Education and Race: By the Numbers

Since the hot topic of the day has been race, I wanted to look at race in a way that was not the normal rhetoric. I wanted to look at something we could absolutely quantify. You cannot quantify opinions or morals because they differ and hold different values for different people. If I was going to write about race, I wanted an unbiased look into it. I wanted to come with facts and stats instead of emotion. Maybe hard data can move the conversation in a positive way, or maybe it will fall by the wayside. I am not here to change the world, I am just here to present facts so that others may go forth and maybe be the change that they want.

As you may have inferred by the title, we are looking at education here. I wanted to look at who was graduating, what their grades were, and where the money was coming from. Before looking at the data, the first thing you will notice is that white people are going to college at a much higher overall number than any other race. But I also want to see what the true rates are. You could have 1 million people in college, but if that number is out of 1 billion (exaggerated for example), that is absolutely a lower rate than 100,000 out of 1 million.

So, without too much babbling on, lets take a look at our first set of data.

Note: All data is from 2010-2011

Degrees awarded by Race

Here is a look at degrees awarded by race, per Institute of Educational Sciences.

Total Number
Percent Distribution
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native


We obviously see that white people earned degrees at a an overall total number that is much higher than all other races…combined. My first question will spawn the rest of the data lines we look at. That question is: is this a case of white people having much more access to education or is it a case of there being a large amount of white people? Lets look at the total population that year, per US Census Bureau:

  • White – 223,553,265 people, or 72.4% of the population.
  • Black- 38,929,319, or 12.6 % of the population.
  • American Indian or Alaskan Native – 2,932,248, or 0.9% of the population
  • Asian/Pacific Islander – 15,214,265, or 5.0% of the population.
  • Hispanic – 35,305,818, or 12.5 % of the population.

Comparing population to degrees earned, we can see that Black, Asian/Islander, and American Indian are all earning degrees at a higher percentage than what their total population percentage is. That’s a good thing. White and Hispanic people are earning degrees at a lower percentage than their overall percentage of the population, not as good for them.

We can’t say too much from this info. But it does give us a little bit clearer of a picture on how races are graduating comparatively. With the exception of White, we are graduating races from college at a congruent rate to their population percentage. In the case of white people, their college graduation rates are much below that of other races, when also factoring in total population.

Where is the Money Coming From?

The first data set I want to take a look at is private scholarship funding, per

We are done looking at total number now. I want to look at rates, as we have already seen what population totals are. We know there are a lot of whites, and other races are the monitory. So overall numbers just skew the real data. We want rates as they reflect the real data in a better light. Saying whites get 100 million in funding compared to 10 million for blacks just isn’t a fair number to throw out at this point. Anyways, one the the data.

% Receiving Private Scholarship (of all enrolled students)
Average Amount Received
% of Scholarship Recipients (of total scholarships for all races)
% of Total Funding
% of Student Population
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian/Alaskan Native


If we refer back to the general population statistics, we can see that the Black students receiving private funding is fairly congruent with overall population. The real winners in private scholarships are American Indians and Asians. They receive a much higher percentage of scholarships (in relation to population) and Asians have access to a significant amount more money on an average scholarship amount basis. Again, the White population sees a large dip across that board. But we need to look at 2 other forms of funding, Pell Grant and Academic Scholarships. Onto the Pell Grants!

Honestly, looking at Pell Grants is sort of an exercise in the obvious, as they are set up for low income and minority students. Minority students receive a very high proportion of these funds, and are the obvious winner in this funding.


% of Total Pell Grant Recipients
% of total Pell Grant Funding
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian

The Black and Hispanic population see a huge benefit from Pell Grants. And when we take population into account, that benefit is even greater as they are receiving a ratio of funds way above their ratio of population. Again, White people have way less access to and receive way less funds than minorities. This really comes as to no surprise, as Pell Grants were not really set up to benefit the majority.

Institution Granted Academic Scholarships

This is simply an academic scholarship based on merit. If you make good grades, research, and many other things, you can receive a merit based scholarship. We are going to look at GPA of college students by race. This will give us a good idea if these merit based scholarships are being handed out based on…well, merit.

0.5-0.9 GPA
1.0-1.4 GPA
1.5-1.9 GPA
2.0-2.4 GPA
2.5-2.9 GPA
3.0-3.4 GPA
3.5-4.0 GPA
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian
As we can see from this chart, Whites and Asians are more likely to have higher GPAs when compared to other minorities. Looking at this data, we should be able to infer that White and Asian college student populations have access to more merit based funding. Lets look at that data.
% Receiving Merit Based Funding (out of all students sorted by race)
% Receiving Merit Based Funding (out of all races receiving merit based funding)
% of total Merit Based Funding
% of Student Population (out of all races)
Asian/Pacific Islander
American Indian

This is where I noticed the most discrepancy, and it is huge. White people have access to far more merit based funding than any other race. Even above the population ratio. But who has the biggest gripe? Asians. They have grades congruent or above that of the White population, so one would expect them to show a higher ratio in merit based funding. The other races really have no gripe in this issue, as the grades aren’t as high as White and Asian populations.

What to Make of This Data

We cannot make sweeping conclusions about race and higher education, but we do see some patterns.

  • The Asian population absolutely has the largest reason to complain and it is not even close. Asians should receive merit-based funding at a much higher ratio. They make the grades and get less recognition for it. The other races received a lower ratio of merit based funding, but their grades were consistently lower.
  • When looking at ratios of students and population, Black, American Indian, and Asians all have graduation rates at or above normal population ratios.
  • White and Hispanic populations show consistently lower ratios of graduation and ability to obtain funds (outside of Merit based funding for White people) than that of their general population ratios.

There are way more factors and numbers we can look at, but the data presented here are major factors in education. I think we can actually take these numbers and make generalized statements, and then go from there but digging into deeper subsets of data.


Despite the highest population, White people graduate less people and have an access to a lower rate of funds than their minority counterparts. However, White people make better grades than all of their minority counter  parts, save for Asians.
The Black population graduates people at a higher rate than their general population ratio. The Black population also has access to a higher ratio of funds, when compared to general population.
Asians have a legitimate gripe. Despite grades slightly above Whites, they have way less access to merit based funding. Asians also graduate a at a higher ration than the general population accounts for.
American Indians have a higher ratio of access and funding than their ratio of population. Across the board. I don’t know why this is, but obviously they are doing something.
Final Thoughts
Like I said, I wanted to present hard data, and there is much more data than what is here, but the conversation has to be started somewhere. You can’t argue that when looking at population, minorities have a better graduation rate and an easier access to funds that pay for college. White people also make better grades, and are rewarded as such. However, the White population doesn’t get the opportunity outside of school that others do, and when in school, seem to either fly or fall face first with little in between. Asians have the real discrimination when we look at everything. They are the one population has an obvious disadvantage in these data sets. But that is only one category, as they excel in everything else.
The big question is, what does this mean? I guess the data is for you to decide and do what you want with.

