HW&W First Take

Welcome to the first edition of HW&W First Take… where very much like in the popular morning show on ESPN we take the time to discuss the week’s most important issues in SPORTS. If you guys didn’t know, half us on HW&W live and breathe sports and the rest of us couldn’t care less. For all of you sports fans, this ones for you.

The debate/conversation each week will be between Oakley & Allen and Elaquent.

O&A: Let’s start with the bizarre story of Manti Te’o…

Elaquent: He’s definitely faking the funk. No doubt in my mind. I cannot fathom any person with an Internet connection under the age of 65 can be that gullible and stupid for that long. Too many things don’t make any sense…and generally if things don’t make sense, usually they’re not true…

From all accounts, he’s a good guy. But how can you maintain a 2 year long relationship with someone, and never Skype? Not to mention, hella things he was on the record saying, completely contradict his response to the deadspin report. He said they met after a Stanford game and swapped numbers?

Not to mention, this fool is the captain of the #1 football program in America. He could have ANY girl he wanted, why would he confine himself to an Internet relationship? Just doesn’t make sense.

O&A: Exactly. Nobody over the age of 15 in this social media day and age can’t be THAT gullible. The proof just wasn’t in the pudding. He actually does seem like a good human being which makes this even more confusing.

If there’s anything I learned from VARSITY BLUES, it’s that football players get the hot girls & Mantei Te’o is one of the best football players in the country.

Elaquent: For his story to be legit, ALL those newspapers and media outlets would’ve had to make ALL of that stuff up. They don’t just make shit up, they get it from somewhere. There’s no way.

O&A: Only Deadspin could break a story of that magnitude

Elaquent: Shouts out to deadspin. Incredible investigative journalism. I mean, I almost hope that he was in on it, because that is just plain sad if he got hoodwinked that easily..

O&A: Way too many red flags, even during that ESPN interview, Wojciechowski said he was denied access to anything Kakua related.

Elaquent: Which brings me to the motive…

O&A: Whoever schemed up such a maniacal plot must either be a sociopath or a Alabama diehard

Elaquent: I think he did it for the publicity and to make himself look like a bigger hero. Talk about overcoming adversity! Plays his ass off after TWO loved ones in a 24 hour span. Sure it looked great in his Heisman trophy push

O&A: Definitely, even my mom knew who he was after that story came out. He wanted to boost his notoriety and come out as some sort of martyr for Kakua. Surely he had it twisted, only if he knew it would lead to this.

Elaquent: If he really was duped, whoever did it must’ve had WAAAAAY too much time. We’re talking years of tweeting, alleged phone calls, just too much work. It’s not like this was a 3 week long thing, it was YEARS. I can’t imagine anybody would maintain that hoax for that long if manti wasn’t in on it.

This really going to cripple Notre Dame’s credibility tenfold..

I don’t think Alabama needed to fuck with Te’o for years to win that national championship game lol

O&A: Haha, true story. AJ McCarron’s GF was enough to push them to victory!

Elaquent: Yeah…plus she exists..

O&A: buahahha

On to the Clippers/Lakers…

O&A: I think my stance on this is well known. The Kobe Ball-era killed my Lakers fandom. All the Eddie Jones, Van Exel, Trevor Ruffin memories out the window. That being said, I’m all for the Clippset!

Elaqunet: I’ll start by saying I ride hard with lakers through good times and bad…

O&A: and I appreciate that mentality, greatly, being a Knicks fan

Elaquent: The lakers right now are a mess. Kobe is not the problem with the lakers though. He’s the only thing constant/consistent with that team.

Jim Buss and lakers management really dropped the ball in terms of the direction that the team went in. Lakers have relied on Kobe to save the day pretty much from the moment Shaq left LA. Right now they need a serious injection of youth.

O&A: They are indeed a mess & Kobe is the only one willing to be the janitor to clean it all up. The chemistry just hasn’t felt the same since Fisher/Odom were traded

ELaquent: It’s painful watching their transition defense and lack of defensive intensity. Kobe puts the team on his back every game, but that bench is virtually non existent, Dwight still isn’t 100% (plus is still a free throw liability), and my biggest issue is the coaching

O&A: I mean I could see why they thought it would work, but you can’t EVER turn down the Zen Master. D’Antoni would be fitting for maybe a young Hawks/Kings team, but not an aging team looking to win now like the Lakers

Elaquent: I don’t wanna be cliche and jump on the “fire mike D’Antoni” bandwagon. He’s a great coach. Just not right for the lakers and their personal. The team is simply not talented/fast enough to run that 7 seconds or less offense. Their problem was never their offense to me, but their defense.

O&A: Indeed. And with the Clippers, it seems as if all the success they’ve had lies in the chemistry.

