Photo Credit: Silver and Black Today

WWJD #7- The Las Vegas Raiders – The Brady Bunch?


The biggest question for the Las Vegas Raiders heading into their inaugural season in Sin City is who will be lining up at Quarterback when they play their first game in Allegiant Stadium.


Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites Franchise Sports Media

Derek Carr has led the Raiders for six seasons and has drawn the ire of Raider Nation the past two years. A faction of the Raiders fanbase believes that Carr’s play has been inconsistent, timid, and not worth the price tag he carries. On the flip side, other Raiders’ fans think Carr needs to have more weapons and has played much better under Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden. General Manager Mike Mayock has repeatedly said that while they will evaluate every position, the quarterback position is the least of his concerns.


This year’s quarterback free agency class is headlined by the future NFL Hall of Famer and six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.


The class also includes Teddy Bridgewater, Phillip Rivers, Jameis Winston, and Dak Prescott (who is a restricted free agent). This class has led to much speculation, even from me here on Franchise Sports Media, about the Raider’s future at quarterback.

A Twitter rumor stated that Tom Brady had bought some property in Las Vegas, specifically Summerlin, which led to rampant speculation that the Raiders and Brady could be headed towards marriage. ESPN Las VegasSteve Cofield, the host of Cofield and Company, refuted the report after talking about it on their afternoon drive show. But Brady was in attendance at UFC 246 and stopped by Raiders owner Mark Davis to give him a hug and handshake, which was caught on camera.

Larry Fitzgerald Sr. (the father of Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr.) is one of the most respected and best sports reporters in the business. Late last week, he tweeted out that he’d heard that the Raiders planned to offer Brady a $60 million, 2-year contract once free agency starts.



Photo Credit: Larry Fitzgerald, Sr.



I never took the “Brady to the Raiders” talk too seriously until Fitzgerald Sr. put out that tweet. He wouldn’t report that if there wasn’t truth to it. I now think that it is very likely that the Raiders are going to make a run at Tom Brady if they can sign him, then trade Carr. If they are not able to sign Brady, then I believe that they keep Carr.


In both cases, I do think that the Raiders will be drafting a quarterback early in the 2020 NFL Draft, which is taking place in Las Vegas.


WWJD: I would take the same approach the Raiders are presumably taking. I would take a shot at signing Brady. It would hurt the Patriots in multiple ways as well as help create the type of culture Gruden wants the Raiders to have. Brady’s work ethic is legendary, and if he genuinely wants to leave New England and head to the West Coast, there is no better place than Las Vegas.

If they can’t land Brady, then keep Carr. I don’t’ feel Carr has played that bad, and I think all he needs is some weapons to help him out. He has improved both years under Gruden, and that trend should continue to progress upward in year 3 of his system.



My Friend Kobe Bryant



I have put off writing this for three weeks. I dreaded writing it because it’s going to bring out a ton of emotions inside me. I covered Kobe Bryant from 2002-2015 while working in sports media in Los Angeles. During that time, I got to know “Bean” and had what I consider a friendship with him. From time to time, we would text each other to see how things were going in our lives.


Photo Credit: USA Today

But when my close friend Nick Hamilton of Nightfall Media called me on January 26th, it started what has become a chaotic period in my life. Nick told me that Kobe had been involved in a helicopter crash that took his life. I didn’t want to believe it, but we both saw the TMZ report, and we both said we hoped that it was a hoax or their Twitter account was hacked.

There was NO WAY, my friend, just 41 years old, could be gone. Then the news came that his 13-year-old daughter Gianna (GiGi) was with him. The news got worse when Nick called me and said that seven other people had tragically lost their lives in the helicopter crash. He said that they were headed to the Mamba Cup, a youth basketball tournament being held at the Mamba Academy.


I cried like I haven’t cried in a long time. I felt sick to my stomach, and even though I went to the UNLV vs. SDSU game that day, I couldn’t tell you one thing that happened in the game. When I saw a picture of him or GiGi, I broke down, when I heard his voice on TV playing in the background, I broke down.


