Voice of the Young People:The Reintroduction of YoungVito

(Tommy Silverstein)

I’d first like to thank Mike Tillery for letting me rock the mic once in a while.

You might’ve seen me in SLAM Magazine, I did the Detroit Pistons piece in the latest issue, and hopefully, that’s just the beginning. I go by the name YoungVito.

I believe the soundtrack to my life is a mixture of mid-80’s to early 90’s-R&B (the underrated sensuality of Phyllis Hyman, the soul of Anita Baker, the potential of a young MJB)

with the mid-90’s rap (lyrically ascending like Nas, wide-ranging like Jay-Z, militant and sometimes contradictory like Tupac).

Yeah, I’m from Detroit, the most hated-on, shitted-on urban city in the US and got the battle scars, apprehensiveness of the mainstream and utter distrust of the police to prove it.

I believe “protect and serve” is missing a few key details. Protecting the interests of the rich while serving the Negro on a silver platter is what it really means, but I doubt that would fit on a badge.

Influences: the G.O.A.T. Ralph Wiley, Scoop Jackson, Wilbon (when he remembers he’s from the South Side of the Chi), Stephen A (love him or hate him, brotha speaks his mind), Rob Parker (real dude, ‘nuff said)

Let’s summarize a few things: If Jason Whitlock told me he was for black folk, I’d look at dude the same way I did when R Kelly said he wasn’t on that video.

While Mike Vick got railroaded, and trust, he was railroaded. It was a fucked-up lesson learned that no matter how much money you have, it all can be taken away. Although I’m not a parent, on the day I do become one, sadly I’ll be preaching, “You gotta be twice as good to get half the distance as others.”

Here’s another belief: When a surly 40-year old black man hits over 700 home runs, he’s obviously on the juice, but when a 40-year old pitcher who lost the “fast” in his fastball in his early and mid-30’s suddenly regains it, his workouts are legendary. His work ethic is impeccable. Ring a bell? (sarcasm)

I’m a firm believer that things aren’t always black or white, that most things are a shade of gray leaning toward either direction.

I can’t tell Jamaal Tinsley not to go out late at night, or not to show the things he accumulated through his hard work, but I want him to understand there’s some jealous people in this world, be it media, fans or just haters that can’t stand to see someone prosper.

Yes, race plays a part in sports and yeah, we’ll be here to balance all that out. Some things we’ll agree with, others, we won’t feel each other all the way. Like:

Although MJ23 is the G.O.A.T., I would take Magic over him if I started a team. Any team.

Although I love Magic, Isiah Thomas is the greatest point guard of all time, in terms of playing the position naturally.

Zeke, out of his three other legendary contemporaries (23, Bird, and Magic), is probably the best coach/executive. And that, in itself is sad. Bird took at team Isiah had a hand in building and blew it to pieces. Mike has shown he can’t do anything else but hire his UNC buddies and Magic, well, dude went like 1-10 when he was coaching. And couldn’t keep Kobe and Shaq co-existing.

My starting five: MJ23, Magic, Bird, Doc, and Hakeem (that Dream Shake in the 90’s has no equal). Not Cap and the sky hook, not Shaq circa 00-03. the Dream Shake, remember it, admire it.

Barry Sanders, not Emmitt Smith, not Jim Brown, not the late great Walter Payton, is the greatest running back of all time. He just played with a crappy ass team.

Here are a few of my mistakes, just to show I’m human.

I thought Charles Rogers would be a transcendent wide receiver.

You couldn’t have told me at the beginning of the decade that Allen Iverson would still be playing at this high a level.

I thought Chris Webber and the Sac Kings would’ve had a couple rings at the beginning of this decade.

I believed Larry Brown when he said the Pistons would be his last coaching job. Alas, the greatest pimp in sports did it again.

I thought Penny Hardaway would make triumphant returns. In ’98, I believed, in ’01 I believed, this year, I believed. But when he was right, he was Magic and Michael mixed into one. (yeah, I said it)

I just knew Donovan and TO would work, you couldn’t have told me different.

You’ve seen me comment here and there, but let’s get it cracking big time.


82 Responses to “Voice of the Young People:The Reintroduction of YoungVito”

  1. Barry Sanders? WORD? um…ok. I see your logic. He was better than Emmit…but Jim Brown and Walter Payton? oh thats right…youre from Detroit.

    Donovan and TO DID work. and then they (like so many other easily manipulated athletes) let the media come between them.

    Chris Webber? yup…you from Detroit.

    Ive always admired Detroits loyalty to its own.

    welcome aboard.

  2. from what Barry had to work with, no line, no D, no QB, one WR (Herman Moore), I think he’s the best not because of what jersey he wore, but he did so much with so little to work with….

    C-Webb….yeah, you right…since everyone else is against us, we gotta keep everything insulated, we stick up for our own, sometimes to a fault, right, Jemele?

  3. I dont know Inkog, I agree with him about Barry Sanders. I’m not old enough to have seen Jim Brown or Walter Payton play, but I have to roll with Barry…

    If he wouldn’t have retired early, he would have smashed the rushing record. (without playing until he was washed up like Emmitt too).

  4. Sweet Jones Says:


    Did you use to post over at allhiphop?

    Your name looks familiar from either the Social Lounge or PPM (-:.

  5. I think as long as you’re sad about it, when you tell your child “you have to be twice as good to get half the distance as others”….we still gotta chance. Its when we forget why we’re sad about it that its all over.

  6. GrandNubian Says:

    Welcome Aboard……….

