Posts Tagged ‘The War Room’

The War Room Episode 312

Saturday, June 18th, 2016

Jun 16, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) stares at Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) in the fourth quarter in game six of the NBA Finals at Quicken Loans Arena. Cleveland won 115-101. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

 

 

Check out the latest episode of #TheWarRoom (The Best Podcast Since Al Gore Invented The Internet), featuring JRSportBrief, on the #WarRoomSports Podcast Network!

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/war-room-are-legacies-at-stake/id876851099?i=1000370868076&mt=2

Youtube: https://youtu.be/6cb5ul8Xo9E

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/warroomsports/the-war-room-are-legacies-at-stake-during-these-nba-finals-ft-jr-sport-brief-ep-312

BlogTalk: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thewarroom/2016/06/16/are-legacies-at-stake-during-these-nba-finals-ft-jr-sport-brief-ep-312-1

Pocket Casts: http://pca.st/1cnR

Peter King Drops By The War Room!

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

PK Ad

 

SI.com MMQB’s Peter King will be in The War Room this Thursday, November 20th, to discuss several pressing issues in the NFL!

Tune in Thursday, November 20th at 6pm EST to hear our conversation with the accomplished journalist!  To tune in, go to www.WarRoomSports.com and click the “Listen Live” button…or dial 323-410-0012 to listen live by phone.  If you can’t catch us live, listen to the replay at ANY time after the live show on the War Room Sports Podcast Network, at www.WRSPN.com.

In the meantime, visit Peter King’s MMQB website to read he and his team’s latest articles at www.mmqb.si.com

…and follow Peter King on Twitter at: @SI_PeterKing

And while you’re at it, join the War Room Sports Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/WarRoomSports to talk sports 24/7 and follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WarRoomSports (@WarRoomSports)!

Finally, if you own an Android phone or tablet…an I-Phone, I-Pad, or I-Pod, please go to your Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the FREE War Room Sports mobile app!  It’s the VERY BEST way to stay up on all of our media content!

Tracey Lee to Co-Host The War Room!

Monday, October 27th, 2014
It's "Party Time" in The War Room this week!

It’s “Party Time” in The War Room this week!

Hip-Hop Recording Artist Tracey Lee will be back in The War Room this Thursday, October 30th, this time as a special guest co-host.  We’ll discuss his hiatus from the rap game, his long-awaited, newly-released album “ESQ. The Revelation”, and of course his thoughts on the latest in the world of sports!

Tune in Thursday, October 30th at 6pm EST to hear “T-Lee” chop it up at the round-table with the “War Room Generals”!  To tune in, go to www.WarRoomSports.com and click the “Listen Live” button…or dial 323-410-0012 to listen live by phone.  If you can’t catch us live, listen to the replay at ANY time after the live show on the War Room Sports Podcast Network, at www.WRSPN.com.

In the meantime, visit T-Lee’s website to get info on how to get his latest album at http://traceyleemusic.com/

…and join the Tracey Lee Facebook Fan Page at:

https://www.facebook.com/TraceyLeeFanPage

And while you’re at it, join the War Room Sports Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/WarRoomSports to talk sports 24/7 and follow us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/WarRoomSports (@WarRoomSports)!

Finally, if you own an Android phone or tablet…an I-Phone, I-Pad, or I-Pod, please go to your Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the FREE War Room Sports mobile app!  It’s the VERY BEST way to stay up on all of our media content!

WRS Book Review – Sugar Ray Leonard: The Big Fight

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

by Jimmy Williams

JW Blog

 

 

 

 

SRL

I always find it amusing when people judge an athlete’s performance based on how they feel about them as a person.  I mean I get it, but it still makes no sense.   You can be a horrible human being and allegedly kill your ex-wife and her friend, get acquitted, and later be sent to prison for robbing someone of your own belongings.  That does not mean you were not one hell of a running back.  What does that have to do with Sugar Ray Leonard and his book you ask?  Well before reading this book I had a picture of Sugar Ray that has completely changed. Before starting this book I always looked at Ray Leonard (I’m not going to keep calling that man Sugar, Yo!) as a member of the Abnegation faction but now I see him as a member of the Dauntless faction.  If you’ve never read the Divergent books or seen the movie, that last sentence will make no sense to you; but if you have, you will recognize my genius.

