2014 Mock Draft 1.0

By Ryan Crawford

Let me start off by saying this is a very interesting draft. While there are multiple Quarterbacks that everyone talks about, I don’t think they are on a level with many of the QB’s that have been top ten picks in the past. Of course the teams that generally need Quarterbacks reside in the top ten. You would expect some of those teams to trade down for some additional value but I don’t anticipate the teams looking to move up paying a steep price to move. Teams generally overpay for franchise QB’s and these guys don’t fit that description. Don’t expect teams to jump up for the strength of this draft, which are Wide Receivers, Tackles and a couple of Defensive studs at the top. The result will be a cat and mouse game and alot of picks that people will be shocked at, both high and low. It will be one of the hardest drafts in years to predict. Good luck to the experts on this one. Should be a lot of fun…

1. HOUSTON TEXANS- Jadaveon Clowney-DL- South Carolina

Texans need a QB but not at #1. Clowney is still the best player in the draft.

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney's name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via US Presswire)

Amid all of the hype for other players this season, expect Clowney’s name to be called first at the NFL Draft (Via US Presswire)

2. ST. LOUIS RAMS- Greg Robinson- Tackle- Auburn

This guy is a mountain with huge upside. I expected Rams to try to trade down but the price might not be worth it if someone is not coming up to get a QB or Clowney.

3. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS- Khalil Mack-OLB- Buffalo

The Jags need a QB bad and if they jump it would probably be Bortles but I think they wait till later rounds to grab the QB and keep building their defense.

4. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Sammy Watkins-WR-Clemson

Another QB needy team that will wait till later. Any QB coming in to a situation with Josh Gordon and this stud receiver will look better anyway.

5. OAKLAND RAIDERS- Jake Matthews- Tackle- Texas A & M

If Al Davis were alive, this pick would have Johnny Manziel written all over it. Does anyone ever really know what the Raiders will do? Matthews is the smart pick for a team in need of protection up front.

6. ATLANTA FALCONS- Taylor Lewan- Tackle- Michigan

The Falcons need linemen to protect Matty Ice and Lewan is the third tackle off the board early.

7. TAMPA BAY BUCS- Darqueze Dennard- CB- Michigan State

Defense, Defense, Defense for new coach Lovie Smith as the Bucs secure one of the top corners in the draft.

8. MINNESOTA VIKINGS- Blake Bortles-QB-UCF

Vikings sit tight and grab the only QB they really wanted for new coach Mike Zimmer.

9. BUFFALO BILLS- Eric Ebron- TE- North Carolina

Bills snag a big time weapon for second year QB EJ Manuel.

10. DETROIT LIONS- Mike Evans- WR- Texas A&M

Could go corner here but teaming Evans with Megatron makes too much sense and scares the heck out of opposing secondarys.

11. TENNESSEE TITANS- Justin Gilbert- CB- Oklahoma State

With the secondary defections in free agency, a big need for Titans is filled with this pick.

12. NEW YORK GIANTS- Anthony Barr- OLB- UCLA

Giants are in need of strong defenders and haven’t had a linebacker with this much potential in years.

13. ST LOUIS RAMS- Ha Ha Clinton Dix- S- Alabama

If the Rams can’t trade down off the 2nd pick, look for them to trade down here to add more picks later on. If they use the pick, a good safety is a big need and Dix is one of the top two. Calvin Pryor also a strong possibility

14. CHICAGO BEARS- Timmy Jernigan- DT- Florida State

The Bears need to beef up the defensive line and Jernigan brings the beef in a big way

15. PITTSBURGH STEELERS- Aaron Donald-DT-Pittsburgh

The Steelers stay in town to pick the speedy, strong Donald. Another team that needs to rebuild its defense and this is a good start.

16. DALLAS COWBOYS- Johnny Manziel-QB-Texas A&M

Nothing more than a hunch on my part, but imagine this guy playing for America’s team. Jerry Jones is never one to miss a good marketing opportunity and Tony Romo is 33 and not exactly Peyton Manning or Tom Brady. Makes sense from so many vantage points.