    I agree that Barry was better than Emmitt. Honestly, i don’t think Emmitt is a top 5 RB of all-time. I never saw Jim Brown play because i was still swimming in da sac by the time he retired, so i can’t compare the two. But Walter Payton was the best RB I ever saw play. Dude could do it all: run, catch, block, throw the ball, etc. Also, people are quick to forget that Walter Payton had a crappy O-Line for the vast majority of his career. And Sweetness, just like Barry, had no D (excluding 1984-86), no QB, no WR.

    Also, MJ over ANY other player, no matter who it is/was.

    Starting Five: MJ, Magic, Bird, Karl Malone, Olajawon


  7. Youngvito,

    Welcome back!

    First I love C-Webb, He was the most important King. He and the Fab Five should be remembered in history for more that the time out. Like I’ve told many when it was called MI wasn’t winning the game so how can that be one of the best games in history? Now the UCLA game where MI came back from I think it was 19 down after halftime, now that should be one of the best tournament games ever. Also if C-webb didn’t go on 7pt favorite Kentucky in the final four MI would not have been in the championship game against NC. Mashburn was killing MI. C-Webb gets all the blame and none of the credit. The Kings were the 4th seed in the west when they traded him to philly. They haven’t won a playoff series without him and are now one of the worst teams in the league. Damn those knees of his. Dallas couldn’t beat the Kings until C-Webb was gone. My boy deserves some love. His work in the community is second to none. Not many black athletes show love that C-Webb does to young inner city youth. I’m very proud of him for that.

  8. Damn that Robert Horry!

  9. My wife is from Detroit (Cass Tech) … Boston Blvd @ 12th … so I know that a lot a y’all instead of “Oh, hell no!” you say “Aww hecky no!” And stuff like that. So don’t even try to front! LOL

    Have to agree with you on most of your points. Great analysis, thoughts.

  10. I too love Barry. I’m not old enough to have seen Payton or Brown. But I believe Barry was drafted when I was in my prime football watching years (about 11-21… you know, back when you had no responsibility and you could watch football all day). You had to stop and watch every time he got the ball, and to me that is the mark of the greatest players… where you’re afraid to miss a play because you don’t know what will happen. Plus he had the sickest 1 yard runs in the history of football.

    I too am also a big fan of the dream shake. I loved watching Hakeem play.

  11. I’d take Kobe over either of the two MJ’s in a quick second. Dude has done the most with the least under more hatred than Jordan and Magic could ever imagine and yet, he still just keeps on keepin’ on bringing it every night in a league that hates him in front of fans that demonize him and in a league with literally dozens more athletic players than either Magic or Jordan had to face. You ask me the GOAT, it’s easy, Kobe Muthafuckin’ Bryant.

    And oh yeah, Kobe ain’t shuckin and jiving for peanuts on TNT or selling out black folks because “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

    I’ll take Emmitt over Barry and Payton as well. Oh no doubt Barry was a better runner, but he was all breakaway, never ball control. Emmitt was the greatest runner ever in terms of using his blocking and his 15 play drives were demoralizing in that they ate up the clock and there wasn’t a damn thing you could do about it. And neither Barry nor Walter ever gave a performance like Emmitt did against the Giants with a separated shoulder in the playoffs.

    Yeah, Emmit no doubt.

  12. Michelle

    I loved Horry when he was a Laker and hate him now that he is a Spur. But dude is possibly the smartest basketball player I’ve ever seen. It’s amazing how he defies logic and makes plays in every way imaginable that are simply the right play, on both ends of the court, every time, every time.

  13. My Top 5

    C Wilt Chamberlain–G.O.A.T
    F Charles Barkley
    F Julius Erving
    G Michael Jordan
    G Magic

    Barry does it for me. He would have obliterated the record even though he lost two stacks behind the line. You are right Kev about Emmitt, but that also was a testament to Allen, Newton, Tuinei and Williams and even Novacek.

  14. kevdog-

    I disagree with ‘Oh no doubt Barry was a better runner, but he was all breakaway, never ball control’

    Barry was hamstrung by a poor line and the run and shoot. You forget his seasons under Bobby Ross, when he gave him a traditional offense with a lead blocker. 1997 when he hit 2k. They weren’t all breakaway runs, Barry was just a bad mf’er. I’m not a Detroit fan, but I will defend Barry in any of these Emmitt v. Barry arguments. To me Barry proved he was the greatest when he got a real offense and not some run and shoot gimmick crap to play in.

    Also you underestimate Barry’s ability to not get hurt. Emmitt played through pain, and even though I hated the 90’s Cowboys I respect him for that. But Barry managed to avoid the killer shots, he rarely missed time. Though, Emmitt did play a lot of playoff games, so I’ll give you that much.

  15. Who was the best QB that Barry played with?

    Scott Mitchell or Eric Kramer?

  16. My bad… I forgot Rodney Peete.

  17. They both had some good years because of Herman Moore.

    Good point about Barry eluding the big pops GMP.

  18. Herman Moore is overlooked, but Morton and Perriman weren’t bad. I actually had to look that up, I knew they had another WR but I couldn’t remember who it was.

    Btw, since we’re talking all time great RB’s, you know LaDainian is inching up that list. In his tenth year, if he keeps his current average up (and Norv is disappeared), he should be right around Barry’s all time mark. Though I still maintain Barry is the best, I’ll be ok with LaDainian passing him for #3 in 2010.

  19. I agree on Barry, The Dream and feel your pain on Webber.

    I can’t get with Kev Dog and Kobe, seeing as how both Kobe and MJ got to play with Top 50 players, and Kobe’s Top 50 player was more dominant.

    Magic was great, so was Zeke.

    That’s all.

