The Other Manning Brother

The Other Manning Brother

As Father’s Day came and went on June 21, we saw a lot of dad talk on social media. In the NFL world, Eli Manning being Tom Brady’s dad was probably the number one hit, and rightfully so. But let’s steer away from dads for a minute and talk about brothers. Who is Eli’s brother not named Peyton? He would be Cooper Manning.
Both Peyton and Eli were stars in the NFL, so why not Cooper? Did he not like football? Cooper in fact loved football as much as his brothers growing up and played for Isadore Newman High School as a wide receiver.
Before Odell Beckham Jr., there was Cooper Manning at Newman. Standing at 6’ 4”, Cooper set school receiving records including a 1,000-yard season in his senior campaign. You will never guess who quarterbacked Newman that year, Peyton Manning.
But where did everything go wrong? Well, many of us New Yorkers are all too familiar with the condition spinal stenosis because of David Wright. Lo and behold, spinal stenosis took down Cooper’s career as well. Except Cooper had his career ended before it even started.
Set to begin his college career at Ole Miss, alma mater of dad Archie and later brother Eli, Cooper was diagnosed with spinal stenosis the summer before freshman year. He put his football career to an end immediately as he would have been paralyzed if tackled the wrong way.
Football or no football, Cooper still had to undergo two surgeries for his narrowing spine. Manning had to learn how to walk again after the surgeries and dealt with a blood clot near his spinal cord along the way.
While it is terrible Cooper never achieved his NFL dream like his dad and brothers, the oldest Manning brother has made quite the living for himself. Manning is the Principal and Senior Managing Director of investor relations at AJ Capital Partners. The company deals with developing new hotels and restoring old ones primarily in the Chicago area.
In the sports world, Cooper is the host of The Manning Hour on Fox NFL Kickoff. Manning interviews and puts on skits with current and former NFL players, including his brother Peyton. I highly recommend watching more of his clips.
Cooper sadly never got the chance to become the football legend his dad and brothers are, but one part of his football days will live forever in Canton. His number 18, which Cooper wore while playing at Newman. Did you ever wonder why Peyton wore 18 during his career? Peyton donned 18 to pay homage to his older brother who had his NFL dreams taken away. When Peyton’s enshrinement day in Canton comes along, he will have Cooper’s number 18 engraved on his plaque.
On a positive note, Cooper is looking like the Manning brother who will be the father of the next Manning quarterback in the NFL. His son Arch Manning threw for 2,438 yards and 34 touchdowns as a freshman on Newman’s varsity team this past year. Arch has received visits and scholarship offers from schools like Ole Miss, LSU, Tennessee, and many more. Imagine if Arch’s decision comes down to Ole Miss or Tennessee. Oh, how I’d love to be a fly on the wall for those family dinner discussions.
Heavyweight title picture moves forward at UFC 252