4 Ways to Keep a Pay Raise from Stealing Your Joy

Salary increases are very important to self-esteem and motivation.  However, joy is much more important.  Often times, salary increases can steal your joy—making you wish you had your old salary back.  As a by-product of this bittersweet phenomenon myself, I have several tips that you and the folks you share this article with can use to maintain joy or increase joy throughout your careers.  (Please follow the chart below as a reference guide)

Job Happiness

(1) Seek Promotions or Lateral Moves Within Current Company

This tends to be easier at larger firms; however, smaller firms may give this opportunity as well.  In an ideal world, I would have done this at the first company that I worked for after college.  The company provided a large network for career paths at the location I was stationed as well as at other locations in the region.  In fact, this type of mobility and versatility was encouraged by management (to a point).  As stated in the title of this section, sometimes you do not necessarily need a pay increase or promotion to increase your joy, you just want a change of scenery. Staying with the same company makes that possibility quite easy—as long as you like the company you are with, of course.

(2) Keep Current Job and Develop a “Side Hustle”

What if you have very predictable working hours and lots of leisure time, but the pay is awful?  That’s how I felt within Firm B in 2012.  Nothing got on my nerves more than knowing that the peers I graduated with were making more money that I was.  However, instead of being smart, my pride got the best of me—I wanted employment elsewhere.  With the amount of leisure time that I had though, getting a new job should have been the last thing I wanted to do.  I should have sought a side hustle.  A side hustle is a miniature version of the DREAM CAREER that you want in the future.  If you work 40 hours per week or less, I highly recommend this option for increasing or maintaining joy.  Use your spare time to make your dreams come true—maximizing your joy and your checking account.

(3) Reduce Personal Debt and Give Yourself a Raise

Simply put, if you eliminate your debts (student loans, car loans, credit cards, etc), you will effectively have more recreational money and investment money—you have given yourself a raise!  Not only does this mean that you have more money to have fun with, but you also have more money to invest in yourself and your family (please revisit Step 2).  Reducing your debts is completely within your control as well.  So unlike landing a promotion or snagging a raise, you do not have to depend on luck—you can depend on faith and will-power! What’s not joyous about that?!

(4) Thoroughly Vet Opportunities for Advancement before Jumping Ship

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.  You heard me earlier mention how I had almost laughably easy working hours.  I haven’t had that type of work/life balance in years.  And the stress is definitely wearing me down.  However, this could have all been avoided if I vetted the companies that I wanted to work for as thoroughly as possible.  Sometimes this isn’t easy, but it can be done.  Ask people who currently work at the firm that you wish to apply for.  If you end up getting an interview, ask to speak to an individual who has a similar job to the one you are applying for.  And lastly, if you get some unescorted time, look for the people who have the worst jobs within sight—they might be the most honest with you! If you get “bad vibes” after doing a proper vetting, then stay put and wait for another opportunity to arise—a pay increase isn’t worth sacrificing your joy for!

#CareerJoy What are some other ways to maintain joy while also increasing your income?

Why AT&T Next is a Win/Win for Both Consumers and AT&T

Edit: I made an arithmetic mistake in the original article that inflated the savings of the new AT&T Next plans.

AT&T rolled out its new no contract payment plan called AT&T Next. In this model AT&T no longer subsidizes the cost of the phone in exchange for a 2 year contract. Now, consumers will have to pay the full price of the phone. I am going to tell you why that is a good thing.

AT&T will let you pay for your new phone in monthly installments added directly to you bill. There is no down payment, activation fee, upgrade fee, or financing fee (interest). The total cost of the phone divided by the number on months financed is added to you bill.

There are two AT&T Next options—Next 12 and Next 18. With Next 12 the cost of the phone is spit over 20 months with the option to upgrade again at 12 months. After 12 months you have two options for upgrading. Firstly, you can trade in your current working phone for the next phone you want to upgrade to. Or you can pay off the balance on your current phone and upgrade to the next phone. Then the process starts again and you’re paying on a new phone. There is also the Next 18 which has allows for an upgrade at 18 months and the cost of the phone is split over 24 months.

Of course, you don’t have to upgrade. After your phone is paid in full, you are capable of going month to month on your payments while maintaining full ownership of your phone.

I talked to an AT&T representative about this, and his response indicated that it is up to the particular AT&T representative if your phone is in good enough condition to be traded in. However, he did mention that if it powers on and is not cracked then it should be accepted. Dents, scuffs, and general wear and tear are acceptable.

At this point you must be thinking “Why would I want to pay full price for my phone that I was getting at a subsidized price?” AT&T thought the same thing and now offers a $15 monthly discount for data plans less than 10GB and a $25 monthly discount for data plans above 10GB. This monthly discount, subsidy, is why the new AT&T Next is good for you and your wallet. Let me explain. (Assumption: you like having a relatively new phone as often as you can afford it. If you still have a Motorola Razr or Nokia brick, then you’re probably not reading this article anyways.)

With the old 2 year contract plan you could buy a phone at a subsidized price, pay an activation fee and be on your way. After 20 months you are eligible for a phone upgrade if you sign another 2 year contract. You get a subsidized phone price, but you can only get that price once every 20 months. In the table below, you can see the associated cost comparisons for old 2 year contract model and the new Next 12 and 18 models.

Firstly, let us look at the first month’s costs for each of the plans. With the old 2 year contract model you would be required to pay for the cost of the phone and activation fee. For the new flagship phones (i.e. Samsung Galaxy or iPhone) the cost was typically $200. The activation fee is approximately $45. The first month’s costs for 2 year contract are approximately $245 plus any other fees and taxes. The first month’s (net) costs for AT&T Next are $17.50 and $12.08 for Next 12 and Next 18 respectively plus taxes. For the first month of your new Next plan you are going to pay approximately $230 less than your old 2 year contract.

Now let us look at the monthly costs (after the first month) of each of the plans. For the Next 12 you pay $17.50 more each month and for the Next 18 you pay $12.08 more each month than the 2 year contract plan. If you keep your phone until it is paid off you will pay $105 more for Next 12 and $45 more for Next 18. However, if you take advantage of the 12 and 18 month trade-in, you will come out $35 and $27.56 in the black for Next 12 and 18 respectively.

This isn’t a lot of savings. In fact, if you wait too long to trade in your phone you will end up paying more than you would have on the old 2 year contract model.

There are some perks that will have ranging subjective values for different people. For starters, there is not large down payment. You can get your new phone today without a down payment and without any financings fees or interest. When money is tight people tend to avoid spending a lot or money at once. It is pleasant to not be charged more because you can’t pay in full up front. Finally, there is the value of being able to upgrade every 12 months. If you are a savvy at selling things online, you could sell last year’s model and turn a profit.

The new AT&T Next plans will save you a couple bucks. But how does AT&T benefit from this model. Simple, AT&T is no longer subsidizing the other $450 of your new iPhone or Samsung which is more than the $15 a month they give. And if you trade in the phone on your next upgrade, they can sell that as a refurbished phone.

In summary, the new AT&T Next plans can save you up to $35 a year if you upgrade to a new phone every 12 months. It can also cost you as much as $105 over 20 months if you choose not to upgrade. It isn’t a lot, but every dollar counts. With T-Mobile’s Jump and AT&T’s Next installment plans, we might be seeing the start of a shift in how we buy phones.

The Curious Case of Trent Richardson

Richardson is as compact and coiled an athlete as the position has seen since Adrian Peterson. Richardson is explosive, powerful and balanced. He is a heady and instinctual player who is patient enough to wait for blocks and quick enough to cut backfield to daylight. Richardson has a strong core that he uses to break arm tackles and get physical leverage under blitzers in pass protection. He is a true three-down back who can be effective on screens.