  20. Kevdog,

    Robert Horry is like the devil. That play when Vlade batted the ball of all places back to him was so crushing. That’s fate I think people who go through that kind of pain have a higher calling in life. I believe that everything happens for a reason and all of Webb’s disappointments will reveal a higher purpose.

    Before People go off. I don’t think Robert is a devil he’s very good player.

  21. “I believe “protect and serve” is missing a few key details. Protecting the interests of the rich while serving the Negro on a silver platter is what it really means, but I doubt that would fit on a badge.”

    This is the “voice” of young people? God help us all.

  22. @Friedman

    I hear you some of my people are soo blind is misguided.

  23. Hi Vito, my 2 cents. I’ll take Barry over Emmit, any day and Earl Campbell over Emmit. GOAT, That’s a short list, Wilt. Take magic over over all the modern guys. Only 6’9″ point guard in the history of the league. Magic extended Kareem career 10 years, and is directly responsible for James Worthy being called a 50 greatest and being in the HOF.

    Magis is one of the few guys that can only take 10 shots during the game and control the entire tempo of the game. DrJ does not have a place on my top 10, too inconsistant an outside shot.

    I lived in LA, Seen Magic and Kobe come into the league. Kobe is now playing his best ball ever, and is more offesively skilled that Mike ever was. Now he is a leader.

  24. Huh? Are you forgetting his ABA days? He should not be penalized for that. It’s like saying Moon’s career was diminished by the CFL.

    I’d take Doc’s ABA days over any player now or ever except for Wilt. Bird and Magic are lucky they caught him when they did.

    The Nets haven’t been right since.

  25. I put Doc there because of his contributions in bringing two leagues together singularly…that’s like you taking the second half of any transcendent player’s career, it doesn’t gleam as much but you gotta take Doc’s ABA days into account…

    As far as a natural 4 man, McHale’s post play was stuff of legend, he helped Bird more than people give him credit for…Timmy D is boring, but you can’t argue with success…or rings

    Never seen Jim Brown play, which goes against me not wanting to judge players I never saw, but Barry was the best in my time, if only you knew how old I am lol

    Chris Webb is a special case. Hated on screwed over, villified for no good reason…something’s good gonna come his way and a lot of folk will have egg on their face after its over…the Fab Five was transcendent, trophy or not

    If you’re from Detroit, you love it and defend it to the death, cuz no one else will, right Jemele?

    Friedman, glad you could join in, but btw, how many times have you been randomly pulled over? Thanks

  26. I don’t own a car. So none.

    The point remains: 99% of police officers are good people who do a very hard job, and they do it well. Same with firefighters and military officers. One cop contributes more to this society in a single week than your “writing” could ever do over the course of your entire life. Don’t ever forget that.

  27. how much do the 1% that you claim aren’t good take away from the decent cops? Cuz all I seem to run into are the ones that are hassling folks of my ilk for no good reason…and btw, you don’t know what kind of effect my words, my writing will do, don’t you forget that

  28. Vito

    Don’t waste your time arguing with Froedman. He won’t get any smarter but you run the risk of getting stupider, if only by cosmic osmosis.

  29. “how much do the 1% that you claim aren’t good take away from the decent cops?”

    I guess it depends on how busy Jesse and Al are.

    “Cuz all I seem to run into are the ones that are hassling folks of my ilk for no good reason”

    Right – because they have nothing better to do in – where’d you say you’re from, Detroit? – Detroit, of all places, than to “hassle” people for no good reason. It’s not like they don’t have crime to fight in that city, of course. Your claims are dubious.

    Oh and I have read some of your writing. It’s not good. But don’t let that stop you from trying to get better.

    Kev”dog”, once again, you add nothing to the discussion.

  30. That was a really random statistic Friedman threw out there on police. 99 percent are good? really, that’s some bullshit.

    That needed to be said. Police officers are people, they aren’t special beings. Since 99 percent of poeple aren’t great, why would 99 percent of police officers be above reproach?

  31. Friedman just made that stat up, don’t even pay attention to it.

  32. Don’t you all love it when these groupies come on the site all full of love/hate?

  33. All cops are great,

    signed victims of racial profiling, victims of police beatings, etc.

    Yes, I’m from Detroit so what does that mean? Every young african-american deserves to be hassled at every stop huh? While the real criminals run free because cops gotta meet their monthly quota. I love it

    P.S. (post script, Friedman) Thank you so much for having an opinion on my work, so much so you keep visiting this site although your opinions mean squat.

  34. Mizzo are you saying that defending police officers from blatant character assassination – done by somebody writing on your blog, by the way – classifies as “full of hate”? Or were you actually talking about Johnny Cakes himself?

  35. Guys,

    Looks like the circus is back in town. Friedman only looks to irritate people and it’s best that we just ignore his ridiculous post. To say how any of us impact our world is stupid since he doesn’t know us. He’s a clown.

    See Miranda I’m learning. LOL!

  36. Friedman send me your thoughts on sports. I’ll post it and we’ll critique your work.

    Are you down?

    Awaiting word of the new site launch. Should happen tomorrow. With the launch, I’m posting a Ron Artest interview.

  37. Alright Mizzo…..you KNOW you wrong! Just wrong I tell ya!!

    “Friedman send me your thoughts on sports”……………. oh its killin me….I am literally dying……….oh goodnes…the jokes…the jokes…so many….oh….this. is. too. much.

  38. Mr Vito, full of straw-man arguments – you must love debating yourself. I’ll point them out to you, so you can learn next time:

    1. All cops are great

    2. Every young african-american deserves to be hassled at every stop

    3. the real criminals run free because cops gotta meet their monthly quota

    Incidentally, please let me know who the “real” criminals are in Detroit. The white population, which makes up, what, 10% of the entire city? Those clever whiteys, always getting away with the “real” crime, while the corrupt, racist, fascist pig cops unfairly target young black males. You’d think BusHitler was running that city! (Oh, now I’m creating straw-mans myself).

