The 2000s; The Dirk vs. Duncan Era?

While the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and LeBron James have won most of the championships since the turn of the century, there was no great rivalry between them. A rivalry that has been constant was right here in the Lone Star State.

The Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs gave us some great ones and now that Tim Duncan is retiring without as much as a press conference, the rivalry of the most consistent teams of the previous decade is gone with him. Read More»

MLB First Half Wrap-up

Hey readers, my name is Charlie Clarke. I’ll introduce myself a bit before I delve into this piece. I’ve been writing for just under two years now. Starting with my high school paper, I’ve edited for FanSided, written with SB Nation, and interned with WGN Radio in Chicago, where I reside. Currently, I write with Baseball Prospectus, 247Sports, and the Chicago Tribune Media Group.

There are a couple of reasons I decided to contribute to Charles’ 1st and Inches blog. We met last year as roommates and became good friends, feeding off of each other’s sports knowledge. I can say confidently say that not many people heading into sophomore year in college know as much and/or are as smart about sports as Charles. Hopefully he has similar praise for me.

While I have opportunities to cover many of the teams I’ve grown up rooting for, I chose to write here because it’s a place with much more freedom as far as topics and ideas go…also because he offered. I’ve covered the Rangers twice in Chicago (which you can read here and here) and that’s just about my only experience with Texas, where I’d assume most of this readership calls home.

Anyway, I look forward to whatever my future is with this site, and hopefully y’all read my stuff.

Seeing as last night was the conclusion of the ‘first half’ of the 2016 MLB season, I examined each club’s record and pretended as if it were Opening Day. Much to my surprise, there weren’t too many surprises. The Cubs and Giants are really good. The Braves and Reds are really bad. Like any year, some teams have overachieved, some have underachieved. Bartolo Colon continues to be Bartolo Colon, with one extra homer. Here’s my summation of 2016’s MLB script, enjoy. Read More

Cuban and Dirk: What #DallasStrong Looks Like

This story was originally written and published on the NBCDFW website. In wake of the recent events in the place that I, and many of you reading, call home. I would like to share this. Sports is such a small part of the world, but it is a great escape and can truly highlight the good in people. This one is for the good people of the DFW-area, of all races, that understand love and loyalty. Let us learn greater humanity from this tragedy. I am praying for you, Dallas.
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Breaking Up is Hard, Especially in Sports

Yesterday Kevin Durant made one of the biggest decisions of, not only his life, but NBA history. While no championship is guaranteed, Durant has made it extremely favorable for himself and the Golden State Warriors.

Not since Moses Malone became a 76er in 1982, has a league MVP-candidate left their own team to join a proven title-contender. With all the excitement and assumed success Durant is bringing to Oakland, he is also taking all of his talent and fame away from Oklahoma City, which has expectantly left many Oklahoma City fans upset. Read More

Alex Rodriguez: The Unloved Superstar

At one point, early in his career with the Seattle Mariners, Alex Rodriguez was the golden child of the MLB. He was playing alongside Ken Griffey Jr., one of the most beloved athletes in sports history. Rodriguez was just a kid playing with “The Kid” and they were both so special, but by 2000 they were both on different teams and our feelings for A-Rod began to change.  Read More

Saying Goodbye to ‘Johnny Football’

Five years ago, Johnny Manziel was just a south Texas, high school football hero. Now he is a 23-year-old who desperately needs help.

Nonetheless, he dominated in high school. During his time at quarterback for Tivy High School, he racked up 153 touchdowns and accolades galore. While his high school career was successful, he was not highly recruited. Read More