Category Archives: Beyond The Game

Beyond The Game: Scott Hall

“Say hello to the bad guy”, “oozing machismo” and “Hey Yo” were three of the catchphrases of the once great Scott Hall. Hall to the fans of WCW or Razor Ramon to the fans of the WWE, he was easily one of the most influential stars of the 90s. Hall with his trademark tooth pick and attitude took the world of wrestling by storm with the debut of his Scarface like Razor Ramon. Ramon was one of the most over superstars in the 90s and could be thought of as one of the best in ring performers we have ever seen.

Hall left the WWE for what was thought of as a brighter pasture when he jumped to WCW. He became iconic by addressing crowds with his trademark “Hey Yo” when introducing his promo. Whether it was part of The Outsiders or an original member of the NWO, Hall was a staple for WCW for years.

But everything has not been superstardom for the once great wrestler. Hall has struggled with alcohol and painkiller addiction for a number of years now. There was an E:60 segment on Hall that detailed his chilling bout with the “demons” of addiction. What was once one of the best; he had taken a horrific fall from grace.

The E:60 segments details everything about Halls drug and alcohol use, an even the incident between Hall and Top Rope Promotions. Hall and the promotion had a rocky incident over an appearance made by Hall. I would rather not go into details, instead go to the E:60 page and watch this piece its truly tough to watch

Hall was set for recovery with help from Diamond Dallas Page. Page did everything he could to try to rebuild the once and for all. Although Page was able to rebuild him for the time being, even see Hall enter the WWE Hall Of Fame. Hall quickly relapsed into the awful habits that nearly took his life before.

Our heroes of yesterday are not always to the best of their abilities. Some of them have a major fall from grace like Hall, they have the chance to rebound but it doesn’t always work out in their favor. Could we see a big time return to the once great star? I really don’t know what to say, but the tales from beyond the game aren’t always happy. We need to look to those who are close to the star to support him, even if he doesn’t want it. It’s just something that he will need in the long run.

Beyond The Game: Matt Harvey

He is known as The Dark Knight to some, but to the masses hes known as Matt Harvey.

If you don’t know who he is, here is a quick rundown. Harvey grew-up a die-hard Yankees fan, and dreamed big to play im the majors. Originally drafted by the Angels in the third round, Harvey held out and decided to take his talents to Chapel Hill to play for UNC. He would then be drafted 3 years later at the 7th pick in the 2010 draft by the Mets. He is no slouch.

Harvey has gained remarks from the highest to ever play the game. 2013 was supposed to be the year of Harvey, but due to Tommy John surgery, Harvey would be sidelined for over a year. This just weeks after starting the All-Star game at the Mets home of Citi Field.

Forced to miss the entire 2014 season, doubt about Harvey began to grow more and more. The guy had only won 12 games going into this season, and people are talking about him winning a Cy Young. Well the doubters could be proven wrong after this season.

Harvey, like Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises, rose with a vengeance. The 26 year-old returned to the mound on Opening Day in Washington. Harvey looked like he never missed a beat. Striking out 9 over 6 innings, and not allowing a single run. Bryce Harper was quoted in saying, “”He’s going to be a Cy Young one day and everybody knows that. He’s one of the toughest at-bats I’ve ever had.”

Harvey has stats that mirror his 2013 campaign, a higher ERA but other stats better than those of that season. Has The Dark Knight of baseball officially rose? I’m not going to give you a definite answer, but do not be surprised to see Harvey as the front runner for the NL Cy Young. He could be the spark the Mets need to become relevant again. We know that hasn’t been said in a while, but Harvey could be the ace that brings them back to prominence.

Beyond The Game: Travis Hamonic

Photo taken from newsday.com

Hockey is not a game for the weak hearted. 60 minutes between two teams filled with warriors willing to do anything to defeat their adversary. Travis Hamonic is one of these warriors, a New York Islander edition to be exact.Hamonic, a defense-man from St. Malo, Manitoba, Canada, debuted for the Islanders back in 2010. He was even awarded a 7 year, $27 million extension after the lock-out shortened season in 2012-2013.

At the age of 10, tragedy struck the Hamonic’s family, Travis’s father suffered a massive heart attack and passed away at the age of 44. Hamonic depicts his final moments with his father in a recent episode of ESPN’s E:60. Hamonic’s family would leave their farm in St. Malo and move to Winnipeg. Where he would soon become one of the rising stars in junior hockey.

