Inspired 2.9

I found this great quotable quote to kickstart the week both literally & figuratively.

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude” – Dabo Sweeney

Need I say more.  Make this a fantastic week no matter what you may face.  It’s amazing how things change when you make a decision to put things in ultimate perspective.  Just keeping it real with all my ninjas.

Keeping it Real

Keep It Real Ninja Style


Aurie Asks – Who’s Your Pick For Superbowl XLVI??

Next Sunday is the Superbowl rematch of 2007. The New York Giants face the New England Patriots. Last time, the Giants were able to spoil a perfect & historic season by the Patriots. What will happen this time around?

I haven’t done a poll in a while, but I encourage you to share this poll with your your social circles alike….


2011 March Madness

It’s that time of year again!  It’s March Madness.  One of most enjoyable things to do each spring is to fill out my NCAA tournament brackets.  I haven’t taken any official bracketology course, but I’ve been doing this since 1998.  What does this all mean?  Absolutely nothing, but I always have fun with it.

I have created a group on ESPN’s Tournament Challenge called…you guessed it…Experience Aurie Group: Fill out your Tournament Brackets here.  A little healthy competition never hurt anyone and I encourage anyone to takes an interest in this to participate for fun.  This year’s college basketball landscape has been filled with uncertainty as it relates to who could go all the way.  This leads to an exciting time for folks to fill out their brackets and maybe shock the world along with all of these team of hopefuls looking for glory.

Here is this year’s bracket in all it’s splendor.  You can click the image in a new tab and make it larger as well as zoom in for the most ideal viewing.  Who do you have going all the way this year?  Post your answer in the comment section below.

EAT One: The NBA Is Back

I am pleased to introduce you to the “Experience Aurie’s Take” – “E.A.T.” series of blog entries.  From time to time, I will dig into one of my biggest passions – Sports – in order to lend perspective the way I see things.  Be sure to follow the tag “EAT’ as the series grows.


Am I falling back in love with baseketball at the NBA level again?  How about a resounding yes.

Billed as one of the most anticipated – if not the most anticipated – season openers in NBA history, the new look Miami Heat stepped onto the court of the new Boston Garden to face the defending Eastern Conference Champion Boston Celtics.  Although I wasn’t there in person, I heard that the atmosphere was so electric, you thought it was the NBA Finals.  The media coverage of the Lebron “Decision” had really set the stage for what took place on opening night.  Here you have the quintessential power struggle of the new “Big 3” trying to depose the older “Big 3.”

Big Three


Big Three

The bigger picture for the NBA is that there is officially more interest in this season than there has been in easily a decade.  Whether you are rooting for or against the Miami team, it is evident that the league is better for this super team coming together.  You now have more quality at the top of the East unlike in previous years where the Western teams have been quite dominant overall.  Having more relevant teams across the largest population centers is great for the professional game.  In past years, I admit that I started to look forward to college basketball more than I did the NBA. This was because I knew that I didn’t need to watch NBA games with any interest until April because there was no real intrigue until the best teams were playing meaningful games.  Now with all of the controversy and the shifting of talent across the country, there are more quality match ups night in and night out.  As I see it, the West is still very dominant, but I can now look forward to teams in the East that have a legitimate chance to be great.  Here are my preseason picks for the playoffs in this NBA season.

Western Conference – The Wild West

  1. LA Lakers*
  2. Dallas Mavericks*
  3. Oklahoma City Thunder*
  4. Portland Trailblazers
  5. Denver Nuggets
  6. Utah Jazz
  7. San Antonio Spurs
  8. LA Clippers

Eastern Conference – Beasts of the East

  1. Orlando Magic*
  2. Boston Celtics*
  3. Miami Heat*
  4. Chicago Bulls
  5. Atlanta Hawks
  6. Milwaukee Bucks
  7. Philadelphia Sixers
  8. New York Knicks

I know that many will argue with either the selections or the rankings, but this is what I want to see happen based on everything that I’ve seen so far.  In my opinion, the teams with an asterisk all have a legitimate shot to make it to their conference finals and possibly the NBA finals.  Provided that injuries don’t decimate some of the lower ranked teams, I think that the games are going to be more competitive than people think.  I have been nostalgic for the days of Sunday afternoon NBA on NBC programming when you looked forward to huge rivalry games between teams like the Knicks, Bulls, Pacers, & Heat in the East…Lakers, Spurs, Rockets, & Suns in the West.  Maybe this new generation can create a new era of glory days in the National Basketball Association.

All I can say to everyone who loves the game is stay tuned….

