After his first win of the semester last week, Sports Editor Bobby Olivier has reached deep into his bag of sports questions for Week 10. This week, correspondent Andrew Amadeo will battle staff writers Justin Jez and Josh Caulfield as they discuss who deserves Rookie of the Year honors, what the MLB should do about the current steroids situation and which boxing film tops them all.
1. As the NBA season winds down, several new stars have emerged. Who is your NBA Rookie of the Year and why?
JJ: The Rookie of the Year has to be Derrick Rose. His numbers are arguably the best among rookies and he is the most valuable rookie in terms of contribution to his team. The Bulls are in the playoffs, as of now, and Rose is the biggest reason why. He has carried his team in the fourth quarter numerous times and has proven to be not just a stat-stuffer but a winner. Before the Bulls acquired John Salmons, Rose was the only consistent player on that team. All other notable rookies – O.J. Mayo, Michael Beasley, Russell Westbrook and Brook Lopez – are outside the playoff picture. Not only did Rose generate more wins for his team this year than any other rookie, his numbers of 16.5 points and six steals per game are impressive and ROY- worthy.
JC: Prior to the start of the season, this award was predicted to be between three main candidates as Mayo, Beasley and Rose made their way into the NBA. As expected, all three are having good rookie seasons with their respective teams, but the edge in this race clearly goes to Rose for his electric all-around play. All three are relatively close in terms of scoring with Mayo scoring 18.4 a game, Rose with 16.4 per game and Beasley with a lower 13.3 points per game. The real edge comes from assists, where Rose blows out the competition with 6.2 against Mayo and Beasley with 3.0 and 0.9, respectively. Rose is a playmaker and makes his team much better. All stats aside, how often do you see a point guard come straight out of college and lead his team to a playoff run? Rose is a leader and a winner and should be watched in the future.
AA: I think the winner of this year’s Rookie of the Year award goes to Rose because the man has made the most impact with the best numbers of any other rookie. He is a close second in scoring to Mayo (1.9 ppg difference), No. 1 in assists by far and in the top five for the other categories. Also, he does something that his numbers will not show: lead his team in a way that no other rookie does. He controls the game at point guard and turned a team who was atrocious last year into a contending team this year with hopes of making the playoffs. The Bulls look to be a seven seed in the east, while the Grizzlies will be lucky if they win 20 games.
BO: Everyone had very similar answers for this question as you all picked Derrick Rose to win this season’s Rookie of the Year. Jez gets the 3 here for giving a nice analysis of Rose leading the team to the playoffs. Andrew gets 2 for comparing the playoff-bound Bulls to the hopeless Grizzlies. Josh gets the 1 for giving too many stats and not enough information.
2. Alex Rodriguez does not want the other 103 MLB players who tested positive for steroids to be named. Do you think these names should come out, and if the names are not released, what does this say about the MLB?
JJ: These names should never be released. A-Rod’s shouldn’t have been released in the first place. There was a leak and, big surprise, the biggest name in baseball was made public. The list of 104 players was never supposed to be made public. It was just a preliminary study by the MLB to see how pervasive steroids were in the league. Some people may want to know the names for the integrity of the game, but hasn’t baseball suffered enough from naming names? That list should be burned, buried and forgotten. The MLB gains nothing from releasing those names and faces another massive scandal story in addition to 103 very angry players. They should keep their promise and do their best to keep those names private. Not releasing them says nothing about the MLB except that they are keeping their promise made to those players six years ago and they are not dwelling on the past but looking toward the future.
JC: I do believe everything regarding steroids should just be thrown out from here on in, but come on. Rodriguez was targeted for his outstanding career, and in reality, he did nothing worse than the other 103 players who were on the list. Why should his name be the only one out there? The main reason is because the public demise of A-Rod’s career creates mass media hysteria all over. Turmoil sells, big time. The MLB and Bud Selig should seriously consider opening the list up for the public. Lesser-name players shouldn’t be able to get away with cheating no less than Rodriguez should. It’s evident that the MLB is doing anything they can to turn the page of the steroid era, no matter what it takes.
AA: The names should be released because using performance-enhancing drugs is illegal. You cannot improve yourself by using illegal drugs. You are breaking the rules, and the fans that pay salaries with ticket and jersey sales have the right to know. I understand Rodriguez’s reason for not wanting everyone exposed, but the MLB needs to respect the game and the fans more than the players who broke the rules. If that means that players who we all have looked up to over the years are exposed, then so be it. As much of the truth that can be known needs to be revealed.
BO: Each of you make strong points in your answers but I have to give Jez the 3 here. I agree that the names should not be released as it does not help the MLB move forward. Andrew gets the 2 for mentioning how the fans are involved in all of this. Josh takes the 1 because his argument was the weakest of the three. Sorry buddy.
3. Throughout the years, Hollywood cinema has produced many movies about the sweet science. What is the best boxing movie of all time and why?
JJ: When I think boxing, I think “Rocky.” That answer is probably cliché, but it’s only cliché because when considering Hollywood and boxing, everyone thinks “Rocky.” The harder question is, which Rocky movie is the best? For me, the winner is “Rocky IV.” It’s got everything. It’s the Cold War, patriotism, the fall of a hero (Apollo), redemption, good vs. evil, David vs. Goliath and at the end, two warring nations unite over the spirit of competition. What more could you want? Plus, it has a great soundtrack and the coolest montage ever. No matter my mood I can always watch “Rocky IV,” which is why it’s my greatest boxing movie. Shout out to “Million Dollar Baby” for being the best movie that has boxing in it.
JC: Although it may be a total cliché, there is no other movie that comes to mind before the original “Rocky.” How many movies can you name from the ’70s that have literally been seen at least once by every warm-blooded person in America? We never forget the Italian Stallion, Adrian, Mickey Goldmill or even Paulie. Rocky has so many memorable moments, whether it is the beating taken by giant pieces of meat, or a run through Philadelphia with the background music of “Eye of the Tiger” playing. Perhaps the best reason “Rocky” dominates all other boxing categories is because it’s not the typical underdog sports movie that ends in triumph. The movie kept us on the edge of our seats, especially during the fight scene where we all felt in our hearts that somehow, someway, Rocky would be able to pull it out and defeat the arrogant Apollo Creed. As the final round came and left, our hearts were left empty and wishing for more because we knew Rocky deserved the title. Unfortunately, there were five more, but the original will forever hold a place in our hearts and memories as the best boxing movie ever made.
AA: “Raging Bull,” hands down, is the best boxing movie of all time. It was so well written, directed (Martin Scorsese) and acted (Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci). Other movies such as “Million Dollar Baby” and the “Rocky” movies come very close, but none as good as “Bull.” Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman and Hilary Swank all did great jobs in “Baby,” and Sly Stallone’s performance in “Rocky” was nearly flawless, but they simply fall short to DeNiro side-by-side with Pesci in this masterpiece. It followed the rise and fall of a great and cocky boxer, who allowed his emotions that led him to the top be his ultimate downfall. The fact that it did not win Best Picture and Scorsese and Pesci lost Director and Supporting Actor, respectively, is a crime that many people would agree with today.
BO: Jez takes the 3 and the win on this question as he said everything I love about “Rocky IV” and sold me with the fact that everyone thinks of “Rocky” when they think of boxing films. Andrew takes the 2 for not picking “Rocky” but the classic, “Raging Bull.” Josh, I’m ready to throw you off a building for saying that “Eye of the Tiger” is in the original Rocky. It doesn’t appear until the third movie you fool. Take your measley 1 point and go on your way.
Jez wins his first AtD of the semester, 9-6-3