I still find it hard to believe I’ve made it this far. Two years ago, I took a gamble by creating toplevelsports.blogspot.com, a small blog designed to share my opinions on the world of sports. The blog was more of a challenge to myself, to see if I could consistently write quality articles like I would have to do should I make a career out of sports journalism. I never really expected to make it even to the end of 2014, let alone one or two years, still with a passion for writing.
This past year was my senior year of high school, and easily the busiest year of my life. While at times I have struggled with motivation and time management, I am proud to say I have successfully graduated and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin in the fall.
The last 12 months have also seen many exciting things for Top Level Sports. The most exciting was the launch of the new website toplevelsports.net, in November. Additionally, with the release of my NBA Finals Prediction (which, by the way, is looking pretty darn good right now), I reached the milestone of 150 lifetime posts, which I find both crazy and awesome.
To celebrate the anniversary, I’m once again making a list of my personal 10 favorite posts of the last year, in chronological order. Additionally, here were my Top 10 Favorites of Year 1.
#1- Why Texas Hold’em is NOT a Game of Chance (Poker Misconceptions part 1) Original post date: 6/24/15 http://toplevelsports.net/why-texas-holdem-is-not-a-game-of-chance-poker-misconceptions-part-1/
In the first of a three-part series, I prove how poker, unlike most other casino games, is a game of skill, rather than chance. I also provide detailed explanations of many important poker concepts, with examples of how they can be used effectively while playing.
#2- The Insane Wealth of Floyd Mayweather Original post date: 7/2/15 http://toplevelsports.net/the-insane-wealth-of-floyd-mayweather/
During Floyd Mayweather’s fight against Manny Pacquaio, “Money” Mayweather made $225 million dollars, or just over 100k per second. Here I examine just how crazy Floyd’s wealth really is, and how he compares to athletes in the NFL, NBA, MLS, and NHL.
#3- Gripes with Sports Fans: Bandwagon Crucifiers Original post date: 7/12/15 http://toplevelsports.net/gripes-with-sports-fans-bandwagon-crucifiers/
Everyone seems to hate the bandwagon fan. However, the majority of bandwagon fans shouldn’t really be considered bandwagoners at all. Here I take a look at how people choose which teams they support, and why it really shouldn’t matter in the end.
#4- Fantasy Football Draft Strategy Guide Original post date: 7/27/15 http://toplevelsports.net/fantasy-football-draft-strategy-guide/
Want to win your fantasy football league next season? Here’s a comprehensive look at everything you should consider heading into a draft, along with some of my personal beliefs and tips on drafting. For the record, these tips led me to a first-place 10-3 regular season record last season before I ultimately fell in the championship game.
#5- NBA Disparity and Changing the Playoffs Original post date: 11/13/15 http://toplevelsports.net/nba-disparity-and-changing-the-playoffs-2/
This, by far, is the piece I put the most time into writing. NBA Disparity took weeks of researching, graphic-creating, writing, and editing. I even created my own metric, the Opponent Proportionality Record (OPR), to evaluate teams. To this day I consider it my best article, and I promise part 2 is coming soon.
#6- Monmouth: Scheduling and Dancing Its Way to the Big Dance Original post date: 12/22/15 http://toplevelsports.net/monmouth-scheduling-and-dancing-its-way-to-the-big-dance/
The Monmouth Hawks were truly a sight to behold last season. In one of my personal favorite articles of all-time, I go into the nitty-gritty of how Monmouth’s non-conference scheduling and exciting, media-attracting brand of basketball put a tiny school on the national stage, giving them an impressive tournament résumé. I also explore how the NCAA tournament committee thinks when evaluating teams against each other, and what it takes to make the 68-team field. Monmouth didn’t make the tournament (a snub in my opinion) but I still loved following their journey.
#7- Bracket Logic: Optimizing Tourney Pool Success Original post date: 3/16/16 http://toplevelsports.net/bracket-logic-optimizing-tourney-pool-success/
Sometimes the truth isn’t what you want to hear. In this article, I examine how the most proficient strategy for picking a March Madness bracket just happens to be the boring, easy strategy we all hate. However, there are times where deviated from the “perfect” strategy actually increases your odds of coming out on top. **If you enjoy heat maps, this is the article for you.**
#8- Leicester City: Proving Money Can’t Buy Everything Original post date: 5/3/16 http://toplevelsports.net/leicester-city-proving-money-cant-buy-everything/
I’m still trying to grasp the fact that a team valued at 5000-1 odds at the title ended up winning the world’s most prestigious soccer league. Here’s a look at all the incredible statistics that arose from the most improbable underdog story.
#9- As Tiger Woods Vanishes, Golf Disappears With Him Original post date: 5/16/16 http://toplevelsports.net/as-tiger-woods-vanishes-golf-disappears-with-him/
In my new most popular post of all-time, I take a look at the rise and fall of golf in popularity and its correlation with the successes of Tiger Woods. I explain how golf needs Tiger, the problems associated with his absence, and how baseball and golf struggle without big personalities.
#10- Salary Disparity Highlights Challenge for MLS Original post date: 5/21/16 http://toplevelsports.net/salary-disparity-highlights-challenge-for-mls/
When some individual players are making more than entire teams, there is a clear problem. The MLS is growing quickly and has undoubtedly been helped on the international stage by its designated player rule. However, the salary disparity created by the rule could mean trouble down the road.
Thanks to everyone who was read my work over the past two years. Look forward for more interesting, insightful content in year 3!