Trent Richardson may be the best running back to come out of college since Adrian Peterson. He possesses rare strength and speed for an individual his size. He has all the intangibles that you went in a player. Passionate about the game, has a great work ethic, and performs his best against the strongest of competition.”

Richardson is easily the top back in this class, and probably the best running back to come out since Adrian Peterson 5 years ago. His power and speed combo are pretty impressive, and his workhorse ability is rare in today’s game. While some teams will devalue him since the shelf life and value of running backs is more limited, he’s good enough to be the exception to the rule. He should be a top 10 pick, and should vastly improve whatever team lands him.”

Trent Richardson Running By

Richardson was a killer in college.

Just 2 short years ago, these phrases were a nice summary of everything being said about Trent Richardson. He was a can’t miss prospect. He was the exception to not taking running backs early in the draft. He was a true franchise changer. He was easily the best running back since Adrian Peterson.

My how the mighty have fallen.

Trent Richardson was famously traded to the Colts for a 1st round pick and was widely hailed as the missing piece to a budding Colts dynasty. Fast forward just 6 games and Richardson wasn’t even the starter. Losing snaps and trust from coaches, Richardson wasn’t the guy the Colts thought they were getting. And at a hefty price of a first round draft pick, this isn’t good news. Richardson does have value, as we will look into the stats of his production. Reader beware, these numbers are gruesome.

Trent Richardson

Yeah, it’s that bad, man.

Rookie Year

Richardson’s rookie year was somewhat of a disappointment, but was actually talked up due to the Browns being the Browns. He was a bright spot, they said. Well, the numbers tell a different story.

In his first year as a pro, Richardson totaled 950 yards rushing and a nice 11 TDS. Seems respectable. The 1,000 yard benchmark is usually the sign of a productive back, especially in an age where passing is king. A look deeper into those 950 yards gives us a slightly better view at what his value was. He averaged a paltry 3.6 yards per carry. It is generally accepted that to be deemed a “good” back you must run for 4.0 yards each time you get the ball. To put in perspective, Adrian Peterson (the man Richardson was supposed to be), averaged 5.6 yards per carry his rookie year.

Adrian Peterson is on the Wheaties box

Adrian Peterson gets a Wheaties box. Richardson gets a toilet bowl.

DYAR and DVOA are two amazing statistics employed by Football Outsiders. Basically, DYAR is yards above replacement (league average) and adjusted for defense. This gives us a good indicator of total value. DVOA is defense adjusted value over replacement. This metric is used to measure on a per play basis. Richardson had a DYAR of -51, good for 37th in the league. To sum up what that means, Richardson was 51 yards worse overall than what a league average player should be. DVOA isn’t much better. Richardson accumulated a -13.3% per play value, good for 33rd. Yikes. Per play, Richardson was -13.3% worse than a league average player. Not exactly lighting up the stat boxes.

However, those 11 TDs showed up for a reason. Unfortunately, Richardson is a middling tackle breaker, so he doesn’t break off too many big runs. He is a great short yardage back. His longest TD run was 11 yards. This is a testament to his high TD count. If you are close, he can bang it in.

Another bright spot was Richardson’s receiving, going for 367 yards on 51 catches. His DYAR in receiving was 74 and ranked 11th for all running backs. This positively shows he was an above average pass catcher. His DVOA was a little worse, with a 4.9% and a 23 ranking. The DVOA would be higher, but as he doesn’t break many tackles, he mainly had a lot of short catches and had minimal yards after the catch. Still, you can point directly to his receiving stats and be able to see value. He is a plus out of the backfield. His 1 receiving TD is slightly skewed, due to him being a beast in short yardage situations. Kudos to the Browns coaching staff for realizing his strength and giving him the ball in short yardage situations instead of forcing his other plus skill, receiving.

Overall, I would give his rookie campaign a slightly below average mark. He produced in receiving, but was downright bad in rushing. The franchise label was all but gone, and it looked as if his best case scenario was simply an average back.

trent richardson

This scene was all too common

Sophomore Year

Oh boy. We discussed the pricey trade. He at least had some positives and almost had to get better, right? Flanked by an emerging Andrew Luck, the running lanes were sure to be wide open. Lets see what the numbers say.

He rushed for 563 and 3 TDs. Wait, what? He did have 80 less carries, but his yards per carry dropped all the way to an absolutely abysmal 3.0. In most cases, that is good enough to get you kicked out the league. But the Colts just paid a 1st rounder, so they have to wait this out to see if they can maximize value.

The advanced metrics rear their ugly head even worse than conventional. Richardson’s DYAR was -108, good for a ranking of 45. Wow. Richardson actually became even worse at running the ball. The DVOA checks in at -22.2% and ranks 44th out of all backs. If you remember the description of these stats, Richardson is -22.2% worse than a league average back on a per play basis. Again, these are numbers that will send you to the unemployment line.

What about his one plus, receiving? Basic numbers show he 35 passes for 316 yards. On the surface, seemingly respective numbers. Overall, Richardson was still a plus, but his value was slipping. His DYAR was 34 for a rank of 26. Low ranking for all the backs, but he saw his snaps fall. A plus DYAR is still a plus. The DVOA came in -2.6% for a ranking of 25th. Again, Richardson is unable to break tackles, so his per play stats will look worse, since he cannot break off long runs after the catch.

In his second year, Richardson became worse across the board. The coaches were well aware of this, as we saw his snap count fall more and more throughout the season. He was literally unplayable in the Colts playoff appearance. A gigantic step back for the once budding franchise back.

Verne Lundquist presenting trophy to Trent Richardson

Richardson misses the good old days.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Honestly? I don’t think he can get any worse, outside of not playing. We can officially rule out ever being a franchise or game changing back. Richardson may have to accept his role in the NFL, a short yardage back with a good set of hands. A move to full back may actually not be a bad move. I imagine the Colts will give him one more season before making that type of decision, though.

Through his first 2 years, Trent Richardson is the definition of a bust. The only people who still think he has amazing potential are delusional Colts and Alabama fans. You can hang up franchise status. Richardson is a good short yardage back. He can also catch. This brings value. He can reinvent himself as a special package running back for short yardage situations. He can become a shotgun formation specialist as his catching skills are above average.

Read that last paragraph again. This man was the next great running back in the NFL, and now we are writing statements like that. This upcoming season will be huge for Richardson. A season that may decide whether he needs to find a new career or not. Stay tuned.


Why I Choose to Carry A Firearm

I know what some people immediately jump to when they hear about a white male that owns firearms: Uneducated, homophobic, misogynistic, white trash, racist—there is a certain stereotype to owning firearms.  This is far from the truth.  I start at The University of Alabama for Mechanical Engineering soon and also served in the U.S. Navy as an engineer.  I worked with guys I knew were gay, but it didn’t matter because it doesn’t affect me.  In fact, two friends and I stopped a couple of disputes one night at our barracks and were commended by the Honolulu police department for doing the right thing.  Most people in the Navy didn’t even know I was from the south on my ship, and I worked with every race.  I met good friends that I still keep in touch with: some in other countries now.  Of course there are always bad apples, just like there is always evil in the world. We see it every day in the media, or we know someone that’s affected by evil. I’ve had 2 incidents in life where I needed a firearm to protect me from evil, and I chose from then on to carry a firearm.