17. BALTIMORE RAVENS- Odell Beckham Jr-WR-LSU

Ravens can really use another weapon for Joe Flacco and Beckham Jr is one of the best. Brandin Cooks could go here as well.

18. NEW YORK JETS- Calvin Pryor- S- Louisville

Yes I know the Jets need another receiver badly but this guy is a hammer and Rex is drooling at the thought of a young Ed Reed. The Wide Receiver class is very deep and they will get a couple in later rounds.

19. MIAMI DOLPHINS- Morgan Moses- OT- Virginia

It’s no secret that the Dolphins need some serious help on the offensive line and this guy should slot in at one of the tackles.

20. ARIZONA CARDINALS- Bradley Roby- CB- Ohio State

Even with the addition of Antonio Cromartie, the Cards could use a young corner and this guy has all the talent in the world

21. GREEN BAY PACKERS – Kony Ealy- DE/LB- Missouri

The Packers need a lot of help on this side of the ball and the versatile Ealy can play multiple spots. CJ Mosley is a possibility here as well.

22. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES- Brandin Cooks-WR-Oregon State

Doesn’t take the Eagles long to replace Desean Jackson with this speedster whom Chip Kelly knows well from his Oregon days.

23. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS- Kelvin Benjamin-WR-Florida State

Chiefs need more weapons for Alex Smith and Benjamin is a big target.

24. CINCINNATI BENGALS- Jason Verrett- CB- TCU

Marvin Lewis is concerned about his secondary and the corners are starting to run so he grabs a very good prospect in Verrett

25. SAN DIEGO CHARGERS- Louis Nix- NT- Notre Dame

A strong nose tackle prospect, Nix is a great fit for the Chargers D.

26. CLEVELAND BROWNS- Teddy Bridgewater- QB- Louisville

How many times have we seen this one. The guy a team was considering at 4 drops to their next pick at 26. The last time we saw this was with Geno Smith and the Jets last year. The Browns can’t believe their good fortune and the shouts of joy are heard all the way from Cleveland.

27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS- Ryan Shazier-OLB- Ohio State

The Saints need to improve their defense and Shazier is a good step in that direction. He can play inside or move outside if needed at the linebacker spot.

28. CAROLINA PANTHERS- Zach Martin –T-Notre Dame

Looking for another Tackle, Martin falls right into the Panthers lap.

29. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS- CJ Mosley- ILB- Alabama

Another defender for the Patriots. A wide receiver is a possibility here or trading down as the Pats like to do.

30. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS- Marqise Lee- WR- USC

In need of another young receiver, 49ers are thrilled to get Lee at 30.

31. DENVER BRONCOS- Dee Ford- DE- Auburn

Think the Broncos need more defense? Me too. Another guy to rush the passer

32. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS- Ra’Shede Hageman- DT- Minnesota

What do you get the team that has everything? Another weapon for Russell Wilson? Another defender for a team full of stud defenders? Some protection for the offense? Just get the best guy available and at this point that is Hageman.

NFL All-Arrest First-Team Offense

By Nick Vespasiano

The NFL has seen many arrests in recent years, many for ridiculous reasons. This begs the question, what if all of those arrested players were on the same team? Presenting the NFL All-Arrest First Team offense:

 

QB – Michael Vick: Dogfighting

Mike Vick was arrested back in 2007 and sent to prison for 23 months for dogfighting as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. To this day his reputation among NFL fans is mixed. Pretty interesting how fans will turn on someone like Vick while embracing someone like Ray Lewis (who killed a guy). It was hard not to choose Daunte Culpepper for this spot but the Vikings “love boat” is already on the list.