I’ve read a lot of athletes’ memoirs and boxers seem to be the most transparent and have the most interesting stories.  Then again, someone who makes a living trying to hurt another human being while also taking punishment from said human being has got to be off their rocker to begin with.  Mike Tyson has set the bar in terms of being transparent and having an amazing story, so Ray Leonard’s book had a lot to live up to.  Although Ray Leonard’s book was released first, I read the Tyson book first.  This is no Tyson story but it is interesting in its own way (S/O to Todd Bridges for inspiring Ray Leonard to tell his story).  I grew up in the Tyson era so I knew of many of his hardships and troubles.  My opinion of Ray Leonard before this book was of someone who was articulate, athletic, marketable, a nice guy who happened to be a pugilist specialist (No Bosh).  My brother B. Austin believes that Ray Leonard is overrated in terms of his boxing ability and I’ve always disagreed.  One thing we’ve always agreed on is his image.  That image has been shattered by his honesty in this book where he speaks about faking blackouts to make weight, sexual assault, drug abuse, and his obsession with finding “talent” in various cities for the purpose of fornication.  A lot of time is spent discussing how he disrespected his first wife and how he was addicted to intercourse with all types of women.  Don’t get me wrong, all men love yoni (unless you live an alternative lifestyle, and if you do, God bless you) but boxers seem to be bigger addicts then most of us.

There are also parts of this book that make you appreciate Ray Leonard as a pugilist.  It’s obvious how serious he took his sport and how he strategized before fights.  It’s also great to hear the respect he has for his fellow boxers, especially the men with whom he had his classic bouts.  Another part of the book that made me appreciate Ray Leonard the athlete was how serious he took self-improvement and wanting to be a well-rounded person.  He worked on his speech and image.  He also talked about how many Blacks considered him a “sell-out” because he was well spoken.  I can relate to that.  Many of us have self-hatred that goes back to slavery and how systematically we were made to see ourselves as inferior (I won’t get into that now).  I remember I was once called spoiled because I knew who both of my parents were (WTF?).

After reading this, I have a completely different idea of who Ray Leonard is/was. I respect him for being open and honest about his life even though he doesn’t come off as the good guy at all.  We live in a world where everyone is judgmental and wants to hold people to higher moral standards than we do ourselves.  I’ve also read athletes’ biographies where they talk about their life as if they did no wrong and they are the perfect person (S/O to Shaq), and we all know that’s unrealistic and a bunch of cow dung.  I would recommend this book to all sports fans, especially people who are fans of the “sweet science”.   Ray Leonard may not be the man he was marketed to be but he is brutally honest and maybe someone can learn something from his story.  I doubt it though, because “The Nookie” has been making men do stupid things since the beginning of time, and some things never change.

 

Jimmy “The Blueprint” Williams of War Room Sports

After Further Review (#551)

Monday, July 14th, 2014

by Christopher Dinkins

 

 

 

Christopher Dinkins Blog

 

 

 

 

