When will team sports see a Openly Gay Male athlete?

john amaechi

At the NFL Combine, there was speculation over the sexuality of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. And his answer, “far from it, farrrrrrrrr from it” on Katie Couric actually didn’t help things. It just reeks of over-compensation. And Te’o is Mormon, which is so strict it’s like…if Christianity is cocaine than Mormonism is crack.

But this isn’t about just Te’o. Earlier this week Colorado tight end Nick Kasa admitted that during the NFL combine a team asked him if he “liked girls”. Because of Kasa’s comments, the NFL is looking to investigate whether or not there is any truth to Kasa’s claims about questions he was asked during the combine. And now, Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is reporting that he was also indirectly asked about his sexuality. h/t Down and Distance

This comes off the heels of a recently retired NFL veteran being out after a fight with his boyfriend over soy sauce led to legal charges.

So when will we see an openly gay male athlete in one of the four team sports?

I think sports may lag the rest of society here, and it could be a long time before we see an openly gay male athlete in the NFL, NBA, MLB or NHL- mostly because of the atmosphere, reputation and language of the locker room. Of course, I regard that as a travesty because if you can integrate lifestyle differences in the military -an even bigger bastion of so called manliness- you can do the same in sports.

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White Sox Home Opener is Here!

In all the years I’ve been a White Sox contributor for the Sportsbank.net there has never been a season where expectations for the team has been lower as the words “new era” and “rebuilding” are frequently associated with the team.  As a matter of fact most experts and sports periodicals pick the southsiders to be among the worst teams in the game.  So in a year where there is so much negativity in terms of expectations why is the Soxman so motivated to cheer with passion and pride?

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AND THAT’S ONE MILLION SPORTS BANK PAGE VIEWS…….NOW!!!

celebration

Everything changes today, yet everything stays the same. It’s business as usual this banner day, but I’m revolutionizing the emotion surrounding my approach. I’ve been too much like Chad Ocho Cinco or Terrell Owens when it comes to handling success. Cocky, brash, bragging about traffic stats, tweeting my Alexa traffic rank.

However, now that we’ve reached a new benchmark, a new summit, I’ll be more professional than a Ron Turner press conference. Success is no surprise; it’s standard protocol. Like Barry Sanders visiting the end zone: “act like you’ve been there before.”

Quote Eminem’s 8 Mile soundtrack, “I was playing in the beginning; the mood all changed!” In two years and change I’ve gone from blogger/hobbyist to entrepreneur.

I am a journalist, but I do a helluva lot more than attending and covering sporting events. In addition to doing an overwhelming majority of TSB’s posting and writing, I also do the programming, source code debugging, SEO strategy, content editing, managing, recruiting/motivating of writers, and negotiating/working with our 11 ad networks.

All the while trying to augment/maintain our site’s ComScore rating. Whatever that is.

Orange krush

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The Sports Bank’s LIVE NFL Draft Coverage

nfl draft

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s LIVE NFL Draft Coverage of the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Mr. Banks (formerly known as Paul M. Banks) and Peter Christian headline your coverage of tonight’s first ever primetime draft proceedings.

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NFL Mock Draft 2-24

Urban Meyer No Longer Resigning

By Alex Simon and Paul M. Banks

It is deja vu for Florida Gator fans.  Like Billy Donovan, Urban Meyer has left the door open to come back and coach the University of Florida football team.

Urban Meyer is reconsidering and will now likely take a leave of absence instead of resigning as Florida’s football coach. Multiple media sources say offensive coordinator Steve Addazio will be interim head coach.

Florida’s Urban Meyer Resigns Due to Heart Muscle Defect

By Alex Simon and Paul M. Banks

First Billy Donovan, now Urban Meyer has unexpectedly stepped down. However, Meyer is not leaving the University of Florida for another job. And his reasons for leaving are far more serious than money offered by the Orlando Magic. Tonight he stunned the college football world with his announcement that he is stepping down as coach due to a non-life threatening heart muscle defect. Meyer resigns while residing at the pinnacle of the college football world, with the Gators going 56-and-10 with two national championships during his five seasons at the Swamp.

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NFL Mock Draft 12-22

NFL Mock Draft 12-15

NFL Mock Draft 11-23

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By Paul M. Banks and Peter Christian

With the Oakland Raiders finally benching JaMarcus Russell this week (and winning no less right after doing so) it brought me back to the NFL Draft of 2007, when all the experts were so high on the LSU signal caller. Right before the draft, I even extolled Russell’s virtues during my guest appearance on sports talk radio in Milwaukee: Steve “the Homer” True’s show on ESPN radio. You can listen to that clip by clicking this link. It’s right up near the top of the page. And I encourage you to comment below on what panned out and what didn’t from my predictions over two years ago. Because that’s why we love sports talk radio, and internet comment threads- the debate. So if you have feedback on who I have your team taking, you can comment below.