Heavyweight title picture moves forward at UFC 252

Tuesday June 9, 2020 the UFC announced that the Heavyweight Championship will be defended once again as Stipe Miocic will defend against Daniel Cormier. This fight will complete the epic Heavyweight trilogy between Miocic and Cormier. The two first fought at UFC 226 in 2018 which Cormier won the Heavyweight championship with a first round KO/TKO. Then Miocic vs. Cormier II came just over a year later at UFC 241 where Miocic gave Cormier his only loss at Heavyweight and recaptured the Heavyweight championship from Cormier. Neither Miocic or Cormier has fought since their last bout and since then the direction of the Heavyweight title was going to be Miocic vs. Cormier III. Since we entered 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic Cormier and the UFC were ready to go and make the fight. The issue with moving forward to make the fight was the champion Stipe Miocic. Miocic is based out of Ohio and like the rest of the country in April and May everything was shut down so Miocic had no where to train. As well as not having a gym to train in, Stipe is also a fire fighter and has been busy with fighting the Covid-19 outbreak. With the country shut down there was no real rush to have Stipe fight until after UFC 249 in May when #2 Heavyweight Francis Ngannou knocked out #6 Jairzinho Rozenstruik in 20 seconds of round one. This was Ngannou’s fourth straight first round knockout, solidifying him as the next challenger for the belt after Cormier. With the future of the division unknown Ngannou and his camp put pressure on UFC management to push forward with the title picture. Ngnanou even pleaded with UFC management to make his bout with Rozensuik an interim title fight, but that request was denied. Now that the country is reopening and Miocic vs. Cormier III is happening, the big question is now what will happen in the division after the fight.
After this fight Daniel Cormier will retire from fight and focus on commentating for the UFC and working on his ESPN show with Ariel Helwani. So, with DC retiring after this title fight what will happen if Cormier wins the belt. If DC wins, he rides off into the sunset as Heavyweight Champion and the title will be vacated. The fight at the top of the list to make would be #2 heavyweight Francis Ngannou vs. Former champion Stipe Miocic. Or UFC could pit Ngannou against any other of the top ten heavyweights, tough the issue with that is Ngannou has already beaten the rest of the top heavyweights. In the case that DC wins the belt, the bout of Miocic vs. Ngannou would probably be the best route to go. UFC could also go the route of a lit tournament of sorts to determine who will face Francis Ngannou for the vacant belt. As with is DC wins there are also many possibilities to move forward if Stipe retains. If Miocic retains then his next challenger will be Francis Ngannou. That match will be a long waited for rematch, as the two clashed in January of 2018. their first bout when the distance and Stipe won by the descion. It will be interesting to see what Francis has learned from the bout and how he will adapt for his next title fight. Though Miocic vs. Ngannou II is the most likely thing to happen next if Stipe retains, there is a possibility that Stipe Miocic could retire if he retains against Cormier. If Miocic retires then the UFC will be at cross road they would be if DC wins, what to do next with the belt. No matter what happens as the #2 Nagnnou is getting the next title shot, so if Stipe retains then retires, Ngannou would probably face Curtis Blaydes. Like Ngannou, Blaydes is on a four-fight win streak and is rising up the ranking. There are many if, ands, and buts the match makers are going figure out in the future. One thing I can say for sure is that Miocic vs. Cormier III at UFC 252 on August 18th is going to be one hell of a title fight.
The Undertaker: 40 years of digging holes and taking souls.

The Undertaker: 40 years of digging holes and taking souls.

If it wasn’t for the Undertaker, I would not be a wrestling fan today. The man was my first true introduction into the world of not just World Wrestling Entertainment but to the whole Pro Wrestling industry. He was a character from a bygone era that has evolved with the times and made himself relevant for every generation.
With the last part of his 5-part documentary series, he addressed that he was done with wrestling, and with the WWE confirming it with thank you posts on social media that are the final say. What has been rumored for the past 10 years has finally happened the Undertaker and Mark Calaway has finally closed the book on his wrestling career. Many fans can agree the man has defiantly earned this retirement.
Mark Calaway began his career in 1987, working as various gimmicks for World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) and other affiliate promotions, and he became USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion and WCWA Texas Heavyweight Champion during this time. After signing with World Championship Wrestling (WCW) in 1989, he had a brief stint in the mid-card as “Mean Mark” Callous, before joining the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE) in 1990.
Calaway was rebranded as “The Undertaker” in the WWF and gained significant mainstream popularity as a horror-themed, macabre entity who employed scare tactics and held links to the supernatural. The longest-tenured wrestler in company history at 40 years, The Undertaker was one of the most prominent figures of the Attitude Era, a boom period in the company’s business in the latter 1990s. His character transitioned into a biker in the early 2000s, before returning to a refined version of his previous gimmick in 2004. The Undertaker is heavily associated with WWE’s flagship annual event, WrestleMania, where he became known for The Streak, a series of 21 straight victories, and he headlined the event on five occasions.
The man has done it all and at the age of 55, he has not had much else to add to his resume as a wrestler. The Undertaker has done all there is to do in the world of pro wrestling and too many people he has been the one guy they picture when someone brings up wrestling. If this is truly the end of his career there is one thing to say and that is thank you.
Tournament of the year

Tournament of the year

Every year New Japan Pro Wrestlings Best Professional Wrestlers enter a tournament where only the most skilled competitors compete and battle it out to earn the right to hold the New Japan cup. This year is much more different. For the first time 13 of the32 entrants are junior Heavyweights. Winner of the New Japan cup gets a shot to face Tetsuya Naito for both The IWGP Heavyweight championship and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. This is a huge opportunity for the Junior Heavyweights and for some it’s their chance toRise to glory. Fans are predicting Hiromu Takahashi to win but many have forgotten that Sanada was one match away last year from claiming victory. Sanada Could possibly do it again but this time pull through because of the quick andtechnical competitior he is. This is the one tournament where everyone is pushing to make history and it can go any direction. One things for certain. It’s all or nothing.
Which MLB Draft was better 2018 or 219? Part 1

Which MLB Draft was better 2018 or 219? Part 1

This is part one of a series where I am going to give my opinion on which MLB draft’s top 10 players have higher potential. We will start with the 2018 and 2019 MLB drafts. Here is picks number 1-5:

The first overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft was catcher Adley Rutschman. He was considered by many to be the most hyped baseball prospect since Bryce Harper heading into the draft. The Baltimore Orioles selected him out of Oregon State. Over his three collegiate seasons Adley posted a .352 batting average and a 1.032 OPS. In 2018 the first overall pick was a pitcher named Casey Mize. He was a college pitcher out of Auburn with great stuff and command. Everyone saw he had the body, mechanics and college results of a future frontline starter. He had a career 2.96 ERA in college with 334 strikeouts in only 267 innings pitched. As much as I am an Adley Ritschman fan and generational catchers are so rare, I have to take Mize. A frontline starter can have such an impact on a team especially in the playoffs just ask the Nationals with Scherzer and Strasburg the Giants with Bumgarner the Cubs with Lester and many others. While yes Buster Posey was definitely an important part of the Giants three world series rings as well, the Nationals won the world series with a time share between Kurt Suzuki and Yan Gomes and just one year earlier the Red Sox won it all with Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez behind the plate, hardly recognizable names. Mize is also a little closer to the majors right now and has shown immense success in the minors at such a young age and we don’t know how old Adley will be when he makes it to the big leagues.

The second overall pick in 2019 was Bobby Witt Jr. he is regarded as a one of the best five tool shortstops to ever come out of high school. He hit .491 in high school with a 1.578 OPS. All his tools are rated as a 55 or above on the 20-80 rating scale used for prospects demonstrating his exceptional all-around skill set. The second overall pick in 2018 was Joey Bart out of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bart has already advanced to Double A despite missing time due to injuries over the past two seasons. His number one offensive tool is his power, and many believe he will be an above average catcher at the highest level with maybe even more upside than that. If he becomes more selective at the plate he could be one of the best catchers in the MLB. While Bobby Witt Jr has as much upside as any prospect in today’s game he also carries considerable risk since he came out of high school and has so much development ahead of him. In this situation I like Bart because he has shown he can advance quickly, deal with injuries and the Giants have shown that a great catcher may not be the most important aspect of a championship team, but it could never hut to have one.

The third overall selection in the 2019 draft was first baseman Andrew Vaughn from the University of California. He won the Golden Spikes award as the best college player in the nation his sophomore year and was a finalist once again his junior season. He has a 60-hit tool and a 60-power tool on the 20-80 scale and considerable bat speed. He has the potential to hit .300 with 30 homeruns annually at the highest level. The third pick in the 2018 draft was a college third baseman by the name of Alec Bohm. At 6 foot 5 inches Alec Bohm is tall even for a third baseman. Many people potentially see a move to first base in the future. Despite that Bohm has worked on his defense at the hot corner and hit bat will determine his value in the future. He has great bat speed and an excellent approach at the plate. In 2019 he really took off and hit .305 across three levels with 21 homeruns. He is admired for his work ethic and I believe he will be in the Phillie’s lineup sooner rather than later. While I am a big fan of Alec Bohm and I anticipate him hitting 30 home runs annually while being an on base machine, I give the edge here to Vaughn. His bat has the potential to be special even at first base. The college success he has had is remarkable and I think it will translate very well at the big-league level.

The fourth overall pick in 2019 was JJ Bleday. He is an outfielder from the baseball factory school otherwise known as Vanderbilt. Bleday is known for his hit tool as well as his power. Even though he struggled a bit in the minors after being drafted that could be attributed to his long college season which ended in a championship for Vanderbilt. The fourth overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft was Nick Madrigal out of Oregon state University. He is a second baseman who can really hit. He is also a very good defender with speed. He fits the mold of the player you want at the top of your lineup. Now Madrigal is closer to the Majors and has about as high a floor as any minor leaguer because he has hit at every level and the big leagues should be no different. However, JJ Bleday’s power and hitting combination is something scouts dream about. I like the Bleday pick slightly more due to the enormous upside he has.

The fifth overall selection in the 2018 MLB draft was Johnathan India out of the University of Florida. While he has solid tools and potential defensive versatility he has not done anything that great in the minor leagues so far. He has a career .779 OPS in the minors thus far. In 2019 the Tigers selected Riley Greene with the fifth overall pick out of high school. Riley Greene was seen as perhaps the best pure hitter amongst high schoolers in eh draft. And while he has not posted eye popping numbers so far, his potential intrigues me a little more than India’s. I do not think either player will be great in the field, but neither will be a liability either. Riley Greene has more offensive potential and I like him more out of the two players moving forward.