Alabama at A&M Preview

Posted on October 16th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Texas A&M. No Comments

If the oft-mentioned college football landscape were a physical biome, it would be a post-apocalyptic desert because it is a harsh place where warring tribes battle for limited resources like extras in a Mad Max movie. At this point in the season, there are a lot of good-looking football teams with loyal fan bases who are beginning to whisper to one another that this might be their year. But the desert is where good-looking things go to die, and we are entering the stretch of the season where pretenders are weeded out with fervor and the playoff field begins to actually take form.

Every year college football reminds us how little we actually know about sports, specifically those that hinge on the performance of 18-23 year-old males. Four teams who were listed in the top 10 in the preseason polls – … Read More »

Dirk’s Playoff Persona

Posted on April 9th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

There is a trait that every single successful superhero has in common. It isn’t super strength or unlimited financial resources. It isn’t an equally attractive love interest or a dark past either. Nor is it spandex, masks, gadgets, customized vehicles, or personal tragedy. Although these are all good things for an aspiring sentinel of justice to possess, they are not necessarily required. What is required is the development of a superhero persona. Every superhero has an alter ego. It’s what connects everyone from the Green Arrow to the Green Hornet, from Wonder Woman to Ant Man.

Personas are important for two reasons. Firstly, they allow the individuals to channel all of their abilities, aggression and energy into the present moment. Bruce Wayne can’t just walk into a narcotics storehouse and start wasting drug lords and their henchmen. There are laws against … Read More »

Bernard James – Shanghaied No More

Posted on March 6th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

Bernard James has had a season that is quite different from that of his colleagues. This week he signed a deal with the Dallas Mavericks for the rest of the 2014-2015 season in what will be his second stint with the team. The deal was a follow up to two consecutive ten-day deals with the team, which is pretty standard procedure and not particularly notable in and of itself.

You can be forgiven if you missed the news of the rather mundane signing that took place a couple days ago. Bernard James was not a heavily sought after piece by other teams in the league. He is a familiar name, but not a particularly sexy one. And the only reason that Dallas decided to bring him back on board to shore up the front court depth is because all the talk … Read More »

The Mav-nificent Seven

Posted on February 25th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

Sports, just like movies, are driven by narrative. Everything is a story and we’re all looking for an angle or a new way to tell it. The games are unscripted, live action improv theater and that’s what we love about them. Announcers remind us of this fact all of the time when they blurt out phrases like “You couldn’t write this stuff!”

Each game is a single scene in a motion picture called the season. What makes sports different than drama, and perhaps better than any other form of entertainment, is that nobody- not the audience or the crew or even the actors- knows how the story will end. We spend months watching the season unfold and then suddenly everything moves to a climax and BAM!- its all over.

The Dallas Mavericks season is now rapidly moving towards its climax. The Mavericks … Read More »

The Mississippi Missile

Posted on January 14th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

One year and two weeks ago from today, I was eating with my family at a Ruby Tuesday’s in Jackson, Mississippi. Jackson wasn’t our final destination. It was just the last stop for lunch off the interstate before we checked into a little two room state-run cabin in nearby Bienville National Forest.

But that’s all extraneous information. You have no interest in my family’s past vacation plans, and I would have no interest in sharing this specific anecdote had it not been for a conversation I happened to overhear as I made my way to the restroom. The conversation took place between two men who were seated in a booth near the bathroom. One man was black, one was white, and both were very old and weathered. They sat across from each other and spoke wistfully about whatever it is that … Read More »

Concern for the Mavs?

Posted on December 26th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

Dallas is not the best team in the Western Conference. Nor have they fared particularly well against the teams that are the best in the West. How bad has it been? Well, Dallas has yet to notch a single victory against the four squads ranked ahead of them in the conference standings. They are 1-7 against the current teams in the top-eight. And as they say, “You have to beat the best to beat the best.” If you haven’t heard that before, then I would like to formally welcome you to the realm of sports clichés. Until Dallas’ record against top notch talent improves, be prepared to become well acquainted with the phrase.

Is this concerning? Yes and no. Is that answer a bit of a cop out? Yes, but it’s also the only way to realistically address this problem. The … Read More »

Mavs Players With Something to Prove

Posted on November 14th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

LeBron James leaves his team after a deep playoff run to form a mega-team of hoop studs in the east and shift the power of balance in the NBA. Meanwhile, Dallas makes a trade for Tyson Chandler in hopes that he can anchor their defense and uses a series of savvy free agent signings to build a roster that compliments Dirk Nowitzki and allows head coach Rick Carlisle infinite freedom to tinker. Stop me if you’ve heard this story before.

I’m not saying that history is going to repeat itself again in June, but there are some eerie parallels. Since that 2011 Maverick team, only San Antonio and Miami have hoisted the championship trophy. What made that Dallas team special was that nobody saw them coming. All of those players were motivated by something. Some guys were chasing hard after a … Read More »

Appreciating Dirk

Posted on October 29th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Dallas Mavericks, NBA. No Comments

When I was a 7th grade hoopster with big dreams, I wrote a letter to Dirk Nowitzki. It was preluded by an assignment and a problem. The assignment was vague; a two-page report about a famous person that I looked up to. I, being the devout young fan I was, chose the 7-foot German cornerstone of the Dallas Mavericks. The report was adequate and drew from questionable Internet sources that gave details about Dirk’s childhood and off the court life. In itself, it was unremarkable. Not even my best adolescent work. It would have been easily forgotten had it not been coupled with a problem.

The problem was eligibility. The UIL, the governing sports entity of Texas, requires student athletes pass all of their classes with a minimum average of a 70. This proved to be a struggle for many of … Read More »

Athletes Aren’t Heroes

Posted on August 24th, by Seth Stroupe in All, NFL. No Comments

Athletes aren’t heroes. They never have been. They’re just mortal men and women who happen to be really good at a handful of children’s games we, as a society, have decided to turn into big business. Sometimes it is all too easy to forget that when we see them drag an entire defense on their back into an end zone, or when we watch them throw down a violent dunk over a 7-foot defender. We love the highlights and the on-the-field heroics so much that we are more than willing to look past the occasional moral stumble. But why is that the case?

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Ray Rice, the 3-time Pro Bowl running back for the Baltimore Ravens that was recently made infamous for rendering his then fiancé unconscious in a casino elevator. The incident was brutal. … Read More »

Here Comes the World Cup

Posted on June 9th, by Seth Stroupe in All, Soccer. No Comments

The World Cup is coming this week starting on Thursday, and soon the full focus of planet Earth will fall upon Brazil. Chances are, if you’re like most Americans, you have only the most rudimentary knowledge and passing interest in the sport of soccer. So why should you care? Well here’s five reasons why you should watch the World Cup.

1) Off the Pitch Issues

The world has had its eye on this year’s host nation for some time now. News of corruption, protest and excessive expenditures have been leaking out of the country since Brazil placed the winning bid to host the Cup. Such is the cost of hosting an international spectacle. If Brazil is lucky, they’ll soon be able to distract us from any budget inflation or human rights violation with fireworks and all other manner of shiny things, just … Read More »