Team Player Position School

1. Cleveland Browns Jimmy Clausen QB Notre Dame

By losing in the final seconds to Detroit, Cleveland “won” the #1 Overall Pick Bowl yesterday. (And that bowl game actually sounds more natural and legitimate than the names of many college bowls). The Lions have their QB of the future, Cleveland has Brady Quinn. So that means they desperately need a new quarterback. Although now that news of Clausen’s involvement in a bar fight have emerged, I’m having serious buyer’s remorse in making this pick, and will likely change it next week.

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Ndamukong Suh DT Nebraska

With another game remaining against the Saints, the Bucs run defense (or should I say lack thereof) will become ever more apparent and they’ll go for a run-stopper. Suh is an every down defensive tackle due to his dual ability to stuff the run or crash the pocket. He’s an expert at winning his individual battles at the line of scrimmage and often causes disruption in the backfield constantly. He should be taken #1 overall, but unfortunately he’s not a QB.

3. St. Louis Rams Eric Berry S Tennessee

If you don’t know who Eric Berry is, look him up. He could be the heir apparent to Ed Reed as the elite defensive playmaker in the NFL. And if there’s one thing St. Louis needs, it’s defensive plays. And offensive plays, and special teams plays and….

4. Kansas City Chiefs Russell Okung OT Oklahoma State

Heading into the regular-season finale against Oklahoma on Saturday, the durable Okung is slated for his 46th consecutive start for the Cowboys. He’s a big reason why the 9-2 Cowboys’ offense produces 203.5 yards a game on the ground. Twice during his career he has not allowed a sack against the nation’s leader at the time – the latest was an effort against Texas A&M end Von Miller this season His time spent at T. Boone Pickens University will serve him well, as Okung combines all his physical gifts with a high football IQ

5. Oakland Raiders Jake Locker QB Washington

JaMarcus gets benched, and the Raiders respond by upsetting a very good team in the Cincinnati Bengals. Still Bruce Gradkowski is not the solution, so Oakland will again take a signal caller. This cements Russell’s legacy: bigger bust than Jenny McCarthy.

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6. Detroit Lions Trent Williams OT Oklahoma

The Lions need a lot, they can start on the O Line. The Okung or Williams debate over who is the better choice at offensive tackle is one where there really isn’t a loser. Trent Williams, like Okung, has good feet, strong hands and the talent to become elite in the NFL.

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7. Washington Redskins Gerald McCoy DT Oklahoma

This would be a nice complement to Albert Haynesworth, and the Skins could use more talent on the defensive line because the last time they had an overwhelmingly dominant d lineman was something like 40 years ago. McCoy is a pillar of strength that can dominate from the center of the field. He is very agile for a guy just shy of 300 pounds and will be a combine favorite.

8. Tennessee Titans Greg Hardy DE Ole Miss

Greg Hardy may be the purest sack artist in the draft. He has a lethal combination of speed and power that he mixes up to get to the quarterback. Hardy also has a sort of “Overdrive” that he shifts into once he smells a possible sack.

9. Buffalo Bills Sam Bradford QB Oklahoma

Trent Edwards is obviously not the answer, not with that 30th ranked passing attack. After season ending surgery, Bradford’s draft stock was, to paraphrase Snoop Dogg “dropping it like its hot,” but it hasn’t fallen as fast as you might think. His body of work still speaks volumes about what he could do on the next level.

10. Seattle Seahawks Carlos Dunlap DE Florida

Dunlap is one of the biggest reasons Gator opponents have backfield mishaps. He is fast AND strong which will allow him to cause nightmares for opposing tackles for years to come. But because the press is busy kissing Tebow’s a$$ every time the Gators play, he’s a well kept secret.

11. Denver Broncos (From the Chicago Bears, a horribly mismanaged organization that treats both the media and their fans like subhuman garbage)

Brandon LaFell WR LSU

LaFell is a rubber band man when it comes to contorting his body in the air to make the catch. His hands are his biggest asset as he catches the ball softly and away from his body. He needs to improve his route running as he isn’t a super fast runner but as long as he makes catches to bail out his quarterback he’ll be a good NFL player. And don’t let his record as a starter fool you, Kyle Orton is a guy who makes throws that need to be bailed out sometimes.


