Take 5… The downside of kidney donation, justifying the Break-a-Blake defense, old time coach Jerry Sloan retires, the Johnny Mac Youtube video, and a 500% raise for a below average pitcher?

Here on Take 5… we’re going to give you a quick run down on the 5 most interesting sports stories (according to us) of the previous week along with our takes on each story.

I just woke up in a bathtub full of ice and my back is really sore.

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter gave a kidney to a freshman player, Kevin Jordan, who suffers from a disease that can lead to kidney failure.  The young outfielder who was drafted by the New York Yankees last June, said no one in his extended family was a match for the operation. When Coach Walter found out he was, he didn’t hesitate. Wake Forest however, did hesitate, as they took a couple of days to ensure that this would not break an NCAA violation. Has the NCAA officially gone too far with their sanctions, that schools are looking into these types of selfless acts as violations?

Ryan: I find it pretty funny that the school thought to look into this as it may be a player receiving a gift from a coach. The NCAA is striking fear into schools when they start checking to see if the ‘gift of life’ is a violation or not.

Dallas: For once, the NCAA is not to blame. Wake Forest should not have taken any role in this except to maybe send some flowers to the hospital. Even if there were eligibility issues, the NCAA is not dumb enough to take on that PR nightmare!

Henry:  It says a lot about my poor character that my first reaction to this story was to think that Walter had some alterior motive for this benevolent act.  That aside, what a black eye for the NCAA and Wake Forrest if they had piped up with some objection.  Respect to Walter, a bigger man than I.  He must have endured at least 1 or 2 needles during this operation.

I can't defend him, so I may as well closeline him.

Call it Hack-a-Dwight or Break-a- Blake, the consensus way to stop Blake Griffin and other star NBA players, is to foul them hard.  With a high-flying superstar like Griffin, these fouls get dangerous very quickly as he is dragged back down to earth with an arm around his neck.  Are you okay with this defensive strategy?

Henry:  Blake Griffin is the type of player that gets no talent nerds, like myself, watching basketball.  If the NBA continues to allow goons to prevent Griffin from completing his exciting style of play, it should be slapped or at least miss a season due to a lack of a CBA.  This is the equivalent of the clutch and grab era in the NHL that cost hockey fans a decade of scoring and excitement.

Dallas: I am not unless the NBA decides to allow fighting in an effort to protect the star players in the same way the NHL does. Teams would start opening up roster spots to some of the best slappers in sport. That’s what I want to see, so I guess I am okay with it.

Ryan: Yes I’m okay with it! This is old school basketball from when Ewing, Olajuwon, and the Detroit Pistons ruled the court. There never was such a thing as a free pass to the basket. If you wanted to try and posterize us, you had to pay a price. LOVE IT!

I cry for the next generation of NBA fans.

Amidst rumours of turmoil between Utah’s coach of 23-years, Jerry Sloan, and star players Williams and Kirilenko, Sloan resigned. The National Basketball Association’s Hall of Fame coach was the longest-serving coach in American sports. Is this a result of ‘the decision’ we saw last summer, in that the power of decisions has shifted from organizations to players?

Ryan: The NBA is heading down a dangerous path right now and they know it. This is all leading up to the fact that there will NOT be an NBA season next year as owners will demand reduced salaries and limit freedom of free agents. Enjoy basketball this year while you still can.

Henry:  It really does seem like the players are in control of today’s NBA and maybe a long time coach like Jerry Sloan would rather retire than listen to punk 20 something players, who he has seen come and go like the weather during his long tenure as head coach.

Dallas: The NBA has become a star driven league by design; unfortunately for the NBA, it ain’t always good and you end up with too many prima donna personalities throughout the league. Seriously, these guys are officially worse than NFL wide receivers.

Maybe if I do it blindfolded, someone will notice.

UConn Quarterback Johnny McEntee posted a video on YouTube last Tuesday and it went viral, receiving more than 3 million views in 3 days.  The trick shot video shows Johnny Mac knocking balls and plates out of the air, making blindfolded completions, and draining throws into garbage bins and basketball nets from deep.  Are you buying this video as for real and will this player one day be a great quarterback?

Henry:  I’ve been had by video’s like this before.  I remember when I saw a video of Peyton Manning throwing a pick in the Superbowl.  It crushed me.  Only when someone handed me a tissue and told me it was faked, did I feel better.  This video looks legit and Johnny Mac has some skills!

Ryan: If he could show me this kind of accuracy with a moving, living target then maybe I’d buy it. However, this still is a very entertaining video.

Dallas: This video looks great but let’s face it, there’s gotta be a reason why he’s a backup quarterback at UConn. This guy would have to be the favourite to win the pass competition but I wonder how his punt and kick are.

Give us your "I just got a 500% raise smile"

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Ross Ohlendorf won the first arbitration case this year in Major League Baseball. He was awarded a raise from $439,000 to $2,025,000 following a 1-11 season last year. Does Pittsburgh’s general manager deserve to be fired for losing this case?

Dallas: He does deserve to be fired. I mean, with that kind of award for that kind of player, I just assumed the Pittsburgh’s general manager forgot to show up to court and present his case.

Henry: The Front office should get fired and Ohlendorf should be praised for getting paid!  Big O, as I call him, used traditional statistics to argue for his salary demands.  Someone should send the Pirates a copy of Moneyball and teach them about advanced metrics, where Big O’s inflated value becomes very apparent.

Ryan: Ohlendorf is a genius!  He steered clear of his record, arguing it was the team he was on and not a reflection of his performance. Instead he argued his ERA and compared it to others in the league that make around $2 million/year.


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