In recent years, Michael Vick has taken a stand against dogfighting. (Via AP)

In recent years, Michael Vick has taken a stand against dogfighting. (Via AP)

RB – Marshawn Lynch: Hit-and-run, felony gun charges, DUI

Super Bowl champion, Marshawn Lynch has been arrested three times. The first was in 2008 as a Buffalo Bill when he hit a woman in his Porche and drove off. Thankfully she was ok and he lost his license. In 2009, still a Bill, Lynch was arrested and sentenced to probation in California when police found a loaded gun in his car. Finally, as a Seattle Seahawk in 2012, lynch was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Lynch gets the first RB spot for getting arrested three separate times for three different things.

 

RB – Dion Lewis: falsely reporting a fire, reckless endangerment

Plenty of running backs get arrested, most recently Ray Rice for assaulting his fiance (they still got married!). I hadn’t even heard of former Philadelphia Eagle Dion Lewis but his 2012 arrest was the most unique of the RB’s. He and his brother, both drunk, pulled the fire alarm on their hotel when they got locked out. He was charged with falsely reporting a fire and reckless endangerment but somehow the charges were dropped.

 

FB – Corey Macintyre: exposure

Of all the arrested FB’s, this guy takes the cake. In 2009, the former Buffalo Bill allegedly “fondled himself” outside the window of a 59-year-old woman at 8:30 in the morning. The charges would eventually be dropped.

 

TE – Matt Spaeth: public urination

Tight ends (excluding Aaron Hernandez) seem to be more well behaved than other positions. But former Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Matt Spaeth was cited for disorderly conduct in 2009 for publicly urinating outside a restaurant near Heinz Field. Spaeth’s teammate, kicker Jeff Reed tried to interfere with the police and got himself arrested as well.

 

WR – Randy Moss: careless driving

In 2002, the former Minnesota Vikings wideout struck and pushed a traffic officer half a block in Minneapolis. Police allegedly found marijuana in his car but he was never charged. Moss pled guilty to careless driving, costing him $1200 and 40 hours community service. Not the first or last of his antics but definitely the most notable of his career.

 

WR – Plaxico Burress: criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment

Who can forget when in 2008 Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg accidentally in a New York City night club? A member of the New York Giants at the time, Burress was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a handgun and reckless endangerment after the gun tucked in his jeans went off. He had no license for the gun. Burress was sentenced to two years in prison and two years of supervised release. He was also suspended for the Giant’s last four games and released after the season ended.

 

OT – Bryant McKinnie: indecent conduct, disorderly conduct, and lewd or lascivious conduct

Bryant McKinnie was one of four members of the 2005 Minnesota Vikings involved in the “love boat” incident. The party on Lake Minnetonka involved two boats, 16 other Vikings, prostitutes from Atlanta and Florida, and 90 people in total. Without going into too much detail, McKinney apparently had himself a good time. He ended up paying a $2,000 fine, completed 48 hours community service, and forfeited one game’s worth of pay.

 

OG – Eric Steinbach: boating under the influence

Only six NFL guards have been arrested since 2000. Former Cincinnati Bengal Eric Steinbach was cited for drunken boating back in 2006. The fifth Bengal to be arrested that year and the only drunken boater on the list, Steinbach drove through an idle zone on the Ohio River in Kentucky before being pulled over and failing several field sobriety tests.

 

C – Kenyetta Jones: assault, battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction, trespassing

While a member of the New England Patriots in 2003, Kenyetta Jones poured scalding hot water on his roommate, giving him second and third-degree burns. He was released by the Patriots and went on to play in the Arena Football League. In 2008, he tried to urinate on the dance floor of a St. Petersburg night club which ended in his being charged with battery on a law enforcement officer, obstruction, and trespassing after police tried to remove him.

 

OG – Jeremy Bridges: assault and battery, communicating threats

Just before 2007 training camp, as a member of the Carolina Panthers, Jeremy Bridges was arrested for pointing a gun at a woman in a strip club parking lot. He was suspended 60 days, given a year probation, a $500 fine, and 60 hours community service. The very next year, while he and his wife celebrated their anniversary at a restaurant, Bridges bought a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne and proceeded shake the bottle and spray other customers. When asked to leave he allegedly got physical with a bouncer and was arrested on a $2500 bond.