After Further Review

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #551 SHOUTOUT to you REGGIE KING…..((MLB)) winners include ORIOLES (5)….CLEVELAND….REDS….METS….NATIONALS….RAYS….BREWERS….ROYALS….RED SOX….ATLANTA….ANGELS….GIANTS….ATHLETICS….DODGERS….TWINS….slamalicious !!!!!……BUSTER POSEY and MASON BUMGARTNER (giants) both hit GRAND SLAMS in win over DIAMONDBACKS…….LONG STREAK (angels 5) WRONG STREAK (rangers 8 )…..***HOME RUN DERBY tonight (8pm/FOX)***…..AFTER FURTHER REVIEW says watch GIANCARLO STANTON (marlins) and JOSE BAUTISTA (blue jays)…..gonna discuss tonight on THE PARTLY SONNY CRUISE SHOW (7-10pm/646-478-5337)……((SOCCER)) ***WORLD CUP FINAL*** GERMANY 1 ARGENTINA 0……..so its over and hopefully MLS will get a boost from the event……((ummmm…go RED BULLS))…..((WNBA)) SPARKS 90 (n.ogwumike 24) SUN (c.ogwumike 16)…..LYNX 77 (moore 26/12) STORM 60 (little 17)……MERCURY 90 (dupree 19) STARS 61 (alexander11)……DREAM 81 (mccoughtry 33/10) SKY 79-OT(quigley 27)……LONG STREAK (mercury 10) WRONG STREAK (sky 5)….***WNBA ALL STAR GAME—JULY 19***….((BOXING)) SAUL “CANELO” ALVAREZ v ERISLANDY LARA was a good fight closer than some gave it credit for….((AFR had it 115-113 LARA))….there will be a rematch sometime down the line….((NHL)) BRANDON DUBINSKY (blue jackets) extends for 6YR/$35.1M….the STANLEY CUP is the coolest of ALL sports trophies…it gets to go everywhere and people are drinking champagne out of it..eating ice cream out of it…..making it a centerpiece…..gotta love LORD STANLEY’s cup…….((TENNIS)) LINDSAY DAVENPORT….CHANTAL VANDIERENDONCK….NICK BOLLETIERI….JANE BROWN GRIMES….JOHN BARRETT inducted into INTERNATIONAL TENNIS HALL OF FAME……CONGRATULATIONS !!!!!……((GOLF)) ****OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP**** starts thursday……and yes ELDRICK/TIGER will be in the building……getting it in…..we still believe that you will win !!!!!…….SALUTE to everyone who checks for AFTER FURTHER REVIEW……we do appreciate it …….for real…for real….we don’t have to indulge every SPORTS conversation…..but when we there WE are there……and available to be tested………for real..for real……TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “THATS THE WAY OF THE WORLD” -EARTH WIND and FIRE…….its MONDAY….pick ya face up……the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!!…….AFR.

 

Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of the After Further Review Podcast, for War Room Sports

WRS Book Review: The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

by Jimmy Williams

JW Blog

 

 

 

 

 

taylor_branch_b

Should college athletes be paid?  That is a question I hear at least once a week these days as I spend my time trolling on the internets.  I do believe there should be some sort of compensation but I’m not exactly sure if it should be, in the words of the prophet Randy Moss, “Straight Cash Homey”.  I have read essays and listened to speeches that fall on both sides of the argument and I understand how complicated of a situation it is.  Unlike most internet trolls I try to do as much research as possible and form my own opinions.  Where I come from there is a “sign on the door that says no biting allowed”.  This is how I came across this book “The Cartel: Inside the Rise and Imminent Fall of the NCAA”.  While reading essays and listening to interviews and speeches, as well as watching documentaries, this book was constantly referenced.  So I went on to my Kindle (I don’t do regular books because I’m saving the environment and what not) and purchased this book.

 

Taylor Branch does a great job of discussing this concept of “Amateurism” and how it is a bunch of “mamba-jahambo”.  One of the more interesting stories in this book is the journey of Walter Byers, who was the first executive director of the NCAA.  He was there from 1951-1988 and once he was ghost he spilled the beans.  He started making statements such as:

 

“The college player cannot sell his own feet (the coach does that) nor can he sell his own name (the college will do that). This is the plantation mentality resurrected and blessed by today’s campus executives.”


-Walter Byers

 

There are many reasons he feels this way and those are discussed in detail in this book, such as the mentality of coaches and administrators, to the legality of providing workmen’s comp, to the overall hypocrisy of the NCAA, etc.  This book gives a detailed history and lays out a serious argument.

