Saturday, June 25, 2011

Have A Little Faith

So, I havent written anything in a while, and I would like to say it's because I've been too busy doing grand things, and now I'm here to talk about them. I haven't and I'm not. I have just not had any inspiration to write lately. But today, I had a conversation with my mother about why things happen the way they do, and the impacts of positives and negatives in our lives. I was reminded of a quote from a book I read a while back called Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom. It says,
"...the same things in life can be good or evil, depending on what, with free will, we do with them. Speech can bless or curse. Money can save or destroy. Science can heal or kill. Even nature can work for you or against you: fire can warm or burn; water can sustain life or flood it away. But nowhere in the story of Creation, do we read the word 'bad'. God did not create bad things. He leaves it to us." It goes on to ask why God doesn't see us about to partake in the negative, and jump in and eliminate that from our choice. It says, "... we were created with a piece of divinity inside us, but with this thing called free will, and I think God watches us every day, lovingly, praying we will make the right choice."

I dont know that a quote has ever set with me like this one has. It has been over a year since I have read the book, but this part seems to have rooted itself into a deeper part of me than most things do. I guess I feel like this ties in with what my mother has always said about negative things making us stronger. So instead of seeing things that are 'negative' we should probably see everything as 'positive' in some way. I feel like we should sometimes just stop, step back and thank God for all of the so-called 'negative' things in life. You know, the heartbreaks, the struggles... and realize that these are the things that God puts in front of us, to help mold us into the people we need to be. It just helps to take them in stride, and know that without the rain, we wouldn't appreciate the sunshine.

God is Love.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inside My Life

   I guess most people start their blog by telling the world who they are, where they are from, and why they are writing a blog. Well I'm weird and didn't do that, so here goes. My name is Jacob Smith. I am from a tiny town in Alabama, called Oneonta, and I'm a journalism major at Jacksonville State University.
   I guess my main reason for writing a blog is to get the piles of nonsense, and the few good thoughts out of my head, and onto paper (so to speak). I decided to be a journalism major simply because of the way I relate to certain things I've read in my life, and how a simple story, book, or speech stays with me for what I believe to be a longer period of time than it does with most people.
   I want to be great. Not just at journalism, but at life. At being a son, a brother, a cousin, a nephew, a friend, and God willing one day a husband and father. My motivation to be great mainly comes from negative things. Things like past failures, heartbreaks, tears, and the moments in which I have felt the lowest. I have a motivation to be great for myself, but also for the people that God has surrounded me with. My guess is that there are people in the world that would tell me that my craving to be great is unhealthy, and that to strive to high, is to set yourself up for failure. I would also guess that those people will never be as great as they could be.
   I have an extremely close relationship with my family, and a certain number of other people. I don't know if the people who play the biggest roles in my life know exactly what they mean to me, and the extent to which my love for them goes.
   The main thing I try to do everyday is to smile, and make sure that the people around me are smiling. There is enough negativity in the world without me adding to it.
   So with that said, this is my blog. There is no telling what will be included in it, and I'll probably be just as suprised at what comes to my head as anyone else. So if you like what I write, cool... If not, sorry.