12. Green Bay Packers Bryan Bulaga OT Iowa

As you might have heard, the Pack’s OL is terrible. Myabe they could get the Bucks’ Brandon Jennings to play OG, people in Wisconsin seem to think he can do anything right now. And if LeBron jokes about playing for the Browns…ok enough fooling around. GB will get a huge boost in their ability to run and pass protect on the left side when they take Bulaga, one of the best OL in college football.

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13. San Francisco 49ers (From Carolina) Sergio Kindle OLB Texas

Kindle is a versatile linebacker that is an excellent attacker. He takes very good angles to the ball and makes tackles all over the field. Sergio’s mix of energy and instincts allows him to overcome the fact that he is a little slower than coaches would want.

14. San Francisco 49ers Bruce Campbell OT Maryland

Campbell could go higher, because he easily has as much talent and ability as Okung and Williams, but he doesn’t have their track record of durability. Therefore, he slips down the board a little.

15. Houston Texans Jahvid Best RB Cal

Best is exactly what is name proclaims at his position. He has very good vision and an even better instinct on when to turn on the jets. He is very good at making defenders miss at every level. He isn’t a bruiser back but if coupled with a versatile offense he has the makings of the next young play-making running back.

16. Miami Dolphins Terence Cody DT Alabama

Cody is a big time anchor guy who could go higher if he stays in good shape throughout the combine and workout process. He is a perfect 3-4 true nose tackle and can really control the flow and direction of a play.

17. Jacksonville Jaguars  Jonathan Dwyer RB Georgia Tech

The Jags offense works much better when they have two main backs in their stable. And Dwyer, an old school workhorse running back, would be an upgrade over MoJo’s current backups.  He can run inside and outside and can handle as many carries as the coach gives him. Dwyer’s a big back, but he has good speed as well and can be the muscle of a two back system or handle the lone number one duties as well.

18. New York Jets Arrelious Benn WR Illinois

In any other year, Rejus Benn fells out of the first round due to his disappointing 2009 season. But this year’s receiving class is weak and it’s not his fault the quarterbacking in Champaign this fall was a hot mess. Of course, you could probably say the same for the Jets Mark Sanchez. Maybe he’ll look better next year with some complements to Jericho Cotchery.

19. Atlanta Falcons Rolando McClain LB Alabama

McClain is an amazing tackler in space and can cover a lot of ground from the middle linebacker spot. He’s got great fundamentals and has a knack of shedding blockers to make big tackles.

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20. Dallas Cowboys Arthur Jones DT Syracuse

Jones’ is a gap filler and is stronger than Atlas. He is in a Pat Williams type run stopper that will be look like a man amongst boys at times. He plays hard on every play and is of the rare breed of football players that will never quit on any play.

21. Seattle Seahawks (From Denver) Brandon Spikes LB Florida

The “incident” if you will that Spikes was involved in has sent his draft stock-a-tumbling as all the “character issues” will come into play.

22. San Diego Chargers Sean Weatherspoon OLB Missouri

Weatherspoon can play both sides of the field (he’ll end up near the ball anyway) and is always around a big play. Whether he’s rushing the passer, busting up a play in the backfield, breaking up a pass or chasing down a receiver from behind, Weatherspoon can do it all.

23. Arizona Cardinals Joe Haden CB Florida

Haden has jumped to the top of the board amongst other corners with solid coverage and ball skills. He makes good reads and adjusts well to the ball when its in the air. And if weren’t for all of the college football media devoting 90% of their coverage to telling us what a model American Tim Tebow is, we’d all be more well aware of these facts.

24. Baltimore Ravens Brandon Graham DE Michigan

Graham is a big body that plays very well upfield. Scouts will love that he is versatile enough to play the end position in either scheme. Graham himself will love the opportunity to play in a place where defense traditionally comes first and athletes with skill sets usually thrive. Plus, it will be nice to get out of Ann Arbor before all the investigations begin, and players begin to find themselves in sticky situations.

25. New York Giants Jermaine Gresham TE Oklahoma

Gresham is an elite pass catching tight end. He can run a perfect seam route or he can cover a lot of space over the middle. He needs to work on his blocking but he should be a touchdown machine with his hands, size and route running skills.

26. Philadelphia Eagles CJ Spiller RB Clemson

Spiller’s a fast runner built on a solid frame. His outside running game and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is where he’ll make his mark, but he’s not afraid to go right at a defender. A little extra muscle and being able to show his durability will help Spiller’s stock go up.