 

Growing up in inner-city Philadelphia I know many people who wanted to, and still want to play big time college athletics.  They feel like “You either slanging Crack Rock or You Got a Wicked Jump Shot”.  This is a sad mentality but it’s real.  The sad part is this book shows how although many “Student Athletes” are given scholarships, those scholarships have no value based upon the current system in place.  When you look at the big time programs you see most “Student Athletes”, even down to back up punters, believe they are going pro.  This is sad when according to Branch, “Approximately 1 percent of NCAA men’s basketball players and 2 percent of NCAA football players are drafted by NBA or NFL teams”, stated the 2001 report, basing its figures on a review of the previous ten years, “and just being drafted is no assurance of a successful professional career”.   The student athletes don’t take the college experience seriously nor do they take their studies seriously.  I didn’t play big time college sports but I initially didn’t take my studies serious because I wanted to become a professional Yam Farmer, so I dedicated my time to trying to master my craft.  The difference is I had professors and old-heads that reeled me in and made me focus, and eventually I finished Magna Cum Laude (Not to be confused with Magna Garbage Holy Fail).  A lot of these student athletes aren’t forced to take their studies seriously because they are being used to generate revenue.  And the sad part is there are some professors and faculty that try, and they are punished if they push too hard and it interferes with the athlete’s ability to produce on the field/court.  There are many examples of this also in the book.

 

“But thanks to Reaganomics, prisons turned to profits
Cause free labor is the cornerstone of US economics”

-Killer Mike, “Reagan”

 

I’m not saying the current system of college sports is similar to the prison industrial complex but if the shoe fits…….

 

So if you are a fan of college sports or interested in creating a system to take advantage of others while making massive amounts of scratch, you should read this book.

 

Jimmy “The Blueprint” Williams of The War Room, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#531)

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

by Christoper Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog

 

 

 

 

After Further Review

 

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #531 SHOUTOUT to you JIM TAYLOR…..((NBA)) **THE FINALS** SPURS 111 (leonard 29) HEAT 92 (james/wade 22)—sa 2-1..HERO-KAWHI LEONARD/GOAT-MIAMI (so called) FANS…….SUGAR K LEONARD had a big game and SPURS made 75% of their shots in a climate controlled AMERICAN AIRLINES ARENA…..SPURS are halfway to NBA TITLE……wanna hear the explanation from these HEAT supporters…..once they get the foot out of their mouths…..((MLB)) winners include YANKEES….DIAMONDBACKS….RED SOX….PHILLIES….CUBS….TWINS….DODGERS….METS….CARDINALS….MARLINS….ROYALS….ATLANTA….ANGELS(14)….NATIONALS….(tigers-white sox…postponed)…….LONNIE CHISENHALL (cleveland) sent his 9 RBI bat to COOPERSTOWN aka MLB HALL OF FAME…..there were THRE home runs in that bat too !!!!!……MANNY MACHADO (orioles) gets 5 game suspension for throwing bat in (general) direction of JOSH DONALDSON (athletics)……AFTER FURTHER REVIEW MLB ALL STAR GAME votes coming in two weeks…….wait foooooor it…wait foooooor it…..((NFL)) SEAN WEATHERSPOON (falcons) tears his Achilles and is out for season……keep tellin all you “predictors” and “early bird pickers” to wait until rosters are sort of settled before making your GRAND PRONOUNCEMENTS….they are kinda hollow…but if that’s how you do….remain limited then…….SHOUTOUT to CALLERS to THE BIGGER SHOW last night ((KIA…MR HOLLYWOOD…BRIAN (first time)…SHAWN BLACK…MATT (first time) ))…we definitely chopped it up on all SPORTS issues….yep ALL SPORTS……don’t get mad…its just how we do over here…..SHOUTOUT to LISTENERS ….we see you too !!!!!!….((WNBA)) SHOCK 72 (diggins 21) LIBERTY 57 (charles 25)….MERCURY 81 (griner 20) MYSTICS 66 (meeseman 14)….STORM 80 (wright 17) SKY 76 (prince 18)……send one up for ELENA DELLE DONNE (sky) as she deals with recurring case of lyme disease…..AFTER FURTHER REVIEW WNBA ALL STAR GAME picks coming next week….((NCAAHOOPERY)) they couldn’t keep it away forever …..SYRACUSE (ACC) and GEORGETOWN (AAC) will continue their rivalry in 2015-16 with a four year home and home series….that’s what im talkin’ about….((NCAAF)) OKLAHOMA and TEXAS will keep RED RIVER RIVALRY at COTTON BOWL until 2025….good lookington….((SOCCER)) ***WORLD CUP*** BRAZIL gonna have it poppin for the next few weeks as tournament starts tomorrow…..AFTER FURTHER REVIEW will make WORLD CUP pick tomorrow…that’s how you TALK SPORTS….don’t know a lot about ONE thing…know a little about EVERYTHING…..that’s how you talk SPORTS…..don’t knooooooow what some of yall call yourself dooin……but oh well….like JAYZ said it “you are limited”……you don’t wanna be “limited”….okay ???…okay…..NHL GAME of the day KINGS v RANGERS game 4/STANLEY CUP FINALS (8pm/NBCSN)…..KINGS lead 3-0…..ummmmmm….LETS GOOOOOOO RANGERS !!!!!!…..MLB GAME off the day TWINS (hughes) v BLUE JAYS (stroman)…..WNBA GAME of the day STORM (4-6) v FEVER (4-4)…..TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “HIT IT RUN” -RUN DMC……its HUMP DAY…..get over it….the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!…….AFR.