Friday, March 11, 2011

"If there is no struggle, there is no progress." - Frederick B. Douglas

Normally I don't just sit down and type. Normally I contemplate on what I want to say, and go from there. But right now, I'm just going to type. Sometimes I wonder why things happen the way they do. Why some people are born into a family of pure wealth, and never have to truly work for anything they earn, and why some are born into poverty, with a less than average chance to get out. I consider myself to be somewhere in the middle. By no means do I think my life has been overly difficult; it hasn't. But when I see people that have been handed most things in their life on a platter, bitch and moan over something little not going exactly as planned... that is the kind of thing that bothers me. Now I naturally know that everyone has bad days, and it is human nature to get down, or feel sorry for yourself from time to time, but please look in the mirror, and then look around. And by look around, I don't mean at somebody you know that may have it a little worse than you. I mean look at the people in Japan today, who woke up expecting an average day. Most of them don't have a home to go to, and some have lost loved ones. The devestation is something that it will take years to recover from, if they ever truly do. Look at the people of New Orleans, who in 2005 had their entire world turned upside down by hurricane Katrina. Some of them still haven't been able to move back home, nearly 6 years later. Look at all the helpless kids of the world, who are born into a terrible situation that they had no control over. I by no means am trying to sound holier than thou... because I am not. There are days when I get down on myself, and think that the world owes me something. It doesn't. Every time that God blesses us with another day, that should be enough. I know we live in a world of material things, and that the more money you have, the higher your pedestal. But to be honest, if I can make one person a day happy... If I can make one person smile while going through a tough time, then that's enough for me. Of course there are going to be trials and tribulations all through life. If we didn't go through struggles, we would never know what true happiness felt like. So I guess this is my rant for the week, not at anyone in particular, but at all of us, myself very much included. I can only live my life, and speak for myself, but I can honestly say I am going to attempt to be as happy as possible at every moment. Truly happy. God is great. Life is great. Let's treat it like so. One Love.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it the present." - Lil' Wayne

Sometimes life gets complicated. Sometimes it seems easy. Sometimes life is fun. Sometimes exhausting. Sometimes exhilarating. Sometimes boring. Sometimes laid back. Sometimes erratic. But no matter how many words you try to describe it with, the only one that can fully describe it, is Life. Life is a definition within itself. A lot of people use their life for good, and to help other people make the most out of their own. Unfortunately, not all do. Some use their life for negativity, and malice. Some use their life to live for God, and others live to negate these ideas. I feel like sometimes we tend to over-think and over-analyze things, but life is simple. It is a gift, given to us day after day. So today, I wake up, and thank God for all he has done for me, and the people he has surrounded me with, but most importantly, for another day in this life.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NFL Big Board

The NFL Draft is coming up at the end of April, so I decided to make my own "big board" of future NFL players. This isn't where I think they will be drafted, but who I think are the best twenty-five prospects.

1. Patrick Peterson - DB - LSU
Not only is he one of the best college corners I've seen in a long time, but he could also project at safety at the next level, and is a great returner as well. Don't think he'll be the # 1 pick, but I think he's definitely the number one talent.

2. Marcell Dareus - DT - Alabama
With the ability to play a 1, 3, or 5 technique, Dareus brings a lot of flexibility to any defense. He could be dominant in a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme, and if he can build his stamina to be an every down player, he could be downright unstoppable at the next level. Biggest selling point to NFL teams will be his quickness, and ability to get off the ball quicker than a lot of d-linemen.

3. Nick Fairley - DT - Auburn
Fairley has been considered dirty by a lot of people, but there is one thing that he brings every time he plays: a motor. He plays hard from whistle to whistle, and he too has the flexibility to play a couple of different positions along the defensive front.

4. Von Miller - LB Texas A&M
Recorded 10.5 sacks in 2010 while switching to outside linebacker for the first time in his career, and playing with a nagging foot injury for most of the season. Miller is a unbelievably athletic linebacker, who I feel is a can't miss for any team, no matter their defensive scheme.

5. A.J. Green - WR - Georgia
Green has put up huge numbers for Georgia since he was a freshman, and on a team where he was the focal point for every defense. To me, Green's best attribute is his ability to run great routes, locate the ball early, and out bid almost all DB's for it.

6. DaQuan Bowers - DE - Clemson
Tremendous athleticism, with tremendous upside. Was the #1 high school player in the country when he came out. Was a beast at times at Clemson, but he too has the tendency to take plays off. If he learns to play with a chip on his shoulder play in and play out, he could be in the same sentence as Julius Peppers.

7. Nate Solder - OT - Colorado
Prototypical left tackle. Finalist for the Outland Trophy. At 6'9'' 315 pounds, if he gets his hands on you, you're done. Played against good competition in college, and is not only a big body, but a good athlete, with great feet.