 

OT – Andre Smith: attempting to board an airplane with a loaded gun

In early 2013, Cincinnati Bengals tackle Andre Smith tried to get on a plane at the Atlanta airport with a loaded handgun. I don’t know what’s worse, not knowing you can’t bring guns on airplanes or thinking you could get away with it. He claims he didn’t know the .380 pistol was in his bag before going to the airport yet somehow he didn’t bother checking. He was released from jail on a $3,000 bond.

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Nick Vespasiano is a senior English major at St. Olaf College and aspiring sports writer. He was raised in Minnesota, favorite teams are the Vikings, Wild, and Twins. Favorite athletes are Randy Moss and Jaromír Jágr.

MLB Staff Picks

The smell of peanuts and cracker jacks is in the air. After 152 days since the Red Sox walked off the field as champions, baseball is back. Our picks are in for this year’s fall classic. Here they are:

Writer

Pick

Brett Malamud

 I’m taking the Yankees over the Dodgers. Both teams have proven this offseason that they want to win now. The Yankees unloaded after missing the playoffs by opening their checkbook and spending close to $500 million. The additions of Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Masahiro Tanaka immediately make the Yankees a legitimate threat. But don’t think they’re the only team spending the big bucks. The Dodgers passed the Yankees for the MLB’s highest payroll, ending the Yankees 15 year streak, by spending $235 million this season. All and all I’d say Derek Jeter better start spreading the news that his final season will end with a ticker tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Sam Breiter

 As an extremely optimistic Mets fan with nothing but the highest expectations, I’m always going to take my team. So along with my Mets, I’m taking the rival Yankees. The Mets have young talent in there rotation, and a growing lineup. They may make a huge move by the deadline, and Zach Wheeler will suprise people this year. Yankees, because they spent money this offseason and are clearly doing anything to win a year after missing the playoffs

Dan Lagnado

 In the NL I’ll take the Dodgers and in the AL I’ll take Detroit. Dodgers win a six game series behind Kershaw and Greinke who each win two games

Josh Halilej

 Tigers over Cardinals. Lots of solid pitching between the two of them. I think Justin Verlander comes back big this year and comes out as the Tigers’ #1 with Rick Porcello having an awesome year too finishing ahead of Max Scherzer in the pitching rotation. The Cards are going to need Yadier Molina to manage the pitching staff well, but they just don’t have the overall offensive firepower that Detroit does with the addition of Ian Kinsler. Watch out for the Rangers though if they can have someone aside from Yu Darvish step up in their rotation.

Seth Schuster

 Red Sox over Dodgers. Only a little bit of bias plays into this one…Both are great teams with amazing young talent. With the recent resurgence of John Lackey, John Lester, a healthy Clay Buchholz, and a young and very talented Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox will be the 2014 World Series Champions. With the leadership of David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Mike Napoli, look for the Sox to make a push for the repeat.

Ben Ozur

 Rays vs Dodgers. There’s no explanation for why the Rays are good every year, but the undeniable fact is that they are. However nobody is on the Dodgers level in terms of overall talent. Despite multiple holes including infield depth and major league ready pitchers in the minors, their superstar talent everywhere else will cover that up.

Ryan Gillman

 Dodgers over Tigers. The Dodgers are armed with a wealth of talent and the largest payroll in history. Anything less than a championship would be a disappointment.

Sam  Iryami

 Nationals vs Tigers. Nationals win. The Nationals have the best pitching rotation in baseball with the front four being Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Doug Fister. Pitching wins games. Although the Tigers have a great all around team, the team is full of veterans. However, they are definitely a contender for the World Series because of their many stars such as Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Ian Kinsler, and Max Scherzer. Both teams have unbelievable pitching and hitting, but I have the Nationals taking home the trophy in this one.

Zach Pokorny

 Dodgers vs Angels, but I’d pick the Angels because Mike Trout is amazing
Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

Derek Jeter has one last season in his hall of fame career and will make the most of it (Via Sabo News)

We hope everyone enjoys Opening Day and stays locked in to Dabuzzza here and on our twitter page this MLB season. We know we will.