Shooting and hunting with guns and bows has been a big family affair most of my life. All 3 uncles and my grandfather on my mom’s side hunted.  For one uncle, it is a religion—he’s out every day during the season and has it down to a science. He collects pictures from game cameras, plants food plots, sets up hunting stands, and scouts potential areas during the off season to better improve his take when the season does comes around.  To most hunters that’s a big part of hunting because you’re hunting well before you pull the trigger—that’s part of fun.  My dad hunted years ago, but doesn’t have time now.  Most of his side of the family hunted (typical of people from Maine). So I grew up in a house with deer heads, antlers, and turkey feathers hanging on the wall, but most importantly: firearms.

I was always taught never to play with them because they are not toys but tools. Tools that can be deadly if mishandled or abused. Tools just like a bow and arrow, a knife, a vehicle, a baseball bat, or a 2×4.   It’s ultimately what you do with that tool that defines the person—good or bad. No tool decides one day to take a life—be it human or animal.  There is always a person behind it that made that decision. No tool is evil ether.  So why do people put that stigma on firearms but not a car, baseball bat, or any other object?  Is it because they are only seen as used just for killing?

Usually these people have never heard of any kind shooting sports. The National Rifle Association was started to improve rifle proficiency after the Civil War.  It was noted that during the Civil War, the Union troops fired 1,000 shots to every Confederate wounded—that was a severe lack in marksmanship. This ultimately turned it into a sport.   Today there are firearms designed just for competition based on speed and accuracy.

Being former Navy, I’ve seen firsthand many people who never shot a firearm let alone handled one. In the Navy when we go through boot camp, there is a several week course on handling firearms and safety. We drilled quite often before we even touched a real gun by using inoperable pistols. I caught the guy (a fellow recruit) in charge of the firearms one day muzzle sweeping (pointing at) people and twirling. I proceeded to chew him out because it’s not proper gun safety: even if they couldn’t fire a bullet, who is to say he doesn’t do that with a gun that could?

This all lead up to live fire and most of the guys around my rack had never shot before and were very nervous. I got them to relax and told them it’s not hard.  I told them that I bet after they shot they might want one. We get done with the training, and we go back to the apartment—all the guys who never shot were excited and wanted to do it again.  It was such foreign a concept to see.  I just reminded them why we were in the military, and that we can own things like that if we wanted to. I’m pretty sure I saw a few new/future gun owners that day. I was so happy for them I was not mad that my unit didn’t qualify me as expert shot even though I was one.  But that’s another story for another day.

Several years ago I use to work at a pizza place before I turned 21.  Another worker and I had shut down for the day.  It’s around 10-10:30pm, and I had let another worker go home around 9:30pm. As he walked out the back, I threw a box into the back area for the trash.  As my car was always parked around back,  I thought I’d just throw it away when I left.  I also decided to prop the door open to cool off the back area as I counted the day’s tickets. This was a huge mistake and one thing that still sits with me today about always being aware my personal surroundings.

As I counted the tickets I hear the door open thinking it was the guy I let go just 30 minutes before.  The guy who I think is my friend grabs me.   He always likes to mess around so I thought nothing of it.  He then puts me in a kind of headlock but not brutal choke hold or anything so I tell him to quite messing around.  But at the same time I feel a cold piece of metal in my ear, and I knew exactly what it was—it wasn’t a joke.

Everything doesn’t seem to move in normal time when you’re scared for your life.  I had no idea what this guy wants or what he could and might do. Obviously he wanted money, but what’s he going to do to me? I had already dropped the money in the lock box of the safe which I can’t get into.  There is only 100 bucks in 1 dollar bills and change—would that be enough to tide him over  or is he going to shot me and my coworker regardless? I was promptly asked if anyone else was in the store and was told to take the gunman to the back of the store. He pretty much had the same look of disbelief I had when he stepped into the back. He was grabbed and thrown into the bathroom.  As I now see there are 2 people.  The guy that had me became violent and demanded I open the safe.  He assaults me with the pistol and repeatedly hits me. Safe to say it didn’t get worse than that but I was a bloody mess. I was gnashed on the forehead right on my hairline and had a huge knot on the top of my head but other than that I was fine.

Now I’m not going to say a firearm would have made a difference—the fact is that I didn’t have one and wasn’t aware of my surroundings.  You can best believe I won’t drop my guard like that ever again. Now by the law if I did have a firearm on me, pulled it, shot, and killed him I would have been in the right, clear as black and white no doubt about it.  I was in fear of someone else’s life—in this case, my coworker’s–I can’t read minds to know what gunmen are going to do.  In that instance, it’s his life or my life. I’d rather he couldn’t do this to another person, but people will take my story seriously because everything ended okay or wasn’t that bad or whatever BS line they like to throw out.  What if the next night he did the same thing again but something went wrong and he killed an innocent person? No one has the right to treat another person like that nor do I blame the gun for busting my head open.

What’s the difference between a privilege and a right? A privilege is permission granted by law, a right is something no one can take away. You have a right to eat and to live.   No one can take that away without just cause.  Your privilege would be anything that the government provides like allowing you to drive or allowing children the opportunity to attend school.  Your ability to live, protect, and better yourself isn’t a privilege.  There is a reason it’s called the Bill of Rights not the Bill of Privileges. I always hear the anti-gun side spout that the second amendment is dated and should be changed or amended. Well while we’re at it, free speech is dated, due process is dated, and freedom of the press is dated.

People usually go on the tangent that I hate school children or little kids or something along those lines because I’m for guns. That couldn’t be further from the truth. No lawful gun owner wants to see or hear of children getting killed.  It’s a deranged crazy person infringing on someone’s rights and not the majority of gun owners. Why does that person’s actions dictate what I can’t and can own. I don’t wish to ever have to use my firearm—it’s there as a tool for a situation I can’t contain. A heated argument with someone no, a violent argument where the person threatens me with a knife or some other weapon yes.  A gun is a tool to defuse the situation, and if that doesn’t stop them then lethal force.

A lot of people tend to feel uncomfortable for that reason—that a person with a gun has too much power.  As I was saying in my story of the robbery and assault, I wouldn’t be willing put myself in that position ever again. I’m not paranoid just cautious like a female choosing not to walk down a dark unlit alley—maybe 99.9% of the time nothing happens but why put yourself in that position.  This is also why I advocate females carry too. Anti-gunners tend to think people who own guns want to be vigilantes or it’s go wild west.  Well I’m not Charles Bronson and this isn’t a Clint Eastwood western.  This is real life and in real life some people commit violent crimes. Recent data estimates there are anywhere from 200 million to 300 million legally owned firearms in America (these are only estimates because the government isn’t allowed to know what I own) and the most recent data from the FBI in 2011 shows 8,583 homicides from firearms (legally and illegally obtained). I would think if gun owners were trigger happy that number would be significantly higher.

My second incident came a couple years later right after I turned 21.  I choose to purchase a full sized Magnum Research IMI Baby Eagle .45ACP (not a Desert Eagle but the same company made both firearms and Magnum Research being the distributor for the states wanted to capitalize on the name sake) because I worked 3rd shift at a gas station.  All the freaks come out from 10pm-7am.  I carried at work every night.  Now a paper I signed when I started stated I couldn’t and could be fired for doing so but it’s not against the law.  I legally had a concealed carry permit and confirmed this with the local police. On the plus side my boss was a good friend and I had pushed him into buying guns.   In fact, he taught me how to reload ammo so he didn’t care that I did but the area manager did.