8. Blaine Gabbert - QB - Mizzou
Not talked about a lot in college, but at 6'4'', he is a great size for a pro style quarterback. Played behind Chase Daniel, and learned a lot about the tigers system early on. Even though he was asked to do a lot at the colegiate level, he still managed to only throw 7 interceptions. He can also beat you with his feet when needed.

9. Julio Jones - WR - Alabama
Specimen. Great size, speed, and strength. Devestating blocker, and the kind of athlete that scouts drool over. (No homo) Dominated in college, in a system that prodominately ran the ball, and produced a heisman winner at running back. Can line up out wide, or in the slot, and is a coverage nightmare at either one. Has to prove he can stay healthy, and improve on securing the catch before looking to run.

10. Prince Amukamara - CB - Nebraska
Fast. Ran a 4.37 forty at the combine last week, and has great ball skills. Very cerebral player, and is a stud in man coverage, but excels at zone coverage as well. On top of being a great cover corner, he is also one of the best tackling corners in the nation.

11. Akeem Ayers - LB- UCLA
Big, fast, and physical. Great cover linebacker, collecting 6 interceptions in a 3 year career at UCLA.

12. Cam Newton - QB- Auburn
Great athlete, good quarterback. Has shown the ability to throw the ball downfield, but has been inconsistent in doing so. If he can prove he can throw from the pocket, and be a leader at the quarterback position, he will more than likely not make it past the first 5 picks.

13. Mike Pouncey - G/C - Florida
Struggled at times at Florida after being moved to center, to replace his brother. Will more than likely play guard at the next level, and with great strength and footwork, he should be a great one.

14. Mark Ingram - RB - Alabama
Consensus # 1 running back in this years draft class. Has good speed, and great strength and vision. Good leader, and has a great work ethic. Will impress, and be successful wherever he lands.

15. Adrian Clayborn - DE - Iowa
Big physical d-end who has shown the ability to get to the quarterback, but plays the run as well, if not better. Can play in either the 4-3 or 3-4. Needs to learn to get off the ball a little quicker, and be a little faster at the point of attack.

16. Robert Quinn - DE - North Carolina
Suspended by the NCAA in 2010, but still a phenomenal athlete. Should come off the board in the first round.

17. J.J. Watt - DE – Wisconsin
Big, physical d-lineman that can play multiple positions. Sneaky athletic. Good motor, relentless.

18. Stephen Paea – DT – Arizona State
Great at playing the run, while being able to get into the backfield at times as well. Broke the combine record for most bench reps with 49. Demands a double team in the gap, and should be able to contribute early.

19 . Aldon Smith – DE – Mizzou
Will be a great 4-3 end at the next level. Brings great speed off the edge, but needs to improve in the run game.

20. Gabe Carimi – OL – Wisconsin
2010 Outland trophy winner. Plays with a mean streak, and is a beast in the running game.

21. Cam Jordan – DE – Cal
Big and physical. Would be a great 5 technique at the next level. Needs to improve in ball speed, and pass rushing.

22. Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
At 6’9’’ 295 pounds, Castonzo is a guy that can play either tackle or guard spot in the league. Great athleticism, and extremely smart.

23. Justin Houston – LB – Georgia
Perfect fit for a 3-4 outside linebacker. Quick off the edge, but strong enough to play inside if needed. Great speed, and pursuit.

24. Aaron Williams – CB – Texas
Not great in space, but could excel as a nickle corner in the league. Great speed, and hands, and is an above average tackler as well.

25. Muhammad Wilkerson – DT – Temple
Great 3-4 end, and excels in getting off blocks. Great against the run, and can play weakside as well, great speed and pursuit.

Others: Tyron Smith OT USC, Jake Locker QB Washington, Christian Ballard DE Iowa, Phil Taylor DT Baylor, Derek Sherrod OT Miss. State, Jimmy Smith CB Colorado, Jon Baldwin WR Pitt, Bruce Carter LB North Carolina, Ryan Mallett QB Arkansas, Brandon Harris CB Miami, Kyle Rudolph TE Notre Dame

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Top 50 NBA Players Right Now

Watching the NBA All-Star Game last weekend, and then seeing all the trades made right before the trade deadline hit gave me the idea to list who I think are the 50 best players in the NBA as of right now.