    Mizzo – thanks for the offer. Maybe I’ll take you up on it …….

  39. Don’t run. Back up your words.

  40. What, you think I can whip up a post in 12 minutes? Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere …

  41. Who said anything about color, black or white or otherwise? That’s your feeble mind, now let the grown-ups tell you what its like. Funny, they’re too busy hassling brothas that fit the profile (baggy jeans, tims, driving old-school Cutlasses, etc) that the real criminals, black and white are ruining the streets. Guess what? Those 10% of white folks you talkin about, they commit the crimes and head back to the burbs, cuz they know the cops aren’t looking for them out there.

    If you think crime don’t start at the top, you’re a fool. and please, send your oh-so eloquent thoughts to Mizzo and we’ll see what the people think…and please don’t take Whitlock’s words and put a thesaurus to use, try some original sports thoughts with no “black folks are evil and stupid” remarks, please. We’re waiting

  42. From all the bs you continuously spew you damn sure should be able to “Friedman”.

  43. You: “Who said anything about color, black or white or otherwise?”

    You, earlier: “Protecting the interests of the rich while serving the Negro on a silver platter is what it really means, but I doubt that would fit on a badge.”

    Now, maybe the “grown-ups” have to explain this to me, but when you use the word “Negro,” I was under the impression you were talking about black people. No?

  44. Hey look…put your money where your mouth is and whip up a piece in 12 minutes or be peace.

  45. “Every young african-american deserves to be hassled at every stop huh? While the real criminals run free because cops gotta meet their monthly quota.”

    Where do I say white criminals in that post, Friedman?

    12 minutes, the clock is tickin

  46. I guess he and Edith must be playing on the piano again.

  47. Those….were….the……DAAAAYYYYYSSS!!!!!!!!!!

  48. Barry Sanders is in the top 3 greatest runningbacks of all time… interchangeable in many ways with Jim Brown and Sweetness depending on what factor you’re comparing.

    that’s some pretty sweet kool-aid if you thought Charles Rogers would’ve been a transcedent receiver. I thought he could’ve used another year of school/free weight room, and that the Lions should’ve taken Andre Johnson that year.. guess everyone lives and learns.

  49. When I played football, I patterned my style after Walter Payton for the longest time. When I saw Barry run, I sat down and watched. Nuff Said!

    Zeke is a bad MF, but what Magic did was control a game all by himself. Perhaps Jason Kidd comes the closest and he is miles away. Dr. J in the ABA is the truth and then some, ask some of them other cats that played against him.

    Friedman, come on over to my house for some lessons. I got some home cooking and the beverages are cold. Quit your shitting and wipe up!

  50. Boney, if you saw Charles Rogers play in college, when he ran, it seemed so effortless, he came out of breaks so fluidly and his hands were sure, as well as his hops. His brain and decision-making, not so sure.

    Sankofa, I understand what you mean, but I use Zeke the same way I use Barry. Imagine if he had another bad mf’er around him like a Worthy, or an anchor like Cap. He did so much with good, but not great or transcdent players. Magic might’ve helped their careers, but so much was predicated on his height advantage, something Zeke didn’t have. Even Pat Riley said there was a four-five year stretch where Isiah played the position better than anyone….make no mistake, I love Earvin tho

  51. youngvito, I feel you on charles rogers, comming out of college I thought he was going to be another Randy Moss.

    I know you got this crush on Zeke, but I’ll take Tiny over Zeke. For all you Dr J fans, I got 2 words for you, Elgin Baylor. If you want to keep it modern day, I’ll take Dominique over Julius.

  52. Welcome to the house Vito…

    I’m not from the D, but I was there during Barry’s heydey. I think you’re being hard on your team. Admittedly, the Lions traditionally suck porn star ass, but during his time, they had solid players on defense (an anchor at every level – Jerry Ball on the line, Chris Spielman at LB and Blades in the secondary). The Lions also had 3 wide receivers. Johnny Morton’s best years were in Detroit and Brett Perriman was a solid 3rd down option. The Lions usually ran three wide and didn’t use a TE or FB enough to bolster that line – but the problem wasn’t the 53-man roster as much as it was the scheme. The QB’s were mostly awful, but Batch was good enough to win more games with a better scheme. Fontes tried to win with smoke and mirrors – and the Lions ran up against some real power teams that weren’t having it. Some of those cats put in work – I’d give them a second look if I were you.

    As for Sanders being better than Brown or Payton – all I can say is I hear you. I don’t believe you – but I hear you. Give me the break away runner that punishes the defense over the break away runner every time. Brown and Payton gave you both dimensions + blocking (the bone jarring kind) + pass receiving…and Sweetness even threw TDs.

    Of course you know all this – and it isn’t worth one of Barry’s twisting runs against the Cowboys where he’s patting defenders on the back as he runs around them. He’s incomparable, but I don’t believe he’s the best – unless you play in a dome and aren’t particularly concerned about overpowering your opponent.

    I feel your pain on Charles Rogers. As a UM guy, I didn’t love him in college, but I wanted to see him excel in the pros. Honestly, I’m tired of the Lions being as sorry as they are. It’s pathetic. That was a big miss for the franchise.

    Once again, peace and welcome.

  53. Imhotep I will grant you Baylor, but Nique? Noooooooooooo! Again the NBA only realy saw the near to the end product of Dr.J. The man cdid it all before the Jump to the “white bread league”.