When I was off the clock, I had a bad habit of occasionally carrying it—my second mistake I won’t ever do again. So I had started talking to a female friend who decided to get dinner with me one night, and I meet her at her place and rode in her car to local restaurant. I had decided before I left the house I wasn’t going to carry the pistol tonight out of convenience to me, and so I didn’t have to explain that one to her. We get to the restaurant order our food and the night goes pretty well.   As we are eating, 2 police officers I see on night shift stop in for dinner. I say hello because they come in every night I work, and they sit a few booths away.  So as we are sitting and talking, a random stranger decides to sit down next to my female friend, and I can clearly see she is mortified of him. He starts a conversation with her like I’m not even there, and I interject and ask him who he is and what he wants. He shoots me a glare and tried to intimidate me by saying he was her boyfriend which she shot down pretty quickly.  Turns out, he was her ex, and they broke up some time ago. I can see she is in discomfort and doesn’t want to be near this guy. I kindly ask him to leave. He bows up in a threatening gesture at me. I laugh and point out the 2 police officers sitting only 10-15 feet away from him. He walks off, but he shows up as we are leaving (I also made a comment to the police officers about his behavior).  I tell her let’s just leave thinking this is the end of this.  How wrong I was? We get back to her place and talk for a little while.  She apologizes for the incident and this guy shows up at her house with 3 of his friends yelling for her to come out and something about me. Well her father runs them off and asks me to leave.  I comply but I’m not the bad guy here.  So I leave for my house unknown to me, the lowlife had parked several streets down and saw me leave. He commenced to chase me in his car.  I like to modify cars so he wasn’t getting near my car—I probable had 3 times the horsepower and torque he did and my car was 1000 pounds lighter. So on comes another of those “what do I do?” moments in life.

I can’t stop because there are 4 guys in that car.  I have no idea what is going across their minds—maybe not murder but assault more than likely. Again I have the right to protect myself and trust me I was mad I didn’t bring the pistol. So I do the only logical thing and call the police.  I explain what’s going on and that I was stopping at my work and going inside.  Lucky for me my work wasn’t far from her house—maybe a couple of miles away. I stop and tell the other nightshift guy at the time what was going on and that I was waiting on the police. I had another lucky break as the 2 police officers who were eating earlier where the ones who got the call so they kind of knew the story. I fill them in on what happened after we left.  They ask me a few questions like his name and all.   I didn’t know, and they can tell I’m flustered, and I say out loud those guys were lucky I wasn’t carrying tonight. One of the police officers heard this and tried to lecture me like I was 10 years old.   I shot back that being chased by 4 guys in the situation gives me the right to protect myself. Now I have a close family friend who was a well-known police officer in town and avid gun owner.  He had a brutal run in with some robbers when he was carrying, and it’s the reason he was hired as a police officer.  I told him the story care to guess what he had to say: I would have been in the right. Again I’m not going to say a firearm would have made the situation better or worse but what would have happened if they showed up before the police officers got there, beat me half to death, and send me to the hospital? They were willing to go as far as they did, why not lethally far?

I don’t want to have to use any of my firearms ever, but it’s there if I do. It’s something you really have to think about if you decide to carry.  No one can make that choice for you but you.  If you want my opinion though why would you want to wound someone who wants to kill you or cause you harm?  Also, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. The whole time I’ve been writing this article I’ve had one of my guns on me the whole time.  Care to guess what it did? Nothing.  It sat in the holster unassumingly ready if I needed it. My other gun sat in my room in its holster all day, and I’m absolutely positive it didn’t shot anyone either.

I’ve also had to explain to people that guns don’t just go off.  I get that one all the time from my stepmother.  I’ve sat her down and showed it to her—it can’t possible go off.  My gun that I don’t carry often has quite a few safeties on it—a slide lock that not only locks the slide from raking in a new round but prevents the trigger from being pulled; a beaver tail safety that can only be activated by holding the gun and depressing a switch to disengage the safety; and a hammer that has to cocked backed.  If you manage to do all that, then you were trying to shot the gun.

My everyday carry revolver doesn’t have as nearly as many safeties, but it does have a 10 pound pull on the trigger.   To put that in perspective, try picking up a 10 pound weight with one finger. That’s one of the great things about owning firearms—you can get them to your style and preference.  If you’re thinking about wanting to buy a gun, then there is nothing better than actually holding one in your hands—never buy a gun without at least holding it. When you do decide on one, please think about practicality.  The Desert Eagle looks cool, but do you want to carry around 10 pounds of gun on your waist, in a bag, or in a purse all day?  Of course not.  You would carry it—defeating the whole purpose of owning it. On the flip side, do you want a gun that might not be enough to stop someone like a little .22? Yeah it’s small and concealable, but is it effective? After you choose the caliber, you also need to take in account magazine size: is 13 rounds of 9mm enough? What about 10 .40 S&W? I’ll stick to my 8 rounds of .45ACP and a backup magazine.

Do you like guns? Against them altogether? Or are you somewhere in the middle?

> on April 8, 2013 in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Cleveland’s Very One-Sided Trade for Love

When I caught wind of the news that Love was going to Cleveland, my first thought was that the league is in some serious trouble. By any metric, the Cavs now have 2 of the top 3 players on the same team in Love and Lebron. It is not going to be fair or very pretty for other NBA teams. Lebron and Love were created to be on the same team together. I looked up the trade framework and immediately felt sick. The Cavaliers gave up almost nothing to get Love, a top 3 player in the league and a player who instantly puts the title run through the city of Cleveland. How could the Timberwolves give away Love and change the face of the NBA? They couldn’t hold out for something better? The Timberwolves knew they had all the leverage and that Lebron is running the show in Cleveland, and Lebron demanded Love.


Lebron is happy his team just committed highway robbery. I know saying 3 first round picks, 2 of which are the first overall, for Love being one sided sounds ridiculous. But lets look at the absolute values of these players. Basketball Reference has an awesome statistic called “win shares” that calculates how many wins a player is worth. Lets see what value these players bring: Kevin Love – 14.3 Anthony Bennett – -0.4 Andrew Wiggins – 5.1 (more on this) 2015 protected 1st round pick – between -1.0 and 4 So, here is what we are looking at. By having Kevin Love on your team, he is giving your team 14.3 wins. That is good for third best in the league and only 1.5 behind Lebron James. To make this trade worth it, you need to get a value somewhere close to what Love gets you. Keep in mind Love is only 25. Wizards v/s Timberwolves 03/05/11

Kevin Love no longer has to play with a shit sandwich for team mates. Here is what the Timberwolves got in return for Love’s immense value.

  • Anthony Bennett, who is giving you negative wins by being on your team. He was one of the worst rookies ever, for someone who played big minutes. Anthony Bennett is so bad he costs your team wins. Great.
  • Andrew Wiggins. Where did I get 5.1 for Wiggins? That is what Lebron’s win shares were his rookie year. I am giving Wiggins a HUGE benefit of the doubt by saying he will be at least Lebron James rookie good during his first season. What’s more likely? He has a win share between 3 and 4. I’m having to assume Wiggins is going to be Lebron to even make this trade make sense. Which I am not seeing, at all.
  • The first round pick Minnesota is getting will fall between 20 and 30. How valuable is this pick? Not very. It can be worth negative wins all the way to 4.0 wins. What’s more likely? About 1 win.