1. Kobe Bryant - L.A. Lakers                             
2. Lebron James - Miami Heat                       
3. Dwayne Wade - Miami Heat                     
4. Kevin Durant - Oklahoma City Thunder             
5. Derrick Rose - Chicago Bulls
6. Dwight Howard - Orlando Magic
7. Carmelo Anthony - New York Knicks
8. Chris Paul - New Orleans Hornets
9. Amar'e Stoudemire  - New York Knicks
10. Deron Williams - New Jersey Nets
11. Dirk Nowitzki - Dallas Mavericks
12. Paul Pierce - Boston Celtics
13. Steve Nash - Phoenix Suns
14. Rajon Rondo - Boston Celtics
15. Pau Gasol - L.A. Lakers
16. Joe Johnson - Atlanta Hawks
17. Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
18. Monta Ellis - Golden State Warriors
19. Lamarcus Aldridge - Portland TrailBlazers
20. Russell Westbrook - Oklahoma City Thunder
21. Rudy Gay - Memphis Grizzlies
22. Kevin Love - Minnesota Timberwolves
23. Chris Bosh - Miami Heat
24. Blake Griffin - L.A. Clippers
25. Manu Ginobli - San Antonio Spurs
26. Kevin Garnett - Boston Celtics 
27. Ray Allen - Boston Celtics
28. Brandon Roy - Portland TrailBlazers
29. Carlos Boozer - Chicago Bulls
30. Tony Parker - San Antonio Spurs
31. Jason Terry - Dallas Mavericks
32. Lamar Odom - L.A. Lakers
33. Al Horford - Atlanta Hawks
34. Tyreke Evans - Sacramento Kings
35. Danny Granger - Indiana Pacers
36. David Lee - Golden State Warriors
37. Josh Smith - Atlanta Hawks
38. Brook Lopez - New Jersey Nets
39. Jamal Crawford - Atlanta Hawks
40. Kevin Martin - Houston Rockets 
41. Stephen Jackson - Charlotte Bobcats
42. Eric Gordon - L.A. Clippers
43. Joakim Noah - Chicago Bulls
44. Gerald Wallace - Portland TrailBlazers
45. Andrew Bogut - Milwaukee Bucks
46. Steph Curry - Golden State Warriors
47. Michael Beasley - Minnesota Timberwolves
48. Brandon Jennings - Milwaukee Bucks
49. Andre Iguodala - Philadelphia 76ers
50. Luis Scola - Houston Rockets

Others: David West, Zac Randolph, Andre Miller, Elton Brand, Andrea Bargnani, Chauncey Billups, John Wall, Hedo Turkoglu, Al Jefferson, J.R. Smith

Friday, February 25, 2011

"Do your own thing, F what they do." - B.o.B.

It seems like being real is becoming a thing of the past. Being real is one of the most attractive qualities in any human. The ability to not care what people think is refreshing. Being real doesn't mean being rude, or being blind to the fact that others have feelings and opinions. Being real is having your own thoughts, opinions, and not living behind the ghost of who you think others want you to be. If you're country, be country. If you're gangster, be gangster. If you're gay, be gay. If you're misunderstood, embrace it. Don't be worried if people are going to question your race, gender, sexuality, religion, or even political views. If you can't do you, then who the hell can? If you have a sense of humor, be funny. If you like to play harder than you work, so be it. Don't let anyone hold you to their set of standards; you're not them. For me, I like hip-hop music, and sports. But I also like to read, write, and draw. A lot of people think that it's wierd for someone to enjoy things that are so different. But that's who I am, and always will be. I love it when people are assertive. I like seeing people push the envelope, and dare to do and say things that most others wouldn't. I like when people speak their minds, and don't worry about the consequences. Real recognize real, and always will. Be who you are, do what you like, and keep it one hundred.