Former Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison Announces Retirement From The NFL!
Today is a very sad day in not only NFL, but football history in general with the announcement by five-time Pro Bowl linebacker and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, James Harrison that he will be retiring from the game of football.
Harrison played 10 of his 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers and played his final season with the Steelers longtime rival Cincinnati Bengals last year. Even visiting with the Arizona Cardinals just a few days ago before making an official announcement earlier today through his Facebook page that he would be retiring.
“I have made the difficult decision to retire as of today,” read the statement on his page. “My love for my family and the need to be there for them outweighs my desire to play the game. I have missed too many experiences with them because I devoted SO much time to my career. My love for the game isn’t strong enough to make up for missing one birthday or first day of school. I am retiring as a man who is truly grateful for all of his blessings. I am sincerely thankful to the people who have supported me over the years, first and foremost my family, the Rooney family and my Steeler family, also Mr. Brown, the Bengals organization and fans, and last but FAR from least, Steeler Nation. Thank you.”
The 36-year-old Harrison entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2002 out of Akron before signing with the Steelers where he played most of his career. He was cut multiple times early in his career before settling with the team though, as a rarely used backup for four seasons. Finally becoming a starter and star at the age of 29, he would become a first-team All-Pro twice to go along with his five Pro Bowl selections and 2008 Defensive Player of the Year award honor.
You could easily argue that Harrison was one of the main cogs for the Steelers linebacking core of most of the 2000‘s, which was a huge part in helping those teams defense help the Steelers reach three Super Bowls. Two of which they won and that Harrison was one of the most memorable, revered and feared players on those defenses. A team defense, which also for most of the 2000’s was almost very reminiscent to their Steel Curtain glory days of the 70s because of how hard-nosed, tough and physical Harrison and most of the defense played the game like their 70s counterparts.
Many will probably also remember Harrison for his 100-yard interception return for a touchdown ironically enough against the Cardinals in the Steelers Super Bowl XLIII victory.
While Harrison was one of the most feared, hard-nosed, tough and physically revered players of his generation and in his prime, ultimately his peak came too short and will probably make him miss just being a Hall of Fame player.
Either way his loss is still a huge one for the league and with his retirement the league becomes that much more softer, as well as closer to getting away from the more physical, tough and hard-nosed NFL most of us loved so much growing up.
It has been a minute since we heard some new music from Motown Records singer/songwriter and rapper, Mila J. So with her debut EP, M.I.L.A. (Made In Los Angeles), set to drop in a little over a month and after already teasing us with it for several weeks, Mila has finally unleashed her new single and the follow up to her already hit single, “Smoke, Drink, Break-Up” with “My Main.” Like the official remix to “Smoke, Drink, Break-Up,” Mila’s new single finds her once again hooking up with fellow buzzing Los Angeles singer/songwriter Ty Dolla $ign, who is featured on the DJ Mustard-produced record. This time the L.A. native gives us a bit of a twist on the club-ready sure to be hit though. As over the normal high hats, claps, snares and drums of the formulated Mustard-produced hits of the last year or so, rather than professing her love for her man, Mila professes her loyalty to her best friend and all the people who have stuck with their day one friends through thick and thin. Overall another very amazing record from the singer that a lot of women will really take a liking to in the club and I really like the ad-lib to the record a lot. Makes me wonder how the video, which was already shot for the song will turn out. So be expecting that along with more new music in the near future, as well as her debut EP and first official retail release on Sept. 30th. Which ironically will be the same day as when one of her biggest influences/idols in music, Prince is set to drop two new albums.
With the recent tragedy hitting Ferguson, MO about police officer Darren Wilson shooting innocent teenager Mike Brown only 18 days ago there have been many voicing their whole displeasure with the whole situation. Especially with the whole racial undertone of it and everyone voicing their piece on the young man’s legacy - whether justified or not. And while many rappers such as T.I., J. Cole and G-Unit have offered their two cents on it with dedication tracks. None have got everybody quite together for such a great cause and official R.I.P. Mike Brown dedication posse cut as Westcoast emcee, The Game did with Don’t Shoot. A track that features almost half the rap industry in Rick Ross, 2 Chainz, Diddy, Fabolous, Wale, DJ Khaled, Swizz Beatz, Yo Gotti, Curren$y, Problem, King Pharaoh and TGT. It’s a very good tribute that got everyone together cause of how much they all identified with the situation in Missouri and how it really let them all speak on it, while voicing their own experiences for such a great cause to the family. If you really identify with the situation too and want to help out the family in this difficult time you can purchase the track via iTunes. As all the proceeds will go to the Justice for Mike Brown charity.
Buccaneers Acquire All-Pro Guard Logan Mankins From Patriots!
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been in dire need for help along their offensive line this offseason and even more so recently at guard since an injury settlement with veteran guard Carl Nicks.
Now the team has filled that spot immensely though by acquiring six-time Pro Bowler Logan Mankins from the New England Patriots for tight end Tim Wright and a fourth-round draft pick in 2015, the Bucs announced earlier this afternoon.
The former 2005 first-round selection of the Patriots was one of the teams most consistent lineman in front of star quarterback Tom Brady and spent all 9 years of his career with the Pats. Also being a team captain for the last three seasons.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in a statement how, “Mankins was one of the all-time great Patriots and the best guard he ever coached.” Showing how much he will be truly missed by the team with how great not only a player, but a leader he was too.
The deal is a great one for both teams though, as the Buccaneers got the help they sorely needed on the offensive line and especially at guard. While the Patriots may have finally find the great number two option they have been missing since the departure of Aaron Hernandez in Wright to complement All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski for another great one-two punch combination at tight end from the Pats.