Classic Basketball Movie

Newcastle United Lineup on Playstation, FIFA 2010

As you all know may know, I am a big time football fan (soccer for the Americans). I am dedicating this post to the huge debacle of a game between Manchester United & Newcastle United on 17/Aug/2010. It was pretty nightmarish to see how overmatched Newcastle was against Sir Alex Ferguson’s machinery that is known as the Red Devils. My favorite team growing up was always Crystal Palace & Liverpool back in the late 80s and early 90s. However, Newcastle is a team that I’ve always liked and root for especially since they are in and out of relegation nowadays. They are such a storied football club also know as the Magpies. They’ve been around since 1892, play in the glorious St. James Park, and has Alan Shearer as one of the most famous and epic strikers in English footballing history. They’ve been down for quite a while now unfortunately as I mentioned before. Call me sentimental, but I like cheering for the underdog except for the NY Yankees in baseball.

Newcastle All Time Leading Scorer

This brings me to a wish list and my manager mode line up for the FIFA 2010 video game that I play from time to time. Uncle asked me to post my starting lineup, so I thought, I might as well blog about it since he’s in England and everything right now as I type.  I will also let you know the represented country for each player.  My formation is a hybrid 4-4-2 (4 defenders, 4 midfielders, & 2 strikers/scorers for those who don’t follow football that much).

Starting Lineup

  • Goal Keeper – Sergio Romero (Argentina)
  • Right Back – Jorge Ciro Fucile (Uruguay)
  • Center Back – Martin Caceres (Uruguay)
  • Center Back – Jerome Boateng (Germany)
  • Left Back – Gareth Bale (Wales)
  • Right Central Defensive Midfielder – Marouane Fellaini (Belgium)
  • Right Winger – Theo Walcott (England)
  • Left Central Midfielder Link – Manuel Fernandes (Portugal)
  • Left Winger – Arjen Robben (Netherlands)
  • Left Forward – Marcelo Moreno (Bolivia)
  • Right Striker – Mario Balotelli (Italy)

Bench Players: Erik Edman (LB, Sweeden), Oguchi Onyewu (CB, USA), Eljero Elia (LWM, Netherlands), Giovani dos Santos (CF, Mexico), Chris Seitz (GK, USA), Danny Simpson (RB, England), Simon Kjaer (CB, Denmark), Danny Guthrie (CM, England), Michael Johnson (CM, England), Kazenga LuaLua (RM, D.R. Congo), Jack Rodwell (CDM, England), Seydou Doumbia (ST, Ivory Coast), Neymar (LF, Brazil)

Here is St. James Park…

Home of Newcastle United

Aerial View

Now if only this was the real squad, then the Newcastle supporters would really have something to look forward to this EPL season.

Congratulations to Spain – 2010 World Cu…

Congratulations to Spain – 2010 World Cup Champions! – The defeat of the rough housing Dutch team was an impressive feat and great show of class, determination & championship metal. You deserve it and my hat goes off to you all even though I didn’t want y’all to win it all.

Decision Made – Lebron James

It’s official!!! Lebron is a Heat!!!

After two years of waiting, we have Lebron James – self proclaimed “King James” – on a media tear in reference to his NBA/personal decision of where to go for the next 5-6 years.  He literally hijacked ESPN for about month now, but whose fault is that?  I blame the media and NBA fans as much as I would Lebron for this crazy dramatic event.  To personally invest so much time, energy, and emotion into his decisions is self inflicted especially for the “losers.”  People may ask me if I feel bad for the teams that lost out in the sweepstakes.  I would say absolutely not.  Are you kidding me?  Uhnuh too covetous!!  As a professional organization, how can you hinge your decisions on the whim of one person with absolutely no guarantees.

I feel bad for the fans of Cleveland because they just can’t buy a break.  They got no justice!!

At the end of the day, I’ll always be a Knicks & Nets fan (NY area guy).  I think that the drama for the NBA has now been raised to another level with this new landscape.  You’ll have more relevant teams now to contend with: LA Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Orlando Magic, & Chicago Bulls.  Do notice how the geography has been spread out nice and wide.  The parity is important for the league and at the NBA brand should see an improvement over what has been a lack luster amount of true competition.

My question to you is this:  Was this is a good move or bad move by Lebron??  Your thoughts??

Lebron James goes to Miami

I’ll leave you with a couple of tweets that were just hilarious when I was watching this craziness unfold.

@cthagod: Text “YELE” to 501501 to make a donation to the Cleveland Relief Fund….

@chrissyteigen: i feel bad for cleveland but they will always have the drew carey show and the uhhhh cleveland show

@cthagod: Breaking News Courtside Season Tickets for Cavs games are 7 dollars for a family pack….

@qsteph: I hope Kanye West doesn’t interrupt Lebrons decision reminding that Jordan was the best basketball player ever.

@Soulrific: Will there be tap dancing midgets at LeBron’s press conference?