What Does Michael Vick’s Signing Mean for Geno Smith?

By Dan Lagnado

By now you all probably have heard Mark Sanchez is out and Michael Vick is in for the New York Jets. Vick signed a one year $5 million deal Friday. This offseason Vick made it very clear that he wants to be a starting quarterback. This creates a bit of a situation in Jets camp. The coaches have consistently expressed confidence in Geno Smith going forward and everyone expects him to make improvements following his roller coaster rookie season. Do not expect another quarterback by committee, as was the case when Tim Tebow joined the team. There will likely be one starter and one backup, barring injury to either competitor.

Michael Vick will go head to head with Geno Smith for the starting QB job. (Via Getty Images)

Michael Vick will go head to head with Geno Smith for the starting QB job. (Via Getty Images)

So what is likely to be the outcome? This was not the same as the Jets signing a veteran to mentor Smith. This is pure quarterback competition.

This preseason, just as last season, will be very interesting to see who performs the best and who wins the starting job. For right now I have to think Vick has the advantage. He’s a veteran and a proven playmaker with all of camp to get familiar with his teammates. Additionally Vick will be reunited with former offensive coordinator Marty Morninhweg who had success with Vick in Philly a few years ago. There are also rumors floating around that the Jets have been in discussions with the Eagles about Desean Jackson, who would provide familiarity for Vick and a speedy deep threat that the Jets have been sorely lacking.

However, this could also be good for Smith. It’s not exactly a vote of confidence but it should serve as motivation as well as a learning experience. He knows he needs to play better and that he’s not just going to be handed the job at the beginning of the year. Vick, at this stage in his career, is a similar quarterback as Geno Smith: able to use his feet but not as dynamic as Colin Kaepernick or RGIII but still able to be a pocket passer as well.

Look for Vick to end up starting the 2014 season before passing the torch onto a much wiser and confident Smith for 2015 unless the team decides that Smith cannot handle the competition and therefore is not the franchise quarterback he was expected to be. Geno is tougher than that, in my opinion, and I think he will use this situation to his advantage.

Now if they could only sign a cornerback…

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Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995

2014 MLB Predictions

By Dan Lagnado

National League

East: Washington Nationals

Coming off a disappointing season in which the Nats were 10 games behind the first place Braves, I expect a bounce back season and 95+ wins from the Nationals. An improved starting rotation with the addition of Doug Fister and a lineup without a weakness, the Nats and first year manager Matt Williams can make a run in the playoffs.

Central: St. Louis Cardinals

Last year’s National League champions continue their regular season success led by a batch of young starters. The loss of Carlos Beltran is minimized by the arrival of Jhonny Peralta and the Cardinals have a good chance to defend their title.

West: Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers simply have too much firepower to not win this division. They won the division by 11 games last season and there is no reason for them not to repeat unless the team is decimated by injury.

Clayton Kershaw hopes to lead the Dodgers deep into the playoffs this year (Via USA Today)

Clayton Kershaw hopes to lead the Dodgers deep into the playoffs this year (Via USA Today)

Wild Card 1: Cincinnati Reds

The NL Central is one of the most competitive divisions in baseball with three teams making the playoffs last year. I think the Reds jump up a spot from WC 2 to WC 1 in the upcoming season behind the strength of Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips. Another reason for the improvement is that Pittsburgh’s dream run last year does not have the same impact this time around and they drop off enough for the Reds to overtake them down the stretch.

Wild Card 2: San Francisco Giants

In a bounce back year the Giants will finish second in their division and take the second Wild Card position. The starting rotation will return to its former glory and the addition of Tim Hudson will add stability to a rotation that already contains Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum and Madison Bumgarner.

American League

East: Boston Red Sox

This was not an easy decision but in the end I have to stay with the defending champions. A solid pitching rotation returns intact and the playoff experience will help this team retain their division title.

