the race for the NFC's second wild card race. This was not a must win (Aaron Rodgers believes World War II was a must win, but never a football game), but the Skins must win the next two and have a loss from both Tampa Bay (@ NO, vs Car) and Green Bay (vs Minn, @ Det)

Washington was touchdown favorites, but their Monday Night Football record is now 28-38. That record is 2-16 at FedEx Field. Yikes.

The Skins did not do too much well tonight. Their defense was the best aspect, but they still allowed 26 points to the downtrodden Panthers and let Jonathan Stewart run all over them. Their offense was dismal. The special teams didn't help and the turnovers certainly hurt the Skins.

Then after so many three and outs and turnovers, the Skins frustration got in the way and Jordan Reed decided to punch a helmet, which got him tossed. Talk about adding insult to injury. Double ouch.

Then there is always the story about Cam Newton sliding and getting hit in the head, but not getting any help from the officiating crew. Instead, Cam got flagged for taunting as he flipped the ball on the Redskins defender.

Nice work Redskins, you definitely set yourselves up for the playoffs tonight.

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Kirk Cousins Is Making Way Too Much Money In 2017


Today, Kirk Cousins made $24 million. Think about that.

That is so much money.

Washington hit Cousins with the exclusive franchise tag today, meaning he will return to the nation's capital next season. As free agency, which begins next week, crept ever closer, Washington and Cousins were nearing an impasse. Washington used the franchise tag on Cousins last year, which meant he would return for 2016, and make a lot of money, and then be a free agent again this spring.

Cousins had a solid year in 2016, throwing for nearly 5,000 yards, completing 67 percent of his passes, and throwing 25 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions. It was a good season, but not really an improvement over his 2015, when he completed a higher percentage of his passes, threw more touchdowns, and threw fewer interceptions.

Of equal importance, Cousins only led Washington to eight wins this past season, one fewer than the previous season.

So Washington, while publicly happy with the 28-year-old quarterback's play, was faced with a dilemma: sign him to a long-term contract and lock up a quarterback who plays decently well, but has a 19-21-1 career record as a starter? Let him walk and head into the offseason ready to rebuild? Or hit him with the franchise tag for the second year in a row, and pay Cousins like a top-three quarterback in the league?

Washington went with the last option. They're now paying $24 million in 2017 to a quarterback who, at 28 years old, has probably reached his prime and has a sub-.500 career winning percentage.

The only quarterbacks making more money than Cousins next season? Andrew Luck ($24.6 million) and gosh darn Drew Brees ($24.3 million).

I think Washington made the wrong decision here. Sure, Cousins had most of the leverage in this decision: Washington didn't want to go into free agency without a solid answer at quarterback, and apparently the team's leadership thinks it's worth paying Cousins all that money to not be a true contender again in 2017.

But it's a poor allocation of money when Washington could've entered a reasonably quick rebuild. Draft a quarterback to groom, re-sign DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon, and take advantage of a very good offensive line with no starters in their 30s.

Give it two years, and Washington probably could've had a quarterback nearly as good as Cousins for a fraction of the price, while freeing up cap space to sign impactful players around him.

Instead, they're paying Kirk Cousins like he's Drew Brees when it's very evident that he is nowhere near a $24 million quarterback.

Safe to say most fans don't like that.

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Dennis Smith Jr. Looks Like THE Guy

Can the talented ACC guard continue success in the NBA?

Duke's Cameron Indoor Stadium is the most storied court in the country, and easily one of the hardest places to play. The students are essentially on top of you on the court, screaming in your ear and filling your head with noise for 40 straight minutes.

Tonight, Dennis Smith Jr. shut all those voices up. In NC State's first win at Cameron since 1995, Smith completely and utterly balled out all on the Blue Devils, dropping 32 points, along with four rebounds and six assists in the two point win.

Smith put on an absolutely dazzling display, with plays like these further impressing NBA scouts:

The question remains if Smith can prove this at the NBA level. Some have raised concerns about his jump shot and his defense, but his driving and ball handling are pretty insane for a 19 year old. He's projected by many as a top five pick in the upcoming draft, with some comparing his game to that of Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. This draft may be deep with guards, but Smith is one of the top ones.

P.S. Grayson Allen hatred video!

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George Washington Stood Up For Its Athletes

Abuse is not to be tolerated.

Mike Lonergen.

I'm sure that's a name that probably doesn't ring a bell to any of you. It definitely didn't for me. As a student athlete that competes in the Atlantic 10 Conference I am pretty familiar with George Washington University, as I'm sure most of you are.

On Saturday, Mike Lonergen, the head men's basketball coach was relieved of his coaching duties. You might ask, so what? Coaches are fired all the time.

Not like this though. This case has a similar feel the Mike Rice situation at Rutgers a couple years back. (Not quite Mike Rice, but a familiar abuse story).

In July, Lonergen was accused of emotional abuse by multiple players and a independent investigation by the Washington Post was conducted. (Here's the full article if you have some time).

The GW Men's team has experienced some success the past couple of seasons, shown by a NIT Championship this past season, which resulted in Coach Lonergen receiving an extension through 2021 (that clearly worked out well). It took guts for the administration to do the right thing.

Lonergan was accused of making comments ranging from telling a player he should transfer to a transgender league and also that one player's son would always be on food stamps. Ouch.

In Lonergen's five year tenure, 13 players have transferred to other schools, which raises some red flags. On the surface this was meaningless, supported by an ESPN report that the transfer rate in college basketball has more than doubled in the past five years to more than 700 players. One player refuted this by saying, "A lot of kids transfer because they have delusions of grandeur. Nobody transferred from GW with delusions of grandeur. They just transferred because they hated (Lonergan). They couldn't stand another second of him."

It seems like there was some real deep hated for the former head coach, and just like most accusation cases, he believes he was wrongfully terminated. This has all the ingredients to make up a messy situation (as if it isn't already), and this could be something to keep an eye on, especially with the season just a couple of weeks away.