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27. Pittsburgh Steelers Jermaine Cunningham DE Florida

Cunningham isn’t as explosive as his teammate Carlos Dunlap but he is more reliable on a play by play basis. He gets to the quarterback with regularity and makes a lot of tackles in the run game as well.

28. Cincinnati Bengals Colt McCoy QB Texas

Believe it or not, it will be time start grooming Carson Palmer’s successor soon. Time flies doesn’t it? Best to do it now while you have the luxury of not being desperate

29. Minnesota Vikings Patrick Robinson CB Florida State

Robinson is a super fast coverage man that is above average in nearly every aspect of the game. He anticipates routes but isn’t a huge risk taker and tackles well in the open field. He is also a very good return man.

30. New England Patriots Navorro Bowman LB Penn State

Belichick’s teams are always at their best after Thanksgiving, and now they have the added motivation of having a win over their bitterest of rivals stolen away from them by horrible officiating, so they might not lose again this year.And they need depth at LB. Bowman has spent much of the year ranked the #1 OLB prospect from ESPN.com He’s been an absolute force down the stretch for PSU, (another Big Ten defensive player of the week award today) and it’s becoming impossible not to compare him to Lavar Arrington- same school, position, and jersey number. Arrington went on to six Pro Bowls, so that’s quite a complement

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31. New Orleans Saints Trevard Lindley CB Kentucky

Give how potent their O is, NOLA will obviously draft for D this spring. And Lindley is about to put the finishing touches on what could be the best-ever career by a University of Kentucky defensive back.

32. Indianapolis Colts Taylor Mays S USC

If you asked a scout to write down their ideal size and speed numbers for an NFL free safety they’d list: 6-3, 235, 4.4. Oddly enough that is Taylor’s height, weight and 40 time on record. Enough said.

NBA Power Rankings Western Conference 11-19

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By Paul M. Banks

1. Phoenix Suns (10-2)

They have won eight of their last 11 in Houston. They feel more comfortable at the Rockets’ home court than Mark Mangino at an all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.

2. Los Angeles Lakers (8-3)

A recent tweet from NBAGuy summarizes my thoughts exactly: “Hey Reggie Miller, how’d your 20-1 Lakers prediction work out? You dope”gorilla1

3. Denver Nuggets (9-3)

Is the Birdman, and his feel good story a NBA version of Josh Hamilton? Does that mean we’ll soon catch him doing naughty things with strippers?

4. Portland Blazers (9-4)

The number one defense in the league at 88 ppg. That will win you a lot of games, especially in an “Association” where so many teams treat the idea of guarding the way Jessica Simpson regards reading books.

5. Dallas Mavericks (9-3)

Their record is all the more impressive when you consider: Marion is out with a sprained left ankle, Dampier sat out his third straight game with an unknown illness and Howard has missed eight games due to offseason left ankle surgery.

6. San Antonio Spurs (4-5)

Antonio McDyess was a nice pickup wasn’t he? They better hope Manu Ginobili can stay healthy, especially with Tony Parker already out. Otherwise the best thing they’ll have going for them is the league’s most attractive fan in Eva Longoria.

7. Oklahoma City Thunder (6-6)

James Harden has had a couple nice games recently. And you may see them in the playoffs this year. As long you can get past the logo and team name which sounds like a Lingerie football or WNBA franchise.

8. Houston Rockets (7-5)

On paper, you really wouldn’t think that some of their pieces go together as a team. Yet they have a winning record. It’s like former Rocket Charles Barkley, whose arrest taught us that donuts and wine coolers go together…or at least they do for him.

9. Utah Jazz (5-6)

With Deron Williams back, all is well correct? No, not until they also have Kyle Korver back and finally get their front line healthy and clicking on all cylinders. It seems like ages since Utah had their forward depth at full strength.korverhair

10. Sacramento Kings (5-5)

From Kings’ blog Cowbell Kingdom “Nocioni’s defense has been pretty much spectacular and he’s easily been the best wing defender for the Kings this year.” Always liked Chapu when he played under Scott Skiles in Chicago.

11. New Orleans Hornets (4-8)

The fortunes of this team seem to be mirroring that of Utah, just a couple years behind. I think they’ll finish with a above .500 record, just not much higher.

12. Los Angeles Clippers (4-9)

They need Blake Griffin badly. Until then…as ClipperBlog.com put it, “The Clippers essentially have no chance to win when Baron reverts back to the shot happy, poor decision making version of himself that he was last year.”