 

Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of GeeQue Palace Sports, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#529)

Monday, June 9th, 2014

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog

 

 

 

 

After Further Review

 

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #529 SHOUTOUT to you ERIC DICKERSON…..((NBA)) ***THE FINALS** GAME 2—HEAT 98 (james 35/10) SPURS 96 (parker 21)— tied 1-1…..HERO–LEBRON JAMES/GOAT–TONY PARKER/TIM DUNCAN….seems like SPURS from last years FINALS showed up (missed free throws did NOT help)…LEBRON rehydrated and all that……BOSH contributed heavily…HEAT only had 12 points off the bench…series shifts to MIAMI for GAMES 3 &4…..will keep you posted like AFTER FURTHER REVIEW does…..((NHL)) ***THE FINALS*** LOS ANGELES KINGS lead NEW YORK RANGERS 2 games to 0….how many two goal leads can NY let get away ???…. BLUESHIRTS are playing well but it seems like KINGS pressure is busting RANGERS pipes right now…but stranger things have happened….LETS GO RANGERS !!!!!……((MLB)) winners included ROYALS…CARDINALS…REDS…ATHLETICS…BREWERS…MARINERS…ASTROS…MARLINS…CLEVELAND…ANGELS…GIANTS…NATIONALS…DODGERS…DIAMONDBACKS…RED SOX……it was going down in ORIOLES-ATHLETICS series…MANNY MACHADO (orioles) throwing his bat in the direction of JOSH DONALDSON (athletics)…..LONG STREAK (giants 5) WRONG STREAK (mets 6)…..((WNBA)) LIBERTY 81 (pondexter 21) MYSTICS 64 (lawson 17)…….LYNX 85 (augustus 26) SPARKS 72 (parker 24/11)……U.S.A !!!…..U.S.A !!!…..U.S.A !!!……WOMEN win three on three WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP over RUSSIA 15-8…. umm MEN finished 2-4……hmmmmmm….((BOXING)) SALUTE to MIGUEL COTTO for being first PUERTO RICAN fighter to win titles in FOUR different weight classes !!!…he put on a display against (a finished??) SERGIO MARTINEZ …looked like somebody was ready AND somebody wasn’t……SALUTE to all the newly inducted members of INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME……((TENNIS)) ***FRENCH OPEN** RAFAEL NADAL over NOVAK “NO JOKE” DJOKOVIC (3-6.7-5.6-2.6-4) and wins MENS FRENCH OPEN title for NINTH time at ROLAND GARROS ….and FIFTH time in a row !!!!!…..ladies side…..MARIA SHARAPOVA over SIMONA HALEP (6-4.6-7(5).6-4) to win WOMENS FRENCH OPEN title for SECOND time in THREE years…..((GOLF)) BEN CRANE wins ST JUDE CLASSIC with a (3 over 73) …wins by one stroke…….ladies side…..INBEE PARK wins MANULIFE FINANCIAL CLASSIC with (10 under 61)…wins by three strokes…..((NASCAR)) DALE EARNHARDT JR wins at POCONO SPEEDWAY ….MATT CRAFTON wins truck race at TEXAS SPEEDWAY on fume gases…..((SOCCER)) ***WORLD CUP***..ummm….UNITED STATES gotta deal with serious competition ((GHANA..GERMANY…PORTUGAL)) in their group….hope for best…prepare for something else…..NHL GAME of the day KINGS v RANGERS—-la 2-0 game 3/FINALS (8pm/NBCSN)….MLB GAME of the day NATIONALS (strasburg) v GIANTS (vogelsong)……TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “MY UZI WEIGHS A TON”-PUBLIC ENEMY……its MONDAY……go get that and hold it down !!!!!…..the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!!!!!…..AFR