    Like scoring 30 plus points on Bobby Jones, while shutting down David Thompson in a play off game. Maybe Walton gave him some dubbie during their paly off encounter, but the Doc you’all saw in the NBA, wasn’t ABA certified.

    YoungVito, perhaps because he more than any super star check his mad skills for the benefit of the team, that’s why he’s always short changed, to the point were “they” said Dumars was better ( though you wouldn’t hear than stuff from Dumars).

    And by the welcome to the family, and big up Mizz for always growing.

  54. Mizzo:

    For me, the props for Emmitt go mostly to his line. He has more runs (highlight quality runs) where he is untouched through the hole than anyone I can remember. Most guys have to make a move in the hole in order to break big runs, but his guards and Darryl Johnson made more 2nd level blocks on LBs and safeties than any blockers I can remember – ever.

    At the end of games, Emmitt had the cleanest jersey you’ve ever seen. It was like the game hadn’t even been played yet. He’s not my favorite dude – by a long shot. Most folks who love Emmitt wouldn’t love him behind another offensive line. He was tough (absolutely awesome against the Giants), but that’s not the only requirement of the job.

    I’d take a few guys ahead of Emmitt: Barry, Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Earl Campbell, Marcus Allen, Eric Dickerson – of course I’m assuming we’re talking about 1 game or even a season or three. In many respects, Emmitt reminds me of Curtis Martin with keys to a luxury car. Martin was steady, elusive (not explosive), solid with the ball, excellent in pass protection and a solid route runner. He never played with a line like Emmitt – but you saw what he could do when he had a viable passing threat on the offense.

    — Does KevDog love him some Kobe Bean or what — Damn!!

  55. michelle:

    I agree with all of your points re: CWebb except this one –
    “Also if C-webb didn’t go on 7pt favorite Kentucky in the final four MI would not have been in the championship game against NC. Mashburn was killing MI. C-Webb gets all the blame and none of the credit.”

    I beg to differ. Mashburn was killing Michigan in that game – and you may not remember a few phantom fouls which were called that effectively took him out of the game – but you may also not recall a young shooter by the name of Dale Brown. He actually wound up running into a table hustling for a ball out of bounds. He was the #2 scoring option in that game for Kentucky. Once he hit the table, it was a wrap. With Brown and Mashburn out down the stretch, Kentucky couldn’t score – and Michigan pulled away.

    I lost $35 that day.

  56. Johnny Cakes – ROTFLMBAO!!!!!!!!!!!

    Now that deserves a comeback.

  57. T3

    Aww, Yeah I remember all of that. C-Webb had about 25 pts and 13 boards though. We can talk about the phantom fouls also in the Sac. Lakers series. My boy just can’t catch a break. Mashburn has had the same kind of luck as C-Webb. It’s a shame they came out of a great class but many of players had short careers due to injury.

  58. Kentucky was killing teams in the tournament by an average of 33 I think. Dale Brown getting hurt was key but also Jimmy King holding Travis Ford scoreless until the final minutes.

    There was so much talent on the floor that day.

    What the hell happened to Rhoderick Rhodes?

    He was as athletically gifted as anyone on the floor. Wasn’t he a freshman? Once Mashburn fouled out…yeah it was over. Steve Fisher was shocked Michigan was actually able to win. Pitino had the Wildcats rolling that year.

  59. I agree with your choices ahead of Emmitt T3. He was a bad boy, but his line was the best I’ve seen in my lifetime (Marino had a quick release).

    Sankofa TSF will be formidable. Thank all of you for sticking by us. These fellas have true talent and they’ll shine soon enough. Still waiting on tech folks to tighten up some issues and the .net will be live if not tomorrow then sometime this week.

    Friedman that was a long ass 12 minutes!

  60. Mizzo, the Fab Five suffered from their share of bad calls, too. some real crappers called against UNC, well before the time-out. But UM had a penchant of falling behind big early, then coming back with steam like a runaway freight. Jalen and Jimmy got into Travis Ford’s head big time too…

    But Jamal, dude was a freak, a total package offensively, as a college player. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do. He was scary

  61. Yeah like Montross throwing Howard to the floor and then getting a dunk. That game was real suspect to me. What about the stretch were both teams played reserves for an extended period of time? Hmmmm.

    Webb seemed to get that second foul early.

    It still happens today with big men. Calling their second foul early in the first half neutralizes their effectiveness. In the tournament this year check the foul calls on big men. This year it’s bound to be Hibbert.

  62. Sweet Jones Says:


    I posted the following in an ‘Emmitt vs. Sanders’ debate thread some time ago. A little long but IMO worth reading.


    Let’s stop this Emmitt was a ‘good back’ talk. Let’s address the MYTHS:

    MYTH 1: Emmitt was lucky, only a ‘good back’.

    Emmitt has been a GREAT back on every level.

    He finished his high school career with a national record of 45 100 yd games and was the Parade and USA Today Player of the Year . Won 2 FL state championships. Finished career with 8,804 yards, at the time the third highest total in prep football history. Was named THE all-time offensive player on USA TODAY’s 20th anniversary high school football team.

    Ended his college career with 58 school records and was the fastest player in college football history(at the time) to surpass 1,000-yard rushing mark, in his in seventh game.

    And everyone knows how his pro career turned out.

    MYTH 2: Barry didn’t have any talent around him

    Lomas Brown was a Pro Bowler, so was Kevin Glover. Jeff Compton was a very good O-Lineman. Herman Moore went to multiple pro bowls. Both Johnnie Morton and Brett Perriman were very good receivers.