Central: Detroit Tigers

Even with injuries to Jose Iglesias, the Tigers are still the team to beat in the AL Central. Miguel Cabrera is coming back healthy and new acquisition Ian Kinsler will provide a big boost at second base. Joe Nathan will provide a boost at the back of the bullpen and Justin Verlander should be back healthy.

West: Texas Rangers

The arrival of Prince Fielder and Alex Rios and the first full season of Jurikson Profar will key the Rangers to a division title. Yu Darvish looks to follow up a dominant year and cement himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball. In a competitive division that goes down the wire, the Rangers will edge out the division.

Wild Card 1: Oakland Athletics

The A’s continue their recent success by locking up another playoff birth, this time by Wild Card. Despite injuries to the starting rotation, Oakland does have enough young pitching to get them through the season effectively.

Wild Card 2: Los Angeles Angels

The Angels’ power bats finally get it together and make it into the postseason. Mike Trout once again will be one of the best in the league and Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols finally get it together in the American League to carry the Angels to success.

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Dan Lagnado is studying communications, law economics and government at American University. He’s a fan of both the Mets and Jets and has been writing about sports for four years. You can follow him on twitter at @dlag1995

Phil Jackson Videos

Phil Jackson was introduced Tuesday morning at Madison Square Garden as the new president of the New York Knicks. Here is a video of the press conference

The Zen Master was then introduced to the Garden crowd during their game on Wednesday against the Indiana Pacers, where he received a standing ovation.

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Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Decker to the Jets

By Christian Pierre Louis

From the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Meadowlands of New Jersey.

That is the move free agent WR Eric Decker will make as he and the New York Jets have agreed on a five year deal that is for $36.25 million over five years with $15 million in guarantees.

After being the second option to the more talented Demaryius Thomas in Denver, Decker will take on No. 1 receiver responsibilities in Rex Ryan’s “ground ‘n’ pound” offense.

Whereas Decker had other quality targets such as Thomas, Wes Welker and Julius Thomas to draw defenders away in Denver’s record-breaking attack, he’s going to be the center of attention in a passing game led by an inconsistent Geno Smith.

Do not misunderstand what I am saying, this is a major get for the Jets.  Decker, still in his prime at age 27, set career highs in receptions (87) and receiving yards (1,288) last season while reaching double digits in touchdowns for the second consecutive season.

The Jets top two receivers only totaled 979 receiving yards last year and the team was 31st in passing offense. Right now, Decker’s clearly the best receiver on the Jets, who may add another with their first-round pick. Their other experienced receivers are Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill and David Nelson. They certainly didn’t put fear in the hearts of defenses.

Eric Decker will open a new chapter in his career by joining the Jets (Via Getty)

Eric Decker will open a new chapter in his career by joining the Jets (Via Getty)

Decker is Denver usually played in one of the outside spots, but the Broncos used him in the slot at times as well. Decker was also used in a punt return role at times in his career.

It will be extremely interesting to see how defenses now adjust to Decker being “the guy” on a team that is weak at the receiver position. He hasn’t been the go-to guy the past two seasons with the Broncos, there was no need for it, as that team had a plethora of options around him.

Not the same case in New York.

He will be the man that the team calls upon when they need a big play down the field and now everyone in the NFL knows it.

Overall, this was a good signing by the Jets, they desperately needed more weapons offensively and they grabbed the best receiver out there. Now, it is time for the organization to put more pieces around Geno Smith and Eric Decker, whether it may be in free agency or the draft, the team still needs more offensive talent to compete with the best in the AFC.

If the Jets can add more pieces to Decker on the offensive side of the ball to compliment that young and tough defense, they could have some real potential to fly high in this upcoming season.

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Christian Pierre-Louis is a journalism major at Seton Hall University. He is a HUGE fan of the, LA Lakers, NY Giants, and NY Yankees. He is also an assistant sports producer at Seton Hall’s radio station WSOU 89.5 FM. You can follow him on twitter at @CPL_78.

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