If you are keeping score at home, the Timberwolves are getting 9 win shares of value for Kevin Love’s 14.3. And that is the absolute BEST case scenario. More than likely, the Timberwolves will be getting about 5 win shares of value for Kevin Love’s immense value. This is a horrible trade.


Bennett is just happy to be here. He is just costing your team wins to be here. I know the trade is all about future dividends. Wiggins could become the best player in the league, but he most likely won’t. Bennett is so bad that he most likely will only have a ceiling of good role player off of the bench. And historically, the 1st round pick will become nothing more than an end of the rotation player. To recap, the Timberwolves are getting a guy who doesn’t project to be a top 10 player, a role player, and an end of the rotation guy for a 25 year old superstar who is a top 3 player in the league. This is despicable.Wiggins

The Wolves are hoping Wiggins is the next coming of Lebron. No matter how you slice it, the Timberwolves got ripped off and failed to get value from Kevin Love. Cleveland pillaged them and almost guaranteed a half decade of championship basketball. Meanwhile, the Wolves continue a historic run of incompetence. Wiggins may turn out to be great, but Wiggins would need to be once in a generation great to make up for this very one-sided trade. Don’t let all the fluff of number 1 picks fool you. This was a horrible trade that will only look worse as time goes by.   UPDATE It is rumored that the Timberwolves will be flipping Bennett to Philadelphia for Thad Young. Young is worth 3.5 wins. It would help garner extra value in the trade, but Young is who he is. It wouldn’t stop this trade from being just awful.

King of the Point Guard Hill: Part 2 – Scoring

In case you missed the first the first part of this, you can head on over to and read up on who are the best passers in the NBA.

So, we have now come to scoring. For some, this part really helped their case in being named the best point guard in the NBA. For others, well, it was a pretty ugly sight. Scoring is an integral part in the NBA. Last time, we looked at how these guys created for others and now we are going to see who can create for themselves. From catch and shoot to driving, we cover it all.

Stephon Marbury

Starbury was no stranger to getting buckets.

We will first look at the methodology I am using, then take a look at the stats, and we will finish with some analysis and breakdown of these 24 men. So, you can skip the boring stuff or you can read it. The choice is yours and yours alone! On to the stats!


Overall, I used 10 different stat categories. These categories are:

  • Points per game. This gives us a nice totality of how many points are scored. The number can be deceiving, but this is why we have the other categories.
  • Drive Points per game. How many points are scored a game where a player is driving to the basket.
  • Drive shot percentage. The percentage a player shoots on drive situations.
  • Catch and shoot points per game. How many points a game a player scores where he catches the ball and immediately shoots, without making too many dribbles or basketball moves.
  • Catch and shoot percentage. The percentage a player shoots in and catch and shoot situations.
  • Pull up points per game. How many points per game a player scores where he picks up his dribble to shoot.
  • Pull up points per game percentage. The percentage a player shoots in pull up situations.
  • Effective field goal percentage. A lovely stat that weighs shots accordingly, 3 the hardest and 1 the easiest, and gives a players overall percentage from the three different types of shots.
  • Free throw attempts per game.
  • Free throw percentage.

Using all of these, we can make a formula that not only takes into account how many points these guys are scoring, but also how efficiently they are doing it. This is major as both volume and efficiency will be taken into account. Although it is great to score, it is also great to score efficiently. You may also notice that I left out the 3. This is on purpose. A 3 point shot is accounted for in all of these stats. So it will be there naturally and I saw no reason to include it as a stand alone stat when it is naturally occurring in the base stats I am using.

Derrick Rose Colored Jersey And Black and White Background

Rose will hopefully be healthy next year. Interesting to see where he falls in this ranking next year.

The Big Table of Stats

Player Name
Points Per Game
Drive PPG
Drive %
Catch and Shoot PPG
C&S %
Pull Up PPG
Pull Up %
Free Throw Attemps per game
FT %
Chris Paul
John Wall
Ty Lawson
Kendall Marshall
Ricky Rubio
Stephen Curry
Brandon Jennings
Kyle Lowry
Kyrie Irving
Russell Westbrook
Goran Dragic
Mike Conley
Michael Carter Williams
Isiah Thomas
Kemba Walker
Jeff Teague
Tony Parker
Damian Lillard
Jose Calderon
Eric Bledsoe
Rajon Rondo
Trey Burke
Deron Williams
Jameer Nelson

Well, that is a ton to look at! Lets break down a few of these into a few subcategories so we can get an idea of what we are looking at before we rank them.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry can simply shoot from anywhere.

The Ugly

Rajon Rondo, Michael Carter-Williams, Ricky Rubio, and Brandon Jennings… you guys just can’t shoot. This is not as problematic for Rondo and Rubio since they are not scorers and don’t take a large percentage of shots. However, Jennings and MCW are atrocious and should refrain from shooting. These two are the very definition of volume scorers. Low efficiency, and just a detriment to the team. This is about as ugly as stats as we are going to find. Yuck.

We have seen the future of MCW and it looks ugly.

Elite Drivers

Tony Parker and Eric Bledsoe are simply the two best driving point guards in the game. The stats don’t lie. These men score more WITH higher efficiency than any of the other point guards. It’s great to analyze play styles between these two. Tony Parker uses finesse, while Bledsoe is a bully on his way to the rim. Still, these two men cannot be stopped when they lower their heads and drive. Just ask Lebron.

Eric Bledsoe

Bledsoe was a bully even backing up Chris Paul in LA.

Off-ball Masters

Jose Calderon is the best off the ball point guard. His catch and shoot scoring and percentage fair better than anyone else. Which is an extremely handy skill. Even if he doesn’t have the ball, you have to watch him because he will kill you if you leave him open. Other catch and shoot masters are Deron Williams, Damian Lillard (remember the playoffs?), Kyle Lowry, and Stephen Curry. Curry is literally millimeters behind Calderon. This is especially impressive considering Curry is elite in almost every other category as well. Seriously, who is leaving Curry open anyways!!!???

Folks, THIS is what a catch and shoot is!

Stop and Pop

The Pull up shot is one of my favorites. Even though it is a low percentage shot, it is such a game changer when you hit it. It is usually a follow up to a shakedown and some circus dribbling. It is just a damn fun play. Stephen Curry, again, is the best pull up shooter in the game. Especially from 3. It makes no sense. Again, who is leaving this man open!?


Others are elite pull up shooters as well. We see Chris Paul is just barely behind Curry in overall Pull up stats. If you ever watch Chris play, you can clearly see he loves to dribble into open space and take the open mid-range pull up. One of the best shots in the game right now.  We see Kyrie Irving pull this same thing. Irving loves working this shot out of screens and double screens off of the pick and roll. One of his favorite plays since college. Tony Parker shows up again. Tony also loves to weave into mid range and closer to unleash his nasty pull up game. Isiah Thomas and Goran Dragic aren’t quite elite, but they are worth mentioning here as well.

Chris Paul

Perfect example of what Paul loves to do.