    MYTH 3: Barry could have run behind the Dallas line and in the Dallas offense better than Emmitt

    Emmitt is a hit-the-hole back who knows how to run behind a fullback. This fit perfect with Dallas’ drive blocking line. Barry was a read-and-react back who struggled mightly when Bobby Ross put a fullback in front of him. Barry would have drove Jimmy Johnson crazy with all that lost yardage and tap dancing in the backfield (just like Herschel did)

    Also, Barry RARELY faced 8 man fronts. He spent many years playing in a spread (aka run-and-shoot) offense with 4 WRs on the field. Meaning he at most saw primarily 6-7 man fronts. That open space was as beneficial to his style as Dallas’ power running and deep throws were to Emmitt.

    Look, I love Barry. I’ve always stated that he is the most exciting player with a football in his hands I’ve ever seen (others being Vick, Deion Sanders, and Randy Moss). Every time he touched it, he was a threat to go the distance. As far as that goes he has Emmit beat.

    But it takes more than being a great runner to be a great running back. Picking up the blitz, Emmitt was better. Catching the ball out of the backfield, Emmitt was better. Short yardage, Emmitt was better. Finishing off drives, Emmitt was better. Scoring TDs, Emmitt was better (there’s a reason both Fontes and Bobby Ross took Sanders out at the goal line). Heart and desire, Emmitt had more (see the game against the Giants with the separated shoulder for reference). Consistently beating 8 man fronts, Emmitt was better. Ability to read and set up blocks, Emmitt was better. Team leadership, Emmitt was better. I could go on.

    Emmitt was the best player on the best team of the 90’s. He played hurt, and led his team to 3 SB victories. He played in a division that included defenses led by Reggie White (Eagles) and Lawrence Taylor (Giants) and the Pettibone coached Redskins D.

    Emmitt is a MONEY PLAYER. Emmitt rushed for over 70 yds in 14 of his 17 postseason games, while Barry rushed for over 70 yds ONCE in 7 playoff games (including a 13 attempts, NEGATIVE -1 yd stinker against GB). Emmitt: 21 postseason TDs, Sanders: 1 TD.

    On my team, I’ll take the CHAMPION, not the ENTERTAINER. No comparison.

  63. You make valid points SJ but the last one is where you run afoul. 😉

    That’s an ESPN SportCenter filler stat. Barry was all Detroit had..well and Herman Moore. There was never consistent defense or quarterback play. The Lions were lucky if Mel Gray broke a couple to give them decent scoring position.

    Give me the Entertainer. Barry was LT 15 years ago.

  64. Lomas Brown wasn’t there too long, and they also couldn’t keep Kevin Glover. Compton? don’t make me laugh, dude. Herman Moore was good, but even at their best Perriman and Morton were inconsistent. You can pin that minus-1 playoff game on Barry, but the QB (Scott Mitchell) couldn’t throw worth crap, so they stacked the line with nine (yeah or 10), thats why he had that bad game. You couldn’t stack the line against Dallas, so holes were easier to come by and add that the o-line averaged damn near 320 lbs when others weren’t 20 pounds near them. Emmitt in High school? If you using that in your argument, then you’re really reaching. They were two different backs and contrary to your belief, Barry had his best year (97) under Bobby Ross , 2,053 with no QB and no line. matter of fact, make that 2,000 on the nose in the last 14 games. Emmitt got nothing on that, and never had to make anyone miss

    You can say Barry lost yards, but look at those highlights, they were in the backfield when he recieved the rock, what was he supposed to do? Also, contrary to your belief, Barry trucked many, it just looked prettier when he broke ankles and he could block and catch, they just never fully used him to his abilities…

    Don’t give the product of the system. Give me the best and IMO, thats Barry

  65. Sweet Jones:

    I never thought you’d be the one to underestimate the value of the offensive scheme. What do you three of the last four rushing stars of the last five years have in common? Tony Richardson. Priest Holmes, Larry Johnson and Adrian Peterson have all done amazing things behind Richardson. Emmitt had that type of player as an escort his entire career. You cannot underestimate the value of the Moose. Or the line…you do realize that the Cowboys played behind one of only two or three lines where fans remember damn near every single lineman. You can talk to football fans anywhere about that line and everyone one of them says the same thing – except in Washington (and we know they’re delusional).

    I don’t know that it’s fair to say Barry could not or would not run well behind a fullback. There were a number of factors there – including mediocre QB play. Moreover, the importance of Jay Novacek should not be ignored. There is simply no comparing the offenses of the Lions and Cowboys from a personnel standpoint after you get past Sanders and Moore.

    There aren’t any Lions who could have played on the Cowboys during that era except for Herman Moore and Barry Sanders. Every other Lion (on both sides of the ball) would have been on the unemployment line.

  66. Sweet Jones Says:


    Actually, I believe it is actually you underestimating scheme and the benefits of being a running back in a run-and-shoot offense.

    No run stuffing DTs in the game. Rarely face more than 2 LBs. Smaller DLs in the game to pressure the QB. Nickel and dime backs not used to playing running lanes or supporting the run. WRs consistently clearing out the back seven. That spread offense fit Barry’s style, and gave him more room to take advantage of his elusiveness.

    Ask any running back if it’s easier to run against a nickel or dime package than to consistently beat 8 man fronts. Hell, Eric Pegram, Ironhead Heyward (ATL), and Gary Brown and Lorenzo White (HOU) put up 1000 yd seasons in the Run and Shoot.

    Bobby Ross tried to put a fullback in front of Barry and run the traditional pro-style set. Barry HATED it, he ran for 53 yds on 26 carries in his first 2 games (Trust me, I had him on my fantasy team that year). They went back to the single back set, let him dance around, and he finished the season with 2000 yards in his next 14 games (as youngvito pointed out).