Elaqunet: Yeah, fronting in Phil was just a bad look. Watching the clippers play is everything I expected the lakers to be

O&A: I hated Del Negro as a coach, but somehow he’s managed to get all these personas on the same page. It could just be Chris Paul doing everything behind the scenes, but watching this team, it feels like they enjoy playing together. I’ll still punch David Stern for turning down that CP3 to Lakers trade!

Elaquent: Chris Paul is the best point guard in the game, Idgaf. I still have my reservations about vinny as a coach, and we’ll see how he handles the post season, but these niggas are balling right now.

And Jamal Crawford….wow. Just wow.

O&A: Bench Mobbin! I’m just worried about the second half of the season, when everyone is healthy and looking for minutes, will they remain as bonded?

Elaquent: That bench is super deep, they’re turning into a better team and not just a Harlem globe trotters demonstration squad. Plus they’re young and hungry. I don’t think the clippers are built for a ring yet. As much as I hate OKC, I think they and/or the Spurs will give them a lot of trouble come playoff time..

O&A: Shall we move on to the NHL? A topic I know very very little of haha..

Elaquent: Honestly man, I’m not a hockey guy like that. I don’t know nearly enough to discuss it. Lol

O&A: Haha, same here, next topic!

Elaquent: It’s back I guess that’s a good thing.. Aight well let me throw a question back at you…

Knicks vs Nets. Who will be the more successful NY franchise?

O&A: Can’t turn my back on the Knicks. I’m rolling with Spike Lee on this one. If the Knicks can keep up this level of play for the next 4-5 years, which they should, they’ll still own NY. Like Fab said the Knicks are like NY’s first born child & the Nets are the newborn. Nets got a ton of growing up to do before they contend with them Knickerbockers.

Elaquent: Kinda like the whole laker/clippers dynamic. Up until this season that is

O&A: Precisely!

Elaquent: I think the nets are overrated personally. I’m sure Dwight still wants to go there

O&A: He should just stay in LA and star in TV cop dramas once his bball days are over.

Elaquent: I don’t think he’s the right fit for LA. At least while Kobe is there

O&A: They don’t complement each other that’s for sure

Elaquent: I don’t see that killer instinct, that he’s really hungry to win. He looks like winning is no big deal. He reminds me of those house league players who try to calm u down when u lose a game like “winning doesn’t matter, as long as you had fun!”

BTW… How do u feel about the NFL’s efforts to make the game safer and all the past players trying to sue the NFL for being “negligent” in informing them about concussion risks and shit??

O&A: Damn, this is a tough one. I really feel for the elder players, esp those like Seau, for being exposed to all the risks after their careers are over. Something needs to be done other than the lawsuits…programs from the NFL, proper education on the risks, etc…

You just can’t make a violent game un-violent though…

Elaquent: Personally, I think these players suing are on some bullshit

Granted, we know more about concussions than back in the 70s…but I feel like if u play football…even before getting drafted into the NFL…you KNOW what ur getting into. U KNOW its a violent sport and will get hurt

O&A: That’s my point too. You’ve played all throughout Pop Warner, HS, college & know the pros, the risk should be well known.

Elaquent: Not to mention, u have players who knowingly play hurt and sometimes even conceal injuries so they play. Now I’m all for players getting some $ from the NFL for helping it grow into America’s sport. But to act like the NFL could’ve prevented shit is absurd.

O&A: I dig the program the NFL started with the kids though, its most efficient to teach them early.

Elaquent: The NFL is trying to make it safer which is tough. But these plays can’t escape personal accountability in their injuries either. They get paid millions of dollars to hurt people.

O&A: Also feels odd they are suing the league that got them the $$$ they’re suing with

Elaquent: Very good point, its their job.

OK. Last question…who wins the Super Bowl and why? (***Note, this topic was discussed before the outcome of both the AFC and NFC Championship games were known…)

O&A: Since the Steelers are dead, I’m going with the 49ers. To me, they feel like the most complete squad left.. My darkhorse pick is the Ravens, Ray ending it with a ‘ship would be tooooo damn sweet

Who you got?

Elaquent: My gut tells me Patriots vs 49ers. I pray to god in wrong, but I gotta say 9ers look like the most well balanced team left in it. That Justin Smith led defense can disrupt even the most elite offense and kaepernick might be the hardest qb to defend against. He can run and has deadly accuracy and an oline that can protect him. We all know I hate the 49ers with all my being, and I honestly feel like my Seahawks, from a matchup standpoint could’ve beaten them, but I just don’t see Atlanta or the patriots doing it with all of their holes. I’m rooting for whoever wins the AFC tho..

My heart says Patriots but my head says 49ers. I’m going with my heart.