 

Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of GeeQue Palace Sports, for War Room Sports

After Further Review (#526)

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

by Christopher Dinkins

Christopher Dinkins Blog

 

 

 

 

After Further Review

 

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW #526 SHOUTOUT to you ROD WOODSON…((MLB)) winners include ATHLETICS(10)…CLEVELAND…NATIONALS…BLUE JAYS…MARINERS…REDS…MARLINS…ROYALS…ORIOLES…CUBS…TWINS…ASTROS…just a heads up MLB PLAYOFFS start on SEPTEMBER 30… for those who like to celebrate CHAMPIONSHIPS in JUNE ((hahahahahahaha))…..DIVISION LEADERS ((al- TORONTO…DETROIT…OAKLAND…wc–LOS ANGELES…BALTIMORE))…((nl- ATLANTA…MILWAUKEE…SAN FRANCISCO…wc–LOS ANGELES…MIAMI))…..still a long way to go…we will see who leads divisions on JULY 1/AUGUST 1……((NHL)) ***STANLEY CUP FINAL*** NEW YORK RANGERS v LOS ANGELES KINGS game 1 TONIGHT !!!!!….8pm/NBC…..AFTER FURTHER REVIEW says RANGERS in 7……speed will overcome physicality….the “KING” will outplay the KINGS…….((WNBA)) DREAM 93 (desouza 27) SPARKS 85 (lavender 21)……MERCURY 87 (taurasi 20) STORM 72 (langhorne 27)…….AFTER FURTHER REVIEW WNBA TOP 5 rankings 1.MINNESOTA LYNX (7-0) 2.CHICAGO SKY (5-1) 3.PHOENIX MERCURY (3-1) 4.WASHINGTON MYSTICS (3-2) 5.LOS ANGELES SPARKS (2-2)…..((TENNIS)) **FRENCH OPEN** NOVAK “NO JOKE” DJOKOVIC over MILOS RAONIC (7-5.7-6(5) 6-4)…..ERNESTS GULBIS over TOMAS BERDYCH (6-3.6-2.6-4)…..ladies side….MARIA SHARAPOVA over GABRINE MUGURUZA (1-6.7-5.6-1)…..EUGENIE BOUCHARD over CARLA SUAREZ NAVARRO (7-6(4).2-6.7-5)……its going down at ROLAND GARROS……MLB GAME of the day WHITE SOX (danks) v DODGERS (beckett)……NHL GAME of the day RANGERS v KINGS game 1/STANLEY CUP FINAL….TRUE SCHOOL JAM of the day “DONT STAND SO CLOSE TO ME” – THE POLICE……its hump day….get over it…..the BALLISTICS have been kicked !!!!……..AFR.