I was devastated beyond words.


The world had just started to see the Kobe Bryant that I knew. The devoted father, who was loving, caring, and goofy with his close family and friends, and a man who just started to let his guard down for the public. Kobe was dedicated to a lot of causes, including helping find a solution to the homeless problem in Los Angeles, the fine arts, and growing women’s basketball.

In one of our last conversations, Kobe was telling me that he thought GiGi was going to impact women’s basketball the way Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, and himself did the NBA. He thought she was the future of the sport and would help grow it and redefine it. GiGi was the “MambaCita” because she was a younger, female version of her father.

Photo Credit: CNN

If you’re my age and you grew up in Southern California, then Kobe grew up with you and in front of us all. He came to L.A. as a 17-year-old and played 20 seasons in Purple and Gold. We covered or went through the ups and downs and trials and tribulations with him. He was raw, honest, and authentic. I appreciated that. I told him that, and he reciprocated it.

What Kobe meant to the NBA is being seen since his untimely passing, but what he meant to the city of Los Angeles can not be stated enough. Kobe embodied EVERYTHING that is  L.A., hard-working, flashy, sure of himself, determined, unwavering and unapologetic, and most of all, a champion.

After the loss of rapper, philanthropist, and community activist Nipsey Hussle just six months earlier, the loss of Kobe has L.A. hurting beyond words. It feels like the soul of Los Angeles has been ripped out. I can’t imagine what Vanessa, Natalia, Bianca, and Capri are going through.

My heart goes out to them. I know how much Kobe loved them, and they love Kobe and GiGi; it was a genuine, REAL love that isn’t seen too often nowadays. The Los Angeles Lakers did a great job honoring him, GiGi, and the seven other lives that were lost. The NBA has also done a great job remembering Kobe since his passing, including naming the NBA All-Star Game MVP trophy after him.

On 2/24, there will be a memorial held at Staples Center for Kobe and GiGi Bryant. There are tickets that are being sold for this event, and I believe that the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. What I hope happens is that Kobe and GiGi get the same Notorious B.I.G. style sendoff as Nipsey got; a precession around the city of Los Angeles so the city can say thank you and good-bye for the final time to the greatest Laker of all-time and his princess.

As for me, I will cherish the memories that I have with and of Kobe. I’ll never forget the time Nick Hamilton tweeted out that Kobe and GiGi were at an L.A. Sparks game, shortly after he retired. I replied, “Tell Bean, I said hi, and I miss him!


Photo Credit: Elle

Less than a minute later, I get a FaceTime call from Nick. But instead of Nick calling, it was Kobe on the other end.


He asked where I had been and that he missed me at his final game. I told him I moved to Vegas late in 2015. He said that he did see what I put on social media earlier that day, (I said I hoped he went for 60, hit the game-winning free throws and goes out a winner) “Your ass needs to tell me the Lotto numbers JoJo; I’ll split it with you after we win!” 

We laughed and said that we need to get together when he comes to Vegas, which we did a few times to catch up, share stories of what our families are doing and our future plans. God just got his closer in pick-up games, his best father-daughter team, and, most of all, one of his most genuine, authentic people he ever created. I am grateful to have known him and a better person for it. THANK YOU for helping me grow as a reporter, friend, father, and, most importantly, as a better person.

Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

It took TQ to tell me what I already should have known; I need to stop feeling pity for myself, get off my ass, and we need to continue to build our company, Franchise Sports Media, with your Mamba Mentality. It’s what you would have done. We will do it in part to honor you and your memory. It’s how Squeeze and I are built, and you have always been a reminder of that fact for us.


I’m going to miss Kobe telling me how GiGi is going to be the GOAT of the WNBA and how he can’t wait to share more of his creative side with the world, but most of all, I am going to miss my friend, Bean.



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Joe Arrigo

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