Goran Dragic Needs His Own Space

Goran Dragic doesn’t do anything elite, except for his effective field goal percentage, but he does every thing DAMN good. He needs mention of this. Him and Isiah Thomas both. Dragic is simply an amazing scoring point guard who is very well rounded. Him and Bledsoe are an unfair backcourt. Two points co-existing as one. But, Goran Dragic needed some special attention. One of my favorite players and the numbers show that he is special.


Dragic working the mismatch.

Stephen Curry is Good

The categories in which Curry ranks in the top 5, out of 10: PPG, Drive %, C&S PPG, C&S %, Pull Up PPG, Pull up %, eFG%, and FT%. That leaves only two categories in which he is not top 5. Un. Fair.

The Rankings

Now that we have seen the stats and looked a little deeper, lets rank these guys. As I mentioned, I compiled this list by plugging all stats into the formula. This ranking reflects both volume and efficiency.

  1. Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors
  2. Isiah Thomas – Sacramento Kings (Now with Phoenix Suns)
  3. Chris Paul – LA Clippers
  4. Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
  5. Mike Conley – Memphis Grizzlies
  6. Goran Dragic – Phoenix Suns
  7. Eric Bledsoe – Eric Bledsoe
  8. Tony Park – San Antonio Spurs
  9. Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors
  10.  Kyrie Irving – Cleveland Cavaliers
  11.  Ty Lawson – Denver Nuggets
  12.  Jose Calderon – Dallas Mavericks (Now with the New York Knicks)
  13.  John Wall – Washington Wizards
  14.  Deron Williams – Brooklyn Nets
  15.  Russell Westbrook – OKC Thunder
  16.  Kemba Walker – Charlotte Hornets
  17.  Jeff Teague – Atlanta Hawks
  18.  Trey Burke – Utah Jazz
  19.  Jameer Nelson – Orlando Magic (Now with Dallas Mavericks)
  20.  Michael Carter-Williams – Philadelphia 76ers
  21.  Brandon Jennings – Detroit Pistons
  22.  Kendall Marshall – LA Lakers (Now with Milwaukee Bucks)
  23.  Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics
  24.  Ricky Rubio – Minnesota Timberwolves

This is how Thomas ended up where he did.



  • Who saw Isiah Thomas as the second best scoring point guard in the league? Not me. Like Dragic, he is a man who does everything DAMN good.
  • Did not see Conley ranked so high either. Just an efficient player.
  • Dragic, Bledsoe, and Thomas are in the top 7 and all on the same team. Phoenix has an absolute wealth of talent at PG. This leads me to believe they may be looking at life without Dragic. Stay tuned.
  • Kyrie Irving barely cracks the top 10, at 10. His reputation is bigger than what his stats are at the moment. An average shooter who happens to take a lot of shots.
  • Russell Westbrook!? Ladies and gentleman, this is what high volume and low percentage shooting will get you. Now can we talk him into letting Durant shoot the damn ball?
  • Ricky Rubio is a bad shooter, but I didn’t realize his low scoring and efficiency are this bad. He is going to have to hope his passing outweighs his atrocious shooting.
  • MCW is another young terrible shooter. Gaining favor in the rankings from the volume, but it is absolutely a detriment if he keeps this garbage up.
  • I was always low on Damian Lillard, but after doing this, I am going to give him his due. He is a great scorer. A very gifted scorer. I would place him ahead of Kyrie, who seems to get all of the praise.
  • I thought Wall would end up higher. However, he isn’t the greatest shooter yet and is mainly an average scorer. Still, he puts up 19 a game. If he refines his shot, he could easily move into top 5 territory. He is on the cusp.

John Wall

Almost, John Wall! Almost!


So there it is everybody. The scoring rankings. Next week, I am tying everything up and we are going to rank these guys overall.

Let me know what you think about the rankings so far and debate, or praise, me if you want. Hope you enjoyed and see you soon!

And for good measure, Stephen Curry…


College Football Preview: Alabama Crimson Tide

Apollo’s College Football Preview Series | #2 Alabama Crimson Tide

#1: Florida State Seminoles

Which team can lose its three year starting quarterback, Butkus Award winning linebacker, twelve other players to the NFL, and still be heavy favorites to make the college football playoffs? Only Alabama!

If Nick Saban taught us anything it is to never count out Alabama. Let me paint this picture for you. Alabama is coming off a disappointing end to their previous season. They lost multiple starters including their multi-year starting QB. Does that sound familiar? Well, this was the situation in 2009 and 2011 and we all know what happened in those years.

The 2014 Alabama Crimson Tide might be the most talented team in the nation. They will return multiple future NFL draft picks on offense and defense.  Former Jameis Winston backup, Jacob Coker, is already getting Heisman consideration;  probably because of the weapons he will have. Amari Cooper is one the best WR in the nation. Christion Jones is a homerun threat every time he touches the ball. DeAndrew White, Chris Black, Robert Foster, Raheem Falkins and newcomer Cameron Sims will add great depth to the passing attacking. O.J. Howard is a mixmatch at the TE positon. Oh yea, there are also 3 great running backs. TJ Yeldon is only 1,155 yards away from Shaun Alexander’s record and 16 TDs away from Mark Ingram’s record. Both of those records are quite doable…except there is this stud called Derrick Henry who will demand carries. Getting everyone involved will be task of new Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin. Kiffin has experience in this before during this time at USC under Pete Carroll. Remember Reggie Bush, LenDale White, Matt Leinhart, Dwayne Jarrett, and Steve Smith anyone? This offense should be exciting.

The defense should be better than last year. Nick Saban did his annual Kansas City Shuffling of his coaching staff and it might pay off. Chris Rumph and Greg Brown “resigned” and took positions at other colleges. Kirby Smart added secondary to his list of duties and Kevin Steele stepped down from Director of Player Personnel to take over the inside linebackers job. In my humble opinion, the most exciting coaching change was bringing back Bo Davis as defensive line coach. Alabama had a brick wall defensive line when Bo Davis was leading the pack. Now he’s back with some new tools to play with A’Shawn Robinson, Jonathan Allen, Jarran Reed, Tim Williams, Dee Liner, Brandon Ivory, Dalvin Tomlinson and incoming freshman Da’Shawn Hand and Josh Frazier. The linebacker unit lost C.J. Mosley but Denzel Devall is expected to fill in as leader of the front seven. Landon Collins is arguable the best defensive in the nation and he will lead a very young but talented secondary.

Alabama’s schedule is not that hardest one out there…but it’s not a cakewalk neither. Alabama kicks off the season in Ben Hill Griffin Bryant-Denny Dome against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Alabama is currently 6-4 in the Georgia Dome but 4-0 when it’s against a non-Florida Gators team. The Crimson Tide has won the previous three Chick-fil-A Kickoff matchups by a 103-44 margin of victory. The Tide looks to regain its national powerhouse status early but a beat down on West Virginia will not surprise anybody. The first true team will come September 20th against the Florida Gators. The Gators will be returning one of the best defenses in the nation with their own outstanding pass rush and lockdown corner. Alabama will have a bye week before their next text against Ole Miss at Oxford. Ole Miss has all the talent to win the SEC West…but which Bo Wallace will show up to this game? Bama has TAMU at home and will travel to face a much improved Tennessee Vols team. After this second bye week, Bama will head down to the Baton Rouge to face the Bayou Bengals. Many experts are writing off LSU this season, but never count out the Mad Hatter. Alabama will finish the regular season with THE most anticipated game of the season…The Iron Bowl. Alabama will be looking for payback and will go full throttle (see 2011 Iron Bowl). If they win the West, a matchup with UGA or South Carolina looms in Atlanta.