 

Christopher “The Mayor” Dinkins of GeeQue Palace Sports, for War Room Sports

One Nation, One Team, #LanDone

Saturday, May 24th, 2014

by Veree Bampoe-Addo

 

Landon Donovan (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Landon Donovan
(Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

USMNT supporters were outraged Thursday afternoon when the final 23-Man World Cup roster was revealed. None of us expected this. The most notable player we were all expecting to see wasn’t a part of it. Imagine in 1992 seeing the final Dream Team roster set for Barcelona without MJ? You get the point. Considering the man’s contributions to the growing of US Soccer (Google his accomplishments), he deserves to be on the roster. I’m a big fan of Klinsmann – I followed his career in the 90’s when he made monumental contributions to the success of the German National Team but this move leaves a dark spot on his coaching resume. Being Ghanaian, born here in the States, I support both USMNT and Ghana when it comes to international soccer (imagine the conflict I’ve had the last 2 World Cups). However this move Klinsmann pulled makes me not even want to root for USA in this World Cup…. definitely made it a lot easier for me to root against them when they play Ghana in the opener on June 16th. A power struggle is the only reasonable conclusion I can draw when you take 18-20 year-olds with less than 5 caps combined over Donovan. I’m surprised that the U.S. Soccer Federation concurred his decision. How can you go into this tournament without your icon, proven veteran, the most accomplished player in your program’s history, and fan favorite? I understand Landon going on hiatus during the qualifiers last year didn’t help his case, I also understand he’s 32, and doesn’t have the speed and endurance like he did 4 years ago – I sort of realized that in the last friendly match vs Mexico a few months ago when he subbed in late in the game. He didn’t look sharp but that may have been him not having sufficient playing time to warm up. The least Klinsmann could have done would be to add him as a reserve, even on the bench. His invaluable experience would serve this team well from a mentoring standpoint.

A good World Cup team consists of the right combination of veterans and young players. Only 5 (Beasley, Bradley, Howard, Altidore and Dempsey) of the USMNT’s 23 players have previous World Cup experience. At age 33, Klinsmann captained the German National Team in the 98 World Cup, so at age 32, you would think Landon Donovan has at least 1 more WC left in him. Our program here is not as prolific as Brazil’s who can turn over their World Cup roster every 4 years and yet compete at a high level. I remember ramblings about Ronaldinho not being a part of their 2010 team. With or without Donovan, USA has a tall order being in the “Group of Death” with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. The youngsters just might be intimidated by being in the presence of the top players in the World – Ronaldo, Essien, Ozil, Muller, Nani etc… Landon is on the same plateau as the aforementioned so I like USA’s chances better with him on the roster. It’s disappointing that this happens at a time where interest in U.S. Soccer is rapidly expanding (credit Donovan’s notoriety among the fans as well as “The Outlaws”) – fans will be turned away, ratings and merchandise sales will be also be affected. I started to call World Soccer Shop to cancel my Jersey order after I heard the news – but ultimately decided against it. I’ve seen several marquee players play in their last World Cup Tournament late in their career (Maradona, Henrick Larsson, Zidane) so a part of me is not accepting that we’ve seen the last of Landon Donovan in a World Cup. Didier Drogba and Miroslav Klose will both be 36 when the tournament commences but made their respective national teams’ final cut. Depending on what Donovan does in the next 4 years, there’s a possibility that he gets a call up for the 2018 World Cup at age 36, Klinsmann’s contract will be up by then. Also who knows what will happen between now and kick off on June 16th. Just saying, it could happen. I don’t believe “Lan-done”.

 

Veree Bampoe-Addo of The Sports Forum, for War Room Sports