NBA, I beg of you: Bring back the J.R. Rider era

I saw this recently – and I implore all NBA teams, someone sign J.R. Rider!

Remember the 1994 Dunk Contest, back when that was cool? You damn right I do. We had a very young Allan Houston doing his thing, Reign Man before he gained like 150 pounds, and the great Robert Pack. Don’t forget my man Pat Ewing in the front row in a sweet purple shirt.


And of course, J.R. Rider with the East Bay Funk Dunk. Often imitated. NEVER, EVER duplicated.

I was more a Penny Hardaway and Warriors-era Chris Webber guy myself, but J.R. Rider’s dunk epitomized 90’s-era basketball – along with White Men Can’t Jump, Lil’ Penny, Jordan, and The Dunk by Starks.

I don’t care what shape he’s in, I don’t care what he looks like, we need J.R. Rider back in the league for fun’s sake. Hell, we need him back in the dunk contest.

While we’re at it, move over LeBron, let’s track down Dee Brown, Ced Caballos and Harold Miner (word to Chris for the reminder about Baby Jordan) and make this a real party.

Ain’t nothing wrong with a little nostalgia.

Farewell to a (fantasy) football god: Drew Bennett era draws to an end

The zenith of Drew Bennett's dominance -- 42-yarder vs. the Chiefs on MNF

You might have missed this last week, but right after signing with the Baltimore Ravens, Drew Bennett decided to retire. Now, this caused nary a ripple in the actual football world. But in the fantasy football world, well, this was the equivalent of Jerry Rice hanging up the cleats.

At least for some of us. That is, those of us who somehow drafted or picked up Mr. Bennett during his miraculous 2004 season. Because for a three-week period in December, Drew Bennett – a former college quarterback – was the greatest receiver alive.

He was Jerry Rice, Steve Largent and Irving Fryar all rolled up into one. He had the combined power of Duper and Clayton. The NFL’s arms were too short to box with Drew Bennett.

To put it bluntly, Drew Bennett was stupid dope.

Three weeks. 28 receptions. 517 yards. Eight touchdowns.

The most amazing thing is when he started up his run, Drew was either on a bench, or on the waiver wire. And this guy decided virtually every fantasy league in 2004, he and Billy Volek. Tom Brady? LaDainian Tomlinson? Marvin Harrison? You could have all three of them – go ahead, take ‘em – and you wouldn’t stand a chance next to the Volek-Bennett express, son.

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