Best Case Scenario: 13-0 2nd Seed in the College Football Playoffs

Realistic Scenario: 12-1 SEC Champs and still 2nd Seed in College Football Playoffs

Worst Case Scenario: 10-2 and an Orange Bowl selection

How My New Car Cost Me $1,000,000

“I Will Always Have a Car Loan”

The next time that you hear someone say this phrase, please sprinkle holy Evian on them immediately and then refer them to this blog. That phrase is not only false, but it will cost us MILLIONS of dollars over our lifetimes.  Millions? Yes, millions! Let’s break things down so we can get a clearer picture of what I mean.

The average brand new car in March 2014 was $32,086 with an average monthly car loan payment of $710 with the assumption of a 48 month loan term at 3% interest.   For the record, this example has already made our total loan repayment $34,068 before we really get too deep. Yes, we just lost $2000 before we even left the car dealership lot. But let’s move on to bigger fish.

Typically, cars lose 20% in depreciation in the first year, 15% in the second and third year, and then 10% in the fourth year. So in this example, this would mean that the car is worth $16,691.

The average age of cars on the road in the United States today is a little over 11 years old. Most automobiles are pretty dependable nowadays because of the advances in quality and technology—so 11 years is not a stretch at all. So given that information, we could have owned the same car for over 50% less money if we had just waited a few years and bought with cash. But, I’m still not done.

Let’s assume we repeat this “gotta have a new car” buying habit for 40 years. For simple math purposes, let’s assume each new car costs exactly as much as the first car did.

So after 40 years, we have bought 10 cars and lost:

(a) a whopping $20,000 to car loan interest

(b) a monstrous $173,950 to depreciation

But it gets worse, you also lost:

(c) a life-changing $2.36 million dollars!


(Assumes we invested $404 per month in lost depreciation and car loan interest every month into a good mutual fund at 10% rate of return for 40 years)


For giggles, let’s assume we learned our lesson on the first car, but we still bought the first car anyway. In that scenario, let’s deposit $404 per month for just four years and then wait 40 years. After 40 years, you still lost the opportunity to:

(d) a still life-changing $760,000 dollars!



A Very Subjective Top 10 Hip-Hop Songs of All Time List

Warning: Strong language 

I decided to take a break from looking at millions of numbers in the basketball data base to take on a more personal endeavor. I am here to rank my favorite 10 Hip-Hop songs of all time. It was a tough list! I had to leave off such classics like Arrested Development’s “Tennessee” and the always infectious “ATLiens” by Outkast. I even wanted to include some lesser knowns such as the artists Wax, ATL, and my dude, Immortal Technique. Ultimately, nostalgia probably played a large factor, but it is my list. Who cares?

To make the list I had only one requirement: Talent. So, Drake, Nikki Minaj, Lil Wayne (by himself), Ja Rule, Tyga, and Nelly obviously were disqualified by default.

Make a custom playlist and let the music flow.

#10 – Tupac – Hail Mary

I was young when this came out, but that didn’t stop me from loving the hell out of this song. The beat is straightforward and lends itself to Tupac just letting it fly. His cadence is perfect over the beat. Kastro and Young Noble come in right in the middle and just kill it. I have never felt the street life struggle, but this song made a young 7 year old me think I had. That is saying something.

#9 – Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy

Oh shit! If you ever feel down and like you can’t make it through, then listen to this song. From rags to riches. The beat is even and old school 80’s throw back. Biggie shines with his patented aggressive approach to rapping, and the phrase “It was all a dream” is perhaps one of the more legendary lines in all of hip-hop.

#8 – T.I. – Rubberband Man

The beat and melody in this song are already catchy enough. Throw in one of the catchiest hip-hop choruses ever and T.I. claiming how he is wilder than the Taliban, and you really can’t go wrong. You can’t catch T.I., that shit just bounce right off him.

#7 – Three 6 Mafia – Body Parts

Probably one of my favorite beats of all time. This was before Three 6 made ridiculously stupid radio friendly rap. This is pretty much gangster rap. This song starts off hard and never really stops. This track actually makes it sound like they mean business! Maybe they did back then. Favorite line-“Hickory dickory dock as I pull out my glock n im ready to pop…BITCH!”

#6 – Del The Funky Homosapien – Catch All This

I had to give Del a spot in this list. The beat is insane. And Del has a trademark voice and style that you just cannot forget. He goes off on this track. While most people rap about women or drugs, he is an awesome throwback to being braggadocios using metaphors and ridiculously awesome rhymes. I dare you to listen to this and not want to listen to it on repeat.

#5 – Clipse – Grindin

I really wanted to rank this higher. Seriously, one of the best beats in any genre…ever. Also, you have Pharrell back when he was on everyone’s album before he was really that famous, you have two dudes going off on the track talking about playground basketball and drug dealing, and then you have the chorus. The chorus is THE epitome of what a hip-hop chorus should be. If you can listen to the chorus without nodding your head, well you were probably decapitated by Three 6 Mafia a few songs earlier.

#4 – NWA – Straight Outta Compton

Before Ice Cube was making kids movies and Dr. Dre was selling high definition headphones, they were singing about gang banging in California. This song is undeniable. One of the earliest gangster rap tracks, and they kill it. Ice Cube sounds like he could probably kick your ass…if he weren’t busy filing Coors Light commercials. Best line almost ever? “Straight outta Compton, crazy motherfucker named Ice Cube, from the gang called Niggaz With Attitudes.” Yeah, you know what is coming when you hear that iconic line.

#3 – TRU – I Always Feel Like

Master P had his hands in a lot of things back in the day. NONE, and I repeat, NONE were better than TRU. Using a hook from a terrible 80’s song, they turn this into an absolute gem and monumental song in hip-hop. The beat is perfectly set, Master P, Silkk the Shocker, C-Murder, and Mia-X paint a perfect picture of selling drugs and doing general gangster shit. Seriously, one listen will make you want to jump right into the dope gang. Well, if somebody wasn’t always watching you.

#2 – Grandmaster Flash – White Lines

I don’t even need to write one damn thing. The bass line, cocaine, the electro beats, and the brass make this simply one of the best songs ever, in any genre. If you don’t agree, well you are probably a Drake fan.

#1 – Cash Money Millionaires – Project Bitch

Lets just set aside for one second that this is THE greatest beat and melody ever laid down in a hip-hop track. Lets look at some highlights of each MC.

Mannie Fresh – “To the ladies havin babies without no drama, to my niggas with figgas say I love my baby momma.”

Lil Wayne – When I come through in a Rolls Royce, leave them with no choice but to hop up in it an just let me make they throat moist.”

Baby – I got a credit card hoe, a scam type hoe, a fraud type hoe
Like to snort that dope, a dick suckin pro
A calico hoe, a real solid bitch out Chicago
I got a (Brat) type bitch like to whine an shit
I got a project bitch like to start some shit”

And of course, Juvenile doing his thing – “My momma send me by my grandma, my grandma flipped out an said we ain’t gone have no evil in this house.”

Pure poetry gold.

So. Agree? Disagree? Who is in your top 10?