Three years ago, Hamonic went to the Islanders with an idea, that being he would meet with kids who have lost a parent. He does this win or lose, he wants to show these children that they are not in this alone. Even through the toughest of times and toughest of life’s moments, resiliency is a key function in our every day lives.

Hamonic says he sees himself in these kids, he wants them to know that things will get better. He shares an unfortunate bond with these children through this bond not only are these children gaining closure but so is he. He gave a voice to his grief and gave hope to others.

Every one has a story that goes untold. Some of them good and some bad, but those who are able to cope with misfortune and grief  show that they know closure and satisfaction are not so far away.

If you want a to take a look at Hamonics story, here is the YouTube link, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_vJe-_JbQc) Sometimes we just need to look beyond the game to the true stories of some of these athletes.

Beyond The Game: Eddie Lacy

Photo courtesy packers.com

When you think of Hurricane Katrina, the first thing that will come to mind is the devastation of the people that were displaced from their homes. Eddie Lacy is no exception. Lacy at the age of 14 was displaced due to the horrific events of Katrina. Lacy and family were forced to live in a trailer in Geismar, Louisiana.

The Lacy family lost nearly everything to the storm. But what they did not lose to the storm, they lost to thieves. What Eddie did those, was set himself for success. Lacy set a goal to get out. Lacy set this goal, which ultimately lead to his recruitment to Alabama.

From there, Eddie Lacy would strive for greatness while playing in Tuscaloosa. Lacy would eventually win a National Title while at Alabama. Lacy ran all over the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, scoring 2 TDs and rushing for 140 yards. Lacy then a few days later would enter the NFL Draft.

Lacy made his family a promise, that he would move his family from that trailer into a home. Lacy’s family moved into the home back in August after construction finished earlier this year.

Lacy has shown both on and off the field that overcoming adversity is something that anyone can do. On the field, Lacy is easily one of the best young running backs in the game. While off the field, he is a respected member of a family who was able to overcome even the most insurmountable odds.

Beyond The Game: Jahlil Okafor

Jahlil_Okafor

(Okafor’s Senior Basketball Photo. Photo courtesy of thesportspost.com)

Life isn’t fair. Everybody learns that somewhere down the road. In one way or another, life is going to screw you over. It is just a matter of time. If you are lucky it happens at a time where you can just accept it for what it is. Some aren’t lucky however, and have to realize this at an early age. These events test your strength as a person, if you can persevere, you can do anything.

Jahlil Okafor, The Duke University Freshman Center who was ranked as the #1 overall player in his high school class had to accept this fact at the age of nine years old. In a recent Bleacher Report article, Okafor described how when he was nine years old he watched his mom die. When at home one day he saw his mom struggling to breathe-coughing and gasping for air. At first not believing it and thought it was a joke. But the struggle did not stop. He then called 911, and just waited and listened to the ambulance sirens pierce through his head as he just watched his mom struggling to stay alive. He rode along in the ambulance and then was left in the waiting room at the hospital praying for good news. The doctor came to him and broke the news to him and his 11-year old sister that their mother had passed away.

I could not imagine having to go through that now as an adult, I can’t even comprehend what was going through 9-year old Okafor’s mind. He could have easily gone down the wrong path, but no, he has since dedicated his life to honor his mother. Now at 18 years old, he is a daunting 6-foot 11-inch behemoth wreaking havoc on the basketball court. This kid is the real deal. He spent his childhood after that focusing on two things: his academics and basketball. He wanted to make sure when it was all said and done, he knew that his mom would be proud of him.

Averaging 14.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 2.7 blocks per game, this kid is an absolute force down low. What many coaches love about Okafor is his attitude. He is a very reserved person, and just a true leader. Even being a freshman he is going to be looked at by his teammates to lead the team. He has said that he rarely  feels that pressured, he goes out and does his thing. He had said that he has never been on a stage like playing for Duke, but he is excited for the opportunity.

It’s early, but this kid is slated to be a top draft pick next year. He has the ability to be a prolific big man at the NBA level which has been lacking the past few years throughout the league. I believe this kid can be great because he has gone through so much for only being 18 years old, I think he can face anything that is put in his path. It surely will be a treat to see this kid play this season, and hopefully he will help Duke go deep in the tournament. Having been kicked out of the tournament in their first game two out of the last three years, Duke needs a spark, and I am confident Okafor is what they need to compete. His story is truly a sad one, and I hope it all works out. He sure deserves it.