With her long-awaited and highly anticipated debut album, Souled Out, set to drop a couple weeks from today on Sept. 9th, R&B/Soul singer Jhené Aiko continues the momentum of what has already been a huge and memorable 2014 for her by by stripping down for MTV’s Artist to Watch series. As the ARTium Records/Def Jam signee recently went acoustic with a guitar player for stripped down versions of her label boss, No I.D.-produced singles, “To Love & Die” and “Spotless Mind.” Jhené also told MTV how she feels her personality is a mix of a whole lot of things and how her music reflects that because, “you can’t really define it.”
Never one to follow music and industry standards, pop-icon and musician Prince announced new plans Monday morning of not one, but two new albums he will be dropping on Sept. 30th. The first release, Art Official Age, will be a brand new Prince solo album, which was produced, arranged, composed and performed by Prince and Joshua Welton in the sense of a traditionally classic Prince solo album. His other release will be a classic band album with his group 3rdEyeGirl for their long talked about and highly anticipated debut album, Plectrum Electrum. So in preparation for both new albums, The Purple One, yesterday released his very funky new single, Clouds, which over the very funky hard baseline and fluttering synth lines has his Purple Majesty singing falsetto about how difficult it’s to know the true meaning of just one simple kiss in today’s fast-paced Internet age (which he has criticized several times over the past years) and has the pop-icon sounding the best he has in years. U.K. soulstress Lianne La Havas is also featured on the record and adds a nice little element to the song that fits the mold of it so perfectly, which makes the record that much more better and complete with how much it sounds like that classic in his prime 80’s Prince sound of yesteryear. Clouds will also be featured on Art Official Age and makes anticipation for the pop-icon’s two new albums and first in nearly two decades on former record label, Warner Bros. Records (whom he recently reconciled with), that much more higher.
Even though he and many Los Angeles Lakers fans may not want to admit it, the end of Lakers and NBA great Kobe Bryant’s career will be on the horizon sooner rather than later. Bryant himself has even admitted how he fears what he will do with life after basketball, but has already taking the nessecarry steps in doing so with his upcoming Showtime documentary, Kobe Bryant’s Muse. A documentary which will take a look into Kobe’s life and how he handled most of the last two seasons, where he was injured a lot and had to deal with some of the worst seasons in franchise history from the sidelines. The preview of the documentary came out the other day and here it’s for those who missed it and want to see how much they will really look forward to seeing it when it shows in November.
Westcoast and Av8ers emcee, Dubb, has had to transition within the last month from being practically unkown to his stock rising even more than ever before thanks to his recent signing with fellow Los Angeles native, The Game’s new Blood Money imprint. So with his grind of dropping new tracks every Monday up until the release of his new project, Perfect Timing, still intact despite his recent signing, Dubb, shows us on his soulful and emotionally heartfelt new appropriately titled track, Transition, that he’s still the same emcee from South Central focused on lyricism and rhyming about real life situations everyone can relate to. The Cy Fyre and Lewi V co-produced track also shows how much more tremendously Dubb has improved not only in the past few weeks, but over the last couple years as not only as an emcee, but an artist overall and a huge reason on why now is such perfect timing for him to go from being unsigned to joining forces with a huge Westcoast heavyweight like The Game.
Almost two and a half weeks after dropping the lead single to his upcoming EP, Drift, with the double video for 6/Fallen, ARTium Records/Def Jam singer/songwriter Elijah Blake is back with another video and the next offering from said project in Wicked. Like most of his offerings so far, Wicked, really shows off Blake’s very amazing vocals, as he sings over the great ambient synths, percussion and bass of the No I.D. production about a beautiful young woman, whose love and charm is so wicked, as well as temptious it allures all men into it. So Elijah is trying to let this woman know despite her temptious ways and love never working for her with other men because of it, how he can try handling it himself, while also protecting other men from it. Which he shows off rather nicely through the very well captured, creative and stylized inspiring visuals from director Ryan Valdez that make you love the song even more and get the premise of the record even clearer than if you only heard the song. The way Blake transitions so easily and smoothly into the preview of the next song at the end of the video about a lover he’s so proud of cause she’s like a paradise and he wants the whole world to know about so bad that he, “wants to shout it out,” makes you realize how truly great of an artist he is and that he’s not only a very amazing singer/songwriter, but a truly amazing artist in every sense of the word.
Westcoast emcee, The Game is set to release a new compilation album, Year of the Wolf, with his new Blood Money label next month. In preparation for it’s Sept. 30th release date he has released a new single from said compilation with his Blood Money crooner, Pharaoh Jackson’s new record, What You Want, which features a pretty smooth opening 16 from YMCMB signee and fellow Los Angeles native Tyga. The song is a pretty good one too, where the Los Angeles native lets the ladies know he has what they want over the very smooth and hypnotic keys and drums of the Jereme Jay production. The record also really shows off the amazing vocals and singing of Jackson, who if he comes with more music as good as this and with the talent he has can be around for years to come.
A graduate of Columbia College with a BA in Sports Journalism/Sports Marketing Nello Rubio is an aspiring sports journalist who freelance writes for SLAMonline and the Forest Park Post. Nello is very passionate about sports and has been since he was real young. As most young boys did growing up he started off in the traditional little league baseball, then karate, recreational basketball and flag football. He even ran cross country and track for 3 years of high school. Nello also has had a passion for music in particular Hip-Hop since he was about 12-13 years old. This site of his is aimed as everybody's one stop spot for all his thoughts on Sports & Hip-Hop. Thus the name Sports Hop. So look for Nello's views on different sports topics as well as new Hip-Hop music be it new songs, videos or whatever as well as interviews.