    Repeating, Barry DID NOT like running behind a fullback.

    Emmitt hit the hole, followed his fullback, got to the 2nd level, never went down on 1st contact, and kept the chains moving. Barry NEVER fired through the line like that. Actually, another back from that era who would have been effective in Dallas was Thurman Thomas, who ALWAYS hit the hole at full speed and was also a North-South runner.

    As far as Novacek goes, I remember when he was cut by the ARZ/STL Cardinals, before catching on with Dallas. I’d argue that his impact was more tied to the attention E. Smith drew, than vice-versa.

    Not trying to knock Barry, but folks treat E. Smith like he was just some lucky scrub who contributed nothing to his own greatness. And that
    ain’t true. (in Mike Gundy’s voice) (-:

  67. Wow…talk about a coincidence…

    Earlier today there was an arguement about the police and some of their actions. Funny thing is that USA Today has an article posted about the rising number of police brutality reports since 9/11. Here’s the link:


    I have my issues with police as well, and have been that way for the longest. Hell even in college I was constantly followed while walking around on campus…regardless of the information that I was a top RA on campus, that didn’t matter. The perception of police is VASTLY different when it comes to minorites and whites, but just as so many other things, it’s all based on experiences. And my personal experiences, haven’t been pleasant…

  68. All I want for xmas is a Barry Sanders highlight tape…. somebody point the way. And people remember all his long runs, what about all those 5 yarders? I swear I saw him teleport against the Vikings once. Dude was not human, you will never convince me otherwise.

    As I can not remember 97 in all too great of detail, I don’t believe Bobby Ross scrapped his whole offense and went to a run n’ shoot for the last 14 games. You have to remember Bobby came from SD and was used to Natrone and Butts, pure straight ahead grind them down runners. And Barry was not that, but once Ross figured out he had the best RB in the league, he road that ass. Sort of like Norv is finally figuring out with my boy. Ross was smarter though, only took him 2 games to figure out that giving Barry the ball 13x a game was stupid. Norv took a full eight weeks……

    Bobby Ross never ran a pure fullback offense anyway. In SD he ran the Gibbs style offense, a lot of 2 TE and H-back instead of a FB. Remember Pupunu? H-back. So it is a bit disingenuous to claim that he scrapped the FB for Barry to go with a single back set, since that is primarily what he ran in SD.

    Speaking of SD, none of you are giving props to my boy LaDainian on the all time lists. If you want to talk money and finishing drives… 3rd all time in TD’s… 7th year. I’ve watched a lot of SD games, and up until last year the line was straight up ass. The only knock on LaDainian would be he doesn’t really pound it unless he’s close to the goal line or first down marker, but on the flip side, he’s only had a few injuries. High ankle sprain his rookie year I believe, and 2 yrs ago some cheap shots to the ribs from some raiders in the pile. F’ing Raiders…. I can’t figure out who is cheaper, them or the Broncos.

    Anyway, had to throw some love to LaDainian since you fools are overlooking.

  69. 4-2-5. Nickel formation. 2 run stuffing DTs. 2 LBs and 2 safeties. That’s the formation the Lions usually faced in their 3 wide sets.

  70. Yo GMP, sory man, haven’t realy watched SD since…..the Fouts years, yikes!

    But give LD sometime he will be mentioned. Keep in mind beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all these cats are and were good. Hell I was dismissive of Eric Dickerson and Earl Campbell because I was a huge Dorset Fan.

    I have since stoped token up on that bad weed…LOL.

    So now I just show respect for the game no matter the team. Yeha your boy LaDanian will get his props.

  71. T3 sent this via email. I posted a compilation video of some of the best.


    You’re right that it is easier for running backs to run against nickels and dimes than it is for them to run against 8 man fronts. In a vacuum, that would be the end of the debate. In the real world, though, there is more to be said. Emmitt Smith only ran against 8 man fronts when the Cowboys were in a heavy formation. In the Cowboys base formation, no team in the league could afford to sell out against the run. None did. With Michael Irvin and Jay Novacek on the field at the same time, any team that committed to 8 in the box was giving up points. Most teams playing the Cowboys hedged their bets the entire game and wound up getting smacked around by that line.

    In the 90’s most teams running nickels and dimes still had four defensive linemen on the field, two linebackers and five DBs. Teams were using formations like the 1-5-5 yet. Now do you believe that teams playing the Lions were as concerned about options 2 and 3 as Cowboy opponents were concerned with Novacek or Irvin? Of course not. It’s why guys like Morton and Perriman never had any success outside of a Barry Sanders environment. Irvin and Novacek had success which was not a function of being a secondary (no pun intended) concern of defenses.

    The focal point of playing the Lions was always to stop the run. The focal point in playing the Cowboys was to keep their entire offense OFF the Field. Hence the value of the scheme and the attendant personnel.

  72. go ahead, penalize Barry for his coaches taking him out in a goal line situation. the offensive line he played behind never could get push on anyone to open a hole up the gut for him, so why put him through the beating? dont underestimate the strength that Barry Sanders had though, that man was a bull. I remember being at RFK for the NFC Championship game in 91 and on one play Darrell Green came up and grabbed Sanders by his shoulders to try and drag him down, Barry shook his shoulders back and threw Green 5 yards out of bounds which broke some Green’s ribs.

    that playoff game vs. Green Bay was ugly, but I believe the Lions played Dave Krieg at QB that game so therefore, the Packers should’ve played 8-10 men in the box on every down.