13. Golden State Warriors (3-8)

To quote a tweet from Bucksketball.com “I don’t think Acie Law ever wants to see the Bradley Center again.”  That was the man “defending” Brandon Jennings the night he dropped 55.

14. Memphis Grizzlies (3-8)

Have you seen their attendance figures lately? I wouldn’t be surprised if the Memphis Grizzlies themselves have never even heard of the Memphis Grizzlies.

15. Minnesota Timberwolves (1-11)

Their only win was over the Nets at home, so that doesn’t actually count right? I think Michigan State might be able to beat the New Jersey Nets’ current lineup. After Ricky Rubio, this franchise is beginning to look cursed. But then again the Arizona Cardinals finally made it to the Super Bowl last year. So don’t give up hope Twin Cities.

NBA Power Rankings Eastern Conference

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By Paul M. Banks

1.  Boston Celtics (7-1)
Historians will call this era the “Golden Age of Point Guards,” and Rajon Rondo is telling everyone with his play: “don’t forget about me.” Fast start for Beantown, conjuring up memories of 2007-08.

2.  Orlando Magic (5-2)
We know EA Sports cover boy Dwight Howard is pretty much as good as it gets at his position in this league. The bigger question mark is Vinsanity. If Carter is on his A game this season, they could easily be back in the Finals.

3.  Miami Heat (5-1)
Off to a hot start, and looking good in what is no doubt one of the league’s toughest divisions. But next year could be the year they really make some noise, as they could make a major splash in free agency. You might have heard a thing or two about some decent FAs becoming available next summer.

4.Chicago Bulls (4-2)
Record is pretty good considering they’ve shot above 42% in a game just once this season. Derrick Rose is obviously their headliner, but the guy making the leap this so far is Joakim Noah. His version of making the leap isn’t scoring, it’s more defense and rebounding. His numbers on the glass don’t lie; and did you see the way he forced LeBron to his left on the final possession in the big win at Cleveland? That’s getting a stop when it’s absolutely necessary.

5. Atlanta Hawks (5-2)
Of all the teams in the NBA that warrant national publicity, but fail to garner it, this team is likely the most talented. I could have said the “Hawks fly under the radar,” but I thought that it would have been a bit tacky and shopworn.

6.  Cleveland Cavaliers (4-3)
Even with Shaq in the house, they still look way too overly dependent on LeBron. And what’s up with them not getting out and running? They will have more success this season if they quicken the tempo at Quicken Loans Arena, and utilize the King’s athleticism more.

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7. Toronto Raptors (3-4)
They’re a good team, better than the lackluster start they’ve gotten off to. But they should win be in “win now” mode more than any other team, just in case they can’t keep Chris Bosh after this season.

8.  Charlotte Bobcats (3-3)
The off-season was uninspiring, and having Gerald Wallace as your top gun doesn’t sound very exciting or intimidating on paper, but their depth and balance will surprise you. And they’ll win more games than you think they will.

9.  Philadelphia 76ers (3-4)
The Phillies and Eagles have had a lot of success in 2009, but don’t expect the Sixers to join in. They have backcourt issues, and the frontcourt isn’t good enough to compensate for those issues.

10.  Detroit Pistons (3-4)
Could this be the year? Well, yes if you’re defining “the year” as the season in which Detroit misses the postseason for the first time in quite a while. They were under .500 yet a #8 seed last year, and all the moves they’ve made since then did nothing to address their problems.

11.  Washington Wizards (2-5)

They still need a beast down low. More athleticism and higher skill sets from their bigs is crucial. It would help if the forwards could stay healthy more often too.

12. Milwaukee Bucks (3-2)

The annual Michael Redd injury came early this year. How will they fill the scoring void? Possibly Brandon Jennings, the early favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Jennings and last year’s ROY, Derrick Rose are on their way to developing a phenomenal Central Division rivalry.

13.  Indiana Pacers (2-3)
The last time the NBA had a team this white, it was the 1950s. Funny that this lily team is located in the “Hoosier” state too. Maybe Larry Bird should hire Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper to coach them?

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14.  New York Knicks (1-7)
If team marketing slogans were actually honest, (and in this case brutally honest) you’d have “Knicks basketball: just one more season till our contracts expire!” Seriously, most of that wasted money comes off the books after this year, so hold tight: change you could possibly believe is on its way.

15.  New Jersey Nets (0-7)
I’d use one of 2008’s biggest buzz words, “a hot mess” to describe New Jersey’s roster, but that is truly an insult to hot messes everywhere.