Unpopular Opinions: We’re Going In!

There are unpopular opinions and then there are those unpopular opinions that make you stand still in your tracks. Well, hopefully you have nowhere to go because these unpopular opinions will do just that: leave you dead in your tracks. So get your popcorn ready, here we go!

 

“Calvin Johnson was better than Randy Moss.” – Courtlandt Griffin

When we speak of modern day receivers we think long, fast, and great hands….

That description, for a long time, belonged to Randy Moss, whom many consider the greatest specimen to ever lineup outside the numbers. But what if I told you a man they called Megatron was better?

In just nine seasons played, Calvin Johnson tallied a staggering 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns. Compare that to Moss’ 10,700 yards and 91 touchdowns over his first nine seasons and you can see Johnson was a monster in a short time.

I know I’m going to hear, “Moss has better career totals than Megatron though.” Here is my response to that: If you take Johnson’s career averages and plug them in for six more seasons (same as Moss) and his totals and ranks are crazy. In 15 seasons he would have…1217 receptions (4th All-Time), 19365 yards (2nd All-Time), and 137 Touchdowns (4th All-Time).

Another thing for me is the eye test. Mind you, I’m 27 and grew up watching Moss embarrass defenders in double coverage. Megatron was exposing triple coverage on a down by down basis. All this while not having an elite running mate on the other side. Moss had Cris Carter, Jerry Porter and Wes Welker to take pressure off him.

Minus a couple of ill-timed injuries and a Barry Sanders-esque retirement, Calvin Johnson would be a pantheon great. His tape, numbers and overall eye-popping stature all scream for him to be placed on par, if not ahead of the great Randy Moss. Say what you want but for me, Megatron is the better receiver, hands down.

 

“The ACC should have accepted UConn over Pittsburgh.” -Eric Urbanowicz

Back in 2011, the Atlantic Coastal Conference added two colleges as part of an expansion: Syracuse and Pittsburgh. While Syracuse had their ticket already punched, Pittsburgh was chosen over another Big East school, UConn.

All because Boston College was being petty following a lawsuit from when they left the Big East, comments from then UConn basketball coach Jim Calhoun and a desire to be the lone representation of New England in the conference. Something that Boston College administrative director Gene DeFilippo admitted to:

“We didn’t want them in,”  DeFilippo said. “It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.”

How did that work out? Pittsburgh has the advantage at football, including winning one ACC championship. UConn has been better at men’s basketball, winning a National Championship and posting better records collectively.

Women’s basketball isn’t even close, with UConn dominating all women’s basketball. UConn has also had a much better baseball team than Pittsburgh since. So 3-1, UConn has been better and even then, being in the ACC would have led better recruits to Connecticut. So Boston College, was the pettiness worth it?

 

“Lamar Jackson Should not have been the 2019 MVP.” -Kyle Nash

To be clear, this isn’t me condemning Jackson’s performance. I love how he quickly supplanted Joe Flacco as a starter while doing his part revolutionizing his position.

Those who made a cursory analysis of stats would be wildly impressed by Jackson’s ground numbers with 1,206 yards rushing. It provides balance to his comparatively low passing mark of 3,127 yards. On 577 snaps, Jackson is good for all-purpose yardage totaling 4,333. Definitely Pro Bowl level but not 2019 MVP worthy.

Why is this? Russell Carrington Wilson. The potential-Hall-of-Famer demonstrates the ability to make those around him better that is a must for any MVP candidate. His 342 ground yards pale in comparison to Jackon’s mark but Wilson also ran it 101 fewer times. The Seattle signal-caller is a run threat much like his Baltimore counterpart.

Yet, he was trusted to throw the football 115 more times. That would certainly account for Russell’s superior 4,110 yards in the air and the 4,452 yards in combined production on only 14 more total snaps — not to mention fewer interceptions (Wilson’s five to Jackson’s six).

They’re 119 yards apart. What makes it clear that Lamar Jackson robbed the Seahawk quarterback of the 2019 MVP? In a word, support. Baltimore sent 13 players to Orlando for the Pro Bowl, six on offense. Seattle posted three. The only one on offense? — Russell Wilson. I appreciate the Ravens’ quarterback but if you ask me to disrespect Russell Wilson, I say, “Nevermore”.

 

“The Toronto Raptors will represent the Eastern Conference again in the NBA Finals.” -Mike Patton

You hear all the talk of the Boston Celtics, Milwaukee Bucks and that some are even holding on to hope for the Philadelphia 76ers to get it together. Well, there is one team that’s being overlooked and that team is the Toronto Raptors.

The defending NBA champions lost Kawhi Leonard to the Los Angeles Clippers and key role player Danny Green to the Los Angeles Lakers. Everyone expected them to lose more and never resemble the team they were heading into the bubble. The Raptors had other plans, as they are now near the top of the standings.

Even with them being second in the Eastern Conference this year, people still seem to be overlooking them. With the vet leadership of Kyle Lowry, players coming into their own like Fred Van Vleet and Pascal Siakam and the coaching talent of Nick Nurse, the Raptors should be just as big a favorite as anyone in the East.

Alas, people continue to look them over after Kawhi Leonard left this offseason. Well, I’m sure they enjoy that and will be riding that wave into the NBA Finals again.

 

“Mike Tyson is the most overrated boxer of all time.” – Damian Adams

Mike Tyson was a young phenomenon who ran through the heavyweight division by knocking out opponents in record time. Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion of all time. Iron Mike went through a lot of personal issues and turmoil throughout his career but finished his career with 50 wins and six losses, with 44 wins by way of knockout.

Mike Tyson may have the best highlight reel in boxing history with the speed, power and technique he showed in his first few years. How can I call him overrated with such an impressive record?

When it comes to Mike Tyson, you have to look beyond the record. Tyson doesn’t have any great wins. Some fans will say his best win was over Larry Holmes. Holmes is a Hall of Fame boxer but at the time they fought, Holmes was 37 years old, coming off of back to back losses and a year and a half layoff. That is not a great win.

Other fans may say Michael Spinks. Tyson defeated Spinks in very easy fashion. Spinks was a light heavyweight who became heavyweight champion by defeating Holmes. Tyson beating up on a light heavyweight isn’t a great win.

Some fans may say Donovan “Razor” Ruddock. Tyson fought Ruddock twice in very competitive bouts where Tyson came out on top. Ruddock was not a great fighter, he was a heavyweight contender who never held a major heavyweight title belt.

Tyson did not face a lot of the best fighters of his era like, Tommy Morrison, Ray Mercer, David Tua, Riddick Bowe and Michael Moorer, to name a few. If he fought against more of the top guys of the 90s, he would most likely have more losses on his record. When he did fight against the best of his generation, he came up very short.

Fans will make the excuse that he was past his prime against Evander Holyfield. Holyfield is five years older than Tyson, so if Tyson was past his prime, what was the 34 year old Holyfield? Fans will also make the excuse that Tyson was old against Lennox Lewis, even though Lewis is older.

Mike Tyson had a great run to begin his career against not so great competition. We got robbed of seeing Tyson against a prime Holyfield because Tyson lost to Buster Douglas. Tyson fought a past his prime Holyfield and still lost to him twice, getting so frustrated the second time he bit a piece of Holyfield’s ear off.

Tyson was very exciting, which leads to fans remembering his career through rose-colored glasses. Tyson’s resume does not match up to the truly great heavyweights of his era like Lennox Lewis and Evander Holyfield. When you take a look past the numbers and highlights, Mike Tyson is simply overrated.

Mike Patton

Nashville, Tennessee

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