    Emmitt Smith wouldn’t have been as great as he’s perceived to be if it weren’t for the talent around him. He was a straight ahead runner on a team that had 320+ lb linemen that dominated the league. Put him on those Bills teams that had thurman thomas and he wouldn’t have lasted… put him behind that lions front line and he would have had an injury plagued career. I know I’ll get lambasted for it, but Thurman Thomas would’ve bested Emmitt’s numbers in Dallas’ system under Jimmy Johnson. Thomas was a better receiver, one of the best receiving RBs in league history, and while he didn’t have “moves on moves” like Barry had, he was able to shake guys when he had to.

  73. I have to co-sign Boneys take on Thomas being a much better back than credit given. Keep in mind, when asked about Barry Saunders coming out a year after him from Oaklahoma State, Thomas said I always knew he was going to be a grerat back.

    But as I said on the other thread, I just enjoy the game and try not to be subjective.

  74. GrandNubian Says:

    I also have to agree w/ Boney regarding Thomas being better than Emmitt.

  75. I can’t believe I forgot about Thurman. I’m going senile, I’m too young for that.

  76. Sweet Jones Says:

    I think some of you guys have let your anti-Cowboy bias start impacting your analysis. (-: Hell, I ain’t even a Boys fan, grew up in STL watching them constantly destroy my Cardinals.

    Bottom line, Emmitt Smith was a superstar and a champion. And I firmly believe he would have been a superstar and champion for any team he played for.

    -Magic played with a ATG center (Jabbar), wingman (Worthy), and coach (Riley), yet all still acknowledge him as the GOAT point guard and perhaps the 2nd best NBA player ever.

    -Jerry Rice played with TWO HOF QBs (Montana, Young), an offensive genius as a coach (Walsh), a Pro Bowl 2nd WR (J Taylor), and a strong running game (Craig, Watters, etc.), yet no one allows that to take from what he accomplished.

    I view Emmitt in the same light. Even though RB can be somewhat of a plug-n-play position, the man STILL accomplished things no other RB did. And he did it for a team that spent the prime years of his career playing for championships against a 1st place team schedule.

    The man deserves full respect and propers for that.

  77. Sweet Jones Says:

    And I’ll note no one has really challenged this portion of my initial post:


    But it takes more than being a great runner to be a great running back. Picking up the blitz, Emmitt was better. Catching the ball out of the backfield, Emmitt was better. Short yardage, Emmitt was better. Finishing off drives, Emmitt was better. Scoring TDs, Emmitt was better (there’s a reason both Fontes and Bobby Ross took Sanders out at the goal line). Heart and desire, Emmitt had more (see the game against the Giants with the separated shoulder for reference). Consistently beating 8 man fronts, Emmitt was better. Ability to read and set up blocks, Emmitt was better. Team leadership, Emmitt was better. I could go on.

    Emmitt was the best player on the best team of the 90’s. He played hurt, and led his team to 3 SB victories. He played in a division that included defenses led by Reggie White (Eagles) and Lawrence Taylor (Giants) and the Pettibone coached Redskins D.

    Emmitt is a MONEY PLAYER. Emmitt rushed for over 70 yds in 14 of his 17 postseason games, while Barry rushed for over 70 yds ONCE in 7 playoff games (including a 13 attempts, NEGATIVE -1 yd stinker against GB). Emmitt: 21 postseason TDs, Sanders: 1 TD.

  78. I lived in Cowboy country during the 90’s (the whole southwest from Dallas to Yuma is Cowboy Country), so I’ll own up to my dislike of Emmitt. Since I was in HS during that time and all the practically braindead hicks loved the Cowboys (and Emmitt), I can’t lie, I am a hater.

    But I will say that was the greatest line I’ve ever seen. And I don’t think any are in the HoF. Erik Williams? Stepnoski? none of them? Erik Williams was the LT of the early 90’s. My Cowboy fan friend told me he’s not even in the Cowboy ring of honor. That is ridiculous… somebody from that line should be in the HoF, starting with Erik Williams.

    Newton? if it wasn’t for the 200 lbs of weed that he got busted for having in his trunk, I’d say he should’ve been a lock too. Tuinei? Stepnoski? then later Larry Allen. Ridiculous line, and somebody should be in the HoF, it is stupid none of them are.

  79. Agreed GMP. That was the greatest line I ever saw.

    Aikman barely even got touched.

    He and emmit owe a whole lot to those lines. Man Troy would have like 9 secs to throw the ball.

    Some of those holes emmit ran through were big enough to drive a 1956 chevy through.

  80. Yes Grandnubian Thomas was better then emmit. He was just as good a runner and blocker. But was 10 times the receiver that emmit was. Thomas was marshall faulk at that time. The reason the K-gun and hurry up offense was almost unstoppable was that Thurman could not be covered when he lined up as a WR. No LB, Safety or CB could cover him. Thomas would run slants, post, curls, flares, screans, deep fades. And ever type of route you could think of.

    He was another WR on the field.

    Hell emmit couldn’t even play in that buffalo system because he wasn’t the route runner that Thomas was.

    During the early 90s Thomas and Neal Anderson were the best all around RBs in the league.

    The only RB that I have ever seen run routes and have a total running and receiving game like Thomas was marshall faulk. Period.

    Also barry sanders could have ran in any offense. The dude just never had a line or a QB.

    Even when they ran that run and shoot crap. Good defensive teams like the bears would still put 7 mean in the box. Realize that the run and shoot had no TE or FB. So all barry had was 5 men blocking 7 defenders.

    Watch replays of teh Greenbay playoff game. Count 7 men in the box all day.

    Ain’t no way 5 men block 7.

    Even emmit said that barry was better then him. Didn’t emmit say after he broke Walters record that it actually should have belonged to Barry.

    He11 Barry would have ran for 22,000 yards, if he didn’t retire.

  81. I responded to your post on my site.

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